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1.

LEE HONG KOK VS. DAVID G.R. No. L-30389, Dec. 27, 1972

FACTS: This is regarding a piece of land which Aniano David acquired lawful title thereto, pursuant to his miscellaneous sales application. After approval of his application, the Director of Lands issued an order of award and issuance of sales patent, covering said lot by virtue of which the Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued a Miscellaneous Sales Patent. The Register of Deeds then issued an original certificate of title to David. During all this time, Lee Hong Kok did not oppose nor file any adverse claim. ISSUE: Whether or not Lee Hong Kok may question the government grant. HELD: Only the Government, represented by the Director of Lands or the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, can bring an action to cancel a void certificate of title issued pursuant to a void patent. This was not done by said officers but by private parties like the plaintiffs, who cannot claim that the patent and title issued for the land involved are void since they are not the registered owners thereof nor had they been declared as owners in the cadastral proceedings after claiming it as their private property. The fact that the grant was made by the government is undisputed. Whether the grant was in conformity with the law or not is a question which the government may raise, but until it is raised by the government and set aside, the defendant cannot question it. The legality of the grant is a question between the grantee and the government.

2.

CARINO VS. INSULAR GOVERNMENT 41 PHIL 935

FACTS: An Igorot applied for the registration of a certain land. He and his ancestors had held the land as owners for more than 50 years, which he inherited under Igorot customs. There was no document of title issued for the land when he applied for registration. The government contends that the land in question belonged to the state. Under the Spanish Law, all lands belonged to the Spanish Crown except those with permit private titles. Moreover, there is no prescription against the Crown. ISSUE: Whether or not the land in question belonged to the Spanish Crown under the Regalian Doctrine. HELD: No. Law and justice require that the applicant should be granted title to his land. The United States Supreme Court, through Justice Holmes declared: It might perhaps, be proper and sufficient to say that when, as far as testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by individuals under a claim of private ownership, it will be presumed to have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest, and never to have been public land. There is an existence of native title to land, or ownership of land by Filipinos by virtue of possession under a claim of ownership since time immemorial and independent of any grant from the Spanish Crown, as an exception to the theory of jura regalia.

3.

CRUZ VS. SEC OF DENR 347 SCRA 128 (2000)

FACTS: Cruz, a noted constitutionalist, assailed the validity of the RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act on the ground that the law amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well as minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The IPRA law basically enumerates the rights of the indigenous peoples over ancestral domains which may include natural resources. Cruz et al contend that, by providing for an all-encompassing definition of ancestral domains and ancestral lands which might even include private lands found within said areas, Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law violate the rights of private landowners. ISSUE: Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional. HELD: The SC deliberated upon the matter. After deliberation they voted and reached a 7-7 vote. They deliberated again and the same result transpired. Since there was no majority vote, Cruzs petition was dismissed and the IPRA law was sustained. Hence, ancestral domains may include public domain somehow against the regalian doctrine.

4.

STA. ROSA MINING VS. LEIDO 156 SCRA 1 (1987)

FACTS: Presidential Decree No.1214 was issued requiring holders of subsisting and valid patentable mining claims located under the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902 to file a mining lease of application within one (1) year from the approval of the Decree. To protect its rights, petitioner Santa Rosa Mining Company files a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition confronting the said Decree as unconstitutional in that it amounts to a deprivation of property without due process of law. Subsequently, three (3) days after, petitioner filed a mining lease app lication, but under protest, with a reservation that it is not waiving its rights over its mining claims until the validity of the Decree shall have been passed upon by the Court. The respondents allege that petitioner has no standing to file the instant petition and question the Decree as it failed to fully exhaust administrative remedies.

ISSUE: Whether or not Presidential Decree No. 1214 is constitutional.

HELD: Yes, Presidential Decree No. 1214 is constitutional, even assuming arguendo that petitioners was not bound to exhaust administrative remedies for its mining claims to be valid in the outset. It is a valid exercise of the sovereign power of the State, as owner, over the lands of the public domain, of which petitioners mining claims still for m a part. Moreover, Presidential Decree No. 1214 is in accord with Sec. 8, Art XIV of the 1937 Constitution.

5.

SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION VS. COURT OF APPEALS (GR # 57667, May 28, 1990)

FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari where petitioner San Miguel Corporation who purchased Lot 684 from Silverio Perez, seeks the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals denying its application for registration of the said land in view of its failure to show entitlement thereto. The Solicitor General opposed and appealed the application contending that the land in question is part of public domain and that petitioner being a private corporation is disqualified from holding alienable lands of the public domain. In this case, petitioner claims that its predecessor-ininterest had open, exclusive and undisputed possession of the land in question based on documentary evidence of tax declarations and receipts, and testimonial evidence of vendor Silverio Perez. ISSUE: Whether or not the evidence presented by the petitioner is sufficient to warrant a ruling that petitioner and/or its predecessor-in-interest has a registrable right over Lot 684. HELD: No. Documentary evidence of tax declarations and receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership or right of possession over a piece of land but mere indicia of a claim of ownership. They only become strong evidence of ownership of land acquired by prescription when accompanied by proof of actual possession. Also, the testimony of vendor Silverio Perez as proof of actual possession is weak and was not corroborated by other witnesses.

6.

ALMEDA VS. COURT OF APPEALS GR No. 85322, April 30, 1991

FACTS: Petitioner Jose Almeda filed a notice of appeal which was disapproved by the trial court due to it being filed five (5) days late beyond the reglementary period and subsequently denied of motion for reconsideration. Respondent court dismissed the petition contending that the requirement regarding perfection of an appeal was not only mandatory but jurisdictional such that the petitioners failure to comply therewith had the effect of rendering the judgment final. Subsequently, petitioner motions for reconsideration and is denied. Also, it was found that there was lack of merit in the petitioners reason for the late filing of the notice of appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not failure to comply with the requirement regarding perfection of an appeal within reglementary period would render a judgment final and executory.

HELD: Yes. The period to appeal is prescribed not only by the Rules of Court but also by statute, particularly Sec 39 of BP 129, which provides: Sec.39. Appeals. The period for appeal from final orders, resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision appealed from The right to appeal is a statutory right and one who seeks to avail of it must strictly comply with the statutes or rules as they are considered indispensable interdictions against needless delays and for an orderly discharge of judicial business. Due to petitioners negligence of failing to perfect his appeal, there is no recourse but to deny the petition thus making the judgment of the trial court final and executory.

