Help Us, Bacan Calls Arroyo Family

Hda. Bacan, Brgy. Guintubhan, Isabela, Negros Occ. - Please help us.

This was the appeal yesterday of about 25 beneficiaries and their families to former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo on their ongoing dispute with the family of the late Provincial Board Member Renato Malabor over their acquired landholdings here formerly owned by the Arroyos which were distributed to them through the CARP.

“Niyorito, buligi kami nga mabalik sa amon ang amon duta, halongan na gid ni namon,” their spokesperson, a 38-year old housewife and a mother of six tearfully told reporters.

She recalled that Arroyo, before the landholdings covering 150 hectares were distributed to them told them “to take care of their lands.”

She said once they acquired back their property they will till it and not lease it to anybody anymore.

She narrated that the Arroyo landholdings were distributed to them in 2011, but while they were processing their CLOAs, the late board member then the mayor of Isabela town was “very good to them, giving them rice and foodstuffs.”

So when they got their CLOAs and Malabor asked them to lease him their acquired properties, they could not say no.

“We have no choice because we owe him,” she said.

Of the 68 beneficiaries, about 25 of them leased their properties to Malabor, she said.

The dispute started when the widow of Malabor, Araceli a retired principal took over when Malabor was murdered while leaving the cockpit about 50 meters away from the hacienda early morning of June 29, 2015.

She said they asked to loan additional money from Araceli because they are finding it hard to make ends meet.

But, the latter reportedly refused them and told them that if they want their land back they have to pay her the principal loan of P150,000.00 and 100 percent interest as well as repay her for cultivating their properties.

“She is very oppressive,” the ARBs spokesperson said.

She said they are appealing to Araceli to give them their land as they could borrow money to pay the principal amount, but not the interest and the incurred expenses.

She added that Araceli was “not party to what they agreed with her late husband.”

She said they tried to harvest the standing sugarcane on their properties, however, the son of the late board member, Renato Jr. called the sugar central in the area not to release any truck they requested to haul because he said the property was theirs.

Reporters who went to the area have to pass by two “barricades” the first occupied by laborers of the Malabors and second one that of the beneficiaries.

Still requesting their identities be withheld, the ARBs told reporters they continue to have sleepless nights because of the sightings of armed men in their area.

She also said that they don’t even know that they entered an illegal transaction with the late provincial board member “that is leasing a VOS property which is against the law.”

“We don’t know about that, and he was the mayor then, we cannot say no to him,” she added.

She also said they are appealing to the concerned government agencies to help them with their problem especially the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Isabela police chief Senior Insp. Anthony Grande said the police constantly patrol the area to prevent any violent encounter between the two parties.* ( Eugene Y. Adiong)




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