Guv: DAR should fast track settlement

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) should speed up the settlement of the raging land dispute in Hacienda Dolores in Porac town to finally end related killings there, reportedly arising from the battle between farmer-members of the Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamayan sa Hacienda Dolores (Aniban) and private land holdings firms.

This was said by Governor Lilia Pineda on Tuesday, when she met officials and members of Aniban at Capitol who sought her help in ending the dispute and killings after a barangay councilman and farmer, Nemelao Barcia, was ambushed and shot dead last Friday evening in Barangay Manibaug Paralaya in Porac.

Barcia was leader of the Aniban and a kagawad of Hacienda Dolores. The Aniban alleged that his killing -- the second after Arman Padiño was gunned down early this year -- is related to the 2,000-hectare Hacienda Dolores agrarian dispute. The conflict between farmers and Leonardo- Lachenal Holdings, Inc. and FL Property Management Corporation ignited after the DAR in 2005 exempted the area from land reform.

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"The DAR should fast track its findings and the settlement of the disputes. Capitol could not really meddle in this anymore since the decision is with the DAR and the cases with the proper courts. Pero as your governor, may magagawa pa ako para matigil na ang patayan at kaguluhan sa Porac. Wala nang kailangan pang masaktan sa mga farmers lalo na iyung mga umaasa lamang sa kanilang mga lupang tinataniman at sinasaka," Pineda said.

She said that the concerns and complaints of the Aniban members must be backed up by proper documents and will be treated on a case-to-case basis.

"Kailangan namin ng kasaysayan ng bawat kaso upang mapag-aralan ng ating Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Aayusin natin on a case-to-case basis," said Pineda.

Hopes for a peaceful settlement

The governor emphasized that she is hoping and praying for an amicable settlement between the Kapampangan farmers and the land holding firms on the dispute.

"Kung kailangang makiusap ako sa kanila ay gagawin ko bilang governor ninyo. Pero dapat ay naaayon ang lahat sa batas na kailangang sundin. Sana ay maayos natin ito ng mapayapa at matigil na ang patayan. Handa akong magsakripisyo," Pineda said.

Meanwhile, Aniban leader Joseph Canlas disclosed that the group has set a dialogue with officials of the land developers, Porac Sangguniang Bayan, Philippine National Police and DAR on May 12 for a possible speedy solution and settlement of the land dispute and related issues. (With JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 07, 2014.

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