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DELESTE vs.

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES The Case Before Us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 seeking to reverse and set aside the October 28, 2 Resolution of the Court of !""eals #C!$ and its %e"te&ber '(, 2 5 Resolution den)ing "etitioners* &otion for reconsideration+ The Facts ,he s"ouses -regorio .ana&an #-regorio$ and /ilaria ,abuclin #/ilaria$ were the owners of a "arcel of agricultural land located in ,a&bo, 0ligan Cit), consisting of (4+1 hectares #sub2ect "ro"ert)$+ %aid s"ouses were childless, but -regorio had a son na&ed 3irgilio .ana&an #3irgilio$ b) another wo&an+ 3irgilio had been raised b) the cou"le since he was two )ears old+ -regorio also had two daughters, 4s"eran5a and Caridad, b) still another wo&an+ 6hen -regorio died in '745, /ilaria and 3irgilio ad&inistered the sub2ect "ro"ert)+ On 8ebruar) '9, '754, /ilaria and 3irgilio sold the sub2ect "ro"ert) to :r+ ;ose :eleste #:eleste$ for PhP '9, + ,he deed of sale was notari5ed on 8ebruar) '1, '754 and registered on <arch 2, '754+ !lso, the ta= declaration in the na&e of 3irgilio was canceled and a new ta= declaration was issued in the na&e of :eleste+ ,he arrears in the "a)&ent of ta=es fro& '752 had been u"dated b) :eleste and fro& then on, he "aid the ta=es on the "ro"ert)+ On <a) '5, '754, /ilaria died+ -regorio*s brother, ;uan .ana&an, was a""ointed as s"ecial ad&inistrator of the estate of the deceased s"ouses+ %ubse>uentl), 4dilberto .oel #.oel$ was a""ointed as the regular ad&inistrator of the 2oint estate+ On !"ril ( , '79(, .oel, as the ad&inistrator of the intestate estate of the deceased s"ouses, filed before the Court of 8irst 0nstance, Branch 00, ?anao del .orte an action against :eleste for the reversion of title over the sub2ect "ro"ert), docketed as Civil Case .o+ 978+ %aid case went u" to this Court in Noel v. CA, where 6e rendered a :ecision on ;anuar) '', '775, affir&ing the ruling of the C! that the sub2ect "ro"ert) was the con2ugal "ro"ert) of the late s"ouses -regorio and /ilaria and that the latter could onl) sell her one@half #'A2$ share of the sub2ect "ro"ert) to :eleste+ !s a result, :eleste, who died in '772, and the intestate estate of -regorio were held to be the co@owners of the sub2ect "ro"ert), each with a one@half #'A2$ interest in it+ .otabl), while Civil Case .o+ 978 was still "ending before the C80, "articularl) on October 2', '712, Presidential :ecree .o+ #P:$ 21 was issued+ ,his law &andates that tenanted rice and corn lands be brought under the O"eration ?and ,ransfer #O?,$ Progra& and awarded to far&er@beneficiaries+ ,hus, the sub2ect "ro"ert) was "laced under the said "rogra&+ /owever, onl) the heirs of -regorio were identified b) the :e"art&ent of !grarian Refor& #:!R$ as the landowners+ Conco&itantl), the notices and "rocesses relative to the coverage were sent to these heirs+ 0n '715, the Cit) of 0ligan "assed Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('(, known as the BConing Regulation of 0ligan Cit),D reclassif)ing the sub2ect "ro"ert) as co&&ercialAresidential+ 4ventuall), on 8ebruar) '2, '784, :!R issued Certificates of ?and ,ransfer #C?,s$ in favor of "rivate res"ondents who were tenants and actual cultivators of the sub2ect "ro"ert)+ ,he C?,s were registered on ;ul) '5, '789+ 0n '77', the sub2ect "ro"ert) was surve)ed+ ,he surve) of a "ortion of the land consisting of 2 +29'' hectares, designated as ?ot .o+ '4 1, was a""roved on ;anuar) 8, '777+ ,he clai& folder for ?ot .o+ '4 1 was sub&itted to the ?BP which issued a <e&orandu& of 3aluation and a Certificate of Cash :e"osit on <a) 2', 2 ' and %e"te&ber '2, 2 ', res"ectivel)+ ,hereafter, 4&anci"ation Patents #4Ps$ and Original Certificates of ,itle #OC,s$ were issued on !ugust ', 2 ' and October ', 2 ', res"ectivel), in favor of "rivate res"ondents over their res"ective "ortions of ?ot .o+ '4 1+ <eanwhile, on .ove&ber 22, '777, the Cit) of 0ligan filed a co&"laint with the Regional ,rial Court #R,C$, Branch 4 in 0ligan Cit) for the e="ro"riation of a 5+4989@hectare "ortion of ?ot .o+ '4 1, docketed as %"ecial Civil !ction .o+ 4717+ On :ece&ber '', 2 , the R,C issued a :ecision granting the e="ro"riation+ Considering that the real owner of the e="ro"riated "ortion could not be deter&ined, as the sub2ect "ro"ert) had not )et been "artitioned and distributed to an) of the heirs of -regorio and :eleste, the 2ust co&"ensation for the e="ro"riated "ortion of the sub2ect "ro"ert) in the a&ount of PhP 21,(4(, was de"osited with the :evelo"&ent Bank of the Phili""ines in 0ligan Cit), in trust for the R,C in 0ligan Cit)+ On 8ebruar) 28, 2 2, the heirs of :eleste, "etitioners herein, filed with the :e"art&ent of !grarian Refor& !d2udication Board #:!R!B$ a "etition seeking to nullif) "rivate res"ondents* 4Ps+ ,his was docketed as Reg+ Case .o+ E@41'@?.@2 2+ On ;ul) 2', 2 (, the Provincial !grarian Refor& !d2udicator #P!R!:$ rendered a :ecision declaring that the 4Ps were null and void in view of the "ending issues of ownershi", the subse>uent reclassification of the sub2ect "ro"ert) into a residentialAco&&ercial land, and the violation of "etitioners* constitutional right to due "rocess of law+ :issatisfied, "rivate res"ondents i&&ediatel) filed their .otice of !""eal on ;ul) 22, 2 (+ .otwithstanding it, on ;ul) 24, 2 (, "etitioners filed a <otion for a 6rit of 4=ecution "ursuant to %ection 2, Rule E00 of the Revised Rules of Procedure, which was granted in an Order dated !ugust 4, 2 ( des"ite strong o""osition fro& "rivate res"ondents+ On ;anuar) 28, 2 4, the :!R!B nullified the Order dated !ugust 4, 2 ( granting the writ of e=ecution+ %ubse>uentl), the :!R!B, in :!R!B Case .o+ '2489, reversed the ruling of the P!R!: in its :ecision dated <arch '5, 2 4+ 0t held, a&ong others, that the 4Ps were valid as it was the heirs of :eleste who should have infor&ed the :!R of the "endenc) of Civil Case .o+ 978 at the ti&e the sub2ect "ro"ert) was "laced under the coverage of the O?, Progra& considering that :!R was not a "art) to the said case+ 8urther, it stated that the record is bereft of an) evidence that the cit) ordinance has been a""roved b) the /ousing and ?and Use Regulator) Board #/?URB$, as &andated b) :!R !d&inistrative Order .o+ ', %eries of '77 , and held that whether the sub2ect "ro"ert) is indeed e=e&"t fro& the O?, Progra& is an ad&inistrative deter&ination, the 2urisdiction of which lies e=clusivel) with the :!R %ecretar) or the latter*s authori5ed re"resentative+ Petitioners* &otion for reconsideration was likewise denied b) the :!R!B in its Resolution dated ;ul) 8, 2 4+ 4

