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Authorities are calling for the registration of motorized bancas for easy monitoring and prevention of the vessels from being used in the perpetration of crimes.

The call arose from the kidnapping incident in the Island Garden City of Samal where three foreigners and a Filipina were abducted at a resort and brought to Sulu onboard a motorized banca.

The banca was said to have been purchased in Samal for P300,000.

Police Regional Office 11 spokesman Supt. Antonio Rivera said they are now checking the information. He however refused to give any details.

Philippine Coast Guard Davao Commodore Joselito dela Cruz meanwhile suggested for the registration of motorized bancas. He said that like carnapped vehicles, boats can also be used in criminalities thus the need to have a system for easy identification and monitoring.

He also called on the local government units to be aggressive in the registration of motorized bancas in their respective AORs.

Commodore dela Cruz said that they are presently conducting seaborne operations with Task Force Samal to secure the resorts in Samal after the September 21 kidnapping.

He said the resort owners themselves are now initiating the implementation of tight security measures in the island to ensure that the kidnapping incident would not happen again.

Dela Cruz said that prior to the kidnapping, resort owners are hardly coordinating with the authorities in the security measures of the island.

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The recently-installed farmers inside the Lapanday-controlled banana plantation in Tagum City, Davao del Norte are now crying harassment from guards allegedly hired by the Lorenzo-owned company whose three facilities were attacked by the New People’s Army rebels last month.

The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) claimed that, over the weekend, Lapanday guards have started fencing some of the 154-hectares area given to them by the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Nante Mantos of UMA said that three blocks of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries’s area consist of about 20 hectares were fenced off by Lapanday guards since Saturday evening.

MARBAI spokesperson Antonio Tuyac said that when they demanded the guards to leave, the guards would say, “You are not the ones who hired us. Our employers Lapanday ordered us to stay here.”

Company guards also brandish their firearms when MARBAI members question their presence.

Last May 18, DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano led the installation of 159 farmers inside the Lapanday-controlled banana plantation in Purok San Isidro, Barangay Madaum.

The 159 farmers were allotted with 145 hectares of land by the government thru the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. But so far only 108 hectares have been made available by Lapanday as the remaining 37 hectares are still being contested.

On the same day of the installation, Lapanday Foods Corporation filed graft charges against Sec. Mariano before the Ombudsman.

Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel Casilao meanwhile belittled the graft case filed by Lapanday Foods Corp.

“It is a desperate measure, as clearly, Lapanday is already isolated, they are seeking an ally with the Office of the Ombudsman, and we urge them, especially Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, not to allow the institution to be used as an instrument for the feudal interest of the Lorenzo family,” Casilao said in a press statement.

In a released statement, Lapanday maintains that it owns the fruits coming from the San Isidro area despite the reentry of former members of the cooperative it is in contract with.

The Company stressed that its contract with the Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (HEARBCO-1) shall continue.

“The reentry of its former members into the farm does not modify the existing agreement where HEARBCO- 1 is obligated to deliver and sell the fruits from the whole plantation to Lapanday,” Lapanday stated.

Lapanday said that it shall take all necessary steps for its contract
with HEARBCO-1 to be strictly enforced and complied with. The company warned that it shall file criminal and civil cases against any person or entity who shall interfere with the agreement.

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More than a hundred people from various militant organizations were reportedly prevented entry by militia men in Talaingod, Davao del Norte earlier today, September 28.

Rius Valle of the Save Our Schools Network said that about 116 people were traveling to Talaingod to join the celebration of the Bwalawan, or the 12th Salugpungan foundation day, when they were blocked by the Alamara paramilitary headed by Datu Lumansad Sibugan at Crossing Dagohoy in Talaingod, Davao del Norte around 6:30 Monday morning.

They were reportedly reprimanded and told to ask permission first from the tribal council in the area. This despite a courtesy letter from the mayor and barangay council which the militant members showed to the paramilitary group.

Valle said the presence of the paramilitary members are threatening thus their decision to return to the Talaingod Municipal Hall for their safety.

“We are currently staying in a church here in sentro Talaingod, after we were barred by the tribal council of Talaingod and some Alamara. 116 individuals, 44 are students of Salugpongan school, are here now waiting for the intervention of the LGU. They said we should have ask permission from the tribal council since they won’t accept our courtesy letter from mayor and barangay council, insisting that we should have an FPIC or free prior informed consent,” said Valle.

Efforts to get the side of the military on the incident proved futile as of this posting. The Eastern Mindanao Command has not yet given any confirmation to the incident.