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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS


ISAGANI CRUZ AND CESAR EUROPA vs. SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL
RESOURCES, SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT AND CHAIRMAN AND
COMMISSIONERS OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
CASE NO.: G.R. 135385, 347 SCRA 128,
CHAPTER: REGISTRATION UNDER THE INEDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT, p. 117-134
PONENTE: Per Curiam
FACTS:
Cruz and Cesar, as taxpayers, challenged the constitutionality of RA 8371 (Indigenous Peoples
Rights Acts of 1997) on the ground that they amount to an unlawful deprivation of the states ownership
over lands of public domain, in violation of the Regalian Doctrine (Sec. 2 Art. 12 of the Constitution)
7 Justices voted to deny and 7 voted to grant the petition. After deliberation, the result remained
the same. Pursuant to Rule 56 Sec. 7 of the Rules of Court, petition dismissed.
ISSUE:
WON the Regalian was violated?
RULING:
RA 8371or the IPRA is constitutional

Land is the central element of the indigenous peoples existence.


Carino vs. Insular govt.: exception to the Regalian Doctrine native title :
The Court laid down the presumption of a certain title held: (a) as far as testimony or memory
went, and (b) under a claim of private ownership. Land held by this title is presumed to never
have been public land.
Right of ownership and possession is a limited form of ownership and does not include the right to
alienate the same.
Ancestral domain is owned in common by the ICCs/IPs and not by any particular person. It is
private simply because it is not part of the public domain. The property held in common cannot
be sold, disposed or destroyed because it was meant to benefit the whole indigenous community
and not merely the individual member.
But while ancestral domains and ancestral lands are considered private in character, it does not
necessarily mean that natural resources found therein belong to the ICCs/IPs as private property.
Held not only by the present possessors but extends to all generations of ICCs/IPs
Ownership over national resources in the ancestral domains remains with the state and the
ICCs/IPs is merely granted the right to manage and conserve them for future generations.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
CONSUELO LEGARDA, with her husband MAURO PRIETO, plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
N.M. SALEEBY, defendant-appellee.
CASE NO: GR NO 8936
CHAPTER: GENERAL PROVISION PURPOSE OF TORRENS SYSTEM P.8
PONENTE: JHONSON
FACTS:
The plaintiffs and defendants occupy as owners, adjoining lots in the district of Ermita in Manila. There exist for
number of years a stone wall between the lots and located on the lot of plaintiffs. Plaintiffs filed a petition in Court of
Land Registration for the registration of the lot and it was granted including the wall,under the Torrensa System
(1906). Thereafter the predecessor of defendant in 1912 also presented petiton in the Court of Land Registration for
the lot occupied by them. The court decreed the registration of said title but it also included the said wall and the labd
it was occupying. The plaintiffs upon knowledge sought for the correction .
ISSUE:
Who is the owner of the wall and land occupied by it?
RULING
: 1) The question, who is the owner of land registered in the name of two different persons, Hogg, in his excellent
discussion of the "Australian Torrens System," The general rule is that in the case of two certificates of title,
purporting to include the same land, the earlier in date prevails, whether the land comprised in the latter certificate be
wholly, or only in part, comprised in the earlier certificate. "if it can be very clearly ascertained by the ordinary rules of
construction relating to written documents, that the inclusion of the land in the certificate of title of prior date is a
mistake, the mistake may be rectified by holding the latter of the two certificates of title to be conclusive.
BECAUSE:
1)Section 38 of Act No. 496, provides that; "It (the decree of registration) shall be conclusive upon and
against all persons, including the Insular Government and all the branches thereof, whether mentioned by name in
the application, notice, or citation, or included in the general description "To all whom it may concern It will be noted,
from said section, that the "decree of registration" shall not be opened, for any reason, in any court, except for fraud,
and not even for fraud, after the lapse of one year. If then the decree of registration can not be opened for any
reason, except for fraud.
2.) primary and fundamental purpose of the torrens system is to quiet title. If the holder of a certificate cannot
rest secure in this registered title then the purpose of the law is defeated. If those dealing with registered land cannot
rely upon the certificate, then nothing has been gained by the registration and the expense incurred thereby has been
in vain. If the holder may lose a strip of his registered land by the method adopted in the present case, he may lose it
all. Suppose within the six years which elapsed after the plaintiff had secured their title, they had mortgaged or sold
their right, what would be the position or right of the mortgagee or vendee? That mistakes are bound to occur cannot
be denied, and sometimes the damage done thereby is irreparable. It is the duty of the courts to adjust the rights of
the parties under such circumstances so as to minimize such damages, taking into consideration al of the conditions
and the diligence of the respective parties to avoid them. In the present case, the appellee was the first negligent
(granting that he was the real owner, and if he was not the real owner he can not complain) in not opposing the
registration in the name of the appellants.
3.)The real purpose of that system is to quiet title to land; to put a stop forever to any question of the legality of the
title, except claims which were noted at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which may arise subsequent
thereto. That being the purpose of the law, it would seem that once a title is registered the owner may rest secure,
without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting in the "mirador de su casa," to avoid the possibility
of losing his land. 4.)Effect of Registration of Title: It does not give the owner any better titile than he had. he does
not obtain the title by virtue of a certificate. He secures certificate by virtue that he has e fee sample tit****The
Plaintiffs are the owner, being prior party who registered

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
ALFREDO CHING, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS & PEDRO ASEDILLO, respondents
CASE NO: G.R. No. L-59731 January 11, 1990
CHAPTER: GENERAL PROVISIONS
PONENTE: J. PARAS
FACTS:
Spouses Maximo Nofuente and Dominga Lumandan registered a parcel of land situated at Sitio of Kay-Biga Barrio of
San Dionisio, Municipality of Paranaque, Province of Rizal. In August 1960, 5/6 portion of the property was
reconveyed by said spouses to Francisco, Regina, Perfects, Constancio and Matilde all surnamed Nofuente. By
virtue of a sale to Ching Leng the reconveyance with the Nofuentes were cancelled. On October 19, 1965, Ching
Leng died. His legitimate son Alfredo Ching filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal (a petition for administration
of the estate of deceased Ching Leng. Notice of hearing on the petition was duly published. No oppositors appeared
at the hearing, consequently after presentation of evidence petitioner Alfredo Ching was appointed administrator of
Ching Leng's estate. Thirteen (13) years after Ching Leng's death, a suit against him was commenced on by private
respondent Pedro Asedillo for reconveyance of the abovesaid property and it was given to Ching Leng's last known
address is No. 44 Libertad Street, Pasay City (not No. 441 Libertad Street, Pasay City, as alleged in private
respondent's complaint). An amended complaint was filed by private respondent against Ching Leng and/or Estate of
Ching Leng alleging "That on account of the fact that the defendant has been residing abroad up to the present, and
it is not known whether the defendant is still alive or dead, he or his estate may be served by summons and other
processes only by publication;" Summons by publication to Ching Leng and/or his estate was directed by the trial
court. Despite the lapse of the sixty (60) day period within which to answer defendant failed to file a responsive
pleading and on motion of counsel for the private respondent, the court, allowed the presentation of evidence exparte. A judgment by default was rendered in favor of the plaintiff declaring Pedro Asedillo to be the true and absolute
owner of the property covered.
ISSUES:
1 .Whether or not a dead man Ching Leng and/or his estate may be validly served with summons and decision by
publication. And 2. Whether or not an action for reconveyance of property and cancellation of title is in personam, and
if so, would a dead man and/or his estate be bound by service of summons and decision by publication.
HELD:
An action to redeem, or to recover title to or possession of, real property is not an action in rem or an action against
the whole world, like a land registration proceeding or the probate of a will; it is an action in personam, so much so
that a judgment therein is binding only upon the parties properly impleaded and duly heard or given an opportunity to
be heard. Actions in personam and actions in rem differ in that the former are directed against specific persons and
seek personal judgments, while the latter are directed against the thing or property or status of a person and seek
judgments with respect thereto as against the whole world. An action to recover a parcel of land is a real action but it
is an action in personam, for it binds a particular individual only although it concerns the right to a tangible thing.
Private respondent's action for reconveyance and cancellation of title being in personam, the judgment in question is
null and void for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the deceased defendant Ching Leng. Verily, the action was
commenced thirteen (13) years after the latter's death.The decision of the lower court insofar as the deceased is
concerned, is void for lack of jurisdiction over his person. He was not, and he could not have been validly served with
summons. He had no more civil personality. His juridical personality, that is fitness to be subject of legal relations,
was lost through death (Arts. 37 and 42 Civil Code).The real purpose of the Torrens system is to quiet title to land
and to stop forever any question as to its legality. Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure, without the
necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting on the "mirador su casa," to avoid the possibility of losing his
land A Torrens title is generally a conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred to therein (Section 49, Act
496). A strong presumption exists that Torrens titles are regularly issued and that they are valid. A Torrens title is
incontrovertible against any "information possessoria" or title existing prior to the issuance thereof not annotated on
the title

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
SPOUSES GREGORIO DE GUZMAN, JR. and CORAZON QUINTO vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS
and RAYMUNDA RINGOR QUIRIMIT
CASE NO.: L-46935. December 21, 1987. 156 SCRA 701
CHAPTER: CHAPTER I General Provisions
PONENTE: FERNAN, J.:
FACTS:
Deogracias Queriza, owner of an unregistered land executed a Deed of Pacto de Retro sale in favor of
his niece, Quirmit, with the stipulation that the "vendor a retro may exercise the right of repurchase and
failure to take advantage of the right, then the contract shall acquire the character of absolute sale.
Respondent did not register the Deed of Pacto de Retro Sale, but took possession of the land by building
her house. D. Queriza mortgaged the same parcel of land to the Manaoag Rural Bank; it was allegedly
redeemed on his behalf by his nephew Miguel Queriza. D. Queriza, without exercising his right to
repurchase, executed over said parcel of land a Deed of "Rimunitary Inter-vivos Donation in favor of
Miguel Queriza, who declared the land in his name for taxation purposes and registered the Deed of
Donation. Miguel Queriza sold the land to Gregorio de Guzman, Jr. and Corazon Quinto. Petitioners sent
private respondent written notice to vacate the land in question, and upon refusal by the latter, instituted a
case for Quieting of Title and Recovery of Possession. The trial court declared petitioners owner. CA
reversed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Spouses De Guzman has the better right to the property in dispute. Whether or not the
action for quieting of title and recovery of possession should prevail.
RULING:
The transaction between Deogracias Queriza and private respondent was a true Pacto de retro sale. The
essence of a pacto de retro sale is that title and ownership of the property sold are immediately vested in
the vendee a retro, subject to the resolutory condition of repurchase by the vendor a retro within the
stipulated period. Failure thus of the vendor a retro to perform said resolutory condition vests upon the
vendee by operation of law absolute title and ownership over the property sold and failure of the vendee a
retro to consolidate his title under Article 1607 of the Civil Code does not impair such title or ownership for
the method prescribed there under is merely for the purpose of registering the consolidated title. In the
case at bar, absolute ownership of the land in question was vested on private respondent upon failure of
Deogracias Queriza to repurchase said land. Thus when he allegedly donated the same to Miguel
Queriza, he was no longer the owner thereof. Settled is the rule that a donor cannot lawfully convey what
is not his property. There being no title to the property which Deogracias Queriza could convey to Miguel
Queriza, it necessarily follows that no title to the property could be conveyed by the latter to petitioners.
Registration does not vest title. It is not a mode of acquiring ownership but is merely evidence of such title
over a particular property. It does not give the holder any better title than what he actually has. Besides,
petitioners' registration of their deed of sale was done in bad faith. The effect is that it is as if no
registration was made at all in so far as private respondent is concerned. Conversely, actual knowledge of
petitioners of the sale to private respondent amounted to registration thereof. Petition Denied, decision
affirmed.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, petitioner
vs
PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY and AMARI COASTAL BAY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
respondents
CASE NO: 384 SCRA 152
CHAPTER: GENERAL PROVISIONS, ORIGINAL REGISTRATION, NON REGISTRABLE PROPERTIES
PONENTE: JUSTICE CARPIO
FACTS:
Petitioner seeks to annul the contract (JVA or Joint Ventured Agreement) entered into by the PEA and
AMARI, a private corporation that will develop the freedom islands and will reclaim hectares of
submerged areas surrounding this islands to complete the coastal road project.
Petitioner contends that the government will lose billions in this deal and assails that the sale to AMARI of
lands of public domain is a violation of Sec. 3 Art. XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution prohibiting the
sale of alienable lands of public domain to private corporations.
HELD:
The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of
title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to private
corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. PEA may only
sell these lands to Philippine citizens, subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and
existing laws.
The 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable natural resources of the public
domain until classified as alienable or disposable lands open to disposition and declared no longer
needed for public service. The government can make such classification and declaration only after PEA
has reclaimed these submerged areas. Only then can these lands qualify as agricultural lands of the
public domain, which are the only natural resources the government can alienate. In their present state,
the 592.15 hectares of submerged areas are inalienable and outside the commerce of man.
Since the Amended JVA seeks to transfer to AMARI, a private corporation, ownership of 77.34 hectares
of the Freedom Islands, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section 3, Article XII of the 1987
Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public
domain.
Since the Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to AMARI ownership of 290.156 hectares of still
submerged areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section 2, Article XII of the
1987 Constitution which prohibits the alienation of natural resources other than agricultural lands of the
public domain. PEA may reclaim these submerged areas. Thereafter, the government can classify the
reclaimed lands as alienable or disposable, and further declare them no longer needed for public service.
Still, the transfer of such reclaimed alienable lands of the public domain to AMARI will be void in view of
Section 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring any kind
of alienable land of the public domain.
Clearly, the Amended JVA violates glaringly Sections 2 and 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. Under
Article 1409 of the Civil Code, contracts whose "object or purpose is contrary to law," or whose "object is
outside the commerce of men," are "inexistent and void from the beginning." The Court must perform its
duty to defend and uphold the Constitution, and therefore declares the Amended JVA null and void ab
initio.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
ON CHO, applicant and appellee, vs.
THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, oppositor and appellant
DATE: AUGUST 31, 1946
FILE: GR NO. 48321 75 PHIL 890
PONENTE: JUSTICE PADILLA
FACTS:
On Cho, a citizen of the Republic of China, purchased in 1938 from Antonio, Luis and Rafael
Lagdameo, a parcel of land located in the residential districts of Guinayangan, Tayabas, which has been
in the continuous, public and adverse passion of their predecessors and interest as far back as 1880. on
June 17, 1940, Oh Cho applied for the registration of the parcel of land. The Director of Lands opposed
the application because, among other grounds, the constitution prohibits aliens from acquiring public or
private agricultural lands.
ISSUE:
Whether or not On Cho has an imperfect title over the land that may be confirmed under the
Land Registration act.
Whether or not On Cho is entitled to a decree of registration of the land under the Public Land
Act.
HELD:
1. On Cho has no imperfect title over the land.
the applicant failed to show that he has title to the lot that may be confirmed under the Land
Registration Act. He failed to show that he or any of his predecessors in interest had acquired the
lot from the government, either by purchase or by grant, under the laws, orders and decrees
promulgated by the Spanish government in the Philippines or by possessory information under
the Mortgage Law.
All lands that were not acquired from the government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to
the public domain. An exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the
possession of an occupant and of his predecessors in interest since time immemorial, for such
possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain
or that it had been a private property even before the Spanish conquest. The applicant does not
come under the exception for the earliest possession of the lot by his first predecessor in interest
began in 1880
2. On Cho is not entitled to a decree of registration under the PLA
under the provisions of the act, he is not entitled to a decree of registration of the lot, because
he is an alien disqualified from acquiring lands of the public domain.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
MANUELA GREY ALBA VS.ANACLETO DE LA CRUZ
CHAPTER: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Facts:
The petitioners sought to have parcels of land registered. After hearing the proofs presented, the court issued a
certificate of title. Respondent filed a motion in the Court of Land Registration asking for a revision of the case
including the decision upon the ground that he is the absolute owner of the two parcels of lands decreed to the
petitioners. The Land Court modified the decision by awarding the two parcels of land to respondent.
The petitioners appealed. The respondent was made a party defendant by publication and not personally served with
notice.
Issue:
Whether or not notice by publication is sufficient?
Held:
The proceedings for the registration of land are in rem and not in personam . A proceeding in rem dealing with a
tangible res may be instituted and carried judgment without personal service upon the claimants within the State or
notice by name to those outside of it. Jurisdiction secured by the power of the court over the res . Such a proceeding
would be impossible were this not so, for it would hardly do to make a distinction between the constitutional rights of
claimants who were known and those ho were not known to the plaintiff.
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF LAND. LEONOR DE LOS ANGELES,
FEDERICO DE LOS ANGELES, ET AL. vs. ISIDRO O. SANTOS, ANTONIO ASUDILLO, ET AL., THE DIRECTOR
OF THE LANDS AND THE PROVINCE OF RIZAL
CASE NO.: No. L-19615, 12 SCRA 22
CHAPTER: GENERAL PROVISIONS, p. 25-26
PONENTE: Bengzon
FACTS:
An application for registration of title to 12 parcels of land was filed by Leonor de los Angeles and 7 coapplicants. Among other things it alleged that applicants are owners pro-indiviso and in fee simple of the aforesaid
land. The required notices were given. Dir. of Lands filed an opposition stating that the land is a portion of the public
domain. The court dismissed the application. The motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence this appeal.
ISSUE:
WON a land registration court which has validly acquired jurisdiction over a parcel of land for registration of title
thereto could be divested of said jurisdiction by a subsequent administrative act consisting in the issuance by the Dir.
of Lands of a homestead patent covering the same parcel of land?
RULING:
Orders appealed from set aside

Director of lands jurisdiction, administrative supervision and executive control extend only to lands of the
public domain and not to lands already of private ownership. Accordingly, a homestead patent issued over
land not of the public domain is a nullity, devoid of force and effect against the owner.

Proceedings for lands registration are in rem, whereas proceedings for acquisition of homestead patent are
not. A homestead patent, therefore, does not finally dispose of the public or private character of the land as
far as courts acting upon proceedings in rem are concerned.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
TOMAS AVERIA, JR. vs. MILAGROS V. CAGUIOA
CASE NO.:

G.R. No. L-65129 December 29, 1986

CHAPTER:

CHAPTER 1, P. 23

PONENTE:

CRUZ, J.

FACTS:
The oppositor, petitioner herein, refused to participate in the hearing of the registration proceedings
below, claiming the respondent court, acting as a cadastral court, had no competence to act upon the
said case under Section 112 of Act 496, otherwise known as the "Land Registration Act." it is argued that
the lower court had no competence to act on the registration sought because of the absence of unanimity
among the parties as required under Section 112 of the Land Registration Act.
In a long line of decisions dealing with proceedings under Section 112 of the Land Registration Act, it has
been held that summary relief under Section 112 of Land Registration Act can only be granted if there is
unanimity among the parties, or there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of any party in
interest; otherwise, the case becomes contentious and controversial which should be threshed out in an
ordinary action or in any case where the incident properly belongs.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the court has jurisdiction to order the registration of a deed of sale which is opposed on
the ground of an antecedent contract to sell.
HELD:
While this was a correct interpretation of the said provision, the same is, however, not applicable to the
instant case. The reason is that this case arose in 1982, after the Land Registration Act had been
superseded by the Property Registration Decree, which became effective on June 11, 1979.
In Section 2 of the said P.D. No. 1529, it has eliminated the distinction between the general jurisdiction
vested in the regional trial court and the limited jurisdiction conferred upon it by the former law when
acting merely as a cadastral court. Aimed at avoiding multiplicity of suits, the change has simplified
registration proceedings by conferring upon the regional trial courts the authority to act not only on
applications for "original registration" but also "over all petitions filed after original registration of title, with
power to hear and determine all questions arising upon such applications or petitions." The court is no
longer fettered by its former limited jurisdiction which enabled it to grant relief only in cases where there
was "unanimity among the parties" or none of them raised any "adverse claim or serious objection."
Under the amended law, the court is now authorized to hear and decide not only such non-controversial
cases but even this contentious and substantial issues, such as the question at bar, which were beyond
its competence before.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
INTESTATE ESTATE: DON MARIANO E. SAN PEDRO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL
CASE NO: G.R. No. 103727 December 18, 1996
CHAPTER: GENERAL PROVISIONS P 29
PONENTE: HERMOSISIMA, JR
FACTS:
The most fantastic land claim in the history of the Philippines is the subject of controversy in these two
consolidated cases. The heirs of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban laid claim and have been laying claim to the
ownership of, against third persons and the Government itself, a total land area of approximately 173,000 hectares or
"214,047 quiniones," 1 on the basis of a Spanish title, entitled "Titulo de Propriedad Numero 4136" dated April 25,
1894. The claim, according to the San Pedro heirs, appears to cover lands in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan,
Rizal, Laguna and Quezon; and such Metro Manila cities as Quezon City, Caloocan City, Pasay City, City of Pasig
and City of Manila, thus affecting in general lands extending from Malolos, Bulacan to the City Hall of Quezon City
and the land area between Dingalan Bay in the north and Tayabas Bay in the south
G.R No. 103727, an appeal by certiorari, arose out of a complaint 6 for recovery of possession and/or damages with
a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. This was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial
Region. This case for so many years was not laid to rest by the many appeals, motion for econsideration etc..
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioners' Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 is null and void and of no legal force and effect
RULING:
The Land in dispute belongs to the the government, the titulo propriedad was now null and void for failure of the
parties to register it in the new law. Moreover they were not able to present sufficient evidence to prove their claim
lacking such certificate
We now focus on the core issue of whether or not the lower court in G.R No. 106496 committed reversible error
in excluding from the inventory of the estate of the deceased Mariano San Pedro y Esteban all lands covered by
Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 primarily on the ground that the said title is null and void and of no legal force and
effect. Juxtaposed with this is the issue of whether or not the appellate court, in both cases, G.R. Nos. 103727 and
106496, erred in not recognizing Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 as evidence to prove ownership by the Late Mariano
San Pedro of the lands covered thereby.
1) It is settled that by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 892 which took effect on February 16, 1976, the system of
registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law was abolished and all holders of Spanish titles or grants should cause
their lands covered thereby to be registered under the Land Registration Act 53 within six (6) months from the date of
effectivity of the said Decree or until August 16, 1976. 54 Otherwise, non-compliance therewith will result in a reclassification of their lands. 55 Spanish titles can no longer be countenanced as indubitable evidence of land
ownership. 56
In the case of Director of Lands v. Heirs of Isabel Tesalona, et al., 57 we took cognizance of this
Decree and thus held that caution and care must be exercised in the acceptance and admission of Spanish titles
taking into account the numerous fake titles that have been discovered after their supposed reconstitution
subsequent to World War II.
2.)In both cases, petitioners-heirs did not adduce evidence to show that Titulo de Propriedad 4136 was
brought under the operation of P.D. 892 despite their allegation that they did so on August 13, 1976. 58 Time and
again we have held that a mere allegation is not evidence and the party who alleges a fact has the burden of proving
it Proof of compliance with P.D. 892 should be the Certificate of Title covering the land registered.
This Court can only surmise that the reason for the non-registration of the Titulo under the Torrens system is the
lack of the necessary documents to be presented in order to comply with the provisions of P.D. 892. We do not
discount the possibility that the Spanish title in question is not genuine, especially since its genuineness and due
execution have not been proven. In both cases, the petitioners heirs were not able to present the original of Titulo de
Propriedad No. 4136 nor a genuine copy thereof. In the special proceedings case, the petitioners-heirs failed to
produce the Titulo despite a subpoena duces tecum (Exh. "Q-RP") to produce it as requested by the Republic from
the then administrators of the subject intestate estate, Engracio San Pedro and Justino Benito, and the other
interested parties. As an alternative to prove their claim of the subject intestate estate, the petitioners referred to a

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
document known as "hypoteca" (the Spanish term is 'hipoteca') allegedly appended to the Titulo. However, the said
hypoteca was neither properly identified nor presented as evidence. Likewise, in the action for recovery of possession
and/or reconveyance with damages, the petitioners-heirs did not submit the Titulo as part of their evidence. Instead,
only an alleged illegible copy of the Titulo was presented.
The Best Evidence Rule as provided under Rule 130, section 2 of the Rules of Court is stated in unequivocal terms.
Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of the said Rule read:
Sec. 2. Original writing must be produced; exceptions. There can be no evidence of a writing the contents of which
is the subject of inquiry, other than the original writing itself, except in the following cases:
(a) When the original has been lost, destroyed, or cannot be produced in court;
(b) When the original is in the possession of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to
produce it after reasonable notice;
xxx xxx xxx
Thus, the court shall not receive any evidence that is merely substitutionary in its nature, such as photocopies, as
long as the original evidence can be had. In the absence of a clear showing that the original writing has been lost or
destroyed or cannot be produced in court, the photocopy submitted, in lieu thereof, must be disregarded, being
unworthy of any probative value and being an inadmissible piece of evidence.
Hence, we conclude that petitioners-heirs failed to establish by competent proof the existence and due execution of
the Titulo. Their explanation as to why the original copy of the Titulo could not be produced was not satisfactory. The
alleged contents thereof which should have resolved the issue as to the exact extent of the subject But if more were
needed, we have the Maura Law (Royal Decree of February 13, 1894), published in the Gaceta de Manila on April
17, 1894 (Ibid., p. 26; Venture, op. cit., p. 28). That decree required a second petition for adjustment within six
months from publication, for those who had not yet secured their titles at the time of the publication of the law (Ibid.).
Said law also abolished the provincial boards for the adjustment of lands established by Royal Decree of December
26, 1884, and confirmed by Royal Decree of August 31, 1888, which boards were directed to deliver to their
successors, the provincial boards established by Decree on Municipal Organization issued on May 19, 1893, all
records and documents which they may hold in their possession (Ramirez v. Director of Land, supra, at p. 124).
Doubt on Piadeco's title here supervenes when we come to consider that title was either dated April 29 or April 25,
1894, twelve or eight days after the publication of the Maura Law.

