Evicted farmers in CDO sue rivals, lawyer

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/17 March)— Members of the Palalan Carp Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative in Barangay Lumbia who were evicted by the premature enforcement of an order by the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (Darab) filed criminal cases against a faction of the cooperative, security guards who enforced the order and their lawyer.

In a 38-page complaint, couple Fernando “Datu Dalangpanan” Bermoy and Leona T. Bermoy accused Beverly Domo, lawyer Florencio Narido Jr., 10 security guards from Dasia Security Agency, the security agency’s manager and 13 other persons of arson, robbery, illegal detention, grave coercion and malicious mischief.

Domo is the former chairperson of the cooperative.

The complainants filed separate cases for each alleged crime before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Domo and Narido told MindaNews they have no idea of the charges yet, but said that the cases may just be attempts by their rival faction to harass them.

They both denied making any wrongdoing in relation to the Carp land. Domo insisted that as a farmer beneficiary, she has all the right to be in the area.

The Bermoys are demanding a total of P1.130 million in damages (P800,000 for properties destroyed and P330,000 for allegedly stolen items).

In their complaint, the Bermoys alleged that at 9:45 am on February 15, Narido with fully armed Dasia security guards and several other men, “uttered intimidating and threatening words while vigorously entering our premises.”

Narido also allegedly asked in a very loud voice: “Naa si Bermoy diha? Unsa man inyo gusto, kagubot o kalinaw?” (Is Bermoy around? What do you want, trouble or peace?)

Then at 4pm of Feb. 20, a group of Dasia security guards and unidentified men known to be supporters of Domo reportedly pointed their firearms at the Bermoys’ house and threatened to shoot them if they would not leave the place.

“Kung dili mo mohawa, mapugos mi pagpatay ninyo kay sugo ni ni Attorney Narido! (If you will not leave, we will be forced to kill you as this is the order of Attorney Narido),” the Bermoys quoted the threat allegedly aired by the armed men.

On February 12, at around 10:00 am, three men forcibly entered the Bermoys’ lot and set the couple’s mango trees on fire. A witness named Eduardo N. Gaabucayan said the culprits were Ronnie Cammannong, Pableo Jabunan and Wiljun Dabatian.

The Bermoys also alleged that almost every day since February 12, Narido, Domo or their henchmen together with Dasia security guards armed with AK47 rifles harassed and threatened them, destroyed their properties, harvested their crops and stole their valuables and livestock.

Starting on February 15, Narido’s group enforced the January 17 order of Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Charlito A. Sabugaa even without a writ of execution.

The January 17 ruling ordered the Bermoys and PCFMPC chairperson Andrew Donggay to “demolish whatever structure they introduced in the subject area at their own expense, otherwise, a writ of demolition will be issued.”

But the Bermoys and Donggay’s group were able to secure a temporary restraining order against the sale of the 111-hectare agrarian reform land from the Regional Trial Court branch 17, this city on March 2, and a status quo ante order from the Darab on March 4.

Both orders ordered the Narido-Domo group to stop harassing the farmers opposed to the sale and conversion of the agrarian reform land into a subdivision.

The Darab order castigated Domo and her group for illegally implementing the Jan. 17, 2011 order which was not yet final and executory as the Bermoy-Donggay group had filed a motion for reconsideration.

Sabugaa ordered the restoration of the “last actual, peaceful and uncontested status” of the 111-hectare estate DAR awarded to the PCFMPC on September 8, 1992 through a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA).

Domo admitted that they wanted to develop the land into a commercial and residential estate in partnership with its previous owners, the Philippine Veterans Bank.

The Palalan Carp land is located near the Lumbia Airport, where land value speculation has increased with the planned conversion of the airport into an export processing zone once the Laguindingan International Airport becomes operational next year.

The group of Bermoy and Donggay wanted to preserve the agricultural use of the Carp land. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)