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LAND, TITLES AND DEED CASE DIGEST:

tiro vs phil estate


TIRO VS PHILIPPINE ESTATE

FACTS:
Petitioners averred that they and their predecessors-in-interest had been in
actual possession of the disputed land since time immemorial until they were
prevented from entering the same by persons claiming to be the new owners sometime
in 1995. After examining the records found in the Office of the Register of Deeds of
Lapu-Lapu City, they discovered that OCT No. RO-1121 (Petitioner's alleged title over
the land) had already been cancelled as early as 1969 and that the subject property,
after several other transfers, was presently registered in the name of respondent.

The records in the Office of the Register of Deeds showed each transfer involving
the disputed land. Petitioners learned that OCT No. RO-1121, registered in the names
of Julian and Pedro Tiro, was cancelled on 10 September 1969. In its place, TCT No.
2848 was issued in favor of Spouses Julio Baba and Olimpia Mesa. The registration of
the disputed property in favor of the Spouses Baba was supported by two documents:
(1) an Extrajudicial Declaration of Heir and Confirmation of Sale dated 20 August
1969, executed by Maxima Ochea (Ochea), claiming to be the only surviving heir of
Julian and Pedro Tiro, wherein she confirmed and ratified an alleged sale of the
subject land made before World War II by Julian and Pedro Tiro in favor of Spouses
Bibiano Amores and Isabel Digno; and (2) another document entitled "Deed of
Confirmation," also dated 20 August 1969, executed by the Spouses Amores, wherein
they verified that they subsequently transferred the disputed property to the Spouses
Baba sometime in 1947.
On 20 June 1979, TCT No. 2848 was cancelled to give way to the issuance of TCT No.
9415 in the name of Spouses Ronaldo Velayo and Leonor Manuel, after the Spouses
Baba sold the disputed property to them. Subsequently, the same property was sold
by the Spouses Velayo to Pacific Rehouse Corporation, as a consequence of which TCT
No. 9415 was cancelled and TCT No. 30186 was issued in the name of the latter on 16
February 1995. Finally, on 25 October 1996, following the sale of the disputed land to
respondent, TCT No. 30186 was cancelled and TCT No. 35672 was issued in its name.
It was the petitioners contention that since Ochea was not an heir of the original
registered owners, she had no right to cause the transfer of the disputed property and,
thus, her transfer and all subsequent transfers of said property, including that made
to respondent, were invalid.

In its Answer dated 10 February 1998, respondent claimed that its predecessor-
in-interest Pacific Rehouse Corporation acquired the subject land from the Spouses
Velayo, the registered owners of the property who were also in possession of the same
at the time of the sale. There was nothing in the title or any circumstances during the
sale that would indicate any defect in the Spouses Velayos title to the property.
Respondent pointed out that 27 years had elapsed since the cancellation of OCT No.
RO-1121 before petitioners asserted their rights over the disputed land. Moreover,
petitioners predecessors-in-interest Julian and Pedro Tiro did not question the
cancellation of their title to the property during their lifetimes. Hence, respondent
argued that petitioners action for quieting of title was barred by laches and
prescription.
The Trial Court dismissed the petitioner's claim. The trial court noted that petitioners
claims of filiation to Julian and Pedro Tiro were not supported by documents. The
testimonies of petitioners witnesses were also inconsistent as to the location of the
disputed land, as well as the number of Pedro Tiros children. The RTC stressed that
even assuming that petitioners were heirs of the late Julian and Pedro Tiro, and
Maxima Ochea was in no way related to them, petitioners claims had already
prescribed, considering that the Complaint was filed more than ten years since the
registration of the disputed property in the name of the Spouses Baba in 1969.

The case was elevated to the CA but instead of submitting an appellants brief
they submitted a motion for new trial accompanied by marriage certificate, baptismal
certificate to support their claim. Nevertheless, the CA dismissed it in the same
reasoning the RTC dismissed it.

Hence, this petition on certiorari under rule 45.

ISSUE:
WON a forged document may be a root of a valid title.

HELD:
Yes, a forged document may be a root of a valid title when good faith is
established.

Insofar as a person who has fraudulently obtained property is concerned, the


consequently fraudulent registration of the property in the name of such person would
not be sufficient to vest in him or her title to the property. Certificates of title merely
confirm or record title already existing and vested. The indefeasibility of the Torrens
title should not be used as a means to perpetrate fraud against the rightful owner of
real property. Good faith must concur with registration because, otherwise,
registration would be an exercise in futility. However, where good faith is established,
as in the case of an innocent purchaser for value, a forged document may become the
root of a valid title.

A person is considered in law as an innocent purchaser for value when he buys


the property of another, without notice that some other person has a right or an
interest in such property, and pays a full price for the same at the time of such
purchase, or before he has notice of the claims or interest of some other person in the
property. A person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of
the certificate of title of the vendor/transferor, and the law will in no way oblige him to
go behind the certificate to determine the condition of the property. The courts cannot
disregard the rights of innocent third persons, for that would impair or erode public
confidence in the Torrens system of land registration. Thus, a title procured by fraud
or misrepresentation can still be the source of a completely legal and valid title if the
same is in the hands of an innocent purchaser for value.

In this case, petitioners directed all allegations of bad faith solely at Ochea. The
property in question had already been the subject of five succeeding transfers to
persons who were not accused of having purchased the same in bad faith. Petitioners
attempt, therefore, to have respondents certificate of title to the disputed property
annulled, must fail.

In Veloso v. Court of Appeals, 260 SCRA 593 (1996), this Court enunciated that
a title issued to an innocent purchaser and for value cannot be revoked on the basis
that the deed of sale was falsified, if he had no knowledge of the fraud committed.

rep vs CA
G.R. No. L-43105 August 31, 1984
REP vs CA and SANTOS DEL RIO

Facts:
Petitioner Director of Lands claims that the land sought to be registered is part
of the public domain and therefore not registerable. Petitioners private oppositors, on
the other hand, allege that they reclaimed the land by dumping duck egg shells
thereon, and that they have been in possession of the same for more than twenty (20)
years.

