Dumagat tribesmen

Villar Took Our Land – Tribesmen

We want to link to the original article but we get a 404 now. It seems that many news articles about the protest are gone now. Why is that?

by People’s Journal

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 19:51

DUMAGAT tribesmen who accused Sen. Manny Villar of grabbing their ancestral lands yesterday held a protest rally in front of the Central Bank and the Laurel Mansion in Mandaluyong City that serves as the campaign headquarters of the Nacionalista Party.

After a long march from Norzagaray, Bulacan to Metro Manila, the farmers claimed that they lost their lands due to the manipulative acts of Villar, presidential bet of the NP.

They picketed in front of the Central Bank to protest the continued disregard by concerned government offices especially the Office of the Ombudsman and Central Bank of the cases they filed against Villar and his wife Cynthia.

“Nananawagan kami para sa mabilis at agarang pag-resolba ng Office of the Ombudsman hinggil sa isinampa naming kaso laban kay Sen.Villar, sa kanyang asawa na si Cynthia at iba pa nilang mga kasapakat sa pang-aagaw sa aming mga minanang lupain,” said Valentino Amador, one of the protest leaders.

On Tuesday, the victims marched from the Department of Agrarian Reform to the Office of the Ombudsman where they demanded immediate resolution of the complaints that they filed against Villar.

They then went to the offices of broadcast giants Channel 2 and 7 to solicit their support for their fight. Afterwards, they went to the NP headquarters to denounce Villar.

They decided to continue their protest march to the Central Bank because it is where Villar and his group reportedly mortgaged their 480 hectares land for P1.5 billion.

They said that they will continue to hold a picket rally in front of CB until they receive concrete commitment and support from the agency.

“Lumalabas kasi na walang pakialam ang Central bank sa aming sinapit at ang importante sa kanila ay ang perang kinita nila bunga ng mapanlinlang na transaksyon na pinasok sa kanila ni Villar,” explained Sergio Cruz, a chieftain of the Dumagat tribe.

The Capitol Development Bank which was owned by the Villar couple and Manila Brickworks, Inc. conspired to mortgage the victims’ properties before the CB using spurious papers and documents.

However, Villar and his group however failed to pay the loans, thus, BSP foreclosed the mortgage and finally acquired the lands in a public auction.

At the time the loans were contracted, Villar was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Gina Jarvina, one of the aggrieved landowners, said they learned about the manipulative acts of the Villars when BSP personnel visited their area.

Jarvina and Amador filed plunder and graft complaints against the Villars and their accomplices before the Office of the Ombudsman on Sept. 26, 2008. The cases remain pending.