By Mario Casayuran
Top military leaders on Tuesday sought the rejection of the confirmation of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary-designate Rafael Vitriolo Mariano following the burning of 150 hectares and destruction in agricultural equipment and warehouses at a banana and pineapple plantation in Tagum city.
The resolution of these military leaders – Department of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año – was revealed by Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III as chairman of the agrarian reform committee of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) which is trying to determine his fitness to be a member of the Duterte Cabinet.
But Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of President Duterte, is one of the four mayors against Mariano’s confirmation who signed another resolution.
Sotto said four governors also signed that resolution.
Asked by Senate reporters about this resolution after the Sotto committee reset the hearing for today after hearing several persons and groups explained they are against his confirmation, Mariano said what he knows is that he has not seen the date of the Lorenzana-/Ano resolution.
He also dissociated himself from the so-called leftist group that destroyed the property of Lapandai Fruits Corporation, formerly the Global Fruits Corporation.
This corporation employed thousands of employees’’ and has given much not only to region X1 but to Mindanao.
In that encounter, resolution alleged that Mariano had knowledge of the burning of Lapandai property, Sotto said.
During the committee hearing, Sotto said Mariano denied an intelligence report that he had a hand in planning the burning of the 546-hectare Lapandai property.
In last week’s CA committee hearing, Mariano denied having undertaken underground activities against the national government.
He also denied being a member the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front –New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NDF).