Two Catholic bishops have pledged support to Negros farmers who started its lakbayan campaign Monday pressing President Benigno Aquino to hasten land distribution and to complete the mandated deadline of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms by 2014.
Task Force Mapalad assistant deputy coordinator, Lanie Factor, said Bishop Broderick Pabillo, national director of the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines confirmed that he will continue to mobilize support until the marchers reach Manila on Friday.
Bishop Vicente Navarra of Bacolod City, meanwhile, will officiate at a mass tomorrow at 7 a.m. at the San Sebastian Cathedral supporting the farmers cause. He called anew for the Christians to pray and give support to the farmers, Factor said.
DAR OFFICIAL SAYS
Land dispute decisions
based on official papers
The Department of Agrarian Reform does not take sides but settles land disputes between the agrarian reform beneficiaries and the land owners based on official records, Edwin Sanchez, Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Murcia, said yesterday.
Sanchez was reacting to the statement of Ranie Lava, president of the National Federation of Sugar Workers giving them confusing statements and sounded like a representative of the landowner of Hacienda Guanzon in Brgy. Sta. Rosa Murcia.
He said DAR cannot install on the 54-hectare hacienda because their official records show that they signed a memorandum of agreement with the landowner, Teresita Guanzon, years back that they will cultivate the 23 hectares while there is a pending petition before the Supreme Court.
6,000 sheep due today
The 6,000 sheep purchased by the Negros Occidental provincial government from Australia will arrive at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation port in Bacolod City this morning, Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.
The sheep, estimated to cost about P80 million, will be quarantined at the Negros First Ranch in Santa Rosa, Murcia, to stabilize their strength and health before they are distributed to the raisers and beneficiaries, the governor said.
The governor hopes to make Negros Occidental the sheep Capital of Negros.