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G.R. No.

158182
June 12, 2008
Ponente: Carpio
FACTS: Petitioner was charged in the RTC of Romblon with violation of Section 68 of PD 705for "cutting,
gathering, collecting and removing a lone narra tree inside a private land over which private complainant
Oscar Tansiongco claims ownership. When confronted during the meeting about the felled narra tree,
petitioner admitted cutting the tree but claimed that he did so with the permission of one Vicar Calix who,
according to petitioner, bought the Mayod Property from Tansiongco in October 1987 under a pacto de
retro sale. It was later found out that he converted the narra trunk into lumber.
He was found guilty by the Trial Court but he appealed to the Court of Appeals reiterating his
defense of denial. Petitioner also contended that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case
because it was based on a complaint filed by Tansiongco and not by a forest officer as provided under
Section 80 of PD 705. CA affirmed the lower courts ruling, but ordered the seized lumber confiscated in
the government's favor. Also, it sustained the trial court's finding that petitioner is bound by his
extrajudicial admissions of cutting the narra tree in the Mayod Property without any DENR permit.
ISSUE:
1 W/N the trial court acquired jurisdiction over Criminal Case No. 2207 even though it was based on a
complaint filed by Tansiongco and not by a DENR forest officer. YES.
2 W/N petitioner is liable for violation of Section 68 of PD 705. YES.
RATIO:
1. The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure list the cases which must be initiated by a complaint filed by
specified individuals, non-compliance of which ousts the trial court of jurisdiction from trying such cases.
However, these cases concern only defamation and other crimes against chastity and not to cases
concerning Section 68 of PD 705. Further, Section 80 of PD 705 does not prohibit an interested person from
filing a complaint before any qualified officer for violation of Section 68 of PD 705, as amended.
Moreover, here, it was not "forest officers or employees of the Bureau of Forest Development who
reported to Hernandez the tree-cutting in the Mayod Property but Tansiongco, a private citizen who claims
ownership over the Mayod Property. Thus, Hernandez cannot be faulted for not conducting an investigation
to determine "if there is prima facie evidence to support the complaint or report." At any rate, Tansiongco
was not precluded, either under Section 80 of PD 705 or the Revised Rules, from filing a complaint before
the Provincial Prosecutor for petitioner's alleged violation of Section 68 of PD 705.
2) Petitioner is guilt of the second paragraph of section 80, which is the cutting, gathering, collecting, or
removing of timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any
authority. The court also said that the lumber or processed log is covered by the forest products term
in PD 705, as the law does not distinguish between a raw and processed timber.

PROSECUTOR LEO C. TABAO vs. JUDGE FRISCO T. LILAGAN and SHERIFF IV LEONARDO V.
AGUILAR [A.M. No. RTJ-01-1651. September 4, 2001] Case Digest
FACT:
On February 24, 1998, a water craft M/L Hadja, from Bongao, Tawi-tawi, was docked at the port area of
Tacloban City with a load of 100 tons of tanbark. Robert Hernandez was the consignee to said cargo. While
the cargo was being unloaded, the NBI decided to verify the shipment's accompanying documents where it
was found to be irregular and incomplete. Consequently, the NBI ordered the unloading of the cargo
stopped. As a result, the tanbark, the boat, and three cargo trucks were seized and impounded.
On March 5, 1998, NBI-EVRO 8 Regional Director Carlos S. Caabay filed a Criminal Complaint for the
violation of Section 68 (now Section 78) of P.D. 705, The Forestry Code of the Philippines as amended,
against the captain and crew of the M/L Hadja, Robert Hernandez, Tandico Chion, Alejandro K. Bautista, a
forster, and Marcial A. Dalimot, a Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer of the DENR.
Bautista and Dalimot were also charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act, along with Habi A. Alih and Khonrad V. Mohammad of the CENRO-Bongao, Tawi-tawi.
The complaint was docketed as I.S. No. 98-296 at the Prosecutor's Office of Tacloban City.

On March 10, 1998, DENR took possession of the cargo, the boat and the three trucks, through the
previous direction of the complainant. Due notice were issued to the consignee, Robert Hernandez and the
NBI Regional Director.
On March 11, 1998, Hernandez filed in the RTC of Leyte a case for replevin to recover the items seized by
the DENR and was docketed as Civil Case No. 98-03-42.
On March 16, 1998, subpoenas were issued to the respondents in I.S. No. 98-296 and on March 17, 1998,
confiscation proceedings were conducted by the PENRO-Leyte, with both Hernandez and his counsel
present.
On March 19, 1998, herein respondent Judge Frisco T. Lilagan issued a writ of replevin and directed Sherif
IV Leonardo V. Aguilar to take possession of the items seized by the DENR and to deliver them to
Hernandez after the expiration of five days. Respondent Sherif served a copy of the writ to the Philippine
Coast Guard station in Tacloban City at around 5:45 p.m. of March 19, 1998.
Thus, the filing of this Administrative complaint against respondent via a letter addressed to the Chief
Justice and dated April 13, 1998, by Atty. Tabao.
Complainant avers that replevin is not available when properties sought to be recovered are involved in
criminal proceedings. He also submits that respondent judge is either grossly ignorant of the law and
jurisprudence
or
purposely
disregarded
them.
Complainant states that the respondent sherif had the duty to safeguard M/L Hadja and to prevent it from
leaving the port of Tacloban City, after he had served a writ of seizure therefor on the Philippine Coast
Guard. According to the complainant, on March 19, 1998, the vessel left the port of Tacloban City, either
through respondent sherif's gross negligence or his direct connivance with interested parties. Moreover,
complainant pointed out that respondent sherif released the seized tanbark to Hernandez within the five
day period that he was supposed to keep it under the terms of the writ, thereby efectively altering,
suppressing,
concealing
or
destroying
the
integrity
of
said
evidence.
Respondent judge claim that the charge of gross ignorance of the law was premature since there is a
pending motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in the replevin case. Further, he claimed that he was
unaware of the existence of I.S. No. 98-296 and upon learning of the same, he issued an order dated March
25, 1998, suspending the transfer to Hernandez of possession of the subject items, pending resolution of
an urgent manifestation by the complainant. Respondent judges stresses that the writ of replevin was
issued in strict compliance with the requirements laid down in Rule 60 of the Revised Rule of Court. He also
pointed out that no apprehension report was issued by the NBI regarding the shipment and neither did the
DENR
issue
a
seizure
report.
Respondent sherif submits that he served the writ of replevin on the Coast Guard to prevent the departure
of subject vessel since he does not have the means to physically prevent the vessel from sailing. He
further claimed that he verified the status of the cargo with DENR and that it came from a legitimate
source except that the shipment documents were not in order. Respondent sherif contends that it was his
ministerial duty to serve the writ of replevin, absent any instruction to the contrary.
The Office of the Court Administrator, in a report dated April 8, 1999, recommended that the judge be
fined in the amount of P15,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law and that the charges against respondent
sherif be dismissed for lack of merit.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent judge was grossly ignorant of the law and jurisprudence for issuing the writ
of replevin.
RULING:
The complaint for replevin states that the shipment of tanbark and the vessel on which it was loaded were
seized by the NBI for verification of supporting documents. It also stated that the NBI turned over the
seized items to the DENR "for official disposition and appropriate action". These allegations would have
been sufficient to alert the respondent judge that the DENR had custody of the seized items and that
administrative proceedings may have already been commenced concerning the shipment.
Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, the courts cannot take cognizance of cases pending before
administrative agencies of special competence. Also, the plaintif in the replevin suit who seeks to recover
the shipment from the DENR had not exhausted the administrative remedies available to him. Prudent
thing for the respondent judge to do was to dismiss the replevin outright.
Under Section 78-A of the Revised Forestry Code, the DENR secretary or his representatives may order the
confiscation of forest products illegally cut, gathered, removed, possessed or abandoned, including the
conveyances involved in the ofense.
It was declared by the Court in Paat vs. Court of Appeals the that enforcement of forestry laws, rules and
regulations and the protection, development and management of forest lands fall within the primary and
special responsibilities of the DENR. The DENR should be given free hand unperturbed by judicial intrusion
to determine a controversy which is well within its jurisdiction. The court held that the assumption of the
trial court of the replevin suit constitutes an unjustified encroachment into the domain of the
administrative ageny's prerogative. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to
arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged
within an administrative body of special competence.
The respondent judge's act of taking cognizance of the subject replevin suit clearly demonstrates
ignorance of the law. He has fallen short of the standard set forth in Canon 1 Rule 1.01 of the Code of
Judicial Conduct, that a judge must be an embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. To
measure up to this standard, justices are expected to keep abreast of all laws and prevailing jurisprudence.
Failure to follow basic legal commands constitutes gross ignorance of the law from which no one may be
excused, not even a judge.
On the charges against respondent sherif, the Court agreed with the OCA that they should be dismissed.
Respondent sherif merely complied with his material duty to serve the writ with reasonable celerity and to
execute it promptly in accordance with the mandates.
Respondent Judge Frisco T. Lilagan was found liable for gross ignorance of the law and is accordingly
ordered to pay a fine of 10,000. 00, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar ofense will be
dealt more severely. The complaint against respondent Sherif IV Leonardo V. Aguilar is dismissed for lack
of merit.

FACTORAN V. CA
G.R. No. 93540
December 13, 1999

Ponente: De Leon, Jr.

FACTS: On August 9, 1988, 2 police officers of the Marikina intercepted a six-wheeler truck, carrying narra
lumber as it was cruising along the Marcos Highway. They apprehended the truck driver, private
respondent Jesus Sy, and brought the truck and its cargo to the Personnel Investigation Committee/Special
Actions and Investigation Division (PIC/SAID) of the DENR Office in Quezon City. There, petitioner Atty.
Vicente Robles of the PIC/SAID investigated them, and discovered the discrepancies in the documentation
of the narra lumber. Due to the failure of respondents to show the required documents, petitioner Factoran,
then Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources issued an order for the confiscation of the narra
lumber and the six-wheeler truck. Private respondents neither asked for reconsideration of nor appealed,
the said order to the Office of the President. Consequently, these items were then forfeited in favor of the
government. They were subsequently advertised to be sold at public auction on March 20, 1989.
Respondents then filed for preliminary injunction and replevin, to which the trial court acceded. Petitioner
then refused to obey the writ of seizure and filed a counterbond, to which the court denied because of lack
of service to the respondents. Court of appeals affirmed the lower courts decision.

ISSUE: WON respondents can validly be restored possession of their trucks and lumber based on the writ
of replevin. NO.

RATIO: Firstly, herein respondents never appealed the confiscation order of petitioner Secretary to the
Office of the President as provided for in Sec. 8 of P.D. No. 705.
The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is basic. Courts, for reasons of law, comity
and convenience, should not entertain suits unless the available administrative remedies have first been
resorted to and the proper authorities have been given an appropriate opportunity to act and correct their
alleged errors, if any, committed in the administrative forum. However, petitioners waived this ground for
failure to raise such in their motion to dismiss. Nevertheless, in order for replevin to prosper, the wrongful
detention by the defendant of the properties sought in an action for replevin must be satisfactorily
established. If only a mechanistic averment thereof is ofered, the writ should not be issued. In the case
at bar, the subject narra lumber and six-wheeler truck were confiscated by petitioner Secretary pursuant to
Section 68-A of P.D. No. 705, as amended by Executive Order (E.O.) No. 277.
Property lawfully taken by virtue of legal process is deemed to be in custodia legis. When a thing is
in official custody of a judicial or executive officer in pursuance of his execution of a legal writ, replevin will
not lie to recover it. Otherwise, there would be interference with the possession before the function of law
had been performed as to the process under which the property was taken. Lastly, Sec. 80 of P. D. No. 705
which requires delivery of the seized forest products within 6 hours from the time of the seizure to the
appropriate official designated by law to conduct preliminary investigations applies only to criminal
prosecutions provided for in Sec. 68, and not to administrative confiscation provided for in Section 68-A.

PEOPLE V. CFI
G.R. No. L-46772
February 13, 1992
Ponente: Medialdea

FACTS: The private respondents were charged with the crime of qualified theft of logs, defined and
punished under Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code
of the Philippines. The information provided that Godofredo Arrozal and Luis Flores, together with 20 other
John Does whose identities are still unknown, the first-named accused being the administrator of the
Infanta Logging Corporation, conspired and entered the privately-owned land of one Felicitacion Pujalte,
titled in the name of her deceased father, Macario Prudente, and proceeded to illegally cut, gather, and
take, therefrom, without the consent of the said owner and without any authority under a license
agreement, 60 logs of diferent species.
On March 23, 1977, the named accused filed a motion to quash the information on 2 grounds, to
wit: (1) that the facts charged do not constitute an ofense; and, (2) that the information does not conform
substantially to the prescribed form. Trial court thus dismissed the information based on the respondents
grounds.

ISSUE: W/N the information correctly and properly charged an ofense and WON the trial court had
jurisdiction over the case. YES.

RATIO: The elements of the crime of qualified theft of logs are: 1) That the accused cut, gathered,
collected or removed timber or other forest products; 2) that the timber or other forest products cut,
gathered, collected or removed belongs to the government or to any private individual; and 3) that the
cutting, gathering, collecting or removing was without authority under a license agreement, lease, license,
or permit granted by the state. The failure of the information to allege that the logs taken were owned by
the state is not fatal. It should be noted that the logs subject of the complaint were taken not from a public
forest but from a private woodland registered in the name of complainant's deceased father, Macario
Prudente. The fact that only the state can grant a license agreement, license or lease does not make the
state the owner of all the logs and timber products produced in the Philippines including those produced in
private woodlands. Thus, ownership is not an essential element of the ofense as defined in Section 60 of
P.D. No. 705.
As to the second issue raised, the regular courts still has jurisdiction. Sec. 80 of PD 705 covers 2
specific instances when a forest officer may commence a prosecution for the violation of the Revised
Forestry Code of the Philippines. The first authorizes a forest officer or employee of the Bureau of Forestry
to arrest without a warrant, any person who has committed or is committing, in his presence, any of the
ofenses described in the decree. The second covers a situation when an ofense described in the decree is
not committed in the presence of the forest officer or employee and the commission is brought to his
attention by a report or a complaint. In both cases, however, the forest officer or employee shall
investigate the ofender and file a complaint with the appropriate official authorized by law to conduct a
preliminary investigation and file the necessary informations in court. Unfortunately, the instant case do
not fall under any of the situations covered by Section 80 of P.D. 705. The alleged ofense was committed
not in the presence of a forest officer and neither was the alleged commission reported to any forest
officer. The ofense was committed in a private land and the complaint was brought by a private ofended
party to the fiscal. As such, the OSG was correct in insisting that P.D. 705 did not repeal Section 1687 of
the Administrative Code giving authority to the fiscal to conduct investigation into the matter of any crime
or misdemeanor and have the necessary information or complaint prepared or made against persons
charged with the commission of the crime. In short, Sec. 80 does not grant exclusive authority to the forest
officers, but only special authority to reinforce the exercise of such by those upon whom it is vested by
general law.

Basilio P. Mamanteo, et al. v. Deputy Sheriff Manuel M. Magumun


A.M. No. P-98-1264, July 28, 1999, 311 SCRA 259
Syllabus:

