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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila !RST D!"!S!#$ G.R. No. 175177 October 24, 2012

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, %s& GLORI ! R L"E #$b#t%t$te& b' L N !ESS ! R L"E (OCUMENTO, !R., E(G R(O ! R L"E, SER FIN U), !R., SHELL U), NIMF L GN ( , P NT LEON S ) * NG, ST RG L ( INTERN TION L N( (E"ELOPMENT CORPOR TION, NNIE T N, TEOTIMO C B RRUBI S, !ESSIC ( CL N, M . EMM R M S, ( NILO (EEN, +,& ERIC NTHON) (EEN. Respondents& D'(!S!#$ LEON R(O*(E C STRO, J.: This is a Petition for Re%ie) on (ertiorari1 assailin* the +une 2,, 200- Decision2 and #ctober 27, 200- Resolution3 of the (ourt of .ppeals in (./0&R& (" $o& 7,-33, )hich affirmed the $o%ember 11, 2002 Decision 2 of the Re*ional Trial (ourt 3RT(4, 5ranch 20, (ebu (ity, in 6and Re*istration (ase $o& 1221/$76R. Rec& $o& $/-7272& #n #ctober 22, 188-, 0loria +aral%e,1 'd*ardo +aral%e, Serafin 9y, +r&, Shella 9y, $imfa 6a*nada, Pantaleon Saya/.n*, Star*lad !nternational and De%elopment (orporation, .nnie Tan, Teotimo (abarrubias, +essica Daclan, and Ma& 'mma Ramas filed an .pplication- )ith 5ranch 20 of the RT( of (ebu (ity, for the re*istration in their names of 6ot S*s/07/000307 3sub:ect property4, under Presidential Decree $o& 1128& #n $o%ember 28, 188- and $o%ember 7, 1887, they filed their .mended 7 and Second .mended, .pplications, respecti%ely, to conform to the procedural re;uirements of the la), as per #rder 8 of the RT(, and to :oin Danilo Deen and 'ric .nthony Deen as applicants 10 3for bre%ity, )e )ill refer to all the fore*oin* applicants as respondents4& This )as doc<eted as 6R( (ase $o& 1221/$76R. Rec& $o& $/-7272& !n their ori*inal and amended applications, respondents declared that they )ere the co/o)ners in fee simple of the sub:ect property, a parcel of land )ith an area of 731,3,0 s;uare meters, belon*in* to (adastral 6ot 1,180, and situated in 5aran*ay =uiot, (ity of (ebu, and all the impro%ements thereon& They alle*ed that they occupied the sub:ect property and to the best of their <no)led*e, there )as no mort*a*e or encumbrance affectin* it, and no one )as in possession thereof& 11 Respondents further a%erred that the sub:ect property )as not co%ered by any certificate of title or any pendin* case before the RT( of (ebu (ity&12 Respondents also identified the names and complete postal addresses of the o)ners of the ad:oinin* lots& 13 The respondents claimed that they had ac;uired o)nership o%er the sub:ect property by )ay of purchase from predecessors/in/ interest )ho had been in continuous, open, ad%erse, public, uninterrupted, e>clusi%e, and notorious possession thereof for more than thirty 3304 years, or from +une 12, 1821& 12 !n support of their application, respondents submitted the follo)in*?

188-. continuously. had been occupyin* portions of the sub:ect property in the concept of o)ners..ue $& Tabanas. 1821 or prior thereto@ b4 that the muniments of title and7or the ta> declarations and ta> payment receipts submitted in e%idence appeared to be of recent %inta*e and did not constitute competent and sufficient proof of a bona fide ac. 18874& 23 2& Petitioner Republic of the Philippines. open. his co/o)ners.Cnar 5rothers Realty (o& and . )ho ar*ued that? a4 neither the respondents nor their predecessors/in/interest had been in open. as described and bounded under Ta> Declaration $o& 870R/11/071/001. and Beirs of Primiti%a $& Tabanas/$adera.1& Sepia Plan@11 2& 5lue Print (opy of Sur%ey Plan@13& Technical Description of S0S/07/000307@17 2& 0eodetic 'n*ineerAs (ertificate 3of the sur%ey of the sub:ect property4@ 1. rancisco $& Tabanas. )ho alle*ed that he. 18874&21& Rufina and +ulia Ra*asa:o. that opposed the application insofar as it mi*ht affect the fifteen/hectare portion they claimed and o)ned 3#pposition )as filed on March 7. 1& (ertificate of (ommunity 'n%ironment and $atural Resources #ffice 3('$R#4 dated March 20. for himself and for the other heirs of 'steban Tabanas and (iriaca 0abuya.180@ 18 -& Deeds of Sale@20 7& Ta> (learances@21 and . )hich also encroached on their o)n land . "icente $& Tabanas. issued in the name of their father . e>clusi%e. and notorious possession and occupation of the sub:ect property since +une 12. Re*ion 7 (ertification that sub:ect property is not co%ered by any subsistin* land application& 22 The respondentsA application )as opposed by the follo)in* parties? 1& 0ertrudes $& Tabanas/Sin*son. e>clusi%e. si*ned by ('$R and Pro%incial 'n%ironmental and $atural Resources 3P'$R4 #fficers 3('$R# (ertificate4 that the sub:ect property is )ithin the alienable and disposable portion of 6ot 1.& Department of 'n%ironment and $atural Resources 3D'$R4.uisition of the sub:ect property@ c4 that the period for an application based on a Spanish title or *rant had already lapsed@ and d4 that the sub:ect property )as part of the public domain. represented by the Director of 6ands. )ho contended that the respondentsA application )as )ithout le*al basis as the respondents )ere not the true o)ners of the sub:ect property. 18874& 21 2& Ponciano Tabanas Dbiernas. continuous.*aton Tabanas@ and that they and their predecessors/in/interest had been in peaceful. !nc&. Beirs of Mercedes $& Tabanas/Ra*anas. and peacefully for many years& Be prayed that the respondentsA application for re*istration be denied )ith respect to the portions he and his co/o)ners claimed 3#pposition )as filed on March 10.uare meters. 18874&22 3& The . )hich belon*ed to the State and not sub:ect to pri%ate appropriation 3#pposition )as filed on March 2.1. openly. and notorious possession and occupation of their alle*ed property since time immemorial& They prayed that the respondentsA application be dismissed )ith respect to the portion they )ere claimin*. and that their title be confirmed 3#pposition )as filed on March 3.Cnar 'nterprises. e>clusi%ely. )ho claimed that they o)ned portions of the sub:ect property. continuous. 6ourdes $& Tabanas. and their predecessors/in/interest. containin* an area of 20-.10 s. Beirs of 'nri.

