You are on page 1of 27


FACTS:On December 2,1971, the spouses Paulino Vivas and Engracia Lizards, owners of a
parcel of land situated in Bo. San Francisco, Victoria, Laguna, sold for P30,000.00 said
DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY V MUÑOZ property in favor of spouses Melencio Magcamit and Nena Cosico, and Amelita Magcamit
FACTS: Pinagcamaligan Indo-Agro Development Corporation, Inc. (Piadeco) is a company (private respondents)
engaged in logging. It was given a Certificate of Private Woodland Registration so that it can It is evidenced by "Kasulatan Ng Bilihang Mabiling Muli" with right to repurchase, recorded
operate in a 72,000 hectare land. It also has a Titulo de Propriedad which it acquired in 1894 in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Laguna on December 6,1971 under Act No. 3344.
under the Spanish regime. A balance of P40,000.00 was to be paid the moment that the certificate of title is issued.
In 1964, the NAWASA (National Water and Sewerage Authority) director ordered the From the execution of said Kasulatan, private respondent have remained in peaceful, adverse
cancellation of Piadeco’s certificate because it encroached beyond what was allowed in the and open possession of subject property.
certificate. It actually cut trees in the Angat and Marikina watershed area which was prohibited. On February 26, 1975, an Original Certificate of Title No. T-1728 covering the property in
The lower court ruled in favor of Piadeco. Piadeco also had a settlement with Nawasa. Piadeco question was issued to and in the name of the spouses Vivas and Lizardo without the knowledge
sought to renew its certificate but it was denied by the Asst. Director of Forestry. The latter of the private respondents and on April 30, 1975, said Spouses executed a Special Power of
ruled that the Spanish title is no longer recognized and should have never been used to apply Attorney in favor of Irenea Ramirez authorizing the latter to mortgage the property with the
for a Certificate. petitioner, National Grains Authority.
On May 2, 1974, the counsel for the petitioner wrote the Provincial Sheriff in Sta. Cruz,
ISSUE: Whether or not Piadeco can claim ownership over the property. Laguna, requesting for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage executed by Irenea
HELD: No. The Spanish title it acquired cannot be used to register for another Certificate. On May 31, 1974, the Provincial Sheriff caused the issuance of the notice of sale of the property
There should be no question now that Forestry Administrative Order 12-2 has the force and in question, scheduling the public auction sale and petitioner was the highest and successful
effect of law. It was promulgated pursuant to law. Section 1817, Revised Administrative Code, bidder. A Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor
empowers the Bureau of Forestry, with the approval of the department head, to issue The private respondents learned that a title in the name of the Vivas spouses had been issued
regulations “deemed expedient or necessary to secure the protection and conservation of the covering the property in question and that the same property had been mortgaged in favor of
public forests in such manner as to insure a continued supply of valuable timber and other forest the petitioner.
products for the future, and regulating the use and occupancy of the forests and forest reserves, Private respondent Nena Magcamit offered to pay the petitioner NGA the amount of
to the same end.” Forestry Administrative Order 12-2 was recommended by the Director of P40,000.00 which is the balance of the amount due the Vivas spouses under the terms of the
Forestry, and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is no less a absolute deed of sale.
valid law. It is an administrative regulation germane to the objects and purposes of the law. A Petitioner refused to accept the payment.
rule shaped out by jurisprudence is that when Congress authorized the promulgation of On July 31, 1974, counsel for private respondents made a formal demand on the spouses Vivas
administrative rules and regulations to implement a given legislation, “[a]ll that is required is and Lizardo the offer to pay the balance of P40,000.00 due under the absolute deed of sale.
that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation However, petitioner in its reply informed counsel of private respondents that petitioner is now
be not in contradiction with it, but conform to the standards that the law prescribes.” the owner of the property in question and has no intention of disposing of the same.
The private respondents, who as previously stated, are in possession of subject property were
asked by petitioner to vacate it but the former refused.
Petitioner filed a suit for ejectment against private respondents in the Municipal Court of
Victoria, Laguna, but the case was dismissed.
On June 4, 1975, private respondents filed a complaint before the then Court of First Instance
of Laguna but the declared petitioner the lawful owner of the property by virtue of its ANG LAM V ROSILLOSA
indefeasible title to the same.
The private respondents interposed an appeal.
The appellate court reversed and set aside the lower court’s decision. CACHO V CA
The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the said decision but the same was denied. FACTS: Demetria Cacho applied for the registration of two (2) parcels of land situated in
Lanao, Moro Province. Both parcels were within the limits of the Military Reservation No. 43
ISSUE: whether or not violation of the terms of the agreement between the spouses Vivas and known as “Camp Overton.”
Lizardo, constitutes a breach of trust sufficient to defeat the title and right acquired by petitioner The application was tried and decided by Judge Jesse Jorge and he granted the petitioner
NGA, an innocent purchaser for value. (Cacho) the entitlement to the two (2) parcels of land. On June 29, 1978, Teofilo Cacho, the
sole heir of the deceased Demetria Cacho filed for a petition for the reconstitution of the two
HELD:Private respondents claim a better right to the property in question by virtue of the (2) original certificates of title under RA 26.
Conditional Sale, later changed to a deed of Absolute Sale which although unregistered under The petition was opposed to by the Republic of the Philippines, National Steel Corporation and
the Torrens System allegedly transferred to them the ownership and the possession of the the City of Iligan on the basis of the Regalian Doctrine – that states that – all lands of whatever
property in question. classification belong to the State. The matter was elevated to the Court of Appeals (CA), the
Thus, under Section 44 of P.D. 1529, every registered owner receiving a certificate of title in CA denied the petition for reconstitution of title and ordered that the decree of registration be
pursuance of a decree of registration, and every subsequent purchaser of registered land taking reopened. Thus, the instant petition to the Supreme Court.
a certificate of title for value and in good faith, shall hold the same free from all encumbrances
except those noted on the certificate and any of the encumbrances which may be subsisting, ISSUE: Whether or not the honorable Court of Appeals erred in its decision to reopen the
and enumerated in the law. Under said provision, claims and liens of whatever character, except decrees issued by the Judge Jesse Jorge.
those mentioned by law as existing, against the land prior to the issuance of certificate of title,
are cut off by such certificate if not noted thereon, and the certificate so issued binds the whole HELD: A land registration proceeding is “in rem.” The decree of registration is binding upon
world, including the government (Aldecoa and Co. vs. Warner Barns & Co., 30 Phil. 209 and conclusive against all persons including the Government and its branches, irrespective of
[1915]; Snyder vs. Fiscal of Cebu and Avila, 42 Phil. 766 [1922]). Under said ruling, if the whether or not they were personally notified of the filing of the application, because all persons
purchaser is the only party who appears in the deeds and the registration of titles in the property are considered as notified by the publication required by law. A decree of registration that has
registry, no one except such purchaser may be deemed by law to be the owner of the properties become final shall be deemed conclusive not only on the questions actually contested and
in question (Ibid). Moreover, no title to registered land in derogation to that of the registered determined but also upon all matters that might be litigated or decided in the land registration
owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession (Umbay vs. Alecha, 135 SCRA proceedings. It is no doubt that the decrees of registration had been issued and such decrees
427 [1985]). attained finality upon the lapse of one year from entry thereof. The decision of the CA to reopen
It does not appear that private respondents' claim falls under any of the exceptions provided for the decrees previously issued runs counter to the very purpose of the Torrens System.
under Section 44 of P.D. 1529 which can be enforced against petitioner herein. It also constitutes a derogation of the Doctrine of Res Judicata. The decrees are res judicata and
The real purpose of the Torrens System is to quiet title to land and to stop forever any question these are binding upon the whole world, the proceedings being in the nature of proceedings in
as to its legality. rem. Such a requirement is impermissible assault upon the integrity and stability of the Torrens
The only exception to this rule is where a person obtains a certificate of title to a land belonging System of registration because it also effectively renders the decree inconclusive.
to another and he has full knowledge of the rights of the true owner. He is then considered as
guilty of fraud and he may be compelled to transfer the land to the defrauded owner so long as
the property has not passed to the hands of an innocent purchaser for value.
REPUBLIC V UMALI claiming said members to be liable. Umali et al are merely questioning the validity of the
FACTS: Mauricia Castillo was the administratrix in charge over a parcel of land left be Felipe foreclosure.
Castillo. Said land was mortgaged to the Development Bank of the Philippines and was about The veil of corporate fiction can’t be pierced also by the simple reason that the businesses of
to be foreclosed but then Mauricia’s nephew, Santiago Rivera, proposed that they convert the two or more corporations are interrelated, absent sufficient showing that the corporate entity
land into 4 subdivisions so that they can raise the necessary money to avoid foreclosure. was purposely used as a shield to defraud creditors and third persons of their rights. In this
Mauricia agreed. Rivera sought to develop said land through his company, Slobec Realty case, there is no justification for disregarding their separate personalities.
Corporation (SRC), of which he was also the president. SRC then contracted with Bormaheco,
Inc. for the purchase of one tractor. Bormaheco agreed to sell the tractor on an installment DIRECTOR OF LANDS V CA 102 SCRA 370
basis. At the same time, SRC mortgaged said tractor to Bormaheco as security just in case SRC
will default. As additional security, Mauricia and other family members executed a surety
agreement whereby in case of default in paying said tractor, the Insurance Corporation of the BENIN V TUASON
Philippines (ICP) shall pay the balance. The surety bond agreement between Mauricia and ICP Facts:The plaintiffs alleged that they were the owners and possessors of the three parcels of
was secured by Mauricia’s parcel of land (same land to be developed). agricultural lands, described in paragraph V of the complaint, located in the barrio of La Loma
SRC defaulted in paying said tractor. Bormaheco foreclosed the tractor but it wasn’t enough (now barrio of San Jose) in the municipality (now city) of Caloocan, province of Rizal, that
hence ICP paid the deficiency. ICP then foreclosed the property of Mauricia. ICP later sold they inherited said parcels of land from their ancestor Sixto Benin, who in turn inherited the
said property to Philippine Machinery Parts Manufacturing Corporation (PMPMC). PMPMC same from his father, Eugenio Benin; that they and their predecessors in interest had possessed
then demanded Mauricia et al to vacate the premises of said property. these three parcels of land openly, adversely, and peacefully, cultivated the same and
While all this was going on, Mauricia died. Her successor-administratrix, Buenaflor Umali, exclusively enjoyed the fruits harvested therefrom; that Eugenio Benin, plaintiff's grandfather,
questioned the foreclosure made by ICP. Umali alleged that all the transactions are void and had said parcels of land surveyed on March 4 and 6, 1894, that during the cadastral survey by
simulated hence they were defrauded; that through Bormaheco’s machinations, Mauricia was the Bureau of Lands of the lands in Barrio San Jose in 1933 Sixto Benin and herein plaintiffs
fooled into entering into a surety agreement with ICP; that Bormaheco even made the premium claim the ownership over said parcels of land; that they declared said lands for taxation
payments to ICP for said surety bond; that the president of Bormaheco is a director of PMPMC; purposes in 1940 under Tax Declaration No. 2429; that after the outbreak of the last World
that the counsel who assisted in all the transactions, Atty. Martin De Guzman, was the legal War, or sometime in 1942 and subsequently thereafter, evacuees from Manila and other places,
counsel of ICP, Bormaheco, and PMPMC. after having secured the permission of the plaintiffs, constructed their houses thereon and paid
monthly rentals to plaintiffs. Only defendant J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. was actually served with
ISSUE: Whether or not the veil of corporate fiction should be pierced. summons. The other defendants were ordered summoned by publication in accordance with
Sections 16 and 17 of the Rules of Court. Only defendant J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. appeared.
HELD: No. There is no clear showing of fraud in this case. The mere fact that Bormaheco paid The other defendants were all declared in default.
said premium payments to ICP does not constitute fraud per se. As it turned out, Bormaheco is
an agent of ICP. SRC, through Rivera, agreed that part of the payment of the mortgage shall be HELD:It will be noted that in Civil Case No. 3621 the plaintiffs base their claim of ownership
paid for the insurance. Naturally, when Rivera was paying some portions of the mortgage to of the three parcels of land described in the complaint on their being heirs or successors in
Bormaheco, Bormaheco is applying some parts thereof for the payment of the premium – and interest of Sixto Benin who died in 1936. In Civil Case No. 3622 the plaintiffs base their claim
this was agreed upon beforehand. of ownership over the two parcels of land described in their complaint on their being the heirs
Further, piercing the veil of corporate fiction is not the proper remedy in order that the and successors in interest of Bonoso Alcantara who died in 1934. In Civil Case No. 3623 the
foreclosure conducted by ICP be declared a nullity. The nullity may be attacked directly plaintiffs base their claim of ownership of the one parcel of land described in their complaint
without disregarding the separate identity of the corporations involved. Further still, Umali et on their being the heirs and successors in interest of Candido Pili who died in 1931. It will be
al are not enforcing a claim against the individual members of the corporations. They are not noted that in Civil Case No. 3621 the plaintiffs base their claim of ownership of the three
parcels of land described in the complaint on their being heirs or successors in interest of Sixto the corner of Leon Guinto and Padre Faura Streets, Manila, and covered by TCT No. 62203 of
Benin who died in 1936. In Civil Case No. 3622 the plaintiffs base their claim of ownership the Register of Deeds of Manila, for the amount of P293,506.25, payable in three (3)
over the two parcels of land described in their complaint on their being the heirs and successors installments, as follows:
in interest of Bonoso Alcantara who died in 1934. In Civil Case No. 3623 the plaintiffs base "1. The First Installment shall be paid by the VENDEE to the VENDOR on or before
their claim of ownership of the one parcel of land described in their complaint on their being Sep-tember 30, 1963 amounting to P29,350.62,
the heirs and successors in interest of Candido Pili who died in 1931. "2. The Second Installment which shall be the sum of P66,038.90, shall be paid by the
Therefore, that the decision of this Court, which affirmed the order of the Court of First Instance VENDEE to the VENDOR on or before September 30, 1964.
of Rizal dismissing the complaint of Jose Alcantara, Elias Benin and Pascual Pili (along with "3. The last and final installment which shall be the sum of P198,116.72, less the
four other plaintiffs) should apply not only against the heirs, of Elias Benin, against Jose P25,-000.00 deduction allowed by the VENDOR, shall be paid by the VENDEE to the
Alcantara, and against Pascual Pili, as plaintiffs in Civil Cases Nos. 3621, 3622 and 3623, VENDOR on or before September 30, 1965."
respectively, but also against all the other plaintiffs in those cases. We find that the plaintiffs The parties further agreed that:
do not claim a right which is different from that claimed by Elias Benin. Likewise, the plaintiffs "All the foregoing payments shall be made by the VENDEE to the VENDOR'S duly
in Civil Case No. 3622 do not claim a right different from that claimed by Jose Alcantara in authorized Resident Agent and attorney-in-fact in Manila, Philippines.
