ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 
 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 91935 March 4, 1996 - RODOLFO QUIAMBAO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106043 March 4, 1996 - CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY LANDLESS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109645 March 4, 1996 - ORTIGAS AND COMPANY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP v. TIRSO VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115365 March 4, 1996 - ESMENIO MADLOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118126 March 4, 1996 - TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-921 March 5, 1996 - AMPARO A. LACHICA v. ROLANDO A. FLORDELIZA

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1009 March 5, 1996 - ALBERTO NALDOZA v. JUAN LAVILLES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 111501 March 5, 1996 - PHIL. FUJI XEROX CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 113930 March 5, 1996 - PAUL G. ROBERTS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115548 March 5, 1996 - STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1039 March 6, 1996 - FE ALBANO MADRID v. RAYMUNDO RAMIREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 112858-59 March 6, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RALPHY ALCANTARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120193 March 6, 1996 - LUIS MALALUAN v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. CBD-174 March 7, 1996 - GIOVANI M. IGUAL v. ROLANDO S. JAVIER

  • G.R. No. 66555 March 7, 1996 - LEONCIO MEJARES, ET AL. v. JUAN Y. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 95353-54 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO PAT

  • G.R. No. 109390 March 7, 1996 - JGB and ASSOCIATES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112445 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS V. PATROLLA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 113710 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND V. JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116011 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RHODESA B. SILAN

  • G.R. No. 117650 March 7, 1996 - SULPICIO LINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120905 March 7, 1996 - RENATO U. REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95260 March 8, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO C. PRADO

  • G.R. No. 110983 March 8, 1996 - REYNALDO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 2024 March 11, 1996 - SALVADOR T. CASTILLO v. PABLO M. TAGUINES

  • G.R. No. 108625 March 11, 1996 - ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATIC FREE LABOR ORGANIZATION v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113194 March 11, 1996 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119381 March 11, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. JOSE BRILLANTES

  • G.R. No. 96882 March 12, 1996 - EUTIQUIANO PAGARA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109800 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO N. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 114388 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO TRILLES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-4-156 March 13, 1996 - IN RE: FERNANDO P. AGDAMAG

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1344 March 13, 1996 - VERONICA GONZALES v. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

  • G.R. No. 101332 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARO BERNAL

  • G.R. No. 101699 March 13, 1996 - BENJAMIN A. SANTOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104088-89 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE JAIN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108743 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNALDO B. DONES

  • G.R. No. 112193 March 13, 1996 - JOSE E. ARUEGO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112546 March 13, 1996 - NORTH DAVAO MINING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119073 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 120223 March 13, 1996 - RAMON Y. ALBA v. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101070 March 14, 1996 - BALAYAN COLLEGES, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102062 March 14, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CAMILO FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104685 March 14, 1996 - SABENA BELGIAN WORLD AIRLINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119706 March 14, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 73592 March 15, 1996 - JOSE CUENCO BORROMEO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94494 March 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO C. LAPURA

  • G.R. No. 103695 March 15, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105819 March 15, 1996 - MARILYN L. BERNARDO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 106229-30 March 15, 1996 - LEOVIGILDO ROSALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108001 March 15, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111651 March 15, 1996 - OSMALIK S. BUSTAMANTE, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115106 March 15, 1996 - ROBERTO L. DEL ROSARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114988 March 18, 1996 - CATALINO BONTIA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117667 March 18, 1996 - INLAND TRAILWAYS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. 94-5-42-MTC March 20, 1996 - QUERY OF JUDGE DANILO M. TENERIFE

  • G.R. No. 102360 March 20, 1996 - ROSITA DOMINGO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111656 March 20, 1996 - MANUEL MANAHAN, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116665 March 20, 1996 - MELQUIADES D. AZCUNA, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-1-07-RTC March 21, 1996 - JDF ANOMALY IN THE RTC OF LIGAO, ALBAY

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-10-06-SCC March 27, 1996 - IN RE: DEMASIRA M. BAUTE

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1071 March 28, 1996 - ELIZABETH ASUMBRADO v. FRANCISCO R. MACUNO

  • G.R. No. 104386 March 28, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR L. LEVISTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121424 March 28, 1996 - IN RE: MAURO P. MAGTIBAY v. VICENTE VINARAO

  • G.R. No. 90215 March 29, 1996 - ERNESTO ZALDARRIAGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94594 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO REDULOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 96178-79 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO ESMAQUILAN

  • G.R. No. 97785 March 29, 1996 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99259-60 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIO D. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 103525 March 29, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104296 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 106083-84 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINTIN T. GARRAEZ

  • G.R. No. 106600 March 29, 1996 - COSMOS BOTTLING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109312 March 29, 1996 - PLACIDO MIRANDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 109614-15 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRONICO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112346 March 29, 1996 - EVELYN YONAHA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112457-58 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO CARTUANO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112678 March 29, 1996 - EDUARDO M . ESPEJO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112708-09 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112718 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VLADIMIR L. CANUZO

