NASSA Bishop visits Sumilao farmers

Bishop Pabillo's visit is part of the commitment of the Catholic Church in helping the Sumilao farmers win their case after the Office of the President reverted the controversial 144 hectares as agricultural land through its 18 December 2007 decision.

Bishop Pabillo shall be welcomed at the airport by Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, the Sumilao farmers, and some support groups.  

With the scheduled visit of President Arroyo tomorrow (January 10) in the city, Bishops Pabillo and Ledesma shall also seek audience with her to discuss the status of the case as well as to express the sentiment of the church as regards the same.  

After meeting with President GMA, Bishop Pabillo and Bishop Ledesma shall celebrate a mass at the DAR regional office, Balulang, Cagayan de Oro City, at 10:30 AM.

The Sumilao farmers have set up a camp outside the office of DAR region 10 after said office refused to issue a notice of coverage (NOC) and cease and desist order (CDO).   They intend to stay in their encampment until said NOC and CDO shall be issued.

After the mass, there will be a press conference with Bishops Pabillo and Ledesma together with the Sumilao farmers and lawyers at the DAR camp.   A community lunch shall soon follow after the press conference.

At around 1 pm, Bishop Pabillo, Archbishop Ledesma, and the Sumilao support groups shall proceed to Barangay San Vicente, Sumilao, for a short visit to the families of the Sumilao farmers after which they will proceed to Malaybalay City to talk with Bishop Pacana.  

The three bishops will also celebrate a mass for the families of the Sumilao farmers, which shall be held near the contested 144 hectares in Sumilao, at around 8:00 am on Jan. 11.  The bishops shall visit and personally talk with the families of the farmers after saying the mass.   A community lunch shall be prepared.

Bishop Pabillo and Bishop Ledesma shall thereafter return to Cagayan de Oro City.

Reference: Normie Batula / Oliver E. Villa
Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw (BALAOD Mindanaw)
Door 3 Balay Mindanaw SIAD Peace Center
53A 12th St., zone II, Upper Bulua
9000 Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
+63 8822 738794
+63 8822 738794 (telefax)