180 on $o%ember 2. formerly <no)n as the #smeEa Reforestation Pro:ect& 30 Dolino said that there )as an implied admission on the part of the respondents of this assertion as their predecessors/in/interest had pre%iously filed a Petition for Reclassification of 6and31 of the sub:ect property before the D'$R& Dolino added that the ('$R# (ertificate relied on by the respondents )as disco%ered to ha%e been inad%ertently and erroneously issued as it )as based on a mista<en pro:ection 3#pposition )as filed on . that opposed the respondentsA application )ith respect to a si>/hectare portion of the sub:ect property& $P( alle*ed that it )as in the process of finaliCin* )ith D'$R its permit7*rant to occupy as a substation office. they. 18874& 32 The ('$R# (ertificate )as subse.dministrati%e #rder $o& 2/-22 and the 5ureau of orestry 6and (lassification Map $o& 2122 as references. the ('$R#/D'$R (hief of Sur%ey 9nit to testify that upon the re. and 0eodetic 'n*ineer (elso P& Mayol. . and notorious possession and occupation of the sub:ect property in the concept of o)ners since before the )ar and for more than 30 years& 31 The respondents also presented orester !!! . peaceful. Rodolfo . Shella 9y (oca. (onstancio 6lamedo.ndres . 18874& 28 . )ith other members of the 6and '%aluation Party of the 5ureau of orestry. and thereby confirmin* the same and orderin* its re*istration under (. the (ourt finds and so holds that the applicants ha%e a re*isterable title to the parcel of land herein applied for ori*inal re*istration of title. Melecio +oboneita. 18874&27 -& The $ational Po)er (orporation 3$P(4. 1881. Teotimo (abarrubias. and re%o<ed by the Re*ional '>ecuti%e Director of D'$R %ia a Memorandum dated March 12. conducted an actual sur%ey of (adastral 6ot 1. Pardo. Ma& 'mma Ramas.uest of (armelina (uiCon.uired their respecti%e portions of the sub:ect property and ho) they and their predecessors/in/interest had been in actual. a duly licensed and re*istered forester connected )ith the ('$R#. contains the bearin*s and distances of the areas in (ebu (ity declared as alienable and disposable lands& 38 indin* the testimonial and documentary e%idence of the respondents sufficient to sho) that they had ac.37 )hich )as the sub:ect of the ('$R# (ertificate made at its dorsal side& orestry . as amended by Presidential Decree $o& 1128 o%er the land.lfanta. cancelled. open.'n*ineer Mayol further testified that in connection )ith the fore*oin* sur%ey. and 'd*ardo +aral%e&32 The fore*oin* )itnesses testified on ho) the respondents ac. (ebu (ity& $P( added that the *rant of respondentsA application )ould cause the *o%ernment *reat pre:udice 3#pposition )as filed on March 11. 6eoncio 6lamedo. 121.& +eremias 6& Dolino. 'fren 5inolirao.ntuan*a Bills. the RT( ruled in their fa%or in its Decision dated $o%ember 11. )hich )as a public forest land in . from all the fore*oin* undisputed facts supported by oral and documentary e%idence. one of the predecessors/in/interest of the respondents. e>clusi%e. Mandaue (ity. and found that the sub:ect property )as )ithin its alienable and disposable portion& 3.dministrati%e #rder $o& 2/-22 dated +uly 31. 1817 declared certain portions of the public domain situated in (ebu (ity under Pro:ect $o& 3/( as alienable and disposable lands& The 5ureau of orestry 6and (lassification Map $o& 2122 3. Re*ion "!!. 18874& 2. 188.uired o)nership o%er the sub:ect property. in accordance )ith the respecti%e technical descriptions of herein applicants& . respondents presented the testimony of the follo)in* )itnesses in support of their application? 'stanislao $acorda. Danilo Deen. )ho a%erred that the sub:ect property fell )ithin Timberland 5loc< 3/( and )as )ithin the (ebu (ity Reforestation pro:ect.3#pposition )as filed on March 10. 0loria +aral%e.pril 10.mancia. he had prepared a plan.uently recalled. continuous. 5anilad. =uiot. Ser*io Paran. denominated as S0S/07/000307.melia and Delia Dionaldo. usin* . in his official capacity as Re*ional '>ecuti%e Director of the D'$R. 7& .nastacio (abale:o. )ho opposed the respondentsA application on the *round that they had interests in the sub:ect property 3#pposition )as filed on March 11. Re*ino 0abuya. 2002& The dispositi%e portion reads? FB'R' #R'. si> hectares of the sub:ect property.&33 Durin* the trial.

6"' 3& S'R.uare meters@ .RD# +.M. the RT( stated.T!#$ 11& .ct.000 s.D !$T'R$.210 s. and )ithout need of :udicial or other sanction.700 s.72. +.uare meters@ GGG 2-.uare meters@ 7& ..uirements in ac. D.S 12& +'SS!(.6 .$ GGG 110. D''$ GGG 10-.$TB#$D D''$ 8& M.R.uirin* o)nership o%er public lands before such land )as transferred to the corporation& 22 The RT( stated that the pri%ate oppositors )ere not able to present any con%incin* e%idence and7or appro%ed sur%ey plan that clearly identified the portions of the sub:ect property they )ere claimin*& 21 6i<e)ise.& 'R!( ./.uare meters@ GGG 22. e>plainin* that such prohibition does not apply )hen the corporationAs predecessors/in/interesthad satisfied the re.$D H'$.0 s.& 'MM.$!6# D''$ .uare meters@ GGG 22.2. let the decree and ori*inal certificate of title be issued in the names of the applicants as follo)s? $ames 3addresses deleted4 1& 06#R!.$D D'"'6#PM'$T (#RP#R.$T. continuously.uare meters@ GGG -.700 s.ct $o& 182221 and Republic .uare meters@ GGG -1.R.S 10& ST. the RT( held that the D'$R Re*ion "!! failed to contro%ert the fact that the sub:ect property )as )ithin the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain& The RT( added that its )itnesses did not e%en conduct an actual relocation or %erification sur%ey of the sub:ect property to determine its relati%e position to the timberland area& Thus.D.uisition of public lands of pri%ate corporations or associations.1.uare meters&20 The RT( held that accordin* to :urisprudence and under Section 2.22 Ialienable public land held by a possessor personally or throu*h his predecessors/in/interest.3b4 of (ommon)ealth . R. openly.023 s.!D.uare meters@ GGG -2. 6.5.S 13& M.ct $o& 121 or the Public 6and . the D'$R Re*ion "!!As conclusion )ith respect to the sub:ect propertyAs position )as inaccurate and unreliable& 2. !$ 9D.uare meters@ GGG 10. ceases to be public land and becomes pri%ate property&I 23 The RT( also *ranted Star*lad !nternational and De%elopment (orporationAs application despite the constitutional prohibition on ac.T!#$.0$. and e>clusi%ely for the prescribed period of 30 years > > > is con%erted to pri%ate property by mere lapse or completion of said period ipso :ure. -& P. the RT( e>plained? .uare meters@ GGG 1.D. particularly the ('$R# (ertificate.!n *i%in* more credit to respondentsA e%idence.6"' 2& 'D0.uare meters@ GGG 23.$0 '>tent of !nterest in 6ot S*s/07/000307 GGG 72. 9D 1&$!M .6'#$ S.R06.872 s.M.--0 s.000 s.(6.ct $o& 3.820 s.000 s. as amended by Republic .TTD& D.803 s.& 'MM.$$!' T.RR95!.uare meters@ GGG10.-32 s. R.0-0 s.uare meters@ GGG .#nce this decision becomes final.$ 12& T'#T!M# (. +R& 2& SB'66.

more or less.180 and on the *round that they located three 334 orest Reser%e 3 R4 monuments mar<ed as R -7.$D $. the same should be *i%en )ei*ht and belie%ed. to*ether )ith the (hief of the Sur%ey 9nit of ('$R#. is )ithin the Timberland bloc</(. ha%in* been issued by the proper *o%ernment officers tas<ed )ith the duty of certifyin* as to land classifications in the re*ion.6 R'S#9R('S # !(' (ebu (ity ('$R#. actually conducted a se*re*ation sur%ey of (adastral 6ot 1. M containin* an area of S'"'$ B9$DR'D TB!RTD/S'"'$ TB#9S. 1817& !(. (9!H#$.)ere re/%erified and re/chec<ed upon the order of P'$R# !sabelo Monte:o& 27 The ('$R# (ertificate relied on by the respondents and *i%en much )ei*ht by the RT( reads as follo)s? Republic of the Philippines Department of 'n%ironment and $atural Resources (#MM9$!TD '$"!R#$M'$T .dministrati%e #rder $o& 2/-22 dated +uly 31.D (#$('R$? This is to certify that per pro:ection and %erification conducted by orester . L/14 of the 6and '%aluation Party of ('$R# and P'$R#. 1817& 6ot 5 M containin* an area of TF# B9$DR'D S!N TB#9S. specifically conducted by ('$R# (hief of Sur%ey 9nit 'n*r& (elso Mayol and the (hief of the 6and '%aluation Party .T9R. et al& The same )as found as here/under indicated? 6ot .nastacio (abale:o.s a*ainst the appro%ed plan of Jthe sub:ect propertyK )hich has been thorou*hly %erified under the 6and (lassification Map $o& 2122 3'>hibit +/$. he certified to the follo)in*. et al& 3(ebu (ity4 March 20.nastacio (abale:o and orester +usticio $ahid 3'>hibits 6. a sur%ey plan )as prepared by 'n*r& (elso Mayol and at the bac< portion thereof. the ('$R#7P'$R# 6and '%aluation Party headed by orester . admitted that the tas< of determinin* )hether a parcel of land is )ithin the alienable and disposable area of the public domain falls )ithin the 6and '%aluation Party of the orest Mana*ement Ser%ices of ('$R# and P'$R# of the D'$R& !n this case. (ebu (ity& .180. per Map 2122 of (ebu (ity& (ertified under orestry . especially so that the results of the actual *round sur%ey of $o%ember 2. (ebu (adastre 12 '>tension. 188('RT! T# FB#M !T M. the relocation sur%ey and map prepared by 'n*ineer !coy are simply undeser%in* of any )ei*ht& D'$R/7 Re*ional '>ecuti%e Director +eremias Dolino and Director 'stanislao 0alano of the Re*ional Mana*ement Ser%ices of D'$R/7.4 and )hich merely conformed to the actual %erification7relocation sur%eys 3'>hibits L.s sho)n and described in the Plan at the bac< hereof. is )ithin the . per Map 2122 of (ebu (ity& (ertified under orestry . > > >& >>>> The J('$R# (ertificateK. 6/14. 1881 to determine the alienable and disposable portion of (adastral 6ot 1. land classification pro:ect 3/(.lienable and Disposable. as sur%eyed by 0eodetic 'n*ineer (elso P& Mayol for (armelina (uiCon.$D !"' B9$DR'D ! TDJ/KTF# 320-. situated at =uiot. (ebu (ity76ands "erification (.nastacio (& (abale:o. 188.MR!. more or less. after the said %erification sur%ey. R -8 and R 70& Thus.$D TBR'' B9$DR'D !"' 3737. 3014 s.RM'6!$..uare meters.180 on $o%ember 2. Pardo. themsel%es. a tract of land lot $o& 1.1124 s. land classification pro:ect 3/(. bloc</1.dministrati%e #rder $o& 2/-22 dated +uly 31.uare meters.T!#$ . 'n*r& (elso Mayol.

.S (ommunity 'n%ironment and $atural Resources #fficer Jsi*nedK !S. . the petitioner and three of the pri%ate oppositors appealed the decision of the RT( to the (ourt of .D# (& 69(.D# (& 69(.(T TB.M' .S S0S/07/000307.pril 188-.$D B'R'!$ . 121.(!# (& (.**rie%ed. and "icente $& Tabanas 3Beirs of .$TS > > >&28 2& Raised by petitioner Republic of the Philippines? TB' (#9RT .This certification is issued upon the re.((#RD.R('6 # 6.S (ommunity 'n%ironment and $atural Resources #fficer2.SS! !'D .T!#$ !S (6.T!#$ #R R'0!STR. rancisco $& Tabanas.T #$(' TB' D'(!S!#$ 5'(#M'S !$.S .$(' F!TB TB' R'SP'(T!"' T'(B$!(."' . Philippines& Jsi*nedK !69M!$. .*aton Tabanas4? !& TB' 6#F'R (#9RT 'RR'D !$ B#6D!$0 TB.$TS B.PP6!'D #R #R!0!$.6.PP6!(.T'M'$T !.$D SF#R$ to before me this 12JthK day of . TB' D'(R'' . positin* the follo)in* assi*nment of errors? 1& Raised by pri%ate oppositors 0ertrudes $& Tabanas/Sin*son.T'D .T!#$ # T!T6' . R'0!ST'R.T!#$ D'SP!T' TB' .uest of the interested party for the purpose of ascertainin* the land classification status only and does not entitle him7her preferential priority ri*hts of possession until determined by competent authorities& Jsi*nedK !69M!$.T' # T!T6' 5' !SS9'D !$ TB' $.6'+# #R'ST'R !!! S95S(R!5'D .nastacio (& (abale:o.6 R'0!STR. !$ .ST.R'.M'$D'D 5D P&D& 1128 #"'R TB' 6.5'6# R& M#$T'+# Pro%incial 'n%ironment and $atural Resources #fficer SF#R$ST.$D #RD'R!$0 !TS R'0!STR.$T!$0 R'SP#$D'$TSA.56' T!T6' T# TB' P.ppeals in (. (#"'R'D 5D TB' .M' # TB' . forest officer.$D . at (ebu (ity.T TB' .$D #R!0!$.T!#$ 9$D'R (.$D (#$ !RM!$0 TB' S.S T!M5'R6.$D .-33.PP6!(.PP6!(.PP6!(.6 D'S(R!PT!#$S& !!& TB' 6#F'R (#9RT 'RR'D !$ #RD'R!$0 TB.T . after ha%in* been duly s)orn to under oath accordin* to the la) do hereby depose and say that ! personally pro:ected and %erified the area and the result is the basis of the aforementioned certification& Jsi*nedK .5. =9# 'RR'D !$ 0R.$D D'$#M!$.6 ('RT! !(./0&R& (" $o& 7.$. 6ourdes $& Tabanas.

TB'R' #R' 9$.R'S # TB' 6#T FB!(B 5'6#$0S T# TB' .(T $#& 121 . 200-& The (ourt of .M'S # TB' R'SP#$D'$TS& !!!& TB' 6#F'R (#9RT B.S 0R. mental )ea<ness. tender a*e or other handicap."'6D 'RR'D !$ D'$D!$0 TB' M#T!#$ !6'D 5D JTB'K .T!#$ !$ TB' $. property or other relations. !$(& .R(B 31.M'S # TB' . but P#$(!.ppeals stated that the pri%ate oppositors failed to pro%e that the parcels of land they )ere claimin* )ere identical to the respecti%e portions of the sub:ect property the respondents sou*ht to re*ister& 13 .$D D'S(R!5'D .$# D5!'R$. i*norance. )hich pro%ides as follo)s? I.S . P#RT!#$ # 6#T 1.R'. T# .$D .$D #RD'R!$0 !TS R'0!STR.$D #RD'R!$0 !TS R'0!STR.uare meter by the trial court& Bence this sho)s that money tal<s&11 2& Raised by pri%ate oppositors .$# D5!'R$. the poorest amon* all the oppositors/applicants.M'$D'D 5D PR'S!D'$T!.R '$T'RPR!S'S.ppeals affirmed the RT( in its Decision dated +une 2. )hich is the procurement of a permit from the *o%ernment a*ency in char*e of issuance of such permit.S has duly complied )ith all the re.56'&10 3& Raised by pri%ate oppositors Beirs of Ponciano Dbiernas? 'rror $o& 1 M That the trial court erred in disposin* all the area of 6ot 1.PP'66. !nc& and .uirement as alluded to in 'rror $o& 1.RS D.T' TB' P#RT!#$ TB'D (6.$TS 9$D'R (#MM#$F'.T TB#S' FB# B.180 .6!'$."' M#R' !$ 6. the courts must be %i*ilant for his protection&I 'rror $o& 3 M That none of the respondents ha%e complied )ith the re..6 D'(R'' $#& 1128& !!& TB' 6#F'R (#9RT B.$TS .Cnar 5rothers Realty (o&? !& TB' B#$#R.180 to the JrespondentsK.6TD (#&.!M'D #9T # TB' .Cnar 'nterprises. contrary to the Ma*saysay (redo? TB.T R'SP#$D'$TS B. plus possession of more than 30 years of the land applied for by him..66#F TB'M T# R'6#(.S 6#T S0S/07/000307. duly endorsed by the D'$R official. but none to the oppositors/applicants."' 6'SS !$ 6! ' SB#96D B."' R'0!STR.F@ 'rror $o& 2 M That under .6TB .S. !$ !TS D'(!S!#$ .H$.S 0R.S 'RR'D !$ B#6D!$0 TB.T'D M. 188.PP6!(. )hen one of the parties is at a disad%anta*e on account of his moral dependence. indi*ence. .56' T!T6' #"'R TB' S95+'(T P.T!#$ !$ TB' $.rt& 22 of the (i%il (ode.uirements.H$. )as not *i%en a sin*le s."'6D 'RR'D !$ !$(69D!$0 TB' P#RT!#$S # 21&2082 B'(T.rt& 22& !n all contractual.56' 6#F'R (#9RT B.PP6!'D #R 5D TB' R'SP#$D'$TS&12 indin* for the respondents. and yet P#$(!. to occupy a public land.R('6 # 6.H$. :ud*es are en:oined by la) to protect the underdo*.R 5R#TB'RS R'. the (ourt of .

)hich presented the follo)in* *round? TB' (#9RT # ..Cnar 'nterprises.Cnar 5rothers Realty (o&.I and for raisin* issues.Cnar 'nterprises.*aton Tabanas. the same bein* based Ion <no)led*e and beliefI in %iolation of Section 2. Rule 1-@ and c& for insufficient or defecti%e %erification.6S 'RR'D #$ . the (ourt of .and the petitioner17 each mo%ed to ha%e the (ourt of .for lac< of merit& 1.ppeals committed any re%ersible error in the challen*ed decision and resolution as to )arrant the e>ercise of this (ourtAs discretionary appellate :urisdiction. 2007. as amended by . !nc& and .*aton TabanasAs Motion for Reconsideration -2 in a Resolution dated +une 1. and added that no further pleadin*s )ould be entertained& -The Petition for Re%ie) on (ertiorari-7 no) before us is the one filed by the petitioner Republic of the Philippines. The same oppositors filed their separate Petitions for Re%ie) on (ertiorari before this (ourt. !nc& and . the petition failed to sufficiently sho) that the appellate court committed any re%ersible error in the challen*ed decision and resolution as to )arrant the e>ercise by this (ourt of its discretionary appellate :urisdiction and the issues raised therein are factual in nature& This (ourt li<e)ise denied )ith finality the Motion for Reconsideration -0 of .R '"!D'$(' T# TB' (#$TR. Rule 1-@ b& for failure to accompany the petition )ith a clearly le*ible duplicate ori*inal. 1. 11 .ppeals i*nored the lon*/standin* rule that in land re*istration proceedin*s. this (ourt denied for lac< of merit the Beirs of .Cnar 'nterprises. 2007 Resolution 18 for the follo)in* reasons? a& as the petition )as filed beyond the e>tended period pursuant to Section 1JaK. 200.R' . the applicants ha%e the burden of o%ercomin* the presumption that the land sou*ht to be re*istered is inalienable land of the public domain )hen it affirmed the RT(As decision to *rant the respondentsA application for ori*inal re*istration o%er the sub:ect property despite . 2007. to )it? 1& Pri%ate oppositors . The petitioner a%ers that the (ourt of .T TB' S95+'(T 6#TS . for his failure to conduct an actual relocation or %erification sur%ey.56' 6. could not e%en cate*orically identify the relati%e position of the sub:ect property to the timberland area& 12 9ndaunted. Rule 21 in relation to Section 1JdK. the Beirs of . 2007& 2& Pri%ate oppositors Beirs of . or a certified true copy of the assailed resolution in %iolation of Sections 2JdK and 1. ho)e%er.*aton TabanasAs Petition for Re%ie) on (ertiorari -2 )as doc<eted as 0&R& $o& 171387 and in a Resolution-3 dated March 12.s for the petitionerAs appeal. Rule 7.F FB'$ !T .RD& -. !RM'D TB' +9D0M'$T # TB' TR!. =9'ST!#$ # 6.Cnar 5rothers Realty (o& in a Resolution-1 dated +uly 2. )hich )ere factual in nature& This (ourt similarly denied )ith finality the Beirs of . and )as denied by this (ourt in its ebruary 2-.Cnar 5rothers Realty (o&As Petition for Re%ie) on (ertiorari )as doc<eted as 0&R& $o& 1711-.$D D'SP!T' TB' (6'. 2007&-1 #n #ctober 1.*aton TabanasAs motion to file a second motion for reconsideration.ppeals.6!'$.6 (#9RT TB.dministrati%e Matter $o& 00/2/10/S(& !n any e%ent. !nc& and ..PP'.ppeals a*reed )ith the RT(As findin*s that the petitioner failed to contro%ert the fact that the sub:ect property )as )ithin the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain& !t added that it )as a *reat blunder that petitionerAs o)n )itness. denied these motions on #ctober 27.ppeals reconsider its Decision& The (ourt of . )as denied by this (ourt Ifor the BeirsA failure to sufficiently sho) that the (ourt of .

