THE Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental is reportedly determined to further investigate the alleged “land grabbing” issue in Opol town as it is set to invite all concerned individuals to shed light before the board during its session next week.
This came after Provincial Board Member Benedict Lagbas reported the result of his committee’s meeting last week with the representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (Penro), A. Brown Company and National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), among other concerned parties.
According to Lagbas, there was confirmation of alleged violation and the non-issuance of permit to operate a palm plantation in Barangays Tingalan and Bagocboc in Opol, Misamis Oriental.
But Vice Governor Norris Babiera said all involved parties should be invited in the session to hear their sides of the issue.
“To show that we are serious in our investigation, we should invite all these concerned personalities for us to have a clearer picture of the issue,” Babiera told the members of the council during their regular session on Monday.
Provincial Board Member Jesus Jardin agreed with Babiera, saying that it would be difficult to depend only on the statement of one or two persons.
“It would be better if we hear the statement of everyone involved,” Jardin said.
Earlier, officials of A. Brown, a company that operates a palm plantation in Opol, denied the “land grabbing” issue, as they said all their operations are “in accordance with the law.”
Opol Mayor Dexter Yasay also denied the issue on “land grabbing” in a radio interview. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 29, 2012.