LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government questioned the supposed owner of the Lamtang cockpit property for allowing the use of the same as an impounding area for motor vehicles that are being towed by the Baguio City government considering that there was no business permit issued by the municipality for such kind of business in the town.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda claimed that aside from the absence of a business permit from the local government for the use of the same as an impounding area, he is also in possession of a court decision that declared the deed of sale of the supposed owner null and void which was issued way back in September 2017.
He asserted that the Lamtang cockpit area is within the jurisdiction of the municipal government that is why whoever will operate the same for business purposes should secure the required permit from the municipality so that they will pay the corresponding fees and taxes that will be assessed.
Based on a 24-page decision handed down by the Regional Trial court (RTC) Branch 63, the court declared void the deed of sale dated September 26, 2002 for having been absolutely simulated and declared the derivative titles of Dwight Nicolas Bello void.
He pointed out that with the ownership of the property still in question, especially if the aggrieved party appealed the court ruling, it is appropriate for whoever is managing the property to first secure the necessary permits from the municipal government prior to allowing the use of the same for business purposes.
It can be recalled that Bello offered to the Baguio City government the use of his alleged property in Lamtang as an impounding area for motor vehicles that will be towed by the tow trucks of the city wherein the same turned out to be the Lamtang Cockpit Arena compound.
While the ownership of the property belong to the parties disputing the same, the local chief executive underscored that whoever will be the lawful owner should respect the authority of the local government to issue the appropriate business permit among other clearances for the payment of taxes due the municipality.
Earlier, the municipal government also questioned the authority of Bello to previously close a portion of the Pico-Lamtang Road and collect fees from passing motorists that caused the filing of charges of those who were apprehended in manning the checkpoint that was established for the said purpose.
Salda appealed to Bello to process the needed permits to legitimize the operation of the area as an impounding area for towed motor vehicles by the two trucks of the Baguio City government so that he will be able to pay the appropriate taxes while whatever legal proceedings to settle the ownership dispute of the property will still be unde4rway for the concerned parties.
The Pico-Lamtang Road was declared a national road and concreted during the incumbency of former President Fidel V. Ramos to help in providing alternative routes for motorists wanting to evade the monstrous traffic congestions in Baguio City and La Trinidad for them to be able to visit the different tourist destinations within the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area.
He said that the local government will use the appropriate notice to the supposed property owner if the same will continuously be used as an impounding area for tow vehicles without the necessary business permit.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis