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LTD Digests Part 2

Vda de Barroga v Albano - Shei Pascual-Pranada vs. ANGEL ALBANO, ARSENIO ALBANO, ENCARNACION ALBANO,
Director of Lands v Benitez - Tanya Mia Perez ROSALIA ALBANO, assisted by her husband, JUANITO ALBANO,
Valismo v Plan - Patrixia Santos ROSITA ALBANO, assisted by her husband, ALFREDO RAMIREZ,
Duran v Oliva - Ronald Sarcaoga MIGUEL ALBANO, CHARITO ALBANO, and PEDRO ALBANO,
Republic v Director of Lands (Estenzo) - Jet Siang petitioners-appellees. RICARDO Y. NAVARRO, in his capacity as Judge
Merced v CA - Santiago Tiongco of Sala I, Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte, respondent.
Republic v Vera - Aaron Valdez
Windows and Orphans Association v CA - Reinier Jeffrey Abdon Facts:
Gabriel v CA - Maya Abdullah In a Cadastral Proceeding of the CFI Ilocos Norte, a decision was rendered
Republic v Abacite - Victoria Buenaventura adjudicating a parcel of land known as Lot No. 9821 in favor of Delfina
PNB v Mallorca - Calvin Patrick Domingo Aquino. One of the oppositors was Ruperta Pascual, who was declared in
Avila v Tapucar - John Raymund Fullecido default. However, for reasons not disclosed by the record, but as to which no
Heirs of Cornelio Labrada v Monsanto - Carlos S. Hernandez Jr. sinister or prejudicial character is imputed by the appellants, the decree of
Llaban v CA - Ayesha Alonto Mambuay registration did not issue except until after the lapse of 14 years or so, or in
Ylarde v Lichauca - Lawi Manalo 1955; and it was only after 24 years had passed, or in 1979, that an original
Gomez v CA - Idel Monfort certificate of title (No. C-2185) was issued in Delfina Aquino's name.
Verastigue v CA - Shei Pascual-Pranada In 1970, after the decree of registration had been handed down but before title
Kabayan v Republic- Tanya Mia Perez issued in Delfina Aquino's favor, the children and heirs of Ruperta Pascual —
Agura v Serfino - Patrixia Santos appellants Eufemia Barroga and Saturnina Padaca-brought suit in the same CFI
Cagayan de Oro Landless Residents Association v CA - Ronald Sarcaoga against the children and heirs of Delfina Aquino — appellees Angel Albano, et
Ortegas v Hidalgo - Jet Siang al. Said appellants alleged that they, and their mother, Ruperta Pascual, had
Franco v ES - Santiago Tiongco been in possession of Lot 9821 since 1941 and were the real owners thereof;
Heirs of Tengco v Aliwalas - Aaron Valdez and they prayed that Delfina Aquino's title be voided and cancelled, that the
Gonzaga v CA - Reinier Jeffrey Abdon defendants be commanded to reconvey the land to them, and that a new title
Decolongon v CA - Maya Abdullah be made out in their names.
Gayappanao v IAC - Victoria Buenaventura It appears that Delfina Aquino's title encroached upon a 4 sq.m. portion of an
Homera v Casa - Calvin Patrick Domingo adjoining lot, No. 9822, belonging to a Cesar Castro. So, Castro filed, with leave
Santana v Marinas - John Raymund Fullecido of court, a complaint in intervention for the recovery thereof.
Vallangca v CA - Carlos S. Hernandez Jr. After trial on the merits, judgment was rendered dismissing the Barroga's and
Rural Bank of Davao City v CA - Kevin Hernandez Padaca's complaint, and declaring intervenor Castro owner of the 4-square-
Sucaldito v Montejo - Kevin Hernandez meter portion overlapped by Delfina Aquino's title.
Belisario v IAC - Ayesha Alonto Mambuay The judgment became final and executory, the appeal taken therefrom to the
PNB v De Los Reyes - Lawi Manalo CA by Barroga and Padaca having been dismissed and SC having refused to
set aside that dismissal on certiorari.
At the instance of defendants Angel Albano, et al., the CFI ordered execution of
the judgment. Plaintiffs Barroga and Padaca moved to quash the writ of
execution. They argued that there was nothing to execute since the verdict was
Vda de Barroga v Albano - Shei Pascual-Pranada simply one of dismissal of the complaint.
G.R. No. L-43445 January 20, 1988 Cadastral Court promulgated an Order, granting the motion of Angel Albano, et
EUFEMIA VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BARROGA and SATURNINA al. for a writ of possession as regards Lot No. 9821; and pursuant thereto, a
VILLANUEVA VDA. DE PACADA, oppositors-appellants, writ of possession dated was issued.

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Again Barroga and Padaca sought to frustrate acquisition of possession by answered); and (3) his right to obtain a writ of possession is not subject to
Angel Albano, et al. They filed a "Motion to Nullify Order to Lift Writ of the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure regarding execution of
Execution Issued and to Revoke Writ of Possession Issued ". Their argument judgments, since the decree "is to exist forever." These doctrines have
was that as possessors of the lot in question, they could not be ejected since been reiterated and reaffirmed.
therefrom by a mere motion for writ of possession.  "The fundamental rule," the Court said some 43 years later, "is that a writ
The motion was heard and was thereafter denied by the Court a quo. The of possession can be issued not only against the original oppositors in a
Court stated that the writ of possession could properly issue despite the not land registration case and their representatives and successors-in-interest,
inconsiderable period of time that had elapsed from the date of the registration but also against any person unlawfully and adversely occupying said lot at
decree, since the right to the same does not prescribe pursuant to the rulings any time before and up to the issuance of the final decree." It also pointed
in Heirs of Cristobal Marcos v. de Banuvar and Lucero v. Loot, It also declared out that neither laches nor the statute of limitations applies to a decision in
that the segregation of the 4-square meter portion from Lot 9821 and its a land registration case, citing Sta. Ana v. Menla, et al.
restoration as integral part of Lot 9822, had no effect whatever on the Albanos'  The Court restated those same principles in Lucero v. Loot some months
right to the writ of possession, which was the appropriate process for the later and took occasion to stress that in Marcelo v. Mencias, the Court had
enforcement of the judgment in the cadastral case. gone "so far as to hold that if the writ of possession issued in a land
Barroga and Padaca moved for reconsideration. When this proved unavailing, registration proceeding implies the delivery of possession of the land to the
they appealed to the SC. successful litigant therein, ... a writ of demolition must, likewise, issue,
especially considering that the latter writ is but a complement of the former
Issue: WON the issuance of writ of possession was proper - yes which, without said writ of demolition, would be ineffective."

Held:
 Angel Albano, et al. must be declared to be entitled to a writ of possession
over Lot No. 9821 in enforcement of the decree of registration and Director of Lands v Benitez
vindication of the title issued in favor of their predecessor-in-interest, 31 March 1966
Delfina Q. Aquino; the writ may correctly be enforced against the Bautista Angelo, J.
appellants, Barroga and Padaca, as successors-in-interest of Ruperta
Pascual, who was a party in the registration proceedings which resulted in Facts:
the declaration of Delfina Q. Aquino as the owner of the land subject 1. In a cadastral proceeding, spouses Emilio Bentiez and Eulalia Brillo
thereof; and the appellees are entitled to said writ of possession, despite were declared owners of a land. The Original Certificate of Title was
the lapse of many, many years, their right thereto being imprescriptible at issued.
least as against the persons who were parties to the cadastral case or their 2. 26 years later,, Benitez and Brillo filed a petition for reopening of the
successors-in-interest. The appellants, it must be said, have succeeded in cadastral proceedings under RA 931 claiming that through oversight,
prolonging the controversy long enough. They should no longer be allowed inadvertence and excusable negligence, a portion of the lot has not
to continue doing so. been included.
 The Court in Manlapas, et al. v. Llorente, etc., et al., ruled that: (1) a party 3. The cadastral court declared Benitez and Brillo owners of the additional
in whose favor a decree of registration is issued by a cadastral court in portion. The decision having become final, the spouses moved for a
accordance with the Torrens Act (Act 496), or his successor-in-interest, has writ of execution.
"a perfect right not only to the title of the land, but also to its possession;" 4. 62 adverse claimants who were the occupying the additional portion by
(2) he has the right, too, under Sec. 17 of the same Act, to a writ of virtue of permits granted by the Director of Lands opposed.
possession as against any "party to the registration proceeding and who is 5. A motion to set aside the judgement was filed by the Director of Lands
directly and personally affected and reached by the decree" (or who had on the ground that the court did not acquire jurisdiction for lack of
been served with process therein but had not appeared nor publication and notice.

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6. The opposition and motion to set aside were denied by the cadastral constructed an apartment thereon.
court.  Petitioners filed an action for recovery of possession of the land.
 The court decided in favor of the petitioner but on appeal, the CA
Issue/Held: reversed the decision and dismissed the complaint of the petitioner on
1. WON the denial of the opposition and motion to set aside by the grounds that the description of the property in the complaint is
cadastral court was valid. NO different from the subdivision plan provided by the respondents with
their respective area and boundaries appearing to be completely
Ratio: different.
1. RA 931 grants to a person claiming title that has been subject of a  The court did not find any compliance to the requirement of the law
cadastral proceedings who at the time of the survey was in actual that the property in dispute must be clearly identified.
possession but for some justifiable reason had been unable to file his  Under the Civil Code, Articles 433 and 541, the actual possessor of the
claim during the time limit established by law, the right to claim such property has the presumption of a just title and he need not be
land within a period of 10 years by filing a petition for reopening. compelled to show or prove why he possesses the same. It was clear
Notice to persons with adverse interest and to the general public by that the respondent is the current possessor of the property having
publication is necessary. The right of a claimant to have an constructed the apartment on the property in dispute.
additional portion can only be ascertained if it does not refer  Contrasting the evidence of the respondent and petitioner, the court
to such parcels of land as have not been alienated, reserved, choose the respondent’s evidence as they were able to provide a
leased, granted, or authorized provisionally or permanently vicinity plan that shows the land position in relation to the adjoining
disposed of by the government. properties with known boundaries and landmarks. Petitioner merely
Additional portion of land claimed by respondents is actually occupied presented a sketch prepared by Dr. Blanco constituting as mere guess
by persons who claim to be entitled to it by virtue of lease works.
applications or permits granted to them by the Bureau of Lands.  Subsequently, the respondents filed a petition for registration of the
Because of these adverse claimants, there is need that the matter be threshed property before the CFI which was opposed by the petitioner.
out in an appropriate action with due notice. Such matter cannot be looked into  Respondent moved for the dismissal of the opposition that the same is
in the present proceeding because of the limited jurisdiction of the cadastral barred by a prior judgment of the court.
court.  The CFI dismissed the opposition on ground of res judicata thus this
appeal before the SC.
 With the petition given due course by the SC, it orders both parties to
Valismo v Plan - Patrixia Santos submit their briefs.
 Only the petitioner submitted their own brief within the given period
Flordeliza L. Valisno v Judge Andres B. Plan, thus the SC considered the case submitted for decision with the brief of
GR No. L-55152 August 19, 1986 the respondent.
 The petitioner filed a motion to amend the application to include
FACTS: Bienvenido Noriega as a co-applicant to the petition.
 Petitioners purchased 2 parcels of land from the family of Blanco’s and
subsequently declared ownership over the land for taxation purposes ISSUE: Whether or not to grant the motion to dismiss filed by the petitioner?
and took possession thereof by assigning a caretaker over the property
who built his house thereon. HELD:
 Respondent Cayaba claims to be the owner of the property by virtue of
a deed of sale executed in his and Bienvenido Noriega’s favor from the  The Land Registration Act does not provide for pleading similar to a
heirs of Verano and ousted the caretaker from the property and motion to dismiss but the Rules of Court allows its application in land

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registration proceeding as only suppletory when it is practicable and the conflicting claims of both parties have been settled and
convenient. decided by the court previously, it upheld the finality of its
o Therefore, the court may sustain a motion to dismiss in land decision and dismissed the petition.
registration proceeding as the case at bar.
o Noted by the court in the ordinary civil case, the counterclaim
can be taken as a complaint where the defendant becomes the Duran v Oliva - Ronald Sarcaoga
plaintiff.
o The original plaintiff thus becomes defendant in the Duran v. Olivia (1961)
counterclaim and he may choose to answer the counterclaim or
be declared in default or file a motion to dismiss the same. The Topic: Motion to dismiss petition (Cadastral Proceeding (before judgment)
respondent clearly opted for the last choice.
 The SC held that res judicata operates in the case at bar with its Doctrine: Rules of Court is applicable in a suppletory character in land
requisites present in the case: [a] the former judgment must be final, registration cases. Therefore, a motion to dismiss, which allows the court to
[b] it must have been' rendered by a court having jurisdiction of the expeditiously resolve cases, is available to the parties even though it is not one
subject matter and of the parties, [c] it must be a judgment on the of the pleadings specified in the Land Registration Act (Act 496)
merits and [d] there must be between the first and second actions
identity of parties, of subject matter and of cause of action. Jose Duran and Teresa Diaz Vda de Duran vs. Bernabe Olivia, Fe Almazan,
 The inclusion of private respondent Cayaba's co-owner, Bienvenido Heirs of Vicente Godesano, Manuel Arce and Esperanza Salud
Noriega, Sr., in the application for registration does not result in a
difference in parties between the two cases. FACTS:
o One right of a co-owner is to defend in court the interests of
the co-ownership. Jose and Tereza Duran filed an application for registration in their names of 16
o Although the first action was captioned for the recovery of lots (Lots 1-16) under Plan PSU-128386 in the CFI of Camarines Sur.
possession, possession is sought based on ownership, thus the Oppositors filed motion to dismiss on the ground that the court has no
action was one in the nature of accion reinvidicatoria. jurisdiction to decree registration of the lots because the lots were already
o The second action is for registration of title where the registered and certificates were issued to them (Olivia, Almazan, Godesano,
registration is sought based on one’s ownership over the Arce and Salud – all had lots assigned to them and evidenced by certificates of
property. title to their names). Applicants however contend that the court has jurisdiction
o The difference between the two is that the plaintiff seeks to to consider the application even though the certificates of title have already
exclude other persons from ownership over the property in the been issued.
first action while it seeks to exclude the whole world in the
second action. The cause of action however remains the same. The CFI dismissed the case (two successive orders of dismissal). Applicants
o The employment of two different actions does not allow one to appeal.
escape against the principle of res judicata where one and the
same cause of action cannot be litigated twice. ISSUE #1: WON motion to dismiss available in a land registration case
o Although the first action was litigated before a competent court
of general jurisdiction and the other over a registration court is Applicant Durans: Motion to dismiss not available in Land Registration Act
of no significance since that both courts should be of equal
jurisdiction is not a requisite for res judicata to apply. SC: Rules of Court applied in suppletory character whenever practicable and
o For convenience, the SC should decide whether to dismiss the convenient. While the Land Registration Act does not provide for a pleading
application for registration or the opposition thereto. Because similar to a Motion to Dismiss, applying the Rules of Court in land registration

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cases is necessary to expedite resolution of LR cases.

