Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MalaysiaKini SMS 23/12/08 (4)

23/12: Othman Omar named as new GM of Selangor state agency PKNS to replace controversial acting head, Low Siew Moi, a Chinese, starting Feb/MKINI

MalaysiaKini SMS 23/12/08 (3)

23/12: Selangor exco and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok filed RM30 mil lawsuit against ex-Sgor MB Mohd Khir Toyo and Utusan Msia over the azan issue./MKINI

MalaysiaKini SMS 23/12/08 (2)

23/12: MCA sec-gen Wong Foon Meng warned Chinese community will lose out if they do not help keep Kuala Terengganu seat in BN hands./MKINI

MalaysiaKini SMS 23/12/08

23/12: High Court ordered Umno-owned Utusan M'sia to pay RM120,000 in damages to PAS info chief Mahfuz Omar for a defamatory article in 2001/MKINI

PHILIPPINES: Sixty two families of farmer face threats of losing land


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-267-2008



22 December 2008


PHILIPPINES: Sixty two families of farmer face threats of losing land

ISSUES: Right to land; right to property; right to housing; right to
food; agriculture


Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes with deep concern
over the plight of sixty two farming families who face the threat of
losing their land in the province of Bukidnon after they were
excluded as beneficiaries for land distribution despite the fact that
they have been farming the land for at least 15 years. Their names
were replaced with persons who have never cultivated the land.

CASE DETAILS: (According to information received from the Task Force
Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP-Mindanao))

The Don Carlos Bukidnon United Farmers Association, Incorporated
(DCBUFAI), where the 62 families affected farmers are attached, was
formerly the defunct BFI-Carlos Bukidnon Farmers Association. It was
first registered in 22 April 1997 with 224 members. After changing
their name, they had also obtained a new Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) registration no. H1999-00214.

However, their membership has reduced to 109, including the 62
families mentioned above who now face threats of losing the land they
cultivate and from which they get their means of subsistence.

Even before they became an association, these farmers had already
entered the landholdings of Bukidnon Farmers, Inc. (BFI) on
individual capacity from 1986. It lasted for succeeding years until
the management of the BFI had them recruited into planting corn and
other crops in between the coconut trees the BFI had planted
purposely to maintain its cultivation. But when the BFI close down
after having been sequestered, the farmers have not been given any

At present, each of these farmers had been able to cultivate about
one hectare each. The period by which each of them had been
cultivating the land ranging from fifteen to twenty years
respectively which they planted sugarcane, corn and rice.

However, of the 109 members of farmer, it is learned that sixty-two
of them have not been included in the list as beneficiaries for land
distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Programme
(CARP), a law which provides distribution of land to landless
farmers, which is being implemented by the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR). This is despite them having been included in the list
during a pre-screening in 1996.

They were said to have been excluded from the list for reasons that
they were not in the original list which is not true. The reality
that the farmers have been actually possessing and since cultivating
the land for many years was also ignored. They, however, learned that
the new list of names of the beneficiaries recently issued are persons
who are either not residents of Don Carlos or have never cultivated
the land.

They have also learned that the land these farmers had been
cultivating have in fact already been covered by a Certificate of
Land Ownership Award (CLOA), which means the occupants have already
have the legal right to claim ownership under the CARP. However, they
only came to be aware of this until recently.

To affirm the farmer's claims, on 24 January 2000, the office of the
Barangay Reform Council (BARC) issued a certification which affirms
that the 62 families of farmers are residents of the place and has
since been cultivating the land reform for many yeas.

On 8 October 2008, the farmers filed a petition to have their names
included as beneficiaries with the regional officer of the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Region X, in Cagayan de Oro City. The
certification that the BARC has issued was also included in the
farmer's petition which the farmers filed.

Nine days later, October 17, John Maruhom, DAR regional director,
forwarded the farmers' petition to Norberto R. Amora, provincial
agrarian reform officer in South Bukidnon. The endorsement has had a
notation and called for the attention of Adones Obsioma, chairman of
the Task Force BFI, for him to evaluate and take appropriate action.

On 6 November 2008, the farmers once again followed-up their petition
at Obsioma's office. Though his secretary has already confirmed of
having received the DAR communication but she was not aware of what
action he had taken, if there is any. His secretary also could not
tell exactly when Obsioma would return to his office.

On 7 November 2008, they made another follow up again by going to the
office of the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) but they were
told that Obsioma was on leave.

On 9 December 2008, they wrote a letter to John Maruhom, DAR regional
director, informing him that for several occasions that they made
follow-up with Obsioma's office they have not been able to meet him
and always been told by his secretary he is not around. This prompted
the farmers to proceed to several offices of DAR in Maramag and Don
Carlos municipalities respectively hoping they could meet Obsioma to
do follow-up on their case. However their efforts failed to show
substantial progress.

