After nine years of fighting for their land, more than 700 Palawan farmers have finally received their Certificate of Land Ownership (CLOA) which proves their claims against fellow farmers who allegedly occupied the properties illegally, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) announced Friday, October 1.
Receiving CLOAs meant the end of land struggle for 757 farmers of Barangay Decalachao in Coron as most of them had not been able to occupy their respective agricultural lands—sizing up to one hectare—although these were already awarded to them in 2012.
Over the past years, the DAR said that the real landowners have repeatedly denied the accusations of the illegal occupants that they were intruders if only to take back their properties.
The parcels of land were actually included under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) which means that they should already be disyributed to their rightful owners.
The nearly decade-long dispute all culminated to the awarding ceremony in Barangay Decalachao which was done in the presence of military and police as DAR said that bringing the services of the uniformed personnel was necessary “to help ensure peace and order in the course of implementation of the writ of installation.”
DAR said it would construct a detachment in the landholdings to be manned by the police and the military for up to six months to ensure that the new beneficiaries would enjoy “peacefully” their right of ownership.
DAR added that it would seek legal assistance to hold the intruders accountable and make them pay the moral damages suffered by the land’s actual owners.