Civil Case No Q-156. And, also, the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3623 do not claim a right "It is hereby expressly understood and agreed that immediately upon the execution
different from that claimed by Pascual Pili. of this document and thereafter for a period of five (5) consecutive years so long as
The court sited the Santiago case which states that, (T)he mere fact that appellants herein were this agreement is in force and effect, the VENDEE shall have the right to occupy and
not personally notified of the registration proceedings that resulted in a decree of registration use the property for church purposes but for no other purpose whatsoever.
of title in favor of the Tuasons in 1914 does not constitute in itself a case of fraud that would "Should the VENDEE fail to pay any or all the installments when due, this
invalidate the decree. The registration proceedings, as proceedings in rem, operate as against agreement shall automatically be considered as rescinded and without force and effect
the whole world and the decree issued therein is conclusive adjudication of the ownership of and the VENDEE shall, without further demand from the VENDOR peacefully return
the lands registered, not only against those parties who appeared in such proceedings but also possession of the property to the VENDOR; provided, however, that any installment
against parties who were summoned by publication but did not appear. The registration by the which the VENDEE may have already paid to the VENDOR shall be returned by the
appellee's predecessors-in-interest freed the lands from claims and liens of whatever character VENDOR to the VENDEE.
that existed against the lands prior to the issuance of the certificates of title, except those noted "Upon final and complete payment of the stipulated purchase price the VENDOR shall
in the certificate and legal encumbrances saved by law (Yumol vs. Rivera and Dizon, 64 Phil. immediately execute and deliver to the VENDEE a final and absolute Deed of Sale of
13, 17 and cases cited therein). In addition, there being no allegation that the registered owners the Property free and clear of all liens and encumbrances."
procured the non-appearance of appellants at the registration proceedings, and very much more The first instalment of the purchase price was duly paid and the respondent took of the
than one year having elapsed from the issuance of the decree of registration in 1914, neither property. However, when the second instalment became due on September 30, 1964, ABWE,
revocation of such decree nor a decree of reconveyance are obtainable any more. upon the request of FBC, extended the period of its payment to 30 October 1964. For this
The joint decision of the Court of First Instance, appealed from, is REVERSED and SET purpose, the parties executed a document entitled “Supplement to the Contract of Purchase and
ASIDE. Sale of 30 September 1963” with the stipulation that “all the provisions of the original contract
of purchase and sale of 30 September 1963 shall remain in full force and effect, except as
FACTS:On 30 September 1963, the parties entered into a agreement, denominated "Contract The respondent failed to pay the second instalment when it became due, neither did it return
of Purchase and Sale" wherein the petitioner agreed to sell to the respondent a parcel of land, the possession of the property to the petitioner. On 8 March 1965, the respondent caused to be
together with the building and improvement thereon, with an area of 735 Sq. meters, located at recorded in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Manila a Notice of Adverse Claim on the
said property. Upon learning of the burden the petitioner, on 6 June 1965, filed a petition with over petitions filed after original registration of title, with power to hear and determine all
the Court of First Instance of Manila for the cancellation of the said notice of adverse claim, questions arising upon such applications or petitions.
on the ground that when said notice of adverse claim was filed, the respondent had already lost Even under Act 496, the Land Registration Act, the court of first instance, sitting as a land
its right to or interest in the property, in view of the automatic rescission of the contract caused registration court, has the authority to conduct a hearing, receive evidence, and decide
by the respondent's failure to pay the second installment of the purchase price on 30 October controversial matters with a view to determine whether or not the filed notice of adverse claim
1964, as agreed upon, so that the notice of adverse claim is invalid and should be cancelled. is valid. Section 110 of Act 496 provides:
The lower court issued an order on 15 September 1965 directing the cancellation of the
notice of adverse claim on TCT No. 62203 on the grounds that the basis of said notice of "SEC. 110. Whoever claims any part or inte-rest in registered land adverse to the
adverse claim was no longer in force and effect inasmuch as the same was automatically registered owner, arising subsequent to the date of the ori-ginal registration, may, if no
rescinded upon the failure of the respondent to pay the second installment when it became due, other provision is made in this Act for registering the same, make a statement in writing
and for failure of the respondent to file the civil action, as required by the court setting forth fully his alleged right or interest, and how or under whom acquired, and a
The respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order claiming, for the first time, reference to the volume and page of the certificate of title of the registered owner, and
that the trial court had no jurisdiction in that, as a land registration court, it cannot pass upon a description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed.
the issue of whether or not the contract of purchase and sale has been rescinded or rendered "The statement shall be signed and sworn to, and shall state the adverse claimant's residence,
without force and effect but the trial court denied said motion. and designate a place at which all notices may be served upon him. This statement shall be
Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. On 25 May 1970, the appellate court entitled to registration as an adverse claim, and the court, upon a petition of any party in interest,
rendered judgment affirming the order of the lower court. This decision, however, was set aside shall grant a speedy hearing upon the question of the validity of such adverse claim and shall
by the appellate court in its Resolution dated 17 August 1970 on the ground that the lower enter such decree therein as justice and equity may require. If the claim is adjudged to be
court, sitting as a land registration court, had no jurisdiction to resolve the issues presented invalid, the registration shall be cancelled. If in any case the court after notice and hearing
which should be litigated in a regular court. Accordingly, the respondent appellate court shall find that a claim thus registered was frivolous or vexatious, it may tax the adverse claimant
ordered the dismissal of the petition to cancel notice of adverse claim, hence, the present double or treble costs in its discretion."
recourse. At any rate, it appears that the disputed "Contract of Purchase and Sale" entered into by and
between the parties on 0 September 1963 had already been rescinded so that there is no more
ISSUE:Whether or not the Court of First Instance, acting as a land registration court, has basis for the continued annotation of the notice of adverse claim on the petitioner's TCT No.
jurisdiction to cancel an adverse claim based on a contract to sell or promise to sell which can 62203. Records show that the herein petitioner had filed an action against the respondent for
no longer be enforced because of non-payment of the agreed purchase price. the rescission of said contract of purchase and sale on 1 August 1967 before the Court of First
Instance of Manila, docketed therein as Civil Case no. 70298, and after trial, the said contract
HELD:The issue had been raised in view of the findings of the respondent Court of Appeals was ordered rescinded for reasons therein stated. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, docketed
that the court a quo, sitting as a land registration court, has limited jurisdiction and has no therein as CA-G.R. No. 42467-R, the judgment was affirmed. The respondent then appealed
authority to resolve controversial issues which should be litigated before a court of general to this Court, docketed as G.R. no. L-35008; again, its petition was denied on 15 May 1972,
jurisdiction. However, this concept no longer holds. Under existing laws Sec. 2 of PD 1529, "for being factual (insufficient showing that the findings of fact are unsupported by substantial
otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree, provides, as follows: evidence) and for lack of merit." The judgment became final and executory on 14 August 1972.
"SEC. 2. Nature of registration proceed-ings: jurisdiction of courts. - Judicial WHEREFORE, the resolution of the respondent Court, dated 17 August 1970, is hereby set
proceed-ings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines shall be in rem aside. The notice of adverse claim annotated on petitioner's TCT No. 62203 by virtue of the
and shall be based on the generally accepted principles underlying the Torrens system.” "Contract of Purchase and Sale" entered into by and between the parties on 30 September 1963
Regional Trial Courts now have exclusive jurisdiction, not only over applications for is hereby ordered cancelled. Without costs.
original registration of title to lands, including improvements and interests therein, but also
VDA DE ARCEO V CA The first question must, however, be resolved against the petitioners. We have held that under
Facts:The spouses Abdon Arceo and Escolastica Geronimo were the owners of four parcels of Section 2 of the Property Registration Decree, the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court,
unregistered land (six were involved but only four were disputed) located in Pulilan, Bulacan, sitting as a land registration court, is no longer as circumscribed as it was under Act No. 496,
identified as lots nos. 2582, 2595, 3054, and 8131. Escolastica died on September 16, 1942 the former land registration law. 11 We said that the Decree "has eliminated the distinction
while Abdon passed away in 1953. They had one son, Esteban, who died on September 2, 1941. between the general jurisdiction vested in the regional trial court and the limited jurisdiction
Esteban had five children, Jose, Pedro, Lorenzo, Antonio, and Sotera. Jose married Virginia conferred upon it by the former law when acting merely as a cadastral court." The amendment
Franco, with whom he fathered six children, Carmelita, Zenaida, Rodolfo, Manuel, Cesar, and was "aimed at avoiding multiplicity of suits, the change has simplified registration proceedings
Romeo. 2 Pedro, Lorenzo, Antonio, and Sotera are the private respondents herein while Jose's by conferring upon the required trial courts the authority to act not only on applications for
widow, Virginia (Jose died on March 8, 1970), and their children are the petitioners. 'original registration' 'but also 'over all petitions filed after original registration of title, with
It also appears that on October (or September) 27, 1941, the Arceos executed a deed of donation power to hear and determine all questions arising from such applications or petitions.'" 12 At
inter vivos, in which the spouses bestowed the properties in favor of Jose. 3 Since 1942, Jose any rate, we have also stated that the limited jurisdiction rule governing land registration courts
had been paying taxes thereon. 4 In 1949, he took personal possession thereof, worked thereon, is subject to recognized exceptions, to wit, (1) where the parties mutually agreed or have
and claimed them as owner thereof 5It furthermore appears that on August 2, 1950, the spouses acquiesced in submitting controversial issues for determination; (2) where they have been given
executed another deed of donation inter vivos, marked as exhibit "T" disposing of the properties full opportunity to present their evidence; and (3) where the court has considered the evidence
further in favor of Jose. 6On October 3 (or 30), 1941, the Arceos supposedly signed a deed of already of record and is convinced that the same is sufficient for rendering a decision upon
donation mortis causa, marked as exhibit "1" revoking exhibit "J" and giving away the such controversial issues. 13 It is not amiss to state likewise that where the issue, say, of
properties in question in favor of all his grandchildren including Jose. It seems however that it ownership, is ineluctably tied up with the question of right of registration, the cadastral court
was notarized only on November 3, 1944, after Escolastica had died. commits no error in assuming jurisdiction over it, as, for instance, in this case, where both
On January 12, 1972, Virginia, together with her children, filed with the cadastral court 7 an parties rely on their respective exhibits to defeat one another's claims over the parcels sought
application for registration in their names of lots Nos. 2582, 2595, 3054, and 8131. Pedro, to be registered, in which case, registration would not be possible or would be unduly prolonged
Antonio, Lorenzo, and Sotera opposed the application.Pedro and Lorenzo specifically unless the court first decided it.
contested the application on lots Nos. 3054 and 8131 on claims that each of them were entitled With regard to the prescription alleged by herein petitioners,we also regret that one can not
to one-third thereof. 8The cadastral court rejected all three documents and distributed the agree with this proposition. The petitioners suppose that the parcels ' had come under the
properties according to the law on intestate succession. 9Virginia and her children shortly went category of a co-ownership, following the death of their grandparents, but in that case, it has
to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of the cadastral court and dismissed the been held that in order for prescription to set in, the following requisites must concur: (1) there
appeal. is a clear showing that the claimant has repudiated the co-ownership; (2) he has made known
to the rest of the co-owners that he is assuming exclusive ownership over the property; (3) there
Issue:The petitioners argue that the cadastral court was bereft of the power to determine is clear and convincing evidence thereof; and (4) his possession is open, continuous, exclusive,
conflicting claims of ownership, and that its authority was solely to confirm an existing title, and notorious. 15
and that anyway, all the lots should have been awarded to them by virtue of open, continuous, The evidence for Virginia et al. do not persuade us that they (through Jose) have acquired the
exclusive, and notorious possession since 1941 (1942, when Jose took possession of the lots by lapse of time. The fact that in 1941, Jose wrested possession thereof, so we hold, does
parcels) or otherwise, by acquisitive prescription. not amount to adverse possession because as a co-owner, he had the right of enjoyment, and
The important question, so we find, is, based on existing facts, legal in character: Who has the his use thereof can not by itself prejudice the right of his fellow co-owners. The fact that he
right over lots Nos. 2582, 2595, 3054, and 8131? paid taxes thereon is not controlling either because payment of real estate taxes does not
necessarily confer title upon a claimant. 16 The fact finally that Virginia, et al. had sought to
Ruling:(In favor of petitioners) extrajudicially divide the property is nothing conclusive because there is no showing that they,
As we indicated, we find merit in this petition.
Virginia, et al. had made this known to Pedro, et al. Under these circumstances, we can not registered owner of the property subject of the Cases as shown by Transfer Certificate of Title
validly say that the lands had devolved on Virginia., et al., by way of prescription. No. T-320601 issued in her name by the Register of Deeds of Trece Martires City. Yangtze,
We are granting the petition nonetheless on the finding that the lots had been conferred to Jose petitioner's co-movant, had earlier entered a contract to sell with petitioner over the said
by a valid donation inter vivos. property. In its order dated May 7, 1996, the trial court denied the motion. The trial court noted
Other than the claims by Pedro, et al., that documents issued by respondents appear to have petitioner's failure to exercise any act of dominion over the subject property consistent with her
been executed in compliance with legal requirements, i.e., as to form and acceptance. 17 It is allegation of ownership. On May 15, 1996, petitioner and Yangtze filed a motion for
true that the cadastral court was supposed to have attributed fraud on the part of Jose in making reconsideration of the May 7, 1996 order. The trial court, treating the motion as a motion to lift
Abdon sign the exhibit, 18 (according to Pedro, Abdon affixed his signature thereon upon "the the order of general default, denied the same in order dated August 22, 1996. The trial court
belief that it was a deed of sale of the land purchased from one Marciano Santos" 19) but as gave greater weight to the report of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) that petitioner's
found by the Court of Appeals, It is a theory that "must be received with a 'grain of salt', 20 certificate of title was issued without any legal basis and the report of the National
because, for one thing, Jose is dead, and for another, the petitioners have adduced evidence that Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that the signature of Antonia Cabuco,
exhibit "J" was genuine. We are bound by the factual finding of the Appellate Court and as we the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cavite, on the certificate, was a forgery. This is
averred, we are disposing of this question on pure questions of law. notwithstanding the documents proffered by petitioner allegedly showing the
As to exhibit "T", the finding of the Court of Appeals that it was defective is just as controlling genuineness of the signature of Antonia Cabuco on the certificate of title. The trial court
on this Court, that is, that "it was signed by Abdon Arceo after the death of his wife on opined that petitioner's title over the subject property was of doubtful nature and that allowing
September 16, 1942 and does not contain the acceptance ... by Jose Arceo." 21 her to intervene in the LRC cases would unduly delay the proceedings. Meanwhile, on August
We can not say that exhibit "1" had validly revoked exhibit "J". The weight of authority is that 1, 1996, Atty. Artemio Caña, in his capacity as Acting Register of Deeds of the
a valid donation, once accepted, becomes Province of Cavite, filed a complaint for the annulment of petitioner's certificate of title before
irrevocable, 22 except on account of officiousness, 23 failure by the donee to comply with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 89, Bacoor, Cavite. The matter remained pending in that
charges imposed in the donation, 24 or by reason of ingratitude. 25 There is simply no proof court. On the other hand, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, Bacoor, Cavite rendered a joint
that Abdon when he executed exhibit "1", was in possession of a legal ground for annulment. decision recognizing and confirming the rights of private respondents over the litigated
We can not thus accept the Court of Appeals' holding that exhibit "1" had "neutralized the force property and ordered the issuance of a Decree of Registration in their favor. Later, petitioner
and effect" 26 of exhibit "J". filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and mandamus to annul and set aside
It is therefore this Court's ruling that the disposition in favor of Jose (whose rights were the above orders of the Regional Trial Court. On October 20, 1997, the Court of Appeals
transmitted to Virginia, et al.) should be respected. rendered its decision denying the petition due course. The appellate court likewise denied the
WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is SET ASIDE. The court a quo is ORDERED to petitioner's motion for reconsideration in its resolution dated April 21, 1998. Hence, this
distribute the properties covered by the donation inter vivos, dated October (or September) 27, petition.
1941, exhibit "J", according to the terms and conditions set forth therein, and in the proportions
Held: The Court found petitioner's contentions unmeritorious. It is now settled that a motion
indicated thereby. No costs.
to intervene in a land registration case cannot be allowed. A party wishing to be heard should
ask for the lifting of the order of general default, and then if lifted, file an opposition to the
application for registration. This is so because proceedings in land registration are in rem and
not in personam, the sole object being the registration applied for, not the determination of any
Facts: On March 5, 1996, petitioner and Yangtze Properties, Inc. (Yangtze) filed a motion for
right connected with the registration. Second, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals
leave and/or admit complaint-in-intervention in LRC Cases Nos. B-94-60, B-89-14 and B-90-
made a factual finding that petitioner's title to the land is of doubtful authenticity. The petition
6 pending before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, Bacoor Cavite. The first case is for
was denied and the decision and the resolution of the Court of Appeals were affirmed.
reconstitution of Original Certificate of Title No. 362 purportedly covering the subject real
property, while the last two were cases for registration of title. Petitioner alleged that she is the Doctrines:
CIVIL LAW; LAND REGISTRATION LAW; MOTION TO INTERVENE IN A LAND genuineness ofAntonia Cabuco's signature, she has not refuted the findings contained in the
REGISTRATION CASE CANNOT BE ALLOWED. — It is now settled that a motion to LRA report that her certificate of title has no legal basis.
intervene in a land registration case cannot be allowed. A party wishing to be heard should
ask for the lifting of the order of general default, and then if lifted, file an opposition to the
application for registration. This is so because proceedings in land registration are in rem and
cannot invoke the indefeasibility of her certificate of title. It bears emphasis that the Torrens
not in personam, the sole object being the registration applied for, not the
system does not create or vest title but only confirms and records one already existing and
determination of any right connected with the registration. aITDAE
vested. Thus, while it may be true, as petitioner argues, that a land registration court has no
2. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; THE COURT IS BOUND BY THE FACTUAL jurisdiction over parcels of land already covered by a certificateof title, it is equally true that
FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT AND THE COURT OF APPEALS. — Having this rule applies only where there exists no serious controversy as to the authenticity of the
jurisdiction only to resolve questions of law, this Court is bound by the factual findings of the certificate.
trial court and the Court of Appeals. Even if intervention is allowed in cases of original
||| (Dolfo v. Register of Deeds for the Province of Cavite, G.R. No. 133465, [September 25,
registration of title, petitioner cannot rely on her certificate of title in view of the evidence
2000], 395 PHIL 241-253)
respecting its genuineness. As correctly held by the Court of Appeals: Moreover, even if
intervention is proper, petitioner's reliance on her title is infirm. While she presented
numerous documents to prove its authenticity, however, they have been disputed by
On October 30, 1953, the spouses Jesus R. Franco and Natividad C.Torres, oppositors in this
Benjamin Flestado, Chief of the Inspection and Investigation Division of the Land
case, obtained from the petitioner Monte dePiedad & Savings Bank, a loan in the amount of
Registration Authority (LRA), in his Report showing that her T.C.T. No. T-320601 was
P15,000.00 secured byfour (4) parcels of land, three of which are located in San Francisco
issued without legal basis and that no document was on file with the Primary Entry
delMonte, Quezon City, covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos.11918 and 19919 of the
Book of the Registry of Deeds of Trece Martires City to support the issuance thereof. This
Land records of Quezon City, and anotherparcel of land located at Cavite City, covered by
Report concludes that petitioner's T.C.T. No. T-320601 is spurious. Such finding is
Transfer Certificate ofTitle No. T-3330 of the land records of Cavite City. From the date of
reinforced by the NBI Report dated June 20, 1996 showing that the
thegranting of the mortgage loan, the oppositors-borrower did not payone single amortization.
signature of Register of Deeds Antonia Cabuco appearing on petitioner's title is a forgery.
In view of this and after several demands,notice of foreclosure was given the mortgagors and
Consequently, Atty. Artemio Caña, Acting Register of Deedsof Cavite, filed a complaint with
published in thenewspapers. However, upon request of mortgagor Jesus R. Franco, itwas
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 89 at Bacoor for annulment of petitioner's title.
agreed to suspend the foreclosure proceedings and in viewthereof, he offered to cede his
3. CIVIL LAW; LAND REGISTRATION LAW; A TITLE ISSUED UNDER THE mortgaged properties in payment of themortgage obligation, which at the time reached the
TORRENS SYSTEM IS PRESUMED VALID AND THE BEST amount ofP20,242.07.In the deed of assignment, the mortgagors were grantedthe right to
PROOF OF OWNERSHIP OF A PIECE OFLAND DOES NOT APPLY WHERE THE redeem the properties within one (1) year, from July 13,1956. The period of redemption would
CERTIFICATE ITSELF IS FAULTY AS TO ITS PURPORTED ORIGIN. — The rule that a have expired on June 13,1957,but before that time specifically on June 5, 1957, the
title issued under the Torrens System is presumed valid and, hence, is the best mortgagorJesus R. Franco, redeemed the property situated at Cavite City uponpayment of
proof of ownership of a piece of land does not apply where the certificate itself is faulty as to P10,000.00 for which a deed of partial redemption wasexecuted. It was agreed, however, that
its purported origin. In this case, petitioner anchors her arguments on the premise that her title the period of redemption asregards the other property would in no way be affected. Upon
to the subject property is indefeasible because of the presumption that her certificate of title is request
authentic. However, this presumption is overcome by the evidence presented, of mortgagor Jesus Franco in writing on July 8, 1957 the mortgagorswere granted an extension
consisting of the LRA report dated May 24, 1996 that TCT No. T-320601 was issued without of six (6) months from and after July 8, 1957 within which to exercise their right of redemption
legal basis and the NBI report dated June 20, 1996 that the signature of Antonia Cabuco was with respect to the remaining parcels of land in Quezon City, said extension to expire onJanuary
a forgery. Although petitioner submitted documents purporting to show the 13, 1958. On January 13, 1958 the mortgagor Jesus Francoagain requested for a further
extension of one (1) month to redeem hisproperties, which was granted by the petitioner on present action for reformation; and that to determine the sufficiency ofa cause of action, the
condition that such extension would be the last,the same to expire on February 13, 1958.Fifteen facts alleged must be deemed admitted true, in view of the motion to dismiss.
days thereafter or on February 28, 1959, mortgagor Francoagain asked for another extension The lower court dismissed the complaint in an order finding the presentaction to be one of the
of onemonth. Because from the verybeginning his account has been handled very declaratory relief and barred by res judicata.
unsatisfactorily, the petitioner denied his request for further extension.
In view of the repeated failures of the assignors (spouses Franco) toredeem the properties, the Issue:WON the action is barred by the previous adjudication had in G.L.R.O
Monte de Piedad finally petitioned theCourt of Quezon City, in the G.L.R.O. Rec. No. 3563
case, to declare theownership of the assigned properties consolidated in it; to order Held:The Supreme Court held that a prior decision is conclusive in a second suit between the
thecancellation of thetitles in the name of the spouses; and the issuance of new certificates in same parties, on the same subject-matter, and on the same cause of action, not only as to what
the name of Monte. was expressly adjudged in the first suit but also as to all matter and defenses that could have
The spouses Franco opposed the petition on the ground that theirdeed of cession or assignment been properly set up in the prior action. The identity of parties and subject tmatter in the present
was valid as a pactum commissorium;but the court overruled their objection, and ordered their litigation and in the G.L.R.O. case is not disputed; and there is also identity of causes of action,
certificatescancelled and the issuance of new ones in the name of Monte de Piedad. since in both suits the issue is wheather the deed of assignment was in reality an equitable
Before the finality of decision, spouses Franco instituted the presentcase by a complaint mortgage merely, the Monte de Piedad would not have been entitled to have certificates of title
alleging substantially the loan, the mortgage, andthe cession(assignment), with right to transferred to its name. Therefore could have been properly interposed in the former case of
repurchase; that it was theintention of the parties, at least the plaintiffs were made consolidation of ownership; and not having been set up there, it is now barred. Appellant
tounderstand,that the said deed of assignment was only an extension or continuation of the Franco argue that they could not have raised the issue in the G.L.R.O. case, because a Land
mortgage of the above-mentioned properties; thaton 5 July 1957, the property at Caridad, Registration Court has no power to decide cases involving issues properly litigable in ordinary
Cavite City, was redeemed byplaintiffs for P10,000, so the property was released by defendant civil actions. Such is the general rule; but because in this jurisdiction it is the courts of first
in their favor, thus reducing the indebtedness by P10,000. instance that also function as courts of land registration, our jurisprudence recognizes
Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs made attempt to pay the balance of themortgage indebtedness, and exceptions to the rule, where the parties have acquiesced in submitting the issues for
secure the release ofthe remainingmortgaged properties at San Francisco del Monte, determination in the registration proceedings, and they are given full opportunity to present
butdefendant considered itself the owner of said properties, and wouldonly consider selling the their respective sides and submit their evidence.
properties not less than P20,000, althoughtheir indebtedness was reduced by payment of
P10,000; and that theproperties in San Francisco del Monte are valued at MANALO V MARIANO
approximatelyP25,000, and its improvements, consisting ofa two-story house of
strong materials, one kiosk, and one shed, is valued atapproximatelyP35,000, or a total of In 1952 brothers Demetrio and Mamerto Manalo partitioned a parcel of land into two equal
P60,000. parts. Mamerto died and his share was inherited by his son SeverinoManalo. In 1960
Plaintiffs prayed for judgment declaring the deed of assignment in fact not a deed of assignment Demetrio and his nephew Severino executed another deed of partition regarding three parcels
of properties with the right to repurchase,but an equitable mortgage, and that the same be of land which was duly recorded with the Register of Deeds of Rizal. On March 6, 1968
foreclosed in themanner provided by law, with costs, and further rrelief, just andequitable. Demetrio filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XVIII an application for
registration of the lands he acquired under the 1952 and 1960 partition. Notwithstanding an
On March 6, 1960, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the inconsistent opposition filed by Severino, the Court decreed the registration of the lots with a finding that
theories that the cause of action is barred by a priorjudgment,the same cause of action having the 1960 partition was valid. Before the termination of the registration case, the children of
been finally decided between the same parties in Land RegistrationTen days later, plaintiffs Severino filed a petition for the annulment of 1960 partition on the ground of fraud which
opposed this action on the ground that theCourt of First Instance, acting as a land registration was assigned to Branch X. Demetrio filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the ground,
court, because of itslimited jurisdiction, could not have passed upon the issues of the
among others, of res judicata which was denied. Hence, this petition for certiorari and determination in the land registration proceeding and they were given full opportunity to
prohibition. present their respective sides and their evidence, the land registration court would have
jurisdiction to pass upon that issue.
The Supreme Court, ruling that the decision in the land registration case which was a
proceeding in rem was conclusive upon the title to the land and binding on the whole world, 6. ID.; ID.; WHETHER A MATTER IS TO BE RESOLVED BY THE COURT OF FIRST
set aside the questioned orders of the lower court. INSTANCE IN ITS GENERAL OR LIMITED JURISDICTION IS A PROCEDURAL
QUESTION. — Whether a particular matter should be resolved by the Court of First Instance
in the exercise of its general jurisdiction or of its limited jurisdiction as a Special court
1. LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS; DECISIONS CONCLUSIVE UPON TITLE (probate, and registration, etc.) is in reality not a jurisdictional question. It is in essence a
TO THE LAND. — The decision in the land registration proceeding, which is a procedural question involving a mode of practice "which may be waived." Thus, although a
proceeding in rem, "is conclusive upon the title" to the land and is binding on the whole probate court may not decide a question of title, yet if the parties submit that question to the
world. (Sec. 49(a), Rules of Court). probate court and the interests of third parties are not impaired, the probate court may have
jurisdiction to decide that issue.
decision in the Land Registration case, as in the instant case, may also be regarded as a 7. ID.; ID.; ID.: RULE. — The rule is that a party cannot invoke the court's jurisdiction to
judgment in personam against him who presented evidence in support of his opposition secure affirmative relief against his opponent and, after failing to obtain such relief, repudiate
thereto particularly with reference to the supposed nullity of the questioned partition or question that same jurisdiction.
agreement, and who asked that the contested lots be registered in his name.
registration case the oppositor has presented evidence in support of his opposition particularly heirs may bring an action to impugn a simulated alienation of property with intent to deprive
with the supposed nullity of the partition is question asking that the contested lots be them of their legitime. Thus, a person who is supposed to have been defrauded and is still
registered in his name and the lower court ruled against his contentions, said case alive should bring the action to annul the contract wherein he was allegedly defrauded.
constitutes res judicata upon a subsequent civil case for the annulment of the questioned
partition since all the elements required therefor are present, namely: (a) a final judgment, (b)
a court with jurisdiction over the res and the parties, (c) a judgment on the merits, and (d)
questioned partition agreement would be an unwarranted collateral on the judgment in the
identify of parties, subject-matter and cause of action.
land registration case declaring the validity of said partition which was rendered by another
4. COURTS; COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE ARE COURTS OF GENERAL branch of the lower court. Such an action would reopen the issue as to the validity of the
JURISDICTION. — The Court of First Instance is a court of "general original jurisdiction" partition agreement, an issue which was already resolved and set at rest in the land
"invested with power to take cognizance of all kinds of cases": civil cases, criminal cases, registration case. The rule of non quieta movere applies.
special proceedings, land registration, guardianship, naturalization, admiralty and insolvency
cases (Sec. 39, Judiciary Law).
intimate connection between two cases, and the parties and subject-matter on the controversy
5. ID.; ID.; ISSUES LITIGABLE IN ORDINARY CIVIL ACTION MAY NOT BE are the same and the issue raised in the latter case determined in the previous case, the
RESOLVED; EXCEPTION. — Generally, an issue property litigable in an ordinary civil principle of res judicata is applicable (Martinez vs. Notor, 85 Phil. 82; Vda. de Ursua vs.
action under the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance should not be resolved in a Pelayo, 107 Phil. 662).
land registration proceeding. But since in this jurisdiction the Court of First Instance also
functions as a land registration court, if the parties acquiesced in submitting that issue for
jurisdiction to annul a judgment of a branch of the Court of First Instance belongs solely to To start with, Respondent Pedro Pilapil argues that the marriage was void because the parties
that branch. Another branch, even if it belongs to the same judicial district, that attempts to had no marriage license. This argument is misplaced, because it has been established that Dr.
annul the judgment of another branch, exceeds its jurisdiction or acts with gave abuse of Jacob and petitioner lived together as husband and wife for at least five years.
discretion. Certiorari and prohibition would lie to prevent one branch of a Court of First The second issue regarding adoption states that the burden of proof in establishing adoption is
Instance from nullifying the prior judgment rendered by co-equal and coordinate branch. upon the person claiming such relationship. This Respondent Pilapil failed to do. Moreover,
the evidence presented by petitioner shows that the alleged adoption is a sham.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED and the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals
is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The marriage between Petitioner Tomasa Vda. de Jacob and
WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION; EXCEPTION. — Generally certiorari is not available to
the deceased Alfredo E. Jacob is hereby recognized and declared VALID and the claimed
annul an order denying a motion to dismiss issued by a Court of First Instance within its
adoption of Respondent Pedro Pilapil is DECLARED NONEXISTENT.
jurisdiction. Appeal in due time is the remedy to review the validity of that order. But, where,
as in this case, a patent gave abuse of discretion was committed in not dismissing a complaint
on the ground of prior judgment (cosa juzgada) or where "the broader interests of justice or
FACTS:Two (2) adjacent parcels of land located in Almanza, Las Piñas, Metro Manila are
public require an exception" and the petitioner's contention appears to be clearly tenable, the
covered by three (3) distinct sets of Torrens titles, one of which is TCT No. 20408 issued in
writ of certiorari may be granted to set aside an interlocutory order.
the name of Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc., pursuant to Decree No. N-63394 in LRC Cases Nos.
HEIRS OF JACOB V CA 657, 758 and 976, GLRO Record Nos. N-29882, N-33721 and N-43516, respectively. In 1977,
Facts:Plaintiff-appellant [petitioner herein] claimed to be the surviving spouse of deceased Dr. Morris Carpo filed a complaint for "declaration of nullity of Decree No. N-63394 and TCT No.
Alfredo E. Jacob and was appointed Special Administratix for the various estates of the 20408." The complaint alleged that TCT No. 20408 as well as OCT No. 1609 from which it
deceased by virtue of a reconstructed Marriage Contract between herself and the deceased. was derived, is a nullity as the CFI of Rizal, Branch VI, was not sitting as a land registration
Defendant-appellee on the other hand, claimed to be the legally-adopted son of Alfredo. In court, but as a court of ordinary jurisdiction. During the pendency of this case, Petitioners filed
support of his claim, he presented an Order dated 18 July 1961 issued by then Presiding Judge a manifestation alleging that the case at bar is closely connected with G.R. No. L-46953, Jose
Jose L. Moya, CFI, Camarines Sur, granting the petition for adoption filed by deceased Alfredo N. Mayuga et. al. v. The Court of Appeals, Macondray Farms, Inc., Realty Sales Enterprise,
in favor of Pedro Pilapil. inc., et. al. and moved for consolidation of the two cases involving as they do the same property.
During the proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the deceased Alfredo in Case No. T- By Resolution of August 29, 1984, this Court denied the motion for consolidation.
46 (entitled Tomasa vda. de Jacob v. Jose Centenera, et al) herein defendant-appellee Pedro
sought to intervene therein claiming his share of the deceased’s estate as Alfredos adopted son ISSUE:WON the case at hand and G.R. No. L-46953 should be consolidated?
and as his sole surviving heir. Pedro questioned the validity of the marriage between appellant
Tomasa and his adoptive father Alfredo. RULING:NO, they should not be consolidated. The Supreme Court emphasized that
Appellant Tomasa opposed the Motion for Intervention and filed a complaint for injunction the action filed by Carpo against Realty is in the nature of an action to remove clouds from title
with damages (Civil Case No. T-83) questioning appellees claim as the legal heir of Alfredo. to real property. By asserting its own title to the property in question and asking that Carpo's
title be declared null and void instead, and by filing the third-party complaint against QCDFC,
Issue/s:Whether the marriage between the plaintiff Tomasa Vda. De Jacob and deceased Realty was similarly asking the court to remove clouds from its own title. Actions of such
Alfredo E. Jacob was valid. nature are governed by Articles 476 to 481, Quieting of Title of the Civil Code and Rule 64,
Whether defendant Pedro Pilapil is the legally adopted son of Alfredo E. Jacob. Declaratory Relief and Similar Remedies of the Rules of Court.
Suits to quiet title are not technically suitsin rem, nor are they, strictly speaking,
Held: The Petition is meritorious. Petitioners marriage is valid, but respondents adoption has in personam, but being against the person in respect of the res, these proceedings are
not been sufficiently established.
characterized as quasi in rem. (McDaniel v. McElvy, 108 So. 820 [1926].) The judgment in Plaintiff, opposing this pleading, alleged that defendant’s petition is not sufficient in form to
such proceedings is conclusive only between the parties. (Sandejas v. Robles, 81 Phil. 421 justify the issuance of an order requiring to answer because he relied only upon an alleged
[1948]). The ruling in this case is therefore without any prejudice to this Court's final purchase of the property in question from one E. Alquiros as his defense, whereas plaintiff is
determination of G.R. No. L-46953 – a case involving the validity of the compromise indubitably the registered owner of the property in question of virtue of a Torrens title issued
agreement between the parties in this case in its name; that even assuming the truth of defendant’s allegation that he purchased the
property in question from E. Alquiros, such fact could not offset plaintiff’s right to recover
JM TUASON & CO., INC. V VIBAT possession of the property as it is the registered and indefeasible owner thereof, and that the
Facts: On January 7, 1959, a plenary action (publiciana) for ejectment and collection of rentals affidavits executed by defendant and Calon are purely self-serving, and should not be
was filed by plaintiff in the Court of First Instance of Rizal against appellant t on the basis of countenanced by this Court; and prayed for the summary dismissal of the petition.
plaintiff’s registered title to a parcel of land known as the Santa Mesa Heights Subdivision
situated at Quezon City. The complaint avers that on June 1950 the defendant, without Held: We find no error in the denial on the petition for relief, because the record shows that
plaintiff’s consent, through force unlawfully entered into the possession of a portion of 500 appellant did not act with due diligence, and that he has no meritorious defense. The court deny
square meters within said parcel of land of the plaintiff situated at Bo. North Tatalon, Quezon the petition, ‘’for the same has failed to comply with mandatory requirements laid down by the
City, and constructed his house thereon. provision of Rule 38 of the Rules of Court of Appeals, which certified the case to this court on
As a consequence of the acts of usurpation committed by the defendant, the plaintiff suffered the ground that only question of law are involved.
damages at the rate of P150 monthly representing the fair rental value of its premises, and Even granting that Candido Calon was not qualified to accept service of summons, the fact is
prayed that defendant be adjudged to be without any valid right of possession and title in admitted by him and by the appellant that Calon did turn over the summons to this appellant
plaintiff’s premises and that defendant and all person claiming under him be ordered to vacate only "several days" after May 10, 1959. Had appellant Vibat acted with due diligence, and
the same and remove his house and other construction thereon, and to pay P150 a month from made prompt inquiries, he would have discovered that he had been declared in default on May
the date of usurpation until restoration of possession, with costs. 16, 1959, and could have asked for its lifting well before the rendition of the judgment of the
Summons appears served on April 13, 1959 upon the defendant, through one Candido Calon. merits on June 3, 1959.
The Court of First Instance of Rizal, on May 16, 1959, declared defendant in default for failure As to the alleged defense that appellant Vibat had bought the land occupied by him from
to file any responsive pleading within the reglementary period, and as a consequence, plaintiff Eustaquio Alquiros, who, in turn, purchased it from Julian de la Cruz, the same plainly cannot
was allowed to present his evidence in support of the complaint. Thereafter, upon presentation hold against the Torrens title admittedly issued in favor of plaintiff J. M. Tuazon & Co., Inc.,
of plaintiff’s evidence, finding the allegations of the complaint sufficiently established, the since the Torrens title concludes all controversy over ownership of the land covered by the final
court rendered judgment in favor of plaintiff. decree of registration, nor can title by adverse possession be acquired against the registered
On June 23,1959, defendant (now appellant) filed a petition for relief from his judgment of the owner (Act 496, section 46). Appellant’s remedy, if any, would only lie against his immediate
trial court, alleging that his failure to file a responsive pleading was due to no fault, or vendor, on the latter’s warranty against eviction.
negligence of his; that Candido Calon, the person who, according to the Sheriff’s return, WHEREFORE, the denial of the petition for relief is hereby affirmed, with costs against
received the copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint, was not, and never has been, appellant Danny Vibat
residing at 39 B.M.A. Avenue, Tatalon, Quezon City, herein defendant’s residence. At that
time Calon was only a visitor who happened to be in the yard of his residence when the Deputy AGNE V DIRECTOR OF LANDS
Sheriff persuaded him to receive said summons. Defendant contends that he and his family FACTS:The land subject matter of this case was originally covered by Free Patent No. 23263
were in Calamba, Laguna issued on April 17, 1937 in the name of Herminigildo Agpoon. On May 21, 1937, pursuant to
On May 10, 1959, Calon delivered to him the copy of the summons with a copy of the the said patent, the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan issued to said Herminigildo Agpoon
complaint. It was only on June 5, 1959 that he learned that he was declared in default; and that Original Certificate of Title No. 2370. Presentacion Agpoon Gascon inherited the said parcel
he has good and valid defenses to the plaintiff’s complaint it given a chance to be heard. of land upon the death of her father, Herminigildo, and was issued Transfer Certificate of Title
No. 32209 on April 6,1960. Respondent Presentacion declared the said land for taxation hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and judgment is hereby rendered ORDERING private
purposes in her name under Tax Declaration No. 11506 and taxes were paid thereon in her respondents to reconvey the aforesaid parcel of land to petitioners.
On April 13, 1971, private respondent spouses (Presentacion and Joaquin Gascon) filed Civil RATIO DECIDENDI:
Case No. U-2286 in the then Court of First Instance of Pangasinan for recovery of possession 1. Whether or not the land in dispute is a private land.
and damages against petitioners. Their complaint states that they are the registered owners Yes.
under the aforesaid Transfer Certificate of Title No. 32209 of the parcel of land situated in The claim of ownership of petitioners is based on the old Civil Code, the law then in force,
Barrio Bantog, Asingan, Pangasinan which is now in the possession of petitioners; that during which provides:
the Japanese occupation, petitioners, taking advantage of the abnormal conditions then The beds of rivers which remain abandoned because the course of the water has naturally
obtaining, took possession of said land by means of fraud, stealth, strategy and intimidation; changed belong to the owners of the riparian lands throughout their respective lengths. If the
that private respondents repeatedly demanded the surrender of the physical possession of said abandoned bed divided estates belonging to different owners, the new dividing line shall run at
property but the latter refused. equal distance therefrom.
