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APC Calls for the Prosecution of Henry Sy for Landgrabbing

Quezon City, Philippines –  The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) is calling for the prosecution of Henry Sy for landgrabbing of 5,800 hectares of lands at Hacienda Looc, in Nasugbu, Batangas.

On January 31, 2013, farmers from Hacienda Looc filed through their counsel Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra), with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) a complaint for illegal and unauthorized conversion against Henry Sy and its SM Investment Corporation, SM Land Corporation and Costa de Hamilo Inc. 

Wilfredo Marbella, deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) stated that, “the said corporations converted 5,800 of the 8,650 hectares land located at Nasugbu in the province of Batangas. However, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has granted conversion order to 94 hectares only and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued an Environmental Compliance Certificate to 411 hectares only.”

“Not only that, the 3,981.3403 hectares of land are covered by agrarian reform and the farmers were awarded Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) while 1,321.6198 hectares were covered with Emancipation Patents (EPs). Yet, Henry Sy owned corporations were preventing farmers from cultivating the land. Even the fisherfolks were also prevented from fishing in the cove,” remarked Marbella.

“We (the farmers) owned 5,800 hectares of Hacienda Looc. Henry Sy has no right to grab our lands and sell them. Likewise, we condemned Henry Sy for harassing us (farmers) perpetrated by his armed goons and security guards,” added Armando Lemita, a leader of Ugnayan ng mga Magasasaka Laban sa Pangwawasak ng Kalupaan sa Hacienda Looc (Umalpas-Ka).

“The Hacienda Looc farmers, through their counsel Sentra, wanted DAR to file criminal cases against the Board of Directors and officers of SM Investment Corporation, SM Land Corporation and Costa De Hamilo including Henry Sy.  The farmers also sought the DAR to assured the peaceful occupation and cultivation of the land they have been tiling for years,” ended Marbella. 

“It can be recalled that in February 11-15, 2012, the APC, KMP, KASAMA-TK (Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan) and SAMBAT (Samahan ng mga Magbuubkid sa Batangas) sponsored an “International Solidarity Mission (ISM) to Save Hacienda Looc and Peasants’ Livelihood”. The ISM found out that “land use conversions and large scale tourism projects resulted to landlessness and food insecurity affecting 10,000 population of Hacienda Looc,” stated Rahmat Ajiguna, APC deputy secretary general [read more...

source: foodsov.org

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