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"What defines a piece of land is not the size/area mentioned in its descriptions but the boundaries laid down as enclosing the land and indicating its limits. " Facts: Respondent applied for registration of 2 parcels of land referred to as Lot 1 and Lot 2. She alleged to have bought Lot 1 and declared it in her name for taxation purposes. Notice for the application for registration was published in the Official Gazette. Oppositors were the Director of Bureau of Lands and herein petitioners. The opposition of Bureau of Lands was denied for failure to substantiate his claim that the land is part of the public domain. Other petitioners claim that their lands were included in Lot 1 sought to be registered by the respondent. The lower court decided in favor of the respondent and denied petitioner’s motion for ocular inspection of the land in dispute. Oppositors appealed to CA regarding Lot 1. CA remanded the case to the lower court for ocular inspection. 3 Commissioners were appointed for the ocular inspection but their findings were opposed and a second ocular inspection was ordered. The trial court reiterated its former judgment to register the whole are of Lot 1 to the respondent with its encumbrance to PNB in the amount of P1,000 removed as it was already paid and thus no longer annotated on the title. The oppositors appealed with the argument that their properties were erroneously included in the respondent’s land registration. CA modified the land registration on lot 1 excluding the landholdings of the oppositors. Respondent filed a suit for a writ of possession over 2 lots occupied by Santiago Partolan and Crispin Baltar which the court denied. Upon appeal, the CA reversed the court decision and granted the motion for writ of possession on the landholdings of Partolan, Baltar and oppositors who did not appeal the decision of the lower court while excluding the landholdings of Segundina and Damasen who proved they have rightful and registrable rights over their claim on a specific portion of land. Thus, the oppositors filed a motion for review. Issue: Whether or not the respondent is entitled for land registration of the entire area of Lot 1 including those owned by the oppositors? Ruling: The court held that the burden of proof in land registration is encumbered upon the applicant who must show he is the real and absolute owner in fee simple of the land applied for. Because the land registration proceeding is an in rem proceeding, a default order issued by the court binds the whole world except those appearing in court to file their opposition or pleadings in the registration case. Thus, the oppositors are exempted from the general default order by the court. On the respondent’s motion for writ of possession on the lots occupied by Baltar and Partolan, the court finds no merit in granting their motion. Respondent did not provide evidence on her rightful claim over these land areas. Although Partolan was excluded in the general default issued by the court while Baltar did not appeal on the trial court’s decision, respondent is still required to prove and establish her registrable rights over the land even in the absence of
Therefore. the land areas to be registered to the respondent are limited only to certain areas in the sketch that is annexed to the Commissioner’s report as the respondent failed to establish proprietary right over the excluded areas. The writ of possesion sought by the private respondent against persons who are in actual possession under claim of ownership and their possession of the land raises a disputable presumption of ownership. What defines a piece of land is not the size/area mentioned in its descriptions but the boundaries laid down as enclosing the land and indicating its limits. Respondent should also prove not only the genuineness of her title but also to identify the land in dispute with the boundaries comprising it. . The payment of tax by her predecessor-in-interest is not sufficient evidence to prove ownership.opposition.