Itogon mayor, councilors condemn mine firm-A A +A
Sunday, October 28, 2012
ITOGON, Benguet -- Officials disapproved Benguet Corporation’s opposition on applications for free patent titles of the indigenous peoples (IPs) of the municipality.
Legislative council’s presiding officer, Vice Mayor Noel Ngolob, said Benguet Corporation’s opposition has no basis.
Councilor Gerard Cornel said the claim of the IPs, who are mostly senior citizens, is valid.
Mayor Oscar Camantiles also said the claim of the IPs has basis. He added the company should also present its basis on its act.
Cornel said “the applicants are the original people of the town, so they should be given the appropriate land tenure.”
He said the problem with the company is that it opposed all the applicants. “This move of Benguet Corporation is what we are opposing in the legislative body. Why deny these people their rights to own their lands?”
Ngolob said they will pass a resolution condemning the act of the corporation and will support the resolution of the elders’ association.
Earlier, elders of the town sought action from the Provincial Board of Benguet on their plight against the corporation.
The Federation of Itogon Senior Citizen’s Association headed by Tomasa delos Reyes recently passed a resolution appealing to the Provincial Board of Benguet for its immediate action on the opposition filed by the mining firm against the elders’ application of free patent title.
Elders stated the lots are covered by Survey Number CAD 1062–D, which is under the different nine barangays of the town. The lands are within the town’s cadastral survey under alienable and disposable lands.
They also said the applicants of the free patents are IPs of the area. With this, the elders said the mining firm should respect their rights.
Benguet Corporation had been opposing around 500 applicants for the free patents.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 29, 2012.