Agrarian reform beneficiaries from Tagum City under the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) camped out in Mendiola, Manila, a few meters away from Malacañang Palace, since May 1. They travelled to Manila to appeal to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene in the implementation Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano’s order to reinstate the 159 agrarian reform beneficiaries in the 145-hectare banana plantation in San Isidro farm in Tagum City which is controlled by Lapanday Foods Corporation. DAR failed to install the agrarian reform beneficiaries in April due to lack of police assistance to secure the installation against Lapanday’s armed security forces.
On May 9, President Duterte visited the camp out and expressed his support to DAR’s order to reinstate the agrarian reform beneficiaries in the land awarded to them in 1996.
The protesters are bound to go home on May 13 to again attempt the installation of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.