Sato fights Villarosa’s demolition order

Map of Occidental Mindoro showing the location...
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Demolition and eviction aren’t just for the slum dwellers.

Mayor Jose Villarosa has threatened to “forcibly take over, fence and demolish” the Department of Agriculture Building in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, saying the property occupied by various offices of the provincial government is owned by the municipality.

But Governor Josephine Ramirez-Sato said the provincial government “has been in peaceful and lawful possession” of the property for more than three decades.

Vice-Governor Mario Gene Mendiola, in a petition for a temporary restraining order, said that the building was built in mid-70’s  “exclusively through national government funds.”

Mendiola said that since its construction, “the building has always been continually and peacefully occupied, possessed and enjoyed and owned by the Department of Agriculture and its former office/agencies…”

In 1992, when government services were devolved to the local government in compliance with  the Local Government Code of 1991, Mendiola said that the building was “turned over to the provincial government to form part of the provincial government’s properties.”

The building houses various government offices, including DA’s local to national offices, Provincial Welfare and Development, Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, and even the vice governor’s extension office.

In his notice of eviction dated June 15, 2011, Villarosa said that the ownership of the lot where the building sits along Hidalgo Street was granted in the 1950’s to San Jose through a presidential proclamation issued by then president Ramon Magsaysay.

After the devolution of services and agencies, Villarosa said that the provincial government “simply occupied the said building without any written or verbal agreement with the Municipal Government of San Jose.”

“Since the 1980’s up to the present, which is about 30 years of your occupancy, not a single peso was paid to the municipal government for its use,” he said.

Ramirez-Sato in a letter to Villarosa on July 13 insisted that when the services were devolved, “the said property was officially turned over” to the provincial government.

“Since then, the provincial government has been in peaceful and lawful possession of the said premises,” Ramirez-Sato said.

At the same time, Ramirez-Sato said that the municipal government under Mayor Juan Santos “ratified and granted the provincial government the continuous use of the said premises for government purposes.”

“Several mayors have come before you and have likewise allowed our use of the premises. We do not have knowledge or information of any resolution or ordinance revoking our peaceful and uninterrupted use of the premises,” she said.

But Villarosa countered: “(W)e cannot find any copy of the said resolution which granted the provincial government this particular privilege.”

A day before the scheduled June 16 demolition, Regional Trial Court Judge Jose Jacinto Jr. granted the petition for a TRO, temporarily stopping for 20 days  the municipal government from taking over the contested property.

Jacinto also ordered the two feuding government camps to appear before the court on July 25.

3 thoughts on “Sato fights Villarosa’s demolition order

  1. one municipality under one province with different political mentality… HOw stupid is this… Ae the people in this municipality also stupid to vote this kind of mayoralty thinking?

    may be not… its just the politicians itself has this kind of personality.


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