7.

DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. KALAHI INVESTMENTS, INC., GR No. 48066, January 31, 1989

FACTS: This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Pampanga, denying the application of Kalahi Investments, Inc. (Kalahi, for short) for registration of Lot No. 1851-B of the Florida blanca Cadastre. In its decision, the Court of Appeals found the following facts to be established by the evidence: On December 12, 1963, Kalahi Investment, Inc. moved for an advanced hearing of Lot No. 1851-B, Florida blanca Cadastre. Evidence was presented and Kalahi's title was to be registered under the provisions of Act 496. The Bureau of Forestry's opposition is based on the ground that these lands are part of the vast public forest, known as TIMBER LAND of Project No. 11, Exhibit 4, and Director of Forestry. Until now these lands are not released by the proper authorities as alienable agricultural lands; instead on August 9, 1966, the President of the Philippines issued Proclamation No. 82, declaring these lands as part of the Mt. Dorst Forest Reserve.

ISSUE: Whether or not mining claims, acquired, registered, perfected acted, and patentable under the Old Mining Law, mature to private ownership which would entitle the claimantapplicant to the ownership thereof.

HELD: Mere location does not mean absolute ownership over the affected land or the located claim. It merely segregates the located land or area from the public domain by barring other would be locators from locating the same and appropriating for them the minerals found therein. To rule otherwise would imply that location is all that is needed to acquire and maintain rights over a located mining claim. This, the Court cannot approve or sanction because it is contrary to the intention of the lawmaker that the locator should faithfully and consistently comply with the requirements for annual work and improvements in the located mining claims. It is not clear if claimant Kalahi has fully complied with the requirements of the Act of Congress of 1902. This is a factual issue which is not within the scope of our jurisdiction. The records show that claimant has already filed a mining lease application (p. 357, Record on Appeal). Its mining claims, therefore, are deemed covered by P.D. 1214, and the Bureau of Mines may, accordingly process the same as a lease application, in accordance with P.D. 463, pursuant to Sec. 2of P.D. No. 1214. It is understood of course that prior to the approval of the lease application, the applicant must show that it has fully and faithfully complied with the requirements of the Philippine Bill of 1902, in effect upholding the dissenting opinion of Justice Concepcion in the Gold Creek Mining case. As to whether or not the Bureau of Mines is likewise qualified to rule

on whether there has been full and faithful compliance with the requirements of the Philippine Bill of 1902 as amended, the Court ruled that the Bureau of Mines is so empowered as a corollary function in the processing of mining lease applications. The decision of the CFI of Pampanga, (now Regional Trial Court) is hereby AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION in that Kalahi's mining claims may be processed as a mining lease application by the Bureau of Mines.

8.

REPUBLIC VS. ENCISO GR No. 160145, November 11, 2005

FACTS: The respondent, alleging to be the owner in fee simple of a parcel of residential land located in Zambales, filed a petition for land registration before the RTC of Iba, Zambales. He acquired title to the said lot by virtue of an extrajudicial settlement of estate and quitclaim on March 15, 1999; the said property is not tenanted or occupied by any person other than the respondent and his family who are in actual physical possession of the same for 30 years. Petitioner Republic of the Philippines, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), opposed the application on the following grounds: (a) neither the respondent nor his predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto; (b) the respondent failed to adduce any muniment of title and/or the tax declaration (c) the alleged tax declaration adverted to in the application does not appear to be genuine and the tax declarations indicate such possession to be of recent vintage; (d) the claim of ownership in fee simple on the basis of Spanish title or grant can no longer be availed of by the respondent considering that he failed to file an appropriate application for registration within the period of six months from February 16, 1976 as required by P.D. No. 892; and (e) the subject land is a portion of the public domain belonging to the Republic of the Philippines which is not subject to private appropriation.[5]

ISSUE: For reclaimed land to be registered as private property what is required? HELD: (1) There must be a proof that the land had been classified as alienable; (2) The person seeking registration must showproof of having acquired the property (e.g., by prescription). Well-entrenched is the rule that the burden of proof in land registration cases rests on the applicant who must show clear, positive and convincing evidence that his alleged possession and occupation were of the nature and duration required by law.

Bare allegations, without more, do not amount to preponderant evidence that would shift the burden to the oppositor.[28] Evidently, the respondent failed to prove that the lot was classified as part of the disposable and alienable land of the public domain; and (2) he and his predecessors-ininterest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation thereof in the concept of owners since time immemorial, or from June 12, 1945.

9.

CHAVEZ VS. PEA GR No. 133250, July 9, 2002

FACTS: In 1973, the Comissioner on Public Highways entered into a contract to reclaim areas of Manila Bay with the Construction and Development Corportion of the Philippines (CDCP). PEA (Public Estates Authority) was created by President Marcos under P.D. 1084, tasked with developing and leasing reclaimed lands. These lands were transferred to the care of PEA under P.D. 1085 as part of the Manila Cavite Road and Reclamation Project (MCRRP). CDCP and PEA entered into an agreement that all future projects under the MCRRP would be funded and owned by PEA. By 1988, President Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517 transferring lands to PEA. It was followed by the transfer of three Titles (7309, 7311 and 7312) by the Register of Deeds of Paranaque to PEA covering the three reclaimed islands known as the FREEDOM ISLANDS. Subsquently, PEA entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with AMARI, a Thai-Philippine corporation to develop the Freedom Islands. Along with another 250 hectares, PEA and AMARI entered the JVA which would later transfer said lands to AMARI. This caused a stir especially when Sen. Maceda assailed the agreement, claiming that such lands were part of public domain (famously known as the mother of all scams). Peitioner Frank J. Chavez filed case as a taxpayer praying for mandamus, a writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO against the sale of reclaimed lands by PEA to AMARI and from implementing the JVA. Following these events, under President

Estradas admin, PEA and AMARI entered into an Am ended JVA and Mr. Chaves claim that the contract is null and void.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the transfer to AMARI lands reclaimed or to be reclaimed as part of the stipulations in the (Amended) JVA between AMARI and PEA violate Sec. 3 Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution HELD: On the issue of Amended JVA as violating the constitution: The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to private corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. PEA may only sell these lands to Philippine citizens, subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and existing laws.

