Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
First Regular Session
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 1131
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES
ARIEL B. CASILAO
CARLOS ISAGANI T. ZARATE, EMMI A. DE JESUS, ANTONIO L. TINIO,
ARLENE D. BROSAS, FRANCE L. CASTRO, AND SARAH JANE I. ELAGO
DIRECTING THE HOUSE COMMITTEE AGRARIAN REFORM TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE PLIGHT OF HACIENDA ROXAS FARMERS STRUGGLING FOR THEIR RIGHTS TO LAND BEING OPPOSED BY ROXAS AND CO., INC. IN NASUGBU, BATANGAS
WHEREAS, Hacienda Roxas sugar estate traverses in six barangays of Nasugbu town in Batangas province: Caylaway, Palico, Banilad, Cogunan, Lumbangan and Reparo, and covers 2,943.7641 hectares of land which is claimed by the heirs of Don Pedro Roxas of Roxas and Co., Inc.;
WHEREAS, based on Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) records Hacienda Roxas is divided in three haciendas: Hacienda Palico, 1023.9 has, Hacienda Banilad, 1050 has. and Hacienda Carmen/Kayway, 869.7 has.
WHEREAS, on October 22, 1993, Hacienda Roxas lands were covered by Republic Act No. 6657 – Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and were awarded to 1,283 farmer-beneficiaries (FBs), becoming the third biggest landholding covered by CARP;
WHEREAS, Damayan ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Roxas – National Federation of Sugar Workers (DAMBA – NFSW), agricultural sugar workers organization in Hacienda Roxas, said that their forefathers toiled said land and planted sugar, since the Spanish colonial times. Until now their descendants sustained the productivity of the land that was planted with sugar, banana, vegetable and rice;
WHEREAS, according to the farmers’ group Katipunan ng Magsasaka sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA – TK), the regional chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), said that aside from Hacienda Roxas, the Roxas family owns 28,000 has. in Nasugbu, 12,000 has. in Calatagan and 6 to 8,000 has. in Lian. This was all acquired during the Spanish era;
WHEREAS, according to members of DAMBA – NFSW, during 1990s, sugar farm workers works three times a week for a daily pay of P150 equivalent to a P1,800 a monthly wage. Then, there were cases of delayed and non-payment of their salaries. They also claimed that they did not received any single benefit from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP);
WHEREAS, after a year since CARP coverage in 1993, farmer-members of DAMBA – NFSW immediately planted rice in the 2-hectare irrigated land but the Roxas firm, then represented by Central Azucarera Don Pedro, Inc. (CADPI), barred them from harvesting their crops;
WHEREAS, as early as 1992, the Roxas firm opposed the coverage of its land for distribution through petitioning for exemption, which was elevated to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court;
WHEREAS, in 1994, DAMBA-NFSW said that the Roxas firm, ordered the destruction of cane sugar cultivated by farmers on a 100-hectare land;
WHEREAS, in December 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of distributing the contested land to the sugar farm workers.
WHEREAS, in 2016, in adherence of the Supreme Court decision, DAR pushed through with the re-validation of qualified beneficiaries for the redistribution of the said land;
WHEREAS, on February 10, 2017, members of DAMBA – NFSW set up camp and collectively cultivated seventeen hectares of land in Hacienda Palico with rice, corn and vegetables;
WHEREAS, in reprisal, the Roxas and Co., Inc., filed a trespassing case against DAMBA – NFSW Chairperson Danilo Humarang and Vice-chairperson Wilfredo Yabut and several “John Does” on April 27, 2017 at the fiscal’s office;
WHEREAS, last May 2017, in several occasions, DAMBA-NFSW members reported that Roxas and Co., Inc. security guards slashed down banana trees planted by farmers in Hacienda Palico;
WHEREAS, on a letter from Batangas Provincial Agrarian Reform Office, signed by OIC – PARO II Merle Manalo addressed to Mr. Pedro E. Roxas, of Roxas and Co., Inc, and Chairman of Roxas Holdings Inc., dated May 25, 2017, stated that:
“This is with reference to the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on December 4, 2009 declaring certain contested landholdings to be within the coverage of RA 6657 including the 51 ha.area in Brgy. Lumbangan, Nasugbu, Batangas, wherein the members on DAMBA-Nasugbu had set camp on the roadside portion there of.
During the consultation-dialogue held at the DAR central office on May 24, 2017, the farmers reported that security guards posted in the area are harassing the farmers and uprooting banana plants that they have planted.
As part of the agreement during the meeting and as instrcuted by our central office officials, we write to you to remind your company of the issued CLOA 6654 covering the contested area and the SC ruling which declares the same within the coverage of CARP. DAR-Batangas is presently undertaking activities to redcument Roxas Landholdings (including the 51-ha.area) in accordance with the SC Orders dated December 17, 1999 and December 4, 2004.
In this regard, we would like to request for a reconsideration of the posting of security guards in the contested area as it is no longer necessary recognizing that it has been clarified by the court that the same is covered under the Agrarian Reform Program.”
WHEREAS, farmer-members of DAMBA – NFSW vow to continue their struggle for their rights to the land amid the strong opposition of the Roxas family, hence, sought the intervention of the authors of this resolution, for the inquiry of the appropriate committee and for congress to aid in effecting much-needed fundamental social reforms in the country;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the House Committees on Agrarian Reform to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the plight of Hacienda Roxas farmers struggling for their rights to land being opposed by Roxas and Co., Inc. in Nasugbu, Batangas.