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Land titles — Friar Lands Act

First Posted 14:39:00 08/11/2008

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The subject lots are part of the Piedad Estate, Quezon City, a Friar Land acquired on December 23, 1903 by the Philippine Government from the Philippine Sugar Estates Development Company, Ltd., La Sociedad Agricola de Ultramar, the British-Manila Estate Company, Ltd., and the Recoleto Order of the Philippine Islands, as indicated in Public Act No. 1120 (Friar Lands Act) enacted on April 26, 1904.

After the Piedad Estate was registered in OCT No. 614 in the name of the Philippine Government in 1910 under the provisions of Act 496, the area was subdivided originally into 874 lots. As a result of subsequent surveys executed in the course of disposition, the number of lots increased to 1,305. Disposition of these lots was made by the Bureau of Lands thru sales, under the Friar Lands Act, as early as 1910 and records show that even before the Second World War, all lots in the Piedad Estate have been disposed of. The Piedad Estate has long been segregated from the mass of the public domain and has become private land duly registered under the Torrens system following the procedure for the confirmation of private lands prescribed in Act 496. Thus the lands inside the Piedad Estate are no longer lands of the public domain.

One who acquires land under the Friar Lands Act, as well as his successors-in-interest, may not claim successional rights to purchase by reason of occupation from time immemorial, as this contravenes the historical fact that friar lands were bought by the Government of the Philippine Islands, pursuant to an Act of Congress of the United States, approved on July 1, 1902, not from individual persons but from certain companies, a society and a religious order. Under the Friar Lands Act, only ? settlers and occupants at the time said lands are acquired by the Government? were given preference to lease, purchase, or acquire their holdings, in disregard of the settlement and occupation of persons before the government acquired the lands. ? Cañete, et al. Vs. Genuino Ice Company, Inc., G.R. No. 154080, January 22, 2008

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