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2016
[LAND TITLES AND DEEDS]
Agcaoili Book; Atty. Panes Lectures; LA Notes

The RTC took judicial notice that certain parcels of land in


Boracay Island were covered by OCT in the name of the Heirs
of Ciriaco S. Tirol. The titles were issued on August 7, 1933.
CA held that respondents-claimants could not be prejudiced
by a declaration that the lands they occupied since time
immemorial were part of a forest reserve.

Sec. 1 Title of Decree This decree shall be known as the Property Registration Decree.
SECOND CASE: G.R. No. 173775 a petition for prohibition, mandamus,
and nullification of Proclamation No. 1064 issued by PGMA classifying
Regalian Doctrine (Art. 12, Sec. 2 of the 1987 PC)
Boracay into reserved forest and agricultural land.
all lands of whatever classification and other natural
During the pendency of the 1st case, PGMA issued Proclamation No.
resources not otherwise appearing to be clearly within
1064 classifying Boracay Island into
private ownership belong to the State
1.
(400) hectares of reserved forest land (protection purposes)
and
Jura Regalia
2.
(628.96) hectares of agricultural land (A/D).
private title to a land must be traced to some grant, express
3.
(15m) buffer zone on each side of the centerline of roads and
or implied, or from its successors
trails, reserved for right-of-way and which shall form part of
The belief that the Spanish Crown is the origin of all land
the area reserved for forest land protection purposes.
titles in the Philippines. This refers to Royal Rights that all
lands were formerly held by the King.
On August 10, 2006, petitioners-claimants , owners of beach resorts
(Maam Panes): refers to private ownership and how private
in Boracay filed with this Court an action to nullify PGMAs proclamation
ownership of lands were given by virtue of the royal rights
claiming that it infringed on their prior vested rights over portions of
possessed by the King
Boracay; there is no need for a proclamation reclassifying Boracay into
agricultural land; and Being classified as neither mineral nor timber
Exceptions to Regalian Doctrine
land, the island is deemed agricultural pursuant to the Philippine Bill
1) Native Title (Carino v. Insular) refers to pre-conquest
of 1902 and Act No. 926, known as the first PLA. Thus, their
rights to lands and domains which, as far back as memory
possession in the concept of owner for the required period entitled
reaches, have been held under a claim of private ownership
them to judicial confirmation of imperfect title.
by ICCs/Indigenous Peoples, have never been public lands,
and are thus indisputably presumed to have been held the
OSG argued that petitioners-claimants Boracay is an unclassified
same way since before Spanish Conquest
public forest land pursuant to Section 3(a) of PD No. 705 and cannot be
the subject of judicial confirmation of imperfect title. It is only the

Time Immemorial - A period of time when as far


executive department, not the courts, which has authority to reclassify
back as memory can go, certain ICCs/IPs are
lands of the public domain into A&D. There is a need for a positive
known to have occupied, possessed in the concept
government act in order to release the lots for disposition.
of an owner, and utilized a defined territory
developed to them, by operation of customary law
ISSUE:
or inherited from their ancestors with their
W/N petitioner claimants have a right to secure titles over their
customs and traditions
occupied portions in Boracay. The twin petitions pertain to their right, if
2) Ancestral Domain (Cruz v. Secretary)
any, to judicial confirmation of imperfect title under CA No. 141, as
amended. They do not involve their right to secure title under other
pertinent laws.
SECRETARY OF DENR V. MAYOR JOSE S. YAP
October 8, 2008
HELD:
REGALIAN DOCTRINE AND POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE TO
This case involves 2 petitions regarding the right of the present
RECLASSIFY LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN Private claimants rely
occupants of Boracay Island to secure titles over their occupied lands.
on three (3) laws and executive acts in their bid for judicial
confirmation of imperfect title, namely:
FIRST CASE: G.R. No. 167707 Certiorari on CA decision affirming
1) Philippine Bill of 1902 in relation to Act No. 926, later amended and/or
RTC granting declaratory relief field by Mayor Jose Yap et al and
superseded by Act No. 2874 and CA No. 141;
ordered the survey of Boracay for titling purposes
2) Proclamation No. 1801 issued by then President Marcos; and
1976, (DENR) approved the National Reservation Survey of Boracay
3) Proclamation No. 1064 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Island, which identified several lots as being occupied or claimed by
named persons. President Marcos declared the area as tourist zones
and marine reserves under the administration of the Philippine
1935 CONSTITUTION
1973 CONSTITUTION
1987 CON
Tourism Authority (PTA). Hence, subsequent issuance of PTA Circular 31.
agricultural
1.
agricultural
1.
agr
82 to implement Proclamation No. 1801.
2.
forest or timber
2.
industrial/commercial
(ma
Petitioners claim that Proclamation and PTA Circular
3.
residential
2.
fore
precluded them from filing an application for judicial
4.
resettlement
3.
nat
confirmation of imperfect title or survey of land for titling
5.
mineral
4.
min
purposes; Marcos declaration raised doubts on their right to
6.
timber/forest
secure titles over their occupied lands and Since the Island
7.
grazing lands
was classified as a tourist zone, it was susceptible of private
8.
others by law
ownership; Under Section 48(b) of Commonwealth Act (CA)
No. 141, otherwise known as the Public Land Act, they had
Prior to Proclamation No. 1064 of May 22, 2006, Boracay Island had
the right to have the lots registered in their names through
never been expressly and administratively classified under any of
judicial confirmation of imperfect titles.
these grand divisions. Boracay was an unclassified land of the public
domain.
OSG invoked Section 3(a) of PD No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code
that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public domain.
THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE dictates that all lands of the public
It formed part of the mass of lands classified as public forest, which
domain belong to the State, that the State is the source of any
was NOT available for disposition and since Boracay Island had not
asserted right to ownership of land and charged with the conservation
been classified as A & D whatever possession they had cannot ripen
of such patrimony. The doctrine has been consistently adopted under
into ownership.
the 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions.

ISSUE: whether Proclamation No. 1801 posed any legal hindrance or


All lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private
impediment to the titling of the lands in Boracay.
RTC neither
ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Thus, all
Proclamation nor the Circular mentioned that lands in Boracay were
lands that have not been acquired from the government, either
inalienable or could not be the subject of disposition. The Circular itself
by purchase or by grant, belong to the State as part of the
recognized private ownership of lands.
inalienable public domain. Necessarily, it is up to the State to
Sections 87 and 53 of the Public Land Act as basis for
determine if lands of the public domain will be disposed of for private
acknowledging private ownership of lands in Boracay and
ownership. The government, as the agent of the state, is possessed of
that only those forested areas in public lands were declared
the plenary power as the persona in law to determine who shall be the
as part of the forest reserve.
favored recipients of public lands, as well as under what terms they
may be granted such privilege, not excluding the placing of obstacles

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II-MANRESA 2016
in the way of their exercise of what otherwise would be ordinary acts of
ownership.
SPANISH RULE
Our present land law traces its roots to the Regalian Doctrine. Upon the Spanish conquest of the
Philippines, ownership of all lands, territories and possessions in the Philippines passed to the
Spanish Crown.
The Laws Of The
Indies
And
The
Royal Cedulas
Ley Hipotecaria Or
The Mortgage Law
Of 1893.
The Royal Decree
Of 1894 Or The
Maura Law

First introduced Regalian doctrine and laid the foundation that


that were not acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by
grant, belong to the public domain
provided for the systematic registration of titles and deeds as well as
possessory claims.
partly amended the Spanish Mortgage Law and the
It established possessory information as the method of legalizing
possession of vacant Crown land, under certain conditions
which
were
CA No.
141
set forth in said decree. Under Section 393 of the Maura
Law LAND ACT
PUBLIC
1)
informacion posesoria or possessory information title,
1935 Constitution;
2)
when duly inscribed in the Registry of Property, isDecember
converted1,
into
1936
a title of ownership
3)
only after the lapse of twenty (20) years of
4)
uninterrupted possession which must be actual, public, and
adverse,
5)
from the date of its inscription.
6)
However, possessory information title had to be perfected one
year after the promulgation of the Maura Law, or until
1895. Otherwise, the lands would revert to the State.

concepto dueo since time immemorial, or since July 26


required.
***POSITIVE ACT REQUIRED
Courts are no longer authorized to determine classific
Gave the executive through the President the exclusiv
to classify public lands into A & D, mineral or forest. A
declaration of A&D, this law requires publication and n
remains as the existing general law governing the cla
and disposition of lands of the public domain other tha
mineral lands, and privately owned lands which revert
State.

Section 48(b) of CA No. 141 retained the requ


under Act No. 2874 of possession and occupatio
the public domain since time immemorial or sinc
1894.
Amendments of this Requirement

Republic Act (RA) No. 1942

OCENPO 30 Years

PD No. 1073,

OCENPO since June 12, 1945, or earlier.

There are two requisites for judicial confirmation of imperf


incomplete title under CA No. 141, namely:
(1) open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possessio
occupation of the subject land by himself or through
predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide claim of o
since time immemorial or from June 12, 1945; and
(2) The classification of the land as alienable and dispos
the public domain.

discontinued the use of Spanish titles as evidence in l


registration proceedings. Under the decree, all holders
titles or grants should apply for registration of their la
No. 496 within six (6) months from the effectivity of th
February 16, 1976.

Thereafter, the recording of all unregistered lands sha


by Section 194 of the Revised Administrative Code, as
Act No. 3344.

Evidences of Ownership during Spanish Regime


1) Royal Grant
2) Special Grant
3) Adjustment Title
4) Title by Purchase
5) Possessory Information Title
6) Gratuitous Title

Amended and updated the Act. No. 496

enacted to codify the various laws relative to registrat

governs registration of lands under the Torrens system


unregistered lands, including chattel mortgages.

Broadened the jurisdiction of RTCs with regard to origi


registration of title to lands

Created the former LRC which is now Land Registratio

In sum, private ownership of land under the Spanish regime could only be founded on royal
concessions which took various forms, namely:
a)
titulo real or royal grant;
b)
concesion especial or special grant;
c)
composicion con el estado or adjustment title;
PD No. 892
d)
titulo de compra or title by purchase; and
February 16, 1976
e)
informacion posesoria or possessory information title.
Spanish Titles may
no longer be used
as evidence of
ownership due to
the rise of several
AMERICAN RULE
conflicting claims of
Philippine Bill of
1) AGRICULTURAL ( those public lands acquired from Spain which
ownership
1902
are not timber or mineral lands)
US assumed
2) MINERAL
administration of
a.
absolute grant (freehold system)
b.
lease (leasehold system)
the Phil. Is. After the
3) TIMBER OR FOREST LANDS.
1898 Treaty of Paris

established a system of registration by which recorded


title
PD
No. 1529,
Act No. 496
becomes absolute, indefeasible, and imprescriptible. This
is known
Property
Land Registration
as the TORRENS SYSTEM.
Registration
Decree
Act
Made the Court of Land Registration
June 11, 1978
On February 1, 1903

Does not create title nor vest one, simply confirms and register
introduced the HOMESTEAD SYSTEM ,
provisions for judicial and administrative confirmation of imperfect
Act No. 926
titles
A POSITIVE ACT DECLARING LAND AS ALIENABLE AND
First Public Land
i. OCENPO of agricultural lands for the next ten (10)DISPOSABLE
years
IS REQUIRED. In keeping with the presumption of State
Act
preceding July 26, 1904
ownership, the Court has time and again emphasized that there must
October 7, 1903
SALE OR LEASE OF PUBLIC LANDS.
be a positive act of the government, such as an official proclamation,
inalienable public land into disposable land for
title to public lands
permitted corporations regardless of the nationality ofdeclassifying
persons
agricultural
or other purposes. In fact, Section 8 of CA No. 141 limits
in the Philippines
owning the controlling stock to lease or purchase lands
of the public
alienable or disposable lands only to those lands which have been
remained in the
domain
officially delimited and classified.
govt and its title
judges of courts have the authority to determine classification of
sprung from Treaty
lands
THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN OVERCOMING THE PRESUMPTION OF
of Paris
CFIs had power to adjudicate cases relating to land titles
andOWNERSHIP OF THE LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN IS
STATE
ON THE PERSON APPLYING FOR REGISTRATION (or claiming
disputes
ownership), who must prove that the land subject of the application is
To overcome this presumption,
Cadastral system of registration when in the alienable
opinion of or
the disposable.
incontrovertible
President, the public interest requires that the title to
any lands be evidence must be established that the land subject of
application
settled and adjudicated, he shall order the DoL tothe
make
survey (or claim) is A/D.
Act. No. 2259
Cadastral Act
Feb. 11, 1913

Act No. 2874


Second Public
Land Act November
29, 1919
Under Jones Law

thereof, w/ notice to all persons claiming an interest therein.


1) presidential proclamation or P
Thereafter, DoL shall be represented by SG, shall institute
2) the
an executive order; E
registration proceedings by filing a petition in the proper
3) court
an administrative action; A
against the possessors stating that public interest requires the
4) titles
investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and
a R
to such lands be settled and adjudicated.
5) tolegislative act or a statute. L
comprehensive law limited the exploitation of agricultural lands
Filipinos and Americans and citizens of other countries which gave
The applicant may also secure a certification from the government that
Filipinos the same privileges.
the land claimed to have been possessed for the required number of
For judicial confirmation of title, possession and occupation
years is alienable and disposable.

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II-MANRESA 2016
In this case records bereft of evidence showing that, prior to 2006, the
portions of Boracay occupied by private claimants were subject of a
government proclamation that the land is A/D.
Matters of land
classification or reclassification cannot be assumed. They call for proof.
Who may classify lands?

JUDICIARY (ANKRON AND DE ALDECOA )These cases were


decided under the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902 and
Act No. 926 (October 7, 1926). During that time, the President
had no power to classify lands of the public domain into mineral,
timber, and agricultural. Hence, the courts were free to make
corresponding classifications in justiciable cases, or were vested
with implicit power to do so, depending upon the preponderance
of the evidence. To aid the courts in resolving land registration
cases under Act No. 926, it was then necessary to devise a
presumption on land classification that in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, lands are considered agricultural.
However, this presumption did not automatically converted all
lands of the public domain as A&D agricultural lands for it would
be utterly inconsistent with and totally repugnant to the longentrenched Regalian doctrine. The presumption in Ankron and De
Aldecoa attaches only to land registration cases brought under
the provisions of Act No. 926, or more specifically those cases
dealing with judicial and administrative confirmation of imperfect
titles. The presumption applies to an applicant for judicial or
administrative conformation of imperfect title under Act No. 926.
It certainly cannot apply to landowners, such as private
claimants or their predecessors-in-interest, who failed to avail
themselves of the benefits of Act No. 926. As to them, their land
remained unclassified and, by virtue of the Regalian doctrine,
continued to be owned by the State. In any case, the assumption
in Ankron and De Aldecoa was not absolute. Land classification
was, in the end, dependent on proof. If there was proof that the
land was better suited for non-agricultural uses, the courts could
adjudge it as a mineral or timber land despite the presumption.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT Since 1919, courts were no longer


free to determine the classification of lands from the facts of
each case, except those that have already became private lands.
Act No. 2874, promulgated in 1919 and reproduced in Section
6 of CA No. 141, gave the Executive Department, through the
President, the exclusive prerogative to classify or reclassify public
lands into alienable or disposable, mineral or forest.96-a Since
then, courts no longer had the authority, whether express or
implied, to determine the classification of lands of the public
domain.
Here, private claimants, unlike the HEIRS OF CIRIACO TIROL who
were issued their title in 1933, did not present a justiciable case
for determination by the land registration court of the propertys
land classification. Simply put, there was no opportunity for the
courts then to resolve if the land the Boracay occupants are now
claiming were agricultural lands. When Act No. 926 was
supplanted by Act No. 2874 in 1919, without an
application for judicial confirmation having been filed by
private claimants or their predecessors-in-interest, the
courts were no longer authorized to determine the
propertys land classification. Hence, private claimants
cannot bank on Act No. 926.

PRIVATE CLAIMANTS CONTINUED POSSESSION UNDER ACT NO.


926 DOES NOT CREATE A PRESUMPTION THAT THE LAND IS
ALIENABLE. Private claimants also contend that their continued
possession of portions of Boracay Island for the requisite period of ten
(10) years under Act No. 926 ipso facto converted the island into
private ownership. Hence, they may apply for a title in their name.A
similar argument was squarely rejected by the Court in Collado v. Court
of Appeals. Collado, citing the separate opinion of now Chief Justice
Reynato S. Puno in Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural
Resources,107-a ruled:
Act No. 926, the first Public Land Act, was passed in
pursuance of the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902. The
law governed the disposition of lands of the public domain. It
prescribed rules and regulations for the homesteading,
selling and leasing of portions of the public domain of the
Philippine Islands, and prescribed the terms and conditions
to enable persons to perfect their titles to public lands in the
Islands. It also provided for the issuance of patents to certain
native settlers upon public lands, for the establishment of
town sites and sale of lots therein, for the completion of
imperfect titles, and for the cancellation or confirmation of
Spanish concessions and grants in the Islands. In short, the
Public Land Act operated on the assumption that title to
public lands in the Philippine Islands remained in the
government; and that the governments title to public land

sprung from the Treaty of Paris and other subsequent treaties


between Spain and the United States.
The term public land referred to all lands of the public
domain whose title still remained in the government and are
thrown open to private appropriation and settlement, and
excluded the patrimonial property of the government and
the friar lands. Thus, it is plain error for petitioners to argue
that under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and Public Land Act No.
926, mere possession by private individuals of lands creates
the legal presumption that the lands are alienable and
disposable. (Emphasis Ours)

EXCEPT FOR LANDS ALREADY COVERED BY EXISTING


TITLES, BORACAY WAS AN UNCLASSIFIED LAND OF
THE PUBLIC DOMAIN PRIOR TO PROCLAMATION NO.
1064. SUCH UNCLASSIFIED LANDS ARE CONSIDERED
PUBLIC FOREST UNDER PD NO. 705. The DENR and the
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority certify
that Boracay Island is an unclassified land of the public
domain. PD No. 705 issued by President Marcos categorized
all unclassified lands of the public domain as public forest.
Section 3(a) of PD No. 705 defines a PUBLIC FOREST as a
mass of lands of the public domain which has not been the
subject of the present system of classification for the
determination of which lands are needed for forest purpose
and which are not. Applying PD No. 705, all unclassified
lands, including those in Boracay Island, are ipso facto
considered public forests. PD No. 705, however, respects
titles already existing prior to its effectivity.
The Court notes that the classification of Boracay as a forest
land under PD No. 705 may seem to be out of touch with the
present realities in the island. Boracay, no doubt, has been
partly stripped of its forest cover to pave the way for
commercial developments. As a premier tourist destination
for local and foreign tourists, Boracay appears more of a
commercial island resort, rather than a forest land.
Nevertheless, that the occupants of Boracay have built multimillion peso beach resorts on the island; that the island has
already been stripped of its forest cover; or that the
implementation of Proclamation No. 1064 will destroy the
islands tourism industry, do not negate its character as
public forest.
Forests, in the context of both the Public Land Act and the
Constitution classifying lands of the public domain into
agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands, and national
parks, do not necessarily refer to large tracts of wooded land
or expanses covered by dense growths of trees and
underbrushesA forested area classified as forest land of the
public domain does not lose such classification simply
because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its
forest cover. The classification is descriptive of its
legal nature or status and does not have to be
descriptive of what the land actually looks like. Unless
and until the land classified as forest is released in an official
proclamation to that effect so that it may form part of the
disposable agricultural lands of the public domain, the rules
on confirmation of imperfect title do not apply. (Emphasis
supplied)

PROCLAMATION NO. 1801 IS NOT A POSIITIVE ACT. However,


private claimants argue that Proclamation No. 1801 issued by then
President Marcos in 1978 entitles them to judicial confirmation of
imperfect title. The Proclamation classified Boracay, among other
islands, as a tourist zone. Private claimants assert that, as a tourist
spot, the island is susceptible of private ownership.

Proclamation No. 1801 or PTA Circular No. 3-82 did not


convert the whole of Boracay into an agricultural land but
merely recognizes that the island can be classified by the
Executive department pursuant to its powers under CA No.
141. Therefore, Proclamation No. 1801 cannot be deemed
the positive act needed to classify Boracay Island as
alienable and disposable land. If President Marcos intended
to classify the island as alienable and disposable or forest, or
both, he would have identified the specific limits of each, as
President Arroyo did in Proclamation No. 1064. This was not
done in Proclamation No. 1801.

The Whereas clauses of Proclamation No. 1801shows that


the proclamation is aimed at administering the islands
for tourism and ecological purposes. It does not
address the areas alienability.
IT WAS PROCLAMATION NO. 1064 OF 2006 WHICH POSITIVELY
DECLARED PART OF BORACAY AS ALIENABLE AND OPENED THE
SAME TO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP.

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II-MANRESA 2016

Sections 6 and 7 of CA No. 141 provide that it is only the


President, upon the recommendation of the proper
department head, who has the authority to classify the lands
of the public domain into alienable or disposable, timber and
mineral lands. In issuing Proclamation No. 1064, President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo merely exercised the authority
granted to her to classify lands of the public domain,
presumably subject to existing vested rights. Classification of
public lands is the exclusive prerogative of the Executive
Department, through the Office of the President. Courts have
no authority to do so. Absent such classification, the land
remains unclassified until released and rendered open to
disposition.

PROCLAMATION NO. 1064 DOES NOT VIOLATE THE


COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM LAW. Private
claimants further assert that Proclamation No. 1064 violates
the provision of the (CARL) or RA No. 6657 barring
conversion of public forests into agricultural lands.
They claim that since Boracay is a public forest under PD No.
705, President Arroyo can no longer convert it into an
agricultural land without running afoul of Section 4(a) of RA
No. 6657, thus:
SEC. 4. Scope. The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law of 1988 shall cover, regardless of tenurial arrangement
and commodity produced, all public and private agricultural
lands as provided in Proclamation No. 131 and Executive
Order No. 229, including other lands of the public domain
suitable for agriculture.

That Boracay Island was classified as a public forest under


PD No. 705 did not bar the Executive from later converting it
into agricultural land. Boracay Island still remained an
unclassified land of the public domain despite PD No. 705.,
the prohibition under the CARL applies only to a
reclassification of land. If the land had never been
previously classified, as in the case of Boracay, there
can be no prohibited reclassification under the
agrarian law. We agree with the opinion of the Department
of Justice on this point: Thus, obviously, the prohibition in
Section 4(a) of the CARL against the reclassification of forest
lands to agricultural lands without a prior law delimiting the
limits of the public domain, does not, and cannot, apply to
those lands of the public domain, denominated as public
forest under the Revised Forestry Code, which have not been
previously determined, or classified, as needed for forest
purposes in accordance with the provisions of the Revised
Forestry Code.

PRIVATE CLAIMANTS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO APPLY FOR


JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT TITLE UNDER CA NO.
141. NEITHER DO THEY HAVE VESTED RIGHTS OVER THE
OCCUPIED LANDS UNDER THE SAID LAW. There are two requisites
for judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title under CA No.
141, namely:
1) OCENPO of the subject land by himself or through his
predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide claim of
ownership since time immemorial or from June 12, 1945;
and
2) the classification of the land as alienable and disposable
land of the public domain.

Why pb of 1902 and act. No. 926 and pn 1801 reliance


must fail?
because of the absence of the 2nd
of a/d their
entitlement to a government grant under our present public
land act presupposes that the land possessed and applied for
is already alienable and disposable. this is clear from the
wording of the law itself. where the land is not alienable and
disposable, possession of the land, no matter how long,
cannot confer ownership or possessory rights.
Neither may private claimants apply for judicial confirmation
of imperfect title under Proclamation No. 1064, with respect
to those lands which were classified as agricultural lands.
Private claimants failed to prove the first element of OCENPO
of their lands in Boracay since June 12, 1945.

All is not lost, however. Lack of title does not necessarily mean lack of
right to possess.
For one thing, those with lawful possession may claim good faith as
builders of improvements. They can take steps to preserve or protect
their possession. For another, they may look into other modes of
applying for original registration of title, such as by homestead or
sales patent, subject to the conditions imposed by law.
More realistically, Congress may enact a law to entitle private
claimants to acquire title to their occupied lots or to exempt them from

certain requirements under the present land laws. There is one such
bill now pending in the House of Representatives. Whether that bill or
a similar bill will become a law is for Congress to decide.
In issuing Proclamation No. 1064, the government has taken the step
necessary to open up the island to private ownership. This gesture may
not be sufficient to appease some sectors which view the classification
of the island partially into a forest reserve as absurd. That the island is
no longer overrun by trees, however, does not becloud the vision to
protect its remaining forest cover and to strike a healthy balance
between progress and ecology. Ecological conservation is as important
as economic progress.
To be sure, forest lands are fundamental to our nations survival. Their
promotion and protection are not just fancy rhetoric for politicians and
activists. These are needs that become more urgent as destruction of
our environment gets prevalent and difficult to control. As aptly
observed by Justice Conrado Sanchez in 1968 in Director of Forestry v.
Munoz:
The view this Court takes of the cases at bar is but in adherence to
public policy that should be followed with respect to forest lands. Many
have written much, and many more have spoken, and quite often,
about the pressing need for forest preservation, conservation,
protection, development and reforestation. Not without justification.
For, forests constitute a vital segment of any country's natural
resources. It is of common knowledge by now that absence of the
necessary green cover on our lands produces a number of adverse or
ill effects of serious proportions. Without the trees, watersheds dry up;
rivers and lakes which they supply are emptied of their contents. The
fish disappear. Denuded areas become dust bowls. As waterfalls cease
to function, so will hydroelectric plants. With the rains, the fertile
topsoil is washed away; geological erosion results. With erosion come
the dreaded floods that wreak havoc and destruction to property crops,
livestock, houses, and highways not to mention precious human lives.
Indeed, the foregoing observations should be written down in a
lumbermans decalogue.
REPUBLIC V. NAGUIAT
FACTS: Respondent Celestina Naguiat filed for an application for
registration of 4 parcels of land located in Zambales. She alleges that
she is the owner of the subject lands having acquired them from LID
Corporation. LID Corp. acquired the land from Calderon, Moraga, Monje
and their predecessors in interest who have been in OCENPO for more
than 30 years. She believes that the lots are not mortgaged nor
encumbered.
RP opposed the application alleging
1) No OCENPO since 12 June 1945 or prior thereto;
2) muniments of title and tax payment receipts of applicant do not
constitute competent and sufficient evidence of a bona-fide
acquisition of the lands applied for or of his OCENPO ;
3) applicants claim of ownership in fee simple on the basis of
Spanish title or grant can no longer be availed of . . .; and that
4) parcels of land applied for are part of the public domain belonging
to RP not subject to private appropriation.
The RTC rendered judgment in favor of Naguiat which was
subsequently affirmed by the CA. Hence, the appeal before the SC. The
Republic faults the CA on its finding which respects the length of
Naguiats occupation of the subject property and for not considering
the fact that she has not established that the lands in question have
been declassified from forest land to A&D property.
ISSUE: whether or not the areas in question have ceased to have the
status of forest or other inalienable lands of the public domain?
RULING: SC had an opportunity to discuss the concept of Regalian
Doctrine in this case. It states that all lands of the public domain
belong to the State that is the source of any asserted right to
ownership of land. Public lands not shown to have been reclassified or
released as alienable agricultural land or alienated to a private person
by the State remain part of the inalienable public domain.
The burden of proof to overturn the presumption that the land subject
of an application is alienable or disposable rests with the applicant. The
SC said that the CA, in this case, assumed that the lands in question
are already A&D. CA ratiocinated that the possession of Naguiat of the
lands created a legal fiction where without judicial declaration, the
same ceases to be a public land and becomes private property ipso
jure.
Respondent Naguiat did not present any incontrovertible proof that
there has been a positive act from the government which reclassified
the land applied for as A&D. The tax receipts cannot be a sufficient

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proof for there is no information about the classification of the property
on it. Instead, the applicant could have obtained a Certificate of Land
Classification from the DENR as a valid proof. Since the land is
unclassified, according to SC, the same cannot be acquired by adverse
occupation. Occupation on such land in the concept of an owner,
however long, cannot ripen into private ownership and be registered
title. To this, the application of Naguiat to have the lands registered is
denied.
ISAGANI CRUZ VS. SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT
347 SCRA 128
FACTS:
Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa, petitioners, assailed the
constitutionality of certain provisions of RA 8371 ( Indigenous Peoples
Rights Act of 1997) together with its implementing rules and
regulations. The OSG also commented that IPRA is partly
unconstitutional on the ground that it grants ownership over natural
resources to indigenous people.
On the other hand, CHR asserts that IPRA is an expression of the
principle of parens patriae and that the State has the responsibility to
protect and guarantee the rights of those who are at a serious
disadvantage like indigenous people. For this reason, it prays that the
petition be dismissed. Petitioners Cruz and Europa countered the
constitutionality of IPRA and its implementing rules on the ground that
they amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over
lands of the public domain as well as minerals and other natural
resources. Also, that the law is in violation of the Regalian Doctrine
embodied in the Constitution.
Also, petitioners contended that, by providing for an all-encompassing
definition of ancestral domains and ancestral lands, it might
include private lands found within the said areas.
Issue:WON IPRA is unconstitutional as it contravenes Regalian
Doctrine?
Ruling: NO, IPRA is held to be constitutional.
After due deliberation on the petition, 7 members of the court voted to
dismiss the petition, and 7 members of the court voted to grant the
same.
The case was redeliberated upon, however, the votes remained the
same. According to the Rules of Civil Procedure, the petition has to be
dismissed. The constitutionality of IPRA is upheld.
Justice Panganibans Dissenting Opinion:
Contentions of RA 8371s unconstitutionality:
1.
It violates the inalienability of Natural Resources and of Public
Domains. That this is in contravention to Section 2, Art. 12 of the
Constitution that only agricultural lands of the public domain can
be considered as alienable and disposable lands.
2.
No land area limits are specified - That 4/5 of the countrys
natural resources and 1/3 of the countrys land will be
concentrated to 12 Million IPs, and while 60 million other Filipinos
will share the remaining. These figures violates the constitutional
principle of a more equitable distribution of opportunities,
income, and wealth among Filipinos.
3.
It abdicates the State Duty to take Full Control and Supervision of
Natural Resources
4.
Public Domains and Natural Resources are owned by the State
and Cannot be Alienated or Ceded

What is Torrens System?


Those systems of registration of transaction with interest in
land whose declared object is, under governmental
authority;
To establish and certify to the ownership of an absolute and
indefeasible title to realty,
To simplify its transfer
What are the Purposes of Torrens System? (Legarda v. Saleeby)
1) To quiet title to land;
2) To put a stop forever to any question of the legality of title
Exception
Claims which were noted at the time of registration, in the
certificate or which may arise subsequent thereto
once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure
without necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or
sitting in the mirador de su casa to avoid the possibility of
losing his land.
Advantages of the Torrens System
1) Substitutes security for insecurity
2) Reduced the cost of conveyances and time occupied
3) Exchanged brevity and clearness for obscurity and verbiage
4) Simplified ordinary dealings
5) Affords protection against fraud
6) Restored to their just value many estates, held under good
holding titles, but depreciated in consequence of some blur
or technical defect, and has barred the reoccurrence of any
similar faults
THREE PRINCIPLES in the TS
1) Mirror Principle
o
if there are several transfers, the TCT will be a
mirror in that it should be identical to the current
facts. If the seller sells the land, the old title must
be identical to the new one in terms of technical
description, so as to reinforce the concept that the
buyers should be able to rely on the face of the
title.
o
Exception
a) when a person deals with a registered
land with someone that is not the
registered owner
b) when the party has actual knowledge of
facts which should impel a reasonably
cautious mind to make such inquiry to
the lack of title;
c)
in cases of banking and financing
institutions
2) Curtain Principle
o
The concept that the buyer should be able to rely
on the face of the title, and should not go beyond
the certificate. In a way, the buyer does not have
to go behind the curtain to ascertain the truth of
the title, because the Torrens Certificate
guarantees him that.
3) Insurance Principle
o
Equates registration to a guarantee by the State

LAWS PRIOR TO 1529, See Table under Sec. v. Yap


PD 1529
How is jurisdiction over the RES acquired?
Sec. 2 Nature of Registration Proceedings, Jurisdiction of Courts
A: Sec. 23

Judicial Proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines shall
1) be
Publication
2) Mailing
in rem
3) Notice
Based on generally accepted principles underlying the Torrens system
CFI shall have exclusive jurisdiction over
Who may apply for registration?
all applications for original registration of title to lands,
A: Sec. 14, p. 1-4 OPAL
including all improvements and interests therein, and
1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in
over all petitions filed after original registration of title,
interest have been in OCENPO of AD lands of the public
with power to hear and determine all questions arising upon such applications or
domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12,
petitions.
1945 or earlier

The court through its clerk of court shall


2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by

furnish the Land Registration Commission with


prescription under the provisions of existing laws
o
2 certified copies of all pleadings, exhibits, orders, and decisions
3) filed
Those
or how have acquired ownership of private lands or
abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion
issued in applications or petitions for land registration,
under the existing laws
o
with the exception of stenographic notes,
4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other

within 5 days from the filing or issuance thereof


manner provided by law
History
-

conceptualized by Sir Robert Torrens from South Australia


the purpose is to do away with the delay, uncertainty, and
expense of the system

Where and how to file the application for Registration?

With the RTC of the province or city where the land is


situated. The TC shall issue an order setting the date and
hour of initial hearing, and the public shall be given notice

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thereof by means of publication, mailing and posting. Any
person claiming an interest in the land may appear and file
an opposition, stating all his objections to the application.
The case shall be heard and all conflicting claims of
ownership shall be determined by the court.

Once the judgment becomes final, the court shall issue an


order for the issuance of a decree and the corresponding
certificate of title in favour of the person adjudged as entitled
to registration.

Thereupon. The LAND REGISTRATION AUTHORITY shall


prepare the corresponding decree of registration as well as
the original and duplicate certificate of title which shall be
sent to the Register of Deeds of the city or province where
the land lies for registration.
Jurisdiction in civil cases involving title to property
Sec. 19(2), BP 129

With the RTC where assessed value of the property exceeds


20k

If Manila, if the assessed value of the property exceeds 50k


Exceptions
o
Forcible entry
o
Unlawful detainer of lands or buildings

THE REGISTRATION, UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM, DOES NOT


GIVE THE OWNER ANY BETTER TITLE THAN HE HAD. If he does
not already have a perfect title, he can not have it registered. Fee
simple titles only may be registered. The certificate of registration
accumulates in open document a precise and correct statement of the
exact status of the fee held by its owner. The certificate, in the absence
of fraud, is the evidence of title and shows exactly the real interest of
its owner. The title once registered, with very few exceptions, should
not thereafter be impugned, altered, changed, modified, enlarged, or
diminished, except in some direct proceeding permitted by law.
Otherwise all security in registered titles would be lost. A registered
title can not be altered, modified, enlarged, or diminished in a
collateral proceeding and not even by a direct proceeding,
after the lapse of the period prescribed by law.
For the difficulty involved in the present case the Act (No. 496)
providing for the registration of titles under the torrens system affords
us no remedy. There is no provision in said Act giving the parties relief
under conditions like the present. There is nothing in the Act which
indicates who should be the owner of land which has been registered in
the name of two different persons.

The rule, we think, is well settled that the decree ordering the
registration of a particular parcel of land is a bar to future
litigation over the same between the same parties .In view of
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TITLE AND CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
the fact that all the world are parties, it must follow that future
TITLE
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
litigation over the title is forever barred; there can be no persons who
Source of right
Merely confirms a title already existing
are not parties to the action. This, we think, is the rule, EXCEPT as to
Foundation of ownership
Mere evidence of ownership
rights which are noted in the certificate or which arise
Best evidence of ownership
Best evidence of title
subsequently, and with certain other exceptions which need
not be dismissed at present. A title once registered can not be
defeated, even by an adverse, open, and notorious possession.
REGISTERED TITLE UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM CAN NOT BE
LEGARDA V. SALEEBY
DEFEATED BY PRESCRIPTION (section 46, Act No. 496). The title, once
G.R. No. L-8936
October 2, 1915
registered, is notice to the world. All persons must take notice. No one
can plead ignorance of the registration.
CASE: Land is registered under the name of two persons
FACTS:
The question, who is the owner of land registered in the name of two
o

That the plaintiffs LEGARDA and the defendant SALEEBY occupy,


as owners, adjoining lots which existed a number of years a
stone wall between the said lots. Said wall is located on the lot of
the plaintiffs LEGARDA. Upon petition to the Court, Legarda was
able to obtain a decree of registration which included the
stonewall.
Several months later (the 13th day of December, 1912) the
plaintiffs LEGARDA discovered that the wall which had been
included in the certificate granted to them had also been
included in the certificate granted to the defendant .They
immediately presented a petition in the Court of Land
Registration for an adjustment and correction of the error
committed
The lower court however, without notice to the defendant
SALEEBY denied said petition upon the theory that, during the
pendency of the petition for the registration of the defendant's
land, they failed to make any objection to the registration of said
lot, including the wall, in the name of the defendant SALEEBY.

