The Alberto D. Arceo Elementary School in Brgy. Alangilan, Bacolod City has been ordered by Alberto Arceo to vacate its premises within 30 days from receipt of his letter to its head dated Jan. 3, 2011.
In his letter to teacher-in-charge Rene Oriendo dated Jan. 3, 2011, Arceo claimed that the school is located on their titled property and that the owners have never received any economic benefit from it.
He said the order is intended to allow a proper study of the feasibility of having a more economically viable use of the area.
Bacolod School’s Division Superintendent Gemma Ledesma yesterday said the school started operating there in 1973 yet, and they would like to see it continue.
She said she sought the assistance of the city since part of the property was donated to the city and part of it had been purchased with funds from the Special Education Fund.
Oriendo said they received the letter which was handed by Al Jo Arceo on Jan. 5.
He said the school has a total population of 333 students from pre-school to Grade 6 and some of them come from Cabatangan in Talisay and Alegria in Murcia.
Ledesma said if they are ejected, the nearest schools are the Granada and Rafael Alunan Elementary Schools, which are quite far for the students.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said “As a city official, I would like to believe that when former Mayor Carlos Benares entered into a contract with the donor, it was all in good faith, and it was in order to serve the people of Alangilan.”
He also said he is inclined to believe that the school would not have been established if the property had not been donated.
Leonardia said they have file copies of the deed of donation and deed of absolute sale of the property, so they believe that the city legally and morally owns it.
“So this is for us a surprise and whatever the motive of this letter is, we will give them the benefit of the doubt. We treat the quarry issue as one thing, and this ejectment issue as a separate and distinct matter,” he said.
The Bacolod City government, on recommendation of the Multi-Partite Monitoring Team and the City Legal Office, had earlier ordered the Arceo family to suspend their quarry operations in Barangay Alangilan.
Leonardia, however, said they will make sure that all the legal and moral rights, especially of the people of Alangilan, will be protected.
SOLD AND DONATED
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said the property covers four hectares and two hectares are covered by a deed of sale, and the other two hectares are covered by a deed of donation.
He said the deed of sale is not conditional, and naturally, the property belongs to the city, while the deed of donation is an absolute donation, with no condition that it may be revoked.
Bayatan said that, based on these documents, the two lots belong to the city. So there is no factual and legal basis for the Arceos to say that they still have a right over the properties, he added.
“And, granting that there are some questions with regard to the properties,” he said, “They can apply the law of prescription.”
Bayatan noted that, for over 30 years, no violation has been noted, except now. “Whatever claim they may have over the property, it has clearly already prescribed,” he said.*CGS