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ISIDRO CARIO vs.

COMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS


Some 800 public school teachers undertook mass concerted actions to protest the alleged
failure of public authorities to act upon their grievances. The mass actions consisted in staying
away from their classes, converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peacable
assemblies, etc. The Secretary of Education served them with an order to return to work within
24 hours or face dismissal. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, eight teachers at the
Ramon Magsaysay High School were administratively charged, preventively suspended for 90
days pursuant to sec. 41, P.D. 807 and temporarily replaced. An investigation committee was
consequently formed to hear the charges. >When their motion for suspension was denied by the
Investigating Committee, said teachers staged a walkout signifying their intent to boycott the
entire proceedings. Eventually, Secretary Carino decreed dismissal from service of Esber and the
suspension for 9 months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo. In the meantime, a case was filed
with RTC, raising the issue of violation of the right of the striking teachers to due process of law.
The case was eventually elevated to SC. Also in the meantime, the respondent teachers
submitted sworn statements to Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were
participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned of their replacement as teachers,
allegedly without notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them. >While the
case was pending with CHR, SC promulgated its resolution over the cases filed with it earlier,
upholding the Sec. Carinos act of issuing the return-to-work orders. Despite this, CHR continued
hearing its case and held that the striking teachers were denied due process of law;they
should not have been replaced without a chance to reply to the administrative charges; there
had been violation of their civil and political rights which the Commission is empowered to
investigate.
* Whether or not CHR has jurisdiction to try and hear the issues involved The Court
declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power; and that it was not meant by
the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate
much less take over the functions of the latter. >The most that may be conceded to the
Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive evidence
and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political
rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a
court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and
ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To
be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a
controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual
conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively,
finally and definitively, subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law.
This function, to repeat, the Commission does not have.
Power to Investigate - The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the
power to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It can
exercise that power on its own initiative or on complaint of any person. It may exercise that
power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and, in cases of violations of said
rules, cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. In the course of any investigation
conducted by it or under its authority, it may grant immunity from prosecution to any person
whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or
convenient to determine the truth. It may also request the assistance of any department,
bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions, in the conduct of its investigation
or in extending such remedy as may be required by its findings. >But it cannot try and decide
cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice, or even quasi-judicial bodies do. To
investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. Whether in the popular or the technical sense, these
terms have well understood and quite distinct meanings.
Investigate vs. Adjudicate - "Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine,
explore, inquire or delve or probe into, research on, study. The dictionary definition of
"investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically. "to search or inquire
into: . . . to subject to an official probe . . .: to conduct an official inquiry." The purpose of
investigation, of course, is to discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included
or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts
inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry. >The legal
meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry
or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and
accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;"
"to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n
administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d
Adm L Sec. 257; . . . an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts
concerning a certain matter or matters."
"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide,
determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights

and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . . . to pass judgment on:
settle judicially: . . . act as judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or
with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: . . . to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy . . .
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To
determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To
pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. . . . Implies a judicial
determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment.">Hence it is that the Commission on
Human Rights, having merely the power "to investigate," cannot and should not "try and resolve
on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775, as it
has announced it means to do; and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the
administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question, initiated and conducted
by the DECS, their human rights, or civil or political rights had been transgressed. More
particularly, the Commission has no power to "resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether
or not the mass concerted actions engaged in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or
otherwise restricted by law; (b) whether or not the act of carrying on and taking part in those
actions, and the failure of the teachers to discontinue those actions, and return to their classes
despite the order to this effect by the Secretary of Education, constitute infractions of relevant
rules and regulations warranting administrative disciplinary sanctions, or are justified by the
grievances complained of by them; and (c) what where the particular acts done by each
individual teacher and what sanctions, if any, may properly be imposed for said acts or
omissions.
Who has Power to Adjudicate? These are matters within the original jurisdiction of the Sec. of
Education, being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil
Service Law, and also, within the appellate jurisdiction of the CSC. Manner of Appeal - Now, it is
quite obvious that whether or not the conclusions reached by the Secretary of Education in
disciplinary cases are correct and are adequately based on substantial evidence; whether or not
the proceedings themselves are void or defective in not having accorded the respondents due
process; and whether or not the Secretary of Education had in truth committed "human rights
violations involving civil and political rights," are matters which may be passed upon and
determined through a motion for reconsideration addressed to the Secretary Education himself,
and in the event of an adverse verdict, may be reviewed by the Civil Service Commission and
eventually the Supreme Court.
___
EPZA vs. Commission on Human Rights
EPZA (petitioner) purchase a parcel of land from Filoil Refinery Corporation, and before petitioner
could take possession of the area, several individuals had entered the premises and planted
agricultural products therein without permission from EPZA or its predecessor, Filoil. EPZA paid a
P10,000-financial-assistance to those who accepted the same and signed quitclaims. Among
them were private respondents (TERESITA VALLES, LORETO ALEDIA). Ten years later, respondent
Teresita, Loreto and Pedro, filed in the respondent Commission on Human Rights (CHR) a joint
complaint praying for "justice and other reliefs and remedies". Alleged in their complaint was the
information that EPZA bulldozed the area with acts in violation of their human rights. CHR issued
an Order of injunction commanding EPZA to desist from committing such acts . Two weeks later,
EPZA again bulldozed the area. They allegedly handcuffed private respondent Teresita Valles,
pointed their firearms at the other respondents, and fired a shot in the air. CHR Chairman Mary
Concepcion Bautista issued another injunction Order reiterating her first order and expanded it
to include the Secretary of Public Works and Highways, the contractors, and their subordinates.
>EPZA filed in the CHR a motion to lift the Order of Injunction for lack of authority to issue
injunctive writs and temporary restraining orders, but same was denied by the Commission
(CHR). >Hence, EPZA, filed in SC this special civil action of certiorari and prohibition with a
prayer for the issuance of a restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, alleging that the CHR
acted in excess of its jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion. A temporary restraining
order (TRO) was issued ordering the CHR to cease and desist from enforcing and/or
implementing the questioned injunction orders. >In its comment on the petition, the CHR asked
for the immediate lifting of the restraining order. The CHR contends that its principal function
under Section 18, Art. 13 of the 1987 Constitution, "is not limited to mere investigation" because
it is mandated, among others to provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human
rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for
preventive measures and legal aid services to the under privileged whose human rights have
been violated or need protection.
WON CHR have jurisdiction to issue a writ of injunction or restraining order against
supposed violators of human rights, to compel them to cease and desist from
continuing the acts complained of. Petition for certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED. The
orders of injunction issued by the respondent Commission on Human Right are ANNULLED and
SET ASIDE and the TRO which this Court issued is made PERMANENT. >In Hon. Isidro Cario, et
al. vs. Commission on Human Rights, et al., we held that the CHR is not a court of justice nor

