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MATEO CARIO vs THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT Land Titles and Deeds Regalian Doctrine Statute of Limitations On June 23,

3, the Court of 1903, Mateo Cario went to his

(Land Titles and Deeds Native Title)

Land Registration to


inscription as the owner of a 146 hectare land hes 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.

Facts: An Igorot applied for the registration of a certain land. He and his ancestors had held the land as owners for more than 50 years, which he inherited under Igorot customs. There was no document of title issued for the land when he applied for registration. The government contends that the land in question belonged to the state. Under the Spanish Law, all lands belonged to the Spanish Crown except those with permit private titles. Moreover, there is no prescription against the Crown. Issue: WON the land in question belonged to the Spanish Crown under the Regalian Doctrine. Held: No. Law and justice require that the applicant should be granted title to his land. The United States Supreme Court, through Justice Holmes declared: It might perhaps, be proper and sufficient to say that when, as far as testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by individuals under a claim of private ownership, it will be presumed to have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest, and never to have been public land. There is an existence of native title to land, or ownership of land by Filipinos by virtue of possession under a claim of ownership since time immemorial and independent of any grant from the Spanish Crown, as an exception to the theory of jura regalia.

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, Mateos 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. Cario vs Insular Government, 41 Phil 935 Oh Cho vs. Director of Lands

G.R. No. 48321, August 31, 1946

The applicant does not come under the exception, for the earliest possession of the lot by his first predecessor in interest began in 1880. Under the Public Land Act, Oh Cho is not entitled to a decree of registration of the lot, because he is an alien disqualified from acquiring lands of the public domain. Oh Cho's predecessors in interest would have been entitled toa decree of registration had they applied for the same. The application for the registration of the land was a condition precedent, which was not complied with by the Lagmeos. Hence, the most they had was mere possessory right, not title. This possessory right was what was transferred to Oh Cho, but since the latter is an alien, the possessory right could never ripen to ownership by prescription. As an alien, Oh Cho is disqualified from acquiring title over public land by prescription.

GR: All lands are acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by grant. EXCEPTION: Lands under private ownership since time immemorial. Application for decree of registration is a condition precedent to acquisition of title. Noncompliance gives rise to mere possessory right. An alien cannot acquire title to lands of the public domain by prescription.

FACTS: Oh Cho, a Chinese citizen, purchased from the Lagdameos a parcel of land in Tayabas, which they openly, continuously and adversely possessed since 1880. On January 17, 1940, Oh Cho applied for registration of this land. The Solicitor General opposed on the ground that Oh Cho lacked title to said land and also because he was an alien.

Lee Hong Hok vs David

G.R. No. L-30389, Dec. 27, 1972 FACTS:This is regarding a piece of land which Aniano David acquired lawful title thereto, pursuant to hismiscellaneous sales application. After approval of his application, the Director of Lands issued an orderof 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 thenissued an original certificate of title to David. During all this time, Lee Hong Kok did not oppose nor fileany adverse claim. ISSUE: 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 andNatural 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 thepatent and title issued for the land involved are void since they are not the registered owners thereof norhad 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 conformitywith the law or not is a question which the government may raise, but until it is raised by the governmentand set aside, the defendant

ISSUEs: Whether or not Oh Cho had title Whether or not Oh Cho is entitled to a decree of registration

HELD: Oh Cho failed to show that he has title to the lot, which may be confirmed under the Land Registration Act.

All lands that were not acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the public domain. An exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the possession of an occupant and of his predecessors in interest since time immemorial, for such possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain or that it had been a private property even before the Spanish conquest.

cannot question it. The legality of the grant is a question between the granteeand the government. The decision of respondent Court of Appeals of January 31, 1969 and its resolutionof March 14, 1969 are affirmed.