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UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS

COLLEGE OF LAW
Gov. Pack Road, Baguio City

NATURAL RESOURCES and ENVIRONMENTAL LAW:


FORESTRY CASE DIGESTS

SUBMITTED TO:
Atty. CLEO S. ANDRADA

SUBMITTED BY:
ACAS, MARK
CALSE, CHIEM
CORPUZ, LINA
LAPNAWAN, MELFORD
2nd yr., Special Section B
November 29, 2014

GR 152160
VIRGILIO BON, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
Jan 13, 2004
FACTS:
Petitioner Virgilio Bon and Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr. were charged for violating Section 68 of PD 705,
as amended[,] together with Rosalio Bon under an Information, the accusatory portion of which reads as
follows:
That sometime in the month of January or February, 1990, at Barangay Basud, Municipality of
Sorsogon, Province of Sorsogon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, conspiring, confederating
and mutually helping one another, cut, gather and manufacture into lumber four (4) narra trees, one (1)
cuyao-yao tree, and one (1) amugis tree, with an approximate volume of 4,315 bd. ft. and valued at
approximately P25,000.00, without the knowledge and consent of the owner Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza
and without having first obtained from proper authorities the necessary permit or license and/or legal
supporting documents, to the damage and prejudice of the Government and the owner in the
aforementioned amount of P25,000.00.
Upon arraignment on May 16, 1991, petitioner Virgilio Bon, Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr. and Rosalio Bon
entered a plea of Not Guilty to the crime charged. Thereafter, the trial of the case proceeded. The
prosecution presented Nestor Labayan[e], [Private Complainant] Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza, Barangay
Tanod Julian Lascano, Alexander Mendones [and] Manuel Dangalan as its witnesses. The defense, on
the other hand, presented accused Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr., Rosalio Bon and Virgilio Bon.
The evidence for the prosecution was synthesized by the trial court, as follows:
Prosecutions evidence was supplied by Julian Lascano, Oscar Narvaez, Alexander Mendones, Manuel
Dangalan, Nestor Labayane and Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza which shows that Teresita DangalanMendoza owns a titled agricultural land under Title No. 6666 located in Basud, Sorsogon, Sorsogon,
administered by Virgilio Bon. Receiving information that trees inside the land were being stolen, cut [and]
sawed into lumber by her administrator and/or workers, she sent her brother Manuel Dangalan to
investigate the report. On February 7, 1990, Manuel Dangalan sought the help of Barangay Captain
Nestor Labayane, who in turn wrote a letter to one of the barangay tanods, Julian Lascano, to assist and
investigate Teresita Dangalan-Mendozas complaint of Illegal Cutting of Trees. On February 12, 1990,
together with Julian Lascano, Manuel Dangalan, Ricardo Valladolid, Natividad Legaspi and Virgilio Bon
repaired to the land of Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza. During their investigation, the group discovered six
(6) stumps of trees:four (4) Narra trees, one cuyao-yao tree and one am[u]gis tree. Pictures were taken of
the stumps. On the land, Virgilio Bon admitted ordering the cutting and sawing of the trees into lumber.
Oscar Narvaez testified that sometime in January, 1990, he sawed the trees into six flitches upon
instruction of Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr.; Alexander Mendones, CENRO Officer, upon complaint of Teresita
Dangalan-Mendoza for Illegal Cutting of Trees repaired to the land on July 17, 1990, and found four
stumps of trees. Scaling the four stumps, it was his estimate that the lumber produced was 11.97 cubic
meters o[r] 4,315 board feet, with a value of P25,376.00.
In their defense, all the three accused took the witness stand and denied the accusation. Their
testimonies were summarized by the trial court, as follows:
All the accused testified in their defense. Rosalio Bon, the son of Virgilio Bon denied the charge.
He said that he was in Manila from December 1989 and returned to Sorsogon on March 21, 1990. He
mentioned that the purpose of filing this case was to eject his father as tenant of the land.

Virgilio Bon testified that he is the tenant of the land of Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza and was
instituted as such] by Teresitas father. He developed the land, planting coconuts, abaca and fruit trees.
Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza wanted to eject him as tenant. He and the private complainant [have] an
agrarian case. Since Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza refused to receive the landowners share of produce,
he deposited the money in the Rural Bank of Sorsogon in the name of Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza. He
denied cutting and gathering the trees in the land and pointed to Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza as the one
who ordered the trees [to be cut] and sawed by Oscar Narvaez. Teresita Dangalan-Mendoza upon being
confronted about the cutting of trees, ignored his complaint.
Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr., son-in-law of Virgilio Bon, denied that he hired Oscar Narvaez to saw the
lumber. Oscar Narvaez indicted him of the crime because the former had a grudge against him. In a
drinking spree, he happened to box Oscar Narvaez, after [which he] heard [the latter threaten him with]
revenge.
On August 23, 1993, the trial court rendered its decision convicting [Petitioner] Virgilio Bon and
Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr. for the crime charged. Co-accused Rosalio Bon was acquitted. Aggrieved by the
said decision, petitioner,Virgilio Bon and Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr. interposed an appeal to the CA.
In their appeal to the CA, petitioner and Jeniebre questioned the prosecution witnesses credibility
and the sufficiency of the evidence proving their guilt.
ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony allegedly made to potential prosecution witnesses who are not
police operatives or media representatives is admissible in evidence against the author.
RULING:
The time-tested rule is that the factual findings and conclusions of the trial court on the credibility of
witnesses deserve to be respected because of its unique advantage of having observed their demeanour
as they testified. Equally established is the rule that factual findings of the Court of Appeals are conclusive
on the parties and carry even more weight when such findings affirm those of the trial court, as in this
case. This Court refrains from disturbing the CAs findings, if no glaring errors bordering on a gross
misapprehension of facts can be gleaned from them. We have no reason to depart from this rule. Hence,
we affirm the lower courts assessment of the credibility of the prosecution witnesses.
We now come to the sufficiency of the prosecutions evidence. Section 68 of the Forestry Code, as
amended,[30] provides:
SEC. 68.
Cutting, Gathering and/or Collecting Timber, or Other Forest Products Without
License. Any person who shall cut, gather, collect, remove timber or other forest products from any
forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land, without any authority,
or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest
laws and regulations, shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the
Revised Penal Code: Provided, That in the case of partnerships, associations, or corporations, the officers
who ordered the cutting, gathering, collection or possession shall be liable, and if such officers are aliens,
they shall, in addition to the penalty, be deported without further proceedings on the part of the
Commission on Immigration and Deportation.
The Court shall further order the confiscation in favor of the government of the timber or any forest
products cut, gathered, collected, removed, or possessed, as well as the machinery, equipment,
implements and tools illegally used in the area where the timber or forest products are found.

Punishable under the above provision are the following acts: (1) cutting, gathering, collecting or
removing timber or other forest products from the places therein mentioned without any authority; and (b)
possessing timber or other forest products without the legal documents. Petitioner was charged with the
first offense. It was thus necessary for the prosecution to prove the alleged illegal cutting, gathering or
manufacture of lumber from the trees.
It is undisputed that no direct evidence was presented. This kind of evidence, however, is not the
only matrix from which the trial court may draw its conclusions and findings of guilt.Conviction may be
based on circumstantial evidence, as long as the circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain that
leads to a fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
To sustain a conviction based on circumstantial evidence, it is necessary that the following
elements concur:
1. There is more than one circumstance.
2. The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven.
3. The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

A.M. No. RTJ-03-1786


Chu vs. Judge Tamin
August 28, 2003
FACTS:
Chu filed administrative complaint for gross ignorance of the law, serious misconduct, and grave
abuse of discretion against Judge Camilo E. Tamin of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 23, Molave,
Zamboanga del Sur.
Judge Tamin issued search warrant against Chu for possession of forest products of dubious
origin in violation of PD 705 as applied for by Communty Environment and Natural Resources Officer
Michael dela Cruz (CENRO dela Cruz). On the strength of the warrant, 576 pieces of pagtapat lumber
(mangrove specie) was seized from Chu. Chu assailed the validity of the warrant for violating Sec. 5, Rule
126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure because the certified copies he obtained from the court
did not contain any transcript of the judges examination of CENRO dela Cruz or his witness Cuaresma.
Judge Tamins contention is that the certified copies of the records obtained by complainant did not
include the transcript of his examination because the clerical staff in his office who prepared the certified
copies inadvertently failed to do so.
Office of the Court Administrator (OCA)s findings: Judge Tamin is liable for gross ignorance of the
law. Respondent judge apparently believes that searching questions need not be in writing.
ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Tamin properly issued the search warrant against Chu.
RULING:
The Supreme Court held that Judge Tamin is grossly ignorant of the law and ordered to pay
P5,000.00 fine.
Art. III, Sec. 2 of Constitution and Rule 126, Sec. 5 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
implements the proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court, in Pendon v. Court
of Appeals,reiterated the requirements of Section 2 on the issuance of search warrants, which judges
must strictly observe, as follows:
Under the above provision, the issuance of a search warrant is justified only upon a finding of
probable cause. x x x In determining the existence of probable cause, it is required that: (1) the
judge x x x must examine the x x x witnesses personally; (2) the examination must be under oath;
and (3) the examination must be reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers.

GR 101083
JUAN ANTONIO, ANNA ROSARIO and JOSE ALFONSO, all surnamed OPOSA, minors, and
represented by their parents vs. THE HONORABLE FULGENCIO S. FACTORAN, JR., in his capacity
as the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and THE HONORABLE
ERIBERTO U. ROSARIO, Presiding Judge of the RTC, Makati, Branch 66,
July 30, 1993
FACTS:
This case is unique in that it is a class suit brought by 44 children, through their parents, claiming
that they bring the case in the name of their generation as well as those generations yet unborn. Aiming
to stop deforestation, it was filed against the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, seeking to have him cancel all the timber license agreements (TLAs) in the country and to
cease and desist from accepting and approving more timber license agreements. The children invoked
their right to a balanced and healthful ecology and to protection by the State in its capacity as parens
patriae.
The petitioners claimed that the DENR Secretary's refusal to cancel the TLAs and to stop issuing
them was "contrary to the highest law of humankind-- the natural law and violative of plaintiffs' right to
self-preservation and perpetuation." The case was dismissed in the lower court, invoking the law on nonimpairment of contracts, so it was brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether or not children have the legal standing to file the case.
RULING:
YES. The Supreme Court in granting the petition ruled that the children had the legal standing to
file the case based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility. Their right to a healthy environment
carried with it an obligation to preserve that environment for the succeeding generations. In this, the Court
recognized legal standing to sue on behalf of future generations. Also, the Court said, the law on nonimpairment of contracts must give way to the exercise of the police power of the state in the interest of
public welfare.

