It has been long settled that the Royal Audiencia or Supreme Court had steadily uphold the ownership of the vast track of land covered by Titulo Propriedad de Terrenos, Royal Decree 01-4° in favor of the registered owners, Don Hermogenes A. Rodriguez and Don Miguel A. Rodriguez whose interest and legal rights over the subject land had been acquired by Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado by the principle of fee simple and by the virtue of judicial proceeding, clearly established as the registered owner.
FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW:
HISTORY OF ACOPIADO ESTATE
FACTS OF THE CASE
Original land title; the Titulo Possessorio de Terrenos was issued on January 7, 1864. Said title has been rectified by virtue of Royal Decree of 1891 known as Titulo Propiedad de Terrenos, Royal Degree 01-4° Protocol. King Alfonso XII ordered the grant of the land title covering the whole archipelago to Don Hermogenes A. Rodriguez and Don Miguel A. Rodriguez. They registered the said land title in the same year under Cuaderno Supletorio del Registro de Anotaciones de Titulos de Propiedad de Terrenos Espedidos Porgla Direccion General de Administracion Civil . Ownership was also recorded at Gaceta de Manila on November 10, 1894.
THE PARAMOUNT TITLE OF THEM ALL
This was the heading on the face of the title:
TITULO DE PROPIEDAD
ROYAL DEGREE NO. 01-4° PROTOCOL
Año 1826 – 1861 – 1891
Many were confused, thought that the latter was a Spanish title, because the heading as well as the contents were written in Spanish.
Spanish title solely relies on the existing natural boundaries to determine the land area being covered by such claim or ownership, whereas;
Torrens system (title) is more definite and exact measurement of land area using the four directions, North, East, South and West and along with degrees.
FIRST GEODETIC SURVEY OF THE PHILIPPINES
On July 30, 1789, two Spanish corvettes, the Altrevida and the Descubierta, under the command of Captain Alejandro Malaspina, left Cadiz, Spain. These corvettes were dispatched by the Spanish government to make scientific observations and conduct geodetic surveys of the coasts of Spanish America, Marianas, and the Philippines.
From the above-mentioned piece of information, it can be figured out that Titulo Propiedad de Terrenos, being the title that covers the entire archipelago has already appropriate technical descriptions based on the conducted geodetic survey in the Philippines on July 30, 1789.
ANALYZING THE TITLE:
01-4 signifies the four (4) directions from one (1) to four (4) which are North, East, South and West (NEWS).
° this small circle after the number 4 denotes degree, which is a unit of latitude or longitude used in surveying of land, also serves as an aid to navigation.
From this discussion alone, we deduced that Titulo Propiedad de Terrenos, Royal Degree 01-4° Protocol has already the character of the Torrens system.
PROTOCOL means the first copy of a treaty or other documents prior to its ratification. ROYAL DEGREE 01-4° emanated from the previous Royal Decrees issued, namely; Royal Decree of 1826, Royal Decree of 1881 and Royal Decree of 1891 as can be seen at the heading of the title.
The intersecting lines represent the four directions, North, East, West and South (NEWS) shown on the superimposed map on the face of the title, is the tie point or the reference point.
It was in early days of American era that Titulo Propiedad de Terrenos, Royal Degree 01-4° Protocol was transformed to Original Certificate of Title 01-4° or OCT 01-4. This was a conclusive indication that Titulo Propiedad de Terrenos possessed the criteria of a surveyed land; the principal requirement set forth by the Land Registration Act 496 of 1902.
Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado appears to have a blood relation with Don Hermogenes A. Rodriguez and Don Miguel A. Rodriguez whose great, great grandfather, Don Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa was likewise the predecessor of his mother, Doña Ma. Isabel Rodriguez Madrigal.
TREATY OF PARIS
On Dec. 10, 1898, Spain signed the Treaty of Peace in Paris which ceded Philippine Islands to the United States of America. The Treaty includes the protection of all the archive records of the land titles and important documents thereto.
The Treaty of Paris mandated all government institutions including its government officials to respect land ownership in the Philippines evidenced by President McKinley’s instructions to the Second Philippine Commission on April 7, 1900:
“that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation; that if the same public interests require the extinguishment of property rights lawfully acquired and held, due compensation shall be made out of the public treasury therefore.”
Titulo Propiedad de Terrenos of 1891, Royal Degree 01-4° Protocol was duly received by the then Director of Lands FROM THE Bureau of Archives on November 11, 1916 and being used as reference of the said government bureau.
October 3, 1904 – Approval of the Decree of Registration No. 297, affirming said OCT 01-4° was valid from probative nature of land titles of ownership prescribed by the Land Registration Act 496.
1907 – Approval of Plan LRD 235 comprising of Parcel One, containing an area of 30,695,700 hectares and Parcel Two, containing an area of 45,424,500 hectares.
JUDICIALLY ISSUED UNDER LRA 496
October 14, 1913 – Don Hermogenes A. Rodriguez, and Don Miguel A. Rodriguez sold their entire property by way of absolute sale in favor of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado, and Doña Maria Camella Sarmento Madrigal under Notary Public Doc. No. 40, Book No. 6, Page No. 124, Series of 1913 by Andres G. Valdivia, Manila, Philippines.
March 14, 1914 – Said property had been revalidated as required by Republic Act 2259 or Cadastral Proceedings of February 11, 1913 and it construed as Torrens title forever and found no errors by the Cadastral Court and the same had been processed and cleared by Section 39 of R.A. 496 in favor of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado.
June 7, 1932 – Issued TCT No. 408 in the name of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado married to Doña Maria Camella Sarmento Madrigal.
August 10, 1934 – Issued TCT No. 498, in favor of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal,
July 5, 1936 – Issued TCT No. 407 in favor of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal.
April 20, 1937 – Issued TCT No. 409 in favor of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal.
Said TCTs have corresponding approved plan and derived from OCT 01-4.
The registration, like what Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado had done by annotation of their interest in the lands at the back of TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409, treated constructive notifications to the general public and the whole world in particular as provided by Section 51 of Land Registration Act 496, because it is the act of registration that validates the conveyance of registered parcel of lands for complete ownership requirements of the one who bought thereto. Furthermore, Torrens Titles like TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409 bind the land owner with the land Torrens System forever over and above other claimants.
December 9, 1937 – Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the owner, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado in favor of the American Government covering the area of 100 hectares, portion of Bicutan, Taguig. This area is part of 32,884 hectares, annotated at the back of TCT No. 408.
December 9, 1937 – Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the owner, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado in favor of Insular Government of the Philippines embracing the area of Intramuros, portion of Paco, San Andres, San Marcelino, Malate, Pasay City, Makati and Pandacan, annotated at the back of TCT No. 408.
Sometime in the year 1950, the Owner’s Certificate of Title 01-4° which was filed in the Register of Deeds of Pasig, Province of Rizal was razed by fire. Certification was furnished by the officer of the Land Registration Commission confirming to that effect.
December 2, 1953 – Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the owner Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado in favor of the Philippine Air Lines covering the area of 75 hectares annotated at the back of TCT No. 408.
September 9, 1955 - Creation of the Land Tenure Administration under Republic Act No. 1400. The said agency was supervised by the Director of Lands, Zoilo Castrilio and LRC Administrator, Antonio Noblejas who had done initial salvaging of the pertinent documents of the lawful owner, destroying the microfilm, fraudulently distorting the technical descriptions, land data, its Decree 297 with Cad. Rec. 475, Plan II-69, PSU No. 2031 and Plan II-668, PSU No. 3226 of the subject lands covered by TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409. These unlawful acts were in connivance with the Secretary of Agriculture, Salvador Araneta, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Jose M. Tuazon of Bataan and their cohorts in the indirect selling of said lands to some real estate developers and squatters then in the form of massive issuance of Free Patent Titles and OCTs as well as TCTs of no origin.
EVOLUTION OF THE CASE
In the later part of 1962, a vaudeville court proceedings between the PHHC, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General for and in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines under LRC/Civil Case No. 997-P in CFI, Quezon City opened up against Eulalio Ragua, holder of OCT 632 and the heirs of Mariano Severo Tuazon, and the J.M. Tuazon and Co. Inc., the holder of OCT 735. Both titles embraced 4, 399, 322 square meters in Culiat, Diliman, Quezon City. This is where different interests lay like the Quezon City Hall, Philippine Science High School, Quezon Memorial Circle, Visayas Avenue, the Quezon Memorial Park and Wildlife, the ongoing U.P. Village, the East Triangle and West Triangle where the Philam Homes has been situated, the ongoing Project 6 Housing Project, the ongoing Vashra Village, the U.S. Veterans Memorial Hospital, the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, the Bureau of Land and Forestry, the Philippine Sugar Regulatory Commission, the General Auditing Office, the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration, the Department of Transportation and Communication, the U.P. Building, the newly developed Pag-asa Village, the San Francisco Elementary School, the Philippine Veterans Village, and Project 7, the ongoing Mindanao Subdivision, the Bago Bantay Resettlement Housing Project, and Fourth and Fifth of the North Triangle of the Phil-Am Life Homes Housing Project. Eulalio Ragua, the holder of OCT 632 had enabled to file similar complaint over the same subject matters against the government cohorts in the said moro-moro proceedings in CFI of Quezon City under Civil Case No. C-119.