10

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
AZNAR BROTHERS REALTY COMPANY, petitioner, vs. LAURENCIO AYING, IN HIS OWN BEHALF AND IN
BEHALF OF THE OTHER HEIRS OF EMILIANO AYING, PAULINO AYING, IN HIS OWN BEHALF AND IN
BEHALF OF THE OTHER HEIRS OF SIMEON AYING, AND WENCESLAO SUMALINOG, IN HIS OWN BEHALF
AND IN BEHALF OF THE OTHER HEIRS OF ROBERTA AYING, respondents
CASE NO: G.R. No. 144773. May 16, 2005
CHAPTER: LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSION AND ITS REGISTRIES OF DEEDS AND CITED IN PAGES 337,
348 AND 350
PONENTE: J. AUSTRIA MARTINEZ
FACTS: Crisanta Maloloy-on petitioned for the issuance of a cadastral decree in her favor over said parcel of land.
After her death in 1930, the Court issued a Decision directing the issuance of a decree in the name of Crisanta
Maloloy-ons eight children, namely: Juan, Celedonio, Emiliano, Francisco, Simeon, Bernabe, Roberta and Fausta, all
surnamed Aying. The certificate of title was, however, lost during the war.Subsequently, all the heirs of the Aying
siblings executed an Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale conveying the subject parcel
of land to herein petitioner Aznar Brothers Realty Company. Said deed was registered with the Register of Deeds of
Lapu-Lapu City, and since then, petitioner had been religiously paying real property taxes on said property.In 1991,
petitioner, claiming to be the rightful owner of the subject property, sent out notices to vacate, addressed to persons
occupying the property. Unheeded, petitioner then filed a complaint for ejectment against the occupants before the
Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC), Lapu-Lapu City.the MTC ordered the occupants to vacate the property. Meanwhile,
herein respondents, along with other persons claiming to be descendants of the eight Aying siblings, all in all
numbering around 220 persons, had filed a complaint for cancellation of the Extra-Judicial Partition with Absolute
Sale, recovery of ownership, injunction and damages with the RTC of Lapu-Lapu City. RTC rendered a Decision in
favor of the petitioner and CA affirmed its decision.
RATIONALE:
1.

REGISTRATION OF INSTRUMENTS AFFECTING TITLED LANDS UNDER ACT NO. 3344 INEFFECTIVE
AGAINST THIRD PERSONS

The registration of instruments must be done in the proper registry in order to bind the land. Where property
registered under the Torrens system is sold but the sale is registered not under the Property registration decree
but under Act no. 3344. the sale is considered not registered and effective for purposes of Art. 1544 of the Civil
Code on Double sales.
2.

ACTION TO QUIET TITLE WHERE PLAINTIFF IS IN POSSESSION IMPRESCRIPTIBLE

The ten year prescriptive period begins to run from the date of registration of the deed or the date of issuance of
the certificate of title over the property. But if the person claiming to be the owner thereof is in actual possession
of the property, the right to seek reconveyance, which in effect seeks to quiet the title to the property, does not
prescribe.
3.

CONCEPT OF TRUSTS

A deeper analysis of Article 1456 reveals that it is not a trust in the technical sense for in a typical trust,
confidence is reposed in one person who is named a trustee for the benefit of another who is called the cestui
que trust, respecting property which is held by the trustee for the benefit of the cestui que trust. A constructive
trust, unlike an express trust, does not emanate from, or generate a fiduciary relation. While in an express trust,
a beneficiary and a trustee are linked by confidential or fiduciary relations, in a constructive trust, there is neither
a promise nor any fiduciary relation to speak of and the so-called trustee neither accepts any trust nor intends
holding the property for the beneficiary. Implied trusts are those which, without being expressed, are deducible
from the nature of the transaction as matters of intent or which are superinduced on the transaction by operation
of law as matters of equity, independently of the particular intention of the parties. In turn, implied trusts are
either resulting or constructive trusts. These two are differentiated from each other as follows: Resulting trusts
are based on the equitable doctrine that valuable consideration and not legal title determines the equitable title
or interest and are presumed always to have been contemplated by the parties. They arise from the nature of
circumstances of the consideration involved in a transaction whereby one person thereby becomes invested with
legal title but is obligated in equity to hold his legal title for the benefit of another. On the other hand,
constructive trusts are created by the construction of equity in order to satisfy the demands of justice
and prevent unjust enrichment. They arise contrary to intention against one who, by fraud, duress or
abuse of confidence, obtains or holds the legal right to property which he ought not, in equity and good
conscience, to hold.

11

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
PO SUN TUN vs. W. S. PRICE and THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF LEYTE
CASE NO.: G.R. No. L-31346 December 28, 1929
CHAPTER: The Land Registration Commission and its Registries of Deeds
PONENTE: MALCOLM, J.:
FACTS:
On November 29, 1921, Gabino Barreto P. Po Ejap, the owner of land, sold the land to Po Tecsi. Po
mortgaged the land to W. S. Price. Po executed a deed of sale of the land to Price. Price in turn, sold the
land on February 16, 1927, to the Province of Leyte. Returning again to the original date of November 29,
1921, on that date Po Tecsi gave a general power of attorney including the right to sell to Gabino Barreto
P. Po Ejap. Gabino sold the land on November 22, 1923,to Jose H. Katigbak. In turn Jose H. Katigbak
transferred the property to Po Sun Tun on October 12, 1927.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the property first sold to a person who only secures a receipt would prevail over where
that same property sold to another person who records his documents in the registry of deeds.
RULING:
Registration in general, as the law uses the word, means any entry made in the books of the Registry,
including both registration in its ordinary and strict sense, and cancellation, annotation, and even the
marginal notes. In its strict acceptation, it is the entry made in the Registry which records solemnly and
permanently the right of ownership and other real rights. It results as a matter of course since the deed
made by Gabino Barreto P. Po Ejap in favor of Jose H. Katigbak was not only not first recorded in the
registry of deeds but never legally so recorded, and since the purchaser who did record his deed was
Price, who secured a Torrens title and transferred the same to the Province of Leyte, that Po Sun Tun,
the holder of a defensible title, has no legal rights as against Price and the Province of Leyte, the holders
of indefeasible titles. Also, if necessary, it could be ruled that within the meaning of section 38 of the Land
Registration Law, Price and the Province of Leyte are innocent purchasers for value of the disputed
property.Where a piece of property is first sold to a person who only secures a receipt for the document
evidencing the sale from the office of the Register of Deeds and where the piece of property is later sold
to another person who records his document in the Registry of Deeds as provided by law and secures a
Torrens title the property relays to the later person.

12

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
EDUARDO S. BARANDA vs. HON. TITO GUSTILO
CASE NO.:

G.R. No. 81163 September 26, 1988

CHAPTER:

CHAPTER 2, P.54

PONENTE:

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.

FACTS:
A parcel of land was in Iloilo was the subject of a petition for reconstitution of title. Respondents refused to
honor the writ of possession saying that they also have a TCT. But the Court found such TCT fraudulently
obtained and so issued a writ of demolition.
RTC Judge Gustilo issued an order declaring Baranda's TCT as valid. This was set
of Deeds saying that there was a pending case before the court.

aside by Reg.

Thereafter, Reg of Deeds cancelled the TCT of respondents and issued new TCTs to Baranda. A notice
of lis pendens was annotated in the TCTs. Baranda filed another motion to reinstate the Feb 1987 order
directing the Reg of
Deeds to cancel the notice of lis pendens in the new TCT. Judge Gustilo denied
the
motion.
ISSUE:
WON the pendency of a civil case with the CA prevents the court from cancelling the notice of lis
pendens in the TCTs which were declared valid & subsisting.
HELD:
The purpose of a notice of lis pendens serves as a warning to a prospective purchaser or incumbrancer
that the particular property is in litigation; and that he should keep his hands off the same, unless of
course he intends to gamble on the results of the litigation. The private respondents are not entitled to
this protection.
While ordinarily a notice of pendency which has been filed in a proper case, cannot be cancelled while the
action is pending and undetermined, the proper court has the discretionary power to cancel it under
peculiar circumstances, as for instance, where the evidence that the purpose is for molesting the
adverse party.
The function of a Register of Deeds with reference to the registration of deeds encumbrances,
instruments and the like is ministerial in nature. The respondent Acting Register of Deeds did not have
any legal standing to file a motion for reconsideration of the respondent Judge's Order directing him to
cancel the notice of lis pendens annotated in the certificates of titles of the petitioners over the subject
parcel of land.

13

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
TEODORO ALMIROL, petitioner-appellant, vs.
THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF AGUSAN, respondent-appellee
DATE: MARCH 20, 1968
FILE: GR NO. L-22486 22 SCRA 1152
PONENTE: JUSTICE CASTRO
FACTS:
On June 28, 1961, Teodoro Almirol purchased from Arcenio Abalo a parcel of land situated in the
Municipality of Esperanza, Agusan. Sometime in May 1962 Almirol went to the office of the Register of
Deeds (RD) of Agusan in Butuan City to register the deed of sale and to secure in his name a transfer
certificate of title. Registration was refused by the RD on the ground that the property covered by the OCT
was a conjugal property, therefore both spouses must sign the document and since his wife is already
dead when the sale was made, the husband must first liquidate the conjugal property. In view of such
refusal, Almirol went to the CFU of Agusan on a petition for mandamus to compel the RD to register the
deed of sale and to issue to him the corresponding TCT.
Almirol agued that the registration is but a ministerial duty of the RD to perform the acts required
of him
The lower court then made a decision dismissing the case holding that mandamus does not lie to
compel the RD to effect the registration.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the duty of the RD to register title is Ministerial AND whether of not mandamus
may lie to compel it act on its function.
HELD:
The duty of the RD is only ministerial. Mandamus may not lie to compel the RD to exercise its
function.
RATIO:
Although the reasons relied upon by the RD evince a sincere desire on his part to maintain
inviolate the law on succession and transmission of rights over real properties, these do not constitute
legal grounds for his refusal to register the deed. Whether a document is valid or not, is not for the RD to
determine; this function belongs properly to a court of competent jurisdiction.
Before recourse to courts a party must, in the event that he does not agree with the RD the
question shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Land Registration who thereafter shall enter an order
prescribing the step to be taken or memorandum to be made which shall be conclusive and binding upon
all RDs . This administrative remedy must first be resorted to before any action is to be instituted in the
regular courts.

14

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
GABRIEL VS. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF RIZAL
Chapter: The Land Registration Commission and its Registries of Deeds.
FACTS:
Petitioner filed with the Register of Deeds of Manila, an Adverse claim against the properties of respondent. The
respondent presented an opposition, claiming that the Adverse claim was instituted for 1. harassment; 2. had no legal
basis; and 3. Had done and will do irreparable loss to her. The register of deeds of manila elevated the matter to the
Land registration Commission en consulta . The Register of Deeds denied the registration of the Notice of Adverse
claim . Petitioner appealed the decision to the land Registration Commission .
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Land Registration Commission has the authority to decide if an Adverse claim is valid or merely
intended to harass?
HELD:
Where the documents containing the notice of adverse claim are sufficient in law and drawn up in accordance with
the existing requirements, it becomes incumbent upon the Register of Deeds to perform his ministerial duty.
Whether or not the Adverse claims, the notice of which are sought to be registered, are merely intended to harass,
and such other litigious matters are raised by the protagonist, are for a court of competent jurisdiction and not for the
Land Registration Commission, to decide.
Registration of an adverse claim should not be confused with its validity. The registration of an adverse claim will not
by itself make it valid. Its validity will be determined in a separate proceeding.

15

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
AURELIO BALBIN, ET AL. vs. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF ILOCOS SUR.
CASE NO.:

G.R. No. L-20611

CHAPTER:

CHAPTER 2, P. 56

PONENTE:

MAKALINTAL, J.

May 8, 1969

FACTS:
Petitioner presented to Reg of Deeds of Ilocos an OCT and requesting that a Donation Inter Vivos be annotated on
the title, Cornelio Balbin having donated 2/3 of the lot to Aurelio Balbin. Reg. of Deeds denied it because there were 3
previous separate sales of undivided portions of the land earlier by Balbin and the co-owners copies of the TCT were
not presented as well.
LRA Commissioner upheld the Reg of Deeds saying that the 3 co-owners duplicates must be surrendered.
ISSUE:
WON the co-owner TCTs should be surrendered
HELD:
There being several copies of the same title in existence, it is easy to see how their integrity may be adversely
affected if an encumbrance, or an outright conveyance, is annotated on one copy and not on the others. The law itself
refers to every copy authorized to be issued as a duplicate of the original, which means that both must contain
identical entries of the transactions, particularly voluntary ones, affecting the land covered by the title. If this were not
so, if different copies were permitted to carry differing annotations, the whole system of Torrens registration would
cease to be reliable.

16

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
BENIN ET.AL., ALCANTARA ET.AL., PILI ET.AL., VS. TUASON (EN BANC)
CASE NO:57 scra 531 june 28, 1974
CHAPTER: P 329 ORIGINAL REGISTRATION AND REMEDIES
PONENTE J. Zaldivar
FACTS
3 sets of plaintiffs field 3 separate complaints containing substantially the same allegations. They alleged that the
defendants has dispossessed and deprived the plaintiffs of the parcels of land which they claimed as their own and of
which they had been in actual, open and continous possession, and that their land was wrongfully included in the
certificate Tittle #735 obtained by the detendants. They further alleged that the certificate of tittle was procurred
invalidly bec it resulted from an invalid decree bec. of irregular registration proceeding. As it failed to satisfy the
pub.requirement under Act 496. Further, the alleged that they were not notified of the registration proceedings. the
lower court sustained the petitioners. The defendants on appela posed the A; Argument:4. Requirements for valid
registration of tittle wer complied 5. Buyers of good faith Alleged irregularity in Pub. requirement: 1. Amended plan of
the parcel of land in ques. was not pub.2. Description of the land in the decree not identical with the one published3.
Transcription of the decree was not made in accordance with the law
Issue:
Won amendment of the application for registration requires pub.
Won a disorderly transcription of the decree of registration invalidates the same
RULING:
1. It depends. If the amendments consists in the inclusion of an area or parcel of land not included in the original.
Applications published. A new publication of the amended application must be made to give notice to all persons that
may be affected who may have the opportunity to present thesis claims which might be prejudice. But if the
amendment consist only in the exclusion of a portion of the area covered. A new publication is not necessary. In the
case at bar, the amendment in the original application showed that such amendment was made to exclude certain
areas of land in question. Since no new parcel of land was included, the publication is not necessary. In order to vest
the LRC with jurisdiction to hear and decide the application for registration. And to order the issuance of a decree of
registration upon which a certificate of title was based. Thus, the lower court used in declaring the OCT null and void.
2. The lower court also based its discussion on the fact that the description of the land area in the application for
registration and that published in OG is not identical in that there is a 27.10 sq. meter inc. in the application than that
published. Even in granting that the registration court had no jurisdiction over the inc. area of 27.10 sq. meters. the
most that the lower court could have done was to nullify the decree and the certificate of title in solar as that area of
27.10 is concerned.

Once the registration court has acquired jurisdiction over a certain parcel, or parcels of land in the
registration proceedings in virtue of the publication of the application, the jurisdiction attaches to the land or
lands mentioned in the registration for application.

17

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
If it shal be later shown that the decree of registration had included land or lands not included in the original
application as published, then the registration proceedings and the decree of registration shal/must be declared null
and void but only in solar as the land not included in the publication concerned bec. the court did not acquire
jurisdiction over the land not included in the publication the pub. being the basis of the jurisdiction of the court.
Registration does not vest title nor is it a mean of acquiring one. It is merely for evidential, documentation purposes.
* Transcription of decree of registration although disorderly doe not invalidate the decree of registration so long as the
necessary inputs are found therein to satisfy the purpose of said transcription.
Rule regarding reconveyance of land: (when he claims it was wrongly registered in the name of another)
1. Recognize the validity of the certificate of title of the latter
2. Can only be had if the same is still registered under the name of the person who procured the wrongful registration.
3. No action for reconveyance can be placed as against a thieved person who acquired the same in good faith and
for value.
4. If reconveyance is not available, damages can be demanded fr. the person who procured the wrongful registration.
* the petitioners further contends that they have a cause of action against the dependants, that the same has no
prescribed and dependants are not parties who acquired the prop. in good faith.
a. The OCt was issued originally to may or as go Tuason which become involved a litigation. During the pending of
the case, the BPI administered his prop. and the court ordered that said prop. be transferred and assigned in favor
of D.Tuason upon payment of a sum. TCT in favor of D. Tuason and his heirs were issued. This was approved by
the court. The heirs then of D. Tuason sold the prop. to S.M. Tuason. This if the heirs of D. Tuason had acquired the
land in a transaction authorized by the court for a valuable consideration, thereby acquiring good title, then the same
can be said to the acquisition by j.m. Tuason even if the incorporators of the two corporation belong to the same
Tuason family as it may happen that they have diff. and distinct and separate assets.
b. They do not have cause of action against defendants bec. J.M. Tuason was /is not one of the original registered
owners that procured the registration of the land. They are not parties nor privies to it. They have nothing to with reg.
proceedings that led to the issuance of the OCT. the statue of
c. Their action is barred by limitations. The proceeding of the LRC is in the sum in that personal notification is not
required bec. Of pub. Notice. And the decree of registration bound that lands covered and quieted title thereto, and
conclusive upon and against all persons. And the same can only be reopened within one year after entry of the
decree, if it still i[i]has not passed upon the hands of third persons who acquired it in good faith and for value. In the
case at bar, no petition for review of decree was filed within 1 yr. aster July 8, 1914, the date it was entered.
* Petition dismissed. Decision of the RTC reverse.

18

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
ROXAS Y CHUIDIAN VS RAFAEL ENRIQUEZ
CASE NO: 29 PHIL 31
CHAPTER: ORIGINAL REGISTRATION P 62
PONENTE JUSTICE JOHNSON
FACTS:
Petitioner Roxas filed in the Court of Land Registration to register her four parcels of land located in Manila.
Notice of hearing was sent to all parties in interest ( all individuals named by petitioner to be interested in her land)
including the respondents of the heirs of Antonio Enriquez. In addition to that, the Clerk of Court published the said
hearing in 2 newspapers of general circulation and the sheriff posted a notice of hearing at the City Hall.
During the hearing the petitioner and the government were represented but the respondents fail to appear. As
a result the court then rendered a decision in favor of petitioners due to the failure of the respondents to impugn the
application.
In a hearing being conducted to correct the metes and bounds of one of the parcels of land (parcel A ) The
respondent or their heirs Antonio Enriquez appeared and apparently made objections to the granting of said motions .
They also claimed that they were not personally informed of the original proceeding for the said parcel of land . hence
this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not personal notice to all of the persons interested in an action for the registration of real property under
the Torrens System , is an absolute prerequisite to the validity of said registration
RULING:
In favor of petitioner Roxas
1) NOTICE OF APPLICATION
The requirement that personal notice should be a pre-requisite to the validity of registration would absolutely prohibit
the foreclosure of unknown claims, for the reason that personal notice could never be given to unknown claimants.
Courts have held that actions in rem, personal notice to owners of a res is not necessary to give the courts jurisdiction
to deal with and dispose of the res. It is admitted in the case that the pet. is not guilty of fraud. The records show that
she named all persons who might be interested in the registration of her land.
2) NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS IN REGISTRATION OF LANDS
The proceedings in reg of land are in rem and not in personam. A proceeding on rem dealing with a tangible res may
be instituted and carried to judgment without personal service upon claimants within the state or notice by name to
those outside of it. Jurisdiction is secured be the power of the court over the res. Such a proceeding would be
impossible were if this not so for it would hardly do to make a distinction between the constitutional rights of the
claimants who were known and those not known to the plaintiff when the proceeding is to bar all
3) TORRENS SYSTEM The real purpose of Torrens system is to relieve the land of the burden of known as well as
unknown claims. If there exist known and just claims against the title of the applicant for the registration of his lands
under he gains nothing in effect by his registration except in the simplicity of subsequent transfers of his title. The reg
relieves the land of all known as well unknown claims absolutely or it compels claimants to come to court and make
there a record so that thereafter there may be no uncertainty concerning either the character or the extent of such
claims

19

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
IGNACIO GRANDE, ET AL., petitioners,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, DOMINGO CALALUNG, and ESTEBAN CALALUNG, respondents
CASE NO: 5 SCRA 525
CHAPTER: ORIGINAL REGISTRATION P. 111
PONENTE: J. BARRERA
FACTS:
Petitioners are the owners of land in Municipality of Magsaysay, Isabela whom he inherited from his
parents. When it was surveyed for purposes of registration its Northeastern boundary is the Cagayan
River. Since then, a gradual accretion on the northeastern side took place, by the action of the current
Cagayan River, so much so that the back had receded from its original site and an alluvial deposit had
been added to the area. Petitioners instituted an action against respondents to quiet title of the area
formed by accretion, alleging in their complaint that they were formerly in peaceful and continuous
possession thereof when respondents entered upon the land under claim of ownership.CFI rendered a
decision ordering respondents to vacate the premises and deliver possession thereof to petitioners. CA
reversed the CFI decision.
ISSUE:
Whether or Not respondents have acquired the alluvial property in question through prescription.
HELD: CA decision affirmed
There can be no dispute that both under Article 457 of the New Civil Code and Article 366 of the old,
petitioners are the lawful owners of said alluvial property, as they are the registered owners of the land
which it adjoins. The question is whether the accretion becomes automatically registered land just
because the lot which receives it is covered by a Torrens title thereby making the alluvial property
imprescriptible. The Court of Appeals says that it does not, just as an unregistered land purchased by the
registered owner of the adjoining land does not, by extension, become ipso facto registered land.
Ownership of a piece of land is one thing, and registration under the Torrens system of that ownership is
quite another. Ownership over the accretion received by the land adjoining a river is governed by the Civil
Code. Imprescriptibility of registered land is provided in the registration law. Registration under the Land
Registration and Cadastral Acts does not vest or give title to the land, but merely confirms and thereafter
protects the title already possessed by the owner, making it imprescriptible by occupation of third parties.
But to obtain this protection, the land must be placed under the operation of the registration laws wherein
certain judicial procedures have been provided. The fact remain, however, that petitioners never sought
registration of said alluvial property (which was formed sometime after petitioners' property covered by
Original Certificate of) up to the time they instituted the present action in the Court of First Instance of
1958. The increment, therefore, never became registered property, and hence is not entitled or subject to
the protection of imprescriptibility enjoyed by registered property under the Torrens system.
Consequently, it was subject to acquisition through prescription by third persons.
Did respondents acquire said alluvial property through acquisitive prescription?: physical possession and
dates or duration of such possession. After analyzing the evidence, found that respondents-appellees
were in possession of the alluvial lot since 1933 or 1934, openly, continuously and adversely, under a
claim of ownership up to the filing of the action in 1958. This finding of the existence of these facts, after
an examination of the evidence presented by the parties, is conclusive as to them and can not be
reviewed by the SC. The law on prescription applicable to the case is that provided in Act 190 and not the
provisions of the Civil Code, since the possession started in 1933 or 1934 when the pertinent articles of
the old Civil Code were not in force and before the effectivity of the new Civil Code in 1950. Hence, the
conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the respondents acquired alluvial lot in question by acquisitive
prescription is in accordance with law.

