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Chapter 5 18. Mistica vs. Republic GR No.

165141 September 11, 2009

Nachura, J.:

Facts: On July 23, 1998, petitioner filed with the MTC of Meycauayan, Bulacan, an Application for Registration of Title over a parcel of land located in Malhacan, Meycauayan, Bulacan. In her application, petitioner alleged that she is the owner in fee simple of the land sought to be registered. She claimed that she and her predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the subject lot since time immemorial. She further averred that she did not know of any lien, mortgage or encumbrance affecting said lot or that any person has any claim or interest therein, legal or equitable, remainder, reversion, or expectancy. Respondent Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of Lands, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed an opposition to the application on the ground that neither the applicant nor her predecessors-in-interest had been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the land in question since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto. During trial, petitioner testified that the previous owner and possessor of the subject lot was her father. She added that her father acquired the property by virtue of a contract of sale but she could not remember the vendors name.

Issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONER FAILED TO PROVE THAT SHE HAS BEEN IN OPEN, CONTINUOUS, EXCLUSIVE AND NOTORIOUS POSSESSION AND OCCUPATION OF AN ALIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE LAND OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN UNDER BONA FIDE CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP SINCE JUNE 12, 1945 OR EARLIER.

Ruling: Yes. Section 14(1) of P.D. No. 1529 states:

SEC. 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance [now Regional Trial Court] an application for registration of title to the land, whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives:

(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier. Possession alone is not sufficient to acquire title to alienable lands of the public domain because the law requires possession and occupation. Since these words are separated by the conjunction and, the clear intention of the law is not to make one synonymous with the other. Possession is broader than occupation because it includes constructive possession. When, therefore, the law adds the word occupation, it seeks to delimit the all-encompassing effect of constructive possession. Taken together with the words open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious, the word occupation serves to highlight the fact that for an applicant to qualify, his possession must not be a mere fiction. Actual possession of land consists in the manifestation of acts of dominion over it of such a nature as a party would naturally exercise over his own property.

Heirs of Cristobal Marcos vs. De Banuvar 25 SCRA 316 / GR No. L-22110 September 28, 1968

Castro, J.:

Facts: Private respondent is applying for the land registration of Lot 1. On March 24, 1938 the respondent court rendered a decision in the aforesaid land registration case and confirmed the titles of La Urbana, Inc. over lot 5 and lot 1, with certain reservations, and ordered the registration of these lots in favor of the latter. Santiago de Erquiaga, one of the successors-in- interest of La Urbana, Inc. filed a petition for reconstitution of the aforesaid decision of March 24, 1938. During the pendency of the reconstitution proceedings, the respondent De Banuvar acquired lot 1 from Santiago de Erquiaga, who was thus substituted as a party for the latter. The herein petitioners opposed, on a claim that they have been in actual, adverse, open

and uninterrupted possession and occupation of the said parcel in the concept of owners since time immemorial, long before the second world war, and have introduced improvements thereon. They prayed that the application for the reconstitution of records be denied and that "the parcel(s) of land in question be ordered registered in the respective names of the herein oppositors or declare the same as public land and be subdivided to oppositors who are landless."

Issue: Whether or not respondent be the registered owner of subject land.

Ruling: As can be gathered from the opposition to the petition for reconstitution, the petitioners' alleged possession and occupation of portions of lot 1 arose prior to or during the registration proceedings. For this reason, the order of June 24, 1963, granting a writ of possession in favor of De Banuvar against the petitioners, is proper and justified. The petitioners herein admittedly took possession and occupation of portions of lot 1 prior to July 1, 1963 when the decree in question was issued. The fundamental rule is that a writ of possession can be issued not only against the original oppositors in a land registration case and their representatives and successors-in-interest, but also against any person unlawfully and adversely occupying said lot at any time before and up to the issuance of the final decree. Petition denied.

Chapter 6 Director of Forestry vs. Hon. Emmanuel Munoz GR No. L-24796 June 28, 1968

Sanchez, J.: Facts: PINAGCAMALIGAN INDO-AGRO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, INC (Piadeco) is a company engaged in logging. It was given a Certificate of Private Woodland Registration so that it can operate in a 72000 hectare. It also has a Titulo de Propriedad which it acquired in 1894 under the Spanish regime. In 1964, the NAWASA director ordered the cancellation of Piadecos certificate because it encroached beyond what was allowed in the certificate. It actually cut trees in the

Angat and Marikina watershed area which was prohibited. The lower court ruled in favor of Piadeco. Piadeco also had a settlement with Nawasa. Piadeco sought to renew its certificate but it was denied by the Asst. Director of Forestry. The latter ruled that the Spanish title is no longer recognized and should have never been used to apply for a Certificate. The court below rendered judgment. It approved Piadeco's compromise agreement with Nawasa. It held that Piadeco was the owner of the land in question; that its operation was not in violation of forestry rules and regulations; that aside from its regulation certificate, Piadeco was permitted by Nawasa thru the latter's Resolution 1050, Section of 1963, to conduct selective logging within the Angat-Marikina Watershed upon payment of P2.00 for every cubic meter of timber classified in the first group and P1.75 belonging to the second group; that similar permits were issued to other individuals by the Director of Forestry with the acquiescence of Nawasa; that Piadeco's logging under Resolution 1050 aforesaid could not be contrary to forestry rules and regulations.

Issue: Whether or not Piadeco can claim ownership over the property.

Ruling: No. The Spanish title it acquired cannot be used to register for another Certificate. There should be no question now that Forestry Administrative Order 12-2 has the force and effect of law. It was promulgated pursuant to law. Section 1817, Revised Administrative Code, empowers the Bureau of Forestry, with the approval of the department head, to issue regulations deemed expedient or necessary to secure the protection and conservation of the public forests in such manner as to insure a continued supply of valuable timber and other forest products for the future, and regulating the use and occupancy of the forests and forest reserves, to the same end. Forestry Administrative Order 12-2 was recommended by the Director of Forestry, and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is no less a valid law. It is an administrative regulation germane to the objects and purposes of the law. A rule shaped out by jurisprudence is that when Congress authorized the promulgation of administrative rules and regulations to implement a given legislation, [a]ll that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction with it, but conform to the standards that the law prescribes.