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Manotok vs.

Heirs of Barque
Gr. Nos. 162335 & 162605
1. On June 11, 1988, a fire gutted portions of the Quezon City Hall, immolating records stored
in the Office of the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City.
2. Heirs of Homer Barque filed a petition with the Land Registration Authority for
administrative reconstitution of the original of TCT No. 210177 issued in the name of
Homer Barque. The subject is a land belonging to Lot. 823 of the Piedad estate situated in
the then Municipality of Caloocan, Province of Rizal. In support of their petition, they
submitted the following:
a. Owners duplicate title
b. Real estate tax receipts
c. Tax declarations
d. And a plan FLS 3168-D covering the property
3. Severino Manotok IV et. al filed an opposition claiming that the lot covered by the Barque
title formed part of the land covered by their reconstituted title in the name of Severino
Manotok and further alleged that Barque title was spurious.
4. On June 30, 1997, Atty. Benjamin Bustos, reconstituting officer of LRA, DENIED the petition
of Barque on the ground that
a. The land is registered under the name of the Manotoks
b. Plan submitted is a spurious document
5. The motion for reconsideration of Barque was subsequently denied
6. Barque appealed to the LRA which reversed the decision of Atty. Bustos and granting
the reconstitution of Barque title while ordering the cancellation of the
Manotoks title ruling that
a. Reconstituting officer should have not required the submission of the documents
other than the owners duplicate certificate of title as basis for denying the petition
and should have confined himself to the owners duplicate certificate of title
b. He further found anomalies in Manotoks title
7. Thereafter, the parties filed the following in the LRA:
Document Filed
Action of the LRA
Motion for Reconsideration
Opposition with prayer that
reconstitution be ordered
8. Both appealed to the CA

CA- G.R. No. 66642


CA- G.R. No. 66700

LRA erred in imputing that their title was
Prayed that LRA be directed to immediately
reconstitute Barque title without being
subjected to the condition that Manotok
title should be cancelled

9. Felicitas Manahan filed a motion for leave to intervene in Barques case seeking the
dismissal of both cases and claiming ownership over the subject property
10.Decision of the CA
CA-GR. No.
3rd Division of
Affirmed the decision of the LRA
ruling that LRA correctly deffered



2nd division of

in giving due course to the

Barques petition for
reconstitution, since there was yet
no final judgment upholding or
annulling barque title
Denied Barques petition and
affirmed the decision of LRA which
denied the immediate

11.Barque filed motion for reconsideration on both cases

Action of the
66642 (filed by
MR was granted
Reconstituted Barque title and
directing the Registry of deeds of
QC to cancel Manotoks title
66700 (file by
MR was granted Created a
Reconstituted Barque title and
Special Division directing the Registry of deeds of
of Five of the
QC to cancel Manotoks title
former 2nd
12.Aggrieved with the twin decision of the CA, Maotoks filed separate petitions for review
before the SC doecketed as G.R. No. 162605 & 162335
13.On August 2, 2004 the court ordered consolidation of the cases and referring the same to
the SC 1st division
December 12, 2005 Decision
Ponente: Ynares-Santiago
1. WON LRA has no authority to annul their title
2. WON reconstitution of Barques title will be a collateral attack on Manotoks existing title
3. WON Manotoks were not given the opportunity to be heard
4. WON the CA has jurisdiction to order the cancellation of petitioners title
5. WON the ruling in Ortigas was misapplied
1. The LRA properly ruled that the reconstituting officer should have confined himself to the
owner's duplicate certificate of title prior to the reconstitution. The factual finding of the
LRA that [the Barques] title is authentic,genuine, valid, and existing, while [the Manotoks]
title is sham and spurious, as affirmed by the two divisions of the Court of Appeals, is
conclusive before this Court. It should remain undisturbed since only questions of law may
be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
2. The reconstitution would not constitute a collateral attack on petitioners' title which was irregularly and illegally
issued in the first place. As pertinently held in Dolfo v. Register of Deeds for the Province of Cavite: The rule that
a title issued under the Torrens System is presumed valid and, hence, is the best proof of ownership of a piece of
land does not apply where the certificate itself is faulty as to its purported origin.
3. There is no basis in the allegation that petitioners were deprived of their property
without due process of law when the Court of Appeals ordered the cancellation of their
Torrens title, even without a direct proceeding in the RTC xxx There is no need to remand
the case to the RTC for a re-determination on the validity of the titles of [the Barques] and

[the Manotoks] as the same has been squarely passed upon by the LRA and affirmed by
the appellate court. By opposing the petition for reconstitution and submitting their
administratively reconstituted title, petitioners acquiesced to the authority and jurisdiction
of the reconstituting officer, the LRA and the Court of Appeals, and recognized their
authority to pass judgment on their title. All the evidence presented was duly considered
by these tribunals. There is thus no basis to petitioners' claim that they were deprived of
their right to be heard and present evidence, which is the essence of due process.
4. The Court of Appeals also properly exercised its appellate jurisdiction over the judgment of
the LRA. Under Sections 1 and 3, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, the appellate court has
jurisdiction on appeals from judgments or final orders of the LRA, whether the appeal
involves questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of fact and law.
5. The Court of Appeals properly applied the doctrine laid down in Ortigas in refusing to remand the case to the trial
court. As expressly declared in Ortigas & Company Limited Partnership v. Velasco: Ordinarily, the relief
indicated by the material facts would be the remand of the reconstitution case. xxx Considering however the fatal
infirmities afflicting Molina's theory or cause of action, evident from the records before this Court, such a remand
and subsequent appeal proceedings would be pointless and unduly circuitous.
Petition for Review was denied and the decision of the CA was affirmed.
December 18, 2008 Decision
Ponente: Tinga
Additional Facts:
14.Manotoks appeal to the SC was denied, Barque filed multiple motions with the 1 st division
for execution of judgment & issuance of writ of possession for execution
15.Manotoks filed urgent motion to refer the motion for possession of Barque to the SC en
16.SC en banc accepted the cases
17.Meanwhile, Manahan filed a motion to intervene & attached the findings of NBI that the
documents presented by the Manotoks were not as old as they purported to be
18.Oral Arguments ensued and the Court required the parties, intervenors and Solicitor
General to submit their memoranda
1. WON
2. WON
3. WON
4. WON
5. WON

the court can re-evaluate the decision of the 1 st division

the CA & LRA have jurisdiction to annul Manotoks title
the LRA have jurisdiction to order administrative reconstitution of Barques title title
the Ortigas Case was properly applied
It can be collaterally attacked

1. Yes. The power to suspend or even disregard rules of procedure can be so pervasive and
compelling as to alter even that which this Court itself has already declared to be final.
2. No. the Court of Appeals does not have original jurisdiction to annul Torrens titles or to
otherwise adjudicate questions over ownership of property. Its exclusive original
jurisdiction is determined by law, particularly by Batas Pambansa (B.P. 129). Section 9 of
that law restricts the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals to special civil
actions and to actions for annulment of judgments of the regional trial court. 39 Still, the
Court of Appeals did acquire jurisdiction over the Barques' and the Manotoks' petitions,
albeit in the exercise of its exclusive appellate jurisdiction 40 over the ruling of the LRA,
also pursuant to Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended. Thus, for the appellate court to be





able to direct the cancellation of a Torrens title in the course of reviewing a decision of the
LRA, the LRA itself must have statutory authority to cancel a Torrens title in the first place.
No. Section 6 of P.D. No. 1529 enumerates the general functions of the Land Registration
Commissioner Nowhere in the aforecited provision is it stated that the LRA has the power
to cancel titles. Indeed, the Barques are unable to point to any basis in law that confirms
the power of the LRA to effect such cancellation, even under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 26 as
amended by Rep. Act No. 6732, which authorizes the administrative reconstitution of titles
in limited cases. In fact, as we shall see shortly such laws take great care to ensure that a
petition for administrative reconstitution of title will not disturb existing Torrens titles.
No. None of the provisions pertaining to administrative reconstitution in Rep. Act No. 26 or
6732 extraordinarily empowers the LRA to exercise jurisdiction over a petition for
reconstitution, where the property is already covered by a Torrens title. After all, the LRA in
such case is powerless to void the previous title or to diminish its legal effect. Even
assuming that the previously issued title is obviously fraudulent or attended by flaws and
as such cannot be countenanced by the legal system, the corrective recourse lies with the
courts, and not with the LRA.
No. The Court of Appeals herein could not have equated its annulment of the Manotok title
with that undertaken by the Court in Ortigas since, unlike in Ortigas, the Court of Appeals
was not endowed with the proper appellate jurisdiction to annul the Manotok title. The
unusual "shortcut" that occurred in Ortigas had become necessary because in that case
the trial court had denied or stricken out the notices of appeal respectively filed by Ortigas
and the Solicitor General from the order for reconstitution of Molina's titles. Had these
notices of appeal been allowed, the Court of Appeals would have then reviewed the trial
court's decision on appeal, with the ultimately correct resolution which was the annulment
of Molina's titles. Ortigas was forced to institute a special civil action of certiorari and
mandamus with this Court, praying for either of these alternative results.
No. Since neither the LRA nor the Court of Appeals could cause the cancellation of the
Manotok title, any declaration that the Barque claim was valid would be inutile and

