BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan warned residents on the alleged illegal collection of fees being done by certain groups of individuals to compensate those who fought for the nullification of the expanded titles that were declared null and void by the Supreme Court (SC) in a recent decision.
The local chief executive said there were reports that reached him that there are some individuals who approached residents affected by the expanded titles and were said to be allegedly collecting fees as the compensation for those who reportedly fought for the revocation of the expanded titles of a certain Gloria de Guzman covering portions of Sto. Tomas Apugan and Outlook Drive.
“We are disappointed over the fact that there are some unscrupulous individuals who are trying to demand from concerned residents of the affected barangays amounts of money purportedly to pay the services of those who had been fighting for the nullification of the expanded titles which should not be the case,”Domogan stressed.
Earlier, the Supreme Court junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Gloria de Guzman assailing an earlier en banc resolution that reversed a ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that declared that the expanded titles covering a total of more than 606,000 hectares in barangays Sto. Tomas Apugan and Outlook Drive were legitimate.’
However, the SC ruled that the titles of de Guzman only cover a total land area of over 11,000 hectares and that the declared 606,000 hectares stated in the assailed titles are considered to be expanded.
Domogan claimed credit should also be given to former Sto. Tomas Apugan Punong Barangay Federico Gallutan who had been in possession of the complete documents of the case that served as the basis in questioning de Guzman’s expanded titles before competent courts.
He also claimed former Rep. Honorato Y. Aquino contributed to the formulation of the case that was filed which assailed the expanded titles, thus, credit must be given where credit is due.
According to him, the latest SC ruling that nullified the expanded titles should serve as a warning to the affected residents for them to work out the titles over their properties to prevent a probable repeat of the scenario.
He questioned the CA for reversing the decision of the Validation Committee created under Presidential Decree 1271 in denying de Guzman’s request for validation over the expanded titles but the residents should be grateful to the SC in finding merit to their appeal and declared de Guzman’s expanded titles null and void.
Domogan appealed to the affected residents to report any incident of unwarranted collection of fees by certain individuals in the guise of reportedly paying the services of those who worked in the nullification of the expanded titles, citing that such collection of fees is considered to be illegal in the absence of a valid contract for which the collection is being undertaken./By Dexter A. See#