Fake title, fake owners

SPYBITS - The Philippine Star

A prominent lawyer told Spy Bits that a six-hectare property owned by SM Development Corp. is allegedly being claimed by persons holding a land title that was already declared as “fake” by the Land Registration Authority or LRA. The SM property is located in Barangay San Rafael in Pasay City but the claimants – said to be the heirs of a certain Danilo V. Herrera – continue to insist it is theirs on the strength of a reconstituted title that, upon closer scrutiny, happens to cover another property situated in Malibay, also in Pasay.

A 2003 report from the LRA said the Register of Deeds declared the claimants’ title spurious or questionable due to irregularities in its issuance, and that the title from which Herrera based his claim was declared as defective and even included among those recommended for nullification. The signature of the Register of Deeds who reportedly issued the title also seems to have been faked according to the National Bureau of Investigation.

The lawyer said that what’s really strange is that Pasay RTC Judge Jesus Mupas issued the reconstituted title and a writ of possession favoring the claimants “ex parte” (one sided) without giving notice to SMDC. SM was able to obtain a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals last Jan. 24 directing concerned parties to cease and desist from enforcing the Writ of Possession earlier issued by Mupas, but for some reason, the Pasay RTC sheriff disregarded the order and even brought a demolition crew last Friday.

In his ruling, Appellate Court Associate Justice Vicente Veloso said, “It is a settled rule that a writ of possession cannot be issued in a petition for reconstitution for an allegedly lost or destroyed certificate of title. For reconstitution does not confirm or adjudicate ownership over the property covered by the reconstituted title… It is equally settled that a person who seeks a reconstitution of a certificate of title over a property which he does not actually possess cannot – by a mere motion for the issuance of a writ of possession, which is summary in nature – deprive the actual occupants of possession thereof.”

Mupas is the same judge embroiled in a controversy over his “lighting quick” decisions without having read through the thick wad of documents concerning the electoral sabotage case filed against former president Gloria Arroyo – issuing an arrest warrant for Mrs. Arroyo and then just as quickly granting her bail, much to the confusion of authorities. Mupas was also accused of extortion by former Comelec chief Ben Abalos. In any case, authorities are being urged to go after individuals and syndicates peddling fake land titles that are being used to harass real estate developers or worse, victimize unsuspecting buyers. These fake land titling syndicates often work in connivance with unscrupulous employees from the Register of Deeds or even the LRA, and can be a major stumbling bloc to legitimate property developers.

Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s care

Over 35 million people are reportedly afflicted by Alzheimer’s, a debilitating disease whose emotional, psychological and financial impact on families cannot be overstated. According to authorities, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will affect a staggering 115.4 million people in 2050 – if the progress is not halted. Over the years, companies have been trying to develop drugs and medications to combat, if not alleviate the illness, but the progress has been described as a rollercoaster ride with even the biggest medical companies reporting setbacks in the process. While there have been initial successes reported in the treatment and management of the disease, the costs are huge, often causing financial drain on the part of families whose member is afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

However, it seems that a breakthrough is emerging in, of all places, the Philippines, with a novel medical device from Amylex Biotechnology Philippines (a subsidiary of Amylex Pharmaceuticals) that can extract, and therefore significantly reduce, high levels of “beta amyloids” in a single session. Beta amyloids are, in layman’s term, the “malicious proteins” or attacking agents that are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disease that is indicative of dementia when neurons or nerve cells start to die. Amylex chairman Roger Santos says they have been in the development and testing phase for nearly a decade, and that they are excited to release the results of the clinical studies as soon as the FDA approves the clinical testing in people diagnosed with the disease. This is definitely the kind of breakthrough that would make a huge impact in the lives of many people all over the world.

Porsche ‘supercar’ to China

Despite zooming air pollution levels in Beijing and other parts of China that environmentalists attribute to coal powered plants and vehicle emissions, Western car manufacturers are expanding in China due to a growing demand for more environment-friendly vehicles. Porsche will be delivering a Spyder hybrid “supercar” estimated to cost $2.2 million by next year – which could mean more Chinese millionaires sporting a “fast and furious” image.


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