Residents who face demolition ask the court to issue a TRO-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
SOME 46 families in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City are afraid to lose their homes, which are in the Banilad Friar Land Estates.
They lodged a civil action before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City last week against Dumaguete City-based Paca Development Inc. and the Cebu Provincial Government.
They argued that Paca Development is not the actual settler and occupant of Lot 1028, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 1120, or the Friar Lands Act.
Also named defendants to the suit were the Cebu City Register of Deeds and the City Assessor’s Office.
In their complaint, the residents of Upper Peace Valley, Capitol Hills, Lahug said they are the actual settlers and occupants of Lot 1028.
The 3,000-hectare Banilad Friar Land Estates was later sold to the Province. And, pursuant to Friar Lands Act, the property may be acquired for public use.
But a provision of RA 1120 states that in case of sale, statutory rights will be given to actual settlers and occupants.
Capitol sold Lot 1028 to late Genoveva Villalon, who sold the property to Paca Development Corp, which residents said is not the actual occupant.
“Clearly, the sale and transfer of Lot 1028 to the entity, which is not actual occupant, grossly violated the Friar Lands Act and consequently same is null and void,” the complaint read.
Paca Development later subdivided Lot 1028 into 11 sub-lots and was issued tax declarations for these.
“Considering that plain-tiffs are actual settlers and occupants, the area respectively occupied by them shall be sold and transferred by the Province of Cebu in their favor at a price prevailing when the land was sold to the first buyer,” the complaint read.
The petitioners asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the impending demolition of their houses.
They also want the court to issue an order declaring the sale and transfer of Lot 1028 by the Province to Paca Development void.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 14, 2012.