Archive for the ‘Fajardo Estate’ Category

Fajardo Estate Land Dispute: A happy ending for the Banasi Farmers who marched to Malacanang

December 26, 2008

The fifty-seven (57) farmers from the Fajardo Estate in Bicol who walked for 17 days to Malacanang Palace to plead their case finally got their wish. The tillers of the 123-hectare land in Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur had the order of Sec. Eduardo Ermita canceling their land titles recinded on December 19, 2008. The happy farmers now have the right to use the land, ending 35 years of round-about with the law.

“This is the happiest Christmas of my life. We have already sacrificed a lot and we hope that with the decision of DAR we could finally rest our case and experience security in the lands that we till,” said Jess Bergantin, president of the Banasi Agrarian Reform Farmer-Beneficiaries Association (BARFA) who were among those who walked the 444-kilometer stretch from Camarines Sur to Manila.. “—Bicol Mail (12/ 25/08, Escandor, J, Jr)

According to Atty Arlene Bag-ao, one of the supporters of the farmers, the march to Malacanang could have been avoided if the case was handled as is—-a simple legal issue that favors the agriculture workers to own the disputed land. Some of the farmers said they walked to Manila because a known Malacanang insider, Atty Manny Gaite with family ties with the Fajardos, worked against their favor by helping void their land title.

“Elaine Teope, campaign coordinator of BARFA, revealed that among those who drafted the order that cancelled the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (Cloas) of the farmers-beneficiaries was Lawyer Manny Gaite, the guy from the Office of the President who figured in the Senate hearing regarding the P500,000 distributed to local government executives early this year. “—Bicol Mail (12/ 25/08, Escandor, J, Jr)

The success of the Banasi farmers signals the growing awareness and activism of many agricultural workers in the Philippines. With problems delaying the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP,) more land decisions by the government are likely to be contested by farmers and their militant supporters. (Photo Credits: Pakisamagallery) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Camarines Sur farmer’s 444 kilometer march to Malacanang” Posted by mesiamd at 12/02/2008

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Roadblocks for Bicol Farmers to Malacanang?

December 3, 2008

The farmers of Banasi Farm of Bula, Bula Camarines Sur has reached Manila on Tuesday, December 2, 2008. However, they were blocked on at least two occasions, one on their way to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) office and then near Nagtahan Bridge where they met with palace representatives, interrupting their 444 kilometer walk to Malacanang.—GMANewsT TV (12/-3/08)

The Bicol farmers weren’t impressed by Malacanang’s response to their demand. They asked President Gloria Macapagal to see for herself the land in question to better understand their plight.

The story is a good study on how the government treats the poor farmers from the provinces compared the wealthy and influential who have connections and are concentrated in Manila. Demand marches like these which are supported by groups with socialistic orientation including the Catholic Church are expected as a result of the delay and limitations of CARP implementation, the apparent inquities levelled on the poor, and the growing politicalization of farmers in the a climate of economic hardship and emerging global economy. Photo Credit: Pakisamagallery) =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “Nuns abducted in Kenya, farmers from Camarines Sur march to Malacanang & the US national debt of $10,664,871,159,771.01 bogs the nation”Posted by mesiamd at 11/28/2008; “Camarines Sur farmer’s 444 kilometer march to Malacanang” Posted by mesiamd at 12/02/08).

Camarines Sur farmer’s 444 kilometer march to Malacanang

December 2, 2008

There is sympathy elicited by the pictures of about 50 poor farmers from Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur who embarked on a march to press their demand that Malacanang reverse the order of Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita which kept them out of the land awarded to them 11 years ago under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The basis of Ermita’s decision was that the 123 hectare property previously owned by the Fajardo family of Baao Camarines Sur didn’t qualify to be awarded to the farmers because it was used for grazing cattle, instead of agriculture.

This led to the revocation of the certificates of land ownership award (CLOA,) of 57 farmers who were beneficiaries of the land distribution. Ermita’s decision ignored the earlier Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) rulings in 1999 and 2007 which favored the planters.

