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Pimentel proposes land title insurance against fraud

09/10/2011 [ tribune.net.ph]

BACOLOD CITY — Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday pushed the immediate enactment creating a system of land titling insurance in the statute books.

“If property can be insured against floods, fire, earthquakes and other calamities, then the same property can be insured against fraudulent land titling too,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel issued the statement in the wake of the resurgence of another huge land controversy in Quezon City where many ordinary land owners are threatened to be evicted from the homes that they purchased with their sweat and hard earned money.

Pimentel, however, emphasized that ultimately, in the Quezon City land row, the matter of determining ownership of the land is to be resolved by the courts.

Nevertheless, there is nothing that should stop our legislators from coming up with solutions to avoid expensive litigation traceable to the intrinsically flawed land titling system in the country, Pimentel said.

Pimentel agrees that that the system of land titling in the country is institutionally flawed. As a result, there has been no end in land title disputes in courts.

Worse, the flawed land titling system has been taken advantage of by criminal syndicates preying on innocent purchasers of real estate, he said.

Establishing a land title insurance system will protect the land titles of owners of real property, in the same way that one procures insurance of his property against fire, earthquakes and other calamities.

Buyers of real property can rest assured that they will be insulated from possible harassments and even eviction under a land titling insurance system.

That is why Pimentel is strongly reviving the initiative to establish a land titling insurance system in the country.

Pimentel expressed confidence that this land title insurance system will protect owners of real estate against defects in their land titles and help maintain the integrity of the Torrens Title system, which is the foundation of ownership to real property.

According to Pimentel, there had already been an investigation by the Senate blue ribbon committee during the time of his father, Sen. Nene Pimentel Jr.

That is the reason why the land titling insurance was proposed in the Senate before.

The Senate blue ribbon investigation uncovered the modus operandi of syndicates specializing in fraudulent registration and titling of land.

It can be recalled that in the investigation, the Committee concluded that the whole system of the land registration and titling of land is institutionally and intrinsically flawed.

The syndicates, in cahoots with some government agencies, engage in this revolting scheme.

This could be traced, among other things, to the fact that the records’ management of the Land Registration Authority is seriously defective as some people there had allowed the switching or tampering of important land documents, including land titles.

Pimentel stressed there is an urgent need to restore the faith and reliance of the people on the integrity of land titles and stabilize the ownership of real property.

The land title insurance system would help crush what Pimentel described as a growing cancer that has infected our system of land registration and bring back the public’s lost faith and confidence in the Torrens System.
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