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Police now owners of military lands

Saturday, July 26, 2008 [ manilatimes.net ]

The Philippine National Police (PNP) can now rightfully claim legal ownership of about 1,160 hectares of land formerly registered as properties of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno and National police chief Director General Avelino Razon Jr. signed Friday a memorandum of agreement with Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna that formalized the transfer of 286 parcels of military lands to the National police force.

The properties include the 33-hectare Camp Crame, the National police headquarters, which has since been a property of the military when the police force was still the constabulary branch of the Armed Forces.

Other military properties transferred to the National police are Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City; the National Capital Region Police Office property also in Taguig; and Camp CastaƱeda in
Silang, Cavite, the home of the Philippine National Police Academy.

The parcels of land are situated in different locations, mostly used as police regional or provincial offices and training facilities. Prior to the establishment of the

National police in 1991, the properties belonged to the defunct Philippine constabulary.

At present, there are about 3,400 hectares of government-owned lands that are being used jointly by the police and the military.

Puno underscored the necessity for the National police to acquire lawful ownership of the properties for the purpose of infrastructure development, like on-base housing for police personnel.

”The PNP on-base housing which we have funds and great need for, will now be possible. Before, we cannot do housing programs within these properties as authorized by the President [Gloria Arroyo] because we are not in a position to turn over titles and take possession of [the] property,” Puno explained.

Razon welcomed the military’s transfer of the properties to the National police.

”We had been working to officially acquire these facilities to implement our own program in the PNP,” he said. -- Maricel V. Cruz

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