81IB, STA. CRUZ, ILOCOS SUR – Army’s 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion facilitated the dialogue between the land owner and tenants of Barangay San Antonio, Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur on 15 March 2019.
During the immersion of the 81IB Community Support Program (CSP) Team at said barangay, they have learned that one of the prevailing issues is the land tenure or land owner and tenant relationship that was exploited by the CPP-NPA Terrorists in the area.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles DZ Castillo PA, Commanding Officer of 81IB, believes that dialogue is the best way to settle disputes than result to unnecessary confrontation. Personnel from the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Ilocos Sur headed by Ms Christianne Suguitan, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II, were invited by the said Army Battalion to mediate in the said activity. After the dialogue, both parties agreed and signed an accord.
Elpidio Mendoza Jr, land owner said, “I am grateful for the effort of the 81IB and the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform for the mediation they made to resolve the issue between us and the tenants. Our meeting proved to be the gateway to a peaceful and productive relationship within our barangay.”
“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa DAR dahil napaliwanagan kami tungkol sa lupa (partihan sa ani 75 – 25 rules and regulation of tenant and land owner). Nagpapasalamat din po kami sa mga kasundaluhan ng 81IB na nakadistino dito sa aming barangay dahil sila ang tumulong sa amin para maayos ang isyu sa lupa ng Hacienda Encarnacion dito sa Brgy San Antonio, Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur”, said Eddie Dabalos, tenant in Brgy San Antonio.
Hon John Rey Javar, Brgy Captain of San Antonio, expressed his sincere gratitude to the troops of the Philippine Army and DAR for conducting the said program in their barangay. “It is the best way to settle the conflict between the tenants together with the land owner. We are thankful because after the program, both parties agreed”, he added.
Meanwhile, Ms Suguitan said, “We appreciate the vigilance of the 81st Infantry Battalion in the implementation of pertinent agrarian and land reform in their area of jurisdiction, Brgy San Antonio, Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur. Their concern in keeping peace among our constituents and our beneficiaries is shown through their efforts to convene a dialogue between land owners and farmers.”
Lt Col Castillo PA said in his statement, “I am happy that both parties manifested their willingness to solve the issue regarding land tenure. I am also thankful to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office for enlightening the residents of their programs. Rest assured that your Philippine Army, particularly the 81IB, will continue to support the programs of our government.
Meanwhile, Commander of 7th Infantry Division, MGEN LENARD T AGUSTIN AFP, said, “We are glad that we (Your Army) were able to help Brgy San Antonio in the resolution of the long time & prevailing problem in their community. Rest assured that we will continue to be working for the people and look out for their welfare.”