PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 772
PENALIZING SQUATTING AND OTHER SIMILAR ACTS
WHEREAS, it came to my knowledge that despite the issuance of Letter of Instructions No. 19 dated October 2, 1972, directing the Secretaries of National Defense, Public Works and Communications, Social Welfare and the Director of Public Works, the PHHC General Manager, the Presidential Assistant on Housing and Rehabilitation Agency, Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, and City and District Engineers, “to remove all illegal constructions including buildings on and along esteros and river banks, those along railroad tracks and those built without permits on public and private property, “squatting is still a major problem in urban communities all over the country;
WHEREAS, many persons or entities found to have been unlawfully occupying public and private lands belong to the affluent class;
WHEREAS, there is a need to further intensity the government’s drive against this illegal and nefarious practice;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order:
Section 1. 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, shall be punished by an imprisonment ranging from six months to one year or a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand pesos at the discretion of the court, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
If the offender is a corporation or association, the maximum penalty of five years and the fine of five thousand pesos shall be imposed upon the president, director, manager or managing partners thereof.
Section 2. This decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 20th day of August, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-five.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Source: Malacañang Records Office