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Republic of the Philippines the sale made by the Director of Lands in favor

SUPREME COURT of Angela Razon, and ordering the cancellation


Manila of the certificate of title issued to her.
 The evidence shows that on December 18,
EN BANC 1880, Nemesio Pinlac sold the land in question,
then a fish pond, to Apolonio Garcia and Basilio
Mendoza. After having been in possession
G.R. No. L-24066 December 9, 1925 thereof for about eight years, and the fish pond
having been destroyed, Apolonio Garcia and
VALENTIN SUSI, plaintiff-appellee, Basilio Mendoza sold it to Valentin Susi.
vs.  Before the execution of the deed of sale,
ANGELA RAZON and THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, Valentin Susi had already paid its price and
defendants. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, appellant. sown "bacawan" on said land, availing himself of
the firewood gathered thereon, with the
proceeds of the sale of which he had paid the
Facts:
price of the property. The possession and
 A complaint filed by Valentin Susi against Angela occupation of the land in question, first, by
Razon and the Director of Lands, praying for Apolonio Garcia and Basilio Mendoza, and then
judgment: (a) Declaring plaintiff the sole and by Valentin Susi has been open, continuous,
absolute owner of the parcel of land; (b) adverse and public, without any interruption,
annulling the sale made by the Director of Lands except during the revolution, or disturbance,
in favor of Angela Razon, on the ground that the except when Angela Razon commenced an
land is a private property; (c) ordering the action in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga
cancellation of the certificate of title issued to to recover the possession of said land.
said Angela Razon.  Having failed in her attempt to obtain
 The Director of Lands denied each and every possession of the land in question through the
allegation contained therein and, as special court, Angela Razon applied to the Director of
defense, alleged that the land in question was a Lands for the purchase thereof.
property of the Government of the United States  After making the proper administrative
under the administration and control of the investigation, the Director of Lands overruled
Philippine Islands before its sale to Angela the opposition of Valentin Susi and sold the land
Razon, which was made in accordance with law. to Angela Razon and issued the proper
 The Court of First Instance of Pampanga certificate of title to Angela Razon.
rendered judgment declaring the plaintiff  Angela Razon required Valentin Susi to vacate
entitled to the possession of the land, annulling the land in question.
Issue: operation of law, not only a right to a grant, but
a grant of the Government, for it is not
 Who is then the rightful owner of the land? necessary that certificate of title should be
issued in order that said grant may be
Held: sanctioned by the courts, an application
therefore is sufficient, under the provisions of
 SC in their decision favoured Valentin Susi.
section 47 of Act No. 2874. If by a legal fiction,
According to SC there is, the presumption juris Valentin Susi had acquired the land in question
et de jure established in paragraph (b) of by a grant of the State, it had already ceased to
section 45 of Act No. 2874, amending Act No. be the public domain and had become private
926, that all the necessary requirements for a property, at least by presumption, of Valentin
grant by the Government were complied with, Susi, beyond the control of the Director of
for he has been in actual and physical Lands. Consequently, in selling the land in
possession, personally and through his question to Angela Razon, the Director of Lands
predecessors, of an agricultural land of the disposed of a land over which he had no longer
public domain openly, continuously, exclusively any title or control, and the sale thus made was
and publicly since July 26, 1894, with a right to a void and of no effect, and Angela Razon did not
certificate of title to said land under the thereby acquire any right.
provisions of Chapter VIII of said Act. So that
when Angela Razon applied for the grant in her
favor, Valentin Susi had already acquired, by