Seventeen Task Force Mapalad members on a hunger strike in
front of the Department of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City
demanding to be installed at Hacienda Velez-Malaga in La Castellana
town last night wrote their holographic last will and testaments
bequeathing their share of the land to their children.
Lawyer Aison Garcia of Saligan, a group of Ateneo lawyers,
witnessed the event, Task Force Mapalad spokesperson Lani Factor
said in a text message.
The holographic will expressed in writing that the hunger strikers'
share of Hacienda Velez-Malaga shall be inherited by their children.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman said Sunday his office
is still conducting an assessment of the situation at Hacienda Velez-Malaga
to ensure that when it installs the farmer beneficiaries the members
of the opposing groups can live in peaceful co-existence.
Pangandaman who was in Negros last week was expected to install
the 122 Task Force Mapalad farmer-beneficiaries on 144 hectares
of the farm but it did not take place.
"We cannot risk an outbreak of violence that could lead to
bloodshed," he had said, after opposing farmers massed at the farm
to block any installation.
About 198 members of the Malaga Cuenca Multi-Purpose Cooperative
and the Hacienda Malaga Independent Workers Union, who are also
workers of Hacienda Velez Malaga are opposing the installation of
the TFM members on what they claim is the prime area of the farm.
Of the 122 TFM beneficiaries of 144 hectares, 20 have returned
to their side and only 57 are original tillers of the land, they
Romulo Espinosa, a spokesman of the opposing farmers' group,
said the TFM hunger strike was a propaganda ploy to pressure the
DAR to act.
However, he and his companions said they doubted that the hunger
strike was for real.
Factor said if it were not for real how could they explain weight
loss of the hunger strikers.*CPG
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