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Prescription No title to registered land in derogation of the title of the registered

owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession. (Sec. 47, P.D. 1529)

be collaterally attacked. Hence, whether or not petitioners have the

right to claim ownership of the property is beyond the province of
the instant proceeding.
Here, the action came from the NLRC.

1. Javier v. Concepcion, G.R. No. L-36566. November 7, 1979

2. Madrid v. Spouses Martinez, G.R. No. 150887. August 14, 2009

Facts: private respondents filed against Javier for the reconveyance of parcel of land
known as lot 12. The respondents allged that lot 12 is a portion of a big parcel of land
designated as lot 6 and covered by TCT issued by register of deeds. Javier claimed
they acquired the land by prescription. RTC, CA ruled in favor of priv.respondents.

Issue: WON lthe subject land may be acquired by prescription.

The defense of prescription of the cause of action for recovery of possession by the
registered owner is without merit. The established rule is that one cannot acquire title
to a registered land by prescription or adverse possession. Laches is likewise not
available because there are no intervening rights of third persons which may be
affected or prejudiced by a decision ordering the return of the lots. Hence, the
equitable defense of laches will not apply against the registered owners.

10. Collateral Attack

A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack.
It cannot be altered, modified, or cancelled except in a direct proceeding in
accordance with law. (Sec. 48, P.D. 1529)

1. Halili v. CIR, G.R. No. L-24864. May 30, 1996

Here, the union seeks to recover the property from the
buyer of the land [MMPCI]. The objective of such claim is to nullify
the title of the buyer to the property, which thereby challenges the
judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed. This is
apparently a collateral attack which is not permitted under the
principle of indefeasibility of a Torrens Title. A Torrens Title cannot

Facts: respondents are the owners of 2 parcels of land located in sampaloc through a
deed of absolute sale and tolerated the petitioners continued occupancy and
possession until possession became illegal. They sought to recover possession
through accion publiciana filed with the RTC against madrid and bernardo. Antonio
Miranda claimed ownership by an oral sale by the original owner, Antonio. Likewise,
Bernardo also claims ownership by virtue of an oral sale to him by Antonio. Madrid
claimed he had permission of bernardo, son of Antonio, to occupy the portion of the
property. RTC ruled in favor of respondents and CA affirmed. On appeal, petitioners
contend principle of indefeasibility of certificate of title does not apply because fraud
attended the respondents acquisition of title.

Issue: WON petitioners contention is correct.

Held: Accion Publiciana, also known as accion plenaria de posesion, is an

ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession of realty
independent of title. It refers to an ejectment suit filed after the expiry of one
year from the accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding
of possession of the realty.
The objective of the plaintiffs in an accion publiciana is to recover
possession only, and not ownership. However, where the question of
ownership is raised, the courts may pass upon the issue to determine who
has the better right of possession. Such determination is merely provisional
and not conclusive on the question of ownership.
Here, both parties claim ownership of the property. Petitioners through oral
sale and respondents as represented by a TCT in their names.
More weight is given to the TCT because it is evidence of indefeasible
title to property. The title holder is entitled to all the attributes of
ownership, including possession.
The petitioner-defendants attack on the validity of respondent-plaintiffs
title, by claiming that fraud attended its acquisition, is a [prohibited]
collateral attack on the title. It is an attack incidental to the quest to
defend their possession of the properties in an accion publiciana not in

a direct action whose main objective is to impugn the validity of the

judgment granting the title.

11. Right of Possession Arising From Title

12. Regalian Doctrine

All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or
timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State.
(Sec. 2, Article XII, Constitution)

1. Carbonilla v. Abiera, G.R. No. 177637. July 26, 2010

13. Concept and Effects

Facts: dr. carbonilla is the registered owner of parcel of land as covered by a

certificate of title in which respondents has been in possession of the building through
inheritance from their father since 1960 and the land was inherited by their father from
his grandfather. MTCC ruled that petitioners ownership was established however the
respondents have the right to its material possession. RTC affirmed but not to the
right to its material possession. CA dismissed the appeal. On appeal, carbomilla
argues that he has sufficiently established his ownership of the subj proper]ties and
asserts the right to recover possession.

1. Aranda v. Republic, G.R. No. 172331. August 24, 2011

Facts: aranda filed for the registration of a land loc in batangas. He invokes that he
has been in continuous possession of the subj land in the concept of an owner,
publicly, openly, and adversely for more than 30 yrs prior to the filing of application. As
testified by one luis olan, anatalio aranda (ramons father) acquired the land from his
father by sale and as testified by ramons sister their father donated the land to
ramon. The trial court granted the application. Republic opposed and appealed to CA
which reversed the trial court decision.

Issue: WON petition has merit.

