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DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs.

CA & HEIRS OF BRUNO CABAUATAN


FACTS:
This is a land registration case involving 128 hectares of land in Cabagan, Isabela applied for by Bruno
Cabanatan.
However, the applicant had not produced in evidence any composition title, the basis of their
application. It was allegedly burned during the war.
Because of this, the following are not known: (1) boundaries of the land allegedly adjudicated to Bruno
Cabanatan granted that he was the same as Bruno Cabautan, (2) what Bario or Sitio is it located, (3)
Why the hectares had been increased from 138 hectares in 1885 to 154 hectares in 1934 and (4) Why
the same land was declared for tax purposes under the name of Brunos nephew, and not his heirs.
The SolGen contended that the land applied for must be identified. The claim of possession is inutile if
the land is not identified.
On March 1934, Judge Rosauro issued a decree for 25 hectare to the heirs of Bruno. After it was
granted, they produced a survey plan which had an area of 154 sq. meters than 138 sq.m. adjudicated to
Bruno.
The provincial fiscal, in representation of the Director of Lands, alleged in his opposition that the land
claimed by Brunos heirs was covered by the approved and subsisting homestead applications of 6
people (plaintiffs in this case).
Evidence of Brunos heirs: that the land in question was administered by Brunos son,

Salvador, and there were 40 tenants during the Spanish regime, and that they have been
cultivating the land.
Evidence of Director of Lands and Homesteaders: Homestead applications and approvals, and order for
issuance of patent.
TC: granted the application for registration of the 128 hectares. According to TC, if Brunos heirs had
possession of said 25 hectares, they could be deemed to have constructive possession of the
remaining part of the land, provided that the same was not in adverse possession of another person.

ISSUE: WON the application for registration must be granted. - NO.


Constructive possession does not apply to the case because the major portion of the disputed 128
hectares has been in the adverse possession of homesteaders and their heirs and is still part of the
public domain until the patents are issued.
The area claimed is in excess of that mentioned in the committed position title. The alleged lost
composition title cannot be given any probative value. Its contents were not proven by secondary
evidence.
The precise location of the land and the possession thereof were not proven by the applicants. The
alleged possession of Bruno's heirs may refer to the 25 hectares already registered in their names.
Inexplicably, the registration of the 154 hectares was made in two installments.