Secretary in the News

June 26, 2017 594

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 401

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 1265

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 496

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..

Videos of the Secretary

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DAR to install farmers in disputed Davao plantation May 18

inquirerMANILA — For the third time this year, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will attempt to install farmer-beneficiaries evicted from a disputed portion of a banana plantation in Tagum, Davao del Norte — this time, with a go-signal from the President and with backing from the police and military.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, in a press conference on Wednesday, announced the installationon Thursday(May 18) of 159 members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc. (Marbai) who have been repeatedly evicted by agribusiness firm Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) from the 145-hectare San Isidro (Sanid) portion of the plantation since late 2016.

The DAR hopes its next attempt for the installation will now be bolstered by a pronouncement made by President Duterte to the Marbai farmers last May 9, when he visited their campout in Mendiola, Manila: “The government promises to grant you the lands you deserve. These lands are yours.”

The latest installation plans were decided on a multi-sectoral meeting on Mondayattended by provincial DAR officials, provincial and city police heads, provincial and city government representatives, social welfare department representatives, human rights commission representatives, and even a representative of Christopher “Bong” Go, the special assistant to President Duterte.

Mariano said the meeting was called after he issued a “break-open” order to dismantle Lapanday’s gates and other obstacles and threats barring the installation, and to see through the “peaceful and successful” installation of the farmers.

DAR Undersecretary for policy planning and field operations David Erro said that police have committed a complement of 240 police through “Task Force” Tagum headed by the provincial director; with around a hundred personnel from the Philippine Army to serve as perimeter security, to conduct clearing and inspections and dismantling of “alleged booby traps” in the disputed farm.

The provincial police director also assured a 48-hour protection for the farmers after the installation, although “it depends on the situation if that will be extended,” Erro said. Support mechanisms for the farmers will also be made accessible in the area.

Marbai earlier complained to DAR that Lapanday employed around 700 armed men to secure the 145-hectare plantation and installed “booby traps” near the fence.

Lapanday refused to accept the break-open order when the DAR served them a copy at their Makati offices, DAR officials said.

Mariano had issued a writ of installation, and had attempted twice to install the Marbai farmers in April. Lapanday refused to acknowledge DAR’s jurisdiction over the farm on behalf of Marbai, and has also defied a cease and desist order in December from DAR, citing a pre-existing contract between Lapanday and Hearbco-1, Marbai’s mother cooperative, giving management of the Sanid farm over to Lapanday. The Davao regional trial court branch 14 has upheld this agreement.

DAR Undersecretary for legal affairs Luis Pangulayan, however, has said the courts have no jurisdiction over the dispute, and that Lapanday’s agreement with Hearbco-1 was “illegal” or void for lacking approval from the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council.  SFM