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Republic of the Philippines

SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF MERCEDES Province of Camarines Norte Municipality of Mercedes SPOUSES RUEL T. DOMINGUEZ & AMOR R. DOMINGUEZ, Complainants, -versus-

ADMIN. CASE No.01-2013 For: GRAVE ABUSE OF AUTHORITY

PUNONG BRGY. NILO N. DAZAL & BRGY. KGD. RIZALDY Q. LAYA, Respondents. x-----------------------------------------------------x

R EPLY
COME NOW , the complainants by themselves and unto to this Honorable Office, by way of reply to the respondents joint answer, most respectfully state:

1. The allegation of the herein respondents that the fence subject of the instant case is
illegal, is bereft of truth in the absence of legal basis other than their claim that said path is being used by most of their constituents for over 40 years. Firstly, illegality cannot be just presumed, it must be proved with clear and convincing evidence, secondly, it was not an illegal fence per se, because it was constructed in the perimeter of the property which is rightfully owned by the complainants as they have already cited in their complaint; lastly, said construction is not covered by the National Building Code of the Philippines to be considered as illegal as provided for in SECTION 1.01.04: Application (b) , to wit: This Code shall apply to chartered cities, poblaciones of municipalities and municipal districts with a population of at least two thousand (2,000) inhabitants, and to barrios of urban areas with a population of at least two thousand (2,000) inhabitants.

2. Under the rule of statutory construction, what is not included is deemed excluded,
and considering that the small Barangay of Tarum does not fall in any of the places mentioned above, therefore it is to be understood that said construction is exempted from securing the permit required by the Code;

3. The reliance of the herein respondents with the provision of the Local Government
Code of 1991 is very much misplaced if not absurd, and no legal mind would agree that said provision would override the rights of a person over his property as embodied in the Art III, Sec 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which provides:

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

4. Assuming for the sake of argument that indeed, the said fence was illegal for lack of
necessary permit, still, it is not within their authority because the proper agency which has jurisdiction over the same is the Municipal Engineers Office and it is still subject to due process before said office may do any harsh act as demolishing or destroying the subject fence;

5. The averment of the respondents that they invited the complainants in their sessions
was a blatant lie, for they never received a summons nor signed any as proof of their alleged invitations;

6. Furthermore, a matter as serious as destroying a private property cannot be


authorized by a mere Barangay Resolution and would require a court order after observing the mandatory due process of law;

7. The allegation of the respondents that the complainants are not the real owners of
the property subject of this case, because its tax declaration is still in the name of the original owner FLORENCIO DOMINGUEZ, who is also the complainants father, and that they only executed a Deed of Absolute Sale to make it appear that they are the owners is just a product of their malicious and imaginative minds. Said instrument is a public document which could be easily verified with the office of the Notary Public who notarized the said instrument or in the Office of the Clerk of Court where a copy of the same is submitted. Likewise under the rule of evidence, the contents of a document are the best evidence to prove a particular fact or issue. Further, considering that it was executed only on December 14, 2012, naturally, its tax declaration is still in the name of the original owner;

8. Moreover, the Property Identification Map by the Provincial Assessors Office is not
controlling over the actual possession in the concept of an owner of the herein complainants and their father before them for almost 40 years, the same being for taxation purposes only and not conclusive as proof of ownership, and can be corrected by mere relocation after ocular inspection by the said office;

9. Furthermore, the contention of the herein respondents that the said pathway is a
right of way as per certification of their office is self serving and should not be given weight for it is an established rule that right of way can never be acquired by prescription as the Supreme Court held in the case of Ronquillo vs. Roco, et al. G.R. No. L-10619, February 28, 1958; The dismissal was based on the ground that an easement of right of way though it may be apparent is, nevertheless, discontinuous or intermittent and, therefore, cannot be acquired through prescription, but only by virtue of a title . Under old as well as the New Civil Code, easements may be continuous discontinuous (intermittent), apparent or non-apparent, discontinuous being those used at more or less long intervals and which depend upon acts of man (Articles 532 and 615 of the Old and New Civil Codes, respectively). Continuous and apparent easements are acquired either, by title or prescription, continuous non-apparent easements and discontinuous ones whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title (Articles 537 and 539, and 620 and 622 of the Old and New Civil Codes, respectively). (emphasis supplied)

10. The joint answer lacks merit and only manifests the ignorance of the herein
respondents of the law which is inexcusable considering the sensitivity of their positions. Their exercise of authority beyond the powers vested by law to the point of being oppressive and to the prejudice of the people to whom they sworn to protect and serve is alarming and threatening and therefore warrants disciplinary action or dismissal from office;

11. Finally, Article 19 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines states: Every person

must, in the exercise of his rights, and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith . It is very evident that the herein respondents did not act with justice and observe

honesty and good faith in the exercise of their so called duties because they deprived the herein complainants of their property without due process nor authority whatsoever.

WHEREFORE , premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Office that this reply be duly considered in the resolution:
Mercedes, Camarines Norte, February 11, 2013.

RUEL T. DOMINGUEZ Complainant

AMOR R. DOMINGUEZ Complainant

Copy furnished:
Punong Barangay Nilo Dazal Brgy. Kagawad Rizaldy Laya Brgy. Tarum, Mercedes, Camarines Norte