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List of cases (1):

I. Land Ownership in the Philippines
1. Valenton vs Marciano 3 Phil. Reports 537, 2 Off. Gaz., 434,
March 30, 1904;

The court held that from 1860 to 1892 there was no law in force in
these Islands by which the plaintiffs could obtain the ownership of
these lands by prescription, without any action by the State, and that
the judgment below declaring the defendant the owner of the lands
must be affirmed.
2. Cansino vs Valdez, G.R. No. L-2468, July 16, 1906
3. Carino vs Insular Government, 212 U. S., 449

1. That in the year 1860, the plaintiffs, and each one of them,
entered into the peaceful and quiet occupation and possession of the
larger part of the lands described in the complaint of the plaintiffs, to
wit [description]:
2. That on the date on which the plaintiffs entered into the occupation
and possession of the said lands, as above set forth, these lands and
every part thereof were public, untilled, and unoccupied, and
belonged to the then existing Government of the Philippine Islands.
That immediately after the occupation and possession of the said
lands by the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs began to cultivate and improve
them in a quiet and peaceful manner.
3. That from the said year 1860, the plaintiffs continued to occupy
and possess the said lands, quietly and peacefully, until the year
1892, by themselves, by their agents and tenants, claiming that they
were the exclusive owners of said lands.
4. That on or about the 16th day of January, 1892, Manuel Murciano,
defendant in this proceeding, acting on behalf of and as attorney in
fact of Candido Capulong, by occupation a cook, denounced the said
lands to the then existing Government of the Philippine Islands,
declaring that the said lands every part thereof were public, untilled,
and unoccupied lands belonging to the then existing Government of
the Philippine Islands, and petitioned for the sale of the same to him.
5. That before the execution of the sale heretofore mentioned,
various proceedings were had for the survey and measurement of the
lands in question at the instance of the defendant, Murciano, the
latter acting as agent and attorney in fact of said Candido Capulong, a
written protest, however, having been entered against these
proceedings by the plaintiff Andres Valenton.
6. That on the 14th day of July, 1892, Don Enrique Castellvie Ibarrola,
secretary of the treasury of the Province of Tarlac, in his official
capacity as such secretary, executed a contract of purchase and sale,
by which said lands were sold and conveyed by him to the defendant,
Manuel Murciano, as attorney for the said Candido Capulong.
7. That on the 19th day of July, 1892, said Candido Capulong
executed a contract of purchase and sale, by which he sold and
conveyed the said lands to the defendants, Manuel Murciano.
8. That from the said 14th day of July, 1892, Manuel Murciano has at
no time occupied or possessed all of the land mentioned, but has
possessed only certain in distinct and indefinite portions of the same.
That during all this time the plaintiffs have opposed the occupation of
the defendant, and said plaintiffs during all the time in question have
been and are in the possession and occupation of part of the said
lands, tilling them and improving them by themselves and by their
agents and tenants.
9. That never, prior to the said 14th day of July,, 1892, has the
defendant, Manuel Murciano, been in
the peaceful and quiet possession and occupation of the said lands, or
in the peaceful and quiet occupation of any part thereof.
Whether or not during the years from 1860 to 1890 a private person,
situated as the plaintiffs were, could have obtained as against the
State the ownership of the public lands of the State by means of
NO. The court finds that at the time of the entry by the plaintiff in
1860 the lands were vacant and were public lands belonging to the
then existing Government. The plaintiffs do not claim to have ever
obtained from the Government any deed for the lands, nor any
confirmation of their possession.

4. Jones vs. Insular Government, G.R. No. L-2506 April 16,

1906, 6 Phil.122
5. Susi vs. Razon and Director of Lands, G.R. No. L-24066,
December 9, 1925
Valentin Susi filed a complaint against Angela Razon and the Director
of Lands praying for the judgment declaring him as the sole and
absolute owner of the parcel of land in question. The evidence shows
that on September 5, 1899, Susi purchased the said property from
Apolonio Garcia and Basilio Mendoza. On August 15, 1914, Angela
Razon applied to the Director of Lands for the purchase of the land in
question. The Director of Lands sold the land to Angela Razon and
issued a certificate of title in her favor maintaining that the land in
question was a property of the Government of the United States
under the administration and control of the Philippine Islands.
Whether Angela Razon is entitled to the land in question.
No. When Razon applied for the purchase of the said land, Susi had
already been in possession thereof personally and through his
predecessors for thirty-four years. Moreover, the presumption juris et
de jure established in Act no. 2874, amending Act no. 926, that all
the necessary requirements for a grant by the Government were
complied with, for he has been in actual and physical possession,
personally and publicly since July 26, 1894, with a right to a
certificate of title. So that when Razon applied for the grant in her
favor, Susi had already acquired, by operation of law, a grant of the
Government, for it is not necessary that certificate of title should be
issued in order that said grant may be sanctioned by the courts, an
application thereof is sufficient, under the provision of Section 47 of
Act no. 2874. If by legal fiction, Susi had acquired the land in
question by a grant of the State, it had already ceased to be the
public domain and had become private property, at least by
presumption, beyond the control of the Director of Lands.
Consequently, in selling the land in question to Razon, the Director of
Lands disposed of a land over which he had no longer any title or
control, and the sale thus made was void and of no effect, and Razon
did not thereby acquire any right.
6. Mapa vs. Insular Government, G.R. No. L-3793, February 19,
1908, 10 Phil.,175
agricultural public lands defined by theact of Congress of July 1,
1902, which phrase is also to be found in several sections of the
Public LandAct (No. 926), means those public lands acquired from
Spain which are neither mineral nor timber lands.
- The petitioner sought to have registered a tract of land of about 16
hectares in extent,situated in Iloilo.
- From the evidence adduced it appears that the land in question is
lowland, and has beeninterruptedly, for more than 20 years,
in the possession of the petitioner and hisancestors as
owners and the same has been used during the said period, and up to
thepresent, as fish ponds, nipa lands, and salt deposits. The
witnesses declare the land isfar from the sea, the town of Molo being

between the sea and the said land.

- The claim of the Atty. General seems to be that no lands can be
called agricultural landsunless they are such by their nature. He
claims that it is not an agricultural land andtherefore, cannot be
disposed of nor can be allowed for homestead.- Judgment was
rendered in favor of the petitioner and the Government has appealed.
- A motion for a new trial was made and denied in the court below
- The decision of the court was based upon Act No. 926 Section 54,
par. 6 which providesthat All persons who by themselves or their
predecessors in interest have been in theopen, continuous, exclusive,
and notorious possession and occupation of agriculturalpublic lands,
as defined by said Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, under a bona fide
claimof ownership except as against the Government, for a period of
10 years next precedingthe taking effect of this Act, except when
prevented by war, or force majeure, shall beconclusively presumed to
have performed all the conditions essential to a Governmentgrant and
to have received the same, and shall be entitled to a certificate of title
to suchland under the provisions of this chapter.
Whether or not the land in controversy is agricultural land within the
meaning of Act. No.926
Yes- The phrase agricultural public lands defined by the Act of
Congress of July 1, 1902,which phrase is also to be found in several
section of the Public Land Act (No. 926),means those public lands
acquired from Spain which are neither mineral nor timer lands.
7. Cornelio Ramos vs. Director of Lands, (G.R. No. 13298
November 19, 1918)
8. Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Abella, G.R. No. L25010 October 27, 1926, (49 Phil. 49)
9. Oh Cho vs Director of Lands, 75 Phil. 890
10. Uy Un vs. Perez, 71 Phil. 508 "En Espanol
11. Mindanao vs. Director of Lands, L-19535, July 10, 1967
- On August 4, 1960 appellants filed an application for registration of
the land above described pursuant to the provisions of Act 496. They
alleged that the land had been inherited by them from their
grandfather, Pelagio Zara, who in turn acquired the same under a
Spanish grant known as "Composicion de Terrenos Realengos" issued
in 1888. Alternatively, should the provisions of the Land Registration
Act be not applicable, applicants invoke the benefits of the provisions
of Chapter VIII, Section 48, subsection (b) of C.A. 141 as amended,
on the ground that they and their predecessor in interest had been in
continuous and adverse possession of the land in concept of owner for
more than 30 years immediately preceding the application.
- Oppositions were filed by the Director of Lands, the Director of
Forestry and by Vicente V. de Villa, Jr. The latter's opposition recites:
x x x that the parcel of land sought to be registered by the applicants
consisting of 107 hectares, more or less, was included in the area of
the parcel of land applied for registration by Vicente S. de Villa, Sr. in
Civil Case No. 26, L.R. Case No. 601 in this Court, which was decided
by this same Court through the then incumbent Judge, the Honorable
Juan P. Enriquez, on September 30, 1949 that the parcel sought to
be registered by the applicants was declared public land in said
decision that they (the oppositors Vicente V. de Villa, Jr. and Vicente
S. de Villa, Sr.) have an interest over the land in question because for
a period more than sixty (60) years, the de Villas have been in
possession, and which possession, according to them, was open
continuous, notorious and under the claim of ownership that the
proceeding being in rem,
the failure of the applicants to appear at the case No. 26, L.R. Case
No. 601 to prove their imperfect and incomplete title over the
property, barred them from raising the same issue in another case

