Agrarian reform beneficiary files human rights charges

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Agrarian reform beneficiary files human rights charges

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A former member and now a legitimate agrarian reform beneficiary  has filed a case of human rights violation against the Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Bol-anon (HUMABOL), an activist peasant group in this municipality.

Vilma Reyes, also a barangay kagawad, filed a case of human rights violation to the 24 TTIFA members at the Commission on Human Rights allegedly ordered by Danilo Olayvar and Judith Eronico. The case stemmed from Olayvar’s order to fence off Reyes’ house to prevent her family from entering and going out of the house.

Olayvar, chairman of the HUMABOL-Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP) was pointed by the farmer-members of the Talibon Trinidad Integrated Farmers Association (TTIFA) to be behind  the fencing off of the lot occupied by Kagawad Reyes and her family so the family could no longer enter their home and that HUMABOL will take away the land the Reyeses are occupying.

Reyes said that since she cut her membership with the HUMABOL and TTIFA, she and other farmers were harassed and coerced by depriving them with the continued use of respective houses.

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Reyes narrated that in 2012, her water line to the house was cut off without notice. And then the group threatened families of children who joined the Youth Leadership Summit of the provincial government of Boholthat they will suffer the same fate as that of Reyes if they would continue supporting the government programs.

But Olayvar’s bullying never stopped there. He then warned the community organizers (CO) of the Countryside Development Program-Purok Power Movement (CDP-PPM) that he will trap the CO if they enter Purok 7, the bailiwick of TTIFA. The CO’s visit is to inform the community of the upcoming HEAT IT medical-dental outreach program of the provincial government.

“Olayvar has done so much damage already. He is like a dictator under HUMABOL. He should be stopped. They must be stopped, in violating the rights of the people. They are against the military because they (HUMABOL) know they can no longer violate or harass any ordinary resident in the barangay and the other parts of Bohol where HUMABOL is present. The presence of the Philippine Army in the barangay is not damaging to San Vicente residents but a blessing,” Reyes said.

I call on all farmers in the province not to believe any lies and deceit made by Olayvar and his group, whose leaders live a life of ease and comfort by exacting big portions of the farmers’ hard-earned produce from the farm. Land distribution to the farmers is a program of the government, not of the HUMABOL, Reyes added.

There have been reports over the media that TTIFA-HUMABOL-KMP has taken away and will take away lands of their members, both the abode and the tilled lands, who no longer serve them and does not agree with their “laws” and policies.

It is because of these reports that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) scolded Olayvar and told him that he and his group have no right to take away anybody’s land, especially if the land is not his or of his group. No one, not even the HUMABOL can claim ownership of any agricultural land for it is only the government that can do so. The power lies with the DAR since it is the government agency tasked to implement the guidelines set for land reforms and ownership, said Ricardo Boncales, the municipal agrarian reform officer of this town.

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With this development, members of the left-leaning peasant group TTIFA-HUMABOL who were directed by Olayvar to fence off Reyes’ house, are disgruntled of Olayvar for fear that they may face charges of illegal fencing, harassment, grave threats, malicious mischief and damages. What aggravates their anger on Olayvar is that he (Olayvar) never even helped them in constructing the fence.

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