10.

LAUREL VS. GARCIA 187 SCRA 797 (1990)

FACTS: The subject Roppongi property is one of the properties acquired by the Philippines from Japan pursuant to a Reparations Agreement. The property is where the Philippine Embassy was once located, before it transferred to the Nampeidai property. It was decided that the properties would be available to sale or disposition. One of the first properties opened up for public auction was the Roppongi property, despite numerous oppositions from different sectors. ISSUE: Can the Roppongi property and others of its kind be alienated by the Philippine Government? HELD:

The Roppongi property was acquired together with the other properties through reparation agreements. They were assigned to the government sector and that the Roppongi property was specifically designated under the agreement to house the Philippine embassy. It is of public dominion unless it is convincingly shown that the property has become patrimonial. The respondents have failed to do so. As property of public dominion, the Roppongi lot is outside the commerce of man. It cannot be alienated. Its ownership is a special collective ownership for general use and payment, in application to the satisfaction of collective needs, and resides in the social group. The purpose is not to serve the State as the juridical person but the citizens; it is intended for the common and public welfare and cannot be the object of appropriation. The fact that the Roppongi site has not been used for a long time for actual Embassy service doesnt automatically convert it to patrimonial property. Any such conversion happens only if the property is withdrawn from public use. A property continues to be part of the public domain, not available for private appropriation or ownership until there is a formal declaration on the part of the government to withdraw it from being such.

11.

MINERS ASSOCIATION VS. FACTORAN 240 SCRA 100 (1995)

FACTS: The petition seeks a ruling from this court on the validity of two Administrative Orders 57 and 82 issued by the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to carry out the provisions of Executive Orders 279 and 211. This petition arose from the fact that the 1987 Constitution provided for a different system of exploration, development and utilization of the countrys natural resources. Unlike the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions that allow the utilization of inalienable lands of public domain through license, concession or lease, the 1987 Constitution provides for the full control and supervision by the state of the exploration, development and utilization of the countrys natural resources. Pres. Cory Aquino promulgated EO 211, which prescribes the interim procedures in the processing and approval of applications for the exploration, development and utilization of minerals in accordance to the 1987 Constitution. In addition, Pres. Aquino also promulgated EO 279 authorizing the DENR Secretary to negotiate and conclude joint venture, co-production or production-sharing agreements for the exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources and prescribing the guidelines for such agreements and those agreements involving technical or financial assistance by foreign-owned corporations for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals. In line with EO 279, the DENR Secretary issued AO 57 Guidelines of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement under EO 279 and AO 82 Procedural Guidelines on the Award of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) through negotiation. Petitioner, Miners Association of the Philippines, mainly contend that the DENR Secretary issued both AOs 57 and 82 in excess of his rule-making power because these are inconsistent with the provisions of EO 279. ISSUE: Whether AO Nos. 57 and 82, which are promulgated by the DENR, are valid and constitutional HELD: AO Nos. 57 and 82 are both constitutional and valid. This is due to the fact that EO 279, in effect, gave the Secretary of Natural Resources the authority to conclude joint venture, co-production, or production sharing agreements for the exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources. Furthermore, the constitutionality of these administrative orders goes to show that the utilization of inalienable lands of

public domain is not merely done through license, concession or lease since the options are now also open to the State through direct undertaking or by entering into coproduction, joint venture, or production sharing agreements.

12.

REPUBLIC VS. ROSEMOOR GR No. 149927, March 30, 2004

FACTS: Petitioner Rosemoor Mining and Development Corporation after having been granted permission to prospect for marble deposits in the mountains of Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan, succeeded in discovering marble deposits of high quality and in commercial quantities in Mount Mabio which forms part of the Biak-na-Bato mountain range. The petitioner then applied with the Bureau of Mines, now Mines and Geosciences Bureau, for the issuance of the corresponding license to exploit said marble deposits. License No. 33 was issued by the Bureau of Mines in favor of the herein petitioners. Shortly thereafter, Respondent Ernesto Maceda cancelled the petitioners license stating that their license had illegally been issued, because it violated Section 69 of PD 463; and that there was no more public interest served by the continued existence or renewal of the license. The latter reason was confirmed by the language of Proclamation No. 84. According to this law, public interest would be served by reverting the parcel of land that was excluded by Proclamation No. 2204 to the former status of that land as part of the Biak-na-Bato national park.

ISSUE: Whether or not Presidential Proclamation No. 84 is valid.

HELD: Yes. We cannot sustain the argument that Proclamation No. 84 is a bill of attainder; that is, a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial. Its declaration that QLP No. 33 is a patent nullity is certainly not a declaration of guilt. Neither is the cancellation of the license a punishment within the purview of the constitutional proscription against bills of attainder. Too, there is no merit in the argument that the proclamation is an ex post facto law. It is settled that an ex post facto law is limited in its scope only to matters criminal in nature. Proclamation 84, which merely restored the area excluded from the Biak-na-Bato national park by canceling respondents license, is clearly not penal in character.

Also at the time President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 84 on March 9, 1987, she was still validly exercising legislative powers under the Provisional Constitution of 1986. Section 1 of Article II of Proclamation No. 3, which promulgated the Provisional Constitution, granted her legislative power until a legislature is elected and convened under a new Constitution. The grant of such power is also explicitly recognized and provided for in Section 6 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution.

13.

LA BUGAL-B'LAAN TRIBAL ASSN. VS. DENR GR127872, Jan 27, 2004, MR GR 127882, Dec. 1, 2004

FACTS: On January 27, 2004, the Court en banc promulgated its Decision granting the Petition and declaring the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO 9640, as well as of the entire FTAA executed between the government and WMCP, mainly on the finding that FTAAs are service contracts prohibited by the 1987 Constitution. The Decision struck down the subject FTAA for being similar to service contracts, which, though permitted under the 1973 Constitution, were subsequently denounced for being antithetical to the principle of sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the prejudice of the Filipino nation. ISSUE: Are foreign-owned corporations in the large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of petroleum, minerals and mineral oils limited to technical or financial assistance only? HELD: Only technical assistance or financial assistance agreements may be entered into, and only for large-scale activities. Full control is not anathematic to day-to-day management by the contractor, provided that the State retains the power to direct overall strategy; and to set aside, reverse or modify plans and actions of the contractor. The idea of full control is similar to that which is exercised by the board of directors of a private corporation: the performance of managerial, operational, financial, marketing and other functions may be delegated to subordinate officers or given to contractual entities, but the board retains full residual control of the business.