When a writ is placed in the hands of a sheriff, it is his duty, in the absence of any instructions to the
contrary, to execute it according to its mandate. However, the prompt implementation of a warrant
of seizure is called for only in instances where there is no question regarding the right of the plaintiff
to the property.
Facts:
On April 12, 1996 forestry employees of the DENR intercepted a San Miguel Corporation van with
Plate No. PJC-321 loaded with narra flitches wrapped in nylon sacks and covered with empty beer bottles
and cartons. The driver of the van could not produce any legal permit authorizing him to transport the
narra lumber. Hence, after issuing seizure receipts, the vehicle and its load of narra flitches were
confiscated by the DENR forestry employees. Eventually, DENR ordered the confiscation and forfeiture of
lumber possessed without permit including its conveyance.
San Miguel Corporation, through its agent, filed a case for recovery of personal property and damages with
application for a writ of replevin. The trial court issued a warrant of seizure of personal property directing
its sherif to take hold of the van and its contents.
On August 1, 1996 Deputy Sherif Manuel Magumun went to the office of the DENR in Tabuk, Kalinga, to
enforce the warrant. The forestry employees and officials refused to release the van on the ground that it
was now in custodia legis. Despite the explanation, Deputy Sherif Magumun enforced the writ and took
the van. After the lapse of the five-day period prescribed by law for filing an opposition to the writ, the
vehicle was delivered to an agent of San Miguel Corporation. The forestry employees of the DENR filed a
case for grave misconduct against Deputy Sherif Magumun for arbitrarily implementing the writ of
execution.
Issue:
Whether or not the sherif has the prerogative to enforce a replevin of forestry items forfeited in favor
of the government.
Ruling:
No. Respondent Deputy Sherif Magumun is found guilty of grave misconduct and is fined P5,000 for
arbitrarily implementing the warrant of seizure of personal property and for ignorance of the proper
procedure in serving writs of replevin in cases where the personal property to be recovered has already
been seized and forfeited in favor of the government for violation of forestry laws. A sherifs prerogative
does not give him the liberty to determine who among the parties is entitled to the possession of the
attached property much less decide which agency has primary jurisdiction and authority over the matter
at hand. When a writ is placed in the hands of a sherif, it is his duty, in the absence of any instructions to
the contrary, to execute it according to its mandate. However, the prompt implementation of a warrant
of seizure is called for only in instances where there is no question regarding the right of the plaintif to
the property. The prudent recourse then for respondent was to desist from executing the warrant and
convey the information to his judge and to the plaintif.
Aquino v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 165448, July 27, 2009, 594 SCRA 50
Syllabus:
There are two distinct and separate offenses punished under Section 68 of PD No. 705, to wit: (1) the
cutting, gathering, collecting and removing of timber or other forest products from any forest land,
or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any authority; and
(2) the possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents required under
existing laws and regulations.
The provision clearly punishes anyone who shall cut, gather, collect or remove timber or
other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or
from private land, without any authority. In this case, petitioner was charged by the CENRO to
supervise the implementation of the permit. He was not the one who cut, gathered, collected or
removedthe pine trees within the contemplation of Section 68 of PD No. 705. He was not in possession of
the cut
trees because the lumber was used by Teachers Camp for repairs. Petitioner could not likewise be
convicted
of conspiracy to commit the offense because all his co-accused were acquitted of the charges against
them.
Facts:
Sergio Guzman applied for a permit with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) to cut down 14 dead Benguet pine trees within the Teachers Camp in Baguio City to be used
for the repairs in Teachers Camp. Before the permit was issued, a team composed of members
from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and Michael Cuteng, a
forest ranger, conducted an inspection of the trees to be cut. Afterwards, the DENR issued a permit

allowing the cutting of 14 trees.


