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CALALANG VS RD land affected was covered by two (2) sets of titles issued in the

names of different owners.
The subject of controversy in these two consolidated petitions is a
parcel of land — Lot 671-A of the Piedad Estate located in Barrio On September 9, 1986, the petitioner filed a Motion to Intervene
Culiat, Diliman. requesting the Administrator to conduct an investigation of the
supposed anomaly committed in connection with the
reconstitution of TCT No. RT-58 in the name of Lucia dela Cruz.
The petitioners are individual lot owners who claim to have
This was denied by the Administrator invoking our ruling in dela
bought their respective portions from Amando Clemente in the
Cruz v. dela Cruz to the effect that TCT RT-58 in the name of
1950's.
respondent Lucia dela Cruz is the valid title. (Rollo, pp. 44-47)
Consequently, a Motion for Reconsideration was filed by herein
Amando Clemente is alleged to be the registered owner of said petitioner but this was likewise denied by the Administrator on
land evidenced by Transfer of Certificate Title No. 16212 covering October 20, 1986 on the ground that the issues raised therein
about 81,160 square meters who converted it into a subdivision have already been passed upon and that the issues being litigious
known as Clemville Subdivision. in nature cannot be decided in a consulta case "where the only
question to be determined is the registrability of the document
Lot 671-A is actually part of a bigger parcel known as Lot 671 presented for registration."
which is claimed by respondent Iglesia ni Kristo (INK), which
bought said property from Lucia dela Cruz in 1975. Dela Cruz was Hence, on October 27, 1986, the petitioner file the instant Special
adjudged the rightful owner of Lot 671 in the case of dela Cruz Civil Action for Certiorari and Prohibition in G.R. No. 76265 against
v. dela Cruz (130 SCRA 666 [1984]). INK began fencing the whole the Administrator of the NLTDRA, the Register of Deeds of
area and placed the following sign "NO TRESPASSING — IGLESIA Quezon City and private respondents Lucia dela Cruz, Constancio
NI KRISTO PROPERTY SUPREME COURT CASE NO. 61969, July 25, Simangan and Iglesia ni Kristo. Lucia dela Cruz and Constancio
1984." Simangan were impleaded as they were predecessors-in-interest
of INK.
Briefly, the dela Cruz v. dela Cruz case is an action for
reconveyance founded on breach of trust filed by Augustina dela INK and the Administrator filed their comments on January 5,
Cruz, et al. against Lucia dela Cruz and INK. Augustina and her co- 1987 and June 29, 1987 respectively. For failure to locate
plaintiffs charged that the parcel of land purchased by the INK Constancio Simangan's whereabouts despite diligent efforts and
from Lucia dela Cruz was actually a part of their inheritance share considering further that INK is the indispensable party and the
in the estate of their late grandfather, Policarpio dela Cruz but one interested in upholding the validity of the reconstituted title
which, in breach of trust known to the INK, Lucia sold to the of respondent Lucia dela Cruz, the petitioner moved to drop him
latter. as respondent. This was granted by the Court in a resolution
dated April 13, 1988. (Rollo, p. 189)
Augustina's suit was originally decided in her favor by the trial
court. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the judgment was Taking the cue from the Administrator that present certificates of
reversed and the questioned sale by Lucia dela Cruz to the INK title must be cancelled to avoid duplication, the Register of Deeds,
was upheld. Consequently, Augustina went to the Supreme Court instead of filing its comment initiated cancellation proceedings of
on a petition for review on certiorari, docketed as G. R. No. 61969. more than 100 titles, against 81 defendants which included herein
petitioner on the basis of this Court's declaration in the case
On July 25, 1984, the Court rendered a decision in affirming the of dela Cruz that the reconstituted title of respondent Lucia dela
decision of the Court of Appeals. The validity of the sale of Lucia Cruz is the valid title. This petition was filed by the Office of the
to the INK was thereby upheld and the title of INK to the subject Solicitor-General (OSG) on January 5, 1987 with the Regional Trial
realty (Lot 671) was validated as well. Court of Quezon City docketed as Civil Case No. Q-49900.

This Supreme Court decision spawned the two (2) petitions now Consequently, the petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground that
before us assailing the validity of Lucia dela Cruz's title over Lot the complaint was premature and maliciously filed with
671 which in turn was sold to INK. knowledge of the instant petition with this Court. INK, on the
other hand, filed a Motion to Intervene in said case. Claiming
ownership over Lot 671, it prayed for damages against some of
In G.R. No. 76265, petitioner Virginia Calalang alleged that she is the defendants namely Augusto de Leon, Jose M. Panlilio and
the registered owner of a portion of Lot 671-A (subdivision plan – Felicidad Vda. de Pineda who filed an injunction suit against it
– PSD 32221) as evidenced by TCT Nos. 17556, 17564 and 17562. (Civil Case No. Q-45767) with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
She allegedly came to know of INK'S claim only when a Quezon City on September 12, 1985.
prospective buyer inspected the land on August 1986 and saw the
"no trespassing" sign.
Despite opposition of the petitioner to respondent INK's Motion
to Intervene, presiding Judge Benigno T. Dayaw granted the
Petitioner Calalang lost no time in inquiring into the status of the motion of INK and denied petitioner's Motion to Dismiss on the
land and learned about the pending consulta case (LRC 1978) filed ground that the issues raised in the instant petition (G. R. No.
before the Administrator of the National Land Titles and Deeds 76265) will not substantially affect said civil case. The subsequent
Registration Administration (NLTDRA). This consulta came about motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner was likewise
when the Register of Deeds doubted the registrability of the denied considering that no restraining order has been issued
documents presented before it in the light of his findings that the (Rollo, pp. 198-216).

However, instead of filing an answer to the complaint in Civil Case On September 19, by agreement of the parties and in open court,
No. Q-49900, the petitioners filed on July 15, 1988 a supplemental the Judge issued an order, granting the parties' motion to enter
petition before this Court to include as additional respondent, the into a stipulation of facts instead of going on with the hearing and
Honorable Judge Benigno T. Dayaw and petitioner's children who to maintain the status quo.
were named as defendants in said Civil Case, as additional
petitioners. At the same time the petitioner prayed for a
In the course of the exchange of pleadings between the parties,
restraining order (Rollo, p.197).
the trial judge issued an Order on December 6, 1985 denying the
petitioners' prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
To this supplemental petition, the OSG in behalf of the Republic injunction on the grounds that:
filed its comment pursuant to the Court's resolution granting the
petitioner's motion for leave to include additional parties and to
From the exchange of written arguments
admit supplemental petition (Rollo, p. 228).
and the authorities cited, it appears that the
petitioners' titles which were issued some
In the meantime, fire gutted the records of the Register of Deeds ten years earlier than that of respondent's
in Quezon City, so respondent Judge required the parties to agree emanated from a reconstituted TCT No. RT-
to a stipulation of facts instead of trial. 52, which covered portion of Lot 671 of the
Piedad Estate of Quezon City. Petitioner's
parcels of land are within that estate. This
In G.R. No. 83280, the petitioners alleged that they and/or their
reconstituted TCT No. RT-52 was the
predecessors in interest were issued their corresponding titles to
subject of a case, "De la Cruz v. De la Cruz",
the lots purchased from Amando Clemente in the 1950's yet.
130 SCRA 66 [1984], wherein the Honorable
Supreme Court declared the said
They alleged that they took physical possession of their lots in reconstituted title null and void.
Clemville Subdivision by actually occupying the same, declaring
them in their names for tax purposes, fencing or marking them off
The principal argument of petitioners that
and entrusting their care to "katiwalas". From the time they
they were not parties thereto can not be
acquired their Torrens Title they and they alone to the exclusion
given serious extended discussion as they
of INK exercised all acts of undisturbed, peaceful and
could acquire no more rights than the
uninterrupted ownership and possession including the payment
source of their titles. For brevity, at this
of their realty taxes.
initial stage, suffice it to say that under the
foregoing discussed circumstances, the
On or about the second week of August, 1985, INK started to petitioners have not shown a clear and
enclose the entire Clemville Subdivision with "sawali" fences with positive right to a temporary relief.
billboards randomly posted which read: (Emphasis supplied) (Rollo, p. 35)

NO TRESPASSING Assailing this order, the petitioners by way of certiorari elevated
I.N.C. PROPERTY the matter to the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 08146.
SC DECISION
2ND DIVISION
On April 9, 1986, the Court of Appeals promulgated a Decision
G. R. NO. L 61969
with the following dispositive portion:
JULY 25, 1984

WHEREFORE, the petition is given due
INK also destroyed the concrete/hollow block fence surrounding
course and is hereby RESOLVED by setting
the lot of petitioner de Castro and started the construction of
aside the Order dated December 6, 1985 in
housing structures therein. At the same time, it commenced the
Civil Case No. Q-45767 and directing that
delivery of construction materials to the former premises of
the application for preliminary injunctive
petitioner Panlilio to erect a permanent structures of strong
relief therein be properly heard and
materials on it.
evidence for or against the same be
adduced in due course. (Rollo, p. 39)
Thus, on August 22, 1985, the petitioners filed with the RTC-
Branch 101 a petition for injunction with damages. This case was
On February 12, 1987, respondent INK filed with the lower court a
docketed an Civil Case No. 45767. Later, this petition was
motion to dismiss the petitioners' complaint for injunction on the
amended to include Elena Ostrea and Feliza C. Cristobal-Generoso
ground that it does not state a cause of action.
as additional petitioners.

On August 7, 1987, the lower court issued an Order with the
August 25, 1985, presiding Judge Santiago issued a restraining
following dispositive portion:
order and set the case for hearing the writ for preliminary
injunction on September 5, 1985.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, finding
respondent's Motion to Dismiss justified,
The September 5 hearing was however, reset to September 19,
the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED,
1985 with respondent Eraño Manalo volunteering to maintain
with costs against petitioners. (Rollo, p. 48)
the status quo until then or until the matter had been resolved by
the trial court.

Seeking relief from the dismissal, the petitioners filed the two Court in the dela Cruz case. Well-settled is the rule enunciated
pleadings, to wit: in Church Assistance Program, Inc. v. Sibulo, 171 SCRA 408 [1989]
that:
1) "Motion for Reconsideration Ad
Cautelam" dated September 18, 1987 filed When a right or fact has been judicially tried
with the RTC, NCR, Branch 101 Quezon City; and determined by a court of competent
and jurisdiction, so long as it remains
unreversed, it should be conclusive upon
the parties and those in privity with them in
2) "Omnibus Motion Incident to Execution
law or estate.
of the Decision dated April 9, 1986" dated
September 29, 1987 filed with the Court of
Appeals. The Court's ruling has long been final and the issue on ownership
of Lot 671 finally disposed of several years ago. This declaration
must be respected and followed in the instant case applying the
On December 10, 1987, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners'
principle of res judicata or, otherwise, the rule on conclusiveness
Omnibus Motion. The petitioners' motion for reconsideration was
of judgment. The less familiar concept or less terminological
likewise denied in a resolution by the RTC dated May 4, 1988.
usage of res judicata as a rule on conclusiveness of judgment
refers to the situation where the judgment in the prior action
Hence, the instant petition with the following assignment of operates as an estoppel only as to the matters actually
errors. determined therein or which were necessarily included therein
(De la Cruz v. Court of Appeals, 187 SCRA 165 [1990]).
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, IN
ITS DECEMBER 10, 1987 RESOLUTION, Inevitably, the dela Cruz ruling should be applied to the present
ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE ORDERS OF petitions since the facts on which such decision was predicated
DECEMBER 12, 1986 AND AUGUST 7, 1986 continue to be the facts of the case before us now (See Rivas v.
RELATE TO INCIDENTS IN CIVIL CASE NO. SEC, 190 SCRA 295 [1990]). Even the petitioners substantially
45767 TOTALLY ALIEN TO THE SUBJECT adopt the same findings of facts in their pleadings. The factual
MATTER OF CA-G.R. SP NO. 08146. inquiry with regards to the history of Lot 671 has already been laid
to rest and may no longer be disturbed. We quote:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
ERRED IN VALIDATING THE ORDER OF The undisputed facts indicate that the
AUGUST 7, 1986. (Rollo, p. 16) parcel of land in question is Lot 671 of the
Piedad Estate, GLRO Rec. No. 5975, with an
In a resolution dated August 30, 1989, G.R. No. 83280 was area of 184, 268 square meters, more or
consolidated with G.R. No. 76265. less, situated in Barrio Culiat, Quezon
City; that the totality of the Piedad Estate
consists of a vast tract of land, registered on
Although other minor issues are involved in these consolidated March 12, 1912, in the name of the
cases, the principal and crucial issue that alone needs to be Philippine Government, under Original
resolved is the applicability of this Court's decision in the dela Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 614 of the
Cruz case to these cases now before us. Register of Deeds of the Province of Rizal;
that when the Piedad Estate was subdivided
The petitioners argue that the dela Cruz case could not be applied (with Lot No. 671 as one of the resulting
to them since they were not parties in that case nor were they parcels) whoever was in possession of a
ever notified of such case pending between the parties. The particular lot was given priority and/or
petitioners explained that the de la Cruz case was a case among preference in the acquisition thereof
the heirs of Policarpio de la Cruz. Since they acquired their provided that the price and the cost of
properties from an entirely different person, Amando Clemente titling would be paid; that upon such
and not from any of the heirs of Policarpio de la Cruz, they could payment, the government would issue the
not be considered privies to any of them. corresponding certificate of title; that
Policarpio dela Cruz and his wife Luciana
Rafael were originally in possession of the
In denying applicability, however, the petitioners assail the land; that they had three children, namely
Court's ruling that "the reconstituted title of Lucia dela Cruz over
Lot 671 (TCT No. RT 58) was valid. As the registered and rightful
owner, Lucia dela Cruz had the perfect and legal right to sell, (1) Maximo de la Cruz (married to Feliza
assign, and convert the property to respondent INK who as Yabut);
purchaser for value in good faith holds the same free from all
encumbrances except those noted in said certificate." (2) Filomeno de la Cruz (married to Narcisa
Santiago); and
With this Court's ruling promulgated in 1984, it is our considered
view that the petitioner can not raise anew the question of (3) defendant-appellant Lucia de la Cruz (a
ownership of Lucia dela Cruz over Lot 671 which had been widow);
determined by the Court of Appeals and affirmed by the Supreme

that the plaintiffs-appellees herein are the meters) was sold on December 17, 1952 to
descendants of the two sons (Maximo and one Narcisa Vda. de Leon (to whom TCT No.
Filomeno) of Policarpio; that on April 25, 2009 was later issued); that on May 6,
1940, Lot No. 671 was segregated from the 1964, Narcisa Vda. de Leon transferred the
totality of the Piedad Estate, covered by same Lot 671-B to Nieves Paz Eraña (who
OCT No. 614 and a separate title was issued was later issued in her own name TCT No.
in the name of 79971).

"Eugenia de la Paz, soltera" and "Dorotea The undisputed facts further show that in
de la Cruz, viuda" 1971, Nieves Paz Eraña filed before the
Court of First instance of Quezon City Civil
Case No. 16125 for 'quieting of title' against
(this was Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT)
Lucia de la Cruz, et al., praying that TCT
No. 40355 of the Register of Deeds for the
No. RT-58, (the reconstituted title of Lucia
Province of Rizal); that on November 29,
de la Cruz), as well as all titles derived
1941, a deed of sale over Lot No. 671 was
therefrom, be declared null and void; that
executed by Eugenia de la Paz and Dorotea
the case ended with the parties submitting
de la Cruz (the registered owners) in favor of
a compromise agreement with Lucia de la
defendant-appellant Lucia de la Cruz; that
Cruz, among other things, paying plaintiff
said deed of sale was registered with the
Eraña the amount of P250,000.00 to cover
office of the Register of Deeds on July 17,
the acquisitive cost of the 103,108 square
1943 and the corresponding certificate of
meters of land included in the certificate of
title was issued to Lucia de la Cruz; that in
title of defendant Lucia de la Cruz; that on
1971, Lucia de la Cruz obtained from the
July 17, 1975, Lucia de la Cruz sold a portion
land registration court a reconstituted
of Lot No. 671-C (one of the three portions
title (TCT No. RT-59 over Lot No. 671), the
to which the lot included in RT-58 had been
transfer certificate of title previously issued
subdivided, and which portion was covered
to her in 1943 having been lost; that
by TCT No. 168322), consisting of 103,108
subsequently, Lot No. 671 (this time,
square meters to defendant-appellant
already covered by TCT No. RT-58) was
Iglesia Ni Cristo, for the amount of
subdivided into three (3) lots, each of which
P2,108,850.00; that this sale was later
was issued a separate title, as follows:
registered in the Registry of Deeds of
Quezon City, with a new title, TCT No.
(a) Lot No. 671-A containing an area of 209554 being issued in the name of the
30,000 square meters and covered by TCT Iglesia Ni Cristo; that another deed of
No. 168320; absolute sale was executed for the
remaining 84,356 square meters in favor
(b) Lot No. 671-B, containing an area of also of the Iglesia and said sale was
4,268 square meters and covered by TCT annotated on TCT No. 168322. In view of
No. 168321; and said sales and the fact that registration of
the involved parcels is now in the name
(separately) of Lucia de la Cruz and the
(c) Lot No. 671-C, containing an area of Iglesia Ni Cristo, the present action for
150,000 square meters and covered by TCT reconveyance with damages was instituted.
No. 168322; (Emphasis supplied)

that meanwhile TCT No. 40355 (already Apparently, there is no mention of Amando Clemente in the
previously issued to and in the names of above recital of facts. A closer perusal of the records in G. R.
Eugenia de la Paz and Dorotea de la Cruz) 76265 would, however, reveal that TCT No. 16212 was issued for
continued to exist; that when the title was Lot 671-A in the name of Amando Clemente on August 9, 1951
transferred from the Rizal Registry to the per report of the Acting Administrator of the NLTDRA (Rollo, p.
Quezon City Registry, from the latter 92). Amando Clemente's TCT No. 16212 emanated from TCT No.
Registry assigned to this TCT a new number, 40355 in the name of Eugenia de la Paz and Dorotea dela Cruz.
RT-52; that this same Lot (No. 671) was Thus, Amando Clemente's predecessors-in-interest are Eugenia
later subdivided into two lots, each with a dela Paz and Dorotea dela Cruz whom the Court found to have
title: lost their rights over Lot 671 by virtue of the sale made to Lucia
dela Cruz.
(a) Lot No. 671-A (TCT No. 16212)
The Register of Deeds correctly observed that this is a clear case
(b) Lot No. 671-B (TCT No. 16213) where there is a duplication or overlapping of titles issued to
different names over the same land which thereby compelled him
to file the consulta case with the NLTDRA:
both in the names of Eugenia de la Paz and
Dorotea de la Cruz; that the second lot (lot
No. 671-B, with an area of 103,108 square

