Lapu mayor to formally meet couple claiming portion of fire-hit area
LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard Chan is set to formally meet with the couple who allegedly claimed a portion of land in Sitio Sta. Maria in Barangay Pusok and constructed a house even though they are not among the individuals affected by the fire that hit the area on December 12, 2023.
In a Facebook Live on Tuesday, January 9, Chan visited the area where the couple, identified as Datu Amihan and Baenay Sampaguita, had been building their house.
The mayor instructed the couple to stop the construction of their house.
The couple claimed to be a native of the area.
During the confrontation, Chan asked them to present legal documents supporting their claim, of which they presented papers issued by a certain Datu Leon Kilat claiming ownership.
Chan reiterated that the land is titled and privately owned. He gave the couple until Thursday, January 11, to present to his office their legal documents.
He said he decided to intervene and talk to the couple after Pusok village Chief Ranie Emperio sought his assistance, stressing he received complaints about the couple from some residents.
"Gi-ari ta mo diri kay niingon mo nga way magbuot kay lumad mo ug naa moy kaugalingon. Ang City nagre-blocking dinhi, dili kita magpataka og tukod. Pero magbuot-buot lang mo patukod diha, wala na mi ninyo gi-respeto," Chan told the two during his Facebook Live.
(I came here because you said no one can hinder you (to build a house) here because you are natives and you own this portion of a lot. The City is re-blocking here, please refrain from building any structure. It seems you are not showing us respect.)
Over 1,575 families were left homeless in Sitio Sta. Maria after a fire engulfed their houses days before Christmas on December 12.
Aside from giving the victims cash assistance, Chan said earlier the City would allow only those victims who were house owners to return and reconstruct their houses after a reblocking.
Meanwhile, it would be the house owners' discretion to allow renters to return, provided that they live with them.
Chan proposed a reblocking in the area after the Bureau of Fire Protection Lapu-Lapu office found the place congested and had narrow streets, which led the blaze to almost erase the entire sitio. (HIC/With PR)