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C.

CADASTRAL REGISTRATION

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, and THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioners, vs. HON. ABRAHAM P. VERA, Judge, CFI, Bataan I,
and LUISITO MARTINEZ, respondents.
[G.R. No. L-35778. January 27, 1983.]

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, and THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioners, vs. HON. ABRAHAM P. VERA, Judge, CFI, Bataan,
Branch I, and THELMA TANALEGA, respondents.
[G.R. No. L-35779. January 27, 1983.]

Digest Author : Agorilla

PONENTE: De Castro, J.

DOCTRINE:

In a cadastral proceedings any person claiming any interest in any part of the lands object of the petition is
required by Section 9 of Act No. 2259 to file an answer on or before the return day or within such further time as may be
allowed by the court. In the absence of successful claimants, the property is declared public land.

A cadastral proceeding is one in rem and binds the whole world

FACTS :

 Filed in this case are 2 consolidated petitions for review on certiorari involving a common issue.

❖ In G.R No. L-35778


 On May 4, 1972, respondent Luisito Martinez (Luisito) filed with the CFI an application for registration of title
under Act No. 496 of one (1) parcel of land, situated in the Municipality of Mariveles, Bataan, containing an
area of 323,093 square meters, more or less.
 On July 7, 1972 the lower court issued an order of general default except as to the Republic of the Philippines
and the Province of Bataan.
 On July 24, 1972, the Republic of the Philippines filed with the lower court an opposition to the application
stating that the parcel of land applied for is a portion of the public domain belonging to the Republic, not
subject to private appropriation.
 On September 16, 1972, the lower court issued an order reading:
"Considering the testimony of the Provincial Forester Leonides B. Rodriguez during the hearing of
August 8, 1972 that this land, subject matter of this application, was a subject of cadastral
proceeding and that this land was assigned as Lot No. 626, this case is ordered re-opened and
the Land Registration Commissioner is directed to submit his report and/or comment as to
whether this lot is covered by the Mariveles Cadastre within five (5) days from receipt hereof."
 On October 5, 1972, the Commissioner of Land Registration submitted to the lower court a report stating:
"That the parcel of land applied for registration in the above-entitled case is entirely inside Lot No.
626 of the Cadastral Survey of Mariveles, Province of Bataan, Cad. Case no. 19, LTC Cad. Record
No. 1097."
 Records show that in the hearing of this case in the lower court, Luisito, testified that he is the owner of the land
applied for, having inherited the same from his parents, consisting of 32 hectares, more or less;
 that he started possessing the land in 1938;
 that about 8 hectares of the land is planted to palay, and there are about 42 mango trees; that kamoteng
kahoy is also planted thereon;
 that he declared the land for taxation purposes only in 1969 because all the records were lost during the war
 and that possession was continuous, open, undisturbed and in the concept of owner.
 Another witness, Antonio Reyes, the overseer of Luisito, and Silvestre Garcia, a worker in the land, corroborated
the claims of Luisito.

❖ In G.R. No. L-35779


 On March 21, 1972, respondent Thelma Tanalega (Thelma) filed an application for registration under Act No.
496 in the CFI of Bataan, of two (2) parcels of land located in the barrio of Camaya, municipality of Mariveles,
province of Bataan, containing an area of 443,297 square meters, more or less, and 378,506 square meters,
more or less, respectively, and more particularly described and identified as portions of Lot 626, Mariveles
Cadastre, covered by Plans (LRC) SWO-13430 and (LRC) SWO-13431 (Plans for Lot 626), respectively.

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 On the same day, the corresponding notice of initial hearing was duly issued by the Commissioner of Land
Registration.
 On May 23, 1972, upon order of the lower court, the Chief Surveyor of the Land Registration Commission filed a
report in the lower court, stating that the parcels of land applied for registration "do not appear to have been
passed upon and approved by the Director of Lands as required by Section 1858 of the Revised Administrative
Code."
 Later, on July 24, 1972, the Chief Surveyor filed in the lower court another report or manifestation stating "that
[the Plans of Lot 626] when plotted on the Municipal Index Map on file in the Commission does not appear to
overlap with any previously titled property under Act 496; that the plan and records of said Land Registration
application will be subjected to further examination as soon as the decision to be rendered by this Honorable
Court is received in this Commission to determine whether or not a patent or title has in the meantime been
issued in order to avoid duplication or overlapping of titles."
 On June 21, 1972, the lower court issued an Order of General Default against all persons, with the exception of
the Director of Lands and the Director of Forestry, represented by the Office of the provincial fiscal, and the
oppositor Eliseo Martinez represented by Atty. Angelino Banzon, who were directed to file their respective
oppositions.
 The provincial fiscal filed his opposition in behalf of the Directors of Lands and of Forestry, alleging that the
parcels of land applied for are portions of the public domain belonging to the Republic of the Philippines, not
subject to private appropriation.
 Thereafter, the case was tried and heard.
 Thelma testified that she had possessed the land "openly, adversely, notoriously and in the concept of owner
since February 2, 1970 when the said land was sold to her by Elisa Llamas who allegedly possessed this land" in
the same manner since 1935; that the applicant had paid for the taxes of the land for the years 1970-1972.
 She also presented two (2) witnesses, namely, Miguel Ocampo and Agapito del Rosario who corroborated her
claims, as well as her documentary evidence in support of her application for registration.
 On the other hand, Fiscal Arsenio Roman appeared for the government, and submitted documentary proof in
support of the opposition filed by the provincial fiscal's office in this case.
 Thelma did not present as witness her predecessor-in-interest, Elisa Llamas, to testify on the alleged possession of
the land. Thelma also failed to present Guillermo Ramirez, who was hired by her as overseer and her alleged
tenants. Not a single tenant was presented as witness to prove that the applicant had possessed the land as
owners.
 At the hearing on August 24, 1972, Fiscal Arsenio Guzman who is appearing for the government, submitted a
certification dated July 3, 1972 of Leonidas B. Rodriguez, District Forester of Balanga, Bataan which states "that
the tract of land situated at Barrio Camaya, Mariveles, Bataan containing an approximate area of EIGHTY TWO
HECTARES more or less, as shown and described in the attached copy of Plans, as surveyed for Thelma, et al.,
was found to be within the Alienable and Disposable Block, Project 4-B, Mariveles, Bataan, certified by the
Director of Forestry as such on February 16, 1972."

RULING OF THE LOWER COURTS:

 In both cases, the Court of First Instance of Bataan in two separate decisions, dated October 9, 1972 and October
16, 1972, confirmed the titles to subject parcels of land and adjudicated them in favor of applicants Luisito Martinez
and Thelma Tanalega, now respondents herein.

CONTENTIONS OF PETITIONER:

 The Republic of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General, argued that Lot 626, Mariveles Cadastre was declared
public land by the decision of the Cadastral Court dated October 11, 1937 and such being the case, the lower
court is without jurisdiction over the subject matter of the application for voluntary registration under Act 496.
Petitioner likewise stressed that the lands in question can no longer be subject to registration by voluntary
proceedings, for they have already been subjected to compulsory registration proceedings under the Cadastral
Act.

ISSUE:

Whether Lot 626 was a public land, hence, cannot be appropriated. YES.
and/or
Whether Luisito and Thelma (respondents) can

RULING + RATIO:

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It is noteworthy that as per the report of the Commissioner of Land Registration, the land subject matter of the
instant proceedings "is entirely inside Lot No. 626 of the Cadastral Survey of Mariveles, Province of Bataan, Cad. Case No.
19, LRC Cad. Record No. 1097"; that some portions of Lot No. 626 were decreed and titles were issued therefor; and that
"portion declared Public Land as per decision dated October 11, 1937."

In a cadastral proceedings any person claiming any interest in any part of the lands object of the petition is
required by Section 9 of Act No. 2259 to file an answer on or before the return day or within such further time as may be
allowed by the court, giving the details required by law, such as: (1) Age of the claimant; (2) Cadastral number of lot or
lots claimed, or the block and lot numbers, as the case may be; (3) Name of the barrio and municipality, township or
settlement in which the lots are situated; (4) Names of the owners of adjoining lots; (5) If claimant is in possession of the
lots claims and can show no express grant of the land by the Government to him or to his predecessors-in-interest, the
answer need state the length of time property was held in possession and the manner it was acquired, giving the length
of time, as far as known, during which his predecessors, if any, held possession; (6) If claimant is not in possession or
occupation of the land, the answer shall set forth the interest claimed by him and the time and manner of its acquisition;
(7) If the lots have been assessed for taxation, their last assessed value; and (8) Encumbrance, if any, affecting the lots
and the names of adverse claimants as far as known. In the absence of successful claimants, the property is declared
public land.

In the these cases, private respondents apparently either did not file their answers in the aforesaid cadastral
proceedings or failed to substantiate their claims over the portions they were then occupying, otherwise, titles over the
portions subject of their respective claims would have been issued to them. The Cadastral Court must have declared the
lands in question public lands, and its decision had already become final and conclusive.

Respondents are now barred by prior judgment to assert their rights over the subject land, under the doctrine
of res judicata. A cadastral proceeding is one in rem and binds the whole world. Under this doctrine, parties are
precluded from re-litigating the same issues already determined by final judgment.

Even granting that respondents can still petition for judicial confirmation of imperfect title over the lands subject
matter of the instant cases, the same must necessarily fail. It is to be noted that in the instant cases evidence for the
respondents themselves tend to show that only portions of the entire area applied for are cultivated. A mere casual
cultivation of portions of the land by the claimant does not constitute possession under claim of ownership. In that sense,
possession is not exclusive and notorious so as to give rise to a presumptive grant from the State. The possession of public
land however long the period thereof may have extended, never confers title thereto upon the possessor because the
statute of limitations with regard to public land does not operate against the State, unless the occupant can prove
possession and occupation of the same under claim of ownership for the required number of years to constitute a grant
from the State. Applicants, therefore, have failed to submit convincing proof actual, peaceful and adverse possession in
the concept of owners of the entire area in question during the period required by law.

Apart from the foregoing, the survey plans submitted in these cases were not approved by the Director of
Lands but by the Land Registration Commission. The Land Registration Commission has no authority to approve original
survey plans in this particular case. Section 34-A of R.A. No. 6389 relied upon by respondents applies only to lands subject
of tenancy relation which are expropriated and sub-divided in favor of new amortizing-owner-beneficiaries. The
submission of the plan is a statutory requirement of mandatory character and unless the plan and its technical
description are duly approved by the Director of Lands, the same are not of much value.
PAMINTUAN v. SAN AGUSTIN

G.R. No. No. 17043, 43 Phil. 558, 22 June 1922

Ponente: Ostrand

Digest Author: Camille Barredo

Petitioner: Florentino Pamintuan

Respondents: Honorable Primitivo San Agustin (Auxiliary Judge of the Second Judicial District, The Sheriff of Pampanga,
Nicomedes Espinosa, Rosa Espinosa, Eusebia Espinosa, and Francisca David

DOCTRINE: In a cadastral case, the court has no jurisdiction to decree again the registration of land already decreed in
an earlier land registration case and a second decree for the same land is null and void. The jurisdiction of the court in
cadastral cases over lands already registered is limited to the necessary correction of technical errors in the description
of the lands.

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FACTS:

 Lot No. 625 was decreed in favor of petitioner Pamintuan in Land Registration Case No. 11732 dated April 19, 1917
and Certificate of Title No. 540 covering the said lot was thereupon issued to him in June 1918. Petitioner Pamintuan
inadvertently failed to claim the lot.
 Thereafter, Cadastral Case No. 132 was instituted embracing the same lot (Lot No. 625). The lot was given its
cadastral number in the proceedings and was marked on the plans as land in regard to which registration
proceedings were pending under Act No. 496.
 The CFI, in a decision dated April 29, 1919, awarded it to respondents Espinosa, and ordered the cancellation of
Certificate of Title No. 540.
 Respondents Espinosa subsequently conveyed their interest to respondent David, in whose favor the CFI issued a writ
of possession, placing her in possession of the land. (The possession was restored to petitioner by virtue of the
preliminary injunction issued by SC on November 30, 1920.)
 No final decree has yet been issued in the cadastral case in regard to the subject lot.
 Petitioner Pamintuan knew nothing about the adjudication of the land in favor of the Espinosas until the CFI clerk
required him to surrender his certificate of title for cancellation.
 He filed a motion to the CFI, asking that the decision of the court in regard to the lot in the cadastral case be set
aside and that the writ of possession issued by virtue of said decision be recalled.
 CFI denied the said motion.

ISSUE: Whether the decision of the CFI in the cadastral case and the writ of possession issued by virtue of said decision
are valid. – NO.

RULING + RATIO:
Cadastral proceedings are authorized and regulated by Act No. 2259. Section 11 of the Act provides that “…[a]ll
conflicting interest shall be adjudicated by the court and decrees awarded in favor of the person entitle[d] to the lands
or the various parts thereof, and such decrees, when final, shall be the basis for original certificates of title in favor of said
persons, which shall have the same effect as certificates of title granted on application for registration of land under the
Land Registration Act…”

The settlement and adjudication of a land title under the Cadastral Act is exactly that provided for in the Land
Registration Act No. 496, i.e. a proceeding culminating in the issuance of a final decree and a Torrens certificate of title
in favor of the owner of the land. The landholder who possesses a settled and adjudicated title to his land cannot be
deprived of that title through another settlement and adjudication of a similar character.

The intention of the legislature to exclude land already registered from the operation of the Cadastral Act is further
indicated by the provision of section 18 of the Act to the effect that no apportionment of any part of the costs and
expenses of cadastral proceedings can be made against such lands. In cadastral cases, the jurisdiction of the court over
lands already registered is limited to the necessary correction of technical errors in the description of the lands, provided
such corrections do not impair the substantial rights of the registered owner and that such jurisdiction cannot operate to
deprive a registered owner of his title.

In this case, the CFI exceeded its jurisdiction in undertaking to decree in a cadastral case a land already decreed in
another land registration case. Petition is granted, and the proceedings in the CFI in regard to lot No. 625 are declared
null and void.
Director of Lands v. Pastor - BERNAL

G.R. No. L-47847, July 31, 1981

Doctrine: All defenses therefore not interposed in a motion to dismiss or in an answer are deemed waived.

Thus, the defense of res adjudicata when not set up either in a motion to dismiss or in an answer, is deemed waived. It
cannot be pleaded for the first time at the trial or on appeal.

FACTS:

1. Respondent Manuela Pastor filed with the CFI of Batangas an application for confirmation of imperfect title
over 13 lots.
2. That 7 of the lots were allegedly inherited from her parents and the other 6 was from her aunt who doesn’t
have any surviving heirs except her. In her application, the respondent claims that she and her predecessors-in-

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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 opposed such application.
3. 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, as amended, over the lots in question.
4. The Court of First Instance of Batangas, acting as a land registration court, issued an order of general default
with the exception of the Director of Lands, and then proceeded to hear the applicant, her witnesses, and
oppositor Director of Lands.
5. During the hearing, Manuela Pastor presented her nephew, a geodetic engineer. She also testified on her
behalf. Her nephew testified that he conducted the survey of some of the lots and verified the survey
conducted by the Bureau of Lands on the others. He found that the lots did not encroach upon private and
public lands.
6. On the other hand, applicant Manuela Pastor presented the certifications of the Treasurer of Batangas City
showing payments of the real estate tax on the lots from 1965 to 1974 cranad(Exhibits J, J-1, J-2, J-3, J-4 and J-5)
and official receipts of payments of real estate tax on the same lots for 1975 cranad(Exhibits K, K-1 and K-2).
7. She also applicant presented, however, a certification from the Land Registration Commission (Exhibit L) stating
that Lot No. 9330 of the Cadastral Survey of Batangas, Province of Batangas, was declared public land in
Cadastral Case No. 41, LRC Cad. Record No. 1706. She likewise submitted another certification from the Land
Registration Commission (Exhibit L-1) to the effect that Lots Nos. 9186, 9360, 9367, 9397 and 9402 of the
Cadastral Survey of Batangas, Province of Batangas, were the subject of a decision in Cad. Case No. 43, LRC
Cad. Record No. 1712, although no decree of registration has as yet been issued.

Ruling of the CFI: In favor of RESPONDENT.

Ruling of CA: affirmed the ruling of the lower court in toto.

Petitioners Contention: Petitioner asserts res adjudicata and litis pendentia on the subject lands.

ISSUE: WON there is res adjudicata and litis pendentia on the subject lands? - NO

RULING:

WE find no legal basis to uphold the foregoing contentions of petitioner. It is clear from the evidence on record that in
the proceedings had before the Court of First Instance of Batangas, acting as a land registration court, the oppositor
Director of Lands, petitioner herein, did not interpose any objection nor set up the defense of res adjudicata with respect
to the lots in question. Such failure on the part of oppositor Director of Lands, to OUR mind, is a procedural infirmity which
cannot be cured on appeal. Section 2, Rule 9, Revised Rules of Court of 1964, in no uncertain language, provides that:

“SEC. 2. Defenses and objections not pleaded deemed waived. — Defenses and objections not pleaded either in a
motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived;

All defenses therefore not interposed in a motion to dismiss or in an answer are deemed waived.

Thus, the defense of res adjudicata when not set up either in a motion to dismiss or in an answer, is deemed waived. It
cannot be pleaded for the first time at the trial or on appeal.

But granting for a moment, that the defenses, of res adjudicata was properly raised by petitioner herein, WE still hold
that, factually, there is no prior final judgment at all to speak of. The decision in Cadastral Case No. 41 does not
constitute a bar to the application of respondent Manuela Pastor; because a decision in a cadastral proceeding
declaring a lot public land is not the final decree contemplated in Sections 38 and 40 of the Land Registration Act.

A judicial declaration that a parcel of land is public, does not preclude even the same applicant from subsequently
seeking a judicial confirmation of his title to the same land, provided he thereafter complies with the provisions of Section
48 of Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, and as long as said public land remains alienable and disposable (now
sections 3 and 4, P.D. No. 1073).

With respect to Cadastral Case No. 43, the evidence on record is too scanty to sustain the view of the petitioner that the
decision rendered therein constitutes res adjudicata, or in the absence of finality thereof, litis pendentia. On the contrary,

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private respondent has amply shown that no final decree whatsoever was issued in connection with said cadastral case,
even as it is not known in whose favor said decision was rendered. As found by the Court of Appeals:

“Again, we sustain the appellee. There is an ambiguity as to what was adjudicated in Case No. 43. If the lots in question
were in that case awarded to a third party, the latter should have intervened in this case. But no private party has
challenged the application for registration” (p. 30, rec.).

Finally, petitioner argues for the first time on appeal that “there is no substantial evidence to show that she (private
respondent Manuela Pastor) and her predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the lots sought to be titled for a
period of at least thirty (30) years and in the manner provided in Section 48, as amended, of the Public Land Law.”

WE find no merit in the foregoing argument of petitioner. 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 (Exhibit ‘I’), and the taxes thereon have been
paid by said respondent herein (Exhibits ‘J’, ‘J-1’ to ‘J-5’, ‘K’, ‘K-1’ and ‘K-2’). And finally, Geodetic Engineer Quirino
Clemeneo, who conducted the survey of some of the lots and verified the survey conducted by the Bureau of Lands,
testified that the thirteen (13) lots in question did not encroach upon public or private lands. All 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.

DISPOSITION: WHEREFORE, THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IS AFFIRMED, AND THE PETITION IS HEREBY DISMISSED.
NO COSTS.

Navarro vs Director of Lands


G.R. No. L-18814 July 31, 1962
Digest Author: Bulacan
Applicant-appellantANACLETO P. NAVARRO, ,
Oppositor-appelleeTHE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, .
MAKALINTAL, J.:
DOCTRINE: Declaration that lots applied for are public lands bars subsequent action for registration of same lots.Where,
as in the present case, the parcels of land sought to be registered are the same lots already declared public lands in a
cadastral proceeding where the applicant and the Director of Lands were parties, and the applicant failed to show
acquisition of the lands by any of the legal modes of acquiring public lands, the decision declaring the lots part of the
public domain must be deemed res judicata.

FACTS:
CASE: appeal from the order of the CFI dismissing Navarro’s application for registration of lots Nos. 1 and 2 of Plan PSU-
117149, both residential properties located in Malate along the Dewey Boulevard.

● In 1950 the DL instituted a cadastral proceeding in the CFI Manila to settle and adjudicate title to two lots
(same lots now in litigation).

● Republic claimed them as part of the public domain.

● One Caridad Cortez filed an answer and was later on substituted by appellant Navarro, who sought registration
of the properties in his name pursuant to the provision of Section 48(b)of the Public Land Act.

