Secretary in the News

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October 10, 2016 61

DAR’s Mariano seeks to slash PARC Execom membership from 26…

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is seeking to reduce the number of Presidential Agrarian Reform Council-Executive Committee (PARC-Execom) members to fast-track the resolution of agrarian- reform cases. Read More..
Oct 03, 2016 65

DAR junks ‘lotto system’

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano on Friday stood pat on his ground to nullify the use of lottery draw to allocate plots to farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. owned by the family of
former President Benigno Aquino III in Tarlac province.
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Sep 29, 2016 71

Mariano vows to distribute Palawan’s Yulo King Ranch to…

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano vowed to distribute the controversial Yulo King Ranch (YKR) to landless farmers in Coron and Busuanga in Palawan. Read More..
Sep 28, 2016 50

DAR to help hasten land distribution of YKR lands

QUEZON CITY, Sept. 28 - Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano has ordered the DAR field operations and legal officials to coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to fast-track the process of transfering to the DAR the Yulo King… Read More..

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DAR deals out 358-ha Aquino land in Tarlac

TheStandardTHE Department of Agrarian Reform ordered on Thursday the distribution of a 358.22-hectare agricultural estate in Tarlac City owned by the Tarlac Development Corp.-Hacienda Luisita Inc. belonging to the family of former President Benigno Aquino III.

“Only a temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court can tie the hands of DAR,” said Secretary Rafael Mariano. “Even before June 15, 1988, during which the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, the [Tadeco] property is an agricultural land up to [the department’s] June 2015 [assessment].”

Mariano issued DARCO Resolution MS1608-238 to give way for the distribution of eight parcels of land, which were covered by notice of coverage in December 2013.

“In effect, the protest and supplemental protest filed by Tadeco for lack of merit are denied and the said property is covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program,” the order read.

Mariano maintained the validity of the publication of notices of coverage of the eight parcels of land put into question by Tadeco.

He instructed the DAR provincial office of Tarlac in Region 3 to proceed with and complete the land acquisition and distribution process over the subject properties pursuant to Section 30 of Republic Act 9700.

Also, he denied all ancillary motions filed by Tadeco for lack of merit.

“It is still an agricultural land even as I speak today. Tadeco does not have the basis of its claim over the property,” Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Operation Luis Meinrado Pangulayan said.

Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Mario Risonar Jr. said it will take 45 days to start with the preliminary survey of the eight parcels of land covered by Mariano’s order, and another 45 days to conduct an actual survey.

“The screening and identification of farmer-beneficiaries will take about 50 days. We need 195 days all in all to be able to generate and distribute the certications of land ownership award,” he added.

According to Mariano, Tadeco may file a motion for reconsideration with the Office of the President.

“If the Office of the President junks Tadeco’s appeal, Tadeco can file with the Court of Appeals or elevate its motion to the Supreme Court,” he said.

Tadeco, then owned and controlled by the Jose Cojuangco Sr. Group, bought the sugar estate known as the Hacienda Luisita from its Spanish owner Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera).

On Aug. 23, 1988, Tadeco organized the Hacienda Luisita Inc. as a spin-off corporation, and then assigned and conveyed its 4,915.75-hectare property to HLI.

In the present protest, aside from those properties conveyed to HLI, Tadeco is also the registered owner of the properties which were the subject of notices of coverage caused by DAR to be published in a newspaper on Dec. 17, 2013.

The Alyansa Ng Manggagawang Bukid Ng Asyenda Luisita Inc., an organization farmworkers in the sugar estate known as Hacienda Luisita, located in Central Luzon filed a petition seeking for the coverage of the subject properties under the agrarian reform program.

Mariano clarified the 358.22 hectares is outside the 4,915 hectares HLI property subjected to CARP by the Supreme Court.

“The contested land is fenced with barbed wires, and is heavily secured with guards armed with guns,” Pangulayan told reporters.

“Only a restraining order from the Supreme Court can stop us from the process,” Mariano said.

The DAR chief vowed to end Ambala’s petition for revocation of land conversion issued by DAR in 1996 over another parcels of land at the Hacienda Luisita, and resolve some landlordism cases in Negros Occidental “in the coming days.”