Sei sulla pagina 1di 113

Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 92013 July 25, 1990
SALVADOR H. LAUREL, petitioner,
v.
RAMON GARC!A, " #$"% o& '#$ A$' P()v"')*"')o+ T(u', RAUL MANGLAPUS, "
S$,($'"(y o& -o($).+ A&&")(, "+% CATAL!NO MACARA!G, " E/$,u')v$
S$,($'"(y, ($0o+%$+'.
G.R. No. 92012 July 25, 1990
D!ON!S!O S. OJEDA, 0$')')o+$(,
v.
E3ECUT!VE SECRETAR4 MACARA!G, JR., ASSETS PR!VAT!5AT!ON TRUST CHA!RMAN
RAMON T. GARC!A, AM6ASSADOR RAMON DEL ROSAR!O, $' "l., " 7$78$( o& '#$
PR!NC!PAL AND 6!DD!NG COMM!TTEES ON THE UT!L!5AT!ON9D!SPOS!T!ON PET!T!ON O-
PH!L!PP!NE GOVERNMENT PROPERT!ES !N JAPAN,($0o+%$+'.
Arturo M. Tolentino for petitioner in 92013.

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'#$ &",' '#"' '#$ 0(o0$('y 8$,"7$ "l)$+"8l$ +o( %)% )' )+%),"'$ '#"' '#$ P($)%$+' :"
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"u'#o()'y o& l":, '#$ 0(o,$$% o& " "l$ 7"y 8$ u$% &o( +"')o+"l $,o+o7), %$v$lo07$+'
0(o<$,' )+,lu%)+. '#$ CARP.
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(")$% 8y 0$')')o+$( O<$%".
T#$ Cou(' %o$ +o' o(%)+"()ly 0" u0o+ ,o+')'u')o+"l =u$')o+ u+l$ '#$$ =u$')o+
"($ 0(o0$(ly (")$% )+ "00(o0()"'$ ,"$ "+% '#$)( ($olu')o+ ) +$,$"(y &o( '#$
%$'$(7)+"')o+ o& '#$ ,"$ AP$o0l$ v. V$(", >5 P#)l. 5> M1932NB. T#$ Cou(' :)ll +o' 0" u0o+
" ,o+')'u')o+"l =u$')o+ "l'#ou.# 0(o0$(ly 0($$+'$% 8y '#$ ($,o(% )& '#$ ,"$ ,"+ 8$
%)0o$% o& o+ o7$ o'#$( .(ou+% u,# " '#$ "00l),"')o+ o& " '"'u'$ o( .$+$("l l":
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Pull7"+ Co., 312 U.S. 19> M1911NB.
T#$ 0$')')o+$( )+ G.R. No. 92013 '"'$ :#y '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y #oul% +o' 8$ ol%E
T#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y ) +o' <u' l);$ "+y 0)$,$ o& 0(o0$('y. !' :" .)v$+ 'o
'#$ -)l)0)+o 0$o0l$ )+ ($0"("')o+ &o( '#$ l)v$ "+% 8loo% o& -)l)0)+o :#o
%)$% "+% u&&$($% %u()+. '#$ J"0"+$$ 7)l)'"(y o,,u0"')o+, &o( '#$ u&&$()+.
o& :)%o: "+% o(0#"+ :#o lo' '#$)( lov$% o+$ "+% ;)+%($%, &o( '#$
#o7$ "+% o'#$( 0(o0$(')$ lo' 8y ,ou+'l$ -)l)0)+o %u()+. '#$ :"(. T#$
To;yo 0(o0$(')$ "($ " 7o+u7$+' 'o '#$ 8("v$(y "+% ",()&),$ o& '#$
-)l)0)+o 0$o0l$ )+ '#$ &",$ o& "+ )+v"%$(F l);$ '#$ 7o+u7$+' o& R)*"l,
Ou$*o+, "+% o'#$( -)l)0)+o #$(o$, :$ %o +o' $/0$,' $,o+o7), o( &)+"+,)"l
8$+$&)' &(o7 '#$7. 6u' :#o :oul% '#)+; o& $ll)+. '#$$ 7o+u7$+'L
-)l)0)+o #o+o( "+% +"')o+"l %).+)'y %),'"'$ '#"' :$ ;$$0 ou( 0(o0$(')$ )+
J"0"+ " 7$7o()"l 'o '#$ ,ou+'l$ -)l)0)+o :#o %)$% "+% u&&$($%. Ev$+
)& :$ #oul% 8$,o7$ 0"u0$( :$ #oul% +o' '#)+; o& $ll)+. '#$7. -o( )'
:oul% 8$ " )& :$ ol% '#$ l)v$ "+% 8loo% "+% '$"( o& ou( ,ou+'(y7$+.
ARollo? G.R. No. 92013, 0.112B
T#$ 0$')')o+$( )+ G.R. No. 92012 "lo '"'$E
Ro00o+.) ) +o o(%)+"(y 0(o0$('y. !' ) o+$ ,$%$% 8y '#$ J"0"+$$
.ov$(+7$+' )+ "'o+$7$+' &o( )' 0"' 8$ll).$($+,$ &o( '#$ v"l)"+' ",()&),$
o& l)&$ "+% l)78 "+% &o( %$"'#, 0#y),"l %)lo,"')o+ "+% $,o+o7),
%$v"'"')o+ '#$ :#ol$ -)l)0)+o 0$o0l$ $+%u($% )+ @o(l% @"( !!.
!' ) &o( :#"' )' '"+% &o(, "+% &o( :#"' )' ,oul% +$v$( 8()+. 8",; 'o l)&$, '#"'
)' ).+)&),"+,$ 'o%"y ($7")+ u+%)77$%, )+0)($ o& '#$ l"0$ o& 15 y$"(
)+,$ '#$ :"( $+%$%, )+0)($ o& '#$ 0"".$ o& 32 y$"( )+,$ '#$ 0(o0$('y
0"$% o+ 'o '#$ P#)l)00)+$ .ov$(+7$+'.
Ro00o+.) ) " ($7)+%$( '#"' ,"++o' K #oul% +o' K 8$ %))0"'$% ... ARollo?
92012, 0. 9B
!' ) )+%$$% '(u$ '#"' '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y ) v"lu"8l$ +o' o 7u,# 8$,"u$ o& '#$
)+&l"'$% 0(),$ &$',#$% 8y ($"l 0(o0$('y )+ To;yo 8u' 7o($ o 8$,"u$ o& )' y78ol),
v"lu$ 'o "ll -)l)0)+o K v$'$("+ "+% ,)v)l)"+ "l);$. @#$'#$( o( +o' '#$ Ro00o+.) "+%
($l"'$% 0(o0$(')$ :)ll $v$+'u"lly 8$ ol% ) " 0ol),y %$'$(7)+"')o+ :#$($ 8o'# '#$
P($)%$+' "+% Co+.($ 7u' ,o+,u(. Co+)%$()+. '#$ 0(o0$(')$C )70o('"+,$ "+% v"lu$,
'#$ l": o+ ,o+v$()o+ "+% %)0o)')o+ o& 0(o0$('y o& 0u8l), %o7)+)o+ 7u' 8$ &")'#&ully
&ollo:$%.
@HERE-ORE, !N V!E@ O- THE -OREGO!NG, '#$ 0$')')o+ "($ GRANTED. A :()' o&
0(o#)8)')o+ ) )u$% $+<o)+)+. '#$ ($0o+%$+' &(o7 0(o,$$%)+. :)'# '#$ "l$ o& '#$
Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y )+ To;yo, J"0"+. T#$ -$8(u"(y 20, 1990 T$70o("(y R$'(")+)+. O(%$(
) 7"%$ PERMANENT.
SO ORDERED.
Melencio-7errera, 2ara$, (idin, Gri8o-A4uino and %e"alado, JJ., concur.


S$0"("'$ O0)+)o+

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Su0($7$ Cou(' ")%E
/// /// ///
A2B ince t1at portion of t1e cit! $treet $u/ject of petitioner<$ application for
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0it1dra0n portion /eco#e$ patri#onial propert! 01ic1 can /e t1e o/ject
of an ordinar! contract.
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$0$,)"lly )& '#$ +o+?u$ :" "''()8u'"8l$ +o' 'o '#$ Gov$(+7$+'C o:+ %$l)8$("'$ "+%
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'#"' ) %)0o"8l$ 8y 8)%%)+..
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"%%($ '#$ $,o+% )u$ o& :#$'#$( o( +o' '#$($ $/)' l$."l "u'#o()'y &o( '#$ "l$ o(
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:#),# ($"% " &ollo:E
SEC. 29 A&B. )onve!ance$ and contract$ to 01ic1 t1e Govern#ent i$ a part!.
K !+ ,"$ )+ :#),# '#$ Gov$(+7$+' o& '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$ ) "
0"('y 'o "+y %$$% o( o'#$( )+'(u7$+' conve!in" t1e title to real e$tate o( 'o
"+y o'#$( 0(o0$('y t1e value of 01ic1 i$ in e'ce$$ of one 1undred t1ou$and
pe$o$, '#$ ($0$,')v$ D$0"('7$+' S$,($'"(y #"ll 0($0"($ '#$ +$,$"(y
0"0$( :#),#, 'o.$'#$( :)'# '#$ 0(o0$( ($,o77$+%"')o+, #"ll
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u+l$ '#$ "u'#o()'y '#$($&o( 8$ $/0($ly v$'$% 8y l": )+ "+o'#$( o&&),$(.
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($"%E
SEC. 1D. Official Aut1ori5ed to )onve! %eal 2ropert!. K @#$+$v$( ($"l
0(o0$('y o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+' ) aut1ori5ed /! la0 to /e conve!ed, '#$ %$$%
o& ,o+v$y"+,$ #"ll 8$ $/$,u'$% )+ 8$#"l& o& '#$ .ov$(+7$+' 8y '#$
&ollo:)+.E
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P#)l)00)+$, 8y '#$ P($)%$+', u+l$ '#$ "u'#o()'y '#$($&o( ) $/0($ly
v$'$% 8y l": )+ "+o'#$( o&&),$(.
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T:o 0o)+' +$$% 'o 8$ 7"%$ )+ '#) ,o++$,')o+. -)('ly, t1e re4uire#ent of o/tainin"
$pecific approval o& Co+.($ 01en t1e price of t1e real propert! 8$)+. %)0o$% o& i$ in
e'ce$$ of One 7undred T1ou$and 2e$o$ D2100,000.00E u+%$( '#$ R$v)$% A%7)+)'("')v$
Co%$ o& 1912, #" 8$$+ deleted fro# ection *F of t1e 19F+ Ad#ini$trative )ode. @#"'
S$,')o+ 1D o& '#$ 0($$+' A%7)+)'("')v$ Co%$ ($&$( 'o )aut1ori5ation /! la0 &o( '#$
,o+v$y"+,$. S$,')o+ 1D %o$ +o' 0u(0o(' 'o 8$ )'$l& " ou(,$ o& l$."l "u'#o()'y &o(
,o+v$y"+,$ o& ($"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'. -o( S$,')o+ 1D 7$($ly 0$,)&)$ '#$
o&&),)"l "u'#o()*$% 'o $/$,u'$ "+% ).+ o+ 8$#"l& o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+' '#$ %$$% o&
,o+v$y"+,$ )+ ,"$ o& u,# " ,o+v$y"+,$.
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%)0o)')o+ o& ($"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+', #" 8$$+ .("+'$% 8y
Co+.($ 8o'# )+ '#$ &o(7 o& A"B " .$+$("l, '"+%)+. "u'#o()*"')o+ &o( %)0o)')o+ o&
0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'F "+% A8B 0$,)&), l$.)l"')o+ "u'#o()*)+. '#$
%)0o)')o+ o& 0"('),ul"( 0)$,$ o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'C 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y.
S'"+%)+. l$.)l"')v$ "u'#o()'y &o( '#$ %)0o)')o+ o& l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$
P#)l)00)+$ ) 0(ov)%$% 8y A,' No. 303D, $+')'l$% JA+ A,' Au'#o()*)+. '#$ S$,($'"(y o&
A.(),ul'u($ "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$ 'o S$ll o( L$"$ Land of t1e 2rivate 9o#ain of t1e
Govern#ent of t1e 21ilippine 3$land$ A+o: R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$BJ, $+",'$% o+ 9
M"(,# 1922. T#$ &ull '$/' o& '#) '"'u'$ ) " &ollo:E
6$ )' $+",'$% 8y '#$ S$+"'$ "+% Hou$ o& R$0($$+'"')v$ o& '#$
P#)l)00)+$ )+ L$.)l"'u($ "$78l$% "+% 8y '#$ "u'#o()'y o& '#$ "7$E
SECT!ON 1. T#$ S$,($'"(y o& A.(),ul'u($ "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$ A+o:
S$,($'"(y o& '#$ E+v)(o+7$+' "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$B ) #$($8y "u'#o()*$%
'o $ll o( l$"$ l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+' o& '#$
P#)l)00)+$ !l"+%, o( "+y 0"(' '#$($o&, 'o u,# 0$(o+, ,o(0o("')o+ o(
"o,)"')o+ " "($, u+%$( '#$ 0(ov))o+ o& A,' Nu78$($% T:$+'y?$).#'
#u+%($% "+% $v$+'y?&ou(, A+o: Co77o+:$"l'# A,' No. 111, " "7$+%$%B
;+o:+ " '#$ Pu8l), L"+% A,', $+')'l$% 'o "00ly &o( '#$ 0u(,#"$ o( l$"$ o(
".(),ul'u("l 0u8l), l"+%.
SECT!ON 2. T1e $ale of t1e land referred to )+ '#$ 0($,$%)+. $,')o+ $1all, )&
u,# l"+% ) ".(),ul'u("l, 8$ 7"%$ )+ '#$ 7"++$( "+% u8<$,' 'o '#$
l)7)'"')o+ 0($,()8$% )+ ,#"0'$( &)v$ "+% )/, ($0$,')v$ly, o& ")% Pu8l),
L"+% A,', "+% if it /e cla$$ified differentl!, in confor#it! 0it1 t1e provi$ion$
of c1apter nine of $aid ActE P(ov)%$%, #o:$v$(, T#"' '#$ l"+% +$,$"(y &o(
'#$ 0u8l), $(v),$ #"ll 8$ $/$70' &(o7 '#$ 0(ov))o+ o& '#) A,'.
SECT!ON 3. T#) A,' #"ll '";$ $&&$,' o+ )' "00(ov"l.
A00(ov$%, M"(,# 9, 1922. AE70#") u00l)$%B
L$' )' 8$ "u7$% '#"' A,' No. 303D ($&$( o+ly 'o ".(),ul'u("l l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$
%o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$, )' 7u' 8$ +o'$% '#"' C#"0'$( 9 o& '#$ ol% Pu8l), L"+% A,' AA,' No.
2D21B ) +o: C#"0'$( 9 o& '#$ 0($$+' Pu8l), L"+% A,' ACo77o+:$"l'# A,' No. 111, "
"7$+%$%B "+% '#"' 8o'# '"'u'$ ($&$( 'oE J"+y '(",' o& l"+% o& '#$ 0u8l), %o7")+ :#),#
8$)+. +$)'#$( ')78$( +o( 7)+$("l l"+%, ) )+'$+%$% 'o 8$ u$% &o( re$idential purpo$e$ o(
&o( co##ercial or indu$trial purpo$e$ o'#$( '#"+ ".(),ul'u("lJ AE70#") u00l)$%B.i,t,c-a.$l !+
o'#$( :o(%, '#$ '"'u'$ ,ov$( '#$ "l$ o( l$"$ o( ($)%$+')"l, ,o77$(,)"l o( )+%u'()"l
l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$.
!70l$7$+')+. ($.ul"')o+ #"v$ 8$$+ )u$% &o( '#$ ,"((y)+. ou' o& '#$ 0(ov))o+ o& A,'
No. 303D. O+ 21 D$,$78$( 1951, '#$ '#$+ S$,($'"(y o& A.(),ul'u($ "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$
0(o7ul."'$% L"+% A%7)+)'("')v$ O(%$( No. 2?> "+% 2?2 :#),# :$($ $+')'l$%,
($0$,')v$lyE JSu00l$7$+'"(y R$.ul"')o+ Gov$(+)+. '#$ S"l$ o& '#$ Land$ of t1e 2rivate
9o#ain o& '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$JF "+% JSu00l$7$+'"(y R$.ul"')o+ Gov$(+)+.
'#$ Lea$e of Land$ of 2rivate 9o#ain o& '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$J A'$/' )+ 51 O.G.
2D?29 M1955NB.
!' ) 0$(#"0 :$ll 'o "%% '#"' A,' No. 303D, "l'#ou.# +o: )/'y?$).#' A>DB y$"( ol%, ) ')ll
)+ $&&$,' "+% #" +o' 8$$+ ($0$"l$%.
1
S0$,)&), l$.)l"')v$ "u'#o()*"')o+ &o( %)0o)')o+ o& 0"('),ul"( 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$(')$ o& '#$
S'"'$ ) )llu'("'$% 8y ,$('")+ $"(l)$( '"'u'$. T#$ &)(' o& '#$$ :" A,' No. 1120, $+",'$%
o+ 2> A0()l 1901, :#),# 0(ov)%$% &o( '#$ %)0o)')o+ o& '#$ &()"( l"+%, 0u(,#"$% 8y '#$
Gov$(+7$+' &(o7 '#$ Ro7"+ C"'#ol), C#u(,#, 'o /ona fide $''l$( "+% o,,u0"+' '#$($o&
o( 'o o'#$( 0$(o+. !+ Jacinto v. 9irector of Land$ A19 P#)l. D53 M192>NB, '#$$ &()"( l"+%
:$($ #$l% 'o 8$ 0()v"'$ "+% 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$(')$ o& '#$ S'"'$. A,' No. 23>0, $+",'$% o+
?2D -$8(u"(y 1911, "u'#o()*$% '#$ "l$ o& '#$ an La5aro ;$tatelo,"'$% )+ '#$ C)'y o&
M"+)l", :#),# #"% "lo 8$$+ 0u(,#"$% 8y '#$ Gov$(+7$+' &(o7 '#$ Ro7"+ C"'#ol),
C#u(,#. !+ J"+u"(y 191>, A,' No. 2555 "7$+%$% A,' No. 23>0 8y )+,lu%)+. '#$($)+ "ll
l"+% "+% 8u)l%)+. o:+$% 8y '#$ Ho0)'"l "+% '#$ -ou+%"')o+ o& S"+ L"*"(o '#$($'o&o(
l$"$% 8y 0()v"'$ 0$(o+, "+% :#),# :$($ "lo ",=u)($% 8y '#$ P#)l)00)+$ Gov$(+7$+'.
A&'$( '#$ $+",'7$+' )+ 1922 o& A,' No. 303D, '#$($ "00$"(, 'o 7y ;+o:l$%.$, 'o 8$ o+ly
o+$ '"'u'$ "u'#o()*)+. '#$ P($)%$+' 'o %)0o$ o& " 0$,)&), 0)$,$ o& 0(o0$('y. T#)
'"'u'$ ) R$0u8l), A,' No. 905, $+",'$% o+ 20 Ju+$ 1953, :#),# "u'#o()*$% '#$
P($)%$+' 'o $ll "+ !%$+')&)$% 0"(,$l o& l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ N"')o+"l
Gov$(+7$+' 'o '#$ N"')o+"l P($ Clu8 o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$, "+% 'o o'#$( ($,o.+)*$%
+"')o+"l "o,)"')o+ o& 0(o&$)o+"l :)'# ","%$7), '"+%)+., &o( '#$ +o7)+"l 0(),$ o&
P1.00. !' "00$"( ($l$v"+' 'o +o'$ '#"' R$0u8l), A,' No. 905 :" +o' "+ ou'().#'
%)0o)')o+ )+ 0$(0$'u)'y o& '#$ 0(o0$('y )+volv$%? )' 0(ov)%$% &o( ($v$()o+ o& '#$ 0(o0$('y
'o '#$ N"')o+"l Gov$(+7$+' )+ ,"$ '#$ N"')o+"l P($ Clu8 'o00$% u)+. )' &o( )'
#$"%=u"('$(. @#"' R$0u8l), A,' No. 905 "u'#o()*$% :" ($"lly " donation, "+% +o' " "l$.
T#$ 8"), u87))o+ #$($ 7"%$ ) '#"' A,' No. 303D 0(ov)%$ '"+%)+. l$.)l"')v$
"u'#o()*"')o+ &o( %)0o)')o+ o& '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y :#),#, )+ 7y v)$:, #" 8$$+
,o+v$('$% )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ R$0u8l),.
2
To o7$, '#$ u87))o+ '#"' A,' No. 303D "00l)$ +o' o+ly 'o l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+
o& '#$ S'"'$ lo,"'$% )+ '#$ P#)l)00)+$ /ut al$o to patri#onial propert! found out$ide t1e
21ilippine$, 7"y "00$"( '("+.$ o( u+uu"l. ! ($0$,'&ully u87)' '#"' u,# 0o)')o+ ) +o'
"+y 7o($ u+uu"l o( '("+.$ '#"+ '#$ "u70')o+ '#"' A('),l$ 120 o& '#$ C)v)l Co%$
"00l)$ +o' o+ly 'o 0(o0$('y o& '#$ R$0u8l), lo,"'$% :)'#)+ P#)l)00)+$ '$(()'o(y 8u' "lo 'o
0(o0$('y &ou+% ou')%$ '#$ 8ou+%"()$ o& '#$ R$0u8l),.
!' ($7")+ 'o +o'$ '#"' u+%$( '#$ :$ll?$''l$% %o,'()+$ '#"' #$"% o& E/$,u')v$
D$0"('7$+' "($ alter e"o$ o& '#$ P($)%$+' AGillena v. ecretar! of t1e 3nterior, >2 P#)l.
151 M1939NB, "+% )+ v)$: o& '#$ ,o+')'u')o+"l 0o:$( o& ,o+'(ol $/$(,)$% 8y '#$ P($)%$+'
ov$( %$0"('7$+' #$"% AA('),l$ V!!, S$,')o+ 12,19D2 Co+')'u')o+B, '#$ P($)%$+' #$($l&
7"y ,"((y ou' '#$ &u+,')o+ o( %u'y '#"' ) 0$,)&),"lly lo%.$% )+ '#$ S$,($'"(y o& '#$
D$0"('7$+' o& E+v)(o+7$+' "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$ AAraneta v. Gat#aitan 101 P#)l. 32D
M1952NB. A' '#$ v$(y l$"', '#$ P($)%$+' ($'")+ '#$ 0o:$( 'o "00(ov$ o( %)"00(ov$ '#$
$/$(,)$ o& '#"' &u+,')o+ o( %u'y :#$+ %o+$ 8y '#$ S$,($'"(y o& E+v)(o+7$+' "+% N"'u("l
R$ou(,$.
!' ) #"(%ly +$,$"(y 'o "%% '#"' '#$ &o($.o)+. "+"ly$ "+% u87))o+ ($l"'$ o+ly 'o
'#$ "u'$($ =u$')o+ o& $/)'$+,$ o& l$."l 0o:$( o( "u'#o()'y. T#$y #"v$ +o'#)+. 'o %o
:)'# 7u,# %$8"'$% =u$')o+ o& :)%o7 o( 0(o0()$'y o( ($l"')v$ %$)("8)l)'y $)'#$( o& '#$
0(o0o$% %)0o)')o+ )'$l& o( o& '#$ 0(o0o$% u')l)*"')o+ o& '#$ "+'),)0"'$% 0(o,$$% o&
'#$ 0(o0$('y )+volv$%. T#$$ l"''$( 'y0$ o& ,o+)%$("')o+ H$ :)'#)+ '#$ 0#$($ o&
($0o+)8)l)'y o& '#$ 0ol)'),"l %$0"('7$+' o& .ov$(+7$+' '#$ E/$,u')v$ "+% '#$
L$.)l"')v$ "u'#o()')$.
-o( "ll '#$ &o($.o)+., ! vo'$ 'o %)7) '#$ P$')')o+ &o( P(o#)8)')o+ )+ 8o'# G.R. No. 92013
"+% 92012.
Hernan, ).J., &arva$a, Ganca!co, )orte$ and Medialdea, JJ., concurrin".


S$0"("'$ O0)+)o+
CRU5, J., ,o+,u(()+.E
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... ) u+%ou8'$%ly '#"' '#$ ,ou(' "($ +$)'#$( 0()7"()ly ,"ll$% u0o+, +o(
)+%$$% )+ " 0o)')o+ 'o %$'$(7)+$ :#$'#$( "+y 0u8l), l"+% "($ 'o 8$ u$% &o(
'#$ 0u(0o$ 0$,)&)$% )+ A('),l$ 1 o& '#$ L": o& @"'$(. Co+$=u$+'ly, u+')l
" for#al declaration on t1e part of t1e Govern#ent, t1rou"1 t1e e'ecutive
depart#ent or t1e Le"i$lature, to t1e effect t1at t1e land in 4ue$tion i$ no
lon"er needed for coa$t-"uard $ervice, for pu/lic u$e or for $pecial
indu$trie$, t1e! continue to /e part of t1e pu/lic do#ain not availa/le for
private appropriation or o0ner$1ip.A10D P#)l. "' 33D?339F $70#")
u00l)$%B
T#u, u+%$( !.+",)o, $)'#$( '#$ ;'ecutive 9epart#ent or t1e Le"i$lative 9epart#ent 7"y
,o+v$(' 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$ o& 0u8l), %o7)+)o+ )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$. No
0"('),ul"( &o(7ul" o( 0(o,$%u($ o& ,o+v$()o+ ) 0$,)&)$% $)'#$( )+ '"'u'$ l": o( )+ ,"$
l":. A('),l$ 122 o& '#$ C)v)l Co%$ )70ly '"'$ '#"'E JP(o0$('y o& 0u8l), %o7)+)o+, 01en
no lon"er intended for 0u8l), u$ o( &o( pu/lic $ervice, $1all for# part o& '#$ 0"'()7o+)"l
0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$J. ! ($0$,'&ully u87)', '#$($&o($, '#"' '#$ o+ly ($=u)($7$+' :#),# )
l$.)')7"'$ly )70o"8l$ ) '#"' '#$ )+'$+' 'o ,o+v$(' 7u' 8$ ($"o+"8ly ,l$"( &(o7 "
,o+)%$("')o+ o& '#$ ",' o( ",' o& '#$ E/$,u')v$ D$0"('7$+' o( o& '#$ L$.)l"')v$
D$0"('7$+' :#),# "($ ")% 'o #"v$ $&&$,'$% u,# ,o+v$()o+.
T#$ "7$ l$."l )'u"')o+ $/)' )+ ($0$,' o& ,o+v$()o+ o& 0(o0$('y o& 0u8l), %o7)+)o+
8$lo+.)+. 'o 7u+),)0"l ,o(0o("')o+, ).$., lo,"l .ov$(+7$+'"l u+)', )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l
0(o0$('y o& u,# $+')')$. !+)e/u O'!"en Acet!lene v. (ercille$ A>> SCRA 1D1 M1925NB, '#$
C)'y Cou+,)l o& C$8u 8y ($olu')o+ %$,l"($% " ,$('")+ 0o(')o+ o& "+ $/)')+. '($$' " "+
"8"+%o+$% (o"%, J'#$ "7$ +o' 8$)+. )+,lu%$% )+ '#$ ,)'y %$v$lo07$+' 0l"+J.
Su8$=u$+'ly, 8y "+o'#$( ($olu')o+, '#$ C)'y Cou+,)l o& C$8u "u'#o()*$% '#$ ",')+. C)'y
M"yo( 'o $ll '#$ l"+% '#(ou.# 0u8l), 8)%%)+.. Alt1ou"1 t1ere 0a$ no for#al and e'plicit
declaration of conver$ion of propert! for pu/lic u$e into patri#onial propert!, '#$
Su0($7$ Cou(' ")%E
/// /// ///
A2B ince t1at portion of t1e cit! $treet $u/ject of petitioner<$ application for
re"i$tration of title 0a$ 0it1dra0n fro# pu/lic u$e, it follo0$ t1at $uc1
0it1dra0n portion /eco#e$ patri#onial propert! 01ic1 can /e t1e o/ject
of an ordinar! contract.
A('),l$ 122 o& '#$ C)v)l Co%$ $/0($ly 0(ov)%$ '#"' JP(o0$('y o& 0u8l),
%o7)+)o+, :#$+ +o lo+.$( )+'$+%$% &o( 0u8l), u$ o& &o( 0u8l), $(v),$,
#"ll &o(7 0"(' o& '#$ 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$.J
6$)%$, '#$ R$v)$% C#"('$( o& '#$ C)'y o& C$8u #$($'o&o($ =uo'$%, )+ v$(y
,l$"( "+% u+$=u)vo,"l '$(7, '"'$ '#"' JP(o0$('y '#u :)'#%(":+ &(o7
0u8l), $(v)'u%$ 7"y 8$ u$% o( ,o+v$y$% &o( "+y 0u(0o$ &o( :#),# o'#$(
($"l 0(o0$('y 8$lo+.)+. 'o '#$ C)'y 7"y 8$ l":&ully u$% o( ,o+v$y$%.J
A,,o(%)+.ly, t1e 0it1dra0al of t1e propert! in 4ue$tion fro# pu/lic u$e and
it$ $u/$e4uent $ale to t1e petitioner i$ valid. H$+,$, '#$ 0$')')o+$( #" "
($.)'("8l$ ')'l$ ov$( '#$ lo' )+ =u$')o+. A>> SCRA "' 1D1?F $70#")
u00l)$%B
T#u, ".")+ " 0o)+'$% ou' 8y S"(7)$+'o J., )+ #) $0"("'$ o0)+)o+, )+ '#$ ,"$ o&
0(o0$('y o:+$% 8y 7u+),)0"l ,o(0o("')o+ )70l$ +o+?u$ o( '#$ ",'u"l %$%),"')o+ o&
0u8l), 0(o0$('y 'o o7$ u$ o'#$( '#"+ J0u8l), u$J o( o7$ J0u8l), $(v),$J, :"
u&&),)$+' l$."lly 'o ,o+v$(' u,# 0(o0$('y )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y AMunicipalit! of Oa$ v.
%oa, + 21il. 20 =190>?- Municipalit! of 7inun"anan v. 9irector of Land$ 2* 21il. 12* =1913?@
2rovince of Aa#/oan"a del &orte v. )it! of Aa#/oan"a, 22 SCRA 1331 A19>DB.
! :oul% "lo "%% '#"' u,# :" '#$ ,"$ +o' o+ly )+ ($0$,' o&C 0(o0$('y o& 7u+),)0"l
,o(0o("')o+ 8u' "lo )+ ($0$,' o& 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$ )'$l&. M"+($" )+ ,o77$+')+. o+
A('),l$ 311 o& '#$ 1DD9 S0"+)# C)v)l Co%$ :#),# #" 8$$+ ,"(()$% ov$( ver/ati# )+'o ou(
C)v)l Co%$ 8y A('),l$ 122 '#$($o&, :(o'$E
L" %)&),ul'"% 7"yo( $+ 'o%o $'o $'()8", +"'u("l7$+'$, $+ &)<"( $l 7o7$+'o
$+ =u$ lo 8)$+$ %$ %o7)+)o 0u8l),o %$<"+ %$ $(lo. S) l" A%7)+)'(",)o+ o
l" "u'o()%"% ,o70$'$+'$ l$.)l"')v$ ($"l)*"+ =u+ ",'o $+ v)('u% %$l ,u"l
,$" $l %$')+o o uo 0u8l),o %$ lo 8)$+$ %$ =u$ $ '("'" +"'u("l7$+'$ l"
%)&),ul'"% =u$%" %$%$ $l 0()7$( 7o7$+'o ($u$l'". H"y u+ 0u+'o %$
0"(')%" ,)$('o 0"(" )+),)"( l" ($l",)o+$ <u()%)," " =u$ 0u%)$(" #"8$(
lu."( 2ero puede ocurrir 4ue no 1a!a taldeclaracion e'pre$a, le"i$lativa or
ad#ini$trativa, !, $in e#/ar"o, ce$ar de 1ec1o el de$tino pu/lico de lo$
/iene$F "#o(" 8)$+, en e$te ca$o, y 0"(" lo $&$,'o <u()%),o =u$ ($ul'"+
%$ $+'("( l" ,o" $+ $l ,o7$(,)o %$ lo #o78($,C $e entedera 4ue $e 1a
verificado la conver$ion de lo$ /iene$ patri#oniale$B
El ,)'"%o '("'"%)'" R),,) o0)+", ($0$,'o %$l "+').uo Co%).o )'"l)"+o, 0o( l"
"&)(7"')v", y 0o( +u$'(" 0"('$ ,($$7o =u$ '"l %$8$ $( l" olu,))o+. El
%$')+o %$ l" ,o" +o %$0$+%$ '"+'o %$ u+" %$,l"(",)o+ $/0($" ,o7o
%$l uo 0u8l),o %$ l" 7)7", y ,u"+%" $l uo 0u8l),o ,$$ ,o+ ($0$,'o
%$ %$'$(7)+"%o 8)$+$, ,$" '"78)$+ u )'u",)o+ $+ $l %o7)+)o 0u8l),o.
S) u+" &o('"l$*" $+ (u)+" $ "8"+%o+" y +o $ ($0"(", ) u+ '(o*o %$ l" v)"
0u8l)," $ "8"+%o+" '"78)$+ 0o( ,o+')'u)( o'(o +u$vo "+ 7$<o($
,o+%),)o+$...."78o 8)$+$ ,$"+ %$ $'"( Co%).o, y l$y$ $0$,)"l$ 7"
o 7$7o "%7)+)'("')v". A3 M"+($", Co7$+'"()o "l Co%).o C)v)l
E0"+ol, 0. 12D M2" $%.F 1952B AE70#") u00l)$%B
T#$ 7"<o()'y o0)+)o+ "y '#"' +o+$ o& '#$ $/$,u')v$ ",' 0o)+'$% 'o 8y '#$ Gov$(+7$+'
0u(0o('$%, $/0($ly o( %$&)+)'$ly, 'o ,o+v$(' '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l
0(o0$('y K o& '#$ R$0u8l),. Au7)+. '#"' 'o 8$ '#$ ,"$, )' ) ($0$,'&ully u87)''$%
'#"' cu#ulative effect o& '#$ $/$,u')v$ ",' #$($ )+volv$% :" 'o ,o+v$(' 0(o0$('y
o().)+"lly )+'$+%$% &o( "+% %$vo'$% 'o 0u8l), $(v),$ )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$,
'#"' ), 0(o0$('y u,$0')8l$ o& %)0o)')o+ 'o "+% "00(o0("')o+ 8y 0()v"'$ 0$(o+. T#$$
$/$,u')v$ ",', in t1eir totalit! )& +o' $",# )+%)v)%u"l ",', 7";$ ,(y'"l ,l$"( '#$ )+'$+' o&
'#$ E/$,u')v$ D$0"('7$+' 'o $&&$,' u,# ,o+v$()o+. T#$$ $/$,u')v$ ",' )+,lu%$E
A"B A%7)+)'("')v$ O(%$( No. 3 %"'$% 11 Au.u' 19D5, :#),# ,($"'$% " Co77)''$$ 'o 'u%y
'#$ %)0o)')o+9u')l)*"')o+ o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'C 0(o0$('y )+ J"0"+, T#$ Co77)''$$ :"
,o70o$% o& o&&),)"l o& '#$ E/$,u')v$ D$0"('7$+'E '#$ E/$,u')v$ S$,($'"(yF '#$
P#)l)00)+$ A78""%o( 'o J"0"+F "+% ($0($$+'"')v$ o& '#$ D$0"('7$+' o& -o($).+ A&&")(
"+% '#$ A$' P()v"')*"')o+ T(u'. O+ 19 S$0'$78$( 19DD, '#$ Co77)''$$ ($,o77$+%$% 'o
'#$ P($)%$+' '#$ "l$ o& o+$ o& '#$ lo' A'#$ lo' 0$,)&),"lly )+ Ro00o+.)B '#(ou.# 0u8l),
8)%%)+.. O+ 1 O,'o8$( 19DD, '#$ P($)%$+' "00(ov$% '#$ ($,o77$+%"')o+ o& '#$
Co77)''$$.
O+ 11 D$,$78$( 19DD, '#$ P#)l)00)+$ Gov$(+7$+' 8y %)0lo7"'), +o'$ )+&o(7$% '#$
J"0"+$$ M)+)'(y o& -o($).+ A&&")( o& '#$ R$0u8l),C )+'$+')o+ 'o %)0o$ o& '#$ 0(o0$('y
)+ Ro00o+.). T#$ J"0"+$$ Gov$(+7$+' '#(ou.# )' M)+)'(y o& -o($).+ A&&")( ($0l)$%
'#"' )' )+'$(0o$% +o o8<$,')o+ 'o u,# %)0o)')o+ 8y '#$ R$0u8l),. Su8$=u$+'ly, '#$
P($)%$+' "+% '#$ Co77)''$$ )+&o(7$% '#$ l$"%$( o& '#$ Hou$ o& R$0($$+'"')v$ "+% o&
'#$ S$+"'$ o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$ o& '#$ 0(o0o$% %)0o)')o+ o& '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y.
A8B E/$,u')v$ O(%$( No. 29>, :#),# :" )u$% 8y '#$ P($)%$+' o+ 25 July 19D2.
Au7)+. '#"' '#$ 7"<o()'y o0)+)o+ ) ().#' )+ "y)+. '#"' E/$,u')v$ O(%$( No. 29> )
)+u&&),)$+' 'o aut1ori5e t1e $ale o& '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y, )' ) #$($ u87)''$% :)'#
($0$,' '#"' E/$,u')v$ O(%$( No. 29> ) 7o($ '#"+ u&&),)$+' 'o )+%),"'$ "+ intention to
convert t1e propert! 0($v)ouly %$vo'$% 'o 0u8l), $(v),$ )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y '#"' )
,"0"8l$ o& 8$)+. ol% o( o'#$(:)$ %)0o$% o&
A,B No+?u$ o& '#$ Ro00o+.) lo' &o( &ou('$$+ A11B y$"( &o( %)0lo7"'), o( &o( "+y o'#$(
0u8l), 0u(0o$. Au7)+. A8u' o+ly ar"uendoB '#"' +o+?u$ %o$ +o', /! it$elf,
"u'o7"'),"lly ,o+v$(' '#$ 0(o0$('y )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y. ! ($0$,'&ully u(.$ '#"'
0(olo+.$% +o+?u$, conjoined 0it1 t1e ot1er factor$ 1ere li$ted, :" l$."lly $&&$,')v$ 'o
,o+v$(' '#$ lo' )+ Ro00o+.) )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$. A,'u"lly, " "l($"%y
0o)+'$% ou', ,"$ l": )+volv)+. 0(o0$('y o& 7u+),)0"l ,o(0o("')o+ ) 'o '#$ $&&$,' '#"'
)70l$ +o+?u$ o( '#$ ",'u"l %$%),"')o+ o& 0u8l), 0(o0$('y 'o o7$ u$ o'#$( '#"+ 0u8l),
u$ o( 0u8l), $(v),$, :" u&&),)$+' 'o ,o+v$(' u,# 0(o0$('y )+'o 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o&
'#$ lo,"l .ov$(+7$+'"l $+')'y ,o+,$(+$%. Alo " 0o)+'$% ou' "8ov$, M"+($" ($",#$% '#$
"7$ ,o+,lu)o+ )+ ($0$,' o& ,o+v$()o+ o& 0(o0$('y o& '#$ 0u8l), %o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$
)+'o 0(o0$('y o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$.
T#$ 7"<o()'y o0)+)o+ '"'$ '#"' J"8"+%o+7$+' ,"++o' 8$ )+&$(($% &(o7 '#$ +o+?u$ "lo+$
$0$,)"lly )& '#$ +o+?u$ :" "''()8u'"8l$ +o' 'o '#$ Gov$(+7$+'C o:+ %$l)8$("'$ "+%
)+%u8)'"8l$ :)ll 8u' 'o l",; o& &)+"+,)"l u00o(' 'o ($0")( "+% )70(ov$ '#$ 0(o0$('yJ
AM"<o()'y O0)+)o+, 0. 13B. @)'# ($0$,', )' 7"y 8$ '($$% '#"' '#$($ ) +o "8"+%o+7$+'
)+volv$% #$($, ,$('")+ly +o "8"+%o+7$+' o& 0(o0$('y o( o& 0(o0$('y ().#'. @#"' )
)+volv$% ) '#$ ,#"(.$ o& '#$ ,l")&),"')o+ o& '#$ 0(o0$('y &(o7 0(o0$('y o& '#$ 0u8l),
%o7")+ )+'o 0(o0$('y o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$. Mo($ov$(, )& &o( &ou('$$+ A11B
y$"(, '#$ Gov$(+7$+' %)% +o' $$ &)' 'o "00(o0()"'$ :#"'$v$( &u+% :$($ +$,$"(y 'o
7")+'")+ '#$ 0(o0$('y )+ Ro00o+.) )+ " ,o+%)')o+ u)'"8l$ &o( %)0lo7"'), ($0($$+'"')o+
0u(0o$, u,# ,)(,u7'"+,$ 7"y, :)'# $=u"l lo.),, 8$ ,o+'(u$% " " 7"+)&$'"')o+ o&
'#$ ,(y'"l)*)+. )+'$+' 'o ,#"+.$ '#$ ,#"(",'$( o& '#$ 0(o0$('y.
A%B O+ 30 M"(,# 19D9, " 0u8l), 8)%%)+. :" )+ &",' #$l% 8y '#$ E/$,u')v$ D$0"('7$+' &o(
'#$ "l$ o& '#$ lo' )+ Ro00o+.). T#$ ,)(,u7'"+,$ '#"' '#) 8)%%)+. :" +o' u,,$&ul
,$('")+ly %o$ +o' "(.u$ ".")+' "+ )+'$+' 'o ,o+v$(' '#$ 0(o0$('y )+volv$% )+'o 0(o0$('y
'#"' ) %)0o"8l$ 8y 8)%%)+..
T#$ "8ov$ $' o& $v$+' "+% ,)(,u7'"+,$ 7";$ +o $+$ "' "ll )& )' %o$ +o', a$ a
01ole, #o: "' l$"' '#$ )+'$+' o+ '#$ 0"(' o& '#$ E/$,u')v$ D$0"('7$+' A:)'# '#$
;+o:l$%.$ o& '#$ L$.)l"')v$ D$0"('7$+'B 'o ,o+v$(' '#$ 0(o0$('y )+volv$% )+'o
0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y '#"' ) u,$0')8l$ o& 8$)+. ol%.
!!
H"v)+. ($",#$% "+ "&&)(7"')v$ "+:$( )+ ($0$,' o& '#$ &)(' )u$, )' ) +$,$"(y 'o
"%%($ '#$ $,o+% )u$ o& :#$'#$( o( +o' '#$($ $/)' l$."l "u'#o()'y &o( '#$ "l$ o(
%)0o)')o+ o& '#$ Ro00o+.) 0(o0$('y.
T#$ 7"<o()'y o0)+)o+ ($&$( 'o S$,')o+ 29A&B o& '#$ R$v)$% A%7)+)'("')v$ Co%$ o& 1912
:#),# ($"% " &ollo:E
SEC. 29 A&B. )onve!ance$ and contract$ to 01ic1 t1e Govern#ent i$ a part!.
K !+ ,"$ )+ :#),# '#$ Gov$(+7$+' o& '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$ ) "
0"('y 'o "+y %$$% o( o'#$( )+'(u7$+' conve!in" t1e title to real e$tate o( 'o
"+y o'#$( 0(o0$('y t1e value of 01ic1 i$ in e'ce$$ of one 1undred t1ou$and
pe$o$, '#$ ($0$,')v$ D$0"('7$+' S$,($'"(y #"ll 0($0"($ '#$ +$,$"(y
0"0$( :#),#, 'o.$'#$( :)'# '#$ 0(o0$( ($,o77$+%"')o+, #"ll
8$$u/#itted to t1e )on"re$$ of t1e 21ilippine$ for approval /! t1e $a#e.
Su,# %$$%, )+'(u7$+', o( ,o+'(",' #"ll 8$ $/$,u'$% "+% ).+$% 8y '#$
P($)%$+' o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$ o+ 8$#"l& o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+' o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$
u+l$ '#$ "u'#o()'y '#$($&o( 8$ $/0($ly v$'$% 8y l": )+ "+o'#$( o&&),$(.
AE70#") u00l)$%B
T#$ 7"<o()'y o0)+)o+ '#$+ .o$ o+ 'o '"'$ '#"'E C=T?1e re4uire#ent 1a$ /een retained )+
S$,')o+ 1, 6oo; ! o& '#$ A%7)+)'("')v$ Co%$ o& 19D2 AE/$,u')v$ O(%$( No. 292BJ :#),#
($"%E
SEC. 1D. Official Aut1ori5ed to )onve! %eal 2ropert!. K @#$+$v$( ($"l
0(o0$('y o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+' ) aut1ori5ed /! la0 to /e conve!ed, '#$ %$$%
o& ,o+v$y"+,$ #"ll 8$ $/$,u'$% )+ 8$#"l& o& '#$ .ov$(+7$+' 8y '#$
&ollo:)+.E
A1B -o( 0(o0$('y 8$lo+.)+. 'o "+% ')'l$% )+ '#$ +"7$ o& '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$
P#)l)00)+$, 8y '#$ P($)%$+', u+l$ '#$ "u'#o()'y '#$($&o( ) $/0($ly
v$'$% 8y l": )+ "+o'#$( o&&),$(.
A2B -o( 0(o0$('y 8$lo+.)+. 'o '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$ 8u' ')'l$% )+ '#$
+"7$ o& "+y 0ol)'),"l u8%)v))o+ o( o& "+y ,o(0o("'$ ".$+,y o(
)+'(u7$+'"l)'y, 8y '#$ $/$,u')v$ #$"% o& '#$ ".$+,y o( )+'(u7$+'"l)'y.
AE70#") u00l)$%B
T:o 0o)+' +$$% 'o 8$ 7"%$ )+ '#) ,o++$,')o+. -)('ly, t1e re4uire#ent of o/tainin"
$pecific approval o& Co+.($ 01en t1e price of t1e real propert! 8$)+. %)0o$% o& i$ in
e'ce$$ of One 7undred T1ou$and 2e$o$ D2100,000.00E u+%$( '#$ R$v)$% A%7)+)'("')v$
Co%$ o& 1912, #" 8$$+ deleted fro# ection *F of t1e 19F+ Ad#ini$trative )ode. @#"'
S$,')o+ 1D o& '#$ 0($$+' A%7)+)'("')v$ Co%$ ($&$( 'o )aut1ori5ation /! la0 &o( '#$
,o+v$y"+,$. S$,')o+ 1D %o$ +o' 0u(0o(' 'o 8$ )'$l& " ou(,$ o& l$."l "u'#o()'y &o(
,o+v$y"+,$ o& ($"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'. -o( S$,')o+ 1D 7$($ly 0$,)&)$ '#$
o&&),)"l "u'#o()*$% 'o $/$,u'$ "+% ).+ o+ 8$#"l& o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+' '#$ %$$% o&
,o+v$y"+,$ )+ ,"$ o& u,# " ,o+v$y"+,$.
S$,o+%ly, $/"7)+"')o+ o& ou( '"'u'$ 8oo; #o: '#"' "u'#o()*"')o+ 8y l": &o(
%)0o)')o+ o& ($"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+', #" 8$$+ .("+'$% 8y
Co+.($ 8o'# )+ '#$ &o(7 o& A"B " .$+$("l, '"+%)+. "u'#o()*"')o+ &o( %)0o)')o+ o&
0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'F "+% A8B 0$,)&), l$.)l"')o+ "u'#o()*)+. '#$
%)0o)')o+ o& 0"('),ul"( 0)$,$ o& '#$ Gov$(+7$+'C 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y.
S'"+%)+. l$.)l"')v$ "u'#o()'y &o( '#$ %)0o)')o+ o& l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$
P#)l)00)+$ ) 0(ov)%$% 8y A,' No. 303D, $+')'l$% JA+ A,' Au'#o()*)+. '#$ S$,($'"(y o&
A.(),ul'u($ "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$ 'o S$ll o( L$"$ Land of t1e 2rivate 9o#ain of t1e
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M"(,# 1922. T#$ &ull '$/' o& '#) '"'u'$ ) " &ollo:E
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S$,($'"(y o& '#$ E+v)(o+7$+' "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$B ) #$($8y "u'#o()*$%
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P#)l)00)+$ !l"+%, o( "+y 0"(' '#$($o&, 'o u,# 0$(o+, ,o(0o("')o+ o(
"o,)"')o+ " "($, u+%$( '#$ 0(ov))o+ o& A,' Nu78$($% T:$+'y?$).#'
#u+%($% "+% $v$+'y?&ou(, A+o: Co77o+:$"l'# A,' No. 111, " "7$+%$%B
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u,# l"+% ) ".(),ul'u("l, 8$ 7"%$ )+ '#$ 7"++$( "+% u8<$,' 'o '#$
l)7)'"')o+ 0($,()8$% )+ ,#"0'$( &)v$ "+% )/, ($0$,')v$ly, o& ")% Pu8l),
L"+% A,', "+% if it /e cla$$ified differentl!, in confor#it! 0it1 t1e provi$ion$
of c1apter nine of $aid ActE P(ov)%$%, #o:$v$(, T#"' '#$ l"+% +$,$"(y &o(
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SECT!ON 3. T#) A,' #"ll '";$ $&&$,' o+ )' "00(ov"l.
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%o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$, )' 7u' 8$ +o'$% '#"' C#"0'$( 9 o& '#$ ol% Pu8l), L"+% A,' AA,' No.
2D21B ) +o: C#"0'$( 9 o& '#$ 0($$+' Pu8l), L"+% A,' ACo77o+:$"l'# A,' No. 111, "
"7$+%$%B "+% '#"' 8o'# '"'u'$ ($&$( 'oE J"+y '(",' o& l"+% o& '#$ 0u8l), %o7")+ :#),#
8$)+. +$)'#$( ')78$( +o( 7)+$("l l"+%, ) )+'$+%$% 'o 8$ u$% &o( re$idential purpo$e$ o(
&o( co##ercial or indu$trial purpo$e$ o'#$( '#"+ ".(),ul'u("lJ AE70#") u00l)$%B. !+
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!70l$7$+')+. ($.ul"')o+ #"v$ 8$$+ )u$% &o( '#$ ,"((y)+. ou' o& '#$ 0(ov))o+ o& A,'
No. 303D. O+ 21 D$,$78$( 1951, '#$ '#$+ S$,($'"(y o& A.(),ul'u($ "+% N"'u("l R$ou(,$
0(o7ul."'$% L"+% A%7)+)'("')v$ O(%$( No. 2?> "+% 2?2 :#),# :$($ $+')'l$%,
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'#$ Lea$e of Land$ of 2rivate 9o#ain o& '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$J A'$/' )+ 51 O.G.
2D?29 M1955NB.
!' ) 0$(#"0 :$ll 'o "%% '#"' A,' No. 303D, "l'#ou.# +o: )/'y?$).#' A>DB y$"( ol%, ) ')ll
)+ $&&$,' "+% #" +o' 8$$+ ($0$"l$%.
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o( 'o o'#$( 0$(o+. !+ Jacinto v. 9irector of Land$ A19 P#)l. D53 M192>NB, '#$$ &()"( l"+%
:$($ #$l% 'o 8$ 0()v"'$ "+% 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$(')$ o& '#$ S'"'$. A,' No. 23>0, $+",'$% o+
?2D -$8(u"(y 1911, "u'#o()*$% '#$ "l$ o& '#$ an La5aro ;$tatelo,"'$% )+ '#$ C)'y o&
M"+)l", :#),# #"% "lo 8$$+ 0u(,#"$% 8y '#$ Gov$(+7$+' &(o7 '#$ Ro7"+ C"'#ol),
C#u(,#. !+ J"+u"(y 191>, A,' No. 2555 "7$+%$% A,' No. 23>0 8y )+,lu%)+. '#$($)+ "ll
l"+% "+% 8u)l%)+. o:+$% 8y '#$ Ho0)'"l "+% '#$ -ou+%"')o+ o& S"+ L"*"(o '#$($'o&o(
l$"$% 8y 0()v"'$ 0$(o+, "+% :#),# :$($ "lo ",=u)($% 8y '#$ P#)l)00)+$ Gov$(+7$+'.
A&'$( '#$ $+",'7$+' )+ 1922 o& A,' No. 303D, '#$($ "00$"(, 'o 7y ;+o:l$%.$, 'o 8$ o+ly
o+$ '"'u'$ "u'#o()*)+. '#$ P($)%$+' 'o %)0o$ o& " 0$,)&), 0)$,$ o& 0(o0$('y. T#)
'"'u'$ ) R$0u8l), A,' No. 905, $+",'$% o+ 20 Ju+$ 1953, :#),# "u'#o()*$% '#$
P($)%$+' 'o $ll "+ !%$+')&)$% 0"(,$l o& l"+% o& '#$ 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ N"')o+"l
Gov$(+7$+' 'o '#$ N"')o+"l P($ Clu8 o& '#$ P#)l)00)+$, "+% 'o o'#$( ($,o.+)*$%
+"')o+"l "o,)"')o+ o& 0(o&$)o+"l :)'# ","%$7), '"+%)+., &o( '#$ +o7)+"l 0(),$ o&
P1.00. !' "00$"( ($l$v"+' 'o +o'$ '#"' R$0u8l), A,' No. 905 :" +o' "+ ou'().#'
%)0o)')o+ )+ 0$(0$'u)'y o& '#$ 0(o0$('y )+volv$%? )' 0(ov)%$% &o( ($v$()o+ o& '#$ 0(o0$('y
'o '#$ N"')o+"l Gov$(+7$+' )+ ,"$ '#$ N"')o+"l P($ Clu8 'o00$% u)+. )' &o( )'
#$"%=u"('$(. @#"' R$0u8l), A,' No. 905 "u'#o()*$% :" ($"lly " donation, "+% +o' " "l$.
T#$ 8"), u87))o+ #$($ 7"%$ ) '#"' A,' No. 303D 0(ov)%$ '"+%)+. l$.)l"')v$
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2
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21ilippine$, 7"y "00$"( '("+.$ o( u+uu"l. ! ($0$,'&ully u87)' '#"' u,# 0o)')o+ ) +o'
"+y 7o($ u+uu"l o( '("+.$ '#"+ '#$ "u70')o+ '#"' A('),l$ 120 o& '#$ C)v)l Co%$
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ov$( %$0"('7$+' #$"% AA('),l$ V!!, S$,')o+ 12,19D2 Co+')'u')o+B, '#$ P($)%$+' #$($l&
7"y ,"((y ou' '#$ &u+,')o+ o( %u'y '#"' ) 0$,)&),"lly lo%.$% )+ '#$ S$,($'"(y o& '#$
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M1952NB. A' '#$ v$(y l$"', '#$ P($)%$+' ($'")+ '#$ 0o:$( 'o "00(ov$ o( %)"00(ov$ '#$
$/$(,)$ o& '#"' &u+,')o+ o( %u'y :#$+ %o+$ 8y '#$ S$,($'"(y o& E+v)(o+7$+' "+% N"'u("l
R$ou(,$.
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'#$ "u'$($ =u$')o+ o& $/)'$+,$ o& l$."l 0o:$( o( "u'#o()'y. T#$y #"v$ +o'#)+. 'o %o
:)'# 7u,# %$8"'$% =u$')o+ o& :)%o7 o( 0(o0()$'y o( ($l"')v$ %$)("8)l)'y $)'#$( o& '#$
0(o0o$% %)0o)')o+ )'$l& o( o& '#$ 0(o0o$% u')l)*"')o+ o& '#$ "+'),)0"'$% 0(o,$$% o&
'#$ 0(o0$('y )+volv$%. T#$$ l"''$( 'y0$ o& ,o+)%$("')o+ H$ :)'#)+ '#$ 0#$($ o&
($0o+)8)l)'y o& '#$ 0ol)'),"l %$0"('7$+' o& .ov$(+7$+' '#$ E/$,u')v$ "+% '#$
L$.)l"')v$ "u'#o()')$.
-o( "ll '#$ &o($.o)+., ! vo'$ 'o %)7) '#$ P$')')o+ &o( P(o#)8)')o+ )+ 8o'# G.R. No. 92013
"+% 92012.
Hernan, ).J., &arva$a, Ganca!co, )orte$ and Medialdea, JJ., concurrin".
-oo'+o'$
P"%)ll", J.
1 A('. 122 o& '#$ C)v)l Co%$ 0(ov)%$E
JP(o0$('y o& 0u8l), %o7)+)o+, :#$+ +o lo+.$( )+'$+%$% &o( 0u8l), u$ o(
0u8l), $(v),$, #"ll &o(7 0"(' o& '#$ 0"'()7o+)"l 0(o0$('y o& '#$ S'"'$.
A311"B
S"(7)$+'o, J.
1 Mu+),)0"l)'y o& O" v. Ro", 2 P#)l. 20 A190>B.
2 Mu+),)0"l)'y o& H)+u+"+."+ v. D)($,'o( o& L"+%, 21 P#)l. 121 A11913B. T#$
0(o0$('y )+volv$% #$($ :" " &o('($.
3 H"('y v. Mu+),)0"l)'y o& V),'o()", 13 P#)l. 152 A1909B.
1 S$$ "lo !! TOLENT!NO, C!V!L CODE O- THE PH!L!PP!NES 39 A1922 $%.B,
,)')+. 3 M"+($" !!!. S$$ "lo P(ov)+,$ o& 5"78o"+." %$l No('$ v. C)'y o&
5"78o"+.", No. L?21110, M"(,# 2D, 19>D, 22 SCRA 1331.
5 !.+",)o v. D)($,'o( o& L"+%, 10D P#)l. 335, 339 A19>0B.
> C$8u O/y.$+ P A,$'yl$+$ Co., !+,. v. 6$(,)ll$, No. L?10121, Au.u' 29,
1925, >> SCRA 1D1.
2 G.R. No. 92013 P 92012, 21.
D S"l" v. J"($+,)o, No. L?292DD, Au.u' 30, 1922, 1> SCRA 231F R"8u,o v.
V)ll$.", No.
L?2191>, -$8(u"(y 2D, 1921, 55 SCRA >5D.
9 S$$ L)"+." 6"y Lo..)+. Co., !+,. v. Lo0$* E+".$, No. L?30>32, July 1>,
19D2, 152 SCRA D0.
10 CONST., "('. 3!!, $,. 2.
-$l),)"+o, J.
1 @$ "($ o("lly "%v)$% 8y '#$ O&&),$ o& '#$ D)($,'o( o& L"+% '#"' A,' No.
303D ) v$(y 7u,# )+ $&&$,' "+% '#"' '#$ 6u($"u o& L"+% ,o+')+u$ 'o %"'$
'o ",' u+%$( )'. S$$ "lo, )+ '#) ,o++$,')o+, S$,')o+ 2 "+% 1 o& R$0u8l),
A,' No. 122, $+",'$% 9 Ju+$ 1950 "+% " l"' "7$+%$% 8y 6.P. 6l. 233. T#)
'"'u'$ .ov$(+7$+' '#$ %)0o)')o+ o& l"+% o& '#$ 0u8l), %o7")+ "+% o& '#$
0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ S'"'$, )+,lu%)+. l"+% 0($v)ouly v$'$% )+ '#$ U+)'$%
S'"'$ Al)$+ P(o0$('y Cu'o%)"+ "+% '("+&$(($% 'o '#$ R$0u8l), o& '#$
P#)l)00)+$.
2 S)+,$ A,' No. 303D $'"8l)#$% ,$('")+ =u"l)&),"')o+ &o( "00l),"+' &o(
0u(,#"$ o( l$"$ o& l"+% o& 0()v"'$ %o7")+ o& '#$ .ov$(+7$+', )' ) ($l$v"+'
'o +o'$ '#"' E/$,u')v$ O(%$( No. 29>, 0(o7ul."'$% "' " ')7$ :#$+ '#$
P($)%$+' :" ')ll $/$(,))+. l$.)l"')v$ "u'#o()'y, 0(ov)%$ " &ollo:E
JS$,. 1. T#$ 0(ov))o+ o& R$0u8l), A,' No. 12D9, " "7$+%$%, "+% o& o'#$(
l":, 'o '#$ ,o+'("(y +o':)'#'"+%)+., '#$ "8ov$ 7$+')o+$% 0(o0$(')$ ,"+
8$ 7"%$ "v")l"8l$ &o( "l$, l$"$ o( "+y o'#$( 7"++$( o& %)0o)')o+ 'o +o+?
-)l)0)+o ,)')*$+.J AE70#") u00l)$%B
EN BANC
DECISION
February 27, 1989
G.R. No. L-32266
THE DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY, e!"!"o#er,
$%.
RUPERTO A. VILLAREAL, re%o#&e#!.
The Solicitor General for petitioner. Quasha, Asperilla, Ancheta,
Valmonte, Pena & Marcos for respondents.
CRUZ, J.:
'(e ba%") *ue%!"o# be+ore !(e Cour! "% !(e ,e-a, ),a%%"+")a!"o# o+ .a#-ro$e
%/a.%, ormanglares, a% !(ey are )o..o#,y 0#o/#. I+ !(ey are ar! o+ our
ub,") +ore%! ,a#&%, !(ey are #o! a,"e#ab,e u#&er !(e Co#%!"!u!"o#. I+ !(ey are
)o#%"&ere& ub,") a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&%, !(ey .ay be a)*u"re& u#&er r"$a!e
o/#er%(". '(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#!1% ),a". !o !(e ,a#& "# *ue%!"o# .u%! be 2u&-e&
by !(e%e )r"!er"a.
'(e %a"& ,a#& )o#%"%!% o+ 178,113 %*uare .e!er% o+ .a#-ro$e %/a.% ,o)a!e& "#
!(e .u#")"a,"!y o+ Sa"a#, Ca"3. Ruer!o 4",,area, a,"e& +or "!% re-"%!ra!"o# o#
5a#uary 26, 1979, a,,e-"#- !(a! (e a#& ("% re&e)e%%or%-"#-"#!ere%! (a& bee# "#
o%%e%%"o# o+ !(e ,a#& +or .ore !(a# +or!y year%. 8e /a% oo%e& by %e$era,
er%o#%, "#),u&"#- !(e e!"!"o#er o# be(a,+ o+ !(e Reub,") o+ !(e 9(",""#e%. A+!er
!r"a,, !(e a,")a!"o# /a% aro$e& by !(e Cour! o+ F"r%! I#%!a#)e o+ Ca"3.
[[
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'(e
&e)"%"o# /a% a++"r.e& by !(e Cour! o+ Aea,%.
[[
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'(e D"re)!or o+ Fore%!ry !(e#
)a.e !o !("% Cour! "# a e!"!"o# +or re$"e/ o# certiorari ),a"."#- !(a! !(e ,a#& "#
&"%u!e /a% +ore%!a, "# #a!ure a#& #o! %ub2e)! !o r"$a!e aror"a!"o#. 8e a%0% !(a!
!(e re-"%!ra!"o# be re$er%e&.
I! %(ou,& be %!re%%e& a! !(e ou!%e! !(a! bo!( !(e e!"!"o#er a#& !(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#!
a-ree !(a! !(e ,a#& "% .a#-ro$e ,a#&. '(ere "% #o &"%u!e a% !o !("%. '(e bo#e o+
)o#!e#!"o# be!/ee# !(e ar!"e% "% !(e ,e-a, #a!ure o+ .a#-ro$e %/a.%
or manglares. '(e e!"!"o#er ),a".%, "! "% +ore%!a, a#& !(ere+ore #o! &"%o%ab,e
a#& !(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#! "#%"%!% "! "% a,"e#ab,e a% a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&. '(e "%%ue
be+ore u% "% ,e-a,, #o! +a)!ua,.
For a roer ba)0-rou#& o+ !("% )a%e, /e (a$e !o -o ba)0 !o !(e 9(",""#e B",, o+
19:2, o#e o+ !(e ear,"er A.er")a# or-a#") a)!% "# !(e )ou#!ry. By !("% ,a/, ,a#&% o+
!(e ub,") &o.a"# "# !(e 9(",""#e I%,a#&% /ere ),a%%"+"e& "#!o !(ree -ra#&
&"$"%"o#%, !o /"!, a-r")u,!ura,, ."#era, a#& !".ber or +ore%! ,a#&%. '("% ),a%%"+")a!"o#
/a% .a"#!a"#e& "# !(e Co#%!"!u!"o# o+ !(e Co..o#/ea,!(, ro.u,-a!e& "# 1936,
u#!", "! /a% %uer%e&e& by !(e Co#%!"!u!"o# o+ 1973. '(a! #e/ )(ar!er e;a#&e& !(e
),a%%"+")a!"o# o+ ub,") ,a#&% !o "#),u&e "#&u%!r"a, or )o..er)"a,, re%"&e#!"a,,
re%e!!,e.e#!, a#& -ra3"#- ,a#&% a#& e$e# er."!!e& !(e ,e-"%,a!ure !o ro$"&e +or
o!(er )a!e-or"e%.
[[
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'("% ro$"%"o# (a% bee# rero&u)e&, bu! /"!( %ub%!a#!"a,
.o&"+")a!"o#%, "# !(e re%e#! Co#%!"!u!"o#.
[[
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<#&er !(e Co..o#/ea,!( Co#%!"!u!"o#, /(")( /a% !(e )(ar!er "# +or)e /(e# !("%
)a%e aro%e, o#,y a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% /ere a,,o/e& !o be a,"e#a!e&.
[[
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'(e"r
&"%o%"!"o# /a% ro$"&e& +or u#&er C.A. No. 141 . ="#era, a#& !".ber or +ore%!
,a#&% /ere #o! %ub2e)! !o r"$a!e o/#er%(" u#,e%% !(ey /ere +"r%! re),a%%"+"e& a%
a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% a#& %o re,ea%e& +or a,"e#a!"o#.
I# !(e ,ea&"#- )a%e o+ Montano v. Insular Government,
[[
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ro.u,-a!e& "#
19:9, .a#-ro$e %/a.% or manglares /ere &e+"#e& by !(e Cour! a%>
... .u& +,a!%, a,!er#a!e,y /a%(e& a#& e;o%e& by !(e !"&e, "# /(")( -ro/% $ar"ou%
0"#&re& ,a#!% /(")( /",, #o! ,"$e e;)e! /(e# /a!ere& by !(e %ea, e;!e#&"#- !(e"r
roo!% &ee "#!o !(e .u& a#& )a%!"#- !(e"r %ee&%, /(")( a,%o -er."#a!e !(ere. '(e%e
)o#%!"!u!e !(e .a#-ro$e +,a!% o+ !(e !ro")%, /(")( e;"%! #a!ura,,y, bu! /(")( are
a,%o, !o %o.e e;!e#! )u,!"$a!e& by .a# +or !(e %a0e o+ !(e )o.bu%!"b,e /oo& o+ !(e
.a#-ro$e a#& ,"0e !ree% a% /e,, a% +or !(e u%e+u, nipa a,. roa-a!e& !(ereo#.
A,!(ou-( !(e%e +,a!% are ,"!era,,y !"&a, ,a#&%, ye! /e are o+ !(e o"#"o# !(a! !(ey
)a##o! be %o re-ar&e& "# !(e %e#%e "# /(")( !(a! !er. "% u%e& "# !(e )a%e% )"!e& or "#
-e#era, A.er")a# 2ur"%ru&e#)e. '(e /a!er% +,o/"#- o$er !(e. are #o! a$a",ab,e
+or uro%e o+ #a$"-a!"o#, a#& !(ey .ay be &"%o%e& o+ /"!(ou! ".a"r.e#! o+ !(e
ub,") "#!ere%! "# /(a! re.a"#%.
; ; ;
<#&er !("% u#)er!a"# a#& %o.e/(a! u#%a!"%+a)!ory )o#&"!"o# o+ !(e ,a/, !(e )u%!o.
(a& -ro/# o+ )o#$er!"#- manglares a#& nipa ,a#&% "#!o +"%(er"e% /(")( be)a.e
a )o..o# +ea!ure o+ %e!!,e.e#! a,o#- !(e )oa%! a#& a! !(e %a.e !".e o+ !(e )(a#-e
o+ %o$ere"-#!y )o#%!"!u!e& o#e o+ !(e .o%! ro&u)!"$e "#&u%!r"e% o+ !(e I%,a#&%, !(e
abro-a!"o# o+ /(")( /ou,& &e%!roy $e%!e& "#!ere%!% a#& ro$e a ub,") &"%a%!er.
=a#-ro$e %/a.% /ere !(u% )o#%"&ere& a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% a#& %o %u%)e!"b,e o+
r"$a!e o/#er%(".
Sub%e*ue#!,y, !(e 9(",""#e Le-"%,a!ure )a!e-or")a,,y &e),are&, &e%"!e !(e abo$e-
)"!e& )a%e, !(a! .a#-ro$e %/a.% +or. ar! o+ !(e ub,") +ore%!% o+ !("% )ou#!ry.
'("% "! &"& "# !(e A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e o+ 1917, /(")( be)a.e e++e)!"$e o# O)!ober
1 o+ !(a! year, !(u%>
Se)!"o# 182:. ords and phrase de!ned. - For !(e uro%e o+ !("% )(a!er
1ub,") +ore%!1 "#),u&e%, e;)e! a% o!(er/"%e %e)"a,,y "#&")a!e&, a,, u#re%er$e&
ub,") ,a#&, "#),u&"#- nipa a#& .a#-ro$e %/a.%, a#& a,, +ore%! re%er$e% o+
/(a!e$er )(ara)!er.
I! "% #o!e/or!(y, !(ou-(, !(a! #o!/"!(%!a#&"#- !("% &e+"#"!"o#, !(e Cour! .a"#!a"#e&
!(e &o)!r"#e "# !(e Montano )a%e /(e# !/o year% ,a!er "! (e,& "# !(e )a%e
o+ "ocson v. #irector of $orestr%>
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...!(e /or&% !".ber ,a#& are a,/ay% !ra#%,a!e& "# !(e Sa#"%( !ra#%,a!"o# o+ !(a! A)!
?A)! o+ Co#-re%%@ a% terrenos forestales. Ae !("#0 !(ere "% a# error "# !("%
!ra#%,a!"o# a#& !(a! a be!!er !ra#%,a!"o# /ou,& be 1!erre#o% .a&erero%.1 Lu.ber ,a#&
"# E#-,"%( .ea#% ,a#& /"!( !ree% -ro/"#- o# "!. '(e .a#-,er ,a#! /ou,& #e$er be
)a,,e& a !ree "# E#-,"%( bu! a bu%(, a#& ,a#& /(")( (a% o#,y bu%(e%, %(rub% or
a*ua!") ,a#!% -ro/"#- o# "! )a##o! be )a,,e& 1!".ber ,a#&.
;;; ;;; ;;;
'(e +a)! !(a! !(ere are a +e/ !ree% -ro/"#- "# a manglare or nipa %/a.% &oe%
#o! )(a#-e !(e -e#era, )(ara)!er o+ !(e ,a#& +ro. manglare !o !".ber ,a#&.
=ore !o !(e o"#!, a&&re%%"#- "!%e,+ &"re)!,y !o abo$e-*uo!e& Se)!"o# 182:, !(e
Cour! &e),are&>
I# !(e )a%e o+ Mapa vs. Insular Government ?10 Phil. 175@, !("% Cour!
%a"& !(a! !(e (ra%e a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% a% u%e& "# Act No. 926 .ea#% !(o%e ub,")
,a#&% a)*u"re& +ro. Sa"# /(")( are #o! !".ber or ."#era, ,a#&%.
A(a!e$er .ay (a$e bee# !(e .ea#"#- o+ !(e !er. 1+ore%!ry1 u#&er !(e Sa#"%( ,a/,
!(e A)! o+ Co#-re%% o+ 5u,y 1%! 19:2, ),a%%"+"e% !(e ub,") ,a#&% "# !(e 9(",""#e
I%,a#&% a% !".ber, ."#era, or a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&%, a#& a,, ub,") ,a#&% !(a! are #o!
!".ber or ."#era, ,a#&% are #e)e%%ar",y a-r")u,!ura, ub,") ,a#&%, /(e!(er !(ey are
u%e& a% nipa %/a.%, manglares, +"%(er"e% or or&"#ary +ar. ,a#&%.
'(e &e+"#"!"o# o+ +ore%!ry a% "#),u&"#- manglares +ou#& "# !(e A&."#"%!ra!"$e
Co&e o+ 1917 )a##o! a++e)! r"-(!% /(")( $e%!e& r"or !o "!% e#a)!.e#!.
'(e%e ,a#&% be"#- #e"!(er !".ber #or ."#era, ,a#&%, !(e !r"a, )our! %(ou,& (a$e
)o#%"&ere& !(e. a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&%. I+ !(ey are a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&%, !(e# !(e r"-(!% o+
ae,,a#!% are +u,,y e%!ab,"%(e& by Act No. 926 .
'(e &o)!r"#e /a% re"!era!e& %!",, ,a!er "# Garchitorena Vda. de &entenera v.
'(ias,
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ro.u,-a!e& o# =ar)( 7, 1933, .ore !(a# +"+!ee# year% a+!er !(e
e++e)!"$"!y o+ !(e A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e o+ 1917. 5u%!")e O%!ra#& &e),are& +or a
u#a#".ou% Cour!>
'(e oo%"!"o# re%!% .a"#,y uo# !(e roo%"!"o# !(a! !(e ,a#& )o$ere& by !(e
a,")a!"o# !(ere are .a#-ro$e ,a#&% a% %(o/# "# ("% oo#e#!1% E;(. 1, bu! /e
!("#0 !("% oo%"!"o# o+ !(e D"re)!or o+ Fore%!ry "% u#!e#ab,e, "#a%.u)( a% "! (a%
bee# &e+"#"!e,y &e)"&e& !(a! .a#-ro$e ,a#&% are #o! +ore%! ,a#&% "# !(e %e#%e "#
/(")( !("% (ra%e "% u%e& "# !(e A)! o+ Co#-re%%.
No e,abora!"o# /a% .a&e o# !("% )o#),u%"o# /(")( /a% .ere,y ba%e& o# !(e )a%e%
o+ =o#!a#o a#& 5o)%o#. A#& "# 1977, !(e abo$e ru,"#- /a% rea++"r.e&
"# Tongson v. #irector of $orestr%,
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/"!( 5u%!")e Fer#a#&o &e),ar"#- !(a!
!(e .a#-ro$e ,a#&% "# ,"!"% /ere a-r")u,!ura, "# #a!ure. '(e &e)"%"o# e$e# *uo!e&
/"!( aro$a, !(e %!a!e.e#! o+ !(e !r"a, )our! !(a!>
... =a#-ro$e %/a.% /(ere o#,y !ree% o+ .a#-ro$e %e)"e% -ro/, /(ere !(e !ree%
are %.a,, a#& %ar%e, +"! o#,y +or +"re/oo& uro%e% a#& !(e !ree% -ro/"#- are #o!
o+ )o..er)"a, $a,ue a% ,u.ber &o #o! )o#$er! !(e ,a#& "#!o ub,") ,a#&. Su)( ,a#&%
are #o! +ore%! "# )(ara)!er. '(ey &o #o! +or. ar! o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"#.
O#,y ,a%! year, "# )epu(lic v. #e Por*an,
[[
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!(e Cour!, )"!"#- +riven*o v.
)egister of #eeds,
[[
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re"!era!e& !(e ru,"#- "# !(e =aa )a%e !(a! Ba,, ub,")
,a#&% !(a! are #o! !".ber or ."#era, ,a#&% are #e)e%%ar",y a-r")u,!ura, ub,") ,a#&%,
/(e!(er !(ey are u%e& a% nipa%/a.%, manglares, +"%(er"e% or or&"#ary +ar.
,a#&%.
Bu! !(e rob,e. "% #o! a,, !(a! %".,e. A% "! (ae#%, !(ere "% a,%o a ,"#e o+
&e)"%"o#% (o,&"#- !(e )o#!rary $"e/.
I# ,ngson v. Secretar% of Agriculture and -atural )esources,
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ro.u,-a!e& "# 1983, !(e Cour! ru,e& B!(a! !(e Bureau o+ F"%(er"e% (a% #o
2ur"%&")!"o# !o &"%o%e o+ %/a. ,a#&% or .a#-ro$e ,a#&% +or."#- ar! o+ !(e
ub,") &o.a"# /(",e %u)( ,a#&% are %!",, ),a%%"+"e& a% +ore%! ,a#&%.
Four .o#!(% ,a!er, "# .eirs of Amunategui v. #irector of $orestr%,
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!(e
Cour! /a% .ore o%"!"$e /(e# "! (e,&, a-a"# !(rou-( 5u%!")e Gu!"erre3>
'(e 8e"r% o+ 5o%e A.u#a!e-u" .a"#!a"# !(a! Lo! No. 886 )a##o! be ),a%%"+"e& a%
+ore%! ,a#& be)au%e "! "% #o! !(")0,y +ore%!e& bu! "% a 1.a#-ro$e %/a.%.1 A,!(ou-(
)o#)e&"#- !(a! 1.a#-ro$e %/a.1 "% "#),u&e& "# !(e ),a%%"+")a!"o# o+ +ore%! ,a#& "#
a))or&a#)e /"!( Se)!"o# 182: o+ !(e Re$"%e& A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e, !(e e!"!"o#er%
ar-ue !(a! #o b"- !ree% ),a%%"+"e& "# Se)!"o# 1821 o+ !(e %a"& Co&e a% +"r%!, %e)o#&
a#& !("r& -rou% are +ou#& o# !(e ,a#& "# *ue%!"o#. Fur!(er.ore, !(ey )o#!e#& !(a!
Lo! 886, e$e# "+ "! "% a .a#-ro$e %/a., "% %!",, %ub2e)! !o ,a#& re-"%!ra!"o#
ro)ee&"#-% be)au%e !(e roer!y (a& bee# "# a)!ua, o%%e%%"o# o+ r"$a!e er%o#%
+or .a#y year%, a#& !(ere+ore, %a"& ,a#& /a% a,rea&y 1r"$a!e ,a#&1 be!!er a&a!e&
a#& .ore $a,uab,e +or a-r")u,!ura, !(a# +or +ore%! uro%e% a#& #o! re*u"re& by !(e
ub,") "#!ere%!% !o be 0e! u#&er +ore%! ),a%%"+")a!"o#.
'(e e!"!"o# "% /"!(ou! .er"!.
A +ore%!e& area ),a%%"+"e& a% +ore%! ,a#& o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"# &oe% #o! ,o%e %u)(
),a%%"+")a!"o# %".,y be)au%e ,o--er% or %e!!,er% .ay (a$e %!r"e& "! o+ "!% +ore%!
)o$er. 9ar)e,% o+ ,a#& ),a%%"+"e& a% +ore%! ,a#& .ay a)!ua,,y be )o$ere& /"!( -ra%%
or ,a#!e& !o )ro% by 0a"#-"# )u,!"$a!or% or o!(er +ar.er%. 1Fore%!e& ,a#&%1 &o #o!
(a$e !o be o# .ou#!a"#% or "# ou!-o+-!(e-/ay ,a)e%. S/a.y area% )o$ere& by
.a#-ro$e !ree%, nipa a,.%, a#& o!(er !ree% -ro/"#- "# bra)0"%( or %ea /a!er .ay
a,%o be ),a%%"+"e& a% +ore%! ,a#&. '(e ),a%%"+")a!"o# "% &e%)r"!"$e o+ "!% ,e-a, #a!ure
or %!a!u% a#& &oe% #o! (a$e !o be &e%)r"!"$e o+ /(a! !(e ,a#& a)!ua,,y ,oo0% ,"0e.
<#,e%% a#& u#!", !(e ,a#& ),a%%%"+"e& a% 1+ore%!1 "% re,ea%e& "# a# o++")"a,
ro),a.a!"o# !o !(a! e++e)! %o !(a! "! .ay +or. ar! o+ !(e &"%o%ab,e a-r")u,!ura,
,a#&% o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"#, !(e ru,e% o# )o#+"r.a!"o# o+ ".er+e)! !"!,e% &o #o!
a,y.
'(e $"e/ /a% .a"#!a"#e& "# Vallarta v. Intermediate Appellate &ourt,
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/(ere !("% Cour! a-ree& /"!( !(e So,")"!or Ge#era,1% %ub."%%"o# !(a! !(e ,a#& "#
&"%u!e, /(")( (e &e%)r"be& a% B%/a. .a#-ro$e or +ore%!a, ,a#&,B /ere #o!
r"$a!e roer!"e% a#& %o #o! re-"%!erab,e. '("% )a%e /a% &e)"&e& o#,y !/e,$e &ay%
a+!er !(e #e Por*an )a%e.
Fa)e& /"!( !(e%e aare#! )o#!ra&")!"o#%, !(e Cour! +ee,% !(ere "% a #ee& +or a
)a!e-or")a, ro#ou#)e.e#! !(a! %(ou,& re%o,$e o#)e a#& +or a,, !(e *ue%!"o# o+
/(e!(er .a#-ro$e %/a.% are a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% or +ore%! ,a#&%.
'(e &e!er."#a!"o# o+ !("% *ue%!"o# "% a +u#)!"o# "#"!"a,,y be,o#-"#- !o !(e
,e-"%,a!ure, /(")( (a% !(e au!(or"!y !o ".,e.e#! !(e )o#%!"!u!"o#a, ro$"%"o#
),a%%"+y"#- !(e ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"# ?a#& "% #o/ e$e# er."!!e& !o ro$"&e
+or .ore )a!e-or"e% o+ ub,") ,a#&%@. '(e ,e-"%,a!ure (a$"#- .a&e %u)(
".,e.e#!a!"o#, !(e e;e)u!"$e o++")"a,% .ay !(e#, "# !(e &"%)(ar-e o+ !(e"r o/#
ro,e, a&."#"%!er our ub,") ,a#&% ur%ua#! !o !(e"r )o#%!"!u!"o#a, &u!y B !o e#%ure
!(a! !(e ,a/% be +a"!(+u,,y e;e)u!e&1 a#& "# a))or&a#)e /"!( !(e o,")y re%)r"be&.
For !(e"r ar!, !(e )our!% /",, %!e "#!o !(e ")!ure "+ !(e ru,e% ,a"& &o/# by !(e
,e-"%,a!ure are )(a,,e#-e& or, a%%u."#- !(ey are $a,"&, "! "% ),a".e& !(a! !(ey are #o!
be"#- )orre)!,y ob%er$e& by !(e e;e)u!"$e. '(u% &o !(e !(ree &ear!.e#!%,
)oor&"#a!"#- /"!( ea)( o!(er, ur%ue a#& a)("e$e !(e ob2e)!"$e% o+ !(e Co#%!"!u!"o#
"# !(e )o#%er$a!"o# a#& u!","3a!"o# o+ our #a!ura, re%our)e%.
I# C.A. No. 141, !(e Na!"o#a, A%%e.b,y &e,e-a!e& !o !(e 9re%"&e#! o+ !(e
9(",""#e% !(e +u#)!"o# o+ .a0"#- er"o&") ),a%%"+")a!"o#% o+ ub,") ,a#&%, !(u%>
Se). 6. '(e 9re%"&e#!, uo# !(e re)o..e#&a!"o# o+ !(e Se)re!ary o+ A-r")u,!ure
a#& Na!ura, Re%our)e%, %(a,, +ro. !".e !o !".e ),a%%"+y !(e ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,")
&o.a"# "#!o>
(a) Alienable or disposable,
(b) Lumber, and
(c) Mineral lands,
a#& .ay a! a#y !".e a#& "# a ,"0e .a##er !ra#%+er %u)( ,a#&% +ro. o#e ),a%% !o
a#o!(er, +or !(e uro%e% o+ !(e"r a&."#"%!ra!"o# a#& &"%o%"!"o#.
Se). 7. For !(e uro%e% o+ !(e a&."#"%!ra!"o# a#& &"%o%"!"o# o+ a,"e#ab,e or
&"%o%ab,e ,a#&%, !(e 9re%"&e#!, uo# re)o..e#&a!"o# by !(e Se)re!ary o+
A-r")u,!ure a#& Na!ura, Re%our)e%, %(a,, +ro. !".e !o !".e &e),are /(a! ,a#&% are
oe# !o &"%o%"!"o# or )o#)e%%"o# u#&er !("% A)!.
A"!( ar!")u,ar re-ar& !o a,"e#ab,e ub,") ,a#&%, Se)!"o# 9 o+ !(e %a.e ,a/
ro$"&e%>
For !(e uro%e o+ !(e"r a&."#"%!ra!"o# a#& &"%o%"!"o#, !(e ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,")
&o.a"# a,"e#ab,e or oe# !o &"%o%"!"o# %(a,, be ),a%%"+"e&, a))or&"#- !o !(e u%e or
uro%e% !o /(")( %u)( ,a#&% are &e%!"#e&, a% +o,,o/%>
(a) Agricultural;
(b) Residential, commercial, industrial, or for similar productive purposes;
(c) Educational, charitable, or other similar purposes; and
(d) Reservations for townsites and for public and quasi-public uses
'(e 9re%"&e#!, uo# re)o..e#&a!"o# by !(e Se)re!ary o+ A-r")u,!ure a#& Na!ura,
Re%our)e%, %(a,, +ro. !".e !o !".e .a0e !(e ),a%%"+")a!"o#% ro$"&e& +or "# !("%
%e)!"o#, a#& .ay, a! a#y !".e a#& "# a %".",ar .a##er, !ra#%+er ,a#&% +ro. o#e ),a%%
!o a#o!(er.
A% +or !".ber or +ore%! ,a#&%, !(e Re$"%e& A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e %!a!e% a% +o,,o/%>
Se). 1826. )egulation setting apart forest reserves/ )evocation of
same. - <o# !(ere )o..e#&a!"o# o+ !(e D"re)!or o+ Fore%!ry, /"!( !(e aro$a,
o+ !(e Dear!.e#! 8ea&, !(e 9re%"&e#! o+ !(e 9(",""#e% .ay %e! aar! +ore%!
re%er$e% +ro. !(e ub,") ,a#&% a#& (e %(a,, by ro),a.a!"o# &e),are !(e
e%!ab,"%(.e#! o+ %u)( re%er$e% a#& !(e bou#&ar"e% !(ereo+, a#& !(erea+!er %u)(
+ore%! re%er$e% %(a,, #o! be e#!ere&, %o,&, or o!(er/"%e &"%o%e& o+, bu! %(a,, re.a"#
a% %u)( +or +ore%! u%e%, a#& %(a,, be a&."#"%!ere& "# !(e %a.e .a##er a% ub,")
+ore%!.
'(e 9re%"&e#! o+ !(e 9(",""#e% .ay "# ,"0e .a##er by ro),a.a!"o# a,!er or
.o&"+y !(e bou#&ar"e% o+ a#y +ore%! re%er$e +ro. !".e !o !".e, or re$o0e a#y %u)(
ro),a.a!"o#, a#& uo# %u)( re$o)a!"o# %u)( +ore%! re%er$e %(a,, be a#& be)o.e
ar! o+ !(e ub,") ,a#&% a% !(ou-( %u)( ro),a.a!"o# (a& #e$er bee# .a&e.
Se). 1827. Assignment of forest land for agricultural purposes. -
La#&% "# ub,") +ore%!, #o! "#),u&"#- +ore%! re%er$e%, uo# !(e )er!"+")a!"o# o+ !(e
D"re)!or o+ Fore%!ry !(a! %a"& ,a#&% are be!!er a&a!e& a#& .ore $a,uab,e +or
a-r")u,!ura, !(a# +or +ore%! uro%e% a#& #o! re*u"re& by !(e ub,") "#!ere%!% !o be
0e! u#&er +ore%!, %(a,, be &e),are& by !(e Dear!.e#! 8ea& !o be a-r")u,!ura,
,a#&%.
A"!( !(e%e r"#)",e% "# ."#&, /e rea)( !(e +o,,o/"#- )o#),u%"o#>
=a#-ro$e %/a.% or manglares %(ou,& be u#&er%!oo& a% )o.r"%e& /"!("# !(e
ub,") +ore%!% o+ !(e 9(",""#e% a% &e+"#e& "# !(e a+ore)"!e& Se)!"o# 182: o+ !(e
A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e o+ 1917. '(e ,e-"%,a!ure (a$"#- %o &e!er."#e&, /e (a$e #o
au!(or"!y !o "-#ore or .o&"+y "!% &e)"%"o#, a#& "# e++e)! $e!o "!, "# !(e e;er)"%e o+
our o/# &"%)re!"o#. '(e %!a!u!ory &e+"#"!"o# re.a"#% u#)(a#-e& !o &a!e a#&, #o ,e%%
#o!e/or!(y, "% a))e!e& a#& "#$o0e& by !(e e;e)u!"$e &ear!.e#!. =ore
".or!a#!,y, !(e %a"& ro$"%"o# (a% #o! bee# )(a,,e#-e& a% arb"!rary or u#rea,"%!") or
u#)o#%!"!u!"o#a, a%%u."#- !(e re*u"%"!e )o#&"!"o#%, !o 2u%!"+y our 2u&")"a,
"#!er$e#!"o# a#& %)ru!"#y. '(e ,a/ "% !(u% re%u.e& $a,"& a#& %o .u%! be re%e)!e&.
Ae reea! our %!a!e.e#! "# !(e Amunategui )a%e !(a! !(e ),a%%"+")a!"o# o+
.a#-ro$e %/a.% a% +ore%! ,a#&% "% &e%)r"!"$e o+ "!% ,e-a, #a!ure or %!a!u% a#&
&oe% #o! (a$e !o be &e%)r"!"$e o+ /(a! !(e ,a#& a)!ua,,y ,oo0% ,"0e. '(a!
&e!er."#a!"o# (a$"#- bee# .a&e a#& #o )o-e#! ar-u.e#! (a$"#- bee# ra"%e& !o
a##u, "!, /e (a$e #o &u!y a% 2u&-e% bu! !o a,y "!. A#& %o /e %(a,,.
Our re$"ou% &e%)r"!"o# o+ !(e !er. "# *ue%!"o# a% er!a"#"#- !o our a-r")u,!ura,
,a#&% %(ou,& be u#&er%!oo& a% )o$er"#- o#,y !(o%e ,a#&% o$er /(")( o/#er%(" (a&
a,rea&y $e%!e& be+ore !(e A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e o+ 1917 be)a.e e++e)!"$e. Su)(
,a#&% )ou,& #o! be re!roa)!"$e,y ,e-"%,a!e& a% +ore%! ,a#&% be)au%e !("% /ou,& be
$"o,a!"$e o+ a &u,y a)*u"re& roer!y r"-(! ro!e)!e& by !(e &ue ro)e%% ),au%e. So
/e ru,e& a-a"# o#,y !/o .o#!(% a-o "# )epu(lic of the Philippines vs.
&ourt of Appeals,
[[
15
]]
/(ere !(e o%%e%%"o# o+ !(e ,a#& "# &"%u!e )o..e#)e& a%
ear,y a% 19:9, be+ore "! /a% .u)( ,a!er ),a%%"+"e& a% !".ber,a#&.
I! +o,,o/% +ro. a,, !("% !(a! !(e ,a#& u#&er )o#!e#!"o# be"#- a&."!!e&,y a ar! o+ !(e
.a#-ro$e %/a.% o+ Sa"a#, a#& +or /(")( a ."#or +ore%! ,")e#%e (a& "# +a)! bee#
"%%ue& by !(e Bureau o+ Fore%!ry +ro. 192: !o 196:, "! .u%! be )o#%"&ere& +ore%!
,a#&. I! )ou,& !(ere+ore #o! be !(e %ub2e)! o+ !(e a&$er%e o%%e%%"o# a#& )o#%e*ue#!
o/#er%(" ),a".e& by !(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#! "# %uor! o+ ("% a,")a!"o# +or
re-"%!ra!"o#. 'o be %o, "! (a& +"r%! !o be re,ea%e& a% +ore%! ,a#& a#& re),a%%"+"e& a%
a-r")u,!ura, ,a#& ur%ua#! !o !(e )er!"+")a!"o# !(e D"re)!or o+ Fore%!ry .ay "%%ue
u#&er Se)!"o# 1827 o+ !(e Re$"%e& A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e.
'(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#! "#$o0e% !(e %ur$ey ,a# o+ !(e .a#-ro$e %/a.% aro$e&
by !(e D"re)!or o+ La#&%, 16 !o ro$e !(a! !(e ,a#& "% re-"%!erab,e. I! %(ou,& be
,a"#, (o/e$er, !(a! !(e .ere e;"%!e#)e o+ %u)( a ,a# /ou,& #o! (a$e !(e e++e)! o+
)o#$er!"#- !(e .a#-ro$e %/a.%, a% +ore%! ,a#&, "#!o a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&. Su)(
aro$a, "% "#e++e)!ua, be)au%e "! "% ),ear,y "# o++")"ou%. '(e D"re)!or o+ La#&% /a%
#o! au!(or"3e& !o a)! "# !(e re."%e%. <#&er !(e a+ore)"!e& ,a/, "! "% !(e D"re)!or o+
Fore%!ry /(o (a% !(e au!(or"!y !o &e!er."#e /(e!(er +ore%! ,a#& "% .ore $a,uab,e
+or a-r")u,!ura, ra!(er !(a# +ore%!ry u%e%, a% a ba%"% +or "!% &e),ara!"o# a% a-r")u,!ura,
,a#& a#& re,ea%e +or r"$a!e o/#er%(".
'(u% /e (e,& "# !(e ,ngson )a%e>
I! "% e,e.e#!ary "# !(e ,a/ -o$er#"#- !(e &"%o%"!"o# o+ ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"#
!(a! u#!", !".ber or +ore%! ,a#&% are re,ea%e& a% &"%o%ab,e a#& a,"e#ab,e #e"!(er !(e
Bureau o+ La#&% #or !(e Bureau o+ F"%(er"e% (a% au!(or"!y !o ,ea%e, -ra#!, %e,, or
o!(er/"%e &"%o%e o+ !(e%e ,a#&% +or (o.e%!ea&%, %a,e% a!e#!%, ,ea%e% +or -ra3"#- or
o!(er uro%e%, +"%(o#& ,ea%e% a#& o!(er .o&e% o+ u!","3a!"o#.
'(e Bureau o+ F"%(er"e% (a% #o 2ur"%&")!"o# !o a&."#"%!er a#& &"%o%e o+ %/a.
,a#&% or .a#-ro$e ,a#&% +or."#- ar! o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"# /(",e %u)( ,a#&% are
%!",, ),a%%"+"e& a% +ore%! ,a#& or !".ber ,a#& a#& #o! re,ea%e& +or +"%(ery or o!(er
uro%e%.
'(e %a.e ru,e /a% e)(oe& "# !(e Vallarta )a%e, !(u%>
I! "% e,e.e#!ary "# !(e ,a/ -o$er#"#- #a!ura, re%our)e% !(a! +ore%! ,a#& )a##o! be
o/#e& by r"$a!e er%o#%. I! "% #o! re-"%!erab,e. '(e a&$er%e o%%e%%"o# /(")( )a#
be !(e ba%"% o+ a -ra#! o+ !"!,e "# )o#+"r.a!"o# o+ ".er+e)! !"!,e )a%e% )a##o!
)o..e#)e u#!", a+!er !(e +ore%! ,a#& (a% bee# &e),are& a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e.
9o%%e%%"o# o+ +ore%! ,a#&, #o .a!!er bo/ ,o#- )a##o! )o#$er! "! "#!o r"$a!e
roer!y.1
Ae +"#& "# +a)! !(a! e$e# "+ !(e ,a#& "# &"%u!e /ere a-r")u,!ura, "# #a!ure, !(e roo+
!(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#! o++er% o+ re%)r"!"$e o%%e%%"o# !(ereo+ "% re.ar0ab,y
.ea-er a#& o+ &ub"ou% er%ua%"$e#e%%. '(e re)or& )o#!a"#% #o )o#$"#)"#-
e$"&e#)e o+ !(e e;"%!e#)e o+ !(e informacion posesoria a,,e-e&,y ob!a"#e& by
!(e or"-"#a, !ra#%+eror o+ !(e roer!y, ,e! a,o#e !(e +a)! !(a! !(e )o#&"!"o#% +or
a)*u"r"#- !"!,e !(ereu#&er (a$e bee# %a!"%+"e&. No/(ere (a% "! bee# %(o/# !(a!
!(e informacion posesoria (a% bee# "#%)r"be& or re-"%!ere& "# !(e re-"%!ry o+
roer!y a#& !(a! !(e ,a#& (a% bee# u#&er !(e a)!ua, a#& a&$er%e o%%e%%"o# o+ !(e
r"$a!e re%o#&e#! +or !/e#!y year% a% re*u"re& by !(e Sa#"%( =or!-a-e La/.
[[
17
]]
'(e%e .a!!er% are #o! re%u.e& bu! .u%! be e%!ab,"%(e& /"!( &e+"#"!e roo+,
/(")( "% ,a)0"#- "# !("% )a%e.
S"-#"+")a#!,y, !(e !a; &e),ara!"o#% .a&e by !(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#! /ere ra)!")a,,y
!(e o#,y ba%"% u%e& by !(e ae,,a!e )our! "# %u%!a"#"#- ("% ),a". o+ o%%e%%"o# o$er
!(e ,a#& "# *ue%!"o#. 'a; &e),ara!"o#% are, o+ )our%e, #o! %u++")"e#! !o ro$e
o%%e%%"o# a#& .u)( ,e%% $e%! o/#er%(" "# +a$or o+ !(e &e),ara#!, a% /e (a$e (e,&
"# )ou#!,e%% )a%e%.
[[
18
]]
Ae (o,&, "# %u., !(a! !(e r"$a!e re%o#&e#! (a% #o! e%!ab,"%(e& ("% r"-(! !o !(e
re-"%!ra!"o# o+ !(e %ub2e)! ,a#& "# ("% #a.e. A))or&"#-,y, !(e e!"!"o# .u%! be
-ra#!e&.
I! "% re"!era!e& +or e.(a%"% !(a!, )o#+or.ab,y !o !(e ,e-"%,a!"$e &e+"#"!"o#
e.bo&"e& "# Se)!"o# 182: o+ !(e Re$"%e& A&."#"%!ra!"$e Co&e o+ 1917, /(")(
re.a"#% u#a.e#&e& u !o #o/, .a#-ro$e %/a.% or manglares +or. ar! o+ !(e
ub,") +ore%!% o+ !(e 9(",""#e%. A% %u)(, !(ey are #o! a,"e#ab,e u#&er !(e
Co#%!"!u!"o# a#& .ay #o! be !(e %ub2e)! o+ r"$a!e o/#er%(" u#!", a#& u#,e%% !(ey
are +"r%! re,ea%e& a% +ore%! ,a#& a#& ),a%%"+"e& a% a,"e#ab,e a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&.
A8EREFORE, !(e &e)"%"o# o+ !(e Cour! o+ Aea,% "% SE' ASIDE a#& !(e
a,")a!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# o+ !"!,e o+ r"$a!e re%o#&e#! "% DIS=ISSED, /"!( )o%!
a-a"#%! (".. '("% &e)"%"o# "% "..e&"a!e,y e;e)u!ory.
SO ORDERED.
-arvasa, Melencio/.errera, Gutierre0, "r., Paras, $eliciano,
Ganca%co, Padilla, 1idin, Sarmiento, &ortes, Gri2o/A3uino,
Medialdea and )egalado, ""., concur. $ernan, &."., too* no part.
Footnotes
[[
1
]]
Re)or& o# Aea,, . 71-63, Ro,,o . 18C De)"%"o# e##e& by 5u&-e I-#a)"o
Debu*ue.
[[
2
]]
Ro,,o . 16-17C De)"%"o# e##e& by Co#)e)"o#, 5r., 5., Serra#o a#&
Sa# D"e-o, 55., )o#)urr"#-.
[[
3
]]
Se). 1:, Ar!. DI4, 1973 Co#%!"!u!"o#.
[[
4
]]
Se). 3, Ar!.
DII, 1987 Co#%!"!u!"o#.
[[
5
]]
Se). 1, Ar!. DIII, 1936 Co#%!"!u!"o#.
[[
6
]]
12 Phil.
572.
[[
7
]]
39 Phil. 560.
[[
8
]]
58 Phil. 21.
[[
9
]]
79 SCRA 13:.
[[
10
]]
161 SCRA
88.
[[
11
]]
79 SCRA 761.
[[
12
]]
3 SCRA 771. 13 126 SCRA 69.
[[
14
]]
161 SCRA
679.
[[
15
]]
G.R. No. L46048, No$e.ber 29, 1988.
[[
16
]]
Br"e+ +or !(e A,")a#!-
Ae,,ee, . 6-6, Ro,,o, . 2:.
[[
17
]]
Reub,") o+ !(e 9(",""#e% $. CA a#& ="-ue,,
G.R. No. I, 6:877, =ay 21, 1988, )"!"#- D"re)!or o+ La#&% $. Reye%, 68 SCRA 177,
Fer#a#&e3 8er.a#o% $. D"re)!or o+ La#&%, 57 Phil. 929, Euero, $. Euero,, 48
Phil. 90C Ar)(b"%(o o+ =a#",a $. Ar#e&o, 30 Phil. 593 a#& Car"#o $. I#%u,ar
Go$er#.e#!, 8 Phil. 150.
[[
18
]]
5.=. 'ua%o# a#& Co., I#). $. 4",,a#ue$a, 1:7 9(",.
673C =a%a-a#&a $. Ar-a.o%a, 1:9 SCRA 63C D"re)!or o+ La#&% $. CA., 133
!CRA 701C De Gu3.a#, $. C.A., 178 SCRA 76.
EN BANC
MG.R. No. 133250. July 9, 2002N
-RANC!SCO !. CHAVE5, petitioner, v$. PU6L!C ESTATES
AUTHOR!T4 "+% AMAR! COASTAL 6A4 DEVELOPMENT
CORPORAT!ON, re$pondent$.
D E C ! S ! O N
CARP!O, J.E
This is an original Petition for Mandamus with prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction an a temporary restraining orer! The petition see"s to compel the Public
Estates Authority #$PEA% for bre&ity' to isclose all facts on PEA(s then on)going
renegotiations with Amari Coastal Bay an *e&elopment Corporation #$AMAR+% for
bre&ity' to reclaim portions of Manila Bay! The petition further see"s to enjoin PEA
from signing a new agreement with AMAR+ in&ol&ing such reclamation!
T#$ -",'
,n No&ember -., /012, the go&ernment, through the Commissioner of Public
3ighways, signe a contract with the Construction an *e&elopment Corporation of
the Philippines #$C*CP% for bre&ity' to reclaim certain foreshore an offshore areas
of Manila Bay! The contract also inclue the construction of Phases + an ++ of the
Manila)Ca&ite Coastal Roa! C*CP obligate itself to carry out all the wor"s in
consieration of fifty percent of the total reclaime lan!
,n 4ebruary 5, /011, then Presient 4erinan E! Marcos issue Presiential
*ecree No! /.65 creating PEA! P* No! /.65 tas"e PEA $to reclaim lan, incluing
foreshore an submerge areas,% an $to e&elop, impro&e, ac7uire, 8 8 8 lease an
sell any an all "ins of lans!%
9/:
,n the same ate, then Presient Marcos issue
Presiential *ecree No! /.6; transferring to PEA the $lans reclaime in the
foreshore an offshore of the Manila Bay%
9-:
uner the Manila)Ca&ite Coastal Roa
an Reclamation Project #MCCRRP'!
,n *ecember -0, /06/, then Presient Marcos issue a memoranum irecting
PEA to amen its contract with C*CP, so that $9A:ll future wor"s in MCCRRP 8 8 8
shall be fune an owne by PEA!% Accoringly, PEA an C*CP e8ecute a
Memoranum of Agreement ate *ecember -0, /06/, which state<
$#i' C*CP shall unerta"e all reclamation, construction, an such other
wor"s in the MCCRRP as may be agree upon by the parties, to be pai
accoring to progress of wor"s on a unit price=lump sum basis for items of
wor" to be agree upon, subject to price escalation, retention an other
terms an conitions pro&ie for in Presiential *ecree No! /;05! All the
financing re7uire for such wor"s shall be pro&ie by PEA!
8 8 8
#iii' 8 8 8 C*CP shall gi&e up all its e&elopment rights an hereby agrees
to cee an transfer in fa&or of PEA, all of the rights, title, interest an
participation of C*CP in an to all the areas of lan reclaime by C*CP in
the MCCRRP as of *ecember 2., /06/ which ha&e not yet been sol,
transferre or otherwise ispose of by C*CP as of sai ate, which areas
consist of appro8imately Ninety)Nine Thousan 4our 3unre >e&enty
Three #00,512' s7uare meters in the 4inancial Center Area co&ere by lan
plege No! ; an appro8imately Three Million Three 3unre Eighty Two
Thousan Eight 3unre Eighty Eight #2,26-,666' s7uare meters of
reclaime areas at &arying ele&ations abo&e Mean ?ow @ater ?e&el
locate outsie the 4inancial Center Area an the 4irst Neighborhoo
Anit!%
92:
,n Banuary /0, /066, then Presient CoraCon C! A7uino issue >pecial Patent
No! 2;/1, granting an transferring to PEA $the parcels of lan so reclaime uner
the Manila)Ca&ite Coastal Roa an Reclamation Project #MCCRRP' containing a
total area of one million nine hunre fifteen thousan eight hunre ninety four
#/,0/;,605' s7uare meters!% >ubse7uently, on April 0, /066, the Register of *ees of
the Municipality of ParaDa7ue issue Transfer Certificates of Title Nos! 12.0, 12//,
an 12/-, in the name of PEA, co&ering the three reclaime islans "nown as the
$4reeom +slans% locate at the southern portion of the Manila)Ca&ite Coastal
Roa, ParaDa7ue City! The 4reeom +slans ha&e a total lan area of ,ne Million
4i&e 3unre >e&enty Eight Thousan 4our 3unre an 4orty ,ne #/,;16,55/'
s7uare meters or /;1!65/ hectares!
,n April -;, /00;, PEA entere into a Boint Eenture Agreement #$BEA% for
bre&ity' with AMAR+, a pri&ate corporation, to e&elop the 4reeom +slans! The BEA
also re7uire the reclamation of an aitional -;. hectares of submerge areas
surrouning these islans to complete the configuration in the Master *e&elopment
Plan of the >outhern Reclamation Project)MCCRRP! PEA an AMAR+ entere into
the BEA through negotiation without public biing!
95:
,n April -6, /00;, the Boar of
*irectors of PEA, in its Resolution No! /-5;, confirme the BEA!

9;:
,n Bune 6, /00;,
then Presient 4iel E! Ramos, through then E8ecuti&e >ecretary Ruben Torres,
appro&e the BEA!
9F:
,n No&ember -0, /00F, then >enate Presient Ernesto Macea eli&ere a
pri&ilege speech in the >enate an enounce the BEA as the $granmother of all
scams!% As a result, the >enate Committee on Go&ernment Corporations an Public
Enterprises, an the Committee on Accountability of Public ,fficers an
+n&estigations, conucte a joint in&estigation! The >enate Committees reporte the
results of their in&estigation in >enate Committee Report No! ;F. ate >eptember
/F, /001!
91:
Among the conclusions of their report are< #/' the reclaime lans PEA
see"s to transfer to AMAR+ uner the BEA are lans of the public omain which the
go&ernment has not classifie as alienable lans an therefore PEA cannot alienate
these lansH #-' the certificates of title co&ering the 4reeom +slans are thus &oi,
an #2' the BEA itself is illegal!
,n *ecember ;, /001, then Presient 4iel E! Ramos issue Presiential
Aministrati&e ,rer No! 2F; creating a ?egal Tas" 4orce to conuct a stuy on the
legality of the BEA in &iew of >enate Committee Report No! ;F.! The members of
the ?egal Tas" 4orce were the >ecretary of Bustice,
96:
the Chief Presiential ?egal
Counsel,
90:
an the Go&ernment Corporate Counsel!
9/.:
The ?egal Tas" 4orce uphel
the legality of the BEA, contrary to the conclusions reache by the >enate
Committees!
9//:
,n April 5 an ;, /006, the Philippine Daily Inquirer an Today publishe reports
that there were on)going renegotiations between PEA an AMAR+ uner an orer
issue by then Presient 4iel E! Ramos! Accoring to these reports, PEA *irector
Nestor Ialaw, PEA Chairman Arsenio Julo an retire Na&y ,fficer >ergio CruC
compose the negotiating panel of PEA!
,n April /2, /006, Antonio M! Kulueta file before the Court a Petition for
Prohibition with Application for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunctionoc"ete as G!R! No! /2-005 see"ing to nullify the BEA! The
Court ismisse the petition $for unwarrante isregar of juicial hierarchy, without
prejuice to the refiling of the case before the proper court!%
9/-:
,n April -1, /006, petitioner 4ran" +! Cha&eC #$Petitioner% for bre&ity' as a
ta8payer, file the instant Petition for Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a
rit of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order! Petitioner contens
the go&ernment stans to lose billions of pesos in the sale by PEA of the reclaime
lans to AMAR+! Petitioner prays that PEA publicly isclose the terms of any
renegotiation of the BEA, in&o"ing >ection -6, Article ++, an >ection 1, Article +++, of
the /061 Constitution on the right of the people to information on matters of public
concern! Petitioner assails the sale to AMAR+ of lans of the public omain as a
blatant &iolation of >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution prohibiting the sale
of alienable lans of the public omain to pri&ate corporations! 4inally, petitioner
asserts that he see"s to enjoin the loss of billions of pesos in properties of the >tate
that are of public ominion!
After se&eral motions for e8tension of time,
9/2:
PEA an AMAR+ file their
Comments on ,ctober /0, /006 an Bune -;, /006, respecti&ely! Meanwhile, on
*ecember -6, /006, petitioner file an ,mnibus Motion< #a' to re7uire PEA to
submit the terms of the renegotiate PEA)AMAR+ contractH #b' for issuance of a
temporary restraining orerH an #c' to set the case for hearing on oral
argument! Petitioner file a Reiterati&e Motion for +ssuance of a TR, ate May
-F, /000, which the Court enie in a Resolution ate Bune --, /000!
+n a Resolution ate March -2, /000, the Court ga&e ue course to the petition
an re7uire the parties to file their respecti&e memorana!
,n March 2., /000, PEA an AMAR+ signe the Amene Boint Eenture
Agreement #$Amene BEA,% for bre&ity'! ,n May -6, /000, the ,ffice of the
Presient uner the aministration of then Presient Boseph E! Estraa appro&e
the Amene BEA!
*ue to the appro&al of the Amene BEA by the ,ffice of the Presient,
petitioner now prays that on $constitutional an statutory grouns the renegotiate
contract be eclare null an &oi!%
9/5:
T#$ !u$
The issues raise by petitioner, PEA
9/;:
an AMAR+
9/F:
are as follows<
+! @3ET3ER T3E PR+NC+PA? RE?+E4> PRAJE* 4,R +N T3E PET+T+,N ARE
M,,T AN* ACA*EM+C BECAA>E ,4 >AB>EMAENT EEENT>H
++! @3ET3ER T3E PET+T+,N MER+T> *+>M+>>A? 4,R 4A+?+NG T, ,B>EREE
T3E PR+NC+P?E G,EERN+NG T3E 3+ERARC3J ,4 C,ART>H
+++! @3ET3ER T3E PET+T+,N MER+T> *+>M+>>A? 4,R N,N)EL3AA>T+,N ,4
A*M+N+>TRAT+EE REME*+E>H
+E! @3ET3ER PET+T+,NER 3A> !O"#$ $TA%DI T, BR+NG T3+> >A+TH
E! @3ET3ER T3E C,N>T+TAT+,NA? R+G3T T, +N4,RMAT+,N +NC?A*E>
,44+C+A? +N4,RMAT+,N ,N ,N)G,+NG NEG,T+AT+,N> BE4,RE A 4+NA?
AGREEMENTH
E+! @3ET3ER T3E >T+PA?AT+,N> +N T3E AMEN*E* B,+NT EENTARE
AGREEMENT 4,R T3E TRAN>4ER T, AMAR+ ,4 CERTA+N ?AN*>,
REC?A+ME* AN* >T+?? T, BE REC?A+ME*, E+,?ATE T3E /061
C,N>T+TAT+,NH AN*
E++! @3ET3ER T3E C,ART +> T3E PR,PER 4,RAM 4,R RA+>+NG T3E
+>>AE ,4 @3ET3ER T3E AMEN*E* B,+NT EENTARE AGREEMENT +>
GR,>>?J *+>A*EANTAGE,A> T, T3E G,EERNMENT!
T#$ Cou('Q Rul)+.
Hir$t i$$ue: 01et1er t1e principal relief$ pra!ed for in t1e petition are #oot
and acade#ic /ecau$e of $u/$e4uent event$.
The petition prays that PEA publicly isclose the $terms an conitions of the on)
going negotiations for a new agreement!% The petition also prays that the Court
enjoin PEA from $pri&ately entering into, perfecting an=or e8ecuting any new
agreement with AMAR+!%
PEA an AMAR+ claim the petition is now moot an acaemic because AMAR+
furnishe petitioner on Bune -/, /000 a copy of the signe Amene BEA containing
the terms an conitions agree upon in the renegotiations! Thus, PEA has satisfie
petitioner(s prayer for a public isclosure of the renegotiations! ?i"ewise, petitioner(s
prayer to enjoin the signing of the Amene BEA is now moot because PEA an
AMAR+ ha&e alreay signe the Amene BEA on March 2., /000! Moreo&er, the
,ffice of the Presient has appro&e the Amene BEA on May -6, /000!
Petitioner counters that PEA an AMAR+ cannot a&oi the constitutional issue by
simply fast)trac"ing the signing an appro&al of the Amene BEA before the Court
coul act on the issue! Presiential appro&al oes not resol&e the constitutional issue
or remo&e it from the ambit of juicial re&iew!
@e rule that the signing of the Amene BEA by PEA an AMAR+ an its
appro&al by the Presient cannot operate to moot the petition an i&est the Court of
its jurisiction! PEA an AMAR+ ha&e still to implement the Amene BEA! The
prayer to enjoin the signing of the Amene BEA on constitutional grouns
necessarily inclues pre&enting its implementation if in the meantime PEA an
AMAR+ ha&e signe one in &iolation of the Constitution! Petitioner(s principal basis in
assailing the renegotiation of the BEA is its &iolation of >ection 2, Article L++ of the
Constitution, which prohibits the go&ernment from alienating lans of the public
omain to pri&ate corporations! +f the Amene BEA inee &iolates the Constitution,
it is the uty of the Court to enjoin its implementation, an if alreay implemente, to
annul the effects of such unconstitutional contract!
The Amene BEA is not an orinary commercial contract but one which see"s
to tran$fer title and o0ner$1ip to 3>+.I 1ectare$ of reclai#ed land$ and
$u/#er"ed area$ of Manila (a! to a $in"le private corporation! +t now becomes
more compelling for the Court to resol&e the issue to insure the go&ernment itself
oes not &iolate a pro&ision of the Constitution intene to safeguar the national
patrimony! >uper&ening e&ents, whether intene or acciental, cannot pre&ent the
Court from renering a ecision if there is a gra&e &iolation of the Constitution! +n the
instant case, if the Amene BEA runs counter to the Constitution, the Court can still
pre&ent the transfer of title an ownership of alienable lans of the public omain in
the name of AMAR+! E&en in cases where super&ening e&ents ha mae the cases
moot, the Court i not hesitate to resol&e the legal or constitutional issues raise to
formulate controlling principles to guie the bench, bar, an the public!
9/1:
Also, the instant petition is a case of first impression! All pre&ious ecisions of
the Court in&ol&ing >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution, or its counterpart
pro&ision in the /012 Constitution,
9/6:
co&ere a"ricultural land$ sol to pri&ate
corporations which ac7uire the lans from pri&ate parties! The transferors of the
pri&ate corporations claime or coul claim the right to judicial confir#ation of
t1eir i#perfect title$
9/0:
uner Title 33 of Commonwealth Act! /5/ #$CA No! /5/% for
bre&ity'! +n the instant case, AMAR+ see"s to ac7uire from PEA, a public corporation,
reclaime lans an submerge areas for non-a"ricultural purposes
by purc1a$e uner P* No! /.65 #charter of PEA' an Title 333 of CA No!
/5/! Certain unerta"ings by AMAR+ uner the Amene BEA constitute the
consieration for the purchase! Neither AMAR+ nor PEA can claim juicial
confirmation of their titles because the lans co&ere by the Amene BEA are newly
reclaime or still to be reclaime! Buicial confirmation of imperfect title re7uires
open, continuous, e8clusi&e an notorious occupation of agricultural lans of the
public omain for at least thirty years since Bune /-, /05; or earlier! Besies, the
ealine for filing applications for juicial confirmation of imperfect title e8pire on
*ecember 2/, /061!
9-.:
?astly, there is a nee to resol&e immeiately the constitutional issue raise in
this petition because of the possible transfer at any time by PEA to AMAR+ of title
an ownership to portions of the reclaime lans! Aner the Amene BEA, PEA is
obligate to transfer to AMAR+ the latter(s se&enty percent proportionate share in the
reclaime areas as the reclamation progresses! The Amene BEA e&en allows
AMAR+ to mortgage at any time the entire reclaime area to raise financing for the
reclamation project!
9-/:
econd i$$ue: 01et1er t1e petition #erit$ di$#i$$al for failin" to o/$erve t1e
principle "overnin" t1e 1ierarc1! of court$.
PEA an AMAR+ claim petitioner ignore the juicial hierarchy by see"ing relief
irectly from the Court! The principle of hierarchy of courts applies generally to
cases in&ol&ing factual 7uestions! As it is not a trier of facts, the Court cannot
entertain cases in&ol&ing factual issues! The instant case, howe&er, raises
constitutional issues of transcenental importance to the public!
9--:
The Court can
resol&e this case without etermining any factual issue relate to the case! Also, the
instant case is a petition for mandamus which falls uner the ori"inal jurisiction of
the Court uner >ection ;, Article E+++ of the Constitution! @e resol&e to e8ercise
primary jurisiction o&er the instant case!
T1ird i$$ue: 01et1er t1e petition #erit$ di$#i$$al for non-e'1au$tion of
ad#ini$trative re#edie$.
PEA faults petitioner for see"ing juicial inter&ention in compelling PEA to
isclose publicly certain information without first as"ing PEA the neee
information! PEA claims petitioner(s irect resort to the Court &iolates the principle of
e8haustion of aministrati&e remeies! +t also &iolates the rule that manamus may
issue only if there is no other plain, speey an ae7uate remey in the orinary
course of law!
PEA istinguishes the instant case from Ta&ada '( Tu'era
9-2:
where the Court
grante the petition for mandamus e&en if the petitioners there i not initially
eman from the ,ffice of the Presient the publication of the presiential
ecrees! PEA points out that in Ta&ada, the E8ecuti&e *epartment ha
an affir#ative $tatutor! dut! uner Article - of the Ci&il Coe
9-5:
an >ection / of
Commonwealth Act No! F26
9-;:
to publish the presiential ecrees! There was,
therefore, no nee for the petitioners in Ta&ada to ma"e an initial eman from the
,ffice of the Presient! +n the instant case, PEA claims it has no affirmati&e
statutory uty to isclose publicly information about its renegotiation of the
BEA! Thus, PEA asserts that the Court must apply the principle of e8haustion of
aministrati&e remeies to the instant case in &iew of the failure of petitioner here to
eman initially from PEA the neee information!
The original BEA sought to ispose to AMAR+ public lans hel by PEA, a
go&ernment corporation! Aner >ection 10 of the Go&ernment Auiting Coe,
9-F:-
the
isposition of go&ernment lans to pri&ate parties re7uires public biing! 2;A 0a$
under a po$itive le"al dut! to di$clo$e to t1e pu/lic t1e ter#$ and condition$
for t1e $ale of it$ land$! The law obligate PEA to ma"e this public isclosure e&en
without eman from petitioner or from anyone! PEA faile to ma"e this public
isclosure because the original BEA, li"e the Amene BEA, was the result of
ane"otiated contract, not of a public biing! Consiering that PEA ha an
affirmati&e statutory uty to ma"e the public isclosure, an was e&en in breach of
this legal uty, petitioner ha the right to see" irect juicial inter&ention!
Moreo&er, an this alone is eterminati&e of this issue, the principle of
e8haustion of aministrati&e remeies oes not apply when the issue in&ol&e is a
purely legal or constitutional 7uestion!
9-1:
The principal issue in the instant case is the
capacity of AMAR+ to ac7uire lans hel by PEA in &iew of the constitutional ban
prohibiting the alienation of lans of the public omain to pri&ate corporations! @e
rule that the principle of e8haustion of aministrati&e remeies oes not apply in the
instant case!
Hourt1 i$$ue: 01et1er petitioner 1a$ locu$ $tandi to /rin" t1i$ $uit
PEA argues that petitioner has no staning to institute #anda#u$ proceeings
to enforce his constitutional right to information without a showing that PEA refuse
to perform an affirmati&e uty impose on PEA by the Constitution! PEA also claims
that petitioner has not shown that he will suffer any concrete injury because of the
signing or implementation of the Amene BEA! Thus, there is no actual contro&ersy
re7uiring the e8ercise of the power of juicial re&iew!
The petitioner has staning to bring this ta8payer(s suit because the petition
see"s to compel PEA to comply with its constitutional uties! There are two
constitutional issues in&ol&e here! 4irst is the right of citiCens to information on
matters of public concern! >econ is the application of a constitutional pro&ision
intene to insure the e7uitable istribution of alienable lans of the public omain
among 4ilipino citiCens! The thrust of the first issue is to compel PEA to isclose
publicly information on the sale of go&ernment lans worth billions of pesos,
information which the Constitution an statutory law manate PEA to isclose! The
thrust of the secon issue is to pre&ent PEA from alienating hunres of hectares of
alienable lans of the public omain in &iolation of the Constitution, compelling PEA
to comply with a constitutional uty to the nation!
Moreo&er, the petition raises matters of transcenental importance to the
public! +n )1ave5 v. 2)GG,
9-6:
the Court uphel the right of a citiCen to bring a
ta8payer(s suit on matters of transcenental importance to the public, thus )
$Besies, petitioner emphasiCes, the matter of reco&ering the ill)gotten
wealth of the Marcoses is an issue of Ntranscenental importance to the
public!( 3e asserts that orinary ta8payers ha&e a right to initiate an
prosecute actions 7uestioning the &aliity of acts or orers of go&ernment
agencies or instrumentalities, if the issues raise are of Nparamount public
interest,( an if they Nimmeiately affect the social, economic an moral well
being of the people!(
Moreo&er, the mere fact that he is a citiCen satisfies the re7uirement of
personal interest, when the proceeing in&ol&es the assertion of a public
right, such as in this case! 3e in&o"es se&eral ecisions of this Court
which ha&e set asie the proceural matter of locus standi, when the
subject of the case in&ol&e public interest!
8 8 8
+n Ta&ada '( Tu'era, the Court asserte that when the issue concerns a
public right an the object of manamus is to obtain the enforcement of a
public uty, the people are regare as the real parties in interestH an
because it is sufficient that petitioner is a citiCen an as such is intereste
in the e8ecution of the laws, he nee not show that he has any legal or
special interest in the result of the action! +n the aforesai case, the
petitioners sought to enforce their right to be informe on matters of public
concern, a right then recogniCe in >ection F, Article +E of the /012
Constitution, in connection with the rule that laws in orer to be &ali an
enforceable must be publishe in the ,fficial GaCette or otherwise
effecti&ely promulgate! +n ruling for the petitionersO legal staning, the
Court eclare that the right they sought to be enforce Nis a public right
recogniCe by no less than the funamental law of the lan!(
!egaspi '( "i'il $er'ice "ommission, while reiterating Ta&ada, further
eclare that Nwhen a manamus proceeing in&ol&es the assertion of a
public right, the re7uirement of personal interest is satisfie by the mere
fact that petitioner is a citiCen an, therefore, part of the general OpublicO
which possesses the right!(
4urther, in Albano '( Reyes, we sai that while e8peniture of public funs
may not ha&e been in&ol&e uner the 7uestione contract for the
e&elopment, management an operation of the Manila +nternational
Container Terminal, Npublic interest 9was: efinitely in&ol&e consiering the
important role 9of the subject contract: ! ! ! in the economic e&elopment of
the country an the magnitue of the financial consieration in&ol&e!( @e
conclue that, as a conse7uence, the isclosure pro&ision in the
Constitution woul constitute sufficient authority for upholing the
petitionerOs staning!
>imilarly, the instant petition is anchore on the right of the people to
information an access to official recors, ocuments an papers P a right
guarantee uner >ection 1, Article +++ of the /061 Constitution! Petitioner, a
former solicitor general, is a 4ilipino citiCen! Because of the satisfaction of
the two basic re7uisites lai own by ecisional law to sustain petitionerOs
legal staning, i!e! #/' the enforcement of a public right #-' espouse by a
4ilipino citiCen, we rule that the petition at bar shoul be allowe!%
@e rule that since the instant petition, brought by a citiCen, in&ol&es the
enforcement of constitutional rights ) to information an to the e7uitable iffusion of
natural resources ) matters of transcenental public importance, the petitioner has
the re7uisite locus standi!
Hift1 i$$ue: 01et1er t1e con$titutional ri"1t to infor#ation include$ official
infor#ation on on-"oin" ne"otiation$ /efore a final a"ree#ent.
>ection 1, Article +++ of the Constitution e8plains the people(s right to information
on matters of public concern in this manner<
$>ec! 1! The right of the people to information on matters of public concern
shall be recogniCe! Acce$$ to official record$, and to docu#ent$, and
paper$ pertainin" to official act$, tran$action$, or deci$ion$, as well as
to go&ernment research ata use as basis for policy e&elopment, shall
be affore the citiCen, subject to such limitations as may be pro&ie by
law!% #Emphasis supplie'
The >tate policy of full transparency in all transactions in&ol&ing public interest
reinforces the people(s right to information on matters of public concern! This >tate
policy is e8presse in >ection -6, Article ++ of the Constitution, thus<
$>ec! -6! >ubject to reasonable conitions prescribe by law, the >tate
aopts an implements a polic! of full pu/lic di$clo$ure of all it$
tran$action$ involvin" pu/lic intere$t!% #Emphasis supplie'
These twin pro&isions of the Constitution see" to promote transparency in policy)
ma"ing an in the operations of the go&ernment, as well as pro&ie the people
sufficient information to e8ercise effecti&ely other constitutional rights! These twin
pro&isions are essential to the e8ercise of freeom of e8pression! +f the go&ernment
oes not isclose its official acts, transactions an ecisions to citiCens, whate&er
citiCens say, e&en if e8presse without any restraint, will be speculati&e an amount
to nothing! These twin pro&isions are also essential to hol public officials $at all
times 8 8 8 accountable to the people,%
9-0:
for unless citiCens ha&e the proper
information, they cannot hol public officials accountable for anything! Arme with
the right information, citiCens can participate in public iscussions leaing to the
formulation of go&ernment policies an their effecti&e implementation! An informe
citiCenry is essential to the e8istence an proper functioning of any emocracy! As
e8plaine by the Court in Gal#onte v. (el#onte, Jr.
92.:
Q
$An essential element of these freeoms is to "eep open a continuing
ialogue or process of communication between the go&ernment an the
people! +t is in the interest of the >tate that the channels for free political
iscussion be maintaine to the en that the go&ernment may percei&e an
be responsi&e to the people(s will! Jet, this open ialogue can be effecti&e
only to the e8tent that the citiCenry is informe an thus able to formulate
its will intelligently! ,nly when the participants in the iscussion are aware
of the issues an ha&e access to information relating thereto can such bear
fruit!%
PEA asserts, citing )1ave5 v. 2)GG,
92/:
that in cases of on)going negotiations the
right to information is limite to $efinite propositions of the go&ernment!% PEA
maintains the right oes not inclue access to $intra)agency or inter)agency
recommenations or communications uring the stage when common assertions are
still in the process of being formulate or are in the Ne8ploratory stage(!%
Also, AMAR+ contens that petitioner cannot in&o"e the right at the pre)
ecisional stage or before the closing of the transaction! To support its contention,
AMAR+ cites the following iscussion in the /06F Constitutional Commission<
RM(. Su"($*! An when we say Ntransactions( which shoul be
istinguishe from contracts, agreements, or treaties or whate&er, oes the
Gentleman refer to the steps leaing to the consummation of the contract,
or oes he refer to the contract itselfR
M(. O0l$< T1e Jtran$action$K u$ed 1ere, 3 $uppo$e i$ "eneric and
t1erefore, it can cover /ot1 $tep$ leadin" to a contract and alread! a
con$u##ated contract, Mr. 2re$idin" Officer!
M(. Su"($*< T1i$ conte#plate$ inclu$ion of ne"otiation$ leadin" to
t1e con$u##ation of t1e tran$action!
M(. O0l$< Le$, $u/ject onl! to rea$ona/le $afe"uard$ on t1e national
intere$t!
M(. Su"($*< Than" you!%
92-:
#Emphasis supplie'
AMAR+ argues there must first be a consummate contract before petitioner can
in&o"e the right! Re7uiring go&ernment officials to re&eal their eliberations at the
pre)ecisional stage will egrae the 7uality of ecision)ma"ing in go&ernment
agencies! Go&ernment officials will hesitate to e8press their real sentiments uring
eliberations if there is immeiate public issemination of their iscussions, putting
them uner all "ins of pressure before they ecie!
@e must first istinguish between information the law on public biing re7uires
PEA to isclose publicly, an information the constitutional right to information
re7uires PEA to release to the public! Before the consummation of the contract,
PEA must, on its own an without eman from anyone, isclose to the public
matters relating to the isposition of its property! These inclue the siCe, location,
technical escription an nature of the property being ispose of, the terms an
conitions of the isposition, the parties 7ualifie to bi, the minimum price an
similar information! PEA must prepare all these ata an isclose them to the public
at the start of the isposition process, long before the consummation of the contract,
because the Go&ernment Auiting Coe re7uires pu/lic /iddin"! +f PEA fails to
ma"e this isclosure, any citiCen can eman from PEA this information at any time
uring the biing process!
+nformation, howe&er, on on-"oin" evaluation or revie0 of bis or proposals
being unerta"en by the biing or re&iew committee is not immeiately accessible
uner the right to information! @hile the e&aluation or re&iew is still on)going, there
are no $official acts, transactions, or ecisions% on the bis or proposals! 3owe&er,
once the committee ma"es its official reco##endation, there arises a Mdefinite
propo$itionN on the part of the go&ernment! 4rom this moment, the public(s right to
information attaches, an any citiCen can access all the non)proprietary information
leaing to such efinite proposition! +n )1ave5 v. 2)GG,
922:
the Court rule as
follows<
$Consiering the intent of the framers of the Constitution, we belie&e that it
is incumbent upon the PCGG an its officers, as well as other go&ernment
representati&es, to isclose sufficient public information on any propose
settlement they ha&e ecie to ta"e up with the ostensible owners an
holers of ill)gotten wealth! >uch information, though, must pertain
to definite propo$ition$ of t1e "overn#ent, not necessarily to intra)
agency or inter)agency recommenations or communications uring the
stage when common assertions are still in the process of being formulate
or are in the $e8ploratory% stage! There is nee, of course, to obser&e the
same restrictions on isclosure of information in general, as iscusse
earlier Q such as on matters in&ol&ing national security, iplomatic or
foreign relations, intelligence an other classifie information!% #Emphasis
supplie'
Contrary to AMAR+(s contention, the commissioners of the /06F Constitutional
Commission unerstoo that the right to information $conte#plate$ inclu$ion of
ne"otiation$ leadin" to t1e con$u##ation of t1e tran$action!% Certainly, a
consummate contract is not a re7uirement for the e8ercise of the right to
information! ,therwise, the people can ne&er e8ercise the right if no contract is
consummate, an if one is consummate, it may be too late for the public to e8pose
its efects!
Re7uiring a consummate contract will "eep the public in the ar" until the
contract, which may be grossly isa&antageous to the go&ernment or e&en illegal,
becomes a fait accompli! This negates the >tate policy of full transparency on
matters of public concern, a situation which the framers of the Constitution coul not
ha&e intene! >uch a re7uirement will pre&ent the citiCenry from participating in the
public iscussion of any propo$ed contract, effecti&ely truncating a basic right
enshrine in the Bill of Rights! @e can allow neither an emasculation of a
constitutional right, nor a retreat by the >tate of its a&owe $policy of full isclosure of
all its transactions in&ol&ing public interest!%
The right co&ers three categories of information which are $matters of public
concern,% namely< #/' official recorsH #-' ocuments an papers pertaining to official
acts, transactions an ecisionsH an #2' go&ernment research ata use in
formulating policies! The first category refers to any ocument that is part of the
public recors in the custoy of go&ernment agencies or officials! The secon
category refers to ocuments an papers recoring, e&iencing, establishing,
confirming, supporting, justifying or e8plaining official acts, transactions or ecisions
of go&ernment agencies or officials! The thir category refers to research ata,
whether raw, collate or processe, owne by the go&ernment an use in
formulating go&ernment policies!
The information that petitioner may access on the renegotiation of the BEA
inclues e&aluation reports, recommenations, legal an e8pert opinions, minutes of
meetings, terms of reference an other ocuments attache to such reports or
minutes, all relating to the BEA! 3owe&er, the right to information oes not compel
PEA to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries an the li"e relating to the renegotiation
of the BEA!
925:
The right only affors access to recors, ocuments an papers, which
means the opportunity to inspect an copy them! ,ne who e8ercises the right must
copy the recors, ocuments an papers at his e8pense! The e8ercise of the right is
also subject to reasonable regulations to protect the integrity of the public recors
an to minimiCe isruption to go&ernment operations, li"e rules specifying when an
how to conuct the inspection an copying!
92;:
The right to information, howe&er, oes not e8ten to matters recogniCe as
pri&ilege information uner the separation of powers!
92F:
The right oes not also apply
to information on military an iplomatic secrets, information affecting national
security, an information on in&estigations of crimes by law enforcement agencies
before the prosecution of the accuse, which courts ha&e long recogniCe as
confiential!
921:
The right may also be subject to other limitations that Congress may
impose by law!
There is no claim by PEA that the information emane by petitioner is
pri&ilege information roote in the separation of powers! The information oes not
co&er Presiential con&ersations, corresponences, or iscussions uring close)
oor Cabinet meetings which, li"e internal eliberations of the >upreme Court an
other collegiate courts, or e8ecuti&e sessions of either house of Congress,
926:
are
recogniCe as confiential! This "in of information cannot be prie open by a co)
e7ual branch of go&ernment! A fran" e8change of e8ploratory ieas an
assessments, free from the glare of publicity an pressure by intereste parties, is
essential to protect the inepenence of ecision)ma"ing of those tas"e to e8ercise
Presiential, ?egislati&e an Buicial power!
920:
This is not the situation in the instant
case!
@e rule, therefore, that the constitutional right to information inclues official
information on on-"oin" ne"otiation$ before a final contract! The information,
howe&er, must constitute efinite propositions by the go&ernment an shoul not
co&er recogniCe e8ceptions li"e pri&ilege information, military an iplomatic
secrets an similar matters affecting national security an public orer!
95.:
Congress
has also prescribe other limitations on the right to information in se&eral
legislations!
95/:
i't1 i$$ue: 01et1er $tipulation$ in t1e A#ended JGA for t1e tran$fer to
AMA%3 of land$, reclai#ed or to /e reclai#ed, violate t1e )on$titution.
T#$ R$."l)"+ Do,'()+$
The ownership of lans reclaime from foreshore an submerge areas is
roote in the Regalian octrine which hols that the >tate owns all lans an waters
of the public omain! Apon the >panish con7uest of the Philippines, ownership of all
$lans, territories an possessions% in the Philippines passe to the >panish Crown!
95-:
The Iing, as the so&ereign ruler an representati&e of the people, ac7uire an
owne all lans an territories in the Philippines e8cept those he ispose of by
grant or sale to pri&ate ini&iuals!
The /02;, /012 an /061 Constitutions aopte the Regalian octrine
substituting, howe&er, the >tate, in lieu of the Iing, as the owner of all lans an
waters of the public omain! The Regalian octrine is the founation of the time)
honore principle of lan ownership that $all lans that were not ac7uire from the
Go&ernment, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the public omain!%
952:
Article
220 of the Ci&il Coe of /660, which is now Article 5-. of the Ci&il Coe of /0;.,
incorporate the Regalian octrine!
O0ner$1ip and 9i$po$ition of %eclai#ed Land$
The >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF was the first statutory law go&erning the
ownership an isposition of reclaime lans in the Philippines! ,n May /6, /0.1,
the Philippine Commission enacte Act No! /F;5 which pro&ie for t1e lea$e, /ut
not t1e $ale, of reclai#ed land$ of t1e "overn#ent to corporation$ and
individual$! ?ater, on No&ember -0, /0/0, the Philippine ?egislature appro&e Act
No! -615, the Public ?an Act, which authoriCe t1e lea$e, /ut not t1e $ale, of
reclai#ed land$ of t1e "overn#ent to corporation$ and individual$! ,n
No&ember 1, /02F, the National Assembly passe Commonwealth Act No! /5/, also
"nown as the Public ?an Act, which authoriCe t1e lea$e, /ut not t1e $ale, of
reclai#ed land$ of t1e "overn#ent to corporation$ and individual$. CA No!
/5/ continues to this ay as the general law go&erning the classification an
isposition of lans of the public omain!
T1e pani$1 La0 of Oater$ of 1F>> and t1e )ivil )ode of 1FF9
Aner the >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF, the shores, bays, co&es, inlets an all
waters within the maritime Cone of the >panish territory belonge to the public
omain for public use!
955:
The >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF allowe the reclamation
of the sea uner Article ;, which pro&ie as follows<
$Article ;! ?ans reclaime from the sea in conse7uence of wor"s
constructe by the >tate, or by the pro&inces, pueblos or pri&ate persons,
with proper permission, shall become the property of the party constructing
such wor"s, unless otherwise pro&ie by the terms of the grant of
authority!%
Aner the >panish ?aw of @aters, lan reclaime from the sea belonge to the party
unerta"ing the reclamation, pro&ie the go&ernment issue the necessary permit
an i not reser&e ownership of the reclaime lan to the >tate!
Article 220 of the Ci&il Coe of /660 efine property of public ominion as
follows<
$Art! 220! Property of public ominion is Q
/! That e&ote to public use, such as roas, canals, ri&ers, torrents, ports an
briges constructe by the >tate, ri&erban"s, shores, roasteas, an that of a
similar characterH
-! That belonging e8clusi&ely to the >tate which, without being of general public
use, is employe in some public ser&ice, or in the e&elopment of the national
wealth, such as walls, fortresses, an other wor"s for the efense of the territory,
an mines, until grante to pri&ate ini&iuals!%
Property e&ote to public use referre to property open for use by the public! +n
contrast, property e&ote to public ser&ice referre to property use for some
specific public ser&ice an open only to those authoriCe to use the property!
Property of public ominion referre not only to property e&ote to public use,
but also to property not so use but employe to develop t1e national 0ealt1! This
class of property constitute property of public ominion although employe for
some economic or commercial acti&ity to increase the national wealth!
Article 25/ of the Ci&il Coe of /660 go&erne the re)classification of property of
public ominion into pri&ate property, to wit<
$Art! 25/! Property of public ominion, when no longer e&ote to public
use or to the efense of the territory, shall become a part of the pri&ate
property of the >tate!%
This pro&ision, howe&er, was not self)e8ecuting! The legislature, or the e8ecuti&e
epartment pursuant to law, must eclare the property no longer neee for public
use or territorial efense before the go&ernment coul lease or alienate the property
to pri&ate parties!
95;:
Act &o. 1>I* of t1e 21ilippine )o##i$$ion
,n May 6, /0.1, the Philippine Commission enacte Act No! /F;5 which
regulate the lease of reclaime an foreshore lans! The salient pro&isions of this
law were as follows<
$>ection /! The control and di$po$ition of t1e fore$1ore as efine in
e8isting law, an the title to all Govern#ent or pu/lic land$ #ade or
reclai#ed /! t1e Govern#ent /! dred"in" or fillin" or otherwise
throughout the Philippine +slans, $1all /e retained /! t1e
Govern#ent without prejuice to &este rights an without prejuice to
rights concee to the City of Manila in the ?uneta E8tension!
>ection -! #a' The >ecretary of the +nterior shall cause all Go&ernment or
public lans mae or reclaime by the Go&ernment by reging or filling or
otherwise to be i&ie into lots or bloc"s, with the necessary streets an
alleyways locate thereon, an shall cause plats an plans of such sur&eys
to be prepare an file with the Bureau of ?ans!
#b' Apon completion of such plats an plans t1e Governor-General $1all
"ive notice to t1e pu/lic t1at $uc1 part$ of t1e land$ $o #ade or
reclai#ed a$ are not needed for pu/lic purpo$e$ 0ill /e lea$ed for
co##ercial and /u$ine$$ purpo$e$, 8 8 8!
8 8 8
#e' T1e lea$e$ a/ove provided for $1all /e di$po$ed of to t1e 1i"1e$t
and /e$t /idder therefore, subject to such regulations an safeguars as
the Go&ernor)General may by e8ecuti&e orer prescribe!% #Emphasis
supplie'
Act No! /F;5 manate that the "overn#ent $1ould retain title to all land$
reclai#ed /! t1e "overn#ent. The Act also &este in the go&ernment control an
isposition of foreshore lans! Pri&ate parties coul lease lans reclaime by the
go&ernment only if these lans were no longer neee for public purpose! Act No!
/F;5 manate pu/lic /iddin" in the lease of go&ernment reclaime lans! Act No!
/F;5 mae go&ernment reclaime lans $ui "eneri$ in that unli"e other public lans
which the go&ernment coul sell to pri&ate parties, these reclaime lans were
a&ailable only for lease to pri&ate parties!
Act No! /F;5, howe&er, i not repeal >ection ; of the >panish ?aw of @aters of
/6FF! Act No! /F;5 i not prohibit pri&ate parties from reclaiming parts of the sea
uner >ection ; of the >panish ?aw of @aters! ?ans reclaime from the sea by
pri&ate parties with go&ernment permission remaine pri&ate lans!
Act &o. 2F+* of t1e 21ilippine Le"i$lature
,n No&ember -0, /0/0, the Philippine ?egislature enacte Act No! -615, the
Public ?an Act!
95F:
The salient pro&isions of Act No! -615, on reclaime lans, were
as follows<
$>ec! F! T1e Governor-General, upon t1e reco##endation of t1e
ecretar! of A"riculture and &atural %e$ource$, $1all fro# ti#e to
ti#e cla$$if! t1e land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain into P
#a' Aliena/le or di$po$a/le,
#b' Timber, an
#c' Mineral lans, 8 8 8!
>ec! 1! 4or the purposes of the go&ernment an isposition of alienable or
isposable public lans, t1e Governor-General, upon reco##endation
/! t1e ecretar! of A"riculture and &atural %e$ource$, $1all fro#
ti#e to ti#e declare 01at land$ are open to di$po$ition or conce$$ion
under t1i$ Act!%
>ec! 6! Onl! t1o$e land$ $1all /e declared open to di$po$ition or
conce$$ion 01ic1 1ave /een officiall! deli#ited or cla$$ified 8 8 8!
8 8 8
>ec! ;;! Any tract of lan of the public omain which, being neither timber
nor mineral lan, shall be classifie as $uita/le for re$idential purpo$e$
or for co##ercial, indu$trial, or ot1er productive purpo$e$ ot1er t1an
a"ricultural purpo$e$, an shall be open to isposition or concession,
shall be ispose of uner the pro&isions of this chapter, an not otherwise!
>ec! ;F! T1e land$ di$po$a/le under t1i$ title $1all /e cla$$ified a$
follo0$:
#aE Land$ reclai#ed /! t1e Govern#ent /! dred"in", fillin", or
ot1er #ean$@
D/E Hore$1oreH
DcE Mar$1! land$ or lans co&ere with water borering upon the
shores or ban"s of na&igable la"es or ri&ersH
#' ?ans not inclue in any of the foregoing classes!
8 8 8!
>ec! ;6! T1e land$ co#pri$ed in cla$$e$ DaE, D/E, and DcE of $ection
fift!-$i' $1all /e di$po$ed of to private partie$ /! lea$e onl! and not
ot1er0i$e, as soon as t1e Governor-General, upon reco##endation
/! t1e ecretar! of A"riculture and &atural %e$ource$, $1all declare
t1at t1e $a#e are not nece$$ar! for t1e pu/lic $ervice and are open to
di$po$itionuner this chapter! T1e land$ included in cla$$ DdE #a! /e
di$po$ed of /! $ale or lea$e under t1e provi$ion$ of t1i$
Act!% #Emphasis supplie'
>ection F of Act No! -615 authoriCe the Go&ernor)General to $classify lans of
the public omain into 8 8 8 alienable or isposable%
951:
lans! >ection 1 of the Act
empowere the Go&ernor)General to $eclare what lans are open to isposition or
concession!% >ection 6 of the Act limite alienable or isposable lans only to those
lans which ha&e been $officially elimite an classifie!%
>ection ;F of Act No! -615 state that lans $isposable uner this title
956:
shall be
classifie% as go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an marshy lans, as well as other
lans! All these lans, howe&er, must be suitable for resiential, commercial,
inustrial or other proucti&e non-a"ricultural purposes! These pro&isions &este
upon the Go&ernor)General the power to classify inalienable lans of the public
omain into isposable lans of the public omain! These pro&isions also
empowere the Go&ernor)General to classify further such isposable lans of the
public omain into go&ernment reclaime, foreshore or marshy lans of the public
omain, as well as other non)agricultural lans!
>ection ;6 of Act No! -615 categorically manate that isposable lans of the
public omain classifie as go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an marshy
lans M$1all /e di$po$ed of to private partie$ /! lea$e onl! and not
ot1er0i$e.N The Go&ernor)General, before allowing the lease of these lans to
pri&ate parties, must formally eclare that the lans were $not necessary for the
public ser&ice!% Act No! -615 reiterate the >tate policy to lease an not to sell
go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an marshy lans of the public omain, a policy
first enunciate in /0.1 in Act No! /F;5! Go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an
marshy lans remaine $ui "eneri$, as the only alienable or isposable lans of the
public omain that the go&ernment coul not sell to pri&ate parties!
The rationale behin this >tate policy is ob&ious! Go&ernment reclaime,
foreshore an marshy public lans for non)agricultural purposes retain their inherent
potential as areas for public ser&ice! This is the reason the go&ernment prohibite
the sale, an only allowe the lease, of these lans to pri&ate parties! The >tate
always reser&e these lans for some future public ser&ice!
Act No! -615 i not authoriCe the reclassification of go&ernment reclaime,
foreshore an marshy lans into other non)agricultural lans uner >ection ;F
#'! ?ans falling uner >ection ;F #' were the only lans for non)agricultural
purposes the go&ernment coul sell to pri&ate parties! Thus, uner Act No! -615,
the go&ernment coul not sell go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an marshy lans to
pri&ate parties, unle$$ t1e le"i$lature pa$$ed a la0 allo0in" t1eir $ale!
950:
Act No! -615 i not prohibit pri&ate parties from reclaiming parts of the sea
pursuant to >ection ; of the >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF! ?ans reclaime from
the sea by pri&ate parties with go&ernment permission remaine pri&ate lans!
9i$po$ition$ under t1e 193I )on$titution
,n May /5, /02;, the /02; Constitution too" effect upon its ratification by the
4ilipino people! The /02; Constitution, in aopting the Regalian octrine, eclare in
>ection /, Article L+++, that Q
$>ection /! All agricultural, timber, an mineral lans of the public omain,
waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, an other mineral oils, all forces of
potential energy an other natural resources of the Philippines belong to
the >tate, an their isposition, e8ploitation, e&elopment, or utiliCation
shall be limite to citiCens of the Philippines or to corporations or
associations at least si8ty per centum of the capital of which is owne by
such citiCens, subject to any e8isting right, grant, lease, or concession at
the time of the inauguration of the Go&ernment establishe uner this
Constitution! &atural re$ource$, 0it1 t1e e'ception of pu/lic
a"ricultural land, $1all not /e alienated, an no license, concession, or
lease for the e8ploitation, e&elopment, or utiliCation of any of the natural
resources shall be grante for a perio e8ceeing twenty)fi&e years,
renewable for another twenty)fi&e years, e8cept as to water rights for
irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or inustrial uses other than the
e&elopment of water power, in which cases beneficial use may be the
measure an limit of the grant!% #Emphasis supplie'
The /02; Constitution barre the alienation of all natural resources e8cept public
agricultural lans, which were the only natural resources the >tate coul
alienate! Thus, foreshore lans, consiere part of the >tate(s natural resources,
became inalienable by constitutional fiat, a&ailable only for lease for -; years,
renewable for another -; years! The go&ernment coul alienate foreshore lans
only after these lans were reclaime an classifie as alienable agricultural lans of
the public omain! Go&ernment reclaime an marshy lans of the public omain,
being neither timber nor mineral lans, fell uner the classification of public
agricultural lans!
9;.:
3owe&er, go&ernment reclaime an marshy lans, although
subject to classification as isposable public agricultural lans, coul only be lease
an not sol to pri&ate parties because of Act No! -615!
The prohibition on pri&ate parties from ac7uiring ownership of go&ernment
reclaime an marshy lans of the public omain was only a statutory prohibition
an the legislature coul therefore remo&e such prohibition! The /02; Constitution
i not prohibit ini&iuals an corporations from ac7uiring go&ernment reclaime
an marshy lans of the public omain that were classifie as agricultural lans
uner e8isting public lan laws! >ection -, Article L+++ of the /02; Constitution
pro&ie as follows<
$>ection -! &o private corporation or a$$ociation #a! ac4uire, lea$e,
or 1old pu/lic a"ricultural land$ in e'ce$$ of one t1ou$and and
t0ent! four 1ectare$, nor #a! an! individual ac4uire $uc1 land$ /!
purc1a$e in e'ce$$ of one 1undred and fort! 1ectare$, or by lease in
e8cess of one thousan an twenty)four hectares, or by homestea in
e8cess of twenty)four hectares! ?ans aapte to graCing, not e8ceeing
two thousan hectares, may be lease to an ini&iual, pri&ate corporation,
or association!% #Emphasis supplie'
>till, after the effecti&ity of the /02; Constitution, the legislature i not repeal
>ection ;6 of Act No! -615 to open for sale to pri&ate parties go&ernment reclaime
an marshy lans of the public omain! ,n the contrary, the legislature continue
the long establishe >tate policy of retaining for the go&ernment title an ownership
of go&ernment reclaime an marshy lans of the public omain!
)o##on0ealt1 Act &o. 1*1 of t1e 21ilippine &ational A$$e#/l!
,n No&ember 1, /02F, the National Assembly appro&e Commonwealth Act No!
/5/, also "nown as the Public ?an Act, which compile the then e8isting laws on
lans of the public omain! CA No! /5/, as amene, remains to this ay
the e'i$tin" "eneral la0 go&erning the classification an isposition of lans of the
public omain other than timber an mineral lans!
9;/:
>ection F of CA No! /5/ empowers the Presient to classify lans of the public
omain into $alienable or isposable%
9;-:
lans of the public omain, which prior to
such classification are inalienable an outsie the commerce of man! >ection 1 of
CA No! /5/ authoriCes the Presient to $eclare what lans are open to isposition
or concession!% >ection 6 of CA No! /5/ states that the go&ernment can eclare
open for isposition or concession only lans that are $officially elimite an
classifie!% >ections F, 1 an 6 of CA No! /5/ rea as follows<
$>ec! F! T1e 2re$ident, upon t1e reco##endation of t1e ecretar! of
A"riculture and )o##erce, $1all fro# ti#e to ti#e cla$$if! t1e land$
of t1e pu/lic do#ain into P
#a' Alienable or isposable,
#b' Timber, an
#c' Mineral lans,
an may at any time an in li"e manner transfer such lans from one class
to another,
9;2:
for the purpose of their aministration an isposition!
>ec! 1! 4or the purposes of the aministration an isposition of alienable
or isposable public lans, t1e 2re$ident, upon reco##endation /! t1e
ecretar! of A"riculture and )o##erce, $1all fro# ti#e to ti#e
declare 01at land$ are open to di$po$ition or conce$$ion uner this
Act!
>ec! 6! Onl! t1o$e land$ $1all /e declared open to di$po$ition or
conce$$ion 01ic1 1ave /een officiall! deli#ited and cla$$ified an,
when practicable, sur&eye, an 01ic1 1ave not /een re$erved for
pu/lic or 4ua$i-pu/lic u$e$, nor appropriate by the Go&ernment, nor in
any manner become pri&ate property, nor those on which a pri&ate right
authoriCe an recogniCe by this Act or any other &ali law may be
claime, or which, ha&ing been reser&e or appropriate, ha&e cease to
be so! 8 8 8!%
Thus, before the go&ernment coul alienate or ispose of lans of the public omain,
the Presient must first officially classify these lans as alienable or isposable, an
then eclare them open to isposition or concession! There must be no law
reser&ing these lans for public or 7uasi)public uses!
The salient pro&isions of CA No! /5/, on go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an
marshy lans of the public omain, are as follows<
$>ec! ;6! An! tract of land of t1e pu/lic do#ain 01ic1, /ein" neit1er
ti#/er nor #ineral land, i$ intended to /e u$ed for re$idential
purpo$e$ or for co##ercial, indu$trial, or ot1er productive purpo$e$
ot1er t1an a"ricultural, and i$ open to di$po$ition or conce$$ion,
$1all /e di$po$ed of under t1e provi$ion$ of t1i$ c1apter and not
ot1er0i$e!
>ec! ;0! T1e land$ di$po$a/le under t1i$ title $1all /e cla$$ified a$
follo0$:
DaE Land$ reclai#ed /! t1e Govern#ent /! dred"in", fillin", or
ot1er #ean$@
D/E Hore$1oreH
DcE Mar$1! land$ or lans co&ere with water borering upon the
shores or ban"s of na&igable la"es or ri&ersH
#' ?ans not inclue in any of the foregoing classes!
>ec! F.! Any tract of lan comprise uner this title may be lease or sol,
as the case may be, to any person, corporation, or association authoriCe
to purchase or lease public lans for agricultural purposes! 8 8 8!
>ec! F/! T1e land$ co#pri$ed in cla$$e$ DaE, D/E, and DcE of $ection
fift!-nine $1all /e di$po$ed of to private partie$ /! lea$e onl! and not
ot1er0i$e, as soon as t1e 2re$ident, upon recommenation by the
>ecretary of Agriculture, $1all declare t1at t1e $a#e are not nece$$ar!
for t1e pu/lic $ervice an are open to isposition uner this chapter! T1e
land$ included in cla$$ DdE #a! /e di$po$ed of /! $ale or lea$e under
t1e provi$ion$ of t1i$ Act!% #Emphasis supplie'
>ection F/ of CA No! /5/ readopted, after the effecti&ity of the /02;
Constitution, >ection ;6 of Act No! -615 prohibiting the sale of go&ernment
reclaime, foreshore an marshy isposable lans of the public omain! All these
lans are intene for resiential, commercial, inustrial or other non)agricultural
purposes! As before, >ection F/ allowe only the lea$e of such lans to pri&ate
parties! The go&ernment coul sell to pri&ate parties only lans falling uner >ection
;0 #' of CA No! /5/, or those lans for non)agricultural purposes not classifie as
go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an marshy isposable lans of the public
omain! 4oreshore lans, howe&er, became inalienable uner the /02; Constitution
which only allowe the lease of these lans to 7ualifie pri&ate parties!
>ection ;6 of CA No! /5/ e8pressly states that isposable lans of the public
omain intene for resiential, commercial, inustrial or other proucti&e purposes
other than agricultural $$1all /e di$po$ed of under t1e provi$ion$ of t1i$ c1apter
and not ot1er0i$e!% Aner >ection /. of CA No! /5/, the term $isposition% inclues
lease of the lan! Any isposition of go&ernment reclaime, foreshore an marshy
isposable lans for non)agricultural purposes must comply with Chapter +L, Title +++
of CA No! /5/,
9;5:
unless a subse7uent law amene or repeale these pro&isions!
+n his concurring opinion in the lanmar" case of %epu/lic %eal ;$tate
)orporation v. )ourt of Appeal$,
9;;:
Bustice Reynato >! Puno summariCe succinctly
the law on this matter, as follows<
$4oreshore lans are lans of public ominion intene for public use! >o
too are lans reclaime by the go&ernment by reging, filling, or other
means! Act /F;5 manate that the control an isposition of the
foreshore an lans uner water remaine in the national
go&ernment! >ai law allowe only the Nleasing( of reclaime lan! The
Public ?an Acts of /0/0 an /02F also eclare that the foreshore an
lans reclaime by the go&ernment were to be $ispose of to pri&ate
parties by lease only an not otherwise!% Before leasing, howe&er, the
Go&ernor)General, upon recommenation of the >ecretary of Agriculture
an Natural Resources, ha first to etermine that the lan reclaime was
not necessary for the public ser&ice! This re7uisite must ha&e been met
before the lan coul be ispose of! (ut even t1en, t1e fore$1ore and
land$ under 0ater 0ere not to /e alienated and $old to private partie$.
T1e di$po$ition of t1e reclai#ed land 0a$ onl! /! lea$e. T1e land
re#ained propert! of t1e tate.N #Emphasis supplie'
As obser&e by Bustice Puno in his concurring opinion, $Commonwealth Act No! /5/
has remaine in effect at present!%
The >tate policy prohibiting the sale to pri&ate parties of go&ernment reclaime,
foreshore an marshy alienable lans of the public omain, first implemente in
/0.1 was thus reaffirme in CA No! /5/ after the /02; Constitution too" effect! The
prohibition on the sale of foreshore lans, howe&er, became a constitutional eict
uner the /02; Constitution! 4oreshore lans became inalienable as natural
resources of the >tate, unless reclaime by the go&ernment an classifie as
agricultural lans of the public omain, in which case they woul fall uner the
classification of go&ernment reclaime lans!
After the effecti&ity of the /02; Constitution, go&ernment reclaime an marshy
isposable lans of the public omain continue to be only lease an not sol to
pri&ate parties!
9;F:
These lans remaine $ui "eneri$, as the only alienable or
isposable lans of the public omain the go&ernment coul not sell to pri&ate
parties!
>ince then an until now, the only way the go&ernment can sell to pri&ate parties
go&ernment reclaime an marshy isposable lans of the public omain is for the
legislature to pass a law authoriCing such sale! CA No! /5/ oes not authoriCe the
Presient to reclassify go&ernment reclaime an marshy lans into other non)
agricultural lans uner >ection ;0 #'! ?ans classifie uner >ection ;0 #' are the
only alienable or isposable lans for non)agricultural purposes that the go&ernment
coul sell to pri&ate parties!
Moreo&er, >ection F. of CA No! /5/ e'pre$$l! re7uires congressional authority
before lans uner >ection ;0 that the go&ernment pre&iously transferre to
go&ernment units or entities coul be sol to pri&ate parties! >ection F. of CA No!
/5/ eclares that Q
$>ec! F.! 8 8 8 The area so lease or sol shall be such as shall, in the
jugment of the >ecretary of Agriculture an Natural Resources, be
reasonably necessary for the purposes for which such sale or lease is
re7ueste, an shall not e8cee one hunre an forty)four hectares<
Pro&ie, howe&er, That this limitation shall not apply to grants, onations,
or transfers mae to a pro&ince, municipality or branch or subi&ision of the
Go&ernment for the purposes eeme by sai entities conuci&e to the
public interestH /ut t1e land $o "ranted, donated, or tran$ferred to a
province, #unicipalit! or /ranc1 or $u/divi$ion of t1e Govern#ent
$1all not /e alienated, encu#/ered, or ot1er0i$e di$po$ed of in a
#anner affectin" it$ title, e'cept 01en aut1ori5ed /! )on"re$$: 8 8 8!%
#Emphasis supplie'
The congressional authority re7uire in >ection F. of CA No! /5/ mirrors the
legislati&e authority re7uire in >ection ;F of Act No! -615!
,ne reason for the congressional authority is that >ection F. of CA No! /5/
e8empte go&ernment units an entities from the ma8imum area of public lans that
coul be ac7uire from the >tate! These go&ernment units an entities shoul not
just turn aroun an sell these lans to pri&ate parties in &iolation of constitutional or
statutory limitations! ,therwise, the transfer of lans for non)agricultural purposes to
go&ernment units an entities coul be use to circum&ent constitutional limitations
on ownership of alienable or isposable lans of the public omain! +n the same
manner, such transfers coul also be use to e&ae the statutory prohibition in CA
No! /5/ on the sale of go&ernment reclaime an marshy lans of the public omain
to pri&ate parties! >ection F. of CA No! /5/ constitutes by operation of law a lien on
these lans!
9;1:
+n case of $ale or lea$e of isposable lans of the public omain falling uner
>ection ;0 of CA No! /5/, >ections F2 an F1 re7uire a pu/lic /iddin". >ections
F2 an F1 of CA No! /5/ pro&ie as follows<
$>ec! F2! @hene&er it is ecie that lans co&ere by this chapter are not
neee for public purposes, the *irector of ?ans shall as" the >ecretary of
Agriculture an Commerce #now the >ecretary of Natural Resources' for
authority to ispose of the same! Apon receipt of such authority, the
*irector of ?ans shall gi&e notice by public a&ertisement in the same
manner as in the case of leases or sales of agricultural public lan, 8 8 8!
>ec! F1! T1e lea$e or $ale $1all /e #ade /! oral /iddin"@ and
adjudication $1all /e #ade to t1e 1i"1e$t /idder! 8 8 8!% #Emphasis
supplie'
Thus, CA No! /5/ manates the Go&ernment to put to public auction all leases or
sales of alienable or isposable lans of the public omain!
9;6:
?i"e Act No! /F;5 an Act No! -615 before it, CA No! /5/ i not repeal >ection
; of the >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF! Pri&ate parties coul still reclaim portions of
the sea with go&ernment permission! 3owe&er, the reclai#ed land could /eco#e
private land onl! if cla$$ified a$ aliena/le a"ricultural land of t1e pu/lic
do#ain open to isposition uner CA No! /5/! The /02; Constitution prohibite the
alienation of all natural resources e8cept public agricultural lans!
T1e )ivil )ode of 19I0
The Ci&il Coe of /0;. reaopte substantially the efinition of property of public
ominion foun in the Ci&il Coe of /660! Articles 5-. an 5-- of the Ci&il Coe of
/0;. state that Q
$Art! 5-.! The following things are property of public ominion<
#/' Those intene for public use, such as roas, canals, ri&ers, torrents, ports an
briges constructe by the >tate, ban"s, shores, roasteas, an others of
similar characterH
#-' Those which belong to the >tate, without being for public use, an are intene
for some public ser&ice or for the e&elopment of the national wealth!
8 8 8!
Art! 5--! Property of public ominion, when no longer intene for public
use or for public ser&ice, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the
>tate!%
Again, the go&ernment must formally eclare that the property of public ominion
is no longer neee for public use or public ser&ice, before the same coul be
classifie as patrimonial property of the >tate!
9;0:
+n the case of go&ernment reclaime
an marshy lans of the public omain, the eclaration of their being isposable, as
well as the manner of their isposition, is go&erne by the applicable pro&isions of
CA No! /5/!
?i"e the Ci&il Coe of /660, the Ci&il Coe of /0;. inclue as property of public
ominion those properties of the >tate which, without being for public use, are
intene for public ser&ice or the $develop#ent of t1e national 0ealt1!% Thus,
go&ernment reclaime an marshy lans of the >tate, e&en if not employe for public
use or public ser&ice, if e&elope to enhance the national wealth, are classifie as
property of public ominion!
9i$po$ition$ under t1e 19+3 )on$titution
The /012 Constitution, which too" effect on Banuary /1, /012, li"ewise aopte
the Regalian octrine! >ection 6, Article L+E of the /012 Constitution state that Q
$>ec! 6! All lans of the public omain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum
an other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, willife, an
other natural resources of the Philippines belong to the >tate! Oit1 t1e
e'ception of a"ricultural, indu$trial or co##ercial, re$idential, and
re$ettle#ent land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain, natural re$ource$ $1all not
/e alienated, an no license, concession, or lease for the e8ploration,
e&elopment, e8ploitation, or utiliCation of any of the natural resources shall
be grante for a perio e8ceeing twenty)fi&e years, renewable for not
more than twenty)fi&e years, e8cept as to water rights for irrigation, water
supply, fisheries, or inustrial uses other than the e&elopment of water
power, in which cases, beneficial use may be the measure an the limit of
the grant!% #Emphasis supplie'
The /012 Constitution prohibite the alienation of all natural resources with the
e8ception of $agricultural, inustrial or commercial, resiential, an resettlement
lans of the public omain!% +n contrast, the /02; Constitution barre the alienation
of all natural resources e8cept $public agricultural lans!% 3owe&er, the term $public
agricultural lans% in the /02; Constitution encompasse inustrial, commercial,
resiential an resettlement lans of the public omain!
9F.:
+f the lan of public omain
were neither timber nor mineral lan, it woul fall uner the classification of
agricultural lan of the public omain! (ot1 t1e 193I and 19+3 )on$titution$,
t1erefore, pro1i/ited t1e alienation of all natural re$ource$ e'cept a"ricultural
land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain!
The /012 Constitution, howe&er, limite the alienation of lans of the public
omain to ini&iuals who were citiCens of the Philippines! Pri&ate corporations,
e&en if wholly owne by Philippine citiCens, were no longer allowe to ac7uire
alienable lans of the public omain unli"e in the /02; Constitution! >ection //,
Article L+E of the /012 Constitution eclare that Q
$>ec! //! The Batasang Pambansa, ta"ing into account conser&ation,
ecological, an e&elopment re7uirements of the natural resources, shall
etermine by law the siCe of lan of the public omain which may be
e&elope, hel or ac7uire by, or lease to, any 7ualifie ini&iual,
corporation, or association, an the conitions therefor! &o private
corporation or a$$ociation #a! 1old aliena/le land$ of t1e pu/lic
do#ain e'cept /! lea$e not to e8cee one thousan hectares in area nor
may any citiCen hol such lans by lease in e8cess of fi&e hunre
hectares or ac7uire by purchase, homestea or grant, in e8cess of twenty)
four hectares! No pri&ate corporation or association may hol by lease,
concession, license or permit, timber or forest lans an other timber or
forest resources in e8cess of one hunre thousan hectares! 3owe&er,
such area may be increase by the Batasang Pambansa upon
recommenation of the National Economic an *e&elopment
Authority!% #Emphasis supplie'
Thus, uner the /012 Constitution, pri&ate corporations coul hol alienable
lans of the public omain only through lease! ,nly ini&iuals coul now ac7uire
alienable lans of the public omain, an private corporation$ /eca#e a/$olutel!
/arred fro# ac4uirin" an! :ind of aliena/le land of t1e pu/lic do#ain! The
constitutional ban e8tene to all "ins of alienable lans of the public omain, while
the statutory ban uner CA No! /5/ applie only to go&ernment reclaime, foreshore
an marshy alienable lans of the public omain!
29 &o. 10F* )reatin" t1e 2u/lic ;$tate$ Aut1orit!
,n 4ebruary 5, /011, then Presient 4erinan Marcos issue Presiential
*ecree No! /.65 creating PEA, a wholly go&ernment owne an controlle
corporation with a special charter! >ections 5 an 6 of P* No! /.65, &ests PEA with
the following purposes an powers<
$>ec! 5! Purpose! The Authority is hereby create for the following
purposes<
#a' To reclai# land, includin" fore$1ore and $u/#er"ed
area$, /! dred"in", fillin" or ot1er #ean$, or to ac4uire
reclai#ed land@
#b' To e&elop, impro&e, ac7uire, aminister, eal in, subi&ie,
ispose, lea$e and $ell an! and all :ind$ of land$, builings,
estates an other forms of real property, owne, manage,
controlle an=or operate by the go&ernmentH
#c' To pro&ie for, operate or aminister such ser&ice as may be necessary
for the efficient, economical an beneficial utiliCation of the abo&e
properties!
>ec! ;! Powers an functions of the Authority! The Authority shall, in
carrying out the purposes for which it is create, ha&e the following powers
an functions<
#a'To prescribe its by)laws!
8 8 8
#i' To 1old land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain in e8cess of the area
permitte to pri&ate corporations by statute!
#j' To reclai# land$ an to construct wor" across, or otherwise,
any stream, watercourse, canal, itch, flume 8 8 8!
8 8 8
#o' To perform such acts an e8ercise such functions as may be necessary
for the attainment of the purposes an objecti&es herein specifie!%
#Emphasis supplie'
P* No! /.65 authoriCes PEA to reclaim both foreshore an submerge areas of
the public omain! 4oreshore areas are those co&ere an unco&ere by the ebb
an flow of the tie!
9F/:
>ubmerge areas are those permanently uner water
regarless of the ebb an flow of the tie!
9F-:
4oreshore an submerge areas
inisputably belong to the public omain
9F2:
an are inalienable unless reclaime,
classifie as alienable lans open to isposition, an further eclare no longer
neee for public ser&ice!
The ban in the /012 Constitution on pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring alienable
lans of the public omain i not apply to PEA since it was then, an until toay, a
fully owne go&ernment corporation! The constitutional ban applie then, as it still
applies now, only to $pri&ate corporations an associations!% P* No! /.65 e8pressly
empowers PEA $to 1old land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ainN e&en $in e8cess of the area
permitte to pri&ate corporations by statute!% T1u$, 2;A can 1old title to private
land$, a$ 0ell a$ title to land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain!
+n orer for PEA to $ell its reclaime foreshore an submerge alienable lans
of the public omain, there must be legislati&e authority empowering PEA to sell
these lans! This legislati&e authority is necessary in &iew of >ection F. of CA
No!/5/, which states Q
$>ec! F.! 8 8 8H but the lan so grante, onate or transferre to a
pro&ince, municipality, or branch or subi&ision of the Go&ernment shall not
be alienate, encumbere or otherwise ispose of in a manner affecting
its title, e'cept 01en aut1ori5ed /! )on"re$$H 8 8 8!% #Emphasis
supplie'
@ithout such legislati&e authority, PEA coul not sell but only lease its reclaime
foreshore an submerge alienable lans of the public omain! Ne&ertheless, any
legislati&e authority grante to PEA to sell its reclaime alienable lans of the public
omain woul be subject to the constitutional ban on pri&ate corporations from
ac7uiring alienable lans of the public omain! 3ence, such legislati&e authority
coul only benefit pri&ate ini&iuals!
9i$po$ition$ under t1e 19F+ )on$titution
The /061 Constitution, li"e the /02; an /012 Constitutions before it, has
aopte the Regalian octrine! The /061 Constitution eclares that all natural
resources are $o0ned /! t1e tate,% an e8cept for alienable agricultural lans of
the public omain, natural resources cannot be alienate! >ections - an 2, Article
L++ of the /061 Constitution state that Q
$>ection -! All lans of the public omain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum an other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries,
forests or timber, willife, flora an fauna, an other natural resources are
o0ned /! t1e tate! Oit1 t1e e'ception of a"ricultural land$, all ot1er
natural re$ource$ $1all not /e alienated. The e8ploration, e&elopment,
an utiliCation of natural resources shall be uner the full control an
super&ision of the >tate! 8 8 8!
>ection 2! ?ans of the public omain are classifie into agricultural, forest
or timber, mineral lans, an national par"s! Agricultural lans of the public
omain may be further classifie by law accoring to the uses which they
may be e&ote! Aliena/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain $1all /e li#ited
to a"ricultural land$. 2rivate corporation$ or a$$ociation$ #a! not
1old $uc1 aliena/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain e'cept /! lea$e, for a
period not e'ceedin" t0ent!-five !ear$, rene0a/le for not #ore t1an
t0ent!-five !ear$, and not to e'ceed one t1ou$and 1ectare$ in area!
CitiCens of the Philippines may lease not more than fi&e hunre hectares,
or ac7uire not more than twel&e hectares thereof by purchase, homestea,
or grant!
Ta"ing into account the re7uirements of conser&ation, ecology, an
e&elopment, an subject to the re7uirements of agrarian reform, the
Congress shall etermine, by law, the siCe of lans of the public omain
which may be ac7uire, e&elope, hel, or lease an the conitions
therefor!% #Emphasis supplie'
The /061 Constitution continues the >tate policy in the /012 Constitution
banning pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring an! :ind of aliena/le land of t1e
pu/lic do#ain! ?i"e the /012 Constitution, the /061 Constitution allows pri&ate
corporations to hol alienable lans of the public omain onl! t1rou"1 lea$e! As in
the /02; an /012 Constitutions, the general law go&erning the lease to pri&ate
corporations of reclaime, foreshore an marshy alienable lans of the public
omain is still CA No! /5/!
T1e %ationale /e1ind t1e )on$titutional (an
The rationale behin the constitutional ban on corporations from ac7uiring,
e8cept through lease, alienable lans of the public omain is not well
unerstoo! *uring the eliberations of the /06F Constitutional Commission, the
commissioners probe the rationale behin this ban, thus<
$4R! BERNA>< Mr! Eice)Presient, my 7uestions ha&e reference to page
2, line ; which says<
SNo pri&ate corporation or association may hol alienable lans of
the public omain e8cept by lease, not to e8cee one thousan
hectares in area!(
+f we recall, this pro&ision i not e8ist uner the /02; Constitution, but this
was introuce in the /012 Constitution! +n effect, it prohibits pri&ate
corporations from ac7uiring alienable public lans! (ut it 1a$ not /een
ver! clear in juri$prudence 01at t1e rea$on for t1i$ i$! +n some of the
cases ecie in /06- an /062, it 0a$ indicated t1at t1e purpo$e of
t1i$ i$ to prevent lar"e land1oldin"$! +s that the intent of this pro&isionR
MR! E+??EGA>< + thin" that is the spirit of the pro&ision!
4R! BERNA>< +n e8isting ecisions in&ol&ing the +glesia ni Cristo, there
were instances where the +glesia ni Cristo was not allowe to ac7uire a
mere 2/2)s7uare meter lan where a chapel stoo because the >upreme
Court sai it woul be in &iolation of this!% #Emphasis supplie'
+n A!o" v. )u$i,
9F5:
the Court e8plaine the rationale behin this constitutional
ban in this way<
$+nee, one purpose of the constitutional prohibition against purchases of
public agricultural lans by pri&ate corporations is to e7uitably iffuse lan
ownership or to encourage Nowner)culti&atorship an the economic family)
siCe farm( an to pre&ent a recurrence of cases li"e the instant case! 3uge
lanholings by corporations or pri&ate persons ha spawne social
unrest!%
3owe&er, if the constitutional intent is to pre&ent huge lanholings, the Constitution
coul ha&e simply limite the siCe of alienable lans of the public omain that
corporations coul ac7uire! The Constitution coul ha&e followe the limitations on
ini&iuals, who coul ac7uire not more than -5 hectares of alienable lans of the
public omain uner the /012 Constitution, an not more than /- hectares uner the
/061 Constitution!
+f the constitutional intent is to encourage economic family)siCe farms, placing
the lan in the name of a corporation woul be more effecti&e in pre&enting the
brea")up of farmlans! +f the farmlan is registere in the name of a corporation,
upon the eath of the owner, his heirs woul inherit shares in the corporation instea
of subi&ie parcels of the farmlan! This woul pre&ent the continuing brea")up of
farmlans into smaller an smaller plots from one generation to the ne8t!
+n actual practice, the constitutional ban strengthens the constitutional limitation
on ini&iuals from ac7uiring more than the allowe area of alienable lans of the
public omain! @ithout the constitutional ban, ini&iuals who alreay ac7uire the
ma8imum area of alienable lans of the public omain coul easily set up
corporations to ac7uire more alienable public lans! An ini&iual coul own as
many corporations as his means woul allow him! An ini&iual coul e&en hie his
ownership of a corporation by putting his nominees as stoc"holers of the
corporation! The corporation is a con&enient &ehicle to circum&ent the constitutional
limitation on ac7uisition by ini&iuals of alienable lans of the public omain!
The constitutional intent, uner the /012 an /061 Constitutions, is to transfer
ownership of only a limite area of alienable lan of the public omain to a 7ualifie
ini&iual! This constitutional intent is safeguare by the pro&ision prohibiting
corporations from ac7uiring alienable lans of the public omain, since the &ehicle to
circum&ent the constitutional intent is remo&e! The a&ailable alienable public lans
are graually ecreasing in the face of an e&er)growing population! The most
effecti&e way to insure faithful aherence to this constitutional intent is to grant or sell
alienable lans of the public omain only to ini&iuals! This, it woul seem, is the
practical benefit arising from the constitutional ban!
T1e A#ended Joint Genture A"ree#ent
The subject matter of the Amene BEA, as state in its secon @hereas clause,
consists of three properties, namely<
/! $9T:hree partially reclaime an substantially eroe islans along Emilio
Aguinalo Boule&ar in Parana7ue an ?as Pinas, Metro Manila, with a
combine title area of /,;16,55/ s7uare metersH%
-! $9A:nother area of -,5-/,;;0 s7uare meters contiguous to the three islansH% an
2! $9A:t AMAR+(s option as appro&e by PEA, an aitional 2;. hectares more or
less to regulariCe the configuration of the reclaime area!%
9F;:
PEA confirms that the Amene BEA in&ol&es $the e&elopment of the 4reeom
+slans an further reclamation of about -;. hectares 8 8 8,% plus an option $grante
to AMAR+ to subse7uently reclaim another 2;. hectares 8 8 8!%
9FF:
+n short, the Amene BEA co&ers a reclamation area of 1;. hectares! Onl!
1I+.F* 1ectare$ of t1e +I0-1ectare recla#ation project 1ave /een reclai#ed,
and t1e re$t of t1e I92.1I 1ectare$ are $till $u/#er"ed area$ for#in" part of
Manila (a!!
Aner the Amene BEA, AMAR+ will reimburse PEA the sum
of P/,605,/-0,-..!.. for PEA(s $actual cost% in partially reclaiming the 4reeom
+slans! AMAR+ will also complete, at its own e8pense, the reclamation of the
4reeom +slans! AMAR+ will further shouler all the reclamation costs of all the
other areas, totaling ;0-!/; hectares, still to be reclaime! AMAR+ an PEA will
share, in the proportion of 1. percent an 2. percent, respecti&ely, the total net
usable area which is efine in the Amene BEA as the total reclaime area less 2.
percent earmar"e for common areas! Title to AMAR+(s share in the net usable area,
totaling 2F1!; hectares, will be issue in the name of AMAR+! >ection ;!- #c' of the
Amene BEA pro&ies that Q
$8 8 8, PEA shall ha&e the uty to e8ecute without elay the necessary
ee of transfer or con&eyance of the title pertaining to AMAR+(s ?an
share base on the ?an Allocation Plan! 2;A, 01en re4ue$ted in
0ritin" /! AMA%3, $1all t1en cau$e t1e i$$uance and deliver! of t1e
proper certificate$ of title coverin" AMA%3K$ Land 1are in t1e na#e
of AMA%3, 8 8 8H pro&ie, that if more than se&enty percent #1.T' of the
title area at any gi&en time pertains to AMAR+, PEA shall eli&er to AMAR+
only se&enty percent #1.T' of the titles pertaining to AMAR+, until such time
when a corresponing proportionate area of aitional lan pertaining to
PEA has been title!% #Emphasis supplie'
3ndi$puta/l!, under t1e A#ended JGA AMA%3 0ill ac4uire and o0n a #a'i#u#
of 3>+.I 1ectare$ of reclai#ed land 01ic1 0ill /e titled in it$ na#e.
To implement the Amene BEA, PEA elegate to the unincorporate PEA)
AMAR+ joint &enture PEA(s statutory authority, rights an pri&ileges to reclaim
foreshore an submerge areas in Manila Bay! >ection 2!-!a of the Amene BEA
states that Q
$PEA hereby contributes to the joint &enture its rights an pri&ileges to
perform Rawlan Reclamation an 3oriContal *e&elopment as well as own
the Reclamation Area, thereby granting the Boint Eenture the full an
e8clusi&e right, authority an pri&ilege to unerta"e the Project in
accorance with the Master *e&elopment Plan!%
The Amene BEA is the prouct of a renegotiation of the original BEA ate April -;,
/00; an its supplemental agreement ate August 0, /00;!
T1e T1re$1old 3$$ue
The threshol issue is whether AMAR+, a pri&ate corporation, can ac7uire an
own uner the Amene BEA 2F1!; hectares of reclaime foreshore an submerge
areas in Manila Bay in &iew of >ections - an 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution
which state that<
$>ection -! All lans of the public omain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum, an other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries,
forests or timber, willife, flora an fauna, an other natural resources are
owne by the >tate! Oit1 t1e e'ception of a"ricultural land$, all ot1er
natural re$ource$ $1all not /e alienated! 8 8 8!
8 8 8
>ection 2! 8 8 8 Alienable lans of the public omain shall be limite to
agricultural lans! 2rivate corporation$ or a$$ociation$ #a! not 1old
$uc1 aliena/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain e'cept /! lea$e, 8 8
8!%#Emphasis supplie'
)la$$ification of %eclai#ed Hore$1ore and u/#er"ed Area$
PEA reaily concees that lans reclaime from foreshore or submerge areas
of Manila Bay are alienable or isposable lans of the public omain! +n its
Memoranum,
9F1:
PEA amits that Q
$Aner the Public ?an Act #CA /5/, as amene', reclai#ed land$ are
cla$$ified a$ aliena/le and di$po$a/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain:
N>ec! ;0! The lans isposable uner this title shall be classifie as
follows<
#a' ?ans reclaime by the go&ernment by reging,
filling, or other meansH
8 8 8!(% #Emphasis supplie'
?i"ewise, the ?egal Tas" 4orce
9F6:
constitute uner Presiential Aministrati&e
,rer No! 2F; amitte in its Report an Recommenation to then Presient 4iel E!
Ramos, $=%?eclai#ed land$ are cla$$ified a$ aliena/le and di$po$a/le land$ of
t1e pu/lic do#ain!%
9F0:
The ?egal Tas" 4orce conclue that Q
$*! Conclusion
Reclaime lans are lans of the public omain! 3owe&er, by statutory
authority, the rights of ownership an isposition o&er reclaime lans ha&e
been transferre to PEA, by &irtue of which PEA, as owner, may &alily
con&ey the same to any 7ualifie person without &iolating the Constitution
or any statute!
The constitutional pro&ision prohibiting pri&ate corporations from holing
public lan, e8cept by lease #>ec! 2, Art! LE++,
91.:
/061 Constitution', oes
not apply to reclaime lans whose ownership has passe on to PEA by
statutory grant!%
Aner >ection -, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution, the foreshore an
submerge areas of Manila Bay are part of the $lans of the public omain, waters 8
8 8 an other natural resources% an conse7uently $owne by the >tate!% As such,
foreshore an submerge areas $shall not be alienate,% unless they are classifie
as $agricultural lans% of the public omain! The mere reclamation of these areas by
PEA oes not con&ert these inalienable natural resources of the >tate into alienable
or isposable lans of the public omain! There must be a law or presiential
proclamation officially classifying these reclaime lans as alienable or isposable
an open to isposition or concession! Moreo&er, these reclaime lans cannot be
classifie as alienable or isposable if the law has reser&e them for some public or
7uasi)public use!
91/:
>ection 6 of CA No! /5/ pro&ies that $only those lans shall be eclare open
to isposition or concession which ha&e been officiall! deli#ited and
cla$$ified!%
91-:
The Presient has the authority to classify inalienable lans of the
public omain into alienable or isposable lans of the public omain, pursuant to
>ection F of CA No! /5/! +n Laurel v$. Garcia,
912:
the E8ecuti&e *epartment
attempte to sell the Roppongi property in To"yo, Bapan, which was ac7uire by the
Philippine Go&ernment for use as the Chancery of the Philippine Embassy! Although
the Chancery ha transferre to another location thirteen years earlier, the Court still
rule that, uner Article 5--
915:
of the Ci&il Coe, a property of public ominion retains
such character untilfor#all! declared otherwise! The Court rule that Q
$The fact that the Roppongi site has not been use for a long time for
actual Embassy ser&ice oes not automatically con&ert it to patrimonial
property! Any such con&ersion happens only if the property is withrawn
from public use #Cebu ,8ygen an Acetylene Co! &! Bercilles, FF >CRA
56/ 9/01;:! A propert! continue$ to /e part of t1e pu/lic do#ain, not
availa/le for private appropriation or o0ner$1ip Juntil t1ere i$ a
for#al declaration on t1e part of t1e "overn#ent to 0it1dra0 it fro#
/ein" $uc1K #+gnacio &! *irector of ?ans, /.6 Phil! 22; 9/0F.:!% #Emphasis
supplie'
P* No! /.6;, issue on 4ebruary 5, /011, authoriCe the issuance of special
lan patents for lans reclaime by PEA from the foreshore or submerge areas of
Manila Bay! ,n Banuary /0, /066 then Presient CoraCon C! A7uino issue >pecial
Patent No! 2;/1 in the name of PEA for the /;1!65 hectares comprising the partially
reclaime 4reeom +slans! >ubse7uently, on April 0, /000 the Register of *ees of
the Municipality of Parana7ue issue TCT Nos! 12.0, 12// an 12/- in the name of
PEA pursuant to >ection /.2 of P* No! /;-0 authoriCing the issuance of certificates
of title corresponing to lan patents! To this ay, these certificates of title are still in
the name of PEA!
P* No! /.6;, couple with Presient A7uino(s actual i$$uance of a special
patent co&ering the 4reeom +slans, is e7ui&alent to an official proclamation
classifying the 4reeom +slans as alienable or isposable lans of the public
omain! P* No! /.6; an Presient A7uino(s issuance of a lan patent also
constitute a eclaration that the 4reeom +slans are no longer neee for public
ser&ice! T1e Hreedo# 3$land$ are t1u$ aliena/le or di$po$a/le land$ of t1e
pu/lic do#ain, open to di$po$ition or conce$$ion to 4ualified partie$.
At the time then Presient A7uino issue >pecial Patent No! 2;/1, PEA ha
alreay reclaime the 4reeom +slans although subse7uently there were partial
erosions on some areas! The go&ernment ha also complete the necessary
sur&eys on these islans! Thus, the 4reeom +slans were no longer part of Manila
Bay but part of the lan mass! >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution
classifies lans of the public omain into $agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lans,
an national par"s!% Being neither timber, mineral, nor national par" lans, the
reclaime 4reeom +slans necessarily fall uner the classification of agricultural
lans of the public omain! Aner the /061 Constitution, agricultural lans of the
public omain are the only natural resources that the >tate may alienate to 7ualifie
pri&ate parties! All other natural resources, such as the seas or bays, are $waters 8 8
8 owne by the >tate% forming part of the public omain, an are inalienable
pursuant to >ection -, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution!
AMAR+ claims that the 4reeom +slans are pri&ate lans because C*CP, then a
pri&ate corporation, reclaime the islans uner a contract ate No&ember -., /012
with the Commissioner of Public 3ighways! AMAR+, citing Article ; of the >panish
?aw of @aters of /6FF, argues that $if the ownership of reclaime lans may be
gi&en to the party constructing the wor"s, then it cannot be sai that reclaime lans
are lans of the public omain which the >tate may not alienate!%
91;:
Article ; of the
>panish ?aw of @aters reas as follows<
$Article ;! ?ans reclaime from the sea in conse7uence of wor"s
constructe by the >tate, or by the pro&inces, pueblos or pri&ate
persons, 0it1 proper per#i$$ion, shall become the property of the party
constructing such wor"s, unle$$ ot1er0i$e provided /! t1e ter#$ of t1e
"rant of aut1orit!!% #Emphasis supplie'
Aner Article ; of the >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF, pri&ate parties coul
reclaim from the sea only with $proper permission% from the >tate! Pri&ate parties
coul own the reclaime lan only if not $otherwise pro&ie by the terms of the
grant of authority!% This clearly meant that no one coul reclaim from the sea without
permission from the >tate because the sea is property of public ominion! +t also
meant that the >tate coul grant or withhol ownership of the reclaime lan
because any reclaime lan, li"e the sea from which it emerge, belonge to the
>tate! Thus, a pri&ate person reclaiming from the sea without permission from the
>tate coul not ac7uire ownership of the reclaime lan which woul remain
property of public ominion li"e the sea it replace!
91F:
Article ; of the >panish ?aw of
@aters of /6FF aopte the time)honore principle of lan ownership that $all lans
that were not ac7uire from the go&ernment, either by purchase or by grant, belong
to the public omain!%
911:
Article ; of the >panish ?aw of @aters must be rea together with laws
subse7uently enacte on the isposition of public lans! +n particular, CA No! /5/
re7uires that lans of the public omain must first be classifie as alienable or
isposable before the go&ernment can alienate them! These lans must not be
reser&e for public or 7uasi)public purposes!
916:
Moreo&er, the contract between
C*CP an the go&ernment was e8ecute after the effecti&ity of the /012
Constitution which barre pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring any "in of alienable
lan of the public omain! This contract coul not ha&e con&erte the 4reeom
+slans into pri&ate lans of a pri&ate corporation!
Presiential *ecree No! 2)A, issue on Banuary //, /012, re&o"e all laws
authoriCing the reclamation of areas uner water an re&este solely in the National
Go&ernment the power to reclaim lans! >ection / of P* No! 2)A eclare that Q
$T1e provi$ion$ of an! la0 to t1e contrar! not0it1$tandin", the
reclamation of areas uner water, whether foreshore or inlan, shall
be li#ited to t1e &ational Govern#ent or an! per$on aut1ori5ed /! it
under a proper contract! #Emphasis supplie'
8 8 8!%
P* No! 2)A repeale >ection ; of the >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF because
reclamation of areas uner water coul now be unerta"en only by the National
Go&ernment or by a person contracte by the National Go&ernment! Pri&ate parties
may reclaim from the sea only uner a contract with the National Go&ernment, an
no longer by grant or permission as pro&ie in >ection ; of the >panish ?aw of
@aters of /6FF!
E8ecuti&e ,rer No! ;-;, issue on 4ebruary /5, /010, esignate PEA as the
National Go&ernment(s implementing arm to unerta"e $all reclamation projects of
the go&ernment,% which $$1all /e underta:en /! t1e 2;A or t1rou"1 a proper
contract e'ecuted /! it 0it1 an! per$on or entit!!% Aner such contract, a pri&ate
party recei&es compensation for reclamation ser&ices renere to PEA! Payment to
the contractor may be in cash, or in "in consisting of portions of the reclaime lan,
subject to the constitutional ban on pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring alienable
lans of the public omain! The reclaime lan can be use as payment in "in only
if the reclaime lan is first classifie as alienable or isposable lan open to
isposition, an then eclare no longer neee for public ser&ice!
The Amene BEA co&ers not only the 4reeom +slans, but also an aitional
;0-!/; hectares which are still submerge an forming part of Manila Bay! T1ere i$
no le"i$lative or 2re$idential act cla$$if!in" t1e$e $u/#er"ed area$ a$
aliena/le or di$po$a/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain open to di$po$ition! These
submerge areas are not co&ere by any patent or certificate of title! There can be
no ispute that these submerge areas form part of the public omain, an in their
present state are inaliena/le and out$ide t1e co##erce of #an! Antil reclaime
from the sea, these submerge areas are, uner the Constitution, $waters 8 8 8
owne by the >tate,% forming part of the public omain an conse7uently
inalienable! ,nly when actually reclaime from the sea can these submerge areas
be classifie as public agricultural lans, which uner the Constitution are the only
natural resources that the >tate may alienate! ,nce reclaime an transforme into
public agricultural lans, the go&ernment may then officially classify these lans as
alienable or isposable lans open to isposition! Thereafter, the go&ernment may
eclare these lans no longer neee for public ser&ice! ,nly then can these
reclaime lans be consiere alienable or isposable lans of the public omain
an within the commerce of man!
The classification of PEA(s reclaime foreshore an submerge lans into
alienable or isposable lans open to isposition is necessary because PEA is
tas"e uner its charter to unerta"e public ser&ices that re7uire the use of lans of
the public omain! Aner >ection ; of P* No! /.65, the functions of PEA inclue
the following< $9T:o own or operate railroas, tramways an other "ins of lan
transportation, 8 8 8H 9T:o construct, maintain an operate such systems of sanitary
sewers as may be necessaryH 9T:o construct, maintain an operate such storm
rains as may be necessary!% PEA is empowere to issue $rules an regulations as
may be necessary for the proper use by pri&ate parties of an! or all of t1e
1i"10a!$, road$, utilitie$, /uildin"$ andQor an! of it$ propertie$ an to impose
or collect fees or tolls for their use!% Thus, part of the reclaime foreshore an
submerge lans hel by the PEA woul actually be neee for public use or ser&ice
since many of the functions impose on PEA by its charter constitute essential public
ser&ices!
Moreo&er, >ection / of E8ecuti&e ,rer No! ;-; pro&ies that PEA $shall be
primarily responsible for integrating, irecting, an coorinating all reclamation
projects for an on behalf of the National Go&ernment!% The same section also
states that $9A:ll reclamation projects shall be appro&e by the Presient upon
recommenation of the PEA, an shall be unerta"en by the PEA or through a
proper contract e8ecute by it with any person or entityH 8 8 8!% Thus, uner E, No!
;-;, in relation to P* No! 2)A an P* No!/.65, PEA became the primary
implementing agency of the National Go&ernment to reclaim foreshore an
submerge lans of the public omain! E, No! ;-; recogniCe PEA as the
go&ernment entity $to unerta"e the reclamation of lans an ensure their ma8imum
utiliCation in pro#otin" pu/lic 0elfare and intere$t$!%
910:
>ince large portions of
these reclaime lans woul ob&iously be neee for public ser&ice, there must be a
formal eclaration segregating reclaime lans no longer neee for public ser&ice
from those still neee for public ser&ice!
>ection 2 of E, No! ;-;, by eclaring that all lans reclaime by PEA $shall
belong to or be owne by the PEA,% coul not automatically operate to classify
inalienable lans into alienable or isposable lans of the public omain! ,therwise,
reclaime foreshore an submerge lans of the public omain woul automatically
become alienable once reclaime by PEA, whether or not classifie as alienable or
isposable!
The Re&ise Aministrati&e Coe of /061, a later law than either P* No! /.65 or
E, No! ;-;, &ests in the *epartment of En&ironment an Natural Resources
#$*ENR% for bre&ity' the following powers an functions<
$>ec! 5! Powers an 4unctions! The *epartment shall<
#/' 8 8 8
8 8 8
#5' ;'erci$e $upervi$ion and control o&er forest lans, aliena/le and
di$po$a/le pu/lic land$, mineral resources an, in the process of
e8ercising such control, impose appropriate ta8es, fees, charges, rentals
an any such form of le&y an collect such re&enues for the e8ploration,
e&elopment, utiliCation or gathering of such resourcesH
8 8 8
#/5' 2ro#ul"ate rule$, re"ulation$ and "uideline$ on t1e i$$uance of
licen$e$, per#it$, conce$$ion$, lea$e a"ree#ent$ and $uc1 ot1er
privile"e$ concernin" t1e develop#ent, e'ploration and utili5ation of
t1e countr!K$ #arine, fre$10ater, and /rac:i$1 0ater and over all
a4uatic re$ource$ of t1e countr! and $1all continue to over$ee,
$upervi$e and police our natural re$ource$H cancel or cause to cancel
such pri&ileges upon failure, non)compliance or &iolations of any regulation,
orer, an for all other causes which are in furtherance of the conser&ation
of natural resources an supporti&e of the national interestH
#/;' ;'erci$e e'clu$ive juri$diction on t1e #ana"e#ent and
di$po$ition of all land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain and $erve a$ t1e $ole
a"enc! re$pon$i/le for cla$$ification, sub)classification, sur&eying an
titling of lans in consultation with appropriate agencies!%
96.:
#Emphasis
supplie'
As manager, conser&ator an o&erseer of the natural resources of the >tate,
*ENR e8ercises $super&ision an control o&er alienable an isposable public
lans!% *ENR also e8ercises $e8clusi&e jurisiction on the management an
isposition of all lans of the public omain!% Thus, *ENR ecies whether areas
uner water, li"e foreshore or submerge areas of Manila Bay, shoul be reclaime
or not! This means that PEA nees authoriCation from *ENR before PEA can
unerta"e reclamation projects in Manila Bay, or in any part of the country!
*ENR also e8ercises e8clusi&e jurisiction o&er the isposition of all lans of the
public omain! 3ence, *ENR ecies whether reclaime lans of PEA shoul be
classifie as alienable uner >ections F
96/:
an 1
96-:
of CA No! /5/! ,nce *ENR
ecies that the reclaime lans shoul be so classifie, it then recommens to the
Presient the issuance of a proclamation classifying the lans as alienable or
isposable lans of the public omain open to isposition! @e note that then *ENR
>ecretary 4ulgencio >! 4actoran, Br! countersigne >pecial Patent No! 2;/1 in
compliance with the Re&ise Aministrati&e Coe an >ections F an 1 of CA No!
/5/!
+n short, *ENR is &este with the power to authoriCe the reclamation of areas
uner water, while PEA is &este with the power to unerta"e the physical
reclamation of areas uner water, whether irectly or through pri&ate
contractors! *ENR is also empowere to classify lans of the public omain into
alienable or isposable lans subject to the appro&al of the Presient! ,n the other
han, PEA is tas"e to e&elop, sell or lease the reclaime alienable lans of the
public omain!
Clearly, the mere physical act of reclamation by PEA of foreshore or submerge
areas oes not ma"e the reclaime lans alienable or isposable lans of the public
omain, much less patrimonial lans of PEA! ?i"ewise, the mere transfer by the
National Go&ernment of lans of the public omain to PEA oes not ma"e the lans
alienable or isposable lans of the public omain, much less patrimonial lans of
PEA!
Absent two official acts Q a classification that these lans are alienable or
isposable an open to isposition an a eclaration that these lans are not
neee for public ser&ice, lans reclaime by PEA remain inalienable lans of the
public omain! ,nly such an official classification an formal eclaration can con&ert
reclaime lans into alienable or isposable lans of the public omain, open to
isposition uner the Constitution, Title + an Title +++
962:
of CA No! /5/ an other
applicable laws!
965:
2;AK$ Aut1orit! to ell %eclai#ed Land$
PEA, li"e the ?egal Tas" 4orce, argues that as alienable or isposable lans of
the public omain, the reclaime lans shall be ispose of in accorance with CA
No! /5/, the Public ?an Act! PEA, citing >ection F. of CA No! /5/, amits that
reclaime lans transferre to a branch or subi&ision of the go&ernment $shall not
be alienate, encumbere, or otherwise ispose of in a manner affecting its
title, e'cept 01en aut1ori5ed /! )on"re$$< 8 8 8!%
96;:
#Emphasis by PEA'
+n Laurel v$. Garcia,
96F:
the Court cite >ection 56 of the Re&ise Aministrati&e
Coe of /061, which states that Q
$>ec! 56! ,fficial AuthoriCe to Con&ey Real Property! @hene&er real
property of the Go&ernment is aut1ori5ed /! la0 to /e conve!ed, the
ee of con&eyance shall be e8ecute in behalf of the go&ernment by the
following< 8 8 8!%
Thus, the Court conclue that a law is neee to con&ey any real property
belonging to the Go&ernment! The Court eclare that )
$+t is not for the Presient to con&ey real property of the go&ernment on his
or her own sole will! An! $uc1 conve!ance #u$t /e aut1ori5ed and
approved /! a la0 enacted /! t1e )on"re$$! +t re7uires e8ecuti&e an
legislati&e concurrence!% #Emphasis supplie'
PEA contens that P* No! /.6; an E, No! ;-; constitute the legislati&e
authority allowing PEA to $ell its reclaime lans! P* No! /.6;, issue on 4ebruary
5, /011, pro&ies that Q
$T1e land reclai#ed in t1e fore$1ore and off$1ore area of Manila
(a! pursuant to the contract for the reclamation an construction of the
Manila)Ca&ite Coastal Roa Project between the Republic of the
Philippines an the Construction an *e&elopment Corporation of the
Philippines ate No&ember -., /012 an=or any other contract or
reclamation co&ering the same area i$ 1ere/! tran$ferred, conve!ed
and a$$i"ned to t1e o0ner$1ip and ad#ini$tration of t1e 2u/lic
;$tate$ Aut1orit! establishe pursuant to P* No! /.65H Pro&ie,
howe&er, That the rights an interests of the Construction an
*e&elopment Corporation of the Philippines pursuant to the aforesai
contract shall be recogniCe an respecte!
3enceforth, the Public Estates Authority shall e8ercise the rights an
assume the obligations of the Republic of the Philippines #*epartment of
Public 3ighways' arising from, or incient to, the aforesai contract
between the Republic of the Philippines an the Construction an
*e&elopment Corporation of the Philippines!
+n consieration of the foregoing transfer an assignment, the Public
Estates Authority shall issue in fa&or of the Republic of the Philippines the
corresponing shares of stoc" in sai entity with an issue &alue of sai
shares of stoc" #which' shall be eeme fully pai an non)assessable!
The >ecretary of Public 3ighways an the General Manager of the Public
Estates Authority shall e8ecute such contracts or agreements, incluing
appropriate agreements with the Construction an *e&elopment
Corporation of the Philippines, as may be necessary to implement the
abo&e!
pecial land patentQpatent$ $1all /e i$$ued /! t1e ecretar! of
&atural %e$ource$ in favor of t1e 2u/lic ;$tate$ Aut1orit! 0it1out
prejudice to t1e $u/$e4uent tran$fer to t1e contractor or 1i$
a$$i"nee$ of $uc1 portion or portion$ of t1e land reclai#ed or to /e
reclai#ed a$ provided for in t1e a/ove-#entioned contract. On t1e
/a$i$ of $uc1 patent$, t1e Land %e"i$tration )o##i$$ion $1all i$$ue
t1e corre$pondin" certificate of title!% #Emphasis supplie'
,n the other han, >ection 2 of E, No! ;-;, issue on 4ebruary /5, /010,
pro&ies that )
$>ec! 2! All land$ reclai#ed /! 2;A $1all /elon" to or /e o0ned /!
t1e 2;A which shall be responsible for its aministration, e&elopment,
utiliCation or isposition in accorance with the pro&isions of Presiential
*ecree No! /.65! Any an all income that the PEA may eri&e from the
sale, lease or use of reclaime lans shall be use in accorance with the
pro&isions of Presiential *ecree No! /.65!%
There is no e8press authority uner either P* No! /.6; or E, No! ;-; for PEA
to sell its reclaime lans! P* No! /.6; merely transferre $ownership an
aministration% of lans reclaime from Manila Bay to PEA, while E, No! ;-;
eclare that lans reclaime by PEA $shall belong to or be owne by PEA!% E, No!
;-; e8pressly states that PEA shoul ispose of its reclaime lans $in accorance
with the pro&isions of Presiential *ecree No! /.65,% the charter of PEA!
PEA(s charter, howe&er, e8pressly tas"s PEA $to e&elop, impro&e, ac7uire,
aminister, eal in, subi&ie, ispose, lease an $ell an! and all :ind$ of land$ 8
8 8 owne, manage, controlle an=or operate by the go&ernment!%
961:
#Emphasis
supplie' T1ere i$, t1erefore, le"i$lative aut1orit! "ranted to 2;A to $ell it$
land$, 01et1er patri#onial or aliena/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain! PEA may
sell to pri&ate parties its patri#onial propertie$ in accorance with the PEA charter
free from constitutional limitations! The constitutional ban on pri&ate corporations
from ac7uiring alienable lans of the public omain oes not apply to the sale of
PEA(s patrimonial lans!
PEA may also sell its aliena/le or di$po$a/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain to
pri&ate ini&iuals since, with the legislati&e authority, there is no longer any statutory
prohibition against such sales an the constitutional ban oes not apply to
ini&iuals! PEA, howe&er, cannot sell an! of its alienable or isposable lans of the
public omain to pri&ate corporations since >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061
Constitution e8pressly prohibits such sales! The legislati&e authority benefits only
ini&iuals! Pri&ate corporations remain barre from ac7uiring any "in of alienable
lan of the public omain, incluing go&ernment reclaime lans!
The pro&ision in P* No! /.6; stating that portions of the reclaime lans coul
be transferre by PEA to the $contractor or 1i$ assignees% #Emphasis supplie'
woul not apply to pri&ate corporations but only to ini&iuals because of the
constitutional ban! ,therwise, the pro&isions of P* No! /.6; woul &iolate both the
/012 an /061 Constitutions!
T1e re4uire#ent of pu/lic auction in t1e $ale of reclai#ed land$
Assuming the reclaime lans of PEA are classifie as alienable or isposable
lans open to isposition, an further eclare no longer neee for public ser&ice,
PEA woul ha&e to conuct a public biing in selling or leasing these lans! PEA
must obser&e the pro&isions of >ections F2 an F1 of CA No! /5/ re7uiring public
auction, in the absence of a law e8empting PEA from holing a public auction!
966:
>pecial Patent No! 2;/1 e8pressly states that the patent is issue by authority of
the Constitution an P* No! /.65, $supplemente by Commonwealth Act No! /5/,
as amene!% This is an ac"nowlegment that the pro&isions of CA No! /5/ apply to
the isposition of reclaime alienable lans of the public omain unless otherwise
pro&ie by law! E8ecuti&e ,rer No! F;5,
960:
which authoriCes PEA $to etermine the
"in an manner of payment for the transfer% of its assets an properties, oes not
e8empt PEA from the re7uirement of public auction! E, No! F;5 merely authoriCes
PEA to ecie the moe of payment, whether in "in an in installment, but oes not
authoriCe PEA to ispense with public auction!
Moreo&er, uner >ection 10 of P* No! /55;, otherwise "nown as the
Go&ernment Auiting Coe, the go&ernment is re7uire to sell &aluable go&ernment
property through public biing! >ection 10 of P* No! /55; manates that Q
$>ection 10! O1en "overn#ent propert! has become unser&iceable for
any cause, or i$ no lon"er needed, it shall, upon application of the officer
accountable therefor, be inspecte by the hea of the agency or his uly
authoriCe representati&e in the presence of the auitor concerne an, if
foun to be &alueless or unsaleable, it may be estroye in their
presence! 3f found to /e valua/le, it #a! /e $old at pu/lic auction to
t1e 1i"1e$t /idder uner the super&ision of the proper committee on
awar or similar boy in the presence of the auitor concerne or other
authoriCe representati&e of the Commission, after adverti$in" /! printed
notice in t1e Official Ga5ette, or for not le$$ t1an t1ree con$ecutive
da!$ in an! ne0$paper of "eneral circulation, or where the &alue of the
property oes not warrant the e8pense of publication, by notices poste for
a li"e perio in at least three public places in the locality where the property
is to be sol! 3n t1e event t1at t1e pu/lic auction fail$, t1e propert!
#a! /e $old at a private $ale at $uc1 price a$ #a! /e fi'ed /! t1e
$a#e co##ittee or /od! concerned and approved /! t1e
)o##i$$ion!%
+t is only when the public auction fails that a negotiate sale is allowe, in which case
the Commission on Auit must appro&e the selling price!
90.:
The Commission on Auit
implements >ection 10 of the Go&ernment Auiting Coe through Circular No! 60)
-0F
90/:
ate Banuary -1, /060! This circular emphasiCes that go&ernment assets
must be ispose of only through public auction, an a negotiate sale can be
resorte to only in case of $failure of public auction!%
At the public auction sale, only Philippine citiCens are 7ualifie to bi for PEA(s
reclaime foreshore an submerge alienable lans of the public omain! Pri&ate
corporations are barre from biing at the auction sale of any "in of alienable lan
of the public omain!
PEA originally scheule a public biing for the 4reeom +slans on *ecember
/., /00/! PEA impose a conition that the winning bier shoul reclaim another
-;. hectares of submerge areas to regulariCe the shape of the 4reeom +slans,
uner a F.)5. sharing of the aitional reclaime areas in fa&or of the winning
bier!
90-:
No one, howe&er, submitte a bi! ,n *ecember -2, /005, the
Go&ernment Corporate Counsel a&ise PEA it coul sell the 4reeom +slans
through negotiation, without nee of another public biing, because of the failure of
the public biing on *ecember /., /00/!
902:
3owe&er, the original BEA ate April -;, /00; co&ere not only the 4reeom
+slans an the aitional -;. hectares still to be reclaime, it also grante an option
to AMAR+ to reclaim another 2;. hectares! The original BEA, a negotiate contract,
enlarge the reclamation area to +I0 1ectare$!
905:
The failure of public biing on
*ecember /., /00/, in&ol&ing only 5.1!65 hectares,
90;:
is not a &ali justification for a
negotiate sale of 1;. hectares, almost ouble the area publicly auctione! Besies,
the failure of public biing happene on *ecember /., /00/, more than three years
before the signing of the original BEA on April -;, /00;! The economic situation in
the country ha greatly impro&e uring the inter&ening perio!
%ecla#ation under t1e (OT La0 and t1e Local Govern#ent )ode
The constitutional prohibition in >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution is
absolute an clear< $Pri&ate corporations or associations may not hol such alienable
lans of the public omain e8cept by lease, 8 8 8!% E&en Republic Act No! F0;1
#$B,T ?aw,% for bre&ity', cite by PEA an AMAR+ as legislati&e authority to sell
reclaime lans to pri&ate parties, recogniCes the constitutional ban! >ection F of RA
No! F0;1 states Q
$>ec! F! Repayment >cheme! ) 4or the financing, construction, operation
an maintenance of any infrastructure projects unerta"en through the
buil)operate)an)transfer arrangement or any of its &ariations pursuant to
the pro&isions of this Act, the project proponent 8 8 8 may li"ewise be
repai in the form of a share in the re&enue of the project or other non)
monetary payments, such as, but not limite to, the grant of a portion or
percentage of the reclaime lan, $u/ject to t1e con$titutional
re4uire#ent$ 0it1 re$pect to t1e o0ner$1ip of t1e land< 8 8 8!%
#Emphasis supplie'
A pri&ate corporation, e&en one that unerta"es the physical reclamation of a
go&ernment B,T project, cannot ac7uire reclaime alienable lans of the public
omain in &iew of the constitutional ban!
>ection 2.- of the ?ocal Go&ernment Coe, also mentione by PEA an AMAR+,
authoriCes local go&ernments in lan reclamation projects to pay the contractor or
e&eloper in "in consisting of a percentage of the reclaime lan, to wit<
$>ection 2.-! 4inancing, Construction, Maintenance, ,peration, an
Management of +nfrastructure Projects by the Pri&ate >ector! 8 8 8
8 8 8
+n case of lan reclamation or construction of inustrial estates, the
repayment plan may consist of the grant of a portion or percentage of the
reclaime lan or the inustrial estate constructe!%
Although >ection 2.- of the ?ocal Go&ernment Coe oes not contain a pro&iso
similar to that of the B,T ?aw, the constitutional restrictions on lan ownership
automatically apply e&en though not e8pressly mentione in the ?ocal Go&ernment
Coe!
Thus, uner either the B,T ?aw or the ?ocal Go&ernment Coe, the contractor
or e&eloper, if a corporate entity, can only be pai with leasehols on portions of the
reclaime lan! +f the contractor or e&eloper is an ini&iual, portions of the
reclaime lan, not e8ceeing /- hectares
90F:
of non)agricultural lans, may be
con&eye to him in ownership in &iew of the legislati&e authority allowing such
con&eyance! This is the only way these pro&isions of the B,T ?aw an the ?ocal
Go&ernment Coe can a&oi a irect collision with >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061
Constitution!
%e"i$tration of land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain
4inally, PEA theoriCes that the $act of con&eying the ownership of the reclaime
lans to public responent PEA transforme such lans of the public omain to
pri&ate lans!% This theory is echoe by AMAR+ which maintains that the $issuance of
the special patent leaing to the e&entual issuance of title ta"es the subject lan
away from the lan of public omain an con&erts the property into patrimonial or
pri&ate property!% +n short, PEA an AMAR+ conten that with the issuance of
>pecial Patent No! 2;/1 an the corresponing certificates of titles, the /;1!65
hectares comprising the 4reeom +slans ha&e become pri&ate lans of PEA! +n
support of their theory, PEA an AMAR+ cite the following rulings of the Court<
)( $umail '( *udge of "+I of "otabato,
901:
where the Court hel Q
$,nce the patent was grante an the corresponing certificate of title was
issue, the lan cease to be part of the public omain an became pri&ate
property o&er which the *irector of ?ans has neither control nor jurisiction!%
-! !ee ,ong ,o- '( Da'id,
906:
where the Court eclare )
$After the registration an issuance of the certificate an uplicate certificate of
title base on a public lan patent, the lan co&ere thereby automatically
comes uner the operation of Republic Act 50F subject to all the safeguars
pro&ie therein!%
2! ,eirs of .regorio Tengco '( ,eirs of *ose Aliwalas,
900:
where the Court rule )
$@hile the *irector of ?ans has the power to re&iew homestea patents, he
may o so only so long as the lan remains part of the public omain an
continues to be uner his e8clusi&e controlH but once the patent is registere an
a certificate of title is issue, the lan ceases to be part of the public omain an
becomes pri&ate property o&er which the *irector of ?ans has neither control
nor jurisiction!%
5! Manalo '( Intermediate Appellate "ourt,
9/..:
where the Court hel Q
$@hen the lots in ispute were certifie as isposable on May /0, /01/, an free
patents were issue co&ering the same in fa&or of the pri&ate responents, the
sai lots cease to be part of the public omain an, therefore, the *irector of
?ans lost jurisiction o&er the same!%
;!Republic '( "ourt of Appeals,
9/./:
where the Court state Q
$Proclamation No! 2;., ate ,ctober 0, /0;F, of Presient Magsaysay legally
effecte a lan grant to the Minanao Meical Center, Bureau of Meical
>er&ices, *epartment of 3ealth, of the whole lot, &alily sufficient for initial
registration uner the ?an Registration Act! >uch lan grant is constituti&e of a
Nfee simple( title or absolute title in fa&or of petitioner Minanao Meical
Center! Thus, >ection /-- of the Act, which go&erns the registration of grants or
patents in&ol&ing public lans, pro&ies that N@hene&er public lans in the
Philippine +slans belonging to the Go&ernment of the Anite >tates or to the
Go&ernment of the Philippines are alienate, grante or con&eye to persons or
to public or pri&ate corporations, the same shall be brought forthwith uner the
operation of this Act #?an Registration Act, Act 50F' an shall become
registere lans!(%
The first four cases cite in&ol&e petitions to cancel the lan patents an the
corresponing certificates of titles i$$ued to private partie$! These four cases
uniformly hol that the *irector of ?ans has no jurisiction o&er pri&ate lans or that
upon issuance of the certificate of title the lan automatically comes uner the
Torrens >ystem! The fifth case cite in&ol&es the registration uner the Torrens
>ystem of a /-!6)hectare public lan grante by the National Go&ernment to
Minanao Meical Center, a go&ernment unit uner the *epartment of 3ealth! The
National Go&ernment transferre the /-!6)hectare public lan to ser&e as the site for
the hospital builings an other facilities of Minanao Meical Center, which
performe a public ser&ice! The Court affirme the registration of the /-!6)hectare
public lan in the name of Minanao Meical Center uner >ection /-- of Act No!
50F! This fifth case is an e8ample of a public lan being registere uner Act No!
50F without the lan losing its character as a property of public ominion!
+n the instant case, the only patent an certificates of title issue are those in the
name of PEA, a wholly go&ernment owne corporation performing public as well as
proprietary functions! No patent or certificate of title has been issue to any pri&ate
party! No one is as"ing the *irector of ?ans to cancel PEA(s patent or certificates of
title! +n fact, the thrust of the instant petition is that PEA(s certificates of title shoul
remain with PEA, an the lan co&ere by these certificates, being alienable lans of
the public omain, shoul not be sol to a pri&ate corporation!
Registration of lan uner Act No! 50F or P* No! /;-0 oes not &est in the
registrant pri&ate or public ownership of the lan! Registration is not a moe of
ac7uiring ownership but is merely e&ience of ownership pre&iously conferre by any
of the recogniCe moes of ac7uiring ownership! Registration oes not gi&e the
registrant a better right than what the registrant ha prior to the registration!
9/.-:
The
registration of lans of the public omain uner the Torrens system, by itself, cannot
con&ert public lans into pri&ate lans!
9/.2:
Burispruence holing that upon the grant of the patent or issuance of the
certificate of title the alienable lan of the public omain automatically becomes
pri&ate lan cannot apply to go&ernment units an entities li"e PEA! The transfer of
the 4reeom +slans to PEA was mae subject to the pro&isions of CA No! /5/ as
e8pressly state in >pecial Patent No! 2;/1 issue by then Presient A7uino, to wit<
$N,@, T3ERE4,RE, IN,@ JE, that by authority of the Constitution of
the Philippines an in conformity with the pro&isions of Presiential *ecree
No! /.65, $upple#ented /! )o##on0ealt1 Act &o. 1*1, a$ a#ended,
there are hereby grante an con&eye unto the Public Estates Authority
the aforesai tracts of lan containing a total area of one million nine
hunre fifteen thousan eight hunre ninety four #/,0/;,605' s7uare
metersH the technical escription of which are hereto attache an mae an
integral part hereof!% #Emphasis supplie'
Thus, the pro&isions of CA No! /5/ apply to the 4reeom +slans on matters not
co&ere by P* No! /.65! >ection F. of CA No! /5/ prohibits, $e8cept when
authoriCe by Congress,% the sale of alienable lans of the public omain that are
transferre to go&ernment units or entities! >ection F. of CA No! /5/ constitutes,
uner >ection 55 of P* No! /;-0, a $statutory lien affecting title% of the registere
lan e&en if not annotate on the certificate of title!
9/.5:
Alienable lans of the public
omain hel by go&ernment entities uner >ection F. of CA No! /5/ remain public
lans because they cannot be alienate or encumbere unless Congress passes a
law authoriCing their isposition! Congress, howe&er, cannot authoriCe the sale to
pri&ate corporations of reclaime alienable lans of the public omain because of the
constitutional ban! ,nly ini&iuals can benefit from such law!
The grant of legislati&e authority to sell public lans in accorance with >ection
F. of CA No! /5/ oes not automatically con&ert alienable lans of the public omain
into pri&ate or patrimonial lans! The alienable lans of the public omain must be
transferre to 7ualifie pri&ate parties, or to go&ernment entities not tas"e to
ispose of public lans, before these lans can become pri&ate or patrimonial
lans! ,therwise, the constitutional ban will become illusory if Congress can eclare
lans of the public omain as pri&ate or patrimonial lans in the hans of a
go&ernment agency tas"e to ispose of public lans! This will allow pri&ate
corporations to ac7uire irectly from go&ernment agencies limitless areas of lans
which, prior to such law, are conceely public lans!
Aner E, No! ;-;, PEA became the central i#ple#entin" a"enc! of the
National Go&ernment to reclaim foreshore an submerge areas of the public
omain! Thus, E, No! ;-; eclares that Q
$ELECAT+EE ,R*ER N,! ;-;
*esignating the Public Estates Authority as the Agency Primarily
Responsible for all Reclamation Projects
@hereas, there are se&eral reclamation projects which are ongoing or
being propose to be unerta"en in &arious parts of the country which nee
to be e&aluate for consistency with national programsH
@hereas, there is a nee to gi&e further institutional support to the
Go&ernment(s eclare policy to pro&ie for a coorinate, economical an
efficient reclamation of lansH
@hereas, Presiential *ecree No! 2)A re7uires that all reclamation of areas
shall be limite to the National Go&ernment or any person authoriCe by it
uner proper contractH
O1erea$, a central aut1orit! i$ needed to act on /e1alf of t1e &ational
Govern#ent 01ic1 $1all en$ure a coordinated and inte"rated
approac1 in t1e recla#ation of land$H
O1erea$, 2re$idential 9ecree &o. 10F* create$ t1e 2u/lic ;$tate$
Aut1orit! a$ a "overn#ent corporation to underta:e recla#ation of
land$ and en$ure t1eir #a'i#u# utili5ation in pro#otin" pu/lic
0elfare and intere$t$H an
@hereas, Presiential *ecree No! /5/F pro&ies the Presient with
continuing authority to reorganiCe the national go&ernment incluing the
transfer, abolition, or merger of functions an offices!
N,@, T3ERE4,RE, +, 4ER*+NAN* E! MARC,>, Presient of the
Philippines, by &irtue of the powers &este in me by the Constitution an
pursuant to Presiential *ecree No! /5/F, o hereby orer an irect the
following<
>ection /! T1e 2u/lic ;$tate$ Aut1orit! D2;AE $1all /e pri#aril!
re$pon$i/le for inte"ratin", directin", and coordinatin" all
recla#ation project$ for and on /e1alf of t1e &ational
Govern#ent. All reclamation projects shall be appro&e by the Presient
upon recommenation of the PEA, an shall be unerta"en by the PEA or
through a proper contract e8ecute by it with any person or entityH
Pro&ie, that, reclamation projects of any national go&ernment agency or
entity authoriCe uner its charter shall be unerta"en in consultation with
the PEA upon appro&al of the Presient!
8 8 8 !%
As the central implementing agency tas"e to unerta"e reclamation projects
nationwie, with authority to sell reclaime lans, PEA too" the place of *ENR as
the go&ernment agency charge with leasing or selling reclaime lans of the public
omain! The reclaime lans being lease or sol by PEA are not pri&ate lans, in
the same manner that *ENR, when it isposes of other alienable lans, oes not
ispose of pri&ate lans but alienable lans of the public omain! ,nly when
7ualifie pri&ate parties ac7uire these lans will the lans become pri&ate lans! 3n
t1e 1and$ of t1e "overn#ent a"enc! ta$:ed and aut1ori5ed to di$po$e of
aliena/le of di$po$a/le land$ of t1e pu/lic do#ain, t1e$e land$ are $till pu/lic,
not private land$!
4urthermore, PEA(s charter e8pressly states that PEA $$1all 1old land$ of t1e
pu/lic do#ain% as well as $any an all "ins of lans!% PEA can hol both lans of
the public omain an pri&ate lans! Thus, the mere fact that alienable lans of the
public omain li"e the 4reeom +slans are transferre to PEA an issue lan
patents or certificates of title in PEA(s name oes not automatically ma"e such lans
pri&ate!
To allow &ast areas of reclaime lans of the public omain to be transferre to
PEA as pri&ate lans will sanction a gross &iolation of the constitutional ban on
pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring any "in of alienable lan of the public
omain! PEA will simply turn aroun, a$ 2;A 1a$ no0 done under t1e A#ended
JGA, an transfer se&eral hunres of hectares of these reclaime an still to be
reclaime lans to a single pri&ate corporation in only one transaction! This scheme
will effecti&ely nullify the constitutional ban in >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061
Constitution which was intene to iffuse e7uitably the ownership of alienable lans
of the public omain among 4ilipinos, now numbering o&er 6. million strong!
This scheme, if allowe, can e&en be applie to alienable agricultural lans of
the public omain since PEA can $ac7uire 8 8 8 any an all "ins of lans!% This will
open the floogates to corporations an e&en ini&iuals ac7uiring hunres of
hectares of alienable lans of the public omain uner the guise that in the hans of
PEA these lans are pri&ate lans! This will result in corporations amassing huge
lanholings ne&er before seen in this country ) creating the &ery e&il that the
constitutional ban was esigne to pre&ent! This will completely re&erse the clear
irection of constitutional e&elopment in this country! The /02; Constitution
allowe pri&ate corporations to ac7uire not more than /,.-5 hectares of public lans!
9/.;:
The /012 Constitution prohibite pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring any "in of
public lan, an the /061 Constitution has une7ui&ocally reiterate this prohibition!
The contention of PEA an AMAR+ that public lans, once registere uner Act
No! 50F or P* No! /;-0, automatically become pri&ate lans is contrary to e8isting
laws! >e&eral laws authoriCe lans of the public omain to be registere uner the
Torrens >ystem or Act No! 50F, now P* No! /;-0, without losing their character as
public lans! >ection /-- of Act No! 50F, an >ection /.2 of P* No! /;-0,
respecti&ely, pro&ie as follows<
Act No! 50F
$>ec! /--! @hene&er public lans in the Philippine +slans belonging to the
8 8 8 Go&ernment of the Philippine +slans are alienate, grante, or
con&eye to persons or the pu/lic or private corporation$, the same
shall be brought forthwith uner the operation of this Act an shall become
registere lans!%
P* No! /;-0
$>ec! /.2! Certificate of Title to Patents! @hene&er public lan is by the
Go&ernment alienate, grante or con&eye to an! per$on, the same shall
be brought forthwith uner the operation of this *ecree!% #Emphasis
supplie'
Base on its legislati&e history, the phrase $con&eye to any person% in >ection /.2
of P* No! /;-0 inclues con&eyances of public lans to public corporations!
Alienable lans of the public omain $grante, onate, or transferre to a
pro&ince, municipality, or branch or subi&ision of the Go&ernment,% as pro&ie in
>ection F. of CA No! /5/, may be registere uner the Torrens >ystem pursuant to
>ection /.2 of P* No! /;-0! >uch registration, howe&er, is e8pressly subject to the
conition in >ection F. of CA No! /5/ that the lan $shall not be alienate,
encumbere or otherwise ispose of in a #anner affectin" it$ title, e'cept 01en
aut1ori5ed /! )on"re$$!% This pro&ision refers to go&ernment reclaime,
foreshore an marshy lans of the public omain that ha&e been titled but still
cannot be alienate or encumbere unless e8pressly authoriCe by Congress! The
nee for legislati&e authority pre&ents the registere lan of the public omain from
becoming pri&ate lan that can be ispose of to 7ualifie pri&ate parties!
The Re&ise Aministrati&e Coe of /061 also recogniCes that lans of the
public omain may be registere uner the Torrens >ystem! >ection 56, Chapter /-,
Boo" + of the Coe states Q
$>ec! 56! ,fficial AuthoriCe to Con&ey Real Property! @hene&er real
property of the Go&ernment is authoriCe by law to be con&eye, the ee
of con&eyance shall be e8ecute in behalf of the go&ernment by the
following<
#/' 8 8 8
#-' Hor propert! /elon"in" to t1e %epu/lic of t1e 21ilippine$, /ut
titled in t1e na#e of an! political $u/divi$ion or of an! corporate
a"enc! or in$tru#entalit!, by the e8ecuti&e hea of the agency or
instrumentality!% #Emphasis supplie'
Thus, pri&ate property purchase by the National Go&ernment for e8pansion of a
public wharf may be title in the name of a go&ernment corporation regulating port
operations in the country! Pri&ate property purchase by the National Go&ernment
for e8pansion of an airport may also be title in the name of the go&ernment agency
tas"e to aminister the airport! Pri&ate property onate to a municipality for use
as a town plaCa or public school site may li"ewise be title in the name of the
municipality!
9/.F:
All these properties become properties of the public omain, an if
alreay registere uner Act No! 50F or P* No! /;-0, remain registere lan! There
is no re7uirement or pro&ision in any e8isting law for the e)registration of lan from
the Torrens >ystem!
Pri&ate lans ta"en by the Go&ernment for public use uner its power of eminent
omain become un7uestionably part of the public omain! Ne&ertheless, >ection 6;
of P* No! /;-0 authoriCes the Register of *ees to issue in the name of the
National Go&ernment new certificates of title co&ering such e8propriate
lans! >ection 6; of P* No! /;-0 states Q
$>ec! 6;! ?an ta"en by eminent omain! @hene&er any registere lan,
or interest therein, is e8propriate or ta"en by eminent omain, the National
Go&ernment, pro&ince, city or municipality, or any other agency or
instrumentality e8ercising such right shall file for registration in the proper
Registry a certifie copy of the jugment which shall state efinitely by an
ae7uate escription, the particular property or interest e8propriate, the
number of the certificate of title, an the nature of the public use! A
memoranum of the right or interest ta"en shall be mae on each
certificate of title by the Register of *ees, an where the fee simple is
ta"en, a ne0 certificate $1all /e i$$ued in favor of t1e &ational
Govern#ent, province, cit!, #unicipalit!, or any other agency or
instrumentality e8ercising such right for the lan so ta"en! The legal
e8penses incient to the memoranum of registration or issuance of a new
certificate of title shall be for the account of the authority ta"ing the lan or
interest therein!% #Emphasis supplie'
Conse7uently, lans registere uner Act No! 50F or P* No! /;-0 are not
e8clusi&ely pri&ate or patrimonial lans! ?ans of the public omain may also be
registere pursuant to e8isting laws!
AMAR+ ma"es a parting shot that the Amene BEA is not a sale to AMAR+ of the
4reeom +slans or of the lans to be reclaime from submerge areas of Manila
Bay! +n the wors of AMAR+, the Amene BEA $is not a sale but a joint &enture with
a stipulation for reimbursement of the original cost incurre by PEA for the earlier
reclamation an construction wor"s performe by the C*CP uner its /012 contract
with the Republic!% @hether the Amene BEA is a sale or a joint &enture, the fact
remains that the Amene BEA re7uires PEA to $cause the issuance an eli&ery of
the certificates of title con&eying AMAR+(s ?an >hare in the name of AMAR+!%
9/.1:
This stipulation still contra&enes >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution
which pro&ies that pri&ate corporations $shall not 1old such alienable lans of the
public omain e8cept by lease!% The transfer of title an ownership to AMAR+ clearly
means that AMAR+ will $hol% the reclaime lans other than by lease! The transfer
of title an ownership is a $isposition% of the reclaime lans, a transaction
consiere a sale or alienation uner CA No! /5/,
9/.6:
the Go&ernment Auiting Coe,
9/.0:
an >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution!
The Regalian octrine is eeply implante in our legal system! 4oreshore an
submerge areas form part of the public omain an are inalienable! ?ans
reclaime from foreshore an submerge areas also form part of the public omain
an are also inalienable, unless con&erte pursuant to law into alienable or
isposable lans of the public omain! 3istorically, lans reclaime by the
go&ernment are $ui "eneri$, not a&ailable for sale to pri&ate parties unli"e other
alienable public lans! Reclaime lans retain their inherent potential as areas for
public use or public ser&ice! Alienable lans of the public omain, increasingly
becoming scarce natural resources, are to be istribute e7uitably among our e&er)
growing population! To insure such e7uitable istribution, the /012 an /061
Constitutions ha&e barre pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring any "in of alienable
lan of the public omain! Those who attempt to ispose of inalienable natural
resources of the >tate, or see" to circum&ent the constitutional ban on alienation of
lans of the public omain to pri&ate corporations, o so at their own ris"!
@e can now summariCe our conclusions as follows<
/! The /;1!65 hectares of reclaime lans comprising the 4reeom +slans, now
co&ere by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are aliena/le land$ of t1e
pu/lic do#ain! PEA may lease these lans to pri&ate corporations but may not
sell or transfer ownership of these lans to pri&ate corporations! PEA may only
sell these lans to Philippine citiCens, subject to the ownership limitations in the
/061 Constitution an e8isting laws!
-! The ;0-!/; hectares of submerge areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable
natural resources of the public omain until classifie as alienable or isposable
lans open to isposition an eclare no longer neee for public ser&ice! The
go&ernment can ma"e such classification an eclaration only after PEA has
reclaime these submerge areas! ,nly then can these lans 7ualify as
agricultural lans of the public omain, which are the only natural resources the
go&ernment can alienate! +n their present state, the ;0-!/; hectares of
submerge areas are inaliena/le and out$ide t1e co##erce of #an!
2! >ince the Amene BEA see"s to transfer to AMAR+, a pri&ate corporation,
ownership of 11!25 hectares
9//.:
of the 4reeom +slans, such transfer is &oi for
being contrary to >ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution which prohibits
pri&ate corporations from ac7uiring any "in of alienable lan of the public
omain!
5! >ince the Amene BEA also see"s to transfer to AMAR+ ownership of -0.!/;F
hectares
9///:
of still submerge areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is &oi for being
contrary to >ection -, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution which prohibits the
alienation of natural resources other than agricultural lans of the public
omain! PEA may reclaim these submerge areas! Thereafter, the go&ernment
can classify the reclaime lans as alienable or isposable, an further eclare
them no longer neee for public ser&ice! >till, the transfer of such reclaime
alienable lans of the public omain to AMAR+ will be &oi in &iew of >ection 2,
Article L++ of the /061 Constitution which prohibits pri&ate corporations from
ac7uiring any "in of alienable lan of the public omain!
Clearly, the Amene BEA &iolates glaringly >ections - an 2, Article L++ of the /061
Constitution! Aner Article /5.0
9//-:
of the Ci&il Coe, contracts whose $object or
purpose is contrary to law,% or whose $object is outsie the commerce of men,% are
$ine8istent an &oi from the beginning!% The Court must perform its uty to efen
an uphol the Constitution, an therefore eclares the Amene BEA null and void
a/ initio.
event1 i$$ue: 01et1er t1e )ourt i$ t1e proper foru# to rai$e t1e i$$ue of
01et1er t1e A#ended JGA i$ "ro$$l! di$advanta"eou$ to t1e "overn#ent.
Consiering that the Amene BEA is null an &oi ab initio, there is no necessity
to rule on this last issue! Besies, the Court is not a trier of facts, an this last issue
in&ol&es a etermination of factual matters!
@HERE-ORE, the petition is GRANTE*! The Public Estates Authority an
Amari Coastal Bay *e&elopment Corporation are PERMANENT?J ENB,+NE* from
implementing the Amene Boint Eenture Agreement which is hereby eclare NA??
an E,+* ab initio!
SO ORDERED.
Da'ide/ *r(/ "(*(/ 0ellosillo/ Puno/ 1itug/ 2apunan/ Mendo3a/ Panganiban/
4uisumbing/ 5nares6$antiago/ $ando'al6.utierre3/ Austria6Martine3/ an "orona/
**(/ concur!
9/:
>ection 5 of P* No! /.65!
9-:
PEA(s Memoranum ate August 5, /000, p! 2!
92:
PEA(s Memoranum, supra note - at 1! PEA(s Memoranum 7uote e8tensi&ely, in its >tatement of
4acts an the Case, the >tatement of 4acts in >enate Committee Report No! ;F. ate >eptember
/F, /001!
95:
+n ,pinion No! 22. ate *ecember -2, /005, the Go&ernment Corporate Counsel, citing C,A
Auit Circular No! 60)-0F, a&ise PEA that PEA coul negotiate the sale of the /;1!65)hectare
4reeom +slans in &iew of the failure of the public biing hel on *ecember /., /00/ where there
was not a single bier! >ee also >enate Committee Report No! ;F., p! /-!
9;:
PEA(s Memoranum, supra note - at 0!
9F:
Ibid(
91:
The e8istence of this report is a matter of juicial notice pursuant to >ection /, Rule /-0 of the Rules
of Court which pro&ies, $A court shall ta"e juicial notice, without the introuction of e&ience, of 8 8
8 the official acts of the legislature 8 8 8!%
96:
Teofisto Guingona, Br!
90:
Renato Cayetano!
9/.:
Eirgilio C! Abejo!
9//:
Report an Recommenation of the ?egal Tas" 4orce, Anne8 $C%, AMAR+(s Memoranum ate
Bune /0, /000!
9/-:
AMAR+(s Comment ate Bune -5, /006, p! 2H Rollo, p! F6!
9/2:
AMAR+ file three motions for e8tension of time to file comment #Rollo, pp! 2-, 26, 56', while PEA
file nine motions for e8tension of time #Rollo, pp! /-1, /20'!
9/5:
Petitioner(s Memoranum ate Buly F, /000, p! 5-!
9/;:
Represente by the ,ffice of the >olicitor General, with >olicitor General Ricaro P! Gal&eC,
Assistant >olicitor General ACucena R! Balanon)CorpuC, an Associate >olicitor Raymun +! Rigoon
signing PEA(s Memoranum!
9/F:
Represente by ACcuna Jorac Arroyo U Chua ?aw ,ffices, an Romulo Mabanta >ayoc U *e los
Angeles ?aw ,ffices!
9/1:
>alonga '( PaDo, /25 >CRA 526 #/06;'H GonCales '( Marcos, F; >CRA F-5 #/01; 'H
A7uino '( Enrile, ;0 >CRA /62 #/015 'H *ela Camara '( Enage, 5/ >CRA / #/01/ '!
9/6:
>ection //, Article L+E!
9/0:
Manila Electric Co! '! Buge 4! Castro)Bartolome, //5 >CRA 100 #/06-'H Republic '( CA an
+glesia, an Republic '! Cenana an +glesia ni Cristo, //0 >CRA 550 #/06-'H Republic '( Eillanue&a
an +glesia ni Cristo, //5 >CRA 61; #/06-'H *irector of ?ans '! ?oo, /-5 >CRA 5F. #/062'H
Republic '( +glesia ni Cristo, /-6 >CRA 55 #/065'H *irector of ?ans '! 3ermanos y 3ermanas e >ta!
CruC e Mayo, +nc!, /5/ >CRA -/ #/06F'H *irector of ?ans '(+AC an Acme Plywoo U Eeneer Co!,
/5F >CRA ;.0 #/06F'H Republic '! +AC an Roman Catholic Bishop of ?ucena, /F6 >CRA /F;
#/066'H Nati&ia '! CA, -.- >CRA 502 #/00/'H Eillaflor '! CA an Nasipit ?umber Co!, -6. >CRA -01
#/001'! +n Ayog '( Cusi, //6 >CRA 50- #/06-', the Court i not apply the constitutional ban in the
/012 Constitution because the applicant corporation, BiDan *e&elopment Co!, +nc!, ha fully complie
with all its obligations an e&en pai the full purchase price before the effecti&ity of the /012
Constitution, although the sales patent was issue after the /012 Constitution too" effect!
9-.:
P* No! /.12!
9-/:
Anne8 $B%, AMAR+(s Memoranum ate Bune /0, /000, >ection ;!- #c' an #e' of the Amene
BEA, pp! /F)/1!
9--:
Cha&eC '! PCGG, -00 >CRA 155 #/006'!
9-2:
/2F >CRA -1 #/06;'!
9-5:
Article - of the Ci&il Coe #prior to its amenment by E, No! -..' pro&ie as follows< $?aws shall
ta"e effect after fifteen ays following the completion of their publication in the ,fficial GaCette, unless
it is pro&ie otherwise, 8 8 8!%
9-;:
>ection / of CA No! F26 pro&ies as follows< $There shall be publishe in the ,fficial GaCette all
important legislati&e acts an resolutions of the Congress of the PhilippinesH all e8ecuti&e an
aministrati&e orers an proclamations, e8cept such as ha&e no general applicabilityH 8 8 8!%
9-F:
>ection 10 of the Go&ernment Auiting Coes pro&ies as follows< $O1en "overn#ent
propert! has become unser&iceable for any cause, or i$ no lon"er needed, it shall, upon application
of the officer accountable therefor, be inspecte by the hea of the agency or his uly authoriCe
representati&e in the presence of the auitor concerne an, if foun to be &alueless or unsaleable, it
may be estroye in their presence! 3f found to /e valua/le, it #a! /e $old at pu/lic auction to
t1e 1i"1e$t /idder uner the super&ision of the proper committee on awar or similar boy in the
presence of the auitor concerne or other authoriCe representati&e of the Commission, after
adverti$in" /! printed notice in t1e Official Ga5ette, or for not le$$ t1an t1ree con$ecutive
da!$ in an! ne0$paper of "eneral circulation, or where the &alue of the property oes not warrant
the e8pense of publication, by notices poste for a li"e perio in at least three public places in the
locality where the property is to be sol! 3n t1e event t1at t1e pu/lic auction fail$, t1e propert!
#a! /e $old at a private $ale at $uc1 price a$ #a! /e fi'ed /! t1e $a#e co##ittee or /od!
concerned and approved /! t1e )o##i$$ion!%
9-1:
Paat '( Court of Appeals, -FF >CRA /F1 #/001'H Muisumbing '( Buge Gumban, /02 >CRA ;-.
#/00/'H Ealmonte '( Belmonte, Br!, /1. >CRA -;F #/060'!
9-6:
$ee note --!
9-0:
>ection /, Article L+ of the /061 Constitution states as follows< $Public office is a public trust! Public
officers an employees must at all times be accountable to the people, ser&e them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty, an efficiency, act with patriotism an justice, an lea moest li&es!%
92.:
/1. >CRA -;F #/060'!
92/:
$ee note --!
92-:
Recor of the Constitutional Commission, Eol! E, pp! -5)-;, #/06F'!
922:
$upra, Note --!
925:
Ibid!
92;:
?egaspi '( Ci&il >er&ice Commission, /;. >CRA ;2. #/061'!
92F:
Almonte '( Eas7ueC, -55 >CRA -6F #/00;'!
921:
$ee Note --!
926:
Cha&eC &! PCGG, see note --H A7uino)>armiento '! Morato, -.2 >CRA ;/; #/00/'!
920:
Almonte '! Eas7ueC, see note 2F!
95.:
People(s Mo&ement for Press 4reeom, et al! '! 3on! Raul Manglapus, G!R! No! 65F5-, 7n
0anc Resolution ate April /2, /066H Cha&eC '! PCGG, see note --!
95/:
>ection -1. of the National +nternal Re&enue Coe punishes any officer or employee of the Bureau
of +nternal Re&enue who i&ulges to any person, e8cept as allowe by law, information regaring the
business, income, or estate of any ta8payer, the secrets, operation, style of wor", or apparatus of any
manufacturer or proucer, or confiential information regaring the business of any ta8payer,
"nowlege of which was ac7uire by him in the ischarge of his official uties! >ection /5 of R!A! No!
66.. #>afeguar Measures Act' prohibits the release to the public of confiential information
submitte in e&ience to the Tariff Commission! >ection 2 #n' of R!A! No! 6;.5 #Philippine A+*>
Pre&ention an Control Act' classifies as confiential the meical recors of 3+E patients! >ection F
#j' of R!A! No! 6.52 #+nter)Country Aoption Act' classifies as confiential the recors of the aopte
chil, aopting parents, an natural parents! >ection 05 #f' of R!A! No! 105- #Philippine Mining Act'
re7uires the *epartment of En&ironment an Natural Resources to maintain the confientiality of
confiential information supplie by contractors who are parties to mineral agreements or financial
an technical assistance agreements!
95-:
The Recopilacion de !eyes de las Indias eclare that< $@e, ha&ing ac7uire full so&ereignty o&er
the +nies, an all lans, territories, an possessions not heretofore cee away by our royal
preecessors, or by us, or in our name, still pertaining to the royal crown an patrimony, it is our will
that all lans which are hel without proper an true ees of grant be restore to us accoring as
they belong to us, in orer that after reser&ing before all what to us or to our &iceroys, auiencias, an
go&ernors may seem necessary for public s7uares, ways, pastures, an commons in those places
which are people, ta"ing into consieration not only their present conition, but also their future an
their probable increase, an after istributing to the nati&es what may be necessary for tillage an
pasturage, confirming them in what they now ha&e an gi&ing them more if necessary, all the rest of
sai lans may remain free an unencumbere for us to ispose of as we may wish!% $ee concurring
opinion of Bustice Reynato >! Puno in Republic Real Estate Corporation &! Court of Appeals, -00
>CRA /00 #/006'!
952:
CariDo '! +nsular Go&ernment, 5/ Phil! 02; #/0.0'! The e8ception mentione in "ari&o/ referring to
lans in the possession of an occupant an of his preecessors)in)interest, since time immemorial, is
actually a species of a grant by the >tate! The Anite >tates >upreme Court, spea"ing through
Bustice ,li&er @enell 3olmes, Br!, eclare in "ari&o< $Prescription is mentione again in the royal
ceula of ,ctober /;, /1;5, cite in 2 Philippine, ;5FH N@here such possessors shall not be able to
prouce title ees, it shall be sufficient if they shall show that ancient possession, as a &ali title by
prescription!( +t may be that this means possession from before /1..H but, at all e&ents, the principle
is amitte! As prescription, e&en against the Crown lans, was recogniCe by the laws of >pain, we
see no sufficient reason for hesitating to amit that it was recogniCe in the Philippines in regar to
lans o&er which >pain ha only a paper so&ereignty!% $ee also Republic '( ?ee, /01 >CRA /2
#/00/'!
955:
Article / of the >panish ?aw of @aters of /6FF!
95;:
+gnacio '( *irector of ?ans, /.6 Phil! 22; #/0F.'H Bo&en '( *irector of ?ans, 02 Phil! /25 #/0;2'H
?aurel '! Garcia, /61 >CRA 101 #/00.'! $ee concurring opinion of Bustice Reynato >! Puno in
Republic Real Estate Corporation'( Court of Appeals, -00 >CRA /00 #/006'!
95F:
Act No! 0-F, enacte on ,ctober 1, /0.2, was also title the Public ?an Act! This Act, howe&er,
i not co&er reclaime lans! Ne&ertheless, >ection -2 of this Act pro&ie as follows< $8 8 8 +n no
case may lans lease uner the pro&isions of this chapter be ta"en so as to gain control of ajacent
lan, water, stream, shore line, way, roastea, or other &aluable right which in the opinion of the
Chief of the Bureau of Public ?ans woul be prejuicial to the interests of the public!%
951:
>ection /. of Act No! -615 pro&ie as follows< $The wors $alienation,% $isposition,% or
$concession% as use in this Act, shall mean any of the methos authoriCe by this Act for the
ac7uisition, lease, use, or benefit of the lans of the public omain other than timber or mineral lans!%
956:
Title ++ of Act No! -615 go&erne alienable lans of the public omain for agricultural purposes,
while Title +++ of the same Act go&erne alienable lans of the public omain for non)agricultural
purposes!
950:
>ection ;1 of Act No! -615 pro&ie as follows< $8 8 8H but the lan so grante, onate, or
transferre to a pro&ince, municipality, or branch or subi&ision of the Go&ernment shall not be
alienate, encumbere, or otherwise ispose of in a manner affecting its title, e'cept 01en
aut1ori5ed /! t1e le"i$latureH 8 8 8!%
9;.:
Iri&en"o '! Register of *ees, 10 Phil! 5F/ #/051'!;
9;/:
>ection - of CA No! /5/ states as follows< $The pro&isions of this Act shall apply to the lans of the
public omainH but timber an mineral lans shall be go&erne by special laws an nothing in this Act
pro&ie shall be unerstoo or construe to change or moify the aministration an isposition of
the lans commonly calle $friar lans% an those which, being pri&ately owne, ha&e re&erte to or
become the property of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, which aministration an isposition
shall be go&erne by the laws at present in force or which may hereafter be enacte!%
9;-:
?i"e Act No! -615, >ection /. of CA No! /5/ efine the terms $alienation% an $isposition% as
follows< $The wors $alienation,% $isposition,% or $concession% as use in this Act, shall mean any of
the methos authoriCe by this Act for the ac7uisition, lease, use, or benefit of the lans of the public
omain other than timber or mineral lans!%
9;2:
R!A! No! FF;1 has suspene the authority of the Presient to reclassify forest or mineral lans
into agricultural lans! >ection 5 #a' of RA No! FF;1 #Comprehensi&e Agrarian Reform ?aw of /066'
states, $No reclassification of forest or mineral lans to agricultural lans shall be unerta"en after the
appro&al of this Act until Congress, ta"ing into account ecological, e&elopmental an e7uity
consierations, shall ha&e elimite by law, the specific limits of the public omain!%
9;5:
Co&ering >ections ;6 to F6 of CA No! /5/!
9;;:
-00 >CRA /00 #/006'!
9;F:
>ection /, Article L+++ of the /02; Constitution limite the isposition an utiliCation of public
agricultural lans to Philippine citiCens or to corporations at least si8ty percent owne by Philippine
citiCens! This was, howe&er, subject to the original ,rinance appene to the /02; Constitution
stating, among others, that until the withrawal of Anite >tates so&ereignty in the Philippines,
$CitiCens an corporations of the Anite >tates shall enjoy in the Commonwealth of the Philippines all
the ci&il rights of the citiCens an corporations, respecti&ely, thereof!%
9;1:
>ection 55 of P* No! /;-0 #pre&iously >ection 20 of Act No! 50F' pro&ies that $liens, claims or
rights arising or e8isting uner the laws an the Constitution of the Philippines which are not by law
re7uire to appear of recor in the Registry of *ees in orer to be &ali against subse7uent
purchasers or encumbrancers of recor% constitute statutory liens affecting the title!
9;6:
RA No! 12., which too" effect on Bune /6, /0;-, authoriCe the private $ale of home lots to actual
occupants of public lans not neee for public ser&ice! >ection / of RA No! 12. pro&ie as follows<
$Notwithstaning the pro&isions of >ections F/ an F1 of Commonwealth Act No! /5/, as amene by
RA No! -02, any 4ilipino citiCen of legal age who is not the owner of a home lot in the municipality or
city in which he resies an who ha in goo faith establishe his resience on a parcel of lan of the
Republic of the Philippines which is not neee for public ser&ice, shall be gi&en preference to
purchase at a pri&ate sale of which reasonable notice shall be gi&en to him, not more than one
thousan s7uare meters at a price to be fi8e by the *irector of ?ans with the appro&al of the
>ecretary of Agriculture an Natural Resources! 8 8 8!% +n aition, on Bune /F, /056, Congress
enacte R!A! No! -02 allowing the private $ale of marshy alienable or isposable lans of the public
omain to lessees who ha&e impro&e an utiliCe the same as farms, fishpons or other similar
purposes for at least fi&e years from the ate of the lease contract with the go&ernment! R!A! No!
-02, howe&er, i not apply to marshy lans uner >ection ;F #c', Title +++ of CA No! /5/ which refers
to marshy lans lease for resiential, commercial, inustrial or other non-a"ricultural purpo$e$!
9;0:
>ee note 50!
9F.:
$ee note F.!
9F/:
Republic Real Estate Corporation '( Court of Appeals, see note ;F!
9F-:
Ibid!
9F2:
+nsular Go&ernment '! Alecoa, /0 Phil! ;.; #/0//'H Go&ernment '( Cabangis, ;2 Phil! //- #/0-0'!
9F5:
//6 >CRA 50- #/06-'!
9F;:
Anne8 $B%, AMAR+(s Memoranum, see note - at / U -!
9FF:
PEA(s Memoranum, see note F!
9F1:
Ibid(, p! 55!
9F6:
$ee notes 0, /. U //!
9F0:
Anne8 $C%, p! 2, AMAR+(s Memoranum, see note /- at 2!
91.:
This shoul rea Article L++!
91/:
>ection 6 of CA No! /5/!
91-:
Emphasis supplie!
912:
/61 >CRA 101 #/00.'!
915:
Article 5-- of the Ci&il Coe states as follows< $Property of public ominion, when no longer neee
for public use or public ser&ice, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the >tate!%
91;:
AMAR+(s Comment ate Bune -5, /006, p! -.H Rollo, p! 6;!
91F:
*iCon '! RorigueC, /2 >CRA 1.; #/0F;'H Republic '( ?at Ea! e Castillo, /F2 >CRA -6F #/066'!
911:
CariDo '( +nsular Go&ernment, 5/ Phil! 02; #/0.0'!
916:
Proclamation No! 5/, issue by Presient Ramon Magsaysay on Buly ;, /0;5, reser&e for
$National Par" purposes% 5F5!FF hectares of the public omain in Manila Bay $situate in the cities of
Manila an Pasay an the#unicipalit! of 2arana4ue, Pro&ince of RiCal, +slan of ?uCon,% which
area, as escribe in etail in the Proclamation, is $9B:oune on the North, by Manila BayH on the
East, by *ewey Boule&arH an on the south an west, by Manila Bay!% >ee concurring opinion of
Bustice Reynato >! Puno in Republic Real Estate Corporation &! Court of Appeals, -00 >CRA /000
#/006'! Aner >ections - an 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution, $national par"s% are inalienable
natural resources of the >tate!
910:
4ifth @hereas clause of E, No! ;-;!
96.:
>ection 5, Chapter +, Title L+E, Boo" +E!
96/:
>ection F of CA No /5/ pro&ies as follows< $The Presient, upon t1e reco##endation of t1e
ecretar! of A"riculture and )o##erce, shall from time to time classify the lans of the public
omain into Q #a' Alienable or isposable, 8 8 8!%
96-:
>ection 1 of CA No! /5/ pro&ies as follows< $4or purposes of the aministration an isposition of
alienable or isposable public lans, the Presient, upon reco##endation /! t1e ecretar! of
A"riculture and )o##erce, shall from time to time eclare what lans are open to isposition or
concession uner this Act!%
962:
,n $?ans for Resiential, Commercial, or +nustrial an other >imilar Purposes!%
965:
RA No! -02, enacte on Bune /F, /056, authoriCe the sale of marshy lans uner certain
conitions! >ection / of RA No! -02 pro&ie as follows< $The pro&isions of section si8ty)one of
Commonwealth Act Numbere ,ne hunre an forty)one to the contrary notwithstaning, marshy
lans an lans uner water borering on shores or ban"s or na&igable la"es or ri&ers which are
co&ere by subsisting leases or leases which may hereafter be uly grante uner the pro&isions of
the sai Act an are alreay impro&e an ha&e been utiliCe for farming, fishpon, or similar
purposes for at least fi&e years from the ate of the contract of lease, may be sol to the lessees
thereof uner the pro&isions of Chapter 4i&e of the sai Act as soon as the Presient, upon
recommenation of the >ecretary of Agriculture an Natural Resources, shall eclare that the same
are not necessary for the public ser&ice!%
96;:
PEA(s Memoranum, see note - at 5;!
96F:
$ee note 12!
961:
>ection 5 #b' of P* No! /.65
966:
R!A! No! 12. allows the pri&ate sale of home lots to actual occupants of public lans! $ee note F2!
960:
+ssue on 4ebruary -F, /06/!
90.:
@hile PEA claims there was a failure of public biing on *ecember /., /00/, there is no showing
that the Commission on Auit appro&e the price or consieration stipulate in the negotiate
Amene BEA as re7uire by >ection 10 of the Go&ernment Auiting Coe! >enate Committee
Report No! ;F. i not iscuss this issue!
90/:
Paragraph - #a' of C,A Circular No! 60)-0F, on $>ale Thru Negotiation,% states that isposal
through negotiate sale may be resorte to if $9T:here was a failure of public auction!%
90-:
>enate Committee Report No! ;F., >tatement of 4acts, p! 1, citing PEA Boar Resolution No! 62;,
as appearing in the Minutes of the PEA Boar of *irectors Meeting hel on May 2., /00/, per
Certification of Baime T! *e Eeyra, Corporate >ecretary, ate Bune //, /00/!
902:
,pinion No! 22., citing C,A Auit Circular No! 60)-0F! $ee note ;!
905:
PEA(s Memoranum, see note -!
90;:
>enate Committee Report No! ;F., pp! 1)6, citing the Minutes of Meeting of the PEA Boar of
*irectors hel on *ecember /0, /00/!
90F:
>ection 2, Article L++ of the /061 Constitution pro&ies as follows< $8 8 8 CitiCens of the Philippines
may 8 8 8 ac7uire not more than twel&e hectares thereof by purchase, homestea or grant!% 3owe&er,
>ection F of R!A! No! FF;1 #Comprehensi&e Agrarian Reform ?aw' limits the ownership of $public or
pri&ate agricultural lan% to a ma8imum of fi&e hectares per person!
901:
0F Phil! 05F #/0;;'!
906:
56 >CRA 21- #/011'!
900:
/F6 >CRA /06 #/066'!
9/..:
/1- >CRA 10; #/060'!
9/./:
12 >CRA /5F #/01F'!
9/.-:
A&ila '! Tapucar, -./ >CRA /56 #/00/'!
9/.2:
Republic '( Ayala Cia, et al!, /5 >CRA -;0 #/0F;'H *iCon '! RorigueC, /2 >CRA 1.; #/0F;'!
9/.5:
>ection 55 of P* No! /;-0 states as follows< $E&ery registere owner recei&ing a certificate of title
in pursuance of a ecree of registration, an e&ery subse7uent purchaser of registere lan ta"ing a
certificate of title for &alue an in goo faith, shall hol the same free from all encumbrances e8cept
those note on sai certificate an any of the following encumbrances which may be subsisting,
namely< +irst! Lien$, clai#$ or ri"1t$ ari$in" or e'i$tin" under t1e la0$ and )on$titution of t1e
21ilippine$ 01ic1 are not /! la0 re4uired to appear of record in t1e %e"i$tr! of 9eed$ in
order to /e valid a"ain$t $u/$e4uent purc1a$er$ or encu#/rancer$ of record. 8 8 8!% Aner
>ection /.2 of P* No! /;-0, >ection 55 applies to certificates of title issue pursuant to a lan patent
grante by the go&ernment!
9/.;:
>ection -, Article L+++ of the /02; Constitution!
9/.F:
3arty '( Municipality of Eictoria, /2 Phil! /;- #/0.0'!
9/.1:
Anne8 $B%, AMAR+(s Memoranum, see note -/ at /F, >ection ;!- #c' of the Amene BEA!
9/.6:
>ection /. of CA No! /5/ pro&ies as follows< $>ec! /.! The wors $alienation,% $isposition,% or
$concession% as use in this Act, shall mean any of the methos authoriCe by this Act for
the ac4ui$ition, lease, u$e, or /enefitof the lans of the public omain other than timber or mineral
lans!%
9/.0:
>ection 10 of the Go&ernment Auiting Coe, which re7uires public auction in the sale of
go&ernment assets, inclues all "ins of isposal or i&estment of go&ernment assets! Thus, C,A
Auit Circular No! 6F)-F5 ate ,ctober /F, /06F spea"s of $guielines #which' shall go&ern the
general proceures on the dive$t#ent or di$po$al of a$$et$ of "overn#ent-o0ned andQor
controlled corporation$ an their subsiiaries!% ?i"ewise, C,A Auit Circular No! 60)-0F ate
Banuary -1, spea"s of $guielines #which' shall be obser&e an ahere to in the dive$t#ent
or di$po$al of propert! and ot1er a$$et$ of all "overn#ent entitie$Qin$tru#entalitie$% an that
$i&estment shall refer to the manner or scheme of ta"ing away, epri&ing, withrawing of an authority,
power or title!% These C,A Circulars implement >ection 10 of the Go&ernment Auiting Coe!
9//.:
The share of AMAR+ in the 4reeom +slans is 11!25 hectares, which is 1. percent of the net
usable area of //.!50 hectares! The net usable area is the total lan area of the 4reeom +slans less
2. percent allocate for common areas!
9///:
The share of AMAR+ in the submerge areas for reclamation is -0.!/-0 hectares, which is 1.
percent of the net usable area of 5/5!51 hectares!
9//-:
Article /5.0 of the Ci&il Coe pro&ies as follows< $The following contracts are ine8istent an &oi
from the beginning< #/' Those whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to lawH 8 8 8H #5' Those
whose object is outsie the commerce of menH 8 8 8!%
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
4+R>T *+E+>+,N
G.R. No. 120>09?13 J"+u"(y 30, 2009
6ERN!E G. M!AOUE, Petitioner
&s!
HON. V!RG!L!O M. PATAG, )+ #) ,"0",)'y " P($)%)+. Ju%.$ o& '#$ R$.)o+"l T()"l Cou('
o& !lo)lo C)'y, 6("+,# 33,
V!CENTE C. ARAGONA, "+% PEOPLE O- THE PH!L!PP!NES, Responents!
R E > , ? A T + , N
CORONA, J.:
This is a special ci&il action for certiorari
/
assailing the orers of the Regional Trial Court #RTC' of
+loilo City, Branch 22 ate August -;, -..;
-
an >eptember /0, -..;
2
in Criminal Case Nos! .;)
F/5.1 to .;)F/5// captione People of the Philippines 'ersus 0ernie Miaque/ et al(
,n Banuary 2/, -..., fi&e +nformations for libel
5
were file in the RTC of +loilo City, Branch -F,
against petitioner Bernie G! Mia7ue an three others!
;
+n an orer ate 4ebruary /1,
-..;,
F
these +nformations were 7uashe for lac" of jurisiction o&er the offenses charge!
>pecifically, sai +nformations faile to allege either that pri&ate responent #therein pri&ate
complainant' Eicente Aragona actually hel office in +loilo City at the time of the commission of
the offenses or that the allege libelous remar"s were printe or first publishe in +loilo City!
1
,n Bune --, -..;, Assistant Pro&incial Prosecutor Berry MaraDon issue a resolution
recommening the filing of +nformations for libel against petitioner an his co)accuse!
Accoringly, fi&e new +nformations for libel oc"ete as Criminal Case Nos! .;)F/5.1 to .;)
F/5// were file against petitioner an his co)accuse in the RTC of +loilo City, Branch 22,
presie by responent Buge Eirgilio M! Patag!
The new +nformations were similarly wore as those pre&iously 7uashe but with these ae
allegations< #/' Aragona, Regional >tate Prosecutor E+ of the *epartment of Bustice, hel office
at the 3all of Bustice, +loilo City or #-' the allege libelous remar"s were written, printe an
publishe in +loilo City #on the pertinent ates thereof'! >ai +nformations were li"ewise signe
an file by Assistant Pro&incial Prosecutor MaraDon!
+n &iew of the filing of the new +nformations, petitioner file his motions #ate August 6, -..;'
not to issue warrants of arrest an, if alreay issue, to recall them an reman the +nformations
to the Pro&incial Prosecutor(s ,ffice for preliminary in&estigation!
6
+n an orer ate August -;,
-..;, responent juge enie petitioner(s motions on the groun that petitioner was beyon the
court(s jurisiction as he was not uner the custoy of the court!
0
Petitioner(s motion for
reconsieration was enie in an orer ate >eptember /0, -..;! 3ence, this petition!
Petitioner challenges the August -;, -..; an >eptember /0, -..; orers of responent juge
for being contrary to law an for ha&ing been issue with gra&e abuse of iscretion! 3e contens
that the +nformations were file without the manatory preliminary in&estigation! Moreo&er, the
new +nformations were file by one who ha no authority to o so because these were file by
the +loilo Pro&incial Prosecutor(s ,ffice an not the +loilo City Prosecutor(s ,ffice! Burisiction
o&er the subject matter supposely belonge to the latter! Petitioner li"ewise assails the refusal
of responent juge to recall the warrants of arrest issue against him!
The ,ffice of the >olicitor General #,>G', representing the People of the Philippines, contens
that the 7uashe +nformations were merely amene to inclue the allegations that Aragona
actually hel office in +loilo City at the time of the commission of the offenses or that the libelous
remar"s were printe an first publishe in +loilo City! A new preliminary in&estigation was
therefore unnecessary! ,n the warrant of arrest, the ,>G alleges that the trial court ac7uire
jurisiction o&er petitioner in &iew of the filing of his August 6, -..; motions! The filing of the
motions supposely was tantamount to &oluntarily submitting to the jurisiction of the court!
Generally, a irect resort to us in a petition for certiorari is incorrect for it &iolates the hierarchy of
courts!
/.
A regar for juicial hierarchy most certainly inicates that petitions for the issuance of
e8traorinary writs against first le&el courts shoul be file in the RTC an those against the
latter shoul be file in the Court of Appeals!
//
This rule, howe&er, may be rela8e when pure
7uestions of law
/-
are raise as in this case!
@e grant the petition! The +nformations must be 7uashe!
,ne of the issues raise in the petition is the authority of the +loilo Pro&incial Prosecutor(s ,ffice
to file an sign the new +nformations against petitioner! The offenses charge in each of the new
+nformations were allege to ha&e been committe in +loilo City but sai +nformations were file
by the +loilo Pro&incial Prosecutor(s ,ffice!
>ections 0 an // of Presiential *ecree No! /-1;
/2
pro&ie<
>EC! 0! Offices of Pro'incial +iscals and "ity +iscals8 $taffing( 66 There shall be in each pro&ince
an each subpro&inceH one pro&incial fiscal an such number of assistant pro&incial fiscals as
may hereinafter be pro&ie for!
There shall be in each city one city fiscals an such number of assistant city fiscals as may
hereinafter be pro&ie!
888
>EC! //! Pro'incial +iscals and "ity +iscals9 Duties and +unctions! Q The pro&incial fiscal or the
city fiscal shall<
a' 888
b' +n&estigate an=or cause to be in&estigate all charges of crimes, misemeanors an
&iolations of all penal laws an orinances :)'#)+ '#$)( ($0$,')v$ <u()%),')o+ an
ha&e the necessary information or complaint prepare or mae against the persons
accuse! 888 #emphasis supplie'
+t is unispute that the allege acts of libel were committe in +loilo City! @ho then ha the
authority to file an sign the new informations against petitioner an his co)accuseR The
Charter of the City of +loilo pro&ies<
/5
9The City 4iscal, now City Prosecutor: shall also ha&e charge of the prosecution of all crimes,
misemeanors an &iolations of city orinances, in the Court of 4irst +nstance #now RTC' an in
the Municipal Trial Court of the city, an shall ischarge all the uties in respect to criminal
prosecutions enjoine by law upon pro&incial fiscals!
The city fiscal shall cause to be in&estigate all charges of crimes, misemeanors, an &iolations
of orinances, an ha&e the necessary informations or complaints prepare against the persons
accuse! 888
/;
The authority to sign an file the new +nformations is properly loge with the +loilo City
Prosecutor(s ,ffice! The +loilo Pro&incial Prosecutor(s ,ffice was clearly bereft of authority to file
the new +nformations against petitioner! An +nformation, when re7uire by law to be file by a
public prosecuting officer, cannot be file by another!
/F
The court oes not ac7uire jurisiction
o&er the case because there is a efect in the +nformation! @e hel in People '( ,on( .arfin<
/1
+t is a &ali information signe by a competent officer which, among other re7uisites, confers
jurisiction on the court o&er the person of the accuse an the subject matter thereof! 888
Muestions relating to lac" of jurisiction may be raise at any stage of the proceeing! An
infirmity in the information, such as lac" of authority of the officer signing it, cannot be cure by
silence, ac7uiescence, or e&en by e8press consent!
The foregoing consiere, the +nformations corresponing to Criminal Case Nos! .;)F/5.1 to
.;)F/5// were fatally efecti&e! The common infirmity in the +nformations constitute a
jurisictional efect that coul not be cure!
/6
There was no point in proceeing uner a efecti&e
+nformation that coul ne&er be the basis of a &ali con&iction!
/0
@HERE-ORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED! The orers of the Regional Trial Court of +loilo
City, Branch 22 ate August -;, -..; an >eptember /0, -..; are hereby REVERSED AND
SET AS!DE. Criminal Case Nos! .;)F/5.1 to .;)F/5// are D!SM!SSED @!THOUT
PREJUD!CE to the filing of new +nformations by an authoriCe officer! The warrants of arrest
issue are li"ewise OUASHED!
SO ORDERED.
RENATO C. CORONA
Associate Bustice
@E C,NCAR<
ANTON!O T. CARP!O
Acting Chairperson
MA. AL!C!A AUSTR!A?MART!NE5
VV
Associate Bustice
CONCH!TA CARP!O MORALES
VV
Associate Bustice
TERES!TA J. LEONARDO?DE CASTRO
Associate Bustice
A T T ; T A T 3 O &
+ attest that the conclusions in the abo&e Resolution ha been reache in consultation before the
case was assigne to the writer of the opinion of the Court(s *i&ision!
ANTON!O T. CARP!O
Acting Chairperson
) ; % T 3 H 3 ) A T 3 O &
Pursuant to >ection /2, Article E+++ of the Constitution an the Acting *i&ision Chairperson(s
Attestation, + certify that the conclusions in the abo&e resolution ha been reache in
consultation before the case was assigne to the writer of the opinion of the CourtOs *i&ision!
LEONARDO A. OU!SUM6!NG
Acting Chief Bustice
-oo'+o'$
V
Per >pecial ,rer No! ;;-)A ate Banuary /;, -..0!
VV
Per >pecial ,rer No! ;;2 ate Banuary /;, -..0!
/
Aner Rule F; of the Rules of Court! The petition was accompanie by a prayer for the
issuance of a temporary restraining orer an=or writ of preliminary injunction which was
enie for lac" of merit by the Court in a resolution ate *ecember F, -..F! Rollo, pp!
2)/6!
-
Penne by public responent Buge Eirgilio M! Patag! +!, p! /0!
2
+!, p! -.!
5
+!, pp! 2-);/!
;
Petitioner(s co)accuse were Tony Mauricio, Noel Cabobos an Roolfo *i&inagracia!
F
Rollo, pp! F/)FF!
1
+!/ p! ;6!
6
+!, pp! -/)-F!
0
+!/ p! /0! The rele&ant portion of the orer rea<
WThe recors inicate that the aforename accuse are beyon the jurisiction of
this Court because they are not in custoia legis an=or uner the custoy of this
Court! By reason of the fact that @e o not possess jurisiction o&er the three
aforename accuse, @e are li"ewise without jurisiction o&er the subject matter
of the instant motion!
Base on the foregoing, @e hereby eny the aforecite motion for lac" of merit!
>, ,R*ERE*!W
/.
Pacoy '( "ajigal, G!R! No! /;151-, -6 >eptember -..1, ;25 >CRA 226, 25F!
//
"ha'e3 '( %ational ,ousing Authority, G!R! No! /F5;-1, /; August -..1, ;2. >CRA
-2;, -6; citingPeople '( "uaresma, G!R! No! /22-;., 0 Buly -..-, 265 >CRA /;-!
/-
A 7uestion of law e8ists when the oubt or ifference centers on what the law is on a
certain state of facts! There is a 7uestion of law if the issue raise is capable of being
resol&e without nee of re&iewing the probati&e &alue of the e&ience! The resolution of
the issue must rest solely on what the law pro&ies on the gi&en set of
circumstances! Morales '( $-ills International "ompany, G!R! No! /50-6;, 2. August
-..F, ;.. >CRA /6F, /05 citing Microsoft "orporation '( Ma:icorp/ Inc(, G!R! No!
/5.05F, /2 >eptember -..5, 526 >CRA --5!
/2
ReorganiCing the Prosecution >taff of the *epartment of Bustice an the ,ffices of the
Pro&incial
an City 4iscals, RegionaliCing the Prosecution >er&ice, an Creating the
National Prosecution >er&ice! This too" effect on April //, /016! Pro&incial an
City 4iscals are now "nown as Pro&incial an City Prosecutors by &irtue of
>ection 0, Chapter -, Title +++, Boo" +E of the Aministrati&e Coe of /061 which
pro&ies<
W>EC! 0! Pro'incial;"ity Prosecution Offices( Q The Pro&incial an City 4iscal(s
,ffice establishe in each of the pro&inces an cities pursuant to law, is retaine
an rename Pro&incial=City Prosecution >er&ice! +t shall be heae by a
Pro&incial Prosecutor or City Prosecutor, as the case may be, assiste by such
number of Assistant Pro&incial=City Prosecutors as fi8e an=or authoriCe by
law! The position titles of Pro&incial an City 4iscal an Assistant Pro&incial an
City 4iscal are hereby abolishe! 888W
/5
Commonwealth Act No! ;1, otherwise "nown as WAn Act Establishing a 4orm of
Go&ernment for the City of +loilo!W >ection / thereof states< W>ECT+,N /! This Act shall be
"nown as the Charter of the City of +loilo!W
/;
Commonwealth Act No! ;1 #/02F', >ec! ;6!
/F
People '( ,on( .arfin, G!R! No! /;2/1F, -0 March -..5, 5-F >CRA 202, 206!
/1
+!
/6
+!
/0
Dela "hica '( $andiganbayan, 5F- Phil! 1/-, 1-2 #-..2'!
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
T3+R* *+E+>+,N

G.R. No. 2112> M"y 21, 1990
REPU6L!C O- THE PH!L!PP!NES AM)+)'(y o& E%u,"')o+ "+% Cul'u($B, petitioner,
&s!
!NTERMED!ATE APPELLATE COURT "+% AMERE3 ELECTRON!CS, PH!LS.
CORPORAT!ON, responents!
$iguion Reyna/ Montecillo and Ongsia-o for pri'ate respondents(

-ERNAN, ).J.:
The go&ernment, in the e8ercise of its power of eminent omain, e8propriate property owne by
Amere8 Electronics, Phils! Corporation! The amount of just compensation for such property is
now the subject of this petition for re&iew on certiorari!
The property in&ol&e consists of four #5' parcels of lan with a total area of 0,F;. s7uare meters
locate at No! -.0. *r! Manuel ?! Carreon >treet, Manila, a short wal"ing istance from 3erran
#now Pero Gil' >treet! +ts pre&ious owner, A&egon +nc!, offere it for sale to the City >chool
Boar of Manila on Buly -/, /012 at P-,2..,...! The school boar was willing to buy at
P/,6..,... but the then Mayor of Manila inter&ene an &olunteere to negotiate with A&egon
+nc! for a better price!
+nasmuch as the allege negotiation i not materialiCe, on Bune 2, /015, A&egon +nc! sol the
property an its impro&ements to Amere8 Electronics, Phils! Corporation #Amere8 for bre&ity' for
P/,6..,...! Thereafter, Transfer Certificates of Title Nos! //;;1/, //;;1-, //;;12 an //;;15
were issue in fa&or of Amere8!
,n August -0, /01;, the >olicitor General file for the *epartment of Eucation an Culture
#*EC' a complaint against Amere8 for the e8propriation of sai property before the Court of 4irst
+nstance of Manila #Ci&il Case No! 00/0.'! The complaint state that the property was neee by
the go&ernment as a permanent site for the Manuel e la 4uente 3igh >chool #later rename
*on Mariano Marcos Memorial 3igh >chool'H that the fair mar"et &alue of the property ha been
eclare by Amere8 as P-,52;,..., an that the assessor ha etermine its mar"et &alue as
P-,52-,.5- an assesse it for ta8ation purposes in the amount of P/,2.2,51.!
1
+n a motion praying that the plaintiff be authoriCe to ta"e immeiate possession of the property,
the then Acting >olicitor General 3ugo E! GutierreC, Br!, in&o"ing Presiential *ecree No! 5-,
informe the court that sai assesse &alue of the property for ta8ation purposes ha been
eposite with the Philippine National Ban" #PNB' in Escolta, Manila on >eptember 2., /01;!
Conse7uently, on ,ctober 0, /01;, the court issue an orer irecting the sheriff to place the
plaintiff in possession of the property! The plaintiff too" actual possession thereof on ,ctober /2,
/01;!
Amere8 file a motion to ismiss the complaint stating that while it was not contesting the merits
of the complaint, the same faile to categorically state the amount of just compensation for the
property! +t therefore praye that in consonance with P!*! No! 105, the just compensation be
fi8e at P-,52-,.5-, the mar"et &alue of the property etermine by the assessor which was
lower than Amere8Os own eclaration!
The motion to ismiss was oppose by the plaintiff reasoning that while inee the mar"et &alue
as etermine by the assessor was lower than that eclare by Amere8, the plaintiff intene to
present e&ience of a much lower mar"et &alue!
Alleging that its motion to ismiss merely sought a clarification on the just compensation for the
property, Amere8 file a motion to withraw the plaintiffs eposit of P/,2.2,51. with the PNB
without prejuice to its entitlement to the amount of P/,/-6,;1-, the balance of the just
compensation of P-,52-,.5- insiste upon! The plaintiff interpose no objection to the motion
pro&ie that an orer of conemnation be issue by the court an that the plaintiff be allowe to
present its e&ience on the matter of just compensation!
,n *ecember 2, /01;, the lower court issue an orer &esting the plaintiff with the lawful light to
ta"e the property upon payment of just compensation as pro&ie by law! ,n *ecember /0,
/01;, after the parties ha submitte the names of their respecti&e recommenees to the
appraisal committee, the lower court appointe Atty! Narciso PeDa, Aurelio E! A7uino an Atty!
3iginio >unico as commissioners!
Thereafter, the lower court orere Amere8 to submit an auite financial statement on the
ac7uisition cost of the property incluing e8penses for its impro&ement! Amere8 was also allowe
by the court, after it ha file a secon motion therefor, to withraw the P/,2.2,51. eposit with
the PNB!
,n March /-, /01F, the plaintiff file a motion for lea&e of court to amen its complaint stating
that after it ha file the same, P!*! No! 5F5
2
was amene by P!*! No! 105H that >ection 0- of sai
Coe, as amene, pro&ie that when pri&ate property is ac7uire for public use, its just
compensation Wshall not e8cee the mar"et &alue eclare by the owner or aministrator or anyone
ha&ing legal interest in the property, or such mar"et &alue as etermine by the assessor, whiche&er
is lowerWH an that the amene complaint woul state that the fair mar"et &alue of the property coul
not be in e8cess of P/,6..,..., the amount for which efenantOs preecessor)in)interest ha offere
to sell sai properties to the *i&ision of Public >chools of Manila an which amount was also the
purchase price pai by Amere8 to A&egon +nc! +n ue course, plaintiff file an amene complaint!
Amere8, howe&er, oppose the motion for lea&e to amen the complaint contening that the
plaintiff was insisting on a &aluation gi&en by neither the owner nor the assessor as manate by
P!*! No! 105 but by another person in August /012 when the peso &alue was much higher!
The lower court enie the motion to amen the complaintH but after the plaintiff ha file a
motion for reconsieration, the lower court amitte the amene complaint on April -1, /01F! +n
the meantime, Amere8 submitte to the court Wauite financial statementsO consisting of an
account stating that the cost of its lan an builings was P-,/.1,510!56, an another account
stating that it incurre total e8penses of P/;.,;20 for their maintenance!
3
These statements
yiele the amount of P-,-;6,./6!56 as the total &alue of the property!
The commissioners conucte an ocular inspection an hearing on the &alue of the property! ,n
,ctober /6, /01F, the plaintiff file a motion see"ing the is7ualification of Engineer Aurelio B!
A7uino as commissioner on the groun that he coul not be e8pecte to be unbiase inasmuch
as in the three appraisal reports submitte by Amere8, A7uino ha inicate as fair mar"et &alue
of the property amounts much more than the plaintiffs fair mar"et &alue etermination of
P/,6..,...! >ai appraisal reports were mae by Ampil Realty an Appraisal Co!, +nc! with
A7uino signing thereon as real estate appraiser! ,ne report, ate 4ebruary /;, /015 an
submitte to Commonwealth +nsurance Company inicate P-,/..,... as the fair mar"et &alue
of the property!
1
Two other reports were mae at the behest of Amere8 with one, ate No&ember
/;, /015, fi8ing the fair mar"et &alue at P-,2..,...
5
, an the other, ate Bune ;, /01;, with
P-,5..,... as the fair mar"et &alue!
>
Amere8 oppose the motion to is7ualify A7uino as commissioner, an the court, in its orer of
No&ember ;, /01F, enie it! 3ence, on Banuary -5, /011, the commissioners submitte their
appraisal report fining that the fair mar"et &alue of the property was P-,1F2,5..! The
commissioners, howe&er ae<
Aner the pro&ision of Presiential *ecree No! 5F5, as amene by Presiential
*ecree No! 105, abo&e7uote, we coul ha&e safely aopte the &aluation of the
City Assessor in the sum of P-,52-,.5-!.., this being lower than that eclare by
the owner in the sum of P-,52;,...!.., although by actual appraisal of the
unersigne Commissioners the property coul comman a fair mar"et &alue of
P-,1F2,5..!.. as of the ate of our ocular inspection!
Consiering, howe&er, that accoring to the auite statement submitte by
efenant, the ac7uisition costs an other legal e8penses incurre on the subject
property by AMEREL, the gran total of P-,-;6,./6!;1, are #sic' lower than the
finings of the unersigne Commissioners, the e8planation being the fact that
the price of the sale was a real bargain possibly ue to ire necessities of the
seller A&egon, it is respectfully submitte that the sai sum of P-,-;6,./6!;1 be
aopte for purposes of etermining just compensation payable to efenant
AMEREL, which sum oes not e8cee, but is e&en lower than, the fair mar"et
&alue was etermine by the City Assessor an as eclare by sai efenant!
2
Both parties objecte to the report of the commissioners! The plaintiff contene that the
commissionersO conclusion that the fair mar"et &alue of the property was P-,1F2,5.. was
unsupporte by e&ience an that their recommene just compensation of P-,-;6,./6!;1 was
e8cessi&e! +t reiterate its stan that the just compensation shoul only be P/,6..,... it being
the price ha the sale between the city school boar an A&egon +nc! materialiCe an also the
actual price of the sale between A&egon +nc! an Amere8! ,n the other han, Amere8 a&erre
that the recommene just compensation was unjustifie in &iew of the commissionersO fining
that the fair mar"et &alue of the property was P-,1F2,5..!
,n March /;, /011, the lower court
D
renere a ecision base on the following finings<
The court belie&es that the finings of the commissioners are supporte by the
e&ience auce uring the hearings an that their recommenation is
reasonable! The property was originaly owne by A&egon +nc! an was assesse
at P/,.10,21.!.. by the City of Manila for the year /015 #E8h! A)5'! A&egon +nc!
offere to sell it to the City >chool Boar on Buly -/, /012 at P-,2..,...!.. but it
accepte the counter)offer of P/,6..,...! The negotiations, howe&er, fell through
when the city faile to act #E8hs! C, C)/, C)-, C)2 an C)5'! The property was
appraise on 4ebruary /;, /015 at P-,/..,...!.. at the +nstance of
Commonwealth +nsurance Company, an affiliate of @arner, Barnes U Co!, +nc!
#E8h! G'! The efenant company introuce impro&ements on the property in
the mile part of /015 worth P-F.,F0.!;. #E8hs! 5, 5)A to 5)BH //, /2, /5 to /0'!
After the reno&ation, the property was again appraise at the instance of the
efenant at P-,2..,...!.. on No&ember /;, /015 #E8h! -'! *ue to the worl)
wie recession, there followe a slump in the eman for electronic proucts! ,n
Bune 5, /01;, the Traers Commoities Corporation offere to buy the property at
P-,1;.,...!.. with a eposit of P;.,...!.. as earnest money! The offer was
formally mae by the law firm >alonga, ,roDeC, Jap, Africano an Associates
#E8ch! F'! The offer was accepte on Bune 0, /01; #E8hs! 1 an 6'! The sale was
not consummate, howe&er, when the go&ernment notifie the efenant in a
conference hel in Malacanang on Bune /;, /01; that it wante to buy the
property for the use of the Manuel e la 4uente 3igh >chool #E8h! 0'! Because of
the failure of the parties to agree on the price an other conitions of the
purchase, the go&ernment file this action on August -, /01;!
+t is apparent that the commissioners were influence by the fact that the city
assessors fi8e the mar"et &alue of the property at P-,52-,.5-!.. for the year
/01; pursuant to Presiential *ecree No! 5F5 an that there was a perfecte
contract to buy it at P-,1;.,...!..! No e&ience was presente nor e&en an
allegation mae, to show that the go&ernment &aluation is frauulent or
erroneous! +t must therefore be regular #Rule /2/, sec! m' an in &iew of the
reliance of the Presiential *ecree upon it as a stanar to be followe by the
courts in arri&ing at the just compensation of the property when it is ac7uire by
the go&ernment, it has great e&ientiary weight! The offer to buy at
P-,1;.,...!.. was mae by one of the most reputable law firms in the country! +t
is not li"ely that it woul ha&e lent itself to any frauulent e&ice or scheme to
inflate the &alue of the property! Commissioner PeDa is a renowne authority on
lan registration, an has been a realtor for many years! Atty! 3iginio >unico is
the chief of the ?an Management *i&ision, Bureau of ?ans, who was
recommene by the plaintiff! Both are well)"nown for their probability Although it
appears that Mr! A7uino, the commissioner recommene by the efenant, ha
occasion in the past to participate in transactions in&ol&ing the same property, the
court belie&es that the concurrence of the other commissioners is a safe guaranty
of the correctness of their appraisal an recommenation!
Accoringly, the ispositi&e portion of the ecision reas as follows<
@3ERE4,RE, jugment is hereby renere funing the amount of
P-,-;6!./6!;1 as just compensation for the property of the efenant an
eclaring the plaintiff entitle to possess an appro8imate it to the public use
allege in the complaint an to retain it upon payment of the sai amount, after
eucting the amount of P/,2.2,51.!.., with legal interest from ,ctober /2, /01;
when the plaintiff was place in possession of the real property, an upon
payment to each of the commissioners of the sum of P2;!.. for their attenance
uring the hearings hel on Banuary -2, 4ebruary /F, May //, Buly -2,
>eptember /1, ,ctober /- an *ecember /., /01F, plus P;..!.. each for the
preparation of the report, an the costs!
The plaintiff ele&ate the case to the then +ntermeiate Appellate Court #+AC' for re&iew! ,n
,ctober -0, /065, it affirme the appeale ecision with the moification that the plaintiff
Republic of the Philippines be e8empte from the payment of the commissionersO fees, the
P;..!.. grante each of them for the preparation of the report an the costs!
+ts motion for the reconsieration of sai ecision ha&ing been enie, petitioner file the instant
petition submitting the following issues for resolution<
/! @hether or not responent Court erre in not is7ualifying
Commissioner Aurelio B! A7uino from membership in the
Committee of Appraisal!
-! @hether or not responent Court erre in not totally
isregaring the auite statement by the efenant, which is
hearsay in nature an was not formally offere in e&ience!
2! @hether or not responent Court erre in totally isregaring
petitionerOs e&ience showing that the awar of just compensation
shoul be only P/,6..,...!.. an not P-,-;6!./6!;1 as aware
by sai responent Court!
The issue of the is7ualification of A7uino as commissioner eser&es scant attention! Aner
>ection 6, Rule F1 of the Rules of Court, the court may ta"e the following actions on the report
submitte by commissioners< it may Waccept the report an rener jugment in accorance
therewithH or for cause shown, it may recommit the same to the commissioners for further report
of facts, or it may set asie the report an appoint new commissioners, or it may accept the
report in part an reject it in partH ! ! ! !W +n other wors, the report of the commissioners is merely
a&isory an recommenatory in character as far as the court is concerne!
9
3ence, it harly matters that one of the three commissioners ha a preconcei&e an biase
&aluation of the conemne property! The &eracity or e8actitue of the estimate arri&e at by the
commissioners may not be a&ersely affecte thereby! +n fact, the report of only two
commissioners may suffice if the thir commissioner issents from the formerOs
&aluation!
10
+nee, the participation of an allegely biase commissioner may not result in the total
isregar of an appraisal report in the absence of proof that the two other commissioners were unuly
influence by their allegely partial colleague!
The etermination of just compensation for a conemne property is basically a juicial function!
As the court is not boun by the commissionersO report, it may ma"e such orer or rener such
jugment as shall secure to the plaintiff the property essential to the e8ercise of its right of
conemnation, an to the efenant just compensation for the property e8propriate! 4or that
matter, this Court may e&en substitute its own estimate of the &alue as gathere from the
recor!
11
3ence, although the etermination of just compensation appears to be a factual matter
which is orinarily outsie the ambit of its jurisiction, this Court may isturb the lower courtOs factual
fining on appeal when there is clear error or gra&e abuse of iscretion!
12
@e hol that the courts below mae an erroneous etermination of just compensation in this
case!
+n the first place, the just compensation prescribe herein is base on the commissionersO
recommenation which in turn is foune on the WauiteW statements of Amere8 that the
property is worth P-,-;6,./6!;1! As earlier pointe out, while the court may accept the
commissionersO report an rener jugment in accorance therewith, it may not o so without
consiering whether the report is supporte by e&ience! The court is also uty)boun to
etermine whether the commissioners ha ischarge the trust repose in them accoring to
well)establishe rules an forme their jugment upon correct legal principles for they are not
suppose to act ad libitum !
13
Amere8Os WauiteW statement on the ac7uisition cost, cost of painting an major repairs, ta8es,
an insurance premiums which totals P-,/.1,510!56, contains the following certification<
@e ha&e chec"e the etails of the transactions inicate in the foregoing
scheule of ?an an Builing Account as at Banuary 2/, /01F with the boo"s
an recors of Amere8 Electronics #Philippines' Corporation which were
presente to us for e8amination an ha&e foun the etails to be in accorance
therewith! @e ha'e not made an audit of the boo-s of accounts of Amere:
7lectronics <Philippines= "orporation(
>ycip, Gorres Eelayo U Co!
PTR No! 51.010/
Banuary -2, /01F
Ma"ati, RiCal
#Emphasis supplie'!
11
Amere8Os other WauiteW statement on the maintenance e8penses of the property wherein it
allegely incurre the amount of P/;.,;20!.0 contains a similar certification by the same
accounting firm specifically stating that the auitor i not ma"e an auit of the boo"s of
accounts of Amere8!
15
+t is clear from these certifications that the accounting firm which issue them merely compare
the figures in the scheules or WauiteW statements with those of the recors an boo"s of
accounts of Amere8! As no in&estigation was mae as to the &eracity of the figures in the
account, there was no auit in the real sense of the term! To auit is to e8amine an account,
compare it with the &ouchers, ajust the same, an to state the balance, by persons legally
authoriCe for the purpose!
1>
@hile the wor WauitW is sometimes restricte to a mere mathematical
process, it generally inclues in&estigation, the weighing of e&ience, an eciing whether items
shoul or shoul not be inclue in the account !
12
Auit in&ol&es the e8ercise of iscretionH it is a
7uasi)juicial function!
1D
The accuracy of the WauiteW statements herein is therefore suspect!
Besies the fact that the petitioner was not furnishe a copy of the auite statements which
were also not introuce in e&ience, Enri7ue P! Esteban, &ice)presient an treasurer of
Amere8, an e&en a representati&e of the accounting firm, were li"ewise not presente uring
the trial thereby epri&ing petitioner herein of the opportunity to cross)e8amine them! +t woul
therefore be unfair to the petitioner to hol it boun by the WauiteW statements of Amere8 which
may ha&e been premise on false or mista"en ata!
19
This Court ha&ing eclare as unconstitutional the moe of fi8ing just compensation uner P!*!
No! 105
20
just compensation shoul be etermine either at the time of the actual ta"ing of the
go&ernment or at the time of the jugment of the court, whiche&er comes first!
21
+n this case, the issuance of the conemnation orer an the actual ta"ing of the property both
occurre in ,ctober, /01;! Accoringly, the appraisal mae by Ampil Realty an Appraisal Co!,
+nc! on Bune ;, /01;, which ate is nearest to that of the actual ta"ing of the property, shoul be
the basis for the etermination of just compensation the recor being bereft of any inications of
anomaly appertaining thereto! +t shoul be ae that @enceslao Ampil, the presient of sai
appraisal firm, testifie at the trial an therefore petitioner ha the opportunity to confront him
an to 7uestion his report! The reasonableness of the Bune ;,/01; appraisal fi8ing at P-,5..,...
the fair mar"et &alue of the property, is bolstere by the fact that on Bune 5, /01;, Traers
Commoities Corporation, through its lawyer, >efrey A! ,roDeC offere to buy the property at
P-,1;.,...!
22
+t must be emphasiCe, howe&er, that legal interest on the balance of the just
compensation of P-,5..,... after eucting the amount of P/,2.2,51. which ha been eli&ere to
Amere8, shoul be pai by petitioner from the time the go&ernment actually too" o&er the propert y!
23
Much as we realiCe the nee of the go&ernment, uner these trying times, to get the best
possible price for the e8propriate property consiering the ceaseless an continuing necessity
for schools, we cannot agree with the petitioner that the just compensation for the property
shoul be the price it commane when it was first offere for sale to the City >chool Boar of
Manila! Petitioner faile to substantiate its claim that the property is worth the lower amount of
P/,6..,...! +n contrast, Amere8 submitte e&ience consisting of the aforesai Bune ;, /01;
appraisal report which fi8e the fair mar"et &alue of the property at P-,5..,...!
@3ERE4,RE, the just compensation of the property e8propriate for the use of the Manuel e
la 4uente 3igh >chool *on Mariano Marcos Memorial 3igh >chool' is hereby fi8e at Two Million
4our 3unre Thousan Pesos #P-,5..,...!..'! After eucting the amount of P/,2.2,51.!..
therefrom, the petitioner shall pay the balance with legal interest from ,ctober /2, /01;!
>, ,R*ERE*!
+eliciano and "ortes/ **(/ concur(
.utierre3/ *r( and 0idin/ **(/ too- no part

-oo'+o'$
/ ,riginal Recor on Appeal, p! 2!
- Real Property Ta8 Coe!
2 ,riginal Recor on Appeal, p! 51)A!
5 E8h! /!
; E8h! -!
F E8h! 2!
1 ,riginal Recor on Appeal, pp! 6-)62!
6 Buge Bose C! Colayco, presiing!
0 Municipality of *aet &s! Court of Appeals, ?)2;6F/, ,ctober /6, /010, 02 >CRA
;.2!
/. $ee< Republic &s! Garcellano, /.2 Phil! -2/!
// Republic &s! >antos, G!R! No! ;1;F5, Banuary 6, /06F, /5/ >CRA 2. citing
Manila Railroa Company &s! Eelas7ueC, 2- Phil! -6F!
/- City Go&ernment of Toleo City &s! 4ernanos, ?)5;/55, April /;, /066, /F.
>CRA -6;!
/2 Municipality of *aet &s! Court of Appeals, supra!
/5 ,riginal Recor on Appeal, p! 51)B!
/; $upra, p! 51)c!
/F MorenoOs Philippine ?aw *ictionary, 2r e!, citing Jnchausti U Co! &s! @right,
51 Phil! 66;!
/1 5A @ors an Phrases ;16 citing Tra&elers +ns! Co! &s! Pierce Engine Co!,
/-2 N!@! F52, F55,/5/ @is! /.2!
/6 Mabuhay &s! >erina, ?)-6F2F, Bune -0, /06-, //5 >CRA F5-!
/0 >ee< Republic of the Philippines &s! Artula //. Phil! -F2!
-. E8port Processing Kone Authority &s! *ulay, G!R! No! ;0F.2, April -0,
/061,/50 >CRA 2.;!
-/ Manoto" &s! National 3ousing Authority, G!R! No! ;;/FF, May -/, /061, /;.
>CRA 60!
-- E8h! F!
-2 Benguet Consoliate, +nc! &s! Republic of the Philippines, G!R! No! 1/5/-,
August /;, /06F,/52 >CRA 5FF!
THIRD DIVISION

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
9e!"!"o#er,




- $er%u% -




DOMINGO ESPINOSA,
Re%o#&e#!.
G.R. No. 176885

9re%e#!>

CAR9IO =ORALES, !,
"hairperson,
BRION,
BERSA=IN,
ABAD,

a#&
4ILLARA=A, 5R., !!.

9ro.u,-a!e&>
5u,y 6, 2:1:
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
DECISION
VILLARAMA, JR., J.
'("% e!"!"o# +or re$"e/ o# )er!"orar" u#&er Ru,e 76 o+ !(e 1997 Ru,e% o+
C"$", 9ro)e&ure, a% a.e#&e&, a%%a",% !(e De)"%"o#
!1"
o+ !(e Cour! o+ Aea,%
?CA@ &a!e& Au-u%! 16, 2::7 "# CA-G.R. C4. No. 72736 /(")( a++"r.e& !(e
Se!e.ber 28, 2::: 5u&-.e#!
!#"
o+ !(e =u#")"a, 'r"a, Cour! ?='C@ o+
Co#%o,a)"o#, Cebu or&er"#- !(e )o#+"r.a!"o# a#& re-"%!ra!"o# o+ re%o#&e#!F%
".er+e)! !"!,e o$er !(e &"%u!e& roer!y.
Br"e+,y, !(e u#&"%u!e& +a)!ua, a#!e)e&e#!% are a% +o,,o/%>
O# =ar)( 2, 1999, re%o#&e#! +",e& /"!( !(e ='C o+ Co#%o,a)"o#, Cebu, a#
a,")a!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# o+ !"!,e !o Lo! No. 87:8, Ca& 676-D ,o)a!e& a! Bara#-ay
Caba#-a(a#, Co#%o,a)"o#, Cebu, /"!( a# area o+ 17,891 %*uare .e!er% a#& a#
a%%e%%e& $a,ue o+ 99,73:.:: er 'a; De),ara!"o# No. :1:39.
!$"
A! !(e !r"a,, re%o#&e#! /a% !(e %o,e /"!#e%% re%e#!e& !o ro$e ("%
o%%e%%"o# a#& o/#er%(" o$er !(e ,a#&. 8e ),a".e& !o be !(e o/#er o+ !(e
&"%u!e& roer!y, (a$"#- a)*u"re& "! +ro. ("% .o!(er, I%abe, E%"#o%a, by $"r!ue
o+ a &ee& o+ ab%o,u!e %a,e. 8e a,%o !e%!"+"e& !(a! (e (a% bee# "# oe#, ub,"),
)o#!"#uou% a#& #o!or"ou% o%%e%%"o# o+ !(e ,a#& "# !(e )o#)e! o+ a# o/#er +or
.ore !(a# !("r!y ?3:@ year%, a#& !(a! ("% .o!(er (a& &e),are& !(e ,a#& +or !a;a!"o#
uro%e% a% ear,y a% 1966. 8e (a& !(e roer!y %ur$eye& a#& a# a&$a#)e %ur$ey
a#& a !e)(#")a, &e%)r"!"o# /ere %e)ure&. '(e C("e+ o+ !(e =a 9ro2e)!"o#
Se)!"o# o+ !(e Dear!.e#! o+ E#$"ro#.e#! a#& Na!ura, Re%our)e% ?DENR@ (a&
a,%o $er"+"e& "# a #o!a!"o# o# !(e r"-(! %"&e or!"o# o+ !(e ,a# !(a! !(e ,o! "%
/"!("# !(e a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e area. A )er!"+")a!"o# /a% a,%o "%%ue& by !(e
DENR-Co..u#"!y E#$"ro#.e#! a#& Na!ura, Re%our)e% O++")er ?CENRO@
%!a!"#- !(a! !(e ,o! /a% #o! )o$ere& by a#y %ub%"%!"#- ub,") ,a#&
a,")a!"o#. '(e or"-"#a, !ra)"#- ),o!( ,a# o+ !(e roer!y a,%o aear% !o (a$e
bee# ae#&e& !o !(e a,")a!"o# bu! !(e re)or&% %(o/ !(a! "! /a% #o! re%e#!e& "#
)our! a% !(e ='CF% C,er0 o+ Cour! (a& %ub."!!e& !(e or"-"#a, !ra)"#- ),o!( ,a# !o
!(e La#& Re-"%!ra!"o# Au!(or"!y.
O# Se!e.ber 28, 2:::, o$er e!"!"o#erF% oo%"!"o#, !(e ='C -ra#!e&
re%o#&e#!F% e!"!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# o+ ("% ".er+e)! !"!,e. '(e !r"a, )our! (e,&>
A+!er a )are+u, )o#%"&era!"o# o+ !(e e$"&e#)e re%e#!e& "# !(e abo$e-
e#!"!,e& )a%e, !(e Cour! "% )o#$"#)e&, a#& %o (o,&%, !(a! !(e a,")a#! /a% ab,e
!o e%!ab,"%( ("% o/#er%(" a#& o%%e%%"o#% ?sic@ o$er !(e %ub2e)! ,o! /(")( "%
/"!("# !(e area )o#%"&ere& by !(e Dear!.e#! o+ E#$"ro#.e#! a#& Na!ura,
Re%our)e% ?DENR@ a% a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e ,a#& o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"#.
'(e Cour! "% ,"0e/"%e )o#$"#)e& !(a! !(e a,")a#! a#& !(a! o+ ("%
re&e)e%%or%-"#-"#!ere%!% (a$e bee# "# oe#, a)!ua,, ub,"), )o#!"#uou%,
a&$er%e a#& u#&er ),a". o+ !"!,e !(ere!o /"!("# !(e !".e re%)r"be& by ,a/ ?Se).
17, %ub-ar. 1, 9.D. 1629@ a#&Gor "# a))or&a#)e /"!( !(e La#& Re-"%!ra!"o# A)!.
A8EREFORE, a#& "# $"e/ o+ a,, !(e +ore-o"#-, 5u&-.e#! "% (ereby
re#&ere& re#&"#- ?sic@ +or !(e re-"%!ra!"o# a#& !(e )o#+"r.a!"o# o+ !"!,e o+ !(e
a,")a#! o$er Lo! No. 87:8, Ca& 676-D?Ne/@, %"!ua!e& a! Caba#-a(a#,
Co#%o,a)"o#, Cebu, 9(",""#e%, )o#!a"#"#- a# area o+ 17,891 %*uare .e!er%
a#& !(a! uo# !(e +"#a,"!y o+ !("% &e)"%"o#, ,e! a )orre%o#&"#- &e)ree o+
re-"%!ra!"o# be "%%ue& "# +a$or o+ !(e (ere"# a,")a#! "# a))or&a#)e /"!(
Se)!"o# 39, 9.D. 1629.
SO ORDERED.
!%"
9e!"!"o#er +",e& a #o!")e o+ aea,
!5"
/"!( !(e !r"a, )our!. O# Au-u%! 16,
2::7, !(e CA a++"r.e& !(e 2u&-.e#! o+ !(e ='C. A))or&"#- !o !(e CA, !(e
e$"&e#)e re%e#!e& )o.e!e#!,y a#& %u++")"e#!,y %(o/% !(a! !(e roer!y "%
/"!("# !(e a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e area o+ ub,") ,a#&. '(e CA )o#%"&ere& !(e
aro$e& a&$a#)e %ur$ey ,a# o+ Lo! 87:8, Ca& 676-D re%e#!e& by re%o#&e#!
a#& !(e #o!a!"o# !(ereo# .a&e by Cy#!("a Iba#e3, C("e+ o+ !(e =a 9ro2e)!"o#
Se)!"o# o+ DENR, a% %u++")"e#! roo+ !(a! !(e ,a#& "% a,"e#ab,e ub,") ,a#&,
)o#%"&er"#- !(a! !(e ,a#, /(")( (a& Iba#e3F% #o!a!"o# HCo#+or.e& 9er LC =a
No!a!"o# LC =a No. 2676 9ro2e)! No. 28, B,o)0-1 )er!"+"e& o# 5u#e 26, 1963,
$er"+"e& !o be /"!("# a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e ,a#&,I /a% aro$e& by !(e La#&
=a#a-e.e#! Ser$")e% o+ !(e DENR.
!6"
'(e CA +ou#& !(e #o#-re%e#!a!"o# o+
!(e or"-"#a, !ra)"#- ),o!( ,a# &ur"#- !r"a, #o! +a!a, !o re%o#&e#!F% )a%e be)au%e
"! /a% %(o/# !(a! !(e or"-"#a, !ra)"#- ),o!( ,a# /a% ae#&e& !o !(e a,")a!"o#
%ub."!!e& be+ore !(e ='C a,!(ou-( !(e or"-"#a, !ra)"#- ),o!( ,a# /a% ,a!er
%ub."!!e& by !(e C,er0 o+ Cour! !o !(e La#& Re-"%!ra!"o# Au!(or"!y. '(e CA
#o!e& !(a! a,")a#!% u%ua,,y re%e#! !(e or"-"#a, &ra+!"#- +",. or !(e aro$e&
%ur$ey ,a# "# )our! "# ,"eu o+ !(e or"-"#a, !ra)"#- ),o!( ,a#.
!7"

'(e CA a,%o +ou#& !(a! re%o#&e#! a)*u"re& !(e roer!y +ro. ("% .o!(er
o# 5u#e 16, 1971 a#& !(e ,a!!er &e),are& !(e %a.e +or !a;a!"o# uro%e%
%o.e!".e "# 1966. Re%o#&e#!F% o%%e%%"o# o+ !(e roer!y "# !(e )o#)e! o+ a#
o/#er, /(e# !a)0e& /"!( !(e re$"ou% o%%e%%"o# o+ ("% .o!(er, ("% re&e)e%%or-
"#-"#!ere%!, re%e#!e& a )o#%o,"&a!e& o/#er%(" a#& o%%e%%"o# o+ !(e roer!y
+or a er"o& o+ o$er !("r!y ?3:@ year%. '(e CA +ur!(er (e,& !(a! !o re*u"re
re%o#&e#! !o ro$e o%%e%%"o# o$er !(e roer!y a% ear,y a% 5u#e 12,
1976 /ou,& be u#2u%!, u#+a"r a#& "#"*u"!ou%.
!8"

8e#)e, !(e re%e#! e!"!"o#.
O# 5u#e 2:, 2::7, !(e Cour! re*u"re& re%o#&e#! !o )o..e#! o# !(e
e!"!"o# /"!("# !e# ?1:@ &ay% +ro. #o!")e. De%"!e %er$")e o+ !(e Cour!F%
Re%o,u!"o#, (o/e$er, re%o#&e#! +a",e& !o +",e !(e re*u"re& Co..e#!. 8e#)e,
o# No$e.ber 17, 2::8, /e &"%e#%e& /"!( !(e +","#- o+ !(e )o..e#! a#&
)o#%"&ere& !(e )a%e %ub."!!e& +or re%o,u!"o#.
9e!"!"o#er ra"%e% !(e +o,,o/"#- -rou#&% be+ore !("% Cour!, !o /"!>
I.
'8E 8ONORABLE CO<R' OF A99EALS ERRED IN GRAN'ING '8E
A99LICA'ION FOR LAND REGIS'RA'ION BECA<SE RES9ONDEN'
FAILED 'O 9RO4E '8A' '8E LAND 8AS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS
ALIENABLE OR DIS9OSABLE.
II.
'8E 8ONORABLE CO<R' OF A99EALS ERRED IN 8OLDING '8A' A
DECREE OF LAND REGIS'RA'ION =AJ ISS<E BECA<SE
RES9ONDEN' FAILED 'O S<B=I' '8E ORIGINAL 'RACING CLO'8
9LAN FRO= '8E LAND REGIS'RA'ION A<'8ORI'J.
!&"
E%%e#!"a,,y, !(e "%%ue "% /(e!(er !(e Cour! o+ Aea,% erre& "# a++"r."#-
!(e !r"a, )our!F% 2u&-.e#! )o#+"r."#- re%o#&e#!F% !"!,e !o !(e %ub2e)! roer!y.
'(e e!"!"o# "% ".re%%e& /"!( .er"!.
I! "% &o)!r"#a, !(a! a,, ,a#&% #o! aear"#- !o be ),ear,y o+ r"$a!e &o."#"o#
re%u.!"$e,y be,o#- !o !(e S!a!e. 9ub,") ,a#&% #o! %(o/# !o (a$e bee#
re),a%%"+"e& or re,ea%e& a% a,"e#ab,e a-r")u,!ura, ,a#& or a,"e#a!e& !o a r"$a!e
er%o# by !(e S!a!e re.a"# ar! o+ !(e "#a,"e#ab,e ub,") &o.a"#.
!1'"
<#,e%%
ub,") ,a#& "% %(o/# !o (a$e bee# re),a%%"+"e& or a,"e#a!e& !o a r"$a!e er%o# by
!(e S!a!e, "! re.a"#% ar! o+ !(e "#a,"e#ab,e ub,") &o.a"#.
!11"
'(e o#u% !o
o$er!ur#, by "#)o#!ro$er!"b,e e$"&e#)e, !(e re%u.!"o# !(a! !(e ,a#& %ub2e)! o+
a# a,")a!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# "% a,"e#ab,e or &"%o%ab,e re%!% /"!( !(e a,")a#!.
!1#"
Ge#era,,y, !(e Cour! "% #o! bou#& !o /e"-( a,, o$er a-a"# !(e e$"&e#)e
a&&u)e& by !(e ar!"e%, ar!")u,ar,y /(ere !(e +"#&"#-% o+ bo!( !(e !r"a, )our! a#&
!(e ae,,a!e )our! )o"#)"&e. '(e re%o,u!"o# o+ +a)!ua, "%%ue% "% a +u#)!"o# o+ !(e
!r"a, )our! /(o%e +"#&"#-% o# !(e%e .a!!er% are, a% a -e#era, ru,e, b"#&"#- o# !("%
Cour!, .ore %o /(ere !(e%e (a$e bee# a++"r.e& by !(e CA.
!1$"
I# !(e re%e#! )a%e,
(o/e$er, !(e -e#era, ru,e /"!( re-ar& !o !(e )o#),u%"$e#e%% o+ !(e !r"a, )our! a#&
ae,,a!e !r"bu#a,F% +a)!ua, +"#&"#-% %(ou,& #o! be a,"e&. A re$"e/ o+ !(e
re)or&% %(o/% !(a! o!(er !(a# !(e #o!a!"o# o# !(e a&$a#)e& %ur$ey ,a# %!a!"#- "#
e++e)! !(a! !(e %ub2e)! roer!y "% a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e a#& re%o#&e#!F% %e,+-
%er$"#- !e%!".o#y, !(ere "% a# u!!er ,a)0 o+ e$"&e#)e !o %(o/ !(e a)!ua, ,e-a,
),a%%"+")a!"o# o+ !(e &"%u!e& ,o!. Re%o#&e#! /a% #o! ab,e !o %(o/ roo+ !(a! !(e
roer!y /a% a,"e#ab,e or &"%o%ab,e. '(e aro$e& %ur$ey ,a# .ere,y "&e#!"+"e%
!(e roer!y reara!ory !o a 2u&")"a, ro)ee&"#- +or a&2u&")a!"o# o+ !"!,e.
!1%"

'(e +a)!ua, )"r)u.%!a#)e% o+ !(e re%e#! )a%e are %".",ar !o !(o%e
"# Republic v #ri-$lus "orporation
!15"
?#ri-$lus )a%e@, /(ere"# !(e re%o#&e#! +",e&
a# a,")a!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# o+ !"!,e o$er !/o ?2@ ,o!% a,%o o+ !(e )a&a%!ra, %ur$ey
o+ Co#%o,a)"o#, Cebu. '(e e!"!"o#er Reub,") o+ !(e 9(",""#e%, rere%e#!e& by
!(e O++")e o+ !(e So,")"!or Ge#era,, ,"0e/"%e a%%er!e& !(a! a .ere #o!a!"o# aear"#-
"# !(e %ur$ey ,a#% o+ !(e &"%u!e& roer!"e% %(o/"#- !(a! !(e %ub2e)! ,a#&% (a&
bee# ),a%%"+"e& a% a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e o# 5u#e 26, 1963 /a% #o! %u++")"e#! !o
e%!ab,"%( !(e #a!ure a#& )(ara)!er o+ !(e%e ,a#&%. '(e Reub,") ),a".e& !(a! !(ere
%(ou,& be a o%"!"$e a)! o# !(e ar! o+ !(e -o$er#.e#!, %u)( a% a )er!"+")a!"o# +ro.
!(e DENR, !o ro$e !(a! !(e %a"& ,a#&% /ere "#&ee& a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e. O#
!(e o!(er (a#&, !(e re%o#&e#! ar-ue& !(a! !(e #o!a!"o#% aear"#- "# !(e %ur$ey
,a#% o+ !(e %ub2e)! roer!"e% %er$e a% %u++")"e#! roo+ !(a! !(e %ub2e)! ,a#&% /ere
a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e a% !(e%e /ere &u,y aro$e& by !(e DENR, La#&
=a#a-e.e#! Ser$")e%, /(o%e o++")"a, a)!% /ere re%u.e& !o be "# a))or&a#)e /"!(
,a/.
'(e Cour!, "# !(e #ri-$lus )a%e, ru,e& "# +a$or o+ !(e e!"!"o#er a#& (e,&
!(a!>
I# a#y )a%e, /(",e !(e %ub2e)! ,a#&% /ere roer,y "&e#!"+"e&, !(e Cour!
+"#&% !(a! re%o#&e#! +a",e& !o )o.,y /"!( !(e o!(er ,e-a, re*u"re.e#!% +or "!%
a,")a!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# !o be -ra#!e&.
A,")a#!% +or )o#+"r.a!"o# o+ ".er+e)! !"!,e .u%! ro$e !(e
+o,,o/"#-> ?a@ !(a! !(e ,a#& +or.% ar! o+ !(e a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e
a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"#C a#& ?b@ !(a! !(ey (a$e bee# "# oe#,
)o#!"#uou%, e;),u%"$e a#& #o!or"ou% o%%e%%"o# a#& o))ua!"o# o+ !(e %a.e
u#&er a bona fide ),a". o+ o/#er%(" e"!(er %"#)e !".e "..e.or"a, or %"#)e
5u#e 12, 1976.
I# !(e re%e#! )a%e, !(e Cour! +"#&% .er"! "# e!"!"o#erF% )o#!e#!"o# !(a!
re%o#&e#! +a",e& !o ro$e !(e +"r%! re*u"re.e#! !(a! !(e roer!"e% %ou-(! !o be
!"!,e& +or.% ar! o+ !(e a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e a-r")u,!ura, ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,")
&o.a"#.
Se)!"o# 6 o+ Co..o#/ea,!( A)! No. 171, a% a.e#&e&, ro$"&e% !(a!
!(e ),a%%"+")a!"o# a#& re),a%%"+")a!"o# o+ ub,") ,a#&% "#!o a,"e#ab,e or
&"%o%ab,e, ."#era, or +ore%! ,a#& "% !(e rero-a!"$e o+ !(e E;e)u!"$e
Dear!.e#!. <#&er !(e Re-a,"a# &o)!r"#e, /(")( "% e.bo&"e& "# our
Co#%!"!u!"o#, a,, ,a#&% o+ !(e ub,") &o.a"# be,o#- !o !(e S!a!e, /(")( "% !(e
%our)e o+ a#y a%%er!e& r"-(! !o a#y o/#er%(" o+ ,a#&. A,, ,a#&% #o! aear"#-
!o be ),ear,y /"!("# r"$a!e o/#er%(" are re%u.e& !o be,o#- !o !(e S!a!e.
A))or&"#-,y, ub,") ,a#&% #o! %(o/# !o (a$e bee# re),a%%"+"e& or re,ea%e& a%
a,"e#ab,e a-r")u,!ura, ,a#& or a,"e#a!e& !o a r"$a!e er%o# by !(e S!a!e re.a"#
ar! o+ !(e "#a,"e#ab,e ub,") &o.a"#.
I! .u%! be %!re%%e& !(a! "#)o#!ro$er!"b,e e$"&e#)e .u%! be re%e#!e& !o
e%!ab,"%( !(a! !(e ,a#& %ub2e)! o+ !(e a,")a!"o# "% a,"e#ab,e or &"%o%ab,e.
I# !(e re%e#! )a%e, !(e o#,y e$"&e#)e !o ro$e !(e )(ara)!er o+ !(e
%ub2e)! ,a#&% a% re*u"re& by ,a/ "% !(e #o!a!"o# aear"#- "# !(e A&$a#)e 9,a#
%!a!"#- "# e++e)! !(a! !(e %a"& roer!"e% are a,"e#ab,e a#&
&"%o%ab,e. 8o/e$er, !("% "% (ar&,y !(e 0"#& o+ roo+ re*u"re& by ,a/. To
()o*+ ,-., ,-+ /.01 2345+6, o7 .0 .((/86.,8o0 7o) )+982,).,8o0 82 ./8+0.4/+,
.0 .((/86.0, :32, +2,.4/82- ,-+ +x82,+06+ o7 . (o28,8*+ .6, o7 ,-+
9o*+)0:+0, 236- .2 . ()+281+0,8./ ()o6/.:.,8o0 o) .0 +x+63,8*+ o)1+), .0
.1:8082,).,8*+ .6,8o0, 80*+2,89.,8o0 )+(o),2 o7 B3)+.3 o7 L.012
80*+2,89.,o)2, .01 . /+982/.,8*+ .6, o) 2,.,3,+. T-+ .((/86.0, :.; ./2o
2+63)+ . 6+),8786.,8o0 7)o: ,-+ Go*+)0:+0, ,-., ,-+ /.012 .((/8+1 7o) .)+
./8+0.4/+ .01 182(o2.4/+. I0 ,-+ 6.2+ ., 4.), <-8/+ ,-+ A1*.06+ P/.0
4+.)809 ,-+ 0o,.,8o0 <.2 6+),878+1 4; ,-+ L.012 M.0.9+:+0, S+)*86+2 o7
,-+ DENR, ,-+ 6+),8786.,8o0 )+7+)2 o0/; ,o ,-+ ,+6-086./ 6o))+6,0+22 o7 ,-+
23)*+; (/o,,+1 80 ,-+ 2.81 (/.0 .01 -.2 0o,-809 ,o 1o <-.,2o+*+) <8,- ,-+
0.,3)+ .01 6-.).6,+) o7 ,-+ ()o(+),; 23)*+;+1. R+2(o01+0,2 7.8/+1 ,o
234:8, . 6+),8786.,8o0 7)o: ,-+ ()o(+) 9o*+)0:+0, .9+06; ,o ()o*+ ,-.,
,-+ /.012 2345+6, 7o) )+982,).,8o0 .)+ 801++1 ./8+0.4/+ .01 182(o2.4/+.
!16"
?E.(a%"% our%.@
Re%o#&e#! (a$"#- +a",e& !o re%e#! !(e *ua#!u. o+ e$"&e#)e !o ro$e
!(a! !(e ,a#& "# &"%u!e "% a,"e#ab,e a#& &"%o%ab,e ub,") ,a#&, !(e CA %(ou,&
(a$e re$er%e& !(e ='C 2u&-.e#! )o#+or.ab,y !o our ru,"#- "# !(e #ri-
$lus )a%e. '(e re%u.!"o# re.a"#% !(a! %ub2e)! roer!"e% re.a"# ar! o+ !(e
"#a,"e#ab,e ub,") &o.a"# a#&, !(ere+ore, )ou,& #o! be)o.e !(e %ub2e)! o+
)o#+"r.a!"o# o+ ".er+e)! !"!,e.
!17"
=HEREFORE, !(e De)"%"o# o+ !(e Cour! o+ Aea,% "# CA-G.R. C4. No.
72736 "% REVERSED .01 SET ASIDE, a#& !(e e!"!"o# +or re-"%!ra!"o# "#
L.R.C. Ca%e No. N-83 ?LRA Re)or& No. N-7:927@ "% (ereby DISMISSED.
No )o%!%.
SO ORDERED.

MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR.
A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e

AE CONC<R>



CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e
"hairperson
ARTURO D. BRION
A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e
ROBERTO A. ABAD
A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e


A T T E S T A T I O N

I a!!e%! !(a! !(e )o#),u%"o#% "# !(e abo$e De)"%"o# (a& bee# rea)(e& "#
)o#%u,!a!"o# be+ore !(e )a%e /a% a%%"-#e& !o !(e /r"!er o+ !(e o"#"o# o+ !(e
Cour!F% D"$"%"o#.

CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e
"hairperson, #hird %ivision
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
9ur%ua#! !o Se)!"o# 13, Ar!"),e 4III o+ !(e 1987 Co#%!"!u!"o# a#& !(e
D"$"%"o# C(a"rer%o#F% A!!e%!a!"o#, I )er!"+y !(a! !(e )o#),u%"o#% "# !(e abo$e
De)"%"o# (a& bee# rea)(e& "# )o#%u,!a!"o# be+ore !(e )a%e /a% a%%"-#e& !o !(e
/r"!er o+ !(e o"#"o# o+ !(e Cour!F% D"$"%"o#.



RENATO C. CORONA
C("e+ 5u%!")e

A&&"!"o#a, .e.ber er Se)"a, Or&er No. 873.


K1L
Rollo, . 31-39. 9e##e& by A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e 9a."o A. Abar"#!o%, /"!( A%%o)"a!e 5u%!")e% =er)e&e% Go3o-
Da&o,e a#& Ra.o# =. Ba!o, 5r. )o#)urr"#-. '(e &"%o%"!"$e or!"o# o+ !(e &e)"%"o# rea&% a% +o,,o/%>
A8EREFORE, "# $"e/ o+ !(e +ore-o"#-, !(e aea,e& 2u&-.e#! &a!e& 28 Se!e.ber
2::: o+ !(e =u#")"a, 'r"a, Cour! o+ Co#%o,a)"o#, Cebu "# La#& Re-"%!ra!"o# Ca%e No. N-83 "%
AFFIR=ED. No )o%!%.
SO ORDERED.
K2L
I# LRC Ca%e No. N-83 ?LRA Re)or& No. N-7:927@, "&. a! 76-61.
K3L
Re)or&%, . 6. A% a.e#&e& by Reub,") A)! No. 7691, /(")( /a% aro$e& o# =ar)( 26, 1997, Se)!"o# 37
o+ Ba!a% 9a.ba#%a B,-. 129, or !(e 5u&")"ary Reor-a#"3a!"o# A)! o+ 198:, -ra#!% =e!roo,"!a# 'r"a, Cour!%,
=u#")"a, 'r"a, Cour!%, a#& =u#")"a, C"r)u"! 'r"a, Cour!% !(e &e,e-a!e& 2ur"%&")!"o# !o (ear a#& &e!er."#e
)a&a%!ra, or ,a#& re-"%!ra!"o# )a%e% )o$er"#- ,o!% /(ere !(ere "% #o )o#!ro$er%y or oo%"!"o# or )o#!e%!e& ,o!%
/(ere !(e $a,ue o+ /(")( &oe% #o! e;)ee& 91::,:::.::. Se). 37 o+ B9 B,-. 129, a% a.e#&e&, ro$"&e%,
SEC. 37. %elegated &urisdiction in cadastral and land registration cases. M =e!roo,"!a#
'r"a, Cour!%, =u#")"a, 'r"a, Cour!%, a#& =u#")"a, C"r)u"! 'r"a, Cour!% .ay be a%%"-#e& by !(e
Sure.e Cour! !o (ear a#& &e!er."#e )a&a%!ra, or ,a#& re-"%!ra!"o# )a%e% )o$er"#- ,o!% /(ere !(ere "%
#o )o#!ro$er%y or oo%"!"o#, or )o#!e%!e& ,o!% /(ere !(e $a,ue o+ /(")( &oe% #o! e;)ee& O#e
(u#&re& !(ou%a#& e%o% ?91::,:::.::@, %u)( $a,ue !o be a%)er!a"#e& by !(e a++"&a$"! o+ !(e ),a".a#!
or by a-ree.e#! o+ !(e re%e)!"$e ),a".a#!% "+ !(ere are .ore !(a# o#e, or +ro. !(e )orre%o#&"#- !a;
&e),ara!"o# o+ !(e rea, roer!y. '(e"r &e)"%"o#% "# !(e%e )a%e% %(a,, be aea,ab,e "# !(e %a.e
.a##er a% &e)"%"o#% o+ !(e Re-"o#a, 'r"a, Cour!%.
K7L
Rollo, . 61.
K6L
I&. a! 62-63.
K6L
I&. a! 36-36.
K7L
I&. a! 36-37.
K8L
I&. a! 37-38.
K9L
I&. a! 16-17.
K1:L
4"&e> Republic v "and' Ma(er, )nc, G.R. No. 163766, 5u#e 22, 2::6, 792 SCRA 272, 291C Republic v
*aguiat, G.R. No. 1372:9, 5a#uary 27, 2::6, 779 SCRA 686, 69:-691C a#& Ramos-+alalio v Ramos, G.R.
No. 168767, 5a#uary 23, 2::6, 779 SCRA 633, 639-67:.
K11L
Menguito v Republic, G.R. No. 1373:8, De)e.ber 17, 2:::, 378 SCRA 128, 139.
K12L
Republic v *aguiat, %ura a! 691.
K13L
+ernarda ", -sme.a v *icasio ", -sme.a, et al, G.R. No. 1771911, 5a#uary 26, 2:1:.
K17L
4"&e> "arva&al v "ourt of Appeals, G.R. No. 98328, O)!ober 9, 1997, 28: SCRA 361C %irector of Lands v
"ourt of Appeals, No. L-68867, 5u#e 22, 1987, 129 SCRA 689, 693.
K16L
G.R. No. 16::::, Se!e.ber 26, 2::6, 6:3 SCRA 91. See a,%o Republic v +arandiaran, G.R. No.
173819, No$e.ber 23, 2::7, 638 SCRA 7:6.
K16L
Republic v #ri-$lus "orporation, %ura a! 1:1-1:2.
K17L
See Republic v ,erbieto, G.R. No. 166117, =ay 26, 2::6, 769 SCRA 183, 2:3C %irector of Lands v "ourt
of Appeals, G.R. No. 836:9, O)!ober 26, 1989, 178 SCRA 7:8, 711.