Speaker drawn to Siargao land-buying spree
DAVAO CITY— Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez appeared to have taken much interest in Siargao these days.
He even reportedly summoned Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for a meeting on May 16—along with Environment Undersecretary Ernesto Arobo and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Caraga chief Felix Alicer —to discuss the conduct of a cadastral survey on the island.
It turned out that Alvarez owned several properties in Siargao, particularly in General Luna town.
The Inquirer repeatedly tried to get Alvarez’s side but he was not responding.
On Sunday, another call to him and his staff went unanswered.
A check with records at the General Luna Municipal Assessor’s Office showed that there are seven properties in the name of Speaker Alvarez and two more under the name of a certain Anaclito Alvarez and another two under Carlito Alvarez.
Records from the General Luna municipal assessors office showed that in 2017 alone, Alvarez bought four properties there—three in the village of Malinao alone.
In an interview with Davaobased reporter Funny Pearl Gajunera on Monday, Speaker Alvarez sought to clarify the assessor’s office records that showed him owning at least four properties in Siargao in 2017.
He said this could be an error due to the ongoing “general revision” at the office.
Alvarez said he bought properties there in 1986 yet and that some of his friends also started buying parcels of land in Siargao, which might have been mistaken to belong to him, too.
He said some real estate brokers would claim that the land they were selling were near his properties there to attract buyers.
Based on the records, Alvarez owned a 4,856-squaremeter lot, a 7,295-square-meter lot and a 1,796-square-meter lot in Malinao.
One of these properties was along the road that leads to the popular surfing spot of Cloud 9.
He also owned a 4,102square-meter lot in Poblacion Cinco in General Luna.
Property brokers in Siargao said the price of land in Siargao ranged from P15,000-P25,000 per square meter, depending on its location.
When a property is near Cloud 9, it could fetch as high as P25,000 per square meter.
Aside from the properties he had bought in 2017, the General Luna assessor’s office also had records of two agricultural lands owned by Alvarez in the village of Malinao and a residential lot in the village of Cinco.
The properties were entered in the assessor’s office’s database in 2013.
These included a 4,102square-meter property in Poblacion Cinco, a 9,433square-meter property in Malinao, and another property with an area of 4,256 square meters also in Malinao.
A local broker said that based on current market value, the entire value of Alvarez’s properties in Siargao could reach P500,000,000.
General Luna municipal assessor Eveylyn Consistente also had not replied to the Inquirer’s query on several other properties listed under Alvarez’s name and at least two other persons he shared surnames with.
There was also information that Alvarez owned properties in Davao City and in Davao del Norte although these could not be independently verified.
PRIME REAL ESTATE A surf shop in Cloud 9, the part of Siargao where real estate prices had escalated because of the area’s popularity as a surfing destination.—