Lot owners need to prove their right to the real property that they bought before it can be registered under their name, the Supreme Court said in a ruling.
In a nine-page resolution made public yesterday, the high court’s First Division turned down the petition filed by the spouses Rufus Rodriguez and Fenina Rodriguez questioning the lower court’s decision against their application for land registration over a parcel of land.
The property in Silang, Cavite has an area of 1,744 square meters and had been purchased by the Rodriguezes in 1997 from a certain Francisco Poblete, who in turn purchased the property in 1979 from a certain Engracia Garcia who bought it in 1948 from the original owner, Urbano Descallar.
The Rodriguezes claimed that along with the predecessors-in-interest and previous owners of the land, they should be deemed to be in possession of the property for more than 50 years. They had, in fact, planted fruit-bearing trees and vegetations on the property as well as paid taxes on the same.
The SC, in denying the Rodriguezes’ claim, pointed out that they failed to prove they are entitled to a title to the property even as they produced certifications from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office as well as tax declarations receipts.
“Clearly, the CENRO and PENRO certifications which spouses Rodriguez presented are not enough evidence to prove the alienable and disposable nature of Lot 2260. Apart from these twin certifications, spouses Rodriguez should have also presented a copy of the original classification of Lot 2260 duly approved by Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary or as proclaimed by the president and certified as a true copy by the legal custodian thereof.” the court said.
The tribunal noted that under Presidential Decree 1529, which the Rodriguezes cited, among those who are entitled to the registration of title to land must prove they derived their right from predecessors-in-interest or previous owners under a bonafide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier. “The property remains to be part of the inalienable and indisposable lands of the public domain, hence, incapable of registration or titling in the name of the spouses Rodriguez or any private person or entity,” it added.*PNA