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Roman Catholic Bishop of Kalibo, Aklan v.

Municipality of Buruanga, o It is not susceptible to private ownership by the Church or


Aklan respondent municipality
G.R. No. 149145 | March 31, 2006 | Callejo, Sr., J. - The Court held that there is not enough evidence on record to
Petitioners: Roman Catholic Bishop of Kalibo represented by Bishop Juan conclude that there was a substantial breach of the MOA to justify
Nilmar the unilateral cancellation of the MOA
Respondents: Municipality of Buruanga represented by Hon Protacio - Bishop of Calbayog v. Director of Lands public plaza and public
Obrique thoroughfare are not subject to registration by the church
- Property for public use of provinces and towns are governed by the
FACTS same principles as property of public dominion of the same character
- Some time in 1990, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kalibo filed with o Ownership of such property, which has the special
the RTC a complaint for declaration of ownership and quieting of title characteristics of a collective ownership for the general
to land with prayer for preliminary injunction against the Municipality use and enjoyment, by virtue of their application to the
of Buruanga satisfaction of the collective needs, is in the social
- In 1894, the Church was built in the middle portion of the lot and has group
been in existence since then - The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical person but the
- In 1978, the Municipality constructed its municipal building on the citizens, they are intended for the common good and public
northeastern portion of the lot after it obtained permission from the welfare so they cannot be the object of appropriation either by
parish priest of Buruanga, municipality promised to remove all the State or by private persons
improvements it constructed thereon
- In October 1989, the municipal building was razed by fire allegedly
by members of NPA and on Nov 1989, the Roman Catholic Bishop DISPOSITION
wrote to the mayor requesting that the municipality refrain from - Petition was denied
constructing its new building on the same sit because it is the
property of the church
o Wrote to the DPWH requesting that it not issue any building
permit to the municipality in connection with the construction
of the municipal building on the land it was unheeded
- The construction of the new municipal building proceeded and the
Church filed the complaint that it be declared the lawful owner and
possessor of Lot 138
- The municipality on the other hand asserts that the church never
acquired ownership and possession over the land raising the
affirmative defense that it was a surveyed property of the
municipality
o A decree was issued in favor of the municipality

ISSUES
1. Who is the owner of the contested lot? It is not the subject of
appropriation

RULING & RATIO


- Petitioner incorrectly asserts that it was the owner of the lot by virtue
of the Laws of the Indies on the establishment of new towns or
pueblos in the archipelago
- Lots 138-A and 138-C comprise the public plaza and are property
of public dominion
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