Occupants of recovered Apas lots won’t lose homes, Gov. Garcia clarifies

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | October 06,2022 - 11:00 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has clarified that occupants of the lots in Camp Lapulapu in Barangay Apas, Cebu City, which were transferred back to the Capitol, will not lose their homes.

Garcia made this pronouncement a few days after the Central Command (Centcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally turned over to the province 16 lots, spanning up to 17.5 hectares, in a prime location in Barangay Apas.

READ: After nearly 3 decades, Capitol recovers portions of contested lots in Brgy Apas

It culminated a decades-long legal battle between the provincial government and former Centcom officials over a land-use agreement that dates back in 1959.

The development, however, stirred speculations of possible displacement among the thousands of residents who live in the Capitol-owned properties.

Garcia, in a press interview, struck down these reports and assured those affected that the provincial government will iron out everything diplomatically.

“There will always be a win-win solution if magtarong lang ta og storya,” Garcia said.

The governor pointed out that part of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) the Capitol entered with Centcom in 2007 was to recognize the existence of at least 1,000 residents also occupying the lots.

Garcia revealed that the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) was among the signatories of the 2007 MOU.

“So, my position is, I will honor the MOU, which takes into account the existence of these occupants,” she said.

History

Last Monday, Centcom, together with officials from the Department of National Defense (DND), formally gave back to the province titles of 16 lots they occupy in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

In 1994, then Capitol officials revoked the validity of the Deed of Donation the Provincial Government granted to Centcom for the use of 80-hectares of land in Brgy. Apas, Cebu City, where Camp Lapulapu is currently based.

The Deed of Donation was signed in 1959, allowing the Philippine military to utilize the properties under one condition: they should be for military purposes only.

The province’s decision to scrap the 1959 agreement stemmed from their discovery that portions of the land were used for non-military purposes.

According to Garcia, the Deed of Donation also stipulated that the province is entitled to recover all 80-hectares of land even if only portions of it were utilized other than for the military’s operations.

The 16 lots turned over last Monday was just the initial. 

/bmjo

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TAGS: Barangay Apas lots, Camp Lapulapu, Capitol Centcom land-use, Cebu Province Centcom land-use, Cebu Province lots, Governor Gwen Garcia, land dispute

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