Petitioners (Agne et. al) alleged that the land in question was formerly a part of the river bed It is thus clear under this provision that once the river bed has been abandoned, the riparian
of the Agno-Chico River; that in the year 1920, a big flood occurred which caused the said owners become the owners of the abandoned bed to the extent provided by this article. The
river to change its course and abandon its original bed; that by virtue of the provisions of Article acquisition of ownership is automatic. There need be no act on the part of the riparian owners
370 of the Spanish Civil Code which was then the law in force, petitioners, by operation of to subject the accession to their ownership, as it is subject thereto ipso jure from the moment
law, became the owners by accession or accretion of the respective aliquot parts of said river the mode of acquisition becomes evident, without the need of any formal act of acquisition.
bed bordering their properties; that since 1920, they and their predecessors in interest occupied Such abandoned river bed had fallen to the private ownership of the owner of the riparian land
and exercised dominion openly and adversely over said portion of the abandoned river bed in even without any formal act of his will and any unauthorized occupant thereof will be
question abutting their respective riparian lands continuously up to the present to the exclusion considered as a trespasser. The right in re to the principal is likewise a right in re to the
of all other persons, particularly Herminigildo Agpoon; that they have introduced accessory, as it is a mode of acquisition provided by law, as the result of the right of accretion.
improvements thereon by constructing irrigation canals and planting trees and agricultural Since the accessory follows the nature of the principal, there need not be any tendency to the
crops thereon and converted the land into a productive area. thing or manifestation of the purpose to subject it to our ownership, as it is subject thereto ipso
On March 6, 1974, petitioners filed a complaint against the respondents Director of Lands and jure from the moment the mode of acquisition becomes evident.
spouses Agpoon with the former Court of First Instance of Pangasinan for annulment of title, 2. Whether or not Private lands can be subject of free patent. No
reconveyance of and/or action to clear title to a parcel of land. According to them, the said 3. Whether or not titles issued in pursuant thereto are valid. No
patent and subsequent titles issued are null and void since the said land, an abandoned river The land in question was and is of private ownership and, therefore, beyond the jurisdiction of
bed, is of private ownership and, therefore, cannot be the subject of a public land grant. the Director of Lands. The free patent and subsequent title issued pursuant thereto are null and
void. The indefeasibility and imprescriptibility of a Torrens title issued pursuant to a patent
ISSUES: may be invoked only when the land involved originally formed part of the public domain. If it
1. Whether or not the land in dispute is a private land before the issuance of title under was a private land, the patent and certificate of title issued upon the patent are a nullity.
Free Patent. Although a period of one year has already expired from the time a certificate of title was issued
2. Whether or not, private lands can be subject of free patent pursuant to a public grant, said title does not become incontrovertible but is null and void if the
3. Whether or not, the titles issued pursuant thereto are valid. property covered thereby is originally of private ownership, and an action to annul the same
does not prescribe. Moreover, since herein petitioners are in possession of the land in dispute,
DECISION:WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of respondent court in its AC-G.R. CV No. an action to quiet title is imprescriptible. Their action for reconveyance which, in effect, seeks
60388-R and the questioned order of dismissal of the trial court in its Civil Case No. 2649 are to quiet title to property in one's possession is imprescriptible. Their undisturbed possession for
a number of years gave them a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of equity to determine However, sometime in November 1981 respondent Felisa Jacob discovered that Florencio
the nature of the adverse claims of a third party and the effect on her title. Listana, son of Potenciana Maramba, acquired from the Bureau of Lands in Legazpi City Free
Under the provisions of Act No. 2874 pursuant to which the title of private respondents' Patent Certificate of Title No. VH-23536 dated 28 August 1980 covering the entire 14,284-
predecessor in interest was issued, the President of the Philippines or his alter ego, the Director square meter area of Lot 1874 which included the portion adjudicated to Felisa Jacob in 1966.
of Lands, has no authority to grant a free patent for land that has ceased to be a public land and On March 17, 1992, respondent, Felisa Jacob through her attorney-in-fact Jaime Llaguno filed
has passed to private ownership, and a title so issued is null and void. 30 The nullity arises, not a complaint against petitioner Alejandro Millena for annulment of title with preliminary
from the fraud or deceit, but from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the injunction and damages before the RTC of Legazpi City which she subsequently amended on
Bureau of Lands. 31 The jurisdiction of the Director of Lands is limited only to public lands March 19, 1992 by including a claim for reconveyance with preliminary injunction and
and does not cover lands privately owned. 32 The purpose of the Legislature in adopting the damages. She prayed for judgment (a) declaring her the lawful and absolute owner of the one-
former Public Land Act, Act No. 2874, was and is to limit its application to lands of the public fourth (1/4) northern portion of Lot 1874; (b) ordering Alejandro Millena to reconvey the
domain, and lands held in private ownership are not included therein and are not affected in aforesaid portion of Lot 1874 to her; (c) enjoining the construction of a house on said lot by
any manner whatsoever thereby. Land held in freehold or fee title, or of private ownership, Alejandro Millena and, after trial, making the injunction permanent; and, (d) ordering
constitute no part of the public domain and cannot possibly come within the purview of said Alejandro Millena to pay damages in the amount of P50,000.00.
Act No. 2874, inasmuch as the "subject" of such freehold or private land is not embraced in On October 3, 1994 Judge Wenceslao R. Villanueva Jr. of the RTC of Legazpi City, Br. 3,
any manner in the title of the Act 33 and the same are excluded from the provisions or text rendered a decision ordering petitioner Alejandro Millena to reconvey by proper document the
thereof. portion of 3,934 square meters in question from Lot 1874 to respondent Felisa Jacob and
awarded to her P10,000.00 for attorneys fees.
MILLENA V CA Petitioner Alejandro Millena appealed to the Court of Appeals which on August 12, 1996
Facts: The involves a 3,934-square meter parcel of land in far-flung Bgy. Balinad, Daraga, affirmed the trial court but deleted the award of P10,000.00 for attorneys fees.[6] After the
Albay. It was originally a part of Lot 1874, a 14,284-square meter land that was subject of a appellate court denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration, he filed with this Court a Petition
cadastral proceeding. Among the claimants in the cadastral case were Gregoria Listana and her for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
sister-in-law Potenciana Maramba.
Geogoria Listana was at that time seriously ill of tuberculosis. She executed a power of attorney Issue: Whether prescription has now barred the action for reconveyance
in favor of her cousin Antonio Lipato which authorized the attorney-in-fact to sell the portion An action for reconveyance can indeed be barred by prescription. When an action for
of Lot 1874 belonging to his principal. On 23 October 1926 Antonio Lipato in his capacity as reconveyance is based on fraud, it must be filed within four (4) years from discovery of the
attorney-in-fact sold the portion of Gregoria Listana to Gaudencio Jacob. fraud, and such discovery is deemed to have taken place from the issuance of the original
When Potenciana Maramba learned about Gaudencio's entering the land and harvesting the certificate of title.[7] On the other hand, an action for reconveyance based on an implied or
coconuts she confronted him and filed an ejectment case against Gaudencio Jacob before the constructive trust prescribes in ten (10) years from the date of the issuance of the original
Justice of the Peace in Legazpi, Albay. The court ruled that Gaudencio entered the land in certificate of title or transfer certificate of title. For the rule is that the registration of an
question without force and intimidation since he had with him a document of sale over the land instrument in the Office of the Register of Deeds constitutes constructive notice to the whole
which authorized him to take possession thereof. The case was dismissed. world and therefore the discovery of the fraud is deemed to have taken place at the time of
Gaudencio Jacob continued with his actual and peaceful possession of the land for almost forty registration.[8]
(40) years until 4 April 1966, when he and his children executed an extrajudicial settlement of But, nonetheless, it must be stressed that prescription cannot be invoked in an action for
the estate of his deceased wife Brigida Jacob. The settlement adjudicated to respondent Felisa reconveyance when the plaintiff is in possession of the land to be reconveyed.[9] In view of
Jacob, daughter of Gaudencio Jacob. The respondent, Felisa Jacob, had the land annually this, can it be said that Felisa Jacob was in possession of the contested portion of Lot 1874?
declared as her property and paid the corresponding real property taxes. Article 523 of the Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment
of a right. In order to possess, one must first have control of the thing and, second, a deliberate HELD: No, there is none. The Sheriff’s report did not fully explain why he did a substituted
intention to possess it. These are the elements of possession. service. Particularly, sheriff did not explain why personal service was not done. Substituted
The records of the case show that respondent Felisa Jacob had exercised dominion over the service can only be effected if personal service, under certain circumstances, cannot be
contested parcel of land. Felisa met the requisite elements of possession. She exercised control effected. Service of summons upon the defendant is essential for the court to acquire
over the parcel of land in litigation through her caretaker, her nephew, Jaime Llaguno. jurisdiction over his person. The modes of service should be strictly followed in order that the
Moreover, her declaration that the land was her property and the payment of real property taxes court may acquire jurisdiction over the person. Thus, it is only when a defendant cannot be
manifested clearly that she was in possession of the land. Consequently, petitioner may not served personally “within a reasonable time” that substituted service may be made.
validly invoke prescription as defense against respondent Feliza Jacob. Another glaring defect in the service of summons is that assuming that substituted service can
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated be effected, still the service of summons in this case is invalid because said service was upon
12 August 1996 as well as its Resolution of 6 December 1996 denying petitioner Alejandro Elizondo who testified in court that though he lives in the same compound as Java, he does not
Millena's motion for reconsideration is AFFIRMED. Consequently, petitioner is ORDERED reside in the same dwelling as Java (they live in different houses) hence, this is a violation to
to reconvey within thirty (30) days from the finality of this Decision that northern portion in the strict requirements of the Rules of Court.
question of Lot 1874 consisting of 3,934 square meters as shown in the location map (Exhs. As a result, the judgment of the trial court, as well as the public auction and the subsequent
"L" and "L-1") in favor of private respondent Felisa Jacob, represented herein by her attorney- transfers of the properties involved are all void. The trial court never acquired jurisdiction over
in-fact Jaime Llaguno, with costs against petitioner. Java.

In 1965, Luneta Motor Company filed an action for recovery of a jeep and for recovery of sum FACTS:Diego Palomo is the owner of 15 parcels of land covered by Executive Order No. 40.
of money against Lucila Java. Java did not appear in court nor did she file responsive pleadings On 1916, he ordered the registration of these lands and donated the same to his heirs, Ignacio
despite notice hence she was declared in default. As a result, LMC won the case and eventually and Carmen Palomo two months before his death in April 1937.
a writ of execution was issued in their favor. Pursuant to said writ certain properties of Java Claiming that the aforesaid original certificates of title were lost during the Japanese
were sold in a public auction including a parcel of land which LMC was able to buy in said occupation, Ignacio Palomo filed a petition for reconstitution with the Court of First Instance
action. LMC then sold said parcel of land to spouses Miranda. of Albay on May 1970. The Register of Deeds of Albay issued Transfer Certificates of Title
In 1977, Java filed an action to annul the previous judgment, the auction proceedings, and the Nos. 3911, 3912, 3913 and 3914 sometime in October 1953. Sometime in July 1954 President
subsequent transfers of the auctioned property. Java alleged that the reason why she did not Ramon Magsaysay issued Proclamation No. 47 converting the area embraced by Executive
appear in court and why she never filed an ANSWER was because she never received any Order No. 40 into the "Tiwi Hot Spring National Park," under the control, management,
summons from the trial court. protection and administration of the defunct Commission of Parks and Wildlife, now a division
of the Bureau of Forest Development. The area was never released as alienable and disposable
The Court Sheriff however testified that he handed a copies of the summons and the complaint portion of the public domain and, therefore, is neither susceptible to disposition under the
to a certain Ernesto Elizondo (son in law of Java) in the compound where Java resides; that provisions of the Public Land Law nor registerable under the Land Registration Act. The
said service was by way of substituted service. Palomos, however, continued in possession of the property, paid real estate taxes thereon and
The trial court ruled that there is a proper service of summons. The Court of Appeals however introduced improvements by planting rice, bananas, pandan and coconuts. On April 8, 1971,
reversed the judgment of the trial court. petitioner Carmen de Buenaventura and spouses Ignacio Palomo and Trinidad Pascual
mortgaged the parcels of land to guarantee a loan of P200,000 from the Bank of the Philippine
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a valid service of summons. Islands.

ISSUE:Whether or not forest land may be owned by private persons.

Banga. They claimed to have inherited the above-mentioned portion from their late father,
HELD:The adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title in confirmation of Eufrosino M. Alba, who purchased the same from Dionisia Regado in 1918. Hence, they have
imperfect title cases applies only to alienable lands of the public domain. It is in the law been in possession continuously, openly and peacefully under claim of ownership of the above-
governing natural resources that forest land cannot be owned by private persons. It is not mentioned portion for not less 70 years.
registerable and possession thereof, no matter how lengthy, cannot convert it into private The trial court finds that Dr. Jose Lachica is the absolute owner in fee simple of the land
property, unless such lands are reclassified and considered disposable and alienable. There is described in his application for its original registration in his name. The land contains an area
no question that the lots here forming part of the forest zone were not alienable lands of the of 4,845 square meters, more or less, situated in Banga, Aklan, and Bounded on the NE., along
public domain. As to the forfeiture of improvements introduced by petitioners, the fact that the line 1-2, by property of Apolonia Rimate; on the SE., along line 2-3, by National road; on the
government failed to oppose the registration of the lots in question is no justification for SW., along line 3-4, by property of the Mpl. Government of Banga (Public Market); and on the
petitioners to plead good faith in introducing improvements on the lots. NW., along line 4-1, by property of the Municipal Government of Banga (Public Market).
Beginning at a point marked 1 on plan, being N. 45 deg. 02' E., 423.38 m. from B.L.L.M. 1,
ALBA VDA. DE RAZ V CA Mp. of Banga, Aklan;
Facts:Applicant Jose Lachica filed this application for title to land on April 28, 1958 with the thence, S. 33 deg. 46' E., 87.66 m. to point "2"
claim that the land applied for was purchased by him and his wife, Adela Raz from one Eulalio thence, S. 56 deg. 42' W., 63.81 m. to point "3"
Raz. The documents attached to the application are: technical description, surveyor's thence, N. 37 deg. 22' W., 59.26 m. to point "4"
certificate, certification by the chief deputy assessor of Aklan and the blue print of Psu-161277. thence, N. 33 deg. 42' E., 73.08 m. to the point of
The land applied for is residential, situated in the Poblacion of Banga, Aklan, with an area of beginning, . . . All points referred to are indicated on the plan and are marked on the
4,845 square meters, bounded on the northeast by the property of the Municipality of Banga ground by P.L.S. Cyl. Conc. Mons. Bearings true date of the survey, January 25, 1957,
The initial hearing was held on October 31, 1958. An order of general default was issued but and that of the approval, October 3, 1957.
those who presented their opposition, namely, Octabela Alba Vda. De Raz, Manuel and Susana The private respondent/applicant requested the Municipal Assessor of Banga to issue a revised
Braulio, Jose Rago, representing Apolonia Rebeco, the Director of Lands and the Municipality tax declaration covering 4,845 square meters on the bare claim that "the area has been
of Banga represented by the Provincial Fiscal, were given thirty (30) days to file their written decreased" to only 620 square meters.