Undaunted, "etitioners filed a "etition for review with the C!, docketed as C!@-+R+ %P .o+ 8541', challenging the :ecision and Resolution in :!R!B Case .o+ '2489+ ,his was denied b) the C! in a Resolution dated October 28, 2 4 for "etitioners* failure to attach the writ of e=ecution, the order nullif)ing the writ of e=ecution, and such &aterial "ortions of the record referred to in the "etition and other su""orting "a"ers, as re>uired under %ec+ 9 of Rule 4( of the Rules of Court+ Petitioners* &otion for reconsideration was also denied b) the a""ellate court in a Resolution dated %e"te&ber '(, 2 5 for being pro forma. On .ove&ber '8, 2 5, "etitioners filed a "etition for review with this Court+ 0n Our Resolution dated 8ebruar) 4, 2 8, 6e resolved to den) the said "etition for failure to show sufficientl) an) reversible error in the assailed 2udg&ent to warrant the e=ercise b) the Court of its discretionar) a""ellate 2urisdiction in this case+ On <arch '7, 2 8, "etitioners filed a <otion for Reconsideration+ On !"ril '', 2 <otion for Reconsideration+ 8, the) also filed a %u""le&ent to the

0n Our Resolution dated !ugust 2 , 2 8, this Court resolved to grant "etitioners* &otion for reconsideration and give due course to the "etition, re>uiring the "arties to sub&it their res"ective &e&oranda+ The Issues 0+ 00+ F6/4,/4R ,/4 C! 6!% CORR4C, 0. :0%<0%%0.-G OU,R0-/, ,/4 P4,0,0O. 8OR R43046 O8 P4,0,0O.4R% E E E+ F6/4,/4RG ,/4 OU,R0-/, :4.0!? O8 P4,0,0O.4R%* <O,0O. 8OR R4CO.%0:4R!,0O. B!%4: O. ! <0%!PPR4C0!,0O. O8 8!C,% 0% ;U%,0804:H !.: F6/4,/4R ,/4G OU,R0-/, :0%<0%%!? O8 ,/4 P4,0,0O. 0% ;U%, CO.%0:4R0.- ,/4 0<POR,!.C4 O8 ,/4 0%%U4% R!0%4: ,/4R40.+ EEEE 000+ F6/4,/4R P4,0,0O.4R%* ?!.: 0%G CO34R4: BI !-R!R0!. R48OR< -034. ,/!, ,/4 C0,I O8 0?0-!. P!%%4: FC0,IG OR:0.!.C4 .O+ '('( R4C?!%%08I0.- ,/4 !R4! 0.,O ! %,R0C,?I R4%0:4.,0!? !R4! 0. '715+ F6/4,/4R ,/4 ?!.:G ,/!, /!% B44. PR430OU%?I !.: P!R,0!??I 4EPROPR0!,4: BI ! C0,I -O34R.<4., F<!IG %,0?? B4 %UB;4C,F4:G ,O !-R!R0!. R48OR<+ F6/4,/4R :!R 30O?!,4:G ,/4 R0-/,% O8 P4,0,0O.4R% ,O PROC4:UR!? :U4 PROC4%%+ F6/4,/4RG ,/4 CO<P4.%!,0O. :4,4R<0.4: BI :!R !.: ?BP 0% CORR4C, -034. ,/!, ,/4 8OR<U?! U%4: /!: B44. R4P4!?4:+ F6/4,/4RG ,/4 0%%U!.C4 O8 4<!.C0P!,0O. P!,4.,% F0%G ?4-!? -034. ,/!, ,/4I 64R4 8RU0,% O8 !. 0??4-!? PROC44:0.-+ F6/4,/4RG ,/4 C4R,080C!,4% O8 ,0,?4 F!R4G 3!?0: -034. ,/!, ,/4I 64R4 :0R4C,?I 0%%U4: ,O ,/4 8!R<4R@B4.480C0!R04% 0. -RO%% 30O?!,0O. O8 %4C,0O. '9#4$ O8 R+!+ 9951 E E E+

03+ 3+ 30+ 300+ 3000+

Our Ruling ,he "etition is &eritorious+ E ect ! n!n"c!#$liance %ith the re&uire#ents un'er Sec. () Rule *+ ! the Rules ! C!urt 0n filing a "etition for review as an a""eal fro& awards, 2udg&ents, final orders, or resolutions of an) >uasi@2udicial agenc) in the e=ercise of its >uasi@2udicial functions, it is re>uired under %ec+ 9#c$, Rule 4( of the Rules of Court that it be acco&"anied b) a clearl) legible du"licate original or a certified true co") of the award, 2udg&ent, final order, or resolution a""ealed fro&, with certified true co"ies of such &aterial "ortions of the record referred to in the "etition and other su""orting "a"ers+ !s statedJ %ec+ 9+ Contents of the petition. K ,he "etition for review shall #a$ state the full na&es of the "arties to the case, without i&"leading the court or agencies either as "etitioners or res"ondentsH #b$ contain a concise state&ent of the facts and issues involved and the grounds relied u"on for the reviewH #c$ ,e acc!#$anie' ,- a clearl- legi,le 'u$licate !riginal !r a certi ie' true c!$- ! the a%ar') .u'g#ent) inal !r'er !r res!luti!n a$$eale' r!#) t!gether %ith certi ie' true c!$ies ! such #aterial $!rti!ns ! the rec!r' re erre' t! therein an' !ther su$$!rting $a$ersH and #d$ contain a sworn certification against foru& sho""ing as "rovided in the last "aragra"h of section 2, Rule 42+ ,he "etition shall state the s"ecific &aterial dates showing that it was filed within the "eriod fi=ed herein+ #4&"hasis su""lied+$ .on@co&"liance with an) of the above@&entioned re>uire&ents concerning the contents of the "etition, as well as the docu&ents that should acco&"an) the "etition, shall be sufficient ground for its dis&issal as stated in %ec+ 1, Rule 4( of the RulesJ %ec+ 1+ Effect of failure to comply with requirements. K ,he failure of the "etitioner to co&"l) with an) of the foregoing re>uire&ents regarding the "a)&ent of the docket and other lawful fees, the de"osit for costs, "roof of

service of the "etition, and the c!ntents ! an' the '!cu#ents %hich sh!ul' acc!#$an- the $etiti!n shall be su icient gr!un' !r the 'is#issal there! + #4&"hasis su""lied+$ 0n the instant case, the C! dis&issed the "etition in C!@-+R+ %P .o+ 8541' for "etitioners* failure to attach the writ of e=ecution, the order nullif)ing the writ of e=ecution, and such &aterial "ortions of the record referred to in the "etition and other su""orting "a"ers+ ! "erusal of the issues raised before the C! would, however, show that the foregoing docu&ents re>uired b) the a""ellate court are not necessar) for the "ro"er dis"osition of the case+ %"ecificall)J 0s F?ot .o+ '4 1G within the a&bit of the FCo&"rehensive !grarian Refor& Progra&GL Can the O?, b) :!R over the sub2ect land validl) "roceed without notice to the landownerL Can the O?, be validl) co&"leted without a certification of de"osit b) ?and BankL F0Gs the landowner barred fro& e=ercising his right of retention = = = Fconsidering that 4Ps were alread) issued on the basis of C?,sGL !re the 4Ps over the sub2ect land = = = valid = = =L Petitioners co&"lied with the re>uire&ent under %ec+ 9#c$, Rule 4( of the Rules of Court when the) a""ended to the "etition filed before the C! certified true co"ies of the following docu&entsJ #'$ the challenged resolution dated ;ul) 8, 2 4 issued b) the :!R!B den)ing "etitioners* &otion for reconsiderationH #2$ the du"licate original co") of "etitioners* <otion for Reconsideration dated !"ril 9, 2 5H #($ the assailed decision dated <arch '5, 2 4 issued b) the :!R!B reversing on a""eal the decision of the P!R!: and nullif)ing with finalit) the order of e=ecution "ending a""ealH #4$ the Order dated :ece&ber 8, 2 ( issued b) the P!R!: reinstating the writ of e=ecution earlier issuedH and #5$ the :ecision dated ;ul) 2', 2 ( issued b) the P!R!: in the original "roceedings for the cancellation of the 4Ps+ ,he C!, therefore, erred when it dis&issed the "etition based on such technical ground+ 4ven assu&ing that the o&itted docu&ents were &aterial to the a""eal, the a""ellate court, instead of dis&issing outright the "etition, could have 2ust re>uired "etitioners to sub&it the necessar) docu&ents+ 0n Spouses Espejo v. Ito, the Court held that Bunder %ection ( #d$, Rule ( of the Revised 0nternal Rules of the Court of !""eals, the Court of !""eals is with authorit) to re>uire the "arties to sub&it additional docu&ents as &a) be necessar) to "ro&ote the interests of substantial 2ustice+D <oreover, "etitioners* subse>uent sub&ission of the docu&ents re>uired b) the C! with the &otion for reconsideration constitutes substantial co&"liance with %ection 9#c$, Rule 4( of the Rules of Court+ 0n Jaro v. CA, this Court held that subse>uent and substantial co&"liance &a) call for the rela=ation of the rules of "rocedure+ Particularl)J ,he a&ended "etition no longer contained the fatal defects that the original "etition had but the Court of !""eals still saw it fit to dis&iss the a&ended "etition+ ,he Court of !""eals reasoned that Bnon@co&"liance in the original "etition is ad&ittedl) attributable to the "etitioner and that no highl) 2ustifiable and co&"elling reason has been advancedD to the court for it to de"art fro& the &andator) re>uire&ents of !d&inistrative Circular .o+ (@79+ ,he hard stance taken b) the Court of !""eals in this case is un2ustified under the circu&stances+ There is a#$le .uris$ru'ence h!l'ing that the su,se&uent an' su,stantial c!#$liance ! an a$$ellant #a- call !r the rela/ati!n ! the rules ! $r!ce'ure. 0n Cusi-Hernan e! vs. "ia! and #i$las-%amao vs. National &a'or (elations Commission, we ruled that the su,se&uent su,#issi!n ! the #issing '!cu#ents %ith the #!ti!n !r rec!nsi'erati!n a#!unts t! su,stantial c!#$liance. ,he reasons behind the failure of the "etitioners in these two cases to co&"l) with the re>uired attach&ents were no longer scrutini5ed+ 6hat we found noteworth) in each case was the fact that the "etitioners therein substantiall) co&"lied with the for&al re>uire&ents+ 6e ordered the re&and of the "etitions in these cases to the Court of !""eals, stressing the ruling that b) "reci"itatel) dis&issing the "etitions Bthe a""ellate court clearl) "ut a "re&iu& on technicalities at the e="ense of a 2ust resolution of the case+D #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ ,i&e and again, this Court has held that a strict and rigid a""lication of technicalities &ust be avoided if it tends to frustrate rather than "ro&ote substantial 2ustice+ !s held in Sta. Ana v. Spouses CarpoJ Rules of "rocedure are &erel) tools designed to facilitate the attain&ent of 2ustice+ I the a$$licati!n ! the Rules %!ul' ten' t! rustrate rather than t! $r!#!te .ustice) it is al%a-s %ithin !ur $!%er t! sus$en' the rules !r e/ce$t a $articular case r!# their !$erati!n. La% an' .uris$ru'ence grant t! c!urts the $rer!gative t! rela/ c!#$liance %ith the $r!ce'ural rules) even the most mandatory in character ) #in' ul ! the 'ut- t! rec!ncile the need to put an end to litigation speedily an' the parties right to an opportunity to be heard. Our recent ruling in )anen$lian v. &oren!o is instructiveJ 6e have not been oblivious to or un&indful of the e=traordinar) situations that &erit liberal a""lication of the Rules, allowing us, de"ending on the circu&stances, to set aside technical infir&ities and give due course to the a""eal+ 0n cases where we dis"ense with the technicalities, we do not &ean to under&ine the force and effectivit) of the "eriods set b) law+ 0n those rare cases where we did not stringentl) a""l) the "rocedural rules, there alwa)s e=isted a clear need to "revent the co&&ission of a grave in2ustice+ Our 2udicial s)ste& and the courts have alwa)s tried to &aintain a health) balance between the strict enforce&ent of "rocedural laws and the guarantee that ever) litigant be given the full o""ortunit) for the 2ust and "ro"er dis"osition of his cause+ #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$

Clearl), the dis&issal of the "etition b) the C! on &ere technicalit) is unwarranted in the instant case+ On the c!verage ! the su,.ect $r!$ert,- the agrarian re !r# $r!gra# Petitioners contend that the sub2ect "ro"ert), "articularl) ?ot .o+ '4 1, is outside the coverage of the agrarian refor& "rogra& in view of the enact&ent of Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('( b) the Cit) of 0ligan reclassif)ing the area into a residentialAco&&ercial land+ Unconvinced, the :!R!B, in its :ecision, noted that the record is bereft of an) evidence that the cit) ordinance has been a""roved b) the /?URB, thereb) allegedl) casting doubt on the validit) of the reclassification over the sub2ect "ro"ert)+ 0t further noted that whether the sub2ect "ro"ert) is e=e&"t fro& the O?, Progra& is an ad&inistrative deter&ination, the 2urisdiction of which lies e=clusivel) with the :!R %ecretar), not with the :!R!B+ 0ndeed, it is the Office of the :!R %ecretar) which is vested with the "ri&ar) and e=clusive 2urisdiction over all &atters involving the i&"le&entation of the agrarian refor& "rogra&+ /owever, this will not "revent the Court fro& assu&ing 2urisdiction over the "etition considering that the issues raised in it &a) alread) be resolved on the basis of the records before Us+ Besides, to allow the &atter to re&ain with the Office of the :!R %ecretar) would onl) cause unnecessar) dela) and undue hardshi" on the "arties+ !""licable, b) analog), is Our ruling in the recent *a$on$ #a$+a+aisa n$ ,an$$a$awa n$ )riumph International v. "epartment of &a'or an Employment Secretary, where 6e heldJ But as the C! did, we si&ilarl) recogni5e that un'ue har'shi$) t! the $!int ! in.ustice) %!ul' result i a re#an' %!ul' ,e !r'ere' un'er a situati!n %here %e are in the $!siti!n t! res!lve the case ,ase' !n the rec!r's ,e !re us. !s we said in (oman Catholic Arch'ishop of ,anila v. Court of AppealsJ FwGe have laid down the rule that the re&and of the case to the lower court for further rece"tion of evidence is not necessar) where the Court is in a "osition to resolve the dis"ute based on the records before it+ On #an- !ccasi!ns) the C!urt) in the $u,lic interest an' !r the e/$e'iti!us a'#inistrati!n ! .ustice) has res!lve' acti!ns !n the #erits instea' ! re#an'ing the# t! the trial c!urt !r urther $r!cee'ings) such as %here the en's ! .ustice) %!ul' n!t ,e su,serve' ,- the re#an' ! the case. ,hus, we shall directl) rule on the dis&issal issue+ !nd while we rule that the C! could not validl) rule on the &erits of this issue, we shall not hesitate to refer back to its dis&issal ruling, where a""ro"riate+ #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ Pertinentl), after an assiduous stud) of the records of the case, 6e agree with "etitioners that the sub2ect "ro"ert), "articularl) ?ot .o+ '4 1, is outside the coverage of the agrarian refor& "rogra& in view of the enact&ent b) the Cit) of 0ligan of its local 5oning ordinance, Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('(+ 0t is undeniable that the local govern&ent has the "ower to reclassif) agricultural into non@agricultural lands+ 0n #ason$ *aya'as -armers Association. Inc. v. CA, this Court held that "ursuant to %ec+ ( of Re"ublic !ct .o+ #R!$ 2294, a&ending the ?ocal -overn&ent Code, &unici"al andAor cit) councils are e&"owered to Bado"t 5oning and subdivision ordinances or regulations in consultation with the .ational Planning Co&&ission+D 0t was also e&"hasi5ed therein that BFtGhe "ower of the local govern&ent to convert or reclassif) lands Ffro& agricultural to non@agricultural lands "rior to the "assage of R! 9951G is not sub2ect to the a""roval of the F:!RG+D ?ikewise, it is not controverted that Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('(, which was enacted b) the Cit) of 0ligan in '715, reclassified the sub2ect "ro"ert) into a co&&ercialAresidential area+ :!R!B, however, believes that the a""roval of /?URB is necessar) in order for the reclassification to be valid+ 6e differ+ !s "reviousl) &entioned, Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('( was enacted b) the Cit) of 0ligan in '715+ %ignificantl), there was still no /?URB to s"eak of during that ti&e+ 0t was the ,ask 8orce on /u&an %ettle&ents, the earliest "redecessor of /?URB, which was alread) in e=istence at that ti&e, having been created on %e"te&ber '7, '71( "ursuant to 4=ecutive Order .o+ 4'7+ 0t should be noted, however, that the ,ask 8orce was not e&"owered to review and a""rove 5oning ordinances and regulations+ !s a &atter of fact, it was onl) on !ugust 7, '718, with the issuance of ?etter of 0nstructions .o+ 127, that local govern&ents were re>uired to sub&it their e=isting land use "lans, 5oning ordinances, enforce&ent s)ste&s and "rocedures to the <inistr) of /u&an %ettle&ents for review and ratification+ ,he /u&an %ettle&ents Regulator) Co&&ission #/%RC$ was the regulator) ar& of the <inistr) of /u&an %ettle&ents+ %ignificantl), acco&"an)ing the Certification dated October 8, '777 issued b) -il R+ Balondo, :e"ut) Coning !d&inistrator of the Cit) Planning and :evelo"&ent Office, 0ligan Cit), and the letter dated October 8, '777 issued b) !)unan B+ Ra2ah, Regional Officer of the /?URB, is the Certificate of !""roval issued b) 0&elda Ro&ualde5 <arcos, then <inister of /u&an %ettle&ents and Chair"erson of the /%RC, showing that the local 5oning ordinance was, indeed, a""roved on %e"te&ber 2', '718+ ,his leads to no other conclusion than that Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('( enacted b) the Cit) of 0ligan was a""roved b) the /%RC, the "redecessor of /?URB+ ,he validit) of said local 5oning ordinance is, therefore, be)ond >uestion+ %ince the sub2ect "ro"ert) had been reclassified as residentialAco&&ercial land with the enact&ent of Cit) Ordinance .o+ '('( in '715, it can no longer be considered as an Bagricultural landD within the a&bit of R! 9951+ !s this Court held in *u+lo nan$ ,a$'u'u+i sa &upain$ (amos. Inc. v. E.,. (amos an Sons. Inc. , B,o be e=e&"t fro& C!RP, all that is needed is one valid reclassification of the land fro& agricultural to non@agricultural b) a dul) authori5ed govern&ent agenc) before ;une '5, '788, when the C!R? took effect+D :es"ite the foregoing ruling, res"ondents allege that the subse>uent reclassification b) the local 5oning ordinance cannot free the land fro& the legal effects of P: 21 which dee&s the land to be alread) taken as of October 2', '712, when said law took effect+

Conco&itantl), the) assert that the rights which accrued fro& said date &ust be res"ected+ ,he) also &aintain that the reclassification of the sub2ect "ro"ert) did not alter its agricultural nature, &uch less its actual use+ 3eril), vested rights which have alread) accrued cannot 2ust be taken awa) b) the e="edience of issuing a local 5oning ordinance reclassif)ing an agricultural land into a residentialAco&&ercial area+ !s this Court e=tensivel) discussed in (emman Enterprises. Inc. v. CAJ 0n the &ain, R4<<!. hinges its a""lication for e=e&"tion on the ground that the sub2ect lands had ceased to be agricultural lands b) virtue of the 5oning classification b) the %angguniang Ba)an of :as&ariMas, Cavite, and a""roved b) the /%RC, s"ecif)ing the& as residential+ 0n Natalia (ealty. Inc. v. "epartment of A$riculture , this Court resolved the issue of whether lands alread) classified for residential, co&&ercial or industrial use, as a""roved b) the /ousing and ?and Use Regulator) Board #/?URB$ and its "recursor agencies, i+e+, .ational /ousing !uthorit) and /u&an %ettle&ents Regulator) Co&&ission, "rior to '5 ;une '788, are covered b) Re"ublic !ct .o+ 9951, otherwise known as the Co&"rehensive !grarian Refor& ?aw of '788+ 6e answered in the negative, thusJ 6e now deter&ine whether such lands are covered b) the C!R?+ %ection 4 of R+!+ 9951 "rovides that the C!R? shall Bcover, regardless of tenurial arrange&ent and co&&odit) "roduced, all "ublic and "rivate agricultural lands+D !s to what constitutes Bagricultural land,D it is referred to as Bland devoted to agricultural activit) as defined in this !ct and not classified as &ineral, forest, residential, co&&ercial or industrial land+D ,he deliberations of the Constitutional Co&&ission confir& this li&itation+ B!gricultural landsD are onl) those lands which are Barable and suitable agricultural landsD and Bdo not include co&&ercial, industrial and residential land+D === === ===

0ndeed, lands not devoted to agricultural activit) are outside the coverage of C!R?+ ,hese include lands "reviousl) converted to non@agricultural uses "rior to the effectivit) of C!R? b) govern&ent agencies other than res"ondent :!R+ 0n its Revised Rules and Regulations -overning Conversion of Private !gricultural ?ands to .on@!gricultural Uses, :!R itself defined Bagricultural landD thus N + + + !gricultural lands refers to those devoted to agricultural activit) as defined in R+!+ 9951 and not classified as &ineral or forest b) the :e"art&ent of 4nviron&ent and .atural Resources #:4.R$ and its "redecessor agencies, and not classified in town "lans and 5oning ordinances as a""roved b) the /ousing and ?and Use Regulator) Board #/?URB$ and its "receding co&"etent authorities "rior to '5 ;une '788 for residential, co&&ercial or industrial use+ %ince the .!,!?0! lands were converted "rior to '5 ;une '788, res"ondent :!R is bound b) such conversion+ + + + + /owever, Natalia should be cautiousl) a""lied in light of !d&inistrative Order 4, %eries of 2 (, which outlines the rules on the 4=e&"tion on ?ands fro& C!RP Coverage under %ection #($ of Re"ublic !ct .o+ 9951, and :e"art&ent of ;ustice #:O;$ O"inion .o+ 44, %eries of '77 + 0t readsJ 0+ Prefator) %tate&ent

Re"ublic !ct #R!$ 9951 or the Co&"rehensive !grarian Refor& ?aw #C!R?$, %ection (, Paragra"h #c$ defines Bagricultural landD as referring to Bland devoted to agricultural activit) as defined in this !ct and not classified as &ineral, forest, residential, co&&ercial or industrial land+D :e"art&ent of ;ustice O"inion .o+ 44, %eries of '77 , #or B:O; O"inion 44@'77 D for brevit)$ and the case of Natalia (ealty versus "epartment of A$rarian (eform #'2 !ugust 277(, 225 %CR! 218$ o"ines that with res"ect to the conversion of agricultural land covered b) R! 9951 to non@agricultural uses, the authorit) of the :e"art&ent of !grarian Refor& #:!R$ to a""rove such conversion &a) be e=ercised fro& the date of its effectivit), on '5 ;une '788+ ,hus, all lands that are alread) classified as co&&ercial, industrial or residential before '5 ;une '788 no longer need an) conversion clearance+ However, the reclassification of lands to non-agricultural uses shall not operate to divest tenant[-]farmers of their rights over lands covered by Presidential Decree (PD !o" #$, which have been vested prior to %& 'une %())" !s e&"hasi5ed, the reclassi icati!n ! lan's t! n!n"agricultural cann!t ,e a$$lie' t! 'e eat veste' rights ! tenant" ar#ers un'er Presi'ential Decree N!. 01. 0ndeed, in the recent case of Sta. (osa (ealty "evelopment Corporation v. Amante, where the Court was confronted with the issue of whether the contentious "ro"ert) therein is agricultural in nature on the ground that the sa&e had been classified as B"arkD since '717 under the Coning Ordinance of Cabu)ao, as a""roved b) the /?URB, the Court saidJ ,he Court recogni5es the "ower of a local govern&ent to reclassif) and convert lands through local ordinance, es"eciall) if said ordinance is a""roved b) the /?URB+ <unici"al Ordinance .o+ '' @54 dated .ove&ber (, '717, enacted b) the <unici"alit) of Cabu)ao, divided the &unici"alit) into residential, co&&ercial, industrial, agricultural and institutional districts, and districts and "arks for o"en s"aces+ 0t did not convert, however, e=isting agricultural lands into residential, co&&ercial, industrial, or institutional+ 6hile it classified Baranga) Casile into a &unici"al "ark, as shown in its "er&itted uses of land &a", the ordinance did not "rovide for the retroactivit) of its classification+ 0n Co vs. Interme iate Appellate Court , it was held that an !r'inance c!nverting agricultural lan's int! resi'ential !r light in'ustrial sh!ul'

,e given prospective a$$licati!n !nl-) an' sh!ul' n!t change the nature ! e/isting agricultural lan's in the area !r the legal relati!nshi$s e/isting !ver such lan'+ + + + + ! reading of <etro <anila Coning Ordinance .o+ 8'@ ', series of '78', does not disclose an) "rovision converting e=isting agricultural lands in the covered area into residential or light industrial+ 6hile it declared that after the "assage of the &easure, the sub2ect area shall be used onl) for residential or light industrial "ur"oses, it is not "rovided therein that it shall have retroactive effect so as to discontinue all rights "reviousl) ac>uired over lands located within the 5one which are neither residential nor light industrial in nature+ This si#$l- #eans that) i %e a$$l- the general rule) as %e #ust) the !r'inance sh!ul' ,e given $r!s$ective !$erati!n !nl-. The urther i#$licati!n is that it sh!ul' n!t change the nature ! e/isting agricultural lan's in the area !r the legal relati!nshi$s e/isting !ver such lan's. #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ ,his, however, raises the issue of whether vested rights have actuall) accrued in the instant case+ 0n this res"ect, 6e reckon that under P: 21, tenant@far&ers of rice and corn lands were Bdee&ed ownersD of the land the) till as of October 2', '712+ ,his "olic), intended to e&anci"ate the tenant@far&ers fro& the bondage of the soil, is given effect b) the following "rovision of the lawJ ,he tenant far&er, whether in land classified as landed estate or not, shall be 'ee#e' !%ner of a "ortion constituting a fa&il) si5e far& of five #5$ hectares if not irrigated and three #($ hectares if irrigated+ #4&"hasis su""lied+$ 0t should be clarified that even if under P: 21, tenant@far&ers are Bdee&ed ownersD as of October 2', '712, this is not to be construed as auto&aticall) vesting u"on these tenant@far&ers absolute ownershi" over the land the) were tilling+ Certain re>uire&ents &ust also be co&"lied with, such as "a)&ent of 2ust co&"ensation, before full ownershi" is vested u"on the tenant@far&ers+ ,his was elucidated b) the Court in Association of Small &an owners in the #hilippines. Inc. v. Sec. of A$rarian (eform J 0t is true that P+:+ .o+ 21 e="ressl) ordered the e&anci"ation of tenant@far&er as October 2', '712 and declared that he shall B'e eeme the ownerD of a "ortion of land consisting of a fa&il)@si5ed far& e=ce"t that Bno title to the land owned b) hi& was to be actuall) issued to hi& unless and until he had beco&e a full@fledged &e&ber of a dul) recogni5ed far&ers* coo"erative+D It %as un'erst!!') h!%ever) that ull $a-#ent ! the .ust c!#$ensati!n als! ha' t! ,e #a'e irst) c!n !r#a,l- t! the c!nstituti!nal re&uire#ent. 6hen 4+O+ .o+ 228, categoricall) stated in its %ection ' thatJ !ll >ualified far&er@beneficiaries are now eeme full owners as of October 2', '712 of the land the) ac>uired b) virtue of Presidential :ecree .o+ 21+ it %as !,vi!usl- re erring t! lan's alrea'- vali'l- ac&uire' un'er the sai' 'ecree) a ter $r!! ! ull" le'ge' #e#,ershi$ in the ar#ers2 c!!$eratives an' ull $a-#ent ! .ust c!#$ensati!n. /ence, it was also "erfectl) "ro"er for the Order to also "rovide in its %ection 2 that the Blease rentals "aid to the landowner b) the far&er@beneficiar) after October 2', '712 #"ending transfer of ownershi" after full "a)&ent of 2ust co&"ensation$, shall be considered as advance "a)&ent for the land+D ,he C!RP ?aw, for its "art, conditions the transfer of "ossession and ownershi" of the land to the govern&ent on recei"t b) the landowner of the corres"onding "a)&ent or the de"osit b) the :!R of the co&"ensation in cash or ?BP bonds with an accessible bank+ 3ntil then) title als! re#ains %ith the lan'!%ner. N! !utright change ! !%nershi$ is c!nte#$late' either. #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ Prior to co&"liance with the "rescribed re>uire&ents, tenant@far&ers have, at &ost, an inchoate right over the land the) were tilling+ 0n recognition of this, a C?, is issued to a tenant@far&er to serve as a B"rovisional title of ownershi" over the landholding while the lot owner is awaiting full "a)&ent of F2ust co&"ensationG or for as long as the Ftenant@far&erG is an Oa&orti5ing owner*+D ,his certificate B"roves inchoate ownershi" of an agricultural land "ri&aril) devoted to rice and corn "roduction+ 0t is issued in order for the tenant@far&er to ac>uire the landD he was tilling+ Conco&itantl), with res"ect to the ?BP and the govern&ent, tenant@far&ers cannot be considered as full owners of the land the) are tilling unless the) have full) "aid the a&orti5ations due the&+ ,his is because it is onl) u"on such full "a)&ent of the a&orti5ations that 4Ps &a) be issued in their favor+ 0n "el Castillo v. /rci$a, 6e e="lained that land transfer under P: 21 is effected in two #2$ stages+ ,he first stage is the issuance of a C?, to a far&er@beneficiar) as soon as the :!R transfers the landholding to the far&er@beneficiar) in recognition that said "erson is its Bdee&ed owner+D !nd the second stage is the issuance of an 4P as "roof of full ownershi" of the landholding u"on full "a)&ent of the annual a&orti5ations or lease rentals b) the far&er@beneficiar)+ In the case at ,ar) the CLTs %ere issue' in 456*. There !re) !r all intents an' $ur$!ses) it %as !nl- in 456* that $rivate res$!n'ents) as ar#er",ene iciaries) %ere rec!gni7e' t! have an inch!ate right !ver the su,.ect $r!$ert- $ri!r t! c!#$liance %ith the $rescri,e' re&uire#ents. C!nsi'ering that the l!cal 7!ning !r'inance %as enacte' in 4518) an' su,se&uentl- a$$r!ve' ,- the HSRC in 4516) $rivate res$!n'ents still ha' n! veste' rights t! s$ea9 ! 'uring this $eri!') as it %as !nl- in 456* that $rivate res$!n'ents %ere issue' the CLTs an' %ere :'ee#e' !%ners.; The sa#e h!l's true even i EPs an' OCTs %ere issue' in 0<<4) since reclassi icati!n ha' ta9en $lace t%ent-"si/ =0(> -ears $ri!r t! their issuance. 3n'enia,l-) n! veste' rights accrue' $ri!r t! reclassi icati!n an' its a$$r!val. C!nse&uentl-) the su,.ect $r!$ert-) $articularl- L!t N!. 4*<1) is !utsi'e the c!verage ! the agrarian re !r# $r!gra#. On the vi!lati!n ! $etiti!ners2 right t! 'ue $r!cess ! la%

