Secretary in the News

TheStandard
February 09, 2017 42

Unite vs oligarchs, farmers exhorted

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano urged farmers of the Hacienda Luisita Inc. under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program to unite against the landlord oligarchy of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. Read More..
TheStandard
Feb 01, 2017 39

Mariano probes farmer’s shooting in Negros

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered on Tuesday an investigation and fast resolution of a land dispute in Negros Occidental, the bastion of vast tracts of haciendas. Read More..
pia
Jan 17, 2017 82

DAR to run after those guilty of illegal and unlawful…

BANILAD, CEBU CITY, Jan. 12 — Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano approved and supported the proposal of Undersecretary for Legal Operations Office Luis Meinrado Pangulayan’s to file cases and prosecute those found guilty… Read More..
pia
Jan 12, 2017 73

“Let us uphold farmers’ rights and welfare”—Sec. Ka Paeng

BANILAD, CEBU CITY, Jan. 11—Agrarian Secretary Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano stated this at the ongoing conference for its third level officials to craft the department’s strategic plans and directions for 2017 to 2022. 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/