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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Task Force ELCAC settles CMU-BTL land conflict

MARAMAG, Bukidnon (PIA)—The Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) of Maramag town immediately resolved an issue that might rekindle the more than three decades of conflict between Central Mindanao University (CMU) and Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) during a peace dialogue at the 88th Infantry Battalion (88IB) Headquarters in Maramag Bukidnon, July 12. 

The boundary conflict stemmed from the so-called communal area which both parties claimed. The issue, however, was directly raised to Maramag local government unit (LGU).

With no delay, Maramag town mayor Atty. Jose Joel Doromal who chairs the municipal TF-ELCAC convened each member-agency to immediately act on the issue.

With the CMU and BTL on the subject, University President Dr. Jesus Antonio Derije and BTL chairman Winnie Loable represented both conflicting parties.

After hours of discussion in the dialogue presided by MTF-ELCAC chairman Hon. Jose Joel Doromal, both parties settled the dispute peacefully. 

The dialogue deliberated on the details of land boundaries with the guidelines set by Maramag LGU, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), barangay Dologon local government, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and other TF-ELCAC members.

Maramag mayor Atty. Jose Joel Doromal heads the municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) in the dialogue to settle the land boundary conflict between Central Mindanao University (CMU) and Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL). (CMO, 88IB, 4ID, PA)

Colonel Ferdinand Barandon, Commander of 403rd Brigade and Lt. Col. Franklin Fabic of 88IB were also present in the dialogue as contributors to the success of the Inter-Local Agency Partnership Agreement (ILAPA).

The ILAPA between CMU, local government agencies, and the Army’s 524 ECB and 52nd Engineering Brigade to embark on projects for communities influenced and threatened by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) was formalized last May 15.

It can be recalled that on 17 February 2020, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by CMU and BTL to finally end the more than three-decade-old conflict.

As agreed, CMU will focus on facilitating the implementation of pro-people policies and guidelines following the provisions in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, within the bounds of their core and functions. They (CMU) will help facilitate the cooperation and partnership with the provincial government of Bukidnon, Maramag and Valencia City LGUs, Department of Agriculture, and AFP in sourcing assistance to help alleviate the life of informal settlers.

The MOA also provided that additional scholarship privileges are granted to the qualified BTL children, while they (BTL) voluntarily share to CMU four hundred (400) sacks of grains at 50 kilos each in every harvest to be used by CMU for its institutional development such as promotion of strong partnership with law enforcers, LGUs, and other groups/agencies that could help them in peace and development advocacy efforts.

Finally, Mayor Doromal said “I am pleased that both parties resorted to a peaceful dialogue through our MTF-ELCAC to immediately address a reemerging issue before it escalates. This will lead us to another journey to a peaceful community that is good for our children. I thanked both parties for their willingness that this issue be settled.”

Meanwhile, Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon, 403rd Bde commander said, “Kami sa Armed Forces malipayon nga isa kami sa mga nahimong dalan aron nga ma-resolba ang usa ka panagbangi ni CMU ug BTL. Gikalipay pud namo ang pag-uliay sa ilang maayong kabobut-on human sa 33 years nga walay pagsinabtanay. Ug karon nakita na namo ang pagka-mugna sa malungtaron ug mabungahon nga komunidad dinhi sa inyong lugar.”

Lt Col. Franklin F. Fabic, 88IB commanding officer, likewise, conveyed his gratitude to Maramag TF-ELCAC for the immediate action.

“I thank everyone here for the resolution of issues that might be exploited again by communist terrorist groups to radicalize peace-loving citizens of the municipality. This convergence of efforts between government agencies and stakeholders will ensure durable peace, resiliency, and sustainable development for cleared communities that will give a peaceful and brighter future for our younger generations,” Fabic said. (CMO, 88IB, 4ID, PA/PIA Bukidnon)

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