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JUSTICE ESTELA PERLAS-BERNABE

CASE DOCTRINES
ALTHOUGH EXPERT OPINIONS FURNISHED BY PSYCHOLOGISTS REGARDING THE
TEMPERAMENT OF PARTIES ARE USUALLY GIVEN CONSIDERABLE WEIGHT BY THE
COURTS, THE EXISTENCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY MUST STILL BE PROVEN BY
INDEPENDENT EVIDENCE.
The psychiatric evaluation of Dr. Zalsos did not explain in reasonable detail how Natividad’s condition
could be characterized as grave, deeply–rooted, and incurable within the parameters of psychological
incapacity jurisprudence. Aside from failing to disclose the types of psychological tests which she
administered on Natividad, Dr. Zalsos failed to identify in her report the root cause of Natividad’s
condition and to show that it existed at the time of the parties’ marriage. Neither was the gravity or
seriousness of Natividad’s behavior in relation to her failure to perform the essential marital obligations
sufficiently described in Dr. Zalsos’s report. Further, the finding contained therein on the incurability of
Natividad’s condition remains unsupported by any factual or scientific basis and, hence, appears to be
drawn out as a bare conclusion and even self–serving. Although expert opinions furnished by
psychologists regarding the psychological temperament of parties are usually given
considerable weight by the courts, the existence of psychological incapacity must still be
proven by independent evidence. (Republic vs. De Gracia, G.R. No. 171557, February 12, 2014).

NOTWITHSTANDING THE MOLINA GUIDELINES, AN EXPERT OPINION IS NOT


ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY AND MAY BE DISPENSED WITH IN A PETITION UNDER
ARTICLE 36 OF THE FAMILY CODE
Notwithstanding the Molina guidelines, note, however, that an expert opinion is not absolutely necessary
and may be dispensed with in a petition under Article 36 of the Family Code if the totality of the evidence
shows that psychological incapacity exists and its gravity, juridical antecedence, and incurability can be
duly established. evidence need not necessarily come from the allegedly incapacitated spouse, but can
come from persons intimately related to the spouses, i.e., relatives and close friends, who could clearly
testify on the allegedly incapacitated spouse's condition at or about the time of the marriage.46 In other
words, the Molina guidelines continue to apply but its application calls for a more flexible approach in
considering petitions for declaration of nullity of marriages based on psychological incapacity. Based on
the totality of the evidence presented, there exists insufficient factual or legal basis to conclude that Jose's
immaturity, irresponsibility, or infidelity amount to psychological incapacity (Del Rosario vs. Del
Rosario, GR. No. 222541, February 15, 2017).

IN ORDER FOR A DIVORCE OBTAINED ABROAD BY THE ALIEN SPOUSE TO BE


RECOGNIZED IN OUR JURISDICTION, IT MUST BE SHOWN THAT THE DIVORCE DECREE
IS VALID ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL LAW OF THE FOREIGNER
In Garcia v. Recio, it was pointed out that in order for a divorce obtained abroad by the alien spouse to be
recognized in our jurisdiction, it must be shown that the divorce decree is valid according to the national
law of the foreigner. Both the divorce decree and the governing personal law of the alien spouse who
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obtained the divorce must be proven. Since our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and
judgment, our law on evidence requires that both the divorce decree and the national law of the alien
must be alleged and proven like any other fact (Medina v. Koike, G.R. No. 215723; July 27, 2016).
PRESUMPTION OF CONJUGALITY DOES NOT OPERATE IF THERE IS NO SHOWING WHEN
THE PROPERTY ALLEGED TO BE CONJUGAL WAS ACQUIRED
Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides that all property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the
conjugal partnership, unless it is proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife.
However, the party who invokes this presumption must first prove that the property in controversy was
acquired during the marriage. Proof of acquisition during the coverture is a condition sine qua non for
the operation of the presumption in favor of the conjugal partnership. Michael invokes the presumption
of conjugality, but he fails to establish that the subject property was acquired during the marriage of
Albert and Josephine. Indeed, records are bereft of any evidence from which the actual date of acquisition
of the subject property can be ascertained. Considering that the presumption of conjugality does not
operate if there is no showing when the property alleged to be conjugal was acquired, the subject property
is therefore considered to be Albert's exclusive property. (Onstott vs. Upper Tagpos Neighborhood
Association, Inc., GR. No. 221047, September 24, 2016).

