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Chavez v. Public Estates Authority
Assigned Readings:
1. Separate opinion of justice Puno Cruz and Europa v. Secretary --- focus
on Regalian Doctrine
2. Ayog v. Cusi
3. Republic v. INC June 29, 1982
4. Republic v. Quasha Aug 17, 1972
5. GR No. 113539 March 12, 1998
GRADED RECIT NXT WIK!
The Regalian Doctrine and Related
Concepts in the 1987 Consti.
REGALIAN DOCTRINE or JURA REGALIA
- this doctrine takes its roots from the
Spanish colonization here in the country.
Basically, eventually incorporated in our
Constitutions (1935, 1973 and 1987).
As a historical overview of the Regalian
Doctrine in the Philippine legal system,
we have Chavez v. PEA. Chavez
pronounced that the Regalian Doctrine
holds that the State owns all lands and
waters of the public domain. Upon the
Spanish conquest of the Philippines,
ownership of all lands, territories and
possessions of the Philippines passed to
the Spanish Crown. May iba kase na if
you are being asked of what is or how
do you define the Regalian Doctrine,
some would explain it in relation to how
it was used in the Spanish treaties
which is okay for our purposes on
Natural Resources but we relate that to
how it is being incorporated in the 1987
Constitution which well learn later on.
So Chavez pronouced that the King as
the
sovereign
ruler
and
representative
of
the
people
acquired all lands and territories in
the Philippines except those he
disposed of by grant or sale to
private individuals. The 1935, 1973

and 1987 Constitutions adopted the


Regalian Doctrine substituting the State
in lieu of the King.
Kase before, all lands and waters are
owned by the Crown/King. So thats the
phrasing before.
CHAVEZ vs. PEA and AMARI [G.R.
No. 133250, July 9, 2002, en banc
decision]
Facts:
-November 20, 1973: Commissioner of
Public Highways, signed a contract with
the Construction and Development
Corporation of the Philippines ("CDCP"
for brevity) to reclaim certain foreshore
and offshore areas of Manila Bay. The
contract also included the construction
of Phases I and II of the Manila-Cavite
Coastal Road. CDCP obligated itself to
carry out all the works in consideration
of fifty percent of the total reclaimed
land.
-February 4, 1977: Marcos issued
Presidential Decree No. 1084 creating
PEA with primary mandate "to reclaim
land, including foreshore and submerged
areas," and "to develop, improve,
acquire, x x x lease and sell any and all
kinds of lands."
-On the same date, Presidential Decree
No. 1085 was signed transferring to PEA
the "lands reclaimed in the foreshore
and offshore of the Manila Bay" under
the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and
Reclamation Project (MCCRRP).
-December 29, 1981: Pres. Marcos
issued a memorandum directing PEA to
amend its contract with CDCP directing
that all future works in MCCRRP shall be
funded and owned by PEA.
-January 19, 1988: Pres.Aquino issued
Special Patent No. 3517, granting and
transferring to PEA the parcels of land
already reclaimed under the ManilaCavite Coastal Road and Reclamation

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Project (MCCRRP) containing a total
area of one million nine hundred fifteen
thousand eight hundred ninety four
(1,915,894) square meters.
-April 9, 1988: Paraaque RD issued
TCT Nos. 7309, 7311, and 7312, in the
name of PEA, covering the three
reclaimed
islands
known
as
the
"Freedom Islands" located at the
southern portion of the Manila-Cavite
Coastal Road, Paraaque City.
-The Freedom Islands have a total land
157.841 hectares.
-April 25, 1995: PEA entered into a JVA
with AMARI to develop the Freedom
Islands. The JVA also required the
reclamation of an additional 250
hectares
of
submerged
areas
surrounding these islands to complete
the
configuration
in
the
Master
Development Plan of the Southern
Reclamation Project-MCCRRP. The JVA
was entered without public bidding.
-April 27, 1998: petitioner Chavez, as
taxpayer, filed a petition for mandamus
contending that the government stands
to lose billions of pesos in the sale by
PEA of the reclaimed lands to AMARI.
-Petitioner assails the sale to AMARI of
lands of the public domain as a blatant
violation of Section 3, Article XII of the
1987 Constitution prohibiting the sale of
alienable lands of the public domain to
private corporations.
-April 28, 1995: PEA Board confirmed
the JVA.
-June 8, 1995, Pres. Ramos approved
the JVA.
-November 29, 1996: then Senate Pres.
Maceda delivered a privilege speech
calling the JVA as the "grandmother of
all scams. A senate investigation
followed.
-March 30, 1999:

PEA and AMARI

signed the
Agreement.

Amended

Joint

Venture

-May 28, 1999: President


approved the Amended JVA.

Estrada

-The Amended JVA covers a reclamation


area of 750 hectares. Only 157.84
hectares of the 750-hectare reclamation
project have been reclaimed, and the
rest of the 592.15 hectares are still
submerged areas forming part of Manila
Bay.
-Under the Amended JVA, AMARI will
reimburse
PEA
the
sum
of
P1,894,129,200.00 for PEA's "actual
cost" in partially reclaiming the Freedom
Islands.
-AMARI will also complete, at its own
expense, the
reclamation of the
Freedom Islands. AMARI will further
shoulder all the reclamation costs of all
the other areas, totaling 592.15
hectares, still to be reclaimed.
-AMARI and PEA will share, in the
proportion of 70 percent and 30
percent, respectively, the total net
usable area which is defined in the
Amended JVA as the total reclaimed
area less 30 percent earmarked for
common areas.
-Under the Amended JVA AMARI will
acquire and own a maximum of 367.5
hectares of reclaimed land which will be
titled in its name.
Issue: WHETHER THE STIPULATIONS
IN THE AMENDED JOINT VENTURE
AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER TO
AMARI OF CERTAIN LANDS, RECLAIMED
AND STILL TO BE RECLAIMED, VIOLATE
THE 1987 CONSTITUTION.
Held: The ownership of lands reclaimed
from foreshore and submerged areas is
rooted in the Regalian doctrine which
holds that the State owns all lands and
waters of the public domain.
Commonwealth Act No. 141, also known

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as the Public Land Act, which authorized
the lease, but not the sale, of reclaimed
lands of the government to corporations
and individuals. CA No. 141 continues to
this day as the general law governing
the classification and disposition of lands
of the public domain.
The State policy prohibiting the sale to
private parties of government reclaimed,
foreshore and marshy alienable lands of
the public domain, first implemented in
1907 was thus reaffirmed in CA No. 141
after the 1935 Constitution took effect .
Foreshore lands became inalienable as
natural resources of the State, unless
reclaimed by the government and
classified as agricultural lands of the
public domain, in which case they would
fall
under
the
classification
of
government reclaimed lands.
After the effectivity of the 1935
Constitution, government reclaimed and
marshy disposable lands of the public
domain continued to be only leased and
not sold to private parties.
These lands remained sui generis, as
the only alienable or disposable lands of
the public domain the government could
not sell to private parties.
Since then and until now, the only way
the government can sell to private
parties government reclaimed and
marshy disposable lands of the public
domain is for the legislature to pass a
law authorizing such sale.
CA No. 141 does not authorize the
President to reclassify government
reclaimed and marshy lands into other
non-agricultural lands under Section 59
(d).
Lands classified under Section 59 (d)
are the only alienable or disposable
lands for non-agricultural purposes that
the government could sell to private
parties.

Most importantly, Section 60 of CA No.


141 expressly requires congressional
authority before lands under Section 59
that
the
government
previously
transferred to government units or
entities could be sold to private parties.
One reason for the congressional
authority is that Section 60 of CA No.
141 exempted government units and
entities from the maximum area of
public lands that could be acquired from
the State.
These government units and entities
should not just turn around and sell
these lands to private parties in violation
of constitutional or statutory limitations.
The 1987 Constitution continues the
State policy in the 1973 Constitution
banning
private
corporations
from
acquiring any kind of alienable land of
the public domain. Like the 1973
Constitution, the 1987 Constitution
allows private corporations to hold
alienable lands of the public domain only
through lease.
One purpose of the constitutional
prohibition against purchases of public
agricultural
lands
by
private
corporations is to equitably diffuse land
ownership or to encourage 'ownercultivatorship and the economic familysize farm'. Huge landholdings by
corporations or private persons had
spawned social unrest."
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 Presidential act
classifying these submerged areas as
alienable or disposable lands of the
public domain open to disposition.
There can be no dispute that these
submerged areas form part of the public
domain, and in their present state are

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inalienable and outside the commerce of
man.
The mere fact that alienable lands of the
public domain like the Freedom Islands
are transferred to PEA and issued land
patents or certificates of title in PEA's
name does not automatically make such
lands private.
To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of
the public domain to be transferred to
PEA as private lands will sanction a
gross violation of the constitutional ban
on private corporations from acquiring
any kind of alienable land of the public
domain.
SUMMARY OF THE RULING:
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.

CHAVEZ vs. PEA and AMARI [G.R.


