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DAR installs rightful agrarian beneficiaries of a Davao banana farm

news reg 1 pix 1 may 30 2017COMPOSTELA, Compostela Valley—Farmers of the Compostela Plantation Inc. - Banana Producers Cooperative (CPI-BPC) are jubilant after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) ejected the squatters who were occupying hectares of banana farm instead of bona fide agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Upon the order of DAR Regional Director Joseph Orilla, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Melchor B. Jamora earlier issued a writ of installation allowing members of the CPI-BPC to claim lands awarded to the in the banana farm. The writ was issued after 160 ARBs were recently awarded with collective a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) dated October 27, 2016 and May 23, 2017. The CLOA covers 23.6385 hectares of Cavendish banana farm lot formerly owned by Prosperador Regaña and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Orilla directed DAR Sheriff Adelaido Caminade to form a team composed of people from the local government of Compostela and assistance from the Phil. National Police to immediately implement the writ of installation.

During the installation, a group of 38 men and women claiming to be rightful owners barricaded the farm land. Their leader, a certain Prince Juan Tallano, said they belong to the Compostela People Farmers Workers Association (CPFAW).news reg 1 pix 2 may 30 2017

According to Sheriff Caminade, prior to the installation, a series of inter-agency meetings were conducted, which resulted to requesting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a deeper investigation on the undertakings of Tallano’s group.  

Another group composed of 32 farmworkers led by Toto Magdayao also claimed to be the rightful beneficiaries. Magdayao said his group has been tilling the land since 1994.

Sheriff Caminade, together with Vice Gov. Manuel Zamora and Mayor Lema Bolo, assisted by the municipal policemen, mediated the standoff to implement the writ of installation. 

They explained to Tallano’s group that the land titles they are holding are all fictitious.

“Based on then investigation conducted by the NBI, the land titles of Tallanos’ group are fakes as verified by the Register of Deeds. We also found out that their leader, Tallano, is included in the list of professional squatters and a member of a squatting syndicate,” said Sheriff Caminade.

news reg 1 pix 3 may 30 2017With more than 90 police personnel and a platoon from the 66th Infantry Batallion deployed in the area, the members of Tallano’s group were forcibly evicted from the farm, while other farm workers peacefully cooperated.

Magdayao’s group agreed to vacate the area after Vice Gov. Zamora promised to provide them with a lawyer for any legal actions they will take, which involves filing a petition for inclusion as ARBs.

After 2 hours of mediation, the DAR team successfully pacified the standoff between the group of illegal occupants and group of current farm workers. Sheriff Caminade finally installed 160 ARBs of CPI-BPC to their awarded lands. 

To ensure the farmers’ safety, DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Melchor B. Jamora requested the Armed Forces of the Phil. (AFP) to provide a 24-hour security after the installation for 10 days.news reg 1 pix 4 may 30 2017 

Photo 1: DAR Regional Director Joseph H. Orilla (in brown Shirt), Assistant Regional Director Venchito S. Mandap (in blue polo shirt beside RD Orilla), PARPO I Melchor B. Jamora (left most in blue polo shirt) together with Vice Governor Zamora (in white), in a ceremonial turn-over of the CLOAs to CPI-BPC Chairman Phil Cabig (in yellow).

Photo 2: Women in front. After almost 2 hours of mediation, Tallano’s group still stood their ground.

Photo 3: DAR Sheriff Adelaido Caminade showing Mr. Ariano Tuazon of Tallano’s group the CLOA issued in October 2016 which proves that their 2017-issued land title is a fake.

Photo 4: CPI-BPC Chairman Phil Cabig leading his members as they are finally able to enter and get a hold of their land.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

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