The lot subject matter of this land registration case. It was purchased by
Benedicto del Rio.The Deed of Sale evidencing said purchase is duly recorded with the
Registry of Deeds of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. When Benedicto del Rio died in 1957, his heirs
extrajudicially partitioned his estate and the subject parcel passed on to his son,
Santos del Rio, as the latter's share in the inheritance.

Santos del Rio, herein applicant-private respondent, filed his application for
registration of said parcel on May 9, 1966. The application was opposed by the
Director of Lands and by private oppositors.

Sometime before 1966, private oppositors obtained permission from Santos del
Rio to construct duck houses on the land in question. Although there was no definite
commitment as to rentals, some of them had made voluntary payments to private
respondent. In violation of the original agreement, private oppositors constructed
residential houses on the land which prompted private respondent to file an ejectment
suit against the former in 1966. Meanwhile, during the latter part of 1965 and in
1966, private oppositors had simultaneously filed their respective sales applications
with the Bureau of Lands, and in 1966, they opposed Santos del Rios application for
registration. The CFI of Laguna dismissed the application for registration. Applicant
appealed and obtained a favorable judgment from the CA. The Director of Lands and
the private oppositors filed their respective Petitions for Review of said decision.

Issues:
1) Whether or not the parcel of land in question is public land; and
2) Whether or not applicant private respondent has registerable title to the land.

Held:
1. No. it is not a public land. As aptly found by the Court a quo, the submersion
in water of a portion of the land in question is due to the rains falling directly on or
flowing into Laguna de Bay from different sources. Since the inundation of a portion
of the land is not due to flux and reflux of tides it cannot be considered a foreshore
land within the meaning of the authorities cited by petitioner Director of Lands. The
land sought to be registered not being part of the bed or basin of Laguna de Bay, nor a
foreshore land as claimed by the Director of Lands, it is not a public land and
therefore capable of registration as private property provided that the applicant proves
that he has a registerable title. This brings us to the second issue which is whether or
not applicant-private respondent has register able title to the land.

2. Yes, Santos Del Rio can register the land. While it is true that by themselves
tax receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation purposes are not
incontrovertible evidence of ownership, they become strong evidence of ownership
acquired by prescription when accompanied by proof of actual possession of the
property. The then Court of Appeals found applicant by himself and through his father
before him, has been in open, continuous, public, peaceful, exclusive and adverse
possession of the disputed land for more than thirty (30) years, counted from April 19,
1909, when the land was acquired from a third person by purchase.

Ordinary prescription for real property last 10 years. Petitioners also have
fulfilled all the requirements for acquisition of a public land even if it be assumed that
land at bar is a public land. The record does not show any circumstance of note
sufficient enough to overthrow said findings of facts which is binding upon Us. Since
applicant has possessed the subject parcel in the concept of owner with just title and
in good faith, his possession need only last for ten years in order for ordinary
acquisitive prescription to set in. Applicant has more than satisfied this legal
requirement. And even if the land sought to be registered is public land as claimed by
the petitioners still, applicant would be entitled to a judicial confirmation of his
imperfect title, since he has also satisfied the requirements of the Public Land Act
(Commonwealth Act No. 141 as amended by Republic Act No. 1942).
casimiro devt vs mateo

FACTS:
In 1988, petitioner purchased from China Bank the land in question which was
previously sold by the mother of Mateo to Rodolfo Pe who in turn constituted a
mortgage on the property in favor of China Bank as security for a loan. China Bank
foreclosed the mortgage and consolidated its ownership of the property after Rodolfo
failed to redeem. A TCT was issued in the name of China Bank. In 1991, CDC brought
an action for unlawful detatiner against the respondents siblings. Respondent
counters that CDC acquired the property from China Bank in bad faith because it had
actual knowledge of the possession of the property by the respondent and his siblngs.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the registration in the Torrens system is a mode of acquiring
ownership?

HELD:
No. Registration under the Torrens system, not being a mode of acquiring
ownership, does not create or vest title. The Torrens certificate of title is merely an
evidence of ownership or title in the particular property described therein. In that
sense, the issuance of the certificate of title to a particular person does not preclude
the possibility that persons not named in the certificate may be co-owners of the real
property therein described with the person named therein, or that the registered
owner may be holding the property in trust for another person.

Moreover, the respondents suit is exposed as being, in reality, a collateral attack


on the title in the name of Laura, and for that reason should not prosper. Registration
of land under the Torrens System, aside from perfecting the title and rendering it
indefeasible after the lapse of the period allowed by law, also renders the title immune
from collateral attack. A collateral attack occurs when, in another action to obtain a
different relief and as an incident of the present action, an attack is made against the
judgment granting the title. This manner of attack is to be distinguished from a direct
attack against a judgment granting the title, through an action whose main objective
is to annul, set aside, or enjoin the enforcement of such judgment if not yet
implemented, or to seek recovery if the property titled under the judgment had been
disposed of.

Supreme Courts decision grant the petition for review on certiorari; set aside
the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR. CV No. 71696; dismiss the complaint
in Civil Case No. 94-2045; and declare Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-34640 in the
name of Casimiro Development Corporation valid and subsisting.
heirs of lopez vs DBP
Heirs of Lopez vs Development Bank of the Philippines

Facts:
Gregoria Lopez owned a 2,734-square-meter property in Bustos, Bulacan. She
died on March 19, 1922 and was survived by her three sons: Teodoro Lopez, Francisco
Lopez, and Carlos Lopez.7 Tax Declaration No. 613 was issued under the names of
Teodoro, Francisco, and Carlos.

Teodoro, Francisco, and Carlos died. Only Teodoro was survived by children:
Gregorio, Enrique, Simplicio, and Severino.

Petitioners in this case are Simplicio substituted by his daughter Eliza Lopez,
and the heirs of Gregorio and Severino. Enrique is deceased.

Petitioners discovered that on November 29, 1990, Enrique executed an affidavit


of self-adjudication declaring himself to be Gregoria Lopezs only surviving heir,
thereby adjudicating upon himself the land in Bulacan. He sold the property to
Marietta Yabut. Sometime in 1993, Marietta obtained a loan from Development Bank
of the Philippines (DBP) and mortgaged the property to DBP as security. At the time of
the loan, the property was covered by Tax Declaration No. 18727, with the agreement
that the land shall be brought under the Torrens system.

Issue:
Whether or not it is a valid sale.

Held:
No. A seller can only sell what he or she owns, or that which he or she does not
own but has authority to transfer, and a buyer can only acquire what the seller can
legally transfer.

This is despite Enriques execution of the affidavit of self-adjudication wherein


he declared himself to be the only surviving heir of Gregoria Lopez. The affidavit of
self-adjudication is invalid for the simple reason that it was false. At the time of its
execution, Enriques siblings were still alive and entitled to the three-fourth undivided
share of the property. The affidavit of self-adjudication did not have the effect of
vesting upon Enrique ownership or rights to the property.

The issuance of the original certificate of title in favor of Marietta does not cure
Enriques lack of title or authority to convey his co-owners portions of the property.
Issuance of a certificate of title is not a grant of title over petitioners undivided
portions of the property. The physical certificate of title does not vest in a person
ownership or right over a property. It is merely an evidence of such ownership or right.
Marietta could acquire valid title over the whole property if she were an
innocent purchaser for value. An innocent purchaser for value purchases a property
without any notice of defect or irregularity as to the right or interest of the seller. He or
she is without notice that another person holds claim to the property being purchased.

guaranteed homes vs valdez


GUARANTEED HOMES INC. VS. HEIRS OF VALDEZ

Facts:
The descendants of Pablo Pascua filed a complaint (in their complaint
respondents alleged that Pablo died intestate sometime in June 1945 and was
survived by his four children, one of whom was the deceased Cipriano) seeking
reconveyance of a parcel of land with an area of 23.7229 hectares situated in
Cabitaugan, Subic, Zambales with Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 404 in the
name of Pablo. In the alternative, the heirs of Valdez prayed that damages be awarded
in their favor.
OCT No. 404 was attached as one of the annexes of respondents complaint. It
contained several annotations in the memorandum of encumbrances which showed
that the property had already been sold by Pablo during his lifetime to Alejandria
Marquinez and Restituto Morales.

It was further averred in the complaint that Jorge Pascua, Sr., son of Cipriano,
filed a petition before the RTC of Olongapo City for the issuance of a new owners
duplicate of OCT No. 404. However, the RTC denied the petition and held that
petitioner was already the owner of the land, noting that the failure to annotate the
subsequent transfer of the property to it at the back of OCT No. 404 did not affect its
title to the property.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the
action is barred by the Statute of Limitations, more than 28 years having elapsed from
the issuance of TCT No. T-10863 up to the filing of the complaint, and that the
complaint states no cause of action as it is an innocent purchaser for value, it having
relied on the clean title of the spouses Rodolfo.

The RTC granted petitioners motion to dismiss.

The appellate court further held that the ruling of the RTC that petitioner is an
innocent purchaser for value is contrary to the allegations in respondents complaint.
Hence, the present petition for review.

Issue:
Whether or not respondents can claim Assurance Fund under Sec. 101 of P.D
1529.

Held:
No, respondents claim against the Assurance Fund also cannot prosper.
Section 101 of P.D. No. 1529 clearly provides that the Assurance Fund shall not be
liable for any loss, damage or deprivation of any right or interest in land which may
have been caused by a breach of trust, whether express, implied or constructive. Even
assuming arguendo that they are entitled to claim against the Assurance Fund, the
respondents claim has already prescribed since any action for compensation against
the Assurance Fund must be brought within a period of six (6) years from the time the
right to bring such action first occurred, which in this case was in 1967.

Secondly, while the Extrajudicial Settlement of a Sole Heir and Confirmation of


Sales executed by Cipriano alone despite the existence of the other heirs of Pablo, is
not binding on such other heirs, nevertheless, it has operative effect under Section 44
of the Property Registration Decree (SEC. 44. Statutory Liens Affecting Title).

Lastly, the complaint does not allege any defect with TCT No. T-8242 in the
name of the spouses Rodolfo, who were petitioners predecessors-in-interest, or any
circumstance from which it could reasonably be inferred that petitioner had any actual
knowledge of facts that would impel it to make further inquiry into the title of the
spouses Rodolfo.

The petition is GRANTED.

marasigan vs iac
HEIRS OF MARIA MARASIGAN v. IAC
G.R. No. L-69303 July 23, 1987; Guttierez, Jr., J.:

FACTS:
On April 24, 1975, a civil case entitled Maria Marron v. Felicisimo Bazar and
Fe S. Bazar was filed before the then CFI of Manila, Br. XIII. This action sought to
compel defendants Bazar to execute a registrable Deed of Absolute Saleof Lot No. 2-A
covered by T.C.T No. 100612 in favor of Maria Marron. On January 27, 1976, while the
above case was still pending, private respondent Marron caused the annotation of a
notice of lis pendensat the back of T.C.T. No. 100612.On February 24, 1976, judgment
was rendered in favor of Maria Marron and the judgment having become final and
executory, she filed a motion for execution which was granted. To this, a writ of
execution was granted but the Bazars refused to surrender their title and to execute
the required deed of sale. On November 29, 1978, the lower court ordered the Clerk of
Court to execute the deed of sale. But upon presentation of the said deed to the
Register of Deeds of Manila for registration, the Deputy Clerk of Court was advised to
secure a court order in order to cancel the new title issued in favor of one Maria
Marasigan. This is due to a prior deed of absolute sale in favor of such person
executed on December 18, 1974. However, it was only on July 5, 1977 that such deed
was registered; hence, Marasigans title bears with it the above notice of lis pendens.

