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G.R. No. 104721 May 31, 1994 UNITED PARACALE MINING COMPANY, petitioner, vs.

THE COURT OF APPEALS, THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS AND OSE CHUATENGCO, respondents. FACTS On 14 April 1982, petitioner United Paracale Mining Company filed a complaint against t e !irector of "ands and fifty#t ree $%&' ot er individ(al defendants, alleging, among ot er t ings, t at t e company )as t e o)ner of some forty# nine $49' mining claims located in Paracale, Camarines *orte, aving located and perfected t e claims (nder t e provisions of t e P ilippine +ill of 19,2 and Act *o. -24, as amended. . ese mining claims )ere t ere/y s(pposed to /e private property of t e company and segregated from t e mass of t e p(/lic domain. 0ince 19&, and 19&4 (p (ntil no), petitioner, /y itself and t ro(g its predecessors#in#interest, ad /een performing t e ann(al assessment )or1 re2(ired /y la), filing t e corresponding affidavits of assessment )or1 )it t e office of t e mining recorder and paying real estate ta3es on t e mining claims. Petitioner ad applied for a patent on t e claims, and t e +(rea( of Mines approved and recogni4ed t e company5s rig ts over t e mining claims. On 1- Octo/er 1968, petitioner filed )it t e +(rea( of Mines an application for mining lease over t e claims, )it a reservation t at 7$t' e filing of t $e' application for mining lease $)as' )it o(t pre8(dice to t e rig ts of t e applicant and its predecessors#in#interest in and all t e mineral claims o/8ect t ereof ac2(ired (nder t e provisions of t e Act of Congress of 9(ly 1, 19,2, . . . .7 On 11 9(ne 1982, t irty#seven $&6' of t e fifty# t ree $%&' individ(al defendants filed an ans)er denying t e material allegations of t e complaint. On 8 0eptem/er 1992, erein private respondent 9ose C (atengco filed a motion to dismiss t e complaint, asseverating t at t e complaint did not state a ca(se of action. C (atengco cited 0ection 1 of Presidential !ecree *o. 1214 ) ic directed 7$ 'olders of s(/sisting and valid patenta/le

mining claims, lode or placer, located (nder t e provisions of t e Act of Congress of 9(ly 1, 19,2, as amended, s all file a mining lease application . . . )it in one $1' year from t e approval of t is !ecree, and (pon t e filing t ereof, olders of t e said claims s all /e considered to ave )aived t eir rig ts to t e iss(ance of mining patents t erefor: Provided, however, . at t e non# filing of t e application for mining lease /y t e olders t ereof )it in t e period $t erein' prescri/ed $)o(ld' ca(se t e forfeit(re of all . . . rig ts to t e claim.7 On 2% April 198-, t e trial co(rt granted t e motion to dismiss; ) ere(pon, petitioner filed an appeal )it respondent co(rt. On 1% *ovem/er 199,, t e appellate co(rt affirmed t e decision of t e trial co(rt. <ere t en is t e instant petition. ISSUE . e 2(ery of petitioner: 7= at is actually t e rig t of a locator of mining claim located and perfected (nder t e P ilippine +ill of 19,2. !oes e ave an a/sol(te rig t of o)ners ip, or merely a rig t to possess said claim>7 ?emedial la): Can t e action proceed )it o(t aving 8oined t e indispensa/le parties> (mao ra ni ako gidugang) HELD Petitioner contends t at t ere are t)o $2' conflicting r(lings made /y t is Co(rt on t e same iss(e. @n Director of Lands vs. Kalahi Investments, Inc. $1-9 0C?A -8&', a locator of mining claims perfected (nder t e P ilippine +ill of 19,2 as /een eld not to ave an a/sol(te rig t of o)ners ip over said claims /(t merely a possessory rig t t ereto. @n tok!"ig #edge $ining %om&any, Inc. vs. %ourt of &&eals and Liwan %onsi $19& 0C?A 61', o)ever, a locator of mining claim perfected (nder t e P ilippine +ill of 19,2, t e Co(rt as r(led, does ave an a/sol(te rig t of o)ners ip over is claim /eing t ere/y removed from t e p(/lic domain.

@n its resol(tion, dated 1 9(ne 1992, t e Co(rt re2(ired respondents to file t eir respective comments. On 1, *ovem/er 199&, t e 0olicitor Aeneral filed a comment and motion, dated *ovem/er 199&, alleging t at ) en petitioner appealed t e trial co(rt5s order of dismissal of Civil Case *o. 49,%, only private respondent C (atengco )as named adverse party; t e !irector of "ands )as not incl(ded. . e 0olicitor Aeneral t (s prayed: =<B?BCO?B, premises considered, it is respectf(lly prayed t at t e !irector of "ands /e e3cl(ded as respondent in t e present petition; t at t e motions for e3tension of time to file comment in /e alf of t e !irector of "ands /e disregarded; and t at t e !irector of "ands /e e3c(sed from filing t e re2(ired comment. 1 Atty. Creddie Denida, co(nsel for private respondent, as failed to comply )it t e Co(rt5s resol(tion of 1, Ce/r(ary 199&, notice of ) ic appears to ave /een received /y im on 6 April 199&. . e period given im aving e3pired on 16 April 199&, t e re2(ired comment is ere/y dispensed )it . 0ection 6, ?(le & of t e ?evised ?(les of Co(rt provides: 0ec. 6. Comp(lsory 8oinder of parties. E Parties in interest )it final determination can /e ad s all /e 8oined eit er as defendants. indispensa/le o(t ) om no of an action plaintiffs or

(full case na niwa ko kasa*othahaha)

ctions' Parties' $ining claims' (he Dir. )f Land is an indis&ensa*le &arty in a mining claim. An action cannot proceed (nless t e indispensa/le parties are 8oined; 2 t at 8oinder is mandatory and, (nless s(c indispensa/le parties are impleaded, t e case m(st /e dismissed. 3 Clearly, t e !irector of "ands is an indispensa/le party to t e case, and is omission is fatal to t e ca(se of erein petitioner. =<B?BCO?B, t e petition is !@0M@00B!. Costs against petitioner. 0O O?!B?B!.