Tag Archives: alex valoria

Dapecol chief spurns Alvarez order to reopen Tadeco farm roads

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez blew his top as an official of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spurned his order to re-open to public use farm roads inside the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco) farms in Davao del Norte, on Tuesday, March 20.

TADECO
At the joint hearing by the House committee on justice and the committee on good governance and public accountability, Alvarez ordered Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) Superintendent Gerardo Padilla to “re-open” the roads to public use.
Saying that he could not follow the Speaker’s order, Padilla told Alvarez that only the Davao del Norte provincial government and the Department of Agriculture can order the re-opening.
Angered by the response, Alvarez accused Padilla of “ gross ignorance.”
“You know Mr. Padilla, you are displaying your gross ignorance. Paano ka ba naging director diyan? Ito simple lang ito, isipin mo ganyan yung takbo ng utak mo,” Alvarez snapped at the chief of Dapecol, a line agency of BuCor.
Not content with his insulting verbal attack, Alvarez also recommended to the House committees the transfer of Padilla for “gross ignorance of his duties and responsibilities.”
The hearing is the third on a House resolution initiated by Alvarez on the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between Tadeco and BuCor involving about 5,300 hectares of the  Dapecol reservation area.
Alvarez alleged the JVA is “unconstitutional and disadvantageous to the government.”
The JVA was first signed in 1969 with its renewal approved by the President and Congress.   
The JVA allowed Tadeco to develop the Dapecol reservation area into a banana plantation, with BuCor earning shares from the production of exportable Cavendish bananas.
Tadeco has also hired as farm hands prisoners serving term in the penal colony, as part of rehabilitation program for the inmates.
On top of the inquiry into the JVA, Alvarez has also sought the “re-opening” of the farm roads alleging that Tadeco barred public passage.
Tadeco denied Alvarez’s claim saying that the public  enjoys free passage through the farm roads.
Tadeco President Alexander Valoria told the hearing that bio-security measures have been adopted in the farm to protect bananas against diseases.
Tadeco has installed checkpoints and foot baths and tire dips at the entrance to the farm as ordered by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
In 2012, BPI, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, issued Department Order No. 1, ordering banana plantations to  install checkpoints and anti-pest measures to protect against spread of Panama Disease (Fusarium Wilt), which then was attacking bananas. The order remains to this day with the deadly root-disease continuing to be a major threat to the banana industry.
The BPI order was backed by the Davao del Norte capitol with a resolution of support.
The BPI order and the capitol resolution were the legal instruments invoked by PPadilla in shooting down Alvarez’s order to “re-open” the roads inside the Tadeco farm.

Lacson’s call to scrap talks with NDF backed by Davao traders

lacson

Besieged by the continuing extortion activities and attacks by communist insurgents on their businesses, Davao traders have thrown their support behind Senator Panfilo Lacson’s call to put off peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) until the group can demonstrate its sincerity in pursuing the peace process.  

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) president Ronald Go and Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) president Alexander Valoria appealed to the government to heed Lacson’s call and take into account the damage inflicted by communist insurgents on Mindanao’s businesses. 

Valoria said the NDF obviously has no control over its armed unit — the New People’s Army (NPA)—which has continued its attacks not only on government installations, but also on private businesses, especially those operating banana and pineapple plantations in Mindanao. 

“We agree with Senator Lacson and join his call for the government to scrap its peace negotiations with the NDF. Unless the NDF and its armed group on the ground can show that it is sincere in pursuing genuine peace, it would be useless and futile to keep on talking,” Valoria said. “Treachery and betrayal have no place on the peace table.”

Go said “the continuing atrocities of the NPA prove that there is no central communist leadership that is capable of pursuing genuine peace with the government.”

“If that is the case then Senator Lacson is right to advise the government to hold off negotiations with the NDF,” Go added. 

Valoria and Go were referring to Lacson’s recent statement urging the Duterte administration to hold off peace talks with the NDF after the NPA attacked a police outpost in Iloilo last June 18, Sunday. 

The NPA was able to cart away firearms, communications equipment and a patrol vehicle during its attack at the police station in Maasin town in Iloilo. 

The attack occurred after Malacañang and the NDF separately said they would observe a truce in Mindanao so that security forces could focus on ending the siege of Marawi City by the Maute Group.

Malacanang said that while the NPA attack was not in Mindanao, it was “opportunistic in nature.” 

