Lapanday still owns fruits of 145-hectare area

LAPANDAY Foods Corporation (LFC) maintained that they still own the fruits of the 145-hectare area that was claimed by Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) beneficiaries who occupied the area last May 18, Thursday.

LFC, in a statement issued last Thursday, affirmed that the previously signed contract with the mother cooperative of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Incorporated (Marbai), the Hijos Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative 1 (Hearbco-1) remains valid despite the re-entry of farmers.

The company added that it denounces the Department of Agrarian Reform for the installation.

"The company denounces the DAR, led by Secretary Rafael Mariano, for forcing the installation by coercing the Philippine National Police to assisting him carry out his highly anomalous action," the statement read.

It added that LFC also blames Mariano for directly instigating the mob who became violent and unruly as the installation of the breakaway agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) was proceeding in Madaum, Tagum City on May 18.

"In fact, it was reported that the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Civil Security Unit, which the DAR itself requested to assist it during the installation, took to task the DAR team, with the Undersecretary David Erro, Sheriff Adelaido Caminade, as well as the leaders of Marbai for their failure to control the proceeding and their supporters who started throwing stones behind San Isidro (Sanid) gate," the statement said.

Based on earlier reports, ARBs from Marbai and its peasant group supporters destroyed the gate to enter the area.

The company added that the re-entry does not modify the existing agreement wherein Hearbco-1 is obligated to deliver and sell the fruits of the whole plantation to the LFC.

LFC said that it shall take all the necessary step for its contract with Hearbco-1 to be strictly enforced and complied with.

"The company warned that it shall file criminal and civil cases against any person or entity who shall interfere with the agreement," the statement read.