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Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals (129 SCRA 689)

2. 3. 4. 5. 443) 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 38) 15. 16.

Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals (178 SCRA 708) IHVCP vs. UP (200 SCRA 554) Republic v. T.A.N. Properties Inc. (555 SCRA 477) Sunbeam Convenience Foods v. Court of Appeals (181 SCRA Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals (133 SCRA 701) Republic v. Court of Appeals (154 SCRA 476) Republic v. Court of Appeals (135 SCRA 156) Natividad Sta. Ana Victoria v. Republic of the Philippines Union Leaf Tobacco Corporation v. Republic of the Philippines Republic v. Bacus (176 SCRA 376) Republic Cement Corporation v. Court of Appeals (198 SCRA 734) Director of Lands v. Reyes (68 SCRA 177) Director of Lands v. Intermediate Appellate Court (195 SCRA Prime Holdings v. Madayag Republic of the Philippines v. Candido Vergel De Dios

Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals (129 SCRA 689)


DIRECTOR OF LANDS and DIRECTOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ANTONIO VALERIANO, GABRIELA VALERIANO VDA. DE LA CRUZ, LETICIA A. VALERIANO and MARISSA VALERIANO DE LA ROSA, respondents. G.R. No. L-58867; June 22, 1984

Facts: In May 10, 1976, Antonio Valeriano et al., hereinafter referred to as the respondents, filed their application for the registration of a parcel of land, connected to a river and which they have converted into fishponds, in the CFI of Bulacan. The Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development opposed the application on the principal ground that the land applied for is within the unclassified region of Obando, Bulacan and that areas within the unclassified region are denominated as forest lands and do not form part of the disposable and alienable portion of the public domain. After the hearing, the CFI ordered the registration of the subject land in favor of the applicants (respondents), which the CA affirmed basing from the evidence that the applicants predecessors-in- interest have been in open, public, continuous, peaceful, and adverse possession of the parcel of land for more than 30 years. The CA further opined that since the subject property is entirely devoted to fishpond purposes, it cannot not be categorized as part of forestlands, thus this case. Issue/s: Whether or not the Courts can reclassify public lands. Ruling: No. In its decision, the SC commented that the CFI and CAs approval for the registration of the subject land in effect released such property from the unclassified category, which is beyond the competence and jurisdiction of the Judiciary. The Court further emphasized the rule stating that classification or reclassification of public lands is an exclusive right vested to the Executive Department of the Government and not to the Judiciary and in the absence of such classification, the land remains as unclassified land until it is released therefrom and rendered open to disposition.

Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals (178 SCRA 708)


DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, IBARRA BISNAR and AMELIA BISNAR, respondents. G.R. No. 83609; October 26, 1989

Facts: On July 20,1976, Ibarra and Amelia Bisnar filed their joint application for the registration of two parcels of land, located in the province of Capiz, in the CFI of Capiz. They claimed that they inherited those parcels of land. The Director of Lands and Director of the Bureau of Forest Development opposed the application on the ground that said parcels of land were part of a timberland, a public dominion, so it cannot be the subject of the registration proceedings. After the hearing, the CFI ordered the registration of the title of the lots in the names of the applicants, herein private respondents after finding that the applicants and their predecessors- in-interest have been in open, public, continuous, peaceful and adverse possession of the subject parcels of land under bona fide claims of ownership for more than 80 years. The CA affirmed the CFIs decision, holding that the classification of the lots as timberland by the Director of Forestry cannot prevail in the absence of proof that the said lots are indeed more valuable as forest land than as agricultural land, citing as authority the case of Ankron vs. Government of the Philippine Islands (40 Phil. 10). Issue/s: Whether or not the possession of forestlands or timberlands for 80 years can ripen to private ownership. Ruling: No. The Court ruled that possession of forestlands, however long, cannot ripen into private ownership. It emphasized that a positive act of the government, particularly the Executive Department is needed to declassify land, which is classified as forest, and to convert it into alienable or disposable land for agricultural or other purposes before registration of which may proceed. The Court, citing various cases, stated that a parcel of forestland is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry, an office under the Executive Department, and beyond the power and jurisdiction of the cadastral court to register under the Torrens System.

