TAGUM CITY, Philippines — For the second time, agrarian reform beneficiaries here were stopped by company guards who refused to obey the Writ of Installation ordered by Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.
Speaking before farmers, DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Atty. Marcos Risonar on Friday afternoon said the guards inside the plantation refused to receive the Writ of Installation handed by the Sheriff.
“We asked the Sheriff to return to the guards and hand over the Writ to them. Now, whether they accept it or not, he will take a picture and make a report which he will submit to Secretary Mariano,” he said.
Risonar said since the guards did not heed the order of the Writ, the Madaum Agrarian Reforms Beneficiaries Inc. (MARBAI) may file a motion to the office of the DAR secretary asking to declare them in contempt.
Due to the delay of their installment, some farmers expressed their anger towards what they described as a “snail-paced” action from the government against the private company.
Antonio Tuyak, spokesperson of Marbai told DAR officials that they have waited for years for the resolution of their case.
He said since they started their campaign, they followed government’s legal processes.
“Hayahay man ang nasa katungdanan karon, isa ka semana, duha ka adlaw magutman na ang Marbai (Those in position are well off, but in a week or just two days Marbai members will go hungry,” he said.
“Gusto namo karong adlawa i-install (We want to be installed today),” he said.
Mely Yu, chairperson of Marbai said they will come up with a plan based on the consensus of members and officials on how they will push through with their campaign.
But she said they will not back out from claiming the lands that was granted to them by the government.
Clearing and outpost checking
Prior to the scheduled installation of farmers, the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies of the PNP conducted an outpost checking and clearing inside the farm area to validate whether the guards inside the farm are enlisted under an accredited agency.
Risonar also said that the clearing operations also took time as the road going inside the farms were full of “suyak” (spikes) which could not allow police vehicles from entering.
Risonar said the police ended walking from one outpost to another. He said the police reported they went to nine outposts and found there were 29 guards inside the farm.
Hearing this, the farmers jeered as they claimed there were some 800 guards inside.
But Risonar said the police will provide photos which they took inside the farm to file as reports.
“They took photos of each outpost so we will know who were inside. They will give us the photos later,” he said.
Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao told DavaoToday in an interview that the move came up during the interagency meeting since the Police Regional Office 11 “was not poised to execute the Writ of Installation.”
“They were only prepared for the conduct of inspection, outpost checking and clearance but they did not have a plan today with regards to the execution of the writ,” Casilao said.
If there are “illegal” armed men inside, the police may arrest them.
However, the 29 guards found by the police were enlisted personnel of an accredited agency, “hence they could not arrest them.”
He added that Gaerlan “maintained his position that they will not provide assistance because of the legal impediment.”
He said the PNP also received a copy of the Regional Trial Court Branch 14 decision denying DAR’s motion to quash the Writ of Execution which favors Lapanday over the Hearbco-1.
The farmers’ installation was supposed to take place Tuesday as ordered by Mariano through a Writ of Installation issued on April 11. It was cancelled after the Philippine National Police failed to come up with its plan on how to assist the execution of the writ as they sought clarification from the court’s RTC Branch 14 in Davao City.
In front of Barangay Hall of San Isidro, members of the PNP from Region 11 arrived around 9 am awaiting a go signal from Police regional Chief Manuel Gaerlan .
An interagency meeting among government officals from DAR, Department of Interior and Local Government, PNP and the local government units of Tagum City and Davao del Norte province took place Friday morning to lay out the plans for the conduct of the farmers’ installation at the office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office.
The 145-hectare of land in the San Isidro farm area is also claimed by Lapanday as its managed area under a compromise agreement it signed in September 2011 with the Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative-1. The Hearbco-1 is the mother cooperative from which the members of the MARBAI broke away from in 2010 when they decided to end ties with Lapanday.(davaotoday.com)