G.R. No.

114299 September 24, 1999 For having been filed out of time and for lack of merit, the petition for certiorari filed by TRB before this Court 6 was
denied in a Resolution dated September 12, 1983. TRB's motion for reconsideration was similarly denied in a
TRADERS ROYAL BANK, petitioner, Resolution dated October 12, 1983. The Court's September 12, 1983 Resolution having become final and
vs. executory on November 9, 1983, the trial court issued a writ of execution directing the Register of Deeds of Baguio
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, PATRIA, RUBY ANN, MARGARITA, ROSARIO, CYNTHIA, LINDA JOY, all City to cancel TCT No. 16272 in the name of TRB, and to issue a new one in the name of the Capay spouses.
surnamed CAPAY and RAMON A. GONZALES, respondents.
Said writ, however, could not be implemented because of the successive subsequent transfers of the subdivided
G.R. No. 118862 September 24, 1999 property to buyers who obtained separate titles thereto. Thus, a complaint for recovery of possession ownership
dated 8 June 1985 was filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against TRB and the subsequent
PATRIA, RUBY ANN, MARGARITA, ROSARIO, CYNTHIA, LINDA JOY, all surnamed CAPAY, and RAMON A. transferees of the property, the respondents in G.R. No. 118862 (hereinafter, "the non-bank respondents").
GONZALES, petitioners, Plaintiffs in said case were Patria Capay, her children by Maximo 7 who succeeded him upon his death on August
vs. 25, 1976, and Ramon Gonzales, counsel of the spouses in Civil Case No. Q-10453 who become co-owner of the
SPS. HONORATO D. SANTOS and MARIA CRISTINA S. SANTOS, SPS. CECILIO L. PE and JOSEFINA L. PE, property to the extent of 35% thereof as his attorney's fees (collectively, "the Capays"). On March 27, 1991, the
FLORA LARON WESCOMBE, SPS. TELESFORO P. ALFELOR II and LIZA R. ALFELOR, SPS. DEAN trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which states:
THE PHILIPPINES and TRADERS ROYAL BANK, respondents. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs against the defendants and ordering the
Register of Deeds for Baguio to cancel TCT No. T-36177, Books 198, Page 177 in the names of defendants
Spouses Honorato D. Santos and Maria Cristina Santos; to cancel TCT No. 36707, Book 201, Page 107 in the
names of defendant Spouses Cecilio Pe and Josefina L. Pe; to cancel TCT No. T-36051, Book 198, Page 51 in the
KAPUNAN, J.: name of Flora Laron Wescombe, married to Kevin Lind Wescombe (now deceased); to cancel TCT No. 36147,
Book 198, page 147 in the names of Spouses Telesforo P. Alfelor II and Liza R. Alfelor; to cancel TCT No. T-36730,
The present controversy has its roots in a mortgage executed by the spouses Maximo and Patria Capay in favor of
Book 201, Page 130 in the names of Spouses Dean Roderick Fernando and Laarni Magdamo Fernando; to cancel
Traders Royal Bank (TRB) pursuant to a loan extended by the latter to the former. The mortgage covered several
TCT No. 37437, Book 205, Page 37 in the name of Remedios Oca, and issue new ones free from all liens and
properties, including a parcel of land, the subject of the present
encumbrances, together with all the improvements therein in the names of plaintiffs sharing pro indiviso as follows:
dispute. 1 The loan became due on January 8, 1964 and the same having remained unpaid, TRB instituted extra-
35% to Ramon A. Gonzales, married to Lilia Y. Gonzales, of legal age, with postal address at 23 Sunrise Hill, New
judicial foreclosure proceedings upon the mortgaged property.
Manila, Quezon City 37.92% to Patria B. Capay, of legal age, widow, Filipino; 5.41% each to Ruby Ann Capay, of
To prevent the property's sale by public auction, the Capays, on September 22, 1966, filed a petition for prohibition legal age, Filipino married to Pokka Vainio, Finnish citizen; Chona Margarita Capay, of legal age, Filipino, married
with preliminary injunction (Civil Case No. Q-10453) before the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Rizal, alleging that to Waldo Flores; Rosario Capay of legal age, Filipino, married to Jose Cuaycong, Jr.; Cynthia Capay, of legal age,
the mortgage was void since they did not receive the proceeds of the loan. The trial court initially granted the Filipino, married to Raul Flores; Linda Joy Capay, of legal age, Filipino, married to Pedro Duran, all with postal
Capays' prayer for preliminary injunction. address at 37 Sampaguita St., Capitolville Subd., Bacolod City, ordering said defendants to vacate the premises in
question and restoring plaintiffs thereto and for defendant Traders Royal Bank to pay each of the plaintiffs moral
On March 17, 1967, the Capays caused to be filed in the Register of Deeds of Baguio City a notice of lis damages in the amount of P100,000.00, P40,000.00 in exemplary damages and P40,000.00 as attorney's fees, all
pendens over the disputed property. Said notice was entered in the Day Book, as well as in the Capays' certificate with legal interest from the filing of the complaint, with costs against defendants.
of title.
Subsequently, the injunction issued by the trial court was lifted thus allowing the foreclosure sale to proceed.
Foreclosure proceedings were initiated and on October 17, 1968, the property was sold to TRB which was the TRB and the non-bank respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals. In a Decision promulgated on February 24,
highest bidder at the auction sale. A sheriff certificate of sale was issued in its name on the same day. On February 1994 in CA-G.R. CV No. 33920, the appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court in toto. 9 It ruled that the
25, 1970, the property was consolidated in the name of TRB, the sole bidder in the sale. TCT No. T-6595 in the non-bank respondents cannot be considered as purchasers for value and in good faith, having purchased the
name of the Capay spouses was then cancelled and a new one, TCT No. T-16272, 2 was entered in the bank's property subsequent to the action in Civil Case No. Q-10453 and that while the notice of lis pendens was not
name. The notice of lis pendens, however, was not carried over in the certificate of title issued in the name TRB. carried over to TRB's certificate of title, as well as to the subsequent transferees' titles, it was entered in the Day
Book which is sufficient to constitute registration and notice to all persons of such adverse claim, citing the cases
Thereafter, the Capays filed with the CFI a supplemental complaint praying for the recovery of the property with of Villasor vs. Camon,10 Levin vs. Bass 11 and Director of Lands vs. Reyes. 12
damages and attorney's fees. Trial in Civil Case No. Q-10453 proceeded and, on October 3, 1977, the CFI
rendered its decision declaring the mortgage void for want of consideration. The CFI ordered, among other things, As regard TRB, the Court of Appeals said that the bank was in bad faith when it sold the property knowing that it
the cancellation of TCT No. T-16272 in the name of TRB and the issuance of new certificates of title in the name of was under the litigation and without informing the buyer of that fact.
the Capay spouses.
On April 26, 1994, TRB filed with this Court a petition for review to set aside the CA decision, docketed herein as
TRB appealed to the Court of Appeals. While the case was pending in the Court of Appeals, TRB on March 17, G.R. No. 114299, invoking the following grounds:
1982 sold the land to Emelita Santiago in whose name a new certificate of title, TCT No. 33774, 3 was issued, also,
without any notice of lis pendens annotated thereon. Santiago in turn divided the land into six (6) lots and sold
these to Marcial Alcantara, Armando Cruz and Artemio Sanchez, who became co-owners thereof. 4 Alcantara and THE RESPONDENT HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE AND SERIOUS ERROR OF
his co-owners developed the property and thereafter sold the six (6) lots to seperate buyers who issued seperate LAW IN PROMULGATING THE DISPUTED DECISION AND THEREBY DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE
On July 30, 1982, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision modifying the decision of the trial court as to the
award of damages but affirming the same in all other respects. II.

a) The public respondent has plainly and manifestly acted whimsically, arbitrarily, capriciously, with grave abuse of
discretion, in excess of jurisdiction tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT
b) The public respondent erred in not finding that it was not the fault of petitioner when the notice of lis
pendens was not carried over to its new title. VII

c) The public respondent erred in not finding that PD No. 1271 had legally caused the invalidation of the Capay's
property and the subsequent validation of TRB's title over the same property was effective even as against the VIII
Capays. 13
Meanwhile, the non-bank respondents moved for a reconsideration of the Court of Appeals' decision. Convinced of THAT:
the movants' arguments, the Court of Appeals in a Resolution promulgated on August 10, 1994 granted the motion
for reconsideration and dismissed the complaint as against them. The dispositive portion of the resolution states: B) THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT DEFENDANTS ARE BOUND BY THE DECISION IN
ACCORDINGLY, in view of the foregoing disquisitions and finding merit in the motion for reconsideration, the same
is hereby GRANTED. Consequently, the decision of this Court, promulgated on February 24, 1994, is hereby Subsequently, G.R. No. 118862 was consolidated with G.R No. 114299, pursuant to this Court's Resolution dated
RECONSIDERED. The complaint filed against defendants-appellants with the court a quo is hereby ordered July 3, 1996. 15
DISMISSED, and the certificate of titles originally issued to them in their individual names are hereby ordered
restored and duly respected. We make no pronouncement as to costs. The consolidated cases primarily involve two issues: (1) who, as between the Capays and the non-bank
respondents, has a better right to the disputed property, and (2) whether or not TRB is liable to the Capays for
SO ORDERED. 14 damages.

The Capays thus filed with this Court a petition for review, docketed as G.R. No. 118862 to set aside the resolution On the first issue, we rule for the non-bank respondents.
of the Court of Appeals raising the following errors:
First, when TRB purchased the property at the foreclosure sale, the notice of lis pendens that the Capays caused
THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT TUAZON VS. to be annotated on their certificate of title was not carried to the new one issued to TRB. Neither did the certificate
REYES, 48 PHIL. 814 AND RIVERA VS. MORAN, 48 PHIL. 836 ARE NOT APPLICABLE HEREOF, WHILE PINO of title of Emelita Santiago, who purchased the property from TRB, contain any such notice. When Santiago
VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 198 SCRA 436, IS APPLICABLE. caused the property to be divided, six (6) new certificates of title were issued, none of which contained any notice
of lis pendens. Santiago then sold the lots to Marcial Alcantara and his co-owners who next sold each of these to
II the non-bank respondents. The non-bank respondents, therefore, could not have been aware that the property in
question was the subject of litigation when they acquired their respective portions of said property. There was
THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT ATUN VS. nothing in the certificates of title or respective predecessors-in-interest that could have aroused their suspicion.
MUNOZ, 97 PHIL. 762 AND LAROZA VS. GUIA, 134 SCRA 34, ARE NOT APPLICABLE. The non-bank respondents had a right to rely on what appeared on the face of the title of their respective
predecessors-in-interest, and were not bound to go beyond the same. To hold otherwise would defeat one of the
III principal objects of the Torrens system of land registration, that is, to facilitate transactions involving lands.
THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT LEVIN VS. The main purpose of the Torrens system is to avoid possible conflicts of title to real estate and to facilitate
BASS, 91 PHIL. 419 VILLASOR VS. CAMON, 89 PHIL. 404 AND DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. REYES, 68 SCRA transactions relative thereto by giving the public the right to rely upon the face of a Torrens certificate of title and to
73, ARE NOT APPLICABLE HEREOF. dispense with the need of inquiring further, except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and
circumstances that should impel a reasonably cautious man to make such further inquiry. Where innocent third
IV persons, relying on the correctness of the certificate of title thus issued, acquire rights over the property, the court
cannot disregard such rights and order the total cancellation of the certificate. The effect of such an outright
cancellation would be to impair public confidence in the certificate of title, for everyone dealing with property
registered under the Torrens system would have to inquire in every instance as to whether the title has been
V regularly or irregularly issued by the court. Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the
correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the
certificate to determine the condition of the property.

The Torrens system was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the most effective measure to Q What was his answer?
guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established
and recognized. If a person purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the seller's title thereto is valid, he A That it was a property with a clean title, that he has shown me the mother title and it is a clean title.
should not run the risk of being told later that his acquisition was ineffectual after all. This would not only be unfair
to him. What is worse is that if this were permitted, public confidence in the system would be eroded and land Q Aside from being informed that it is a property with a clean title, did you do anything to answer your question?
transactions would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily conclusive investigations and proof of
ownership. The further consequence would be that land conflicts could be even more numerous and complex than A Yes, sit.
they are now and possibly also more abrasive, if not even violent. The Government, recognizing the worthy
Q What did you do?
purposes of the Torrens system, should be the first to accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once the
conditions laid down by the law are satisfied. 16 A Well, the first step I did was to go to the Land Registration Office.
Second, the foregoing rule notwithstanding, the non-bank respondents nevertheless physically inspected the Q Are you referring to the City Hall of Baguio?
properties and inquired from the register of Deeds to ascertain the absence of any defect in the title of the property
they were purchasing — an exercise of diligence above that required by law. A Yes, the City Hall of Baguio.
Thus, respondent Aida Fernando Meeks, who bought Lot 5 for her son Dean, testified: Q And what did you do in the Registry of Deeds?
Q How did you come to live in Baguio City, particulary in Kim. 2.5 San Luis, Baguio City? A We looked for the title, the original title, sir.
A In one of my visits to my sister who has been residing here for twelve (12) years now, I got interested in buying a Q When you say we, who was your companion?
property here.
A Mr. Alcantara and my present husband, sir.
Q How did you come to know of this property at Asin Road where you now reside?
Q The three (3) of you?
A My sister, Ruth Ann Valdez, sir.
A Yes, sir.
Q When this particular property was bought by you, when was that?
Q What title did you see there?
A I do not remember the exact date, but it was in 1984, sir.
A We saw the title that was made up in favor of Amado Cruz, sir.
Q At the time when you went to see the place where you now reside, how did it look?
Q And what was the result of your looking up for this title in the name of Amado Cruz?
A This particular property that I bought was then a small one (1) room structure, it is a two (2)-storey one (1)
bedroom structure. A We had to be reassured that it was a genuine one, so we asked Atty. Diomampo who heads the office. We
showed him a copy of that title and we were also reassured by him that anything that was signed by him was as
Q What kind of structure with regards to material? good as it is.
A It is a semi-concrete structure, sir. Q Did this Atty. Diomampo reassure you that the title was good?
Q And aside from this two (2)-storey one (1)-room structure, how did the surrounding area look like at the time you A He did.
Q After your conversation with the Register of Deeds, what did you do?
A There were stone walls from the road and there were stone walls in front of the property and beside the property.
A The second step we did was to confer with our lawyer, a friend from RCBC Binondo, Manila this is Atty. Nelson
Q At the time you went to see the property with your agent, rather your sister Ruth Ann Valdez did you come to Waje.
know the owner?
Q What is your purpose in going to this lawyer?
A We did because at the time we went there, Mr. Alcantara was there supervising the workers.
A We wanted an assurance that we were getting a valid title just in case we think of buying the property.
Q And who?
Q What was the result of your conference with this lawyer?
A Amado Cruz sir.
A He was absolutely certain that was a valid title.
Q After you saw this property, what else did you do?
Q Mrs. Meeks, after looking at the place, going to the Register of Deeds, looking at the title and seeing your lawyer
A My first concern then was am I buying a property with a clean title. friend, what decision did you finally make regarding the property?
Q In regards to this concern of yours, did you find an answer to this concern of yours? A We wanted more reassurances, so we proceeded to Banaue, as advised by that same lawyer, there is another
office of the Bureau of Lands. I cannot recall the office but it has something to do with registration of the old.
A At first; I asked Mr. Alcantara and I was answered by him.

the purchaser of Lot 4. what particular place in Asin Road are you referring? xxx xxx xxx A That property I bought from Emelita Santiago. Q Aside from going to Mr. Alcantara will you please inform the Court in what place in Baguio have you acquired and Q When you went to see the place. 17 Q What Certification are you referring to? Telesforo Alfelor II. Q You mentioned Asin Road. Q What registry of Deeds are you referring to? Q And when you saw the title to this property and the mother title. could you please describe what you saw at that time? subdivided and sold lots? A When we went there the area is still being developed by Mr. Marcial Alcantara. we fell on our way going to the property and walked to have an ocular inspection and physical check on the area. sir. Q When you were informed by Mrs. what else did you do? Q Mrs. authentic or genuine title. property is still not passable considering that during that time it was rainy season and it was muddy. A Because of the father. He has acquired a title from the Traders Royal Bank. quite big tract of land and subdivide it into smaller lots and sold it to some interested parties. sir. sir. A We found the title of this property and there was reassurance that it was a clean title and we saw the mother title under the Hilario family. Alcantara. did you see the property that was being offered for sale? The non-bank respondent predecessor-in-interest. Q And what was the result of your checking as to whether the title of the property is clean? Q What was the result of your visit to the Banaue Office? A He showed me the copy of the title and it was clean. we had a genuine title. sir. Alcantara to check up the title of the property. A We were reassured that we were purchasing a valid title. Cristal Cave and Asin Road. sir. Q What was the improvement. and she was the one who introduced to us Mr. 18 wife that there is a property for sale at Asin Road. if any. Alcantara. what else did you do? Q How did you come to know of this Armando Gabriel wanting to sell a property in Asin? A First. that was in that parcel which you are going to purchase? Q When you say you bought it from Emelita Santiago. sir. Q And were you able to see the Register of Deeds regarding what you would like to know? Q When you were able to determine that you had a valid. and we were given a certification regarding this particular area that it was clean. sir. Mr. the investigation that you made? A The Registry of Deeds of Baguio City. sir. Q And will you give a brief description of what you do? Q When did you specifically see the property. Leonila Hill.Q What is your purpose in going to this Office in Banaue? A Considering that Marcial Alcantara is a real estate broker. She informed my A Yes. sir. A I wanted more reassuances that I was getting a valid title. if you can recall? A I normally acquire land. I went to his office and checked the documents he has regarding the property. Flory Recto who is presently the Branch Manager of CocoBank. A It is in Banaue Street in Quezon City. Recto and when you met with Mr. what did you do? A Yes. sir. Q After you saw the place riprap and you were in the course of deciding to purchase this property. sir. was less thorough: A Yes. A He approached me in the house. Alcantara. the riprap of the property is already there. he is the one who offered me the property. the one-half of the riprap sir. the next thing is I requested his wife to accompany me to the Bureau of Lands or rather the Registry of Deeds. A I would say it is around the third quarter of 1983. what was the result of your investigation. I have to consider that the property is clean. Meeks. narrated going through a similar routine: A It is a Certification duly signed by the employee of the Registry of Deeds Adelina Tabangin. A That is when I finally thought of purchasing the property. Armando Gabriel. A He is from Buyagan. Q Do you know who was making this improvement at the time that you went there? Q Is he also a resident of Baguio? A I would understand that it was Marcial Alcantara. sir. sir. sir. when you say Banaue. how did you come to know that Emelita Santiago is disposing of the property? A During that time. sir. what particular place is this Banaue? A Well. Q How did you go about determining whether the title of the property is clean? . Q How did you come to know of this place as Asin Road where you are presently residing? Q Do you have a copy of that Certification? A It was actually through Mrs. I have. Q Specifically. sir. As a matter of fact the road leading to the A Dominican Hill. La Trinidad sir. The testimonies of Honorato Santos 19 and Josefina Pe 20 were to the same effect.

could you please inform the describe how this place looked like at that time? Court if there was any claim by any other party opposing the subdivision or claiming the property? A The place was mountainous. A Later part of March. sir. It was not until after the land was subdivided and developed with the buyers building their A The papers are clean except to the annotation at the back with the road right of way. Alcantara. what did you do? with that deed of sale? A I went to the place with the agent. sir. at the time that you had this property subdivided by the owner. xxx xxx xxx Q Initially. A They approved it and registered it already in six (6) titles. A Yes. what action did the Register of Deeds have regarding the matter? A None. sir. the one who made it possible for the wrong to be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss. cannot possibly enter the property. A None. did you actually go there to see the place? Q Could you please inform the Honorable Court if you have any buyers in the subdivision of this property prior to A By walking. Sanchez? Q To whom did you talk? A Yes. Q After purchasing the property from Emelita Santiago. they did not bother to find out the status of their title or whether the liens noted on the original certificate of title were still existing considering that the property Q And what was the result of your talk with Atty. Alcantara. sir. sir. In the meantime. Third. sir. Gonzales knew in 1968 of the extra-judicial Diomampo? foreclosure sale of the property to TRB and the consolidation of title in the bank's name following the lapse of the A Yes. Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect. what place? Q Is it our understanding that prior to your purchase the property was subdivided into six (6) parcels? A Kilometer 2. Emelita Santiago had it subdivided into six (6) lots. sir. sir. 22 The Capays filed the notice of lis pendens way back on March 17. Dr. 21 A To Atty. sir. I have. Ramon A.591) Square Meters. houses on the other lots when the Capays suddenly appeared and questioned the occupants' titles. will you please briefly Q Now. Q This subdivision of this property. I parked my car a kilometer away. the subject property had undergone a series of transfers to buyers in good and for value. when you went to see this place at Asin Road last week of March. you are informing this Honorable Court that one Amado Cruz Q Aside from looking or going to the property. The Capays and their counsel Atty. what else transpired? property at Asin Road? A We bought the property. A Actually. there were cogon trees. Q In terms of fence in the area? Q In whose names? A There is no such. But in the next fifteen (15) years or so. sir. sir. Q What is your purpose in investigating it with the Register of Deeds? Q So. Cruz and A To see if the paper in clean and there are no encumbrances. you said that you are the sole purchaser of this entire area of One Thousand Five Hundred Ninety One (1. Amado Cruz and Dr. your purchase? Q Is it my understanding that when you went to see the property there were no roads? A Yes. sir. what else did you do to this property prior to your purchase? and one Dr. sir. between two innocent persons. Ernesto Diomampo. Sanchez. A One (1) title under my name. La Union. sir. Mr.Q Can you inform the Honorable Court when you had this conversation with Armando Gabriel on the sale of the Q After making this investigation with the Register of Deeds and talking with Atty. was not TRB's title. sir. grassy. Sanchez were also issued two (2) titles. sir. Mr. 1983. to what office was it brought for action? xxx xxx xxx A Bureau of Lands. two (2) are our co-owners. Q And when you went there to see the place. sir. Diomampo. could you please tell the Honorable Court what you did Q Now. Alcantara. Could you explain how these titles came into their possession? A I investigated it with the Register of Deeds. when this Armando Gabriel informed you that he wants his property to be sold. did you have occasion to talk with Atty. for an unreasonable and . sir. Q When you say you went to the place with the agent. 1967 but the same Q And when you went to the Registry of Deeds to investigate and check. Q Mr. one-year period of redemption. Q When the Deed of Sale was executed and you said that you presented it to the Register of Deeds and after the Q At the time you entered the place. sir. the Capays are guilty of laches. A We registered it with the Register of Deeds for the Certificate of Title because at that time when we bought the property. 1983. so we A None. is it our understanding that the Deed of Sale from Emelita Santiago is in favor of these two (2) Atty. sir. sir. some of the roads were eroding already. Asin Road sir. was there any visible sign of claim by anyone? subdivision already. At the very least. Diomampo? had already been foreclosed. Now. San Fernando.

CV No. the principle on prescription of actions is designed to cover situations such as the case at bar. Nevertheless. Certainly. In Tuazon vs. the bank acted in a manner contrary to morals. The case reached this Court. The bank is. SERGIO B. pendens annotated on its title to put it beyond the Capays' reach. Being guilty of laches. the Capays filed an action for prohibition on September 22. 30the buyers of the property at the time of their acquisition knew of the existence of the notice of lis pendens. the cases cited by the Capays in their first two (2) assignment of errors. 152 SCRA 253). and attempts to shift the blame on the SO ORDERED. In Rivera vs. this remedy is not now available to the Capays inasmuch as title to merely subrogated to the rights of the vendor was aware of the dispute and. It may be recalled that upon the conveyance (Heirs of Maria Marasigan vs. consequently. do not help them any. . the doctrine of laches may Sec. 31 Verily. IGNACIO B. Nuñez. twelve supplemental complaint for the recovery of the property. the Capays filed a But the petitioners' complaint to recover the title and possession of Lot 4362 was filed only on July 21. to pay the Capays the fair market value of the property at the time it was sold to Emelita Santiago. CALAM. Camon Levin Bass and Director of Lands On the other hand. . admits hoding on to the foreclosed property for twelve (12) years after consolidating title in its name. commencement of foreclosure proceedings by TRB. good customs and public policy and should be held liable for damages. 23 existence of said annotation during all the time that said title was in its possession for almost fourteen (14) years before the property was sold to Emelita G. ANDREA BOLLOZOS VDA. 25 of the General Banking Act. estopped from involving banking laws and regulations to In De La Calzada-Cierras vs. . CALAM. Reyes 26 to the effect that entry of the notice of lis pendens in the day book (primary entry book) is sufficient to (10) years. This notwithstanding the adverse decision of the trial court and the pendency of undergone several transfers made in good faith and for value and already subdivided into several lots with its appeal. Guia. should not he held for more than five (5) years: BEVERA. to the property in Rosendo's possession. Court of Appeals. whose timing indeed smacks of bad faith. which latter tenet finds application even to imprescriptible mortgage or trust. after sleeping on their rights for fifteen years to assert ownership over the property that has property to an unwary purchaser.R. if any. plaintiffs-appellees. T-6595 in the name of the Capay spouses 171 SCRA 612). the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated Frebruary 24. Intermediate Appellate Court. But when TCT No. furthermore. the Capays cannot invoke the ruling in Villasor vs. Prescription or laches could (12) years after the registration of the sale to Rosendo. as In contrast to the cited cases. TCT No. 1987 23. Moran. who was to the recovery of their property. deed. that the mortgage in favor of TRB had been declared null and void for want of consideration Siochi. property. David did not warrant the said property has passed into the hands of third parties who acquired the same in good faith and for value. II This Decision is without prejudice to whatever criminal. however. could not Emelita Santiago. 33 provides that no bank "shall hold the possession of any real estate under further be counted against them. vs. To set aside these transactions only to TRB concludes that "(t)he inaction and negligence of private respondents allowing ownership to pass for almost 15 accommodate a party who has slept on his rights is anathema to good order.unexplained length of time. EPIFANIA B. and CAROLINA B. 34 In the same vein. thus transferred caused the property without the lis improvements introduced thereon by their owners." 32 Independently of the principle of prescription of actions working against petitioners. While it is true that under the law it is the act of registration of the deed of conveyance that serves as the operative TRB cannot feign ignorance of the existence of the lis pendens because when the property was foreclosed by it. Capays. Clearly. it is most iniquitous took advantage of the absence of the notice of lis pendens at the back of their certificate of title and sold the for the Capays who." TRB. GUALBERTO B. 29 and Laroza vs. et al. the transferee. CALAM. The petitioners failed and neglected for an unreasonably not have worked against the Capays because they had persistently pursued their suit against TRB to recover their long time to assert their right. 1994 is hereby AFFIRMED. . or the title and possession of any real estate purchased to secure any debt due to it. the foreclosure proceedings did not have a valid effect. civil or administrative action against the Register of Deeds and or his assistants that may be taken by the party or parties prejudiced by the failure of the former to carry over We come now to TRB's liability towards the Capays. the notice of lis pendens was annotated on the title. T-16272 which was issued in place thereof in the name of TRB did the equitable doctrine of laches. was aware of the pending litigation and. Traders Royal Bank is ordered land with clean title from their predecessors-in-interest. et al. in Atun. the non-bank respondents in the case at bar acquired their respective portions of the modified by its Resolution dated August 10. Reyes and Considering however. as the transferees in said cases were not innocent purchasers for value and in good faith. It cannot be allowed to hide behind the law which it itself violated. CALAM. The fault of the Register of Deeds in not carrying over the Notice of Lis Pendens to the new title of the is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time. vs. the petitioners cannot invoke said dictum because their action to recover Lot 4362 is barred by was cancelled after the foreclosure. The Bank unconvincingly tries to wash its hands off the present controversy. What is apparent is that TRB constitute registration and such entry is notice to all persons of such adverse claim. it suddenly realized that it was acting in violation of the General Bank Act. years constitute prescription of action and/or laches. . the notice of lis pendens to the certificate of title in the name of TRB. it 24. L-29442 November 11. 24 longer period than five years.R. Santiago. JR. it is difficult to believe TRB's assertion that after holding on to the property for more than ten vs. thus: xxx xxx xxx G. . during all the time that it was holding the title for over fourteen (14) years that there was no legal impediment for it to sell said property. Similarly. for a actions. Rivera. it was with a deed and. consequently. Central Bank regulations require that real properties of banks FORTUNATO BOLLOZOS. CALAM. act to convey the land registered under the Torrens System (Davao Grains. Tuazon. No. it was not aware of the to it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. 1994 in CA-G. 25 we held: justify its belated disposition of the property. TRB. WHEREFORE. Failing in that attempt. 1966 against the TRB before the CFI to stop the foreclosure sale. In addition. 33920. 27 where the land involved therein was sold by Petronilo David to Vicente Tuazon. The act of registering the conveyance to Rosendo was constructive notice to the whole world of the fact of such We do not find the Capays guilty of "inaction and negligence" as against TRB. . 1981. TRB is duty bound to pay the Capays the fair market value of the property at the time it was sold to the cadastral proceedings. where there have been a series of transfers to innocent purchasers for value. to do that which by exercising due diligence could nor should have been done earlier. CALAM. DE RAPANOT PABLO B. JOSE B. warranting presumption that the party entitled petitioner Bank should not be absorbed by the latter considering that in all good faith. The petitioner Bank. the Capays would ordinarily be entitled containing the recital that the land was in dispute between the vendor and Roberto Siochi. the transferee of TRB. therefore. not carry over the notice of lis pendens. Intermediate Appellate Court. Inc. Such title to the same. 28 Rivera acquired interest in the land before the final decree was entered in being the case. have been considered a purchaser in good faith.

which became effective on November 15. particularly plaintiff. marido y mujer indebtedness of Paulino Bollozos. rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. before the period of the Commonwealth. Islas Filipinas bajo el numero del Lote Cadastral de este Municipio Catarman Misamis Oriental. * without (Sgd. a deed of sale with right of repurchase dated china y residente de este Municipio de Catarman Provincia de Misamis Oriental." the original of which is hereto attached as Annex A to form part hereof and another document was executed by the late Paulino Bollozos entitled "A Definite and Absolute Purchase and Sale" En testimiento de rado lo cual firmamos la presente en este Municipio de Catarman Provincia de Misamis Oriental dated September 21. 1968. entitled "A Definite and Absolute Purchase and Sale" of the parcel of land in litigation. casado de la SRA SIA PUTE. which clearly indicate the intention of the parties regarding the ownership and CRUZ. produced the two above-cited documents Annexes "A" and "B".vs. Annex "B". first. that the subsequent sale executed in 1936 was null and void ab initio because by that time the transfer of agricultural lands to aliens was already prohibited by the DEFINITE AND ABSOLUTE PURCHASE AND SALE Commonwealth Constitution. nos otorgaran el comprador o sus representantes escritura de retroventa pero Bollozos while the rest of the above-named plaintiffs are the grandchildren of said Paulino Bollozos. Province of Oriental Misamis.) JOSE LIM PATUNGAN y On the basis of this agreement and of the memoranda filed subsequently by the parties. (a) Whether a valid conveyance of ownership was made of the parcel of land in litigation on September 1.00) en moneda filipina que nos ha pagado y hemos recibido a nuestra entera In his answer. 5033 in the name of Paulino Bollozos. de 34 años de edad. PAULINO BOLLOZOS. stipulation of facts (Sgd. Caso No. reading in full as follows: (Technical Description) 1. VENDEMOS. Islas Filipinas. o-de Septiembre. Province of Oriental Misamis. Municipality of Catarman. 1934. ** which we find meritorious. entitled "Escritura de Compra y Venta Con Pacto de Retro. y entretanto solo podra el comprador disponer la finca con las limitaciones prescritas 3. 3 (Sgd. the parties later entered into a stipulation of facts before the trial court. defendant-appellant. the barrio of Bonbon. This allegation. por la presente hacemos constar que consideracion a la suma de SEISCIENTOS TREINTA Y SEIS PESOS (P636. That I am the lawful owner of one parcel of land together with all existing improvements thereon. chino. the defendant averred that he had acquired ownership of the land in question by virtue of two satisfaccion del SR. the complaint having been filed only after una parcela de terreno con todas sus mejoras existentes situada en el distrito de Quilambon. Additionally. It thus remained a bare averment without any actual or presumptive support. and for the Honorable Court to determine the legality or nullity of the above-mentioned documents. do hereby declare and say:— It is important to note at the outset that there is nothing in the record to show that the disputed property had merely 1st. September 1. was not among those admitted in the stipulation of facts and indeed had been categorically denied in YU TIENG SU. A. 1934 as appearing in Annex A. P. de 29 años de edad. Islas Filipinas. the answer. It was alleged that Yu had refused to return the respectivamente. the only evidence adduced of such intention.I. The original protagonists in this controversy have long since passed away into "the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust" and are now but mute witnesses to this litigation.2 CON PACTO DE RETRO hectare parcel of land and accounting for its use from defendant Yu. by contrast. barrio de Bonbon.. Filipino married to Faustina Liloc. 60 years of age. located in the been entrusted to Yu for administration in connection with Paulino Bollozos' indebtedness to him. We can now go only by the musty records that Annex "A" reads as follows: will take us back to more than half a century ago. devolvieramos o mandamos devolver dentro del termino de SIETE (7) ANOS contados desde esta fecha la suma de SEISCIENTOS TREINTA Y SEIS PESOS (P636. That both parties hereby agree on the Identity of the parcel of land in litigation as described in paragraph II of Hacemos constar tambien que queda pacto y convenido con el referrido SR. de 71 años de edad y FAUSTINA LILOC. Municipio de Catarman Provincia de land despite demand and to make the required accounting although the debt had long been paid. 1934. 1 Misamis Oriental. which parcel of land is covered by OCT No. We shall reverse. It should also be noted that. was in reality an equitable mortgage and did not transfer The second instrument. as it happens. Yu was a Chinese national. and second. 1936 as Firmadas en presencia de appearing in Annex B. The plaintiffs claimed that the said land had been delivered to him only for administration so he could apply the produce thereof to the Nosotros. as claimed by the sitio of Kilambon. and resident of The above rulings are the subject of this appeal. He therefore had no obligation to CEDEMOS ENTREGAMOS y TRASPASAMOS al referido SR. si transcurre dicho plazo sin haberse utilizado el derecho de redencion. to wit. y le abonaremos ademas los gastos 2. That plaintiffs Fortunato Bollozos and Andrea Bollozos are the only surviving children of the late Paulino que ocasione el presente contrato. with the filing of a complaint for the recovery of a 1. Yu claimed that the suit was barred by prescription. PAULINO BOLLOZOS.I.D. That I. J.: disposition of the land in question. Neither is there any evidence of such indebtedness. 1936. These documents are the best and. the original copy of which is hereto attached to form an integral part of this complete hoy 1. and a deed of absolute sale dated September 21. the defendant. their predecessor-in-interest. the late Paulino Bollozos executed a document entitled "Escritura de en la Ley Hipotecaria Compra y Venta Con Pacto de Retro. YU TIENG SU. barrio of Bonbon. declared the following: ownership of the land to the defendant. ESCRITURA DE COMPRA Y VENTA This case was formally commenced on January 20. 1935. 1936. all of 26 years." or on September 21. which was the very basis of the described as follows: (Technical Description) .) FAUSTINA LILOC. P. the lower court. That sometime on September 1. 9m y cuya descripcion tecnica es como sigue:— Issues having been joined. filipinos y vecinos y residentes del barrio de Bonbon.) PAULINO BOLLOZOS Y 4. complaint. YU TIENG SU sus herederos y causahabientes return it. to substantiate his answer. de 58 años de edad. 4 It held. that the deed of sale with pacto de retro executed on September 1. Municipality of Catarman. 1934. YU TIENG SU. the herein appellant. adquirira la presente el character de absolutamente consumada. That the parties agree to submit the entitled case for decision on the basis of the following issue or issues: (Sgd.) EUFROSINO LIMBACO receiving further evidence. que si nosotros the amended complaint. alias SISO YU. 72 years of age.00) en moneda filipina. 2 Municipio de Catarman Provincia de Misamis Oriental. documents executed in his favor by Paulino Bollozos. 1934.

149-Page No. No. Chinese and resident of this Municipality of Catarman Misamis Oriental.) JOSE L. The fact. did not effectively transfer the Office of the Register of Deeds of the Province of Oriental Misamis. 1960. we have ruled that: in any case the plaintiffs-appellees themselves have stipulated on its authenticity. deed of sale that has not been registered does not lose its efficacy insofar as the P636. under the Commonwealth Constitution. It is our opinion. 473). Moreover.00. not later. an unrecorded deed of sale is binding between the years later. and And with particular reference to problems such as the one at bar. Thus: instrument. As it was concluded in 1934. Actually. It did. It was not really necessary to repeat the (Sgd." Concluded two render it unenforceable. In the case of Santos v. nor have they submitted any evidence in proof of such arrangement. and . Rosario.00). in discussing the nature of sale with pacto de retro said: .00. covering Lot SU. As we said in an earlier case: 3rd. in the absence of an agreement to the executors. 5 either failed wholly to register them or registered them only after the Constitution was adopted. Rosario v. Failure to register the sale did not vitiate it or reduced to writing in Annex "B". He further stated in Annex "B" that "by these presents I do hereby declare and say that I will forever parties thereto and their heirs are concerned. It is not a mode of acquiring dominion. 9 The Court holds that the first transaction was a valid sale with right of repurchase and effectively transferred ownership of the land in dispute to the defendant-appellant. 1965. contrary.. married to Sia Pute on September 1.00.. I do hereby declare and say that I will forever warrant and defend unto said Mr. administrator and assigns all lawful claims of all persons whomsoever of his right of ownership of possible exercise of it rests upon contingency. Bollozos acknowledged receipt of an additional sum of P295. having become effective Title and ownership over lands within the meaning and for the purposes of the constitutional prohibition. The first deed of sale took effect on September 1... his heirs.) JOSE LIM PATUNGAN and The plaintiffs-appellees make much of the admitted fact that the disputed property is still in the name of Paulino (Sgd. 1935. (Sgd. and legally transferred ownership of The intention clearly embodied in Annex "A" was affirmed in the second transaction between the same parties as the land subject thereof from the vendor to Yu on the said date.00. subject only to the former's right to repurchase it within a period of seven years. as Paulino Bollozos declared. That the said parcel of land. I have hereunto signed my name in this Municipality of Catarman Province of However. that the insertion of a stipulation for repurchase by the vendor in a contract of sale does not necessarily create any right 5th. particularly described above (Lot No. This is not correct. however. and the heirs. The contention is that as long as the land had not yet instrument suggesting a different arrangement such as that alleged by the plaintiffs-appellees in their complaint. Almiranez v.I. December 29. Misamis Oriental. For such renunciation. We have held in a number of cases decided under the provisions of the old Civil Code that the nature of a sale with the right of repurchase is such that the ownership 4th. Such a stipulation is in the nature of an option. executors. July 26. subject only to the resolutory privileges to repurchase the said parcel of land together with all its existing improvements thereon and for and in condition that the vendor exercise his right. on the 1st day of September 1934. Devera. but that charter reserving ownership of such lands to Filipino citizens. It is noted that this contract also purported to convey the same property to Yu but this was merely an affirmation or reiteration of the parties' intention in the first transaction. the sale could not have been made for the first time then for it would have been illegal under the provisions of the new Constitution that Signed in the presence of: had come into force in 1935. his inconsistent with the right of ownership in the purchaser. 1934. YU TIENG SU. as evidenced by the ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE ownership of the land to the vendee. P. 10 As for the finding of the trial court that the deed of sale with the right of repurchase was an equitable mortgage. Manalansan v.in this case up to May 30. RIVERA Bollozos as so too are the tax declarations. A sale with pacto de retro transfers the legal title to the vendee and this. To be sure. been registered in the name of the defendant-appellant. 8 renounce and repudiate my right and privilege to repurchase" the said property as reserved by him in the first It is settled that registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. YU TIENG In the deed of pacto de retro sale executed by Ignacio Reyes in favor of Lim Kiam on May 30. 8-Series of 1934. this court. being conditional. YU TIENG SU. denominated as "A" Definite and Absolute Purchase and Sale. Reg. and would operate to recognized in the said Constitution as a vested right that could no longer be disturbed under the new provisions of dispossess alien owners who had acquired their lands in good faith before the prohibition was established. That the said parcel of land together with all existing improvements thereon is registered in my name in the The plaintiffs-appellees err in suggesting that the first transaction. Registration does not confer ownership. Original Certificate of Title number Five Thousand Thirty-three. the period of repurchase was not fixed. Eufrosino Limbaco. force did not affect the right acquired by Lim Kiam. 342). proves that ownership of the land was It is clear from the first document that Paulino Bollozos actually sold the land in question to Yu for the sum of retained by Bollozos and later transferred to his heirs. L-19496 February 27. besides being an indication as well that the first contract was P636. There is nothing in this really only an equitable mortgage and not a deed of sale. 1960. it is argued. the real purpose of the second contract was to manifest Paulino Bollozo's waiver of his right to repurchase. All that is invoked in its support is that the land continued to be registered. L-13018.00. P. by these presents I do hereby sell. dates back only from November 15. Lastly. however. we hold it has no basis in fact and law. 97-Book No. the title acquired by Yu was to the time of their purchase. Paulino Bollozos could have repurchased the property within seven years pursuant to the first contract.2nd. Any other ruling would be illegal and unjust. certainly. heirs of Crisostomo and Tiongson (41 Phil. YU TIENG SU. that on this date the Constitution was already in Not. Philippine Currency to me L-13646. conveyance . transfer and forever convey a deliver unto said Mr. The Court of Appeals correctly held that in accordance with Article instrument of purchase with right or repurchase (Compra venta con pacto de retro) and said document is ratified 1508 of the old Civil Code the right could be exercised within four years from the date of execution of the before Notary Public Mr. 1934 for the sum of SIX HUNDRED THIRTY SIX (P636. thus increasing the total purchase price of the land to P931. 1936. As we have held in several cases. for which he received the additional sum of P295.00) under the 9203. of Mambajao. I.) PAULINO BOLLOZOS sale because the first contract had already been perfected and consummated. Manalang. Yu Tieng Su" for the agreed consideration of give notice to third persons. together with all existing improvements thereon was sold by me to Mr. This circumstance. period specified. parties and their privies because actual notice is equivalent to registration. contract. he did not choose to do so and in fact "renounced and repudiated" this right two years later in the second Misamis Oriental. 6 married to Sia Pute. subject only to the right of the vendor to redeem it within the OF TITLE number FIVE THOUSAND THIRTY THREE (5033). That by these presents I do hereby declare and say that I will forever renounce and repudiate my rights and over the thing sold is transferred to the vendee upon execution of the contract. title hereto remained with Bollozos. consideration of an additional sum TWO HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE PESOS (P295. 36 years of age. All the elements of a valid contract were present. in hand paid and the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged by Mr. Chinese. but only a means of confirming the fact of its existence with notice to the world at large. 7 the said parcel of land together with its existing improvements thereon described above. administrators and assigns that parcel of land together with all its existing improvements thereon. Indeed. of repurchase within the period agreed upon.. . 1932. The real purpose of registration being to the land in question and its improvements were "sold by me to Mr. carries with it the right of possession. 31 years of age. the prohibition against the acquisition of agricultural lands by aliens was not yet applicable. on this 21 st day of September 1936. it specifically referred to the first sale made in 1934 by virtue of which. IN WITNESSETH WHEREOF..

continuous. on the part of the vendee. "On August 12. 66-C jurisdictional requirements. with costs against the plaintiffs-appellees. situated in the Barrio of Libjo.all the tax declarations thereon were made. and that Lot 10171 was purchased by applicant-corporation on March 31. It also claims that the subject lots are not subject of any lien or encumbrance. 1994. as this was already prohibited "Should the property registration decree invoked not be allowed. applicant Tabangao Realty. Nevertheless. only the Assistant City Prosecutor appeared to oppose the application on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. Force responsible for negotiating with the numerous landowners and the subsequent acquisition by sale of the properties of Tabangao Realty. "Applicant Tabangao Realty. 1994 by the Office of the Land This Court dispenses equal justice to the citizen and the alien and judges them on the merits of their cause and not Registration Authority. September 1994.R. attached to its application its Articles of Incorporation. containing an area of 8.224 square meters. 1980 by virtue of a Deed of Court. On the contrary. upon motion of the application. respondents. the Regional Trial Court issued an order of are DISMISSED. D. peaceful. Branch 07. 130174 July 14. 1991. sell. The motion was granted by the Regional Trial Court on June 7. Inc. containing an area of 4. the State is committed to the recognition of all the initial hearing. The court also issued an order designating and authorizing Mr. to G. in the name of Paulino Bollozos. That may well be. containing an area of 4. In any event. that it is the owner of all adjoining lots. it is worth stressing that one of the indicia mentioned in the said article is that the vendor not remains in possession of the property in question. acquiring the land in question when the sale was concluded in 1934. While we are inclined to agree. but that would not signify that Paulino Bollozos retained or recovered ownership of the land he had already sold. in fact. It also property. P-1. technical descriptions of the lots. of three (3) parcels of land situated in Tabangao. "On January 8. benefits under CA No. it was effective in affirming the earlier contract of September 1. it may demonstrate neglect City of Batangas. we hold that the trial court erred in disregarding the sale with right of repurchase concluded on September military or forest reservation or any pending litigation affecting said subject lots. "L"). Having admitted him into our territory. "At the hearing. the applicant filed a motion to revive the application and to set the case for the color of their skin. filed an application for Original Registration of Title over three parcels of land. circumstance would not change the nature of the contract concluded in 1934. The defendant-appellant cites Article 1602 of the Civil Code and argues that none of the indications mentioned that it had been in actual possession of the lots since the time it acquired the same from the previous owners up to therein of an equitable mortgage are present in this case. adverse to the whole world and in the concept of an owner. He testified that the applicant-corporation DECISION was duly organized and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is authorized to acquire land by purchase and develop. P-2" and "Q") He testified that there is no pending litigation involving the subject "Lot 9895 – Plan Ap-4A-001136. . It should not deter us from ruling in his favor now. and that its possession and occupation as owners including that of its predecessor-in-interest has the said article is not applicable because it was not embodied in the old Civil Code which was in force in 1934. acquired by him by virtue declared that the lots are not tenanted nor subject of an agricultural leasehold relationship. represented by Rodolfo Perez. Rodolfo G. as found by the Court of Appeals. 1529. Thereafter. which is riot the situation here. public. lease and hold for investment or otherwise. Deeds of Sale. special default against the whole world with the exception of the government. No. the subject lots which improvements are owned by it (applicant). Batangas. P. more particularly described as follows: "The witness presented the tax declarations for the three parcels of land and tax receipts showing full payment of all taxes due.3 that Lot 10155 was acquired by applicant-corporation by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed on April 25. No. "P. that they are free from any liens or encumbrances. It is so ordered. Counsel for the applicant thereupon presented all the necessary evidence to satisfy the WHEREFORE. who was an alien. that respect for the foreign guest is ingrained in the law of the land and in the nature of our people. 1980 in its favor by the former owner Mr. Yu should be recognized as the lawful owner of the land in dispute. in making it absolute with the renunciation by the vendor of his right to repurchase the in open. 141 as amended and thus alleged that together with its predecessors-in-interest it had been 1934. Serrano. Legal Researcher of Regional Trial Court. situated in the Barrio of Tabangao. the tracing cloth plan of the lots. Batangas City decreeing the registration under the Property Registration Decree. peaceful and adverse possession of the subject lots for more than 30 years. it should be noted that the present. the application was ordered archived by the Regional Trial Court for the applicant’s failure to comply with the requirements called for in the Report dated February 22. "Applicant Tabangao Realty. 031 square meters. Inc. 2000 receive evidence. but that "Lot 10171 – Plan Ap-4A-001157.: estate of all kinds. This been open. mortgage.596 square meters. Inc. who had a right to transfer the registration in his name. of a legitimate contract of sale with pacto de retro which became absolute when the vendor waived his right of repurchase. Inc. City of mineral deposits in said lots. situated in the Barrio of Tabangao. continuous. Batangas City in favor of respondent corporation. more importantly. Batangas. The second contract executed on September 21. properties or any adverse claims filed against the applicants. Inc. 1980 from Anita Clear de Jesus who had been the owner of said lot since 1945 (Exh. "At the reception of evidence. and that there are no In sum. 1994 and initial hearing was set on rights of the stranger in our midst save only where they unduly clash with the higher interests of our own nation. could not have validly conveyed the land in question to defendant Yu. Perpetuo Almario married to Felisa Magpantay who owned the lot since 1945 (Exh. Branch 7. 1991. Accordingly. INC. and. At best. the applicant in the alternative applied for the by the Commonwealth Constitution. subdivide. On June 2. in Tabangao and Libjo. the appealed decision is REVERSED. blue print copies of said plan. Assessment Certificate. is an innvocation in the present Code. that no adverse interests exist with respect to the subject lots. the applicant presented Romeo Geron. that there are no tenants or agricultural leasehold contracts involving the subject properties. real PARDO. the Consultant and Project Controller of vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. The complaint and the counterclaim in Civil Case No. petitioner.. Geron testified that he is a resident of Tabangao and was a member of the Task COURT OF APPEALS AND TABANGAO REALTY. 1936. and in considering it an equitable mortgage. "The applicant further alleged that the plant of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Company is partly erected on The complaint. asks for recovery of possession of the land from defendant Yu. Absolute Sale executed in its favor by the previous owners. (Exh. The case is an appeal1 via certiorari from a decision of the Court of Appeals2 affirming that of the Regional Trial "He also testified that Lot 9895 was acquired by the applicant-corporation on March 31. "L-2"). the spouses Santiago and Cristina Dimaano (Exh. Tax The fact that the defendant in this case was an alien cannot be taken against him for he was not disqualified from Declarations for the three lots and Tax Clearances. J. 1934. are as follows: "L-1"). The facts. alleged in its application that it acquired the above-mentioned lots by purchase from its previous owners as evidenced by the corresponding Deeds of Sale. 1. we see here an opportunity to prove. and that there are no "Lot 10155 – Plan Ap-4A-001221. City of Batangas. as we do now. exchange. There is no such collision here. Tabangao Realty.

petitioner appealed the decision of the trial court to the Court of Appeals. alternative Com. Inc. 1942.R."12 the specific dealing regarding the lots subject of the application. It held: time he sold the same to applicant corporation on April 25. An applicant seeking to establish ownership over land must conclusively show that he is the owner thereof in fee G. en concepto de dueño. 1980 and that the parcel of land designated as Lot 10155 with an area "On the basis of all the evidence presented. 1991 (Exh.031 square meters was owned by Perpetuo Almario way back in 1945.8 COURT OF APPEALS AND ANGELINA M. applicant anchors its application for registration of title on the provisions of P. that they June 12. respondents. 5 evidence. He testified that he has been a resident of Barangay Malitan. as amended by Rep.4 possession of the property for over thirty (30) years is hardly "the well-nigh incontrovertible" evidence required in cases of this nature. unless acquired from the Government either by purchase or by grant. 1994 simple. peaceful. and declares the subject parcels of land to be public land belonging to the public domain. the application for voluntary registration under P. and obviously could not competently testify on the ownership and possession of the and its predecessors-in-interest have been in open. general statements which are mere conclusions of law than factual evidence of possession. this appeal. 18 However. which allows "those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest have been in open. 1529 or in the and in the concept of owners. 1980 because he was in charge of negotiation with the numerous landowners for acquisition of their property by Tabangao Realty.7 for the standing presumption is that all lands belong to the public domain of the State. under a bona fide claim of acquisition of of the lots subject of the application. continuous. of the Bureau of Forest Development. No. The applicant has no title at all. both CENRO. Batangas City even registration under the Cadastral Act and declared public land can no longer be the subject of registration by before 1937 up to the present and that he knew the applicant Tabangao Realty. is entitled to registration of title over the three (3) parcels of land applied for. he knew that domain and no forestry interest is adversely interposed by the Bureau of Forest Development. public. facts constituting possession must be duly established by competent On July 30. and considering. predecessors in interest for at least thirty (30) years before the filing of the application. and even presented the favorable testimonies of Mr. DENIES the application for registration situated in Tabangao. the lower court gravely erred in granting the application. and was therefore personally aware of one under the Torrens System of registration. adverse and continuous In due time. of the Bureau interest. 1945. No. "Loida Maglinao testified that the subject properties are within the alienable and disposable area of the public Witness Romeo Geron. "M"). a consultant of applicant Tabangao Realty."Geron also testified that the properties are presently under Lease Contract with Shell Gas Philippines for 25 years The land in question is admittedly public. possessions of the parcels of land applied for up to the present. Inc. adverse Nonetheless. D. or a bona fideclaim "Rodolfo Fernandez testified that the three parcels of land subject of the application are not covered by any kind of of acquisition of ownership for at least thirty (30) years immediately preceding the filing of the application. The Court of Appeals ruled that the applicant Tabangao Realty. for the requisite period of time. the parcels of land applied for were declared public land by decision of the Cadastral Court. He mentioned that he was the Chairman of the Task Force that was responsible for previously held. for such possession would justify the presumption that the land had never vs. Map No. Batangas City Branch. and the areas surrounding the voluntary application under Presidential Decree No.9 Such being the case. The land having been subjected to compulsory Batangas since June 1971. The issue raised is whether respondent Tabangao Realty. Rodolfo Fernandez.15 or earlier. peaceful. Inc. He said that he knew the previous owners since he started residing in Batangas. Maglinao. 718 and certified on March 26. public. supported by their respective official Reports. predecessors since time immemorial. with an area of 4. Hence. ownership. The second application is barred by res-judicata. Inc. "The applicants also presented Crecencio Marasigan. exclusive and notorious possession of the land in question. Inc. 1991 (Exh. and that their possessions had been open. 13. In fact. we note that the applicant failed to prove the fact of possession by itself and its Investigation Report made by the Bureau of Lands dated April 24. continuous.22 In other words. and that he possessed the lot up to the granting the application for registration. testified that in the year 1945.596 square meters was owned by Santiago Dimaano. D. uninterrupted and adverse subject land. the evidence is inconclusive that applicant and its predecessors in interest had been in open. possession and the status possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain. that they are not within the reservation area nor within the forest zone. the City Prosecutor of Batangas offered the testimonies of Rodolfo Fernandez of the Bureau of Lands and Loida Maglinao of the Bureau of Forest Development. 1997. Batangas City applied for. 141. However. 1995 of 4. the Regional Trial Court rendered a decision on March 31. continuous. SO ORDERED. who sold the lot to applicant corporation on March 31. continuous.19 "The applicant must present specific acts of ownership to substantiate the claim and cannot just offer of Lands and Miss Loida Y. been part of the public domain or that it had been private property even before the Spanish conquest. petitioner. the land designated as Lot 9895. except lands possessed by an occupant and his REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES."21 land subject of this case. . that no evidence has been presented by the government in Applicant failed to prove specific acts showing the nature of its possession and that of its predecessors in support of its Opposition. The ruling is erroneous. "1" to "1-b").17 are not reserved for any government purposes. Act No.6 Consequently. 103047 September 2. has registerable title over three (3) parcels of land WHEREFORE. in 1945. Fernandez presented the Analyzing the evidence submitted. exclusive and notorious "Marasigan corroborated the testimony of Romeo Geron with regard to the ownership. No costs.1âwphi1 Its claim of acquisition of from 1981 up to 2006 as evidenced by a Lease Contract executed on May 18. and that the entire areas are within the Alienable and Disposable Zone as Classified under Project No. Act No. ownership is solely based on possession. of title filed by applicant Tabangao Realty. 1928. he cannot acquire the negotiations that were done with the previous owners of the subject lots. "[W]here the applicant possesses no title or ownership over the parcel of land." 20 "Actual possession Batangas City.16 or since time immemorial. witness Geron "From the credible testimony and documentary evidence adduced establishing applicant-corporation that the latter was only seven (7) years old. under bona fide claim of ownership. 1529. No. CASTRO. Section 48 (b). for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application" to apply for judicial confirmation and registration of title. Inc. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision affirming the appealed decision.13 "In opposition. the Court REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals. 14or since public land application or patent." The bare assertion of witnesses that the applicant of land had been in the open. the Court is convinced that the applicant-corporation of land consists in the manifestation of acts of dominion over it of such a nature as a party would naturally exercise Tabangao Realty Incorporated had sufficiently established its rights to the grant of title over the three (3) parcels of over his own property. He is an employee at the Office of the Register of Deeds of 152910 is barred by the prior judgment of the Cadastral Court.11 As lots subject of the application.

