Heirs of Palanca vs Republic

G.R. No. 151312
August 30, 2006

980 sqm land in Busuanga and a 176.588 sqm land in New Busuanga  These parcels of land are claimed by the heirs of Palanca on the grounds of open possession without opposition for 40yrs and a CFI decision naming herein petitioners as owners.  Petitioners presented tax declarations and witnesses of their possession while respondents presented a Land Classification Map and CENRO certification.  After 23yrs.Antecedent Facts The subject properties in this case are namely: a 239. herein respondents pray for the annulment of aforementioned decision and reversion. .   CA ruled in favor of the respondents.

 The ownership was transferred to his heirs. upon his death on 1943 and the lands were openly possessed and occupied by his heirs thereafter.  . A particular land need not be formally released by an act of the Executive before it can be deemed open to private ownership. herein petitioners.  The properties were declared for taxation purposes and such taxes were religiously paid for over 40yrs.   The respondents are barred by laches and res judicata.Petitioners' Contention The subject properties were openly possessed and occupied by Pedro Palanca since 1934.

 .  The CFI did not have jurisdiction to make a disposition of the subject properties. Executive Proclamation No. 209 stated that the small islands off the main island of Palawan are national reserves.  Res judicata and laches does not bar the State from exercising its power of reversion.Respondents' Contention The testimonies presented by the petitioners are products of collusion and therefore of a fraudulent nature.   The properties are unclassified forest land.

Issue/s Whether or not the heirs of Pedro S. Palanca have ownership rights over the subject properties in the instant case? .

The petition is denied for lack of merit. . therefore res judicata does not apply in this case due to the absence of the power of the CFI to dispose lands of the same nature.Decision The petitioners failed to provide proof that the disputed parcels of land were of an alienable nature. The courts lost the authority to classify lands of public domain upon the effectivity of CA 141 which clearly stated that such power exclusively rests with the President.

.   Enumerate the land classifications of public domain.Questions When does the incontestability of a Torrens title find no proper application?  When does the State possess the burden to prove that a certain property is public domain?  Explain the concept of “possession since time immemorial” and give an example of the same.