v. constitute constructive notice to the whole world. has the in the procurement of the certificate of title of Lucia dela Cruz. who merely stepped into the shoes of within one year after its entry as described Amando Clemente cannot claim a better right over said land. de la Cruz. . RT 58) has subject to collateral attack and can be become indefeasible and incontrovertible. Likewise. 152 SCRA We note with approval the lower court's 253 [1987]. the arguments and issues raised by decisions all other courts should take their the petitioner require adjudication of facts which. Sevilla. the title in the name of Lucia dela Cruz (TCT No. therefore. 153 SCRA 359 [1987]). Vol. and not a collateral attack. 175 SCRA 597 [1988]) patient explanation that. This is. the petitioners. under the bearings. Under the facts of the provides that a certificate of title cannot be case. 496) is land sold (Government Service Insurance System v. 169 SCRA 244 [1989]). v. The sale of the land to Lucia dela Cruz and the subsequent The Court had this to say: registration thereof in the Primary Book of the Registry of Deeds. The petitioners under the existing law. In fact. Court of indefeasible after the expiration of one year Appeals. (Natalia Realty Corp. The petitioners also contend that what INK purchased from Lucia dela Cruz in 1975 was Lot 671-C-4 LRC 322534 which corresponds Notwithstanding. collateral attack. . It is only the proper remedy in challenging the validity of certificates of proper to allow the case to take its rest. Undeniably. 1951 was very much review of the decree must be presented later. 181 SCRA 9 subsequently sold to INK. . altered. it is undisputed that Lot 671 was sold to Lucia roughly to Lot 671-B (Psd-32221) and did not affect Lot 671-A of dela Cruz by Eugenia dela Paz and Dorotea dela Cruz as evidenced Amando Clemente at all. however. we are not prepared to do as this should not review a case already passed Court is not a trier of facts. the petition for reconstitution of title by Lucia dela does not provide the vehicle for that Cruz which the court held to be valid was a proceeding in rem. modified or cancelled only in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. There a consulta case with the National Land Titles and Deeds is only one Supreme Court from whose Administration. page 7. Consequently. Thus. Intermediate Appellate Court. Manila constitutes constructive notice to the whole world. Lot 671-A. indicated in Entry No. the petitioners try to Title became indefeasible and incontrovertible one year from its convince us to look or inquire into the validity of the final decree (Tirado v. Lucia dela Cruz in 1975. [1990]) It is. the present petition is not upon by the Highest Tribunal. Court of Appeals. Reyes. 95 SCRA 380 registration becomes incontrovertible and is [1980]). the decree of preferred in right) (Garcia v. Section 48 of the cannot now claim that they were not notified of the Property Registration Decree expressly reconstitution proceedings over said lot. a petition for meanwhile which was issued on August 9. Primary Entry Book of the the sale made by Dorotea dela Cruz to Lucia dela Cruz (as Registry of Deeds of Manila. Even assuming arguendo that said titles may still be challenged. 258) was Lot 671 which was later on 697-698) This is a finding which can not be disturbed. Vallez. 542) result of the sale made to it by the rightful owner. It is remedy since the judicial action required is well established that in rem proceedings such as land registration a direct. The fact that Amando Clemente possessed a certificate of binding upon and conclusive against all title does not necessarily make him the true owner. It last word on what the law is. de Molo v. the Torrens In our capacity as the court of last resort. We need not emphasize the fact that the In challenging the validity of the reconstitution of Lucia dela Cruz's Supreme Court by tradition and in our title. (de la Cruz v. supra. pp. (Heirs of Maria Marasigan v. 188 SCRA 321 [1990]). Treasurer of the Phil. too late in the day for the petitioners to reopen or question the legality of INK's title over Lot 671 at this time. and defined in Section 40 of the same. Lot 671-A and Lot 671-B. Under the Torrens System of registration.). the petitioners are not alleging fraud. supra. Court of Appeals. Inc. conveyed to INK. we cannot and circumstances of this case. (2) Eugenia dela Paz and Dorotea dela Cruz's reconstituted title (RT-52) which was divided into 2 lots. People v. collusion and illegality system of judicial administration. [1989]). Amando Clemente's alleged title Under Section 38 thereof. titles since the judicial action required is a direct and not a (Church assistance Program. 137 SCRA 459 [1985]. 173 SCRA 534 Sibulo. inter alia the certificate of title issued in the name of the plaintiff in accordance with the Land Since it is the act of registration which transfers ownership of the Registration Act (Act No. Moreover.R. the present case Moreover. 258. Court of Appeals. Lot 671 was already owned by from the entry of the decree of registration. Court of Appeals. No. the INK was also issued a Torrens Title over Lot 671 as a (at p. It is the final must be recalled that G. And not being persons whether or not they were notified the owner. Lucia dela Cruz as early as 1943. prior est in jura" (he who is first in time is the lapse of one year. belied by the fact that by Entry No. he cannot transmit any right to nor transfer any title of or participated in the registration or interest over the land conveyed (Beaterio del Santisimo Rosario proceedings. 7. (Ching v. v. After "Prior est temporae. Lot 671-B and Lot 671-C and was land referred to therein.(1) Lucia dela Cruz's reconstituted title (RT-58) which was divided Title is generally a conclusive evidence of the ownership of the into 3 Lots. 76265 stemmed merely from arbiter of any justiciable controversy. A Torrens .

e. Raval Reyes) answered the complaint and pleaded a counterclaim for partition of all the MATEO H. and is entitled to. against respondent Mateo Raval Reyes.) In fairness to INK. and also Lots contending that. Rec. Court has spoken and it has done so with finality. supra. Hernando for petitioners and appellants. 8066. all surnamed Reyes. Respondent R. 31. in his answer and/or opposition to the motion for issuance of writ MATEO RAVAL REYES. denying opposed this motion. but without success. Mateo H. the writ of possession with respect to Lot Nos. Lots Nos. and present appeal. amended. de la Cruz. R. the court a On 17 July 1962. 3659 and the same has not yet been decided on the merits by it.B. commenced. he is their (plaintiffs') co-owner. an ordinary civil action seeking to recover the WHEREFORE. 20481 and 20484). 15891. (de la Cruz v. 22161 and 8066. 1994. respondent and appellee. 15896. and that since respondent had pursuant to a decree of registration. a motion for issuance of . REYES. are the registered owners of several parcels of land. upon petitioners' motion. as well as from a subsequent order of the same court. The possession. R. having acquired by way system which seeks to insure stability by quieting titled lands and of absolute sale (not recorded) from petitioners' brother. 163 SCRA 80 [1988]) plaintiffs. he having bought from plaintiffs' brother. already raised the issue of ownership and possession of these lots in his opposition to the (petitioners') motion for issuance of writ of possession and. the latter's Harold M. Reyes. 15902 and 15912. Nos. J. These titles were issued litigation in this ordinary civil case. alleging the same ground he had heretofore raised vs.. interest and participation to Rafael Ruiz for respondent and appellee. to wit. of the Laoag (Ilocos Norte) Cadastre. petitioners' motion to compel respondent to surrender their owners' duplicates of Original Certificates of Title Nos. of possession. registration in the certificate or questions which may arise interest and participation to these disputed lots. on 25 February 1963. After due hearing of this appellant. REYES. and moral damages hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. embraced in and Petitioners-appellants dispute the above ruling of the trial court covered by Original Certificate of Title No. as registered owner it is entitled to rest secure in its land title. Reyes and Juan H. L. petitioners presented. putting to a stop forever any question of the legality of the Francisco H. SO ORDERED. to include all the system of land registration that all transfer certificates of title other lots covered by both titles. hence. the latter's undivided one-third (1/3) share. Francisco H. 3659 Nos. 1188. 22161. Quetulio. 3659. undivided one-third (1/3) share. on 7 January 1963. before the same court of first instance. and moral damages. however.. writs of possession over all the lots covered by both Certificates of contending that the implementation of de la Cruz ruling would Title above referred to.: Pending trial on this ordinary civil case (No. to reconsider the first order of the parcels of land covered by both titles are subjects of litigation denial. admitting facts and circumstances plus law and jurisprudence on the matter that he is only in possession of the lots covered by Original do not warrant such action from the Court. in its Cadastral Cases Nos. Rec. in the above stated cadastral cases. No. The court a quo denied petitioners' motion. 22161 and 8066. L. and 42. This case was docketed as its Civil Case No. REYES and JUAN H. No. Lots Nos.. Reyes. i. both of the products or value. therefrom. in the cadastral cases aforementioned. these lots are not in Registry of Deeds of Ilocos Norte. it would be for the public interest and 15891 and 15896. he incontrovertible and indefeasible. on the ground that refusing. 3659). 22161. We have looked long and hard into the records of the case but the Respondent Mateo Raval Reyes opposed the motion. petitioners and appellants. Defendant therein (now respondent M. Original Certificates of Title Nos. 8066.e. Francisco H. To reopen or to question the claimed that he has been in. disputed lots. respondent filed. on 20 December 1962. the The undisputed facts are: three brothers. The Respondent did not appeal from this order amending the writ of legality or validity of INK's title over Lot 671 has been settled. which writ was. since the subject matter of Civil Case No. of the same cadastral survey. despite this opposition.. without any appeal being taken. (see Ver v. C. Reyes quo granted the writ. upon petitioners' motion for the maintenance of the integrity and stability of the Torrens reconsideration. C.L. the court a quo issued. as confusion. a motion to compel respondent Mateo Raval Direct appeal on pure question of law from an order of the Court Reyes to surrender and deliver to them the owners' duplicates of of First Instance of Ilocos Norte. In view of all the foregoing. logically and rightly so as to assure stability in legal relations and avoid Subsequently. petitioners in the above cadastral cases. in Civil Case No.reconstitution proceedings initiated by Lucia dela Cruz. derived from the reconstituted title of Eugenia dela Paz and Dorotea dela Cruz be annulled in order to prevent the proliferation of derivative titles which are null and void. embraced in are not the lots covered by the titles in question but their and covered by Original Certificate of Title No. but denying that he possesses the which necessarily included Lot 671-A had already become lots covered by Original Certificate of Title No. petitioners Mateo H. Juan H. the petitions in G. these disputed lots. as defendant. or their value. deprive them of their properties without due process of law.. INK's title over Lot 671 Certificate of Title No. 76265 and 83280 are products of the disputed lots. Petitioners subjected the foregoing order to a motion for reconsideration. dated 31 May 1940. 20481 and 20484. the possession legality of INK's title would defeat the purpose of our Torrens thereof (i. J. on 15 January 1963..

