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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SPOUSES DANTE AND LOLITA BENIGNOG.R. No.

205492, March 11, 2015,


DEL CASTILLO, J.

Applicants for registration of title under PD1529 must prove among others that the subject land
formspart of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain. In order to prove that the
land subject of theapplication is alienable and disposable public land, the application must
include both a CENRO or PENROcertification and a certified true copy of the original classification
made by the DENR Secretary.

Facts:
Spouses Benigno filed with the RTC an Application for Registration of title. After trial the RTC grantedthe
application for registration. The Republic filed its notice of appeal to the CA claiming that the
decision ofthe RTC should be rendered null and void for lack of the required certification from the
Secretary of the DENR.

Issue: Whether the RTC decision granting the application for registration should be null and void

Ruling:
Yes. The State will not be allowed to abdicate its authority over lands of the
public domain justbecause its agents and officers have been negligent in the performance of
their duties. Under the Regaliandoctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to the State, and the
State is the source of any asserted right toownership in land and charged with the conservation of such
patrimony. Spouses Benigno did not present anyd o c um e nt ary ev i de nc e to p ro v e t ha t t he l an d
a p p lie d fo r i s al ie na b le a nd di spo sa b le p ub li c la n d . Consequently, the decision of the RTC is
rendered null and void since it had no basis in fact and law to grantrespondents’ application for
registration as there was no proof of alienability adduced.
Addison vs. Felix, 38 Phil. 404 (August 3, 1918)

FACTS

Petitioner Addison sold four parcels of land to Defendant spouses Felix and Tioco located in LucenaCity.
Respondents paid P3,000.00 for the purchase price and promised to pay the remaining by installment.
The contract provides that the purchasers may rescind the contract within one year after the issuance of
title on their name.

The petitioner went to Lucena for the survey designaton and delivery of the land but only 2 parcels were
designated and 2/3 of it was in possession of a Juan Villafuerte.

The other parcels were not surveyed and designated by Addison.

Addison demanded from petitioner the payment of the first installment but the latter contends that there
was no delivery and as such, they are entitled to get back the 3K purchase price they gave upon the
execution of the contract.

ISSUE WON there was a valid delivery.

HELD The record shows that the plaintiff did not deliver the thing sold. With respect to two of
the parcels of land, he was not even able to show them to the purchaser; and as regards the other two,
more than two-thirds of their area was in the hostile and adverse possession of a third person.

It is true that the same article declares that the execution of a public instruments is equivalent to the
delivery of the thing which is the object of the contract, but, in order that this symbolic delivery may
produce the effect of tradition, it is necessary that the vendor shall have had such control over the thing
sold that, at the moment of the sale, its material delivery could have been made. It is not enough to confer
upon the purchaser the ownership and the right of possession. The thing sold must be placed in his
control. When there is no impediment whatever to prevent the thing sold passing into the tenancy of the
purchaser by the sole will of the vendor, symbolic delivery through the execution of a public instrument
is sufficient. But if there is an impediment, delivery cannot be deemed effected.
CRUZ VS DENR GR NO 135385

FACTS:
Cruz, a noted constitutionalist, assailed the validity of the RA 8371 or the Indigenous People’s Rights Act
on the ground that the law amount to an unlawful deprivation of the State’s ownership over lands of the
public domain as well as minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine
embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The IPRA law basically enumerates the rights of the
indigenous peoples over ancestral domains which may include natural resources. Cruz et al content that,
by providing for an all-encompassing definition of “ancestral domains” and “ancestral lands” which might
even include private lands found within said areas, Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law violate the rights of
private landowners.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional.

HELD:
The SC deliberated upon the matter. After deliberation they voted and reached a 7-7 vote. They
deliberated again and the same result transpired. Since there was no majority vote, Cruz’s petition was
dismissed and the IPRA law was sustained. Hence, ancestral domains may include natural resources –
somehow against the regalian doctrine.

RATIO:
Petitioners also content that, by providing for an all-encompassing definition of "ancestral domains" and
"ancestral lands" which might even include private lands found within said areas, Sections 3(a) and 3(b)
violate the rights of private landowners.3
In addition, petitioners question the provisions of the IPRA defining the powers and jurisdiction of the
NCIP and making customary law applicable to the settlement of disputes involving ancestral domains and
ancestral lands on the ground that these provisions violate the due process clause of the Constitution.4
These provisions are:
"(1) sections 51 to 53 and 59 which detail the process of delineation and recognition of ancestral domains
and which vest on the NCIP the sole authority to delineate ancestral domains and ancestral lands;
"(2) Section 52[i] which provides that upon certification by the NCIP that a particular area is an ancestral
domain and upon notification to the following officials, namely, the Secretary of Environment and Natural
Resources, Secretary of Interior and Local Governments, Secretary of Justice and Commissioner of the
National Development Corporation, the jurisdiction of said officials over said area terminates;
"(3) Section 63 which provides the customary law, traditions and practices of indigenous peoples shall be
applied first with respect to property rights, claims of ownership, hereditary succession and settlement of
land disputes, and that any doubt or ambiguity in the interpretation thereof shall be resolved in favor of
the indigenous peoples;
"(4) Section 65 which states that customary laws and practices shall be used to resolve disputes involving
indigenous peoples; and
"(5) Section 66 which vests on the NCIP the jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of the
indigenous peoples.

