Tension sparks on land disputes in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija

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FARMERS in Barangay Tungkong Manga in the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan assailed the forces of San Jose Del Monte City Public Order and Safety Office (SJDM-POSO) for allegedly destroying their crops inside an estimated 2.7 hectares’ private lot property owned by Aurelia Amoroto last January 16.

Officials of the SJDM-POSO said they only responded to the plead for help of the property owner whose house was burnt and her life were threatened by the farmers.

The farmer’s group supported by the Samahan ng mga magsasaka sa Dalandanan (SAMAGDA), a local affiliate of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan-KMP said the city security group bulldozed and destroyed the crops including banana trees, pineapples, root crops, and eggplants of the farmers.

Jhulian Ajose, whose parents started tilling the parcel of the said land for 25 years strongly assailed the destruction of their crops.

Amoroto said the land is her own legal property but a small group of farmers and vendors tried occupying her land and claim to be their own.

In San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, Tess Marcelo and her whole clan continue to decry being victims of land grabbing by individuals and allegedly even by the government.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cabanatuan City forestry officer Merlito Villar arrested on Tuesday (January 19) a group of residents caught in the act of cutting century old narra trees inside the privately owned land of Marcelo in Barangay San Mariano.

It was learned that DENR Cabanatuan was accompanied by Central Luzon base mediamen last week to conduct ocular inspection requested by Marcelo wherein they were surprised at what they saw on their own eyes where the said group of people caught in the act of cutting the narra trees.

Some old trees were also burnt by the residents on their attempt to harassed the owner and continue to acquire lands.

The arrested residents belong to groups of individuals and farmers whom the family claimed have illegally acquired Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and steal their lands. They have also built their own houses in the said land properties of the Marcelo’s.

Villar said his office will file appropriate forestry violation charges against the arrested suspects.

However, a separate group of farmers who were included in the 105 families in the CLOA list that were interviewed by Central Luzon base mediamen said they are surrendering back the land to Marcelo family after they found it unproductive due to low elevation and being prone to flood.

“Nalugi lang kami, nasira lang ang mga tanim namin dahil napakalalim ng tubig baha kaya ayaw na namin, hindi puwedeng pang sakahan at taniman ang lupa kaya ibinabalik na namin sa pamilya Marcelo ang lupa,” Crispin Tinio, 67, from Niugan, Jaen town said. 

Nicolas Villasar, 65, admitted however that he was not in the list but he was given a CLOA and have tilled the soil of Marcelo family.

Meanwhile in Norzagaray, Bulacan six persons accused of stealing properties belong to Realty firm were arrested and detained on Saturday inside the municipal jail after the municipal trial court Judge Julie Rita Suarez-Badillo issued on that day a warrant of arrest against them for charges of theft.

Norzagaray police chief Col. Avelino Protacio identified the arrested suspects as Catherine Magdato, Eden Gualberto, Jenny Capa, John Jason Abonalla, Marilyn Olpos and Salvacion Abonalla.

Royal Moluccan Realty Holdings Inc. filed the charges for allegedly stealing their properties in Sitio Compra, Barangay San Mateo.

Protacio said the charges stemmed when the individuals illegally settled inside the lot property of Moluccan in 2019 and took away properties belonging to the firm.

The accused said Royal Moluccan then managed to successfully evict them from the lot property that year.

They accused the firm of sending them away from the lot property for the expansion of the existing Golden Haven Memorial Park.

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