‘Criminalization’ of agrarian cases hitCebu Daily News
A farmers group scored the filing of criminal cases against farmers who are staking claim over the lands they till.
The Central Visayas Farmers Development Center, Inc. (Fardec) recorded 17 cases of “criminalizing” agrarian reform cases of which 15 are in Cebu province.
The cases include estafa, qualified theft and illegal cutting of trees among others.
Fardec legal counsel Kim Grace Mendoza said disputes involving agrarian reform claims should be dealt by the Dept. of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (Darab).
FARDEC legal counsel Mendoza has advised the farmers to just face the cases against them for now. She added that they have been working on the necessary papers to get the titles for the farmers’ lands. But since the cases hace been filed, they will just face them and continue to work on the proper documents.
FARDEC also sees these criminal cases as a form of intimidation by the landlords.
Mendoza also said they are now planning ways for the farmers to personally file criminal cases against the landlords. /Jose Santino S. Bunachita, Correspondent