MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, May 9, met with farmers from a Davao del Norte plantation that was earlier the subject of a cease and desist order (CDO).
Duterte went to the Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang to talk to the farmers from Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano earlier favored 154 farmers from the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Incorporated in San Isidro Farm by ordering their “peaceful installation” last April 11.
In agrarian reform terms, installation means the farmers should physically take over the lands which were awarded to them in 1996 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
But they said they were forcibly evicted in 2011 by Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC), the owner of the rest of the San Isidro Farm.
In December 2016, DAR issued a CDO to LFC after receiving reports of harassment of the Marbai farmers who were trying to reclaim their lands.
LFC in April opposed Mariano’s order, saying the 0.79-hectare portion covered by the secretary’s order has been awarded and is currently under a “collective title issued in the name of all the members of Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative-1 (Hearbco-1).” – Rappler.com