Marcoleta now aiming for inquiry on land title of ABS-CBN property in QC
MANILA, Philippines — Just 12 days after the House committee on legislative franchises killed ABS-CBN’s franchise bid, Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta has sought an inquiry into the authenticity of the land title where the broadcast media giant’s offices and buildings are erected in Quezon City.
Marcoleta filed on July 22 House Resolution No. 1058, directing the appropriate committees in the lower chamber to conduct the inquiry “in the light of the policy recommendation of the [technical working group] as a consequence of the decision taken by the committee on legislative franchises on the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corporation.”
Copy of the resolution was only made available to the media on Tuesday, July 28.
Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta files a resolution seeking an inquiry on the authenticity of the land title of ABS-CBN Corp. The resolution was filed less than a month after the broadcast giant's franchise bid was denied by the House committee on legislative franchises. pic.twitter.com/x1KwzQWzxz
— Neil Arwin Mercado (@NAMercadoINQ) July 28, 2020
Marcoleta, who was at the forefront of the force opposing the continued operation of ABS-CBN, questioned the Owner’s Duplicate Certificate of Title (TCT No. 125702) presented by ABS-CBN for its property on Mother Ignacia Street during the franchise hearings, noting it was “only a poor photocopy.”
According to Marcoleta, he was able to secure a certified electronic copy of the title from the Registry of Deeds in Quezon City.
He said that the certified electronic copy showed that it is an “Owner’s Duplicate Copy” of the title and not the “Original Certificate Copy” of the title.
Beside the title number, Marcoleta added, was a handwritten suffix “PR-9690” or Provisional Registration-9690.
“Upon perusal of the certified electronic copy obtained from the Register of Deeds, the particular part that should indicate the title number of the immediately preceding title was suppressed, while the photocopy of the Owner’s Duplicate copy submitted by ABS-CBN contained the following information: ‘this certificate is a transfer from Transfer Certificate of Title No. 110731/T-557’,” Marcoleta pointed out in his resolution.
“This simply means that the alleged present title of ABS-CBN (TCT No. 125702), is a transfer or immediately precedes, from Transfer Certificate of Title No. 110731/T-557,” he added.
Marcoleta then claimed that upon verification of TCT No. 11031/T-557, he found out that the land title “pertains to a property with a totally different technical description, location, and area, rendering it difficult, if not impossible, to be the immediate predecessor of ABS-CBN’s title.”
“There appears to be no plausible explanation why ABS-CBN’s TCT No. 125702, which allegedly houses its main headquarters in Mother Ignacia, Quezon City with an area of 44,027 square meters, would originate from TCT No. 110731, a parcel of land described to be located in Brgy. Nagkaisang Nayon with a minuscule area of only 42 square meters,” Marcoleta said.
“It may also be inquired that if ABS-CBN’s title was indeed for ‘provisional reconstitution’, it should explain why said administrative remedy was not even annotated in said owner’s duplicate title given the direct mandate of LRA Circular No. 3 dated December 6, 1998, on pending reconstitution of titles,” he added.
Marcoleta said ABS-CBN should explain what happened to the application for reconstitution if there was any.
He likewise called it “intriguing” that ABS-CBN’s TCT No. 125702 had a “twin title number”, which, he said, is situated in University District, Quezon City.
Marcoleta said the Supreme Court previously declared the title of a certain land in Quezon City as “null and void ab initio, considering that none of the parties therein has established a valid acquisition of the land, and therefore still part of the patrimonial property of the Government.”
He further said that the government, through the Office of the Solicitor General, can file an action for nullification of title if it is found that the title of ABS-CBN is actually of “dubious origin.”
INQUIRER.net has reached out to ABS-CBN for comment regarding this issue but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.