Velasco hands-off on demolition of houses

March 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm 1 comment

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

SANTA BARBARA – The mayor of this town took a hands-off policy on the dramatic and acrimonious clash between the demolition team and the squatters of Barangay Tebag here.

Mayor Rey Velasco said he could not prevent the demolition team composed of dozens of police using a fire truck and a pay loader which backed up land owner Humberto Solis.

He said there was already a court order favoring Solis as owner of the n a disputed 11 hectares of land that that saw litigation for 30 years.

“Mi court order, paano naman tayo? How can we go against the court order?” he said.

According to Albertini de Guzman, this town’s administrator, the disputed real properties were part of the vast hectares owned by the Solises which were subjected to Agrarian Reform Law under the Marcos Regime.

He said the 11 hectares were awarded to them by the government.

“Noong umpisa, the Solises were wiling to provide home lots (to the squatters). Pero iyong mga tao, because of the agitation probably of somebody who have vested interest, inilaban nila at gustong kunin lahat iyon,” de Guzman said,

He said under the DAR, Solis owned the property.

Solis said he has title to the land but was willing to give parcels to the residents, “Pero, ayaw nila, gusto kunin nilang lahat,” he said.

De Guzman said what made Mr. Solis changed his mind was the result of the painful and expensive court ordeals.

He explained that the squatters did not even give the owner the share of the land’s produce, primarily mangoes, every harvest season.

He added that the owner religiously paid the real property taxes at the municipal hall here.

After all the toils brought by the emotional legal battle have been concluded,. Solis decided that he would not give even a part of the disputed land to the squatters.

De Guzman added that Solis would not even heed the personal request of Mayor Velasco to give a hectare of land for the relocation of the squatters after their ejection.

“We offered temporary resettlement area for them but they refused,” Velasco said.

He said if the settlers wanted to avail the Gawad Kalinga’s housing program in barangay Matic-matic, they have to undergo a seminar.

The disputed land becomes a political issue since one of the tenant there is this town’s former vice mayor Onofre C. Palaganas.

A source says that most of the people there are supporters of Velasco’s mayoralty rival Lito Zaplan – a former mayor of this town.

Entry filed under: News.

EDITORIAL: Increase the budget not the tuition Fearless Maki

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. pinky  |  November 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    maawa naman kayo sa mga kababayan ko


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