20

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC VS CA AND LAPINA
CASE NO: 235 SCRA 567
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT TITLE, P 100
PONENTE:
FACTS:
Respondent spouses bought lots, they were then natural born Filipino Citizens: Eventually they
filed application for registration but they were no longer Filipino citizens and had opted to embrace
Canadian Citizenship. Opposition was filed by the republic on the ground of Foreign Nationality
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent can register there land which they bought when tehy were Filipino
citizen even if at the rgistration they are altready of another citizenship?
RULING:
They can register it
Private respondents were undoubtedly natural born citizens at the time of the acquisition of the
property and by virtue thereof acquired vested rights thereon tacking in the process, the possession in the
concept of owner and the prescribed period of time held by their predecessor in interest under Public
Land Act
A natural born citizen who has lost his Philippine Citizenship may be a tranferee of private lands
upto a maximum of 5000 sq m urban and 1 hectare -rural
It is not significant that whetehr private respondents are no longer filipino citizens at the time they
registered the land what is important is that they were former natural-born citizens of the Philippines
Public Land Act requires that applicant must prove that:
1) The land is alienable public Land and
2) his possesion in the concept above stated must be either since time immemorial or for
period prescribed by Public Land Act
Thus, when the conditions set by law are complied with, the possessor of land by operation of law
acquires a right to a grant, a government grant without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued.
As such the land ceases to be a part of public domain and goes beyond the Dir. of Lands to dispose

21

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. NICANOR DOLDOL
CASE NO.: GR 132963, 295 SCRA 359
CHAPTER: ORIGINAL REGISTRATION, p. 70
PONENTE: Romero
FACTS:
In 1945, Nicanor Doldol occupied a portion of land in Barrio Pontacan, Municipality of Opol,
Misamis Oriental. On Oct. 23, 1963, he applied for salt work purposes with the Bureua of Forest
Developemnt which was later rejected on April 1, 1968. In 1965, Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental
passed a resolution reserving a lot as a school state. The reserved lot included the area occupied by
Doldol. Opol High School transferred to the site in 1970. On Nov. 2, 1987, President Aquino issued a
Proclamation No. 180 reserving the area for Opol National Secondary Technical School. The school
made several demands for Doldol to vacate but he refused to move. The school filed a complaint for
Accion Possessoria with the RTC of Cagayan De Oro in 1991. Trial Court ruled in favor of the school. On
appeal, CA reversed. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE:
WON the school has the better right to possess the lot?
RULING:
Yes; RTC decision reinstated

Doldol could not have acquired an imperfect title to the disputed lot since his occupation of the
same started only in 1959, much later than June 12, 1945. not having complied with the
conditions set by law, Doldol cannot be said to have acquired a right to the land in question as to
segregate the same from public domain.
Doldol cannot, therefore, assert a right superior to the school, given that the president had
reserved a lot for Opol National School.
The privilege of occupying public lands with a view of preemption confers no contractual or
vested right in the lands occupied and the authority of the president to withdraw such lands for
sale or acquisition by the public use, prior to the divesting by the government of title thereof
stands, even though this may defeat the imperfect right of a seller. Lands covered by reservation
are not subject to entry and no lawful settlement on them can be acquired.

22

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, VS.
CARMENCITA M. ALCONABA; LUISITO B. MEL;ENDEZ; CONCEPTION M. LAZARO; MAURICIO B.
MELENDEZ, JR. AND MYRNA M. GALVEZ, represented by CONCEPTION M. LAZARO, respondents.
DATE: APRIL 14, 2004
FILE: GR NO 155012 427 SCRA 611
PONENTE: CHIEF JUSTICE DAVIDE
FACTS:
On November 14, 1996, the respondents filed before the MTC of Cabuyao, Laguana, an
application for registration of tile over 5 parcels of land situated in Barangay Sala, Cabuyao, Laguna. The
applicants averred that their parents had been in possession of the said property since 1949, more or
less. After the death of their mother and father, they partitioned the property among themselves and
subdivided it in 5 lots since then they have been in actual possession of the property in the concept of
owners and in public and peaceful manner.
The OSG opposed because according to it neither the respondents nor their predecessors in
interest possess sufficient tile to the property or have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession and occupation of the land in question; also the muniments of title i.e. tax declarations do not
constitute competent and sufficient evidence of bona fide ownership.
The TC found in favor of the respondents. The CA affirmed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents and their predecessors in interest have been in OCENCO of the
questioned land and whether or not the land in question is an alienable land of the public domain.
HELD:
The respondents did not have in their favor an imperfect title over the land subject of the
application at the time the case was filed with the trial court. They failed to prove that (1) the lot was
classified as part of the disposable and alienable land of the public domain as of June 12, 1945 or earlier;
(2) they and their predecessors in interest have been in OCENCO of the land.
There is no doubt that the subject property of the disposable and alienable agricultural lands of
the public domain. But it is not clear as to when it was classified as alienable and disposable by the
proper authorities.
Further they have failed to prove that they have been in OCENCO of the property. Their
witnesses Carmencita and Mauricio were aged 62 and 60 respectively, when they testified in 1997. Thus
they were only 5 and 3 years old respectively in 1940. Clearly it is quite impossible that they could fully
grasp, before coming to the age of reason, the concept of possession of such a big tract of land and
testified thereon nearly six decades thereon.
Proof of specific acts of ownership must also be presented. These respondents failed to do.
Possession must not be a mere fiction. Actual possession of a land consists in the manifestation of acts of
dominion over it of such nature as a party would naturally exercise over his own property.

23

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND CORAZON NAGUIT.
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR INCOMPLETE TITLES
Facts:
Naguit filed with MCTC a petition for registration of title of a parcel of land. The application seeks judicial confirmation
of Naguits imperfect title over the land. Te MCTC granted the registration however the Republic thru the Office of the
Solicitor General filed a motion for reconsideration claiming that the land applied for was declared alienable and
disposable only on October 15 1980.
Issue: Whether or not under the Property Registration Decree that the subject land first be classified as alienable and
disposable before the applicants possession under a bona fide claim of ownership could even start?
Held:
The phrase since Jun 12, 1945 qualifies its antecedent phrase under a bone fide claim of ownership. Generally
speaking, qualifying words restrict or modify only words or phrases to which they are immediately associated, and not
those distantly or remotely located. Hence, what the law merely requires is that the property sought to be registered is
already alienable and disposable at the time the application for registration of title is filed. In other words it is not
necessary that the land be first classified as alienable and disposable le before the applicants possession under a
bona fide claim of ownership could start.
JAMES R. BRACEWELL vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
CASE NO.: GR NO. 107427, 323 SCRA 193
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR INCOMPLETE TITLE, p. 74
PONENTE: Ynares-Santiago
FACTS:
Sometime in 1908, Maria Cailles, married to james Bracewell Sr., acquired parcels of land totaling 9,657
sqm. Located in Las Pinas, M.M. from the Dalandan and Jimenez families, after which tax declarations were issued
in her name. On Jan. 16, 1961, she sold the said parcels of land to her son (petitioner) by virtue of a deed of sale
which was duly annotated and registered. Tax declarations were thereafter issued in the latters name. On Sept. 19,
1963, petitioner filed for an action for confirmation of imperfect title with the CFI. On Feb. 21, 1964, the Dir. of Lands,
represented by the SolGen, opposed. Registration proceedings were meanwhile suspended on account of an action
filed by Crescencio Leonardo against Maria Cailles, which later upheld the rights of Cailles over those of Leonardo.
On Mar. 26, 1985, entire records were forwarded to the RTC. SolGen resubmitted its opposition. On May 3, 1989,
RTC granted the application. On appeal, CA reversed and set aside the RTC decision. Motion for reconsideration
was denied hence this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: WON petitioner has imperfect title over the subject parcels of land?
RULING: Petition denied

Respondents allege that since the subject parcels of land were only classified as alienable and disposable
on March 27, 1972, petitioner did not have any title to confirm when he filed his application in 1963.

It is required that the applicant must prove that the land is alienable public land.

Petitioner failed to show that the parcels of land subject of his application are alienable or disposable. On the
contrary, it was conclusively shown by the government that the same were only classified as alienable or
disposable on March 27, 1972.

Petitioner cannot claim title by virtue of possession (since 1908) since the subject were not yet alienable at
the time nor capable of private appropriation.

The adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title or confirmation of an imperfect title refers
only to alienable or disposable portions of the public domain.

Rules on the confirmation of imperfect title 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.

24

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
IGNACIO PALOMO, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.
CASE NO.:

G.R. No. 95608 January 21, 1997

CHAPTER:

Chapter 3, pp.73, 201, 216. 223, 224, 245, 269

PONENTE:

ROMERO, J.

FACTS:
1913, Gov General Forbes issued Executive Order No. 40 which reserved for provincial park purposes
some 440,530 square meters of land situated in Barrio Naga, Municipality of Tiwi, Province of Albay. CFI
of Albay then ordered the registration of 15 parcels of land covered by Executive Order No. 40 in the
name of Diego Palomo in 1916.
In 1917, Diego Palomo donated these parcels of land consisting of 74,872 square meters to his heirs,
petitioners Ignacio and Carmen Palomo two months before his death in April 1937. Claiming that the
aforesaid original certificates of title were lost during the Japanese occupation, Ignacio Palomo filed a
petition for reconstitution in 1950 and the TCTs were issued in 1953.
In 1954 President Ramon Magsaysay issued Proclamation No. 47 converting the area embraced by
Executive Order No. 40 into the "Tiwi Hot Spring National Park," under the control, management,
protection and administration of the defunct Commission of Parks and Wildlife, now a division of the
Bureau of Forest Development. The area was never released as alienable and disposable portion of the
public domain and, therefore, is neither susceptible to disposition under the provisions of the Public Land
Law (CA 141) nor registrable under the Land Registration Act (Act No. 496).
The Palomos, however, continued in possession of the property, paid real estate taxes
introduced improvements by planting rice, bananas, pandan and coconuts.

thereon

and

ISSUE:
Whether or not the alleged original certificate of titles issued pursuant to the order of the Court of First
Instance in 1916-1917 and the subsequent TCTs issued in 1953 pursuant to the petition for reconstitution
are valid.
HELD:
The aforesaid "decisions" of the Court of First Instance, were not signed by the judge but were merely
certified copies of notification to Diego Palomo bearing the signature of the clerk of court.
Assuming that the decrees of the Court of First Instance were really issued, the lands are still not capable
of appropriation. The adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title in confirmation of
imperfect title cases applies only to alienable lands of the public domain. There is no question that the
lands in the case at bar were not alienable lands of the public domain. As testified by the District Forester,
records in the Bureau of Forestry show that the subject lands were never declared as alienable and
disposable and subject to private alienation prior to 1913 up to the present. Moreover, as part of the
reservation for provincial park purposes, they form part of the forest zone.
It is elementary in the law governing natural resources that forest land cannot be owned by private
persons. It is not registrable and possession thereof, no matter how lengthy, cannot convert it into private
property, unless such lands are reclassified and considered disposable and alienable.

25

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, FLORENTINO CENIZA, SANTIAGO CENIZA
CASE NO: 392 SCRA 193
CHAPTER: Judicial Confirmation of Imperfect or Incomplete title
FACTS:
Apolinar Ceniza was the declared owner in 1948 of Lot No. 1104, located at Cabancalan, Mandaue City,.
When he died, his heirs took possession of the property and in 1960 partitioned the same through a deed of
extrajudicial partition. Apolinars children, and so forth to grandchildren
Private respondent Florentino Ceniza purchased the shares of his sisters Manuela and Mercedes and the share
pertaining to the siblings Jesusa, Benjamin and Delfin. Together with his share, Florentino became the owner of Lot
Nos. 1104-A&C and had them tax declared in his name and so on sold to their family members and children and
grandchildren Private respondents applied for registration of their respective titles over the property they inherited
from Apolinar Ceniza, with the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City, Branch 28. Petitioner Republic of the
Philippines, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General opposed the application on the ff.grounds:
1)that neither the applicant/s nor their precedessors-in-interest have been OCEN n question since June 12,
1945 or prior thereto2. That the muniment/s or title and/or the tax declaration/s and tax payment/s receipt/s of
applicant/s if any, alleged in the application, do/es not constitute competent evidence of a bona fide acquisition of the
lands applied for 3. That the claim of ownership in fee simple on the basis of Spanish title or grant can no longer be
availed of by the applicants who have failed to file an appropriate application for registration within the period of six
(6) months from February 16, 1976 as required by Presidential Decree No. 892. From the records, it appears that the
instant application was filed on October 25, 1996.
ISSUE:
(a) whether there is a need for private respondents to establish that the land subject of their application was
alienable and disposable despite proofs showing their possession thereof for more than 30 years; and (b)
whether private respondents were able to meet the period required by the Public Land Act, as amended
RULING:
1) Appellant was thus no longer required to prove that the property in question is classified as alienable and
disposable land of the public domain. Clearly, the property no longer forms part of the public domain. The long and
continuous possession thereof by appellees converted said property to a private one
Petitioner contends that
before a public land can be registered in the name of a private individual, it must be shown first that (a) the land has
been classified alienable and disposable, and (b) the applicant, by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest,
has been in continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the same under a bona fide claim of
ownership since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto. before it was amended by PD No. 1073, and Section (50) 9 of the
Public Land Act as the applicable law in this case. They maintain that the land subject of their application is an
agricultural land devoted to corn and other root crops. Further, they have been in possession of the land since 1927.
Estanislao Ceniza, one of the children of Apolinar and who was already ten years old at that time, testified that his
father was the one in possession of the land,
2) Conclusively, the Court of Appeals erred when it held that mere adverse possession in accordance with law for
a period likewise provided for by law would automatically entitle the possessor to the right to register public land in his
name. The applicant has to establish first the disposable and alienable character of the public land. Otherwise, all
public lands, regardless of their classification, can be subject of registration of private titles, as long as the applicant
shows that he meets the required years of possession. Worth noting is the case of Bracewell v. Court of Appeals, 11
where the applicant had been in possession of the property since 1908 but it was conclusively shown by the
government that the land was classified as alienable or disposable only on 27 March 1972. The Court said:
x x x. Thus, even granting that petitioner and his predecessors-in-interest had occupied the same since 1908, he still
cannot claim title thereto by virtue of such possession since the subject parcels of land were not A at that time nor
capable of private appropriation. The adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title or confirmation of
an imperfect title refers only to alienable or disposable portions of the public domain.12 3)Thus, while the Court of
Appeals erred in ruling that mere possession of public land for the period required by law would entitle its occupant to
a confirmation of imperfect title, it did not err in ruling in favor of private respondents as far as the first requirement in
Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act is concerned, for they were able to overcome the burden of proving the
alienability of the land subject of their application.

26

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
MOISES HERICO VS. CIPRIANO DAR AND THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR INCOMPLETE TITLES
Facts:
The plaintiff herein in is the owner of a piece of land for having for complied with Commonwealth 141 which provides:
that who by themselves have been in continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of an
agricultural lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, for at least thirty years
immediately preceding the filing of application for confirmation of title except when prevented by force majeure. These
conditions shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a government grant and
shall be entitled to a certificate of title. The defendant herein is a tenant of the plaintiff, he applied for a free patent
over the land and was granted.
Issue:
Whether or not the Director of Lands had the authority to grant the free patent?
Held:
The free patent was cancelled. When a person has complied with the provisions of Commonwealth Act. 141, by
operation of law he is deemed to have acquired a right to a government grant without the necessity of a certificate of
title being issued. The land then not being public land can not be the subject of a free patent so the act of the Director
of Lands in granting the free patent is null and void.

27

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
LAUSAN AYOG vs. JUDGE VICENTE CUSI, JR.
CASE NO.: NO. L-46729 118 SCRA 492
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR INCOMPLETE TITLE, p. 93-94
PONENTE: Aquino
FACTS:
During the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution which expressly allowed private juridical entities to acquire
alienable lands of the public domain not exceeding 1,024 hectares, respondent Binan Development Co., Inc., a
private corporation, purchased from the Bureau of Lands a parcel of public agricultural land with an area of 150
hectares and obtained favorable judgment from a civil court evict the occupants thereof. However, it was only when
the 1973 Constitution took effect that the sales patent and the Torrens title of the subject land were issued and the
judgment of the lower court became final and executory after its affirmance of appeal. Petitioners brought an action
for prohibition when Respondent Corporation moved for execution of the judgment evicting them from the premises.
Petitioners contended that the adoption of the 1973 Constitution disqualifying a private corporation from purchasing
public lands was a supervening fact which rendered it legally impossible to execute the lower courts judgment.
ISSUE:
WON the 1973 Constitution is an obstacle to the implementation of the trial courts 1964 final and executory judgment
ejecting the petitioners?
RULING:
Petition is dismissed

Prohibition under Sec. 11, Art. XIV of the 1973 Constitution has no retroactive application to the sales
application of Respondent Corporation because the latter had already acquired a vested right to the land
applied for at the time the new Constitution took effect.

Rule: where the applicant, before the Constitution took effect, had fully complied with the construction and
cultivation requirements and has fully paid the purchase price, he should be deemed to have acquired by
purchase the particular tract of land and to him the area limitation in the new Constitution would not apply.

28

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
VALENTIN SUSI vs. ANGELA RAZON and THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS
CASE NO.: G. R. No.24066. December 9, 1925. 48SCRA 425
CHAPTER: CHAPTER II Classification of Public Lands
PONENTE: VILLA- REAL, J.:
FACTS:
Nemesio Pinlac sold the land in question, then a fishpond, to Apolonio Garcia and Basilio Mendoza. They
later sold it to Valentin Susi, reserving the right to repurchase it. Before the execution of the deed of sale,
Valentin Susi had already paid its price and sown "bacawan" on said land, with the proceeds of the sale
of which he had paid the price of the property. The possession and occupation of the land in question,
has been open, continuous, adverse and public, without any interruption, except during the revolution, or
disturbance. Angela Razon commenced an action to recover the possession of said land. The trial court
rendered judgment in favor of Valentin Susi. After failing in the court, Angela Razon applied to the
Director of Lands for the purchase. Having learned of said application, Valentin Susi, asserting his
possession of the land for twenty-five years. The Director of Lands overruled the opposition of Valentin
Susi and sold the land to Angela Razon.
ISSUE:
Whether or not an open, continous, adverse possession of land of public domain from time immemorial
confers an effective title on the said possessor.
RULING:
Valentin Susi has been in possession of the land in question openly, continuously, adversely, and
publicly, personally and through his predecessors, since the year 1880. When on August 15, 1914,
Angela Razon applied for the purchase of said land; Valentin Susi had already been in possession thereof
personally and through his predecessor for thirty-four years. In favor of Valentin Susi, there is, moreover,
the presumption juris et de jure established in paragraph (b) of section 45 of Act No. 2874, amending Act
No. 926, that all the necessary requirements for a grant by the Government were complied with, for he
has been in actual and physical possession, personally and through his predecessors, of an agricultural
land of the public domain openly, continuously, exclusively and publicly since July 26, 1894, with a right to
a certificate of title to said land under the provisions of Chapter VIII of said Act. When Angela Razon
applied for the grant in her favor, Valentin Susi had 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 certificate of title should be issued in
order that said grant may be sanctioned by the courts, an application therefore is sufficient, under the
provisions of section 47 of Act No. 2874. If by a legal fiction, Valentin Susi had acquired the land in
question by a grant of the State, it had already ceased to be the public domain and had become private
property, at least by presumption, of Valentin Susi, beyond the control of the Director of Lands.
Consequently, in selling the land in question to Angela Razon, the Director of Lands disposed of a land
over which he had no longer any title or control, and the sale thus made was void and of no effect, and
Angela Razon did not thereby acquire any right.

29

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
MESINA VS. VDA. DE SONZA, ET AL.
CASE NO.: L-14722; 108 PHIL 251
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OF INCOMPLETE TITLE
PONENTE: BAUTISTA ANGELO
Facts:
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiffs action is already barred by the statute
of limitations. The reasons advanced are: the complaint was filed on March 25, 1958. The decree of
registration or issuance of patent over the property was issued sometime on September 12, 1958 or
thereabout, while the transfer certificate of title covering the same was issued on September 16, 1953.
The present action which calls for the cancellation of said decree and title has, therefore, been filed after
the lapse of more than four years, which cannot be done, because the title has already become
indefeasible and incontrovertible.
Plaintiff claims that he is the owner in fee simple of Lot No. 3259, with improvements thereon,
situated in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija; that he has been in actual possessing thereof since 1914, publicly,
openly, peacefully, and against the whole world and up to the present time he is the only one who
benefits from the produce thereof; that said lot is at present the subject of registration proceedings.
The Directors of Lands, without exercising due care, and in spite of his knowledge that
defendants had not complied with the requirements of Commonwealth Act No. 141, issued a homestead
patent in their favor as a consequence of which a certificate of title was issued in their name by the
Register of Deeds; that said title was procured by defendants through fraud, deception and
misrepresentation since they knew that the lot belonged to the plaintiff; and that the Director of Lands has
no authority nor jurisdiction to issue a patent covering said land because it is the private property of
plaintiff. For these reasons, plaintiff prays that said decree and title be cancelled.
Issue:
Whether or not the plaintiff has validly acquired the land in question by a State grant.
Held:
Where all the necessary requirements for a grant by the government are applied with through actual
physical possession, openly, continuously and publicly, with a right to a certificate of title to said land
under the provisions of Chapter VIII of Act No. 2874, amending Act No. 926 (carried over as Chapter VIII
of Commonwealth Act No. 141), the possessor is deemed to have 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 be
issued in order that said grant may be sanctioned by the courts- an application therefore being sufficient
under the provisions of Section 47 of Act No. 284 (reproduced as Section 50, Commonwealth Act No.
141). If by legal fiction, the possessor is deemed to have acquired the land by a grant of the State, it
follows that the same has ceased to be part of public domain and has become private property and
therefore, is beyond the control of the Director of Lands. Consequently, the homestead patent and the
original certificate of title covering said lot issued by the Director of Lands in favor, of other persons may
be said to be null and void having been issued through fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.