The Bazars filed a petition for relief of the February 24 judgment and while this
was pending, the moved to set aside the same on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
over their persons. Meanwhile, Marrons Land Registration Court case was dismissed
by CFI Manila, Br. XIII for said court acting as an L.R.C. cannot act under summary
proceedings for having only limited and special jurisdiction. Then, Marron filed
another civil case to cancel Marasigans TCT. This was denied for being premature.
But, on appeal, the IAC ruled in favor of Marron by virtue of the notice of lis pendens.
Hence, this petition by the heirs of Marasigan, the latter having died in the course of
the proceedings.

ISSUE:
WON THE PARTY WHO BOUGHT IT WITH A NOTICE OF LIS PENDENS
ANNOTATED AT THE BACK OF HER TITLE HASTHE BETTER RIGHT TO THE
PROPERTY IN QUESTION AS AGAINST THE PARTY IN WHOSE FAVOR THE NOTICE
WAS MADE.

HELD:
NEGATIVE. The Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court, stating that this
question is resolved in favor of the party who had the notice annotated and who won
the litigation over the property, Maria Marron in this case. A notice of lis pendens
means that a certain property is involved in a litigation and serves as a notice to the
whole world that one who buys the same does it at his own risk. It was also a clear
notice to Maria Marasigan that there was a cour tcase affecting her rights to the
property she had purchased. In the case at bar, although Marasigan acquired the
property in question on December 18, 1974 or a little over four (4) months before the
filing of Marrons civil action against the Bazars, the transaction became effective as
against third persons only on July 5, 1977, when it was registered with the Register of
Deeds of Manila. It is the act of registration which creates constructive notice to the
whole world. Section 51 of Act 496, as amended by Section 52 of the Property
Registration Decree (P.D. 1529) provides:

Sec. 52. Constructive notice upon registration.


Every conveyance x x x affecting registered land shall, if registered, filed or
entered in the office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to
which it relates lies, be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such
registering, filing or entering.

director of lands vs santiago


No. L-41278. April 15, 1988.*
DIRECTOR OF LANDS, petitioner, vs. HON. PEDRO T. SANTIAGO, Rresiding Judge,
Court of First Instance of Bataan, Branch II, MARIA O. GARCIA, and IMPERIAL
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, respondents.

FACTS:
This is a petition for certiorari, to nullify and set aside the orders and decision
of the respondent Judge, and mandamus to order the respondent Judge to give due
course to the petitioners Motion for New Trial. The petitioner also prays for the
dismissal of the respondent corporations application for registration.

On Sept. 8, 1973, an application for land registration was filed by respondent


Garcia in the CFI of Bataan. A copy of the application was forwarded to the SolGen
thru the director of Lands. On Feb. 19, 1974, the Director of lands filed an opposition
to this application, and at the same time the SolGen entered his appearance and
authorized the Provincial Fiscal to appear on his behalf at the hearing of the same.
Subsequently, respondent IMPERIAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., with the conformity of
the respondent Garcia, filed a Motion to Substitute Party Applicant from Maria Garcia
to Imperial Corp without amending the boundaries of the area stated in the original
application. Said motion was granted by the respondent Judge Santiago.

A notice of initial hearing was sent by respondent Judge to all parties


concerned, with the warning that a party who failed to appear would be declared in
default. The same notice was likewise published in the Official Gazette and posted by
the sheriff as required by law.

On Jan. 23, 1975, the date of the initial hearing, neither petitioner nor his
counsel was present; an order of general default was issued by the respondent Judge
on the same date. After the reception of the evidence for the applicant before the clerk
of court, the respondent Judge rendered the questioned decision and adjudicated the
lands in favor of the respondent corporation.

Thereafter, petitioner filed a Motion for New Trial on the grounds that the failure
of his counsel to appear at the initial hearing was excusable, and that the decision
was contrary to facts and to law. The motion was however denied.

ISSUE:
WON the corporations application for registration of the land be granted?

RULING:
No. The corporations application for registration should not be granted without
sufficient proof that the applicant possessed an imperfect and incomplete title that is
registrable under the Public Land Act.
Further, we hold that the lower court gravely abused its discretion when it
granted the respondent corporations application for registration, without sufficient
proof that the applicant possessed an imperfect and incomplete title that is registrable
under Sec. 48, par. b, of Commonwealth Act 141, as amended by Republic Act 6236,
otherwise known as the Public Land Act. Verily, we said in Director of Lands vs.
Intermediate Appellate Court that: No proof being admissible to overcome a
conclusive presumption, confirmation proceedings would, in truth, be little more than
formality, at the most limited to ascertaining whether the possession claimed is of the
required character and length of time; and registration thereunder would not confer
title, but simply recognize a title already vested.

But precisely we are not convinced with the conclusion of the respondent Judge
and with the arguments of the respondent corporation that the latter, through its
predecessors-in-interest, has been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona
fide claim of acquisition or ownership, for at least thirty years.

tan vs republic
TAN VS REPUBLIC (REPUBLIC V. T.A.N. PROPERTIES INC. [555 SCRA 477])

FACTS:
In 1999, T.A.N. Properties filed in the RTC of Batangas an application
for the registration of a land, located at Sto. Tomas, Batangas and with an area of
56.4007 hectares. To support its application, it submitted two certificates, issued
by CENRO and FMS-DENR and both certifying that the land applied for was alienable
and disposable. The Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of
Lands, opposed the application on the ground that T.A.N. Properties did not prove that
the land was alienable and disposable.

ISSUE:
WON the applicant proved that, the land is alienable and disposable.