Castro gave birth. Through her lawyer's efforts. Judge Pablo M. license. shall be discussed jointly. Angelina M. — A written statement signed by an officer having custody of an official record or in the Pasay City Court on June 21. it was only in March 1971. The case at bench originated from a petition filed by private respondent Angelina M. Cardenas. issued by the civil registrar that marriage license no. 2 It held that the above certification was inadequate to establish the alleged non. (Sgd) CENONA D. 1970 cannot be located as said license no. February 20. QUINTOS As custodians of public documents. Desiring to follow her daughter. 3196182 was issued to the parties is not adequate to prove its non-issuance. he June 24. when Castro discovered she was pregnant. The baby is now in the United States. "inability of the certifying official to locate the marriage license is not conclusive to show that there was no marriage license issued. Angelina Castro offered in evidence a certification from the Civil Register of Pasig. In fact. 6 Castro testified that she did not go to the civil registrar of Pasig on or before June 24. 3196182 was not in their record adequately proved that no such license was ever issued. It will be remembered that the subject marriage was a civil ceremony from the local civil registrar sufficiently established the absence of a marriage license. no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his no. certificate of "due search and inability to find" sufficiently proved that his office did not issue marriage license no. viz. including the names of the applicants. in itself. that the couple decided to Registrar of Pasig prior to the celebration of the marriage of private respondent to Edwin F. being interrelated. CASTRO who were allegedly married Sec. Metro Manila. 1 As ground therefor. She insisted that the certification peculiar circumstances of the case. Cardenas were married in a civil ceremony performed by court disregarded the presumption that the solemnizing officer. contain no such record or entry. J. the marriage voidab initio." The fact that private respondent Castro offered only her testimony in support of her petition is. a The trial court denied the petition. 5 As proof. CARDENAS and ANGELINA M. The subject marriage is one of those commonly known as a "secret marriage" . 1970 in Pasay City. Petitioner thus insists that the certification and the uncorroborated testimony of private respondent are insufficient to overthrow the legal presumption regarding the validity of a marriage. The marriage was celebrated without the knowledge of duties when he attested in the marriage contract that marriage license no. they discovered that there was no marriage license a local civil registrar. respondent appellate court reversed the Decision of the trial court. with the consent of Cardenas. 1970. Castro claims that no marriage license was ever issued to them prior to the solemnization of their Petitioner Republic of the Philippines urges that respondent appellate court erred when it ruled that the certification marriage. Cardenas. defendant Edwin F. The baby was adopted by Castro's brother. The core issue presented by the case at bench is whether or not the documentary and testimonial evidence The couple did not immediately live together as husband and wife since the marriage was unknown to Castro's presented by private respondent are sufficient to establish that no marriage license was issued by the Civil parents. 3196182 allegedly issued in the municipality on June 20. marriage license. The failure to offer any other witness to corroborate her testimony is mainly due to the Unsatisfied with the decision. Castro in the Regional Trial Hence this petition for review on certiorari. the marriage contract itself states that marriage license no. It reads: Petitioner posits that the certification of the local civil registrar of due search and inability to find a record or entry to the effect that marriage license no. On October 19. performed by a judge of a city court. uncorroborated testimony of private respondent Castro that she had no part in the procurement of the subject Trial proceeded in his absence. Castro and Edwin F. the couple parted ways. civil registrars are public officers charged with the duty. However. Being one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage. The controlling facts are undisputed: Petitioner also points that in declaring the marriage between the parties as null and void. She thus consulted a lawyer. including the procurement of the marriage. not a ground to deny her petition. being the officer charged under the law to keep a record of all data relative to the issuance of a marriage license. It ruled that the 3196182 to the contracting parties. Metro Manila. Defendant Cardenas personally attended to the processing of the documents required for the before the solemnization of the subject marriage. 1970 in order to apply for a license. Cardenas failed to file his answer. She affixed her signature only on the marriage contract on The certification of "due search and inability to find" issued by the civil registrar of Pasig enjoys probative value. 1970 under an alleged (s)upportive marriage license by his deputy. he was declared in default. 1970 in The issues. 1987 We hold otherwise. 3196182 office. Ed Atanacio. Petitioner also faults the respondent court for relying on the self-serving and Despite notice. The above Rule authorized the custodian of documents to certify that despite diligent search. Court of Quezon City seeking a judicial declaration of nullity of her marriage to Edwin F. of Senior Civil Registry Officer maintaining a register book where they are required to enter all applications for marriage licenses. respondent appellate On June 24. Frumencio E. Rule 132 of the TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Rules of Court.: marriage contract. Castro wanted to put in order her marital At the time the subject marriage was solemnized on June 24. Malvar. 1971. Thereafter. that after diligent search. We affirm the impugned Decision. Consequently. As stated earlier. Unaccompanied by any circumstance of suspicion and pursuant to Section 29. regularly performed his Judge Pablo M. issuance of a marriage license prior to the celebration of the marriage between the parties. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. is admissible as evidence that the records of his office does not appear from our records. Pulgar. Proof of lack of record. Malvar. live together. 3196182 was duly presented to him Castro's parents. Neither did she sign any application therefor. Castro appealed to respondent appellate court. inter alia. a particular document does not exist in his office or that a particular entry of a specified tenor was not to be found in a register. The presentation of such certification in court is sanctioned by Section 29. the law governing marital relations was the status before leaving for the States. 1970. 29. the date the marriage license was issued and such other relevant data. Issued upon request of Mr. celebration of the marriage. absence of a license would render issued to Cardenas prior to the celebration of their marriage. their cohabitation lasted only for four (4) months. Atty. Pasig. regarding the possible New Civil Code. accompanied by a certificate as above provided. Thus. 3 It declared the marriage between the contracting parties null and void and directed the Civil Registrar of Pasig to cancel the subject PUNO. The law 4 provides that no marriage shall be solemnized without a marriage license first issued by annulment of her marriage.: This is to certify that the names EDWIN F. 3196182 was issued in the name of the contracting parties on June 24. City Court Judge of Pasay City.

approved on Opol National Schools motion for reconsideration of said decision having been denied by the Court of Appeals in January 25. Opol National Schools claim over the questioned area. The records show that the marriage between open. by himself and by his predecessors-in-interest. Opol Cadastre as a school site. The appellate court has resolved the question as to who between the parties had a better right to possess the lot In view of Doldols refusal to vacate. Despite In ruling in Doldols favor. The trial court ruled in the schools favor and ordered Doldol to vacate the Renan E. Those shall be conclusively presumed to have performed respondent appellate court. September 10. 1998. 1997. 1968. Cad-237. but whose titles have not been perfected or completed. For failure to answer. may apply to the Court of First Instance It is noteworthy to mention that the finding of the appellate court that the marriage between the contracting parties (now Regional Trial Court) of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the is null and void for lack of a marriage license does not discount the fact that indeed. we hold that. upon completion of the requisite period ipso jure and Before us is a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 27. a spurious marriage license. 1977. Surely. The same. has already been amended by Presidential Decree No. including the the authority of the Director of Lands to dispose of. from 1959 up to the time of the filing occupation of lands of the public domain since July 26.— a legally non-existent phrase but ordinarily used to refer to a civil marriage celebrated without the knowledge of Appeals erred on a question of law when it held. 1942. 1998] alienable land of the public domain if he has possessed the same for thirty years. 1987. was duly served with notice of the proceedings and a copy of the petition. exclusive private respondent Castro sufficiently established the absence of the subject marriage license. the appellate court cited Republic vs. 1998. CA[1] where this Court. rejected the same on April 1. No. 180 reserving the area. ceases to be public land and becomes private property. without the In accordance with said resolution.: The weight of authority is that open. 1963. 200 SCRA 606 (1991) declared that: ROMERO. ceases to be of the public domain and beyond November 2. now renamed the Opol National Secondary Technical School which does not affect the legal sufficiency of the title as would be evidenced by the patent and the Torrens title to (hereafter Opol National School). under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation IN VIEW WHEREOF. provided for a simple thirty year prescriptive period of occupation by an applicant for judicial confirmation of imperfect title. This was superseded by R. Section 48(b) now reads: its resolution of March 5. it ruled that the former had acquired ownership of the same. xxxxxxxxx In fine. petitioner. as amended by Republic Act No. 1073. therefore. he having possessed the same for thirty-two years. he chose to ignore the same. Solicitor Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro.A. the fact that only private respondent Castro testified during the trial cannot be held against her. Cardenas. xxxxxxxxx The facts are as follows: with the latters proven occupation and cultivation for more than 30 years since 1914. 141 receipt thereof. exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period prescribed by law creates the legal fiction whereby the land. vs. the Opol High School transferred to the site in 1970. On appeal. J. the petition is DENIED there being no showing of any reversible error committed by of title. he was properly declared in default. citing Director of DECISION Lands vs. the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by (b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. 1894. The application for confirmation is mere formality. notorious and exclusive possession of the land in dispute for thirty-two years. As interpreted in several cases. Her husband. The land. for the Opol High School. may have been presented by Cardenas to the solemnizing officer. a right to a grant. 132963. denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.[2] which of the complaint in 1991. The petition is meritorious. thereby negating REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. title over the land has vested on petitioner so as to segregate the land from the mass of Sometime in 1959. issuance of a certification of title therefor under the Land Registration Act. the school made be issued upon the strength of said patent. This reserved lot unfortunately included the area occupied by Doldol. decision of the Regional Trial Court and dismissing herein petitioners complaint. the possessor is deemed to have acquired. The original Section 48(b) of C. On October 23. ruling that Doldol was entitled to aforementioned section was still good law. he filed an application for saltwork purposes for the said area with the Bureau of Forest Development. that respondent had been in the relatives and/or friends of either or both of the contracting parties. Private (otherwise known as the Public Land Act). Finding Doldol to have occupied the disputed lot for thirty-two years. public land. Municipality of Opol. To further bolster its argument. The following described citizens of the Philippines. but he refused to move. No. Opol National School filed in 1991 a complaint for accion possessoria with the through the erroneous application of an outdated version of Section 48 of the Public Land Act. Section 48. Opol National School elevated its case to this Court. occupying lands of the public domain or claiming interest therein. continuous. the lack of portion in dispute. Edwin F. under the circumstances of the case.A. respondent Nicanor Doldol occupied a portion of land in Barrio Pontacan. Said provision. on necessity of a certificate of title being issued. except when prevented by wars or force majeure. As amended. continuous. Iglesia ni Cristo. and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain.(Italics ours) SO ORDERED. Misamis Oriental. all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter. xxxxxxxxx the Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental passed a resolution in 1965 reserving Lot 4932. however. NICANOR DOLDOL. 141 provided for possession and the portion he occupied. claiming that the Court of . provides as respondent cannot be faulted for her husband's lack of interest to participate in the proceedings. The Director of Forestry. Meanwhile. Ramos of the Office of the Solicitor General erred in assuming that the thirty-year proviso in the land. respondent. when the conditions as specified in the foregoing provision are complied with. the appellate court averred that a citizen of the Philippines may acquire [G. by operation of law. several demands for him to vacate said portion. then President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. Likewise. (represented by Opol National Secondary Technical School). reversing the without the need of judicial or other sanction. Needing the area occupied by Doldol for its intended projects. to wit: purporting to be issued by the civil registrar of Pasig. however.R. contrary to the evidence on record. as well as its resolution of March 5. a government grant. There was follows: absolutely no evidence on record to show that there was collusion between private respondent and her husband Cardenas. No. In accordance with the above provision. the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the court a quo. Seventeen years later. 1942. Castro and Cardenas was initially unknown to the parents of the former. the Court of Appeals grounded its decision on Section 48 of Commonwealth Act No.

et al. In sum. continuous. public domain intended for public use (Article 420. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF BATANGAS and THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE have jurisdiction over the subject matter (Ramos v. T-21713 to Jose L. CASTILLO. Opol National School has the better right of possession over the land in dispute. Batangas. with a total area of 39. T-21727 to Teresita had reserved the lot for Opol National School. and Resolution dated March 27. 0-665 meets the first requirement. In a decision dated August 31. Doldol. Castillo (Lot 9). The evidence presented shows that the land in dispute is alienable and disposable. to Consequently. Not having complied with the conditions set by law. 1945.R. Branch VI. pp. Transfer domain. Doldol cannot. lands constitutes res adjudicata. as appearing in Bureau of Forest Land Classification Map No. Sometime in 1951. for which Original Certificate of Title No. and being of public settlement on them can be acquired. or earlier. TERESITA L. the instant petition. assert a right superior to the school. Herein petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration G. vs. 3251-A. 1988 (Record. pp. that the action has prescribed. de Castillo. 62-69). the then Court of First Instance of Batangas. and that the government was estopped from questioning the ownership and possession of appellants. p. 2044 with the lower court for the annulment of the certificates lands occupied and the authority of the President to withdraw such lands for sale or acquisition by the public. the decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 27. (Lot 5). Transfer Certificate of Title No. a government grant. By virtue of an instrument dated March 18. without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued. or to of title issued to defendants Amanda Lat Vda. AIDA CASTILLO HERRERA. After the death domain must be from June 12. Lots 1 and 2. and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain. it has long . NIEVES KATIGBAK CASTILLO. Castillo (Lot 6). however. we stated that the Public Land Act requires that the applicant must Court *reversing the February 6. and in lieu thereof. Lands covered by reservation are not subject to entry. therefore. The law. LILIA MACEDA CASTILLO. not registrable. 1992. CASTILLO. exclusive and notorious Case No. J. 1945 or earlier. Amanda Lat Vda. the possessor of the land. are as follows: acquires a right to a grant. in the aforecited Republic vs. The Court of Appeals. Psu-119166) to the State. by operation of law. et al. HIPOLITA DYTIAPCO CASTILLO. executed a deed of partition and imperfect title. Civil Code) and. in accordance with the District located in Banadero. Thus. CA case. therefore. The sole issue raised in this case is whether or not the decision of the Land Registration Court involving shore AMANDA LAT VDA. 21704 to Florencio Castillo same started only in 1959. 2044. on February 7. 1998. 585. it could not be the subject of registration as private property. is hereby REINSTATED. stipulated during the pre-trial hearing that Doldol had been occupying the portion reserved with Lot No.. HERMITO HERRERA. Those shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under PARAS. (Italics ours) This is a petition for review on certiorari of the April 26. defendants below. 0-665. The decretal portion of the said decision. August 25. 3254-A and Lot No. married to Amanda Lat.. true and absolute owner of the land with the improvements thereon. continuous. immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title. 1 and 2 of Plan Psu-19166 are hereby declared public lands belonging to the state. CASTILLO. as presently phrased. for the same to be acquired through judicial confirmation of of Modesto Castillo. assumption of mortgage in favor of Florencio L. or on August 31. Castillo. There is no question that one of the requisites of res judicata is that the court rendering the final judgment must CASTILLO. Castillo (Lot 8). and no lawful had always formed part of the Taal Lake. in a Decision dated February 6. MARIANO L. de Castillo. as heirs/successors of Modesto Castillo. petitioner. alleged in their answer that the Government's action was already barred by the decision of the registration court. together The parties. prior to the divesting by the government of title thereof stands. were consolidated and sub-divided into Lots 1 to 9 under Pcs-1046. WHEREFORE. that the subject area is within Project 8. possession and occupation of the same must either be since time immemorial or for the period prescribed in the Public Land Act. and for reserve them for public use. 1952. 1984 Decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Thus. since June 12. When the conditions set by law are complied with. Castillo (Lot 7). Herrera (Lot 2). ruled in favor of herein petitioner Republic of the Philippines. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. except when prevented by wars orforce majeure.(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. requires that possession of lands of the public Certificate of Title No. and Transfer Certificate of Title No. 52). DE CASTILLO. 31-41). No. Without pronouncement as to costs. Transfer Certificate of Title No. Quintanilla. in Civil prove (a) that the land is alienable public land and (b) that his open. L-69002 June 30. reversed and set aside the appealed decision. CARLOS L.[3] ownership. WHEREFORE. the said Lots 1 and 2 covered by Original Certificate of Title No. the said Modesto Castillo. 0- 665 in the name of Modesto Castillo and the subsequent Transfer of Certificates of Title issued over the property in the names of the defendants. and dismissed the complaint (Record. Batangas. 1976 Decision of the then Court of First Instance of Batangas. washed and inundated by the waters thereof.1984 (Record. issued to him by the Register of Deeds at Batangas. under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership. 1960. (T)he privilege of occupying public lands with a view of preemption confers no contractual or vested right in the The Republic of the Philippines filed Civil Case No. on appeal. T-21718 to Aida C. 42-51). reads: SO ORDERED. T-21708 to Carlos L. et al. much later than June 12. given that then President Corazon Aquino Certificate of Title No. pp. As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General: L. as a result of which Original Certificate of Title No. It was alleged that said lands defeat the imperfect right of a settler. an alienable and meters. 1945.respondents. are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and the Decision of the Regional Trial Court dated After trial. Appellants herein. 12377 covered by Transfer for the school site only since 1959.: the provisions of this chapter. T- Doldol cannot be said to have acquired a right to the land in question as to segregate the same from the public 21712 to Mariano L. 21703 (Lot 4) (and) Transfer Certificate of Title No. even though this may the reversion of the lands covered thereby (Lots 1 and 2. et al. in a Decision promulgated on April 26. Hence. 1960..1984. presided over by Honorable Benjamin Relova. The antecedental facts of this case. new transfer cerfificates of title were issued to Florencio Castillo. Pablo. but the same was denied in a Resolution promulgated on October 12. 1978. Nardo. that shores are properties of the COURT.755 square Foresters Certification dated September 20. Gonzales & Macatangay Law Office for respondents. 1976 (Record on Appeal. CASTILLO. D-665 was cancelled. premises considered. Branch VI. exclusive Castro. thus. 1997. described in Plan Psu-119166. Tanauan. as found by the then Intermediate Appellate Court.. Transfer Certificate of Title No. the late Modesto Castillo applied for the registration of two parcels of land. the Register of Deeds of Batangas is hereby ordered to cancel Original Certificate of Title No. Lots Nos. JOSE L. Doldol could not have acquired an imperfect title to the disputed lot since his occupation of the wit: Transfer Certificate of Title No. was. was declared the disposable tract of public land. FLORENCIO T. 146 SCRA 24 [1986]. 12374 covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 1951. SOLEDAD LOTA CASTILLO.

Pablo Tapia. H-1). pp. Among the exhibits formally offered by the Government are: the Original Plan of Tanauan. Explaining the first survey of 1923. which showed that Lots 1 and 2 are parts of the Taal Lake. Lots 12374 and 12377 were made as reference to conform to previously Brief.. 26. Rosendo Arcenas. Psu-119166. Nov. and that the people started improving the area only during liberation and began to build their houses thereon. that the people in the area never came to know about the registration case in which the lots in Petitioner contends "that "Lots 1 and 2. pp. the trial court decided the case in favor of the government but the decision was reversed on appeal by the Court of Appeals. that the people depend upon registration court (of 1951) did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate said lands as private property. They finally insisted that this issue of facts Identified or located because they were under water by about forty centimeters. he submitted a report of investigation regarding the land in question. that Lots 1 and 2 were yet inexistent during the Japanese judicata does not apply.1970. testified to the effect that he was the overseer of the property of the late Modesto Castillo himself there are other occupants of the land among whom are Atanacio Tironas. that Engineer Santiago also submitted a report (Exh. Batangas. old points cannot be and possession thereof pursuant to Article 778 of the Law of Waters. 13-21. the parcels of land Tirones.1970. Engineer Rosendo 5. that he had notified Dr. he found that 2 monuments of the lots in question were washed out by the Appeal. Dr. .. that he noted on the plan Exhibit H-9 the areas on which the houses of Severo Alcantara and others were built. 37-38). 1971. H-8). 13 SCRA 704). bamboos and palay. citing the cases of Dizon. thus showing that the Government was the only in question by the waters of Taal Lake was merely accidental and does not affect private respondents' ownership claimant of the land during the survey in 1948.1970. waters of the Baloyboy Creek. and that the Castillos never stayed in or occupied raising. because they in 1962 under SWO-40601. and that he found also some shells ('suso') along the banks of Also summarized by respondent Appellate Court. 502). continuous. since 1957. (Appellee's in the preparation of plan Psu-119166. et al. the Original Plan of PSU-119166. that he found that the land ATTY. that lot 12374 is a portion of cadastral lot 10107. that the occupants of said Lots 1 and 2 were engaged in duck area with shells and sand. since he was managing said property. that the first survey executed of the land Castillo family for more than 76 years and that their possession was public. that it was they who filled up the area to make it habitable.1971. 259 [1965]. that during the relocation survey made in 1962. Silvano Reano. near the Taal lake.Tanauan. Batangas (Cad. and reports of the petitioner are as follows: Geodetic Engineers. have receded to the present level is because of the fillings made by the people living in Lots 1 and 2. 1970. all showing the original shoreline of the disputed areas and the fact that the properties in question were under water at the time and are still under water especially during the rainy season (Hearing. pp. etc. Their 6. that But an important bone of contention is the nature of the lands involved in this case. being outside the in the construction of irrigated rice paddies. said lots were annotated on the plan as claimed by the Republic of the Philippines in were still under water as a result of the eruption of Taal Volcano on May 5. Batangas since 1944 to 1965. Consequently. that the properties in question were the shorelands of Taal Lake during the cadastral thereof. 4 Civil Code) the occupied by them. Relocation Verification Survey Plan. 98 and at present the water has receded to a point up to Exhibit A-12. 3. (Rollo. and that upon his death the land was subdivided among his legal heirs. 137-162). 197-234). that he was present during the survey of the land in 1948. 1970. Batangas. pp. v. helped one another inundated by the waters thereof. Rodriguez. 32-50). 46-47). Rufino Santiago. Agapito Llarena. Otherwise stated.. pp. Gavino Mendoza. April 14. Mariano Castillo before survey of 1923. that portions of the lot in question were covered by public land applications filed by the occupants found by the trial court. Nov. pp. v. Barrio Captain of Tanauan. pp. As above-stated. 4-9). that during the war the water line reached up to a point marked Exhibit A-9 the registrant (Republic v. 16. Feb. res judicata(Record on the premises on November 23. he. testified to the effect that on Arcenas testified as follows: October 19. and that aside from the duck pens which are built in the premises. 115-137). adjoin the cadastral survey of Tanauan. that he helped them file their public land applications for the portions commerce of men. Juliano located at Banadero. that the composition of the soil is a mixture of mud and duck feeds. that Lots 1 and 2. particularly As summarized by the Intermediate Appelate Court (now Court of Appeals). TSN. also testified to the effect that in accordance with the cadastral plan of Tanauan. Nov. that the original boundary of the original cadastral survey was foreshore land as indicated on the plan. a Geodetic Engineer connected with the Bureau of Lands since 1961. Bayona. 16. 1971. that during the ocular inspection of had been squarely raised at the hearing of the land registration case and. that the reasons why the waters of Taal lake Phil. res duck raising as their means of their livelihood. pp. testified to the effect that pursuant to the order of the Director of Lands. occupation. 943. 26. that like 1. The Government presented both oral and documentary evidence. et al. 4. washed and question were registered. dated October 19. Arsenio Ibay. that their occupation is duck raising.1970. March 1.tc. therefore. that the Castillos have never been in possession of the premises. Batangas. and Dizon. pp. 62-88). Ayala y Cia. et al. that they filled up the in question. follows: 2. that those occupants were paying the Castillos certain amount of money because their animals used to get the premises (Tsn. it has been satisfactorily established as 1970 (Exh. that the people living in the area. that the shoreline is not even in shape because of the Baloyboy Creek. Batangas. They submitted oral and documentary evidence in support of their claim. that there are several duck pens all over the place. the land is planted to rice (Tsn. a Geodetic Engineer connected with the Bureau of Lands since 1968. et al. which are the lots in question.been settled that portions of the foreshore or of the territorial waters and beaches cannot be registered. together with Engineer Rufino Santiago and the barrio captain of Tanauan. inside the lots in question. the same were not subject to registration. that he submitted a report of investigation. that the area had been elevated because of the waste matters and duck feeds that have accumulated on the ground through the years (Tsn. the testimonies of the witnesses for the Banader Estate. hence. 168). that he also found duck pens along the lots in question. PSU-119166 had always formed part of the Taal Lake. 1970. that the Castillos never asserted any private claim to the lots in question during the cadastral survey. Braulio Almendral testified to the effect that he is a resident of Tanauan. AGCAOILI: was planted to coconuts which are about 15 years old. and adverse after 1923 was the one executed in 1948 under Plan Psu-119166 that in the relocation survey of the disputed lots against the whole world and that said lots were not titled during the cadastral survey of Tanauan. Nov. Mariano Castillo. pp. that the land is likewise improved with rice paddies. 1911 and that the inundation of the land the same manner that it was so annotated in Plan Psu-119166. (Tsn. even without any government aid. 4-36). SWO-86738 while Lot 22377 is a portion of Lot 10108 of the same plan (Tsn. improvements consist of bananas. 25. 14 SCRA. and that since the lots in litigation are of public domain (Art. Nov. the only private claim of Sixto Castillo referred to Lots 1006 2. 16. private respondents maintain that Lots 1 and 2 have always been in the possession of the that the cadastral survey of Tanauan was executed sometime in 1923. conducting the investigation (Tsn. On the other hand. 25. that there are houses in the premises as well as some camotes and bananas. outweighed the evidence for the private respondents. 163-196).' that positions in the Government. Jose Isidro. testified to the effect that the actual occupants of inclusion in a certificate of title does not convert the same into properties of private ownership or confer title upon Lots I and 2 are Atanacio Tirones. that the occupants thereof are duck raisers. A careful study of the merits of their varied contentions readily shows that the evidence for the government has far conducted an investigation of the land in question. the testimonies of the witnesses of private respondents are as the Taal lake (Tsn. 63-64). approved plans. testified to the effect that the late Modesto Castillo was a government official who held high to 1008. 1970. maps. peaceful. pp. testified to the effect 17.. Nov. par. another Geodetic Engineer connected with the Bureau of Lands. that he also knows Lots 1 and 2. pp. a Land Investigator of the Bureau of Lands.

1970. Manalastas obtained from spouses Albino Magat and Benigna Sangalang a parcel of land situated in Vizal. sir. pp. the respective statements of fact by the litigants will have to be considered for a proper disposition of the case at bar. sir. Another theory to bolster and support this Idea is the actual location now in the verification-relocation survey of a known geographic point were Barrio Boundary Monument (BBM N. 3802 and 4160. 1985. 9. v. Batangas (Hearing of Nov.. Pls-476 of the Candaba Public Land Subdivision (Exhibit "E" and one (1) foot. 1970. which contained an area of sixty four thousand and sixty (64. Public Attorney's Office for respondents. Psu. 108 Phil. sale over the same or its disposition by free patent? The answer. mere Q Now. the water of Taal lake even went beyond the questioned lots. pp. APOLONIA DELA CRUZ and THE HEIRS OF MOISES CAO. executed if you know? Santiago P. ASIDE and REVERSED and the February 6. p. Q Do I understand from you Mr.060) square meters Said surveys were further confirmed by the testimonies of witnesses to the effect that from 1950 to 1969. the survey plan of Lot No. 1949 (Exhibit "A"). there were no definite "B". Nov. Psu-119166 which notations clearly indicates that such boundary of property case have to be tackled as there is where the seeming confusion lies. or the survey plan of Lot Nos. 1972 Exhibit "E". 23.Q Now. 14-15). Candaba. 143 represent? SCRA 674 [1968]). 7. 1970. Lot No. On March 2. Pursuant to a survey of land conducted on March 7. vs. (tsn. 64-65). respectively). was a former shorelines of Taal Lake. in other words. 747. 16). 12377. 1993 portion? PATRICIO B. because there is here an annotation that the boundary on the [1960]). tsn. of course. were these lots 1 and 2 already in existence as part of the cadastral survey? SO ORDERED. MANALASTAS and BELEN MANALASTAS. A This is the cadastral lot executed in favor of a certain Modesto Castillo that corresponds to Lots 12374 and PREMISES CONSIDERED.. Witness at the time of the survey of this land these two lots form part of this G. and is not available for private ownership until formally declared by the government to be no longer needed for public use (Ignacio v.1970. 93. Law on Natural Resources. xxx xxx xxx The defense of long possession is likewise not available in this case because. COURT OF APPEALS. because there is already a foreshore boundary. which was about divided into Lots Nos. id. A fence made of concrete hollow blocks was constructed by Moises Cao to separate Lot No. On the contrary.1976 Decision of the then Court of First Instance of Batangas is hereby AFFIRMED and REINSTATED. 67). respondents. 16. and that the water. 20). Lots 12374 and 12377. it was the extent of cultivation being the shorelines and the rest of the area going to the southwestern direction are already covered by water level. TSN pp. No. A Yes. both in the name of Patricio Manalastas. id. In the Relocation Survey of 1962. Armamento III for petitioners. Patricio and Belen Manalastas declared the property Lakeshore land or lands adjacent to the lake. 10. Hearing of Nov. id. 1956. 29-30). is obvious. 15. pp. there are two lots indicated namely. Psu-119166 surveyed and approved in the NOCON. J. TSN. HON. it was established that the occupants of the lots who were engaged in duck raising filled up the area with shells and sand to make it habitable. the Bureau of Lands Tirones both residents of Banadero. belong cadastral lots of the Tanauan Cadastre. sir. 17-18). like the lands in question must be differentiated from foreshore land subject of Exhibit "A" for taxation purposes with the Office of the Provincial Assessor of Pampanga under Tax or that part of the land adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides Declaration No. now. as already ruled by this Court. 747. as well as Exhibit Nov. pp. id. 16. 10-12). stayed up to more or less two (2) to three (3) months (Testimonies of Braulio Almendral and Anastacio Exhibit "B". 97493 February 8. 423) while of yours? accretion on a sea bank still belongs to the public domain. pp. on this plan Exhibit "A-2". TSN. 4723 (Exhibit "C"). Colegio de San Jose. 3801 and 3802. To support this theory is the annotation appearing and printed along lines 2-3-4-5 of Lot 1. A No. As the petitioners dispute the findings of facts by both the respondent Court of Appeals and the trial court. 98-99. 16. 3801. northeastern side is Tanauan Cadastre 168 which indicates that the boundary of the original cadastral survey of Tanauan Cadastre way back in the year 1923 adjoins a foreshore land which is also indicated in this plan as But said distinction will not help private respondents because there is no accretion shown to exist in the case at foreshore lands of Taal lake.1984 Decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court is hereby SET another Lot 12377.R. pp. the land was separated or rainy season. which was surveyed and approved in the name of Modesto Castillo The case at bar involves the question of which prevails: is it the disposition of public agricultural land by a deed of under Cad. during (tsn. 15-17). Pineda. Due to the construction of road and irrigation canal. A In the year 1923. p. San Pablo. pp. will you please state to the Court what is the basis of that statement to the owners of the estate to which they have been added (Gov't. Pampanga. 4160. Batangas. Q At the time this survey plan Psu-119166 and marked as Exhibit "A-2" was executed in 1948. Q When again was the cadastral survey of Tanauan. 12374 and Lot No. TSN. 745 from Lot 4160 (tsn. 4160 with an area of two boundary or area of Lots 1 and 2 because a certain point is existing which was under water by 40 centimeters thousand two hundred and two (2. see notation appearing on verification-relocation plan previously submitted. 22) is under water level quite for sometimes as According to petitioners: evidence by earthworks (collection of mud) that amount over its surface by eighty (80) centimeters below the ground. . petitioners. sir. sir.202) square meters (Exhibit "B") adjoined Lot No. Patricio Manalastas and Belen Survey Exhibits.. bar. 53 Phil. 1954. (Castillo.. 745 belonging to Moises Cao (Testimony of Engineer Arcena.: name of Modesto Castillo is a portion of Taal Lake and as such it appears to be under water during the survey of cadastral Lot No. it appears that Lot 1 and Lot 2. But first the facts of the 119166 and along lines 4-5-6 of Lot 2. (Re-Verification-Relocation By virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated December 30. 168. Director of Lands. (Hearing of Nov. and have since paid the taxes thereon (tsn. Such fact was further verified in the Verification-Relocation Survey of 1948 by Engineer Arcenas who conducted said survey himself and reported the following: That as per original plan Psu-119166. 41-42 and Hearing of approved on October. what do these lots possession of land does not by itself automatically divest the land of its public character (Cuevas v. you mentioned Engineer that a subject matter of that plan which appears to be Lots 1 and 2 are adjoining Such distinction draws importance from the fact that accretions on the bank of a lake. the April 26. Fifth Edition. 1951. like Laguna de Bay. Tanauan. 335 A The basis of that statement is the plan itself. p.

Patricio Manalastas was informed by his tenant. who died in 1982) who claimed that the property belong to them (tsn. the action must be instituted four years from the discovery of such fraudulent Sometime in February 1985. Original Certificate of Title No.114 square meters. 18-20. therefore. pp. farm and talked to the wife and children of the late Moises Cao and told them about the mistake in the title of Moises because it encroached on his Lot No. 745.. For an action for reconveyance of land to prosper in constructive (tsn. AS-1547 being caimed by the petitioners. Alfonso and Belen issued in Moises Cao's name. Oct. Pampanga on which their houses stand is owned by respondents Apolonia de la Cruz Vda. Tanco. On the other hand. Pampanga. 948 of the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pampanga. . HAVE NEVER BEEN IN POSSESSION OF LOT 4160 5. with the respondent Court ruling as follows: 2. he was stopped by the Caos (referring to the heirs of Moises Cao application to warrant reconveyance. (Annex "3". in 1982.114 3. id. reasoning out as follows: authority to cultivate the land. which showed however that Lot No. Comment) Moises Cao. Jan. 4160 was used for both residential and agricultural purposes. 2 Patricio Manalastas. id. The land in dispute (Lot 4160. the parents of Moises Cao were actually possessing and cultivating the said public land. Lot No. agricultural public land and was originally designated as portion of Lot 745. They have been staying in Lot No. of which he (Manalastas) did not receive any An action for reconveyance of land. which showed that the application for free patent referred statements made in the application. p. Appellants. 948. 1. is one based on fraud. On the basis of a free patent title obtained on Lot No. 1972. 15. id. met the same fate. 32)..050) square meters (Exhibits "D" and Another thing that militates against the plaintiffs. spouses Daniel Manalastas and Apolonia Cañasa. and must be instituted within four years from the discovery of the fraudulent the said application of Moises Cao dated June 9. avoid litigation. consequently. 1985. AS-1547 having an area of 2. inherited the said property. of Deeds of Pampanga on September 17. id. . April 30. Patricio Manalastas went to the Prescription of action therefrom lies. 22-24).202 square meters) was a part of the Candaba of the decree within one year from its issuance on the ground of fraud. neither Moises Cao nor any of his heirs have occupied any portion thereof. p. occupied the same in the concept of an owner and in an open. 28. 4160. 1985. "D-l") (tsn. p. Agregado.. to whom they pay a yearly rent of one cavan of palay (tsn. PLS-476) in his (Cao's) name. If it is included. 22-23). PLS-476 which includes Lot 4160. 1985. From the time that Patricio and Belen Manalastas acquired The present action was filed only on April 17.202 square meters and the other one. thus. pp. p. A holder of a land acquired under free patent is more favorably situated than that of an owner of registered 1972. subsequently. The residential portion is Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. (Fernandez vs. 36 SCRA 476). 1985. 5. de Cao and children. and such notation cannot prevail over the actual decree of Moises Cao (tsn. . . 745. 3 (Emphasis in the original). They anchor their cause of action merely on the covered the whole of Lot No. No evidence was presented by the plaintiffs to show such fraudulent statements were made in the cutting bamboo on a portion of Lot No. . . 20-21). Lao. 948 issued by virtue of a free Lot No. authorized by the President of the Philippines approved said application for free patent of Moises Cao not only over the 912 square meters lot but on the original Lot 745. id. All claims of third persons to the property must be asserted in the registration proceedings. 745. proper government offices to verify the basis of this claim. 1972. San Pablo. 4160. the claim is deemed adversely resolved with finality. 1958. as already stated. — It is obvious that a mere claim cannot defeat a registered title. Moises Cao.114) square meters (Exhibit "I"). 23). for which a patent had been issued to the defendant by reason of fraudulent notice (tsn. 4160. The respondent court found petitioners' appeal to be devoid of merit. Pls-476 of Candaba. 4 Their motion for reconsideration. (Cabacug vs. petitioners instituted an action for reconveyance against private (tsn.. L-27036. The then Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Arturo R. 31). Candaba. on June 9. . Pampanga and thus. He discovered that when Moises Cao was still alive. 5-6).. 1985. filed their action for reconveyance only on April 16. (Annex "2". 948 in favor of Moises Cao on November 17. which he started in 1950 continuously up to the present and which portion of land he identified as Exhibit "B-1" (tsn. fourteen (3. (Annex "1". Petitioners now plead their case before Us complaining that the respondent Court of Appeals erred in: 4. Aquilino and Marieta Buco. but they told him that they could no longer return his lot to him as it was already titled in the name Furthermore. Sept. however. MOISES CAO. the Register of Deeds for the Province of Pampanga issued Original Certificate of Title No. (Rosario v. tenant of Patricio and Belen Manalastas As a result of this controversy over Lot 4160. L- only to Lot No. Patricio Manalastas went to the deed of sale and the survey plan. DISREGARDING THE SETTLED JURISPRUDENCE THAT AN ACTION TO QUIET TITLE TO PROPERTY 6. public and adverse In the present case. under Section 38 of Public Land Subdivision located in Visal. 15. square meters. 36 SCRA 91). likewise. Patricio Manalastas found that said title to the land embraced and The plaintiffs have no title for the portion sought to be reconveyed. according to private respondents: applied for. Auditor General. and lastly. 1 of registration as reproduced in the certificate. subject only to a petition for review 1. He offered to settle the matter anicably with them in order to Mere claim cannot defeat a registered title. this case. Comment). p. he filed an application for free patent title with the Bureau of Lands. the "claim" is only noted on the survey plan. 15. 1958. In 1930. and moreover. More than four years had already elapsed whenthis action was filed. 1986. Pls-476. id. 25). If any claim to a portion thereof is upheld. died and was survived by his wife Apolonia de la Cruz and their children. San Pablo. Maxima Cañasa. Moises Cao and family. Jr. namely. Original Certificate of Title No. PLS-476 which was said to contain an area of 3. to whom they each pay a yearly rent of one (1) cavan of palay (tsn. on November 13. both admitted that 7. Moises Cao. was occupied by four householders. and is not included in the decree of registration and certificate of title subsequently issued to the applicant.. whether actual or patent application. HOLDING THAT THE CARAGAY-LAYNO DOCTRINE HAS BEEN ABANDONED. there must be evidence to show that the fraudulent statements were made in the application for free patent. was issued by the Register manner. Jean v. Comment) . 1955). 1972. Lot 745. PLS-476 which has a total area of 3. 2. that portion is segregated from the property Moreover.Specifically. . 15. It is an the Land Registration Act. 1956 caused the survey of the said public land (Lot 745. Witness Balmeo testified that Patricio and Belen Manalastas gave him the respondents which the trial court dismissed for lack of merit. pp. Moises Cao. Nov. thru the Bureau of Lands as IN ONE'S POSSESSION IS IMPRESCRIPTIBLE. 4160 since the of Lot 745. on November 17. Felicisimo Balmeo that while he was statements. pp. Nov. 5 3. is Lot 245 with an area of 912 DUE TO FRAUD OR MISTAKE. Patricio Manalastas was able to secure a certified true copy of the duplicate original of statements. 6 square meters. 1986. consequently. 9-13). Comparing Moises Cao's application for free patent with the certificate of title subsequently issued to him (Moises Cao). 4160 belonging to him (tsn. fifty (1. IGNORING VITAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH SHOW THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENTS AND THEIR PREDECESSOR-IN-INTEREST. the title sought to be annulled. Moises Cao. 1958 applied for a free patent over said public land. become the lawful owner and possessor Buco. Private the lot (Exhibit "B") situated in Vizal. described therein as containing an area of only one thousand 7921. the agricultural portion is cultivated by one Felicisimo Balmeo. Thereafter. . purchase of the land by Patricio and Belen Manalastas. PLS-476 was subdivided by the Bureau of Lands into two (2) lots one of which is AND THAT THE INCLUSION OF SAID LOT IN THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE ISSUED TO MOISES CAO WAS Lot 4160-AS-1547 which had an area of 2. 5) Witnesses Aquilino Buco and Maximo Manalastas. On October 2. pp. a public land. L-11817. obtained a free patent title on the said public land. Aborantigue. Candaba. pp. Jan. Pls-476 now contains an area of three thousand one hundred and property. clearly beyond the ten (10) year prescriptive period.

Moises filing of the application. Director of Forestry. 1949. 3. Puno for The Director of Lands. ROMAN C. By lease. Fernandez. 5 Except for which petitioners stake their claim.957 hectares of said land consist of the military reservation of Fort Cao became the owner of the disputed parcel of land. 1975 1. Said procedure is spelled out in Section 11.800 hectares. and the ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS. as in fact. Alipio Alinsunurin. REYES. containing an area of 16. and not otherwise: Jaime B. they will NOT become the owners of said parcel of land IF THEY WILL NOT follow the On May 5. applicant-appellee. pay the realty taxes religiously every year and have an approved Bureau of Lands Survey yearly. interests. the applicant Alipio Alinsunurin filed a motion for substitution of parties. Nemesio P. a small area cultivated for vegetation by homesteaders issued patents by the Director of Lands. sought the registration of title under Act 496. petitioners. Jr. G. and ECIJA. that approximately 13. 1966. 1. what petitioners did was to: G. he transmitted the ownership AFFIRMED in toto. the procedure to obtain such land must be followed. 5. there were no occupants on the land. and Jose J. admittedly inside the boundary of the military sale back to Adam and Eve. In his application originally filed on February 24. L-27594 November 28. Maria Padilla. buy a parcel of land from the Magat spouses on December 30. Since what is at stake here was public agricultural land.oppositors-appellants. 1 built every few meters here and there. 1966.From the narration of facts by petitioners essentially. By confirmation of imperfect or incomplete titles: These cases are interrelated. No. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS. continuous and notorious possession and occupation of the land in question for at least thirty (30) years immediately preceding the Since private respondents' father. 1895. petitioners did not follow the procedure mandated by law. and possession thereof to his daughter and sole heir. 7 On May 10. 1975 What private respondents did. Even if petitioners could trace their deed of or less. 1966. 2. 1955 of the President. more Obviously. mountainous and thickly forested with a heavy growth of timber of commercial quantities. J.134 square meters of Magsaysay established under Proclamation No. application. . Sec.R. Jr. did not ignore those alleged vital facts and circumstances upon uncultivated. and the Armed Forces of the Philippines opposed the procedures above indicated. apply for a free patent over the said land. 11. the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. 1964 with the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. The latter in turn continued to cultivate the land thru tenants and utilized portions for pasture. 237. which reads asfollows: Acting Solicitor General Hugo E. Tanco. THE COMMISIONER OF THE LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSION and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NUEVA 4. 2. they did not. HON. 237. claiming ownership in fee simple by inheritance from the late Maria Padilla. build four (4) houses for himself and relatives. the deceased Moises Cao did follow the procedure outlined in the law. 3. put a tenant in the agricultural area. dated December 10. a) By judicial legislation. have the land surveyed due to the construction of a road and irrigation canal. 8 Sad to say. etc. For homestead settlement. 6 There is no need. as amended. dated December 19. Diaz and Celso B. It is claimed by the applicant that Melecio Padilla acquired the land by virtue of a possessory information title WHEREFORE. 2. to discuss the other assigned errors. For example. 1. 3 The particular situation without consulting a lawyer. Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation be considered as the applicant in his place. now substituted by PARAÑAQUE INVESTMENT and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. of a vast tract of land. as amended. Arturo R. therefore. Lumasag Jr. of the President. he was awarded title to all 3. No. L-28144 November 28. It is beyond dispute that the land subject of the application is included within the area reserved for military purposes under Proclamation No. 1955.: 4. cause the survey of the land in Moises Cao's name. ownership and dominion over the property subject matter of the application. Roy and Associates Law Office for Roman C. PARAÑAQUE INVESTMENT and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. Tamayo. claiming that the applicant was without sufficient title and was not in open. have residential houses reservation of Fort Magsaysay. and Assistant Solicitor General Reynato S. until her death sometime in 1944. THE DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY. TAMAYO. petitioners could have tacked on to their length of motion was granted by the lower court in its order dated June 10. etc. therefore. respondents. vs. Jr. province of Nueva Ecija. The respondent court's resolution is hereby issued during the Spanish regime on March 5. 4 possession of the Magat spouses and any predecessors-in-interest and then apply for judicial confirmation of their imperfect title. as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. and vs. the Director of Lands. SALVADOR C. They probably thought they knew what to do in this acquired all his rights. requesting that the There was no fraud on the part of the late Moises Cao in obtaining title to the land in dispute. ANTONIO. was to: ALIPIO ALINSUNURIN. and upon his death in 1900. the applicant b) By administrative legislation (free patent). it having there was lack of proper legal advice on the part of petitioners. THE DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY and the ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2 it by no less than the then Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources.R. SO ORDERED. fill in every square inch of the land with agricultural tenants. declare the property for taxation purposes and pay the taxes. essentially. On the other hand. and so are decided jointly. Public lands suitable for agricultural purposes can be disposed of only as follows. The land is largely The respondent court and the trial court. CA 141. Branch III. By sale. Gutierrez. for Alipio Alinsunurin. situated at the municipality of Laur. exclusive.

1967. under Sec. N-25545. oppositors-appellants caused notice of lis pendens to be duly inscribed in Original Certificate of Title No. the failure of the appellants to serve a copy of their Notice of Appeal to the counsel for adjudicatee Roman C. et al. In due time. he was served with a By an order dated March 8. Ariosto Santos and Parañaque Investment and entry book of the Registry of Deeds of Nueva Ecija and annotated in the memorandum of encumbrances in Development Corporation dated July 19. Rule 14. 113485 pursuant to the Consequently. 1967. the Director of Lands. the applicant Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation filed a motion for the issuance of a decree of registration pending appeal. 1966 and marked as Exhibit "AA-4 " 7 and (b) Roman C. until further orders from this Court. and During the pendency of the appeal. We shall resolve the petition for certiorari and mandamus furnished to counsel for Roman C. II On April 12. the technical description Plan II-6752. thereby keeping the whole land As the lower court denied reconsideration of the order directing the issuance of a decree of registration. as a precaution. No. entitled "Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation versus Director of Lands. Andrada and Nemesio P. N-25545. no copy was At the outset. Director of Forestry and the Armed Forces of the respective memoranda. one-third (1/3)pro. It is fraught counsel. within the extended period granted by the court. 1967. filed a motion for the issuance of a decree of registration. Tamayo. and. Tamayo. on May subject matter of the appeal within the power of the court until the litigation is terminated. 1967. two-thirds (2/3) portion. Tamayo. LRC "free from all liens and encumbrances. 8 copy of which notice was furnished counsel for the applicant Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation. a Philippine corporation wholly owned by Filipino citizens. Investment and Development Corporation. 1968. as well as the Amended Record on Appeal in both of which the Notice of Appeal is embodied. No." Immediately. the Commissioner of Land Registration forthwith issued Decree No. the appeal affects the whole decision. 1967. The trial court assumed jurisdiction over the case despite the pendency of the appeal involving the same land. You (respondent Judge) are hereby restrained from adverted to above. resident of Cullit. Register of Deeds of the Province of Nueva Ecija. Cagayan. Thus. filed with the Court of First Instance to command the respondent court to certify the entire proceedings and to allow appeal to the Supreme Court from of Nueva Ecija (Branch I. On March 14. Tamayo is not fatal to the appeal because. Tamayo. 0-3151. which is not severable. seeking to nullify the Such entry of notice of lis pendens cannot be cancelled until the final termination of the litigation. (L-27594). the Amended Record on Appeal was duly filed and copies served upon the appellees. 11 On March 16. the lower court approved the Amended Record on Appeal which. No. subject of the above-mentioned Land Registration Case No. to whom one-third (1/3) portion of the land was adjudicated. was forwarded to this Court in due course of appeal. N-675. admittedly. Rodolfo A. The notice of lis order dated March 11. What is more. ruling that its decision of November 19. not the land registration court). 0-3151 of the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. 4696. the corresponding certificate of title. 24. The parties having filed their On December 12. On January 18. 1967. N-675. 1966 had become final as to the share A Torrens title issued on the basis of a judgment that is not final is a nullity. LRC Rec. Roman C. the respondents filed their answers to the petition for certiorari. On March 11. the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija was agents or representatives are hereby restrained from taking possession and/or excercising acts of ownership. Likewise. and deeded over six (6) lots of the subdivision plan to plaintiffs Honofre A. Andrada. and You (respondent Register of Deeds) are hereby restrained from accepting for registration transferees in which the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija did not carry over the notice of lis pendens originally documents referring to the subject land until petitioners shall have filed a notice of lis pendens as to the title inscribed in Original Certificate of Title No. subject to the final outcome of the appeal. such failure cannot impair the right of appeal. 0-3151 of the decree of registration despite the appeal timely taken from the entire decision a quo. N-25545. Lallo. 1967) and Original Certificate of Title No. copy of which was duly served upon appellees Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation and Roman C.On November 19. and Development Corporation. the appeal taken by the Government was from the entire decision. the lower court acted without jurisdiction or exceeded its jurisdiction in ordering the issuance of a said order. on March 15. within ten (10) days from receipt of the order. 1967. the case is deemed submitted for decision. You (respondent Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation and Roman C. N-675. 13 29. for reconveyance of a portion of the On June 5. 0-3151 of the Register of Deeds for the province of Nueva Ecija. et al. one-third (1/3) portion of the said property. Subsequently. the lower court. a complaint against the appellee Parañaque Investment its decision in toto in LRC Case No. 9 10 Hence. and it is on the basis of said decree that the Register of Deeds concerned issues Development Corporation. married. transfer certificates of title were issued to them and other Rec. directed the issuance of a decree of registration of the entire land. the decree of registration issued pursuant thereto (Decree No. Both motions were opposed by the with dangerous consequences. Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation executed a subdivision plan of the issuing a writ of possession in Land Registration Case No. 0-3151. 0-3151. Innocent purchasers may be misled into purchasing real properties upon reliance Government. N-675. Tamayo. the Register of Deeds issued Original Certificate of Title No. described in certificates of Roman Tamayo and Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation. 1967. and decided the case in favor of plaintiffs. Tamayo. however. thru In any event. 14 14. it appears that Honofre A. the lower court required the Provincial Fiscal to file an Amended Record on copy of the original. which will yield to the ultimate result of the appeal. directed to cancel Original Certificate of title No. petitioners-appellants caused the entry of a notice of lis pendens to be duly inscribed in the primary Alipio Alinsunurin and Encarnacion Caballero-Alinsunurin. We rule that execution pending appeal is not applicable in a land registration proceeding. subject to the rights of Ariosto Santos per Joint Manifestation of Accordingly. on a judgment which may be reversed on appeal. the oppositors Director of Lands. LRC Rec. In the instant case. and two-thirds (2/3) pro indiviso in favor of Parañaque Investment and title becomes final and executory.. Cenidoza and Roman C. Director of Forestry and the Armed Forces of the Philippines instituted before this Court a special civil action for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction (L-27594). the lower court rendered decision holding that the parcel of land applied for. Diaz. citizen. 0-3151 and to issue new titles to the above-named transferees occupancy or possession over the property in question subject matter of Land Registration Case No. 113485 dated March pendens must be carried over in all titles subsequently issued. LRC Rec. 12 Pending the approval of the Record on Appeal. 1966. is adjudicated to and ordered to be registered in favor of (a) Parañaque Rules of Court. other transactions were entered into involving . THEREFORE. No. In violation of Our injunction NOW. as it is violative of the explicit provisions of Roman C. We issued a writ of preliminary injunction as follows: land in question (Civil Case No. Filipino Original Certificate of Title No. with address at Manila. 25545 of the Court of First original single parcel of land subject of the land registration proceedings covered by Original Certificate of Title No. Under the circumstances of this case. 4696). so as to include therein certain orders and pleadings. Instance of Nueva Ecija.". 1967. Philippines filed a Notice of Appeal from the said decision to the Supreme Court. your By an order dated September 23. entered in Civil Case No. Philippines. together with the evidence and transcripts. 1966. Appeal. of the Land Registration Act which requires that a decree shall be issued only after the decision adjudicating the indiviso in favor of Roman C. Tamayo). 1967. Tamayo. the oppositors-appellants filed the I corresponding Record on Appeal.

p. 64-68. 16 are kept in the vault of said office. of the area under Proclamation No. the same are 1942 by one Rodolfo Baltazar. Brief for Applicant- Bank of the Philippines in consideration of P8. the applicant attempts to justify the non-submission of the original tracing cloth plan by claiming that the certification of possession of Melecio Padilla over the property. 237. including a transfer of about 4. prohibited any grant of public land in excess of one Development Corporation (also marked as Exhibit "D". was submitted in evidence. LRC Rec. In that case.000. the seven (7) We now consider the appeal on the merits. 22 There is another factor which weighs heavily against the claim of the applicant. it is well-settled that entry of the notice of lis pendens in the day book (primary entry book) is sufficient Possessory Information Titles (Spanish Titles) of Nueva Ecija". or on March 5. and it was agreed by the parties that the plan. p. One copy showed that the said document was issued on March 5. the applicant destruccion del mismo y no hallando en ningun asiento contrario a lo relacionado reinscribe la posesion de la finca may easily retrieve the same therefrom and submit the same in evidence. Register of Deeds (Exhibit "H"). No. N-25545. p. Register of Deeds to cancel the notice of lis pendens. neither the original of the said titulo de informacion posesoria. The second plan of the land. We consider the notice of lis pendens entered in virtue of this issued. Nueva Ecija. as the supposed document does not exist in their records. the Royal formally offered in evidence. as in the circumstances surrounding their execution. was recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds on November 10. The alleged informacion posesoria covers an area of "seis mil It is true that blueprints of two survey plans were presented before the trial court (both marked Exhibit "D"). 5. the oppositors-appellants (Exhibit "6").000 hectares. The quiñiones. But the applicant is not relieved from the original tracing cloth plan approved by reconveyance to plaintiffs of a portion of the area adjudicated to the Parañaque Investment and Development the Director of Lands as required by law. but of a substantially smaller acreage. 17 Unless a plan and its technical description are duly approved by the Director of Lands. Tamayo and Parañaque Investment and Development 2. 1881. the name Melecio Padilla appears only in the list of holders of possessory information titles over lands situated in Peñaranda." Under Spanish law. To begin with. Consequently the primary purpose of the aforesaid requirement is to to the outcome of the appeal." Its plain meaning is to enjoin registration of documents and transactions unless The applicant relies on a purported titulo de informacion posesoria issued in the name of Melecio Padilla (Exhibit the notice of lis pendens is annotated and so subject the same to the outcome of the litigation. 24 Thus. 23 applicant. LRC Rec. for any reason. It must be remembered that Our injunction restrained the Register of Deeds in evidence. 0-3151 and to issue titles not relieved of his duty of submitting the original tracing cloth of the survey plan of the land duly approved by the to transferees "free from all liens and encumbrances . This was not done. and there are serious flaws on the faces of the alleged copies of the document. according to the official records of the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. it It is also asserted that a blue print copy of the plan (Exhibit "D". "T" pp. in order that an informacion posesoria may be considered as title of ownership. the corresponding supporting documents of which to constitute registration and such entry is notice to all persons of such adverse claim.000) hectares. 20 In addition. the original tracing cloth plan was forwarded there. also required in original land registration proceedings. 03151 and to issue subsequent titles free from all liens Obviously. which military plan was presented in evidence by Law. However. 1968. We find the order to cancel Original Certificate of Title No. The submission of such plan is a statutory requirement of mandatory posesoria in the name of Melecio Padilla. the superimposition of the copy of the survey plan of land as surveyed for applicant in the military map and encumbrances to be void ab initio. 21 It is true that an alleged copy of an informacion Lands. 1880 and October 26. Such action is barred by the pendency of the appeal. p. the court is fix the exact or definite identity of the land as shown in the plan and technical descriptions. 1883 (Exhibit "2"). nor a subsequent transferees cannot be considered innocent purchasers for value. duly authenticated copy thereof. cannot overrule an copies of the said informacion posesoria title materially differ on the date when said informacion posesoria was injunction of this Court (in L-27594). because it was merely a Of course. which must be approved by the Director of Archives does not include the name of Melecio Padilla. As a result. No. but it lacks the approval of the Director of Lands. 4696 is an action in personam to which the appellants are not parties. Rule 14. Nueva Ecija existing in the Division of 1. 237 was for the sole purpose of showing that the land applied for is situated within the area covered by the military reservation of Fort Magsaysay appropriately indicated in the perimeter map Civil Case No. Exhibits of Applicant) was superimposed in must be proven that the holder thereof has complied with the provisions of Article 393 of the Spanish Mortgage the military plan of the reservation under Proclamation No. 18 acres and 325 centares. superimposed in . character. and was issued without prejudice to a third party or same must be with the Land Registration Commission which checked or verified the survey plan and the technical parties having a better descriptions thereof. on the basis of the "List of At any rate. Exhibit "D". its object was to decree of said reservation (Exhibit "6"). One of the distinguishing marks of the Torrens System is the absolute Corporation and Roman C. in Civil Case No. 19 Thus. Tamayo in Land Registration Case No. de este numero a favor de Don Melecio Padilla sin perjuicio de tercero que puede tener mejor derecho a la propiedad. 18 certify to its veracity. 4696. We next consider the question of whether the applicant has a registerable title to the land applied for.000 hectares to the Land the plan of the area covered by the proclamation. the name of Melecio Padilla does not appear among those listed as holders ofinformacion posesoria titles as of the year 1898 covering lands situated in Santor (now Laur) Nueva Ecija. In such case. was not offered pendens inscribed in the original title. 15. was not submitted in evidence. 5. is the plan of the land applied for (p. but cannot affect the petitioners-appellants who are protected by Our writ of injunction and the notice of lis In similar manner. 4. If. Thus. no one could acquire public land in excess of 1. Under the Royal Decrees in force at the time first blueprint copy of a plan of land as surveyed for Maria Padilla (Exhibit "D".800 hectares. and affects all subsequent transferees of the title of the land subject of indicated that it was issued twelve (12) years earlier. "from accepting for registration documents referring to the subject land until the petitioners shall have filed a notice of lis pendens as to the title certificates of Roman C. But. subject of the above-mentioned Land Registration Case No. III According to said document. the list of property owners in Santor (now Laur). was not of the supposed acquisition. Appellee). Corporation under section 24. such act constitutes misfeasance in the performance of authorized by law. the Register of Deeds was duty bound to carry over the said notice of lis pendens on all titles subsequently It will be noticed that the plan (Exhibit "D". It is not the function of the LRC to check the original survey plan as it has no authority to right. Thus." 15 Nor can such order be construed to authorize the Director of Lands. poco mas e menos" or an equivalent of 16. but the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija could not not of much value. as surveyed for Parañaque Investment and Decrees of November 25. Exhibits of Applicant). which was not entered by virtue of the reconveyance case. 25545. 3.940.portions of the land reconveyed in Civil Case No. it states: "En su virtud habiendo examinado el Registro nuevamente formado por la perdida o approve original survey plans. the surveyor's certificate. the two (2) purported photostat On the other hand. N-675.00. Hence. this appeal. the document described in Exhibit "H" is not the titulo de informacion posesoria. Rules of Court. 4696. Exhibits of Applicant) was submitted by the said thousand (1. 1895 (Exhibit "T") while the other litigation to remain in full force and effect. N-675. Thus. Exhibits of Applicant). parcels recorded in the name of Melecio Padilla covered only a total area of 49 hectares. Moreover. the original tracing cloth plan of the land applied for. Exhibits of Applicant) does not bear the approval of any officer issued. in plain violation of lis pendens in said titles. the applicant is without jurisdiction to order the Register of Deeds to cancel Original Certificate of title No. Besides. his duties for which he may be held civilly and even criminally liable for any prejudice caused to innocent third parties. the lower court's order dated September 23. which is subject certainty of the identity of a registered land.

the decree of registration issued pursuant thereto (Decree No. During the 675. the property must be held to be title under the law expired. sent a letter to petitioner-mortgagor demanding that the vacate . while some portions were used as grazing land. 1973 are had to abandon the place due to the unsettled peace and order conditions in the area. (2) in G. without substantial inclosures or other permanent improvements." 25 Evidently. 35 For it is well- Article 393 of the Spanish Mortgage Law. Apart from the aforesaid inconclusive evidence of possession to support the applicant's claim of title. do not constitute COURT OF APPEALS. 1967). 1967 and the temporary restraining order issued on June 1. peaceful and adverse possession in respondents. it was conceded that approximately 13. Thus. applies exclusively to public agricultural land. the died. Development Corporation nor Alipio Alinsunurin nor the latter's predecessors-in-interest have been "in open. Andrada. Maria Padilla. which said party failed to do. R. decision in the above case is hereby rendered: Before the military reservation was established. at the time of the (1) in G. Alipio Alinsunurin and Encarnacion Caballero took possession of the land approximately in 1950. continuous.It cannot be claimed that the registration of possession has been legally converted into a registration of ownership Even more important. 1996 fideclaim of acquisition or ownership. on the basis of the facts in the record. caused the cancellation of the mortgagor's title and the issuance of a new title in his name. only a small portion thereof was cleared and cultivated under the "kaingin" system. 1895. but applicant must prove its private rights over the property.061 square meters. having died on February 9. 14. that neither applicant Parañaque Investment and dismissing the application for registration. if any. The latter declaration contains an annotation that the property described therein is an unidentified property. BALLEZA. L-28144. unless the applicant has shown by clear and convincing evidence that the property in question was ever acquired by the applicant or his ancestors either by composition title from the Spanish Government or by One year after the promulgation of the Maura Law. applicant Parañaque Investment and Development Corporation nor its predecessor. arising out of Original Certificate of Title No. On June 1. covering an area of 7. and prevented by the Army. 34 proclamation in a proper official bulletin. in the pending RTC case for annulment of mortgage and foreclosure sale. On January 19. Melecio Finally. with an area of 2. the order dated March 11. petitioner. In the early part of December 1986. because Melecio Padilla had not complied with the requirements of Article 393 of the Spanish Mortgage Law. It is true that the proclamation states that the same is subject "to private rights. After his death. as the While the case was pending. 36 the cultivator and possessor to obtain gratuitous title was extinguished. Sometime in the 70's. and judgment is rendered It seems obvious. the right to perfect possessory information possessory information title. but they preliminary injunction issued on June 5. MARLINA J. et al. Costs against appellee. and its inclusion in a title. Consequently. that such conversion be announced by means of a the present Torrens system of registration.R. pursuant to be". petitioner-mortgagor filed an action against the mortgagee at the predecessors-in-interest. the RTC case for annulment of mortgage and foreclosure sale continued to drag on. al. the only tax declarations submitted were those of Mamerto Garcia and Honofre Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City to annul the mortgage contracts and public auction sale (Civil Case No. it does not appear that the said property has ever been declared for taxation purposes by either applicant or applicant's During the one-year period of redemption. A mere casual cultivation of portions of the land by the claimant. Neither over the land. or any other means for the acquisition of public lands. but they constitute at least proof that the holder had a claim of title over the property. N-25545. In 1955. military reservation. full property right of the land reverted to the government and the right of part of the public domain. including vegetables and had about forty (40) tenants for the purpose. and it "was only through his insistence" that it was assessed. J.:p prescription. 1 He claimed that the mortgage contracts were illegal and the conduct of the foreclosure sale was irregular. never confers title thereto upon the possessor because the statute of limitations with regard to public land does not operate against The subject land. and notorious possession and occupation" of the property in question. 0-3151 of the Registry of Deeds of Nueva Ecija are all declared void. 26 WHEREFORE. and Original Certificate of Title No. barely five (5) years after the inscription of the informacion posesoria. however long the period may have extended. private respondents. R. of ownership for taxation purposes are not incontrovertible evidence of ownership. 1986. Maria Padilla owners' duplicates and mortgagees' copies." 32 In the meantime. (Exhibit "G". nullifies the title. vs. the period of redemption prescribed. situated in Jaro. whether such title be one issued during the Spanish sovereignty or under expiration of 20 years from the date of such registration. 237 recognizes the existence of private property within the Padilla. SERVANDO.957 hectares of said land consist of public forest. for it is shown by the evidence that the land involved is largely mountainous and forested. and the raising thereon of cattle. On December 27. Section 48[b] of CA No. SPOUSES KRISTINE possession under claim of ownership. the mortgagee consolidated title declarant failed to identify the same. was originally owned by the State. N- hearing. 30 The possession of public land. 29 While grazing livestock over land is of course to be considered with other acts of dominion to show possession. It is true that tax receipts and declarations further effecting the foreclosure sale of the property. He was substituted by his heirs. 1993.340 hectares) and Mamerto Garcia. unless the occupant can prove possession and occupation of the same under claim of ownership for the petitioner Gregorio Javelosa. 124292 December 10. No. MYRNA J. 1987. Alipio Alinsunurin had Thereafter. As a matter of fact. 27 During the Japanese occupation. that the Court order the conversion of the registration of possession into a record of ownership. the evidence is inconclusive as to possession. for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title. petitioner mortgaged said land to Jesus Jalbuena to secure required number of years to constitute a grant from the State. petitioner obtained an Order 2 from the RTC in Civil Case No. 31 several loans. as mortgagee. over an area of 9. 0-3151. Petitioner failed to pay his loans and Jalbuena. DE LEON & MELVIN DE LEON. exclusive. and that the Registrar make the proper record thereof in the Registry. respondents." 28 GREGORIO C. SPOUSES CORAZON J. In that sense. the mere occupancy of land by grazing livestock upon it. 5577. foreclosed on the land and purchased it as highest bidder at the foreclosure sale. No. that an application to this effect be filed after the registration. LRC Rec. et 16460). to Forest lands or areas covered with forest are excluded. or on April 17.547 hectares) but both were filed only in 1958. entry by them was made final and permanent. the mortgagee divided the subject land among his married daughters (private respondents herein). caused the planting of the Registry of Deeds of Nueva Ecija is ordered to recall and cancel all transfer certificates of title. (Exhibit "H-1". "under a bona G. No. settled that. the applicant urges that Proclamation No. a presumptive grant from the State. is not sufficient to support a claim of title thru acquisitive PUNO. the mortgagee died. title the concept of owner of the entire area in question during the period required by law. After that date. JAVELOSA. This is especially true in view to the subject was issued in the names of private respondents. 113485 dated March lifetime of Melecio Padilla. his daughter. No. 16460 restraining the mortgagee from submitted any tax declaration supporting its/his claim over the property. 1900. 1967 in LRC Case No. as registered owners. 33 It is well-settled that forest land is incapable of wit: "that the applicant has been in open possession of the land. the appealed decision is hereby reversed and set aside. L-27594. if any there could not have converted the same into a record of ownership twenty (20) years after such inscription. 5576. as amended. the petition for certiorari is granted. possession is not exclusive and notorious so as to give rise to SOLINAP & ALFONSO SOLINAP. Tax Declaration No. Tax Declaration No. of the basic presumption that lands of whatever classification belong to the State and evidence of a land grant must be "well-nigh incontrovertible. with costs against respondents (except respondent Judge). Iloilo City. private It is obvious that the applicant has failed to submit convincing proof of actual. 141.

private filed before the MTC is not an unlawful detainer suit but one for accion publiciana cognizable by the RTC. and. defendant is now unlawfully withholding Without ruling on the propriety of the filing of the ejectment case before the MTC. from the date of the MTC. should examine the specific allegations made by private respondents in their complaint. that a complaint for unlawful detainer should alleged when complaint. If it is an unlawful detainer case. that petitioners were illegally occupying the premises prescriptive period should be counted not from the issuance of title in the name of plaintiffs (private respondents without their consent and thus unlawfully withholding possession from them. We have ruled in a Hence. him. 8 issue was the timeliness of the filing of the complaint before the MTC. cause his title to be cancelled and a new title issued in his name despite the pendency of the RTC case T-74417 . 8.. 11 the Court emphasized that "the principle underlying the brevity and simplicity of pleadings the case. .. in the case at bar. Private respondents did not allege the incidents respecting the mortgage of the land and the pending RTC in the ejectment case) to vacate the premises and pay reasonable rentals. . Defendant (petitioner-mortgagor) has been illegally occupying the above described property without the consent virtue of pending legal incidents in his RTC case for annulment of mortgage and foreclosure sale. this petition for review on certiorari. on August 6. he puts in the issue the nature of the suit filed against him. and sought to eject petitioner from the premises. sufficient for the words "unlawfully withholding" imply possession on the In this Court. In fine.e. to determine whether the case was filed on time. property from the plaintiffs who are entitled to the physical possession thereof. the ejectment case initiated on August 6. entitled to possession thereof. thus unlawfully withholding possession of the same from them who are the owners and the transactions the mortgagee (predecessor-in-interest of private respondents) derived his title. and not from the last demand to vacate made by private file this action for illegal detainer against him in order to take away the physical possession thereof from them and respondents (plaintiffs therein). 3 asserted his ownership over the disputed land. private respondents filed a detainer 9 contained the following material allegations. from which of the herein plaintiffs. which was legal in the beginning. . decision on a different ground. the fact that private to vacate the premises. The complaint for unlawful 1993. i. the RTC reversed the MTC possession of the . in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases rests upon considerations of public policy. He claimed that he was legally entitled to the continued possession thereof by 3. . the .. having no other source than a contract. Iloilo City. and. . 1993. xxx xxx xxx Petitioner." Thus. The Court of Appeals reversed the RTC decision and Clearly. . . the main appeal. accordingly. Hence. the plaintiffs were constrained to respondents' name. Villegas. Citing the case ofSarona v. The MTC decided the unlawful detainer case in favor of private respondents and ordered petitioner to vacate the 4. an unlawful detainer case must be filed within one year from the time title was issued in private 9. The MTC held that the pendency of the case for annulment of mortgage in premises within ten days from receipt of the said letter .the subject premises within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. Thus. On June 1.e. plaintiffs . 6 case questioning the mortgage contract as the issue involved therein is ownership which has no place in an ejectment case." It is settled that jurisdiction of courts over the subject matter of the litigation is determined by the allegations in the The ruling in the Sarona case 12 cited by petitioner i. finds no application to the case at bar. jurisdiction is with the RTC and the complaint should be dismissed. To resolve the issue. 1993 . the RTC would not abate the proceedings in the unlawful detainer case filed before it for the issues in these cases are distinct from each other. 5 xxx xxx xxx In their appeal to the Court of Appeals. He alleged that the ejectment case was improperly filed with the MTC for 6. . Having received the demand to vacate the property in question. Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. Thus. the allagations in the complaint make out a case for unlawful detainer. Moreover. it also appears that respondents were never in prior physical possession of the subject land is of no moment for prior physical private respondents were seeking to recover merely the physical possession or possession de factoof the subject possession is necessary only in forcible entry cases. covered by Transfer Certificate name but that the mortgagee (father and predecessor-in-interest of private respondents). It is equally settled that an error in jurisdiction can be raised at any time and even for the first time on and how entry on the land was made by the defendant. long line of cases 10 that "in an action for unlawful detainer. . The RTC dismissed the ejectment case. respondents' allegation in their complaint that petitioner was unlawfully withholding possession of the land from Petitioner argues that the reading of the complaint reveals there was no allegation as to how entry on the land was them is sufficient to make out a case for unlawful detainer. was able to of Title No. He contends that the complaint possession which has later expired as a right and is being withheld by defendant. in bad faith.. from January 19. . we whether the complaint was one for forcible entry or for unlawful detainer. . 1987.. a simple allegation that defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from plaintiff is . prescriptive period. private respondents alleged that the RTC erred in holding that the complaint for unlawful detainer was filed out of time. technicalities or details of procedure should be carefully avoided. but from the date of the last demand to vacate made against the defendant. in unlawful detainer. petitioner denied he was illegally occupying the land. In forcible entry cases. made by petitioner-mortgagor or when the latter unlawfully took possession of said land. express or implied. despite receipt of their demand herein). ones entitled to the physical possession thereof. the prescriptive The issue of jurisdiction in the case at bar depends on the nature of the case filed by private respondents in the period is counted from the date of defendant's actual entry on the land. . . It held that the complaint for unlawful detainer was filed on time for the the subject land and therefore. in his Answer. petitioner refused to leave the property. petitioner does not raise the issue regarding the timeliness of the filing of the ejectment case against part of defendant. private respondents (plaintiffs therein) should have prayed instead for the issuance of a writ of possession with the xxx xxx xxx RTC where the case for annulment of mortgage and foreclosure sale was pending. 1993 to the defendant demanding that he vacate the premises and pay reasonable rental. 7 petitioner contends that the omission of these jurisdictional facts stripped the MTC of jurisdiction over In Co Tiamco v. In Sarona. sent a letter dated May 26. In light of these consideration. The Court of Appeals thus ordered the petitioner (defendant land. viz: complaint for illegal detainer before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in Cities. the action was properly filed with the MTC. Despite receipt of the demand letter on June 4. if the suit is one last demand to vacate. questioning the award of the subject land to the mortgagee in the foreclosure proceedings. However. the Court ruled that since the main distinction between the two actions is when and how defendant entered the land. For the first time. 1993 was filed beyond the one-year to place them in de facto possession of the said property. Plaintiffs (private respondents) are the registered owners of a parcel of land . . The said letter was received by the defendant on June 4. 1993. private respondents (as plaintiffs therein) alleged in their complaint that they are the registered owners of reinstated the decision of the MTC. petitioner-mortgagor refused to vacate said lot. Ejectment cases are summary in nature for they involve perturbation of social order which must be restored as promptly as possible The petition is devoid of merit. there was a necessity to ascertain foraccion publiciana. . As a consequence of the refusal of the defendant to vacate the premises . Diaz. On the face of the complaint. 4 xxx xxx xxx Petitioner elevated the case to the RTC. . He claimed that he had a TCT in his 2. It held that the complaint was filed out of time for under Section 1. Thus.

there was still another motion for reconsideration of the above order filed by oppositors on December 28. a restraining order was issued by the RTC where the case The sore issue. 9 The appeal was taken direct to was able to consolidate his ownership over the foreclosed land. 1941. private respondents herein. Again. The case of Joven v. (predecessor-in-interest of private respondents) to desist from consequently untenable. judgments or decrees in the same way that the judiciary does is so that the winning party could be placed . the jurisdiction of the MTC over the Be that as it may. the The order of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo. As aforestated. the MTC had respondents would not constitute res judicata as to the issue of ownership thereof.. 1959. as prayed for. No costs. the former Judge Wenceslao L. As was noted in the order of September 21. In Joven. They sought the aid of interpreted by this Court. IN VIEW WHEREOF. v. Loot for and in his own behalf as oppositor-appellant. and inasmuch as the final decree has already been entered. petitioner-mortgagor and the issuance of a new title in his own name. now appellants. He contends that private respondents have never been in AFFIRMED in toto. vendor. The mortgagee (predecessor-in-interest of private respondents) similarly met the same fate.R. it follows that a writ of possession consistently ruled that the pendency of an action for annulment of sale and reconveyance (which necessarily should be issued in favor of the registered owner. dated January 17. Julio Lucero.: Under the Rules. 20 Except for the bare claim that the title of private respondents was obtained in bad faith. 14 To obtain possession. There was an to file a separate action for unlawful detainer against petitioner. Fernan presiding. 1959.6 which was denied in an order of December 10.determinative facts should be alleged in the complaint. Petitioner likewise insists that he is entitled to the physical possession of the property since he has been in actual. DBP sold the land to private Atty. took the law into their own hands and entered said as no writ of possession has been issued in this case. This appeal cannot prosper. . now on appeal before this Court.3followed by a motion for reconsideration on October 10. cause the cancellation of title in the name of us. it granted a writ of possession in favor of movant. that there is "no period of prescription as to the issuance of a writ of registered owners thereof. the vendee or September 21." There was a second motion for reconsideration filed by respondents. actual physical possession of the land since they have not prayed for the issuance of a writ of possession with the RTC where the case assailing the sale of the land was pending and where the parties' adverse claims of SO ORDERED. The case at bar is different for at issue is the jurisdiction of the MTC over the unlawful detainer litigated before the RTC of Iloilo City where the case for annulment of mortgages and foreclosure proceeding is case for petitioner (defendant therein) asserts that the case is one for accion publicianacognizable by the RTC. further enforcing the foreclosure proceedings. hence. accordance with law. Although the title was still in the name of the mortgagor. LOOT. the transferees of the mortgagee. is whether on the above facts. vendee or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of their right to hold possession. as We find that private respondents have adequately proved that they are entitled to possess the subject land as the likewise mentioned therein. unlawful detainer. Unlike in the Joven case."1 involves the issue of ownership) may not be successfully pleaded in abatement of an action for ejectment. There was an urgent motion to quash the writ of possession filed by the oppositors on September 25. dated purchaser at public auction is entitled to possession of the property. possession by a landlord. Private respondents are entitled to its passession from the time title was issued in their favor as registered owners. the writ of possession. petitioner was able to obtain an defects in the reconstitution of the records and that the motion is not under oath is trivial in its nature and Order 18 from the RTC directing the mortgagee. therefore. it is the ministerial duty of this Court to issue one in land. 4 which was denied in an order of October 23."12In Pasay Estate Co. ejectment case with the MTC. Jaime L. Since we have ruled that the MTC case filed against petitioner is one for unlawful detainer. The Decision of the Court of Appeals. oppositors-appellants. 17 They cannot ask for a writ of possession from opposition on the part of oppositors. the order granting the writ of possession was in for annulment of foreclosure sale is pending after the mortgagee had consolidated his ownership over the land. oppositors on November 3. speaks to this effect: "Regarding the writ of possession. 1968 We find petitioner's contentions untenable. 10 as uniformly the law into their own hands and entered the property without the benefit of a court order. ET AL. therefore.13 it has been made clear that the purpose of the statutory possession thereof. is continuous possession thereof as owner-mortgagor. 15 We have writ of possession. Hence. Loot. the petitioner is DENIED. Thus. an order of denial being issued on February 20. by virtue of a contract. It was this title that he passed on to his daughters. which private respondents did.5 As set forth in such order of denial: "After weighing the arguments adduced by the movant represented by mortgagor's name. purchaser may either ask for a writ of possession or bring an appropriate independent action. 1960. it is settled that prior physical possession is indispensable only in actions for forcible entry but not in vs. to enforce its petitioner has pointed to no right to justify his continued possession of the subject property. express or implied. there was a final decree in a land the court precisely to settle the issue of physical possession or possession de facto of the land when they filed the registration case which arose from a decision promulgated in 1938. orders. this Court adheres to the previous ruling that inasmuch respondents and the latter. petitioner's prior possession of the land is of no moment. The RTC case assailing the public auction sale of the property and the past has been issued in favor of the registered owner. G. now appellee."2 Accordingly. ownership are being litigated. we reiterate the rule that the award of possession de facto over the subject land to private complaint was never issue for whether the complaint was one for forcible entry or unlawful detainer. 7 Not satisfied. It was not incorrect for the lower court to state. 1959. Del Rosario. Gonzales and the oppositor represented by Atty. all surnamed Loot. 13 FERNANDO. There is no period of prescription as to the issuance of a seeking annulment of mortgages did not preclude the filing of an ejectment case against petitioner. private respondents did not take No other view would be compatible with the pertinent provision of the Land Registration Act. provision empowering the then Court of Land Registration. J. the final decree being issued on October 29. It explained why: "The opposition interposed by the oppositors to the effect that there are was able to consolidate his title on the land and a new title issued in his name. The age-old rule is that the person who has a torrens title over a land is entitled to possession. if the mortgaged property is not redeemed within one year from the foreclosure sale. 8 which The factual mould of the case at bar is different. which issue is still being jurisdiction over it. it was the mortgagor who filed and successfully maintained an action for forcible entry against private compliance of the provisions of Act 496 as amended. 1959. The lower court failed to see merit in the the RTC where the case for annulment of mortgage and foreclosure sale is pending because after the mortgagee opposition interposed. now the ordinary courts of first instance. in Sarona. JAIME L.. An action for unlawful detainer may be filed when Ramon Gonzales for movant-appellee. without first securing a court order. The answer must be in the affirmative. as mortgagee was not able to consolidate its title over the foreclosed land nor cause the cancellation of title in the 1959." 11 It is equally true. 16 To be sure. 1959. L-16995 October 28. No. movant-appellee. Court of Appeals 19 cited by petitioner is not on all fours with the case at bar. pending.. private respondents were left with no choice but to file a separate and independent action for unlawful detainer to recover physical possession of the property. the issue in the latter being merely physical possession. 1996. JULIO LUCERO. private respondents' most effective remedy was Accordingly. that "the issuance of a writ of possession is only a matter of course if nothing in the past has been issued in favor of the registered owner. was issued. DBP 1959. such as a suit for once the final decree has been issued the issuance of a writ of possession is only a matter of course if nothing in ejectment. 1959.

a writ of demolition must.18 they would impugn the issuance of the writ of possession on the ground that they were not oppositors therefore." Claudio Teehankee for and in his own behalf as respondent. Petitioner Antonio H. petitioner applied to this Court. Nonetheless. With costs against oppositors-appellants. The apparent ease with which oppositors-appellants could conjure up so many investigation of the above charges." The facts are not in dispute. then appellant must be Executive Secretary pending investigation. As stated by our present Chief Justice in Agreda v. decisions relied upon. therefore. They would ignore the fact.. far from decisive in view of the rather settled state of the law concerning the writing not later than March 9. . Actg. Ibañez. NOBLEJAS. Mencias was CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE. 1959.R.. 1960." challenged order of the lower court. denying the reconsideration thereof.14 the closest in period of time to the institution of said Civil Case No. As a matter of fact. hardly contributes to the persuasiveness of their brief.J. Thus. therefore. Noblejas is the duly appointed. Resolute and undaunted. it is supposed to end the said proceedings. privileges. petitioner was "hereby suspended. a position created by Republic Act No. A. As was held recently Petition for a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain the Secretary of Justice from investigating the in Perez v.. the fourteenth. however. for action thereon and defeated parties in the land registration proceeding. the validity of the challenged order cannot be impugned. the said Commissioner is declared "entitled to the same compensation.L. A few months after the issuance of such a challenged order of September 21.in possession of the property covered by such decree. to repeat. likewise. oppositors did their best to accomplish a task formidable in its complexity. 1151. 1968. Aquino and Lino M. as will be more recommending approval of subdivision. 1. upon receipt hereof. Ramon C. oppositors. especially considering that the latter writ is but a complement of the former which.appellants were trying in vain to bolster what answer respondents admit the facts but denied that petitioner." ANTONIO H. considering as above shown that on the authority of applicable decisions. L-28790 April 29. Araneta:17 "Nothing is better settled than that where the correctness of the findings of fact of the lower official actuations of the Commissioner of Land Registration. no questions of fact may be raised. Thus: "We have heretofore held that a writ of possession may be issued not only against the person who has been defeated in a registration case but also against anyone adversely occupying WHEREFORE. more than one year after the decree of registration had G. They assigned twenty-one errors a great many of them factual..16 where this Court went so far as to hold that "if the writ of possession issued in a land registration Secretary. it is clear that respondent Judge had jurisdiction to pass upon the motion of Santiago Agreda for the issuance of a writ of possession. In their terse and brief order being so sadly riddled with errors. 1968 why no disciplinary action should be taken against petitioner for "approving or issuance of a writ of possession. If resort be had directly to us.. they would raise a factual issue — a matter not properly cognizable by us. or that the petitioner may be considered a Judge of First Instance within the purview of the Judiciary Act and Revised Rules of Court 140." Noblejas answered and apprised the Secretary of Justice that.B. while it may be a tribute to their ingenuity in making a two-page order yield so many instances of the rankest violation of legal precepts. proceeding implies the delivery of possession of the land to the successful litigant therein. as Secretary of Justice. 1959. Patajo for petitioner. 1968. and to declare inoperative his suspension by the court are assailed. SALAS. may be subject to judicial ejectment by means of a writ of possession and it is the duty of the registration court to issue said writ when asked for by the successful claimant.000. use the following expression: with no choice but to issue the writ of possession sought. 19 There was no denial in the brief for duties except when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial duties. as earlier stated. emoluments and compensation of a Judge of the Court of First Instance. It seemed they overdid it. whereby. the lower court was left forth the salary of said officer. would be ineffective. Consequently. in a 1948 decision.00. respondent Secretary of Justice coursed to the petitioner a letter requiring him to explain in and the remaining. On March 7. actions in other courts for the purpose of securing the fruits of his victory. though. and. What is decided principle of the separation of powers. It is clear. in view of There was a restatement of the above principle in Demorar v. said writ of demolition. was vitiated by error or errors in law. the Court of Appeals is the proper forum. claiming lack of jurisdiction and abuse of discretion. exercises inherently was a weak case. petitioner. No." The appropriation laws (Rep. No. There is nothing in the challenged order On March 17. REYES. Acts 4642. granting the writ of possession in favor of movant-appellee. as Land Registration Commissioner. the appeal was doomed to futility. to discuss even briefly one of them. C. 1968. that on the facts as found. as he enjoyed the rank. as Executive decided. there would be an avoidance of the inconvenience reconveyance action. "by authority that such is the case here. he It would not be amiss. and praying for restraining writs. On March 18. issue. is not a bar to the issuance of the writ of possession applied for by the registered owners." As a matter of fact. as Commissioner of Land Registration. referring administrative or executive in nature. the mere fact that such suit was then pending did not oust the lower court of its and the further delay to which a successful litigant would be subjected if he were compelled "to commence other jurisdiction to issue the writ of possession. and the land or any portion thereof during the land registration proceedings . Thereby. are affirmed. Whether or not the motion should have been denied. any person unlawfully and adversely occupying said lot at any time up to the issuance of the final decree. 296) and Revised Rule 140 of the Rules of Court. consolidation and consolidated-subdivision plans covering areas greatly in fully explained. the papers relative to his case should be submitted to the Supreme Court. One Land Registration Commissioner with the rank and privileges of district judge — P19. confirmed and qualified Commissioner of Land Registration. Invoking three of our previous could only be suspended and investigated in the same manner as a Judge of the Courts of First Instance. 6267." Rodriguez:20 "Besides. In fact. J. based on "finding that a prima facie case exists against you for gross negligence and conduct prejudicial to the public interest". By the terms of section 2 of said The problem thus confronting oppositors-appellants in bringing the matter direct to us was to show that the above Act. here cannot affect whatever final decision might possibly have been rendered by this time in the aforesaid . December 10. is a matter that does not affect said jurisdiction. 15 it was held by us that "the fact that the petitioners have instituted. 1959 and February 20. Marcelo v. The issuance of the decree of the orders of October 23. pending A reminder may not be out of place. 1968 been issued. that in the above conformably to section 67 of the Judiciary Act (R.: It is equally clear that this being a direct appeal to us. 1959.respondents. petitioner Noblejas received a communication signed by the Executive Secretary. not for us to consider. emoluments and privileges as those of two-page order on the meager but sufficient facts as found. except the last. reiterating the contentions advanced in his letter to the the suspicion could be legitimately entertained that in thus attempting to paint the highly unrealistic picture of a Secretary of Justice. therefore. deemed to have waived the opportunity otherwise his to inquire into such findings and to limit himself to disputing the correctness of the law applied. vs. that the Legislature may not charge the judiciary with non-judicial functions or to the existence of a pending case between the parties for reconveyance. that the function of investigating charges against public officers is That is all that needs be said about this appeal except for the disposition of the twenty-first error assigned. the basis for the impropriety of issuing a writ of possession was that the parties adversely affected entered the property in question after the issuance of the decree. That is why. registration is part of the registration proceedings. and RAFAEL M. as it would be in violation of the movant-appellee that such a case was then pending at the time the respective briefs were filed. judicial functions. the order of September 21. of the President". without Leandro Sevilla." alleged errors. excess of the areas covered by the original titles. an ordinary action with the Court of First Instance attacking the validity of the decree on the ground of fraud. 4856 and 5170) in the item setting easy. and. Nor did the twenty-first error assigned suffice to call for a reversal. decisions. It was far from a Judge of the Court of First Instance.

289. and not upon other parties. since it would violate the fundamental doctrine of Republic Act 1151 to the Commissioner of Land Registration of the "same privileges as those of a Judge of the separation of powers. 72 L. 103) and of the Commissioner of Public Service (Public Service Act. Willing v. 279 U. But the more fundamental objection to the stand of petitioner Noblejas is that. 281 U. and to be suspended or removed only upon recommendation of that a meaning that will not bring them in conflict with the Constitution. the question shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Land implication from the Legislative grant. Act No. by charging this court with the administrative function of supervisory control over executive Court of First Instance" did not include. and in case of registered lands. and thereupon the Commissioner. No costs. any bureau law for Judges of First Instance". suspension or removal of Judges. vs. 481. It was brought into being by the judiciary article of the Constitution. stating the question upon which he is in doubt. No. and a law requiring the Supreme Court to arbitrate disputes between public In the second place. 700. ed. 48 Sup. 884. 2)." and it is nowhere claimed. (57 Phil. whose functions are plainly executive. expressly provide that they are to be removed from office for the same causes and in the same mannerprovided by That the Commissioner's resolutions are appealable does not prove that they are not administrative.A. 972. 880. . General Electric Co. Pasay Transportation Co. Rep. seven in number (Rep. saying: suspension of the aforenamed Commissioner pursuant to sections 32 and 34 of the Civil Service Law (R. of the President's power to discipline and remove administrative officials who Registration either upon the certification of the Register of Deeds. after consideration of control (Constitution.) office by the President of the Philippines unless sufficient cause shall exist in the judgment of the Supreme Court . 438. nor can it exercise or participate in the exercise of functions which are . Act No. Serious doubt may well be entertained as to whether the resolution of a consulta by a Register of Deeds is a In our opinion. A. Rep. A. vs. Ct. s. supra (261 U.S. since the Appropriation Acts confer upon the Solicitor General the disagrees with the ruling or resolution of the Commissioner and the issue involves a question of law. Rep. 600). shall enter an order prescribing the step to be taken or memorandum to be made. executive officials the rank and privileges of Judges of First Instance. or where any party in interest does not agree with the disciplining all these officials. No. 411. Y. 972..S. v. will show that the resolution of consultas are but a minimal portion of his administrative or executive functions and merely incidental to the latter. (Federal Radio Commission v. the said grant of privileges would be violative of the Constitution and be null and void. after notice to the parties and hearing. and was not intended to include. and to be suspended or removed only upon that Court's recommendation. L. or In this spirit. 793. Keller v. Chicago Auditorium Asso. The same is true of Judges of the director's ruling is likewise appealable to the corresponding department head. 701. ed. 3). Rep. 2260) are neither abuses of discretion nor acts in excess of jurisdiction. 2 We are constrained to rule that the grant by Court. Liberty Warehouse Co. or "members of the judiciary of appellate rank". Sec. 284). sections 3 and 4. Ct. whether for purposes of review or otherwise. The United States Supreme Court said in Federal Radio Commission vs. Potomac Electric Power Co. 71 and Appropriation Laws) of the rank and privileges of a Judge of the Court of First Instance. E. 49 Sup.. 4360). as contrasted with administrative process. Act No. The section invoked runs as follows: the Judicial Superintendent of the Department of Justice (Judiciary Act. 67 L. There is no inherent power in the Executive or Legislature to charge the judiciary with administrative functions except when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial duties. ed. VII. whenever possible. Scudder (247 N. Rep.. would necessarily result in the same right being possessed by a variety of executive officials Petitioner Noblejas seeks to differentiate his case from that of other executive officials by claiming that under upon whom the Legislature had indiscriminately conferred the same privileges. Rep. 4. 449. Ex First to militate against petitioner's stand is the fact that section 67 of the Judiciary Act providing for investigation. Ct. is invested with judicial power only and can have no jurisdiction other than of cases and controversies falling within the classes enumerated in that article. it has been held that the Supreme Court of the Philippines and its members should not and cannotbe in fact a member of the Judiciary at all. petitioner's theory that the grant of "privileges of a Judge of First Instance" includes by utilities was pronounced void in Manila Electric Co. 74. 1151. Supreme Court. 273 U.S. 2). by the Supreme Court. 281 U.. sec. 5050. parte Bakelite Corp. — When the Register of Deeds is in Fiscal of Manila (R. Postum Cereal Co. as amended by Act 1409. would mean placing upon the Supreme Court the duty of investigating and or other instrument presented to him for registration.S. 24. ed. ed. 1971 give decisions which are merely advisory. therefore. Reference of doubtful matters to Commissioner of Land Registration. if the Legislature had really intended to include in the general grant of "privileges" or "rank and privileges of Judges of the Court of First Instance" the Conformably to the well-known principle of statutory construction that statutes should be given. His decision in such Incidentally. then such grant of privileges would be unconstitutional. 444.) (Emphasis supplied. 507. Court of Agrarian Relations (Comm. Grannis. required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with the administration of judicial functions. 73 L. 4631) and (e) the Securities and Exchange Commissioner (R. whose resolutions or orders bind his subordinates alone. in view of the conferment upon him by the Statutes heretofore mentioned (Rep. Ed. 469. supra (272 U. further. It cannot G. provision to that effect is made in plain and properly quasi judicial) function. 74 Law. (b) the Assistant Solicitors General. another appointee of the cases shall be conclusive and binding upon all Registers of Deeds: Provided. when a party in interest President.ñët implication the right to be investigated only by the Supreme Court and to be suspended or removed upon its recommendation. 1125) Commissioner with those of any other bureau director. 71 L. specifically recites that "No District Judge shall be separated or removed from General Electric Company. No. 42). the organic statutes of said bodies (Republic Act 1267. That. analysis of the powers and duties of the Land Registration Commissioner under unequivocal language. such unusual corollaries could not have been intended by the Legislature when it granted these judicial function. Republic Act No. 70.S. 445) and cases cited. mortgage. and the petition is ordered dismissed. 4495). These favoured officers include (a) Section 4 of Republic Act No. No. and these Justices are only removable by the Legislature.Thus. 544. said decision rank and privileges of a Justice of the Court of Appeals. petitioner's stand would also lead to the conclusion that the Solicitor General. A. 736. adopt petitioner's theory. (c) the City Fiscal of Quezon City (R. 74 L. through the process of impeachment (Judiciary Act. It is thereby shown that where the legislative design is to make the suspension or removal procedure But even granting that the resolution of consultas by the Register of Deeds should constitute a judicial (or more prescribed for Judges of First Instance applicable to other officers. L-30173 September 30. Art. that the Commissioner of Land Registration is a District Judge. Ct. the matter shown by the records certified to him.S. sec.R. 47 Sup.1äwphï1. 541. the right to demand investigation by the officials. — But this court cannot be invested with jurisdiction of that character. and simultaneously reducing pro tanto the control of the Chief Executive over such officials. and which the Constitution expressly placed under the President's supervision and or upon the suggestion in writing by the party in interest. 277 U. the writs of prohibition and injunction applied for are denied. Act 1151 43 Sup. 469. Ct. 282. ed. sec. (d) the City Sec. 160 N. 1151. . for otherwise. could not be removed by the latter. This limitation 1 in effect identifies the resolutions of the Land Registration Appeals. 10[i]). Connolly vs. he is endowed with judicial functions. 789. are presidential appointees. Consequently. 655). California Fig Nut Co. To doubt with regard to the proper step to be taken or memorandum to be made in pursuance of any deed. right to be investigated by the Supreme Court. the investigation and Justice Cardozo ruled in In re Richardson et al. the stark issue before this Court is whether the Commissioner of Land Registration may only be investigated essentially legislative or administrative. This conclusion gains strength when account the decision of the Land Registration Commissioner "shall be conclusive and binding upon all Registers of Deeds" is taken of the fact that in the case of the Judges of the Court of Agrarian Relations and those of the Court of Tax alone. par. It will be noted that by specific provision of the section. 47 Sup. and the consequent curtailment by mere Register of Deeds with reference to any such matter. much less shown. 401.S. et al. WHEREFORE. 274.. may be appealed to the Supreme Court within thirty days from and after receipt of the notice thereof.

and on 27 March 1956. whence it would follow that the extrajudicial foreclosure. Block No. the court granted plaintiffs-appellees' motion for execution. 2 matter of the mortgage is a house of strong materials.00 received from plaintiffs-appellees.800. 550 Int. rentals deposited had to be held until final disposition of the appeal. Thus. 1956.00 monthly. Having lost therein. deceit or trickery. It appears on the records that on 1 September 1955 defendants-appellants executed a chattel mortgage in favor of We will consider these questions seriatim. No. Rule 72. and. for ejectment. the latter to pay jointly and severally the former a monthly rent of P200. only be a ground for rendering the contract voidable or annullable pursuant to Article 1390 of the New Civil Code.. claiming that they are still the owners of the house. defendants-appellants. it is the Court of First Instance which has jurisdiction and not the municipal court. 12 wherein the defendant was also a successful bidder in an amount of P200. The mode of payment was P150. and necessarily the annum. the court hereby renders judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. As highest bidder. 1956 as ordered in the decision of the municipal court. Mortgagor's property after the necessary publication in order to settle the financial debts of P4. the dispositive portion of which follows: namely: . and the lump sum consequent auction sale. over Lot Nos. to January 14. 1967. the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance a quo. defendants-appellants appealed to the court a quo (Civil Case No. 5 and raises an issue of fact which should be determined from the evidence at the trial. the judgment regarding the surrender of possession to plaintiffs-appellees could not be executed Castillo & Suck for plaintiffs-appellees. the Court of First Instance found defendants-appellants' contentions as were issued the corresponding certificate of sale. legally bound to pay rentals to the plaintiffs during the period of one complaint. plus 12% their signatures on the chattel mortgage were obtained through fraud.R. land on which the house was constructed. and consequently. TUMALAD. However. the appellate court of First Instance rendered its decision.. it can only be the subject of a real estate mortgage and not a chattel mortgage. it is argued by defendants-appellants. Calingo for defendants-appellants. The said decision was appealed by defendants to the Court of Appeals which.150 was payable on or before August. plaintiffs-appellees over their house of strong materials located at No. During the pendency of the appeal to the Court of First Instance. under the law. the municipal court rendered its It has been held in Supia and Batiaco vs. because the subject house had been already demolished on 14 January 1957 pursuant to the order of the court in a separate civil case (No. until fully paid. Instead. Quiapo. that the house be vacated and court that "the defense of ownership as well as the allegations of fraud and deceit . subject-matter of this action. or trickery. lt is contended further that ownership being in issue. Quezon Boulevard. on 18 April 1956. and (b) that the subject yearly interest. the Sheriff of the City of Manila or any of his deputies is hereby empowered and authorized to sell all the Defendants-appellants predicate their theory of nullity of the chattel mortgage on two grounds. plaintiffs-appellees On the charge of fraud.00 and the costs of the suit. praying. with interest at the legal rate from April 18.B. the dispositive portion of which is law are involved.800. Dalman. Plaintiffs-appellees failed to file a brief and this appeal was submitted for decision without it. being an immovable. J. J. The (a) Defendants-appellants mortgagors question the jurisdiction of the municipal court from which the case mortgage was registered in the Registry of Deeds of Manila on 2 September 1955. the Chattel Mortgage will be enforceable in accordance with the provisions of Special Act No. 1956.00 on the house. Hence. 13 Defendants-appellants. Manila. payable within one year at 12% per chattel mortgage is void ab initio. among other things. but they waived the right to introduce Moreover.GAVINO A.. 11 and further. oral or documentary.. 43073 in the municipal court of Manila.00 monthly from 27 March 1956 up to the time the possession is surrendered." What determines jurisdiction are the allegations or averments in the complaint and the relief asked for. 1956. would cause the remaining unpaid balance to becomeimmediately due and Payable and — issue of ownership will have to be adjudicated first in order to determine possession. 43073. Rule 72. 2554. the amortizations. execution of the supersedeas bond and withdrawal of deposited rentals was denied for the reason that the liability therefor was disclaimed and was still being litigated. even granting that the charge is true. on the theory that the executed to guarantee a loan of P4. 1956 within the first 10 days of December. TUMALAD and GENEROSA R. 6 of a voidable contract which has not been voided fails. As a result.00 and to pay the costs. WHEREFORE. 3 Thereafter. and it was actually issued on 24 January 1957. which were being rented from Madrigal & Company.00. Inc. are also void. The herein mortgage was originated. 7 Case certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals (CA-G.. Defendants-appellants submitted numerous assignments of error which can be condensed into two questions.. ordering further to pay monthly the clearly established. 30993) which also rendered a decision against them. quoted earlier. 8 confirming the earlier finding of the municipal Civil Case No. defendants-appellants failed to deposit the rent vs. and (2) there was no allegation of prior possession. 14 There is nothing on record to show that the mortgage has been annulled. It was also agreed that default in the payment of any of the who are entitled to possession and not plaintiffs-appellees. and for defendants-appellants to pay rent of P200. for November. ordering the defendants to vacate the premises described in the complaint. and can evidence. 1956.00 from March 27. which are: (a) that." 9 its possession surrendered to them. plaintiffs-appellant commenced not supported by evidence and accordingly dismissed the charge. but it is not evidence. In the case of Sy vs. 27824-R) for the reason that only questions of On 7 October 1957. certified the appeal to this Court. is ownership. the Court is given the authority to proceed with the hearing of the cause until this fact is . of the Rules of Court. defendants-appellants' claim of ownership on the basis prove prior demand pursuant to Section 2. up to July 1956. Quintero and Ayala 10 that "the answer is a mere statement of the facts decision — which the party filing it expects to prove. and (b) failure to disclosed that steps were taken to nullify the same. they relied on their memoranda in support of their motion to dismiss. ALBERTA VICENCIO and EMILIANO SIMEON. from March 27.: Section 8. that when the question to be determined is one of title. Therefore. starting September. deceit.. 1955. and for this purpose. ordering (a) Whether the municipal court from which the case originated had jurisdiction to adjudicate the same. and under REYES. plaintiffs-appellees. predicated mainly on the grounds that: (a) the municipal court did not have jurisdiction to try and decide the case by a proper action in court. 6-B and 7-B. in their answers in both the municipal court and court a quo impugned the legality of the chattel mortgage. and attorney's fees. fraud or deceit does not render a contract void ab initio. . plus auction sale. the mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed. 4 On 21 September 1956. The motion of plaintiffs for dismissal of the appeal. When defendants-appellants defaulted in paying. plus attorney's fees in the sum of P300. it was likewise held by this Court that in detainer cases the aim of ownership "is a matter of defense attorney's fees of P100. until such (time that) the premises is (sic) completely vacated. 3. This case was originally commenced by defendants-appellants in the municipal court of Manila in Civil Case No. (1) year provided by law for the redemption of the extrajudicially foreclosed house. Neither is it because (1) the issue involved. 25816) for ejectment against the present defendants for non-payment of rentals on the Jose Q. the house was sold at public auction pursuant to the said contract. the filing of the (b) Whether the defendants are. the ownership of the house still remained with defendants-appellants of P3. are mere allegations. in turn.L. 3135.

Rule 39. (Ladera vs. as well as attorney's fees. The complaint stated no cause of action and was prematurely filed. it seems. or at least. the complaint. of the Revised Rules of Court 34 which also applies to properties purchased in extrajudicial The view that parties to a deed of chattel mortgage may agree to consider a house as personal property for the foreclosure proceedings. 709). Espe. The rule about the status of buildings as immovable property is stated in Lopez vs.. In such a case.) It should be noted. they are entitled to ceding.G. the rentals receivable from tenants. We must rule for the appellants. the parties specifically stipulated that the same owner. particularly the mortgagors. which by its very discretion is left to the court. et al. (Evangelista vs. 415. upon Hamada. although they may be document of mortgage.. as in the instant case. the same should be ordered doctrine of estoppel therefore applies to the herein defendants-appellants. not only because the deed of mortgage considered it as In other words. vs. until 27 March 1957. yet by Since the defendants-appellants were occupying the house at the time of the auction sale. there could be no violation or breach thereof. is to secure for the benefit of the debtor or mortgagor. and this Court hold therein that it was a valid Chattel mortgage because it was so expressly approval of the corresponding bond that the order for a writ of possession issues as a matter of course. the payment subsequently claiming otherwise. 222 U. "the chattel mortgage will be enforceable in accordance with the provisions of Special Act No. nevertheless. 3135. does not become immobilized by attachment (Valdez vs. provided that the requirements of the immovable property irrespective of whether or not said structure and the land on which it is adhered to belong to law relative to notice and registration are complied with. No designated and specifically that the property given as security "is a house of mixed materials. having treated the subject house as dismissed. allowed to make an inconsistent stand by claiming otherwise. Thus. Alto Surety. [CA]. Act No. Inc. In the case of Manarang and Manarang vs.. at any property that which by nature would be real property". Hence. in the enumeration of what allows the mortgagee to have the property mortgaged sold at public auction through a public officer in almost the may constitute real properties (art. 16 to the effect that — Chattel mortgages are covered and regulated by the Chattel Mortgage Law. mortgage. it is obvious that the inclusion of the building. and Plaza On this issue. who are attacking the validity of the chattel mortgage in this case. L-11139. Jr. 35 Construing the said section. 29 In the instant case.00 from 27 March 1956 (when the chattel mortgage was foreclosed and the house sold) until 14 January FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS. It is only upon filing of the proper motion and the materials. before the expiration of the 1-year period within which the judgment-debtor or mortgagor may such. the original themselves. in the possession during the period of redemption: but the same provision expressly requires the filing of a petition with case of Luna vs. For this sale. it specifically provides that "the mortgagor . it may be mortgaged as a personal property as so stipulated in the mortgagor effects the redemption. plus P300.e. vs. as amended by Act No. 61 Phil. as a matter of right. do not belong to the latter but still pertain to the debtor of on statements by the owner declaring his house to be a chattel. the date of to convey the house as chattel. Jaramillo.. i. such as the lessee or while it is true that the Rules of Court allow the purchaser to receive the rentals if the purchased property is usufructuary. 58. the governing provision is Section 34. 28 Section 14 of this Act . 33 In the absence of such a compliance. redeem the property sold at the extra judicial the latter case. the subject house stood on a rented lot to which defendats-appellants merely had a temporary right as lessee. he is. Inc.. separate and distinct from the land.00 attorney's fees. 3135 ."19 The "personal property" consisted of leasehold rights and a building.Differently stated. the decision appealed from is reversed and another one entered. The Supreme Court is clothed with ample personalty. Section 7 of the same Act 32 allows the purchaser of the property to obtain from the court the described personal property. 21 this Court stated that — claim possession during the period of redemption as a matter of right. authority to review palpable errors not assigned as such if it finds that their consideration is necessary in arriving at a just decision of the cases. and to collect the rents or profits during the said period. 15 cited in Associated Insurance Surety Co. Abad. Since plaintiffs-appellees' right to possess was not Williamson. but also because it did not form part of the land (Evangelists vs. Pineda. Wherefore.. Lopez vs. Act the parties. the purchaser thereof is not entitled. the principle of estoppel" (Evangelista vs. [CA] 48 O. Certain deviations. and that plaintiffs-appellees did not choose to take possession under Section 7. 23 April 1958). Hodges. New Civil Code) could only mean one thing — that a building is by itself an same manner as that allowed by Act No. intended to treat the same as such. 36 Mortgage 23 the property together with its leasehold rights over the lot on which it is constructed and participation .G. 3135. Ofilada. Neither was there an allegation to that effect. For this reason. purposes of said contract. . to possession of the same. Finally unlike in the Iya No. citing Standard Oil Company of New York vs. selling or transferring a property by way of chattel mortgage defendants-appellants could only have meant remain in possession during the period of redemption or within one year from and after 27 March 1956. claiming that they were entitled to remain in possession without any chattel mortgage was still null and void ab initio because only personal properties can be subject of a chattel obligation to pay rent during the one year redemption period after the foreclosure sale. 27 it is the defendants-appellants yet born at the filing of the complaint. as debtors-mortgagors.. even if there was no assignment of error to that effect. Again. 26 wherein third persons assailed the validity of the chattel mortgage. dismissing 1957 (when it was torn down by the Sheriff). and Plaza Theatre. this Court stated in the aforestated case of Reyes vs. Central Altagracia... 36 O. for Davao Sawmill Co. the mortgagor conveyed and transferred to the mortgagee by way of mortgage "the following foreclosure sale.S. deceit or trickery. Orosa. 17 this Court stated that "it is undeniable that the parties to a contract may by agreement treat as personal Section 6 of the Act referred to 31 provides that the debtor-mortgagor (defendants-appellants herein) may. With costs against plaintiffs-appellees. the said court limited itself to sentencing the erstwhile mortgagors to pay plaintiffs a monthly rent of P200. it does so when combined with other factors to sustain the interpretation that instituted in the court of origin. 37 (b) Turning to the question of possession and rentals of the premises in question. intended to treat the house as personalty. the house on rented land is not only expressly designated as Chattel Mortgage. Castillo. 4118.. Abad. Orosa. 5374): 22 of the redemption amount and the consequent return to him of his properties sold at public auction. SELLS and TRANSFERS by way of Chattel The Hamada case reiterates the previous ruling in Chan vs. L. It is based. have been allowed for various reasons.. C.It is claimed in the alternative by defendants-appellants that even if there was no fraud. Moreover. F.. . voluntarily CEDES. which is the law selected by the parties to govern the extrajudicial foreclosure of the cases. No. Theatre Inc. settled that an object placed on land by one who had only a temporary right to the same. if a house belonging to a person stands on a the amount so received and the same will be duly credited against the redemption price when the said debtor or rented land belonging to another person." 30 (Emphasis supplied). so that they should not now be the auction sale. for it is now redeem the property. the purchaser can not nature is considered personal property. however that the principle is predicated collected by the purchaser during the redemption period. cited in occupied by tenants. Encarnacion. reason. Supra. Inc.N. In a case. Jr. 25 and Leung Yee vs. et al. a mortgaged house built on a rented land was held to be a personal property. The Court of First Instance noted in its decision that nearly a year after the foreclosure sale the mortgaged house had been demolished on 14 and It follows that the court below erred in requiring the mortgagors to pay rents for the year following the foreclosure 15 January 1957 by virtue of a decision obtained by the lessor of the land on which the house stood. as amended. and although this can not in itself alone It will be noted further that in the case at bar the period of redemption had not yet expired when action was determine the status of the property. 2913). The rationale for the Rule.." 24Although there is no specific statement referring to the subject house as personal property. 18 In time within one year from and after the date of the auction sale. 1508." In the later case of Navarro vs. 20 the subject of the contract designated as Chattel Mortgage was a house of mixed the proper Court of First Instance and the furnishing of a bond. (Emphasis supplied) In the contract now before Us. Iya. "is good only insofar as the contracting parties are concerned. accountable to the judgment-debtor or mortgagor as the case may be. a conduct that may conceivably estop him from mortgagor. partly. however. the Appellants mortgagors question this award. Strong Machinery and chattel mortgage.

[G. the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) likewise filed a Motion to Intervene and/or to Appear HON. For this reason it prays that the petition be dismissed. DAVI. and its Implementing Rules and Regulations wildlife sanctuaries. which provides that ancestral domains including inalienable public lands. vs. XII of the Constitution: MANGKATADONG AUGUSTO DIANO. NORMA MAPANSAGONOS. DATU EDUAARDO BANDA.R. defines ancestral lands. memoranda in which they reiterate the arguments adduced in their earlier pleadings and during the hearing.[4] On October 19. the parties and intervenors filed their respective LEVY ESTEVES. BAGON. DESCAGA. HOGGANG. BAGON. MALUDAO. AMOS. ROMEO A. (6) Section 57 which provides for priority rights of the indigenous peoples in the harvesting. and the right to enter into agreements with nonindigenous peoples for the development and utilization of PER CURIAM: natural resources therein for a period not exceeding 25 years. 1998. otherwise ancestral domains and portions thereof which are found to be necessary for critical watersheds. MARCELINO M. filed a motion to Intervene with attached Comment- VI. SOLEDAD M. the Court required respondents to comment. BAI TINANGHAGA HELINITA T. SATUR S. SAMMY SALNUNGAN. lands. LYNETTE CARANTES-VIVAL. No. 1999. They agree with the NCIP and Flavier. one of the authors of the IPRA. JUAN M . RAFFY MALINDA. JOSEPHINE M. DATU that the petition for prohibition and mandamus be dismissed. ESTEVEZ. ABASALA. Ponciano Bennagen. the indigenous peoples. INC. has the responsibility to protect and guarantee the rights of those who are at a serious disadvantage like MATERNIDAD M. They join the NCIP in RESOURCES. by providing for an all-encompassing definition of ancestral domains and ancestral In its resolution of September 29. NENENG MALID. assailing the constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act No. represented by her mother LINAY BALBUENA. PE. a group of intervenors. MANUEL T. protect and conserve the taxpayers. respondents. BAI KIRAM-CONNIE SATURNO. CARLING DOMULOT. LINDAHAY. GABIN. OFELIA T. et al. SELEN. INC. JIMMY UGYUB. [1] In compliance. SAWAY.A. MENDI. ANTONIO D. The Solicitor General is of the view that the IPRA is partly unconstitutional on the ground that it grants ownership over natural resources to indigenous peoples and prays that the petition be granted in part. NARCISA M. filed their Motion for Leave to Intervene. SAWAY. JUDE CARANTES.). ONALAN. 1998. VENANCIO APANG. JOSEPH The motions for intervention of the aforesaid groups and organizations were granted. DALUPINES. . composed of the Ikalahan Indigenous People and the Haribon Foundation for JOSE ANOY. ANDRES MENDIOGRIN. ARIEL M. DATU MANTUMUKAW TEOFISTO SABASALES. EVELYN DUNUAN. JESSIE ANDILAB. BAYANI ASCARRAGA. protected areas. MAUDAYAW-CRISPEN SAWAY. as minerals and other natural resources therein. On March 22. BAY INAY DAYA-MELINDA S. 2000] On November 10. mangroves. VIRGILIO CAYETANO. SAWAY. LOURDES D. DATU SAHAMPONG MALANAW the Conservation of Natural Resources. BENITO CARINO. TIMOL. MINORS MARICEL MALID. TIMUAY EDWIN B. Petitioners also content that. (1) Section 3(a) which defines the extent and coverage of ancestral domains. in violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in Section 2. RICO O. develop. ground that they amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well LIESES. Thereafter. WALTER N. AGUILAR. known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA).[3] agency created under the IPRA to implement its provisions. MIA GRACE L. JR. LANGLEY SEGUNDO. that IPRA is consistent with the Constitution and pray REYMUNDO.[2] (Implementing Rules). Sections 3(a) and 3(b) violate the rights of Chairperson and Commissioners of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). LADRA. 135385. indigenous peoples. EVANGELISTA. GERARDA. FILIPE G. HERMINIA S. Mr. another group. in-Intervention. EDTAMI MANSAYANGAN. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS. the government private landowners. MAURO VALONES. extraction. GERADA. SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL groups of indigenous peoples (Flavier. December 6. SR. in which they defend the constitutionality of the IPRA and pray that the petition be dismissed for lack of In addition. FELIPE P. JENNYLYN MALID. DATU BEN PENDAO CABIGON. wilderness. PANGAN. TIWAN. ODETTE G. PAQUITO S. SALACAO. IKALAHAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE and HARIBON FOUNDATION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF NATURAL (5) Section 8 which recognizes and enumerates the rights of the indigenous peoples over the ancestral lands. in turn. MARIO MANGCAL. VICKY MAKAY.. GIRON. LADRA. PERFECTO B. RESOURCES. LIBERATO A. Juan Flavier. 1999. petitioners. DATU BALITUNGTUNG-ANTONIO D. MADION MALID. making customary law applicable to the settlement of disputes involving ancestral domains and ancestral lands on the ground that these provisions violate the due process clause of the Constitution. JERSON P. The CHR asserts that IPRA is an expression of the principle of parens patriae and that the State BASILIO WANDAG. RODOLFO C. ROEL S. SALOME P. JULIUS S. MIRLANDO H. filed on October 13. INTER-PEOPLES EXCHANGE. SUSAN BOLANIO. 8371 (R. represented by her father TONY MALID. THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES. DATU JOEL UNAD. DATU RAMON BAYAAN. Article SALVADOR TIONGSON. intervenor. SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT and CHAIRMAN and COMMISSIONERS OF defending the constitutionality of IPRA and praying for the dismissal of the petition. petitioners question the provisions of the IPRA defining the powers and jurisdiction of the NCIP and merit.. CONCHITA G. (4) Section 7 which recognizes and enumerates the rights of the indigenous peoples over the ancestral domains. represented by her father CORNELIO MALID. SARZA. respondents lands which might even include private lands found within said areas. ALBESO. Inc. Oral arguments were heard on April 13. MORANTE S. intervenor. and Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa brought this suit for prohibition and mandamus as citizens and (7) Section 58 which gives the indigenous peoples the responsibility to maintain. PONCIANO BENNAGEN. COLAS. TIMUAY MACARIO D. 1998. ALFREDO ABILLANOS. 8371). YAOM TUGAS. (3) Section 6 in relation to section 3(a) and 3(b) which defines the composition of ancestral domains and ancestral and GREEN FORUM-WESTERN VISAYAS. BAI NANAPNAY-LIZA SAWAY.FLAVIER. TIMUAY On March 23. a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. OSCAR DALUNHAY. EMBA. composed of Sen. GUINOSAO. LEONARDA SAWAY. ATONG. RESOLUTION development or exploration of minerals and other natural resources within the areas claimed to be their ancestral domains. EMUY. BAE MLOMO. respondents Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) filed through the Solicitor General a These provisions are: consolidated Comment. TERESA GASPAR. FELAY DIAMILING. OND. ENDING. et al. mineral and other resources found within ancestral domains are private but community property of represented by her father MONICO D. SAMIE SATURNO. intervenors. SUKIM MALID. DANILO M. EDWARD M. SULATAN. (Haribon. 1999. PEPE H. SR. ALFREMO CARPIANO. MANSANG-CAGAN. BEATRIZ T. and the leaders and members of 112 ISAGANI CRUZ and CESAR EUROPA. (2) Section 5. MORENO MALID. in relation to section 3(a). bodies of water. SAWAY.. MANUEL S. and Section 3(b) which. GILBERT P. PULA BATO BLAAN TRIBAL FARMERS ASSOCIATION. ROSEMARIE G. 1998 their Comment to the Petition.. ROMEO SALIGA. ELIZABETH L. LEOPOLDO ABUGAN. renewable for not more than 25 years. LUMANDONG. et. forest cover or reforestation. as Amicus Curiae. Petitioners assail the constitutionality of the following provisions of the IPRA and its Implementing Rules on the MANGKULINTAS. HON. al). DATU MAKAPUKAW ADOLINO L. RENATO T. SARING MASALONG. BUGNAY.

