The Maharlika Kingdom Untold

Manila started some thousand years ago, born out from the very womb of Rio de Tagean (now Pasig) river. The seat of the most powerful Datu, the King Luisong Tagean, which was inherited by his son Rajah Soliman and later by his grandson Lacan Tagean and his Royal Family, was not in Manila but in Lamayan District, now the Malacanang Palace. The evolution of Tagean Clan into Tallano Clan served as catalyst in their claims and interest in land against the Spanish government until such time when foreign intervention, like the British Royal Government started in l76l, had successfully invaded and liberated the Filipino people from the Spanish colonization in October l4, l764. The American government took its role and settled the inhabitants’ perennial land problems by cessation treaty at the acquisition cost of U.S. Dollar 20 million. Such amount had been provided by Tallano Tagean Clan through the King’s son, Lacan-Tagean Tallano. One condition in the said accord, the British and the Spanish governments, and the US government as well, and any foreign dominion, should respect the inhabitants’ private ownership and interest in land. As a result of this treaty, another treaty, the Treaty of Paris, came into being, also containing the precondition that private rights and interest in lands in the Philippines would be respected.

The Treaty of Paris was signed April 4, l894. Upon signing it, the Spanish Royal Crown through its Queen sent Hermogenes and Miguel Rodriguez to the Philippines to assist the recovery of the Hacienda Quebega together with Hacienda Filipina by the Tagean Tallanos. Instead, they connived to carve out some of the best land for themselves. The Queen commanded them to cease and desist and reconvey from their landholdings the whole Hacienda Filipina, the archipelago with title OCT 0l-4 in the name of Prince Lacan Acuña Tagean-Tallano or to his son Prince Julian Macleod Tallano, the grandson of Alfred Dent, a British Lord and London merchant and part owner of Royal British North Borneo Company.

The court had ruled that the invaders were not the Spanish Royal Crown and neither the Great Americans but merely the Spanish Filipino mestizos who have vested interest to grab the archipelago.

A further evidence that the archipelago was the property of the Royal Family was written in Sung and Ming dynasty between the year l368 to l644 AD by the Chinese Emperor Yung Lo. As a symbol for the respect and due recognition of the Chinese Empire to the nobility of the King over his land ownership and rulership of the archipelago, the Chinese Emperor gave him a gift of silk cloth and several tons of precious metals like gold and jewels as a token of tribute to the Noble King whose name, King Luisong Tagean, was adapted in the naming of the largest island in his honor, the island of Luzon. Foreign traders regarded him as the sole ruler over the Archipelago; his ownership remained as an historic landmark; he never gained any resistance or opposition of any kind from various tribes of the inhabitants, meaning they directly admitted that the vast land of the archipelago was owned by the Tagean-Tallano Royal Clan, who discovered, rebuilt, glorified and fortified it for thousands of years. The inhabitants of the islands of Visayas and Mindanao acknowledged his rule by paying their share of their harvest from the lands they were tilling for and in behalf of the Royal Family.

King Luisong Tagean died in December 17, 1764 who left of nothing but noble teachings and his bounty of bullion of gold, 720,000 metric tons, as legacies to his royal children and descendants, and to the inhabitants of Maharlika Islands. He died nine (9) months after the issuance of the declaration of said treaty, died in peace and happiness. He died upon learning the positive fruits of his efforts which was the issuance of land title over the archipelago in his honor issued by the British Government embracing 7,169 islands and around 503,877 square nautical miles under OCT No. T-0l-4 and in the name of his grandson, Prince Lacan Tagean on January 17, 1764 and later to l6 year-old Prince Julian Macleod Tallano in 1780.

THE SPANIARDS. When the Spaniards came, full control of the islands remained with the descendants of King Luisong, specifically Raja Lapu-Lapu and his successors for Visayas and Mindanao and Raja Soliman and his successors for Luzon. Like conquerors of all kinds, the Spaniards started grabbing lands and distributed them to favored members of the conquering group, thereafter named Haciendas. Because of the land grabbing activities of the Spanish conquistadores, the descendants of King Luisong brought these questionable activities of the conquering armies of Spain to the attention of the Spanish Queen leading to the setting aside of many royal land grants and the issuance of titulo possessorio to become titulo de compra embracing the whole Philippine archipelago in favor of the Tallano clans.

THE BRITISH. In 1762, the British Royal Armies came to Manila with the purpose of defeating the abusive Spanish armies. Finally, in 1764 the British won over the Spaniards. The British Royal Government then issued a Royal Decree, Protocol 01-4 based on the Laws of the West Indies, amending the property rights of King Philip of Spain over the Philippines and granting ownership of the Philippine archipelago to the Tagean Tallano clans. After the signing of the peace accord between the royal governments of Spain and Britain, the Queen of Spain recognized the property rights over the Philippine archipelago based on the Maura Law.

THE TREATY OF PARIS. With the defeat of the Spanish Armada to the forces of the United States of America in the Battle of Manila Bay, Spain and America concluded the end of the War by signing the Treaty of Paris where the Philippines was sold for $20 Million U.S. Dollars. The winning bidder who paid the said amount in U.S. gold coins was DON ESTEBAN BENITEZ TALLANO, the predecessor in interest of PRINCE JULIAN MORDEN TALLANO. By virtue of the said payment, the Oficina de Cabildo recognized and affirmed Royal Decree 01-4 Protocol and registered as TITULO DE COMPRA in favor of PRINCE LACAN ACUNA ULRIJAL BOLKIAH (TAGEAN) TALLANO.

TORRENS TITLE. With the American administration in the Philippines, the ownership of the TALLANO CLANS was strengthened further by the passage of Act No. 496 which gave rise to the Torrens Title. Land registration proceedings based on the said law were undertaken which affirmed the ownership and title of the Tallano Clans over the Philippine archipelago on October 3, 1904 as Original Certificate of Title (OCT) 01-4. Furthermore, when Cadastral Act No. 2259 of 1913 was passed, again the cadastral court recognized the ownership and title of the TALLANO CLANS over the whole Philippine Archipelago, still as OCT 01-4.

A Torrens title is indefeasible which means it cannot be defeated by any claimant who has no title or whose title is issued later. It is also imprescriptibly which means that it does not prescribe. Even if a person who has no title or a fake title occupies a land duly titled for a million years, the titled owner of the land concerned can drive away any occupant who has no title or a later title over the land.

In the Philippines, there is no titled issued earlier than OCT 01-4.

DOCUMENTS ATTESTING TO THE EXISTENCE AND GENUINENESS OF THE TITLES OF THE TALLANO CLANS OVER THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO. The following are the official documents duly certified attesting to and confirming the genuineness and validity of the TALLANO ownership and title over the lands embracing the Republic of the Philippines:

Registration of Decree 01-4 protocol by virtue of the Supreme Order of the Royal Crown of England was done through Case No. 571 of the Royal Audiencia decreeing that PRINCE LACAN ACUNA TALLANO TAGEAN is the owner in fee simple of certain lands known as HACIENDA FILIPINA on January 17, 1764 at 10:45 in the morning, by authority of King George III of the Royal Crown of England, signed by GOVERNOR GENERAL DOWNSSONE DRAKE, British Governor, Philippine Islands.

NUMBER OF ANNOTATIONS: There are about 19 pages of annotations describing the transactions involving the land registered under OCT T-01-4. Other than the ones quoted in the preceding paragraphs you have the following interesting annotations:

Entry ODC-074, S-2-7, 1899 confirms the previous mortgage of U.S. $20,000,000.00 and later paid with the money of General Miguel Malvar who paid the amount of U.S. $3,300,000.00 for the area of Tanauan, Batangas; General Antonio Luna acquired the whole San Miguel and La Paz, Tarlac and paid U.S. $2,000,000.00 for it and giving the land as a gift to his sweetheart Miss Luisita Cojuangco; Don Mariano Tayag acquired 1,500 hectares of Kuliat and Mabiga, Pampanga and paid U.S.$3,300,000.00 for it; Don Francisco Macabulos acquired the area of Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac and paid U.S. $2,400,000.00; Don Juan Ejercito acquired the area of San Juan del Monte Hacienda embracing up to Sitio, Manduluyong consisting of 3,154 hectares for U.S. $3,154,000.00 and the remaining un-acquired areas were retained by Don Esteban Benitez Tallano and paid the amount of U.S. $6,600,000.00 for the remaining balance of the loan. This was inscribed on February 7, 1899 by Benito Legarda, Ad Interin. Land Registrar.

Entry EDC-096, S-1900 Real estate mortgage by Don Esteban Benitez Tallano of a commercial lot of 250 hectares in Centro Intramuros in favor of Banco-Filipino Español for P1,500,000.00 for the establishment of the Manila Daily Bulletin which sum was received by Messrs. H. G. Farris and Carson Taylor Date of document is February 3, 1902 and inscribed on November 13, 1902 by H. K. Sleepper, Land Registration Officer.

Entry PLA-061, S-6-1, 1903. Deed of Assignment made by Don Esteban Benitez Tallano in favor of the Sultanates of Mindanao/Sulu of the direct bloodline lineage of the three Datu-Sultans of Mindanao/Sulu under the 1825 Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram-I (father of 1858-1861 Sulu Sultan Pulalun and cousin Maharaja Adinda Taup) heirs, relatives of Don Esteban Benitez Tallano, the whole lands of the provinces of Sulu, Lanao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga to prevent the escalation of hostilities in the South.

There are many more interesting annotations at the back of OCT 01-4 like Entry CLRO-01123, S-1904 regarding the yearly rental paid by the US Government to Don Esteban Benitez Tallano in Baguio City for the site now known as Camp John Hay.

OCT NO. 01-4 was certified true, correct and genuine and existing at the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pasig, Rizal with the caveat that the original document was forwarded to the Office of the Register of Deeds of Manila in 1960 for jurisdictional purpose. The certification was issued by JOSE D. SANTOS, Register of Deeds of the Province of Rizal at Pasig on March 4, 1965.

DERIVATIVE TITLES AND CERTIFICATION OF GENUINENESS AND THEIR EXISTENCE IN OFFICIAL FILES: There are two Transfer Certificates of Title based on OCT 01-4 they are TCT NO. 498 issued in the name of DON ESTEBAN BENITEZ TALLANO on June 7, 1932 by Register of Deeds TEODORO GONZALEZ of the Province of Rizal and TCT NO. 408 issued in the name of DON GREGORIO MADRIGAL ACOP on June 7, 1932 by Register of Deeds of the Province of Rizal, TEODORO GONZALEZ.

Certification issued by LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSIONER ANTONIO NOBLEJAS of the Land Registration Commission on January 3, 1964 in reply to a request of Solicitor General Felix Makasiar certifying that OCT-01-4, TCT Nos. 408 and 498 are in their files and genuine Torrens Titles and all other titles issued after OCT 01-4 and not derived from it are fake and fraudulent.

Certification of Acting Register of Deeds VICTORIANO S. TORRENS of the Province of Rizal dated December 10, 1980 in response to a subpoena duces tecum issued by request of Solicitor General FELIX MAKASIAR in relation to LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P, before Branch 28 of the Court of First of Pasay City (now RTC Branch 111) stating that OCT 01-4 and TCT Nos. 408 and 498 are in their files, genuine and issued in accordance with law and with probative value.

TAX DECLARATIONS AND TAX PAYMENTS: The Tallano heirs declared the properties indicated in their titles and paid taxes for them, namely: 1) Tax Declaration No. 00111212-69 for OCT 01-4 in the names of Prince (Lacan) Tagean (Tallano) Ul Rijal Bolkiah with Don Esteban Benitez Tallano as Administrator, 2) TD No. 002-4450-69 in the name of Don Esteban Benitez Tallano with Benito Agustin Tallano as administrator for TCT No. 498; and 3) TD No. 003 (illegible) in the name of DON GREGORIO MADRIGAL ACOP. All real estate taxes were paid from 1948 up to 1969 when there was a request for a moratorium due to the pendency of the case.

COURT DECISION AND ACTIONS: There are two cases to talk about – the escheat proceedings, meaning for the government to take back the lands under OCT NO. 01-4 because of the absence of heirs and LRC/Civil Case No. 3957-P. The Government represented by the Solicitor General and the Tallano heirs entered into a compromise agreement. Not being contrary to law, the same was embodied in a decision of Judge Enrique Agana of Branch 28 of the Court of First Instance of Pasay City dated February 4, 1972. The same became final and executory. It was partially executed as shown by a number of sheriffs’ returns.

After a series of motions, Judge Agana rendered a clarificatory decision dated January 19, 1976. The same also became final and executory. On representation of the Solicitor General and some private parties affected by the decision, in 1991 a moratorium of the enforcement of the un-enforced portion of the decision was entered into by the parties to operate within a period of 15 years ending in January 2006.

In the meanwhile, the Pasay City Hall was burned including the records of this case. The Tallano filed for reconstitution. The Solicitor General and the other private parties were represented in the reconstitution case. The Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 111, decided in favor of the Tallano heirs. The decision also became final and executory because nobody appealed including the government.

Long after the decision became final and executory, the Government, surprisingly represented by the Office of the Solicitor General wants the partially executed decision declared null and void in a case filed before the Court of Appeals under CA-GR. No. 70014. This case is already submitted for final resolution before the said Court.

Considering the foregoing, it must be noted that in the said title, there is an important annotation of encumbrance found therein giving rise to the claim of the undersigned to the part of Maharlika which is reverted back to the undersigned’s forefathers, whom by blood lineage, rightfully belongs to them.

ISSUE:
Being the progeny of the three Sultans of Sulu and Mindanao, does the undersigned have a valid claim?

DISCUSSION:

TRACING THE UNDERINED’S LINEAGE

Sultan Pulalun was childless. Thus, the heir apparent to the Sulu Sultanate was handed down to his cousin, Prince and heir apparent, Maharaja Adinda Taup, who is the father of Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa, the grandfather of the undersigned.

Maharaja Adinda Taup was the son of Brunei’s Nakhoda (Laksamana or Admiral) Sayyid Perkasa Angging who is the grandson of the second Brunei Sultan Ahmad. Sultan Ahmad has a nephew, Seri Ali, who later became the third sultan of Brunei. Although sultan Ahmad has a son, Prince Amir Alatas, the latter did not succeed after his father because they married in Mindanao and Sulu (they were supposedly going to Mecca for pilgrimage but was not able to reach Mecca, instead they settled in Mindanao and Sulu).

Prince Amir Alatas had a son, Brunei’s Nakhoda (Laksamana or Admiral) Sayyid Perkasa Angging. He was the very defender of North Borneo-Sabah, together with his brother, Nakhoda Sangkalang, against the usurper, Sultan Mobin. As recorded in Malaysian and Brunei annuals, because of their feat, North Borneo-Sabah was given to the Sulu Sultanate as a Tribute.

Nakhoda Sayyid Perkasa Angging then became the Maharaja in Sulu and his brother, Nakhoda Sangkalang, is the Maharaja in North Borneo. As Maharaja for Sulu, he maintains his seat of power at Subah Buaya, Siasi Sulu with his official flag bearing the emblem of a twin-headed crocodile symbolizing his twin authority from Brunei. He was known as Maharaja Anddin of Sulu.

Maharaja Anddin begot a son, Adinda Taup, cousin of Sultan Pulalun-Moh. Fad’lun. Adinda Taup then begotted a son, Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa, the grandfather of the undersigned.

In 1915, Jamalul Kiram II signed the 1915 Carpenter Memorandum, surrendering his temporal powers to the American Government in exchange for a lifetime pension and amenities. However, what Jamalul Kiram II ceded was only his temporal power, the high spiritual power over the subjects was retained with the undersigned’s grandfather who became the High spiritual Leader of the Sulu Archipelago.

In 1967, the undersigned’s father, Sharif Carpenter Arpa I, established the Sultanate of Zamboanga (representing Mindanao) and Basilan (representing Sulu) and spearheaded the Royal Houses of Mindanao and Sulu in signing a manifesto for unity ratified by then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, now a senator.

Having now established his lineage from the Royal family of Maharlika Sulu and being then the direct descendants of the three sultans of Mindanao and Sulu whose ownership over the same was explicitly recognized and recorded in historical documents pertaining to therein, the undersigned has valid claims of ownership over the same and must be duly recognized as such.


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