AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano is counting on President Duterte’s help to ensure the smooth and trouble-free installation of members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Inc. (Marbai) at their Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-awarded lands in Tagum City.
Mariano sought Duterte’s help through a memorandum, asking the President to direct the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to protect all Marbai members and to provide support and assistance to Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) personnel when it executes the “writ of installation” addressed to the management of Lapanday Foods Inc. (LFI).
Among the help and support needed from the AFP and PNP are 24/7 security detail during and after the installation activities in the next two months.
The official wants the PNP and the AFP to clear the area of booby traps, disarm the LFI security guards, remove foxholes and establish mobile checkpoints in the area.
He said the conduct of regular police and military patrol is needed for the protection of the Marbai members.
If necessary, he said, the AFP and the PNP should establish a temporary detachment in the area.
Mariano said another presidential order that would create an interagency task force where all heads of concerned implementing agencies of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) are directed to pitch in during the installation activities.
The interagency task force would be named “Marbai Task Force”.
Besides the DAR, it will be comprised of the departments of Agriculture, Social Welfare and Development, Justice, the Interior and Local Government and of Health; the Commission on Human Rights (CHR); the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC); and the officer of the provincial governor and city mayor.
In all activities the task force would undertake, the PNP and the AFP are expected to provide security and other assistance to ensure the smooth and orderly conduct of tasks assigned to each task-force member, Mariano said.
Under the memorandum, the interagency task force will map out a plan for the successful installation of Marbai members and ensure their continued stay and engagement in productive agricultural activities in the contested area.
The task force shall also put up an Agrarian Reform Inter-Agency Center to serve as a one-stop shop for the beneficiaries. It will stay in the area for 60 days, during which time, it will look after the needs of farmer-beneficiaries before, during and after the installation.
Among the immediate needs of farmer-beneficiaries are a capacity-building program, farm inputs, health-related services and medicines, and agrarian justice.