HELD:
No. It is the burden of the applicant to prove that the land subject to
registration is alienable and disposable and for such the applicant must prove that
the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land of the
public domain as alienable and disposable. In the present case, T.A.N. Properties
did not provide the needed proof. For the documents provided by the company,
the Court cited DENR Administrative Order No. 20 (DAO No. 20) and DAO No. 38;
DAO No. 20 proves that FMS-DENR has no authority to issue certificates, classifying
lands to be alienable and disposable; and DAO No. 38 provides that CENRO can issue
certificates of land classification for lands having a maximum area of 50 hectares. The
land applied for in the case has an area of 56.4007 hectares, thus CENRO has no
jurisdiction over it. It is clear from the aforementioned DAOs that the
documents submitted by T.A.N. Properties did not prove that the land is alienable and
disposable.
The well-entrenched rule is that all lands not appearing to be clearly of private
dominion presumably belong to the State. The onus to overturn, by incontrovertible
evidence, the presumption that the land subject of an application for registration is
alienable and disposable rests with the applicant.

In this case, respondent submitted two certifications issued by the Department


of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The 3 June 1997 Certification by the
Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO), Batangas City,
certified that lot 10705, Cad-424, Sto. Tomas Cadastre situated at Barangay San
Bartolome, Sto. Tomas, Batangas with an area of 596,116 square meters falls within
the ALIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE ZONE under Project No. 30, Land Classification
Map No. 582 certified [on] 31 December 1925. The second certification in the form of
a memorandum to the trial court, which was issued by the Regional Technical
Director, Forest Management Services of the DENR (FMS-DENR), stated that the
subject area falls within an alienable and disposable land, Project No. 30 of Sto.
Tomas, Batangas certified on Dec. 31, 1925 per LC No. 582.

Further, it is not enough for the PENRO or CENRO to certify that a land is
alienable and disposable. The applicant for land registration must prove that the
DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land of the
public domain as alienable and disposable, and that the land subject of the
application for registration falls within the approved area per verification through
survey by the PENRO or CENRO. In addition, the applicant for land registration must
present a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and
certified as a true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. These facts must
be established to prove that the land is alienable and disposable. Respondent failed to
do so because the certifications presented by respondent do not, by themselves, prove
that the land is alienable and disposable.

ec of DENR vs yap
DENR et al VS. YAP et al
G.R. No. 167707, October 8, 2008

FACTS:
On November 10, 1978, then President Marcos issued Proc. No. 1801 declaring
Boracay Island, among other islands, caves and peninsulas in the Philippines, as
tourist zones and marine reserves under the administration of the Philippine Tourism
Authority (PTA). President Marcos later approved the issuance of PTA Circular 3-82
dated September 3, 1982, to implement Proclamation No. 1801.

Claiming that Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No 3-82 precluded them
from filing an application for judicial confirmation of imperfect title or survey of land
for titling purposes, respondents-claimants Mayor . Yap, Jr., and others filed a
petition for declaratory relief with the RTC in Kalibo, Aklan

In their petition, respondents-claimants alleged that Proc. No. 1801 and PTA
Circular No. 3-82 raised doubts on their right to secure titles over their occupied
lands. They declared that they themselves, or through their predecessors-in-interest,
had been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation in
Boracay since June 12, 1945, or earlier since time immemorial. They declared their
lands for tax purposes and paid realty taxes on them. Respondents-claimants posited
that Proclamation No. 1801 and its implementing Circular did not place Boracay
beyond the commerce of man. Since the Island was classified as a tourist zone, it was
susceptible of private ownership. Under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, they had
the right to have the lots registered in their names through judicial confirmation of
imperfect titles.
The Republic, through the OSG, opposed the petition for declaratory relief. The OSG
countered that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public domain. It
formed part of the mass of lands classified as public forest, which was not available
for disposition pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Revised Forestry Code, as amended.
The OSG maintained that respondents-claimants reliance on PD No. 1801 and PTA
Circular No. 3-82 was misplaced. Their right to judicial confirmation of title was
governed by Public Land Act and Revised Forestry Code, as amended. Since Boracay
Island had not been classified as alienable and disposable, whatever possession they
had cannot ripen into ownership.

On July 14, 1999, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of respondents-


claimants, declaring that, PD 1810 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 Revised Forestry Code,
as amended.
The OSG moved for reconsideration but its motion was denied. The Republic then
appealed to the CA. On In 2004, the appellate court affirmed in toto the RTC decision.
Again, the OSG sought reconsideration but it was similarly denied. Hence, the present
petition under Rule 45.
On May 22, 2006, during the pendency the petition in the trial court, President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1064 classifying Boracay Island
partly reserved forest land (protection purposes) and partly agricultural land (alienable
and disposable).

On August 10, 2006, petitioners-claimants Sacay,and other landowners in


Boracay filed with this Court an original petition for prohibition, mandamus, and
nullification of Proclamation No. 1064. They allege that the Proclamation infringed on
their prior vested rights over portions of Boracay. They have been in continued
possession of their respective lots in Boracay since time immemorial.

On November 21, 2006, this Court ordered the consolidation of the two
petitions

ISSUE:
the main issue is whether private claimants have a right to secure titles over
their occupied portions in Boracay.

HELD:
petitions DENIED. The CA decision is reversed.

Except for lands already covered by existing titles, Boracay was an unclassified
land of the public domain prior to Proclamation No. 1064. Such unclassified lands are
considered public forest under PD No. 705.

PD No. 705 issued by President Marcos categorized all unclassified lands of the
public domain as public forest. Section 3(a) of PD No. 705 defines a public forest as a
mass of lands of the public domain which has not been the subject of the present
system of classification for the determination of which lands are needed for forest
purpose and which are not. Applying PD No. 705, all unclassified lands, including
those in Boracay Island, are ipso facto considered public forests. PD No. 705, however,
respects titles already existing prior to its effectivity.

The 1935 Constitution classified lands of the public domain into agricultural,
forest or timber, such classification modified by the 1973 Constitution. The 1987
Constitution reverted to the 1935 Constitution classification with one addition:
national parks. Of these, only agricultural lands may be alienated. Prior to
Proclamation No. 1064 of May 22, 2006, Boracay Island had never been expressly and
administratively classified under any of these grand divisions. Boracay was an
unclassified land of the public domain.