and that as far as the decision in Civil Case No. 26, L.R. Case No. 601
which was affirmed in the appellate court in CA G.R. No. 5847R is
concerned, there is already "resadjudicata"
in other words, the cause of action of the applicant is now barred
by prior judgment and that this Court has no more jurisdiction over
the subject matter, the decision of the Court in said case having
transferred to the Director of Lands.
- On November 15, 1960 the De Villas (De Villa, Sr. was subsequently
included as oppositor) filed a motion to dismiss, invoking the same
grounds alleged in its opposition, but principally the fact that the land
applied for had already been declared public land by the judgment in
the former registration case.
- The trial court, over the objection of the applicants, granted the
motion to dismiss by order dated January 27, 1961, holding, inter
alia, that "once a parcel of land is declared or adjudged public land by
the court having jurisdiction x x x it cannot be the subject anymore of
another land registration proceeding x x x (that) it is only the Director
of Lands who can dispose of the same by sale, by lease, by free
patent or by homestead."
Whether or not the 1949 judgment in the previous case, denying the
application of Vicente S. de Villa, Sr., and declaring the 107 hectares
in question to be public land, precludes a subsequent application by
an alleged possessor for judicial confirmation of title on the basis of
continuous possession for at least thirty years, pursuant to Section
48, subsection (b) of the Public Land Law,
C.A. 141, as amended.
It should be noted that appellants' application is in the alternative: for
registration of their title of ownership under Act 496 or for judicial
confirmation of their "imperfect" title or claim based on adverse and
continuous possession for at least thirty years. It may be that
although they were not actual parties in that previous case the
judgment therein is a bar to their claim as owners under the first
alternative, since the proceeding was in rem, of which they
and their predecessor had constructive notice by publication.
II. Land Classification
Agencies Involved
1. DOJ Opinion No. 23, Series of 1995 (17 Mar 1995 )
Reconsideration of DOJ Opinion No. 169, s. 1993, on the DOJ
affirmative stand on whether the prohibition against the
reclassification of forest lands applies to "unclassified public forest"
DOJ Opinion No. 169, s. 1993 (09 Dec 1993 )
Whether the prohibition in Section 4(a) of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law to reclassify forest and mineral lands to
alienable and disposable land applies to unclassified public forest
2. DENR vs Yap (G.R. No. 167707, October 08, 2008)
Agricultural Land
1. de Aldecoa vs Insular Government (G.R. No. 3894. March
12, 1909)
2. Krivenko vs. Register of Deeds of Manila (18 G.R. No. L-630.
November 15, 1947)

Mineral Lands

1. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. vs. Dumyung (GR No. L31666, April 20, 1929)
2. Republic vs. Court of Appeals and dela Rosa (GR No. L43938, April 15, 1988)
Ancestral Domain
(RA No. 8371) "The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997
1. Cruz vs. DENR Secretary (G.R. No. 135385, December 6,
Survey Error
1. Republic vs. Peralta, et al., En Banc (G.R. No. 150327, June
18, 2003) FACTS:
- On September 26, 1994, Marilyn A. Peralta, Rosie A. Lavalan, Grace
A. Reyes, Alberto B. Alonday, Mercy B. Alonday, Rochelieu B. Alonday,
Azucena B. Alonday, Benedicto B. Alonday, and Janeta A. Baluran filed
a complaint for recovery of possession and ownership of real property
with the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 13, against the
defendants Republic of the Philippines, the Regional Executive
Director of Region XI of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) and the Conservation Officer in said region. The
plaintiffs alleged therein, inter alia, that they are the heirs of
Benedicto B. Alonday who applied for and was granted Homestead
Patent No. V11244 by the then Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources (DENR) over Lot 3561 with an area of 237,898 square
meters the said lot was a portion of Lot 2988 of the Guiang Cadastre
located in Guiang, Davao City and that on the basis of said patent,
Benedicto Alonday was issued Original Certificate of Title No. P275
over the said property by the Register of Deeds they purchased the
said property from their father Benedicto and were issued on April 25,
1988 Transfer Certificate of Title No. T134231 in their names the
property was allegedly alienable and disposable property within
Project 1B, certified on January 13, 1931 as per LC Map No. 1412
approved by the Director of Bureau of Forestry, as confirmed by the
letter of the petitioner Regional Director, dated February 15, 1994
they had been in possession of the said property as owner thereof
since November 1965 and that some time in 1969, officers of the
Bureau of Forest Development (BFD) sought his permission to use a
portion of said property with an area of five hectares the BFD caused
the construction of a big concrete building on said portion of the
property on June 28, 1971, Benedictos lawyer wrote a letter to the
BFD demanding that it vacate the said portion of his property on
which the building was constructed but said letter was ignored on
February 24, 1979, Forest Conservation Officer Marion Abundio, Sr.
asked permission from Benedicto to allow the BFD to install on a
portion of the subject property consisting of twenty five square
meters a small generator to provide electricity to the existing building
and compound of the Philippine Eagles Acclimatization and Breeding
Center Benedicto did not give his assent to these requests of the
aforenamed government officials despite which they still caused the
construction of the building and installation of the generator unit the
plaintiffs demanded that the defendants vacate the property on July
14, 1994 but the latter refused. The plaintiffs prayed that after due
proceedings judgment be rendered in their favor and that the
defendants be ordered to vacate the subject property and pay the
plaintiffs damages and litigation expenses.
- The plaintiffs appended as annexes to their petition copies of the
aforesaid title and letters of the BFD officials. In their answer to the
complaint, the defendants, through the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG), interposed the special and affirmative defenses that: (a) the
complaint did not state a cause of action against them (b) the
building constructed by the defendants was within the perimeter of
the Mt. Apo National Park, a forest reserve under Proclamation No.

59, as amended, of the President of the Philippines, and not on the

plaintiffs property (c) the installation of a generator unit did not push
through (d) Project 1B, under which the subject property was
declassified as alienable and disposable property per Land
Classification Map No. 1412, should not prevail over Proclamation No.
59, as amended (e) the suit was against the State which cannot be
sued without its consent (f) the plaintiffs failed to exhaust all
administrative remedies before filing their complaint. The defendants
prayed that the complaint be dismissed.
-The parties filed their respective pretrial briefs. After the requisite
pretrial conference, the RTC issued an Order, dated August 29, 1995,
constituting a panel of commissioners composed of Engineer Roderick
R. Calapardo, as Team Leader, and Gregorio Cenabre and Engineer
Rogelio Zantua, as members, to conduct a relocation survey and
determine if the respondents property is part of the Mt. Apo National
Park. After the survey, the panel submitted its report to the trial
court, date November 7, 1995, stating that: the land in case is
92,216 square meters within the certified Alienable and Disposable (A
& D) Lands while the remaining portion of 145,682 square meters is
within the Mt. Apo National Park Reservation.
- In their comment on the report, the plaintiffs claimed that the
survey team altered the boundary line of their property in the course
of the survey and that the team did not take into account Project 1B
per Land Classification Map No. 1412 approved by the Director of the
Bureau of Forestry. The defendants, on the other hand, insisted that
the survey team did not alter the boundary line of the property and
that it took into account Project 1B and Land Classification Map No.
1412 in conducting the survey and preparing its report. On motion of
the plaintiffs and with the conformity of the defendants, through
Assistant Solicitor General Aurora P. Cortez, the RTC issued an order
on March 7, 1997 declaring that there were no factual issues involved
in the case and that it would decide the case on the basis of the
pleadings and memoranda of the parties as well as the commissioners
- On May 6, 1997, the RTC rendered judgment in favor of the
plaintiffs and against the defendants finding and declaring that the
property occupied by the defendants was part of the plaintiffs
property. The RTC ordered the defendants to vacate the property,
restore possession thereof to the plaintiffs and remove all the
improvements thereon made by them. The decretal portion of the
decision reads:
In view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered
sustaining the validity and legality of the plaintiffs right of ownership
and possession over that parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate
of Title No. T134231 of the Registry of Davao City. Defendants are
hereby ordered to vacate the portion of land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T134231 of the Registry of Deeds of Davao City
alluded to by the plaintiffs and to restore peaceful possession of the
same to them. Defendants are further ordered to remove all the
improvements they have introduced thereon.
What is involved in this case is a portion of land consisting of no less
than 145,682 square meters or less than fifteen hectares which they
claim is part of the Mt. Apo National Park as shown by the relocation
survey of the panel of commissioners. The case is one of public
interest. If the aforesaid property is, indeed, part of the forest reserve
as claimed by the petitioners but their right to adduce their evidence
is foreclosed by the dismissal of the present petition, the said
property would be forever lost to the prejudice of the State. In
Republic v. Imperial,[16] this Court held that:
The need, therefore, to determine once and for all whether
the lands subject of petitioners reversion efforts are foreshore lands
constitutes good and sufficient cause for relaxing procedural rules and
granting the third and fourth motions for extension to file appellants
brief. Petitioners appeal presents an exceptional circumstance
impressed with public interest and must then be given due course.

The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the respondents as it

ordered the petitioners to vacate that portion of the subject property
occupied by them and to return possession thereof to the
respondents, without requiring the parties to adduce evidence on the
factual issues of (a) whether or not the property covered by the title
of the respondents is part of the Mt. Apo National Park (a forest
reserve) (b) whether or not the building constructed by the
petitioners is inside the forest reserve and (c) whether or not the
petitioners installed a generator unit in the respondents property.

annulment of Decree No. 381928 on the ground that the trial court
did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate a portion of the subject
property which was allegedly still classified as timber land at the time
of the issuance of Decree No. 381928.

Lands declared by the courts as agricultural lands prior to the

introduction of land classification

The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint because of lack of

jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. Petitioner filed a
motion for reconsideration. In its 25 September 2002 Resolution, the
Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration.
Hence, this petition.

- The Regional Executive Director of the DENR created an

investigating team to conduct ground verification and ocular
inspection of the subject property and was found to be still within the
timberland area at the time of the issuance of the Decree and O.C.T.
of the spouses Antonio Carag and Victoria Turingan, and the same
It bears stressing that the trial court formed a panel of commissioners was only released as alienable and disposable on February 22, 1982
to conduct a relocation survey of the subject property. The panel of
and also Petitioner Bienvenida Taguiam Vda. De Dayag and others
commissioners found that 145,682 square meters which is a portion
have possessed and occupied by themselves and thru their
of the Mt. Apo National Park had been included in the respondents
predecessors-in-interest the portion of Lot 2472 Cad-151, covered by
title to the subject property. The trial court ignored this and did not
LC Project 3-L of LC Map 2999, since time immemorial.
even bother to receive the parties respective evidence on the said
report. The panel of commissioners was not even called to testify on
- On 19 October 1998, private respondents filed a motion to dismiss.
its findings. The appellate court will be able to review on appeal the
Private respondents alleged that petitioner failed to comply with Rule
decision of the trial court and ascertain whether there has been a
47 of the Rules of Court because the real ground for the complaint
travesty of justice to the gross prejudice of the State.
was mistake, not lack of jurisdiction, and that petitioner, as a party in
the original proceedings, could have availed of the ordinary remedies
The respondents will not suffer substantial prejudice if the trial is
of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies
reopened. The records show that the trial court denied respondents
but failed to do so. Private respondents added that petitioner did not
motion for a writ of execution although the trial court had dismissed
attach to the complaint a certified true copy of the decision sought to
the appeal of the petitioners. The respondents did not even assail the be annulled. Private respondents also maintained that the complaint
order of the trial court.
was barred by the doctrines of res judicata and law of the case and by
Section 38 of Act No. 496. Private respondents also stated that not all
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the decision of the Court of
the heirs of spouses Carag were brought before the Court of Appeals
Appeals in CAG. R. SP No. 53440 is REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The
for an effective resolution of the case. Finally, private respondents
Orders of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 13, dated
claimed that the real party in interest was not petitioner but a certain
February 5, 1999 and May 5, 1999 in Civil Case No. 23,16894 are SET Alfonso Bassig, who had an ax to grind against private respondents.
ASIDE. The said Regional Trial Court is DIRECTED to reopen the trial
to enable the parties to adduce their respective evidence. The Office
On 3 March 1999, petitioner filed an amended complaint for
of the Solicitor General is hereby directed to represent the petitioners reversion, annulment of decree, cancellation and declaration of nullity
during the trial. No costs.
of titles.

1. Sta. Monica Industrial and Development Corporation vs.

Court of Appeals (189 SCRA 792)
2. Director of Forestry vs. Villareal (G.R. No. L-32266 February
27, 1989)
Lands already registered by the Court as Private Lands
1. Republic vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 155450, August 6,
- On 2 June 1930, the then Court of First Instance of Cagayan issued
Decree No. 381928 in favor of spouses Antonio Carag and Victoria
Turingan covering a parcel of land identified as Lot No. 2472, Cad.
151, containing an area of 7,047,673 square meters situated in
Tuguegarao, Cagayan. On 19 July 1938, pursuant to said Decree, the
Register of Deeds of Cagayan issued Original Certificate of Title No.
11585 in the name of spouses Carag.
- On 2 July 1952, OCT No. 11585 was cancelled to discharge the
encumbrance expressly stated in Decree No. 381928. Two transfer
certificates of title were issued: Transfer Certificate of Title No. T1277, issued in the name of the Province of Cagayan, covering Lot
2472-B consisting of 100,000 square meters and Transfer Certificate
of Title No. T-1278, issued in the name of the private respondents,
covering Lot 2472-A consisting of 6,997,921 square meters.
- On 19 May 1994, Bienvenida Taguiam Vda. De Dayag and others
filed with the Regional Office No. 2 of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR), Tuguegarao, Cagayan, a letterpetition requesting the DENR to initiate the filing of an action for the

Whether the Court had jurisdiction to determine whether the subject
property, including the disputed portion, applied for was agricultural,
timber or mineral land.
The Court DENIED the petition and DISMISSED the petitioners
complaint. The Court ruled that:
We are inclined to agree with the respondent that it is legally doubtful
if the authority of the Governor General to declare lands as alienable
and disposable would apply to lands that have become private
property or lands that have been impressed with a private right
authorized and recognized by Act 2874 or any valid law. By express
declaration of Section 45 (b) of Act 2874 which is quoted above,
those who have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious
possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain
under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership since July 26,
1894 may file an application with the Court of First Instance of the
province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and
these applicants shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all
the conditions essential to a government grant and shall be entitled to
a certificate of title. When the land registration court issued a decision
for the issuance of a decree which was the basis of an original
certificate of title to the land, the court had already made a
determination that the land was agricultural and that the applicant
had proven that he was in open and exclusive possession of the
subject land for the prescribed number of years. It was the land

registration court which had the jurisdiction to determine whether the

land applied for was agricultural, forest or timber taking into account
the proof or evidence in each particular case.