even a quasi-judicial body.. >The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of
adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as
regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. But fact-finding is not
adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasijudicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the
facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the
faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be
accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that
the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively, finally and definitely, subject to
such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function, to repeat, the
Commission does not have. >The constitutional provision directing the CHR to "provide for
preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have
been violated or need protection" may not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission
to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for, if that were the intention, the Constitution
would have expressly said so. "Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution or by law". It is
never derived by implication. >The "preventive measures and legal aid services" mentioned in
the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and judicial remedies (including a preliminary writ of
injunction) which the CHR may seek from the proper courts on behalf of the victims of human
rights violations. Not being a court of justice, the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the writ,
for a writ of preliminary injunction may only be issued "by the judge of any court in which the
action is pending [within his district], or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals, or of the Supreme
Court. It may also be granted by the judge of a Court of First Instance [now Regional Trial Court]
in any action pending in an inferior court within his district." (Sec. 2, Rule 58, Rules of Court). A
writ of preliminary injunction is an ancillary remedy. It is available only in a pending principal
action, for the preservation or protection of the rights and interest of a party thereto, and for no
other purpose__
Carpio v Exec Sec
>Petitioner Antonio Carpio as citizen, taxpayer and member of the Philippine Bar, filed this
petition, questioning the constitutionality of RA 6975 with a prayer for TRO. >RA 6875, entitled
AN ACT ESTABLISHIGN THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT
OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, allegedly
contravened Art. XVI, sec. 6 of the 1986 Constitution: The State shall establish and maintain
one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered
and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local executives over the police
units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law.
Whether or not RA 6975 is contrary to the Constitution
Whether or not Sec. 12 RA 6975 constitutes an encroachment upon, interference
with, and an abdication by the President of, executive control and commander-inchief powers
Power of Administrative Control >NAPOLCOM is under the Office of the President.
SC held that the President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices. This
presidential power of control over the executive branch of government extends over all
executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk. In the landmark case of Mondano
vs. Silvosa, the power of control means the power of the President to alter or modify or nullify
or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to
substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter. It is said to be at the very heart of
the meaning of Chief Executive. >As a corollary rule to the control powers of the President is
the Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency. As the President cannot be expected to exercise his
control powers all at the same time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them to his
Cabinet members. >Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single
executive, all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive
Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the
Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution
or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the
multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and
through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments,
performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, unless disapproved or reprobated
by the Chief Executive, are presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. >Thus, the
Presidents power of control is directly exercised by him over the members of the Cabinet who,
in turn, and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their respective
jurisdictions in the executive department. >The placing of NAPOLCOM and PNP under the
reorganized DILG is merely an administrative realignment that would bolster a system of
coordination and cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated law
enforcement agencies and public safety agencies.
Power of Executive Control- Sec. 12 does not constitute abdication of commander-in-chief
powers. It simply provides for the transition period or process during which the national police

would gradually assume the civilian function of safeguarding the internal security of the State.
Under this instance, the President, to repeat, abdicates nothing of his war powers. It would bear
to here state, in reiteration of the preponderant view, that the President, as Commander-in-Chief,
is not a member of the Armed Forces. He remains a civilian whose duties under the Commanderin-Chief provision represent only a part of the organic duties imposed upon him. All his other
functions are clearly civil in nature. His position as a civilian Commander-in-Chief is consistent
with, and a testament to, the constitutional principle that civilian authority is, at all times,
supreme over the military.
____
NPC (NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION) vs DE GUZMAN
RA 6975, otherwise known as "An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a
Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government", took effect on January 2, 1991.
RA 6975 provides for a uniform retirement system for PNP members. Section 39 reads: "SEC.
39.Compulsory Retirement. Compulsory retirement, for officer and non-officer, shall be upon
the attainment of age fifty-six (56); Provided, That, in case of any officer with the rank of chief
superintendent, director or deputy director general, the Commission may allow his retention in
the service for an
unextendible period of one (1) year. Based on the above provision, petitioners sent notices of
retirement to private respondents who are all members of the defunct Philippine Constabulary
and have reached the age of fifty-six.
Private respondents filed a complaint for declaratory relief with prayer for the issuance of an ex
parte restraining order and/or injunction before the RTC of Makati. They aver that the age of
retirement set at fifty-six (56) by Section 39 of RA 6975 cannot be applied to them since they are
also covered by Sec. 89 thereof which provides: "Any provision hereof to the contrary
notwithstanding, and within the transition period of four (4) years following the effectively of this
Act, the following members of the INP shall be considered compulsorily retired: "a)Those who
shall attain the age of sixty (60) on the first year of the effectivity of this Act. "b)Those who shall
attain the age of fifty-nine (59) on the second year of the effectivity of this Act. "c)Those who
shall attain the age of fifty-eight (58) on the third year of the
effectivity of this Act. "d)Those who shall attain the age of fifty-seven (57) on the fourth year of
the effectivity of this Act." Respondents added that the term "INP" includes both the former
members of the Philippine Constabulary and the local police force who were earlier constituted
as the Integrated National Police (INP) by virtue of PD 765 in 1975.
On the other hand, it is the belief of petitioners that the 4-year transition period provided in
Section 89 applies only to the local police forces who previously retire, compulsorily, at age
sixty (60) for those in the ranks of Police/Fire Lieutenant or higher, while the retirement age for
the PC had already been set at fifty-six (56) under the AFP law.
Respondent judge De Guzman issued a restraining order followed by a writ of injunction. He
declared that the term "INP" in Section 89 of the PNP Law includes all members of the present
Philippine National police, irrespective of the original status of the present members of the
Philippine National police before its creation and establishment, and that Section 39 thereof shall
become operative after the lapse of the four-year transition period. Thus, the preliminary
injunction issued is made permanent. Moreover, he observed, among others, that it may have
been the intention of Congress to refer to the local police forces as the "INP" but the PNP Law
failed to define who or what constituted the INP. The natural recourse of the court is to trace the
source of the "INP" as courts are permitted to look to prior laws on the same subject and to
investigate the antecedents involved.
ISSUE: Whether or not Section 89 of the PNP Law includes all members of the present
Philippine National police, irrespective of the original status of its present members
and that Section 39 of RA 6975 shall become applicable to petitioners only after the
lapse of the four-year transition period.
HELD: From a careful review of Sections 23 and 85 of RA 6975, it appears that the use of the
term INP is not synonymous with the PC. Had it been otherwise, the statute could have just
made a uniform reference to the members of the whole Philippine National police (PNP) for
retirement purposes and not just the INP. The law itself distinguishes INP from the PC and it
cannot be construed that "INP" as used in Sec. 89 includes the members of the PC. Contrary to
the pronouncement of respondent judge that the law failed to define who constitutes the INP,
Sec. 90 of RA 6975 has in fact defined the same. Thus, "SEC. 90. Status of Present NAPOLCOM,
PC-INP. Upon the effectivity of this Act, the present National police Commisdion and the
Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National police shall cease to exist. The Philippine
Constabulary, which is the nucleus of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National police shall
cease to be a major service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Integrated National
police, which is the civilian component of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National police,
shall cease to be the national police force and lieu thereof, a new police force shall be establish
and constituted pursuant to this Act." >It is not altogether correct to state, therefore, that the
legislature failed to define who the members of the INP are. In this regard, it is of no moment

