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and continuous possession of the property for more than 30

G.R. No. 186639, February 5, 2014 years. CA dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of
Republic of the Philippines the RTC.
vs Emmanuel Cortez
Ponente: Reyes Issue: Whether CA erred in affirming the RTC?

Facts: Held:
This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to annul and Petition is meritorious.
set aside the decision of CA.
Applicants for original registration of title to land must
February 2003, Cortez filed with RTC an application for establish compliance with the provisions of Section 14 of
judicial confirmation over a parcel of land in Manila. He P.D. No. 1529, which pertinently provides that: Sec. 14. Who
submitted tax declarations from 1966 to 2005, survey plan of may apply. The following persons may file in the proper Court
the property with the annotation that it is alienable and of First Instance an application for registration of title to land,
disposable and other documents. whether personally or through their duly authorized
Cortez alleged that the tax declarations were under the name (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in
of his mother from which he inherited the land. A testimony interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and
was also submitted saying that the family of Cortez have in notorious possession and occupation of alienable and
fact occupied the land for over 60 years. RTC granted Cortez disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim
the application for registration of the title. of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
(2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by
After its finality, RP, represented by Solicitor General appealed prescription under the provision of existing laws.
to the CA alleging that RTC erred in granting the application xxxx
for registration. Pointing out that there was no evidence the
Cortez were in possession of the subject land in open, adverse
After a careful scrutiny of the records of this case, the Court prescription would only begin to run from the time that the
finds that Cortez failed to comply with the legal requirements State officially declares that the public dominion property is
for the registration of the subject property under Section 14(1) no longer intended for public use, public service, or for the
and (2) of P.D. No. 1529. development of national wealth.

The 1st requirement was not satisfied, the survey plan does
not constitute incontrovertible evidence to overcome the Note: properties classified as alienable and disposable land
presumption that the subject property remains part of the may be converted into private property by reason of open,
alienable public domain. To prove that the land subject of an continuous and exclusive possession of at least 30 years.
application for registration is alienable, an applicant must Such property now falls within the contemplation of "private
establish the existence of a positive act of the government lands" under Section 14(2) of PD 1529, over which title by
such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order, an prescription can be acquired. Thus, under the second
administrative action, investigation reports of Bureau of paragraph of Section 14 of PD 1529, those who are in
Lands investigators, and a legislative act or statute. The possession of alienable and disposable land, and whose
applicant may also secure a certification from the Government possession has been characterized as open, continuous and
that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable. exclusive for 30 years or more, may have the right to register
their title to such land despite the fact that their possession of
The Court nevertheless emphasized that there must be an the land commenced only after 12 June 1945.
official declaration by the State that the public dominion
property is no longer intended for public use, public service,
or for the development of national wealth before it can be
acquired by prescription; that a mere declaration by Alienable and disposable land; to prove that the land subject of
government officials that a land of the public domain is an application for registration is alienable, an applicant must
already alienable and disposable would not suffice for establish the existence of a positive act of the government;
purposes of registration under Section 14(2) of P.D. No. 1529. annotation in the survey plan is not sufficient.
The Court further stressed that the period of acquisitive
Republic of the Philippines v Alexander Lao, GR No. 150413, review before the SC. The petitioner contends that there is no
July 1, 2003 sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of the title to the
respondent as she fails to comply with the required periods and
"answer and opposition"
acts of possession mandated by law and her failure to prove
that the land is alienable and disposable land of the public


