MANILA – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of five officials of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) and the Registry of Deeds (RD)-Taguig for conspiring to legitimize cloud on titles of over 18,000 square meters of prime real estate within Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
In an order dated June 23, Ombudsman Samuel Martires ruled to suspend for six months without pay LRA Legal Service Director Rhandolfo Amansec, Docket Division chief Joel Mari Martin Bigornia, and Micrographics and Computer Division chief Ser John Pastrana.
Also suspended were Taguig RD’s Dorylene Yara and Ron Jacob Merced, a records officer.
The Ombudsman said it “found sufficient ground to preventively suspend respondents considering that there is strong evidence showing their guilt” and that “the charges against them for gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service may warrant their removal from the service (and that) their continued stay in office may prejudice the investigation of the case filed against them”.
Amansec, Bigornia, and Yara approved the confirmation of a group of transfer certificate of titles (TCTs), known as the Vizcarra titles, covering 18,000 square meters of prime real estate in BGC even if the documents lacked credible evidence affirming authenticity.
Merced, as authorized by Yara, executed a judicial-affidavit in the cancellation of title and reversion proceedings of the Vizcarra titles.
Reversion proceeding is the manner through which the State seeks to revert land to the mass of public domain and is the proper remedy when public land is fraudulently awarded and disposed of in favor of private individuals or corporations.
The Ombudsman noted that Merced concealed the disclosure of the RD-Binangonan that the Vizcarra titles as well as their predecessor title do not form part of the said office’s official records
A CTC covering an 8,318 square meter parcel of land in Taguig City next to the property covered by the Vizcarra titles was issued to Alberto Delos Santos Gasmen Jr. by RD-Rizal in 1969 after the latter’s purchase from Gregorio Osorio.
In 2018, Wilhelmina Paclibar purchased the property from Gasmen, her friend and business partner.
In February 2016, however, the LRA and RD Taguig refused to issue copies of the TCT to Gasmen and his representatives.
Entries of title were removed by Pastrana from the official database following a Task Force Titulong Malinis (TFTM) report submitted by Bigornia and reviewed by Amansec, who branded the title as spurious.
The findings were reversed in the 2020 final report of the newly created TFTM that recommended the reinstatement of the title for being a validly issued title.
Despite the recommendation, the Ombudsman said Amansec tricked LRA chief Renato Bermejo to refer the matter to the Office of the Solicitor General for the title’s cancellation.
In her complaint, Paclibar said LRA and RD-Taguig conspired to legitimize the Vizcarra titles’ properties that sit next to the lot she purchased. (PNA)