30

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioner, VS
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND ACME PLYWOOD AND VENEER CO INC, respondents
DATE: DECEMBER 29, 1986
FILE: GR NO L-73002 ; 146 SCRA 509
PONENTE: CJ NARVASA
FACTS:
Mariano Infiel and Acer Infiel, both members of the Dumagat tribe sold to ACME the land in
question on October 29, 1962. the sale took effect during the effectivity of the 1935 constitution which
allowed possession by corporations of holding lands of the public domain.
The registration proceedings commenced on July 17, 1981, or long after the 1973 constitution
has gone into effect. Under sec 11 Art. 14 of said constitution private corporations or associations are
prohibited from holding alienable lands of the public domain, except by lease not to exceed 100 hectares.
It is on this note that the Director of Lands find support of its assertion that ACME should not be
allowed to have the land in question registered under its name.
ISSUE:
WON the Director of Lands is correct in arguing that ACME no longer have the right to register
the land it bought from the Infiels.
HELD:
No. it is not correct. A juridical confirmation proceeding should at most be limited to ascertaining
whether the possession claimed is of the required character and length of time as it is not so much one to
confer title as it is to recognize a title already vested.
The 1973 constitution cannot impair vested rights. Thus, where the land was acquired in 1962
when corporations were allowed to acquire lands not beyond 1, 024 hectares, the same may be
registered in 1982 although under 1973 constitution corporations cannot acquire lands of the public
domain.
In this case the court holds that the majority ruling in the case of MERALCO must be
reconsidered and no longer deemed to be binding precedent. The correct rule is that alienable public land
held by a possessor, personally or through his predecessors in interest, openly, continuously and
exclusively for the prescribed statutory period of 30 years is converted to private property by the mere
lapse or completion of said period, ipso jure. Therefore the land subject of this appeal was already
private property at the time it was acquired from the Infields by ACME.

31

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
BUENAVENTURA BALBOA vs. CECILIO L. FARRALES
CASE NO:

G.R. No. L-27059

CHAPTER:

CHAPTER 3, P.91

PONENTE:

JOHNSON, J.

February 14, 1928

FACTS:
1913, Balboa filled with the Bureau of Lands an application for homestead on a 14 hectare land. 1918,
Balboa submitted proof, showing his residence upon, and cultivation of said land, as well as his
compliance with all of the other requirements of section 3 of said Act No. 926, which final proof was
approved by the Director of Lands on February 15, 1918. Thereafter, Act 926 was repealed by Act 2874.
1920, the homestead patent was issued. 1924,Balboa, sold the land to Farrales for Php 950 and the
latter had a TCT issued to him. 1926, Balboa commenced action to declare the sale null and void for lack
of consent and fraud.
TC declared the deed was null and void, in view of the fact that it was executed before the lapse of five
years from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title in favor of Buenventura Balboa, in violation of
the prohibition contained in section 116 of Act No.
2874.
ISSUE:
Whether the validity of the sale of the land in question should be determined under the provisions of Act
No. 926 or under those of Act No. 2874. In other words, which of the two Acts 926 and 2874 shall
be applied in determining whether the sale in question is valid or not
HELD:
The land was acquired by Buenventura Balboa as homestead under the provisions and pursuant to the
requirements of Act No. 926. In 1918 and prior to the repeal of said Act he submitted his final proof, and
after the same had been approved by the Government, and while Act No. 926 was still in force, he
became the owner of the land and "entitled to a patent." At least on that date his right to the land, as
owner, ripened into a vested right.
The fact the homestead patent or certificate of title No. 91 was issued on 1920, after the repeal of Act No.
926, and under the provisions of section 116 of the repealing Act No. 2874, cannot prejudice the vested
right acquired by Balboa under the provisions of the former Act. The issuance of the certificate of title was
a mere ministerial act, and the certificate, an outward symbol of his vested right to the land, of which he
was
virtually recognized as owner by the Government in 1918.
A party who was has complied with all the terms and conditions which entitle him to a patent for a
particular tract of public land acquires a vested interest therein, and is to be regarded as the equitable
owner thereof. The delay in the issuance of the patent cannot affect the vested right of the homesteader.

32

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILLIPPINES vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND EMILIO
BERNABE, SR., EMILIO BERNABE, JR., LUZ BERNABE, AMPARO BERNABE, AND ELISA
BERNABE
CASE NO.: No. L-40402. March 16, 1987
CHAPTER: Classification of Public Lands
PONENTE: PARAS, J.:
FACTS:
Lot 622 was segregated from the forest zone and released and certified by the Bureau of Forestry as an
agricultural land for disposition. Respondents file a petition to perfect their rights and register their titles to
said lots, having allegedly acquired ownership and possession of said parcels of land by purchase from
the original owners. Director of Forestry filed an opposition, however he found the area to be the portion
of the timberland already released by the government from the mass of public forests and promptly
withdrew his Opposition. The lower court found that the petitioners have complied with all the terms and
conditions. Petitioner Republic of the Philippines filed a petition for review of the decrees of registration
under Section 38, of Act No. 46, as amended and the corresponding decision of the lower court, on the
grounds that the entire proceeding was vitiated by lack of notice to the Solicitor General of the
subsequent hearings of the petition for re-opening of the cadastral proceedings; that the parcels of land
subject matter of the petition to re-open cadastral proceedings are portions of the public domain and that
under the circumstances, respondents employed actual fraud in procuring title over the parcels of land.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the lots claimed by respondents could legally be the subject of a judicial confirmation of
title.
RULING:
Forest lands or areas covered with forests are excluded. They are incapable of registration and their
inclusion in a title, whether such title be one issued during the Spanish sovereignty or under the present
Torrens system of registration, nullifies the title. Thus, possession of forestlands, however long, cannot
ripen into private ownership. A parcel of forestland is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Bureau of
Forestry and beyond the power and jurisdiction of the cadastral court to register under the Torrens
System. Thus, even if the reopening of the cadastral proceedings was at all possible, private respondents
have not qualified for a grant under Sec. 48 (b) of Commonwealth Act 141, the facts being that private
respondents could only be credited with 1 year, 9 months and 20 days possession and occupation of lots
involve, counted from July 6, 1965, the date when the land, which includes the lots claimed by
respondents, had been segregated from the forest zone and released by the Bureau of Forestry as an
agricultural land of disposition under the Public Land Act..

33

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
HEIRS OF PELAGIO ZARA; PIO, CLEMENTE, SERAFIA, PORFIRIO and ESTEBAN, all surnamed
MINDANAO; MARIA and GLICERIA, both surnamed SEDARIA; DULCE CORDERO, VICTORIA DE
LOS REYES and JOSE GARCIA, applicants-appellants,
vs.
DIRECTOR OF LANDS, DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY, Government oppositor-appellees.
VICENTE V. DE VILLA, JR., and VICENTE S. DE VILLA, SR., private oppositors-appellees
CASE NO. 20 SCRA 641
CHAPTER: JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR INCOMPLETE TITLES P.96
PONENTE: J. MAKALINTAL
FACTS:
A parcel of land which had been declared public land in a previous registration proceeding, was again
subject of application by persons claiming an imperfect title thereto on the basis of their continuous and
adverse possession for more than 30 years. The trial court, however, dismissed the application on the
ground of res judicata.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a land declared to be a public land in a previous registration case may be the subject of
judicial confirmation?
HELD:
It should be noted that appellants' application is in the alternative: for registration of their title of ownership
under Act 496 or for judicial confirmation of their "imperfect" title or claim based on adverse and
continuous possession for at least thirty years. It may be that although they were not actual parties in that
previous case the judgment therein is a bar to their claim as owners under the first alternative, since the
proceeding was in rem, of which they and their predecessor had constructive notice by publication. Even
so this is a defense that properly pertains to the Government, in view of the fact that the judgment
declared the land in question to be public land. In any case, appellants' imperfect possessory title was not
disturbed or foreclosed by such declaration, for precisely the proceeding contemplated in the afore cited
provision of Commonwealth Act 141 presupposes that the land is public. The basis of the decree of
judicial confirmation authorized therein is not that the land is already privately owned and hence no longer
part of the public domain, but rather that by reason of the claimant's possession for thirty years he is
conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant.

34

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND MANUELA PASTOR
CASE NO.: G. R. No. L- 47847. July 31, 1981. 106 SCRA 427
CHAPTER: Chapter II Classification of Public Lands
PONENTE: MAKASIAR, J.:
FACTS:
Manuela Pastor filed with the CFI, an application for confirmation of imperfect title over thirteen (13) lots.
Seven (7) of the lots were allegedly inherited by respondent Manuela Pastor from her parents and the
other (6) lots were allegedly inherited by respondent form her aunt Rosario Pastor. In her application, the
respondent claims that she and her predecessors-in-interest had been in continuous, uninterrupted, open,
public adverse and notorious possession of the lots under claim of ownership for more than thirty (30)
years. The Director of Lands filed an opposition to the application on the ground that applicant Manuela
Pastor and her predecessors-in-interest neither had title in fee simple nor imperfect title under Section 48
of the Public Land Law and that the said lands were declared public land in a previous cadastral
proceeding.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the registration of the lands in the name of the respondent wherein there is a previous
declaration that the land was public in a cadastral proceeding.
RULING:
The decision in Cadastral Case does not constitute a bar to the application of the respondent Manuela
Pastor because a decision in a cadastral proceeding declaring a lot public land is not the final decree
contemplated in Sec.38 and 49 of LRA. The uncontradicted testimony of private respondent Manuela
Pastor, which was further corroborated by the testimony of Antonio Pastor, conclusively established
beyond doubt that the respondent, together with her predecessors-in-interest since the year 1913, and up
to the present, had been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the
lots in question under a bona fide claim of ownership. Moreover, the documentary evidence submitted by
private respondent also show that the lots have been declared for taxation purposes in the name of
respondent Manuela Pastor and the taxes thereon have been paid by said respondent herein. And finally,
Geodetic Engineer Quirino Clemeneo who conducted by the Bureau of Lands testified that the thirteen
(13) lot sin question did not encroach upon public or private lands. Alls these are unmistakable indicia that
respondent Manuela Pastor has performed and complied with all the conditions essential to entitle her to
a confirmation of her imperfect title over the thirteen (13) lots subject of her application.

35

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND TANCINCO
CASE NO.: L-61647; 132 SCRA 514
CHAPTER: REGISTRATION UNDER THE PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE
PONENTE: GUTIERREZ, JR.
Facts:
Respondents, Benjamin Tancinco, Azucena Tancinco Reyes, Maria Tancinco Imperial and Mario C.
Tancinco are registered owners of a parcel of land covered by TCT # T-89709 situated in Barrio Ubinan,
Meycauayan, Bulacan bordering on the Meycauayan and Bocaue rivers.
On June 24, 1974, the private respondents filed an application for the registration of the three lots
adjacent to their fishpond property.
On April 5, 1974, Assistant Provincial Fiscal Armando C. Vicente, in representation of the Bureau
of Lands filed a written opposition to the application for registration.
The Lower Court rendered a decision granting the application on the finding that the lands in
question are accretions to the private respondents fishponds.
CA affirmed Lower Courts decision.
Republic contended that there is no accretion to speak of under Article 457 of the new Civil Code
because what actually happened is that the private respondents simply transferred their dikes further
down the river bed of Meycauayan river, and thus, if there is any accretion to speak of, it is the man-made
and artificial and not the result of the gradual and imperceptible sedimentation by the waters of the river.
Issue:
Whether or not the accretion can be a valid subject of registration.
Held:
That the testimony of the private respondents lone witness to the effect that as early as 1939 there
already existed such alleged alluvial deposits, deserves no merit. It should be noted that the lots in
question were not included in the survey of their adjacent property conducted on May 10, 1940 and in the
Cadastral Survey of the entire Municipality of Meycauayan conducted between the years 1958 to 1960.
The alleged accretion was declared for taxation purposes only in 1972 or 33 years after it had supposedly
permanently formed. The only valid conclusion therefore is that the said areas could not have been there
in 1939. They existed only after the private respondents transferred their dikes towards the bed of the
Meycauayan River in 1951. What private respondents claim as accretion is really an encroachment of a
portion of the Meycauayan River by reclamation.
The lower court cannot validly order the registration of lots 1 and 2 in the names of the private
respondents. These lots were portions of the bed of the Meycauayan River and are therefore classified as
property of the public domain. They are not open to registration under the Land registration Act. The
adjudication of the lands in question as property in the names of the private respondents is null and void.

36

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
IGNACIO GRANDE, ET AL., petitioners, vs.
Hon. CA, Domingo Calalung, and Esteban Calalung
DATE: JUNE 30, 1962
FILE: GR NO L-17652; 5 SCRA 524
PONENTE: JUSTICE BARRERA
FACTS:
Petitioners are the owners of a parcel of land with an area of 3.5 hectares in Magsaysay, Isabela.
When it was surveyed for purposes of registration sometime in 1930, its northeastern boundary was the
Cagayan River. Since then, and for many years thereafter, a gradual accretion on the northeastern side
took place, by action of the current of the river, so much so, that by 1958, a 19,964 sq. m. had been
added to the registered area
Respondents in this case claim ownership in themselves, asserting that they have been in
OCENCO of said portion of land since 1933. Petitioners moved for an action to quiet title to the land.
The trial court adjudged the ownership of the land to petitioners
ISSUE:
WON the alluvial property belong to petitioners and if it is whether such bcomes automatically
registered land.
HELD:
NO. There can be no dispute that petitioners are the lawful owners of said alluvial property, as
they are the registered owners of the land which it adjoins. It does not however, become a registered land
just because the lot which receives it is covered by a Torrens title thereby making the alluvial property
imprescriptible.
Ownership of land is one thing, and registration under the Torrens system is quite another.
Ownership over the accretion received by the land adjoining the river is governed by the civil code.
Imprescriptibility of registered land is provided in the registration law. Registration under the Land
Registration and Cadastral Acts does not vest or give title to the land, but merely confirms and thereafter
protects the title already possessed by the owner, making it imprescriptible by occupation of third parties.
But to obtain this protection, the land must be placed under the operation of the registration Laws. The
fact remains that petitioners never sought registration of said alluvial property.
The increment therefore never became registered property, and hence is not entitled or subject to
the protection of Imprescriptibility enjoyed by registered property under the Torrens System.
Consequently, it was subject to acquisition through prescription by 3 rd persons.

37

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
IGNACIO VS. DIRECTOR OF LANDS AND VALERIANO
CASE NO.: 108 PHIL 334
CHAPTER: REGISTRATION UNDER THE PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE
PONENTE: NARVASA
Facts:
On January 25, 1950, Ignacio filed an application for the registration of a parcel of land, situated in Barrio
Gasac, Navotas, Rizal. He alleged that he owned the parcel applied for by the right of accretion. The land
applied for adjoins a parcel owned by the applicant which he had acquired from the government by virtue
of a free patent title in 1936. It has also been established that the parcel was formed by accretion and
alluvial deposits caused by the action of the Manila Bay which borders it on the southwest. He claims that
he had acquired the land since 1935, planting it with api-api trees, and that his possession thereof has
been in continuous, adverse and public for a periods of 20 years.
Director of Lands filed an opposition to the application. He claimed that the parcel applied for as
a portion of the public domain for the reason that neither the applicant nor his predecessor-in-interest
possessed sufficient title thereto, not having acquired it either by composition title from the Spanish
government or by possessory information title under Royal Decree of February 13, 1894, and that he had
not possessed the same openly, continuously and adversely under a bonafide claim of ownership since
July 26, 1894. He sought to prove that the parcel is foreshore land, covered by the ebb and flow of the
tide, and therefore, formed part of the public domain.
Ignacio used Article 457 of Civil Code, Article 1, 4 and 5 of the Law on Waters.
Issue:
Whether or not Ignacio can validly register the land he acquired through accretion under the Property
Registration Decree.
Held:
Article 4 of the Law of Waters of 1866 provides that when a portion of the shores are no longer washed
by the waters of the sea and is not necessary for purposes of public utility, or for the establishment of
special industries, or for coastguard services, the government shall declare it to be the property of the
owners of the estates adjacent thereto and as an increment thereof. We believe that only the executive
and possibly the legislative departments have the authority and the power to make the declaration that
any land so gained by the sea, in not necessary for the purposes of public utility, or for the establishment
of special industries, or for coastguard service. If no such declaration has been made by said
departments, the lot in question forms part of the domain.
The courts are neither primarily called upon, nor indeed in a position to determine whether any
public land are to be used for the purposes specified in Article 4 of the Law of Waters.
The occupation or material possession of any land formed upon the shore by accretion, without
previous permission from the proper authorities, although the occupant may have held, the same as
owner for 17 years and constructed a wharf on the land, is illegal and is a mere detainer, in as much as
such land is outside of the sphere of commerce; it pertains to the national domain; it is intended for public
uses and for the benefit of those who live nearby.

38

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD AND VENEER CO. OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. UNIVERSITY OF THE
PHILIPPINES
CASE NO.: 200 SCRA 554
CHAPTER: REGISTRATION UNDER THE PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE
PONENTE: NARVASA
Facts:
Plaintiff International Hardwood and Veneer Co. of the Philippines was granted by the government an executive
license for a period of 25 years expiring on February 1, 1985 to cut, collect and remove timber from that portion of
timber land located in Municipalities of Infanta, Mauban, and Sampaloc, Province of Quezon and in the municipalities
if Siniloan, Pangil, Paete, Cavinti, and Calauan, Province of Laguna. Plaintiff, since June 4, 1953, continuously up to
the present, has been in peaceful possession of said timber concession and had been felling, cutting and removing
timber from pursuant to such license. Likewise, the plaintiff has constructed roads and other improvements and
installations of the said area subject to the grant and purchased equipment in implementation of the conditions
contained in the license agreement. On September 25, 1961, during the effectivity of such license, the President of
the Philippines issued Executive Proclamation #791 which provides: Reserving for the College of Agriculture,
University of the Philippines, as experiment station for the proposed dairy research and training institute and for
Agricultural Research and Production Studies of this College. A certain parcel of land of the public domain, situated
partly in the Municipalities of Paete and Pakil, Province of Laguna and partly in the Municipalities of Infanta, Province
of Quezon, Island of Luzon. This was subsequently enacted by Congress RA 3990 which provides:
An act to establish a Central Experiment Station for the University of the Philippines: that the parcel of
public domain consisting of 300 hectares more or less, located in Municipalities of Paete, Province of Laguna, the
precise boundaries of which are stated in Executive Proclamation #791; is hereby ceded and transferred in full
ownership to the University of the Philippines, subject to any concessions if any.
On the strength of RA 3990, University of the Philippines has demanded, verbally as well as in writing to plaintiff:
1. That the forest charges due and payable by plaintiff under the license agreement referred to in paragraph 2
hereof be paid to the UP, instead of BIR;
2. That the selling of any timber felled or cut by plaintiff with boundaries of the Central Experiment Station be
performed by personnel of UP.
Petitioner contended that UP does not have the right to supervise and regulate the cutting and removal of the timber
and other forest products, to scale, measure and seal the timber cut and or to collect forest charges, reforestation
fees and royalties from petitioner and or impose any other duty or burden upon the latter in that portion of its
concession, covered by license agreement 27-A; ceded in full ownership to the UP by RA 3990.
Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner can validly register the land in question under the Property Registration Decree.
Held:
When it ceded and transferred the property to UP, the Republic of the Philippines completely removed it from the
public domain and more specifically, in respect to the areas covered by the timber license of petitioner, removed and
segregated it from a public forest; it divested itself of its right and title thereto and relinquished and conveyed the
same to UP; and made the letter the absolute owner thereof, subject only to the existing concession. The proviso
regarding existing concessions refers to the timber license of petitioner. All that it means, however, is that the right of
petitioner as a timber license must not be affected, impaired or diminished; it must be respected. But, insofar as the
Republic of the Philippines is concerned, all its rights as grantor of the license were effectively assigned, added and
conveyed to UP as a consequence of the above transfer of full ownership.
An incidental receipts or income therefrom shall pertain to the general fund of the University of the Philippines.
Having been effectively segregated and removed from the public domain or from a public forest and, in effect,
converted into registered private woodland, the authority and jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry over it likewise
terminated.

39

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
GENEROSO MENDOZA, substituted by his wife and administratrix DIEGA DE LEON VDA. DE
MENDOZA, petitioner,
vs.
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, DANIEL GOLE CRUZ and DOLORES MENDOZA, respondents.
CASE NO: 84 SCRA 67
CHAPTER: FORM AND CONTENTS, DEALINGS WITH LAND P. 151
PONENTE: J. SANTOS
FACTS:
Petitioner filed an application for registration of two parcels of land, with a residential house thereon at
Bulacan. During the pendency of the case, petitioners sold said parcel to respondents, subject to the
vendors usufructuary rights. The instrument of sale was presented to the court and the court rendered a
decision ordering the registration of two parcels of land in the name of the respondents. The
corresponding decree and title were issued to them. Thereafter, petitioner filed an urgent motion for
reconsideration praying that the decision and decree be set aside and title cancelled, on the ground that
respondents (vendees) had failed to pay the purchase price of the lands. The registration court set aside
its decision. It held that it did not have jurisdiction to order registration in the names of respondents who
were not parties to the application for registration. The court rendered registration in the name of
petitioner. Respondents went to the Court of Appeals which reverses the order of the RTC. In the
Supreme Court, petitioner argued that the registration court could not legally order the registration of the
land in the names of the respondents since they were neither the applicants nor the oppositors in the
registration case.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in holding that although there was no formal amendment of the application
for registration substituting the vendees for the applicant, the registration court could legally order the title
issued in the name of vendees because the applicant himself provided the basis for adjudication; and that
the application could have been amended to conform to the evidence already advanced by substituting
the vendees for the said applicant.
HELD:
Petitioner overlooks Section 29 of the Land Registration Act (Sec. 23 Land Registration decree) which
expressly authorizes the registration of the land subject matter of a registration proceeding in the name of
the buyer or of the person to whom the land has been conveyed by an instrument executed during the
interval of time between the filing of the application for registration and the issuance of the decree of title,
It is clear from the said provision that the law expressly allows the land subject matter of an application for
registration to be "dealt with", i.e., to be disposed of or encumbered during the interval of time between
the filing of the application and the issuance of the decree of title, and to have the instruments embodying
such disposition or encumbrance presented to the registration court by the ,interested party" for the court
to either "order such land registered subject to the encumbrance created by said instruments, or order the
decree of registration issued in the name of the buyer or of the person to whom the property has been
conveyed by said instruments. 17 The law does not require that the application for registration be
amended by substituting the "buyer" or the person to whom the property has been conveyed" for the
applicant. Neither does it require that the "buyer" or the "person to whom the property has been
conveyed" be a party to the case. He may thus be a total stranger to the land registration proceedings.
The only requirements of the law are: (1) that the instrument be presented to the court by the interested
party together with a motion that the same be considered in relation with the application; and (2) that prior
notice be given to the parties to the case. And the peculiar facts and circumstances obtaining in this case
show that these requirements have been complied with.

40

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs. COURT OF APPEALS and TEODORO ABISTADO
CASE NO.: G. R. No. 102858. July 28, 1997. 276 SCRA 276
CHAPTER: Chapter III B. Publication Opposition and Default
PONENTE: PANGANIBAN, J.:
FACTS:
Teodoro Abistado filed a petition for original registration during the pendency of his petition, applicant
died. He was substituted by his heirs. The land registration court in its decision dismissed the petition for
want of jurisdiction. It noted that applicants failed to comply with the provisions of Section 23 (1) of PD
1529, requiring the Applicants to publish the notice of Initial Hearing in a newspaper of general circulation
in the Philippines. Unsatisfied, they appealed to Court of Appeals, which set aside the decision of the trial
court and ordered the registration of the title in the name of Teodoro Abistado.
The Director of Lands assailed this decision of Court of Appeals.
ISSUE:
Whether or not absent any publication in a newspaper of general circulation, the land registration court
can validly confirm and register the title of private respondents.
RULING:
The law used the term "shall" in prescribing the work to be done by the Commissioner of Land
Registration upon the latter's receipt of the court order setting the time for initial hearing. The said word
denotes an imperative and thus indicates the mandatory character of a statute. Section 23 of PD 1529
requires notice of the initial hearing by means of (1) publication, (2) mailing and (3) posting, all of which
must be complied with. If the intention of the law were otherwise, said section would not have stressed in
detail the requirements of mailing of notices to all persons named in the petition who, per Section 15 of
the Decree, include owners of adjoining properties, and occupants of the land. If mailing of notices is
essential, then by parity of reasoning, publication in a newspaper of general circulation is likewise
imperative since the law included such requirement in its detailed provision. The reason for the
mandatory rule is that due process and the reality that the Official Gazette is not as widely read and
circulated as newspapers and is oftentimes delayed in its circulation, such that the notices published
therein may not reach the interested parties on time. There was failure to comply with the explicit
publication requirement of the law. Private respondents did not proffer any excuse; even if they had, it
would not have mattered because the statute itself allows no excuses. This Court has no authority to
dispense with such mandatory requirement. Petition Granted.

41

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. MANNA PROPERTIES, INC.,
Represented by its President, JOSE TANYAO, respondent.
CASE NO.:

[G.R. No. 146527. January 31, 2005]

CHAPTER:

CHAPTER 3, PP. 242, 245, 261, 271, 272

PONENTE:

CARPIO, J.:

FACTS:
1994 - Manna Properties filed an Application for the registration of title of two (2) parcels of land. 1995
- the Land Registration Authority requested for the resetting of the initial hearing since April 13, 1995 fell
on Holy Thursday, a non-working day to a date consistent with LRC Circular No. 353 or ninety (90) days
from date of the Order to allow reasonable time for possible mail delays and to enable them to cause the
timely publication of the notice in the Official Gazette. The initial hearing was, accordingly, reset to April
20, 1995 by the court a quo.
RTC granted the application. Government appealed. CA affirmed.
ISSUES:
WHETHER MANNA PROPERTIES FAILED TO COMPLY
REQUIREMENTS FOR ORIGINAL REGISTRATION; and

WITH

THE

JURISDICTIONAL

WHETHER MANNA PROPERTIES HAS SUFFICIENTLY PROVEN POSSESSION OFTHE PROPERTY


FOR THE REQUISITE PERIOD.
HELD:
The duty and the power to set the hearing date lies with the land registration court. This involves a
process to which the party applicant absolutely has no participation. The facts reveal that Manna
Properties was not at fault why the hearing date was set beyond the 90-day maximum period. Indeed,
nothing in the records indicates that Manna Properties failed to perform the acts required of it by law.
A party cannot intervene in matters within the exclusive power of the trial court. No fault is attributable to
such party if the trial court errs on matters within its sole power. It is unfair to punish an applicant for an
act or omission over which the applicant has neither responsibility nor control, especially if the applicant
has complied with all the requirements of the law.
We have ruled that while a tax declaration by itself is not sufficient to prove ownership, it may serve as
sufficient basis for inferring possession. However, the tax declarations presented by Manna Properties do
not serve to prove their cause.
The annotation at the back of this tax declaration indicates that it was issued to replace the 1945 tax
declaration covering the land in question. A substitute is not enough. The 1945 tax declaration must be
presented considering that the date, 12 June 1945, is material to this case. It is unascertainable
whether the 1945 tax declaration was issued on, before or after 12 June 1945. Tax declarations are
issued any time of the year. A tax declaration issued in 1945 may have been issued in December 1945.
Unless the date and month of issuance in 1945 is stated, compliance with the reckoning date in
CA 141 cannot be established.

42

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. FLORENCIA MARASIGAN AND HON. COURT OF APPEALS
CHAPTER: PUBLICATION, OPPOSITION AND DEFAULT
Facts:
Private respondent is the registered owner of a parcel of land, filed a petition for the reconstitution of the the original
and duplicate copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title on the basis on of the owners duplicate of copy. She alleged
therein that she is in possession of the title subject matter of the petition but she, however , did not allege the
reason why she asked for the reconstitution.
The trial court set the petition for hearing and required its publication in the Official Gazette, which was done.
Required notices, except to the adjoining owners and the actual occupants of the land, were given.
Issue:
Whether or not notices to adjoining owners and the actual occupants of the land are mandatory and jurisdictional in
judicial reconstitution of certificate of title?
Held:
The requirements of Section 12 and 13 of R.A. No. 26 are mandatory and jurisdictional and non compliance
therewith would render all proceedings utterly null and void. These sections require service of notice of the initial
hearing to the adjoining lots and actual occupants of the land even in a reconstitution case.
ANA. P FERNANDEZ vs. FELIZA ABORATIGUE and RESTITUTO BACNAN
CASE NO.: No. L-25313, 36 SCRA 476
CHAPTER: PUBLICATION, OPPOSITION AND DEFAULT, p. 171
PONENTE: Makalintal
FACTS:
Vicente Aboratigue, father of Feliza (defendant), was during his lifetime employed as guard at one of the
gates to the property, and as such was allowed to plant fruit trees in a small portion in the immediate vicinity; and that
after his death Feliza, together with her husband Restituto Bacnan, were allowed to stay therein, but later they
claimed to be the owners of the said portions. In their answer, defendants alleged continuous possession and
cultivation of the disputed area and through their predecessors-in-interest since 1901. The court declared Fernandez
to be the owner of the disputed property and ordered defendants to vacate the same. On appeal, CA certified to the
SC on the ground that the questions involved are purely legal.
ISSUE:
WON a mere claim can defeat a registered title?
RULING:
The judgment appealed from is affirmed

All claims of third persons to the property must be asserted in the registration proceedings. If any claim to a
portion is segregated from the property applied for, and is not included in the decree of registration and
certificate of title subsequently issued to the applicant. It is included, the claim is deemed adversely resolved
with finality, subject only to a petition for review of the decree within one year from its issuance on the
ground of fraud.

It is obvious that a mere claim cannot defeat a registered title.

A claim merely noted on the survey plan cannot prevail over the actual decree of registration as
reproduced in the certificate.

The rule is that the owner of buildings and improvements should claim them during the proceedings for
registration and the fact of ownership, if upheld by the court, must be noted on the face of the certificate.

43

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES PRUDENCIO MAXINO and TARCIANA
MORALES,
PEDRO GONZALES, ROGELIO AQUINO, Minor represented by
his
father, Manuel Aquino, and ALEJANDRO, SOCORRO, MERCEDES,
CONCHITA, REMEDIOS and FLORA, all surnamed CONSOLACION,
respondents.
CASE NO. :

G.R. No. L-56077 February 28, 1985

CHAPTER:

CHAPTER 3, P. 168

PONENTE:

AQUINO, J.

FACTS:
1961, CFI of Quezon ordered the registration of land in the names of the spouses Prudencio Maxino and
Tarciana Morales, less 200 hectares. OCT was issued.
1969, Republic filed with the Gumaca court an amended petition to annul the decision, decree and title on
the ground that they are void because the land in question was still a part of the unclassified public forest.
Moreover, the possessory information title relied upon by the Maxino spouses covered only 29 hectares
of land and not 885 hectares. Petition was denied. CA affirmed &dismissed the petition because the 1970
order had allegedly long become final and unappealable.
ISSUES:
Whether the appeal of the State from the trial court's 1970 order of denial was seasonably made.
HELD:
We hold that the reglementary thirty-day period for appeal should be reckoned from the time the Solicitor
General's Office was appraised of the 1970 order of denial and not from the time the special counsel or
the fiscal was served with that order. These
representatives of the Solicitor General had no power to
decide whether an appeal should be made. They should have referred the matter to the Solicitor General.
Where it is contended that the registration is void allegedly because public forestal land was registered
and the State sought to declare the decision void, the Government should not be estopped by the
mistakes or errors of its agents.
As to the merits of the case. It is incontestable that Lot 1, the 885-hectare area registered by the Maxinos,
is within the public forest, not alienable and disposable nor susceptible of private appropriation. It is
axiomatic that public forestal land is not registrable. Its inclusion in a title, whether the title be issued
during the Spanish regime or under the Torrens system, nullifies the title. Possession of public forestal
lands, however long, cannot ripen into private ownership.

44

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
FLORDELIZA L. VALISNO and HONORIO D. VALISNO vs. HON. JUDGE ANDRES B. PLAN, and VICENCIO
CAYABA
CASE NO: G.R. No. L-55152 August 19, 1986
CHAPTER: Publication, Opposition and Default
PONENTE: FERNAN, J.:
FACTS:
Flordeliza and Honorio Valisno purchased from heirs of Agapita V. Blanco two parcels of land. Petitioners declared
the land for taxation and exercised exclusive possession in the concept of owners by installing as caretaker one
Fermin Lozano, who had his house. Respondent Vicencio Q. Cayaba, claiming to be the owner by virtue of a deed of
sale executed by Bienvenido G. Noriega's favor on by the heirs of Dr. Epifanio Q. Verano, ousted Fermin Lozano
from possession of the land. He subsequently erected a six-door apartment on said land. Petitioners instituted a
complaint against private respondent for recovery of possession of said parcels of land. The case was resolved in
favor of petitioners who were declared owners thereof. On appeal, Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the
lower court. Private respondent filed before the CFI an application for registration in his name of the title of the lands
in question, basing his entitlement thereto on the aforementioned deed of sale as well as the decision of the appellate
court. Petitioners filed an opposition to the application. Private respondent, however, moved for the dismissal of said
opposition on the ground that the same is barred by a prior judgment. Despite the opposition of petitioners to said
motion to dismiss, the lower court issued the first of the assailed orders dismissing the petitioner's opposition on the
ground of res judicata.
ISSUE:
Whether or not res judicata applies in the case at bar.
RULING:
The principle of res judicata operates in the case at bar. For said principle to apply: [a] the former judgment must be
final, [b] it must have been' rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the parties, [c] it must
be a judgment on the merits and [d] there must be between the first and second actions identity of parties, of subject
matter and of cause of action. The decision in CA-G. R. No. 60142-R is a final judgment on the merits rendered by a
court, which had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties. There is, between the registration case under
consideration and the previous civil action for recovery of property, identity of parties, subject matter and cause of
action. One right of a co-owner is to defend in court the interests of the co-ownership. Private respondent Cayaba
defended his ownership over the land in question, he was doing so in behalf of the co-ownership. This is evident from
the fact that one of the evidence he presented to prove ownership was the deed of sale executed by the heirs of Dr.
Epifanio Q. Verano is his and Bienvenido Noriega's favor. The land sought to be recovered by petitioners are the very
same parcels of land being sought to be registered in Cayaba and Noriega's names. While the complaint in the first
action is captioned for recovery of possession, the allegations and the prayer for relief therein raise the issue of
ownership. In effect, it is in the nature of an accion reinvidicatoria. Between the two cases there is identity of causes
of action because in accion reinvidicatoria, possession is sought on the basis of ownership and the same is true in
registration cases. Registration of title in one's name is based on ownership. In both cases, the plaintiff and the
applicant seek to exclude other persons from ownership of the land in question. The only difference is that in the
former case, the exclusion is directed against particular persons, while in the latter proceedings, the exclusion is
directed against the whole world. Nonetheless, the cause of action remains the same. It does not matter that a court
of general jurisdiction decided the first case, while the second case is being heard by one of a limited jurisdiction,
such as a registration court. It is enough that the court, which decided the first case on the merits, had validly
acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties. That both courts should have equal jurisdiction is not a
requisite of res judicata.
Petition dismissed.

45

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC VS. SAYO
CASE NO.: GR NO 60413; 191 SCRA 71
CHAPTER: PUBLICATION, OPPOSITION AND DEFAULT
PONENTE: NARVASA
Facts:
The spouses Casiano Sandoval and Luz Marquez filed an original application for registration of a tract of
land identified as Lot No. 7454 of the Cadastral Survey of Santiago, BL Cad. 211 (July 17, 1961) and having an area
of 33.950 hectares. The land was formerly part of the Municipality of Santiago, Province of Isabela, but had been
transferred to Nueva Vizcaya in virtue of Republic Act No. 236.
Oppositions were filed by the government through the Directors of Lands and the Director of Forestry, and
some others, including the heirs of Liberato Bayaua. In due course, an order of general default was thereafter
entered on December 11, 1961 against the whole world except the oppositors.
The case dragged on for about twenty (20) years until March 3,1981 when a compromise agreement was
entered into by and among all the parties, assisted by their respective counsel, namely: the Heirs of Casiano
Sandoval (who had since died), the Bureau of Forest Development, the Heirs of Liberato Bayaua, and the Philippine
Cacao and Farm Products, Inc.
Under the compromise agreement, the Heirs of Casiano Sandoval (as applicants) renounced their claims
and ceded
1. In favor of the Bureau of Lands, an area of 4,109 hectares;
2. In favor of the Bureau of Forest Development, 12,341 hectares;
3. In favor of the Heirs of Liberato Bayaua, 4,000 hectares;
4. In favor of Philippine Cacao & Farm Products, Inc. 8,000 hectares.
The remaining area of 5,500 hectares was, under the compromise agreement, adjudicated to and
acknowledged as owned by the Heirs of Casiano Sandoval.
In a decision rendered on March 5, 1981, the respondent Judge approved the compromise agreement and
confirmed the title ownership of the parties in accordance with its terms.
The Solicitor General, in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, has taken the present recourse in a bid to
have that decision of March 5,1981 annulled as being patently void and rendered in excess of jurisdiction or with
grave abuse of discretion. The Solicitor General contends that (1) neither the Director of Lands nor the Director of
Forest Development had legal authority to enter into the compromise agreement; (2) as counsel of the Republic, he
should have been but was not given notice of the compromise agreement or otherwise accorded an opportunity to
take part therein; (3) that he was not even served with notice of the decision approving the compromise; it was the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Quirino Province that drew his attention to the patently erroneous decision and
requested him to take immediate remedial measures to bring about its annulment.
Held:
Under the Regahan Doctrine, all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed
to belong to the State. Hence it is that all applicants in land registration proceedings have the burden of overcoming
the presumption that the land thus sought to be registered forms part of the public domain. Unless the applicant
succeeds in showing by clear and convincing evidence that the property involved was acquired by him or his
ancestors either by composition title from the Spanish Government or by possessory information title, or any other
means for the proper acquisition of public lands, the property must be held to be part of the public domain. The
applicant must present competent and persuasive proof to substantiate his claims; he may not rely on general
statements, or mere conclusions of law other than factual evidence of possession and title.
That Spanish document, the Estadistica de Propiedades, cannot be considered a title to property, it not
being one of the grants made during the Spanish regime, and obviously not constituting primary evidence of
ownership. It is an inefficacious document on which base any finding of the private character of the land in question.
It was error disregard the Solicitor General in the execution of the compromise agreement and its
submission to the Court for approval. It is, after all, the Solicitor General, who is the principal counsel of the
government; this is the reason for our holding that Court orders and decisions sent to the fiscal, acting as agent of
the Solicitor General in land registration cases, are not binding until they are actually received by the Solicitor
General.
It thus appears that the compromise agreement and the judgment approving it must be, as they are hereby,
declared null and void, and is set aside.

46

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
EDUBIGIS GORDULA, CELSO V. FERNANDEZ, JR., CELSO FERNANDEZ, NORA ELLEN
ESTRELLADO, DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, J.F. FESTEJO AND CO. INC. AND
REGISTER OF DEEDS OF LAGUNA petitioners vs.
THE HON. Ca AND REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (represented by NPC), respondents
DATE: JANUARY 22, 1998
FILE: GR NO 127296 284 SCRA 617
PONENTE: JUSTICE PUNO
FACTS:
On June 26, 1969, former Pres. Marcos issued Proclamation no 573 withdrawing from sale and
settlement and setting aside as permanent forest reserves, subject to private rights, certain parcels of
lands on of which is Parcel no 9 Caliraya-Lumot River Forest Reserve.
More than 3 years after the land was segregated as part of the Caliraya-Lumot River Forest
Reserve, petitioner Gordula filed with the Bureau of Lands, an application for a free patent over the land.
On February 5, 1973, petitioner Gordula declared the land for taxation purposes this was subsequently
approved on January 17, 1974, the register of deed of Laguna issued, on the basis of Free Patent No
693, OCT no P-1405 in the name of petitioner Gordula. The land was thereafter sold to Celso Fernandez
then again sold to Celso Fernandez
On July 16, 1987, Former Pres. Aquino issued EO 224 vesting in the NAPOCOR complete
jurisdiction, control, and regulation over the Caliraya-Lumot Watershed Reservation. Thereafter, on July
28, 1987 the petitioner Fernandez was asked to remove all improvements made in the Estrelllado lots.
On November 18, 1987 respondent Republic filed against petitioners a complaint for Annulment
of Free Patent and Cancellation of Titles and Reversion with Writ of preliminary Injunction
The trial court rendered judgment in favor of petitioners. The CA reversed.
ISSUE:
WON Proclamation 573 has recognized private rights of land owners prior to reservation
WON petitioners have met the requirements on the 30 year occupation of the land.
HELD:
Petitioners do not contend the nature of the land in the case at bar. The court cannot therefore
agree with petitioners in claiming that since Proclamation 573 recognizes private rights of ownership of
land prior to reservation and since they have established rights thereto. 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 573. He filed for free patent only in 1979, more
than 3 years after the issuance of Proclamation 573. at that time the land was no longer open to private
ownership as it has been classified as public forest for the public good.
The law requires at least 30 years of open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and
occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide claim of ownership, immediately
preceding the filing of the application for free patent. In the case at bar, petitioners have failed to comply
with the mandatory 30 year period of possession. Their 25 year possession of the land prior to its
reservation as part of the Caliraya-Lumot River Forest Reserve cannot be considered compliance with CA
141.

47

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. HEIRS OF ABRILLE
CHAPTER: HEARING, JUDGMENT AND DECREE REGISTRATION
Facts:
The respondent is an owner of a parcel of land with an area of 525,652 square meters. They applied for a subdivision
plan before the Land Registration Commission in which it was granted. Under the subdivision plan total area of
607,779 square meters was granted. 82,127 square meters more than what was on the original certificate of title. A
complaint for Annulment of certificate of title was filed by the Republic(through the Director of Lands) claiming the
excess 82,127 square meters was not in accordance with law for lack of notice and publication as prescribe by the
Land Registration Law, and that the enlarge area was formerly a portion of the Davao River hence a land belonging
to public domain. Lower court ruled in favor of the Republic.
Issue:
Whether or not the lower court erred in canceling the certificate title covering the increase in area?
Held:
The step taken by the respondent in petitioning the court for the approval of their subdivision plan to include the
increased area is unwarranted. This is so because the increased area is not a registered land but formerly a river
bed, under the operation and coverage of the Land Registration Act, proceedings in registrations of land title should
have been filed instead of an approval of subdivision plan.

48

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
CELSO R. HALILI AND ARTHUR R. HALILI vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HELEN MEYERS GUZMAN, DAVID REY
GUZMAN and EMILIANO CATANIAG
CASE NO.: GR NO. 113539, 287 SCRA 465
CHAPTER: CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT, p. 185
PONENTE: Panganiban
FACTS:
Simeon de Guzman, American citizen, died in 1968. his forced heirs were Helen Meyers Guzman (his widow) and
David Rey Guzman (his son) who are also American citizens. On Aug. 9, 1989, Helen executed a deed of quitclaim
transferring and conveying to David all her rights, title and interests in and over 6 parcels of land which the two of
them inherited from Simeon. On Feb. 5, 1991, David sold a parcel of land to Emiliano Cataniag. Owners of the
adjoining lots filed a complaint with the RTC questioning the validity of the 2 conveyances between Helen and
Dabid and between David and Emiliano. RTC dismissed the complaint. On appeal, affirmed. Hence, this petition for
review of certiorari.
ISSUE:
WON the sale is valid?
RULING:
Petition denied

Non-Filipinos cannot acquire or hold title to private lands or to lands of public domain, except only by way of
legal succession.

If land is validly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen, the flaw in the original
transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid.

Since the disputed land is now owned by Cataniag, a Filipino citizen, the prior invalid transfer can no longer
be assailed.

The objective if the constitutional provision to keep our land in Filipino hands has been served.

49

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
KRIVENKO VS. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF MANILA
CASE NO.: L-630; 79 PHIL 461
CHAPTER: CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT
PONENTE: MORAN, C.
Facts:
Alexander a. Krivenko, an alien, bought a residential lot from Magdalena Estate, Inc. in December of 1941. The
registration of which was interrupted by the war. In May 1945, he sought to accomplish said registration but was
denied by the Register of Deeds of Manila on the ground that, being an alien, he cannot acquire land in his
jurisdiction.
Krivenko, then brought the case to the 4 th Branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila by means of a
consulta, and that court rendered judgment sustaining the refusal of the Register of Deeds, from which Krivenko
appealed to the Court.
Issue:
Whether or not an alien under the Constitution may acquire residential land.
Held:
The phrase Public agricultural lands appearing in Section 1 of Article XIII of the Constitution must be construed as
including residential lands and this in conformity with the legislative interpretation given after the adaptation of the
Constitution.
Public agricultural lands for purposes of alienation or disposition, into lands that are strictly agricultural or
actually devoted to cultivation for agricultural purposes; lands that are residential; commercial; industrial or lands for
other purposes.
Under Section 1 of Article XIII of the Constitution, natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural
land, shall not be alienated and with respect to public agricultural lands, their alienation is limited to Filipino citizens.
But this constitutional purpose conserving agricultural resources in the hands of Filipino citizens may easily be
defeated by the Filipinos themselves who may alienate their agricultural lands in favor of aliens. It is partly to prevent
this result that section 5 is included in Article XIII, and it reads as follows:
Section 5. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural land will be transferred or
assigned except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in
the Philippines.
Section 5 is intended to insure the policy of nationalization contained in section 1. both sections must,
therefore, be read together for they have the same purpose and same subject matter. It must be noticed that the
persons against whom the prohibition is directed in section 5 are the very same persons who under section 1 are
disqualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines. And the subject matter of both sections
is the same, namely, the non transferability of agricultural lands to aliens. Since agricultural lands under section 1
includes residential lots, the same technical meaning should be attached to agricultural lands under section 5.
We are deciding the instant case under section 5 of Article XIII of the Constitution which is more
comprehensive and more absolute in the sense that it prohibits the transfer to aliens of any private agricultural land
including residential land whether its origin might have been.
On June 14, 1947, the Congress approved Republic Act No. 133 which allows mortgage of private real
property of any kind in favor of aliens but with a qualification consisting of expressly prohibiting aliens to bid or take
part in any sale of such real property as a consequence of the mortgage.
Perhaps the effect of our Constitution is to preclude aliens admitted freely into the Philippines from owning
sites where they may build their homes. But if this is the solemn mandate of the Constitution, we will not attempt to
compromise it even in the name amity or equity. We are satisfied, however, that aliens are, not completely excluded
by the Constitution from the use of lands for residential purposes. Since their residence in the Philippines is
temporary, they may be granted temporary rights such as a lease contract which is not forbidden by the Constitution.
Should they desire to remain here forever and share our fortunes and misfortunes, Filipino citizenship is not
impossible to acquire. Aliens may not acquire private or public agricultural lands, including residential lands and
accordingly, judgment is affirmed, without costs.

