SBMA sends illegal settlers final notice to vacate

NOTICE TO VACATE. SBMA officials prepare the final notice to be served to the Filipino Farmers Center Internazionale and at least 11 of its members for them to vacate areas they have allegedly illegally occupied along the northeast periphery of the Subic Bay Freeport. (Contributed photo)
NOTICE TO VACATE. SBMA officials prepare the final notice to be served to the Filipino Farmers Center Internazionale and at least 11 of its members for them to vacate areas they have allegedly illegally occupied along the northeast periphery of the Subic Bay Freeport. (Contributed photo)

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) served a final notice to Filipino Farmers Center Internazionale (FFCI) and at least 11 of its members for them to vacate areas they allegedly illegally occupied along the northeast periphery of the Subic Bay Freeport.

The notice, dated January 3 and signed by lawyer Teophanie Christy S. Reutotar, manager of the SBMA Legal Department, said the SBMA will give the illegal settlers five days upon receipt of the letter to vacate lots at the Tipo area before it will formally take over the illegally occupied premises.

“Despite repeated advice for you to vacate the same, it is apparent that you continue to refuse to vacate and illegally occupy and built structures over the subject area,” the SBMA notice said.

“Please consider this as our final demand for you to vacate the subject premises. Otherwise, the agency will be constrained to resort to legal remedies, including the filing of criminal and civil cases against you, if necessary,” it added.

The final notice to vacate was served on Tuesday, January 4 by personnel from the SBMA Ecology Center and the SBMA Law Enforcement Department. It was addressed separately to FFCI, represented by one Joselito Gabriel, and 11 of its officers and members.

Lex Byron Magrata of the Ecology Center’s Social Development Division, who led the SBMA team, said the notice was received by Joel Donato, an FFCI marshal assigned at the FFCI office in the illegally occupied area.

Magrata said Donato acknowledged knowing the addressees of the notice but added that they lived somewhere else and only visited the area from time to time.

Donato received the notices in behalf of the recipients and said he will hand them over to the persons concerned within the week, Magrata added.

The recipients included Gabriel, who is a resident of Barangay Tipo, Hermosa, Bataan; Ding Nabalo of Barangay New Cabalan, Olongapo City; Erwin Basi of Old Cabalan, Olongapo; Liza Cunanan of Barangay Bangal, Dinalupihan, Bataan; Gina Pamayan, Ginalyn Nemenzo, Elvira Rosal, Ojing Medina, Edwin Buenaventura, and Peregrino Rosal of Barangay Roosevelt, Dinalupihan, Bataan; and Emily Ando of Tarlac city.

SBMA Chairman Wilma T. Eisma said on Wednesday that the SBMA decided to send the FFCI and its members an ultimatum after verifying the continued illegal occupation by the group since April last year of the Freeport area identified as Lot 2.

“We have given them a notice to vacate in April 2021 after they started a settlement at Lot 2, but they have ignored the warning, apparently,” Eisma said.

She added that last year the SBMA had already filed court cases against 30 families affiliated with FFCI for illegally occupying Lot 12, an area at the boundary of the Subic Bay Freeport and the Roosevelt National Park in Dinalupihan.

“We have to protect government rights and interests over these areas, as provided for under R.A. 7227, which created the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, and as further defined under Proclamation No. 532, which delineated the metes and bounds of the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone,” Eisma also said.

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