No. 133250, November 11, 2003
Resolution of MR]
Submerged lands, like the waters (sea
or bay) above them, are part of the
States inalienable natural resources.
Submerged lands are property of public
dominion, absolutely inalienable and
outside the commerce of man. This is
also true with respect to foreshore
lands. Any sale of submerged or
foreshore lands is void being contrary to
the Constitution.
Commonwealth Act No. 141, "foreshore
and lands under water were not to be
alienated and sold to private parties,"
PEA is the central implementing agency
tasked
to
undertake
reclamation
projects nationwide.
PEA took the place of the Department of

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Environment and Natural Resources
("DENR" for brevity) as the government
agency charged with leasing or selling
all reclaimed lands of the public domain.
In the hands of PEA, which took over
the leasing and selling functions of
DENR,
reclaimed
foreshore
(or
submerged lands) lands are public lands
in the same manner that these same
lands would have been public lands in
the hands of DENR.
This scheme will effectively nullify the
constitutional ban in Section 3, Article
XII of the 1987 Constitution which was
intended to diffuse equitably the
ownership of alienable lands of the
public domain among Filipinos, now
numbering over 80 million strong.
As we held in our 9 July 2002 Decision,
the Amended JVA "violates glaringly
Sections 2 and 3, Article XII of the 1987
Constitution.
In our 6 May 2003 Resolution, we
DENIED with FINALITY respondents
Motions for Reconsideration. Litigations
must end some time. It is now time to
write finis to this "Grandmother of All
Scams."
To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of
the public domain to be transferred to
PEA as private lands will sanction a
gross violation of the constitutional ban
on private corporations from acquiring
any kind of alienable land of the public
domain.
PEA will simply turn around, as PEA has
now done under the Amended JVA, and
transfer several hundreds of hectares of
these reclaimed and still to be reclaimed
lands to a single private corporation in
only one transaction.
The Regalian Doctrine is the foundation
of 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. So now it is presently


incorporated under Section 2, Article 12
or
the
NATIONAL
ECONOMY
&
PATRIMONY
OF
THE
1987
CONSTITUTION.
IMPORTANT! The 1st sentence of Section
2.
Article 12, Section 2, 1987 Constitution.
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. With the exception of
agricultural lands, all other natural
resources shall not be alienated. The
exploration, development, and utilization
of natural resources shall be under the
full control and supervision of the State.
The State may directly undertake such
activities, or it may enter into coproduction, joint venture, or productionsharing
agreements
with
Filipino
citizens, or corporations or associations
at least sixty percentum of whose
capital is owned by such citizens. Such
agreements may be for a period not
exceeding twenty-five years, renewable
for not more than twenty--five years,
and under such terms and conditions as
may be proovided by law. In cases of
water rights for irrigation, water supply,
fisheries, or industrial uses other than
the development of water power,
beneficial use may be the measure and
limit of the grant.
The State shall protect the nations
maritime wealth in its archipelagic
waters, territorial sea, and exclusive
economic zone, and reserve its use and
enjoyment exclusively to Flipino citizens.
The Congress may, by law, allow smallscale utilization of natural resources by
Filipino citizens, as well as cooperrative
fish farming, with priority subsistence
fishermen and fishworkers in rivers,
lakes, bays, and lagoons.

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The
President
may
enter
into
agreements
wiith
foreign-owned
corporations involving either techinical
or financial assistance forlarge scale
exploration, development, utilization of
minerals, petroleum, and other mineral
oils according to the general terms and
conditions provided by law, based on
realcontributions
to
the
economic
growth and general welfare of the
country. In such agreements, the State
shall promote the development and use
of
local,
scientific
and
technical
resources.
The President shall notify the Congress
of every contract entered into in
accordance with this provision, within 30
days from its execution.
Basically, Section 2 talks of course the
1st portion would be the Regalian
Doctrine. And then, the succeeding
sentences
actually
talk
of
the
Constitutional
limitations
of
the
exploration, development and utilization
of natural resources. This is perhaps the
core of our initial study in the Law of
Natural Resources. Section 2 is very
important.
So we start with start with the concept
of Regalian Doctrine as provided in the
1st sentence and the limitations as
provided in the succeeding sentences.

REGALIAN DOCTRINE under Section


2.
So ALL NATURAL RESOURCES
OWNED BY THE STATE.

are

So we all know that under the present


Constitution, as phrased in Section 2,
the Regalian Doctrine is already stripped
off of its medieval connotations, like
yung paano cya narelate to the Crown,
to the King or to the Queen. So
although the Doctrine is still phrased as
the Regalian Doctrine, pertaining to the
Crown, the King or the Queen, basically,
for concept purposes wala na cya. It is
being substituted by the concept of the
State.
IMPORTANT LEGAL CONSEQUENCES
OF THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE:
1. Any person claiming any portion of
the public domain must be able to
show title from the State.
EXPLANATION: there is still a need of
title from the state because it is still
public property or part of the public
domain. So it can be such title can be
obtained from the recognized MODES
OF ACQUISITION OF TITLE which we
will tackle lateras provided in CA 141.
2. The presumption that such property,
if you cannot provide or show title, is
presumptively belonging to the State.