So paano nagkaroon pa ng napakahabang discussion? Kasi napaka pakialamero ng SC!!!! Sabi

niya it would be best for this Court to test the premises under which the LRA and the
Court of Appeals had concluded that the Barques had a valid claim to title.
Overview of the infirmities that lead to the remanding of the case
as to whether they have a valid claim over the land
1. Barque states that their
OSG referred referred to LMB
title (TCT 210177) was
(of DENR) to investigate the
transferred from TCT
title of Manotoks. On
13900.They alleged that
answering whether a deed of
they bought the subject
conveyance could be issued to
property from a Setosta.
Felicitas Manahan, DENR
However TCT 13900 was
through the help of NBI
registered under the name
of Manotok Realty, Inc. and
not Setosta
1. That the said documents
2. They hinge their claim on a
could not be as old as it
purported subdivision plan.
purports to be
However, based on the
records LMB did not have a

to the CA to receive evidences

It was on record in CENRI that
Lot 823 had actually been in
the possession of Valentin
Manahan beginning in 1908. In
1939, Valentin Manahan
applied for the purchase of
Land and he was issued Sale
LMB did eventually forward to
the Office of Registry of deeds
of QC a deed of conveyance
for registration and mandatory
issuance of title to Felicitas

copy of such plan. Though

DENR had such copy, it has
several discrepancies that
amplifies the forged nature
of such document.

Manahan, as grantee, pursuant

to sec 122 of the Land
registration act.

HENCE, even assuming that

the petition for reconstitution
should not have been
dismissed due to the Manotok
title, it is apparent that the
Barques claim of ownership is
exceedingly weak.

FAQ: the subject land was a friar land the subject property therein was a Friar Land which under
the Friar Lands Law (Act No. 1120) may be disposed of by the Government only under that law.
Decision: 2005 decision set aside and judgment is recalled. The case is remanded to CA to
receive evidences and investigate whether there is a valid alienation of the subject land.
August 24, 2010 Decision
Ponente: Villarama, Jr.
Additional Facts:
19.The CA found that none of the parties were able to prove a valid alienation of Lot
823 of Piedad Estate from the government in accordance with the provisions of Act No.
1120 otherwise known as the "Friar Lands Act". Notably lacking in the deed of conveyance
of the Manotoks is the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce as required
by Section 18 of the said law.
20.Factual findings of CA:
They failed to submit an
There is no competent
chemical analysis of the
authenticated subdivision plan evidence showing that Felicitas documents of Assignment of
Manahan and/or her
Sale Certificate No. 1054 dated
The Barques' claim being
predecessor-in-interest have
March 11, 1919, June 7, 1920,
anchored on a spurious, fake
ever been in actual possession May 4, 1923 and April 19,
and non-existent sale
of the subject lot.
1930 executed by the original
certificate or deed of
claimants of Lot 823 in favor of
conveyance, the CA concluded No certified copy of Sale
Severino Manotok showed they
that no valid transfer or
Certificate No. 511 issued to
were not really as old as they
assignment can be used by
Valentin Manahan was
purport to be considering that
them as basis for the
presented and formally offered (1) the handwritten entries
reconstitution of title over the
as evidence in Court.
were found to be made in
subject lot. And in the absence
ballpoint pen and sign pen
of a duly approved subdivision As to the Deed of Conveyance
inks, which were not yet
plan, the Barques' title, TCT
No. V-200022 dated October
commercially available in the
No. 210177, is also null and
30, 2000, the CA held that its
Philippines until 1953 and
validity cannot be sustained
1965; and (2) the physical
considering that it lacked the
signs in the paper itself such
approval of the Secretary of
as the uneven discoloration,
Agriculture and Natural
artificial tears on the edges to

In any event, according to the
appellate court, Sale
Certificate No. 511 in the
name of Valentin Manahan
would be considered stale at
the time of issuance of Deed of
Conveyance No. V-200022 as
more than eighty six (86)
years had passed from the
execution of Assignment of
Sale Certificate No. 511

make the document appear

much older, and other tell-tale
marks on the punch and staple
wire holes.
most fatal defect stressed by
the CA in its Commissioners'
Report is the lack of signature
of the Chief of the Bureau of
Public Lands (now Director of
Lands) on Sale Certificate No.
1054 and approval by the
Secretary of
Interior/Agriculture and
Commerce on the Manotoks'
Sale Certificate No. 1054 and
Deed of Conveyance No.
29204, as required under Act
No. 1120.

