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Cebu Oxygen & Acetylene, Inc vs Hon.

Pascual Bercilles, 66 SCRA 481


Doctrine: Art. 422 of the New Civil states that property of public dominion, when no longer
intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the
State. Thus, the abandoned part of M. Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City can be conveyed to
a private person or corporation like Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene.
Facts: Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene assailed the judgment of Judge Pascual Bercilles
dismissing their application to register the land once part of M. Borces Street, Mabolo Cebu. It
upheld the argument of Assistant Provincial Fiscal Jose Espeleta that the land belongs to the
government, not an abandoned road or land, and not alienable.
On September 23, 1968, the City Council of Cebu, through Resolution No. 2193, approved on
October 3, 1968, declared the terminal portion of M. Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City, as an
abandoned road, the same not being included in the City Development Plan. Subsequently,
on December 19, 1968, the City Council of Cebu passed another resolution (Resolution No.
2755) authorizing the Acting City Mayor to sell the land through a public bidding. In pursuance
to the said resolution, the lot was awarded to Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene, being the highest
bidder. Subsequently, a deed of absolute sale was executed on March 3, 1969 by the City of
Cebu via its Acting City Mayor to Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene for a total consideration of
P10,800.00.
Issue: Whether Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene can own and register the land in their name?
Held: Yes. Since sec. 31 of RA No. 3857 (The City Charter of Cebu) authorized the Mayor to
close any city road, street or alley, boulevard, avenue, park or square. Property thus
withdrawn from public servitude may be used or conveyed for any purpose for which other
real property belonging to the City may be lawfully used or conveyed, the petitioners Cebu
Oxygen and Acetylene acquired valid ownership and the land is no longer under public
dominion or public use as conveyed by Art. 422 of the New Civil Code.