50

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. BUYCO
CASE NO.: GR NO. 91189; 216 SCRA 78
CHAPTER: CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT
PONENTE: DAVIDE, JR.
Facts:
A certain Charles Hankins, an American who was married to Laura Crescini and who resided in Canduyong,
Odiongan, Romblon, died on May 31, 1937 leaving a will. He was survived by his widow; his sons Alexander and
William; and his grandchildren Ismael, Samuel and Edgar, all surnamed Buyco, who are the legitimate issues of his
deceased daughter Lilia and her husband Marcelino Buyco. The will was submitted for probate before the then Court
of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Romblon. Charles Hankins son Alexander was appointed
administrator of the estate.
Laura Crescini died on 22 December 1941.
It appears that in a Project of Partition dated 25 June 1947 (Exhibit O) and submitted to the probate court
in the aforesaid Special Proceedings No. 796, one of the properties of Charles Hankins described as a parcel of
pastureland, rice land and coconut land containing an area of about 250 hectares, 21 ares and 63 untares x x x
assessed at for P6, 950.00 as per Tax Declaration No. 15853, was partitioned among his heirs.
On 30 July 1948, Lauras hare in the estate of her husband Charles was partitioned among her children,
Alexander and William, and her grandchildren, Ismael, Samuel and Edgar who were represented by their father
Marcelino Buyco (Exhibit P). Thereafter, on the same date, William sold his hereditary shares in the estate of his
parents to Marcelino Buyco.
On August 29, 1962, Marcelino Buyco donated to his children the property acquired from William together
with other properties.
The Buyco brothers partitioned among themselves the properties acquired by inheritance from their
grandparents and by donation from their father. However, Ismael waived his rights to his share therein in favor of
Samuel.
Edgar and Samuel Buyco became naturalized American citizens on January 29, 1972 and September 12,
1975, respectively.
On October 14, 1976, Edgar and Samuel through their attorney-in-fact, Riven H. Buyco, filed before the then
Court of First Instance in Romblon in application for the registration of a parcel of land. However, they alleged that
should the Land Registration Act be inapplicable, the benedits provided for in CA 141 be made to extend to them
since both they and their predecessors-in-interest have been in possession thereof since time immemorial.
The application was approved by the Director of Lands. While in their application, private respondents
invoked the provision of the land registration Act. They eventually sought for the confirmation of imperfect title.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondents herein can validly acquire public lands as aliens.
Held:
It is obvious then that at the time land registration case was filed in the Regional Trial Court of Romblon on October
14, 1976, private respondents did not have in their favor an imperfect title over that which they claimed to have
inherited by representation, from the estate of Charles Hankins. With greater force does this conclusion likewise
apply with respect to the properties donated to them in 1962 by their father Marcelino Buyco. This is because they
were not able to prove open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation thereof under a
bonafide claim of acquisition of ownership for at least 30 years immediately preceding the filing of the application or
from June 12, 1945.
Considering that the private respondents became American citizens before such filing, it goes without saying that
they acquired no vested right consisting of an imperfect title over the property before they lost their Philippine
citizenship.

51

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
GREGORIO LLANTINO and BELINDA LLANTINO assisted by husband Napoleon Barba vs.
CO LIONG CHONG alias JUAN MOLINA.
CASE NO: G.R. No. 29663. August 20, 1990. 188 SCRA 592
CHAPTER: Hearing, Judgment and Decree of Registration
PONENTE: PARAS, J.:
FACTS:
Llantino aver that they are the owners of a commercial-residential land, which sometime in 1954 they
leased to the defendant who was then a Chinese national and went by the name of Co Liong Chong for a
period of thirteen (13) years. Petitioners requested private respondent for a conference but the latter did
not honor the request and instead he informed the petitioners that he had already constructed a
commercial building on the land and that the lease contract was for a period of sixty (60) years, counted
from 1954; and that he is already a Filipino citizen. The claim of Chong came as a surprise to the
Llantinos because they did not remember having agreed to a sixty-year lease agreement as that would
virtually make Chong the owner of the realty which, as a Chinese national, he had no right to own and
neither could he have acquired such ownership after naturalization subsequent to 1954.The Llantinos
filed their complaint to quiet title with damages. The Trial Court rendered decision in favor of the
respondent. Plaintiffs appealed directly to the Supreme Court
ISSUE:
Whether or not the contract of lease entered into by and between the petitioners is valid based on the
nationality and the length of period of lease.
RULING:
The lower court correctly ruled that the Chong had at the time of the execution of the contract, the right to
hold by lease the property involved in the case although at the time of the execution of the contract, he
was still a Chinese national. A lease to an alien for a reasonable period is valid. So is an option giving an
alien the right to buy real property on condition that he is granted Philippine citizenship. Aliens are not
completely excluded by the Constitution from use of lands for residential purposes. Since their residence
in the Philippines is temporary, they may be granted temporary rights such as a lease contract, which is
not forbidden by the Constitution. Should they desire to remain here forever and share our fortune and
misfortune, Filipino citizenship is not impossible to acquire. Assuming, arguendo, that the subject contract
is prohibited, the same can no longer be questioned presently upon the acquisition by the private
respondent of Filipino citizenship. It was held that sale of a residential land to an alien which is now in the
hands of a naturalized Filipino citizen is valid. Contracts which are not ambiguous are to be interpreted
according to their literal meaning and should not be interpreted beyond their obvious intendment.

52

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
PHILIPPINE BANKING CORPORATON VS. LUI SHE
CASE NO.: L-17587, 21 SCRA 53
CHAPTER: CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT
PONENTE: CASTRO, J.
Facts:
Justina Santos y Canon Faustino and her sister Lorenza were the owners in common of a piece of land in
Manila. This parcel, with an area of 2,582.30 square meters, is located on Rizal Avenue and opens into Florentino
Torres street at the back and Katubusan street on one side. In it are two residential houses with entranced on
Florentino Torres Street and the Hen Wah Restaurant with entrance on Rizal Avenue. The sisters lived in one of the
houses, while Wong Heng, a Chinese, lived with his family in the restaurant. Wong had been long-time lessee of a
portion of thr property, paying a monthly rental of 2,620.
On September 22, 1957, Justina Santos became the owner of the entire property as her sister died with no
other heir. Then already well advanced in years, being at the time 90 years old, blind, crippled and an invalid, she
was left with no other relative to live with. Her otherwise dreary existence was brightened now and then by the visits
of Wongs four children who had become the joy of her life. Wong himself was the trusted man to whom she delivered
various amounts for safekeeping, including rental from her property at the corner of Ongpin and Salazar streets and
the rentals which Wong himself paid as lessee of a part of the Rizal Avenue property. Wong also took care of the
payment, in her behalf, of taxes, lawyers fees, funeral expenses, masses, salaries of maids and security guard, and
her household expenses.
In grateful acknowledgement of the personal services of the lessee to her, Justine Santos executed on
November 15, 1957 a contract of lease in favor of Wong, covering the portion then already leased to him and another
portion fronting Florention Torres street. The lease was for 50 years, although the lessee was given the right to
withdraw at any time from the arrangement.
On December 21, she executed another contract giving Wong the option to buy the leased premises. The
option was conditioned on his obtaining Philippine citizenship. It appears however that the application for
naturalization was withdrawn when it was discovered that he was not a resident of Rizal.
Issue:
Whether or not the lease contract and the option to buy the land executed in favor of Wong who is an alien is valid.
Held:
The contracts show nothing that is necessarily illegal, but considered collectively, they reveal an insidious
pattern to subvert by indirection what the Constitution directly prohibits. To be sure, a lease to an alien for a
reasonable period is valid. So is an option giving an alien a right to buy real property on condition that he is granted
Philippine citizenship. As ruled in Krivenko vs Register of Deeds, aliens are not completely excluded by the
Constitution from the use of lands for residential purposes. Since their residence in the Philippines is temporary, they
may be granted temporary rights such as a lease contract which is not forbidden by the Constitution.
But if an alien is given not only a lease of, but also an option to buy, a piece of land, by virtue of which the
Filipino owner cannot sell or otherwise dispose of his property, this to last for 50 years, then it becomes clear that the
arrangement is a virtual transfer of ownership whereby the owner divests himself in stages not only of the right to
enjoy the land but also of the right to dispose of it rights the sum total of which make up ownership. It is just as if
today the possession is transferred tomorrow, the use, the next day, the disposition and so on, until ultimately all the
rights of which ownership is made up are consolidated in an alien. And yet this is just exactly what the parties in this
case did within the space of one year, with the result that Justina Santos ownership of her property was reduced to a
hallow concept. If this can be done, then the Constitutional ban against alien landholding in the Philippines is indeed
in grave peril.

53

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF RIZAL, petitioner and appellee, VS.
UNG SIU SI TEMPLE, respondent and appellant
DATE: MAY 21, 1955
FILE: GR NO L-6776 97 PHIL 58
PONENTE: JUSTICE JBL REYES
FACTS:
Jesus Dy, a Filipino citizen, executed a deed of donation on January 22, 1953, conveying a
parcel of residential land, in Caloocan, Rizal in favor of the unregistered religious organization Ang Sui Si
Temple operating through three trustees all of Chinese nationality.
The donation was duly accepted by Yu Juan, of Chinese nationality, founder and deaconess of
the Temple.
The Register of Deeds refused to record the deed of donation. Subsequently, said case was
elevated en consulta to the CFI of Manila. The latter upheld the action of the RD. hence, the Temple
appealed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Ang Sui Si Temple may validly accept the donation and thereafter have the land
registered under its name.
HELD:
NO. The temple may not be allowed to validly obtain the land and register it in its stead.
The provisions of Act no 271 of the old Phil Commission which allow all religious associations, of
whatever sort or denomination, whether incorporated in the Philippines or in the name of the country, to
hold land in the Philippines for religious purposes, must be deemed repealed by the absolute terms of
Sec. 5, Art XIII, of the constitution, which limit the acquisition of land in the Philippines to its citizens, or to
corporations or associations at least 60% of the capital stock of which is owned by such citizens.
The fact that the appellant religious organization has no Capital Stock does not suffice to escape
the constitutional prohibition, since it admitted that its members are of foreign nationality.
The refusal of the RD to register is not violative of the freedom of religion clause in the
constitution since land tenure is alien to the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession or
ownership; or that one may not worship the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience unless
upon land held in fee simple.

54

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATOR VS. THE LAND REGISTRATION
COMMISSION AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF DAVAO CITY
CHAPTER: CITIZENSHIP
Facts:
Mateo Rodis, a Filipino citizen executed a deed of sale of a parcel of land in favor of the Roman Catholic
Administrator of Davao, a corporation sole organized and existing with Philippine laws, with Msgr. Clovis
Thibault, a Canadian citizen, as actual incumbent. The Register of Deeds of Davao denied the registration
of the sale in the absence of proof that 60 percent of the members of the corporation sole thereof were
Filipino citizens in pursuant to Article XIII of the Constitution which requires 60 percent of the corporation
must be owned by Filipino citizens in order that a corporation may own private lands and that the vendee
was not qualified to acquire the land because he was a Canadian citizen.
Issue:
Whether or not a corporation may be denied to acquire lands in the Philippines because it is
administered by an alien?
Held:
Both the Corporation Law and the Canon Law are explicit in their provisions that a corporation sole is not
the owner of the proper ties that he may acquire but merely an administrator thereof and holds the same
in trust for the church to which the corporation is an organized and constituent part. Being mere
administrator of the temporalities or properties titled in his name, the constitutional provision requiring 60
per centum Filipino ownership is applicable. The said constitutional provision is limited to ownership and
does not extend to control unless the control over the property affected has been devised to circumvent
the real purpose of the constitution.
The corporation sole by reason of their peculiar constitution and form of operation have no designed
owner of its temporalities, although by the terms of the law it can be easily implied that they ordinarily hold
in trust for the benefit of the Roam Catholic faithful or their respective locality or diocese. They can not be
considered aliens because they have no nationality at all. In determining therefore whether the
constitutional provision requiring 60 per centum Filipino capital is applicable to corporation sole the
nationality of the constituents of the diocese, and not the nationality of the actual incumbent of the parish,
must be taken into consideration. In the present case even if the question of nationality be considered, the
aforesaid constitutional requirement is fully met and satisfied, considering the corporation sole in question
is composed of an overwhelming majority of Filipinos.

55

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
FILOMENA GERONA DE CASTRO vs. JOAQUIN TENG QUEEN TAN
CASE NO:

G.R. No. L-31956 April 30, 1984

CHAPTER:

CITIZENSHIP, P. 193

PONENTE:

PLANA, J.:

FACTS:
In 1938, petitioner Filomena Gerona de Castro sold a 1,258 sq. m. residential lot in Bulan, Sorsogon to
Tan Tai, a Chinese.
In 1956, Tan Tai died. Before the death of Tan Tai, one of his sons, Joaquin, became a naturalized
Filipino. Six years after Tan Tai's death, his heirs executed an extra-judicial settlement of estate with sale,
whereby the disputed lot in its entirety was allotted to Joaquin.
In 1968, petitioner commenced suit against the heirs of Tan Tai for annulment of the sale for alleged
violation of the 1935 Constitution prohibiting the sale of land to aliens.
ISSUE:
WON the sale can be annulled for violating the Consti.
HELD:
The petitioner cannot have the sale annulled and recover the lot she herself has sold. While the vendee
was an alien at the time of the sale, the land has since become the property, of respondent Joaquin Teng,
a naturalized Philippine citizen, who is constitutionally qualified to own land.
The litigated property is now in the hands of a naturalized Filipino. It is no longer owned by a disqualified
vendee.
If the ban on aliens from acquiring not only agricultural but also urban lands, as construed by this Court in
the Krivenko case, is to preserve the nation's lands for future generations of Filipinos, that aim or purpose
would not be thwarted but achieved by making lawful the acquisition of real estate by aliens who became
Filipino citizens by naturalization.
Laches also militates against petitioner's cause. She sold the disputed lot in 1938. She instituted the
action to annul the sale only on July 15, 1968.

56

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, GUILLERMO
GONZALVES
CASE NO.: GR. 74170, 175 SCRA 398
CHAPTER: CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT, p.194
PONENTE: Narvasa
FACTS:
3 lots were sold to the adoptive parents of Chua Kin @ Uy Teng Be, Gregorio Reyes Uy Un by
spouses Manosca (Lots 1 and 2 PSU-L7676) on Dec. 30, 1934 and spouses Marquez (Lot 549, AP-7521)
on Dec. 27, 1934. Upon his parents death, Chua Kim @ Uy Teng took possession of the property. The 3
parcels of land later became a subject of a compromise agreement in a litigation which was approved on
July 19, 1970. Chua Kim filed a petition for issuance of decree of confirmation and registration which was
granted on Jan. 19, 1982. The Republic, through the SolGen, challenged the correctness of the order, on
the theory that the conveyances were made while Chua Kim was still an alien hence his asserted titles
were null and void, and appealed to the CA which later affirmed the order on March 25, 1986. Hence, this
appeal by certiorari.
ISSUE:
WON the conveyances were null and void?
RULING:
Petition dismissed
The lands in dispute were properly and formally adjudicated by a competent court to the spouses
Gaspar and to the spouses Marquez in fee simple, and that the latter had afterwards conveyed
said lands to Gregorio Reyes Uy Un, Chua Kims adopting parent, by deeds executed in due form
on Dec. 27, 1934 and Dec. 30, 1934, respectively. Plainly the conveyances were made before the
1935 Constitution went into effect, i.e., at a time when there was no prohibition against acquisition
of private agricultural lands by aliens. Gregorio Reyes Uy Un therefore acquired good title to the
lands thus purchased by him, and his ownership was not at all affected either (1) by the principle
subsequently enunciated in the 1935 Constitution that aliens were incapacitated to acquire lands
in the country, since that constitutional principle has no retrospective application, or (2) by his
land and his successors omission to procure the registration of the property prior to the coming
into effect of the Constitution.
Since the death of Gregorio, Chua Kim had been in continuous possession of the lands in
concept of owners as the putative heir of his adoptive father without protests whatever from any
persons.
The compromise agreement implicitly recognized Chua Kims title to the lands in question.

57

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
EPIFANIA SARSOSA VDA. DE BARSOBIA and PACITA W. VALLAR, petitioners,
vs.
VICTORIANO T. CUENCO, respondent.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
FACTS:
The lot in controversy is a one-half portion (on the northern side) of two adjoining parcels of coconut
land located at Barrio Mancapagao, Sagay, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental
The entire land was owned previously by a certain Leocadia Balisado, who had sold it to the
spouses Patricio Barsobia (now deceased) and Epifania Sarsosa, one of the petitioners herein. They are
Filipino citizens.
On September 5, 1936, Epifania Sarsosa then a widow, sold the land in controversy to a
Chinese, Ong King Po,Po took actual possession and enjoyed the fruits thereof.
On August 5, 1961, Ong King Po sold the litigated property to Victoriano T. Cuenco (respondent
herein), a naturalized Filipino, Respondent immediately took actual possession and harvested the fruits
therefrom.
On March 6, 1962, Epifania "usurped" the controverted property, and on July 26, 1962, Epifania
(through her only daughter and child, Emeteria Barsobia), sold a one-half (1/2) portion of the land in
question to Pacita W. Vallar, the other petitioner herein Epifania claimed that it was not her intention to
sell the land to Ong King Po and that she signed the document of sale merely to evidence her
indebtedness to the latter in the amount of P1,050.00. Epifania has been in possession ever since except
for the portion sold to the other petitioner Pacita.
Respondent filed a Forcible Entry case against Epifania before the Municipal Court of Sagay,
Camiguin.
The trial Court rendered judgment: Declaring defendant Pacita W. Vallar as the lawful owner and
possessor of the portion of land she bought from Emeteria Barsobia
Court of Appeals reversed instead decreed that respondent was the owner of the litigated property
ISSUE:
Who is the rightful owner?Can a seller assails the ownership of the new filipino owner given that it was
from a non-filipino who he sold it first?
RULING:
There should be no question that the sale of the land in question in 1936 by Epifania to Ong King
Po was inexistent and void from the beginning (Art. 1409 [7], Civil Code) because it was a contract
executed against the mandatory provision of the 1935 Constitution, which is an __expression of public
policy to conserve lands for the Filipinos. Had this been a suit between Epifania and Ong King Po, she
could have been declared entitled to the litigated land on the basis, as claimed, of the ruling in Philippine
Banking Corporation vs. Lui She, 8 reading For another thing, and this is not only cogent but also
important. Article 1416 of the Civil Code provides as an exception to the rule on pari delicto that when the
agreement is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited, and the prohibition by the law is designed for the
protection of the plaintiff, he may, if public policy is thereby enhanced, recover what he has sold or
delivered.
While, strictly speaking, Ong King Po, private respondent's vendor, had no rights of ownership to
transmit, it is likewise inescapable that petitioner Epifania had slept on her rights for 26 years from 1936
to 1962. By her long inaction or inexcusable neglect, she should be held barred from asserting her claim
to the litigated property
Respondent, therefore, must be declared to be the rightful owner of the property

58

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs. COURT OF APPEALS, IBARRA BISNAR and AMELIA BISNAR
CASE NO.: G. R. No.83609. October 26, 1989
CHAPTER: CHAPTER II Classification of Public Lands
PONENTE: GRINO-AQUINO, J.:
FACTS:
Ibarra and Amelia Bisnar claimed to be the owners in fee simple of Lots situated in Roxas, Province of
Capiz. The applicants alleged that they inherited those parcels of land and had been paying the taxes
thereon. The Director of Lands and the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development, opposed the
application because neither the applicants nor their predecessors-in-interest possess sufficient title to
acquire ownership in fee simple and that the properties in question are a portion of the public domain
belonging to the Republic of the Philippines, not subject to private appropriation. The trial court ordered
the registration of the lots. On appeal the Appellate Court affirmed the registration of the lands. The
government assails the decision of the Appellate Court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the classification of public lands into alienable or disposable agricultural land or forestland
is a prerogative of the executive department and not of the courts.
RULING:
As provided for under Section 6 of Commonwealth Act 141, which was lifted from Act 2874, the
classification or reclassification of public lands into alienable or disposable, mineral or forest lands is now
a prerogative of the Executive Department of the government and not the courts. With these rules, there
should be no more room for doubt that it is not the court, which determines the classification of lands of
the public domain into agricultural, forest or mineral but the Executive Branch of the government. It bears
emphasizing that a positive act of the government is needed to declassify land, which is classified as
forest, and to convert it into alienable or disposable land for agricultural or other purposes (Republic vs.
Animas, 56 SCRA 499). Unless and until the land classified as forest 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 rules on confirmation of imperfect title do not apply. Possession of forest lands, however
long, cannot ripen into private ownership. A parcel of forest land is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Bureau of Forestry and beyond the power and jurisdiction of the cadastral court to register under the
Torrens System. Section 48 (b) of Commonwealth Act No. 141, applies exclusively to public agricultural
land. Forest lands or areas covered with forests are excluded. Petition Granted, the decision is reversed
and set aside.

59

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND VALERIANO
CASE NO.: L-58867; 129 SCRA 689
CHAPTER: CLASSIFICATION OF PUBLIC LANDS
PONENTE: MELENCIO-HERRERA
Facts:
Petitioners-public officials, seek a review of the Decision and Resolution of the then Court of
Appeals affirming the judgment of the former Court of First Instance of Bulacan, decreeing registration of
a parcel of land in private respondents favor. The land in question, identified as Lot 2347, Obando
Cadastre, is situated in Obando, Bulacan, and has an area of approximately 9.3 hectares. It adjoins the
Kailogan River and private respondents have converted it into a fishpond.
Application for registration filed on May 10,1976, private respondents claimed that they are coowners in fee simple of the land applied for partly through inheritance in 1918 and partly by purchase that
it is not within any forest zone or military reservation; and that the same is assessed for taxation purposes
in their names.
Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development
opposed the application on the principal ground that the land applied for is within the inclassified region of
Obando, Bulacan and that areas within the unclassified region are denominated as forest lands and do
not form part of the disposable and alienable portion of the public domain
The Trial Court ordered registration of the subject land in favor of the Applicants. This was
affirmed on appeal by respondent Appellate Court.
Issues:
Principal issues posed are: (1) whether or not Courts can reclassify the subject public land; and (2)
whether or not applicants are entitled to judicial confirmation of title.
Held:
What the Courts a quo have done is to release the subject property from the unclassified
category, which is beyond their competence and jurisdiction. The classification of public lands is an
exclusive prerogative of the Executive Department of the Government and not of the courts. In the
absence of such classifications, the land remains as unclassified land until it is released therefrom and
rendered open to disposition. This should be so under time-honored Constitutional precepts. This is also
in consonance with the Regalian doctrine that all lands of the public domain belong to the State, and that
the State is source of any asserted right to ownership in land and charged with conservation of such
patrimony.
While it may be that the Municipality of Obando has been cadastrally surveyed in 1961,it does not
follow that all lands comprised therein are automatically released as alienable. A survey made in a
cadastral proceeding merely identifies each lot preparatory to a judicial proceeding for adjudication of title
to any of the lands upon claim of interested parties. Besides, if land is within the jurisdiction of the Bureau
of Forest Development, it would be beyond the jurisdiction of the Cadastral Court to register it under the
Torrens System.
The subject property is still unclassified, whatever possession. Applicants may have had, and,
however long, cannot ripen into private ownership.
The conservation of subject property into a fishpond by applicants, or the alleged titling of
properties around it, does not automatically render the property as alienable and disposable. Applicants
remedy lies in the release of the property from its present classification. In fairness to Applicants, and it
appearing that there are titled lands around the subject property, petitioners-officials should give serious
consideration to the matter of classification of the land in question.

