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[G.R. No. 64261. December 26, 1984.]
PONENTE: Escolin, J.

FACTS: Petitioners assails the validity of two [2] search warrants issued by respondent Judge Ernani
Cruz-Pao under which the premises known as No. 19, Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City, and 784 Units
C & D, RMS Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, business addresses of the "Metropolitan Mail"
and "We Forum" newspapers, respectively, were searched, and office and printing machines,
equipment, paraphernalia, motor vehicles and other articles used in the printing, publication and
distribution of the said newspapers, as well as numerous papers, documents, books and other written
literature alleged to be in the possession and control of petitioner Jose Burgos, Jr. publisher-editor of
the "We Forum" newspaper, were seized.
Petitioners pray that a writ of preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction be issued for the
return of the seized articles, and that respondents, "particularly the Chief Legal Officer, Presidential
Security Command, the Judge Advocate General, AFP, the City Fiscal of Quezon City, their
representatives, assistants, subalterns, subordinates, substitute or successors" be enjoined from using
the articles thus seized as evidence against petitioner Jose Burgos, Jr. and the other accused.
ISSUE/S: W/N the properties subject to the warrant were real properties

HELD: Section 2, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, enumerates the personal properties that may be
seized under a search warrant, to wit:

"Sec. 2. Personal Property to be seized. A search warrant may be issued for the search and seizure of
the following personal property:

[a] Property subject of the offense;

[b] Property stolen or embezzled and other proceeds or fruits of the offense; and

[c] Property used or intended to be used as the means of committing an offense.

The above rule does not require that the property to be seized should be owned by the person against
whom the search warrant is directed. It may or may not be owned by him. In fact, under subsection
[b] of the above-quoted Section 2, one of the properties that may be seized is stolen property.
Necessarily, stolen property must be owned by one other than the person in whose possession it may
be at the time of the search and seizure. Ownership, therefore, is of no consequence, and it is sufficient
that the person against whom the warrant is directed has control or possession of the property sought
to be seized, as petitioner Jose Burgos, Jr. was alleged to have in relation to the articles and property
seized under the warrants.
Under Article 415[5] of the Civil Code of the Philippines, "machinery, receptables, instruments or
implements intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on
in a building or on a piece of land and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said industry or
works" are considered immovable property. In Davao Sawmill Co. v. Castillo 9 where this legal
provision was invoked, this Court ruled that machinery which is movable by nature becomes
immobilized when placed by the owner of the tenement, property or plant, but not so when placed by
a tenant, usufructuary, or any other person having only a temporary right, unless such person acted as
the agent of the owner.
In the case at bar, petitioners do not claim to be the owners of the land and/or building on which the
machineries were placed. This being the case, the machineries in question, while in fact bolted to the
ground remain movable property susceptible to seizure under a search warrant.

PHILIPPINES, respondents.
[G.R. No. 141325. July 31, 2006.]

FACTS The original applicants for registration are Pelbel Manufacturing Corporation, Aladdin
Trinidad and Virginia Malolos. The lots sought to be registered are two parcels of land, the first parcel
having an area of 28,181 square meters, more or less and the second parcel having an area of 2,070
square meters, more or less. Both parcels of land are situated [in] San Juan, Taytay, Rizal.

There being no formal opposition on record, an Order of general default was issued and Applicants
were allowed to present evidence ex-parte before the Acting Clerk of Court who was commissioned to
receive evidence. Earlier, the Laguna Lake Development Authority filed a Manifestation stating that,
as per projections of the subject lots in the topographic map prepared by the Bureau of Coast and
Geodetic Survey using technical description of the lots approved by the Bureau of Lands, subject lots
are situated below the elevation of 12.50 meters, thus forming part of the bed of the Laguna Lake in
accordance with Sec. 41 (paragraph 11) of Republic Act No. 4850 as amended by P.D. No. 813.

The Office of the Solicitor General filed its Opposition alleging that neither the applicants nor their
predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and
occupation of the land since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto; that the applicants' claim of ownership in
fee simple on the basis of Spanish Title or grant can no longer be availed of for failure to file the
appropriate application for registration within six (6) months from February 16, 1976 as required by
P.D. No. 892; and that applicant Pelbel Manufacturing Corporation is disqualified, being a private
corporation, to hold lands of the public domain except by lease pursuant to Section 11, Article XIV of
the 1973 Constitution.

ISSUE/S 1) Whether the subject parcels of land are public land; and
(2) If they are not public land, whether applicants-petitioners have registrable title to the land.