Carino V. Insular Government (1909)

FACTS:
 Carino is an Igorot of the Province of Benguet, where the land lies filed for writ of error because the
CFI and SC dismissed his petition for application

 For more than 50 years before the Treaty of Paris, April 11, 1899, he and his ancestors had held the
land as recognized owners by the Igorots. (grandfather maintain fences for holding cattle>father
had cultivated parts and used parts for pasturing cattle>he used it for pasture)

 1893-1894 & 1896-1897: he made an application but with no avail

 1901: petition alleging ownership under the mortgage law and the lands were registered to him but
process only established possessory title

 Even if the applicant have title, he cannot have it registered, because the Philippine Commission's
Act No. 926, of 1903, excepts the Province of Benguet among others from its operation

ISSUE: W/N Carino has ownership and is entitled to registration.


HELD: YES. Petition Granted.
 Land was not registered, and therefore became, if it was not always, public land.

 Spanish Law: "Where such possessors shall not be able to produce title deeds, it shall be sufficient if
they shall show that ancient possession, as a valid title by prescription." For cultivated land, 20
years, uninterrupted, is enough. For uncultivated, 30.

 Applicant's possession was not unlawful, and no attempt at any such proceedings against him or his
father ever was made.

 Every native who had not a paper title is not a trespasser.

 There must be a presumption against the government when a private individual claims property as
his or her own. It went so far as to say that the lands will be deemed private absent contrary proof.

MATEO CARIÑO vs THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT

FACTS:
On June 23, 1903, Mateo Cariňo went to the Court of Land Registration to petition his inscription as the
owner of a 146 hectare land he’s been possessing in the then municipality of Baguio. Mateo only
presented possessory information and no other documentation. The State opposed the petition averring
that the land is part of the US military reservation. The CLR ruled in favor of Mateo. The State appealed.
Mateo lost. Mateo averred that a grant should be given to him by reason of immemorial use and
occupation as in the previous case Cansino vs Valdez & Tiglao vs Government.

ISSUE: Whether or not Mateo is the rightful owner of the land by virtue of his possession of it for some
time.

HELD: No. The statute of limitations did not run against the government. The government is still the
absolute owner of the land (regalian doctrine). Further, Mateo’s possession of the land has not been of
such a character as to require the presumption of a grant. No one has lived upon it for many years. It was
never used for anything but pasturage of animals, except insignificant portions thereof, and since the
insurrection against Spain it has apparently not been used by the petitioner for any purpose.

 While the State has always recognized the right of the occupant to a deed if he proves a possession
for a sufficient length of time, yet it has always insisted that he must make that proof before the
proper administrative officers, and obtain from them his deed, and until he did the State remained
the absolute owner. Land was not registered, and therefore became, if it was not always,
public land.

 Spanish Law: "Where such possessors shall not be able to produce title deeds, it
shall be sufficient if they shall show that ancient possession, as a valid title by prescription." For
cultivated land, 20 years, uninterrupted, is enough. For uncultivated, 30.

 Applicant's possession was not unlawful, and no attempt at any such proceedings
against him or his father ever was made.

 Every native who had not a paper title is not a trespasser.

 There must be a presumption against the government when a private individual
claims property as his or her own. It went so far as to say that the lands will be deemed private
absent contrary proof.

Lee Hong Kok vs. David


FACTS:

This is regarding a piece of land which Aniano David acquired lawful title thereto, pursuant to his
miscellaneous sales application. After approval of his application, the Director of Lands issued an order
of award and issuance of sales patent, covering said lot by virtue of which the Undersecretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources issued a Miscellaneous Sales Patent. The Register of Deeds then
issued an original certificate of title to David.

During all this time, Lee Hong Kok did not oppose nor file any adverse claim.

ISSUE:

o Whether or not Lee Hong Kok may question the government grant

HELD:

Only the Government, represented by the Director of Lands or the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources, can bring an action to cancel a void certificate of title issued pursuant to a void patent. This
was not done by said officers but by private parties like the plaintiffs, who cannot claim that the patent
and title issued for the land involved are void since they are not the registered owners thereof nor had
they been declared as owners in the cadastral proceedings after claiming it as their private property.
The fact that the grant was made by the government is undisputed. Whether the grant was in
conformity with the law or not is a question which the government may raise, but until it is raised by the
government and set aside, the defendant cannot question it. The legality of the grant is a question
between the grantee and the government.

