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CASES IN NATURAL RESOURCES

SUBMITTED TO:

Atty. Ismael Manaligod

SUBMITTED BY:

Sophia E. Matote Jonna Maye S. Canindo Maureen Margareth D. Eslava Sony Berth Daluping Eric Gonayon CSU Ll.B- II

G.R. No. 79538. October 18, 1990 FELIPE YSMAEL, JR. & CO., INC., petitioner, vs. THE DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT and TWIN PEAKS DEVELOPMENT AND REALTY CORPORATION, respondents. FACTS: On October 12, 1965, petitioner entered into a timber license agreement with the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, represented by then Secretary Jose Feliciano, wherein it was issued an exclusive license to cut, collect and remove timber except prohibited species within a specified portion of public forest land with an area of 54,920 hectares located in the municipality of Maddela, province of Nueva Vizcaya from October 12, 1965 until June 30, 1990. However, on August 18, 1983, the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development (Bureau), Director Edmundo Cortes, issued a memorandum order stopping all logging operations in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces, and cancelling the logging concession of petitioner and nine other forest concessionaires, pursuant to presidential instructions and a memorandum order of the Minister of Natural Resources Teodoro Pena. Subsequently, petitioners timber license agreement was cancelled. He sent a letter addressed to then President Ferdinand Marcos which sought reconsideration of the Bureau's directive, citing in support thereof its contributions to forest conservation and alleging that it was not given the opportunity to be heard prior to the cancellation of its logging operations, but no favorable action was taken on his letter; Barely one year thereafter, approximately one-half of the area formerly covered by petitioners TLA was re-awarded to Twin Peaks Development and Realty Corporation under a new TLA which was set to expire on July 31, 2009, while the other half was allowed to be logged by Filipinas Loggers, Inc. without the benefit of a formal award or license. The latter entities were controlled or owned by relatives or cronies of deposed President Ferdinand Marcos.

Soon after the change of government in February 1986, petitioner sent a letter dated March 17, 1986 to the Office of the President, and another letter dated April 2, 1986 to Minister Ernesto Maceda of the Ministry of Natural Resources [MNR], seeking: (1) the reinstatement of its timber license agreement which was cancelled in August 1983 during the Marcos administration; (2) the revocation of TLA No. 356 which was issued to Twin Peaks Development and Realty Corporation without public bidding and in violation of forestry laws, rules and regulations; and, (3) the issuance of an order allowing petitioner to take possession of all logs found in the concession area. However, petitioner's request was denied. Petitioner moved for reconsideration reiterating, among others, its request that the timber license agreement issued to private respondent be declared null and void. The MNR however denied this motion. Petitioner subsequently appealed from the orders of the MNR to the Office of the President. The Office of the President, acting through then Deputy Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, denied petitioner's appeal for lack of merit. Petitioner filed with the Court a petition for certiorari, with prayer for the issuance of a restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction, ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner has the right to seek the nullification of the Bureau orders cancelling his timber license agreement and the granting of TLA to private respondent, which were issued way back in 1983 and 1984, respectively. HELD: NO. The failure of petitioner to file the petition for certiorari within a reasonable period of time renders the petitioner susceptible to the adverse legal consequences of laches. Laches is defined as the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do that which by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier, or to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled thereto has either abandoned it of declined to assert it. The rule is that unreasonable delay on the part of a plaintiff in seeking to enforce an alleged right may, depending upon the circumstances, be destructive of the right itself. Verily, the laws did these who are vigilant, not those who sleep upon their rights. In the case at bar, petitioner waited for at least three years before it finally filed a petition for certiorari with the Court attacking the validity of the assailed Bureau actions in 1983 and 1984. Considering that petitioner, throughout the period of its inaction, was not deprived of the opportunity to seek relief from the courts which were normally operating at the time, its delay constitutes unreasonable and inexcusable neglect, tantamount to laches. Accordingly, the writ of certiorari requiring the reversal of these orders will not lie. There is a more significant factor which bars the issuance of a writ of certiorari in favor of petitioner and against public respondents herein. A long line of cases establish the basic rule that

the courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. More so where, as in the present case, the interests of a private logging company are pitted against that of the public at large on the pressing public policy issue of forest conservation. For this Court recognizes the wide latitude of discretion possessed by the government in determining the appropriate actions to be taken to preserve and manage natural resources, and the proper parties who should enjoy the privilege of utilizing these resources. Timber licenses, permits and license agreements are the principal instruments by which the State regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. And it can hardly be gainsaid that they merely evidence a privilege granted by the State to qualified entities, and do not vest in the latter a permanent or irrevocable right to the particular concession area and the forest products therein. They may be validly amended, modified, replaced or rescinded by the Chief Executive when national interests so require. Thus, they are not deemed contracts within the purview of the due process of law clause.

BENGUET CORPORATION, Petitioner, - versus -

G.R. No. 163101

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES-MINES ADJUDICATION BOARD and J.G. REALTY AND MINING CORPORATION, Respondents. FACTS: Benguet and J.G. Realty entered into a Royalty Agreement with Option to Purchase (RAWOP) , wherein J.G. Realty was acknowledged as the owner of four mining claims with a total area of 288.8656 hectares. The parties also executed a Supplemental Agreement. The mining claims were covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) Application No. APSA-V-0009 jointly filed by J.G. Realty as claim-owner and Benguet as operator. After some time, the Executive Vice-President of Benguet, Antonio N. Tachuling, issued a letter informing J.G. Realty of its intention to develop the mining claims. However, J.G. Realty, through its President, Johnny L. Tan, then sent a letter to the President of Benguet informing the latter that it was terminating the RAWOP. The latter alleged that petitioner violated some of the provisions of the RAWOP, specifically on non-payment of royalties and non-fulfillment of obligations stipulated therein. J.G. Realty filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity/Cancellation of the RAWOP. POA issued a Decision, cancelling the RAWOP and its Supplemental Agreement. BENGUET was subsequently excluded from the joint MPSA Application over the mineral claims. Subsequent MR was denied. Said decision was upheld by DENR-MAB. Hence this instant petition. ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner the filing of the petition with the Supreme Court is proper.

HELD:

NO. the instant petition can be denied outright as Benguet resorted to an improper Remedy. The last paragraph of Section 79 of Republic Act No. (RA) 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 states, A petition for review by certiorari and question of law may be filed by the aggrieved party with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision of the [MAB]. The Revised Rules of Civil Procedure included Rule 43 to provide a uniform rule on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies. Under the rule, appeals from their judgments and final orders are now required to be brought to the CA on a verified petition for review. A quasi-judicial agency or body has been defined as an organ of government, other than a court or legislature, which affects the rights of private parties through either adjudication or rulemaking. MAB falls under this definition; hence, it is no different from the other quasi-judicial bodies enumerated under Rule 43. Besides, the introductory words in Section 1 of Circular No. 1-91among these agencies areindicate that the enumeration is not exclusive or conclusive and acknowledge the existence of other quasi-judicial agencies which, though not expressly listed, should be deemed included therein. The judicial policy of observing the hierarchy of courts dictates that direct resort from administrative agencies to this Court will not be entertained, unless the redress desired cannot be obtained from the appropriate lower tribunals, or unless exceptional and compelling circumstances justify availment of a remedy falling within and calling for the exercise of our primary jurisdiction. Thus Benguet should have filed the appeal with the CA. Petitioner having failed to properly appeal to the CA under Rule 43, the decision of the MAB has become final and executory. On this ground alone, the instant petition must be denied.

G.R. No. 148267. August 8, 2002

ARMANDO C. CARPIO, petitioner, vs. SULU RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, respondent.

FACTS: This case originated from a petition filed by respondent [Sulu Resources Development Corporation] for Mines Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) No. MPSA-IV-131, covering certain areas in Antipolo, Rizal. Petitioner [Armando C. Carpio] filed an opposition/adverse claim thereto, alleging, inter alia, that his landholdings in Cupang and Antipolo, Rizal will be covered by respondents claim, thus he enjoys a preferential right to explore and extract the quarry resources on his properties. After due proceedings were held, the Panel of Arbitrators of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau of the DENR rendered a Resolution upholding petitioners opposition/adverse claim. Respondent appealed the foregoing Resolution to the Mines Adjudication Board. Meanwhile, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss appeal on the ground of respondents failure to comply with the requirements of the New Mining Acts Implementing Rules and Regulations. The Mines Adjudication Board rendered the assailed Order dismissing petitioners opposition/adverse claim. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of said Order which was denied by the Board. An appeal was filed with the CA but same was denied. ISSUE: Whether or not appeals from the Decision or Final Orders of the Mines Adjudication Board should be made directly to the Supreme Court as contended by the respondent and the Court of Appeals, or such appeals be first made to the Court of Appeals as contended by herein petitioner. HELD: The petition is meritorious. Factual controversies are usually involved in administrative actions; and the CA is prepared to handle such issues because, unlike this Court, it is mandated to rule on questions of fact. i In Metro Construction, we observed that not only did the CA have appellate jurisdiction over CIAC

decisions and orders, but the review of such decisions included questions of fact and law. ii At the very least when factual findings of the MAB are challenged or alleged to have been made in grave abuse of discretion as in the present case, the CA may review them, consistent with the constitutional dutyiii of the judiciary. To summarize, there are sufficient legal footings authorizing a review of the MAB Decision under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. First, Section 30 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, mandates that [n]o law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice and consent. On the other hand, Section 79 of RA No. 7942 provides that decisions of the MAB may be reviewed by this Court on a petition for review by certiorari. This provision is obviously an expansion of the Courts appellate jurisdiction, an expansion to which this Court has not consented. Indiscriminate enactment of legislation enlarging the appellate jurisdiction of this Court would unnecessarily burden it.iv Second, when the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power, transfers to the CA pending cases involving a review of a quasi-judicial bodys decisions, such transfer relates only to procedure; hence, it does not impair the substantive and vested rights of the parties. The aggrieved partys right to appeal is preserved; what is changed is only the procedure by which the appeal is to be made or decided. v The parties still have a remedy and a competent tribunal to grant this remedy. Third, the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure included Rule 43 to provide a uniform rule on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies.vi Under the rule, appeals from their judgments and final orders are now required to be brought to the CA on a verified petition for review. vii A quasijudicial agency or body has been defined as an organ of government, other than a court or legislature, which affects the rights of private parties through either adjudication or rulemaking.viii MAB falls under this definition; hence, it is no different from the other quasi-judicial bodies enumerated under Rule 43. Besides, the introductory words in Section 1 of Circular No. 1-91 -- among these agencies are -- indicate that the enumeration is not exclusive or conclusive and acknowledge the existence of other quasi-judicial agencies which, though not expressly listed, should be deemed included therein.ix Fourth, the Court realizes that under Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 129x as amended by RA No. 7902,xi factual controversies are usually involved in decisions of quasi-judicial bodies; and the CA, which is likewise tasked to resolve questions of fact, has more elbow room to resolve them. By including questions of factxii among the issues that may be raised in an appeal from quasijudicial agencies to the CA, Section 3 of Revised Administrative Circular No. 1-95 and Section 3 of Rule 43 explicitly expanded the list of such issues. According to Section 3 of Rule 43, [a]n appeal under this Rule may be taken to the Court of Appeals within the period and in the manner herein provided whether the appeal involves questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of fact and law. Hence, appeals from quasi-judicial agencies even only on questions of law may be brought to the CA. Fifth, the judicial policy of observing the hierarchy of courts dictates that direct resort from administrative agencies to this Court will not be entertained, unless the redress desired cannot be obtained from the appropriate lower tribunals, or unless exceptional and compelling circumstances justify availment of a remedy falling within and calling for the exercise of our

primary jurisdiction.xiii Consistent with these rulings and legal bases, we therefore hold that Section 79 of RA 7942 is likewise to be understood as having been modified by Circular No. 1-91, BP Blg. 129 as amended by RA 7902, Revised Administrative Circular 1-95, and Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. In brief, appeals from decisions of the MAB shall be taken to the CA through petitions for review in accordance with the provisions of Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Court.

DESAMA vs ELISEA GOZUN FACTS:

G.R. No. 157882, March 30, 2006

Executive Order No. 279, promulgated by then President Corazon Aquino, authorized the DENR Secretary to accept, consider and evaluate proposals from foreign-owned corporations or foreign investors for contracts of agreements involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, which, upon appropriate recommendation of the Secretary, the President may execute with the foreign proponent. After some time, President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law Rep. Act No. 7942 entitled, An Act Instituting A New System of Mineral Resources Exploration, Development, Utilization and Conservation, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. Then DENR Secretary Victor O. Ramos issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 23, Series of 1995, containing the implementing guidelines of Rep. Act No. 7942. This was soon superseded by DAO No. 96-40, s. 1996, which took effect on 23 January 1997 after due publication. Previously, however, or specifically on 20 June 1994, President Ramos executed an FTAA with Arimco Mining Corporation (AMC) over a total land area of 37,000 hectares covering the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Included in this area is Barangay Dipidio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. Counsels for petitioners filed a demand letter addressed to then DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez, for the cancellation of the CAMC FTAA for the primary reason that Rep. Act No. 7942 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations DAO 96-40 are unconstitutional. Subsequently, AMC consolidated with Climax Mining Limited to form a single company that now goes under the new name of Climax-Arimco Mining Corporation (CAMC), the controlling 99% of stockholders of which are Australian nationals. MGB rejected the demand of counsels for petitioners for the cancellation of the CAMC FTAA. Petitioners thus filed the present petition for prohibition and mandamus, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order. ISSUE: Whether or not the mining act and its implementing rules and regulations are void and unconstitutional specifically Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942 and Section 107 of DAO 96-40 FOR IT allows the unlawful and unjust taking of private property for private purpose in contradiction with Section 9, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. HELD: NO. Section 76 of Republic Act No. 7942 and Section 107 of DAO 96-40; Republic Act No. 7942 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations contained in DAO

96-40 insofar as they relate to financial and technical assistance agreements referred to in paragraph 4 of Section 2 of Article XII of the Constitution are NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL. While this Court declares that the assailed provision is a taking provision, this does not mean that it is unconstitutional on the ground that it allows taking of private property without the determination of public use and the payment of just compensation. The taking to be valid must be for public use. Public use as a requirement for the valid exercise of the power of eminent domain is now synonymous with public interest, public benefit, public welfare and public convenience. It includes the broader notion of indirect public benefit or advantage. Public use as traditionally understood as actual use by the public has already been abandoned. Mining industry plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the country and is a vital tool in the governments thrust of accelerated recovery. Irrefragably, mining is an industry which is of public benefit. That public use is negated by the fact that the state would be taking private properties for the benefit of private mining firms or mining contractors is not at all true. There is also no basis for the claim that the Mining Law and its implementing rules and regulations do not provide for just compensation in expropriating private properties. Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942 and Section 107 of DAO 96-40 provide for the payment of just compensation

LA BUGAL-BLAAN TRIBAL ASSOCIATION, Inc. vs RAMOS G.R. No. 127882 FACTS: On March 3, 1995, President Ramos signed into law R.A. No. 7942. Section 15 thereof declares that the Act shall govern the exploration, development, utilization, and processing of all mineral resources. Such declaration notwithstanding, R.A. No. 7942 does not actually cover all the modes through which the State may undertake the exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources. The State, being the owner of the natural resources, is accorded the primary power and responsibility in the exploration, development and utilization thereof. As such, it may undertake these activities through four modes: The State may directly undertake such activities. (2)The State may enter into co-production, joint venture or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens or qualified corporations. (3)Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens. (4)For the large-scale exploration, development and utilization of minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils, the President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving technical or financial assistance. R.A. No. 7942 primarily concerns itself with the second and fourth modes. Petitioners submit that, in accordance with the text of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, FTAAs should be limited to technical or financial assistance only. They observe, however, that, contrary to the language of the Constitution, the WMCP FTAA allows WMCP, a fully foreign-owned mining corporation, to extend more than mere financial or technical assistance to the State, for it permits WMCP to manage and operate every aspect of the mining activity On January 10, 1997, counsels for petitioners sent a letter to the DENR Secretary demanding that the DENR stop the implementation of R.A. No. 7942 and DAO No. 96-40, giving the DENR fifteen days from receipt to act thereon. The DENR, however, has yet to respond or act on petitioners letter. Petitioners thus filed the present petition for prohibition and mandamus, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order. They allege that at the time of the filing of the petition, 100 FTAA applications had already been filed, covering an area of 8.4 million hectares, 64 of which applications are by fully foreign-owned corporations covering a total of 5.8 million hectares, and at least one by a fully foreign-owned mining company over offshore areas. January 27, 2004

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT Republic Act No. 7942 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. HELD: The Court hereby declares unconstitutional and void the following: (1) provisions of Republic Act No. 7942: (a)The proviso in Section 3 (aq), (b)Section 23, (c)Section 33 to 41, (d)Section 56, (e)The second and third paragraphs of Section 81, and (f) Section 90. (2) All provisions of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 96-40, s. 1996 which are not in conformity with this Decision, and (3) The Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and WMC Philippines, Inc. It is undisputed that R.A. No. 7942 and DAO No. 96-40 contain provisions that are more favorable to WMCP, hence, these laws, to the extent that they are favorable to WMCP, govern the FTAA. In addition, R.A. No. 7942 explicitly makes certain provisions apply to pre-existing agreements. R.A. No. 7942 is invalid insofar as said Act authorizes service contracts. Although the statute employs the phrase financial and technical agreements in accordance with the 1987 Constitution, it actually treats these agreements as service contracts that grant beneficial ownership to foreign contractors contrary to the fundamental law.

APEX MINING CO., INC., Petitioner, - versus SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING CORP. ET AL, Respondents. x-------------------------x BALITE COMMUNAL PORTAL MINING COOPERATIVE, Petitioner, - versus SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING CORP., APEX MINING CO., INC., ET AL, Respondents. x------------------------x THE MINES ADJUDICATION BOARD AND ITS MEMBERS, THE HON. VICTOR O. RAMOS (Chairman), UNDERSECRETARY VIRGILIO MARCELO (Member) and DIRECTOR HORACIO RAMOS (Member), Petitioners, - versus SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING CORPORATION, Respondent.

FACTS:

This resolves the motion for reconsideration dated 12 July 2006, filed by Southeast Mindanao Gold Mining Corporation (SEM), of this Courts Decision dated 23 June 2006

(Assailed Decision). The Assailed Decision held that the assignment of Exploration Permit (EP) 133 in favor of SEM violated one of the conditions stipulated in the permit, i.e., that the same shall be for the exclusive use and benefit of Marcopper Mining Corporation (MMC) or its duly authorized agents. Since SEM did not claim or submit evidence that it was a designated agent of MMC, the latter cannot be considered as an agent of the former that can use EP 133 and benefit from it. It also ruled that the transfer of EP 133 violated Presidential Decree No. 463, which requires that the assignment of a mining right be made with the prior approval of the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Moreover, the Assailed Decision pointed out that EP 133 expired by non-renewal since it was not renewed before or after its expiration.

The Assailed Decision likewise upheld the validity of Proclamation No. 297 absent any question against its validity. In view of this, and considering that under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7942, otherwise known as the Mining Act of 1995, mining operations in mineral reservations may be undertaken directly by the State or through a contractor, the Court deemed the issue of ownership of priority right over the contested Diwalwal Gold Rush Area as having been overtaken by the said proclamation. Thus, it was held in the Assailed Decision that it is now within the prerogative of the Executive Department to undertake directly the mining operations of the disputed area or to award the operations to private entities including petitioners Apex and Balite, subject to applicable laws, rules and regulations, and provided that these private entities are qualified.

SEM also filed a Motion for Referral of Case to the Court En Banc and for Oral Arguments dated 22 August 2006.

Apex, for its part, filed a Motion for Clarification of the Assailed Decision, praying that the Court elucidate on the Decisions pronouncement that mining operations, are now, therefore within the full control of the State through the executive branch. Moreover, Apex asks this Court to order the Mines and Geosciences Board (MGB) to accept its application for an exploration permit.

In its Manifestation and Motion dated 28 July 2006, Balite echoes the same concern as that of Apex on the actual takeover by the State of the mining industry in the disputed area to the exclusion of the private sector. In addition, Balite prays for this Court to direct MGB to accept its application for an exploration permit.

Camilo Banad, et al., likewise filed a motion for reconsideration and prayed that the disputed area be awarded to them.

ISSUE/S: Whether Southeast Mindanao Mining Corp. (SEM) acquired a vested right over the disputed area, which constitutes a property right protected by the Constitution.

HELD: NO. SEM does not aver or prove that its mining rights had been perfected and completed when the Philippine Bill of 1902 was still the operative law. Surely, it is impossible for SEM to successfully assert that it acquired mining rights over the disputed area in accordance with the same bill, since it was only in 1984 that MMC, SEMs predecessor-in-interest, filed its declaration of locations and its prospecting permit application in compliance with Presidential Decree No. 463. It was on 1 July

1985 and 10 March 1986 that a Prospecting Permit and EP 133, respectively, were issued to MMC. Considering these facts, there is no possibility that MMC or SEM could have acquired a perfected mining claim under the auspices of the Philippine Bill of 1902. Whatever mining rights MMC had that it invalidly transferred to SEM cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be considered mining rights as contemplated under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and immortalized in McDaniel and Gold Creek Mining.

SEM likens EP 133 with a building permit. SEM likewise equates its supposed rights attached to the exploration permit with the rights that a private property land owner has to said landholding. This analogy has no basis in law. As earlier discussed, under the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, national wealth, such as mineral resources, are owned by the State and not by their discoverer. The discoverer or locator can only develop and utilize said minerals for his own benefit if he has complied with all the requirements set forth by applicable laws and if the State has conferred on him such right through permits, concessions or agreements. In other words, without the imprimatur of the State, any mining aspirant does not have any definitive right over the mineral land because, unlike a private landholding, mineral land is owned by the State, and the same cannot be alienated to any private person as explicitly stated in Section 2, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution:

All lands of public domain, waters, minerals x x x and all other natural resources are owned by the State . With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated . (Emphases supplied.)

Further, a closer scrutiny of the deed of assignment in favor of SEM reveals that MMC assigned to the former the rights and interests it had in EP 133, thus:

1. That for ONE PESO (P1.00) and other valuable consideration received by the ASSIGNOR from the ASSIGNEE, the ASSIGNOR hereby ASSIGNS, TRANSFERS and CONVEYS unto the ASSIGNEE whatever rights or interest the ASSIGNOR may have in the area situated in Monkayo, Davao del Norte and Cateel, Davao Oriental, identified as Exploration Permit No. 133 and Application for a Permit to Prospect in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur respectively. (Emphasis supplied.)

It is evident that what MMC had over the disputed area during the assignment was an exploration permit. Clearly, the right that SEM acquired was limited to exploration, only because MMC was a mere holder of an exploration permit. As previously explained, SEM did not acquire the rights inherent in the permit, as the assignment by MMC to SEM was done in violation of the condition stipulated in the permit, and the assignment was effected without the approval of the proper authority in contravention of the provision of the mining law governing at that time. In addition, the permit expired on 6 July 1994. It is, therefore, quite clear that SEM has no right over the area.

CELESTIAL NICKEL MINING G.R. No. 169080 EXPLORATION CORPORATION, Petitioner, - versus MACROASIA CORPORATION(formerly INFANTA MINERAL AND INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION), BLUE RIDGE MINERAL CORPORATION, and LEBACH MINING CORPORATION, Respondents. FACTS: The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Infanta Mineral and Industrial Corporation (Infanta) entered into a Mining Lease Contract V-1050. Infantas corporate name was then changed to Cobertson Holdings Corporation and subsequently to its present name, Macroasia Corporation. After sometime, Celestial filed a Petition to Cancel the subject mining lease contracts and other mining claims of Macroasia including those covered by Mining Lease Contract No. V-1050, before the Panel of Arbitrators (POA) of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR. Blue Ridge, in an earlier letter-petition, also wrote the Director of Mines to seek cancellation of mining lease contracts and other mining rights of Macroasia and another entity, Lebach Mining Corporation (Lebach), in mining areas in Brookes Point. Celestial is the assignee of 144 mining claims covering such areas contiguous to Infantas (now Macroasia) mining lode claims. Celestial also holds an MPSA with the government which covers 2,835 hectares located at Ipilan/Maasin, Brookes Point, Palawan and two pending applications covering another 4,040 hectares in Barangay Mainit also in Brookes Point. Celestial sought the cancellation of Macroasias lease contracts. Macroasia refuted the grounds for cancellation invoked by Celestial. Based on the records of the Bureau of Mines and findings of the field investigations, the POA granted the petition of Celestial to cancel the Mining Lease Contracts of Macroasia; and found the claims of the others indubitably meritorious. It gave Celestial the preferential right to Macroasias mining areas. 1 It upheld Blue Ridges petition, but only as against the Mining Lease Contract areas of Lebach, and the said leased areas were declared automatically abandoned. It gave Blue Ridge
1

priority right to the aforesaid Lebachs areas/mining claims. Blue Ridge and Macroasia appealed before the MAB. Lebach did not file any notice of appeal with the required memorandum of appeal; thus, with respect to Lebach, the above resolution became final and executory. The MAB made a decision upholding the Decision of the POA to cancel the Mining Lode/Lease Contracts of Macroasia. However, the MAB, subsequently issued a resolution vacating its previous decision, holding that neither the POA nor the MAB had the power to revoke a mineral agreement duly entered into by the DENR Secretary. The MAB further held that the power to cancel or revoke a mineral agreement was exclusively lodged with the DENR Secretary. Celestial and Blue Ridge made an appeal. The CA Special12th Division affirmed the MAB Resolution which upheld the exclusive authority of the DENR Secretary to approve, cancel, and revoke mineral agreements. The CA also denied Celestials Motion for Reconsideration. While the CA Special 10th Division granted Blue Ridges petition; reversed and set aside the Resolutions of the MAB; and treated the cancellation of a mining lease agreement as a mining dispute within the exclusive jurisdiction of the POA under Sec. 77 of RA 7942, explaining that the power to resolve mining disputes, which is the greater power, necessarily includes the lesser power to cancel mining agreements.

ISSUE: Whether or not it is only the Secretary of the DENR who has the jurisdiction to cancel mining contracts and privileges? HELD: YES. It is only the Secretary of the DENR who has jurisdiction to cancel mining contracts and privileges. After a scrutiny of the provisions of PD 463, EO 211, EO 279, RA 7942 and its implementing rules and regulations, executive issuances, and case law, we rule that the DENR Secretary, not the POA, has the jurisdiction to cancel existing mineral lease contracts or mineral agreements based on the following reasons: The power of the DENR Secretary to cancel mineral agreements emanates from his administrative authority, supervision, management, and control over mineral

resources under Chapter I, Title XIV of Book IV of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. It is the DENR, through the Secretary, that manages, supervises, and regulates the use and development of all mineral resources of the country. It has exclusive jurisdiction over the management of all lands of public domain, which covers mineral resources and deposits from said lands. It has the power to oversee, supervise, and police our natural resources which include mineral resources. Derived from the broad and explicit powers of the DENR and its Secretary under the Administrative Code of 1987 is the power to approve mineral agreements and necessarily to cancel or cause to cancel said agreements. Under RA 7942, the power of control and supervision of the DENR Secretary over the MGB to cancel or recommend cancellation of mineral rights clearly demonstrates the authority of the DENR Secretary to cancel or approve the cancellation of mineral agreements. The DENR Secretarys power to cancel mining rights or agreements through the MGB can be inferred from Sec. 230, Chapter XXIV of DENR AO 96-40 on cancellation, revocation, and termination of a permit/mineral agreement/FTAA.

[G.R. No. 86889. December 4, 1990] LUZ FARMS, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, respondent. FACTS: On June 10, 1988, the President of the Philippines approved R.A. No. 6657, which includes the raising of livestock, poultry and swine in its coverage. On January 2, 1989, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform promulgated the Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production and Profit Sharing as embodied in Sections 13 and 32 of R.A. No. 6657. On January 9, 1989, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform promulgated its Rules and Regulations implementing Section 11 of R.A. No. 6657 (Commercial Farms). Luz Farms, petitioner in this case, is a corporation engaged in the livestock and poultry business and together with others in the same business allegedly stands to be adversely affected by the enforcement of Section 3(b), Section 11, Section 13, Section 16(d) and 17 and Section 32 of R.A. No. 6657 otherwise known as Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and of the Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production and Profit Sharing under R.A. No. 6657 promulgated on January 2, 1989 and the Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 11 thereof as promulgated by the DAR on January 9, 1989. Hence, this petition praying that aforesaid laws, guidelines and rules be declared unconstitutional. Meanwhile, it is also prayed that a writ of preliminary injunction or restraining order be issued enjoining public respondents from enforcing the same, insofar as they are made to apply to Luz Farms and other livestock and poultry raisers. This Court in its Resolution dated July 4, 1989 resolved to deny, among others, Luz Farms

prayer the issuance of a preliminary injunction in its Manifestation dated May 26 and 31, 1989. Later, however, this Court in its Resolution dated August 24, 1989 resolved to grant said Motion for Reconsideration regarding the injunctive relief, after the filing and approval by this Court of an injunction bond in the amount of P100,000.00. This Court also gave due course to the petition and required the parties to file their respective memoranda. ISSUE: WON Section 3(b), Section 11, Section 13, Section 16(d) and 17 and Section 32 of R.A. No. 6657 otherwise known as Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and of the Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production and Profit Sharing under R.A. No. 6657 is unconstitutional. HELD: YES. It is evident from the foregoing discussion that Section II of R.A. 6657 which includes private agricultural lands devoted to commercial livestock, poultry and swine raising in the definition of "commercial farms" is invalid, to the extent that the aforecited agro-industrial activities are made to be covered by the agrarian reform program of the State. There is simply no reason to include livestock and poultry lands in the coverage of agrarian reform. Hence, there is merit in Luz Farms argument that the requirement in Sections 13 and 32 of R.A. 6657 directing corporate farms which include livestock and poultry raisers to execute and implement production-sharing plans (pending final redistribution of their landholdings) whereby they are called upon to distribute from three percent (3%) of their gross sales and ten percent (10%) of their net profits to their workers as additional compensation is unreasonable for being confiscatory, and therefore violative of due process.

[G.R. No. 61293. February 15, 1990] DOMINGO B. MADDUMBA and ANITA C. MADDUMBA, petitioners, vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, Represented by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, HONORABLE LEONILO OCAMPO, respondent. FACTS: On December 10, 1980, respondent GSIS conducted a public bidding of several foreclosed properties. Included in the properties offered to the public was a house and lot situated at 3377 New Panaderos Street, Sta. Ana, Manila, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 4749 of the Register of Deeds of Manila. Petitioner Domingo B. Maddumba participated in the public bidding and submitted his sealed bid in the amount of P98,000.00 in Philippine currency. The bid was subject to the condition that there should be a down payment of 35% of the amount thereof, the 10% constituting the proposal bond with the remaining 25% to be paid after the receipt of the notice of award or acceptance of the bid. Accordingly, petitioner enclosed with his sealed bid a manager's check in the amount of P9,500.00 and cash in the amount of P300.00 to complete the P9,800.00 proposal bond. Upon the receipt of the notice of award, petitioner offered to pay the additional 25% in Land Bank bonds at their face value. These bonds were issued to petitioner as payment for his riceland consisting of twenty-six hectares located in Cordon, Isabela acquired by the Government from him under Presidential Decree No. 27. However, the GSIS rejected the offer, hence it was withdrawn by petitioner. Petitioner then offered to pay in cash the remaining 25% down payment "and all future installments." Thereafter,

on November 16, 1981, petitioner paid in cash the balance of the required down payment. A "Deed of Conditional Sale" was executed by the parties on November 19, 1981, where the petitioner as vendee agreed to pay the vendor GSIS "the balance of the purchase price of SIXTY THREE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIVE & 50/100 (P63,705.50) PESOS. Philippine currency, in SIXTY (60) monthly installments of ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED SIXTEEN & 69/100 (P1,416.69) PESOS. Philippine currency, at twelve (12%) percent interest per annum, compounded monthly, beginning December 1, 1981." The first installment in the amount of P1,416.00 was paid by petitioner on December 3, 1981. When the second monthly installment became due, petitioner sent a letter dated January 5, 1982, to the GSIS Board of Trustees requesting that he be allowed to pay the monthly amortizations with his Land Bank bonds commencing in January, 1982 until the exhaustion of the said bonds. Petitioner invoked the provisions of Section 85 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 251. The GSIS Board of Trustees, in its Resolution No. 91 adopted on January 22, 1982, denied petitioner's offer. The board resolved to reiterate the policy that Land Bank bonds shall be accepted as payment only at a discounted rate to yield the System 18% at maturity. In a letter dated February 12, 1982, petitioner asked the Board of Trustees to reconsider Resolution No. 91. Petitioner reiterated his reliance on Section 85 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended, and further supported his position with the contention that the policy of the GSIS contravenes the ruling in the case of Gonzales, et al. vs. The Government Insurance System, etc., et al.. Likewise, petitioner submitted an opinion of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, dated February 12, 1982, wherein it was stated, inter alia, that if the GSIS

accepts the Land Bank bonds as payment thereof, it must accept the same at par or face value. To accept said bonds at a discounted rate would lessen the credibility of the bonds as instruments of indebtedness. In a letter dated May 31, 1982, petitioner was advised by the Manager, Acquired Assets Department, GSIS that Resolution No. 415 was adopted on May 18, 1982 by the GSIS Board of Trustees denying the request of petitioner. Hence, on August 5, 1982, the instant original action for mandamus was filed by petitioner. ISSUE: Whether or not under the provisions of Section 85 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 251 effective July 21, 1973, the GSIS may be compelled to accept Land Bank bonds at their face value in payment for a residential house and lot purchased by the bondholder from the GSIS. HELD: Yes. It is not disputed that under the above quoted provisions, a government-owned or controlled corporation, like the GSIS, is compelled to accept Land Bank bonds as payment for the purchase of its assets. As a matter of fact, the bidder who offers to pay in bonds of the Land Bank is entitled to preference. What respondent GSIS is resisting, however, is its being compelled to accept said bonds at their face value. Respondent, in support of its stance that it can discount the bonds, avers that "(a) PD 251 has amended Section 85 of RA 3844 by deleting and eliminating the original provision that Land Bank bonds shall be accepted in the amount of their face value; and (b) to accept the said bonds at their face value will impair the actuarial solvency of the GSIS and thoroughly prejudice its capacity to pay death, retirement, insurance, dividends and other benefits and claims to its more than a million members, the majority of whom are low salaried government employees and workers."

[G.R. No. 135385. December 6, 2000] ISAGANI CRUZ and CESAR EUROPA, petitioners, vs. SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT and CHAIRMAN and COMMISSIONERS OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, respondents.

FACTS: Cruz, a noted constitutionalist, assailed the validity of the RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act on the ground that the law amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well as minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The IPRA law basically enumerates the rights of the indigenous peoples over ancestral domains which may include natural resources. Cruz et al contend that, by providing for an all-encompassing definition of ancestral domains and ancestral lands which might even include private lands found within said areas, Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law violate the rights of private landowners. ISSUE: Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional. HELD: The SC deliberated upon the matter. After deliberation they voted and reached a 7-7 vote. They deliberated again and the same result transpired. Since there was no majority vote, Cruzs petition was dismissed and the IPRA law was sustained. Hence, ancestral domains may include public domain somehow against the regalian doctrine.

[G.R. No. 134958. January 31, 2001] PATRICIO CUTARAN, DAVID DANGWAS and PACIO DOSIL, petitioners, vs. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT and NATURAL RESOURCES, herein represented by SEC. VICTOR O. RAMOS, OSCAR M. HAMADA and GUILLERMO S. FIANZA, in his capacity as Chairman of Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands (CSTFAL), Baguio City, respondents. FACTS: Cutaran et.al. assails the validity of DENR Special Order31, Special Order 25, and Department Administrative Order 2 for being issued without prior legislative authority.- Special Order (SO) 31 (1990): Creation of a Special Task force on acceptance, identification, evaluation and delineation of ancestral land claims in the Cordillera Administrative Region- Special Order (SO) 25: Creation of Special Task Forces provincial and community environment and natural resources offices for the identification, delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims nationwide- DAO 2: Implementing Rules and Guidelines of Special Order no. 25 The same year SO 31 was issued, relatives of petitioners filed separate applications for Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim (CALC) for the land they occupy inside the Camp John Hay Reservation. -These petitions were denied. Also pursuant to the SOs, the heirs of A peg Carantes filed application for CALC for some portions of land in the Camp John Hay Reservation, overlapping some of the land occupied by the petitioners. The petitioners contend that if not for the respondents timely resistance to the Orders, the petitioners would be totally evicted from their land.- Petitioners filed in the CA petition to enjoin respondents from implementing Orders on ground that they are void for lack of legal basis. CA ruled that SO31 has no force and effect for preempting legislative prerogative for it was issued prior to the effectivity of RA7586 (National Integrated Protected Systems), but it sustained SO25and DAO 2

on the ground that they were issued pursuant to powers delegated to DENR under RA7586.- Petitioners now contend that CA erred in upholding the validity of SO25 and DAO 2 and seek to enjoin the DENR from processing the application of CALC of Heirs of Carantes. ISSUE: WON SO 25 and DAO 2 are valid HELD: Not a justiciable controversy. The petition was prematurely filed. There is yet no justiciable controversy for the court to resolve. The adverse legal interests involved are the competing claims of the petitioners and heirs of Carantes to possess a common piece of land. Since the CALC application of the Heirs of Carantes has not yet been granted or issued, and which the DENR may or may not grant, there is yet no actual or imminent violation of petitioners asserted right to possess the disputed land.- Definition of justiciable controversy: a definite and concrete dispute touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests which may be resolved by a court of law through the application of a law.- Subject to certain welldefined exceptions, the courts will not touch an issue involving the validity of a law unless there has been a governmental act accomplished or performed that has a direct adverse effect on the legal right of the person contesting its validity. This Court cannot rule on the basis of petitioners speculation that the DENR will approve the application of the heirs of Carantes. There must be an actual governmental act which directly causes or will imminently cause injury to the alleged legal right of the petitioner to possess the land before the jurisdiction of this Court may be invoked. There is no showing that the petitioners were being evicted from the land by the heirs of Carantes under orders from the DENR.

[G.R. No. 59603. April 29, 1987] EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. HON. CEFERINO E. DULAY, in his capacity as the Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch XVI, Lapu-Lapu City, and SAN ANTONIO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, respondents.

Facts: The four parcels of land which are the subject of this case is where the Mactan Export Processing Zone Authority in Cebu (EPZA) is to be constructed. Private respondent San Antonio Development Corporation (San Antonio, for brevity), in which these lands are registered under, claimed that the lands were expropriated to the government without them reaching the agreement as to the compensation. Respondent Judge Dulay then issued an order for the appointment of the commissioners to determine the just compensation. It was later found out that the payment of the government to San Antonio would be P15 per square meter, which was objected to by the latter contending that under PD 1533, the basis of just compensation shall be fair and according to the fair market value declared by the owner of the property sought to be expropriated, or by the assessor, whichever is lower. Such objection and the subsequent Motion for Reconsideration were denied and hearing was set for the reception of the commissioners report. EPZA then filed this petition for certiorari and mandamus enjoining the respondent from further hearing the case.

Issue: Whether or Not the exclusive and mandatory mode of determining just compensation in PD 1533 is unconstitutional.

Held: The Supreme Court ruled that the mode of determination of just compensation in PD 1533 is unconstitutional.

The method of ascertaining just compensation constitutes impermissible encroachment to judicial prerogatives. It tends to render the courts inutile in a matter in which under the Constitution is reserved to it for financial determination. The valuation in the decree may only serve as guiding principle or one of the factors in determining just compensation, but it may not substitute the courts own judgment as to what amount should be awarded and how to arrive at such amount. The determination of just compensation is a judicial function. The executive department or the legislature may make the initial determination but when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that the private party may not be taken for public use without just compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own determination shall prevail over the courts findings. Much less can the courts be precluded from looking into the justness of the decreed compensation.

[G.R. No. 127296. January 22, 1998] EDUBIGIS GORDULA, CELSO V. FERNANDEZ, JR., CELSO A. FERNANDEZ, NORA ELLEN ESTRELLADO, DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, J.F. FESTEJO AND CO., INC. AND REGISTER OF DEEDS OF LAGUNA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (represented by the National Power Corporation), respondents.

FACTS: Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Proclamation No. 573[3] withdrawing from sale and settlement and setting aside as permanent forest reserves, subject to private rights, certain parcels of the public domain which included Parcel No. 9 - Caliraya-Lumot River Forest Reserve. They were primarily for use as watershed area. The parcel of land subject of the case at bar is, by petitioners' explicit admission,[4]within Parcel No. 9, the Caliraya-Lumot River Forest Reserve. Petitioner Edubigis Gordula filed with the Bureau of Lands, an Application[5]for a Free Patent over the land. Manuel Fernandez and several others also filed free patent applications covering other parcels of land in the area. Mr. Antonio Aquino, Jr., the Civil Security Officer of the Cavinti reservoir complex, sent a Memorandum to the President of the Napocor informing him of the fences and roads being constructed in the saddle area, more particularly, in the lots sold by petitioner Fernandez to petitioner Estrellado. Respondent Republic, through the Napocor, filed against petitioners a Complaint for Annulment of Free Patent and Cancellation of Titles and Reversion with Writ of Preliminary Injunction in the RTC of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of petitioners. Respondent Republic, through the Napocor,

elevated the case to the respondent Court of Appeals. On June 20, 1996, the respondent Court of Appeals ruled against petitioners. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject parcels of land are non-disposable and inalienable public land? HELD: The two (2) parcels of land were public disposable and alienable lands before the issuance, by the former President, of Proclamation No.573, on June 26, 196. The property was, however, later reserved, under Proclamation No. 573, as a permanent forest, on June26, 196[9]. Since then, the property became non-disposable and inalienable public land. By their very nature or by executive or statutory fiat, they are outside the commerce of man, unsusceptible of private appropriation in any form and inconvertible into any character less than of inalienable public domain, regardless of their actual state, for as long as the reservation subsists and is not revoked by a subsequent valid declassification. Petitioners do not contest the nature of the land in the case at bar. It is admitted that it lies in the heart of the Caliraya-Lumot River Forest Reserve, which Proclamation No. 573 classified as inalienable and in disposable. No public land can be acquired by private persons without any grant, express or implied from the government; it is indispensable that there be a showing of a title from the state. The facts show that petitioner Gordula, did not acquire title to the subject land prior to its reservation under Proclamation No. 573. He filed his application for free patent only in January, 1973, more than three (3) years after the issuance of Proclamation No. 573 in June, 1969. At that time, the land, as part of the Caliraya-Lumot River Forest Reserve, was no longer open to private ownership as it has been classified as public forest reserve for the public good.

J.M. TUASON & CO., INC. v. LAND TENURE ADMINISTRATION FACTS: R.A. 2616 authorized expropriation of the Tatalon Estate in Quezon City owned by petitioner and 2 others. Lands were to be divided to lots to be sold. They prayed that it be declared unconstitutional because violative of equal protection clause since statute applies only to Tatalon estate.

ISSUE: WON

HELD: No person shall be denied equal protection. A judicial being is included within its terms. Those adversely affected may under such circumstances invoke the equal protection clause only if they can show that the governmental act assailed was prompted by the spirit of hostility, or at the very least discrimination that finds no support in reason. Petitioner failed to prove denial of equal protection. Occupants believe in gf that veterans subdivision is the real owner. Only when the place vastly improved with building of roads, infrastructure did petitioner claimed for the first time that they are the owners.

[G.R. No. 84647. May 23, 1991] MARIA ALICIA LEUTERIO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and HEIRS OF BENITO LEUTERIO, respondents. FACTS: Pablo Leuterio died in San Luis, Pampanga on June 15, 1950, leaving a large estate consisting of several parcels of land in Pampanga. His widow, Ana Maglanque -- who had been one of his domestic servants and later his mistress, and whom he had married a few months before his death, more precisely, on February 25, 1950 -- took possession of his estate and administered it. On July 23, 1957, Patrocinio Apostol, a niece of Pablo Leuterio, filed a petition in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga for her appointment as guardian of Maria Alicia Leuterio, then 16 years of age, alleged to be the legitimated daughter of said Pablo Leuterio. On November 20, 1957, Benito Leuterio, a brother of Pablo Leuterio of the full blood, instituted proceedings for the settlement of the decedent's intestate estate in the same Court of First Instance of Pampanga, praying for his appointment as administrator. Benito Leuterio's petition pertinently alleged that Pablo Leuterio had died without leaving a will; that he was survived, not only by said Benito Leuterio, but also by a) the children of Elena Leuterio, deceased, sister of the full blood of the decedent; b) Vicente D. Leuterio, the son of Gregoria Leuterio, also deceased, and also a sister of the full blood of Pablo Leuterio. That Pablo Leuterio died a widower; and that the claim of Patrocinio Apostol, a niece of the decedent, that the latter had left a legitimate daughter was "without foundation in fact and in law."

The petition was opposed by Ana Maglanque and Maria Alicia Leuterio (the latter being represented by the above named Patrocinio Apostol). After hearing, the Probate Court appointed Ana Maglanque administratrix of Pablo Leuterio's estate. The event leading directly to the appellate proceedings at bar was the filing in the settlement proceeding by Maria Alicia Leuterio on October 19, 1962 of a pleading entitled "Assertion of Rights," in which she averred that she was the only forced heir of Pablo Leuterio and therefore entitled to succeed to the latter's entire estate, subject only to the rights accorded by law to her mother, Ana Maglanque. In respect of this claim, the parties entered into a stipulation of facts and issues, as regards the celebration and the validity of the marriage of Pablo Leuterio and Ana Maglanque; the identity of the decedent's relatives by consanguinity, supra; the character of the decedent's estate as being "his own separate, exclusive properties and, therefore, his capital. ISSUE: WON the Probate Court had erred 1) in rejecting (as spurious) Exhibit D, "which is the certificate of the record of birth of Maria Alicia Leuterio in the Civil Registry of San Luis, Pampanga;" 2) "in not giving full faith and credence to the testimonies of Gervacio Bagtas and Paula Punzalan who are disinterested witnesses and who are school teachers at the San Luis Elementary School where appellant Maria Alicia Leuterio was studying;" 3) "in holding that the testimony of Don Sotero Baluyut given in the form of a deposition appears to be in the form of an accommodation;" 4) in not declaring (on the basis of the evidence) that Maria Alicia Leuterio has been in the possession of the status of a natural child before and after the marriage of her parents * * ."

HELD: "In this case, the Court is not inclined to conclude that there was an express desire on the part of Pablo to recognize Maria Alicia as his natural child. As previously adverted to, the birth certificate, baptismal certificate and the photographs do not bear the signatures of Pablo expressing his acknowledgment of Maria Alicia as his natural daughter with Ana Maglanque. Indeed, Maria Alicia is said to have been born, reared and raised in the house of Pablo. Appellees explain this by stating that Ana was a househelp in the house of Pablo. Pablo has no child with his previous wife, and it is not unusual if he looked upon Maria Alicia as if she were his own daughter in or outside his residence. Upon these considerations, the court a quo was correct in rejecting the testimonies of Dar Juan, Paula Punzalan and Gervacio Bagtas, and the deposition of Sotero Baluyut. With respect to Dar Juan, Punzalan and Bagtas, the lower court saw and observed their demeanor in the witness stand and objected to their vital claims. With respect to the testimony of Sotero Baluyut, petitioners admit that he and Pablo were very close friends. "What clinches the case in favor of appellees, to Our mind, is the absolute lack of a document or writing, such as receipts of payment of school fees in the name of Pablo, signatures in school cards, or a letter to relatives or friends naming Maria Alicia as his daughter, despite the lapse of 9 years from the birth of Maria Alicia in 1941 up to his death in 1950. In her appeal to this Court, petitioner Maria Alicia Leuterio submits that the Decision of the Court of Appeals should be reversed because it was "clear and patent error" on its part 1) to surmise "that the action of the petitioner for legitimation is based on voluntary recognition," and 2) to hold that the "facts and the laws involved place this case squarely on all fours with the case of Colorado et al. vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L39948, February 28, 1985, although the action of herein petitioner is one for compulsory recognition and for legitimation." The petition is without merit, and cannot be granted. It seems to this Court that both the Court of Appeals and the Probate Court were aware of the precise nature of the petitioner's recourse: a judicial declaration of her compulsory or involuntary recognition as Pablo Leuterio's natural child. The record discloses that the Probate Court went to some lengths to stress the distinction between voluntary and compulsory recognition, and to make petitioner's counsel identify the exact character of the remedy that she was seeking -- whether it be voluntary, or compulsory,

recognition -- quoting in this connection, the exchange between the Judge and petitioner's attorney, which culminated in the latter's description of the desired relief as "not voluntary acknowledgment in the sense that the decedent did not execute a public document expressly acknowledging the petitioner Maria Alicia Leuterio as his natural child. Because we believe that a public document is one of the evidence of compulsory acknowledgment." It said: "There should not be confusion in terms: one thing is the acknowledgment of a child by the father, made voluntarily; another is the action that should be instituted by the child against the father to compel the latter to acknowledge him as a natural child. The continuous possession of the status of a natural child, tolerated by his father and justified by direct acts of the latter, does not, of itself, constitute evidence of acknowledgment that he is so in effect. It is, at most, an evidence to compel the father to acknowledge him. However, the action for this purpose should be brought within the periods of time prescribed in Article 137 of the old Civil Code (now Article 285 of the new Civil Code). (Gitt vs. Gitt, 68 Phil. 385)." The Probate Court's statements correctly reflect the state of the law at the time. In fact, it is consistent with the statement of the law attempted by petitioner's own distinguished counsel, citing Concepcion vs. Untaran, 38 Phil., 737, 738, viz.: "The father of a natural child may recognize it in two different ways: (a) by a voluntary recognition (Art, 131, civ. code); (2) by an involuntary recognition enforced by either a civil or criminal action (Art. 135, Civ. Code; Art. 499, Pen. Code). "A voluntary recognition of a natural child may be made: (a) in the record of births; (b) by will; and (c) by any other public instrument. (Art. 131, Civil Code). "An involuntary recognition of a natural child is made: (a) by an incontrovertible paper written by the parent expressly recognizing his paternity; (b) by giving such child the status of a natural child of the father, justified by direct act of the child of the father or his family (art. 135, Civ. Code); and (c) by a criminal action for rape, seduction or abduction. (par. 2, art. 449, Pen. Code)." It was in this sense, too, that the Court of Appeals appeared to have understood and applied the law to the case. As much is apparent from its declaration that "(r)ecognition under the Civil Code of 1889 must be precise, express and solemn (Lim vs. Court of Appeals, 65 SCRA 161), whether

voluntary or compulsory (Baron vs. Baron, 63 OG No. 2, Jan. 9, 1967)." Like the Probate Court, whose judgment it affirmed, the Court of Appeals ruled that the evidence failed to prove either the existence of "an incontrovertible paper written by the parent expressly recognizing his paternity," or the "giving (to) such child (of) the status of a natural child of the father" conformably with Article 135 of the Civil Code of 1889. Hence, there was no factual basis on which to rest a declaration of involuntary recognition by Pablo Leuterio of Maria Alicia as his natural daughter. Now, the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are, by familiar doctrine, conclusive on this Court and are not thus subject of review, specially where those findings are the same as those made by the Trial Court. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but none obtains in the case at bar. The petitioner also contests the Appellate Court's holding that Article 283 of the present (1950) Civil Code has no retroactive effect. That conclusion was no doubt based on the fact that Article 2260 of the same Code expressly accords such effect only to voluntary recognition thus by inference excluding compulsory recognition for the causes or under the circumstances enumerated in Article 283, with its "catch-all" provision that recognition may be compelled if the child has in his favor "any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father." While a contrary view, i.e., in favor of retroactivity, may find support in the excepting clause of Article 2253, also of the Civil Code, which gives effect to rights declared for the first time therein, though arising from acts done or events occurred under prior law provided no vested or acquired rights of the same origin are prejudiced thereby, there is little point in pursuing that question insofar as the resolution of this appeal is concerned. Whether Article 283 has retroactive effect or it operates only prospectively, the fact is that both the Probate Court and the Court of Appeals rejected in its entirety -- as variously, insufficient, unpersuasive and spurious -petitioner's evidence both oral and documentary bearing on her alleged status as a natural child of Pablo Leuterio. That rejection forecloses the claim of petitioner to either voluntary or compulsory recognition, be it made under the Civil Code of 1889 which was in force at the time of her asserted birth or, in the case of compulsory recognition, under the more liberal Article 283 of the present Code. It can hardly be disputed that in opening the door to "any evidence" of paternity in an action to compel acknowledgment, Article 283 by no means did away with the usual tests of competence, sufficiency and credibility to which such evidence is subject when offered in a court of law, or strip the courts of their function and prerogative of passing upon its acceptability after applying such tests. Such evidence here having

been found wanting after due assessment as already stated, petitioner's claim was properly denied.

[G.R. No. 109490. February 14, 1994] PATROCINIO E. MARGOLLES, VIRGINIA E. VILLONGCO, EDUARDO C. ESPINOSA, LUCIA E. LAPERAL, NORMA C. ESPINOSA, TERESITA E. CASAL, ALICE E. SOTTO, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, FIRESTONE CERAMICS, INC., BOOMTOWN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, SPOUSES CYNTHIA D. CHING and CHING TIONG KENG, SPOUSES CARMEN SOCO and LORENZO ONG ENG CHONG, SPOUSES SOLEDAD B. YU and YU SY CHIA, and LETICIA NOCON CHAN, respondents. On 11 July 1985, Firestone, Boomtown, spouses Cynthia D. Ching and Ching Tiong Keng, spouses Carmen Soco and Lorenzo Ong Eng Chong, spouses Soledad Yu and Yu Sy Chia, and Leticia Nocon Chan filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 58, Makati, Metro Manila, a complaint for annulment of titles, recovery of possession, and quieting of titles against Patrocinio E. Margolles, Virginia E. Villongco, Edgardo C. Espinosa, Lucia E. Laperal, Norma E. Espinosa, Teresita E. Casal, Alice E. Sotto, Veronica Gana, and Equitable Banking Corporation. Also included among the defendants were the Land Registration Commissioner and the Register of Deeds of Pasay City. The complaint averred that the parcels of land in question were registered in the names of Benito Gonzales and Emeterio Espiritu was issued pursuant to a decision in Land Registration Case No. N-6625, dated 22 July 1969. On 04 February 1976, the property was subdivided by Gonzales and Espiritu into five lots, resulting in the issuance of five TCT. Months after plaintiffs took possession of the premises, the defendants demanded that the plaintiffs vacate the premises. Claiming ownership, the defendants, on their part, traced their titles from Original Certificate of Title No. 4216 issued to the spouses Lorenzo Gana and Ma. Juliana Carlos on 26 March 1929 pursuant to Decree No. 35183 in Land Registration Case (LRC) No. 672 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, G.L.R.O. Record No. 30406. On 04 April 1956, OCT No. 4216 was cancelled and, in its place, TCT No. 43555 was issued to Lorenzo Gana and Veronica Gana married to Ramon Rodriguez. TCT No. 43555 was itself likewise cancelled (on the same day) and TCT No. 43556 was issued, this time in the name of Veronica Gana alone. On 13 August 1956, Veronica Gana sold the land to Patrocinio Margolles, resulting in the issuance of TCT No. 46302.

Margolles subdivided the property into seven (7) lots, each lot being covered, respectively, by TCTs No. 379913, No. 379914, No. 379915, No. 379916, No. 379917, No. 379918 and No. 379919. On 03 November 1972, Margolles sold 1/2 interest in the property to Sto. Nio Estate Management Corporation and TCTs No. 382176, No. 382177, No. 382178, No. 382179, No. 382180, No. 382181 and No. 382182 were thereupon issued in the names of both Sto. Nio Estate Management Corporation and Patrocinio Margolles. On 17 May 1973, Sto. Nio Estate Management Corporation reconveyed its interest to the property to Patrocinio Margolles and, again, new TCTs No. 410535, No. 410536, No. 410537, No. 410538, No. 410539, No. 410540 and No. 410541 were issued in the name of the latter. Subsequently, TCTs No. 410536, No. 410538, No. 410539, No. 410540 and No. 410541 were cancelled and, in lieu thereof, TCT No. S-17992 was issued to Peltan Development Corporation. Margolles subdivided the remaining parcels covered by TCTs No. 410535 and No. 410537 into fifteen (15) lots, each of which was titled in her name, i.e., TCTs No. S-16369 up to No. S-16383, inclusive. These titles, except TCTs No. S-16372 and No. S-16373 which were retained in her name, were later cancelled and transferred to her brother and sisters, her co-defendants and co-petitioners in the present case. The transferees Virginia Villongco and Norma Espinosa later mortgaged their own lots to Equitable Banking Corporation. ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the genuineness and authenticity of Original Certificate of Title No. A-S-47, against an overlapping Original Certificate of Title No. 4216, was sufficiently established; (2) Whether or not Original Certificate of Title No. 4216 was issued while the property was still unclassified public land; and (3) Whether or not the claim of the petitioners was correctly barred by laches. The first issue is basically factual. Ordinarily, only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari. This rule, however, is subject to exceptions, such as when there are compelling reasons to justify otherwise, or when the appealed decision is clearly contradicted by the evidence on record. This case is so illustrative of such exceptional instances.

To support their claim that OCT No. 4216 is genuine, the petitioners have submitted, among other things, the following pieces of documentary evidence: (1) The original of OCT No. 4216, as well as the owners duplicate certificates, on file with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Rizal; (2) The publications (in the English and Spanish versions) of the Official Gazette (1927 editions), containing notices of the initial hearing in Land Registration Case No. 672 (GLRO Record No. 30406), instituted by the spouses Lorenzo Gana and Maria Juliana Carlos, covering a parcel of land in Tindig na Mangga, Las Pias; (3) The order of then CFI Judge Cecilia Muoz-Palma, dated 23 March 1961, in LRC Case No. N-2126 (GLRO Record No. N-6564), denying the registration of a parcel of land by reason of the certification, dated 26 June 1959, of the Land Registration Commissioner, Antonio N. Noblejas, that a portion of the property covered in this post-war land case had been decreed under Decree No. 351823, issued on 05 March 1929, in the name of the spouses Lorenzo Gana and Maria Juliana A. Carlos in LRC Case No. 672 (GLRO Record No. 30406), and while said case covered only a part of the property in dispute, it did show, however, that the decree was, in fact, issued to the spouses Gana and Carlos; (4) The Report, dated 07 June 1983, of the Land Registration Commission's Verification Committee, sustaining the validity of Decree No. 351823 in favor of Lorenzo J. Gana and Maria Juliana A. Carlos; (5) Page 209 of the Book of Decrees (Old Book) of the Land Registration Commission, showing that a decree was "okayed" in GLRO Record No. 30406 (LRC Case No. 672), under the entry "Date O.K. for Decree" on "1-22-29" (22 January 1929) and that a decree was issued under the entry "Date Decree Issued" on "3-5-29" (05 March 1929); (6) The certified true microfilm reproduction of plan Psu-49273 covering a parcel of land in Barrio Tindig na Mangga, Las Pias, surveyed for Lorenzo Gana and Maria Juliana Carlos, approved by the Bureau of Lands in 1926; (7) The decision of this Court in Guico vs. San Pedro, 72 Phil. 415, pointing to the decision rendered by the Court of First Instance of Rizal in LRC Case No. 672 in favor of the spouses Lorenzo Gana and Maria Juliana Carlos; and (8) The letters of Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza and Solicitor General Francisco Chavez, stating that the information and documents submitted to

the Office of the Solicitor General by the Bureau of Lands and the Land Registration Commission were not sufficient to support an action for cancellation of OCT No. 4216 and the derivative titles thereof. HELD: The above documentary evidence is much too overwhelming to be simply brushed aside. It is our considered view that the appellate court has committed serious error in refusing to give any probative value to such evidence. All that the private respondents could basically proffer against OCT 4216 are that (1) The title is invalid, fake and spurious, which must have been the work of "some unscrupulous elements" who could have access to "the Registry Book of the Office of the Register of Deeds of the Province of Rizal," that explains petitioners' failure to present a copy of the decision in Land Registration Case No. 672 or Decree No. 351823; and (2) Assuming OCT No. 4216 to have been issued, the same is invalid having been issued on still unclassified land of the public domain. Section 3, Rule 130, of the Revised Rules of Court, taken from Section 321 of Act No. 190, states: "Sec. 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions. - When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in the following cases: (a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror; (b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice; (c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole; and (d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office." It has been plainly shown that the failure of the petitioners to produce the Decree is due to the burning of the Archives of the Court of First Instance of

Rizal during the liberation of Pasig, in consequence of which all pre-war land registration cases in Rizal have been destroyed. The respondents own witness, Eduardo Santos, Jr., has testified that the records of pre-war registration cases are thus incomplete as can be expected. The Certification, dated 02 May 1980, of Reynaldo S. Vergara, Acting Chief of the Docket Division of the Land Registration Authority, states that the pre-war record of LRC Case No. 672, GLRO Record No. 030406 for the province of Rizal, is not among the records on file with the Vault Section of the Docket Division since the same must have been lost or destroyed as a consequence of the last world war. Certainly, the petitioners cannot be held to account for those lost or destroyed records. The private respondents argue that the petitioners should have asked for the reconstitution of the LRC case and the decree in accordance with Act No. 3110 and Republic Act No. 26, or that they could have opposed, or intervened in, the proceedings in LRC Case No. N-6625 (LRC Record No. N36579) where OCT No. A-S-47 has been decreed. For failing to do so, the petitioners, it is now contended, should be held bound by the order of default issued by the land registration court. The argument is unacceptable. The petitioners are not covered by the general order of default in LRC Case No. N-6625. Republic Act No. 26 only covers lost or destroyed certificates of title. The original of OCT No. 4216 is not extant; it has, in fact, been presented in evidence. Act No. 3110, on the other hand, applies only to pending judicial proceedings. This Court has heretofore held, thus "The whole theory of reconstitution is to reproduce or replace records lost or destroyed so that said records may be complete and court proceedings may continue from the point or stage where said proceedings stopped due to the loss of the records. x x x. "xxx xxx xxx.

"If the records up to a certain point or stage are lost and they are not reconstituted, the parties and the court should go back to the next preceding stage where records are available, but not beyond that; otherwise to ignore and go beyond the stage next preceding would be voiding and unnecessarily ignoring proceedings which are duly recorded and documented, to the great prejudice not only of the parties and their witnesses, but also of the court which must gain perforce admit pleadings, rule upon them and then try the case and decide it anew,--all of these, when the records up to said point or stage are intact and complete, and uncontroverted.

"x x x. Act No. 3110, was not promulgated to penalize people for failure to observe or invoke its provisions. It contains no penal sanction. It was enacted rather to aid and benefit litigants, so that when court records are destroyed at any stage of judicial proceedings, instead of instituting a new case and starting all over again, they may reconstitute the records lost and continue the case. If they fail to ask for reconstitution, the worst that can happen to them is that they lose the advantages provided by the reconstitution law. x x x. "x x x. (T)o require the parties to file their action anew and incur the expenses and suf(f)er the annoyance and vexation incident to the filing of pleadings and the conduct of hearings, aside from the possibility that some of the witnesses may have died or left the jurisdiction, and also to require the court to again rule on the pleadings and hear the witnesses and then decide the case, when all along and all the time the record of the former pleadings of the trial and evidence and decision are there and are not disputed, all this would appear to be not exactly logical or reasonable, or fair and just to the parties, including the trial court which has not committed any negligence or fault at all. Furthermore, Section 45 of Act No. 3110, provides that "(n)othing contained in (the) Act shall be construed to repeal or modify the provisions of Section Three Hundred and Twenty One of Act Numbered One Hundred and Ninety." Section 321 of Act No. 190 is now Section 3 (aforequoted), Rule 130, of the Revised Rules of Court, otherwise known as the best evidence rule." Hence, even if the petitioners have failed to have the records of the LRC case reconstituted, they are not precluded from establishing by other evidence the requisite proof of validity of OCT No. 4216. Quite recently, in Widows and Orphans Association, Inc. (WIDORA) vs. Court of Appeals, this Court, speaking through Mr. Justice Florentino Feliciano, said: "x x x. The copy of OCT No. 351 offered by Ortigas was a certified true copy of the original thereof found in the Registration Book of the Register of Deeds of Rizal. The admissibility of such a copy in court proceedings is an exception to the ordinary rule on secondary evidence; such admissibility is in fact mandated by Section 47 of Act No. 496 (The Land Registration Act). Under the Land Registration Act which was in force at the time OCT No. 351 issued, the original thereof found in the Registration Book of the Register of Deeds of Rizal was an official transcript of Decree No. 1425, with respect to the land covered by such decree situated in the Province of Rizal.

"Thus, OCT No. 351 constitutes direct proof of the existence of Decree No. 1425 upon which the Ortigas TCTs (Nos. 77652 and 77653) are based. x x x." (Footnotes omitted; underscoring supplied.) The private respondents maintain, nonetheless, that OCT No. 4216, issued in favor of the spouses Gana and Carlos, is invalid, so covering, as it supposedly did, unclassified public lands. Here, the private respondents base their claim on Forestry Administration Order (FAO) No. 4-1141 (1968), implementing LC Map No. 2623, Project No. 13-A. According to them, Las Pias comprises 2,556 hectares, out of which 1,200 hectares have been declared alienable and disposable public lands in 1928, under LC Map No. 766, Project 13, and that "Tindig na Mangga" has not been covered thereby until the reclassification in 1968. As such, they submit, the Court of First Instance of Rizal, sitting as Land Registration Court in 1929, did not acquire jurisdiction to adjudicate the property in question to the petitioners predecessors-in-interest. No cogent proof, however, has been given to support the above contention. To the contrary, in fact, is the letter, dated 27 April 1988, of then Solicitor General Francisco Chavez, which in part, reads: "Thirdly, it is also alleged that the title is null and void because it allegedly covers land within the forest zone. There is no clear-cut proof to that effect. The certification of Mr. Rogelio dela Rosa of the Timber Management Division, Bureau of Forest Development, dated July 31, 1979, simply states that the tract of land situated in Barrio Tindig na Mangga, Las Pias, Metro Manila containing an area of 197,525 square meters as shown and described on this plan Psu-04-006417 x x x was found to be within the Alienable or Disposable Block of LC Project No. 13-A of Las Pias, Rizal certified as such on January 3, 1968 per BFD Map LC-2623. The certification refers to land with an area of only 19.7525 hectares. It does not state the relationship of said land with the land covered by OCT No. 4216 which has an area of 99.6157 hectares. "xxx xxx xxx.

"Fifthly, the recommendation of the Director of Lands for the cancellation of OCT No. 4216 is premised mainly on the allegation that the land is within the forest zone, having been allegedly released as A & D land only in 1968. But the recommendation is based on the same certification of Mr. de la Rosa of the Bureau of Forest Development which, as earlier observed, does not make any clear reference to the land covered by OCT No. 4216 and is, therefore, vague and inconclusive."

Unfortunately, for all concerned, no authentic copy of LC Map No. 766, Project 13, could be presented, albeit understandably, considering that even the records of the National Mapping and Resource Authority (NAMREA) have apparently been lost or destroyed during the second World War. In Sta. Monica Industrial and Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals (a case to annul a 1912 decision of the land registration court), the Republic sought to prove that, at the time an original certificate of title was issued, the land covered thereby was still within the forest zone. It offered as evidence a land classification map prepared by the Director of Forestry in 1961. The Court ruled: x x x. When the proceedings were originally filed by the Republic before the Court of Appeals, the petitioner contended that when the decree in favor of De Perio was issued by Judge Ostrand in 1912 the parcels of land were still part of the inalienable public forests. However, petitioner's case rested solely on land classification maps drawn several years after the issuance of the decree in 1912. These maps failed to conclusively establish the actual classification of the land in 1912 and the years prior to that. Before this Court, petitioner reiterates said contention and refers, for the first time, to a 1908 proclamation reserving the land in Zambales as a naval reservation and alleging that the subject parcels of land are parts thereof. These x x x are insufficient to overcome the legal presumption in favor of the decree's regularity x x x." Furthermore, FAO No. 4-1141, signed by then Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Arturo R. Tanco, Jr., on 03 January 1968, provides: "1. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 1827 of the Revised Administrative Code, I hereby declare as alienable or disposable and place the same under the control of the Bureau of Lands for administration and disposition in accordance with the Public Land Act, subject to private rights, if any there be and to the conditions herein specified, the portions of the public domain situated in the Municipalities of x x x Las Pias, x x x Province of Rizal x x x which are designated and described as alienable or disposable on Bureau of Forestry Map LC-2623, approved on January 3, 1968." (Underscoring supplied.) The issuance of OCT No. 4216 in 1929, conferring a private right, is then amply protected by FAO No. 4-1141; otherwise, certificates of title issued prior to 1968 could possibly be all nullified.

Finally, the private respondents raise estoppel by laches on the part of the petitioners. Laches is "the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which by exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier, or the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or has declined to assert it. Contrary to private respondents claim that no action was taken by the petitioners until a petition for quieting of title was filed in 1985 by the private respondents themselves, the records would indicate that upon the subdivision of the lots in question by Espiritu and Gonzales, and the subsequent transfers of the same to the private respondents in 1976, a demand was seasonably made by the petitioners for the private respondents to vacate the premises. From the time OCT No. A-S-47 was issued to the private respondents in 1969 until the demand was made in 1976, only seven (7) years had elapsed. Lastly, it is a settled rule that "when two certificates of title are issued to different persons covering the same land in whole or in part, the earlier in date must prevail, and, in case of successive registrations where more than one certificate is issued over the land, the person holding a prior certificate is entitled to the land as against a person who relies on a subsequent certificate. The titles of the petitioners, having emanated from an older title, should thus be upheld. .

Sunbeam Convenience Foods, Inc. vs. CA G.R. No. 50464, Jan. 29, 1990

FACTS: Sunbeam Convenience Foods, Inc. is the recipient of a Sales Patent issued by the Bureau of Lands over two parcels of land in Bataan. An OCT was thereby issued. The Solicitor-General filed an action for reversion on the ground that the lots were forest lands and therefore inalienable. CA ruled, upholding the Solicitor-General's contention. ISSUE:

Whether or not land is alienable

HELD: The SC affirmed. Our adherence to the Regalian Doctrine subjects all agricultural, timber, and mineral lands to the dominion of the State. Thus, before any land may be declassified from the forest group and converted into alienable or disposable land for agricultural purposes, there must be a positive act from the Government. Even rules on the confirmation of imperfect titles do not apply unless and until the land classified as forest land is released in an official proclamation to that effect so that it may form part of the disposable agricultural lands of the public domain.

The mere fact that a title was issued by the Director of Lands does not confer any validity on such title if the property covered by the title or patent is part of the public forest.

Land Titles and Deeds Case Digest: Director of Lands v. IAC (1986)

Labels: 1986, Case Digest, Juris Doctor, Land Titles and Deeds, Land Titles and Deeds Case Digest G.R. No. 73002 December 29, 1986 Lessons Applicable: Sec. 3 Art. XII, 1987 Constitution (Land Titles and Deeds)

FACTS: Acme Plywood & Veneer Co., Inc., a corp. represented by Mr. Rodolfo Nazario, acquired from Mariano and Acer Infiel, members of the Dumagat tribe 5 parcels of land possession of the Infiels over the landdates back before the Philippines was discovered by Magellan land sought to be registered is a private land pursuant to RA 3872 granting absolute ownership to members of the non-Christian Tribes on land occupied by them or their ancestral lands, whether with the alienable or disposable public land or within the public domain Acme Plywood & Veneer Co. Inc., has introduced more than P45M worth of improvements ownership and possession of the land sought to be registered was duly recognized by the government when the Municipal Officials of Maconacon, Isabela

donated part of the land as the townsite of Maconacon Isabela IAC affirmed CFI: in favor of ISSUES: W/N the land is already a private land - YES W/N the constitutional prohibition against their acquisition by private corporations or associations applies- NO HELD: IAC affirmed Acme Plywood & Veneer Co., Inc YES already acquired, by operation of law not only a right to a grant, but a grant of the Government, for it is not necessary that a certificate of title should be issued in order that said grant may be sanctioned by the courts, an application therefore is sufficient it had already ceased to be of the public domain and had become private property, at least by presumption The application for confirmation is mere formality, the lack of which does not affect the legal sufficiency of the title as would be evidenced by the patent and the Torrens title to be issued upon the strength of said patent. The effect of the proof, wherever made, was not to confer title, but simply to establish it, as already conferred by the decree, if not by earlier law 2. NO If it is accepted-as it must be-that the land was already private land to which the Infiels had a legally sufficient and transferable title on October 29, 1962 when Acme acquired it from said owners, it must also be conceded that Acme had a perfect right to make such acquisition

The only limitation then extant was that corporations could not acquire, hold or lease public agricultural lands in excess of 1,024 hectares

Restituto Ynot vs Intermediate Appellate Court

There had been an existing law which prohibited the slaughtering of carabaos (EO 626). To strengthen the law, Marcos issued EO 626-A which not only banned the movement of carabaos from interprovinces but as well as the movement of carabeef. On 13 Jan 1984, Ynot was caught transporting 6 carabaos from Masbate to Iloilo. He was then charged in violation of EO 626-A. Ynot averred EO 626-A as unconstitutional for it violated his right to be heard or his right to due process. He said that the authority provided by EO 626-A to outrightly confiscate carabaos even without being heard is unconstitutional. The lower court ruled against Ynot ruling that the EO is a valid exercise of police power in order to promote general welfare so as to curb down the indiscriminate slaughter of carabaos. ISSUE: Whether or not the law is valid. HELD: The SC ruled that the EO is not valid as it indeed violates due process. EO 626-A ctreated a presumption based on the judgment of the executive. The movement of carabaos from one area to the other does not mean a subsequent slaughter of the same would ensue. Ynot should be given to defend himself and explain why the carabaos are being transferred before they can be confiscated. The SC found that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because the method employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and punished. The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to adjudge the guilt of the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the doctrine of separation of powers. There is, finally, also an invalid

delegation of legislative powers to the officers mentioned therein who are granted unlimited discretion in the distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken.

JOYA VS. PCGG [225 SCRA 568; G.R. No. 96541; 24 Aug 1993] Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: On 9 August 1990, Mateo A.T. Caparas, then Chairman of PCGG, wrote then President Corazon C. Aquino, requesting her for authority to sign the proposed Consignment Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines through PCGG and Christie, Manson andWoods International, Inc concerning the scheduled sale on 11 January 1991 of eighty-two) Old Masters Paintings and antique silverware seized from Malacaang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manilaalleged to be part of the ill-gotten wealth of the late President Marcos, his relatives and cronies. On 14 August 1990, then President Aquino, through former Executive Secretary to Catalino sign Macaraig, Jr., authorized Chairman Caparas

the Consignment Agreement allowing Christie's of New York to auction off the subject art pieces for and in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. On 15 August 1990, PCGG, through Chairman Caparas, representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed the Consignment Agreement with Christie's of New York. According to the agreement, PCGG shall consign to CHRISTIE'S for sale at public auction the eighty-two Old Masters Paintings then found at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila as well as the silverware contained in seventy-one cartons in the custody of the Central Bank of the Philippines, and such other property as may subsequently be identified by PCGG and accepted by CHRISTIE'S to be subject to the provisions of the agreement.

On 26 October 1990, the Commission on Audit through then Chairman Eufemio C. Domingo submitted to President Aquino the audit findings and

observations of COA on the Consignment Agreement of 15 August 1990 to the effect that: the authority of former PCGG Chairman Caparas to enter into the Consignment Agreement was of doubtful legality; the contract was highly disadvantageous to the government; PCGG had a poor track record in asset disposal by auction in the U.S.; and, the assets subject of auction were historical relics and had cultural significance, hence, their disposal was prohibited by law.

After the oral arguments of the parties on 9 January 1991, we issued immediately our resolution denying the application for preliminary injunction to restrain the scheduled sale of the artworks on the ground that petitioners had not presented a clear legal right to a restraining order and that proper parties had not been impleaded.

On 11 January 1991, the sale at public auction proceeded as scheduled and the proceeds of $13,302,604.86 were turned over to the Bureau of Treasury.

Issues: (1) Whether or not petitioners have legal standing.

(2) Whether or not the Old Masters Paintings and antique silverware are embraced in the phrase "cultural treasure of the nation".

(3) Whether or not the paintings and silverware are properties of public dominion on which can be disposed of through the joint concurrence of the President and Congress.

(4) Whether or not PCGG has complied with the due process clause and other statutory requirements for the exportation and sale of the subject items. (5) Whether or not the petition has become moot and academic, and if so, whether the above Issue warrant resolution from this Court.

Held: This is premised on Sec. 2, Rule 3, of the Rules of Court which provides that every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party-in-interest, and that all persons having interest in the subject of the action and in obtaining the relief demanded shall be joined as plaintiffs. The Court will exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is brought before it by a party who has the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal question. "Legal standing" means a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The term "interest" is material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. Moreover, the interest of the party plaintiff must be personal and not one based on a desire to vindicate the constitutional right of some third and related party.

There are certain instances however when this Court has allowed exceptions to the rule on legal standing, as when a citizen brings a case for mandamus to procure the enforcement of a public duty for the fulfillment of a public right recognized by the Constitution, and when a taxpayer questions the validity of a governmental act authorizing the disbursement of public funds.

Petitioners' arguments are devoid of merit. They lack basis in fact and in law. The ownership of these paintings legally belongs to the foundation or corporation or the members thereof, although the public has been given the opportunity to view and appreciate these paintings when they were placed on exhibit.

The confiscation of these properties by the Aquino administration however should not be understood to mean that the ownership of these paintings has automatically passed on the government without due process complying and and just their with constitutional and any constitutional or statutory requirements of statutory defect in their

compensation. If these properties were already acquired by the government, acquisition subsequent disposition must be raised only by the proper parties the true owners thereof whose authority to recover emanates from their proprietary rights which are protected by statutes and the Constitution. Having failed to show that they are the legal owners of the artworks or that the valued pieces have become publicly owned, petitioners do not possess any clear legal right whatsoever to question their alleged unauthorized disposition. Neither can this petition be allowed as a taxpayer's suit. Obviously, petitioners are not challenging any expenditure involving public funds but the disposition of what they allege to be public properties. It is worthy to note that petitioners admit that the paintings and antique silverware were acquired from private sources and not with public money. Anent the second requisite of actual controversy, petitioners argue that this case should be resolved by this Court as an exception to the rule on moot and academic cases; that although the sale of the paintings and silver has long been consummated and the possibility of retrieving the treasure trove is

nil, yet the novelty and importance of the Issue raised by the petition deserve this Court's attention. They submit that the resolution by the Court of the Issue in this case will establish future guiding principles and doctrines on the preservation of the nation's priceless artistic and cultural possessions for the benefit of the public as a whole.

For a court to exercise its power of adjudication, there must be an actual case of controversy one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot or academic or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a court of justice. A case becomes moot and academic when its purpose has become stale, such as the case before us. Since the purpose of this petition for prohibition is to enjoin respondent public officials from holding the auction sale of the artworks on a particular date 11 January 1991 which is long past, the Issue raised in the petition have become moot and academic.

The cultural properties of the nation which shall be under the protection of the state are classified as the "important cultural properties" and the "national cultural treasures." On the other hand, a "national cultural treasures" is a unique object found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to this country and nation. This Court takes note of the certification issued by the Director of the Museum that the Italian paintings and silverware subject of this petition do not constitute protected cultural properties and are not among those listed in the Cultural Properties Register of the National Museum.

WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the petition for prohibition and mandamus is DISMISSED.

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL VS. GSIS Case Digest

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL VS. GSIS [267 SCRA 408; G.R. No. 122156; 3 Feb 1997] Facts: The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of thePhilippine Government under Proclamation No. 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of respondent Manila Hotel Corporation. In a closebidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner.

Pending the declaration of Renong Berhad as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad.

On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on prohibition and mandamus. In the main, petitioner invokes Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987Constitution and submits that the Manila Hotel has been identified with

the Filipino nation and has practically become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and culture. It is a proud legacy of an earlier generation of Filipinos who believed in the nobility and sacredness of independence and its power and capacity to release the full potential of the Filipino people. To all intents and purposes, it has become a part of the national patrimony. 6 Petitioner also argues that since 51% of the shares of the MHC carries with it the ownership of the business of the hotel which is owned by respondent GSIS, a government-owned and controlled corporation, the hotel business of respondent GSIS being a part of the tourism industry is unquestionably a part of the national economy. Issue: Whether or Not the sale of Manila Hotel to Renong Berhad is violative of the Constitutional provision of Filipino First policy and is therefore null and void. Held: The Manila Hotel or, for that matter, 51% of the MHC, is not just any commodity to be sold to the highest bidder solely for the sake of privatization. The Manila Hotel has played and continues to play a significant role as an authentic repository of twentieth century Philippine history and culture. This is the plain and simple meaning of the Filipino First Policy provision of the Philippine Constitution. And this Court, heeding the clarion call of the Constitution and accepting the duty of being the elderly watchman of the nation, will continue to respect and protect the sanctity of the Constitution. It was thus ordered that GSIS accepts the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation at P44.00 per share and thereafter to execute the necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for purpose.

The Supreme Court directed the GSIS and other respondents to cease and desist from selling the 51% shares of the MHC to the Malaysian firm Renong Berhad, and instead to accept the matching bid of the petitioner Manila Prince Hotel.

According to Justice Bellosillo, ponente of the case at bar, Section 10, second paragraph, Article 11 of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory provision, a positive command which is complete in itself and needs no further guidelines or implementing laws to enforce it. The Court En Banc emphasized that qualified Filipinos shall be preferred over foreigners, as mandated by the provision in question.

The Manila Hotel had long been a landmark, therefore, making the 51% of the equity of said hotel to fall within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it emprises the majority and controlling stock. The Court also reiterated how much of national pride will vanish if the nations cultural heritage will fall on the hands of foreigners.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Puno said that the provision in question should be interpreted as pro-Filipino and, at the same time, not anti-alien in itself because it does not prohibit the State from granting rights, privileges and concessions to foreigners in the absence of qualified Filipinos. He also argued that the petitioner is estopped from assailing the winning bid of Renong Berhad because the former knew the rules of the bidding and that the foreigners are qualified, too.

Manosca Vs CA Case Digest Manosca Vs. Court Of Appeals 252 SCRA 412 G.R. No. 106440 January 29, 1996

Facts: The National Historical Institute declared the parcel of land owned by Petitioners as a national historical landmark, because it was the site of the birth of Felix Manalo, the founder of Iglesia ni Cristo. The Republic of the Philippines filed an action to appropriate the land. Petitioners argued that the expropriation was not for a public purpose.

Issue: Whether or Not the taking or exercise of eminent domain may be granted.

Held: Public use should not be restricted to the traditional uses. The taking is for a public use because of the contribution of Felix Manalo to the culture and history of the Philippines.

MMDA Vs. Bel-Air Village [328 SCRA 836; G.R. No. 135962; 27 Mar 2000] Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Metropolitan Manila Development Metro Manila. Bel-Air Village Association

Authority (BAVA),

(MMDA), respondent

petitioner herein,

herein, is a Government Agency tasked with the delivery of basic services in received a letter of request from the petitioner to open Neptune Street of Bel-Air Village for the use of the public. The said opening of Neptune Street will be for the safe and convenient movement of persons and to regulate the flow of traffic in Makati City. This was pursuant to MMDA law or Republic Act No. 7924. On the same day, the respondent was appraised that the perimeter wall separatingthe subdivision and Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished. The respondent, to stop the opening of the said street and demolition of the wall, filed a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order. Respondent claimed that the MMDA had no authority to do so and the lower court decided in favor of the Respondent. Petitioner appealed the decision of the lower courts and claimed that it has the authority to open Neptune Street to public traffic because it is an agent of the State that can practice police power in the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila.

Issue: Whether or not the MMDA has the mandate to open Neptune Street to public traffic pursuant to its regulatory and police powers.

Held: The

Court

held

that

the

MMDA

does

not

have

the

capacity

toexercise police power. Police power is primarily lodged in the National Legislature. However, police power may be delegated to government units. Petitioner herein is a development authority and not a political government unit. Therefore, the MMDA cannot exercise police power because it cannot be delegated to them. It is not a legislative unit of the government. Republic Act No. 7924 does not empower the MMDA to enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Manila. There is no syllable in the said act that grants MMDA police power. It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with various national government agencies, peoples organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector for the efficient and expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area.

Technology vs CA (193 scra 147)

Facts: Technology Developers Inc. is engaged in manufacturing and exporting charcoal briquette. On February 16, 1989, they received a letter from respondent Acting Mayor Pablo Cruz, ordering the full cessation of the operation of the petitioners plant in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. The letter also requested the company to show to the office of the mayor some documents, including the Building permit, mayors permit, and Region III-Pollution of Environmental and Natural Resources Anti-Pollution Permit. Since the company failed to comply in bringing the required documents, respondent Acting Mayor, without notice, caused the padlock of companys plant premises, effectively causing stoppage of its operation. Technology Developers then instituted an action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus with preliminary injuction against respondents, alleging that the closure order was issued in grave abuse of discretion. The lower court ruled against the company. The CA affirmed the lower courts ruling. Issue: 1. Whether or not the mayor has authority to order the closure of the plant. YES. 2. Whether or not the closure order was done with grave abuse of discretion. NO.

Ruling:

1. No mayor's permit had been secured. While it is true that the matter of determining whether there is a pollution of the environment that requires control if not prohibition of the operation of a business is essentially addressed to the then National Pollution Control Commission of the Ministry of Human Settlements, now the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, it must be recognized that the mayor of a town has as much responsibility to protect its inhabitants from pollution, and by virture of his police power, he may deny the application for a permit to operate a business or otherwise close the same unless appropriate measures are taken to control and/or avoid injury to the health of the residents of the community from the emissions in the operation of the business. 2. The Acting Mayor, in the letter, called the attention of petitioner to the pollution emitted by the fumes of its plant whose offensive odor "not only pollute the air in the locality but also affect the health of the residents in the area," so that petitioner was ordered to stop its operation until further orders and it was required to bring the following: a. Building permit; b. Mayor's permit; and c. Region III-Department of Environment and Natural Resources Anti-Pollution permit. 3. This action of the Acting Mayor was in response to the complaint of the residents of Barangay Guyong, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, directed to the Provincial Governor through channels. 4. The closure order of the Acting Mayor was issued only after an investigation was made. It found that the fumes emitted by the plant of petitioner goes directly to the surrounding houses and that no proper air pollution device has been installed. 5. Petitioner failed to produce a building permit from the municipality of Sta. Maria, but instead presented a building permit issued by an official of Makati.

6. While petitioner was able to present a temporary permit to operate by the then National Pollution Control Commission on December 15, 1987, the permit was good only up to May25, 1988.

Petitioner had not exerted any effort to extend or validate its permit much less to install any device to control the pollution and prevent any hazard to the health of the residents of the community. Petitioner takes note of the plea of petitioner focusing on its huge investment in this dollar-earning industry. It must be stressed however, that concomitant with the need to promote investment and contribute to the growth of the economy is the equally essential imperative of protecting the health, nay the very lives of the people, from the deleterious effect of the pollution of the environment.