June 21. as defendant therein. as parties in their motion for (El Director de Terrenos contra Abacahin 72 Phil. valid only with respect to their It being undisputed that respondent had already availed of an (petitioners) undivided two-thirds (2/3) share and participation in independent civil action to recover his alleged co-owner's share in these disputed lots. and. 41 de la Ley No. respondent. Reyes. and because these heirs have not intervened in this particular incident. having decretado el terreno y dispone.: opositora-apelante. como coheredera. 698 se expidio por faith presents the oldest title. this ABRIGO. hence. and the undivided one-third (1/3) share and participation of considering that he may also avail of. ROMANA DE VERA. 496. The sole issue to be resolved in the instant appeal is: who between petitioners-appellants or respondent-appellee has a better right to the possession or custody of the disputed owners' Wherefore. it appearing that Mateo Raval Reyes. such as the petitioners-appellants herein.ñët Ley No. 698. In a decided case. J. Francisco H. the orders appealed from should be. subjects of litigation in Civil Case No.is barred and estopped from raising the same issue in the ordinary pretension no es meritoria Segun el articulo 41 de la civil case. 778. and (3) finally. No. of the Revised Rules of Court. fue a priority to (1) the first registrant in good faith. does not el Registrador de Titulos a favor de la misma es apply if the property is not registered under the Torrens system. 3659. lo unico que se suscita es si Ana Umbao de Carpio tiene derecho a la DECISION possession del duplicado para el dueno del Certificado de Titulo Original No. we deem it unnecessary to pass on the merits of the second contention of petitioners- appellants. the trial court correctly held that these lots apelante cree que tiene derecho a participar en el lote are subjects of litigation in this ordinary civil case. tal como ha sido reformado). petitioners-appellants refute the latter reason for respondent to retain the custody of the owners' argument of respondent-appellee by showing that they had duplicates of certificates of titles. el duplicado para el dueno debe expedirse por el Registrador a nombre de la persona a cuyo favor se ha On the other hand. at most. 3659. Rule 14. en relacion con el lote No. encaminada a obtener su participacion. vs. con preferencia a la PANGANIBAN. petitioners. La . Thus. 154409. the writ of possession issued by the trial court is. la solucion es clara e ineludible. A nuestro juicio. respondent. previously obtained special authority from the heirs of their deceased brother to represent them in the proceedings had in the court below. as they are duplicates of certificates of title. in accordance with this opinion.R. respondent Mateo Raval Reyes is hereby ordered to deliver to petitioners the owners' duplicates of Original Certificates of Title While we agree with the court a quo that the disputed lots are No. had presented a counterclaim for partition of the lots covered by the titles. debe ejercitar una accion maintains that petitioners not having impleaded their brother. under the principle of res judicata. Francisco H. This provision. 496. The Case Alega la apelante que ella tiene tanto derecho como la apelada a poseer el titulo porque el terreno a que se refiere es de la propiedad de las tres hermanas. the first favor de Ana Umbao y que el duplicado para el dueño possessor in good faith. 778. however. 326). He also No. Court said: Como acertadamente dijo el Juzgado. conforme ha sido enmendado. reversed. the withholding from the registered owners. which share respondent thereto. ademas. the custody and possession of the owners' duplicates of [G. he concludes that he is not barred and the disputed lots by filing a counterclaim for partition in said Civil estopped from raising the issue of ownership and possession of Case No. 22161 and 8066. Reyes. or his heirs. his rights appear to be amply protected. for the purpose of recording the fact that the lots covered by the titles in question are litigated in said Civil Case No. allegedly bought from the latter. we again see no justifiable In their reply brief. this Court has already held that the owner of the land in whose favor and in whose name said land is registered and inscribed in the certificate of title has a more preferential right to the possession of the owners' duplicate than one whose name does not appear in the certificate and has Spouses NOEL and JULIE yet to establish his right to the possession thereto. que dicho pleaded a counterclaim for partition of the lots in question in said duplicado debe entregarsele al dueño inscrito. respondent-appellee maintains that. Hallandose admitido que el decreto Between two buyers of the same immovable property final que se dicto en el expediente catastral en 28 de registered under the Torrens system. on this ground. 2004] certificates of title. the provision on notice of lis pendens under Section 24. 3659.1äwphï1. we see no valid and plausible reason to justify. to better protect his rights petitioners' brother. the law gives ownership mayo de 1936. In view of the above considerations. issuance of writ of execution. hereby. obvious que quien tiene derecho a poseer el certificado de titulo es ella y no la apelante (art. With costs against respondent-appellee. the buyer who in good del Certificado de Titulo Original No. independiente. Si la Civil Case No. 3659. (2) then.

Mangaldan.000. 1. Villafania was given one year from the date of the Compromise 2002 Amended Decision. P50. and 5. to Rosenda Tigno-Salazar and Rosita Cave-Go. and failure to do so purchaser in good faith and for value. 1997. P30. As to [Respondent] Romana de Vera: Pangasinan docketed as Civil Case No. the CA narrated the facts as follows: Ruling of the Court of Appeals As culled from the records. Not contented with the assailed Decision. the judgment appealed from. the CA issued its March 21. Dagupan City rendered judgment approving the Compromise Agreement submitted by the parties. The said free patent was later on cancelled by TCT No. promulgated on November 19. 1993. and attorneys fees. 1996. P50. On October 23. following to [Respondent] Romana de Vera and to [Petitioner-]Spouses [Noel and Julie] On November 12. 2001. Gloria Villafania sold a house and lot located at hence dismissed the appeal of Private Respondent Romana de Banaoang. Moreover. Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No.000. Gloria Villafania sold the same house and lot to Romana de Vera x x x. the Regional Trial Court. Pangasinan and covered by Tax Vera.000. 1997. 62391. instant case is terminated. Cost of suit. seeking to set aside the March 21.000. The CA also dismissed the appeal of Petitioner-Spouses Abrigo and found no sufficient basis to award them moral and On December 7. TCT No.[5] 4. Declaring Gloria Villafania [liable] to pay the and as a consequence.00 plus 6% per annum as actual damages. the dispositive part of the original DECISION of this involved [on March 15. another one is entered AFFIRMING in part and REVERSING in part 212598 on April 11. the subsequent sale Go. to wit: Forcible Entry and Damages against [Spouses Noel and Julie Abrigo] before the Municipal Trial Court of Mangaldan. 1998. 1406 to Rosenda Tigno-Salazar and Rosita Cave. 1993. P30. awarding the properties to 4. [petitioners] filed the instant case [with the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City] for the annulment As to [Petitioner-]Spouses [Noel and Julie] Abrigo: of documents. the following are the pertinent antecedents amply summarized by the trial court: In its original Decision promulgated on November 19. as follows: On October 16. 2002 Amended demand. The appellate court ruled would mean that the previous sale in favor of Rosenda Tigno. 2001. Before us is a Petition for Review[1] under Rule 45 of the plaintiff shall voluntarily vacate the premises without need of any Rules of Court.[7] Since Gloria Villafania had already transferred ownership Declaration No. 1988 as evidenced by OCT No. physically take possession of the property in question until the 2.00 as exemplary damages.00 as moral damages.000. Thus.000. P50. both parties [appealed The Facts to the CA]. possess the property in question. 2002 Resolution[3] of the Court of the [vendees] declared the lot in their name.00 as moral damages. In the said Decision.[6] Quoting the trial court. Gloria Villafania failed to buy back the house and lot.000. The Amended Decision disposed as follows: Unknown. finding Respondent De Vera to be a Agreement to buy back the house and lot. documents between the vendor and the vendees. x x x Gloria Villafania was ordered to pay [petitioners and private respondent] damages The assailed Resolution denied reconsideration. P- case. dismissed. 1997. After the trial on the merits. preliminary injunction. P300. however to Rosenda Tigno-Salazar and Rosita Cave-Go. being an innocent purchaser for value therefor. 2.00 as attorneys fees. P50. Rosenda Tigno-Salazar and Rosita Cave-Go. 1997. the lower court rendered the assailed 3. Gloria Villafania obtained a free patent over the parcel of land WHEREFORE. Branch 40 of exemplary damages and attorneys fees. injunction. On February 25. 1999. 1.[4] [petitioners] as well as damages. Declaring [Respondent] Romana de Vera the sold the house and lot to the herein [Petitioner-Spouses Noel rightful owner and with better right to and Julie Abrigo]. restraining order and damages [against respondent and Gloria Villafania]. 1452.[8] . that she had relied in good faith on the Torrens title of her vendor Salazar and Rosita Cave-Go shall remain valid and binding and the and must thus be protected.00 as exemplary damages. Romana de Vera filed an action for Abrigo. Romana de Vera registered the sale 2. Cost of suit. The said sale became a subject of a suit for annulment of to De Vera was deemed void. Decision dated January 4. Hence the ejectment case was 3. the CA held that a void title could not give rise to a valid one and On May 27. Gloria On reconsideration. on November 21. so Decision[2] and the July 22. 22515 was issued in her name. is SET ASIDE and 30522].00 as attorneys fees. the parties therein submitted a Motion for Dismissal in view of their agreement in the instant case that neither of them can 1.

