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Facts:

Subject Land-41,296 square meters

situated in the barrio of Lucnab, Itogon, Benguet. Parties: A. ATOK BIG-WEDGE MINING COMPANY (claiming that the said parcel of land is a mineral land.) B. TUKTUKAN SAINGAN (claiming that the said parcel of land is agricultural.)

Contentions: Atok- they contended that the said parcel of land was being registered in the office of Mining Recorder in 1921 and 1931 pursuant to Philippine Bill of 1902. It is about sixteen years before TUKTUKAN declared the land in question for taxation purposes and thirty four (34) years before private respondent filed the land registration proceedings in 1965. They also showed the payment of annual assessment fees for the said land since 1931.

Tuktukan- who was 70 years old at the time he

testified shows that he acquired the land from his father-in-law, Dongail, when he married his daughter; that he was then 18 years old; that at the time of his acquisition, it was planted with camotes, casava, langka, gabi, coffee and avocados; that he lived on the land since his marriage up to the present; that he has been paying the taxes during the Japanese occupation and even before it; that he was never disturbed in his possession. Supporting his oral testimony, applicant [Tuktukan] submitted tax declarations x x x both dated March 20, 1948, the former for a rural land and the latter for urban land and improvement therein.

Issue:
Whether or not the said

parcel of land is a mineral land or an agricultural land.

History of mining Act


1. Spanish Mining Law of 1867 2. Philippine Bill Of 1902 (American time)

when the subject land had been registered 3. Commonwealth Act No. 137 (under the 1935 Constitution) 4. Executive Order 141 (Pres. Marcos 1968) 5. President Decree No. 1214 (1977)

All of the mining acts have a

common provision which is the annual performance of labor or undertaking of improvements on the mine.

Held:
The SC ruled in favor of the Tuktukan in the

reasons that: A. Tuktukan have proven that he had in possession of the said land in a concept of an owner, continuously, open and uninterrupted for a period of more than 30 years. B. He had improve almost 90% of the said parcel of land. C. He had paid tax declaration of the said land since 1948 up to present.

It is evident that Atok had registered the land prior than Tuktukan but still the SC ruled in favor of Tuktukan for the reasons:
A. Payment of annual assessment fee is not

enough proof. There must be an annual performance of labor or undertaking of improvements in the mine. B. When an ocular survey was made, it was evident that there was No improvements being made in the said land and there is any sign of mining had happened in the land. Hence, the petition is DENIED.

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