Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-27811 November 17, 1967
LACSON-MAGALLANES CO., INC., plaintiff-appellant,
JOSE PAÑO, HON. JUAN PAJO, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, and HON. JUAN DE G. RODRIGUEZ, in his capacity as Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, defendants-appellees.
Leopoldo M. Abellera for plaintiff-appellant.
Victorio Advincula for defendant Jose Paño.
Office of the Solicitor General for defendant Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Executive Secretary.
The question — May the Executive Secretary, acting by authority of the President, reverse a decision of the Director of Lands that had been affirmed by the Executive Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources — yielded an affirmative answer from the lower court.1
Hence, this appeal certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals upon the provisions of Sections 17 and 31 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended.
The undisputed controlling facts are:
In 1932, Jose Magallanes was a permittee and actual occupant of a 1,103-hectare pasture land situated in Tamlangon, Municipality of Bansalan, Province of Davao.
On January 9, 1953, Magallanes ceded his rights and interests to a portion (392,7569 hectares) of the above public land to plaintiff.
On April 13, 1954, the portion Magallanes ceded to plaintiff was officially released from the forest zone as pasture land and declared agricultural land.
On January 26, 1955, Jose Paño and nineteen other claimants2 applied for the purchase of ninety hectares of the released area.
On March 29, 1955, plaintiff corporation in turn filed its own sales application covering the entire released area. This was protested by Jose Paño and his nineteen companions upon the averment that they are actual occupants of the part thereof covered by their own sales application.
The Director of Lands, following an investigation of the conflict, rendered a decision on July 31, 1956 giving due course to the application of plaintiff corporation, and dismissing the claim of Jose Paño and his companions. A move to reconsider failed.