Home Featured Article ‘Agaw Lupa’ invades Royal Garden Estate Premier golf course, Cignal endangered

‘Agaw Lupa’ invades Royal Garden Estate
Premier golf course, Cignal endangered

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(LANDGRAB. A tractor plows through the fi eld at the Royal Garden Golf and Country Club on Thursday unmindful of the development in the subdivision. The “land-grabbers” refuse to make any comment or even face the camera when asked about their presence on the property. Photo by Ashley Manabat)

ANGELES CITY – They came in a jeepney and a pick-up truck and laid out a picnic blanket on the grass before plowing the field with a tractor and other farm implements.

This could very well be a normal scene in the field in a somewhat remote location somewhere in Central Luzon on a drizzling mid-day Thursday.

But this is inside the sprawling Royal Garden Estate where sited the premier championship golf course Royal Garden Golf and Country Club (RGGCC), handsome mansions, a Cignal transmitter and office, a resort, and three hotels.

The men bore picks, shovels and sickles among others implements as they plowed the empty fields next to golf greens, and the developed properties right at the back of the popular convention center Grand Palazzo Royale and Ciocolo Coffee Shop.

The men and women refused to make a comment or say anything other than: “Sabyan mu kang Apung Perto mikitikit naka mi keng DAR (Tell Mr. Perto that we will just see each other at the DAR, (apparently referring to the Department of Agrarian Reform).”

One of the men started sowing mongo seeds as soon as the land was plowed by the tractor unmindful of this reporter who wanted to know what’s going on.

Businessman Ruperto Cruz, owner of the 140-hectare property, described them as “agaw-lupa (land grabbers)” or just plain “extortionists.”

He said he has every document to prove that his property was acquired legally including transfer certificate of titles, environmental clearance certificate, a DAR conversion document, mayor’s permit and a business permit, among others.

Cruz said he even has a favorable court resolution which he got after 18 years of litigation with some of the claimants.

Cruz showed this reporter how they invaded the property by destroying the perimeter fence near hole number 12 on the golf course.

A security guard of the subdivision said the intruders came in through another area south of the perimeter fence of the subdivision which they also tore down.

Policemen from the nearby Cuayan Police Station responded to the call but were told by the invaders that it is beyond their jurisdiction since the area is considered part of Porac town.

The police quickly coordinated with their counterparts in Porac who monitored the incident and put it in the blotter.

On Wednesday, Cruz is set to file a formal complaint against the socalled land grabbers.

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