14.

PHILIPPINE GEOTHERMAL VS. NAPOCOR GR No. 144302, May 27, 2004

15.

JG SUMMIT VS. CA GR No. 124293, January 31, 2005

FACTS: The National Investment and Development Corporation (NIDC), a government corporation, entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. of Kobe, Japan (KAWASAKI) for the construction, operation and management of the Subic National Shipyard Inc., (SNS) which subsequently became the Philippine Shipyard and Engineering Corporation (PHILSECO). Under the JVA, the NDC and KAWASAKI will contribute P330M for the capitalization of PHILSECO in the proportion of 60%-40% respectively. One of its salient features is the grant to the parties of the right of first refusal should either of them decide to sell, assign or transfer its interest in the joint venture. NIDC transferred all its rights, title and interest in PHILSECO to the Philippine National Bank (PNB). Such interests were subsequently transferred to the National Government pursuant to an Administrative Order. When the former President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 50 establishing the Committee on Privatization (COP) and the Asset Privatization Trust (APT) to take title to, and possession of, conserve, manage and dispose of non-performing assets of the National Government, a trust agreement was entered into between the National Government and the APT wherein the latter was named the trustee of the National Governments share in PHILSECO. In the interest of the national economy and the government, the COP and the APT deemed it best to sell the National Governments share in PHILSECO to private entities. After a series of negotiations between the APT and KAWASAKI , they agreed that the latters right of first refusal under the JVA be exchanged for the right to top by 5%, the highest bid for the said shares. They further agreed that KAWASAKI would be entitled to name a company in which it was a stockholder, which could exercise the right to top. KAWASAKI then informed APT that Philyards Holdings, Inc. (PHI) would exercise its right to top. At the public bidding, petitioner J.G. Summit Holdings Inc. submitted a bid of Two Billion and Thirty Million Pesos (Php2,030,000,000.00) with an acknowledgement of KAWASAKI/PHILYARDS right to top.

As petitioner was declared the highest bidder, the COP approved the sale subject to the right of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Inc. / PHILYARDS Holdings Inc. to top JGs bid by 5% as specified in the bidding rules. On the other hand, the respondent by virtue of right to top by 5%, the highest bid for the said shares timely exercised the same. Petitioners, in their motion for reconsideration, raised, inter alia, the issue on the maintenance of the 60%-40% relationship between the NIDC and KAWASAKI arising from the Constitution because PHILSECO is a landholding corporation and need not be a public utility to be bound by the 60%-40% constitutional limitation.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent is prohibited to possess the disputed property considering the prohibition stipulated in the 1987 Constitution against foreign owned companies.

HELD: The court upheld the validity of the mutual rights of first refusal under the JVA between KAWASAKI and NIDC. The right of first refusal is a property right of PHILSECO shareholders, KAWASAKI and NIDC, under the terms of their JVA. This right allows them to purchase the shares of their co-shareholder before they are offered to a third party. The agreement of co-shareholders to mutually grant this right to each other, by itself, does not constitute a violation of the provisions of the Constitution limiting land ownership to Filipinos and Filipino corporations. As PHILYARDS correctly puts it, if PHILSECO still owns the land, the right of first refusal can be validly assigned to a qualified Filipino entity in order to maintain the 60%-40% ration. This transfer by itself, does not amount to a violation of the Anti-Dummy Laws, absent proof of any fraudulent intent. The transfer could be made either to a nominee or such other party which the holder of the right of first refusal feels it can comfortably do business with. Alternatively, PHILSECO may divest of its landholdings, in which case KAWASAKI, in exercising its right of first refusal, can exceed 40% of PHILSECOs equity. In fact, in can even be said that if the foreign shareholdings of a landholding corporation exceeds 40%, it is not the foreign stockholders ownership of the shares

which is adversely affected but the capacity of the corporation to one land that is, the corporation becomes disqualified to own land. This finds support under the basic corporate law principle that the corporation and its stockholders are separate judicial entities. In this vein, the right of first refusal over shares pertains to the shareholders whereas the capacity to own land pertains to the corporation. Hence, the fact that PHILSECO owns land cannot deprive stockholders of their right of first refusal. No law disqualifies a person from purchasing shares in a landholding corporation even if the latter will exceed the allowed foreign equity, what the law disqualifies is the corporation from owning land.

Section 3. Lands of the Public Domain

16.

DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. AQUINO 192 SCRA 296 (1990)

FACTS: The center of controversy in the instant petition for review on certiorari is a limestone-rich 70-hectare land in Bucay, Abra 66 hectares of which are, according to petitioners, within the Central Cordillera Forest Reserve. Private respondent Abra Industrial Corporation (AIC for brevity), a duly registered corporation established for the purpose of setting up a cement factory, claims on the other hand, to be the owner in fee simple of the whole 70-hectare area indicated in survey plans PSU-217518, PSU217519 and PSU-217520 with a total assessed value of P6,724.48. Thus, on September 23, 1965, it filed in the then Court of First Instance of Abra an application for registration in its name of said parcels of land under the Land Registration Act or, in the alternative, under Sec. 48 of Commonwealth Act No. 1411 as amended by Republic Act No.1942 inasmuch as its predecessors-in-interest had allegedly been in possession thereof since July26, 1894.

ISSUE: Whether or not lower court erred in granting the application for registration of the parcels of land notwithstanding petitioners finding that they are within the forest zone.

HELD: Yes. Forest lands or forest reserves are incapable of private appropriation and possession thereof, however long, cannot convert them into private properties. This ruling is premised on the regalian doctrine enshrined not only in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions but also in the 1987Constitution Article XIII. The lower court closed its eyes to a basic doctrine in land registration cases that the inclusion in a title of a part of the public domain nullifies the title. Its decision to order the registration of an inalienable land in favor of AIC under the misconception that it is imperative for the Director of Forestry to object to its exclusion from the forest reserve even in the face of its finding

that indeed a sizable portion of the Central Cordillera Forest Reserve is involved, cannot be allowed to stay unrevised. It betrays an inherent infirmity which must be corrected.

17.

REPUBLIC VS. CA 160 SCRA 228 (1988)

FACTS: The owner of a piece of land has rights not only to its surface but also to everything underneath and the airspace above it up to a reasonable height. The rights over the land are indivisible and the land itself cannot be half agricultural and half mineral. The classification must be categorical; the land must be either completely mineral or completely agricultural.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent courts decision, i.e. the surface rights of the de la Rosas over the land while at the same time reserving the sub-surface rights of Benguet and Atok by virtue of their mining claim, is correct.

HELD: No. Our holding is that Benguet and Atok have exclusive rights to the property in question by virtue of their respective mining claims which they validly acquired before the Constitution of 1935 prohibited the alienation of all lands of the public domain except agricultural lands, subject to vested rights existing at the time of its adoption. The land was not and could not have been transferred to the private respondents by virtue of acquisitive prescription, nor could its use be shared simultaneously by them and the mining companies for agricultural and mineral purposes. It is true that the subject property was considered forest land and included in the Central Cordillera Forest Reserve, but this did not impair the rights already vested in Benguet and Atok at that time. Such rights were not affected either by the stricture in the Commonwealth Constitution against the alienation of all lands of the public domain except those agricultural in nature for this was made subject to existing rights. The perfection of the mining claim converted the property to mineral land and under the laws then in force removed it from the public domain. By such act, the locators acquired exclusive rights over the land, against even the government, without need of any further act such as the purchase of the land or the obtention of a patent over it. As the land had become the private property of the locators, they had the right to transfer the same, as they did, to Benguet and Atok. The Court of Appeals justified this by saying there is no conflict of interest between the owners of the surface rights and the owners of the sub-surface rights. This is rather doctrine, for it is a well-known principle that the owner of piece of land has rights not only to its surface but also to everything underneath and the airspace above it up to a reasonable height. Under the aforesaid ruling, the land is classified as mineral underneath and agricultural on the surface, subject to separate claims of title. This is also difficult to understand, especially in its practical application. The Court feels that the rights over the land are indivisible and that the land itself cannot be half agricultural and half mineral. The classification must be categorical; the land must be either completely mineral or completely agricultural. In the instant case, as already observed, the land which was originally classified as forest land ceased to be so and became mineral and completely mineral once the mining claims were perfected. As long as mining operations were being undertaken thereon, or underneath, it did not cease to be so and become agricultural, even if only partly so, because it was enclosed with a fence and was cultivated by those who were unlawfully occupying the surface.

This is an application of the Regalian doctrine which, as its name implies, is intended for the benefit of the State, not of private persons. The rule simply reserves to the State all minerals that may be found in public and even private land devoted to agricultural, industrial, commercial, residential or (for) any purpose other than mining. Thus, if a person is the owner of agricultural land in which minerals are discovered, his ownership of such land does not give him the right to extract or utilize the said minerals without the permission of the State to which such minerals belong.

The flaw in the reasoning of the respondent court is in supposing that the rights over the land could be used for both mining and non-mining purposes simultaneously. The correct interpretation is that once minerals are discovered in the land, whatever the use to which it is being devoted at the time, such use may be discontinued by the State to enable it to extract the minerals therein in the exercise of its sovereign prerogative. The land is thus converted to mineral land and may not be used by any private party, including the registered owner thereof, for any other purpose that will impede the mining operations to be undertaken therein, For the loss sustained by such owner, he is of course entitled to just compensation under the Mining Laws or in appropriate expropriation proceedings.

18.

APEX MINING VS. SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD, INC., GR No. 152613, June 23, 2006

FACTS: The case involves the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area (Diwalwal ), a rich tract of mineral land located inside the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve in Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental. Since the early 1980s, Diwalwal has been stormed by conflicts brought about by numerous mining claims over it. On March 10, 1986, Marcopper Mining Corporation (MMC) was granted an Exploration Permit(EP 133) by the Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences (BMG). A long battle ensued between Apex and MMC with the latter seeking the cancellation of the mining claims of Apex on the ground that such mining claims were within a forest reservation (Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve) and thus the acquisition on mining rights should have been through an application for a permit to prospect with the BFD and not through registration of a DOL with the BMG. When it reached the SC in 1991, the Court ruled against Apex holding that the area is a forest reserve and thus it should have applied for a permit to prospect with the BFD. On February 16 1994, MMC assigned all its rights to EP 133 to Southeast Mindanao Gold Mining Corporation (SEM) a domestic corporation which is alleged to be a 100%-owned subsidiary of MMC. Subsequently, BMG registered SEMs Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) application and the Deed of Assignment. Several oppositions were filed. The Panel of Arbitrators created by the DENR upheld the validity of EP 133. During the pendency of the case, DENR AO No. 2002-18 was issued declaring an emergency situation in the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area and ordering the stoppage of all mining operations therein.

ISSUE: Whether or not the DENR Secretary has authority to issue DAO 66 declaring 729 hectares of the areas covered by the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve as nonforest lands and open to small-scale mining purposes HELD: NO. The DENR Secretary has no power to convert forest reserves into non-forest reserves. Such power is vested with the President. The DENR Secretary may only recommend to the President which forest reservations are to be withdrawn from the coverage thereof. Thus, DAO No. 66 is null and void for having been issued in excess of the DENR Secretarys authority.

19.

DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. IAC 146 SCRA 509 (1986)

FACTS: Defendant through his lawyer, filed an answer therein admitting the averment in the complaint that the land was acquired by the plaintiff through inheritance from his parents, the former owners thereof. Subsequently, the defendant changed his counsel, and with leave of court, amended the answer. In the amended answer, the admission no longer appears. The alleged ownership of the land by the plaintiff was denied coupled with an allegation that the defendant is the owner of the land as he bought it from the plaintiffs parents while they were still alive. After trial, the lower court upheld the defendants ownership of the land. On appeal, the plaintiff contended that the defendant is bound by the admission contained in his original answer.

ISSUE: Whether or not the contention of plaintiff correct HELD: NO. The original pleading had been amended such that it already disappeared from the record, lost its status as pleadings and cease to be judicial admissions. While such may be utilizedagainst the pleader as extrajudicial admissions, they must, in order to have su ch effect, be formally offered in evidence.

20.

TEN FORTY REALTY VS. LORENZANA GR No. 151212, Sept. 10, 2003

FACTS: Petitioner filed an ejectment complaint against Marina Cruz(respondent) before the MTC. Petitioner alleges that the land in dispute was purchased from Barbara Galino on December 1996, and that said land was again sold to respondent on April 1998; On the other hand, respondent answer with counterclaim that never was there an occasion when petitioner occupied a portion of the premises. In addition, respondent alleges that said land was a public land (respondent filed a miscellaneous sales application with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office) and the action for ejectment cannot succeed where it appears that respondent had been in possession of the property prior to the petitioner; On October 2000, MTC ordered respondent to vacate the land and surrender to petitioner possession thereof. On appeal, the RTC reversed the decision. CA sustained the trial courts decision. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner should be declared the rightful owner of the property. HELD: No. Respondent is the true owner of the land.1) The action filed by the petitioner, which was an action for unlawful detainer, is improper. As the bare allegation of petitioners tolerance of respondents occupation of the premises has not been proven, the possession should be deemed illegal from the beginning. Thus, the CA correctly ruled that the ejectment case should have been for forcible entry. However, the action had already prescribed because the complaint was filed on May 12, 1999 a month after the last day forfiling;2) The subject property had not been delivered to petitioner; hence, it did not acquire possession either materially or symbolically. As between the two buyers, therefore, respondent was first in actual possession of the property. As regards the question of whether there was good faith in the second buyer. Petitioner has not proven that respondent was aware that her mode of acquiring the property was defective at the time she acquired it from Galino. At the time, the property which was public land had not been registered in the name of Galino; thus, respondent relied on the tax declarations thereon. As shown, the formers name appeared on the tax declarations for the property until its sale to the latter in 1998.

Galino was in fact occupying the realty when respondent took over possession. Thus, there was no circumstance that could have placed the latter upon inquiry or required her to further investigate petitioners right of ownership.

21.

CHAVEZVS. PEA GR No. 133250, July 9, 2002

FACTS: In 1973, the Comissioner on Public Highways entered into a contract to reclaim areas of Manila Bay with the Construction and Development Corportion of the Philippines (CDCP). PEA (Public Estates Authority) was created by President Marcos under P.D. 1084, tasked with developing and leasing reclaimed lands. These lands were transferred to the care of PEA under P.D. 1085 as part of the Manila Cavite Road and Reclamation Project (MCRRP). CDCP and PEA entered into an agreement that all future projects under the MCRRP would be funded and owned by PEA. By 1988, President Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517 transferring lands to PEA. It was followed by the transfer of three Titles (7309, 7311 and 7312) by the Register of Deeds of Paranaque to PEA covering the three reclaimed islands known as the FREEDOM ISLANDS. Subsquently, PEA entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with AMARI, a Thai-Philippine corporation to develop the Freedom Islands. Along with another 250 hectares, PEA and AMARI entered the JVA which would later transfer said lands to AMARI. This caused a stir especially when Sen. Maceda assailed the agreement, claiming that such lands were part of public domain (famously known as the mother of all scams). Peitioner Frank J. Chavez filed case as a taxpayer praying for mandamus, a writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO against the sale of reclaimed lands by PEA to AMARI and from implementing the JVA. Following these events, under President

Estradas admin, PEA and AMARI entered into an Amended JVA and Mr. Chaves claim that the contract is null and void.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the transfer to AMARI lands reclaimed or to be reclaimed as part of the stipulations in the (Amended) JVA between AMARI and PEA violate Sec. 3 Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution HELD: On the issue of Amended JVA as violating the constitution: The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to private corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. PEA may only sell these lands to Philippine citizens, subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and existing laws.

Section 4. Specific Limits of Forest Lands and National Parks 22. LA BUGAL-B'LAAN TRIBAL ASSN. VS. DENR GR127872, Jan 27, 2004, MR GR 127882, Dec. 1, 2004

FACTS: On January 27, 2004, the Court en banc promulgated its Decision granting the Petition and declaring the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO 9640, as well as of the entire FTAA executed between the government and WMCP, mainly on the finding that FTAAs are service contracts prohibited by the 1987 Constitution. The Decision struck down the subject FTAA for being similar to service contracts, which, though permitted under the 1973 Constitution, were subsequently denounced for being antithetical to the principle of sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the prejudice of the Filipino nation. ISSUE: Are foreign-owned corporations in the large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of petroleum, minerals and mineral oils limited to technical or financial assistance only? HELD: Only technical assistance or financial assistance agreements may be entered into, and only for large-scale activities. Full control is not anathematic to day-to-day management by the contractor, provided that the State retains the power to direct overall strategy; and to set aside, reverse or modify plans and actions of the contractor. The idea of full control is similar to that which is exercised by the board of directors of a private corporation: the performance of managerial, operational, financial, marketing and other functions may be delegated to subordinate officers or given to contractual entities, but the board retains full residual control of the business.

Section 5. Ancestral Lands and Domain 23. CRUZ VS. SEC. OF DENR 347 SCRA 128 (2000)

FACTS: Cruz, a noted constitutionalist, assailed the validity of the RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act on the ground that the law amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well as minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The IPRA law basically enumerates the rights of the indigenous peoples over ancestral domains which may include natural resources. Cruz et al contend that, by providing for an all-encompassing definition of ancestral domains and ancestral lands which might even include private lands found within said areas, Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law violate the rights of private landowners. ISSUE: Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional. HELD: The SC deliberated upon the matter. After deliberation they voted and reached a 7-7 vote. They deliberated again and the same result transpired. Since there was no majority vote, Cruzs petition was dismissed and the IPRA law was sustained. Hence, ancestral domains may include public domain somehow against the regalian doctrine.

