Armed men fire at farmers occupying CARPable Bukidnon land

DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews/31 July) —  Unidentified armed men fired at a group of farmers occupying a land covered by the extended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in Maramag, Bukidnon Friday night, reports said.

Oscar Maniego, leader of the Danggawan Landless Farmers Association said that shortly before midnight, unidentified gunmen fired several rounds of  shots at the farmers who were sleeping under makeshift tents at the Ocaya ranch  in Barangay Kuya, Maramag town.

He said no farmer was hurt in the strafing incident that lasted for at least an hour.

“We ran for our safety under the cover of darkness. The firing was so intense. We heard loud explosions,” Maniego said in an e-mailed statement.

The farmers returned to the farm this morning. Maniego said security guards from the Ocaya Ranch and Del Monte Philippines came and told them that they were not responsible for the shooting incident.

The Department of Agrarian Reform in Region 10 had earlier ordered Del Monte Philippines not to plant pineapples on Ocaya Ranch adding that the property will soon  be distributed to the farmers.

Engr. Eduardo Paquingan, Bukidnon Agrarian Reform Officer told the farmers that 50 hectares of the 100-hectare property will be distributed to them as soon they will finalize the list of benificiaries. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)