that the legislature failed to categorically restrict the application of the transition period in Sec.
89 specifically in favor of the local police forces for it would be a mere superfluity as the PC
component of the INP was already retirable at age fifty-six (56). >Having defined the meaning of
INP, the trial court need not have belabored on the supposed dubious meaning of the term.
Nonetheless, if confronted with such a situation, courts are not without recourse in determining
the construction of the statute with doubtful meaning for they may avail themselves of the
actual proceedings of the legislative body. In case of doubt as to what a provision of a statute
means, the meaning put to the provision during the legislative deliberations may be adopted.
Courts should not give a literal interpretation to the letter of the law if it runs counter to the
legislative intent.>The legislative intent to classify the INP in such manner that Section 89 of
R.A. 6975 is applicable only to the local police force is clear. The question now is whether the
classification is valid. The test for this is reasonableness such that it must conform to the
following requirements: (1) It must be based upon substantial distinctions; (2) It must be
germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only; (4) It
must apply equally to all members of the same class (People vs. Cayat, 68 Phil. 12 GRANTED
_____
Himagan v People
Ishmael Himagan was a policeman assigned in Davao City. He was charged for the murder of
Benjamin Machitar, Jr. and for the attempted murder of Benjamins younger brother, Barnabe.
Pursuant to Section 47 of Republic Act No. 6975, Himagan was placed into suspension pending
the murder case. The law provides that: >Upon the filing of a complaint or information sufficient
in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies where the penalty
imposed by law is six (6) years and one (1) day or more, the court shall immediately suspend the
accused from office until the case is terminated. Such case shall be subject to continuous trial
and shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused. >Himagan
assailed the suspension averring that Section 42 of P.D. 807 of the Civil Service Decree provides
that his suspension should be limited to ninety (90) days only. He claims that an imposition of
preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to the Civil Service Law and would be a
violation of his constitutional right to equal protection of laws .
ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 47, RA 6975 violates equal protection guaranteed by the
Constitution.
HELD: No. The language of the first sentence of Sec 47 of RA 6975 is clear, plain and free from
ambiguity. It gives no other meaning than that the suspension from office of the member of the
PNP charged with grave offense where the penalty is six years and one day or more shall last
until the termination of the case. The suspension cannot be lifted before the termination of the
case. The second sentence of the same Section providing that the trial must be terminated
within ninety (90) days from arraignment does not qualify or limit the first sentence. The two can
stand independently of each other. The first refers to the period of suspension. The second deals
with the time from within which the trial should be finished. >The reason why members of the
PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons charged criminally or
administratively insofar as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned is
that policemen carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or
intimidate witnesses against them, as succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions. >If a
suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his
case is pending, his victim and the witnesses against him are obviously exposed to constant
threat and thus easily cowed to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in uniform and
armed. the imposition of preventive suspension for over 90 days under Sec 47 of RA 6975 does
not violate the suspended policemans constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.
>Suppose the trial is not terminated within ninety days from arraignment, should the suspension
of accused be lifted? >The answer is certainly no. While the law uses the mandatory word shall
before the phrase be terminated within ninety (90) days, there is nothing in RA 6975 that
suggests that the preventive suspension of the accused will be lifted if the trial is not terminated
within that period. Nonetheless, the Judge who fails to decide the case within the period without
justifiable reason may be subject to administrative sanctions and, in appropriate cases where
the facts so warrant, to criminal or civil liability. If the trial is unreasonably delayed without
fault of the accused such that he is deprived of his right to a speedy trial, he is not without a
remedy. He may ask for the dismissal of the case. Should the court refuse to dismiss the case,
the accused can compel its dismissal by certiorari, prohibition or mandamus, or secure his
liberty by habeas corpus.
_____
IDEALS vs PSALMS
PSALM is a GOCC created by virtue of the EPIRA law. Said law mandated PSALM to manage
privatization of NPC. When PSALM commenced the privatization an invitation to bid was
published and the highest bidder K-Water was identified. The sale to K-Water was sought to be
enjoined by petitioners who contend that PSALM gravely abused its discretion when, in the

conduct of the bidding it violated the peoples right to information without having previously
released to the public critical information about the sale.
1. Can the bid documents, etc. used in the on-going negotiation for the privatization
and sale of Angat hydro plant be accessed via the right to information? 1. Yes. The
court reiterated that the constitutional right to information includes official information on ongoing negotiations before a final contract. The information, however, must constitute definite
propositions by the government and should not cover recognized exceptions like privileged
information, military and diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting national security and
public order.
2. Is the duty to disclose information the same with the duty to permit access to
information on matters of public concern? 2. No. Unlike the disclosure of information which
is mandatory under the Constitution, the other aspect of the peoples right to know requires a
demand or request for one to gain access to documents and paper of the particular agency.
Moreover, the duty to disclose covers only transactions involving public interest, while the duty
to allow access has a broader scope of information which embraces not only transactions
involving public interest, but any matter contained in official communications and public
documents of the government agency
_____
Case Name: League of Provinces vs. DENR
Petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, praying that this Court order the following: (1)
declare as unconstitutional Section 17(b)(3)(iii) of RA No. 7160 (The Local Government Code of
1991) and Section 24 of RA No. 7076 (Peoples Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991); (2) prohibit and
bar respondents from exercising control over provinces; and (3) declare as illegal the respondent
Secretary of DENR nullification, voiding and cancellation of the Small-Scale Mining permits issues
by the Provincial Governor of Bulacan.
RA No. 7061 or The Local Government Code of 1991 RA No 7076 Peoples Small-Scale Mining
Act of 1991
RA No. 7942 Philippine Mining Act of 1995
March 28, 1996: Golden Falcon Mineral Exploration Corporation (Golden Falcon) filed with DENR
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office an Application for Financial and Technical
Assistance Agreement (FTAA) covering a lot at San Miguel, San Ildefonso, Norzagaray and San
Jose del Monte, Bulacan. April 28, 1998: MGB denied application because Golden Falcon failed
to secure area clearances from DENR. November 11, 1998: Golden Falcon filed an appeal and
sought reconsideration for the previous Order. February 10, 2004: Appeal was pending, Eduardo
D. Mercado, Benedicto S. Cruz, Gerardo R. Cruz and Liberato Sembrano filed with the Provincial
Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Bulacan their respective Applications for
Quarry Permit (AQP), which covered the same area subject of Golden Falcon's Application for
Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement. July 16, 2004: Golden Falcons appeal was
denied. September 13, 2004: Atlantic Mines and Trading Corporation (AMTC) filed with PENRO
of Bulacan an Application for Exploration Permit which covers some portion covered by Golden
Falcons application for FTAA. October 19, 2004: DENR-MGB Director Horacio Ramos stated that
Order denying Golden Falcons appeal became final on August 11, 2004 only, 15 days after
Golden Falcon received the said order. May 5 and May 10, 2005: AMTC notified PENRO of
Bulacan and MGB Director that the subject Applications for Quarry Permit fell within AMTCs
existing valid and prior Application for Exploration Permit, and that the area covered by Golden
Falcon was open to mining location only on August 11, 2004 per the Memorandum Order dated
October 19. June 24, 2005: PENRO of Bulacan indorsed AMTCs letter to the Provincial Legal
Officer for his legal opinion on which date of denial of Golden Falcons application/appeal April
29, 1998 or July 16, 2004 is to be considered by the Provincial Mining regulatory Board in
determining when the land subject of the Applications for Quarry Permit could be considered
open for application. June 28, 2005: Legal Officer says order dated July 16, 2004 was a mere
affirmation of the Order dated April 29, 1998 so 1998 order should be the reckoning period of the
denial of the application of Golden Falcon. July 22, 2005: AMTC filed formal protest at PMRB
against the aforesaid Applications for Quarry Permit, saying that the subject area was already
covered by its Application for Exploration Permit. August 8, 2005: MGB Director endorsed to the
Provincial Governor of Bulacan the aforesaid Applications for Quarry Permit that had apparently
been converted to Applications for Small-Scale Mining Permit of Mercado, Cruz, Cruz, and Valdez.
August 9, 2005: PENRO issued four memoranda recommending approval of aforesaid
Application for Small-Scale Mining Permit. August 10, 2005: Small-Scale Mining permits issued
to Mercado, Cruz, Cruz, and Valdez. AMTC appealed to DENR. granted by DENR because
according to them, the filing by Golden Falcon of letter-appeal suspended the finality of the order
in 1998. Hence, the petition.
>League of Provinces duly organized league of local governments incorporated under RA No.
7160, composed of 81 provincial governments including Bulacan.

