Former Agriculture Chief Leonardo Montemayor has called on current Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. to investigate the Bureau of Animal Industry for the damage caused by its cattle to crops and rice plantations in Coron, in northern Palawan.

Montemayor, who oversees the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF), alleged that on February 10, cattle belonging to the bureau encroached upon the farms of two of their members in Sitio Pandan 2, Barangay Decalachao, wreaking havoc on mature palay crops.

Following the incident, he reached out to BAI-National Beef Cattle Research and Development Center’s officer-in-charge, Eduard Palay, to address the issue. Moreover, Montemayor promptly reported the matter to BAI director Paul Limson on February 16, who assured him of an investigation into the matter.

He claimed that on February 17, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) personnel and blue guards allowed cattle to intentionally destroy cashew trees, newly planted coconut seedlings, and other crops belonging to FFF members in the area.

“Around five BAI personnel and blue guards accompanied the cattle. They did nothing to stop the animals from devouring and destroying the crops. The cattle went to the highway, causing traffic in Sitio Pandan 2,” he said.

Montemayor expressed concern drawing parallels to a 2016 incident where a BAI guard shot and killed a peasant leader in a disputed area .

Meanwhile, Laurel assured Montemayor that appropriate action would be taken on this matter.