Kampuhan for land and justice:

Peasants of Buffalo, Tamaraw and Limus in Bukidnon

fight for the land they have tilled for years

Maramag and Valencia, Bukidnon


 May 25, 2011


■   Update as of May 31


■   Operation Tikad: Peasant women assert right to life, insist on tilling lands






Peasants of Buffalo, Tamaraw and Limus in the towns of Maramag and Valencia in the province of Bukidnon continue to fight for their right to the lands they tilled since the 80’s. The communities have a 400 hectare land planted with rice. This is the area where the Central Mindanao University administration plans to take from the peasants, which would make more than 800 families search for another area as a source of food and sustenance.



Photos courtesy of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas - Amihanang Mindanao


Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

Amihanang Mindanao

MINBISCON Bldg., IFI Compund, Bulua

9000 Cagayan de Oro City

Tel no.: (088) 850-5854

Mobile no.: 0905-2088-269



Mayo 25, 2011




Long has it been since the peasants have struggled for a just and genuine land reform. In the backdrop plunder and of thievery imposed upon them by the few landed elites and their foreign partners institutionalized by a good-for-nothing Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The peasants have always been marginalized.


On that note, the inhabitants of Buffalo, Tamaraw and Limus in the towns of Maramag, Valencia in the province of Bukidnon continue to fight for their rights to the lands they tilled since the 80’s. The communities have a 400 hectare land planted monotonously with rice. This is the area where the CMU administration plans to take from the peasants, which would make more than 800 families search for another area as a source of food and sustenance.


One of the reasons why the vast and fertile lands of BTL is in danger of being taken over is that the CMU administration plans to expand its area to make way for new piggeries, poultry houses and rice fields. But the proposed project is unjustified; the BTL area is too big an area for such. On hindsight, another key actor is involved in the land-grabbing fiasco; Davao Ventures Corporation (DAVCO) intends to utilize the BTL area to expand their pineapple and banana plantations.


To facilitate the aforementioned reasons, by virtue of BOR resolution No. 81, on march 28, 2011 the CMU land problem task force. The said task force is to be held responsible to any issue pertaining to the “Informal Settlers” living in areas hit by the proposed expansion. After two failed meetings, (May 2 and 18, 2011), the farmer’s aspirations of finally owning the land went crashing down. The Administration mounted a lot of alibis during the course of discussions and has even strengthened their drive to push through with their proposal.


The two camps failed to reach an agreement therefore the negotiations were called to a halt. The administration wants the peasants to till the land for only the next three years with rental of Php1.00 per hectare. After the expiration of the contracted three years the peasants would vacate the area without the promise of a decent relocation site. The peasants would be required to sign individual contracts, which are not renewable every year. According to the administration, their proposition would be of great help to the farmers since they would be able to save for the upcoming demolition. The peasant’s however, rejected the proposition and that they are willing to pay 3,000-5,000 as long as they would have to continue tilling the land. And out of administration’s desperation, it baited free tuition for the farmer’s children hoping that they would abandon their cause.


In addition, the administration has initially calculated the annual income per hectare amounting to Php 40,000/cropping. This is a big question for the farmers for their income is dependent on several reasons. 


The unjustified use of force to quell the resistance of the farmers is also a big issue. University guards are harassing the farmers.


          In protest, the farmers staged a “Kampuhan sa Mag-uuma” of BTL infront of the CMU campus along with other people’s organization from other municipalities of Bukidnon. With the purpose of registering to the Administration that they will not stop in their fight, and that the trickery has to stop and that the land should be awarded to them. Running simultaneously with the Kampuhan, is the Operasyon Tikad, where some of the peasants are tilling the land to show to the CMU administration that they are the rightful owners of the land. In fact, as the statement is being written the peasants are being harassed and that their farm equipments are being confiscated. They were even threatened that if they would not stop the CMU will request Military assistance to quell them.


Despite all the harassments the organizations stand firm and united. 


Fight for land, honour and justice!


