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Republic vs.

Pedro Enciso alleging to be the owner in fee and simple a parcel of residential land
located in Brgy. South Poblacion, Masinloc, Zamblaes, filed a petition for land
registration before the RTC of Iba, Zambales.
He averred, inter alai that he acquired title to the said lot by virtue of extrajudicial
settlement of estate and quitclaim; the said property is not tenanted or occupied by any
person other than his family who are in actual physical possession of the same; and his
predecessor-in-interest have been in OCENCO for not less than 30 years immediately
preceding the filing of the application.
Petitioner, Republic of the Philippines, through OSG opposed the application on the
grounds that;
a. Neither respondent nor his PII have been OCENCO of the subject land since June
12, 1945 or prior thereto;
b. Failed to adduce any muniment of title and /or the tax declaration with the
c. The tax declaration does not appear to be genuine
d. Barred by prescription for failing to register the land within the period of 6
months from February 6, 1976 for Spanish title;
e. The subject land is apportion of public domain belonging to the Republic which is
not subject to private appropriation;
The respondent presented tax receipt to show that the property was declared for
taxation purposes in his name. he also testified that he acquired the property by
inheritance from his deceased father Vicente, who died in 1991. After which, he took
possession of the property and constructed a house. Consequently, he and his siblings
executed an extra judicial settlement of the estate and the land was adjudicated in his
He further narrated that the property was originally owned by the Municipality of
Masinloc, Zambales.
On October 5, 1968, the Municipality passed Resolution no. 71 undertaking to construct
a road along the shoreline of Poblacion, but requiring land owners adjoining the road to
share in the expenses for an inner wall adjacent to their lots.
Moreover, a supplementary Resolution No. 102, was also passed which stated that in
consideration of the financial assistance extended by the property owners, and because
the government no longer needed the additional areas for public use, the municipality
authorizing the Mayor to enter into and sign deeds of purchase between the
municipality and the land owners concerned.

Consequently, they approved Resolution No. 102-A on march 15, 1969, authorizing its
mayor to execute a deed of sale in favor of Honorato Edao, covering a portion of the
reclaimed lots no longer needed for public use.
Enciso admitted that Honorato Edao was his uncle, being his fathers half- brother. He
further narrated that the spouses Edao sold the lot to his father via a deed of absolute
Vicente Enciso together with Natividad Edao Asuncion and Thelma Edao entered
into a Deed of partition involving the same parcel of land.
Vincent of the total area of the property (1,398 sq. mtrs.)
Natividad (697.5 sq. mtrs)
Thelma - (697.5 sq. mtrs)
The TC granted the application for registration and the CA affirmed the decision of the
ISSUE: WON the CA erred on a question of law granting the respondents petition for
registration sans any showing that the subject property was previously declared
alienable and disposable lands of the public domain
The petition is meritorious.
Section 14 (1) of PD 1529 provides the qualification and requirement for persons in
application for the registration of title to land, it explicitly provide that those who by
themselves or though their PII, OCENCO of A and D lands of public domain under a bona
fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1845 or earlier.
Applicants for registration of titles must therefore prove the following:
a. The lands forms part of the A and D of the public domain;
b. OCENCO since time immemorial or since June 12, 1945 or earlier
It is not disputed that the aforesaid land was originally part of the reclamation project
undertaken by the municipality of Masinloc. The prevailing rule is that reclaimed
disposable lands of the public domain may only be leased and not sold to private
parties, except if the legislative passed a law authorizing the said sale.
Reclaimed lands retain their inherent potential as areas of public use or public service.
The ownership of lands reclaimed from foreshore areas is rooted in the Regalian
doctrine which declares that all lands and waters of the public domain belong to the
Further, CA 141, also known as Public Land Act provides that as a state policy, no
government reclaimed foreshore and marshy alienable lands of public domain may be
sold to private individuals.

Evidently, there is nothing to support the claims of Enciso that the property was
reclassified as residential already segregated from the public domain and assumed
character of private ownership. It is not clear as to when proper authorities classified
the subject lands as A and D. it must be stressed that evidence must be presented to
establish that the land subject of application is A and D.
Moreover, he failed to prove that he and his PII have been in OCENCO since time
immemorial or since June 12, 1945. The municipality cannot be considered as the PII of
the applicant whom the period of possession and occupation required by law may be
reckoned with.
Hence the petition is GRANTED.