MARBAI to DAR: survey the land, get rid of Lapanday guards

May. 23, 2017

SCARE TACTICS. Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, Inc., said the charges filed against Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano is a ploy to prevent other government from implement real land reform. Tuyak made the statement in a press conference in Davao City on Tuesday, May 23. (Paulo C.Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The recently reinstated farmers from the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc., are calling on the Department of Agrarian Reform to proceed with the survey of the 145 hectare-Sanid Farm in Barangay San Isidro, Madaum in Tagum City.

This after the farmers learned that at least 23 armed security guards are still camping inside a 20 hectare compound inside the contested property.

Salvador Barcebal, vice chairperson of Marbai, said the 20 hectare parcel of land is owned by the Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative – 1. However, by virtue of a signed agreement between the two parties on April 13 last year, the same is part of the 145 hectares of land to be given to Marbai.

Barcebal expressed dismay that officials of the Hearbco-1 are raising the subject again after they were reinstalled last week.

“Busa niining higayuna karon, amo gayung barugan ug depensahan nga unta mahitigayon na katong survey nga aron makuha gayud namo ang tinuod nga utlanan sa among 145 hectares (That is why we are asserting that the survey be conducted soon so that we may ascertain the boundary of our 145 hectare [property]), he said.

Barcebal said no survey happened on the day of their installation because the court sheriff, Adelaido Caminade, had suffered a stroke.

The guards who continue to camp inside the property has become a source of worry, said Lito Lao, spokesperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Southern Mindanao Region.

Lao reported confrontations between the farmers and the security guards, who continue to assert Lapanday’s ownership of the land.

In a blotter report filed by Marbai member Linda Dayahan furnished to Davao Today dated May 22, Rodito Pielago, Baranggay Captain of San Isidro in madaum Tagum City, reportedly received a text message on May 20 from an unnamed provincial agrarian reform officer to “be alert because there will be an attack.” The text message however, did not contain specifics.

In another instance, Dahayan reported of a heated exchange  with a security guard. Dayahan said the guard first said that they were hired by Hearbco-1, but later on admitted to being hired by LFC.

Dayahan said they heard the guards loading their firearms as they were leaving.

The Marbai farmers, who tried to retake their land December last year, were violently evicted by armed guards who fired at the fleeing farmers. Seven were injured as a result.

Read related story: ‘We were unarmed’, injured farmers say in land dispute shooting

In a previous statement, LFC denied responsibility over the attack, averring instead to the alleged rivalry between Hearbco-1 and Marbai.

On January however, Robert Mantilla of Hearbco-1 surfaced to deny the LFC’s statement.

Read related story: Rival coop denies hand in shooting of farmers

Marbai claimed the Sanid farm area on May 18 after two unsuccessful attempts last month and on December last year. (

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