By Adrian E. Cristobal
IN the next few days, the Supreme Court will decide once and for all the Maysilo land dispute, which has been going on in the past 47 years. Affected are thousands of individuals who have been in peaceful possession of their property within the Maysilo estate, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, government lands (450 hectares) covering the Bonifacio Memorial Circle, portions of the North Expressway up to EDSA and McArthur Highway, private institutions such as the Manila Central University, De La Salle Araneta University, and University of the East, and private commercial establishments such as the Ever Grand Central, Araneta Square, Bonifacio Market, Eternal Garden Memorial Park, including 64 barangays in Caloocan.
Immediately affected are the Manotok family and the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, Inc., whose possession of the Maysilo property since the 1940s was challenged by Jose Dimson, a lawyer, in the 1960s. According to records, Dimson and his assignee, the CLT Development Corporation, in a series of legal actions, were able to get a favorable decision against the Manotok realty and ALA – until the case was elevated to the Supreme Court.
The Manotok family and ALA believe that a Supreme Court dismissal of the former Caloocan register of deeds, Yolanda Alfonso, for allowing the change of registration date of Maysilo Original Certificate of Title to make it appear that there were two titles, will determine the coming SC decision.
The Supreme Court rebuked Alfonso for “wreaking havoc on our land titling system.” Indeed, “havoc” has been with the titling system since this country’s commonwealth period.