Mariano survives oppositors to confirmation but real test is yet to come

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AFTER facing three groups opposed to his confirmation, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano will face on Wednesday, members of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) to test his fitness to head the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

The CA on Tuesday gave two groups from Hacienda Luisita, one farmer group and an association of barangay chairmen, the chance to air their grievances against Mariano.

The powerful panel also allowed representatives from the Lapayan Foods Corp. (LFC) to present their position paper opposing the appointment of Mariano on the ground that he allegedly aided militant farmer groups to “invade” its banana plantation in Tagum City.

“The oppositors have finished their presentation. So, it will be the turn of the members of the Commission to ask him tomorrow. We’ll go into executive session afterwards. I’m sure. If we are satisfied, then, we will vote tomorrow,” said Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, chairman of the CA’s committee on agrarian reform. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO

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