DENR ruling to displace Isabela town hall, leave 10,000 homeless


SAN MATEO, Isabela – This town’s seat of government may soon be evicted from its home of more than 50 years following a decision favoring a long-time claimant of the land where the town hall and other local and national government offices are located.

The decision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources favoring the claim of one Estefania Miguel-Guerrero as owner of the land under a homestead patent would also displace 3,000 families or 10,000 people in the town proper.

DENR regional technical personnel were already set to conduct a relocation survey of the disputed lots in compliance with decision of their central office in 2006, which practically transformed the seat of the local government and residents in the downtown area virtually homeless. Also affected are the public market and plaza.

Local officials and residents led by Mayor Roberto Agcaoili warned of a possible backlash if the relocation survey, which would pave the way for the Guerrero clan to own the disputed land, pushes through.

Agcaoili said he and the other occupants of the questioned so-called Guerrero estate vowed to fight for their rights over the disputed land which they had developed upon presumption of rightful ownership more than 50 years ago.

“We will not yield to our rights to the land, which the municipal government and our constituents have been continuously occupying and have developed and nurtured in the past 50 years. The claimants had misinformed the DENR that this place is still barren,” he said.

The decision handed down by then DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes on Oct. 26, 2006 reversed the ruling of his predecessor, Michael Defensor, in October 2005 that favored the municipal government and residents in the land dispute.

In a letter to DENR regional director Clarence Baguilat last Nov. 25, the municipal government questioned why the DENR survey team would be accompanying a representative of the claimant for the relocation survey when “nothing in the (latest DENR) order would show that (the representative) is authorized to conduct a relocation survey.”

“The survey would only create chaos and confusion among those people occupying the area since the 1950s. I want peace in my town,” said Agcaoili. “I hope that DENR Secretary Lito Atienza would finally resolve the issue.”

In his decision, Reyes relied on the argument that a fraudulent document obtained more than 50 years ago does not legitimize claim to a property over the passage of time.
He also noted that Guerrero’s claim under a homestead patent over the land had not been cancelled by any court order and was supposedly still valid.

A homestead patent is an application for ownership over a piece or several pieces of land granted under the Public Land Act passed during the Commonwealth Period. — CL(NorthernPhilippineTimes)

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6 Responses to “DENR ruling to displace Isabela town hall, leave 10,000 homeless”

  1. wilma g. manzanillo Says:

    tungkol sa Guerrero claims over the land in municipality of San Mateo, ay masama epekto sa damdamin. Dahil hindi pabor and decision ng Regional Trial Court, individual na lang daw. May isang nag voluntary surrender ng lupa. Ang masakit nang ako na. Nag pose sila sa bahay na di ko sasabihin. oras-oras pinapalayas ako. kailangan daw nila ang lupa. Lupa mo? mahiya ka sabi. marami pang pasakit. Hindi naman nila sinasabi kung sino sila. mababa raw ang uri ko. sinumbong ko kay vice-mayor.
    ngayon nasa Court of appeals na yata at demolition ang prayer.kung naramdaman lang ninyo ang bigat ng aking kalooban.
    nasa LAHAT ay pag-aralan ng CARP o unang libro ng agrario lalo na mga opisyal para maunawaan kung ano ang land distribution.
    yan lang po.

  2. wilma manzanillo Says:

    Ang nakalimutan ng opisyal ang law of eminent domain. kung kailangan ang lupa para sa gobierno ay may karapatan itong bawiin kahit ttulado pa.

    Ang ganitong kaso kapag may pumasok na iba para tulungan at manalo, malaki and hihingiin na ganting pala. kung nagkataon na mga individual na iyan ay bago lang residente o dayo, its a lucrative income. the municipal assessor estimated to be near billion pesos and lupa.
    its against good custom, public policy and morals if it is allowed.

  3. wilma manzanillo Says:

    Sa Alfonso, lista, ifugao ang DENR AT MARO AT BIR ay may coordination.
    Hindi mag-move ng isa kung di approve and kapwa agency. Ganon di na may go signal si mayor.
    libro ng CARP or land reform ang ginagamit na parang biblia.
    para walang mag-akusa na land grabber ang iba.
    Dapat malaman ano ang land distribution, qualification at disqualification. para walang gulo. kung papayagan ng DENR ng ganyan, many will follow through like the Cadelinas, Castillos, Alipios, and others. w hat will be the scenario?

  4. wilma manzanillo Says:

    maaaring mawala ang lupa kung di magbayad ng buwis sa loob ng 10 taon.
    bago payagan ny meyor na may magpa reconstitute dapat bayad lahat ng buwis.

  5. wilma manzanillo Says:

    too bad maraming umaangkas sa kasong ito na dapat mapigil para sa katahimikan ng buhay.

    (p.s.) id trial

  6. wilma g. manzanillo Says:

    Hello everybody. walang bumabasa dito sa comment ko.
    Ang kaso dito sa Guerrero claim hindi ni review mabuti kung ano ang simula at ano ang mga batas na uriiral tungkol dito. Mabuti pa sa Potia, Ifugao experto ang mga opisyales sa local govt.
    Itong Guerrero claim, sino talaga ang may karapatan mag claim. Si Ely Guerrero ang hinahanap ko paliwanagan lahat at si Ate Mining Guerrero-Cadelina dahil sila ang mga anak ni Vidal Guerrero. Para maliwanag.

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