Started on November 17, 2008, the 444 kilometer walk includes 82-year old Pobleo Clavero, the oldest of the group of farmers who wants to leave his 1.7 hectare land to his grandchildren when he dies. Their leader, Jess Bergantin, says they have to resort to what the agricultural workers from Sumilao, Bukidnon did a year ago to get Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s favorable decision. The group are still negotiating the dangerous winding highway towards Manila where they hope to get a solution to their land problem.

The case of the Fajardo Estate farmers shows the limitations of the CARP, which continues to pose problems to farmers 20 years since the program was started. Though there have been successes in the awarding of land to worthy beneficiaries, many however are blocked by landlords and the system of CARP implementation.

The bureaucracy of the DAR that impedes the acquisition of land, the reversals of award decisions like the Sumilao and Fajardo Estates, the controversial land use, conversions (i.e. subdivisions) and funding of the program are among the problems that stand on the way for the full CARP implementation. For lack of education and know-how, many farmers have no sufficient means to make their acquired land productive. About half of the beneficiaries end up not tilling the soil, decreasing productivity, and illegally selling the land.

As I watched the photos of the Fajardo Estate farmers marching from Banasi, Bula Camarines Sur, I could only think whether their lives had improved since CARP was instituted. Braving the wind, sun and rain, some who walked barefoot were very tired, their calloused feet endured the searing heat of asphalt in the highway; others had their skin abraded by friction caused by cheap sandals they wore.

From their faces, I could guess most of the farmers had meager education preventing them from fully understanding their legal rights under the land reform program. Their looks made me suspect their financial position didn’t improve. They had been as poor as the days when CARP wasn’t part of their lives. Photo Credit Pakisamagallery)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Nuns abducted in Kenya, farmers from Camarines Sur march to Malacanang & the US national debt of $10,664,871,159,771.01 bogs the nation”Posted by mesiamd at 11/28/2008

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Camarines Sur farmers’ 444 kilometer march to Malacanang

December 1, 2008

There is sympathy elicited by the pictures of about 50 poor farmers from Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur who embarked on a march to press their demand that Malacanang reverse the order of Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita which kept them out of the land awarded to them 11 years ago under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The basis of Ermita’s decision was that the 123 hectare property previously owned by the Fajardo family of Baao Camarines Sur didn’t qualify to be awarded to the farmers because it was used for grazing cattle, instead of agriculture.

This led to the revocation of the certificates of land ownership award (CLOA,) of 57 farmers who were beneficiaries of the land distribution. Ermita’s decision ignored the earlier Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) rulings in 1999 and 2007 which favored the farmers.

Started on November 17, 2008, the 444 kilometer walk includes 82-year old Pobleo Clavero, the oldest of the group of farmers who wants to leave his 1.7 hectare land to his grandchildren when he dies. Their leader, Jess Bergantin, says they have to resort to what the farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon did a year ago to get Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s favorable decision. The group are still negotiating the dangerous winding highway towards Manila where they hope to get a solution to their land problem.

The case of the Fajardo Estate farmers shows the limitations of the CARP, which continues to pose problems to farmers 20 years since the program was started. Though there have been successes in the awarding of land to worthy beneficiaries, many however are blocked by landlords and the system of CARP implementation.

The bureaucracy of the DAR that impedes the acquisition of land, the reversals of award decisions like the Sumilao and Fajardo Estates, the controversial land use, conversions and funding of the program are among the problems that stand on the way for the full CARP implementation. For lack of education and know-how, many farmers have no sufficient means to make their acquired land productive. About half of the beneficiaries end up not tilling, decreasing productivity, and illegally selling the land.