The Honorable Solicitor General, Felix Makasiar, by way of his motion filed in the said Quezon City CFI has enabled to gain Court Resolution stopping the said CFI Judge to hear the Civil Case No.C-119. This is to prevent the illicit exploitation of Philippine Judicial System for personal whims and the duplicity of court action and decision that may impede the interest of the national government in as much as those plaintiffs, respondents-oppositors are persons of the same nature and interest with the same identities, who also have the same subject matters under LRC/Civil case No. 997-P. The suspension of the Civil Case No. C-119 for further proceeding had been granted by the said CFI Court, Quezon City in response to the petition filed by the Hon. Solicitor General.
THE ORIGINAL CASE
LRC/CIVIL CASE No. 997-P was consolidated to LCR/Civil Case No. 3957-Pfor separate judgment re: Reconstitution of OCT 01-4 with Annulment of OCT No. 01 to OCT No. 100,000. Under the same sala to avoid conflicting dates of hearing of two cases under the same subject matter.
JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
On July 14, 1964, Judge Agana’s predecessor had declared that all OCTs numbered from 01 to 100, 000 non-bankable due to their fraudulent characteristics, pronounced null and void, ab initio by virtue of the petition filed by the Republic of the Philippines. From which, the petitioner, the Republic of the Philippines acquired its interest and rights over the lands under the principles of public domain, alleging in the petition that Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal have no surviving heirs whosoever, so, therefore, under the law, said big tract of lands, be reverted to the national government.
On the above proceedings, the Republic of the Philippines had utilized Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado’s documents presented as government’s position papers for court exhibits, to wit:
1) OCT 01-4°, in certified true copy procured by the Office of the Solicitor General and marked as Exhibit E-1.
2) TCT No. 408, in certified true copy and made as an integral part of the Republic of the Philippines position paper.
3) TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407, and TCT No. 409 in certified true copy in the name of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Maria Camella Sarmento Madrigal, marked as Exhibit E, E-1, E-2, and E-3 and made as an integral part of the Republic of the Philippines position papers.
4) Tax Declaration No. 4136, Decree No. 297, Rec. 475, TCT No. 408 of the real property in the name of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and marked as Annex B and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper.
5) Tax Declaration No. 3682, Rec. No. 4720, Decree No. 297 of the real property covered by TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409 in the certified true copy in the name of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella S. Madrigal and marked as Exhibit C and the same was made as integral part of the government’s position paper.
6) Certified true copy of the Approved Plan, LRD 235 in 1907, Decree 297, Rec. No. 475, under Royal Decree 01-4° issued in the name of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez embracing the whole archipelago and marked as Exhibit D, and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper.
7) Certified Approved Re-surveyed Plan PSU No. 2031, Plan II-69, Decree 297 of the real properties under TCT No. 408 for and in the name of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado containing an area of 125,326.37 hectares marked as E and made as an integral part hereof for the position paper of the Republic of the Philippines.
8) Certified Approved Re-surveyed Plan, PSU No. 3226, Plan II-668, Decree No. 297 of the real properties under TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409 in the name of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado covering an area of 271,276 hectares marked as Exhibit F as requested by Hon. Solicitor General and made as an integral part of the position paper of the Republic of the Philippines.
9) Cash voucher marked as Exhibit A-2 to A-19, as evidenced of yearly rental payment of the Republic of the Philippines that enter into yearly Lease Agreement to the landowners, Don Gregorio M. Acopiado and Don Anacleto M. Acopiado since the year 1948. Said documents were issued by the Office of the President including an annotation regarding the execution of a Deed of Absolute Sale duly executed by Don Anacleto M. Acopiado on December 2, 1953. This was through the mediation of the late President Ramon Magsaysay in consideration of Php 1, 250, 000.00 paid by the Office of the President of the Philippines in the form of donation to and in favor of Don Benigno Toda, General Manager and owner of Philippine Airlines (PAL), upon request of the Solicitor General and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper.
10) Sworn Affidavit, Paragraph C of Hon. LRC Deputy Administrator, Gregorio Bilog, Jr. which was incorporated in the government’s position paper declaring that OCT No. 01-4, which was registered in the name of Don Hermogenes A. Rodriguez in favor of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado marked as Exhibit H and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper.
11) Paragraph D of the government’s position paper declaring the following OCTs and TCTs as fraudulent, no probative value such as OCT 4136, OCT 4085, OCT 369, OCT 334, OCT 408, OCT 498, OCT 779, OCT 291, OCT 160, OCT 242, OCT 632, OCT 339, OCT 623, OCT 2410, OCT 529, OCT 393, OCT 543, OCT 549, OCT 847, OCT 730, OCT 735, OCT 614, OCT 529, OCT 656, OCT 994, OCT 222, and TCT No. 2288, TCT No. 30226, TCT No. 281828, TCT No. 302226, TCT No. 478 and Lot No. 392, that OCT No. 01 to 4085, except that of OCT No. 01-4 which were declare null and void ab initio, and that OCT No. 4086 up to OCT 100, 000 which were declared null and void ab initio by LRC Administrator, Antonio Noblejas and was reciprocated by circumstances and severally upheld by the Supreme Court in the later years and made as an integral part of the position paper of the Philippines.
12) Certification of NBI Director, Jolly Bugarin with his Sworn Statement marked as Exhibit D-34, manifesting that all land titles marked under Exhibit D-1 to D-33 were fraudulent and derived from spurious origin and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper.
13) Sworn Affidavit which was incorporated in government’s position paper, Paragraph E, of Hon. LRC Administrator Antonio Noblejas declaring that TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409, were eligible and with probative value in favor of the landowners, Don Gregorio M. Acopiado and Don Anacleto M. Acopiado, marked as Exhibit J and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper.
14) Paragraph F, manifested by the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Jose P. Laurel’s dissenting opinion, it declared that Royal Decree of June 25, 1880, Article 4 and 5 declaring that the subject properties under TCT 408 and 498 in the name of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado including the Hacienda Maricodo or Maharlika under OCT 01-4 in the absence of just compensation, all Presidential Proclamations, Executive Orders, Letter of Instructions and Decrees of any purpose or purposes had no force and effect over the real properties covered by Torrens title, marked as Exhibit G and made as integral part of the government’s position paper.
15) Paragraph G of the government’s position paper declared that both Hermogenes Antonio Rodriguez and Miguel Antonio Rodriguez left the country in the year 1914 for Sine Libires. In contrary, the same had not been rebutted by the heirs of the Rodriguez.
16) Paragraph H of the government’s position paper marked as Exhibit I manifesting and declaring that Royal Decree of 1493 up to 1864, 1891, 1894 and 1898 had recognized the eligible ownership of the landowners, Don Hermogenes A. Rodriguez and eventually, to Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado over the land covered by OCT No. 01-4°. Thereby, said land had been exempted from expediencies and/or adjustments of its area, considering, that the subject land had been titled for so long under the virtue of Royal Decree 01-4° Protocol as adopted by the Royal Audiencia in the Philippines and had recognized as well by the Philippine Commission. That the subject land had undergone the trial of Republic Act 2259, better known as Cadastral Act of 1913 that tested the credibility of the land area and its eligible ownership over the land.
17) Paragraph I of the government’s position paper declaring that Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado died during the Japanese Occupation and left no will and legitimate heirs whosoever. But, it was controverted totally and denied by the intervenors because in due time, the subject heirs were summoned and appeared physically in an open court.
JUDICIAL WISDOM OF SOLICITOR GENERAL FELIX MAKASIAR
This magistrate of justice was so thankful to the sound and meritorious judicial procedures that were asserted by our then judiciary Solicitor General Felix Makasiar, who sent summons and subpoenas to the heirs in Hawaii and to their old residence in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City. Don Anacleto M. Acopiado filed their opposition papers adopting government’s position papers (Acopiados’ documents) prior to the release of the Decision dated July 14, 1964.
The Republic of the Philippines succeeded in the issuance of July 14, 1964 Decision, nullifying the above given OCTs from OCT No. 01 to OCT No. 100, 000 in favor of the Republic only, but, the Decision for the reconveyance of the subject property in favor of the Republic of the Philippines by reason of no eligible heirs of the true land owners, had been reverted by way of intervention filed by the heir of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado in the person of Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado. That caused this LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P railroad up till 1972.
The Hon. Court by the Motion of the Solicitor General brought the LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P under CFI, Branch 28, Pasay City on the ground that in this sala has fewer pending cases unlike in the sala of CFI, Quezon City that has a tremendous big backlog of both civil and criminal cases that may reach two centuries before the case reached a final and binding judgment.