G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 EPIFANIO LALICAN, petitioner, vs. HON. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 52, Puerto Princesa City and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. Issue: Whether the term lumber is included in the concept of timber in order to constitute an offense as stated in Sec. 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705 (The Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines). Facts: The petitioners were apprehended on the Sitio Cadiz, Barangay Bacungan Puerto Princesa for violating Section 68 of PD No. 705 or known as The Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines. There were 1, 800 board feet of lumber loaded in two (2) passenger jeeps in different sizes and dimension that were confiscated. On August 9, 1991, all the accused were pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Petioner Lalican filed a motion to quash the information filed against them contenting that, Section 68 of PD 705 does not include lumber because the wording of the law categorically specify timber to be collected as to constitute the violation on the said law. He further contends that, the law is vague because it does specify the authority or legal documents required by existing forest law and regulation. The prosecution opposed the motion to quash on the ground that it is not the courts to determine the wisdom of the law or to set the policy as rest by the legislature. He further asserts that the word timber should include lumber which is a product or derivative of a timber. The position of the prosecution could result to the circumvention of the law, for one could stealthily cut a timber and process it to become a lumber. On September 24, 1991, the lower court construed the interpretation of the law against the State thus the motion was granted. The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration on the order underscoring the fact that the accused presented Private Land Timber Permit No. 030140 dated February 10, 1991 which had expired; that while the certificate of origin indicated Brgy. Sta. Cruz, the product actually came from Sitio Cadiz, and that the two jeeps bearing the product were not equipped with certificates of transport agreement. Added to this was the fact that, if the product were indeed lumber, then the accused could have presented a certificate of lumber origin, lumber sale invoices in case of sale, tally sheets and delivery receipts for transportation from one point to another. The motion was approved thus this case. Ruling:

NO, The Court ruled that, the word lumber includes timber. The primary reason why the law was enacted is to secure and maximize the use of the natural resources; the non inclusion of lumber on the law may give rise for the circumvention of law. Section 68 of the said law punishes these acts namely (a) the cutting, gathering, collection, or removal of timber or other forest products from the places therein mentioned without any authority; or (b) possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations. Be that as it may, the legislative intent to include possession of lumber in Sec. 68 is clearly gleaned from the expressed reasons for enacting the law which, under Executive Order No. 277. To exclude possession of "lumber" from the acts penalized in Sec. 68 would certainly emasculate the law itself. A law should not be so construed as to allow the doing of an act which is prohibited by law, nor so interpreted as to afford an opportunity to defeat compliance with its terms, create an inconsistency, or contravene the plain words of the law. After all, the phrase "forest products" is broad enough to encompass lumbers which, to reiterate, is manufactured timber. Hence, to mention lumber in Sec. 68 would merely result in tautology. G.R. No. 158182 June 12, 2008 vs. PEOPLE OF THE

SESINANDO MERIDA, petitioner, PHILIPPINES, respondent. Issue:

1. Whether the trial court acquired jurisdiction over Criminal Case No. 2207 even though it was based on a complaint filed by Tansiongco and not by a DENR forest officer 2. Whether petitioner is liable for violation of Section 68 of PD 705. Facts: Petitioner was charged in the RTC of Romblon with violation of Section 68 of PD 705 for "cutting, gathering, collecting and removing a lone narra tree inside a private land over which private complainant Oscar Tansiongco claims ownership. When confronted during the meeting about the fell narra tree, petitioner admitted cutting the tree but claimed that he did so with the permission of one Vicar Calix who, according to petitioner, bought the Mayod Property from Tansiongco in October 1987 under a pacto de retro sale. It was later found out that he converted the narra trunk into lumber. He was found guilty by the Trial Court but he appealed to the Court of Appeals reiterating his defense of denial. Petitioner also contended that the

trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case because it was based on a complaint filed by Tansiongco and not by a forest officer as provided under Section 80 of PD 705. CA affirmed the lower courts ruling, but ordered the seized lumber confiscated in the government's favor. Also, it sustained the trial court's finding that petitioner is bound by his extrajudicial admissions of cutting the narra tree in the Mayod Property without any DENR permit. Ruling: Yes, The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure list the cases which must be initiated by a complaint filed by specified individuals, non-compliance of which ousts the trial court of jurisdiction from trying such cases. However, these cases concern only defamation and other crimes against chastity and not to cases concerning Section 68 of PD 705. Further, Section 80 of PD 705 does not prohibit an interested person from filing a complaint before any qualified officer for violation of Section 68 of PD 705, as amended. Moreover, here, it was not forest officers of employees of the Bureau of Forest Development who reported to Hernandez the tree-cutting in the Mayod Property but Tansiongco, a private citizen who claims ownership over the Mayod Property. Thus, Hernandez cannot be faulted for not conducting an investigation to determine "if there is prima facie evidence to support the complaint or report." At any rate, Tansiongco was not precluded, either under Section 80 of PD 705 or the Revised Rules, from filing a complaint ]before the Provincial Prosecutor for petitioner's alleged violation of Section 68 of PD 705. 2. Yes, Petitioner is guilty of the second paragraph of section 80, which is the cutting, gathering, collecting, or removing of timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any authority. The court also said that the lumber or processed log is covered by the forest products term in PD 705, as the law does not distinguish between a raw and processed timber. A.M. No. MTJ-93-874 March 14, 1995 AUGUSTUS L. MOMONGAN petitioner, vs. JUDGE RAFAEL B. OMIPON, respondent. Issue: Whether the respondent Judge erred in releasing the truck used to transport an illegal lumber despite of prima facie evidence for violation of PD 705 as amended by EO 277.

Facts: Augustus Momongan is the Regional Director of DENR in Tacloban City, while the respondent Judge Omipon is the incumbent Judge of MCTC of Hinunangan Silago, Southern Leyte. At around 10:00 of November 14, 1992 the police officer of Hinunangan Silago, Southern Leyte apprehended a truck loaded with illegally cut lumber. The truck was owned by Basilio Cabig drived by Dionisio Golpe. After the apprehension and confiscation, a preliminary investigation was done to determine whether there is a probable cause to engender the owner of the truck and the driver guilty on the violation of PD 705. Despite of the presence of prima facie evidence the respondent Judge ordered the release of the truck apprehended. Mr.Cabig was charged against PD 705 but Mr. Golpe the driver was not included in the complaint. The Regional Director Momongan filed an instant complaint against the judge alleging that the release order was a violation of PD 705 Sections 68 and 68-A respectively, and Administrative Order No. 59.Complainant claims that respondent Judge has no authority to order the release of the truck despite the non-inclusion of Mr. Golpe in the complaint. The truck should have been turned over to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of San Juan, Southern Leyte for appropriate disposition as the same falls under the administrative jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office. Respondent Judge explained that after conducting the preliminary investigation, he found that Golpe, the owner of the truck, is principally engaged in the hauling of sand and gravel and the delivery of hollow blocks, and the loading of the timber in the car is due to the request of his friend Cabig. Respondent Judge observed that Golpe has a lesser participation in the crime of illegal logging. More importantly, the fact that the complaint charged only Cabig, respondent Judge, in the exercise of his sound discretion, ordered the release of the truck owned by Golpe. Ruling: No, The court found that the respondent order to release the truck owned and driven by Mr. Dionisio Golpe legally justifiable. According to the RPC, Every penalty imposed for the commission of a felony shall carry with it the forfeiture of the proceeds of the crime and the instrument or tools with which it was committed." However, this cannot be done if such proceeds and instruments or tools "be the property of a third person not liable for offense." In this case, the truck, though used to transport the illegally cut lumber, cannot be confiscated and forfeited in the event accused therein be convicted because the truck owner/driver, Mr. Dionisio Golpe was not indicted. Hence, there was no justification for respondent Judge not to release the truck. Complainant is correct in pointing out that the DENR Secretary or his duly authorized representative has the power to confiscate any illegally obtained or gathered forest products and all conveyances used in the commission of the offense and to dispose of the same in accordance with

pertinent laws. The release of the truck did not render nugatory the administrative authority of the DENR Secretary. Despite the order of release, the truck can be seized again either by filing a motion for reinvestigation and motion to include the truck owner/driver, as co-accused, which complainant has done as manifested before the lower court or by enforcing Adm. Order No. 59. Section 12. G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993 JUAN ANTONIO, ANNA ROSARIO and JOSE ALFONSO, all surnamed OPOSA, minors, and represented by their parents petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE FULGENCIO S. FACTORAN, JR., in his capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and THE HONORABLE ERIBERTO U. ROSARIO, Presiding Judge of the RTC, Makati, Branch 66, respondents. Issue Whether children have the legal standing to file the case? Facts This case is unique in that it is a class suit brought by 44 children, through their parents, claiming that they bring the case in the name of their generation as well as those generations yet unborn. Aiming to stop deforestation, it was filed against the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, seeking to have him cancel all the timber license agreements (TLAs) in the country and to cease and desist from accepting and approving more timber license agreements. The children invoked their right to a balanced and healthful ecology and to protection by the State in its capacity as parens patriae. The petitioners claimed that the DENR Secretary's refusal to cancel the TLAs and to stop issuing them was "contrary to the highest law of humankind-- the natural lawand violative of plaintiffs' right to selfpreservation and perpetuation." The case was dismissed in the lower court, invoking the law on non-impairment of contracts, so it was brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari. Ruling Yes. The Supreme Court in granting the petition ruled that the children had the legal standing to file the case based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility. Their right to a healthy environment carried with it an obligation to preserve that environment for the succeeding

generations. In this, the Court recognized legal standing to sue on behalf of future generations. Also, the Court said, the law on non-impairment of contracts must give way to the exercise of the police power of the state in the interest of public welfare.

G.R. No. 131270 March 17, 2000 PERFECTO PALLADA, petitioner, vs. PHILIPPINES, respondent.

PEOPLE

OF

THE

Issue: Whether a separate certificates of origin is used for lumber and timber. Facts: Sometime in the latter part of 1992, DENR received a reports that illegally cut lumber were delivered in the warehouse of Valencia Golden Harvest Corporation in Valencia Bukidnon. DENR officers in collaboration of PNP raided the companys warehouse and found a large stockpile of lumber in varying sizes cut by a chainsaw. As proof that the company had acquired the lumber by purchase, petitioner produced two receipts issued by R.L. Rivero Lumberyard of Maramag, Bukidnon, dated March 6 and 17, 1992. The DENR officers did not, however, give credit to the receipt considering that R. L. Rivero Lumberyard's permit to operate had long been suspended. What is more, the pieces of lumber were cut by chain saw and thus could not have come from a licensed sawmill operator. On February 23, 1993, petitioner, as general manager, together with Noel Sy, as assistant operations manager, and Francisco Tankiko, as president of the Valencia Golden Harvest Corporation, and Isaias Valdehueza, were charged with violation of section 68 of P.D. No. 705, as amended. During the trial, the accused presented documents that the lumber are legally obtained. This may include the certificate of origin. However, the court found out that Pallada was guilty of the violation of PD 705 and the rest of the accused were acquitted due to insufficiency of

evidence. The case was appealed to the CA and rendered a decision affirming the decision of the lower court, thus this case was elevated. Ruling: Yes, there should be a separate Certificate of origin. The trial court acted correctly in not giving credence to the Certificates of Timber Origin presented by petitioner since the lumber held by the company should be covered by Certificates of Lumber Origin. For indeed, as BFD Circular No. 1083 states in pertinent parts: In order to provide an effective mechanism to pinpoint accountability and responsibility for shipment of lumber . . . and to have uniformity in documenting the origin thereof, the attached Certificate of Lumber Origin (CLO) . . . which form[s] part of this circular [is] hereby adopted as accountable forms for official use by authorized BFD officers . . . . 5. Lumber . . . transported/shipped without the necessary Certificate of Lumber Origin (CLO) . . . as herein required shall be considered as proceeding from illegal sources and as such, shall be subject to confiscation and disposition in accordance with LOI 1020 and BFD implementing guidelines. The irregularities and discrepancies make the documents in which they are found not only questionable but invalid and, thus, justified the trial court in giving no credence to the same. The presence of such glaring irregularities negates the presumption that the CTOs were regularly executed by the DENR officials concerned.

G.R. No. L-46772 February 13, 1992 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF QUEZON , respondent. Issue: Whether the information correctly and properly charged an offense and whether the trial court had jurisdiction over the case. Facts: The private respondents were charged with the crime of qualified theft of logs, defined and punished under Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines. The information provided that Godofredo Arrozal and Luis Flores, together with 20 other John Does whose identities are still unknown, the

first-named accused being the administrator of the Infanta Logging Corporation, conspired and entered the privately-owned land of one Felicitacion Pujalte, titled in the name of her deceased father, Macario Prudente, and proceeded to illegally cut, gather, and take, there from, without the consent of the said owner and without any authority under a license agreement, 60 logs of different species. On March 23, 1977, the named accused filed a motion to quash the information on 2grounds, to wit: (1) that the facts charged do not constitute an offense; and, (2) that the information does not conform substantially to the prescribed form. Trial court thus dismissed the information based on the respondents grounds. Ruling: The elements of the crime of qualified theft of logs are: 1) That the accused cut, gathered, collected or removed timber or other forest products; 2) that the timber or other forest products cut ,gathered, collected or removed belongs to the government or to any private individual; and 3) that the cutting, gathering, collecting or removing was without authority under a license agreement, leas, license, or permit granted by the state. The failure of the information to allege that the logs taken were owned by the state is not fatal. It should be noted that the logs subject of the complaint were taken not from a public forest but from private woodland registered in the name of complainant's deceased father, Macario Prudente. The fact that only the state can grant a license agreement, license or lease does not make the state the owner of all the logs and timber products produced in the Philippines including those produced in private woodlands. Thus, ownership is not an essential element of the offense as defined in Section 60 of P.D. No. 705. As to the second issue raised, the regular courts still has jurisdiction. Sec. 80 of PD 705covers 2 specific instances when a forest officer may commence a prosecution for the violation of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines. The first authorizes a forest officer or employee of the Bureau of Forestry to arrest without a warrant, any person who has committed or is committing, in his presence, any of the offenses described in the decree. The second covers a situation when an offense described in the decree is not committed in the presence of the forest officer or employee and the commission is brought to his attention by a report or a complaint. In both cases, however, the forest officer or employee shall investigate the offender and file a complaint with the appropriate official authorized by law to conduct a preliminary investigation and file the necessary informations in court.

Unfortunately, the instant case does not fall under any of the situations covered by Section 80 of P.D. 705. The alleged offense was committed not in the presence of a forest officer and neither was the alleged commission reported to any forest officer. The offense was committed in a private land and the complaint was brought by a private offended party to the fiscal. As such, the OSG was correct in insisting that P.D. 705 did not repeal Section 1687 of the Administrative Code giving authority to the fiscal to conduct investigation into the crime of demeanour and have the necessary information or complaint prepared or made against person charged with the commission of the crime. In short, Section 80 does not grant exclusive authority to the forest officers, but only special authority to reinforce the exercise of such by those upon whom vested by the general law. G.R. No. 136142 October 24, 2000

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ALFONSO DATOR et.al , Accused- Appelant Issue: Whether the penalty imposed to Telan the accused is correct in violation of PD 705 Facts: Pator Teala and his co accused Alfonso Dator and Benito Genol were charged with the crime of violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code. The accused while transporting pieces of lumber bound to Maasin Souther Leyte, they were apprehended by the police officer and seized pieces of lumber. As a result SPO1 Bacala issued a seizure receipt covering the fifty-one (51) pieces of confiscated Dita and Antipolo lumber and one (1) unit of Isuzu cargo truck with Plate No. HAF 628. The confiscated pieces of lumber and the cargo truck were turned over to SPO3 Daniel Lasala, PNP Property Custodian of Maasin, Southern Leyte who, in turn, officially transferred custody of the same to the CENRO, Maasin, Southern Leyte. The accused Telan alleged that the pieces of lumber were cut from the track of land belonging to his mother in San Jose, Maasin, Southern Leyte which he intended to use in the renovation of his house in Barangay Abgao of the same municipality. He further contends that he secured verbal permission to Boy Leonor an officer-in -charge of the DENR. The lower courts found out that the accused is guilty in violation of PD 705 sentencing the accused to suffer the indivisible penalty of RECLUSION

PERPETUA, with the accessory penalties provided by law, which is two (2) degrees higher than PRISION MAYOR maximum, the authorized penalty similar to Qualified Theft, and to pay the costs. Thus, this case was elevated to the court. Ruling: No, In the case at bench, the confiscated fifty-one (51) pieces of assorted Dita and Antipolo lumber were classified by the CENRO officials as soft, and therefore not premium quality lumber. It may be noted that the said pieces of lumber were cut by the appellant, a mere janitor in a public hospital, from the land owned by his mother, not for commercial purposes but to be utilized in the renovation of his house. It does not appear that appellant Telen had been convicted nor was he an accused in any other pending criminal case involving violation of any of the provisions of the Revised Forestry Code (P.D. No. 705, as amended). In view of the attendant circumstances of this case, and in the interest of justice, the basis for the penalty to be imposed on the appellant should be the minimum amount under Article 309 paragraph (6) of the Revised Penal Code which carries the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods for simple theft. Considering that the crime of violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, as amended, is punished as qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, pursuant to the said decree, the imposable penalty on the appellant shall be increased by two degrees, that is, from arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods to prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty to be imposed on the appellant should be six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor. G.R. No. 120365 December 17, 1996 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. WILSON B. QUE, accused-appellant Issue: Whether the appellants activities consist an offense Facts: Provincial Task Force got wind that a that a ten-wheeler truck bearing plate number PAD-548 loaded with illegally cut lumber will pass through Ilocos Norte. Acting on said information, members of the PTF went on patrol several times within the vicinity of General Segundo Avenue in Laoag City. On March 8, 1994, SPO1 Corpuz, together with SPO1 Zaldy

Asuncion and SPO1 Elmer Patoc went on patrol around the area. At about1:00 in the morning, they posted themselves at the corner of General Segundo Avenue and Rizal Street. Thirty minutes later, they saw a tenwheeler truck with plate number PAD-548 pass by. They followed the truck and apprehended it at the Marcos Bridge.On June 23, 1994, accusedappellant was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Laoag with violation of Section 68 of P.D. 705as amended by E.O. 277. The Information alleged that, on or about the 8th day of March, 1994, in the City of Laoag, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being then the owner of an I(s)uzu Ten Wheeler Truck bearing Plate No. PAD-548, with intent of gain, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in possession, control and custody 258 pieces of various sizes of Forest Products Chain saw lumber (Species of Tanguile) with a total volume of 3,729.3 bd. ft. or equivalent to 8.79 cubic meters valued in the total amount of P93,232.50 atP25.00/bd. ft., necessary permit, license or authority to do so from the proper authorities Accused-appellant denied the charge against him. He claimed that he acquired the 258 pieces of tanguile lumber from a legal source. During the trial, he presented the private land timber permits (PLTP) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to Enrica Cayosa and Elpidio Sabal The PLTP authorizes its holder to cut, gather and dispose timber from the forest area covered by the permit. He alleged that the tanguile lumber came from the forest area covered by the PLTPs of Cayosa and Sabal and that they were given to him by Cayosa and Sabal as payment for his hauling services Ruling: Yes, Possession of the lumber without the necessary permit is a violation of the RFC. When the police apprehended Que, he failed to present documentary evidence to prove that he has the permit to possess and transport the lumber. All he had was the permit for the coconut slabs. He even concealed the lumber so as to avoid it from being seen upon first inspection of the load. Under the circumstances, there is no doubt that the accused was aware that he needed documents to possess and transport the lumber, but could not secure one and therefore, concealed such by placing it in such a manner that it could not be seen by merely looking at the cargo. There are 2 ways of violating Sec. 68 of the Revised Forestry Code: a. by cutting, gathering and/or collecting timber or other forest products without licence and b. by possessing timber or other forest products without required legal documents.

In the first offense, one can raise as a defense the legality of said acts. However, in the second offense, mere possession without proper documentation consummates the crime. G.R. No. 161798 October 20, 2004

PICOP RESOURCES, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. AUGUSTUS L. CALO, Presiding Judge, respondent Issue; Whether petitioner has the right to retain the seized confiscated products by the virtue of MOA regarding the Procedural Guidelines in the Conduct of Verification of Private Tree Plantation. Facts: Petitioner PICOP Resources, Inc. (PICOP) owns and operates a multibillion peso pulp and paper manufacturing facility in Bislig City, Agusan del Norte. It holds government-issued Pulpwood and Timber License Agreement (PTLA) No. 47 and Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) No. 35 which gave petitioner the exclusive right to co-manage and develop with the State almost 130,000 hectares of forest land within the Agusan-DavaoSurigao Forest Reserve. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its officers, rendered three Memoranda, dated August 22, 1997, February 16, 2001 and April 6, 2001 designating the petitioner as DENR depository and custodian for apprehended forest products and conveyances within its concession. On May 25, 2001, the Office of the CENRO-Bislig and petitioner entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) containing "Procedural Guidelines in the Conduct of Verification of Private Tree Plantation." The MOA provided, among others, that field validation/verification of applications for Certificates of Private Tree Ownership (CTPOs) shall be conducted jointly by the DENR, the local government unit concerned, and petitioner. Pursuant to these Memoranda, petitioners security personnel were deputized as DENR officers to apprehend and seize the tools, equipment and conveyance used in the commission of illegal logging and the forest products removed and possessed by the offenders. In the course of the enforcement of the aforesaid Memoranda, petitioner PICOP, through its security personnel, had on numerous occasions apprehended within its concession and tree plantation area. These illegally cut forest products and conveyances were kept in PICOPs impounding area.

A class suit was initiated among the members of UFAB asking for preliminary mandatory Injunction. They further asked for the declaration of the memoranda null and void and sought to restrain the DENR and those who are participants from enforcing the said memoranda. The RTC ordered Elias R. Seraspio, Jr. to recall, withdraw and abrogate the enforcement of the assailed Memorandum dated February 16, 2001 and to refrain and desist from implementation. Petitioner was also ordered to release the confiscated falcata logs and vehicles to the owners thereof, or to the CENROBislig or the Office of the Government Prosecution-Surigao del Sur, where the administrative and criminal proceedings were ongoing. Ruling: Petitioner had no right or interest to protect in the confiscated forest products and conveyances. Petitioners compound was used only as a depository for the confiscated logs and conveyances by virtue of the Memorandum. While it claimed that some of the confiscated forest products may have come from its concession area, petitioner admitted that the ownership of the confiscated products was still to be determined in the cases pending either at the CENRO-Bislig or at the Office of the Government Prosecution-Surigao del Sur. Hence, petitioners interest in the confiscated forest products was merely contingent and cannot be material as contemplated under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. Petitioner contends that private respondents intrusion was in violation of petitioners PTLA No. 47 and IFMA No. 35. These license agreements gave petitioner the exclusive right to co-manage and develop forest lands, and recognized petitioner as owner of the trees and other products in the concession area. In filing this petition, petitioner is merely defending its subsisting proprietary interest pursuant to these license agreements. It is clear that petitioner has no material interest to protect in the confiscated forest products and conveyances. It has no subsisting proprietary interest, as borne out by its licensing agreements, which need to be protected by annulling the writ of injunction issued by the trial court. Petitioner also cannot claim the right to retain custody of the apprehended logs and conveyances by virtue of its being designated a depository of the DENR pursuant to the assailed Memoranda. As such depository, petitioner merely holds the confiscated products and conveyances in custody for the DENR while the administrative or criminal proceedings regarding said products are pending.

GR NO. 152989. September 4, 2002 Roldan, Jr. petitioner v. Hon, Madrona et.al. respondents Issue: a. Whether a person who cuts trees for his own use within his property without the necessary permit from the DENR and without transporting the same outside said property, be criminally charged for violating PD 705? b. Whether the owner of a private property is administratively liable under Section 14 of DENR Administrative Order No. 2000-21 despite the fact that he did not transport the logs out of his property and used them for his own agricultural purposes. Facts: On August 9, 2001, petitioner applied for a Private Land Timber Permit (PLTP) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for him to cut some trees for a proposed road and poultry farm in his property. He

also paid all the fees required by the various government agencies. While waiting for the permit to be issued, petitioner was allegedly informed by some employees from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that he could proceed with the cutting of trees even though his application was still awaiting approval. Consequently, petitioner proceeded with the cutting of trees and bulldozing of the roadway. He used the cut logs as materials to build his chicken cages. About three weeks later, representatives of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and personnel from the Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) of Tacloban City raided petitioners place, allegedly without a search warrant. An inventory of the cut trees was conducted there were 872 pieces of sawn lumber/flitches (8,506 board feet) and three felled timber logs with a total market value of P235,454.68 at P27.00 per board foot. Ruling: a. Yes, Under Section 68, PD 705 as amended by E.O. 277, it is clear that the violators of the said law are not declared as being guilty of qualified theft. As to the assertion that his penalty for cutting trees in his own land should not be equated with that for qualified theft, suffice it to say that the judiciary is never concerned with the wisdom of the law. Whether or not the legislature was correct in imposing on violators of PD 705 a penalty equal to that imposable on those guilty of qualified theft is a question beyond the power of the Court to resolve. It is a settled rule that the fundamental duty of the Court is to apply the law regardless of who may be affected, even if the law is harsh - dura lex sed lex Section 14 of Administrative Order No. 2000-21, the Revised Guidelines in the Issuance of Private Land Timber Permit/Special Private Land Timber Permit, provides: SEC. 14. Penal Provisions. - Any log/timber or finished-wood products covered by these regulations which are transported without the prescribed documents shall be considered illegal and, therefore, subject to confiscation in favor of the government and shall be disposed in accordance with laws, rules and regulations governing the matter. b. No, The rule is clear. The aforementioned administrative order considers the mere act of transporting any wood product or timber without

the prescribed documents as an offense which is subject to the penalties provided for by law.

G.R. No. 184098

November 25, 2008 vs. PEOPLE OF THE

AMADO TAOPA, petitioner, PHILIPPINES, respondent. Issue:

Whether the penalty imposed against the petitioner is correct in violation of PD 705 Facts: On April 2, 1996, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of Virac, Catanduanes seized a truck loaded with illegallycut lumber and arrested its driver, Placido Cuison. The lumber was covered with bundles of abaca fiber to prevent detection. On investigation, Cuison pointed to petitioner Amado Taopa and a certain Rufino Ogalesco as the owners of the seized lumber Taopa, Ogalesco and Cuison pleaded not guilty on arraignment. After trial on the merits, the RTC found them guilty as charged beyond reasonable doubt. Only Taopa and Cuison appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals (CA). Cuison was acquitted but Taopa's conviction was affirmed.The dispositive portion of the CA decision read: WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is REVERSED with respect to accused-appellant Cuison, who is ACQUITTED of the crime charged on reasonable doubt, and MODIFIEDwith respect to accusedappellants Amado Taopa and Rufino Ogalesco by reducing the penalty imposed on them to four (4) years, nine (9) months and eleven (11) days of prision correccional, as minimum, to ten (10) years of prision mayor, as maximum Ruling: NO, Section 68 of PD 705, as amended, refers to Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for the penalties to be imposed on violators. Violation of Section 68 of PD 705, as amended, is punished as qualified theft. The law treats cutting, gathering, collecting and possessing timber or other forest products without license as an offense as grave as and equivalent to the felony of qualified theft. The actual market value of the 113 pieces of seized lumber was P67,630. Following Article 310 in relation to Article 309, the imposable penalty should be reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods or a period ranging from 14 years, eight months and one day to 20 years plus an additional period of four years for the excess of P47,630.

The minimum term of the indeterminate sentence imposable on Taopa shall be the penalty next lower to that prescribed in the RPC. In this case, the minimum term shall be anywhere between 10 years and one day to 14 years and eight months or prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its minimum period. The maximum term shall be the sum of the additional four years and the medium period of reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods or 16 years, five months and 11 days to 18 years, two months and 21 days of reclusion temporal. The maximum term therefore may be anywhere between 16 years, five months and 11 days of reclusion temporal to 22 years, two months and 21 days of reclusion perpetua. G.R. No. 175289 CRISOSTOMO VILLARIN PHILIPPINES, Respondent. Isuue: Whether mere possession of timber without the legal documents required under forest laws and regulations makes one automatically liable even criminal intent in violation of Section 68, Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 705, as amended. Facts: In a Criminal Complaint filed before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 4, Cagayan de Oro City by Marcelino B. Pioquinto (Pioquinto), Chief of the Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Unit under the TL Strike Force Team of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), petitioner Aniano Latayada (Latayada) and three others namely, Barangay Captain Camilo Sudaria (Sudaria) of Tagpangi, Cagayan de Oro City, Marlon Baillo (Baillo) and Cipriano Boyatac (Boyatac), were charged with violation of Section 68, P.D. No. 705 as amended by Executive Order No. 277. The respondents were guilty of gathering and possessing sixty-three (63) pieces flitches of varying sizes belonging to the Apitong specie with a total volume of Four Thousand Three Hundred Twenty Six (4,326) board feet valued at P108,150.00, without any authority and supporting documents as required under existing forest laws and regulation to the damage and prejudice of the government. Ruling: Yes, As a special law, the nature of the offense is malum prohibitum and as such, criminal intent is not an essential element. There is August 31, 2011 et.al , Petitioners, . PEOPLE OF THE

no dispute that petitioners were in constructive possession of the timber without the requisite legal documents. Villarin and Latayada were personally involved in its procurement, delivery and storage without any license or permit issued by any competent authority. Given these and considering that the offense is malum prohibitum, petitioners contention that the possession of the illegally cut timber was not for personal gain but for the repair of said bridge is, therefore, inconsequential.

