Mayor: No permits issued to ‘spurious’ claimants

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Sunday, January 12, 2014


MAYOR Mauricio Domogan said his administration is seriously addressing spurious ancestral land claims covering several areas in the city.

"We are not afraid of closing down these businesses and in fact we have not issued any business permits to any business that we believe are being operated by these claimants," the mayor said.

Domogan said the City Legal Office has never wavered in filing appropriate cases against spurious ancestral land claimants and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

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The mayor said what hinders some moves of the city to demolish structures constructed by ancestral land claimants, including some businesses they have started in their claimed lands, are injunction orders issued by the NCIP.

The City Government will continue questioning the legality and validity of ancestral land titles issued by the NCIP for several forest reservations, parks and heritage areas.

He said the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act section 78 must be properly interpreted and enforced by the government agency.

He also welcomed the recent pronouncement of the Registry of Deeds not to issue Transfer certificate of Titles to ancestral land titles.

Domogan earlier aired his concern to the Baguio-Boracay Task Force over land speculations and wanton issuance of ancestral land titles in several contentious areas which include parks and reservations in the city.

Among the recent issues being fought by existing occupants versus ancestral land claimants include portions of Wright Park and the presidential mansion claimed by the Abanag heirs and the recent controversial decision by the NCIP to evict the DENR's tenants in the Casa Vallejo property in favor of the heir of Cosen Piraso.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 13, 2014.

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