Sandiganbayan lifts PCGG sequestration on Mojica property in Baguio City

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has granted the petition filed by a certain Ramon Mojica against the Presidential Commission On Good Government (PCGG) and the Register of Deeds of Baguio City, which sought the cancellation and the lifting of the sequestration over his property.

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN) Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)

Mojica is the registered owner of a parcel of land located in Baguio City and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-30695. He alleged that on May 23, 1986, the PCGG caused the annotation on Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-30695 of the following: "The title is sequestered by the PCGG and any disposal, conveyance, transfer or sale of such owner should ask permission of this office."

Mojica added that the sequestration was supposedly made by virtue of a letter from Danilo Jimenez, Acting Director for the PCGG.

In his petition, Mojica argued that the sequestration violated the Constitution, particularly Section 3 of the PCGG rules and regulations, which states that a writ of sequestration or a freeze or hold order may be issued by the Commission upon the authority of at least two Commissioners, based on the affirmation or complaint of an interested party or motu proprio when the Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that it is warranted.

But in this case, only a letter caused the sequestration of his property. The letter cannot even be located by the Register of Deeds of Baguio. Mojica further added that no action or case has been filed against him since the sequestration and his property rights have been messed up for more than 30 years.

After reviewing the petition and the manifestation of the PCGG, the anti-graft court decided to grant Mojica's prayer for relief.

"It is unrebutted that no writ of sequestration was, in fact, issued by the Commission of the PCGG over petitioner Mojica's property subject of the petition," the decision read.

Since there was no case filed against Mojica nor any proceeding listing of the property as an asset in any of the recovery cases of ill-gotten wealth, the anti-graft court ruled that the supposed sequestration against the property of Mojica is deemed automatically lifted.

"The inescapable conclusion obtaining in this case, thus, is the invalidity of the baseless sequestration placed upon petitioner Mojica's property, which has been deemed automatically lifted by operation of the Constitutional provision," the court said.

"Requirements of fairness and justice thus demand the cancellation of Entry No. 134387-15-50 in the Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-30965 to allow petitioner Mojica to freely enjoy his property rights which had been unduly restricted for over 30 years," it added.

The seven-page decision was written by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz with the concurrences of Fourth Division Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto.