MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers will order the arrest of alleged landgrabber Wilfredo Torres if he again fails to attend a House hearing on disputed properties in Quezon City.
The House Committee on Justice said Torres was invited to attend the first hearing on the 23.7-hectare property being contested in Quezon City. However, the alleged landgrabber could not be found in any of his addresses.
"We invited him to attend the hearing but our staff did not find him in any of his addresses. There is a motion to issue a subpoena and the motion was carried," House committee chairman Niel Tupas said.
House committee chairman Niel Tupas said a subpoena has also been been issued for Torres' associate, a certain Samuel Rodriguez, to attend a congressional hearing Wednesday.
Tupas said Torres will have to answer to claims by Quezon City Register of Deeds officer Elbert Quilala that Torres' title for the disputed properties is spurious.
Quilala told the House body that he issued the title to Torres on orders from 2 branches of the regional trial courts in the city.
Tupas said that as early as 1976, the title of Torres to the property was already found spurious but the Land Registration Authority (LRA) did not do anything to correct it.
Earlier, the Court of Appeals issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) against Torres, easing the anxiety of homeowners threatened with eviction after a Quezon City court gave Torres ownership of the 23.7 hectare prime property that included their homes.
"There is possible connivance on the part of the LRA, Register of Deeds and the Courts," Tupas said.
Meanwhile, Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga also asked the panel to summon in the next hearing the officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who participated in the implementation of the writ of possession.
More than 100 policemen from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) participated in the execution of the writ of possession on properties of the Montessori School and Wilcon Builders in Quezon City. - with a report from ANC