CASE DIGEST: Republic vs. dela Paz

GR No. 171631: November 15, 2010

Republic of the Philippines, Petitioner, v. AVELINO R. DELA PAZ, ARSENIO R. DELA PAZ, JOSE R. DELA PAZ,and GLICERIO R. DELA PAZ, represented by JOSE R. DELA PAZ, Respondents

Peralta, J.:


Respondents filed a case to register a parcel of land covering almost 25,800 square kilometres situated in Taguig. They alleged that they came into the possession of the land thru their parents who have been continuous, uninterrupted, open, public, adverse possession of the same, in the concept of owner since 1987. The Republic (Petitioner) opposed the application on the ground that they have not been in continuous, uninterrupted, open, public, adverse possession of the same, in the concept of owner, but the RTC ruled in favour of the Respondents. The Republic interposed an Appeal to the CA, but it was also denied, the court reasoning that Respondents have established their right to the parcel of land.

Petitioner then appeals to the Supreme Court.


1. Whether or not the continuous, uninterrupted, open, public and adverse possession was sufficiently established by evidence.

2. Whether the land is part of the alienable part of public domain.


No. It has not been sufficiently established.

Civil Law: Land Registration

1st Issue:

Respondents need to prove that (1) the land forms part of the alienable and disposable land of the public domain; and (2) they, by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land under abona fideclaim of ownership from June 12, 1945 or earlier.

Respondents have not presented tangible proof to establish this kind of possession. At best, they have only given a tax declaration on 1949, but this is merely indicia of ownership.

2nd Issue:

To overcome this presumption,incontrovertibleevidence must be established that thelandsubject of theapplication (or claim) isalienable ordisposable. To support this, Respondents have merely relied on the survey plan of a geodetic engineer. This is insufficient under the law. Respondents failed to submit a certification from the proper government agency to establish that the subject land are part of the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain.

Petition GRANTED. The registration is DENIED.