this (ourt )ould li<e to address respondentsA concern that the petition in%ol%es an issue purely factual in nature@ thus.ct $o& 121.uestion of la) e>ists )hen the doubt or contro%ersy concerns the correct application of la) or :urisprudence to a certain set of facts@ or )hen the issue does not call for an e>amination of the probati%e %alue of the e%idence presented. *rant. and the probability of the situation& 3(itation omitted&4 The petitioner herein is not callin* for an e>amination of the probati%e %alue or truthfulness of the e%idence presented& 73 Fhat it )ants to <no) is )hether the lo)er courts correctly applied the la) and :urisprudence )hen they *ranted the respondentsA application for re*istration of title to the sub:ect property& Main !ssue? $ature and (haracter of Sub:ect Property 0oin* to the merits of the case.uestion of la) and a .uestion of fact e>ists )hen the doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsehood of facts or )hen the .uestion of fact. that the issue posed by the petitioner is a factual issue.ppeals.bad.uestion of la) and a . . as affirmed by the (ourt of .uestion of fact& .their failure to pro%e that it )as alienable and disposable& -8 The petitioner ar*ues that the ('$R# (ertificate the respondents relied on )as erroneously issued@ thus. it did not afford them any %ested ri*ht& The petitioner adds? Iat any rate. that the sub:ect property falls )ithin the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain. e>cept for timber and mineral lands& I9nder the Re*alian doctrine embodied in our (onstitution. is duly supported by substantial e%idence& Moreo%er. or any other mode reco*niCed by la). land that has not been ac. the truth or falsehood of facts bein* admitted& .uired from the *o%ernment. the e>istence and rele%ancy of specific surroundin* circumstances. as )ell as their relation to each other and to the )hole. !nc& %& . in $e) Rural 5an< of 0uimba 3$&'&4. belon*s to the State as part of the public domain&I 72 Thus.ct or (ommon)ealth . they asse%erate. 72 reiterated the distinction bet)een a .uery in%ites calibration of the )hole e%idence considerin* mainly the credibility of the )itnesses. 71 contend that the findin*s of the RT(. until this day. this (ourt a*rees )ith the petitioner that the respondents failed to pro%e in accordance )ith la) that the sub:ect property is )ithin the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain& The Public 6and . . it is indispensable for a person claimin* title to a public land to sho) that his title )as ac. is the e>istin* *eneral la) *o%ernin* the classification and disposition of lands of the public domain.uired throu*h such means& 71 .t the outset. %iC? Fe reiterate the distinction bet)een a . )hich had been thorou*hly discussed and resol%ed by the lo)er courts& !ssue The cru> of the contro%ersy in the case at bar boils do)n to )hether the *rant of respondentsA application for re*istration of title to the sub:ect property )as proper under the la) and :urisprudence& This (ourtAs Rulin* This (ourt finds the petition to be meritorious& Procedural !ssue? $ature of !ssue . bein* the *o%ernment department char*ed )ith the duty to conduct sur%ey and classification of lands. the D'$RAs recall of the certification that the sub:ect property is alienable and disposable should ha%e been accorded respect&I70 The respondents. either by purchase. it cannot be sub:ect of a petition for re%ie) under Rule 21& This (ourt. in their (omment.