In the present case, the two parcels of land were not declared by the Executive Department to be alienable and disposable, thus it cannot be registered under private ownership.

IHVCP v. UP (200 SCRA 554)


INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD AND VENEER COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitionerappellee, vs. UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES and JOSE C. CAMPOS, JR., respondents-appellants. G.R. No. L-52518 ;August 13, 1991

Facts: IHVCP is a company engaged in the manufacture, processing and exportation of plywood. It renewed its timber license, which was granted by the government and shall be valid for 25 years, in early 1960. Said license authorizes the company to cut, collect and remove timber from the portion of timber land located in certain municipalities of Laguna, including Paete. In 1964, the Congress enacted R.A. 3990, an Act establishing an experiment station for UP. The said experiment station covers a portion of the timberland in Paete, occupied by IHVCP so UP, who claims ownership of said portion of timberland, demanded the latter to pay the forest charges to it, instead of the BIR. IHVCP rejected the demand and it filed a suit against UP, claiming that R.A. 3990 does not empower UP to scale, measure and seal the timber cut by it within the tract of land referred to in said Act, and collect the corresponding forest charges prescribed by the BIR. Issue/s: Whether or not UP is the owner of the portion of timberland in Paete. Ruling: Yes. The Court ruled that R.A. 3990 ceded and transferred in full ownership to UP the area, which means that the Republic of the Philippines completely removed it from the public domain. In respect to the areas covered by the timber license of IHVCP, the said Act removed and segregated it from being a public forest. The Court further cited Sec. 3 of R.A. 3990, which provides that, "any incidental receipts or income therefrom shall pertain to the general fund of the University of the Philippines. The provision of the Act is clear that UP, being the owner of the land, has the right to collect forest charges and to supervise the operations of IHVCP insofar as the property of the UP within it is concerned.

Republic v. T.A.N. Properties Inc. (555 SCRA 477)


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. T.A.N. PROPERTIES, INC., respondent. G.R. No. 154953; June 26, 2008

Facts: In 1999, T.A.N. Properties filed in the RTC of Batangas an application for the registration of a land, located at Sto. Tomas, Batangas and with an area of 56.4007 hectares. To support its application, it submitted two certificates, issued by CENRO and FMS-DENR and both certifying that the land applied for was alienable and disposable. The Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of Lands, opposed the application on the ground that T.A.N. Properties did not prove that the land was alienable and disposable. Issue/s: Whether or not the applicant proved that, the land is alienable and disposable. Ruling: No. It is the burden of the applicant to prove that the land subject to registration is alienable and disposable and for such the applicant must prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land of the public domain as alienable and disposable. In the present case, T.A.N. Properties did not provide the needed proof. For the documents provided by the company, the Court cited DENR Administrative Order No. 20 (DAO No. 20) and DAO No. 38; DAO No. 20 proves that FMS-DENR has no authority to issue certificates, classifying lands to be alienable and disposable; and DAO No. 38 provides that CENRO can issue certificates of land classification for lands having a maximum area of 50 hectares. The land applied for in the case has an area of 56.4007 hectares, thus CENRO has no jurisdiction over it. It is clear from the aforementioned DAOs that the documents submitted by T.A.N. Properties did not prove that the land is alienable and disposable.

Sunbeam Convenience Foods v. Court of Appeals (181 SCRA 443)


SUNBEAM CONVENIENCE FOODS INC., CORAL BEACH DEVELOPMENT CORP., and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF BATAAN, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. G.R. No. L-50464; January 29, 1990

Facts: In 1963, the Director of Lands issued a sales patent in favor of Sunbeam and on the same year, the latter registered it with the Register of Deeds and obtained an OCT. The patent covers parcels of land in Bataan, which were claimed to be forestlands. In 1976, the Sol.Gen. in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, instituted an action for the reversion of the said OCT. so Sunbeam filed a Motion to Dismiss, which the CFI granted. When appealed, the CA granted the petition filed by the Republic since the core issue is the classification of the lands to be forestlands. Issue/s: Whether or not the patent issued by the Director of Lands converted the lands to be alienable and disposable from being forestlands. Ruling: No. Forestlands are part of the public dominion so they cannot be the subject of land registration cases unless they have been declassified and converted into alienable and disposable lands. For a part of the public dominion to form part of the disposable lands, there must be a positive act by the government, an official proclamation by the executive department releasing the land to be alienated.

Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals (133 SCRA 701)


DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, JOSE F. SALAZAR, JESUS F. SALAZAR, PEDRO F. SALAZAR and AURORA F. SALAZAR, respondents. G.R. No. L-50340; December 26, 1984

Facts: In 1965, the Salazars filed an application for the registration of the 291 hectares of land (a forestland), which they acquired from their mother Soledad. The application was opposed by the Director of Lands (DoL) and by 25 occupants of the land. To prove their ownership, the Salazars claimed that their predecessors-ininterest have been in continuous, uninterrupted, open, exclusive, and notorious possession in the concept of owner for more than thirty years prior to their application and the siblings further presented tax declarations but the DoL still claimed otherwise. In 1977, the CA denied the application but in its 1979 resolution, it reversed itself and granted the application. The basis of the reversal was the declaration made by the Director of Forestry in April 28, 1961, reclassifying the subject land as alienable and disposable from being a forestland. Issue/s: Whether or not the applicants proved their ownership of the land. Ruling: No. The Court affirmed the CAs 1977 decision and acknowledged that the latter held correctly through Justice Serrano in its decision that whatever possession of the land the Salazars and their predecessors might have had prior to April 28, 1961 cannot be credited to the thirty-year requirement. In the present case, the thirty-year requirement should be reckoned from April 1961, the point when the forestland was reclassified by the Director of Forestry to be alienable and disposable and not prior thereto since it was still a forestland, a public dominion, thus, non-registerable.

Republic v. Court of Appeals (154 SCRA 476)


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT AND THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, AND MARTINA CARANTES FOR AND IN BEHALF OF THE HEIRS OF SALMING PIRASO,respondents. G.R. No. 56948; September 30, 1987

Facts: In 1968, Martina Carantes for and in behalf of the heirs of Salming Piraso filed in the CFI of Baguio an application for the registration of the land, which the latter claimed to be in their possession and occupation openly, continuously, exclusively, notoriously since 1915. The Director of lands, through the Solicitor General and the Director of Forestry, opposed the application on the ground that the said portion land is within the Central Cordillera Forest Reserve as shown in the reports and testimonies of the district foresters. The CFI granted the application, which was also affirmed by the CA. The governments failure to show that the disputed land is more valuable for forest purposes is

one of the reasons for the CAs ruling. It also noted the failure to prove that trees are thriving in the land.
Issue/s: Whether or not the land in dispute is alienable and disposable. Ruling: No. The Court ruled that the petitioner clearly proved thru the reports and testimonies of the district foresters that the land applied for registration is a part of a forestland. As to the claim of the applicants that they have been in possession of the land since 1915, the court cited its decision in Director of Forestry v. Munoz (23 SCRA 1184), where it stated that possession of forest lands, no matter how long, cannot ripen into private ownership.

In its decision, the Court also addressed the CAs ruling by citing its decision in Heirs of Amunatequi v. Director of Forestry (126 SCRA 69, 75), where it ruled, A forested area classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such classification simply because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its forest cover. xxxForestlands do not have to be on mountains or in out of the way places. xxxThe classification is descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not have to be descriptive of what the land actually looks like.xxx The Court again reiterated that there must first be a formal Government declaration that the forestland has been re-classified into alienable and disposable agricultural land, before private persons in accordance with the various modes of acquiring public agricultural lands can acquire it.