ARTICLE 36 OF THE FAMILY CODE, SHOULD REFER TO THE MOST SERIOUS CASES OF
PERSONALITY DISORDERS CLEARLY DEMONSTRATIVE OF AN UTTER INSENSITIVITY OR
INABILITY TO GIVE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE TO THE MARRIAGE
Psychological incapacity, as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, should
refer to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or
inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. It must be a malady that is so grave and
permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one
is about to assume. Thus, to warrant the declaration of nullity of marriage, the psychological incapacity
must: (a) be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties
required in a marriage; (b) have juridical antecedence, i.e., it must be rooted in the history of the party
antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage;
and (c) be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party
involved. It cannot be dissolved at the whim of the parties, especially where the pieces of evidence
presented are grossly deficient to show the juridical antecedence, gravity and incurability of the condition
of the party alleged to be psychologically incapacitated to assume and perform the essential marital
duties. (Republic vs. Romero II, G.R. No. 209180; February 24, 2016).

PERSONS; PRESUMPTIVE DEATH; REMARRIAGE; THE REQUIREMENT OF WELL-FOUNDED


BELIEF CAN ONLY BE DISCHARGED UPON A SHOWING OF PROPER AND HONEST-TO-
GOODNESS INQUIRIES AND EFFORTS TO ASCERTAIN THE DEATH OF THE SPOUSE
The "well-founded belief in the absentee's death requires the present spouse to prove that his/her belief
was the result of diligent and reasonable efforts to locate the absent spouse and that based on these efforts
and inquiries, he/she believes that under the circumstances, the absent spouse is already dead. It
necessitates exertion of active effort, not a passive one. As such, the mere absence of the spouse for such
periods prescribed under the law, lack of any news that such absentee spouse is still alive, failure to
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communicate, or general presumption of absence under the Civil Code would not suffice. The premise is
that Article 41 of the Family Code places upon the present spouse the burden of complying with the
stringent requirement of "well-founded belief which can only be discharged upon a showing of proper
and honest-to-goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain not only the absent spouse's whereabouts, but
more importantly, whether the latter is still alive or is already dead. (Republic vs. Tampus, G.R. No.
214243; March 16, 2016).

ALL PROPERTY OF THE MARRIAGE IS PRESUMED TO BELONG TO THE CONJUGAL


PARTNERSHIP, UNLESS IT BE PROVED THAT IT PERTAINS EXCLUSIVELY TO THE
HUSBAND AND WIFE
For this presumption to apply, the party invoking the same must, however, preliminarily prove that the
property was indeed acquired during the marriage. As held in Go v. Yamane, as a condition sine qua non
for the operation of Article 160 in favor of the conjugal partnership, the party who invokes the
presumption must first prove that the property was acquired during the marriage. In other words, the
presumption in favor of conjugality does not operate if there is no showing of when the property alleged
to be conjugal was acquired. Moreover, the presumption may be rebutted only with strong, clear,
categorical and convincing evidence. There must be strict proof of the exclusive ownership of one of the
spouses, and the burden of proof rests upon the party asserting it (Tan vs. Andrade, GR No. 171904,
August 7, 2013).

AN EJECTMENT CASE, BASED ON THE ALLEGATION OF POSSESSION BY TOLERANCE,


FALLS UNDER THE CATEGORY OF UNLAWFUL DETAINER.
Unlawful detainer is an action to recover possession of real property from one who unlawfully withholds
possession thereof after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract,
express or implied. The possession of the defendant in unlawful detainer is originally legal but became
illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess. The only issue to be resolved in an
unlawful detainer case is the physical or material possession of the property involved, independent of
any claim of ownership by any of the parties. An ejectment case, based on the allegation of possession
by tolerance, falls under the category of unlawful detainer. Where the plaintiff allows the defendant to
use his/her property by tolerance without any contract, the defendant is necessarily bound by an implied
promise that he/she will vacate on demand, failing which, an action for unlawful detainer will lie (Piedad
vs. Gurieza, G.R. No. 207525; June 18, 2014).

