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G.R. No.

150470, August 6, 2008


FELIPE AND VICTORIA LAYOS VS FIL-ESTATE GOLF AND
DEVELOPMENT, INC.
FACTS: In a previous case, Fil-Estate Golf (FEGDI) was the developer of a
golf course in Laguna along with La Paz who provided the properties
registered in its name. Thereafter, Layos filed for injunction against FEGDI
and alleged that he is the legal owner of the lands in question, and further
alleged an intrusion on the part of FEGDI and La Paz. Layos filed two
different cases in two separate courts, praying for the same thing.
Complaint was dismissed for forum-shopping.
Only months after instituting the injunction cases, Layos filed a
complaint for quieting of title against La Paz. Layos alleges that La Paz
grabbed his land and entered it without his consent. His main proof was
the Original Certificate Title No. 239, issued in his name. La Paz argues
that Layos never owned or possessed the land in question an in fact, it got
the lands from the government and it was issued the assailed Transfer
Certificate of Titles. The court ruled in favor of La Paz and declared their
titles to be indefeasible and found the OCT of Layos to be spurious.
Layos filed an action to reconstitute his title and many others
opposed. The court again denied this, reiterating that OCT 239 of Layos is
forged.
ISSUE: Whether or not Layos is entitled to reconstitution.
HELD:No. Layos did not have a valid title to the said property because the
RTC ruled that it was forged.
Reconstitution or reconstruction of a certificate of title literally and
within the meaning of Republic Act No. 26 denotes restoration of the
instrument which is supposed to have been lost or destroyed in its original
form and condition. For an order of reconstitution to issue, the following
elements must be present:
1) the certificate of title has been lost or destroyed;
2) the petitioner is the registered owner or has an interest
therein; and
3) the certificate of title is in force at the time it was lost or
destroyed.
Courts have no jurisdiction over petitions for reconstitution of
allegedly lost or destroyed titles over lands that are already covered by duly
issued subsisting titles in the name of their duly registered owners.

When the court relied on the previous judgment in the injunction


cases that the OCT of Layos was forged, it did NOT entertain a collateral
attack when it dismissed the reconstitution case.
G.R. No. 173210, April 24, 2009
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS MACARIA L. TUASTUMBAN
FACTS: Tuastumban filed a petition for reconstitution of the OCT covering
Lot No. 7129, Flr-133, Talisay-Minglanilla Estate under Patent No. 43619 in
the name of the Legal Heirs of Sofia Lazo, with area of approximately 3,633
square meters. The OCT which was in the possession of the Register of
Deeds of the Province of Cebu was allegedly either lost or destroyed during
World War II. Respondent anchored her petition for reconstitution on Sec.
2(d) of Republic Act No. 26 which provides that an original certificate of title
may be reconstituted from an authenticated copy of the decree of
registration or patent, as the case may be, pursuant to which the original
certificate of title was issued.
According to the Certification by the Community Environment and
Natural Resources Office of Cebu City, Lot No. 7129 was granted to the
heirs of Sofia Lazo via Patent No. 43619 issued on 21 July 1938.
Respondent claims she bought the property from the said owners who are
also her relatives, as evidenced by an Extrajudicial Declaration of Heirs
with Waiver of Inheritance Rights and Deed of Absolute Sale. She claims
that since the time of purchase, she has been occupying and possessing
the land and paying the realty taxes thereon. Respondent prayed for
reconstitution of the title covering the property since the title, supposedly on
file and under the custody of the Register of Deeds of Cebu Province, had
either been lost or destroyed during World War II as certified by said office.
Cebu City Prosecutor, representing the Office of the Solicitor General, did
not present any evidence against respondent.
On 11 December 2000, the RTC ordered to reconstitute the lost
Original Certificate of Title covering Lot No. 7129, Flr-133, TalisayMinglanilla Estate, in the name of the Legal Heirs of Sofia Lazo based on
Patent No. 43619 issued on 21 July 1938.
Petitioner interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals which
reversed the RTC judgment. The appellate court held that no proper
reconstitution can be done since respondent did not utilize the sources of
reconstitution provided under Sec. 2 of R.A. No. 26 in the order therein
stated, merely presenting as it did a Certification from the CENRO that a

patent had been issued over Lot No. 7129 in the name of the heirs of Sofia
Lazo.
However, upon a motion for reconsideration filed by respondent, the Court
of Appeals in its Amended Decision of 23 June 2006 reversed itself and
held that respondent has substantially complied with the requirements for
reconstitution under RA 26.
ISSUE: Whether the documents presented by respondent constitute
sufficient basis for the reconstitution of title to Lot No. 7129.
HELD: No. Respondents evidence is inadequate.
The purpose of the reconstitution of title is to have, after observing
the procedures prescribed by law, the title reproduced in exactly the same
way it has been when the loss or destruction occurred. RA 26 presupposes
that the property whose title is sought to be reconstituted has already been
brought under the provisions of the Torrens System.
Respondent anchored her petition for reconstitution on Sec. 2(d) of
RA 26. Respondent however failed to present an authenticated copy of the
decree of registration or patent pursuant to which the original certificate of
title was issued. She relied on the CENRO certification which is however
not the authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent required
by law. The certification plainly states only that Lot No. 7129 is patented in
the name of the Legal Heirs of Sofia Lazo. It is not even a copy of the
decree of registration or patent itself but a mere certification of the issuance
of such patent.
G.R. No. 155703, September 8, 2008
THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS DOMINADOR SANTUA
FACTS: Dominador Santua was claiming that he is the owner of a parcel of
land in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. He could not produce the original copy
of the certificate as it was lost during an earthquake in 1994. The records of
the Registry of Deeds were destroyed due to a fire in 1977. There are no
encumbrances on the land.
Santua then filed for reconstitution. He presented a tax declaration, a
survey plan and technical description of the land as evidence.
ISSUE: Whether or not tax declarations, technical description and lot plans
are sufficient bases for the reconstitution of lost or destroyed certificates of
titles.

HELD: No. Section 3 of RA No. 26 provides:


SEC. 3. Transfer certificates of title shall be reconstituted from such of the
sources hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order:
(a) The owners duplicate of the certificate of title;
(b) The co-owners, mortgagees or lessees duplicate of the certificate of
title;
(c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register
of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;
(d) The deed of transfer or other document on file in the registry of deeds,
containing the description of the property, or an authenticated copy thereof,
showing that its original had been registered, and pursuant to which the lost
or destroyed transfer certificate of title was issued;
(e) A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property the
description of which is given in said documents, is mortgaged, leased or
encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its
original had been registered; and
(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and
proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.
Santua anchored his argument on Section 3 (f) of RA 26. However,
applying the principle of ejusdem generis, Section 3 (f) of RA 26 should be
pertinent to the items preceding it. Meaning, these should be documents
issued by or are on file with the Register of Deeds.
Moreover, they are documents from which the particulars of the certificate
of title or the circumstances which brought about its issuance could readily
be ascertained.
At most, the tax declaration can only be prima facie evidence of possession
or a claim of ownership.
As for the survey plan and technical descriptions, these are not the
documents referred to in Section 3(f) but merely additional documents that
should accompany the petition for reconstitution. Moreover, a survey plan
or technical description prepared at the instance of a party cannot be
considered in his favor, the same being self-serving.
G.R. No. 150741, June 12, 2008
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS VICENTE AND BONIFACIA
LAGRAMADA
FACTS: The land in this case was allegedly covered by Transfer Certificate
of Title No. 118717 in the name of Reynaldo Pangilinan. The original copy

of TCT No. 118717 was allegedly destroyed when a fire razed the office of
the Register of Deeds of Quezon City on 11 June 1988.
On 25 June 1996, Pangilinan sold Lot 8 to the spouses Vicente and
Bonifacia Lagramada. Respondents paid all the taxes on the land from
1976 to 1997 under Tax Declaration No. C-122-01735. On 16 April 1997,
respondents filed a petition for reconstitution of the original copy of TCT No.
118717 and for the issuance of a second owners duplicate copy of the title.
Pangilinan allegedly misplaced the owners duplicate copy and it could no
longer be found despite diligent efforts to find it.
After complying with the required publication and notice to all parties,
the trial court heard the petition on 7 January 1998. No oppositors
appeared. However, the trial court did not issue any default order.
Bonifacia Lagramada appeared as the lone witness.
RTC ruled in favor of respondents.
Petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed an appeal
on the ground that respondents pieces of evidence are not sufficient to
warrant reconstitution of TCT No. 118717.
The Court of Appeals ruled that respondents sought the reconstitution
of TCT No. 118717 not in their capacity as owners but as persons who
have an interest in the property. The Court of Appeals ruled that
respondents were asking for reconstitution not in their names but in the
name of Pangilinan.
ISSUE: Whether the documents presented by respondents are sufficient
bases for the reconstitution of TCT No. 118717.
HELD: No. The documents submitted by respondents are not sufficient
bases for reconstitution. A tax declaration by itself is not sufficient to prove
ownership.
In this case, two certificates of title were allegedly lost the original
copy of the transfer certificate of title in the Register of Deeds of Quezon
City which was destroyed in a fire, and the owners duplicate copy of the
certificate of title which Pangilinan misplaced. Hence, respondents were
asking for the reconstitution of the original copy of the transfer certificate of
title and the issuance of a second owners duplicate copy of the certificate
of title.
The requirements of Sections 2 and 3 are almost identical. We agree
with petitioner that the enumerated requirements are documents from
official sources which recognize the ownership of the owner and his
predecessors-in-interest. We likewise agree that any other document in

paragraph (f) of Sections 2 and 3 refers to documents similar to those


enumerated.