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REPUBLIC vs.

CORTEZ

FACTS:
 Respondent, Rev. Cortez, a missionary by vocation, claimed that since 1962, he has been in
possession of 50 hectares of land in western portion of Palaui Island, Cagayan. In which he helps
Aetas and other people for agricultural purposes in order to support his charitable works.

 On 1967, President Marcos, issued Proclamation 201- reserving for military purposes a parcel
of the public domain situated in Palaui Island. Wherein, southern half of the island were withdrawn
from sale or settlement and reserve for the use of Phil. Navy.

 On 1994, President Ramos, issued Proclamation 447- declaring Palaui Island as marine reserve.

 Respondent Cortez, filed a petition against Commanding Officer of Phil. Naval Command Binas for
the use of force and intimidation to vacate the area in Palaui Island. Thus, he filed for petition to
RTC to restore to him the possession of the 50 hectares of land in the said island.

 RTC- grant the petition of Cortez, however, subject to 5 hectares only and not the whole 50 hectares
claimed by Cortez.

 OSG filed an appeal to CA, however, CA upheld the RTC’s decision.

 Petition brought by OSG on behalf of the Republic of the Phils. to the SC, on the ground that Cortez
has no right over the 5-hectares portion of Palaui Island.

 However, Cortez avers that since he has been in peaceful and continuous possession of the subject
land, he has the right of possession over the same.

ISSUE: W/N the parcel of land claimed by Cortez is ALIENABLE and DISPOSABLE.

HELD:
NO, there is no such proof showing that the subject portion of Palaui Island has been declared
alienable and disposable when Rev. Cortez started to occupy the same.
Hence, it must be considered as still inalienable public domain. Being such, it cannot be
appropriated and therefore not a proper subject of possession under Article 530 of the Civil Code. His
possession of the subject area, even if the same be in the concept of an owner or no matter how long,
cannot produce any legal effect in his favor since the property cannot be lawfully possessed in the first
place.
The Court notes that while Rev. Cortez relies heavily on his asserted right of possession, he,
nevertheless, failed to show that the subject area over which he has a claim is not part of the public domain
and therefore can be the proper object of possession.
Pursuant to the Regalian Doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to the State. Hence, "[a]ll lands
not appearing to be clearly under private ownership are presumed to belong to the State.
Also, public lands remain part of the inalienable land of the public domain unless the State is shown
to have reclassified or alienated them to private persons." To prove that a land is alienable, the existence
of a positive act of the government, such as presidential proclamation or an executive order; an
administrative action; investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a legislative act or a
statute declaring the land as alienable and disposable must be established.
NAVY OFFICERS VILLAGE vs. REPUBLIC
August 3, 2015

FACTS:
 NOVAI has a parcel of land situated inside the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation (FBMR), which
was previously formed part of Fort William McKinley under the name of the Republic of the Phils.

 On 1957, President Garcia, issued Proclamation No. 423- reserving for military purposes certain
of parcel of the public domain situated in Pasig, Taguig, Paranaque and Pasay.

 On 1965, President Diosdado Macapagal, issued Proclamation No. 461- excluded from Fort
Mckinley a certain portion of land embraced in Pasig, Taguig, Paranaque and Pasay and declared
excluded area as “AFP Officer’s Village” to be disposed under the provision of RA 274 and 730.

 After a month, Pres. Macapagal, issued Proclamation No. 478- reserving for veteran’s
rehabilitation, medicare and training center site purposes that land previously declared as “AFP
Officer’s Village”.

 On 1991, the property was subject of a deed of sale between the Republic of the Phils thru LMB
and NOVAI.

 However, Republic sought to cancel NOVAI’s title on the ground that the land covers the part of a
military reservation.

 NOVAI counter-argue that the property was no longer part of the public dominion, as the land was
segregated from the military reservation.

 RTC- ruled that the property was alienable and disposable.

 CA- reversed and set aside the decision of RTC, on the ground that the property was inalienable
land of the public domain, thus cannot be disposed or be the subject of sale.

 NOVAI sought for reconsideration but denied by CA.

 NOVAI further contends to the higher court, that the property was no longer part of public domain
by virtue of Proc. No. 461.

ISSUE: W/N the subject land is inalienable land of the public domain.

HELD: YES, from the perspective of the general Civil Code provisions on Property, lands which are
intended for public use or public service such as reservations for public or quasi-public uses are property
of the public dominion and remain to be so as long as they remain reserved.
As property of the public dominion, public lands reserved for public or quasi-public uses are outside
the commerce of man. They cannot be subject to sale, disposition or encumbrance; any sale, disposition
or encumbrance of such property of the public dominion is void for being contrary to law and public policy.
DREAM VILLAGE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION vs. REPUBLIC

July 14, 2013

FACTS:
 Petitioner Dream Village, occupying a lot in Taguig City since 1985, which lot used to be part of the
Hacienda de Maricaban.

 Following the purchase of Maricaban by the government of USA to convert into the military
reservation known as Fort McKinley. However, USA ceded Fort McKinley to the Republic of the
Phils.

 On 1992, RA 7227 was passed creating the BCDA to oversee and accelerate the conversion of
camps to productive civilian uses. The law expressly authorized the President of the Philippines to
sell the above lands, in whole or part, which are declared alienable and disposable government
properties.

 Dream Village was subject to summary demolition by BCDA, which resulting in unrest and tensions
among residents.

