Archive for November, 2012

Bukidnon VG Zubiri wants AusAid road project left by contractor due to NPA extortion finished

Posted in Bukidnon Vice Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. with tags on November 16, 2012 by cha monforte

 

Vice Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr.

 

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Bukidnon Vice Governor Jose Ma.  Zubiri, Jr.  vowed to work to finish the Australian-assisted P19-million road project that the contractor left midway last February due to alleged extortion of the New People’s Army rebels.

Presiding the session of the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan last Wednesday, the vice governor said that it was him who originally signed the contract for the road rehabilitation project for the Kibawe-Natulongan road network , when he was still the governor, and that the project should be finished citing that a good road for the said area could benefit a huge population of at least 15,000 villagers in seven barangays in Kibawe, Bukidnon.

 During the session, the governor inquired Clarissa Rendon, provincial coordinator of the Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF) for Bukidnon, on why the Allado Construction, the project contractor, left and chose not to finish the project worth over P19 million with the provincial government chipping in a fund counterpart of 12 percent or over P2 million for the value-added taxes of  the project. It has  still a fund balance of over P10 million.

 PRMF is a road rehabilitation program funded by Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). It is  a $100-million program running  over five years since September 2009. Bukidnon is one of the five provinces in Mindanao where PMRF is present. The others are Agusan del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Surigao del Norte. PRMF is also present in two provinces in Visayas (Bohol and Guimaras).

Rendon informed the provincial board that there was an allegation on extortion by NPA rebels and the contractor asked for suspension for security reasons. She added the contractor notified PRMF that there  were rebel sightings near the project area.

When the contractor suspended its works last February 2012, Rendon added, it had accomplished 44.49 percent of the project’s scope.

But the vice governor belittled the contractor’s extortion reason saying that he heard that the rebels asked only “small things such as sacks of rice and canned goods.”

Zubiri said there was no burning of heavy equipment owned by the contractor.

“I suspect ginansya na siya (the contractor profited already when they left),” he said.

“I want the project finished, and we’ll get new contractor as there are responsible contractors in our province who can handle and finish this,” he told the provincial board.

Vice Gov. Zubiri, father of former Senator Migz Zubiri, appears governor-imminent after next year’s polls as he has virtually no rivals given the weak and nuisance independent rivals he has. After his third term as governor, he swapped posts with then Vice Governor Alex Calingasan in 2010 polls, and the two swapped posts again, with now Gov. Calingasan sliding down to run for vice governor for next year with weak, easily beatable rivals.  – Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte

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Bukidnon VG Zubiri warns fiscal not to hang around with suspected drug pushers

Posted in jr with tags , on November 15, 2012 by cha monforte

Bukidnon Vice Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr.

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Bukidnon Vice Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. warned a fiscal who was questioned for allegedly releasing two suspected drug pushers within the 36-hour period from their arrest “not to hang around in public with persons suspected to be drug pushers, or I’ll suspect you.”

The vice governor dropped these remarks, apparently a side outburst, while presiding the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s regular session last Wednesday where Valencia City Prosecutor John Magdaraog and agents of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-10 tangled over whether the release of a suspected drug pusher Jaime Olorvida and his companion Sherwin Rivera was within or beyond the 36-hour reglamentary period to make inquest proceeding.

The two suspects were arrested by PDEA agents last September 12 in a buy-bust operation at Purok 7, Hindangon, Valencia City. Two days after they were released by the chief of police of Valencia City following an order from the City Prosecutor’s Office.

The Bukidnon SP invited the City Prosecutor Magdaraog based on the complaint letter of PDEA-10 letter lodged earlier to the SP.

For his part, City Prosecutor Magdaraog wondered why the PDEA haled him in the SP when they had already complained against him and Associate Prosecution Attorney II Rainier Eusebio Aquino before the Regional State Prosecutor.

“It seems the PDEA is engaging in forum shopping,” he said in an interview.

Magdaraog said though that while he agreed with the governor’s advice, he just does not know at all the background of the people whom he talks to in public, adding that “I’m still new in Valencia City”. He became the city prosecutor in 2009.   

Aquino, in his resolution dated September 14, 2012 and approved by Magdaraog, said the complaint filed against the two suspects “was filed beyond the reglamentary period to conduct inquest proceedings.”   

