Hacienda Tinang dispute resolved after nearly 3 decades - DAR

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(File photo from March 2022)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — After nearly three decades, farmers in Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac can expect to finally receive their land titles in a few weeks following the resolution of the land dispute, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said on Tuesday.

The case involves a 200-hectare land which the farmers said have long been denied to them.

“We are happy to inform everybody that (with) our formula of multiple shuttle diplomacy and constantly holding dialogues with the stakeholders, finally we were able to resolve the case at meron tayong nailabas na decision na tungkol dito sa [and we were able to release a decision regarding] Hacienda Tinang,” DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III told reporters in a Malacañang briefing.

The official said they plan to start distributing 450 land titles to the rightful owners in two weeks’ time.

According to farmers’ group Makisama-Tinang, it was only in 2016 that Tinang farmers discovered they are the original and legitimate owners of the 200-hectare land as evidenced by a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) title given to them by the DAR in 1995.

The decision, however, was never enforced.

In June last year, the land dispute was thrust into national spotlight following the arrest of nearly a hundred Tinang farmers and land reform advocates who held a “bungkalan” or land cultivation activity as they struggled to claim the land awarded to them.

Police had said the farmers have no proper documentation to prove land ownership.

Several groups and government officials, including former Vice President Leni Robredo, voiced solidarity with those arrested, whom they said were only holding a peaceful event.

Days later, the DAR posted a revalidated list of farmer-beneficiaries showing that Tinang farmers are the lawful owners of the area. The list, however, was challenged by another group of claimants.

But the recent DAR decision is now final and executory as no one filed an appeal after its release, Estrella said.

The DAR chief added that he is set to sign the resolution of some 200 more agrarian reform cases on Wednesday.