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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)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-03-1705 September 2, 2003 - BALDOMERO DE VERA SOLIMAN, JR. v. PRINCESITO D. SORIANO

  • G.R. No. 138238 September 2, 2003 - EDUARDO BALITAOSAN v. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS

  • G.R. No. 146980 September 2, 2003 - LUZ E. TAGANAS, ET AL. v. MELITON G. EMUSLAN, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3967 September 3, 2003 - ARTEMIO ENDAYA v. WILFREDO OCA

  • A.C. No. 6084 September 3, 2003 - FELICITAS BERBANO v. WENCESLAO BARCELONA

  • A.M. No. 02-10-614-RTC September 3, 2003 - RE: EDITORIAL OF THE NEGROS CHRONICLE AND OTHER CHARGES OF A CONCERNED CITIZEN AGAINST JUDGE ROGELIO CARAMPATAN

  • A.M. No. OCA-01-6 September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1466 September 3, 2003 - EDUARDO F. BAGO v. JOEL FERAREN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1501 September 3, 2003 - ROMEO E. EJERCITO v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE

  • G.R. No. 131915 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE LACHICA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136274 September 3, 2003 - SUNFLOWER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139400 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO WATIWAT

  • G.R. No. 140652 September 3, 2003 - OLIVERIO LAPERAL v. PABLO V. OCAMPO

  • G.R. No. 144312 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHUA TAN LEE

  • G.R. No. 145737 September 3, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. EVELYN P. CAYOBIT

  • G.R. No. 149617 September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

  • G.R. No. 141527 September 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDY G. BOCALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1788 September 5, 2003 - JORGE F. ABELLA v. FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430 September 8, 2003 - ROMEO B. SENSON v. HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 128296 September 8, 2003 - NASIPIT LUMBER CO., ET AL. v. NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152957 September 8, 2003 - FAUSTINO ESQUIVEL v. EDUARDO REYES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480 September 10, 2003 - TRINIDAD CABAHUG v. JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY

  • G.R. No. 91486 September 10, 2003 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107271 September 10, 2003 - CITY OF CALOOCAN, ET AL. v. MAURO T. ALLARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125329 September 10, 2003 - ANN BRIGITT LEONARDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140762 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER C. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148912 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO ESCARLOS

  • G.R. No. 151212 September 10, 2003 - TEN FORTY REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MARINA CRUZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003 - ROMULO SG. VILLANUEVA v. CHARLIE C. LARCENA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742 September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

  • G.R. No. 138366 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138569 September 11, 2003 - CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144785 September 11, 2003 - YOLANDA GARCIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145407 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO HEREVESE

  • G.R. No. 151081 September 11, 2003 - TOP RATE CONSTRUCTION & GENERAL SERVICES v. PAXTON DEV’T. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153126 September 11, 2003 - MONTEREY FOODS CORP., ET AL. v. VICTORINO E. ESERJOSE

  • G.R. No. 153845 September 11, 2003 - EFREN P. SALVAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1799 September 12, 2003 - MARIA CRISTINA OLONDRIZ PERTIERRA v. ALBERTO L. LERMA

  • G.R. No. 127206 September 12, 2003 - PERLA PALMA GIL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135029 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR CARRIAGA

  • G.R. No. 141600 September 12, 2003 - ROBERTO FULGENCIO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144639 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY GO

  • G.R. Nos. 144972-73 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO JUNAS

  • G.R. No. 133365 September 16, 2003 - PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC. v. JOSE M. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 147814-15 September 16, 2003 - RAUL ZAPATOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 155278 September 16, 2003 - PRUDENCIO J. TANJUAN v. PHIL. POSTAL SAVINGS BANK

  • A.M. No. P-03-1740 September 17, 2003 - FRANKLIN Q. SUSA v. TEOFILA A. PEÑA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1656 September 17, 2003 - EDGARDO D. BALSAMO v. PEDRO L. SUAN

  • G.R. No. 141120 September 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ

  • G.R. No. 146125 September 17, 2003 - NOVELTY PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1347 September 18, 2003 - BENJAMIN TUDTUD v. MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. P-00-1370 September 18, 2003 - ALEJANDRO PAREDES, ET AL. v. JERRY MARCELINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1510 September 18, 2003 - MARY ANN PADUGANAN-PEÑARANDA v. GRACE L. SONGCUYA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1691 September 18, 2003 - JOSE S. SAÑEZ v. CARLOS B. RABINA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1703 September 18, 2003 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1724 September 18, 2003 - VICENTE ALVAREZ, Jr. v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1742 September 18, 2003 - SALVADOR L. BERNABE v. WINSTON T. EGUIA

