Before one single fence post was installed, surveys were done on our two adjoining pieces of property. All of the sellers’ relatives that have lots adjacent to us were invited to speak with the surveyors before any concrete landmarks were placed. No disputes were brought up at that time.
However, months after the survey, Joery, my brother-in-law, and his crew were harassed by two women and a group of four or five small children. The complaining contingent claimed that our crew was building a fence on their property though they had no land mark, survey, or sketch plan to prove that.
The protesters returned in the afternoon, not long after my asawa and I had arrived on the site. Joery and workers Jon and Gerry were in the back of the nipa hut, a distance away, when I heard some yelling. My wife went out to investigate and I joined her a couple of minutes later.
In no uncertain terms I told the group to leave. My wife had already told them they could go to the barangay captain if they had a complaint. I cannot repeat the profanities I hurled at them as it would probably get me banned by my advertisers. The protesters immediately scurried off like cockroaches on a kitchen counter when the lights are flipped on.
Before thy left they had threatened my wife. If I had known of this threat at the time, I would have been tempted to do more than yell at this mob.
Joery and his crew had been harassed all day by the riffraff. We later learned that the man that sold us our property had indeed informed the owners of the lot adjacent to us that a survey was to be done but they claimed they “were too busy.”
The clan protested to the barangay captain the next day that we had “yelled” at them and the captain sent word that he wanted to see us. The gang failed to mention that they had been screaming at our workers all day and that they had threatened my asawa.
We met with the barangay captain the next day. Barangay captains are the supreme head of any local barrio and their word is law. It is extremely important to keep on their good side as they can make life very difficult for you otherwise.
The complainants failed to show up. My wife explained to the local leader what had happened. I mentioned the threat and explained that I was extremely disturbed by this attempted intimidation. The captain declared that both parties would have their respective surveyors meet and mutually agree on the property line in question. I was fine with that but that meeting was now over a month old. A surveyor can usually come out the next day, at least in our region, and I believed the protesters did not even have a survey and sketch plan to back up their claims and were merely stalling.
The barangay captain instructed us to not complete that portion of the fence until the dispute was settled. He informed us that he presently dealing with many other property disputes in our barangay.
Last Saturday the man that sold us our lot was back in the Philippines. He works as a cook on an oil rig near Houston for two months and comes back to the Philippines for a month. Our seller went out to the section of the lot in question and met with the protesters. Our brother-in-law Joery was in attendance along with our seller’s brother who had sold us our first plot of land.
After much discussion the protesters finally agreed to what the barangay captain had instructed everyone to do in the first place: have the two surveyors meet and agree on the location of the property line in question. After the meeting my spouse told me the one lady leading the group kept making excuses that she “had no time” to do this. Didn’t matter. The barangay captain already told us that if the complaining party did not get their own surveyor out, we could finish the fence.
Arrangements were made to finally have both of the surveyors meet. The barangay captain or barangay officials needed to be on hand as the surveyors will not go out as these situations often lead to confrontations, according to the survey boss. This past Tuesday, our survey crew came out and met with the surveyors from the party disputing the property line. The results to be revealed in the next post.