Ibid.) that there are overlappings on the boundaries of the two (2)
lands (Nos. 226, 27, 28 and 29, Ibid.) and that the overlappings are
due to the defect in the survey on petitioner's land since it did not
duly conform with the previously approved survey of Lot 1, 113218
As with this case, when the trial court issued the decision for the
under OCT 8565 (No. 25, lbid). He ended his report by submitting
issuance of Decree No. 381928 in 1930, the trial court had jurisdiction that private respondents' land, TCT No. 8565, prevails over
to determine whether the subject property, including the disputed
petitioner's land, TCT No. 45764, since the former was surveyed and
portion, applied for was agricultural, timber or mineral land. The trial
titled ahead.
court determined that the land was agricultural and that spouses
Carag proved that they were entitled to the decree and a certificate of ISSUE:
title. The government, which was a party in the original proceedings
Who between the two title holders is entitled to the land in dispute?
in the trial court as required by law, did not appeal the decision of the
trial court declaring the subject land as agricultural. Since the trial
court had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, its
It must be stated that private respondents and their predecessor or
decision rendered in 1930, or 78 years ago, is now final and beyond
predecessors never possessed, much less, claimed the overlapped
portions. Petitioner has been always in possession of the same in the
concept of an owner, and his possession was disturbed only in
Bureaucratic Constraints in Classification of Lands
February, 1966, when the private respondents caused to be placed
two (2) monuments inside his land. It will be recalled that, as per
report of Surveyor Jovino B. Dauz (Record on Appeal, pp. 2128),
1. Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, En Banc
private respondents' land (TCT8565 is Lot No. 1, 118218)
(G.R. No. 127245, January 30, 2001)
was surveyed on March 11, 1913 and originally titled and registered
on March 1, 1918 in the name of Dominga Balanga. On the other
III. Identifying Lands - surveying and mapping
hand, petitioner's land (TCT No. 45764) is LotA of Subdivision plan,
Psd14013, a portion of land described in OCT No. 126) was surveyed
1. Golloy v. Court of Appeals, (G.R. No. 47491, May 4, 1989)
on March 18, 1918 and subsequently titled and registered in the
name of Agustin Golloy. The said lands, having been surveyed and
thereafter registered, it follows that monuments were placed therein
- Herein petitioner, for more than twenty (20) years, has been the
registered owner and in possession of a 41,545square meter parcel of to indicate their respective boundaries. It is hardly persuasive that
land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 45764. The Southwest private respondents' predecessor, Dominga Balanga, believing that
she has a rightful claim to the overlapped portions, did not make any
portion of this land is bounded by herein private respondents' land
move to question the placement of the monuments. She could have
which is covered by Certificate of Title No. 8565. Sometime in
easily objected to the placement and pointed out that the placement
February, 1966, private respondents subdivided their land among
of the monuments excluded the overlapped portions from her
themselves. In the course of the subdivision, private respondents
caused to be placed two (2) monuments inside the Southwest, portion property. However, no such objection was made. These facts could
of petitioner's land. Hence, petitioner filed with the then Court of First only be construed to mean that private respondents' predecessor,
Dominga Balanga, never believed that she has a right and legal claim
Instance of Tarlac, presided over by Judge Arturo B. Santos an
action to quiet title. The same was docketed therein as Civil Case No. to the overlapped portion. There appears to be no evidence to
support claims of repeated demands against petitioner to refrain from
cultivating the contested portion, much less an action filed in court to
enforce such demands.
- Private respondents, in their filed motion to dismiss with
counterclaim, alleged that they never encroached upon the
landholding of petitioner and nothing has been placed on his land
which would create any cloud thereon and that the truth of the
matter was that they merely subdivided their own land according to
their title and therefore there was nothing for petitioner to quiet or
remove cloud on his title. .
- In the pretrial of December 12, 1967, the parties agreed that
inasmuch as the only issue in dispute referred ultimately to the
question of the boundaries of their respective lots, the same might be
resolved by appointing a public surveyor of the Bureau of Lands to
relocate the disputed area with the end in view of determining the
true and correct boundaries of their parcels. .
- The trial court, in line with the abovesaid agreement, in an Order
dated December 13, 1968, ordered the Director of Lands to appoint
an impartial public land surveyor to conduct the relocation survey on
the disputed area.
- On May 20, 1968, Jovino B. Dauz, Surveyor of the Bureau of Lands,
Dagupan City, submitted his Report (Record on Appeal, pp. 2128,
Rollo, p. 34), which states in substance, that petitioner's land is Lot A
of the Subdivision plan, Psd1413, being a portion of the land
described in Original Certificate of Title No. 126 in the name of
Agustin Golloy (No. 11, Record on Appeal, p. 23) that the land titled
under OCT No. 126 was surveyed on March 18, 1918 and
subsequently titled and registered on August 15, 1919 (No. 12, Ibid)
that on the other hand, private respondents' land is Lot No. 1,
118218 in the name of Domingo Balanga, surveyed on March 11,
1913 and originally titled and registered on March 1, 1918 (No. 15,

Besides, considering that petitioner and his predecessor or

predecessors have been in continuous possession in the concept of an
owner, for almost fifty (50) years (from August 15, 1919, when the
property was registered, up to February, 1966, when the private
respondents caused the placement of two (2) monuments inside his
land), the latter if they have any right at all to the overlapped portion,
are guilty of laches.
We also agree with the petitioners that laches effectively bars the
respondent from recovering the lot in dispute.
Although the defense of prescription is unavailing to the petitioners
because, admittedly, the title to Lot No. 5517 is still registered in the
name of respondent, still the petitioners have acquired title to it by
virtue of the equitable principle of laches due to respondent's failure
to assert her claims and ownership for thirty two (32) years.
2. Cambridge Realty and Resources Corporation vs. Eridanus
Development, Inc. and Chiton Realty Corp., (G.R. No. 152445,
July 4, 2008)
Courts exist to dispense justice through the determination of the truth
to conflicting claims. A party comes to court equipped with the tools
that will convince the court that his position is more viable than the
others. He may not hesitate to employ any method, means or artifice
of persuasion that will sway the sympathies of the court in his favor.
As we have said before, indeed, each claim may appear to be as good
and self-serving as the other.