Vice Gov. Zubiri said during the privilege hour of the session when parliamentary rules were suspended that the provincial sanggunian was not fact-finding, adding that, “we are not a court, we just want to know based on PDEA’s complaint to the fiscal.”

The vice governor responded to the warning raised by Board Member Roland Deticio that they might be violating the rule of sub judice as Magdaraog is already facing a complaint filed by the PDEA-10 before the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor.

Deticio raised as PDEA-10 agent Randy Pulmano hurled charges against the prosecutor and his office on the floor.

Agent Pulmano strongly expressed dismay over the prosecutor’s resolution dismissing the PDEA’s inquest bid citing that Magdaraog erred in counting the 36 hours commencing at the time of the suspects’ arrest.  Pulmano said that Olorvida was No. 3 in Bukidnon in PDEA’s classified national information system on suspected drug pushers.  

Responding to Deticio, Vice Gov. Zubiri said that there was nothing in violation saying that the SP just wanted to listen to both sides.

He added they could not judge the case and it would be up to the court to decide the contended issue on 36-hour period.

He said that the illegal drug has become “the biggest menace” in the province, and for this “God willing when I’ll again become the governor, I’ll work on this.”

The vice governor warned drug pushers to stop their trade as an anti-illegal drug movement has been mobilized to stump out the problem “that is destroying our children.”

The vice governor added that besides illegal drugs his province is also reeling from the illegal gambling, which residents said was based on the legal Lotto’s swertres, last-three digit results.

Zubiri, father of former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, is virtually unopposed gubernatorial bet for next year given his token and nuisance independent rivals. He slid down as vice governor in 2010 polls after completing his three terms as governor, swapping posts with former Vice Governor Alex Calingasan. The two swapped posts again for the next year’s polls, with Calingasan also facing easily beatable independent rivals.- Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte

Why not finally divide Daneco into Daneco 1 and Daneco 2?

Posted in daneco-cda, daneco-nea with tags on November 12, 2012 by cha monforte

HASHTAGS BREW

By Cha Monforte

 It’s good to hear that Congressman Anthony del Rosario is always shuttling back and forth, from Manila to his district, vice versa every week. He said during the Kapihan last Thursday that he’s been busy with his projects, one of which is electrification.  The downer side in his news is that the P30-million electrification fund he had accessed from the National Electrification Administration might not be released at all due to the persisting problem in Daneco. The Daneco problem- huhum, it’s breaking up into 2 managements, 2 OIC-GMs, 2 board of directors, 2 sets of employees, 2 collectors, etc  for 1 set of member-consumers- pesters and confuses the public, especially its owners- the dear member-consumers.  

I must confess to my dear readers that writing a news about Daneco these days is such a hard, difficult undertaking. An objective writer, journalist worth his salt, must swear and work to have balance in his presentation of the news. Sometimes though, because journalism is fast even if weekly, one can miss a point or two, or it depends on the newsworthiness of the press statements of the sources he quoted. That’s why a reader may sense that the writer is somehow bias to Daneco-NEA or Daneco-CDA. But that should not be the end of the story. After all, the Daneco problem is a long-running story.

Readers are advised that in this case, the worthiness of the press statements of the sources come as a good, largely unread material that needs ventilation or elucidation for the readers to appreciate how deep and big the Daneco problem is, so that the public, the Daneco member-consumers and  especially our elected public officials can be egged out to exert efforts, at least concern toward solving the Daneco problem ASAP. 

The problem now is that the Daneco problem has apparently turned violent as when men identified with the Daneco-CDA faction stormed last week the Daneco office in IGACOS held by Daneco-NEA faction resulting to the wounding a security guard of the latter and the filing of frustrated murder cases against some 7 suspects. It seems there’s no turning back anymore from this ugly war, this divisive tug-of-war between the Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA factions. While their court battles have been ongoing towards the Supreme Court after that Court of Appeals’ WPI (writ of preliminary injunction) to Daneco-CDA and subsequently, the suspension of CDA registration, the Daneco-CDA faction is still much on the hold and control of Daneco’s Tagum office at Tipaz as of press time.  

