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E.

Hearing
a. Speedy Hearing
b. Rules of procedure applicable
i. Order of trial
c. Burden of proof falls on applicant
Secretary of the DENR vs. Yap
G.R. No. 167707 October 8, 2008
Facts:
On November 10, 1978, then President Marcos issued Proc. No. 1801 declaring
Boracay Island as a tourist zone and marine reserve. President Marcos later approved
the issuance of PTA Circular 3-82 to implement Proclamation No. 1801. Claiming that
Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No 3-82 precluded them from filing an
application for judicial confirmation of imperfect title or survey of land for titling
purposes, respondents-claimants Mayor Yap, Jr., and others filed a petition for
declaratory relief with the RTC of Kalibo, Aklan. They declared that they themselves, or
through their predecessors-in-interest, had been in open, continuous, exclusive, and
notorious possession and occupation in Boracay since June 12, 1945, or earlier since
time immemorial. Respondents-claimants posited that Proclamation No. 1801 and its
implementing Circular did not place Boracay beyond the commerce of man. Since the
Island was classified as a tourist zone, it was susceptible of private ownership.
The Republic, through the OSG, opposed the petition for declaratory relief. The OSG
countered that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public domain. It formed
part of the mass of lands classified as public forest, which was not available for
disposition pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Revised Forestry Code, as amended. On
July 14, 1999, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of respondents-claimants. The
Republic then appealed to the CA. In 2004, the appellate court affirmed in toto the RTC
decision. On May 22, 2006, during the pendency of the petition in the trial court,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1064 classifying Boracay
Island partly reserved forest land (protection purposes) and partly agricultural land
(alienable and disposable).
On August 10, 2006, petitioners-claimants Sacay, and other landowners in Boracay
filed with this Court an original petition for prohibition, mandamus, and nullification of
Proclamation No. 1064. They alleged that the Proclamation infringed on their prior
vested rights over portions of Boracay. On November 21, 2006, this Court ordered the
consolidation of the two petitions.
Issue:

Whether or not the private claimants have a right to secure titles over their occupied
portions in Boracay.
Held:
NO. The petitions were DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals was reversed.
Except for lands already covered by existing titles, Boracay was an unclassified land of
the public domain prior to Proclamation No. 1064. Such unclassified lands are
considered public forest under PD No. 705.
PD No. 705 issued by President Marcos categorized all unclassified lands of the public
domain as public forest. Section 3(a) of PD No. 705 defines a public forest as a mass
of lands of the public domain which has not been the subject of the present system of
classification for the determination of which lands are needed for forest purpose and
which are not. Applying PD No. 705, all unclassified lands, including those in Boracay
Island, are ipso facto considered public forests. PD No. 705, however, respects titles
already existing prior to its effectivity. A positive act declaring land as alienable and
disposable is required.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. LEE


G.R. No. L-64818 May 13, 1991
Facts:
On June 29, 1976, respondent Maria P. Lee filed before the then CFI of Pangasinan,
an application for registration in her favor of a parcel of land consisting of 6,843 square
meters, more or less, located at Mangaldan, Pangasinan. The Director of Lands, in
representation of the Republic of the Philippines, filed an opposition, alleging that
neither the applicant nor her predecessors-in-interest have acquired the land under any
of the Spanish titles or any other recognized mode for the acquisition of title; that
neither she nor her predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive
and notorious possession of the land in concept of owner at least thirty years
immediately preceding the filing of the application; and that the land is a portion of the
public domain belonging to the Republic of the Philippines.
Issue:

Whether the land applied for has been in the possession of her respondents
predecessors-in-interest for more than 20 years and constitute the "well-nigh
incontrovertible" and "conclusive" evidence required in the proceedings
Held:
No. It is incumbent upon private respondent to prove that the alleged twenty year or
more possession of the spouses Urbano Diaz and Bernarda Vinluan which supposedly
formed part of the thirty years period prior to the filing of the application, was open,
continuous, exclusive, notorious and in concept of owners. This burden, private
respondent failed to discharge to the satisfaction of the Court. The bare assertion that
the spouses Urbano Diaz and Bernarda Vinluan had been in possession of the
property for more than twenty years found in private respondent's declaration is hardly
the "well-nigh incontrovertible" evidence required in cases of this nature.
LARAGAN VS CA

G.R. No. L-47644 August 21, 1987

Facts:
On 14 October 1968, the herein petitioners filed an application with the CFI of Isabela
for the registration of their title over a parcel of land with an area of 221,667 sq. m.,
more or less, situated in the Barrio of Sto. Tomas, Ilagan, Isabela. The applicants
alleged that they acquired said parcel of land by way of an absolute deed of sale from
the spouses Anastacio and Lucrecia Sibbaluca and that they have been in possession
thereof for more than 34 years. The Land Registration Commission issued a notice of
initial hearing. On 7 July 1969, the Solicitor General filed a written opposition, on behalf
of the Director of Lands, alleging that the applicants and their predecessor-in-interest
do not have sufficient title to the parcel of land sought to be registered. He prayed that
the land be declared public land. On 2 August 1969, Teodoro Leano, Tomas Leano,
Vicente Leano, Francisco Leano, and Consolacion Leano filed their opposition to the
application claiming that they are the owners, pro indiviso, of the southern part of the
land applied for, with an area of 16 hectares of their deceased parents and which has
been in their possession for more than 30 years.
The trial court rendered judgment confirming the title of the applicants over the parcel
of land applied for and ordering its registration in the names of the applicants. The
oppositors appealed to the CA. On 9 November 1977, the appellate court affirmed the

judgment of the trial court, but excluded the southern portion of the land applied for, the
appellate court declaring such excluded portion to be public land, and part of the public
domain, in view of the failure of the applicants and oppositors to prove registrable title
over the same. The petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision but
their motion was denied.

