Delta: man of the hour

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

IT IS not frequent that Vice Governor Dennis Pineda gets involved in hot public issues, except in response to disaster relief and rehabilitation work.

Farmer folks who are seeking their rights as legitimate tillers and residents of the former Hacienda Dolores (Porac) have sought the assistance of the Vice Gov in mediating in the land dispute with the new Hacienda owners.

His mother, the Governor has already initiated a quick and timely response to the volatile problem by conducting a cooling off dialogue with aggrieved farmers, while pleading for peace in the troubled area.


Residents of the ancient settlement named Hacienda Dolores decided not to seek the help of Porac Mayor Dela Cruz whom they perceived to be pro-investors, and therefore, unable and unwilling to advance and protect what interests and rights they have in the landed estate.

The Governor, along with Board Member Michael Tapang met the restive barrio folk last week and was able to secure a tenuous assurance against violence and possible retaliation by families involved in the violent scuffle resulting in the death of a farmer.

It appears that the residents have lost their trust in the mayor and his cohorts in the municipal council “who enjoy little confidence from Dolores folks,” according to a former town mayor.

Supporters of Dela Cruz said the mayor is obsessed about the promised development of the hacienda. Three firms who hold titles to the estate proposed plans to convert the farmland into a Makati of the North which the mayor strongly endorsed. Dela Cruz wanted to achieve that goal ahead of Mabalacat City Mayor Boking Morales, it was reported.

Learning that his Hacienda constituents will suffer economically after their displacement from their farm lots, Porac senior councilor Tapang pledged to help the affected families by scholarship grants to deserving students.

Tapang said the Governor’s compassion, innate maternal concern and generosity to the Hacienda families will see them through during the long and arduous efforts of the dispossessed in seeking their dues.

The provincial board, however, will provide support to its presiding officer, Vice Gov. Pineda, whom the farmers wanted to mediate in the conflict, Tapang said.

Pampanga residents are wondering why VGov Pineda was the official choice by the Porac farmers in voicing their concerns and asserting what rights they hold in the land of their birth.

Soft-spoken and unassuming, “Delta” is known for his serious work outlook, his sincerity to help, and his ability to listen. The complaining farmers who foresee a long and difficult litigation of their case anticipate working with, and seeking assistance from the future governor, Tapang stressed.

While the new Hacienda owners have titles to disputed land, the farmers deserve a fair share and a reasonable compensation for being deprived of their livelihood after being driven out of the work areas.

Tapang believes that the Vice Governor should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his mediation skills, of helping the less fortunate, while preserving the peace in that flash point of agrarian unrest in Pampanga.

If the Vice Gov can strike a balance of interests, create social harmony, and preserve peace in that troubled estate, he would have passed a baptism of fire. This alone will help qualify him to succeed his mother and prove wrong the warriors against dynastic leadership, at least in this hotbed of a province.
Porac residents have been awaiting their Senator-son Lito Lapid to speak up in behalf of the farm folks in the quest of justice. Also, the intercession of Sen. Gringo Honasan is hoped for.

It has been an unceasing rumor that the Gringo, who escaped captivity in Cory’s time, was hidden, protected and cared for by farmer folks in Hacienda Dolores. He used to ride a big bike, camouflaged in various disguises as he travelled to Angeles City and suburbs, according to Poraquenos.


Like birds, let us leave behind
What we don’t need to carry:
grudges, sorrow, pains, fears,
gegrets and heartaches.
Fly light, enjoy life,
Its beauty and wonders.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 29, 2014.


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