ISSUE: W/N the lower court is correct in granting to SALEEBY the


stonewall as his registered property? NO
RULING:
The REAL PURPOSE OF THAT SYSTEM is to quiet title to land; to put a
stop forever to any question of the legality of the title, except claims
which were noted at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which
may arise subsequent thereto. That being the purpose of the law, it
would seem that once a title is registered the owner may rest
secure, without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the
court, or sitting in the "mirador de su casa," to avoid the
possibility of losing his land. Of course, it can not be denied that
the proceeding for the registration of land under the torrens system is
judicial (Escueta vs. .Director of Lands, 16 Phil. Rep., 482). It is clothed
with all the forms of an action and the result is final and binding upon
all the world. It is an action in rem.
While the proceeding is judicial, it involves more in its consequences
than does an ordinary action. All the world are parties, including the
government. After the registration is complete and final and there
exists no fraud, there are no innocent third parties who may claim an
interest. The rights of all the world are foreclosed by the decree
of registration. The government itself assumes the burden of giving
notice to all parties. To permit persons who are parties in the
registration proceeding (and they are all the world) to again litigate the
same questions, and to again cast doubt upon the validity of the
registered title, would destroy the very purpose and intent of the law.

different persons, has been presented to the courts in other


jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, where the "torrens" system has
been adopted, the difficulty has been settled by express statutory
provision. In others it has been settled by the courts. Hogg, in his
excellent discussion of the "Australian Torrens System," at page 823,
says: "THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT IN THE CASE OF TWO
CERTIFICATES OF TITLE, PURPORTING TO INCLUDE THE SAME
LAND, THE EARLIER IN DATE PREVAILS, WHETHER THE LAND
COMPRISED IN THE LATTER CERTIFICATE BE WHOLLY, OR ONLY
IN PART, COMPRISED IN THE EARLIER CERTIFICATE. Hogg adds
however that, "IF IT CAN BE VERY CLEARLY ASCERTAINED BY THE
ORDINARY RULES OF CONSTRUCTION RELATING TO WRITTEN
DOCUMENTS, THAT THE INCLUSION OF THE LAND IN THE CERTIFICATE
OF TITLE OF PRIOR DATE IS A MISTAKE, THE MISTAKE MAY BE
RECTIFIED BY HOLDING THE LATTER OF THE TWO CERTIFICATES OF
TITLE TO BE CONCLUSIVE." (See Hogg on the "Australian torrens
System," supra, and cases cited. See also the excellent work of Niblack
in his "Analysis of the Torrens System," page 99.) Niblack, in discussing
the general question, said: "Where two certificates purport to include
the same land the earlier in date prevails. ... In successive
registrations, where more than one certificate is issued in respect of a
particular estate or interest in land, the person claiming under the prior
certificates is entitled to the estate or interest; and that person is
deemed to hold under the prior certificate who is the holder of, or
whose claim is derived directly or indirectly from the person who was
the holder of the earliest certificate issued in respect thereof. While the
acts in this country do not expressly cover the case of the issue of two
certificates for the same land, they provide that a registered owner
shall hold the title, and the effect of this undoubtedly is that WHERE
TWO CERTIFICATES PURPORT TO INCLUDE THE SAME REGISTERED
LAND, THE HOLDER OF THE EARLIER ONE CONTINUES TO HOLD THE
TITLE" (p. 237).
Section 38 of Act No. 496, provides that; "It (the decree of
registration) shall be conclusive upon and against all persons, including
the Insular Government and all the branches thereof, whether
mentioned by name in the application, notice, or citation, or included
in the general description "To all whom it may concern." Such
decree shall not be opened by reason of the absence, infancy, or other
disability of any person affected thereby, nor by any proceeding in any
court for reversing judgments or decrees; subject, however, to the
right of any person deprived of land or of any estate or interest therein
by decree of registration obtained by fraud to file in the Court of Land
Registration a petition for review within one year after entry of the
decree (of registration), provided no innocent purchaser for value has
acquired an interest.

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GENERAL RULE: "decree of registration" shall not be opened, for any
reason, in any court,
EXCEPTION: fraud, and not even for fraud, after the lapse of one year.
Q: If then the decree of registration can not be opened for any reason,
except for fraud, in a direct proceeding for that purpose, may such
decree be opened or set aside in a collateral proceeding by including a
portion of the land in a subsequent certificate or decree of registration?
We do not believe the law contemplated that a person could be
deprived of his registered title in that way. We have in this jurisdiction a
general statutory provision which governs the right of the ownership of
land when the same is registered in the ordinary registry in the name
of two persons. Article 1473 of the Civil Code provides, among
other things, that when one piece of real property had been sold to two
different persons it shall belong to the person acquiring it, who first
inscribes it in the registry. This rule, of course, presupposes that each
of the vendees or purchasers has acquired title to the land. The real
ownership in such a case depends upon priority of registration.
Adopting the rule which we believe to be more in consonance with the
purposes and the real intent of the torrens system, we are of the
opinion and so decree that in case land has been registered under the
Land Registration Act in the name of two different persons, the earlier
in date shall prevail.
In the present case, the appellee SALEEBY was the first negligent
(granting that he was the real owner, and if he was not the real owner
he cannot complain) in not opposing the registration in the name of the
appellants. Granting that he was the owner of the land upon which the
wall is located, his failure to oppose the registration of the same in the
name of the appellants, in the absence of fraud, forever closes his
mouth against impugning the validity of that judgment. There is no
more reason why the doctrine invoked by the appellee should be
applied to the appellants than to him.
IN CASE OF DOUBLE REGISTRATION UNDER THE LAND
REGISTRATION ACT, THAT THE OWNER OF THE EARLIEST
CERTIFICATE IS THE OWNER OF THE LAND. That is the rule
between original parties. May this rule be applied to successive
vendees of the owners of such certificates? Suppose that one or the
other of the parties, before the error is discovered, transfers his original
certificate to an "innocent purchaser." The general rule is that the
vendee of land has no greater right, title, or interest than his
vendor; that he acquires the right which his vendor had, only.
Under that rule the vendee of the earlier certificate would be the owner
as against the vendee of the owner of the later certificate.
We find statutory provisions which, upon first reading, seem to cast
some doubt upon the rule that the vendee acquires the interest of the
vendor only. Sections 38, 55, and 112 of Act No. 496 indicate that the
vendee may acquire rights and be protected against defenses which
the vendor would not. Said sections speak of available rights in favor of
third parties which are cut off by virtue of the sale of the land to an
"innocent purchaser." That is to say, persons who had had a right or
interest in land wrongfully included in an original certificate would be
unable to enforce such rights against an "innocent purchaser," by
virtue of the provisions of said sections.
UNDER THE RULE OF NOTICE, IT IS PRESUMED THAT THE PURCHASER
HAS EXAMINED EVERY INSTRUMENT OF RECORD AFFECTING THE TITLE.
Such presumption is irrebutable. He is charged with notice of every fact
shown by the record and is presumed to know every fact which an
examination of the record would have disclosed. This presumption
cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or good faith. Otherwise the
very purpose and object of the law requiring a record would be
destroyed. Such presumption cannot be defeated by proof of want of
knowledge of what the record contains any more than one may be
permitted to show that he was ignorant of the provisions of the law.
The rule that all persons must take notice of the facts which the public
record contains is a rule of law. The rule must be absolute. Any
variation would lead to endless confusion and useless litigation.
While there is no statutory provision in force here requiring that original
deeds of conveyance of real property be recorded, yet there is a rule
requiring mortgages to be recorded. (Arts. 1875 and 606 of the Civil
Code.) The record of a mortgage is indispensable to its validity. (Art .
1875.) In the face of that statute would the courts allow a mortgage to
be valid which had not been recorded, upon the plea of ignorance of
the statutory provision, when third parties were interested? May a
purchaser of land, subsequent to the recorded mortgage, plead
ignorance of its existence, and by reason of such ignorance have the
land released from such lien? Could a purchaser of land, after the
recorded mortgage, be relieved from the mortgage lien by the plea
that he was a bona fide purchaser? May there be a bona fide purchaser
of said land, bona fide in the sense that he had no knowledge of the

existence of the mortgage? We believe the rule that all persons must
take notice of what the public record contains in just as obligatory upon
all persons as the rule that all men must know the law; that no one can
plead ignorance of the law. The fact that all men know the law is
contrary to the presumption. The conduct of men, at times, shows
clearly that they do not know the law. The rule, however, is mandatory
and obligatory, notwithstanding. It would be just as logical to allow the
defense of ignorance of the existence and contents of a public record.
In view, therefore, of the foregoing rules of law, may the purchaser of
land from the owner of the second original certificate be an "innocent
purchaser," when a part or all of such land had theretofore been
registered in the name of another, not the vendor? We are of the
opinion that said sections 38, 55, and 112 should not be applied to
such purchasers. We do not believe that the phrase "innocent
purchaser should be applied to such a purchaser. He cannot be
regarded as an "innocent purchaser" because of the facts contained in
the record of the first original certificate. The rule should not be applied
to the purchaser of a parcel of land the vendor of which is not the
owner of the original certificate, or his successors. He, in nonsense, can
be an "innocent purchaser" of the portion of the land included in
another earlier original certificate. The rule of notice of what the record
contains precludes the idea of innocence. By reason of the prior
registry there cannot be an innocent purchaser of land included in a
prior original certificate and in a name other than that of the vendor, or
his successors. In order to minimize the difficulties we think this is the
safe rule to establish. We believe the phrase "innocent purchaser,"
used in said sections, should be limited only to cases where
unregistered land has been wrongfully included in a certificate under
the torrens system. When land is once brought under the torrens
system, the record of the original certificate and all subsequent
transfers thereof is notice to all the world. That being the rule, could
Teus even regarded as the holder in good fifth of that part of the land
included in his certificate of the appellants? We think not. Suppose, for
example, that Teus had never had his lot registered under the torrens
system. Suppose he had sold his lot to the appellee and had included
in his deed of transfer the very strip of land now in question. Could his
vendee be regarded as an "innocent purchaser" of said strip? Would his
vendee be an "innocent purchaser" of said strip? Certainly not. The
record of the original certificate of the appellants precludes the
possibility. Has the appellee gained any right by reason of the
registration of the strip of land in the name of his vendor? Applying the
rule of notice resulting from the record of the title of the appellants, the
question must be answered in the negative. We are of the opinion that
these rules are more in harmony with the purpose of Act No. 496 than
the rule contended for by the appellee. We believe that the purchaser
from the owner of the later certificate, and his successors, should be
required to resort to his vendor for damages, in case of a mistake like
the present, rather than to molest the holder of the first certificate who
has been guilty of no negligence. The holder of the first original
certificate and his successors should be permitted to rest secure in
their title, against one who had acquired rights in conflict therewith and
who had full and complete knowledge of their rights. The purchaser of
land included in the second original certificate, by reason of the facts
contained in the public record and the knowledge with which he is
charged and by reason of his negligence, should suffer the loss, if any,
resulting from such purchase, rather than he who has obtained the first
certificate and who was innocent of any act of negligence.
The foregoing decision does not solve, nor pretend to solve, all the
difficulties resulting from double registration under the torrens system
and the subsequent transfer of the land. Neither do we now attempt to
decide the effect of the former registration in the ordinary registry
upon the registration under the torrens system. We are inclined to the
view, without deciding it, that the record under the torrens system,
supersede all other registries. If that view is correct then it will be
sufficient, in dealing with land registered and recorded alone. Once
land is registered and recorded under the torrens system, that record
alone can be examined for the purpose of ascertaining the real status
of the title to the land.
It would be seen to a just and equitable rule, when two persons have
acquired equal rights in the same thing, to hold that the one who
acquired it first and who has complied with all the requirements of the
law should be protected.
SOLID STATE MULTI-PRODUCTS Corp. vs.CA
G.R. No. 83383
May 6, 1991
FACTS:
In 1982, Solid State, a domestic corporation, filed an action for
quieting of title on a parcel of land located at Imus, Cavite which was
allegedly registered by Virata in his name by fraudulently obtaining a
title through an administrative reconstitution of a non-existent original
title of the land, and that by reason of said reconstitution, there now

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exists a cloud on the title of Solid State. Solid State alleges that it
bought the land from Julian Pearanda who obtained the same through
the grant of application for the sale of a friar land from the
government. The land was registered in the name of Pearanda in
1969 under CA 32. Pearanda's occupation of the land is derived
through a voluntary assignment of right of the former occupant, Mabini
Legaspi, and that the same is free from claims and conflicts and that
the said applicant has established his rights over the subject land, in
view of which, said investigator recommended that said lot be awarded
to applicant Julian Pearanda according to law.
Virata countered saying that he bought the land from Mabini Legaspi
who obtainedownership in 1957 on the subject land after the Director
of Lands sold the same at public auction. Official Receipts of payment
for the instalments were shown as a proof. The title was reconstituted
since the Provincial Capitol of Cavite was burned including the ROD
office which holds the title to the subject property. Legaspi also denied
that she sold the land to Julan Pearanda. RTC ruled in favor of Virata
which was then affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this appeal
before the SC.
..
Issue:
WON CA correctly held that Virata is the true and lawful owner of the
subject property? NO.
Ruling:
Solid State contends that Act No. 1120 or Friar Lands Act provides the
procedure for the sale and disposition of
the friar lands to private persons. The acquisition by Pearanda was in
compliance with all legal requisites laid down by the law for the validity
of the sale. He further contended that the issuance to Mabini Legaspi of
a COT in her favor was a violation of the Friar Lands Act as there was
no required approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources.
The friar lands were purchased by the government for sale to actual
settlers and occupants at the time said
lands are acquired by the government. The Bureau of Lands shall first
issue a certificate stating therein that the
government has agreed to sell the land to such settler or occupant.
The latter then shall accept the certificate and agree to pay the
purchase price so fixed and in the instalments and at the interest
specified in the certificate. Subject to a resolutory condition that nonpayment of price in full may cancel the sale. The court said that the
title Pearanda has the valid acquisition from the government of the
subject friar land since it was in compliance with law and hence, the
sale in favor of Solid State is valid and binding. Contrary to that, the
SC said while the sale of the lot to Legaspi occurred much earlier in
time, the same cannot be considered as a ground to for him to be
considered the true owner of the land. Legaspi did not present an
evidence showing that a certificate of sale was ever issued by the BoL
in his favor. The existence of the official receipts showing payment of
the price of the land by Legaspi does not prove that the land was
legally conveyed to her without any contract of sale. Legaspi also
alleged that he purchased the land in a sale at public auction, which
procedure is nowhere provided in the pertinent laws conveying friar
lands. The law expressly state that an actual occupant of the land shall
purchase the lot occupied by him at a private sale not in a public
auction. There was also absence of a deed of conveyance to Legaspi by
the government after the full payment of the instalments on the
disputed lot.
Time and again, registration does not vest title to the land, but
merely a procedure to establish
evidence over realty. Even if the 1 year period has already lapsed,
the title did not become incontrovertible but it is a null and void for not
complying with the requirements of the law. Therefore, Virata could not
have validly obtained title to the land
FULLTEXT RULING:
We find the petition impressed with merit.
Since the assigned errors were interrelated, it would be well for this
Court to discuss them jointly.
Petitioner does not question the factual findings made by the
respondent appellate court and supported by the records (p. 22, Rollo).
It does not however accept the legal conclusion made by the appellate
court and trial court that the registered title of private respondent to
the land should prevail over its own title.
Petitioner contends that Act No. 1120, otherwise known as the
Friar Lands Act provides the procedure for the sale and disposition of
the friar lands to private persons; that pursuant thereto, the acquisition
by petitioner's predecessor-in-interest Julian Pearanda of the disputed
Lot 7449, which was formerly part of the friar lands estate, was in
compliance with all legal requisites laid down in Act No. 1120, for the

validity of the sale by the government in favor of Pearanda of such


friar lands.
It also argues that the sale of Lot No. 7449 to respondent's
predecessor, Mabini Legaspi, and the issuance of a certificate of title in
her favor was in violation of the Friar Lands Act as there was no
required approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources.
There is no dispute here that the land involved in this case is a friar
land and that the laws which are applicable are Act No. 1120, known
as the Friar Lands Act, providing for the administration and temporary
leasing and sale of certain haciendas and parcels of land, commonly
known as friar lands, and Commonwealth Act No. 32 dated
September 15, 1936 as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 316
dated June 9, 1938, which provided for the subdivision and sale of all
the portions of the friar lands estated remaining undisposed of.
Sec. 12 of Act No. 1120 provides in part:
. . . the Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands shall give the said settler
and occupant a certificate which shall set forth in detail that the
Government has agreed to sell to such settler and occupant the
amount of land so held by him at the price so fixed payable as
provided in this Act at the Office of the Chief of the Bureau of Public
Lands . . . and that upon the payment of the final installment together
with all accrued interest the Government will convey to such settler
and occupant the said land so held by him by proper instrument of
conveyance, which shall be issued and become effective in the manner
provided in section one hundred and twenty two of the Land
Registration Act.
Also, Sec. 18 of the same Act provides:
No lease or sale made by the Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands under
the provisions of this Act shall be valid until approved by the Secretary
of the Interior. (Emphasis ours)
Similarly, Sec. 2 of C.A. No. 32, as amended by C.A. No. 316 provides in
part:
. . . The persons who, at the time of the subdivision survey are actual
and bona fide occupants of any portion of the Friar Lands Estates,
not exceeding ten hectares, shall be given preference to purchase
the portion occupied at a private sale and at a price to be fixed in such
case, by the Director of Lands, subject to the approval of the Secretary
of Agriculture and Commerce, after taking into consideration its
location, quality, and any other circumstances as may affect its value,
the provisions of section 12, of Act 1120, as amended, to the
contrary, . . . (Emphasis ours)
It is clear from the foregoing provisions that the friar lands were
purchased by the government for sale to actual settlers and occupants
at the time said lands are acquired by the government.
1) The Bureau of Lands shall first issue a certificate stating
therein that the government has agreed to sell the land to
such settler or occupant.
2) The occupant then shall accept the certificate and agree to
pay the purchase price so fixed and in the installments and
at the interest specified in the certificate.
3) The conveyance executed in favor of a buyer or purchaser,
or the so called certificate of sale, is a conveyance of the
ownership of the property, subject only to the resolutory
condition that the sale may be cancelled if the price agreed
upon is not paid for in full. The purchaser becomes the
owner upon the issuance of the certificate of sale in his
favour subject only to the cancellation thereof in case the
price agreed upon is not paid (Pugeda vs. Trias, No. L-16925,
March 31, 1962, 4 SCRA 849.)
4) Upon the payment of the final installment together with all
accrued interests, the government shall then issue a final
deed of conveyance in favor of the purchaser.
5) However, the sale of such friar lands shall be valid only if
approved by the Secretary of Interior as provided in Act
No. 1120. Later laws, however, required that the sale shall
be approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce.
In short, the approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and
Commerce is indispensable for the validity of the sale.
It is undisputed that SOLID STATEs predecessor, Julian Pearanda
was the actual occupant of Lot 7449 when he filed his application to
purchase the said lot on November 22, 1968; that on December 16,
1989, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources approved the
sale of the lot without auction to Pearanda; that a sales contract was
executed between the Director of Lands and Pearanda on February
28, 1969 for a consideration of P 1,198.00 payable in 10 monthly
installments; that upon the full payment of the price, the
Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued the final
deed of conveyance of Lot No. 7449 in favor of Pearanda.
Subsequently, the Register of Deeds of Cavite issued TCT No. 39631 in

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II-MANRESA 2016
the name of Pearanda, and when the latter sold the land to petitioner,
TCT No. 39631 was cancelled and TCT No. T-80889 was issued in favor
of the latter.
Clearly, the purchase of the friar land made by Pearanda was in
compliance with law. The execution of the sales contract vested the
right of ownership in Pearanda over the land. There is no doubt
whatsoever that the said sale was valid as it was approved by the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Hence, the sale made
by Pearanda in favor of the petitioner transferred the ownership of the
land in favor of the latter resulting in the proper issuance of TCT No. T80889 in its name.
On the other hand, the antecedents leading to the acquisition of title
by respondent VIRATA are clearly shown in the records. The latter's
predecessor, Mabini Legaspi bought Lot 7449 in a sale by public
auction held on May 5, 1943 conducted by the Bureau of Lands and
friar lands agent Severino Rivera, and paid the purchase price thereof
in installments in 1943; that on December 12, 1944, the Bureau of
Lands sent a letter to the Register of Deeds of Cavite requesting the
issuance of certificates of title to several persons including Mabini
Legaspi, in whose favor TCT A-2188 was issued; that subsequently on
December 6, 1957, she sold the disputed land to respondent Virata,
which was evidenced by a deed of sale registered with the Registry of
Deeds of Cavite on December 10, 1957; that on the same date, TCT
No. 11520 was issued in the name of Virata. Due to the fire which
gutted the building housing the Registry of Cavite on June 7, 1959, the
latter administratively reconstituted the original of TCT No. 11520 on
September 1, 1959, based on the owner's duplicate certificate and
renumbered the same as TCT No. 1120 RT 1660.
Apparently, the sale of the lot to Mabini Legaspi occurred much earlier
than the date of acquisition of same lot by petitioner's predecessor,
and the evidence presented by respondent Virata indicates that the
latter's predecessor paid the purchase price of Lot No. 7449 on
installments. Nowhere in the evidence for the respondent or in
the records of this case however, would show that a certificate
of sale was ever issued by the Bureau of Lands, which would
vest ownership and title over the land in favor of Mabini
Legaspi. The existence of the official receipts showing payment of the
price of the land by Legaspi does not prove that the land was legally
conveyed to her without any contract of sale having been executed by
the government in her favor. Viewed from all angles, the acquisition
of the lot by Legaspi was highly irregular and void, and not in
compliance with the procedure mandated by law for the sale of
friar lands. For one thing, Mabini Legaspi allegedly purchased the
land in a sale at public auction, which procedure is nowhere provided in
Act No. 1120 or in C.A. 32, as amended by C.A. 316. The laws expressly
state that an actual occupant of the land shall purchase the lot
occupied by him at a private sale and not in a sale at public auction
(Sec. 2, C.A. 32 as amended). Further, neither was there any deed of
conveyance issued to Legaspi by the government after the full
payment of the installments on the disputed lot.
Highly significant at this point is the fact that there was neither
allegation nor proof that the sale was with the approval of the
Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce. The absence of such
approval made the supposed sale null and void ab initio.
Without the certificate of sale to prove the transfer of the ownership of
the land from the government Mabini Legaspi and without the required
approval of the sale by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, We
find that Mabini Legaspi did not in any manner acquire
ownership over the land in 1943. The ownership or title over the
friar land, specifically Lot No. 7449 remained in the government
until Pearanda, petitioners predecessor, lawfully acquired
ownership over the same lot on February 28, 1969 by virtue of
a sales contract executed in his favor.
The issuance of a certificate of title in favor of Mabini Legaspi did not
vest ownership upon her over the land nor did it validate the alleged
purchase of the lot, which is null and void. Time and again, it has been
held that registration does not vest title. It is merely evidence
of such title over a particular property. Our land registration
laws do not give the holder any better title than that what he
actually has (De man et al. vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. L- 46935
December 21, 1987, 156 SCRA 701; Cruz vs. Cabana, No. 56232, June
22, 1984, 129 SCRA 656).
Although a period of one year has already expired from the
time the certificate of title was issued to Mabini Legaspi
pursuant to the alleged sale from the government, said title
does not become incontrovertible but is null and void since the
acquisition of the property was in violation of law.

possession thereof for a long period of time is not barred from bringing
an action for reconveyance which in effect seeks to quiet title to the
property against a registered owner relying upon a Torrens title which
was illegally or wrongfully acquired. In actions for reconveyance of
property predicated on the fact that the conveyance complained of was
void ab initio, a claim of prescription of the action would be unavailing.
Being null and void, the sale made to Mabini Legaspi and the
subsequent titles issued pursuant thereto produced no legal effects
whatsoever. Quod nullum est nullum producit affectum. There being no
title to the land that Mabini Legaspi acquired from the government, it
follows that no title to the same land could be conveyed by the former
to respondent Virata. Even assuming that respondent Virata was a
purchaser in good faith and for value, the law is, as between two
persons both of whom are in good faith and both innocent of any
negligence, the law must protect and prefer the lawful holder of
registered title over the transferee of a vendor bereft of any
transmissible rights . Further if a person happened to obtain property
by mistake or to the prejudice of another with or without bad faith, the
certificate of title which may have been issued to him under the
circumstances may and should be cancelled or corrected. Our
unavoidable conclusion in this case is that the title of petitioner
under the Torrens land system should be upheld considering
that no previous valid title to the same land existed.
Petition granted.
GREY ALBA VS. DE LA CRUZ
17 SCRA 49

Facts:
Petitioners are heirs of Segunda Alba Clemente. They, as co-owners
sought for the registration of a parcel of
land located in Baliuag, Bulacan. The land is said to be an agricultural
one used for the raising of rice and sugar cane. This petition for
registration was granted by the court. Subsequently, Anacleto Dela
Cruz objected before the court asking for the revision of the case. Dela
Cruz alleged that the decree of registration was fraudulently obtained
by the petitioners and that included in the parcels of land Albas sought
to register is the two parcels of land he inherited from his father which
was a state grant. To this the court revised its decision which excludes
the two parcels of land claimed by Dela Cruz.
Issue: WON the court acquired jurisdiction over the person of Anacleto
De La Cruz? YES.
Ruling:
It is admitted that Dela cruz was occupying the two parcels of land at
the time the appellants presented their petition for registration. That
Dela Cruz did not appear in the petition as an occupant and also that
he is alleged to be a tenant for the Albas the reason why the latter did
not include his name in the petition as occupant. It is proved that the
Uncle of the petitioners, who took care of them after their parents died,
have leased the property to Anacletos Father. Anacleto agreed that
there was a lease but the two parcels of land he is claiming were not
included in the lease contract. The fact that the petitioners were able
to have the subject land registered will tell us that such registration is
conclusive upon and against all persons, including the government,
whether their names are mentioned in the application or included in
the general description to all who it may concern. By express
provision of the law, such as the Land Registration Act, the world are
made parties-defendant by the description in the notice to all
whom it may concern.Though, Anacleto De la Cruz was not
served with notice, he was already made a party defendant by
publication and the entering of the decree in 1908 must be
held conclusive against all persons including him. The SC said it
was error for the lower court to have opened the decree and
modified the judgment on account of absence, infancy, or other
disability. It could have been opened only on the ground that
the decree was obtained through fraud.
While it was alleged that there was fraud, the SC did not consider such
allegation. It ruled that the petitioners
honestly believed that Anacleto was occupying the lands as their
tenant. Specific, intentional acts to deceive and deprive another
of his right, or in some manner injure him, must be alleged and
proved; that is, there must be actual or positive fraud.To this, the
SC said that the Lower Courts decision be reinstated and the decision
of the Appellate Court be reversed.

JURISDICTION OVER LAND REGISTRATION CASES


VENUE

Further, the petitioner herein is in possession of the land in dispute.


Hence, its action to quiet title is imprescriptible. In one case, this Court
ruled that an adverse claimant of a registered land who is in

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II-MANRESA 2016
RTCs Exclusive Jurisdiction (Sec. 2 (2) of PD 1529)
JURISDICTION
OVER THE SUBJECT
1) All applications for original registration of title to lands, including improvements
and
MATTER
interests therein
of an action is conferred only by law. It
2) All petitions filed after original registration of title, with power to hear nature
and determine
may not be conferred by consent or waiver
all question arising upon such applications or petition
upon a court which otherwise would have no
MTCs delegated jurisdiction
MTCs may hear and determine land registration cases in the following instances: jurisdiction over the subject matter of an
1) Lot sought to be registered is not subject to controversy or opposition action
Rules as to jurisdiction can never be left to
2) Lot is contested, but the value thereof does not exceed 100, 000
a.
Such value is ascertained by
the consent or agreement of the parties.
by the affidavit of the claimant
jurisdictional
by the agreement of the respective claimants (if there be more than one), or
from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property

SC Administrative Circular 6-93-A


Nov. 15, 1995
1) Cadastral or land registration cases filed before the effectivity of
this A.C. shall be transferred by the Executive Judge of the RTC
having jurisdiction over the cases to E.J. of the appropriate
Courts of limited jurisdiction for the required raffle among the
branches of the court under his administrative supervision
2) But those already commenced as of the date of effectivity shall
remain w/ said courts, except when the parties agree otherwise
RUDOLF LIETZ HOLDINGS, INC.,
vs. RoD Paranaque.
[G.R. No. 133240. November 15, 2000]
FACTS:
PETITIONER CORPORATION was formerly known as Rudolf Lietz,
Incorporated. On July 15, 1996, it amended its Articles of
Incorporation to change its name to Rudolf Lietz Holdings, Inc and was
approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 20,
1997. As a consequence of its change of name, petitioner sought the
amendment of the TCTs over real properties owned by the said
corporation, all of which were under the old name, Rudolf Lietz,
Incorporated. For this purpose, petitioner instituted, on November 20,
1997, a petition for amendment of titles with the RTC of
Paraaque City impleading as respondent the ROD of Pasay City,
apparently because the titles sought to be amended, all state that they
were issued by the Registry of Deeds of Pasay City. Petitioner likewise
inadvertently alleged in the body of the petition that the lands covered
by the subject titles are located in Pasay City. Subsequently,
petitioner learned that the subject titles are in the custody of
the Register of Deeds of Paraaque City. Hence, Ex-Parte Motion
to Admit Amended Petition now impleading ROD of Paraaque City,
and alleged that its lands are located in Paraaque City. Court
dismissed due to improper venue since properties are in Pasay
In the meantime, however, on January 30, 1998, the court a quo had
dismissed the petition motu proprio on the ground of improper venue,
it appearing therein that the respondent is the Registry of Deeds of
Pasay City and the properties are located in Pasay City. [7]MR denied
PETITIONER BEFORE SC
The court a quo acted contrary to the rules and jurisprudence on the
matter for the following reasons:
1.
It has no power to immediately dismiss an initiatory pleading for
improper venue;
2.
Assuming the Order of 30 January 1998 was proper, it was
nevertheless still a matter of right on petitioners part to amend
its petition in order to correct the wrong entries therein; and
3.
The unassailable reality is that the subject parcels of land are
located in Paraaque City, so venue was properly laid despite that
erroneous allegation in the original petition.[11]
OSG
The Solicitor General filed on November 4, 1998 his Comment said that
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the res because it appeared
from the original petition that the lands are situated in Pasay City;
hence, outside the jurisdiction of the Paraaque court. Since it had no
jurisdiction over the case, it could not have acted on the motion to
admit amended petition.
PETITIONERS REPLY JURISDICTION V. VENUE On February 15, 1999,
petitioner filed its Reply. TC had jurisdiction over the petition, but that
venue appeared to be improperly laid based on the erroneous
allegation therein on the location of the properties.
ISSUE: May the trial court motu proprio dismiss a complaint on the
ground of improper venue? NO.
RULING: While the ground invoked by the trial court in dismissing the
petition below was clearly that of improper venue, the Solicitor General
confuses venue with jurisdiction. A distinction between the two must
be drawn.

VENUE OF AN ACTI

as fixed by statute may be ch


consent of the parties, and an
improper venue may be waived
of the defendant to raise it at the

In such an event, the court may


valid judgment
Procedural (may be waived)
convenience to the parties rathe
their access to the courts as it
place of trial.

Rule 4 of the Revised Rules o


a.
laying of venue is proc
than substantive.
b.
It relates to the jurisdictio
over the person rather th
matter.
c.
Provisions relating to ven
relation between the pla
defendant and not betw
and the subject matter.
d.
Venue relates to trial not
touches more of the conve
parties rather than the su
case.
In Dacoycoy v. IAC, this Court ruled:

The motu proprio dismissal of petitioners complaint by


respondent trial court on the ground of improper venue is plain
error, obviously attributable to its inability to distinguish between
jurisdiction and venue.
VENUE, IN INFERIOR COURTS AS WELL AS IN THE CFI (NOW
RTC), MAY BE WAIVED EXPRESSLY OR IMPLIEDLY Dismissing the
complaint on the ground of improper venue is certainly not the
appropriate course of action at this stage of the proceedings,
particularly as venue, in inferior courts as well as in the courts of first
instance (now RTC), may be waived expressly or impliedly. Where the
defendant fails to challenge timely the venue in a motion to dismiss as
provided by Section 4 of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, and allows the
trial to be held and a decision to be rendered, he cannot on appeal or
in a special action be permitted to belatedly challenge the wrong
venue, which is deemed waived.
THOUGH TECHNICALLY WRONG, MAY BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE
PARTIES FOR WHOSE CONVENIENCE THE RULES ON VENUE HAD
BEEN DEVISED. Thus, unless and until the defendant objects to the
venue in a motion to dismiss, the venue cannot be truly said to have
been improperly laid, as for all practical intents and purposes, the
venue, though technically wrong, may be acceptable to the parties for
whose convenience the rules on venue had been devised. The trial
court cannot pre-empt the defendants prerogative to object to the
improper laying of the venue by motu proprio dismissing the case.
INDEED, IT WAS GROSSLY ERRONEOUS FOR THE TRIAL COURT
TO
HAVE
TAKEN
A
PROCEDURAL
SHORT-CUT
BY
DISMISSING MOTU PROPRIO the complaint on the ground of
improper venue without first allowing the procedure outlined in the
rules of court to take its proper course. Although we are for the speedy
and expeditious resolution of cases, justice and fairness take primary
importance. The ends of justice require that respondent trial court
faithfully adhere to the rules of procedure to afford not only the
defendant, but the plaintiff as well, the right to be heard on his cause.
[18]

PETITIONER CORRECTLY INVOKED THE JURISDICTION OF THE


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT IN SEEKING THE AMENDMENT OF ITS
CERTIFICATES OF TITLE. The jurisdiction of the RTC over matters
involving the registration of lands and lands registered under the
Torrens system is conferred by Section 2 of Presidential Decree No.
1529, The Property Registration Decree, viz:
Nature of registration proceedings; jurisdiction of courts. --- Judicial
proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines
shall be in rem and shall be based on the generally accepted principles
underlying the Torrens system.
COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE (now Regional Trial Courts) shall have
exclusive jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of

10

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II-MANRESA 2016
title to lands, including improvements and interest therein, and over all
petitions filed after original registration of title, with power to hear and
determine all questions arising upon such applications or petitions.
The COURT through its CLERK OF COURT shall
1.
furnish the Land Registration Commission with two
certified copies of all pleadings, exhibits, orders, and
decisions filed or issued in applications or petitions for land
registration,
2.
WITH THE EXCEPTION of stenographic notes,
3.
within five days from the filing or issuance thereof.
In the case at bar, the lands are located in Paraaque City, as stated on
the faces of the titles. Petitioner, thus, also correctly filed the petition
in the place where the lands are situated, pursuant to the following
rule:
Venue of real actions. --- Actions affecting title to or
possession of real property, or interest therein, shall be
commenced and tried in the proper court which has
jurisdiction over the area wherein the real property involved,
or a portion thereof, is situated.[19]
VDA. DE ARCEO VS. CA
185 SCRA 489
Facts:
Spouses Arceo are owners of four parcels of unregistered lands located
in Bulacan. They had one Son named Esteban who had 5 children.
Estebans children and their children are the parties involved in this
case. In 1941, Spouses Arceo executed a donation inter vivos in favor
of Jose, one of Estebans children. Since 1942, Jose paid the taxes, took
personal possession of the land and claimed it as his own. In 1941,
also, Arceos supposedly
signed a deed of donation mortis causa to give away the subject
properties in favor of all his grandchildren including Jose. However, the
said document was notarized in 1944 only after Mrs. Arceo died.
Subsequently, the wife of Jose, together with their children, filed with
the cadastral court an application for
registration in their names the subject lands. This was contested by
Pedro and Lorenzo, Joses siblings contending that they are entitled to
a part of the subject parcels of land. The cadastral court rejected the
registration and distributed the properties according to law on intestate
succession instead. The CA affirmed its decision.
Issue: WON the cadastral court has jurisdiction in determining the
ownership of lands?
Ruling:
As to the issue of jurisdiction, Section 2 of PD 1529 provides that RTC,
sitting as a land registration court, is no
longer circumscribed as it is in the previous law. PD 1529 eliminated
the general jurisdiction of RTC and the limited jurisdiction of RTC acting
merely as a cadastral court; the purpose of this is to avoid multiplicity
of suits.
In this case, the cadastral court commits no error in assuming
jurisdiction in the determination of issues on
ownership, which at the same time involves the issue on the right of
registration. There would be a multiplicity of suits or the registration
will be prolonged if not impossible should the cadastral court decide
not to pass upon the issue of ownership.
As to the issue of co-ownership:
Joses wife contends that they acquired the lot through acquisitive
prescription. This was rejected by the SC. The Civil Code provides that
prescription does not lie against co-owners, unless the following
requisites concur.
a.
There is a clear showing that the claimant has
repudiated the co-ownership.
b.
He has made known to the co-owners that he is
assuming exclusive ownership over the property.
c.
Clear and convincing evidence thereof.
d.
His possession is OCEN.
This circumstances were not present in the case at bar. The fact of
paying taxes cannot defeat the right of coowners to their right to enjoy
the use of their property, the same does not confer title upon a
claimant.
Nonetheless, the SC granted the petition and have the lands registered
under the name of Jose and his heirs by
virtue of the valid deed of donation inter vivos. The Supreme Court
further ruled that the donation mortis causa did not revoke the first
donation. The weight of authority is that a valid donation, once
accepted, becomes irrevocable subject to few exceptions. Finally, the
court said that the disposition in favor of Jose of the subject properties
should be respected.

Section 3. Status of other pre-existing land registration


system. The system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law is
hereby discontinued and all lands recorded under said system which
are not yet covered by Torrens title shall be considered as unregistered
lands.
Hereafter, all instruments affecting lands originally registered under
the Spanish Mortgage Law may be
recorded under Section 113 of this Decree, until the land shall have
been brought under the operation of the Torrens system. The books of
registration for unregistered lands provided under Section 194 of the
Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Act No. 3344, shall
continue to remain in force; provided, that all instruments dealing with
unregistered lands shall henceforth be registered under Section 113 of
this Decree.

Section 113. Recording of instruments relating to unregistered


lands. No deed, conveyance, mortgage, lease, or other voluntary
instrument affecting land not registered under the Torrens system shall
be valid, except as between the parties thereto, unless such
instrument shall have been recorded in the manner herein prescribed
in the office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the
land lies.
(a)

The Register of Deeds for each province or city shall keep a


Primary Entry Book and a Registration Book. The Primary
Entry Book shall contain, among other particulars,
1.
the entry number,
2.
the names of the parties,
3.
the nature of the document,
4.
the date, hour and minute it was presented and received.
5.
The recording of the deed and other instruments relating
to unregistered lands shall be effected by any of
annotation on the space provided therefor in the
Registration Book, after the same shall have been
entered in the Primary Entry Book.

(b)

If, on the face of the instrument, it appears that it is sufficient in


law, the Register of Deeds shall forthwith record the instrument
in the manner provided herein. In case the Register of Deeds
refuses its administration to record, said official shall advise the
party in interest in writing of the ground or grounds for his
refusal, and the latter may appeal the matter to the
Commissioner of Land Registration in accordance with the
provisions of Section 117 of this Decree. It shall be
understood that any recording made under this section shall be
without prejudice to a third party with a better right.

(c)

After recording on the Record Book, the Register of Deeds shall


endorse among other things, upon the original of the recorded
instruments, the file number and the date as well as the hour
and minute when the document was received for recording as
shown in the Primary Entry Book, returning to the registrant or
person in interest the duplicate of the instrument, with
appropriate annotation, certifying that he has recorded the
instrument after reserving one copy thereof to be furnished the
provincial or city assessor as required by existing law.

(d)

Tax sale, attachment and levy, notice of lis pendens, adverse


claim and other instruments in the nature of involuntary dealings
with respect to unregistered lands, if made in the form sufficient
in law, shall likewise be admissible to record under this section.

(e)

For the services to be rendered by the Register of Deeds under


this section, he shall collect the same amount of fees prescribed
for similar services for the registration of deeds or instruments
concerning registered lands.

REGISTRATION UNDER THE SPANISH MORTGAGE LAW


TITULO DE PROPRIEDAD NO. 4136 The case of Director of Forestry
v. Muoz would soon be the core of subsequent decisions declaring the
infamous Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 as a forgery foisted upon the
courts and bereft of any validity and efficacy as evidence of ownership.
In this case, petitioners-heirs did not adduce
evidence to show that Titulo de Propriedad 4136 was brought under
the operation of P.D. No. 892 despite their
allegation that they did so on August 13, 1976. Proof of compliance
with P.D. No. 892 should be the Certificate of Title covering the land
registered.
REGISTRATION UNDER ACT NO. 3344; ineffective as against 3 rd
persons

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The inscription under Act No. 3344 of a transaction relating to
unregistered land was held not effective for purposes of Article 1544 of
the Civil Code, the law on double sale of the same property. The
registration should be made in the property registry to be binding upon
third persons; mere registration of a sale in ones favour does not give
him any right over the land if the vendor was not anymore the owner of
the land having previously sold the same to somebody else even if the
earlier sale was unrecorded.

CHAPTER II
LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSION AND ITS REGISTRIES OF
DEEDS

SEC. 7. Office of the Register of Deeds. There shall be at least one Registe
each province and one for each city.
Every Registry with a

yearly average collection of more than sixty thousand pesos

during the last three years shall have one


o
Deputy Register of Deeds,
and every Registry with a

yearly average collection of more than three hundred thousand pesos

during the last three years, shall have one


o
Deputy Register of Deeds and
o
one second Deputy Register of Deeds.

The Secretary of Justice shall define the official station and territorial jurisd
Registry upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registra
Section 4. Land Registration Commission. In order to have a more efficient execution
of the
end in view
of making every registry easily accessible to the people of th
laws relative to the registration of lands, geared to the massive and accelerated land
reform andThe province or city shall furnish a suitable space or building for th
municipalities.
social justice program of the government, there is created a commission to beRegister
known of
as Deeds
the until such time as the same could be furnished out of national fu
Land Registration Commission under the executive supervision of the Department of Justice.
Section 5. Officials and employees of the Commission. The Land Registration
Commission
Registry
of Property

in accordance with Sec. 51 of PD 1529 which provides that


shall have a chief and an assistant chief to be known, respectively, as the Commissioner
no deed, mortgage, lease, or other voluntary instrument
Deputy Commissioner of Land Registration who shall be appointed by the President
except a will- purporting to convey or affect registered land
The Commissioner shall be
shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the land until its

duly qualified member of the Philippine Bar


registration. Thus, if the sale is not registered, it is binding

with at least ten years of practice in the legal profession, and


only between the seller and the buyer but it does not affect

shall have the same rank, compensation and privileges as those of a Judge ofinnocent
the
3rd persons.
Court of First Instance.

The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey


The Deputy Commissioner, who shall
or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned.

possess the same qualifications as those required of the Commissioner,

Between the two buyers of the same immovable property

shall receive compensation which shall be three thousand pesos per annum less registered
than
under the Torrens System, the law gives
ownership priority to
that of the Commissioner.

He shall act as Commissioner of Land Registration during the absence or disability of 1) First registrant in good faith
2) First possessor in good faith
the Commissioner and

when there is a vacancy in the position until another person shall have been 3) Buyer who in good faith presents the oldest title

designated or appointed in accordance with law.


Effect of Registration
The Deputy Commissioner shall also perform such other functions as Constructive
the
notice to all persons from the time of such
Commissioner may assign to him.
registering, filing, or entering.
They shall be assisted by such number of division chiefs as may be necessary in the interest of
SEC. 8. Appointment of Registers of Deeds and their Deputies and other
the functioning of the Commission, by a Special Assistant to the Commissioner
personnel;
salaries. Registers of Deeds shall be appointed by the Pre
Chief Geodetic Engineer who shall each receive compensation at the rate of three
thousand
Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. Deputy Registers of
four hundred pesos per annum less than that of the Deputy Commissioner.
other
subordinate
personnel of the Registries of Deeds shall be appointed by th
All other officials and employees of the Land Registration Commission including
those
of the
upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registration. T
Registries of Deeds whose salaries are not herein provided, shall receive salariesJustice
corresponding
Registers
of Deeds and their Deputies shall be at the following rates:
to the minimum of their respective upgraded ranges as provided under paragraph
3.1 of Budget
First Class Registries The salaries of Registers of Deeds in first c
Circular No. 273, plus sixty per centum thereof across the board, notwithstanding the (1)
maximum
shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than that
salary allowed for their respective civil service eligibilities.
The salaries of officials and employees provided in this Decree shall be without prejudice to Commissioner.
such
Class Registries The salaries of Registers of Deeds in
benefits and adjustments as may from time to time be granted by the President (2)
or bySecond
the
Registries shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less
legislature to government employees.
Registers
of Deeds in first class Registries.
All officials and employees of the Commission except Registers of Deeds shall be appointed
by
(3) Third Class Registries The salaries of Registers of Deeds in third c
the Secretary of Justice upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registration.
shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than those
Section 6. General Functions.
Deeds in second class Registries.
(1) The Administrator of Land Registration shall have the following functions:
(4)in The
a) Issue decrees of registration pursuant to final judgments of the courts
landsalaries of Deputy Registers of Deeds and Second Deputy Registers
registration proceedings and cause the issuance by the Registers of Deeds ofbethethree thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than t
corresponding Registers of Deeds and Deputy Registers of Deeds, respe
corresponding certificates of title;
(5) Theof Secretary of Justice, upon recommendation of the Commiss
b) Exercise supervision and control over all Registers of Deeds and other personnel
Registration, shall cause the reclassification of Registries based either o
the Commission;
theof
class of province/ city, whichever will result in a higher classification
c)
Resolve cases elevated en consulta by, or on appeal from decision of, Registers
of salary adjustments in accordance with the rates hereinabove provided
Deeds;
d) Exercise executive supervision over all clerks of court and personnel of the Courts of
First Instance throughout the Philippines with respect to the discharge of their duties
and functions in relation to the registration of lands;
SEC. 9. Qualifications of Registers of Deeds and Deputy Registers of
e) Implement all orders, decisions, and decrees promulgated relative to the registration
person shall be appointed Register of Deeds unless he has been admitted to the
of lands
in the Philippines and shall have been actually engaged in such practice for at lea
and issue, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Justice, all needful rules and regulations
or has been employed for a like period in any branch of government the func
therefor;
include the
registration of property.
f)
Verify and approve subdivision, consolidation, and consolidation-subdivision
survey
The
Deputy
plans of properties titled under Act No. 496 except those covered by P.D. No. 957. Register of Deeds shall be a member of the Philippine Bar. Provided,
no Register of Deeds or Deputy Register of Deeds holding office as such upon the
(2) The Land Registration Authority shall have the following functions:
Decree
shallthe
by reason hereof, be removed from office or be demoted to a low
a) Extend speedy and effective assistance to the Department of Agrarian
Reform,
scaleprogram
of salaryofexcept for cause and upon compliance with due process as provide
Land Bank, and other agencies in the implementation of the land reform
the government;
b) Extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration proceedings;
SEC. 10. General functions of Registers of Deeds. The office of the Registe
c)
Be the central repository of records relative to original registration of lands titled
constitutes a public repository of records of instruments affecting registered or unr
under the Torrens system, including subdivision and consolidation plans of titled
lands and chattel mortgages in the province or city wherein such office is situated
lands.

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It shall be the duty of the Register of Deeds to
SEC. 11. Discharge of duties of Register of Deeds in case of
vacancy,
etc.

immediately register an instrument presented for registration dealing


with real
or
1) Until a regular Register of Deeds shall have been appointed for a
personal property
province or city, or in case of vacancy in the office, or upon the

which complies with all the requisites for registration.


occasion

He shall see to it that said instrument bears the proper documentary and
scienceof the absence, illness, suspension, or inability of the
Register of Deeds to discharge his duties, said duties shall be
stamps and that

the same are properly cancelled.


performed by the following officials, in the order in which they are

If the instrument is not registrable, he shall forthwith


mentioned below, unless the Secretary of Justice designates
o
deny registration thereof and
another official to act temporarily in his place:
o
inform the presentor of such denial in writing,
a)
For the province or city where there is a Deputy
o
stating the ground or reason therefor, and
Register of Deeds, by said Deputy Register of Deeds, or
o
advising him of his right to appeal by consulta in accordance with Sectionby the second Deputy Register of Deeds, should there
117 of this Decree.
be one;
b)
For the province or city where there is no Deputy or
Office of the Register of Deeds
second Deputy Register of Deeds, by the Provincial or

Public repository of records of instruments affecting


City Fiscal, or any Assistant Fiscal designated by the
registered or unregistered lands and chattel mortgages in
Provincial or City Fiscal.
the province or city wherein such office is situated
2) In case of absence, disability or suspension of the Register of
Deeds without pay, or in case of vacancy in the position, the
NATURE OF THE DUTIES OF LRA
Secretary of Justice may, in his discretion, authorize the payment
General Rule:Its duty is ministerial those acts of functions that
of an additional compensation to the official acting as Register of
conform to an instruction or a prescribed procedure. They act under
Deeds, such additional compensation together with his actual
the orders of the court and the decree must be in conformity with the
decision of the court and with the data found in the record. If the LRA
salary not to exceed the salary authorized for the position thus
is in doubt as to the issuance and preparation of the decree, it
filled by him.
is their duty to refer the matter to the court. In this sense, they
3) In case of a newly-created province or city and pending
act as officials of the court and not as administrative officials, and their
establishment of a Registry of Deeds and the appointment of a
act is the act of the court. They are specifically called upon to extend
regular Register of Deeds for the new province or city, the
assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration
Register of Deeds of the mother province or city shall be the exproceedings.
officio Register of Deeds for said new province or city.
The validity of the document is not for the register to determine for it is
SEC. 12. Owners Index; reports. There shall be prepared in
a function of a court of competent jurisdiction. Validity is to be decided
every Registry an index system which shall contain the names of all
after the registration in a litigation. In case of doubt, it shall be referred
to the LRA
registered owners alphabetically arranged. For this purpose, an index

LRA shall after notice and hearing, enter an order


card which shall be prepared in the name of each registered owner
prescribing the step to be taken on the doubtful question
which shall contain a list of all lands registered in his name.
which shall be conclusive and binding upon all RoDs
The Register of Deeds shall submit to the Land Registration

Exception: LRA officials may exercise discretion in the following


Commission within ten days after the month to which they pertain his
instances:
monthly reports on collections and accomplishments. He shall also
a) When obeying the courts order would result to double
submit to the Commission at the end of December of each year, an
titling;
annual inventory of all titles and instruments in his Registry.
b) When there are several copies of title but only one is
presented with the instrument to be registered
SEC. 13. Chief Geodetic Engineer. There shall be a Chief
c)
Where the property is presumed to be conjugal but the
Geodetic Engineer in the Land Registration Commission who shall be
instrument of conveyance bears the signature of only one
spouse;
the technical adviser of the Commission on all matters involving
d) Where there is pending case in court where the character of
surveys and shall be responsible to him for all plats, plans and works
the land and the validity of conveyance is in issue;
requiring the services of a geodetic engineer in said office. He shall
o
In this case, the matter of registration may well
perform such other functions as may, from time to time, be assigned to
await the outcome of that case, and in the
him by the Commissioner.
meantime the rights of the interested parties could
be protected by the filing the proper notices of lis
PD 239
pendens.
Only the LAND MANAGEMENT BUREAU has authority to
e) Where required certificates and documents are not
approve original survey plans for registration purposes.
submitted
The grant of authority to the LRC to approve original survey
plans has resulted in wasteful overlapping or duplication of
functions. There was therefore a need to centralize in one
May the RoD be compelled by mandamus?
agency, the LMB, the function of verifying and approving
No. Since the registration is a judicial function, it cannot be compelled
original survey plans for all purposes in order to assure
by mandamus. The interested party must resort to the available
compliance with established standards and minimize
administrative remedy before he can have recourse to the courts.
irregularities in the execution of land surveys
Survey Plan
serves to establish the true identity of the land to ensure
that it does not overlap a parcel of land portion thereof
already covered by previous land registration, and to
forestall the possibility of which by a subsequent registration
of any adjoining land.

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LABURADA V. LRA
FACTS: Spouses Laburada were the applicants for registration of a
parcel of land located in Mandaluyong City, RTC, acting as land
registration court, granted such application. After the finality of the
decision, the Sps filed a motion before the RTC requiring LRA to issue
the corresponding decree of registration, which was then granted by
RTC. However, the LRA refused to do so. To this, the Sps Laburada filed
an action for mandamus.
LRA contends that such refusal is grounded on the fact that a portion of
the subject property was a subject of a land decree in court of land
registration, that if it will be pursued, it will result to double titling
which destroys the policy and purpose of the Torrens System. The SG
sought to have the petition of the Sps Laburada dismissed after it
found out on its investigation that the title issued for the subject lot
cannot be located.
ISSUE: w/n the LRA can be compelled to issue the decree of
registration through an action for mandamus (for ministerial duties)?
NO
HELD:
There are three reasons why Mandamus is not the right remedy
1) JUDGMENT IS NOT YET EXECUTORY
The judgment Sps Laburada seek to enforce is not yet
executory and incontrovertible under the Land Registration
Law. They do not have any clear legal right to implement it.
It was ruled previously that a judgment of registration does
not become incontrovertible until after the expiration of one
year after the entry of the final decree of registration.
2) A VOID JUDGMENT IS POSSIBLE
LRAs refusal to issue a decree is based on documents which,
if verified, may render the judgment of the TC void. To this,
LRAs hesitation to issue a decree is understandable, even
imperative. If it issues the decree, it will destroy the integrity
of the Torrens System. LRA is mandated to refer to the courts
any doubt it may have in regard to the preparation and the
issuance of a decree of registration. They are specifically
called upon to extend assistance to courts in ordinary and
cadastral land registration proceedings. Since in this case,
the subject property has already been decreed by the court
for registration. Hence, LRA is divested of jurisdiction.
3) ISSUANCE OF A DECREE IS NOT A MINISTERIAL ACT
It is part of the judicial function of courts and is not a mere
ministerial act, which may be compelled thorough
mandamus. This is because it is a judicial act involving the
exercise of discretion. Writ of mandamus can only be had
when the plaintiffs legal right to the performance of the
particular act which is sought to be compelled is clear and
complete. But where the right sought to be enforced is in
substantial doubt or dispute, as in this case, mandamus
cannot issue.

Spouses Abrigo filed a case with the RTC for the annulment of
documents, injunction, preliminary injunction, restraining order and
damages against Villafania.

ABRIGO V. DE VERA
Between two buyers of the same immovable property
registered under the Torrens system, the law gives ownership
priority to
the first registrant in good faith
then, the first possessor in good faith; and
finally, the buyer who in good faith presents the oldest title.
This provision, however, does not apply if the property is not registered
under the Torrens system.

Article 1544 of the Civil Code states the law on double sale thus:
Art. 1544. If the same thing should have been sold to different
vendees, the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may
have first taken possession thereof in good faith, if it should be
movable property

FACTS:
Villafania sold a house and lot located Pangasinan to Tigno-Salazar
and Cave-Go covered by a tax declaration. Unknown, however to
Tigno-Salazar and a Cave-Go, Villafania obtained a free patent over the
parcel of land involved. The said free patent was later on cancelled by
a TCT.

Should there be no inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the


person who in good faith was first in the possession; and, in the
absence thereof, to the person who presents the oldest title, provided
there is good faith.

On Oct 16, 1997, Tigno-Salazar and Cave-Go, sold the house and
lot to the Spouses Abrigo.
On Oct 23, 1997, Villafania sold the same house and lot to de Vera .
De Vera registered the sale and as a consequence a TCT was issued in
her name.
De Vera filed an action for Forcible Entry and Damages against
Spouses Abrigo before the MTC.

The parties submitted a Motion for Dismissal in view of their agreement


in the instant (RTC) case that neither of them can physically take
possession of the property in question until the instant case is
terminated. Hence the ejectment case was dismissed.
RTC JUDGMENT
Compromise Agreement approved.
Villafania was given one year from the date of the Compromise
Agreement to buy back the house and lot, and failure to do so would
mean that the previous sale in favor of Tigno-Salazar and Cave-Go
shall remain valid and binding and the plaintiff shall voluntarily vacate
the premises without need of any demand. Villafania failed to buy back
the house and lot, so the [vendees] declared the lot in their name
The RTC rendered the assailed Decision awarding the properties to
Spouses Abrigo as well as damages. Moreover, Villafania was ordered
to pay [petitioners and private respondent] damages and attorneys
fees.
Not contented with the assailed Decision, both parties [appealed to the
CA].
CA JUDGMENT
In its original Decision, the CA held that a void title could not give rise
to a valid one and hence dismissed the appeal of Private Respondent
de Vera. Since Villafania had already transferred ownership to Rosenda
Tigno-Salazar and Rosita Cave-Go, the subsequent sale to De Vera was
deemed void. The CA also dismissed the appeal of Petitioner-Spouses
Abrigo and found no sufficient basis to award them moral and
exemplary damages and attorneys fees.
On reconsideration found Respondent De Vera to be a purchaser in
good faith and for value. The appellate court ruled that she had relied
in good faith on the Torrens title of her vendor and must thus be
protected.
Hence, this Petition.
ISSUE: Who between petitioner-spouses and respondent has a better
right to the property.
HELD: DE VERA
The present case involves what in legal contemplation was a double
sale. Gloria Villafania first sold the disputed property to Tigno-Salazar
and Cave-Go, from whom petitioners, in turn, derived their right.
Subsequently a second sale was executed by Villafania with
Respondent de Vera.

Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the


person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of
Property.

There is no ambiguity in the application of this law with respect to


lands registered under the Torrens system.
In the instant case, both Petitioners Abrigo and respondent registered
the sale of the property. Since neither petitioners nor their
predecessors (Tigno-Salazar and Cave-Go) knew that the property was
covered by the Torrens system, they registered their respective sales
under Act 3344 For her part, respondent registered the transaction
under the Torrens system because, during the sale, Villafania had
presented the transfer certificate of title (TCT) covering the property.
Soriano v. Heirs of Magali23 held that registration must be done in the
proper registry in order to bind the land. Since the property in

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dispute in the present case was already registered under the


Torrens system, petitioners registration of the sale under Act
3344 was not effective for purposes of Article 1544 of the Civil
Code.

throughout (i.e. in ignorance of the first sale and of the first buyers
rights) - from the time of acquisition until the title is transferred to
him by registration, or failing registration, by delivery of
possession.34 (Italics supplied)

More recently, in Naawan Community Rural Bank v. Court of Appeals,24


the Court upheld the right of a party who had registered the sale of
land under the Property Registration Decree, as opposed to another
who had registered a deed of final conveyance under Act 3344. In that
case, the priority in time principle was not applied, because
the land was already covered by the Torrens system at the
time the conveyance was registered under Act 3344. For the
same reason, inasmuch as the registration of the sale to Respondent
De Vera under the Torrens system was done in good faith, this sale
must be upheld over the sale registered under Act 3344 to PetitionerSpouses Abrigo.

Equally important, under Section 44 of PD 1529, every registered


owner receiving a certificate of title pursuant to a decree of
registration, and every subsequent purchaser of registered land taking
such certificate for value and in good faith shall hold the same free
from all encumbrances, except those noted and enumerated in the
certificate. Thus, a person dealing with registered land is not
required to go behind the registry to determine the condition
of the property, since such condition is noted on the face of the
register or certificate of title.Following this principle, this Court has
consistently held as regards registered land that a purchaser in good
faith acquires a good title as against all the transferees thereof whose
rights are not recorded in the Registry of Deeds at the time of the sale.

NOTES:
The principle in Article 1544 of the Civil Code is in full accord with
Section 51 of PD 1529 which provides that no deed, mortgage, lease or
other voluntary instrument except a will purporting to convey or
affect registered land shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the
land until its registration. Thus, if the sale is not registered, it is binding
only between the seller and the buyer but it does not affect innocent
third persons.
Radiowealth Finance Co. v. Palileo25 explained the difference in the
rules of registration under Act 3344 and those under the Torrens
system in this wise:
Under Act No. 3344, registration of instruments affecting
unregistered lands is without prejudice to a third party with a better
right. The aforequoted phrase has been held by this Court to mean
that the mere registration of a sale in ones favor does not give
him any right over the land if the vendor was not anymore the
owner of the land having previously sold the same to
somebody else even if the earlier sale was unrecorded.
The case of Carumba vs. Court of Appeals is a case in point. It was
held therein that Article 1544 of the Civil Code has no application
to land not registered under Act No. 496. Like in the case at bar,
Carumba dealt with a double sale of the same unregistered land. The
first sale was made by the original owners and was unrecorded while
the second was an execution sale that resulted from a complaint for a
sum of money filed against the said original owners. Applying [Section
33], Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court, this Court held that Article
1544 of the Civil Code cannot be invoked to benefit the purchaser at
the execution sale though the latter was a buyer in good faith and even
if this second sale was registered. It was explained that this is
because the purchaser of unregistered land at a sheriffs
execution sale only steps into the shoes of the judgment
debtor, and merely acquires the latters interest in the
property sold as of the time the property was levied upon.
Applying this principle, x x x the execution sale of unregistered land in
favor of petitioner is of no effect because the land no longer belonged
to the judgment debtor as of the time of the said execution sale.
3. Good-Faith Requirement
We have consistently held that Article 1544 requires the second buyer
to acquire the immovable in good faith and to register it in good faith.
Mere registration of title is not enough; good faith must concur with the
registration.We explained the rationale in Uraca v. Court of Appeals,
which we quote:
Under the foregoing, the prior registration of the disputed property by
the second buyer does not by itself confer ownership or a better right
over the property. Article 1544 requires that such registration
must be coupled with good faith. Jurisprudence teaches us that
(t)he governing principle is primus tempore, potior jure (first in time,
stronger in right). Knowledge gained by the first buyer of the second
sale cannot defeat the first buyers rights except where the second
buyer registers in good faith the second sale ahead of the first, as
provided by the Civil Code. Such knowledge of the first buyer does not
bar her from availing of her rights under the law, among them, to
register first her purchase as against the second buyer. But in
converso, knowledge gained by the second buyer of the first sale
defeats his rights even if he is first to register the second sale, since
such knowledge taints his prior registration with bad faith. This is the
price exacted by Article 1544 of the Civil Code for the second buyer
being able to displace the first buyer; that before the second buyer can
obtain priority over the first, he must show that he acted in good faith

CHAPTER III
(ORDINARY REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS)
SECTION 14
Section 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the
proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to
land, whether personally or through their duly authorized
representatives:
(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-ininterest have been in open, continuous, 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, 1945, or earlier.
(2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by
prescription under the provision of existing laws.
(3) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or
abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion under
the existing laws.
(4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner
provided for by law.
Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file
the application jointly.
Where the land has been sold under pacto de retro, the vendor a
retro may file an application for the original registration of the
land, provided, however, that should the period for redemption
expire during the pendency of the registration proceedings and
ownership to the property consolidated in the vendee a retro, the
latter shall be substituted for the applicant and may continue the
proceedings.
A trustee on behalf of his principal may apply for original
registration of any land held in trust by him, unless prohibited by
the instrument creating the trust.
Registration the entry of instruments or deeds in book or public
registry. To register, means to enter in a register, to record formally or
distinctly, to enroll; to enter in a list.
Original Certificate of Title (OCT) The first title issued in the name
of a registered owner by the ROD over a parcel of land registered
under the Torrens System by virtue of
a) Judicial or
b) Administrative proceedings.
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Subsequent issuance of ROD
pursuant to any voluntary and involuntary instrument relating to the
same land.
Note: Registration proceedings may be in rem or in personam. The
following are its distinctions.
In rem Binds the whole world
In personam To enforce a personal right against a person
Quasi in rem Deals with status, ownership or liability of a particular
property. It only operates on the question between the parties.This is
not to ascertain or cut off the rights or interests of all possible
claimants.

SECTION 14 (1) OCENPO


-Registration under the first paragraph of Section 14 requires the
concurrence of the following
REQUISITES:

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(1) Land applied for is an agricultural public land classified as
alienable and disposable land at the time;
(2) Application for registration is filed with the proper court;
(3) Applicant, by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, has
been in OCENPO thereof, under bona fide claim of ownership;
(4) Such possession and occupation has been effected since June
12, 1945 or earlier.
SECTION 14 (2) PRESCRIPTION
PRESCRIPTION
an
extraordinary
mode
of
acquiring or losing of ownership
and other real rights through the
lapse of time in the manner and
under the conditions laid down by
law.
A matter of time
It is statutory
It is based on law
based on a fixed time

LACHES
the unreasonable delay in the
bringing of a cause of action
before the courts of justice. It is
also referred to as sleeping on
your rights
A question of equity
not statutory
based on equity
the period varies
on a case-to-case basis

The basis for Sec. 14 (2) is found in Article 1113 of the Civil Code
Article 1113. All things which are within the commerce of men
are susceptible of prescription, unless otherwise provided.
Property of the State or any of its subdivisions not patrimonial
in character shall not be the object of prescription.
Maam: You have to be specific, because not all lands of public domain
are inalienable. Patrimonial properties of the State are still considered
public domain.
Patrimonial property Property owned by the State but which is not
devoted to public use, public service, or the development of national
wealth. It is wealth owned by the State in its private capacity.
For private lands, which are patrimonial properties of the
State, to be acquired via prescription, the following must
concur:
1) Ordinary Acquisitive Prescription, 10 years possession in good
faith and with just title; or
2) Extraordinary Acquisitive Prescription, uninterrupted adverse
possession of patrimonial property for at least 30 years,
regardless of good faith and just title; and There must be an
express declaration by the State that the public dominion
property is no longer intended for public service or the
development of the national wealth
MALABANAN V. REPUBLIC

Facts:
In 1998, Mario Malabanan filed an application for land registration
covering a parcel of land located in Silang Cavity. Malabanan claimed
that he purchased the land from Eduardo Velazco, and that he and
his predecessors-in-interest had been in OCENPO of the land for more
than 30 years.
Aristedes Velazco, Malabanans witness, testified before the court
that the property originally belonged to a 22- hectare property owned
by Lino Velazco, her great-grandfather. Lino had 4 sons Benedicto,
Gregorio, Eduardo and Esteban. Esteban is Aristedes grandfather. The
property was divided among the 4 of them.
In 1996, Magdalena, Estebans wife, became the administrator of all
the properties of the Velazco sons. After Esteban and Magdalena died,
their son Virgilio succeded them in administering the properties,
including the subject land, which is owned by his uncle, Eduardo
Velazco. Eduardo sold this to Malabanan.
Also, a certificate issued by CENRO, DENR dated JUNE 1, 2001 was
presented verifying the said land as A and D. RTC ruled in favor of
Malabanan. Republic appealed, now represented by the OSG, CA
reversed the decision of the RTC.
Issue/Ruling:
AS TO THE ISSUE ON WHETHER OR NOT THE LAND, IN ORDER
TO BE REGISTRABLE UNDER SECTION 14 (1) OF PD 1529,
SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED AS A&D AS OF JUNE 12, 1945.
The OSG contends that all lands certified as A&D after June 12, 1945
cannot be registered either under Sec. 14 (1) of PD 1529 sec. 48 (b) of
Public Land Act.
The SC said such interpretation renders the mentioned provision
virtually inoperative and even precludes the government form giving it
effect even as it decides to reclassify public agricultural lands as A&D.
Such unreasonableness

is aggravated of the fact the before June 12, 1945, Philippines was not
yet even considered an independent state. The SC cited the case of
Naguit. Such decision provides that the Sec. 14 (1) of PD 1529 only
requires the property sought to be registered as already A&D
at the time the application for registration of title is filed.
If the State has not yet released the land as A&D at the time of the
application, it is presumed that the State is still reserving its right to
utilize the property. But in this case, the property was already classified
as A&D, this shows an intention of the State to abdicate its authority
over the land.

AS TO THE ISSUE ON WHETHER OR NOT A LAND CLASSIFIED AS


A&D BE DEEMED PRIVATE LAND AND THEREFORE SUSCEPTIBLE
TO ACQUISITION BY PRESCRIPTION.
In this case, the petitioners primarily based their registration bid on
Sec. 14 (2) of PD 1529 or prescription.
Article 1113 of the Civil Code provides that All things which are within
the commerce of men are susceptible of prescription, unless otherwise
provided. Property of the State or any of its subdivisions not
patrimonial in character shall not be the object of prescription.
SC said, unlike Sec 14(1), Sec 14 (2) explicitly refers to the principles
on prescription under existing laws. The SC also said that the rules on
prescription under the Civil Code is applicable in Sec 14 (2).Article
1113 of the Civil Code says that only the patrimonial property of the
state can be subject to prescription. Also it is clear that land which is
part of public dominion cannot be alienated even if it is declared A&D.
There must be a declaration of the State that the public dominion
property is no longer intended for the development of the national
wealth or that the property has been converted into patrimonial for the
period of prescription to run. Without these, the property remains to be
of public dominion.
Section 14 (1) mandates registration on the basis of possession while
Sec. 14 (2) entitles registration on the basis of prescription.
Registration under Section 14 (1) is extended under the aegis of the
Property Registration Decree and the Public Land Act, while registration
under Section 14 (2) is made available both by the Property
Registration Decree and the Civil Code.
Also, Registration under Sec. 48 (b) of Public Land Act is based on
possession,
Sec. 14 (2) of PD 1529 is founded on extraordinary prescription
under the Civil Code. The rules on prescription under the Civil Code do
not apply to Sec 14 (1) since there is no such intent manifested by the
legislature and that PD 1529 is neither superior nor inferior than Civil
Code, legislature is not bound to adhere on Civil Code framework.
AS TO THE ISSUE ON WHETHER OR NOT MALABANAN IS
ENTITLED TO REGISTER THE PROPERTY BASED ON SECTION 14
(1) OR SECTION 14(2) OF PD 1529 OR BOTH.
The SC said that the evidence presented is insufficient to establish that
Malabanan thas acquired ownership over the subject property under
Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Act. There is no substantive evidence
to establish that Malabanan or his predecessors-in-interest have been
in possession of the property since June, 12, 1945 or earlier. The
earliest that petitioners can date back their possession, as evidenced a
tax declaration, is to the year 1848. Therefore, they cannot register the
land under Sec. 14 (1). Neither can petitioners properly invoke Section
14 (2) as basis for registration. While the subject property was declared
A&D in 1982, there is no competent evidence that is no longer
intended for public use, public service, or for the development of the
national wealth. The classification of the subject property as
A&D land of the public domain does not change its status as
property of the public dominion. Thus, it is insusceptible to
acquisition by prescription
RP V. CA AND NAGUIT
Section 14 (1) merely requires the property sought to be
registered as already alienable and disposable at the time the
application for registration of title is filed. A contrary interpretation
renders par. (1) Section 14 virtually inoperative and even precludes the
government from giving it effect even as it decides to reclassify public
agricultural lands as A&D.

SEC. 14 (3) ACCESSION AND ACCRETION


A. Accession Refers to the right of an owner of a thing to its
products as well as whatever is inseparably attached thereto as
an accessory. The accessory follows the principal.

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Basis in the Civil Code


Article 440. The ownership of property gives the right by
accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is
incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially.
Requisites of Accession (applies to lakes, creeks, and streams):
1.
That the deposit be gradual and imperceptible;
2.
That it be made through the effects of the current of the
water;
3.
That the land where the accretion takes place is adjacent to
the banks of the river.
B.

Accretion and Alluvion


Accretion defined as the addition of portions of soil, by gradual
deposition through the operation of natural causes, to that
already in the possession of the owner. (Blacks Law)
Alluvion It refers to the accretion made by flow of rivers. A form
of accession natura , which is provided for in Articles 457 and 461.
Article 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers
belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects
of the current of the waters.
Article 461. River beds which are abandoned through the natural
change in the course of the waters ipso facto belong to the
owners whose lands are occupied by the new course in proportion
to the area lost. However, the owners of the lands adjoining the
old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by paying the
value thereof, which value shall not exceed the value of the area
occupied by the new bed.
Requisites of Accretion or Alluvion:
1) The change must be sudden;
2) The changing of the course must be more or less permanent,
and not temporary over flooding of anothers land;
3) The change of the river must be a natural one, not by
artificial means;
4) There must be definite abandonment by the government;
5) The river must continue to exist, that is, it must not
completely dry up or disappear.
Rationale of the law on accretion:
It is primarily anchored on the principle or right of accession
in Art. 457. Also, to compensate the owner for the danger of
loss that he suffers because of the location of his lands.

ACQUISITION OF OWNERSHIP IN ANY MANNTER PROVIDED


FOR BY LAW
o
RESERVATION FOR SPECIFIC PUBLIC
PURPOSE

GRANDE V. CA
5 SCRA 524
Facts:
Petitioners Grande are the owners of a parcel of land located in the
Municipality of Magsaysay, province of Isabela. They inherited the said
land from their mother who inherited the same from her parents. The
land is registered in the name of the parents of their mother. When it
was surveyed for purposes of registration in 1930, the northeastern
boundary was the Cagayan River. Since then, a gradual accretion on
the northeastern side took place, by action of the current of the
Cagayan River. That by 1958, an alluvial deposit of 19, 964 square
meters, more or less, had been added to the registered area.
In 1958, Grandes filed an action to quiet title to said portion formed by
accretion. They alleged that they and their predecessor-in-interest were
formerly in peaceful and continuous possession of the said land until
the Calalungs entered upon the said land under claim of ownership in
1948. The Calalungs, on the other hand, asserts that they have been in
continuous, open, and undisturbed possession of the land since prior to
the year 1933 up to the present.
RTC ruled in favor of the Grandes and ordered Calalungs to vacate the
premises. The lower court said that the land in question being an
accretion to the mother or registered land, the same belongs to
Grandes. That the same cannot be acquired by prescription since it is
considered a registered property under Section 46, Act 496, hence, it
could not be acquired by prescription. CA overturned RTCs decision
saying that prescription has already set in favor of the Calalungs.

Issue: WON Calalungs acquired the alluvial property in question


through prescription?
Ruling:
It is undisputed that under Art. 457 of the Civil Code, petitioners
Grande are the lawful owners of said alluvial property, as they are the
registered owners of the land which it adjoins. Any alluvial deposits
adjoining ones land does not become ipso facto registered land.
Ownership of a piece of land is one thing, and registration under
Torrens system of that ownership is quite another. To obtain the
protection of imprescriptibility, the land must be placed under the
operation of the registration laws where in certain judicial procedures
have been provided.
In this case, Grandes never sought registration of said alluvial property
until the present action. The increment, therefore, never became
registered property, and hence is not entitled to the protection of
imprescriptibility, which means it was subject to acquisition through
prescription by 3rd persons. Furthermore, in this case, the CA found
that Calalungs were in possession of the alluvial lot since 1933 or 1934
until 1958. The law on prescription applicable to the case is that
provided in Act 190 and not the provisions of the Civil Code since the
New Civil Code rules on prescription were not yet in force. The SC
finally said that Calalungs acquired
the alluvial lot in question by acquisitive prescription.
Alluvial formation along the seashore forms part of the public
domain
- It may only be disposed of if there is a formal declaration by the
government that the same is A and D. Its
disposition falls under the exclusive supervision and control of the Land
Management Bureau.
SEC. 14 (4) IN ANY OTHER MANNER PROVIDED FOR BY LAW
1) Presidential proclamation reserving lands for specific
public purpose

The president has the authority to set aside lands from


sale/public acquisition and reserve them to public use, even
though this might defeat the imperfect right of a settler.
Lands covered by reservation are not subject to entry and
may not be the subject of lawful settlement.
Example:
1) Proclamation 791. It set aside a parcel of land for the University of
the Philippines College of Agriculture even though a loggercorporation had been possessing the land by virtue of a timber
license. (International hardwood vs. University of the Phil.)
2) Proclamation 350 was a land grant to the Mindanao Medical
Center even though the occupant possessed a sales patent.
(Republic & Mindanao Medical Center vs. CA)
3) Proclamation 180 set aside a parcel of land upon which a public
school was to be built. The occupant could not prove OCENPO and
could not therefore assert a superior right over the school.
(Republic vs. Doldol)

RP BY MINDANAO MEDICAL CENTER V. CA


FACTS:
In 1921, Eugenio de Jesus, the father of respondent Alejandro de
Jesus, applied with Bureau of Lands for Sales Patent of a land situated
in Davao City, the subject property applied for was a portion of what
was known as Davao Cadastre. Bureau of Lands accepted sealed bids
for the purchase of the land. The Director of Lands annulled the auction
sale by reason of non-participation of Eugenio due to non-service of
notice.
Bidding was held where Eugenio was the lone bidder, he equaled the
bid previously submitted by Dr. Ebro which is P100.50 per hectare. An
order of award was then given to Eugenio. Thereafter, A survey was
conductedand the same was approved. In 1936, the DL ordered the
amendment of the Sales Application of Eugenio saying that a portion of
the property is needed by the Philippine Army for military campsite.
The area excluded was identified was Lot 1176 B 2, the land in
question which consists of 12.8 hectares. In the same year, President
Manuel Quezon issued Proclamation No. 85 withdrawing the
subject lot from sale
and settlement and reserving it for military purposes. Then,
Eugenio paid for the installment for the Sales Patent, this payment did
not include the military campsite after it was excluded from the
application. Finally, in 1948, the Sales Patent was awarded to him by
DL and by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Subsequently,
President
Ramon
Magsaysay
revoked

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Proclamation No. 85 which opened the subject property to


disposition under the provisions of the Public Land Act for
resettlement of the squatters. However, the same revocation was
superseded by another order reserving the lot for medical
center site. In 1969, Mindanao Medical Center applied for the
registration of the land under Torrens System claiming a fee simple
title. Respondents De Jesus opposed the registration on the ground
that his father has prior vested right on the property.
RTC Davao ruled in favor of MMC. CA overturned RTCs decision
recognizing De Jesus alleged vested right.
ISSUE: WON De Jesus has vested right and is consequently entitled to
the registration of the property in dispute?
RULING:
No. President Magsaysays proclamation (No. 350) legally effected a
land grant to MMC of the whole lot and not only a portion thereof. Such
land grant amounts to a fee simple title or absolute title in
favor of MMC.
Section 64 (e) of the Revised Administrative Code empowers the
president to reserve from sale or other disposition to the private
domain of the Government of the Philippines, the use of which is not
otherwise directed by law. The land reserved shall be used for the
specific purposes directed by such Executive Order until otherwise
provided by law.
Section 83 of the Public Land Act authorizes the President to issue
proclamation to declare lands reserved for public use or when the
public interest requires it.
It is true that Proclamation No. 350 states that the same is subject to
"privilege rights, if any there be," but Eugenio de Jesus or his son
Alejandro de Jesus failed to prove any private rights over the property
reserved. Wee-settled is the rule that unless the applicant has shown
by clear and convincing evidence that a certain portion of the public
domain was acquired by him or his ancestors either by composition
title from the Spanish Government or by possessory information title,
or any other means for the acquisition of public lands, such as grants
or patents, the property must be held to be part of the public domain
Even on the gratuitous assumption that a donation of the military
"camp site" was executed between Eugenior de Jesus and Serafin
Marabut, such donation would anyway be void, because Eugenior de
jesus held no dominical rights over the site when it was allegedly
donated by him in 1936.

B. LAND ACQUISITION BY PRIVATE CORPORATIONS


Ownership by Corporations
History
1935
It allowed private juridical entities to acquire alienable
Constitut
lands of public domain, which shall only be less than 1,
ion
024 hectares.
1973
Section 11, Article 14 of the said constitution stated that
Constitut
no private corporation xxx may hold alienable lands
ion
except by lease not to exceed 1000 hectares in
area.
1987
Section 3, Article 12 retained the 1973 Constitutions
Constitut
limitations, but added lease period not exceeding 25
ion
years and renewable for not more than 25 years.
General Rule: Corporations are disqualified from owning alienable
lands of public domain except through lease.
Exception: Where at the time the Corporation acquired the land, its
predecessors-in-interest have complied with OCENPO as to entitle him
registration in his name. The Constitutional prohibition will no longer
apply as the land, by virtue of prescription has become private. (Suzi
vs. Razon)

DOL V. IAC AND ACME PLYWOOD AND VENEER


146 SCRA 509
Facts:
In 1981, Acme Plywood and Veneers Co. Inc. applied for a land
registration of 5 parcels (481, 390 sqm) of land it allegedly acquired
from Mariano and Acer Infiel, both member of the Dumagat tribe. The

Infiels substantiates their ownership saying that their ancestors have


possessed and occupied the land from generation to generation until it
came into their possession. Acme contended in its application that
their adverse and continuous possession since 1962 and by tacking
their possession to that of the possession of the Infiels, they have
already acquired title over it; that the ownership of lands by
corporations is governed by the 1935 Constitution. Acme further
proves that the subject land is a private land after it ownership was
given to the non-Christian tribes pursuant to RA 3872. That also,
they have introduced more than 45 million pesos worth of
improvements on the land. Also that their ownership is recognized by
Municipality of Isabela through the donation it made which was
accepted by the former.
The Director of Lands opposed to nothing of the allegations except the
applicability of the 1935 Constitution. DL contends that the registration
was commenced only in 1981 which was long after the 1973
Constitution took effect.
Article 14 Section 11 of the 1973 Constitution prohibits private
corporations or associations from holding alienable lands of the public
domain, except by lease not to exceed 1,000 hectares. This
proscription is not found in the 1935 Constitution which was in force
the time Acme bought the land in question. Hence, it cannot be
registered under Sec. 48 of CA 141. RTC and CA ruled in favor of the
Director of Lands.
Issue: WON the title Infiels transferred to Acme in 1962 could be
confirmed in favor of Acme? And WON 1973 Constitution should apply?
Ruling:
The land was already private land to which the Infiels had a legally
sufficient transferable title in 1962 when Acme purchased it. Acme also
had a perfect right to make such acquisition, there being nothing in the
1935 constitution prohibiting Corporations from acquiring and owning
private lannds. Even if the land remained technically public land
despite immemorial possession of the Infiels and their ancestors, until
title in their favor was actually confirmed in appropriate proceedings
under the Public Land Act, there can be no question to Acmes right to
acquire the same since there is no prohibition for corporation to
acquire incomplete or imperfect title. The only limitation was
that corporations could not hold or lease public agricultural
lands in excess of 1, 024. 1973 Constitution also cannot defeat
a right already vested before the law came into effect, or
invalidate transaction then perfectly valid and proper
What is a Corporation Sole?

It is a special form of corporation usually associated with the


clergy. It consists of one person only, and his successors (who
will always be one at a time), who are incorporated by law to
give them some legal capacity to administer church properties
that come into their possession.

They are not treated as ordinary private corporation. As by the


nature of its incorporation, it is empowered by law to purchase
and hold real estate and personal property.
Vested rights

It is some right or interest in property, which has become fixed


and established and no longer open to doubt or controversy. It
cannot be impaired without violating ones right to due process.

Judicial confirmation of Imperfect or Incomplete Titles


AYOG VS. CUSI
146 SCRA 15

FACTS:
In 1953, the Director of Lands granted Binan Development Co., Inc. its
Sales Application of the land located in Davao City with an area of
250 hectares. There were protesters but then their protest was
dismissed by the Director and ordered them to vacate the subject lot.
No appeal was made from the decision. Despite that, the squatters
defied the Director of Lands order to vacate. An ejectment suit was
brought which caused the delay of the issuance of the patent.
The Director of Lands recommended to the Secretary of Natural
Resources the approval of the Sales Patent saying that the Corporation
had complied with the said requirements long before the effectivity of
the 1973 Constitution, that the land in question was free from claims
and conflicts and that the issuance of the patent was legal, and the
said issuance is an exception to the prohibition of ownership by private
corporation.

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The Secretary of Natural Resources noted that the applicant had


acquired a vested right to issuance. Subsequently, the ejectment suit
was decided in favor of the corporation. However, the squatters
alleged that the adoption of the 1973 Constitution was a
supervening fact that will make the issuance of patent illegal
since no private corporation is allowed to hold alienable lands
of the public domain except by lease not to exceed 1,000
hectares.

"once a parcel of land is declared or adjudged public land by the court


having jurisdiction x x x it cannot be the subject anymore of another
land registration proceeding x x x (that) it is only the Director of Lands
who can dispose of the same by sale, by lease, by free patent or by
homestead."

ISSUE: WON BInan Development Corporation may validly acquire the


Sales Patent despite the prohibition embodied in the 1973
Constitution? Yes.

ISSUE:
whether the 1949 judgment in the previous case, denying the
application of Vicente S. de Villa, Sr., and declaring the 107 hectares in
question to be public land, precludes a subsequent application by an
alleged possessor for judicial confirmation of title on the basis of
continuous possession for at least thirty years, pursuant to Section 48,
subsection (b) of the Public Land Law, C.A. 141, as amended.

RULING:
The said constitutional prohibition has no retroactive application to the
sales application of Binan Corp. because it has already acquired a
vested right to the land applied for at the time of the 1973 Constitution
took effect. Such vested right has to be respected. It could not be
abrogated by the new Constitution.
A vested right is defined as when the right to enjoyment has become
the property of some person as a present interest, or, it is some right
or interest in property which has become fixed and established and is
no longer open to doubt or controversy. In this case, it is undisputed
that prior to the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, the right of the
corporation to purchase the land in question had become fixed and
established and was no longer open to doubt or controversy. Its
compliance with the requirements of the Public Land Law had the
effect of segregating the said land from public domain. The petitioners
contention that their predecessors-in-interest have possessed the
property should fail, the SC said, they should have applied for patent
applications if it is true.

ZARA V. DOL
FACTS:
"application for registration of the parcel of land consisting of
On August 4, 1960 appellants filed an application for registration of
107 hectares parcel of land pursuant to the provisions of Act 496.
They alleged that the land had been inherited by them from their
grandfather, Pelagio Zara, who in turn acquired the same under a
Spanish grant known as "Composicion de Terrenos Realengos" issued in
1888. Alternatively, should the provisions of the Land
Registration Act be not applicable, applicants invoke the
benefits of the provisions of Chapter VIII, Section 48,
subsection (b) of C.A. 141 as amended, on the ground that they and
their predecessor-in-interest had been in continuous and adverse
possession of the land in concept of owner for more than 30 years
immediately preceding the application.
Oppositions were filed by the Director of Lands, the Director of Forestry
and by Vicente V. de Villa, Jr. The latter's opposition recites:
x x x that the parcel of land sought to be registered by the applicants
consisting of 107 hectares, more or less, was included in the area of
the parcel of land applied for registration by Vicente S. de Villa, Sr. in
Civil Case No. 26, L.R. Case No. 601 in this Court, which was decided by
this same Court through the then incumbent Judge, the Honorable Juan
P. Enriquez, on September 30, 1949; that the parcel sought to be
registered by the applicants was declared public land in said
decision; that they (the oppositors Vicente V. de Villa, Jr. and Vicente S.
de Villa, Sr.) have an interest over the land in question because for a
period more than sixty (60) years, the de Villas have been in
possession, and which possession, according to them, was OCENCO
that the proceeding being in rem, the failure of the applicants to
appear at the case No. 26, L.R. Case No. 601 to prove their imperfect
and incomplete title over the property, barred them from raising the
same issue in another case; and that as far as the decision in Civil Case
No. 26, L.R. Case No. 601 which was affirmed in the appellate court in
CA-G.R. No. 5847-R is concerned, there is already "res-judicata" in
other words, the cause of action of the applicant is now barred by prior
judgment; and that this Court has no more jurisdiction over the subject
matter, the decision of the Court in said case having transferred to the
Director of Lands.
On November 15, 1960 the De Villas (De Villa, Sr. was subsequently
included as oppositor) filed a motion to dismiss, invoking the same
grounds alleged in its opposition, but principally the fact that the land
applied for had already been declared public land by the judgment in
the former registration case.
The trial court, over the objection of the applicants, granted the motion
to dismiss by order dated January 27, 1961, holding, inter alia, that

In the present appeal from the order of dismissal neither the Director of
Lands nor the Director of Forestry filed a brief as appellee.

HELD:
Section 48, subsection (b) of the Public Land Law, C.A. 141, as
amended.
The right to file an application under the foregoing provision has been
extended by Republic Act No. 2061 to December 31, 1968.
It should be noted that appellants' application is in the alternative:
- for registration of their title of ownership under Act 496 or
- for judicial confirmation of their "imperfect" title or claim based
on adverse and continuous possession for at least thirty years.
It may be that although they were not actual parties in that
previous case the judgment therein is a bar to their claim as
owners under the first alternative, since the proceeding was in
rem, of which they and their predecessor had constructive
notice by publication. Even so this is a defense that properly
pertains to the Government, in view of the fact that the judgment
declared the land in question to be public land.
In any case, appellants' imperfect possessory title was not
disturbed or foreclosed by such declaration, for precisely the
proceeding contemplated in the aforecited provision of
Commonwealth Act 141 presupposes that the land is public.
The basis of the decree of judicial confirmation authorized therein is
not that the land is already privately owned and hence no longer part
of the public domain, but rather that by reason of the claimant's
possession for thirty years he is conclusively presumed to have
performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant.
On the question of whether or not the private oppositors-appellees
have the necessary personality to file an opposition, we find in their
favor, considering that they also claim to be in possession of the land,
and have furthermore applied for its purchase from the Bureau of
Lands.
Wherefore, the order appealed from is set aside and the case is
remanded to the Court a quo for trial and judgment on the merits, with
costs against the private oppositors-appellees.
JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT TITLES
(SECTION 48 (b) of CA 141)
Period of possession for Judicial Confirmation of imperfect
title:
Historical Background
LAW
DATE OF
RULE
EFFECTIVIT
Y
PLA- 926
Oct. 17,
OCENPO of agricultural lands for 10
1903
years before the effectivity of this Act
2nd PLA
Nov. 29,
OCENPO of agricultural lands
2874
1919
(excluding timber and mineral lands) of
the public domain, under bona fide
claim of acquisition of ownership, since
JULY 26, 1894
RPLA 141
Dec. 1, 1936
Possession and occupation of lands of
the public domain since JULY 26, 1984
only limited to Filipinos
RA 1942
June 22,
Possession and occupation for atleast
1957
30 years immediately preceding the
filing of the application
PD 1073
January 25,
Land must be A&D (not anymore
1977
agricultural lands of the public
domain, it must be possessed and
occupied since June 12, 1945

The amendment from agricultural lands to A & D is not a


substantial amendment because only agricultural lands are

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alienable. The prevailing rule for OCENPO is not anymore 30
years. It is now since June 12, 1945 or earlier. The amendment
was made to jive with Sec. 14(1) of PD 1529.
Did PD 1529 and PD 1073 (which removed the 30 yr
requirement for OCENPO) preclude application for registration
of alienable lands of public domain commenced only after June
12, 1945?

No, considering Section 14(2) still allows acquisition of alienable


lands of public domain through prescription. In civil law,
prescription is one of the wars of acquiring public land. So even if
the possession was commenced later than June 12, 1945, you
may still qualify under Section 14(2).
Requirements for Judicial Confirmation of Imperfect Title
1) The land must form part of the A&D agricultural lands of the
public domain;
2) Applicant must have been in OCENPO
3) Under a bona fide claim of ownership since time immemorial
or since June 12, 1945
RA 8371
Oct. 29, 1997
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT
CARINO V. INSULAR

Contentions of RA 8371s unconstitutionality:


1.
It violates the inalienability of Natural Resources and of Public
Domains. That this is in contravention to Section 2, Art. 12 of the
Constitution that only agricultural lands of the public domain can
be considered as alienable and disposable lands.
2.
No land area limits are specified - That 4/5 of the countrys natural
resources and 1/3 of the countrys land will be concentrated to 12
Million IPs, and while 60 million other Filipinos will share the
remaining. These figures violates the constitutional principle of a
more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth
among Filipinos.
3.
It abdicates the State Duty to take Full Control and Supervision of
Natural Resources
4.
Public Domains and Natural Resources are owned by the State
and Cannot be Alienated or Ceded
Ancestral Domain- refers to all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs
comprising lands, inland waters, coastal areas, and natural resources
therein
Ancestral Land refers to land occupied, possessed and utilized by
individuals, families, and clans who are members of the ICCs/IPs since
time immemorial, by themselves or through their predecessors-ininterest, under claims of individual or traditional ownership

Facts:
Carino applied for the registration of a parcel of land located in
Benguet province. Carino alleges that:
a.
His predecessors has been in the possession of the land for more
than 50 years.
b.
He was inherited the land under the Igorot customs.
However, it was not shown that Carino has a document of title to prove
ownership such as royal grant. The dispute arose when the government
opposed the registration contending that the land in question belonged
to the State.
That the Spanish law provides that all lands belonged to the Spanish
Crown (Jura Regalia), and it could not have been acquired by Carino
since prescription does not lie against the crown.

Native Title- refers to pre-conquest rights to lands and domains,


which, as far back as memory reaches, have been held under claim of
private ownership by ICCs/IPs.

Issue: WON Carinos application should be granted? YES.


Ruling:
Law and justice require that the applicant should be granted title. The
Supreme Court of the United States through Justice Holmes had this to
say: It might perhaps be proper and sufficient to say that when, as
far as testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by
individuals under a claim of private ownership. It will be presumed to
have been held in the same way from before the Spanish Conquest,
and never to have been in Public Land. It was further ruled that
Carinos kind of title, a native title, is an exception to Jura Regalia.

Ownership over the natural resources STILL belong to the


State
ICCs/IPs are merely granted the right to manage and
conserve them for future generation. The rights of IPs take
the form of management and stewardship

CRUZ V. DENR
FACTS:
Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa, petitioners, assailed the
constitutionality of certain provisions of RA 8371 ( Indigenous Peoples
Rights Act of 1997) together with its implementing rules and
regulations. The OSG also commented that IPRA is partly
unconstitutional on the ground that it grants ownership over natural
resources to indigenous people.
On the other hand, CHR asserts that IPRA is an expression of the
principle of parens patriae and that the State has the responsibility to
protect and guarantee the rights of those who are at a serious
disadvantage like indigenous people. For this reason, it prays that the
petition be dismissed. Petitioners Cruz and Europa countered the
constitutionality of IPRA and its implementing rules on the ground that
they amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over
lands of the public domain as well as minerals and other natural
resources. Also, that the law is in violation of the Regalian Doctrine
embodied in the Constitution.
Also, petitioners contended that, by providing for an all-encompassing
definition of ancestral domains and ancestral lands, it might
include private lands found within the said areas.
Issue:WON IPRA is unconstitutional as it contravenes Regalian
Doctrine?
Ruling: NO, IPRA is held to be constitutional.
After due deliberation on the petition, 7 members of the court voted to
dismiss the petition, and 7 members of the court voted to grant the
same.
The case was redeliberated upon, however, the votes remained the
same. According to the Rules of Civil Procedure, the petition has to be
dismissed. The constitutionality of IPRA is upheld.
Justice Panganibans Dissenting Opinion:

Time Immemorial period of time when as far back as memory can


go, certain IPs are known to have occupied, possessed in the concept
of owner
IPRA connotes group or communal ownership. Ancestral
domains are private, but community property

Private- since it is not part of the public domain

Community ancestral domain is owned in common and


not by 1 particular person

Modes of Acquisition of Ancestral domains and ancestral lands


by the IP
a) Applicant must be a member of indigenous cultural group;
b) He must have been in possession of an individually-owned
ancestral land for not less than 30 years
c)
By operation of law (IPRA), the land is already classified as
A&D land, even if it has a slop of 18% hence there is no need
to submit a separate certification that the land is A&D
Transfer
1)
2)
3)

of land or property rights


Only the members of the ICCs/IPs
In accord with customary laws and customs
Subject to the right of redemption of the ICCs/IPs for a period
of 15 years if the land was transferred to a non-member of
ICCs/IPs

Mining Operations on Ancestral Land


General Rule: Not allowed
Exception: If the ICCs concerned consent to it
In the event of an agreement of mining operations
1) Parties shall agree upon the Royalty payment
2) The Royalty payment shall form part of trust fund for the
socio-economic well-being of the ICC
Members of the cultural communities are given priority in awarding of
SMALL-SCALE MINING CONTRACTS- Sec. 7, 7076
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
1) Jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving the
rights of ICCs/IPs
o
Condition precedent to the acquisition of
jurisdictions: Exhaustion of all remedies provided
under their customary laws and a certification
from
the
Council
of
Elders/Leaders
who
participated in the attempt to settle the dispute
and that it was not resolved.
2) It has the authority to issue Certificates of Ancestral
Lands Title (CALT) and Certificates of Ancestral
Domain Title (CADT)

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3) It has OEJ over petition for cancellation of CADT and
CALT alleged to have been fraudulently acquired to
any person
4) Issuance of certification as a precondition to grant of
permit for disposition
5) Power to cite for contempt and issue restraining
orders
Ancestral Domains Office
Responsible for identification, delineation, and recognition of
ancestral lands/domains

CERTIFICATE OF LAND TRANSFER,


AFFIDAVIT OF NON-TENANCY

EMANCIPATION

PATENT,

SEC. 104. Provisional Register of Documents. The Department


of Agrarian Reform shall prepare by automate data processing a special
registry book to be known as the Provisional Register of
Documents issued under PD-27 which shall be kept and
maintained in every Registry of Deeds throughout the country.
Said Registry Book shall be a register of:
a) All Certificates of Land Transfer (CLT) issued pursuant to P.D. No.
27; and
b) All subsequent transactions affecting Certificates of Land Transfer
such as adjustments, transfer, duplication and cancellations of
erroneous Certificates of Land Transfer
SEC. 105. Certificates of Land Transfer, Emancipation Patents.
The Department of Agrarian reform shall pursuant to P.D. No. 27
issue in duplicate, a Certificate of Land Transfer for every land brought
under Operation Land Transfer, the original of which shall be kept by
the tenant-farmer and the duplicate, in the Registry of Deeds.
After the tenant-farmer shall have fully complied with the requirements
for a grant of title under P.D. No. 27, an Emancipation Patent which
may cover previously titled or untitled property shall be issued by the
Department of Agrarian Reform.
The Register of Deeds shall complete the entries on the
aforementioned Emancipation Patent and shall assign an original
certificate of title number in case of unregistered land, and in case of
registered property, shall issue the corresponding transfer certificate of
title without requiring the surrender of the owners duplicate of the title
to be cancelled.
In case of death of the grantee, the Department of Agrarian Reform
shall determine his heirs or successors-in-interest and shall notify the
Register of Deeds accordingly. In case of subsequent transfer of
property covered by an Emancipation Patent or a Certificate of Title
emanating from an Emancipation Patent, the Register of Deeds shall
effect the transfer only upon receipt of the supporting papers from the
Department of Agrarian Reform.
No fee, premium, of tax of any kind shall be charged or imposed in
connection with the issuance of an original Emancipation Patent and
for the registration of related documents.
TENANT EMANCIPATION DECREE
(PD 27)
(Oct. 21, 1972)
Applicability/Coverage

This applies to tenant farmers of private agricultural lands


primarily devoted to rice and corn under a system of
sharecrop or lease tenancy, whether classified as landed
estate or not
Retention Limits/Award Ceiling

A farmer shall be deemed owner of a portion constituting a


family-size farm of
o
6 hectares if not irrigated
o
3 hectares if irrigated
Landowner Retention Limit
o
7 hectares if such landowner is cultivating such
area or will now cultivate it
Cost of Land/Compensation

The land shall be equivalent to 2 times the average

harvest of 3 normal crop years


It shall be paid by the tenant in 15 equal annual
amortizations including interest at the rate of 6% per annum

Requisite before the title to the land owned be actually issued


to the tenant farmer

Tenant farmer should become a full-fledged member of a duly


recognized farmers cooperative
Transferability of title acquired to PD 27

Only through hereditary succession or to the Govt in accordance


w/ pertinent laws

COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM


(RA 6657)
Aug. 7, 2009
Agrarian Reform - redistribution of lands, regardless of crops or fruits
produced, to farmers and regular farmworkers who are landless,
irrespective of tenurial arrangement, to include the totality of factors
and support services designed to lift the economic status of the
beneficiaries and all other arrangements alternative to the physical
redistribution of lands, such as production or profit-sharing, labor
administration, and the distribution of shares of stocks, which will allow
beneficiaries to receive a just share of the fruits of the lands they work
Agricultural land land devoted to agricultural activity as defined in
this Act and not classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial, or
industrial land.
Agricultural activity cultivation of the soil, planting of crops,
growing of fruit trees, raising of livestock, poultry or fish, including the
harvesting of such farm products, and other farm activities and
practices performed by a farmer in conjunction with such farming
operations done by person whether natural or juridical.
Coverage

All public and private agricultural lands including lands of public


domain suitable for agriculture

All lands in excess of the specific limits as determined by


Congress

All other lands owned by the govt devoted to or suitable for


agriculture

All private lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless


of the agricultural products raised or that can be raised thereon
o
Except landholdings of landowners with a total area of
5 hectares below
Exemptions and Exclusions from CARP coverage
1) Lands actually, directly, and exclusively used for parks,
wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and
breeding grounds, watersheds and mangroves;
2) Private lands actually, directly, and exclusively used for
prawn farms and fishponds, provided that the same have not
been distributed and Certificate of Land Ownership Award
issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries under the CARP;
3) Lands actually, directly, and exclusively used and found to
be necessary for:
a.
National defense, school sites and campuses,
including experimental farm stations operated by
public or private schools for educational purposes,
seeds and seeding research and pilot production
center
b. Church sites and convents, mosque sites and
Islamic centers, common burial grounds
c.
Penal colonies and penal farms actually worked by
inmates
d. Government and private research and quarantine
centers
e.
All lands with 18% slope and over, except those
already developed

Agricultural lands reclassified by LGUs into residential,


commercial or industrial uses excluded

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This is based on DOJ Opinion No. 44 (1990) which


provides that with respect to the conversion of
agricultural lands covered by RA No. 6657 to nonagricultural uses, the authority of the DAR to approve
such conversion may be exercised from the date of its
effectivity or on June 15, 1988. Thus, all lands already
classified as commercial, industrial or residential before
that date no longer need any conversion clearance
from the DAR.

Homesteads

While PD No. 27 decreeing the emancipation of tenants


from the bondage of the soil and transferring to them
ownership of the land they till is a sweeping social
legislation, it cannot defeat the very purpose of the
Public Land Act which has been enacted for the welfare
and protection of the poor.

Qualified Beneficiaries
Landless residents of the same barangay, or in the absence thereof,
landless residents of the same municipality in the following order of
priority
1) Agricultural lessees and share tenants;
2) Regular farmworkers;
3) Seasonal farmworkers;
4) Other farmworkers;
5) Actual tillers or occupants of public lands
6) Collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries
7) Others directly working on the land

children of landowners who are qualified shall be given


preference. Actual land-tillers shall not, however, be ejected or
removed therefrom
A basic qualification of a beneficiary shall be his willingness,
aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land as productive
as possible
Support services shall be extended equally to women and men
agrarian reform beneficiaries

Retention Limits of Landowners


o
Maximum of 5 hectares
o
3 hectares may be awarded to each child of the landowner
subject to the following qualifications
1. Atleast 15 years of age
2. He is actually tilling the land or directly managing
the farm

Retention limits shall not apply to LGUs acquiring private


agricultural land by expropriation or other modes of acquisition
be used for public purposes
Disposition or Sale of retained land by land owner

Valid, as long as the total landholding that shall be owned by the


transferee thereof inclusive of the land to be acquired shall not
exceed the landholding ceilings
Award ceiling to beneficiaries
o
3 hectares
o
It may be a contiguous tract or several parcels of land
cumulate up to the prescribed award limits
Landless Beneficiary owns less than 3 ha. Of agricultural lands
Determination of just compensation
1. Cost of acquisition of the land
2. Value of the standing crop
3. Current value of like properties
4. Its nature, actual use, and income
5. Sworn valuation by the owner
6. Tax declarations
7. Assessment made by government assessors
8. 70% zonal valuation by the BIR
Manner of Payment

It shall be paid by the beneficiaries to the LBP in 30 annual


amortization of 6% interest per annum

Payment for the first 3 years may be at reduced amounts


LBP shall have a lien by way of mortgage on the land awarded, it
may be foreclosed by the LBP for nonpaymnet of an aggregate of
3 annual amortizations
Beneficiary whose land was foreclosed shall be permanently
disqualified from becoming a beneficiary

Transferability of awarded lands (CLOA)

only through hereditary succession, to the government, or to the


LBP, or to other qualified beneficiaries through the DAR for a
period of 10 years
Voluntary Land Transfer

landowners of agricultural lands may enter into a voluntary


arrangement to direct transfer of their lands to qualified
beneficiaries subject to guidelines set in the law

Payment shall be made by the farmer-beneficiary to the land


owner under terms to be mutually agreed upon by the parties.

It shall be binding upon them, upon registration with the approval


by the DAR

Approval is deemed given, unless notice of disapproval is


received by the farmer-beneficiary within 30 days from the date
of registration

In case they dont agree on the price, the procedure for


compulsory acquisition shall apply

LBP may extend financing to the beneficiaries

When the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound


for agricultural purposes, or that the land will have greater
economic value for residential, commercial or industrial
purposes
The DAR, upon application of the beneficiary or the land-owner, may
authorize the reclassification or conversion of the land and its
disposition Provided that the beneficiary shall have fully paid his
obligation Irrigated and irrigable lands, shall not be subject to
conversion
Jurisdiction of DAR
a) Adjudication of all matters involving implementation of
agrarian reform
b) Resolution of agrarian conflicts and land tenure related
problems
c)
Approval or disapproval of the conversion, restructuring or
d) readjustment of agricultural lands into residential,
commercial, industrial, and other non-agricultural uses
Appeals
DAR decision

15 days from the receipt CA by certiorari

Notwithstanding appeal to the CA, the decision of the DAR shall


be immediately executory.
Jurisdiction of DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB)
a) Determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the
implementation of CARP
b) Cases involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of
EPs and CLOAs which are registered with the ROD.
For DARAB to have jurisdiction, there must be a tenancy
relationship between the parties which has the following
elements:
1.
Parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee
2.
Subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land
3.
Consent between the parties to the relationship
4.
Purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural
production
5.
There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or
agricultural lessee
6.
Harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee
Note: If the action is brought before the trial court, it must determine
first the existence of tenancy relationship. If there is, then it should
dismiss the case. It there is no such relationship, then it has
jurisdiction over the case. Finding by DAR of such relationship is
merely preliminary and does not bind the courts.

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millions of pesos (but) hundreds of billions of pesos will be


needed, far more indeed than the amount of P50 billion initially
appropriated, which is already staggering as it is by our present
standards.

An action to enforce rights as a tenant is barred by


prescription

If not filed within 3 years


Special Agrarian Court designated by the RTC shall have the
following original and exclusive jurisdiction
1) All petitions for the determination of just compensation to
landowners, and
2) Prosecution of all criminal offenses under RA 6657

Based on the slogan: Land for the Landless


1935 constitution mandated the policy of social justice to ensure the
well-being and economic security of all the people, especially the less
privileged.

Titles issued pursuant to PD 27 and RA 6657 shall become


indefeasible and imprescriptible after 1 year from their
registration in the ROD
Jurisdiction of DAR and DARAB
DAR
Prior to registration with the ROD
Case involving issuance, recall or
cancellation of CLOAs and EPs

DARAB
After registration with ROD
Issuance,
correction
cancellation of CLOAs or EPs

or

MODES OF ACQUIRING PRIVATE AGRICULTURAL LAND


1) Operation Land Transfer
2) Volutary Offer to Sell
3) Voluntary Land Transfer/Direct Payment Scheme
4) Compulsory Acquisition
5) Voluntary Stock Distribution in the case of corporation

Agricultural lands are only those lands which are arable and suitable
agricultural lands and do not include commercial, industrial and
residential lands. Lands converted to non-agricultural uses prior to the
effectivity of RA 6657 are outside its coverage Natalia vs. DAR
Lands devoted to livestock and poultry-raising are not included in the
definition of agricultural land. It declared as unconstitutional the
provision in RA 6657 insofar as it included livestock farms in the
coverage of agrarian reform Luz Farms vs. Secretary of DAR

1)

ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS V. SAR (1989)


the requirement of public use has been settled by the Constitution
itself. It noted that (n)o less than the 1987 Charter calls for
agrarian reform which is the reason why private agricultural lands
are to be taken from their owners, subject to the prescribed
maximum retention limits. The Court also declared that the law is
a valid exercise by the State of the police power and the power of
eminent domain.

2)

On the alleged violation of the equal protection clause, the sugar


planters have failed to show that they belong to a different class
and should be differently treated.

3)

And on the alleged payment of public money as just


compensation without the corresponding appropriation, the Court
said that there is no rule that only money already in existence can
be the subject of an appropriation law. The earmarking of fifty
billion pesos as Agrarian Reform Fund, although denominated as
an initial amount, is actually the maximum sum appropriated. The
word initial simply means that additional amounts may be
appropriated later when necessary.

4)

Finally, on the contention that the law is unconstitutional insofar


as it requires the owners of the expropriated properties to accept
just compensation therefor in less than money, which is the only
medium of payment allowed, the Court held that the law is not
an ordinary expropriation where only a specific property of
relatively limited area is sought to be taken by the State from its
owner for a specific and perhaps local purpose, but deals with a
revolutionary kind of expropriation (which) affects all private
agricultural lands. (S)uch a program will involve not mere

Art. XIII, Sec. 4


The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program
founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers,
who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till
or,
in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the
fruits thereof.
To this end, the State shall
encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural
lands,
subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the
Congress may prescribe,
o
taking into account ecological, developmental, or
equity considerations and subject to the payment
of just compensation.
In determining retention limits, the State shall respect the right
of small landowners.
o
The State shall further provide incentives for
voluntary land-sharing.
3844 - Agricultural land reform code (aug. 8, 1963)
PD 27 - compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among
tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for land
owners (Oct. 21, 1972)
EO 228 - full ownership in favor of PD 27 beneficiaries and providing
valuation of still unvalued lands
PP 131- CARP and EO 229 providing mechanisms for its
implementation
RA 6657 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1998, by P. Aquino
(June 10, 1988)

NATALIA REALTY V. DAR

Lands converted to non-agricultural uses prior to the


effectivity of CARL are outside its coverage

HELD:
Lands not devoted to agricultural activity are outside the coverage of
CARL. These include lands previously converted to non-agricultural
uses prior to the effectivity of CARL by government agencies other
than DAR. Thus, for instance, the conversion of portions of the Antipolo
Hills Subdivision for residential use and developed such prior to the
passage of the law excluded the area for CARL coverage because it
ceased to be devoted to agricultural activity.

Since the NATALIA lands were converted prior to 15 June 1988,


respondent DAR is bound by such conversion. It was therefore
error to include the undeveloped portions of the Antipolo Hills
Subdivision within the coverage of CARL.

LUZ FARMS V. SECRETARY


Farms used for raising livestock, poultry and swine
not covered
in determining the area of land to be excluded, AO No. 9 fixed the
following retention limits, viz.: 1:1 animal-land ratio (i.e., 1 hectare of
land per 1 head of animal shall be retained by the landowner), and a
ratio of 1.7815 hectares for livestock infrastructure for every 21 heads
of cattle shall likewise be excluded from the operations of the CARL.

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