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS DISAPPEARED
It has been established by strong evidences through chronological historic judicial records that Acopiado heirs did not abandon the possession over their titled land and their absolute ownership never ends against the holder of all fake titles. In page 111 (12) of Decision with Compromise Agreement, stated that:
After the war, between 1948 to 1956, beyond the knowledge of the clan, all ownership’s supporting evidences compiled in the Register of Deeds of the Province of Manila, now, Manila City and in the Province of Rizal together those in the Bureau of Archives, including the Plan II-69-PSU 2031, Plan II-668-PSU 3226 under LRD 235 of 1907 in the Gaceta de Manila were reported vanished. This was followed by successful alteration by the heirs of the oppositors in conspiracy with the administration particularly in the LRC, PHHC, Register of Deeds and those in the Bureau of Archives which divulged that around 500,000 historical documents that include ownership’s evidences over the subject lands were directly stolen by those who have vested interest causing them to disappear from the records.
The sinful undertakings have initiated the emergence and proliferation of fraudulent titles like OCT 369 in the name of Don Hermogenes Reyes Rodriguez and Antonio Reyes Rodriguez, followed by OCT 4136 in the name of Mariano San Pedro who became steward of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez, OCT 779 in the name of Domingo Ocampo, the nearest kin of Atty. Pablo Ocampo, Sr., the old time legal counsel of the Acopiado clan.
The manipulation escalated to massive frauds that gives rise to the issuance of 100,000 fake land titles in OCTs which were scattered to many prominent names of known businessmen and developers intended to defeat the original land title of the true owners of OCT No. 01-4°. Like for example, the issuance of OCT 40875 in the name of late Agapito Bonson connotes that the former delegate of the Malolos Constitution who died before World War II had risen from his grave to be able to register his land holdings OCT 40875 in the year 1964.
These facts serve as concrete bases adopted by the Republic of the Philippines to file a petition for the cancellation of OCTs No. 01 to 100,000 represented by Hon. Solicitor General, Felix Macasiar and thus, was granted by the court.
Anent to the aforecited facts is the testimony of former DOJ Secretary Salvador Mariño utilized as government’s position paper before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which was also used in the year 1968 Senate Inquiry headed by the then Senate President, Gil Puyat. It stated that the government had issued only one land title, OCT 01-4 and the decree issued in 1904 and 1910 for the whole archipelago, and that its expediencies TCT No. 408 for the whole Cavite, Greater Manila Area, portion of Batangas, whole of Rizal and a portion of Laguna, and that TCT No. 498, for some municipalities and cities of the Greater Manila Area, and portion of Rizal Province, TCT No. 409, portion of Quezon Province and TCT No. 407, Bulacan. And thereafter, if any other land titles exist other than those mentioned land titles, they are alleged to be fraudulent titles in character and are null and void, ab initio.
CONDITIONS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SEPARATE DECISION WITH COMPROMISE AGREEMENT
After the court had denied the reconveyance of the subject property in favor of the government, then came to the stipulation for the issuance of the Decision with Compromise Agreement represented by the Macapagal Administration on the part of the national government and Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado.
But in 1965 presidential election, Diosdado Macapagal loses his presidency to Ferdinand E. Marcos.
During Marcos administration, there are some proposed amendments over the conditions set forth by the Macapagal administration, as follows:
1) That the proposed Lungsod Silangan embracing around 46, 000 hectares in Antipolo, San Mateo, Montalban, San Jose del Monte, Taytay, Morong, Baras, Estrella, Paete, Pililia, Jalajala, Infanta, Nakkar and Real should be paid only to the lawful beneficiary of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado or his successor in interest, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado at Php 5.00 per square meter, payable in one (1) year in four (4) equal installments.
2) That the Land Reform Program of the present administration should be maintained by the landowner, except the lands already under payment of the Land Bank. But, the value of the land acquired through the Land Bank Financing Facility should be paid in cash to the landowner, Don Anacleto M. Acopiado or to his successor in interest, in person of Roberto P. Acopiado at a price of Php 0.50 per square meter or at Php 5,000 per hectare for five year-equal quarterly installments.
3) That the mining and marine resources, and all the resources that may be found above and below the Philippine soils should fall within the ambit and the regulations of the relevant laws particularly, the forest and mining laws, fishery laws and ordinances of both national and local governments, but, not to the extent of depriving ownership’s absolute interests and privileges of Don Anacleto M. Acopiado.
4) That the land which has been awarded in favor of the farmers by virtue of Land Reform Program should be well respected, except, when the landholding of the farmers’ interest for conversion than that of agricultural purposes, the landowner have the absolute right to recall the land subjected into land reform to protect the interests of the farmers/beneficiaries.
5) That the national government through the Marcos administration had waived its interest over all public lands which are found untitled including mountains, forests, rivers and seas, except, when the subject lands has a valid land title. The government has deemed to revert the land and its interest to Madrigal Acopiado clan if covered by defective land title, decree and/or relevant documents.
6) That all the lands occupied by the government buildings and infrastructures, locals or nationals including those hospitals, capitols, city halls, municipal halls and dams should be maintained to the national and local government in the name of the people of the Philippines, except on the conditions that any said structures that would be subjected for reversion, conversion or sale to other parties defeating the principle of the public domain and either defeating the Filipino people’s interest as beneficiaries, the same structure, title and interest should be reverted to the true owner, Don Gregorio M. Acopiado or to his successor in interest, Don Anacleto M. Acopiado. These conditions have limits on the public market and public malls that the direct taxes have been remitted to the national or local government. Private market operator should pay the landowner the required rental of Php 500.00 per square meter monthly.
Finally, in the interest of justice, the proposed conditions of the past Macapagal administration as represented by former Hon. Secretary of Justice Salvador Mariño and President Diosdado Macapagal, and now the Marcos administration and his Honorable Solicitor General and with the conformity of the heirs of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and his grandson, Don Roberto P. M. Acopiado represented by their legal counsel, retired Judge Cesar Paras had refined into a joint stipulation on the purpose of the urgent motion requiring this court for the issuance of Decision with Compromise Agreement, excepting it from the required five (5) years prescription period to execute the same; considering the land tax requirements amounting to Php 250, 000, 000.00 as assessed becomes a prerequisite prior to the issuance of the reconstituted land title No. OCT 01-4, TCT No. 408, TCT No. 407, TCT No. 409 and TCT No. 498 amelioration tax and other relative realty taxes.
NUMEROUS ISSUES RAISED AS DILATORY TACTICS
It was clearly established from the foregoing proceedings that the vast tract of land under OCT 01-4° was owned by the Acopiados, and the government’s intention of taking it away from them had been implemented through the petition filed by the Republic of the Philippines for the Reconstitution of OCT 01-4°, Reconveyance of Real Properties and the Cancellation of Fake OCT’s from OCT No. 01 to OCT 100, 000. Hence and reverting the lands covered by OCT 01-4° in favor of the government. However, by the intervention of Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado the court reverted its decision favoring Acopiados’ for the reconveyance of Real properties. But there were several issues that have been raised to hold back Acopiados’ right of ownership, as stated below:
IMPEDED BY LEGAL IMPEDIMENTS
According to the comments of the LRA and the Republic of the Philippines, the issuance of Judgment with Compromise Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Acopiados are impeded by legal impediments in the issuance of said reconstituted OCT, and the same should not be implemented for the issuance of both owner’s and duplicate copies of the original reconstituted land titles OCT No. 01-4° by the Hon. Register of Deeds of the Province of Bulacan because of the following grounds;
1. There is no law authorizing the reconstitution of the lost owner’s and duplicate copies of title OCT No. 01-4°, TCT No. 408 and TCT No. 498 administratively. Under the Land Registration Act (Act 141), if a duplicate certificate is lost or destroyed, the registered owner or other person in interest before the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the land is situated may file a suggestion of the fact of such loss or destruction. In other words, the procedure should be judicial in character.
2. Assuming, but not admitting that the owner’s copy may be reconstituted administratively, we believe the same should not be given due course because of the spurious characteristics of said title, as shown hereunder:
A) Plan II-69, Plan II-668 as mentioned on the face of the title, Plan II-668 has not yet been applied for original registration as appearing in our Survey Book.
B) Decree No. 297 covers only a parcel of land in Cavite and not in Greater Manila as per our records.
C) That alleged derivative title, which is OCT No. 01-4°, is a well known Spanish title.
D) Plan PSU 2031 mentioned at the back of the title is the same Private Survey Number involved in the survey in the so-called Hacienda Maricaban, which supposedly covered large tract of land in the name of Fort William McKinley and Pedro Roxas, including portion of Taguig, Parañaque and Pasay City registered in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.
3. Without evaluating its authenticity, it is obvious that the proposed Decision with Compromise Agreement could have the same effect over the subject land because it cannot be enforced by execution. Under the Supreme Court ruling, the land data, if any there be found dubious, the same cannot be utilized for public good because it is null and void, ab initio in origin.
