The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will start deputizing its lawyers as counsels in litigations involving just compensation for agricultural lands placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Meanwhile, Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III reported a ‘historic accomplishment’ following the grant of land ownership to beneficiaries in Hacienda Tinang in Conception, Tarlac.
Undersecretary for Legal Affair Office Napoleon Galit directed all designated DAR lawyers to observe proper protocol by entering an appearance in their respective areas of assignment when representing the DAR as counsel on matters involving just compensation for lands placed under the government’s agrarian reform program.
Galit issued the order after receiving a favorable response from Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra about his request “to exercise authority and full and direct control” over all lawyers of the DAR in
the handling of just compensation cases before regional trial courts sitting as Special Agrarian Courts.
“The subject representation by the DAR legal personnel is within the prerogative of the Honorable Secretary of the Department,” he cited.
Guevarra pointed out that the DAR lawyers’ functions as requested by Galit “request does not fall within the coverage of an Office of the Solicitor General deputation.”
“The appointment of the good undersecretary as head of the legal sector of the DAR is exclusively within the powers of the Department Secretary, and is, therefore, external to the OSG’s mandate,” he said.
“The appointment of the good undersecretary as head of the legal sector of the DAR is exclusively within the powers of the Department Secretary, and is, therefore, external to the OSG’s mandate,” Guevarra explained.
“I’d like to inform everybody, most especially the public, of historic accomplishments. The President instructed us from the beginning of his term to address all pending agrarian reform cases because the
President definitely subscribes to the adage that justice delayed is justice denied.” Estrella said in a press briefing at Malacañang.
“We are happy to inform everybody that our formula of multiple shuttle diplomacy and constantly holding dialogues with stakeholders finally we were able to resolve the case and we have issued a decision here in Hacienda Tinang. We thank God for this accomplishment because here, we have finally resolved this problem.” he added.
Estrella said conflicts between warring farmer groups in the plantation has been resolved following the awarding of land titles to the beneficiaries.
“This case started less than three decades ago, and this is about the land ownership struggle here in Hacienda Tinang. There have been many incidents here both in the barangay and also in the courts and in fact this is it. It would have been only farmers versus land owner. It would have been easy to resolve, but it became a farmer group versus another famer group.” Estrella noted.
At one time, they wanted DAR, the stakeholders and right then and there because of the order of President Marcos for these cases to be immediately resolved.
Estrella instructed his undersecretary for legal affairs to work on the cases.
“We were able to resolve it finally at the wonderful thing about it after we released the decision on this case, no one filed an appeal, no one protested and as a matter of it is final and executory because no one filed an appeal and protested.” Estrella said
“As a matter of fact, the director already issued or about to issue a writ of execution, and again we will be able to forge peace and prosperity for our farmers.” he added.