Trespassing charges have been filed against 14 individuals for unauthorized entry inside the premises and occupying a facility of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC) at Dontogan, Baguio City.
Illegal possession of firearms were also filed against two more individuals considered as principal authors of the said acts and have been included in the unauthorized entry and illegal possession of firearms charges.
DA Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey said the filing of the cases is a result of the unlawful actions made by the 16 security personnel of the 8 Dragons Elite Security Agency Inc. on Oct. 4 inside the DA-CAR premises.
“We reiterate to the public that this legal action against the individuals manifests the department’s commitment to continuously protect the BABRC area,” Odsey said.
Under Presidential Proclamation 603 signed by then President Manuel Luis Quezon on Aug. 5, 1940, the BABRC, also known as the Baguio Dairy Farm, was placed under the possession, management, and maintenance of the DA.
Then President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. also issued a memorandum to the director of the Bureau of Animal Industry on May 3, 1980 directing the protection and reservation of all lands proclaimed for stock farm purposes against all forms of squatting and any speculation of whatever nature.
“BABRC is also a breeding site for animals that are supposed to supply the needs of farmer beneficiaries in the region. Unauthorized actions like these threaten the bio-security measures currently implemented by the department, and denies the beneficiaries of their agricultural related needs requested from the department,” Odsey added.
BABRC is committed for animal breeding, agricultural activities, research, and innovation purposes with projects including milk production and dairy products processing.
The DA-CAR purposely had the area fenced with a “no trespassing government area” sign to warn the public against unwarranted sale and transfer of any portion of the land.
Through the years, the DA-CAR initiated civil cases through the Office of the Solicitor General to have all overlapping titles/claims over the area, nullified, revert to the government or cancel the same in favor of the government.
In 2021, while the case is pending in a court in Baguio City, a second trespassing incident by 19 armed security guards occurred initiated by a certain security agency considered as a sister company of the first trespassing incident, prompting the DA-CAR to file another case for the incident.
A third trespassing incident by the personnel of the same agency occurred within the premises of the BABRC on April 16, 2022, prompting the department to file another case in court.
The recent illegal entry of the 16 security guards resulted to the forced opening and occupying the Old BPI Cottage of the DA-CAR.
To date, a total of five unlawful entry cases, aside from a case for violation of Presidential Decree 705 or illegal cutting of trees, and violation of PD 1051 or the illegal possession of firearms have been filed by the department against the respondents. President and Agriculture Sec. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who has been informed of the incident has also been briefed on the status of many government reservation sites previously proclaimed to the BAI and the Bureau of Plant Industry, which are currently managed by the DA-CAR. – Press Release