For reference:

Richard Colao

Secretary General, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

Northern Mindanao Region (KMP-NMR)




The Final CMU Proposal

Particulars CMU Proposal BTL Proposal

Beneficiaries Original BTL members less those who availed the 40.000 Original BTL members less those who availed of the 40.000 but needs validation

Number of hectares 1 hectare/beneficiary Identified number of hectares per group: BUFFALO - 295; TAMARAW - 57; and LIMUS - 35

Type of Contract Individual Contract BTL contract (group not individual)

Rental Php 1.OO/hectare/year Php 5.000 - Php 6.000/hectare/year

Term 2 years straight non-extendable contract w/o relocation 4 year non-extendable contract with relocation by Third Party

Otherc Benefits Free Tuition for BTL children


CMU Land Problem Task Force Sub-Committee chaired by LGU rep., Hon. Alicia P. Resus
Task Force Committee Chair - Dr. Ricardo G. Villar
CMU ADCO Parallel Committee Task Force on Land Problem - Chair Dr. Jupiter V. Casas

1ST CMU Land Problem Task Force Meeting
Date: May 2, 2011

Functions of Task Force - BOR Reso. No. 81, result of the CMU BOR meeting on March 28, 2011 at CHED
- study the issues and concerns relative to the CMU land problem.
- submit a comprehensive report to the Board
- informal settlers shall not be allowed to till the land of the University until the Board shall have acted on the report of the Task Force.

Mayor Resus - task force be guided by the ultimate goal that is to come up with a win-win solution, beneficial to both parties - informal settlers and CMU. CMU should not hesitate as the farmers can not outsmart CMU.


The two parties failed to reach a unified agreement thus the Chair requested that both parties further study the issues on type of contract and contract term. In a series of meetings of the CMU Administrative Council (ADCO) Parallel Committee, the final conditions of the CMU for the unified agreement which shall resolve the land problem of the Academic Paradise of the South are stipulated below:
1. To allow the BTL group of farmers to till further a portion of the CMU titled lands (lowland area), for a maximum term of 3 years to commence on June 2011 on an individual contract (between the CMU and the individual farmer-beneficiaries only and based on the validated list of the original memebers of the BTL from their previous 5-year non-extendable lease agreement with the University taht expired in March 2007) to cultivate an area of no more 1 hectare per farmer-beneficiary with a land rental fee of only p1 per hectare per year.

2. The ensuing agreement (MOA/contract) between the CMU and the individual farmer-beneficiaries should not be tied-up in any way to the eminent relocation and resettlement of the farmer-beneficiaries after the expiration of the same. The farmer-beneficiaries must vacate their occupied/leased area upon the expiration of their individual contracts.

3. CMU reserves the right to pursue a legal action if the farmer-beneficiaries will refuse to vacate occupied/leased area after the expiration of the agreement.

4. Tripartite agreement to include relocation of said farmer beneficiaries is a no-no. A separate agreement for the relocation of the said farmer beneficiaries between the BTL and their benefactors should only be between and among them. The CMU and the Task Force memebers should act only as a witness to the relocation agreemnet. In this way, CMU as well as the Task Force members could be in a better position to help facilitate and follow-up the eventual relocation and resettlement of the farmer- beneficiaries.



The Proposal is anchored on the ff.

1. To provide closure to the continued stay of informal settlers (BTL farmers and IP settlers) from the CMU titled lands despite the two Supreme Court decisions in favor of the University as well as the expiration of the previous agreements, writtern or verbal. The future of the University and its development thrusts will be in jeopardy if the conflict is further allowed to escalate. Development can only flourish in a peaceful environment;

2. To be meaningful and workable, the closure of the prevailing conflict should fall within the tenure of office of an incumbent President of CMU (Dr. ML R. Soliven who was appoineted last December 2010 for a 4 year term). Hence, the proposal's maximum period of three years which will start on June 2011 for the individual contracts is within the incubency of Dr. Soliven and thus give her the upper hand to pursue the termination of the conflict and thus achieve a lasting peace to the problem;

3. For the BTL farmers, IP settlers and other informal settlers to respect the rule of law including the Supreme Court decisions. Due respect to the rights and prerogatives of the University on how to develop its land resources in support of its educational mandate is hereby prayed and invoked. The University should be able to pursue developments in the other land areas not covered by a lease agreement;

4. The proposal of the University is too humane and generous that the CMU is willing to forego its potential income from the leased area. The University is only tasking a rental fee of only P1 per hectare per year. This will enable the farmer-beneficiaries to save for their eventual relocation and resettlement after the expiration of their individual contracts, who will be earning as much P40.000/ha/cropping or 240,000/ha or a total of 61.2M for the whole area in 3 years;