60

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
ISABELO MONTANO, petitionerand appelle, VS.
THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT et al, respondents appellant
DATE: JANUARY 26, 1967
FILE: 12 PHIL 572
PONENTE: JUSTICE TRACEY
FACTS:
Isabelo Montano presented a petition to the court of Land registration for the inscription of a
parcel of land in the barrio of Libis, Municipality of Caloocan, used as a fishery. It has an area of 10, 805
sq. m.
The petition was opposed by the Sol Gen on behalf of the Director of Lands. It argued that the
land in question is a land belonging to the government of the United States
The Court of Land Registration dismissed the oppositions and thereby decreed the adjudication
and registration of the property to Montano
ISSUE:
Whether or not the land in question sought to be registered in the name of Montano a Public
land?
HELD:
YES. It is a Public Land; however, since it is neither Forest nor Mineral Land it is therefore
Agricultural and hence registrable.
The government has classified the land of Public Domain into Forest Land, Mineral Land, and
Agricultural Land. In the Mapa case, the Public Land Act did not apply to the fisheries.
The other kinds of lands such as those under the ebb and flow of the tide being reserved for
public uses of navigation and fishery and subject to congressional regulation, pursuant to the power over
commerce, and not understood as included in the term Public Lands when used in general laws
authorizing private appropriation thereof as homesteads.
Swamps and marshes are not available for the purpose of navigation or public use may be
subjected to private appropriation although covered by the tides.

61

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
EFARIN YNGSON VS. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
ANITA GONZALES AND JOSE LOPEZ
CHAPTER: CLASSIFICATION OF PUBLIC LANDS
Facts:
The subject matters of the case are mangrove swamps with an area of about 66 hectares. Yngson and appellants
filed an application for fishpond permit with the Bureau of fisheries. When the application was filed the said area was
not yet available for fishpond purposes; however the Director of Bureau of Fisheries issued an order awarding the
whole area to Yngson. The appellants appealed the order to the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
which set aside the order of the Bureau of Fisheries.
Issue:
Whether or not the Bureau of Fisheries may lease or dispose of lands not yet released as alienable and disposable.
Held:
It is elementary in the law governing the disposition of lands of the public domain that until timber or forest lands are
released as disposable and alienable neither the Bureau of Lands nor the Bureau of Fisheries has authority to lease,
grant, sell, or otherwise dispose of these lands for homesteads, sales patents, leases for grazing or other purposes,
fishpond leases, and other mode of utilization.

62

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
DIRECTOR OF LANDS and DIRECTOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT vs. MARIANO FUNTILAR, MAGDALENA
FUNTILAR, HEIRS OF FELIPE ROCETE and INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
CASE NO.: L- 68533, 142 SCRA 57
CHAPTER: CLASSIFICATION OF PUBLIC LANDS, p. 204
PONENTE: Gutierrez
FACTS:
In 1972, Mariano Funtilar, Magdalena Funtilar and Heirs of Felipe Rocete applied for the registration of a
parcel of land. The land was part of the property originally belonging to Candida Fernandez whose ownership and
possession began sometime during her lifetime and extended until 1936 when she died. Present applicants are the
grandchildren of Candida. After Candidas death, her real property was declared in the name of the heirs of Candida
Fernandez. Sometime in 1940 or 1941, the land was forfeited in favor of the government for failure to pay real estate
taxes. It was redeemed in 1942 by Vitaliano Aguirre, one of Candidas children and administrator. The lot was later
partitioned and the disputed lot adjudicated in favor of the applicants and shortly thereafter declared their share for
taxation purposes. The Director of Lands, Director of Forest Development, Donansiano Pumaranda, Rafeal Morales
and spouses Dominador Lacson and Esperanza Lacson filed their oppositions. On Nov. 26, 1982, trial court rendered
declaring the applicants owners of the land. Government alone appealed with the IAC which later affirmed the
decision. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: WON applicants failed to overthrow the presumption that the land is a public land?
RULING: petition dismissed

We are satisfied from the evidence that long before her death in 1935, Candida Fernandez already
possessed the disputed property. This possession must be tacked to the possession of her heirs.

The fact of possession is bolstered by the forfeiture in 1940 of the land in favor of the government. It would
be rather absurd under the circumstances of this case to rule that the government would order the forfeiture
of property for any payment of real taxes if the property is forest land.

It is also reasonable to rule that the heirs of Candida Fernandez redeemed the property because they
wanted to keep the land of the deceased in the possession of their family, thus continuing their prior
possession. From, 1936 and earlier up to 1972 is more than the required period.

The applicant shoulders the burden of overcoming the presumption that the land sought to be registered
forms part of the public domain.

The land sought to be registered was declared alienable and disposable 33 years ago, Sept 15, 1953. It is
not forest land. It has been possessed and cultivated by the applicants and their predecessors for at least 3
generations.

63

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
LA BUGAL-BLAAN TRIBAL ASSOCIATION, INC., petitioners, vs. VICTOR O. RAMOS, Secretary, Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); HORACIO RAMOS, Director, Mines and Geosciences
Bureau (MGB-DENR); RUBEN TORRES, Executive Secretary; and WMC (PHILIPPINES), INC.,
respondents.
CASE NO: 445 SCRA 1
CHAPTER: NON REGISTRABLE PROPERTIES
PONENTE: J. PANGANIBAN
FACTS:
In a decision dated January 27, 2004, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining
Act of 1995, its IRR and FTAA entered into by the government and Western Mining Corporation Philippines, an
Australian Corporation. The Court said, RA 7942 and its IRR are unconstitutional for allowing service contracts that
are prohibited by the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
The Court said that the FTAA is a service contract that grants control or beneficial ownership over the nations
mineral resources to foreign contractors, leaving the sate with nothing but bare title thereto. It was also on this ground
that the Court struck down the FTAA between the government and WMCP
Respondents Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and DENR filed a Motion for Reconsideration.
ISSUES:
1.

2.

Whether or not the case has been rendered moot by the sale of WMC chares in WMCP to Sagittarius (60%
of Sagittarius equity is owned by Filipinos and./or Filipino owned corporation while 40% is owned by Indophil
resources Inc., an Australian Company) by the subsequent transfer and negotiation of the FTAA from
WMCP to Sagittarius.
Whether or not the phrase agreements involving either technical or financial assistance contained in par. 4
of Sec. 2 of Article XII of Philippine constitution was properly interpreted.

RATIONALE:
1.

MOOTNESS

WMC had already sold its shareholdings in WMCP to Sagittarius Mines, a 60% Filipino owned corporation. This,
acquisition, no longer makes it possible for the court to declare the FTAA unconstitutional but the exceptional
character of the situation and the paramount public interest involved, as well as the necessity for a ruling to put an
end to the uncertainties plaguing the mining industry and the affected communities as a result of doubts cast upon
the constitutionality and validity of the Mining Act, the subject FTAA and future FTAA s and the need to avert a
multiplicity of suits makes it necessary to resolve the controversy.
2.

PROPER INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL PHRASE AGREEMENTS INVOLVING EITHER


TECHNICAL OR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Sec. 2 Article XII does not reveal any intention to prescribe foreign involvement in the management or operation of
mining activities as to eliminate service contracts, Sec. 2 Art. XII contains no express prohibition to this effect. Had
the framers intended to prohibit direct participation of alien corporations in the exploitation of the countrys natural
resources, they would have employed clearly restrictive language barring foreign corporations from directly engaging
in the exploitation of the countrys natural resources.
Foreign corporations may indeed participate in the exploitation, development and use of Philippine Natural Resources
but subject to the full control and supervision of the state. RA 7942; its IRR and FTAA entered into by the government
and WMCP grant the government full control and supervision over all aspect of planned development and utilization
activities.
3. INVALID PROVISIONS
Sec. 7.8: Permits the sums spent by the government for the benefit of the contractor to be deductible from the States
share in the net mining revenues since it constitutes unjust enrichment on the part of the contractor at government
expense.

64

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
Sec. 7.9: Deprives the government of its share in the net mining revenues in the event the foreign stockholders of a
foreign mining company sell 60% as more of their equity to a Filipino citizen or Corporation.
4.

AGREEMENTS INVOLVING EITHER TECHNICAL OR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Its more than a mere financial or technical assistance, framers did not intend to bar or eradicate service contracts.
Instead, they were in intending on crafting provisions to put in place safeguards that would eliminate or minimize the
abuses prevalent during the martial law regime. They were going to permit service contracts with foreign contractors
but with safety measures to prevent abuses as an exception to the general rule established in the 1 st paragraph of
Sec. 2 of Article XII, which reserves or limits to Filipino citizens and corporations that are at least 60% owned by
such citizens the exploration, development and utilization of mineral or petroleum resources.
Technical or Financial assistance referred to in par. 4 are in fact service contracts, but such new service contracts are
between foreign corporations acting as contractors on the one hand and the government or principal as owner,
whereby the foreign contractor provides the capital, technology and technical know- how and managerial expertise in
the creation and operation of the large scale mining or extractive enterprise, and government through its agencies
actively exercises full control and supervision over the entire enterprise.
Such service contracts may be entered into only with respect to Minerals, petroleum and other Mineral Oils with the
following safeguards:
a.
b.
c.
5.

That the service contract be crafted in accordance with a general law setting standards or uniform
terms, conditions and requirements.
The President be the signatory for the government
The President to report the executed agreement to Congress within 30 days

ULTIMATE TEST: FULL STATE CONTROL

The primacy of the principle of the States sovereign ownership of all mineral resources and its full control and
supervision over all aspects of exploration, development and utilization of natural resources must be upheld.
CONTROL- Sec. 2 Art. XII must be taken to mean a degree of control sufficient to enable the state to direct, restrain
and regulate the affairs of the extractive enterprises. Control by the State may be on a macro level, through the
establishment of policies, guidelines. Regulations, industry standards and similar measures that would enable
government to regulate the conduct of affairs in various enterprises and restrain activities deemed not desirable or
beneficial.
The State has a pivotal sale in the operation of the individual enterprises and can set directions and objectives, detect
deviations and non- compliance by the contractor and enforce compliance and impose sanctions should the occasion
arise. The FTAA provisions do not reduce or abdicate the States control.
The FTAA consists not only a basic government share. Comprises of all direct taxes, fees and royalties as well as
other payments made by the contractor during the term of the FTAA. But also an additional government share so as
to achieve a 50-50 sharing of net benefits from mining between government and contractor.

65

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
LEOPOLDO VENCILAO vs. HONORABLE PAULINO S. MARQUEZ AND MARIANO OGILVE
CASE NO.: G. R. No. 33677. February 23, 1990. 182 SCRA 49B
CHAPTER:
PONENTE: MEDIALDEA, J.:
FACTS:
The heirs of the late Juan Reyes filed an application for registration of the parcels of land allegedly
inherited by them from Juan Reyes. A complaint for reconveyance of properties where filed by Vencilao
et.al. Vencilao et al. alleged that they are the lawful owners of their respective parcels of land including
the improvements thereon either by purchase or inheritance and have been in possession publicly,
continuously, peacefully and adversely under the concept of owners for more than thirty (30) years tacked
with the possession of their predecessors-in-interest. Those parcels of land were included in the parcels
of land applied for registration by the heirs of Juan Reyes, either by mistake or fraud and with the
intention of depriving them of their rights of ownership and possession without their knowledge, not until
the last part of 1960 when the heirs of Juan Reyes through their agents, attempted to enter those parcels
of land claiming that they now belong to the heirs of Juan Reyes. Upon the death of administratrix
Bernardina Vda. De Luspo (Juan Reyes heir} a Transfer of Certificate of tilte was issued to several
persons. A writ of possession was issued by the trial court against Vencilao et al. Petitioners refused to
sign and vacate. Mario Oligalve (Juan Reyes) filed a petition for contempt. An order finding the
petitioners where issued. Petitioners filed the present petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a writ of possession maybe issued to anyone who unlawfully and adversely occupying the
land during the registration proceedings up to the issuance of the final decree.
RULING:
In a registration case, the judgment confirming the title of the applicant and ordering its registration in
his name necessarily carried with it the delivery of possession, which is an inherent element of the right of
ownership. The issuance of the writ of possession is, therefore, sanctioned by existing laws in this
jurisdiction and by the generally accepted principle upon which the administration of justice rests. A writ of
possession may be issued not only against the person who has been defeated in a registration case but
also against anyone unlawfully and adversely occupying the land or any portion thereof during the land
registration proceedings up to the issuance of the final decree.

66

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
EDILBERTO BERNAS and BALDONERA BULQUIRIN and TEOFILO BERANO, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE PELAYO V. NUEVO, JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CAPIZ,
CIRIACO ABELLA VITO, CLERK OF COURT and SHERIFF EX-OFFICIO OF CAPIZ, ET AL.,
respondents
CASE NO: 127 SCRA 399
CHAPTER: SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP, P. 280
PONENTE: J. GUTTIEREZ, JR.
FACTS:
Petitioners, Edilberto Bernas, Baldonera Bulquirin, and Teofilo Berano ask that the order of respondent
Judge Pelayo V. Nuevo and the writ of possession be declared null and void. Petitioner Bellosillo prays
that the SC nullify the order of respondent Judge Oscar Leviste which set aside the order of Judge
Nuevo. The Heirs of Pascual Bellosillo and Francisca Besa, represented by Silvestre Bellosillo, filed a
complaint against defendants Edilberto Bernas, Baldonera Bulquirin and Teofilo Berano for recovery of
possession of a 33 1/3 hectare parcel of land known as Lot 3382.Judge Pelayo Nuevo granted the writ of
possession applied for by plaintiffs after pre-trial and hearing of the motion for the issuance of said writ.
Meanwhile, the sala vacated by Judge Nuevo was filled through the appointment of Judge Oscar Leviste.
While the petition assailing the order granting the writ of possession was pending before this Court, Judge
Leviste, acted on the motion for reconsideration filed by the defendants and issued an order declaring null
and void the writ of possession issued by former Judge Nuevo. In a subsequent order dated April 20,
1982, the same Judge also ordered the defendants to be place in possession of the property in question
ISSUE: Whether a writ will issue against persons taking possession after issuance of final decree, or not?
HELD:
It is a settled ruled that when parties against whom a writ of possession is sought have been in
possession of the land for at least ten years, and they entered into possession apparently after the
issuance of the final decree, and none of them had been a party in the registration proceedings, the writ
of possession will not issue. A person who took possession of the land after final adjudication of the same
in registration proceedings cannot be summarily ousted through a writ of possession secured by a mere
motion and that regardless of any title or lack of title of persons to hold possession of the land in question,
they cannot be ousted without giving them their day in court in proper independent proceedings.
In the case at bar, the defendants-petitioners had been in possession of the lot since 1960 under an
alleged lease contract and were not a party to the original registration case of the same way back in 1930.
This notwithstanding, the writ was issued after pre-trial and hearing of the motion for the issuance of the
writ only and not after final adjudication of the rights of the parties over the lot in controversy. Therefore, it
was a patent error on the part of respondent Judge Nuevo to issue the questioned writ. The rule is "when
other persons have subsequently entered the property, claiming the right of possession, the owner of the
registered property or his successors in interest cannot dispossess such persons by merely asking for a
writ of possession. The remedy is to resort to the courts of justice and institute a separate action for
unlawful entry or detainer or for reinvidicatory action, only after judgment has been rendered can the
prevailing party secure a writ of possession to enforce his right over the disputed lot.

67

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
CATALINO MAGLASANG vs. CIRILO MACEREN
CASE NO.: L-1917, 83 Phil 637
CHAPTER: SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP, p. 281
PONENTE: Perfecto
FACTS:
Maglasang secured the registration in his name lots No. 8898 and 5106 of the cadastral survey of
Ormoc, Leyte. He sought from the trial court a writ of possession against several persons. Trial court
ordered the issuance of the writ of possession against Alejandra Conde and Santiago Tumolak
(respondents) with respect to lot no. 5106, it appearing that said persons were claimants-oppositors and
that their claims were dismissed, but denied the petition as regards the other persons who took
possession of the lots in question after final adjudication of the case upon the theory that said persons
cannot be expelled from their possession by a mere motion unless they are brought to courts of justice by
independent ordinary action, invoking said effect the doctrine laid down by the SC in Yumul vs. Rivera
and Dizon.
Maglasang now seeks from the SC mandatory order to compel the respondent judge to issue a
writ of possession against respondents regarding whom the latter denied the issuance of such writ.
ISSUE
WON a writ of possession may be issued against persons who took possession of the lots after issuance
of final decree?
RULING:
No, Petition denied
Respondent judge acted correctly in refusing to issue the writ of possession prayed for.
The person who took possession of the lots in question after the final adjudication of the same in
registration proceedings cannot be summarily ousted through a writ of possession secured by a
mere motion.
Regardless of any title or lack of title of said persons to hold possession of the lots in question,
they cannot be ousted without giving them their day in court in a proper independent proceeding.

68

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
ALFREDO FRIAS vs. ANASTACIA ESQUIVEL
CASE NO: G.R. No. L-24679. October 30, 1975. 67 SCRA 487
CHAPTER: Remedies
PONENTE: MUOZ PALMA, J.:
FACTS
.In pursuance of what the Court ordered the surviving spouse of the late Alvaro Esquivel, Sr. and their
children executed, in favor of the Frias spouses a deed of sale of their one-seventh (1/7) interest and
participation over the parcel of land in question. It will be noted that when the deed was signed only three
of the five children were of age, Petitioners had commenced proceedings for the registration of the said
lot in their name under the Land Registration Act. Respondents opposed their application. The trial court
rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants declaring that the plaintiffs are the lawful
owners of the land. On appeal CA modified its decision by ordering the segregation of the lot from
disputed land in favor of the esquivel.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the segregation of lot is valid as a Torrens title was issued to Frias and that this title being
indefeasible and absolute.
RULING:
A person who succeeds in having a piece of real estate registered to his name is, no doubt, insulated by
law from a number of claims and liens. There are, however, a number of instances or causes by which
such insulation may be cut loose. The registered owner for instance, is not rendered immune by the law
from the claim that he is not the real owner of the land he had registered in his name. This Court had thus
in a number of case prescribe reconveyance of the registered land to the rightful but as yet unregistered
owner. Indeed, Section 102 of Act 496, after a description of the procedure to be pursued to enable a
person wrongfully deprived of his land or any interest therein as a result of the application and operation
of the Land Registration Act, to recover from the Assurance Fund the losses or damages he had
sustained. Article 1403 and 1317 of the |New Civil Code both specify that unless ratified by the person on
whose behalf it has been executed, a contract entered in to the name of another by one who has no
authority or legal representation is unenforceable. In the case at bar there are no real traces of
ratification.

69

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
BASILISA S. ESCONDE, petitioner
VS.
HON. SAMILO BARLONGAY AND RAMON DELFIN, respondents
CASE NO: 152 SCRA 603
CHAPTER: REMEDIES, P. 327, 328, 351
PONENTE: J. PARAS
FACTS:
Private respondent Ramon Delfin applied for a title at CFI Bulacan containing an area of 2,273 sq. m. it
was granted by the Court then Delfin filed a petition for writ of possession against Spouses Esconde filed
a petition to quash the writ of possession.
The Judge denied the petition to quash, the sheriff then delivered possession to private respondent
Delfin, but then petitioner spouses re-entered the premises and took possession thereof. When the
private respondents went to the premises, he was barred by petitioner spouses from entering the
property. Sheriff then asked for a writ of demolition for the removal of any construction of the Esconde
family on the premises.
Respondent Judge then issued a restraining order and a preliminary injunction.
HELD:
1. When a decree of registration has been obtained by fraud, the party defrauded has only one year
from entry of the decree to file a petition for review before a competent court, provided that the
land has not been transferred to an innocent purchaser for value.
2. A claimant having failed to present his answer or objection to the registration of a parcel of land
under the Torrens system or to question the validity of such registration within a period of one
year after the certificate of title had been issued, had forever lost his right in said land even
granting that he had any right therein.
3. An action for reconveyance is a legal and equitable remedy granted to the rightful owner of land
which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in the name of another for the purpose of
compelling the latter to transfer or reconvey the land to him.
4. The rule does not bar a landowner whose property was wrongfully or erroneously registered
under the Torrens system from bringing an action, after one year from the issuance of the decree,
for the reconveyance of the property in question. Such an action does not aim or purport to re
open the registration proceeding and set aside the decree of registration, but only to show that
the person who secured the registration of the questioned property is not the real owner thereof.
An ordinary civil action for reconveyance does not seek to set aside the decree but respecting the
decree as incontrovertible and no longer open to review, seeks to transfer or reconvey the land
from the registered owner to the rightful owner.
5. An action for reconveyance of real property on the ground of fraud must be filed within four years
from the discovery of the fraud. Such discovery is deemed to have taken place from the issuance
of an original certificate of title.

70

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SEGUNDO SIOSON and PASCUALA BAUTISTA
CASE NO.: L-13687. 9 SCRA 533
CHAPTER: Remedies
PONENTE: PADILLA, J.:
FACTS:
The spouses Segundo Sioson and Pascuala Bautista filed an application for registration four (4) parcels
of land, which they claimed to be the owners in fee simple. The Director of Lands filed an opposition. The
trial court rendered a decision ordering registration of three lands and declined to adjudicate on the fourth
land. The applicants appealed. The Solicitor General filed in CA a pleading recommending that the
registration of Lot No. 4. CA rendered judgment decreeing the registration of Lot No. 4. After the said
order, the Solicitor General filed a petition for review of the decree of registration and cancellation of title
to a parcel of land. The petition alleges actual and extrinsic fraud practiced by the respondents, then
applicants, by intentional and deliberate concealment of facts and connivance by and between the herein
respondents and the land inspector. The Court of Appeals rendered an order denying the petition. The
Republic of the Philippines appealed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not The Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the petition without affording the opportunity to
the petitioner(Republic) to adduce evidence in its claim of actual and extrinsic fraud on the part of the
applicants.
RULING:
The petition for review is predicated on actual and extrinsic fraud committed by the respondents, then
applicant, and was filed within a year from the entry of the decree. Without hearing the evidence in
support of the allegation and claim that actual and extrinsic fraud had been committed by the respondents
the Court below denied the petition. This is an error. There being an allegation of actual and extrinsic
fraud the Court should have afforded the petitioner an opportunity to prove it. Moreover, if it is true that
the lot is or forms part of the bed of a navigable stream, creek or river the decree and title to it in the name
of the respondents would not give them any right or title to it. Navigable rivers cannot be appropriated and
registered under the Land Registration Act. Petition Granted. The order appealed from is set aside.

CIRCE S. DURAN and ANTERO S. GASPAR vs. IAC, ERLINDA B. MARCELO TIANGCO and
RESTITUTO TIANGCO

71

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
CASE NO.: L- 64159, 138 SCRA 489
CHAPTER: REMEDIES, p.318-319
PONENTE: Relova
FACTS:
Circe Duran owned 2 parcels of land which she had purchased from the Moja Estate. She left the
Philippines in June 1954 and returned in May 1966. Fe Duran (Circes mother) forged the signature of her
daughter in a deed of sale purporting to sell her properties to her. Fe obtained titles in her name, and
thereafter mortgaged the properties to Erlinda Marcelo-Tiangco. Upon her failure to redeem the
mortgage, the mortgagees foreclosed and purchased the properties at the sheriffs auction sale. CFI
dismissed the case. CA modified the decision, declaring respondents lawful owners of the lots and
ordering the Duran to deliver the lots to the Tiangcos. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE:
WON a forged deed of title may be a root of a valid title?
RULING:
Petition denied; decision of IAC affirmed
The mortgage was valid with respect to the mortgagees because at the time of its constitution,
title to the properties was already in the name of the party who had executed the mortgage
(mother).
The mortgagee had the right to rely upon what appeared in the certificate of title, and did not have
to inquire further. If the rule otherwise, the efficacy and conclusiveness of Torrens Certificate of
Title would be futile and nugatory.
This case involves a situation where title to the property had already been registered in favor of a
person other than the true owner before being conveyed or mortgaged to the party claiming the
rights of an innocent transferee.
A fraudulent or forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title of the certificate has
already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the name of the forger or the name
indicated in the forger.