On 15 December 2008, the farmers were once again told that Obsioma
was in Manila. Thus, at the time this appeal is being written,
Obsioma is yet to take action into concluding the farmer's petition
to have their names included in the list of beneficiaries. Under the
law, only the beneficiaries of the CARP upon DAR's assessment could
have the possibility of owning the land they cultivating under the
land reform.


Please write letters to concerned authorities, in particular the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), requesting for their immediate
intervention into their farmers' plight. The farmers' petition should
be acted upon without delay and that inquiries into the irregularities
in the exclusion of the farmers are beneficiaries; and the inclusion
of the names of the persons who are not actually farmers.

The AHRC has also written letters to the UN Special Rapporteurs on
the right to food and on adequate housing calling for their

To support this appeal, please click here:


Dear ___________,

PHILIPPINES: Sixty two families of farmer face threats of losing land

Affected families: Sixty two families of farmers; residents of San
Roque and San Ramon, Don Carlos, Bukidnon; members of Don Carlos
Bukidnon United Farmers Association, Incorporated (DCBUFAI), an
organization of actual tiller farmers

Name of the responsible government agency: Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR), the government agency responsible for implementation of
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Programme (CARP)

Status of the case: The farmers have already filed a petition with
the DAR to have their names included as the beneficiaries for the
distribution of the land reform. However, the failure of Adones
Obsioma, chairman of the Task Force BFI, to evaluate and take
appropriate action to have the petition resolve promptly aggravated
the farmer's plight of facing the threats of losing the land.

I am writing to express my grave concern about the plight of the
sixty families of farmers mentioned above who faces threats of losing
the land where they have since been cultivating at least for 15 years.

It is extremely disappointing that these farmers, despite them having
actually possessed the land and cultivating them for at least 15
years, their names have not been included in the list of
beneficiaries for land distribution.

Instead, the name of persons who are either not residents of the
place and never actually cultivated the land were included in the
list of beneficiaries which is completely high questionable. I could
not comprehend why the farmers who are supposed to benefit this land
are in fact facing threats of being deprived or lose their land. Not
only did this procedures questionable but also legally incoherent.

The farmer's plight, too, had been aggravated by the government's
failure, in particular chairman of the Task Force BFI, Adones
Obsioma; and the Department of Agrarian Reform's (DAR) office' to
have the farmers' petition to have their names included in the list
of beneficiaries be resolved without delay.

I have learned that since November 6 of this year, the farmers could
either not locate Obsioma at his office for several occasion as they
make follow up for their petition. Also Obsioma also failed to take
immediate action to respond the DAR regional office endorsement in
Cagayan de Oro for him to take action on the petition. It is
disappointing that Obsioma have continuously fails perform duties he
is obliged of doing and is expected from him.

Apart from that, the expansion of a pineapple and banana plantation
in their area has aggravated the scenario that would lose their land
unless the government responsible in dealing with their case takes
prompt action. The lack of concern to have the farmer's plight
resolve promptly as what is being shown by the public officials is

It is disappointing that these farmers have had to endure threats of
losing the land they cultivated which would eventually have a
tremendous effect in their families as they would lose their means of

I fail to comprehend that although details and the evidences in this
case have provided that these families of farmers should have had
benefited this land under CARP; however, in the implementation of
this programme is otherwise. And even though were DAR itself have
identified these farmers as beneficiaries during their initial
screening it fails to upheld these farmers right by failing to act on
their petition promptly.

I therefore urge you to take an effective and adequate action in this

Yours sincerely,



1. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo


Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel

Manila 1005


Fax: +63 2 736 1010

Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80


2. Ms. Leila De Lima


Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue

U.P. Complex, Diliman

Quezon City


Fax: +63 2 929 0102

Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188


3. Datu Nasser C. Pangandaman, Al Hadj


Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)

Eliptical Road, Diliman

Quezon City 1104, Metro Manila


Fax: +63 2 929 3088

Tel: +63 2 929 3460 / 930 0380


4. John M. Maruhom, CESO, IV

Regional Director

Department of Agrarian Reform, Region X

Macaranhan, Carmen

Cagayan de Oro City


Tel: +6388 723727/726 422

Fax: +63 88 858 2674

5. Mr. Norberto R. Amora, MPA

Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II

Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial Office

South Bukidnon


Tel: +63 88 8131 387

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (>



Asian Human Rights Commission
19/F, Go-Up Commercial Building,
998 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) - 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) - 2698-6367

Heroes Season 3 : Villains

Since we had kids, the TV Channels in the house has officially became their territory. So hence the alternative for me to catch up with my favourite series Heroes, I can either wait for the entire Season 3 DVD collection or watch it on YouTube. 

Well I suppose I can do both.

When I first saw the show I thought it was one of best shows about superheroes on TV. These are superheroes minus the dorky and colorful tight-suits-underpants-outside. So in my books they're rather cool. Plus the story-line is excellent and makes me go,"so what's gonna happen next"?

Probably I should also catch up with other shows like The Ghost Whisperer and... hmm... I've forgotten what that other is called! Anyway the show is about a small town with lots of science experiments events and I will look it up once I remember what's show's name.

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