  • G.R. Nos. 113519-20 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO F. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 114263-64 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN JENN PORRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115988 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO V. LIAN

  • G.R. No. 116734 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY B. LAURENTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116792 March 29, 1996 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117055 March 29, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117618 March 29, 1996 - VIRGINIA MALINAO v. LUISITO REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118509 March 29, 1996 - LIMKETKAI SONS MILLING INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118870 March 29, 1996 - NERISSA Z. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119193 March 29, 1996 - NEMENCIO GALVEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120715 March 29, 1996 - FERNANDO R. SAZON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121527 March 29, 1996 - MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 104296   March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 104296. March 29, 1996.]

    REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the DIRECTOR OF LANDS, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS OF IRENE BULLUNGAN, represented by her husband DOMINGO PAGGAO and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF ISABELA, Respondents.

    The Solicitor General for Petitioner.

    Public Attorney’s Office for Private Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. LAND REGISTRATION; FREE PATENT; THE STATE MAY BRING AN ACTION UNDER SECTION 101 OF THE PUBLIC LAND ACT FOR REVERSION TO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN OF LANDS WHICH HAVE BEEN FRAUDULENTLY GRANTED TO PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS. — It is settled that once a patent is registered under Act No. 496 (now P.D. No. 1529) and the corresponding certificate of title is issued, the land ceases to be part of the public domain and becomes private property over which the Director of Lands will no longer have either control or jurisdiction. The Torrens Title issued on the basis of a free patent or homestead patent becomes as indefeasible as one which was judicially secured upon the expiration of one year from date of issuance of patent as provided in P.D. No. 1529, 32 (formerly Act No. 496, 38). However, as held in Director of Lands v. De Luna, even after the lapse of one year, the State may still bring an action under 101 of the Public Land Act for the reversion to the public domain of lands which have been fraudulently granted to private individuals. This has been the consistent ruling of this Court.

    2. ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO DISCLOSE MATERIAL FACTS IN THE APPLICATION CONSTITUTES FRAUD AND MISREPRESENTATION AND IS A GROUND FOR ANNULMENT OF TITLE. — The failure of Irene Bullungan to disclose that Vicente Carrabacan was in possession of the portion of land in dispute constitutes fraud and misrepresentation and is a ground for annulling her title. Under 91 of the Public Land Act where public land is acquired by an applicant through fraud and misrepresentation, as in the case at bar, the State may institute reversion proceedings even after the lapse of the one-year period.

    3. ID.; ID.; PUBLIC POLICY DEMANDS THAT ONE WHO OBTAINS TITLE TO A PUBLIC LAND THROUGH FRAUD SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BENEFIT THEREFROM. — Nor is there merit in the claim of private respondents that the action taken by the Republic in this case is "not in keeping with the policy of State to foster families as the factors of society, to give them a sense of protection and permanency in their homes." Public policy demands that one who obtains title to a public land through fraud should not be allowed to benefit therefrom. Vicente Carabbacan had been in possession of the land even before Irene Bullungan bought the possessory rights to the land. It was therefore a misrepresentation for her to state in her application for a free patent that she had been in possession of the lot in question when the fact is that Carabbacan had been there ahead of her.


    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is a petition for review of the decision 1 of the Court of Appeals reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch XIX, 2 Cauayan, Isabela declaring Free Patent No. V-79740 and Original Certificate of Title No. P-8817 in the name of Irene Bullungan null and void so far as the portion of Lot No. 1, Psu-150801 involved in this case is concerned.

    The facts of this case are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On September 10, 1955, Irene Bullungan (now deceased) applied for a free patent covering lots situated in Fugaru (now San Guillermo), Angadanan, Isabela. The lots included a portion of Lot No. 1, Psu-150801, between Lot No. 763 and Lot No. 764, consisting of 1.04 hectares, which Vicente Carabbacan claimed. In her application, Irene Bullungan stated that the land applied for by her was not claimed or occupied by any other person and that it was public land which had been continuously occupied and cultivated by her since 1925. 3

    Upon certification of Assistant Public Land Inspector Jose M. Telmo at Ilagan, Isabela that Irene Bullungan had been in actual, continuous, open, notorious, exclusive and adverse possession of the land since 1925, the Director of Lands approved Bullungan’s application on June 4, 1957. On December 26, 1957, Original Certificate of Title No. P-8817 was issued in the name of Irene Bullungan.

    Alleging that a portion of Lot No. 1, Psu-150801 covered by the free patent issued to Irene Bullungan overlapped the lot between Lot No. 763 and Lot No. 764, which he was occupying, Vicente Carrabacan filed a protest on September 7, 1961. The District Land Officer at Ilagan, Isabela recommended the dismissal of the protest on the ground that the Bureau of Lands no longer had jurisdiction over the matter as a result of the grant of a free patent to Irene Bullungan. But the Director of Lands on March 23, 1982 ordered an investigation of the protest.

    Vicente Carabbacan also brought an action for the reconveyance of the portion of Lot No. 1, Psu-150801 and the cancellation of free patent against Irene Bullungan on September 5, 1961, although this was dismissed by the court without prejudice.

    The heirs of Irene Bullungan in turn sought to recover possession of the land in an action which they brought in the Court of First Instance of Isabela on April 13, 1972. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Br. II-1102. On the other hand, refusing to give up his claim Vicente Carabbacan filed a case for reconveyance on August 15, 1972, which was docketed as Civil Case No. 1108. The cases were thereafter tried jointly.

    On November 22, 1972 the court rendered a decision, dismissing the complaint of Vicente Carabbacan and ordering him to vacate the land, even as it upheld the ownership of Irene Bullungan. Carabbacan, who had been in possession of the land in question, was finally ousted on December 10, 1981.

    As already stated, the Director of Lands ordered on March 23, 1982 an investigation of Carabbacan’s protest. The investigation was undertaken by Senior d Special Investigator-Napoleon R. Dulay, who found that Vicente Carabbacan had been in actual cultivation of the land identified as Lot No. 763, Pls-594 since 1947, having acquired the same from Tomas Tarayao on May 4, 1947. In his report dated September 17, 1985, the land investigator stated that due to a big flood which occurred in December 1947, the Cagayan River changed its course by moving north-east, resulting in the emergence of a piece of land, which is the subject of this dispute. Carrabacan took possession of the land and cultivated it. He was in the continuous, peaceful, open and adverse occupation and cultivation of the land from December 1947 until 1981 when he was ejected by virtue of the decision in Civil Cases No. 1088 and 1102. 4

    Based on these findings, the Chief of the Legal Division of the Bureau of Lands recommended on March 10, 1986 that steps be taken to seek the amendment of Free Patent No. V-79747 and Original Certificate of Title No. P-8817 of the late Irene Bullungan so as to exclude the disputed portion and for the reversion of the same to the State.

    On November 28, 1986, the Solicitor General filed in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines a complaint for the cancellation of Free Patent No. V- 79740 and OCT No. P-8817 on the ground of fraud and misrepresentation in obtaining the free patent. The case was filed in the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela which, on September 25, 1989, rendered a decision declaring Free Patent No. V-79740 and OCT No. P-8817 null and void insofar as the portion of Lot No. 1, Psu-150801 between Lot No. 763 and Lot No. 764, is concerned. The lower court found that Irene Bullungan made misrepresentations by claiming in her application for a free patent that she was in possession of the disputed portion of Lot No. 1, Psu-150801, when in fact Vicente Carabbacan was occupying and cultivating the land. The court justified the reversion of the land in question as an assertion of "a governmental right."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On appeal, however, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s ruling on the ground that, after the lapse of one year from the date of issuance of the patent, the State could no longer bring an action for reversion. The appellate court held that the certificate of title issued in the name of Irene Bullungan became incontrovertible and indefeasible upon the lapse of one year from the issuance of the free patent.

    The Republic controverts the ruling of the Court of Appeals. It contends that the doctrine of indefeasibility of Torrens Titles does not bar the filing of an action for cancellation of title and reversion of land even if more than one year has elapsed from the issuance of the free patent in case of fraud in obtaining patents.

    We agree with petitioner. To begin with, there is no question that Free Patent No. 7g740 and Original Certificate of Title P-8817 were obtained through fraud. The trial court found that Irene Bullungan falsely stated in her application for a free patent that Lot No. 1, Psu-150801 was not claimed or occupied by any other person. The trial court found that a portion of the lot in question had been in the possession and cultivation of Vicente Carabbacan since December 1947. 5 Indeed private respondents admit that before Irene Bullungan filed her application for a free patent, she had filed a complaint for forcible entry against Vicente Carrabacan. The complaint, which was filed in the Justice of the Peace Court of Angadanan, Isabela, was dismissed precisely because the court found that Carabbacan had been in possession of the land long before it was sold to Irene Bullungan by Leonida Tarayao. 6

    The Court of Appeals did not disturb the trial court’s finding in this case that Irene Bullungan committed fraud and misrepresentation. Its decision rests solely on the ground that after the lapse of one year from the date of issuance of a free patent an action for the cancellation of patent and title on ground of fraud and misrepresentation can no longer be maintained.

