All hands on deck

Police have hands full to secure the President, controversial farm
THE Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office will have its hands full today as it will both secure the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte and ensure order at a farm which has become a subject of two controversial orders from different government agencies.

Both events are taking place in Tagum City, the provincial capital.

Speaking at the AFP-PNP press conference held at conference of Davao City Police Office, Sr. Supt. Marcial M. Magistrado IV, provincial police director, said his office decided to deploy about 300 of its members to secure the visit of the President who is scheduled to lead the inauguration of a bridge.

“We already provided all the security requirements and mobilized our PNP personnel who will secure the area (of the visit),” Magistrado said.

Also today, the provincial police office is also deploying 240 of its personnel to secure the scheduled implementation of the Department of Agrarian Reform order to install members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (Marbai) in the farmlands that the co-op and another group, the Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative-1 (Hearbco-1), are contesting.

Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, Police Regional Office XI director, said the law enforcers will supervise the installation as they “always their provide security assistance and our personnel are prepared.”

Marbai members, headed by Mely Yu, broke away from Hearbco-1 after the latter signed a joint venture agreement with the Lapanday Foods Corp (LFC).

Agrarian Secretary Rafael V. Mariano earlier vowed to install the Marbai members today.

In response, the company and Hearbco came out with a press statement denouncing the order of Mariano which they branded as anomalous.

“The latest order of Mariano, which directs the local Philippine National Police (PNP) in Tagum City to assist the DAR Sheriff install the farmers contravenes the 2011 final and executory order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 that upheld the Compromise Agreement between HEARBCO-1 and Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC). The company also maintains that the order is illegal because the lands that MARBAI is contesting already belonged to Hearbco-1,” the company.

In assailing the order, the company said it “does not only violate the law and the Constitution, his order also undermines President Duterte’s earlier pronouncement that as he looks after the ARBs plight, he will also uphold justice and the law.”

It also noted that the law enforcers are in a bind, “with two conflicting requests for police assistance to implement, one coming from the order of the court and the other a directive of the DAR,” it added as it pointed out that Magistrado received on May 16 from Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Court Sheriff Robert M. Medialdea a letter “reiterating his `earlier request for Police assistance in the continuation of the implementation of the Writ of Execution in Civil Case No. 33536-2010’” involving HEARBCO-1 and the company.