  • G.R. No. 135559 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MORENO OCUMEN

  • G.R. No. 135563 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BOBBY P. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 144913 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. GERONIMO C. CENIZA

  • G.R. No. 149627 September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

  • G.R. No. 152351 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAMIL MALA

  • G.R. No. 152604 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONCIO S.PEDRIGAL

  • G.R. No. 153571 September 18, 2003 - BENGUET MANAGEMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156259 September 18, 2003 - GROGUN, INC. v. NAPOCOR

  • G.R. No. 157957 September 18, 2003 - CHARITO NAVAROSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142974 September 22, 2003 - SPS. SHEM G. ALFARERO and AURELIA TAGALOG v. SPS. PETRA and SANCHO SEVILLA

  • G.R. No. 152529 September 22, 2003 - SPS. HENDRIK and ALICIA S. BIESTERBOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1450 September 23, 2003 - RAMIRO S. DE JOYA v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1509 September 23, 2003 - HELEN GAMBOA-MIJARES v. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1732 September 23, 2003 - ROSENINA O. UY, ET AL. v. LOLITA R. EDILO

  • G.R. No. 123140 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO CORTEZANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135446 September 23, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BPI

  • G.R. No. 136729 September 23, 2003 - ASTRO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL. v. PHIL. EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 138716-19 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PILLAS

  • G.R. No. 138725 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO OLIVAR

  • G.R. No. 139360 September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140982 September 23, 2003 - MARIO GUTIERREZ v. SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141434 September 23, 2003 - ANTONIO LO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143132 September 23, 2003 - VAN MELLE PHILS. ET AL. v. VICTOR M. ENDAYA

  • G.R. No. 144533 September 23, 2003 - JIMMY L. BARNES v. TERESITA C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146786-88 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES T. DAÑO

  • G.R. No. 149295 September 23, 2003 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENEROSO DE JESUS

  • G.R. No. 149370 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 150905 September 23, 2003 - CITIBANK v. EFREN S. TEODORO

  • G.R. No. 151072 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE NATIVIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151931 September 23, 2003 - ANAMER SALAZAR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 152823-24 September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152998 September 23, 2003 - SIMON Q. AÑONUEVO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156295 September 23, 2003 - MARCELO R. SORIANO v. SPS. RICARDO and ROSALINA GALIT

  • G.R. No. 156983 September 23, 2003 - In the Matter of the Application for the Habeas Corpus of JOSE VICTOR RIGOR y DANAO v. The Superintendent

  • A.M. No. P-00-1418 September 24, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CELESTINA B. CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 124293 September 24, 2003 - JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130087 September 24, 2003 - DIANA M. BARCELONA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136726 September 24, 2003 - PANFILO V. VILLARUEL v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148924 September 24, 2003 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153781 September 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 153885 & 156214 September 24, 2003 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1746 September 26, 2003 - ROGER F. BORJA v. ZORAYDA H. SALCEDO

  • G.R. No. 130330 September 26, 2003 - FERNANDO GO v. MICHAEL TAN and LOLITA TAN

  • G.R. No. 141217 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSEBIO DUBAN

  • G.R. No. 144037 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL P. TUDTUD, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5480 September 29, 2003 - LEILANI OCAMPO-INGCOCO, ET AL. v. ALEJANDRO G. YRREVERRE, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 137370-71 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL OCO

  • G.R. No. 139185 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 148902 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO ANDRADE

  • G.R. No. 149718 September 29, 2003 - MARIO VALEROSO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 152057 September 29, 2003 - PT & T CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5854 September 30, 2003 - NORA E. MIWA v. RENE O. MEDINA

  • G.R. No. 127593 September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136742-43 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Y. ALFARO

  • G.R. Nos. 140514-15 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNE IGNAS

  • G.R. No. 142751 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO OPELIÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143010 September 30, 2003 - MIGUEL DANOFRATA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 144230 September 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. MACKAY v. ADORACION G. ANGELES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148332 September 30, 2003 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. MADRIGAL WAN HAI LINES CORP.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 149627   September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 149627. September 18, 2003.]

