Land dispute sparks Abra family feud

BANGUED, Abra – A long standing dispute over a prime property sparked a brewing feud among members of a prominent family in this capital town that resulting to the filing of charges against some of them.

In their 9-page petition for injunction with damages and prayer for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here on April 2, 2018, Prudencio Alzate and Candelaria B. Alzate claimed that they had been actual possession, occupation and use over a parcel of land located in No. 32 Partelo St., Zone 2, Bangued for around a century, including the possession of their predecessors-in-interest and parents, the late Serafin Alzate and Laura Alzate.

The petitioners claimed that their possession, occupation and use of the Partelo property is by virtue of the deed of conveyance dated September 14, 1972 executed by Miguel V. Alzate in favour of Serafin Alzate, his heir and assigns.

Miguel is the father-in-law of respondent Dr. Milagros F. Alzate and grandfather of Christine Anjulita Alzate who is believed to be the owner of the Partelo property.

The petitioners added adjacent to the Partelo property is a parcel of land formerly occupied by a Chinese businessman who did business under the trade name Abra Fairway Merchandising and that the two properties are separated by a concrete partition wall or fence constructed by the owner of the business.

In the 1980s, the petitioners disclosed the partition wall was raised to about 25 feet high and situated within the Partelo property are the their residential house, a kitchen which they utilize, the ancestral house of the late Serafin and Laura Alzate where Candelaria operates a medical clinic and a water refilling station.

Prudencio’s house and the kitchen are said to be the most proximate to the established partition wall.

The petitioners alleged the possession, occupation and use of the Partelo property by late spouses Serafin and Laura Alzate and his heirs was opened continuously, peacefully and remained undisturbed until February 3, 2017 when the late Arthur B. Alzate formally demanded the heirs of Serafin Alzate to vacate the same on the pretext that it is already the subject of a contract for commercial establishment and is in danger of being destructed.

However, the petitioners and the heirs of Alzate did not heed to the said demand because they believe in good faith that they have the right to use the Partelo property being the heirs of Serafin Alzate pursuant to the earlier conveyance and they believe that the improvements cannot just be destroyed without due process of law or court order.

The matter was brought to the barangay chairman of Zone 2 for conciliation but no agreement was reached, thus, the petitioners brought to the attention of Arthur that the matter should be ventilated before the regular courts, hence, a certificate to file action was issued by punong barangay Amado Acosta.

In a letter dated March 20, 2018, Christine, in her alleged capacity as the representative of the heirs of Arthur B. Alzate, sent another demand letter to the heirs of Serafin Alzate with the warning the properties in the Partelo property will be demolished on March 30, 2018 regardless of the presence of the occupants.

The petitioners narrated that on April 2, 2018 at around 10 am, Christine, together with several men, purportedly construction workers, started to the cause the demolition of the structures in the Partelo property pursuant to her demand letter with the use of mallet that resulted to the destruction of the 25-feet wall without installing the appropriate safety devices that compromised the safety of the occupants in the Partelo property.

The petitioners verbally protested the demolition because it would imperil their safety, houses and lives but their protest were in vain.

The petitioners disclosed that obviously designated by the intervention of the punong barangay that prevented the further demolition, Judge Rafel F. Alzate, son of Dr. Alzate, allegedly rushed to the house of the petitioners and angrily talked to Asteria Alzate, wife of Prudencio and allegedly scolded her for not heeding and respecting the previous demands of his father, Arthur and sister Christine to vacate the Partelo property.

According to the complaint, Judge Alzate was allegedly furious and impolite while talking loudly to Asteria and that he allegedly said that the punong barangay of Zone 2 has no authority to halt the demolition.

After the judge left the place, Milagros allegedly rushed to the Partelo property and informed the petitioners that she is now the owner of the Partelo property and she will allegedly cause their eviction while adding that a backhoe will be utilized in continuing the demolition.

The petitioners asserted the alleged unauthorized demolition done by the respondents was relayed to the police officers present in the premises but they were allegedly helpless and informed them that they are not in a position to cause the stoppage of the demolition and their authority is only to prevent any untoward incident that will transpire during the demolition.

The petitioners learned that the demolition activity was not issued the appropriate permit by the concerned offices of the Bangued municipal government and that no building permit was also issued for the put up of a similar structure in the area.

Further, the petitioners alleged that the respondents are inclined to block the ingress of the Partelo property, thus, they cannot just be evicted therein or their properties and residential houses without due process of law which compelled them to file the petition.

The petitioners claimed the matter is of extreme urgency and the petitioners will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury if their properties, including their ancestral home, will be demolished without due process of law.

By HENT

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