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G.R.NO.

102858, July 28, 1997 THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioners versus COURT OF APPEALS and TEODORO ABISTADO, substituted by MARGARITA, MARISSA, MARIBEL, ARNOLD, and MARY ANN, all surnamed, ABISTO, respondents. FACTS: Private respondent Teodoro Abistado filed a petition for original registration of his title over a land under Presidential decree No. 1529. However, during the pendency of petition, he died. Hence his heirs, other private respondents of this case – represented by their aunt Josefa abistado, were substituted as applicants. The land registration court dismissed the petition for ‘want of jurisdiction’ reasoning that applicants failed to comply with the provisions of section 23 (1) of PD 1529, which requires the publication of the notice of initial hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, and that said notice was only filed in the Official Gazette in this case. The applicants, through their predecessors-in-interest, were found to have been in open, continuous, exclusive and peaceful possession of the subject land since 1938. Upon appeal of the private respondents to the court of appeals, the decision of the trial court was set aside and consequently ordered the registration of the title in the name of Teodoro Abistado. ISSUE: (1) (2) Whether or not the publication of the notice of initial hearing in the Official Gazette sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the land registration court? Whether or not the publication in the newspaper of general circulation necessary for the registration of the title of land, be validly allowed?

HELD: The Supreme Court ruled for the petitioner. The rationale for the decision is as follows: Sec. 23 of PD No. 1529 states that in “Notice of Initial hearing, publication, etc. – …the public SHALL be given notice of initial hearing of the application for land registration by means of (1) publication; (2) mailing; AND (3) posting. By publication, it requires that upon the receipt of the order of the court setting the time for initial hearing, the Commissioner of Land Registration shall cause a notice of initial hearing to be published once in the Official Gazette AND once in the newspaper of general circulation: Provided, however, that the publication in the Official Gazette shall be sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court. Said notice shall be addressed to all persons appearing to have an interest in the land involved including the adjoining owners so far as known, and “to all whom it may concern”. Said notice shall require all persons concerned to appear in court at a certain date and time to show cause why the prayer of said application shall not be granted. Therefore, it is admitted that publication in the Official Gazette suffices to confer jurisdiction upon the land registration court. Impelled by the demands of statutory construction and the due process rationale, publication is required both in the Official Gazette and newspaper of general circulation. The term ‘shall’ was intentionally used to denote an imperative and thus indicate a mandatory character. Furthermore, land registration is a proceeding in rem, and thus requires constructive seizure of the land as against all persons, including the state, who have rights to or interests in the property. Such kind of proceeding is essentially validated through publication. This is also in consonance with the elementary norms of due process which requires that before a claimed property is taken form concerned parties and registered in the name of the applicant, said parties must be given notice and opportunity to oppose. Admittedly, there was failure to comply with the EXPLICIT requirement of the law. The court has no authority to dispense with such mandatory requirement. The law is unambiguous and its rationale is clear. The rule in statutory construction is then again reiterated, that where the law speaks in clear and categorical language, there is no room for interpretation but only application. This being the case, the application for land registration filed by private respondents must be dismissed without prejudice to reapplication in the future, after all the legal requisites shall have been duly complied with.