ISSUE #2: WON oppositors failed to prove similar identities of the lots covered
by their titles and the ones applied for Republic v Director of Lands (Estenzo) - Jet Siang
Republic vs Hon. Estenzo
SC: we find no reason to overturn the trial court's findings that indeed the lots De Castro, J.
are similar. Facts:
In September 1940, the Cadastral Court of Ormoc declared Lot No. 4273 as
ISSUE #3: WON certificate of title based on mere homestead, sales, or free public land.
patent covering private land is null and void; that it is the decree of In February 1972, private respondents Aotes filed with the CFI of Leyte a
registration, not the certificate which confers the character of inconstestability petition to reopen the aforesaid decision.
of title (and that applicants were deprived of due process...etc) Respondent Aotes (in the CFI proceeding): They are the owners and
possessors by virtue of hereditary succession. Due to their non-appearance in
SC: no merit. A patent once registered becomes indefeasible as a Torrens title the cadastral proceedings, albeit due to ignorance and excusable neglect, the
(S 122 of Act 496). SC discussed purpose of Torrens System. Homestead property was declared public land. They had been in adverse, peaceful and
patent, once registered under LRA, cannot be the subject matter of a cadastral notorious possession of the said parcel of land since the time immemorial,
proceeding and that any title issued thereon is null and void. Same thing for paying all the taxes, interests and penalties.
sales patent. Petitioners (in the CFI proceedings): Opposed the petition. It is barred by
the expiration of the period for reopening cadastral proceedings under Rep. Act
Since the respondents already held indefeasible certificates of title under the 931 which expired on December 31, 1968 and this period has not been
LRA, the CFI was without jurisdiction to entertain the application of the Durans extended under the provisions of Rep. Act 6236 because the latter applies only
(long line of decisions have upheld this principle). to the extensions of time limit for the filing of applications for free patent and
for judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete titles.
In a quite impressive line of decisions, it has been well-settled that a Court of CFI: set aside the decision of the cadastral court and adjudicated the land to
First Instance has no jurisdiction to decree again the registration of land private respondents.
already decreed in an earlier land registration case and a second decree for the Issue: W/N the trial court erred in assuming jurisdiction over the petition for
same land is null and void.1 This is so, because when once decreed by a court reopening of Cadastral Proceedings. YES.
of competent jurisdiction, the title to the land thus determined is already a res Held:
judicata binding on the whole world, the proceedings being in rem. The court There are 3 laws involved in this case:
has no power in a subsequent proceeding (not based on fraud and within the Rep. Act 931 granted a right within 5 years from June 20, 1953 to petition for a
statutory period) to adjudicate the same title in favor of another person. reopening of cadastral proceedings.
Furthermore, the registration of the property in the name of first registered Rep. Act 2061 fixed a new time limit which is up to December 31, 1968 to file
owner in the Registration Book is a standing notice to the world that said applications for 1) free patents, 2) for the judicial confirmation of imperfect or
property is already registered in his name. Hence, the later applicant is incomplete titles and for 3) the reopening of judicial proceedings on certain
chargeable with notice that the land he applied for is already covered by a title lands which were declared public land.
so that he has no right whatsoever to apply for it. To declare the later title valid Rep. Act 6236 extended the time limit which is up to December 31, 1976 for
would defeat the very purpose of the Torrens system which is to quiet title to the filing of applications for 1) free patents and 2) for the judicial confirmation
the property and guarantee its indefeasibility. It would undermine the faith and of imperfect or incomplete titles.
confidence of the people in the efficacy of the registration law. Under the legal maxim of statutory construction, expressio unius est exclusio
alterius, the express mention of one thing in a law, as a general rule, means
the exclusion of others not expressly mentioned. Rep. Act 6236, the very law

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on which respondents Aotes bases his petition to reopen the cadastral 6. On August 6, 1957, the CFI amended its original decision, thus: Lot
proceedings fails to supply any basis for respondents' contention. If Rep. Act No. 395 was declared a public land and was the object of a homestead
6236 had intended that the extension it provided for applies also to reopening application by the Merceds.
of cadastral cases, it would have so provided in the same way that it provided
the extension of time to file applications for free patent and for judicial 7. How Merced got the OCT: While the court held that the land having
confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title. ceased to be part of the public domain, the Director of Lands no longer
We hold, therefore, that the extension provided for by Rep. Act 6236 which is
had authority to grant the homestead patent over the same to Juan de
the sole basis for filing the respondents Aotes' petition to reopen the cadastral
proceedings applies only to the filing of applications for free patent and for la Merced, it declared nevertheless that, inasmuch as no title was
judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete titles and not to reopening of actually issued therefor, the said lot may be acquired by adverse
cadastral proceedings like the instant case, a proceeding entirely different from possession. And, as defendant (Merced) had been in possession of the
"filing an application for a free patent or for judicial confirmation of imperfect or property for over 20 years, they were declared to have acquired the
incomplete titles."
right over the same by prescription.

8. (Santos) Plaintiffs interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals. The


appellate court, in its decision of July 20, 1960, sustained the
contention of appellants (Santos), holding that upon the finality of the
Merced v CA - Santiago Tiongco decree by the cadastral court, adjudicating ownership of the land, the
title thereto becomes incontrovertible and may no longer be acquired
MAMERTA DE LA MERCED vs. COURT OF APPEALS, EZEQUIEL M. by prescription. And, as the land was no longer part of the public
SANTOS, and AMPARO MACAPAGAL domain when the homestead patent was obtained by Juan de la
Facts: Merced, the same can not prevail over the cadastral court's decree of
registration of Lot No. 395 in favor of appellant Santos' predecessor. In
1. Santos filed a case for recovery of ownership and possession, against
short: Merced lost.
Merced, at CFI of Nueva Ecija.
9. Side note: the cadastral court that ruled in favor of Santos asked the
2. Chief of the Gneeral Land Registration Office to issue a certificate of
3. Merced resisted the claim by presenting OCT issued to Juan de la title to Santos, but the office never managed to actually do that.
Merced, and by virtue of their continuous possession. ISSUE:
4. CFI: ruled in favor of Santos, holding that the cadastral court had no What is the effect of the order of the cadastral court of December 26, 1923
jurisdiction to issue the order declaring the lot public land, as such, adjudicating the lot in favor of Santos, and the subsequent order dated
Merced's title is null and void. December 17, 1925, directing the issuance of a certificate of title to Inocencio
5. Upon Merced's motion for reconsideration, however, the promulgation Santos? Did those orders constitute registration under the law even though the
of the decision was ordered suspended and the case was re-set for corresponding certificate of title has not been issued? In the affirmative, could
hearing for reception of additional evidence. the property thereby affected still be lost by adverse possession?

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HOLDING: 6. But, it must be remembered that the abovementioned provisions apply


only to voluntary registration under the Land Registration Act. With
1. There is no doubt that had the land involved herein been public, by
respect to lands titled through compulsory proceedings, the Cadastral
specific provision of Act 496, the act of registration shall be the
Act prescribes under SEC. 11 that “All conflicting interests shall be
operative act to convey and affect the same, and such registration shall
adjudicated by the court and decrees awarded in favor of the persons
be made in the office of the register of deeds for the province where
entitled to the lands or the various parts thereof, and such decrees,
the land lies. (Sec. 122, Act 496). In other words, in cases of public
when final, shall be the basis for original certificates of title in favor of
lands, the property is not considered registered until the final act or the
said persons which shall have the same effect as certificates of title
entry in the registration book of the registry of deeds had been
granted on application for registration of land under the Land
accomplished.
Registration Act xxx”
2. With respect to private lands, however, the pertinent provisions of Act
7. Confronted with the question of when title to the land in a cadastral
496 are:
proceeding is vested, this Court, in the case ofGovernment of the
3. SEC. 38. If the court after hearing finds that the applicant or adverse Philippine Islands v. Abural said that 3 actions are taken:
claimant has title as stated in his application or adverse claim and
(a) The first adjudicates ownership in favor of one of the claimants.
proper for registration, a decree of confirmation and registration shall
This constitutes the decision — the judgment — the decree of the
be entered. Every decree of registration shall bind the land, and quiet
court, and speaks in a judicial manner.
title thereto, subject only to the exception stated in the following
section. xxx. Upon the expiration of said term of one year, every (b) The second action is the declaration by the court that the decree is
decree or certificate of title issued in accordance with this section shall final and its order for the issuance of the certificates of title by the
be incontrovertible. Chief of the Land Registration Office. Such order is made if within
thirty days from the date of receipt of a copy of the decision no
4. SEC. 40. Every decree of registration shall bear the day of the year,
appeal is taken from the decision. This again is judicial action,
hour, and minute of its entry, and shall be signed by the Chief of the
although to a less degree than the first.
General Land Registration Office (now Land Registration
Commissioner). . . . The decree shall be stated in a convenient form (c) The third and last action devolves upon the General Land
for transcription upon the certificates of titles hereinafter mentioned. Registration Office. This office has been instituted "for the due
effectuation and accomplishment of the laws relative to the
5. It is apparent from the foregoing provisions that a decree of
registration of land."
registration and a certificate of title, under Act 496, are two different
things. And it is the decree of registration, to be issued by the Land 8. As a general rule, registration of title under the cadastral system is
Registration Commissioner, which shall be the basis of the certificate of final, conclusive, and indisputable, after the passage of the thirty-day
title to be issued subsequently by the corresponding register of deeds, period
that quiets title to and binds the land.
Under the foregoing pronouncement, the title of ownership on the land
is vested upon the owner upon the expiration of the period to appeal

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from the decision or adjudication by the cadastral court, without such Republic and the Province of Bataan. The Republic opposed the application
an appeal having been perfected. The certificate of title would then be alleging the land was part of the public domain.
necessary for purposes of effecting registration of subsequent
The lower court issued an order declaring the land was part of Lot No. 626 in a
disposition of the land where court proceedings would no longer be cadastral proceeding, by virtue of the testimony of the provincial forester.
necessary. Martinez presented three witnesses with their respective testimonies:
1. Martinez himself (62 y/o)
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby affirmed,
a. He owns the land by virtue of inheritance from his parents,
with costs against petitioner Mamerta de la Merced. So ordered. consisting of 32 ha;
b. He started possessing the land in 1938;
c. He planted palay on 8 ha, which grew along with 42 mango
trees and kamoteng kahoy;
d. He declared the land for taxation purposes only in 1969
because all the records were lost during the war;
e. He had OCEAN possession
Republic v Vera - Aaron Valdez 2. Antonio Reyes (67 y/o; overseer of Martinez)
a. Area is 32 ha, more or less;
REPUBLIC and the DIRECTOR of LANDS v. HON. ABRAHAM P. VERA b. Since 1938, Martinez possessed the land;
J. De Castro | January 27, 1983 c. Palay grew on 8 ha of the land;
d. His son and a Silvestre Garcia are tilling the land;
DOCTRINE(S): e. Harvest is shared between Martinez and himself, along with the
1. A cadastral proceeding is one in rem and binds the whole world. Under tillers
this doctrine, parties are precluded from re-litigating the same issues f. Vegetables were grown in 18 ha
already determined by final judgment. 3. Silvestre Garcia (60 y/o, tiller)
2. A mere casual cultivation of portions of the land by the claimant does a. He worked on the land of the applicant since 1932
not constitute possession under claim of ownership. Possession is not b. Plants palay on only 4 ha;
exclusive and notorious so as to give rise to a presumptive grant from c. Mango trees totalling 42 grew in the parcel of land.
the State. The possession of public land however long the period Second case: Thelma Tanalega filed an application under Act 496 over two
thereof may have extended, never confers title thereto upon the parcels of land in Camaya, Mariveles, Bataan, worth 443,297 square meters
possessor because the statute of limitations with regard to public land and 378,506 square meters, respectively. They were also part of Lot 626 of the
does not operate against the State, unless the occupant can prove Mariveles Cadastre. The Chief Surveyor of the LRC filed a report, as required by
possession and occupation of the same under claim of ownership for the CFI, to the effect that the parcels of land applied for registration do not
the required number of years to constitute a grant from the State. appear to have been passed upon and approved by the Director of Lands as
required by Sec. 1858 of the RAC and that the parcels of land do not overlap
FACTS: The case is a consolidation of two cases titled Republic of the other titled property under Act 496.
Philippines and Director of Lands v. Vera and Luisito Martinez and Republic of
the Philippines and Director of Lands v. Vera and Thelma Tanalega. The Republic opposed the application on the ground that the parcels were part
of the public domain. Tanalega also had three witnesses:
First case: Martinez filed an application for registration under Act 496 of one 1. Tanalega herself (27 y/o)
parcel of land in Mariveles, Bataan, with an area of 323,093 square meters in a. She had OCEAN possession in the concept of owner since
1972. The lower court issued an order of general default except as to the February 2, 1970;

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LTD Digests Part 2

b. Elisa Llamas sold this parcel to her, with the former owning the b. Cadastral number of lot or lots claimed, or the block and lot
property since 1935; numbers, as the case may be;
c. 16 ha of land is devoted to palay and others were pasture land c. Name of the barrio and municipality, township or settlement in
2. Miguel Ocampo which the lots are situated;
a. His parents were working the land since 1935; d. Names of the owners of adjoining lots;
b. He became overseer of the land until 1970; e. If claimant is in possession of the lots claims and can show no
c. 16 ha were devoted to palay and others were pasture land express grant of the land by the Government to him or to his
3. Agapito del Rosario predecessors-in-interest, the answer need state the length of
a. Since childhood, he knew Llamas owned the parcel of land, as time property was held in possession and the manner it was
well as the one managing the planting and tilling thereof; acquired, giving the length of time, as far as known, during
b. He and Leopoldo de Guzman used to work the land which his predecessors, if any, held possession;
The Fiscal submitted a certification to the effect that the land was found to be f. If claimant is not in possession or occupation of the land, the
alienable and disposable. Tanalega however failed to present Llamas, her answer shall set forth the interest claimed by him and the time
overseer, or any of her tenants to prove she possessed the land as an owner. and manner of its acquisition;
g. If the lots have been assessed for taxation, their last assessed
In both cases, the CFI confirmed the titles in favor of the applicants. The value; and
Solicitor General filed petitions for review, arguing h. Encumbrance, if any, affecting the lots and the names of
(1) Lot 626 of the Mariveles Cadastre was declared public land by the adverse claimants as far as known.
decision of the Cadastral Court dated October 11, 1937, depriving the In the absence of successful claimants, the property is declared public land.
lower court of jurisdiction to confirm the titles in favor of the
applicants; 1. The private respondents either did not file their answers in the
(2) The parcels of land cannot be subject to registration by voluntary cadastral proceedings or failed to substantiate their claims over the
proceedings because they have already been subject to compulsory portions they were then occupying, otherwise, titles over the portions
registration proceedings under the Cadastral Act subject of their respective claims would have been issued to them. The
Cadastral Court must have declared the lands in question public lands,
ISSUE(S): and its decision had already become final and conclusive.
Whether or not public respondent erred in confirming the titles of 2. Respondents are now barred by prior judgment to assert their rights
private respondents (YES, because these lands were already subject over the subject land, under the doctrine of res judicata. A cadastral
of cadastral proceedings, and the decision in those proceedings bar proceeding is one in rem and binds the whole world. Under this
further litigation on the matter by virtue of res judicata. Further, only doctrine, parties are precluded from re-litigating the same issues
portions of the subject parcels of land were cultivated and the survey already determined by final judgment.
plans submitted by respondents were not approved by the Director of 3. Granting that respondents can still petition for judicial confirmation of
Lands.) imperfect title, the same must fail. Here, evidence for the respondents
tends to show only portions of the entire area applied for are
Procedure for Persons Claiming Any Interest in Land Under Cadastral cultivated. A mere casual cultivation of portions of the land by the
Proceedings: claimant does not constitute possession under claim of ownership.
Any person claiming any interest in any part of the lands object of the petition Possession is not exclusive and notorious so as to give rise to a
is required by Section 9 of Act No. 2259 to file an answer on or before the presumptive grant from the State. The possession of public land
return day or within such further time as may be allowed by the court, giving however long the period thereof may have extended, never confers
the details required by law, such as: title thereto upon the possessor because the statute of limitations with
a. Age of the claimant; regard to public land does not operate against the State, unless the

9
LTD Digests Part 2

occupant can prove possession and occupation of the same under claim the land is covered by valid titles in the name of Ortigas, and that
of ownership for the required number of years to constitute a grant previous cases have sustained Ortigas' title.
from the State.
4. The survey plans submitted were not approved by the Director of The MR was denied but the MTD was reset for hearing at 18 and 19 Oct.
Lands but by the Land Registration Commission. The Land Registration
The MTD was later denied by the RTC, holding that TCT 77652 and 77653
Commission has no authority to approve original survey plans in this
particular case. Section 34-A of R.A. No. 6389 applies only to lands show that they were derived from OCTs 337, 19, 336, 334, pursuant to
subject of tenancy relation which are expropriated and sub-divided in Decree 1425, and that Decree 1425 shows that it only covers 17 hectares
favor of new amortizing-owner-beneficiaries. The submission of the in Sta. Ana, Manila, four kilometers away from the QC land. MR for the
plan is a statutory requirement of mandatory character. Unless the plan denial was also denied.
and its technical description are duly approved by the Director of
Lands, the same are not of much value. Instead of appealing, Ortigas filed for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus before the CA questioning the order denying his MTD. The
CA granted the petition, holding that TCT Nos. 77652 and 77653, albeit
Windows and Orphans Association v CA - Reinier Jeffrey Abdon
reflecting their origins as OCT Nos. 337, 19, 336 and 334, are actually
Widows and Orphans Association v. CA derivatives of OCT No. 351, the latter having been issued pursuant to
Decree 1425 and that since OCT 351 is allegedly a copy of Decree 1425,
FACTS the mere fact that the original copy of Decree 1425, or a certified copy
Widows and Orphans Association (Widora) filed LRC Case no. Q-336 thereof, can no longer be located or produced, does not mean that
before the QC RTC in 1974. It alleged that the land, situated at Malilit- Decree 1425 covering the lots embraced in TCT Nos. 77652 and 77653
Uoogong, QC, had an area of 156 hectares and was covered by Titulo de was not issued.
Propriedad 4136 from 1894 issued in the name of Mariano San Pedro y
Esteban. It acquired the land from the heirs of Don Mariano in 1954. Petition for review on certiorari to the SC.

Dolores Molina (not a party to the SC case, but party to the RTC ISSUE
proceedings) filed an opposition, claiming ownership of 12 to 14 [Evidence]
hectares of the lot. Ortigas & Co. Ltd. Partnership filed a motion to W/N Respondent Ortigas proved Decree 1425. NO
dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court since the land [LTD]
was already registered under TCT 77652 and 77653 under the name of W/N the CA properly made factual findings. NO.
Ortigas. W/N the SC decision in Ortigas & Co. v. Ruiz recognized that TCT 227758
from which TCTs 77652 and 77653 were issued are covered by Decree
The RTC issued an order directing Ortigas to prove its contention that 1425. NO
77652 and 77653 are not proper derivatives of the OCTs from which
they were previously issued. It set the case for hearing on 28 Jun 1979.
One day before, on 27 Jun, Ortigas filed an MR against the order, HELD
alleging that a Torrens title becomes indefeasible after a year and is a. Ortigas did not properly prove Decree 1425, although it did allege
conclusive upon the whole world, and the LRC has advised the court that that OCT 351 is a copy of the decree. The evidence submitted was
merely secondary (plan submitted by Ortigas, testimony of the

10
LTD Digests Part 2

surveyor and OCT 351). Before secondary evidence may be of title if it would mean the reopening of the decree of registration
admitted, there must be proof of 1) execution of the original beyond the period allowed by law.
writing and 2) that it has been destroyed or cannot be produced in
court or that it is in the possession of the adverse party who has a. The decision in Ortigas v. Ruiz does not apply here. Nowhere in
failed to produce it after reasonable notice. the decision, is a pronouncement that TCT Nos. 77652 and 77653
were issued from TCT No. 227758. On the contrary, it is not
a. Futhermore, the CA should not have substituted its own findings disputed by the parties that TCT Nos. 77652 and 77653 themselves
of fact on the coverage of the land included in TCTs 77652 and show that they were derived from OCT No. 337, 19, 336 and 334
77653. This matter is for the land registration court and only for a and not from OCT 351 or TCT 227758. If indeed, the real origin
full fledged trial on the merits. The parties have yet to present fully thereof is OCT No. 351, what Ortigas should have done was to file
their evidence with the trial court, and the TC actually set the case a petition for the correction of the TCTs in question as stated
for hearing on the merits on 19 May 1989. earlier.

It also covers a huge tract of land covering 156 hectares in both a. Although a land registration court has no jurisdiction over parcels
Sta. Ana and QC. The disputed facts necessitate a trial. of land already covered by a certificate of title, the rule applies
only where there exists no serious controversy as to the
Under Act 496, it is the decree of registration issued by the LRC certificate's authenticity vis-à-vis the land covered therein. The
which is the basis for the subsequent issuance of the certificate of parties here admit that the TCTs do not show they are derivatives
title by the corresponding Register of Deeds that quiets the title to of OCT 351, as claimed by Ortigas. If a person obtains a title,
and binds the land. Consequently, if no decree of registration had under the Torrens System, which includes by mistake or oversight
been issued covering the parcel of land applied for, then the land which cannot be registered under the Torrens System, he
certificate of title issued over the said parcel of land does not quiet does not, by virtue of said certificate alone, become the owner of
the title to nor bind the land and is null and void. the lands illegally included

a. Ortigas should also not have appealed the interlocutory order


denying the motion to dismiss. The proper remedy is to appeal
after trial and judgment on the merits and not a writ of Gabriel v CA - Maya Abdullah
prohibition.
GABRIEL vs. CA
G.R. No. L-26348 – 30 March 1988 – Paras
a. CA also committed a procedural lapse in correcting the alleged
errors in the question TCTs. A certificate of title cannot be altered, FACTS
amended or cancelled except in a direct proceeding in accordance - 12 April 1909 – a survey was made for Santiago Quimson of a parcel of land
with law. Also, no correction of certificate of title shall be made in Orani, Bataan. The parcel of land was then registered on 18 September
except by order of the court in a petition filed for the purpose and 1909, and OCT No. 46 was issued in favor of Quimson. A cadastral survey was
entitled in the original case in which the decree of registration was made from February 1919 to March 1920, which increased the area of the said
entered. While the law fixes no prescriptive period therefor, the land. After hearing, the Cadastral Court confirmed the title of Quimson and
issued TCT No. 723 in lieu of OCT No. 46. The lot was subdivided into two, one
court, however, is not authorized to alter or correct the certificate

11
LTD Digests Part 2

of which was acquired by Eligio Naval (Lot 363-B) and for which TCT No. 787 ISSUE
was issued in his name. - W/N courts have the authority to order the necessary correction of an
- December 1916 – a parcel of land in Hermosa, Bataan, was surveyed for erroneous technical description and make it conform to the correct area - Yes
Potenciano Gabriel. Gabriel’s resulting (and approved) survey plan was
subsequently amended (1st reduction) because it was found that certain HELD/RATIO
portions of the land in Quimson’s survey plan (later transferred to Naval) were - It has long been settled that in cadastral cases, the jurisdiction of the court
included. OCT No. 1264 was issued on 1 November 1918 to Gabriel. A cadastral over lands already registered is limited to the necessary correction of technical
survey was also made of Hermosa, Bataan, and Gabriel’s land was further errors in the description of the lands, provided such corrections do not impair
reduced (Lot No. 557 - 2nd reduction). No new certificate of title was issued, so the substantial rights of the registered owner, and that such jurisdiction cannot
said OCT subsisted with the area before the 2nd reduction. The partition of operate to deprive a registered owner of his title. However, in a later case,
Gabriel’s estate was based on the plan with only the 1st reduction. such power of the court was further clarified and amplified to the
- COMPLAINT: The heirs of Gabriel and alleged joint co-owners of a fishpond in effect that the above proposition does not exclude from the
Hermosa, Bataan, filed a complaint in the CFI against Petrita Pascual and jurisdiction of the court the power to determine the priority of over-
Rudyardo Santiago, joint administratrix and administrator of the estate of Eligio lapping or over-lying registered titles. This power is necessary for a
Naval, wanting the latter to vacate the premises. They claimed that the land complete settlement of the title to the land, which is the express purpose of
was loaned to Naval for dike and water control purposes and that Pascual and cadastral proceedings and must therefore, be considered as within the
Santiago, despite repeated demands, refused to vacate and return possession jurisdiction of the courts in such proceedings.
to the Gabriels. - What the lower court did was merely to correct the error in the technical
- There is no controversy that Naval’s Lot 363-B, which embraces the portion in description appearing in Gabriel's amended survey plan to make it conform to
question, has always been in the possession of Naval in the concept of owner. the areas and technical description of Lot No. 557 and Lot No. 363. Thus, the
The Gabriels’ claim that the same was merely loaned to Naval was not properly respondent appellate court stressed that this is not a reopening of the decree
supported by evidence. of registration for the land covered by the certificate of title of Potenciano
- TRIAL COURT DECISION: The court dismissed the complaint on the ground Gabriel because that title stands and its existence remains unaffected. The
that the right of the plaintiffs to the land in question, if any, was lost by action therefore of the trial court is well within its jurisdiction.
prescription and that the plaintiffs are also guilty of laches in failing to - Potenciano Gabriel himself did not take the necessary action to recover said
prosecute their claim within a reasonable time. The dispositive portion ordered lot during his lifetime. After the discovery of its occupation in March 1933, by
the plaintiffs to surrender the owners’ copies of the certificates of title issued the late Eligio Naval, he allowed instead the continued use and occupation of
pursuant to the Gabriel’s survey plan with only the first reduction—until OCT the same.
No. 1264 could be made to conform to Cadastral Lot No. 557 (the area after - There is no impairment of substantial right or the deprivation of the title of a
the second reduction) registered owner sought to be guarded against. The heirs of Potenciano Gabriel
- The COURT OF APPEALS affirmed the decision of the lower court. A motion are not deprived of the land covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 1264,
for reconsideration was denied. nor are they unjustly deprived of the portion in question because on the basis
- A petition for review on certiorari was filed before the SC. Because of a of the correct technical description, that portion is not a part of their property
transfer by absolute sale by Pascual, the SC authorized the inclusion of new but a part of the property of the late Eligio Naval under TCT No. 797.
parties Florencio Lucio and Constancio Lucio. - Finally, as correctly ruled by the Court of Appeals, petitioners, for failing to
- Petitioners contend that the dispositive portion of the trial court’s decision prosecute their claims for twenty years, have lost by laches their right to
would amount to a reopening of a decree of title after the lapse of the one-year recover their property.
statutory period or the granting of an entirely new decree to a land already
registered under Act No. 496, now P.D. No. 1529. Furthermore, such procedure
is tantamount to a collateral attack on the title.
Republic v Abacite - Victoria Buenaventura

12
LTD Digests Part 2

REPUBLIC v. PEDRO ABACITE and DBP of title. Though the original certificate of title was issued
J. Barrera | April 26, 1961 pursuant to a homestead patent, such a patent once registered
under the Land Registration Act becomes as indefeasible as a
DOCTRINE(S): Torrens title, especially in the absence of any private third
5. Under Section 112 of Act 496, alteration, amendment or correction of a party claiming the land against the Government.
certificate of title may be allowed where there has been error, b. Therefore, the cadastral proceeding would no longer be for the
omission, or mistake in its issuance, provided (1) the amendment, purpose of ownership thereof to its claimant because that was
alteration, or erasure would not amount to a reopening of the original already accomplished in a previous appropriate proceeding, but
decree of registration; and (2) the "title or other interest of a purchaser for the substitution the old certificate of title issued in the prior
holding a certificate for value and in good faith" will not be impaired proceeding with a new one. The cadastral court would have no
jurisdiction to diminish nor enlarge the area of the property
FACTS: DBP filed a petition for amendment of OCT No. 0-117 with the Davao already decreed.
CFI sitting as a cadastral court, after the court failed to include 63,680 sq m in 3. Though DBP erroneously referred to its property as Lot No. 1676, it has
earlier cadastral proceedings. The petition stated DBP owned a parcel of land in sufficiently identified it to be the lot covered by TCT No. T-4629. Even
Malagos, Davao City, with an area of 15.6882 ha, previously covered by TCT No the State acknowledged appellant's right over portion of Lot No. 1674
T-4629. When the State initiated cadastral proceedings which included the said and manifested its conformity to the amendment prayed for by DBP.
parcel of land, DBP filed an answer citing ownership of the parcel of land, and 4. The correction sought by DBP will not amount to a reopening of the
when the RD issued the certificate of title, it contained only 92,052 square original decree. The petition to include in the new certificate of title
meters and was short of the 15.6882 ha it owned by 68,830 square meters. that portion of Lot No. 1674 originally covered by TCT No. T-4629
would give effect and make the later decree conform with the original
It appears that in the cadastral proceedings, the parcel of land subject of the adjudication.
proceedings was subdivided into two lots, one measuring 92,052 sq m, which 5. The amendment of the new certificate will cause no prejudice to any
was Lot No. 1676 (OCT No. 0-117), and the other measuring 68,830 sq m, third party. The Government, in whose favor the entire Lot No. 1674
which was included in Lot No. 1674 (land sought to be included in OCT No. 0- has been decreed, recognizes the right of DBP of the portion in
117). Lot No. 1674 described the exact same lot also originally covered by TCT question and agrees to the amendment prayed for.
No. T-4629 (the 15 ha lot). The CFI denied the petition for amendment on the
ground that the petition only indicated Lot No. 1676 and did not indicate the
portion of Lot No. 1674.

ISSUE(S): PNB v Mallorca - Calvin Patrick Domingo


Whether or not the certificate of title could be altered, amended, or
corrected (Yes, the reason for amending the certificate of title satisfies the PNB v. Mallorca
requisites provided by Act No. 496.)
2. Under Section 112 of Act 496, alteration, amendment or correction of a Facts:
certificate of title may be allowed where there has been, among others,
error, omission, or mistake in its issuance, provided the amendment, - in 1950, Ruperta Lavilles mortgaged a 48.965 square meter-parcel of land
alteration, or erasure would not amount to a reopening of the original situated in Passi, Iloilo to the PNB as security for a loan of P1,800.00.
decree of registration and the "title or other interest of a purchaser - On January 12, 1958, while the mortgage above-described was in full force
holding a certificate for value and in good faith" will not be impaired and effect, and without PNB's knowledge and consent, Ruperta Lavilles sold
a. Prior to the institution of the cadastral proceedings, the the appellant Primitiva Mallorca 20,000 square meters of the mortgaged
15.6882 hectares was already covered by a Torrens certificate land.

13
LTD Digests Part 2

- On January 17, 1958, Mallorca moved the Iloilo cadastral court to have the Held:
sale to her duly annotated on the title, and, for the purpose, to require PNB to - No. Under Article 2126 of the Civil Code, a "mortgage directly and
surrender the owner's copy of TCT 27070 to the Register of Deeds. immediately subjects the property upon which it is imposed, whoever the
- The court order of February 3, 1958 directed PNB to deliver said TCT 27070 possessor may be, to the fulfillment of the obligation for whose security it
to the Register of Deeds. was constituted." Sale or transfer cannot affect or release the mortgage. A
purchaser is necessarily bound to acknowledge and respect the
- The Register of Deeds then cancelled TCT 27070, issued a new one, TCT encumbrance to which is subjected the purchased thing and which is at the
24256, making two co-owner's copies of the title — one each for Ruperta disposal of the creditor "in order that he, under the terms of the contract, may
Lavilles and for Primitiva Mallorca. PNB's mortgage lien was annotated on recover the amount of his credit therefrom."
both copies.
- For, a recorded real estate is a right in rem, a lien on the property whoever
- Ruperta Lavilles failed to pay her mortgage debt. PNB, on April 16, 1958 its owner may be. Because the personality of the owner is disregarded; the
foreclosed the mortgage extrajudicially. On May 12, 1958, a certificate of mortgage subsists notwithstanding changes of ownership; the last transferee
sale was issued to PNB as the highest bidder in the foreclosure sale. is just as much of a debtor as the first one; and this, independent of whether
- In March, 1959 Mallorca sued PNB to enforce her right of redemption with the transferee knows or not the person of the mortgagee. So it is, that a
damages. mortgage lien is inseparable from the property mortgaged. All subsequent
- On February 9, 1960, judgment was rendered in the case just stated, purchasers thereof, must respect the mortgage, whether the transfer to them
dismissing the claim for damages but declaring Mallorca "entitled to exercise be with or without the consent of the mortgagee. For, the mortgage, until
her right of redemption with respect to the 20,000 square meters sold to her discharge, follows the property.
by Ruperta Lavilles within the period specified by law." - Also, militating against appellant's cause is one other special feature of a real
- Mallorca's appeal from this judgment was, on June 18, 1960, denied by the mortgage — its indivisibility. This Court has understood mortgage
lower court — it was filed out of time. Her move to reconsider was rejected. indivisibility in the sense that each and every parcel under mortgage answers
She then went to the Court of Appeals on mandamus. On January 14, 1961, for the totality of the debt.
the appellate court denied the same for lack of merit. - Finally, militating against appellant's cause is one other special feature of a
- Primitiva Mallorca failed to exercise her right of redemption as decreed by real mortgage — its indivisibility. This Court has understood mortgage
the court. indivisibility in the sense that each and every parcel under mortgage answers
for the totality of the debt.
- Thus, the final deed of sale in favor of PNB, dated February 19, 1962, was
presented to the Register of Deeds on April 10, for registration. The latter
refused to register without Mallorca's co-owner's copy of TCT 24256. By Avila v Tapucar - John Raymund Fullecido
letter of May 18, 1962, the Register of Deeds required Mallorca to surrender
said copy. She did not comply.
Avila v Tapucar
- Hence, the bank prayed that Mallorca's co-owner's copy of TCT 24256 be
declared null and void, and that the Register of Deeds be directed to cancel Facts
the same and to issue a new title in the name of PNB, upon payment of the
legal fees. Mallorca appealed to the CA. 7. In 1918, spouses Pedro Bahan and Dominga Exsaure acquired a parcel
of land situated at Tabangao, Victory, Tubay, Agusan del Norte
Issue:
8. In 1965, said property was inherited by private respondents Julito
- WON the undivided interest consisting of 20,000 square meters of the Bahan, Cristina Bahan-Panis, Lucita Carters, Boy Cartera and
mortgaged lot, remained unaffected by the foreclosure and subsequent sale Candelaria Bahan-Mendoza as successors-in-interest.
to PNB. 9. On October 11, 1960, petitioner Magdalena Avila (then Mrs. Magdalena
R. Vda. de Leon) bought a parcel of land situated at Tabangao, Victory,

