DUE TO CLAIMS OF ARCHDIOCESE
AS things stand today, the Dagupan City government appears not only to have already lost ownership of the 30-hectare land in Barangay Awai in San Jacinto but also cannot even claim full ownership of the MC Adore hotel property.
Consequently, the MC Adore property bought by the past Lim administration for P50 million will likely continue to be an eyesore as a white elephant, said a city official.
City Planning and Development Coordinator Romeo Rosario, breaking his silence over the issue, said the city government can neither improve, rehabilitate nor dispose of the property unless the encumbrances written at the back of the land titles are removed.
Rosario said unless it is covered by clean titles, devoid of encumbrances, no buyer would be foolish enough to buy the MC Adore property from the city.
Nonetheless, City Legal Officer George Mejia said he will seek to transfer the property in the name of the city despite possibly being made to assume the encumbrances reflected in the old titles.
Mejia has verified that the civil case reflected at the back of the titles have already been dismissed by the late Court Judge Felicidad Carandang Villalon.
The issue involves a civil case filed by Modesta Sabeniano against the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) when the latter was foreclosing the property for failure of the former to pay her matured loan from the bank.
Sabeniano bought the land where MC Adore now stands, from the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese and used the same as collateral for the loan she secured from the DBP.
The diocese, in turn, as represented by the late Archbishop Federico Limon registered its claim upon learning that Sabeniano may not be able to complete her payment before mortgaging the land to DBP.
“We hope the diocese will not insist on its claim but if it does, we have a problem,” said Mejia.
Rosario said unless this is resolved, it would be risky and a “suicide” to improve the property, or to convert it into a new city hall which was the vision of then Mayor Benjamin Lim.
Based on the documents, he said it was apparent that the purchase of MC Adore was hastily done and not subjected to a diligent study.
Asked if he was consulted on the planned buy before the property was purchased, being the city’s planning and development coordinator, Rosario replied tersely: “I should have been.”
Rosario said that when he first learned about the planned purchase, he insisted to the higher officials on a thorough study and assessment on the matter but his suggestion was brushed aside.
“And that was very sad because I knew that these issues and problems would soon crop up”, Rosario said.
He said as a native of Dagupan, he knew that it was common knowledge that the property where MC Adore stands belonged to the Catholic Church.—LM