Secretary in the News

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March 20, 2017 17

DAR chief backs return to peace talks with NPA

MANILA — Leftist Cabinet member Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano reiterated his support for the peace talks between the Philippine government and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDFP), as the erstwhile stalled talks was put… Read More..
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Feb 28, 2017 110

DAR chief: 727-hectare Hacienda Luisita property covered by…

MANILA, Philippines –Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Marianoon Friday, February 24, issued an order that will place a 727-hectare property of Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated (HLI) in Tarlac under the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program… Read More..
inquirer
Feb 28, 2017 76

More land for CARP found in Luisita

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has expanded the coverage of agrarian reform in an estate owned by former President Aquino’s family in Tarlac province, marking 384 hectares of idle land in the area for distribution to farmers. Read More..
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Feb 23, 2017 62

DAR chief wants land conflicts resolved following slaying…

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano has ordered all regional offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to settle high-profile land cases in their areas, following the killing of another farmer-activist last week. The latest incident in Cotabato… Read More..

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Apeco officials face charges for agri land conversion

manila bulletin blue logoOfficials of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco) will be facing criminal charges for the alleged illegal conversion of a 2.5-hectare agricultural land in Aurora, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said Thursday. In a resolution dated July 27, 2016, DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered the DAR Region 3, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office, and the Task Force on Illegal Conversion to “immediately identify the entities or individuals who may be held criminally liable on the commission of the unlawful land use conversion and to cause for the criminal prosecution of the individuals identified.”

This stemmed from the complaints filed by Casiguran parish priest Jose Francisco Talaban and Vicente Convicto before the DAR on Mar. 9, 2013, which claimed that Apeco had illegally converted the 2.5-hectare agricultural land in Sitio Landing, Barangay Esteves, Casiguran, Aurora into a housing project and relocation program in partnership with the National Housing Authority (NHA).

The complainants said that the property was considered a prime agricultural land and is part of an existing agrarian reform community (ARC) which benefits farmers and fishermen in the town. The complaint said Apeco’s actions are also tantamount to threatening food security.

Mariano, in effect, also maintained the validity of the DAR orders dated Sept. 15, 2015 and Nov. 23, 2015 to issue a Cease and Desist Order preventing Apeco to alter or change the use of the property without a DAR conversion clearance.

Apeco is a P1-billion economic zone project created in 2009 by virtue of RA 10083, which expanded the establishment of former Aurora Special Economic Zone thru RA 9490.

NHA and Apeco, despite protests, argued that the said project is legal and property does not require conversion clearance as it is exempted from the coverage of agrarian reform program by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1472.

Mariano, meanwhile, recounted that former DOJ Secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima in a DOJ opinion dated August 5, 2015 said the amended RA 9490 does not exempt lands covered by Apeco from the coverage of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) or RA 6657.

He said the DAR Secretary has the authority in the conversion of all agricultural lands not yet re-classified as industrial, commercial or residential uses upon the passage of CARL.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/apeco-officials-face-charges-for-agri-land-conversion-dar/