Speaker drawn to Siar­gao land-buy­ing spree

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - —ALLAN NAWAL INQ

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.

Seven prop­er­ties

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.

Surf­ing area

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.

High value

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.

ER­WIN MASCARIÑAS

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.—

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