The Ten Knots Philippines Inc. (TKPI), a subsidiary of the group of companies owned by Ayala Land Inc., said it has complied with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) order to vacate a contested property in Barangay Pasadeña, El Nido.
Mariglo Laririt, director for Environment and Sustainability of Ten Knots, in a phone interview with Palawan News on Wednesday, said that while the company did not commit any violation, they have abided with the DENR ruling and had removed the fences and a guard post they had put up on the property.
“We received a ruling in our favor in 2009 but this was appealed by the other party. Recently, both opposing parties received the ‘Order to Vacate’. In the spirit of goodwill, we complied with the order,” Laririt said.
“This was only an order to vacate, without notice of violation, because precisely, we do not have a violation. Anybody who submits himself to a higher authority, has to entertain the possibility that you will be denied. But on this case, we were told that this is final and executory that we give it back to DENR, so we gave it back to DENR,” she added.
The property had been the subject of a dispute between TKPI and a private individual, Amado Baluarte of Barangay Pasadeña in El Nido. The Office of the President, however, ruled in May 2014 to revert the property instead back to the DENR.
The dispute continued until the DENR on April 3, 2017 issued a “final and executory” order for both parties to vacate the property.
The DENR said its personnel from the CENRO office tried to implement the order in March but was prevented by the TKPI’s security personnel from entering the property, prompting them to issue another order dated July 24, 2020.
Laririt said Ten Knots bought the property in 1987 from a certified seller and had since been paying taxes “in good faith”.
The property is located in Brgy. Pasadeña, several kilometers north of the developed area of TKPI’s Lio Tourism Estate.
Since the DENR has reclaimed ownership of the land, it is now in the agency’s purview to manage it and dispose of it.