Section 6. Common Good 24. FACTS:

TELECOM VS. COMELEC 289 SCRA 337 (1998)

Petitioner Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. (TELEBAP) is an organization of lawyers of radio and television broadcasting companies. It was declared to be without legal standing to sue in this case as, among other reasons, it was not able to show that it was to suffer from actual or threatened injury as a result of the subject law. Petitioner GMA Network, on the other hand, had the requisite standing to bring the constitutional challenge. Petitioner operates radio and television broadcast stations in the Philippines affected by the enforcement of Section 92, B.P. No. 881. Petitioners challenge the validity of Section 92, B.P. No. 881 which provides: Comelec Time- The Commission shall procure radio and television time to be known as the Comelec Time which shall be allocated equally and impartially among the candidates within the area of coverage of all radio and television stations. For this purpose, the franchise of all radio broadcasting and television stations are hereby amended so as to provide radio or television time, free of charge, during the period of campaign. Petitioner contends that while Section 90 of the same law requires COMELEC to procure print space in newspapers and magazines with payment, Section 92 provides that air time shall be procured by COMELEC free of charge. Thus it contends that Section 92 singles out radio and television stations to provide free air time. Petitioner claims that it suffered losses running to several million pesos in providing COMELEC Time in connection with the 1992 presidential election and 1995 senatorial election and that it stands to suffer even more should it be required to do so again this year. Petitioners claim that the primary source of revenue of the radio and television stations is the sale of air time to advertisers and to require these stations to provide free air time is to authorize unjust taking of private property. According to petitioners, in 1992 it lost P22,498,560.00 in providing free air time for one hour each day and, in this years elections, it stands to lost P58,980,850.00 in view of COMELECs requirement that it provide at least 30 minutes of prime time daily for such. ISSUE: Whether or not Section 92 of B.P. No. 881 denies radio and television broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws.

HELD: Petitioners argument is without merit. All broadcasting, whether radio or by television stations, is licensed by the government. Airwave frequencies have to be allocated as there are more individuals who want to broadcast that there are frequencies to assign. Radio and television broadcasting companies, which are given franchises, do not own the airwaves and frequencies through which they transmit broadcast signals and images. They are merely given the temporary privilege to use them. Thus, such exercise of the privilege may reasonably be burdened with the performance by the grantee of some form of public service. In granting the privilege to operate broadcast stations and supervising radio and television stations, the state spends considerable public funds in licensing and supervising them.

Section 7. Private Lands 25.

REPUBLIC VS. CA 235 SCRA 567

FACTS:

Respondent Angelina M. Castro and Edwin F. Cardenas were married in a civil ceremony performed by a City Court Judge of Pasig City and was celebrated without the knowledge of Castro's parents. Defendant Cardenas personally attended the procuring of the documents required for the celebration of the marriage, including the procurement of the marriage license. The couple did not immediately live together as husband and wife since the marriage was unknown to Castro's parents. They decided to live together when Castro discovered she was pregnant. The cohabitation lasted only for four months. Thereafter, the couple parted ways. Desiring to follow her daughter in the U.S, Castro wanted to put in order he marital status before leaving for the U.S. She then discovered that there was no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to the celebration of their marriage as certified by the Civil Registrar of Pasig, Metro Manila. Respondent then filed a petition with the RTC of Quezon City seeking for the judicial declaration of nullity of her marriage claiming that no marriage license was ever issued to them prior to the solemnization of their marriage. The trial court denied the petition holding that the certification was inadequate to establish the alleged non-issuance of a marriage license prior to the celebration of the marriage between the parties. It ruled that the "inability of the certifying official to locate the marriage license is not conclusive to show that there was no marriage license issued. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was reversed.

ISSUE:

Is the marriage valid? Is there such a thing as a "secret marriage"? HELD:

At the time of the subject marriage was solemnized on June 24, 1970, the law governing marital relations was the New Civil Code. The law provides that no marriage

license shall be solemnized without a marriage license first issued by the local civil registrar. Being one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage, absence of a license would render the marriage void ab initio. It will be remembered that the subject marriage was a civil ceremony performed by a judge of a city court. The subject marriage is one of those commonly known as a "secret marriage" - a legally non-existent phrase but ordinarily used to refer to a civil marriage celebrated without the knowledge of the relatives and/or friends of either or both of the contracting parties. The records show that the marriage between Castro and Cardenas as initially unknown to the parents of the former.

26.

ZARAGOSA VS. CA GR No. 106401, September 29, 2000

FACTS: Flavio Zaragoza Cano was the registered owner of certain parcels of land. He had four children namely: Gloria, Zacariaz, Florentino and Alberta, all surnamed Zaragoza. On December 9, 1964, he died without a will and was survived by his four children. On December 28, 1981, private respondent Alberta Zaragoza Morgan filed a complaint with the Court of First Instance against petitioner-spouses Florentino and Erlinda for delivery of her inheritance share and for payment of damages. She claims that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and the youngest child of the late Flavio. She further alleged that her father in his lifetime partitioned the properties among his four children. The shares of her brothers and sister were given to them in advance by way of deed of sale, but without valid consideration, while her share was not conveyed by way of deed of sale then. Petitioners denied knowledge of an alleged distribution by way of deeds of sale to them by their father. They denied knowledge of the alleged intention of their father to convey the cited lots to Alberta, much more, the reason for his failure to do so because she became an American citizen. They denied that there was partitioning of the estate of their father during his lifetime. The Regional Trial Court rendered judgment adjudicating Lot 471 in the name of Flavio Zaragoza Cano to Alberta Zaragoza-Morganas appertaining her share in his estate. ISSUE: Whether the partition inter vivos by Flavio Zaragoza Cano of his properties is valid. HELD: Both the trial court and the public respondent found that during the lifetime of Flavio, healready partitioned and distributed hisproperties among his three children,excepting private respondent through deeds of sale. A deed of sale was not executed in favor of private respondent because she had become an American citizen and the Constitution prohibited a sale in her favor.It is basic in the law of succession that apartiti on inter vivos may be done for as long as legitimes are not prejudiced. Unfortunately, collation cannot be done inthis case where the original petition fordelivery of inheritance share only impleaded one of the other compulsory heirs. The petition must therefore be dismissed without prejudice to the institution of a new proceeding where all the indispensable parties are present for the rightful determination of their respective legitimes

And if the legitimes were prejudiced by the respondent

partitioning inter vivos.

Private

in submitting her petition for the delivery of inheritance share, was in effect questioning the validity of the deed of sale in favor of petitioner and consequently, the transfer of certificate of title issued in the latters name. although the trial court, as an orbiter, made a finding of validity of the conveyance of the said lot, since according toit, private respondent did not question thegenuineness of the signature of thedecease d, nevertheless, when the case was elevated to the Court of Appeals, the latter declared the sale to be fictitious because of finding of marked differences in the signature of Flavio in the deed of sale vis--vissig natures found in earlier documents. Couldthis be done? The petition is a collateralattack. A certificate of title shall not besubj ect to collateral attack. It cannot bealtered, modified or cancelled except in adirect proceeding in accordance with law.

27.

RAMIREZ VS. VDA. DE RAMIREZ 111 SCRA 704 (1982)

28.

HALILI VS. CA 287 SCRA 465 (1998)

29.

LEE VS. REPUBLIC 366 SCRA (2001)

FACTS: Appellant notified Appellees that they were in default on their second mortgage and the principal balance was being accelerated. Appellees sent Appellant a certified check for the two overdue payments and the next payment due. Appellant returned the check and filed suit to foreclose. Appellees moved to reinstate the mortgage. The court granted this motion finding that there was substantial equity in the property, the first mortgage was current, and the second mortgage would be paid from the proceeds of the Appellees proposed sale of the property.

ISSUE: Whether the mortgagor had the right to prevent the mortgage holder from exercising his option to accelerate by tendering the arrears due. HELD: No. This right terminates once the mortgage holder has exercised his option to accelerate. The mortgagor upon the occurrence of a default may tender the arrears due and thereby prevent the mortgage holder form exercising his option to accelerate. However, once the mortgage holder has exercised his option to accelerate, the right of the mortgagor to tender only the arrears is terminated.

30.
FACTS:

FRENZEL VS. CATITO GR No. 143958, July 11, 2003

Petitioner Alfred Fritz Frenzel is an Australian citizen of German descent. He worked as a pilot with the New Guinea Airlines. He arrived in the Philippines in 1974, started engaging in business in the country two years thereafter, and married Teresita Santos, a Filipino citizen. In 1981, Alfred and Teresita separated from bed and board without obtaining a divorce. Sometime in February 1983, Alfred arrived in Sydney, Australia for a vacation. He went to King's Cross, a night spot in Sydney, for a massage where he met Ederlina Catito, a Filipina. Unknown to Alfred, she resided for a time in Germany and was married to Klaus Muller, a German national. She left Germany and tried her luck in Sydney, Australia, where she found employment as a masseuse in the King's Cross nightclub. Alfred was so enamored with Ederlina that he persuaded her to stop working at King's Cross, return to the Philippines, and engage in a wholesome business of her own. He also proposed that they meet in Manila, to which she assented. Within two weeks of Ederlina's arrival in Manila, Alfred joined her. Alfred reiterated his proposal for Ederlina to stay in the Philippines and engage in business, even offering to finance her business venture. Alfred told Ederlina that he was married but that he was eager to divorce his wife in Australia. Alfred proposed marriage to Ederlina, but she replied that they should wait a little bit longer. Alfred decided to stay in the Philippines for good and live with Ederlina. On different occasions, Alfred bought several properties in the Philippines for Ederlinas business and for the couples residence using his own funds but since Alfred knew that as an alien he was disqualified from owning lands in the Philippines, he agreed that only Ederlina's name would appear in the deed of sale as the buyer of the property, as well as in the title covering the same. Alfred also sold his properties in Australia and the proceeds of the sale were deposited in Alfred's account with the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Kowloon Branch. When Ederlina opened her own account with HSBC Kowloon, Alfred transferred his with the said bank to this new account. Alfred received a Letter from Klaus Muller. Klaus informed Alfred that he and Ederlina had been married on October 16, 1978 and had a blissful married life until Alfred intruded therein. Klaus stated that he knew of Alfred and Ederlina's amorous relationship and begged Alfred to leave Ederlina alone and to return her to him. When Alfred confronted Ederlina, she admitted that she and Klaus were, indeed, married. But she assured Alfred that she would divorce Klaus. Alfred was appeased. He agreed to continue the amorous relationship and wait for the outcome of Ederlina's petition for divorce.

Ederlina's petition for divorce was denied twice because Klaus opposed the same. Klaus wanted half of all the properties owned by Ederlina in the Philippines before he would agree to a divorce. Worse, Klaus threatened to file a bigamy case against Ederlina. Alfred and Ederlina's relationship started deteriorating. Ederlina had not been able to secure a divorce from Klaus. The latter could charge her for bigamy and could even involve Alfred, who himself was still married. To avoid complications, Alfred decided to live separately from Ederlina and cut off all contacts with her. Ederlina complained that he had ruined her life. Shortly thereafter, Alfred filed a Complaint against Ederlina, with the RTC of Quezon City for recovery of real and personal properties. In his complaint, Alfred alleged that Ederlina, without his knowledge and consent, managed to transfer funds from their joint account in HSBC Hong Kong, to her own account with the same bank. Using the said funds, Ederlina was able to purchase the properties subject of the complaints. Ederlina failed to file her answer and was declared in default. In the meantime, Alfred also filed a complaint against Ederlina with the RTC of Davao City for specific performance, declaration of ownership of real and personal properties, sum of money, and damages. He alleged that during the period of their common-law relationship, he acquired solely through his own efforts and resources real and personal properties in the Philippines valued more or less at P724,000.00 The RTC of Quezon City ruled in favor of Alfred. However, after due proceedings in the RTC of Davao City, the trial court ruled in favor of Erlinda. The trial court ruled that based on documentary evidence, the purchaser of the three parcels of land subject of the complaint was Ederlina. The court further stated that even if Alfred was the buyer of the properties; he had no cause of action against Ederlina for the recovery of the same because as an alien, he was disqualified from acquiring and owning lands in the Philippines. The sale of the three parcels of land to the petitioner was null and void ab initio. Applying the pari delicto doctrine, the petitioner was precluded from recovering the properties from the respondent. The CA rendered a decision affirming in toto the decision of the RTC Hence, the petition at bar.

ISSUE: Can petitioner is entitled to recover the property under Article 1416 of the Civil Code? HELD: NO. Under Article 1416 of the Civil Code: When the agreement is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited, and the prohibition by the law is designed for the protection of the plaintiff, he may, if public policy is thereby enhanced, recover what he has paid or delivered. The provision applies only to those contracts which are merely prohibited, in order to benefit private interests. It does not apply to contracts void ab initio. The sale of three parcels of land in favor of the petitioner who is a foreigner is illegal per se. The transactions are void ab initio because they were entered into in violation of the Constitution. Thus, to allow the petitioner to recover the properties or the money used in the purchase of the parcels of land would be subversive of public policy.