BANANA FARMERS BACK OUT OF JUBAHIB’S ‘LAND-GRABBING’ RAP VS. DEL ROSARIOS
CENTURY BANK BORROWERS SHOOT DOWN JUBAHIB MILLION-PESO BRIBE
Despite his boast that he has a list of more than 600 banana-growing farmers who are filing land-grabbing raps against former governor Rodolfo del Rosario, Davao del Norte gubernatorial candidate Edwin Jubahib was able to lure only two farmers to file a case in court.
Virtual unknown Jubahib is running under the banner of the Alvarez Wing of deposed House Speaker 2nd District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez against Board Member Rodolfo “Rodney” Del Rosario Jr of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Jubahib is drumbeating the issue of the alleged land-grabbing, stemming from foreclosure of properties of some small banana farmers by the Del Rosario-owned Century Rural Bank.
Rodney dismissed Jubahib’s claim saying the accusation of alleged land-grabbing is a recycled issue that surfaces during elections.
Century Rural Bank foreclosed the properties after some of the borrowers defaulted on the loans by the small banana farmers who used the fund for banana production.
Rodney wondered why Jubalib is riding on the issue which is strictly a private matter between the bank and the borrowers. He dismissed Jubahib’s claim of 600 foreclosures as a big lie.
Earlier, a lawyer apparently hired by Jubahib, acting in behalf of the borrowers, sent the Del Rosarios a Letter of Demand asking that the foreclosed properties be returned to the farmers.
The Del Rosarios dismissed the demand.
Two weeks ago, Jubahib led two banana farmers at the Davao del Norte Provincial Prosecutors’ Office in filing charges of qualified estafa, falsification of public documents and deceit against the former governor, son Rodney and several others.
Jubahib has publicly declared that he is legally and financially supporting the complainants.
But only two of his claimed 600 farmers bit a reported offer of huge undisclosed amounts in exchange for filing the cases against the Del Rosarios.
The farmers also were apparently aware that politics is behind Hubahib’s attempt to pin down the Del Rosarios and afraid that they would face criminal charges if they accuse the Del Rosarios as “land-grabbers.”
Earlier, 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo filed P10-million libel rap against former House Speaker 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez for tagging the Floirendos as “land-grabbers.”
Alvarez, as the then sitting Speaker filed graft charges with the Ombudsman against his long-time friend and political ally Floirendo, who reportedly funded Alvarez’s congressional run in the 2016 election.
Alvarez, who was deposed as Speaker in a coup in July this year, also instigated a House inquiry into a land deal covering a reservation area of theDavao Penal Colony between the Bureau of Corrections (BoC) and the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).
Several years ago, small banana farmers took out loans from Century Rural Bank, then headed by Rodney, for banana production as demand for export Cavendish bananas grew.
The small farmers used their farms as collateral for the loans.
The farmers also entered into a marketing agreement to market their produce in the world market with Tropical Fresh Fruit, also owned by the Del Rosarios, which served as conduit for the loan amortization of the small banana growers.
The banana growing, financing and marketing arrangement was a success but the borrowers started to default on their amortization after they resorted to “pole-vaulting” and surreptitiously sold their produce to illegal Cavendish banana exporters other than the companies with which they have a marketing agreement, which in this case is the Tropical Fresh Fruits.
As the illegal pole-vaulting became a full-blown racket, the small borrowers reneged on their loan amortizations.
Century Rural Bank was forced to foreclose on some of the borrowers who failed to pay the loans.
In an earlier interview with broadcaster Al Ginoguin in his program Kontra Balanse in Davao City-based DXOW radio, Rodney said there were many success stories from the loans by the small farmers, except for a few who defaulted on their loans after adopting the pole-vaulting scheme that led to forelosure of their collaterals.
The farmers who defaulted were those who engaged in “pole-vaulting,” Rodney said.
Rodney said that Jubahib’s claim that Century Rural Bank foreclosed on more than 600 farmers is a big lie.
Our bank even helped the borrowers when they meet problems on production.
There were only very few whose collateral were foreclosed because we helped many other farmers to restructure their loans when the price of bananas was low in the world market and when production was down due to bad weather, he said.