So when we discuss Section 2, of Article


12 of the present Constitution, we take
note of these concepts of imperium
and dominium.

EXPLANATION: So public lands not


shown to be reclassified or released as
alienable agricultural land or alienated
to a private person by the State shall be
made part of the public domain.

A. IMPERIUM - the govt authority


posessed by the State expressed in the
concept of sovereignty.

3. Although
when
the
colonizers
introduced the Regalian Doctrine here in
the Philippines, it was not intended to
strip from the natives the concept of
native
title.
(Carino
v.
Insular
Government).

B. DOMINIUM - the capacity of the


State to own and acquire property.
This
principle of dominium is
basically
the
foundation
of
the

Carino v. Insular Government

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When as far back as testimony or
memory goes, the land has been held of
individuals under a claim of private
ownership, it will be presumed to have
been held ___ from before the
Spanish conquest and never to have
been public land.

ANS: Only Filipinos


Corporations.

and

Filipino

2. How would such EDU be done?


ANS: It is either:
A.) Direct undertaking by the State

So we will reach to that when we


discuss IPRA.
4. Any minerals discovered on a land
even if such aland is settled to be
private land, still the minerals are
reserved to the State.
EXPLANATION: Kase it is provided that
ALL
natural
resources,
including
minerals, belong to the State. In fact,
any private use of the minerals may be
discontinued by the State to enable it to
extract said minerals in the exercise of
its sovereign prerogative.
LIMITS OF DOMINIUM (Section 2,
Article 12, 1987 Constitution):

B.) Co-production, Joint venture or


production-sharing agreements with the
State *Still under the full control and
supervision of the State.
We quote of Section 2:
The exploration, development, and
utilization of natural resources shall be
under the full control and supervision of
the State. The State may directly
undertake such activities, or it may
enter into co-production, joint venture,
or production-sharing agreements with
Filipino citizens, or corporations or
associations at least sixty percentum of
whose capital is owned by such citizens.

NOTE: The entire Section 2.


With the exception of agricultural lands,
all other natural resources shall not be
alienated.
While
the
concept
of
dominium
necessarily includes the power of the
State to alienate what is owned by the
State, there is a specific provision in the
Constitution that ONLY agricultural
lands may be alienated.
So we proceed with the next limitation
on the Exploration, Development and
Utilization (EDU).
For EDU concerns, the important
concepts would be the following:
1. Who may participate in the EDU of
the natural resources in alienable
resources?

It is said that the present Constitution


has departed from the earlier provisions
which had prescribed that Natural
Resources could only be explored,
developed or utilized by licensed
concession or lease. It is provided in
Section 8, Article 14 in National
Economy and Patrimony of the 1973
Constitution. So it was different before.
Kase in 1973 Constitution, klaro na it
could only be by EDU, it could only be
by licensed concession or lease. It is
very technical, but now it has changed
to DIRECT UNDERTAKING, JOINT
VENTURE
or
PRODUCTIONSHARING AGREEMENTS.
Minors Association of the
Philippines v. Factoran (240 SCRA
100)
This ammendment or a change of rule is
not retroactive. So it applies only upon

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the enactment of the 1987 Constitution.
So other limitations, still on Section 2
we have the period for the agreements.
So we mentioned earlier a coproduction, JVA, etc.
So such agreements, according to the
Constitution, may be for a period not
exceeding 25 years renewable for a
period of not more than 25 years and
other such terms and conditions as may
be provided by law. In cases of water
rights for irrigation, water supply,
fisheries, or industrial uses other than
the development of water power,
beneficial use may be the measure and
limit of the grant.
So we dissect the provision. Just take
note na 2 and periods provided in the
Section:
A. First, is the 25 year limit of the
exploitation of natural resources, but
which is not applicable to water right for
irrigation etc. Because, the measure and
the limit of the grant is beneficial use.
So when you are asked of what is the
limit in the agreements provided in
Section 2 as a Constitutional limitation,
you categorize. If hindi cya water rights
blah blah blah, that is 25 years
renewable for another 25 years. For
water rights, the measure and limit of
the grant is beneficial use.
Also, the present phrasing os Section 2
is said to be stricter on the use and
enjoyment of the nations marine
wealth
because
it
is
reserved
exclusively to Filipino citizens.
Although you can apply your other
concepts in Public International Law,
wherein principles of International Law
wpuld apply as regards the economic
zone which is part of the high seas. So
medyo technical na cya. But just take
note of the Constitutional limitation is
Section 2 na sabi na may stricter rule on

