SC asks respondents to comment on petition over Manila Bay reclaimed land
The Supreme Court has ordered several government agencies to comment on a petition seeking the reconveyance – or the return to the previous owner – of a 41-hectare reclaimed land at the Manila Bay area in Parañaque City where Entertainment City now stands.
The petition, filed by 1-SAGIP Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, wants the court to declare as unconstitutional the sale of the reclaimed land, , which is on Roxas Boulevard and known as Central Business Park II.
In a resolution made public Monday, the high court ordered the following agencies to submit their comments on the petition – the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Register of Deeds of Parañaque City, the Light Railway Transit Authority and Manila Bay Development Corp. (MBDC).
The respondents have 10 days to comment.
The high court issued the order after Marcoleta submitted a 10-page urgent manifestation stating that no original Certificate of Title was actually issued by the Parañaque Register of Deeds on the 44-hectare reclaimed land.
According to Marcoleta, the land forms part of a 190-hectare property that is covered by an illegal title issued by the Register of Deeds of Parañaque.
The 41-hectare portion was reportedly sold by the Public Estates Authority (PEA) – now called the PRA – to MBDC.
Citing a letter, dated June 4, 2018, that was sent to him by Parañaque Registrar of Deeds Raymond Ramos, Marcoleta said that the said title appeared to refer to a Special Patent signed by then President Corazon Aquino to cover the 190 hectares of reclaimed land.
The phrase “Certificate of Title No. 1” appears to have been superimposed on the top portion of the Special Patent, Marcoleta said.
He stressed said that under the rules and regulations of the Land Registration Authority, Judicial Form No. 45 should have been used to issue an original Certificate of Title covering the 190 hectares.
Under Special Patent No. 3517, which was issued on Jan. 19, 1988, the national government conveyed and transferred to the then Public Estates Authority the said 190 hectares of reclaimed land as part of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project.
Marcoleta likewise reiterated his request that the Supreme Court immediately issue a temporary restraining order against the possible conveyance or transfer of said 44 hectares to third parties as the titles covering the same were derived from Certificate of Title No. 1, which was in turn illegally issued.
Marcoleta’s petition was filed last April where he asked the high court to void the sale of the said 41 hectares of land.
He filed the petition as a member of the House Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability and as a taxpayer citing Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, which requires all lands of public domain to remain state owned and not to be alienated – unless classified and declared otherwise by the government.
The lawmaker immediately sought a restraining order to stop the PRA from selling, transferring or conveying the property to any buyer of third-party purchaser as well as the Parañaque City Register of Deeds from allowing registration of a new deed for any creditor or third party.
The property was sold to MBDC in August 1988 for P472,037,050.
But according to Marcoleta, the 41-hectare property is now worth roughly P60 billion, citing the zonal valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. /atm
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