1.WON Section 17(b)(3)(iii) of the 1991 Local Government Code and Section 24 of the Peoples
Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 are unconstitutional for providing for executive control and
infringing upon the local autonomy of provinces.
2.WON the act of DENR in nullifying, voiding, and cancelling the small-scale mining permits
amounts to executive control, not merely supervision and usurps the devolved powers of all
provinces.
a.Petitioner has legal standing because it is tasked under Section 504 of the Local Government
Code of 1991 to promote local autonomy at the provincial level and to adopt measures for the
promotion of the welfare of all provinces and its officials and exercise these powers. b.Petitioners
say that the relationship between the President or DENR with provinces is one of executive
supervision, not control and that the statutory grant of power of control to respondents is
unconstitutional because Constitution only allows for supervision.
SUPREME COURT SAYS:
1987 Constitution, Article XII, Section 2(1) the exploration, development and utilization of
natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State 1987
Constitution, Article XII, Section 2(3) The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of
natural resources by Filipino citizens. Administrative Code of 1987 says DENR is in charge of
carrying out the States constitutional mandate under Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution so
the enforcement of small-scale mining law in the provinces is made subject to the supervision,
control and review of the DENR under the LGC. Court clarified that the constitutional guarantee
of local autonomy in the Constitution [Art. X, Sec. 2] refers to the administrative autonomy of
local government units or, cast in more technical language, the decentralization of government
authority. It does not make local governments sovereign within the State. the Local Government
Code did not fully devolve the enforcement of the small-scale mining law to the provincial
government, as its enforcement is subject to the supervision, control and review of the DENR.
The Court finds that the decision of the DENR Secretary was rendered in accordance with the
power of review granted to the DENR Secretary in the resolution of disputes, which is provided
for in Section 24 of R.A. No. 707651 and Section 22 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations
Hence, the decision of the DENR Secretary, declaring that the Application for Exploration Permit
of AMTC was valid and may be given due course, and canceling the Small-Scale Mining Permits
issued by the Provincial Governor, emanated from the power of review granted to the DENR
Secretary under R.A. No. 7076 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations The DENR Secretary
exercises quasi-judicial function under R.A. No. 7076 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations
to the extent necessary in settling disputes, conflicts or litigations over conflicting claims so it
acted within its jurisdiction. According to Beltran vs The Secretary of Health, Every law has in
its favor the presumption of constitutionality. For a law to be nullified, it must be shown that
there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. Those who petition this Court to
declare a law, or parts thereof, unconstitutional must clearly establish the basis therefor.
Otherwise, the petition must fail. So, provisions in question are constitutional. DISMISSED
________
Republic v Pagadian City Timber | Sept 16, 2008 | G.R. No. 159308 | Nachura, J.
License agreements is a privilege granted by the State to a person, and are not contracts within the purview of
the due process and non-impairment of contracts clauses enshrined in the Constitution-Filipinos have the right to
a balanced and healthful ecology, with the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment -The
essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, to explain ones side, or to seek a reconsideration
of the ruling complained of.
Summary- The Republic of the Philippines and Pagadian City Timber Co., Inc. executed Industrial Forest
Management Agreement (IFMA) No. R-9-040, authorizing PCT to utilize, develop, and manage 1,999.4 hectares of
land in Zamboanga del Sur according to the Comprehensive Development and Management Plan (CDMP)
approved by the DENR. Some years passed, and in response to several complaints filed by members of the
Subanen tribe, the DENR decided to conduct an evaluation and assessment of the area. The assessment
revealed that PCT failed to comply with the CDMP and thus it was recommended that the IFMA should be
cancelled. This was done by the DENR, and affirmed by the Office of the President, but the CA ruled that the
IFMA was a contract that could not be unilaterally cancelled. However, the Court held that license agreements
are not contracts, and PCT was not denied due process.

Oct. 14, 1994: Petitioner and respondent execute IFMA> Aug. 17, 1995: CDMP is approved by
DENR >Oct. 8, 1998: DENR Region IX creates team to evaluate and assess IFMA in response to
several complaints filed by members of the Subanen tribe regarding PCTs failure to implement
the CDMP, disrespecting the IPs rights, and constant threat and harassment by armed
men.>Oct. 22, 1998: DENR sends letter giving notice of the evaluation to be conducted
Oct. 23, 1998: DENR Evaluation Team go to IFMA site and conduct assessment, revealing the ff: only 98 out of 2,008 seedling hills survived - some areas planted on belong to the Certificates of
Stewardship Contracts (CSC) - only 1 look-out tower, 1 bunkhouse, 1 stockroom, 1 dilapidated
billboard poster, 1 multi-purpose shed, 2 concrete monuments - facilities generally below par only 28% of the target goal area planted >Oct. 29, 1998: DENR Evaluation Team holds exit
conference, explaining findings, and asking Santiago (the Operations Manager of PCT) if he had
any questions. He had none, but only requested a copy of the assessment. >The Evaluation
Team recommended that PCT explain why they failed to develop IFMA according to the CDMP, as

