The Taytay Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) will be inspecting the farm lot of Beatriz Zobel de Ayala in Sitio Maypa, Barangay Pancol, after receiving information that the property had been vacated.
The office issued two notices to vacate (NTV) after finding cemented structures in the lot that were reportedly built without certification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on parts of the property classified as timberland.
Taytay CENRO chief Allan Valle told Palawan News on July 10 that during their last inspection, the structures were still present, thus a second NTV was issued last week. In the coming week, they will be visiting the farm lot once more to see if it indeed has been vacated.
“Hindi na namin natitingnan kung talagang nag-vacate na sila. Kasi koong nakaraan ay gumawa kami ng compliance monitoring at andun pa rin ang mga structures. Kaya tayo nag-issue ng pangalawang notice to vacate,” said Valle. “Kung mayroon silang statement, hindi pa sila sumusulat dito sa opisina na tinanggal ang mga structure. Babalikan naman namin ang area to confirm. Mga next week naming balikan.”
Zobel de Ayala faced complaints of illegal cutting of trees in early June after a tribal group filed a complaint to the CENRO. The complaint was withdrawn when no illegal activities were found in the property, but the CENRO discovered that small cement structures in the property were built on parts of the property classified as timberland without prior certification from the DENR.
“Merong sumulat dito. Sabi daw, may massive cutting ng mga puno at may mga malalaking structure na ipinapatayo. Galing ito sa Cuyunon tribe chieftain na si Mr. Felipe Valones. Pinuntahan namin ‘yon, wala namang mga malalaking structure,” said Valle. He added that the only structures that needed certification from the DENR were the cement bases of the houses that were used to prevent termite infestations.
“Yung mga massive cutting, wala naman kaming nakita, at ni-withdraw naman ni Valones ang kanyang complaint. Two weeks ago, pumunta kami roon, andoon pa rin ang mg structure. Kaya nag-issue uli ang opisina ng another Notice to Vacate kasi hindi talaga puwede magpatayo ng mga structure sa timberland kung walang permit na manggagaling sa DENR,” he said.
He said Zobel de Ayala also faces possible violation of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-NIPAS) Act of 2018 and the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines because of the structures that were built on her property classified as timberland. However, parts of the property that were under the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Taytay were not required to be vacated.
“Bawal mag-okupa o maglagay ng mga structure na within timberland at within protected area,” added Valle. “Ang mga pinapatanggal lang naman namin ay ‘yong nakatayo sa timberland na parte, hindi naman namin pinapatanggal ang mga nasa EEZ.”
Zobel de Ayala is the daughter of billionaire and present chairman emeritus of the Ayala Corporation, Jaime Zobel de Ayala. Her Sitio Maypa property was used for growing organic vegetables as part of National news agency the Business Mirror reported on July 7 that Zobel de Ayala’s legal team confirmed that the Sitio Maypa property has been vacated and that the organic vegetables being grown were turned over to the indigenous peoples living nearby.
The Palawan News tried to get a reaction from Zobel de Ayala’s legal team but received no response.