Mayor: Dialogue will solve ‘hacienda’ dispute

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Monday, May 12, 2014


PORAC, PAMPANGA - Mayor Condralito dela Cruz is still optimistic that a continuing dialogue will finally settle the dispute between farmer-members of the Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamayan sa Hacienda Dolores (Aniban) and the LLL Holdings and FL Properties and Management Corp. on the subject of the land dispute in Hacienda Dolores.

Dela Cruz urged both parties to open lines of dialogue with their respective lawyers to finally settle concerns in the land.

He added that while both parties are seeking other agencies’ advice and remedies to the land dispute, both should maintain peace and order in the subject lands.

It can be recalled that 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 LLL and FL landholdings from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) coverage in 2005.

However, the huge agricultural land in Hacienda Dolores was exempted by the DAR regional office after LLL Holdings Incorporated (LLHI) and FL Land Holdings (FLLH) showed titles of the 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.

Protest

Members of the Aniban staked a protest in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) here on Monday criticizing the agency for its handling of the dispute.

Earlier last week, the group also protested in front of the Provincial Capitol where they met with Governor Lilia Pineda.

Governor Pineda had expressed utmost concern over the recent tensions and killings in the area. Pineda urged the DAR to speed up the settlement of the raging land dispute in Hacienda Dolores. Early January of this year, a member of the Aniban was reportedly killed and three others were injured in a clash over the disputed land in a commotion with the security guards stationed in the said property.

Also, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) is attributing the recent assassination of village councilor and farmer leader Nemelao “Melon” Barcia, 54, to the land dispute.

Call for peace

Dela Cruz said that the issue should not lead to tension between the two groups. He added that he will be calling on both parties this week to continue dialogues on the issue.

The two corporations have already donated the land of the Dolores Chapel to the Archdiocese of San Fernando while the lands where the barangay hall and elementary school currently stand have been turned over to the barangay officials and the Department of Education.

Dela Cruz also told Sun.Star Pampanga that the corporations have offered a 25-hectare portion of the properties to be given to the farmers and their families.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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