OPPOSITION: This Honorable Court could not be convinced on the number one reason given by the Hon. Administrator, Antonio Noblejas due to the fact that the issuance of the reconstituted land title, particularly OCT No. 01-4° based on the Judicial Judgment rendered by then designated judge on October 3, 1904 is in accordance with Land Registration Act 496 of 1902, clearing it from its legal impediment for the non-enforceability. Besides, the court proceedings have been conducted in accordance with the set up jurisprudence based on the Rules of Court 132 and 135 and in accordance with Section 15 of the Republic Act 26 which behest that the reconstitution is an Administrative Procedure; definitely it was a Judicial in Character per se.
Pertaining to spurious origin of said Plan II-668, PSU 3226, Plan II-69, PSU 2031 and Decree 297, these were also subjected into alteration, manipulation and distortion. Particularly, that Decree 297 was altered for certain Manuel Ruiz y Javier and in favor of the Maricaban Estate to degrade the credibility of the Hermogenes Antonio Rodriguez over the estate’s ownership, and they created a vacuum which is another basis for the land grabbers to proliferate their unlawful activities. The mass production of invalid titles is identical to raping the good value of the country’s Torrens system, a continuing cycle of scam to the prejudice of the government and the general public. It was a known fact that LRC Commissioner Antonio Noblejas and Asst. Gregorio Bilog, Jr. divulged the modus operandi of the organized syndicates in both LRC and the Bureau of Lands in order to defeat the interest of the herein land owners. The admission of this land authority that the eligible land records and documents of the Acopiados like OCT No. 01-4°, TCT No. 408 and TCT No. 498 have been subjected in to manipulation, alteration and falsification were orchestrated by no other than in the LRC and the Bureau of Land in connivance with those in the Register of Deeds.
Based on certified copy of the excerpt from the sworn testimonies of NBI Director, Jolly Bugarin before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee headed by the Senate President, Gil Puyat and made as an integral part of the government’s position paper, had divulged several modus operandi of those in the LRC, Bureau of Lands before, in conspiracy with those influential groups in the government. The massive issuance of fake land titles affected the titles of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado, OCT No. 01-4°, TCT No. 498 and TCT No. 408 in favor of the land grabbers and oligarch real estate developers as they were benefited by those who could pay lucrative sum.
The false allegations of the LRA, an old trick annihilating the credibility of monumental documents (decree, plans, titles) of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado by the Task Force Titulong Malinis and other government agencies/offices concerned in land titling was clearly negated by the above-cited testimonies of former NBI Director Jolly Bugarin and from the LRC Commissioners. And those massive issuance fake land titles was bolstered by former DOJ Secretary, Serafin Cuevas in his article published by Diario Uno dated November 4, 1998 entitled; “100,000 Fake Land Titles Kalat sa Bansa – Register of Deeds Kasabwat ng Sindikato”.
NO PROBATIVE VALUE
The issue that the titles TCT No. 408, and TCT No. 498 has no longer probative value on the reasons that the Spanish titles and Spanish Mortgage Law are supposed to be abrogated for national interest, on salient point, that the said land titles cannot facilitate the purpose of the true owners.
OPPOSITION: Said argument is baseless on the very reason that was manifested by the Acopiado heirs. Said TCT No. 408 and TCT No. 498 could not be affected by the laws which are not yet enacted even if for national interest, although, OCT 01-4° came from its Spanish origin, its corresponding Decree of Registration, particularly, Decree 297 had been issued in 1904 and 1910 covered by Land Registration Act 496. Aside from that another Land Authority requirements under Cadastral Act 2259 clearly connotes that subject land had been placed in compliance with PSU 2031, Plan II-69 and Plan II-668 and LRD 235 that had been issued in the year 1907 embracing the whole archipelago affirming that there were Cadastral Surveys over the estate and were approved on March 6, 1915, March 4, 1916 and September 9, 1916 respectively. By these reasons, it clarified the absolute ownership of the land owner, the late Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado. Furtherly said TCT No. 408 and TCT No. 498 were already land titles in Torrens character. Besides, any law such as Proclamations, Ordinances, Letter of Instructions or Decrees has no retroactive effect over the land evidenced by Torrens system. OCT No. 01-4° with Decree No. 297 and TCT No. 408, also TCT No. 498 cannot be nullified in as much as the judgment of the Land Registration Court had met the pre-requisites of jurisprudence over the registration of this land case, and had been rendered by the judge who handled the land registration proceedings in accordance with due process as the requirements set forth by the law under Rule 132 and Rule 135 as defined by the Rules of Court of the Republic of the Philippines.
NO PHYSICAL DELIVERY
This is another issue raised by the Hon. Solicitor General pertaining to a defective ownership of the Madrigal Acopiados over the subject land which was alleged unforceable on the mere reason that the vendor had not completed the requirements of the sale involving the subject land which is the physical delivery of the land assigned to the Acopiados.
OPPOSITION: Said argument is only applicable for the sale of movable property. In a universal acceptance involving real estate transactions in consonance with property rights and adopted doctrine enforced by the wisdom of the Land Registration Act, physical delivery of the vendors, Don Hermogenes Antonio Rodriguez and Miguel Antonio Rodriguez, to the vendee, Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal is only a matter of satisfying the principle of fee simple which can be done by way of execution of public instrument on conveyance and the corresponding registration of deeds which is an operative act that transfers and binds the lands. The said procedure is well taken in a case, Bautista vs. Exconde, 70 Phil., 398; and the same was enlightened many times by the Supreme Court Decision in similar circumstances and finally, actual possession over the land acquired and purchased is merely incidental to the ownership of title.
PARTIES IN INTEREST WERE NOT AROUND – Decree Registration
Similarly, the court cannot sustain the defense of the national government, the heirs of Hermogenes Rodriguez, the heirs of Mariano Severo Tuazon and the Tuazon Company, including the defense of the Ortigas Company that they were not around as parties in interest when the Decree of Registration over the subject land had been conducted in said proceedings.
OPPOSITION: In the rule of registration, Decree of Registration could not be re-opened by reasons of absence, minor age or by reason of disability of any person adversely affected by said decree of registration, or not by any proceeding in any court like for this instance. But such judgment may be subjected for reversal, nevertheless, to every right of any person including the government and its branches thereof if their interest had been deprived by actual fraud, should be filed in the court of origin or any court of competent jurisdiction within one year after the entry of such decree is instituted as registered which parenthetically true in the case of Cruz vs. Del Valle, 55 O.G.P. 9901, November 23, 1952, CA; Samonte, et. al. vs. Descallar, et. al., 107 Phil 198 (1960).
A Land Registration Court proceeding is an action in rem, therefore, the decree of registration after it has been issued to the party in interest binds upon and conclusive against all persons of any nature including the government, the Republic of the Philippines and its branches, agencies and instrumentalities, whether or not they were notified of the filing of the application intended for registration, or neither have appeared and filed for the corresponding answer against such application because, as a rule, all parties in interest are considered as notified by the publication required by the law. This case was strongly cited in Sorsogon, et. al., vs. Makalintal, et. al., 45 O.G. 9, 3819, September 1949.
RESOLVING THE OWNERSHIP
Going back to the main aspect, the Motion of the Republic of the Philippines to resolve first the ownership over the said land covered by OCT No. 01-4° is tantamount of a petition for re-hearing of the case; a manifestation of raising the dead from the tomb, which in a clear sense is obviously unconstitutional. Ultimately, it is for the revival of this case which the presiding judge had lost his jurisdiction over the case after the Decision of the Land Registration Court had been finally decided and correspondingly terminated upon approval of Decree No. 297 on October 3, 1904 and its issuance in 1910, registered in the Land Registration Book. It had sustained by operation of the law by the approval of that Plan II-69, Plan II-668 and Plan LRD 235 of 1907, PSU 2031 for the Greater Manila Area of that Royal Degree 01-4° Protocol. Thereby, ownership of the land had been re-affirmed in favor of Hermogenes Rodriguez which indeed all rights and interests embracing the land in question were completely turned over to the heirs of Acopiado. Their title and interest prescribed in the judgment has remained sustainable and enforceable in Coram Nobis.
ON THE ISSUE OF RETROACTIVE EFFECT OF INCOMING LAWS
This court cannot furtherly sustain the argument of Hon. Solicitor General as to retroactive effect of that incoming laws even it is for national reason because it would create great menace throughout the country since the law has no retroactive effect over the probative value of TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498 and OCT No. 01-4°. Although it came from the Spanish title as origin, but, it had been duly registered under Land Registration Act 496 on October 3, 1904 and again, validated under Cadastral Act 2259 on March 14, 1914, an essential requirements of Torrens title. Generally, as it turns to usual practice that once an Original Certificate of Title (OCT) has successfully conveyed to Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), it absorbs the characteristics of being a Torrens title which has been adopted for many years by those in the real estate business and land authorities. Unless an invention could be created supplanting a Torrens system of title to another system of titling lands, the Torrens system of titling lands stands majestically above the test time and all natural vicissitudes.