CA-G.R. SP. No. 80927. February 4, 2005 LT. RODELLO B. LARAYA, PN, et.al., petitioners, vs. HON. PERFECTO E. PE, RTC of Palawan,respondent. Issue: Whether the Respondent Judge acted in excess of his Jurisdiction or with Grave Abuse Of Discretion when he allowed the Re-Opening Of Pre-Trial For Purposes Of Plea-Bargaining without The consent of the Complainants and Contrary to Section 2, Rule 116 Of The Revised Rules On Criminal Procedure, As Amended. Facts: It was on 12 September 2002, thirty eight (38) Chinese nationals on board their fishing vessels were caught within the Malampaya Natural Gas Platform Project Exclusive Zone, in El Nido, Palawan in the act of illegal fishing. Hundreds of kilos of Groupers (locally known, as Lapu-Lapu), Wrasse (locally known, as Mameng) and Snappers (locally known, as Maya-Maya) were found in the said fishing vessels found within the vessels, among others, were powders and pillets, suspected to be noxious substances or component ingredients of explosives. A bottle of home-made dynamite was

also retrieved. A criminal complaint was filed against the accused-private respondents for the violation of Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, specifically, Section 87 (Poaching) and Section 88 (Fishing through Explosives, Noxious or Poisonous Substances) of the said Act. Subsequently, criminal informations for violation of Republic Act No. 8550 were filed against all 38 Chinese nationals with the Regional Trial Court of Palawan. All of the accused-private respondents thereafter pleaded not guilty to the charges on 07 May 2003. During the pre-trial of the criminal cases, counsel for the accusedprivate respondents manifested their intention to enter into plea bargaining by entering a plea of guilty to a lesser offense under paragraph 2 of Section 88 of Republic Act 8550. However, the then prosecuting officer of the cases, Provincial Prosecutor Alen Ross B. Rodriguez did not accede After prosecution presented its first witness and initial crossexamination was conducted by the counsel for the defense, or after only two hearing dates, however, Provincial Prosecutor Alen Ross B. Rodriguez manifested his intention to inhibit from further prosecuting the criminal cases. Continuation of the trial was, hence, rescheduled the following day. On 16 July 2003, with the appearance of a new prosecutor, counsel for the defense asked the court to re-open the pre-trial stage of the criminal cases and reiterated the accused-private respondents earlier intention of availing plea bargaining. This time, the Provincial Prosecutors Office, represented by Prosecutor Olegario Cayetano, Jr., did not object. On the contrary, Prosecutor Cayetano manifested that the government was amenable to re-open pre-trial for the purpose of plea-bargaining. Consequently, the trial court ordered the re-opening of the pre-trial. During the re-opened pre-trial stage, all the accused-private respondents through their counsel plead guilty to violation of Paragraph 2, Section 88 of Republic Act 8550. The public prosecutor interposed no objection with the change of plea and informed the court that the prosecutors conformity with the plea bargaining was in consonance with the directive of the Chief State Prosecutor Ruling: NO, Section 1, Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court expressly provides:

SECTION 1. Petition for Certiorari. When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial and quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. XXX XXX XXX Hence, for the herein petitioners to lodge the instant action, they must first be a person aggrieved, otherwise, they would be without legal standing to pursue this legal recourse. That having been said, this Court rules that the herein petitioners are not persons aggrieved by the assailed decision of the trial court in the subject criminal cases. It is elementary in criminal law that a crime is an offense against the State, and is hence prosecuted in the name of the People of the Philippines. For this reason, Section 5 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that all criminal actions commenced by a complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the prosecutor. Furthermore, Section 1 of P.D. 1275, provides the exclusive domain of the prosecutory arm of the government as how best to deal with the prosecution of criminal cases. Hence, any grievance in course thereof affecting the interest of the State must proceed only from such an arm of the government.

A.M. No. MTJ- 03- 1487. December 1, 2003 SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF GUINDULMAN, BOHOL , petitioner, vs. JUDGE MANUEL A. DE CASTRO, Acting Presiding Judge, MCTC, Guindulman-Duero, Bohol, respondent.

Issue: Whether the respondent Judge committed gross ignorance of the law for not imposing the proper penalty provided for in Sec. 90, R.A. No. 8550, otherwise known as The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. Facts: It was on May 17, 2002 when lawmen apprehended a boat captain and eight crew members of the fishing boat B/B Junida-J who were fishing within the vicinity of the municipal waters and fish sanctuary of Basdio, Guindulman, Bohol with a ring net (known locally as licom). Charges for violation of Sections 86, 90 and 96 of Republic Act No. 8550 were immediately filed with the MCTC, Guindulman-Duero, Bohol, presided over in an acting capacity by Judge Manuel A. de Castro. In the morning of the very next day, a Saturday, two of the accused, namely: Narciso J. Jusay, Jr. (boat owner) and Rolando T. Amistoso (boat captain) were released from detention upon order of respondent. It appears that respondent held a court session on May 18, 2002, despite the fact that it was a Saturday, and proceeded to arraign both accused who pleaded guilty. The respondent judge exaggerated the speedy disposition of the case commanding the accused to pay five thousand pesos and further commanded to return the alleged impounded boats to the accused. Surprised by such turn of events, the Sangguniang Bayan passed a resolution for the further investigation on the action of respondent judge about the crime charged against the accused and a copy thereof was received by the Office of the Chief Justice, Supreme Court on June 25, 2002. Ruling: Yes, the respondent Judge committed a grave ignorance of the law and violation of circulars issued by the court when he tried a case in Saturday. The respondent judge impudently misused his authority to impose the

penalty under the law which it cannot be countenanced. If judges wantonly misuse the powers vested in them by law, there will not only be confusion in the administration of justice but even also oppressive disregard of the basic requirements of due process. The observance of the law, which he is bound to know is required of every judge. When the law is sufficiently basic, a judge owes it to his office to simply apply it; anything less than that would be constitutive of gross ignorance of the law. A judge should be the embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. It is a pressing responsibility of judges to keep abreast with the law and the changes therein for ignorance of the law, which everyone is bound to know, excuses no one, not even judges. Indeed, it has been said that -- when the inefficiency springs from a failure to consider so basic and elemental a rule, a law or a principle in the discharge of his duties, a judge is either too incompetent and undeserving of the position and the title he holds or is too vicious that the oversight or omission was deliberately done in bad faith and in grave abuse of judicial authority. A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430. September 8, 2003 SPECIAL PROSECUTOR ROMEO B. SENSON, complainant, vs. JUDGE HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN, MTCC, PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, respondent.

Issue: Whether the decision of the respondent judge is correct in approving the Urgent motion for custody of Fishing Net. Facts: On 14 March 2000, several persons were apprehended for violation of Section 86 of Republic Act No. 8550, also known as The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 by members of the Philippine National Police. The items seized from those arrested included (a) 1 unit fish net, (b) 36 units lights (300 watts), (c) 1 unit light (500 watts), (d) 1 unit buoy, (e) 7 containers, (f) 7 plastic container boxes, (g) 4 styropore boxes, and (h) 10 boxes of fish. On the same day, Criminal Case No.15019 against them was filed. Three days later, Danilo Alayon and Norma Villarosa, asserting to be the co-owners of the M/B King Fisher that was used in the illegal fishing activity, filed an Urgent Motion for Custody of Fishing Net, alleging that the fish net which costs no less than P600,000.00 was left unattended at the beach exposed

to the elements and movements of the sea which could cause its early deterioration and ultimate loss. Respondent Judge, despite the vigorous objection of the public prosecutor, granted the motion in part, to the following effect To obviate their possible loss, destruction and/or deterioration, pending resolution of the above-captioned case, the apprehending officers or whoever has the custody, are ordered to cause the immediate turnover of the following items to movants who undertake to produce the same whenever needed in court, as they can only be properly confiscated in favor of the government upon conviction of the accused. The respondent contended that Republic Act No. 8550, the law under which the accused were charged with having transgressed, did not provide for the seizure of the fishing paraphernalia pending trial and that the prosecution still could prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt even without the evidence being presented since it had sufficient witnesses for the purpose. Ruling: No, the seizure of the fishing paraphernalia has been made as being an incident to a lawful arrest. Rule 127, Section 12, of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. 12. Search incident to lawful arrest.- A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant.

G.R. No. 132451 December 17, 1999 CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T. GARCIA, petitioner, vs. HON. RENATO C. CORONA, in his capacity as the Executive Secretary, HON. FRANCISCO VIRAY, in his capacity as the Secretary of Energy, CALTEX PHILIPPINES INC., PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORP. and PETRON CORP., respondents. Issue: Whether the exclusion of Section 19 (setting the time of full deregulation of oil law) on RA 8479 made by the congress makes the law unconstitutional.

Facts: November 5, 1997, this Court in Tatad v. Secretary of the Department of Energy and Lagman, et al., v. Hon.Ruben Torres, et al., declared Republic Act No. 8180, entitled "An Act Deregulating the Downstream Oil Industry and For Other Purposes", unconstitutional, and its implementing Executive Order No. 392 void. R.A. 8180 was struck down as invalid because three key provisions intended to promote free competition were shown to achieve the opposite result. More specifically, this Court ruled that its provisions on tariff differential, stocking of inventories, and predatory pricing inhibit fair competition, encourage monopolistic power, and interfere with the free interaction of the market forces. As a result of the Tatad decision, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 8479, a new deregulation law without the offending provisions of the earlier law. Petitioner Enrique T. Garcia, a member of Congress, has brought the petition seeking to declare Section 19 thereof, which sets the time of full deregulation, unconstitutional. After failing in his attempts to have Congress incorporate in the law the economic theory he espouses, petitioner asks the court, in the name of upholding the Constitution, to undo a violation which he claims Congress has committed.

Ruling: No, It bears stressing that R.A. 8180 was declared invalid not because deregulation is unconstitutional. The law was struck down because, as crafted, three key provisions plainly encouraged the continued existence if not the proliferation of the constitutionally proscribed evils of monopoly and restraint of trade. It is not the function of the Court to safeguard the members of the congress on what law they will enact because this is the exact tenet on the encroachment of power as stipulated on the principle of separation of power. The court as a whole, respects the laws legislate by the congress. The validity of such laws, may only be impugned if it violates the Constitution. In the case at bar, the Constitution perse was not violated nor ridiculed.

G.R. Nos. 120865-71 December 7, 1995 LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE

HERCULANO TECH, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 70, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF BINANGONAN RIZAL; FLEET DEVELOPMENT, INC. and CARLITO ARROYO; THE MUNICIPALITY OF BINANGONAN and/or MAYOR ISIDRO B. PACIS, respondents.

Issue: Whether the Local Government Code Code of 1991 repealed the Charter of Laguna Lake Developmental Authority (RA NO. 4850) in the issuance of fish pen permits and other related activity involving Laguna de Bay. Facts: This is a petition made by Laguna Lake Development Authority to declare an exclusive power on the regulation of issuing a fish open permits over the businessmen engage in the Laguna de bay. The power to issue a permit was then transferred to the office of the mayor on the different municipalities of Laguna thus making the Laguna de bay crowded and unhealthy for living of natural resources and danger to the livelihood among the folks of Laguna. Ruling: No, the court holds that the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160 do not necessarily repeal the laws creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority and granting the latter water rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the lake region. The Local Government Code of 1991 does not contain any express provision which categorically expressly repeal the charter of the Authority. It has to be conceded that there was no intent on the part of the legislature to repeal Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendments. It has to be conceded that the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority constitutes a special law. Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, is a general law. It is basic in statutory construction that the enactment of a later legislation which is a general law cannot be construed to have repealed a special law. It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that "a special statute, provided for a particular case or class of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its terms, provisions and application, unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest,

although the terms of the general law are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law." Where there is a conflict between a general law and a special statute, the special statute should prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly than the general statute. The special law is to be taken as an exception to the general law in the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion. A special law cannot be repealed, amended or altered by a subsequent general law by mere implication.Thus, it has to be concluded that the charter of the Authority should prevail over the Local Government Code of 1991.

G.R. No. L-68474 February 11, 1986 NUCLEAR FREE PHILIPPINE COALITION, ET AL., petitioners, NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, ET AL., respondents. G.R. No. 70632 February 11, 1986 LORENZO M. TAADA, ET AL., petitioners, vs. PHILIPPINE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION, ET AL., respondents. Issue: Whether the judgement of PAEC on the nuclear power plant safe. Facts: a. G.R. No. 70632, petitioners question the competence of respondent PAEC Commissioners to pass judgment on the safety of the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant-1 PNPP-1 in PAEC Licensing Proceedings No. 1-77 without however seeking their ouster from office, although "proven competence" is one of the qualifications prescribed by law for PAEC Commissioners. Petitioners also assail the validity of the motion (application) filed by the National Power Corporation (NPC) for the conversion of its construction permit into an operating license for PNPP-1 on the principal ground that it contained no information regarding the financial qualifications of NPC, its source of nuclear fuel, and insurance coverage for nuclear damage. b.. In G.R. No. 68474, acting on the motion filed therein dated June 8, 1985 to order PAEC to reconsider its orders of May 31 and June 5, 1985, the vs.

urgent motion for mandatory injunction and/or restraining order dated August 3, 1985, the second urgent motion for mandatory injunction dated August 12, 1985, and the various pleadings and other documents submitted by the parties relative thereto, and considering the paramount need of a reasonable assurance that the operation of PNPP-1 will not pose an undue risk to the health and safety of the people, which dictates that the conduct of the inquiry into the safety aspects of PNPP-1 be characterized by sufficient latitude, the better to achieve the end in view, unfettered by technical rules of evidence (Republic Act 5207, section 34), and in keeping with the requirements of due process in administrative proceedings. Ruling: a. The Court therefore resolved to RESTRAIN respondent PAEC Commissioners from further acting in PAEC Licensing Proceedings No. 177.the said decision is due to the pamphlets that PAEC had circulated. Having thus prejudged the safety of the PNPP-1 respondent PAEC Commissioners would be acting with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction were they to sit in judgment upon the safety of the plant, absent the requisite objectivity that must characterize such an important inquiry. b. The respondent PAEC (once reconstituted) to re-open the hearing on PNPP-1 so as to give petitioners sufficient time to complete their crossexamination of the expert witnesses on quality assurance, to cross-examine the witnesses that petitioners have failed to cross-examine on and after August 9, 1985, and to complete the presentation of their evidence, for which purpose, respondent PAEC shall issue the necessary subpoena and subpoena duces tecum to compel the attendance of relevant witnesses and/or the production of relevant documents. For the said purposes, the PAEC may prescribe a time schedule which shall reasonably assure the parties sufficient latitude to adequately present their case consistently with the requirements of dispatch. lt is understood that the PAEC may give NPC the opportunity to correct or supply deficiencies in this application or evidence in support thereof.

Azucena Salalima vs. Employees Compensation Comm. and Soc. Sec. System G.R. No.-146360 Facts: Petitioners husband Juancho Saldima was employed for twenty nine years as a route helper and salesman for the Meycauayan Plant of Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. during the annual company medical examination, Juancho was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. Later found him to have cancer of the lungs and died after few months. Azucena, the wife of Juancho is now claiming for the benefits of her husband from the company and the SSS. RTC dismissed the case. CA affirmed and this petition was therefore filed. Issue: Whether the petitioner is entitled to benefits provided by P.D. 626 Held: SC answered in the affirmative. Because the facts of the case showed that the cause of Juanchos death was his mere work and that his medical history states that his stay at Coca cola is a contributory to his sickness. SSS was ordered to pay the claimant and the RTCs and CAs decisions were reversed and set aside. Social Justice Society, et. al. vs. Honorable Jose Atienza, Jr. G.R. No. 156052 Facts: Chevron is engaged in the business of importing, distributing and marketing of petroleum products in the Philippines while Shell and Petron are engaged in the business of manufacturing, refining and likewise importing and marketing of petroleum products. Petitioners sought to compel Mayor Tienza to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 which was enacted by Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila and became effective upon approval by Mayor Atienza. This ordinance reclassifies the area described from industrial to commercial and directed the owners to cease and desist from operating their business within 6 months. Among the business is the Pandacan Terminal of the Oil companies. Oil companies intervened in the issue attacking the validity of the ordinance. Issue: Whether the ordinance approved by respondent is valid or not Held:

Valid. Because the tremendous event happened near the area which many were put into danger, the Manila Municipal Office shall do its ministerial duty to protect all property and health of those people who lived in the vicinity and nearby cities. The court ordered the transfer of Pandacan Terminal within a non extendible period of 90 days. The life of the people shall be the utmost priority of the government in terms of its security, though the business will lose billions of money, the municipality cannot sacrifice its people. Filinvest Credit Corporation vs. IAC and Nestor Sunga, Jr. G.R. No. 65935 Facts: A case filed by Nestor Sunga Jr., businessman and owner of the NBS Machineries and the NAPNAP Transit. He purchased a minibus Mazda from Motorcester with an agreement to pay the balance in monthly basis. Later, Nestor failed to pay his obligations to the company which cause the confiscation of the minibus by the officers of Filinvest Corp. The minibus was mortgaged to Filinvest Corp. Sunga cleared his obligations to Filinvest which the court rendered decisions granting Sunga moral, actual damages, litigation expenses and Attorney's fees. Filinvest filed motion to review the decision of the court. Issue: Whether the award of damages to Sunga is valid Held: Yes. It is valid but it is unconscionable, therefore the SC reduced the amount granted to Sunga since the facts show that the latter had not suffered much and that it is his obligation to pay the minibus as it was stipulated between him and Filinvest Corp. Moral and actual damages were granted but litigation expenses was eliminated for it has no price for litigation. Laguna Lake Development Authority vs. Court of Appeals, et. al. G.R. Nos. 120865-71 Facts: A case filed by authority against all those who were given permit by Municipal mayors Pacis, Papa and Jala-Jala to include them as releasers of permits and other respondents for violating the provisions who has the jurisdiction to give permits. But the issue not only lies on the granting of permits but the error on deciding that authority is not a quasi-judicial agency that R.A. 4850 was amended by P.D. 813 and E.O. 927 s. of 1983 and the LGU has the power to issue permits. Issue: Whether LLDA has the power as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body

Held: Yes. LLDA has express powers as regulatory and quasi-judicial body to cease and desist orders and on matters affecting the construction of illegal fish pens, fish cages and other aqua-culture structures in Laguna De Bay. It is not co-equal to RTC but only to its extent of power provided by law. All permits issued were declared null and void and all structures on the said area shall be demolished because of the void permits granted to owners and operators. Agapito Magbanwa, et. al. vs. IAC, et. al. G.R. no. 66870-72 Facts: A case where all plaintiffs who were tenants of the defendants complained the diversion of the free flow of water from their farm lots which caused portions of their landholdings to dry up to their great damage and prejudice and they were asked to vacate the areas for they could not plant any longer for lack of water. Issue: Whether plaintiffs are entitled to damages Held: Yes. Because the closing of water flow to the petitioners farm lots caused damage and prejudicial to them in their harvest. It has no showing in the facts that petitioners were negligent but instead the respondents bad faith which caused prejudice to the former. Under the law, the landowner has the obligation to keep tenant in the peaceful and continuous cultivation of his landholding. A disturbance of possession such as the act complained of is violative of the law. Therefore, the court granted moral and exemplary damages and Attorneys fees to plaintiffs. Ernesto Rodriguez, et. al. vs. IAC and Daytona Construction and Development Corporation G.R. no. 74816 Facts: Plaintiffs filed an action for abatement of a public nuisance with damages against defendant. After four extensions of time to file an answer by defendant, Daytona moved to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and cause of action. Motions denied, defendant was declared in default and authorized plaintiffs to present evidence ex parte. The facts of the case at bar shows that there is other nearby residents who were prejudiced by the Daytona Corp. for the running of its business. It affected their health and property. But in this case, the delay of the respondents to answer id questionable and contrary to law. Issues:

1. Whether petitioners have cause of action to file the case 2. Whether respondents are liable for damages Held: 1. Yes. Because the business had greatly prejudiced their health and property. The permit given to Daytona is valid but the conditions provided were not met. 2. Yes. Respondents are liable for damages except nominal damages based on the discretion of the court instead moral and actual damages were awarded because sufficient evidence had supported as such. DENR vs. Gregorio Daraman, et. al. G.R. No. 125797 Facts: This is a case filed by the DENR represented by RED Israel Gaddi against Gregorio Daraman and Narciso Lucenecio who were caught by one Pablo opinion to transport illegal pieces of lumber using the vehicle of one Baby Lucenecio, the Holy Cross Funeral Services. Here, the respondents alleged that one Asan, owner of furniture shop ask the two to bring also some pieces of wood to his house located near the funerals location. Opinion, DENR employee, saw the vehicle and inspected it, there he saw some lumber and issued an order of forfeiture. The court granted bond and released the funeral car and lumber because it was found out that Daraman and Lucenecio were not owners of the vehicle and lumber. Hence, this complaint was filed. Issue: Whether the respondents violated P.D. 705 section 68-A Held: Yes. The court cannot deny the fact that Section 68-A P.D. 705 is also applicable to those who transport lumber without proper documents. Here, Daraman and Lucenecio had no permit to transport lumber although they were only asked to bring the lumber to the house of one Asan. The RTC has overstepped its jurisdiction of the case since DENR was given the power to confiscate the property in favor of the state/government. The release of this property defeated the purpose of section 68-A of P.D. 705. Therefore, SC granted the petition of DENR, RTCs decision was reversed and set aside. Republic of the Philippines vs. Honorable Roman Cansino, Jr. et. al. G.R. No. L-17923 Facts: On October 3, 1960, Magdayo Ramirez, owner of 85 tubs of fish filed a complaint for replevin against Commander Abraham Campo and manager of Royal Cold Storage. Upon the filing by

Ramirez of a P2, 000 bond, Judge Roman Cansino ordered the court sheriff to take possession of the 85 tubs of fish for five days and release it to Ramirez. Commander Ocampo filed a petition to return the fish for the same fish were caught in TONY LEX I boat. Here, the fish were caught through the use of dynamite, which is a violation and crime under R.A. 428. Action for prohibition and injunction were filed by Ocampo against the Judge and the sheriff. Issues: Whether respondent Judge erred in posting a bond in dissolving the warrant of seizure Whether Ramirez violated R.A. 428 Held: Yes. RTC Judge Cansino erred in dissolving the warrant of seizure because the petitioner is the R.P and the same is exempt from the obligation to post such a bond. Yes. Ramirez violated R.A. 428 because under this law, it is violative to use dynamite in fishing which the Bureau of Fisheries strictly observes the implementation of the said law. Sea Lion Fishing Corporation vs. People of the Philippines G.R. no. 172678 Facts: This is a petition for review on Certiorari assailing the decision of CA in denying the Motion for Reconsideration and petition for Certiorari and Mandamus. Here, 17 Chinese fishermen were caught poaching off Mangsee Island in Palawan. The Barangay officials and team of Philippine Marines found F/V Sea Lion with five boats with fishing nets spread over the water. The court filed various cases against the Chinese fishermen to wit: Violation of section 977 of R.A. 85508[8]; Violation of section 909[9] of R.A. 8550 and violation of Section 27(a) and (f) 10 [10] of R.A. 9141711(110 and section 8712(12) of R.A. 8550, F/V sea Lion filed an Urgent Motion for Release of evidence alleging that it owns the vessel. The court released the vessel but later the court found out that the evidence of ownership of Sea Lion was not supported by documents. Therefore, government forfeited the vessel. Issue: Whether the forfeiture of F/V Sea Lion in favor of the government was proper Held: Yes. The government was correct when it forfeited F/V Sea Lion since its motion was only filed after the judgment has been rendered and it failed to seek all remedies given the sufficient time to do so. The lower court had jurisdiction over the case and the petitioner was not denied of due process and gets it failed to comply with the other requirements provided in the law.

Legaspi VS. Civil Service Commission G.R. no. 72119 Facts: Civil Service Commission denied Valentin Legaspis (petitioner) request for information on the civil service eligibilities of 2 people employed as sanitarians, Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas, in the Health Department in Cebu. Petitioner claims that his right to information is guaranteed by the Constitution prays for the issuance of the extraordinary writ of mandamus to compel the respondent Commission to disclose said information. The Solicitor General challenges the petitioners standing to sue upon the ground that the latter does not possess any legal right to be informed of the civil services eligibilities of the government employees concerned. SolGen further argues that there is no ministerial duty on the part of the Commission to furnish the petitioner with the information he seeks. Issue: WON the petitioner has legal to access government records to validate the civil service eligibilities of the Health Department employees. Held: Civil Service Commission is ordered to open its register of eligible for the position of sanitarian, and to confirm or deny, the civil service eligibility of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas, for said position in the Health Department of Cebu City, as requested by the petitioner Valentin L. Legaspi. Aldovino vs Alunan G.R no. 102232 Facts: The petitioners herein were affected by reorganizing of Ministry of Tourism as provided in Section 29 of Executive Order No. 120 which took effect on January 30, 1987. These EO provides that incumbents whose positions are not included in the new position structure and staffing pattern or who are not reappointed are deemed separated from the service. Pursuant to this, the Department of Tourism issued various office orders and memoranda declaring all positions thereat vacant. To that effect, it leads to the separation of many of its employees including the petitioners. The court had previously decided similar cases of Mandani, Abrogar and Arnaldo. The petitioners and intervenors claimed that they should not be deprived of their life granted to their former co-employees plead for reinstatement without the loss of seniority rights. Furthermore, they claimed for back salaries will be computed under the new staffing pattern from dates of their invalid termination at rates not lower than their former salaries. The court aims to determine whether the separation of herein petitioners and intervenors from service was pursuant to office orders and memoranda declared void in Mandani case, thus reinstating and paying them with their back wages.

Issues: Whether or not the petitioners and intervenors must be reinstated and paid of their back wages. Held: The Supreme Court ruled that herein petitioners are reinstated immediately to their former positions without loss of seniority rights and with back salaries computed under new staffing pattern from the dates of their invalid dismissal at rates not lower than their former salaries but not to exceed a period of 5 years with several provisions. Having found out that the Executive Order is unconstitutional, thus dismissal of the employees is also unconstitutional. The courts declared its total nullity. An unconstitutional act is not a law, it confers no rights, imposes no duties and affords no protection. In legal contemplation, it is inoperative as if it had not been passed.

G.R. No. L-20875 April 30, 1923 VICENTE ABAOAG, ET AL vs. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, ET AL. Facts: In the year 1884 a number of "Bagos" or Igorots or non-Christians, numbering at that time about thirty, were invited by the gobernadorcillo and principalia of the then town of Alava, now the municipality of Sison, of the Province of Pangasinan. The "Bagos" entered upon said land, took possession of it and have continued to live upon the same and have cultivated it since that date. On February 28, 1919, the Bagos filed an action, claiming the land was registered to them under the Torrens system but was later dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence that they are entitled to the land. Issue: W/N the court is correct in dismissing the case on the grounds of lack of evidence. Held: No, the court is not correct in dismissing the case on the grounds of lack of evidence. If we were to look into the Royal Decrees of Spain, as the attorney for the appellants has done, we will find that Spain did not assume to convert all the native inhabitants of the Philippines into trespassers of the land which they occupy, or even into tenants at will. In the Royal Cedula of October 15, 1754, we find the following: "Where such possessors shall not be able to produce title deeds, it shall be sufficient if they shall show that ancient possession as a valid title by prescription." We may add that every presumption of ownership under the public land laws of the Philippine Islands is in favor of one actually occupying the land for many years, and against the Government which seeks to deprive him of it, for failure to comply with provisions of subsequently enacted registration land act. In addition to the facts above stated, the record shows that at the time of the delivery of said parcel of land to the petitioners, it was unoccupied and unimproved public land; that since their entry upon the possession of the land in the year 1884, they and their ancestors have been in the open,

continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the same, believing in good faith that they were the owners. Wherefore, the court reversed its decision, thus the petitioners where permitted to present whatever evidence they may have.

G.R. No. L-4231

April 1, 1908

CASTLE BROTHERS, WOLFE AND SONS vs. GUTIERREZ HERMANOS Facts: There was a verbal contract between Knight and Don Leopoldo Criado by which the defendants agreed to sell the plaintiffs 500 bales of good current Manila hemp at P24 a picul. That, while some mention of marks was made, Knight said he could not accept those marks unless they turned out to be up to the quality of "good current Manila." However, Don Leopoldo Criado testified that the phrase "good current" was never mentioned in the conversation and that he stated to Mr. Knight that the defendants had 554 bales of the four marks mentioned, and that of those he sold 500 bales. Knights testimony was supported by the testimony of Higginbotham who was his assistant in the office and who heard the conversation, and who states that there was a positive agreement on the part of Don Leopoldo Criado to furnish 500 bales of "good current Manila." On the 500 bales, delivered, the plaintiffs accepted and paid for 210 bales and no question as to these bales on made in the case. They refused to accept 299 bales on the ground that it was not good current Manila hemp, called upon the defendants to furnish 299 bales of that quality and notified them that, on failure to do so, they would buy the same in the market and charge the increased cost of the defendants. The defendants refused to substitute other bales and the plaintiffs bought 299 bales of good current Manila hemp at P28.50 a picul, P4.50 more per picul than the price at which

the defendants had agreed to furnish them that quality of hemp. The loss to the plaintiffs was therefore P2,691 and to recover that sum this action was brought. Thus the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Issue: W/N the ruling of the court is correct basing from the evidence presented. Held: Yes, the ruling of the court is correct. Aside from Knight and Higginbothams testimonies, the other evidence in which the court based its ruling is the letter received by the plaintiff on September 13, 1906 from Portland Cordage Company, of Oregon which states that they are asking the plaintiff to offer them 500 bales of good current Leyte hemp, but the plaintiffs cannot furnish 500 good current Leyte hemp, instead they offered 500 bales of good current Manila hemp. On the same day, before sending the letter, Knight saw Don Leopoldo Criado who told him that they could furnish 500 bales of good current Manila Bales, thus their verbal contract. Don Leopoldo Criado denies that he had the conversation with Knight on that day, but the fact that the telegrams where sent and received was undeniable.

