Senator Raffy Tulfo called on the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to investigate allegations of rampant land grabbing in Palawan and other provinces by powerful personalities victimizing farmers and indigeneous peoples (IPs).
In a statement Sunday, he also urged LRA to address what he described as “widespread corruption” in the agency.
According to Tulfo, he has received several complaints from farmers who lamented they have been pawning titles of their lands to influential people to address their needs.
He said the farmers failed to get back their titles as these have been transferred to another person.
“We really need to protect the land of our farmers and indigenous peoples,” he said.
Tulfo told LRA Administrator Gerardo Sirios that he received reports of rampant corruption in the agency.
According to Sirios, who has been assigned to head the LRA less than a month ago, he also got a marching order from Justice Secretary Boying Remulla to make sure to clean the ranks of the agency.
Without giving details and names, Tulfo said powerful people are taking advantage of the vulnerability of farmers and IPs who would mortgage their land title to a loan shark in exchange for a small amount of money to finance their needs, such as medicines for a sick family member.
Without giving them any grace period to pay for the money they owe, Tulfo said the loan sharks would immediately transfer the ownership of the pawned land titles.