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Cruz vs Secretary of DENR Philippines. No proof was presented by the oppositor regarding its allegations.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law; Constitutional Law; IPRA; Regalian Judge render its decision favouring Akron, and ordered that the said land be
Doctrine registered to the latter, however that the right of the government to open a road in a
manner that the opening should fifteen meters meters wide and should follow
GR. No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000 approximately the line of the road. Hence the Director of the lands appealed to this
court. That all of said land, with the exception of a small part at the north, the exact
FACTS: description and extension of which does not appear, has been cultivated and planted
Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a suit for prohibition and mandamus for more than forty-four years prior to the date of this decision;
as citizens and taxpayers, assailing the constitutionality of certain provisions of
Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of That said land was formerly occupied, cultivated and planted by Moros, Mansacas
1997 (IPRA) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The petitioners assail and others, under a claim of ownership, and that they lived thereon and had their
certain provisions of the IPRA and its IRR on the ground that these amount to an houses thereon, and that portion of the land which was not planted or cultivated was
unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well used as pasture land whereon they pastured their carabaos, cattle, and horses;
as minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine
embodied in section 2, Article XII of the Constitution.
That all of said Moros and Mansacas sold, transferred and conveyed all their right,
ISSUE: title and interest in said land to the applicant, J. H. Ankron, some eleven years past, at
Do the provisions of IPRA contravene the Constitution? which time all of the said former owners moved o n to adjoining lands where they now
No, the provisions of IPRA do not contravene the Constitution. Examining the IPRA, That the possession under claim of ownership of the applicant and his predecessors
there is nothing in the law that grants to the ICCs/IPs ownership over the natural in interest was shown to have been open, notorious, actual, public and continuous for
resources within their ancestral domain. Ownership over the natural resources in the more than forty-four years past, and that their claim was exclusive of any other right
ancestral domains remains with the State and the rights granted by the IPRA to the adverse to all other claims;
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 That the applicant now has some one hundred fifty (150) hills of hemp, some eight
small scale utilization of these resources, and at the same time, a priority in their large thousand (8,000) cocoanut trees, a dwelling house, various laborers' quarters, store-
scale development and exploitation. building, large camarin (storehouse of wood, a galvanized iron and other buildings
and improvements on said land.
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, Issue: Whether or not the said land is owned by the government of the Philippines.
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 Ruling: Yes, The court held that the applicant proved and validly supplied the
ancestral domains is a limited form of ownership and does not include the right to requisites for the registration of the said land into an agricultural land as per stated by
alienate the same. paragraph 6 of section 54 of Act No. 926. The important prerequisites for registration
of land imposed by said section 54, paragraph 6, are (a) that the land shall be
agricultural public land as defined by the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902; (b) that the
petitioner, by himself or his predecessors in interest, shall have been in the open,
continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the same under a
bona fide claim of ownership for a period of ten years next preceding the taking effect
of said Act. The government failed to disrupt the said facts presented by the applicant.
Beler, Vertine Paul F.
Hence, the court rendered its judgement in favor of the applicant


This case was commenced for the purpose of registering a land under the Torrens Heirs of Amunategui vs Director of Forestry
system, which bounded, particularly situated in the plan description attached to the
complaint and made part thereof. The respondent, Oppositor, The Government of the Facts:
Philippine islands alleged that the said land was the property of the Government of
the United States of America and under the control of the Government of the
There were two petitions for review on certiorari questioning the decision of the Court them, these lands are watersheds
of Appeals which declared the disputed property as forest land, not subject to titling in which provide clean and potable
favor of private persons, Borre and Amunategui. (drinkable) water to the Canlubang
community and that 90 light
The Director of Forestry, through the Provincial Fiscal of Capiz, also filed an industries are located in that area.
opposition to the application for registration of title claiming that the land was
mangrove swamp which was still classified as forest land and part of the public They were alleging respondents
domain. usurped its rights over their
property thereby destroying the
Another oppositor, Emeterio Bereber filed his opposition insofar as a portion of Lot
No. 885 containing 117,956 square meters was concerned and prayed that title to
Since the said land provides
said portion be confirmed and registered in his name.
water to the residents,
respondents sought an
Issue: easement of a right of a way
WON the lot in question can be subject of registration and confirmation of title in the to and from Barangay Castile,
name of the private person. to which,

Held: by counterclaim, Sta. Rosa sought

The opposition of the Director of Forestry was strengthened by the appellate court's ejectment against respondents.
finding that timber licenses had to be issued to certain licensees and even Jose
Amunategui himself took the trouble to ask for a license to cut timber within the area. Respondents went to the
It was only sometime in 1950 that the property was converted into fishpond but only DAR and filed a case for
after a previous warning from the District Forester that the same could not be done compulsory acquisition of the
because it was classified as "public forest. Sta. Rosa Property under the
Comprehensive Agrarian
A forested area classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such Reform Program.
classification simply because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its forest
cover. "Forest lands" do not have to be on mountains or in out of the way places. Compulsory acquisition is the power of the government to acquire private rights in
Swampy areas covered by mangrove trees, nipa palms, and other trees growing in land without the willing consent of its owner or occupant in order to benefit the
brackish or sea water may also be classified as forest land. The possession of forest society.
lands, no matter how long, cannot ripen into private ownership. Therefore, the lot in The said land was inspected
question never ceased to be classified as forest land of public domain. by the Municipal and Agrarian
Reform Officer, and upon
consensus of the authorities
concerned, they decided that
Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corp vs. Court of Appeals the said land must be placed
under compulsory acquisition.
Petitioners Sta. Rosa Respondents CA and residents
Petitioners filed an objection on the
The case is a petition regarding
ground that:
Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Boards (DARAB)
o The area is not
order of compulsory acquisition of
appropriate for
petitioners property under the
agricultural purposes.
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
o The area was rugged in
Program (CARP).
terrain with slopes 18%
and above. (which falls
Sta. Rosa was the registered under the exception in
owner of two parcels of land in compulsory acquisition of
Cabuyao Laguna. According to CARP)
o The occupants of the land Lot is situated in Barangay San Isidro, Antipolo, Rizal, and covered by Survey Plan
were illegal settlers or Psu-162620. Attached to the application was the technical description of the Lot as
(squatters) who by no Lot Psu-162620 signed by Robert C. Pangyarihan, Officer-in-Charge of the Survey
means are entitled to the Division, Bureau of Lands, which stated, "[t]his survey is inside IN-12 Mariquina
land as beneficiaries. Watershed." Then petitioner Collado filed an Amended Application to include
additional co-applicants. Subsequently, more applicants joined (collectively referred to
Another issue raised by the petitioners was as "petitioners" for brevity).
that the DAR failed to follow the due
process because instead of paying just The Republic of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General, and the Municipality of
compensation, a trust account was made in Antipolo, through its Municipal Attorney and the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal, filed
favour of the petitioners. oppositions to petitioners application.

Issue: Petitioners alleged that they have occupied the Lot since time immemorial. Their
possession has been open, public, notorious and in the concept of owners. The Lot
1. Whether these parcels of land fall within the coverage of the Compulsory was surveyed in the name of Sesinando Leyva, one of their predecessors-in-interest,
Acquisition Program of the CARP? as early as March 22, 1902.
2. Whether the petition of land conversion of the parcels of land may be

Court Ruling: ISSUES:

1. Art. 67 of the Water Code: Any watershed or any area of land adjacent to any
surface water or overlying any ground water may be declared by DENR as a Whether petitioners have registrable title over the Lot.
protected area.

In this case, the DENR did not declare the land as a protected area, In the
past the municipality issued a resolution that the said land is an agricultural HELD:

2. Although evidence of petitioners is strong, the Supreme Court opines that the area Under the Regalian Doctrine, all lands of the public domain as well as all natural
must be maintained for watershed purposes for ecological and environmental resources belong to the State. Watersheds are considered natural resources which
considerations despite the 88 families who are beneficiaries of the CARP. It is are not susceptible of occupancy, disposition, conveyance or alienation. The statute
important that a larger view of the situation be taken because of the thousands of of limitations with regard to public land does not operate against the State.
residents downstream if the watershed will not be protected and maintained for its
natural purpose. The Director of Forestry vs. Villareal

3. Despite Supreme Courts strong opinion of protection of watersheds as an GR No. L-32266

intergenerational responsibility, they, however ordered to DARAB to conduct a re-
evaluation of the case since the said land falls under exception.
February 27, 1989

Cruz, J.

Facts: The petitioner, Director of Forestry was one of the several persons who
Collado vs. CA G. R. No. 107764 October 4, 2002
opposed the application for registration of a parcel land classified as mangrove
swamps in the municipality of Sapian, Capiz with an area of 178,113 square meters of
FACTS: mangrove swamps, to the applicant Ruperto Villareal. He alleged that he and his
predecessors-in-interests had been in possession of the said parcel of land for more
Petitioner Collado filed with the land registration court an application for registration of than forty years (40). Both parties agreed in one point that the disputed land was a
a parcel of land with an approximate area of 120.0766 hectares ("Lot" for brevity). The mangrove swamp. The respondent argued that mangrove swamp are agricultural land
but the petitioner contended that it is a forestall land therefore not disposable.The Whether or not the area covered by Base Metals MPSA is closed to mining activities
Court of the First Instance of Capiz however grants the application of the respondent.
The decision of the lower court was later affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Hence the
Director of Forestry elevated the case to the Supreme Court for review on certiorari.
Issue: Whether or not, mangrove swamps are agricultural land or forest land.

Held: The Supreme Court held that mangrove swamps as forest lands is descriptive
of its legal nature or status and does not have to be descriptive of what the land PICOP failed to present any evidence that the area covered by the MPSA is a
actually looks like. Furthermore the legislative definition embodied in section 1820 of protected wilderness area designated as an initial component of the NIPAS pursuant
the Revised Administrative Code of 1917 which declares that mangrove swamps or to a law, presidential decree, presidential proclamation or executive order as required
manglares form part of the public forests of the Philippines hence they are not by RA 7586. Although the above-cited area status and clearances, particularly those
alienable. The evidence presented by the respondent in its claim were not sufficient to pertaining to MPSA Nos. 012 and 013, state that portions thereof are within the
prove its possession and ownership of the land, he only presented tax declaration. wilderness area of PICOP, there is no showing that this supposed wilderness area
Wherefore the decision of the Court of Appeals was set aside and the application for has been proclaimed, designated or set aside as such, pursuant to a law, presidential
registration of title by the respondent is dismissed by the Supreme Court. decree, presidential proclamation or executive order. It should be emphasized that it
is only when this area has been so designated that Sec. 20 of RA 7586, which
PICOP RESOURCES, INC.,petitioner, - versus BASE METALS MINERAL prohibits mineral locating within protected areas, becomes operational. From the
RESOURCES ADJUDICATION BOARD, respondents. CORPORATION and THE foregoing, there is clearly no merit to PICOP's contention that the area covered by
MINES Base Metals' MPSA is, by law, closed to mining activities.


G.R. No. 158290 October 23, 2006
Banahaw Mining filed applications for Mining Lease Contracts over the mining claims FACTS: Asserting their right to clean air pursuant to the RA8749, their Constitutional
with the Bureau of Mines to extract and dispose of precious minerals found within its right, and the principle of "inter-generational responsibility", Henares et al filed a
mining claims. Since a portion of Banahaw Minings mining claims was located in petition to issue a WRIT OF MANDAMUS commanding LTFRB and DOTC to require
petitioner PICOPs logging concession in Agusan del Sur, Banahaw Mining and public utility vehicles (PUVs) to use COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS (CNG) as
petitioner PICOP entered into a Memorandum of Agreement, whereby, petitioner alternative fuel.
PICOP allowed Banahaw Mining an access/right of way to its mining claims.
Banahaw Mining converted its mining claims to applications for Mineral Production To present a compelling case for this judicial action, Henares cited the high
Sharing Agreements (MPSA). While the MPSA were pending, Banahaw Mining, growth and low turnover in vehicle ownership in the Philippines, including diesel-
decided to sell/assign its rights and interests in favor of private respondent Base powered vehicles, two-stroke engine powered motorcycles and their emission of air
Metals Mineral Resources Corporation (Base Metals. Base Metals amended pollutants, as the cause of air pollution and other related environmental hazards. Due
Banahaw Minings pending MPSA applications with the Bureau of Mines to substitute to the continuing high demand for motor vehicles, the energy and transport sectors
itself as applicant. petitioner PICOP filed with the Mines Geo-Sciences Bureau are likely to remain the major sources of harmful emissions.
(MGB), an Adverse Claim and/or Opposition to Base Metals application asserts that
its concession areas are closed to mining operations as these are within the Agusan- Petitioners allege that the complex mixtures of dust, dirt, smoke, and liquid
Surigao-Davao forest reserve established under Proclamation No. 369 of then Gov. droplets emitted into the air from various engine combustions have caused
Gen. Dwight Davis. The area is allegedly also part of permanent forest established detrimental effects on health, productivity, infrastructure and the overall quality of life.
under Republic Act No. 3092 (RA 3092), and overlaps the wilderness area where Some of the effects of the fuel emissions when they react to other pollutants are the
mining applications are expressly prohibited under RA 7586. Hence, the area is formation of smog, acid rain, and nitric acid and harmful nitrates. Fuel emissions also
closed to mining operations under Sec. 19(f) of RA 7942. cause retardation and leaf bleaching in plants. Also, when carbon monoxide (CO) has
not been completely burned but emitted into the atmosphere and then inhaled can
disrupt the necessary oxygen in blood which, in the long run, affects the nervous
system and can be lethal to people with weak hearts.
To counter the said detrimental effects of emissions from PUVs, petitioners simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to perform a duty
propose the use of CNG. CNG is a natural gas comprised mostly of methane. It is already imposed.
colorless and odorless and considered the cleanest fossil fuel. Compared to coal and
petroleum, CNG produces much less pollutants. CNG produces up to 90 percent less Here, petitioners are unable to pinpoint the law that imposes an indubitable
CO compared to gasoline and diesel fuel. It reduces NOx emissions by 50 percent legal duty on LTFRB and DOTC that will justify a grant of the writ of mandamus
and cuts hydrocarbon emissions by half. It emits 60 percent less particulate matters compelling the use of CNG for public utility vehicles. It was proven that the DOTCs
and releases virtually no sulfur dioxide. The only drawback of CNG is that it produces duty is to implement the emission standards and set the maximum limit for the
more methane, one of the gases blamed for global warming. emission of motor vehicles set pursuant to and as provided in RA8749. The LTFRB
has been tasked "to grant preferential and exclusive Certificates of Public
LTFRB and DOTC explains that the writ of mandamus is not the correct Convenience (CPC) or franchises to operators of NGVs based on the results of the
remedy since the writ may be issued only to command a tribunal, corporation, board DOTC surveys."
or person to do an act that is required to be done, when he or it unlawfully neglects
the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from Further, mandamus will not generally lie from one branch of government to a
an office, trust or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment coordinate branch, for the obvious reason that neither is inferior to the other. The
of a right or office to which such other is entitled, there being no other plain, speedy need for future changes in both legislation and its implementation cannot be
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. However, according to Henares, preempted by orders from the Court, especially when what is prayed for is
these agencies possess the administrative and regulatory powers to implement procedurally infirm. Besides, comity with and courtesy to a coequal branch dictate that
measures in accordance with the policies and principles mandated by R8749. LTFRB sufficient time and leeway be given for the coequal branches to address by
and DOTC cannot ignore the existence of CNG, and their failure to recognize CNG themselves the environmental problems raised in this petition. The legislature should
and failure to compel its use by PUVs as alternative fuel is tantamount to neglect in provide first the specific statutory remedy to the complex environmental problems
the performance of a duty. before any judicial recourse by mandamus is taken.

