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February-2011 Jurisprudence                 

  • [A.M. No. 2007-22-SC, February 01, 2011] RE: ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT AGAINST MS. HERMOGENA F. BAYANI FOR DISHONESTY.

  • [G.R. No. 159618 : February 01, 2011] BAYAN MUNA, AS REPRESENTED BY REP. SATUR OCAMPO, REP. CRISPIN BELTRAN, AND REP. LIZA L. MAZA, PETITIONER, VS. ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, AND BLAS F. OPLE, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-00-1600* : February 01, 2011] VIVIAN T. DABU, ASSISTANT PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. EDUARDO RODEN E. KAPUNAN, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 51 AND ACTING JUDGE, BRANCH 52,+ MA. THERESA CORTEZ, LEILA O. GALO, BOTH COURT STENOGRAPHERS, SUZETTE O. TIONGCO, LEGAL RESEARCHER, ALL OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 51, GUAGUA, PAMPANGA, RESPONDENTS. [A.M. No. 01-3-138-RTC : February 01, 2011] RE: EVALUATION OF THE REPORT AND INVENTORY SUBMITTED BY EXECUTIVE JUDGE ROGELIO C. GONZALES, RTC, GUAGUA, PAMPANGA, ON ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE CASES IN BRANCHES 49, 50, 51, 52 AND 53 OF THE GUAGUA REGIONAL TRIAL COURT

  • [G.R. No. 186045 : February 02, 2011] MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. HEIRS OF ESTANISLAO MI—OZA, NAMELY: THE HEIRS OF FILOMENO T. MI—OZA, REPRESENTED BY LAUREANO M. MI—OZA; THE HEIRS OF PEDRO T. MI—OZA; AND THE HEIRS OF FLORENCIA T. MI—OZA, REPRESENTED BY ANTONIO M. URBIZTONDO, RESPONDENTS

  • [G.R. No. 185493 : February 02, 2011] LTC. ROBERTO K. GUILLERGAN (RET.), PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 179217 : February 02, 2011] METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. GABRIEL ADVINCULA, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189476 : February 02, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENG-MAGPAYO (A.K.A. JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON MARQUEZ-LIM COSETENG), RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170463 : February 02, 2011] THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM AND WINSTON F. GARCIA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS GSIS PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, PETITIONERS, VS. ALBERT M. VELASCO AND MARIO I. MOLINA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 172879 : February 02, 2011] ATTY. RICARDO B. BERMUDO, PETITIONER, VS. FERMINA TAYAG-ROXAS, RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 173364] FERMINA TAYAG-ROXAS, PETITIONER, VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND ATTY. RICARDO BERMUDO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 176631 : February 02, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AVELINO FELAN, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 159781 :February 02, 2011] PETER BEJARASCO, JR., PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 173575 : February 02, 2011] IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ACADEMY AND THE LATE DR. PAULO C. CAMPOS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, DR. JOSE PAULO E. CAMPOS, ATTY. PAULO E. CAMPOS, JR. AND DR. ENRIQUE E. CAMPOS,[1] PETITIONERS, VS. AMA COMPUTER COLLEGE, INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183719 : February 02, 2011] MARGARITA F. CASTRO, PETITIONER, VS. NAPOLEON A. MONSOD, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 184170 : February 02, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JERWIN QUINTAL Y BEO, VICENTE BONGAT Y TARIMAN, FELIPE QUINTAL Y ABARQUEZ AND LARRY PANTI Y JIMENEZ, ACCUSED. VICENTE BONGAT Y TARIMAN, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 165851 : February 02, 2011] MANUEL CATINDIG, REPRESENTED BY HIS LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE EMILIANO CATINDIG-RODRIGO, PETITIONER, VS. AURORA IRENE VDA. DE MENESES, RESPONDENT. [ G.R. NO. 168875] SILVINO ROXAS, SR., REPRESENTED BY FELICISIMA VILLAFUERTE ROXAS, PETITIONER, VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND AURORA IRENE VDA. DE MENESES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 173846 : February 02, 2011] JOSE MARCEL PANLILIO, ERLINDA PANLILIO, NICOLE MORRIS AND MARIO T. CRISTOBAL, PETITIONERS, VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 51, CITY OF MANILA, REPRESENTED BY HON. PRESIDING JUDGE ANTONIO M. ROSALES; PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES; AND THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 169871 : February 02, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSE N. MEDIADO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 171238 : February 02, 2011] F.A.T. KEE COMPUTER SYSTEMS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. ONLINE NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172230 : February 02, 2011] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. MAGIN FERRER, ANTONIO V. FERRER, AND RAMON V. FERRER, REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, ATTY. RAFAEL VILLAROSA, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 179421] DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, REPRESENTED BY SECRETARY NASSER C. PANGANDAMAN, PETITIONER, VS. ANTONIO V. FERRER AND RAMON V. FERRER, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181827 : February 02, 2011] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSE GALVEZ Y BLANCA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 165575 : February 02, 2011] ADELIA C. MENDOZA AND AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF ALICE MALLETA, PETITIONERS, VS. UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192500 : February 02, 2011] SPOUSES AMADO O. IBA√ĎEZ AND ESTHER A. RAFAEL-IBA√ĎEZ, PETITIONERS, VS. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF MANILA AND CAVITE AND PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK (PVB), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 167004 : February 07, 2011] DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. BEN P. MEDRANO AND PRIVATIZATION MANAGEMENT OFFICE [PMO], RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 167332 : February 07, 2011] FILIPINAS PALMOIL PROCESSING, INC. AND DENNIS T. VILLAREAL, PETITIONERS, VS. JOEL P. DEJAPA, REPRESENTED BY HIS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT MYRNA MANZANO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189724 : February 07, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, REGION IV-B, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES FLORENCIO DE CASTRO AND ROMELIA CALIBOSO DE CASTRO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190601 : February 07, 2011] SPOUSES LUIGI M. GUANIO AND ANNA HERNANDEZ-GUANIO, PETITIONERS, VS. MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL AND RESORT, INC., ALSO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME OF SHANGRI-LA HOTEL MANILA, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-10-2220 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-3053-RTJ), February 07 : 2011] PIO ANGELIA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE JESUS L. GRAGEDA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 4, PANABO CITY RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193184, February 07 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. MICHAEL ANDRES Y TRINIDAD, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 182555, February 08 : 2011] LENIDO LUMANOG AND AUGUSTO SANTOS, PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R.NO. 185123] CESAR FORTUNA, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R.NO. 187745]

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2810, February 08 : 2011] MANUEL P. CALAUNAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. REYNALDO B. MADOLARTA, SHERIFE IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 217, QUEZON CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 10-7-17-SC : February 08, 2011] IN THE MATTER OF THE CHARGES OF PLAGIARISM, ETC., AGAINST ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO.

  • [G.R. No. 167219, February 08 : 2011] RUBEN REYNA AND LLOYD SORIA, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188608, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RONALDO MORALES Y FLORES ALIAS "RONNIE," AND RODOLFO FLORES Y MANGYAN ALIAS "RODING." DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184215, February 09 : 2011] OCEANEERING CONTRACTORS (PHILS), INC., PETITIONER, VS. NESTOR N. BARRETTO, DOING BUSINESS AS N.N.B. LIGHTERAGE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 174730-37, February 09 : 2011] ROSALIO S. GALEOS, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NOS. 174845-52] PAULINO S. ONG, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 182521, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ERNESTO FRAGANTE Y AYUDA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 183628, February 09 : 2011] DANIEL T. SO, PETITIONER, VS. FOOD FEST LAND, INC. RESPONDENT [G.R. NO. 183670 ] FOOD FEST LAND, INC., PETITIONER, VS. DANIEL T. SO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 173349, February 09 : 2011] SAMUEL U. LEE AND PAULINE LEE AND ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK, INC., PETITIONERS, VS. BANGKOK BANK PUBLIC COMPANY, LIMITED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 168240, February 09 : 2011] AURORA B. GO, PETITIONER, VS. ELMER SUNBANUN,‚Éį GEORGIE S. TAN, DORIS SUNBANUN AND RICHARD SUNBANUN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-05-2095 [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2085-P], February 09 : 2011] BENIGNO B. REAS, COMPLAINANT, VS. CARLOS M. RELACION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 191061, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROSELLE SANTIAGO Y PABALINAS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191061, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROSELLE SANTIAGO Y PABALINAS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191061, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROSELLE SANTIAGO Y PABALINAS, APPELLANT.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-08-1714 [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-2016-MTJ], February 09 : 2011] DANIEL G. SEVILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE FRANCISCO S. LINDO, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 55, MALABON CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 168770, February 09 : 2011] ANUNCIACION VDA. DE OUANO, MARIO P. OUANO, LETICIA OUANO ARNAIZ, AND CIELO OUANO MARTINEZ, PETITIONERS, VS. THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE CITY OF CEBU, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 168812] MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MCIAA), PETITIONER, VS. RICARDO L. INOCIAN, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AND AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF OLYMPIA E. ESTEVES, EMILIA E. BACALLA, RESTITUTA E. MONTANA, AND RAUL L. INOCIAN; AND ALETHA SUICO MAGAT, IN HER PERSONAL CAPACITY AND AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF PHILIP M. SUICO, DORIS S. DELA CRUZ, JAMES M. SUICO, EDWARD M. SUICO, ROSELYN SUICO-LAWSIN, REX M. SUICO, KHARLA SUICO-GUTIERREZ, ALBERT CHIONGBIAN, AND JOHNNY CHAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 165381, February 09 : 2011] NELSON A. CULILI, PETITIONER, VS. EASTERN TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILIPPINES, INC., SALVADOR HIZON (PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER), EMILIANO JURADO (CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD), VIRGILIO GARCIA (VICE PRESIDENT) AND STELLA GARCIA (ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 177145, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOEY TORIAGA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 179476, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RUEL TUY , ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G. R. No. 172321, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RENATO DADULLA Y CAPANAS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 155227-28, February 09 : 2011] EMILIANA G. PE√ĎA, AMELIA C. MAR, AND CARMEN REYES, PETITIONERS, VS. SPOUSES ARMANDO TOLENTINO AND LETICIA TOLENTINO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 159615, February 09 : 2011] SPOUSES VICTOR ONG AND GRACE TIU ONG, PETITIONERS, VS. PREMIER DEVELOPMENT BANK, THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF RIZAL GRACE S. BELVIS AND DEPUTY SHERIFF VICTOR S. STA. ANA , RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170459, February 09 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. CANDIDO, DEMETILA, JESUS, ANGELITO, AND TERESITA, ALL SURNAMED VERGEL DE DIOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170459, February 09 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. CANDIDO, DEMETILA, JESUS, ANGELITO, AND TERESITA, ALL SURNAMED VERGEL DE DIOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170979, February 09 : 2011] JUDITH YU, PETITIONER, VS. HON. ROSA SAMSON-TATAD, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 105, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189580, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ALVIN DEL ROSARIO, APPELLANT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2262 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-3056-RTJ], February 09 : 2011] GAUDENCIO B. PANTILO III, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE VICTOR A. CANOY, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-09-1737, February 09 : 2011] LYDELLE L. CONQUILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE LAURO G. BERNARDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, BOCAUE, BULACAN RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 180462, February 09 : 2011] SOUTH PACIFIC SUGAR CORPORATION AND SOUTH EAST ASIA SUGAR MILL CORPORATION, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND SUGAR REGULATORY ADMINISTRATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 179641, February 09 : 2011] DOLORITA C. BEATINGO, PETITIONER, VS. LILIA BU GASIS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 177407, February 09 : 2011] RICO ROMMEL ATIENZA, PETITIONER, VS. BOARD OF MEDICINE AND EDITHA SIOSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 177407, February 09 : 2011] RICO ROMMEL ATIENZA, PETITIONER, VS. BOARD OF MEDICINE AND EDITHA SIOSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 188802, February 14 : 2011] REVELINA LIMSON, PETITIONER, VS. WACK WACK CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 175514, February 14 : 2011] PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES JOSE C. GO AND ELVY T. GO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 174104, February 14 : 2011] INSURANCE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES VIDAL S. GREGORIO AND JULITA GREGORIO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183906, February 14 : 2011] AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION, INC., PETITIONER, VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, MARIKINA CITY, BRANCH 193 AND SOLID HOMES, INC., RESPONDENTS

  • [G.R. No. 188487, February 14 : 2011] VAN D. LUSPO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 188541] SUPT. ARTURO H. MONTANO AND MARGARITA TUGAOEN, PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 188556] C/INSP. SALVADOR C. DURAN, SR., PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172203, February 14 : 2011] DIONISIO LOPEZ Y ABERASTURI, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SALVADOR G. ESCALANTE, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171165, February 14 : 2011] CAROLINA HERNANDEZ-NIEVERA, DEMETRIO P. HERNANDEZ, JR., AND MARGARITA H. MALVAR, PETITIONERS, VS. WILFREDO HERNANDEZ, HOME INSURANCE AND GUARANTY CORPORATION, PROJECT MOVERS REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, MARIO P. VILLAMOR AND LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 193459, February 15 : 2011] MA. MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ PETITIONER, VS. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE, RISA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL, DANILO D. LIM, FELIPE PESTA√ĎO, EVELYN PESTA√ĎO, RENATO M. REYES, JR., SECRETARY GENERAL OF BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN); MOTHER MARY JOHN MANANZAN, CO-CHAIRPERSON OF PAGBABAGO; DANILO RAMOS, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP); ATTY. EDRE OLALIA, ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE'S LAWYERS (NUPL); FERDINAND R. GAITE, CHAIRPERSON, CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY, RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE); AND JAMES TERRY RIDON OF THE LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS), RESPONDENTS. FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR., RESPONDENT-INTERVENOR.

  • [G.R. No. 176951, February 15 : 2011] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TRE√ĎAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TRE√ĎAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF BAYBAY, PROVINCE OF LEYTE; MUNICIPALITY OF BOGO, PROVINCE OF CEBU; MUNICIPALITY OF CATBALOGAN, PROVINCE OF WESTERN SAMAR; MUNICIPALITY OF TANDAG, PROVINCE OF SURIGAO DEL SUR; MUNICIPALITY OF BORONGAN, PROVINCE OF EASTERN SAMAR; AND MUNICIPALITY OF TAYABAS, PROVINCE OF QUEZON, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 177499] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TRE√ĎAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TRE√ĎAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF LAMITAN, PROVINCE OF BASILAN; MUNICIPALITY OF TABUK, PROVINCE OF KALINGA; MUNICIPALITY OF BAYUGAN, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL SUR; MUNICIPALITY OF BATAC, PROVINCE OF ILOCOS NORTE; MUNICIPALITY OF MATI, PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL; AND MUNICIPALITY OF GUIHULNGAN, PROVINCE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 178056] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TRE√ĎAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TRE√ĎAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF CABADBARAN, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE; MUNICIPALITY OF CARCAR, PROVINCE OF CEBU; MUNICIPALITY OF EL SALVADOR, PROVINCE OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL; MUNICIPALITY OF NAGA, CEBU; AND DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-08-1710 [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-2029-MTJ], February 15 : 2011] RENE C. RICABLANCA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE HECTOR B. BARILLO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 153690, February 15 : 2011] DAVID LU, PETITIONER, VS. PATERNO LU YM, SR., PATERNO LU YM, JR., VICTOR LU YM, JOHN LU YM, KELLY LU YM, AND LUDO & LUYM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 157381] PATERNO LU YM, SR., PATERNO LU YM, JR., VICTOR LU YM, JOHN LU YM, KELLY LU YM, AND LUDO & LUYM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONERS, VS. DAVID LU, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 170889] JOHN LU YM AND LUDO & LUYM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS OF CEBU CITY (FORMER TWENTIETH DIVISION), DAVID LU, ROSA GO, SILVANO LUDO & CL CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 171947-48, February 15 : 2011] METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS,[1] DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME GROUP, AND DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PETITIONERS, VS. CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA BAY, REPRESENTED AND JOINED BY DIVINA V. ILAS, SABINIANO ALBARRACIN, MANUEL SANTOS, JR., DINAH DELA PE√ĎA, PAUL DENNIS QUINTERO, MA. VICTORIA LLENOS, DONNA CALOZA, FATIMA QUITAIN, VENICE SEGARRA, FRITZIE TANGKIA, SARAH JOELLE LINTAG, HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS, FELIMON SANTIAGUEL, AND JAIME AGUSTIN R. OPOSA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2266 [FORMERLY A.M. OCA IPI NO. 09-3320-RTJ], February 15 : 2011] JOSEPHINE JAZMINES TAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE SIBANAH E. USMAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 29, CATBALOGAN, SAMAR, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 166495, February 16 : 2011] ROQUE C. FACURA AND EDUARDO F. TUASON, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, RODOLFO S. DE JESUS AND EDELWINA DG. PARUNGAO, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. No. 184129] RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, PETITIONER, VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, EDUARDO F. TUASON, LOCAL WATER UTILITIES ADMINISTRATION (LWUA), REPRESENTED BY ITS NEW ADMINISTRATOR ORLANDO C. HONDRADE, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. No. 184263] OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, PETITIONER, VS. EDELWINA DG. PARUNGAO, AND THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER 7TH DIVISION), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 188902, February 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROBERTO LOPEZ Y CABAL, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 182070, February 16 : 2011] E.G & I. CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION AND EDSEL GALEOS, PETITIONERS, VS. ANANIAS P. SATO, NILO BERDIN, ROMEO M. LACIDA, JR., AND HEIRS OF ANECITO S. PARANTAR, SR., NAMELY: YVONNE, KIMBERLY MAE, MARYKRIS, ANECITO, JR., AND JOHN BRYAN, ALL SURNAMED PARANTAR, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184007, February 16 : 2011] PAQUITO V. ANDO, PETITIONER, VS. ANDRESITO Y. CAMPO, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171328, February 16 : 2011] LYZAH SY FRANCO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 171335 ] STEVE BESARIO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 09-7-284-RTC, February 16 : 2011] RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT - BRANCH 56, MANDAUE CITY, CEBU.

  • [G.R. No. 192251, February 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. BARANGAY CAPTAIN TONY TOMAS, SR., BENEDICTO DOCTOR, AND NESTOR GATCHALIAN, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183390, February 16 : 2011] PLASTIMER INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION AND TEO KEE BIN, PETITIONERS, VS. NATALIA C. GOPO, KLEENIA R. VELEZ, FILEDELFA T. AMPARADO, MIGNON H. JOSEPH, AMELIA L. CANDA, MARISSA D. LABUNOS, MELANIE T. CAYABYAB, MA. CORAZON DELA CRUZ, AND LUZVIMINDA CABASA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2272 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2559-RTJ), February 16 : 2011] MARCIANO ALCARAZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE FATIMA GONZALES-ASDALA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 87, QUEZON CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189328, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ARNOLD PELIS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 182539-40, February 21 : 2011] ANTONIO Y. DE JESUS, SR., ANATOLIO A. ANG AND MARTINA S. APIGO, PETITIONERS, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN-FOURTH DIVISION AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181201, February 21 : 2011] UNIVERSITY OF MINDANAO, INC., DR. GUILLERMO P. TORRES, JR., ATTY. VICTOR NICASIO P. TORRES, NANCY C. TE ENG FO, FE AZUCENA MARCELINO, EVANGELINE F. MAGALLANES, CARMENCITA E. VIDAMO, CARMICHAEL E. VIDAMO, ANTONIO M. PILPIL, SATURNINO PETALCORIN, REYNALDO M. PETALCORIN, LILIAN M. PETALCORIN-CASTILLO, MARY ANN M. PETALCORIN-RAS, VITALIANO MALAYO, JR., NERI FILIPINAS, NATIVIDAD MIRANDA, ANTONIO N. FERRER, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188323, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. CHARLIE ABA√ĎO Y CA√ĎARES, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 188108, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. EVILIO MILAGROSA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189294, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. HERMINIANO MARZAN Y OLONAN, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 190580-81, February 21 : 2011] LIBERATO M. CARABEO, PETITIONER, VS. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH DIVISION) AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.C. No. 5834 (formerly CBD-01-861), February 22 : 2011] TERESITA D. SANTECO, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. LUNA B. AVANCE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192793, February 22 : 2011] FESTO R. GALANG, JR., PETITIONER, VS. HON. RAMIRO R. GERONIMO, AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ROMBLON, BRANCH 81; AND NICASIO M. RAMOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-01-1362(formerly A.M. No. 01-2-49-RTC), February 22 : 2011] JUDGE NAPOLEON E. INOTURAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 133, MAKATI CITY, VS. JUDGE MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, VALLADOLID, SAN ENRIQUE-PULUPANDAN, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENT. A.M. No. MTJ-11-1785(formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1945-MTJ) SANCHO E. GUINANAO, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, VALLADOLID, SAN ENRIQUE-PULUPANDAN, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183528, February 23 : 2011] PACIFIC UNION INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONER, VS. CONCEPTS & SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT, INCORPORATED AND COURT OF APPEALS (FIFTEENTH DIVISION), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184274, February 23 : 2011] MARK SOLEDAD Y CRISTOBAL, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189281, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROMEO ANCHES, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 186271, February 23 : 2011] CHATEAU DE BAIE CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. SPS. RAYMOND AND MA. ROSARIO MORENO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180257, February 23 : 2011] EUSEBIO GONZALES, PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL BANK, EDNA OCAMPO, AND ROBERTO NOCEDA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 166109, February 23 : 2011] EXODUS INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION AND ANTONIO P. JAVALERA, PETITIONERS, VS. GUILLERMO BISCOCHO, FERNANDO PEREDA, FERDINAND MARIANO, GREGORIO BELLITA AND MIGUEL BOBILLO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 161282, February 23 : 2011] FGU INSURANCE CORPORATION (NOW BPI/MS INSURANCE CORPORATION), PETITIONER, VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI CITY, BRANCH 66, AND G.P. SARMIENTO TRUCKING CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184879, February 23 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS), PETITIONER, VS. CITY OF MANDALUYONG, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 187208, February 23 : 2011] CEFERINA LOPEZ TAN PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES APOLINAR P. ANTAZO AND GENOVEVA O. ANTAZO RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 177190, February 23 : 2011] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. HON. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 46, SAN JOSE, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO; AND JOSEFINA S. LUBRICA, IN HER CAPACITY AS ASSIGNEE OF FEDERICO SUNTAY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 186614, February 23 : 2011] NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. RONALD P. VALDERAMA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 187256, February 23 : 2011] CONSTANCIO F. MENDOZA AND SANGGUNIANG BARANGAY OF BALATASAN, BULALACAO, ORIENTAL MINDORO, PETITIONERS, VS. MAYOR ENRILO VILLAS AND BRGY. KAGAWAD LIWANAG HERATO AND MARLON DE CASTRO, MANAGER, PINAMALAYAN BRANCH, LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 178060, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROMEO DANSICO Y MONAY A.K.A. "LAMYAK" AND AUGUSTO CUADRA Y ENRIQUEZ, APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181041, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. FABIAN G. ROMERO, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 184922, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. PORFERIO MASAGCA, JR. Y PADILLA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 157547, February 23 : 2011] HEIRS OF EDUARDO SIMON, PETITIONERS, VS. ELVIN* CHAN AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 178544, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. MANUEL PALOMA Y ESPINOSA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 187077, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ALEX CONDES Y GUANZON, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 188630, February 23 : 2011] FILOMENA L. VILLANUEVA, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 182332, February 23 : 2011] MILESTONE FARMS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 171726, February 23 : 2011] VICENTE YU CHANG AND SOLEDAD YU CHANG, PETITIONERS, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 169754, February 23 : 2011] LEGEND INTERNATIONAL RESORTS LIMITED, PETITIONER, VS. KILUSANG MANGGAGAWA NG LEGENDA (KML- INDEPENDENT), RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 156448, February 23 : 2011] SPS. MOISES AND CLEMENCIA ANDRADA, PETITIONERS, VS. PILHINO SALES CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS BRANCH MANAGER, JOJO S. SAET, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 159402, February 23 : 2011] AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES DAVID* AND ELISEA RAMOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 179242, February 23 : 2011] AVELINA F. SAGUN, PETITIONER, VS. SUNACE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 165617, February 25 : 2011] SUPREME TRANSLINER, INC., MOISES C. ALVAREZ AND PAULITA S. ALVAREZ, PETITIONERS, VS. BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 165837] BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., PETITIONER, VS. SUPREME TRANSLINER, INC., MOISES C. ALVAREZ AND PAULITA S. ALVAREZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-07-2325 (Formerly A.M. No. 06-3-208-RTC), February 28 : 2011] OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ROSARIO E. GASPAR, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 2, BALANGA CITY, BATAAN, RESPONDENT.

  •  





     
     

    [G.R. No. 171726, February 23 : 2011]   VICENTE YU CHANG AND SOLEDAD YU CHANG, PETITIONERS, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

     
    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 171726, February 23 : 2011]

    VICENTE YU CHANG AND SOLEDAD YU CHANG, PETITIONERS, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

    D E C I S I O N


    VILLARAMA, JR., J.:

    This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, assails the Decision[1] dated August 26, 2005 and the Resolution[2] dated February 13, 2006 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 67430.  The CA reversed and set aside the April 28, 2000 Decision[3] of the Regional Trial Court of Pili, Camarines Sur, Branch 31, in LRC No. P-115, LRA Rec. No. N-68012, which granted petitioners' application for registration of title over two parcels of land, denominated as Lots 2199 and 2200 of Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre.

    The antecedent facts, as culled from the records, are as follows:

    On March 22, 1949, petitioners' father, L. Yu Chang[4] and the Municipality of Pili, Camarines Sur, through its then Mayor, Justo Casuncad, executed an Agreement to Exchange Real Property[5] wherein the former assigned and transferred to the Municipality of Pili his 400-square-meter residential lot in Barrio San Roque, Pili, Camarines Sur, in exchange for a 400-square-meter piece of land located in San Juan, Pili.  Thereafter, L. Yu Chang and his family took possession of the property thus obtained and erected a residential house and a gasoline station thereon.  He also declared the property in his name under Tax Declaration No. 01794[6] and 01795[7] and paid the real property taxes thereon as evidenced by twenty-eight (28) official receipts from February 21, 1951 up to March 10, 1976.  When L. Yu Chang died on September 30, 1976, his wife, Donata Sta. Ana and his seven children inherited the property and succeeded in the possession of the property.

    On March 1, 1978, a Deed of Transfer and Renunciation[8] of their rights over the property was executed by L. Yu Chang's five children,  Rafaela, Catalina, Flaviana, Esperanza, and Antonio, in favor of herein petitioners.  After the transfer, petitioners had the subject property surveyed and subdivided into two lots, Lot 2199[9] and Lot 2200[10] of Plan SWO-05-000888, Pili Cadastre. Petitioners also declared the lots in their names for taxation purposes as shown in Tax Declaration No. 02633[11] and paid the real property taxes thereon.

    On February 21, 1997, petitioner Soledad Yu Chang, for herself and in representation of her brother and co-petitioner, Vicente Yu Chang, filed a petition[12] for registration of title over the aforementioned lots under the Property Registration Decree.  In their petition, they declared that they are the co-owners of the subject lots; that they and their predecessors-in-interest "have been in actual, physical, material, exclusive, open, occupation and possession of the above described parcels of land for more than 100 years"[13]; and that allegedly, they have continuously, peacefully, and adversely possessed the property in the concept of owners. Hence, they are entitled to confirmation of ownership and issuance and registration of title in their names.

    In support of their application, petitioners submitted the following documents, to wit:

    1. Agreement to Exchange Real Property;
    2. Deed of Transfer and Renunciation;
    3. Approved Plan of Lot 2199 and Lot 2200, Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre;
    4. Approved Technical Description of Lot 2199;
    5. Approved Technical Description of Lot 2200;
    6. Field Appraisal and Assessment Sheet (FAAS) A.R.P. No. 026-044 for Lot 2199 Cad. 291; and
    7. Field Appraisal and Assessment Sheet (FAAS) A.R.P. No. 026-043 for Lot 2200 Cad. 291 Pili Cadastre.

    The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed an Opposition[14] to the application, alleging, inter alia, that: (1) neither the applicants nor their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession of the land since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto; (2) the muniments of title, tax declarations and tax receipts do not constitute competent and sufficient evidence of a bona fide acquisition of the land; and (3) that the parcels of land applied for are portions of the  public domain and are not subject to private appropriation.

    No other parties filed their opposition.  Thus, on December 14, 1998, an Order of General Default[15] was issued by the trial court.

    After hearing, the trial court rendered a Decision granting petitioners' application.  The fallo of the trial court's decision reads:

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, decision is hereby rendered as follows:

    1.  Confirming the imperfect title of the herein applicants Vicente Yu Chang and Soledad Yu Chang over the two (2) parcels of land described in paragraph two (2) page 2 of the Petition, particularly Lot 2199, Plans S"0-05-000888, Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre and Lot 2200, Plan SWO-05-000888, Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre; both Filipino citizens, residents of #14 Joaquin St., Corinthian Garden, Quezon City and San Juan, Pili, Camarines Sur respectively;

    2. Ordering the dismissal of the application in the Cadastral proceeding with respect to Lots 2199 and 2200, Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre under CAD Case No. N-9;

    3. After finality of this decision, let the corresponding decree of registration be issued by the Administrator, Land Registration Authority to the herein applicants above-mentioned.

    SO ORDERED.[16]

    The Republic appealed the decision to the CA on the ground that the court a quo erred in granting petitioners' application for registration of Lots 2199 and 2200 despite their failure to show compliance with the requirements of the law.  In addition, the Republic asserted that the land was classified as public forest land; hence, it could not be subject to appropriation and alienation.

    As aforesaid, the CA reversed the trial court's decision on August 26, 2005, and dismissed petitioners' application for land registration. The CA considered the petition to be governed by Section 48(b) of Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 141 or the Public Land Act, as amended, and held that petitioners were not able to present incontrovertible evidence that the parcels of land sought to be registered are alienable and disposable.[17] The CA relied on the testimony of Lamberto Orcena, Land Management Officer III of CENRO, Iriga City, who testified that prior to October 30, 1986, the entire area encompassing the right side of the Naga-Legaspi Highway, including the subject properties, was classified as forest land.  According to the CA, even if the area within which the subject properties are located is now being used for residential and commercial purposes, such fact will not convert the subject parcels of land into agricultural land.[18] The CA stressed that there must be a positive act from the government declassifying the land as forest land before it could be deemed alienable or disposable land for agricultural or other purposes.[19]

    Additionally, the CA noted that the lands sought to be registered were declared disposable public land only on October 30, 1986. Thus, it was only from that time that the period of open, continuous and notorious possession commenced to toll against the State.

    Aggrieved, petitioners are now before this Court via the present appeal, raising the sole issue of whether the appellate court erred in dismissing their application for registration of title on the ground that they failed to prove compliance with the requirements of Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, as amended.

    Petitioners insist that the subject properties could no longer be considered and classified as forest land since there are buildings, residential houses and even government structures existing and standing on the land.[20]  In their Memorandum,[21] petitioners point out that the original owner and possessor of the subject land was the Municipal Government of Pili which was established in 1930. The land was originally part of the municipal ground adjacent to the Municipal Building located at the right side of the Naga-Legaspi National Highway.[22]  From 1949, when L. Yu Chang acquired the property through barter and up to the filing of petitioners' application in 1997, petitioners and their predecessors-in-interest had been in actual physical and material possession of the land in the concept of an owner, notorious and known to the public and adverse to the whole world.

    The Republic, through the OSG, for its part, maintains that petitioners failed to prove their open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession of the subject lots for the period of time required by law. The OSG also submits that the subject lands were declared as alienable and disposable only on October 30, 1986.

    We deny the petition for lack of merit.

    Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, as amended by P.D. 1073, under which petitioners' application was filed, provides:

    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 Regional Trial Court of the province or city where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title therefor, under the Property Registration Decree, to wit:

    x 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 alienable and disposable agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership, since June 12, 1945, 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.

    x x x x[23]

    Under this provision, in order that petitioners' application for registration of title may be granted, they must first establish the following:  (1) that the subject land forms part of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain and (2) that they have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the same under a bona fide claim of ownership, since June 12, 1945, or earlier.[24]   Applicants must overcome the presumption that the land they are applying for is part of the public domain and that they have an interest therein sufficient to warrant registration in their names arising from an imperfect title.[25]

    In the instant case, petitioners did not adduce any evidence to the effect that the lots subject of their application are alienable and disposable land of the public domain. Instead, petitioners contend that the subject properties could no longer be considered and classified as forest land since there are building structures, residential houses and even government buildings existing and standing on the area.  This, however, is hardly the proof required under the law.  As clarified by this Court in Heirs of Jose Amunategui v. Director of Forestry,[26] a forested area classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such classification simply because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its forest cover.  Parcels of land classified as forest land may actually be covered with grass or planted with crops by kaingin cultivators or other farmers. "Forest lands" do not have to be on mountains or in out-of-the-way places. The classification of land is descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not have to be descriptive of what the land actually looks like.[27] Unless and until the land classified as forest land is released in an official proclamation to that effect so that it may form part of the disposable agricultural lands of the public domain, the rules on confirmation of imperfect title do not apply.[28] As aptly held by the appellate court:

    [T]he fact that the area within which the subject parcels of land are located is being used for residential and commercial purposes does not serve to convert the subject parcels of land into agricultural land.  It is fundamental that before any land may be declassified from the forest group and converted into alienable or disposable land for agricultural or other purposes, there must be a positive act from the government. A person cannot enter into forest land and by the simple act of cultivating a portion of that land, earn credits towards an eventual confirmation of imperfect title.  The Government must first declare the forest land to be alienable and disposable agricultural land before the year of entry, cultivation and exclusive and adverse possession can be counted for purposes of an imperfect title.[29]

    Moreover, during the hearing of petitioners' application, the Republic presented a Report[30] of Rene Gomez, Land Investigator/Inspector, CENRO No. V-2-3, which disclosed that the lots applied for by the petitioners were classified as alienable and disposable under Project No. 9-E, L.C. Map No. 3393 and released and certified as such only on October 30, 1986.  A Compliance[31] dated January 19, 1999 submitted by OIC-CENR Officer Joaquin Ed A. Guerrero to the trial court also stated that Lots. 2199 and 2200 of Cad. 291 were "verified to be within Alienable and Disposable area under Project No. 9-E, L.C. Map No. 3393, as certified on October 30, 1986 by the then Bureau of Forestry".  Evidently, therefore, the subject lots were declared alienable and disposable only on October 30, 1986.  Prior to that period, the same could not be the subject of confirmation of imperfect title.  Petitioners' possession of the subject forest land prior to the date when it was classified as alienable and disposable is inconsequential and should be excluded from the computation of the period of possession.[32]  To reiterate, it is well settled that possession of forest land, prior to its classification as alienable and disposable land, is ineffective since such possession may not be considered as possession in the concept of owner.[33]  The adverse possession which can be the basis of a grant of title in confirmation of imperfect title cases cannot commence until after forest land has been declared and alienable.[34]

    Much as this Court wants to conform to the State's policy of encouraging and promoting the distribution of alienable public lands to spur economic growth and remain true to the ideal of social justice, our hands are tied by the law's stringent safeguards against registering imperfect titles.[35] Here, petitioners failed to present "well-nigh incontrovertible" evidence necessary to prove their compliance of the requirements under Section 48(b) of C.A. No. 141. Hence, the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing their application for confirmation and registration of title.

      WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The Decision dated August 26, 2005 and the Resolution dated February 13, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 67430 are hereby AFFIRMED.

    With costs against the petitioners.

    SO ORDERED.

    Brion,* J., see: separate opinion.
    Bersamin, Abad,** and Sereno, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    * Designated Acting Chairperson per Special Order No. 925 dated January 24, 2011.

    ** Designated additional member per Special Order No. 926 dated January 24, 2011.

    [1] Rollo, pp. 49-60.  Penned by Associate Justice Magdangal M. De Leon, with Associate Justices Salvador J. Valdez, Jr. and Mariano C. Del Castillo (now a Member of this Court), concurring.

    [2] Id. at 64-66. Penned by Associate Justice Magdangal M. De Leon, with Associate Justices Jose L. Sabio, Jr. and Mariano C. Del Castillo (now a Member of this Court), concurring.

    [3] Id. at 176-182.  Penned by Judge Martin P. Badong, Jr.

    [4] "Leoncio Yu Chang" in other parts of the records.

    [5] Records, pp. 9-11.

    [6] Exh. "M", Additional Exhibits for the Petitioners.

    [7] Exh. "M-1", id.

    [8] Records, pp. 12-13.

    [9] Lot 2199 was described as follows: "A parcel of land (Lot-2199 of Plan SWO-05-000888 Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre), situated in the Poblacion, Municipality of Pili, Province of Camarines Sur, Island of Luzon. Bounded on the SW., along line 1-2 by Lot 2184 on the NW., along line 2-3 by Lot 2198, all of Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre, on the NE., along line 3-4 by National Road (20.00m. wide) and on the SE., along line 4-1 by Lot 2200, SWO-05-000888. Containing an area of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY[-]THREE (133) square meters. x x x" (Records, p. 2.)

    [10] Lot 2200 was described as follows: "A parcel of land (Lot-2200 of Plan SWO-05-000888, Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre), situated in the Poblacion, Municipality of Pili, Province of Camarines Sur, Island of Luzon. Bounded on the NW., along line 1-2 by Lot 2199, SWO-05-000888, on the NE., along line 2-3 by Lot 2394, beyond by National Road (20.00 m. wide) on the SE., along line 3-4 by Lot 1, Cad. 291, Pili Cadastre, (Lot 2, PSU-48590 Port. Accepted), and on the SW., along line 4-1 by Lot 2184, Cad-291 Pili Cadastre.  Containing an area of TWO HUNDRED SIXTY[-]FOUR (264) square meters. x x x" (Id.)

    [11] Exh "O", Additional Exhibits for the Petitioners.

    [12] Records, pp. 1-7. Exh. "A", entitled Re: Petition for Land Registration of Lot 2199 and Lot 2200 of Plan SWO-05-000888, CAD. 291, Pili Cadastre and to Cover the Same under the Operation of the Property Registration Decree and to Have the Title Thereto Registered and Confirmed.

    [13] Id. at 3; rollo, p. 33.

    [14] Records, pp. 61-62.

    [15] Id. at 118.

    [16] Id. at 181-182.

    [17] Rollo, p. 57.

    [18] Id. at 58.

    [19] Id. 58-59.

    [20] Id. at 22.

    [21] Id. at 112-123.

    [22] Id. at 120.

    [23] See Agcaoili, Property Registration Decree and Related Laws (Land Titles and Deeds), 2006 Ed., p. 69.

    [24] Ong v. Republic, G.R. No. 175746, March 12, 2008, 548 SCRA 160, 166.

    [25] Collado v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 107764, October 4, 2002, 390 SCRA 343, 361.

    [26] No. L-27873, November 29, 1983, 126 SCRA 69.

    [27] Id. at 75.

    [28] Id.

    [29] Rollo, pp. 58-59.

    [30] Exh. "5", Additional Exhs. For the Oppositor.

    [31] Exh. "R", records, p. 121.

    [32] Ponciano, Jr. v. Laguna Lake Development Authority, G.R. No. 174536, October 29, 2008, 570 SCRA 207, 227 citing Republic v. Herbieto, G.R. No. 156117, May 26, 2005, 459 SCRA 183, 201-202; Almeda v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 85322, April 30, 1991, 196 SCRA 476, 480; Vallarta v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. L-74957, June 30, 1987, 151 SCRA 679, 690; Republic v. Court of Appeals, No. L-40402, March 16, 1987, 148 SCRA 480, 492.

    [33] Supra note 23 at 74.

    [34] See Republic v. Diloy, G.R. No. 174633, August 26, 2008, 563 SCRA 413, 424.

    [35] Republic v. Bibonia, G.R. No. 157466, June 21, 2007, 525 SCRA 268, 277.

    [G.R. No. 171726, February 23 : 2011]   VICENTE YU CHANG AND SOLEDAD YU CHANG, PETITIONERS, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.




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