A positive act declaring land as alienable and disposable is required. In keeping


with the presumption of State ownership, the Court has time and again emphasized
that there must be a positive act of the government, such as a presidential
proclamation or an executive order; an administrative action; investigation reports of
Bureau of Lands investigators; and a legislative act or a statute. The applicant may
also secure a certification from the government that the land claimed to have been
possessed for the required number of years is alienable and disposable. The burden of
proof in overcoming such presumption is on the person applying for registration (or
claiming ownership), who must prove that the land subject of the application is
alienable or disposable.
In the case at bar, no such proclamation, executive order, administrative action,
report, statute, or certification was presented to the Court. The records are bereft of
evidence showing that, prior to 2006, the portions of Boracay occupied by private
claimants were subject of a government proclamation that the land is alienable and
disposable. Matters of land classification or reclassification cannot be assumed. They
call for proof.

Proc. No. 1801 cannot be deemed the positive act needed to classify Boracay
Island as alienable and disposable land. If President Marcos intended to classify the
island as alienable and disposable or forest, or both, he would have identified the
specific limits of each, as President Arroyo did in Proclamation No. 1064. This was not
done in Proclamation No. 1801.

lozada vs bracewell
GR# 179155, 720 scra 371

FACTS:
Petitioner filed an application for registration and confrmation of title over a
parcel of land which was granted by the RTC of Makati City acting as a land
registration court. Consequently, on July 10, 1997,the LRA issued a Decree in the
name of petitioner, who later obtained an OCT.

On February 6, 1998, within a year from the issuance of the aforementioned


decree, James Bracewell, Jr. (Bracewell) filed a petition for review of a decree of
registration under Section 32 of Presidential Decree No.(PD)1529, otherwise known as
the Property Registration Decree, before the RTC of Las Pinas City claiming that a
portion of such land was his as absolute owner and possessor and us fraudulently
included in the Decree.

He further averred that petitioner deliberately concealed the fact that he


(Bracewell) is one of the adjoining owners, and left him totally ignorant of the
registration proceedings involving said lots. Instead of impleading him, petitioner listed
Bracewells grandmother, Maria Cailles, as an adjoining owner, although she had
already died by that time.

Finding that petitioner obtained Decree and OCT in bad faith, the Las Pinas
City RTC rendered a decision in favor of Bracewell, who had died during the pendency
of the case and was substituted by Eulalia Bracewell and his heirs.

The Las Pinas City-RTC faulted petitioner for deliberately preventing


respondents from participating and objecting to his application for registration when
the documentary evidence showed that, as early as 1962 Bracewell had been paying
taxes for the subject lot; and that he (Bracewell) was recognized as the owner thereof
in the records of the Bureau of Lands way back in 1965 as well as in the City
Assessors Office.

Petitioner argues that the Las Pinas City-RTC had no Jurisdiction over a
petition for review of a decree of registration under Section 32 ofPD 1529 which should
be filed in the same branch of the court that rendered the decision and ordered the
issuance of the decree (Makati City).

The CA held that, since the petition for review was filed within one (1) year from
the issuance of the questioned decree, and considering that the subject lot is located
in Las Pinas City, the RTC of said city had jurisdiction over the case.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Las Pinas City-RTC has jurisdiction over the petition for
review of decree, which was issued as a result of the judgment rendered by the RTC of
Makati City?

HELD:
Under the Land Registration Act, which was the law in force at the time ofthe
commencement by both parties of their respective registration proceedings -
jurisdiction over all applications for registration of title was conferred upon the Courts
of First Instance (CFIs, now RTCs) of the respective provinces in which the land
sought to be registered is situated.

Subsequently, Batas Pambansa Bilang (BP)129, (39) otherwise known as The


Judiciary Reorganization Act of1980, was enacted and took effect on August 14,
1981, authorizing the creation of RTCs in different judicial regions, including the RTC
of Las Pinas City as part of the National Capital Judicial Region. As pointed out by the
court, the RTC of Las Pinas City was established in or about 1994. Understandably,
in February 1998, Bracewell sought the review of the decree before the Las Pinas City-
RTC, considering that the lot subject of this case is situated in Las Pinas City.

It should be pointed out, however, that with the passage of PD 1529 the
distinction between the general jurisdiction vested in the RTC and the limited
jurisdiction conferred upon it as a cadastral court was eliminated.

Section 32. Review of decree of registration; Innocent purchaser for value. - The
decree of registration shall not be reopened or revised by reason of absence,minority,
or other disability of any person adversely affected thereby, nor by any proceeding in
any court for reversing judgments, subject, however, to the right ofany person,
including the government and the branches thereof, deprived of land or of any estate
or interest therein by such adjudication or confirmation of title obtained by actual
fraud, to file in the proper Court of First Instance a petition for reopening and review of
the decree of registration not later than one year from and after the date of the entry of
such decree of registration, but in no case shall such petition be entertained by the
court where an innocent purchaser for value has acquired the land or an interest
therein, whose rights may be prejudiced. Whenever the phrase innocent purchaser for
value or an equivalent phrase occurs in this decree, it shall be deemed to include an
innocent lessee, mortgagee, or other encumbrancer for value.

Upon the expiration of said period of one year, the decree of registration and the
certificate of title issued shall become incontrovertible. Any person aggrieved by such
decree of registration in any case may pursue his remedy by action for damages
against the applicant or any other persons responsible for the fraud.

As such, case law instructs that for as long as a final decree has not been
entered by the (LRA) and the period of one (1) year has not elapsed from the date of
entry of such decree, the title is not finally adjudicated and the decision in the
registration proceeding continues to be under the control and sound discretion of the
court rendering it.

republic vs Jacob
Republic vs Jacob

Facts:
On August 14, 1970, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Proclamation
No. 739, "Establishing as Reservation for the Purpose of the Exploration,
Development, Exploitation and Utilization of Geothermal Energy, Natural Gas and
Methane Gas a Parcel of Land in the Province of Albay, Island of Luzon, Philippines."
Lot No. 4094 of the Malinao Cadastre, consisting of 15,520 square meters, is covered
by the said proclamation.

