Last post dealt with a problem we had regarding a land owner adjacent to our lot who claimed our workers were building a fence on their property line. The group had earlier claimed they had a survey done on their property and had a sketch plan but they had neither, as I had suspected all along. But this past Tuesday, the complainers finally hired a survey crew from nearby Iloilo City who would meet with our survey group, also hailing from “The City of Love.” Our property dispute in the Philippines is now resolved.
Our barangay captain could not make it to the meeting but sent four tanods, local police, from our new barangay. The tanods would be witnesses to what the two survey groups decided. It was one of those hot, humid summer days in the Philippines that would make you sweat five minutes after you took a shower.
Though the property line in question is no where near our new house construction, the section of land in question is approximately 25 square meters. Not a large amount but the matter still had to be settled. This particular lot is 5,400 square meters. We have had no issues thus far with the other adjacent 7,000 square meter lot.
We arrived around 8:00 am. Our crew had not arrived yet but the protesters’ contingent were already working on their survey. My asawa contacted Earl, the lead person for our surveyors, and thought the men would be arriving at 9 am.
9 am. Still no crew. The barangay officials were waiting at the site of the property dispute as was the man that sold us our lot, Floro. My spouse calls Earl. The group had not even left Iloilo yet. It takes around 90 minutes to make the trip from Iloilo, via jeepney, pump boat and tricycle. The day wasn’t getting off to a good start.
Finally, at 10:30 am Earl and his survey squad arrived. I didn’t go with them as I wanted to stay out of this as much as possible. I knew that I would probably get agitated and make matters worse.
Earl and his team had their survey done in about two hours. Their results matched the first survey they had done for us on the site months ago. Now we had to wait for the other survey crew.
If the people that were complaining about the property line had listened to the barangay captain six weeks ago, they would have had their survey already completed. But in classic Filipino Time fashion, they had been dragging their feet. Finally, at 1 am, both crews took a lunch break.
The disputed property line
A total of ten people piled into Floro’s small Suzuki truck, the four tanods and our surveyors included. We headed over to the new Lisa’s Talabahan and chowed down on oysters, grilled pork sticks and chicken breasts and extra servings of rice. After washing down the meal with a couple of warm bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen (Lisa’s never serves cold beer) we headed back to our property.
The other survey crew was still working and could not find their reference point according to Earl, our lead man. It was now 3:00 pm.
At 3;30 the surveyors still could not complete their work and word came down to me that they would not be able to finish that day.
“IT WILL BE COMPLETED TODAY!” I shouted.
I uttered a few more choice expletives, some of my best to date, and I walked away as my asawa wisely calmed me down. Floro went over to the clueless surveyors to try and help them find their reference point. An hour later the crew met with Earl and our survey crew and went over the survey results together. Finally a mutual agreement was reached.
We called the tanods over to the site of the dispute. The boundary line the protesters were claiming, about five meters from our existing landmark, was wrong, as I had suspected all along. Our surveyors were only one meter off and our landmark was moved accordingly.
The tanods spoke to the leader of the group disputing the claim as our marker was moved. The complaining party were told their boundary was not valid. There was no argument. Did I mention that ALL four tanods from our barangay were relatives of Floro, the man that sold us our property? Case closed.