Probe set for free patents

DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Cordillera Director Engineer Ralph Pablo ordered for investigation on free patents situated in Mankayan, Benguet.

The move came after Tadian Mayor Anthony Wooden wrote a letter seeking for DENR to cancel the proceedings of free patents.

In July 2017, Wooden sought for the cancellation proceedings for free patents of private lands within the boundary dispute of the municipality and Mankayan in Benguet to stop the conversion of forests into vegetable gardens and to protect the major source of water.

Despite the permanent protection ordered by the court in the watershed between Mankayan and Tadian, individuals continue to ignore the court order.

"It appears that a protest in due form pursuant to DAO 2016-31 has been filed by Mayor Anthony Wooden in behalf of the municipality of Tadian, Mountain Province against Delson Palid, Agosto Palcacion, Peter Ngawa, Marjon Ngawa and Johnny Dugao all residents of Sitio Sayapot, Dacudac, Tadian whose free patents are situated in Mankayan alleging in substance the free patents are within timber or forest lands as projected in LC Map No. 3288 Project 13-A certified on June 29,1987," the order stated.

Pablo signed the order March 12, directing the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) to conduct the investigation for dispositive action in accordance with Chapter III section 32 of the DENR Administrative Order or the procedure in the investigation and resolution of land claims and conflict cases.

On March 15, Penro chief for technical services division Engineer Leandro De Jesus assigned a team to spearhead the investigation whether or not patented lands are within timber land or alienable and disposable.

De Jesus said the free patents are within timber or forest lands of which he added once the free patents are proved it would be, "recommended for cancellation."

In 2013, the late Assistant Secretary for Legal Services Anselmo Abungan penned Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza regarding the titles covering parcels of land located in Mankayan, but these two investigation reports, which were already forwarded previously, was not received nor followed up.
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