April 18, 2024

■  Rimaliza A. Opiña 

The group claiming to be give lands to its landless members via judicial acquisition is a squatting syndicate based on the list of the National Drive Against Professional Squatters and Squatting Syndicates (NDAPPS), the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera said.

Similarly, the Land Registration Authority-Registry of Baguio (LRA-ROD) has informed the city council of Baguio that Bagong Lahing Pilipino (BLP) Foundation and BLP Cooperative, which have recently been invited to the city council of Baguio to explain their operation in Baguio, that the titles are fake.

The DENR-Cordillera posted on its social media page on Feb. 20, 2024 a notice signed by Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno that warned the public to exercise caution in their real property dealings as the BLP Development Foundation is listed as a syndicate by the NDAPPS.

The DENR said the office is the primary government agency tasked to conserve, manage, and develop the country’s grazing lands, mineral resources, including those in reservations, watershed, and lands of public domain.

The DENR said there is no judicial acquisition of land ownership in Baguio. To own a property in Baguio, the only permitted ways is through miscellaneous sales, townsite sales, residential free patent, and special patent for government lands. 

The DENR advised the public to report to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development-Cordillera, chair, of the NDAPPS, the issue concerning BLP. 

On the other hand, ROD-Baguio head John Felix said in his letter to Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda that the “judicial title acquisition of ownership” issued by BLP is fake.

The ROD said certificates of titles may only be issued by judicial or administrative proceedings, not by a cooperative.

The ROD added the quality of the “titles” being presented by the BLP to its members does not – in appearance, quality, and feature – resemble a certificate of title.

“From all indications, it seems that the clear intention of BLP Multipurpose Cooperative in its incessant acts of issuing fake or spurious certificate of title/s is to perpetuate illegal activities – that is to defraud others and make a mockery of the Torrens system – our system of land registration,” Felix added in his letter.