Petitioners contend that :!R failed to notif) the& that it is sub2ecting the sub2ect "ro"ert) under the coverage of the agrarian refor& "rogra&H hence, their right to due "rocess of law was violated+ Citing "e Chave! v. 0o'el, both the :!R and the "rivate res"ondents clai& that the enact&ent of P: 21 is a statutor) notice to all owners of agricultural lands devoted to rice andAor corn "roduction, i&"l)ing that there was no need for an actual notice+ 6e agree with "etitioners+ ,he i&"ortance of an actual notice in sub2ecting a "ro"ert) under the agrarian refor& "rogra& cannot be underrated, as non@co&"liance with it trods roughshod with the essential re>uire&ents of ad&inistrative due "rocess of law+ Our ruling in Heirs of Ju$al'ot v. CA is "articularl) instructiveJ 8irstl), the taking of sub2ect "ro"ert) was done in violation of constitutional due "rocess+ The C!urt ! A$$eals %as c!rrect in $!inting !ut that ?irginia A. R!a %as 'enie' 'ue $r!cess ,ecause the DAR aile' t! sen' n!tice ! the i#$en'ing lan' re !r# c!verage t! the $r!$er $art-. ,he records show that notices were erroneousl) addressed and sent in the na&e of Pedro .+ Roa who was not the owner, hence, not the "ro"er "art) in the instant case+ ,he ownershi" of the "ro"ert), as can be gleaned fro& the records, "ertains to 3irginia !+ Roa+ .otice should have been therefore served on her, and not Pedro .+ Roa+ ==== 0n addition, the defective notice sent to Pedro .+ Roa was followed b) a :!R certification signed b) tea& leader 4duardo <aandig on ;anuar) 8, '788 stating that the sub2ect "ro"ert) was tenanted as of October 2', '712 and "ri&aril) devoted to rice and corn des"ite the fact that there was no ocular ins"ection or an) on@site fact@finding investigation and re"ort to verif) the truth of the allegations of .icolas ;ugalbot that he was a tenant of the "ro"ert)+ ,he absence of such ocular ins"ection or on@site fact@finding investigation and re"ort likewise de"rives 3irginia !+ Roa of her right to "ro"ert) through the denial of due "rocess+ B) analog), (o1as 2 Co.. Inc. v. Court of Appeals a""lies to the case at bar since there was likewise a violation of due "rocess in the i&"le&entation of the Co&"rehensive !grarian Refor& ?aw when the "etitioner was not notified of an) ocular ins"ection and investigation to be conducted b) the :!R before ac>uisition of the "ro"ert) was to be undertaken+ .either was there "roof that "etitioner was given the o""ortunit) to at least choose and identif) its retention area in those "ortions to be ac>uired+ Both in the Co&"rehensive !grarian Refor& ?aw and Presidential :ecree .o+ 21, the right of retention and how this right is e=ercised, is guaranteed b) law+ Since lan' ac&uisiti!n un'er either Presi'ential Decree N!. 01 an' the C!#$rehensive Agrarian Re !r# La% g!vern the e/tra!r'inar- #eth!' ! e/$r!$riating $rivate $r!$ert-) the la% #ust ,e strictlc!nstrue'. Faith ul c!#$liance %ith legal $r!visi!ns) es$eciall- th!se %hich relate t! the $r!ce'ure !r ac&uisiti!n ! e/$r!$riate' lan's sh!ul' there !re ,e !,serve'. 0n the instant case, no "ro"er notice was given to 3irginia !+ Roa b) the :!R+ .either did the :!R conduct an ocular ins"ection and investigation+ /ence, an) act co&&itted b) the :!R or an) of its agencies that results fro& its failure to co&"l) with the "ro"er "rocedure for e="ro"riation of land is a violation of constitutional due "rocess and should be dee&ed arbitrar), ca"ricious, whi&sical and tainted with grave abuse of discretion+ #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ <arkedl), a reading of "e Chave! invoked b) both the :!R and "rivate res"ondents does not show that this Court ever &ade &ention that actual notice &a) be dis"ensed with under P: 21, its enact&ent being a "ur"orted Bstatutor) noticeD to all owners of agricultural lands devoted to rice andAor corn "roduction that their lands are sub2ected to the O?, "rogra&+ Puite contraril), in Sta. ,onica In ustrial2 "ev3t. Corp. v. "A( , this Court underscored the significance of notice in i&"le&enting the agrarian refor& "rogra& when it stated that Bnotice is "art of the constitutional right to due "rocess of law+ 0t infor&s the landowner of the %tate*s intention to ac>uire a "rivate land u"on "a)&ent of 2ust co&"ensation and gives hi& the o""ortunit) to "resent evidence that his landholding is not covered or is otherwise e=cused fro& the agrarian law+D ,he Court, therefore, finds interest in the holding of the :!R!B that "etitioners were not denied the right to due "rocess des"ite the fact that onl) the .ana&ans were identified as the owners+ Particularl)J 8ourthl), the P!R!: also ruled that the "etitioners were denied the right to be given the notice since onl) the .ana&ans were identified as the owners+ ,he fault lies with "etitioners who did not "resent the ta= declaration in the na&e of :r+ :eleste as of October 2', '712+ 0t was onl) in '775 that Civil Case .o+ 978 was finall) decided b) the %u"re&e Court dividing the (4+1 hectares between the :elestes and the .ana&ans+ .ote that :r+ :eleste died in '772 after P: 21 was "ro&ulgated, hence, the sub2ect land or his Q share was considered in his na&e onl) #see !rt+ 111, .ew Civil Code$+ 4ven then, it &ust be borne in &ind that on %e"te&ber 29, '712, P: .o+ 2 was issued b) President <arcos "roclai&ing the whole countr) as a land refor& area, this was followed b) P: 21+ ,his should have alar&ed the& &ore so when "rivate res"ondents are in actual "ossession and cultivation of the sub2ect "ro"ert)+ But it was incu&bent u"on the :!R to notif) :eleste, being the landowner of the sub2ect "ro"ert)+ 0t should be noted that the deed of sale e=ecuted b) /ilaria in favor of :eleste was registered on <arch 2, '754, and such registration serves as a constructive notice to the whole world that the sub2ect "ro"ert) was alread) owned b) :eleste b) virtue of the said deed of sale+ 0n Naval v. CA, this Court heldJ !""l)ing the law, we held in *autista v. -ule that the registrati!n ! an instru#ent inv!lving unregistered land in the Registr- ! Dee's creates c!nstructive n!tice and binds third "erson who &a) subse>uentl) deal with the sa&e "ro"ert)+ = = = #4&"hasis su""lied+$