e>clusi%e and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of o)nership since +une 12. pro%e that the land is alienable and disposable& 3'mphasis ours&4 . 1821. as amended by Presidential Decree $o& 1073.&$& Properties. in Republic %& T&. occupyin* lands of the public domain or claimin* to o)n any such lands or an interest therein. !nc&. or earlier& 77 6and classification or reclassification cannot be assumed& !t must be pro%ed& 7. continuous. continuous. and %erified by orester . under the 6and Re*istration . respondents presented the ('$R# (ertificate dated March 20.78 ruled that a ('$R# or P'$R# (ertification is not enou*h to certify that a land is alienable and disposable? urther. 1821. 7. under a bona fide claim of ac. applicants for re*istration under Section 12314 of Presidential Decree $o& 1128 must sufficiently establish the follo)in*? 1& that the sub:ect land forms part of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain@ 2& that the applicant and his predecessors/in/interest ha%e been in open. continuous.nastacio (& (abale:o& Bo)e%er. )hether personally or throu*h their duly authoriCed representati%es? 314 Those )ho by themsel%es or throu*h their predecessors/in/interest ha%e been in open. and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain.Section 2.si*ned by ('$R #fficer !luminado (& 6ucas and P'$R #fficer !sabelo R& Monte:o. or earlier& 5ased on the fore*oin* parameters.lthou*h the sur%ey and certification )ere done in accordance )ith orestry .& The follo)in* described citiCens of the Philippines.pro%ides? Sec& 2.ct $o& 121. since +une 12. li<e)ise pro%ides? S'(T!#$ 12& Fho may apply& / The follo)in* persons may file in the proper (ourt of irst !nstance an application for re*istration of title to land.ct.dministrati%e #rder $o& 2/-22. by themsel%es. To pro%e that the sub:ect property is alienable and disposable land of the public domain. e>clusi%e and notorious possession and occupation of the same@ and 3& that it is under a bona fide claim of o)nership since +une 12. may apply to the (ourt of irst !nstance of the pro%ince )here the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title therefor.uisition or o)nership. 188. this (ourt. and that the land sub:ect of the application for re*istration falls )ithin the appro%ed area per %erification throu*h sur%ey by the P'$R# or ('$R#& !n addition. the applicant for land re*istration must present a copy of the ori*inal classification appro%ed by the D'$R Secretary and certified as a true copy by the le*al custodian of the official records& These facts must be established to pro%e that the land is alienable and disposable& Respondent failed to do so because the certifications presented by respondent do not. 1821. e>cept )hen pre%ented by )ar or force ma:eure& These shall be conclusi%ely presumed to ha%e performed all the conditions essential to a 0o%ernment *rant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the pro%isions of this chapter& Section 12314 of Presidential Decree $o& 1128 or the Property Re*istration Decree.3b4 of (ommon)ealth . it is not enou*h for the P'$R# or ('$R# to certify that a land is alienable and disposable& The applicant for land re*istration must pro%e that the D'$R Secretary had appro%ed the land classification and released the land of the public domain as alienable and disposable. but )hose titles ha%e not been perfected or completed. to )it? >>>> 3b4 Those )ho by themsel%es or throu*h their predecessors in interest ha%e been in the open. e>clusi%e. issued by the then .

pril 18. )ith re*ard to the offices authoriCed to issue certificates of land classification status. SERENO (hief +ustice (hairperson LUC S P. )as retained in D. D'$R . as per Section 314 of the same D.this (ourt said? This (ourt > > > holds that the alienability and disposability of land are not amon* the matters that can be established by mere admissions.3dated .# $o& 3.Secretary of . that the (ebu ('$R# had on file a certified photocopy of the administrati%e order& !n fact..2 !n the case at bar. the 6and '%aluation Party (oordinator.Resolution of the (ourt of . embodies the Re*alian doctrine that all lands of the public domain belon* to the State.ssociate +ustice .#4 $o& 20 dated May 30.$T'D& The +une 2. 1880&.S!D'& The respondentsA application for re*istration and issuance of title to 6ot S0S/07/000307. in 6and Re*istration (ase $o& 1221/$76R. (ebu (ity. ('$R#s issue certificates of land classification status for areas belo) 10 hectares& or those fallin* abo%e 10 hectares. !R. )hich is the source of any asserted ri*ht to o)nership of land& The courts are then empo)ered.ssociate +ustice F' (#$(9R? M RI LOUR(ES P. respondents )ere not able to dischar*e the burden of o%ercomin* the presumption that the land they sou*ht to be re*istered forms part of the public domain& FB'R' #R'..0 s.. Rec& $o& $/-7272 filed )ith the Re*ional Trial (ourt of (ebu (ity.3. (ebu (ad& 12 '>tension..0 of $icomedes R& . "ILL R M .. BERS MIN . 5ranch 20 is accordin*ly D!SM!SS'D& S# #RD'R'D& TERESIT !.uirements on land re*istration& 9nfortunately.# $o& 3.uare meters or 73&13.ppeals in (. no less. 18.1 1âwphi1 !t is undisputed that )hile P'$R #fficer Monte:oAs si*nature appears on the ('$R# (ertificate. an actual copy of such classification. and not the P'$R#& The respondents admit and e%en emphasiCe that it )as the ('$R# that )as in%ol%ed in the conduct of the sur%ey and issuance of the certification )ith respect to the land classification status of the sub:ect property& !n Republic %& Medida.-33. )as not presented in e%idence& This )as a crucial mista<e& Fhat )as presented )as the certification . .#& This delineation. 5aran*ay =uiot.dministrati%e #rder 3D. under D. hectares& (learly. it )as under the ('$R# that the sur%ey of the sub:ect property )as conducted& The certificate )as li<e)ise issued under the ('$R#.2 delineated the functions and authorities of the offices )ithin the D'$R& 9nder Section 0314 of the abo%e D. series of 1880. . as )e are duty/bound. 200. the sub:ect property has an area of 731. LEON R(O*(E C STRO . one of the pri%ate oppositors ob:ected to its submission in e%idence for %iolatin* the best e%idence rule& .. to ensure that such o)nership of the State is duly protected by the proper obser%ance by parties of the rules and re. the issuance of such certificates is )ithin the function of the P'$R#s./0&R& (" $o& 7. certified as true by the le*al custodian of the official records. 200.rmilla. are R'"'RS'D and S'T .Decision and #ctober 27.uirements to pro%e such fact& #ur (onstitution. the petition is hereby 0R.#.ssociate +ustice M RTIN S.*riculture and $atural Resources declarin* certain portions of the public domain situated in (ebu (ity as alienable and disposable. or e%en the a*reement of parties& The la) and :urisprudence pro%ide strin*ent re. the sub:ect property is beyond the authority of the ('$R# to certify as alienable and disposable& .1 Moreo%er.. .

