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Anti-Squatting Law Repeal Act of 1997 - Legal Wiki

Anti-Squatting Law Repeal Act of 1997

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Squatting used to be a crime under Presidential Decree No. 772 (Penalizing Squatting and Other Similar Acts), issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on 20 August 1975. PD 772 made it a crime for any "person who, with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the absence or tolerance of the landowner, succeeds in occupying or possessing the property of the latter against his will for residential commercial or any other purposes." PD 772 was subsequently repealed by Republic Act No. 8368, also known as the Anti-Squatting Law Repeal Act of 1997, which took effect in 27 December 1997.[1] RA 8368 was enacted solely for the purpose of expressly repealing PD 772.[2]

The repeal of the Anti-Squatting Law, however, does not mean that people now have the unbridled license to illegally occupy lands they do not own.[3] The legislature considered RA 8368 as a major piece of legislation on the country’s anti-poverty program[4] as it sought to confront the perennial problem of poverty at its root, abolish an otherwise inutile and oppressive law, and pave the way for a genuine urban housing and land reform program. Senate records reveal that it is the manifest intent of the authors of R.A. 8368 to decriminalize squatting but does not encourage or protect acts of squatting on somebody else’s land.[5] The law is not intended to compromise the property rights of legitimate landowners.[6]


References

  1. De Castro Homesite, Inc. vs. Leachon, Jr., G.R. No. 124856, 10 March 2005
  2. De Castro Homesite, Inc. vs. Leachon, Jr., G.R. No. 124856, 10 March 2005
  3. Tuates vs. Bersamin, G.R. No. 138962, 4 October 2002
  4. Tuates vs. Bersamin, G.R. No. 138962, 4 October 2002, citing the Records of the Senate, Third Regular Session, October 1 to November 26, 1997; Vol. II, Nos. 18-38, p. 20
  5. Tuates vs. Bersamin, G.R. No. 138962, 4 October 2002, citing the Records of the Senate, Third Regular Session July 28 to September 30, 1997; Vol. 1, Nos. 1-18, p. 1005
  6. Tuates vs. Bersamin, G.R. No. 138962, 4 October 2002, citing the Records of the Senate, Third Regular Session July 28 to September 30, 1997; Vol. 1, Nos. 1-18, p. 469; 470
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