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BCDA files bid to recover 192-ha property in Morong

By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star) Updated December 15, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - State run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has filed a petition to recover 192 hectares of government property in Morong, Bataan which the agency claims has been fraudulently given away to private individuals through the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

In a statement, the agency said they filed petitions for the annulment of coverage with prayer for the cancellation of the Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) issued to at least six purported groups of farmer-beneficiaries of Republic Act 6657, also known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.

The petitions were filed upon instructions of the BCDA Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano D. Casanova who want the properties immediately cleared of illegal claimants to give way to speedy development of the land as envisioned in the master development plan for the 356.66-hectare Bataan Technology Park (BTP), a BCDA owned and administered special econmic zone. The BPT is being managed by the Bataan Technology Park, Inc. (BTPI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the BCDA.

Casanova stressed that filing of the petitions before the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator of Bataan is without prejudice to subsequent filing of administrative and criminal actions against the illegal farmer-beneficiaries and other persons including government officials involved in the grant of the questionable CLOAs.

Casanova explained that the 192 hectares, comprising more than one-half of the entire BTP property, were “erroneously, fraudulently, and arbitrarily” subjected to the CARP by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Morong, upon a false certification of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) that the BTP property is alienable and disposable and therefore, could be covered by the CARP.

“What is very unusual is the fact that the Bataan Technology Park built-up portion is part of the area subjected to the coverage of the CARP. It is neither a farmland nor part of the government’s agrarian reform program. The big question is, who were involved in processing and issuing these CLOAs,” Casanova pointed out.

As a result, then DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman was apparently misled into issuing the questioned CLOAs which were eventually registered by the Registrar of Deeds of Bataan. Cited as private respondents in the petitions were Erwin Sevilla, Marilou dela Cruz, Noel dela Cruz, Esteban dela Cruz, Larry Cruz, and Juanito Dare and several others. While the respondent farmer-beneficiaries might have been issued CLOAs to the BTPI properties, the BCDA remains in continuous possession of these lots, Casanova said.

According to Casanova, the BCDA has valid ownership to the BTP property by virtue of Special Patent No. 3642 and Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 038-2011000044, declaring the land alienable and disposable, but only insofar as the BCDA is concerned.

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