Issue of July 8, 2018
     
NEWS
Abra
Benguet
Ifugao
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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WEEK'S MAIL
We welcome your letters and opinions. Kindly limit your letters to a page, preferably typewritten and doublespaced. However, for your letters to be considered for publication, it is essential that all letters must be SIGNED above your PRINTED NAME (you may request your name to be withheld or substituted with your pen name) and must include your ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER. Letters and emails deficient in any of the above requisites will not be entertained. Please be guided accordingly. Thank you.
 
Puguis communal forest is government–owned, not by a family
ROMEO K. SALDA, mayor, La Trinidad, Benguet

I write in response to an article titled: “Let rule of law prevail in the Puguis forest issue” published in the Week’s Mail of the Midland Courier’s June 17, 2018 issue, written by the heirs of Evaristo Tiotioen.

So as not to mislead the public, particularly our constituents in La Trinidad, Benguet, may we clarify the following:

1. The location of the Puguis communal forest has been duly established. It is the forested area in Puguis long recognized by the people of La Trinidad as their communal forest.

2. There is no point in the conduct of a joint relocation survey as this joint relocation survey  has been conducted already. As admitted by the heirs of Tiotioen in their very own letter, “the court has already issued an order for the conduct of a joint relocation survey, which was already implemented.”

3. The result of the survey, as ordered by the court, shows that the portion(s) being claimed by the Tiotioens are inside the communal forest. The survey implemented by the Commission of Surveyors commissioned by the court consisting of seven surveyors to include three surveyors from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, three from the local government unit, and the surveyor of the Tiotioens or Pedro Isican, clearly shows the location of the Puguis communal forest.

4. The Tiotioens, however, refused to recognize the survey implemented by the Commission as their surveyor did not sign the Commission’s survey. Apparently, he did not sign this survey because this is not favorable to his clients.

5. As regards the claim of the Tiotioens in their letter that there is a “titled property of the heirs of Tiotioen,” this claim is not true. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. CV-99376 speaks for itself: The application of the heirs of Tiotloen for land registration was denied. There is therefore no title to speak of. What title now should be relocated when there no such title?

6. I reiterate our earlier advisory for the public not to buy portions of the Puguis communal forest. This forest is not for one family alone, this is for the people of La Trinidad. This is for the future generation of people who would call La Trinidad their home.

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