14
LTD Digests Part 2

Tubay, Agusan del Norte, containing an area of 4,371 square meters was filed 11 months after the issuance of the patent and 7
more or less from Luis Cabalan and his wife under a Deed of Absolute months and 3 days after the registration of the Certificate of
Sale of Unregistered Land and under Tax Declaration No. 3055. Title
10. On November 3, 1971, the heirs of Pedro Bahan, represented by Julito 21. Bureau of Lands issued an Order in favor of Avilas and that the lot
Bahan filed Free Patent Application rightfully belong to the Avilas
11. The Deputy Public Land Inspector Francisco stated that the 22. Due to this favorable judgment, Avilas filed an opposition to the motion
heirs of Pedro Bahan have cultivated only 2.2500 hectares of for dissolution of the writ of preliminary injunction.
land applied for and consequently, he did not recommend the 23. However, Judge Lauro L. Tapucar issued an Order Dissolving the writ
issuance of the patent. Said report was erroneously forwarded of preliminary injunction.
to the Bureau of Lands by then Acting Assistant District Land 24. The MR filed by Avilas was subsequently denied by the court.
Officer of Butuan City dated December 23, 1971,
recommending the issuance of patent therefor ISSUE:
12. In May 1973, private respondent Julito Bahan together with ten Whether or not the Order dissolving the writ of preliminary injunction issued by
persons gathered coconuts from the land purchased by petitioner respondent judge is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
Magdalena Avila but was intercepted by the Chief of Police or in excess of jurisdiction?
13. Private respondents Bahans filed an action for quieting of title and
damages with the Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte and SC:
Butuan City
a. He alleged that he discovered that the northwestern portion of 25. Admittedly, the Bahans are the successors-in-interest of a parcel of
said land containing an area of about 1/3 of a hectare was coconut land containing an area of about 1,8340 square meters
already in the possession of the Avilas; and the latter were situated at Tabangao, Victory, Tubay, Agusan del Norte.
harvesting the fruits of about 40 coconut trees found therein. 26. On the other hand, the Avilas are the purchasers for value of a 4,371
14. Petitioners Avila argued that Magdalena Avila purchased a parcel of square meters lot situated in the same place and are in possession of
land situated from Luis Cabalan and from then on has been in open, aforesaid property since 1960.
continuous, public, peaceful and uninterrupted possession of the same. 27. The Order of January 14, 1974 granting a Writ of Preliminary Injunction
15. Subsequently, private respondents Bahans took advantage of the was issued for the purpose of enjoining the Bahans to cease and desist
Avilas' absence in the premises and was able to gather 354 fruits of the from harvesting the fruits on the land possessed by the Avilas until the
coconut trees on the disputed land which produce costs about P300.00 final determination of the suit for quieting of title between the parties.
more or less. 28. The subsequent erroneous approval of the application for free patent
16. Thus, Avilas filed a motion for a preliminary writ of injunction for 6.9027 hectares in favor of the Bahans (the land which rightfully
17. In the meantime, private respondents Bahans' application for free pertains to the Avilas being embraced and included therein), the
patent was approved issuance of Free Patent No. 552571 and Original Certificate of Title No.
18. Judge Vicente B. Echaves, Jr. granted Avilas' motion for writ of P-8424 in favor of the Bahans during the pendency of the case for
preliminary injunction enjoining and ordering the Bahans to refrain and quieting of title does not call for dissolution of the Writ of Preliminary
desist from gathering or continue harvesting the fruits Injunction since the property in the possession of the Avilas would be
19. On March 13, 1974, O.C.T. No. P-8424 issued to the Bahans was placed in the hands of the Bahans, pending final outcome of the action
transcribed in the registration book for the Province of Agusan del between them. Such transfer of property in litigation from the
Norte possession of one party having possession asserting
20. Avilas then filed an administrative protest against the Bahans before ownership thereto would be pre-determinative of the main
the Bureau of Lands for having erroneously included their land under case.
the issued free patent and Original Certificate of Title, which protest

15
LTD Digests Part 2

29. Dissolution of the writ due to mere presentation by the Bahans of an H. Labrada had moved in 1973 for the case to be heard by the now defunct
Original Certificate of Title in their names while the case is on going is CFI-Samar. The conflicting parties presented both their oral and documentary
erroneous evidence in support of their respective claims over the lot.
30. The sole object of a preliminary injunction, whether RTC 1983 RULING: in favor of H. Yboa
prohibitory or mandatory, is to preserve the status quo until H. Labarada filed their appeal on August 6, 1983 by filing a notice of appeal
the merits of the case can be heard. with a prayer that the records be elevated to the Intermediate Appellate Court,
31. The argument that the Bahans' title to the property has pursuant to the new Interim Rules of Court.
become indefeasible and incontestable is a prejudgment and Respondents H. Yboa filed their motion for the issuance of a decree contending
uncalled for inasmuch as the parties have not as yet finally that petitioners had failed to perfect their appeal because they failed to file a
rested their cases and the trial is still in progress. record on appeal.
32. While land registration is a proceeding in rem and binds the whole RTC granted H. Yboa's motion for the issuance of a decree. RATIO: an
world, the simple possession of a certificate of title under the Torrens appeal taken in a cadastral case involves "multiple appeals," for which the filing
Systems does not necessarily make the holder a true owner of all the of the record on appeal was required. DISPOSITIVE: issue decree for the
property described therein. registration. H. Labrada filed an MR; MR was denied.
33. If a person obtains a title under the Torrens system, which includes by ISSUE: Whether or not a the filing of a record on appeal is necessary to perfect
mistake or oversight land which can no longer be registered under the an appeal in a cadastral proceedings
system, he does not, by virtue of the said certificate alone, become the HELD: No. Filing of a record on appeal is not necessary in cadastral
owner of the lands illegally included" proceedings.
34. RATIO:
35. Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, provides for a 15-day period
within which to take an appeal and expressly abolished the need of a
record on appeal, as follows:
Heirs of Cornelio Labrada v Monsanto - Carlos S. Hernandez Jr. "SEC. 39. Appeals. — The period for appeal from final orders, resolutions,
The HEIRS OF CORNELIO LABRADA v. RTC Judge MONSANTO and the awards, judgments or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen days
HEIRS OF ISABEL YBOA counted from the notice of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or
FACTS: decision appealed from.
The lot involved is Lot No. 1910 of the Catbalogan Cadastral Survey. It is "No record on appeal shall be required to take an appeal. In lieu
contested by petitioners, heirs of Cornelio Labrada (H. Labrada) and by therefor, the entire original record shall be transmitted with all the pages
respondents-heirs of Isabel Yboa (H. Yboa). Said predecessors-in-interest prominently numbered consecutively, together with an index of the contents
(Cornelio Labrada and Isabel Yboa) had filed their respective answers in the thereof."
cadastral proceedings in June, 1932. 36. H. Labrada’s appeal must be given due course and the issuance of a
Cornelio Labrada - deforested the area (now Lot No. 1910); had already been decree of registration and the corresponding certificate of title were
in continuous possession for more 43 years when he filed his answer in 1932, prematurely and baselessly ordered by respondent court and must be
or at least from 1894; and that he continued his possession until 1943 when he set aside.
died. 37. All that RTC had to do was to transmit the original record consisting of
His son, Meliton, succeeded in possessing the land. Immediately after his the pleadings of the parties and its decision and orders, which
demise, Meliton Labrada was succeeded in the possession of said land until he petitioners have in effect so elevated with their petition at bar together
himself died sometime in 1976; possession of the property passed to Meliton's with the transcripts and exhibits.
direct heirs, who until the present are still in possession thereof. 38. PURPOSE OF THE RULE which dispenses with the filing of a record on
None of the heirs of Isabel Yboa is in possession of any portion of the appeal and the filing of an appeal bond: to simplify appellate court
questioned lot. procedure by doing away with the tedious and expensive requirement

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LTD Digests Part 2

of reproducing practically the entire original record of the case in the  In a decision rendered on 13 September 1916 in Cadastral Case, CFI
record on appeal in the trial court. This old requirement of a record on Cebu rendered a decision adjudicating Lot 6017 to named person
appeal by itself laid the appellate procedure open to a number of therein
dilatory and vexing questions of clerical errors and claims of omitted o In its Auto of 3 March 1925, the cadastral reinstated the above
pleadings and orders which in turn required the filing of an amended decision
record on appeal. Such record on appeal under the Rules still had to be  Upon motions of the spouses Filemon Sotto and Carmen Rallos de
printed, mimeographed or typed in 12 copies resulting many times in Sotto, who claimed to have purchased the shares of some of the
typographical errors and adding needless expense and additional adjudicatees of the lot or their heirs, the cadastral court, on 1 March
burden on litigants. 1932, issued an Auto
39. Cadastral proceedings involve contest over specific lots which may be o [A/N it was in Spanish but basically the lot was divided and
claimed by parties who have timely filed their respective answers, inherited (or sold, it wasn’t clear) to a number of people by the
failing which the land is declared to belong to the State. Upon the trial parties named in the abovementioned decision in whose favour
court's rendering of its judgment as to such specific lot(s), then the the land was adjudicated; spouses Sotto bought the lots from
original records pertaining to such lot(s) may be readily elevated, those people]
leaving with the lower court the records or pleadings referring to  No party appealed from the decision as modified by the above Auto of
disputed lots not covered by said court's adjudication. 1 March 1932. Neither was any decree issued pursuant thereto.
40. In this particular cadastral proceeding, there remain only "around 8
contested ones [lots] which have not yet been adjudicated not counting  42 years later, March 1974, some claimants (respondents herein),
the 180 lots which were 'archived' by a predecessor of the presiding represented by Atty. Paul Gorres, filed a petition for the issuance of a
judge." This readily shows the lack of any difficulty to keep separate decree of registration
records for specific lots claimed by conflicting parties, and elevating o vacation Judge Burgos issued an Order directing the
only the particular record for the specific lot, subject of Commissioner of Land Registration to issue a decree in favor of
judgment and appeal. the adjudicatees based on the dispositive portions of the 1916
DISPOSITIVE: and 1932 orders
(a) setting aside the questioned orders which denied due course to petitioners'  14 May 1979, respondent Jose G. Paulin, one of the claimants, in his
appeal and ordered the issuance of a decree of registration; own behalf and on behalf of his co-claimants, filed a petition which
(b) annulling any certificate of title which may have been issued to respondents sought to submit to the court a certified xerox copy of Subdivision Plan
pursuant thereto; and (c) ordering respondent court to give due course to of the Lot which indicates subdivision Lots Nos. 6017-A to 6017-H,
petitioners' appeal from its decision of July 11, 1983 and to transmit to the inclusive, pursuant to the request of the Land Registration Commission.
Intermediate Appellate Court the records of the case pertaining to the disputed o Claimants Paulin, et al., then prayed that the court issue an
Lot No. 1910 of the Catbalogan Cadastral Survey, together with the oral and order approving Psd-17733 and its technical description as
documentary evidence as hereinabove indicated. No costs. recommended by the Land Registration Commission and
directing the latter to issue the corresponding decree of
registration for Lot No. 6017 pursuant to the 1916 and 1932
orders
Llaban v CA - Ayesha Alonto Mambuay  July 1979, Eugenia Llaban y Catalan, one of the heirs of the
40 Llaban v CA adjudicatees, filed through Atty. Bienvenido P. Jaban a petition for the
Davide, Jr., J| December 20, 1991 issuance of a decree registration for Lot No. 6017 on the basis of the
13 September 1916 decision
FACTS:
[“1916 and 1932 orders’’]

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LTD Digests Part 2

o petition enumerates the legal heirs of the adjudicatees of the bar who acquired their respective interest in or portions of Lot
lot who have not sold, relinquished or transferred their rights, 6017 subsequent to the order of March 1, 1932 while the
interests and participation therein to the parties. issuance of the decree still pends must necessarily be also in
o granted by the court, per Judge Jose Ramolete, in its Order of order.
7 August 1979; the Commissioner of Land Registration was o granted the Paulin petitions by approving the subdivision
then directed to issue a decree of registration on the basis of plan and the technical descriptions of Lots Nos. 6017-A to
the Order of March 1925 and the decision of 13 September 6017-H, inclusive, ordering that the subdivided lots be
1916 in favor of the adjudicatees and/or their legal heirs respectively awarded to the parties enumerated in the 14 May
 May 1980, Jose G. Paulin filed another petition wherein he attached a 1979 petition and directing the Land Registration
certified micro-film copy of Plan Psd-17733; the technical descriptions Commissioner to issue, upon the finality of the Order, a
of the subdivision lots and certified true copy of a deed of absolute sale decree of registration of the subdivision lots in favor of each
executed in Paulin's favor of the claimants enumerated in said petition.
o Atty. Jaban filed an opposition alleging the 7 August 1979
order directing the issuance of a decree based on the 16  oppositors filed with the CA a petition for certiorari alleging lack of
September 1916 decision and the 3 March 1925 Order had jurisdiction and/or GAD on the part of Judge Ramolete; CA denied
already become final and that the Paulin, et al. claims can without prejudice to the filing of the proper remedy
be ventilated only upon the partition of the lot by the
heirs of the adjudicatees and the issuance of the certificate ISSUE: WoN CFI sitting as a cadastral court has jurisdiction to modify or
of title since Paulin, et al., are not themselves adjudicatees amend a decision in a cadastral case by directing the issuance of a final decree
or heirs of the latter. in the names of parties who are not the original adjudicatees of a cadastral lot
o Paulin, et al., contend that the decision of 13 September 1916 (NO)
was amended by the 1 March 1932 order, and hence
prays that the Order of 7 August 1979 should be set aside. HELD: CA/CFI reversed
o Atty. Jaban, in a rejoinder, insists that since the 13 September  The 13 September 1916 decision, as amended by the Auto of 1 March
1916 decision, as reinstated by the order of 3 March 1925, had 1932, had long become final as there is no showing at all that any
long become final, the court has no jurisdiction to set it aside. affected party appealed therefrom within the reglementary period of
No hearing was had on the aforesaid Paulin petitions and the thirty (30) days prescribed by the then governing law on procedure,
opposition thereto. Act No. 190.
 court, through Judge Jose Ramolete, ruled: The order of March 1, 1932 o titles to property would become precarious if the losing party
which is (sic) never questioned up to the present, superseded and/or were allowed to reopen them at any time in the future.
amended the decision of September 13, 1916 as reinstated in the order o The failure to issue a final decree does not, as seems to be the
of March 3, 1925. suggestion of the lower court and the theory presented by the
o There being transfers of ownership by way of sales by private respondents, prevent the decision from attaining
the adjudicatees or their heirs of their participations in Lot finality. Precisely, the final decree can only issue after the
6017 awarded to them in the decision dated September 13, decision shall have become final.
1916 as reinstated in the order of March 3, 1925, the Court  From the Paulin petition of 14 May 1979, it is quite clear that, except
acted well within its jurisdiction as a Cadastral Court to for the spouses Filemon Sotto and Carmen Rallos, the alleged claimants
issue (sic) the order of March 1, 1932 to the changes of in whose favor the subdivided lots are to be adjudicated are not the
ownership in the participations of the adjudicatees in adjudicatees in the 13 September 1916 decision, as amended by the 1
favor of the vendee-spouses pending the issuance of March 1932 Auto. And, except in the case of Paulin himself, who claims
the decree of registration. The petition of the claimants at to be a vendee, there is no indication whatsoever of the relationships

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LTD Digests Part 2

of the claimants with the original adjudicatees that could serve as basis were based on a plan prepared by Aurelio Rocafull.
for their claims. 4. The Director of Lands found it impossible to properly locate
o In reality then, the petition is not just for the issuance of a final
the properties covered by the OCT. The descriptions and surveys
decree, but for the amendment or modification of the final
decision. In light of the above disquisition, the lower court has were of doubtful accuracy. The owners were required to point
no jurisdiction to grant such relief and Judge Ramolete clearly out to the surveyor on the ground the actual boundaries of their
acted without any jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion lands.
in giving due course to the petition 5. A new survey of the land was made by an authorized private
o Aggravating such action is his obvious disregard for due surveyor Garcia. The court approved the new plan but later on
process. There was no formal hearing on the Paulin petition.
set aside the approval for lack of publication and notice.
o Until Identified, formally offered in evidence and admitted by
the court, the annexes were but mere scraps of paper. Section 6. Government and oppositors: The Garcia plan included lands of
34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court is quite explicit: "The court public domain covered by free patent application.
shall consider no evidence which has not been formally 7. The court rejected the opposition and approved the Garcia
offered." plan.
 from the allegations in the questioned Paulin petition that Subdivision 8. The records of the case were destroyed as a result of the
Plan was executed by a private land surveyor and that the same was
battles for liberation.
approved by the Director of Lands. These suggest that there was an
attempt to partition Lot No. 6017. Such partition was allowed under the 9. The lower court ordered the Director of Lands to resurvey in
Cadastral Law, provided that there was compliance with Sections 6 and accordance with the Rocafull plan.
19 to 24 thereof. Unfortunately, Paulin, et al., failed to explore and 10. The survey was executed by surveyor Llobera of the Bureau of
raise this matter. Lands whose plan was approved. The petitioners did not appeal.
 11. Petitioners filed a motion to proceed with the hearing of the
registration case on the merits on the ground that the approval of
the Llobera relocation survey plan did not necessarily adjudicate
Ylarde v Lichauca - Lawi Manalo
or vest upon the applicants the title to the land or bring to an end
Ylarde v Lichauco
the litigation. The lower court denied the motion
29 December 1971
Zaldivar, J.
Issue/Held:
Facts:
1. WON the lower court erred in issuing the orders which denied
1. Crisanto Lichauco and the Nable Jose sisters filed in the Court
the motion of petitioners to proceed with the hearing on the
of Land Registration an application for registration of lands in
merits that would require the applicants to prove their title to the
hacienda El Porvenir in Pangasinan.
land subject of the registration proceedings and the petitioners to
2. Oppositions were filed by 150 individuals.
present evidence of their claims to certain portions of the land.
3. The SC granted the registration. The Certificate of Title was
NO.
issued in favor of Lichauco and Noble Jose sisters. Both the
decree of registration and the original certificate of title (OCT)
Ratio:

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LTD Digests Part 2

1. First, the Hacienda “El Porvenir” is covered by the Decree of directed the Chief of the General Land Registration Office to issue the
Registration which binds the land, quiets title, is conclusive upon corresponding decrees of registration.
all persons, and cannot be reopened or reviewed after the lapse
Respondent Silverio Perez, Chief of the Division of Original Registration, Land
of 1 year after entry of the decree. Registration Commission, now known as the NLTDRA, submitted a report to the
Second, petitioners are the heirs of the original private CFI that certain of the lots were already covered by homestead patents and he
oppositors whose claims and rights had been foreclosed by recommended that the decision and order be set aside. CFI set aside the
the decree of registration. It follows that the present decision and order. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the motion was
oppositors’ pretended rights have also been barred. denied by respondent judge. The CA dismissed the petition, saying that prior to
the issuance of the decree, the respondent judge has still the power and
The motion of herein petitioners for hearing on the
control over the decision he rendered. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration
merits is based on their erroneous conception of the nature of was denied by the appellate court.
the Llobrera survey and the proceedings in the lower court.
The Llobrera survey was not really a new survey but only a ISSUES
relocation survey that should follow the old corners used in
the former survey in order to approach the same area and WON respondent judge had jurisdiction to issue the decision which set aside
the lower court's earlier decision and order. YES.
configuration. The Llobera Plan was more or less a
reproduction of the Rocafull plan. WON the respondents Acting Land Registration Commissioner and Perez have
no alternative but to issue the decrees of registration, their duty to do so being
purely ministerial. YES, BUT.

