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Heirs of Jose Olviga vs.

Heirs of Cornelio Glor


G.R. No. 104813, 21 October 1993
Facts: In 1950, then twelve-year-old Eutiquio Pureza and his father cleared and cultivated Lot 13, Pls84 of Guinayangan Public Land Subdivision which measured more or less 54,406 sq.m. They
introduced in 1954 improvements such as trees of coconut, jackfruit, mangoes, avocado and bananas.
Upon the land's release for disposition, the Bureau of Lands surveyed it in Eutiquio Pureza's name.
Godofredo (Jose Olviga's son and brother of petitioners Virgilio and Lolita Olviga-Olila) protested the
survey but without respect to the half-a-hectare portion "sa dakong panulukan ng AmihananSilanganan" which he claimed. Godofredo's protest is of public record in the Bureau of Lands and it
stated that he admitted the lot belonged to Eutiquio except for the half-a-hectare portion included in the
survey.
Eutiquio filed a homestead application in 1960 for Lot 13, but since no action was done on his
application, he transferred his rights to the lot in 1961 to Cornelio Glor, Sr.. The Bureau of Lands'
records did not disclose why there was no action for Eutiquio's homestead application and the proposed
transfer of rights to the land to Cornelio, Sr. The elder Cornelio was sickly and since his wife Angelita
was unschooled, she and her children failed to follow up Eutiquio's homestead application in the
cadastral proceedings held at the Municipal Court of Guinayangan Public Land Subdivision. Angelita
testified that she was never notified about the outcome of said proceedings. The non-posting of the
hearing of cadastral proceedings was confirmed by Virgilio.
The Olvigas were Glors' neighbors. Jose claimed on the other hand adjoining lands Lot 12 and 13 in the
cadastral proceeding. He falsely omitted that there were persons claiming possession and adverse
interests in Lot 13 and Eutiquio's sale of rights to Cornelio Sr. in 1961. Thus in 1967, the lands were
awarded without contest to Jose Olviga and subsequently registered under Original Certificate of Title
No. 0-12713. Jose requested later in 1971 that the land be splitted into two separate lots with separate
titles. TCT Nos. T-103823 and T-103824 were subsequently issued to Lots 12 and 13 respectively, and
he later on transferred Lot 13 to his daughter Lolita and her husband Jaime Olila.
Cornelio's widow Angelita filed in the Regional Trial Court of Calauag, Quezon an action against the
heirs of Jose Olviga to reconvey that parcel of land to her and her heirs. The RTC rendered judgment in
Angelita's favor after due trial, and it ordered the Olvigas' to reconvey the land and pay attorney's fees.
Jose Olviga's heirs appealed the trial court's decision to the Court of Appeals, but it affirmed the trial
court's judgment in its 13 January 1992 decision (CA-G.R. CV No. 30542). It also found that spouses
Jaime and Lolita Olviga-Olila were not in possession of the disputed land nor innocent purchasers for
value and that the Glors and their predecessor-in-interest Eutiquio Pureza were the possessors.
Issues addressed by the Supreme Court: The Olviga heirs asked for petition for review of the CA's
decision and the following issues were raised,
1. Whether or not plaintiffs' action is for quieting of title that does not prescribe, and assuming
their demand is for reconveyance of the land being based on implied trust, prescribes in ten (10)
years?
The Supreme Court held that an action for reconveyance of a parcel of land based on implied or
constructive trust prescribes in ten (10) years, the point of reference being the date of registration of the

deed of the date of the issuance of the certificate of title over the property. But this rule applies only
when the plaintiff is not in possession of the property, since if a person claiming to be the owner thereof
is in actual possession of the property, the right to seek reconveyance, which in effect seeks to quiet
title to the property, does not prescribe.
2. Whether the Glors' cause of action accrued not in 1967 but in 1988, and as mere homestead
transferees, cannot maintain an action for reconveyance?
It was also held that the Glors and their predecessors-in-interest Cornelio Glor, Sr. and Eutiquio Pureza
were in actual possession of the property since 1950. Their undisturbed possession gave them
continuing right to seek aid of a court of equity to determine nature of Olviga's adverse claim, who in
1988, disturbed their possession. Thus, the right to quiet the property's title which seeks reconveyance
and annulment of any certificate of title, accrues only from the time the possessor was made aware of
the adverse claim and it is only from that time that the statutory period of prescription commences to
run against him/her. It also stated that the actual possessor of a piece of land claiming to be its owner
may wait until disturbance of his/her possession or the attack of his/her title before taking steps in
vindication of his/her right because his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing right to seek the
aid of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and
its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed only by one who is in possession.