Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Fernando Elumba has issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the Register of Deeds from annotating the fact of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program coverage on a Negros Occidental provincial government land title covering 50 hectares of its Negros First Ranch in Barangay Santa Rosa, Murcia.
Provincial Legal Officer Jose Ma. Valencia yesterday said the ROD move to annotate the provincial government’s property was based on the joint Department of Agrarian Reform and Land Registration Authority Memorandum Circular No. 17, Series of 2011, that provides for the annotation of adverse claims for agricultural lands distributed by DAR.
This is to warn potential buyers that the land is already subject to acquisition and distribution by DAR, he said, but added that the memorandum is in gross violation of existing laws.
Elumba ordered the Negros Occidental provincial government to post a P500,000 bond in favor of the ROD to answer for whatever damages it may sustain with the issuance of the TRO.
The application of the provincial government for the issuance of a preliminary injunction has been set for hearing on July 17.
Valencia said the provincial government sought the TRO and preliminary injunction to prevent the ROD from violating its rights and denying it due process of law.
Other landowners have also filed for TROs against the ROD for moves to annotate their land titles without granting them due process.
Valencia also slammed DAR Administrative Order No. 09-11 on the survey and field investigation of landholdings that he called “highly confiscatory”.
He said the recent methods being adopted by the Department of Agrarian has caused grumbling among landowners.
The problem could escalate into a peace and order concern, Valencia added.
Those who are claiming to be beneficiaries of the land, like those in the Santa Rosa property of the Capitol, are not even workers of the land, he noted.
He also said that since the ranch property is classified as pasture land, it cannot be covered by CARP.*CPG