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REPUBLIC

v. SOUTHSIDE HOMEOWNERS
G.R. No. 156951 September 22, 2006

FACTS: Proclamation No 423 which established a military reservation known as Fort William
McKinley – later renamed Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation, was issued by former President
Carlos Garcia. Areas specified in the Proclamation were withdrawn from sales and settlements
and were reserved for military purposes. Several presidential proclamations would later be
issued excluding certain defined areas from the operation of Proclamation 423.

What is mainly sought to be declared as a nullity in this petition is the title over the parcels of
land that are referred to as JUSMAG housing are in Fort Bonifacio being occupied by active and
retired military officers and their families. SHAI, a non-stock corporation organized mostly by
wives of AFP military officers, was able to secure title in its name over the bulk, if not the entire,
JUSMAG area. The TCT was issued by the Rizal Registry on the basis of a notarized deed of sale
purportedly executed by then Land Management Bureau Director Abelardo Palad Jr. The
investigation conducted by the DOJ, however, reported land scams at the FBMR and also finding
that the signature of Palad was forged.

In 1993, then Pres Ramos ordered the OSG to institute an action towards the cancellation of TCT
15084 in SHAI’s name as well as the title acquired by the Navy Officer’s Village Association (NOVA)
over a bigger parcel of land within the reservation.

ISSUE: Whether the land sold was alienable.

HELD: No. As regards the issue of inalienability, the Court upheld the contention of the Republic
that the JUSMAG area is inalienable, the same having not effectively been separated from the
military reservation and declared as alienable and disposable. Until a given parcel of land is
released from its classification as part of the military reservation zone and reclassified by law or
by presidential proclamation as disposable and alienable, its status as part of a military
reservation remains, even if incidentally it is devoted for a purpose other than as a military camp
or for defense. SHAI had not pointed to any proclamation or legislative act for that matter
segregating the property from the reservation and classifying the same as alienable lands of
public domain. Furthermore, the Constitution also forbids private corporations from acquiring
any kind of alienable public land except through lease for a limited period. The whole conveyance
process was also suspicious since the whole process was accomplished only in one day.