Cebu News

More evictions in Brgy Apas?

Niña S. Abenoja and Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Some 120 more families in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas are in fear of losing their homes pending an ejectment case in court.

The affected residents, who are occupying at four contested lots, claimed that businessman Richard Unchuan, who wants them ejected from the area, is the same person who is backing up claimant Aletha Suico-Magat.

They claimed Unchuan financed Magat in processing the acquisition of  lots 942 and 947, where the houses of 157 families are. Demolition started last Tuesday.

“Kami na sad isunod ana niya kahuman niya aning lots 942 ug 947. Na-busy pa man siya ani maong kami na kinaunhan niyang gikiha, nag-pending pa ang kaso,” said Rosalinda Leogan, president of  the Ark Angel Unified Homeowners Association.

Leogan, with Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman, yesterday showed documents of an ejectment case filed by Unchuan before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities against the residents of lots 943, 944, 945, and 946.

The affected residents filed an injunction case before the Regional Trial Court in 2012 and the case has since been pending, the same status with last week’s demolition case.

If the court does not recognize the injunction that they filed, their houses will be subjected to demolition too, said Leogan.

Leogan and Ayuman said Unchuan got the four contested lots from the Lopezes when it was actually owned by one Quintin Velcide, based on a document that they acquired from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office.

“Kinahanglan g’yud matan-aw ni kay systematic na kaayo ang nahitabong land-grabbing diri sa Apas,” said Ayuman, who feared that the residents of the four other lots will also be subjected to a demolition.

However, Unchuan, in an interview with The FREEMAN, denied the accusations, saying that he is not in any way connected to Magat, aside from the fact that they have neighboring lots.

Unchuan, a resident of Cebu, also confirmed he filed a case against the occupants of lots 943, 944, 945, and 946, saying that he bought the lots from one of the heirs of the Lopezes, Myrna Lopez-Terol in 1998.

“Whatever we do is morally right and legally correct,” said Unchuan, who added he also has documents to prove his claim.

On Magat’s case, Unchuan said there was a decision from the Supreme Court to reconvey lots 942 and 947 to the heirs of Santiago Suico, Magat’s grandfather.

“Definitely, the Suicos were the former owners of lots 942 and 947 as decreed by the Supreme Court. Who are we to say otherwise? Kangilngig na gud nako para ingnon ang korte unsa’y unahon na kaso,” Unchuan said.

While the court has yet to resolve the motions filed by both parties in lots 942 and 947, Ayuman and the affected residents hope that the government will help them in their plight, most especially because a relocation site has not yet been provided. Eight houses have so far been demolished since last Tuesday.

As of past 2 p.m. yesterday there was no order yet issued by Executive Judge Soliver Peras of Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in relation to the petition filed by the affected residents of demolition in Sitio San Miguel.

 Last week, Peras ordered the sheriff to stop the demolition pending the resolution of the petition for injunction with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order filed by the affected residents through lawyer Feliciano Lope Payot.

Both parties of the case have already filed their respective position papers.

 Meanwhile, the counsel for the affected families, Benjamin Militar, and the counsel for Magat, Mark Anthony Gaviola, already filed their respective memoranda yesterday before the sala of Judge Alexander Acosta of RTC Branch 9 containing their arguments on the demolition of houses in Sitio San Miguel.

 There were two sets of appellant-movants appealing the decision of Municipal Trial Court in Cities Judge Pamela Baring-Uy before the RTC granting the ejectment case filed by Magat. Aside from that, the appellant-movants also asked to stop the demolition of their houses. —/BRP












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