the use and enjoyment of the marine


wealth of the nation because as of
present
phrasing,
enjoyment
is
exclusively reserved to Filipio citizens.
And then we have a special provision in
favor of subsistence fishermen and
fishworkers The Congress may, by law, allow
small-scale
utilization
of
natural
resources by Filipino citizens, as well as
cooperrative fish farming, with priority
subsistence fishermen and fishworkers
in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.
-- so this is an added special provision.
And then limitation on service contracts.
-The
President
may
enter
into
agreements
wiith
foreign-owned
corporations involving either techinical
or financial assistance forlarge scale
exploration, development, utilization of
minerals...
Tke note, this provision only applies for
large scale EDU.
...of minerals, petroleum, and other
mineral oils according to the general
terms and conditions provided by law,
based on real contributions to the
economic growth and general welfare of
the country. In such agreements, the
State shall promote the development
and use of local, scientific and technical
resources.
The President shall notify the Congress
of every contract entered into in
accordance with this provision, within 30
days from its execution.

So, the summary of the limitations


under Section 2, only agricultural lands
of the public domain may be alienated.
So with the exception of agricultural
lands, all other natural resources shall

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not be alienated. The ownership (bcoz
of the Regalian Doctrine) belongs to the
State.
The EDU of all the natural resources, the
full control and supervision belongs to
the State. So stricter ruleunder the
1987 Constitution.
You
also
recall
the
period
for
agreements. You categorize if it is for 25
years, renewable for another 25 years is
applicable or for beneficial use.
And then, limited to Filipino citizens or
Filipino-owned corporations (@ least
60% of capital is owned by Filipino
citizens).
Use and enjoyment of marine wealth,
special provision in favor of subsistence
fishermen and fishworkers and then
limitation...
7 limitations under Section 2.
Earlier, we
mentioned
that
only
agricultural lands of the public domain
may be alienated.

1,000 hectares in area. Citizens of the


Philippines may lease not more than 500
ha., or acquire not more than 12 ha.
thereof by purchase, homestead or
grant.
Taking into account the requirements of
conservation, ecology, and development,
and subject to the requirements of
agrarian reform, the Congress shall
determine, by law, the size of the lands
of the public domain which may be
acquired, developed, held or leased and
the conditions therefor.
Section 3 is very important. So we start
with the first part of Section 3 which is
the classification of lands. We have 4
classifications
under
the
present
Constitution. Later we will tackle the
case which compares this to the
previous calssifications under the 1935
and 1973 Constitutions. For now, we
have four.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF LAND OF THE
PUBLIC DOMAIN:

So we proceed with the nxt Section,


bcoz this is where the lands of the public
domain is being classified, and then the
succeeding provisions dwell on the rules
of disposition of these lands.

1. Agricultral - may further be


classified by law according to the uses
which they may have been devoted.
2. Forest or Timber
3. Mineral Lands
4. National Parks

Article
12,
Constitution

So eto lang yung classification ng lands


of the public domain.

Section

3,

1987

Lands of the public domain are classified


into agricultural, forest or timber,
mineral lands, and national parks.
Agricultural lands of the public domain
may further be classified by law
according to the uses which they may
have been devoted. Alienable lands of
the public domain shall be limited to
agricultural lands. Private corporations
or associations may not hold such
alienable lands of the public domain
except by lease, for a period of not
exceeding 25 years,renewable for not
more than 25 years, and not to exceed

Who classifies
present law?

land

under

the

In the case of Director of Lands v.


CA, the said classification is an
exclusive
prerogative
of
the
Executive Department of the govt.
It is not with the courts. So in the
absenceof such classification, the land
remains as declassified. It was also said
in
this
case
that
although
the
Executives power to declassify said
lands, said power is not not inherent
because it is delegated by CA 141 and is

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only
exercised
upon
the
recommendation
of
the
pertinent
department. So well take that provision
in CA 141 later.
So dont confuse this with the authority
of the President or the Executive to
classify land with this provision...
... Agricultural lands of the public
domain may be further classified by law
according to the uses to which they may
be devoted.
So students get confused na sabi
executive power. And then ano itong
provision na further classified by law?
(Meaning by Congress)
So you dileanate kung ano ang type of
land. Kung covered by the executive
power to be classified are lands of
public domain. Yung sa by law under
Section 3 2nd sentence, is agricultural
land lang. So take note.