This quarter sees that it doesn’t mean that this Daneco problem can’t be solved out of the court. That is,  if parties would only be flexible than be legally combatant and especially if Daneco-CDA faction wouldn’t be so filibustering legal procedures even a sheriff’s execution of court order.  But both protagonists would seem to be legally obsessed! If that’s the case we can’t see an out-of-court settlement in the near horizon.

But this doesn’t mean that Malacanang can’t intervene even while parties are in court. I’ve read a case of an electric cooperative questioning the intervention of Malacanang to CDA’s favorable action to an EC (I just lose the thread in the internet and I’m in a hurry). To make the story short, they reached the Supreme Court, and the SC ruled that Malacanang can’t unmake what the CDA made for an EC. OMG, the Daneco-CDA can replicate this if in case new DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla comes up with a presidential directive to intervene and solve the Daneco problem, favoring Daneco-NEA, of course since he’s a DOE sec. The Daneco-CDA faction can buy more time, and hold at bay Daneco’s Tipaz office. But since the CDA had suspended Daneco’s CDA registration, their time bought can only be short (but who knows they can lengthen their stay given that they have the Tipaz collections to carry on a protracted legal fight).

I have this unsolicited proposal and this might be the shortest route towards solving the Daneco problem. Why not divide Daneco into 2 entities? Daneco 1 for Comval areas for the Daneco-NEA, and Daneco 2 for Davao del Norte areas for Daneco-CDA? The Daneco in IGACOS would be better sold to Aboitiz/Davao Light and the proceeds be would divided equally or proportionately between Daneco 1 and Daneco 1. How’s this proposal?

#Hash  & Tags: I forgot that the name of my Visayan column in tabloids is Tsa Pwera, so I’m having a new column name that is trendy…. Tagum City Councilor and vice mayoral aspirant Boyet Gementiza is having  jaded eye these days. Maybe  Councilor Mylene Baura is still on her topnotch ratings. But be wary that people who are already on the top have nowhere to go but go down…. Heard that Comval Boardmember Kristine Mae Caballero was penalized, politically. After his father, ex Gov. Joecab filed his CoC for boardmember for next year’s polls, her legislative staffers were not reappointed by outgoing Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya  for “loss of confidence”.  (For comments, email: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

Electrification advisory councils ratify roadmap, strat plan of 2 electric coops in Bukidnon

Posted in Uncategorized on November 11, 2012 by cha monforte

CMU


By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Some 263 Multi-Sectoral Electrification Advisory Councils (MSEACs) of the two electric cooperatives servicing the Bukidnon province ratified Saturday the unified strategic plan and roadmap to ensure a reliable and adequate power supply to meet for their increasing member-consumers at least for the next ten years.
The MSEACs of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative,Inc. (Fibeco) and of Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco) met for their 3rd Congress at the Farmers Training Center inside the campus of Central Mindanao University at Musuan, Bukidnon.
The congress convenor was the Bukidnon Electric Cooperative Foundation, Inc. , the foundation arm of both Fibeco and Buseco.
Fibeco serves 12 municipalities and Valencia City in the southern part of Bukidnon. Buseco, on the other hand, serves eight municipalities and Malaybalay City in the northern part of the province.
MSEACs, formerly the District Electrification Committees, are deemed partners of electric cooperatives (EC), tapped to be consulted on power rates review, and for participation in important activities of the ECs such as the campaign for improvement of collection and for non-pilferage of electricity, policy recommendation, right-of-way acquisition, membership meetings, information and education program and other service-oriented activities.
Buseco manager Juancho Chiong presented the strategic plan and road map which were jointly drawn up by the management officers and board of directors of the two electric cooperatives February this year to respond to the challenge of ensuring the power supply of the province, while the power crisis in Mindanao areas had been projected to hit in the coming years.
He said that the strategic plan encompasses wide-ranging areas and action plans that include forest rehabilitation, dredging of Pulangi river, contracting of small power sources such as hydropower, diesel-fed and biomass sources identified to be at least a dozen in the Bukidnon, and the sale-for-sale sharing of excess supply of Fibeco to Buseco.
The plan also includes actions plans for partnership and networking with other government agencies and local government units, educational, information dissemination activities, intensification of capability-building activities and trainings.
In the same congress, Fibeco CorPlan manager Japhet Nermal bared that since last year Fibeco has been the only EC in Mindanao that did not experience rotational brownout due to its excess power supply at 30 mega watts.
He said that Fibeco has well performed last year with its A+ rating, the highest in the performance standard set by the National Electrification Administration.
“Buseco is also A+ for five years in a row,” said Dieter Hoff Arellano, the CorPlan manager of Buseco.
The congress also resulted to the formation of the League of MSEACs with the election of its officers.
Last June during the Bukidnon Power Summit, Fibeco and Buseco strongly voiced opposition to the planned privatization of the Agus and Pulangi hydropower complexes, and particularly cited that the Pulangui IV at Kiuntod, Maramag, Bukidnon just needed rehabilitation as its supposed power generating capacity of 255 mega watts had been cut off by 50 percent power due to siltation. –Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte

Cong. AGR clueless on DANECO’s goings on

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 8, 2012 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Cong. Anthony “AGR” del Rosario

Davao del Norte Representative Anthony del Rosario (District 1) confided that he does not really know what is going on in the presently division-wracked Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) that serves electricity to his legislative district.

Speaking as guest of Kapihan sa Kapitolyo Thursday, Nov. 8, at the provincial Capitol in Tagum City, Congressman Del Rosario said that he really does not know that the problem in Daneco remains unsolved.

He said he thought that the problem was solved already when he was recently informed that the rural electrification fund worth P30 million he requested from the Dept. of Energy would already be released.

The congressman bared that about one month and half ago he met former DOE Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to follow up his fund request, but the latter told him that the fund could not be released due to the problem in Daneco.

Almendras was replaced last Nov. 4 by resigned Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla, who until press time has yet to intervene in Daneco’s state of affairs. Almendras was reassigned as secretary to the Cabinet.

Cong. Del Rosario said that knowing such DOE’s fund release advice he was assuming that the problem in Daneco was already through, but he added that it was only Thursday upon reading local newspapers that he knew that the problem still persists.

The congressman though said that while he knew that the National Electrification Administration (NEA) “is authorized” to make collections of power bill payments, “I really don’t know with regards (to the) side of the CDA (Cooperative Development Authority)”.

“I guess the basic question really here is whether or not the CDA is authorized?… If it’s authorized, then there’s nothing wrong with it. If not, there’s a problem. I can’t give an answer. I’m not with CDA,” the congressman said.

“It is the CDA head office which could answer on this,”he said, adding that the Daneco problem has to be ironed out and that there is a need to talk to different agencies to solve it.

For over six months now, Daneco has been reeling from a divisive tug-of-war between two contending groups of officials labeled as “Daneco-NEA” and “Daneco-CDA” resulting to the formation of two managements and two sets of board of directors competing to collect power bill obligations from same member-consumers.

Daneco-NEA group controls yet the Daneco’s main office in Montevista, Compostela Valley, while the Daneco-CDA group is holding at bay Daneco’s Tagum office at Tipaz, Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Last April, NEA ordered the dismissal of 10 Daneco officials after finding them guilty in an administrative charge filed by a group of member-consumers while the officials were about to launch series of referendum to convert Daneco into stock cooperative under CDA.

The NEA-sacked officials, already collectively labeled as Daneco-CDA group, engaged with NEA in court battles, and openly defied court orders as they nixed NEA’s power to supervise Daneco claiming that they were already under CDA when they had it registered already with CDA last May 21,2012. The CDA however suspended Daneco’s CDA registration last September 28, but the group continued and made a special general assembly last Oct. 21, still rooting as stock cooperative.

As this developed, the row between two groups has turned bloody and violent when men belonging to Daneco-CDA group reportedly stormed the Daneco office manned by Daneco-NEA group in the Island Garden City of Samal dawn last Monday.

IGACOS police said that seven persons were arrested after they tried to takeover the Daneco office and wounded its guard when suspects fired guns after they suddenly arrived at the office vicinity in several vehicles including motorcycles.

Suspects led by Gil Florenosos, former chief of the Daneco-Samal office, denied the charges, saying they were repairing a transformer when they were arrested and slapped with frustrated murder charges. The seven workers have posted bail.

