Land row in Bolinao leaves police baffled

BOLINAO – The town police are in a quandary wondering how and who’s claimed rights should they protect over a land dispute between parties that both claim legal rights over the land.

P/Sr. Inspector Joseph Mark Sibayan, Bolinao police chief, said, he received a letter from Atty. Lucas Carpio from Carpio and Bello Law firm seeking police assistance to implement the court order of Branch 54 RTC Alaminos City dated June 13 this year directing the DENR PENRO to conduct relocation survey in the property of Roning Santos.

But residents of Barangay Patar barricaded their community last week July 5, and prevented PENRO Pangasinan to conduct a survey relocation of their of their land area being claimed by one Roning R. Santos from Santo Cristo Bulacan.

The residents refused that ended up to barricade their property and sought police assistance to prevent the entry of PENRO representative and the sheriff.  Sibayan said his job is to keep peace and order and since both Santos and residents have titles to show ownership of the 1,200 hectares property in Patar, it’s up to the court to settle the issue, the police chief said.

Santos is claiming almost 2,000 sq/meters (from Barangay Patar up to Barangay Ilog- Malino and Catuday) covering residential areas occupied by almost 3,000 residents, including barangay halls and resorts.

One of the affected lot owner is First District Rep. Jesus ‘Boying’ Celeste and other resort owners.Celeste said, it was in 1995 when he was still the mayor when Santos attempted to intrude in that area but was barred by the residents.

The congressman traced the controversy to the Parcamento family. “Hindi sila taga-Bolinao kundi taga-Manila, isa itong manunukat ng lupa, napapelan nya daw ang lupa na yan pati part na ng dagat napatituluhan din nya, tapos ay naisanla daw nya sa bangko noong 1939, at natubos daw nitong claimant. Pero may titulo rin ang mga nakatira sa mga lupa na yan at nagbabayad din ng buwis,” Celeste said.

Lawyer Art Amon, counsel of Celeste said, “even if you are a titled owner of a property, you cannot just simply dispose of people occupying the place, because he said that would be tantamount to grave coercion, you have go to the court and file the necessary action to eject them where the claimant must prove his right over the property.”

Amon charged that Santos simply came in and wanted to possess on the property “which is unlawful.”

For the occupants, Amon said with or without title, they are in possession and as occupants and they have the right to stay there and with more reason because they are paying their taxes. (Nora Dominguez)