[20] We agree with respondent. The Petition is bereft of merit. respondent registered the transaction under the Torrens system[18] because. in turn.[13] There is no 2. because the land was already covered . De Vera relies on the following insight of Justice Edgardo L. Decree. in the absence thereof.[22] As a consequence of the sale. 22515 thereafter issued to a double sale. Art. property in dispute in the present case was already registered under the Torrens system. 1. Issues Should there be no inscription. Whether or not the deed of sale executed by Gloria Otherwise stated.[9] Should it be immovable property. this Petition. 1997. On May 27. the first possessor in good faith. the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good faith was first in the possession. Villafania had presented the transfer certificate of title (TCT) covering the property. as amended. 212598 was The present case involves what in legal contemplation was subsequently cancelled and TCT No. disputed property to Rosenda Tigno-Salazar and Rosita Cave-Go. Whether or not the [R]espondent Romana de Vera is a ambiguity in the application of this law with respect to lands purchaser for value in good faith. TCT No. lease or other better title over the property in question. affect innocent third persons. Subsequently. Who between the petitioners and respondent has a 1529[14] which provides that no deed. In that case. if it should registered the sale of land under the Property Registration be movable property. as faith and for value. 1544 x x x. Court vendees.[19] Respondent De Vera contends that her registration under Main Issue: the Torrens system should prevail over that of petitioners who Better Right over the Property recorded theirs under Act 3344. faith.except a will -. mortgage. such sale is not considered REGISTERED. This principle is in full accord with Section 51 of PD 3. Heirs of Magali[23] held that registration must be on October 23.purporting to convey or affect registered land shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the In the main. 212598.[11] They further claim that the sale could sale is registered not under the Land Registration Act but under not be validated. and (3) finally. as opposed to another who had registered a deed of final conveyance under Act 3344.[16] In the instant case. since respondent was not a purchaser in good Act 3344. and it is sold but the subsequent longer belonged to her. Hence. they registered their respective sales under Act 3344. Gloria Villafania first sold the respondent. to the person who presents the oldest title. petitioners registration of the sale Article 1544 of the Civil Code states the law on double sale under Act 3344 was not effective for purposes of Article 1544 of thus: the Civil Code. both Petitioners Abrigo and respondent registered the sale of the property. and.[17] For her part. Paras: Petitioners contend that Gloria Villafania could not have x x x If the land is registered under the Land Registration Act (and transferred the property to Respondent De Vera because it no has therefore a Torrens Title). the priority in time principle was not applied. Since the with Respondent Romana de Vera. a second sale was executed by Villafania done in the proper registry in order to bind the land. if the sale is not registered. Since neither petitioners nor their predecessors (Tigno-Salazar and Cave-Go) knew that the The Courts Ruling property was covered by the Torrens system. Petitioners raise for our consideration the issues below: provided there is good faith. during the sale. Soriano v. registered under the Torrens system.[12] the term is used under Art.[24] the Court upheld the right of a party who had may have first taken possession thereof in good faith.[10] voluntary instrument -. the buyer who in good faith presents the oldest title. If the same thing should have been sold to different More recently. the law provides that a double sale of Villafania in favor of [R]espondent Romana de Vera is immovables transfers ownership to (1) the first registrant in good valid. It is undisputed that Villafania Law on Double Sale had been issued a free patent registered as Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No.[21] The OCT was later cancelled by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. also in Villafanias name. derived their right. in Naawan Community Rural Bank v. P-30522. from whom petitioners. it is petitioner-spouses and respondent has a better right to the binding only between the seller and the buyer but it does not property.[15] Thus. the issues boil down to who between land until its registration. (2) then. the ownership shall be transferred to the person who of Appeals. the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property. 1544. 1993.

No 58530.[37] second sale was registered. except case at bar. 22 June plead ignorance of the registration. Vitug: Applying this principle. This is the price exacted by under the Torrens system in this wise: Article 1544 of the Civil Code for the second buyer being able to displace the first buyer. providing for good faith must concur with the registration. every registered owner receiving a certificate of title pursuant to a The case of Carumba vs. by delivery of not give him any right over the land if the vendor was not possession.by the Torrens system at the time the conveyance was registered buyer of the second sale cannot defeat the first buyers rights under Act 3344. G.[36] Following this principle. among them. Santiagoaffirmed the following commentary property was levied upon. second paragraph. Registration of the second buyer under Act 3344. v. or failing registration. since such knowledge taints his registration with bad unregistered. inasmuch as the except where the second buyer registers in good faith the second registration of the sale to Respondent De Vera under sale ahead of the first. G. Court of Appeals[26] is a case in point.Jurisprudence that can defeat his right as such buyer in good faith (see Arts. 69 SCRA 99. Equally important. Conversely. xxxxxxxxx We have consistently held that Article 1544 requires the second buyer to acquire the immovable in good faith and to register it in good faith.R. this Court has consistently held as Rules of Court.It was explained that this is because Citing Santiago v. a person unregistered land. potior 708-709. that the second realty buyer must act in good faith in registering his deed of sale (citing Carbonell vs. cannot improve his standing since Act 3344 itself expresses that registration thereunder would not prejudice prior rights in good Under the foregoing.[35] Thus. 159 SCRA 33).[33] which we quote: Spanish Mortgage Law nor the Torrens System (Act 496). The first sale was made by the original owners dealing with registered land is not required to go behind the and was unrecorded while the second was an execution sale that registry to determine the condition of the property. Rule 39 of the Revised title. Court of Appeals. that before the second buyer can obtain Under Act No. x x x the execution sale of unregistered The governing principle is prius tempore. knowledge gained by the Petitioners cannot validly argue that they were fraudulently second buyer of the first sale defeats his rights even if he is first to misled into believing that the property was register. Court of Appeals. The aforequoted phrase has been held by this Court rights) ---. 26 the whole world. Palileo[25] explained the first to register the second sale. and every subsequent purchaser of was held therein that Article 1544 of the Civil Code has no registered land taking such certificate for value and in good application to land not registered under Act No.from the time of acquisition until the title is transferred to mean that the mere registration of a sale in ones favor does to him by registration. 31 SCRA property by the second buyer does not by itself confer ownership 558). Galindez. Crisostomo vs. Good-Faith Requirement CA. of Justice Jose C. For the same reason.[32] We explained the the registration of all instruments on land neither covered by the rationale in Uraca v. But in converso. against the second buyer. to merit the protection of Art. and no one can December 1984) In Cruz vs. knowledge gained by the second buyer of the first sale defeats his rights even if he is Radiowealth Finance Co. since such resulted from a complaint for a sum of money filed against the condition is noted on the face of the register or certificate of said original owners. 1544. to register first her purchase as Spouses Abrigo. 56232. 129 SCRA 656). as provided by the Civil Code. once registered. It decree of registration. 95843. he must show that he acted in good faith unregistered lands is without prejudice to a third party with a throughout (i. 02 September 1992). however. 496. A Torrens title. stronger in right). 107 Phil. Court of Appeals.[28] buyer first registers in good faith the second sale (Olivares vs. Knowledge by the first buyer of the second sale longer belonged to the judgment debtor as of the time of the said cannot defeat the first buyer's rights except when the second execution sale. 3344. this sale must be knowledge of the first buyer does not bar her from availing of her upheld over the sale registered under Act 3344 to Petitioner. under Section 44 of PD 1529. Civil Code.R. teaches us that (t)he governing principle is primus tempore. the prior registration of the disputed faith (see Carumba vs. Court of Appeals. jure (first in time.[31] Mere registration of title is not enough. Cabana (G.R. No. rights under the law.e. Article 1544 requires that such can have the effect of constructive notice to the second buyer registration must be coupled with good faith. Court of Appeals. Knowledge gained by the first . Like in the faith shall hold the same free from all encumbrances. potior jure (first in time. since such knowledge taints his difference in the rules of registration under Act 3344 and those prior registration with bad faith. see also Revilla vs.[29] All persons must take notice.[30] 1984. serves as a notice to faith (see also Astorga vs. and merely to respondent and negates her good faith at the time she acquires the latters interest in the property sold as of the time the registered the sale.[38] petitioners contend the purchaser of unregistered land at a sheriffs execution sale that their prior registration under Act 3344 is constructive notice only steps into the shoes of the judgment debtor.[27] this Court held that Article 1544 of the Civil regards registered land that a purchaser in good faith acquires a Code cannot be invoked to benefit the purchaser at the execution good title as against all the transferees thereof whose rights are sale though the latter was a buyer in good faith and even if this not recorded in the Registry of Deeds at the time of the sale. Applying [Section 33]. it was held that it is essential. land in favor of petitioner is of no effect because the land no stronger in right). by the first buyer under Act 3344 or a better right over the property. Carumba dealt with a double sale of the same those noted and enumerated in the certificate. in ignorance of the first sale and of the first buyers better right. Gonzales.[34] (Italics supplied) anymore the owner of the land having previously sold the same to somebody else even if the earlier sale was unrecorded. Such the Torrens system was done in good faith. Registration. registration of instruments affecting priority over the first.