Nevertheless, on May 6, 1994, private respondent, a retired public school


teacher, filed an application with the RTC of Albay for the confirmation and
registration of her alleged title over Lot No. 4094.

Private respondent appended to her application the tracing cloth plan of the
property under the name of Sotero Bondal. The blue print dated February 27, 1991,
was prepared and signed by Geodetic Engineer. The report also states that the
property is covered by Free Patent No. V-13062 dated May 21, 1955. Private
respondent had also applied for a free patent over the property, but withdrew her
application in a Letter.

Issue:
Whether or not the land is alienable and disposable

Held:
No. In the case at bar, when private respondent filed her application with the
RTC on May 6, 1994, Lot No. 4094 was no longer alienable and disposable property of
the public domain, since as of August 14, 1970, by virtue of Proclamation No. 739, it
was segregated from the public domain and declared part of the reservation for the
development of geothermal energy. Private respondent filed her application for
confirmation 24 years after the said proclamation was issued; thus, the period of her
possession and occupancy after such proclamation can no longer be tacked in favor of
the claimant.

The Court notes that on October 25, 1975, the Secretary of Justice issued an
opinion stating that Proclamation No. 739 was without prejudice to the vested rights of
individuals/applicants who had fully complied with all the requirements under the
Public Land Law for the acquisition of ownership as alienable and disposable. It bears
stressing, however, that one claiming private rights under the Public Land Act, as
amended, must prove by clear and convincing evidence that all the substantive
requisites for acquisition of public lands (along with the procedural) had been
complied with.

As pointed out by petitioner, private respondent failed to adduce clear and


convincing evidence that by August 14, 1970, she had already acquired ownership
over the property by herself or through her predecessors-in-interest through open,
continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the property since
1945 or earlier.

roman catholic archbishop vs ramos

FACTS:
At the core of the controversy in the present petition are two parcels of land
both located in what used to be Barrio Bagumbayan, Taguig, Rizal. On September 15,
1966, the RCAM filed before the R TC, (then Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch
11, acting as a land registration court, an application for registration of title
(application) of property, pursuant to Commonwealth Act C.A.) No. 141 (the Public
Land Act).7 On October 4, 1974, the RCAM amended its application by reducing Lot 2
to 760 square meters (from 1,832 square meters).

In its amended application, the RCAM claimed that it owned the property; that
it acquired the property during the Spanish time; and that since then, it has been in
open, public, continuous and peaceful possession of it in the concept of an owner. It
added that to the best of its knowledge and belief, no mortgage or encumbrance of any
kind affects the property, and that no person has any claim, legal or equitable, on the
property.
The RCAM attached the following documents to support its application:
amended plan Psu-223919; technical description of Lots 1 and 2;9 surveyor s
certificate;10 and Tax Declaration No. 9551 issued on September 6, 1966.11

On May 22, 1992, the Republic of the Philippines (Republic), through the
Director of Lands, filed an opposition to the application. The Republic claimed that the
property is part of the public domain and cannot be subject to private appropriation.

On August 18, 1992, respondent Cresencia Sta. Teresa Ramos, through her
husband Ponciano Francisco, filed her opposition13 to the RCAM's application. She
alleged that the property formed part of the entire property that her family owns and
has continuously possessed and occupied from the time of her grandparents, during
the Spanish time, up to the present. Cresencia submitted evidence to support her
claim.

The RCAM presented tax declarations issued in its name and acertified true
copy of Original Certificate of Title.
RTC denied the RCAM's application for registration of title. CA affirmed with
moifications.

ISSUE:
who -between the RCAM and Cresencia -is entitled to the benefits of C.A. No.
141 and Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529 for confirmation and registration of
imperfect title.

HELD:
Between the two, no one is ntitked to tge benefits.

With regards to RCAM, the reasons are:


the RC M failed to prove possession of the property in the manner and for the
period required by law
. The RC M failed to prove that the property is alienable and disposable land of
he public domain

The Court also dis not consider the evidence adduced by Cresencia. Accodin to
the Court:

Even if we were to consider these pieces of evidence to be sufficient, which we


do not, confirmation and registration of title over the property in Cresencia' s name
was still improper in the absence of competent and persuasive evidence on record
proving that the property is alienable and disposable.

republic vs Lorenzo
G.R. No. 172338 : December 10, 2012
REPUBLIC OF the philippines, Petitioner, v. CONCEPCION LORENZO, ORLANDO
FONTANILLA, SAMUEL FONTANILLA, JULIET FONTANILLA, ELIZABETH
FONTANILLA, ROSELA FONTANILLA, RENATO FONTANILLA AND EVELYN
FONTANILLA, Respondents.

LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

FACTS:
Herein respondents Concepcion Lorenzo and Orlando, Samuel, Juliet,
Elizabeth, Rosela, Renato, Evelyn, all surnamed Fontanilla, filed a petition for
reconstitution of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 3980 before the RTC covering a
parcel of land in Echague, Isabela. They claimed that during his lifetime, Pedro
Fontanilla and his spouse Concepcion Lorenzo bought a parcel of land from Antonia
Pascua and that a deed of sale was executed for the said transaction. Hence, an
Owners Duplicate Copy of OCT No. 3980 was delivered unto the spouses Pedro
Fontanilla and Concepcion Lorenzo. They also averred that the owner's copy of the
said title was eaten by termites while the original copy of the title filed before the
Register of Deeds of Isabela was burned when the latter was razed by fire. The RTC
granted the petition.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs decision. Thus, the
Republic sought the relief before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed the RTCS Order of
reconstitution of OCT No. 3980?

HELD:
The petition is impressed with merit.

