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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS AND SANTOS DEL RIO G.R. No.

L-43105, August 31, 1984 CUEVAS, J.: Facts: A lot with an area of 17,311 sq.m. situated in Barrio Pinagbayanan, Pila, Laguna and 20 meters from the shore of Laguna de Bay; was purchased by Benedicto del Rio from Angel Pili on 19 April 1909. The Deed of Sale evidencing said purchase is duly recorded with the Registry of Deeds of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. The land was declared for tax purposes beginning the year 1918, and the realty taxes thereon had been paid since 1948. When Benedicto del Rio died in 1957, his heirs extrajudicially partitioned his estate and the subject parcel passed on to his son, Santos del Rio, as the latter's share in the inheritance. Santos del Rio filed his application for registration of said parcel on 9 May 1966. The application was opposed by the Director of Lands and by private oppositors, petitioners. Petitioner Director of Lands claims that the land sought to be registered is part of the public domain and therefore not registerable. The CFI Laguna dismissed the application for registration. Applicant appealed and obtained a favorable judgment from the Court of Appeals, setting aside that of the trial court. The Director of Lands and the private oppositors filed their respective Petitions for Review of said decision. Issue: Whether the parcel of land in question is a public land. Held: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment affirmed from, and ordered the registration of the land described in the application in favor of Santos del Rio, applicant private respondent. The Director of Lands claimed that since a portion of the land sought to be registered is covered with water four to five months a year, the same is part of the lake bed of Laguna de Bay, or is at least, a foreshore land, which brings it within the enumeration in Art. 502 of the New Civil Code quoted above and therefore it cannot be the subject of registration. However, the extent of a lake bed is defined in Art. 74 of the Law of Waters of 1866, as follows: The natural bed or basin of lakes, ponds, or pools, is the ground covered by their waters when at their highest ordinary depth. The phrase "highest ordinary depth" in the above definition has been interpreted in the case of Government of P.I. vs. Colegio de San Jose to be the highest depth of the waters of Laguna de Bay during the dry season, such depth being the "regular, common, natural, which occurs always or most of the time during the year." As aptly found by the Court a quo, the submersion in water of a portion of the land in question is due to the rains "falling directly on or flowing into Laguna de Bay from different sources. Since the inundation of a portion of the land is not due to "flux and reflux of tides" it cannot be considered a foreshore land within the meaning of the authorities cited by petitioner Director of Lands. The land sought to be registered not being part of the bed or basin of Laguna de Bay, nor a foreshore land as claimed by the Director of Lands, it is not a public land and therefore capable of registration as private property provided that the applicant proves that he has a registerable title.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ALAGAD G.R. No. 66807, January 26, 1989 SARMIENTO, J.: Facts: On 11 October 1951, Melitona, Carmen, Justo, Carlos, Librada, Demetrio, and Antonio, all with surname Alagad, filed an application for registration of their title over a parcel of land situated at Linga, Pila, Laguna, with an area of 8.1263 hectares, which was amended after the land was divided into two parcels, namely, Lot 1 with an area of 5.2476 hectares and Lot 2 with an area of 2.8421 hectares. The Republic opposed the application on the ground that applicants and their predecessors have not been in possession of the land openly, continuously, publicly and adversely under a bona fide claim of ownership since 26 July 1894 and the land has not ceased to be a part of the public domain. It appears that barrio folk also opposed the application. By virtue of a final judgment in said case and supplemented by orders, the Alagads were declared owners of Lot 1 and the remaining portion, or Lot 2, was declared public land. Decree N-51479 was entered and OCT 0-401, dated 18 October 1956, was issued in the names of the Alagads. The Republic filed a petition for annulment of title and reversion, insofar as the 1.42 hectare northwestern portion on end of Lot 1 is concerned, contending that said portion had since time immemorial, been foreshore land reached and covered by the waters of the Laguna de Bay. The Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the Alagads from selling, mortgaging, disposing or otherwise entering into any transaction affecting the area. The court dismissed the complaint. The Republic filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the court. Appeal was made to the Court of Appeals, which sustained the trial court for failure to show in the record on appeal that the appeal was perfected on time. Hence, the appeal. Issue: Whether the properties in question are foreshore lands. Held: Under Article 74 of the Law of Waters, The natural bed or basin of lakes, ponds, or pools is the ground covered by their waters when at their highest ordinary depth. And in which case, it forms part of the national dominion. When Laguna de Bay's waters are at their highest ordinary depth has been defined as: the highest depth of the waters of Laguna de Bay during the dry season, such depth being the regular, common, natural, which occurs always or most of the time during the year Otherwise, where the rise in water level is due to the extraordinary action of nature, rainfall for instance, the portions inundated thereby are not considered part of the bed or basin of the body of water in question. It cannot therefore be said to be foreshore land but land outside of the public dominion, and land capable of registration as private property. A foreshore land, on the other hand, has been defined as that part of the land which is between high and low water and left dry by the flux and reflux of the tides. The strip of land that lies between the high and low water marks and that is alternatively wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. If the submergence, however, of the land is due to precipitation, it does not become foreshore, despite its proximity to the waters.