Local News: City Appealing to PNB: ‘Release 68 Property Titles’

Together with Executive Assistant I Sarah Esguerra and Attorney III Cesar Beloria, Jr., Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella said yesterday they are appealing to the Bacolod branch of the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to release the 68 titles purchased by the city in 1996 and paid for by the previous administration in the amount of P12, 492,000.00.

Puentevella said that these titles are "sleeping in PNB" for 18 years since they were acquired and now he wants these back, since they are legally owned by the city.

"Let’s give what is due to Bacolod. We want to get them back," expressed Puentevella as his administration is currently "consolidating, reviewing and acquiring" known and hidden properties of the city.

"It is unfair to the people of Bacolod," the mayor added.

The mayor also disclosed that the case is pending in court under Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Franklin Demonteverde, and is hoping that it will be "resolved immediately".

The trio also revealed that there were two titles sold by the bank to an unnamed private individual and, according to Beloria, such transaction is a "criminal offense".

Describing their probe as "digging out skeletons", Beloria further claims that the city could double, even triple its annual budget should they acquire these properties from the once- government owned bank.

This too could result in paying back pending loans incurred by the city overtime, Puentevella added.

The Task Force on Government Assets is looking for at least 130 more hidden titles that they want to uncover.* (CMO-PIO PR04-03-14)