0t bears stressing that the "rinci"al "ur"ose of registration is Bto notif) other "ersons not "arties to a contract that a transaction involving the "ro"ert) has been entered into+D ,here was, therefore, no reason for :!R to feign ignorance of the transfer of ownershi" over the sub2ect "ro"ert)+ <oreover, that :!R should have sent the notice to :eleste, and not to the .ana&ans, is bolstered b) the fact that the ta= declaration in the na&e of 3irgilio was alread) canceled and a new one issued in the na&e of :eleste+ !lthough ta= declarations or realt) ta= "a)&ents of "ro"ert) are not conclusive evidence of ownershi", the) are nonetheless Bgood indicia of "ossession in the conce"t of an owner, for no one in his right &ind would be "a)ing ta=es for a "ro"ert) that is not in his actual or, at least, constructive "ossession+D Petitioners* right to due "rocess of law was, indeed, violated when the :!R failed to notif) the& that it is sub2ecting the sub2ect "ro"ert) under the coverage of the agrarian refor& "rogra&+ On this note, 6e take e=ce"tion to our ruling in (o1as2 Co.. Inc. v. CA, where, des"ite a finding that there was a violation of due "rocess in the i&"le&entation of the co&"rehensive agrarian refor& "rogra& when the "etitioner was not notified of an) ocular ins"ection and investigation to be conducted b) the :!R before ac>uiring the "ro"ert), thereb) effectivel) de"riving "etitioner the o""ortunit) to at least choose and identif) its retention area in those "ortions to be ac>uired, this Court nonetheless ruled that such violation does not give the Court the "ower to nullif) the certificates of land ownershi" award #C?O!s$ alread) issued to the far&er@ beneficiaries, since the :!R &ust be given the chance to correct its "rocedural la"ses in the ac>uisition "roceedings+ <anifesting her disagree&ent that this Court cannot nullif) illegall) issued C?O!s and should first ask the :!R to reverse and correct itself, ;ustice Inares@%antiago, in her Concurring and :issenting O"inion, stated that BFiGf the acts of :!R are "atentl) illegal and the rights of Ro=asR Co+ violated, the wrong decisions of :!R should be reversed and set aside+ 0t follows that the fruits of the wrongful acts, in this case the illegall) issued C?O!s, &ust be declared null and void+D %he also noted that BFiGf C?O!s can under the :!R*s own order be cancelled ad&inistrativel), with &ore reason can the courts, es"eciall) the %u"re&e Court, do so when the &atter is clearl) in issue+D 0n the sa&e vein, if the illegalit) in the issuance of the C?,s is "atent, the Court &ust i&&ediatel) take action and declare the issuance as null and void+ ,here being no >uestion that the C?,s in the instant case were Bi&"ro"erl) issued, for which reason, their cancellation is warranted+D ,he sa&e holds true with res"ect to the 4Ps and certificates of title issued b) virtue of the void C?,s, as there can be no valid transfer of title should the C?,s on which the) were grounded are void+ Cancellation of the 4Ps and OC,s are clearl) warranted in the instant case since, aside fro& the violation of "etitioners* right to due "rocess of law, the sub2ect "ro"ert) is outside the coverage of the agrarian refor& "rogra&+ Issue ! ?ali'it- ! EPs N!t Barre' ,- *es 'udicata ,he ?BP &aintains that the issue of the 4Ps* validit) has alread) been settled b) this Court in Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy v. Secretary of A$rarian (eform, where 6e held that the 4Ps and OC,s issued in 2 ' had alread) beco&e indefeasible and incontrovertible b) the ti&e the "etitioners therein instituted the case in 2 5H hence, their issuance &a) no longer be reviewed+ 0n effect, the ?BP raises the defense of res ju icata in order to "reclude a BrelitigationD of the issue concerning the validit) of the 4Ps issued to "rivate res"ondents+ .otabl), the doctrine of res ju icata has two as"ects, na&el)J #'$ Bbar b) "rior 2udg&ent,D wherein the 2udg&ent in a "rior case bars the "rosecution of a second action u"on the sa&e clai&, de&and, or cause of actionH and #2$ Bconclusiveness of 2udg&ent,D which "recludes relitigation of a "articular fact or issue in another action between the sa&e "arties on a different clai& or cause of action+ Citing A$ustin v. "elos Santos, this Court, in Spouses Antonio v. Sayman, e="ounded on the difference between the two as"ects of res ju icataJ ,he "rinci"le of res 2udicata is a""licable b) wa) of #'$ Bbar b) "rior 2udg&entD and #2$ Bconclusiveness of 2udg&ent+D ,his Court had occasion to e="lain the difference between these two as"ects of res ju icata as followsJ ,here is Bbar b) "rior 2udg&entD when, as between the first case where the 2udg&ent was rendered and the second case that is sought to be barred, there is identit) of "arties, sub2ect &atter, and causes of action+ 0n this instance, the 2udg&ent in the first case constitutes an absolute bar to the second action+ Otherwise "ut, the 2udg&ent or decree of the court of co&"etent 2urisdiction on the &erits concludes the litigation between the "arties, as well as their "rivies, and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving the sa&e cause of action before the sa&e or other tribunal+ But %here there is i'entit- ! $arties in the irst an' sec!n' cases) ,ut n! i'entit- ! causes ! acti!n) the irst .u'g#ent is c!nclusive !nl- as t! th!se #atters actuall- an' 'irectl- c!ntr!verte' an' 'eter#ine' an' n!t as t! #atters #erel- inv!lve' therein. This is the c!nce$t ! res .u'icata 9n!%n as :c!nclusiveness ! .u'g#ent.; %tated differentl), an) right, fact or &atter in issue directl) ad2udicated or necessaril) involved in the deter&ination of an action before a co&"etent court in which 2udg&ent is rendered on the &erits is conclusivel) settled b) the 2udg&ent therein and cannot again be litigated between the "arties and their "rivies whether or not the clai&, de&and, "ur"ose, or sub2ect &atter of the two actions is the sa&e+ #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ ,o be sure, conclusiveness of 2udg&ent &erits a""lication Bwhen a fact or >uestion has been s>uarel) "ut in issue, 2udiciall) "assed u"on, and ad2udged in a for&er suit b) a court of co&"etent 2urisdiction+D 4lucidating further on this second as"ect of res ju icata, the Court, in Spouses Antonio, statedJ = = = ,he fact or >uestion settled b) final 2udg&ent or order binds the "arties to that action #and "ersons in "rivit) with the& or their successors@in@interest$, and continues to bind the& while the 2udg&ent or order re&ains

