OP ED: Steven– I have occasionally jumped on these issues for JB since the rhetoric and nasty comments from the “Bocas Brigade” ramped up. To be clear, PNO was aware of these issues from lawyers requesting information from us which was refused, and others contacting us from email. I am not too worried about JB receiving another CD from any attorney, as he nor I respond well to bullies. LA ESTRELLA, the most respected paper in Panama, has run this story NOT as an editorial contribution, but rather a piece composed and written by a listed and open writer on their staff. I/E This IS REAL NEWS whether people want us to re-post or not. This article comes a day after JB calls on NITO to stay true to his words that his staff is NOT going to deal in the pay to play and underhanded dealings of the previous leaders. So if people have issue with this, they should contact LA ESTRELLA, not JB. Furthermore, we have other information that ties into what President Cortizo stated yesterday will not occur on his watch. I can state that if ANYTHING related to what we have been sent comes to light or is attempted to try to get greased by, our lawyers will be sending every last piece of information DIRECTLY TO NITO CORTIZO and then people will see that JB has been fair and even handed through this. There are some shady people in his cabinet, and if not addressed, they will come to light.
This issue here affects all the Americans that are contacting us via email as it has NOTHING to do with the Polo Beach issue. This has to do with land, lots, condos, etc being marketed and sold to possibly Ex-Pats, under less than transparent circumstances. Those concerned need to contact others, please do not kill the messenger or the inbox. We sat on this and now it’s out.
Lawsuit to annul the titles of the Red Frog Beach projects property
The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) has admitted a lawsuit filed recently by Semper Fidelis Development S.A. Requesting that the government annul the titled property number 121 on Isla Bastimentos by the former Directorate of the Reforma Agraria, which today is in the hands of the developers of the Red Frog Beach Project, owned by Bastimentos Holdings, soon to be declared void.
According to the lawsuit filed by Semper Fidelis Development SA, the properties were originally titled in the name of Castora Sánchez through resolution 1-0259 of 1979 in direct violation of Law Number 37 of 1962 that established that the maritime islands could not be titled either provisional titles or definitive titles, and in any case by legal logic they could only at that time title mainland properties in accordance with the law.
Sanchez would have further violated the law by transferring said properties for sale to Bastimentos Holdings, which in turn has caused further legal ramifications to this group of foreign investors.
Other provisions of the Agrarian Code were also violated, such as the regulations related to the fulfillment of the social function of land, the limitation of 50 hectares by law for definitive titles, taking into account that the properties now in the name of Red Frog are both over 171 hectares each exceeding the limit of 50, says Semper Fidelis Development SA in their lawsuit.
Article 64 of Law 37 of 1962 clearly states that: the titling of state-owned land will be final when the requested property does not exceed 50 hectares. The titling of state lands will only be provisionally given when the request exceeds 50 hectares. In extensions greater than 50 hectares, the beneficiary will expressly commit to enforcing the social function of the property at least 20% and must be located on the mainland.
“As we have noted that islands were not subject to titling at all by mandate of Law 37 of 1962, it follows from this case that the government official from the Reforma Agraria that granted the original title used the procedures applicable only to mainland properties thus, improperly applying the procedures of granting the definitive titles as if the properties were smaller than 50 hectares “which is why the limitations contained in articles 27 and 64 of the aforementioned law have been openly violated ”, emphasizes the lawsuit to annul the titles that the Red Frog Project possesses today.
The lawsuit also mentions that Mrs. Castora Sánchez was expressly prohibited to transfer the properties including the property of 171 hectares, “she could only acquire the power to utilize them personally and could only transfer them to her heirs at the time of her death, assuming she had fulfilled all other conditions and required social functions.
In addition to requesting the annulling of the titles of this property on Isla Bastimentos, Semper Fidelis Development S.A. asks the Court to instruct the competent authorities to proceed and comply with the mandate to seek the recovery of these properties that have illegally been granted and transferred that belong to the Nation. “It has become clear that the resolution N1-0259 of 1979 was granted in open violation of the basic legal norms regulating the titling and sale of land to the detriment of the principles of strict illegality and the commendable grounds for which the Agrarian Code was created during this time ”, cited the lawsuit to annul the titles.
Sources linked to this case have warned that the Red Frog development project may have already taken monies from investors who are now at risk today because they have not been warned that the properties being developed may have been illegally titled.
According to the proposal given to its investors, mostly American citizens they would recover their invested monies from the future sale of land, houses and condos that to date have not been built on these illegally titled lands.
“It may have never been brought to the investors attention these titling problems that Joseph Haley has known about since 2006 regarding the titles that are currently under adjudication specifically property 121,” said a representative of Semper Fidelis Development S.A.
The local Bank that maintains mortgages on these properties whose titles are in question to be determined by the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court is Global Bank.
By Yelina Pérez SánchezLa Estrella