Besides, such motion of the Republic of the Philippines as repeatedly quoted by Judge Agana, cannot be given due consideration on the case that had been closed and finally terminated to resolve the issue of ownership since the year 1904 after it became final and executory.
ON THE ISSUE OF LACHES
As a defense of the Ortigas and Company against the Acopiados jointly augmented by its correspondents and other party in interest led by the Hon. Solicitor General, Tuazon and Company, Inc., Bonifacio Regalado, the heirs of Atty. Gregorio and Salvador Araneta, the Ayala Corporation, the Pilar Village Corporation, the heirs of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez, the group of Manny Villar and Company, Don Mariano San Pedro and heirs, the Piedad Estate, the heirs of Pedro Roxas, the heirs of Patricia Tiongson, the Tiburcio and heirs of Antonio Pael, the heirs of Pedro and Salvador Layos, the claimants of Pasay and Maricaban Estate, the heirs of Fernando Jacinto, the Jacinto Steel Mills, Dr. Nicanor Jacinto, et. al., the heirs of Jose Dimsun, the heirs of Eulalio Ragua and Co., the heirs of Almeda and Co., Teodoro Lim and Felix Baez, the heirs of Agapito Bonson, the administration of Bicutan, Santos Pascual Market, the heirs of Dominador Ocampo Buhain, the heirs of Pedro and Antonio Cruz, the heirs of Juan Posadas, the heirs of Ponciano Padilla, the heirs of Fortunato Ricardo and Maria Pantaleon Santiago, the heirs of Sebastian Fajardo, the administrator of Nepa Q-Mart and claimants in the person of Don Facundo, the heirs of Doña Ochoa y Casal, the heirs of Antonio Aquial, the heirs of Julian and Juan Francisco, the heirs of Sonia Lim, the heirs of Santiago Garcia and Co., the heirs of Doña Aurora Fabella y Cardona and Co., the heirs of Felimon Aguilar of Las Piñas Municipal Hall, the heirs and administrator of Sarao Motors Corporation and Francisco Motors Corporation, the heirs and administrator of Goodyear Tire Rubber Company, the administrator of Firestone Tire Rubber Company, the Solid Mills and Co., the heirs and administrator of Philippine Shares Company, the administrator of Manila Railroad Company, the administrator of Pangasinan Transport and Co. (PANTRANCO), situated in Francisco del Monte, the administrator of William McKinley, the People’s Home and Housing Corporation, the administrator of Meralco and PLDT and Company, the National Development Corporation under the pretext of newly proposed name of NHA, the Land Registration Commission, and the Bureau of Lands and Forestry, for fairness to all, banking to the doctrine of “Stale Demand” is a defense that could not be ignored, an offshoot of the law of laches which is dazed upon the very foundation of sound public policy, a pre-requisite to attain peaceful society, it is the direct diffusion of stale claims. Unlike the statute of limitations, it is not merely a problem of time, but, principally by reason of the inequity or unreasonable acts, still allowing a right to enforce claims, which lapsed by reason of abandoning for a long period of time, particularly this time where aforementioned respondents and expositors against the Madrigal Acopiado heirs had many times introduced their improvements and fencing over the areas. Private and public commercial buildings including residential subdivisions and villages were erected thereon, which upon circumstances, the defense of laches is highly appreciable on the reason of unmanageable cost of money involved on the part of the developers and the national government.
OPPOSITION: If the Acopiado heirs had ignored or never protested such improvements, which construed that they are tolerant for long long years, yet, it had to prevent that laches have never constituted. Thus, ultimately barred the original owner from recovering the possession over the titled land by virtue of laches which is very true in a case of Mejia vs. Gamponia, 100 Phil. 277 (1956), Miguel vs. Catalino, 26 SCRA 2234 (1956).
On the other way around, the heirs of Madrigal Acopiado strongly manifested that they did not abandon their possession over their titled land. They presented strong evidences that their action for absolute ownership and possession over the subject lands never ends and borne out by historic judicial records which are chronologically stated in pages 104 to 113 of this Decision with Compromise Agreement. For these reasons, this court considered that Acopiados’ legal action never rested as manifested by LRC/Civil Case No. 997, later, 3957-P about the monumental historic circumstances where the relentless efforts of the lawful owners, the Acopiados have stretched their efforts for more than four (4) centuries of struggles in defending their lands, not only for the clans but to their noble aim; for the entire Filipino people toward sound and stable economic prosperity of the country. Yet, disregarding the issue of abandoning their interest over the land that drives the concept that the original owner became tolerant for quite sometime opening the Pandora’s box to attain the constituted laches. Indeed, delay in asserting one’s right before a court of justice to recover his possession and ownership over the land is strongly inadmissible for lack of merit of his claim, since it is clearly a human nature for a person to be timid to enforce his right when the same is coerced and threatened or invaded by excessive influential force and abusive authority in this government of selected few. Thus, he has never stopped by laches by questioning the ownership of the subject land, more specifically now where the City of Manila and its suburbs siege by military men of this administration to favor the interest of their cohorts in the real estate industry over the forthcoming suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Very clearly, a title once registered under the Torrens system of land registration cannot be defeated even by adverse, open and notorious possession or by laches. By tradition, registered title under the Torrens system cannot be defeated by prescription.
“It is a universal acceptance, the title of the land once registered under Torrens system is sufficient notice to the whole world because such action is an Action In Rem.”
All concern, including the government and its agencies should take notice of this rule;
“that no one can plead by reason of ignorance of registration.”
By the opinion of known eagles and judges of Philippine court and also many times the law had declared that;
“acquisition of title to real property by adverse possession is not applicable to the land.”
The law has admittedly said that even the national government may acquire the land in question owned by private persons by way of prescription even to the extent of taking the land for roads and highways or infrastructures by reason of eminent domain, the title thereof could not be transferred to the government which held under the case of Herrera vs. Auditor General, 102 Phil., 895 (1958) and Alfonso vs. Pasay City Government, 106 Phil., 1017 (1960).
“That such registered property cannot be lost to the government by prescription, and the owner is entitled to be paid of the price thereof” as prescribed by our 1935 Constitution, Section 2 of Article 3 (Bill of Rights).
The court maintained the doctrine that the registered owner under the Torrens system has an absolute right to recover possession of the registered property is highly imprescriptible, while possession over the land is only a consequence of ownership, thereby, it should be likewise unavailing against the latter’s hereditary succession because, they actually merely step into the shoes of the descendant by operation of the law. See Stun, et. al., vs. Nuñes, et. al., 97 Phil., 763 (1955).
That prescription will not lie upon, neither, that laches could be regarded and make available as lawful defense which was furtherly clarified in the case, De la Cruz vs. De la Cruz CA-GLR No. 18060-Rv, August 30, 1950.
It was properly established that the legal rights of the heirs of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado are fully supported by strong evidences of ownership over the land adopting the evidences of the Republic of the Philippines. Furthermore, the Hon. Solicitor General, failed to prove its better and stronger rights over its claim, that the subject land be reverted to public domain as there were no owners’ heirs survivor to claim it. But the claim of the government has been strongly opposed considering that no less than the Amicus Curea and this court were the ones that confirmed the legitimacy and the physical existence of the said landowners. Besides, the alleged expropriation of the government over the subject land in favor of legal owners/heirs has not been consummated that forced the Philippine government to file a Motion for the Issuance of the Separate Decision with Compromise Agreement with the lawful owners to protect the land actually occupied by its government buildings and its agencies, offices, including local government office instrumentalities.
DECISION WITH COMPROMISE AGREEMENT - RENDERED
On February 4, 1972, Decision With Compromise Agreement was issued by the late Hon. Enrique A. Agana, CFI Judge, Branch 28, Pasay City and becomes Final and Executory on April 4, 1972.
The Decision With Compromise Agreement is the defining document, the formal expression of an agreement reached between the government and the acknowledged owner Don Anacleto M. Acopiado, whose ownership of the subject lands was previously supported by the government’s position papers submitted by Hon. Solicitor General, Felix Macasiar to the Hon. Court to settle once and for all the issue of ownership over the land covered by the land title OCT No. 01-4° (all the land both above and below the waters of Archipelago) including the government petitions for judicial reconstitution of OCT No. 01-4° including TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407 and TCT No. 409 together with the cancellation of fake Original Certificate of Titles (OCT) from OCT No. 01 to OCT No. 100, 000.
