TUBA, Benguet – Concerned claimants of vast tracts of land in Sitio Topinao, barangay Poblacion will go all-out to question the implementation of a housing project by the Baguio City government and the Department of Human Settlements, Housing and Urban Development (DHSHUD) that will cover a huge portion of their properties that was allegedly overlapped by the titles issued to some individuals.
Sources, who requested anonymity for personal and security reasons, criticized the ongoing efforts of some city government and DHSHUD officials to include their overlapped properties in the areas that will be covered by the proposed multi-million housing project when the lots that are in question have been subjected to lis pendens which had already been registered on the titles of the assailed properties.
Lis pendens is a notice of pending lawsuits and serves to place a cloud on the titles of the properties in question until the suit shall have been resolved and the notice released or the lis pendens is expunged.
The sources urged President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to reconsider spearheading the supposed groundbreaking of the government housing project by the third week of May as he will be confronted with a series of protests from the claimants who want to get back their properties that had been overlapped by titles issued in favor of a wealthy private individual who subsequently sold the same to the Baguio City government to the tune of more or less P95 million.
Aside from the pendency of a case of quitting of title and reconveyance of the same to the claimants that is being heard by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Tuba-Sablan, the Office of the President also granted the petition of another set of claimants for the processing of their free patent surveys with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the issuance of their free patent titles over their lands that they owned and possessed since time in memorial.
The case pending before the MCTC alleged among others that the titles issued to a private individual allegedly overlapped their properties by more than 11,000 square meters more or less while the claimants of the case that had been ruled upon by the office of the President claimed that the same assailed titles have allegedly encroached their properties by more or less 49,000 square meters.
While the claimants are supportive of the implementation of the government’s housing project, the sources pointed out that the same should be implemented in an area that has no legal problem to ensure that those individuals who will be availing of the housing units will have peace of mind and without fear that their hard-earned money used to purchase the same will not be simply wasted, especially when the ruling of the courts will be in favor of the claimants. CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE