HEIRS of Evaristo Tiotioen have filed a petition with urgent prayer for temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction in the regional trial court against local government unit of La Trinidad.
The respondents include Mayor Romeo Salda, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Arthur Pedro and Municipal Engineer Benedict Pineda.
In the petition filed May 1, complainants Eldefenso Tiotioen, Conception Diaz, Nancy Ogoy and Heirs of Filomena Tiotioen Dulnuan represented by Joel Ogoy and Gretchen Fagyan through their counsel, lawyer Mayor Wayagwag-Guibac sued La Trinidad prior to the implementation of the Memorandum 068-2018 effective April 17 ordering the Menro and other municipal offices to take measures and prevent further attempt to continue or resume any further illegal construction within the Puguis Communal Forest including the confiscation of all materials relative to the illegal activity.
“In light of the recent reports from our municipal forest guards of on-going illegal constructions and improvements at the Puguis Communal Forest, you are hereby mandated to conduct an actual inspection of the alleged illegal constructions as to issue notice of violations for the same if necessary. Further, you are hereby ordered to take measures to prevent further attempt to continue or resume any further illegal construction in area including Confiscation of all materials/tools/equipments relative to the illegal activity,” Salda’s memorandum order reads.
Petitioners pray to the court to prohibit the mayor from further issuing memorandum order against the petitioners’ subject properties in Pico, La Trinidad.
Previously, a criminal suit was filed against one of the petitioners for occupying the communal forest which led to an order of relocation survey.
“This case has led to an order for a relocation survey and series. The committee conducted a relocation survey and signed the field notes. After the result of the survey was reflected on a map and discovered that what petitioners occupying is far from Puguis Communal Forest," the petitioners claimed.
Three lots with land areas of 41,541 square meters; 123,938 square meters (Lot 1); and 56,566 square meters (Lot 2) are also being claimed by the heirs of Tiotioen. Their claims over Lot 1 and 2 are being contested making them subjects of pending cases before the Court of Appeals.
While waiting for court decisions on the legal cases, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR insisted the communal forest remains a forestland which should be preserved and protected.
Salda said there was no demolition made but only confiscation of materials was conducted to prevent further construction within the communal forest.
Municipal Legal Officer Attorney Bartolome Baldas Jr. said they are given five days to comment on the petition starting May 16.
Baldas said they will oppose the application of prohibition, injunction and other reliefs as misleading allegations which have been filed and the administrative order of the executive chief is to prevent any further illegal construction.