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THE CITY OF MANILA, petitioner-appellant, vs.

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA and THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE ESTATE OF MARIA CONCEPCION SARMIENTO, interveners-appellees.

Section 750 of Act No. 190 provides when property may be declared escheated. It provides, "when a person dies intestate, seized of real or personal property . . . leaving no heir or person by law entitled to the same," that then and in that case such property under the procedure provided for by sections 751 and 752, may de declared escheated. Accordingly to the first of the said sections, the essential facts which should be alleged in the petition, which are jurisdiction because they confer jurisdiction upon the Court of First Instance, are: That a person has died intestate or without leaving any will; that he has left real or personal property; that he was the owner thereof; that he has not left any heir or person who is by law entitled to the property; and that the one who applies for the escheat is the municipality where deceased had his last residence, or in case should have no residence in the country, the municipality where the property is situated. The following section provides that after the publications and trial, if the court finds that the deceased is in fact the owner of real and personal property situated in the country and has not left any heirs or other person entitled thereto, it may order, after the payments of debts and other legal expenses, the escheat, and in such case it shall adjudicate the personal property to the municipality where the deceased had his last place of residence and the real property to the municipality or municipalities where they are situated.

San pedrpo In a special proceeding for escheat under sections 750 and 751 the petitioner is not the sole and exclusive interested party. Any person alleging to have a direct right or interest in the property sought to be escheated is likewise an interested party and may appear and oppose the petition for escheat.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF PASAY CITY, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER 3RD DIVISION) AND AMADA H. SOLANO, assisted by her husband ROMEO SOLANO, respondents We rule for the petitioner. Escheat is a proceeding, unlike that of succession or assignment, whereby the state, by virtue of its sovereignty, steps in and claims the real or personal property of a person who dies intestate leaving no heir. In the absence of a lawful owner, a property is claimed by the state to forestall an open "invitation to self-service by the first comers."5 Since escheat is one of the incidents of sovereignty, the state may, and usually does, prescribe the conditions and limits the time within which a claim to such property may be made. The procedure by which the escheated property may be recovered is generally prescribed by statue, and a time limit is imposed within which such action must be brought.

In this jurisdiction, a claimant to an escheated property must file his claim "within five (5) years from the date of such judgment, such person shall have possession of and title to the same, or if sold, the municipality or city shall be accountable to him for the proceeds, after deducting the estate; but a claim not made shall be barred forever."6The 5-year period is not a device capriciously conjured by the state to defraud any claimant; on the contrary, it is decidedly prescribed to encourage would-be claimants to be punctilious in asserting their claims, otherwise they may lose them forever in a final judgment. Rep vs de guzman
Nevertheless, the nullity of the repudiation does not ipso facto operate to convert the parcels of land into res nullius18 to be escheated in favor of the Government. The repudiation being of no effect whatsoever the parcels of land should revert to their private owner, Helen, who, although being an American citizen, is qualified by hereditary succession to own the property subject of the litigation.1w G.R. No. 158230 July 16, 2008

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the DIRECTOR OF LANDS, Petitioner, vs. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF ROXAS CITY, ELIZABETH LEE, and PACITA YU-LEE The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the public or private domain was intended to protect lands from falling in the hands of non-Filipinos. In this case, however, there would be no more public policy violated since the land is in the hands of Filipinos qualified to acquire and own such land. "If land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid." Thus, the subsequent transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos may no longer be impugned on the basis of invalidity of the initial transfer. The objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved.11 (Emphasis supplied) Since Lot No. 398 has already been transferred to Filipino citizens, the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured.13 As held in Chavez v. Public Estates Authority:14 Rizal Commercial Banking vs. Hi-Tri Development Corporation and Luz R. Bakunawa, Respondents. Corporation, Petitioner,

. Escheat proceedings are actions in rem,10whereby an action is brought against the thing itself instead of the person.11 Thus, an action may be instituted and carried to judgment without personal service upon the depositors or other claimants.12 Jurisdiction is secured by the power of the court over the res.13 Consequently, a judgment of escheat is conclusive upon persons notified by advertisement, as publication is considered a general and constructive notice to all persons interested.14 Act No. 3936, as amended, outlines the proper procedure to be followed by banks and other similar institutions in filing a sworn statement with the Treasurer concerning dormant accounts: Sec. 2. Immediately after the taking effect of this Act and within the month of January of every odd year, all banks, building and loan associations, and trust corporations shall forward to the Treasurer of the Philippines a statement, under oath, of their respective managing officers, of all credits and deposits held by them in favor of persons known to be dead, or who have not made further deposits or withdrawals during the preceding ten years or more, arranged in alphabetical order according to the names of creditors and depositors, and showing: (a) The names and last known place of residence or post office addresses of the persons in whose favor such unclaimed balances stand; (b) The amount and the date of the outstanding unclaimed balance and whether the same is in money or in security, and if the latter, the nature of the same;

(c) The date when the person in whose favor the unclaimed balance stands died, if known, or the date when he made his last deposit or withdrawal; and (d) The interest due on such unclaimed balance, if any, and the amount thereof. A copy of the above sworn statement shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the premises of the bank, building and loan association, or trust corporation concerned for at least sixty days from the date of filing thereof: Provided, That immediately before filing the above sworn statement, the bank, building and loan association, and trust corporation shall communicate with the person in whose favor the unclaimed balance stands at his last known place of residence or post office address.

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