Held: The registered owner is entitled to possession. However, the owner

cannot simply wrest possession thereof from whoever is in actual occupation
of the property. To recover possession, the registered owner must resort to
the proper judicial remedy.
Here, the petitioner-registered owner opted to file an ejectment case.
Ejectment cases [forcible entry and unlawful detainer] are summary
proceedings designed to provide expeditious means to protect actual
possession or the right to possession of the property involved. The only
question that the courts resolve is who is entitled to possession de facto and
not to possession de jure. It does not even matter if a party has title to the
property. An ejectment case will not necessarily be decided in favor of one
who has presented proof of ownership of the subject property. Key
jurisdictional facts must be pleaded and proved.
Here, petitioners failed to prove that the possession of respondents was by
mere tolerance.
Petitioners must file either an action reivindicatoria, a suit to recover
ownership to property or file an accion publiciana, a plenary action to
recover based on the better right to possess.

Held: The Property Registration Decree (P.D. No. 1529) provides for original
registration of land in an ordinary registration proceeding. Under Section
14(1) thereof, a petition may be granted upon compliance with the following
requisites: (a) that the property in question is alienable and disposable land of
the public domain; (b) that the applicants by themselves or through their
predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and
notorious possession and occupation; and (c) that such possession is under
a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier.
Under the Regalian doctrine which is embodied in Section 2, Article XII of
the 1987 Constitution, all lands of the public domain belong to the State,
which is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. All lands not
appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to
the State. Unless public land is shown to have been reclassified or alienated
to a private person by the State, it remains part of the inalienable public
domain. To overcome this presumption, incontrovertible evidence must be
established that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable.
To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable,
an applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government
such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order; an administrative

action; investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a

legislative act or a statute. The applicant may also secure a certification from
the Government that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable.
** Petitioner presented tax declarations and the deeds of confirmation of
the 1946 sale from the original owner (Lucio Olan) to Anatalio Aranda and
the 1965 donation made by the latter in favor of petitioner. But as found by
the CA, the history of the land shows that it was declared for taxation
purposes for the first time only in 1981. On the other hand, the Certification
issued by the Municipal Treasurer of Malvar stated that petitioner, who
supposedly received the property from his father in 1965, had been paying
the corresponding taxes for said land for more than five consecutive years
including the current year [1999], or beginning 1994 only or just three years
before the filing of the application for original registration. While, as a rule,
tax declarations or realty tax payments of property are not conclusive
evidence of ownership, nevertheless they are good indicia of possession in
the concept of owner, for no one in his right mind would be paying taxes for
a property that is not in his actual or constructive possession they
constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property.

Presidential act classifying these submerged areas as

alienable or disposable lands of the public domain open to
disposition. These submerged areas are not covered by any
patent or certificate of title. There can be no dispute that these
submerged areas form part of the public domain, and in their
present state are inalienable and outside the commerce of
man. Until reclaimed from the sea, these submerged areas are,
under the Constitution, waters x x x owned by the State, forming
part of the public domain and consequently inalienable. Only when
actually reclaimed from the sea can these submerged areas be
classified as public agricultural lands, which under the Constitution
are the only natural resources that the State may alienate. Once
reclaimed and transformed into public agricultural lands, the
government may then officially classify these lands as alienable or
disposable lands open to disposition. Thereafter, the government
may declare these lands no longer needed for public service. Only
then can these reclaimed lands be considered alienable or
disposable lands of the public domain and within the commerce of

2. Chavez v. PEA, G.R. No. 133250. July 9, 2002

14. Native Title and Possession Since Time Immemorial
Under Article 5 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866,
private parties could reclaim from the sea only with proper
permission from the State. Private parties could own the
reclaimed land only if not otherwise provided by the terms of the
grant of authority. This clearly meant that no one could reclaim
from the sea without permission from the State because the sea is
property of public dominion. It also meant that the State could
grant or withhold ownership of the reclaimed land because any
reclaimed land, like the sea from which it emerged, belonged to the
State. Thus, a private person reclaiming from the sea without
permission from the State could not acquire ownership of the
reclaimed land which would remain property of public dominion like
the sea it replaced. Article 5 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866
adopted the time-honored principle of land ownership that all lands
that were not acquired from the government, either by purchase or
by grant, belong to the public domain.
Article 5 of the Spanish Law of Waters must be read
together with laws subsequently enacted on the disposition of
public lands. In particular, CA No. 141 requires that lands of the
public domain must first be classified as alienable or disposable
before the government can alienate them.
The Amended JVA covers not only the Freedom Islands,
but also an additional 592.15 hectares which are still submerged
and forming part of Manila Bay. There is no legislative or

1. Secs. 3 (l) and 3 (p), IPRA

Native Title - refers to pre-conquest rights to lands and domains which, as

far back as memory reaches, have been held under a claim of private
ownership by ICCs/IPs, have never been public lands and are thus
indisputably presumed to have been held that way since before the Spanish
Conquest; (Sec. 3(l), IPRA)
Time Immemorial - refers to a period of time when as far back as memory
can go, certain ICCs/IPs are known to have occupied, possessed in the
concept of owner, and utilized a defined territory devolved to them, by
operation of customary law or inherited from their ancestors, in accordance
with their customs and traditions. (Sec. 3(p), IPRA)