CIVIL LAW: reconstitution of title

The relevant law that governs the reconstitution of a lost or destroyed Torrens
certificate of title is Republic Act No. 26. Section 2 of said statute enumerates the
following as valid sources for judicial reconstitution of title:

Original certificates of title shall be reconstituted from such of the sources


hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order:

(a) The owners duplicate of the certificate of title;


(b) The co-owners, mortgagees, or lessees duplicate of the certificate of title;
(c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of
deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;
(d) An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case
may be, pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued;
(e) A document, on file in the Registry of Deeds, by which the property, the
description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or
encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its
original had been registered; and
(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and
proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

As borne out by the records of this case, Lorenzo et al. were unable to present
any of the documents mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e) above. Thus, the only
documentary evidence the respondents were able to present as possible sources for
the reconstitution of OCT No. 3980 are those that they believed to fall under the class
of any other document described in paragraph (f).

As correctly pointed out by Republic, we had emphasized in Republic v. Holazo


that the term any other document in paragraph (f) refers to reliable documents of the
kind described in the preceding enumerations and that the documents referred to in
Section 2(f) may be resorted to only in the absence of the preceding documents in the
list. Therefore, the party praying for the reconstitution of a title must show that he
had, in fact, sought to secure such documents and failed to find them before
presentation of other documents as evidence in substitution is allowed.

Furthermore, in a more recent case, this Court enumerated what should be


shown before an order for reconstitution can validly issue, namely: (a) that the
certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by
petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed
certificate of title; (c) that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had
an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost or
destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the property are
substantially the same and those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

In the case at bar, Lorenzo, et al. were unable to discharge the burden of proof
prescribed by law and jurisprudence for the reconstitution of lost or destroyed Torrens
certificate of title.

Likewise, the deed of sale purportedly between Antonia Pascua, as seller, and
Pedro Fontanilla, as buyer, which involves OCT No. 3980 cannot be relied upon as
basis for reconstitution of Torrens certificate of title. An examination of the deed of sale
would reveal that the number of the OCT allegedly covering the subject parcel of land
is clearly indicated, however, the date when said OCT was issued does not appear in
the document. This circumstance is fatal to Lorenzo et al.s cause as we have reiterated
inRepublic v. El Gobierno de las Islas Filipinas that the absence of any document,
private or official, mentioning the number of the certificate of title and the date when
the certificate of title was issued, does not warrant the granting of a petition for
reconstitution.

Petition for reconstitution is DENIED.

santiago vs subic bay


G.R. No. 156888. November 20, 2006.*
PEDRO R. SANTIAGO, petitioner, vs. SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY,
respondent.

FACTS:
In 1994, Victoria Rodriguez inherited a parcel of land from his father. She
leased the land to Pedro Santiago and Armando Mateo for a period of 50 years. Subic
Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) also claimed ownership of the same parcel of land.

SBMA alleged that they only let the Santiagos into the land as part of the
employment benefits given to Santiagos wife, as she was formerly employed by SBMA.
But when her employment ended in 1998, SBMA is now ousting them. Rodriguez et al
filed a petition against SBMA. Rodriguez presented a Spanish title of land to show
proof of her ownership.

RTC dismissed the petition for lack of cause of action. The RTC took judicial
notice of Presidential Decree No. 892, which required all holders of Spanish titles or
grants to apply for registration of their lands under Republic Act No. 496, otherwise
known as the Land Registration Act, within six months from effectivity of the decree,
or until 16 August 1976. After such time, Spanish titles or grants could no longer be
used as evidence of land ownership in any registration proceedings under the Torrens
System.

ISSUE:
WON Spanish land titles can still serve as evidence of land ownership?

RULING:
No, Spanish titles can no longer be countenanced as indubitable evidence of
land ownership.

It has long been settled that by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 892 which took
effect on 16 February 1976, the system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage
Law was abolished and all holders of Spanish titles or grants should cause their lands
covered thereby to be registered under the Land Registration Act (Act No. 496) within
six months from the date of effectivity of the said Decree or until 16 August 1976. If
not, non-compliance therewith will result in a reclassification of the real property. In
the case at bar, we have no alternative but to uphold the ruling that Spanish titles can
no longer be countenanced as indubitable evidence of land ownership.

And, without legal or equitable title to the subject property, Victoria M.


Rodriguez, Armando G. Mateo and petitioner Pedro R. Santiago lacked the personality
to claim entitlement to possession of the same. Title to real property refers to that
upon which ownership is based. It is the evidence of the right of the owner or the
extent of his interest, by which means he can maintain control and, as a rule, assert
right to exclusive possession and enjoyment of the property.

cruz vs secretary of environment


CRUZ VS SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

FACTS:
Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a suit for prohibition and
mandamus as citizens and taxpayers, assailing the constitutionality of certain
provisions of Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples
Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The
petitioners assail certain provisions of the IPRA and its IRR on the ground that these
amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public
domain as well as minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the
regalian doctrine embodied in section 2, Article XII of the Constitution.

ISSUE:
WON the provisions of IPRA contravene the Constitution?

HELD:
No, the provisions of IPRA do not contravene the Constitution. Examining the
IPRA, there is nothing in the law that grants to the ICCs/IPs ownership over the
natural resources within their ancestral domain. Ownership over the natural
resources in the ancestral domains remains with the State and the rights granted by
the IPRA to the ICCs/IPs over the natural resources in their ancestral domains merely
gives them, as owners and occupants of the land on which the resources are found,
the right to the small scale utilization of these resources, and at the same time, a
priority in their large scale development and exploitation.

Additionally, ancestral lands and ancestral domains are not part of the lands of
the public domain. They are private lands and belong to the ICCs/IPs by native title,
which is a concept of private land title that existed irrespective of any royal grant from
the State. However, the right of ownership and possession by the ICCs/IPs of their
ancestral domains is a limited form of ownership and does not include the right to
alienate the same.

2ND BATCH to be submitted today 12 midnight...