PANGLAO, Bohol – Lady Mayor Leonila P. Montero has met with law enforcers, including the Philippine Coast Guard and the army aside from the PNP here, to implement what is supposed to be enforced, saying our arm is the law since nobody is above the law. Details have been discussed during the meeting yesterday afternoon. About ten motor bancas are being prepared to ferry the enforcers, including media and some fishermen and officials here to witness the law enforcement activity, the first of ist kind against the owners of the Pungtud island, off barangay Poblacion of this premier tourist town.
But Mayor Montero said that prior to carrying out her mandate as the chief executive of this town, the islet owners were already informed of this. It will be recalled that more than a hundred residents of coastal barangay Doljo have filed petition before the Sangguniang Bayan here since the said islet, called Pungtud, some called it Virgin island, is already prohibited from fishermen who use it as their refuge in times of “habagat.”
But island owners denied the accusation.
The islet is owned by Ramon E. Rodriguez and Digna Cloribel families after they had the OCT land title since 1982. And this is confirmed by Cloribel.
A billboard was posted on the islet showing in bold letters that it is owned a certain Ramon E. Rodriguez and Digna Cloribel Rodriguez. It has an Original Certificate Title (OCT) No. 47376 issued on December 20, 1982. It was acquired during then strongman President Ferdinand Marcos.
Agu Cloribel, a relative of the islet owner said the family decided to put up a shrine of St. Pio recognized by the clergy. And still the visitors are welcomed, he said.
He said what they do now is to regulate the influx to the islet. This is after they found out that the islet was used as profiteering by unscrupulous tour “bangkeros.” He said that the islet once a haven of solid garbage, such as sacks of syringe, condoms and other rubbish littered the islet.
He said that the islet’s rich white sand deposits from the sandbars were being hauled illegally apparently to spruce up a known resort in Mactan island in Cebu.
Earlier, Tagbilaran-based Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) thru its officer Eusalem Quiwag told radio interview that his office has recommended for cancellation of the said title on the ground that the islet is not within the alienable and disposable (A & D) lands. He said that they forwarded already the said recommendation to the regional DENR office.
In a seprate interview, PENRO Forester Nestor Canda said that if the area is not considered A & D, then cancellation of the title of the islet is appropriate. But he cautioned that such case could be a tall order for both the DENR and the owners since it will take so much time. (rvo)