ABOUT 5,545 land titles in Socsksargen (South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) have been declared fake by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12, pointing to a group of big-time financers and unlicensed real estate brokers reportedly behind the illegal activity.
The issue surfaced when almost 50 percent of the pasture leased holders in General Santos City acquired questionable and fraudulent titles of the vast landholdings, even those that were under contract lease agreement with the local government unit.
Administrative charges have been filed against 12 DENR-12 personnel by a fact-finding team from DENR head office, it said.
Regional Executive Director (RED) Tungko Saikol based in Koronadal City, South Cotabato disclosed that prior to his appointment, he had submitted a report on the illegal activities, denying involvement in the fake land titling of vast landholdings in Socsksargen, particularly in General Santos.
DENR-12 Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) Officer Wahid Amelia said almost 800 hectares of land in Barangay Tinoto, Maasim in Sarangani province are currently contested by members of the B’laan and Muslim tribes before the Court of Appeals’ 11th division.
Arthur Lawa, the official representative of the B’laan tribe, said appropriate charges are being prepared against lone district congressman Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao and his wife Jinky Jamora Pacquiao for acquiring and titling 15 hectares from the contested land.
Lawa added that the owner of Mirabueno Farm—Lilia Mirabueno—may also face charges for titling 600 hectares of the ancestral land being claimed by the Ogon-Lawa and Ismael clans under various names.
Mirabueno said that “matagal na naming pinaghirapan at binili ang lupain na yan sa Barangay Tinoto at legal naming napatitulohan ang mga yan.” (We worked hard to acquire that land in Barangay Tinoto and it’s all above board.)
Meanwhile, lawyers Geng Gacal and Tomas Falgui, legal advisers of Pacquiao, claimed they were not aware of the issues regarding the properties of Pacquiao in Barangay Tinoto, but said they would take it up with him.