Friday, July 19, 2019

Village chief to DPWH: Donate area to school

PAMPANGA. DPWH-Pampanga 1st District Engineering Office Maintenance Section and Construction Section crew and affected residents jointly implement a Supreme Court Order to remove structures along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay San Isidro, City of San Fernano which encroached the road right of way. (Chris Navarro)

THE village chief of San Isidro in the City of Pampanga is alluding to the Department of Public Works and Highways that it donate a portion of a land that it earlier demolished to the San Isidro Integrated School.

On Monday, the DPWH started to tear down structures that have encroached part of the highway’s easement in Barangay San Isidro.

San Isidro Barangay Captain Bernardino Talao said the affected residents and students of the school would appreciate the improvement.

“I hope that the government will just donate the land to the San Isidro Integrated School, since the government owns the school. The school requires more buildings and needs extension due to the school’s small space,” Talao said.

The demolition stemmed from the case between Franda Estates Corporation (Franda Corporation) and affected residents.

Sometime in 2000, Franda Corporation conducted a boundary survey of its estate adjacent to the land occupied by the affected residents. The survey showed the developments introduced by the residents who occupied and blocked the northwestern portion and right-of-way of the national highway.

After the findings, Franda Corporation filed an administrative complaint with the petitioners (DPWH) for the demolition of the private respondents’ structures that encroached part of the highway’s easement. The petitioner had the same findings as that of the survey by Franda Corporation by conducting a verification survey.

Based on the order, the residents, who claimed the lot is owned by the Provincial Government of Pampanga, argued that they have rental receipts dated back as early as 1934 which established their right of possession over the properties, and that the demolition of their structures will be the result of loss of the homes and means of livelihood which are not capable of financial estimation nor compensable by damages, and that they are allegedly being singled out in violation of their right to equal protection of the law.

Their claim was however denied by then Provincial Treasurer’s Office of Pampanga Officer-In-Charge Pia Magdalena Quibal who certified that the “the Province of Pampanga has no real property (land) owned or registered under its name located in San Isidro, City of Pampanga.”

According to the decision, the residents failed to show that they have a “possessory right over the land in question.”

It said that the residents failed to show proof of a lease agreement and establish a lessor-lessee relationship.

It was settled that a writ of preliminary injunction should be issued only to prevent grave and irreparable injury. But the order stated that there was no “irreparable injury” because the structures “are capable of pecuniary estimation and fully compensable by damages. Thus, a preliminary injunction was not warranted, the order furthered.

The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals rendered its decision on August 10, 2018.

Talao added that the residents, who are participating in the self-demolition, will be compensated with a minimum wage from the DPWH and P23,000 or more from the City Social Welfare and Development Office, while the Local Housing and Settlement Section Office made preparations for the residents’ immediate relocation.


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