JUAN DACASIN vs. CA

72

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
CASE NO.: L- 32723, 80 SCRA 89
CHAPTER: REMEDIES, p. 312
PONENTE: Guerrero
FACTS:
Sometime prior to January 19, 19434, a parcel of land was being possessed by Jose Maramba in
that month and year a certain Sabina Capua and companions grabbed possession of the property and
since then possessed. Sometime afterwards, Maramba filed a civil case for reivindicacion but
notwithstanding the case Capua remained. While the civil case was pending, Capua sold the property to
Gualberto Calulot and there was no evidence that the latter was informed or came to know of the pending
litigation between Capua and Maramba. The CFI declared Maramba as absolute owner of the property.
The decision was not executed within the reglementary period of 5 years from the time it had become
final. Several years later Calulot sold the same property to spouses Capua and Sinforosa Padilla.
Maramba having died, his heirs and successor-in-interest sometime afterwards to Juan Dacasin and his
wife; Felipe Capua went to the Court and secured a writ if possession. From then actual possession came
to a seesaw. After trial judgment was rendered in favor of petitioners Juan Dacasin, et al. on appeal, CA
reversed the judgment. Hence this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE:
WON Dacasin has the title over the property?
RULING:
Petition granted; decision of CA reversed and decision of CFI affirmed
As between two parties relying on their respective instruments of same property, law and justice
command that he who has registered his deed must prevail over his adversary who has not done
so.
The rule of caveat emptor requires the purchaser to be aware of the supposed title of the vendor
and one who buys without checking the vendors title takes all the risks and losses consequent to
such failure.
None of the deed of sale evidencing the ownership in the registry of property, hence they cannot
prevail over the rights of the petitioner who holds in his favor the instrument of sale duly
registered.

VIRGINIA CALALANG VS. REGISTER OF DEEDS, LUCIA DE LA CRUZ ET AL.

73

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
Date: March 11 1994
File GR nos. 76265 and 83280
Ponente: Justice Melo
FACTS:
This case involves the resolution of the court on the motion for reconsideration instituted by the petitioners in
the de la Cruz vs CA, 187 SCRA 165. In this case the SC ruled that petitioners cannot raise anew the question of
ownership of Lucia de la Cruz over lot 671 which has been determined by the CA and affirmed by the supreme court .
The courts ruling has long been final and the issue on ownership of lot 671 finally disposed of several years ago.
At the core of the controversy is the case of Agustina de la Cruz et al vs. Lucia de la Cruz, Iglesia ni Kristo
and Honorable CA (130 SCRA 666 [1984] ) which has settled once and for all the question of ownership of Lot 671 of
the Piedad Estate in Barrio Culiat, Quezon City. A portion of these two consolidated petitions in the case at bar.

ISSUE:
whether or not the de la decision of the SC in the de la Cruz case constitutes a bar to the petition
under the doctrine of Res Judicata
HELD:
Once a decision becomes final, the Court can no longer amend, modify, much less, set aside the same;
otherwise, endless litigation will result.
Thus said the court our decision in these two consolidated petitions is an application of this well-established
rule . . . To grant a reconsideration of this decision would also reconsider, reverse, and set aside our 1984 decision
which has long becaome final. For while the 1984 decision declared the reconstituted title RT-58 of Lucia de la Cruz
valid and legal, petitioners would want us to reach 10 years back and declare the same title null and void; while the
1984 decision declared the Iglesia ni Kristo a purchaser in good faith and for value, petitioners would want us to do a
complete turn around and find the INC a purchaser in bad faith
The court does not agree with petitioners in saying that the de la Cruz ruling is not applicable and hence
should not have been applied. The doctrine of Res Judicata actually embraces two different concepts: (1) bar by
former judgment and (b) conclusiveness of Judgment.
The second concept states that a fact or question which was in issue in a former suit and was there judicially
passed upon and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, is conclusively settled by the judgment therein as
far as the parties to that action and persons in privity with them are concerned and cannot again litigated in the future
action between such parties or their privies, in the same court or any other court of concurrent jurisdiction on either
the same or different cause of action, while judgment remains unreversed by proper authority.
In order that a judgment in one action can be conclusive it is essential that the issue be identical. If a
particular point or question is in issue in the second action, and the judgment will depend on the determination of that
particular point or question, a former judgment between the same parties or their privies will be final and conclusive in
the second if that same point or question was in issue and adjudicated in the first suit.
Thus: the issue of validity of the reconstituted title of Lucia de la Cruz over lot 671; the issue of whether or not the INC
was an innocent purchaser for value and in good faith, and the issue of the validity of the reconstituted title of Dorotea
de la Cruz and Eugenia de la Paz were Actually, Directly, And Expressly RAISED, CONTROVERTED, LITIGATED
and RESOLVED in the 1984 decision. Applying the rule on conclusiveness of judgment, these issues may no longer
be relitigated in these present petitions.

74

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
MUNICIPALITY OF HAGONOY, BULACAN, plaintiff-appellant VS. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DIRECTOR OF LANDS AND JOSE B. SANTOS, defendantsappellees
Date: October 26, 1976
File: GR no L-27595 73 SCRA 507
Ponente: Justice Antonio
FACTS:
The complaint alleges that plaintiff Municipality is the lawful and absolute owner of a fish pond
situated at San Roque Hagonoy, Bulacan. Hence, the sale effected between the Bureau of Lands and
Jose Santos is a nullity.
The Director of Lands answered to the effect that the plaintiffs allegation of ownership over the
parcel of land (fishpond) in question is owned by the Republic of the Philippines and had been
administered by the bureau of Fisheries which had leased said land to Jose Santos
As affirmative defense Santos alleged that the plaintiff had already filed a case for annulment of
the same title, which case was dismissed by the court.
ISSUE:
WON the order of Bulacan CFI on May 28, 1964, dismissing the petition for Cancellation of Title,
the OCT of title no p-746 against appellees Jose B. Santos constitute a bar to the present action.
HELD.
No it does not. The principle of bar by prior judgment or Res Judicata is based upon the
fundamental principle that a matter once adjudicated shall not again be drawn in issue while the former
adjudication remains in force. The elements of Res Judicata are: (a.) it must be a final judgment or order;
(b.) the court that rendered the judgment or order must have jurisdiction of the subject matter and the
parties; (c.) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (d.) there must be, between the two cases, identity
of parties, identity of subject matter, and identity of cause of action.
If the judgment is not on the merits, it cannot be considered as a conclusive adjudication of the
controversy. Consequently, a judgment dismissing an action for want of jurisdiction or because of the
pendency of another action between the same parties and for the same cause cannot operate as Res
Judicata on the merits. In the case at bar, it is evident that the order of dismissal was not on the merits but
on the ground that the petitioner therein pursued the wrong remedy.
Also, notwithstanding that the action for reconveyance was brought within 1 year from the date of
the issuance of the patent, during which time a petition for review, as contemplated in section 38 of the
Land Registration Act, could have been brought, said action could nevertheless prosper. The petition for
reopening of the decree which may be filed within 1 year from the issuance of the said decree is not the
exclusive remedy of, and does not bar any other remedy to which the aggrieved party may be entitled.

75

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (director of lands), petitioner vs.
CA and TEDITA INFANTE-TAYAG
Date: July 31, 1984
File: GR no L-61462
Ponente: Justice Aquino
FACTS:
This is an application for registration of land with an area of more than 11 hectares located in
Barrio Tambo, Buhi, Camarines Sur
The private respondent testified that the land was first possessed by her father, Froilan Infante,
who died in 1937. the 11 hectare land was adjudicated to Soledad Infante_Yago who exchanged it in
1975 for another parcel of land with an area of 23 hectares belonging to her sister, Mrs. Tayag, the
applicant
Mrs Tayag filed the instant application in 1976. She possessed the land in question for barely a
year. She knows that the land is a coconut land but she does not know the number of the coconut trees
planted therein nor the person who planted the same. She does not know too the actual area of the land.
The only other witness, Abraham Morandarte (56 in 1977), testified that he came to know the
land in 1935 because his father was the overseer of Froilan.
The trial court and the CA granted the application. Hence the Director of lands appealed.
ISSUE:
WON the failure to attach by the petitioner of the tracing cloth plan is fatal to their claim
WON the applicant has been in OCENCO of the land in question
HELD
The Solicitor General argued that the application should be denied because of the applicants
failure to present the original tracing cloth plan cannot be sustained. It is indubitably indicated that the
cloth plan was attached to the application. It was detached and kept by the Land Registration
Commission. It could not be marked as an exhibit.
As to the second issue the court finds that the applicant, who does not know the boundary
owners and the are of the land,, and Morandarte, her overseer since 1973, are not sufficient to prove the
alleged 30 year possession in the concept of an owner by the applicant, her sister, mother and father. The
taxes for 31 years, from 1946 to 1976, were paid only in 1976, a few moths prior to the filling of the
application. The applicant therefore failed to satisfy the requirements for judicial confirmation of her
alleged title. The said land must be presumed to be still part of the public domain.

76

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
SPS DANILO and ALBERTA DOMINGO, and EDUARDO QUITEVES, petitioners VS
GUILLERMO REED, respondent
Date: December 9, 2005
Ponente: CJ Panganiban
FACTS
Guillermo Reed was an overseas contract worker from 1978 to 1986 and came home only for short vacations purchased
from the Government Service Insurance System [GSIS] a 166 square meter property located at MRR Road, Mangahan, Pasig.
Because he was working abroad, it was his wife, Lolita Reed, who paid the consideration to the GSIS. On July 9, 1986, TCT No.
58195 covering said property was issued by the Registry of Deeds in the name of Lolita Reed, married to Guillermo Reed.
Guillermo Reed had allowed his brother, Dominador, and the latters wife, Luz, to stay in the house constructed on his property who
In December, 1991, were summoned to the barangay in connection with the complaint for ejectment filed against them by Eduardo
Quiteves, who claimed to be the owner of the lot where their house stands. Dominador and Luz informed Guillermo of the complaint
filed against them. Guillermo accompanied Dominador and Luz to the barangay, where they met Eduardo Quiteves and Alberta
Domingo, who both claimed ownership of the subject property. Guillermo denied having sold his property.
Guillermo Reed made a verification with the Register of Deeds of Pasig. Guillermo discovered that his title over the
subject property had been cancelled. He discovered that a 1. Special Power of Attorney, dated July 8, 1986, allegedly executed by
him authorizing his wife, Lolita Reed, to sell the subject property or a portion thereof; also there was an Absolute Deed of Sale of a
Portion of Residential Land, executed by Lolita Reed, as vendor and attorney-in-fact of Guillermo Reed, in favor of Natividad R.
Villanera, married to Ardaniel Villanera, covering 41.50 square meter portion of subject property; and a Deed of Sale of a Portion of
a Residential Land, dated January 10, 1989, executed by Lolita Reed, for herself and as attorney-in-fact, in favor of Eduardo
Quiteves covering 86 square meter portion of subject property;
On March 8, 1994, Guillermo Reed filed a complaint for reconveyance of property against Lolita Reed, spouses Ardaniel
and Natividad Villanera, spouses Danilo and Alberta Domingo, Eduardo Quiteves and the Register of Deeds of Pasig, Metro Manila.
The trial court dismissed the complaint. The court of appeals reversed.
ISSUE : Whether the case for reconveyance filed by respondent against petitioners sans the trial courts acquisition of
jurisdiction over the person of Lolita Reed, an indispensable party, can prosper
HELD
A document should not be notarized unless the persons who are executing it are the very same ones who are personally
appearing before the notary public. The affiants should be present to attest to the truth of the contents of the document and to
enable the notary to verify the genuineness of their signature. Notaries public are enjoined from notarizing a fictitious or spurious
document. In fact, it is their duty to demand that the document presented to them for notarization be signed in their presence. Their
function is, among others, to guard against illegal deeds.
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless and routinary act. It converts a private document into a public instrument,
making it admissible in evidence without the necessity of preliminary proof of its authenticity and due execution.
All the foregoing circumstances successfully challenge the integrity, genuineness, and veracity of the questioned
document. Petitioners, therefore, cannot take refuge in the presumption of regularity of public documents, a presumption that has
been clearly rebutted in this case.
The final question to be resolved is whether petitioners were buyers in good faith. An innocent purchaser for value is one
who buys the property of another without notice that some other person has a right to or interest in that same property, and who
pays a full and fair price at the time of the purchase or before receiving any notice of another persons claim.
When dealing with land that is registered and titled, as in this case, buyers are not required by the law to inquire further
than what the Torrens certificate of title indicates on its face. It is also settled, however, that purchasers cannot close their eyes to
known facts that should put a reasonable person on guard.
Thus, the presence of anything that excites or arouses suspicion should then prompt the vendee to look beyond the
vendors certificate and investigate the title appearing on the face of that certificate. A vendee who does not do so cannot be
denominated either as an innocent purchaser for value or as a purchaser in good faith and, hence, does not merit the protection of
the law.
The circumstances surrounding this case debunk the presumption of good faith on the part of petitioners. To begin with,
it was clear to them that, at the time of the sales, Lolita was married to Respondent Guillermo Reed; and that the property in
question was part of their conjugal partnership.
The Deed of Sale executed between the Domingo spouses and Lolita Reed clearly stated that what was being sold was
her share in the conjugal property. Despite their knowledge of this fact, the couple did not inquire about her authority to sell any
portion of the property.
Neither was there any mention in the Deed of Sale that Lolita had the authority to sell the property, and that respondent
had consented to the sale. In short, there was no mention of the SPA that she allegedly possessed. Interestingly, the statement in
the Deed that the subject of the sale corresponded to her share in the conjugal assets is not equivalent to her claim that she was
authorized by her husband to sell

77

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
Arcadio, Melquides, Abdula, Eugennio all surnamed Ybanez vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
Chapter: Remedies
Facts:
Original Certificate of Title was issue to private respondent on April 15, 1963. After 19 years of possession, cultivation
and income derived from coconuts on the land , was interrupted in his peaceful occupation thereof when Ybanez and
his sons, forcibly and unlawfully entered the land armed with spears and bolos. As a result private respondent filed a
complaint for recovery of possession. Ybnez on the hand allege that private respondent has never been in
possession on the said land as the same has been continuously occupied by him since 1930. Ybnez claims the
homestead patent issued to private respondent was improperly and erroneously issued.
Issue:
Whether or not Ybanez may question the Certificate of Title issued to private respondent 12 years after its
registration?
Held:
No. The certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose
name appears therein. After the expiration of the one year period from the issuance of the decree of registration upon
which it is based, it becomes incontrovertible. The settled rule is that a decree of registration and the certificate of title
issued pursuant thereto may be attacked on the ground of actual fraud within one year from the date of entry and
such an attack must be direct and not by collateral proceeding.
In the instant case the certificate of title issued to private respondent attained the status of indefeasibility one year
after the issuance of the patent, hence it is no longer open for review on the ground of actual fraud, where there is no
showing of a reasonable excuse for such an unusual delay.
Although Ybnez may still have the remedy of reconveyance, assuming that they are the owners of the said lot, this
remedy, however can no longer be availed of by Ybanez due to prescription. The prescriptive period of reconveyance
of fraudulently registered real property is ten years reckoned from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title.

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
Jose Henson vs. The Director of Lands
Chapter: Specific Evidence Of Ownership
Facts:
Henson claimed to be the owner of several lots. The Court of First Instance adjudicated the Lots to Henson and on
August 10 1922, copies of the decision were sent by registered mail to Attorney-General, to the Director of Lands,
and to the General Land Registration Office. In conformity with the ordinary practice, the General Land Registration
Office on January 10 sent notices of adjudications to the litigants in the two cases. The Director of Lands appealed
the decision on February 6, 1923, as a result the decision was reversed and the various lots were distributed among
homesteaders. Henson brought an action in the Court of first Instance in which he seeks to annul the decision. He
claims that the appealed should have been taken within 30 days from August 10 1922 when the decisions of the
Court of first Instance were furnished the provincial fiscal of Tarlac who represented the Director of Lands in the said
cases, that the appeal taken in January 1923 were presented out of time.
Issue:
Whether or not the appeal was filed out of time?
Held:
The judgment rendered in a land registration proceeding becomes final upon the expiration of thirty days (now 15
days) to be counted from the date of receipt of notice of the judgment. Considering that we are dealing with a
cadastral case, the soundness of Hensons contention is extremely doubtful. For many years it has been the practice
in large cadastral cases to compute the time for appeal from the mailing or delivery of the notices of adjudication
prepared by the General Land Registration Office.

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
Palanca vs. The American Food Manufacturing Co.
Case No.: L-22822 24 SCRA 819
Chapter: Remedies
Ponente: Zaldivar, J.
Facts:
On May 14,1958, petitioner-appelant Gregoria Palanca filed with the Philippine Patent Office, Department of
Commerce and Industry, an application to register the trademark, LION and the representation of a lions head,
alleging that she had been using the trademark since January 5,1958 on bechin (food seasoning). The application
was opposed by herein respondent appellee, The American Food Manufacturing Co., on the ground that petitioners
trademark was similar to its trademark LION and representation of a lion previously adopted and used by it on the
same type of product since August 3, 1953.
On December 14, 1961, however, herein petitioner-appellant filed with the Patent Office a petition to set
aside the aforementioned judgment on June 14,1961, invoking section 2 of Rule 38 of the Rules of Cout, alleging
fraud and/or negligence committed by her former counsel, Atty. Bienvenido Medel, in that the latter failed to file a
memorandum before the case was submitted for decision; that she had been fraudulently kept in total ignorance of
the proceedings in the case; that her counsel had not informed her of the decision, thus preventing her from resorting
to all the legal remedies available to her; that she came to know of the decision only about the later part of
October,1961, through her friend, Mr. Domingo Adevoso; that she had evidence to disapprove the claim of opposer
that it had been using the same trademark even before 1958; and that she had evidence to show that the bechin that
the opposer sold prior to 1958 were not of the Lion brand but of the Lion-Tiger brand, another trademark of
opposer.
The petition to set aside the judgment was set for hearing, wherein petitioner-appellant and a witness,
Ricardo Monfero, testified. Witness Monfero testified that he was the owner of a grocery store in San Pablo City, that
the receipts issued to him by the American Food Manufacturing Company on October 16, 1957 showing that Lion
blue bechin had sold to his store really referred to Lion-Tiger brand bechin.
The record shows that the decision proper, which was rendered on June 14, 1961, had already become final
because counsel for the appellant had been furnished with copy of said decision on June 16, 1961 and no appeal
had been taken from said decision within the reglementary period.
The petitioner-appellant contended that the acts committed by her former counsel, Atty. Bienvenido Medel,
constitute fraud that would warrant the setting aside of the decision denying her application to register the
controverted trademark.
Respondent-appellee Director of Patents, on the other hand, contends that the basic issue in the petition to
set aside decision on June 14,1961 is whether there was fraud, as contemplated in section 2 of Rule 38 of the Rules
of Court, to justify the setting aside of the decision.
Held:
Section 2 of Rule 38 of the Rules of Court provides that a judgment or order entered against as party through fraud,
accident, mistake or excusable negligence may be set aside upon proper petition to that effect. Not every kind of
fraud, however, is sufficient ground to set aside a judgment. Only extrinsic or collateral, as distinguished from
intrinsic, fraud is a ground for annulling a judgment. Extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the successful party
in a litigation which is committed outside the trial of a case against the defeated party, or his agents, attorneys or
witnesses, whereby said defeated party is prevented from presenting fully and fairly his side of the case. Intrinsic
fraud refers to acts of a party in a litigation during the trial, such as the use of forged instruments or perjured
testimony which did not affect the presentation of the case, but did prevent a fair and just determination of the case.
The rule is that an action to annul a judgment, upon the ground of fraud, will not lie unless the fraud be
extrinsic or collateral and the facts upon which it is based have not been controverted or resolved in the case where
the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered, and that false testimony or perjury is not a ground for assailing
said judgment, unless the fraud refers to jurisdiction.

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS- FACULTAD DE DERECHO CIVIL


LAND TITLES AND DEEDS
Fule vs. De Legare
Case No.: L-17951, 7 SCRA 351
Chapter: Remedies
Ponente: Regala, J.
Facts:
The plaintiff, Emilia de Legare was the owner of a parcel of land, together with a residential house thereon
situated at Sta. Mesa Boulevard Extension, San Juan, Rizal. She was living in that house together with defendant,
John W. Legare, her adopted son an a maid named Purite Tarrosa. On September 26, 1951, the plaintiff through a
public deed, constituted on the house and the lot a first class mortgage in favor of defendant Tomas Q. Soriano to
guarantee the payment of a loan in the amount of 8,000.
At about 9 oclock in the evening of March 29, 1953, while the plaintiff, John W. Legare, and Purita Tarrosa
were seated in the drawing room of the house, an unknown man intruded into the room, approached the plaintiff,
covered her mouth and pressing a knife on her side, demended that she give him 10,000 if she did not want to be
killed. The plaintiff replied that she did not have that amount. Thereupon, the intruder told the plaintiff to raise the
necessary amount as he would come back the following morning and once more threatened to kill her if he would fail
to do so. After having made that threat, the intruder left the house. John W. Legare did not call for help nor made any
othe attempt to help his mother and when Purita Tarrosa stood up to go down the house to call for a policemen, he
held the latter by the hand and slapped her on the face when she persisted in going down, telling her that the man
had companions waiting downstairs.
After the intruder was gone, John W. Legare approached the plaintiff and exhibiting to her a paper told her to
sign it as a with the same he could secure from the US Veterans Administration the amount which they needed to
deliver to that intruder. The plaintiff, who did not know how to read nor write, although she could sign her name,
asked John W. Legare what that paper was. The latter answered that it was an application for payment of
compensation. As plaintiff has confidence in John W. Legare and prior to that occasion she had received from the US
Veterans administration a letter concernindg some compensation she was to receive, she signed the paper. After the
paper was signed by the plaintiff, John W. Legare had Purita Tarrosa signed it as a witness without however allowing
the latter to read it.
After that paper was thus signed, John W. Legare told the plaintiff and Purita Tarroza to pack up their things
and brought them to Windsor Hotel where they stayed there for a month and a half.
When Emilia Legare went home, she found out that her house was already occupied by strangers and that
all furniture belonging to him had disappeared. The strangers told her that they happened to occupy the house
through the sale executed by John Legare in favor of them. The plaintiff thereby sought legal advice.
Issue:
Whether or not the plaintiffs are innocent purchasers for value of the house and lot disputed.
Held:
The herein petitioners are innocent purchasers for value of the house and lot disputed. They are adjudged as lawful
owners thereof.
A purchaser in good faith is one who buys property of another without notice that some other persons has a
right to or interest in, such property and pays a full and fair price or the same, at the same time of such purchase, or
before he has notice of the claim or interest of some other persons in the property.
The Deed of Sale was regular upon its face, and no one would have questioned it with its authenticity since
it was duly acknowledge before a notary public. Even if the petitioners have the petitioners had the opportunity to
compare the signature of the respondent on the Deed of Conveyance with a specimen of her genuine signature, the
effort, nonetheless would have been in vain since the respondents signature on the document was admittedly hers. It
should not be overlooked that the respondents during the whole period of negotiation was nowhere available to
confirm or deny the execution of the Deed. She was then in hiding or, hidden at the Windsor hotel in Manila.
The petitioner spouses relied not really on the documents exhibited to them by John Legare, but on the
registability of those documents. This satisfies the measure of good faith contemplated by law.

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