WON "the law of the case" is the decision in Government of the Philippine
Gomez v CA - Idel Monfort Islands v. Abran, which held that the lands adjudicated to Consolacion were not
public lands. NO.
Gomez v. CA
Padilla | Dec. 15, 1988 | In division SC denied the petition and affirmed the appealed decision of the CA.

FACTS 1. Unlike ordinary civil actions, the adjudication of land in a cadastral or land
registration proceeding does not become final, in the sense of incontrovertibility
Petitioners filed in the CFI an application for registration of several lots in until after the expiration of 1 year after the entry of the final decree of
Pangasinan, which were among those involved in the case of Government vs. registration. As long as a final decree has not been entered by the Land
Abran, where the SC declared Consolacion Gomez owner of certain lots. Registration Commission and the period of 1 year has not elapsed from date of
Petitioners are heirs of Teodoro Gomez, father of Consolacion, who, together entry of such decree, the title is not finally adjudicated and the decision in the
with Consolacion's son, Luis Lopez, inherited from her parcels of land when registration proceeding continues to be under the control and sound discretion
Consolacion died intestate. Petitioners alleged that after the death of Teodoro, of the court rendering it.
they became the absolute owners of the subject lots by virtue of a quitclaim
executed in their favor by Luis. 2. The duty of the respondent land registration officials is ministerial in the
sense that they act under the orders of the court and the decree must be in
The CFI rendered its decision adjudicating the subject lots in petitioners' favor conformity with the decision of the court and with the data found in the record,
and later issued another order stating that the decision had become final and and they have no discretion in the matter. However, if they are in doubt upon

20
LTD Digests Part 2

any point in relation to the preparation and issuance of the decree, it is their  CA denied.
duty to refer the matter to the court. They act, in this respect, as officials of the
court and not as administrative officials, and their act is the act of the court. Issue:
They are specifically called upon to "extend assistance to courts in ordinary and
1. whether the respondent Court has acted without or in excess of its
cadastral land registration proceedings.”
jurisdiction in issuing the writ of possession
3. A reading of the pertinent and dispositive portions of the decision will show 2. Won there was denial of due process.
that the lots in question earlier covered by homestead patents were not
included among the lands adjudicated to Consolacion. It is a settled rule that a Held: The court of first instance sitting as a cadastral court was empowered to
homestead patent, once registered under the Land Registration Act, becomes
issue a writ of possession. Nor was there a failure to accord petitioners
indefeasible and incontrovertible as a Torrens title, and may no longer be the
subject of an investigation for determination or judgment in cadastral procedural due process.
proceeding. The aforecited case is not "the law of the case", for the lots in
question were not private lands of Consolacion when homestead patents were Ratio:
issued over them in 1928-1929. 1. In Abellera v. De Guzman, we left no doubt about the power of the cadastral
court to issue a writ of possession. Thus: "After hearing, the cadastral court
may declare the plaintiff the owner of the lots and entitled to their possession
and may issue a writ directing the sheriff to put him in possession thereof, but
Verastigue v CA - Shei Pascual-Pranada it cannot award damages to the plaintiff." As a matter of fact, the Abellera
doctrine has its roots in our opinion rendered 22 years earlier in 1928
G.R. No. L-23973 April 29, 1969 in Director of Lands v. Court of First Instance of Tarlac. The language used by
CIPRIANO VERASTIGUE, ET AL., petitioners, vs. CA, CARMEN VERDAGUER, Justice Laurel in Corders v. Court of First Instance of Laguna, a 1939 decision,
EMILIO VILLASIN, Et. Al, respondents. would, if carefully analyzed, likewise yield an affirmative answer to the
question of whether or not a cadastral court may issue a writ of possession.
Facts (actually talaga masyadong facts sa case) In a recent decision, where the party adversely affected did not even bother to
 The private respondents moved for the issuance of a Writ of Possession to assail the legality of an order of a writ of possession coming from a cadastral
place them in possession of the land in controversy. The said Motion was court, we pointed out, in an opinion through Justice J.B.L. Reyes, how broad
heard on 27 March, 1961 and was, granted on the same day but a copy and extensive is the scope of such an authority. Thus: "Neither do respondents
thereof was received by the undersigned only on 28 March 1961, or the dispute the propriety and validity of the order of the cadastral court, granting
following day after it had heard and granted. the writ of possession in favor of petitioners as well as its enforcement. Under
 After petitioner’s MR of the Order of 27 March 1961, granting the issuance these circumstances, we hold that the Order, dated March 20, 1962, of the
of a Writ of Possession, was denied in the Order of 27 September 1961, the cadastral court, granting petitioners' motion to compel respondents to remove
Trial Court issued such writ their respective houses from the disputed lot, is valid and enforceable against
 the herein petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus with respondents. In the case of Marcelo v. Mencias, etc., et al., this Court had
the CA. petitioners stressed the alleged lack of jurisdiction of the court of already upheld the jurisdiction or authority of the court of first instance, sitting
first instance acting as a cadastral court to issue a writ of possession and as a land registration court, to order, as a consequence of the writ of
the alleged denial of procedural due process. possession issued by it, the demolition of improvements introduced by the

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LTD Digests Part 2

successor-in-interest of a defeated oppositor in the land registration case." The


confidence with which therefore petitioners asserted such lack of jurisdiction Kayaban v Republic
in a cadastral court to issue a writ of possession is clearly unjustified. 30 August 1973
Makalintal, Actg. CJ.

2. Petitioners in their brief would argue thus: "The herein petitioners had no Facts:
chance to object to the private respondents' Motion for Writ of Possession 41. Lands covered by two titles were inherited by Vicente Kayaban and his
because, as hereinbefore discussed, they received a copy thereof only on 28 co-heirs from their father and common predecessor-in-interest. Vicente
March 1961, or on the following day that it was heard and granted by the acquired the shares of his co-heirs and afterwards applied for and
Court on 27 March 1961." obtained the two free patent titles in 1956.
42. In 1967, Vicente and his wife filed an action for illegal detainer against
Petitioners did admit, that they had a motion to reconsider such order of
spouses Orpindo. Just before the illegal detainer case was terminated.
March 27, 1961 which was denied in an order of September 27 of the same Orpindo spouses filed a complaint against Kayaban for reconveyance
year. Only then, as admitted by them likewise, did the lower court issue such a (Case #1).
writ of possession. Where then is the denial of due process? 43. The illegal detainer case was decided adversely against Vicente.
Our ruling in Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co. v. Cadiao would dispel any Vicente appealed (Case #2).
doubt that the answer to the above due process question must be in the 44. Upon a letter-complaint to the OSG by the Orpindos, the OSG filed an
action for annulment of the two free patent titles (Case #3).
negative. As far back as 1935, it has already been a settled doctrine that a plea 45. Case #1 was dismissed; #2 was decided in favor of Vicente.
of denial of procedural due process does not lie where a defect consisting of an 46. As to Case #3, the CFI recognized and declared Vicente and his wife to
absence of notice of hearing was thereafter cured by the alleged aggrieved be the rightful and exclusive owners, but declared the titles null and
party having had the opportunity to be heard on a motion for reconsideration. void on the ground that since the owners acquired the properties partly
'What the law prohibits is not the absence of previous notice, but the absolute by inheritance and by purchase from the co-heirs, the lands were no
longer public and hence not subject to disposition by the government.
absence thereof and lack of opportunity to be heard.' There is then no occasion
The procedure that should have been followed was judicial
to impute deprivation of property without due process where the adverse confirmation and not administrative legalization through
party was heard on a motion for reconsideration constituting as it does patent application.
'sufficient opportunity' for him to inform the Tribunal concerned of his side of
the controversy. As was stated in a recent decision, what 'due process Issue/Held:
contemplates is freedom from arbitrariness and what it requires is fairness or 2. WON the CFI was correct in declaring the titles null and void. NO.
justice, the substance rather than the form being paramount', the conclusion
Ratio:
being that the hearing on a motion for reconsideration meets the strict 2. The remedy in applying for free patents instead of the remedy of
requirement of due process." obtaining a judicial confirmation of their imperfect titles involves a
technicality that is of no material consequence now in view of
the declaration of the same court that the Kayabans are the rightful
and exclusive owners. Both remedies refer to public lands
suitable for agricultural purposes; both require continuous
occupation and cultivation either by the applicant himself or
Kabayan v Republic- Tanya Mia Perez through his predecessors-in-interest for a certain length of
time; and both are modes of confirming an imperfect or

22
LTD Digests Part 2

incomplete title – one judicially and the other administratively. o Serfino, Sr.'s bid-P20,860.00 and Serfino, Jr.'s bid-P6,790.00.
The fact that appellants inherited and purchased the rest from their co-heirs Both paid the required 10% of their respective bids. Purchase
does not necessarily imply that they had become private lands no longer price and the corresponding annual real estate taxes have
subject to the disposition under the Public Land Act. In connection with their already been fully paid… Bureau of Lands yet to issue an Order
free patent applications, the Kayabans and the Director of Lands considered the awarding the lots in question to them.
lands as still part of the public domain. It was Vicente’s privilege to rely or not  District Land Officer Reyes ordered an investigation of an alleged
to rely on his claim of private ownership. He decided not to rely on them and conflict between ONE: Serfino, Sr.'s MSA and that of an unnumbered
Revocable Permit Application (VRAP) of a certain Primitive Donozo
instead consider the property as still part of the public domain.
AND TWO: between Serfino, Jr.'s MSA and RPAs of Agura, Alib, and
Sta. Rita and a certain Domingo Natividad.
 Land Investigator Ernesto Siriban conducted a preliminary
Agura v Serfino - Patrixia Santos
investigation:
o land subject hereof used to be foreshore but is now dryland and
ROBERTO AGURA vs. FEDERICO SERFINO | G.R. No. L-50685 is being used for residential purposes by the party litigants and
December 4, 1991 their respective tenants and relatives
o verified: the area applied for and occupied by the Applicants-
FACTS: Contestants are inside the area applied for and surveyed for the
Applicant-Respondent
 December 10, 1965: Federico Serfino, Sr., filed with the Bureau of o no mention of conflict for Serfino Sr.’s land
Lands Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA) over a 4,172 sqm land in o advised the contending parties to submit to a formal
San Patricia Bacolod City investigation
 February 18 1966: his son, Serfino, Jr., filed MSA over an adjoining lot  Formal investigation by Bacolod City District Land Office:
with an area of 1,358 sqm. o Three (3) formal hearings were held (May, June and 19
 The Director of Lands approved the survey plans of these two (2) MSAs, September 1969)
and then Land Investigator Rodolfo Magbanua conducted a preliminary o BUT: Villamarzo failed to submit either the stenographic notes
investigation of the parcels of land covered by the above MSAs. His or the report on what transpired except for the one held on 19
reported that: September 1969 (hearings were reset for failure of respondents
o Serfino, Sr. had introduced improvements consisting of a to appear)
residential house, a piggery house and a bodega all valued at  Meanwhile, petitioners Agura, Alib, Sta. Rita and 106 others sent to the
P25,500.00 President of the Philippines a petition
o Serfino, Jr. had introduced an improvement consisting of a o requesting that the small parcels of land located in the areas
residential house valued at P15,000.00; and that they have covered by MSAs which they have been occupying for thirty
been occupying the parcels applied for since 1947. (30) years be awarded to them.
o Recommended that the MSAs be given further due course.  Regional Land Officer Cipriano Zabala of Region V, Iloilo City
conducted an investigation:
 MSAs were referred to the Director of Public Works, the Commissioner o land is now a dry land which has been formed by accretions
of Public Highways, the Bacolod City Engineer and the Bacolod City from the sea (Guimaras strait) for many, many years. It could
Collector of Customs. (no objections from them)…The Director of Lands not be reached anymore by sea water during ordinary high tide.
approved the surveys of the lots. (located between the Bacolod Cadastre on the east and
 Then notices for the sale through public auction of the lots in question foreshore area on the west)
were posted at the required places and published in the Official Gazette. o About 314 of the land in question extending towards the south
PRICE: P5.00 per square meter. Serfinos were the . was surveyed under approved survey plans in the name of
Federico Serfino, Sr. and Serfino, Jr.

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LTD Digests Part 2

o The remaining 1/4 portion of the land in question is not Director of lands. (records of the transcript of stenographic
covered by an approved survey plan and is being claimed by notes taken down during the hearing in the 2 civil cases
Mr. Serfino, Sr. dismissed are attached to the record of the case)
o The Serfinos have houses on the land in question. Likewise, all o Petitioner-claimants are in actual possession of the portions
other portions are covered with houses mostly of nipa roofing claimed by them. It was clearly established that they have
and of light materials belonging to the petitioners. There is a preferential right to the portions they actually occupy.
well now being used by the people. Several old coconut trees  Secretary of Natural Resources SET ASIDE Director of lands:
are found in the area and the consensus is that these coconut o petitioners ordered to vacate the two lots in question w/n 30
trees have been planted by Candido Cordova and/or his days and leave the appellants in peaceful possession--- MSA
predecessors, owners of a cadastral lot not very far south of the Applications shall be given due course.
land in question. o Sales of the lots in question in favor of the appellants (private
 3 December 1969 FINAL report: respondents) should NOT be revoked in view of the alleged
o the fint lot on the south is that covered by MSA of Federico conflicts and adverse claims of the appellees (petitioners).
Serfim, Jr. with an area of 1,358 sqm. 34 persons (petitioners)  Appellees failed to :
with houses therein very close to each other occupying the area.  protest when the appellants filed their
o The sand lot (4,172 sqm) is applied for by Serfino, Sr. respective sales applications.
 Aside from the residential house of the Serfinos and the  protest when the land was surveyed nor did
bodega (of) the West Visayan Shipping Co., there are they contest or participate in the public
thirty-eight (38) houses also close to each other of the bidding.
petitioners.  They took nearly 2years after the bidding to file their
o The 3rd lot on the north is not covered by any public land alleged adverse claims.
application by the Serfinos (3,650 sqm). There are 58 houses of o Bureau decided to sell the contested lots through public
the petitioner(s) within the lot all close to each other. auction. And the public bidding was indeed held. Prior
o 3 ejectment cases (Civil Cages Nos. 6633, 6534, and 6674) were possession is immaterial. In proceedings for the sale of public
filed with the City Court of Bacolod by private respondents lands for residential purposes, adjudication shall be made to
against certain individuals including petitioners herein. the highest bidder.
o Recommendation: in view of these pending cases, further o Appellants have substantially complied with the sales
action on private respondents MSAs be held in abeyance. provisions of the Public Land Act, whereas the appellees failed
 City Court of Bacolod: ejectment of the defendants from the lots in to exercise their rights when they did not participate in the
question for "failure to pay rentals." public bidding.
o Civil Cases Nos. 6534 and 6674 dismissed: question of who has o They cannot invoke preferential right over the contested lots
a better right to the areas claimed will be determined by the under Section 95 of the Public Land Act since the lots were
Bureau of Lands who has charge of the disposal of public lands. already regularly sold at public auction
 Land Investigator Villamarzo recommended that petitioners be given  Presidential Assistant for Legal Affairs affirmed SoNR:
"preferential right" over the portions occupied by them.  Director of o DoLands characterized the land as having been formed by
Lands issued Order: Pederico Serfino, Sr. and Federico Serfino, Jr., accretion from the sea, so it is not foreshore land. The sales
MSAs amended- exclude portions occupied by the petitioners in question were perfected by public auction, as per Sec 60, in
o The excluded portions shall be subdivided into home-sized lots rel. to Sec 26 of the Public Land Act, and not through private
in accordance with the actual occupation of the petitioners who sales; hence, R.A. No. 730 has no application.
file appropriate public land applications o Petitioners were able to enter the land after the Serfinos
 MR (for being unable to introduce evidence in their behalf) was denied: purchased it by public bidding. The social justice policy of the
o proceedings in the City Court-Bacolod were adopted during the New Society does not condone, much less countenance, entry
investigation of the case conducted by a representative of upon public lands already applied for and purchased at public

24
LTD Digests Part 2

auction; otherwise, it would be placing a premium on squatting o Under Sec. 61, the lands under (a), (b) and (c) classifications
() can be disposed of-by lease only, while those under (d)
 MR denied so they filed special civil action for certiorari and asked for classification may either be leased or sold
the nullification of the decisions of the PALA and the SoNR at CFI o The land in question belongs to class (d)
MANILA. Trial Court dismissed their petition. o Sec. 67 provides that the lease or sale shall be made by
 Petitioners filed petition for review on certiorari with SC. oral bidding to the highest bidder.
 Sec. 1 of Rep. Act No. 730 then shows that sale of public lands for
ISSUES: residential purposes has been limited to 1,000 square meters only, and
W/N Sec. 1 Of Ra. No. 730 Has Amended The Provisions Of Secs. 61 And 67 Of that the sale must be effected by private sale only IF conditions
The Public Land Act Regarding The Sale Of Public Lands For Residential specified are present, i.e., that preference shall be given to the applicant
Purposes To Bona Fide Occupants- NOOO! if he is not the owner of a home lot in the municipality or city in which
he resides; if he has established his residence in good faith on a parcel
W/N Sale To The Serfinos At Public Auction Of More Than 1,000 Square of public land, which is not needed for the public services; and if the
Meters Of Residential Public Land Violated The Provisions Of R.A. No. 730 And area applied for does not exceed one thousand square meters.
Is Therefore Void—NOOOO!  In short, R.A. No. 730 authorizes a sale by private sale, as an exception
to the general rule that it should be by bidding, if the area applied for
does not exceed 1,000 square meters, and that the applicant has in his
HELD: Petition has NO MERIT.
favor the conditions specified for in Section 1 thereof. Hence, if the area
 Both the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Office of the President applied for is in excess of 1,000 square meters, as in the instant case,
made a thorough and painstaking analysis and evaluation of the facts the sale must be done only through bidding.
and their respective decisions are clearly supported by substantial
evidence. There is nothing in their actuations that would bring their
findings and decisions within the above exceptions to the principle of
conclusiveness of finding of facts of administrative bodies.

