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DOMINGO vs LANDICHO Case Digest

CRISOLOGO C. DOMINGO v. SEVERINO and RAYMUNDO LANDICHO, et al. 531 SCRA 606, 29 August 2007, SECOND DIVISION, (Carpio-Morales, J.) To prove that a land is alienable, an applicant must conclusively establish the existence of a positive act of the government, such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order, or administrative action, investigation reports of the Bureau of Lands investigator or a legislative act or statute. FACTS: Crisologo Domingo filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagaytay City, an application for registration of certain parcels of land (the lots), which he supposedly purchased from one Genoveva Manlapit in 1948, and has since been in continuous, open, public, adverse and uninterrupted possession thereof in the concept of an owner. Severino and Raymundo Landicho, Julian Abello, Marta de Sagun and Editha G. Sarmiento subsequently filed an Answer/Opposition to Domingos application, claiming, among other things, that they have been the ones in open, continuous, adverse and actual possession and cultivation of the lots in the concept of owners and have even been paying real estate taxes thereon. The RTC approved Domingos application for registration. On appeal by Landicho, et al., th e Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the RTC Decision and dismissed Domingos application for registration of land title. Petitioner Domingo filed a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals which was subsequently denied by said court. ISSUE: Whether or not Domingo is entitled to the registration of the lots in question pursuant to Section 14, sub pars. (1) and (4) of P.D. 1529 HELD: Section 14 of P.D. No. 1529 provides that to be entitled of a land, the applicant must prove that: (a) the land applied for forms part of the disposable and alienable agricultural lands of the public domain and (b) he has been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the same under a bona fide claim of ownership either since time immemorial or since June 12, 1945. All lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State, and unless it has been shown that they have been reclassified by the State as alienable or disposable to a private person, they remain part of the inalienable public domain. To prove that a land is alienable, an applicant must conclusively establish the existence of a positive act of government, such as presidential proclamation or an executive order, or administrative action, investigation reports of the Bureau of Lands investigator or a legislative act or statute.

REPUBLIC VS. CA AND NAGUIT G. R. No.144057January 17, 2005Tinga, J. FACTS: Corazon Naguit filed a petition for registration of title which seeks judicial confirmation of her imperfect title over a parcel of land in Nabas, Aklan. It was alleged that Naguit and her predecessors-in-interest have occupied the land openly and in the concept of owner without any objection from any private person or even the government until she filed her application for registration. The MCTC rendered a decision confirming the title in the name of Naguit upon failure of Rustico Angeles to appear during trial after filing his formal opposition to the petition. The Solicitor General, representing the Republic of the Philippines, filed a motion for reconsideration on the grounds that the property which is in open, continuous and exclusive possession must first be alienable. Naguit could not have maintained bonafide claim of ownership since the subject land was declared as alienable and disposable only on October 15, 1980. The alienable and disposable character of the land should have already been established since June 12, 1945 or earlier. ISSUE: Whether or not it is necessary under Section 14 (1) of the Property Registration Decree that the subject land be first classified as alienable and disposable before the applicants possession under a bona fide claim of ownership could even start. RULING: Section 14 (1) merely requires that the property sought to be registered as already alienable and disposable at the time the application for registration of title is filed. There are three requirements for registration of title, (1) that the subject property is alienable and disposable; (2) that the applicants and their predecessor-in-interest have been in open, continuous, and exclusive possession and occupation, and; (3) that the possession is under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945.There must be a positive act of the government through a statute or proclamation stating the intention of the State to abdicate its exclusive prerogative over the property, thus, declaring the land as alienable and disposable. However, if there has been none, it is presumed that the government is still reserving the right to utilize the property and the possession of the land no matter how long would not ripen into ownership through acquisitive prescription. To follow the Solicitor Generals argument in the construction of Section 14 (1) would render the paragraph 1 of the said provision inoperative for it would mean that all lands of public domain which were not declared as alienable and disposable before June 12, 1945 would not be susceptible to original registration, no matter the length of unchallenged possession by the occupant. In effect, it precludes the government from enforcing the said provision as it decides to reclassify lands as alienable and disposable. The land in question was found to be cocal in nature, it having been planted with coconut trees now over fifty years old. The inherent nature of the land but confirms its certification in 1980 as alienable, hence agricultural. There is no impediment to the application of Section 14 (1) of the Property Registration Decree. Naguit had the right to apply for registration owing to the continuous possession by her and her predecessorsin-interest of the land since 1945.

GR L-61647 12 October 1984 Republic v. Court of Appeals and Tancinco

FACTS:

Benjamin Tancinco, Azucena Tancinco Reyes, Maria Tancinco Imperial and Mario C. Tancinco are registered owners of a parcel of land situated at Barrio Ubihan, Meycauayan, Bulacan bordering on the Meycauayan and Bocaue rivers. On 24 June 1973, the Tancincos filed an application for the registration of 3 lots adjacent to their fishpond property (Psu-131892: Lot 1, 33837 sq.m.; Lot 2, 5,453 sq.m.; Lot 3, 1985 sq. On 5 April 1974, Assistant Provincial Fiscal Amando C. Vicente, in representation of the Bureau of Lands filed a written opposition to the application for registration. On 6 March 1975, the Tancincos filed a partial withdrawal of the application for registration with respect to Lot 3 of Plan Psu-131892 in line with the recommendation of the Commissioner appointed by the Court. On 7 March 1975, Lot 3 was ordered withdrawn from the application and trial proceeded only with respect to Lots 1 and 2 covered by Plan Psu-131892. On 26 June 1976, the lower court rendered a decision granting the application on the finding that the lands in question are accretions to the Tancincos' fishponds covered by TCT 89709. On 30 July 1976, the Republic appealed to the Court of Appeals. On 19 August 1982, the appellate court rendered a decision affirming in toto the decision of the lower cost; without costs. ISSUE: Hence, the petition for certiorari to set aside the decision of the CA. RULING: The Republic claimed that there was no accretion to speak of because what actually happened was that the Tancincos simply transferred their dikes further down the river bed of Meycuayan River, and thus, if there was any accretion to speak of, it was man-made and artificial and not the result of the gradual and imperceptible sedimentation by the waters of the rivers. The Supreme Court granted the petition, reversed and set aside the decision appealed from, and ordered the private respondents to move back the dikes of their fishponds to their original location and return the disputed property to the river to which it belongs.