Last Oct. 22 the Daneco-NEA group also sent a letter to the Tagum City government advising the latter to no longer pay its monthly power obligations to Daneco-CDA office at Tipaz and any of its collection centers to avoid disconnection of electric service.

The letter was signed by Benedicto Ongking, OIC-general manager, Atty. Jeorge Rapista, legal counsel of the Daneco-NEA group, and NEA project supervisor Evangelito Estaca.

Reports said that the city government has been paying at least P1.7 million monthly for its power obligations to Daneco Tagum office and not to Apokon and Mirafuentes substations where the Daneco-NEA group temporarily hold office.

But Mayor Rey T. Uy told reporters that the city government would continue paying at the Tipaz office, which he said is the registered business office of Daneco. He questioned Daneco-NEA’s threat of disconnection saying that “what is important is there’s payment, either NEA or CDA, as long as there’s receipt.”

The Daneco-NEA group also informed the public to pay not to Daneco-CDA office or face disconnection.

But Daneco-CDA legal counsel Glenn Blair Carnicer downplayed the threat saying that the Daneco-NEA group has no authority to disconnect. He vowed to give legal assistance to sue those who would disconnect the power service of those who paid to Daneco-CDA.

The Daneco-NEA group claimed that it is they who have been paying Daneco’s power obligations to PSALM, NGCP and the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine and not the Daneco-CDA. – Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte

CMU on status quo with “land-squatting” 800 farmers since the 80s

Posted in Central Mindanao University, Ph.D. with tags , on November 6, 2012 by cha monforte

by Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

The administration of the Central Mindanao University in Musuan, Bukidnon is still taking an “indefinite status quo” position to the decade-old land occupation of a group of farmers who won in the lower level but lost at the Supreme Court in their bid to be the agrarian reform beneficiaries of the university.

Central Mindanao University

CMU vice president for operation Dr. Ricardo Villar said, in an interview, that per recent resolution of the CMU Board of Regents there is still “status quo or no movement” being taken by the university administration in dealing with the “land squatting” problem continually posed by Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus Farmers’ Association (BTL).

“The status quo would include the IP (indigenous people),” he added.

Asked if there was timeframe set by the Board, Dr. Villar said it would be “indefinite”.

But he affirmed that during this time the BTL farmers could “still plant and harvest” in the disputed land they have been occupying and contesting since the 80s .

Reports said that BTL has 800 families as members. They stake over some 400 hectares inside CMU’s land area of 3,080 hectares in Maramag and Sinalayan, Valencia, Bukidnon province. Those BTL-occupied lands are said to be mostly fully developed now as irrigated rice lands.

Moreover, some 670 hectares of CMU’s land area were subject of an ancestral domain claim by Manobos, which CMU has been legally and physically blocking since 2003 after the past Arroyo administration approved an area segregation for the tribe.

HOSTILITIES   

The administration’s status-quo position followed after the hostilities broke up June 3 last year when more than 50 heavily armed university guards and elements of the paramilitary Civilian Auxiliary Geographical Forces Unit partially evicted the farmers from their occupied land.

Reports said that the guards aided by two tractors allegedly destroyed and confiscated hand tools of the farmers. Some of the guards also fired their guns to the air and blocked irrigation canals leading to the farms.

In response, BTL farmers supported by allied women’s groups put up a protest camp in front of the university main gate to denounce the alleged coercive tactics employed by the CMU administration.

On June 14, 2011, protestors claimed that the university guards assaulted their picket line. The guards who were reportedly provoked made warning shots on the ground resulting to wounding of three farmers during the melee.

With the violent incident, the supposed exemption to agrarian reform law in the case of an educational institution as a landowner had apparently become a burning issue of land reform failure shouted by various leftist organizations. 

The BTL earlier charged that CMU preferred to have its vast lands leased to multinational corporations wanting to invest into pineapple and banana plantations.  

The BTL farmers’ claim to be Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiaries under the Cory Aquino government originated in a complaint filed in 1987 by a group of original complainants calling themselves as the Bukidnon Free Farmers and Agricultural Laborers Organization (Buffalo) before the Dept. Agrarian Reform for declaration of status as tenants under the CARP.

