FLORIDABLANCA-- This town’s police chief denied on Wednesday his involvement in harassing members of the San Jose Farmers Association (SJFA) led by Jaime Tadeo.
In a phone interview, Superintendent Rodney Baluyu told Sun.Star Pampanga that they were there at the disputed 164-hectare property in Barangay San Jose to assist in serving the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional Office’s cease and desist order against Ramon Joven, the alleged landowner.
Tadeo claimed they were “harassed” by “armed men” whom Baluyu allegedly refused to question and check even as they carried several armalite rifles.
The former also alleged that the armed men destroyed their huts and belongings and hurt other SJFA members.
“Wala pong armed men doon kung hindi kami lang from the town police and the Provincial Management Safety Company. We were asked to assist… to see to it na walang gulo o violence doon,” Baluyu said.
He said the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (Maro) order was very strict in its instruction, and stressed that no one will be allowed to enter the disputed property.
“We were there until nighttime and during the dialogue, we exerted no force and we did not harass anyone of them. After I explained the order to Mr. Tadeo ay umalis na lang sila. But we exercised maximum tolerance. Ang order ng Maro ay walang puwedeng pumasok sa property and that’s what we did. We ensured that no violence would occur during the dialogue,” he said.
Tadeo and the SJFA members tried to re-occupy it last week to start tilling their lands for the sake of their families. (Jovi T. De Leon)