BUKIDNON, Philippines - The long wait is finally over! Manila has granted Sumilao farmers their remaining 13 hectares of the disputed 144-hectare estate in Bukidnon province in the southern Philippines.
The turn-over ceremony came six months after they were awarded the 15 hectares of land outside the disputed 144 hectares estate of the San Miguel Corporation and another 50 hectares within the 144 hectares last April 16.
Napoleon Merida Jr.,chairman and president nof the Panaw Sumilao Multipurpose Cooperative, took the mantle of leadership of the of the embattled Sumilao farmers after the killing of their leader, Ka Rene Peñas on June 5, 2009.
Peñas was on his way home on board a motorcycle from a celebration following the successful passage of the CARPER law when he was ambushed and killed almost midnight along a secluded stretch of a village road in Bukidnon.
The 13 hectares awarded to the farmers will be part of the communal farm of the cooperative. (Bong D. Fabe)