Closure of road to Ateneo de Naga High School looms

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NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)—After being deprived for years of the sole and exclusive use and possession of their lawful property at Barangay Pacol, Manubay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation (MANDECOR) said it is with great regret that they inform all affected persons that portion of Fr. Phelan Road will be closed thirty days from November 4, 2019.

The property pertains to the portion of Fr. Phelan Road starting from the corner of San Felipe-Pacol-Carolina Road, up until the bridge, which is part of TCT No. 47345, registered in the name of MANDECOR.

Manubay’s exercise of lawful property ownership will affect Ateneo de Naga Junior High School, residents of San Francisco Village I, San Francisco Village 2, San Alfonso, San Ignacio Estate, and other individuals passing through the road section.

MANDECOR narrated: “Before it was made into a city road to pave the way for the construction of the Metro Naga Sports Complex, the City Government of Naga promised to pay the absolute owners the corresponding just compensation.”

This pertains to the use of the property back in 1997 in preparation for Naga City’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa.

“To this date, the City Government of Naga has yet to fulfill their promise. Along the passage of time, the city still neglected to compensate the owners, in blatant and disrespectful display of violating private property rights.”

Meantime, “the owners continued to pay the appropriate real taxes thereto despite being deprived of its sole and exclusive use and possession.”

On December 10, 2018, MANDECOR formally demanded the City Government of Naga to pay the corresponding just compensation of approximately 5,335 square meters consumed by Fr. Phelan Road out of its property.

However, the City Government still failed to act, “in continued deliberate neglect to respect private property rights of the landowner.”

Several letters reiterating the lawful demands were sent, but seemed to be ignored.

MANDECOR further made it clear that it will not be donating the piece of property to the City of Naga.

It has also decided to terminate any negotiation for donation or purchase of the affected property.

“The City Government of Naga has yet to make an actual and concrete effort to respect the property rights of the landowner, even as it continues to pay the corresponding real property taxes thereto,” Counsel for MANDECOR Atty. Norman P. Barrosa said.

“We believe that we have given the City of Naga more than enough time to respect the property rights of the landowner,” he added.

"The City of Naga does not know how to follow the law on expropriation, which is not a sign of good governance," Barrosa said.

The report also noted that Punong Barangay Josue Perez of Pacol was also notified regarding the closure of said road section.

This morning, Punong Barangay Josue Perez said in an interview over BBS FM that he will bring this matter to the attention of Mayor Nelson Legacion.

"There are many residents here who would be affected. Some are judges, some are broadcasters. Even the students of Ateneo de Naga University High School will suffer because of this development," Perez said.

The punong barangay added he is confident that Mayor Legacion will attend to the urgent issue.

It will be recalled that earlier this year, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Legacion to negotiate with the Manubay family with respect to Fr. Phelan Road leading to the Metro Naga Sports Complex.