Republic v. Court of Appeals (135 SCRA 156)


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES PRUDENCIO MAXINO and TARCIANA MORALES, PEDRO GONZALES, ROGELIO AQUINO, Minor represented by his father, Manuel Aquino, and ALEJANDRO, SOCORRO, MERCEDES, CONCHITA, REMEDIOS and FLORA, all surnamed CONSOLACION, respondents. G.R. No. L-56077; February 28, 1985

Facts: In 1961, the CFI of Quezon rendered a decision, ordering the registration of 885 hectares of public forestland in favor of the Maxinos. The decision became final and executory so a decree of registration and an OCT were issued. Eight (8) years after the decision was rendered, the Republic of the Philippines filed with the same CFI an amended petition to annul the decision, decree, and title on the ground that they are void because the land in question was still a part of the unclassified public forest. The Maxinos opposed the petition. The CFI judge denied the petition and when appealed, the same was dismissed on the ground that the order had allegedly long become final and unappealable so the Government was estopped thru the registration made by its agents. Issue/s: Whether or not the Government was estopped in appealing the registration order. Ruling: No. The Government sufficiently proved that the parcel of land involved in the present case is a part of a forestland, thus non-registerable. As to the ruling of CA that the government was estopped to appeal because the land was erroneously

registered by its own agency, the Court ruled otherwise basing on its decision in Gov't. of the U. S. vs. Judge of 1st Inst. of Pampanga, (50 Phil. 975, 980) , where it held that the Government should not be estopped by the mistakes or errors of its agents.

Natividad Sta. Ana Victoria v. Republic of the Philippines


NATIVIDAD STA. ANA VICTORIA, Petitioner, vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. G.R. No. 17967; June 8, 2011

Facts: In November 2004, Victoria applied for registration of a 1,729-m2 lot in Bambang, City of Taguig, before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of that city. The OSG opposed the application. To prove her ownership, Victoria offered the Conversion/Subdivision Plan, which showed that the land is inside the alienable and disposable area under Project 27-B as per L.C. Map 2623, as certified by the Bureau of Forest Development on January 3, 1968. Victoria testified that she and her predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the property continuously, uninterruptedly, openly, publicly, adversely, and in the concept of owners since the early 1940s or for more than 30 years and have been declared as owners for taxation purposes for the last 30 years. The Republic did not present any evidence in support of its opposition. In January 25, 2006, the MeTC rendered a decision, granting the application for registration and finding that Victoria sufficiently established her claim and right under the land registration law to have the subject property registered in her name. The OSG appealed the decision and during the appeal Victoria submitted a DENR Certification, verifying the subject property as within the alienable and disposable land of the public domain. In 2007, the CA reversed the MeTCs decision because allegedly Victoria failed to prove that the subject lot is alienable and disposable. Furthermore, the CA ruled that it could not take cognizance of the DENR

Certification since it was not offered as evidence during the hearing in the trial court. Issue/s: Whether or not Victoria amply proved her claim of ownership of the property. Ruling: Yes. The Court is convinced that Victoria sufficiently proved her ownership of the land. To prove that the land subject of the application for registration is alienable, an applicant may secure a certification from the government that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable, but the certification must show that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land of the public domain as alienable and disposable, and that the land subject of the application for registration falls within the approved area per verification through survey by the PENRO or CENRO. The applicant must also present a copy of the original classification of the land into alienable and disposable, as declared by the DENR Secretary or as proclaimed by the President. In the present case, Victoria was able to submit the DENR Certification, verifying that the land is alienable and disposable. The only reason why the CA reversed the lower courts decision is that the said Certificate was only submitted during the appeal and not during trial in the lower court. To further support its ruling, the Court cited its decision in Llanes v. Republic, where it allowed consideration of a CENRO Certification though it was only presented during appeal to the CA to avoid a patent unfairness. The Court also stated that the rules of procedure being mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice, the Court is empowered to suspend their application to a particular case when its rigid application tends to frustrate rather than promote the ends of justice. Therefore, it would be more prudent to recognize the DENR Certification and resolve the matter.