Whether or not the respondent sufficiently provided evidence

Lao filed before the RTC of Tagaytay City application for
that she meets the qualifications required by law on the
registration of a parcel of land. She allegedly acquired the land
manner of possession (continuous, adverse, notorious, etc..)
by purchase from the siblings Raymundo Noguera and Ma.
and the period of time (30 years) necessary to have a bonafide
Victoria Valenzuela who inherited it from Generosa Medina. The
claim of ownership under C.A. 141?
latter, in turn, inherited the land from her father, Jose Medina,
who acquired the same from Edilberto Perido by transfer. She Whether or not respondent was able to show that the land
prayed that the land be registered in her name under subject of her application was disposable and alienable land of
Commonwealth Act 141 (Public Land Act) based on her and her the public domain?
predecessor-in-interests’ open, public, actual, continuous,
exclusive, notorious and adverse possession and occupancy
under bona fide claim of ownership for more than thirty (30) Ruling:
years. She presented witnesses and evidence constituting of
The court held that Commonwealth Act 141 requires that before
deed of sale, survey plan, the technical description of property
one can register his title over a parcel of land, the applicant
and tax declarations in her and her predecessors’ names. The
must show that he, by himself or through his predecessors-in-
court approved the application. The petitioner represented by
interest, has been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious
the Solicitor General appealed the decision before the CA which
possession and occupation of the subject land under a bona
re-affirmed the lower court decision, hence this petition for
fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier; in REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES and CAVITE COLLEGE
adverse possession over the land for at least 30 years and the OF FISHERIES, petitioners, vs. MAXIMA LENSICO,
land subject of the application is alienable and disposable land RUFINA LENSICO, ROGELIO LENSICO and VICTOR
of the public domain. Petitioner was right to contend that the LENSICO, respondents.
respondent did not prove by incontrovertible evidence that she
possessed the property in the manner and time required by
law. She did not provide the exact period when her FACTS:

predecessors-in-interest started occupying the property. No

This land was originally a part of the Friar Land
extrajudicial settlement of the property from its previous owners
known as Lot No. 2833, Fls-644 of the Naic Estate. Its then
was shown and she did not show any relationship between the
occupant of 34 years, the now deceased Melanio Lensico on
parties where she obtained her deed of sale. She further did
September 8, 1964 filed an Application to Purchase Friar
not present any certification from appropriate government
Lands. An investigation was conducted by Land Investigator
agency to show that the property is re-classified as disposable
Dominador Bayot who found the information contained in the
and alienable land of the public domain. It is incumbent for an
application to be true, and recommended that the lot be sold
applicant of a land registration to provide these incontrovertible
at private sale without auction in favor of Melanio Lensico.
evidences to support her claim for her application. In the
This sale was acknowledged by the Office of the Secretary of
absence of these evidences, her application shall fail. Hence the
the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Out of
petition was granted and her application was denied.
the 16,459 square meters total area of the property, Cavite
College occupies a portion of some 11,650. Their squabble
began after the death of the registered owners, their children
and heirs namely the litigants Maxima, Rufina, Rogelio and
Victor, surnamed Lensico, required the payment of rentals for
the occupancy of the area.
[G.R. No. 158919. August 9, 2005]
Cavite College insisted that by its actual occupation since
1961 and the immense improvements it had introduced, it
The appellate court affirmed the trial courts finding that the
has a better and superior right to the property. That by virtue
subject lot was formerly a friar land and not a part of the
of RA [2]661 which was AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE
public domain. The CA added that the evidence of
respondents was not sufficiently overcome by that presented
by petitioners to establish the claim that the property was
to this, the Naic Municipal Council on August 6, 1961 passed a
foreshore or beach land.[5] It further said that the public
resolution designated as KAPASIYAHANG IPINAGKAKALOOB
nature of the land was dispelled by its registration since
February 4, 1913 under Original Certificate of Title

WON the subject property is not part of foreshore land and

That after this, Cavite College started to construct its school that respondents predecessor-in-interest did not commit
buildings without objection from the Lensicos or their parents. fraud in securing a certificate of title over the subject property
It averred that the property in question was mostly an area
reclaimed from the sea by the construction of rock groins.

Petitioners argue that respondents did not have a valid

In Civil Case No. NC-963, on the other hand, the Republic of
title to the property, because TCT T-78832 was null and void.
the Philippines sought the cancellation of TCT No. T-78832
They contend that Lot 2833, the area covered by the title, is
which it claims to be null and void, and that the Lensicos
foreshore and beach land and, thus, a piece of public
have no vested rights whatsoever on the property which is
property.[11]Consequently, it may not be alienated or
part of the foreshore land and could not be titled as private
registered, notwithstanding the alleged possession of it by
Melanio Lensico for a substantial length of time
FORESHORE LAND / FRIAR LAND Petitioners have failed to establish that the present case
falls under any of the exceptions enumerated above. A perusal
On the basis of all these arguments, petitioners ask this
of the facts and evidence presented does not convince this
Court to set aside the trial and the appellate courts factual
Court to deviate from the findings of fact of the courts a quo.
finding that the subject property was not foreshore land.
The lower courts properly appreciated the evidence submitted
It must be stressed that only questions of law may be by both parties as regards the nature of the property. These
raised in petitions to review decisions of the Court of Appeals courts have determined that the lot was part of the friar lands
filed before this Court.[15] The factual findings of the CA that had been titled since 1913; it was not foreshore land.
affirming those of the trial court are final and conclusive. They
Foreshore land has been defined as that which lies
cannot be reviewed by this Court, save only in the following
between the high and the low water marks, and that is
circumstances, which we find absent in the instant
alternately wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. [17] In
case: (1) when the factual conclusion is a finding grounded
other words, it is that strip of land between high and low
entirely on speculations, surmises and conjectures; (2) when
water, the land left dry by the flux and reflux of the tides. [18]
the inference is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3)
when there is a grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the In the present case, although corners 3 and 4 of Lot 2833
judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when have been shown to adjoin[19] the sea, they -- let alone the
the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when the Court of entire Lot 2833 -- have not been proven to be covered by
Appeals went beyond the issues of the case in making its water during high tide. Hence, the property cannot be
findings, which are further contrary to the admissions of both considered foreshore land.
the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the CAs findings are
contrary to those of the trial court; (8) when the conclusions
do not cite the specific evidence on which they are based; (9) Almagro v. Kwan

when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the G.R. No. 175806, October 20, 2010

petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the

respondents; and (10) when the CAs findings of fact,
supposedly premised on the absence of evidence, is PONENTE

contradicted by the evidence on record.[16]

CARPIO, J. In the Court’s judgment dated May 11, 2001, the MTC
dismissed the complaint on the ground that the remaining dry
FACTS portion of Lot No. 6278-M has become foreshore land and
should be returned to the public domain.
This case involves a 17,181 square meter land which
is known as Lot No. 6278-M located at Maslog, Sibulan, Respondents appealed to the RTC, which subsequently
Negros Oriental and inherited by respondents from their concluded upon conducting two ocular inspections, that the
parents who died in 1976 and 1986respectively. disputed remaining portion is not foreshore land because it
remained dry even during high tides.
On September 18, 1996, respondents filed with the
MTC an action for recovery of possession and damages Petitioners moved for reconsideration, but were denied.
against petitioners as well as those who are occupants within They also filed separate petitions for review withthe Court of
the boundary of the land in controversy. Appeals.

During the pre-trial, the Court and the parties ISSUE

designated geodetic engineer Suasin to perform the task of
verification and relocation survey of said lot and which was Whether or not the disputed portion of Lot No. 6278-M
accordingly executed on September 12-13, 2000. is still private land or has become foreshore land which forms
part of the public domain, as contended by petitioners
In the written report of Engr. Suasin, it contained,
inter alia, that the big portion of the lot is submerged under
the sea and a small portion remain as dry land, and that
some of the defendants have constructed buildings or houses HELD
inside the dry land.
The SC held that the disputed portion is private land
and is rightfully owned by respondents, in contravention to
the claim of petitioners that is has become foreshore land and
therefore owned by the public domain, and that they have
foreshore lease permits from the DENR on claimed foreshore
land, albeit failing to present evidence to prove validity of such