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE Y. DE LA ROSA G.R. No. L-43938, April 15, 1988 CRUZ, J.: Facts: Jose de la Rosa filed application for registration of a parcel of land consisting of 9 lots situated in Tuding, Itogon, Benguet Province. The application was separately opposed by Benguet Consolidated, Inc., Atok Big Wedge Corporation and by the Republic of the Philippines, through the Bureau of Forestry Development. Benguet opposed on the ground that the June Bug mineral claim covering a portion of the land in question was sold to it by James Kelly, who located the claim in September 1909 and recorded it on October 14, 1909. While, Atok also alleged that a portion of land were covered by the Emma and Fredia mineral claims located by Harrison and Reynolds on December 25, 1930, and recorded on January 2, 1931. The Bureau of Forestry Development also interposed its objection, arguing that the land sought to be registered was covered by the Central Cordillera Forest Reserve under Proclamation No. 217. Moreover, by reason of its nature, it was not subject to alienation under the Constitutions of 1935 and 1973. The trial court denied the application, holding that the applicants had failed to prove their claim of possession and ownership of the land sought to be registered. The applicants appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the surface rights of the de la Rosas over the land while at the same time reserving the sub-surface rights of Benguet and Atok by virtue of their mining claims. Both Benguet and Atok have appealed to this Court, invoking their superior right of ownership. The Republic has filed a petition for review and argued that neither the private respondents nor the two mining companies have any valid claim to the land because it is not alienable and registerable. Issue: Whether the land in question is alienable and registerable. Held: There is no question that the 9 lots applied for are within the June Bug mineral claims of Benguet and the "Fredia and Emma" mineral claims of Atok. The June Bug mineral claim of Benguet and the Fredia and Emma mineral claims of Atok having been perfected prior to the approval of the Constitution of the Philippines of 1935, they were removed from the public domain and had become private properties of Benguet and Atok. It is of no importance whether Benguet and Atok had secured a patent for, for all physical purposes of ownership, the owner is not required to secure a patent as long as he complies with the provisions of the mining laws; his possessory right, for all practical purposes of ownership, is as good as though secured by patent. We agree likewise with the oppositors that having complied with all the requirements of the mining laws, the claims were removed from the public domain, and not even the government of the Philippines can take away this right from them. The reason is obvious. Having become the private properties of the oppositors, they cannot be deprived thereof without due process of law. The perfection of the mining claim converted the property to mineral land and under the laws then in force removed it from the public domain. By such act, the locators acquired exclusive rights over the land, against even the government, without need of any further act such as the purchase of the land or the obtention of a patent over it. As the land had become the private property of the locators, they had the right to transfer the same, as they did, to Benguet and Atok.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND REPUBLIC REAL ESTATE CORPORATION G.R. No. 103882, November 25, 1998 PURISIMA, J.: Facts: The Pasay City and Republic Real Estate Corporation entered into an Agreement for the reclamation of the foreshore lands in Pasay City. The Republic of the Philippines filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession and Damages on the grounds that the subject-matter of such Agreement is outside the commerce of man, that its terms and conditions are violative of RA 1899. In the Answers of RREC and Pasay City, they averred that the subject-matter of said Agreement is within the commerce of man, that the phrase "foreshore lands" within the contemplation of RA 1899 has a broader meaning than the cited definition of the term in the Words and Phrases and in the Webster's Third New International Dictionary and the plans and specifications of the reclamation involved were approved by the authorities concerned. The trial court issued an Order refraining the defendants from further reclaiming or committing acts of dispossession or dispoilation over any area within the Manila Bay or the Manila Bay Beach Resort. Dissatisfied with the said judgment, the Republic appealed therefrom to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the Republic. From the Decision and Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals the Republic of the Philippines, as well as Pasay City and RREC, have come to this Court to seek relief. It is the submission of the Republic of the Philippines that there are no foreshore lands along the seaside of Pasay City; that what Pasay City has are submerged or offshore areas outside the commerce of man which could not be a proper subject matter of the Agreement between Pasay City and RREC in question as the area affected is within the National Park, known as Manila Bay Beach Resort, of which area it has been in open, continuous and peaceful possession since time immemorial. Issue: Whether the petition is meritorious on the ground that the subject land is a not foreshore lands. Held: The Petition is impressed with merit. Erroneous and unsustainable is the opinion of respondent court that under RA 1899, the term "foreshore lands" includes submerged areas. To repeat, the term "foreshore lands" refers to: The strip of land that lies between the high and low water marks and that is alternately wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. (Words and Phrases, "Foreshore") A strip of land margining a body of water (as a lake or stream); the part of a seashore between the low-water line usually at the seaward margin of a low-tide terrace and the upper limit of wave wash at high tide usually marked by a beach scarp or berm. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary) There is nothing in the provision of RA 5187 which can be interpreted to broaden the scope of "foreshore lands." We reiterate what was said in Ponce v. Gomez (L-21870) and Ponce v. City of Cebu (L-22669) that the term "foreshore" refers to "that part of the land adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides."