G.R. No. L-24796

June 28, 1968

Director of Forestry vs. Muoz Facts: Piadeco claims to be the owner of Some 72,000 hectares of land 3 located in the municipalities of Angat, Norzagaray and San Jose del Monte, province of Bulacan, and in Antipolo and Montalban, province of Rizal. Piadeco's evidence of ownership consists of Titulo de Propiedad and a deed of absolute sale.

The controversy began when the Acting Director of Forestry Apolonio F. Rivera required Piadeco to surrender the original certificate to him. Ground for this cancellation was that Piadeco had violated forestry rules and regulations for cutting trees within the Angat and Marikina Watershed Reservations, expressly excluded from the said certificate. Piadeco filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction against the Director of Forestry, Forest Station Warden Marquez and Nawasa, essentially upon the averment that their acts heretofore narrated were "all precipitate, arbitrary, whimsical and capricious." The preliminary injunction was granted and then he moved to declare the forestry officials in default for failure to answer its petition on time. The forestry officials asked the court to dismiss the petition upon the averments that said court had no jurisdiction over their persons or the subject matter of the petition, and that administrative remedies have not yet been exhausted by Piadeco. On the same date, too, but in a separate motion, said forestry official asked for a reconsideration of the lower court's order granting preliminary injunction, bottomed upon their charge that the illegal cutting of trees by Piadeco inside the Angat and Marikina Watershed Reservations which are the main source of water supply of the City of Manila and its surrounding towns and cities poses a grave danger of causing them to dry up to the prejudice and irreparable injury of the inhabitants thereof. The forestry officials were declared in default. Piadeco entered into an amicable settlement with Nawasa whereby Piadeco's case against Nawasa was withdrawn, the right of way granted by Nawasa to Piadeco remaining revoked and cancelled; and Nawasa's counterclaim against Piadeco was also withdrawn in consideration of P1,651.59 paid by Piadeco to Nawasa, representing the former's liabilities to the latter. The court approved of the amicable settlement. Piadeco applied for the renewal of its Certificate of Private Woodland Registration but was denied by Assistant Director of Forestry J. L. Utleg but Piadeco continued logging operations. It was about this time that illegal logging was denounced by some members of Congress thereby attracting national attention. The Secretary of National Defense directed the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces to implement the request. And, the Chief of Staff dispatched a task force of the army into the Angat area, which impounded and seized all logs cut by Piadeco and other loggers which were purportedly conducting illegal operations and they made a private quarters on a portion of Piadecos land and prevented continuation of logging operations, from

cutting and gathering of timber and other forest products and enjoyment of said property. Hence, Piadeco filed a complaint but was denied. Issue: W/N Piadeco's title is registrable with the Bureau of Forestry

Held: No. Piadecos title is not registarable with the Breau of Forestry. The pertinent statutory provision is Section 1829 of the Revised Administrative Code, viz: SEC. 1829. Registration of title to private forest land. Every private owner of land containing timber, firewood and other minor forest products shall register his title to the same with the Director of Forestry. A list of such owners, with a statement of the boundaries of their property, shall be furnished by said Director to the Collector of Internal Revenue, and the same shall be supplemented from time to time as occasion may require. Upon application of the Director of Forestry the fiscal of the province in which any such land lies shall render assistance in the examination of the title thereof with a view to its registration in the Bureau of Forestry. Ampliatory thereof is Section 7, Forestry Administrative Order 12-1 of July 1, 1941, as amended by Forestry Administrative Order 12-2, which took effect on January 1, 1963. It reads: 7. Titles that may be registered. Only the following titles covering lands containing timber, firewood and other minor forest products may be registered under and pursuant to Section 1829 of the Revised Administrative Code; (a) Administrative titles granted by the present Government, such as homestead patent, free patent, and sales patent; and

(b) Judicial titles, such as Torrens Title obtained under the Land Registration Act (Act 496, as amended) or under the Cadastral Act (Act No. 2259, as amended). The amendment of Forestry Administrative Order 12-1 by Forestry Administrative Order 12-2 consisted in theomission of one paragraph, paragraph (c), which particularized as one of the titles registrable pursuant to Section 1829 of the Revised Administrative Code, "[t]itles granted by the Spanish sovereignty in the islands and duly recognized as valid titles under the existing laws." In the case at bar however, Piadecos title was issued during the Spanish regime. And it is state in Section 1829, does not describe with particularity titles that may be registered with the Bureau of Forestry. Spanish titles are quite dissimilar to administrative and judicial titles under the present system. Although evidences of ownership, these Spanish titles may be lost thru prescription. They are, therefore, neither indefeasible nor imprescriptible. It should not have been allowed registration in the first place. Obviously, registration thereof can never be renewed.

G.R. No. L-21814 July 15, 1975 THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs. MELECIO ABANZADO, ET AL Facts: The Director of Forestry filed a petition to review a judgment in a land registration proceeding, no decree having been issued as yet, arose from its failure to accord him the opportunity to present his evidence to show that the land in controversy is part of a communal forestand is thus nondisposable. More specifically, what was sought by appellant public official in his amended petition for review was the reconsideration of a previous decision, reached

without his being heard, adjudicating in favor of private respondents what was alleged to be a portion of the Bais Communal Forest, a non-disposable public land. There was an opposition to such petition by private respondents, who argued that no extrinsic fraud was alleged and that the Director of Forestry was barred by estoppel or laches. The appealed order was based on the absence of actual or extrinsic fraud, thus resulting in the denial of the petition for review. Issue: W / N the court the Director of Forestry / Lands be allowed to present his evidences in the case at bar. Held: Yes, the Director of Forestry / Lands should be allowed to present his evidences in the case at bar. A motion for reconsideration having proved futile, the appeal was taken directly to this Court on a question of law raising the constitutional issues of absence of a hearing in accordance with due process as well as the deviation from the fundamental principle that forest resources as part of the national patrimony should be inalienable. It should be quite apparent why no other decision except that of reversal of the appealed order is warranted. For in addition to the lack of respect for the requirements of procedural due process, there was on the part of the lower court a disregard of a basic state policy. The Constitution then in force, as is similarly the case with the present Charter, was quite explicit on the point of forest resources being inalienable. That is a paramount state objective.

In the matter Ozaeta Romulo (July 30 1979) Facts: Petitioners contend that the continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner when permissible by local custom, is not unethical but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. They also contend that no local custom prohibits the continued use of a deceased partners name in a professional firms name; there is no custom or usage in the Philippines, or at least in the Greater Manila Area, which recognizes that the name of a law firm necessarily identifies the individual members of the firm. Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court: 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. Alexander Sycip, who died on May 5, 1975, and 2) by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta, who died on February 14, 1976, praying that they be allowed to continue using, in the names of their firms, the names of partners who had passed away. In the Court's Resolution of September 2, 1976, both Petitions were ordered consolidated. Issue: W/N the surviving partners may be allowed by the court to retain the name of the partners who already passed away in the name of the firm Held: No. The surviving partners are not allowed to retain the name of the deceased partner in the name of the firm. The Court believes that, in view of the personal and confidential nature of the relations between attorney and client, and the high standards demanded in the canons of professional ethics, no practice should be allowed which even in a remote degree could give rise to the possibility of deception. Said attorneys are accordingly advised to drop the names of the deceased partners from their firm name.

G.R. No. L-3793

February 19, 1908

CIRILO MAPA vs. THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT Facts: The petitioner sought to have registered a tract of land of about 16 hectares in extent, situated in the barrio of San Antonio, in the district of Mandurriao, in the municipality of Iloilo. The petitioner presented evidence which appears that the land in question is lowland, and has been uninterruptedly, for more than twenty years, in the possession of the petitioner and his ancestors as owners and the same has been used during the said period, and up to the present, as fish ponds, nipa lands, and salt deposits. The witnesses declare that the land is far from the sea, the town of Molo being between the sea and the said land. Judgment was rendered in favor of the petitioner and the Government has appealed. Issue: W/ N the said property is an agricultural land. Held: The question as to whether the lands there involved were or were not agricultural lands within the meaning of the sections was neither discussed nor decided. The decision of that court was based upon Act No. 926 section 54, paragraph 6 which follows: All persons who by themselves or their predecessors in interest have been in the open, continuous exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of

agricultural public lands, as defined by said act of Congress of July first, nineteen hundred and two, under a bona fide claim of ownership except as against the Government, for a period of ten years next preceding the taking effect of this act, except when prevented by war, or force majeure, shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and to have received the same, and shall be entitled to a certificate of title to such land under the provisions of this chapter. The main phrase agricultural lands as defined by said act of Congress of July 1, is found not only in section 54 above quoted but in other parts of Act No. 926, and it seems that the same construction must be given to the phrase wherever it occurs in any part of that law. Moreover, if it should be said that there is no definition in the act of Congress of the phrase "agricultural land," we do not see how any effect could be given to the provisions of Act No. 916, to which we have referred. If the phrase is not defined in the act of Congress, then the lands upon which homesteads can be granted cannot be determined.

G.R. No. L-3714

January 26, 1909

ISABELO MONTANO Y MARCIAL vs. THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT, ET AL. Facts: Isabelo Montano presents a petition to the Court of Land Registration for the inscription of a piece of land in the barrio of Libis, municipality of Caloocan, used as a fishery. This petition was opposed by the Solicitor-General in behalf of the Director of Lands on the ground that the land in question belonged to the Government of the United States, and the latter, that it was the absolute owner of all the dry land along the eastern boundary of the said fishery. The Court of Land Registration in its decision of December 1, 1906, dismissed the said oppositions without costs in favor of Isabelo Montano y Marcial.

Issue: W/N the property in question is an agricultural land. Held: The property is an agricultural land The section quoted is section 54, paragraph 6, Act No. 926, in which the phrase used is "agricultural public lands." Throughout the opinion the phrase "public lands" is repeatedly and exclusively used. The entire discussion was directed to the question as to whether the property there in question being "public land," it could be considered as agricultural public land and the conclusion reached is stated at page 182, as follows: In other words, that the phrase "agricultural land," as used in Act No. 926, means those public lands acquired from Spain which are not timber or mineral lands. In that case the land in question was a long distance from the sea. In fact, the entire town of Molo was between it and the water. It could in no sense be called tidal land. Therefore, the opinion was devoted to a consideration of not what were "public lands" but whether this particular tract was or was not agricultural public land. The question what the phrase "public lands" meant neither considered nor decided in that opinion, for its resolution was not necessary. In the concurring opinion, however, that question was discussed and it was stated that the phrase "public lands" used in Act No. 926 must be interpreted according to the American understanding of the words employed and the meaning of the terms as definitely fixed by the decrees of the United States Supreme Court.

G.R. No. L-55960 November 24, 1988 YAO KEE, SZE SOOK WAH, SZE LAI CHO, and SY CHUN YEN vs. AIDA SY-GONZALES, MANUEL SY, TERESITA SY-BERNABE, RODOLFO SY, and HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS Facts: Sy Kiat, a Chinese national, died on January 17, 1977 leaving behind properties here in the Philippines. Thereafter, Aida Sy-Gonzales et al filed a petition for the grant of letters of administration alleging that they are the children of the deceased with Asuncion Gillego. The petition was opposed by Yao Kee et al alleging that Yao Kee is the lawful wife of the deceased whom he married in China. The trial court rendered decision in favor of the opposition. On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision, modifying the decision declaring the marriage of Sy Kiat to Yao Kee as not has been proven valid in accordance with the laws of China. Hence, both parties moved for reconsideration to which the Supreme Court granted.

ISSUE: W/N the marriage of Yao Kee and Sy Kiat is valid in accordance with Philippine laws.

HELD: Well-established in this jurisdiction is the principle that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. They must be alleged and proven as any other fact. To establish the validity of marriage, the existence of foreign law as a question of fact and the alleged marriage must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. For failure to prove the foreign law or custom and consequently of the marriage, the marriage between Yao Kee and Sy Kiat in China cannot be recognized in the jurisdiction of Philippine courts.

G.R. No. 2869

March 25, 1907

MATEO CARIO vs. THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT Facts: Carino is an Igorot of the Province of Benguet, where the land lies filed for writ of error because the CFI and SC dismissed his petition for application. For more than 50 years before the Treaty of Paris, April 11, 1899, he and his ancestors had held the land as recognized owners by the Igorots. Cario inherited the land in accordance with Igorot custom. He tried to have the land adjusted under the Spanish land laws, but no document issued from the Spanish Crown. In 1901, Cario obtained a possessory title to the land under the Spanish Mortgage Law. The North American colonial government, however, ignored his possessory title and built a public road on the land prompting him to seek a Torrens title to his property in the land registration court. Issue: W/N the petitioner is granted ownership of the land. Held: Yes. The petitioner is entitled to ownership of said land.

The petitioner's possession was not unlawful, and no attempt at any such proceedings against him or his father ever was made. And also under the Spanish Law: "Where such possessors shall not be able to produce title deeds, it shall be sufficient if they shall show that ancient possession, as a valid title by prescription." For cultivated land, 20 years, uninterrupted, is enough. For uncultivated, 30.

G.R. Nos. L-31666, L-31667 and L-31668 April 30, 1979 LEPANTO vs. DUMYUNG Facts: The director of lands filed a criminal case against the defendants on the ground of misrepresentation and false data and information. The defendants in the three cases filed an amended joint answer with counterclaim to the complaint in intervention. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the same on the ground that the accused had complied with all the legal requirements in the acquisition of their patents which were duly issued by the Director of Lands and that they are not guilty of the alleged falsification of public documents.

Issue: W/N the defendants are entitled to ownership of the land. Held: Yes. The Defendants are entitled to ownership of the land in question. Section 44 of the Land Act in its second paragraph states: A member of the national cultural, minorities who has continuously occupied and cultivated, either by himself or through his predecessors-in- interest, a tract or tracts of land, whether disposable or not since July 4, 1955, shall be entitled to the right granted in the preceding paragraph of this section: PROVIDED, that at the time he files his free patent application, he is not the owner of any real property secured or disposable under this provision of the Public Land Law. It is for this reason that is, to give these national cultural minorities who were driven from their ancestral abodes, a fair chance to acquire lands of the public domain.

G.R. No. L-37682 March 29, 1974 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. PEDRO SAMSON ANIMAS

Facts: There was a land in General Santos City which was claimed by Isagani Du Timbol. The land covered by the free patent and title in question was originally applied for by Precila Soria, who transferred her rights to the land and its improvements to defendant Isagani Du Timbol who filed his application as a transferee from Precila Soria. Bureau of Forestry, filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Cotabato, Branch I, General Santos City to declare the free patent in the name of defendant Isagani Du Timbol null and void ab initio and to order the reversion of the land in question to the mass of public domain. The action is based on the ground that the land covered thereby is a forest or timber land which is not disposable under the Public Land Act. And claimed that the said patent and title were obtained fraudulently as private respondent Isagani Du Timbol never occupied and cultivated the land applied for. The case was dismissed. Issue: W/N Hon. Animas decision is correct. Held: No. The First decision was incorrect. The complaint alleges that applicant Isagani Du Timbols actions constitutes as fraud. A certificate of title that is void may be ordered cancelled. A title will be considered void if it is procured through fraud, as when a person applies for registration of the land under his name although the property belongs to another. In the case of disposable public lands, failure on the part of the grantee to comply with the conditions imposed by law is a ground for holding such title void.

GR No.71169, December 22, 1988 Sangalang ET. Al v. IAC, Facts: Sangalang filed an action to enforce by specific performance restrictive easement upon property, specifically the Bel- Air Village subdivision in Makati, Metro Manila, pursuant to stipulations embodied in the deeds of sale covering the subdivision, and for damages. Bel - Air itself had brought its own complaints, four in number, likewise for specific performance and damages to enforce the same 'deed restrictions.' The court ruled in favor of the plantiffs. The IAC reversed the decision of the court. Issue: W/N the IAC erred in the decision of the case at bar. Held: No. The IAC did not commit any error in the ruling of the case at bar. The petitioners have not shown why we should hold otherwise other than for the supposed "non-impairment" guaranty of the Constitution, which, as we have declared, is secondary to the more compelling interests of general welfare. The Ordinance has not been shown to be capricious or arbitrary or unreasonable to warrant the reversal of the judgments so appealed. In that connection, we find no reversible error to have been committed by the Court of Appeals.

G.R. No. L-43203 July 29, 1977 JOSE C. CRISTOBAL vs. ALEJANDRO MELCHOR and FEDERICO ARCALA Facts: The plaintiff was formerly employed as a private secretary in the President's Private Office, Malacaang, Manila. Five of the employees who were separated not including the herein plaintiff filed a civil and were reinstatement and the payment of their salaries. The plaintiff sent a letter to the Office of the President requesting reinstatement to his former position and the payment of salary but the request was denied repeatedly until he received a letter which declared the matter definitely closed. The plaintiff then filed a complaint against the Executive Secretary, Alejandro Melchor and Federico Arcala, cash disbursing officer, Office of the President of the Philippines. The defendants argued that the plaintiff had no cause of action as he is deemed to have abandoned his office for failure to institute the proper proceedings to assert his right within one year from the date of separation pursuant to Sec. 16, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, he having come to court only after the lapse of more than nine years, thereby in effect acquiescing to his separation, and therefore he is not entitled to any salary from termination of his employment. The complaint was dismissed. Issue:

W/N the court erred in dismissing the case. Held: Yes. The court made an error in dismissing the case. There was no acquiescence to or inaction on the part of Jose Cristobal amounting to abandonment of his right to reinstatement in office. Although Cristobal failed to file his complaint within one year from the date of separation but, it is claimed, he allowed almost nine years passing before coming to court by reason of which he is deemed to have acquiesced to his removal. The Court stated that in a general sense, laches is failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. And it is the doctrine of laches which is invoked to defeat Jose Cristobal's suit, there are exceptional circumstances attending which take this case out of the rule enunciated above and lead us to grant relief to appellant. These are: -There was no acquiescence to or inaction on the part of Jose Cristobal amounting to abandonment of his right to reinstatement in office. -It was an act of the government through its responsible officials more particularly then Executive Secretary Amelito Mutuc and his successors which contributed to the alleged delay in the filing of Cristobal's present complaint for reinstatement. -The dismissal of appellant Cristobal was contrary to law on the strength of this Court's Decision. Wherefore, the court ordered the reinstatement and payment of back wages of the plaintiff.

G.R. No. L-36142 March 31, 1973 JAVELLANA VS. TAN Facts:

In 1973, Marcos ordered the immediate implementation of the new 1973 Constitution. Javellana, a Filipino and a registered voter sought to enjoin the Exec Sec and other cabinet secretaries from implementing the said constitution. Javellana averred that the said constitution is void because the same was initiated by the president. He argued that the President is w/o power to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino people of the proposed constitution. Further, the election held to ratify such constitution is not a free election there being intimidation and fraud. ISSUE: W/N the SC must give due course to the petition. HELD: The SC ruled that they cannot rule upon the case at bar. Majority of the SC justices expressed the view that they were concluded by the ascertainment made by the president of the Philippines, in the exercise of his political prerogatives. Further, there being no competent evidence to show such fraud and intimidation during the election, it is to be assumed that the people had acquiesced in or accepted the 1973 Constitution. The question of the validity of the 1973 Constitution is a political question which was left to the people in their sovereign capacity to answer. Their ratification of the same had shown such acquiescence.

G.R. No. 81311 June 30, 1988 KAPATIRAN NG MGA NAGLILINGKOD SA PAMAHALAAN VS. TAN Facts: EO 273 was issued by the President of the Philippines which amended the Revenue Code, adopting the value-added tax (VAT) effective 1 January 1988. Four petitions assailed the validity of the VAT Law for being beyond the President to enact; for being oppressive, discriminatory, regressive, and violative of the due process and equal protection clauses, among others, of the Constitution. The Integrated Customs Brokers Association particularly contend that it unduly discriminate against customs brokers (Section 103 [r]) as the amended provision of the Tax Code provides that service performed in the exercise of profession or calling (except custom brokers) subject to occupational tax under the Local Tax Code, and professional services performed by registered general professional partnerships are exempt from VAT. Issue: Whether the E-VAT law discriminates against customs brokers. Held: The phrase except custom brokers is not meant to discriminate against custom brokers but to avert a potential conflict between Sections 102 and 103 of the Tax Code, as amended. The distinction of the customs brokers from the other professionals who are subject to occupation tax under the Local Tax Code is based upon material differences, in that the activities of customs brokers partake more of a business, rather than a profession and

were thus subjected to the percentage tax under Section 174 of the Tax Code prior to its amendment by EO 273. EO 273 abolished the percentage tax and replaced it with the VAT. If the Association did not protest the classification of customs brokers then, there is no reason why it should protest now.

G.R. No. L-23136 August 26, 1974 MATHAY et al vs. THE CONSOLIDATED BANK AND TRUST COMPANY et al Facts: The plaintiff filed a class suit against the defendant bank on the ground of breach of contract between the plaintiff and defendant bank and "falsely certified to the calling of a special stockholders' meeting allegedly pursuant to due notice and call of Defendant Bank" without notifying the plaintiffs and other stockholders. The defendants moved for the dismissal of the action on the ground of the plaintiffs-appellants had no legal standing or capacity to institute the alleged class suit; that the complaint did not state a sufficient and valid cause of action; and that plaintiffs-appellants' complaint against the increase of the number of directors did not likewise state a cause of action. Thus the court dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed. Issue: W/N the plaintiffs have sufficient cause of action. Held:

No, there was no sufficient cause of action. It having been shown that the complaint failed to state ultimate facts to constitute a cause of action, it becomes unnecessary to discuss the other assignments of errors.

G.R. No. L-45987

May 5, 1939

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. CAYAT Facts: In 1937, there exists a law (Act 1639) which bars native non-Christians from drinking gin or any other liquor outside of their customary alcoholic drinks. Cayat, a native of the Cordillera, was caught with an A-1-1 gin in violation of this Act. He was then charged and sentenced to pay P5.00 and to be imprisoned in case of insolvency. Cayat admitted his guilt but he challenged the constitutionality of the said Act. He averred, among others, that it violated his right to equal protection afforded by the constitution. He said this attempt to treat them with discrimination or mark them as inferior or

less capable race and less entitled will meet with their instant challenge. The law sought to distinguish and classify native non-Christians from Christians. ISSUE: W/N the said Act violates the equal protection clause. HELD: The SC ruled that Act 1639 is valid for it met the requisites of a reasonable classification. The SC emphasized that it is not enough that the members of a group have the characteristics that distinguish them from others. The classification must, as an indispensable requisite, not be arbitrary. The requisites to be complied with are; (1) Must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) Must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) Must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) Must apply equally to all members of the same class. Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on real or substantial, not merely imaginary or whimsical, distinctions. It is not based upon accident of birth or parentage. The law, then, does not seek to mark the non-Christian tribes as an inferior or less capable race. On the contrary, all measures thus far adopted in the promotion of the public policy towards them rest upon a recognition of their inherent right to equality in the enjoyment of those privileges now enjoyed by their Christian brothers. But as there can be no true equality before the law, if there is, in fact, no equality in education, the government has endeavored, by appropriate measures, to raise their culture and civilization and secure for them the benefits of their progress, with the ultimate end in view of placing them with their Christian brothers on the basis of true equality.

G.R. No. L-14078

March 7, 1919

RUBI, ET AL. (manguianes) vs. THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF MINDORO Facts: The provincial board of Mindoro adopted resolution No. 25 wherein nonChristian inhabitants (uncivilized tribes) will be directed to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands. It is resolved that under section 2077 of the Administrative Code, 800 hectares of public land in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake be selected as a site for the permanent settlement of Mangyanes in Mindoro. Further, Mangyans may only solicit homesteads on thisreservation providing that said homestead applications are previously recommended by the provincial governor. In that case, pursuant to Section 2145 of the Revised Administrative Code, all the Mangyans in the townships of Naujan and Pola and the Mangyans east of the Baco River including those in the districts of Dulangan and Rubi's place in Calapan, were ordered to take up their habitation on the site of Tigbao, Naujan Lake. Also, that any Mangyan who shall refuse to comply with this order shall upon conviction be imprisoned not exceed in sixty days, in accordance with section 2759 of the revised Administrative Code. Said resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro were claimed as necessary measures for the protection of the Mangyanes of Mindoro as well as the protection of public forests in which they roam, and to introduce civilized customs among them. It appeared that Rubi and those living in his rancheria have not fixed their dwelling within the reservation of Tigbao and are liable to be punished. It is alleged that the Manguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away from the reservation.

Issue: Whether or Not Section 2145 of the Administrative Code deprives a person of his liberty of abode. Thus, WON Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional.

Held: The Court held that section 2145 of the Administrative Code does not deprive a person of his liberty of abode and does not deny to him the equal protection of the laws, and that confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does not constitute slavery and involuntary servitude. The Court is further of the opinion that section 2145 of the Administrative Code is a legitimate exertion of the police power. Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional. Assigned as reasons for the action: (1) Attempts for the advancement of the non-Christian people of the province; and (2) The only successfully method for educating the Manguianes was to oblige them to live in a permanent settlement. The Solicitor-General adds the following; (3) The protection of the Manguianes; (4) The protection of the public forests in which they roam; (5) The necessity of introducing civilized customs among the Manguianes. One cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered without when the degree of civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own good and the general good of the Philippines. Liberty regulated by law": Implied in the term is restraint by law for the good of the individual and for the greater good of the peace and order of society and the general well-being. No man can do exactly as he pleases. None of the rights of the citizen can be taken away except by due process of law. Therefore, petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas corpus can, therefore, not issue.

G.R. No. L-51773 May 16, 1980 LT. COL. RODRIGO S. DE GUZMAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT JUDGE MARCELINO M. ESCALONA, FLORENTINO RODRIGO, and MARIANO DAYDAY. Facts: The defendants Florentino Rodrigo and Mariano Dayday were charged with "Illegal Possession of Explosive locally known as 'dinamita'. While in the seawaters of the Cebu, confederating and mutually helping with one another, without authority of the law and without proper permit from authorities, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously possess, keep an explosive, locally known as 'DINAMITA' in their banca purposely for use of illegal fishing and three (3) bottles of explosives, two (2) paddles, two (2)

fishnets locally known as "SIBOT" and one (1) banca were recovered from their possession and control, which acts of the above-named accused is a gross violation of PD No. 1058. Both were found guilty of said accusation. However, the judge only submitted possession of explosives in connection with subversion is covered by Presidential Decree No. 9, thus, the old law on illegal possession of explosives, Act 3023, has not been completely repealed; that having found that the possession by the two accused of two bottles of home-made explosives was solely for fishing purposes and had no connection with subversion, the illegal act should fall not under Presidential Decree No. 9 but under Act 3023. Petitioner Lt. Col. Rodrigo S. De Guzman, PC Provincial Commander Integrated National Police Superintendent at Camp Sotero Cabahug, Cebu City, instituted these certiorari proceedings alleging mainly that the offense charged was one for possession of explosives intended for illegal fishing under Presidential Decree No. 704, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1058, and not for violation of Act 3023 which had long been repealed by several laws and decrees; that the penalty provided for by current legislation is one which falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance; and that respondent Judge's Decision has no legal basis. Issue: W/N the responded judge erred in rendering judgment even though the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter.

Held: Yes. Considering that the Municipal Circuit Court lacked competent jurisdiction over the subject matter of the criminal complaint against the accused respondents. Presidential Decree No. 1058 is an amendatory decree, which increased the penalties for certain forms of illegal fishing and for other acts made punishable under Presidential Decree No. 704 or the "Fisheries Decree of 1975". The pertinent portion of Section 33 of Presidential Decree No. 704, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1058 reads: Sec. 33. Illegal fishing; illegal possession of explosives intended for illegal fishing; dealing in illegally caught fish or fishery/aquatic products. - It shall be unlawful for any person to catch, take or gather or cause to be caught, taken gathered fish or fisheries/aquatic products in Philippine waters with the use of explosives, obnoxious or poisonous substance, or by the use of electricity as defined in paragraphs (1), (m) and (d), respectively, of Section 3 hereof: Provided, that possession of such explosives with intent to use the same for illegal fishing as herein defined shall be punishable as hereinafter provided. ... (Emphasis supplied). Section 38, subsection a (1) of Presidential Decree No. 704, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1058, correspondingly provides: (1) By the penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years to twenty-five (25) years in the case of mere possession of explosives intended for illegal fishing. ... (Emphasis supplied). As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General in the Comment he filed for petitioner People of the Philippines, respondent Judge's reference to Presidential Decree No. 9 is misplaced for, indeed, there is no mention at all of, nor any reference to, Presidential Decree No. 9 in the Complaint.

G.R. No. L-25434 July 25, 1975 HONORABLE ARSENIO N. ROLDAN, JR., in his capacity as Acting Commissioner, Philippine Fisheries Commission, and THE PHILIPPINE NAVY vs. HONORABLE FRANCISCO ARCA, as Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila (Branch 1) and MORABE, DE GUZMAN & COMPANY Facts: On August 5 or 6, 1965, the two fishing boats, Tony Lex VI and Tony Lex III, also respectively called Srta. Winnie and Srta. Agnes, were actually seized for illegal fishing with dynamite. Fish caught with dynamite and sticks of dynamite were then found aboard the two vessels. It was alleged that at the time of the seizure of the fishing boats in issue, the same were engaged in legitimate fishing operations off the coast of Palawan; that by virtue of the offer of compromise dated September 13, 1965 by respondent company to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the numerous violations of the Fishery Laws, if any, by the crew members of the vessels were settled. However, the ships were apprehended without warrant for alleged violations of some provisions of the Fisheries Act and the rules and regulations promulgated there under. Respondent filed with the Court against petitioner Fisheries Commissioner Arsenio N. Roldan, Jr., for the recovery of fishing vessel Tony Lex VI (one of two fishing boats in question) which had been seized and impounded by petitioner Fisheries Commissioner through the Philippine Navy. The court dismissed the complaint for failure of the petitioner to prosecute and failure of the defendant to appear.

It was held that Hon. Roldan acted without jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion. Issue: W/N is it lawful to apprehend fishing boats without warrant. Held: Yes. In the case at bar, it is lawful to apprehend the fishing boats without warrant. The word boat in its ordinary sense, means any water craft, the fishing boats Tony Lex III and Tony Lex VI are likewise vessels within the meaning of the term vessel. the accepted definition of vessel includes "every description of water craft, large or small, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water" Search and seizure without search warrant of vessels and aircrafts for violations of the customs laws have been the traditional exception to the constitutional requirement of a search warrant, because the vessel can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the search warrant must be sought before such warrant could be secured; hence it is not practicable to require a search warrant before such search or seizure can be constitutionally effected. Since the crew of certain fishing vessels were caught, in flagrante, illegally fishing with dynamite and without the requisite license, their apprehension without a warrant of arrest and the seizure of the vessel, as well as its equipment and the dynamites found therein, as an incident to a lawful arrest was held to be lawful. G.R. No. L-9699 August 26, 1915

THE UNITED STATES vs. JUAN HERNANDEZ, ET AL. Facts: In 1947, Liberato Jimenez was appointed as a temporary legal investigator in the Philippine Veterans Board (PVB). In 1949, he was promoted as the Chief of the Investigation Section but still in a temporary capacity because he is not civil service eligible. In 1950, he took a promotional civil service exam. In July 1951, Jimenez received a letter from PVB Chairman Gen. Guillermo Francisco advising him that he is being replaced by a civil service

eligible. In September 1951, Jimenez received the results of the civil service exam he took in 1950; he passed. He then appealed his separation from service. ISSUE: W/N Jimenez should be reinstated. HELD: No. In fact, he should have been separated from the service even before 1951. Under the law, he was supposed to only hold such temporary appointment for three months while the appointing power is still looking for a civil service eligible. His extended stay in the service is only upon the grace of the appointing power. Further, there is no law which provides that a temporary appointment may ripen to a permanent one. When he met the civil service eligibility, Jimenez did not become entitled to a permanent position in the PVD. The power to appoint is in essence discretionary on the part of the proper authority, in this case the head of the department. The appointing power has the right of choice which he may exercise freely according to his judgment, deciding for himself who is best qualified for any competitive position in the Civil Service. Mere certification as a civil service eligible does not amount to an appointment. The Civil Service Commission does not insure any appointment; it only certifies an eligible to be possessed of the qualification as required for a position classified under its rules.

G.R. No. 152644

February 10, 2006

JOHN ERIC LONEY, STEVEN PAUL REID and B. HERNANDEZ, Petitioners, - versus PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

FACTS: Petitioners John Eric Loney, Steven Paul Reid, and Pedro B. Hernandez are the President and Chief Executive Officer, Senior Manager, and Resident Manager for Mining Operations, respectively, of Marcopper Mining Corporation (Marcopper), a corporation engaged in mining in the province of Marinduque.

Marcopper had been storing tailings from its operations in a pit that discharged millions of tons of tailings into the Boac and Makalupnit rivers. The DOJ separately charged petitioners in the MTC of Boac, Marinduque with violation of Article 91(B), sub-paragraphs 5 and 6 of Presidential Decree No. 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines (PD 1067), Section 8 of PD No. 984 or the National Pollution Control Decree of 1976 (PD 984), Section 108 of Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942), and Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property. Petitioners moved to quash the Information on the following grounds: (1) the Information were duplicitous as the Department of Justice charged more than one offense for a single act; (2) petitioners John Eric Loney and Steven Paul Reid were not yet officers of Marcopper when the incident subject of the Information took place; and (3) the Informations contain allegations which constitute legal excuse or justification. MTC issued a Consolidated Order), granting partial reconsideration to its Joint Order and quashing the Information for violation of PD 1067 and PD 984. The MTC maintained the Information for violation of RA 7942 and Article 365 of the RPC. Petitioners subsequently filed a petition for certiorari with the RTC of Boac, Marinduque, assailing that portion of the Consolidated Order maintaining the Informations for violation of RA 7942. The RTC granted public respondents appeal but denied petitioners petition. Branch 94 set aside the Consolidated Order in so far as it quashed the Informations for violation of PD 1067 and PD 984 and ordered those charges reinstated. RTC affirmed the Consolidated Order in all other respects. Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Petitioners contended that since the acts complained of in the charges for violation of PD 1067, PD 984, and RA 7942 are the very same acts complained of in the charge for violation of Article 365 of the RPC, the latter absorbs the former. Hence, petitioners should only be prosecuted for violation of Article 365 of the RPC. The Court of Appeals affirmed RTCs ruling. ISSUE: Whether all the charges filed against petitioners except one should be quashed for duplicity of charges and only the charge for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property should stand. HELD: NO. The information filed by the petitioner should not be quashed. There is no duplicity of charges in the present case.

There is duplicity (or multiplicity) of charges when a single Information charges more than one offense. Under Section 3(e), Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, duplicity of offenses in a single information is a ground to quash the Information. The Rules prohibit the filing of such Information to avoid confusing the accused in preparing his defense. Here, however, the prosecution charged each petitioner with four offenses, with each Information charging only one offense . Thus, petitioners erroneously invoke duplicity of charges as a ground to quash the Informations. On this score alone, the petition deserves outright denial.

G.R. No. 139548. December 22, 2000 MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. ALBERTO G. BUMOLO et al., , respondents.

FACTS: MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION registered its mining claims in Pao, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya with the DENR from February 02,1982 to October 12, 1982. Private respondents Alberto G. Bumolo and others registered their mining claims in the same area from 28 July 1981 to 22 September 1988, which claims were subsequently converted into Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA).

On March 12, 1982 petitioner entered into Option Agreements over the mining. Under the Agreements, petitioner was granted the exclusive and irrevocable right to explore the mining claims for three (3) years with provision for extension. On December 23, 1982 and March 26, 1987 petitioner filed Prospecting Permit Applications (PPA) with the Bureau of Forest Development, DENR, on the alleged ground that a portion of the area covered by the mining claims was within the Magat River Forest Reservation under Proc. 573 of June 26, 1969 and with DAR on account of alleged coverage of the other portion within the Nueva Vizcaya-Quirino Civil Reservation under Proc. 1498 of 11 September 1975. On 15 July 1991 Executive Director Leonardo A. Paat rejected petitioners Prospecting Permit Application (PPA) on the ground that the Memorandum of July 08, 1991 endorsed by the Regional Technical Director for Mines revealed that the area covered was outside government reservation; that the prospect claim was in conflict with existing claims; and, that the area had been extensively explored in the early 1980's. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. Regional Executive Director Samuel Paragas recommended to the DENR Secretary that petitioner's request for reconsideration be denied; that the existing rights of mining claim holders be respected; and, that the prior legal rights of MPSA/Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement applicants over subject area be recognized. As regards petitioner's PPA filed with the DAR, it appeared that it was issued a clearance to prospect for six (6) months from December 11, 1995. On August 15, 1997 petitioner appealed to public respondent Mines Adjudication Board (MAB). Petitioner maintained that subject area was within the Magat River Forest Reservation. On June 11, 1998 the rejection of the PPA was affirmed whereas the mining claims of respondents Alberto G. Bumolo et al. that had been converted into a MPSA, subject to compliance with R.A. 7942 and DAO No. 96-40, were given due course. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. Respondent MAB denied petitioners motion . ISSUE: Whether respondent MAB erred in finding that the area subject of the PPA was outside the Magat River Forest Reservation. HELD: Respondent MAB correctly upheld the ratiocination of Regional Executive Director

Paragas in denying petitioner's PPA. The disapproval of Marcoppers PPA moreover, did not emanate from a single recommendation of the RTD for Mines. Records would show that as early as May 31, 1989 x x x the Bumolo group of PD 463 claims which Marcopper has eventually surrounded by filing its own PAO 1-30 group of claims x x x x was confirmed by the Forest Engineering Section of the region to be outside proclaimed watershed areas, wilderness, national parks and existing government reforestation projects x x x x In other words, the circumstance that the area covered by petitioner's PPA is outside the Magat River Forest Reservation has been adequately established by the following evidence: (a) confirmation as early as 31 May 1989 by the Forest Engineering Section of Tuguegarao, Cagayan; (b) the 8 July 1991 Memorandum Report of Regional Technical Director Punsal Jr.; and, (c) plotting provided by the National Mapping and Resources Information Authority per its 2 June 1995 indorsement of the maps to the office of the Regional Executive Director. Petitioner contests the exclusion of the area subject of its PPA within the Magat River Forest Reservation based merely on the alleged "typographical error committed by somebody in the Engineering Section of the DENR." Aside from the fact that the allegation does not have anything to support it, the aforementioned documents which the Regional Executive Directors relied upon in denying the PPA had already settled the issue. Furthermore, respondent MAB even fortified the bases for the rejection of petitioner's PPA. As plotted by the Lands Management Sector of DENR Region 2 contained in the sketch plan of 11 November 1996 and as shown in the Land Use map of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya, the area covered under the PPA is indeed outside any government reservation.

G.R. No. 98332

January 16, 1995

MINERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. FULGENCIO S. FACTORAN, JR., Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, and JOEL D. MUYCO, Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau, respondents. FACTS: Pursuant to Section 6 of Executive Order No. 279, authorizing the DENR Secretary to negotiate and conclude joint venture, co-production, or production-sharing agreements for the exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources, and prescribing the guidelines for such agreements and those agreements involving technical or financial assistance by foreign-owned corporations for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, the DENR Secretary issued DENR

Administrative Order No. 57, series of 1989, entitled "Guidelines on Mineral Production Sharing Agreement under Executive Order No. 279." Under the transitory provision of said DENR Administrative Order No. 57, embodied in its Article 9, all existing mining leases or agreements which were granted after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution pursuant to Executive Order No. 211, except small scale mining leases and those pertaining to sand and gravel and quarry resources covering an area of twenty (20) hectares or less, shall be converted into production-sharing agreements within one (1) year from the effectivity of these guidelines. The Secretary of the DENR then further issued DENR Administrative Order No. 82, series of 1990, laying down the "Procedural Guidelines on the Award of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) through Negotiation." The issuance and the impending implementation by the DENR of Administrative Order Nos. 57 and 82 after their respective effectivity dates compelled the Miners Association of the Philippines, Inc. to file the instant petition assailing their validity and constitutionality before this Court. Petitioner Miners Association of the Philippines, Inc., mainly contends that the administrative orders do not conform with Executive Order Nos. 211 and 279, petitioner contends that both orders violate the non-impairment of contract provision under Article III, Section 10 of the 1987 Constitution on the ground that Administrative Order No. 57 unduly pre-terminates existing mining leases and other mining agreements and automatically converts them into production-sharing agreements within one (1) year from its effectivity date. On the other hand, Administrative Order No. 82 declares that failure to submit Letters of Intent and Mineral Production-Sharing Agreements within two (2) years from the date of effectivity of said guideline or on July 17, 1991 shall cause the abandonment of their mining, quarry and sand gravel permits. Petitioner argued that Executive Order No. 279 does not contemplate automatic conversion of mining lease agreements into mining production-sharing agreement as provided under Article 9, Administrative Order No. 57 and/or the consequent abandonment of mining claims for failure to submit LOIs and MPSAs under Section 3, Administrative Order No. 82 because Section 1 of said Executive Order No. 279 empowers the DENR Secretary to negotiate and enter into voluntary agreements which must set forth the minimum terms and conditions provided under Section 2 thereof. Moreover, petitioner contends that the power to regulate and enter into mining agreements does not include the power to preterminate existing mining lease agreements. ISSUE: Whether or not DENR Administrative Order Nos. 57 and 82 issued by the DENR Secretary are unconstitutional. HELD:

NO. DENR Administrative Order Nos. 57 and 82 are not unconstitutional. The questioned administrative orders are reasonably directed to the accomplishment of the purposes of the law under which they were issued and were intended to secure the paramount interest of the public, their economic growth and welfare. The validity and constitutionality of Administrative Order Nos. 57 and 82 must be sustained, and their force and effect upheld. Administrative Order No. 57 applies only to all existing mining leases or agreements which were granted after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution pursuant to Executive Order No. 211. It bears mention that under the text of Executive Order No. 211, there is a reservation clause which provides that the privileges as well as the terms and conditions of all existing mining leases or agreements granted after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, pursuant to Executive Order No. 211, shall be subject to any and all modifications or alterations which Congress may adopt pursuant to Article XII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution. Hence, the strictures of the non-impairment of contract clause under Article III, Section 10 of the 1987 Constitution do not apply to the aforesaid mining leases or agreements granted after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, pursuant to Executive Order No. 211. They can be amended, modified or altered by a statute passed by Congress to achieve the purposes of Article XII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution. Moreover, nowhere in Administrative Order No. 57 is there any provision which would lead us to conclude that the questioned order authorizes the automatic conversion of mining leases and agreements granted after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, pursuant to Executive Order No. 211, to production-sharing agreements. The provision in Article 9 of Administrative Order No. 57 that "all such leases or agreements shall be converted into production sharing agreements within one (1) year from the effectivity of these guidelines" could not possibly contemplate a unilateral declaration on the part of the Government that all existing mining leases and agreements are automatically converted into production-sharing agreements. On the contrary, the use of the term "production-sharing agreement" in the same provision implies negotiation between the Government and the applicants, if they are so minded. Negotiation negates compulsion or automatic conversion as suggested by petitioner in the instant petition. A mineral production-sharing agreement (MPSA) requires a meeting of the minds of the parties after negotiations arrived at in good faith and in accordance with the procedure laid down in the subsequent Administrative Order No. 82.

OLYMPIC MINES AND DEVELOPMENT CORP., Petitioner, - versus PLATINUM GROUP METALS CORPORATION, Respondent. CITINICKEL MINES AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,Petitioner, - versus HON. JUDGE BIENVENIDO C. BLANCAFLOR, in his capacity as the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Palawan, Branch 95, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, and PLATINUM GROUP METAL CORPORATION, Respondents PLATINUM GROUP METALS CORPORATION,

Petitioner, - versus CITINICKEL MINES AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, acting for its own interest and on behalf of OLYMPIC MINES AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent. PLATINUM GROUP METALS CORPORATION, Petitioner, - versus COURT OF APPEALS and POLLY C. DY, Respondents FACTS: In 1971 and 1980, Olympic was granted Mining Lease Contracts by the Secretary of the DENR covering mining areas located in the municipalities of Narra and Espanola, Palawan.

On July 18, 2003, Olympic entered into an Operating Agreement with Platinum, by virtue of which Platinum was given the exclusive right to control, possess, manage/operate, and conduct mining operations, and to market or dispose mining products on the Toronto Nickel Mine in the Municipality of Narra. In return, Platinum would pay Olympic a royalty fee of 2% of the gross revenues.

Olympic and Platinum applied for, and were subsequently granted the necessary government permits and environmental compliance certificates.

On April 24, 2006, Olympic sent a letter to Platinum, informing the latter of the immediate termination of the Operating Agreement on account of Platinums gross violations of its terms, and directing Platinum to immediately surrender possession of the subject mining areas under the Operating Agreement. Olympic instituted an action for the issuance of an injunctive writ before the RTC of Puerto Princesa against Platinum. In its prayer, Olympic sought to enjoin Platinum from conducting mining operations on the subject mining areas, and also to recover possession thereof. The RTC dismissed Olympics complaint.

Olympic then filed two cases with the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board ( PMRB) for the revocation of the SSMPs of Platinum, on the ground of Olympics termination of the Operating Agreement because of the alleged gross violations thereof by Platinum. This was dismissed and POA for the cancellation of the Operating Agreement and the revocation of the SSMPs of Platinum. This case was subsequently withdrawn by .

While these two administrative cases were pending, Olympic transferred its applications for mineral agreements, including its rights under the Operating Agreement, to Citinickel via a Deed of , without the knowledge or consent of Platinum. This assignment was thereafter approved by the Regional Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

After the assignment, Citinickel filed Civil Case No. 06-0185 before the RTC of Paraaque, on June 21, 2006, seeking to invalidate the Operating Agreement based on Platinums alleged violation of its terms. This action was also dismissed by the trial court, citing forum shopping and improper venue as among the grounds for dismissal. Citinickel did not bother to appeal this dismissal, opting instead to find other remedies.

Citinickel thereafter filed three administrative cases: PMRB Case No. 002-06, DENR Environmental Management Bureau ( EMB) Case No. 8253, and POA Case No. 200602-B.

Civil Case No. 4199 involved a complaint for quieting of title, damages, breach of contract, and specific performance filed by Platinum against Olympic before the RTC of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Branch 95 on June 14, 2006. Olympic sought the dismissal of Platinums Civil Case No. 4199 through a motion to dismiss where Olympic alleged that the trial court was without jurisdiction to rule on the issues raised in the case. Olympic contended that the case involved a mining dispute requiring the technical expertise of the POA; accordingly, jurisdiction should be with the PO ISSUE: Which body has the authority to hear and decide the dispute between Olympic/Citinickel and Platinum, as parties to the operating agreement.

HELD: Settled is the rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint. It is thus obvious that the complaint falls within the ambit of the RTCs original jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other judicial or quasijudicial bodies.

Although Section 77 (d) of the Mining Act has transferred to the POA jurisdiction over disputes pending before the Bureau of Mines and the DENR, Section 77 (b) did not adopt the wording of Section 7, paragraphs (a) and (c) of PD No. 1281 so as to include all other forms of contracts public or private involving mining rights; Section 77 (b) in relation to Section 3 (ab) of the Mining Act did not include a general catch-all phrase to cover other agreements involving mining rights similar to those in Section 7, paragraphs (a) and (c) of PD No. 1281. Instead, the Mining Act, through the above-quoted Sections 3 (ab) and 26, has limited the jurisdiction of the POA, as successor of the adjudicatory functions of the Bureau of Mines, to mineral agreements between the government and the private contractor. Otherwise stated, while disputes between parties to any mining contract (including operating agreements) may previously fall within the Bureau of Mines jurisdiction under Section 7 (a) or (c) of PD No. 1281, it can no longer be so placed now within the authority of the POA to settle under Section 77 (b) of the Mining Law because its jurisdiction has been limited to the resolution of disputes involving public mineral agreements. The controlling factor in determining venue for cases is the primary objective for which said cases are filed. Platinums primary objective in filing the complaint is to protect its interest in the subject mining areas, although it joined its claims of breach of contract, damages, and specific performance in the case. In any event, the Rules of Court allow joinder of causes of action in the RTC, provided one of the causes of action (in this case, the cause of action for quieting of title or interest in real property located in Palawan) falls within the jurisdiction of said court and venue lies therein. In fine, there is absolutely no reason to disturb the CAs findings that venue was properly laid in the Palawan court.

G.R. No. 163509

PICOP RESOURCES, INC.,petitioner,

- versus -

BASE METALS MINERAL RESOURCES ADJUDICATION BOARD, respondents.

CORPORATION

and

THE

MINES

FACTS:

Central Mindanao Mining and Development Corporation (CMMCI for brevity) entered into a Mines Operating Agreement (Agreement for brevity) with Banahaw Mining and Development Corporation (Banahaw Mining for brevity) whereby the latter agreed to act as Mine Operator for the exploration, development, and eventual commercial operation of CMMCIs eighteen (18) mining claims located in Agusan del Sur. Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Banahaw Mining filed applications for Mining Lease Contracts over the mining claims with the Bureau of Mines. So that Banahaw Mining was issued a Mines Temporary Permit authorizing it to extract and dispose of precious minerals found within its mining claims. Upon its expiration, the temporary permit was subsequently renewed thrice by the Bureau of Mines, the last being on June 28, 1991. Since a portion of Banahaw Minings mining claims was located in petitioner PICOPs logging concession in Agusan del Sur, Banahaw Mining and petitioner PICOP entered into a Memorandum of Agreement, whereby, in mutual recognition of each others right to the area concerned, petitioner PICOP allowed Banahaw Mining an access/right of way to its mining claims. Banahaw Mining converted its mining claims to applications for Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA for brevity). While the MPSA were pending, Banahaw Mining, on December 18, 1996, decided to sell/assign its rights and interests over thirty-seven (37) mining claims in favor of private respondent Base Metals Mineral Resources Corporation (Base Metals for brevity). The transfer included mining claims held by Banahaw Mining in its own right as claim owner, as well as those covered by its mining operating agreement with CMMCI. Upon being informed of the development, CMMCI, as claim owner, immediately approved the assignment made by Banahaw Mining in favor of private respondent Base Metals, thereby recognizing private respondent Base Metals as the new operator of its claims. On March 10, 1997, private respondent Base Metals amended Banahaw Minings pending MPSA applications with the Bureau of Mines to substitute itself as applicant and to submit additional documents in support of the application. Area clearances from the DENR Regional Director and Superintendent of the Agusan Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary were submitted, as required. On October 7, 1997, private respondent Base Metals amended MPSA applications were published in accordance with the requirements of the Mining Act of 1995. On November 18, 1997, petitioner PICOP filed with the Mines Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB), Caraga Regional Office No. XIII an Adverse Claim and/or Opposition to private respondent Base Metals application. After the submission of their respective position paper, the Panel Arbitrator issued an Order disapproving private respondent Base Metals MPSA on the reasons that adverse claim was filed on time, that the granting of

the MPSA application on area subject of an IFMA or PTLA which is covered by a Presidential Warranty, the panel believes it cannot, unless the grantee consents thereto, without the grantees consent, the area is considered closed to mining location (sec. 19) (b) (No. 2), DAO No. 96-40) and that the mining location in forest or timberland is allowed only if such forest or timberland is not leased by the government to a qualified person or entity and if it is leased the consent of the lessor is necessary, in addition to the area clearance to be issued by the agency concerned before it is subjected to mining operation. Plantation is considered closed to mining locations because it is off tangent to mining. Both are extremes. They can not exist at the same time. The other must necessarily stop before the other operate. Private respondent Base Metals filed a Notice of Appeal with public respondent MAB, the latter rendered the assailed decision setting aside the Panel Arbitrators order. The Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the MAB. Hence this petition. PICOP presents the following issues: (1) the 2,756 hectares subject of Base Metals MPSA are closed to mining operations except upon PICOPs written consent pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations and by virtue of the Presidential Warranty; (2) its Presidential Warranty is protected by the non-impairment clause of the Constitution; and (3) it does not raise new issues in its petition. PICOP asserts that its concession areas are closed to mining operations as these are within the Agusan-Surigao-Davao forest reserve established under Proclamation No. 369 of then Gov. Gen. Dwight Davis. The area is allegedly also part of permanent forest established under Republic Act No. 3092 (RA 3092), and overlaps the wilderness area where mining applications are expressly prohibited under RA 7586. Hence, the area is closed to mining operations under Sec. 19(f) of RA 7942.

ISSUE: Whether or not the area covered by Base Metals MPSA is, by law, closed to mining activities Whether or not the Presidential Warranty is a contract protected by the non-impairment clause of the 1987 Constitution. HELD: Anent the first issue, the Court ruled that the area covered by Base Metals MPSA is, by law, not closed to mining activities.

There is no evidence in this case that the area covered by Base Metals MPSA has been proclaimed as watershed forest reserves. Even granting that the area covered by the MPSA is part of the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve, such does not necessarily signify that the area is absolutely closed to mining activities. Contrary to PICOPs obvious misreading of our decision in Apex Mining Co., Inc. v. Garcia, supra, to the effect that mineral agreements are not allowed in the forest reserve established under Proclamation 369, the Court in that case actually ruled that pursuant to PD 463 as amended by PD 1385, one can acquire mining rights within forest reserves, such as the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve, by initially applying for a permit to prospect with the Bureau of Forest and Development and subsequently for a permit to explore with the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences. Moreover, Sec. 18 RA 7942 allows mining even in timberland or forestty subject to existing rights and reservations. Similarly, Sec. 47 of PD 705 permits mining operations in forest lands which include the public forest, the permanent forest or forest reserves, and forest reservations With regard to the second issue, the Court do not subscribe to PICOPs argument that the Presidential Warranty dated September 25, 1968 is a contract protected by the nonimpairment clause of the 1987 Constitution. An examination of the Presidential Warranty at once reveals that it simply reassures PICOP of the governments commitment to uphold the terms and conditions of its timber license and guarantees PICOPs peaceful and adequate possession and enjoyment of the areas which are the basic sources of raw materials for its wood processing complex. The warranty covers only the right to cut, collect, and remove timber in its concession area, and does not extend to the utilization of other resources, such as mineral resources, occurring within the concession. The Presidential Warranty cannot be considered a contract distinct from PTLA No. 47 and IFMA No. 35. It is merely a collateral undertaking which cannot amplify PICOPs rights under its timber license. Since timber licenses are not contracts, the non-impairment clause cannot be invoked.

PYRO COPPER MINING CORPORATION, petitioner, versus MINES ADJUDICATION BOARD-DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ET AL, respondent.

FACTS: Petitioner is a corporation duly organized and existing under Philippine laws engaged in the business of mining. On 31 March 2000, petitioners Application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), for the exploration, development and commercial utilization of certain pyrite ore and other mineral deposits in a 4,360.71hectare land in Dasol, Pangasinan, was approved and MPSA No. 153-2000-1 was issued in its favor. Private respondent is also a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines and engaged in the business of mining. Private respondent filed an Application for Exploration Permit with MGB covering the same properties covered by and during the subsistence of APSA-SF-000089 and MPSA No. 153-2000-1 of

petitioner. In turn, petitioner filed a Verified Protest/Opposition to the Application for Exploration Permit of the private respondent. It was allegedly filed with the Panel of Arbitrators on 30 August 2005 and was received by the latter on 5 September 2005. Prior, however, to petitioners filing of its Verified Protest/Opposition to the private respondents Application for Exploration Permit, petitioners MPSA No. 153-2000-1 was cancelled, a Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied. The MGB issued EP No. 05-001 to private respondent. Panel of Arbitrators dismissed motu proprio the Verified Protest/Opposition of petitioner. Petitioner elevated by appeal to the MAB which was also dismissed. The case was elevated to the Court of appeals but judgment was rendered against the petitioner. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether the Panel of Arbitrators has jurisdiction to cancel, deny and/or revoke EP No. 05-001 issued by MGB to private respondent.

HELD: NO. The Panel of Arbitrators has no jurisdiction to cancel, deny and/or revoke EP No. 05-001 issued by MGB to private respondent Section 77 of Republic Act No. 7942 establishes the jurisdiction of the Panel of Arbitrators, thus: Sec. 77. Panel of Arbitrators. x x x. Within thirty (30) working days, after the submission of the case by the parties for decision, the panel shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction to hear and decide on the following: 1. Disputes involving rights to mining areas; 2. Disputes involving mineral agreements or permits; 3. Disputes involving surface claimholders/concessionaires; and owners, occupants and

4. Disputes pending before the Bureau and the Department at the date of the effectivity of this Act. The Panel of Arbitrators only has jurisdiction over adverse claims, conflicts, and oppositions relating to applications for the grant of mineral rights, but not over cancellation of mineral rights already granted and existing . As to who has jurisdiction to cancel an existing exploration permit, Section 28 of DAO NO. 96-40 explicitly provides: Section 28. Cancellation of an Exploration Permit . The Director/concerned Regional Director may cancel the Exploration Permit for failure of the Permittee to comply with any of the requirements and for violation(s) of the terms and conditions under which the Permit is issued. For renewed Exploration Permits, the Secretary upon the recommendation of the Director shall cause the cancellation of the same. According to Section 5 of DAO No. 96-40, Director means the Director of the MGB Central Office, while Regional Director means the Regional Director of any MGB Regional Office. As the authority to issue an Exploration Permit is vested in the MGB, then the same necessarily includes the corollary power to revoke, withdraw or cancel the same. Indisputably, the authority to deny, revoke, or cancel EP No. 05-001 of private respondent is already lodged with the MGB, and not with the Panel of Arbitrators.