standing and unreversed b) "ro"er authorit) on a ti&el) &otion or "etitionH the conclusivel)@settled fact or >uestion cannot again be litigated in an) future or other action between the sa&e "arties or their "rivies and successors@in@ interest, in the sa&e or in an) other court of concurrent 2urisdiction, either for the sa&e or for a different cause of action+ Thus) !nl- the i'entities ! $arties an' issues are re&uire' !r the !$erati!n ! the $rinci$le ! c!nclusiveness ! .u'g#ent. #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ !""l)ing the above state&ent of the Court to the case at bar, 6e find that ?BP*s contention that this Court*s ruling in Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy that the 4Ps and OC,s issued in 2 ' had alread) beco&e indefeasible and incontrovertible "recludes a BrelitigationD of the issue concerning the validit) of the 4Ps issued to "rivate res"ondents does not hold water+ 0n the first "lace, there is no identit) of "arties in Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy and the instant case+ !rguabl), the res"ondents in these two cases are si&ilar+ /owever, the "etitioners are totall) different+ 0n Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy , the "etitioners are the &ore than '2 individuals who clai& to be descendants of 8ulgencio .ana&an, -regorio*s brother, and who collectivel) assert their right to a share in -regorio*s estate, arguing that the) were de"rived of their inheritance b) virtue of the i&"ro"er issuance of the 4Ps to "rivate res"ondents without notice to the&+ On the other hand, in the instant case, "etitioners are the heirs of :eleste who seek nullification of the 4Ps issued to "rivate res"ondents on grounds of violation of due "rocess of law, disregard of landowner*s right of retention, i&"rovident issuance of 4Ps and OC,s, and non@coverage of the agrarian refor& "rogra&, a&ong others+ 4videntl), there is even no "rivit) a&ong the "etitioners in these two cases+ !nd in the second "lace, the issues are also dissi&ilar+ 0n Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy, the issue was whether the filing of a "etition for "rohibition was the "ro"er re&ed) for the "etitioners therein, considering that the 4Ps and OC,s had alread) been issued in 2 ', four #4$ )ears "rior to the filing of said "etition in 2 5+ 0n the instant case, however, the issue is whether the 4Ps and OC,s issued in favor of "rivate res"ondents are void, thus warranting their cancellation+ 0n addition, the factual circu&stances in these two cases are different such that the necessit) of a""l)ing the rule on indefeasibilit) of title in one is wanting in the other+ 0n Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy, the "etition for "rohibition was filed b) the "etitioners therein in 2 5, notwithstanding the fact that the 4Ps and OC,s had alread) been issued in 2 '+ 8or that reason, a"art fro& &aking a ruling that BF"Grohibition, as a rule, does not lie to restrain an act that is alread) a fait accompli,D it beco&es incu&bent u"on this Court to hold thatJ = = = Considering that such 4Ps and OC,s were issued in 2 ', the- ha' ,ec!#e in'e easi,le an' inc!ntr!verti,le by the time petitioners instituted +,--"*" .P !o" //01& in #//& , and &a) no longer be 2udiciall) reviewed+ #4&"hasis su""lied+$ On the contrar), in the instant case, the "etition for nullification of "rivate res"ondents* 4Ps and OC,s was filed on 8ebruar) 28, 2 2+ ,aking into account that the 4Ps and OC,s were issued on !ugust ', 2 ' and October ', 2 ', res"ectivel), the filing of the "etition was well within the "rescribed one )ear "eriod, thus, barring the defense of indefeasibilit) and incontrovertibilit)+ 4ven if the "etition was filed before the :!R!B, and not the Regional ,rial Court as &andated b) %ec+ (2 of the Pro"ert) Registration :ecree, this should necessaril) have the sa&e effect, considering that :!R!B*s 2urisdiction e=tends to cases involving the cancellation of C?O!s, 4Ps, and even of certificates of title issued b) virtue of a void 4P+ !s this Court held in 4a'riel v. JamiasJ 0t is well@settled that the :!R, through its ad2udication ar&, i+e+, the :!R!B and its regional and "rovincial ad2udication boards, e=ercises >uasi@2udicial functions and 2urisdiction on all &atters "ertaining to an agrarian dis"ute or controvers) and the i&"le&entation of agrarian refor& laws+ Pertinentl), it is "rovided in the :!R!B Revised Rules of Procedure that the :!R!B has "ri&ar) and e=clusive 2urisdiction, both original and a""ellate, to deter&ine and ad2udicate all agrarian dis"utes involving the i&"le&entation of the Co&"rehensive !grarian Refor& Progra& #C!RP$ and related agrarian refor& laws+ Such .uris'icti!n shall e/ten' t! cases inv!lving the issuance) c!rrecti!n an' cancellati!n ! Certi icates ! Lan' O%nershi$ A%ar' =CLOAs> an' E#anci$ati!n Patents %hich are registere' %ith the Lan' Registrati!n Auth!rit-. ,his Court has had the occasion to rule that the &ere issuance of an e&anci"ation "atent does not "ut the ownershi" of the agrarian refor& beneficiar) be)ond attack and scrutin)+ 4&anci"ation "atents &a) be cancelled for violations of agrarian laws, rules and regulations+ %ection '2 #g$ of P+:+ .o+ 749 #issued on ;une '1, '719$ vested the then Court of !grarian Relations with 2urisdiction over cases involving the cancellation of e&anci"ation "atents issued under P+:+ .o+ 299+ 4=clusive 2urisdiction over such cases was later lodged with the :!R!B under %ection ' of Rule 00 of the :!R!B Rules of Procedure+ F!r sure) the .uris'icti!n ! the DARAB cann!t ,e 'ee#e' t! 'isa$$ear the #!#ent a certi icate ! title is issue') !r) such certi icates are n!t #!'es ! trans er ! $r!$ert- ,ut #erel- evi'ence ! such trans er) an' there can ,e n! vali' trans er ! title sh!ul' the CLOA) !n %hich it %as gr!un'e') ,e v!i'. The sa#e h!l's true in the case ! a certi icate ! title issue' ,- virtue ! a v!i' e#anci$ati!n $atent. 8ro& the foregoing, it is therefore undeniable that it is the :!R!B and not the regular courts which has 2urisdiction herein, this notwithstanding the issuance of ,orrens titles in the na&es of the "etitioners+ 8or, it is a fact that the "etitioners* ,orrens titles e&anated fro& the e&anci"ation "atents "reviousl) issued to the& b) virtue of being the far&er@beneficiaries identified b) the :!R under the O?, of the govern&ent+ ,he :!R ruling that the said e&anci"ation "atents were erroneousl) issued for failing to consider the valid retention rights of res"ondents had alread) attained finalit)+ Considering that the action filed b) res"ondents with the :!R!B was "recisel) to annul the e&anci"ation "atents issued to the "etitioners, the case s>uarel), therefore, falls within the 2urisdiction of the :!R!B+ = = = #Citations o&ittedH e&"hasis su""lied+$ 0nevitabl), this leads to no other conclusion than that Our ruling in Heirs of Sofia Nanaman &onoy concerning the indefeasibilit) and incontrovertibilit) of the 4Ps and OC,s issued in 2 ' does not bar Us fro& &aking a finding in the instant case that the 4Ps and OC,s issued to "rivate res"ondents are, indeed, void+

6ith the foregoing dis>uisition, it beco&es unnecessar) to dwell on the other issues raised b) the "arties+ @HEREFORE, the Court ARANTS the "etition and RE?ERSES and SETS ASIDE the C!*s October 28, 2 4 and %e"te&ber '(, 2 5 Resolutions in C!@-+R+ %P .o+ 8541'+ ,he 4&anci"ation Patents and Original Certificates of ,itle covering the sub2ect "ro"ert), "articularl) ?ot .o+ '4 1, issued in favor of "rivate res"ondents are hereb) declared N3LL and ?OID+ ,he :!R is ordered to CANCEL the afore&entioned 4&anci"ation Patents and Original Certificates of ,itle erroneousl) issued in favor of "rivate res"ondents+ .o "ronounce&ent as to costs+