THE RIGHT TO HIRE A TENANT IS A PERSONAL RIGHT OF A LANDOWNER, EXCEPT AS


MAY BE PROVIDED BY LAW; THE CONSENT OF THE LANDOWNER SHOULD BE SECURED
PRIOR TO THE INSTALLATION OF TENANTS.
It bears stressing that the right to hire a tenant is basically a personal right of a landowner, except as may
be provided by law. Hence, the consent of the landowner should be secured prior to the installation of
tenants. xxx It is settled that a mortgagee does not become the owner of the mortgaged property until he
has foreclosed the mortgage and, thereafter, purchased the property at the foreclosure sale. With the
foreclosure proceedings having been enjoined, APT could not have been regarded as the “landowner” of
the subject property. Thus, since the consent of the standing landowner, GCFI, had not been secured by
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APT in this case, it had no authority to enter into any tenancy agreement with the KAMIFCI members.
(Quintos vs. Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, G.R. No. 207525, February 10,
2014.)

UNLESS A NUISANCE IS A NUISANCE PER SE, IT MAY NOT BE SUMMARILY ABATED


Jurisprudence further classifies nuisances in relation to their legal susceptibility to summary abatement
(that is, corrective action without prior judicial permission). In this regard, a nuisance may either be: (a)
a nuisance per se (or one which “affects the immediate safety of persons and property and may be
summarily abated under the undefined law of necessity”); or (b) a nuisance per accidens (or that which
“depends upon certain conditions and circumstances, and its existence being a question of fact, it cannot
be abated without due hearing thereon in a tribunal authorized to decide whether such a thing does in
law constitute a nuisance”). It is a standing jurisprudential rule that unless a nuisance is a nuisance per
se, it may not be summarily abated. (Rana vs. Wong,et al., G.R. No. 192861-62, June 30, 2014).

LANDS BELONGING TO PUBLIC DOMAIN NOT COGNIZABLE BY COURTS IN AN ACTION


FOR QUIETING OF TITLE; JURISDICTION AS TO WHO HAS BETTER RIGHT WITH
DIRECTOR OF LANDS
Having established that the disputed property is public land, the trial court was therefore correct in
dismissing the complaint to quiet title for lack of jurisdiction. The trial court had no jurisdiction to
determine who among the parties have better right over the disputed property which is admittedly still
part of the public domain. As held in Dajunos v. Tandayag: x x x The Tarucs' action was for "quieting of
title" and necessitated determination of the respective rights of the litigants, both claimants to a free
patent title, over a piece of property, admittedly public land. The law, as relied upon by jurisprudence,
lodges "the power of executive control, administration, disposition and alienation of public lands with
the Director of Lands subject, of course, to the control of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources." (Bilag v. Ay-Ay, G.R. No. 189950; April 24, 2017)

QUIETING OF TITLE; REQUISITES; LEGAL OR EQUITABLE TITLE; REMOVAL OF CLOUD


THEREON
An action for quieting of title is essentially a common law remedy grounded on equity. The competent
court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and other claimants, not only to
place things in their proper place, to make the one who has no rights to said immovable respect and not
disturb the other, but also for the benefit of both, so that he who has the right would see every cloud of
doubt over the property dissipated, and he could afterwards without fear introduce the improvements he
may desire, to use, and even to abuse the property as he deems best. But "for an action to quiet tide to
prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or
an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim,
encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid
or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy." (Heirs of Extremadura
v. Extremadura, G.R. No. 211065; June 15, 2016)

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A PERSON NEED NOT HAVE HIS FEET ON EVERY SQUARE METER OF THE LAND TO
ESTABLISH PHYSICAL POSSESSION
The only question that the courts must resolve in forcible entry or unlawful detainer cases is who between
the parties is entitled to the physical or material possession of the property in dispute. The main issue is
possession de facto, independently of any claim of ownership or possession de jure that either party may
set forth in his pleading. The principal issue must be possession de facto, or actual possession, and
ownership is merely ancillary to such issue. In forcible entry, the plaintiff must prove that it was in prior
physical possession of the premises until it was deprived thereof by the defendant. Jurisprudence states
that the law does not require a person to have his feet on every square meter of the ground before it can
be said that he is in possession thereof. In Bunyi v. Factor, the Court held that "visiting the property on
weekends and holidays is evidence of actual or physical possession. The fact of her residence somewhere
else, by itself, does not result in loss of possession of the subject property." (Sps. Fahrenbach v.
Pangilinan, G.R. No. 224549; August 07, 2017)

TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OVER TENANTED RICE AND/OR CORN LANDS AFTER


OCTOBER 21, 1972 IS ALLOWED ONLY IN FAVOR OF THE ACTUAL TENANT-TILLERS
THEREON
The Court ruled that PD 27 prohibits the transfer of ownership over tenanted rice and/or corn lands after
October 21, 1972 except only in favor of the actual tenant-tillers thereon. Therefore, as Garcia sold the
property in 1982 to the petitioner who is evidently not the tenant-beneficiary of the same, in consequence
the petitioner cannot present claim for land holding exemption because his title spring from an null and
void source for being contrary to law (Borromeo v. Mina, G.R. No. 193747, June 5,2013).

TAX DECLARATIONS AND TAX RECEIPTS MAY ONLY BECOME THE BASIS OF A CLAIM
FOR OWNERSHIP WHEN THEY ARE COUPLED WITH PROOF OF ACTUAL POSSESSION OF
THE PROPERTY
It is an elemental rule that a decree of registration bars all claims and rights which arose or may have
existed prior to the decree of registration. By the issuance of the decree, the land is bound and title thereto
quieted, subject only to certain exceptions under the property registration decree. Besides, tax
declarations and tax receipts may only become the basis of a claim for ownership when they are coupled
with proof of actual possession of the property. (Heirs of Delfin v. Rabadon, G.R. No. 165014 July 31,
2013)
FOR A CASE OF FORCIBLE ENTRY TO PROSPER, COMPLAINANT MUST JUSTIFY HIS RIGHT
TO THE DE FACTO POSSESSION (PHYSICAL OR MATERIAL POSSESSION) OF THE DISPUTED
PREMISES
Notwithstanding petitioner’s proper classification of his action, his forcible entry complaint, nonetheless,
cannot be granted on its merits, considering that he had failed to justify his right to the de facto possession
(physical or material possession) of the disputed premises. As pointed out by the CA, TD No. 00-TY-002-
11458, or the supposed document from which petitioner hinges his right to the de facto possession of the
subject land, only covers his house and not the entire land itself. Nothing appears on record to show that
he has the right to the de facto possession of the 172.80 sq. m. portion which, on the contrary, appears to

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be consistent with the claim of ownership of respondent in view of TD No. OOTY-002-13031 covering
the same property as registered in her name. Thus, with no evidence in support of petitioner's stance,
and the counter-evidence showing respondent's right to the de facto possession of the 172.80 sq. m.
portion as its ostensible owner, the forcible complaint must necessarily fail. (Javier v. Lumontad, G.R.
No. 203760, December 3, 2014)

NON-RIPARIAN OWNERS CANNOT ASSERT OWNERSHIP OVER LAND DEPOSITED


THROUGH ACCRETION
Accordingly, therefore, alluvial deposits along the banks of a creek or a river do not form part of the
public domain as the alluvial property automatically belongs to the owner of the estate to which it may
have been added. The only restriction provided for by law is that the owner of the adjoining property
must register the same under the Torrens system; otherwise, the alluvial property may be subject to
acquisition through prescription by third persons. (Heirs of Narvasa v. Imbornal, G.R. No. 182908;
August 6, 2014)
DISCREPANCY IN THE NUMBER OF PAGES WRITTEN IN THE WILL IS NOT SUBSTANTIAL
COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW.
The law is clear that the attestation must state the number of pages used upon which the will is written.
The purpose of the law is to safeguard against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its
pages and prevent any increase or decrease in the pages (Lopez v. Lopez, G.R. No. 189984; November
12, 2012)

EXTRA-JUDICIAL SETTLEMENT MUST BE KNOWN TO ALL HEIRS.