Manuel C. Braulio and Susana P. Braulio filed their opposition on October 31, 1958. They Issue:whether or not the private respondent/applicant is entitled to the confirmation of his
opposed the registration of the southeastern portion of the 240 square meters of the land applied ownership in fee simple for the 4, 845 square meter parcel of land he applied for.
for alleging that they are the owners in fee simple and possessors of said portion and all the
improvements thereon for not less than 70 years together with their predecessor-in-interest Held:The trial court and the Court of Appeals confirmed private respondent/applicant's title to
deriving their title by purchase from the original owners. the land on the basis of the findings that: 1.] the private respondent/applicant purchased the
Jose Rago filed his opposition on November 29, 1958 as the duly constituted attorney-in-fact land from Faustino Martirez; 2.] the subject land is covered by Tax Declaration No. 14181; 3.]
of Apolonia Rebeco although no special power of attorney was attached. He alleged that his the private respondent/applicant has paid the realty taxes on the land from 1945 up to the filing
principal is the owner by right of succession and is in the possession of said portion with all its of his application in 1958; 4.] the private respondent/applicant has been in actual, open and
improvements for more than 80 years together with his predecessor-in-interest, continuously, continuous possession of the subject land in the concept of owner since 1945, and 5.] the private
peacefully and openly under claim of ownership. respondent/applicant has acquired the land by prescription.
Rodolfo Alba, Lourdes Alba, represented by their attorney-in-fact, Octabela Alba Vda. de Raz, private respondent that the acquired land in question from three (3) sources, namely: a.] A
alleged that they are the co-owners of a portion of the land applied for with an area of 2,262 Deed of Sale dated August 13, 1941 allegedly executed by Faustino Martirez covering 840
square meters bounded on the north by Januario Masigon, Nicolas Realtor, Agustina Rebeldia square meters; b] 300 square meters allegedly purchased from private respondent's father-in-
and Apolonia Rebeco, on the south by Eulalio Raz and on the west by the public market of
law Eulalio Raz, and c.] 3,725 square meters private respondent allegedly bought in 1940 from "alienable" are further sub-classified into a.] Agricultural; b.] Residential, commercial,
Eugrocino Alba. industrial or for similar productive purposes; c.] Educational, charitable or other similar
In Section 48 of Commonwealth Act 141, as amended by RA Nos. 1942 and 6236, 48 which purposes, and d.] Reservations for town sites and for public and quasi-public purposes. 54
states that:
Sec. 48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying lands of the public Rule:
domain or claiming to own any such lands or an interest therein, but whose titles have not been The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Kalibo, Aklan, Branch 1 dated August 18, 1992 in
perfected or completed, may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land Land Registration Case No. K-101, LRC Record No. K-15104 is hereby MODIFIED as
is located for confirmation of their claim and issuance of a certificate of title therefor, under follows:
the Land Registration Act, to wit: 1.] The 620 square meter portion on which private respondent Jose N. Lachica's house is
(a) Those who prior to the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States have applied situated, clearly delineating its metes and bounds, is hereby ORDERED segregated from the
for the purchase, composition or other form of grant of lands of the public domain under the parcel of land described in Psu-161277 situated in the Poblacion of the Municipality of Banga,
laws and royal decrees then in force and have instituted and prosecuted the proceedings in Province of Aklan, Philippines with an area of 4,484 square meters, to be registered and
connection therewith, but have with or without default upon their part, or for any other cause, confirmed in the name of private respondent;
not received title therefor, if such applicants or grantees and their heirs have occupied and 2.] A ten (10) meter road width along the National road mentioned in the application be
cultivated said lands continuously since the filing of their applications. 49 segregated for future road widening programs upon the payment of just compensation to be
(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest have been in open, annotated at the back of the title.
continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the 3.] Insofar as the ownership of the remainder of the subject land is concerned, the case is hereby
public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership, for at least thirty years immediately REMANDED to the court of origin for the reception of further evidence for the petitioners to
preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by war establish the other requisites for the confirmation of title and registration in their names of the
or force majeure. These shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions areas they respectively claim.
essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions
of this chapter. 50 GORDULA V CA
(c) Members of the national cultural minorities who by themselves or through their FACTS: Petitioner Gordula filed an application for a free patent over a land, which he had been
predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and in possession since 1949, in January, 1973. The Free patent was issued on January 01, 1974.
occupation of lands of the public domain suitable to agriculture, whether disposable or not, The subject land in 1973 was still part of the Caliraya- Lumot River Forest reserve and was no
under a bona fide claim of ownership for at least 30 years shall be entitled to the rights granted longer open to private ownership as it has been classified as public forest reserve for the public
in subsection (b) hereof. 51 good. Thereafter, on November 18, 1987, the REPUBLIC, thru the NAPOCOR, filed an action
A circumspect scrutiny of the assailed Decision readily shows that in the affirming the ruling for annulment of petitioner’s Free Patent, cancellation of titles and The CA also held that the
of the trial court, the Court of Appeals relied on the provisions of Section 19 of Act 496 52 in petitioners could not claim ownership by acquisitive prescription since as of 1969; Gordula had
relation to the Civil Code's provision's on prescription on the assumption that the subject land been in possession of the property for only 25 years. The period of Gordula’s occupancy after
is private land. Therein lies the flaw in the appellate court's postulate. The application for 1969 should not be tacked to the period from 1944 since by then the property was not
registration of private respondent is for judicial confirmation of an imperfect title considering susceptible of occupancy, disposition, conveyance or alienation.
that the land is presumed under the Regalian Doctrine to be part of the public domain.
Public lands are broadly classified into 1.] Alienable or disposable lands; and, 2.] Inalienable HELD: Forest lands/reserves are incapable of private appropriation and possession thereof
or non-disposable public lands. Non-disposable public lands or those not susceptible of private however long can not convert them into private properties. (Director of Lands vs. CA). This
appropriation include a.] Timber lands; and, b.] Mineral lands. 53 For purposes of ruling is premised on the Regalian doctrine enshrined in the ’35,’73 and ‘87Constitutions.
administration and disposition, the lands of the public domain classified as "disposable" or Further, no public land can be acquired by private persons without any grant, express or implied
from the government; it is indispensable that there be a showing of a title from the State. such action even though was not a party to the action in which the decision sought to be
Gordula did not acquire title to the said land prior to its reservation under Proc. # 573. He filed annulled was rendered. We shall deal with these questions in inverse order.
his application 3 years after said Proclamation was issued in 1969. At that time, the land, as
part of the Caliraya- Lumot River Forest Reserve, was no longer open to private ownership as RULING:First, is the question whether petitioner has personality to bring the action below. To
it has been classified as “public forest reserve for public good.” begin with, an action to recover a parcel of land is in personam. As such, it is binding only
between the parties thereto, as this Court explained in Ching v. Court of Appeals , viz: An
REPUBLIC V CA 315 SCRA 600 action to redeem, or to recover title to or possession of, real property is not anaction in rem or
FACTS: The parcel of land that is presently the subject of the dispute in the instant case Lot 3 an action against thewhole world, like a land registration proceeding or the probate of a will; it
Portion forms part of the above-mentioned parcel of land declared by this Honorable Court as is an action in personam, so much so that a judgment therein is binding only upon the parties
belonging to the public domain, classified/zonified land available for fishpond development. properly impleaded and duly heard or given an opportunity to beheard. Actions in personam
This lot has been leased to Mr. Porfirio Morado by the Republic of the Philippines, represented and actionsin rem differ in that the former aredirected against specific persons and seek
by the Secretary of Agriculture, for a period of 25 years, or up to December 31, 2013, under personal judgments, while the latter are directed against the thing or property or status of a
Fishpond Lease Agreement. On July 6, 1988, however, the late Zenaida Bustria [daughter of person and seek judgments with respect thereto as against the whole world. An action to recover
Isidro Bustria] filed acomplaint against Porfirio Morado in theRegional Trial Court of a parcel of land is a real action but it is an action in personam, for it binds a particular individual
Alaminos, Pangasinan for ownership and possession over the lot in question. Herein petitioner, only although it concerns the right to a tangible thing. The appellate court, holding that the
the Republic of the Philippines, was not made a party to that suit. In her complaint, Zenaida proceedings before the trial court were in personam, ruled that since petitioner was nota party
Bustria claimed absolute ownership and quiet and peaceful possession of several lots under to Civil Case No. A-1759, it is not areal party-in-interest and, therefore, has no personality to
PSU-155696surveyed in the name of her father, Isidro Bustria. She further asserted that said bring the action for annulmentof the judgment rendered in that case. The appellate court is in
Porfirio Morado maliciously applied for a fishpond permit with the Bureau of Fisheries and error. In Islamic Da’wah Council of the Phils. v. Court of Appeals, this Court held that a party
Aquatic Resources over Lot 3 thereof (the subject lot),well-knowing that said lot had always claiming ownership of a parcel of land which is the subject of foreclosure proceedings has a
been occupied, possessed and worked by her and her predecessors-in-interest. sufficient interest to bring an action for annulment of the judgment rendered in theforeclosure
Porfirio Morado denied the allegations in the complaint, claiming that the lot in question is part proceedings even though it was not a party in such proceedings. It was held: [A] person need
of the public domain which he developed and converted into a fishpond. Due, however, to not be a party to the judgment sought to be annulled. What is essential is that he can prove his
Porfirio Morado’s and his allegation that the judgment was obtained by the use of fraud and collusion and he would be
counsel’s failure to appear at the pre-trial and subsequent court hearings, the trial court adversely affected thereby.
subsequently declared Porfirio Morado ‘as in default.’ Respondent Judge rendered a decision Private respondents do not deny that IsidroBustria, to whom they trace their
declaring the plaintiff as the exclusive and absolute owner of the land in question. Petitioner ownership,previously filed a fishpond application with the BFAR over the disputed land.
(REPUBLIC), filed with the CA a petition for the annulment of the trial court’s decision. Neither do they deny that the disputed land formed part of the public domain.We agree with
Petitioner alleged that the land in question is within the classified/ zonified alienable and petitioner. The State clearlystands to be adversely affected by the trial court’s disposition of
disposable land for fishpond development and that since the land formed part of the public inalienable public land. The land involved in this case was classified as public land suitable for
domain, the BFAR has jurisdiction over its disposition in accordance with P.D. No. 704, §4. fishpond development. In controversies involving the disposition of public land, the burden of
CA rendered a decision dismissing the petition. Hence, this petition for review. The judgment overcoming the presumption of state ownership of lands of the public domain lies upon the
rendered in a case may be annulled on any of the following grounds: (a) the judgment is void private claimant. Private respondents have not discharged this burden. The fact that the land in
for want of jurisdiction or for lack of due process of law; or (b) it was obtained through extrinsic dispute was transformed into a “fully developed fishpond” does not mean that it has lost its
fraud. The question in this case is whether the decision of the Regional Trial Court is void on character as one declared “suitable for fishpond purposes” under the decree. By applying for a
any of these grounds. The preliminary question, however, is whether the government can bring fishpond permit with BFAR, Isidro Bautista admitted the character of the land as one suitable
for fishpond development since the disposition of such lands is vested in the BFAR.
Consequently, private respondents, as his successors-in-interests, are stopped from claiming otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), are not considered and
otherwise. It is settled under the Public Land Law thatalienable public land held by a treated as agricultural lands and therefore, outside the ambit of said law, on the basis of the
possessor,personally or through his predecessor-in-interest,openly, continuously, and following disquisition:
exclusively for 30 years is ipso jure converted to private property by the mere lapse of time. "x x x Section 4 of R.A. 6657 provides that the CARL shall 'cover, regardless of
However, only public lands classified as agricultural are alienable. Lands declared for fishery tenurial arrangement and commodity produced, all public and private agricultural
purposes are not alienable and their possession, no matter how long continued, cannot ripen lands.' As to what constitutes 'agricultural land,' it is referred to as 'lands devoted to
into ownership. Since the disposition of lands declared suitable for fishpond purposes fall agricultural activity as defined in this Act and not classified as mineral, forest,
within the jurisdiction of the BFAR, in accordance with P.D. No 704, §4, the trial court’s residential, commercial or industrial land. The deliberations of the Constitutional
decision is null and void. The trial court has no jurisdiction to make a disposition of inalienable Commission confirm this limitation. 'Agricultural lands' are only those lands which are
public land. 'arable and suitable agricultural lands' and 'do not include commercial, industrial and
residential lands' Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the undeveloped portions of
NHA V ALLARDE the Antipolo Hills Subdivision cannot in any language be considered as 'agricultural
FACTS:Two parcels of land were acquired by the Republic in 1938 from Philtrust Co. Said lands.' These lots were intended for residential use. They ceased to be agricultural lands
lots were part of the Tala Estate which was later reserved for housing programs by NHA by upon approval of their inclusion in the Lungsod Silangan Reservation. x x x"
virtue of Proclamation No. 483. Rufino Mateo lived in the property since his birth in 1928. He Thus, since as early as April 26, 1971, the Tala Estate (including the disputed lots) was
started farming and working on the 6-hectare lot included in the contested property since 1950. reserved, inter alia, under Presidential Proclamation No. 843, for the housing program of the
In 1983, NHA informed Mateo that said property was already under the housing program. National Housing Authority, the same has been categorized as not being devoted to the
Despite this, Mateo applied such lands for CARP (took effect in 1987) in 1989. To reinforce agricultural activity contemplated by Section 3 (c) of R.A. No. 6657, and is, therefore, outside
Proc. No. 483, NHA proceeded in bulldozing the lots which caused several damages to dikes the coverage of the CARL. Verily, the assailed Orders of the respondent Court declaring the
and irrigations. On March 18, 1992, the Mateo Spouses, relying on their claim that subject lots lots under controversy as "agricultural land" and restraining the petitioner from involving the
are agricultural land within the coverage of the CARP filed before RTC a complaint for same in its housing project thereon, are evidently bereft of any sustainable basis.
damages with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction, to enjoin NHA from bulldozing
further and making constructions on the lots under controversy. NHA contended that the said REPUBLIC V CA 83 SCRA 453
lots which were previously reserved by Proclamation No. 843 for housing and resettlement
purposes, are not covered by the CARP as they are not agricultural lands within the definition
and contemplation of Section 3 (c) of R. A. No. 6657. NAVERA V QUICHO
Whether or not the Compressive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) covers government lands G.R. No. L-24796, June 28, 1968
reserved for specific public purposes prior to the effectivity of said law FACTS: These are two interrelated cases involving some 72,000 hectares of land located in the
municipalities of Angat, Norzagaray and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, and in Antipolo and
HELD:NO. Montalban, Rizal claimed to be owned by Pinagcamaligan Indo-Agro Development
Corporation, Inc. (Piadeco) as evidenced by Titulo de Propiedad No. 4136, dated April 25,
RATIO: InNatalia Realty, Inc. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform, the Court succinctly held 1894.
that PIADECO asserts that the original owner of the subject land appearing on the title acquired his
lands reserved for, or converted to, non-agricultural uses by government agencies other than rights over the property by prescription under Articles 4 and 5 of the Royal Decree of June 25,
the Department of Agrarian Reform, prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. 6657, 1880.
Petitioners in the first case are government officials seeking to annul the order and writ of Natera Street was erroneously included in said title, as testified by a duly licensed surveyor,
execution issued by the CFI Bulacan allowing Piadeco to haul its logs in land in question. In during the cadastral survey of Ligao.
the second, it was Piadeco's turn question the authority and jurisdiction of therein government A motion to dismiss was filed by herein petitioner Navera on the ground that the relief sought
officials to order the stoppage of logging operations, construction of the roads, among other by the Municipality of Ligao cannot be granted under Section 112 of Act 496 because the same
things, from Piadeco’s private woodland area. would involve the opening of the original decree of registration and that this cannot be done at
this stage after the lapse of 23 years from the issuance of the certificate of title. Alleging further
Series of motions were made by both parties in the two cases from 1964 to 1966 until it finally that the petition does not seek merely the correction of a mistake or error but the return or
reached the high court for this 1968 disposition. reconveyance of a portion of a registered property to respondent.
The lower court ruled in favor of the Municipality of Ligao, thus this case.
ISSUE: Is Piadeco’s Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 dated April 28, 1894 an incontrovertible
evidence of its valid ownership to the subject land? ISSUE: Is the Municipality of Ligao correct in invoking Section 112 of Act No. 496 to correct
the error in Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-9304?
RULING: No. It is a well-embedded principle that private ownership of land must be proved
not only through the genuineness of title but also with a RULING: No. It is true that the erroneous inclusion of the 123 sq. m. of Natera street in the
clear identity of the land claimed. title issued to petitioner may be corrected under Section 112 of Act 496 because under the law,
The standing presumption is that land pertains to the State, and any person seeking to establish a person who obtains a title which includes by mistake a land which cannot legally be registered
ownership over land must conclusively show that he is the owner. does not by virtue of such inclusion become the owner of the land erroneously included therein.
There was inconsistency in Piadeco’s claim to the coverage of the land in question as it was
claimed to be 72,000 hectares on some instance and 74, 000 hectares on some when this issue But this theory only holds true if there is no dispute that the portion to be excluded is really
on the Spanish title should have been settled years ago. part of a public highway. This principle only applies if there is unanimity as to the issue of fact
Royal Decree of June 25, 1880 authorizes adjustments of land by filing application with the involved.
Direccion General de Administración Civil within one year from the effectivity of the decree. Lacking the unanimity required under said law since the claim of the municipality that an error
The original owner should have settled the exact coverage of the land at this point. Moreover, has been committed in the survey of the lot is not agreed to by petitioner, the petition cannot
Maura Law was published in the on April 1894. That decree required a second petition for be granted under Section 112 of Act No. 496.
adjustment within six months from publication, for those who had not yet secured their titles The petition is granted and the previous orders of respondent court were set aside. No costs.
at the time of the publication of the law.
There being cloud to Piadeco’s claim, the Court did not give prima facie value to Piadeco's MATEO V MORENO
title. It was not proclaimed that Piadeco is a private woodland owner for purpose of these
The petition for certiorari and prohibition in the first case was granted; the petition of Piadeco REPUBLIC V AYALA
for injunction and prohibition was denied. Costs in both cases against Piadeco.


G.R. No. L-18339, June 29, 1962 FACTS:This case started in the application for registration of title of a lot (Lot 855).
FACTS: Municipality of Ligao filed for a petition under Section 112 of Act No. 496 with the Testimonial evidence shows that a parcel of land, to which the subject lot belong, was under
CFI of Albay for the correction of Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-9304 issued in the name the exclusive possession of one Francisco Borja. Borja cut trees for firewood in the land. It was
of Godofredo Navera, covering Lot No. 2793-A, on the ground that a portion of 123 sq. m. of alleged that the land at that time was a mangrove swamp. After subsequent transfers, a portion
of the land was transferred to Santiago Bermejo. After Santiago’s death, Macario Bermejo, his Pampanga, (50 Phil. 975, 980), where it held that the Government should not be estopped by
heir and administrator, converted the land into a fishpond. the mistakes or errors of its agents.

ISSUE:Whether or not a parcel of land, possessed as far back as 1905, which has been alleged INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD AND VENEER CO. V UP
to be a mangrove swamp and converted into a fishpond, is considered as part of the timber Facts:IHVCP is a company engaged in the manufacture, processing and exportation of
domain, and thus is not disposable and cannot be registered. plywood. It renewed its timber license, which was granted by the government and shall be valid
for 25 years, in early 1960. Said license authorizes the company to cut, collect and remove
HELD:The possession of Borja and the subsequent owners was peaceful, continuous, open, timber from the portion of timber land located in certain municipalities of Laguna, including
and adverse under claim of ownership for a period of not less than 50 years. The application Paete.
for registration must be granted. In 1964, the Congress enacted R.A. 3990, an Act establishing an experiment station for UP.
Besides, the definition of ‘forestry; as including manglares found in the Administrative Code The said experiment station covers a portion of the timberland in Paete, occupied by IHVCP
of 1917 cannot affect rights which are vested prior to its enactment. The applicable law is the so UP, who claims ownership of said portion of timberland, demanded the latter to pay the
Act of Congress of July 1st 1902. The Act classifies the public lands in the Philippine Islands forest charges to it, instead of the BIR. IHVCP rejected the demand and it filed a suit against
as timber, mineral or agricultural lands, and all public lands that are not timber or mineral lands UP, claiming that R.A. 3990 does not empower UP to scale, measure and seal the timber cut
are necessarily agricultural public lands, whether they are used as nipa swamps, manglare, by it within the tract of land referred to in said Act, and collect the corresponding forest charges
fisheries, or ordinary farmlands. Therefore, mangrove lands are not forest lands in the sense in prescribed by the BIR.
which this phrase is used in the Act of Congress.
So even if the subject land was indeed a mangrove land, it still does not make it into an Issue/s: Whether or not UP is the owner of the portion of timberland in Paete.
inalienable forest land.
Ruling: Yes.
REPUBLIC V CA 135 SCRA 156 The Court ruled that R.A. 3990 ceded and transferred in full ownership to UP the area, which
Facts: In 1961, the CFI of Quezon rendered a decision, ordering the registration of 885 hectares means that the Republic of the Philippines completely removed it from the public domain. In
of public forestland in favor of the Maxinos. The decision became final and executory so a respect to the areas covered by the timber license of IHVCP, the said Act removed and
decree of registration and an OCT were issued. Eight (8) years after the decision was rendered, segregated it from being a public forest.
the Republic of the Philippines filed with the same CFI an amended petition to annul the The Court further cited Sec. 3 of R.A. 3990, which provides that, "any incidental receipts or
decision, decree, and title on the ground that they are void because the land in question was income therefrom shall pertain to the general fund of the University of the Philippines.” The
still a part of the unclassified public forest. The Maxinos opposed the petition. provision of the Act is clear that UP, being the owner of the land, has the right to collect forest
The CFI judge denied the petition and when appealed, the same was dismissed on the ground charges and to supervise the operations of IHVCP insofar as the property of the UP within it is
that the order had allegedly long become final and unappealable so the Government was concerned.
estopped thru the registration made by its agents.
Issue/s:Whether or not the Government was estopped in appealing the registration order. Doctrine:
Under the Public Land Act as amended, only titles to alienable and disposable lands of the
Ruling:No.The Government sufficiently proved that the parcel of land involved in the present public domain may be judicially confirmed. Unless a public land is reclassified and declared
case is a part of a forestland, thus non-registerable. As to the ruling of CA that the government as such, occupation thereof in the concept of owner, no matter how long ago, cannot confer
was estopped to appeal because the land was erroneously registered by its own agency, the ownership or possessory rights.
Court ruled otherwise basing on its decision in Gov't. of the U. S. vs. Judge of 1st Inst. of
REPUBLIC V CA 299 SCRA 199 claim was anchored on Transfer Certificate of Title derived from Estelita Hipolito. Hipolito’s
title emanated from Jose Dimson whose title appears to have been sourced from OCT No. 994.
For their part, the Manotoks challenged the validity of the title relied on by CLT, claiming that
CHAVEZ V PUBLIC ESTATE AUTHORITY Dimson’s title, the proximate source of CLT’s title, was irregularly issued and, hence, the same
FACTS:From the time of Marcos until Estrada, portions of Manila Bay were being reclaimed. and subsequent titles flowing therefrom are likewise void. The Manotoks asserted their
A law was passed creating the Public Estate Authority which was granted with the power to ownership over Lot 26 and claimed that they derived it from several awardees and/or vendees
transfer reclaimed lands. Now in this case, PEA entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with of the National Housing Authority. The Manotok title likewise traced as its primary source
AMARI, a private corporation. Under the Joint Venture Agreement between AMARI and PEA, OCT No. 994.
several hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands and several portions of The trial court ruled for CLT. Manotoks appeal to the CA was denied.
submerged areas of Manila Bay were going to be transferred to AMARI .
ISSUE: Whether or not the title issued in the name of CLT valid.
ISSUE:Whether or not the stipulations in the Amended JVA for the transfer to AMARI of
lands, reclaimed or to be reclaimed, violate the Constitution HELD:It is evident from all three titles─CLT’s, Hipolito’s and Dimson’s—that the properties
they purport to cover were " originally registered on 19 April 1917” in the Registration Book
RULING: YES. of the Office of the Register of Deeds of Rizal." These titles could be affirmed only if it can be
Under the Public Land Act (CA 141, as amended), reclaimed lands are classified as alienable proven that OCT No. 994 registered on 19 April 1917 had actually existed. CLT were given
and disposable lands of the public domain Section 3 of the Constitution: Alienable lands of the the opportunity to submit such proof but it did not.
public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. Private corporations or associations may The established legal principle in actions for annulment or reconveyance of title is that a party
not hold such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease The 157.84 hectares of seeking it should establish not merely by a preponderance of evidence but by clear and
reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the convincing evidence that the land sought to be reconveyed is his. In an action to recover, the
name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to private property must be identified, and the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title and not on
corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. PEA the weakness of the defendant's claim.
may only sell these lands to Philippine Considering that CLT clearly failed to meet the burden of proof reposed in them as plaintiffs
citizens, subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and existing laws. in the action for annulment of title and recovery of possession, there is a case to be made for
Clearly, the Amended JVA violates glaringly Sections 2 and 3, Article XII of the 1987 ordering the dismissal of their original complaints before the trial court.
Constitution. Under Article 1409 of the Civil Code, contracts whose “object or purpose is As it appears on the record, OCT No. 994, the mother title was received for transcription by
contrary to law,” or whose “object is outside the commerce of men,” are “inexistent and void the Register of Deeds on 3 May 1917 based from the issuance of the decree of registration on
from the beginning.” The Court must perform its duty to defend and uphold the Constitution, 17 April 1917.
and therefore declares the Amended JVA null and void ab initio. Obviously, April 19, 1917 is not the date of inscription or the date of transcription of the decree
into the Original Certificate of Title. Thus, such date cannot be considered as the date of the
MANOTOK REALTY, INC. V CLT REALTY DEV. CORP title or the date when the title took effect. It appears that the transcription of the decree was
FACTS:The Petition involved properties covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. done on the date it was received by the Register of Deeds of Rizal on May 3, 1917.
994 which in turn encompasses 1,342 hectares of the Maysilo Estate. The vast tract of land There is a marked distinction between the entry of the decree and the entry of the certificate of
stretches over three (3) cities within Metropolitan Manila, comprising an area larger than the title; the entry of the decree is made by the chief clerk of the land registration and the entry of
sovereign states of Monaco and the Vatican. the certificate of title is made by the register of deeds. The certificate of title is issued in
CLT Realty Development Corporation (CLT) sought to recover from Manotok Realty, Inc. and pursuance of the decree of registration. It was stressed that what stands as the certificate of the
Manotok Estate Corporation (Manotoks) the possession of Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate. CLT’s title is the transcript of the decree of registration made by the registrar of deeds in the registry.
Moreover, it is only after the transcription of the decree by the register of deeds that the HELD: No. Under the circumstances, the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City should and could
certificate of title is to take effect. have properly refused such request instead of immediately annotating it. In the same light, “The
Hence, any title that traces its source to OCT No. 994 dated 17 April 1917 is void, for such Register of Deeds may likewise properly refuse registration of an order attachment when it
mother title is inexistent. The fact that CLT titles made specific reference to an OCT No. 994 appears that the title involved is not in the name of the defendant and there is no evidence
dated 17 April 1917 casts doubt on the validity of such titles since they refer to an inexistent submitted to indicate that the said defendant has any present or future interest in the property
OCT. This error alone is, in fact, sufficient to invalidate the CLT claims over the subject covered by the titles.”
property if singular reliance is placed by them on the dates appearing on their respective titles. Note that in the case won by Philippine Cotton before the SC, the defendant therein was Pacific
The Court hereby constitutes a Special Division of the Court of Appeals to hear the case on Mills. Ang and Gagoomal acquired the property before the resolution of the case, hence, the
remand. annotation is not valid because Ang and Gagoomal were not parties to the said case.
