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3 decades after: 2,500 families affected by Pinatubo eruptions may get land titles

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Porac councilor Mike Tapang, NHA-3 chief corporate counsel Atty. John Bernardo, Porac Vice Mayor Charlie Santos and NHA-3 director Roderick Ibanez show the petition they filed before the RTC 3rd Judicial Region in Angeles City on Wednesday.  Photo by Ashley Manabat



ANGELES CITY – The National Housing Authority
has filed a petition for the surrender of the titles to some 50 hectares of land in Barangay Pio New Model Community in Porac, Pampanga.

The NHA filed the petition at the Regional Trial Court here versus Ciriaco Reyes or any person holding the owner’s duplicate of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 382955-R covering the resettlement site of 2,500 families who were victims of the eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991.

Porac councilor Mike Tapang said the families who were affected by the 1991 eruptions were resettled under the government program Mt. Pinatubo Housing Project called Porac Resettlement on a land donated by Ciriaco Reyes who has since passed away.

Reyes’ heirs allegedly refused to honor the deed of donation which left the resettled families without titles to their lands despite paying the full amortization of their lands to the NHA.

The petition to surrender the owner’s duplicate TCT No. 382955-R of the office of the Register of Deeds of Porac, Pampanga was filed on Wednesday by NHA Central Luzon regional director Roderick Ibanez.

Executive Judge Omar T. Viola of the RTC 3rd Judicial Region here received the petition which was docketed as Case No. R-ANC-20-02563-CV.

RTC-3 Executive Judge Omar Viola supervises the electronic raffling off the case. Photo by Ashley Manabat

Viola immediately raffled off the case which was received in the sala of Judge Irineo P. Pangilinan, Jr. of RTC Branch 58 but will be heard in the sala of Presiding Judge Ramon Corazon P. Blanco of Branch 115, as assisting judge.

Ibanez said past officials of the NHA tried to negotiate with the Reyes’ heirs but to no avail which prompted NHA to file the petition.

In the petition, the NHA is ordering the respondent Ciriaco Reyes to surrender the owner’s duplicate copy of TCT No. 382955-R to the Register of Deeds as well as ordering the RD to enter on said title the deed of donation dated February 5, 1996. The NHA is also enjoining the RD to issue a new TCT under NHA’s name.

Should the holder fail or refuse to comply with the court’s directive, TCT No. 382955-R be declared null and void and a new TCT be issued in lieu thereof and enter the deed of donation under the name of the NHA.

The NHA also wants to declare the respondent (Reyes’ heirs) liable to pay petitioner the cost of the suit and other related litigation expenses.

Now, Ibanez said, a petition was filed in court seeking the release of the title. The petition was signed by authority of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel as counsel for the plaintiff NHA and other pertinent NHA officials.

Tapang said the resettlement site in Porac is now home to about 20,000 individuals that do not have titles to their lands.

With this welcome development, Tapang said it will be very soon that the Mt. Pinatubo victims will finally have their titles to their lands after almost three decades.

Also present during the filing of the petition aside from Tapang were Porac Vice Mayor Charlie Santos and councilor Papa Duds David.

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