well as hiring a full-time forester, and amending the boundary to exclude the areas covered by
the CSC. However, RED Mendoza submitted a memorandum to DENR Secretary Cerilles
recommending that IFMA be cancelled for PCTs failure to implement the CDMP and adopt
agreements w/ communities and relevant sectors. DENR Sec. Cerilles thus issued an Order
canceling IFMA, which was affirmed by the OP. Respondent went to the CA, which ruled in its
favor, thus this petition.
1. W/N the CA erred in ruling that the IFMA is a contract and not a mere privilege
granted by the State
1.YES. IFMA is a license agreement under PD 705, which defines a license as a privilege granted
by the State to a person and such is evident in the IFMA itself. Jurisprudence also supports such
a view (the various cases mentioned in Alvarez v PICOP Resources, Inc.). But even assuming the
IFMA could be a contract, the alleged property rights are not absolute. Moreover, all Filipino
citizens have the right to a balanced and healthful ecology, which has the correlative duty to
refrain from impairing the environment. The DENR is the instrumentality of the State mandated
to actualize the policy, and private rights must yield when they conflict with public policy and
common interest.
2. W/N the CA erred in ordaining that PCT can invoke prior resort to arbitration or the
option to mend its violations under IFMA 2.YES. Sec. 35 of the IFMA uses the word may
which is interpreted to mean that petitioner has the discretion whether or not to give notice and
allow the option to remedy the breach. PCT is not entitled to arbitration (under Sec. 36 of IFMA)
as the cancellation was based on Sec. 26 of DAO No. 97-04 (failure to implement CDMP and
agreements w/ communities and relevant sectors). Respondents were given the opportunity to
contest the findings when the filed the appeal and MR before the Office of the President. A party
cannot feign denial of due process where he had been afforded the opportunity to present his
side. REVERSE D CA, DENR AFFIRMED
_________
Cario vs. Insular Government
Par 6, Sec 54, Act No. 926: Public Land Act:
6. All persons who by themselves or their predecessors in interest has been in the open, continuous exclusive,
and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural public lands, as defined by said Act of Congress of July
first, nineteen hundred and two, under a bona fide claim of ownership except as against the Government, for a
period of ten years next preceding the taking effect of this Act except when prevented by war or force majeure,
shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a government grant and to have
received the same, and shall be entitled to a certificate of title to such land under the provisions of this chapter.

On June 23, 1903, Mateo Carino (an Igorot from the Province of Benguet), filed a petition in the
Court of Land Registration asking that he be inscribed as the owner of 146 hectares of land in
the municipality of Baguio, Benguet. Government of the Philippine Islands appeared in CLR and
opposed the petition. Government of the US declared that the land was part of the military
reservation in Baguio. Judgment was entered in the CLR in favor of the petitioner. Respondents
appealed in accordance with the law then in force, to the Court of First Instance of Benguet.
Case was tried de novo and judgment was entered dismissing the petition. The petitioner
presented no documentary evidence of title or possession, except a possessor information
obtained in 1901. The petition not having shown any title from the Government, and the land
being agricultural, the case is governed by the decisions of this court, i.e. the case of Valenton et
al. vs. Murciano where it was held that the mere possession of land such as that in controversy
in this case would give the possessor and title thereto as against the Government; in other
words, that the statute of limitations did not run against the State in reference to its agricultural
lands. The petitioner insisted that although the statute of limitations as such did not run
against the Government of Spain in the Philippine Islands, yet a grant is to be conclusively
presumed from immemorial use and occupation. Petitioner sough to obtain the title from the
Government in 1984 and 1987 but to no avail. Thus, in 1901, petitioner alleged ownership under
the mortgage law and lands were registered to him.
Whether or not Carino has ownership and is entitled to registration (due to the fact
that the land has been in his possession for some time) oNo. According to the regalian
doctrine, the government is still the absolute owner of the land. It was never used for anything
other than a pasture for animals and has not been used by petitioner for any purpose. o"While
the State has always recognized the right of the occupant to a deed if he proves a possession for
a sufficient length of time, yet it has always insisted that he must make that proof before the
proper administrative officers, and obtain from them his deed, and until he did that the State
remained the absolute owner." oIt is impossible to say that as to the public agricultural lands in
the Philippines there existed a conclusive presumption after a lapse of thirty or any other
number of years that the Government of Spain had granted to the possessor thereof a legal title
thereto. RULING:oThe plaintiff is not entitled to the benefits of paragraph 6 of section 54 of Act
No. 926, the Public Land Act, for the reason that that act is not applicable to the Province of
Benguet. The judgment of the court is affirmed, with the costs against the appellant. oAfter the
expiration of twenty days let judgment be entered accordingly and ten days thereafter the case
be returned to the court below for execution. So ordered.

___
DENR et al VS. YAP et al
FACTS: On November 10, 1978, then President Marcos issued Proc. No. 1801 declaring Boracay
Island, among other islands, caves and peninsulas in the Philippines, as tourist zones and marine
reserves under the administration of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA). President Marcos
later approved the issuance of PTA Circular 3-82 dated September 3, 1982, to implement
Proclamation No. 1801. >Claiming that Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No 3-82
precluded them from filing an application for judicial confirmation of imperfect title or survey of
land for titling purposes, respondents-claimants Mayor . Yap, Jr., and others filed a petition for
declaratory relief with the RTC in Kalibo, Aklan >In their petition, respondents-claimants alleged
that Proc. No. 1801 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 raised doubts on their right to secure titles over
their occupied lands. They declared that they themselves, or through their predecessors-ininterest, had been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation in
Boracay since June 12, 1945, or earlier since time immemorial. They declared their lands for tax
purposes and paid realty taxes on them. Respondents-claimants posited that Proclamation No.
1801 and its implementing Circular did not place Boracay beyond the commerce of man. Since
the Island was classified as a tourist zone, it was susceptible of private ownership. Under
Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, they had the right to have the lots registered in their names
through judicial confirmation of imperfect titles. >The Republic, through the OSG, opposed the
petition for declaratory relief. The OSG countered that Boracay Island was an unclassified land
of the public domain. It formed part of the mass of lands classified as public forest, which was
not available for disposition pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Revised Forestry Code, as amended.
The OSG maintained that respondents-claimants reliance on PD No. 1801 and PTA Circular No.
3-82 was misplaced. Their right to judicial confirmation of title was governed by Public Land Act
and Revised Forestry Code, as amended. Since Boracay Island had not been classified as
alienable and disposable, whatever possession they had cannot ripen into ownership. >
On July 14, 1999, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of respondents-claimants, declaring that,
PD 1810 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 Revised Forestry Code, as amended. >The OSG moved for
reconsideration but its motion was denied. The Republic then appealed to the CA. On In 2004,
the appellate court affirmed in toto the RTC decision. Again, the OSG sought reconsideration but
it was similarly denied. Hence, the present petition under Rule 45. >On May 22, 2006, during the
pendency the petition in the trial court, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation
No. 1064 classifying Boracay Island partly reserved forest land (protection purposes) and partly
agricultural land (alienable and disposable). >On August 10, 2006, petitioners-claimants
Sacay,and other landowners in Boracay filed with this Court an original petition for prohibition,
mandamus, and nullification of Proclamation No. 1064. They allege that the Proclamation
infringed on their prior vested rights over portions of Boracay. They have been in continued
possession of their respective lots in Boracay since time immemorial. >On November 21, 2006,
this Court ordered the consolidation of the two petitions ISSUE: the main issue is whether
private claimants have a right to secure titles over their occupied portions in Boracay.
HELD: petitions DENIED. The CA decision is reversed.
Except for lands already covered by existing titles, Boracay was an unclassified land of the public
domain prior to Proclamation No. 1064. Such unclassified lands are considered public forest
under PD No. 705.
>PD No. 705 issued by President Marcos categorized all unclassified lands of the public domain
as public forest. Section 3(a) of PD No. 705 defines a public forest as a mass of lands of the
public domain which has not been the subject of the present system of classification for the
determination of which lands are needed for forest purpose and which are not. Applying PD No.
705, all unclassified lands, including those in Boracay Island, are ipso facto considered public
forests. PD No. 705, however, respects titles already existing prior to its effectivity. >The 1935
Constitution classified lands of the public domain into agricultural, forest or timber, such
classification modified by the 1973 Constitution. The 1987 Constitution reverted to the 1935
Constitution classification with one addition: national parks. Of these, only agricultural lands may
be alienated. Prior to Proclamation No. 1064 of May 22, 2006, Boracay Island had never been
expressly and administratively classified under any of these grand divisions. Boracay was an
unclassified land of the public domain. >A positive act declaring land as alienable and
disposable is required. In keeping with the presumption of State ownership, the Court has time
and again emphasized that there must be a positive act of the government, such as a
presidential proclamation or an executive order; an administrative action; investigation reports
of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a legislative act or a statute. The applicant may also
secure a certification from the government that the land claimed to have been possessed for the
required number of years is alienable and disposable. The burden of proof in overcoming such
presumption is on the person applying for registration (or claiming ownership), who must prove
that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable. >In the case at bar, no such
proclamation, executive order, administrative action, report, statute, or certification was
presented to the Court. The records are bereft of evidence showing that, prior to 2006, the

