Farmers point to Villars in land-grabbing and ejectment of Norzagary farmers

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said real estate giant Villar family is behind the land grabbing of the 75.5-hectares agriculturally-productive lands in Sitio Compra, Bgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. “Given the aggressive expansion of Villar-owned developments across Bulacan such as private subdivisions and commercial establishments, it could be that Royal Mollucan is just another Villar dummy and agent,” says KMP Chairperson Danilo Ramos. 

The peasant leader pointed out that the disputed land being grabbed by Royal Mollucan Realty Holdings Inc. sits adjacent to two huge properties owned by the Villar family – Golden Bria Holdings, developer of Golden Haven Memorial Parks, and Bria Homes. 

Golden Bria Holdings Inc., acquired by the real estate giant Villar family in 2017, was renamed Golden MV Holdings in 2020 and is geared for low-cost mass housing projects across the country.

According to KMP, Royal Mollucan, the claimant and landgrabber of the disputed land, became more aggressive in ejecting Norzagaray farmers from their farmland ever since the Villars acquired properties in Norzagaray villages San Mateo and Bigte where Golden Haven Memorial Park and Bria Homes properties are located. Farmers said they also noticed representatives of Golden Haven frequenting the security outpost of Royal Mollucan goons and negotiating with security head Salvador Dumagtoy. 

The peasant organization says that the farm lots tilled and planted with vegetables and fruit trees by 60 farmer families of Samahang Magsasaka ng San Mateo (SAMA-SAMA) might be considered by real estate agents and land speculators as a hindrance and eyesore to the lucrative Villar properties in Norzagaray. “This situation is all too familiar. 

“The greedy landed few expand their properties at the expense of poor farmers. If the Villars, among the richest and most powerful families in the country, is indeed behind these land-grabbing schemes, then it also makes them among the most despicable,” Ramos declares.

The arrest of six farmers on January 18, 2021 by the PNP Norzagaray based on trumped-up theft charges filed by Royal Mollucan is the latest in the series of harassment against the farmers of SAMA-SAMA. KMP condemned the criminalization of land dispute that is intended to harass and threaten farmers resolute in defending their farm lots.

On October 23, 2019, Royal Mollucan and its goons demolished 12 houses of farmers in Barangay San Mateo. The goons also destroyed crops and stole P28,000 from farmer Violeta Falparan. The money would have been used to buy a carabao. The goons also burned the demolished houses, forcing the farmers to relocate to adjacent sub-villages outside the fenced land.

On February 20, 2018, Royal Mollucan goons and private guards, aided by the PNP Norzagaray, and personnel from the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) demolished another 26 houses.

Farmers maintain that the DARAB (Department of Agrarian Reform – Adjudication Board) repeatedly favored Royal Mollucan in its decisions despite DAR issuing a Notice of Coverage for distribution of the 75-hectare landholding as early as May 15, 2006. 

“We challenge the Villars to speak up regarding the issue, and stop the land grabbing of the Norzagaray farmers’ lands,” Ramos ended. ###

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