City legal office findings affirm bogus Irisan lot deal

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Legal Office has affirmed the questionable transactions over lands in Irisan barangay as divulged by Mayor Benjamin Magalong in August last year.

In a legal opinion rendered Jan. 6 by Attorney IV Isagani Liporada as requested by City Assessor Almaya Addawe, it was established that the alleged titles over parcels of land subject of transactions that the mayor warned about particularly Transfer Certificate of Title No. 498 and Original Certificate of Title No. O-97 were inapplicable.

The titles along with a deed of assignment were presented in a letter dated Aug. 7 to Magalong by one Alex Lupian who felt alluded to in the mayor’s statement that one pastor was allegedly involved in the illegal sale of lots at Purok 28 Irisan along with one individual the mayor named as Joel Mayol.

Lupian in previous press statements denied a hand in the selling and called out the chief executive’s act of hurling serious accusations against his person without the benefit of due process.

Liporada said TCT No. 498 which covers the 12-hectare property purportedly conveyed to Lupian “does not pertain to any property in Baguio City… the property described in said titled pertains to land situation in Province of Rizal; Malolos, Bulacan; and Tayabas, Quezon as can be gleaned in the investigation report alluded to by Lupian in his letter.”

On the other hand, OCT No. O-97 of which Lupian claimed to be the “transferor” had been cancelled by virtue of a “1964 ‘Deed of Partition of Registered Land with Simultaneous Conveyance of Portion’” and supplanted by derivative titles TCTs No. 8378-T-8384, T-8385 and T-8386.

Liporada also set aside the deed of assignment dated Aug. 30, 2014 issued by one Robert Acopiado with Lupian as “assignee” for providing false and questionable references.

“While the purported Deed of Assignment references a P.D. (Presidential Decree) No. 1143 issued May 28, 1977, said law does not have anything to do with any technical description of land.  Verification with the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines website reveal that (PD 1143) is a law amending P.D. No. 1137, ‘Standardizing the Salaries of All Government Prosecutors,’” Liporada said.

“The ‘technical description’ of that property purportedly covered by ‘TCT No. 12022’ being inexistent, the Deed of Assignment dated Aug. 29, 2014 therefore, is void and without any force and effect.”

Liporada said the mayor’s warning aired in a press briefing Aug. 2 last year was apt and part of his duties as the head of the city.

“The City of Baguio, under the leadership of (Magalong) would have been amiss in not forewarning the public apropos questionable transactions over lands in Irisan, Baguio City, said act essential to the promotion of the general welfare and the maintenance of peace and order within its territorial jurisdiction,” he said.

“As to those who have already bought the property, moved by the purported titles.., the undersigned recommends they confer with their respective lawyers as to whatever legal actions available to them.”

By: Aileen P. Refuerzo