• Trader warns of man duping landowners

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    A businesswoman from Tuguegarao has warned the public to be wary of a man who claims he can obtain loans from banks using land titles as collateral, a common practice among entrepreneurs in the provinces.

    Estefania Lingan-Borja, the owner of construction firm Northeast Construction, Management and General Merchandise, told The Manila Times that Ramon Leonor took from her 30 land titles in 2012 that he said will be used to obtain loans from banks.

    However, since 2012, Borja said Leonor did not turn over to them a single centavo or any of the 30 land titles.

    Police sources said Leonor, who was arrested recently was able to post bail and left jail on Saturday allegedly through the help of a retired Philippine National Police general with whom he is reportedly associated.

    Chief Insp. Rodel Marcelo, head of the Quezon City Police District-Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (QCPD-CIDU) said Leonor was captured by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued against him by a Caloocan City (Metro Manila) court for the crime of violation against women and their children (VAWC).

    Upon checking, however, it was found out that the suspected notorious con man was facing similar warrants for other offenses.

    Chief Insp. Marcelo, however, did not respond to queries about Leonor being allowed to walk despite the existence of other standing warrants.

    “Hiniraman kami ng titles ni Ramon Leonor, mga 30 pieces sa Cagayan yung properties.
    Mayroon kami verbal agreement to seek loan using the land titles. [Leonor borrowed from us 30 pieces of titles from properties in Cagayan Valley. We had a verbal agreement he would seek loans for us using the land titles],” she said.

    Borja is planning to file a case against Leonor who she learned was jailed four times but was able to post bail for his temporary freedom.

    In 2012, Borja said Leonor operated in Tuguegarao a firm called Trade Focus that sold products through networking. Also that year, Leonor invited Borja to join a company he formed called One Glad, whose main business would be trading lands. The two companies of Leonor are no longer operating.

    Borja said that she tried to locate Leonor in Tanay and Taytay, Rizal, after the office of Leonor for Trade Focus in Kamuning, Quezon City (Metro Manila) closed down after 2012. Her attempts to contact Leonor has also proved futile.

    “Supposed to be, may mga numbers siya sa place [Tanay and Taytay]. Pero wala sila naibigay na number. [Supposed to be, he would have landline numbers in Tanay and Taytay. But he gave us no contact numbers there.],” she said.

    “Ayaw sagutin ang cell phone. [He won’t answer his mobile phone],” Borja added referring to attempts to contact him in 2012.

    The businesswoman now fears Leonor successfully pawned the land titles and ran away with the money amounting to millions. The 30 land titles cover mostly residential properties in Cagayan named to Borja, her son Benigno Jr., and daughter Xyza.

    Borja said Leonor claimed that he had connections with banks where he could obtain loans using land titles as collateral. One of his alleged victims was identified as Veronica Hernandez of Bulacan. Leonor used the names and signatures of the dead parents of Hernandez to sell her properties. Hernandez already filed court cases against Leonor for falsification of public documents.

    It was Hernandez who told Borja that Leonor is now working with a retired police general who has a reputation for his involvement in nefarious activities.

    The son of Borja, Benigno Jr., also said Leonor owes him about P3 million for the conceptualization of two building structures also in 2012.

    “After a year when natapos ko na yung designs, hindi ako binayaran [After finishing the designs over a period of one year, I was not paid by Leonor],” he added.

    The Borja family was acquainted with Leonor for a few months before they started doing business together.

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