DAR chief defends self amid calls to quit

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Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes

MANILA, Philippines—The open letter of Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes to his department defending himself against a host of issues was met with disdain and rebuttals by a peasant group that is leading calls for his resignation.

The Negros Occidental-based Task Force Mapalad (TFM) said De los Reyes’ message to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) community explaining why he was being accused of poor performance was full of empty boasts.

“De los Reyes may already be hallucinating, announcing record accomplishments when, in fact, there is nothing to gloat about,” TFM said in a statement.

In his letter, De los Reyes said he considered 2012 a good year for DAR, saying it was able to accomplish much more than what his critics were claiming.

He noted that DAR had issued memoranda of valuation (MOV) to 13,327 landholdings covering 92,129 hectares as of November. He said the public did not know that the issuance of the MOV, following a long and tedious process, meant that DAR’s work was basically finished.

“Very few among the agrarian reform advocates, much less the general public, know that with the issuance of the MOV, the DAR’s work is essentially done,” he said.

But TFM-Negros president Alberto Jayme said De los Reyes was only trying to make a “grand thing” out of the issuance of the MOV, which did not yet involve the land being paid for, taken over and distributed to farmers.

“MOVs are simply memoranda, and the Land Bank of the Philippines will have to pay the landlords before the land can be subdivided and distributed,” he said.

Jayme added that he was “stupefied” by De los Reyes’ claim in his open letter that DAR was on its way to exceeding last year’s accomplishment in terms of non-Land Bank-compensable lands.

He said that in 2012, only 10,507 hectares of private lands were distributed by DAR, “practically nil compared to the original target of 260,000 hectares that De los Reyes cut to 240,000 hectares and then to 180,000 hectares.”

“How on earth can this fellow claim to have done his best during 2012? His overall performance in land acquisition and distribution is only 18 percent when ranged against the target and the backlog, and only 25 percent when the target alone is considered?” Jayme said.

As this developed, a Catholic bishop on Thursday urged De los Reyes to resign for failing to implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said De los Reyes should leave his post because he was “underperforming” and had become a “hindrance” to the implementation of agrarian reform in the country.

“The DAR secretary himself, Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, has become a big hindrance to the implementation of the law so we are for him to resign if he really cares about the farmers,” Pabillo told Church-run Radio Veritas.

Pabillo dismissed as “theories” the data De los Reyes was presenting to the media to show DAR’s supposed accomplishments under his leadership.

“He is giving out a lot of data but those are just theories. When we go to the ground, we see that a lot of projects have yet to be implemented,” he said.—With Philip C. Tubeza

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  • http://totocausing.com Berteni Cataluña Causing

    Secretary,

    Okay, I will concede you did your best. BUT YOUR BEST IS FAR  NOT ENOUGH.

    RESIGN!

  • where_I_stand

    This is the same DAR Official who acted out as a lawyer of the Aquino clan in the HLI issue.

    Even if De los Reyes reduced DAR’s target from 260K to 240K, and finally to 180K hectares of private lands, his actual performance is only 10.5K. Certainly, this is underperformance. A man with integrity will submit his resignation letter immediately.

    Resign now!

  • rolandtr

    Sec Reyes is one of our honorable public servants. Compared with those he replaced from the last administration his performance is stellar! He may be choosy with his words and lacks the usual flamboyance but his consistency is there for everyone to see, most epspecially those who work with him. He deserves our gratitude in spite of the usual flak he is getting from the dissatisfied gallery.

  • boybakal

    Dedicated to our Beloved DAR Secretary:

    When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest, if you must, BUT DON’T YOU QUIT.

    Success is failure turned inside out–
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far,
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
    It’s when things seem worst that YOU MUST NOT QUIT.

  • prodigalson60

    Tender your resignation Mr. Secretary! With you as DAR Chief walang daan na mapatutungohan ang programa ng DAR. Yours is dead end a diversion from matuwid na daan! Giveway, you are blocking the road of hope for the farmers! Tulongan mong mabawasbawasan ang ating gobyerno ng mga walang hiya na opisyal, RESIGN.

  • disqusted0fu

     the people in the Aquino admin have already mastered the art of defending. they definitely need it because of the unsatisfactory jobs that they are giving the Filipino people. they constantly hear criticisms here and there so they must be numb already and they dont care anymore as long as they can defend themselves.

  • Your_King

    It’s just like an Aquino appointee to be good at making excuses. DAR has taken several steps back during the Aquino Administration. And the TFM is right, there is nothing that the DAR can gloat about.

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