G.R.No.84240, March 25, 1992 OLIVIA PASCUAL and HERMES PASCUAL, petitioners versus ESPERANZA PASCUAL-BAUTISTA, MANUEL PASCUAL, JOSE PASCUAL, SUSANA PASCUAL-BAUTISTA, ERLINDA PASCUAL, WENCESLAO PASCUAL JR., INTESTATE ESTATE OF ELEUTERIO PASCUAL, AVELINO PASCUAL, ISOCELES PASCUAL, LEIDA PASCUALMARTINES VIRGINIA PASCUAL-NER, NONA PASCUAL-FERNANDO, OCTAVIO PASCUAL, GENERANAIA PASCUALDUBERT, and THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE MANUEL PADOLINA of Br.162, RTC, Pasig, MM, respondents. FACTS: Don Andres Pascual died intestate without any issue, legitimate, acknowledged natural, adopted or spurious children and was survived by his spouse, his full and half blood brothers, and the legitimate and illegitimate children of his brothers. Adela Soldevilla, the surviving spouse of the deceased, filed a proceeding for the administration of the intestate estate of her late husband, before the RTC. In which case, she also filed a supplemental petition where she expressly stated that petitioners are among the heirs of Don Andres Pascual. Petitioners are the acknowledged children of the late Eligio Pascual, the latter being the full blood brother of the decedent. They filed a motion manifesting their hereditary rights in the said intestate estate. This motion was, however, denied and dismissed by the RTC and CA. The issue boiled down to the interpretation of Article 992 of the Civil Code, in which it provides that “An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child”. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners, being the acknowledged natural children of the full blood brother of the deceased be excluded from inheritance of the intestate estate? HELD: The decision of the Supreme Court had been laid to rest in Diaz vs IAC, where it was ruled that: “Article 992 of the Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ad intestate between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of this article. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family; the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and resources of which it is hereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment.” Eligio Pascual is a legitimate child but petitioners are his illegitimate children. Therefore, respondent court did not err in holding that petitioners herein cannot represent their father in the succession of the latter to the intestate estate of the decedent. The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children. The petitioners insisted that Article 992 be considered in the light of Article 902 and 989. With this, the court held that said articles clearly speak of successional rights of illegitimate children, which rights are transmitted to their descendants upon their death. The descendants referred to here may inherit by virtue of the right of representation, without regards to the legitimacy of their status. In whatever manner, it should be noted that the persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate. Verily, also an statute and the the interpretation of the law desired by the petitioners may be more humane but it is elementary rule in statutory construction that when the words and phrases of the are clear and unequivocal, their meaning must be determined from the language employed statute must be taken to mean exactly what it says.

Needless to say that the term ‘illegitimate’ clearly refers to both natural and spurious. It may be said that the law may be harsh but that is the law (DURA LEX SED LEX).

G.R.NO. L-66574, June 17, 1987 ANSELMA DIAZ, guardian of VICTOR, RODRIGO, ANSELMINA, and MIGUEL, all surnamed SANTERO, petitioners and FELIXBERTA PACURSA, guardian of FEDERICO SANTERO, et al., versus INTERMEDIATE APPELATE COURT and FELISA PAMUTI JARDIN, respondents. FACTS: The dispute at bar refers only to the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda de Santero, of which the petitioners declared their interest in the inheritance of the intestate estate left by their grandmother, by right of representation of their father Pablo Santero, the only legitimate child of the deceased who died three years ahead. Felisa Pamuti, niece of the late Simona Pamuti Vda de Santero and the only surviving immediate relative of the deceased, filed a petition to CFI praying, among others things, that the corresponding letters of administration be issued in her favor and that she be appointed as the administrator of the properties of the deceased. Petitioners opposed the petition and filed a motion to exclude private respondent from further taking part or intervening in the settlement of the intestate estate of the deceased. Trial court dismissed the petition in favor of the petitioners. After which, upon appealing to the IAC, judgment was reversed declaring Felisa Pamuti Jardin as the sole heir of the deceased and ordering oppositors not to interfere in the proceeding for the declaration of heirship in the said intestate estate, with costs against them. ISSUE: (1) (2) HELD: The Supreme Court said that the petitioners’ contention holds no water. Since the hereditary conflict refers solely to the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda de Santero, who is the legitimate mother of Pablo Santero, the applicable law is the provision of Article 992 of the Civi Code which reads as follows: Art.992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. In this case Pablo Santero illegitimate children. is a legitimate child but the petitioners herein are his Who are the legal heirs of Simona Pamuti Vda de Santero – her niece Felisa PAmuti Jardin or her grandchildren, the natural children of Pablo Santero? What is then the applicable or appropriate law in this case?

Explained further that Article 992 of the Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ad intestate between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of this article. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family; the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and resources of which it is hereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment. With barrier provided by Article 992, it is clear that petitioners cannot represent their father in the succession of the latter to the intestate estate of his legitimate mother. As may be otherwise stated that illegitimate issue is prevented from representing his father or mother, who is a legitimate child, to the intestate succession of the grandparent. Therefore, petition is dismissed and Felisa is declared to be the sole heir of Simona Pamuti Vda de Santero.

G.R.NO.L-30057, January 31, 1984 BRUNO APARRI, petitioner versus THE COURT OF APPEALS and LAND AUTHORITY, the latter in substitution for REMEDIOS FORTICH, as chairman, ANGELINO BANZON, RAFAEL HILAO, VALERIANO PLANTILLA, and SEVERO YAP, as members of the Board of the defunct NARRA, respondents. FACTS: On January 15, 1960, private respondents, in their capacity as members of the Board, approved resolution no. 13 appointing the herein petitioner as General Manager of the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation administration, with all the rights, prerogatives and compensation appurtenant thereto to take effect on January 16, 1960, however, resolving further to only inform the President of the Philippines of such appointment. Pursuant thereto, Remedios Fortrich, in her capacity as Chairman of the NARRA appointed Bruno Aparri as evidenced by letter of appointment. On March 15, 1962, the same Board of Directors approved resolution no. 24, whereas the Chairman of the Board has transmitted the desire of the Office of the President to fix the term of office of the incumbent General Manager up to the close of office hours on March 31, 1962 in accordance with the provision of Sec.8, subsection 2 of RA No. 1160. Petitioner filed for mandamus with preliminary injunction with the then CFI praying for the annulment of resolution no. 24, and to command the Board to allow him to continue in office as general manager until he vacates said office in accordance with law and to sentence private respondents jointly and severally to pay him actual damages, plus costs. On August 8, 1963, when the case was still pending decision in the lower court. RA No. 3844, otherwise known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code, took effect. Said law abolished NARRA and transferred its functions and powers to the Land Authority. CFI rendered judgment finding that the case has become academic by reason of the approval of the Agricultural Land Reform, thereby dismissing the instant petition without pronouncement as to costs. The appellate tribunal affirmed this decision. ISSUE: Whether or not the Board Resolution No. 24 was a removal or dismissal of petitioner without cause? HELD: The decision appealed from was affirmed by the Supreme Court, in which pertinent rulings of the Court of Appeals are as follows: It was evident that petitioner accepted the position of General Manager without fixed term and his appointment is in essence, terminable at the pleasure of the appointing power, in this case, the Board of Directors. Where the appointing officer had fixed the term of office of the incumbent to end on March 31, 1962. Thus, Bruno Aparri’s cessation from office invokes no removal but merely the expiration of term of office, which was within the power of the Board to fix. The power to appoint is provided in section 8, par. 2 of RA No. 1160 (the act that created the National Resettlemet and Rehabilitation Administration or NARRA), to wit: Sec.8. Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors. The Board shall have the following powers and duties… 2) To appoint and fix the term of office of General Manager…subject to the recommendation of the Office of Economic Coordination AND the approval of the President of the Philippines…The Board, by majority vote of all members, may, for cause, upon recommendation of the Office of the Economic Coordination and with the approval of the President of the Philippines, suspend and/or remove the General Manager and/or Assistant Manager. Careful perusal of resolution no. 13, which is essentially the appointment of petitioner herein as general manager, points out that the appointment is by itself incomplete because of the lack of approval of the President of the Philippines to such appointment. However, such appointment was made complete upon the approval of resolution no. 24, wherein the President submitted to the Board his ‘desire’ to fix the term of office of the petitioner. The questioned resolution was then corrected whatever requisite lacking in the earlier resolution. The word ‘term’ in legal sense means a fixed and definite period of time which the law describes that an officer may hold an office. It is necessary in each case to interpret this word with the purview of statutes so as to effectuate the statutory scheme pertaining to the office under examination. In the case at bar, the term of office is not fixed by law but the power to fix it is vested in the Board of Directors subject to the recommendation of the Office of Economic Coordination and the approval of the President of the Philippines. Resolution No. 24 clearly speaks of no removal but an expiration of term.