The Department of Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) told the Baguio City Council that the Baguio Stock Farm had been intruded by two different armed groups just recently.
Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan, DA-CAR Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations, and Robert Domoguen, Head of DA-CAR Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (DA-CAR BABRC), narrated during the council’s regular session how two different groups had set foot in the stock farm which is covered by Proclamation No. 603, Series of 1940.
The land where the stock farm is located is reserved for animal breeding purposes of the national government by virtue of Proclamation No. 603.
According to the narrative report of DA-CAR BABRC, In May 2021, a group attempted to survey a ten-hectare lot within the stock farm, claiming it is private property. This was followed by a series of trespassing incidents from June 14 until July 15 which were reported to Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Station 10.
Dawayan said the group was in possession of a copy of an Original Certificate of Title (OCT) issued by the Land Registration Authority. She ascertained that the said OCT overlaps Proclamation No. 603.
Armed security guards were also seen in the area multiple times despite being told by Domoguen to withdraw. He claimed there were 27 security guards hired by the land title owner from a security agency whose office is located outside the region, outnumbering the government’s 25 security guards safeguarding the 94-hectare stock farm.
Joining the DA-CAR representatives during the forum with the council, BCPO City Director Glenn Lonogan said the intruders’ firearms had been confiscated on the ground that the security agency had no license to operate outside of its base. He said the Regional Civil Service Security Unit (RCSU), upon verifying the violation, will impose necessary administrative sanctions against the security agency.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan requested Lonogan to designate police officers to constantly patrol the area to ensure maximum security.
In a statement by Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued on June 30 through the City Public Information Office, the chief executive likewise tasked the BCPO to ensure that the stock farm is free from “unwanted intrusions.”
Dawayan informed the council that the DA-CAR had sought the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to verify which areas are within and outside of the land covered by Proclamation No. 603. As per the initial results of the research, there are OCTs and Certificates of Ancestral Land Title (CALTs) that overlap the proclamation, she said.
As for possible filing charges against the involved personalities, the DA-CAR official said the necessary documents are now being prepared to be forwarded to the central office for the appropriate legal action.
According to the incident report, the stock farm was yet again intruded on on June 27 by a different group who insisted to survey a portion of land which overlaps the ten-hectare lot claimed by the first group. Domoguen said they appeared to be armed just like the first group.
Councilor Benny Bomogao requested the DA-CAR and BCPO to furnish the council and the City Legal Office with copies of all the documents relative to the subsequent trespassing incidents to be studied by both for any possible assistance the city government may extend.
Domoguen bemoaned the deplorable acts of the two groups, describing their demeanor as hostile and intimidating.
“They are bringing a different approach, character, and culture into the way we usually do things here in the highlands. Here in Cordillera, we do things in a manner that is consultative. We resolve problems together,” Domoguen stated.
“The stock farm is for everyone. That is why we do our best to produce livestock and crops. We want the trees to continue growing. We could all be ecologists or environmentalists just like our ancestors,” he said. -Jordan G. Habbiling