when Respondent De the reason why petitioner misunderstood the context of the Vera purchased the property. which was not an issue. She was not even a certificates of title in their names. There is nothing in her Santiago was subsequently applied in Bayoca v. Sales. constructive notice more vigilant prior to consummating the sale. Court of Appeals. registered the sale under Act 3344."[46] Respondent REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1529) which considers the act of registration as the operative act WHEREFORE. see also Fabian vs. appears to (Remalante vs. This omission was evidently still the actual occupants in October 1997. No. Tibe. the unregistered land.[48] Furthermore. 1544 has been held The Court of Appeals examined the facts to determine to be inapplicable to execution sales of unregistered land.R. when the first buyer an ejectment case with the x x x Municipal Court of Mangaldan.R. Art. registered in the name of Gloria Villafania. This argument is contradicted. 1 O.[44] In Taguba. Bernales vs. and only inferred from the issuance of the TCT in their names. In Santiago. 31 SCRA 558. it explained thus: (Carumba vs. indicates. [Respondent] De Veras vendor. registration We find no reason to disturb these findings. 27 March 1981). 132 SCRA 700).480. 18 October 1988.. buyer that can defeat his right as such buyer. the property was still known as Civil Case No. Revilla and Taguba. which was omitted in Santiago. between of the sale by the [second buyers] for which they had been issued Gloria Villafania and [Petitioners] Abrigo. 75336. are not on all fours with the present case. The subject land was. and only then when she brought no registration under Act 3344. however. until after she had bought the same. without any contrary evidence presented by the [petitioners]. Rosabal.[42] There was then when she bought the same.[41] party to said case. She ascertained and verified that Verily. there is absent good faith in the registration the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City. 3344 by [the first under litigation in Civil Case No. as to him. upon its face. G. 39. she testified clearly and positively. Peralta. the first buyer did not register the sale. Spouses Abrigo base their position only on the general averment that respondent should have been As can be gathered from the foregoing. x x x. is absolute and indefeasible.[39] (Emphasis supplied) be the registered owner. and still is. registration by the first buyer under Act No. There is no evidence in the 3344 can have the effect of constructive notice to the second record showing that when she bought the land on October 23. 1544 has been held to conducted an ocular inspection. 8 Phil.G. the purchaser acquires such rights and interest as SO ORDERED. x x x. The only exception is where the purchaser has actual knowledge of a flaw or defect in the title of the seller or of such liens or encumbrances which. 185091 in Good Faith REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION . and that her title under the law. 1452.[50] The family members may citation therein: reasonably be assumed to be Villafanias agents.[40] which held: sale which warrant [Respondent] De Vera in supposing that she need[ed] to look beyond the title. Smith. G. 900. [12] Decision AFFIRMED. In sum. She had no notice of the earlier sale of the land to [petitioners]. 69 Phil 744. In Revilla. Rosabal. Court of Appeals. Taguba vs. good faith on respondents refer to registration under Act 496 Land Registration Act (now PD part stands. Bell & Co. the first that she did not know anything about the earlier sale and claim of buyers registered the sale under the Torrens system. she knew or had the slightest notice that the same was undisputed fact of registration under Act No. On lands covered by the Torrens System.[49] this case. she would have found petitioners to apply if the property is registered under the Torrens system. Branch 40. They argue that had to the second buyer through registration under Act 3344 does not she inspected the property. To the [Respondent] De Vera. certificate of title and in the circumstances of the transaction or Nogales. Tajonera vs. who had not been shown to have notified respondent of the first sale when she "The registration contemplated under Art. The purchaser is not required to explore farther than what the Torrens title. they appear in the certificate of title. Garcia vs. as can be the spouses Abrigo. Hernandez vs. is equivalent to registration (see Sec. In Bayoca. D-10638 of buyers]. 496) or when there is only one sale x x x.[45] petitioners have not rebutted. and actually going to the premises. Thus.[47] After the purchaser merely steps into the shoes of the debtor and its factual findings revealed that Respondent De Vera was in good acquires the latter's interest as of the time the property is sold faith. L-26677. unaffected by any prior lien or encumbrance not noted therein. necessarily. which are cited in Santiago. 73 Phil 694). On account of the 1997. Act 496. the Petition is DENIED and the assailed that binds the land (see Mediante vs. by the spouses We quote below the additional commentary of Justice own admission that the parents and the sister of Villafania were Vitug. As stated in property by examining her vendors title in the Registry of Deeds the Santiago case. her vendor.[43] Such registration was therefore considered only legal truth upon which she had to rely was that the land is effectual. 158 SCRA 138). there is absence of prior registration in good faith by her vendor was the sole owner and in possession of the subject petitioners of the second sale in their favor. Gloria Villafania. Santiago and Bayoca are not in point. IAC. since whether respondent was an innocent purchaser for value. as in be in possession. registered in the name of Gloria Villafania. Costs against petitioners.

versus . permanent improvements on the same. . respectively. Present: CARPIO.149 square meters in favor of the City d Government of Lipa[2] M E N D As a result of subdivision. Batangas since 1957 for its A . Chairperson. a and n Lot 4 1. PRIMO MENDOZA and for Lot 4. Lot 2 . But the property. Promulgated: Respondents. August 8. PPS remained in possession of the MARIA LUCERO. were J registered in the name of respondents Primo and Maria Mendoza R .ABAD..[3] Meantime. V I L Paninsingin Primary School (PPS) is a public school L A operated by petitioner Republic of the Philippines (the Republic) R through the Department of Education. * P On March 27. Further. This case is about the propriety of filing an ejectment These improvements had also been tax-declared.[4] suit against the Government for its failure to acquire ownership of a privately owned property that it had long used as a school site and to pay just compensation for it. (the Mendozas) under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) T-11410. as R E follows: Z . the property had long been tax-declared in the name of the City Government and ABAD. Petitioner.DIVISION OF LIPA CITY (FOR PANINSINGIN PRIMARY SCHOOL). while no title was issued in x -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- the name of the City Government of Lipa. the Mendozas had -x relinquished to it their right over the school lot as evidenced by DECISION the consolidation and subdivision plan. property. PPS has been using 1. the Register of Deeds O Z partially cancelled TCT T-11410 and issued new titles for Lots 1 A and 3 in favor of Dimayuga and Ronquillo.[1] . remained in the name of the Mendozas but no new title was J J issued in the name of the City Government of Lipa . * Lot 1 292 square meters in favor of Claudia Dimayuga * Lot 2 292 square meters in favor of the Mendozas Lot 3 543 square meters in favor of Gervacio Ronquillo. a portion of Lots 1923 and 1925. 1962 the Mendozas caused Lots 1923 E and 1925 to be consolidated and subdivided into four lots. J. J. school. 2010 The Republic claimed that.149 A M square meters of land in Lipa City. The Facts and the Case .: PPS built significant.

the property. on the other hand. the Republics dismissing the complaint on ground of the Republics immunity possession of the property through PPS should be deemed merely from suit. saying that property in 1957 in the governments favor. the Mendozas once again appealed to claim that the Mendozas were barred by laches from bringing its the RTC in Civil Case 2001-0236. even the MTCC a motion to render judgment in the case before assuming that the Mendozas relinquished their right to the it. action. Moreover. the Mendozas filed with of the property in favor of the government. of Lipa City for use as school.[10] Later. (RTC) of Lipa Citywhich ruled that the Republics consent was not The CA also rejected the Republics claim of ownership necessary since the action before the MTCC was not against it. it (CA) in CA-G. appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals the property since they had no need for it at that time. and (3) Lot 4.[11] which then dismissed the case for insufficiency of that. the On June 27. through the Office of the Solicitor never relinquished their right to it.[7] The Mendozas appealed to the Regional Trial Court a tolerated one that could not ripen into ownership. they The Republic.R. They allowed PPS to occupy General (OSG).[12] Consequently. the Republic may be held in estoppel to evidence. which had only been partially cancelled. by its omissions. it emphasized preliminary injunction. The CA held MTCC. (2) sufficient evidence showed that the Mendozas relinquished ownership of the subject lot to the City Government On November 6. but the RTC holding that the Mendozas were entitled to evict the Republic denied it. With the denial of its motion for reconsideration. 2006 the RTC found in favor of Republic has taken recourse to this Court via petition for review the Mendozas and ordered PPS to vacate the property.[14] complaint with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Lipa City in Civil Case 0002-99 against PPS for unlawful detainer with In a decision dated February 26. from the subject property that it had used for a public school. that although PPS sought permission from them to use the property as a school site. 1998 the Mendozas wrote PPS. 2008. PPS. . TCT were barred by laches from recovering possession of the school T-11410. 1999 the MTCC rendered a decision.[13] PPS moved for reconsideration. on January 12. this being the case. could not The Issue Presented produce any document to prove the transfer of ownership of the The issue in this case is whether or not the CA erred in land in its favor. that the Mendozas had the better right of possession since they were its registered owners. the RTC remanded the case back to the its right as owner annotated on the Mendozas title. the CA affirmed application for temporary restraining order and writ of the RTC decision. however. Thus. SP 96604 on the grounds that: (1) the Mendozas has remained registered in their name under the original title. Pcs-5019 has long demanding that it vacate the disputed property.[5] When PPS been declared in the name of the City Government since 1957 for declined to do so.[8] since it presented no documentary evidence to prove the transfer In light of the RTCs decision.[9] The MTCC denied the motion. It held on certiorari under Rule 45. lot.[15] Upholding the Torrens system. on the other hand.[6] the indefeasibility of the Mendozas registered title and the imprescriptible nature of their right to eject any person occupying On July 13. The CA held that.The Mendozas claim. the latter never took jurisdiction over the case had passed to the RTC upon steps to have the title to the property issued in its name or have appeal. 1999 the Mendozas filed a taxation purposes.