 R.A. No. 730 does not repeal or amend Sections 61 and 67 of C.A. No.
141 (The Public Land Act); it merely establishes an exception to said Cagayan de Oro Landless Residents Association v CA - Ronald Sarcaoga
sections.
o The contention of the petitioners that the sale to the Serfinos is G.R. No. 106043 March 4, 1996 Hermosisima, J
void because under Rep. Act No. 730 public land for residential
purposes must be sold by private sale and for not more than CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY LANDLESS RESIDENTS
1,000 square meters is WRONG.
o Sec. 59 of commonwealth Act No. 141 has classified public ASSOCIATION INC. (COCLAI) vs. CA, NATIONAL HOUSING
lands which can be sold for residential, commercial, or AUTHORITY
industrial purposes into: (a) lands reclaimed by the
government; (b) foreshore; (c) marshy lands; and (d) lands not
included in any of the foregoing classes.
o Under Sec. 60 of the Act, these public lands may be leased or Topic: Special Patent (Administrative mode; Land patents)
sold to any person qualified to purchase public lands for
agricultural purposes, provided that the area shall not exceed Doctrine: An OCT issued by the Register of Deeds pursuant to a
144 hectares, as may be determined by the Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources. Special Patent is as indefeasible as a certificate of title issued

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LTD Digests Part 2

under a judicial registration proceeding as the land covered by A day after COCLAI moved for execution, NHA filed quieting of
said certificate is a disposable public land within the contemplation title with preliminary injunction. COCLAI moved to dismiss (ground
of the Public Land Law. was res judicata – NHA filed an injunction suit before).
(This case is a convoluted mess. The italicized portion is the best RTC denied COCLAI’s motion to dismiss but also denied NHA’s
way I can summarize it.) prayer for preliminary injunction (to stop COCLAI’s motion for
execution of the forcible entry case judgment). So NHA went to
SHORT FACTS:
CA, CA reversed RTC saying that the injunction must issue.
The lot in question was occupied by COCLAI members by virtue of Hence, the case at bar.
a grant by the Bureau of Lands to survey the land for subdivision
MORE DETAILED FACTS:
purposes (and only to survey.) But COCLAI did subsequently
apply for a Miscellaneous Sales Application over the land but this Lot 1982 located at Cagayan de Oro City was formerly a
wasn’t acted upon. timberland block until in 1956 when the Bureau of Forestry
declared it as alienable and disposable public land.
The NHA wanted to expropriate the land and award COCLAI
members 300,000 instead of the lots but the members wanted the In 1964, the Bureau of Lands granted COCLAI authority to survey
lots. The expropriation was halted anyway because a case was the land for purposes of subdivision into residential lots. COCLAI
pending (annulment of OCT in the name of Salcedo covering the engaged the services of a geodetic engineer. The Bureau of
land in question – the result of this case was the land was lands, after conducting an ocular survey, required COCLAI (in
declared by the SC as public land.) behalf of its members) to file a miscellaneous Sales Application
over the lot. COCLAI filed the application in 1970.
The President then issued a Proclamation authorizing NHA to
develop, administer, and dispose of the lands. The President also However, the application was held in abeyance by the Bureau of
issued a Special Patent in favor of NHA over the lands and the Lands pending the final outcome of the civil case filed by the
NHA subsequently obtained OCT in its name. But before the Republic and CDOC before the Supreme Court against Benedicta
Special Patent and OCT were issued, COCLAI filed a forcible Salcedo for the annulment of OCT 0-257 covering the land in
entry case against the NHA claiming that they were being ousted question. In such case, COCLAI intervened.
from their lawful possession of the lots by the NHA agents and
In 1979, the NHA filed an expropriation proceeding before the CFI
policemen (NHA itself was not a defendant, only its employees
of Misamis Oriental at CDOC to acquire Cadastral Lot no. 1982
and policemen). They won this case and so they moved for
(total area of 224K sqm which includes the land involved in this
execution. It was then that the Special Patent was issued and
case). COCLAI intervened claiming that they wanted the
based thereon, the OCT in the name of NHA thereafter.

26
LTD Digests Part 2

residential lots instead of being paid P300,000. Upon learning of The MTCC ruled to restore COCLAI members in their actual
the pending suit against Salcedo, the NHA sought suspension of possession but dismissed the claim for damages.
the expropriation proceedings.
The RTC affirmed. Thus the members of COCLAI moved for
In 1982, the Supreme Court decided to annul OCT 0-257 and execution.
declared the lot as public land.
While the case in the MTC was pending, the President of the
A month after, the SolGen gave the Bureau of Lands in Manila a Philippines issued on July 1, 1988 Special Patent No. 3551
copy of the decision. BOL Manila ordered the District Land Officer covering the entire CL No. 1982. By virtue of the special patent,
in CDOC to inventory the lots. The Regional Land Director of the Register of Deeds of CDOC issued an OCT in the name of
Region 10 informed them, however, that members of COCLAI NHA.
occupied portions of the lot by virtue of the Survey Authority
So a day after COCLAI moved for execution, the NHA filed a
granted to COCLAi in 1964 by the Bureau of Lands.
complaint for Quieting of title with injunction against COCLAI with
In 1983, the President of the Philippines issued a Proclamation the RTC of CDOC.
reserving the entire area of Cadastral Lot 1982 for the Slum
The NHA alleged that the decision in the forcible entry case could
Improvement and Resettlement Project to be implemented by the
not be enforced against it because it was not a party to said case,
NHA. Under the said proclamation, the NHA was granted the
that COCLAI's claim is anchored upon the fact that the lot was
authority "to develop, administer and dispose of lot No. 1982
declared public land, that NHA became the absolute owner of the
located at Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City, in accordance with
lot by virtue of the Special Patent issued by the President, that
the guidelines of the Slum Improvement and Resettlement
COCLAI's claim created a cloud on plaintiff's title.
Program.
The RTC issued a restraining order against COCLAI to stop
Thus the Bureau of Lands, through its Regional Director, issued
enforcement of the judgment in the forcible entry case until the
an order rejecting the subdivision survey previously submitted by
RTC resolves the quieting of title complaint by NHA.
the COCLAI.
COCLAI moved to dismiss the quieting of title complaint by NHA
In 1986, the NHA through agents and with the help of policemen,
on the grounds that the action is barred by prior judgment
claiming authority under PD 1472, sought to demolish the
(Apparently, the NHA has filed an action for "Injunction with
structures erected by COCLAI members. COCLAI filed a forcible
Damages" against COCLAI before the RTC of CDOC to prevent
entry suit against NHA employees and the policemen (but not
the MTCC from executing its decision in the forcible entry case,
against NHA itself).
but this was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court – RTC said that

27
LTD Digests Part 2

if NHA believes that it is the owner of the property, it should had already been issued to NHA. In view of this intervening
ventilate its claim in some other case, not in a simple case of development, NHA filed a complaint for quieting of title before the
injunction). Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City. Thus, it was only
proper for the Court of Appeals to direct the Regional Trial
In 1990, the RTC denied the motion to dismiss. But it also denied
Court, where Civil Case No. 90-337 was pending, to grant the writ
the motion for preliminary injunction sought for by the NHA
of preliminary injunction to restrain the enforcement of the
(MR also denied.)
decision of the MTCC in Civil Case No. 11204 as there was a
NHA appealed to the CA and the CA reversed the decision of the material change in the status of the parties with regard to the
RTC and the CA ordered the RTC judge to issue a writ of said land. Clearly, the government, through the NHA will be
preliminary injunction (to respect the possession of the NHA over prejudiced by the impending enforcement of the decision in Civil
the land). Case No. 11204 which directs the said agency to restore the
ISSUE #1: WON NHA entitled to injunction (YES) members of petitioner to their respective possession on portions
of Lot No. 1982.
Purpose of injunction is to preserve status quo and to prevent
actual or threatened acts, until the merits of the case can be
heard. The requisites for the issuance of injunction are: ISSUE #2: WON NHA has a better right to possession of Lot
1. there must be a right in esse or the existence of a right to 1982 as a necessary consequence of ownership (YES)
be protected COCLAI arguments:
2. the act against which the injunction is to be directed is a 1. Special Patent 3351 issued by Pres. Aquino on July 1, 1988
violation of such right. and the OCT issued based thereon in the name of the NHA had
The Court of Appeals was justified in ruling that NHA was entitled entrusted only the administration of said lot but not ownership.
to the writ of injunction because while Civil Case No. 11204 for 2. Proclamation no. 2290 declared the land as Slum Improvement
forcible entry was pending on appeal before the Regional Trial Settlement, so it is illegal for NHA to claim ownership over said
Court, Special Patent No. 3551 was issued by then President land.
Corazon Aquino which covered the lot subject of the dispute and
3. The CA overlooked the fact that the issues on ownership and
by virtue thereof, an Original Certificate of Title in the name of
possession are sub-judice before the RTC of CDOC in Civil Case
NHA was issued by the Register of Deeds of Cagayan de Oro
No. 90337, so the CA cannot pass upon these issues.
City. So, when petitioner moved for the issuance of a writ of
execution before the MTCC on July 23, 1990, a certificate of title

28
LTD Digests Part 2

Note: the SC only discussed argument #1 in resolving the issue of assigns forever, subject to private rights, if any there
possession and ownership. be. 14
NHA’s OCT is concrete and conclusive evidence of an Clearly, the certificate of title vested not only ownership over
indefeasible title to the property. Accordingly, once a decree of the lot but also the right of possession as a necessary
registration is issued under the Torrens systems and the one year consequence of the right of ownership.
period from the issuance of the decree of registration has lapsed,
NHA is not merely the administrator, it owned the lot. The
without said decree being controverted by any adverse party, the
Proclamation granted NHA the power not only to develop and
title becomes perfect and cannot later on be questioned
administer, but also to dispose of the lot.
Furthermore, in the case at bench, the original certificate of title
In contrast, COCLAI’s only basis for its claims is lawful entry and
was issued by the Register of Deeds, under an administrative
possession for an extended period of time. It had an judgment in
proceeding pursuant to Special Patent No. 3551. Thus, it is as
its favor in its case for forcible entry, but that case did not resolve
indefeasible as a certificate of title issued under a judicial
ownership, only possession (mere physical possession, not
registration proceeding as the land covered by said
juridical possession – possession de facto vs possession de jure).
certificate is a disposable public land within the
contemplation of the Public Land Law. 12 Moreover, the said Its Miscellaneous Sales Application was never acted upon by the
certificate of title was not controverted by petitioner in a proper Bureau of Lands.
proceeding nor did it show that the issuance of the Original So COCLAI’s occupation of the land has subsequently become
Certificate of Title by the register of deeds to NHA was tainted with illegal. Its members have become squatters possessing the land
bad faith or fraud. Hence, said certificate of title enjoys the in bad faith.
presumption of having been issued by the register of deeds in the
regular performance of its official duty. 13 Although as a general rule, a court should not transfer property in
litigation from the possession of one party to another in an
Also OCT No. P-3324 issued in the name of respondent NHA, injunction suit, this rule admits exceptions – such as when there is
clearly states: a clear finding of ownership and possession of the land on
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, the said parcel of land property covered by a Torrens title.
with all the appurtenances thereunto of right of Petition by COCLAI dismissed, the CA decision is affirmed.
belonging unto the NATIONAL HOUSING Injunction issued.
AUTHORITY and to its successors-in-interest or

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LTD Digests Part 2

prevailing circumstances
Ortegas v Hidalgo - Jet Siang In the case at bar, the Court finds that by virtue of the decision of the Director
of Lands rejecting the claim of the estate of Villa and giving due course to the
Ortegas vs Hidalgo claims of petitioners, the situation of the parties has substantially changed from
Bidin, J. private land dwellers to public land settlers. In view thereof, the execution of
Facts: the assailed judgment must therefore be stayed.
In 1968 petitioners occupied the contested property in Buenavista, Agusan del Also, private respondent (estate of Villa) is not the registered owner of the
Norte. They paid rentals to the estate of Villa on the belief that the latter was disputed parcel of land as found by the Director of Lands. Assuming arguendo
the owner of said property. that respondent had been granted a patent to the land in question, the same
In 1974, petitioners stopped paying rentals to private respondent upon learning has never been registered with the Registry of Deeds of the province where the
that the disputed lot is a public land and since then claimed ownership over property is located. Indeed, respondent could offer no proof to show that the
said property. Petitioners with other occupants of the lot totaling around 72 same was registered. All patents that may be granted must be registered since
families, filed a petition with the Office of the President praying that the the conveyance of the land covered thereby is effective only upon such
respective portions occupied by them be subdivided and awarded to them. registration which shall be the operative act to convey and affect the land
In 1981, Petitioners, at the instance of private respondent, were charged with Registration is mandatory under the law to affect third parties. Thus, paragraph
violation of the Anti-Squatting Law (PD 772) for alleged squatting on the lot of Sec. 51 of PD 1529 provides:
allegedly owned by the Estate of Villa. In 1986, judgment was rendered by "The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land
respondent judge convicting petitioners of the crime of squatting. insofar as third persons are concerned, and in all cases under this Decree, the
In 1987, the Director of Lands declared the disputed property as public land registration shall be made in the of office of the Register of Deeds for the
and giving due course to the claim of petitioners. Also, in 1987, respondent province or city where the land lies."
judge issued an order of demolition directing the provincial sheriff to demolish
the houses of petitioners for failure to vacate the premises. Absent the fact of registration of a patent, title to the land covered thereby,
MR was filed by petitioners to lift order demolition using as basis the 1987 whether it be by sales or homestead, may not be said to have been perfected
decision of the Director of Lands. This was denied. and, therefore, not indefeasible. A patent becomes indefeasible as a Torrens
Issue: W/N there has been a change in the situation of the parties to warrant Title only when said patent is registered with the Register of Deeds pursuant to
a stay of the execution of the judgment. YES. the provisions of the Land Registration Act
It is a settled rule that once a decision becomes final and executory, it is
incumbent upon the judge to issue a writ of execution. The rule, however,
admits of certain exceptions. Franco v ES - Santiago Tiongco
47. When certain facts and circumstances transpire or supervene after the
judgment has become final which could render the execution of the
judgment unjust.
48. When there has been a change in the situation of the parties which Heirs of Tengco v Aliwalas - Aaron Valdez
make such execution inequitable
49. When it appears that the controversy had never been submitted to the HEIRS of TENGCO v. HEIRS of ALIWALAS and COURT of APPEALS
judgment of the court J. Cortes | November 29, 1988
50. When it appears that the writ has been issued improvidently or without
authority or against the wrong party DOCTRINE(S):
51. That the judgment debt has been paid or otherwise satisfied (3) The rule is well-settled that an original certificate of title issued on the
52. Where it becomes imperative, in the higher interests of justice, to strength of a homestead patent partakes of the nature of a certificate
direct its modification in order to harmonize the disposition with the of title issued in a judicial proceeding, as long as the land disposed of is

