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Republic v.

Josefino Alora and Oscar Alora

GR No. 210341 | July 1, 2015 | Carpio, J. (Gel)
Facts: On 6 June 2010, the Aloras filed a verified application for registration of title before the RTC. In the application,
they claimed that they purchased the parcel of land, and that they had no knowledge of any mortgage or encumbrance or
any person having any interest over the same property. They further claimed that they had been planting crops on the
parcel of land from 1969 to 2010. The approved plan showed 6 lots which respondents intended to develop as a
commercial property.
They further claimed that they paid all taxes on the property and registered the Deed of Conveyance with the RD and
Assessors Office, and had traced back the tax declarations of their predecessorsin-interest from 1935. The parcel of land
originally belonged to Colegio de San Jose, Inc., and was transferred to Pedro Salandanan. Subsequently, Salandanan
conveyed the property to Pedro Alora, respondents father.
Submitted: CENRO certification that land is A&D, NAMRIA land certification that land is A&D, certified copy of the
polyester film copy (SEPIA) of approved Plan Psu119876 dated 20 April 1949 certified technical description of Plan Psu119876 certification in lieu of Geodetic Engineers Certificate for Registration Purposes, CTCs of tax declarations, and the
Deed of Absolute Sale. (No SENR certification)
RTC: IFO Aloras. Land can be registered under their name.
CA: affirmed RTC
Issue: WoN CA erred in holding that Aloras were able to substantially establish that the subject parcel of land is A&D and
they and their predecessors ininterest were in possession of the subject property since 12 June 1945 or earlier
Held: Yes. To reiterate, under Section 14 of the Property Registration Decree:
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 predecessorsininterest 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.

Thus, applicants for registration must prove the following: (1) that the subject land forms part of the A&D lands of the
public domain and (2) that they have been in OCEN possession and occupation of the land under a bona fide claim of
ownership since 12 June 1945 or earlier.
In order to prove that the parcel of land is part of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain, Aloras rely on
the certification issued by the CENRO. (No SENR certification)
Republic claims that the CA and the RTC should have applied our ruling in Republic v. T.A.N. Properties, Inc. (2008)
where we held that applicants for land registration must present a copy of the original classification approved by the
SENR and certified as true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. If this standard were to be applied in the
The CA, however, did not follow the ruling in Republic v. T.A.N. Properties, Inc. Instead, it followed Republic v. Serrano
(2010) and Republic v. Vega (2011). In Serrano, we allowed the approval of a land registration application even without
the submission of the certification from the SENR. Since Serrano in contradiction with Republic v. T.A.N. Properties, Inc.,
we sought to harmonize our previous rulings in Vega. We then said that the applications for land registration may be
granted even without the SENR certification provided that the application was currently pending at the time Vega was
promulgated. Since Aloras application was pending before the RTC at the time Vega was promulgated, the CA ruled IFO
the Aloras, despite the lack of certification from the SENR.
Admittedly, we declared in Vega that RTCs may grant applications for registration despite the absence of a SENR
certification. It should be emphasized, however, that Republic v. Vega applies on a pro hac vice basis only.
CAB: The RTC Resolution was issued on 3 July 2012, after the promulgation of Republic v. T.A.N Properties, Inc. Thus,
following our ruling in Republic v. San Mateo (2014), the rule requiring certification from the SENR should be applied. It is
important to emphasize that the more recent case of Republic v. Spouses Castuera (2015), applied the rule in Republic v.
T.A.N Properties, Inc. without any qualification.
Petition granted. CA reversed and set aside.