Homesteading Fraud in Palawan

The homesteading efforts of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in cooperation with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Palawan are threatened by rampant fraud. Rights holders are parceling and selling land that still belongs to the DENR by making up their own titles and bills of sale. Mostly they are preying on the illiterate so that anything they produce looks official. One offender got the land rights due to the generosity and hard work of his daughter, who was working overseas for an oil company. The father received the money to obtain DENR land rights from his daughter and proceeded to put the parcels in his name and the names of his sons, omitting his daughter as he said "because she is unmarried, everything she owns belongs to me"! He not only sold entire parcels as if they were titled but he parceled the parcels and sold portions of other people's declared rights. This type of behavior could be the reason that the DENR may only allow use and never title land in the future.

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