Wherefore, in view of the Motion for the Resolution of Separate Decision with Compromise Agreement as submitted by the Republic of the Philippines thru its Solicitor General, the same has been granted and both owner’s and duplicate copies of the lost original of OCT 01-4° and TCT No. 12022 has been considered reconstituted with the same force and effect for and in favor of the heir of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado, Sr. in the person of Roberto P. Acopiado, his successor in interest is subjected to the following terms and conditions as herein stipulated by both proponents, namely: (Some numbers were skipped)
1) That the Republic of the Philippines thru its then President, His Excellency Diosdado Macapagal along with his then Secretary of Justice, Salvador Mariño and now had adopted by His Excellency, President Ferdinand E. Marcos along with his Hon. Solicitor General, representing as legal counsel of the Republic of the Philippines waived its right over the land that has been presently found public land but from fraudulent source or fraudulent in character to and in favor of the late Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado or to his heir or his successor in interest, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado, Sr., on the conditions that the land emancipated to the farmers-beneficiaries of the government’s Land Reform Program should be recognized and well respected. It should be free from any taint or maneuver of illegality or conversion of any party into commercial or other purposes than the objectives of the Land Reform Program. Otherwise, in case of breach over the conditions, said subject land should be recalled to and in favor of the owner, the Acopiado clan to secure the interest of the Filipino farmer-beneficiaries.
2) That all land covered by agricultural land reform should be preserved for the interest of the farmers and of the government, and only unpaid payments due to the land owner out of the expropriation proceedings should be paid to the eligible beneficiaries, the heir of Don Anacleto M. Acopiado, Sr.
3) That all lands occupied by government structures, either national or local, the same should be saved for the interest of public domain in the form of donation with consent of the land owner.
4) That all lands reserved for national park, hospitals and military camps prior before and after the administration of His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos, the same should be conserved, except, when subject properties would be subjected to a commercial use, said land should be reverted to the lawful owner, the Acopiado clan.
5) That the government, national or local should conserve environmental interest of the archipelago by instituting an appropriate laws and ordinances, otherwise when failed, the lawful heir have the rights to pursue the same by putting restrictions for prevention of hazard to the affected areas, either the sea, forests, rivers, mountains or valleys.
6) That the lawful heirs have the right to recall the land designated to the farmers or intended beneficiaries when said paramount purpose of the government defies or virtually diverted into a commercial interest for its cohorts, and/or only when said Land Reform and Urban Land Reform is for the benefits of other party or parties other than those beneficiaries, the Filipino farmers.
7) Ordering the Hon. Register of Deeds of the towns, cities and provinces where the land is located and/or directly the Hon. Register of Deeds of the Province of Rizal, Hon. Register of Deeds of Pasay, Hon. Register of Deeds of Manila to adopt the reconstituted owner’s and duplicate copies of the land title OCT No. 01-4° in the issuance of its expediency TCT’s (408, 498, 407 and 409) for and in favor of the late Don Gregorio M. Acopiado and his heirs and assignee to protect the Filipino people under the Torrens system’s law.
8) That the government buying price of the subject land from the Acopiado family should be subjected to the following quotation: (To simplify, only the place were enumerated. The price for residential, commercial and agricultural, omitted).
I Greater Manila Area
II Province of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas and Bulacan
III Provinces in Central Luzon including Pangasinan
IV Province of Ilocos Region including La Union
V Provinces of Mountain Province Region including Kalinga, Ifugao and Nueva Viscaya
VI Provinces of Northern Luzon Region including Isabela, Cagayan and Batanes
VII Provinces of Southern Tagalog including Quezon, Sub Province of Aurora, and Sub Province of Quirino
VIII Province of Mindoro
IX Provinces of Bicol and Catanduanes
X Province of Palawan
XI Provinces in Visayas
9) And that the Petition of the Republic of the Philippines for Reconveyance and Quieting and for Annulment of all the Titles that had been issued from OCT No. 01 to OCT 100, 000 particularly these OCT No. 2573, OCT 291, OCT 337, OCT 160, OCT 994, OCT 547, OCT 632, OCT 623, OCT 498, OCT 529, OCT 393, OCT 339, OCT 333, OCT 360, OCT 614, OCT 543, OCT 656, OCT 448, OCT 408, OCT 409, OCT 414, OCT 222, OCT 466, OCT 779, OCT 540, OCT 334, OCT 777, OCT 746, OCT 4085, OCT 735, OCT 730, OCT 4136, OCT 280, OCT 844, OCT 331, OCT 374, OCT 111, OCT 085, OCT 0-14 including OCT 820 which are considered and declared null and void ab initio, and cancelled en toto has been granted.
10) Ordering the Hon. Register of Deeds of the place where the said land titles in OCT had been issued to cancel the same, and the subject land covered therein by these Original Certificate of Titles should be reconveyed and transferred to and in favor of Don Anacleto M. Acopiado or to his successor in interest, Roberto Pudino Acopiado.
11) Ordering both Bureau of Land and its Survey Division to reconstruct and/or restore all relevant documents, records, microfilm and corresponding LRD 235 issued on 1907, Plan II-69 - PSU 2031, Plan II-668 - PSU 3226 to and in favor of said Don Anacleto M. Acopiado, Sr. or for and in the name of his successor, in the person of Roberto P. Acopiado.
12) Ordering the Hon. Register of Deeds of Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Pasay and of the Province of Rizal in Pasig to segregate the land covered by TCT No. 408 under the Plan II-69 – PSU 2031 containing an area of 125, 326 hectares for and in the name of Don Anacleto M. Acopiado, Sr.
13) Ordering the Hon. Register of Deeds of Bulacan to segregate the land area of 271, 276 hectares covered by said TCT No. 498, Plan II-668 – PSU 3226 which has been neglected to segregate from said OCT No. 01-4° and its corresponding TCT be issued in favor of the following persons…
14) Ordering the National Government, its agencies and instrumentalities including the Department of Justice and its Hon. Solicitor General to respect the imprescriptibility clause of this Decision with Compromise Agreement against five (5) years prescription period of execution for the new issuance of the lost original and owner’s duplicate copies of the reconstituted OCT No. 01-4° and its expediency TCT No. 408 and TCT No. 498 considering the availability of funds which is indispensable for the payment of taxes that have been sourced directly from the Php 3 billion to be paid by the National Government with seven percent (7%) per annum for thirty (30) years ending on December 31, 1998 as accumulated damages to the Madrigal Acopiado clan over the estate. This is one among the conditions specified in this Decision with Compromise Agreement, although the payment of the government to the clan originated in the year 1961 with ten (10) years grace period ending December 31, 1971 with an interest of seven percent (7%) per annum, but to no avail, as part of this stipulation, said payment has been extended for another twenty eight (28) years ending December 31, 1998 where partial payment of Php 2 billion in the form of Land Bank Bond Certificates dated 1968 for another thirty (30) years moratorium had also attained ending December 31, 1998. Clearly, the payments of the National Government will be started on January 1, 1999 where the reckoning date for the five (5) years prescription should be on that the same date, January 1, 1999, provided that the government will observe religiously its payment, that as well as no prescription period on the part of the estate to collect said payment of damages from the government.
15) Ordering all authorities, the members of Integrated National Police, the members of PC, the members of Philippine Army, the members of Marine Force, the members of the National Bureau of Investigation, authorities from the AFP and the Sheriffs of the towns, cities and officials of Barrio Government Units where the lands are located, to respect this Decision and extend assistance to the land owner or their legal counsel toward relocation, recovery and fencing of the subject lands within their localities.
16) Defiance to this Decision by anybody, a corresponding arrest and imprisonment should be enforced by virtue of the contempt of court, and stiffer penalties should be charged.
17) That the only authorized executor over the Deed of Absolute Sale, Conveyance, Deed of Donation, Contract to Sell involving the estate is the lawful successor in interest of Don Ancleto Madrigal Acopiado, Sr. in the person of Roberto P. Acopiado.
That this Decision with Compromise Agreement be enforced enjoining all concern private persons and government authorities herein specified and everybody, natural or juridical person to observe and address this Decision with Compromise Agreement observing the imprescriptibility period clause over its execution or issuance of its required original and duplicate copies of OCT No. 01-4, including its TCT No. 408, TCT No. 407, TCT No. 409 and TCT No. 498…
GOVERNMENT/FILIPINOS BENEFITED FROM THE ACOPIADOS
It is now high time to disclose that Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado’s lands and gold bars were utilized by the government for the welfare and interest of the Republic of the Philippines and its citizenry as supported by the following facts:
1. ACOPIADO’S ROLE TOWARDS CENTRAL BANK’S FOUNDING
It appears that the national government failed to refute the existence of the lawful heirs of the late Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado on the mere fact that some of these heirs became instrumental in the establishment of the Central Bank of the Philippines after Mr. Anaceto Montañes Acopiado, cousin of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado accompanied by Reverend Father Jose Antonio Diaz through the efforts of brilliant lawyer, Attorney Ferdinand E. Marcos had transported the gold bullion from Vatican City which were used by the late President Manuel Roxas, best friend and compadre of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado as gold reserve requirements.
That in the presence of Attorney Lorenzo Tañada, the then Acopiado’s lawyer and His Excellency, the late President Manuel Roxas, then Senator Vicente Madrigal from Albay, the second cousin of Maria Camella Sarmento Madrigal and Reverend Father Jose Antonio Diaz turned over the said gold bullion to give way for the establishment of the Central Bank of the Philippines. According to the testimony of the caretaker, Reverend Father Jose Antonio Diaz alias Col. Severino Garcia Sta. Romana before the court and the Amicus Curea, had admitted that the gold inventory remained intact in the Central Bank vaults up to the year 1964.