G.R. No. L-46772


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
OFQUEZON (BRANCH VII), GODOFREDO ARROZAL AND LUIS FLORES, respondents .
February 13, 1992
FACTS:
This petition seeks the annulment of the order of the CFI of Quezon dismissing the information filed
therein. The private respondents were charged with the crime of qualified theft of logs,
defined and punished under Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, otherwise known as the Revised
Forestry Code of the Philippines, in an information which read:O n M a r c h 2 3 , 19 7 7 , t h e n a m ed
a c c u s e d f i l e d a m o t i o n t o q u a s h t he i n f o r m a t i o n o n t w o ( 2 ) grounds, to wit: (1) that the
facts charged do not constitute an offense; and, (2) that the information does not conform
substantially to the prescribed form. The Trial court dismissed the information on the grounds invoked and
the reconsideration sought was denied. Hence this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the information charged an offense.
RULING:
YES. The Court agree with the petitioner that the information substantially alleged all the
elements of the crime of qualified theft of logs as described in Section 68 of P.D. 705. While
it was a d m i t t e d t h a t t h e i n f o r m a t i o n d i d n o t p r e c i s e l y a l l e g e t h a t t h e t a k i n g o f t he
l o g s i n q u e s t i o n w a s "without the consent of the state," nevertheless, said information
expressly stated that the accused"illegally cut, gather, take, steal and carry away therefrom,
without the consent of said owner and without any authority under a license agreement,
lease, license or permit, sixty (60) logs of different species since only the state can grant the
lease, license agreement or permit for utilization of forest resources, including timber, then
the allegation in the information that the transportation of the logs was without any
authority under a license agreement, lease, license or permit, is tantamount to alleging that
the taking of the logs was without the consent of the state.

G.R. No. 120365


PEOPLE V. QUE
December 17, 1996
FACTS: Accused-appellant Wilson Que appeals from his conviction for violation of Section 68 of PD 705.
The facts show that two weeks before March 8, 1994, a member of the Provincial Task Force on Illegal
Logging, received an information that a ten-wheeler truck loaded with illegally cut lumber will pass through
Ilocos Norte. Acting on said information, members of the Provincial Task Force went on patrol several
times within the vicinity of General Segundo Avenue in Laoag City and eventually saw the truck. There
were three persons on board the truck: driver Cacao, Wilson Que, who was the owner of said truck, and
an unnamed person. The police then checked the cargo and found that it contained coconut slabs, but
inserted therein where sewn lumber, as admitted by Que himself. When required to show a permit, Que
failed to do so and thus was charged for violation of Sec. 68 of PD 705.
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner violated Section 68 of P.D. 705 because E.O. 277 that amended Section
68, which penalizes the possession of timber or other forest products without the proper legal documents,
did not indicate the particular documents necessary to make the possession legal, and considering that
other laws and regulations did not exist at the time of the enactment of said E.O. YES.
RULING:
Appellant interprets the phrase existing forest laws and regulations to refer to those laws and
regulations which were already in effect at the time of the enactment of E. O. 277. The suggested
interpretation is strained and would render the law inutile. Statutory construction should not kill but give
life to the law. The phrase should be construed to refer to laws and regulations existing at the time of
possession of timber or other forest products. DENR Administrative Order No. 59 series of 1993 specifies
the documents required for the transport of timber and other forest products. Thus Ques possession of
the subject lumber without any documentation clearly constitutes an offense under Section 68 of P.D. 705.
Also, the court rejected Ques argument that the law only penalizes possession of illegal forest
products and that the possessor cannot be held liable if he proves that the cutting, gathering, collecting or
removal of such forest products is legal. There are 2 distinct and separate offenses punished under
Section 68 of P.D. 705, to wit:
(1) Cutting, gathering, collecting and removing timber or other forest products from any forest
land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any
authority; and
(2) Possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents required under
existing forest laws and regulations.
In the first offense, one can raise as a defense the legality of the acts of cutting, gathering,
collecting or removing timber or other forest products by presenting the authorization issued by the DENR.
In the second offense, however, it is immaterial whether the cutting, gathering, collecting and removal of
the forest products is legal or not. Mere possession of forest products without the proper documents
consummates the crime. Whether or not the lumber comes from a legal source is immaterial because
E.O. 277 considers the mere possession of timber or other forest products without the proper legal
documents as malum prohibitum.

G.R. No.152989.
ROLDAN, JR. vs. HON. MADRONA, et al.
September 4, 2002
FACTS: Madrona is an owner of a parcel of land that is about 60,000 square meters. In 2009, Madrona
applied for a Private land transfer permit for him to be able to create a road and a poultry farm in his
property. He was then informed that he can proceed with the cutting of the trees even while his application
was still pending. After 3 weeks, representatives of CENRO raided his property without a search warrant
and the woods were confiscated and were turned over to a baranggay kagawad. After a few days,
CENRO returned with a search warrant and confiscated the logs. Petitioner filed a case against CENRO,
however, he was then prosecuted for finding a probable cause for violation of PD 705 Section68.
ISSUES:
A. Whether or not the owner of a private property can be prosecuted for violating Sec 68 of PD705 for
cutting trees within his own property
B) Whether or not the logs confiscated by the DENR should be returned to the petitioner.
RULING:
A)Yes, the owner of a private property can be prosecuted for violating Sec 68 of PD 705 for
cutting trees within his own property. Sec 68 of PD 705 has stated that
Any person who shall cut, gather, collect, remove timber or other forest products from any forest land,or
timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land, without any authority, or possess timber or other forest
products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations, shall be punished with the
penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code . The law did not distinguish whether or not the
person who commits the punishable acts under the aforementioned law is the owner of the property, for what is material in
determining the culpability of a person is whether or not the person or entity involved or charged with its violation possesses
the required permit,license or authorization from DENR at the time he or it cuts, gathers or collects timber or other
forest products

GR 115634
FELIPE CALUB and RICARDO VALENCIA, DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENT and NATURAL
RESOURCES (DENR), CATBALOGAN, SAMAR, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MANUELA T.
BABALCON, and CONSTANCIO ABUGANDA, respondents.
Apr 27, 2000
FACTS:
The Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Team of the Community Environment and Natural
Resources Office (CENRO) of the DENR apprehended 2 motor vehicles wherein Constancio Abuganda
and Pio Gabon, the drivers of the vehicles, failed to present proper documents and/or licenses. Thus, the
apprehending team seized and impounded the vehicles and its load of lumber. Petitioner, Felipe Calub,
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, then filed a criminal complaint against Abuganda,
for violation of Section 68 of PD 705 as amended by Executive Order 277, (Revised Forestry Code).
Lower court ruled in favor of accused, and even granted recovery of possession to them via replevin.
Upon petitioners appeal, the Court of Appeals denied said petition, stating that the mere seizure of
a motor vehicle pursuant to the authority granted by Section 68 of P.D. No. 705 as amended by E.O. No.
277 does not automatically place said conveyance in custodia legis. According to the appellate court, such
authority of the Department Head of the DENR or his duly authorized representative to order the
confiscation and disposition of illegally obtained forest products and the conveyance used for that purpose
is not absolute and unqualified. It is subject to pertinent laws, regulations, or policies on that matter, added
the appellate court.
The DENR Administrative Order No. 59, series of 1990, is one such regulation, the appellate court
said. Additionally, respondent CA noted that the petitioners failed to observe the procedure outlined in
DENR Administrative Order No. 59, series of 1990. They were unable to submit a report of the seizure to
the DENR Secretary, to give a written notice to the owner of the vehicle, and to render a report of their
findings and recommendations to the Secretary. Moreover, petitioners failure to comply with the procedure
laid down by DENR Administrative Order No. 59, series of 1990, was confirmed by the admission of
petitioners counsel that no confiscation order has been issued prior to the seizure of the vehicle and the
filing of the replevin suit. Therefore, in failing to follow such procedure, according to the appellate court,
the subject vehicles could not be considered in custodia legis.
ISSUE: Whether or not said motor vehicles are in custodial legis pursuant to Section 68 of PD 705.

RULING:
YES. Upon apprehension of the illegally-cut timber while being transported without pertinent
documents that could evidence title to or right to possession of said timber, a warrantless seizure of the
involved vehicles and their load was allowed under Section 78 and 89 of the Revised Forestry Code. Note
further that petitioners failure to observe the procedure outlined in DENR Administrative Order No. 59,
series of 1990 was justifiably explained. Petitioners did not submit a report of the seizure to the Secretary
nor give a written notice to the owner of the vehicle because on the 3rd day following the seizure, Gabon
and Abuganda, drivers of the seized vehicles, forcibly took the impounded vehicles from the custody of the
DENR. Then again, when one of the motor vehicles was apprehended and impounded for the second
time, the petitioners, again were not able to report the seizure to the DENR Secretary nor give a written

notice to the owner of the vehicle because private respondents immediately went to court and applied for
a writ of replevin. The seizure of the vehicles and their load was done upon their apprehension for a
violation of the Revised Forestry Code. It would be absurd to require a confiscation order or notice and
hearing before said seizure could be effected under the circumstances.
Hence, since there was a violation of the Revised Forestry Code and the seizure was in
accordance with law, in our view the subject vehicles were validly deemed in custodia legis. It could not be
subject to an action for replevin. For it is property lawfully taken by virtue of legal process and considered
in the custody of the law, and not otherwise.
GR 108619
EPIFANIO LALICAN vs. HON. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 52, Puerto
Princesa City and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
FACTS:
The petitioners were apprehended on the Sitio Cadiz, Barangay Bacungan Puerto Princesa for
violating Section 68 of PD No. 705 or known as The Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines. There was
1, 800 board feet of lumber loaded in two (2) passenger jeeps in different sizes and dimension that were
confiscated. On August 9, 1991, all the accused were pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.
Petitioner Lalican filed a motion to quash the information filed against them contenting that, Section
68 of PD 705 does not include lumber because the wording of the law categorically specify timber to be
collected as to constitute the violation on the said law. He further contends that, the law is vague because
it does specify the authority or legal documents required by existing forest law and regulation.
The prosecution opposed the motion to quash on the ground that it is not the courts to determine
the wisdom of the law or to set the policy as rest by the legislature. He further asserts that the word timber
should include lumber which is a product or derivative of a timber. The position of the prosecution could
result to the circumvention of the law, for one could stealthily cut a timber and process it to become a
lumber. On September 24, 1991, the lower court construed the interpretation of the law against the State
thus the motion was granted.
The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration on the order underscoring the fact that the
accused presented Private Land Timber Permit No. 030140 dated February 10, 1991 which had expired;
that while the certificate of origin indicated Brgy. Sta. Cruz, the product actually came from Sitio Cadiz,
and that the two jeeps bearing the product were not equipped with certificates of transport agreement.
Added to this was the fact that, if the product were indeed lumber, then the accused could have presented
a certificate of lumber origin, lumber sale invoices in case of sale, tally sheets and delivery receipts for
transportation from one point to another. The motion was approved thus this case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the term lumber is included in the concept of timber in order to constitute an
offense as stated in Sec. 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705 (The Forestry Reform Code of the
Philippines).
RULING:
NO, The Court ruled that, the word lumber includes timber. The primary reason why the law was
enacted is to secure and maximize the use of the natural resources; the non-inclusion of lumber on the
law may give rise for the circumvention of law. Section 68 of the said law

punishes these acts namely (a) the cutting, gathering, collection, or removal of timber or other forest
products from the places therein mentioned without any authority; or (b) possession of timber or other
forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations. Be that
as it may, the legislative intent to include possession of lumber in Sec. 68 is clearly gleaned from the
expressed reasons for enacting the law which, under Executive Order No. 277. To exclude possession of
"lumber" from the acts penalized in Sec. 68 would certainly emasculate the law itself. A law should not be
so construed as to allow the doing of an act which is prohibited by law, nor so interpreted as to afford an
opportunity to defeat compliance with its terms, create an inconsistency, or contravene the plain words of
the law. After all, the phrase "forest products" is broad enough to encompass lumbers which, to reiterate,
is manufactured timber. Hence, to mention lumber in Sec. 68 would merely result in tautology.
G.R. No. 131270

March 17, 2000

PERFECTO PALLADA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


FACTS:
Sometime in the latter part of 1992, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office
in Bukidnon received reports that illegally cut lumber was being delivered to the warehouse of the Valencia
Golden Harvest Corporation in Valencia, Bukidnon. The company is engaged in rice milling and trading.
DENR officers, assisted by elements of the Philippine National Police, raided the company's warehouse in
Poblacion, Valencia on the strength of a warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, Malaybalay,
Bukidnon and found a large stockpile of lumber of varying sizes cut by a chain saw. As proof that the
company had acquired the lumber by purchase, petitioner produced two receipts issued by R.L. Rivero
Lumberyard of Maramag, Bukidnon, dated March 6 and 17, 1992. The DENR officers did not, however,
give credit to the receipt considering that R. L. Rivero Lumberyard's permit to operate had long been
suspended. What is more, the pieces of lumber were cut by chain saw and thus could not have come from
a licensed sawmill operator.
The team made an inventory of the seized lumber which, all in all, constituted 29,299.25 board feet, worth
P488,334.45 in total. The following day, September 29, 1992, the first batch of lumber, consisting of 162
pieces measuring 1,954.66 board feet, was taken and impounded at the FORE stockyard in Sumpong;
Malaybalay, Bukidnon. The seizure order 4 was served on petitioner Perfecto Pallada as general manager
of the company, but he refused to acknowledge it.
On October 1, 1992, raiding team returned for the remaining lumber. Company president Francisco
Tankiko and a certain Isaias Valdehueza, who represented himself to be a lawyer, asked for a suspension
of the operations to enable them to seek a lifting of the warrant. The motion was filed with the court which
issued the warrant but, on October 5, 1992, the motion was denied. 5 Accordingly, the remaining lumber
was confiscated. By October 9, 1992, all the lumber in the warehouse had been seized. As before,
however, petitioner Pallada refused to sign for the seizure orders issued by the DENR officers.
Petitioner contends that the term "timber" includes lumber and, therefore, the Certificates of Timber Origin
and their attachments should have been considered in establishing the legality of the company's
possession of the lumber. In support of his contention, petitioner invokes our ruling in Mustang
Lumber, Inc. v. Court of Appeals. It is likewise argued that the irregularities in the documentary exhibits
should not be taken against petitioner because the documents came from lumber dealers. In addition, it is

contended that the CTOs and Auxiliary Receipts, being public documents, should be accorded the
presumption of regularity in their execution.
ISSUES:
I. Whether or not the certificate of timber origin was not the proper document to justify petitioner's
possession of the squared timber or flitches.
II. Whether or not the presence of erasures in the certificate of timber origin render them valueless
as evidence.
RULING:
First. The trial court acted correctly in not giving credence to the Certificates of Timber Origin presented
by petitioner since the lumber held by the company should be covered by Certificates of Lumber Origin as
stated in BFD Circular No. 10-83 where it expressly states that the issuance of a separate certificate of
origin for lumber is required in order to "pinpoint accountability and responsibility for shipment of lumber . .
. and to have uniformity in documenting the origin thereof."
The contention that the term timber includes lumber has no, merit. The statement in Mustang Lumber
that lumber is merely processed timber and, therefore, the word "timber" embraces lumber, was made in
answer to the lower court's ruling in that case that the phrase "posses timber or other forest products" in
68 of P.D. No. 705 means that only those who possess timber and forest products without the documents
required by law are criminally liable, while those who possess lumber are not liable. Indeed, different
certificates of origin are required for timber, lumber and non-timber forest products.
Second. Even assuming that a Certificate of Timber Origin could serve as a substitute for Certificate of
Lumber Origin, the trial court and the Court of Appeals were justified in convicting petitioner, considering
the numerous irregularities and defects found in the documents presented by the latter.
These irregularities and discrepancies make the documents in which they are found not only questionable
but invalid and, thus, justified the trial court in giving no credence to the same.
It is argued that the irregularities in the documentary exhibits should not be taken against
petitioner. This contention is untenable. What render these documents without legal effect are the patent
irregularities found on their faces. That petitioner may not have any responsibility for such irregularity is
immaterial. In any case, as the corporate officer in charge of the purchase of the lumber, petitioner should
have noticed such obvious irregularities, and he should have taken steps to have them corrected. He
cannot now feign ignorance and assert that, as far as he is concerned, the documents are regular and
complete.
The presence of such glaring irregularities negates the presumption that the CTOs were regularly
executed by the DENR officials concerned. The presumption invoked by petitioner applies only when the
public accomplished, documents are, on their faces, regular and properly accomplished.

GR 136142
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ALFONSO DATOR et al. , Accused- Appelant
October 24, 2000
FACTS:
The crime of violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, otherwise known as the
Revised Forestry Code. The accused while transporting pieces of lumber bound to Maasin Souther Leyte,
they were apprehended by the police officer and seized pieces of lumber. As a result SPO1 Bacala issued
a seizure receipt covering the fifty-one (51) pieces of confiscated Dita and Antipolo lumber and one (1) unit
of Isuzu cargo truck with Plate No. HAF 628. The confiscated pieces of lumber and the cargo truck were
turned over to SPO3 Daniel Lasala, PNP Property Custodian of Maasin, Southern Leyte who, in turn,
officially transferred custody of the same to the CENRO, Maasin, Southern Leyte. The accused Telan
alleged that the pieces of lumber were cut from the track of land belonging to his mother in San Jose,
Maasin, Southern Leyte which he intended to use in the renovation of his house in Barangay Abgao of the
same municipality. He further contends that he secured verbal permission to Boy Leonor an officer-in
-charge of the DENR.
The lower courts found out that the accused is guilty in violation of PD 705 sentencing the accused
to suffer the indivisible penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA, with the accessory penalties provided by law,
which is two (2) degrees higher than PRISION MAYOR maximum, the authorized penalty similar to
Qualified Theft, and to pay the costs. Thus, this case was elevated to the court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the penalty imposed to Telan the accused is correct in violation of PD 705.
RULING:
NO. In the case at bench, the confiscated fifty-one (51) pieces of assorted Dita and Antipolo lumber
were classified by the CENRO officials as soft and therefore not premium quality lumber. It may be noted
that the said pieces of lumber were cut by the appellant, a mere janitor in a public hospital, from the land
owned by his mother, not for commercial purposes but to be utilized in the renovation of his house. It does
not appear that appellant Telen had been convicted nor was he an accused in any other pending criminal
case involving violation of any of the provisions of the Revised Forestry Code (P.D. No. 705, as amended).
In view of the attendant circumstances of this case, and in the interest of justice, the basis for the penalty
to be imposed on the appellant should be the minimum amount under Article 309 paragraph (6) of the
Revised Penal Code which carries the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods for
simple theft.
Considering that the crime of violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, as amended,
is punished as qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, pursuant to the said decree,
the imposable penalty on the appellant shall be increased by two degrees, that is, from arresto mayor in
its minimum and medium periods to prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods. Applying the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty to be imposed on the appellant should be six (6) months and
one (1) day of prision correccional to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor.

GR 161798
PICOP RESOURCES, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. AUGUSTUS L. CALO, PresidingJudge, respondent.
October 20, 2004
FACTS:
PICOP Resources, Inc. (PICOP) petitioner owns and operates a multi-billion peso pulp and paper
manufacturing facility in Bislig City, Agusan del Norte. It holds government-issued Pulpwood and Timber
License Agreement (PTLA) No. 47 and Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) No. 35 which
gave petitioner the exclusive right to co-manage and develop with the State almost 130,000 hectares of
forest land within the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its officers, rendered
three Memoranda, dated August 22, 1997, February 16, 2001 and April 6, 2001 designating the petitioner
as DENR depository and custodian for apprehended forest products and conveyances within its
concession. On May 25, 2001, the Office of the CENRO-Bislig and petitioner entered into a Memorandum
of Agreement (MOA) containing "Procedural Guidelines in the Conduct of Verification of Private Tree
Plantation." The MOA provided, among others, that field validation/verification of applications for
Certificates of Private Tree Ownership (CTPOs) shall be conducted jointly by the DENR, the local
government unit concerned, and petitioner. Pursuant to these Memoranda, petitioners security personnel
were deputized as DENR officers to apprehend and seize the tools, equipment and conveyance used in
the commission of illegal logging and the forest products removed and possessed by the offenders.
In the course of the enforcement of the aforesaid Memoranda, petitioner PICOP, through its
security personnel, had on numerous occasions apprehended within its concession and tree plantation
area. These illegally cut forest products and conveyances were kept in PICOPs impounding area. A class
suit was initiated among the members of UFAB asking for preliminary mandatory Injunction. They further
asked for the declaration of the memoranda null and void and sought to restrain the DENR and those who
are participants from enforcing the said memoranda. The RTC ordered Elias R. Seraspio, Jr. to recall,
withdraw and abrogate the enforcement of the assailed Memorandum dated February 16, 2001 and to
refrain and desist from implementation. Petitioner was also ordered to release the confiscated falcata logs
and vehicles to the owners thereof, or to the CENRO-Bislig or the Office of the Government ProsecutionSurigao del Sur, where the administrative and criminal proceedings were ongoing.
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner has the right to retain the seized confiscated products by the virtue of
MOA regarding the Procedural Guidelines in the Conduct of Verification of Private Tree Plantation.
RULING:
Petitioner had no right or interest to protect in the confiscated forest products and conveyances.
Petitioners compound was used only as a depository for the confiscated logs and conveyances by virtue
of the Memorandum. While it claimed that some of the confiscated forest products may have come from
its concession area, petitioner admitted that the ownership of the confiscated products was still to be
determined in the cases pending either at the CENRO-Bislig or at the Office of the Government
Prosecution- Surigao del Sur. Hence, petitioners interest in the confiscated forest products was merely
contingent and cannot be material as contemplated under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Civil
Procedure. Petitioner contends that private respondents intrusion was in violation of petitioners PTLA No.
47 and IFMA No. 35. These license agreements gave petitioner the exclusive right to co-manage and
develop forest lands, and recognized petitioner as owner of the trees and other products in the concession
area. In filing this petition, petitioner is merely defending its subsisting proprietary interest pursuant to
these license agreements.