In ascertaining which of the conflicting claims of title should prevail, the Special Division is
directed to make further determinations based on the evidence already on record and such other SECRETARY OF DENR V YAP
evidence as may be presented at the proceedings before it. FACTS:This petition is for a review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA)
WHEREFORE, the instant cases are hereby REMANDED to the Special Division of the Court affirming that of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Kalibo Aklan, which granted the petition
of Appeals for further proceedings. for declaratory relief filed by respondents-claimants Mayor Jose Yap et al, and ordered the
survey of Boracay for titling purposes.
PHILIPPINE COTTON CORP V GAGOOMAL On Nov. 10, 1978, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1801 declaring Boracay Island
The Pacific Mills Corporation owned 5 parcels of land in Quezon City covered by four as a tourist zone and marine reserve. Claiming that Proc. No. 1801 precluded them from filing
certificates of title. Pacific Mills sold the land to Naraindas Gagoomal and Engracio Ang in an application for a judicial confirmation of imperfect title or survey of land for titling purposes,
1979. respondents-claimants filed a petition for declaratory relief with the RTC in Kalibo, Aklan.
In 1983, Philippine Cotton Corporation won a case in the lower court against Pacific Mills The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) opposed the petition
which led to the attachment of the 5 parcels of land previously owned by Pacific Mills. Pacific countering that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public domain. It formed part of
Mills appealed until it reached the Supreme Court. the mass of lands classified as “public forest,” which was not available for disposition pursuant
While the case was pending in the SC, the QC Registry of Deeds was razed by fire thereby to section 3(a) of PD No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code.
destroying all records. In 1992, Pacific Mills filed for a reconstitution of land. It was granted
but it was immediately cancelled in favor of Ang and Gagoomal. Subsequently, Ang and ISSUE: Whether unclassified lands of the public domain are automatically deemed agricultural
Gagoomal received clean TCTs. land, therefore making these lands alienable.

Meanwhile, Philippine Cotton received a favorable judgment from the SC and they requested HELD:No. To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable, the
the Register of Deeds to annotate the same on the titles issued to And and Gagoomal. The applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government such as a presidential
Register of Deeds then annotated the said titles and then sent a letter to Ang and Gagoomal to proclamation or an executive order, an administrative action, investigative reports of the
surrender their duplicates. Bureau of Lands investigators, and a legislative act or statute.
Ang and Gagoomal petitioned for the removal of the annotation. Philippine Cotton argued that A positive act declaring land as alienable and disposable is required. In keeping with the
the RD can validly annotate a Supreme Court decision on the said titles and that the same is its presumption of state ownership, the Court has time and again emphasized that there must be a
ministerial duty. positive act of the government, such as an official proclamation, declassifying inalienable
public land into disposable land for agricultural or other purposes.
ISSUE: Whether or not Philippine Cotton’s contention is correct.
The Regalian Doctrine dictates that all lands of the public domain belong to the State, that the · The LRA denied the Manotoks’ MR and the Barques’ prayer for immediate reconstitution.
State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land and charged with the conservation Both the Manotoks and the Barques appealed the LRA decision to the CA.
of such patrimony. § In the CA, Felicitas Manahan filed a motion to intervene and sought the dismissal of the
cases claiming ownership of the subject property.
All lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to · 2002 and 2003 à 2 separate divisions of the CA both directed the RD of QC to cancel
belong to the State. Thus, all lands that have not been acquired from the government, either by the Reconstituted Manotok Title and to reconstitute the Barques’ “valid, genuine and existing”
purchase or by grant, belong to the State as part of the inalienable public domain. TCT No. 210177.
o Hence, the Manotoks filed the present separate petitions which were ordered consolidated
FACTS: · December 12, 2005, SC First Division à affirmed both decisions of the CA. à Manotoks
· Piedad Estate originally owned by Philippine Sugar Estates Development Company, filed MR à Denied in April 2006 Resolution.
Ltd., La Sociedad Agricola de Ultramar, the British-Manila Estate Company, Ltd., and the o Thereafter, the Manotoks filed a Motion for Leave to File a Second MR with their MR
Recoleto Order of the Philippine Islands. (It is a Friar Land.) attached. à Denied in June 2006 Resolution. Eventually entry of judgment was made in the
o The subject parcel “Lot No. 823” is part of the Piedad Estate and is located in QC. Book of Entries of Judgment on May 2, 2006. In the meantime, the Barques filed multiple
· On 23 December 1903, Piedad Estate was acquired by the Philippine Government motions with the First Division for execution of the judgment, while the Manotoks filed an
pursuant to the Friar Lands Act. The certificate of title in the name of the government was OCT Urgent Motion to Refer Motion for Possession to the SC En Banc (with prayer to set motion
No. 614. The Estate was placed under the administration of the Director of Lands. for oral arguments). à Case was referred to the En Banc in July 2006.
· Controversy arising from conflicting claims over Lot 823 began after a fire gutted · On September 7, 2006, Felicitas Manahan and Rosendo Manahan filed a motion to
portions of the Quezon City Hall on June 11, 1988 which destroyed records stored in the Office intervene, to which was attached their petition in intervention. They alleged that their
of the Register of Deeds. predecessor-in-interest, Valentin Manahan, was issued Sale Certificate No. 511 covering Lot
· In 1990, Manotoks filed a petition with the LRA for administrative reconstitution of TCT No. 823 and attached the findings of the NBI that the documents of the Manotoks were not as
No. 372302 covering Lot No. 823 with an area of 342,945 square meters à GRANTED à TCT old as they were purported to be. Consequently, the Director of the Legal Division of the LMB
No. RT-22481 (372302) was issued in 1991. recommended to the Director of the LMB the reconstituted Manotok Title should be reverted
· In 1996, 8 years after the fire the Barques filed a petition with the LRA for administrative to the state.
reconstitution of TCT No. 210177 in the name of Homer Barque also covering Lot 823. In o Oral arguments were held on July 24, 2007.
support of their petition, the Barques submitted copies of the alleged owner’s duplicate of the · 2008 - En Banc set aside the December 2005 1st division decision and entry of judgment
TCT, real estate tax receipts, tax declarations and a Plan Fls 3168-D covering the property. recalled and the CA’s Amended Decisions in CA-G.R. SP Nos. 66642 and 66700 were reversed
o MANOTOKs opposed alleging that TCT No. 210177 was spurious. and set aside. The En Banc remanded the case to the CA.
· Although both titles of the Manotoks and the Barques refer to land belonging to Lot No. o The CA was directed to receive evidence of and focus on the issue of WON the Manotoks
823, TCT No. 210177 actually involves 2 parcels with an aggregate area of 342,945 square can trace their claim of title to a valid alienation by the Government of Lot No. 823 of the
meters, while TCT No. RT-22481 (372302) pertains only to a 1 parcel of land, with a similar Piedad Estate, which was a Friar Land. PURPOSE: to decide WON the title of the Maotoks
area of 342,945 square meters. should be annulled.
· 1997 – Barques’ petition was DENIED. à Lot. No. 823 already registered in the name of · CA’s findings à None of the parties were able to prove a valid alienation of Lot 823
the Manotoks. --> Barques MR was denied à They appealed to the LRA à LRA Reversed. from the government in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 1120 otherwise known as
o LRA found that the reconstitution of the Manotok title was fraudulent. Hence, it ordered the “Friar Lands Act”. Notably lacking in the deed of conveyance of the Manotoks is the
the Barque title to be reconstituted. BUT cancellation must 1st be sought in a court of competent approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce as required by Section 18 of the said
jurisdiction of the 1991 Manotok TCT. law. Upon close scrutiny, the factual allegations and voluminous documentary exhibits relating
to the purchase of Lot 823 by the predecessors-in-interest of the claimants revealed badges of Resources”, which name is illegible, and above it an even more poorly imprinted impression
fraud and irregularity. of what may be a stamp of the Secretary’s approval.
· The Manotoks are invoking the presumption of regularity in the performance of the RD’s
BASIS FOR THEIR CLAIMS FOR OWNERSHIP: task in issuing the TCT in the Manotok name. The Manotoks contend that “we can assume that
Manotoks à Their grandfather bought Lot 823 from the Government in 1919. They have since the Manotok deed of conveyance was in fact approved by the Department Secretary because
occupied the land, built their houses and buildings on it. The subject land is now known as the register of deeds did issue TCT No. 22813 in the name of the buyer Severino Manotok.”
Manotok Compound. FURTHER, the Manotoks assert that even if we were to ignore the presumption of validity in
Barques à Teresita claims her father (Homer) bought land from Emiliano Setosta who had a the performance of official duty, Department Memorandum Order No. 16-05 issued on October
TCT in his name. 27, 2005 by then DENR Secretary Michael T. Defensor, supplies the omission of approval by
Manahans à The lot originally belonged to his parents but was subsequently bought by his wife. the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources in deeds of conveyances over friar lands.
They had a caretaker on the property but she was ousted by armed men in 1950s so they just o NO! These arguments fail.
declared the property for taxation to protect their rights. · Citing Alonso v. Cebu Country Club which applied the rule in the Solid State and Liao
Casesà the absence of approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce in the sale
ISSUE: Who has the better right over Lot No. 823? NO ONE! It belongs to the National certificate and assignment of sale certificate made the sale null and void ab initio. Necessarily,
Government. there can be no valid titles issued on the basis of such sale or assignment.
o SC in the MR of the Alonso case underscored that the approval is a MADATORY
RATIO: requirement. Approval of the Secretary of the Interior cannot simply be presumed or inferred
· From the proceedings in the CA, it was established that while records of the DENR- from certain acts since the law is explicit in its mandate. Petitioners have not offered any
LMB indicate the original claimant/applicant of Lot 823 as a certain Valentin Manahan, only cogent reason that would justify a deviation from this rule.
the Manotoks were able to produce a sale certificate in the name of their predecessors-in- · DENR Memorandum Order No. 16, invoked by both the Manotoks and the Manahans,
interest, certified by the LMB Records Management Division. In addition, the Manotoks states that some Deeds of Conveyance on record in the field offices of the LMB do not bear
submitted photocopies of original documents entitled Assignment of Sale Certificate dated the Secretary’s signature despite full payment for the Friar Land. They are deemed signed or
1919, 1920 and 1923. otherwise ratified by this Memo provided that the applicant really paid the purchase price and
· Sale Certificate No. 1054 was not signed by the Director of Lands nor approved by the complied with all the requirements under the Friar Lands Act.
Secretary of the Interior. The Certificates of Assignment of Sale contained only the signature o The CA opined that the Manotoks cannot benefit from the above department issuance
of the Director of Lands. The Manotoks belatedly secured from the National Archives a because it makes reference only to those deeds of conveyance on file with the records of the
certified copy of Deed of Conveyance No. 29204 dated December 7, 1932, which likewise DENR field offices. The Manotoks’ copy of the alleged Deed of Conveyance No. 29204 issued
lacks the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources as it was signed only in 1932, was sourced from the National Archives.
by the Director of Lands. · Manotoks also point out that the Friar Lands Act itself states that the Government ceases
Act No. 1120 SECTION 18. No lease or sale made by Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands reservation of its title once the buyer had fully paid the price. (They were claiming that they
under the provisions of this Act shall be valid until approved by the Secretary of the Interior. fully paid!) Their basis is SECTION 15[2] of the Friar Lands Act.
· It is clear from the foregoing provision and from jurisprudence that the sale of friar lands · Court found that the old rule would support the Manotoks contention however, the new
shall be valid only if approved by the Secretary of the Interior (later the Secretary of Agriculture rule Pugeda v. Trias, à “the conveyance executed in favor of a buyer or purchaser, or the so-
and Commerce). called certificate of sale, is a conveyance of the ownership of the property, subject only to the
· In their Memorandum, the Manotoks pointed out that their photocopy of the original resolutory condition that the sale may be cancelled if the price agreed upon is not paid for in
Deed of Conveyance No. 29204, sourced from the National Archives, shows on the second full.
page a poorly imprinted typewritten name over the words “Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
· Clearly, it is the execution of the contract to sell and delivery of the certificate of sale All the TCTs in the name of Manotoks, Manahans and Barque, are NULL and VOID. The
that vests title and ownership to the purchaser of friar land. Such certificate of sale must, of Register of Deeds of Caloocan City and/or Quezon City are hereby ordered to CANCEL the
course, be signed by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as evident from said titles.
Sections 11[3], 12[4] and the 2nd paragraph of Section 15[5], in relation to Section 18. Lot No. 823 is property of the National Government of the Philippines w/o prejudice to
Reversion proceedings
· Manotoks could not have acquired ownership of the subject lot as they had no valid
certificate of sale issued to them by the Government because their Certificate lacks the
signature of the Director of Lands and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
· The decades-long occupation by the Manotoks of Lot 823, their payment of real property
taxes and construction of buildings, are of no moment. It must be noted that the Manotoks
miserably failed to prove the existence of the title allegedly issued in the name of Severino
Mantotok after the latter had paid in full the purchase price. The Manotoks did not offer any
explanation as to why the only copy of TCT No. 22813 was torn in half and no record of
documents leading to its issuance can be found in the registry of deeds. As to the certification
issued by the Register of Deeds of Caloocan, it simply described the copy presented as
“DILAPIDATED” without stating if the original copy of TCT No. 22813 actually existed in
their records, nor any information on the year of issuance and name of registered owner.
o As we stressed in Alonso: Prescription can never lie against the Government.
· RE: MANAHANS àNo copy of the alleged Sale Certificate No. 511 can be found in the
records of either the DENR-NCR, LMB or National Archives. Although the OSG submitted a
certified copy of Assignment of Sale Certificate No. 511 allegedly executed by Valentin
Manahan in favor of Hilaria de Guzman, there is no competent evidence to show that the
claimant Valentin Manahan or his successors-in-interest actually occupied Lot 823, declared
the land for tax purposes, or paid the taxes due thereon.
· Even assuming arguendo the existence and validity of the alleged Sale Certificate No.
511 and Assignment of Sale Certificate No. 511 presented by the Manahans, the CA correctly
observed that the claim had become stale after the lapse of 86 years from the date of its alleged
issuance. Citing Liao v. CA “the certificates of sale x x x became stale after 10 years from its
issuance” and hence cannot be the source documents for issuance of title more than 70 years

Dispositive: Heirs of Claro Laureta vs. IAC, 184 SCRA 157

Manotok Appeal denied
Manahan Petition for intervention denied
Petition for reconstitution of the Barque title denied