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Duterte greenlights takeover of lapanday plantation, “The government promises to grant you the lands you deserve. These lands are yours.”

news reg 1 pix 1 may 11 2017 640x347Banana growers of Tagum City scored victory after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano to proceed with the reinstallation of farmer-beneficiaries to the 145-hectare banana plantation controlled by agribusiness firm Lapanday Foods Corp.

During his visit at the farmers’ campout in Mendiola on May 9, Duterte told Mariano to continue with the installation in the disputed San Isidro (Sanid) farm area.

The pronouncement came after Duterte earlier called out landlord-oligarchs to follow his orders or he would be forced to reclaim government lands and distribute it to qualified beneficiaries instead.

Duterte is the first President of the Republic of the Philippines to visit protesting farmers in Mendiola. He encouraged the MARBAI farmers to continue defending their rights as he announced his continued support for Mariano’s installation order.

“The 159 members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI), being legitimate agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), have the right to possess and till the lands awarded to them under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),” said Mariano.news reg 1 pix 2 may 11 2017 640x359

Section 108 of DAR Administrative Order (AO) no. 7, series of 2011 states that “as owner/s of awarded lands under CARP, the ARB/s shall take possession of the land covered by his/her/their titles from the time the same is awarded to them through a registered certificate of land ownership award (CLOA).”

Around 200 farmers have been staging a campout protest since Labor Day to urge the President and Philippine National Police Chief Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa to help them with their land concerns.

“The government promises to grant you the lands you deserve. These lands are yours,” Duterte said while admitting his dismay with the “tedious” legal processes that farmers have to go through to own their government-awarded lands.

Lapanday remained defiant during DAR’s attempts of installation of beneficiaries by employing security guards who frustrated official government activities last April 18 and 21. The agribusiness firm asserted its claim to manage the contested banana plantation pursuant to the final and executory decision by the court and argued that Mariano’s installation order is null and void.

The agrarian reform chief, however, affirmed DAR’s jurisdiction over the Sanid land and asserted the agency’s quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian reform issues. Under Section 50 of Republic Act (RA) No. 6657 as amended by RA 9700, DAR can determine matters involving the implementation of agrarian laws based on the authority vested by the law.

Duterte also advised the courts to avoid issuing  issue temporary restraining orders  as it makes the government’s job to recover property of the people difficult.

news reg 1 pix 3 may 11 2017 800x533 640x426The writ of installation was issued by Mariano as a response to a petition filed last Dec. 9 by Mely Yu, chairperson of MARBAI, for an “extremely urgent request for intervention” which was treated as a petition for installation of ARBs amid the attacks and harassments suffered by MARBAI members last year.

One hundred fifty-nine members of MARBAI have been previously awarded with farm lots under CARP in 1996. MARBAI broke away from their mother cooperative Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative-1 (HEARBCO-1) in a collective effort to recognize their rights to a fair livelihood.

They decided to end ties with Lapanday after their members felt that they were being swindled in the 10-year Banana Sales and Marketing Agreement with the agribusiness firm. “We were tricked into selling high-grade bananas which were poorly classified for a lower price, thus resulting to a measly P2,000 monthly income,” Yu said.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange


Region XI News

news reg 1 pix 1 jan. 13 2018
January 13, 2018 74

2018 opening salvo: DAR distributes land titles to 24…

DAVAO CITY – At least 24 farmers from a remote area in Barangay Mulig, Toril, Davao City received their respective certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) in a turn-over ceremony held here on Friday, January 12. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 jan. 11 2018
Jan 11, 2018 23

Davao farmers confer with DAR officials

DAVAO CITY (Jan. 11, 2018)—Top officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) led by Undersecretaries Luis Miendrado Pangulayan and Karlo Bello led a dialogue with various farmer groups in Davao City today, Thursday, January 11 to discuss issues and… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 26 2017
Dec 26, 2017 117

DAR-11 to assess damages caused by typhoon Vinta to ARBs

DAVAO CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform in Davao Region (DAR-11) wants to determine the extent of the damages caused by the onslaught of typhoon Vinta to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the area. Typhoon Vinta made its landfall in Cateel,… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 2 2017
Dec 02, 2017 279

Tenants no more: 77 farmers in DavSur village thank Pres.…

BARANGAY PANAGLIB, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur – Jubilation was evident in the faces of 77 farmers after winning ownership of the farmlands they till for more than 10 years in this remote village of Panaglib in the town of Kiblawan in Davao del Sur.On Friday,… Read More..

Region 11 Calendar of Activities