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SECOND DIVISION

HEIRS OF JUANITA PADILLA,
represented by CLAUDIO PADILLA,
Petitioners,

G.R. No. 176858

Present:

- versus -

DOMINADOR MAGDUA,
Respondent.

CARPIO, J., Chairperson,
VELASCO, JR.,*
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,** and
ABAD, JJ.

Promulgated:

September 15, 2010
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DECISION

CARPIO, J.:

The Case
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari [1] assailing the Orders dated 8 September
2006[2] and 13 February 2007[3] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City, Branch 34,
in Civil Case No. 2001-10-161.

The Facts

Juanita Padilla (Juanita), the mother of petitioners, owned a piece of land located in San Roque,
Tanauan, Leyte. After Juanitas death on 23 March 1989, petitioners, as legal heirs of Juanita,
sought to have the land partitioned. Petitioners sent word to their eldest brother Ricardo Bahia
(Ricardo) regarding their plans for the partition of the land. In a letter dated 5 June 1998 written

by Ricardo addressed to them, petitioners were surprised to find out that Ricardo had declared
the land for himself, prejudicing their rights as co-heirs.It was then discovered that Juanita had
allegedly executed a notarized Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property[4] (Affidavit) in favor of
Ricardo on 4 June 1966 making him the sole owner of the land. The records do not show that
the land was registered under the Torrens system.
On 26 October 2001, petitioners filed an action with the RTC of Tacloban City, Branch 34, for
recovery of ownership, possession, partition and damages. Petitioners sought to declare void the
sale of the land by Ricardos daughters, Josephine Bahia and Virginia Bahia-Abas, to respondent
Dominador Magdua (Dominador). The sale was made during the lifetime of Ricardo.
Petitioners alleged that Ricardo, through misrepresentation, had the land transferred in his name
without the consent and knowledge of his co-heirs. Petitioners also stated that prior to 1966,
Ricardo had a house constructed on the land. However, when Ricardo and his wife Zosima
separated, Ricardo left for Inasuyan, Kawayan, Biliran and the house was leased to third parties.
Petitioners further alleged that the signature of Juanita in the Affidavit is highly questionable
because on 15 May 1978 Juanita executed a written instrument stating that she would be
leaving behind to her children the land which she had inherited from her parents.
Dominador filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction since the assessed
value of the land was within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court of Tanauan, Leyte.
In an Order dated 20 February 2006, [5] the RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The
RTC explained that the assessed value of the land in the amount of P590.00 was less than the
amount cognizable by the RTC to acquire jurisdiction over the case. [6]
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration. Petitioners argued that the action was not merely
for recovery of ownership and possession, partition and damages but also for annulment of deed
of sale. Since actions to annul contracts are actions beyond pecuniary estimation, the case was
well within the jurisdiction of the RTC.
Dominador filed another motion to dismiss on the ground of prescription.
In an Order dated 8 September 2006, the RTC reconsidered its previous stand and took
cognizance of the case. Nonetheless, the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration and
dismissed the case on the ground of prescription pursuant to Section 1, Rule 9 of the Rules of
Court. The RTC ruled that the case was filed only in 2001 or more than 30 years since the
Affidavit was executed in 1966. The RTC explained that while the right of an heir to his
inheritance is imprescriptible, yet when one of the co-heirs appropriates the property as his own
to the exclusion of all other heirs, then prescription can set in. The RTC added that since
prescription had set in to question the transfer of the land under the Affidavit, it would seem

logical that no action could also be taken against the deed of sale executed by Ricardos
daughters in favor of Dominador. The dispositive portion of the order states:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the order of the Court is reconsidered in so far
as the pronouncement of the Court that it has no jurisdiction over the nature of the
action. The dismissal of the action, however, is maintained not by reason of lack of
jurisdiction but by reason of prescription.
SO ORDERED.[7]

Petitioners filed another motion for reconsideration which the RTC denied in an Order dated 13
February 2007 since petitioners raised no new issue.
Hence, this petition.
The Issue

The main issue is whether the present action is already barred by prescription.
The Courts Ruling

Petitioners submit that the RTC erred in dismissing the complaint on the ground of
prescription. Petitioners insist that the Affidavit executed in 1966 does not conform with the
requirement of sufficient repudiation of co-ownership by Ricardo against his co-heirs in
accordance with Article 494 of the Civil Code. Petitioners assert that the Affidavit became part
of public records only because it was kept by the Provincial Assessors office for real property
tax declaration purposes. However, such cannot be contemplated by law as a record or
registration affecting real properties. Petitioners insist that the Affidavit is not an act of
appropriation sufficient to be deemed as constructive notice to an adverse claim of ownership
absent a clear showing that petitioners, as co-heirs, were notified or had knowledge of the
Affidavit issued by their mother in Ricardos favor.

Respondent Dominador, on the other hand, maintains that Juanita, during her lifetime, never
renounced her signature on the Affidavit or interposed objections to Ricardos possession of the
land, which was open, absolute and in the concept of an owner. Dominador contends that the
alleged written instrument dated 15 May 1978 executed by Juanita years before she died was
only made known lately and conveys the possibility of being fabricated. Dominador adds that
the alleged highly questionable signature of Juanita on the Affidavit was only made an issue
after 35 years from the date of the transfer in 1966 until the filing of the case in 2001. As a

the RTC granted the motion to dismiss filed by Dominador based on Section 1. the alleged seller of the property from whom Dominador asserts his ownership. (4) the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts.buyer in good faith. is speculative. After a perusal of the records. absurd or impossible. No action could be taken against the deed of sale made in favor of Dominador without assailing the Affidavit. would justify a different conclusion. (6) there is no citation of specific evidence on which the factual findings are based. a lapse of more than 30 years. (Emphasis supplied) The RTC explained that prescription had already set in since the Affidavit was executed on 31 May 1966 and petitioners filed the present case only on 26 October 2001. [8] We find that the conclusion of the RTC in dismissing the case on the ground of prescription based solely on the Affidavit executed by Juanita in favor of Ricardo. (3) there is grave abuse of discretion. that there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause. (2) the inference is manifestly mistaken. Rule 9 of the Rules of Court which states: Section 1. However. Dominador invokes the defense of acquisitive prescription against petitioners. Here. The factual findings of the lower courts are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal except under any of the following circumstances: (1) the conclusion is grounded on speculations. At the outset. surmises or conjectures. and the action to question the Affidavit had already prescribed. Defenses and objections not pleaded. only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. or that the action is barred by a prior judgment or by statute of limitations. (7) the finding of absence of facts is contradicted by the presence of evidence on record. and (11) such findings are contrary to the admissions of both parties. if properly considered. (8) the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court. Thus. Defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. we find that the RTC incorrectly relied on the Affidavit alone in order to dismiss the case without considering petitioners evidence. The facts show that the land was sold to Dominador by Ricardos daughters. (5) the findings of fact are conflicting. the court shall dismiss the case. (10) the findings of the Court of Appeals are beyond the issues of the case. a review of the case is necessary. namely Josephine Bahia and Virginia Bahia- . when it appears from the pleadings or the evidence on record that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. (9) the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant and undisputed facts that.

possession. Dominador failed to show that Ricardo had the land declared in his name for taxation purposes from 1966 after the Affidavit was executed until 2001 when the case was filed. Further. it is evidence of claim to possession of the land. Co-heirs or co-owners cannot acquire by acquisitive prescription the share of the other co-heirs or co-owners absent a clear repudiation of the co-ownership.Abas. [9] Also. acquiesced in. in order that a co-owners possession may be deemed adverse to the cestui que trust or other co-owners. (2) that such positive acts of repudiation have been . on the other hand. Ricardo Bahia might have already consented to or ratified the alleged deed of sale. whether Ricardo had any intention to go back to the land or whether Ricardos family ever lived there. during the lifetime of Ricardo. or ratified the sale made by his daughters to Dominador. The petitioners. No cogent evidence was ever presented that Ricardo gave his consent to. x x x No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or co-heirs as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the coownership. After all. continuous and exclusive for more than 30 years in order to establish extraordinary acquisitive prescription. Ricardo and petitioners are co-heirs or co-owners of the land. the following requisites must concur: (1) that he has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting to an ouster of the cestui que trust or other co-owners. Since possession of co-owners is like that of a trustee. The records do not mention. 494. In its 8 September 2006 Order. aside from the Affidavit. It should be Ricardo Bahia who has a cause of action against [his] daughters and not the herein plaintiffs. Moreover. partition and damages. alleged that Ricardo left the land after he separated from his wife sometime after 1966 and moved to another place. Dominador did not present any proof to show that Ricardos possession of the land had been open. Although a tax declaration does not prove ownership. in their pleading filed with the RTC for recovery of ownership. the alleged deed of sale was not presented as evidence and neither was it shown that Ricardos daughters had any authority from Ricardo to dispose of the land. as expressed in Article 494 of the Civil Code which states: Art. the RTC hastily concluded that Ricardos daughters had legal personality to sell the property: On the allegation of the plaintiffs (petitioners) that Josephine Bahia and Virginia Bahia-Abas had no legal personality or right to [sell] the subject property is of no moment in this case. however. However. [10] Dominador merely assumed that Ricardo had been in possession of the land for 30 years based on the Affidavit submitted to the RTC.

the prescriptive period began to run only from 5 June 1998. must be clear. the date petitioners received notice of Ricardos repudiation of their claims to the land. and (3) that the evidence thereon must be clear and convincing. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. being aware as buyer that no title had been issued over the land. After Juanitas death in 1989. Since the property is an unregistered land. after the Affidavit was executed. This three-year period falls short of the 10-year or 30-year acquisitive prescription period required by law in order to be entitled to claim legal ownership over the land. petitioners sought for the partition of their mothers land. we hold that the RTC did not err in taking cognizance of the case. 129. Thus. Dominador bought the land at his own risk. Dominador is not afforded protection unless he can manifestly prove his legal entitlement to his claim. As a consequence. as his co-heirs. Dominador cannot invoke acquisitive prescription. Here. Under Section 1 of Republic Act No. is hereby amended to read as follows: . Dominador merely relied on the Affidavit submitted to the RTC that Ricardo had been in possession of the land for more than 30 years. as a fact. the RTC shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction on the following actions: Section 1. With regard to the issue of the jurisdiction of the RTC. However. Ricardo. Further. only a mere three years had lapsed. In Heirs of Maningding v. Dominadors argument that prescription began to commence in 1966. [11] In the present case. In Generosa v. otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. before the prescriptive period begins to run. 7691 (RA 7691). Prangan-Valera. Ricardos interest in the land had now become adverse to the claim of his co-heirs after repudiating their claim of entitlement to the land. complete and conclusive in order to establish the prescription. and that they were apprised of his claim of adverse and exclusive ownership. The heirs.made known to the cestui que trust or other co-owners.Since petitioners filed an action for recovery of ownership and possession. were notified about the plan. in the present case.[13] we held that the evidence relative to the possession. including Ricardo. it must be clearly shown that he had repudiated the claims of the others. notified petitioners. that he adjudicated the land solely for himself.[12] we held that in order that title may prescribe in favor of one of the co-owners. is erroneous. Dominador failed to present any other competent evidence to prove the alleged extraordinary acquisitive prescription of Ricardo over the land. partition and damages with the RTC on 26 October 2001. 129. upon which the alleged prescription is based. Accordingly. Dominador did not submit any other corroborative evidence to establish Ricardos alleged possession since 1966. all three requisites have been met. through a letter dated 5 June 1998. [14] amending Batas Pambansa Blg. Court of Appeals.

being way below P20. Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts over all civil actions which involve title to or possession of real property. Isabela Sawmill. the value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction. attorneys fees.000. or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20. in civil actions in Metro Manila. In the present case. Municipal Trial Courts. where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20. That in cases of land not declared for taxation purposes. 19.00).000. the RTC has jurisdiction over the case.[15] Petitioners are correct. (1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation.The provision states: Section 3. However. or any interest therein. (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to. damages of whatever kind. 33. and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.[16] we held that: .00) or.00) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings.00) or.00 according to the Declaration of Property as of 23 March 2000 filed with the RTC. the records show that the assessed value of the land was P590. the MTC has jurisdiction over the case. Since annulment of contracts are actions incapable of pecuniary estimation. or possession of. x x x On the other hand. petitioners argued that the action was not merely for recovery of ownership and possession. outside Metro Manila where the assessed value does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20. Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. or possession of.000. . where such value exceeds Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. partition and damages but also for annulment of deed of sale.000. and Municipal Trial Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: xxx (3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Based on the value alone.Metropolitan Trial Courts.000.Sec.00) exclusive of interest. for civil actions in Metro Manila. original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial Courts. or any interest. Municipal Trial Courts. real property. Section 3 of RA 7691 expanded the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts. In Singson v. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts.000.00. where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50. litigation expenses and costs: Provided. Section 33 of the same law is hereby amended to read as follows: Sec. real property.

and are cognizable by courts of first instance (now Regional Trial Courts). If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money. WHEREFORE. Thus. the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation. However. where the money claim is purely incidental to. Since the principal action sought here is something other than the recovery of a sum of money. . where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money. this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money. Well-entrenched is the rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought. 2001-10-161. When petitioners filed the action with the RTC they sought to recover ownership and possession of the land by questioning (1) the due execution and authenticity of the Affidavit executed by Juanita in favor of Ricardo which caused Ricardo to be the sole owner of the land to the exclusion of petitioners who also claim to be legal heirs and entitled to the land. and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the claim. the principal relief sought. We REVERSE AND SET ASIDE the Orders dated 8 September 2006 and 13 February 2007 of the Regional Trial Court of Tacloban City. irrespective of whether the party is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted. or a consequence of. we direct the RTC to try the case on the merits to determine who among the parties are legally entitled to the land. and (2) the validity of the deed of sale executed between Ricardos daughters and Dominador. we GRANT the petition. we find that the Affidavit.In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. as the principal evidence relied upon by the RTC to dismiss the case on the ground of prescription. Branch 34 in Civil Case No. the action is incapable of pecuniary estimation and thus cognizable by the RTC.[17] In sum. insufficiently established Dominadors rightful claim of ownership to the land. SO ORDERED.

Basilio Aromin for appellant. included within the limits of the possessory information title of Restituto Romero. merely to notice that the predecessor in interest to the petitioner at least held this tract of land under color of title. (Hancock vs. although it might be possible. The Solicitor-General would emphasize that for land to come under the protective ægis of the Maura Law. J. One Restituto Romero y Ponce apparently gained possession of a considerable tract of land located in the municipality of San Jose. except when prevented by war or force majeure. 10 Wall. No. as amended by Act No. and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural public lands. Subsection 6 of section 54. of Act No. 224. Exhibit 1. 1894. So much for the facts. registered as such on February 8.. Office of the Solicitor-General Paredes for appellee. it must have been shown that the land was cultivated for six years previously. marked by the letters A. 1908. Ramos instituted appropriate proceedings to have his title registered. vs. 926.: This is an appeal by the applicant and appellant from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. in the year 1882. objector-appellee. McKinney [1851]. 1 (Exhibit A of the petitioner). under a bona fide claim of ownership except as against the Government. 1907. even as long ago as the years 1894 to 1896. of the Government. for a period of ten years next preceding the twenty-sixth day of July. shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a government grant and to have received the same. 1894. We do not stop to decide this contention. 7 Tex. following the doctrine laid down by the United States Supreme Court with reference to Mexican and Spanish grantes within the United States. should not now be disturbed.) It is sufficient. 192. and that it was not land which pertained to the "zonas forestales. exclusive. Opposition was entered by the Director of Lands on the ground that Ramos had not acquired a good title from the Spanish government and by the Director of Forestry on the ground that the first parcel was forest land. petitioner-appellant. the instant petitioner. to Cornelio Ramos. the principal argument of the Solicitor-General is based on the provisions of the Spanish Mortgage Law and of the Royal Decree of February 13. to say that the possessory information. continuous. nineteen hundred and four. commonly known as the Maura Law. . and shall be entitled to a certificate of title to such land under the provisions of this chapter. apparently having taken cognizance of the requisites for title. All persons who by themselves or their predecessors and interest have been in the open. and his wife Ambrosia Salamanca. As to the law. where some recital is claimed to be false. denying the registration of the larger portion of parcel No. Parcel No. as defined by said Act of Congress of July first. 1918 CORNELIO RAMOS. nineteen hundred and two. was sold in February. Hornsby and Roland vs. as will later appear. United States [1869]. L-13298 November 19. forestal and not agricultural in nature is the fact that there are yet found thereon trees from 50 to 80 years of age.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. B. 1896." As proof that the land was. to obtain a possessory information title to the land. Province of Nueva Ecija. 1. The trial court agreed with the objectors and excluded parcel No. 1 from registration. MALCOLM. entitled The Public Land Law.. He took advantage of the Royal Decree of February 13. and C on the plan. reads as follows: 6.R. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS.

412.) Of course. 1902. (See arts.There are two parts to the above quoted subsection which must be discussed. 144 U. there are a number of qualifications to the rule. The second division of the law requires consideration of the term "agricultural public land. Relative to actuality of possession. continuous. for present purposes. we find in sections 13 to 18 thereof that three classes of land are mentioned. Gratz's Heirs [1819]. This is graphically portrayed by Exhibit 1 of the Government. and notorious possession and occupation of what. 448. under a bona fide claim of ownership." the second "mineral land. Pearl [1836]. it is admitted that the petitioner has cultivated only about one fourth of the entire tract.. (Barr vs. The first relates to the open. sufficient to apprise the community and the world that the land was for his enjoyment. Smith vs. and notorious possession of a portion of the property. 446. 509. exclusive. Turning to the Philippine Bill. one particularly relating to the size of the tract in controversy with reference to the portion actually in possession of the claimant. Civil Code. following: The question at once arises: Is that actual occupancy of a part of the land described in the instrument giving color of title sufficient to give title to the entire tract of land? l awphil. . It is here only necessary to apply the general rule. when it makes the determination of whether the land is more valuable for agricultural or for forest uses the test of its character. known as the Philippine bill. peaceable. Ramos and his predecessor in interest fulfilled the requirements of the law on the supposition that he premises consisted of agricultural public land. can be conceded to be agricultural public land.) Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of ground before it can be said that he is in possession. 213. he acted in good faith. Gale [1892]. net The doctrine of constructive possession indicates the answer. Ellicott vs." The law affirms that the phrase is denied by the Act of Congress of July 1st. if the remainder is not in the adverse possession of another. 4 Wheat. 10 Pet. The general rule is that the possession and cultivation of a portion of a tract under claim of ownership of all is a constructive possession of all. The claimant has color of title. S. Actual possession of land consists in the manifestation of acts of dominion over it of such a nature as a party would naturally exercise over his own property." Section 18 of the Act of Congress comes nearest to a precise definition." and the third "timber land. and he has had open. The first is variously denominated "public land" or "public domain...

" it will be noted. Supp. 926 means "those public lands acquired from Spain which are not timber or mineral lands. Supp.. 175). and all forest reserves of whatever character. not an insignificant meaning. as an economic factor. Fernow. 512. the Bureau has in its administration since the passage of this act construed this term to mean forest lands in the sense of what was necessary to protect. 1902. 10 Phil. as to whether this land is better adapted and more valuable for agricultural than for forest purposes. E. Co. Although the Act states timber lands. Insular Government ([1906]." The idea would appear to be to determine. or on the other hand. shrubbery. or vineyard." A little further on. is merely "for the purposes of this chapter. except as otherwise specially indicated. For instance. People vs. it leaves to the Bureau of Forestry the certification as to what lands are for agricultural or forest uses. although apparently heterogeneous. On the other hand. (Higgins vs. what was said in the case of Jones vs. the definition. if the land is forestal or mineral in nature and. but an organic whole in which all parts. if not so found. Baden-Powell. 6 Phil. The term 'timber' as used in England and in the United States in the past has been applied to wood suitable for construction purposes but with the increase in civilization and the application of new methods every plant producing wood has some useful purpose and the term timber lands is generally though of as synonymous with forest lands or lands producing wood. which it was not designed to deal with. might (and indeed would be almost sure to) include a garden. Y. is still true. to include some with which the law ought not to interfere. It is a tract of land covered with trees.. including nipa and mangrove swamps. and that it does not embrace land only partly woodland. The lexicographers define "forest" as "a large tract of land covered with a natural growth of trees and underbrush. Here. if framed with reference to tree-growth. brushwood. jumbled together by accident as it were and apparently unrelated. is by no means a mere collection of trees. for the public good. Philippine law is not very helpful. upon the certification of the Director of Forestry that said lands are better adapted and more valuable for agricultural than for forest purposes and not required by the public interests to be kept under forest.) The foresters say that no legal definition of "forest" is practicable or useful. 122). Long Island R. B. by exclusion. if agricultural crops on the same land will not bring the financial return that timber will or if the same land is needed for protection purposes. again. 114 N. but which in the course f time it is hoped will be "reboise." In the case which gave most serious consideration to the subject (Mapa vs. nor grass on it. for example. Long Island R. It may be necessary. in his work on the Economics of Forestry.. Co. 262. states as follows: Every definition of a forest that can be framed for legal purposes will be found either to exclude some cases to which the law ought to apply. or able to produce wood. [1908]. B. bear a close relation to each other and are as interdependent as any other beings and conditions in nature. this question of forest and agricultural lands was beginning to receive some attention and it is clearly shown in section 18 of the above mentioned Act.Although these sections of the Philippine Bill have come before the courts on numerous occasions. 'public forest' includes." With reference to the last section. would also take in much that was not wanted. not including forest reserves. H. all unreserved public land. The Director of Forestry of the Philippine Islands has said: During the time of the passage of the Act of Congress of July 1. there is no certification of the Director of Forestry in the record. shall be declared by the Department Head to be agricultural lands. a large wood. in his work on Forest Law of India." It was said that the phrase "agricultural public lands" as used in Act No. section 1827 provides: "Lands in public forests. states as follows: A forest in the sense in which we use the term. it was found that there does exist in the Act of Congress a definition of the phrase "agricultural public lands." This definition of "public forest. usually of considerable extent. Insular Government [1908]. namely: "The meaning of these sections is not clear and it is difficult to give to them a construction that will be entirely free from objection.. 110 N. [1908]. orchard. xxx xxx xxx ." but any definition wide enough to take in all such lands. to take under the law a tract of perfectly barren land which at present has neither trees. Y." The authorities say that he word "forest" has a significant. waste lands without a tree have been declared more suitable for forestry in many instances in the past. section 1820 of the Administrative Code of 1917 provides: "For the purposes of this chapter. to consider it to be agricultural land.

Exposure: North. examples exist in the Mountain Province where steep hillsides have been terraced and intensive cultivation practiced but even then the mountain people are very careful not to destroy forests or other vegetative cover which they from experience have found protect their water supply.The laws in the United States recognize the necessity of technical advice of duly appointed boards and leave it in the hands of these boards to decide what lands are more valuable for forestry purposes or for agricultural purposes. In the Philippine Islands this policy is follows to as great an extent as allowable under the law. Dr. Of course. Shaler. South. under ordinary practice would destroy the big natural resource of the soil. Character of soil cover: Cultivated. very steep. Is this land more valuable for agricultural than for forest purposes? (State reasons in full. Certain chiefs have lodged protests with the Government against other tribes on the opposite side of the mountain cultivated by them. rocky. and the inspection shows the land to be more adapted for forest purposes. S. the corresponding certificate is forwarded to the Director of Lands. For instance. state crops being grown and approximate number of hectares under cultivation. If the land is claimed under private ownership. in order to prevent other tribes from cutting timber or destroy cover guarding their source of water for irrigation. give the name of the claimant. his place of residence. sand. mountain sides which are too steep for cultivation under ordinary practice and which. dense forest. sandy loam. remote it may be. brush land and timber mixed. if it is made on a privately claimed parcel for which the issuance of a title is requested from the Court of Land Registration. Soil: Clay. East." The method employed by the bureau of Forestry in making inspection of lands. moderate. diameter and percentage of each species. grass land. name of important timber species and estimate of stand in cubic meters per hectare. M. formerly Dean of the Lawrence Scientific School. (Indicate on sketch. remarked that if mankind could not devise and enforce ways dealing with the earth. very rocky. If cultivated. state whether there is public land suitable for agriculture in vicinity. yet equally discernible. steep. If the land is covered with timber. and state briefly (if necessary on a separate sheet) the grounds upon which he bases his claim. in order to determine whether they are more adapted for agricultural or forest purposes by a technical and duly trained personnel on the different phases of the conservation of natural resources. In many cases. by washing. West. if cultivated. which is not covered with timber.) Is this land included or adjoining any proposed or established forest reserve or communal forest? Description and ownership of improvements. brush land. when out kin having wasted its great inheritance will fade from the earth because of the ruin it has accomplished. is considered by this bureau as forest land and in time would be reforested. namely: Slope of land: Level. which will preserve this source of like "we must look forward to the time. lands without a single tree on them are considered as true forest land. When the inspection is made on a parcel of public land which has been applied for.) For growth of what agricultural products is this land suitable? State what portion of the tract is wooded. then the Director of Forestry requests the Attorney-General to file an . is based upon a previously prepared set of questions in which the different characters of the land under inspection are discussed. in the opinion of the Bureau of Forestry.

Indubitably. In the case of lands claimed as private property. the presumption should be. there should be conservation of the natural resources of the Philippines. and by comparison between this area. the forest certificate does not affect him in the least as such land should not be considered as a part of the public domain. it may be stated. with the Forester for the Government of the United States. One very apparent reason is that it is for the good of the Philippine Islands to have the large public domain come under private ownership. and the difficulties in communications as well as the distance of the land in question greatly hinder the handling of this work. unsupported by satisfactory evidence will not stop the courts from giving title to the claimant. and undoubtedly will be. Such is the natural attitude of the sagacious citizen.opposition. submits before the court all evidence referring to the present forest condition of the land. 1. when the claimant presents a title issued by the proper authority or evidence of his right to the land showing that he complied with the requirements of the law. But a mere formal opposition on the part of the Attorney-General for the Director of Forestry. has its remedy. by means of his delegate the examining officer. as amended by Act No. So ordered. 1894. Either way we look at this question we encounter difficulty. We hold that the petitioner and appellant has proved a title to the entire tract of land for which he asked registration. in the long run of cases. so that the court may compare them with the alleged right by the claimant." On the other hand. but when the alleged right is merely that of possession. believes in "the control of nature's powers by man for his own good. or different previously occupied areas. we give judicial sanction to a private claim. the limited time intervening between the notice for the trial on an expediente of land and the day of the trial. of section 54. Forest reserves of public land can be established as provided by law. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila . sending him all data collected during the inspection and offering him the forest officer as a witness. It should be kept in mind that the lack of personnel of this Bureau. with reference to the Philippine Bill and the Royal Decree of February 13. 1908. 926. of Act No. Undoubtedly. Great consideration. then the public or private character of the parcel is open to discussion and this character should be established not simply on the alleged right of the claimant but on the sylvical condition and soil characteristics of the land. in lieu of contrary proof. the Director of Forestry should submit to the court convincing proof that the land is not more valuable for agricultural than for forest purposes. When the claim of the citizen and the claim of the Government as to a particular piece of property collide. if the Government desires to demonstrate that the land is in reality a forest. Such is the wise stand of our Government as represented by the Director of Forestry who. without special finding as to costs. let it be noted that the Government. paid by the courts to the opinion of the technical expert who speaks with authority on forestry matters. should. and his possessory information. If in this instance. The prodigality of the spendthrift who squanders his substance for the pleasure of the fleeting moment must be restrained for the less spectacular but surer policy which protects Nature's wealth for future generations. under the provisions of subsection 6. as described in plan Exhibit A. Judgment is reversed and the lower court shall register in the name of the applicant the entire tract in parcel No. the Director of Forestry. that land is agricultural in nature. and those areas which still preserve their primitive character.

judgm ent was rendered therein declaring the applicants the true owners thereof with the right to have the same registered in their name as conjugal partnership property under the provisions of act No. publicly and under a claim of ownership before 1888 up to this time. and a resident of the municipality of Siniloan. farmer. ET AL. III. also commonly known by the name of Tomas Apat. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS and THE DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS. who was then 52 years of age. Exhibit D-2 of the record. Province of Laguna. 36995 April 19. in the municipality of Siniloan. more particularly described in the plan Exhibit A and annex Exhibit A-1. for ten or eleven years prior to the year 1897. 85 are and 44 centares. that is. the same was registered as realty No. Santa Cruz. adversely. The lower court erred in finding that the applicants and their predecessors in interest have been in the actual. Said oppositors took exception to and appealed from the said judgment on the ground that the trial court committed the following six alleged errors. J. paragraph (b). wherein it is stated that: Whereas said Tomas Ilao. vs. the land in question constituted a third part of a piece of land which. VI. opposed the application of said spouses on the alleged ground that the parcel of land in question is public forestry land which was granted by the Insular Government as communal forests to the above municipalities. after having been in possession of the said land for nearly ten years.EN BANC G. Sumulong. on page 36 of volume I of the records of Siniloan. The same evidence likewise shows that. 1934 ALFREDO RAMIREZ and PAZ BAYOT DE RAMIREZ. V. II. The Director of Lands. 1896. of the municipality of Siniloan. of the Province of Laguna. Lavides and Mabanag for appellees. of Act No. The lower court erred in not finding that Tomas Ilao never existed. denying all the oppositions filed by the four oppositors aforementioned. After due hearing which lasted two days according to the decision of the trial court. belonged to one Tomas Ilao. IV. as amended. Attorney-General Jaranilla for appellants. The lower court erred in not holding that the applicants failed to establish the identity of the land in question. The lower court erred in denying the Government's motion for a new trial. on January 2. 1896. to wit: I. 92. the Director of Forestry and the municipalities of Siniloan and Famy. DIAZ. had applied for the adjustment with the Government of a parcel of land which he had in the barrio of Liang in the aforestated municipality and province. The lower court erred in admitting in evidence Exhibit D-2 and in not holding that the same is null and voidab initio. married. material and physical possession of the land openly.: In this case the spouses Alfredo Ramirez and Paz Bayot. It likewise appears on the third page of the document in question that on April 27. which is the technical description thereof. The lower court erred in applying section 45. who are Filipino citizens applied for the registration in their name of the parcel of land situated at Liang.R. 496. . which indicates that the condition imposed by the aforesaid board was complied with. Laguna. 2874 and in not finding that the land in question belongs to the class of inalienable public land. the provincial board for the adjustment of lands granted him the title in question on condition that he register it in the registry of deeds within one year. Said land has a total area of 203 hectares. No. applicants-appellees. said party obtained from the Spanish Government the title. appellants.. Province of Laguna. oppositors. According to the applicants' evidence.

Said oppositors contend that instead of admitting Exhibit D-2. and those which. stating in Exhibit C that the price thereof was one thousand five hundred pesos. however. which compose all of the land in question. there are around one thousand young coffee trees about two years old. to wit: the last two figures "96" of the former number and the figures "8" and "6" of the latter. However. according to his testimony. who were private individuals. that the so-called title (Exhibit D-2) does not bear the dry seal nor the rubric of the Inspector General of Forests nor does it give the maiden name of Tomas Ilao's mother. have been plainly altered. In fact. on November 8. on January 7. had a total area of more than 30 hectares. Thirty years later. it was forestry land (Exhibits 52 to 62). is dated January 2. Subsequently. which had belonged to Tomas Ilao. as hereinbefore stated. 2. The aforecited Royal Decree provided that adjustment of lands of the first group should continue to be heard and determined by the General Directorate of Civil Administration with the intervention of the Inspector General of Forests. 1896. when the document in question was executed. far from being agriculture in nature. 1931. which were planted among and under the shade of timber-trees growing on the portion of lot No. the date of the hearing of the case in the trial court. although entirely bounded by private lands. the Royal Decree of August 31. the evidence of the oppositors shows that lots Nos. and that the stamped paper which forms said page does not bear the year "1896" but the years 1890-91. wherein it appears that the portion sold by him had a total area of 100 hectares. Teodoro Kalambakal sold one-third of said property to the herein applicants-appellees. 1929. whose personal data are attested to by a certificate issued by the "capitan municipal" thereof on the twenty-third instant. . which are subject to adjustment in accordance with the Regulation of June 25. 1940344 exhibited to him by the grantee . which. approximately five years prior to September 28. have always been thickly timbered forests and mountains (Exhibits 17 to 29). there are likewise traces of clearings (caiñgin) made thereon. while the certificate in question bears a very much later date. which refers to the cedula certificate of said person." thereby giving rise to discrepancy therein because the so-called title (Exhibit D-2). On January 8. that is. . 3. indicated with the word "coffee". which appear therein as the year when the proceedings therein mentioned were had. into two groups: the first comprised those which were bounded at any point thereof by another lands belonging to the State. shall be divided into two groups: The first shall comprise those which at any point adjoin other lands belonging to the State. The same evidence of the applicants-appellees likewise shows that twenty-two months and some days after Tomas Ilao had obtained his said title (Exhibit D-2). 1 of the plan Exhibit A. The pertinent provisions thereof relative to the question under consideration. . had an area of 538 hectares. 4 and 5 with red pencil on the same plan. he sold the land covered thereby to Pablo Villegas for the sum of two hundred Mexican pesos (Exhibits D-1 and D).It may be noted. he sold the remaining portion thereof to Mauricio Cruz. On a certain portion of the land in question. although entirely bounded by private lands. reads as follows: ARTICLE 1. The decree in question classified public lands occupied by inhabitants. At the points marked 1. In his declaration presented to that effect it was stated that the cultivated portion thereof consisted of an area of only two hectares and the uncultivated potion. the first paragraph of the title in question. and which were subject to adjustment with the treasury. On the other hand. that is. in connection with the cedula certificate 10th class No. 1928. Furthermore. have a total area of more than 30 hectares. that is. and the second comprised those which had an area of less than 30 hectares and were entirely bounded by lands of private ownership. for which reason many homestead applications have been turned down by the Director of Lands on the ground that. exactly one year and one day from the date he purchased it from Pablo Villegas. 1888. 1 and 2 of the aforesaid plan Exhibit A. and the second shall compromise those having an area of less than 30 hectares and adjoining only lands of private ownership. All public lands occupied by private individuals in the Philippine Islands. 1888. 1928. and those which. reads in part as follows: . . said Pablo Villegas. sold the same land specified in Exhibit D-2 to Teodoro Kalambakal. was in full force and effect in the Philippine Islands. the trial court should rejected it on the ground that it was null and void ab initio. it is stamped "VALID FOR 1896-97" in red ink. On the third page of the said document it may also be noted that the two numbers "1896". having executed Exhibit B to that effect. 298 hectares (Exhibit E). that the land in question. . was declared for purposes of taxation by the latter purchaser. in turn. for the sum of four thousand pesos. It is also very apparent that the land granted therein to Tomas Ilao has a total area of 300 hectares. It was only during the time said Teodoro Kalambakal was in possession thereof. although he stated in his testimony that it was 200 hectares.

read as follows: ARTICLE 1. the Overseas Minister (Ministro de Ultramar) issued instructions defining and determining the functions and powers of the provincial boards and local commissions referred to in articles 5 and 7 thereof. Said Inspector General. 4. shall devolve upon the General Inspector of Forests. 1880. Otherwise. which were published in the "Gaceta de Manila" on December 20. the Parish Priest. The different divisions of field personnel (brigadas facultativas) shall be under the immediate supervision and control of the Inspector General of Forests. shall issue the corresponding title. the board shall refrain from taking any cognizance thereof but shall only forward it to the General Directorate of Civil Administration. ART. and the chief of each division shall forward to said Inspector General the records of all cases and the plans drawn by the personnel directly in charged of the work on each piece of land. 5. for the appearance of the owner of the land in question and of those of the adjoining lands. under the supervision of the General Directorate of Civil Administration. a continental Spanish freeholder designated by the General Directorate of Civil Administration. 10. 7. whatever group they belong to. 1888. Pursuant to the provisions of article 17 of the aforecited Royal Decree. the protestants and claimants as well as the possessor of the land in question shall be requested to appear before the board which shall immediately pass upon the conflicting claims and render the decision it deems just. The town head shall forward the record to the chief of the province on the day following the inspection of the land and the provincial board shall be informed thereof within five days from the date of its receipt. 2.ART. if any. Upon their appearance. In the absence of any protest or adverse claim and if the board is convicted that the adjustment should be gratuitous on the ground that the possessor has established his right thereto by prescription as provided in articles 4 and 5 of the Regulation of June 25. the "Juez de Sementeras". 1880. the Judge of the Court of First Instance. There shall be no such provincial board in the City of Manila. and "Directorcillo" (town head's secretary) whose duty shall be to inspect the lands in question. with the intervention of the Inspector General of Forests. that is. If the record shows that the land under consideration has a total area of more than 30 hectares or is not entirely bounded by private lands. and the disposal of cases for adjustment therein. . The provincial boards for the adjustment of public lands shall take charge of the adjustment of those which are situated outside the communal lands and are entirely bounded by the private lands. in turn. Failure of the aforesaid persons to appear before the board for the purpose above referred to. Adjustment of lands of the first group shall continue to be made in accordance with the proceeding prescribed in the Regulation of June 25. the record shall be approved and the chief of the province. they shall be requested to show the board whatever rights they may have to the land and the work performed thereon. the provincial treasurer. There shall be established in every municipality a local commission composed of a "teniente de justicia" (in every case designated by the "Gobernadorcillo" to act by turns in all the municipal districts). shall not prevent the resolution of the case. shall make his recommendation as to the action to be taken in each case to the General Directorate of Civil Administration. in his capacity as deputy of the General Directorate of Civil Administration. without voice or vote. Said instructions. within 8 days from the date of the session at which it was informed thereof. The chief of the province shall issue the corresponding title to the property in accordance with such decision. If protests and claims are filed therein. the area of which is less than 30 hectares. there shall be established in each provincial capital a "provincial board for the adjustment of lands" composed of the Civil of Military-Civil Governor as president. the Prosecuting Attorney. xxx xxx xxx ART. it shall designate a day. An officer of the Department of Agriculture (Fomento) shall act as Secretary thereof. accompanied by his report thereon. upon whom summons to that effect shall be duly served. xxx xxx xxx ART. For the adjustment of lands of the second group. whether they be possessed under a just title or not. the town head (Gobernadorcillo) and "Juez de Sementeras". xxx xxx xxx ART.

which prescribed the procedure for the hearing and disposal of applications for adjustment. 1881. In all other cases. ART. the title Exhibit D-2 was not issued by the General Directorate of Civil Administration with the intervention of the Inspector General of Forests. 5. When the land is under cultivation. having an area of less than 30 hectares. viz: Lands having an area of more than 30 hectares. 3. Adjustment of lands the area of which is in excess of the 30 hectares shall correspond to provincial boards only when the area specified in the title together with that of the portion in excess does not exceed that area. When. 1881. is under cultivation. the date on which thee period for the filing of applications for lands of this kind expired. but merely by the provincial board. whenever such property adjoins lands belonging to the State or contains more than 30 hectares. 7. xxx xxx xxx ART. are situated within the communal lands. and has been possessed for ten years under a just title. adjustment shall be made under paragraph 3 of the same article and Regulation. During the period and on date of the issuance of the title Exhibit D-2 in question. and the amount which the possessor has to pay to the Treasury shall be governed by the provisions of the Regulation of June 25. the Maura law was also in force in the Philippine Islands by virtue of the Royal Decree of February 13.ART. Adjustments shall be free only in the following cases: 1. as defined in the aforesaid Royal Decree. reads as follows: ART. on the ground that the area thereof greatly exceeded thirty hectares and was not entirely bounded by private lands. The provincial boards shall likewise take charge of the adjustment of those lands which. it is obvious that the same belonged to the first group. 1880. or are not entirely bounded by private lands. 2. 6. and if not. the adjustment of which devolves upon the provincial boards in accordance with the provisions of articles 1 and 2 of these Instructions. 1894. Provincial boards shall immediately remit to the General Directorate of Civil Administration all petitions for adjustment of lands not within their jurisdiction. upon the supposition that the three-third portions above-mentioned constitute the whole tract of land which had originally passed from Tomas Ilao. ART. or for twenty years under no title whatsoever. the portion in excess thereof shall be admitted to adjustment if it is cultivated or. in open violation of the laws and regulations relative thereto. 2. if uncultivated. for which a second petition insisting thereon has been made within the prescribed time limit. possessed under just title and there being an excess in its area of not more than one-fifth of that specified in said title. in accordance with Royal Order of July 13. If any of the lands. also all proceedings to be heard and determined by said department. Notwithstanding such facts. Judging from the area of the land in question and that of the two-third portions from which it had been segregated. in all other cases they shall be disposed of by the provincial boards established by Decree on Municipal Organization issued May 19. 1881. If under cultivation. 4. Uncultivated lands shall not be admitted to adjustment. the adjustment thereof shall be made in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 6 of the Regulation of June 25. 1893. Article 6 of said law. when the adjustment thereof had been applied for prior to September 8. unless such adjustment had been applied for prior to September 8. entirely bounded by private property and under cultivation. adjustment shall be onerous. assisted by the Inspector General of Forests. and happens to have an area in excess of that specified in said title. possessed under a just title. whether the possessor thereof be a native or not. such as are. 1880. shall be disposed of in the shortest time practicable according to the laws in force prior to the present the General Directorate of Civil Administration. . ART. it has been under cultivation. All petition for adjustment.

The secretaries of said boards shall keep registers in which a record shall be entered of the receipt of all petitions for adjustment. profession. 1893. and the second shall comprise all others. xxx xxx xxx ART. All title deeds shall bear the father's name in full and the mother's maiden name of the persons to whom they are issued. or are not entirely bounded by private lands. civil status. was likewise then in force. 9. 12. also their age." Articles 9."The provincial boards for the adjustment of lands established by Royal Decree of December 26. including records. Said circular declared null and void all titles issued after October 18. all records and documents which they may hold in their possession. such as are. 1894. which did not comply with the requirement that they bear the dry seal and rubric of the Inspector General of Forests. The circular of the General Directorate of Civil Administration on February 14. 1893. Such credential shall be attached to the record. Said personal data covering the grantee must compare with his personal cedula or certificate from the captain or gobernadorcillo of his district. When petitions referring to lands included in the second group mentioned in article 9 are received by the General Directorate of Civil Administration they shall be referred to the presidents of the provincial boards for examination and report. The circular in question reads as follows: GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF CIVIL ADMINISTRATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS CIRCULAR Inasmuch as article 28 of the Instructions for the adjustment of public lands of the Philippine Islands expressly provides that titles issued by the chiefs of provinces by virtue of such adjustments be drawn up on the printed forms which this office shall furnish to the provincial boards for that purpose. boards of adjustment are hereby directed to deliver to their successors. and residence. as are local commissions created by the latter decree. when bounded at any point by other state lands. Municipal tribunals of towns shall assume the duties of said local commissions. 1888. xxx xxx xxx ART. are hereby dissolved. Proceedings for adjustment of lands of the first group shall be heard and determined by the General Directorate of Civil Administration with the assistance of the Inspector General of Forests. 13. in order to fully comply with the provisions of said article and to facilitate the discovery of any violation thereof. The adjustments of the second group shall be heard and determined by the provincial boards established by Royal Decree of 19th of May. the provincial boards. in compliance with the provisions of Royal Order of February 15. Title deeds deficient in any of the requisite provisions of law shall not be admitted to registration. and article 2 of the Regulations for the manner of drafting public documents subject to registration in the archipelago. which shall take the place of the boards of adjustment existing up to the present time. and the fact of its being so attached shall be entered in the instrument of title. this office has deemed it convenient to order that all printed forms of this kind furnished to the said boards for the aforesaid purpose bear a dry seal in the form of mountains with the inscription "Office of the Inspector General of Forests of the Philippine Islands-Adjustment of Lands" and the rubric of the said Inspector . 1893. viz: Lands having an area of more than 30 hectares. 12. Before dissolving. issued by the General Directorate of Civil Administration and punished on the 11th in the Gazette of said month. or. provide as follows: ART. 1893.13 and 40 of the Regulation for the enforcement of the aforesaid Decree. Lands subject to adjustment shall continue to be classified as heretofore into two groups: The first shall comprise those which have an area of more than 30 hectares. pursuant to circular dated August 9. also all proceedings to be heard and determined by said department. if less. 40. ART. Provincial boards shall immediately remit to the General Directorate of Civil Administration all petitions for adjustment of lands not within their jurisdiction.

civil status. The regulation in question which is dated May 10. this office. at the instance of the Inspector General of Forests. the regulation to the effect that the maiden name of the grantee's mother should appear in the title issued to him was then in force and strictly observed. so that they may be exchanged for others drawn up in accordance with the provisions of the Mortgage law in force in the Philippine Islands. as expressly provided in the aforecited Royal Order of February 15th. The circular of the General Directorate of Civil Administration of the Philippines. their age. Presidents of boards shall publish the requirements of the preceding paragraph by means of notices and town criers in order to enable the interested parties to supply any omission in the above requisite data. for either guidance in drawing up said titles. and countersigned by the Inspector General of Forests. dated August 9. and in compliance with the Royal Order relative thereto which was issued on February 15th last. Exhibit D-2 does not bear the serial number either printed or in handwriting as required by the aforecited circular. 1893. demanded the same requisite. both for the reason that the interested parties to whom they may be indispensable would be deprived thereof for a long time and because of the likelihood that they may be lost. which they may have in stock at the first opportunity. Said circular reads as follows: GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF CIVIL ADMINISTRATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS CIRCULAR Considering that the printed forms which were being used by the boards of adjustment in the issuance of titles to lands adjusted with the State. with the concurrence of the Inspector General of Forests. In order that the adjustment work may not be interrupted for any lenght of time. do not conform stricly to the provisions of the Mortgage Law now in force. has resolved the following: 1. is embodied in the circular of the Director General of Civil Administration of the Philippine Islands which was published in the "Gaceta de Manila" on May 14th of the same year. to state in the adjustment titles to public lands the personal circumstances of the grantees. 1893. Similarly. and deeming it improper to require the interested parties to send said cedula certificates either to the Inspector General of Forests or to the presidents of provincial boards for adjustment of lands. all of which data must necessarily be stated in the titles to lands which may hence forth be issued. has resolved that in all cases in which it is not possible to examine the cedula certificate of the interested party in drawing up the titles to adjusted lands. as stated in their cedula certificates. 3.General of Forests. GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF CIVIL ADMINISTRATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS — FORESTS CIRCULAR It being necessary. which do not comply with these requirements are void. 4. 1893. Neither is it amiss to repeat herein that the so-called title (Exhibit D-2) does not bear the required dry seal and rubric of the office of the Inspector General of Forests. the presidents of boards shall remit all printed forms used in the issuance of titles. The determination of adjustment cases pending hearing before said boards shall be suspended unless the interested parties furnish their father's surname and their mother's maiden name. the boards of adjustment of lands shall discontinue issuing title from the date this resolution is published in the "Gaceta de Manila". last. All titles issued by my deputies after October 18. and published in the "Gaceta de Manila" on the 11th of the same month and year. Said circular reads as follows. this Directorate. 2. the Inspector General of Forests as well as the presidents of provincial boards for . in conformity with the provisions of the Royal Orders of January 12th and February 15th last. Furthermore each and every one of said papers shall be serially numbered. profession and domicile.

1888. 1894. 1896. in accordance with Royal Order of July 13. with the exception of a portion thereof. 54 are and 82 centares. The certificate shall contain a complete copy of the contents of the cedula certificate and shall further indicate the maiden name of the grantee's mother. 1931. serves not only to show how strictly the provisions of the aforecited decrees. It follows. Said Exhibit 4 was issued by the chief of the Province of Laguna because the land covered thereby had an area of less than thirty hectares. it is clear that he obtained the title in question not only through error but also through fraud. 1896. indicates the maiden name of the mother of the grantee Pablo Acero y Alcantara. in all the municipalities of the province under you. with a number (No.the adjustment of lands may demand a certificate in connection with such document through the chief of the province." the presumption is that the said interested party obtained the aforesaid title Exhibit D-2 on the strength of his affirmation that the land covered thereby was under cultivation. for the information of the general public. if such data have not been stated therein. his age. that it vested no title in Tomas Ilao. Everything said thus far shows that the title in question was not valid. If this should not be sufficient. his assistants and the interested party. This certificate shall be drawn up de oficio at the municipal court of the town where the interested party resides. Laguna. It bears the dry seal and rubric of the Inspector General Directorate of Civil Administration on February 14. which is an authentic and genuine title to property issued to Pablo Acero y Alcantara by the chief of the Province of Laguna. and from the two-year old coffee trees planted on the portion which is indicated with the word "coffee" on the plan Exhibit A. in connection with the manner in which titles were issued and the persons issuing them when the land covered thereby did not exceed 30 hectares in area. which were in evidence in some portions thereof. Exhibit 4. or by another person of the same locality at his request if he does not know how to do so. and which refers to a parcel of land having an area of 6 hectares. the land covered thereby was never cultivated during the five years prior to September 28.344 10th class) which is very much higher than of the one issued to Pablo Acero y Alcantara (No. judging from clearings (caiñgin). when the case was heard in the trial court. and regulations were then observed and complied with. 1881. Your Honor will please have this circular published by means of town criers. laws. 1. . dated October 20.940. in connection with the cedula certificates of their respective grantees. in view of the provisions of article 3 of the aforesaid Decree of the Overseas Minister (Ministro de Ultramar). some of which are more than 40 years old according to the evidence of the oppositors. on February 28. and. Under such circumstances. but also proves that Exhibit D-2 in question is fictitious and not genuine. when they exceeded 30 hectares. the issuing officer having before him the cedula certificate in force. The contents of the document Exhibit D-2 show that it did not comply with the requirements above stated. and has the serial number relative to the issuance thereof printed at the top of the left margin. therefore. Said certificate shall be signed by the "gobernadorcillo" or captain. which the interested party shall be required to exhibit to that effect. it is inconceivable how it was possible to issue Tomas Ilao a cedula certificate date January 23. It should further be noted that the two cedula certificates in question had been issued in the same municipality of Siniloan. in Spanish and in the local dialects. it may be added that. civil status and profession. 1881. which reads: "Uncultivated lands shall not be admitted for adjustment unless such adjustment had been applied for prior to September 1. the date on which the period for the filing of applications for lands of this kind expired. otherwise such title would not have been issued to him. seven months after the alleged issuance of Exhibit D-2. Comparing the statements and certificates contained in the two documents above-mentioned.723 10th class) on a much later date. that is. 43. Exhibit D-2 and Exhibit 4. inasmuch as the evidence of record shows that. the dry seal and rubric which such titles should bear and the statements or certificates which they should contain relative to the full name and surname together with the maiden name of the mother of the person or persons in whose favor they were issued. This is shown more clearly by the fact that on the entire land and on the portion planted with young coffee trees. there are many timber-trees.

It cannot even be said that the clearings (caiñgin). which is the record of the proceeding in the homestead application of said Pablo Villegas. no doubt. of which there were some traces thereon and which might have been made about five years prior to September 28. on January 23. With much less reason could the latter sell it to Teodoro Kalambakal on the ground that he did not even take possession nor claim ownership thereof in spite of the alleged execution of the aforesaid document in his favor. who was sent by the Bureau of Forestry to inspect it in the connection with the former's application to the said bureau for the registration thereof. according to Exhibit D-1. 1928. as was done by him. 607. and his occasional visits to the land about the same year. much less in the municipalities of Siniloan at Famy where said land is situated. Inasmuch as this court is convinced that Exhibit D-2 did not vest Tomas Ilao with any right. 7 Phil. for the purpose of indicating the boundaries thereof to Forester Valentin Sajor. The preponderance of evidence. leads as to the conviction that Teodoro Kalambakal was aware of the manner in which the so-called title Exhibit D-2 was fabricated. could be found in the National Library or Division of Archives where the records of all titles to property issued during the Spanish regime. while said exhibit was issued on the 2d of the same month and year. It should be born in mind that. according to the evidence. having so declared under oath in his application above-mentioned. 1897. The foregoing likewise shows that Teodoro Kalambakal's alleged purchase of the land from Pablo Villegas is fictitious on the ground that. or of the proceeding thereof. In the case the foregoing are deemed insufficient. Neither is it necessary to dwell upon the young coffee trees on the ground that their age (two years) clearly proves that they have been planted during the time applicants-appellees were in possession thereof. If Teodolo Kalambakal neither acquired anything from Pablo Villegas nor actually possessed the land which he claimed to have bought from the latter. it should be added that the evidence of the oppositors shows that no trace of the issuance of the so-called title Exhibit D-2 of Tomas Ilao. as before stated.Furthermore. said Pablo Villegas did not have any land. The certificate referred to in its first paragraph states that the cedula certificate of Tomas Ilao was issued on the "23d instant".. Tabayuyong. transfer thereof which he made in favor of the appellees-spouses would serve them nothing on the ground that it did not vest them with any right whatsoever. Exhibit 48. he could not therefore validly sell the land which allegedly sold to Pablo Villegas on October 15. . Casimiro vs. it may be inferred from the foregoing that their possession only commenced from that year in view of the fact that Teodoro Kalambakal from whom they bought it did not possess it in the legal sense. 562. because there is nothing of record to justify such conclusion. according to the date appearing therein. Fernandez. Of this there is no doubt because when he went to the land in question on or about the month of July. Exhibit D-2 should have been rejected not only because it is null and void but also because it is fictitious or forged and therefore not genuine. as claimed by the herein appellees. long before he sold the land of which the parcel in question was a portion. 1929. had been made by Kalambakal's order. he never declared it as his property for taxation purposes at any place. The mere fact of declaring uncultivated land for taxation purposes and visiting it every once in a while. are kept. (Evangelista vs. and long after he purchased it from Tomas Ilao. Furthermore. Granting that the applicants-appellees have been in possession of the land in question from the date on which they purchased it in 1929 and had planted it with young coffee trees. prove that in 1918. were led to believe that Exhibit D-2 was valid. Said spouses. who told him that he could have them because they might be of use to him. more than anything else. does not constitute acts of possession. the only acts Teodoro Kalambakal which may in some way serve as evidence of his claims of ownership of the land in question were his having declared it as his property for taxation purposes in Laguna on November 8. and particularly his application therein. 1896. as also claimed. It is therefore evident that the trial court committed the firs error alleged in the appellant's brief. 1931. he made the mistake of narrating how he became the owner of the land by means of some old documents scattered in the house of a friend in Siniloan. that is. 9 Phil.) Therefore.. the very contents of Exhibit D-2 indicate that it is fraudulent. there can be no doubt that the trial court committed the second error as alleged in the appellants brief. if the latter had no land of his own he could not have sold what is now claimed to have been bought by the former. All these circumstances show beyond doubt that he not only did not possessor occupy the land in question but was not even aware of the existence of the deed of sale Exhibit D-1 which was allegedly executed by Tomas Ilao in his favor.

5413 hectares (pp. in this case. however. ZARA LEYCO.. paragraph 6 of Act No.R. from the year 1888. Wherefore.: Petition to review a decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed in toto that of the trial court. 2874 which amended section 54. MAKASIAR. that took place after the deed of sale Exhibit B had been executed by Teodoro Kalambakal in their favor and this fact does not entitle them to register it in their name. No. that is. ROA). The judgement of the trial court adjudicating the land in question to the appellees under the aforecited legal provisions. possessed the land in question jointly or separately. under the conditions prescribed by the law. The evidence presented as well as that heretofore stated shows that it is forestry land. LEANDRO LEYCO. C. JUSTINA LEYCO and FELIPA LEYCO. as already stated. No. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. is compelled to hold that the contention of said appellants is likewise correct. N-173 of the then Court of First Instance of Marinduque. In LRC No. the court deems it unnecessary to pass upon the third. represented by LEANDRO LEYCO. is based on a false premise. So ordered.J. paragraph (b) of Act No. 1985 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (The Director of Lands). 496 or under Act No. Zara and Felipa all surnamed LEYCO applied for judicial confirmation of their title to two (2) parcels of land with a combined area of 138. vs. L-67399 November 19. petitioner. However. in succession. 926. 926. Opis for respondents. Having arrived at this conclusion. The only thing that. Avelino. either under Act. 1-9. without special pronouncement. as to costs. This kind of land is not subject to registration on the ground that it has been occupied for the period of time therein prescribed (Ankron vs. Restituto L. Justina. continously. fifth and sixth alleged errors relied upon in the appellants' brief. Government of the Philippine Islands. . to wit: that the land in the question is agricultural in nature. The Director of lands for the Republic of the Philippines opposed the petition. nothwithstanding the attempt of the applicants-appellees to prove the contrary. it is hereby reversed. 40 Phil. this court. neither the applicantappellees nor Teodoro Kalambakal nor Pablo Villegas nor Tomas Ilao.With respect to the fourth alleged error which the appellants contend was committted by the trial court. after examining and studying the provisions of section 45. THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and AVELINO LEYCO. respondents. openly. in a way. exclusively and under a bona fide claim of ownership. seems certain is that the applicantappellees cultivated the land in question for the first time in 1929 or 1930. particularly when. Solicitor General for petitioner. 10). by means of laborers who planted young coffee trees thereon. The petition of the applicant-appellees is hereby denied and the land in question is declared forestry land. Leandro. finding that the judgment appealed from is not in the accordance with the law nor supported by the evidence presented during the trial.

2778 (1955) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.00. . The tax declarations presented as evidence by respondent applicants are not by themselves conclusive proof of their alleged possession under claim of ownership over the lots in question." Value of land assessed at P690 and improvements thereon at P300 or a total assessed value of P990.) lands. cogonalos para paste.0000 has. Declared as coconut land with a total area of 19.00 and improvements at P1550. Exh.570.012 coconut fruit bearing trees. 3432 (1966) in the name of Fausta de Jesus. Planted to 1.330. Total value of land assessed at P940. This TD cancelled TD No. Declared as coconut (19. Planted to 1512 coconut bearing trees.00 and value of improvements assessed at P2. with a total area of 19.4182 has.00 or a total value of P11.4182 has.900. Declared as coconut (15.470. The earliest tax declaration is dated 1927 while the others are recent tax declarations.070. 664. 5319. M-2" — Tax Declaration No. Planted to 1512 coconut bearing trees. This TD cancelled TD No.00 or a total value of P12.0000 has.00 and value of improvements thereon assessed at P7.) and cogon (100. Exh. Value of land assessed at 114. Declared as coconut land with a total area of 19.360 and value of improvements assessed at P11.320. This TD cancelled TD No.4182 has. Declared as coconut and cogon lands.Respondent applicants' alleged possession of Lots 1 and 2 of Psu-133612 (consisting of 138.) lands.) lands.00.00.0000 has. . 2778. 141)." with an area of 23. Planted to 1364 coconut trees (fruit bearing). Declared as coconut (6. . who claimed to have entered into possession of the land in question in 1911 until her death in 1962. 5319 (1928) in the name of Fausta de Jesus. This TD cancelled TD No. This declaration cancelled TD No. Value of land assessed at P3. Act No. Declared as"Cogonalos para cocal.590. 475.340 or a total value of P15. M-8" — Tax Declaration No.) lands. 3480 (1958) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.500. 0-2" — Tax Declaration No.00 or a total assessed value of P19. Exh.5413 hectares) from 1962 up to the filing of their application for registration in 1976 — about 14 years only — does not constitute possession under claim of ownership so as to entitle them to a State grant under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act (Com.920.00. Respondent applicants presented the following exhibits: Exh.00. M-4" — Tax Declaration No. Respondent applicants failed to establish conclusively that they and their predecessor-in-interest were in continuous possession and occupancy of the lots in question under bona fide claim of ownership.00 or a total assessed value of P5.700.00 or a total assessed value of P 8.250. Exh. Planted to 150 "ponos de cocos frutales. M-3" — Tax Declaration No.900. This declaration cancelled TD No. 665. does not appear to be indubitable. or with a total area of 119.) and cogon (17. M-5" — Tax Declaration No. Exh.4182 has.500. This declaration cancelled TD No.00 while total value of improvements assessed at P10. Declared as coconut (15.4182 has. 3480. M-6" — Tax Declaration No. M-7" — Tax Declaration No.00. 475 (1949) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.660. 3431 (1966) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.00 and value of improvements assessed at P9. Value of land assessed at P2.1231.00 while value of improvements assessed at P 5. Planted to 620 coconut trees fruit bearing.) and cogon (40000 has. . . Value of land assessed at P 3.0000 has . Planted to 1685 coconut trees.1231 has. Total value of land assessed at P 2. Fausta de Jesus. 4023. Exh.00.) and cogon (40000 has. Exh. Total value of land assessed at P9210.110. Even the alleged long-time possession by respondent applicants' mother. 664 (1966) in the name of Fausta de Jesus. 4023 (1958) in the name of Fausta de Jesus. as amended. Planted to 500 coconut trees bearing fruits and 120 coconut trees not bearing fruits.00 or a total value of P2490.

.00 or a total value of P31. . 4165. 4022 (1958) in the name of Fausta de Jesus. Land assessed at P14. Leandro. 0-3" — Tax Declaration No. 2485 (1974) in the name of Avelino Leandro.) lands or a total area of 85.1231 has. 3543 (1958) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.) and cogon (4. .00. 4476 Exh.190 coconut trees fruit bearing and 200 coconut trees not bearing fruit (3 years old). Justina and Felipa Leyco. Planted to 1512 coconut fruit bearing trees. 2779 (1955) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.640 or a total assessed value of P22. Justina.00 while improvements thereon at P10. Planted to "2191 cocos frutales. all surnamed Leyco. 3431.120 while improvements thereon at P12. Exh.) and cogon (P100. 4166 (1970) in the name of Avelino.320.) and cogon (50. Land assessed at P13. 0-4" — Tax Declaration No.660. 2484 (1974) in the name of Avelino. Exh.00 while improvements thereon at P10. 476 (1949) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.0000 has.840. Exh.) lands.) lands. Likewise.00 or a total value of P24. Land assessed at P5.1231 has.300.8595 has. Land assessed at P21. 0-7" — Tax Declaration No. This declaration cancelled TD No.00 while improvements thereon valued at P660. or with a total area of has. Planted to 2.0637 has. Zara and Felipa Leyco.00. 3231. Declared as coconut (20. This TD cancelled TD No. Value of land assessed at P5280 and value or improvements therein at P8020 or a total assessed value of P13.00 has.730 and improvements thereon assessed at P9. Zara & Felipe. 665 (1966) in the name of Fausta de Jesus.580. 0-5" — Tax Declaration No. Zara and Felipa Leyco. Value of land is assessed at P3590 while value of improvements at P9070 or a total assessed value of P12.140.1231 has. This declaration cancelled TD No.0000 has.) and cogon (100. Declared as coconut land with a total area of 119. Declared as coconut (15. 2779. 5321.030.0000 has.) and pasture (642042 has.0000 has. O" — Tax Declaration No.860 or a total assessed value of P24. Classified as coconut land with an area of P5. Exh. Land assessed at P3370. 3432. This declaration cancelled TD No. This declaration cancelled TD No.270. 0-8" — Tax Declaration No.210 and thereon at P10. Land assessed at P10. This declaration cancelled TD No. L" — Tax Declaration No.4182 has. Declared as coconut (19.590. .) lands.00 and improvements thereon at P9.440.0637 has.Exh.590. Leandro. 4165 (1970) in the name of Avelino Alejandro.290. Exh. . 0-6" — Tax Declaration No. Planted to 1843 coconut trees fruit bearing. This declaration cancelled TD No.00 or a total assessed value of P10. This declaration cancelled TD No.00. Value of land assessed at P9.) lands. . N" — Tax Declaration No. M" — Tax Declaration No. Planted to 1. 4166.111 or a total assessed value of P19. A cursory look at the exhibits (tax declarations) presented by respondent applicants herein reveals a number of discrepancies that cast serious doubts on respondents' claim over the lots in question: . Planted to 2.1231 has.) lands. Declared as coconut (19.685 coconut fruit bearing trees. respondent applicants herein presented the following tax declarations: Exh. Planted to 1425 coconut bearing trees and 550 coconut not bearing fruits. Exh. 3543. This TD cancelled TD No.190 coconut trees fruit bearing. 4022. Classified as coconut (19.) and cogon (100. Exh. Justina. Planted to 1685 coconut trees fruit bearing." Land assessed at P2320 and improvements there at P4380 or a total assessed value of P6700.760.00. This declaration cancelled TD No. Declared as coconut land with a total area of 119.0000 has. Planted to 1.0000 has.290. Declared as coconut (19.00.1231 has. 5321 (1941) on the name of Fausta de Jesus.00. Planted to 140 coconut bearing trees. Declared as "Llani cocal" with an area of 88.685 coconut trees bearing fruits. Justina.

5319. is tantamount to putting a premium on absentee landlordism. 3432 (1966). however. 476. of Tax Declaration No. only about 19. 5321 dated 1941 (Exh. under Tax Declaration No. 476 (Exh. 2.0637 as erroneously stated in Tax Declaration No. Under Tax Declaration No. 5321over the same parcel of land. 3. Fausta de Jesus filed Tax Declaration No. A close examination. 2779 was filed — cancelling Tax Declaration No. show that of the total declared area of 119.0637 hectares (84.0637 hectares. in 1949.0000 hectares. Again. Tax Declaration No. However. 5319 dated 1928 (Exh. the foregoing disparity in the size of the land as declared in the two tax declarations is a clear indication that respondent applicants herein and their predecessor-in-interest were uncertain and contradictory as to the exact or actual size of the land they purportedly possessed. Tax Declaration No. Fausta de Jesus filed Tax Declaration No.1231 hectares were planted to coconuts and the remaining 100. thus: North. 476 — showing this time a whopping land area of119. of Florencio Corral This anomaly in the listing of adjoining owners in the two aforestated tax declarations over the same parcel of land only reveals the flaw that apparently attended the acquisition of the lots in question by respondent applicants and their predecessor-in-interest. M-8) declared in the name of Fausta de Jesus with an area of 23. As per certification of the municipal treasurer of Buenavista. it was shown that the taxes due on the land registered in the name of Fausta de Jesus were paid only from 1949 until 1957 — an indication that respondent applicants and their . Tax Declaration No. and 4022 (1958) presented as Exhibits 0-2. and 0-4. 0-7) which cancelled Tax Declaration No. Fausta de Jesus. considering that from 1949 up to her death in 1962. respectively. 476 in 1949. specifies its boundaries as follows: North: Sapa East: Florencio Corral South: Fausta de Jesus West: Mar. As to how Fausta de Jesus managed to increase her landholdings in so short a span of time intrigues one no end. The unjustifiable award of this vast tract of land — which are cogon lands and therefore pasture lands still forming part of the public domain and released by the Bureau of Lands for disposition — to the respondent applicants herein.00 hectares were cogonal or uncultivated lands. Marinduque. In 1949.000. respondent applicants' predecessor-in-interest. 0-8). 476). the total area of the land declared was only 85. declared a parcel of land in her name with an area of 88. Later.1231 hectares. 665 (1966).1231 hectares. M-7) which cancelled Tax Declaration 475 (Exh. The record shows that even the taxes due o the litigated lots were not paid regularly. 475 (Exh. Brook East: Aurelia de Jesus South: Seashore (before Fausta de Jesus) West: Hrs. M-7) which cancelled Tax Declaration No. it is noteworthy to mention that six years after Fausta de Jesus filed Declaration No. 475 shows that the listing of the adjoining owners therein was at variance with what was previously stated in Tax Declaration No.1. who are undeserving. 5319 over the same parcel of land. she listed Manila as her place of residence. Likewise. 0-3.

respondent applicants herein have not shown nor clearly their right to inherit from their predecessor-ininterest. and no other.000 coconut trees. possession is not exclusive nor notorious. But even granting that the witnesses presented by herein respondent applicants were indeed bona fide overseers and tenants or workers of the land in question. In a practical and scientific way of planting. concur. applicants cannot be said to have acquired the same right proper for registration. Cuevas and Alampay. this is a clear case of land-grabbing of over 100 hectares of land. testate or intestate. J. Once planted. JJ. 1978. The testimonies of respondent applicants' alleged overseers and hired tenants should not be accorded weight and significance.predecessor-in-interest did not pay taxes to the government from 1928 to 1940.000 coconut trees on Lot 1 which is 119 hectares. land-grabbing by the powerful. In short. At this point in time in our country's history. In the instant case. cultivated and planted to coconut trees and fruit trees. Moreover. WHEREFORE. 1978 when the respondent applicants closed their evidence — a total of 32 years.. SO ORDERED. THE DECISION OF THE RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT IS HEREBY REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. Escolin. Aquino (Chairman). 1977. a one. a coconut is left to grow and need not be tended or watched. it could only mean that about only 25 hectares out of the 138 hectares claimed by herein respondent applicants were cleared. to establish who Fausta's legal heirs are or that applicants. dissidence or subversion which menacingly threaten the very survival of our nation. which could be divided among the landless and the poor to defuse the seething unrest among the underprivileged. They have first to show their right to succeed Fausta. On the contrary.000 coconut trees on Lot 2 which is 19 hectares) on the vast tract of land subject of the instant petition.. The respondent applicants presented their evidence on April 19.000 coconut trees and some fruit trees were planted (2. and from 1958 until July 6. .hectare land can be planted to about 144 coconut trees. 1978 and July 6. are Fausta's sole heirs. Finally. and 1. 1977. took no part. much less continuous. This is not what the law considers as possession under claim of ownership. moneyed and influential absentee claimants should not be tolerated nor condoned if only to avoid fanning further the fires of discontent. But all these should be threshed out in a proper proceeding. NO COSTS. THE PETITION IS HEREBY GRANTED.. March 29. because it is only natural for the overseers and hired tenants to testify as they did in respondent applicants' favor as they stand to benefit from a decision favorable to their supposed landlords and benefactors. certainly not in a land registration case. if the hired tenants and workers of respondent applicants managed to plant only 3. October 12. Concepcion Jr. it appears rather strange why only about 3. They have not presented any evidence of value to prove that they have the right to inherit whatever portion of the properties left by Fausta de Jesus. The observation of the Solicitor General on this point is thus well taken: Even assuming that applicants' deceased mother acquired registerable title over the parcels in question. so as to give rise to a presumptive grant from the government. it merely showed casual or occasional cultivation of portions of the land in question.

2002 Judgment[6] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagaytay City. 2009 x-------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION DEL CASTILLO. Branch 18 and held that petitioner was not entitled to the requested registration of title. JJ. BRION.R. December 8. DEL CASTILLO. Promulgated: Respondent. 2006 Decision[4] of the Court of Appeals (CA) and its subsequent Resolution[5] dated April 3.versus - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. J. Said Decision and Resolution reversed and set aside the April 2. .Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila SECOND DIVISION JOSEPHINE WEE. Petitioner. and ABAD.: In land registration cases.. 177384 Present: CARPIO. 2007 in CA-G.[1] It is also important to bear in mind that one who seeks registration of title must prove his or her claim with well-nigh incontrovertible evidence. petitioner miserably failed to show that she is the real and absolute owner in fee simple of the land sought to be registered. CV No. G. Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari[3] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court are the April 28.[2] In this case. 76519. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. Chairperson. Proceedings before the Regional Trial Court . No. the applicant has the burden to show that he or she is the real and absolute owner in fee simple of the land sought to be registered.R. J.

Silang. 1980. 141 (1936). the Republic of the Philippines. continuous. 1993. No. Petitioner presented the following pieces of documentary evidence before the trial court: 1) Deed of Absolute Sale between Josephine Wee and Julian Gonzales dated February 1. Aggregate Land Holding and Non-Tenancy executed by Julian Gonzales on February 10.[14] 4) Receipts for tax payments made by Josephine Wee from 1993-1999. 1993. Petitioner claimed the benefits of the Property Registration Decree[9] or. or of the petitioners open.On December 22. petitioner alleged in her application that she is the owner in fee simple of the subject property by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale[8] dated February 1. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation thereof in the concept of owner since June 12. petitioner filed an Application for Registration of Title[7] over a 4.[16] 6) Affidavit of Ownership.[13] 3) Tax Declarations in the name of Josephine Wee from 1993 onwards. should said Decree be inapplicable. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of Lot No. 1967.[12] 2) Tax Declarations in the name of Julian Gonzales for the years 1957. In brief. continuous. designated as Lot No. 1945 or prior thereto. 452-D). 8349 is part of the public domain and consequently prayed for the dismissal of the application for registration. the benefits of Chapter VIII of Commonwealth Act No. peaceful and adverse possession of the land since time immemorial. On March 15. 1945 or prior thereto.[17] 7) Affidavit of Non-Tenancy executed by Julian Gonzales on February 10. 1993 executed by Julian Gonzales in her favor. 1994.[18] . 8349 since June 12. 1993. 8349 (Cadastral Lot.[15] 5) Affidavit of Seller-Transferor executed by Julian Gonzales on February 10. and 1985. continuous. Cavite. 1961. filed its Opposition[11] alleging that neither the petitioner nor her predecessor-in-interest has been in open. 1993. It asserted that Lot No.870square meter parcel of land situated in Barangay Puting Kahoy. 1995. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).[10] because she and her predecessor-in-interest have been in open. The OSG likewise averred that the muniments of title and tax payment receipts submitted by the petitioner do not constitute competent or sufficient evidence of a bona fide acquisition of the subject lot. public.

that she did not cultivate it because it is planted with coffee. that there are no adverse claimants and no cases were filed against her after the sale involving said lot and that she is not doing anything with the property because it is not productive. 2000 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stating that Lot No. that she paid for all the real property taxes subsequent to the sale. that her husband inherited the property from his parents a long time ago.[22] She also presented the testimonies of the following witnesses who were all cross-examined by the Republic through the public prosecutor: 1) Josephine Wee.[25] Ruling of the Regional Trial Court . Technical Description and Tracing Cloth. who testified that she witnessed the execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale between her father whose signature she identified and the applicant in February 1993. that the property is not part of the public domain or any river or military reservation. the 75-year old widow of Julian Gonzales. Erlinda Gonzales Batingal and Remedios Gonzales Bayan. the 39-year old daughter of Julian and Juana Gonzales.[19] 9) Certification dated March 2. 8349. who declared that she and her husband sold Lot No. 3013 established under FAO-4-1656 on March 15. 8349 prior to the sale to Josephine Wee. that her husband already had the property when they got married and that she and Julian Gonzales began living together in 1946. She also identified and affirmed the due execution and authenticity of her Salaysay. She also identified and affirmed the due execution and authenticity of her Salaysay. 1993 and immediately took possession thereof after the sale. that she caused the preparation of a survey plan. 8349 from Julian Gonzales through a Deed of Absolute Sale dated February 1. who testified that she purchased Lot No.[20] 10) Survey Plan of Lot No.[21] and 11) Surveyors Certificate.8) Salaysay executed by Juana Macatangay Gonzales.[24] 3) Remedios Gonzales Bayan.[23] 2) Juana Gonzales. 8349 was shown to be within the Alienable or Disposable Land per Land Classification Map No. She testified that she and her late husband had been in possession of Lot No. 8349 to the petitioner and identified her husbands signature and her own thumbmark. as well as the documents signed by her husband. 1982.

On the basis of the foregoing facts and considering that applicant is a Filipino citizen not otherwise disqualified from owning real property. the Republic.870) Square Meters as supported by its technical description now forming part of the record of this case. more particularly the tracing cloth plan which was presented as additional evidence in support of the application. Likewise. or earlier. alleging that the RTC erred in granting the application for registration considering that petitioner failed to comply with all the legal requirements for judicial confirmation of her alleged title. in addition to other proofs adduced in the name of JOSEPHINE WEE. Lot 8349 and containing an area of Four Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy (4. 1529. the corresponding decree of registration shall forthwith issue. this Court hereby approves this application for registration and thus places under the operation of Act 141. Cruz. that the land sought to be registered is agricultural and not within any forest zone or the public domain. this Court could well-discern from the survey plan covering the same property and other documents presented. 2002.[26] pertinent portions of which read: Culled from the evidence on record. Act 496 and/or P. subject matter of the instant proceedings. Manila. that tacking her predecessors-in-interests possession to applicants. are facts which satisfactorily establish applicants ownership in fee simple of the parcel of land. 1993. Proceedings before the Court of Appeals Unsatisfied. SO ORDERED. Thus. WHEREFORE. the lands described in Plan Ap-04-010262. who is of legal age. 8349 was classified as alienable and disposable land only on March 15. filed its Notice of Appeal on April 26. 1945. 1982. single and with residence at 1345 Claro M. Once this Decision becomes final and executory. and further. both testimonial and documentary. the latter appears to be in continuous and public possession thereof for more than thirty (30) years. that all the realty taxes due thereon have been duly paid. the OSG claimed that Lot No. and that there is no other adverse claimant thereof. Sta. to wit: that by means of an appropriate deed of sale. through the OSG.D. the applicant has acquired said property by purchase from Julian Gonzales on February 1. petitioner and her predecessor-in-interest could not have been in possession of the property since June 12. that the land is not covered by any public land application/patent.On April 2. In particular. as per Certification issued by the DENR. the RTC promulgated in favor of the petitioner a Judgment. this Court finds that she has satisfied all the conditions essential to the grant of her application pursuant to the provisions of the Land Registration Law. 2002. as amended. Recto Avenue. that the same parcel was declared for taxation purposes. otherwise known as Property Registration Law. The OSG also pointed out .

applicant-appellee and Juana Gonzales failed to specify what acts of development. in favor of applicant-appellee on February 1. cultivation. It is interesting to note that Juana Gonzales. . 1993.[27] Hence. this petition. 8349 even prior to 1946. which was planted with coffee. As pointed out by the Republic. aside from the fact that the same are of recent vintage. In fact. Moreover. and maintenance were done by them on the subject lot. It held that petitioner failed to prove that she and her predecessor-in-interest have been in possession and occupation of the subject lot under a bonafide claim of ownership since June 12. widow of Julian Gonzales. Issues Petitioners arguments 1) The testimony of Juana Gonzales proves that petitioners predecessor-in-interest. the original tracing cloth plan was not presented in evidence. no evidence was presented by her as to who planted the coffee trees thereon. applicant-appellee merely claimed that the subject lot is planted with coffee. after acquiring the same and that she is not doing anything on the lot because it is not productive. x x x xxxx In the case at bar. However.that the tax declarations presented by petitioner are fairly recent and do not show petitioner and her predecessor-in-interests nature of possession. merely stated that the lot subject thereof was inherited by Julian from his parents a long time ago and that Julian was in possession of the lot since 1946 when they started living together. the court a quo merely relied on the deed of sale executed by Julian Gonzales. applicant-appellee admitted that she is not doing anything on the subject lot because it is not productive. after identifying the deed of sale executed by her deceased husband in favor of applicant-appellee. Ruling of the Court of Appeals The CA reversed the RTC Judgment.Furthermore. applicant-appellee testified that she immediately took possession of the subject lot. For her part. thereby implying that she is not taking care of the coffee trees thereon. 1945. occupied Lot No. Julian Gonzales. the tax declarations and tax receipts. tax declarations and tax receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership but are merely indicia of a claim of ownership. Thus: In granting the application for registration of title.

and 3) The fact that the land was declared for tax purposes as early as 1957 shows that the land was actively possessed and occupied by petitioner and her predecessor-in-interest. Thus. there was not only effective and active possession and occupation but actual cultivation and tending of the coffee plantation. we find that petitioners possession of the lot has not been of the character and length of time required by law. The relevant provision of the Property Registration Decree relied upon by petitioner reads SEC. 8349. petitioner could not have been considered as having been in open. and 2) There is no proof that petitioner or Julian Gonzales undertook any clear act of dominion or ownership over Lot No. 14. peaceful and in concept of owner. Petitioner failed to prove open." by which characteristics private respondent describes his possession and that of his parents. a fruit bearing tree. continuous. Respondents arguments: 1) Since Lot No. Who may apply. Here. improvements. Land Management Bureau v. reveals that the lot is planted.2) The fact that the property is planted with coffee. are mere conclusions of law requiring evidentiary support and substantiation. positive and convincing evidence that the alleged possession of his parents was of the nature and duration required by law. as applicant. His bare allegations without more. 8349 became part of the alienable and disposable land only on March 15. 1982. to prove by clear. whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives: . do not amount to preponderant evidence that would shift the burden of proof to the oppositor. public. open. continuous. The burden of proof is on the private respondent. continuous. exclusive and notorious possession of the subject property. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of subject property under a bona fide claim of ownership. In Director. since there are no structures. Court of Appeals. The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land.[28] we explained that x x x The phrase "adverse. or plantings on the property. cultivated and cared for. Our Ruling The petition lacks merit.

[31] The presence of an unspecified number of coffee plants.(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. This type of intermittent and sporadic assertion of alleged ownership does not prove open. 1945. In fact. Second. Petitioner claims that because the property is planted with coffee. continuous. It bears stressing that petitioner presented only five tax declarations (for the years 1957. 1961. these unsubstantiated statements do not meet the required quantum of evidence in land registration cases. In any event. 8349 since 1945. x x x Unfortunately. 1945. continuous. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation. we agree with the CA that petitioner was unable to demonstrate that the alleged possession was in the concept of an owner. whether these plants are maintained or harvested or if any other acts were undertaken by petitioner or her predecessor-in-interest to cultivate the property. petitioner failed to explain who planted the coffee. mere casual cultivation of the land does not amount to exclusive and notorious possession that would give rise to ownership. However. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the subject property under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12. since she could not point to any acts of occupation. in the absence of other competent evidence. continuous. the five tax declarations in the name of Julian Gonzales described the lot .[30] Petitioner failed to prove possession in the concept of an owner.[29] Certainly. it automatically follows that the lot is cultivated. petitioner failed to prove that she and her predecessor-in-interest have been in open. contrary to her testimony that her late husband inherited the property from his parents a long time ago. 1980 and 1985) for a claimed possession and occupation of more than 45 years (19451993). tax declarations do not conclusively establish either possession or declarants right to registration of title. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12. a fruit-bearing tree. cultivation or maintenance over the property. showing actual possession and occupation. First. (2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provisions of existing laws. development. or earlier. other than the bare allegations of Juana Gonzales. Even if we were to assume that the coffee was planted by petitioners predecessor-in-interest. the earliest tax declaration that was presented in this case is one declared by Julian Gonzales only in 1957 long after June 1945. there is nothing in the records which would substantiate her claim that Julian Gonzales was in possession of Lot No. without proof that petitioner or her predecessor-in-interest actually and deliberately cultivated them is not sufficient to support a claim of title. or even prior to 1945. and more importantly. In fact. 1967.

170837 PHILIPPINES. when they were planted. C. It was only in petitioners 1993 tax declaration that the land was described as planted with coffee. is not sufficient to demonstrate petitioners right to the registration of title in her favor. 76519 and its Resolution dated April 3. CALLEJO. CV No. FIRST DIVISION THE PEOPLE OF THE G. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. DEXTER TORRES y DELA CRUZ.as unirrigated riceland.versus . the petition is DENIED. Promulgated: September 12. whether cultivation or harvesting was made or what other acts of occupation and ownership were undertaken. Appellee. Present: PANGANIBAN.R. constrained to conclude that the mere existence of an unspecified number of coffee plants. We are. Chairperson. and CHICO-NAZARIO. sans any evidence as to who planted them.R. 2006 . The Court of Appeals April 28. . 2006 Decision in CA-G.J. NO.. 2007 denying petitioners Motion for Reconsideration are both AFFIRMED. No improvements or plantings were declared or noted in any of these tax declarations. SR. WHEREFORE. therefore.YNARES-SANTIAGO. JJ. Appellant. SO ORDERED..

a prohibited drug. 08-1334 for violation of Section 8.) No. CONTRARY TO LAW. in the Municipality of Gonzaga. a regulated drug. Lasam. SR. in the Municipality of Gonzaga. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession and under his control and custody two (2) small heatsealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substances with a total weight of 0. No. CONTRARY TO LAW.[1] Upon the other hand.. 2001.91 grams of marijuana fruiting tops. of the RTC of Tuguegarao City. the above-named accused. Jr. Liwag and PO2 Tirso T. operatives of the Second Regional Narcotics Office led by PSI Teodolfo M. 2001. J. armed with a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Jimmy Henry F. The team was joined by the two barangay councilmen. Cagayan. raided the house of Dexter Torres located at Salvanera St. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession and under his control and custody one (1) brick of Marijuana fruiting tops weighing 831.x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION CALLEJO. a prohibited drug. 6425 reads: That on or about August 13. did then and there willfully. as amended. the accusatory portion of the Information in Criminal Case No.[2] The two (2) criminal cases were jointly tried at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Aparri. as members.. Cagayan.26 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride.91 grams wrapped in a newspaper which gave POSITIVE results for the tests of marijuana. SPO1 Jessie O. Cagayan. Article III of the same law reads: That on or about August 13. 6425. Pascual. and a back-up team from the Gonzaga Police Station. did then and there willfully.A. for unlawful possession of 831. Article II of R. the above-named accused. SPO4 Abelardo M. . and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. unless authorized by law.: Dexter Torres was charged with violation of Section 8. Article II of Republic Act (R. as well as Section 16. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. province of Cagayan.26 gm. Tannagan. 2001. to possess or use any prohibited drug. Dexter pleaded not guilty to both charges. Branch 8. a regulated drug commonly known as shabu. province of Cagayan. the said accused knowing fully well and aware that it is prohibited for any person to. commonly known as Shabu. The indictment in Criminal Case No. Article III of the same law for illegal possession of 0.[3] The case for the prosecution is as follows: In the early afternoon of August 13. Edward Sagnep and Ernesto Vivit. Lucson. the said accused knowing fully well and aware that it is prohibited for any person to possess or use any regulated drug without the corresponding license or prescription. which substances gave POSITIVE results to the tests for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. 08-1344 for violation of Section 16. Barangay Paradise.A. Gonzaga.

refused to sign the certification.Just before searching Dexters house. and Dexters children.Maria confirmed her Physical Science Reports. On the witness stand. hereunder reproduced as follows: SPECIMEN SUBMITTED: Exh A one (1) brick of suspected Marijuana fruiting tops with weight of 831. who submitted the same to the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 2. SPO4 Lasam presented the search warrant and introduced the raiding team to Henny Gatchalian. xxx PURPOSE OF LABORATORY EXAMINATION: To determine the presence of prohibited and/or regulated drugs. for forensic examination. After photos of the confiscated articles were taken. certifying. no unnecessary force was employed. xxx Exh B-B1 gave POSITIVE result to the test for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. 2) two plastic sachets of suspected shabu.[5] That same afternoon. 3) three pieces of aluminum foil. Kagawads Edward and Ernesto both signed a certification[6] as to the conduct of the search. a regulated drug. Henny. When asked where the owners of the house were. Henny responded that her brother and his wife had just left. Camarao examined the substance seized from Dexters house which tested positive for marijuana and shabu.91 grams wrapped with newspaper print and masking tape with markings and further placed in one (1) brown long envelope with description. The raiders then prepared an inventory[4] of the articles seized. and 5) a small transparent plastic bag. xxx F I N D I N G S: Qualitative examination conducted on the above-stated specimen gave the following results: Exh A gave POSITIVE result to the test for Marijuana. that it was conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner. xxx C O N C L U S I O N: . containing white crystalline substances with total weight of 0. among others. and nothing was taken without proper receipt. the team searched the masters bedroom and found the following stashed inside the second deck of a wooden cabinet: 1) a brick of dried suspected marijuana wrapped inside newsprint.26 gm and further placed in one (1) cellophane with description. Dexters sister. xxx Exh B-B1 Two (2) small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets wrapped with masking tape with markings. however. In their presence and that of the two kagawads. a prohibited drug. 4) a colored green plastic lighter. nobody was hurt. they were placed in a plastic bag and turned over toSPO4 Lasam. a copy of which was handed to Henny. Cagayan. Camp Alimanao. Tuguegarao. PSI Forensic Chemist Maria Leonora C.

however. she remained confined in the room.26 grams (Exhibits B and B-1).[12] On November 14. his sister Henny Gatchalian. Thereafter. without a clue as to what was taking place.He was informed that a brick of marijuana had been found inside the house. narrated that on August 13. She denied signing anything save the search warrant. the policemen ransacked the cabinets. she accompanied the police to the neighboring house and unlocked the place. Laoag City. Laoag City. 2001. xxx Exh B-B1 contains Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. Inside. he signed a confiscation receipt without reading its contents. Laoag City on July 28. upon the prodding of the police. aged 65 years. aged 35 years. The fallo reads . told the court that it was Dexters mistress. [8] Dexter. that her brother brought to Gabu. upon reaching the premises. and his sister Henny. 2003. which included the brick of marijuana leaves and fruiting tops weighing 831. of August 13. Laoag City. and his relative. recounted that at about 1:00 p. and the shabu which weighed 0.91 grams (Exhibit A). xxx[7] On December 5. 2001 he was at his house. chests and drawers. He declared that he only came to know of the incident from Henny when he and his wife arrived home from Gabu.Exh A contains Marijuana. Henny. 2001 with his wife. the prosecution rested its case. are predicated on denial and frame-up. 2002. and as she was forced to do so. He acceded. working in a house construction project of his sister-in-law Rema Pentigrado. he padlocked his place and gave the key to his sister. not his wife.[9] The defense consists of the testimonies of Dexter himself. He left for Gabu. but he did not see it. a prohibited drug. objected to the offer of evidence on the ground that the same were confiscated not from [his] possession as he was then staying in Laoag City. the RTC rendered a joint decision convicting Dexter of the offenses charged. he found out that the search had already been conducted. he was already in Gabu. she was placed in one of the rooms and was ordered not to move a muscle. The defense version is as follows: Thirty-eight-year old Dexter eked out a living as a carpenter. However. she was at her fathers house when a number of policemen arrived.[10] Kagawad Ernesto. He averred that weeks before his house was searched. through counsel. Later. Kagawad Ernesto. a regulated drug. the policemen brought her out of the house and showed to her the shabu and marijuana which the police claimed to have found inside the house.m. They asked her to open the door. Thereafter. [11] Henny. After entrusting his children to the care of his father. Dexters kin. After the search. the prosecution formally offered its exhibits. A policeman from the Gonzaga Police Station arrived and asked him to be a witness in a raid that lawmen would conduct in Dexters residence. Meanwhile.

but was modified as to the penalty imposed in Criminal Case No. Branch 08 of Aparri. in view of the foregoing.000. Simon.WHEREFORE. 08-1344. it held that the two-witness rule applies only in the absence of a lawful occupant of the searched premises. the indeterminate prison term of six (6) years. In disposing the appeal. Emphatically pointing out that at the time of the search. the judgment of conviction was affirmed. 2005.26 grams of shabu was involved. Accused-appellant Dexter Torres y Dela Cruz is hereby found GUILTY of violating . the Court finds accused Dexter Torres y De La Cruz GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt in both cases and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine of Five Hundred Thousand (P500.R. 08-1334 and. as minimum. the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court. 8. With costs. in accordance with the ruling in People v. Dexter appealed his conviction to this Court. and therefore a lawful occupant. Henny was living in Dexters house. Cagayan in Criminal Cases Nos. 2005. The petitory portion of the CA decision reads WHEREFORE. as maximum. docketed as G. praying for the reversal of the judgment. He claimed that the search warrant had been unlawfully implemented and that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Nos.[13] The trial court rejected the defense of alibi cum frame-up of the accused and upheld in favor of the prosecution the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. Mateo.[14] The appeal was transferred to the CA for appropriate action and disposition per Resolution[15] of this Court dated April 6.Citing People v. 162542-43.[17] and considering that only 0. He assigned the following errors purportedly committed by the trial court: I THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE SEARCH WARRANT ISSUED AGAINST HEREIN APPELLANT WAS VALIDLY AND LAWFULLY IMPLEMENTED. one (1) day of prision mayor.00) Pesos in Criminal Case No. 08-1344. 08-1334 and 08-1344 is hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS.00) Pesos in Criminal Case No. the CA gave short shrift to Dexters claim that the two-witness rule under Sec. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court was violated. SO ORDERED. to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal.000. THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT FOR THE CRIME CHARGED HAS BEEN PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. the appellate court reduced Dexters sentence to an indeterminate penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor to four (4) years and two (2) months of prison correccional. and a fine of Five Hundred Thousand (P500.[16] On July 28.

Moreover. 8.Sections 8 and 16 of Republic Act No. 7659. or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the absence of the latter. [20] Appellant insists that the items seized from his house are inadmissible as evidence. room. He maintains that the manner of search conducted in his residence had failed to comply with the mandatory provisions of Section 8 (formerly Section 7). The illicit drugs and paraphernalia were found in the masters bedroom stashed inside the second deck of a wooden cabinet. room. appealed anew to this Court.00) in Criminal Case No. adopting by way of manifestation the same arguments before the CA. being the fruits of an illegal search. Dexter.[18] Dexter sought reconsideration. And even if she is one. which provides: SEC. 08-1334.000. too. SO ORDERED. and is hereby sentenced to suffer: (1) the penalty of reclusion perpetua and a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500. the latter. now the appellant. which the CA denied. had failed to witness the search. No search of a house. and (2) an indeterminate sentence of 6 months of arresto mayor to 4 years and 2 months of prison correccional in Criminal Case 08-1344. Search of house. to be made in presence of two witnesses. or premises. [21] The appeal is not meritorious. Henny and Barangay Kagawad Ernesto were present when the lawmen searched his house. two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. a member of the raiding team: FISCAL : . [19] Unfazed. though the raiding party had summoned two barangay kagawads as witnesses. This is clear from the positive and categorical testimony of PO2 Tirso Pascual. Appellant argues that Henny is not a lawful occupant of the house as contemplated in the above section. the police were already through searching the house when Kagawad Ernesto arrived. as amended by Republic Act No. her presence did not cure the illegality of the search since she was prevented by the police from actually witnessing the search as it was being conducted. 6425. In other words. Rule 126 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure. Contrary to appellants claim. He points out that her sister was confined by the police in one of the rooms of the house while the simultaneous search was going on in the other portion thereof.

Q By the way. what did you see inside the house? A While conducting the search. aluminum foils. Paradise. xxx Q And after informing the sister of the accused of your purpose. was the accused present? A Dexter Torres was not present. [22] xxx COURT: . Sir. that is to serve the search warrant against her brother. Cagayan? A SPO4 Lasam. Q Aside from that. Sir. the officer on the case who was handling the Search Warrant. Henny Gatchalian and some of his children.Q What did you do when you arrived at the house of the accused at Salvanera St. Sir. Sir. Sir. we began to search the house. informed the persons present at that house of the purpose of the members. Sir. placed inside a wooden cabinet particularly at the second deck of the wooden cabinet. Q And were you able to discover anything inside the house of the accused? A Yes. Gonzaga. we were able to recover one brick form of dried marijuana wrapped in a newspaper. we recovered two transparent plastic sachet containing. which we believe to be shabu and some other materials such as lighter. Sir. what did you do? A In the presence of the barangay kagawad and the sister of the accused. Q What were you able to find out inside the house? A During the conduct of the search. Q Who were in their house at that time? A His sister.

Q: And according to you at that time. The RTC and the CA correctly rejected the testimonies of defense witnesses Henny and Kagawad Ernesto for being biased and riddled with inconsistencies. Sir. Q You. however. Q: And you likewise stated that your house is situated beside the house of Dexter Torres A: Yes. likewise a member of the raiding team that searched the house of the appellant. . councilmen Sagnep and Vivit and Gatchalian? A Yes. that her credibility is adversely affected by the inconsistencies in her statements. Sir. you were staying in the house of your father-in-law? A: I was not staying in the house of my father. Q: The house of your father is situated about 200 meters away from the house of Dexter Torres. FISCAL: Q So there were five of you inside the house? A Yes. Sir. the transcript of her testimony provides as follows: FISCAL NELJOE CORTES: You do not own a house in Gonzaga? Witness GATCHALIAN: We only stay in the house of my parents-in-law. Henny and Kagawad Ernesto.Q Where was Henny Gatchalian at the time of the search? A Always beside us. Q You mean Henny Gatchalian was also inside the house? A Yes. She could not even exactly say where she was staying before the police arrived to conduct the search. Sir. This is evinced by the testimonies of PO2 Pascual and the certification signed by the two Kagawads. Sir. Thus. Your Honor.[23] PO2 Pascuals above testimony was corroborated by SPO1 Jessie Liwag. is it not? A: Yes. Q: You stated while ago that you were then in your house when they conducted the search? A: Yes. Kagawad Edward Sagnep was also present during the entire search. Sir. Sir. Liwag. were not the only witnesses to the search. Your Honor. We are in full accord with the following encompassing disquisition of the appellate court: We note.[24] Besides.

Q: Because you were then staying in the house of Dexter Torres?
A: Yes, Sir.
Q: And as a matter of fact, you were in the house of Dexter Torres when the police arrived, is it not?
A: I was in the house of my father, Sir.
Q: So you now agree with me that in August 2001, you were staying in the house of your brother Dexter
Torres?
A: No, Sir.
Q: Did you not state a while ago that you are staying in your brothers house?
A: Yes, Sir, but when the police conducted the search, I was in the house of my father.
Q: Again, you seem not to be telling the truth?
A: Why not, Sir.
Q: A while ago also you stated that you are staying in the house of your father-in-law, which is about
200 meters away?
A: Yes, Sir.
Q: So at that time you were staying in three houses, in the house of your brother, in the house of your
father-in-law and in the house of your (father)?
A: I am not staying in the house my father-in-law, Sir.
Q: So your statement earlier that you are staying in your father-in- laws house is not correct?
A: No, Sir.
Q: So the house that you are referring to in your direct examination is actually the house of your father
or the house of Dexter?
A: (I) was only told by Dexter that I will just clean the house if he leaves the place, Sir.
Consistent with the trial courts own findings as between the testimony of Gatchalian and the testimonies of the police
officers, this Court finds the testimonies of the police officers more credible. Aside from the principle that testimonies of
police officers deserve full faith and credit given the presumption that they have performed their duties regularly, we
note that the prosecution witnesses gave consistent and straightforward narrations of what transpired on August 13,
2001. The police officers have consistently testified that Gatchalian was then in the house of the accused-appellant
when they arrived thereat, and that she was with them when they conducted the search inside the house.
The presence of barangay council members Edward Sagnep and Ernesto Vivit during the search was
also sufficiently established. These barangay officials even affixed their signatures on the confiscation
receipt issued by PO3 Jessie Liwag that contains a statement that the seized properties were found in
the presence of Brgy. Kag. Edward R. Sagnep and Brgy. Kag. Ernesto Q. Vivit.

Barangay kagawad Ernesto Vivits retraction and assertion that he was not really present when the
policemen searched the house of the accused-appellant fail to persuade. During cross-examination,
Vivit, a relative of the accused-appellant, even testified in court:
FISCAL NELJOE CORTES: You were required to sign a confiscation receipt?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: You were told that the document that you were asked to sign is a Confiscation Receipt, meaning, the
items you enumerated therein were actually taken as a result of the search?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And you signed that document because you know for a fact that the items were actually recovered
inside the house of the accused?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And that is the truth?
A: Yes, sir.
As correctly pointed out by the trial court:
The afore statements of this defense witness clearly established the fact that, there was nothing irregular in the
execution of the search warrant. It also establishes the material fact that, what was claimed to have been recovered,
seized and confiscated from the cabinet located in one of the rooms of Dexters house, to wit: dried marijuana, two (2)
plastic sachets of shabu, lighter, match box, and aluminum foils are true. True, because Ernesto Vivit, a witness to the
search and a barangay councilman signed the confiscation receipt voluntarily because he knew for a fact that said items
were actually recovered from the house of the accused.
Even defense witness Henny Gatchalian mentioned in her testimony that Ernesto Vivit was with the policemen
when they conducted the search.[25]

More importantly, it is now too late in the day for appellant to object to the admissibility of
the evidence seized pursuant to the search warrant. Though he seasonably objected after the
prosecution formally offered its evidence, his objection was not based on constitutional
grounds, but rather on the ground that he was not in actual possession of the premises at the
time the search was conducted.[26]
In the case of Demaisip v. Court of Appeals,[27] we held:
At any rate, objections to the legality of the search warrant and to the admissibility of the
evidence obtained thereby were deemed waived when no objection to the legality of the searchwarrant
was raised during the trial of the case nor to the admissibility of the evidence obtained through said
warrant.

Indeed, the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures, like any other
right, can be waived and the waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly. [28]
Hard to believe is appellants insinuation that the evidence for the prosecution were
planted. His very conduct following his arrest would belie this allegation:
First. He failed to complain about this matter when he was apprehended nor bestirred
himself to bring it up during his preliminary investigation. He could not even identify the
person, the policeman or policemen who allegedly planted the evidence. In fact, it was only
during this appeal that appellant accentuated this alleged frame-up.
Second. The appellant failed to inform his counsel of the alleged planting of evidence by
the policemen; if he had done so, for sure, the said counsel would have prepared his affidavit
and filed the appropriate motion in court for the suppression of the things/articles seized by
the policemen.
Third. We find it incredible that the policemen planted said evidence in full view
of Kagawad Edward, whose presence during the search was undisputed. This is so because the
policemen could be prosecuted for planting evidence and, if convicted, sentenced to death
under Section 19 of R.A. No. 7659:
SECTION 19. Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended, known as the Dangerous Drugs Act
of 1972, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 24. Penalties for Government Officials and Employees and Officers and Members of Police Agencies
and the Armed Forces, Planting of Evidence. The maximum penalties provided for [in] Sections 3, 4(1),
5(1), 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 of Article II and Sections 14, 14-A, 15(1), 16 and 19 of Article III shall be
imposed, if those found guilty of any of the said offenses are government officials, employees or
officers, including members of police agencies and the armed forces.
Any such above government official, employee or officer who is found guilty of planting any
dangerous drugs punished in Sections 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 13 of Article II and Sections 14, 14-A, 15
and 16 of Article III of this Act in the person or in the immediate vicinity of another as evidence
to implicate the latter, shall suffer the same penalty as therein provided.

The incantation of frame-up is nothing new. It is a common and standard line of defense in
most prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law. While such defense cannot and
should not always be considered as contrived, nonetheless, it is generally rejected for it can
easily be concocted but is difficult to prove. Police officers are, after all, presumed to have
acted regularly in the performance of their official functions, in the absence of clear and
convincing proof to the contrary, or that they are motivated by ill-will.[29]

the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus posidendi) the drugs.[33] This Court.[31] The elements of illegal possession of prohibited drugs are as follows: (a) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug. but also constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused. in People v. Otherwise stated. No. and the evidence necessary to prove the said crime. and as such.[32] The fact that appellant was not in his residence when it was searched nor caught in flagrante delicto possessing the illicit drugs and paraphernalia does not dent the case of the prosecution. is shared with another. includes not only actual possession.A. 6425. criminal intent is not an essential element. The accused cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and dominion over the place where the contraband is located. and (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities. . the finding of the illicit drugs and paraphernalia in the house owned by the appellant raised the presumption of knowledge and. As a matter of law. and the fact of finding the same is sufficient to convict. On the other hand. as amended. and (c) the accused freely or consciously possessed the prohibited drug. Possession. when prohibited and regulated drugs are found in a house or other building belonging to and occupied by a particular person. Exclusive possession or control is not necessary. constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found. Article III of R. the presumption arises that such person is in possession of such drugs in violation of law. x x x This crime is mala prohibita. (b) such possession is not authorized by law. However.Appellant next submits that his absence during the search coupled with the fact that he was not caught in possession of the illicit drugs and paraphernalia are circumstances sufficient enough to exonerate him.[30] We are not persuaded. The essential elements of the crime of illegal possession of regulated drugs are the following: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug. under the law. standing alone.[34] ruminated on the juridical concept of possession under Section 16. The same principle applies to prohibited drugs. Tira. was sufficient to convict.

as amended. As between a categorical testimony that rings of truth on one hand. [35] Moreover. In the instant case. the imposable penalty of possession of less than 200 grams of regulated drug.A. just like alibi. No. correctly meted against appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua and the P500. Based on the quantity of the regulated drug subject of the offense.Thus.[37] as well as the principle that findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses. The crime of violation of Section 8. as we said. Article III of R. it being capable of easy concoction and difficult to prove. and a showing of nonexclusive possession would not exonerate the accused. is prision correccional to reclusion perpetua. in Criminal Case No. Such fact of possession may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence and any reasonable inference drawn therefrom. His claim that he was not aware that such illegal items were in his house is insufficient. however. 6425. 08-1334. Under Section 16.00 fine. the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge of the existence and presence of the drug in the place under his control and dominion and the character of the drug.91 grams of marijuana. is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.Considering that there are no qualifying circumstances. No. 6425. conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. The RTC and the CA. Article II of R. is a self-serving negative evidence which cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. Mere denial. are entitled to great respect and are accorded the highest consideration. the appellant is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. for illegal possession of 831. his defense of frame-up. is a common and standard line of defense which is invariably viewed with disfavor. or within such premises in the absence of any satisfactory explanation. Since knowledge by the accused of the existence and character of the drugs in the place where he exercises dominion and control is an internal act. the imposable penalty shall be as follows: . appellant failed to present any evidence to rebut the existence of animus possidendi over the illicit drugs and paraphernalia found in his residence. [36] Considering that no clear and convincing evidence was presented to prove such allegation. the same may be presumed from the fact that the dangerous drugs is in the house or place over which the accused has control or dominion. The Court. the former is generally held to prevail. a prohibited drug. and a bare denial on the other. will modify the penalty the CA imposed upon the appellant in Criminal Case No. especially when affirmed by the CA.A.000. as amended. in this case shabu. the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty.[38] must prevail over the appellants imputation of ill-motive on the part of the policemen who conducted the search. 08-1344. conviction need not be predicated upon exclusive possession. We have time and again ruled that mere denial cannot prevail over the positive testimony of a witness. However.

the amendment of the penalty from reclusion perpetua to life imprisonment to death in R. which reads: ART. No.00).00) to four hundred thousand pesos (P400. Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the persons guilty of felony. 6425. as minimum. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.000. 22. This is the mandate of Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code.26 grams to 98. the CA correctly deleted the penalty of fine imposed on appellant.A.00 toP10. 9165 cannot. Accordingly. the Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. as amended. No. Republic Act No. as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code. be applied retroactively to the present case since it would also be unfavorable to appellant. provides only for the penalty of imprisonment. the imposable penalty for the crime is prision correccional.000. for violation of Section 16 of R. 7659. the appellant should have been sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period.76 grams to 199 grams reclusion perpetua Considering that the regulated drug found in the possession of the appellant is only 0. to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period.75 grams reclusion temporal 147.51 grams to 147.25 grams prision correccional 49. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: . who is not a habitual criminal. and a fine ranging from P500. In view of the quantity of shabu confiscated in this case. although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same. increased the penalty for illegal possession of less than five (5) grams ofshabu to imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty years and a fine ranging from three hundred thousand (P300. as maximum.A.000. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law.26 grams.50 grams prision mayor 98.000. 9165. 6425.00. No.A. No. The same law also changed the penalty for illegal possession of 500 grams or more of marijuana to life imprisonment to death. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. However. Obviously. as the second paragraph of Section 20 of R. likewise. since this law is not favorable to appellant.000. Retroactive effect of penal laws. it cannot be given retroactive application in the instant case.A. as amended by Section 17 of R.QUANTITY IMPOSABLE PENALTY Less than one (1) gram to 49.

SO ORDERED. Article III of Republic Act No. . as amended. 6425. as minimum to Three (3) years of prision correccional. (2) In Criminal Case No. as amended. the appellant is hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 16. and is hereby SENTENCED to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.000. 08-1344. He is also ORDERED to pay a fine of P500. 08-1334. in its medium period. in its medium period. the appellant is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 8.(1) In Criminal Case No. 6425.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. and is SENTENCED to suffer an indeterminate penalty from Four (4) months and One (1) day of arresto mayor. Article II of Republic Act No. as maximum. No costs.

CONTRARY to SEC. Manibog formed a team composed of SPO1 Renato Cresencia.Several empty plastics (tea bag) . finding appellants Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 16.. Jr. province of Pangasinan and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. J. PO3 Reynaldo Javonilla.Cash money amounting to P12.Three (3) (sic) sachets of shabu . the above-named accused. 7659.2 The Indictment The appellants Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira were charged in an Information which reads: That on or about March 9. without first securing the necessary permit/license to possess the same. unlawfully and feloniously have in their possession.000. appellants. control and custody the following: . 2004 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1998. as amended. 6425. 1998. No. in the Municipality of Urdaneta. 8 in relation to Sec.R. 139615 May 28. in relation to Section 20.000. conspiring together. 20 of RA 6425.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.One (1) roll Aluminum Foil . Article III of Republic Act No.Six disposable lighter . Branch 46.: This is an appeal of the Decision1 of the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. vs. appellee. . Victorio to conduct surveillance operations on the house of Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira at Perez Extension Street because of reported rampant drug activities in the said area. SR. DECISION CALLEJO. SPO3 Asidelio Manibog received a verbal instruction from the Chief of Police Superintendent Wilson R.Six (6) pieces opened sachets of shabu residue .One (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves weighing 721 grams . Act No. as amended by Rep. did then and there willfully. 3 The Case for the Prosecution4 In the evening of February 24.536. AMADEO TIRA and CONNIE TIRA. known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.00 in different denominations believed to be proceeds of the contraband. and PO3 Efren Abad de Vera to conduct the ordered surveillance. sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordering each of them to pay a fine of P1.

Instead. that they were members of the Drug Enforcement Unit of Urdaneta. alleging. Pangasinan. As they stationed themselves in the periphery of a store. and forthwith seize and take possession of the following items: 1. the policemen returned to the station and reported to P/Supt. and asked what was going on inside the house. Victorio. the group. SPO1 Mario Tajon. -P1. 9 pcs.10 They responded and brought Barangay Kagawad Mario Conwi to witness the search. SPO1 Cresencia and PO2 Javonilla. SPO3 Asidelio Manibog. Drug-Usage Paraphernalia. and as head of the team. They confronted one of them. P/Supt.11 At 2:35 p. Jr.. Convinced that illegal activities were going on in the house. 1998. and the two rooms located at Perez south. and that in the evening of February 24. for fear of being identified as PNP members.m. and PO3 Reynaldo Javonillo were directed to implement the search warrant. used and unused aluminum foil15 5. After hearing their report. and that he was a regular customer. particularly the first room on the right side. suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride placed in heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets 2. clad in civilian clothes. 6 On March 6. disposable lighters 6.00 bill . Ernesto led them inside. the father of Amadeo. with SPO3 Cariaga. SPO1 Renato Cresencia and PO2 Reynaldo Soliven Javonilla. The policemen found the newly awakened Amadeo inside the first room 12 of the house. attaching thereto the affidavit of surveillance executed by his men and a sketch of the place to be searched. Poor Man’s Cocaine known as Shabu. SPO1 Renato Cresencia. 1998.13 With Barangay Kagawad Conwi and Amadeo Tira. The men found Ernesto Tira. Victorio instructed his men to make an affidavit of surveillance preliminary to an application for a search warrant.9 P/Sr. The group went closer to the house and started planning their next move. . Cariño.00 bill 4 pcs. they observed that more than twenty persons had gone in and out of the Tira residence.536 inside a shoulder bag placed on top of the television. PO3 Concepcion. several empty plastic transparent 4. in the following denominations: 1 pc. Jr.m. Galima. and 3. on March 9. but hesitated. Weighing scale. They introduced themselves and told Ernesto that they had a warrant authorizing them to search the premises. Inspector Ludivico Bravo. executed an Affidavit of Surveillance. Pangasinan.5 On March 6. Gayapa issued a search warrant commanding the applicants to make an immediate search of the Tira residence at anytime of the day or night. The person revealed that Amadeo Tira sold shabu. they stayed there up to 12:00 midnight and continued observing the place. 19987Police Chief Inspector Danilo Bumatay Datu filed an Application for a Search Warrant in the Municipal Trial Court of Urdaneta. at the porch of the house.. arrived at Perez Extension Street. Wilson R. Andaya. the policemen proceeded to search the first room to the right (an inner room) and found the following under the bed where Amadeo slept:14 1.500.000. SPO1 Asterio Dismaya. roll aluminum foil 3. PO3 de Vera. 1998. 1 sachet of shabu confiscated from Nelson Tira16 They also found cash money amounting to P12. Judge Aurora A. PO3 Efren Abad de Vera. 2. inter alia.8 Satisfied with the testimonies of SPO3 Manibog. the team proceeded to the Tira residence. they confirmed reports of illegal drug-related activities in the house of the spouses Amadeo and Connie Tira.At around 8:00 p. They wanted to pose as buyers. Villaroya.

27 During the trial. 1998. The report contained the following findings: "A1 to A3. CONCLUSION: Specimens A1 to A3. Act No.52 pcs. in violation of Section 8. Act No. B1 to B6 and E contain methamphetamine hydrochloride (Shabu) and specimens C and D1 to D24 contain marijuana. Victorio against Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira on March 10. 1998. Six (6) opened sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (SHABU) residue. Javonilla. a laboratory examination request was made to the Chief of the Philippine National Police Service-1. Twenty-four (4) pieces of dried marijuana leaves sachet. 1998 for violation of Rep. Three (3) sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride approximately 0.26 She was arrested only on October 6. 6425. 21 On March 17. 1998. c. SPO1 Asterio T.00 coin17 The policemen listed the foregoing items they found in the house. One (1) heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride confiscated from the possession of Nelson Tira. Urdaneta Sub-Office. DT-057-98 reported that the test conducted by Police Superintendent/Chemist Theresa Ann Bugayong-Cid. A joint affidavit of arrest was. . Sub-Office. and d. the PNP Crime Laboratory Group in Physical Science Report No. .5 grams. . However. Moreno filed an Information against the Tira Spouses for illegal possession of shabu and marijuana." "E" – POSITIVE to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). for the apprehension of Amadeo Tira and Nelson Tira who were brought to the police station for custodial investigation. Urdaneta. a regulated drug. SPO1 Mario C. when the policemen tried to serve the said warrant. Jr. executed by SPO3 Asidelio Manibog. she could not be found in the given address. Wilson R.23 A criminal complaint was filed by P/Supt. a prohibited drug.5. 28 The Case for Accused Amadeo Tira29 . P/Supt. Cresencia and PO3 Reynaldo S.22 yielded positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and marijuana.00 bill 1 pc. The articles seized were turned over to the PNP Crime Laboratory.10.1. Wilson R. as amended. for examination. Pangasinan for the following: a. 1998. in relation to Section 20 of Rep.20. b.100. also witnessed the certification. 24 After finding probable cause. SPO1 Renato M.00 bill 1 pc.19 In turn.20 On March 10. Amadeo’s picture was taken while he was signing the said certification. "C" and "D1 to D4" – POSITIVE to the test for marijuana.18 Ernesto (Amadeo’s father). Dismaya. 6425. the court conducted an ocular inspection of the Tira residence. 25 A warrant of arrest was issued against Connie Tira on May 13. . Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rufino A. Tajon.00 bill 100 pcs. "B1 to B6.50.00 bill 36 pcs.00 bill 53 pcs. . . thereafter. Victorio executed a Compliance/Return of Search Warrant.

Capt. There was also another room which was divided into an outer and inner room.Amadeo Tira denied the charge. and that only a toilet separated their houses. as owner of the house.45 The trial court upheld the validity of Search Warrant No.001 gram penalized under Article III. Amadeo’s neighbor. 38 and found marijuana. Bravo and Ernesto Tira. One of the policemen pointed to a sachet of shabu which fell to the ground near Nelson. finding Amadeo Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of 807.00. Pangasinan. Sections 16 and 20. It held that Amadeo. which was signed by Capt. 42 He also testified that his house was only three (3) meters away from that of the Tiras.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. He testified that he was a furniture delivery boy 30 who owned a one-storey bungalow house with two bedrooms and one master’s bedroom. Chris Tira. searching the room of his nephew. 1998. The policemen continued with their search. he was in his house sleeping when the policemen barged into his house.40 Alfonso Gallardo. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is hereby ordered to transmit the person of Amadeo Tira to the National Bilibid Prison with proper escort within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of this Order. Capt. shabu and related paraphernalia. Ernesto. As they parked the car at Calle Perez. shabu. 1998.00 is hereby forfeited in favor of the government which forms part of the fine. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt accused AMADEO TIRA for Illegal Possession of Marijuana weighing 807. 31 He leased the room located at the western portion to his nephew Chris Tira 32 and the latter’s live-in-partner Gemma Lim for four hundred pesos a month.001 gram are hereby forfeited in favor of the government.37 They searched the first room located at the right side (if facing south). He saw Amadeo and Connie Tira sitting by the door of the house in the sala. The Branch Clerk of Court of this Court is hereby ordered to prepare the mittimus. He was then pulled inside the room and the policemen showed him the items they allegedly found. 35 Barangay Kagawad Mario Conwi testified that on March 9. who turned out to be Nelson Tira.44 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court rendered judgment on September 24. of Republic Act 6425. 36 When they reached the house. The Court sentences Amadeo Tira to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine of P1. He heard a commotion and went out of the room to see what it was all about. testified that he was the one who constructed the Tira residence and that the house initially had two rooms. The policemen arrested him and proceeded to the house of Amadeo Tira to serve the warrant. He denied that there were young men coming in and out of his house.000. Ludivico Bravo asked to be accompanied to the Tira residence. known as [the] Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. would call the barangay captain. Urdaneta.34 In the afternoon of March 6. who in turn. while the second room was occupied by the Spouses Amadeo and Connie Tira. as amended by Republic Act 7659. money and some paraphernalia.000. the marijuana weighing 807. The Warden. while he was at Calle Perez. the disposable lighter and the aluminum foil are likewise forfeited in favor of the government.001 gram of shabu. and could be reached only by foot. had control over the room as well as the things found therein and that the inner room was a secret and practical place to keep marijuana. he and the policemen started the search. The amount of P12. the latter room had no windows or ventilation. The decretal portion of its decision is herein quoted: WHEREFORE. It found Amadeo’s defense. Kagawad Conwi and some of the policemen chased the man. the policemen saw a man running towards the direction of the ricefields. the other policemen were waiting. Pangasinan.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. unsubstantiated.3 grams of marijuana and 1. The house stood twenty meters away from Perez Extension Street in Urdaneta.41 Subsequently. 3 issued by Judge Aurora Gayapa. Thereafter. He told them to stop searching so that he could contact his father. Javonilla and Bergonia. The first room was rented out. a divider was placed inside the first room. that the room where the items were seized was rented out to the couple Cris Tira and Gemma Lim.33 Chris and Gemma were engaged in the buying and selling of bananas. 39 An inventory of the items seized was made afterwards. Bravo was with at least ten other policemen.46 . 43 He denied that there were many people going in and out of the Tira residence. 1998.536. and saw police officers Cresencia.

she and her husband Amadeo were in their house. likewise. and brought them to the police station.00 is hereby forfeited in favor of the government which forms part of the fine. 1998. known as [the] Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.00. who were watching television.. One of the rooms in their house was occupied by their three boarders. the Court sentences Connie Tira to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine ofP1. 1998. five policemen barged into their house and searched all the rooms.001 gram penalized under Article III. a neighbor of the Tiras. while their boarders were in their respective rooms. Moreover. control and possession of the shabu and marijuana found in the first or inner room of their house. At 2:30 p. She contended that the same was issued in violation of Section 4. They arrested Amadeo. while her husband was employed at the Glasshouse Trading. were not arrested. respectively. The policemen found and seized articles in the room occupied by one of their boarders. about five or ten persons ran inside the house and handcuffed Amadeo Tira. the marijuana weighing 807. the disposable lighter and the aluminum foil are. Connie filed a motion to quash search warrant. 1998. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. Nelson Tira. and without attaching the records of the proceedings.000. and her brother-in-law. lived approximately ten meters away from the latter.3 grams of marijuana and 1. 53 The trial court did not believe that Connie Tira had no knowledge.001 gram of shabu.Amadeo appealed the decision. On October 26. 54 The court also held . denying the motion to quash. The amount of P12. as husband and wife.001 gram are hereby forfeited in favor of the government. she was at the Tira residence watching "Mirasol." while Connie was in the kitchen nursing her baby. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt accused CONNIE TIRA for Illegal Possession of Marijuana weighing 807. however.536. She pleaded not guilty to the charge of illegal possession of shabu and marijuana. the search warrant issued was in the nature of a general warrant. It stressed that Connie and Amadeo Tira jointly controlled and possessed the shabu and marijuana that the policemen found therein. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. to justify the "fishing expedition" conducted on the premises. she was in the kitchen taking care of her one-year-old child. Joy Fernandez.m. 1998. she frequently went to her neighbor’s house to watch certain programs. as amended by Republic Act 7659.49 Connie was arraigned on November 9. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is hereby ordered to transmit the person of Connie Tira to the National Bilibid Prisons with proper escort within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of his Order. two male persons and one female. and found that Judge Gayapa issued the search warrant after conducting searching questions. pending the resolution of the motion. and three. The boarders. Connie testified that she was engaged in the business of buying and selling of fruits. In the afternoon of March 9.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. and in consideration of the affidavit of witness Enrique Milad. 50 The trial court thereafter issued an Order on November 11. as the judge issued the search warrant without conducting searching questions and answers. four. Suddenly.3 grams and shabu weighing 1.000. The Warden. Thus. Section 16 and 20. Her husband Amadeo was sleeping in one of the rooms.51 It did not give credence to the allegations of Connie Tira. the presiding judge ordered Judge Aurora A. She had other three children. Since they had no television.52 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court found Connie Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of 807. In the afternoon of March 9. 48 alleging that the police officers who applied for the said warrant did not have any personal knowledge of the reported illegal activities. aged eight.47 The Case Against Connie Tira After her arrest. forfeited in favor of the government. Suddenly. Gayapa to forward the stenographic notes of the applicant and the witnesses. 1998. the accused conspired and confederated with each other in keeping custody of the said prohibited articles. It ratiocinated that it was unusual for a wife not to know the existence of prohibited drugs in the conjugal abode. of Republic Act 6425.

Search of house. Hence. room. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THERE WAS A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN HIM AND HIS WIFE CONNIE TIRA. appealed the decision. Neither was she arrested by the policemen when they arrested her husband. 7. Connie. The appellant Connie Tira avers that she never fled from their house after the policemen had conducted the search. and that the same were in their possession and control when found by the policemen. to be made in presence of two witnesses. – No search of house.55 The Present Appeal In their brief. 56 The Court shall resolve the assigned errors simultaneously as they are interrelated. The appellants further assert that the prosecution failed to prove that they owned the prohibited drugs. in the presence of two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. or premise.that Connie Tira’s flight from their house after the search was an indication of her guilt. the appellants Amadeo and Connie Tira assigned the following errors committed by the trial court: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANTS DESPITE FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THEIR GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. Sir. likewise. III ASSUMING THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANT AMADEO TIRA IS GUILTY AS CHARGED. DUMLAO . The appellants posit that the articles and substances found by the policemen in their house are inadmissible in evidence. Gemma Lim. PROS. you saw the father and you told him you are implementing the Search Warrant and your group was allowed to enter and you are allowed to search in the presence of Amadeo Tira? A Yes. appellant Amadeo Tira was present when the policemen searched the inner room of the house. was made in their absence. being the fruits of a poisonous tree. The policemen did not find the said articles and substances in any other room in the house: Q So when you reached the house of Amadeo Tira at the Tira’s compound. The articles and substances were found under the bed on which the appellant Amadeo Tira slept. The appellants contend that the search conducted by the policemen in the room occupied by Chris and Gemma Lim. Contrary to the appellants’ claim. or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of hi s family or in the absence of the latter. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE SEARCH WAS ILLEGALLY MADE. which provides: SEC. They insist that it cannot be presumed that they were in control and possession of the said substances/articles simply because they owned the house where the same were found. where the articles and substances were found by the policemen. room. considering that the room was occupied by Chris Tira and his live-in partner. Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. the search was made in violation of Section 7. they should have been acquitted of the crime charged. they contend. Thus. The appeals have no merit.

DUMLAO: Q What else did you find out aside from the marijuana leaves. One (1) brick of marijuana 24 pcs. Sir. Sir Q What else did you find aside from marijuana leaves? A We also find suspected sachet of shabu. Sir. .00 cash in different denominations proceeds of the contrand (sic). tea bag of marijuana 9 pcs. what did you find? WITNESS: A We found out suspected marijuana leaves. several used and unused aluminum foil one (1) sachet of shabu confiscated from Nelson Tira. sachets of suspected "shabu" 6 disposable lighters 1 roll of aluminum foil several empty plastic.536. Sir. Sir. Q Where. Q What else? A Lighter. Sir.Q In the course of your search. could you identify the same? WITNESS: A Yes. PROS. Sir. in what particular place did you find? A Under the bed inside the room of Amadeo Tira. Q About the marijuana leaves. and P12. if shown to you could you identify the same? A Yes. COURT: Q If that shabu will be shown to you. shabu and lighter? … A I have here the list.

Sir. Q When you found shabu. Sir. Q Upon entering the house. Q What did you find out? A Shabu and Marijuana and paraphernalia. did you notice who was present? A I noticed the presence of Connie Tira. Q When you said Connie Tira. Sir. Q What was he doing there? A He was newly awake. and money. Sir. Sir. Sir. Q Who else? A We also noticed the presence of Amadeo Tira. what did you do? A We marked them. Sir. marijuana. what did you do? A We entered and searched the first room. Q What mark did you place? A My signature. Sir.COURT: Q Where did you find the money? … A Near the marijuana at the bag. is she the same Connie Tira the accused in this case? A Yes. Q About the money. could you still identify if shown to you? A Yes. Q All of the items? A Only the marijuana.57 … PROS. Sir. Sir. Sir. Q Are you one of those who entered the house? . she was taking care of the baby. TOMBOC: … Q And when you were allowed to enter the house. lighter.

along with Kagawad Conwi and Ernesto Tira. Thus: Q You said that while taking care of your baby. spoons. several policemen barged [sic] your house? A Yes. . Secondly. and cash money amounting to P12. that the inner room was occupied by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim who were not there when the search was conducted. There are no banana stored in the room at the time of the search and both of them were out of the room at the time of the search. It bears stressing that the trial court conducted an ocular inspection of the house of the appellants. like personal belongings of Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. There was no proof showing that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim ever occupied the room. 1998. several used and unused aluminum foil. 60 … We are in full accord with the trial court.00 in different denominations believe[d] to be proceeds of the contraband. several empty plastics (tea bag). Q Can you mention to the Honorable Court those items that you searched in the house of Connie Tira and Amadeo Tira? A As per in (sic) our records. Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. Sir.59 The trial court rejected the testimony of appellant Amadeo Tira that the inner room searched by the policemen was occupied by Chris Tira and his girlfriend Gemma Lim with the following encompassing disquisition: … The defense contention that a couple from Baguio City first occupied the first room. one (1) brick of suspected dried marijuana leaves weighing more or less 750 grams. Besides.536. Sir. and thus. The defense did not even show proof showing that Chris Tira reside in the first room. Q You said you recovered one (1) brick of marijuana leaves. showing to you a (sic) one (1) brick suspected to be marijuana leaves. Amadeo’s father. six (6) disposable lighter. the same room was rented by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim.A Yes. is this the one you are referring to? A Yes. Sir. Sir. toothbrush. There were no kitchen plates. Ernesto Tira even led the policemen inside the house. soap. If it were true that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim were the supposed lessees of the room. Q And it is in that room where your husband was sleeping and where those articles were taken? A No. powder. engaged in banana business. Sir. If they were banana dealers. Sir. had first hand knowledge of the layout of the house. Amadeo Tira contended that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim are engaged in banana business. the Court is not persuaded because they did not present said businessmen from Baguio City who were engaged in vegetable business.58 Appellant Amadeo Tira was not the only witness to the search. is belied by the testimony of the appellant Connie Tira that the room was occupied by two male and one female boarders who were in the room when the policemen searched it. one (1) roll aluminum foil. they should have been apprehended by the searching party on March 9. the testimony of the appellant Amadeo Tira. this is the one. This is evidenced not only by the testimony of Kagawad Conwi. were not presented in Court. Q And they proceeded to your room where your husband was sleeping at that time? A Yes.m. were also present. they must be selling their banana in the market and they could have pointed them in the market. at about 2:30 p. Kagawad Mario Conwi and Ernesto Tira. or soap evidencing that the said room was occupied by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. we found three (3) sachets containing suspected Methamphetamine Hydrochloride "Shabu" residue. but also by the certification signed by the appellant himself. like clothings. And why did not Amadeo Tira supply the police officers of the personal identities and address where they could find Chris Tira and Gemma Lim at the time of the search. shoes and other accessories which make them the residents or occupants of the room. twenty-four (24) tea bags containing dried marijuana leaves.

is shared with another. However.67 Such fact of possession may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence and any reasonable inference drawn therefrom. The appellants had actual and exclusive possession and control and dominion over the house. Madam Witness? A At that time. under the law. viz: (1) the actual possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug.68 Since knowledge by the accused of the existence and character of the drugs in the place where he exercises dominion and control is an internal act. as such. Q How many of them? A Two (2) male persons and one woman. The appellant Connie Tira cannot escape criminal liability for the crime charged simply and merely on her barefaced testimony that she was a plain housewife. 6425. at that time where were those boarders? A They were inside their room. the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus posidendi) the drugs. and that the appellants had no boarders therein. Before the accused may be convicted of violating Section 8 of Republic Act No. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. This crime is mala prohibita. and. the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge of the existence and presence of the drug in the place under his control and dominion and the character of the drug. Sir. Q When did they leave. Sir.61 We agree with the finding of the trial court that the only occupants of the house when the policemen conducted their search were the appellants and their young children. Possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused. including the room where the drugs were found by the policemen. Act No. and a showing of non-exclusive possession would not exonerate the accused. constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found. 64 Exclusive possession or control is not necessary. Q They were not investigated by the police? A No. the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt the essential elements of the crime. or within such premises in the absence of any satisfactory explanation. conviction need not be predicated upon exclusive possession. criminal intent is not an essential element. 62 The essential elements of the crime of possession of regulated drugs are the following: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug. (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities. the same may be presumed from the fact that the dangerous drug is in the house or place over which the accused has control or dominion. includes not only actual possession.63 On the other hand.69 In this case. Madam Witness? A No more. Sir. 7659. and. and. Q So. Sir. Q And do you know their whereabout[s]. (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. However. and had no knowledge of the existence of . the prohibited and regulated drugs were found under the bed in the inner room of the house of the appellants where they also resided. had no involvement in the criminal actuations of her husband. as amended by Rep. Sir. they left the house. Sir. (3) the accused freely or consciously possessed the said drug.Q Where are (sic) those things came (sic) from? A At the room where my boarders occupied. 66 Thus.65 The accused cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and dominion over the place where the contraband is located. but also constructive possession.

Six [6] disposable lighter . for their possession of marijuana.3 grams . Connie Tira and Amadeo Tira jointly control and possess the shabu (Exhibits "M" and "N") and marijuana (Exhibits "O" and "P") found in the room of their house. as amended. It is unusual for a wife not to know the existence in their conjugal abode. as amended. of Rep. We do not agree with the trial court and the OSG.A. Act No. and. without first securing the necessary permit/license to posses[s] the same." "N. 20 of R. a prohibited drug. 6425. Judgment for two or more offenses.Several empty plastics (tea bag) . the above-named accused. they could be tried and convicted for the crimes alleged therein and proved by the prosecution. as amended. Section 8. 6425.When two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial.Cash money amounting to P12. 6425. or even sleeping on the bed. Section 3 of the said rule. the appellant Amadeo Tira. did then and there willfully. 6425. the appellants may be convicted of the crimes charged.One (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves weighing 721 grams . the questioned shabu and marijuana. Hence. cleaning it.Three (3) pieces (sic) sachets of shabu . unlawfully and feloniously have in their possession. in relation to Section 20.00 in different denominations believed to be proceeds of the contraband. in relation to Section 20. from entering the room. 1998." "O" and "P") found in their room. for their possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride. We find and so hold that the appellants are guilty of two separate crimes: (a) possession of regulated drugs under Section 16. province of Pangasinan.the drugs in the inner room of the house. She failed to adduce any credible evidence that she was prohibited by her husband. The appellants should have filed a motion to quash the Information under Section 3. We agree with the findings and disquisition of the trial court. in the Municipality of Urdaneta. 8. including the space under the bed. Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court before their arraignment. in relation to Section 20. The husband and wife (Amadeo and Connie) conspired and confederated with each other the keeping and custody of said prohibited articles. control and possession of the shabu and marijuana (Exhibits "M. Act No.One (1) roll Aluminum foil . She had full access to the room. Although only one Information was filed against the appellants. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. nevertheless.536. 6425. .A.Twenty-four (24) tea bags of dried marijuana leaves weighing 86. Both of them are deemed in possession of said articles in violation of R. control and custody the following: . 3. the appellants were charged for violation of possession of marijuana and shabu in one Information which reads: That on or about March 9. under Rule 120. of Rep. Act No. as amended. conspiring together.Six (6) pieces opened sachets of shabu residue ." 70 The Information is defective because it charges two crimes. in relation to Section 20 of the law. a regulated drug. CONTRARY TO SEC. the court may convict him of as many offenses as are . The Crimes Committed by the Appellants The trial court convicted the appellants of violating Section 16. In this case. in relation to Sec. (b) violation of Section 8. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asserts that the appellants should be convicted of violating Section 8 of Rep. The said Rule provides: SEC. They failed to do so. viz: The Court is not persuaded that Connie Tira has no knowledge.

in its medium period. as maximum.001 grams. Act No.25 grams prision correccional 49.000. and are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. as amended. to Three (3) years of prision correccional. the imposable penalty for the crime is prision correccional.3 grams of marijuana. shabu. 6425. the appellants are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 16. the appellants are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. 6425.50 grams prision mayor 98. The said appellants are. 6425. is prision correccional to reclusion perpetua. setting out separately the findings of f act and law in each offense. conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code and are ordered to pay a fine of P500. for illegal possession of 807. 6425.000. . Act No.charged and proved. Article II of Rep. Act No. the imposable penalty of possession of a regulated drug.000. 6425.00. for violation of Section 16 of Rep. likewise. The Proper Penalties On the Appellants The crime of violation of Section 8. to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum. less than 200 grams. and impose on him the penalty for each offense.76 grams to 199 grams reclusion perpetua Considering that the regulated drug found in the possession of the appellants is only 1. SO ORDERED. appellants Amadeo and Connie Tira are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 8. Act No. Act No. as amended. Article III of Rep. Based on the quantity of the regulated drug subject of the offense. Under Section 16. as amended. a prohibited drug. Considering that there are no qualifying circumstances. and ORDERED to pay a fine of P1. in this case.00. and are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.75 grams reclusion temporal 147. as amended. No costs.26 grams to 98. Article II of Rep.51 grams to 147. the imposable penalty shall be as follows: QUANTITY IMPOSABLE PENALTY Less than one (1) gram to 49. Article III of Rep. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. as amended.

Abuan of violating Section 16. and CHICO-NAZARIO. SR. No. and recommended the filing of an Information against her.FIRST DIVISION ELIZA ABUAN. No. she be allowed to post bail without waiving her right to question her arrest and assail Search Warrant No. . CR No.[5] The MTC found probable cause against Abuan for violation of Section 16. Article III of Republic Act (R.R. as amended.00. JJ.J. On May 8. SR. . 168773 Petitioner. Branch 41. 6425. Dagupan City in Criminal Case No..R. Chairperson. YNARES-SANTIAGO. 2006 x--------------------------------------------------x DECISION CALLEJO.A. 6425. C..versus . praying that pending the resolution of her motion. Present: PANGANIBAN.[4] The public prosecutor conformed to the motion.A. 98-62. 25726 and Resolution[2] denying the motion for reconsideration thereof. 6425. Thus. Pangasinan charging Abuan with violating R.) No. CALLEJO. Article III of R.AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. J. convicting Eliza T.: Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. as amended. G. October 27. otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. The CA affirmed the Decision[3] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). 1998. It ordered the elevation of the records to the RTC for further proceedings.A.. as amended. No. The Antecedents A criminal complaint was filed in the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Calasiao. she filed a motion to quash the criminal complaint. the motion was granted and bail was fixed at P60. Respondent.000. PEOPLE OF THE Promulgated: PHILIPPINES. 98-02337-D.

The court set the initial presentation of evidence by the prosecution on December 3. No. custody and control of the following to wit: Fifty seven (57) small heat-sealed plastic hydrochloride (shabu) weighing 5. the accused. charging Abuan with violating Section 16.[7] During the pre-trial on November 19. Abuan asserted that since the search warrant is void. Article III of R. unlawfully and feloniously has in her possession. without authority to possess the same. Lasip. 6425. 1998. 98-62.A. on said date. CONTRARY to Art. 1998 at Brgy. 1998. accused filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence. the above-named accused did then and there. whatever evidence was discovered as a result of the search conducted based on the warrant was inadmissible in evidence. 1998. [M]unicipality of Calasiao. assisted by counsel. and her testimony was fabricated to convince the Executive Judge to make a finding of probable cause required for the issuance of a search warrant. Marissa Gorospe was a fictitious person.A. and the Executive Judge failed to ask searching questions and elicit from Gorospe the particularity of the alleged paraphernalia in Abuans possession. alleging that there was no probable cause for the issuance of Search Warrant No. pleaded not guilty to the charge. as amended. as amended. willfully. sachets of met[h]aphetamine one (1) roll aluminum foil and assorted plastic (luminous) sachets. However.[9] . Section 16 of R. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and that. Cesar Ramos. 6425. Philippines. [P]rovince of Pangasinan.[8] She maintained that the warrant was invalid and that any material allegedly confiscated from her house was inadmissible in evidence.67 grams. 98-62. the applicant. in the enforcement thereof. 57 sachets of shabu were found in her house and later confiscated by the policemen. 1998. Abuan rejected the prosecutions proposal for her to admit the validity of Search Warrant No.The inculpatory portion of the Information reads: That on or about 8:45 oclock in the morning of May 6. III. an Amended Information was filed in the RTC of Dagupan City.On November 12. [6] During the arraignment on November 12. had no personal knowledge of his claim that she had in her possession methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and other drug paraphernalia.

[16] She first came upon the drugs in Abuans house when the latter invited her to a jamming and drinking session. to search the house of Abuan for violation of Section 16.Instead of allowing the accused to present her evidence in support of her motion. 98-62 which reads: TO ANY OFFICER OF THE LAW: GREETINGS: . Abuan kept a substantial amount of shabu in her house and sold it. Calasiao. the court declared that any such evidence may be adduced at the trial. the officers.A. three times for more than an hour. a place of considerable distance from Calasiao. Abuan was a prominent personality in Barangay Lasip. Being a mother herself. applied for a warrant [13] with Executive Judge Eugenio G. Manaoag. aluminum foil. [18] The informant further narrated that several people. According to the informant. through SPO3 Cesar Ramos. She knew Abuan because they were employed as dealers of Avon Cosmetics. She also saw weighing scales and paraphernalias used in sniffing shabu. Pangasinan. Article III of R. on May 5. No. She refused because she had to go home to Barangay Sapang. Pangasinan. Acting on the said information. 98-62. Manaoag. [20] Gorospe identified and affirmed the truth of the contents of her deposition. who was subjected to searching questions by the Executive Judge.[17] Abuan then suggested that they use the shabu that she kept inside her bedroom instead. and the seizure of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). 1998. They saw more or less 20 people who were coming in and out of Abuans house. cemented and decorated with ornamental plants up front. Ramos of the RTC in Lingayen. 6425. The application was docketed as Search Warrant No. SPO2 Marcelino Gamboa and SPO2 Beliguer de Vera of the Calasiao Police Station received information from a confidential informant that Abuan was conducting illegal drug activities in her house at Barangay Lasip. Gamboa and de Vera conducted surveillancemonitoring operations on her residence.[19] During her visits. Ramos presented their informant. To establish probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant. weighing scale. Pangasinan. as amended. [10] The Case for the Prosecution At around 8:30 a.m. [14] Gorospe testified that she was a resident of Barangay Sapang. she did not want teenagers and her children to become drug addicts. these people were drug addicts. Marissa Gorospe. including teenagers. she observed that Abuan placed shabu inside plastic bags.[15] Her unnumbered house is a green bungalow-type.[11]and Abuan was a known drug pusher. Pangasinan. [21] The Executive Judge found probable cause and issued Search Warrant No. and burner. arrived in the house of Abuan and bought the substance. She visited Abuan in her house at least three to four times a week. [12] On the same day.

Mangaliag and Garcia affixed their signatures on the inventory/receipt. Upon arriving at the premises.[24] The police officers confiscated all these and brought them. Gamboa and Garcia entered the bedroom and found 57 sachets of suspected shabu. Abuan read the warrant and permitted the officers to conduct the search. before proceeding to Abuans residence. However. Fidel Posadas. Mangaliag introduced the police officers to Abuan who presented Search Warrant No. 1998. Major Froilan Perez. This Search Warrant shall be valid only for ten (10) days from its issuance. along with Abuan. thereafter. the same shall be void. the rest of the policemen remained outside. SPO3 Cesar A. the policemen invited BarangayCaptain Bernardo Mangaliag and Kagawad Miguel Garcia of Barangay Lasip to witness the search. SPO2 Gamboa. SPO2 Madrid. PNP. Lasip. PO1 Moyano and PO3 Vallo went to Barangay Lasip to enforce the search warrant. YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to make an immediate search at any time of the day or night and take possession of the above-described properties and bring them to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs.[22] On May 6. Officers De Vera. which should be seized and brought to the undersigned. PO3 Ubando.A. to the police station where an inventory of the items was made. Calasiao. police operatives composed of Col.[26] .[25] but Abuan refused to sign it.[23] De Vera. SPO2 de Vera. PO2 Rosario. PO2 Tomelden. Ramos. Mangaliag. Pangasinan. Gamboa and Garcia and Mangaliag entered the house. and his witnesses that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent is in possession without any authority to do so in violation of R. 98-62 to her.It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining under oath thru searching questions on the applicant. one roll of aluminum foil and assorted luminous plastic sachets in the drawer just beside Abuans bed. 6425 of the following: Met[h]amphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) Tooter Weighing Scale Aluminum Foil Burner which she keeps and conceals in her house premises at Brgy.

[27] The police officers requested the PNP Crime Laboratory Unit of Lingayen.67 grams gave positive results for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride. Pangasinan to conduct a laboratory examination on the confiscated substance.[31] The court admitted the documentary evidence of the prosecution subject to the comment or objection interposed by accused and the eventual determination of their probative weight. . on May 6. 1998. the prosecution offered in evidence Search Warrant No. [34] She did not know any person by the name of Marissa Gorospe.[28] According to the laboratory examination conducted by P/Supt.[39] Some of the men went out of the house and boarded a jeepney.[42] Her brother was by the gate of her house at the time of the raid. Theresa Ann Bugayong CID. four armed men barged into their house and declared a raid. but they separated in 1997.The police officers prepared a certification of orderly search which Garcia and Mangaliag also signed.However.Suddenly. [40] At this instance.[30] However. 98-62. [37] About eight to ten others were outside her house. She inquired if they had a search warrant but she was not shown any. Mangaliag signed the same. She did not work for Avon Cosmetics nor used any of its products. who was enraged when she refused his demand to entrust the properties of the family to the care of his son. 21-year old Ediliza Go and 9-year old Mae Liza Abuan. Her parents and her sister Corazon Bernadette sent her money from Canada once or twice a month to support her and her daughters. 1998. Barangay Captain Bernardo Mangaliag was brought to the scene and was shown the powder substance recovered from her bedroom. [33] She was married to Crispin Abuan.m. she was with her two daughters.It was her father who spent for the education of her daughters. The men outside again went into the bedroom and came out with powder placed in a plastic. a policeman. a regulated drug. the Receipt of the Property Seized. The raid as well as the charge against her were instigated by her brother Arsenio Tana.[41] She declared that the sachets/substances which the policemen claimed to have found in her house were merely planted to implicate her. the 57 sachets of the suspected shabu weighing 5. Abuan objected to the admission of the search warrant and the articles confiscated based thereon on the ground that the warrant was issued without probable cause.[35] At around 8:30 a.[38] The men searched her house for about 10 to 15 minutes and turned up with nothing. Abuan likewise refused to sign the certification. It appears that Tana carried out his threat to have her house raided since the policemen did come to her house on May 6. Regional Chief Chemist. the Physical Science Report and the articles confiscated from Abuans house.[36] They were still in bed inside their room.[32] The Case for the Accused Abuan testified that she was jobless in 1998. [29] After presenting its witnesses. She refused to sign the inventory and receipt of the property seized and the certification of orderly search.

Calachan declared that he was born in Barangay Sapang and never left the place. she is hereby sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of TWO (2) YEARS. Before he signed the certification.100. She did not know any Avon Cosmetics employee or dealer named Marissa Gorospe in Pangasinan. for her part. Abuan also declared that the money kept inside a box in her room amounting to P25. Pangasinan and Mercedes Carvajal. a certain Marissa Gorospe is not a resident of this barangay.[44] He issued a certification[45] stating that as per record of this barangay. He was familiar with the residents of the small barangay. negative and feeble.000. she declared that she was a team leader of Avon Cosmetics (Dagupan Branch). FOUR (4) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY to FOUR (4) YEARS and TWO (2) MONTHS of PRISION CORRECTIONAL. Marissa Gorospe is not a registered dealer of Avon Dagupan Branch based on our records. The dispositive portion reads: WHEREFORE. She failed to prove that it was her brother who manipulated the unfortunate . The prohibited drug and paraphernalia seized from the accused are hereby confiscated in favor of the government and should be turned over to the Dangerous Drugs Board for disposition in accordance with law.00 (US$1. 2001. Barangay Captain Robert Calachan of Barangay Sapang. the testimony of accused was self-serving. 1998 of Dagupan City Avon Branch Manager Gigi dela Rosa. She did not know who took it.Abuan also testified that.[47] The trial court declared that the testimonies of police officers Gamboa and de Vera should be accorded great weight and credence as they testified positively regarding what transpired during the raid. she saw Tana talking to the police officers who arrested her. testified for accused.[46] Carvajal. and he was told that no one by that name was a transient.00) given by her sister Corazon Bernardino had gone missing after the raid. and that Abuan was not such a dealer/employee. and thus had no participation in the preparation of the certification of Gigi dela Rosa and was not in a position to know if the certification was correct. based on the certification dated November 12. On March 28. an employee of Avon Cosmetics in Dagupan holding the position of team leader. In contrast. SO ORDERED. Article 6425.[43] She did not file any charge for the loss of her money because she was scared. testified that. the trial court rendered a decision finding accused guilty of the charge. On cross-examination. finding accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a violation of Section 15 (sic). She further testified that she had been a team leader/dealer of Avon Cosmetics for 21 years already. during the raid. he inquired from thebarangay members if they knew a Marissa Gorospe. Manaoag.

there was none. the court ruled that there was probable cause for its issuance. giving rise to the presumption that if they had been presented. The failure of the accused to present her two daughters as witnesses amounted to suppression of evidence. Abuan insisted that the applicant failed to show probable cause for the issuance of Search Warrant No. however. 2001. 98-62 is void and the substances and paraphernalia confiscated by the policemen are inadmissible in evidence. hence. She appealed the decision to the CA. the presumption is that they regularly performed their duties. Abuan filed her motion for reconsideration dated April 16. 2001. in fact. . On the issue of the validity of the search warrant. Neither was she able to prove ill motive on the part of the police officers who conducted a search in her house. their testimonies would be adverse to her. and in accordance with the requirements of the law and Constitution. its issuance and implementation were valid. which the court denied in an Order[49] dated May 10. II THE LOWER COURT ERRED AND GRAVELY MISAPPRECIATED THE EVIDENCE AGAINST THE ACCUSED WHEN IT OVERLOOKED THE GLARING DISCREPANCIES IN THE TESTIMONIES OF THE SUPPOSED EYEWITNESSES. where she averred that: I THE LOWER COURT GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT CONSIDERED THE ALLEGED SHABU AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA AS ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE AGAINST THE ACCUSED THEREBY DISREGARDING THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROHOBITION AGAINST FRUITS OF THE POISONOUS TREE. Search Warrant No. It explained that Gorospe may have lied a little in order to conceal herself for her protection. 98-62. The proceedings conducted by the Execute Judge relative to the application of the police for a search warrant. [48]The trial court declared that Gorospe may have lied about her address and being a dealer of Avon Cosmetics.The Executive Judge failed to ask Gorospe searching questions. Consequently. but the rest of her testimony constituted sufficient evidence of probable cause. regular. the trial court should not have given them probative weight. She further claimed that the testimonies of De Vera and Gamboa were pockmarked with inconsistencies and as such. it does not necessarily mean that she was a fictitious person. Marissa Gorospe is a fictitious person whose alleged testimony is fabricated and was used by the police officers to convince the Executive Judge that there was probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant when.events.

The alleged discrepancies in the testimonies of Gamboa and de Vera were peripheral matters. She maintained that the CA should not rely on the evaluation by the RTC of the witnesses credibility.For its part. asserts that I THE CA GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE SEARCH WARRANT VALID DESPITE FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS MANDATED BY THE CONSTITUTION. was estopped from assailing it and the search and seizure conducted thereafter. SO ORDERED. and that the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were on material relevant details.[52] Abuan filed a motion for reconsideration. Dagupan City convicting Eliza T. Court of Appeals. is AFFIRMED. 98-62. [55] In the instant petition. as amended.[50] It likewise claimed that the inconsistencies adverted to by appellant pertained merely to collateral matters and were not determinative of her guilt or innocence.[51] The appellate court ruled that the prosecution adduced proof beyond reasonable doubt of Abuans guilt for the crime charged. the appeal is DISMISSED. Costs against the accused-appellant. II . Abuan. Abuans failure to assail the legality of the search and seizure conducted by the policemen before her arraignment was equivalent to a waiver of her right to assail the search warrant.[53] reiterating her argument that the search warrant is not valid. As gleaned from the evidence of the prosecution. Branch 41. now petitioner. The appellate court denied the motion in a Resolution[54] dated May 26. 6425. The fallo of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. The OSG cited the ruling of this Court inDemaisip v. She also argued that she did not waive her right to assail the validity of the search warrant at her arraignment and during the trial. Article III of Republic Act No. The CA cited the ruling of this Court in Malaloan v. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) averred that the trial court merely confirmed Executive Judge Ramos finding of probable cause. Abuan of violation of Section 16. 2005 on its finding that no new and substantial matter was presented to warrant reconsideration thereof. hence. The CA rendered judgment affirming the RTC decision. Court of Appeals. The assailed Decision dated March 28. appellant failed to file a motion to quash Search Warrant No. Besides. 1001 in Criminal Case No. for lack of merit. 98-02337-D of the Regional Trial Court. her defenses could not prevail over the evidence adduced by the prosecution. Moreover.

and upon whose testimony under oath probable cause may be established. based on the records. In this case. consequently. considering that she and Gorospe were never employed by Avon Cosmetics and were not even acquainted. It insists that the CA correctly ruled that the requisites of a valid search warrant were present. Thus.However. her personal knowledge of (petitioners) criminal activities.THE CA ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE ISSUE OF THE VALIDITY OF THE SEARCH WARRANT WAS DEEMED WAIVED AFTER ARRAIGNMENT. [58] The OSG maintains that petitioner in effect waived whatever objections she had regarding the validity of the search warrant. the appellate court should have acquitted her of the charges by reason of the prosecutions failure to prove the commission of the crime beyond reasonable doubt. never questioned nor moved for the quashal of . III THE CA ERRED IN CONSIDERING THE SHABU AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA ALLEGEDLY TAKEN FROM THE PETITIONER AS ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE. [56] Petitioner avers that the search warrant issued by the Executive Judge was void because the circumstances leading to its issuance were not based on probable cause but on mere fabrications. She was thus not proscribed from filing her motion to suppress the search warrant even after the arraignment. a planted witness with a fabricated testimony and. any evidence discovered on the basis thereof should be suppressed and excluded in accordance with Section 3(2). She rejected the prosecutions offer to admit the validity of the search warrant and even filed a motion to suppress the search. the search warrant should be declared invalid as it is based on the testimony of a fictitious person. It points out that she never questioned the warrant before the court which issued the same. In its Comment. it is the witness who should possess such personal knowledge. she sought to suppress the search warrant throughout the entire proceedings in the trial court. in applying for a search warrant. IV THE CA ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE CONVICTION OF THE PETITIONER. she became acquainted with petitioner and visited her in her house because of their employment with Avon Cosmetics. it was Gorospe who narrated. under oath and before the judge. It asserts that. Petitioner points out that with the inadmissibility of the shabu and other paraphernalia.[57] the OSG maintains that the search warrant is valid. a police officer need not possess personal knowledge regarding an illegal activity. Article III of the Constitution. Petitioner insists that. She points out that according to Gorospe. such testimony is false. noting that the Executive Judge conducted searching questions and answers on the person of Marissa Gorospe.

[59] petitioner declares that a close scrutiny of the judges investigation of Gorospe would reveal that her personal circumstances are pivotal in her acquisition of personal knowledge regarding the alleged possession of shabu by petitioner.However. the motion may be filed in and resolved by the court that issued the search warrant.A. 98-62 and for the Suppression of the Evidence Seized by the Police Officers Section 14. No. A motion to quash a search warrant and/or to suppress evidence obtained thereby may be filed in and acted upon only by the court where the action has been instituted. where to file. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure reads: Sec. 6425. 14. as amended. Petitioner likewise maintains that contrary to the allegations of the OSG. the motion shall be resolved by the latter court. And while petitioner was allowed to present evidence on the alleged invalidity of the search warrant. If these personal circumstances are fabricated. She could not have done any better under the circumstances at that time because all the evidence against Gorospe was made known and available to her only after her arraignment. she did not waive her right to question the validity of the warrant. 98-62 and the admissibility of the substances and paraphernalia and other articles confiscated from her house based on said warrant. The Court is tasked to resolve the following threshold issues: (a) whether petitioner waived her right to question Search Warrant No.the warrant before her arraignment. and (b) whether the prosecution adduced evidence to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 16. Article III of R. Motion to quash a search warrant or to suppress evidence. In her Reply. The Ruling of the Court Petitioner Did not Waive Her Right to File a Motion To Quash Search Warrant No. if such court failed to resolve the motion and a criminal case is subsequently filed in another court. . If no criminal action has been instituted. this did not cure her omission or inaction in raising the issue at the proper time. then such personal knowledge regarding the possession bears no credit.

The Court ruled in the Malaloan case that the motion to quash the search warrant which the accused may file shall be governed by the omnibus motion rule. therefore. as follows: When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record. In her motion to suppress. the trial courts ruling (which the appellate court affirmed) that the prosecution adduced evidence to prove petitioners guilt of crime charged beyond reasonable doubt is correct. On the second issue. petitioner reserved her right to question Search Warrant No. insisting that it was void.[61] Section 7. failure of the Executive Judge to ask searching questions on Gorospe. and the evidence seized by the police officers on the basis of the search warrant are inadmissible in evidence. provided. the court may hear the matter on affidavits or depositions presented by the respective parties. and that the evidence seized by the policemen on the basis of said warrant be suppressed. It cannot. be said that petitioner waived her right to assail the search warrant and object to the admissibility of the regulated drugs found in her house. 98-62 when she filed her motion for bail in the RTC. 98-62. however. [60] A motion to quash a search warrant may be based on grounds extrinsic of the search warrant. [62] Petitioner was ready to adduce evidence in support of her motion. petitioner averred that the search warrant is void for the following reasons: lack of probable cause. During pre-trial in the RTC. but the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions. It bears stressing that the trial court admitted the same and she objected thereto. such as (1) the place searched or the property seized are not those specified or described in the search warrant. petitioner rejected the prosecutions proposal for her to admit the validity of Search Warrant No. She likewise prayed that the search warrant be nullified. In the present case. She likewise objected to the admission of the search warrant and the evidence confiscated by the police officers after the search was conducted. . Petitioner thus no longer assailed the ruling of the trial court and opted to adduce her evidence at the trial. and (2) there is no probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant. that objections not available. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides that the court may hear the motion. existent or known during the proceedings for the quashal of the warrant may be raised in the hearing of the motion to suppress the resolution of the court not on the motion to quash the search warrant and to suppress evidence shall be subject to any proper remedy in the appropriate higher court. but the court declared that this should be done during the trial. The public prosecutor conformed to the motion.

Denial is a negative of self-serving defense.67 gm when Search Warrant No. while . No. No. Article III of R. the People must prove that petitioner had dominion or control on either the substance or the premises where found. 98-62 was served on her. 16. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall possess or use any regulated drug without the corresponding license or prescription. (b) the accused was fully and consciously aware of being in possession of the regulated drug. Absent any clear and convincing evidence that such officers had ill or improper motive or were not performing their duties. Possession or Use of Regulated Drugs. the police officers. stating that. The burden of evidence is shifted to petitioner to explain the absence of aminus possidendi. in accordance with law.[65] Possession of dangerous drugs constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or aminus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of any satisfactory explanation of such possession. As testified to by the witnesses of the prosecution. In order to establish constructive possession. Their testimonies were corroborated by the inventory/receipt of property.[67] Like alibi. petitioner had in her possession and control 57 small. Petitioner likewise failed to present any legal authority to justify her possession of the regulated drug found in her bedroom.A. the defense of denial and frame-up had been invariably viewed by the courts with disfavor. the implementation of search warrant. [64]The State must prove adequate nexus between the accused and the prohibited substance.A. their testimonies with respect to the surveillance operation. and the seizure of the regulated drug in the house of petitioner must be accorded full faith and credence. The elements of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are as follows: (a) the accused was in possession of the regulated drugs. 6425. in the presence of Garcia and Mangaliag. indeed. as amended by R. The police officers are presumed to have performed their duties in good faith. 57 small heat-sealed plastic sachets containing methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) weighing 5.67 grams were found in a drawer in petitioners bedroom. heat-sealed sachets of shabu weighing 5.Section 16. indeed. 7659 reads: SEC. The mere denial by petitioner of the crime charged and her bare claim of being the victim of a frame-up by de Vera and Gamboa cannot prevail over the positive and steadfast testimonies of the police officers. subject to the provisions of Section 20 hereof. [63] Possession may be actual or constructive. and (c) the accused had no legal authority to possess the regulated drug. found the said substances in a drawer in her bedroom.[66] We agree with the trial courts finding that.

It was only when she testified in her defense in the trial court that she alleged. Cuachon. In the case of her daughter Ediliza. 98-62. if what she would be made to state was true. the evidence must be clear and convincing. [68] For the defense of frame-up to prosper. In the case of her daughter Mae Liza. there was no reason why she could not articulate what she personally saw and experienced. The suspicion of accused that it was her brother who manipulated the events in her life is unsubstantiated and too far-fetched to happen and is. According to her. No. However. for the first time. [69] It bears stressing that the policemen saw to it that the search of petitioners house was conducted with the assistance and in the presence of Barangay Captain Mangaliag andKagawad Garcia. therefore. that the charge against her was instigated by her brother.A. as amended. 6425. We quote with approval the disquisitions of the OSG on this matter: SECOND: The police officers who testified had not proven bad or ill motive to testify against accused. It is uncorroborated. The presumption. petitioner failed to prove that her brother Arsenio Tana instigated the policemen to secure Search Warrant No. THIRD: The testimony of accused is too self-serving. Petitioner failed to make such a claim when she was arrested and brought to the MTC for preliminary investigation. They testified that the regulated drugs confiscated by the policemen were found in the searched premises. is that said police officers performed their official duties regularly (People v. unbelievable. Except for her bare testimony. 6425. Petitioner failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the policemen and the barangay officials had any improper motive to frame her and falsely ascribe to her the crime of violating R. No. therefore.A. conducted a search in her house. . 238 SCRA 540). the intrusion into her house by the police was witnessed by her two daughter (sic). she did not present them as witnesses. planted the drugs in her bedroom and stole money from her. in cahoots with the policemen. who was nine years old. as amended. She also failed to file any criminal complaint against the policemen and her brother Arsenio Tana for filing the fabricated charge against her and for planting evidence in her house. she was already twenty years old at the time so that she was already mature for all legal intents and purposes.frame-up is as easily concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in most prosecutions for violation of R.

98-62 for violation of Section 16. the findings of the trial court that based on the deposition and testimony of Gorospe. houses. there was probable cause for the issuance of Search Warrant No. Paraphernalia and Regulated Drugs Found in Petitioners Bedroom and Confiscated by the Police Officers are Admissible in Evidence We agree with the ruling of the CA affirming. their testimonies would have been adverse to her. Article III of R. she did not have financial problems which could have pushed her into the drug business because her sister Corazon Bernardino had been regularly sending her money. 229 SCRA 155). therefore. cannot prevail over the positive testimonies of prosecution witnesses (People v.[70] Search Warrant No. thus raising the presumption that if they were presented. Furthermore. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. Section 2. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the . to present her two daughters is tantamount to a suppression of evidence. on appeal. as amended. 6425. papers. the Articles. 98-62 Is Valid.A. it has been [the] consistent ruling of the Supreme Court that a plain denial or negative testimony. Article III of the Constitution provides: SEC. Amaguin. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. No. The aforecited unlikelihood perceived by accused could not prevail over the affirmative testimonies of policemen Gamboa and de Vera who positively declared that they found 57 sachets ofshabu in her room.The inability of the said accused. Furthermore. if unsubstantiated by a clear and convincing testimony. FOURTH: The other defense of accused is that it was unlikely for her to have engaged in pushing or peddling drugs for a living because she had to set a good example of decent living for the sake of her two beautiful daughters and good neighbors.

great deference is to be accorded to the Judges determination. A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witness he may produce.complainant and the witnesses he may produce. the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements. thus: SEC. (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on the facts personally known to them. in writing and under oath or affirmation. (3) the judge must examine. 5. Thus. (2) such probable cause must be determined personally by the judge. record. Technical requisites of elaborate specificity have no place in this area. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. the complainant and the witnesses he or she may produce. Reasonable minds may differ on the question of whether a particular affidavit/deposition or testimony of the affiant/deponent establishes probable cause.[74] Affidavits/depositions for search warrants must be tested and interpreted by Judges in a common-sense and realistic fashion. any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.[75] The Judge in determining probable cause is to consider the totality of the . and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place to be searched and the things to be seized. The judge must. They are normally drafted by non-lawyers in the midst and haste of a criminal investigation. Requisites for issuing search warrant. However. Examination of complainant. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines.[71] Sections 4 and 5. [73] The affidavit/deposition supporting an application for a search warrant is presumed to be valid. together with the affidavits submitted. 4. before issuing the warrant. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. SEC.[72] Probable cause is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. The requisites for the issuance of a search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure enumerate the requisites for the issuance of a search warrant. in writing and under oath.

[77] Probable cause exists if a practical. the evidence seized by the police officers based on said search warrant may be suppressed if the accused presents clear and convincing evidence that the police officers and/or a government informant made a deliberate falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth in said affidavit/deposition or testimony which is essential or necessary to a showing of probable cause. is not at all material or necessary to the determination of probable cause. commonsense evaluation of the facts and circumstances show a fair possibility that dangerous drugs will be found in the asserted location. It is sufficient if the information put forth in the affidavit/deposition or testimony of the affiant/deponent are believed or appropriately accepted by the affiant/deponent as true. the finding of probable cause of the Judge may be set aside and the search warrant issued by him based on his finding may be quashed. [80] The reviewing court is simply to ensure that the Judge had a substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed. The general rule is that the task of a reviewing court is not to conduct a de novo determination of probable cause but only to determine whether there is substantial evidence in the records supporting the Judges decision to issue the search warrant. [83] The requirement that a search warrant not issue but upon probable cause would be reduced to a nullity if a police officer and his informant are able to use deliberately falsehood allegations to demonstrate probable cause and. there is no basis for doubting the reliability and correctness of his findings and impressions. 1998 may be relevant to the issue of whether there was factual basis for .[84] However. innocent and negligent omissions or misrepresentation of a police officer or government informant will not invalidate a search warrant. the determination of probable cause must be upheld. And even if the police officer or government informant may have deliberately made a falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth in his or her affidavit/deposition but the remaining portions thereof are sufficient to establish probable cause. his action cannot be a mere ratification of the bare/unsubstantiated contention of others. [76] and must employ a flexible. Such evidence must focus on the state of mind of the affiants/deponents that he was conscious of the falsity of his assertion or representation. was able to remain confident that the ploy succeeded.[85] The evidence presented by petitioner that Gorospe was not a resident or transient of Barangay Sapang. even if true and credible. the search warrant will not be quashed for lack of probable cause.[78] There must be a factual showing sufficient to comprise probable cause of particular facts and circumstances so as to allow the Judge to make an independent evaluation of the matter. [82] However. Whether petitioner and Gorospe were dealers of Avon Cosmetics as of May 5. having misled the Judge.[81] and once ascertained that the Judge had substantial basis for concluding that a search would unearth evidence of a wrongdoing. In the absence of any showing that the Judge was recreant of his duties in connection with the personal examination he so conducted on the affiants/deponent before him.circumstances made known to him and not by a fixed and rigid formula.[79]Sufficient information must be presented to allow a Judge to determine probable cause. totality of the circumstances standard.

On the other hand. petitioner failed to present evidence that she was not a dealer of Avon Cosmetics. She did not testify nor did petitioner adduce evidence that Gorospe was not such a dealer in places other than Dagupan City or Pangasinan for that matter. however. No. who. the testimony of Gorospe before the Executive Judge was corroborated by the testimonies of police officers Gamboa and de Vera. Sir. Carvajal admitted that she was not in a position to confirm the veracity of the contents of the certification: PROSECUTOR JAIME DOJILLO ON CROSS-EXAMINATION q What is your position at Dagupan Avon Cosmetics? a Team Leader. In fine. The finding of the Executive Judge was corroborated by the testimony of police officers de Vera and Gamboa. petitioner failed to adduce competent and credible evidence that Gorospe was not a dealer of Avonproducts in the branches of Avon Cosmetics other than Pangasinan. partially confirmed Gorospes claim that. the Branch Manager of Avon Cosmetics Dagupan Branch. the Executive Judge found probable cause after conducting the requisite searching questions on Gorospe for violation of Section 16. is hearsay because she did not testify. q Do you have any participation in the preparation of this certification? a None. In the present case. The trial court reviewed the testimony of Gorospe before the Executive Judge [87] and confirmed that. Article III of R. Sir. Sir. people had been going to the house of petitioner to buy shabu.[86] Carvajal was merely one of many team leaders of Avon Cosmetics in Dagupan City.the finding of probable cause by the Executive Judge against petitioner. indeed. as amended. q So. indeed. affirmed by the CA. in their surveillance operation. The findings of the trial court were. 98-62 and the suppression of the evidence seized after the enforcement of the search warrant. hence. The evidence petitioner presented to disprove the testimony of Gorospe that they were dealers of Avon Cosmetics are her (petitioners) testimony and that of Carvajal. petitioners evidence to prove his claim is tenuous and does not warrant the quashal of Search Warrant No. Other than the denial of petitioner and the testimony of Carvajal. . there was probable cause against petitioner for violation of said crime. you were not the one who prepared the same? a Yes. you had not in position to know the truth of this certification.A. 6425. in turn. The certification purportedly signed by dela Rosa.

The trial and appellate courts ruled that petitioner possessed 5. for violation of Section 16 of Rep. SO ORDERED. if considered. shabu. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. misconstrued or misapplied facts and circumstances of substances such that. As the Court ruled in People v.R. Tira:[88] Under Section 16. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. Act No. CR No. the imposable penalty for the crime is prision correccional.75 grams reclusion temporal 147. . the same will warrant the modification or reversal of the outcome of the case.50 grams prision mayor 98.[89] The penalty imposed in the Tira case is the correct penalty. in this case. less than 200 grams. to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum.76 grams to 199 grams reclusion perpetua Considering that the regulated drug found in the possession of the appellants is only 1. four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional. as amended. the petition is DENIED.26 grams to 98. absent clear and convincing evidence that the tribunals ignored. which should likewise be imposed against petitioner herein. 6425. 25726 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION as to penalty. if not conclusive effect.25 grams prision correccional 49.The well-entrenched rule is that the findings of the trial court affirmed by the appellate court are accorded high respect. the imposable penalty of possession of a regulated drug. petitioner failed to establish any such circumstance. The penalty imposed by the trial court and affirmed by the CA is incorrect. Based on the quantity of the regulated drug subject of the offense. by this Court.51 grams to 147.67 gm of methamphetamine hydrochloride and sentenced her to an indeterminate penalty of two (2) years. is prision correccionalto reclusion perpetua. the imposable penalty shall be as follows: QUANTITY IMPOSABLE PENALTY Less than one (1) gram to 49. In this case. Article III of Rep. the appellants are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. Act No. Petitioner is hereby sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum. 6425. as amended.001 grams. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law.

he allegedly entered the property by means of force.2 This decision attained finality on April 19. The title of the property (Transfer Certificate of Title [TCT] No.000 square meters and was located in Barangay Langkaan. After the execution of a contract to sell. Upon respondent’s return to the Philippines in May 1995. At the time of the turn-over. BALTAZAR PACLEB. The instruments in support of the series of alleged sales were not registered. 1996. The antecedent facts follow. No.net On September 11. Cavite on November 23.1 Respondent. J. Later on. the MTC ruled: . The lot was approximately 18. Cavite. strategy and stealth thereby ousting petitioners and their trustee. 2007 ERNESTO V. petitioners appointed Ramon as their trustee over the subject lot. On September 12. Javier supposedly purchased the lot from one Rebecca del Rosario who. he formally turned over the property to petiti oners. remained in the names of respondent and his wife. Petitioners.000 as downpayment for the lot. After the issues were joined. T-118375 of a decision rendered in their favor in Civil Case No.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. acquired it from respondent and his wife. T-118375). vs. respondent. the MTC required the submission of the parties’ position papers at a preliminary conference on March 11. intimidation. a portion of the lot was occupied by Ramon C. public and peaceful possession over the property from September 12. Aside from taking possession of the property. Pacleb. 1995. Petitioners filed an action for forcible entry3 in the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Dasmariñas. 130316 January 24. 1992. Despite repeated demands. On June 17. 1992. Respondent failed to comply. Ramon and his wife allegedly surrendered possession of their portion to petitioners. respondent’s son. refused to vacate the premises and surrender its possession to petitioners. petitioners also caused the annotation on TCT No. in turn. 1995. and his wife as tenants. asserting his rights as registered owner of the property. During this time. Dasmariñas.: The present petition filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court originated from an action for forcible entry and damages filed by petitioners Ernesto and Elsie Yu against respondent Baltazar Pacleb. Sometime in September 1992. YU and ELSIE O. 741-93. Respondent filed an answer with compulsory counterclaim dated December 8. Javier then delivered his supposed muniments of title to petitioners. Petitioners alleged that they exercised ownership rights as well as enjoyed open. 1996. Ruperto Javier allegedly offered to sell Lot No. DECISION CORONA. threat. petitioners accepted the offer and gave Javier P200.R. respondent was in the United States.m. 1995. Ramon. however. 1992 until the early part of September 1995. 6853-D to petitioners for P75 per sq. lawphil. YU.

1997.4 On appeal." 9 The plaintiff. strategy or stealth. SO ORDERED.16 First. Ramon. and Civil Case No.WHEREFORE. as respondent’s son. Cavite rendered a decision affirming the MTC decision in toto. 741-93 (a case for specific performance and damages against Javier. It is not necessary that the person in possession should himself be the occupant. the conflicting factual findings of the MTC and RTC on one hand. Cavite in Civil Case No. to possess means to have.ne t "In an action for forcible entry.19 The payment of real estate tax is one of the most persuasive and positive indications showing the will of a person to possess in concepto de dueño or with claim of ownership.18(emphasis ours) The claim that the lot was turned over to petitioners in 1992 was self-serving in the face of this factual finding. 1997: WHEREFORE. the Petition is GRANTED. nor [were they] given a clearance or certification from the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer.000. the alleged vendor of the lot in question) upon which petitioners based their right to possess in the first place.5 the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Imus. as between himself and the defendant. the Decision dated October 25." 14 Without occupancy. We overrule petitioners’ contentions. to actually and physically occupy a thing.15 Two things are paramount in possession. 182 are SET ASIDE. On the other hand.17 Here.8 In a resolution dated August 20. however. The Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. Cavite in Civil Case No. the tax declarations and receipts in the name of respondent in 1994 and 1995 established the possession of respondent. cannot prevail where it appears that. 052-96 and the Decision of the [MTC] of Dasmariñas. there must be intent to possess (animus possidendi). 13 "Possession always includes the idea of occupation x x x.00) PESOS as attorney’s fees. require us to make an exception. 182 for Forcible Entry and Damages is hereby ordered DISMISSED. lawphil. the [respondent] and other persons claiming right under him are hereby ordered to surrender physical possession of Lot No. the latter had possession antedating his own. No pronouncement as to costs. threat. 1996 of the [RTC] of Imus. apprehension or taking. and the CA on the other. the plaintiff must prove that he was in prior possession of the land or building and that he was deprived thereof by means of force. was named caretaker . with or without right. the CA denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. there is no possession. The occupancy can be held by another in his name.20 "[P]ossession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of the ground before he is deemed in possession. 12 In the grammatical sense. there must be occupancy."21 In this case. petitioners failed to establish that they had prior physical possession to justify a ruling in their favor in the complaint for forcible entry against respondent. the trial court categorically stated: The [petitioners were never placed] in possession of the subject property on which [was] planned to be [site of] a piggery. in view of the foregoing.6 Respondent elevated his case to the Court of Appeals (CA) 7 which rendered the assailed decision on March 18. intimidation. Second.11 However.10 We are generally precluded in a Rule 45 petition from reviewing factual evidence tracing the events prior to the first act of spoliation. In the decision in Civil Case No. Before us now come petitioners who claim that the appellate court erred in finding that respondent had prior physical possession of the subject property. 6853-D in favor of the [petitioners] and to pay the sum of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND (P25. SO ORDERED.

1997 in CAG. a mere usurper without any right whatever. however momentary his intrusion might have been. if the dates of the possession are the same. petitioners’ allegation that respondent deprived them of actual possession by means of force. 538. SO ORDERED. the one who presents a title. the person first having actual possession is the one who is entitled to maintain the action granted by law. T-118375) remained in the name of respondent. SP No. petitioners themselves acknowledged that Ramon and his wife occupied part of the land as tenants of respondent. in January 1995 until his return in May 1995. the petition is hereby DENIED.27 WHEREFORE. might enter upon the property of another and. Oscar. however. which is one of the attributes of ownership.23 In other words. intimidation and threat was clearly untenable."26 The Civil Code states: Art. Lim. Finally. the title of the land in question (TCT No. 42604 is AFFIRMED. Petitioners cite an alleged document (Kusangloob na Pagsasauli ng Lupang Sakahan at Pagpapahayag ng Pagtalikod sa Karapatan) dated March 10. could acquire the right to maintain the action of forcible entry and detainer. the caretaker of the land was no longer Ramon but Oscar.when respondent left for the United States in 1983. petitioner had a right to the possession of the property. These instruments.24 Most important. by allowing himself to be ordered off. the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings. . Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the cases of co-possession. had no authority to sign such document dated March 10. the one longer in possession. Second. 22 Due to the eventual loss of trust and confidence in Ramon. the present possessor shall be preferred. In view of the evidence establishing respondent’s continuing possession of the subject property. In Gaza v. if there are two possessors. the subject land was in the possession of the respondent’s sons during the contested period. we held that: Where a dispute over possession arises between two persons. otherwise. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated March 18. a mere tenant. Ramon. respondent transferred the administration of the land to his other son. Costs against petitioners. there was no clear proof in the records of the appointment of Ramon as petitioners’ trustee save their selfserving statements to this effect. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession. and if all these conditions are equal.25 "As the registered owner. First. They also seek to prove their exercise of rights over the land through alleged frequent visits and the designation of Ramon as their own trustee as declared in a joint affidavit attached to their position paper filed with the MTC. fail to convince us of petitioners’ actual occupancy of the subject land. at the time the Kusangloob na Pagsasauli document was executed. 1995 waiving all rights to the land.R. Third. 1995 executed by them and Ramon to prove a turn over of possession. however.

the latter succeeding by right of representation as the son of Ulpiano.5 square meters. No. INC. CARLOS TAM.304. Paz Galvez. 2278 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Fernando. 3. the Original Certificate of Title No. Petitioners. Paz Galvez sold the property to Carlos Tam for a consideration of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10. 0-2602.5 the property passed by succession. filed its Answer. Inc. La Union. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. . 39645 executed by PAZ GALVEZ in favor of CARLOS TAM. on the East by Nicolas Ducusin. in the name of CARLOS TAM be considered cancelled.R. 15749 7 and No. who died on 24 July 1959.9 Carlos Tam thereafter filed an application for registration of said parcel of land under Land Registration Case No. J. La Union under Tax Declaration No. it also filed a cross-claim against Carlos Tam. HON. without the knowledge and consent of Porfirio Galvez. 11 As a result. Porfirio Galvez.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. on 27 September 1994. On 12 May 1994.10 Subsequently. 6 Paz Galvez executed an affidavit of adjudication stating that she is the true and lawful owner of the said property. Respondents. Original Certificate of Title No. 0-2602 of the Registry of Deeds of San Fernando.4 Considering that all the other compulsory heirs of Timotea already received their respective shares. of San Fernando. Porfirio Galvez was surprised to discover that on 4 May 1970. La Union. Galvez died intestate on 28 April 1965. the title of Carlos Tam over the property was cancelled and a new one. Inc. In a decision15 dated 15 December 1999. through a Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the former in favor of the latter.000. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. Porfirio Galvez filed Civil Case No. T-4039012 was issued in favor of Tycoon Properties. declaring null and void the Affidavit of Adjudication executed by defendant PAZ GALVEZ dated May 4.: The factual antecedents of this case reveal that Timotea F. 157954 March 24. 14 When Tycoon Properties. On 22 June 1992. La Union. both to Timotea’s daughter. 4895 before the RTC. La Union. and to the former’s grandson. San Fernando. 1 She left behind her children Ulpiano and Paz Galvez. 2. series of 1957. 396453 and more particularly described as follows: A parcel of unirrigated riceland situated at Brgy. Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. Inc. on the South by Victor Ducusin. Porfirio.00) by way of a Deed of Absolute Sale. Tax Declarations No. Branch 26.. and TYCOON PROPERTIES. with an area of 4. Pagdaraoan. Inc. Timotea left a parcel of land situated at Pagdaraoan. 1970. for Legal Redemption with Damages and Cancellation of Documents 13 against Paz Galvez and Carlos Tam. The Complaint was later amended to implead as additional defendant. 2006 PAZ GALVEZ. 39645. Ulpiano. and on the West by the National Highway. Carlos Tam sold the property to Tycoon Properties. more or less bounded on the North by Valentin and Isidoro Sobrepeña. San Fernando. 123428were then issued in the name of Paz Galvez. Tycoon Properties. COURT OF APPEALS and PORFIRIO GALVEZ. was issued in the name of Carlos Tam. covered by Tax Declaration No. declaring null and void the Deed of Absolute Sale over the property originally covered by Tax Declaration No. in view of the foregoing. vs. On 21 January 1994. the trial court held: WHEREFORE. 2 predeceased Timotea and was survived by his son.

19 Not contented with the decision of the Court of Appeals. From 4 May 1970 to the time the complaint was filed on 12 May 1994.000. It is petitioners’ unflinching stand that the implied trust was repudiated when Paz Galvez executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication on 4 May 1970. be reconveyed (whole property) to PORFIRIO GALVEZ. Inc. petitioners are now before this Court via Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.000. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THAT RESPONDENT'S CLAIM IS ALREADY BARRED BY LACHES BECAUSE HE FAILED TO ASSERT HIS ALLEGED RIGHT FOR ALMOST TWENTY FOUR (24) YEARS.000. HAS ALREADY PRESCRIBED BECAUSE THE ACTION WAS FILED 24 YEARS AFER PETITIONER REPUDIATED THE SAID TRUST. the action is clearly barred both by prescription and laches. San Fernando City. 18 the appellate court resolved to affirm the decision of the trial court. being null and void.000.4. 7. as redemption of the property pursuant to law. That CARLOS TAM shall receive from the Clerk of Court. The Deed of Sale between CARLOS TAM and TYCOON PROPERTIES.00) Pesos acceptance fee and Five Hundred (P500. registered the same before the Register of Deeds of La Union on 4 June 1970 and secured a new tax declaration in her name. this case is governed by the rules on co-ownership23 since both Paz Galvez and Porfirio Galvez are obviously co-owners of the disputed property having inherited the same from a common ancestor.00) pesos. petitioners cite Article 1451 22 of the Civil Code and claim that an implied or constructive trust which prescribes in ten years. III THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THAT PETITIONERS [CARLOS TAM AND] TYCOON PROPERTIES ARE BUYERS IN GOOD FAITH AND FOR VALUE AND HAS THE RIGHT TO RELY ON THE FACE OF THE TITLE. together with attorney's fees in the amount of Ten Thousand (P10.00) per appearance fee. Ostensibly. That the property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 24 years have passed. Carlos Tam and Tycoon Properties. La Union the amount of Ten Thousand (P10. WHICH IS BASED ON AN IMPLIED TRUST. T-40390. 17In a decision of the Court of Appeals dated 28 August 2002. Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that "[a] prescription shall not run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or coheirs as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership." . Inc. Petitioners Carlos Tam and Tycoon Properties. 16 Petitioners Paz Galvez. appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. T-40390. Defendant PAZ GALVEZ and CARLOS TAM shall be liable solidarily for the actual damages of the plaintiff in the amount of Ten Thousand (P10. Inc.00) Pesos. was established between Paz Galvez and Porfirio Galvez.00) pesos as well as moral damages in the amount of Fifty Thousand (P50. 5. is hereby ordered cancelled with Transfer Certificate of Title No.21 In assailing the decisions of the trial and appellate courts. hence. he having redeemed one-half (½) of the property from CARLOS TAM and other half of the property belongs to him as co-heir of TIMOTEA FLORES GALVEZ. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied in a resolution dated 14 April 2003. 6. separately filed their Memorandum 20 but raised the same issues to wit: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT REFUSED TO HOLD THAT RESPONDENT'S CLAIM OVER THE SUBJECT PROPERTY. We find the petition bereft of merit.

(3) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive. An action for the reconveyance of land based on implied or constructive trust prescribes within 10 years. as a mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership.27 It is only when such unequivocal notice has been given that the period of prescription will begin to run against the other co-owners and ultimately divest them of their own title if they do not seasonably defend it. absent any clear repudiation of the co-ownership. and (4) he has been in possession through open. Santos. or through the wrongful disposition of another’s property. held in possession by the former. is subject to certain conditions: (1) a co-owner repudiates the coownership. Express trust is created by the intention of the trustor or of the parties. The act of repudiation. Court of Appeals32 enumerated the following as constituting acts of repudiation: Filing by a trustee of an action in court against the trustor to quiet title to property. exclusive. A constructive trust is imposed where a person holding title to property is subject to an equitable duty to convey it to another on the ground that he would be unjustly enriched if he were permitted to retain it. a resulting trust arises where a person makes or causes to be made a disposition of property under circumstances which raise an inference that he does not intend that the person taking or holding the property should have the beneficial interest in the property. Court of Appeals31 is instructive on the creation of trust relationships. For title to prescribe in favor of a co-owner there must be a clear showing that he has repudiated the claims of the other co-owners and the latter has been categorically advised of the exclusive claim he is making to the property in question. The rule requires a clear repudiation of the co-ownership duly communicated to the other co-owners. The duty to convey the property arises because it was acquired through fraud. and notorious possession of the property for the period required by law. Implied trust comes into being by operation of law.It is a fundamental principle that a co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other co-owners. or through breach of a fiduciary duty. Trust is either express or implied. A person who establishes a trust is called the trustor. emphasizing that the act must be borne out of clear and convincing evidence of acts of possession which unequivocably amounts to an ouster or deprivation of the right of the other co-owner. Court of Appeals reiterated what acts constitute proof of exclusive ownership amounting to repudiation. it arises where. (2) such an act of repudiation is clearly made known to the other co-owners. and the person for whose benefit the trust has been created is referred to as the beneficiary or cestui que trust. The latter kind is either constructive or resulting trust.24 In Santos v. Trust is a fiduciary relationship with respect to property which involves the existence of equitable duties imposed upon the holder of the title to the property to deal with it for the benefit of another. one in whom confidence is reposed as regards property for the benefit of another person is known as the trustee. as determined from the facts and circumstances existing at the time of the transaction out of which it is sought to be established. and that his co-owners were apprised or should have been apprised of his claim of adverse and exclusive ownership before the alleged prescriptive period began to run. 29 In Salvador v.30 it was held that the possession of a co-owner is like that of a trustee and shall not be regarded as adverse to the other co-owner but in fact beneficial to all of them. and the lapse of more than 20 years. or for recovery of ownership thereof. The case of Pangan v. must have been preceded by repudiation (of the co-ownership). undue influence or mistake. Thus. Salvador v. It is founded on the presumed intention of the parties. The issuance of the certificate of title would constitute an open and clear repudiation of any trust.28 To sustain a plea of prescription. On the other hand. it must always clearly appear that one who was originally a joint owner has repudiated the claims of his co-owners. in turn. Court of Appeals. continuous. Court of Appeals. The case of Huang v.26 this Court found occasion to rule that: Prescription.25 citing the earlier case of Adille v. and as a general rule. Acts which may be considered adverse to strangers may not be considered adverse insofar as co-owners are concerned. may constitute an act of repudiation of the trust reposed on him by the latter. and only where such may be reasonably presumed to be the intention of the parties. duress. And it is from the date of the issuance of such title that the effective assertion of adverse title for purposes of the statute of limitation is counted. open and adverse possession as owner would certainly suffice to vest title by prescription. .

we find that Paz Galvez effected no clear and evident repudiation of the co-ownership. this Court held that the act of exclusion does not constitute repudiation. the ten-year period commenced to run from date of registration. upon the same terms and conditions stipulated in the contract. the same was well within the tenyear period to file the action. This Court has repeatedly expressed its disapproval over the obvious bad faith of a co-heir feigning sole ownership of the property to the exclusion of the other heirs essentially stating that one who acts in bad faith should not be permitted to profit from it to the detriment of others. he sought for the reconveyance of his one-half share in the property and at the same time be subrogated to the other half pertaining to Paz Galvez and sold to Carlos Tam after reimbursement of the amount which the latter paid for the property. Laches cannot be used to defeat justice or perpetrate fraud and injustice. The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code on legal redemption are as follows: ART. petitioners claim that if the sale would be nullified. the nullification should extend only to the one-half share of Porfirio Galvez37 but not to the share of Paz Galvez. It is only when the defendants. Notably.The prescriptive period may only be counted from the time petitioners repudiated the trust relation in 1955 upon the filing of the complaint for recovery of possession against private respondents so that the counterclaim of the private respondents contained in their amended answer wherein they asserted absolute ownership of the disputed realty by reason of the continuous and adverse possession of the same is well within the 10-year prescriptive period. cancellation of documents and reconveyance of share. executed a deed of partition and on the strength thereof obtained the cancellation of the title in the name of their predecessor and the issuance of a new one wherein they appear as the new owners of a definite area each. are sold to a third person. or by any other transaction whereby ownership is transmitted by onerous title. while admittedly prescription operates as a bar to recovery of property. . they may only do so in proportion to the share they may respectively have in the thing owned in common. by her overt act of selling the property. alleged co-owners of the property in question. as in this case. thereby in effect denying or repudiating the ownership of one of the plaintiffs over his alleged share in the entire lot. manifested her intention to dispose of her part. 35 Neither should its application be used to prevent the rightful owners of a property from recovering what has been fraudulently registered in the name of another. If the price of the alienation is grossly excessive. a co-heir was excluded from his legal share by the other co-heir who represented himself as the only heir. it is hornbook doctrine that laches is a creation of equity and its application is controlled by equitable considerations. In this case. Porfirio Galvez’s complaint was captioned "legal redemption with damages. in the place of one who acquires a thing by purchase or dation in payment. A co-owner of a thing may exercise the right of redemption in case the shares of all the other co-owners or of any of them. Should two or more co-owners desire to exercise the right of redemption. In this case. Legal redemption is the right to be subrogated. In the cases of Adille33 and Pangan34 where. The execution of the affidavit of self-adjudication does not constitute such sufficient act of repudiation as contemplated under the law as to effectively exclude Porfirio Galvez from the property.36 The equitable remedy of laches is."38 In his prayer. ART. There is clear repudiation of a trust when one who is an apparent administrator of property causes the cancellation of the title thereto in the name of the apparent beneficiaries and gets a new certificate of title in his own name. On the issue of prescription. the redemptioner shall pay only a reasonable one. therefore. 1619. that the statute of limitations started to run for the purposes of the action instituted by the latter seeking a declaration of the existence of the co-ownership and of their rights thereunder. On the matter of laches. 1620. Since the complaint of Porfirio Galvez was filed on 12 May 1994. Carlos Tam obtained his title to the property on 21 January 1994. Finally. who. unavailing in this case.

Porfirio Galvez only discovered on May 12. It is a one-way street. Hernaez vs. in interpreting the provision of the law on legal redemption. 144). Art.43 Suffice it to state that both the trial and appellate courts found otherwise as "Tam did not exert efforts to determine the previous ownership of the property in question" 44 and relied only on the tax declarations in the name of Paz Galvez.41 Thus. same fails to persuade. In another case. Ibid. Calimon. If the price of the alienation is grossly excessive. Art. The written notice is mandatory. While there should be no question that an heir may dispose his right before partition (Rivero vs. 1994 that the land was sold to Carlos Tam. 40 this Court reiterated that: Legal redemption is in the nature of a privilege created by law partly for reasons of public policy and partly for the benefit and convenience of the redemptioner. Hernaez. Inc.R. The law grants a co-owner the exercise of the said right of redemption when the shares of the other owners are sold to a "third person. held: The purpose of Article 1067 (of the old Civil Code. 317. any or all the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale. 1996). So it is that the "honesty of intention" which constitutes good faith implies a freedom from knowledge of circumstances which ought to put a person on inquiry.. "A co-owner of a thing may exercise the right of redemption in case the share of all the other co-owners or any of them are sold to a third person. Court of Appeals. 1088 of the Civil Code of the Philippines is very clear on the matter.In the case of Hermoso v. 1620. 81 Phil. to afford him a way out of what might be a disagreeable or [an] inconvenient association into which he has been thrust. if. the right to redeem commenced when plaintiff sought to exercise it by instituting the complaint in the instant case on June 12. 642." There was no written notice sent to Porfirio Galvez by Paz Galvez when she sold her share over the land to Carlos Tam. the co-owner as required under Art. The complaint of legal redemption may be filed even several years after the consummation of sale (Zosima Verdad vs. 1088. et al. provides: Art.39 this Court. 214). Serrano [CA] 46 O. now Article 1088 of the present Civil Code) is to keep strangers to the family out of a joint ownership.45 It must be noted that Carlos Tam received a copy of the summons and the complaint on 22 September . 1620.42 As to petitioners Carlos Tam and Tycoon Properties.. (10 Manresa. provides: "Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition. It is always in favor of the redemptioner since he can compel the vendee to sell to him but he cannot be compelled by the vendee to buy the alienated property. 1994. provided they do so within the period of one (1) month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor.) It is intended to minimize coownership. No. Court of Appeals. A purchaser in good faith and for value is one who buys the property without notice that some other person has a right to or interest in such property and pays its fair price before he has notice of the adverse claims and interest of another person in the same property." No written notice of the sale was given by Paz Galvez (vendor) to Porfirio Galvez. 32 Phil.G. Hernaez.’s claim that they are buyers in good faith. the redemptioner shall pay only a reasonable one. as is often the case. 906. Wenceslao vs. 1623 of the Civil Code. 46 Phil. 10972. the presence of outsiders be undesirable and the other heir or heirs be willing and in a position to repurchase the share sold (De Jesus vs. Hence. Civil Code of the Philippines." The rule on redemption is liberally construed in favor of the original owner of the property and the policy of the law is to aid rather than defeat him in the exercise of his right of redemption. April 29. 4th Ed. a co-heir would have had to pay only the price for which the vendee acquired it (Hernaez vs. Manlapus.). petitioners cannot be accommodated in this respect and we agree with the trial court when it held: The provision of Art. G.

JR. 2008 Decision3 and May 29. petitioner Victoria Cabral seeks to set aside the February 27. No. MEYCAUA YAN BRANCH. as amended. MORAGA and VICTORIA SORIANO. INC.40390. JOSEPH NOEL C. Inc. on 27 September 1994. Significantly.47 Despite the inscription.48 All these attendant circumstances negate petitioners’ claim of good faith.R. This notwithstanding. SP No. MORAGA and VICTORIA SORIANO and FILCON READY MIXED. No.. and REGISTRY OF DEEDS OF BULACAN. premises considered. 2013 GREEN ACRES HOLDINGS. Respondents. SPS. CABRAL. vs. 46 A notice of lis pendens dated 8 July 1997 filed with the Registry of Deeds of the Province of La Union was inscribed on TCT No. Carlos Tam is also an owner of Tycoon Properties. 2004 Order2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) while in G. petitioner Green Acres Holdings. Petitioner. SPOUSES ENRIQUE T. he sold the property to Tycoon Properties. T.600. In G. to the extent of 45%. 175542. ENRIQUE T.: Before us are two consolidated petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The facts are as follows: . 99651. DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (DARAB)... Respondents. Petitioner. PROVINCIAL ADJUDICATOR. Tycoon Properties. x-----------------------x G. Green Acres) assails the November 24. LONGBOAN I OFFICE OF THE AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATOR. J. Inc. GREEN ACRES HOLDINGS.R. 2006 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 2008 Resolution4 of the CA in CA-G. CV No. 183205 VICTORIA P. VICTORIA P. 85766 dismissing its appeal from the November 3. Inc. SO ORDERED. DECISION VILLARAMA.. No. vs.. 183205. Costs against petitioners. the decision of the Court of Appeals dated 28 August 2002 and its Resolution dated 14 April 2003 are Affirmed.1994. INC. CABRAL. Inc. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. mortgaged the land to Far East Bank and Trust Company for the sum ofP11. (hereafter.R.R.R. 175542 June 5. INC.172.R. INC. No. Wherefore. FILCON READY MIXED.

Victoria Cabral was the original owner of a parcel of land in Barangay Pandayan, Meycauayan, Bulacan with an
area of 11,432 square meters and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-73737 (M). The land was
placed under the coverage of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27, and on March 23, 1993, three Emancipation
Patents were issued to the spouses Enrique Moraga and Victoria Soriano (Spouses Moraga) as follows: EP No.
496039 with an area of 861 square meters; EP No. 496040 with an area of 2,159 square meters; and EP No.
496041 with an area of 8,941 square meters. The Spouses Moraga thereafter caused the cancellation of EP No.
496041 and its conversion to TCT No. 256260 (M).
On August 29, 1994, Cabral filed a complaint before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) seeking
the cancellation of the Emancipation Patents issued to the Spouses Moraga on the grounds that these were
obtained through fraud and that the land is not suitable for rice and corn production and has long been classified as
residential, commercial, industrial and nonagricultural land by the Zoning Administrator of the Housing and Land
Use Regulatory Board. The case was docketed as Reg. Case No. 739-Bul-94.
On December 15, 1995, the PARAD rendered a decision denying the petition for cancellation of the Emancipation
Patents and dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. Cabral appealed the decision to the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).5
While the appeal was pending, the Spouses Moraga subdivided the lot covered by TCT No. 256260 (M) into three
smaller lots, the properties subject of this case. TCT Nos. T-270125 (M) covering 3,511 square meters, T-270126
(M) covering 2,715 square meters, and T-270127 (M) covering 2,715 square meters were thereafter issued in their
names on May 29, 1996. On June 19, 1996, the Spouses Moraga sold the lots to Filcon Ready Mixed Inc. (Filcon for
brevity) and TCT Nos. T-274486 (M),6 T-274487 (M)7 and T-274488 (M)8 were issued in the name of Filcon on June
24, 1996.
On April 29, 1999, Green Acres purchased9 five lots from Filcon including the three subject properties covered by
TCT Nos. T-274486 (M), T-274487 (M) and T-274488 (M) in the name of Filcon. Except for an already cancelled
annotation of a real estate mortgage in favor of Philippine Commercial International Bank (PCI Bank), 10 the titles
were free from any annotations, liens, notices, claims or encumbrances.
On April 30, 1999, the titles of Filcon were cancelled by the Register of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan and new
titles were issued in the name of Green Acres including TCT Nos. T-345660 (M),11 T-345661 (M)12 and T-345662
(M)13 covering the subject properties. Green Acres then constructed a warehouse building complex on the said lots.
On January 17, 2001, the DARAB resolved Cabral’s appeal and rendered judgment ordering the cancellation of the
titles issued in the names of the Spouses Moraga and those of Filcon for having been illegally acquired. The
dispositive portion of the DARAB decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a NEW JUDGMENT
is rendered disposing as follows:
1. Ordering the cancellation of TCT No. EP-051 (M) (EP No. 496039; TCT No. EP-052 (M) (EP No. 496040);
TCT No. EP-052 (M) (EP No. 496041); TCT No. T-270125 (M); TCT No. T-270126 (M); and TCT No. T270127 (M) – all in the names of defendants spouses Moraga; TCT No. 274486 (M); TCT No. T-[2]74487
(M), and TCT No. T-274488 (M) – all in the name of FILCO[N] READY MIXED INC;
2. Directing the Register of Deeds of Bulacan to restore TCT No. T-73737 (M) in the name of plaintiff
Victoria P. Cabral;
3. Ordering defendants Moraga and their assign, FILCON READY MIXED INC., to vacate the premises of
the lands in question and turn over their possession to herein plaintiff; and,
4. All claims and counterclaims of both parties are hereby dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
SO ORDERED.14

When Green Acres learned about the DARAB decision, it sent a Letter 15 to Filcon on March 15, 2001 advising the
latter that it learned that the properties it bought from Filcon were the subject of an adverse decision of the DARAB.
Fearing that its titles and possession might be disturbed by the DARAB decision, Green Acres reminded Filcon of its
warranties under the deed of sale.
In a letter16 dated March 30, 2001, Filcon replied that it was also an innocent purchaser for value since at the time it
purchased the subject property, it had no knowledge of any legal infirmity in the title of the Spouses Moraga. In fact,
it was able to secure a loan from PCI Bank in the amount of P12 million with the subject property as collateral.
Filcon assured Green Acres that it is coordinating with its predecessor, the Spouses Moraga, to m ake sure that
Green Acres’ interest over the property is protected.
On April 19, 2001, Green Acres filed a Complaint 17 for Quieting of Title, Damages with Application for Preliminary
Injunction and Writ of Preliminary Attachment before the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan against Cabral, the Spouses
Moraga, Filcon, the DARAB and the Registry of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan. The case was docketed as Civil
Case No. 279-M-2001. Green Acres sought to quiet its title and alleged that it is a purchaser in good faith and for
value, claiming that it had no notice or knowledge of any adverse claim, lien, or encumbrance on the properties.
Neither was it a party to the DARAB proceedings nor did it have notice of the said proceedings where the DARAB
Decision of January 17, 2001 was issued. Green Acres claimed that the DARAB decision casts a cloud on its titles.
Cabral, in her Answer,18 denied all the material allegations in the complaint and alleged that Green Acres never
acquired valid title to the subject property, much less, can it claim to be an innocent purchaser for value. She further
averred that a declaratory judgment in a petition to quiet title will effectively subject the DARAB decision to review.
After Green Acres presented its evidence, Cabral filed a Demurrer to Plaintiff’s Evidence 19 arguing that Green Acres
failed to prove that it is a purchaser in good faith and for value. She maintains that the complaint is not appropriate
for quieting of title since it omitted to assail her titles over the subject property but instead questioned the
proceedings held at the DARAB. She likewise insisted that the trial court has no jurisdiction over the subject
property since the same is still within the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and thus under the
jurisdiction of the DARAB.
In an Order20 dated November 3, 2004, the trial court granted the demurrer and ordered the case dismissed.
Green Acres’ motion for reconsideration having been denied, Green Acres filed with the CA an appeal which was
docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 85766.
In the meantime, the DARAB decision became final and executory on April 13, 2005 21 as no further recourse was
sought by the Spouses Moraga from the denial of their motion for reconsideration on February 24, 2005. 22On July 8,
2005, Cabral filed with the PARAD a Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution 23 of the DARAB decision.
On January 25, 2006, the PARAD issued a Resolution denying the Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution for lack
of merit. It ruled:
Only the decision of the Board as embodied in the dispositive portion of the decision can be implemented by virtue
of a writ of execution. The January 17, 2001 decision merely orders the cancellation of the Emancipation Patent and
Transfer Certificate of Titles issued by the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan in favor of Sps. MORAGA and FILCON.
Hence, if ever a Writ of Execution will be issued, it will be up to the FILCON which was included in the dispositive
portion of the Decision that has become final and executory. Nothing in the body of the decision as well as the
dispositive portion thereof directs the cancellation of the title issued in favor of GREEN ACRES. If we subscribe to
the prayer of the movant, we will be in effect amending the aforementioned decision because we will be inserting
something that has not been directed to be done. x x x
xxxx
Aside from amending the final and executory decision in this case, this Forum will also be violating the generally
accepted principle of due process. It is already settled that even the administrative arm of the government exercising
quasi-judicial functions are not exempt from observing due process. x x x

xxxx
It is clear as the sun rises from the east that GREEN ACRES was never made a party in the case at bar. Much less
was it mentioned in the decision sought to be executed itself. GREEN ACRES can not be made to suffer the
consequences of a case where it did not participate.
xxxx
Lastly, to allow movants’ contention will also render the pending case of quieting of title filed by GREEN ACRES
against herein plaintiff movant on April 18, 2001 before the Regional Trial Court, Third Judicial Region, Branch 84
and docketed as Civil Case 279-M-2001 which was appealed to the Court of Appeals, moot and academic.
All told, the titles of Sps. MORAGA and FILCON sought to be cancelled in the decision have already been
cancelled. Therefore, there is nothing to be done anymore, as the relief prayed for has become fait accompli.24
Cabral filed a Motion for Recusation25 and a Motion for Reconsideration.26 The PARAD, however, denied Cabral’s
motions on September 11, 2006.27 Thus, on November 7, 2006, Cabral filed with the PARAD a Notice of Appeal. 28
In the meantime, the CA, on November 24, 2006, rendered a decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 85766 dismissing Green
Acres’ appeal. Citing the case of Foster-Gallego v. Spouses Galang,29 the appellate court held that the trial court
had no authority to interfere with the proceedings of a court of equal jurisdiction, much less to annul the final
judgment of a co-equal court. The appellate court further held that the only issue in an action to quiet title is whether
there is a cloud in a title to real property because of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or a proceeding
that has a prima facie appearance of validity and the DARAB decision does not fall within said enumeration.
On February 27, 2007, the PARAD issued an Order30 denying due course to Cabral’s Notice of Appeal and held that
the resolution denying the motion for execution is an interlocutory order against which the remedy is a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65, and not an appeal to the DARAB. The PARAD further ruled that Cabral’s act of impleading
Green Acres as additional defendant only in the execution stage is highly irregular and that to enforce the decision
against Green Acres would violate the latter’s right to due process.
On June 18, 2007, Cabral filed with the CA a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to annul the January 25,
2006 and September 11, 2006 Resolutions, as well as the February 27, 2007 Order of the PARAD.
On February 27, 2008, the CA denied Cabral’s petition. The appellate court ratiocinated as follows:
An execution can only be issued against a party and not against one who did not have his day in court x x x. Green
Acres was never a party to the case nor it was (sic) mentioned in the decision sought to be executed, hence, Green
Acres cannot be made to suffer the consequences of a case where it did not participate. To maintain otherwise
would be to ignore the constitutional prohibition against depriving a person of his property without due process of
law x x x.
Moreover, to apply the decision against Green Acres will amount to collateral attack against its titles because
nowhere in the case or decision that it was considered or passed upon. Under the Property Registration Decree,
titles issued under the Torrens system can only be altered, modified or cancelled in direct proceeding in accordance
with law
x x x.
Even assuming that spouses Moraga and Filcon fraudulently acquired the disputed lots, still, Green Acres has valid
and legitimate titles over the same since it is a purchaser in good faith and for value when it acquired the properties
from Filcon. A buyer in good faith is one who buys the property of another without notice that some other person has
a right to or interest in such property x x x.31 (Citations omitted.)
Both Green Acres and Cabral are now before this Court seeking the reversal of the CA decisions adverse to them.
In G.R. No. 175542, Green Acres contends that the CA erred in:

x x x HOLDING THAT THE COURT DOES NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO QUIET TITLES TO REAL PROPERTY AND REMOVE A CLOUD PRODUCED BY A DARAB DECISION. x x x DECLARED THAT (SIC) RESPONDENT GREEN ACRES TO BE AN "INNOCENT PURCHASER FOR VALUE. T-73737 (M) in her name means that it should be done regardless of who holds title to the property at the time of execution. submits that the CA did not err in denying Cabral’s petition for certiorari. sought the amendment of the DARAB decision and did not move merely for its execution.D. Hence. she is not seeking the amendment of the final decision sought to be executed. x x x DECLARED THAT THE DECISION PROMULGATED ON JANUARY 17. 2001 CANNOT BE MADE TO APPLY TO RESPONDENT GREEN ACRES. She argues that the issuance of a writ of execution is ministerial under Section 1. Rule XX of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure which provides that the execution of a final order or decision shall issue as a matter of course. and (2) Whether the said DARAB decision in favor of Cabral constitutes a cloud on Green Acres’ title over the subject properties. P. x x x FAILED TO RULE THAT THERE WAS GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART OF PUBLIC RESPONDENT PROVINCIAL ADJUDICATOR LONGBOAN. Green Acres is considered a successor in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action upon whom the final judgment or order of the DARAB is conclusive. even if the issuance of a writ of execution to enforce a final and executory decision is a . x x x DISMISSED PETITIONER’S PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. AMONG OTHERS.32 In G. be Cabral contends that the PARAD committed grave abuse of discretion in not issuing the writ of execution to enforce the January 17. Green Acres points out that if the issuance of a writ of execution that conforms to the decision may be denied on the ground that it will be inequitable. under Section 12. 183205. it is Green Acres. No. 1529 AND THE CIVIL CODE. 2001 DARAB decision in her favor. THUS. 2001 DARAB decision may be enforced against Green Acres. She contends that the directive to the Register of Deeds to restore TCT No. First Issue: 2001 DARAB enforced against Green Acres. x x x AFFIRMING THE ORDER OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT DATED NOVEMBER 3. on the other hand. Cabral. AS WELL AS THE APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE. ITS TITLE CAN NOT BE QUIETED. In this case. Green Acres.R. Whether the decision January may 17. the issues raised in the two petitions are essentially as follows: (1) Whether the January 17. for its part.2. argues that the CA erred when it: x x x FAILED TO CORRECTLY APPLY THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE DARAB 2003 RULES OF PROCEDURE. Therefore. moreso should it be denied in the case where the writ of execution prayed for goes beyond the decision. Green Acres points out that Cabral’s motion for execution specifically sought the cancellation of Green Acres’ titles even though the DARAB decision neither included Green Acres or its titles. 2004 THEREBY IMPLIEDLY HOLDING THAT GREEN ACRES IS NOT A PURCHASER IN GOOD FAITH FOR VALUE. Green Acres contends that Cabral. Cabral also insists that Green Acres cannot be considered an innocent purchaser for value because the transfers were made to defeat the DARAB ruling. Cabral also argues that contrary to the PARAD’s ruling. She also points out that the transfer from the Spouses Moraga to Filcon in 1996 and eventually to Green Acres in 1999 transpired after she filed a case with the DARAB in 1994. through her motion for execution.x x x RULING THAT THE DARAB DECISION IS NOT A SOURCE OF A CLOUD THAT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO AN ACTION FOR QUIETING OF TITLE."33 Simply put. Rule XX of the DARAB Rules.

Since they were not impleaded as parties and given the opportunity to participate in Civil Case No. to the DARAB decision which does not mention Green Acres either in the body or the dispositive portion. Green Acres also adds that Cabral misinterpreted Section 12. if granted. the January 17.. Green Acres also argues that it cannot be bound by the DARAB decision since a writ of execution of a decision can only be issued against a party to the case and not against one who did not have his day in court. failed to annotate a notice of lis pendens on said titles. Any judgment therein is binding only upon the parties properly impleaded.35 this Court ruled: An action for declaration of nullity of title and recovery of ownership of real property. No man shall be affected by any proceeding to which he is a stranger. Neither can it be true. No. without any indication that the titles had their origins from the application of any agrarian law. Thus. the cited DARAB rule does not operate to bind Green Acres. that its acquisition of the titles to the properties was made through "surreptitious and illegal transfers. or if she did not know.37 Moreover. and strangers to a case are not bound by any judgment rendered by the court. the binding effect of the DARAB decision cannot be extended to Green Acres by the mere issuance of a writ of execution against it. and the duty of the court is to see to it that this title is maintained and respected unless challenged in a direct proceeding. and can be executed. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on the principle of res judicata. the PARAD may not issue a writ of execution against Filcon and Green Acres as prayed for by Cabral. Yabut. In the same manner. No one shall be affected by any proceeding to which he is a stranger. Green Acres further contends that Cabral’s argument that it is not a purchaser in good faith and for value may not be considered in the resolution of her petition before this Court as her argument goes into the merits of the case and said matters were not raised in her motion for execution.D. Green Acres claims that the merits of the case show that it is a purchaser in good faith and for value. she is nonetheless deemed to have received constructive notice of the same because the properties were registered under the Torrens System. Likewise. Green Acres also adds that the occupancy or possession of the properties of both Filcon and Green Acres were not clandestine as Cabral claims. and strangers to a case are not bound by any judgment rendered by the court. Consequently.) It is beyond dispute that Green Acres was not made a party in the DARAB case. But even if the argument could be considered. Jr. the properties were covered by transfer certificates of title. the execution sought will constitute a collateral attack against the titles of Green Acres since nowhere in the DARAB decision sought to be executed were they mentioned. not Emancipation Patents. for it binds a particular individual only although it concerns the right to a tangible thing. with gross negligence. the final judgment in said case cannot bind BPI Family and the spouses Chan. 1529 provides: . Moreover.36 (Emphasis supplied. Q-28580. Green Acres submits that Section 12 is a mere reproduction of Section 47. In the same manner. or re-conveyance.2 of the DARAB Rules to mean that a judgment issued in a case is binding upon. Only real parties in interest in an action are bound by the judgment therein and by writs of execution and demolition issued pursuant thereto. Yet. a Torrens title." Green Acres argues that Cabral must have known about the alleged illegal subdivision of the property and issuance of the transfer certificates of titles or Emancipation Patents. Green Acres points out that when it purchased the properties from Filcon. as Cabral claimed.ministerial duty. The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or proceeding in which he was not made a party conforms to the constitutional guarantee of due process of law. despite said notice.34 In Muñoz v. either presently or in the future. We find in favor of Green Acres. a writ of execution can be issued only against a party and not against one who did not have his day in court. The effect of the said judgment cannot be extended to BPI Family and the spouses Chan by simply issuing an alias writ of execution against them. Section 48 of P. 2001 DARAB decision cannot bind Green Acres. Green Acres likewise argues that impleading it as an additional defendant in the execution stage aggravates the violation of its right to due process. a writ of execution can be issued only against a party and not against one who did not have his day in court. Cabral. is irrevocable and indefeasible. Only real parties in interest in an action are bound by the judgment therein and by writs of execution issued pursuant thereto. even against those parties not impleaded in the case. as a general rule. is a real action but it is an action in personam.

an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made as an incident thereof. Nowhere in the said decision is Green Acres or its TCTs mentioned. Green Acres was under no obligation to investigate beyond Filcon’s titles as Green Acres had all the reason to believe that said titles were free from any lien. Inc. Furthermore. (Emphasis supplied. – A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack. As held in Ingles v. Sarmiento v. It relied on the certificates of title of Filcon. relying on the correctness of the certificate of title thus issued. 44 An innocent purchaser for value is one who. On the other hand. or interest in such property and pays a full and fair price for the same at the time of such purchase or before he has notice of the claim or interest of some other person in the property. Certificate not subject to collateral attack." 40 She prayed for the issuance of a writ of execution against the Spouses Moraga and "their subsequent assigns/successors in interest Filcon Ready Mixed. Cantos:42 A writ of execution should conform to the dispositive portion of the decision to be executed. in her Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution. in an action to obtain a different relief.38 this Court explained when an action is a direct attack on a title and when it is collateral: An action is deemed an attack on a title when the object of the action or proceeding is to nullify the title. Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go behind the certificate to determine the condition of the property. The only annotation on them was a cancelled real estate mortgage in favor of PCI Bank. Moraga and Filcon Ready Mixed. without notice that some other person has a right to. Cabral alleged that Green Acres. free from any liens and encumbrances. Court of Appeals. only the decision of the DARAB as embodied in the dispositive portion of the decision can be implemented by a writ of execution. x x x 47 Green Acres is considered an innocent purchaser for value.46 thus: Where innocent third persons." 41 Clearly. as correctly ruled by the PARAD and upheld by the appellate court. claim or encumbrance. the attack is indirect or collateral when.39 In the instant case. Where the writ of execution is not in harmony with and exceeds the judgment which gives it life. Court of Appeals. Cabral seeks the execution of a final and executory DARAB decision that directs the cancellation of the TCTs in the name of the Spouses Moraga and Filcon. seeking the cancellation of the titles of Green Acres by a mere Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution of a decision rendered in a case where said titles were not in issue constitutes a collateral attack on them which this Court cannot allow. Nor may it go beyond the terms of the judgment sought to be executed. To subscribe to Cabral’s prayer in her motion is tantamount to modifying or amending a decision that has already attained finality in violation of the doctrine of immutability of judgment. The effect of such an outright cancellation would be to impair public confidence in the certificate of title. It is settled that a void title may be the source of a valid title in the hands of an innocent purchaser for value.SEC. bought the property from the registered owner. It may not vary the terms of the judgment it seeks to enforce. Inc. . acquire rights over the property the court cannot disregard such rights and order the total cancellation of the certificate. and the execution is void if it is in excess of and beyond the original judgment or award. and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed. It cannot be altered. for everyone dealing with property registered under the Torrens system would have to inquire in every instance whether the title has been regularly or irregularly issued. It is also worth noting that the fact that the DARAB by final judgment ordered the cancellation of the titles of the Spouses Moraga and Filcon does not automatically make the titles of Green Acres null and void. The attack is direct when the object of the action is to annul or set aside such judgment. relying on the certificate of title. the writ has pro tanto no validity. Thus. 45 The rationale therefor was expressed by this Court in the earlier case of Republic v. as held by the CA. modified. like Filcon. its present TCTs thereto should likewise be cancelled (together with the respective Emancipation Patents and TCTs of Sps. or enjoin its enforcement.) In Sps. mentioned in the DARAB Decision) and reverted back to her TCT. 48. Nonetheless. or cancelled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law.43 A reading of the fallo of the DARAB decision would show that nothing in it directs the cancellation of the titles issued in favor of Green Acres. Inc. This is contrary to the evident purpose of the law. "also never acquired valid title to the subject land" and "hence. and Green Acres Holdings. for it is a settled general principle that a writ of execution must conform strictly with every essential particular of the judgment promulgated.

Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. Spouses Galang49 is misplaced since nothing in said case supports the proposition that a decision of a coordinate court cannot be a source of cloud under Article 476 of the Civil Code. by reason of any instrument. and may be prejudicial to said title. or unenforceable. It contends that there can hardly be any doubt that the DARAB Decision is an "instrument. record. and he can thereafter fearlessly introduce any desired improvements. Had her adverse claim been annotated on said titles. voidable. claim. voidable. it is Cabral herself. It also contends that the appellate court’s reliance on Foster-Gallego v. If there is anyone to be blamed for Cabral’s failure to recover the subject properties. the transfers to Filcon and eventually to Green Acres were made through public documents and procedures. encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid. invalid. the pronouncements therein on the nature. occupation of the same cannot be made clandestinely. this Court has no choice but to uphold the titles of Green Acres. for her part. Green Acres submits that Foster-Gallego is not applicable because the ruling there was that an action to quiet title is not the proper remedy when to remove a cloud on a title. she argues that assuming that the ruling on the main issue in said case is not directly germane. a final and executory decision of the court need to be reviewed or vacated. function. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest in real property by reason of any instrument. ineffective.50 . while the proceedings before the DARAB are "proceedings" directed at the real properties now owned by Green Acres which are "apparently valid or effective" but "unenforceable" against the titles of Green Acres. the competent court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and the other claimants. Whether favor on properties the of Green DARAB Cabral Acres’ title constitutes over Decision a the in cloud subject Green Acres argues that the DARAB decision is among those enumerated in Article 47648 of the Civil Code as a possible source of a cloud on title to real property. insists that the DARAB decision is not among those enumerated in Article 476 which may cast a cloud on title to real property. In such action. due to her own negligence. an innocent purchaser for value. so that whoever has the right will see every cloud of doubt over the property dissipated. Also. Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon. and may be prejudicial to said title. encumbrance. a "record" and reflects a "claim" on the properties. Article 476 of the Civil Code provides: Art. ineffective. 476. Cabral. As Green Acres correctly pointed out. an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. the properties were fenced by concrete walls and Filcon had constructed a batch plant while Green Acres erected a warehouse and building on it. respect and not disturb the one so entitled. She cannot claim that she was clueless that the subject properties were being transferred.We also agree with the CA that Cabral’s allegation that the Spouses Moraga. said notice would have served as a warning to Green Acres or other purchasers of the properties that any right they acquire would be subject to the outcome of the litigation before the DARAB. and make the claimant. or proceeding that is apparently valid or effective. record." or if not. purpose and limitations of a case for quieting of title and the power of the courts in such proceedings are applicable. Green Acres’ arguments are meritorious. and even abuse the property. failed to annotate a notice of lis pendens on the titles of the Spouses Moraga and Filcon and thus give notice to future transferees. An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein. as well as use. or uncertainty affecting title to real property. claim. As to the applicability of Foster-Gallego. who. Filcon and Green Acres were parties to illegal contracts cannot be given weight as such goes into the merits of the case and may not be considered in the execution stage. Green Acres does not seek a review or reversal of the DARAB decision. or unenforceable. considering the significant size of the properties. an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. not only to place things in their proper places. In the present case. doubt. In fact. but is in truth and in fact. but also for the benefit of both. Having failed to make such annotation. who has no rights to said immovable.

We further ruled that Dare’s resort to annulment of judgment was unnecessary since it cannot be prejudiced by the judgment as it was not impleaded. so that whoever has the right will see every cloud of doubt over . or unenforceable. In the action. Dare. as discussed above. or uncertainty affecting title to real property. claim. aside from thereby unduly burdening the dockets of the courts. Two remedies were suggested to Dare as proper recourse. 57 this Court had the occasion to rule that one of the proper remedies of a person who was not impleaded in the proceedings declaring null and void the title from which his title to the property had been derived. two indispensable requisites must concur: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or equitable title or interest in the real property subject of the action. ineffective. Dare Adventure Farm Corporation purchased property from the Goc-ongs. It is a final decision that has not been reversed. is an action for quieting title. is defined as a written account of some act. More importantly. the DARAB decision. or doubt. or proceeding claimed to be casting a cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. record. voidable. record. not only to put things in their proper places. is both an "instrument" and a "record. encumbrance. ineffective. but also for the benefit of both. voidable. on the other hand.53 A record. It is likewise apparently effective and may be prejudicial to Green Acres’ titles since it orders the cancellation of the titles of the Spouses Moraga and Filcon all from which Green Acres derived its titles.56 Also. who has no rights to the immovable. When the Goc-ongs failed to pay their obligation. transaction or instrument drawn up under authority of law. modifying or terminating a right. As Green Acres correctly points out. In said case. and may be prejudicial to said title. encumbrance or proceeding. A cloud on title consists of (1) any instrument. It is timely for the Court to remind that the petitioner will be better off if it should go to the courts to obtain relief through the proper recourse. claim. claim.For an action to quiet title to prosper. court proceeding. The action for quieting of title may be brought whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest in real property by reason of any instrument. by a proper officer. and (4) may be prejudicial to the title sought to be quieted. The Court upheld the appellate court’s dismissal of the petition since such remedy may be availed only when other remedies are wanting.54 It is likewise a "claim" which is defined as a cause of action or a demand for money or property 55 since Cabral is asserting her right over the subject lots. in the case of Dare Adventure Farm Corporation v. in truth and in fact. Dare later discovered that said property was previously mortgaged by the Goc-ongs to the Ngs.51 There is no dispute as to the first requisite since Green Acres has legal title over the subject properties. who was not impleaded in the foreclosure case. and designed to remain as a memorial or permanent evidence of the matters to which it relates. However. encumbrance. or unenforceable. but is. it would waste its own time and effort. Court of Appeals. and (2) the deed. 1âwphi1 Furthermore. securing. it is ineffective and unenforceable against Green Acres because Green Acres was not properly impleaded in the DARAB proceedings nor was there any notice of lis pendens annotated on the title of Filcon so as to serve notice to Green Acres that the subject properties were under litigation. As such.52 This Court holds that the DARAB decision in favor of Cabral satisfies all four elements of a cloud on title. The petitioner may vindicate its rights in the property through an action for quieting of title. or proceeding that is apparently valid or effective. and make the claimant. Green Acres is an innocent purchaser for value. (2) which is apparently valid or effective. vacated or nullified. one of which is an action for quieting of title: We agree with the CA's suggestion that the petitioner's proper recourse was either an action for quieting of title or an action for reconveyance of the property. the mortgage was foreclosed and the Ngs were declared owners of the property. invalid. The issue lies in the second requisite. filed a petition for annulment of the judgment of the trial court with the appellate court. it is a "proceeding" which is defined as a regular and orderly progress in form of law including all possible steps in an action from its commencement to the execution of judgment and may refer not only to a complete remedy but also to a mere procedural step that is part of a larger action or special proceeding. otherwise. a final one at that. the DARAB decision is apparently valid and effective. for the purpose of creating. respect and not disturb the one so entitled. the competent court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the plaintiff and the other claimants." Black’s Law Dictionary defines an instrument as a document or writing which gives formal expression to a legal act or agreement. (3) but is in truth and in fact invalid. a common law remedy designed for the removal of any cloud upon.

TCT Nos. 5129 (Reg. 183205. 739-Bul-94) is hereby REMOVED. 183205 is DENIED for lack of merit.R. No.R.R. 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. SP No. SO ORDERED. With costs against the petitioner in G. The Decision dated November 24. and even abuse the property. No.the property dissipated. T-345661 (M) and T -345662 (M) registered in the name of Green Acres Holdings. The petition in G. 2008 and Resolution dated May 29. Case No. as well as use. 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2001 of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board in DARAB Case No.R. 99651 are AFFIRMED. . and he can thereafter fearlessly introduce any desired improvements. are declared VALID and any cloud over such titles which may have been created by the Decision dated January 17. No. 175542 is GRANTED. the petition in G. Inc. The Decision dated February 27.58 WHEREFORE.R. 85766 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. CV No. T-345660 (M).