LAWYER Leon Moya Jr. opined Monday that the P250,000-million loan of Bacolod City has violated certain legal procedures and that it “subjudice” in Darab (Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board) case No. R-00005-8873-10.

In his letter addressed to the manager of the Philippine Veterans Bank through its local branch manager in Bacolod, Moya said the Register of Deeds cannot transfer a title without securing DAR Clearance and Certificate of Exemption from Carp coverage.

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This refers to the relocation site that the City Government planned to purchase from the Arao property in Barangay Vista Alegre, which according to some critics, especially by the opposition group, is agricultural.

Moya said the Declaration of Real Property value of the lots covered by the sale between Nellie Antigua in favor of the city of Bacolod showed that the said properties were agricultural.

“Being so, the Register of Deeds cannot transfer title without securing DAR Clearance and Certificate of Exemption from Carp coverage,” stressed Moya.

Earlier, complainants Elsie Guanco, spouses Alan Cuyos and Ma. Fe Cuyos, Alteo Perez and Antonio Perez, Jr. filed a case before Darab for the declaration of nullify of sale and injunction with prayer for temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction against the owners of Arao properties.

The owners include Nellie Antigua, Romanita Andal, Lynette Punzalan, Sonia Arao, Anelie Arao, Elisieta Arao, Aniano Arao, Jr., Eugenio Arao, Sophie Nguyen, and Eva Gumtang.

Petierre said the Arao property had been classified already and converted before the effectivity of the Carp Law in 1988, noting that there’s also portions of two or three hectares of land areas, “even on the issue of the retention limit it will be considered that it will not be covered by the Carp Law.”

“We are hopeful that the complaints filed by the complainants against the owners of the Arao properties will be dismissed,” he said.

Petierre further cited that the Arao property was not subjected under Carp law.

There is no notice of coverage from the Carp indicating that indeed the area should be covered by Republic Act 6657, and the complainants are not yet Carp beneficiaries, said Petierre.

But Moya maintained that the law is clear and “a status quo” for the loan release of the bank to the City Government will be put on hold or cancelled until such time DAR would issue a resolution “considering that the case is subject for hearing of the DAR.”

“So it’s clear that without this clearance from DAR and COE from Carp coverage then it shall be considered that the loan of the city with Veterans bank is null and void because it is also clear that there is no absolute sale of property at all,” said Moya.

Moya also questioned that suppose the property which is of agricultural status is valued at P6 per square meter but because it had been converted into residential, the city will acquire it to at least P200 per square meter “which is prejudice to the tax payers.”

“It’s grossly disadvantageous for the people of Bacolod and its tax payers” added Moya.

On the other hand, Petierre opined that whatever case that was filed in Darab involving the potential Carp beneficiaries “anybody could file in Darab as a potential beneficiaries, but it does not necessarily that they are entitled or determined as Carp beneficiaries.”

The complainants said they are potential beneficiaries of the Carp program on Hacienda Maria Arao, Vista Alegre consisting of 10 parcels of agricultural land devoted to sugarcane, cited Petierre.

However Petierre believes that the case in Darab is nothing more “but a delaying tactics.”

Petierre added that he is certain Darab will not issue a TRO or any injunction that will delay the loan release.

Further, Petierre explained that any tax declaration does not determine the nature of the property but it is merely used as basis for computing local tax and does not after the residential nature of the property.

The Arao property is already classified as residential in 1976, which was approved in September 24, 1980 by the Ministry of Human Resettlement.

He said that the Arao properties under Bacolod Council Resolution 5153-A, series of 1976, have been classified for residential use which the same was reiterated in City Ordinance 216 passed in 1998.