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SARSOSA VDA. DE BARSOBIA and PACITA W. VALLAR vs VICTORIANO T.

CUENCO,
G.R. No. L-33048. April 16, 1982
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 (now Camiguin province).

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, who were Filipino citizens.

Epifania who was then a widow, sold the land in controversy to a Chinese, Ong King Po who later took actual
possession and enjoyed the fruits of the property.

Ong King Po later litigated the property to Victoriano Cuenco, a naturalized Filipino who immediately took
possession of the property.

Epifania later usurped the controverted property who later sold one-half of the property to Pacita Vallar.

Epifania claimed that it was not her intention to sell the property as it was only to evidence her indebtedness to
Ong King Po.

Cuenco then filed a case for Forcible Entry against Epifania before the MTC which was later dismissed since the
question of possession could not be properly determined without first settling the issue on ownership.

Cuenco later filed a case in the CFI for recovery of possession and ownership of the said land. The CFI rendered
a decision in favor of Epifania and Vallar.

The CA later reversed the Decision decreeing instead that Cuenco was the owner of the litigated property.

ISSUE: Who is the rightful owner of the property? CUENCO.


HELD:
No private lands shall be transferred or conveyed to aliens.
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, 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.
But the factual set-up has changed. The litigated property is now in the hands of a naturalized Filipino. It is no longer
owned by a disqualified vendee. Respondent, as a naturalized citizen, was constitutionally qualified to own the subject
property. There would be no more public policy to be served in allowing petitioner Epifania to recover the land as it is
already in the hands of a qualified person.
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.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, GUILLERMO GONZALVES


G.R. No. 74170 July 18, 1989
Facts:

The case principally concerns Chua Kim Uy @ Teng Be, who became a naturalized Filipino citizen in 1977.
Chua Kim was the adopted son of Gregorio Reyes Uy Un.
When Gregorio Reyes Uy Un died, his adopted son Chua Kim, took possession of the properties acquired by him
in 1934.
Chua Kim filed a petition for the issuance of confirmation and registration of title of the lots to his name. His
petition was granted by the CFI of Quezon.
The Republic of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General, challenged the correctness of the Order and
appealed it to the Court of Appeals. However, CA affirmed RTCs ruling. Hence this appeal.
Respondent contended that the conveyances to Chua Kim were made while he was still an alien, i.e., prior to his
taking oath as a naturalized Philippine citizen on January 7, 1977, at a time when he was disqualified to acquire
ownership of land in the Philippines (ART XIII, SEC. 5, 1935 Constitution; ART. XIV, Sec. 14, 1973 Constitution);
hence, his asserted titles are null and void.

Issue: WON the registration of the lots under the name of Chua Kim was valid. YES
Held:
Conveyance of residential land to an alien prior to his acquisition of Filipino citizenship by naturalization is valid
Be this as it may, the acquisition by Chua Kim of Philippine citizenship should foreclose any further debate regarding the
title to the property in controversy, in line with this Court's rulings relative to persons similarly situated.
In Sarsosa Vda. de Barsobia v. Cuenco, 113 SCRA 547, for instance, the ruling was as follows:
...The litigated property is now in the hands of a naturalized Filipino. It is no longer owned by a disqualified vendee.
Respondent, as a naturalized citizen, was constitutionally qualified to own the subject property. There would be no more
public policy to be served in allowing petitioner Epifania to recover the land as it is already in the hands of a qualified
person.

The lots in question were conveyed to Gregorio Reyes Uy Un in December 1934, so 1935 constitution is not
applicable
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 and his successor's omission to procure the registration of the property prior to the coming into effect of the
Constitution.
Chua Kim acquired the lots through succession in 1946
Since the death of Gregorio Reyes Uy Un in San Narciso, Quezon, in 1946, Chua Kim @ Uy Teng Be had been in
continuous possession of the lands in concept of owner, as the putative heir of his adoptive father without protest
whatever from any person.
Note: Chua Kim because a naturalized Filipino citizen only on January 1977
It was indeed Chua Kim's being in possession of the property in concept of owner, and his status as adopted son of
Gregorio Reyes, that were the factors that caused his involvement in Civil Case No. C-385 of the CFI at Calauag,

Quezon, at the instance of the original parties thereto, 22 and his participation in the Compromise Agreement later
executed by all parties. As already mentioned, that compromise agreement, approved by judgment rendered on July 29,
1970, implicity recognized Chua Kim's title to the lands in question.