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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 26, 2012
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Baciwa claims rights
to contested property


The Bacolod City Water District has the legal right to use the water source in Boro-Boro spring in the territorial domain of Talisay City, BACIWA general manager Julie Ann Carbon said yesterday.

Carbon was reacting to the claims of Erle Saosao Vadlit Gonzales that BACIWA owes him about P207 million in back rentals and easement fee for the use of the water source in his property.

Gonzales said the spring in Sitio Balogo, Concepcion, Talisay belongs to his family and BACIWA has no right to draw water from it.

Carbon said Lot 1017 where the water spring is located has three claimants -- Gonzales, Edmundo Sauci, Federico Lazarte and another person.

She said Gonzales and Lazarteare claiming P207 million each as payment for the property.

Carbon said the Boro-Boro spring at Lot 1017 is subject of an expropriation case and the Court had issued a Writ of Possession in favor of BACIWA in 2007. So, from 2007 until the present, BACIWA has the right to use the property to the exclusion of others, she said.

The Boro-Boro spring had been used since 1956 by BACIWA’s immediate predecessor, the Yulo Waterworks, that was owned and operated by Bacolod City, Carbon said.

BACIWA had been issued a water permit in 1977 by the National Water Resources Board to validly draw volumes of water from the spring, she said.

Carbon said Gonzales is claiming that BACIWA is using the Balogo springs, which he said is the legal title of the Boro-Boro spring. But when they saw his water permit, it had different coordinates from the spring that BACIWA is currently using, she said.

Jovim Entila, BACIWA’s legal counsel, had written Gonzales informing him that among the water sources turned over by the Yulo Waterworks to BACIWA was Boro-Boro Spring 2, located at Lot 1017, Barangay Alangilan, Bacolod City, which was later on identified to be part of the territorial domain of Talisay City.

Carbon said Gonzales also claimed that he had structures built in the property since 2007. But how can he build structures there as BACIWA is in possession of the property? She asked.

Carbon said they looked into the documents of Gonzales and the pictures of the structures he showed were those owned by BACIWA.

But the matter is now with the Court and BACIWA has already paid P127,000 representing the zonal value of the properties involved, and it is now up to the Court to determine how much is the compensation due to the owner and whoever is the rightful claimants, she said.

Carbon said all the three persons are trying to claim the property, but BACIWA has the water rights permit, and since water belongs to the State, nobody owns it except the State, she said.

“Since we have the water permit, we have the right to extract water from the source,” she added.

Anybody can claim they own the property, but BACIWA has the legal right to use it by virtue of the Writ of Possession issued by the Court, Carbon said.

“We have the right to use and protect the water source and they should respect the Writ of Possession issued by the Court and not do anything on the property because BACIWA has the legal right,” she said.

Meanwhile, BACIWA inaugurated yesterday a pipeline extension project in Purok Gaisano, Brgy. Alijis with a project cost of P286,300.

The activity was attended by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, Councilor Em Legaspi-Ang, and officials of BACIWA led by Carbon.*CGS

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