NCIP to act on fake titles

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Friday, August 29, 2014


THE National Commission on Indigenous Peoples will take action over protested Certificate of Land Titles issued covering reservations in Baguio City.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan told media he made agreements with the NCIP about the issuance of CALTs and Certificate of Ancestral Domains in the Summer Capital during recent the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment Task Force meeting.

Domogan was pleased with the NCIP's update with regard to the pending cases concerning questioned CALTs and CADTs issued in Baguio.

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"No less than the NCIP conveyed to us na sa limang pending cases questioning the issuance of CALTs here in the city of Baguio, tapos na sila sa conduct of investigation to find out kung may irregularities in the issuance of titles for three of them," he said.

He cited these cases include the issued titles covering Wright Park, Forbes Park, Case Vallejo, Loakan airport and Baguio Dairy Farm.

"According to them, talagang may nakita silang irregularities and they are ready to cancel the CALTs that have been issued pursuant to this investigation that they have conducted," he reported.

However, he noted they still cannot do it as the cases are still pending before the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Domogan and the NCIP along with the Office of the Solicitor General agreed the agencies will make sure that if the titles are declared fraudulent or invalid for some reasons, they will have to be withdrawn and unrecognized.

For claimants who have been issued with land titles subjected to the abovementioned cases, he said, "Sorry nalang. Kung talagang madeclare na null and void yung kanilang titutlo, dapat lang alisin nila yung mga nailagay nilang improvement diyan."

They have also agreed the NCIP will come out with special Implementing Rules and Regulations on the issuance of land titles in Baguio City.

Domogan mentioned this IRR will be issued before September ends.

Aside from the IRR, he stressed the NCIP must also strictly adhere to the due process in issuing land titles to avoid irregularities.

He claimed NCIP’s recklessness, particularly issuing CALTs and CADTs without definite technical descriptions of the land, use of paper which are not genuine, issuing titles overlapping with existing titles and covering reservations are usually the reasons why titles they issue are being protested and questioned.

He opined since the NCIP has the authority to give titles for lands, it is just right for them to also do their responsibility to do it right by following the law.

If only the NCIP did not withdraw the Baguio Ancestral Land Clearing Committee (BALCC), which was tasked to eye on ancestral lands, Domogan said issues on land titling could have been prevented.

Nevertheless, it is not yet too late for the NCIP to fix issues and prevent them in the future by being more careful.

He stressed before issuance of any title, NCIP must notify stakeholders first such as the Office of the Solicitor General, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform and adjoining owners of properties being applied for.

Through this, he believes applicants for land titles will be prevented from being granted fraudulent titles or ones with irregularities.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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