Muslim group wants people’s rights respected in CARP distribution

Published August 15, 2018, 5:03 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Mindanaoans appealed to the government to ensure peoples’ rights are respected during the course of identifying possible lands in Mindanao to be covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).


Sultan Monsing Macabando of the Marawi Sultanate League (MSL) has expressed their full support for the land reform program of the government in Southern Philippines.

“We are amenable to give enough space for all, and we are willing to help facilitate land reform program in our communities,” Macabando said.

The group expressed their support during the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) First Stakeholders’ Consultation for the Distribution of Public Lands and Government Reservations to Rightful Claimants held in Mindanao State University, Marawi City.

The consultation, attended by representatives from various government agencies and stakeholders of the CARP, convenes issues, opinions, and suggestions to address concerns that may come up prior and during the conduct of land surveys, which will determine the areas that can be covered under CARP in Mindanao.

“The DAR Secretary’s (John Castriciones) visit and the conduct of the first consultation in Marawi City signify the department’s sincerity and good intentions for the farmers of Mindanao,” Macabando said.

He, however, expressed concern and reminded the government that the people’s rights should also be respected during the identification of possible lands in Mindanao to be covered under the CARP.

The consultation is pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to cover the whole Mindanao as land reform area and to distribute all government lands, including military camps, to the farmer-beneficiaries.

Castriciones said he considered the discussion successful upon hearing all the views, issues and suggestions of all the concerned sectors.
“We have decided to form a committee where all the concerned parties will be involved so that all issues can addressed, deliberated and synthesized,” he said.

The DAR chief admitted that the process will be a bit challenging because of the overlapping claims and the non-establishment of the parameters and bounds of the areas to be covered.

“Once the committee succeeds in identifying the real owners or the real recipients of these lands, we hope that the just resolutions on these issues will lead to peace and development in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi,” Castriciones noted

He expressed optimism that the committee will be able to resolve the issues at hand, considering that all the sectors involved are very cooperative.

He noted that this act already serves as an assurance that they will succeed in this endeavor.

The consultation, spearheaded by DAR was attended by representatives from various government agencies including the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, National Defense, and Social Welfare and Development.

Representatives of the Land Registration Authority, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and various CARP stakeholders in Mindanao also joined the consultation meeting.