Union Leaf Tobacco Corporation v. Republic of the Philippines


UNION LEAF TOBACCO CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT MR. HILARION P. UY, Petitioner, vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. G.R. No. 185683; March 16, 2011

Facts: In December 1, 2004, the Corporation filed before the RTC of Agoo, La Union four applications for land registration covering various parcels of land. The Republic opposed the applications, citing Article XII, Section 3 of the Constitution. The corporation presented testimonial evidence as well as documentary evidence, particularly the Advance Plans and Consolidated Plans, which all noted that the subject lands are "inside alienable and disposable area as per project No. 5-A, LC Map No. 2891," to support its claim. After the trial, the RTC granted the application of the corporation by relying on the testimonies offered by the witnesses of the latter. On appeal by the Republic, the CA reversed the trial courts decision, holding that the corporation presented no evidence to show that the subject parcels of land have been reclassified by the State as alienable or disposable to a private person. The corporation in its answer, insisted that the Advance Plans and Consolidated Plans it presented proved that the parcels of land are alienable. Issue/s: Whether or not the parcels of land are proven alienable and disposable. Ruling:

No. The Court ruled that the Advance Plans and Consolidated Plans are hardly the competent pieces of evidence that the law requires. The notation by a geodetic engineer on the survey plans that properties are alienable and disposable does not suffice to prove the lands classification. Further, the Court cited the case Republic v. T.A.N. Properties, Inc. where It directs that: x x x x The applicant for registration must present a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as a true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. These facts must be established to prove that the land is alienable and disposable.

Republic v. Bacus (176 SCRA 376)


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. FRANCISCO BACUS, respondent. G.R. No. 73261; August 11, 1989

Facts: In 1981, Bacus filed an application for the registration of a 496-m 2 parcel of land in the CFI of Misamis Occidental. The Republic through the Director of Lands opposed the application on the ground that said land was still a part of the public domain since the land is still part of a public forest. The CFI and CA ruled in favor of Bacus. The CA relied on the certification of City Development Coordinator of Ozamis City, who certified that the subject land was within the commercial-residential zone and the certification of the Register of Deeds of Ozamis City, who certified that the lots near and surrounding the subject land had already been registered in favor of private persons. Issue/s: Whether or not the land has been converted as part of the disposable land of the Government. Ruling: No.

The Court ruled that the certifications, which the CA relied on, are not sufficient to change the nature of the property. The area is still considered forestland since it has not been declassified as such by the proper authorities. The Court further stressed that development of forestland into residential and commercial status does not alter its legal standpoint as forestland.

Republic Cement Corporation v. Court of Appeals (198 SCRA 734)


REPUBLIC CEMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MOISES CORREA AND REGISTER OF DEEDS OF BULACAN,repondents. G.R. Nos. 85991-94; July 03, 1991

Facts: Republic Cement Corporation filed a petition in the CFI of Bulacan, for the registration in its name of a parcel of land identified as Lot No. 2880 of the Cadastral Survey of Norzagaray, Bulacan, Plan Ap-16404, located in barrio Minuyan, Norzagaray, Bulacan, with an area of 207,996 m 2. Spouses Jose Rayo and Susana Mangahas and one Pedro Legaspi opposed the application. The oppositor spouses claimed that they are the owners for a period of over 60 years of the east central portion of the parcel of land, title to which is sought to be registered by Republic Cement, covered by Plans PSU 229592 and 227659, with a total area of 68,389 m2.Oppositor Pedro Legaspi claims that he is the owner of the eastern portion of the same parcel of land covered by Plan PSU-225872, with a total area of 31,887-m 2. The 3 oppositors were later substituted by private respondent Moises Correa as subsequent purchaser of the aforesaid portions of said parcel of land. After the trial, the CFI ordered the registration of the parcels of land bought by Correa but Republic Cements application was dismissed. On appeal, the CA

