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Republic vs Herbieto

Facts:
Respondents are Herbieto brothers, Jeremias and David, who filed with the MTC a single
application for registration of two parcels of land. They claimed to be owners by virtue of
its purchase from their parents
Republic filed an opposition arguing that: (1) Respondents failed to comply with the
period of adverse possession required by law; (2) Respondents muniments of title were
not genuine and did not constitute competent and sufficient evidence of bona fide
acquisition of the Subject Lots; and (3) The Subject Lots were part of the public domain
MTC granted the application for registration of the parcels of land of Jeremias and David.
CA affirmed the decision of MTC holding that the subject property, being alienable since
1963 as shown by CENRO Report dated June 23, 1963, may now be the object of
prescription, thus susceptible of private ownership.
Republic appealed to the SC contending that 1) MTC had no jurisdiction since there was
a procedural defect in filing of a single application for two parcels of land; 2)
Respondents failed to establish that they and their predecessors-in-interest had been in
open, continuous, and adverse possession of the Subject Lots in the concept of owners
since 12 June 1945 or earlier.
Issue:
W/N there is a procedural defect which resulted to MTCs lack of jurisdiction
Held:
YES, but not with the ground stated by the petitioner, but because respondents, failed to
comply with the publication requirements mandated by the Property Registration Decree.
Misjoinder of causes of action and parties do not involve a question of jurisdiction of the
court to hear and proceed with the case.[26] They are not even accepted grounds for
dismissal thereof
PUBLICATION: MTC did not acquire jurisdiction because publication on the Freeman
and the Banat News was only done 3 months after the hearing which renders inutile the
intention of the mandatory publication. In the instant Petition, the initial hearing was held
on 03 September 1999. While the Notice thereof was printed in the issue of the Official
Gazette, dated 02 August 1999, and officially released on 10 August 1999, it was
published in The Freeman Banat News only on 19 December 1999, more than three
months after the initial hearing. Indubitably, such publication of the Notice, way after the
date of the initial hearing, would already be worthless and ineffective. Whoever read the
Notice as it was published in The Freeman Banat News and had a claim to the Subject
Lots was deprived of due process for it was already too late for him to appear before the

MTC on the day of the initial hearing to oppose respondents application for registration,
and to present his claim and evidence in support of such claim
With regard to period of possession, Respondents failed to comply with the required
period of possession of the Subject Lots for the judicial confirmation or legalization of
imperfect or incomplete title. The said lots are public lands classified as alienable and
disposable only on June 25, 1963 and the respondents were seeking for a confirmation of
imperfect or incomplete title through judicial legalization. Under Sec.48 of the Public
Land Act, which is the ruling law in this case, Respondents were not able to prove their
continuous ownership of the land since June 12, 1945 or earlier, because said lands were
only classified as alienable and disposable only on June 25, 1963