Bayambang residents fear losing homes

January 12, 2015 at 9:21 am Leave a comment


By Yolanda Sotelo

BAYAMBANG – The New Year started bad for residents of a military reservation in barangay Magsaysay, who claimed to have been staying in the public land since they were born, after a local court ordered the demolition of their houses and to vacate the area.
The residents said they have won the right to stay in the military reservation after a Regional Trial Court dismissed a case on August 16, 2013 filed against them by an alleged owner of the property identified in the court papers as Rosemarie Gomez Aquino.
The decision penned by RTC 57 Judge Hermogenes Fernandez said while Aquino is the “owner of the premises, she should present her claim before the proper court in a proper action.”
“Even if one is the owner of the property, the possession cannot be wrested from another who had been in physical possession of the same by resorting to a summary action for ejectment,” Fernandez said.
But the residents were shocked when last Saturday, a policeman came and distributed the Alias Writ of Demolition to them, and that the demolition would take effect on Monday. But the demolition did not push through as the town chief of police was not around.
“We were told the demolition would be done next week. But we are afraid that the demolition crew would come anytime and we would be losing our homes,” Manolito Matabang, 57, said.
The residents are baffled why, despite an earlier RTC decision, a municipal judge issued the alias writ of demolition on July 7, 2014.
The writ, signed by Judge Dominico Sanchez, did not mention the August 2013 RTC decision which dismissed the forcible entry complaint of Aquino.
It instead cited another RTC Branch’s (56) decision dated December 18, 2009 dismissing the appeal of the residents after the court decided in favor of Aquino.

“How can a lower court defy the order of a higher court?” they said.
The alias writ of demolition ordered the residents to vacate immediately the portions of the subject property they are occupying and dismantle their house/shanties.
One resident, Carlito Orbillo, 44, said he inherited the 420- square meter property his family was occupying from his parents who inherited it from their grandparents.
In 2011, the family house was demolished after the court decided in favor of Aquino, but “we reconstructed it,” his wife Teresita said.
Another resident, Manolito Matabang, said he just acquired a salary loan to repair his house eaten up by termites.
“We have a son with disability and my mother is very old. Where will we leave if our house is demolished?” his wife Tessie, who claimed she was not able to sleep since she received the writ, said.
Village head Avelino Junio advised the residents to talk with Aquino and to pay whatever must be paid so they can stay in the land.
“But we have never seen her. Even during the court hearings she never showed up and was instead represented by somebody, so how can we talk with her?” Matabang said.

Entry filed under: News.

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