The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you an appeal from Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)-Luzon, a human rights organisation based in Quezon City, Metro Manila, about the desperate plight of a family of farmers in San Andres, Quezon. The family is facing the threat of eviction and have had fabricated charges of theft laid against them, which were instigated by their former landlord.
The family of Juanito Muñoz and his brother Osias are threatened with eviction from the land they are cultivating which was awarded to them as beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp). Ten years ago, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) awarded the land by issuing Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and Transfer Certificates Titles to them. They are formerly tenants of the wealthy Uy family.
But on 30 March 2003, an anomalous survey was allegedly conducted by some persons from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which reversed the DARs former declaration. The DENR declared in their survey that the land occupied by the families of Muñoz is not included within the property awarded to them.
As a result, the Uy family pressed a number of charges against the Muñoz family in their effort to allegedly claim the land back. Charges of qualified theft are also laid against 12 persons, most of whom are relatives of the Muñoz family for harvesting coconut fruits, which are being grown within the contested lot.
If you have any further questions regarding this case, please contact TFDP-Luzon
Urgent Appeals Prorgramme
Asian Human Rights Commission
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)-Luzon
45 St. Mary St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries in Bondoc Peninsula continue to suffer from injustice
Bondoc peninsula is a land matted with green and lush flora and fauna where stream flows and the earth bears fruit. But, for years now, it has been a site of landlessness for hundreds of peasants who once broke the land and made it grow. For years now, it has witnessed the struggle of farmers for their rights.
San Andres, Quezon is a town in Bondoc Peninsula, where vast tracks of land extending to the municipality of San Narciso is owned by Uy family. Fraction of the land has been distributed, that was in 1995 and 1996, under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to San Andres folks who are farmers, as their fathers had been before them. One of them is Marcela Muñoz who had been tilling the land since the 1970s.
Several families are facing danger of eviction from their own land. Marcela Muñoz, her husband, Juanito Muñoz, Sr. and their children are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Barangay Camflora, San Andres, Quezon. Since 1971, brothers Juanito Muñoz and Osias Muñoz along with their families have been cultivating and living peacefully in the parcels of land previously owned by Manuel Uy Ek Liong, Sr. The Department Agrarian Reform (DAR) declared the said land to be covered by CARP. In different dates (in 1995 and 1996), Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and Transfer Certificates Titles were distributed to Muñoz family.
On March 30, 2003, however, an unidentified surveyor claiming he was from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), made a survey on the parcels of land of Nanay Marcela and her relatives. As alleged by the families of Uy, the survey found out that the parcels of land occupied by the victims were outside of the property awarded to them by the DAR. Uys encargados alleged that the said farmers have conspired to steal coconut fruits from the premises of the coconut plantation allegedly owned by Uy.
Nanay Marcela and 11 others are facing a string of cases filed against them by Uy. Case of qualified theft has been filed against the farmers and similar cases are being filed against them every time they harvest coconut fruits from the coconut plantation allegedly owned by Uy. To this day, various forms of harassment are being used by the landowner and his cohorts against other farmers. No one knows the fate of hundreds of families living within Uy-owned property in other parts of the Bondoc Peninsula.
Juanito Muñoz, Osias Muñoz, Marcela Muñoz, Teteng Oloro, Ricky Fernandez, Sanny Pagatpat, Arnold Tulid, Bienvenido Mahilom, Genaro Saul, Marlon Picao, Edito Picao and Mauricio Limpiado are now facing qualified theft and unlawful detainer at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 61 and 62 in Gumaca, Quezon. The bail bond is amounting to two hundred forty thousand pesos (P240,000). Being farmers, they are earning their living from agricultural farming, that they cannot afford to raise the said amount of money.
Eighteen years after the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was implemented, one would tend to think violations of the farmers right over land are things of the past. On the contrary, harassments against the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are still very much around. For the past couple of years, we have seen the implementation of CARP as sluggish and it turns out, harassments of landowner against farmers are very much with us today.
The Philippine government as a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ECOSOC) Rights has an obligation to ensure that everyones right to land and means of subsistence is observed.
Please write letters to express your concern about the plight of farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries in Bondoc Peninsula and the continuing harassment of landowner against them. In your letters, please draw attention to situation of farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries in Uy-property in San Andres, Quezon. Please send letters in English or in your own language:
– asking the Office of the Executive Secretary and Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary to bring to the attention of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the case of series of harassment against the farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries in Bondoc Peninsula in particular in San Andres, Quezon;
– urging the DAR Secretary to conduct immediate investigation on the alleged land grabbing by Uy;
– urging the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the alleged human rights violations committed against the farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries in San Andres, Quezon;
– expressing concern on the continuing violation of the right to food and means of subsistence of farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries in San Andres, Quezon.
Send letters to:
1. Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President, Republic of the Philippines
J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila
Telephone: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742 1641 / 929 3968
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
2. Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita
Office of the Executive Secretary
2nd Floor Mabini Hall, Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1105
Premiere Guest House
Telephone: (+632) 736 1076; 736 5359
3. Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman
Department of Agrarian Reform
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City 1101
Telephone: (+632) 920-03-80; 928-39-79
Fax: (+632) 929-30-88
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send copies to:
Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman,
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
and to diplomatic representatives of the Philippines
accredited to your country.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (email@example.com)
To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER