11 June 2009

A Landgrabbing Former SG?

Photo courtesy of Bright Tal (Political)
It was reported on 27 May 2008 that the homeowners’ association of Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City is accusing former solicitor general Frank Chavez of landgrabbing by encroaching on 240 meters of open space behind his house.

In a complaint before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Zacarias Maribbay, Ayala-Alabang Village Association Inc. acting village manager, said Chavez committed several violations of the AAVA’s deed of restrictions. One of which is the use of an open space behind his lot which is said to be public property. Chavez apparently constructed a gazebo in the middle of property line at the rear of his lot.

The AAVA said Chavez enclosed the easement lot with a hollow block wall, a move that allowed him to "appropriate for himself some 240 square meters of land."

"I have existing neighbors who enclosed the same area but the association did not say anything about it," Chavez countered. "Why are they now picking on me?"

Could it be because as a former solicitor-general, Chavez should have more knowledge about the and, therefore, is expected not to violate it. By not following the regulation, Chavez just degenerated himself from an honorable public advocate to a landgrabber and a squatter.

Chavez further argued that the concerned local government offices issued him a building permit, construction permit, sanitary permit and occupancy permit. He also added that the AAVA eventually approved the construction plan that he had submitted.

However, he conveniently did not disclosed the fact that the AAVA found the plans to have certain items or parts that did not conform to or were in violation of the deed of restrictions. As a result, they advised Chavez to revise or correct the plans, but Chavez reportedly defied the association and proceeded with the construction of his house.

Chavez further alleges that someone in the AAVA could be instigating the filing of charges to get back at him for something he may have done while in government service. All of which amply illustrates the fantasy world Chavez is inhabiting. How can he expect to win any elective position by "seizing the initiative" and presumably by attempting to occupy moral high ground, when he cannot even clean the mess he created on his own backyard.

Does Chavez really think that such hypocrisy is going to wash with the Filipino electorate in their current mood? No wonder Chavez has not made any success getting elected to a public office ever since he was appointed by former President Cory Aquino as the country's Solicitor-General.

As for the landgrabbing case, the hypocrisy and arrogance reeks even more. Chavez is not suggesting that just because he is critical to the present administration he was suddenly singled out by the homeowner association. Just because everyone in his neighborhood is doing it, does not mean it is lawful and legal and he should also try doing it after he was suffused with enthusiasm. And when AAVA ordered him to stop all construction work, he can easily brush aside that directive.

With this case making the headlines, Chavez may have to kiss his chances in 2010 goodbye.