Baguio council ask SolGen to file cases

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


THE Baguio City Council recently endorsed a resolution requesting the Office of the Solicitor General to file appropriate cases nullifying questionable titles issued by the Register of Deeds in portions of the Busol watershed.

The resolution, introduced by Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas, seeks for the filing of an appropriate case to declare the nullity of Original Certificate of Titles No. 018-0-162 and all derivative titles issued by the Register of Deeds covering portions of Busol.

The resolution also seeks for the filing of appropriate administrative and criminal charges against those responsible for issuing the questionable titles.

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The council penned the resolution after receiving a copy of endorsement by the City Legal Office to the City Assessor relating to the issuance by former ROD Noel Aperocho of 22 new derivative titles of OCT 018-0-162 covering about eight hectares of the Busol Forest reservation established through proclamation No. 15 on April 27, 1922.

According to the City Legal Office, "A perusal of Original Certificate of Title No. 018-0-162 readily reveals that this is a 211 title under the Land Registration Case No. 1 which requires validation under Presidential Decree 1271as amended by P.D. 1311."

The City Legal Office adds P.D. 1271 declares the title null and void and without force and effect lacking validation of the original and derivative titles.

The CLO adds plotting conducted by the City Assessor’s Office showed the lots in question falls within the Busol Watershed Reservation, established as forest reservation through Proclamation No, 15 on April 27, 1922 which antedates OCT No. 018-0-162 as issued only on March 26, 1965.

According to Fariñas, there is an urgent need to declare the nullity of these void titles since these are also prejudicial to public interest.

In an earlier statement, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the city government through the CLO will file an affidavit of adverse claim over the 22 questionable derivative titles comprising some 7.8 hectares in the 112 hectare Busol watershed issued then by the former ROD.

Earlier, Land Registration Authority executive director Eulalio Diaz III, in a meeting of the Baguio-Boracay Technical Working Group September last year, assured the city government the agency will look into the titles and process the cause for the cancellation of the titles.

The mayor disclosed last year the authority to survey the questionable titles was only approved on June 13, 2013 while the issuance of 22 derivative titles from the Original Certificate of Title 018-0-162 was done only last June 20.He also said the issuance of titles violates an earlier Supreme Court decision declaring the titles as null and void.

He said it is the city government’s obligation to ask the OSG for the cancellation of these titles as this may again cause for the sale or transfer of the titles to unsuspecting buyers.

The city mayor then stressed the derivative titles also are part of critical and important portions of the Busol watershed, the biggest water source for several barangays in the city.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 26, 2014.

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