whether the absence of approval of the Secretary of the Interior/Agriculture and Natural
Resources in Sale Certificate No. 1054 and Deed of Conveyance No. 29204 warrants the
annulment of the Manotok title.
It is clear from the provision of Sec. 18 of Act. No. 1120 that the sale of friar lands shall be valid
only if approved by the Secretary of the Interior. the absence of approval by the Secretary of
Agriculture and Commerce in the sale certificate and assignment of sale certificate made the
sale null and void ab initio.Necessarily, there can be no valid titles issued on the basis of such
sale or assignment.
Petition for reconstitution of Barques title is denied as well as the petitions of Manotok and
Manahan. The Court hereby DECLARES that Lot 823 of the Piedad Estate, Quezon City, legally
to the institution of REVERSION proceedings by the State through the Office of the Solicitor
March 6, 2012 Decision
Ponente: Villarama, Jr.
Additional Facts:
21.Motions for reconsideration was filed by the Manotoks, Barques & Manahans
1. Whether or not the other evidences presented by manotoks will suffice for their right to
the land.
2. Whether the deed of conveyance not bearing the signature can be ratified by virtue of MO
16-05 issued by DENR sec defensor
3. Whether or not the alonso case is no longer applicable by the issuance of MO 16-05


1. No. The contentions have no merit, and at best speculative. As this Court categorically ruled in Alonso v. Cebu
Country Club, Inc., 5 "approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce of the sale of friar lands is
indispensable for its validity, hence, the absence of such approval made the sale null and void ab initio." In that
case, the majority declared that no valid titles can be issued on the basis of the sale or assignment made in favor of
petitioner's father due to the absence of signature of the Director of Lands and the Secretary of the Interior, and
the approval of the Secretary of Natural Resources in the Sale Certificate and Assignment of Sale Certificate.
Applying the Alonsoruling to these cases, we thus held that no legal right over the subject friar land can be
recognized in favor of the Manotoks under the assignment documents in the absence of the certificate of sale duly
signed by the Director of Lands and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources.That a valid
certificate of sale was issued to Severino Manotok's assignors cannot simply be presumed from the execution of
assignment documents in his favor. Neither can it be deduced from the alleged issuance of the half-torn TCT No.
22813, itself a doubtful document as its authenticity was not established, much less the veracity of its recitals
because the name of the registered owner and date of issuance do not appear at all. The existence of a valid

certificate of sale therefore must first be established with clear and convincing evidence before a
purchaser is deemed to have acquired ownership over a friar land notwithstanding the non-issuance by
the Government, for some reason or another, of a deed of conveyance after completing the installment
payments. In the absence of such certificate of sale duly signed by the Secretary, no right can be
recognized in favor of the applicant. Neither would any assignee or transferee acquire any right over the
subject land. E
2. No. contracts of sale lacking the approval of the Secretary fall under the class of void and inexistent
contracts enumerated in Art. 1409 13 which cannot be ratified. Section 18 of Act No. 1120 mandated the
approval by the Secretary for a sale of friar land to be valid.
3. No.
First, DENR MO No. 16-05 explicitly makes reference only to Deeds of Conveyances, not to Sale
Certificates by which, under the express language of Section 15, the purchaser of friar land acquires the
right of possession and purchase pending final payment and the issuance of title, such certificate being
duly signed under the provisions of Act No. 1120. Although the whereas clause of MO No. 16-05
correctly stated that it was only a ministerial duty on the part of the Secretary to sign the Deed of
Conveyance once the applicant had made full payment on the purchase price of the land, it must be
stressed that in those instances where the formality of the Secretary's approval and signature is dispensed
with, there was a valid certificate of sale issued to the purchaser or transferor. In this case, there is no
indication in the records that a certificate of sale was actually issued to the assignors of Severino
Manotok, allegedly the original claimants of Lot 823, Piedad Estate. DacASC

4. Second, it is basic that an administrative issuance like DENR Memorandum Order No. 16-05 must
conform to and not contravene existing laws. In the interpretation and construction of the statutes
entrusted to them for implementation, administrative agencies may not make rules and regulations which
are inconsistent with the statute it is administering, or which are in derogation of, or defeat its purpose.
In case of conflict between a statute and an administrative order, the former must prevail. 23 DENR
Memorandum Order No. 16-05 cannot supersede or amend the clear mandate of Section 18, Act No.
1120 as to dispense with the requirement of approval by the Secretary of the Interior/Agriculture and
Natural Resources of every lease or sale of friar lands.