DHSUD heightens vigilance after arrest of 4 real estate scammers

By Lade Jean Kabagani

December 13, 2020, 1:57 pm

<p>Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Sec. Eduardo del Rosario <em>(file photo)</em></p>

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Sec. Eduardo del Rosario (file photo)

MANILA – Housing czar Secretary Eduardo del Rosario on Sunday reminded anew the public to be vigilant against bogus brokers engaged in illegal real estate transactions following the arrest of four suspected real estate scammers in Cavite.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) conducted a joint entrapment operation against the four suspects at around 3 p.m. on Dec. 11, in Barangay Sucat, Alfonso.

Arrested were Joana Marie Cruzada and Joana Marie Viray, both residents of Alfonso; Felmarich Dagohoy, resident of Taguig City; and Jovannie Cruz from Angat, Bulacan.

Authorities said the suspects were involved in selling real estate properties at Alta Vista Homes without holding a 'Certificate of Registration and License to Sell' from the housing department.

The suspects claimed to be part of 1Premier Land Marketing Company, an alleged marketing arm of home developer Alta Vista.

However, DHSUD found out that the company is not legally registered.

According to DSHUD, the suspects were clearly violating the existing laws on Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) under Presidential Decree 957, which states that "no real estate broker or salesman shall engage in the business of selling subdivision lots or condominium units without being registered."

The decree stated that the buyer can demand copies of the certificate of registration specifically issued for the property being eyed and the "license to sell."

Both documents are applied with the DHSUD before a project can be advertised or sold.

Del Rosario said the public should be watchful at all times to avoid falling prey to unlicensed developers and other bogus brokers or salespeople, who are operating without legal documents.

"This is a big blow to real estate scammers, who prey on unsuspecting home buyers, and a huge boost to DHSUD's ongoing intensified campaign against unscrupulous individuals operating in the real estate industry," he said.

Del Rosario said those who would like to become real-estate brokers must ensure to comply with government requirements and standards.

"It shall serve as a stern warning to all. DHSUD, along with our partner law enforcement agencies like the NBI, means business in our drive against scammers and we are committed to protecting the public from these sinister activities."

Del Rosario vowed to run after illegal activities related to the government's housing and human settlement projects.

"Let me stress that we will not stop until these unscrupulous individuals in the real estate industry are arrested and put behind bars," he said. (PNA)