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ vs. PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY and AMARI COASTAL BAY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002 CARPIO,J.: Facts: Then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1084 creating PEA. PD No. 1084 tasked PEA "to reclaim land, including foreshore and submerged areas," and "to develop, improve, acquire, lease and sell any and all kinds of lands." Also, PD No. 1085 was issued transferring to PEA the "lands reclaimed in the foreshore and offshore of the Manila Bay" under the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project (MCCRRP). Then President Corazon C. Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517, granting and transferring to PEA the parcels of land so reclaimed under the MCCRRP. Subsequently, on April 9, 1988, the Register of Deeds of the Municipality of Paraaque issued Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 7309, 7311, and 7312, in the name of PEA, covering the three reclaimed islands known as the "Freedom Islands" located at the southern portion of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road, Paraaque City. PEA and AMARI entered into the JVA through negotiation without public bidding which the Board of Directors of PEA confirmed. On June 8, 1995, then President Fidel V. Ramos, through then Executive Secretary Ruben Torres, approved the JVA. The Senate Committees reported the results of their investigation in Senate Committee Report No. 560 dated September 16, 1997. Among the conclusions of their report are: (1) the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to AMARI under the JVA are lands of the public domain which the government has not classified as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot alienate these lands; (2) the certificates of title covering the Freedom Islands are thus void, and (3) the JVA itself is illegal. Petitioner Frank I. Chavez filed the a Petition for Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. Petitioner contends the government stands to lose billions of pesos in the sale by PEA of the reclaimed lands to AMARI. Petitioner prays that PEA publicly disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the JVA, invoking Section 28, Article II, and Section 7, Article III, of the 1987 Constitution on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. Issue: Whether the transfer to AMARI of certain lands, reclaimed and still to be reclaimed violate the 1987 Constitution. Held: The 1987 Constitution continues the State policy in the 1973 Constitution banning private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. The 1987 Constitution allows private corporations to hold alienable lands of the public domain only through lease. As in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, the general law governing the lease to private corporations of reclaimed, foreshore and marshy alienable lands of the public domain is still CA No. 141. Clearly, the mere physical act of reclamation by PEA of foreshore or submerged areas does not make the reclaimed lands alienable or disposable lands of the public domain, much less patrimonial lands of PEA. Likewise, the mere transfer by the National Government of lands of the public domain to PEA does not make the lands alienable or disposable lands of the public domain, much less patrimonial lands of PEA. To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the public domain to be transferred to PEA as private lands will

sanction a gross violation of the constitutional ban on private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. This scheme can even be applied to alienable agricultural lands of the public domain since PEA can "acquire . . . any and all kinds of lands." The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to private corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations.

