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WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF JURE REGALIA?

(REGALIAN DOCTRINE)

> Generally, under this concept, private title to land must be traced to some grant, express or implied, from the Spanish Crown or its successors, the American Colonial Government, and thereafter, the Philippine Republic
> In a broad sense, the term refers to royal rights, or those rights to which the King has by virtue of his prerogatives
> The theory of jure regalia was therefore nothing more than a natural fruit of conquest

CONNECTED TO THIS IS THE STATE’S POWER OF DOMINUUM

> Capacity of the state to own or acquire property—foundation for the early Spanish decree embracing the feudal theory of jura regalia
> This concept was first introduced through the Laws of the Indies and the Royal Cedulas
> The Philippines passed to Spain by virtue of discovery and conquest. Consequently, all lands became the exclusive patrimony and dominion of the Spanish Crown.
> The Law of the Indies was followed by the Ley Hipotecaria or the Mortgage Law of 1893. This law provided for the systematic registration of titles and deeds as well as possessory claims
> The Maura Law: was partly an amendment and was the last Spanish land law promulgated in the Philippines, which required the adjustment or registration of all agricultural lands, otherwise the lands shall revert to the State

TAKE NOTE THAT THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE IS ENSHRINED IN OUR PRESENT AND PAST CONSTITUTIONS THE 1987 CONSTITUTION PROVIDES UNDER NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY THE FOLLOWING—

> “ Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding
twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.”
> The abovementioned provision provides that except for agricultural lands for public domain which alone may be alienated, forest or timber, and mineral lands, as well as all other natural resources must remain with the State, the exploration, development and utilization of which shall be subject to its full
control and supervision albeit allowing it to enter into coproduction, joint venture or production-sharing agreements, or into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization

THE 1987 PROVISION HAD ITS ROOTS IN THE 1935 CONSTITUTION

WHICH PROVIDES—

> Section 1. All agricultural timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy and other natural resources of the Philippines belong to the State, and their disposition, exploitation, development, or utilization shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens, subject to any existing right, grant, lease, or concession at the time of the inauguration of the Government established under this Constitution. Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated, and no license, concession, or lease for the exploitation, development, or utilization of any of the natural resources shall be granted for a period exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water
supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, in which cases beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

THE 1973 CONSTITUTION REITERATED THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE

AS FOLLOWS—
> Section 8. All lands of public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, wildlife, and other natural resources of the Philippines belong to the State. With the exception of agricultural, industrial or commercial, residential, or resettlement lands of the public domain, natural resources shall not be alienated, and no license, concession, or lease for the exploration, or utilization of any of the natural resources shall be granted for a period exceeding twentyfive years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than development of water power, in which cases, beneficial use may by the measure and the limit of the grant.

THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE DOESN'T NEGATE NATIVE TITLE. THIS IS IN PURSUANCE TO WHAT HAS BEEN HELD IN CRUZ V. SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

> Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of Indigenous Peoples Rights Act on the ground that it amounts to an unlawful deprivation of the State’s ownership over lands of the public domain and all other natural resources therein, by recognizing the right of ownership of ICC or IPs to their ancestral domains and ancestral lands on the basis of native title.
> As the votes were equally divided, the necessary majority wasn’t obtained and petition was dismissed and the law’s validity was upheld
> Justice Kapunan: Regalian theory doesn’t negate the native title to lands held in private ownership since time immemorial, adverting to the landmark case of CARINO V. LOCAL GOVERNMENT, where the US SC through Holmes held: “xxx the land has been held by individuals under a claim of private ownership, it will be presumed to have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest, and never to have been public land.”
> Existence of native titie to land, or ownership of land by Filipinos by virtue of possession under a claim of ownership since time immemorial and independent of any grant from the Spanish crown as an exception to the theory of jure regalia
> Justice Puno: Carino case firmly established a concept of private land title that existed irrespective of any royal grant from the State and was based on the strong mandate extended to the Islands via the Philippine Bill of 1902. The IPRA recognizes the existence of ICCs/IPs as a distinct sector in the society. It grants this people the ownership and possession of their ancestral domains and ancestral lands and defines the extent of these lands and domains
> Justice Vitug: Carino cannot override the collective will of the people expressed in the Constitution.
> Justice Panganiban: all Filipinos, whether indigenous or not, are subject to the Constitution, and that no one is exempt from its allencompassing provisions


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