    We think that this is error. It is settled that once a patent is registered under Act No. 496 (now P.D. No. 1529) and the corresponding certificate of title is issued, the land ceases to be part of the public domain and becomes private property over which the Director of Lands will no longer have either control or jurisdiction. 7 The Torrens Title issued on the basis of a free patent or homestead patent becomes an indefeasible as one which was judicially secured upon the expiration of one year from date of issuance of patent as provided in P.D. No. 1529, 32 (formerly Act No. 496, 38). However, as held in Director of Lands v. De Luna, 8 even after the lapse of one year, the State may still bring an action under 101 9 of the Public Land Act for the reversion to the public domain of lands which have been fraudulently granted to private individuals. This has been the consistent ruling of this Court. 10

    The failure of Irene Bullungan to disclose that Vicente Carrabacan was in possession of the portion of land in dispute constitutes fraud and misrepresentation and is a ground for annulling her title. 11 Thus 91 of the Public Land Act provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    91. The statements made in the application shall be considered as essential conditions and parts of any concession, title, or permit issued on the basis of such application, and any false statement therein or omission of facts altering, changing, or modifying the consideration of the facts set forth in such statements, and any subsequent modification, alteration, or change of the material facts set forth in the application shall ipso facto produce the cancellation of the concession, title, or permit granted. It shall be the duty of the Director of Lands, from time to time and whenever he may deem it advisable, to make the necessary investigations for the purpose of ascertaining whether the material facts set out in the application are true, or whether they continue to exist and are maintained and preserved in good faith, and for the purpose of such investigation, the Director of Lands is hereby empowered to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum and, if necessary, to obtain compulsory process from the courts. In every investigation made in accordance with this section, the existence of bad faith, fraud, concealment, or fraudulent and illegal modification of essential facts shall be presumed if the grantee or possessor of the land shall refuse or fail to obey a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum lawfully issued by the Director of Lands or his authorized delegates or agents, or shall refuse or fail to give direct and specific answers to pertinent questions, and on the basis of such presumption, an order of cancellation may issue out further proceedings.

    The appellate court said in its decision:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We are not, of course, unaware of cases where the patent and the certificate of title issued pursuant thereto were declared null and void notwithstanding the expiration of the aforementioned period of one (1) year simply because of false statement of material and essential facts made in the application therefor. Be it noted, however, that in these cases the lots patented or granted were no longer part of the public domain but private ones segregated from the mass thereof. Consequently, no right whatsoever was awarded in said cases for it is already settled that a free patent which purports to convey land to which the government did not have any title at the time of its issuance does not vest any title in the patentee as against the true owner (Suva v. Ventura, 40 O.G. 8, 4th sup. August 23, 1941; Vital v. Anore, 90 Phil. 855; Director of Lands v. Abanilla, G.R. No. L-26324, August 31, 1983). This does not obtain in the present case for it is beyond dispute that the subject land was still a part of the public domain when the same was patented by the Government in favor of appellants’ predecessor in interest. Accordingly, there was indeed a title awarded such that when the same was brought under operation of Land Registration Act in 1957, it became incontrovertible in 1958. 12

    This is not so. Where public land is acquired by an applicant through fraud and misrepresentation, as in the case at bar, the State may institute reversion proceedings even after the lapse of the one-year period.

    Nor is there merit in the claim of private respondents that the action taken by the Republic in this case is "not in keeping with the policy of State to foster families as the factors of society, to give them a sense of protection and permanency in their homes." 13 Public policy demands that one who obtains title to a public land through fraud should not be allowed to benefit therefrom. Vicente Carabbacan had been in possession of the land even before Irene Bullungan bought the possessory rights to the land. It was therefore a misrepresentation for her to state in her application for a free patent that she had been in possession of the lot in question when the fact is that Carabbacan had been there ahead of her.

    WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is REVERSED and the decision dated September 25, 1989 of the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch XIX is REINSTATED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Romero and Puno, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Associate Justice Antonio M. Martinez, Chairman, and concurred in by Associate Justices Assali Isnani and Regina G. Ordoñez-Benitez.

    2. Presided over by Judge Artemio R. Alivia.

    3. Complaint, Record, p. 4.

    4. Regional Trial Court Decision, Record, p. 139.

    5. Record, p. 138.

    6. Exh. HH, Record, p. 70.

    7. Director of Lands v. De Luna, 110 Phil. 28 (1960).

    8. Id.

    9. This provision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    101. All actions for reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.

    10. E.g., Republic v. Animas, 56 SCRA 499 (1974); Pinero v. Director of Lands, 57 SCRA 386 (1974); Director of Lands v. Abanilla, 124 SCRA 358 (1983); Republic v. Mina, 114 SCRA 945 (1982): Republic v. Court of Appeals, 183 SCRA 620 (1990).

    11. Republic v. Mina, 114 SCRA 945 (1982), citing Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, 17 SCRA 71 (1966).

    12. Rollo, p. 31.

    13. Rollo, p. 79.

    G.R. No. 104296   March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS




    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED