By NITZ ARANCON
GOV. Yevgeny Vincente Emano yesterday said he would call officials of the environment department, the town government of Opol and the firm that owns Seven Seas Water Park and Resort in an effort to put an end to a dispute over the legitimacy of a land ownership title covering a 50-hectare property in Misamis Oriental.
Emano said he plans to invite officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the municipal government of Opol, and representatives of UC-1 Corp., owner and developer of the theme park.
The DENR has reportedly moved to void the land title secured by UC-1 over 20 hectares of the 50-hectare Opol property because the Department asserts that it is a timberland.
Emano said he was hoping the concerned parties would sit down and talk so there would be an acceptable solution.
The Barra property was first claimed by the family of Ella Yasay who used it for a fishpond. It was then bought by the family of Marilou Sarmiento and subsequently, by Engr. Elpidio Paras, president of UC-1, according to Opol Mayor Maximo Seno.
“Ang pamilya Sarmiento na ang ang nagpa-titolo sa maong yuta sa DENR,” said Seno.
He said Paras then bought the present site of Seven Seas from the Sarmientos.
Seno sharply criticized the DENR, calling its officials’ move “stupidity” and “counterproductive.”
He said, “Wala nay rason nga ipa-sera sa DENR ang Seven Seas kay sila ra mismo ang naghatag titolo sa maong yuta ngadto sa pamilya Sarmiento.”
He said the position of the Opol town government is to oppose the DENR’s move against Seven Seas.
“Magubot ang iyang lungsod sa Opol kon ipamogos sa DENR nga serhan ang maong resort,” Seno said. “Ang gusto sa gobyerno massive development, unya karon imbis na-develop na, ila na no-ong paserhan?”