DND asks CA: Stop demolition
Apas lot row
CEBU, Philippines — Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has asked the Court of Appeals to nullify an order of the Regional Trial Court that allows the demolition of structures on controversial Lot 937 in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas, Cebu City.
Lorenzana also asked the appellate court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction to stop the RTC sheriff, Nelson T. Sungahid, from implementing the demolition set on October 9 to 31.
The order was issued by RTC Judge Alexander Acosta.
In his petition for certiorari, Lorenzana told the CA that Mariano Godinez, the claimant of the lot, “could not produce proof of payment of just compensation.”
Lorenzana claims that the government is the lawful owner of Lot 937 where 205 families of military men and retired soldiers live.
The expropriation of Lot 937 was confirmed in a decision of the Court of First Instance dated May 14, 1940.
On November 18, 1938, then Commonwealth of the Philippines filed an amended complaint for expropriation, labeled as Civil Case No. 781, over certain parcels of land in the city against certain land owners.
One of these owners was Eutiquio Uy Godinez, the registered owner of Lot 937 who has been identified dead.
The expropriation was filed to carry out the development program of the Philippine Army as provided in the National Defense Act, as the government needed all the parcels of land that are entirely inside the boundary limits of Camp Lahug.
Lot 937 was covered by Land Tax No. 68447 with an assessed value of P1,845.72.
“The plaintiff prayed for the issuance of writ of possession over the parcels of land sought to be expropriated, including Lot No. 937, upon depositing with the Provincial Treasurer of Cebu the amounts specified in the complaint, for the total of P9, 387.80,” Lorenzana said.
On November 23, 1938, P9,500 was deposited to the Philippine National Bank for purposes of the issuance of the writ of possession.
Felisa Sycip, Administrator of the estate of the late Eutiquio, has asked the plaintiff be ordered to pay her the repeated amount of P1,845.72 via a Partial Decision as its just compensation for Lot 937 and be given other legal remedy or equity applicable.
The expropriation court granted the motion of Sycip in a Partial Decision dated April 22, 1939.
The court also ordered the delivery of the possession of Lot 937 to the government.
“Thus, since 1939, the Republic had been in possession of said Lot. No. 937,” Lorenza said.
Families of retired and active soldiers were allowed to build houses on Lot 937 in the 1960s.
It was in 2010 when Godinez filed a case to claim the property. (FREEMAN)