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DAR settles Tinang Estate case following PBBM’s directive to resolve pending land cases

Conrado M. Estrella III

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will be distributing 450 land titles after resolving the decades-old land ownership dispute in Tinang Estate in Concepcion, Tarlac, following President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to settle all pending land reform issues.

“I would like to inform everybody, most especially the public, of a historic accomplishment. The President instructed us from the beginning of his term to address all pending cases, agrarian reform cases, because the President definitely subscribes to the adage that ‘justice delayed is justice denied,’” Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“And we are happy to inform everybody that our formula of multiple shuttle diplomacy and (after) constantly holding dialogue with the stakeholders, finally we were able to resolve this case and mayroon tayong nailabas na desisyon tungkol dito sa Hacienda Tinang,” he said.

Based on the President’s instruction, Estrella said DAR was able to release the decision on the case, with no one filing an appeal or protest.

Since the matter is final and executory, and nobody questioned the decision, the Department will soon issue a writ of execution, according to the DAR chief.

“Siguro in a matter of two weeks magdi-distribute na kami ng land tiles dito para wala hong gulo and, again, we will be able to forge peace and prosperity for our farmers,” he said, saying 450 titles will be released by DAR to 450 families.

The case of the Tinang Estate in Tarlac had been pending for almost three decades. It began as a land issue between a farmer versus a landowner and eventually evolved into a farmers’ group against another farmers’ group.

The resolution of the land issue is expected to boost the administration’s food security program as farmer beneficiaries receiving lands could now till their land possession which would eventually increase agricultural productivity.

“The President just like his father… kasi noong panahon ng kaniyang ama at noong aking lolo eh isang tambak ang support services na naipamigay sa ating mga magsasaka,” Estrella said.

“At inuulit natin ngayon iyan. Marami tayong support services na ibinibigay sa kanila so they will stay put and plant and feed the nation.”

In his 50-page order, Estrella wanted the immediate execution of the order as part of the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) process at least in the absence of any restraining order.

He also ordered the cooperatives and other agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who may be in possession of the landholding to turn over the possession of the whole segregated portion awarded in favor of the 90 ARBs.

The DAR chief also wants involved stakeholders to consider the order consolidation of all pending related cases concerning the subject landholding, which binds the parties and all concerned stakeholders.

Also on Tuesday, Estrella reported resolving some 1,200 “vintage” land cases as a response to the President’s directive, with most of them to be about five- to 20-year-old land cases.

According to Estrella, they inherited 2,300 cases under the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), and in the Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) cases, there are around 2,400 cases.

“I am happy to note that out of these 240 – of course iyong numbers niyan nag-increase kasi, may mga dumadating na bago. But ang baseline ko iyong nag-takeover kami. By tomorrow, because I am set to sign the resolution of other 200 more cases, aabot na kami ng 1,200. By tomorrow, makaka-catch-up na kami ng kalahati, we can address half of them already,” he said.

“And we can be optimistic. We have more reason to be optimistic in the future.” | PND

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