By LITO RULONA
SOME three thousand families living in a property being claimed by the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Patag are facing the prospects of losing their homes because of a court’s demolition order.
The order to execute a 2017 writ of demolition, dated April 15, 2019, was issued by Judge Isiah Echem Tangguhan of the 17th branch of the Regional Trial Court in connection with Civil Case Nos. 3494 and 5918.
The court order worried the city council when it was brought to its attention by Councilor Zaldy Ocon. It passed a resolution Monday to formally ask the Duterte administration to do something about the court’s writ of demolition, and find a way to prevent the affected families from being displaced.
The city council also called on Mayor Oscar Moreno to see if city hall could set aside funds for an onsite settlement for affected residents.
The writ is a result of years of litigation. Councilor Ocon said the affected families had claimed ownership of lots within the property contested by the Army.
But their lot titles were cancelled by the Supreme Court, and a regional court subsequently issued a writ of demolition on Jan. 30, 2017.
A group of residents questioned the regional court’s demolition order. But this April, the regional court denied their motion for consideration, and ordered the execution of the Jan. 30, 2017 writ of demolition.
The property was declared an Army reserve by Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon on March 13, 1913.
Residents however filed a petition in the early ’60s and claimed ownership of lots within the property. The Army did not file any counterclaim until the late ’80s.