HELD: The controlling law in the instant case is Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, otherwise
known as the Public Land Act. It governs what were used to be known as public agricultural lands, or
what are otherwise known as alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. Under the Public
Land Act, there is a presumption that the land applied for belongs to the state, and that the occupants
and possessors can only claim an interest in the land by virtue of their imperfect title or continuous,
open, and notorious possession thereof for a period prescribed by law. This principle is rooted in the
Regalian doctrine, under which the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. The
basic doctrine is that all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are
presumed to belong to the State. Any applicant for judicial confirmation of an imperfect title has the
burden of proving, by incontrovertible evidence, that the (a) land applied for is alienable and
disposable public land; and, (b) the applicant, by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest had
occupied and possessed the land, in the concept of owner, openly, continuously, exclusively, and
adversely since June 12, 1945, or earlier.

We hold that petitioners failed to show that the parcels of land subject of their application are
alienable and disposable. The government, through the Laguna Lake Development Authority,
established that the areas sought to be registered are below the statutory minimum elevation of 12.50
meters, hence formed part of the bed of Laguna Lake under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4850, as
amended. In a Report dated November 19, 1985, Laguna Lake Development Authority Geodetic
Engineer Joel G. Merida stated that one-half of the area of Lot 1 and the entire area of Lot 2, Psu-
240345, are covered by mud and lake water at an elevation of 11.77 meters, and the highest observed
elevation is 12.19 meters. This means that the subject lots form part of the lake bed or basin of Laguna
Lake. Sec. 41(11) of R.A. No. 4850 sets the minimum water elevation at 12.50 meters. Lands located at
and below such elevation are public lands which form part of the bed of said lake.

petitioners-applicants presented no substantial evidence that they and their predecessors-in-interest

have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the entire area
in question, in the concept of owner since June 12, 1945, or prior thereto.



Facts. The entrance to the Great Onyx Cave was located on the Petitioners property. The Petitioner
opened the cave to exploitation and public show. Lee owned the neighboring property. In an
underlying case, Lee sued the Petitioner to compel a survey of the cave to determine whether any
portion of the cave fell within the boundaries of Lees property. In that case, the Respondent here,
Chancellor Sims (Respondent) ordered a survey. The Petitioner appealed that ruling and the Court of
Appeals found the appeal was filed prematurely. The Petitioner, being aggrieved, filed the instant case
in the form of a Petition for Writ of Prohibition against Chancellor Sims, who was sitting as the court
of equity.

Issue. Does the Court have the right to order the invasion of Petitioners land, for the purpose of
conducting a survey, to determine conclusively the rights between two landowners in a dispute before
the Court?

Held. Yes. The Writ of Prohibition is denied.

A Writ of Prohibition is an extraordinary remedy only issued upon certain proof. Under the provisions
of the Kentucky Constitution, the Petitioner must show either (i) the inferior court has no jurisdiction
and there is no remedy through appeal, and (ii) the inferior court possesses jurisdiction, but is
exceeding its authority, or is about to exercise its power erroneously, and which would result in great
injustice and irreparable injury to Petitioner where the Petitioner has no remedy by appeal or
otherwise. Here, the Court holds the inferior court (Chancellor Sims), has jurisdiction over both the
parties and subject matter. Therefore, this Court is concerned only whether the inferior courts order
was erroneous.

The Court finds this case to be one of first impression. In a prior case the Court held that one person
may own surface rights and another may own cave rights, but that such a situation is not present here.
Petitioner Edwards has what appears to be an undivided absolute right of ownership of the property.
The Court also notes the historical principle that a property owner owns the sky above, the surface,
and also the soil beneath his land. The Court observes, ordinarily such a right cannot be interfered
with. Yet the Court finds that there are limitations on the historical doctrine.

The Court compared this case to one involving mines. The Court noted that in the case concerning
mines, the Court of Equity had the right to order by injunction an inspection of the mine. A
prerequisite to the inspection was a showing of reasonable suspicion the mine was intruding on a
neighbors property. The Court found this analogy persuasive. In the mine case, the inspection is
ordered to determine whether minerals are being extracted from the neighbors property, whereas in
the case at bar, the inspection is ordered to determine whether the Petitioner is trespassing on the
property of Lee. The Court finds that the power of the Chancellor to make such an order of inspection
must be accompanied by (i) a bona fide claim and (ii) the Defendant to such a suit is accorded the
opportunity to be heard. Both of those conditions were met in this case.

The Court refused to issue the Writ of Prohibition, meaning the inspection of the Petitioners property
occurred. The Court found that the lower court had not exceeded its jurisdiction, therefore, no
consideration had to be given to whether the Petitioner would suffer an irreparable injury as the result
of the lower courts order.