LTFRB and DOTC contend that nothing in RA 8749 prohibits the use of WRIT OF MANDAMUS DENIED
gasoline and diesel by owners of motor vehicles. RA8749 does not even mention the
existence of CNG as alternative fuel. Also, it is the DENR that is tasked to implement
RA 8749 and not the LTFRB nor the DOTC. It is likewise argued that it is the MUSTANG LUMBER, INC VS. CA (Davide, Jr., 1996)
Department of Energy (DOE) that is required to set the specifications for all types of
fuel and fuel-related products to improve fuel compositions for improved efficiency A search warrant has a lifetime of 10 days. It could be served at any time within 10
and reduced emissions. DOTC is limited to implementing the emission standards for days. If its object or purpose cannot be accomplished in 1 day, the same may be
motor vehicles, and LTFRB and DOTC cannot alter, change or modify the emission continued the following day or days until completed, provided it is within the 10 day
standards. period.

ISSUE: WON the writ of mandamus is the proper remedy to compel PUVs to use
CNG as alternative fuel
FACTS: On 1 April 1990, Special Actions and Investigation Division (SAID), acting on
HELD: NO. As to the petitioners' standing, there is no dispute that petitioners have information that a huge pile of narra flitches, shorts, and slabs were seen inside the
standing to bring their case before the Court since what is being assailed here is the lumberyard of Mustang Lumber, conducted a surveillance at Mustang lumberyard.
right to clean air. The right to clean air is an issue of paramount importance for it The team saw a truck loaded with lauan and almaciga lumber coming out of the
concerns the air they breathe. It is also impressed with public interest. The lumberyard. Since the driver could not produce the required invoices and transport
consequences of the effects of a neglected environment due to emissions of motor documents, the team seized the truck together with its cargo and impounded them at
vehicles immeasurably affect the well-being of petitioners. However, the plain, speedy DENR compound. On 3 April 1990, RTC Valenzuela issued a search warrant. On
and adequate remedy herein sought by petitioners, i.e., a writ of mandamus same day, the team seized from the lumberyard narra shorts, trimmings and slabs,
commanding to require PUVs to use CNG, is unavailing. narra lumber, and various species of lumber and shorts. On 4 April 1990, team
returned to lumberyard and placed under administrative seizure (owner retains
Mandamus lies under any of the following cases: (1) against any tribunal physical possession of seized articles, only an inventory is taken) the remaining
which unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins lumber because Mustang Lumber failed to produce required documents upon
as a duty; (2) in case any corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the demand. Upon recommendation of SAID Chief Robles, DENR Sec Factoran
performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, suspended Mustang Lumbers permit and confiscated in favor of the govt the seized
or station; and (3) in case any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully articles. Mustang Lumber filed for a TRO against Factoran and Robles, and
excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other questioned the validity of the April 1 and 4 seizure. RTC held that the warrantless
is legally entitled; and there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the seizure on April 1 is valid as it comes within the exceptions where warrantless seizure
ordinary course of law. The writ neither confers powers nor imposes duties. It is is justified (search of a moving vehicle), and April 4 seizure was also valid pursuant to
the search warrant issued on April 3. CA affirmed. Mustang lumber filed a petition for warehouse had been seized and the petitioner was charged with violation of 68 of
review on certiorari. P.D .No. 705, as amended.
