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First Posted on Inside Mindanao (www.insidemindanao.com) on May 17, 2011

From scavengers back to being farmers
By KAISAHAN tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan, Inc.

(May 17, 2011) After a decade of struggle and waiting, 17 farmers from Purok 6, Barangay Bolisong, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental will finally be installed in their land today through a memorandum issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Under Secretary Narciso B. Nieto dated May 6, 2011.

In 1993, the 27 hectares farmland of Angelina Dayrit was subjected to compulsory acquisition through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Republic Act 6657). Despite the petition filed by the former landowner, DAR proceeded with the generation of the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to the 17 farmers for the 16 hectares in November 2001.

Ten years have passed but the farmers were not able to even build their huts in the land that was rightfully theirs because of the former landowner's resistance. The farmers were slapped with many cases and were even driven out of the land area and left with no other choice but to scavenge at a nearby dumpsite in order to survive.

The farmers have exhausted all the legal means to have possession of the awarded land but to no avail. DAR Provincial Office in Misamis Oriental for ten years delayed the installation, citing as reason the pending cases before the DAR Central Office and Court of Appeals. Yet the above cited reasons of the DAR Provincial Office was clarified by DAR Under Secretary for Field Operations Office Narciso B. Nieto, through a memorandum, explaining the fact that since there are no restraining order and⁄or injunction issued by the Supreme Court and that the pending application for exemption does not in any way constitute a legal impediment to the installation.

DAR Provincial Office of Misamis Oriental, through the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Zoraida Macadindang, was directed to finally install the 17 farmers in the 16 hectares of land awarded to them ten long years ago.

All the farmers want is the recognition of their rights, that they can truly enjoy the benefits of the government's land reform program which has been long overdue.

End

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