Some enterprising lawyer should get the names of all the local farmers who are apparently unwittingly acting as dummies and file for Affidavit of Loss then try to sell these lands as fast as possible and just migrate.
He, too, was a dummy
It turned out that he had been one of them, he said.
Mercado said he remembered Binay directing him to go to President Jose P. Laurel Bank in Batangas to sign the deed of sale for the property. An original certificate of title was later issued in Mercado’s name.
But while his name was used, he said, it was not he who paid for the property and, for that matter, he was also not the one paying taxes for it. The tax payments are up to date, he said.
“I did not pay for that. They did. They just asked me to go there to sign [the documents],” he said, as he resumed his testimony into the alleged irregularities in Makati City.
He said he had not signed any document authorizing Gregorio to sell the land to Tiu.
Mercado also said that as shown by the documents, he is still the owner of the 4.2- hectare property that is supposed to be part of the Sunchamp estate.
“Up to now, that’s mine because it has not yet been transferred,” he said.
Even if the original title is not with him, he can file an affidavit of loss and get a new copy of the title, he said.
Mercado also showed copies of tax declarations in the name of Anna Marie Gregorio for 5,000 square meters of the so-called hacienda.
No DAR clearance
He alleged that the property was sold to Gregorio by an agrarian reform beneficiary, but without a clearance from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Cayetano said the implication of Mercado’s testimony was that Tiu’s investors had been duped. Tiu said he had paid P11 million for the P440 million transaction and had spent P50 million for improvements on the property.