This information does not intend to complicate the issue but to establish the proof of existence of the heirs of the late Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado namely, Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado that the government cannot deny as it would be guilty of Estoppel which was raised by the surviving heirs.
2. AS LOAN BACK-UP / MASAGANA 99
The massive issuance of OCTs and TCTs of no origin, participated in by land syndicates/real state developers using those fake titles to mortgage successfully to the private banks and the others to the Government Financing Institutions had caused the financial drain of the Central Bank of the Philippines. Because of that large fund deficits scandal cover-up, escalated up to the Marcos Administration. This is the main root why Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law; in the pretension of stopping corruption in the LRC and Bureau of Lands, but in deed, were naked as merely diversionary tactics to pursue the same fraudulent dirty dealings with the precious real properties of the victims (lawful owners) its worth enough to pay off this country’s foreign debts even in four times.
Prior to declaration of Martial Law, President Marcos sent a letter to Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado regarding the latter’s four (4) land titles; TCT No. 408, TCT No. 498, TCT No. 407, TCT No. 409 and plans. In February of 1972, Don Anacleto M. Acopiado entrusted TCT 408 to President Ferdinand Marcos and the same TCT was turned over to Ireneo S. Zabala, Presidential Consultant of President Marcos on Matters Related to Private and Presidential Documents for processing of a loan intended for intervenor’s development project, The other TCTs were utilized by President Marcos in his Land Reform Program; the distribution of lots to farmers in order to produce more “palays” known as MASAGANA 99 because there were rice shortages at that time.
From the above-mentioned events, the government had issued assurance fund secured by Land Bank Bonds with Interim Certificate Nos. 180,180-1,180-2,180-3 and 180-4 amounting to 2 billion pesos payable to the legitimate. The Hon. Court reiterates that the payment should be directly made to the landowner, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado. The Hon. Solicitor General Hugo Gutierrez interposed no objections over the awarded damages against the national government, National Treasurer and the Central Bank of the Philippines. The issuance of bonds was confirmed by the Central Bank.
3. LEASE AGREEMENTS BY THE GOVERNMENTS
To avoid the violation to privacy rights which is the spirit of the Treaty of Paris, the late President Manuel Roxas entered into Contract of Lease with Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado on May 7, 1947 to pave the way toward the construction of the building of the University of the Philippines, Balara Water Reservoir, the fifty (50) hectares occupied by Quezon Institute Hospital in Quezon City, one hectare for the proposed site of Philippine Women’s University, two (2) hectares for the Philippine General Hospital, two (2) hectares for the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice building rehabilitation expansion and relocation from its location to Taft Ave., Ermita, Manila, while an area of five (5) hectares each of Military Camp have been availed by the government as portion of the lease agreement to said land owner, Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and by Ex-President Manuel L. Quezon to allow the use of the Philippine – American Military Cavalry’s Camp (Kampo Heneral Aguinaldo) and Kampo Heneral Crame which are located in Quezon City.
In an excerpt from cross examination dated January 7, 1974 before the Amicus Curae, Don Anacleto M. Acopiado pointed out that their ancestors were the ones who built the Balara Water Reservoir and the Novaliches Dam as their irrigation system to millions of fruit bearing mango trees, pineapples, sorghum, yellow corn and sugarcane that forced the national government thru its President Manuel Roxas to enter into yearly lease agreement with their family since the year 1948 and ended only in 1969.
On April 5, 1955, the then Director of Lands, Zoilo Castrilio, based on the evidence of records who succeeded to head the defunct Rural Progress Administration, entered into Contract of Lease with the said land owners to pave the way for the construction of other government buildings and infrastructures like the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
On February 7, 1962, Lease of Agreement was executed between Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado and the President-General Manager of the Philippine Air Lines and the Manila International Airport in the person of Benigno Toda covering the area of fifty (50) hectares of land besides of that seventy five (75) hectares purchased by the latter.
On February 2, 1966, Letter of Termination in the Lease of Contract between the land owners, Don Gregorio/Anacleto Acopiado and the Land Authority was made due to the harassment of the demolition team of DPWH and INP-PC Metrocom against the squatters in the Commonwealth Ave. and Payatas, Quezon City and the diversionary construction of the government structures and projects like the Batasan Pambansa building, while eventually were the constructions of several private housing projects of its cohorts. Whereas those demolished squatter areas were not among those land areas that were leased by the land owner to the national government, much more, no single payment had been made except the Php one (1) million from the Office of the President. The incident breached anew the Php five (5) million yearly lease payment by the government to the land owners, Don Gregorio/Anacleto Acopiado.
Prior to the rendition of the Decision with Compromise Agreement on February 4, 1972 a Petition of Reconveyance of integral part of TCT No. 408 was filed on January 4, 1972 by plaintiffs, Wilson Orfinada, et. al., on the sala of Hon. Enrique A. Agana, CFI Judge, Branch 28, Pasay City. That the plaintiffs, allegedly possessed the valid Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Don Antonio Rodriguez in favor of said plaintiffs, Wilson Orfinada et. al. on October 4, 1943.
Don Anacleto M. Acopiado had filed his initial complaint on January 14, 1972 for Quieting of Titles and Reconveyance against the plaintiffs, Wilson Orfinada et. al. without knowing a similar case over the same subject matters had been filed ahead by the plaintiffs.
Since there were parallel cases over the same subject matter, the Hon. Court caused to settle the case among the litigants under the consolidated one court action, adapting LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P.
On February 4, 1972, plaintiffs, Wilson Orfinada, et. al., filed their Amended Petition with Bill of Particulars alleging further that said TCT No. 407, TCT No. 409 and TCT No. 498 which were lost during the World War II should be reconstituted and that second owner’s duplicate copies and its second original copies on filed in the register of Deeds in Pasig, Province of Rizal, the same should be issued in the name of Don Gregorio Madrigal Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal because the plaintiffs allegedly were in possession of valid Deed of Absolute Sale executed in favor of the above-mentioned land owners in consideration of the Three Million One Hundred Thirty five Thousand Pesos (Php 3, 135, 000) on October 14, 1913.
With so many technicalities and pre-requisites in this kind of proceedings, and to resolve the legal issues raised by the litigants, the necessity of the creation and appointment for Amicus Curea, a person with competent wisdom and unquestionable integrity, has been required to sit and assist the Hon. Court for virtuous verdict in relation with the subject lands.
Another issue was an Urgent Motion of the Solicitor General for the temporary suspension of the case in accordance with the Rules of Court considering that it becomes indispensable to the outcome of the report provided by the Record Section of the Philippine Senate regarding the Senate Investigation and Inquiry conducted by the Blue Ribbon Committee headed by the Senate President, Gil Puyat, Sr. in the year 1968.
Immediately, upon the installation of Amicus Curea which was a supposed appointment of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. or Senator Jose Diokno to sit as Amicus Curea was opposed by the Solicitor General. Senator Diokno, however, proposed the name of Reverend Father Ben Carreon who took the position thereof in lieu of great senators for public interest.
The report of the Senate Inquiry that has been submitted had proved and manifested that there were massive falsifications of documents of the lands for land grabbing scheme that had been laid on into plantilla for the big time rackets of real estate developers for its implementation supported by the orchestrated Presidential Decrees, Letter of Instructions, Executive Orders and Proclamations to speed-up clandestine forfeitures of the private land in conspiracy with those in the Land Registration Commission and the Bureau of Lands for the interest of the few under the coated infrastructures of the government.
According to the Land Authority Director, Gregorio Bilog who was fed-up, clearing the burden of conscience for the truth and who busted said corruption in the LRC, had admitted the massive issuance of fake titles and fraudulent selling of subject lands that were participated in by some authorities in the bureau headed by LRC Administrator, Antonio M. Noblejas, the Malacañang, DPWH, Building Permit Division thru issuance of government infrastructure permits and sometimes lease agreements to the buyers, which said corruption has been started during the time of Zoilo Castrilio and bloated up to the Macapagal administration, where the Tuazon family and that American Businessman, Harry Stonehills conspired for billions of pesos transaction.
On June 14, 1972, Entry of Judgment of Decision With Compromise Agreement dated Febuary 4, 1972 was entered in the Book of Judgment by the Clerk of Court Atty. Jose Ortiz , Jr.
On the other hand, the case filed by Wilson Orfinada has succeeded against the defendants; Macario J. Rodriguez, Delfin Rodriguez, Aquilina F. Rodriguez, Lourdes Rodriguez Yaneza, the heirs of Miguel Antonio Rodriguez, the heirs of Hermogenes Antonio Rodriguez… under LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P. Decision was promulgated on December 14, 1973 in favor of the plaintiffs, Wilson Orfinada et. al. recognizing the plaintiffs’ right over the subject land.
