Quantcast
Latest Stories

Land reform ‘beneficiaries’ in Quezon get death threats

By

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – What good does a farmer’s certificate of land ownership do if it exposes him to danger?

Jansept Geronimo, campaign officer of the Quezon Association for Rural Development and Democratization Services (Quardds), said they had to rush to Bondoc Peninsula on Friday afternoon after receiving reports that most recipients of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) involving Hacienda Reyes that were distributed to them only on February 6 were being subjected to different forms of harassment, death threats.

He said that aside from death threats, other farmers were warned their water lines would be cut and their houses fenced off from the rest of the village, Geronimo said over phone from San Andres town Saturday.

He said the threats and intimidation were aimed at instilling fear among the other tenants who have yet to receive their CLOAs.

Geronimo said they would report the threats to the police to determine who was making them.

Quardds has been helping the Bondoc Peninsula farmers in their decades-old struggle to own the land they till.

Geronimo said they would immediately map out contingency plans to ensure the safety of farmer leaders who received death threats.

“It is ironic that most CLOA beneficiaries are still hiding in fear from the warrants of arrest after the landowners slapped them with concocted charges. And now, here comes another new batch of fearful farmers who would probably join the rest in hiding,” he said.

Geronimo called on President Benigno Aquino III, the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice to stop the wave of harassment against farmer leaders and CLOA recipients in the Bondoc Peninsula.

“We were all victorious when we received our respective CLOAs only to realize it would only bring us more pain and agony to our already deprived and helpless situation,” said Maribel Luzara, president of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bondoc Peninsula (KMBP).

Luzara said she pitied the CLOA holders who remain in hiding because of the warrants of arrest.

KMBP records show a total of 303 criminal cases, mostly qualified theft of coconuts, have been filed against 223 tenants by several landlords in the Bondoc Peninsula.

She said the wanted farmers, now less than 50, could not even go near their village to help their families cope with the surge of harassment tactics.

“Some of them are crying to us, begging that we help their families because they cannot do anything,” Geronimo said.

He said they also have to attend to farmer-tenants in the Matias estate in San Francisco town whose farms were being fenced off by the landowners to stop agrarian reform beneficiaries from taking possession of the land awarded to them.

“The government should immediately attend to the CLOA beneficiaries. What’s the use of the land title if it would only expose them to more harassment? They are helpless against the power and influence of the landowners who continue to sabotage the agrarian reform program of the state,” Geronimo said.

He noted that in October last year, Commission on Human Rights chair Loretta Ann Rosales and her four commissioners called on concerned government agencies and the DAR to address the plight of the tenants in Hacienda Matias.

In the document “Human Rights Advisory”, the CHR strongly condemned the “continuing violations of the rights of the farmers of Hacienda Matias by the hacienda owners.”

The CHR document said Hacienda Matias consists of approximately 1,736 hectares located in the villages of Don Juan Vercelos and Batanguiad in San Francisco town at the southern tip of the province.

In 2004, around 121 tenant families of the Matias estate petitioned for the inclusion of the land they were tilling under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

In December 2010, a survey of the hacienda was initiated by DAR and 639 hectares of the property was then paid for by the Land Bank of the Philippines as precondition for the transfer of the titles to the government.

However, the landowners petitioned for exemption from CARP coverage, declaring the land to be a “cattle ranch.”

The DAR in an order on June 14, 2012, denied the application for exemption for “utter lack of merit.” The owners of the estate brought the case to Malacañang.

In the light of this, DAR could not proceed with distribution of the land to tenant farmers, pending resolution of the petition for exclusion, the CHR said.

The CHR said that due to the petition, the farmers were subjected anew to various forms of harassments, and worst, were forcibly evicted from the land they were tilling.

It added that affected farmers “are now being prevented from reaping the fruits of their crops, consequentially, disconnecting them from their source of food and livelihood.”

Geronimo said the situation at Hacienda Matias has gotten even worse.

On February 6, in a historic land distribution program in Mulanay town, the Department of Agrarian Reform  led by Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes distributed CLOAs for 480 hectares of the some 2,000-hectare Hacienda Reyes straddling the towns of San Narciso, Buenavista and San Andres.

De los Reyes said there would be more land distribution in the Bondoc Peninsula even after CARP ends next year because the government is determined to end the decades-old agrarian conflict in the province’s 3rd district, a former stronghold of the communist New People’s Army.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement