Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1965 > June 1965 Decisions > G.R. No. L-17189 June 22, 1965 - ANDRES CASTILLO v. JUAN RODRIGUEZ, ET AL:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-17189. June 22, 1965.]

ANDRES CASTILLO, Petitioner-Appellant, v. JUAN RODRIGUEZ, as Secretary of Agriculture-Natural Resources, ZOILO CASTRILLO, as Director of Lands and ELIAS L. CASALS, Respondents-Appellees.

Leonardo Garcellano for Petitioner-Appellant.

Rafael A. Sandiego for Respondent-Appellee Elias L. Casals.

Solicitor General for Respondents-Appellees Juan Rodriguez and Zoilo Castrillo.


SYLLABUS


1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; SUBJECT MATTER OF APPEAL TO COURT SHOULD BE LAST DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS. — Where the last decision in an administrative proceeding resolving conflicting sales application over public land was rendered by the Executive Secretary superseding those which were handed down by the Director of Lands and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the subject matter of an appeal to the court should be the decision of the Executive Secretary and not the decisions of the said Director and Department Head.

2. ID.; DECISION OF DIRECTOR OF LANDS ON FACTUAL MATTER BINDING ON COURTS. — The decision of the Director of Lands, affirmed by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, on a factual matter should be binding on the courts.


D E C I S I O N


REGALA, J.:


This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu finding the respondent Elias L. Casals, as represented by Camilo Casala, entitled to preferential right, as against the herein petitioner, in connection with the land disputed at bar.

As recited in the decision under appeal, the facts of this case, as borne out by the record, are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

". . . That the lot in question was originally embraced in the area covered by Foreshore Lease Application No. 592 (E-104) of Restituto Casals, father of the appellee, who occupied and improved the same but which application was subsequently converted as Miscellaneous Sales Application No. 7861 of said applicant; that said application was amended so as to exclude therefrom the portion which was certified by the District Engineer of Cebu as needed for future public improvements; that Miscellaneous Sales Application No. 7861 has been patented in favor of applicant Restituto Casals; that the excluded portion which is the premises in question continued to be occupied by applicant Restituto Casals until his death and said occupation and possession was continued by Elias Casals, the appellee herein now represented by Camilo Casals; that sometime in 1951 the City Engineer of Cebu in a representation of the Republic of the Philippines offered the lot in question to Elias Casals in exchange of his private property affected by the opening of Colon Extension Street, but when the proposed exchange was referred to the Director of Lands, the said official in his letter dated May 5, 1952, did not approve of it on the ground that there was no law authorizing exchange of public land with that of private property, but at the same time manifested that he will not interpose any objection for the owner of the private land if qualified, to file application therefore; that by virtue thereof, Elias Casals on June 4, 1952 filed his Miscellaneous Sales Application No. 16888 over the premises; that the private property of Elias Casals was taken by the government in the construction of said Colon Street; that the land on which was built the house of Andres Castillo, the appellant herein was also affected by the construction of said Colon Street; that the City Engineer of Cebu requested him to transfer his house, and with the permission granted him (Castillo) by Aquilino Vda. de Casals, mother of the appellee, to temporarily occupy the premises, moved his house to the land in question; but after staying for sometime refused to vacate the place and instead filed his Miscellaneous Sales Application No. 19124 on May 19, 1953 for a portion of the land applied for by Elias Casals; that applicant Castillo made additional improvements thereon without permit from the District Land Officer or the Director of Lands; and that applicant Casals constructed a house on the premises in question after filing his permit application with the District Land Officer and obtaining a permit from the City Engineer of Cebu City."cralaw virtua1aw library

As the above two miscellaneous sales applications referred to the same public land consisting of 193 square meters located at Barrio Abuno, Cebu City, the Bureau of Lands designated one of its lawyers, Atty. Cornelio Albos to investigate the conflicting claims of the applicants. On December 22, 1953, the said investigator submitted a report the recommendatory portion of which was the following:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CIRCUMSTANCES, it is respectfully recommended that the Miscellaneous Sales Application No. V-19126 of the Applicant Contestant, Andres Castillo, be given due course, and the Miscellaneous Application No. V-16888 of the Heirs of Elias Casals be amended to exclude therefrom the portion now in question which is claimed and occupied by the applicant-contestant."cralaw virtua1aw library

On review, however, by the District Land Officer of Cebu, the above recommendation of Investigator Cornelio Albos was rejected and the disputed land was awarded to Camilo Casals, in representation of the deceased Elias L. Casals. In turn, this ruling of the District Land Officer was forwarded to the Director of Lands, before whom applicant Andres Castillo also addressed a motion for the reconsideration of the ruling of the District Land Officer. In due time, however, the Director of Lands sustained the finding of the District Land Officer of Cebu and denied the above motion for reconsideration.

Andres Castillo then elevated the matter to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources who, on February 25, 1955, rendered a decision finding the appeal unmeritorious. On August 6, 1955, the said Secretary denied the motion for reconsideration filed thereto by the herein Petitioner-Appellant.

Still unsatisfied with the decision of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Andres Castillo appealed the same to the Office of the President which, however, on April 26, 1956 and thru its Executive Secretary, rendered a decision sustaining in all respects the action taken by the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

On July 10, 1956, herein petitioner instituted a suit for certiorari with the Court of First Instance of Cebu against the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Director of Lands and Elias L. Casals. The Executive Secretary, who was the last to act on the controversy at bar and who handed down a decision which superseded those which were rendered by the Director of Lands and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was not made a party. After hearing, the said court promulgated its decision dated October 15, 1958, the dispositive portion of which provided:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered, dismissing the petition with cost against the petitioner. The writ of preliminary injunction issued in this case against the respondents is hereby dissolved."cralaw virtua1aw library

From the above decision, the appeal on hand was filed.

We find for the Respondents-Appellees.

As intimated above, the last decision upholding the claim of the respondent heirs of Elias Casals was the decision of the Office of the President as promulgated by its Executive Secretary on April 26, 1956. This latter decision indeed superseded those which were handed down by the Director of Lands and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. And yet, the subject matter of the instant appeal, as in the certiorari proceedings in the court below, is not the above decision of the Executive Secretary, but, the decisions of the two respondent officials herein. Consequently, the decision of the Executive Secretary, as it was the last, binding and operative decision in the matter on hand and from which any appeal in this instance should have been taken, must be deemed to have lapsed into a finality that bars the perfection of an appeal. Then, too, the Executive Secretary, whose decision was the controlling judgment prior to the institution of this suit, was not even made a party herein. Nor was he so made in the court a quo. Consequently, any ruling now against his said decision would have no binding effect on him at all. Neither this Court nor the court below has acquired jurisdiction over him with respect to the controversy in this incident.

Even overlooking the above procedural aspect, however, We find no merit in this appeal. Essentially, this petition questions the factual finding of the District Land Officer of Cebu, the Director of Lands and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources to the effect that as between the herein petitioner and Elias L. Casals, the latter should be accorded the preferential right over the disputed lot. The findings of the above-named officials have not been shown to be wanting in reasonable evidentiary bases. As a matter of fact, the very numbers and dates of the contestants’ miscellaneous sales applications conclusively show that Elias L. Casals filed his application way ahead of the petitioner. The former filed his M.S.A. No. 16888 on June 4, 1952 while the latter’s application, M.S.A. No. 19124, was filed only on May 19, 1953. Neither has Elias L. Casals been shown by the petitioner or the records to be suffering from any legal disqualification to be awarded the lot in dispute. Consequently, and conformably with settled jurisprudence, We shall not disturb the decisions of the Director of Lands and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources on the matter.

"The decision of the Director of Lands, affirmed by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, on a factual matter should be binding on the court." (Julian v. Apostol, 52 Phil. 422).

WHEREFORE, the appeal of the petitioner-appellant is hereby dismissed, with costs.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Barrera, J., is on leave.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





June-1965 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-17647 June 16, 1965 - HERMINIA GODUCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19201 June 16, 1965 - REV. FR. CASIMIRO LLADOC v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-17214 June 21, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CIRIACO ALIPIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-19836 June 21, 1965 - GO A. LENG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-16999 June 22, 1965 - IN RE: CHENG KIAT GIAM v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19111 June 22, 1965 - IN RE: CHIU BOK v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20379 June 22, 1965 - IN RE: JOSE BERMAS, SR., ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-20489 June 22, 1965 - BOMBAY DEPT. STORE v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS

  • G.R. No. L-20716 June 22, 1965 - AGUSTIN DE AUSTRIA, ET AL v. HON. AGAPITO CONCHU

  • G.R. Nos. L-20847-9 June 22, 1965 - SERREE INVESTMENT CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS

  • G.R. No. L-17189 June 22, 1965 - ANDRES CASTILLO v. JUAN RODRIGUEZ, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17644 June 22, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAMBERTO Y. GUEVARRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-17650 June 22, 1965 - KAPISANAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA MANILA RAILROAD CO. v. HON. JESUS DE VEYRA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17913 June 22, 1965 - MANILA RAILROAD CO. v. HON. JOSE M. MOYA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-18569 June 22, 1965 - PLACIDO ANTONIO, ET AL. v. PETRONILO JACINTO

  • G.R. No. L-20288 June 22, 1965 - JOSE CASARIA, ET AL v. RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-22236 June 22, 1965 - GSIS v. GAUDENCIO CLORIBEL, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17323 June 23, 1965 - CLAUDIO GABUTAS v. GUIDO D. CASTELLANES

  • G.R. No. L-19432 June 23, 1965 - COTABATO TIMBERLAND CO. INC. v. PLARIDEL LUMBER CO., INC.

  • G.R. No. L-19913 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: YU TI v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19914 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: TAN SANG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19915 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: TANG KONG KIAT v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19916 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: ALEXANDER LIM UY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20021 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: SERGIO TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20136 June 23, 1965 - IN RE: JOSE A. SANTOS Y DIAZ v. ANATOLIO BUENCONSEJO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-20431 June 23, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO LIBED, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-20675 June 23, 1965 - BATANGAS TRANSPORTATION CO. v. TEODORO VELANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-20843 June 23, 1965 - EDWARD J. NELL CO. v. RICARDO CUBACUB, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-20987 June 23, 1965 - PHIL. LAND-AIR SEA LABOR UNION, ET AL. v. CEBU PORTLAND CEMENT CO., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-21470 June 23, 1965 - CONSUELO VDA. DE PRIETO v. PACIENCIA REYES, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-21856 June 23, 1965 - BENJAMIN BELISARIO v. MARCELO RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. L-16636 June 24, 1965 - MLA. SURETY & FIDELITY CO., INC. v. BATH CONSTRUCTlON & CO., ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19670 June 24, 1965 - PEDRO D. PAMINTUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. L-16641 June 24, 1965 - FE RECIDO, ET AL v. ALFONSO T. REFASO, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19897 June 24, 1965 - JOAQUIN TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-20824 & L-22218 June 24, 1965 - BERNARDINO GUERRERO & ASSOCIATES v. FRANCISCO TAN

  • G.R. No. L-19898 June 28, 1965 - IN RE: SEE YEK TEK v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20830 June 28, 1965 - HILARIO GANANCIAL, ET AL v. LEONARDO ATILLO

  • G.R. No. L-12351 June 29, 1965 - COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS v. FELIX M. ICAMEN

  • G.R. No. L-18659 June 29, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTIPAS SAGARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-19851 June 29, 1965 - YU BAN CHUAN v. FIELDMEN’S INSURANCE CO., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-20787-8 June 29, 1965 - J. ANTONIO ARANETA v. ANTONIO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. L-21071 June 29, 1965 - MANILA RAILROAD CO. v. DANIEL PEREZ, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-24406 June 29, 1965 - MANILA ELECTRIC CO. v. ENRIQUE MEDINA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-15938 June 30, 1965 - CARMELINO DADAY, ET AL v. PASTOR L. DE GUZMAN, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. L-16078-79 June 30, 1965 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-16236 June 30, 1965 - IRINEO S. BALTAZAR v. LINGAYEN GULF ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC., ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-16767 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: TAN NGA KOK v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-16829 June 30, 1965 - OLEGARIO BRITO, ET AL v. COMMISSIONER OF IMMIGRATION

  • G.R. No. L-17287 June 30, 1965 - JAIME HERNANDEZ, ET AL v. EPIFANIO T. VILLEGAS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-17885 June 30, 1965 - GABRIEL P. PRIETO v. MEDEN ARROYO, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-18682 June 30, 1965 - NICOLAS DE LOS SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19157 June 30, 1965 - INDIAN COMMERCIAL CO. v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19281 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: PEDRO SATILLON, ET AL v. PERFECTA MIRANDA, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19348 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: SEE HO KIAT v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19380 June 30, 1965 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GASPAR ASILUM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-19636 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: ANTONIO SY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-19780 June 30, 1965 - BENGUET CONSOLIDATED, INC. v. CECILIO MONTEMAYOR, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-19844 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: FRANK YU TIU v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20145 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: ONG SO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20208 June 30, 1965 - IN RE: ANTONIO UY v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-20462 June 30, 1965 - CALTEX (PHILIPPINES) INC. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. L-20499 June 30, 1965 - BALANGA POWER PLANT CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. L-20503 June 30, 1965 - PHIL. ASSO. OF GOV. RETIREES, INC. v. GSIS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-23004 June 30, 1965 - MAKATI STOCK EXCHANGE, INC. v. SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ET AL

  • G.R. No. L-23244 June 30, 1965 - CHAMBER OF AGRI. & NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE PHILS., ET AL v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILS.

  • G.R. No. L-24671 June 30, 1965 - FELICULO ISRAEL v. NUMERIANO G. ESTENZO, ET AL