Sandiganbahan convicts ex-DAR employees over  illegal land transfer

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DAVAO CITY (November 8) — The Sandiganbayan  convicted two former employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for facilitating the transfer of a 19.69-hectare farm in Upi, Maguindanao to fake tenants.

Convicted were  former DAR employees as Saidona Abas of DAR Socsksargen  and Benigno Daga, a geodetic engineer of the Land Management Bureau. The two  got a jail sentence of 6 to ten years of imprisonment.

The case against against Abas and Daga stemmed in 1983,   after couple Virginia and Felomino Besas lost their land under the government’s Operation Land Transfer.

The anti-graft court found that Abas and Daga released  the transfer of Besas’ title to a certain  Carlos Indong without their authority.

The decision states that Abas and Daga were found guilty of fraud and undue injury to the Besas. They were also  ordered to return the property, or pay its full value to the Besas’ heirs (the couple died in 2006).

Abas and Daga were also perpetually disqualified from holding another position in government.

The anti-graft court noted that the two “admitted to signing as witnesses” on affidavits filed by the alleged tenants, even if the Besas were actually tilling the land.

The case was ordered archived, pending the arrest or surrender of 16 other accused who remain at large.

These include former DAR Soccsksargen regional director Monib Dimaporo, employees Narciso Casser, Constancio Casser, Ubong Akoy, Carlos Indong, Seki Bansuan, and Rolando Orig; Victorio Morales of the then-Bureau of Lands; Hernani Redosendo of the Land Bank of the Philippines; and Adam Asi of the Maguindano Register of Deeds.

It also included private respondents Sema Lamponi, Camlon Maulana, Abdulkadil Abas, Melencio Sangama, Anastacio Rocas, and Madatu Aliudin.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz, and concurred with by Associate Justices Alex Quiroz and Bayani Jacinto.-Jian A. Padillo with PNA report

Be informed
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