Sometime after, certain forest rangers received information that unauthorized cutting of
pine trees were taking place at the Teachers Camp. When they visited the site, they found, among
others, Ernesto Aquino, Santiago, and Cuteng. Santiago was one of the sawyers and Aquino was the one
appointed to supervise the cutting. The forest rangers discovered that the trees cut were beyond the
number allowed by the permit. Consequently, the forest rangers filed a case against all those present in
the site for violation of Section 68 of PD No. 705. The trial court decided to convict Aquino, Santiago and
Cuteng and acquitted the others. When Aquino, Santiago and Cuteng appealed the case, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the judgment only as to Aquino. Therefore, Santiago and Cuteng were acquitted from
the charge. Aquino appealed with the Supreme Court.
Issue:
Whether petitioner Aquino, who supervised the cutting of the pine trees, is guilty of violating
Section 68 of the Revised Forestry Code.
Ruling:
No. Aquino is not guilty of violating Section 68 of the Revised Forestry Code.
Section 68 of the Revised Forestry Code provides two distinct and separate ofenses:
(a) Cutting, gathering, collecting and removing timber or other forest products from any
forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land
without any authority; and
(b) Possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents required
under existing forest laws and regulations.
The aforesaid provision clearly states that it punishes anyone who shall cut, gather, collect
or remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or
disposable public land, or from private land, without any authority. In the case at bar, Aquino was
not the one who cut, gathered, collected or removed the pine trees. He was merely the person
charged by the CENRO to supervise the implementation of the permit. He was also not the one in
possession of the cut trees because the lumber was used by Teachers Camp.
Although Aquino may have been remiss in his duties when he failed to restrain the sawyers from
cutting trees more than what was covered by the permit, this fact could only make him administratively
liable. It is not enough to convict him under Section 68 of PD No. 705.
ALVAREZ VS. PICOP
Facts : PICOP filed with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) an application to
have its Timber License Agreement (TLA) No. 43 converted into an Integrated Forest Management
Agreement (IFMA). In the middle of the processing of PICOPs application, however, PICOP refused to
attend further meetings with the DENR. Instead, on 2 September 2002, PICOP filed before the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City a Petition for Mandamus against then DENR Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez
to compel the DENR Secretary to sign, execute and deliver an IFMA to PICOP, as well as to
Issue the corresponding IFMA assignment number on the area covered by the IFMA, formerly TLA No. 43,
as amended; b) to issue the necessary permit allowing petitioner to act and harvest timber from the said
area of TLA No. 43, sufficient to meet the raw material requirements of petitioners pulp and paper mills in
accordance with the warranty and agreement of July 29, 1969 between the government and PICOPs
predecessor-in-interest; and c) to honor and respect the Government Warranties and contractual
obligations to PICOP strictly in accordance with the warranty and agreement dated July 29, [1969] between
the government and PICOPs predecessor-in-interest. x x
PICOP had tried to put a cloud of ambiguity over Section 59 of Republic Act No. 8371:
a) Ancestral domains Subject to Section 56 hereof, refers to all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs
comprising lands, inland waters, coastal areas, and natural resources therein, held under a claim of
ownership, occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs, by themselves or through their ancestors, communally or
individually since time immemorial, continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force
majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth or as a consequence of government projects or any other
voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals/corporations, and which are
necessary to ensure their economic, social and cultural welfare. It shall include ancestral lands, forests,
pasture, residential, agricultural, and other lands individually owned whether alienable and disposable or
otherwise, hunting grounds, burial grounds, worship areas, bodies of water, mineral and other natural
resources, and lands which may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs but from which they
traditionally had access to for their subsistence and traditional activities, particularly the home ranges of
ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators;

Verily, in interpreting the term "held under claim of ownership," the Supreme Court could not have meant
to include claims that had just been filed and not yet recognized under the provisions of DENR
Administrative Order No. 2 Series of 1993, nor to any other community / ancestral domain program prior to
R.A. 8371.
One can not imagine the terrible damage and chaos to the country, its economy, its people and its future if
a mere claim filed for the issuance of a CADC or CADT will already provide those who filed the application,
the authority or right to stop the renewal or issuance of any concession, license or lease or any productionsharing agreement. The same interpretation will give such applicants through a mere application the right
to stop or suspend any project that they can cite for not satisfying the requirements of the consultation
process of R.A. 8371. If such interpretation gets enshrined in the statures of the land, the unscrupulous and
the extortionists can put any ongoing or future project or activity to a stop in any part of the country citing
their right from having filed an application for issuance of a CADC or CADT claim and the legal doctrine
established by the Supreme Court in this PICOP case.
We are not sure whether PICOPs counsels are deliberately trying to mislead us, or are just plainly ignorant
of basic precepts of law. The term "claim" in the phrase "claim of ownership" is not a document of any sort.
It is an attitude towards something. The phrase "claim of ownership" means "the possession of a piece of
property with the intention of claiming it in hostility to the true owner."86 It is also defined as "a partys
manifest intention to take over land, regardless of title or right."87 Other than in Republic Act No. 8371,
the phrase "claim of ownership" is thoroughly discussed in issues relating to acquisitive prescription in Civil
Law.
Before PICOPs counsels could attribute to us an assertion that a mere attitude or intention would stop the
renewal or issuance of any concession, license or lease or any production-sharing agreement, we should
stress beforehand that this attitude or intention must be clearly shown by overt acts and, as required by
Section 3(a), should have been in existence "since time immemorial, continuously to the present except
when interrupted by war, force majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth or as a consequence of
government projects or any other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private
individuals/corporations."

MUSTANG LUMBER V. CA
G.R. No. 104988
June 18, 1996
Ponente: Davide, Jr.

