Sunday, August 26, 2012

Controversial RD-Lingayen has new boss

LINGAYEN – The director of the Land Registration Authority has assigned a new head at the beleaguered Registry of Deeds here that oversees the land titling and transfer transactions of residents of the 26 towns and a city in Pangasinan. Lawyer Jose Roy B. Raval, who hailed from Laoag City said that it was LRA Director Eulalio C. Diaz III who asked him to get the top post of RD-Lingayen since there was no taker for the scandal-ridden office. He explained that the “No-Taker” stance of those qualified at the LRA prompted him to get it and start the necessary reforms to save the office from its besmirched reputation. “Everybody shunned the post here because it is haunted by accusation of being a bastion of anomalies where fixers abound around its premises,” Atty. Raval said. RD-Lingayen is the biggest land registration office in Region-1. The land registry office has been put into controversy recently when Commissioner Kim Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) exposed through the national media the malfeasance of Lawyer Melvin Castro, then the RD-Lingayen deputy head, whom she charged in court for violation of Section 258 (E) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended. Castro was accused of allowing the transfer of ownership of the two parcels of land by the 12 heirs of Gavino Vinluan to former Mayor Ernesto Acain of Labrador town without a Certificate of Authorizing Registration (CAR) from the BIR authenticating that such transfer has been reported and that the Capital Gain Tax (CGT) thereon has been paid. Henares, in her charged said that Castro wrote in a Day Book here a statement that was used by Nestor Quiambao, provincial assessor of Pangasinan, to issue a new tax declarations in the name of the buyer Acain. But what Castro wrote was completely unrelated barangay certificate dated August 11, 2009 and not a certification for CAR for the heirs to pay the P9.26 million that was a requirement for the transaction. Despite the “falsification” charged against Castro, he was promoted as head of RD-Alaminos City. Another controversy that dragged the land office to public ridicule was when Carla Cacapit, administrative clerk of RD-Lingayen was entrapped by a joint team of BIR-Revenue District Office-6 based in Alaminos City and Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) after she interceded for the processing of the CAR at the BIR by making an impression to the land buyer-poseur that she has connection with the BIR. Lawyer Elmer Carlino, former Assistant Revenue District Officer of the BIR in Alaminos City, said that some of the CARs being processed by fixers at the RD-Lingeyen were faked. The CAR is issued when the seller or transferor of a real property tax (RPT) pays the BIR through an Estate Tax or Capital Gain Tax and Documentary Tax before the RD (Register of Deeds) gives the new land title to the buyer. Carolino, who was promoted now as the head of the Special Investigation Division of BIR Quezon City, said Cacapit was found in her possession fake CAR after a buyer from the BIR paid her P280,000 for a CAR in a multi-million pesos of sale of land in Bani, Pangasinan. Cacapit was charged with complex crime of estafa with falsification of private document with an imprisonment of up to 22 years, according to Carolino. But Raval said Cacapit was not sacked from her post but is now assigned at RD-San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Carolino said that he accidentally stumbled on this case after she saw one Nelia F. Doria of Dagupan City, carrying a CAR. He said that at first glance the CAR was already dubious based on its texture as compared to the authentic CAR papers issued by the BIR. Raval said that upon assumption of office, he became preoccupied with works until the wee hours by accomplishing the backlogs that piled-up during the vacuum of a head in RD-Lingayen. He said that photo taking of mountains of land titles that are stocked up at his office and transferring them to the data bank of the computer will take up to five years. “It is because of the lack of personnel and computers that slowed down their transfer to the data bank,” he explained. Raval is a new face at the LRA - the mother office of the registries of deeds all over the country. He said he was plucked in this post for a year already. “I came from the private sector practicing law when Director Diaz asked me to take the job in Lingayen”, Raval said.

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