BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Victorias Milling Company Inc. (VMC) owns and has the right to own the land where its distillery is located in Brgy. Purisima, Manapla in Negros Occidental.
In a statement, VMC, which strongly debunked claims that it has been encroaching on other people’s properties, said it is willing to show its land title and other legal documents, as well as publishing the timeline of its transactions regarding the property with various government agencies.
“Certain areas in Manapla were zoned as Industrial by proper authorities before the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) under R.A. No. 6657 took effect in 1988, and this includes VMC’s distillery. So as ordered by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in 2019, the land where the VMC Manapla distillery is located has been ordered exempted from CARP,” VMC management explained in a statement.
In 2012, the Manapla Municipal Planning & Development Office issued a Certification stating that the subject lands are zoned as industrial. A Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) Certificate was also issued stating that the subject lands are industrial.
While the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has previously denied an Application for Exemption in 2017, the Land Use Cases Committee (LUCC) reversed the order and granted the application to VMC in 2019.
“In the instant case, since the subject lands should not have been covered in the first place as they were no longer agricultural at the time of the issuance of Notice of Coverage(NOC), the prescriptive period will not run against VMC,” the LUCC said.
VMC has called on its employees and the members of the Manapla community to remain steadfast and practice due diligence amid the rumor-mongering.
“Let us not entertain or spread false information that may result to misunderstanding and confusion. This might affect our operations and put the members of our VMC family in danger,” the statement further said.*