FACTS: A consolidation of three cases. Petitioner is a domestic corporation engaged in a lumber dealer
registered with the Bureau of Forest Development. Respondents are DENR Sec. Factoran and Atty. Robles of
the Special Actions and Investigations Division (SAID) of the DENR.
Acting based on an information, the SAID team went to the lumberyard of petitioner and based on a
search warrant, were able to execute an administrative seizure of diferent kinds of lumber, to which the
petitioner failed to produce upon demand the documents such as corresponding certificate of lumber origin
and auxiliary invoices which shall prove the legitimacy of their source and origin. Robles then submitted a
memorandum report to Factoran, ordering the cancellation of petitioners Dealers Permit, filing of criminal
charges, and confiscation of the trucks and lumbers. Lower court ruled in favor of respondents, stating that
possession of lumber without permit or authority is not a crime.

ISSUE: W/N a lumber cannot be considered timber and that petitioner should not be held for illegal logging
under Sec. 68 of the Revised Forestry Code. NO.

RATIO:While PD 705 explicitly provides that timber is included in the term forest products, the term
lumber is found in paragraph (aa) of Section 3 which states that the latter is a processed log or processed
forest raw material. Clearly, the law uses the word lumber in its plain and common usage, and in the
absence of a legislative intent to the contrary, it shall be interpreted as such. Hence, it is safe to conclude
that the law makes no distinction whether the forest product is processed or not. Therefore, Judge Teresita
Capulong committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case
Tan v. People
Full Text: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/may1998/115507.htm
Facts:
On October 26, 1989, about 6:30 p.m., in the town proper of Cajidiocan, Sibuyan Island, Romblon, Forest
Guards Joseph Panadero and Eduardo Rabino intercepted a dump truck loaded with narra and white lauan
lumber. The truck was driven by Petitioner Fred Moreno, an employee of A & E Construction. Again, about
8:00 p.m. on October 30, 1989, this time in Barangay Cambajao, Forest Guards Panadero and Rabino
apprehended another dump truck with Plate No. DEK-646 loaded with tanguile lumber. Said truck was
driven by Crispin Cabudol, also an employee of A & E Construction. Both motor vehicles, as well as the
construction firm, were owned by Petitioner Alejandro Tan. In both instances, no documents showing legal
possession of the lumber were, upon demand, presented to the forest guards; thus, the pieces of lumber
were confiscated.
Tan and Moreno, together with Ismael Ramilo, caretaker and timekeeper of A & E Construction, were
charged by First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Felix R. Rocero with violation of Section 68,[6] PD No. 705,
as amended by EO No. 277. The accused were all convicted for failure to comply with the Forestry Reform
Code which requires: (1) an auxiliary invoice, (2) a certificate of origin, (3) a sales invoice, (4) scale/tally
sheets and (5) a lumber dealer permit. The CA found no cogent reason for the reversal or modification of
the decision.
Issue:
(1) Whether or not Section 68 of EO 277 is unconstitutional.
(2) Whether or not "lumber" is to be construed as "timber" and/or forest product within the contemplation
of PD 705.
Held:
(1) Section 68 deals with penalizing the "cutting, gathering and/or collecting timber or other forest
products without license.". One of the essential requisites for a successful judicial inquiry into the
constitutionality of a law is the existence of an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal rights
susceptible of judicial determination. As Respondent Court of Appeals correctly pointed out, petitioners
were not charged with the [unlawful] possession of firewood, bark, honey, beeswax, and even grass,
shrub, the associated water or fish; thus, the inclusion of any of these enumerated items in EO 277 is
absolutely of no concern to petitioners. They are not asserting a legal right for which they are entitled to
a judicial determination at this time. Besides, they did not present any convincing evidence of a clear and
unequivocal breach of the Constitution that would justify the nullification of said provision. A statute is
always presumed to be constitutional, and one who attacks it on the ground of unconstitutionality must
convincingly prove its invalidity.
(2) In Mustang Lumber Inc v. CA, Supreme Court held that lumber is included in the term timber. Lumber is
a processed log or processed forest raw material. Clearly, the Code uses the term lumber in its ordinary or
common usage. In the 1993 copyright edition of Websters Third New International Dictionary, lumber is
defined, inter alia, as timber or logs after being prepared for the market. Simply put, lumber is a

processed log or timber. To exclude possession of "lumber" from the acts penalized in Section 68 would
emasculate the law itself.