Last Friday, a still undetermined number of NPA rebels attacked a police detachment in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

One policeman was killed during the encounter. 

Senator Lacson said “the first thing to consider before resuming the peace talks with the NDF is an assurance and clear proof that the NPA is still under the Communist Party of the Philippines-NDF control and direction.” 

Lacson, who chairs the Senate committee on public order, said recent events show that the NDF clearly has no control over the NPA.

npa

The communist rebels apparently are further emboldened to continue their atrocities against business due to an order by the Philippine National Police (PNP) requiring company security personnel to deposit their high-powered firearms with the PNP. 

The directive  left us at the mercy of the NPA and other lawless elements who are armed with high-powered guns, Valoria said. 

The NPA will laugh at our shotguns and pistols as they can now easily overrun our facilities, Valoria said.

We are respectfully appealing to authorities to review this recent directive as we are left at the mercy of the NPA and other lawless elements which, in most cases, carry out their attacks using high-powered guns, Valoria said. 

 

PNP DIRECTIVE RENDERS SECURITY PERSONNEL HELPLESS VS. NPA

npa

Banana and pineapple plantations have become easy target of attacks by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) due to a Philippine National Police (PNP) directive requiring their security personnel to deposit their high-powered firearms with the PNP.

Without high-powered firearms against the well armed NPAs, security guards are virtual sitting ducks.

“The NPA will laugh at our shotguns and pistols as they can now easily overrun our facilities,” said Alexander Valoria, president of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA).  “Without a chance to defend ourselves, many may see that there is no other choice but to pay the NPA’s revolutionary tax,” Valoria said. 

“We are respectfully appealing to authorities to review this recent directive as we are left at the mercy of the NPA and other lawless elements which, in most cases, are now able to carry out their attacks using high-powered guns,” Valoria said. 

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) president Ronald Go said businessmen in Mindanao no longer want to add to the security concerns that law enforcement authorities are currently facing in the island in light of the declaration of martial law. 

According to Go, properly armed security personnel can help government in the maintenance of law and order.

“This is why the business community is requesting the government to at least give us some leeway to allow us to protect our businesses from the NPA and other criminal elements,” Go said.

Valoria and Go, however, welcomed the recent assurance made by the police leadership in Mindanao that it will take steps to fill the security gap left by the recent directive requiring private entities to deposit their high-powered firearms with the PNP. 

Among these measures, Valoria said, is the PNP’s move to speed up the training program for Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) groups that will be deployed to augment security forces in Mindanao. 

Valoria said PBGEA members operate banana and pineapple farms in areas that are infested with NPA insurgents “and it is precisely the presence of our high powered firearms that deter the NPA from attacking us.”  

“This has been proven in the past,” Valoria said.

He moaned that the NPAs continue their attacks on plantations. 

Valoria said that just two months ago, NPA guerillas torched some P4 million worth of farm equipment at a pineapple plantation owned by Del Monte Philippines in Davao City, less than a week after government negotiators and the NDF agreed on an interim joint ceasefire agreement.

The NPA has resorted to burning equipment and facilities in fruit plantations in Mindanao to force companies to pay them “revolutionary taxes.” 

Among the facilities that the communists have destroyed include a banana processing plant in Pantukan, Compostela Valley last Feb. 5; a pineapple plantation in Bukidnon on Feb. 25;  Dole’s cold storage plant and other equipment in Barangay Sinawal in General Santos City last March 30; and three container vans loaded with fruits in Maragusan, Compostela Valley on March 25.  

The following day, the NPA opened fire on a spray plane in Tagbina, Surigao. The insurgents continued with their attacks in Sumifru (Philippines) in Malaybalay, Bukidnon on March 27. 

lacson

Besieged by the continuing extortion activities and attacks by communist insurgents on their businesses, Davao traders led by Valoria and Go have thrown their support behind Senator Panfilo Lacson’s call to put off peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) until the group can demonstrate its sincerity in pursuing the peace process.  

Valoria and Go appealed to the government to heed Lacson’s call and take into account the damage inflicted by communist insurgents on Mindanao’s businesses. 

Valoria said the NDF obviously has no control over the NPA, which has continued its attacks not only on government installations, but also on private businesses, especially those operating banana and pineapple plantations in Mindanao. 

Go said “the continuing atrocities of the NPA prove that there is no central communist leadership that is capable of pursuing genuine peace with the government.”