Issue:

Whether the appellate court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in declaring the
parcel of land in question as public land.
.
Held:

The argument is untenable. While it may be true that the Director of Lands did not
appeal from the decision of the trial court, his failure to so appeal did not make the
decision of the trial court final and executory, in view of the appeal interposed by the
other oppositors, Teodoro Leano, Tomas Leano, Francisco Leano, and Consolacion
Leano, who also seek the confirmation of their imperfect title over the land in question.
Neither did such failure of the Director of Lands to appeal foreclose the appellate court
from declaring the land in question to be public land, since the oppositors and the
herein petitioners are both seeking the registration of their title pursuant to the
provisions of Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Law where the presumption always is
that the land pertains to the state, and the occupants and possessors claim an interest
in the same, by virtue of their imperfect title or continuous, open, exclusive and
notorious possession and occupation under a bona fide claim of ownership for the
required number of years.
Besides, it is an established rule that an applicant for registration is not necessarily
entitled to have the land registered in his name simply because no one appears to
oppose his title and to oppose the registration of the land. He must show, even in the
absence of opposition, to the satisfaction of the court, that he is the absolute owner, in
fee simple. Courts are not justified in registering property under the Torrens system,
simply because there is no opposition offered. Courts may, even in the absence of any

opposition, deny registration of the land under the Torrens system, if the facts
presented do not show that the petitioner is the owner, in fee simple, of the land which
he seeks to register.
The petition is denied for lack of merit.

d. Quantum of Evidence required Competent, clear and persuasive


REPUBLIC vs SAYO
Facts:
The respondent spouses filed an original application for registration of a tract of land
having an area of 33,950 hectares. Oppositions were filed by the Government, through
the Director of Lands and the Director of Forestry, and some others. The case dragged
on for about twenty (20) years. The remaining area of 5,500 hectares was, under the
compromise agreement, adjudicated to and acknowledged as owned by the Heirs of
Casiano Sandoval, but out of this area, 1,500 hectares were assigned by the Casiano
Heirs to their counsel, Jose C. Reyes, in payment of his attorney's fees. In a decision
rendered on 1981, the respondent Judge approved the compromise agreement and
confirmed the title and ownership of the parties in accordance with its terms.
The Solicitor General contends that no evidence whatever was adduced by the parties
in support of their petitions for registration; neither the Director of Lands nor the
Director of Forest Development had legal authority to enter into the compromise
agreement; as counsel of the Republic, he should have been but was not given notice
of the compromise agreement or otherwise accorded an opportunity to take part
therein; that he was not even served with notice of the decision approving the
compromise; it was the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Quirino Province that drew his
attention to the "patently erroneous decision" and requested him to take immediate
remedial measures to bring about its annulment.

The respondents contended that the Solicitor General's arguments are premised on
the proposition that the disputed land is public land, but it is not.
Issue:
Whether there was no evidence adduced by the parties in support of their petitions for
registration

Held:
Yes. There was no competent evidence adduced by the parties in support of their
petitions for registration.
The assent of the Directors of Lands and Forest Development to the compromise
agreement did not and could not supply the absence of evidence of title required of the
private respondents
It thus appears that the decision of the Registration Court a quo is based solely on the
compromise agreement of the parties. But that compromise agreement included
private persons who had not adduced any competent evidence of their ownership over
the land subject of the registration proceeding. Portions of the land in controversy were
assigned to persons or entities who had presented nothing whatever to prove their
ownership of any part of the land. What was done was to consider the compromise
agreement as proof of title of the parties taking part therein, a totally unacceptable
proposition. The result has been the adjudication of lands of no little extension to
persons who had not submitted any substantiation at all of their pretensions to
ownership, founded on nothing but the agreement among themselves that they had
rights and interests over the land.
In the proceeding at bar, it appears that the principal document relied upon and
presented by the applicants for registration, to prove the private character of the large
tract of land subject of their application, was a photocopy of a certification of the
National Library. But, as this Court has already had occasion to rule, that Spanish
document cannot be considered a title to property, it not being one of the grants made
during the Spanish regime, and obviously not constituting primary evidence of
ownership. It is an inefficacious document on which to base any finding of the private
character of the land in question.

It thus appears that the compromise agreement and the judgment approving it must
be, as they are hereby, declared null and void, and set aside. Considerations of
fairness however indicate the remand of the case to the Registration Court so that the
private parties may be afforded an opportunity to establish by competent evidence their
respective claims to the property.
The decision of the respondent Judge complained of is annulled and set aside.
DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs COURT OF APPEALS
Facts:
Teodoro Abistado filed a petition for original registration of his title over 648 square
meters of land under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529. The land registration court in
its decision dated June 13, 1989 dismissed the petition for want of jurisdiction, in
compliance with the mandatory provision requiring publication of the notice of initial
hearing in a newspaper of general circulation. The case was elevated to respondent
Court of Appeals which, set aside the decision of the trial court and ordered the
registration of the title in the name of Teodoro Abistado. The Court of Appeals ruled that
it was merely procedural and that the failure to cause such publication did not deprive
the trial court of its authority to grant the application.
Issue:
Whether the Director of Lands is correct that newspaper publication of the notice of
initial hearing in an original land registration case is mandatory.
Held:
YES. Petition was granted. The pertinent part of Section 23 of Presidential Decree No.
1529 requires publication of the notice of initial hearing. It should be noted further that
land registration is a proceeding in rem. Being in rem, such proceeding requires
constructive seizure of the land as against all persons, including the state, who have
rights to or interests in the property. An in rem proceeding is validated essentially
through publication. This being so, the process must strictly be complied with.The
Supreme Court has no authority to dispense with such mandatory requirement. The
law is unambiguous and its rationale clear. Time and again, this Court has declared
that where the law speaks in clear and categorical language, there is no room for
interpretation, vacillation or equivocation; there is room only for application. There is no
alternative.
REPUBLIC vs. DE PORKAN