APEX MINING CO., INC. vs. SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING CORP. G.R. No. 152613 & No. 152628 , June 23, 2006 CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: Facts: Proclamation No. 369 was issued to establish the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve. Camilo Banad and his group, who claimed to have first discovered traces of gold in Mount Diwata, filed a Declaration of Location for six mining claims in the area. Apex Mining Corporation entered into operating agreements with Banad and his group. Marcopper Mining Corporation filed mining claims for areas adjacent to the area covered by the DOL of Banad and his group. MMC abandoned the claims and instead applied for a prospecting permit with the Bureau of Forest Development. BFD issued a Prospecting Permit to MMC covering an area within the forest reserve under Proclamation No. 369. The permit embraced the areas claimed by Apex and the other individual mining claimants. MMC filed before the BMG a Petition for the Cancellation of the Mining Claims of Apex and Small Scale Mining Permits. MMC alleged that the areas covered by its EP 133 and the mining claims of Apex were within an established and existing forest reservation. Apex filed a motion to dismiss MMCs petition alleging that its mining claims are not within any established or proclaimed forest reserve, and as such, the acquisition of mining rights thereto must be undertaken via registration of DOL with the BMG and not through the filing of application for permit to prospect with the BFD. However, Supreme Court rendered a Decision against Apex holding that the disputed area is a forest reserve; hence, the proper procedure in acquiring mining rights therein is by initially applying for a permit to prospect with the BFD and not through a registration of DOL with the BMG. DENR issued Department Administrative Order No. 66 declaring areas covered by the Agusan-DavaoSurigao Forest Reserve as non-forest lands and open to small-scale mining purposes. A portion of the contested area open to small scale miners, several mining entities filed applications for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement. Monkayo Integrated Small Scale Miners Association (MISSMA) filed an MPSA application which was denied by the BMG on the grounds that the area applied for is within the area covered by MMC EP 133 and that the MISSMA was not qualified to apply for an MPSA. MMC assigned EP 133 to Southeast Mindanao Gold Mining Corporation. BMG accepted and registered SEMs MPSA application and the Deed of Assignment over EP 133 executed in its favor by MMC. SEMs application was designated MPSA Application No. 128 (MPSAA 128). The PA rendered a resolution that EP 133 was valid and subsisting. It also declared that the BMG Director, under Section 99 of the Consolidated Mines Administrative Order implementing Presidential Decree No. 463, was authorized to issue exploration permits and to renew the same without limit. The validity of Expoloration Permit No. 133 was reiterated and all the adverse claims against MPSAA No. 128 are DISMISSED. Undaunted by the PA ruling, the adverse claimants appealed to the Mines Adjudication Board. In a Decision, the MAB considered erroneous the dismissal by the PA of the adverse claims filed against MMC and SEM over a mere technicality of failure to submit a sketch plan. It argued that the rules of procedure are not meant to defeat substantial justice as the former are merely secondary in importance to

the latter. Dealing with the question on EP 133s validity, the MAB opined that said issue was not crucial and was irrelevant in adjudicating the appealed case because EP 133 has long expired due to its nonrenewal and that the holder of the same, MMC, was no longer a claimant of the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve having relinquished its right to SEM. After it brushed aside the issue of the validity of EP 133 for being irrelevant, the MAB proceeded to treat SEMs MPSA application over the disputed area as an entirely new and distinct application. It approved the MPSA application, excluding the area segregated by DAO No. 66, which declared 729 hectares within the Diwalwal area as non-forest lands open for small-scale mining. Dissatisfied, the Villaflor group and Balite appealed the decision to this Court. SEM, aggrieved by the exclusion of 729 hectares from its MPSA application, likewise appealed. Apex filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Petition for Intervention predicated on its right to stake its claim over the Diwalwal gold rush which was granted by the Court. These cases, however, were remanded to the Court of Appeals for proper disposition pursuant to Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court of Appeals consolidated the remanded cases as CA-G.R. SP No. 61215 and No. 61216. The Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the decision of the PA and declared null and void the MAB decision. Hence, the instant Petitions for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by Apex, Balite and MAB. During the pendency of these Petitions, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 297. This proclamation excluded an area of 8,100 hectares located in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, and proclaimed the same as mineral reservation and as environmentally critical area. Subsequently, DENR Administrative Order No. 2002-18 was issued declaring an emergency situation in the Diwalwal gold rush area and ordering the stoppage of all mining operations therein. Thereafter, Executive Order No. 217 was issued by the President creating the National Task Force Diwalwal which is tasked to address the situation in the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area. Issue Whether the subsequent acts of the executive department such as the issuance of Proclamation No. 297, and DAO No. 2002-18 can outweigh Apex and Balites claims over the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area. Held Upon the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, the State assumed a more dynamic role in the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources of the country. With this policy, the State may pursue full control and supervision of the exploration, development and utilization of the countrys natural mineral resources. The options open to the State are through direct undertaking or by entering into coproduction, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements, or by entering into agreement with foreignowned corporations for large-scale exploration, development and utilization. Recognizing the importance of the countrys natural resources, not only for national economic development, but also for its security and national defense, Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7942 empowers the President, when the national interest so requires, to establish mineral reservations where mining operations shall be undertaken directly by the State or through a contractor.