No extra-judicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has not participated therein or had
no notice thereof. (Neri v. Heirs of Sps. Uy, G.R. No. 194366; October 10, 2012)

ONE CANNOT SALVAGE ANY RIGHTS FROM AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL TRANSACTION


KNOWINGLY ENTERED INTO.
Petitioner openly admitted that he "is well aware of the above-cited constitutional prohibition" and even
asseverated that, because of such prohibition, he and respondent registered the subject properties in the
latter’s name. Clearly, petitioner’s actuations showed his palpable intent to skirt the constitutional
prohibition. It is well-established that equity as a rule will follow the law and will not permit that to be
done indirectly which, because of public policy, cannot be done directly. Surely, a contract that violates
the Constitution and the law is null and void, vests no rights, creates no obligations and produces no
legal effect at all. (Buemer v. Amores, G.R. No. 195670; December 3, 2012).

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The strength of the buyer’s inquiry on the seller’s capacity or legal authority to sell depends on the proof
of capacity of the seller. If the proof of capacity consists of a special power of attorney duly notarized,
mere inspection of the face of such public document already constitutes sufficient inquiry. If no such
special power of attorney is provided or there is one but there appears to be flaws in its notarial
acknowledgment, mere inspection of the document will not do; the buyer must show that his
investigation went beyond the document and into the circumstances of its execution. (Heirs of Sarili v.
Lagrosa, G.R. No. 193517; January 15, 2014)

Section 32 of PD 1529 provides that the period to contest a decree of registration shall be one (1) year
from the date of its entry and that, after the lapse of the said period, the Torrens certificate of title issued
thereon becomes incontrovertible and indefeasible. The prescriptive period for actions for reconveyance
is ten (10) years reckoned from the date of issuance of the certificate of title, except when the owner is in
possession of the property, in which case the action for reconveyance becomes imprescriptible
(Paraguya v. Sps. Crucillo, GR No. 200265; December 2, 2013)

However, a perusal of the pertinent deeds of absolute sale reveals that definite portions of the subject
land were eventually sold, and the buyers took possession and introduced improvements thereon,
declared the same in their names, and paid the realty taxes thereon, all without any objection from
respondents who never disputed the sales in favor of the buyers. Consequently, the Court finds that there
is, in this case, a partial factual partition or termination of the co-ownership, which entitles the buyers to
the segregation of their respective portions, and the issuance of new certificates of title in their names
upon compliance with the requirements of law (Genorga v. Heirs of Meliton, G.R. No. 224515; July 3,
2017)

The RTC, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court, has been conferred with the original and exclusive power
to determine just compensation for parcels of land acquired by the State pursuant to the agrarian reform
program. To guide the RTC in this function, Section 17 of RA 6657 enumerates the factors which must be
taken into consideration to accurately determine the amount of just compensation to be awarded in a
particular case. They are: (a) the acquisition cost of the land; (b) the current value of like
properties; (c) the nature and actual use of the property, and the income therefrom; (d) the
owner's sworn valuation; (e) the tax declarations; (f) the assessment made by government
assessors; (g) the social and economic benefits contributed by the farmers and the farmworkers,
and by the government to the property; and (h) the nonpayment of taxes or loans secured from
any government financing institution on the said land, if any. Corollarily, pursuant to its rule-
making power under Section 49 of the same law, the DAR translated these factors into a basic formula,
which courts have often referred to and applied, as the CA did in this case. It, however, bears stressing
that courts are not constrained to adopt the said formula in every case since the determination
of the amount of just compensation essentially partakes the nature of a judicial function. In
this accord, courts may either adopt the DAR formula or proceed with its own application for
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as long as the factors listed in Section 17 of RA 6657 have been duly considered (Land Bank v.
Alfredo Hababag, Sr., G.R. No. 172352, September 16, 2015)

RA 9700 SHALL NOT APPLY TO CLAIMS/CASES WHERE THE CLAIM FOLDERS WERE
RECEIVED BY THE LBP PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2009. IN SUCH A SITUATION, JUST
COMPENSATION SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 17 OF RA
6657, AS AMENDED, PRIOR TO ITS FURTHER AMENDMENT BY RA 9700.
However, it bears pointing out that while Congress passed RA 9700 on August 7, 2009, further amending
certain provisions of RA 6657, as amended, among them, Section 17, and declaring "[t]hat all previously
acquired lands wherein valuation is subject to challenge by landowners shall be completed and finally
resolved pursuant to Section 17 of [RA 6657], as amended,"74 DAR AO 2, series of 2009, which is the
implementing rules of RA 9700, had clarified that the said law shall not apply to claims/cases where the
claim folders were received by the LBP prior to July 1, 2009.75 In such a situation, just compensation shall
be determined in accordance with Section 17 of RA 6657, as amended, prior to its further amendment by
RA 9700. (Land Bank of the Philippines v Kho, G.R. No. 214901, June 15, 2016)