30
LTD Digests Part 2

really part of the disposable land of the public domain, and becomes remedies, seeing the case should have been filed before the Bureau of
indefeasible and incontrovertible upon the expiration of one year from Lands (WRONG);
the date of the promulgation of the order of the Director of Lands for (2) Whether or not the Heirs of Aliwalas had a better title, since Dr.
the issuance of the patent. Aliwalas was a rich man who was not entitled to a homestead patent
(4) While the Director of Lands has the power to review homestead and that his heirs failed to prove possession of the parcel of land, as
patents, he may do so only so long as the land remains part of the testified to by a hearing officer of the Bureau of Lands (ALSO WRONG);
public domain and continues to be under his exclusive control; once the (3) Whether or not private respondents have lost their title to the property
patent is registered and a certificate of title is issued, the land ceases through laches and prescription because of their failure to prove
to be a part of public domain and becomes private property over which possession (STILL WRONG)
the Director of Lands has neither control nor jurisdiction.
(5) If there had been any fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining the title,
an action for reversion instituted by the Solicitor General would be the ISSUE(S):
proper remedy. Whether or not the RTC should have taken cognizance of the case on
(6) Title acquired through a homestead patent registered under the Land the ground of the Heirs of Aliwalas’ failure to exhaust administrative
Registration Act is imprescriptible. Thus, prescription cannot operate remedies (Yes, the RTC had jurisdiction over the case because a homestead
against the registered owner. produces the effect of a title procured by a judicial proceeding)
3. The rule is well-settled that an original certificate of title issued on the
FACTS: Petitioners’ claim is anchored on an application in 1933 with the strength of a homestead patent partakes of the nature of a certificate
Bureau of Lands a homestead patent covering Lot Number 3563 of the Arayat of title issued in a judicial proceeding, as long as the land disposed of is
Cadastre by Dr. Jose Aliwalas, which was granted, prompting the RD of really part of the disposable land of the public domain, and becomes
Pampanga to issue an OCT to that effect. Aliwalas had the property fenced and indefeasible and incontrovertible upon the expiration of one year from
planted with vegetables, while paying the taxes thereon. After the war, the date of the promulgation of the order of the Director of Lands for
Aliwalas’s tenants paid him through his overseer and planted palay, mango the issuance of the patent.
trees, and ipil-ipil trees on the property. The property passed to his heirs, who 4. A homestead patent, once registered under the Land Registration Act,
had the property partitioned, and several TCTs were issued to that effect. becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens title.
5. While the Director of Lands has the power to review homestead
Respondents’ claim is anchored on a free patent application in 1973 by patents, he may do so only so long as the land remains part of the
Gregorio Tengco with the District Land Office in San Fernando, Pampanga. The public domain and continues to be under his exclusive control; once the
Public Land Inspector found Tengco and his family having planted several patent is registered and a certificate of title is issued, the land ceases
trees, rice, and corn. to be a part of public domain and becomes private property over which
the Director of Lands has neither control nor jurisdiction.
In rebuttal, the Heirs of Aliwalas adduced evidence showing prewar records of
the Bureau of Lands having been burnt, as certified by the Chief of the Records Whether or not the Heirs of Aliwalas had a better title (YES, because
Management Division of the Bureau of Lands, explaining why the Bureau had the private respondents’ title is incontrovertible by virtue of being a homestead
no more records as to the homestead patent issued in favor of Dr. Aliwalas in patent)
1936, which gave rise to the OCT held by the Heirs of Aliwalas. The RTC
decided in favor of the Heirs of Tengco and the CA affirmed the RTC decision. Dr. Aliwalas' title to the property having become incontrovertible, it may no
longer be collaterally attacked. If there had been any fraud or
The Heirs of Tengco appealed the CA decision on the following grounds: misrepresentation in obtaining the title, an action for reversion instituted by the
(1) Whether or not the RTC should have taken cognizance of the case on Solicitor General would be the proper remedy
the ground of the Heirs of Aliwalas’ failure to exhaust administrative

31
LTD Digests Part 2

Whether or not private respondents have lost their title to the relinquished and transferred all his rights to the homestead unto her in
property through laches and prescription because of their failure to consideration of P1,000, so Gregorio had transferred all his rights therein in her
prove possession (NO, because a homestead patent registered under the favor, except that the sale was subject to the approval of the Secretary of
Land Registration Act is imprescriptible.) Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- The Cuenca siblings (except Natividad) sued Andrea Cuenca and Federico
4. Title acquired through a homestead patent registered under the Land Decolongon for reconveyance and damages.
Registration Act is imprescriptible. Thus, prescription cannot operate - The CFI of Negros Occidental decided in favor of the Decolongons, and the CA
against the registered owner. decided the appeal in favor of the Cuenca siblings.
5. The facts in the proceedings below provide the Aliwalases have always - The Decolongons filed a motion for reconsideration and, when it was denied,
made sure they were occupying and tilling the land. Their overseer, filed a petition for review on certiorari before the SC. They contend that before
Rommel Casus, planted vegetables and tilled the land. After the war, a patent is issued on public lands, the ownership of the same remains with the
the land was fraught with palay, mango trees, and ipil-ipil trees. Only in government, and homestead applicants occupying the public lands are
1974 did the Tengcos wrest possession from Aliwalases’ caretaker and considered mere caretakers. And since the ownership of the public land in this
deprived the latter of their produce. case was still with the government the alienation or transfer made by the
applicant to third persons was void.
- Section 118 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 as amended by Commonwealth
Act No. 456 provides:
Gonzaga v CA - Reinier Jeffrey Abdon Except in favor of the Government or any of its branches, units or institutions,
lands acquired under free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject
to encumbrance or alienation from the date of the approval of the application
and for a term of five years from and after the date of issuance of the patent or
Decolongon v CA - Maya Abdullah grant nor shall they become liable to the satisfaction of any debt contracted
prior to the expiration of said period, but the improvement or crops on the land
DECOLONGON vs. CA may be mortgaged or pledged to qualified persons, associations or
G.R. No. L-46495 – 24 June 1983 – Gutierrez, Jr. corporations. (Sec. 118, Com. Act No. 141).
No alienation transfer, or conveyance of any homestead after five years and
FACTS before twenty five years after issuance of title shall be valid without approval of
- Gregorio Cuenca, married to Aurelia Cuenca, applied for homestead of land in the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which approval shall not be
Silay City, Negros Occidental. On 10 October 1951, the order for the issuance denied, except on Constitutional and legal grounds (Sec. 118, Com. Act No.
of the patent was promulgated, but it was 20 years later, or on 12 October 141, as amended by Com. Act No. 456).
1971, that the patent was issued by the president and the land was registered.
OCT No. P-41 was issued in Gregorio’s name. ISSUES
- Gregorio died on 3 January 1971; Aurelia died on 14 April 1971. (1) W/N the deed of relinquishment which conveyed the land to the private
- 24 January 1972 - Andrea Cuenca (married to Federico Decolongon), stating respondents was executed within the prohibited five-year period – No
that she was the only child and legal heir of said spouses, executed a (2) W/N the transfer or the date of conveyance is null and void because it was
declaration of heirship in her own favor. The title was cancelled and placed in executed without the previous approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and
her name. Natural Resources – No
- Gregorio had left brothers and sisters—Felicidad, Bonifacio, Amado, Alfredo,
Leonor, and Natividad—all of whom, except for Natividad, disputed the HELD/RATIO
paternity and filiation of Andrea. (1) The patent is considered issued once the order for its issuance is
- Felicidad also contended that on 16 May 1966, Gregorio had already promulgated and, therefore, the five-year period is computed from

32
LTD Digests Part 2

this date. The order of the Director of Lands for the issuance of the patent void for having been executed within the five-year prohibitory period provided
was dated October 10, 1951, but the patent itself was issued only twenty (20) by Section 118 of the Public Land Law. The IAC reversed the IAC and found the
years later on October 12, 1971, while the Deed of Relinquishment in favor of sale completely valid (ground not mentioned).
private respondents was executed on May 16, 1966. Clearly, the Deed of
Relinquishment was executed more than five (5) years from the order for the ISSUE(S):
issuance of patent. In fact, fourteen (1 4) years, seven (7) months, and six (6) Whether or not the sale between Constantino and Simeona was valid
days had already elapsed from the order for the issuance of patent. Under the (NO, because the sale was executed within the five-year prohibitory period
facts of this case and the rule applicable to those facts the material date is the provided by the Public Land Act.)
promulgation of the order. 6. Section 118 of the Public Land Law provides: “Except in favor of the
(2) The fact that the deed of relinquishment may not have been government or any of its branches, units or institutions land acquired
approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources is not under free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject to
fatal. We have already held in several cases that it is only directory. encumbrance or alienation from the date of the approval of the
application and for a term of five years from and after the date of
issuance of the patent or grant nor shall they become liable to the
satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said
Gayappanao v IAC - Victoria Buenaventura period, but the improvements or crops on the land may be mortgaged
GAYAPANAO et al v. IAC and SIMEONA GAYAPANAO-NOVENARIO or pledged to qualified persons, associations or corporations.”
C.J. Fernan | July 17, 1991 7. The provision of law which prohibits the sale or encumbrance of the
homestead within five years after the grant is mandatory. From the
DOCTRINE(S): date of the approval of the application and for a term of five (5) years
6. The provision of law which prohibits the sale or encumbrance of the from and after the date of issuance of the patent or grant, lands
homestead within five years after the grant is mandatory. From the acquired under free patent or homestead provisions cannot be subject
date of the approval of the application and for a term of five (5) years to encumbrance or alienation, nor shall they become liable to the
from and after the date of issuance of the patent or grant, lands satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said
acquired under free patent or homestead provisions cannot be subject period.
to encumbrance or alienation, nor shall they become liable to the a. The only exception mentioned by the law is the sale or
satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said encumbrance in favor of the government or any of its
period. branches, units or institutions.
7. The only exception mentioned by the law is the sale or encumbrance in 8. In the case of Arsenal vs. IAC, the Court said that a contract which
favor of the government or any of its branches, units or institutions. purports to alienate, transfer, convey or encumber any homestead
within the prohibitory period of five (5) years from the date of issuance
FACTS: Constantino Gayapanao applied for a homestead patent, which was of the patent is void from its execution.
approved and issued on December 19, 1937. On November 15, 1938, 9. It is dangerous precedent to allow the sale of a homestead during the
Constantino sold it to his daughter Simeona Gayapanao-Novenario and her five-year prohibition to anyone, even to the homesteader's own son or
husband through a Kasulatan ng Bilihan, which indicated sale of 20,000 sq m of daughter. A clever homesteader who wants to circumvent the ban may
the homestead land to private respondents. simply sell the lot to his descendant and the latter after registering the
same in his name would sell it to a third person. This way, public policy
On January 2, 1974, petitioners, the rest of Constantino’s nine children or the would not be subserved.
heirs thereof filed a Complaint for Partition and Accounting with Prayer for 10. The sale to a descendant is not one of the exceptions contemplated by
Appointment of Receiver against Simeona with the Oriental Mindoro CFI. The law. Only the government or any of its branches, units or institutions is
CFI declared the sale contract between Constantino and Simeona as null and given the right to acquire homestead by purchase at any time and even

33
LTD Digests Part 2

during the five-year prohibitory period. To hold valid the sale at bar d. the property in question now a residential area with real estate
would be to throw the door open to schemes and subterfuges which subdivisions
would defeat the law prohibiting the alienation of homestead within five 56. The trial court ruled out private respondent’s right to repurchase the
(5) years from the issuance of the patent. property and dismissed the complaint
57. The CA reversed trial court decision of dismissal and ordered
petitioners to reconvey the land to private respondent upon payment to
Homera v Casa - Calvin Patrick Domingo the former of "the repurchase price thereof in the amount of
P4,128.60, without special pronouncement as to costs.

ISSUE:
Santana v Marinas - John Raymund Fullecido 3. W/N there is bad faith on the sale ? None
4. W/N the reconveyance is valid? No
Santana v Marinas

Facts
SC:
53. On April 21, 1960, private respondent Sotero Mariñas — as plaintiff —
filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a complaint to recover a real 3. None, this raises a question of fact which this Court is not at liberty to
property arguing that review at this stage
a. he acquired, on May 22, 1929, under free patent and covered 58. no point in the argument of petitioners. a free patent or a homestead
by Original Certificate of Title patent must be registered under the Land Registration Act in order that
b. he sold the above parcel of land to petitioner Francisco the land covered thereby is brought under the operation of the Torrens
Santana — one of the defendants below — for a sum of system and thus becomes a registered land.
P4,128.60 59. Neither did respondent Mariñas misrepresent that the land is
c. Jose H. Panganiban is a subsequent lienholder and/or not subject to redemption, because the right of the patentee
encumbrancer, the property having been sold to him by and his heirs to effect such redemption is statutory and,
Santana therefore, the law allowing it formed part of and was deemed
54. Marinas prays that the court allows him to repurchase the property for incorporated in the deed of conveyance
the sum of P4,128,60 and (b) awarding to him P400.00 annually from 60. It is settled that an existing law enters into and forms part of a
date of filing of the complaint until the property is delivered to him, valid contract without the need for the parties expressly
with costs making reference to it
55. The petitioner interposed the following affirmative defenses:
a. That at the time the absolute sales were entered into, they 4. Section 119 of the Public Land Law, Com. Act No. 141 provides that
were totally ignorant of and had no knowledge whatsoever to "Every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or
any encumbrance or right to repurchase by private respondent homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by
b. that they have always been of the honest belief that they the applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, within a period of five years
acquired absolute ownership of the property, free from any lien from the date of conveyance."
or encumbrances whatsoever and, hence, are purchasers in 61. Petitioners’ specific contention that it could not have been the
good faith intention of the Legislature to subject to the right of
c. being innocent purchasers for value, they acquired absolute repurchase a free patent or homestead conveyed 25 years
ownership over the property

34
LTD Digests Part 2

after the issuance of the title is without legal basis and is Rabanes' place for the purpose of redeeming the land and actually tendered to
contrary to jurisprudence laid down on the matter. him the loan amount of P800.00, this time, in genuine and legal Philippine
62. in Isaac, Et. Al. v. Tan Chuan Leong, Et. Al. 20 the sale took place more currency. However, Rabanes told them that the land could no longer be
than 27 years after the issuance of the original title while in Francisco redeemed and he drove them out of his house.
v. Certeza, Sr., 21 one of the 2 lots was sold more than 41 years after Rabanes filed before the CFI:
it was acquired. 64. An injunction suit (Civil Case No. II-14).
63. HOWEVER, The findings of fact of the trial court — the then CFI Judge, CFI held: injunction was not the proper cause of action, because injunction was
Cecilia Muñoz Palma, later a member of this Court, presiding — are merely an ancillary or provisional remedy to a main action. Action for injunction
clear and duly supported by the evidence was ordered dismissed
a. Evidence has been adduced by the defendants that this 65. Another complaint entitled "Recovery of Possession" (Civil Case No. II-
property of Sotero Mariñas has ceased to be in the 39)
nature of a homestead, and that instead it has been CFI: Rendered judgment declaring plaintiff Rabanes (herein respondent) as the
transformed into a growing commercial and residential rightful owner of the land and ordered the defendants (herein petitioners) to
area vacate the same
b. It is evident that to grant plaintiff the right to RATIO: Witness of Vallangca is Benjamin Vallangca, son of Ana Villena. He was
repurchase the property at this time would be not for only 14 years old when his mother signed the document under the alleged
the purpose of giving him back the land for his house influence of the plaintiff. He also signed it as a witness. With that tender age,
and cultivation but for him to exploit it for business we doubt if he understood the meaning or difference between a mortgage and
purposes at the expense of the defendants who are a sale of real property, so how can he say now that his mother was influenced
innocent purchaser(s) in good faith and for value into signing Exhibit 'F'. He did not say how Nazario Rabanes influenced his
mother.
CA affirmed in toto CFI’s judgment.
Petitioners Vallangca’s argument before the SC:
Vallangca v CA - Carlos S. Hernandez Jr. 5. Res judicata. The dismissal of the "Injunction" case filed by Rabanes
VALLANGCA v. CA and RABANES against them, barred the filing by Rabanes against them of the second
FACTS: action for "Recovery of Possession." The first suit, although styled as
Ana Billena, together with her eldest son Benjamin, went to Centro, Buguey, for "Injunction", had for its actual primary purpose the recovery of the
Cagayan and mortgaged the land in dispute to her cousin Nazario Rabanes land in dispute and, therefore, after its dismissal, no other action for
(private respondent herein) for P800.00 in Japanese war notes, to cover the recovery of possession of the same land and against the same parties
burial expenses of her deceased husband Fortunato Vallangca. There being no (herein petitioners) could be pursued by the same complainant
notary public in the place at the time, the agreement was not reduced to (Rabanes).
writing. 6. Respondent's complaint for injunction had already prescribed, before its
After the Pacific war, Nazario Rabanes went to the residence of Ana Billena on filing on 7 July 1971, under Section 40 of Act 190: “An action for
2 February 1946 and made the latter sign a document which Rabanes recovery of title to, or possession of real property, or an interest
represented to Ana Billena as a mortgage contract written in the Ilocano therein, can only be brought within 10 years after the cause of such
dialect. Billena, being an illiterate and trusting in her cousin (Rabanes), affixed action accrues." From the date private respondent claims to have
her signature on the document in the space indicated to her. bought the land, that is, 2 February 1946, more than ten (10) years
In that same year, 1946, Billena was informed by a cousin of Rabanes and had elapsed when Rabanes filed on 7 July 1971 his action for injunction
another witness to the document that the alleged mortgage contract which she which, in effect, was an action for recovery of possession of the
had signed was actually a deed of absolute sale to Rabanes of the land covered disputed land. Hence, the action was barred by prescription.
by TCT No. 1005. Ana Billena and her son Benjamin, thereupon, went to 7. It was not likely that their mother Ana Billena would consent to sell the