The important principle from this case is that the right of a property owner is not absolute and that
courts will, in rare instances, find exceptions to common-law historical maxims. It is useful also to
consider the extraordinary remedy of the Writ of Prohibition, along with the requirements for
AYCO, respondents.
[G.R. No. 82680. August 13, 1994.]

Facts: 1974, Jose Ortigas executed an instrument designated as a Transfer of Rights, conveying to
Wilfredo Mabugat the possession of a residential lot situated at Rajah Muda, Bula, General Santos
City and described in the said instrument as:

"Lot No. (Unnumbered), bounded on the North by Temporary Road, on the South by Customs Zone
(Sarangani Bay), on the East by Public Land, and on the West by Public Land."

Nicanor Somodio, herein petitioner, contributed one-half of the purchase price. On October 22, 1974,
Mabugat executed an Affidavit of Trust expressly recognizing the right of petitioner over one-half
undivided portion of the lot. Later, petitioner discovered in the District Land Office that the lot was
numbered "6328-X, Csd 2281-D." Thereafter, petitioner and Mabugat partitioned the property into
two portions, with petitioner taking the western part. Immediately after the partition, petitioner took
possession of his portion and planted thereon ipil-ipil trees, coconut trees and other fruit-bearing

In 1976, petitioner began construction of a structure with a dimension of 22-by-18 feet on his lot. His
employment, however, took him to Kidapawan, North Cotabato, and he left the unfinished structure
to the care of his uncle. He would visit the property every three months or on weekends when he had
time. Sometime in October 1977, petitioner allowed respondent Felomino Ayco, to transfer his hut to
petitioner's lot. About six years later, petitioner demanded that Ayco vacate the premises but such
demand proved futile. Hence, on August 23, 1983, petitioner filed an action for unlawful detainer with
damages against respondent Ayco before the Municipal Trial Court, Branch I, General Santos,
docketed as Civil Case No. 2032-II.

Meanwhile, on June 26, 1983, respondent Ebenecer Purisima entered the land and constructed a
house thereon. Four days later, petitioner filed against respondent Purisima a complaint for forcible
entry before the same court docketed as Civil Case No. 2013-I. Said case was later consolidated with
Civil Case No. 2032-II. In his answer, respondent Purisima averred that the lot was a portion of the
land subject of his application for miscellaneous sales patent with the Bureau of Lands.

Issue: Who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the property involved, independent of
any claim of ownership set forth by any of the party-litigants

Held: Anyone of them who can prove prior possession de facto may recover such possession even from
the owner himself. This rule holds true regardless of the character of a party's possession, provided
that he has in his favor priority of time which entitles him to stay on the property until he is lawfully
ejected by a person having a better right by either accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria.

Petitioner took possession of the property sometime in 1974 when he planted the property to coconut
trees, ipil-ipil trees and fruit trees. In 1976, he started the construction of a building on the property. It
is immaterial that the building was unfinished and that he left for Kidapawan for employment reasons
and visited the property only intermittently. Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a
man has to have his feet on every square meter of ground before it can be said that he is in possession
(Ramos v. Director of Lands, 39 Phil. 175 [1918]). It is sufficient that petitioner was able to subject the
property to the action of his will.

Article 531 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides:

"Possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of a right, or by the fact
that it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for
acquiring such right."

Even if the Court of Appeals is correct in its finding that petitioner started introducing improvements
on the land only in 1981, he still enjoyed priority of possession because respondent Purisima entered
the premises only in 1983.
It should be emphasized that the Court of Appeals noted that none of the parties had produced tax
declarations or applications as public land claimants. As such, what should have been scrutinized is
who between the claimants had priority of possession.

Moreover, neither is the fact that respondent Purisima's father surveyed the property of help to his
cause. As the Court of Appeals found, respondent Purisima's father surveyed the land for the Small
Farmers Fishpond Association, Inc., not for himself. Although respondent Purisima now claims that
Lot No. 6328-X was in payment of his fee for the services of his father and that he caused the
construction of a perimeter wall in the area, these facts do not mean that respondent Purisima himself
had prior possession. He did not present any proof that his father had authorized him to enter the
land as his successor-in-interest. Neither did he present proof that between 1958, when his father
allegedly took possession of the land, and 1983, when said respondent himself entered the land, his
father ever exercised whatever right of possession he should have over the property. Under these
circumstances, priority in time should be the pivotal cog in resolving the issue of possession.

Petitioner's prior possession over the property, however, is not synonymous with his right of
ownership over the same. As earlier stated, resolution of the issue of possession is far from the
resolution of the issue of ownership. Forcible entry is merely a quieting process and never determines
the actual title to an estate.