portions of Boracay occupied by private claimants were subject of a government proclamation


that the land is alienable and disposable. Matters of land classification or reclassification cannot
be assumed. They call for proof. >Proc. No. 1801 cannot be deemed the positive act needed to
classify Boracay Island as alienable and disposable land. If President Marcos intended to classify
the island as alienable and disposable or forest, or both, he would have identified the specific
limits of each, as President Arroyo did in Proclamation No. 1064. This was not done in
Proclamation No. 1801.
__
CMU v Exec Sec
President Garcia issued PP 476, granting land to CMU for school grounds while 300 Ha remaining
untitled land were distributed to cultural communities in the area. President Arroyo then issued
PP310 redistributing 670 Ha of CMUs land to IPs. CMU claimed unconstitutionality of PP310
Whether or not PP310 is valid and constitutional *Key question: Character of the Land
*CMU vs DARAB *Necessity for vast tract of agricultural land for expansion *The education of
the youth and agrarian reform are admittedly among the highest priorities in the government &
social economic programs. Neither need give way to another *Lands by their character become
inalienable *IPRA- already existing and vested property rights should be respected
___
Director of Lands v. IAC, 146 SCRA 509 (1986)
Public Lands Possessed Exclusively Becomes Private By Mere Lapse of at Least 30 Years.
F: In 1962, Acme Plywood & Veneer Co., acquired from members of the Dumagat tribe a parcel of
land w/ an area of
481,390 sq. m., in Maconacon, Isabela. On 7/17/81 Acme applied for the confirmation of its
imperfect title to the land, on the basis of its possession from 1962 and that of the Dumagats
and the latter's ancestors, w/c was from time immemorial. The CFI ordered the registration of
the land in favor of Acme. Its decision was affirmed by the IAC. However, the Director of Lands
appealed to the SC on the ground that under the Consti. (now Art. XII, Sec. 3 of) Acme could not
own lands of the public domain.
HELD: The Court xxx is of the view, and so holds, that the majority ruling in Meralco must be
reconsidered and no longer deemed to be binding precedent. The correct rule, as enunciated in
the line of cases already referred to, is that alienable land held by a possessor, personally or
through his predecessor-in-interest openly, continuously and exclusively for the prescribed
statutory period (30 yrs. under the Public Land Act, as amended) is converted to pvt. prop. by
the mere lapse or completion of said period, ipso jure. The land subject of this appeal was
already private property at the time it was acquired from the Infiels by Acme. Acme acquired a
registrable title, there being at the time no prohibition against said corp's holding or owning pvt.
land. VV.
_
Corporations May Lease But Not Acquire Public Lands
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, vs. JUDGE FLORENLIANA CASTRO-BARTOLOME of the Court of First
Instance
The Manila Electric Company purchased two lots (165 sqm.) at Tanay, Rizal on August 13, 1976
from Piguing spouses. After acquisition, they subsequently filed for judicial confirmation of
imperfect title on Dec. 1, 1976. However, the court denied the petition and the corresponding
appeal was likewise rejected. It elevates its appeal with the following arguments; firstly, the land
in question had essentially been converted to private land by virtue of acquisitive prescription as
a result of open continuous and notorious possession and occupation for more than thirty years
by the original owner, Olimpia Ramos and his predecessor in interest, Piguing spouses, whom
Meralco acquired the disputed land, and finally, the substantial rights acquired by Ramos
spouses and Peguing spouses for judicial confirmation of imperfect title, extend to Meralco by
virtue of the provision of the Public Land Law.
ISSUE: 1.Whether or not Meralco as a juridical person, allowed under the law to hold
lands of public domain and apply for judicial confirmation of imperfect title. 2.Does
the possession tacked to predecessor Private Corporation automatically guarantee its
rights to possession and title of the land. 3.Whether or not it is contingent for a
judicial confirmation of title before any grant would be extended to a juridical
person.
1.No. Private corporation or juridical person is prohibited and not allowed under the law to hold
land of public domain. Article XIV Sec. 14 of the 1973 Constitution prohibits private corporations
from holding alienable lands of the public domain except for lease of lands not exceeding one
thousand hectares.
2.No. The presumption that since they bought the property from the person who occupied the
land in open, continuous and notorious possession of the public land for more than thirty years,
does not automatically amount to rights and possession. It would cease to be public only upon
the issuance of the certificate of title to any Filipino citizen claiming it under the law. This