June 18, 1987, 151 SCRA 88


Facts:
Minda de Porkan and Lolita Macatindog acquired Lots Nos. 1099 and 1546 from their
predecessors-interests, who in turn acquired said lots though a grant by the
government by virtue of their proven, open, exclusive and undisputed possession for
more than 30years. An issue over said lots arose when a certain Viola Azurin obtained
from the then Philippine Fisheries Commission an Ordinary Fishpond Permit covering
portions of Lots Nos. 1099 and 1546. Azurin filed with the Bureau of Lands a complaint
for correction, amendment or cancellation of the Homestead Patent of De Porkan over
Lot no. 1546 and the Free Patent of Macatindog over Lot No. 1099 alleging among
others that the patentees secured their patents and titles through fraud,
misrepresentation and illegal machinations. The Solicitor General sided with Azurin;
when the case was brought to the Court of First Instance, the SG stated that the
disputed portions of land were actually claimed by Azurin and that such lands could not
be disposed by the Director of Lands under the Public Land Act. Hence, the patents
and titles issued to de Porkan and Macatindog were void insofar as the portion
occupied and covered by the fishpond permit of Azurin. After hearing however, the CFI
dismissed the complaints and upheld the validity of the titles/patents of de Porkan &
Macatindog over the lands in dispute. The SG in the present petition avers among
others that the lots in dispute could not be the subject of disposition under the
Homestead and Free Patent provisions of the Public Act since they are marshy and
swampy, certified as such as more suitable for fishpond development, disposable only
thru lease under the Public Land Act.
Issue:
Whether possession and cultivation of a land for more than 30 years will entitle the
possessor thereof of a government grant and a certificate of title.
Held:
Yes. As early as 1953, the respondents had already acquired by operation of law not
only a right to a grant over Lot No. 1099, but a grant of the Government over the same
alienable land by virtue of their proven, open, exclusive and undisputed possession for
more than 30 years, since the Spanish colonial period.
The possession of a public land identified as Lot No. 1099 dates back to the time of the
Spanish colonial period. Such possessions of the said public land has attained the
character and duration prescribed by law as the equivalent of an express grant from
the Government. The mandate of the law itself provides that possessors shall be
conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a government

grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title. By legal fiction, the land ceases to be
public and thus becomes a private land.
HEIRS OF AMMUNATEGUI V. DIRECTOR OF LANDS
126 SCRA 69
Facts:
There are two petitions in this case. The Court of Appeals declared the disputed
property as forest land. These two petitions have their genesis in an application for
confirmation of imperfect title and its registration filed with the Court of First Instance of
Capiz. The parcel of land sought to be registered is known as Lot No. 885 of the
Cadastral Survey of Pilar, Capiz, and has an area of 645,703 square meters.
Roque Borre, petitioner in G.R. No, L-30035, and Melquiades Borre, filed the
application for registration. In due time, the heirs of Jose Amunategui, petitioners in
G.R. No. L-27873 filed an opposition to the application of Roque and Melquiades
Borre. At the same time, they prayed that the title to a portion of Lot No. 885 of Pilar
Cadastre containing 527,747 square meters be confirmed and registered in the names
of said Heirs of Jose Amunategui. During the progress of the trial, applicant-petitioner
Roque Borre sold whatever rights and interests he may have on Lot No. 885 to Angel
Alpasan. The latter also filed an opposition, claiming that he is entitled to have said lot
registered in his name. After trial, the Court of First Instance of Capiz adjudicated
117,956 square meters to Emeterio Bereber and the rest of the land containing
527,747 square meters was adjudicated in the proportion of 5/6 share to Angel Alpasan
and 1/6 share to Melquiades Borre. Only the Heirs of Jose Amunategui and the
Director of Forestry filed their respective appeals with the Court of Appeals.
In
its
decision,
the
Court
of
Appeals
held
". . . the conclusion so far must have to be that as to the private litigants that have been
shown to have a better right over Lot 885 are, as to the northeastern portion of a little
less than 117,956 square meters, it was Emeterio Bereber and as to the rest of
527,747 square meters, it was the heirs of Jose Amunategui; but the last question that
must have to be considered is whether after all, the title that these two (2) private
litigants have shown did not amount to a registerable one in view of the opposition and
evidence
of
the
Director
of
Forestry
". . . turning back the clock thirty (30) years from 1955 when the application was filed
which would place it at 1925, the fact must have to be accepted that during that period,
the land was a classified forest land so much so that timber licenses had to be issued
to certain licensee before 1926 and after that; that even Jose Amunategui himself took
the trouble to ask for a license to cut timber within the area; and this can only mean
that the Bureau of Forestry had stood and maintained its ground that it was a forest
land as indeed the testimonial evidence referred to above persuasively indicates, and
the only time when the property was converted into a fishpond was sometime after
1950; or a bare five (5) years before the filing of the application; but only after there

had been a previous warning by the District Forester that that could not be done
because it was classified as a public forest; so that having these in mind and
remembering that even under Republic Act 1942 which came into effect in 1957, two
(2) years after this case had already been filed in the lower Court, in order for applicant
to be able to demonstrate a registerable title he must have shown "open, continuous,
exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public
domain under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership for at least thirty (30) years,
preceding
the
filing
of
the
application;
the foregoing details cannot but justify the conclusion that not one of the applicants or
oppositors had shown that during the required period of thirty (30) years prescribed by
Republic Act 1942 in order for him to have shown a registerable title for the entire
period of thirty (30) years before filing of the application, he had been in
"open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural
lands
of
the
public
domain,
it is evident that the Bureau of Forestry had insisted on its claim all throughout that
period of thirty (30) years and even before and applicants and their predecessors had
made implicit recognition of that; the result must be to deny all these applications; this
Court stating that it had felt impelled notwithstanding, just the same to resolve the
conflicting positions of the private litigants among themselves as to who of them had
demonstrated a better right to possess because this Court foresees that this litigation
will go all the way to the Supreme Court and it is always better that the findings be as
complete as possible to enable the Highest Court to pass final judgment;
"IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision must have to be as it is hereby reversed; the
application as well as all the oppositions with the exception of that of the Director of
Forestry which is hereby sustained are dismissed; no more pronouncement as to
costs."cralaw virtua1aw library. A petition for review on certiorari was filed by the Heirs
of Jose Amunategui contending that the disputed lot had been in the possession of
private persons for over thirty years and therefore in accordance with Republic Act No.
1942, said lot could still be the subject of registration and confirmation of title in the
name of a private person in accordance with Act No. 496 known as the Land
Registration Act. On the other hand, another petition for review on certiorari was filed
by Roque Borre and Encarnacion Delfin, contending that the trial court committed
grave abuse of discretion in dismissing their complaint against the Heirs of Jose
Amunategui. The Borre complaint was for the annulment of the deed of absolute sale
of Lot No. 885 executed by them in favor of the Heirs of Amunategui. The complaint
was dismissed on the basis of the Court of Appeals decision that the disputed lot is
part of the public domain. The petitioners also question the jurisdiction of the Court of
Appeals in passing upon the relative rights of the parties over the disputed lot when its
final decision after all is to declare said lot a part of the public domain classified as
forest
land.

The Heirs of Jose Amunategui maintain that Lot No. 885 cannot be classified as forest
land because it is not thickly forested but is a "mangrove swamp." Although conceding
that a "mangrove swamp" is included in the classification of forest land in accordance
with Section 1820 of the Revised Administrative Code, the petitioners argue that no big
trees classified in Section 1821 of said Code as first, second and third groups are
found on the land in question. Furthermore, they contend that Lot 885, even if it is a
mangrove swamp, is still subject to land registration proceedings because the property
had been in actual possession of private persons for many years, and therefore, said
land was already "private land" better adapted and more valuable for agricultural than
for forest purposes and not required by the public interests to be kept under forest
classification.
Issue:
Whether the decision of the Court of Appeals should be sustained
Ruling:
Yes, it should be sustained.
A forested area classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such
classification simply because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its forest cover.
Parcels of land classified as forest land may actually be covered with grass or planted
to crops by kaingin cultivators or other farmers. "Forest lands" do not have to be on
mountains or in out of the way places. Swampy areas covered by mangrove trees, nipa
palms, and other trees growing in brackish or sea water may also be classified as
forest land. The classification is descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not
have to be descriptive of what the land actually looks like. Unless and until the land
classified as "forest" is released in an official proclamation to that effect so that it may
form part of the disposable agricultural lands of the public domain, the rules on
confirmation
of
imperfect
title
do
not
apply.
The fact that no trees enumerated in Section 1821 of the Revised Administrative Code
are found in Lot No. 885 does not divest such land of its being classified as forest land,
much less as land of the public domain. The appellate court found that in 1912, the
land must have been a virgin forest as stated by Emeterio Berebers witness
Deogracias Gavacao, and that as late as 1926, it must have been a thickly forested
area as testified by Jaime Bertolde. The opposition of the Director of Forestry was
strengthened by the appellate courts finding that timber licenses had to be issued to
certain licensees and even Jose Amunategui himself took the trouble to ask for a
license to cut timber within the area. It was only sometime in 1950 that the property
was converted into fishpond but only after a previous warning from the District Forester
that the same could not be done because it was classified as "public forest."
In confirmation of imperfect title cases, the applicant shoulders the burden of proving

that he meets the requirements of Section 48, Commonwealth Act No. 141, as
amended by Republic Act No. 1942.
REPUBLIC V. CA
154 SCRA 476
Facts:
In 1968, Martina Carantes for and in behalf of the heirs of Salming Piraso filed in the
CFI of Baguio an application for the registration of the land, which the latter claimed to
be in their possession and occupation openly, continuously, exclusively, notoriously
since 1915. The Director of lands, through the Solicitor General and the Director of
Forestry, opposed the application on the ground that the said portion land is within the
Central Cordillera Forest Reserve as shown in the reports and testimonies of the
district foresters. The CFI granted the application, which was also affirmed by the CA.
The governments failure to show that the disputed land is more valuable for forest
purposes is one of the reasons for the CAs ruling. It also noted the failure to prove that
trees are thriving in the land.
Issue:
Whether the land in dispute is alienable and disposable.
Ruling:
No. The Court ruled that the petitioner clearly proved thru the reports and testimonies
of the district foresters that the land applied for registration is a part of a forestland. As
to the claim of the applicants that they have been in possession of the land since 1915,
the court cited its decision in Director of Forestry v. Munoz (23 SCRA 1184),where it
stated that possession of forest lands, no matter how long, cannot ripen into private
ownership.
In its decision, the Court also addressed the CAs ruling by citing its decision in Heirs of
Amunatequi v. Director of Forestry (126 SCRA 69, 75), where it ruled, A forested
area classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such classification
simply because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its forest cover.
Forestlands do not have to be on mountains or in out of the way places. The
classification is descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not have to be
descriptive of what the land actually looks like.
The Court again reiterated that there must first be a formal Government declaration
that the forestland has been re-classified into alienable and disposable agricultural

land, before private persons in accordance with the various modes of acquiring public
agricultural lands can acquire it.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. REMMAN ENTERPRISES
G.R. NO. 199310
Facts:
Respondent Remman Ent. Inc. applied for a judicial confirmation of title with the RTC
of Taguig. Said application is comprised of two parcels of land also located in Taguig.
On Dec. 31, 2001, RTC found that the application for registration was sufficient in form
and substance and scheduled an initial hearing which was published in the Official
Gazette, a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, and the notice was
posted in conspicuous places in the City Hall of Taguig.
May 30,2002, only Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) appeared as oppositor
to the said application. LLDA avers that the subject lands are not alienable and
disposable. Likewise, the Republic of the Philippines also opposed said registration
since they claim that the respondents failed to prove that they and their predecessorsin-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the
lands since June 12, 1945 or earlier.
Each party presented their respective witnesses. Respondents also presented
documents supporting their claim over the subject parcel of lands, it also included
certifications by the DENR that the said lands are alienable and disposable. On the
other hand, LLDA pointed out that under RA 4850 it states that lands surrounding the
Laguna de Bay, located at and below the reglamentary elevation of 12.50 meters are
public lands which form part of the bed of the said lake. The engineer for LLDA testified
that upon aerial survey of the subject parcel of lands, it was found out that the
elevations of the lots were less thatn 12.50 m, which the engineer for the respondents
rebutted.
The RTC ruled in favor of the respondents on May 2007. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision of the lower court.
Issue:
Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC Decision which granted the
application for registration filed by the respondent.
Ruling:

Under the Regalian doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to the State, which
is the source of any asserted right to any ownership of land. In the case at bar, the
Supreme Court held that the respondents failed to present incontrovertible evidence to
establish that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable
Furthermore, sect. 14(1) of P.D. No. 1529 refers to the judicial confirmation of imperfect
to public land acquired under Sect. 48(b) of C.A. No. 141, or the Public Land Act, as
amended by P.D. No. 1073. Under Sect. 14(1) of P.D. No. 1529, applicants for
registration of title must sufficiently establish: first, that the subject land forms part of
the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain; second, that the applicant and
his predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession and occupation of the same; and third, that it is under a bona fide claim of
ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
The respondents failed to satify the above mentioned requisites. They have presented
certification from a proper government agency but failed to obtain an approval from the
DENR Secretary that the land of public domain is released as alienable and
disposable. The original approved document signed by the DENR Secretary must also
be presented, and should be attested by the legal custodian of the official records. In
addition, the second requisite was not also satisfied, as the respondents only started
paying taxes for the said properties in 2002 which is contrary to their claim that their
predecessors-in-interest were already in possession of said lots in 1943.
Having failed to prove that the subject properties form part of the alienable and
disposable lands of the public domain and that it and its predecessors-in-interest have
been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the
same since June 12, 1945, or earlier, the respondent's application for registration was
denied.
DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS REYES
68 SCRA 177
FACTS:
Alipio Alinsurin, later substituted by Paraaque Investment and Development
Corporation, sought to register under Act 496, a parcel of land indisputably included
within the area reserved for military purposes under Presidential Proclamation No.237,
dated December 19, 1955. Applicant claimed that his predecessors acquired the land
by virtue of a possessory information title issued during the Spanish Regime on March
5, 1895. The application was opposed by the Government. The lower court adjudicated
(a) 2/3 portion of the land in favor of the corporation, subject to the rights of one Ariosto
Santos per a manifestation submitted in court, and (b) 1/3 portion to Roman Tamayo.
Within the extended period, the Government filed the corresponding record on appeal,
copy of which was duly served upon the corporation and Tamayo. Pending approval of
the Record on Appeal, and on motion of the corporation and of Tamayo, the lower court
directed the issuance of a registration decree of the entire parcel applied for, 1/3 pro-

indiviso in favor of Tamayo, and 2/3 pro-indiviso in favour of the corporation, and
declared that as to Tamayo's share, the court's decision had become final, but as to the
share of the corporation, the registration shall be subject to the final outcome of the
appeal. Hence, the Government instituted this Special Civil Action for certiorari and
mandamus and the Supreme Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining
the lower court from issuing a writ of possession, the corporation and Tamayo from
exercising acts of ownership over the property, and the register of deeds from
accepting for registration documents on the land until the government shall have filed a
notice of lis pendens. During the pendency of the appeal in the registration case, a
certain Honofre A.Andrada and others filed with the Court of First Instance a complaint
against the corporation and Tamayo for reconveyance of a portion of the land in
question. The trial court assumed jurisdiction over, and decided, the case in favor of
Andrada. Pursuant thereto, but in violation of the Supreme Court's injunction (in L27594), the corporation executed a subdivision plan of the parcel subject of the land
registration, and the trial court ordered the Register of Deeds to cancel the original
certificate of title and to issue new titles to Andrada, et al., "free from all liens and
encumbrances.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the execution pending appeal is applicable?
HELD:
The court held that:
1. NOTICE OF APPEAL; FAILURE TO SERVE APPELLEE WITH NOTICE OFAPPEAL
CANNOT IMPAIR RIGHT OF APPEAL, IF APPELLEE WAS SERVED WITH COPYOF
RECORD ON APPEAL. The failure of appellants to serve a copy of their notice of
appeal to the counsel for one of the several appellees is not fatal to the appeal,where
admittedly, he was served with a copy of the original, as well as the amended record
on appeal in both of which the notice of appeal is embodied. Such failure cannot impair
the right of appeal, especially if the substantial rights of the adverse party is not
impaired and the appeal taken was from the entire decision which is not severable.
2. LAND REGISTRATION; EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL NOT APPLICABLE
INLAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS. Execution pending appeal is not
applicable in land registration proceedings. It is fraught with dangerous consequences.
Innocent purchasers may be misled into purchasing real properties upon reliance on a
judgment which may be reversed on appeal.
3.LAND REGISTRATION; TORRENS TITLE ISSUED BASED ON JUDGMENT THAT
ISNOT FINAL IS A NULLITY. A Torrens Title issued on the basis of a judgment that
is not final, the judgment being on appeal, is a nullity, as it is violative of the explicit
provisions of the Land Registration Act, which requires that a decree shall be issued
only after the decision adjudicating the title becomes final and executory, and it is on
the basis of said decree that the register of deeds concerned issues the corresponding
certificate of title.

4. ISSUANCE OF TITLE DESPITE TIMELY APPEAL IS ERRONEOUS. The lower


court acted without jurisdiction or exceeded its jurisdiction in ordering the issuance of a
decree of registration despite the appeal timely taken from the entire decision a quo.

REPUBLIC V. SPS. MAXIMO


135 SCRA 156
Facts:
The Court of First Instance at Gumaca, Quezon on March 21, 1961 rendered a
decision, ordering the registration of said land, Lot 1, allegedly located
at Barrio Cambuga (Anonang), Mulanay, in the names of the spouses Prudencio
Maxino and Tarciana Morales, less 200 hectares which should be registered in the
names of the Heirs of Lorenzo Consolacion. The basis of the claim of the Maxinos is a
Spanish title, a gratuitous composition title or adjustment title issued on July 30, 1888
to Prudencio Tesalona pursuant to the Royal Decree of December 26, 1884 for 29
hectares of pasture land. The decision became final and executory. A decree and an
original certificate of title were issued. More than eight years later, the Republic filed
with court an amended petition to annul the decision, decree and title on the ground
that they are void because the land in question was still a part of the unclassified public
forest. Moreover, the possessory information title relied upon by the Maxino spouses
covered only 29 hectares of land and not 885 hectares. The petition was verified by the
Acting Director of Forestry. After hearing the judge denied the petition and ruled in
favor of the spouses.
Issue:
Whether the land in question can be registered under the Torrens System
Ruling:
No, the said land cannot be registered. It is axiomatic that public forestal land is not
registerable. The spouses have not shown that a title for 29 hectares could be a valid
title for 970 hectares. The boundaries and areas stated in Tesalona's tax declarations
reveal that a different land was covered thereby. The title states that the 29-hectare
land was located in Barrio Yamay. Tesalonas tax declarations stated that the land was
located in Barrio Cambuga, now Anonang.
The court said that possession of public forestal lands, however long, cannot ripen into
private ownership.
MALABANAN VS REPUBLIC

G.R. NO. 179987


Facts:
On 20 February 1998, Mario Malabanan filed an application for land registration
covering a parcel of land in Silang Cavite. Malabanan claimed that he had purchased
the property from Eduardo Velazco, and that he and his predecessors-in-interest had
been in open, notorious, and continuous adverse and peaceful possession of the land
for more than thirty years. The application was raffled to the RTC Cavite-Tagaytay City.
The OSG duly designated the Jose Velazco, Jr. to appear on behalf of the State. Apart
from presenting documentary evidence, Malabanan himself and his witness, Aristedes
Velazco, who testified that the property was originally belonged to a twenty-two hectare
property owned by his great-grandfather, Lino Velazco.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioners can register the subject land under Section 14(1) or Section
14(2) of the Property Registration Decree or both
Ruling:
No. There is no substantive evidence to establish that Malabanan or petitioners as his
predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the property since 12 June 1945
or earlier. The earliest that petitioners can date back their possession, according to
their own evidencethe Tax Declarations they presented in particularis to the year
1948. Thus, they cannot avail themselves of registration under Section 14(1) of the
Property Registration Decree. Neither can petitioners properly invoke Section 14(2) as
basis for registration. While the subject property was declared as alienable or
disposable in 1982, there is no competent evidence that is no longer intended for
public use service or for the development of the national evidence, conformably with
Article 422 of the Civil Code. The classification of the subject property as alienable and
disposable land of the public domain does not change its status as property of the
public dominion under Article 420(2) of the Civil Code. Thus, it is insusceptible to
acquisition by prescription.
MUNICIPALITY OF ANTIPOLO V. ZAPANTA
133 SCRA 820
Facts:
The Municipality of Antipolo, for more than 50 years now, has considered the disputed
property, described below, to be public land subject to Antipolos use and permission to

use within the prerogatives and purposes of a municipal corporation. There is


indication to the effect that it had been the site of the public market as far back as
1908, or at the latest, since 1920 up to today. Gradually, additional public structures
were built thereon, like the Puericulture and Family Planning Center, the Integrated
National Police Building, the Office of the Municipal Treasurer, and the public abattoir.
Those public structures occupy almost the entire area of the land.
On August 8, 1977, a single application for the registration of two distinct parcels of
land was filed by two distinct applicants before the then CFI Rizal, Branch XV, Makati
(the Registration Court). One of the two applicants was Conrado Eniceo. He had
applied for registration under the Torrens system of a parcel of land containing 258 sq.
m. The other applicant was Heirs of Joaquin Avendao, and the land they were
applying for registration was a parcel containing 9,826 sq. m. (the disputed property)
surveyed in the name of the Municipality of Antipolo. Both parcels were situated in the
Municipality of Antipolo. The applications were approved by the Registration Court on
26 February 1980. Antipolo took steps to interpose an appeal but because it failed to
amend the Record on Appeal, its appeal was disallowed.
On May 22, 1981, Antipolo filed a complaint (Civil Case 41353) at the CFI Rizal,
Branch XIII, Pasig against named Heirs of Joaquin Avendao, and their assignees
praying for nullification of the judgment rendered by the Registration Court. The
defendants, in their Answer, pleaded a special defense of res judicata. After a
preliminary hearing on the mentioned special defense, the case was dismissed.
Antipolo perfected an appeal to the then Court of Appeals. A notice to file Brief was
issued by the Appellate Court, which Antipolo claimed it had not received. Upon motion
of the Avendao heirs to dismiss on the ground the Antipolo had not filed its Brief within
the reglementary period, the appeal was dismissed on August 23, 1983 despite the fact
that before the dismissal, Antipolo had submitted its Appellants Brief. Antipolo filed a
motion for reconsideration.
Issue:
Whether the subject parcel of land was a property of public domain.
Ruling:
The claim of the Avendao heirs that they merely tolerated occupancy by Antipolo
which had borrowed the disputed property from them, since they had been in
possession, since as far back as 1916, erroneously presupposes ownership thereof
since that time. They forget that all lands are presumed to be public lands until the
contrary is established. The fact that the disputed property may have been declared
for taxation purposes in their names or of their predecessors-in-interest as early as
1918 does not necessarily prove ownership. They are merely indicia of a claim of

ownership. Antipolo had also declared the disputed property as its own in Tax
Declarations Nos. 909, 993 and 454.
Since the Land Registration Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the application for
registration of public property of Antipolo, its Decision adjudicating the disputed
property as of private ownership is null and void. It never attained finality, and can be
attacked at any time. It was not a bar to the action brought by Antipolo for its
annulment by reason of res judicata.
It follows that the titles issued in favor of the Avendao heirs must also be held to be
null and void.
REYES VS SIERRA
G.R. No. L-28658
Facts:
Vicente Reyes filed on January 3, 1961 an application for registration of his title to a
parcel of land situated in Antipolo, Rizal covered by Plan Psu-189753 of the Bureau of
Lands which he acquired by inheritance from his father. An opposition was filed by the
Director of Lands, Francisco Sierra and Emilio Sierra together with Alejandra, Felimon,
Aurelio, Apolonio, Constancio, Cirilo, all surnamed Sierra and Antonia Santos. The trial
court declares Vicente Reyes the true and rightful owner of the land and orders the
registration of his title, provided that the title to be issued shall be subject to a public
easement of right of-way over a 2.00 meter-wide strip of the land along Lucay Street
for the latter's widening and improvement.
Oppositors appealed contending that the land applied for was originally owned by
Basilia Beltran's parents, and upon their death in 1894, Basilia inherited the property.
On April 19, 1926, Basilia Beltran, a widow, borrowed from applicant's father, Vicente
Reyes, Sr. the amount of P100.00 and secured the loan with the piece of land in
question. Applicant, in seeking the registration of the land, relied on his belief that the
property belongs to his father who bought the same from Basilia Beltran. Oppositors
contended that the words "isinangla," "na ipananagutan sa inutang na halagang isang
daang piso," "Kahit isangla o ipagbili," etc., manifest that the document should be
treated as a mortgage, antichresis, or pactum commission and not as an absolute sale
or pacto de retro sale.
Issue:
Whether the land was mortgaged or a subject to conditional sale