ordered the registration of Lot No. 2880 in the name of Republic Cement but excluding portions thereof as described in Plans PSU-229592, 227659 and 225872 which were ordered registered in the name of private respondent Correa. Afterwhich, Republic Cement petitioned the Supreme Court, claiming that the CA erred in ordering the registration of the three parcels of land covered by Plans PSU225872, 229592 and 227659 in the name of Correa allegedly because the latter failed to prove the identity of the lands he claims. Issue/s: Whether or not Correa proved the identity of the lands he claims. Ruling: Yes. The Court held that contrary to the claim of Republic Cement, Correa, through his predecessors in interest, was able to establish the identity of and title to the land sought to be registered in his name. The technical description and the survey plan duly approved by the Director of Lands submitted in evidence by him fully describes the meters and bounds of the parcels of land involved.

THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, THE DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY, and the ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioners, vs. HON. SALVADOR C. REYES, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, Branch III, PARAAQUE INVESTMENT and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ROMAN C. TAMAYO, THE COMMISIONER OF THE LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSION and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NUEVA ECIJA, respondents. G.R. No. L-27594; November 28, 1975 ALIPIO ALINSUNURIN, now substituted by PARAAQUE INVESTMENT and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, applicant-appellee, vs. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, THE DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY and the ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, oppositors-appellants. G.R. No. L-28144 November 28, 1975

Director of Lands v. Reyes (68 SCRA 177)

Facts: In 1964, Alisunurin filed his application for the registration of a vast tract of land, containing an area of 16,800 hectares, with the CFI of Nueva Ecija. The land was admittedly inside the boundary of the military reservation of Fort Magsaysay. During the pendency of the case, PIDC substituted Alinsunurin since the former acquired the ownership of the land. The Director of Lands, Director of Forestry, and

the Armed Forces of the Philippines opposed the application, claiming that the applicant was without sufficient title and that approximately 13,957 hectares of said land consist of the military reservation of Fort Magsaysay established under Proclamation No. 237, dated December 10, 1955 of the President. To prove the claim, the applicants presented blueprints of two survey plans but lack the approval of the Director of Lands. After the trial, the CFI granted the application and ordered registration, which the Director of Lands, Director of Forestry, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines appealed to SC, where they claim that the plans presented by the applicants failed to identify the parcel of land sought to be registered. Issue/s: Whether or not the plans presented by the applicants are sufficient to prove the identity of the land in dispute. Ruling: No. The Court held that the original tracing cloth plan of the land applied for, which must be approved by the Director of Lands, was not submitted in evidence. The submission of such plan is a statutory requirement of mandatory character. Unless a plan and its technical description are duly approved by the Director of Lands, the same are not of much value. The blueprints of two survey plans presented had no approval of the Director of Lands, thus these did not suffice the requirement of the law.

DIRECTOR OF LANDS and DIRECTOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT, petitioners, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ISIDRO ESPARTINEZ, respondents. G.R. No. 70825; March 11, 1991

Director of Lands v. Intermediate Appellate Court (195 SCRA 38)

Facts: In 1972, Espartinez filed with the CFI of Albay an application for the registration of a parcel of land, which he bought from Llacer. The government through the Sol.Gen. opposed the application on the ground that the applicant failed to prove his ownership thereof. To support his claim he presented to the trial court several documents and two of which are the survey plan of the land and a technical description thereof indicating that the actual area of the land. The CFI granted the application so the Sol.Gen. appealed to the IAC but the latter affirmed the lower courts decision. Issue/s: Whether or not the land in dispute was sufficiently identified.

Ruling: No. One of the best ways to identify a land is the presentation of a tracing cloth plan. In the present case, despite Espartinez claim that the tracing plan was attached with the application he filed, there was also no proof that the same has been detached. What was just presented to the Court was a survey plan but the latter did not recognize it because the Director of Lands has not approved it. Generally, survey plans are accepted as evidence in identifying a land but the law requires that the Director of Lands must duly approve such plan. Espartinez having failed to provide what was required by the law to be presented, conclusively failed to sufficiently identify the land, which he sought to be registered.

SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC., petitioner, vs. ANGELA V. MADAYAG, respondent. G.R. No. 164687; February 12, 2009

Prime Holdings v. Madayag

Facts: In 2001, Madayag filed with the RTC of Urdaneta, Pangasinan an application for registration of a parcel of land with an area of 1,492-m 2 located in Barangay Anonas, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. Attached to the application was a tracing cloth of Survey Plan Psu-01-008438, approved by the LMS-DENR, Region 1, San Fernando City. SM opposed the application because allegedly, the lot encroached on the properties it recently purchased from several lot owners. SM also filed with the DENR a petition for cancellation of the survey plan. Afterwhich, SM filed with the RTC an Urgent Motion to Suspend Proceeding in the land registration case alleging that the trial court should wait for DENRs resolution of the petition. After the trial, the RTC suspended the registration proceedings on the ground that the petition for cancellation of the survey plan filed by SM with DENR is

prejudicial to the determination of the land registration case since a survey plan is one of the mandatory requirements in such proceedings. When Madayag appealed to CA, the latter ratiocinated that the survey plan, which was duly approved by the DENR, should be accorded the presumption of regularity, and that the RTC has the power to hear and determine all questions arising from an application for registration. Issue/s: Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over land registration proceedings is affected if there is a petition filed in DENR to cancel the survey plan, one of the mandatory requirements in such proceedings. Ruling: Yes. The Court held that as an incident to its authority to settle all questions over the title of the subject property, the land registration court may resolve the underlying issue of whether the subject property overlaps the petitioners properties without necessarily having to declare the survey plan as void. Furthermore, It stated that a land registration court has the duty to determine whether the issuance of a new certificate of title will alter a valid and existing certificate of title. An application for registration of an already titled land constitutes a collateral attack on the existing title, which is not allowed by law. However, the RTC need not wait for the decision of the DENR in the petition to cancel the survey plan in order to determine whether the subject property is already titled or forms part of already titled property. The court may now verify this allegation based on the respondents survey plan vis--vis the certificates of title of the petitioner and its predecessors-ininterest. After all, a survey plan precisely serves to establish the true identity of the land to ensure that it does not overlap a parcel of land or a portion thereof already covered by a previous land registration, and to forestall the possibility that it will be overlapped by a subsequent registration of any adjoining land.

Republic of the Philippines v. Candido Vergel De Dios


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. CANDIDO, DEMETILA, JESUS, ANGELITO, and TERESITA, all surnamed VERGEL DE DIOS, respondents. G.R. No. 170459; February 9, 2011

Facts: Candidi filed with the RTC of Bulacan a petition for reconstitution of the burned Original of TCT No. T-141671 and issuance of a new owners duplicate copy in lieu of the destroyed one. Attached with his petition are the Kasulatan, Plan, Technical Description and Tax Declaration of the land. The RTC granted the petition but the Republic appealed the ruling to CA arguing about the sufficiency to order a reconstitution of the lost title of those presented by Candido. The CA also held as

insufficient evidence the Kasulatan, which was executed only in 1996, long after the original TCT was burned and the owners duplicate title was lost but it also affirmed the RTCs order regarding the issuance of a new owners duplicate copy in lieu of the destroyed one. Issue/s: Whether or not the issuance of a new owners duplicate copy of the Certificate of Title in lieu of the destroyed one is proper. Ruling: No. The reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of land. The purpose of the reconstitution of title is to have, after observing the procedures prescribed by law, the title reproduced in exactly the same way it has been when the loss or destruction occurred. When reconstitution is ordered, this document is replaced with a new onethe reconstituted titlethat reproduces the original. After the reconstitution, the owner is issued a duplicate copy of the reconstituted title. In the present case, it is clear that the CA cancelled the order of reconstitution, which was previously granted by the lower court, thus, it should follow that no new owners duplicate copy of certificate of title should be issued. Without the order for reconstitution, the order to issue a new owners duplicate title had no leg to stand on.