conclusion is anchored on the principle that "all lands that were not acquired from the
Government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the public domain. The exception to the
rule is only when the occupant and his predecessors-in-interest possess and occupied the same
since time immemorial. Such possessions justify the presumption that the land had never been
part of the public domain or that it had been a private property even before the Spanish
conquest.
3.Yes. In this case, the court declared that it is contingent upon the issuance of title before
juridical entity may have acquired possession over the property. That means that until the
certificate of title is issued, a piece of land, over which an imperfect title is sought to be
confirmed, remains public land. Thus, any levy and execution were void. As between the State
and the Meralco, the land in question remains a public land. The court also took notice that the
constitutional prohibition makes no distinction between (on one hand) alienable agricultural
public lands as to which no occupant has an imperfect title and (on the other hand) alienable
lands of the public domain as to which an occupant has an imperfect title subject to judicial
confirmation. Since section 11 of Article XIV does not distinguish, we should not make any
distinction or qualification.
__
Republic v. Villanueva, 114 SCRA 875 (1982)
Religious Corporations Are Disqualified from Acquiring Public Lands
F: On 9/13/77, the Iglesia ni Kristo (INK) applied for registration of 2 lots, invoking the provisions
of the Public
Land Law: Sec. 48. The following described citizens of the Phils., occupying the lands of the
public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an interest therein, but whose titles have not
been perfected or completed, may apply to the CFI of the province where the land is located for
confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a cert. of title therefor under theLRA, to wit...
"(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest have been in continuous,
exclusive, and notorious possession, and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain,
under a bona fide claim of ownership for at least 30 yrs. immediately preceding the filing of the
application for confirmation of title except when prevented by war or force majeur. These shall
be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Govt grant and
shall be entitled to a cert. of title under the provisions of this chapter."
From the decision of the CFI ordering registration of the 2 lots, the govt appealed.
HELD: The INK, as a corp. sole or a juridical person, is disqualified to acquire or hold alienable
lands of the public domain, like the lots in question, bec. of the consti. prohibition mentioned and
bec. the said church is not entitled to avail itself of the benefits of Sec. 48 (b) w/c applies only to
Filipino citizens of natural persons. A corp. sole has no nationality. The contention that the 2 lots
are pvt. lands, following the rule laid down in Susi v. Razon is not correct.
What was considered pvt. lands there was a parcel of land possessed by a Filipino citizen since
time immemorial. The lots sought to be registered in this case do not fall w/in that category.
They are still public lands.
"All lands that were not acquired from the Govt, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the
public domain. An exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the
possession of the same occupant and of his predecessors-in-interest since time immemorial, for
such possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the public
domain or that it had been a pvt. prop. even bef. The Spanish conquest. VV.
___
Republic v. Court of Appeals, 155 SCRA 344 (1987)
F: In its application for registration bef. the trial court, resp. Circulo Bantayano Foundation (CBF)
alleged that it is the owner in fee simple or through a possessory info. title of a parcel of land
including the buildings and improvements thereon situated at Poblacion, Bantayan, Cebu
through purchase on 12/5/74 from the heirs (represented by Anunciacion Escario) of the late
Pedro Escario, Sr., who in turn inherited said land from his father Margarito; that the said land is
assessed for taxation purposes of P7,850 for 1978; that the same is occupied and possessed
openly, continuously, notoriously and peacefully in the concept of owners for more than 40 yrs.
by applicant and its predecessors-in-interest. Petitioner opposed the application alleging that
pvt. resp. did not have title in fee simple or imperfect title to the land and it was disqualified
under the 1973 Consti., being a corp., to own lands of the public domain. xxx The trial court
ruled in favor of CBF. The CA affirmed the trial court's decision. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE: W/n private resp. is qualified under the 1973 or the 1987 Consti. to acquire
and subsequently register in its name the disputed lot. HELD: It is true that under both
the 1973 and 1987 Consti, a pvt. corp. (even if a domestic one) cannot acquire (and therefore
cannot register) lands of the public domain, but in the present case, the land involved, at the
time it was acquired by the corp. in 1974, was no longer part of the public domain; long years of
exclusive, continuous, and adverse possession of the same by its predecessors-in-interest had
given ownership thereof ipso jure to said predecessors, enabling the latter to convey title to said
corp. True, the Corp.'s acquisition was in

1974, or after the 1973 Consti was already in effect. But then as of that time, the land was no
longer public land.
It was private land. RAM.
___
Godines v. Pak Luen, 120 SCRA 223 (1983)
F: Jose Godines sold a parcel of land in Jolo to Fong Pak Luen, a Chinese citizen. On 1/11/63, Pak
Luen in turn sold the land to Trinidad S. Navato, a Filipino. On 9/30/66, the heirs of Godines
brought suit to recover the land on the ground that the sale to Pak Luen was null and void. The
CFI dismissed the case on the ground that the action has prescribed. Hence, this appeal. HELD:
The Krivenko ruling that "under the Consti aliens may not acquire private or agricultural lands
including residential lands" is a declaration of an imperative constitutional policy. Consequently,
prescription may never be invoked to defend that w/c the Consti. prohibits. But neither can the
vendor or his heirs rely on an argument based on imprescriptibility bec. the land is now in the
hands of a Filipino citizen. If the ban on aliens from acquiring not only agricultural but also urban
lands is to preserve the nation's lands for future generations of Filipino, that aim or purpose
would not be thwarted if in the meantime the land is sold to Filipino citizens. xxx. VV.
____
Yap v. Grajeda, 121 SCRA 244 (1983)
F: On April 12, 1939, Maximo Kico executed a deed of absolute Sale in favor of pet., Yap who was
the a Chinese National over a residential lot in Albay. After nearly 15 years following the sale, Yap
was admitted as a Filipino Citizen. On Dec 1, 1967, pet. ceded the major portion of the lot to his
son who was also a Filipino citizen. Resp. vendors almost 30 years after the sale filed an action
to recover the said property. The trial count ordered reconveyance declaring the sale as null &
void as being violative of Sec. 5 Art. XIII 1935 Consti. being an absolute & unqualified prohibition
of Aliens acquiring priv. agri-lands.
ISSUE: WON the conveyance was validated or its void nature altered by the subsequent
naturalization of the
Vendor HELD: YES. As held in Sarosa Vda. de Busabia v. Areneo (113 SCRA 547), the mandatory
provision of the`35 Consti. is an expression of public policy to conserve lands on the Filipinos
xxx. Since the litigated prop. Is now in the bands of a naturalized Fil., he is no longer a
disqualified vendors. As a naturalized citizen, he is constitutionally qualified to own the subject
property. There would no longer be any public policy to be served in allowing recovery of prop in
the band of a qualified person. Further, as held in Vasquez v. Li Seng Grap (96 Phil. 447), "xxx if
the ban on aliens from acquiring not only agricultural but also urban lands xxx is to preserve the
nation's land for future generations of Filipinos, that aim or purpose would not be wasted but
achieved by making lawful the acquisition of real estate by aliens who became Filipino citizens
by naturalization." Adapted.
__
Tejido v. Zamacoma, 138 SCRA 78 (1985)
F: The appellants brought an action for the recovery of 18 parcels of land in La Carlota, Negros
Occ., claiming that the conveyance of the l ands by their predecessors-in-interest way back in
k1926 was void bec. the person to whom they were conveyed, the late Pedro Uriarte, was a
Spanish citizens. However, the trial court dismissed the case on the ground that the prohibition
in 1935 Consti. against aliens holding public or pvt. lands in the Phils. took effect only on
11/15/35. Hence, this appeal.
HELD: The appeal has no merit. Bef. the effectivity of the 1935 Consti., there was no ban on
aliens owning private lands in the Phils. The prohibition in Act 2874 against aliens applied only to
public agricultural lands or lands of the public domain. Art. III, Sec. 5 of the 1935 Consti., w/c in
effect prohibited the transfer of pvt. Lands to aliens, cannot be retroactively applied to contracts
in this case w/c was entered into bef. its effectivity, otherwise, the appellees would be deprived
of property w/o due process of law. Moreover, since the lands are now in the hands of Filipino
citizens, there is no public policy to be served by allowing the appellants to recover the lands.
VV.
__
Moss v. Director of Lands, 80 SCRA 269 (1977)
Rights Acquired by American Citizens under the Original Ordinance to the Constitution Do Not
Lapse.
F: Eugene Moss & Alber Cassidy, American nationals purchased a ten-hectare island on Jan. 20,
1945 from Filipino vendors. In an action to quiet title by Moss vs. Cassidy, Moss was adjudged
sole owner in a decision dated March 27, 1962. He subsequently declared the land for taxation
purpose & paid realty taxes thereon. On April 3, 1965 Moss filed on application for the
registration of said land w/c was denied by the TCT. holding that Moss, being an American
citizen, was disqualified to acquire lands under sec. 5 Art. XIII 1935 Consti, as held in Krivenko v.
Reg. of deeds.
ISSUE: WON Moss is disqualified. NO.

