Here’s What’s Going On Up At Boracay’s Mt. Luho and It’s Not What You Were Told

In a smallish Facebook Group called Boracay Island News, a post addressed to the Boracay Community by a certain Victor Jeffery made the rounds asking “What’s going on up at Mt. Luho”. 

It reads:

Angry property disputes have started again at several locations in the Mt Luho area despite many court cases over the past few years.

We received the two official papers below from foreign residents who report being intimidated by armed security personnel and refused entry to their homes of around 15 years.
Reports have been filed by the residents with the local police and they are awaiting action.
Complaints are also being made to the Russian and Canadian Embassies of harassment to their nationals.
Can we not handle these matters at local level before they blow into an international incident and bring disrepute and damage to Boracay’s reputation.
Surely, due legal process instead of heavily armed security should be the order here. These residents have rights also.”
We commend Mr. Jeffery for publicly raising this issue and taking up the cudgels, as it were, for his fellow foreigners here in the Philippines.
We assume that Mr. Jeffery, in serving his audience in the Facebook group Boracay Island News, would also be interested in demonstrating fairness and balance when discussing controversial matters.
In the interest of balancing out his post on Facebook, allow me to share some information about the other side of this dispute.
At the crux of this dispute is the idea of foreigners owning land in the Philippines and allow me to very briefly state a few facts about this:

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  • Foreigners are prohibited from owning land in the Philippines, but can legally own a residence.
  • The Philippine Condominium Act allows foreigners to own condo units, as long as 60% of the building is owned by Filipinos.
  • If you want to buy a house, consider a long-term lease agreement with a Filipino landowner.
  • You can also purchase a property through a corporation, provided its ownership is 60% or more by Filipino citizens.

Moreover, foreigners cannot own agricultural land, forestland and other such land — this being the very case of the property in Mt. Luho.

Now, we are not aware of what story Mr. Jeffery has been told by people whom we presume to be the residents who claim to “have been intimidated and refused entry into their homes of 15 years.”

Nevertheless, we would like Jeffery and his friends to also consider that the owner of the property in Mt. Luho has been deprived of its use and enjoyment for the past seven or more years.

At various times, residents of said property were contacted by the owner to inform them about the status of the property they were living in, but were only met with hostility.  Moreover, they were unable to provide any document to prove claims that they were occupying the property legally.

Having been more than patient with the occupants of the property, the owner finally filed information with the Malay Municipal Police Station of the Aklan Police Provincial Office.

They had no choice but to do so otherwise, the owner would be held liable for a number of crimes such as human trafficking and illegal drugs along with the perpetrators if such crimes occurred on the property.

Moreover, in relation to how the owner was deprived of the use and enjoyment of the property, the information recounts how allegedly syndicated estafa was perpetrated.
Now, the property which should have been earning income for the owner is in a state of disrepair. To quote from the information filed with the local police, “the subject residential structures have now been destroyed/vandalized and their valuable contents and appliances valued in millions of pesos stolen.”
Clearly, the injured party here is NOT the OCCUPANTS whom Mr. Jeffery claims will or may turn into “an international incident and damage Boracay’s reputation.
We recognize the tone in which Mr. Jeffery wrote his post and we do advise him to take all sides into consideration to avoid giving the impression of deceit and malice in airing the side of his friends.

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