Buffalo leaders were identified to be CMU employees and others as hired workers and laborers in the lowland rice project called “Kilusang Sariling Sikap Program”, a livelihood project launched in 1984 that sought to augment the income of CMU employees. They, in seldas of five members each, were allocated 4 to 5 hectares of land for the lowland rice project.

RULINGS

On Sept. 4, 1989 the Dept. of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) ordered the segregation of 400 hectares of suitable, compact and contiguous portions of the CMU land and their inclusion in the CARP for distribution to qualified beneficiaries. It however declared private respondents Obrique, et al as “not tenants” and “cannot therefore be beneficiaries under the CARP.”

CMU questioned DARAB’s decision filing petition for review on certiorari. On August 20, 1990 the CA affirmed the decision of the DARAB. CMU subsequently appealed it to the Supreme Court for review. While the case was pending, in 1991, DARAB issued certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) to the farmers.

On October 22, 1992 the Supreme Court overturned the decisions of the DARAB and the Court of Appeals finding the two bodies to have committed grave abuse of discretion. It ruled that CMU’s land is not covered by the CARP.

The Supreme Court noted that President Garcia issued Proclamation No. 476, withdrawing from sale or settlement and reserving for the Mindanao Agricultural College (forerunner of the CMU) a land reservation of 3,080 hectares as its future campus. “It was set up in Bukidnon, in the hinterlands of Mindanao, in order that it can have enough resources and wide open spaces to grow as an agricultural educational institution, to develop and train future farmers of Mindanao and help attract settlers to that part of the country.”

“To our mind, the taking of the CMU land which had been segregated for educational purposes for distribution to yet uncertain beneficiaries is a gross misinterpretation of the authority and jurisdiction granted by law to the DARAB,” stated the Supreme Court ruling.

However, following the Supreme Court’s decision, the farmers’ groups had been complaining over alleged harassments intermittently made by the university guards in trying to evict them from the land, even as six various CMU administrations apparently met the issue on how to evict the farmers with their changed composition as a recurring big headache.

Since 1997 CMU started to make forcible actions against BTL by securing writs of demolition. But BTL had been resistant. In 1999, BTL proposed for a 25-year lease of the land renewable for another 25 years, which was disapproved by the CMU Board.

In year 2002, the BTL through the help of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with CMU which allowed them to lease the designated land for five years for a rent of P4,000 per year per hectare of irrigated land.

During the five years, the provincial government should seek a proper relocation site for the farmers. Until then, the farmers should stay in CMU. In the year 2007, the MOA expired. CMU ordered the farmers to vacate for relocation in nearby Talakag town. The farmers refused, citing that the sites are either non-agricultural lands or locations with problems on peace and order, even as then Congressman Juan Miguel Zubiri intervened and offered to give financial assistance for relocation at P40,000 for each family.

When the 5-year lease agreement expired, BTL was said to be still obligated to CMU of P2.2 million in land rental arrears which accordingly remained unsettled at present.

CMU PROPOSAL

In CMUs website, the CMU Board of Regents posted an announcement, “So the

public will know” and said that “as early as 1992, the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of CMU land holdings occupied by the squatters, particularly the BTL.”

After tracing the history of the conflict, the Board’s proposal was announced that commencing on June 1, 2011 a maximum of three (3) years would be given to original farmer-beneficiaries less those who availed the P40,000 cash option to cultivate no more than one (1) hectare per household with a rental fee of one (1) peso per hectare per year.

After that they would have to leave the land as the CMU Board stressed that relocation is not their obligation. CMU further offered to give free tuition fee for the qualified children of BTL.

“The human rights of the informal settlers to eke out a living by continually occupying portion of the university’s land are deemed incompatible with the human rights of this institution and the thousands of students who wish to avail of the quality education at affordable cost that CMU is offering,” said the Board said in the CMU website.
The proposal came up already under the present administration headed by CMU president Dr. Ma. Luisa Soliven. She became the 8th CMU university president on December 15, 2010.
As it appears that CMU’s status-quo position would wind up yet on June 2014, sources who talked on the condition of anonymity, said that at press time “the BTL, which not completely evicted last year as there were member-families who remained in the area, has gained strength, with those evicted re-entering the area.”

“The problem can’t be immediately solved as influential politicians are intervening and are behind the BTL. How then can CMU’s lands be recovered and protected?” sources added. – Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte