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Land Titles and Deeds Case Digest: Oh Cho v. Director of Lands (1946)

G.R. No. L-48321. August 31, 1946

Lessons Applicable: (Land Titles and Deeds)
Sec. 2 Art. XII, 1987 Constitution


  • Oh Cho is appealing from the rejection of his application based on disqualification as alien (Chinese) from acquiring lands of the public domain.
  • He had open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession of the lot from 1880 to filing of the application for registration on January 17, 1940
ISSUE: W/N Oh Cho  entitled to decree or registration of the lot.

  • GR: All lands that were not acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by grant below to the public domain
  • Exception: in the possession of an occupant and of his predecessors in interest since time immemorial, for such possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain or that it had been a private property even before the Spanish conquest. (Cariño v. Insular Government) - not applicable since only from 1880
  • His immediate possesor failed to comply with the condition precedent to apply for the registration of the land of which they had been in possession at least since July 26, 1894 so what was transferred to Oh Cho is merely possesory right which cannot ripen to ownership by prescription (aliens disqualified to own by prescription)