As Lumbia Carp issue complicate, authorities appeal for mediation

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/19 March)  — The Cagayan de Oro City Police Office may be caught in the maelstrom of the conflict involving the 111.148 –hectare land distributed 18-years ago to the Palalan Carp Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative (PCFMPC) in Barangay Lumbia.

The lawyer of one of the three factions led by Beverly Domo said the city police, specifically the City Public Safety Company (CPSC) is supporting the group of Lino Sajol who sold the CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program)  land to Diana Biron, through former Iloilo Vice Governor Rolex Suplico. Biron is the wife of Iloilo Congressman Ferjenel Biron.

Narido alleged that the group of Sajol-Suplico-Biron “entered by force” the contested land morning of  March 6 with escorts from the CPCS headed by Sr. Insp. Danildo Tumanda.

Tumanda, however, said they are not siding with any of the three factions in Palalan land dispute. He also denied escorting the Suplico-Sajol group and added that he does not even known the parties in the issue personally.

“The role of the CPSC in the Palalan case is to assist the Lumbia Police Precinct in the maintenance of peace and order in the area,” Tumanda told Mindanews.

He added that there were only two instances when the CPCS was deployed in the area– when the Lumbia Police Precinct asked their assistance to respond to reports that 30-heavily armed men were seen in the contested land and when a group of religious leaders inspected a church purportedly destroyed by one of the factions of the Carp beneficiaries.

Narido told MindaNews the land occupation of Suplico as the agent of Biron is “illegal as there is a temporary restraining order on the sale of the Carp land and a pending case for the annulment of sales of the Carp land.”
The Narido-Domo group filed a civil case for Injunction against the Sajol group represented by their lawyer Atty. Elmer Dela Rosa who sold the whole Carp area for P30-million to Biron in August 2009.
Another group, led by Andrew Donggay and Fernando Bermoy,  won a TRO against any sale of the Carp land last March 2 in RTC Branch 17. The TRO was based on the principal case of Annulment of Sales for the Carp land against Biron, Dela Rosa and Domo.

Although opposed to the sale to Biron, the Domo-Narido group sold the Carp land to Mt. Carmel Engineering Services for P250-million. Narido, however, contends this transaction has not been consummated.
Domo said they have contracted nine security guards from Dasia Security Agency. An undetermined number of security guards from 24 Oras Bantay Security  are also deployed by the Suplico group.

MindaNews tried to get their side but did not get a reply as of press time.

Donggay, the current chair of the PFCMPC, however, said authorities should step in to avert any violence in the area. “Authorities should ensure the rule of law prevail,” Donggay said.

The Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (Paro) in Misamis Oriental said that although their role in the Carp area has become limited now as the 10-year period that prevents the selling or any encumbrance of the Carp distributed land had already elapsed in 2002 and that the lands
have already been fully paid in the Land Bank of the Philippines, they would still wish to help facilitate the amicable settlement of the conflict.

Merlita Capinpuyan, Paro Misamis Oriental Legal Officer said efforts now should be focused on getting the parties to the negotiating table to agree on the partition of the land.

She lamented that because of the cases thrown against the coverage of the land, among them from the previous owner, the Philippine Veterans Bank, that was resolved in favor of the Carp distribution in 2008, the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) for the 111.148-ha land was not broken down to individual CLOAs for the 67 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

The DAR distributed the land on Sept. 8, 1992.

Since technically, the Carp process was already finished after the full payment of the land to the LBP by the beneficiaries and the lapse of 10 years after the CLOA distribution, the remedy left for the ARBs is to apply for regular Transfer Certificate Title of the lands assigned to them by the Parcellary Plan of the 111-148-ha land.
The cases pending in court, however, may hamper this process, Capinpuyan said.

Like Capinpuyan, Tumanda appealed to everyone concerned to bring the parties of the conflict to the negotiating table before any escalation of violence.

“Apil mi na ipit na ani, maayo unta if the concerned agencies mo intervene na before dunay dili maayo nga mahitabo sa Palalan” (We’re among those caught in the midst of a conflict here. We hope the concerned agencies intervene before something untoward happens in Palalan), Tumanda told MindaNews. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)