5. Relocation is not within the mandate of the university. Hence, it is not included in the CMU proposal. Although, the university understands the plight of the informal settlers, however, it does not have the resources to attend to their eventual relocation and resettlement. Other government agencies and NGO's as well as some politicians may take the cudgel of the relocating them upon their group's request for such assistance but not the CMU. The University may provide assistance only in the transport of theri demolished dwellings to theri relocation site;

6. Tripartite agreement to include the eventual relocation of the farmer-beneficiaries is also not included in the proposal for reasons as stated. Furthermore, the University will be saddled with the problem of enforcing this particualr provision of the agreement of which it has no control. Perhaps and maybe it could only be included if the benefactors has a predetermined, ready and acceptable relocation area for and by the farmer-beneficiaries; and

7. The University reserves the right to invoke its legal rights if the farmer-benficiaries will refuse to vacate their occupied/leased area - if no agreement is within reach or after the expiration of any agreement. Eviction or ejection of illegal occupants is the last legal refuge that the university may seek from the courts of law.

▼  Harassment in Limus   ▼
UPDATE as of May 31


Northern Mindanao
MINBISCON Bldg., IFI Compund, Bulua
9000 Cagayan de Oro City
Tel no.: (088) 850-5854
Mobile no.: 0905-2088-269

Press Release
Mayo 31, 2011

Condemn the further harassments done to the BTL farmers.

The CMU administration continues to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the call of the BTL farmers. The academic institution is determined to set aside humanitarian reasons and harass the farmers out of their struggle.

May 28, 2011. 6 am, the BTL farmers went back to Buffalo Field 2 from the kampuhan site to move on with their planned Operation Tikad. On 9 am, the operation was underway, and was supported by more than 300 farmers. This was then surrounded by other farmers using their turtles. As the farmers were busy working the fields 18 men carrying long fire arms from CMU called the Blue Guards approached them. Headed by security director Guewan, the group ordered the farmers to stop with what they’re doing. The guards stressed that there is no formal decision from the board of regents (BOR) that they (the farmers) can start cultivating the land. Unfazed, the farmers continued working.


At around 2 pm, the farmers were surprised to see a bigger group of about 40 armed men enter the area where they are tilling. The armed men came in two clusters, one came from field 1 and the other came from field 3 bringing with them a tractor. Two of the men were on full battle gear. All of them, however, carry long fire arms. This time, these were not only guards. Based on witnesses, some of the men are police officers wearing guard uniforms. There were also 7 military officers who stayed 400 meters away from scuffle, they also carry long fire arms and are on full battle gear.

To protect their farm equipments especially the turtle, which the CMU armed force targets to confiscate, the farmers stopped the Operation Tikad.

Despite all the harassment the organizations stand firm and united.

Fight for land, honour and justice!

For reference:
Richard Colao
Secretary General, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Northern Mindanao Region (KMP-NMR)



For the activists of national democracy there is no substitute to going to the countryside and making concrete social investigation in order to determine the oppression and exploitation imposed on the peasantry by the landlord class.

There is no point in making a rural investigation if the facts learned from the masses are not analyzed and processed into terms for basic comprehension of problems as well as solutions. The activists of national democracy should show to the peasants, especially those who have no land at all and those who so not have enough land, the essence of their suffering and arouse them to solve their own problem.

In the present era only the peasant masses can liberate themselves provided they follow the correct leadership of the working class and its party. It is senseless to put trust in laws made by the landlords themselves no matter how gaudily they may wear the garments of bourgeois reformism.

The concrete step that can be immediately taken by the activists of national democracy is to organize peasant associations dedicated to fighting for the democratic rights of the peasantry. The present laws may be used to some extent but if they are not enough, as practice has borne out, then the peasant masses themselves will decide to take more effective measures, including armed revolution.

The activists of national democracy who go to the countryside should exert all efforts to arouse and mobilize the peasant masses into breaking the chains that have bound them for centuries. Agrarian revolution provides the powerful base for the national democratic revolution.


---- Jose Maria Sison, "Land reform and national democracy", delivered in Pilipino before the first Central Luzon Regional Conference of Kabataang Makabayan, at Republic Central Colleges, Angeles City, on October 31, 1965; and in English at the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines, Los Ba¤os, Laguna on March 23, 1966.)