In the quest for truth, a court often encounters concerns that

necessitate not only the application of the various principles of law,
but likewise precepts of the exact sciences, various disciplines of
study or fields of human endeavour about which the judge may not
NO. Since the acquisition of the land and final completion of the
be knowledgeable or skilled, and which concerns he is not prepared to requirements was done by Balboa prior to the repeal of Act 926 by
resolve, unless with the aid and intervention of or through the
act no. 2874, also upon the submission of the final requirement by
medium of learned and experienced disinterested experts.
Balboa, he acquire vested right over the patent granted unto him. The
fact the homestead patent or certificate of title No. 91 was issued on
An example lies precisely in the area of land boundary disputes. The
September 10, 1920, after the repeal of Act No. 926, and under the
first step in the resolution of such cases is for the court to direct the
provisions of section 116 of the repealing Act No. 2874, cannot
proper government agency concerned (the Land Registration
prejudice the vested right acquired by Balboa under the provisions of
Authority, or LRA, or the Department of Environment and Natural
the former Act. The issuance of the certificate of title was a mere
Resources, or DENR) to conduct a verification or relocation survey
ministerial act. The only prohibition contained in Act No. 926 against
and submit a report to the court, or constitute a panel of
alienation of homestead acquired under said law, appears in section 4
commissioners for the purpose.
thereof, which reads as follows: "No lands acquired under the
provisions of this chapter shall in any event become liable to the
In every land dispute, the aim of the courts is to protect the integrity
satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the issuance of a patent
of and maintain inviolate the Torrens system of land registration, as
therefor." It follows, therefore that the sale of the land in question by
well as to uphold the law a resolution of the parties dispute is merely the plaintiff Balboa to the defendant Farrales does not infringe said
a necessary consequence. Taking this to mind, we cannot grant the
prohibition and consequently said sale is valid and binding, and
respondents prayer without violating the very principles of the Torrens should be given full force and effect of law. Section 116 of Act No.
system. They have failed to lay the proper foundation for their claim
2874, which prohibits the sale of homestead land during the period of
of overlap. This is precisely the reason why the trial court should
five years subsequent to the issuance of the patent or certificate of
have officially appointed a commissioner or panel of commissioners
title upon which rests the decision of the court a quo, cannot be
and not leave the initiative to secure one to the parties: so that a
invoked to annul the sale in question. Said prohibition, if applied in
thorough investigation, study and analysis of the parties titles could
the present case, would impair and diminish the vested rights, hence
be made in order to provide, in a comprehensive report, the
the court reversed the decision of the lower court.
necessary information that will guide it in resolving the case
completely, and not merely leave the determination of the case to a
Republic vs. Diamonon, G.R. No. L-7813, October 31, 1955
consideration of the parties more often than not self-serving
Mejia vs. Mapa, G.R. No. L-7042, May 28, 1954
3. Felipe de Guzman vs. Manuel de Santos, (G.R. No. 6609.
December 2, 1911)

By virtue of an application filed by Maximo Alfafara, the Bureau of
Forestry granted him a permit on February 1, 1923, by virtue of which
he was authorized to construct and maintain a fishpond within lot No.
741 of the Carcar cadastre. Said permittee constructed fishpond dikes
IV. Modes of Acquiring Title to Public Lands
along the side of the land facing General Luna street and running
parallel to the river. Said dikes were destroyed by the flood which
Balboa vs. Farrales, G.R. No. L-27059, February 14, 1928
occurred in the same year. In 1926, the permittee abandoned the
idea of converting the land into a fishpond and, instead, he decided to
convert it into a ricefield. To this effect, the permittee entered into an
(1)in the year 1913, the plaintiff Buenaventura Balboa filled with the
agreement with the respondents whereby the latter would convert the
Bureau of Lands an application for homestead, No. 10619, under the
land into a ricefield on condition that they would take for themselves
provisions of Act No. 926, covering a tract of land situated in the
the harvests for the first three years and thereafter the crop would be
barrio of Culis, municipality of Hermosa, Province of Bataan,
divided share and share alike between the permittee and the
containing 14 hectares, 49 ares and 77 centares.
respondents. In 1930, the permittee ceded his rights and interests in
(2) Five years thereafter, or in 1918, Balboa submitted proof, showing the land to his son, Catalino Alfafara, who continued improving the
his residence upon, and cultivation of said land, as well as his
same by constructing more rice paddies and planting nipa palms
compliance with all of the other requirements of section 3 of said Act
along its border. Having converted the land into a ricefield, Catalino
No. 926, which final proof was approved by the Director of Lands on
Alfafara filed a homestead application therefor in his name while at
February 15, 1918. On July 1, 1919, said Act No. 926 was repealed
the same time continuing the same agreement with respondents as
by Act No. 2874.
share croppers. Upon the death of Catalino Alfafara in 1945, the
(3) On September 10, 1920, or over a year after Act No. 2874 had
respondents, after the harvest in 1946, began asserting their own
gone into effect, the homestead patent for said land, otherwise known right over the land and refused to give the share corresponding to
as certificate of title No. 91 was issued n favor of Buenventura Balboa Catalino Alfafara to his widow, the herein petitioner.
by the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.
(4) On August 11, 1924, said Buenaventura Balboa, for and in
The claim of respondents that they improved the land in their own
consideration of the sum of P950, sold said land to the defendant
right and not with permission of petitioner's predecessors-in-interest,
Cecilio L. Farrales; and on October 16, 1924, the latter secured in his was not given credence by the Bureau of Lands, for its agents found,
name transfer certificate of title No. 650 of said land. On March 6,
not only from the evidence presented, but also from their ocular
1926, the plaintiff commenced the present action for the purpose of
inspection, that the land has been under the rightful possession of
having said sale declared null and void on the ground of lack of
Maximo Alfafara since 1923, and that the respondents were only able
consent on his part and fraud on the part of the defendant, and on
to work thereon upon his permission on a share basis. By virtue of
the further ground that said sale was contrary to, and in violation of
these findings of the Director of Lands, the homestead application of
the provisions of section 116 of Act No. 2874.The lower court Judge
petitioner was given due course.
rendered a decision on the basis that the said sale was null and void
since, The sale was done before the lapse of five years upon the
issuance of the certificate, which in accordance with act no. 2874.
Whether or not the petitioner or any of her predecessors-in-interest
acquired any right to the land under the provisions of the Public Land
Whether or not Act 2874, and not Act 926, shall be applicable to

Even in the supposition that the permit we granted to Maximo Alfafara
by the Bureau of Forestry to possess the land and work it out for his
benefit be against the law and as such can have no legal effect, the
fact however is that Maximo Alfafara has acted thereon in good faith
honestly believing that his possession of the land was legal and was
given to him under the virtue of the authority of the law. Likewise, it
cannot be reasonably disputed that when Maximo Alfafara entered
into a contract with the respondents for the conversion of the land
into a ricefield with the understanding that the respondents, as a
reward for their service, would get for themselves all the harvest for
the first three years, and thereafter the harvest would be divided
between them and Maximo Alfafara share and share alike both
Alfafara and respondents have acted in good faith in the honest belief
that what they were doing was legal and in pursuance of the permit
granted to Alfafara under the authority of the law. Having entered
into that contractual relation in good faith no other conclusion can be
drawn than that such contract has produced as a necessary
consequence the relation of landlord and tenant so much so that the
respondents worked the land only on the basis of such undertaking.
And this relation continued not only when Maximo Alfafara assigned
his right under the permit to his son Catalino, but also when the later
died and his widow, the herein petitioner, took over and continued
possessing the land as successor-in-interest of her husband. And it
was only in 1946, after the death of Catalino Alfafara, that
respondents got wise and taking advantage of the helplessness of his
widow, coveted the land and decided to assert their own right over it
by filing their own application for homestead with the Bureau of
Lands. Such a conduct cannot be regarded as one done in good faith
and, in our opinion, cannot serve as basis for a grant of public land
under the ruling invoked by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural

This case involves claims to 14.25 hectares of public land in
Bambang, Sto. Domingo,Nueva Vizcaya. The land was originally
applied for as homestead by Jose Aquino. Upon his death, Aquino was
succeeded by his children who sold their rights to the land to the
present appellee, Serapio Dauan on December 16, 1943, appellee
sold his rights to one-half of the land to appellant Simon Ilarde and
that on July 24, 1951, he sold his rights to 4 hectares to appellant
Lord Calangan and to 3 hectares to appellant Basilia Tomas. On March
28, 1955, Calangan and Tomas in turn sold their rights to some part
of the land to Santos Baysa. These sales were all made without the
previous approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Whether the transfer of homestead right is valid even without the
approval of the Director of Land?
NO, the court ruled that under of Public Land Act (Commonwealth Act
No. 141). Sec. 20 states that if at any time after the approval of the
application and before the patent is issued, the applicant shall prove
to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands that he has complied with
all requirements of the law. However, such cannot continue with his
homestead if through no fault of his own, there is a bona fide
purchaser for the rights and improvements of the applicant on the
land, and the conveyance is not made for purposes of speculation. In
this case, the applicant, with the previous approval of the Secretary of
Agriculture and Commerce, may transfer his rights to the land and
improvements to any person legally qualified to apply for a
homestead. Such transferee may legally acquire the land should the
he file a homestead application to the land so acquired including the
rights and obligations of the previous homesteader from the date of
application. Any person who has so transferred his rights may again
apply For a new homestead.

