Secretary in the News

June 26, 2017 564

DAR officials, employees reach 'agreement' on 4-year row

MANILA -- Agrarian reform officials and employees have reached an agreement that would end their four-year row over the plight of 10,000 department employees nationwide who were displaced under the government’s rationalization scheme. Read More..
manilatimes 1
Jun 12, 2017 376

Food firm’s complaint vs DAR officials junked

The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed a graft complaint filed by the Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) against Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano and Undersecretary Luis Pañgulayan. Read More..
business mirror
May 30, 2017 1227

DAR amends rules on adjudication of agrarian law…

TO ensure a just, inexpensive and expeditious determination of agrarian cases, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has amended its rules on adjudication of cases involving agrarian law implementation (ALI). Read More..
May 30, 2017 482

Luisita farmers to stay as lot owners

AGRARIAN Secretary Rafael Mariano said on Friday that farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. will stay as owners of lots under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Read More..

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Probe on shooting of Tagum farmers ordered

davaotodayDAVAO CITY, Philippines—Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered Tuesday its regional and provincial officials to probe the shooting of farmer-beneficiaries in Madaum, Tagum City.

In a statement on Monday,  Mariano instructed local DAR officials to coordinate with the Philippine National Police of Davao del Norte for the possible filing of cases against the suspects  that wounded Jose Balucos, 42, Emanuel Buladaco,46, Taldan Miparanun,16, Joseph Bertulfo, 58, Rico Saladaga, Jojo Gomez and Belardo Francisco.

The issues raised by farmer-beneficiaries was not foreign to Mariano, who last October,  held a dialogue at  the protest camp set up by the of Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (Marbai). The secretary was said to have promised to the farmers to help them reclaim their lands from Lapanday.

The farmers have mounted the protest camp since June this year to push for the implementation of the order given by the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator of Davao del Norte last year.

According to DAR, Marbai members are farmer beneficiaries who were given Certificates of Land Ownership Awards in 1996 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Each of the 159 farmer owns a 0.79 hectare of the 145-hectare banana plantation.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao condemned the attack which took place two days after the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.

“For close to two decades, the Lorenzos has exercised full feudal and semi-feudal control of the sprawling 1,500-hectare productive lands under what the farmers rightly criticize as ‘onerous, deceptive, exploitative and oppressive agri-venture agreements (AVAs)’,” said Rubi del Mundo, spokesperson of NDF Southern Mindanao.

Del Mundo said “Landed gentry like the Lorenzos use this blanket authority to brazenly exercise brute force to intimidate the farmers and push them away of their land and livelihood. The peasants have had enough and are now waging a struggle to seize control of their lands through rightful occupation.”

Del Mundo said the same landgrabbing, as form of “feudal exploitation”, confronts around 1,500 peasant families in the school reservation of Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology in Arakan, North Cotabato.

The NDF urged President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Agrarian Reform to conduct an impartial investigation on the incident.

“It will show commitment on the part of the GRP to positively respond to the demands of the peasants at this juncture when socio-economic reforms are about to be discussed in the peace negotiations,” Del Mundo said.

Meanwhile, Anakpawis partylist filed House Resolution No. 634 Tuesday to probe on the shooting incident of agri-workers and members of Marbai in Madaum, Tagum City.

The resolution directed the committees on human rights and agrarian reform, to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the shooting of agricultural workers Marbai.

The resolution also said that Marbai agricultural workers requested assistance and demands urging DAR office to issue a “cease and desist order” directing Lapanday Food Corporation to stop the illegal harvesting of their products.

“To issue an order directing DAR’s Adjudication Board Central Office to execute the December 15, 2015 order as amended by May 2016 order to reinstate agricultural workers to their land,” a part of the resolution reads.

The farmers also demanded to “prevent the armed men and security guards from entering their land as they cause rights abuse to Marbai members and their families” and to “immediately disband the private armed group of Lapanday and hold them accountable for their offenses.” (