Ruling:
The Suprem Court held that the applicant's predecessor-in-interest is a mere
mortgagee, and ownership of the thing mortgaged is retained by Basilia Beltran, the
mortgagor. The mortgagee, however, may recover the loan, although the mortgage
document evidencing the loan was non-registrable being a purely private instrument.
Failure of mortgagor to redeem the property does not automatically vest ownership of
the property to the mortgagee, which would grant the latter the right to appropriate the
thing mortgaged or dispose of it. The act of applicant in registering the property in his
own name upon mortgagor's failure to redeem the property would amount to a pactum
commissorium which is against good morals and public policy.
Meanwhile, oppositors-appellants are directed to pay the applicant- appellee within
ninety (90) days from the finality of decision, the debt in the amount of P100.00 plus
interest at the rate of six per cent (6%) per annum from April 19, 1926 until paid.
HEIRS OF MARINA C. REGALADO AND HEIRS OF ARNULFO C. REGALADO,
REPRESENTED BY AMADEO C. REGALADO vs. REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 168155

February 15, 2007

Facts:
Marina Regalado filed on July 14, 1987 an application for registration of a parcel of
land situated in Sitio Balubad, Barrio Nangka, Marikina, Metro Manila. The application
was published on November 14, 1988 in the Official Gazette and in a newspaper of
general circulation.
Marina subsequently filed on January 18, 1991 a motion to withdraw the application
without prejudice to the refiling of the same, citing as grounds the discrepancies on the
question of the survey and accession number corresponding to the survey plan of the
property and for another reason that the inevitable absence of applicant from the
country to arrange and assist in the intestate estate of her late widowed sister whose
children [were] all minors in London.
The motion to withdraw the application was granted.
On March 17, 1992, Marina filed a petition to reinstate the earlier application which was
withdrawn. The court denied the petition on a technical ground. Subsequently, Marina
filed another application for land registration before the Pasig RTC.
Marina later filed on May 28, 1992 an "Amended Application for Registration alleging,
inter alia, that she had "by herself or through her predecessor-in-interest have been in
open, continuous and notorious possession and occupation of said land which is

alienable and disposable of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership
since 1945 or earlier"; and that she acquired the land "by virtue of a Deed of
Assignment dated January 3, 1977 executed by the registered claimant Tomas Antero
as Assignor in her favor.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) filed an opposition on March 15, 1994, it
claiming to be the owner of the property which it referred to as the "Balubad Nangka
Project" and which had been declared as an Area for Priority Development under
Proclamation No. 1967 dated May 14, 1980. While the case is pending, Marina died as
a result, her eldest son Arnulfo Regalado pursue the land registration case in their
behalf. Arnulfo Regalado executed a Waiver of the "area covered by the National
Housing Authority without prejudice to the other land subject of the petition. In the
same Waiver, he ceded, transferred, and waived 30,239 square meters of the property
to the NHA.
Issue:
Whether Marina had been in open, continuous, and adverse possession in the concept
of an owner under a bona fide claim of ownership to validly register said land?
Held:
Marina's heirs as applicants in this land registration case "bear the burden of
overcoming the presumption that the land sought to be registered forms part of the
public domain." This they failed to discharge.
In addition, other than Marina's uncorroborated testimony given in a previous attempt
to have the property registered, there is not proof to sustain the trial court's finding that
Marina, her uncle, aunt, and other relatives have been residing in the property for more
than 30 years and that she herself had been residing there for 15 years when a Tomas
Antero executed the deed of assignment in her favor.
In fine, the trial court's finding that Marina had been in open, continuous, and adverse
possession in the concept of owner under a bona fide claim of ownership fails.
Daclag v Macahilig
G.R. No. 159578 July 28, 2008
FACTS:
On March 18, 1982, Maxima, a daughter of Candido and Gregoria (the owners of
land) entered into a Deed of Extra-judicial Partition with the heirs of her deceased
brothers, Mario and Eusebio Macahilig. Maxima executed a Statement of Conformity in
which she confirmed the execution of the Deed of Extra-judicial Partition and
conformed to the manner of partition and adjudication made therein. Maxima sold
Parcel One to spouses Adelino and Rogelia Daclag (petitioners) as evidenced by a

Deed of Sale, an OCT was issued in the name of Daclag by virtue of her free patent
application.Respondents filed with the RTC for reconveyance. The RTC rendered its
Decision in favor of the respondents. The CA dismissed the appeal and affirmed the
RTC decision.

ISSUE:
Whether the reconveyance of the subject land by the respondents is proper.

RULING:
Yes, it is proper.The essence of an action for reconveyance is that the free patent and
certificate of title are respected as incontrovertible. What is sought is the transfer of the
property, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another person's
name, to its rightful owner or to one with a better right. In an action for reconveyance,
the issue involved is one of ownership; and for this purpose, evidence of title may be
introduced. Respondents had sufficiently established that Parcel One, covered by OCT
of which respondents' northern one half portion formed a part, was not owned by
Maxima at the time she sold the land to petitioners. An action for reconveyance
prescribes in 10 years, the point of reference being the date of registration of the deed
or the date of issuance of the certificate of title over the property. Records show that
while the land was registered in the name of petitioner Rogelia in 1984, the instant
complaint for reconveyance was filed by the respondents in 1991, and was thus still
within the ten-year prescriptive period.

PEDRO R. SANTIAGO vs. SUBIC BAY


G. R. No. 156888
November 20, 2006

METROPOLITAN

AUTHORITY

Facts:
Plaintiffs claim that co-petitioner Victoria Rodriguez is the sole heir and administrator of
the estate of Hermogenes Rodriguez. Hermogenes Rodriguez was the owner of
parcels of land registered in his name under a certificate of title denominated as Titulo
de Propriedad de Terrenos of 1891 Royal Decree. Said parcels of land were leased by
Rodriguez to Santiago and Mateo for a period of 50 years. By virtue of the contract
Santiago is occupying the land. The petitioners further alleged that defendant having

no authority to possess the land, defendant is still claiming possessory rights over said
property. And in fact defendant is using the two parcels of land for commercial and
other purposes. To comply with her contractual commitments, Rodriguez now desires
to recover possession of the property from the defendant.
Lately, Santiago is informed by the agents of SBMA that he should vacate the property
because said defendant would need the same for its own use. SBMA further alleged in
its counter statement of facts that, Liwanag Santiago (wife of Pedro Santiago) only
availed of the housing units as a privilege for her being an employee of SBMA.
However, since the contract between Liwanag and SBMA concluded and has not been
renewed, Liwanag Santiago ceased to be an employee of respondent SBMA; and that
as a consequence thereof, as mandated by the SBMA Housing Policy, she and her
family were asked to vacate and return possession of the subject housing unit.
Issue:
Whether or not Spanish Titles are still admissible as evidence of ownership of lands?
Ruling:
It has long been settled that by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 892 which took effect
on 16 February 1976, the system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law was
abolished and all holders of Spanish titles or grants should cause their lands covered
thereby to be registered under the Land Registration Act (Act No. 496) within six
months from the date of effectivity of the said Decree or until 16 August 1976. If not,
non-compliance therewith will result in a reclassification of the real property.
The fact that petitioners were in actual possession of the Subject Property when they
filed the Complaint with the trial court on 29 April 1996 does not exclude them from the
application of P.D. No. 892, and their Spanish title remain inadmissible as evidence of
their ownership of the Subject Property, whether in a land registration proceeding or in
an action to remove a cloud on or to quiet title.
In the case at bar, we have no alternative but to uphold the ruling that Spanish titles
can no longer be countenanced as indubitable evidence of land ownership. And,
without legal or equitable title to the subject property, Victoria M. Rodriguez, Armando
G. Mateo and petitioner Pedro R. Santiago lacked the personality to claim entitlement
to possession of the same. Title to real property refers to that upon which ownership is
based. It is the evidence of the right of the owner or the extent of his interest, by which
means he can maintain control and, as a rule, assert right to exclusive possession and
enjoyment of the property.
REPUBLIC VS CA
73 SCRA 146

Facts:
On June 22, 1957, RA 1899 was approved granting authority to all municipalities and
chartered cities to undertake and carry out at their own expense the reclamation by
dredging, filling, or other means, of any foreshore lands bordering them, and to
establish, provide, construct, maintain and repair proper and adequate docking and
harbor facilities as such municipalities and chartered cities may determine in
consultation with the Secretary of Finance and the Secretary of Public Works and
Communications.
Pursuant to the said law, Ordinance No. 121 was passed by the city of Pasay for the
reclamation of foreshore lands within their jurisdiction and entered into an agreement
with Republic Real Estate Corporation for the said project.
Republic questioned the agreement. It contended, among others, that the agreement
between RREC and the City of Pasay was void for the object of the contract is outside
the commerce of man, it being a foreshore land.
Pasay City and RREC countered that the object in question is within the commerce of
man because RA 1899 gives a broader meaning on the term foreshore land than that
in the definition provided by the dictionary.
RTC rendered judgment in favor of Pasay City and RREC, and the decision was
affirmed by the CA with modifications.
Issue:
Whether or not the term foreshore land includes the submerged area and whether or
not foreshore land and the reclaimed area is within the commerce of man.

Ruling:
The Court ruled that it is erroneous and unsustainable to uphold the opinion of the
respondent court that the term foreshore land includes the submerged areas. To
repeat, the term "foreshore lands" refers to:
The strip of land that lies between the high and low water marks and that is alternately
wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. A strip of land margining a body of water
(as a lake or stream); the part of a seashore between the low-water line usually at the
seaward margin of a low-tide terrace and the upper limit of wave wash at high tide
usually marked by a beach scarp or berm. The duty of the court is to interpret the
enabling Act, RA 1899. In so doing, we cannot broaden its meaning; much less widen
the coverage thereof. If the intention of Congress were to include submerged areas, it

should have provided expressly. That Congress did not so provide could only signify
the exclusion of submerged areas from the term foreshore lands. It bears stressing that
the subject matter of Pasay City Ordinance No. 121, as amended by Ordinance No.
158, and the Agreement under attack, have been found to be outside the intendment
and scope of RA 1899, and therefore ultra vires and null and void.

REPUBLIC VS SAYO
191 SCRA 71
FACTS:
The spouses, Casiano Sandoval and Luz Marquez, filed an original application
for registration of a tract of land. The land was formerly part of the Municipality of
Santiago, Province of Isabela, but had been transferred to Nueva Vizcaya in virtue of
Republic Act No.236. The Government including the heirs of Liberato Bayaua opposed
such registration. An order of general default was thereafter entered against the whole
world except the oppositors. The case dragged on for about twenty (20) years until a
compromise agreement was entered into by and among all the parties. Under the
compromise agreement, the Heirs of Casiano Sandoval (as applicants) renounced their
claims and ceded portions of land in favor of Bureau of Lands, Bureau of Forest
Development, Heirs of Liberato Bayaua, and Philippine Cacao & Farm Products, Inc.
Under the compromise agreement, 5,500 hectares was adjudicated to and
acknowledged as owned by the Heirs of Casiano Sandoval, but out of this area, 1,500
hectares were assigned by the Casiano Heirs to their counsel, Jose C. Reyes, in
payment of his attorney's fees. The parties also mutually waived and renounced all
their prior claims to and over Lot No. 7454 of the Santiago Cadastre. On March 5,
1981, the respondent Judge approved the compromise agreement and confirmed the
title and ownership of the parties in accordance with its terms. The Solicitor General, in
behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, has taken the present recourse in a bid to
have that decision of March 5, 1981 annulled as being patently void and rendered in
excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.
ISSUE:
Whether or not compromise agreement is a proper remedy in confirming the title
of the private respondents over a tract of land?
HELD:
The assent of the Directors of Lands and Forest Development to the compromise
agreement did not and could not supply the absence of evidence of title required of the
private respondent. It was error to disregard the Solicitor General in the execution of
the compromise agreement and its submission to the Court for approval. It is, after all,
the Solicitor General, who is the principal counsel of the Government; this is the reason
for our holding that "Court orders and decisions sent to the fiscal, acting as agent of the

Solicitor General in land registration cases, are not binding until they are actually
received by the Solicitor General."
It thus appears that the compromise agreement and the judgment approving it
must be, as they are hereby, declared null and void, and set aside. Considerations of
fairness however indicate the remand of the case to the Registration Court so that the
private parties may be afforded an opportunity to establish by competent evidence their
respective claims to the property.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent Judge complained of is
ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Land Registration Case No. N-109 subject of the petition
is REMANDED to the court of origin which shall conduct further appropriate
proceedings therein, receiving the evidence of the parties and thereafter rendering
judgment as such evidence and the law may warrant.