The possession therefore of the land by respondents should be

considered as that of a tenant and in this sense that possession
cannot benefit them but their landlord, the widow, in contemplation of Every transfer made without the previous approval of the Secretary of
the rule. As such, the widow should be given the preference to apply
Agriculture and Commerce shall be null and void and shall result in
for the land for homestead purposes.
the cancellation of the entry and the refusal of the patent.
Diaz and Reyes vs. Macalinao, et al, 102 Phil. 999

Pascua vs. Talens, G.R. No. L-348 April 30, 1948

Plaintiffs-appellees brought this action, alleging that they are absolute
owners of land situated in Barrio Aneg, Tumauini, Isabela; that said
land was acquired as a homestead by MariaDiaz in the year 1939, by
virtue of her H.A. No. 229763 (Entry No. 138890), approved by the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources on November 29,
1950; that plaintiffs herein,parents of Maria Diaz, succeeded to the
possession of the said homestead. The defendants illegally took
possession of a portion of the said homestead, containing area of 6
hectares and yielding an annual harvest of 480 cavans of palay valued
at P7.00 percavan. The defendants Pascual Macalinao is another
homestead applicant and his application conflicts with that of the late
Maria Diaz, predecessor-in-interest of the plaintiffs, and that the
other defendants have no interest or right over the land subject
matter of the action.

Sinforoso Pascua obtained ownership of a homestead. On March 23,
1936, Florentino Pascua acquired said homestead by inheritance. On
August 2, 1940, Florentino sold the above-mentioned land to Jose
Talens. In 1943, Florentino demanded re-conveyance of the land
pursuant to section 117 of Act No. 2874. The defendant refused.

Whether or not the Director of Lands has the jurisdiction to determine
which of the rival homesteaders should be entitled to possess.
Yes. A homestead entry having been permitted by the Director of
Lands the homestead is segregated from the public domain and the
Director of Lands is divested of the control and possession thereof.
The only exception is if the application is finally disapproved and the
entry annulled or revoked.
Dauan vs. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 19
SCRA 223

Whether or not an heir may exercise right of repurchase by the
homesteader under Act no. 2874.
YES, the right to repurchase exists not only when the original
homesteader makes the conveyance, but also when it is made by his
widow or heirs. Section 117 of Act No. 2874 states that "Every
conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or homestead
provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by the
applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, for a period of five years from the
date of the conveyance."
Simeon v. Pea, GR No. L-29049, December 29, 1970;

Benzonan vs CA, 97998, January 27, 1992

Vargas and Vargas vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. L-35666, June
29, 1979
Santana and Panganiban vs. Marias, GR No. L-35537,

December 27, 1979

Bajenting, et al. vs. Baes, et al., GR No. 166190, September
20, 2006
Republic vs. de Guzman, 326 SCRA 574 (old view) Alienable
and Disposable vs. Time of Application for Registration
Malabanan vs. Court of Appeals
On February 20, 1998, Mario Malabanan filed an application for land
registration covering a parcel of land identified as Lot 9864-A, Cad452-D, Silang Cadastre, situated in Barangay Tibig,Silang Cavite
consisting of 71,324 sq.m. He claimed that he purchased the land
from Eduardo Velasco and he and his predecessor-in-interest is in
open, continuous, notorious adverse and peaceful possession of the
land for more than 30 years. Velasco, then, appear as a witnesses
alleging that the land belonged to his great grandfather Lino Velasco,
wherein upon the latters death, it was transferred to his 4 sons,
Esteban, Eduardo, Gregorio and Benedicto. Magdalena,Estebans wife,
became the administrator of the whole property and upon the death
of Esteban and Magdaleno was transferred to their son, Virgilio. This
was the property that was sold by Eduardo. They also presented a
CENRO certificate that the land was alienable and disposable. The RTC
granted the application, which was, however reversed by the CA.
Malabanan died pending case before the CA. The CA alleged that the
land became alienable only on 1982 as evident by the CENROs
certificate. The case was referred to the Court
En Banc where oral arguments was held.
1. Whether or not the land is alienable and disposable; and
2 Whether or not the respondent and his predecessor-in-interest had
an open,continuous, notorious, adverse, and peaceful possession of
the land for 30 years.
1. Yes, the property was declared alienable and disposable in 1982,
however, there is no competent evidence that the same is not
intended for public use service or for the development of national
evidence, in order to conform to Article 422 of the Civil Code. There
must be an express declaration from the State, either through
enactment of congress or Presidential Proclamation in cases the law
authorized the President to do so, that the public dominion is no
longer intended for public use or the national wealth, or the same is
already converted to patrimonial property. Absence of which, the
prescriptive period will not begin to run.
2. No. respondent failed to prove through evidence his and his
predecessor-in-interests possession over the land since June 12,
1945 or earlier, the latest evidence of possession that respondent had
presented was through the tax declaration dated 1948.
San Miguel Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 185 SCRA 722
Director of Lands vs. IAC and Acme Plywood and Veneer Co.
Inc. G.R. No. 73002, December 29, 1986)

public domain. And that ownership and possession of the land sought
to be registered by the applicant was duly recognized by the
government. The Director of Lands takes issue to the applicability of
the 1935 Constitution to the matter at hand. He asserts that, the
registration proceedings have been commenced only on July 17,
1981, or long after the 1973 Constitution had gone into effect, and
since section 11 of its Article XIV prohibits private corporations or
associations from holding alienable lands of the public domain, except
by lease not to exceed 1,000 hectares, it was reversible error to
decree registration in favor of Acme.
Whether the title that the Infiels had transferred to Acme in 1962
could be confirmed.
YES. The question turns upon a determination of the character of the
lands at the time of institution of the registration proceedings in
1981. The correct rule, as enunciated in the line of cases already
referred to, is that alienable public land held by a possessor,
personally or through his predecessors-in-interest, openly,
continuously and exclusively for the prescribed statutory period (30
years under The Public Land Act, as amended) is converted to private
property by the mere lapse or completion of said period, ipso jure.
Following that rule and on the basis of the undisputed facts, the land
subject of this appeal was already private property at the time it was
acquired from the Infiels by Acme. Acme thereby acquired a
registrable title, there being at the time no prohibition against said
corporation's holding or owning private land.
Susana Meguinto, et al. vs. Republic of the Philippines, GR No.
134308, December 14, 2000).
Republic vs. de Guzman, 326 SCRA 574
Republic of the Philippines vs. East Silverland Realty
Development Corporation; G.R. No. 186961, February 20, 2012
The Republic assails the decision of the CSA, affirming the RTCs grant
to East Silverlane Realty Development Corporation (ESRDC) of its
petition for registration of a parcel of land situated in El Salvador,
Misamis Oriental. ESRDC purchased a portion of the subject property
from Francisca Oco in November 27, 1990 and the remaining portion
from Rosario U.Tan Lim, Nemesia Tan and Mariano U. Tan on April 11,
1991. It was claimed that the respondents predecessors-in-interest
had been in open, notorious, continuous and exclusive possession of
the subject property since June 12, 1945. The Republic alleges that
the respondent failed to prove that its predecessors-in-interest
possessed the subject property in the manner and for the length of
time CA No. 141 and PD No. 1529.
Whether or not the respondent has proven itself entitled to the
benefits of the CA No.141 and PD No. 1529 on confirmation of
imperfect or incomplete titles.

NO. On the premise that the application for registration, which was
filed in 1995, is based on Section 14 (2), it was not proven that the
Respondent Acme Plywood & Veneer Co., Inc. acquired five parcels of respondent and its predecessors-in-interest had been in possession of
land from Mariano and Acer Infiel, members of the Dumagat tribe.
the subject property in the manner prescribed by law and for the
The possession of the applicant Acme Plywood & Veneer Co., Inc., is
period necessary before acquisitive prescription may apply. While the
continuous, adverse and public from 1962 to the present and tacking
subject land was supposedly declared alienable and disposable on
the possession of the Infiels who were granted from whom the
December 31, 1925 per the April 18, 1997 Certification and July 1,
applicant bought said land on October 29, 1962, hence the possession 1997 Report of the Community Environment and Natural Resources
is already considered from time immemorial. The land sought to be
Office(CENRO), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) converted
registered is a private land pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act
the same from agricultural to industrial only on October 16, 1990.
No.3872 granting absolute ownership to members of the nonAlso, it was only in 200 that the Municipality of El Salvador passed a
Christian Tribes on land occupied by them or their ancestral lands,
Zoning Ordinance, including the subject property in the industrial
whether with the alienable or disposable public land or within the
zone. Therefore, it was only in 1990 that the subject property had

been declared patrimonial and it is only then that the prescriptive

period began to run. The respondent cannot benefit from the alleged
possession of its predecessors-in-interest because prior to the
withdrawal of the subject property from the public domain, it may not
be acquired by prescription. The respondents application was filed
after only four years from the time the subject property maybe
considered patrimonial by reason of the DARs October 26, 1990
Order shows lack of possession whether for ordinary or extraordinary
prescriptive period. Furthermore, the phrase adverse, continuous,
open, public, and in concept of owner,by which the respondent
describes its possession and that of its predecessors-in-interest is a
conclusion of law. The burden of proof is on the respondent to prove
by clear, positive and convincing evidence that the alleged possession
of its predecessors-in-interest was of the nature and duration
required by law. It is therefore inconsequential if the petitioner failed
to present evidence that would controvert the allegations of the
respondent. A person who seeks the registration of title to apiece of
land on the basis of possession by himself and his predecessors-ininterest must prove his claim by clear and convincing evidence, i.e.,
he must prove his title and should not rely on the absence or
weakness of the evidence of the oppositors. The respondents claim of
ownership will not prosper on the basis of the tax declarations alone
because it is only when these tax declarations are coupled with proof
of actual possession of the property that they may become the basis
of a claim of ownership. In the absence of actual public and adverse
possession, the declaration of the land for tax purposes does not
prove ownership.
Tan, et al. vs. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193443,
April 16, 2012.
Maximo Cortes vs. City Of Manila, G.R. No. L-4012, March 25,
On 26th of September, 1906, Cortes filed a written application for the
registration of a parcel of land owned by him, free of all
encumbrances, situated in Calle Aguilar corner Calle Ceciliain
Binondo. The land was purchased by Cortes from Prospero. The
property was the assessed for the purpose of taxation of the last
fiscal year. The buildings erected were paid for by Cortes and the
applications is accompanied by a deed of sale, plan ,and technical
description of the land. The examiner of titles reported, in due course,
that the said building lot was attached by reason of certain
proceedings instituted against the applicant for treason and rebellion,
yet,inasmuch as the land was acquired by him more than ten years
previously, he could be considered the real owner thereof by
prescription; but that, in order to obtain title, it was necessary for him
to show that said attachment had been discharged or canceled, for
which reason he considered the title of the applicant to be defective
and that it could not be registered. City of Manila claims that the land
belongs to the city alleging that both the plan and technical
description of the land title contained errors. There was an excess in
the measurement which affected the interests of the city particularly
the Meisic Creek and that the creek belonged to the city of Manila
Whether or not the parcel of land belongs to Cortes.

of nature and lawfully belongs to the owner.

Republic vs. C.A. and Tancinco, et al., G.R. No. L-61647
October 12, 1984
Tancincos were registered owners of a parcel of land in Bulacan. They
filed an application for the registration of three lots adjacent to their
fishpond but because of there commendation of the Commissioner,
they only pushed for the registration of the two. TheRTC and CA
granted the petition despite the opposition of the Bureau of Lands The
respondents based their claim on accretions to their fishponds. They
presented alone witness. The Bureau of lands argues that the lands in
dispute are not accretions. They assert that what actually happened
was that the respondents simply transferred their dikes simply further
down the river bed of the Meycauayan River. Thus, if there was any
accretion tospeak of, it was man made. Respondents counter that
their evidence shows that accretion happened without human
intervention and that the transfer of the dikes occurred only after.
Whether or not accretion took place.
NO. Alluvion must be the exclusive work of nature. There is no
evidence that the addition to said property was made gradually
through the effects of the current of the two rivers. The lands in
question total almost 4 hectares of land, which are highly doubtful to
have been caused by accretion. The lone witness testified that she
observed an increase in the area in 1939, but the lots in question
were not included in the survey of their adjacent property conducted
in 1940.They were also not included in the Cadastral Survey of the
entire Municipality of Meycauayan between the years 1958-1960. If
the overseer was indeed telling the truth, the accretion was sudden,
not gradual. When the respondents transferred their dikes towards
the river beds, the dikes were meant for reclamation purposes and
not to protect their property from the destructive force of the waters
of the river. The lots in question were portions of the bed of the
Meycauayan River and are therefore classified as public property.
Registration denied, decisions appealed are reversed.
Republic vs. Santos III and Santos, Jr., November 12, 2012,
2012 G.R. No. 160453
Alleging continuous and adverse possession of more than ten years,
respondent Arcadio Ivan A. Santos III (Arcadio Ivan) applied on
March 7, 1997 for the registration of Lot 4998-B (the property) in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Paraaque City. The property, which had
an area of 1,045 square meters, more or less, was located in
Barangay San Dionisio, Paraaque City,and was bounded in the
Northeast by Lot 4079 belonging to respondent Arcadio C. Santos, Jr.
(Arcadio, Jr.), in the Southeast by the Paraaque River, in the
Southwest by an abandoned road, and in the Northwest by Lot 4998A also owned by Arcadio Ivan.On May 21, 1998, Arcadio Ivan
amended his application for land registration to include Arcadio,Jr. as
his co-applicant because of the latters co-ownership of the property.
He alleged that the property had been formed through accretion and
had been in their joint open, notorious, public,continuous and adverse
possession for more than 30 years. The City of Paraaque (the City)
opposed the application for land registration, stating that it needed
the property for its flood control program; that the property was
within the legal easement of 20 meters from the river bank; and that
assuming that the property was not covered by the legal easement,
title to the property could not be registered in favor of the applicants
for the reason that the property was an orchard that had dried up and
had not resulted from accretion. The RTC and CA ruled in favor of the

The court ruled in favor of Cortes saying that the portion of land
included in the technical description presented by the applicant,
situated between the lot to which said instrument refers and the bed
of the Meisic Creek, has been gradually formed alluvion, as the result
of the current in the said stream. The said portion of land belongs by
right of accretion to the owner of the land. The Law of Waters
provides that the accretion resulting from the gradual deposit by or
sedimentation from the waters belongs to the owners of the land
bordering on streams, torrents,lakes and rivers. Furthermore, there is
no evidence to prove that the addition to the said property was
artificially made by the owner. This means that the accretion is a work Whether or not respondents could claim the property by virtue of

acquisitive prescription(section 14(1) of PD 1529).