HELD: While aliens are disqualified to acquire lands under the 1935 Consti., citizens of the US
can acquire\ lands like Fil. citizens. The ordinance appended to the 1935 Consti. by Resolution
no. 39 of the Nat'l Assembly dated Sept. 15, 1939 & approved by the Pres. of the US on Nov. 10,
1939, provides that citizens & corps. of the
US shall enjoy in the Commonwealth of the Phils. All the civil rights of the citizens & corps.
respectively, thereof. This Ordinance was made part of the 1935 Consti. as directed by Sec. 2 of
the Tydings-McDuffie Law.The proclamation of Phil. Indep. on July 4, 1946 did not impair Moss'
proprietary rts. over the said land bec. The 1935 Consti. provides that upon proclamation of Phil.
independence, "all existing property rights of citizens or corps. of the US shall be acknowledged,
respected & safeguarded to the same extent as prop. rights. of citizen of the Phils. [sec. 1(1) Art.
XVII.] This was implemented on Art. VI of the Treaty of General relations bet. the US & the Phils.
Adapted.
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Republic v. Quasha, 46 SCRA 160 (1972)
Under the Parity Amendment to our Constitution, citizens of the United States and corporations
and business enterprises owned or controlled by them can not acquire and own, save in cases of
hereditary succession, private agricultural lands in the Philippines and that all other rights
acquired by them under said amendment will expire on 3 July 1974. F: Quasha, an American
citizen, purchased on Nov. 26, 1954 a land with permanent improvements thereon, at Forbes
Park, Makati. On March 19, 1968 he filed petition for declaration of his rights under Parity
Amendment because officials of Phil. Gov't claimed that on expiration of Parity Amendment on
July 3, 1974, the rights acquired by US citizens over lands will cease and be of no further force
and effect. Quasha sought a declaration of his rights under the Parity Amendment, said pltff.
contending that the ownership of properties during the effectivity of the Parity Amendment
continues notwithstanding the termination and effectivity of the Amendment.
ISSUE: What are rights of Quasha, if any, over the land?
HELD: (1) Under Parity Amendment, Quasha could not acquire ownership of Fobres Park land
because "parity" between Filipinos and Americans referred only to two matters: (a) disposition,
exploitation, dev't and utilization of agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the public domain
and other natural resources of Phils. (Sec. 1, Art. XIII '35 Consti.) (b) operation of public utilities
(Sec. 8, Art. XIV.) xxx No other provision of our Consti. was referred to by the "Parity
Amendment"; nor Sec. 2 of Art. XIII of the 1935 Consti. limiting the maximum area of public
agricultural lands that could be held by individuals or corporations or associations; nor Sec. 5
restricting the transfer or assignment of private agricultural lands to those qualified to acquire or
hold lands of the public domain (w/c under the original Sec. 1 of Art. XII meant Filipinos
exclusively) save in cases of hereditary succession. these sections 2 and 5 were therefore left
untouched and allowed to continue in operation as originally intended by the Consti.'s framers.

(2) Assuming ownership could be acquired, all rights conferred under Parity Amendment were
subject to one and the same resolutory term: they are to last during effectivity of the Exec.
Agreement entered into on July 4, 1946, but in no case to extend beyond July 3, 1974. (3) The
right of Americans to acquire private agricultural lands in the Phils vanished with the advent of
the Republic on July 4, 1946. The only exception is hereditary succession. Adapted.When the
case was decided in 1972, the expiration of the Parity Rights had not yet taken place. The
pronouncement of JBL Reyes in this case was overtaken by the 1973 Constitution which provided
that "the rights and privileges granted to citizens or corporations owned by citizens of the U.S.
under the ordinances appended to the 1935 Constitution ( granting to citizens and corporations
of the U.S. all the civil rights of the citizens and corporations, during the Commonwealth period)
shall automatically terminate on July 3, 1974. Titles to private lands acquired by such persons
before such date shall be valid as against private persons only. (Art. XVII, Sec. 11.) (Thus only
the State can question such titles, A Filipino is barred from bringing and action to recover a
private land he sold to an American.) Quasha and Moss Compared.-- The difference between
Quasha and Moss is that Moss acquired the private land during the Commonwealth period, and
was thus governed by the original Ordinance appended to the 1935 Constitution, while Quasha
bought the private land in 1954 during the regime of the Parity Rights.
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Ramirez v. Vda. de Ramirez, 111 SCRA 704 (1982)
F: The appellants claim that the usufruct over real properties of the estate in favor of Wanda,
who was an Austrian living in Spain, is void bec. it violates the constitutional prohibition against
the acquisition of lands by aliens.
The Court a quo upheld the validity of the usufruct given to Wanda on the ground that the
Consti. covers not only succession by operation of law but also testamentary succession.
HELD: We are of the opinion that the Constitutional provision w/c enables aliens to acquire
private lands does not extend to testamentary succession for otherwise the prohibition will be
for naught and meaningless. Any alien would be able to circumvent the prohibition by paying
money to a Phil. landowner in exchange for a devise of a piece of land.
This opinion, notwithstanding, we uphold the usufruct in favor of Wanda bec. a usufruct, albeit a
real right, does not vest title to the land in the usufructuary and it is the vesting of title to land in
favor of aliens w/c is proscribed by the Consti. RAM.