RTC affirms lower court’s ruling on market lot ownership

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By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The Regional Trial Court (RTC) has affirmed the decision by the 1st Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) on the civil case filed by the Locsin family against the local government unit of President Roxas regarding the ownership of the controversial lot where the town’s public market is situated.

A copy of the decision went out on June 8, 2022, two days after President Roxas Mayor Receliste Escolin presented to the media the certified true copy of the deed of donation he acquired from the National Archive of the Philippines (NAP) regarding the ownership of the property.

In an 11-page decision rendered by RTC Branch 15 Judge Alma Banias-Delfin here on May 16, 2022, the court favored the camp of Lusisa Consing Locsin represented by former Mayor Ramon Locsin and Ma. Lourdes Socorro Locsin-Escalante as the owner of the lot where the public market is located.

The court ordered the local government unit to return the lot to the Locsin family after it failed to prove that it was donated to the town.

Aside from this, the local government should pay the Locsin family P14,000 monthly rental from April 2021 until it is fully returned to the owner.

Cabug-cabug Punong Barangay Alfonso Golero, who served as property administrator of the Locsin family, said they are waiting for writ of execution and the finality of the decision before making legal action.

Escolin has said the local government will appeal the decision with the Court of Appeals and even the Supreme Court after they secured a certified true copy of the deed of donation from the NAP.

He believed that the higher courts will reverse the ruling because of the newly discovered evidence.

Escolin has said earlier that the property where the public market of Pres. Roxas, Capiz is situated is covered by a deed of donation, in contradiction to the case filed by some individuals claiming that it is still a private property.

The mayor confirmed that the local government unit has a certified true copy of the deed of donation which he secured from the NAP.