35
LTD Digests Part 2

land to Rabanes for only Eight Hundred (P800.00) Pesos, for the entire continued such possession till 1962, when they were allegedly dispossessed by
eleven (11) hectares, forty one (41) acres and thirty three (33) the petitioners, one nevertheless can not ignore the unrefuted fact that, from
centares comprising its total area, considering that the land was then 1962 until the filing of said injunction case in 1971, it was the petitioners
assessed already at Two Thousand Six Hundred Twenty (P2,620.00). Vallangcas who were in actual and physical possession of the property.
8. (RELEVANT) Even assuming arguendo that there was indeed a
sale, petitioners postulate that since the land is registered in RATIO 3 (RELEVANT):
the name of both Maximiniana Crisostomo and Ana Billena, the Assuming then that what Ana Billena and Nazario Rabanes actually agreed
latter could not outrightly dispose of the undivided one-half upon in 1944 was indeed a sale of the land, which transaction was formally put
share of the former (Crisostomo), without first accomplishing in writing on 2 February 1946, the said sale, while valid — because it occurred
an affidavit of adjudication of Crisostomo's interest or share, after the period of five (5) years when sale was prohibited — yet, the sale was
and registering said affidavit of adjudication. subject to Billena's right to repurchase within five (5) years from 2
February 1946.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid sale
HELD: There was no valid sale. It was an equitable mortgage. But even ifthere Notwithstanding the absence of any stipulation in the deed of sale of the
was a valid deed of sale, Ana Billena was able to redeem the land within the 5- vendor's right to repurchase the land, Billena or her heirs are granted such
year redemption period. right by operation of law. The restrictions and qualifications attached to every
Note: The trial court and the Court of Appeals arrived at the conclusion that the alienation of these lands are mandatory, with the primordial aim to preserve
deed of sale of 2 February 1946 was indeed one of sale and not of mortgage. land grants to the family of the applicant for free patent.

RATIO 1: Under Art. 1602 and Art. 1604 of the Civil Code, a contract shall be By Ana Billena's act of tendering to Rabanes the P800.00, she had in effect
presumed to be an equitable mortgage in any of the following cases: exercised her right to repurchase Since the Public Land Law is silent as to the
"Art. 1602 form and manner in which the right to repurchase a homestead or land
1) When the price of a sale with right to repurchase is unusually acquired under a free patent may be exercised, any act which amounts to a
inadequate; demand for reconveyance should be sufficient.
2) When the vendor remains in possession as lessee or otherwise;
xxx xxx xxx In effect, if the 2 February 1946 deed was actually intended to evidence a sale
"Art. 1604. — The provisions of Art. 1602 shall also apply to a contract of the disputed land, made by Ana Billena to Nazario Rabanes, as found by the
purporting to be an absolute sale." trial court and the Court of Appeals, it was a sale with pacto de retro
wherein title of the vendees-Rabanes to the property was to become absolute
o There was gross inadequacy of price, because the land was and irrevocable only upon the failure of Billena or her heirs to repurchase the
sold for P800.00 in Japanese war notes at that, or for barely thirty same within five (5) years from 2 February 1946. Billena exercised her right
percent (30%) of its total assessed value of P2,620.00. The Court to repurchase the land, also in 1946, and her heirs are up to the present time
can take judicial notice of the fact that real estate, including in actual and physical possession of the land. With these as premises, it can be
agricultural land, usually commands a market value much higher said that Rabanes' title to the property remains to this date revocable and
than assessed value. unconsolidated.
o There is continuous physical possession by the petitioners
Billena of the property for almost nine (9) long years, or from Petitioners Villangca may redeem the property covered by TCT No. 1005 upon
1962 to the filing of the injunction case by respondent Rabanes in the return of the amount of Eight Hundred Pesos (P800.00) to private
1971. respondents, with interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum from
Even assuming for the sake of argument, as the Court of Appeals believed, that 1 January 1962 until fully paid.
Rabanes acquired possession of the land thru his tenants in 1946 and

36
LTD Digests Part 2

Other Issues:  on the strength of an SPA executed by some of the petitioners in favor
5. Res judicata is not applicable. of petitioner Benjamin Belisario, land was mortgaged to PNB
RATIO: The prior injunction suit, which was dismissed, was merely an ancillary o petitioners-mortgagors defaulted; mortgage was extra-judicially
and not a main action. A writ of injunction presupposes the pendency of a foreclosed; land was sold in 1963 for P3,134.76 with
principal or main action. There being no main action when the 7 July 1971 suit respondent PNB as the highest bidder
for injunction was filed, the latter was correctly dismissed. Accordingly, there  April 1971, petitioners wrote to PNB making known their "desire to
could be no prior judgment on the merits to speak of that resulted in res redeem and/or repurchase the said property for P3,134.76," and
judicata, from such dismissal of the injunction suit on 13 September 1972. A enclosed therein a postal money order of P630 as partial payment,
dismissal order is generally deemed to be without prejudice to the filing of balance to be paid in 12 equal monthly instalments
another action. The only instance when dismissal of an action is with prejudice o Sheriff's Certificate of Sale was not yet registered; PNB on July
is, when the order itself so states. Stated differently, when the court issues, 22, 1971 caused the registration of such with the Register
upon the plaintiff's instance, a dismissal order that is silent as to whether it is of Deeds of Bukidnon and TCT was later issued in the name of
with or without prejudice, such as in the case at bar, the presumption is, that it bank
is without prejudice.  August 1971 PNB sent a reply letter to petitioners, refusing the tender;
6. The action for recovery of possession of the land in question was timely under existing regulations of the bank, payment by way of redemption
filed. must be paid in full and not by installments
RATIO: Art. 1141 of the Civil Code: real actions over immovables prescribe  PNB sold the land to respondent Cabrera for P5k and the corresponding
after thirty (30) years. Here, the Court of Appeals found that Rabanes was TCT was issued in his name
dispossessed by the petitioners in 1962, and the action for recovery of  respondent Cabrera filed an action for Recovery of Possession and
possession was filed on 11 September 1972, or more or less ten (10) years Damages against herein petitioners, together with their tenants, who
after dispossession. were actual possessors of the land, with CFI Bukidnon
o January 1975, Petitioners also filed an action for
Repurchase of Homestead against PNB and Cabrera with
CFI Bukidnon
Rural Bank of Davao City v CA - Kevin Hernandez  Cabrera filed a MTD petitioners' action for Repurchase of Homestead
Sucaldito v Montejo - Kevin Hernandez on 2 grounds:
1. No tender of payment of the redemption price and/or consignation of the
redemption was made by plaintiff.
2. Complaint states no cause of action.
Belisario v IAC - Ayesha Alonto Mambuay  petitioners herein opposed contending that they offered to repurchase
the property from PNB within the 5-year redemption period and
58 Belisario v IAC (now CA) tendered payment which was, however, refused
Medialdea, J | August 30, 1988 o manifested that on August 1 and 4, 1917, they consigned
with the Clerk of Court of Bukidnon P5k as repurchase price
FACTS:  CFI granted the MTD
 piece of land originally covered by OCT 366, pursuant to Homestead  IAC (now CA) affirmed the lower court's decision in toto
Patent 45183 issued in the names of Rufino Belisario and Felipa Lauga
located in Valencia, Bukidnon, 23, 2210 hectares ISSUE: WoN the filing of judicial action to redeem preserved the petitioner’s
o upon the death of Rufino, land was extra-judicially settled right to redeem (YES, also w/in 5-year period)
among his children (7 petitioners herein) and his widow, Felipa
in whose names TCT was issued

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LTD Digests Part 2

HELD: CA reversed; petitioners to redeem within 30 days from entry of  For purposes of determining whether petitioners exercised their right to
judgment; Cabrera to execute a deed of absolute conveyance in favor of the repurchase effectively, We have only to consider their filing of the
petitioners upon payment of the purchase price thereof at the auction sale, action for Repurchase of Homestead on January 9, 1975, against PNB
with 1% per month interest up to the time of redemption, plus any taxes or and Cabrera, which was filed well within the 5-year period to
assessments which Cabrera may have paid, minus the P5k consigned repurchase.
o The question of timeliness of the tender of payment by
 land was sold on January 31, 1963 but Sheriff's Certificate of Sale was petitioners on August 1 and 4, 1977 of the amount of P5k had
registered only on July 22, 1971 become insignificant in view of the filing of the action.
o The redemption period should be reckoned from the date of
the registration  different from Uy Lee vs. CA: action to compel redemption was filed
o under Act 3135, petitioners may redeem until July 22, 1972 after the lapse of the period of redemption. Mere sending of letters by
 In addition, Sec 119 of CA 141 provides that every conveyance vendor expressing his desire to repurchase the property without an
of land acquired under the free patent or homestead patent accompanying tender of redemption price fell short of the requirements
provisions of the Public Land Act, when proper, shall be of law. Having failed to properly exercise his right of redemption within
subject to repurchase by the applicant, his widow or legal the statutory 5-year period, the right is lost and the same can no
heirs, within the period of five years from the date of longer be revived by the filing of an action to compel redemption after
conveyance. the lapse of the period
o 5-year period of redemption fixed begins to run from the day o same factual antecedent in Conejero, et al. vs. CA
after the expiration of the 1-year period of repurchase allowed o What was proper for determination in said cases was WoN the
in an extrajudicial foreclosure right of redemption sans judicial action was validly exercised.
o Hence, petitioners still had 5 years from July 22, 1972 In said cases, the Court applied the general rule that bona
(expiration of the redemption period under Act 3135) within fide redemption necessarily imports a reasonable and valid
which to exercise their right to repurchase tender of the entire purchase price.
 GENERAL RULE in redemption: in making a repurchase, it is not  CA erred in holding that the action is barred by long inaction. The right
sufficient that a person offering to redeem makes manifestation of his of redemption under CA 141 legally began to accrue only on June 22,
desire to repurchase; this statement of intention must be 1972. An action for Repurchase of Homestead filed on January 9, 1975
accompanied by an actual and simultaneous tender of cannot be held to be barred.
payment, which constitutes the legal use or exercise of the right to
repurchase
o tender of payment must be for the full amount of the
repurchase price, otherwise the offer to redeem will be held PNB v De Los Reyes - Lawi Manalo
ineffectual
 The rule that tender of payment of the repurchase price is necessary to Summary: Respondent spouses contracted a loan from PNB secured by
exercise the right of redemption finds support is civil law. Articles 1616 mortgages over several parcels of property including 4 unregistered parcels of
of the Civil Code, in the absence of an applicable provision in CA 141, land. It was held that these cannot be mortgaged because 1) they were not yet
furnishes the guide: "The vendor cannot avail himself of the right to the owners when the contract was executed, and 2) Public Land Act disallows
repurchase without returning to the vendee the price of the sale ... " the taking of such lands for satisfaction of debts for 5 years.
 The filing of a complaint to enforce repurchase within the Facts:
period for redemption is equivalent to an offer to redeem and - On August 30, 1966, respondent spouses mortgaged 6 parcels of land
has the effect of preserving the right to redemption. located at Cantilla, Sorsogon to PNB to secure the payment of a loan of

38
LTD Digests Part 2

P10,000.00. 2 of the 6 parcels of land are covered by free patent titles o That parcels 3, 4, 5, and 6 are not titled but plaintiffs have filed
while the other 4 are untitled and covered only by tax declarations. the proper application for the issuance of free patent titles to
- For failure of respondent spouses to pay the loan after its maturity, the lands
PNB, pursuant to a special power of attorney in the mortgage deed, - The RTC initially ruled that the respondent spouses are entitled to
effected the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage and purchased redeem the 6 parcels of land based on the theory of indivisibility of
the same at public auction for P12,735.30 (which amount included the mortgage. SP 2697 was dismissed.
expenses of sale, interest and attorney's fees). The certificate of sale - Acting on PNB’s MR, the RTC modified its earlier decision by ruling that
was duly registered with the Register of Deeds. the applicability of the doctrine of "indivisibility of mortgage" was
- After the one-year redemption period expired without respondent deemed to have been waived by PNB when it agreed to the redemption
spouses having exercised their right of redemption, PNB executed and of the 2 titled lots, and holding that the period of redemption for the 4
registered an affidavit of consolidation of ownership over the 6 parcels untitled parcels of land is 1 year, not 5 years. However, it allowed the
of land on July 9, 1970 and new titles were issued in its name for the 2 redemption of said 4 lots by reason of equity.
parcels covered by free patent titles and the corresponding tax
declarations for the 4 parcels were placed in its name. Issue: W/N respondent spouses are entitled to redeem the untitled lands? NO.
Mutual restitution.
- On May 9, 1972, PNB entered into a contract to sell the 6 parcels of
Ratio:
land to one Gerardo Badong. PNB informed respondent spouses of the
- The SC ruled that the indivisibility of mortgage rule does not apply in
transaction in a letter dated May 31, 1972.
this case since the aggregate number of the lots which comprise the
- On July 12, 1972, respondent spouses instituted Civil Case No. 2677 for
collaterals for the mortgage had already been foreclosed and sold at
legal redemption of the 6 parcels of land, invoking Section 119 of the
public auction. There is no partial payment nor partial extinguishment
Public Land Act, with damages. PNB filed its answer on August 15,
of the obligation to speak of. This specifically refers to the release of
1972, conceding to respondent spouses the right to repurchase the 2
the mortgage which secures the satisfaction of the indebtedness and
parcels of land covered by free patent titles, but refused the
naturally presupposes that the mortgage is existing. Once the
redemption of the other 4 lots covered by tax declarations.
mortgage is extinguished by a complete foreclosure thereof, said
- Gerardo Badong, on the other hand, could not take possession of the 2
doctrine of indivisibility ceases to apply since, with the full payment of
lots covered by Tax Declarations Nos. 7245 and 7246 as respondent
the debt, there is nothing more to secure.
spouses refused to surrender possession of the premises. On July 24,
- However, the SC noted that applications for free patent covering the 4
1972, PNB filed an ex parte petition (Special Proceeding No. 2679) for
unregistered parcels of land had been filed by respondent spouses, and
the issuance of a writ of possession over the aforesaid 2 lots, which
were then still pending action, which thus gives rise to the admission
was granted.
that said properties involved in the aforestated cases were public lands.
- Due to the refusal of respondent spouses to relinquish possession of
Hence, the right of PNB to foreclose its mortgage on the subject
the 2 lots in defiance of the writ of possession by the court, PNB filed in
properties virtually depends on whether the deed of mortgage is at all
Special Proceeding No. 2679 a motion to cite respondent spouses in
valid and enforceable since the 4 lots mortgaged apparently still formed
contempt.
part of the public domain when the mortgage thereon was constituted.
- Civil Case 2677 and SP 2697 were heard jointly. Among the stipulated
- At most, what respondents had was a mere right of expectancy
facts were:
dependent on the continuance of the circumstances then existing or a
o That parcels 1 and 2 in the complaint are title lands and bear
contingent right dependent on the performance of some conditions,
Free Patent Titles P-123 and P-130
BUT WHICH COULD NOT BE THE PROPER OBJECT OF A VALID
MORTGAGE CONTRACT. Since THE MORTGAGE IS ABSOLUTELY

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LTD Digests Part 2

NULL AND VOID AND INEFFECTIVE FROM ITS INCEPTION,


PNB, as mortgagee, acquires no better rights, the registration of the
mortgage notwithstanding. Nor would the subsequent acquisition by
the mortgagor of title over said properties through the issuance of free
patents thereover validate and legalize the mortgage thereon under the
doctrine of estoppel, since upon the issuance of said patents, the lots in
question are thereby brought under the operation of the Public Land
Act which prohibits the taking of said properties for the satisfaction of
debts contracted prior to the expiration of 5 years from the date of the
issuance of the patents.
- Under the Public Land Act, the prohibition to alienate is predicated on
the fundamental policy of the State to preserve and keep in the family
of the homesteader that portion of public land which the State has
gratuitously given to him, and recovery is allowed even where the land
acquired under the Public Land Act was sold and not merely
encumbered, within the prohibited period.

40