June 22, 2024

The Supreme Court’s final decision annulling the certificates of ancestral land titles (CALTs) and derivative titles covering prime lots in Baguio City has now been annotated on the titles to serve notice that said titles are void. This will also to forewarn the public against entering into transactions involving said lots.
The prime lots are in Casa Vallejo at Upper Session Road, Pacdal Circle, Wright Park, and the city government’s titled property in Lualhati barangay.
Declared as null and void were the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Resolutions 107-2010-AL and 108-2010-AL that paved the way for the issuance of the titles; O-CALT 129 and 130 including corresponding transfer certificates of title, CALTs, and derivative titles covering 36 parcels of lot.
The Sept. 25, 2019 SC decision on the case “Republic of the Philippines vs. National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Register of Deeds Baguio City, Land Registration Authority, heirs of Cosen Piraso represented by Richard Acop, heirs of Josephine Molintas Abanag represented by Isaias M. Abanag, Marion T. Pool, Joan L. Gorio and Virginia C. Gao-an was finalized on Feb. 24, 2020.
With the SC decision, lawyer IV Isagani Liporada of the City Legal Office said Mayor Benjamin Magalong wrote Baguio City Register of Deeds John Felix to have the entry of judgment annotated on the subject titles to warn the people of the status of the properties that are not anymore covered by these voided CALTs.
“The continued existence of (the titles subject of the case) poses a grave threat to the Torrens System, as they mislead the public on the real nature of the lands they cover.
Meanwhile, reports have reached our office that portions of the tracts of land subject of the aforementioned case are still being transacted upon despite finality of (the case docketed as) G.R. 208480,” the mayor said.
“We hope we could finally curb such transactions and protect our unsuspecting constituents from fraudulent dealings involving the subject properties,” he added.
In the SC decision dated Sept. 25, 2019, then Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio granted the Office of the Solicitor General’s petition for review and reversed the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals dated Jan. 15, 2013 upholding the validity of the subject CALTs.
In annulling the CALTs, the SC ruled the NCIP has no legal authority to issue CALTs or certificate of ancestral domain titles (CADTs) over said properties as townsite reservation areas in the city. – Aileen P. Refuerzo