As I watched the photos of the Fajardo Estate farmers marching from Banasi, Bula Camarines Sur, I could only think whether their lives had improved since CARP was instituted. Some who walked barefoot were very tired, their calloused feet endured the searing heat of asphalt in the highway; others had their skin abraded by friction caused by cheap sandals they wore. From their faces, I could guess most of the farmers had meager education preventing them of fully understanding their rights under the land reform program. Their looks made me suspect their financial position didn’t improve. They had been as poor as the days when CARP wasn’t part of their lives. Photo Credit Pakisamagallery)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Nuns abducted in Kenya, farmers from Camarines Sur march to Malacanang & the US national debt of $10,664,871,159,771.01 bogs the nation”Posted by mesiamd at 11/28/2008

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Nuns abducted in Kenya, farmers from Camarines Sur march to Malacanang & the US national debt of $10,664,871,159,771.01 bogs the nation

November 27, 2008

The message of Thanksgiving is as beautiful as the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Both holidays are times of reflection and joy for all peoples of the world. Yet today, November 27, 2008, in spite the celebration’s purity of purpose and its significance, dark forces break our peace and try to shatter our hope.

The rejoicing which accompanies the holiday is marred by negativities in the news all over the world. Blocking the way of prayers, reflections, family reunions, turkey dinners, sharing food with the needy, parades, and football games, are spoilers of today’s obervance. Here are some examples:

Mumbai India Massacre

1. Mumbai Terrorist Attack in India with rising numbers of casualties: 104 dead & 314 wounded. Undetermined number of hostages is being held by a militant group believed to be Islamic extremist radicals. An Australian and a Japanese tourist are among the dead.

Kidnapping in Kenya

2. Maria Teresa Olivero, 60, and Caterina Giraudo, 67, two Italian Catholic nuns on a mission to help alleviate hunger and maintain health programs in Kenya were abducted by gunmen on November 17, 2008 and were taken to undisclosed location in lawless Somalia. Their abduction shows the difficulty of helping the poor and underserved in troubled countries like those in Africa.

Thailand’s State of Emergency

3. Thailand has declared a state of emergency around two airports. Scores of protesters against the government have massed on terminals of both airports resulting to all flight cancellations.

UPDATE: As of Sunday November 30, 2008, more than 30 anti-government protesters have been wounded by gunfire and grenade blasts. The closure of the airport strands about 100,000 travellers in Thailand.

Fajardo Estate (Banasi Farm) March from Camarines Sur to Manila

4. Fajardo Estate land dispute escalates when 49 poor farmers from Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur decided a 21 day march to Malacanang Palace to demand the return of their land which covers 123.349 hectares. Before the CARP, the disputed property is owned by Edilberto Fajardo, Corazon Fajardo, Angustia Imperial and heirs of Baao, Camarines Sur.

“Nagsikad na poon kan Noviembre 17, 2008 an 21 dias na paglakaw kan 45ng paraoma hali sa Banasi, Bula, Camarines Sur pasiring sa Malacañang nganing huroton ki Presidente Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo na ibalik sa sainda an 123.3490ng hectariang daga na parte kan Fajardo Estate na enot pig-award sa sainda susog sa Certificate of Land Ownership (CLO) No. 00495527 base sa Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL).”—Bicol Mail, (11/20/08)

Every American Owes $34,947.22/person

5. As of November 27, the outstanding public debt of USA is $10,664,871,159,771.01 (approximately $10.7 trillion dollars). According to the National Debt Clock’s tally, the national debt increases by about $3.89 billion/day since September 28, 2007. Amercan citizens share this debt at $34,947.22/person.

If Barack Obama expands the government spending with his promised programs and he increase taxes as the financial meltdown reels on, the economic strain and debt burden are likely to push the Americans to the limit. At this time the public is watching nervously to see the mettle of the incoming president. (Photo Credits: Reuters/PunitParanjpe; ____, Pakisamagallery/JuanEscandor; JsDart)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “At least 82 killed & hundreds injured in terror attacks in Mumbai, India” Posted by mesiamd at 11/27/2008.

UPDATE: November 28, 2008—The death toll and injured in Mumbai massacre rose to 125 and 327 respectively.