 Dream Village filed a complaint in COSLAP asserting that the subject property as alienable and
disposable. Thus, claiming that they are occupying the area for 30years in the concept of owners
continuously, exclusively and notoriously for several years.

 COSLAP resolved that Dream Village lies was outside of BCDA and directed the application of
Dream Village for sale patent noting the length of concept of an owner.

 BCDA filed motion for reconsideration to COSLAP, however, it was denied.

 BCDA filed for petition in CA, that the land of Dream Village also belongs to BCDA and form part
of public domain.

ISSUE: W/N the Fort Bonifacio remains property of the public domain of the state although declared
ALIENABLE and DISPOSABLE.

HELD: YES, The Court then explained that it is only upon their sale to a private person or entity as
authorized by the BCDA law that they become private property and cease to be property of the public
dominion.

For as long as the property belongs to the State, although already classified as alienable or disposable, it
remains property of the public dominion if when it is "intended for some public service or for the development
of the national wealth.
USERO v CA
GR NO. 152115 & 155055 | JANUARY 26, 2005

FACTS:
This is a consolidated petition assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA). Petitioners and the private
respondent are registered owners of neighboring parcels of land wherein between the lots is a low-level
strip of land with stagnant body of water. Whenever there is a storm or heavy rain, the water therein would
flood thereby causing damage to houses of the Polinar’s prompting them to build a concrete wall on the
bank of the strip of land about 3meters from their house and riprapped the soil in that portion.
The Usero’s claimed ownership of the strip, demanded the halt of the construction but the Polinar’s never
heeded believing that the strip is part of a creek. However, the Polinar’s offered to pay for the land. As the
parties still failed to settle, both filed separate complaints for forcible entry. The Municipal Trial Court ruled
in favor of the petitioner, while the regional trial court reversed and ordered the dismissal of the complaint
and confirmed the existence of the creek between the lots.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the disputed strip of land is part of the creek hence part of public domain

HELD:
YES. Art. 420 of the New Civil Code (NCC) provides for properties which are part of public domain. A creek
is included in the phrase "and others of similar character". A creek, which refers to a recess or arm of a
river is a property belonging to the public domain, therefore not susceptible of private ownership. Being a
public water, it cannot be registered under the Torrens system under the name of any individual.

OFFICE OF THE CITY MAYOR OF PARAÑAQUE CITY


v. MARIO D. EBIO AND HIS CHILDREN/HEIRS
G.R. No. 178411 June 23, 2010

FACTS:

 Respondents claim to be absolute owners of a 406 sqm. parcel of land in Parañaque City covered
by Tax in the name of respondent Mario D. Ebio. Said land was an accretion of Cut-cut creek.

 Respondents assert that the original occupant and possessor land was their great grandfather,
Jose Vitalez, which was given to his son, Pedro Valdez, in 1930. From then on, Pedro continuously
and exclusively occupied and possessed the said lot. In 1966, after executing an affidavit declaring
possession and occupancy. He also paid taxes for the land.

 Meanwhile, in 1961, respondent Mario Ebio married Pedro’s daughter, Zenaida. In April 1964 and
in October 1971, Mario Ebio secured building permits from the Parañaque municipal office for the
construction of their house within the land. On April 21, 1987, Pedro transferred his rights over the
land in favor of Ebio.

 On March 30, 1999, the Office of the Sangguniang Barangay of Vitalez passed Resolution No. 08,
series of 1990 seeking assistance from the City Government of Parañaque for the construction of
an access road along Cut-cut Creek located in the said barangay. The proposed road will run from
Urma Drive to the main road of Vitalez Compound traversing the lot occupied by the respondents.
Respondents immediately opposed and the project was suspended.

 In January 2003, however, respondents were surprised when several officials from the barangay
and the city planning office proceeded to cut eight (8) coconut trees planted on the said lot.

 On March 28, 2005, the City Administrator sent a letter to the respondents ordering them to vacate
the area within the next thirty (30) days, or be physically evicted from the said property.
Respondents sent a reply, asserting their claim over the subject property and expressing intent for
a further dialogue. The request remained unheeded.

 Threatened of being evicted, respondents went to the RTC of Parañaque City on April 21, 2005
and applied for a writ of preliminary injunction against petitioners.

ISSUE: Whether or not the State may build on the land in question.

HELD:
 No. It is an uncontested fact that the subject land was formed from the alluvial deposits that have
gradually settled along the banks of Cut-cut creek. This being the case, the law that governs
ownership over the accreted portion is Article 84 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866, which
remains in effect, in relation to Article 457 of the Civil Code.
 ART. 84. Accretions deposited gradually upon lands contiguous to creeks, streams, rivers, and
lakes, by accessions or sediments from the waters thereof, belong to the owners of such lands.
 Art. 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they
gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters.

 It is therefore explicit from the foregoing provisions that alluvial deposits along the banks of a creek
do not form part of the public domain as the alluvial property automatically belongs to the owner of
the estate to which it may have been added. The only restriction provided for by law is that the
owner of the adjoining property must register the same under the Torrens system; otherwise, the
alluvial property may be subject to acquisition through prescription by third persons.
 In contrast, properties of public dominion cannot be acquired by prescription. No matter how long
the possession of the properties has been, there can be no prescription against the State regarding
property of public domain. Even a city or municipality cannot acquire them by prescription as
against the State.

Hence, while it is true that a creek is a property of public dominion, the land which is formed by the gradual
and imperceptible accumulation of sediments along its banks does not form part of the public domain by
clear