CLARK FREEPORT--Some 117 farmers belonging to the CABCOM Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Incorporated have asked the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte as factories and industrial complex started to establish inside Clark civil aviation complex.
Daniel Dizon, president of the farmers' organization, said that investors started constructing buildings without prior consultation with the farmers affected by the ongoing development inside properties under the control of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC).
Dizon asked CIAC, under the leadership of President Emigdio "Dino" Tanjuatco III, to respect the rights of the farmers as stated in a court ruling.
"Nanawagan po kami sa ating mabait na president, Mr. Rodrigo Duterte, at sa presidente po ng Clark International Airport na si Emigdio Tanjuatco III na sundin po natin kung ano po ang pinag-uutos ng batas dahil tayo po ay mga Pilipino," Dizon said.
"Ang sinasabi po ng korte, kami pong magsasaka ay hindi nila pwede paalisin at pinapatigil po [nito] ang anumang harassment sa amin," he added.
Recently, construction workers started building inside a two-hectare property occupied by two of the Cabcom farmers without prior notice to the cooperative's officials, according to Dizon.
"Bigla na lamang pong sinuyod ang lupa na sinasaka na wala po nangyaring negosasyon sa pagitan po ng kooperatiba at ng CIAC," he added.
A peaceful negotiation will address the issue because the farmers recognize that the government needs to develop Clark as the country's premier gateway, Dizon said.
The farmers, who are demanding for just compensations, are willing to surrender the farmlands they occupy, Dizon said.
"Ang hinihingi lang po naming ay isang mapayapang negosasyon. Kung kailangan po ng gobyerno ang lupa na sinasaka namin, ibibigay po naming ng dalawang kamay yan at hindi kami tumututol kung ibibigay lang po nila ang hinihingi namin at ang aming karapatan bilang lehitimong Pilipino at magsasaka dito sa loob ng Clark," Dizon said.
The farmers are demanding for five years compensation: P50,000 per hectare per year or P250,000 per hectare.
The government should also reimburse the cost of the farmers' structure and crops, Dizon said.
The 117 Cabcom farmers occupy a total of more than 200 hectares near the Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) which also situated inside the Clark civil aviation complex.