Lets start with acquisition, who are


qualified to acquire?
A: Private individuals
Filipino citizens only.

who

are

Q: How about aliens?


A: They are not allowed to acquire
properties except in cases of
succession.
Q: What type of succession?
A: Hereditary succession
Q: How about private corporations
or associations? We are still with
acquisition.
A: With respect to lands of the
public domain, private corporations
are not allowed to acquire public
lands.

*Executive Power - public land


*Agricultural land - further may be
classified by law to __ uses. So thats
for agricultural lands of the public
domain.

Q: How about hold public lands are


they allowed to qualify (private
corporations and associations)?

We now go to the rules on the provision.

Q: So for Filipino citizens, the limit


is for area of acquisition?

Alienable lands of the public domain


shall be limited to agricultural lands.
Private corporations or associations may
not hold such alienable lands of the
public domain except by lease, for a
period
of
not
exceeding
25
years,renewable for not more than 25
years, and not to exceed 1,000 hectares
in area. Citizens of the Philippines may
lease not more than 500 ha., or acquire
not more than 12 ha. thereof by
purchase, homestead or grant.
Q: So, from your reading a portion
of Section 3, can you provide us in
simplier terms the rules on who are
qualified to acquire alienable lands
of the public domain?

A: They can hold by lease.

A: *For ACQUISITION - 12 ha
*For LEASE - not more than 500
ha
Q: Now how about for private
corporations or associations?
A: Not to exceed for more than 25
years and renewable for not more
than 25 years.
Q: And then the limit for the area
is?
A: Not to exceed 1000 ha.
So basically, well just simplify that
portion of this Section 3, which is

NATRES CLASS DISCUSSIONS


SY 2015-2016
basically the rules on disposition. We
have limitations as to the area as well
as to the number of years:
PRIVATE CORPORATIONS
ASSOCIATIONS:
*Lease- 25 years
another 25 years

AND

renewable

for

If you are being asked if the same rule


applies to alien individuals or foreigners,
Section 7 of the same Article under the
1987 Constitution provides that save in
cases of hereditary succession, no
private lands shall be transferred or
conveyed
except
to
individuals,
corporations or associations qualified to
acquire or hold lands of the public
domain.
So it would seem that the phrasing of
Section 7 that the capacity to acquire
private land is made dependent
upon the capacity to acquire or hold
lands of the public domain, except
in cases of hereditary succession.
So you relate that ha because we are
incorporating here the concept of
ownership of private lands ___ public
domain. So as answered earlier, one
exception where aliens are allowed to
acquire or hold lands is in the case of
hereditary succession.
So we highlight the fact that the
exception is strictly applied because it is
not
applicable
to
testamentary
succession.
Or
otherwise,
the
Constitutional prohibition would be put
meaningless.
So not just succession, but hereditary
succession or intestate succession.
Another applicable provision also this
time former natural-born citizens...
Article
12,
Constitution
Notwithstanding

Section
the

8,

1987

provisions

Section 7 of this Article, a natural-born


citizen of the Philippines who has lost his
Philippine
citizenship
may
be
a
transferee of private lands, subject to
limitations provided by law.

of

Cruz v. Secretary of DENR


Separate Opinion of Justice Puno in
Cruz v. Secretary of DENR
Facts:

In 1997, RA 8371 (Indigenous Peoples


Rights Act/IPRA) was passed. Isagani
Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a petition for
prohibition and mandamus, questioning
the constitutionality of certain provisions
of IPRA: a) It allows the indigenous
people/cultural community to OWN
NATURAL RESOURCES ; b) It defines
ancestral lands and ancestral domains in
such a way that it may include private
lands owned by other individuals; c) It
categorizes ancestral lands and domains
held by native title as never to have been
public land; d) It violates due process in
allowing NCIP (National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples) to take jurisdiction
over IP land disputes and making
customary law apply to these. In the first
deliberation of the SC, the votes were 77,
so the case was redeliberated upon.
Issue:
Did the IPRA violate the Regalian
Theory?
A. IPRA: Under the IPRA law, lands
which have not been registered
before,
if
granted
with
a

NATRES CLASS DISCUSSIONS


SY 2015-2016

CADT/CALT, will be recognized as


privately owned by the IPs from the
beginning thus, has never been part
of public domain.
B. Regalian Theory: Lands which has
not been recognized as privately
owned belongs to the State

integrity. The indigenous concept of


ownership generally holds that ancestral
domains are the ICCs/IPs private but
community property which belongs to all
generations and therefore cannot be
sold, disposed or destroyed. It likewise
covers sustainable traditional resource
rights.