G.R. No. L-49109. December 1, 1987 SANTA ROSA MINING COMPANY, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES JOSE J. LEIDO, JR. AND DIRECTOR OF MINES JUANITO C. FERNANDEZ, respondents.

FACTS: Petitioner , Santa Rosa Mining Company, Inc., is a mining corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. It alleges that it is the holder of fifty (50) valid mining claims situated in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, acquired under the provisions of the Act of the U.S. Congress dated 1 July 1902 (Philippine Bill of 1902, for short).

On 14 October 1977, Presidential Decree No. 1214 was issued, requiring holders of subsisting and valid patentable mining claims located under the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902 to file a mining lease application within one (1) year from the approval of the Decree. Petitioner accordingly filed a mining lease application, but "under protest", on 13 October 1978, with a reservation annotated on the back of its application that it is not waiving its rights over its mining claims until the validity of Presidential Decree No. 1214 shall have been passed upon by this Court. On 10 October 1978, petitioner filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, alleging that it has no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law to protect its rights (except by said petition). Petitioner assails Presidential Decree No. 1214 as unconstitutional in that it amounts to a deprivation of property without due process of law. Petitioner avers that its fifty (50) mining claims had already been declared as its own private and exclusive property in final judgments. The respondents, on the other hand, allege that petitioner has no standing to file the instant petition as it failed to fully exhaust administrative remedies. ISSUE: Whether or not Presidential Decree No. 1214 is constitutional. HELD: Presidential Decree No. 1214 is not unconstitutional. It is a valid exercise of the sovereign power of the State, as owner, over lands of the public domain, of which petitioner's mining claims still form a part, and over the patrimony of the nation, of which mineral deposits are a valuable asset. It may be underscored, in this connection, that the Decree does not cover all mining claims located under the Phil. Bill of 1902, but only those claims over which their locators had failed to obtain a patent. And even then, such locators may still avail of the renewable twenty-five year (25) lease prescribed by Pres. Dec. No. 463, the Mineral Development Resources Decree of 1974. Presidential Decree No. 1214 is in accord with Sec. 8, Art. XIV of the 1973 Constitution. Petition is dismissed.

G.R. No. 135190. April 3, 2002 SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. BALITE PORTAL MINING COOPERATIVE and others similarly situated; and THE HONORABLE ANTONIO CERILLES, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PROVINCIAL MINING REGULATORY BOARD OF DAVAO (PMRB-Davao), respondents.

FACTS: The instant case involves a rich tract of mineral land situated in the Agusan-DavaoSurigao Forest Reserve known as the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area. Located at Mt. Diwata in the municipalities of Monkayo and Cateel in Davao Del Norte, the land has been embroiled in controversy since the mid-80s due to the scramble over gold deposits found within its bowels. On March 10, 1988, Marcopper Mining Corporation (Marcopper) was granted Exploration Permit No. 133 (EP No. 133) over 4,491 hectares of land, which included the hotly-contested Diwalwal area.

Not long thereafter, Congress enacted on June 27, 1991 Republic Act No. 7076, or the Peoples Small-Scale Mining Act. The law established a Peoples Small-Scale Mining Program to be implemented by the Secretary of the DENR and created the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) under the DENR Secretarys direct supervision and control. The statute also authorized the PMRB to declare and set aside small-scale mining areas subject to review by the DENR Secretary and award mining contracts to small-scale miners under certain conditions. On December 21, 1991, DENR Secretary Fulgencio S. Factoran issued Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 66, declaring 729 hectares of the Diwalwal area as non-forest land open to small-scale mining. The issuance was made pursuant to the powers vested in the DENR Secretary by Proclamation No. 369, which established the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve. On June 24, 1997, the DENR Secretary issued Memorandum Order No. 97-03 which directs the DENR to study thoroughly and exhaustively the option of direct state utilization of the mineral resources in the Diwalwal Gold-Rush Area. Such study shall include, but shall not be limited to, studying and weighing the feasibility of entering into management agreements or operating agreements, or both, with the appropriate government instrumentalities or private entities, or both, in carrying out the declared policy of rationalizing the mining operations in the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area; such agreements shall include provisions for profit-sharing between the state and the said parties, including profit-sharing arrangements with small-scale miners, as well as the payment of royalties to indigenous cultural communities, among others. The Undersecretary for Field Operations, as well as the Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs and Attached Agencies, and the Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau are hereby ordered to undertake such studies. x x x Petitioner filed a special civil action for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus before the Court of Appeals against PMRB-Davao, the DENR Secretary and Balite Communal Portal Mining Cooperative (BCPMC), which represented all the OTP grantees. It prayed for the nullification of the above-quoted Memorandum Order No. 97-03 on the ground that the direct state utilization espoused therein would effectively impair its vested rights under EP No. 133. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. It ruled that the DENR Secretary did not abuse his discretion in issuing Memorandum Order No. 97-03 since the same was merely a directive to conduct studies on the various options available to the government for solving the Diwalwal conflict. ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it concluded that the assailed memorandum order did not adopt the direct state utilization scheme in resolving the Diwalwal dispute. Held: We agree with the Court of Appeals ruling that the challenged MO 97-03 did not conclusively adopt direct state utilization as a policy in resolving the Diwalwal dispute. The terms of the memorandum clearly indicate that what was directed thereunder was merely a study of this option and nothing else. Contrary to petitioners contention, it did not grant any management/operating or profit-sharing agreement to small-scale miners or to any party, for that matter, but simply instructed the DENR officials concerned to undertake studies to determine its feasibility.

G.R. No. 69997. September 30, 1987 UNGAY MALOBAGO MINES, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, DIRECTOR OF LANDS, GREGORIA BOLANOS, AUREA ARAOJO, GERVACIO ARAOJO, MARIA BERNAL, FELIX DETECIO, JESUS ASUNCION, MELANIO ASUNCION and BIENVENIDO ASUNCION, respondents.

FACTS: On July 20, 1962, the President of the Philippines granted mining patents on mineral claims located at Ungay Malobago, Rapu-Rapu, Albay to herein petitioners and other private individuals. Way back on October 30, 1959, John Canson, Jr. and Carlos Stilianopulos assigned their rights to their mining claims in favor of the petitioner. The assignment of rights was recorded in the Office of the Mining Recorder of Albay on December 2, 1959.

The aforestated mining patents, after their issuance on July 20, 1962, were all recorded in the Office of the Mining Recorder of Albay on August 28, 1962 and transcribed on September 4, 1962 in the Registration Book of the Registry of Deeds of Albay. Consequently, the Register of Deeds of Albay issued the respective original certificates of titles pursuant to Section 122 of Act No. 496 in the names of John Canson, Jr., Carlos Stilianopulos, and the petitioner. Subsequently, or from 1968 to 1974, tree patents were granted by the respondent Director of Lands and the corresponding original certificates of titles were issued by the Register of Deeds to private respondents. All of the above patents covered portions of the lots covered by the patents belonging to the petitioner. The petitioner filed a complaint for annulment and cancellation of patents against the private respondents and prayed that all the free patent titles issued in their favor for properties over which original certificates of title had already been issued in its favor be declared null and void. The trial court rendered a decision dismissing the complaint The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court. ISSUE: a) Whether or not the lands in question belong to the public domain; b) Whether or not the appellate court erred in dismissing the complaint on the ground that the petitioner had no personality to institute the same HELD: No. Article XIII, Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution provides: "All agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, and other natural resources of the Philippines belong to the State, and their disposition, exploitation, development, or utilization shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens, subject to any existing right, grant, lease, or concession at the time of the inauguration of the Government established under this Constitution. Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated and no license, concession, or lease for the exploitation, development, or utilization of any of the natural

resources shall be granted for a period exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, in which cases beneficial use may be the measure and the limit of the grant." (Emphasis supplied) Therefore, applying the aforequoted provision to the case at bar, we conclude that the issuance of the lode patents on mineral claims by the President of the Philippines in 1962 in favor of the petitioner granted to it only the right to extract or utilize the minerals which may be found on or under the surface of the land. On the other hand, the issuance of the free patents by the respondent Director of Lands in 1979 in favor of the private respondents granted to them the ownership and the right to use the land for agricultural purposes but excluding the ownership of, and the right to extract or utilize, the minerals which may be found on or under the surface. There is no basis in the records for the petitioner's stand that it acquired the right to the mineral lands prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution, thus, making such acquisition outside its purview and scope. Anent the second issue, the petitioner has no personality to institute the action below for annulment and cancellation of patents. The mineral lands over which it has a right to extract minerals remained part of the inalienable lands of the public domain and thus, only the Solicitor General or the person acting in his stead can bring an action for reversion.

LOCAL GOVERNANCE CASES: G.R. No. 110249. August 21, 1997 ALFREDO TANO, ET AL, petitioners, vs. GOV. SALVADOR P. SOCRATES ET AL respondents.

Facts: On December 15, 1992, the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa City enacted Ordinance No. 15-92 which took effect on January 1, 1993 entitled: AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1, 1998 AND PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF.

To implement said city ordinance, then Acting City Mayor Amado L. Lucero issued Office Order No. 23, Series of 1993 dated January 22, 1993 which reads as follows: In the interest of public service and for purposes of City Ordinance No. PD426-14-74, otherwise known as AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING ANY PERSON ENGAGED OR INTENDING TO ENGAGE IN ANY BUSINESS, TRADE, OCCUPATION, CALLING OR PROFESSION OR HAVING IN HIS POSSESSION ANY OF THE ARTICLES FOR WHICH A PERMIT IS REQUIRED TO BE HAD, TO OBTAIN FIRST A MAYORS PERMIT and City Ordinance No. 15-92, AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1, 1998, you are hereby authorized and directed to check or conduct necessary inspections on cargoes containing live fish and lobster being shipped out from the Puerto Princesa Airport, Puerto Princesa Wharf or at any port within the jurisdiction of the City to any point of destinations [sic] either via aircraft or seacraft. On February 19, 1993, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Provincial Government of Palawan enacted Resolution No. 33 entitled: A RESOLUTION PROHIBITING THE CATCHING, GATHERING, POSSESSING, BUYING, SELLING AND SHIPMENT OF LIVE MARINE CORAL DWELLING AQUATIC ORGANISMS, TO WIT: FAMILY: SCARIDAE (MAMENG), EPINE PHELUS FASCIATUS (SUNO). CROMILEPTES ALTIVELIS (PANTHER OR SENORITA), LOBSTER BELOW 200 GRAMS AND SPAWNING, TRADACNA GIGAS (TAKLOBO), PINCTADA MARGARITEFERA (MOTHER PEARL, OYSTERS, GIANT CLAMS AND OTHER SPECIES), PENAEUS MONODON (TIGER PRAWN-BREEDER SIZE OR MOTHER), EPINEPHELUS SUILLUS (LOBA OR GREEN GROUPER) AND FAMILY: BALISTIDAE (TROPICAL AQUARIUM FISHES) FOR A PERIOD FIVE (5) YEARS IN AND COMING FROM PALAWAN WATERS, and, ORDINANCE NO. 2, Series of 1993 Entitled, Ordinance Prohibiting the catching, gathering, possessing, buying, selling and shipment of live marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms, to wit: 1. Family: Scaridae (Mameng), 2. Epinephelus Fasciatus (Suno), 3. Cromileptes altivelis (Panther or Senorita), lobster below 200 grams and spawning), 4. Tridacna Gigas (Taklobo), 5. Pinctada Margaretefera (Mother Pearl, Oysters, Giant Clams and other species), 6. Penaeus Monodon (Tiger Prawn-breeder size or mother), 7. Epinephelus Suillus (Loba or Green Grouper) and 8. Family: Balistidae (Topical Aquarium Fishes) for a period of five (5) years in and coming from Palawan Waters. Respondents implemented the said ordinances, thereby depriving all the fishermen of the whole province of Palawan and the City of Puerto Princesa of their only means of livelihood and the petitioners Airline Shippers Association of Palawan and other marine merchants from performing their lawful occupation and trade.

Petitioners filed this petition directly with the COURT alleging that the Ordinances deprived them of due process of law, their livelihood, and unduly restricted them from the practice of their trade, in violation of Section 2, Article XII and Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution; that the Office Order No. 23 contained no regulation nor condition under which the Mayors permit could be granted or denied; in other words, the Mayor had the absolute authority to determine whether or not to issue permit and; that Ordinance No. 2 of the Province of Palawan altogether prohibited the catching, gathering, possession, buying, selling and shipping of live marine coral dwelling organisms, without any distinction whether it was caught or gathered through lawful fishing method, the Ordinance took away the right of petitioners-fishermen to earn their livelihood in lawful ways; and insofar as petitioners-members of Airline Shippers Association are concerned, they were unduly prevented from pursuing their vocation and entering into contracts which are proper, necessary, and essential to carry out their business endeavors to a successful conclusion. And finally, to declare Ordinance No. 2 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as null and void, ISSUE: WHETHER OR UNCONSTITUTIONAL. NOT THE ASSAILED ORDINANCES ARE

HELD: It is of course settled that laws (including ordinances enacted by local government units) enjoy the presumption of constitutionality. To overthrow this presumption, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative contradiction. In short, the conflict with the Constitution must be shown beyond reasonable doubt. Where doubt exists, even if well founded, there can be no finding of unconstitutionality. To doubt is to sustain. After a scrunity of the challenged Ordinances and the provisions of the Constitution petitioners claim to have been violated, we find petitioners contentions baseless and so hold that the former do not suffer from any infirmity, both under the Constitution and applicable laws. Under the general welfare clause of the LGC, local government units have the power, inter alia, to enact ordinances to enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology. It likewise specifically vests municipalities with the power to grant fishery privileges in municipal waters, and impose rentals, fees or charges therefor; to penalize, by appropriate ordinances, the use of explosives, noxious or poisonous substances, electricity, muro-ami, and other deleterious methods of fishing; and to prosecute other

methods of fishing; and to prosecute any violation of the provisions of applicable fishing laws. Finally, it imposes upon the sangguniang bayan, the sangguniang panlungsod, and the sangguniang panlalawigan the duty to enact ordinances to [p]rotect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment such as dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive fishing and such other activities which result in pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and lakes or of ecological imbalance.

G.R. No. L-40243. March 11, 1992 CELESTINO TATEL, petitioner, vs. MUNICIPALITY OF VIRAC, SALVADOR A. SURTIDA, in his capacity as Mayor of Virac, Catanduanes; GAVINO V. GUERRERO, in his capacity as Vice-Mayor of Virac, Catanduanes; JOSE T. BUEBOS, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; ANGELES TABLIZO, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; ELPIDIO T. ZAFE, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; MARIANO ALBERTO, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; JULIA A. GARCIA, in her capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; and PEDRO A. GUERRERO, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes, respondents.

FACTS: Celestino Tatel, a businessman, is engaged in the import and export of abaca and other products. He has a warehouse in barrio Sta. Elena. Residents of barrio Sta. Elena filed a complaint against petitioner. They alleged that the disturbance caused by the operation of the abaca bailing machine inside the warehouse

of petitioner affected the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood due to the smoke, obnoxious odor and dust emitted by the machine. A committee was appointed by the municipal council of Virac to investigate the matter. The committee noted the crowded nature of the neighborhood with narrow roads and the surrounding residential houses, so much so that an accidental fire within the warehouse of petitioner occasioned by a continuance of the activity inside the warehouse and the storing of inflammable materials created a danger to the lives and properties of the people within the neighborhood. Resultantly, Resolution No. 29 was passed by the Municipal Council of Virac on April 22, 1966 declaring the warehouse owned and operated by petitioner a public nuisance within the purview of Article 694 of the New Civil Code. His motion for reconsideration having been denied by the Municipal Council of Virac. Petitioner instituted the present petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction. ISSUES: WHETHER OR NOT petitioner's warehouse is a nuisance within the meaning of Article 694 of the Civil Code and whether Ordinance No. 13, S. 1952 of the Municipality of Virac is unconstitutional and void.

HELD: Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952, was passed by the Municipal Council of Virac in the exercise of its police power. It is a settled principle of law that municipal corporations are agencies of the State for the promotion and maintenance of local self-government and as such are endowed with police powers in order to effectively accomplish and carry out the declared objects of their creation. Its authority emanates from the general welfare clause under the Administrative Code. For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the municipality to enact but must also be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law, and must be in consonance with certain well established and basic principles of a substantive nature. These principles require that a municipal ordinance (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute (2) must not be unfair or oppressive (3) must not be partial or discriminatory (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade (5) must be general and consistent with public policy, and (6) must not be unreasonable. Ordinance No. 13, Series of 1952, meets these criteria.

LAND TENURE CASES: G.R. No. 86889. December 4, 1990 LUZ FARMS, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, respondent.

FACTS: On June 10, 1988, the President of the Philippines approved R.A. No. 6657, which includes the raising of livestock, poultry and swine in its coverage. On January 2, 1989, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform promulgated the Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production and Profit Sharing as embodied in Sections 13 and 32 of R.A. No. 6657. On January 9, 1989, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform promulgated its Rules and Regulations implementing Section 11 of R.A. No. 6657 (Commercial Farms).

Luz Farms, petitioner in this case, is a corporation engaged in the livestock and poultry business and together with others in the same business allegedly stands to be adversely affected by the enforcement of Section 3(b), Section 11, Section 13, Section 16(d) and 17 and Section 32 of R.A. No. 6657 otherwise known as Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and of the Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production and Profit Sharing under R.A. No. 6657 promulgated on January 2, 1989 and the Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 11 thereof as promulgated by the DAR on January 9, 1989. ISSUE: Whether or not Sections 3(b), 11, 13 and 32 of R.A. No. 6657, the Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production and Profit Sharing under R.A. No. 6657 and the Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 11 are unconstitutional. HELD: Sections 3(b), 11, 13 and 32 of R.A. No. 6657 insofar as the inclusion of the raising of livestock, poultry and swine in its coverage as well as the Implementing Rules and Guidelines promulgated in accordance therewith, are null and void for being unconstitutional. Section II of R.A. 6657 which includes private agricultural lands devoted to commercial livestock, poultry and swine raising in the definition of "commercial farms" is invalid, to the extent that the aforecited agro-industrial activities are made to be covered by the agrarian reform program of the State. There is simply no reason to include livestock and poultry lands in the coverage of agrarian reform. The transcripts of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 on the meaning of the word "agricultural," clearly show that it was never the intention of the framers of the Constitution to include livestock and poultry industry in the coverage of the constitutionally-mandated agrarian reform program of the Government. The requirement in Sections 13 and 32 of R.A. 6657 directing corporate farms which include livestock and poultry raisers to execute and implement production-sharing plans (pending final redistribution of their landholdings) whereby they are called upon to distribute from three percent (3%) of their gross sales and ten percent (10%) of their net profits to their workers as additional compensation is unreasonable for being confiscatory, and therefore violative of due process.

G.R. No. 78742. July 14, 1989 ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC., JUANITO D. GOMEZ, GERARDO B. ALARCIO, FELIPE A. GUICO, JR., BERNARDO M. ALMONTE, CANUTO RAMIR B. CABRITO, ISIDRO T. GUICO, FELISA I. LLAMIDO, FAUSTO J. SALVA, REYNALDO G. ESTRADA, FELISA C. BAUTISTA, ESMENIA J. CABE, TEODORO B. MADRIAGA, AUREA J. PRESTOSA, EMERENCIANA J. ISLA, FELICISIMA C. APRESTO, CONSUELO M. MORALES, BENJAMIN R. SEGISMUNDO, CIRILA A. JOSE & NAPOLEON S. FERRER, petitioners, vs. HONORABLE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM, respondent. G.R. No. 79310. July 14, 1989 ARSENIO AL. ACUA, NEWTON JISON, VICTORINO FERRARIS, DENNIS JEREZA, HERMINIGILDO GUSTILO, PAULINO D. TOLENTINO and PLANTERS' COMMITTEE, INC., Victorias Mill District, Victorias, Negros Occidental, petitioners, vs. JOKER ARROYO, PHILIP E. JUICO and PRESIDENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM COUNCIL, respondents. G.R. No. 79744. July 14, 1989

INOCENTES PABICO, petitioner, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN SECRETARY OF THE OFFICE TALENTO, JAIME ABOGADO, respondents. G.R. No. 79777. July 14, 1989

vs. HON. PHILIP E. JUICO, SECRETARY OF THE REFORM, HON. JOKER ARROYO, EXECUTIVE OF THE PRESIDENT, and Messrs. SALVADOR CONRADO AVANCEA, and ROBERTO TAAY,

NICOLAS S. MANAAY and AGUSTIN HERMANO, JR., petitioners, vs. HON. PHILIP ELLA JUICO, as Secretary of Agrarian Reform, and LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

FACTS: G.R. No. 79777 Squarely raised in this petition is the constitutionality of P.D. No. 27, E.O. Nos. 228 and 229, and R.A. No. 6657. The subjects of this petition are a 9-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Nicolas Manaay and his wife and a 5-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Agustin Hermano, Jr. The tenants were declared full owners of these lands by E.O. No. 228 as qualified farmers under P.D. No. 27. The petitioners are questioning P.D. No. 27 and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 on grounds inter alia of separation of powers, due process, equal protection and the constitutional limitation that no private property shall be taken for public use without just compensation. They contend that President Aquino usurped legislative power when she promulgated E.O. No. 228. The said measure is invalid also for violation of Article XIII, Section 4, of the Constitution, for failure to provide for retention limits for small landowners. Moreover, it does not conform to Article VI, Section 25(4) and the other requisites of a valid appropriation. The petitioners also maintain that in declaring the beneficiaries under P.D. No. 27 to be the owners of the lands occupied by them, E.O. No. 228 ignored judicial prerogatives and so violated due process. Worse, the measure would not solve the agrarian problem because even the small farmers are deprived of their lands and the retention rights guaranteed by the Constitution. G.R. No. 79310

The petitioners herein are landowners and sugar planters in the Victorias Mill District, Victorias, Negros Occidental. Co-petitioner Planters' Committee, Inc. is an organization composed of 1,400 planter-members. This petition seeks to prohibit the implementation of Proc. No. 131 and E.O. No. 229. The petitioners claim that the power to provide for a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program as decreed by the Constitution belongs to Congress and not the President. Although they agree that the President could exercise legislative power until the Congress was convened, she could do so only to enact emergency measures during the transition period. At that, even assuming that the interim legislative power of the President was properly exercised, Proc. No. 131 and E.O. No. 229 would still have to be annulled for violating the constitutional provisions on just compensation, due process, and equal protection. They contend that taking must be simultaneous with payment of just compensation as it is traditionally understood, i.e., with money and in full, but no such payment is contemplated in Section 5 of the E.O. No. 229 G.R. No. 79744 The petitioner alleges that the then Secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform, "in violation of due process and the requirement for just compensation, placed his landholding under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer Certificates of Land Transfer were subsequently issued to the private respondents, who then refused payment of lease rentals to him. On September 3, 1986, the petitioner protested the erroneous inclusion of his small landholding under Operation Land Transfer and asked for the recall and cancellation of the Certificates of Land Transfer in the name of the private respondents. He claims that on December 24, 1986, his petition was denied without hearing. On February 17, 1987, he filed a motion for reconsideration, which had not been acted upon when E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 were issued. These orders rendered his motion moot and academic because they directly effected the transfer of his land to the private respondents. The petitioner now argues that: (1) E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 were invalidly issued by the President of the Philippines. (2) The said executive orders are violative of the constitutional provision that no private property shall be taken without due process or just compensation. (3) The petitioner is denied the right of maximum retention provided for under the 1987 Constitution. G.R. No. 78742

The petitioners in this case invoke the right of retention granted by P.D. No. 27 to owners of rice and corn lands not exceeding seven hectares as long as they are cultivating or intend to cultivate the same. Their respective lands do not exceed the statutory limit but are occupied by tenants who are actually cultivating such lands. According to P.D. No. 316, which was promulgated in implementation of P.D. No. 27: No tenant-farmer in agricultural lands primarily devoted to rice and corn shall be ejected or removed from his farmholding until such time as the respective rights of the tenantfarmers and the landowner shall have been determined in accordance with the rules and regulations implementing P.D. No. 27. The petitioners claim they cannot eject their tenants and so are unable to enjoy their right of retention because the Department of Agrarian Reform has so far not issued the implementing rules required under the above-quoted decree. They therefore ask the Court for a writ of mandamus to compel the respondent to issue the said rules. ISSUE/S: Whether or not R.A. No. 6657, P.D. No. 27, Proc. No. 131, and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 are constitutional.

HELD: R.A. No. 6657, Section 18 of the CARP Law, P.D. No. 27, Proc. No. 131, and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 are constitutional. The Court declared that the content and manner of the just compensation provided for in Section 18 of the CARP Law is not violative of the Constitution. E.O. No. 228, categorically stated in its Section 1 that: All qualified farmer-beneficiaries are now deemed full owners as of October 21, 1972 of the land they acquired by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 27. (Emphasis supplied.) it was obviously referring to lands already validly acquired under the said decree, after proof of full-fledged membership in the farmers' cooperatives and full payment of just compensation. Hence, it was also perfectly proper for the Order to also provide in its Section 2 that the "lease rentals paid to the landowner by the farmer-beneficiary after October 21, 1972 (pending transfer of ownership after full payment of just compensation), shall be considered as advance payment for the land."

The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the government on receipt by the landowner of the corresponding payment or the deposit by the DAR of the compensation in cash or LBP bonds with an accessible bank. Until then, title also remains with the landowner. No outright change of ownership is contemplated either. Hence, the argument that the assailed measures violate due process by arbitrarily transferring title before the land is fully paid for must also be rejected. The argument of some of the petitioners that Proc. No. 131 and E.O. No. 229 should be invalidated because they do not provide for retention limits as required by Article XIII, Section 4 of the Constitution is no longer tenable. R.A. No. 6657 does provide for such limits now in Section 6 of the law, which in fact is one of its most controversial provisions. This section declares: Retention Limits. - Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no person may own or retain, directly or indirectly, any public or private agricultural land, the size of which shall vary according to factors governing a viable family-sized farm, such as commodity produced, terrain, infrastructure, and soil fertility as determined by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) created hereunder, but in no case shall retention by the landowner exceed five (5) hectares. Three (3) hectares may be awarded to each child of the landowner, subject to the following qualifications: (1) that he is at least fifteen (15) years of age; and (2) that he is actually tilling the land or directly managing the farm; Provided, That landowners whose lands have been covered by Presidential Decree No. 27 shall be allowed to keep the area originally retained by them thereunder, further, That original homestead grantees or direct compulsory heirs who still own the original homestead at the time of the approval of this Act shall retain the same areas as long as they continue to cultivate said homestead. The argument that E.O. No. 229 violates the constitutional requirement that a bill shall have only one subject, to be expressed in its title, deserves only short attention. It is settled that the title of the bill does not have to be a catalogue of its contents and will suffice if the matters embodied in the text.

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Ibid., p. 20; Fabian v. Desierto, supra, p. 487. Id. See 1, Art. VIII, Constitution. Fabian v. Desierto, supra, p. 489. Ibid., p. 492; Metro Construction v. Chatham Properties, supra , pp. 22-23.

iv v vi

Its precursors are Circular No. 1-91, which prescribed the rules governing appeals to the CA from the final orders or decision of the Court of Tax Appeals and quasi-judicial agencies; and Administrative Circular No. 1-95, which revised the earlier circular.
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Section 1, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. Metro Construction v. Chatham Properties, supra, p. 20. Ibid.

Prior to BP Blg. 129, the jurisdiction of the CA, under the Judiciary Act of 1948, was as follows:

SEC. 29. Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals. - The Court of Appeals shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases, actions, and proceedings, not enumerated in section seventeen of this Act, properly brought to it, except final judgments or decisions of Court of First Instance rendered after trial on the merits in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction, which affirm in full the judgment or decision of a municipal or city court, in which cases the aggrieved party may elevate the matter to the Court of Appeals only on petition for review, to which the Court of Appeals shall give due course only when the petition shows prima facie that the court has committed errors of fact or of fact and law that would warrant reversal or modification of the judgment or decisions sought to be reviewed. The decision of the Court of Appeals shall be final: Provided, however, That the Supreme Court in its discretion may, in any case involving a question of law, upon petition of the party aggrieved by the decision and under rules and conditions that it may prescribe, require by certiorari that the said case be certified to it for review and determination, as if the case had been brought before it on appeal. (RA No. 5433) SEC. 30. Original jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals. - The Court of Appeals shall have original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, injunction, certiorari, habeas corpus, and all other auxiliary writs and process in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.
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The jurisdiction of the CA was expanded by BP Blg. 129 and RA No. 7902 to read:

SEC. 9. Jurisdiction. - The Court of Appeals shall exercise: (1) Original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction; (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of Regional Trial Courts; and (3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Social Security Commission, the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil Service Commission, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings. Trials or hearings in the Court of Appeals must be continuous and must be completed within three (3) months, unless extended by the Chief Justice.
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Metro Construction v. Chatham Properties, supra , p. 22. St. Martin Funeral Home v. National Labor Relations Commission, 295 SCRA 494, 510, September 16, 1998.