IMPERIUM vs. DOMINIUM:

The government authority possessed by the State which is appropriately embraced int eh concept of
sovereignty comes under the heading of imperium; its capacity to own or acquire property under
dominium. The use of this term is appropriate with reference to lands held by the State in its proprietary
character. In such capacity, it may provide for the exploitation and use of lands and other natural
resources, including their disposition, except as limited by the Constitution.

Director, Land Management Bureau vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112567, February 7, 2000 (381 Phil.
761)

“failure to prove possession according to the manner and no. Of years required by law”

Facts:
Respondent Aquilino Cariño filed a petition for registration for Lot 6 which is a sugar land claimed to be
owned by his mother of whom after she died he became the administrator of the property in behalf of
his brothers and sisters. By virtue of a deed of extrajudicial settlement, he became the sole owner of the
property. Report from the land investigator showed that the lot is agricultural in nature. Respondent
claims that the improvements introduced were in the form of bamboo clumps, sugarcane and mango
trees with the house of the tenant; that the land is free from claim and conflict and is not covered by
existing public land application and no patent or title has been issued to it; that the respondent is on
continuous, open and exclusive possession of the land as inherited from his deceased mother.
Respondent is the sole witness for his petition and the only oppositor is the Bureau of Lands. The court
granted the petition of the respondent. The petitioner filed a review for certiorari contending that the
respondent failed to submit proof of his fee simple title and has not overthrown the presumption that
the land is a portion of the public domain belonging to the state.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent established proof of his muniment of title to merit registration of land in
his favor?

Ruling:

The petition of the respondent is covered by the Land Registration Act providing that a person alleging in
his petition or application ownership in fee simple must present muniments of title to substantiate his
claim of ownership, presenting evidence of his possession in the concept of an owner in a manner and
number of years required by law. The manner shall be open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession of the property known as agricultural land of the public domain for 30 years preceding the
filing of application for confirmation (Commonwealth Act No. 141).

Possession of public land however long never confers title upon the possessor unless occupant of the
same is under claim of ownership for the required period. Even in the absence of opposition the court can
deny registration of land under the Torrens System on ground that an applicant failed to establish his
ownership by a fee simple on the property sought to be registered.

The respondent only traced his own possession in the land in 1949 by virtue of extrajudicial settlement
and order and at the same time he filed his application for registration in 1975 thus he was in possession
of said land only for 26 years. His mere allegation that his mother was in possession of the land since 1911
is self serving and hearsay and is inadmissible as evidence. The tax receipts and tax declaration he offered
as evidence do not substantiate clear proof of ownership. Thus, with his failure to prove that his
predecessor-in-interest occupied the land under the condition laid down by law, he can only establish his
possession of the land from 1949. Respondent failed to prove his muniment of title for the registration of
the land under the Registration Act with failure to present convincing and positive proof of his continuous,
open, uninterrupted and notorious occupation of lot 6 in the concept of an owner for at least 30 years.

INTESTATE ESTATE OF DON MARIANO SAN PEDRO V. COURT OF APPEALS


> This is a claim of a huge parcel of land covering lands in the provinces Nueva ecija, Bulacan, and in
cities including Quezon city.

> This case involves 2 cases, which prior to being decided by the SC were consolidated. The first case was
a complaint for recovery of possession and damages against Ocampo, Buhain, and Dela Cruz. In the
complaint, it was alleged that the defendants (Ocampo - Dela Cruz) were able to secure from the
Registry of Deeds of Quezon City titles to a portions of the claimed estate. In the end, the lower courts
ruled in favor of Ocampo - Dela Cruz, declaring
that the Torrens titles of the defendants cannot be defeated by the alleged Spanish title, Titulo
Propriedad no. 4316.

> The 2nd case is a petition for letters of adiministration over the intestate estate of the late Mariano
San Pedro Y Esteban. This involves a prayer to be declared as administrator. This case eventually ended
in the same manner as the first case - the Titulo de Prorpriedad was declared void and of no legal force,
therefore the lands covered by the Titulo are not within the estate of the deceased.

> Issue: W/N the Titulo de Propriedad is null and void and therefore the lands covered or claimed under
such title are not included in the estate of the deceased...

> The Titulo is null and void. It has been defeated by the title of the defendants under the Torrens
system.

> It is settled that by virtue of Pd no 892 which tool effect on Feb 16 1976 the syte of registration under
the Spanish Mortgage Law was abolished and all holders of Spanish titles or grants should cause their
lands coverd thereby to be registered under the Land Registration Act within 6mos from date of
effectivity of the said decree.

> Proof of compliance (Certificate of Title) with the said decree should have been presented during trial.