MARBAI tells gov’t: Install farmers at Lapanday disputed land

May. 11, 2017

DAVAO CITY – After the successful camp-out held at Mendiola in Manila and the dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte together with Department of Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano, the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (MARBAI) is now calling the concerned government agencies instrumentalities to proceed with the installation of its members into their lands at Lapanday.


“The next step we expect is for the Office of the President, the DAR and the local government in Tagum to proceed with the installation process,” Antonio Tuyak, spokesperson of MARBAI said in a statement to the media on Wednesday afternoon.


Tuyak said MARBAI will prepare and mobilize their ranks and supporters for the installation.


On Tuesday, President Duterte and Secretary Mariano met with some 200 farm workers who camped-out in Mendiola to discuss their demands.


MARBAI said that during the discussion, the President reiterated his earlier call for the people to ‘occupy oligarch lands.’


“We call on all farmers with similar land struggles to take important lessons in the MARBAI case. To unite their ranks, firm up their resolve and persist in the struggle to resist and fight landlords and oligarchs,” said Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas secretary general Antonio Flores in the same statement.


Flores particularly made the call to farmers of big landholdings including Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Looc, Hacienda Dolores, Yulo King Ranch, Negros haciendas, Araneta lands and other estates.


The peasant group also demanded the pull-out of armed goons and security guards from Lapanday’s SANID area to facilitate the peaceful installation of farm workers to their lands.


Another KMP leader, Pedro Arnado of Southern Mindanao, described President Duterte’s response to MARBAI’s demand as the product of relentless and painstaking struggle of farmers for genuine land reform.


“This development legitimizes the strong clamor and mass movement of farmers for the dismantling of monopoly lands and delivering social justice to landless and poor farmers,” Arnado pointed out.


He added that ARBs and farm workers are strong in their resolve to claim and complete victory in their struggle.


“Duterte’s intervention effectively orders the Lorenzos of Lapanday to give up the lands to its rightful owners — the agrarian reform beneficiaries and farm workers,” Arnado said as he asserted the immediate need for the actual installation of 159 ARBs to the 145-hectares of land grabbed by Lapanday Foods Corp.


He is also not discounting the physical and legal resistance from the Lorenzos and Lapanday once the installation of MARBAI members will push through.


“Farmers are more than ready to face these adversities,” Arnado said. (

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