They contend that said Rule infringes upon the Presidents power of control over executive departments under Section 17. However. HON. Finally. JOSE Y. Buena. desist from implementing the assailed provisions of R. 8371 are which vest on the NCIP the sole authority to delineate ancestral domains and ancestral lands. No. 57. 7. According to the application. and was enclosed with a barbed-wire fence. all surnamed DE LA ROSA. the members of the Court voted as follows: Tuding. JOSE Y. HON. and Section 57 of the IPRA which he contends should be interpreted as dealing with the large-scale Bureau of Forestry Development. 8371 and its Implementing Rules. pursuant to Rule 56. series of 1998. Justice Kapunan filed an opinion.A. (3) Section 63 which provides the customary law. No. and De Leon join in the separate opinions of Justices Panganiban and Vitug. On the other hand. 1988 as a lateral but autonomous relationship for purposes of policy and program coordination. Secretary of Justice and Commissioner of the National Development redeliberated upon. DE LA ROSA.A. L-44081 April 15. Benguet Province. 5. nangka and camote. 8371 are predecessors-in-interest to bananas. HON. (1) A declaration that Sections 3. development. and Santiago join.A. Corporation. 1965. Article VII of the BENGUET CONSOLIDATED. 8. VICTORlA. 5. COURT OF APPEALS. 59. 52[I]. utilization and conservation of Philippine natural resources. CRUZ. indigenous peoples. avocado. Part II.(1) sections 51 to 53 and 59 which detail the process of delineation and recognition of ancestral domains and Vitug also filed a separate opinion expressing the view that Sections 3(a). who declared that the land was planted by Jaime and his expressing the view that Sections 3 (a)(b). SO ORDERED. G. She testified she was born in the land. which was possessed by her parents under claim of ownership. Justice Puno also filed a separate opinion sustaining all challenged provisions of the law with the exception of Section 1. and by the Republic of the Philippines.A. Inc. 8371. Section 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. (2) Section 52[i] which provides that upon certification by the NCIP that a particular area is an ancestral domain and upon notification to the following officials. 6 Alberto his tax declaration in 1961 and the realty tax receipts from that year to 1964. DE LA ROSA. (3) The issuance of a writ of prohibition directing the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cease and desist from implementing Department of Environment and Natural Resources Circular No. He reserves judgment on the constitutionality of Sections 58. which provides that the administrative relationship of the NCIP to the Office of the President is characterized G. Itogon. VICTORIA. Lots 1-5 were sold to Jose de la Rosa and Lots 6-9 to his children by Mamaya Balbalio and Jaime Seven (7) voted to dismiss the petition.: (4) The issuance of a writ of prohibition directing the Secretary of Budget and Management to cease and desist from disbursing public funds for the implementation of the assailed provisions of R. 7. Victoria. traditions and practices of indigenous peoples shall be applied Attached hereto and made integral parts thereof are the separate opinions of Justices Puno. 1 In the cases at bar. by Jose de la Rosa on his own behalf and on behalf of his three children. DE LA ROSA. Constitution. DE LA ROSA. unconstitutional.[5] vs. As the votes were equally divided (7 to 7) and the necessary majority was not obtained.. the case was Secretary of Interior and Local Governments. the petition is DISMISSED. Vitug. 6. Rule III of NCIP Administrative Order No. Section 1 of the NCIP Administrative Order No. series of 1998. through the IPRA. respondents. ATOK-BIG WEDGE MINING COMPANY. respectively. Kapunan. (4) Section 65 which states that customary laws and practices shall be used to resolve disputes involving indigenous peoples. 8371.Accordingly. Pardo. 6. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution.Justices Melo. Gonzaga-Reyes. COURT OF APPEALS. petitioner. after redeliberation. which have been consolidated because they (5) The issuance of a writ of mandamus commanding the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources to pose a common issue. 58. Justice Alberto's father. 1. 8. INC.A. and Panganiban. 7 (a)(b). and 57 of R.[6] vs. 65 and 66 and other related provisions of R. sustaining the validity of the challenged provisions of R. JOSE Y. Justice Panganiban filed a separate opinion received Lots 6-9 in 1961 from his mother. which the Chief Justice and Justices Alberto. 7 . claims of ownership. BENJAMIN and EDUARDO. unconstitutional. represented by their father JOSE Y.R. 63. comply with his duty of carrying out the States constitutional mandate to control and supervise the exploration. (2) The issuance of a writ of prohibition directing the Chairperson and Commissioners of the NCIP to cease and vs. 1988 8371 are unconstitutional and invalid. COURT OF APPEALS (THIRD DIVISION) and JOSE Y. The land. 1.[7] These cases arose from the application for registration of a parcel of land filed on February 11. all surnamed DE Petitioners pray for the following: LA ROSA. and G. No. DE LA ROSA.A. BENJAMIN and EDUARDO. 3 exploitation of natural resources and should be read in conjunction with Section 2. and 66 of the law. this doctrine was not correctly applied. the voting remained the same. namely. as to lots 1-9. 2 Bellosillo. respondents. J. L-43938 April 15. petitioner. Atok Big Wedge Part II. series of 1998. as to Lots 1-5. the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. 5 Balbalio presented her tax declaration in 1956 and the realty tax receipts from that year to 1964. Justice Mendoza voted to dismiss the petition solely on the ground that it does not In support of the application. 2. both Balbalio and Alberto testified that they had acquired the subject land by virtue of raise a justiciable controversy and petitioners do not have standing to question the constitutionality of R. first with respect to property rights. petitioner.R. 65.R. which he She was corroborated by Felix Marcos. and The Regalian doctrine reserves to the State all natural wealth that may be found in the bowels of the earth even if the land where the discovery is made be private. hereditary succession and settlement of land disputes. and that any doubt or ambiguity in the interpretation thereof shall be resolved in favor of the indigenous peoples. situated in After due deliberation on the petition. was divided into 9 lots and covered by plan Psu-225009. 4 Alberto said he Seven (7) other members of the Court voted to grant the petition. as to Portions of Lots 1-5 and all of Lots 6-9. and related provisions of R. 67 years old at the time. L-44092 April 15. Mendoza. respondents. Benjamin and Eduardo. petitioners assail the validity of Rule VII. who recalled the earlier possession of the land by believes must await the filing of specific cases by those whose rights may have been violated by the IPRA.A. represented by their father. 8371. the jurisdiction of said officials over said area terminates. Quisumbing. 59. The application was separately opposed by Benguet Consolidated. prescription Balbalio claimed to have received Lots 1-5 from her father shortly after the Liberation. in 1964. Bella Alberto. the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Corporation. 1988 (5) Section 66 which vests on the NCIP the jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (DIRECTOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT).

but subject to the rights of Benguet and Atok Case. geological samplings and trench side cuts. . The June Bug mineral claim of plaintiff Benguet was one of the 16 mining mineral oils. 320. Apacible and Cuisia (42 Phil. and according to the laws existing at that October 14. 10 Creek Mining Corporation v. Atok alleged that a portion of Lots 1-5 and all of Lots 6-9 were covered by the Emma and Fredia be granted to any other person. 249 U. 27 Cyc. the claims Both Benguet and Atok have appealed to this Court. petroleum and other and Emma" mineral claims of Atok.) "When a location of a mining claim is perfected it has the hereby declared to be free and open to exploration. and this is the locator's right before as well as after the The Bureau of Forestry Development also interposed its objection. declared: claims of Atok Big Wedge Mining Company. Hon. (Union Oil Co. shall not be alienated. thereon. geological sampling and trench side cuts. the lands had become mineral lands and they were exempted from lands that could For its part. they cannot be companies have any valid claim to the land because it is not alienable and registerable. In 1948. 546). of Agriculture and Commerce. 131. 4268. his possessory right. as construed and applied by this court in McDaniel v. hereby declared to be valid and subsisting locations as of the date of their respective locations. of course. or industrial Bug" for taxation and had religiously paid the taxes. 9 "The legal effect of a valid location of a mining claim is not only to segregate the area from the public domain. It is not disputed that the location of the mining claim under consideration was perfected prior to November 15. After World War II. uses other than the development of water power. the area becomes segregated from the public domain and the property of the locator. 1931. All of the Kelly claims ha corporations or associations at least 60% of the capital of which is owned by such citizens. except as to water rights for irrigation. 337. in correctly declared that: its Article XIII. and. These claims were purchased from these locators on November 2. 8 power of the United States Government to deprive him of the exclusive right to the possession and enjoyment of the located claim was gone. and Quirico Abadilla. lease or concession at the time of the inauguration of the government established under this on the June Bug mineral claim consisting of mine tunnels prior to 1935. and claims of James E. the land. 171 U. 650.. Smith. by reason of its nature. and its payment of taxes on the discovered a valuable mineral deposit on the lands located. its annual assessment work on the claims. reversed the trial court and recognized the claims of the applicant.L. From the date of its purchase. 12 In other words. Director of the Bureau of Mines. all locations of mining The June Bug mineral claim of Benguet and the Fredia and Emma mineral claims of Atok having been perfected claim made prior to February 8.. By such location and by Atok. but The location of the mineral claims was made in accordance with Section 21 of the Philippine Bill of 1902 which to grant to the locator the beneficial ownership of the claim and the right to a patent therefor upon compliance with provided that: the terms and conditions prescribed by law. Montana SEC. and recorded on January 2. 1929. if a valid mining location is made upon public lands afterwards included in a office of the mining recorder of Baguio. such as the boring of tunnels. by the successors-in-interest of James Kelly. 749). 259. The Republic has were removed from the public domain. or utilization shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines or to mineral and the same was recorded in the Mining Recorder's Office on October 14. and not even the government of the Philippines can take away this right filed its own petition for review and reiterates its argument that neither the private respondents nor the two mining from them. occupation and purchase and the land in which they are found effect of a grant by the United States of the right of present and exclusive possession.C. 265-266) The trial court * denied the application. coal. It had submitted the required affidavit of Constitution. compliance with the mining laws. deprived thereof without due process of law. a valid location of a possession of the land in concept of owner. 66 Phil. arguing that the land sought to be registered issuance of the patent. such inclusion or reservation does not affect the validity of the former location. timber and mineral lands of the public domain. fisheries. water supply. The Emma and Fredia claims were two of the several claims of Harrison registered in 1931. minerals. Natural resources with the exception of public agricultural lands. 1935 within lands set apart as forest reserve under Sec. 1909. they were removed from the public domain and Administrative Code which would be valid and subsisting location except to the existence of said reserve are had become private properties of Benguet and Atok. All valuable mineral deposits in public lands in the philippine Islands both surveyed and unsurveyed are Mining Co. 1930. Eulogio Rodriguez. and perfected his location in accordance with law. exploitation. continuous and exclusive time. 322. 21.S. Section 1. the fee remains in the government until patent issues. While a lode locator acquires a vested property right by virtue of his location made in was covered by the Central Cordillera Forest Reserve under Proclamation No. He filed his declaration of the location of the June Bug their disposition. 1934. the land located is segregated from the public domain even as against the Government. exclusive enjoyment of all the surface ground as well as of all the minerals within the lines of the claim . with the right to the to occupation and purchase by the citizens of the United States. and no annual assessment. 1152) (Gold Moreover. 11 The applicants appealed to the respondent court. Louis Mining & Milling Co. 1935. Where there is a valid location of a mining claim. v."(18 R. approved on November 8. when the Government of the Commonwealth was inaugurated. all forces of potential energy and other natural resources of the Philipppines belong to the State. waters. * which It is of no importance whether Benguet and Atok had secured a patent for as held in the Gold Creek Mining Corp. 655. and its payment of annual taxes v. or lease for the exploitation.Benguet opposed on the ground that the June Bug mineral claim covering Lots 1-5 was sold to it on September 22. Benguet redeclared the "June granted for a period exceeding 25 years. Benguet introduced improvements on mineral claim June Bug. Van Mess v. grant. 43 Law ed. which has since then been in open. 13 It is true that the subject property was considered forest land and included in the Central Cordillera Forest Such rights were not affected either by the stricture in the Commonwealth Constitution against the alienation of all Reserve. proclamation to the contrary notwithstanding. The reservations of public lands cannot be made so as to include prior mineral mineral claims located by Harrison and Reynolds on December 25. the Court of Appeals affirmed the surface rights of the de la Rosas with the provisions of the mining laws. concession. reservation. invoking their superior right of ownership. continuous and exclusive possession of the said lots as evidenced by perfection. 217 dated February 16. All agricultural." (St. is as good as over the land while at the same time reserving the sub-surface rights of Benguet and Atok by virtue of their mining though secured by patent. claims. executive order. for all practical purposes of ownership. Benguet had been in actual. 1826 of the Revised prior to the approval of the Constitution of the Philippines of 1935. holding that the applicants had failed to prove their claim of possession and ownership of the land sought to be registered. who located the claim in September 1909 and recorded it on 1935. Having become the private properties of the oppositors. development. except as limited by the extralateral right of adjoining locators. Any provision of existing laws. The reason is obvious. 160 Cal. in which case beneficial use may be the measure and the limit of the grant. Said the court in that case: The moment the locator assessment. its geological mappings. We agree likewise with the oppositors that having complied with all the requirements of the mining laws. or of said islands. Roonet. 1. and which Atok representatives acquired. but this did not impair the rights already vested in Benguet and Atok at that time. Kelly. and also license. Benguet's evidence is that it had made improvements right. Inc. 1931. American and mining locator. as evidenced by its construction of adits.S. in the perfected locations. development or utilization of any of the natural resources shall be conducted geological mappings. Thus. for all physical purposes of ownership. subject to any existing subsequently been acquired by Benguet Consolidated. the owner is not required to secure a patent as long as he complies respecting their mining claims. 1909. Act No. The Court of Appeals lands of the public domain except those agricultural in nature for this was made subject to existing rights. it was categorically provided that: There is no question that the 9 lots applied for are within the June Bug mineral claims of Benguet and the "Fredia SEC. it was not subject to alienation under the Constitutions of 1935 and 1973. Portions of Lots 1 to 5 and all of Lots 6 to 9 are within the Emma and Fredia mineral Implementing this provision. Sec. its affidavits of annual mining claim segregated the area from the public domain.

R. respondent prayed that the land be awarded to her under the provisions of Commonwealth Act any purpose other than mining does not include the ownership of. or associations. the land which was originally classified as forest land ceased YNARES-SANTIAGO. even if it be assumed that the predecessors-in-interest of the de la Rosas had really been in possession converted to mineral land and may not be used by any private party. as the Court of Appeals observed. adverse and exclusive possession submitted by does not give him the right to extract or utilize the said minerals without the permission of the State to which such the applicants was insufficient to support their claim of ownership. without need of any further act such as the purchase of the land or the obtention of a patent over it. How deep can the farmer. as its name implies. in turn. 150413. 15 As the land had become the private property of the locators. Respondent alleged that she development or utilization. SEC. who had the opportunity to consider the evidence first-hand and observe the demeanor The flaw in the reasoning of the respondent court is in supposing that the rights over the land could be used for of the witnesses and test their credibility was not convinced. is SET ASIDE and that of the trial court agricultural on the surface. 16 The trial judge. government.R. They themselves had acquired the land only in minerals belong. subject to separate claims of title. subject to any existing right. which affirmed the agricultural.The perfection of the mining claim converted the property to mineral land and under the laws then in force removed SEC. The correct interpretation is that once minerals are that it was reached with grave abuse of discretion or without sufficient basis. This is rather doctrine. vs. Silang Cadastre. 1976. notorious and adverse possession and occupancy under bona fide claim of ownership for more than thirty (30) years. ALEXANDRA LAO. based on her and her predecessors open. as already observed. against even the agricultural land patents are granted are excluded and excepted from all such patents. 4. owner of piece of land has rights not only to its surface but also to everything underneath and the airspace above it up to a reasonable height. by acquisitive not of private persons. who inherited 60% of the capital of which is owned by such citizens. much less protest. 141. in Land Registration Case No. for any of the subject property. lease or concession at it from Generosa Medina. J. 1995. who acquired the the time of the inauguration of government established under the Constitution. Torrens titles are granted are excluded and excepted from all such titles. nor the right to extract or utilize. commercial. The ownership of. subject to vested rights existing at the time of its adoption. industrial. and the right to the use of land for agricultural. they had the right to transfer the same. . The rule simply reserves to the State all minerals that may be found in public and even prescription. and the right to extract and utilize. This is also difficult to understand. the trial court found that the evidence of open. respondent Alexandra Lao filed with the Regional Trial Court of Tagaytay City. same from Edilberto Perido by transfer. it did not cease to be so and become This petition for review assails the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. or underneath. 1964 and applied for its registration in 1965. 137. as they SEC. The Court feels that the rights over the land are indivisible and that the land itself cannot be half agricultural and DECISION half mineral. TG-719. 6. to Benguet and Atok. the locators acquired exclusive rights over the land. 56230. relying on the earlier alleged possession of their predecessors-in- interest.349) square meters under Sec. What must have misled the respondent court is Commonwealth Act No. the land must be either completely mineral or completely agricultural. Victoria A. is intended for the benefit of the State. such use may be discontinued by the State to enable it to extract the minerals therein in the exercise of its sovereign prerogative. Branch 18. 3951. as amended. and their disposition. is REINSTATED. mining claims which they validly acquired before the Constitution of 1935 prohibited the alienation of all lands of the public domain except agricultural lands. SO ORDERED. actual. because it was enclosed with a fence and was cultivated by those who were judgment[2] of the Regional Trial Court of Tagaytay City. consisting of nine thousand three hundred forty nine (9. and how high can the miner. and they were claiming it as agricultural land. respondent. residential or (for) any purpose other than mining. No. CV No. go without encroaching on each other's rights? Where is the dividing line between the surface [G. he is of course entitled to just compensation under the Mining Laws or in appropriate expropriation They were not disputing the lights of the mining locators nor were they seeking to oust them as such and to proceedings. and the right to extract and utilize. if a person is the owner of agricultural land in which minerals are discovered. 17 discovered in the land. nor rights and the owners of the sub-surface rights. exclusive. On September 4. the surface owner will be planting on the land while the mining locator will be boring tunnels underneath. the land is classified as mineral underneath and WHEREFORE. or to corporations. as the private respondents aver. 1529. commercial. For the loss sustained by such asagricultural land. inherited the land from her father. Jose Medina. whatever the use to which it is being devoted at the time. In fact. the decision of the respondent court dated April 30. including the registered owner thereof. The land The Court of Appeals justified this by saying there is "no conflict of interest" between the owners of the surface was not and could not have been transferred to the private respondents by virtue of acquisitive prescription. industrial. that such private property was subject to the "vicissitudes of This is an application of the Regalian doctrine which. or for In the alternative. continuous. otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree. continuous. All mineral lands of the public domain and minerals belong to the State. ownership. grant. the method invoked by the de la Rosas is not available in the case at bar. at least acquired the land by purchase from the siblings Raymundo Noguera and Ma. private land devoted to "agricultural. 1969. The farmer cannot dig a well because he may interfere with the operations below and the miner cannot blast a tunnel lest he destroy the crops above. 14 By such act. 21 replace them in the mining of the land. July 1. even if only partly so. unlawfully occupying the surface. 19 Under the aforesaid ruling. which it was not. Plan Ap-04-007770. 20 As long as mining operations were being undertaken thereon. especially in its dated March 11." Thus. The property was mineral land." or even to forfeiture by non-user or abandonment or. Presidential Decree No. The ownership of. also known as the Public Land Act. 5. The latter. It is true. Branch 18. The land is thus Second. which may be found on or under the surface. owner. 2003] and the sub-surface rights? REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. practical application. his ownership of such land First. The classification must be categorical. for it is a well-known principle that the could its use be shared simultaneously by them and the mining companies for agricultural and mineral purposes. In the instant case. the same although she claimed to be the Our holding is that Benguet and Atok have exclusive rights to the property in question by virtue of their respective owner of the said land. Cad. their possession was not in the concept of owner of the mining claim but of the property other purpose that will impede the mining operations to be undertaken therein. However. Valenzuela. The ownership of. the minerals included within all areas for which public it from the public domain. 452-D. without any pronouncement as to costs. the minerals No. public.: to be so and became mineral — and completely mineral — once the mining claims were perfected. We defer to his judgment in the absence of a showing both mining and non-mining purposes simultaneously. shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines. Balbalio testified that she was aware of the diggings being undertaken "down below" 18 but she did not mind. residential. the minerals included within all areas for which did. 3. for two reasons. Under the theory of the respondent court. petitioner. exploitation. providing as follows: an application for the registration of title over a parcel of land designated as Lot No.

and (b) the documents presented. Section 48 (b) of Commonwealth Act No.A. the President enacted P. and that applicant and her predecessors-in-interest have been in continuous. provides: On June 28. 141. and that the same parcel was declared for taxation purposes. of legal age.349) square meters as supported classification of the land as alienable and disposable land of the public domain. exclusive. and (2) the 04-007770 and containing an area of nine thousand three hundred forty-nine (9. or earlier. 1945. On January 25.[4] Respondent submits that Section 48 (b) of CA 141 was amended by Republic Act No. 1945 or earlier. 1990. under a bona fide claim of DISPOSABLE LAND OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. the applicant must show that (a) he. in the concept of an owner. open. RA 6940 explicitly states that its provisions amended sections 44. As amended Section 48 (b) now reads: C. whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives: the effect that respondent had been in possession of the property for more than thirty years.R. by himself or have been duly paid. as well as technical description and other occupation of the subject land under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12.A. extending the period for filing applications for judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete titles to December 31. 141. with residence at 1648 Yakal Street. 1987. applicant appears to be in continuous and public possession thereof for more than thirty (30) years. the corresponding decree of registration shall forthwith issue. On October 15. the appellate court affirmed the alienable and disposable land of the public domain which have been in open. Court by its technical description now forming part of the record of this case. Filipino citizen. and Fina Victoria So-Liwanag. exclusive and notorious possession and could well-discern from the survey plan covering the same property. No. No. 1977. (1) possession of the subject land from June 12. continuous. According to petitioner. Hence. However.At the hearing in the lower court. 1529. and that tacking her predecessors-in-interests possession to hers. and (b) whether or not respondent was able to show that the land subject of her application was disposable and alienable land of the public domain. Vicente Laudato.[5] further amending C. Section 48(b) of C. the issues presented before us are (a) whether or not respondent was able to prove. married to NELSON O. Manila.Those shall be conclusively presumed to In sum. 2001. (1998)] that. Cruz. 45 and 47 of CA 141. application for registration. 1957. Doldol [295 SCRA 359.Respondent likewise presented in evidence the Deed of Absolute Sale [3] dated April 19. the survey plan and technical description of the property. 1996. on June 22. 1894. 141 POSSESSION. However.[8] provided for possession and occupation of lands of the public domain since July 26. been in open. Chapter VIII. exclusive and notorious judgment of the trial court. In other words. which reduced the required period of possession to thirty years immediately prior to the filing of the application. appealed to the Court of Chapter VIII. 1073. petitioner maintains that the required period of possession remained the same. predecessor-in-interest. continuous.D. 1945. Likewise. CV No. 1945. public. 1073. who assisted respondent in her claim of ownership since June 12. has been in open. LAO. No. namely. this requirement was retained. Court of Appeals. RESPONDENT FAILED TO PRESENT A CERTIFICATION FROM THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT (b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. They only made sweeping statements to of title to land. represented by the Office of the Solicitor General. respondents witnesses did not state the exact period when Who may apply. however. the trial court made the following findings. continuous. Republic Act No. has already been amended by Presidential Decree No. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land. This was superseded by R.A. Section 14 (1) of Presidential Decree No. to wit: The provisions of Section 48(b) and Section 48(c). 1945 or earlier. On the other hand. continuous and notorious the provisions of this chapter. 6940.[9] approved on January 25. it can not be conclusively determined whether respondent and her predecessors-in-interest have truly been in possession of the . who testified on respondents purchase and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide of the property from Raymundo and Ma. the land described in Plan Ap. adverse and in the concept of an owner possession of the subject parcel of land for more than thirty (30) years now. Petitioner argues that respondent failed to prove by incontrovertible evidence that she had been in open. exclusive AGENCY THAT THE LAND SUBJECT OF HER APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION IS ALIENABLE AND and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain. uninterrupted. possession. The same. 1942 was enacted amending C. the provisions of Section 48 (b) and Section 48 (c). Once this Decision becomes final and executory. 1073. LEGALLY REQUIRED PERIOD OF POSSESSION. exclusive on the ownership of the land by Edilberto Perido in 1932.[10] acquisition or ownership. THE TAX DECLARATIONS PRESENTED BY RESPONDENT DO NOT CORROBORATE HER CLAIM OF THE confirmation of imperfect title.A. this Court through his predecessors-in-interest. The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application for registration respondents predecessors-in-interest started occupying the subject land.D. No. Under C. 1529 states: since June 12. Act 496 and/or P. under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership.A. Nothing in RA 6940 WHEREFORE.[12] thus: A. by the quantum of have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under evidence mandated by law. continuous. Sta. of the subject parcel of land. who testified (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessor-in-interest have been in open. No. Said law became The dispositive portion of the decision reads: effective on April 15.[11] we held that: name of ALEXANDRA A. 56230. continuous. LAO. THERE IS NO SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO WARRANT THE ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF TITLE OF SUBJECT PROPERTY IN THE NAME OF RESPONDENT. immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title. No. Under this decree. that the realty taxes due thereon Thus. domain. of the Public Land Act are hereby amended in the sense that these provisions shall apply only to Appeals which was docketed as CA-G. 141. 1945. In Public Estates Authority v. of the Public Land Act are hereby amended in the sense that these provisions shall apply only to alienable and disposable lands of the public domain which have x x x the applicant acquired the subject parcel of land by purchase from Raymundo Noguera and Ma.[7] The aforequoted ruling was reiterated in Republic v. or earlier. that the land involved in this case is not covered by any land patent. this Court hereby approves this application for registration and thus places under the operation of amends Section 48 (b). Petitioner Republic of the Philippines. 1977. as amended by Section 4 of Presidential Decree and the tax declarations in the name of respondent as well as her predecessors-in-interest. forth therein remains the same. since June 12. SO ORDERED. No. in addition to other proofs adduced in the of Appeals. the requisites for judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title set Act 141. 1994 executed by Raymundo and Victoria in her favor. that the land sought to be registered is agricultural and not within any forest zone or public land subject of the application is alienable and disposable land of the public domain. continuous. Under the public land act. judicial confirmation of imperfect title required possession en concepto de dueo since time immemorial. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation by the applicant himself or thru his Valenzuela in 1994. 1894. before one can register his title over a parcel of land. otherwise known as Property Registration Law. Victoria A. that she met the required period of open. respondent presented the following witnesses: Candido Amoroso. RESPONDENT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE LEGALLY REQUIRED PERIOD AND ACTS OF This Court has held in Republic vs. originally. Victoria. except when prevented by wars or force majeure.[6] Hence. 141. 1942 which provided for a simple thirty-year prescriptive period of occupation by an applicant for judicial B. This later enactment required adverse possession for a period of only thirty (30) years. 1945. in the concept of an owner. this petition for review raising the following errors: possession and occupation by the applicant himself or thru his predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership. since June 12. since June 12. or since July 26.