Prior to said judgment, Don Anacleto M. Acopiado filed Motion to Intervene, on July 5, 1973 which seeks to consider the owners’ prerogative rights over the subject land in said LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P, for Quieting of Titles / Reconveyance of Real Properties with Judicial Reconstitution of TCT Nos. 408, 409, 498 and 407 in accordance with Section 15 of Rep. Act 26 in the name of Don Gregorio M. Acopiado and Doña Ma. Camella Sarmento Madrigal, and Final Complaint for Intervention was submitted opposing the Decision of December 14, 1973 favorably to Orfinada on December 28, 1973 on the ground that plaintiffs’ ownership evidenced over the subject lands in question were fictitious and fabricated from the origin of no probative value.
In the process of investigation, the court disclosed that the certified copy of the instrument known as Document No. 41, Book No. 106, Page 24, Series of 1943 of the same Notary Public Andres G. Valdivia was distorted and falsified the true date, year, and land area and concealed from the true one into a bigger fictitious area of 27,000 hectares in lieu of 1,203 hectares only. As a result of the confirmation, a Court Order was rendered on March 21, 1974 in favor of the intervenor, Don Anacleto Madrigal Acopiado reverting the Decision of December 14, 1973.
On March 27, 1974, a motion was filed by the intervenor praying for the issuance of Clarificatory Decision rectifying the previous Court Order, March 21, 1974 about the discrepancies which the true and correct land areas were misrecorded into a smaller area, also of missed writing of the correct caption and title of the above given case.
On November 4, 1975, Clarificatory Decision was rendered by Hon Judge Enrique A. Agana rectifying the Order of March 21, 1974.
The intervenors, again, filed a motion praying for the correction specifically of such indispensable data, information and dispositive portion had been caused deliberately to distort the very essence of justice on November 4, 1975 Clarificatory Decision.
On January 19,1976, Clarificatory Order was penned by Hon. Judge Enrique A. Agana, affirming that and it was very apparent that there were indeed grossed negligence and errors typographically committed by the staff and stenographic Clerk of Court which said errors must be rectified accordingly.
Here is Hon. Judge Agana’s statement over trace of corruptions in words and sentences in the contents of his judgments:
“As a matter of fact, the racists endeavor the authorities and their cohorts to be felt to this sala with an attempt to influence this Magistrate of Justice that almost beyond controls. A coercive show force is evidently infiltrating the staffs and stenographic clerks that caused us a heavy set back when we gleaned there were an occurrence of topsy-turvy court records which attempt to distort the same and defeat the documentary evidences of the intervenors in consideration of temptous price, so much enough to enjoy our luxurious livings that we can no longer reach the time to experience the same kind of abundant living even in our whole life.”
The government’s Motion for Second New Trial had been granted and its Motion for Third New Trial had admitted, still the government failed to lay down its stronger evidences to controvert the credibility of the position of the intervenors in spite of the fact of so much long leniency of the Hon. Court allowing the Hon. Solicitor General to file his motion which was granted three months after the case had become Final and Executory and the Entry of Judgment was made in favor of the intervenors. But instead, this privilege that ought to favor the government, it turned out beneficial to the intervenors because it became as an eye opener for the amendment of Decision dated November 4, 1975.
In spite of the fact that the said land had gone through the crucial test of the Republic Act 2259 (Cadastral Proceedings), which main purpose is to settle titles to lands, the ownership of these lands was again validated by the Hon. Court based on its evidence submitted by virtue of Court Decisions dated March 21, 1974, November 4, 1975, and again thru Clarificatory Order on January 19, 1976.
PRESENCE OF MEDIAMEN
The Magistrate of Justice thanks the Lord above, and to observing mediamen particularly to Fr. Ben Carreon of Radio Veritas who stands as Amicus Curea, to Major Ben Layson of Star and Strife Newspaper of the United States of America, to unknown but determined reporter of GMA Radio-Television, DZXL, DZRH, The Manila Times, Tim Olivares, Brixton Busto of Radyo ng Bayan, Daily Inquirer, to Manny Julian of Balita, who were not cowed guarding the Magistrate of Justice to explore the truth and unveil what is behind the land grabbing scandal to the predicament of the landowners. Their determinations for the truth and justice have been tried and intended to overcome the military threats against the landowners. Appreciation was also extended to Daily Globe Newspaper, who, by courage determined to defend Filipino people against curtailment of people’s human rights, and to all the responsible witnesses from the LRC and the Bureau of Lands in exploring all the truth that surround the circumstances why… and how… the said TCT 408 has been lost?
Tim Olivares of Tempo, before he was killed was able to prepare a 16-page write-up, entitled “Notice to the Public” that depicted the Untold Story of the Alabang Land Scams, edited by his associate Crisanto Dimasalang, Journalist and correspondent of People’s Time Magazine and ZNN Radio Veritas. The facts of this write-up were based on the entire court proceedings (4 years) under LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P that the mediamen had started covering it in 1972.
WHY WAS MARTIAL LAW DECLARED
When the Malacañang Palace had been placed in boiling water because of endlessly pounding of media fires about the clandestine style to control the ancestral land, President Ferdinand E. Marcos put the area under siege in preparation of Martial Law all over the country because of the fact that the subject land costs around Php 6 trillion. Writ of Habeas Corpus was suspended to directly influence the proceeding in the court under Civil Case No. 3957-P between the fictitious Rodriguez and Wilson Orfinada who made of exaggerated area claims over the land he purchased. Later, President Ferdinand Marcos declare Martial Law all over the country in disguise of protecting the country’s national security, while in reality, it was not then the objective of Martial Law, but, to pave the way toward execution of massive land development over the subject land.
APPEARANCE OF WILSON ORFINADA IN THE CASE
A land claimant, certain Wilson Orfinada with the blessings of Malacañang Palace then filed complaint against fictitious Rodriguezes who were also hired by the influence of group to justify claims of the ownership over the land in dispute (moro-moro proceedings). The case was filed in the sala of then Hon. CFI Judge Enrique A. Agana, Branch 28 in Pasay City.
DISTORTION IN COURT ORDERS
The maneuver of Marcos Administration to manipulate the control over the subject land was unending and this was signified by the Order of the Court dated March 21, 1974 and February 7, 1975 which were very misleading with distorted and incorrect land area.
SUPPORT FROM SENATOR BENIGNO AQUINO, JR.
Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., who was detained at that time fighting for the interest of his countrymen, squarely supported this Hon. Court by his hand written opinion regarding the controversies surrounding the subject land, which is in consonance with such great opinion of the greatest senator of the land. He augmented the position and evidence of the landowners that made this Hon. Court inspired directly to be courageous enough to refuse to be a part of that dirty business in real estate industry of our times. In spite of all the facts, the hand of the law; the Magistrate of Justice, the same are handcuffed by self-serving policies of the superior in authorities. As the Magistrate said: “Yes, no matter it will result to our definite ill entombment and of this Magistrate of Justice…” Yes, they remained highly competent, “Upholding Its Undistorted Spirit” forever, for they are, the administrators of the law and justice, cannot be cowed either by any stronger influences under the democratic atmosphere for the sake of the genuine truth for the oppressed, weak and the poor, whose economic opportunities are often grabbed and subsided through disguised government policies.
JUSTICE PREVAILS EVEN UNDER MARTIAL LAW -How much more of today
This Magistrate of Court based on circumstantial evidences feels that there were indeed some orchestrations of incidents inflicted upon to defeat the lawful rights of the landowners over the land in dispute. While, for those who are interested to grab the subject land may be facing difficulties in a court battle, unless, felonious acts and conspiracy with the administrator of justice will be used. Yet, if this last bulwark of justice could be harnessed thru bribery of millions of pesos… who will then defend the weak and the victim of unjust and unlawful acts? If so, where will this nation go? How about our children’s future, if this Magistrate of Justice shall be used as instrument for evil and illegal doings?
The Hon. Judge Enrique Agana, indeed, has received an order to be relocated to nowhere… a pretext of harassment from the higher authorities while they were annoyed of the truth over the land scam of the land in question.
Based on the court records, the intervenors tolerated the long period of time before its Motion for Reconsideration had been filed finally on February 26, 1989. It was long overdue by more than thirteen (13) years, perhaps, not for public interest but a means of delaying tactics to defeat the motion of the intervenors for the issuance of Third Alias Writ of Execution, Possession and Demolition which was eventually rendered by Hon. RTC Judge, Sofronio C. Sayo on May 28, 1989.
The sabotage to genuine documents was relentless. The reason why the Pasay City Hall was burned on January 18, 1992 affecting the Hall of Justice mainly because this was allegedly part of the scenario of Julian M. Tallano’s and its cohorts grim plan; the first step in preparation for the reconstitution pertaining to the court records which he successfully had taken all the certified copies on January 18, 1991 and January 3, 1992. The chronological events of Julian Morden Tallano’s saga of wicked undertakings are depicted in another research work.
At the end, LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P has been made as reference by the 15-man team in their research, “Report on the Review on Land Classification of Quezon City” and by the publisher of Print (Internet) and Broadcast Media.