Thursday, September 21, 2023

Delivering Stories of Progress


UNCENSORED by Manuel L. Morató

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To continue my previous column last Saturday, June 15, please allow me to inform the public so they will be careful.

The DENR sent me a copy of the “Tree Cutting and Pruning Permit” it issued to Sta. Lucia Land, Inc.

Suddenly, the R.S. Caparros Associates & Co., “the Construction Managers”; and the Architect, Philip Austria, “Construction Manager” who are evidently also involved in the project of constructing a 21-storey condo/hotel on the property of my late parents at 99 Scout Gandia St., Barangay Sacred Heart, including the Sta. Lucia engineer, Eric Dimaculangan are now (for the first time) coercing us to continue the project.  My previous column last June 15, Saturday, well explained the problems of ownership of our parents’ property under the name of my late mother.

Binigla pong gibain ang ancestral home of our parents without us (my three sisters and myself) knowing anything.  Dapat po may consent po kami.  Kasi anim po kaming anak ang nasa Holographic Will of our mother ang magmamana.  Ni hindi man lamang po kami sinabihan.  Lahat po naman kami ay nakatira dito sa compound magkakatabi since the 1950s.  Naesplika ko na po ito sa column ko noong Sabado, June 15.

What I want the public to know is to be very careful on the permits issued by the DENR.  Hindi dahil may naka-display ng permit to cut trees galing sa DENR plastered in the site ay puwede ng putulin.  Hindi po totoo ‘yan at may kondisyones po ang DENR.  I read the conditions issued by the DENR to the ongoing excavation site owned by my late mother.  There are 15 conditions specifying what trees can be cut; and what trees cannot be cut.

Briefly, for I have a limited space for my columns, the DENR has imposed conditions.  For the sake of brevity, let me quote number 4: …“Permitee shall secure the services of a firm/persons with appropriate expertise and experience to ensure safety to lives and properties and to guarantee a proper pruning on the branches structure and proper weight distribution to balance the size of the trees”…    

In our case in this excavation being conducted in the property of my late mother, the 70-year-old Narra tree cannot be cut.  The permit is only for “pruning,” as well as 3 tall Indian trees, also for pruning.

The big Narra tree and three Indian trees planted along the sidewalk infront of the ancestral home of my late parents.  But look what the ones who took over the property did.  It’s not “pruning” as the DENR permit granted, but a “massacre” of the said trees.  Dumaan po kayo sa harap ng 99 Scout Gandia St., Barangay Sacred Heart and you will see for yourself what they did.

They did not follow the conditions of the DENR.  It was not “pruning” what they did, but cut all the big branches and did not leave a single branch with leaves.  They cut all the big, huge branches of the Narra tree and the trunk itself, ready for the “kill.”  And I have pictures showing a teenager cutting the big branches.

A few years ago, that’s how the huge Sampaloc trees along the now Tomas Morato Avenue were cut.  Sa harap ng hinuhukay din for a 22-storey building in the corner of Tomas Morato Avenue and Scout Gandia St., the huge 70-year-old Sampaloc tree planted by my father and President Quezon was cut.  Sabi nila “pruning” doon sa dating BDO.  Tingnan ninyo ngayon halos wala ng natitira sa avenue.  Katulong pa ang Quezon City Hall together with the “engineering department” to “prune” the huge Sampaloc trees, again under the guise of “pruning” the trees only.  Pagkatapos pinuputol na the whole tree.  Noong sitahin ko, “pruning” lang daw.  Pero they are providing space for parking infront for the restaurants.  Sayang na sayang.  The only original Sampaloc trees remaining are 3 infront of my building.  The fourth, I planted for the original tree was felled by a strong typhoon.  I replaced it with a new Sampaloc tree also.  From a seedling to what it is now took about ten years as it is today.

On my part, I backed-up my building and left a private parking space infront of the building within my property.  Besides, I had to follow the design of my architect, Bobby Mañosa, now a National Artist.  This building, Doña Consuelo Bldg., I named in honor of my late mother, was the first building done by Mañosa Brothers.  The second was Sulo Hotel.

To my readers: Please be vigilant.  Maraming landgrabbers ngayon.  Ang dami pong nag-iemail sa akin all over the country how their lands were stolen by landgrabbers.  Nasa akin po ang mga pangalan nila at sinasabihan ako na ipaglaban ko din daw sila.  In cahoot daw ang some government departments and local governments.

Sinabihan ko po na humingi sila ng tulong sa complaint section ng Malacañang. 

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