NO NEW CERTIFICATE SHALL BE ENTERED OR ISSUED PURSUANT TO ANY INSTRUMENT


WHICH DOES NOT DIVEST THE OWNERSHIP OR TITLE FROM THE OWNER OR FROM THE
TRANSFEREE OF THE REGISTERED OWNERS.
All interests in registered land less than ownership shall be registered by filing with the Register of Deeds
the instrument which creates or transfers or claims such interests and by a brief memorandum thereof
made by the Register of Deeds upon the certificate of title, and signed by him (Logarta v. Mangahis, G.
R. NO. 213568 July 5, 2016)

WHILE SHE HERSELF AS CO-OWNER HAD THE RIGHT TO MORTGAGE OR EVEN SELL HER
UNDIVIDED INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT PROPERTY, SHE COULD NOT MORTGAGE OR
OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF THE SAME IN ITS ENTIRETY WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF OTHER
CO-OWNERS.
While she herself as co-owner had the right to mortgage or even sell her undivided interest in the subject
property, she could not mortgage or otherwise dispose of the same in its entirety without the consent of
the other co-owners. Consequently, the validity of the subject Real Estate Mortgage and the subsequent
foreclosure proceedings therefor conducted in favor of respondent bank should be limited only to the
portion which may be allotted to it, as Susana's successor-in-interest, in the event of partition (Magsano
vs. Pangasinan Savings and Loan Bank, G.R. No. 215038, October 17, 2016).

ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF AN OCT COVERING


A LOT REGISTERED UNDER TORRENS TITLE IS FATAL TO A JUDICIAL RECONSTITUTION
PETITION SINCE THERE IS NO TITLE WHICH COULD BE “RECONSTITUTED”, RE-ISSUED,
OR RESTORED
According to RA 26, the following must be present for an order for judicial reconstitution to issue: (a)
that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by petitioner are
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sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the
petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title
was in force at the time it was lost and destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the
property are substantially the same as those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title
(Republic v. Dagondon, G.R. No. 210540, April 19, 2016)

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE PRESCRIBED PROCEDURE AND REQUIREMENTS OF RA 26


DEPRIVES THE TRIAL COURT OF JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OR
NATURE OF THE CASE AND RENDERS ALL ITS PROCEEDINGS NULL AND VOID
RA 26 provides two procedures and sets of requirements in the reconstitution of lost or destroyed
certificates of title depending on the source of the petition for reconstitution and petitioner must observe
the above procedures and requirements prescribed by the law. The non-compliance deprives the trial
court of jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the case, hence all its proceedings are rendered
null and void (Republic v. Susi, G.R. No. 213209; January 16, 2017)

THE FACT OF LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF THE OWNER'S DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE OF


TITLE IS CRUCIAL IN CLOTHING THE RTC WITH JURISDICTION OVER THE JUDICIAL
RECONSTITUTION PROCEEDINGS
When the owner's duplicate certificate of title was not actually lost or destroyed, but is in fact in the
possession of another person, the reconstituted title is void because the court that rendered the order of
reconstitution had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case (Sebastian vs. Sps. Cruz, G.R. No.
220950, March 20, 2017).

ALIENS, WHETHER INDIVIDUALS OR CORPORATIONS, ARE DISQUALIFIED FROM


ACQUIRING LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AS WELL AS PRIVATE LANDS
Section 7, Article XII of the Constitution provides: “Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private
lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to
acquire or hold lands of the public domain.” Thus, lands of the public domain, which include private
lands, may be transferred or conveyed only to individuals or entities qualified to acquire or hold private
lands or lands of the public domain. Aliens, whether individuals or corporations, have been disqualified
from acquiring lands of the public domain as well as private lands (Heirs of Donton v. Stier, G.R. No. 216491,
August 23, 2017).