● Court denied Navarro’s claim and the two lots were declared public lands. CA affirmed. SC dismissed "for
being factual and for lack of merit"

● Another application was filed in 1958. DL opposed.


DL’s CONTENTION:Lots applied for are part of the public domain

● DLs filed a motion to dismiss on two grounds:

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(1) that the application was barred by prior judgment and

(2)that the same was improper application for judicial confirmation of imperfect title under Section 48(b), of Public Land
Law, as amended by Republic Act No. 1942, which applies only to public agricultural lands and not to those which are
residential in character.

TRIAL COURT RULING: Sustained the motion on both grounds.


ISSUE: Whether res judicata will apply-YES
RULING+RATIO:
The plea of res judicata must be upheld. The requisites of this plea are: (1) the former judgment must be final; (2) it must
have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the subject matter and the parties; (3) it must be a judgment on
the merits; and (4) there must be, between the first and second actions, (a) identity of parties (b) identity of subject
matter and (c) identity of cause of action.
The only controversy here is with respect to the last element, namely, identity of cause of action, the others being
concededly present.
The cause of action in both the present case and the former cadastral proceeding is the registration of the two lots in
question. The issue involved is whether the lots applied for are part of the public domain. The declaration by final
judgment in the cadastral proceeding that they are public lands settled this issue once and for all.
Petitioner’s contention: The basis for the declaration was the insufficiency of evidence in the former case to prove OCEN
by him and by his predecessors-in-interest since July 26, 1894, as required by the Public Land Law before its amendment
by Republic Act No. 1942. Since now, his claim is based on possession only 30 years immediately preceding the filing of
his new application in 1958, in accordance with the amendatory law, the issue has entirely changed and consequently
he should have been allowed to prove such claim.
SC: Even on this theory, both in the decision of the CFI in the cadastral case and in the decision of affirmance rendered
by the CA, the fact as well as the length of the alleged possession of appellant and his predecessors-in-interest were
placed in issue and duly passed upon.
The evidence of Navarro stems mainly from his own testimony. He declared that since 1936, he was lessee of the two lots
from the spouses Arceo and Jimenez. He fenced it and built a dike because when it was low tide, part of the land was
submerged in water. He made fillings on the property, planted coconuts thereon and built two houses, which were
destroyed during the liberation of Manila. Sometime later he heard that the property was sold to Dumlao, who, in turn,
sold it to Landeta; that thereafter the latter sold the land ton Cortez from whom Navarro bought to property. Appellant
Navarro even admits that neither Caridad Guillen Cortez nor her predecessors ever declared the land in question for
taxation purposes; and that none of them paid taxes on said land.
The title over the two lots is supposed to have been derived from Jimenez, who only claims ownership over Lot No. 2 plus
vague and uncertain claim to Lot No. 1.
Jimenez acquired the property in 1907 which had been in allegedly in the possession vendor since the Spanish regime.
However, the exact date such alleged possession has not been established, and neither was acquisition from Spanish
government shown.
One look at the sketch, will readily show why lots 1 and 2 in question could not have been private property as they were
originally under water forming part of Manila Bay; while the remainder or upper portion of Lot No. 2 forms part of the
mouth of Estero Maytubig which flows into the Bay.
It is quite clear from the foregoing that the Court of Appeals, in dismissing appellant's claim in the cadastral case, found
it as a fact that he had not possessed the lands in question for even the thirty years now asserted by him. Such finding is
conclusive on the question of possession and precludes any new litigation concerning it.
The foundation principle upon which the doctrine of res judicata rests is that parties ought not to be permitted to litigate
the same issue more than once; that, when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a court of
competent jurisdiction, or an opportunity for such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, so long as it remains
unreversed, should be conclusive upon the parties, and those in privity with them in law or estate.
One further point may be noted: When Republic Act No. 1942 was approved on June 22, 1957, appellant's appeal in the
cadastral case was still pending in the Court of Appeals and after it was decided therein he filed before us a petition for
review by certiorari, invoking precisely the provision of the new law requiring only continuous possession, under claim of
ownership, for a period of thirty years to entitle the possessor to apply for judicial confirmation of his imperfect title. The
dismissal of the petition by this Court for lack of merit, therefore, constituted an adjudication of appellant's claim in the
light of such new legislation.

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