Release land titles, Bacolod asks PNB-A A +A
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BACOLOD City Mayor Monico Puentevella said on Monday that the City Government is in the process of retrieving the 68 land titles from the Philippine National Bank (PNB) for the properties purchased by the previous administration under then mayor and now Bacolod Representative Evelio Leonardia in the amount of P12.5 million.
“We are now trying to consolidate, review and acquire back our city properties. The Commission on Audit used to say that we have P8 billion in assets. Now we understand that it is only P5 billion. My question is where are these properties?” the mayor said.
Puentevella added that the City Government is also trying to get back its properties from Bredco Corp., including new lots that can be taken through the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).
He said that in the case of PNB, the City Government has 68 land titles, which were paid 18 years ago.
“Can you imagine that? And we want now to get back those properties. These have cases pending in court under the Regional Trial Court Judge Franklin Demonteverde. We are only asking for what is due us. We hope the case will be resolved immediately,” the mayor said.
Puentevella said the Bredco properties are separate from the 68 land titles.
“We are now negotiating with Bredco and they are cooperating, including, the PRA.
He said that Lawyer Cesar Beloria Jr. of the City Legal Office is knowledgeable about the location of these properties.
“We need these assets back to the people of Bacolod. It should go back to where it belongs. Let us not borrow money anymore. Let us dispose these assets,” the mayor said, referring to the Provincial Government sale and lease of its 7.7 hectares to Ayala Land Inc.
“We are thankful to them because part of the business will go to Bacolod,” he said.
He added that once the City Government obtains the titles, it can double or even triple its budget.
“We have paid for 18 years and it was not returned to Bacolod and that is injustice. We are appealing to them,” he said.
For his part, Beloria said the City Government has to go to the court first in order to get back these properties.
Based on records, two titles were sold by PNB to an unnamed private individual which is considered a criminal offense, he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 11, 2014.