The Court of Appeals (CA) has recently made a decision regarding the decades-long land dispute in Barangay Sumalo, Hermosa, Bataan.
The decision favors the land owner, Riverforest Development Corporation (RDC).
Dani Beltran, Estate and Community Development Manager of RDC told local newsmen that the Court of Appeals’ decision ends any attempt by suspended village chief Rolando Martinez and his group of alleged landgrabbers disguised as farmers- Sanamabasu, to seize the Litton Property through the questionable implementation of the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP).
According to the Court of Appeals decision, the Litton Property is not covered by the CARP because the land in Sumalo is not agricultural.
The land in Sumalo would be more useful if it becomes industrial and other uses besides being agricultural.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) made a mistake in granting the “conversion status” of the Litton’s land ownership.
The decision of the Court of Appeals also agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision in 2007 allowing the conversion of Litton’s land ownership.
Beltran further added that the decision of the Court of Appeals supports the Torres Resolution from the Office of the President in 1997 approving the conversion of the 216 hectares of Sumalo land owned by Litton Estate.
“This decision of the Court of Appeals is a win for the people of Sumalo.
The residential land for the residents who are allowed to stay in the Litton’s land ownership will soon be distributed.
We can now start progress for the ‘Bagong Sumalo’,” Beltran reiterated.