DENR execs face raps over beach property


OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales: The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) officer in Zambales, the chief of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and its special investigator are accused by a group of complainants who claimed they were deprived of ownership of a one-hectare beach property here.

Samuel Montecastro accused before the Office of the Ombudsman for Luzon, PENRO officer-in-charge
Laudemir Salac, CENRO Marife Castillo and CENRO special investigator Emelita Lambinicio of causing the issuance of the Order of Award, Miscellaneous Sales Patent and Original Certificate of Title over The Cliff of a one-hectare beach property allegedly based on falsified statements and fraudulent documents.

Montecastro is a son of one of the 10 owners of the 10,000-square meter beach property located along the National Highway in Barangay Barretto here.

During a media conference, he said his parents, as well as nine other family friends and neighbors who are all based in Manila, bought the property from the Heirs of Baloy Estate Association, (HOBEA) Inc. in 1995 and developed the area into a private beach resort.

In February 1998, they were issued a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) and the owners started to develop the area in 2000 where now stand seven structures including four apartments/cottages, clubhouse and swimming pool.

A group claiming to be heirs also of Baloy filed a petition for review of the case on the mother title from which the TCT sold to the Montecastros and others in December 1998 was based.

The case was dismissed by the Olongapo City court in March 2007 but the court’s decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals in November 2010 and declared all claimants to the Baloy property as co-owners.

In March 2013, owners of the beach property received an offer from Lewis Yakich, owner of the Lewis Grand Hotel in Angeles City and president of Yakich Corporation, to buy the property for P150 million.
Lewis later withdrew the offer, citing funding issue.

In July last year, the title to the beach resort was canceled and the property was declared an unregistered land by the Land Registration Authority.

A Miscellaneous Sales Application by 10 people was approved by PENRO and CENRO and the property was sold immediately to Yakich for P5 million.

Salac could not be contacted for comment while Castillo said she is yet to receive a copy of the case against them filed before the Ombudsman.


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