RTC convicted the petitioner. The trial court did not give credence to the
Certificates of Timber Origin presented by petitioner since the lumber held by the
company should be covered by Certificates of Lumber Origin.
ISSUES: a) WON the search and seizure on April 4 was valid. His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Hence, petitioner then filed a petition for review before the Supreme Court.

HELD: Yes. The search and seizures made on April 1, 3, 4 were all valid. valid. (1) 1. Whether separate certificates of origin should be issued for lumber and timber.
April 1 search was conducted on a moving vehicle, which could be lawfully conducted 2. Whether the presence of erasures in the certificate of timber origin render them
without a search warrant. (2*) The search on April 4 was a continuation of the search valueless as evidence.
on April 3 done under and by virtue of the search warrant issued on 3 April 1990 by
Exec Judge Osorio. Under ROC Rule 126 Sec 9, a search warrant ahs a lifetime of HELD: Different certificates of origin are required for timber, lumber and non-timber
10 days. Hence, it could be served at any time within the said period, and if its object forest products.
or purpose cannot be accomplished in 1 day, the same may be continued the The issuance of a separate certificate of origin for lumber is required in order
following day or days until completed, provided it is still within the 10-day period. to "pinpoint accountability and responsibility for shipment of lumber . . . and to have
uniformity in documenting the origin thereof."

Even assuming that a Certificate of Timber Origin could serve as a substitute

DISPOSITIVE: Petition is denied. CA did not commit any reversible error in affirming for Certificate of Lumber Origin, the trial court and the Court of Appeals were justified
RTC judgment. Search and seizure done was valid. in convicting petitioner, considering the numerous irregularities and defects found in
the documents presented by the latter.
The irregularities and discrepancies make the documents in which they are
found not only questionable but invalid and, thus, justified the trial court in giving no
CASE DIGEST BY Agee Romero credence to the same. The presence of such glaring irregularities negates the
presumption that the CTOs were regularly executed by the DENR officials concerned.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with the

***There were other issues in the case: the owner of Mustang Lumber was charged MODIFICATION as to the penalty.
with violation of the Forestry Reform Code. Mustang lumber moved to quash the
information on the ground that the facts comprising the charge did not amount to a
criminal offense (subject matter of the information is lumber, which is neither
timber nor other forest product under Forestry Reform Code and hence,
possession thereof w/o the required legal documents is not prohibited) and to
suspend the proceedings pending the outcome of the formal challenge of Mustang
Lumber regarding the legality of the seizure. Lengthy discussion on the meaning of
lumber. But SC held that the information validly charged an offense because lumber
is included in the term timber.


G.R. No. 131270. March 17, 2000

FACTS: DENR officers, assisted by the PNP, raided the warehouse of the Valencia
Golden Harvest Corporation. The company is engaged in rice milling and trading.
They found a large stockpile of lumber of varying sizes cut by a chain saw.
As proof that the company had acquired the lumber by purchase, petitioner
produced two receipts issued by R.L. Rivero Lumberyard of Maramag, Bukidnon,
dated March 6 and 17, 1992. The DENR officers did not, however, give credit to the
receipts considering that R. L. Rivero Lumberyard's permit to operate had long been
suspended. What is more, the pieces of lumber were cut by chain saw and thus could
not have come from a licensed sawmill operator. Accordingly, all the lumber in the