    KENNETH O. NADELA, Petitioner, v. THE CITY OF CEBU and METRO CEBU DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    AZCUNA, J.:


    Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals promulgated on April 30, 2001 in CA-G.R. CV No. 61910, which affirmed the Order of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 12, dated March 12, 1998, 1 dismissing the action of petitioner Kenneth O. Nadela for recovery of ownership and possession of a parcel of land with damages against respondents City of Cebu and Metro Cebu Development Project (MCDP).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On March 4, 1997, herein petitioner, Kenneth O. Nadela, filed an action before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 12, for recovery of ownership and possession of a parcel of land with damages and a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction against respondents.

    In his Amended Complaint, 2 petitioner alleged, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. For more than thirty (30) years, he and his predecessors-in-interest have been in actual, adverse, peaceful and continuous possession in the concept of owner of an unregistered parcel of land described as:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A parcel of agricultural land known as Lot No. Psu-07006450, situated at Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City, Philippines, and bounded:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    North — Public Land;

    East — Public Land;

    South — Psu-07-006451 (Heirs of Alipio Bacalso);

    West — Public Land and Property of Felicisimo Rallon.

    With an assessed value of SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS. 3

    2. He merely tolerated respondents’ act of dumping garbage on his property believing that it will not be prejudicial to his interest. However, sometime in the month of January 1997, Respondents, without his consent, dumped thereon not just garbage but also other filling materials. Respondents likewise conducted some earthwork for the purpose of forcibly wresting from him the ownership and possession of said property.

    3. In utter disregard of his rights, respondent MCDP blocked the approval of the survey plan of the subject property. Consequently, the Bureau of Lands (now the Lands Management Services), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region VII, deferred action on the said plan.

    4. Since the month of January 1997, respondent MCDP placed and stationed some security guards in the subject property, thereby preventing him from entering and exercising his right of ownership and possession over the property.

    5. Said unlawful acts of respondents will not only cause irreparable injury but will also work injustice to him, and complicate, aggravate and multiply the issues in this case.

    Petitioner prayed that pending hearing of the case on the merits, and after the parties shall have been heard, the court issue a writ of preliminary injunction, directing the respondents to desist and refrain from conducting any earthwork, introducing any improvement, or, placing any guard on the property. Thereafter, petitioner prayed that judgment be rendered (1) declaring him as the true and lawful owner of the subject property; (2) ordering the respondents and all persons acting in their behalf, control or direction, and/or who derived their right of possession from the respondents, to vacate the subject property; (3) ordering the respondents to pay the sum of P500,000 as actual damages plus the sum of P50,000 a month until petitioner’s possession of the subject property shall have been restored, P100,000 as attorney’s fees and costs of suit.

    Respondent City of Cebu filed a Motion to Dismiss 4 on the ground that petitioner has no cause of action since (1) the suit is against the State and there is no allegation that it has given its consent; and (2) the Complaint itself shows that the case is premature since petitioner admitted that he is in possession in the concept of owner of an unregistered parcel of land.

    Respondent MCDP, represented by the Solicitor General, also filed a Motion to Dismiss 5 on the following grounds: (1) the Complaint states no cause of action as the land involved is a public land and thus belongs to the State, petitioner being a mere claimant thereof; (2) petitioner failed to exhaust available administrative remedies; and (3) petitioner’s suit is barred under the doctrine of state immunity from suit.

    Petitioner filed an Opposition 6 to respondents’ respective motion to dismiss asserting that the property in litigation is a private agricultural land and that neither the doctrine of state immunity from suit nor the general rule of exhaustion of administrative remedies applies in this case. Petitioner brought to the attention of the trial court the following facts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) That pursuant to Land Classification Map No. 222, Project No. 5, Certified on November 20, 1912, the property in litigation (Lot No. PSU-07-006450, situated at Barangay Inayawan, Pardo, Cebu City) had long been classified as alienable and disposable land;

    (2) That the said lot is a portion of a parcel of land originally owned by Alipio O. Bacalso, whose possession of the same commenced way back in 1962, as evidenced by a tax declaration issued in his name;

    (3) That on April 22, 1989, spouses Alipio Bacalso and Eleuteria Bacalso assigned their property situated at Barangay Inayawan, Pardo, Cebu City, to Nadela Agro-Industrial Development Corporation;

    (4) That in 1993, the same property was declared for taxation purposes in the name of Nadela Agro-Industrial Development Corporation;

    (5) That on May 4, 1995, Nadela Agro-Industrial Development Corporation assigned the property in litigation to the plaintiff; and

    (6) That for more than thirty (30) years, plaintiff and his predecessors-in-interest paid realty taxes for the property in litigation. 7

    Respondents filed their respective Reply 8 to petitioner’s Opposition.

    On September 19, 1997, Acting Presiding Judge Victorino U. Montecillo issued an Order 9 granting petitioner’s application for a writ of injunction.

    Respondents City of Cebu and MCDP filed their respective Motion for Reconsideration 10 of said Order. Petitioner filed a Comment and Opposition 11 to the motion for reconsideration of respondent MCDP, which in turn filed a Reply. 12 Petitioner filed a Rejoinder 13 to said Reply.

    On January 23, 1998, Presiding Judge Aproniano B. Taypin issued an Order 14 setting aside the Order of the Court dated September 19, 1997, which granted the application for a writ of injunction. The trial court ruled that the project undertaken by respondent MCDP falls within the definition of "infrastructure project" and pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1818, courts are prohibited from issuing writs of injunction to stop any person, entity or government official from proceeding with or continuing the implementation of any such infrastructure project. The trial court further ordered that the case be tried on the merits.

    Respondent City of Cebu filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order denying the Motion to Dismiss 15 reiterating therein that the Complaint states no cause of action and is premature as the lot in question is admittedly an unregistered parcel of land; hence, it is still a part of the public domain and owned by the State.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw library

    On March 12, 1998, the trial court issued an Order, 16 thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ORDER

    This is a motion for reconsideration of an Order denying the motion to dismiss filed by the herein defendant, City of Cebu. A copy of said motion was duly furnished to the herein plaintiff thru its counsels on record.

    The instant case involved an unregistered parcel of land, henceforth, a part of the public domain and owned by the state. The Tax Declarations presented by the plaintiff are not considered conclusive evidence of ownership, as has been held in the case of Rivera v. Court of Appeals, 244 SCRA 218. Moreover, the subject property being unclassified, whatever possession the applicant may have had and however long cannot ripen into private ownership. (Director of Lands v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 219 SCRA 339).

    Finally, under the Regalian Doctrine, all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State (Director of Lands v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 219 SCRA 339).

    Wherefore, in consideration of all the foregoing, the instant case is hereby dismissed.

    SO ORDERED.

    Petitioner failed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied by the trial court for being unmeritorious. 17

    Petitioner thereafter appealed to the Court of Appeals alleging that (1) the trial court erred in dismissing Civil Case No. Ceb-19990 without conducting a hearing of the case on the merits; and (2) the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion and denied him due process when it denied his motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal. 18

    On April 30, 2001, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision against petitioner; the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present appeal is hereby dismissed and the appealed Order dated March 12, 1998 in Civil Case No. CEB-19990 is hereby AFFIRMED. 19

    The Courts of Appeals ruled that the trial court did not err in ordering the dismissal of the Complaint based on the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) Petitioner’s allegations in the Amended Complaint that the disputed property is still an unregistered parcel of land and that he has a pending application for a survey plan with the Lands Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which the appellate court misstated as a pending application for a judicial confirmation of title, are admissions of the State’s ownership of the property.

    (2) Granting that petitioner has been in possession in the concept of owner of the subject property for more than 30 years, still petitioner cannot be deemed to have acquired a grant by operation of law because his possession thereof did not commence since June 12, 1945 as required by Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Act as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1073, considering that the earliest tax declaration he submitted during the hearing on the application for a writ of preliminary injunction was only for the year 1962.

    The Court of Appeals also held that in denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal of the case, the trial court was of the honest opinion, after evaluating the grounds of said motion, that the same was not meritorious. 20 Hence, the appellate court ruled that the trial court did not act with grave abuse of discretion as there was no capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment tantamount to lack of jurisdiction in the issuance of said order. 21

    Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied by the Court of Appeals for lack of merit. 22

    Hence, this, appeal.

    Petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN AFFIRMING THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF CEBU CITY (BRANCH 12) GRANTING THE MOTION TO DISMISS ON THE GROUND OF NO CAUSE OF ACTION.

    II. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE PETITIONER’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PROPERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS AND JUST COMPENSATION.

    III. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE PETITIONER’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS BY NOT ALLOWING THE LATTER TO PRESENT HIS EVIDENCE-IN-CHIEF IN A TRIAL ON THE MERITS BY REMANDING THE INSTANT CASE TO THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT FOR FURTHER PROCEEDING. 23

    The Court’s Ruling


    Petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the Order of the trial court which granted the motion to dismiss of respondents on the ground that the Complaint states no cause of action. In essence, petitioner asserts in his assigned errors that the allegations in his Amended Complaint are sufficient to establish his cause of action, and said allegations were hypothetically admitted by respondents when they filed a motion to dismiss. Petitioner prays that he be given an opportunity to prove ownership over the subject property in a trial on the merits.

    The contention is untenable.

    The test of the sufficiency of the facts to constitute a cause of action is whether admitting the facts alleged, the court can render a valid judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer of the complaint. 24 In answering the query, only the facts asserted in the complaint must be taken into account without modification although with reasonable inferences therefrom. 25 Nevertheless, in Tan v. Director of Forestry 26 and Santiago v. Pioneer Savings and Loan Bank, 27 evidence submitted by parties during a hearing in an application for a writ of preliminary injunction was considered by the court in resolving the motion to dismiss. In Llanto v. Ali Dimaporo, 28 this Court held that the trial court can properly dismiss a complaint on a motion to dismiss due to lack of cause of action even without a hearing, by taking into consideration the discussion in said motion and the opposition thereto. In Marcopper Mining Corporation v. Garcia, 29 this Court ruled that the trial court did not err in considering other pleadings, aside from the complaint, in deciding whether or not the complaint should be dismissed for lack of cause of action.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A cause of action exists if the following elements are present: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages. 30

    From the allegations in the Complaint, petitioner claims ownership of the subject property for having possessed it in the concept of an owner openly, adversely, peacefully and exclusively for more than 30 years. Petitioner did not allege in his Complaint the actual date when his ownership of the subject property accrued. However, in his Opposition 31 to respondents’ motion to dismiss, petitioner brought to the attention of the trial court the fact that "the said lot is a portion of a parcel of land originally owned by Alipio O. Bacalso, whose possession of the same commenced way back in 1962, as evidenced by a tax declaration issued in his name." (Emphasis supplied.)

    Petitioner’s claim is an assertion that the subject property is private land, or that even assuming it was part of the public domain, petitioner had already acquired imperfect title thereto under Section 48 (b) of Commonwealth Act No. 141, otherwise known, as the Public Land Act, as amended by Republic Act No. 1942. 32 Said section provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying lands of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed, may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate therefor, under the Land Registration Act, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    (b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest have been in the open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter.

    Said Section 48(b) was amended by Presidential Decree No. 1073, approved on January 25, 1977, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 4. The provisions of Section 48(b) and Section 48(c), Chapter VIII, of the Public Land Act are hereby amended in the sense that these provisions shall apply only to alienable and disposable lands of the public domain which have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation by the applicant (himself or thru his predecessor-in-interest, under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, since June 12, 1945.

    In Heirs of Marciano Nagano v. Court of Appeals, 33 we ruled that under Section 48, a subject lot is, for all intents and purposes, segregated from the public domain, because the beneficiary is "conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In Director of Lands v. Bengzon, 34 we also ruled:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We cannot subscribe to the view of petitioner that it is only after a possessor has been issued a certificate of title that the land can be considered private land. In interpreting the provisions of Section 48 (b) of Commonwealth Act No. [141], this Court said in Herico v. Dar,." . . when the conditions as specified in the foregoing provision are complied with, the possessor is deemed to have acquired, by operation of law, a right to a grant, a government grant, without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued. The land, therefore, ceases to be of the public domain, and beyond the authority of the Director of Lands to dispose of. The application for confirmation is a mere formality, the lack of which does not affect the legal sufficiency of the title as would be evidenced by the patent and the Torrens title to be issued upon the strength of said patent.

    In Suzi v. Razon and Director of Lands, 35 we ruled that "if, as above stated, the land, the possession of which is in dispute, had already become, by operation of law private property of the plaintiff, there lacking only the judicial sanction of his title, [plaintiff] has the right to bring an action to recover the possession thereof." One claiming "private rights" must prove that he has complied with Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended. 36

    Notably, the Court of Appeals knew that petitioner was claiming ownership over the subject property under Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Act. However, it correctly affirmed the dismissal of the case as it properly considered the evidence submitted by petitioner during the hearing of the application for a writ of preliminary injunction. 37 The Court of Appeals held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In view of the required length of possession, even if We hypothetically admit the truth of appellant’s allegation in his complaint that he had been for more than thirty (30) years been in "open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession in concept of owner" of the subject land, still he cannot be deemed to have acquired a grant, or a right to a grant, by operation of law, considering his possession thereof did not commence "since June 12, 1945 or earlier" as required by Sec. 48 (b) and (c), as amended by P.D. No. 1073. Among the documentary evidence submitted by appellant during the hearing on the application for a writ of preliminary injunction are tax declarations in his name and that of his predecessor-in-interest Alipio Bacalso, the oldest being for the year 1962. Appellant, therefore, has not acquired ownership and title under the law, over the property subject of litigation, which remained part of the public domain, exclusively belonging to the State. The trial court thus did not err in ordering the dismissal of the complaint upon the ground of failure to state a cause of action. 38

    Petitioner, therefore, clearly relies on Tax Declaration No. 117609 39 for the year 1962, 40 the earliest tax declaration presented during the hearing on the application for a writ of preliminary injunction, which appears to be the evidence mentioned in petitioner’s Opposition 41 to respondents’ motion to dismiss wherein petitioner brought to the attention of the trial court the fact that the subject property "is a portion of a parcel of land originally owned by Alipio O. Bacalso, whose possession of the same commenced way back in 1962, as evidenced by a tax declaration issued in his name" (Emphasis supplied).

    Considering appellant’s allegation in his Opposition that his predecessor-in-interest, Alipio O. Bacalso, necessarily the first and earliest, in view of the words "originally owned," commenced possession of the subject property only in 1962, and his submission of tax declarations, the earliest of which was for the year 1962, 42 during the hearing on the application for a writ of preliminary injunction, petitioner cannot be presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant inasmuch as his possession of the subject property did not commence since June 12, 1945 or earlier, as required by Section 48 (b) of Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1073. Hence, the Court of Appeals did not err in affirming the Order of the trial court dismissing the Complaint on the ground of failure to state a cause of action.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The questioned Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 61910 is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Vitug, Ynares-Santiago and Carpio, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. In Civil Case No. CEB-19990.

    2. CA Rollo, pp. 39–42.

    3. CA Rollo, p. 40.

    4. CA Rollo, p. 63–66.

    5. CA Rollo, p. 67–72.

    6. CA Rollo, p. 74.

    7. CA Rollo, p. 75.

    8. CA Rollo, pp. 82, 84.

    9. CA Rollo, p. 93.

    10. CA Rollo, pp. 96, 114.

    11. CA Rollo, p. 126.

    12. CA Rollo, p. 129.

    13. CA Rollo, p. 135.

    14. CA Rollo, p. 142.

    15. CA Rollo, p. 144.

    16. CA Rollo, p. 148.

    17. CA Rollo, p. 161.

    18. CA Rollo, pp. 71–72.

    19. Rollo, p. 74.

    20. Ibid.

    21. Ibid.

    22. Rollo, p. 86.

    23. Rollo, pp. 41–42.

    24. Heirs of Kionisala v. Heirs of Honorio Dacut, G.R. No. 147379, February 27, 2002.

    25. Ibid.

    26. 125 SCRA 302 (1983).

    27. 157 SCRA 100 (1988).

    28. 16 SCRA 601 (1966).

    29. 143 SCRA 178 (1986).

    30. Vergara v. Court of Appeals, 319 SCRA 323, 327 (1999), citing Parañaque King Enterprises, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 269 SCRA 727, 739 (1997).

    31. CA Rollo, p. 74.

    32. Heirs of Marciano Nagaño v. Court of Appeals, 282 SCRA 43, 49–50 (1997).

    33. Ibid.

    34. 152 SCRA 369, 376–377 (1987).

    35. 48 Phil. 424, 428 (1925).

    36. Public Estates Authority v. Court of Appeals, 345 SCRA 96, 102 (2000).

    37. See Santiago v. Pioneer Savings and Loan Bank, supra, note 28, at 104–105; Tan v. Director of Forestry, supra, note 27, at 317.

    38. Rollo, pp. 72–73.

    39. Exhibit "A," Records, p. 62.

    40. Exhibit "A-2," Records, p. 62.

    41. CA Rollo, p. 74.

    42. Exhibit "A-2," Records, p. 62.

    G.R. No. 149627   September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..


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