BAGUIO CITY – The Office of the Ombudsman has found enough basis for administrative investigation of the case filed by the city government for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty against the commissioners of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) responsible for the award of Forbes Park forest reservation lots to private applicants.
In an order dated January 14, Office of the Ombudsman acting director Marilou Ancheta-Mejica ordered NCIP commissioners Atty. Eugenio Insigne, Rolando Rivera, Rizalino Segundo, Atty. Noel Felongco, Jannette Serrano-Reisland, Felecito Masagnay and Miguel Imbing Apostol to file their counter-affidavits and supporting evidences to answer the claims made by the city government through Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. on the case.
The city claimed that the award of the subject lots to the heirs of Lauro Carantes was spurious considering that the lots are forest land and therefore inalienable.
City legal officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes said the order is a significant step in the city’s continuing bid to reclaim the lots.
Apart from the ombudsman case, the city has a pending request with the Office of the Solicitor General to work out the cancellation of the spurious of Ancestral Land Title (CALTs) that cover a 25-hectare portion of the reservation and revert the lots’ status as forest land.
Assistant Solicitor General Carl Miranda earlier assured the city that they are looking into the issue and vowed to come up with a recommendation on the city’s request after ample investigation was made.
The city also filed a civil case for injunction with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction to protect the city’s interest on the lots.
The case is presently being heard at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 60 under Judge Edilberto Claravall Jr.
The city is seeking to recover the parcels of land covered by the subject NCIP Titles – Original Certificate of Titles Nos. O-CALT-26, O-CALT-27, O-CALT-28 and O-CALT – 29 and their derivative titles transfer certificates of titles bearing nos. TCT Nos. T-99949, T-99950, T-99951, T-99952, T-99953, T-99953, T-99954, T-99955, T-99926 and T-99927” issued by the NCIP to the heirs of Lauro Carantes. – aileen p. refuerzo