A detachment is expected to be established in Brgy. Santa Rosa, Murcia, to secure the Negros First ranch of the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena yesterday said this has already been approved at their level, after illegal occupants of the Negros First ranch yesterday tried again to enter the area, and even warned the driver of the tractor not to push through with the plowing of the field.
About one hectare of the 159-hectare Negros First ranch that houses imported cattle and sheep from Australia were occupied by about 18 farmers, who also threatenedpersonnel assigned at the ranch,police investigations showed.
Decena said he has ordered the farm manager to get security assistance from the police, while plowing the field, and admitted that the delay in planting the napier grass needed to feed the sheep, was due to the problem.
The Negros First Ranch, which has a total land area of 159 hectares, was acquired by the Provincial Government from the Arguelles family. It houses the high-breed cows and sheep acquired by the Province for the Negros First Food Security Agenda of the Marañon administration
Decena said they have identified the leader of the illegal occupants as Eduardo Palma, a member of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said “ We must enforce the full force of the law”. They must suffer the consequence of what they have done”, he stressed.
Decena said Marañon has already ordered the transfer of 17 remaining families who are being joined by the outsiders to the relocation site.
Some of theSanta Rosa barangay residentswho were affected by the project were given a relocationsite, near the area, while others were employed asworkers in the ranch.
Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said they and the Philippine National Police will assist the provincial government in whatever legal actions it will initiate against the trespassers, which he described as a police problem.*GPB