Held:
No Final Decision. Petition dismissed due
to lack of votes; Law remained valid and
constitutional (7 to grant 7 to dismiss).
Justice Punos Separate Opinion: The
IPRA Law DID NOT VIOLATE the
Regalian Theory
1. These lands claimed by the IPs have
long been theirs BY VIRTUE OF
NATIVE TITLE; they have lived there
even before the Spanish colonization.
Native title refers to ICCs/IPs pre
conquest rights to lands and domains held
under a claim of private ownership as far
back as memory reaches. These lands are
deemed never to have been public lands
and are indisputable presumed to have
been held that way since before the
Spanish Conquest.

4. It complies with Regalian Doctrine:


Natural Sources within ancestral
domains are not owned by the IPs
* The IPs claims are limited to lands,
bodies of water traditionally and actually
occupied by ICCs/IPs, sacred places,
traditional hunting and fishing grounds,
and all improvements made by them at
any time within the domains;
* IPRA did not mention that the IPs also
own all the other natural resources found
within the ancestral domains
Halili v. CA

2. AND Native Title is an Exception to


the Regalian Doctrine: ... Oh Cho vs
Director of Lands: This exception would
be any land that should have been in the
possession of an occupant and of his
predecessorsininterest
since
time
immemorial

Simeon de Guzman, an American


citizen, died sometime in 1968, leaving
real properties in the Philippines. His
forced heirs were his widow, defendant
appellee [herein private respondent] Helen
Meyers Guzman, and his son, defendant
appellee [also herein private respondent]
David Rey Guzman, both of whom are
also American citizens. On August 9,
1989, Helen executed a deed of quitclaim
(Annex
A-Complaint),
assigning[,]
transferring and conveying to David Rey
all her rights, titles and interests in and
over six parcels of land which the two of
them inherited from Simeon.

3. Native Titles provide a different Type


of Private Ownership
Sec. 5. Indigenous concept of ownership.
Indigenous concept of ownership
sustains the view that ancestral domains
and all resources found therein shall serve
as the material bases of their cultural

Among the said parcels of land is that now


in litigation, x x x situated in Bagbaguin,
Sta. Maria, Bulacan, containing an area of
6,695 square meters, covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-170514 of the
Registry of Deeds of Bulacan. The
quitclaim having been registered, TCT No.

Facts:

NATRES CLASS DISCUSSIONS


SY 2015-2016

T-170514 was cancelled and TCT No. T120259 was issued in the name of appellee
David Rey Guzman.
On February 5, 1991, David Rey Guzman
sold said parcel of land to defendantappellee [also herein private respondent]
Emiliano Cataniag, upon which TCT No.
T-120259 was cancelled and TCT No. T130721(M) was issued in the latters name.

further held that, although the transfer of


the land to David Rey may have been
invalid for being contrary to the
Constitution, there was no more point in
allowing herein petitioners to recover the
property, since it has passed on to and was
thus already owned by a qualified person.
Issue: W/N the sale to Cataniag is
valid.

[4]

Petitioners, who are owners of the


adjoining lot, filed a complaint before the
Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan,
questioning the constitutionality and
validity of the two conveyances -between Helen Guzman and David Rey
Guzman, and between the latter and
Emiliano Cataniag -- and claiming
ownership thereto based on their right of
legal redemption under Art. 1621[5]of the
Civil Code.
In its decision[6] dated March 10,
1992,[7] the trial court dismissed the
complaint. It ruled that Helen Guzmans
waiver of her inheritance in favor of her
son was not contrary to the constitutional
prohibition against the sale of land to an
alien, since the purpose of the waiver was
simply to authorize David Rey Guzman to
dispose of their properties in accordance
with the Constitution and the laws of the
Philippines, and not to subvert them. On
the second issue, it held that the subject
land was urban; hence, petitioners had no
reason to invoke their right of redemption
under Art. 1621 of the Civil Code.
The Halilis sought a reversal from the
Court of Appeals which, however, denied
their appeal. Respondent Court affirmed
the factual finding of the trial court that
the subject land was urban. Citing Tejido
vs. Zamacoma[8] and Yap vs. Grageda,[9] it

Neither do we find any reversible


error in the appellate courts holding that
the sale of the subject land to Private
Respondent Cataniag renders moot any
question on the constitutionality of the
prior transfer made by Helen Guzman to
her son David Rey.
Held:

True, Helen Guzmans deed of


quitclaim -- in which she assigned,
transferred and conveyed to David Rey all
her rights, titles and interests over the
property she had inherited from her
husband -- collided with the Constitution,
Article XII, Section 7 of which provides:
SEC. 7. Save in cases of
hereditary succession, no private
lands shall be transferred or conveyed
except to individuals, corporations, or
associations qualified to acquire or
hold lands of the public domain.
The landmark case of Krivenko vs.
Register of Deeds[17] settled the issue as to
who are qualified (and disqualified) to
own public as well as private lands in the
Philippines.Following a long discourse
maintaining that the public agricultural
lands mentioned in Section 1, Article XIII
of the 1935 Constitution, include
residential, commercial and industrial
lands, the Court then stated:

NATRES CLASS DISCUSSIONS


SY 2015-2016

Under section 1 of Article XIII [now


Sec. 2, Art. XII] 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
Filipino citizens 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:
Sec. 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.
This constitutional provision closes
the only remaining avenue through
which agricultural resources may leak
into aliens hands. It would certainly
be futile to prohibit the alienation of
public agricultural lands to aliens if,
after all, they may be freely so
alienated upon their becoming private
agricultural lands in the hands of
Filipino citizens.Undoubtedly, as
above indicated, section 5 [now Sec.
7] is intended to insure the policy of
nationalization contained in section 1
[now Sec. 2]. Both sections must,
therefore, be read together for they
have the same purpose and the same
subject matter. It must be noticed that
the persons against whom the
prohibition is directed in section 5
[now Sec. 7] are the very same

persons who under section 1 [now


Sec. 2] 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 land
to aliens. x x x[18]
The Krivenko rule
was
recently
reiterated in Ong Ching Po vs. Court of
Appeals,[19] which involves a sale of land
to a Chinese citizen. The Court said:
The capacity to acquire private
land is made dependent upon the
capacity to acquire or hold lands of
the public domain. Private land may
be transferred or conveyed only to
individuals or entities qualified to
acquire lands of the public domain (II
Bernas, The Constitution of the
Philippines 439-440 [1988 ed.]).
The 1935 Constitution reserved
the right to participate in the
disposition,
exploitation,
development and utilization of all
lands of the public domain and other
natural resources of the Philippines
for Filipino citizens or corporations at
least sixty percent of the capital of
which
was
owned
by
Filipinos. Aliens, whether individuals
or
corporations,
have
been
disqualified from acquiring public
lands; hence, they have also been
disqualified from acquiring private
lands.[20]
In fine, non-Filipinos cannot acquire
or hold title to private lands or to lands of
the public domain, except only by way of
legal succession.[21]
But what is the effect of a subsequent
sale by the disqualified alien vendee to a

NATRES CLASS DISCUSSIONS


SY 2015-2016

qualified Filipino citizen? This is not a


novel question. Jurisprudence is consistent
that if land is invalidly transferred to an
alien who subsequently becomes a citizen
or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw in the
original transaction is considered cured
and the title of the transferee is rendered
valid.[22]
Thus, in United Church Board of
World Ministries vs. Sebastian,[23] in which
an alien resident who owned properties in
the Philippines devised to an American
non-stock corporation part of his shares of
stock in a Filipino corporation that owned
a tract of land in Davao del Norte, the
Court sustained the invalidity of such
legacy. However,
upon
proof
that
ownership of the American corporation
has passed on to a 100 percent Filipino
corporation, the Court ruled that the defect
in the will was rectified by the subsequent
transfer of the property.
The present case is similar to De
Castro vs. Tan.[24] In that case, a residential
lot was sold to a Chinese. Upon his death,
his widow and children executed an
extrajudicial settlement, whereby said lot
was allotted to one of his sons who
became a naturalized Filipino. The Court
did not allow the original vendor to have
the sale annulled and to recover the
property, for the reason that the land has
since become the property of a naturalized
Filipino citizen who is constitutionally
qualified to own land.
Likewise, in the cases of Sarsosa vs.
Cuenco,[25] Godinez vs. Pak Luen,
[26]
Vasquez
vs.
Li
Seng
[27]
Giap and Herrera vs. Luy Kim Guan,
[28]
which similarly involved the sale of
land to an alien who thereafter sold the
same to a Filipino citizen, the Court again
applied the rule that the subsequent sale
can no longer be impugned on the basis of

the invalidity of the initial transfer.


The rationale of this principle was
explained in Vasquez vs. Li Seng
Giap thus:
x x x [I]f 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 nations 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.[29]
Accordingly, since the disputed land
is now owned by Private Respondent
Cataniag, a Filipino citizen, the prior
invalid transfer can no longer be
assailed. The
objective
of
the
constitutional provision -- to keep our land
in Filipino hands -- has been served.
Read!
Meralco
v.
Bartolome.
Differentiate it with Director of Lands v.
IAC
IPRA & Cruz v. DENR Secretary
IPRA LAW
CA 141 nxt meeting!