It is clear that petitioner has no material interest to protect in the confiscated forest products and
conveyances. It has no subsisting proprietary interest, as borne out by its licensing agreements, which
need to be protected by annulling the writ of injunction issued by the trial court. Petitioner also cannot
claim the right to retain custody of the apprehended logs and conveyances by virtue of its being
designated a depository of the DENR pursuant to the assailed Memoranda. As such depository, petitioner
merely holds the confiscated products and conveyances in custody for the DENR while the administrative
or criminal proceedings regarding said products are pending.

GR 79538
FELIPE YSMAEL, JR. & CO., INC., petitioner, vs.THE DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE
SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU
OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT and TWIN PEAKS DEVELOPMENT AND REALTY CORPORATION,
respondents.
October 18, 1990
FACTS:
On October 12, 1965, petitioner entered into a timber license agreement with the Department of
Agriculture and Natural Resources, represented by then Secretary Jose Feliciano, wherein it was issued
an exclusive license to cut, collect and remove timber except prohibited species within a specified portion
of public forest land with an area of 54,920 hectares located in the municipality of Maddela, province of
Nueva Vizcaya from October 12, 1965 until June 30, 1990.
However, on August 18, 1983, the Director of the Bureau of Forest Development (Bureau), Director
Edmundo Cortes, issued a memorandum order stopping all logging operations in Nueva Vizcaya and
Quirino provinces, and cancelling the logging concession of petitioner and nine other forest
concessionaires, pursuant to presidential instructions and a memorandum order of the Minister of Natural
Resources Teodoro Pena.
Subsequently, petitioners timber license agreement was cancelled. He sent a letter addressed to
then President Ferdinand Marcos which sought reconsideration of the Bureau's directive, citing in support
thereof its contributions to forest conservation and alleging that it was not given the opportunity to be
heard prior to the cancellation of its logging operations, but no favorable action was taken on his letter;
barely one year thereafter, approximately one-half of the area formerly covered by petitioners TLA was reawarded to Twin Peaks Development and Realty Corporation under a new TLA which was set to expire on
July 31, 2009, while the other half was allowed to be logged by Filipinas Loggers, Inc. without the benefit
of a formal award or license. The latter entities were controlled or owned by relatives or cronies of
deposed President Ferdinand Marcos.
Soon after the change of government in February 1986, petitioner sent a letter dated March 17,
1986 to the Office of the President, and another letter dated April 2, 1986 to Minister Ernesto Maceda of
the Ministry of Natural Resources [MNR], seeking: (1) the reinstatement of its timber license agreement
which was cancelled in August 1983 during the Marcos administration; (2) the revocation of TLA No. 356
which was issued to Twin Peaks Development and Realty Corporation without public bidding and in
violation of forestry laws, rules and regulations; and, (3) the issuance of an order allowing petitioner to
take possession of all logs found in the concession area. However, petitioner's request was denied.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration reiterating, among others, its request that the timber license
agreement issued to private respondent be declared null and void. The MNR however denied this motion.
Petitioner subsequently appealed from the orders of the MNR to the Office of the

President. The Office of the President, acting through then Deputy Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig,
denied petitioner's appeal for lack of merit. Petitioner filed with the Court a petition for certiorari, with
prayer for the issuance of a restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction,
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner has the right to seek the nullification of the Bureau orders cancelling his
timber license agreement and the granting of TLA to private respondent, which were issued way back in
1983 and 1984, respectively.

RULING:
NO. The failure of petitioner to file the petition for certiorari within a reasonable period of time
renders the petitioner susceptible to the adverse legal consequences of laches. Laches is defined as the
failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do that which by exercising due
diligence, could or should have been done earlier, or to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting
a presumption that the party entitled thereto has either abandoned it of declined to assert it. The rule is
that unreasonable delay on the part of a plaintiff in seeking to enforce an alleged right may, depending
upon the circumstances, be destructive of the right itself. Verily, the laws did these who are vigilant, not
those who sleep upon their rights.
In the case at bar, petitioner waited for at least three years before it finally filed a petition for
certiorari with the Court attacking the validity of the assailed Bureau actions in 1983 and 1984.
Considering that petitioner, throughout the period of its inaction, was not deprived of the opportunity to
seek relief from the courts which were normally operating at the time, its delay constitutes unreasonable
and inexcusable neglect, tantamount to laches. Accordingly, the writ of certiorari requiring the reversal of
these orders will not lie. There is a more significant factor which bars the issuance of a writ of certiorari in
favor of petitioner and against public respondents herein. A long line of cases establish the basic rule that
the courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government
agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and
training of such agencies. More so where, as in the present case, the interests of a private logging
company are pitted against that of the public at large on the pressing public policy issue of forest
conservation.
Timber licenses, permits and license agreements are the principal instruments by which the State
regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. And
it can hardly be gainsaid that they merely evidence a privilege granted by the State to qualified entities,
and do not vest in the latter a permanent or irrevocable right to the particular concession area and the
forest products therein. They may be validly amended, modified, replaced or rescinded by the Chief
Executive when national interests so require. Thus, they are not deemed contracts within the purview of
the due process of law clause.

GR 167707
Secretary of DENR, petitioner, vs Mayor Jose S. Yap, respondent.
NOTE: This case is consolidated with G.R. No. 167707
FACTS:
These are two consolidated cases. In G.R. No. 167707, Boracay Mayor Jose Yap et al filed for
declaratory relief to have a judicial confirmation of imperfect title or survey of land for titling purposes for
the land theyve been occupying in Boracay. Yap et al alleged that Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA
Circular No. 3-82 raised doubts on their right to secure titles over their occupied lands. 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.
They declared their lands for tax purposes and paid realty taxes on them.
The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (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 Presidential Decree (PD) No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code.
Since Boracay Island had not been classified as alienable and disposable, whatever possession they had
cannot ripen into ownership. RTC Ruled in favor of Yap et al. The OSG appealed.
G.R. No. 173775. During the pendency of G.R. No. 167707, PGMA issued Proclamation No. 1064
classifying Boracay Island into four hundred (400) hectares of reserved forest land (protection purposes)
and six hundred twenty-eight and 96/100 (628.96) hectares of agricultural land (alienable and disposable).
The Proclamation likewise provided for a fifteen-meter buffer zone on each side of the centerline of roads
and trails, reserved for right-of-way and which shall form part of the area reserved for forest land
protection purposes. This was on May 22, 2006
Subsequently, Dr. Orlando Sacay, and other Boracay landowners in Boracay filed with this Court an
original petition for prohibition, mandamus, and nullification of Proclamation No. 1064. They allege that the
Proclamation infringed on their prior vested rights over portions of Boracay. They have been in continued
possession of their respective lots in Boracay since time immemorial. They have also invested billions of
pesos in developing their lands and building internationally renowned first class resorts on their lots.
The OSG again opposed Sacays petition. The OSG argued that Sacay et al do not have a vested
right over their occupied portions in the island. Boracay is an unclassified public forest land pursuant to
Section 3(a) of PD No. 705. Being public forest, the claimed portions of the island are inalienable and
cannot be the subject of judicial confirmation of imperfect title. It is only the executive department, not the
courts, which has authority to reclassify lands of the public domain into alienable and disposable lands.
There is a need for a positive government act in order to release the lots for disposition.
ISSUES:
Whether or not Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 pose any legal obstacle for
respondents, and all those similarly situated, to acquire title to their occupied lands in Boracay Island.
RULING:
The SC ruled against Yap et al and Sacay et al. The Regalian Doctrine dictates that all lands of the
public domain belong to the State, that the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land
and charged with the conservation of such patrimony. All lands that have not been acquired from the
government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the State as part of the inalienable public domain.A
positive act declaring land as alienable and disposable is required. In keeping with the presumption
of State ownership, there must be a positive act of the government,such as an official proclamation,
declassifying inalienable public land into disposable land for agricultural or other purposes. In the case at
bar, no such proclamation, executive order, administrative action, report, statute, or certification was
presented. The records are bereft of evidence showing that, prior to 2006, the portions of Boracay
occupied by private claimants were subject of a government proclamation that the land is alienable and

disposable. Absent such well-nigh incontrovertible evidence, the Court cannot accept the submission that
lands occupied by private claimants were already open to disposition before 2006. Matters of land
classification or reclassification cannot be assumed.
Also, private claimants also contend that their continued possession of portions of Boracay Island
for the requisite period of ten (10) years under Act No. 926 ipso facto converted the island into private
ownership. Private claimants continued possession under Act No. 926 does not create a
presumption that the land is alienable. It is plain error for petitioners to argue that under the
Philippine Bill of 1902 and Public Land Act No. 926, mere possession by private individuals of
lands creates the legal presumption that the lands are alienable and disposable.
Private claimants are not entitled to apply for judicial confirmation of imperfect title under
CA No. 141. Neither do they have vested rights over the occupied lands under the said law . There
are two requisites for judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title under CA No. 141, namely:
(1) open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land by himself
or through his predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide claim of ownership since time immemorial or
from June 12, 1945; and
(2) the classification of the land as alienable and disposable land of the public domain.
The tax declarations in the name of private claimants are insufficient to prove the first element of
possession. The SC noted that the earliest of the tax declarations in the name of private claimants were
issued in 1993. Being of recent dates, the tax declarations are not sufficient to convince this Court that the
period of possession and occupation commenced on June 12, 1945.
Yap et al. and Sacay et al insist that they have a vested right in Boracay, having been in
possession of the island for a long time. They have invested millions of pesos in developing the island into
a tourist spot. They say their continued possession and investments give them a vested right which cannot
be unilaterally rescinded by Proclamation No. 1064.
The continued possession and considerable investment of private claimants do not automatically
give them a vested right in Boracay. Nor do these give them a right to apply for a title to the land they are
presently occupying. The SC is constitutionally bound to decide cases based on the evidence presented
and the laws applicable. As the law and jurisprudence stand, private claimants are ineligible to apply for a
judicial confirmation of title over their occupied portions in Boracay even with their continued possession
and considerable investment in the island.