Posted on 11:17 PM, February 18, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
BACOLOD CITY -- The Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator has denied for lack of merit the petition to stop the sale of a property to the city government for an urban resettlement program.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Isagani D. Cuello said in an order dated Feb. 12 that a temporary restraining order is issued only during extreme urgency to prevent grave injustice and irreparable injury.
The petition was filed by a group claiming to be potential agrarian reform beneficiaries of Hacienda Maria Arao, which is being sold to the city government for development into a resettlement area.
Mr. Cuello said the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has not issued a notice of coverage of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as certified by Arnulfo Figueroa, acting municipal agrarian reform officer of Bacolod City.
"Considering that no notice of CARP coverage has been issued by the DAR, the right of complainants, as far as the subject properties are concerned, is nothing but imaginary, speculative, if not inchoate, hence, no irreparable damage or injury will result to them," he ruled.
Even if a notice of coverage was issued, Mr. Cuello said there was no assurance that the complainants would be included in the final list of qualified beneficiaries.
"This is because the DAR has still to undertake administrative determination of qualified beneficiaries strictly observing the priorities provided for under Section 22 of RA 6657 [Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law] as amended by Republic Act 9700 [CARP Extension with Reforms]," he said. -- Chrysee G. Samillano