park reserve – but because the respondents-intervenors were in the process of donating said Lot X to General Santos City, and the President deemed it unnecessary to still place it within the coverage of Proc. 2273. The CA further ruled that the miscellaneous sales patents issued in the names of the respondents-intervenors affirm their claim of ownership over Lot X, while the OCTs subsequently issued in their names rendered their claim indefeasible. Finally, the appellate court declared that since respondents-intervenors’ titles to Lot X were duly obtained, the sale and transfer thereof to respondent AFP-RSBS should be accorded the same treatment as a sale or transfer made to a purchaser in good faith. Besides, it having been shown that the petitioner is not entitled to Lot X since it already belonged to the respondents-intervenors, petitioner had no right to raise the issue of AFP-RSBS’ good or bad faith. Thus, petitioner’s Complaint for reversion was dismissed. Issues The petition now enumerates the following issues for resolution: I BY APPLYING FOR MISCELLANEOUS SALES PATENT, THE HEIRS HAVE ADMITTED THAT LOT X IS PUBLIC LAND. THE EVIDENCE THEY SUBMITTED TO ESTABLISH THEIR ALLEGED PRIVATE OWNERSHIP IS THEREFORE UNAVAILING. II THE ALLEGED “VESTED RIGHTS” OF THE HEIRS OVER LOT X CANNOT PREVAIL AGAINST GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP OF PUBLIC LAND UNDER THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE. III THERE IS NO BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT PROCLAMATION 2273 RECOGNIZED THE OWNERSHIP OF LOT X BY THE HEIRS. NEITHER IS THERE BASIS TO CLAIM THAT THE HEIRS RETAINED OWNERSHIP OF LOT X DUE TO THE FAILURE OF THE CITY OF GENERAL SANTOS TO ACCEPT THE DONATION OF LOT X. IV AFP-RSBS IS NOT A BUYER IN GOOD FAITH. Petitioner’s Arguments
Apart from echoing the pronouncements of the trial court, the Republic, in its Petition and Consolidated Reply, submits that respondents-intervenors’ applications for miscellaneous sales patents constitute acknowledgment of the fact that Lot X was public land, and not private property acquired by prescription. Petitioner argues further that with the express recognition that Lot X is public land, it became incumbent upon respondents-intervenors—granting that they are entitled to the issuance of miscellaneous sales patents—to prove that Lot X is alienable and disposable land pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 141 (CA 141); and that in this regard respondents-intervenors failed. They offered proof, in the form of reports and recommendations made by the Bureau of Lands and the Board of Liquidators, among others, which were insufficient to establish that Lot X was alienable and disposable land of the public domain. Besides, under the law governing miscellaneous sales patents, Republic Act No. 730 (RA 730), it is specifically required that the property covered by the application should be one that is not being used for a public purpose.
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- Fall '19
- Appellate court, Real property law, Public Land, grantee.—The Court