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[Press Release] Despite CARP law landgrabbing is still rampant in Bukidnon – Makabayan-Pilipinas

Makabayan – Pilipinas a progressive national farmers organization bewails the prevalent landgrabbing that has been victimizing hundreds of  agrarian reform farmer beneficiaries in Bukidnon, Mindanao. In its investigation study conducted between  years 2009 to 2010,  the national farmers organization was able to document more than 600 landholdings measuring a total of not less than 698 hectares which are owned by farmer beneficiaries, falling into the hands of the big agribusiness  corporation in Don Carlos, Bukidnon. Mr. John Cortez, the Secretary General of MAKABAYAN-Pilipinas said that “based on our study, Bukidnon DAR Field personnel connived so that these lands will eventually land into the lap of Southern Fresh Products, Incorporated, a subsidiary of DAVCO of Davao City.”

The investigative study was made based upon the complaints of Don Carlos Bukidnon United Farmers Association,Incorporated (DCBUFAI) an affiliate organization of MAKABAYAN-Pilipinas in Bukidnon. DCBUFAI farmers are farmer beneficiaries of Bukidnon Farms, Incorporated, a sequestered property located in Don Carlos, Bukidnon. “These DAR Field Office personnel become agents of landgrabbing by the employing various methods. Aside from fooling the farmers to give-up the lands, they harassed and intimidate farmer beneficiaries so that the latter will not contest the landgrabbing scheme. DAR Field Office personnel even presided over meetings where they summon the farmer beneficiaries in the presence of Southern Fresh Products, Inc( SFPI)  only for SFPI to announce their scheduled bulldozing actions, an agricultural land paving work to prepare the land for pineapple planting.” John Cortez further elucidated. The Secretary General of MAKABAYAN-Pilipinas was referring to the meeting called by DAR Bukidnon last February 3, 2011 where DAR summoned the farmer beneficiaries in the presence of SFPI. DAR in Bukidnon provides legal cover for  landgrabbing to happen.

“The DCBUFAI farmers are helpless. We wrote and submitted our findings to Secretary Gil delos Reyes last  April 14, 2011 so that DAR Central Office can intervene in the situation but nothing as urgent  came from Secretary delos Reyes’ Office” commented John Cortez.  “If DAR leadership will be silent on this problem, we will be forced to dialogue and picket their field offices. We will hold picket in front of the DAR Central Office, too as a wake up call for the new DAR Secretary.” John Cortez, of MAKABAYAN-Pilipinas stressed.

For further information :
John Cortez +639154895516
Grace Laguitan +639297516360

c/o 34 Matiyaga St.  Barangay Pinyahan,Diliman,Quezon City,Tel/fax 9253036; email: makabayan_ph@yahoo.com

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