8 10 11 12 13 12 11 .7& !d& at 27/2. .lan +ess +aral%e Documento.1/82& !d& at 318/3-./-8& !d& at .7/112& 2 Due to her death on .ssociate +ustices "icente 6& Dap and Romeo & 5arCa. "olume !.& !d& at .rsenio +& Ma*pale )ith .T!#$ Pursuant to Section 13. she )as substituted by her sur%i%in* son. +r&. RE)ES .ote# 1 Rule 21. as per this (ourtAs Resolution dated #ctober -.BIEN"ENI(O L. .3/. 2008 3Rollo. 1887 Rules of (ourt& Rollo. p& 3. concurrin*& 2 3 !d& at -.& !d& at . p& 3784.u*ust 1. SERENO (hief +ustice Foot. 2010 3Rollo.24& 1 - Records. . pp& 31/-1@ penned by '>ecuti%e +ustice . pp& 1/7& !d& at .ssociate +ustice ('RT! !(.2& !d& at 3 and . ! certify that the conclusions in the abo%e Decision had been reached in consultation before the case )as assi*ned to the )riter of the opinion of the (ourtOs Di%ision& M RI LOUR(ES P.7& !d& at 311& 7 .2& !d& at 312& !d& at 1/2 and .rticle "!!! of the (onstitution.1/.

1- !d& at .& !d& at 8/12& !d& at -2/--& !d& at 323/a& !d& at 28/1-& !d& at -7/7.& !d& at -3& !d& at 82/8-& !d& at 88/101& !d& at 172/173& !d& at 181/18-& !d& at 188/201& !d& at 132/13-& !d& at 210& !d& at 2-3/2-2& !d& at 2-7/2-8& !d& at 2-1/2--& Rollo. 28 30 31 32 33 32 31 3- 37 3.& !d& at 88/10-& !d& at 81& Records. p& 323& !d& at 272/a& 17 1. . "olume !. p& 2-& !d& at 13/1. 18 20 21 22 23 22 21 2- 27 2.

& !d& at -0& (.mend Subsection 3b4 of Section orty/'i*ht of (ommon)ealth .38 Rollo./-8& !d& at 211/21-& (. #ther)ise Lno)n as the Public 6and . 18 -0 .ct. 28 10 11 12 13 12 11 1- 17 1. pp& 10-1/1071& 22 21 2- 27 2. p& 1. pp& -72/700& !d& at 72.n .ct $umbered #ne Bundred orty/#ne. p& 12& !d& at 110/112& 20 . p& 18& !d& at 2-3& !d& at 3-7/3-. rollo. ./720& !d& at 773/778& Rollo. rollo.I and or #ther Purposes& 22 23 Rollo. "olume !.ct $umbered #ne Bundred orty/ #ne. orty/'i*ht and #ne Bundred T)enty of (ommon)ealth .ct& 21 . rollo.mend Sections orty/ our. pp& -.mended.n .ct to . p& 323/a& (.& Records.& !d& at 120& Rollo.ct to .s . pp& 10-/107& !d& at 107& !d& !d& at 81/8-& !d& at 8-/8. #ther)ise Lno)n as the IPublic 6and .

1-2 S(R.-1 Rollo. December 23. 277. 2./32& !d& at 22& !d& at .& Republic %& Beirs of +uan abio. 30. +r& %& +arantilla. as amended. 103. -21 S(R.1.8& Records.lienable and Disposable 6ands of the Public Domain 9nder (hapter "!! and (hapter "!!! of (ommon)ealth . 78 . 1877& 777 Republic %& Manimtim.. . $o%ember 23. 288. 13. "olume !. 1877& 'ffecti%e +anuary 21. -8 70 71 72 73 72 71 '>tendin* the Period of ilin* . 73& !d& -2 -3 -2 -1 -- -7 -.2 . March 1-.dministrati%e 6e*aliCation 3 ree Patent4 and +udicial (onfirmation of !mperfect and !ncomplete Titles to . 0&R& $o& 121018. pp& 313/312& (. +une 2-. p& 311& !d& at 317/31.& !d& at 127/212& 0&R& $o& 1-1.& !d& at .S(R. 0&R& $o& 1-8188. !nc&. 2010.pplications for .-. rollo. --1 S(R.0 .1 .. -3. 171 S(R./8& !d& at 2. 111 S(R. 200. 0&R& $o& 1181. rollo.ct $o& 121. 132/133& Mercado %& "alley Mountain Mines '>ploration. p& 277& !d& at 221& Delineation of Re*ulatory unctions and .u*ust 20. 200.. pp& 107-/1082& Rollo.1. 2011. 108/110& +arantilla.. 2011./813& Rollo. pp& . p& 312& (. 11. 0&R& $o& 1122. for 'le%en 3114 Dears (ommencin* +anuary 1. 120.8.uthorities& 7. 21& 0&R& $o& 112813. December 1. 200.

2 .& 0&R& $o& 181087.7& !d& at 2. !nc&. supra note 7.rellano 6a) oundation . .1 .- The 6a)phil Pro:ect / ...u*ust 13.uthorities& Republic %& T&.&$& Properties. 2012& .3 Re%ised Re*ulations on the Delineation of unctions and Delineation of . at 2.