In 1978, Andres Valiente sold a parcel of land to respondents Jose and Perla Castuera (Spouses Castuera). On 21 May 2003, the Spouses Castuera filed with the RTC an application for original registration of title over the property. The Spouses Castuera presented three witnesses as well as documentary evidence which includes tax receipts and an advance plan with a notation stating that the land is alienable and disposable.
Petitioner Republic of the Philippines (petitioner), through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed an opposition to the application for original registration. The RTC granted the application for original registration of title over the property. Upon petitioner’s appeal, the Spouses Castuera attached to their appellees’ brief a certification from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) stating that the subject land is alieanable and disposable.
Are the advance plan and CENRO certification sufficient to prove the alienable and disposable character of the property?
No. The advance plan and the CENRO certification are insufficient proofs of the alienable and disposable character of the property. The applicant for land registration must prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land of the public domain as alienable and disposable, and that the land subject of the application for registration falls within the approved area per verification through survey by the PENRO or CENRO. In addition, the applicant must present a copy of the original classification of the land into alienable and disposable, as declared by the DENR Secretary, or as proclaimed by the President. Such copy of the DENR Secretary’s declaration or the President’s proclamation must be certified as a true copy by the legal custodian of such official record. These facts must be established to prove that the land is alienable and disposable.
G.R. No. 203384, January 14, 2015
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, vs. SPS. JOSE CASTUERA PERLA CASTUERA, Respondents.