Koko seeks clarity on fake land title mess
DAVAO CITY—Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has asked the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to explain the sudden reversal in its position concerning land titles that it had previously declared to be fake.
Pimentel said the LRA had to explain why it recently issued a resolution allowing transactions to continue on a batch of Original Certificates of Titles (OCTs) that allegedly covers parcels of land adjacent to the General Santos City airport.
In a letter to LRA administrator Eulalio Diaz III, Pimentel warned that the agency’s sudden turnabout could be “prejudicial to the LRA’s avowed mission to maintain and foster greater public trust and confidence in the Torrens title as a secure, stable and trustworthy record of land ownership and recorded interests.”
Pimentel’s Senate committee on human Rights has been investigating the proliferation of fake land titles in the country, particularly in General Santos City.
He said some 6,000 fake land titles are in circulation in General Santos City alone.
In the hearing held by the committee on Oct. 8, 2014, Ronald Ortile, LRA deputy administrator, testified that the agency’s Task Force Titulong Malinis (TFTM) had investigated the OCTs under question as early as 2004 and found them to be “actually spurious titles.”
Ortile described the OCTs as “mere scraps of paper” which, he said, were produced through the so-called “saksak-bunot” scheme where members of a land syndicate, in connivance with some LRA staffers, insert fake land titles among the agency’s files to give them a “semblance of validity.” Inquirer Mindanao