RTC orders PNP to rid Madaum of barricades

The Regional Trial Court in Davao City has directed the Philippine National Police to disperse any member of the break-away Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (MARBAI) from barricading the Lapanday farms and from disrupting the operations of another cooperative.

In her order, Branch 14 Judge Jill Rose S. Jaugan-Lo deputized the PNP to fully assist the court, through the sheriff, implementing its order.
According to Lapanday Foods Corporation, copies of the order were issued to Tagum Mayor Allan Rellon, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Department of Agrarian Reform, and the barangay chairman of Madaum on January 3.

In a text message, Atty. Leilani Espejo, LFC legal consultant said the court sheriff deferred the implementation of the order released last December because of the Christmas season.

In a press statement from LFC on Wednesday, the company stated that the RTC reiterated its jurisdiction over the case as it “does not involve any agrarian dispute”.

LFC pointed out the court decision as “another setback” for MARBAI, the breakaway group of agrarian reform beneficiaries led by Mely Yu and her supporters who earlier unlawfully occupied parts of lands awarded to and owned by Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative 1 (HEARBCO-1).

LFC recalled an order dated November 2, 2016 granting the motion of Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) to implement an even earlier court-approved Compromise Agreement between the company and HEARBCO-1, for which the initial Writ of Execution was granted in an order dated November 27, 2015, RTC Judge Jaugan-Lo had also authorized RTC Branch 15 Court Sheriff Robert Medialdea to fully implement the alias writ of execution issued by her court.

In her latest order dated December 28, 2016, the RTC judge also denied the motion for reconsideration of Mely Yu on the order granting the alias writ as well as Yu’s motion to dismiss. The RTC sustained in favor of LFC the grant of the alias writ as it reiterated that it is the regular court, and not DAR, which has jurisdiction over the case. An alias writ is merely a continuation of the earlier writ, or court order but which has not been effectively implemented.

According to LFC, the Alias Writ or second court Order was issued after its earlier order was not successfully implemented because of the violence and disruptive actions committed by Mely Yu and the members of the breakaway group.

“Implementation (of the Court Order) was not accomplished because members (led by Mely Yu) picketed and troubled the operations of LFC and HEARBCO-1 (as they) refused to remove their barricades and were throwing big stones against the (court deputized) dispersing troops,” reported the previous sheriff tasked by the court to execute its earlier writ of execution on December 9, 2015.

RTC Judge Jaugan-Lo, in the same Order, had also deputized the PNP to fully assist the court, through the sheriff, in the execution of the court order dated November 2, 2016.

LFC said, In implementing the Alias Writ, copies of the court’s Order were served yesterday by the Sheriff to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), to the mayor of Tagum City, Alan Rellon, and Barangay chairmen, Leo Uy of Barangay Madaum and Rodito Pielago of Barangay San Isidro, respectively, where the lands of HEARBCO-1 are located.

LFC stressed that the Court’s issuance of the Alias Writ of Execution directed everyone “to respect, honor and comply” with the Court’s directive, and those who shall defy its order shall be held in contempt of court, unlike the cease-and- desist order (CDO) issued by DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano on December 14, 2016, the order was granted solely based on a letter-request from Mely Yu’s group, and subsequently granted without due process.

“HEARBCO-1 and the company were never notified of this action,” said LFC.