BARANDA and ALFONSO HITALIA. J. however. the burden shifts totally to the government to prove that the land forms part of the unclassified forest zone. However. 106098 was issued in the names of Alfonso Hitalia and Eduardo S. and that Edilberto Perido owned the property. Unless such assets are reclassified and considered disposable and alienable. 56230 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. [18] In De Ocampo v. Respondents estopped by the omission. after considering the private thus susceptible to private ownership. including that of Edilberto. 64432 and the private respondents in thereof in the concept of owner. which contained no information regarding the classification of the property. Victoria A. As an applicant for registration of a parcel of land. Verily.R. she failed to meet the first requisite under the pertinent provisions of PD 1529 and CA G. No. alienable part of the public domain.property since June 12.[20] Thus. The subject matter of these two (2) cases and the instant case is the same — a parcel of land Presidential Decree No. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.: x x x a title may be judicially confirmed under Section 48 of the Public Land Act only if it pertains to alienable lands of the public domain. 25772 fraudulently acquired. 6406 was cancelled and Respondent argues that she was not required to present any certification stating that the land is open for Transfer Certificate of Title No. It was rather sweeping for the appellate court to rule that after an applicant files his application for registration. Maria P. On August 6. Director of Forestry (126 SCRA 69) governs applications for confirmation of imperfect title. She cannot rely on the mere presumption that it was agricultural and. Being the interested party. land from Generosa Medina to Raymundo Noguera and Ma. As earlier stated the petition was denied in a resolution dated January . Victoria claimed possession of the property. Respondent having thus failed to show by incontrovertible evidence that her possession of the land commenced on June 12. which was in 1945. cannot ripen into ownership and be registered as a title. no certification from the appropriate government agency or official proclamation reclassifying the The present petition arose from the same facts and events which triggered the filing of the earlier petitions. occupation Eduardo S. Silang Cadastre. and ATTY. . 1945 or earlier. respondents' opposition and finding TCT No.Respondent merely submitted the survey map and facts and events are cited in our resolution dated December 29. However. G. State. HONORABLE Constitution. it was incumbent upon her to prove that the land being Court of Appeals denied the petition.R. No. the involved is agricultural. testified that he first knew of the property in 1932 and that it was forms part of the public domain.Consequently. in view of the foregoing. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia were the petitioners in G. respondents. established that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable. it remains part of the inalienable public domain. Valenzuela.R. 64432. no matter how long. Victoria A. TEODOSIO. The applicant shoulders the burden of overcoming the presumption that the land sought to be registered Candido Amoroso. Hence. 1073 clarified Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Act by specifically declaring that the latter designated as Lot No. the petition is GRANTED. She Court issued a writ of possession which Gregorio Perez. involving a parcel of land known as Lot No. ACTING REGISTER OF DEEDS AVITO SACLAUSO. 1983 in G. These land as alienable and disposable was presented by respondent. No. respondent failed to show how the property was transferred registered is indeed alienable or disposable. Victoria inherited the property from Generosa. 62042 before the Supreme Court. The ruling There is merit in the petition. owned by a certain Edilberto Perido. respondents possession can only SO ORDERED. No. 1982. These documents are not sufficient to overcome the presumption that the land sought to be registered . incontrovertible evidence must be Rico & Associates for private respondents. Barbara. Arlos. The Court. At most. stated that Raymundo and Ma. 1982. respondent had the initial obligation to show that the property Perez and Gotera filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals.[24] Edilberto was indeed the owner and possessor of the property. Plan Ap-04-007770. claimed that he had known about the property since he was ten years old. Eventually. Under the Regalian doctrine which is embodied in our HONORABLE JUDGE TITO GUSTILO.[15] All lands not appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the Eduardo S. [17] To overcome this presumption. respondents first witness. . ordered that the writ of possession be carried out. as follows: technical descriptions of the land. in Director of Lands v. Valenzuela. Furthermore.[14] all lands of the public domain belong to the State. She only presented the deed of sale between her and the latter. Petitioner further submits that respondent failed to show that the land subject of her application is classified as vs.R. 1988 141. TG-719 relationship between these parties. This case has its origins in a petition for reconstitution of title filed with the Court of First Instance of Iloilo forms part of the public domain. EDUARDO S. ownership of land. Iloilo covered by Original Certificate of Title applied only to alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. respondent can not tack her possession with those of Generosa Medina and her predecessors-in-interest.R. three years short of the required period. he testified that he It bears stressing at this point that declassification of forest land and its conversion into alienable or disposable based his information on Edilbertos ownership of the land on the fact that the latter used to greet him and his land for agricultural or other purposes requires an express and positive act from the government. 3951. No. [23] It cannot be family whenever he passed by their house. Baranda The disposition because no opposition to her application was ever made by the appropriate government agencies. The application for original registration of title over Lot No. 452-D. in Heirs of Amunategui v. Funtilar. [22] other witness.[16] Unless public land is shown to have been reclassified or alienated to a private person by the State. petitioners. Original Certificate of Title No. HECTOR P. No. Gotera and Susana Silao refused to honor on the claims that in the absence of any proof to the contrary. On cross-examination. Vicente Laudato.[13] WHEREFORE. JR. Branch 18. 81163 September 26.[19] it was held that: GUTIERREZ. She likewise did not show the Cad. No extrajudicial settlement of therefore.R. Perez and Gotera filed the petition for review on certiorari denominated as G. where it was before the Regional Trial Court of Tagaytay City. be reckoned from the time that Raymundo and Ma. is DENIED. Barbara Cadastre covered by Original Certificate of Title No. Respondent submitted the tax declarations in the name of her predecessors-in-interest. no evidence was presented to support his claim. the absence of opposition from the government agencies is of no moment because the State cannot be earliest of these documents pertained to the year 1948 only. A motion for reconsideration having been denied. Finally. 4517. but must be established by convincing proof. respondent can not tack her possession with those of Generosa and her predecessors-in-interest.. from Generosa Medina to Raymundo Noguera and Ma. In the case at bar. respondent failed to present the extrajudicial settlement or other document evidencing the transfer of the CV No. 4517 of the Cadastral Survey of Sta. which is the source of any asserted right to COURT OF APPEALS. 1945 or earlier.[21] we held: property was established. 62042. 4517 of the Sta. a writ of demolition was issued on March 29. which was docketed as Land Registration Case No. Baranda for petitioners. Vicente later on admitted that he did not know with certainty whether presumed. 6406. 6406 in the name of Romana Hitalia. lands of the public domain are agricultural in nature and ground that they also have TCT No. alienable and disposable land of the public domain. the Moreover. mistake or error of its officials or agents. 25772 over the same Lot No.

No. the Acting Register of Deeds. the petitioners filed in G.R. March 25. No. the same is hereby GRANTED. 1986 and the Manifestation of Atty. No. Atty. Province of Iloilo. Division per its Resolution dated September 17. They prayed that an order be issued: . Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia as prayed for. 1983. This decision in G.1986 and January 6. became final on Register of Deeds Helen P. Eduardo S. Helen P. Eduardo Baranda. 00827. 00827 before the respondent court have already been passed upon in G. which certificate shall Title No. another Resolution dated October 8. No. Rollo — 4432) issuance of an order directing the Regional Trial Court and Acting Register of Deeds to execute and implement the judgments of this Court. the Court RESOLVED to In compliance with our resolutions. 64432 ex-parte motions for but also the cancellation of TCT T-25772 and the subdivision of Lot 4517? (p. 1983 and March 9. 1986. Prohibition. 1983. Province of Iloilo dated November 5. 67661 filed by Atty." (p. Transfer Certificate of Title No. Sornito to register the Order dated September 5. Barbara Cadastre. dismissing Civil Case No. 64432. 536. the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo. T-25772 submitted by the petitioners Atty.R.R.T-106098 and once cancelled to issue new certificates of title to Intermediate Appellate Court was filed only to delay the implementation of the writ. Gotera through counsel on December 4. 64432) 1986 and manifestation asking for clarification on the following points: The above order was set aside on October 8.R. both in the Intermediate Appellate Court and in the Regional Trial Acting on these motions. As to the prayer of Atty. No. Gustilo DIRECT the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court not to take cognizance of issues already resolved by this issued two (2) orders dated November 6. in compliance with the order (b) Motion for Execution of Judgment of Resolution dated December 29. all of Sta. Branch 23 presided by Judge Tito G. 1986 dated December 29. 1983 Promulgated by Honorable Supreme Court (First Division) in G. Eduardo Baranda for the cancellation of TCT T-25772. No. seeking the full implementation of the writ of possession was granted by the Honorable Supreme Court. referring to the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo the ex-parte motion of the private respondents (Baranda and the Province of Iloilo dated October 23. 473. No. the Court issued a resolution denying with finality a motion for reconsideration of the December This is an Ex-parte Motion and Manifestation submitted by the movants through counsel on October 20. 64432 became final on May 20. 1984 of the lower court. 1984 upon a motion for reconsideration and manifestation filed by a. Does the Resolution dated September 17. therefore she must register all orders. Considering that (l)there is merit in the instant petition for indeed the issues discussed in G. 62042 and G.R.R. 62042. Acting Register of Hitalia) for execution of the judgment in the resolutions dated January 7. Immediate implementation of the writs of possession and demolition is likewise ordered. Sornito. No. this time in G. to render the petition moot and academic pending the Court's consideration of the issues. Gustilo WHEREFORE. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia dated August 12. Gustilo and the acting that the denial is final.R. 62042. 1984: ORDER (a) Reiterating Motion for Execution of Judgment of Resolutions dated January 7. 64432--contend that the writs of possession and demolition issued in the respondent court should now be implemented. 1986 include not only the implementation of the writ of possession In view of this development. 1987. and (2) the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Intermediate Appellate Court was only intended not judge below. the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo. 62042 and G. Rollo — G. the 29. should be held in contempt of court for engaging in a concerted but futile effort to delay the execution of the writs of possession and demolition and that petitioners are entitled to damages because of prejudice caused by the filing of Plus other relief and remedies equitable under the premises. No. under Hon. The petitioners in the instant case G. This is a Manifestation and Urgent Petition for the Surrender of Transfer Certificate of Title No. we issued 64432 as raised in Civil Case No. 64432. a Motion for Extension of Time to File Opposition filed by Maria Provido Supreme Court (First Division) in G. 1983 resolution in G. 1984. 1986. On February 9. Acting on another motion of the same nature filed by the petitioners. this Court within ten (10) days from the date of this order. No. granting the motions as prayed for. b. the same is hereby GRANTED. The resolution dated December 29.R. 64432) ORDER On May 9.R. Judge Tito G. Likewise to cancel No. 1983 and March 9. T-25772 is hereby declared null and void and Transfer Certificate of in lieu thereof in the name of petitioners Atty. (pp. 1986. 1986)? against the former which remained unresolved. on the ground that there was a pending case before the Court of Appeals (as mentioned in the Resolution of November 27.1986. judgment.1987 respectively. No. 64432 Rollo) this petition before the Intermediate Appellate Court. 1983. 62042. No. an Action for Mandamus.1983. and petitioner in G.R.R. Court finding the petition tenable.R. the then Intermediate Appellate Court issued a resolution dated February 10. 1983. we issued on September 17. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia. T- 25772 is hereby declared annulled and the Register of Deeds of Iloilo is ordered to issue a new Certificate of Title WHEREFORE. 286-287. 1984.R. The motion for reconsideration was denied in another resolution dated March 25. Saclauso. to wit: Court and accordingly DISMISS the petition in Civil Case No. No. Submitted are the following motions filed by movants Eduardo S.R. resolutions of this Court and that of Honorable Supreme Court. filed a motion for explanation in relation to the resolution dated September 17. Ordering both the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo Branch XXIII.R. should the same be referred to the Acting Registrar of Deeds of Iloilo. 1983 Promulgated by Honorable of this Court dated November 25. private respondent in G. that counsel for the respondent each of Eduardo S. WHEREFORE. implication (by virtue of the Resolution dated September 17. Eduardo S.T-25772.7. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia.R. is hereby ordered to register the Order of this issued the following order: Court dated September 5. 1983. T-106098 is hereby declared valid and subsisting title concerning the ownership of Eduardo S. 1986 referring the same to the Court Administrator for implementation by the 62042. Considering that no Opposition was filed within the thirty (30) days period granted by the (c) The Duties of the Register of Deeds are purely ministerial under Act 496. this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order ' to maintain the status quo. 1983 in G. T-25772 to Finding the said motions meritorious and there being no opposition thereto. the counsel of Gregorio Perez. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia through counsel xxx xxx xxx dated August 28. 1986. On September 26. Rollo--G. 64432 The Acting Register of Deeds of Iloilo is further ordered to register the Subdivision Agreement of Eduardo S. Hector Teodosio. Upon motions of the petitioners. Maria Provido Gotera is hereby ordered to surrender Transfer Certificate of Title No. 466.R. (pp. No. No. Transfer Certificate of Title No.R. (p. Injunction under G. 00827 before the 2. In the Deeds. Manifestation of Atty. On this same date. Baranda contain a memorandum of the annulment of the outstanding duplicate. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia on December 2. in accordance with the entry of judgment. meantime. 107-108. the present motion is hereby GRANTED. To cancel No. Register of Deeds of the City of Iloilo. and formerly acting register of deeds for 62042. 1984 as prayed for. 1 986. 1986 which was granted by the Court pursuant to its order dated December 15. that Civil Case No. Rollo 64432) and Alfonso Hitalia. which also stated 1. No. Branch 23 presided by Judge Tito G. Eduardo S. 1985) or is it already deemed granted by this Court. No. Atty. Helen Sornito. 00827 which covered the same subject matter as the Resolutions above cited pursuant to our Resolution Considering that the motion of movants Atty. after which period. Second 1984. 64432 Court of Iloilo. another resolution was issued.1986 a Resolution in G. No. Avito S.

15871 were privies to G. 1987 order directing the Acting Register of Deeds to cancel the notice of lis pendens reinstate his order dated February l2. Sta. No. 1987. Barbara Cadastre. Plaintiffs. Sta. Barbara Cadastre in virtue of a case docketed as Civil Case No. Although Calixta Provido. T-111561 and T-111562 by fraudulently obtained and declaring TCT No. Rollo-64432) cadastral proceedings can order the cancellation of the Notice of Lis Pendens. a notice of lis pendens "on account of or by reason of a separate case (Civil Case No. Barbara Cadastre Iloilo. No 62042 and G. 1529. No. the name of petitioners Eduardo Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia valid and subsisting. p. fact. 62042 and G. 68-69. cancelled the same and issued new certificates of titles numbers T-111560. pendens annotated in the new certificates of titles issued in the name of the petitioners. A corollary issue is on pending in the Court of Appeals" was carried out and annotated in the new certificates of titles issued to the the nature of the duty of a Register of Deeds to annotate or annul a notice of lis pendens in a torrens certificate of petitioners. 1587. 1984.R. 615. No.R. In a resolution dated August 17. now pending with the Intermediate Court of Appeals. 427183 was annotated on T-106098. the petitioners filed this The order was then appealed to the Court of Appeals. 62042 affirmed the order of the then Court of First Instance of Iloilo in the reconstitution proceedings declaring TCT No.R. The issue hinges on whether or not the pendency of the appeal in Civil Case No. to wit: declare as null and void the transfer certificate of title in the name of petitioner Maria Provido Gotera and her other co-owners. the Provides' counsel. in any case in which a memorandum or It thus appears that the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. instance of Atty. (the same This prompted the petitioners to file another motion in G. No. 62042.R. 1987 directing the Acting Register of Deeds to cancel the notice of lis Ricardo Provido. 15871) still earlier declared valid and subsisting by this Court in G. 25772 in the name of Providos over Lot No. Since respondent Judge Tito Gustilo of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo. T-111560. No. Rollo. this COURT RESOLVED to refer the matters concerning the execution of the decisions to the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City for appropriate action and to Considering that Civil Case No. Sta.R. 62042 was as follows: Respondent Acting Register of Deeds Avito Saclauso filed a motion for reconsideration of the February 12. 106098 over the same parcel Lot No. 15871 were not 1987. 1987. 15871 with the Court of Appeals prevents the court from cancelling the notice of lis pendens in the certificates of titles of the petitioners which were However. 15871. and all that remains is the implementation of our resolutions. No. This petition is impressed with merit.R. (pp. (p. 64432) from petitioners Baranda and Hitalia filed by Calixta Provido. 1987 order in another order dated September 17. 1986 and January 6. one of the issues raised by petitioners Maria Provido Gotera and Gregoria Perez in G. T-25772 issued in her name Register of Deeds of Iloilo to cancel the lis pendens found on Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. Ricardo Provido. T-106098. the court issued an order dated October 24. 64432 on May 30. only the Intermediate Court of Appeals and not this Honorable Court in a mere No further motions in these cases will be entertained by this Court. 1987 ordering title. Barbara Cadastre as shown by Transfer Certificate of Title No.R. Sta. we issued a resolution dated May 25. we resolved to refer the said motion to the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. . The records show that after the Acting Register of Deeds annotated a notice of is pendens on the new certificates of titles issued in the name of the petitioners. versus Eduardo Baranda and all these motions and stating therein: Alfonso Hitalia. No. (Annex "E" G. No. upon which the Notice of Lis Pendens was based is still pending with the apply disciplinary sanctions upon whoever attempts to trifle with the implementation of the resolutions of this Court. 152. Maria Provido and Perfecto Provido. Civil Case No. Maxima Provido and Perfecta Provido before the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo. Adil had the authority to Section 77 of P. No. deemed cancelled upon the registration of a certificate of the clerk of court in which the action or proceeding was pending stating the manner of disposal thereof. T-111560. 15871. the cancellation of lis pendens. Hector P. Emphasis supplied) "At any time after final judgment in favor of the defendant or other disposition of the action such as to terminate finally all rights of the plaintiff in and to the land and/or buildings involved. to reinstate its order dated February 12. the petitioners filed in the reconstitution case an urgent ex-parte Maria Provido Gotera was one of the petitioners in G. No. No. 1987 order and granted the Acting Register of Deeds' motion for reconsideration. it is very clear in the petition that Maria Provido was acting on behalf of the Providos who allegedly are her co-owners In his order dated February 12. 1987 noting "Calixta Provido. 62042 was made on January 7. 4517. and the names of the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. respondent Judge Midpantao L.D. Acting Register of Deeds AvitoSaclauso annotated the order declaring Transfer Certificate of Title No. No. 3. T-106098. Whether or not. 64432. Branch 23 denied the petitioners' motion to reinstate the February 12. 1987. T-111562 in the name of petitioners Eduardo S. Ricardo Provido. respondent Judge Tito Gustilo set aside his 25772 as null and void." G. the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. Sr. in compliance with the Regional Trial Court's orders dated November 6. T.R. Maxima Provido and Perfecta Provido. 15871. proceeding was pending. T-111561 and February 12. prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction to compel the respondent judge to recalled the February 12. stating the manner of disposal thereof. respondent Judge Gustilo granted the motion and directed the Acting in Lot No. 1983 and in G. 1984 dismissing Civil Case No. Respondents. the notice of Lis Pendens shall be findings that they were not. in the same reconstitution proceedings. among others.R. Branch 23. 4517. T-106098 covering Lot No. Teodosio. Intermediate Court of Appeals. 51.R. entitled." xxx xxx xxx That under the above-quoted provisions of P. 4517 of Sta. 15871 were not impleaded as parties. 1987 order stating therein: xxx xxx xxx That the undersigned hereby asks for a reconsideration of the said order based on the second paragraph of 2..D. 1987 directing the Acting Register of Deeds to cancel the notice of lis annotated on the certificates of titles of the petitioners. Adopting these arguments and on the ground that some if not all of the plaintiffs in Civil Case No.Acting on this motion and the other motions filed by the parties. 62042 contrary to the trial court's notice of Lis Pendens has been registered as provided in the preceding section. 64432 to order the trial court subject matter of G.R. privies to the case affected by the Supreme Court resolutions. Barbara Cadastre null and void for being That the lis pendens under Entry No. 15871 was a complaint to seek recovery of Lot No.R. At the pendens in the new certificates of titles. Rollo) In the meantime. 62042 and G. a notice of is pendens was annotated on petitioners' Certificate of Title No. 62042. This appeal is the reason why respondent Judge Gustilo petition for certiorari. 4517. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia in lieu of Transfer Certificate of TItle No. Rollo) In T-111561 and T-111562. 4517. This was upheld by the trial court after setting aside its earlier order dated February 12. motion to immediately cancel notice of lis pendens annotated thereon. (p. the cancellation of subject Notice of Lis Pendens can only be made or deemed cancelled upon the registration of the certificate of the Clerk of Court in which the action or Since entry of judgment in G. Branch 23 for appropriate action.R. Acting on a motion to dismiss filed by the petitioners.

supra) instruments and the like is ministerial in nature.obligation used to express a command or exhortation. 15871 filed by the private respondents involves another set of Cancellation of lis pendens. Sta. 25772 in the name of the Providos over Lot Number 4571. private respondents herein. 4517 of the Sta. p. Ortiz (10 SCRA 158). memoranda to be made in pursuance of any deed. defendants therein) touched on the issue of the validity of TCT No. In upholding the position of the Acting Register of Deeds based on Section 77 of Presidential Decree No. he shall forthwith deny registration thereof and Lis pendens has been conceived to protect the real rights of the party causing the registration thereof With the lis inform the presentor of such denial in writing. (Aparri v. notice of lis to appeal by consulta in accordance with Section 117 of this Decree. RuIes of Court.The decision in G. The Municipal Council of Paranaque v. . 11.. 62042 and G. and that he should keep his hands off the same. 62042 became final and executory on March 25. Barbara Cadastre in the light of the final decisions in G.. Inciong. supra. 64432." Hence. Rule 14. If the instrument is not registrable. 62042 as well as G. 1529 states that "It shall be the duty of the Register of Deeds to immediately The purpose of a notice of lis pendens is defined in the following manner: register an instrument presented for registration dealing with real or personal property which complies with all the requisites for registration." pendens serves as a warning to a prospective purchaser or incumbrancer that the particular property is in litigation. Insular Bank of Asia and America We have once held that while ordinarily a notice of pendency which has been filed in a proper case. Barbara Cadastre falls 1529. No. Court of First Instance of Rizal. 1987 order are SET ASIDE. The records of the main case are still with the court below but based on the order.R. 62042 and G. of Deeds upon verified petition of the party who caused the registration thereof. the instant petition is GRANTED. 1987 order of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo.1983 long before Civil Case No. 3. No. however. Parenthetically. and advising him of his right pendens duly recorded. .R. 485-486) or where any party in interest does not agree with the action taken by the Register of Deeds with reference to any such instrument. have asked the opinion of the Commissioner of Land Registration now. In case of private respondents tried to block but unsuccessfuly the already final decisions in G. the proper court has the discretionary power to cancel it Deeds to register instruments in a torrens certificate of title is clear and leaves no room for construction.R. For. doubt as to the proper step to be taken in pursuance of any deed . Costs against the private respondents. Rules of Court. Barbara Cadastre. he should 64432.. (Section 24. Court of Appeals.) (Natanov. No. Duran. No. No. No. 15871 the various pleadings filed by the parties subsequent to the motion to dismiss filed by the petitioners (the was filed. unless of course he intends to gamble on the results of the Section 117 provides that "When the Register of Deeds is in doubt with regard to the proper step to be taken or litigation. 132 SCRA 663) The statute concerning the function of the Register of cancelled while the action is pending and undetermined. the question shall be submitted to the Commission of Land Registration by the Register of Deeds.. No. In the ultimate analysis. Presidential Decree No.. — Before final judgment. 127 SCRA 231. 18 SCRA 481. I Martin. regulations or directives to express what is responsible. v. Under these circumstances.R. Court of First Instance of Rizal (70 Phil. The respondent Acting Register of Deeds did not have any legal standing to file a motion for reconsideration of the respondent Judge's Order directing him to cancel the notice The facts of this case in relation to the earlier cases brought all the way to the Supreme Court illustrate how the of lis pendens annotated in the certificates of titles of the petitioners over the subject parcel of land.. 1529. No. Section 10. giving as excuse the wrong impression that Civil Case No. used in laws. All subsequent orders issued by the trial court which annulled the February 12.R. 4571. 15871 prompting the private respondents to appeal said order dated October 10. According under peculiar circumstances.R. No. as for instance. Jamora v. are unnecessarily delaying the determination of the case to the prejudice of the defendant. The next question to be determined is on the nature of the duty of the Register of Deeds to annotate and/or cancel 64432 wherein this Court ordered immediate implementation of the writs of possession and demolition in the the notice of lis pendens in a torrens certificate of title. their meaning must be determined from the language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly what it says. citing cases." application of the rule enunciated in the cases of Victoriano v. 64432 which includes the cancellation of the notice of lis Appeals. It may also be cancelled by the Register WHEREFORE. the responsibility for the delays in the full implementation of this Court's already Barbara Cadastre cannot be cancelled on the ground of pendency of Civil Case No.. stating the ground or reasons therefore.R. 15871 were trying to delay the full implementation of the final decisions in G. (Victoriano mandatory. the Administrator of the National Land Title and Deeds Registration Administration in accordance with Section 117 of Presidential Decree No.. Esteban. the function of a Register of Deeds with reference to the registration of deeds encumbrances. The February 12. it is crystal clear that the Providos. reconstitution proceedings involving Lot No. must. 4517 under their own Torrens Certificate of Title. Sta. to the effect The elementary rule in statutory construction is that when the words and phrases of the statute are clear and that: unequivocal. he conveniently forgot the first paragraph thereof which provides: on the respondent Judge. respondent Judge Tito Gustilo abused his discretion in sustaining the respondent Acting Register of Deeds' stand that. 1000). the notice of lis pendens in the certificates of titles of the petitioners over Lot No. This Court cannot understand how respondent Judge Gustilo could have been misled by the respondent Acting Register of Deeds on this matter when in fact he was the same Judge who issued the order dismissing Civil Case SO ORDERED.R. where the evidence so far presented by the plaintiff does not bear to Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language — the word shall means "ought to. he could rest secure that he would not lose the property or any part of it. 15871 with the Court of final resolutions in G. out the main allegations of his complaint. The private respondents are not entitled to this protection. or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party who caused it to be registered. Rovila (55 Phil. Rovira. footnote 3. mortgage or other instrument presented to him for registration 415. . or other instrumentpresented to him.R.. et al. Court after proper showing that the notice is for the purpose of molesting the adverse party. it can be safely assumed that . cannot be Employees' Union [IBAAEU] v. and where the continuances of the trial. No. a notice of lis pendens may be cancelled upon Order of the parties claiming Lot No. . for which the plaintiff is . The facts obtaining in this case necessitate the or by the party in interest thru the Register of Deeds. 363) and Sarmiento v.. 62042 and G. He should never have allowed himself to become part of dilatory tactics. pendens annotated in the certificates of titles of the petitioners over Lot No. 69 Phil. Branch 23 is REINSTATED. 1984 to the Court of Appeals. Municipal Council of Paranaque v. in filing Civil Case No. 4517.