The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has denied a petition of the Negros Occidental governor seeking exemption for two parcels of land from land distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).Secretary Rafael Mariano reaffirmed the agency’s earlier decision, denying for lack of merit the motion of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. involving 147.3 hectares of land in the villages of Santa Rosa and Canlandog in Murcia town.
The contested parcels of land were purchased from George Arguelles in March 2012 and the heirs of Alfonso Arguelles, Rosalina Exaltado, Alicia Arguelles, Lydia Arguelles and Fernando Arguelles in December 2010.
Mariano said the local government unit did not dispute the fact that since the parcels of land were no longer used for cattle-raising when purchased, they can be rightfully placed under CARP for public use and interest.
He issued the order in response to complaints of farmers against Marañon for alleged unjust eviction in order to develop the area into the Negros First Ranch livestock farm.
The farmers alleged that Marañon resorted to harassment and intimidation using government troops after former DAR Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes issued a decision in their favor.