Some 309 former Moro National Liberal Front (MNLF) rebels have been awarded 919 hectares of agricultural lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Barangay Nuyo, Buldon town, Maguindanao.
Maguindanao Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Bai Cabayan Bacar said the awarding of lands to former MNLF rebels-turned-agrarian reform beneficiaries is part of the government’s peace initiatives and of promoting progress and development in the province and surrounding areas.
Bacar added that some 4,700 has. of farmlands had earlier been distributed other former MNLF rebels. MNLF chair Nur Misuari signed a final peace accord with government on September 2, 1996.
Bacar said the DAR, in cooperation with Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, would soon distribute rubber and oil palm tree seedlings to the beneficiaries, something they could start with in harnessing their newly acquired farmlands.
“This is just the first of many assistance that will go their way. There will be more to come,” Bacar said.
Mangudadatu, who witnessed the distribution of farmlands to the former MNLF rebels, lauded the government’s effort saying that it would go a long way for the attainment of lasting peace and order in the province.
Rebel-returnee Mohammad Ali Dimanalao, alias Commander Carding, said the government proved its sincerity by making good of its promise to assist former rebels like to him to start a new life.
Dimanalao said that his group has patiently waited since 1996 for this opportunity and had continuously hoped of acquiring the lands promised to them by the government.
“We would like to thank the government for our new lands as we also promise to take good care of it for our future,” he said. PAS-DAR