No safe place against land grabbers [Part 1]

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JUDGING from the experience of 29 lot owners in a posh subdivision in Antipolo City, Transfer Certificate Titles and patents covering parcels of land seemed no longer a guarantee of ownership.

Obtained documents showed a well-connected retired police general was able to facilitate the cancellation of the TCT covering the parcels of land bought by 29 private parties at the posh Valley Golf exclusive subdivision located along Sumulong Highway, Barangay Mambugan in Antipolo City.

Among the victims of what appears to be another case of land-grabbing include prominent business personalities, private companies and a top commercial banking institution. According to the victims, a group of armed men swooped down the Sumulong Highway gate of the Valley Golf subdivision on Friday and at gunpoint ordered security guards and caretakers to leave the premises – which according to the armed men is a private property of one “General Acop.”

Alarmed over the incident, the victims sought the help of the Antipolo City government, which promptly directed the local police chief to log in the complaint and check on the reported presence of armed men in their private properties.

The group said that armed goons have taken over a combined total of 7.8 hectares of land from them.

At the police station, a cop from the investigation division started asking details as to what transpired. However, upon hearing the complainants mention the name of one “General Acop” from whom the armed men claim to be getting orders, the investigator excused himself and left.  He never returned.

Sensing something wrong, the complainants tried to see the police chief, but to no avail.

A check at the place where the complainants claim the presence of the armed group, proved affirmative. The posh village’s Sumulong Highway gate has been closed and heavily guarded.

One of the 29 complainants, who requested that his name be withheld, said that he finds it rather strange why local cops did not even bother to send a team to check on the presence of the armed goons who have been preventing them from going to their properties.

“They didn’t even bother to see the documents we have to prove our legitimacy in the ownership of the parcels, which we acquired out of hard-earned money. Even the chief of police seemed not bent on lifting a finger about the complaint,” one of the 29 victims said out of extreme disappointment.

The Antipolo City police has yet to issue a statement over the allegations of complainants.

Digging deeper into the land-grabbing incidents in the capital city yielded another case involving the same retired police general on a property owned by a film director. Interestingly, the property referred to also happens to be along the same national road being frequented by tourists wanting a glimpse of an overlooking view of Metro Manila.

Sumulong Highway, which stretches from the Antipolo City proper up to Marikina City in Metro Manila, hosts high-end hotels, restaurants and exclusive subdivisions, is considered the most expensive strip in the province. Lots along the road are priced a minimum of the P100,000 per square meter.

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