NO. By law, accretion - the gradual and imperceptible deposit made
through the effects of the current of the water- belongs to the owner
of the land adjacent to the banks of rivers where it forms. The drying
up of the river is not accretion. Hence, the dried-up river bed belongs
to the State as property of public dominion, not to the riparian owner,
unless a law vests the ownership in some other person. Under the
Regalian doctrine, all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly
within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. No
public land can be acquired by private persons without any grant,
express or implied, from the Government. It is indispensable,
therefore, that there is a showing of a title from the State. Occupation
of public land in the concept of owner, no matter how long, cannot
ripen into ownership and be registered as a title.

petitioners assail certain provisions of the IPRA and its IRR on the
ground that these amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States
ownership over lands of the public domain as well as minerals and
other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine
embodied in section 2, Article XII of the Constitution.
Do the provisions of IPRA contravene the Constitution?

Ignacio Grande vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-17652, June

30, 1962

No, the provisions of IPRA do not contravene the Constitution.
Examining the IPRA, there is nothing in the law that grants to the
ICCs/IPs ownership over the natural resources within their ancestral
domain. Ownership over the natural resources in the ancestral
domains remains with the State and the rights granted by the IPRA to
the ICCs/IPs over the natural resources in their ancestral domains
merely gives them, as owners and occupants of the land on which the
resources are found, the right to the small scale utilization of these
resources, and at the same time, a priority in their large scale
development and exploitation.

The Grandes are owners of a parcel of land in Isabela, by inheritance
from their deceased mother, Patricia Angui, who likewise, inherited it
from her parents. In the early 1930s,the Grandes decided to have
their land surveyed for registration purposes. The land was described
to have Cagayan River as the northeastern boundary, as stated in the

Additionally, ancestral lands and ancestral domains are not part of the
lands of the public domain. They are private lands and belong to the
ICCs/IPs by native title, which is a concept of private land title that
existed irrespective of any royal grant from the State. However, the
right of ownership and possession by the ICCs/IPs of their ancestral
domains is a limited form of ownership and does not include the right
to alienate the same.

By 1958, a gradual accretion took place due to the action of the

current of the river, and an alluvial deposit of almost 19,964 sq.m.
was added to the registered area. The Grandes filed an action for
quieting of title against the Calalungs, stating that they were in
peaceful and continuous possession of the land created by the alluvial
deposit until 1948, when the Calalungs allegedly trespassed into their
property. The Calalungs, however, stated that they were the rightful
owners since prior to 1933.The CFI rendered a decision adjudging the
ownership of the portion in question to petitioners, and ordering
respondents to vacate the premises and deliver possession thereof to
petitioners, and to pay to the latter P250.00 as damages and costs.
Upon appeal to the CA, however, the decision was reversed.
Whether or not respondents have acquired the alluvial property in
question through prescription.
YES. Art. 457 dictate that alluvium deposits on land belong to the
owners of the adjacent land. However, this does not ipso jure become
theirs merely believing that said land have become imprescriptible.
The land of the Grandes only specifies a specific portion, of which the
alluvial deposits are not included, and are thus, subject to acquisition
by prescription. Since the Calalungs proved that they have been in
possession of the land since 1934 via two credible witnesses, as
opposed to the Grandes single witness who claims that the Calalungs
only entered the land in 1948, the Calalungs have been held to have
acquired the land created by the alluvial deposits by prescription. This
is because the possession took place in 1934, when the law to be
followed was Act 190, and not the New Civil Code, which only took
effect in 1950.
DOJ OPINION NO. 100, s. 2012, November 13, 2012
Cruz vs. DENR Secretary, GR No. 135385, December 6, 2000
Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a suit for prohibition
and mandamus as citizens and taxpayers, assailing the
constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act No. 8371,
otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997
(IPRA) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The

VI. Procedure and Processes

Geukeko vs. Araneta (G.R. No. L-10182, December 24, 1957;
102 Phil 706)
Jose Geukeko appears to be the registered lessee of Lot No. 18, Block
20 of the Tambobong Estate, a portion of which he sub-leased to
Elena Jacinto, Hilarion Encarnacion,Leonila Rocal, Mercedes Veles,
Francisco Simeon and Onofre Enriquez. When the Republic ofthe
Philippines acquired the Tambobong Estate by purchase in 1947, Jose
Geukeko filed an application with the Director of Lands to purchase
the lot leased by him, but the sub-leases opposed and likewise filed
applications to purchase the respective portions actually occupied by
them. The Director of Lands rendered a decision approved his
application and dismissed the protests and counter-application of the
sub-leases. The parties adversely affected by said decision instituted
Civil Cases Nos. 1826 and 1865 in the Court of First Instance of Rizal
seeking to annul the same and praying for the approval of their
application. Two years after, the Court issued an order holding that
they failed to appeal to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources before going to Court and the action for mandamus could
not be entertained and thus dismissed the 2 civil cases filed. The sublessees then brought the matter on appeal to the Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources on October 23, 1954, (DANR Case
No. 987)Jose Geukeko interposed an objection to the institution of
this appeal and filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal a petition
for mandamus and prohibition praying among others that the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources be restrained from
taking cognizance of DANR Case No. 987. He alleged as ground for
the petition that the period to appeal had already prescribed and that
the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources had lost
jurisdiction to entertain the appeal because the decision of the
Director of Lands was already final and executory. The Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources filed an answer contending that he
could lawfully take cognizance of the appeal filed in DANR Case No.
987 because the filing of Civil Cases Nos. 1826 and 1865 with the
Court of First Instance of Rizal suspended the running of the Director
of Lands, as provided for by Land Administrative Order No. 6; that the
decision of the Director of Lands had not become final.

Whether or not the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources

can take cognizance of DANR Case No. 987.
YES. The main question at issue hinges in the interpretation of
Section 2 of the Land Administrative Order No. 6, promulgated by the
Secretary of Agricultural and Commerce providing for the filing of
appeals from decisions or orders of the Director of Lands to the said
Department Secretary. The Supreme Court held that the
interpretation given by the Department of Agriculture and Natural
Resources to the provisions of section 2 of Lands Administrative Order
No. 6 appears to be reasonable for it merely reflects the intent of the
law in placing the disposition of lands within the Tambobong Estate in
the hands of the official as of the Land Department. The underlying
idea seems to be that those officials are considered in a better
position to decide controversies regarding the disposition of said
Ortua vs. Encarnacion, G.R. No. 39919, January 30, 1934;
Petitioner Fortunato Ortua filed an application with the Bureau of
Lands for the purchase of a tract of public land situated at San Jose,
Camarines Sur. His application was rejected but he was allowed to file
a sale or lease application for the portion of the land classified to be
suitable for commercial purposes. The reason why he was rejected
was because of the certain provisions of the Public Land Law which
states that Filipino citizenship was one of the conditions in order to be
approved of such application since the Director of Lands held in the
contrary that Ortua was a Chinese citizen.
Whether or not the Director of Lands acted within his power and
authority to reject Petitioners application.
YES. The Director of Lands performed his functions pursuant to the
provisions of the Public Land Law. A discretion lodged by law in the
Director of Lands which should not be interfered with. The decisions
of the Director of Lands on the construction of the Public Land Law
are entitled to great respect by the courts.
Custodio Mari vs. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources (G.R. No. L-5622, December 29, 1952);
Mauleon vs. Court of Appeals, (G.R. No. L-27762, August 7,