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Oct 17, 2016

Government Paid Out Compensation Sums Over Several Months

Vanessa Retreage

Both Pitts and Vega were compensated by government more than eight hundred thousand dollars over the course of seven months.  In the case of Pitts, payments commenced in March 2015 and concluded in September.  Andre Vega’s compensation similarly began with a bulk payment of one hundred thousand dollars in September 2015 and was completed in March of this year.


Vanessa Retreage, Minister of Natural Resources

“The commissioner did not provide a written report to the minister and made no recommendation for the sale of this parcel of land.  The full purchase price was paid on July twenty-fourth, 2012.  The minister’s fiat grant was presented to the minister for signature on the fourth of September, 2012 and was issued on the twenty-fourth of September 2012.  I wish to state here that the minutes of the file I received jumped from minute number seven to minute number twenty-five, so that minute eight to twenty-four is missing from the file.  The compensation file to Ms. Pitts.  On October twenty-second, 2014, Mr. Philip Zuniga wrote to the Commissioner of Lands and Survey requesting revocation of grants to Sharon Pitts and Hilmar Alamilla.  On ninth, December 2014, legal counsel within the ministry advised that an investigation would have to be carried out to determine if this is the same land and if so, government could not have issued title to land which was privately owned since 1988.  On fifteenth December, 2014, the acting principal survey issued a memo where he actually confirmed that the land was indeed owned by Miguel Valencia and that title was issued erroneously.  On January twenty-sixth, 2015 letters were sent to both surveyors who had done the surveys for Ms. Pitts and Mr. Alamilla informing them that the surveys conducted for both Ms. Pitts and Mr. Alamilla had been cancelled.  Based on an evaluation of the value of land done by Mr. Herman Castillo, Chief Valuer at the time, the compensation was stated to be four hundred thousand for Ms. Sharon Pitts, plus point six-three acres of land.  The money was paid by way of an initial payment in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars on March eleventh, 2015 with payments of fifty thousand per month continuing until the eleventh of September, 2015 when the last payment was made.  It is important to note that the valuation report done by Mr. Castillo which was used as a basis for the payment to Ms. Pitts was dated 2013, well before the letter was sent to Ms. Pitt and the valuation valued the land at that time at one point seven million dollars.  The next file in time is that of Hilmar Alamilla received permission to survey one point one-two-one acres of land along the Northern Highway on seventeenth January, 2012.  There is no evidence on the file that prior to the survey there was any lease application lodged by Mr. Alamilla. On fifteenth January, 2013, the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys made a recommendation to the Minister for the sale of the land to Mr. Alamilla for a price of six thousand, one hundred and seventy-one dollars.  On sixteenth January, 2013, the land purchase approval issued to Hilmar Alamilla with the purchase price being stated at six thousand, one hundred seventy-one dollars was shown to contain a note from the then minister which was dated the twenty-third January, 2013, directing that the purchase price be reassessed for two thousand, five hundred dollars.”

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1 Response for “Government Paid Out Compensation Sums Over Several Months”

  1. unbelievable says:

    Can anyone say where was the former minister of lands (Hulse) during this time? It seems most of the payments were done during his watch and according to the PM the ministry of lands controlled this money. Did he report any of these payments? If not, why not?

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