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PIA Press Release

Pangandaman orders fast track action on cases

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (15 February) -- Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman has ordered his field officials to fast track the resolution of agrarian cases.

He explained that this is to keep pace with the increasing number of disputes filed by landowners whose properties were covered by agrarian reform.

Pangandaman said that DAR records show that while there was a significant increase in the number of agrarian cases decided by the department, there was also a corresponding increase in the number of cases filed by both the farmers and the landowners last year.

Regions IV-A, IV-B, CARAGA and the Cordillera Administrative Region posted a zero balance in agrarian law implementation, mediation, and personnel discipline cases, Pangandaman said, adding that in some regions, there are also receding balances also in court and DAR Adjudication Board.

In Capiz, five judicial cases out of the 9 total case load last year are still pending, DAR Capiz Information Officer Carlette Pretta said, noting that their office's legal officer is still on leave of absence.

On the other hand, there are also 72 quasi-judicial cases in the province that are pending as of December 31,2007, Pretta said, adding that only one mediation case here is pending for settlement last year.

She said that a total of 508 cases lodged before the DAR's Legal Division in Capiz were resolved in 2007.

Meanwhile, Pangandaman has directed his field officials to prioritize the disposition of cases involving bigger landholdings since "there are the more contentious properties."

He emphasized the need to utilize more aggressively the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques to consistently reduce conflicts that could lead to court cases and derail the coverage of the properties. (PIA) [top]

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