For right or wrong the current situation is:
We live on a cadastral lot, that has been classified as Timber land/Forest land. We are in dispute with our neighbours over the boundary on one side and the actual whole ownership on the other side. The lot has been divided into about 5 Tax Declarations and 3 Stewarships.
We realise that as forestland, the stewardships are a legal tenural agreement.
In the dispute, the DENR have performed an ocular inspection and issued a verbal status quo while they make a decision.
Recently, one of our neighbours, started to fence along one of the disputed boundaries. The barangay and even the PNP declined to intervene as they new the land was under conflict and would only act if the DENR issues a stop notice. After many communications, the DENR issues a stop notice but no instruction to remove the fence that had been erected despite the status quo.
My questions are:
We have been informed that the party carrying out the fencing was under the instruction of a lawyer to do this fencing, and not to stop until the DENR ordered them to, What legal benefit can this be when, as timber land, the legal authority is the DENR?
As all parties have tax declarations, issued by loca and/or provincial assessor, does the legal authority pass from the DENR to another agency? or, are the Tax Declarations, in reality, not worth the paper they a printed upon?
I know these are actually complex questions but I am just looking as to how best to proceed in securing our claim.