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COURT OF the Spouses Lina amended their opposition that they had
APPEALS (SEVENTH DIVISION) and POMPEYO MALIWAT and bought the land from Feliciano, thus the title must be
AMELIA G. MALIWAT - registered in their names.
2. Cesar Roldan, claiming to be the actual occupant of the
Facts: land said that the possession was passed on to him by
The Land Investigator/Inspector of the Bureau of Lands Feliciano who died wile awaiting the ction of the Dir. Of
verified that Feliciano Juco and his predecessors-in-interest had Lands on Felicianos application for a free patent, and that
been in open, exclusive, adverse, peaceful, and continuous Roldan filed the same in substitution of Fleliciano.
possession of the land in question for the past 20 years. Feliciano The Trial Court ordered the issuance of the Title to the Spouses
erected a house on Lot 3 and lived there, while his brother-in-law Maliwat. Director of Lands Appealed this decision to the CA which
Gelacio de la Cruz owned and lived on the adjacent Lot 4. affirmed the TC decision. MR denied.
March 1957, Nieves Naval de Roldan caused the whole tract
of land in Cumbay, Tanay, Rizal to be resurveyed. Her children ISSUES:
Desiderio Roldan and Mariano Roldan both filed an application to 1. Whether the land in question is Public land or Private Land?
purchase Lots 3 and 4 respectively. Feliciano was informed of such Private.
posting but did not have the means to participate in the bidding,
thus the titles were issued in the name of Roldans. In 1963, RULING:
Feliciano was able to obtain financial assistance from the Spouses 1. The CA correctly held that Lot 3 had become private land
Lina to protest against Marianos acquisition of Lot 3. Feliciano because of Feliciano Jucos open, continuous, and
executed a Conditiona Sale and Transfer of Right to Land. The exclusive occupation and cultivation since 1939, which
Lina spouses fenced Lots 3 and 4 and subsequently planted trees. when tacked to Maliwats possession after Feb 1972,
Feliciano executed a Bilihang Tuluyan in favour of the Spouses exceeds the 30 year period for conversion of public land into
Lina. Feliciano lost his protest in the Bureau of Lands but was private property. It is converted by mere lapse or completion
adjudged to have preferential right to buy the property within of the said period, ipso jure or by operation of law.
60 days, upon appeal with the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural The above doctrine is an affirmation of the principle
Resources. Unfortunately he died shortly after he filed his own In Carino vs Inuslar Government, that open, exclusive and
application to purchase Lot 3. undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period
Pacita Ressurection, Felicianos widow and their children prescribed by law creates the legal fiction whereby the land,
offered to sell the land to one Pompeyo Maliwat. He purchased the upon completion of required period ipso jure and without the
land from Felicianos widow and placed men in the land to take care need for judicial or other sanction, ceases to be public land
of it. Claiming to be owners of the land, Maliwat filed an and becomes private property.
application with the RTC (1977) to register the land in his Jucos admission in his free patent application that
name under the Torrens System. This was opposed by the the land was public land did not divest the title which had
Director of Lands on the ground that the land is public land, already vested in him, even before the application in 1971.
and by the Minister of Agrarian Reform on the ground that The CA was correct in saying that the land, having become
it is reserved agricultural land. private property by virtue of his open, exclusive and
Two other oppositions to the filing of Maliwat: continuous use, was beyond the jurisdiction of the Bureau
1. In 1972, the Spouses Lina opposed the application for the of lands.
registration of the title on the ground the the land is covered
by a homestead application filed by Lina in 1970. In 1973
The order giving Juco 60 days to file the
corresponding land application was null and void and WHEREFORE, the petition for review is denied for lack of merit. The
without any legal effect. decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. CV No. 12601 is affirmed
in toto.