Porac exec wants ‘win-win’ solution on land dispute

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Porac Councilor Mike Tapang on Tuesday said that he is setting up a dialogue between the Aniban ng Nakakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores or Aniban and officials of LLL and FL Landholdings to find an amicable way of settling the land dispute issue in Barangay Hacienda Dolores.

Tapang, who is also Ex Officio Board Member and president of the Philippine Councilors League-Pampanga Chapter, recently accompanied Governor Lilia Pineda in a forum with affected residents, where farmers from Barangay Hacienda Dolores are protesting the 700-hectare contested land allegedly owned by the corporations inside the village. The unrest started when the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued an order exempting the area from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) coverage in 2005.

Last January 13, a member of the Aniban was reportedly killed and three others were injured in a clash over the disputed land. LLHI claimed about 298 hectares of the land, while FLLH claimed the other 456 hectares. Aside from the land titles, landowners also said 80 percent of the land was not yet developed due to its 18-degree slope measure, which they said, according to the law, is automatically exempted from the Carp.

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"In my view, it is best that there be a meeting of minds to reach an amicable settlement. We at the Sanggunian and even the Provincial Board could mediate. Through a table talk, we would hear from farmers of their demands and what the land firms could give. I am optimistic that a common ground could be reached. It is actually our governor’s advice, too," Tapang said.

He said that like some wars, non-violent resolutions were reached through table talk.

"Rather than violence, barbarism or prolonged legal battles, a meeting of the minds could lead to a win-win solution for Porac, its people and investors coming in. We altogether must find the proper amicable settlement on the hacienda problem," noted Tapang.

He added that both Aniban members and LLL and FL Holdings officials have reacted positively to his proposal.

"There are humanitarian considerations. We must also look into the future of Porac. In this case, everything must be equal so there would be no more bloodshed," said Tapang. (with JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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