Court orders land claimants to vacate lot

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The 1st Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) in Pilar-Pres. Roxas has ordered land claimants to vacate the subject lot and peacefully turn over its possession to the plaintiff.

In its June 4, 2024 order, the court, through Judge Hannibal R. Patricio, also directed the defendants to pay the plaintiff a fair monthly rental of P70,000 from the last demand until they vacate the premises, and to pay attorney’s fee of P100,000.

The preliminary mandatory injunction issued by the court has also been made permanent.

Daily Guardian was exclusively provided with a copy of the decision on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

“After thorough evaluation of the records, the court believes that plaintiff Jonady Dela Torre was illegally dispossessed from the subject lot,” the 5-page decision released on June 7, 2024, stated.

Jonady B. Dela Torre of Brgy. Cayus Pilar, Capiz, filed a complaint for forcible entry and damages, seeking a preliminary mandatory injunction and temporary restraining order against 35 individuals led by Angelo Orense, all from Brgy. Cayus.

The complaint alleged that they are owners and actual possessors of a parcel of land known as Lot No. 2871, with an area of 13.0635 hectares situated in Brgy. Cayus.

Dela Torre claimed that in 2013, they bought the lot from the Philippine National Bank after it was extrajudicially foreclosed by the bank through an affidavit of consolidation of ownership on July 13, 2022.

The property was previously owned by the late Artemio Badana before being foreclosed by the bank.

The plaintiff alleged that on November 5, 2023, a portion of the lot equivalent to 4 hectares was forcibly entered by the defendants, who used force, intimidation, threat, stealth, and strategy.

They allegedly placed “no trespassing” signs and surrounded the lot with plastic straws. The defendants, armed with bolos, also burned the “patdan” (sugarcane cuttings) planted in the field.

Dela Torre reported the incident to the Pilar Municipal Police Station, and pictures were taken as evidence.

The defendants denied the complaint and claimed that the area was involved in an agrarian dispute. However, the court stated that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued a certification indicating that the lot does not involve a tenancy relation.

After receiving the certification, the court issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction on March 25, 2024, ordering the defendants to cease and desist from cultivating the lot until the merits of the case were decided.

The court noted that Orense, who spearheaded the illegal takeover of the property, is a member of Malakaya, an organization involved in agrarian matters. He is not a resident of Pilar but of Brgy. Culasi, Roxas City, and is neither a tenant nor an heir of any of the defendants.

It was learned that the defendants plan to file a motion for reconsideration.


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