Real estate firm barred from fencing subdivision in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 August) – Residents of Bugac, Maa, Davao City prevented the Filinvest Land Inc. from fencing the area on Monday as part of the development of Le Jardin de Villa Abrilles, a high-end subdivision project that will affect 28 families.

Filinvest operations manager Norman Enano showed the residents a permit to prove that they are allowed to put up a fence along a distance of 759.97 meters.

But the latter questioned the legality of the fencing permit, saying the land was still under litigation.

Policemen from Talomo station had to ask some residents who stood in front of a backhoe to stop its operation to stay away to avoid accident.

“Mangamatay tang tanan diri. Ihunong ang backhoe kay maoy nagdalag samok (We will all die here. Stop the backhoe because it is the one causing the trouble.),” Cecilia Torrejos, one of the settlers, told the police.

Marcella Camomot, 71, said she has lived there for 65 years and they have proofs that the Villa Abrilles could not possibly own the area because it is a public land.

At around 2:00pm, city police chief Ronald dela Rosa and Public Safety and Security Command officer Magno Adalin Jr. arrived in the area on orders from Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

A few minutes later, Engr. Mateo Denopol of the Office of the City Building Official (OCBO) also arrived to check the validity of the fencing permit as instructed by acting city building official Jaime Adalin.

Denopol admitted that the fencing permit was issued by the OCBO, saying it the developer should have presented it to the residents along with the approved plan.

“That’s negligence on the part of the Filinvest. But, actually, when they applied in our office, all their documents are legal,” he said.

He said the OCBO had ordered a suspension of the fencing operation until such time that the company could show to the residents their legal documents.

He told the residents they may submit documents that would counter Filinvest’s claims.

“If we can prove that your documents are valid, then we will automatically revoke the fencing permit,” he added.

Elly Lumpayao, a resident, told Denopol that no operation should have been allowed as the land is still under litigation.

She said the residents recently submitted a letter to the OCBO along with the documents showing that the ownership of the land is still being contested.

The residents showed a copy of a letter from the Office of the President, addressed to Atty. Anselmo C. Abungan dated June 7, 2012 in connection with the land dispute.

They also have a letter from Atty. Bobby V. Dumlao, director IV at the Office of the President addressed to former regional executive director Jim Sampulna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in connection with the exact location of their claimed areas.

The letter dated June 7, 2012 stated: “…exact and correct survey plans of herein DENR ALLOCATEES of the subject lots being a portion of Lot 392 Public Land covered by Land Classification Map LC Map 47 Project 1 certified alienable and disposable on August 6, 1923.”

In addition, the residents showed a copy of the first endorsement from the Department of Justice through Atty. Maria Charina Duena Dy Po, technical staff director, addressed to the DENR Secretary.

The residents said there is no record with the Register of Deeds in Zamboanga and Davao City of Original Certificate Title 5609 as claimed by Villa Abrilles.

At around 3:00pm, Denopol instructed Filinvest to move the backhoe away from the area, while Dela Rosa and Adalin reminded the residents and the representatives of Fininvest to maintain peace and order. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)