the land to the government. Luis. and adjudicate the Mendozas right to just compensation for it. Court of Appeals. Lipa or to the Republic. they have little evidentiary weight as proof of when just compensation should be fixed.[20] Otherwise.[24] the Mendozas intended to cede the property to the City Government of Lipa permanently. In fact. in ordering the eviction of PPS possession before the commencement of expropriation from the property that it had held as government school site for proceedings.[23] the Court affirmed the RTCs power to award just compensation even That the City Government of Lipa tax-declared the in the absence of a proper expropriation proceeding. The Mendozas remedy is an action for the payment of designated to the City Government.[18] Thus. and notorious just compensation. And when they the Republic from the land it had taken for public use or to hear sought in 1962 to have the bigger lot subdivided into four.[17] No one may acquire it from the the Mendozas formal transfer of ownership to it upon payment of registered owner by adverse.149 square meters. however.149 square meter lot had been possession.[16] Indeed. they allowed the city to Since the MTCC did not have jurisdiction either to evict declare the property in its name for tax purposes. possession. title to the land. no new title was issued to it or to any of its subdivisions for the portion that PPS had been occupying since 1957. formal expropriation proceeding covering such property.[19] In Republic of the Philippines v. to a registered owner under The Court holds that. it is settled that where ownership.[21] property was taken without the benefit of expropriation proceedings and its owner filed an action for recovery of The CA erred. containing 1. As to the time title. way back but never got around to do so whether or not mentioned by name in the application for and the Republic itself altogether forgot about it. Further. he thereby waives his right to the institution of a mere consequence of ownership. The evidence on record shows that that is controlling. the CA should have ordered the complaint for unlawful detainer for the City Government of Lipa. where the owner agrees the Torrens system. not ejectment. once the Republic should be deemed entitled to possession pending registered. This Court has allowed tax declarations to presented before it in an ordinary civil action for recovery of stand as proof of ownership only in the absence of a certificate of possession of property or its value and damages. the Mendozas earmarked Lot 4. it is the value of the property at the time of taking more than 50 years. whether to the City Government of including the Government of the Republic and all its branches. It held that property and its improvements in its name cannot defeat the RTC can determine just compensation based on the evidence the Mendozas title. it may . the right to recover possession of the voluntarily to the taking of his property by the government for registered property is equally imprescriptible since possession is a public use. open. the Republic itself admits that just compensation. registration or its notice. is imprescriptible. the existence and genuineness of time of the owner to question the lack of expropriation the Mendozas title over the property has not been proceedings covering a property that the government had taken disputed.The Courts Ruling be assumed that the Mendozas agreed to transfer ownership of A decree of registration is conclusive upon all persons. Consequently.[22] the failure for a long Here. While the consolidation and subdivision plan of Lots constitutes a waiver of his right to gain back 1923 and 1925 shows that a 1. as the Court also held in Eusebio v. Under the circumstances.

Gregorio Dy Tam instituted Special Proceeding decedent and Marcosa Rivera or to the latter exclusively. chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythat “the decedent left as his property Cities of Lipa City in Civil Case 0002-99 without prejudice to their among others. the Court partially GRANTS the Luis Litam alias Li Bun Lin 22 years petition. states that Petitioner is the son of Rafael guardian of Marcosa Rivera. on November 29.: Gregorio Dy Tam. 1952.R. ESPIRITU. Filipino citizen”. the latter filed.. his one-half (1/2) share valued at P65.. 1953. (1) “Three (3) parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. Arminio LITAM. 1952. 1956] Sorsogon. chan HENRY LITAM. incompetent MARCOSA RIVERA. apart from shares of stock in a private corporation known by the name of Litam Co. entitled “In the matter of the Intestate Meanwhile. Petitioner-Appellant. 1951. Gregorio Dy Tam and his alleged roblesvirtualawlibrarythat the deceased was survived brothers and sisters aforementioned. 1952. In said complaint. and. filed the complaint in Civil by:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Case No. Inc. the court granted this petition and letters of administration were issued to Arminio Rivera. against the City acquired during the marriage between him and Marcosa Rivera. J. 2008 decision and the that the foregoing children of the decedent “by a marriage celebrated in China in 1911 with Sia Khin. November 27. and Arminio Rivera. who died in Manila on January 10. “the surviving spouse of the decedent”. The petition therein filed. or on April 20.R. chan IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE OF THE DECEASED RAFAEL roblesvirtualawlibraryand (3) praying that her nephew. who assumed his duties as such. Espiritu was appointed. as Li Hong Hap 40 years guardian of Marcosa Rivera. No.” and that the decedent had left neither a will nor debt. Litam. 2071 of the same court. when appropriate. REVERSES the February 26. This led to a number of incidents hinging Rizal in the above entitled case.000 in the filing an action for payment of just compensation against the purported conjugal properties between him and Marcosa Rivera. and certain properties in Bulan and Casiguran. and that the decedent had and ARMINIO RIVERA. L-7644. Elisa Lee Tam alias Lee Giok Bee 25 years William Litam alias Li Bun Hua 23 years WHEREFORE. on the question whether said properties belong in common to the On May 21. now deceased”. REMEDIOS Rivera. Plaintiffs therein reproduced substantially the Li Ho 37 years allegations made in the aforementioned petition of Gregorio Dy Gregorio Dy Tam 33 years Tam dated April 24. letters of administration be issued to Marcosa Rivera. [G. who had been declared incompetent. 1709 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Remedios R. In due course. Defendants-Appellees. except that the properties acquired “during the existence of marriage” between Rafael Litam and .] alleged marriage of the decedent to Sia Khin. therefore. during the subsistence of said marriage with Sia Khin. which were jointly tried. 1228 of the Registry of Deeds of the province of Pampanga:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary (2) “One (1) parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title SO ORDERED. in Special Estate of the Deceased Rafael Litam”. administrator-Appellee. dated April 24. dated April 24. roblesvirtualawlibrarythat “after the death of Rafael Litam. 1952. submitted an inventory of the alleged DECISION estate of Rafael Litam. REMEDIOS roblesvirtualawlibrary(2) asserting that the properties described R. left unpaid debts. Catanduanes. Marcosa Rivera filed a counter- petition:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary (1) substantially denying the [G. Petitioner and his co-heirs came to know” that the 96604. 1952. against Remedios R. 26011 of the Registry of Deeds of the province of Bulacan. “contracted in 1922 in the Philippines cralaw another Mendozas action for eviction before the Municipal Trial Court in marriage with Marcosa Rivera. Espiritu.R. ESPIRITU. later. No. and in Virac. Petitioner prayed. as well as the alleged filiation of the persons named in the petition. counter-Petitioner.. Proceeding No. be appointed administrator of the intestate estate of the R. Soon thereafter. No.. Henry Litam alias Dy Bun Pho 29 years dismissed without prejudice to their filing a proper action for Beatriz Lee Tam alias Lee Giak Ian 27 years recovery of such compensation. GREGORIO DY TAM. chan Thereafter. ETC. 1537 of said court. Inasmuch as said inventory did not include the properties mentioned in the petition. and ORDERSthe dismissal of respondents Primo and Maria decedent had. November 27. after appropriate proceedings. as guardian of the incompetent MARCOSA RIVERA. vs. L-7645. to wit:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary of Lipa. ET AL. No. Plaintiffs-Appellants. in her capacity as judicial guardian of the deceased. herein are her paraphernal properties. vs. a motion for the removal of Rivera as administrator of the This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of aforementioned estate. 1956. chan October 20. of CONCEPCION. 2008 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. which cralaw partnership consisted of the following real property Republic of the Philippines or. ARMINIO RIVERA. that.

2071 and the administrator and the counter-Petitioner in of the fruits mentioned in the preceding paragraph which they Sp. Later on. 2071. are the exclusive. Proc. “(4) Declaring that the Plaintiffs in Civil Case No. issued on April 9. The issues for determination are:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary (1) Are Appellants the legitimate In said complaint. Province of Bulacan. 1537 have utterly failed to prove their alleged status as deceased Rafael Litam. and of Deeds for the Province of Bulacan.Marcosa Rivera “and/or with their joint efforts during the time No. consisting of Navotas. filed by the Petitioner in Sp. with costs against the Plaintiffs. with Transfer No.000.00. 2071. No. half undivided portion of the fishponds. section 2.” Civil Case No. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryand deceased Rafael Litam and Sia Khin and that the Plaintiffs named “(5) ordering the Defendants to pay the costs. Proc.00 as moral damages. under 1228 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of Pampanga. deliver the same to the administration of the estate of the No. covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. Bulacan. 1537) are not the children of the deceased Rafael Litam. 1952. Proc. 22. Municipality of Obando.00 as actual damages and P25. and set up some affirmative and June 10. consisting of two parcels. situated in Obando. situated in Navotas. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 1537. In the sworn application for alien certificate of special defenses. Rules of Court). certificate of Title No. petition. Pampanga. 35836.000. The two (2) Cases are now before us on appeal taken by “All properties total an assessed value of approximately the Petitioner in Special Proceeding No. together with all buildings and improvements thereon except those expressly noted in the title as “(3) Declaring that the properties in question. 35836 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of Rizal. 1922. the lower court had the following to say:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary “(2) ordering the Defendants to deliver the aforesaid properties to the administration of the estate of the deceased Rafael Litam “ cralaw the evidence weikhs very heavily in favor of the theory of (Rule 75. situated in the Municipality of namely:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary the fishponds. dated July 12. of Appellants herein. 21809 and 26011. Rizal. 23248. In the marriage certificate. “(2) 2 Parcels of land. and the fishponds. separate and of Obando. 2071 (who are “(5) 1 parcel of land (plan psu-93067. Plaintiffs prayed that the judgment be children of Rafael Litam? (2) Is Marcosa Rivera the exclusive rendered:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary owner of the properties in question. Rafael Litam damages in the aggregate sum of P110. chan . one- issued on October 4. issued on No. Province of Pampanga. 21. 1228 of the land records of Pampanga. (Exhibit 55) it was clearly effect. and whether Rafael Litam is the father Marcosa Rivera. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title “(3) 1 parcel of land situated in the Municipality of Malabon. 1537 that there was no such marriage between the embezzled. Marcosa Rivera. stated that he was single when he married Marcosa Rivera on in Special Proceeding No. the court rendered a that they lived as husband and wife” were said to be more than decision. the Defendants’ counterclaim. 1943. “(1) 3 parcels of land situated in the Municipality of Macabebe. “(2) Sentencing the Plaintiff in Civil Case No. 1537 and the Plaintiffs in P150. covered by Transfer Certificate of paraphernal properties of Marcosa Rivera. several other documents executed by him and presented in 2071 and in the aforementioned incidents in Special Proceeding evidence. both were jointly heard. both of the “(4) 1 parcel of land situated in Barrio of Kay-Badia. “(4) ordering the said Defendants to pay the administration of the “It appears from the evidence presented by the Defendants in civil estate of the deceased Rafael Litam damages in double the value Case No. In this connection.” himself convincingly show that he had not contracted any marriage with any person other than Marcosa Rivera. unequivocably declared under oath that he had no child.” “Other properties are located in Bataan province.000. The “The Plaintiffs further pray for such other remedy as the Court various official and public documents executed by Rafael Litam may deem just and equitable in the premises. 1950 (Exhibit 1). 1947. Province of Rizal. are not the children of the said decedent. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. swo-16049) situated in the same persons alleged to be children of Rafael Litam in the Barrio of Quibadia. 1952. in had no child. the Defendants in Civil Case No. 1933. children of Rafael Litam by a marriage with Sia Khin.00. 1938. consisting of two parcels. Rizal. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. and that he In her answer to the complaint. Municipality land records of Bulacan. in Civil Case No. of the fruits they collected from the aforesaid properties and to The Plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 2071 to the effect that the said deceased Rafael Litam was not married to Sia Khin and “(3) ordering the said Defendants further to render an accounting that Plaintiffs. the allegations in her counter-petition. the Defendants the sum of P5. (Exhibits 19. belonging to other persons. 2071. 2071 and the Petitioner in Sp. dated April 24. Province of Bulacan. namely:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary “(1) Dismissing Civil Case No. 1537.000. 2071 are not children of said deceased. or do the same constitute a common property of her and the decedent? “(1) declaring the aforesaid properties as belonging to the conjugal partnership or tenancy in common which existed The first issue hinges on whether Rafael Litam and Sia Khin were between the deceased Rafael Litam and the incompetent married in 1911. 21809 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of roblesvirtualawlibraryand Bulacan. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title three parcels. to pay jointly and severally each of issued on July 29. No. 46 and 46-A) Rafael Litam had consistently referred to Marcosa Rivera alone as his wife. In the Owning to the identity of the issue raised in said Civil Case No. situated in Macabebe. issued on May 25. chan Title No. that his only heir is his surviving wife. situated in Malabon. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title 23248 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of Rizal. both of the land records of Rizal. as well as a counter-claim for attorney’s fees and registration dated July 7. 23. those specified in said petition. June 12. 1939. Marcosa Rivera reiterated. 26011 of the Registry No. the parcel of land with the improvements thereon Province of Rizal.

No. The court noticed that the said witness was only petition. he was merely informed by Rafael Litam of the so — and that they had “lived as husband and wife”. which were claimed to be family that he has known Rafael Litam even before his marriage with portraits. the evidence in favor of said Plaintiffs and said Petitioner did not present in evidence the the Appellees. also. He likewise. some being Sia Khim. the other Sia whom Appellants knew — resided only a few kilometers away. Li Litam was guilty of the crime of bigamy. and it appears in the petition filed marriage of the decedent and Marcosa Rivera “after the death of by the Petitioner in Sp. for about therein as father. likewise. another Fukien. These documents do not establish Malabon. after attending the identity of the deceased Rafael Litam and the persons named to his business in Manila. an established fact that they had the general reputation of 2071 and Petitioner in Sp. and considering wife. the decedent had succeeded. it is. Marcosa Rivera. 1537 that said witness is the Rafael Litam”. other words. thus depriving him of the most the Plaintiffs as children of said decedent. in his aforementioned uncorroborated. asserted. and. 1537 are the decedent and Sia Khin. and certain quoted portion of the decision appealed from. Besides. as legally. substantially correct. No explanation has been given Dy Tam. that he and his co-heirs “came to know” about the 22 years old when he testified. willfully and in different places. also known as Luis Litam. said Li Bun Lin alluded to her as his “mother”. highly improbable nature of the last part of Appellants’ pretense. and regarded her as his lawful wife. marked Exhibits I to S. marriage certificate of Rafael Litam and Sia Khin. his only As regards the title to the properties in dispute. aside from the circumstance that the wedding and marital life of Marcosa Rivera and Rafael Litam is undisputed. identified several impartial and disinterested witness. 2071 brothers and sisters. Appellants specifically admitted and averred “the existence the supposed marriage. No. 1537.) thereon was analyzed by the lower court in the following language:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The findings of fact thus made in the decision appealed from are borne out by the records and the conclusion drawn from said “It has been established by the evidence that the properties in facts is. Lee Tham. and still another Sia Kian. China. it is obvious that the same cannot be sustained unless the “The other documentary evidence presented by the evidence in support thereof is of the strongest possible kind. His testimony is although Gregorio Dy Tam. China. 1952. Luis Litam. Luis Litam. or even offset. it does not appear in the said thirty (30) years. of the marriage between said Rafael Litam and Marcosa Rivera” “The testimony of the lone witness. is the competent and best evidence of the Marcosa Rivera in 1922. chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythat their parents and the administrator and counter Petitioner in Sp. during the lifetime of Rafael Litam. Rafael Litam and Sia Khin and the alleged statue of because death has sealed his lips. if Appellants’ pretense were true or they believed it to be according to him. that Rafael of the persons appearing in said birth certificates are Dy Tham. “It is. latter’s supposed marriage with Sia Khin. An during the Japanese occupation. China. In their complaint in Civil Case No. Indeed. In sought to be proved which allegedly happened a long time ago. chan Tam. who were married in China in positively testified to the effect that they know that Rafael Litam 1911. Rafael Dy Tam. No. as husband and in view of the unreliable testimony of Luis Litam. chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythat his co-Appellants are his The witnesses presented by the Defendants in Civil Case No. nor has alleged that Marcosa Rivera is “the surviving spouse of the there been any showing of its loss. Rizal where Rafael Litam returned daily. The the Appellants. others Sia Quien. he for the non-presentation of said marriage certificate. but different persons. hence. said Petitioner presented any competent secondary evidence of 2071. of Appellant Li Bun Lin. 2071 are not heirs of the said decedent. evidence. “The birth certificate presented by the Plaintiff in Civil Case No. It also appears in said birth roblesvirtualawlibraryand that. but the lower court rejected their admission in Marcosa Rivera and that said Rafael Litam did not have any child. Appellants maintain. Proc. also. that said Appellants knew. and that said persons were born roblesvirtualawlibrarythat he had. maliciously falsified public and official documents. cannot be given — which would have been void ab initio. the Plaintiffs in Civil Case No. some in Amoy. the very testimony of Li Bun Lin. It is very significant to note that the names of the father Upon the other hand. in the course of that older persons are better qualified to testify on the matters his testimony. beyond doubt. Proc. Proc. in effect. In the very petition of Appellant Gregorio alleged marriage between them. Rizal. the evidence heir being his surviving wife. to our mind. 1537 cannot be given even being legally married and were so regarded by the community little consideration. in Special Proceeding No. The proof for Appellants herein does not satisfy such requirement. who said that he is. therefore.roblesvirtualawlibraryhe had never mentioned of Sia Khin as his Appellants’ evidence on this point consists of the testimony wife. Again. the finding of this Court that the Plaintiffs named in Civil Case No. No. Apart from the intervened in the preparation and filing thereof. Proc. 1537 presented in support of their Luis Litam. chan and the other in Limtao. because the name of the father of the and by Appellants herein. Neither have said Plaintiffs and decedent”. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryand that Sia Khin died in Manila did not have any child. in Khun. not said Plaintiffs and Petitioner are entirely immaterial and highly only because it entails the commission by Rafael Litam of grave insufficient to prove the alleged marriage between the deceased criminal offenses which are derogatory to his honor. It is noteworthy that the sufficient to outweigh. nor was he married with Sia Khin. show. it is clear to us that said pictures and the testimony of the Petitioner in Sp. which in the It should be noted that the decedent had admittedly married opinion of the Court. Court is at a loss to understand why one or some of the older during the lifetime of Rafael Litam that he and Marcosa Rivera alleged children of Rafael Litam were not presented as witnesses were living in Malabon. 2071 and an error. as well as the other evidence adverted to in the above- theory the testimony of their lone witness. likewise testified pictures. Although we agree with herein Appellants that this was “On the other hand. children appearing therein is not Rafael Litam. are far from documentary evidence. effective means of defense. question were bought by Marcosa Rivera with her separate and . dated April 24. or of his alleged children.” (Emphasis ours. but. in keeping each party in complete ignorance of certificates of birth that Rafael Litam had in any manner the nature of his alleged relations with the other. openly and publicly. His testimony is mostly hearsay. Felipe Cruz. as witness for youngest of all the alleged eight children of Rafael Litam. inexistent any credence and value at all. although Appellants and Sia Khin certificates that the children’s mothers named therein are were living in Manila and Marcosa Rivera — different.

00. in Civil Case No.00. Rafael with her exclusive and separate money.00. and both dated June 16. on January 4. he No. she had been administering said question are the paraphernal properties of Marcosa Rivera. same as that the money paid by Marcosa Rivera for the fishponds in Nxh. When Eduardo Rivera died on February 5. inclusive). Rizal. In properties. it appears from the evidence that when situated in Macabebe. presented by the Defendants. (Art. according to the evidence.00. the titles P197. Pampanga.” (Emphasis approximately a million pesos. 2071 and the question belong exclusively to Marcosa Rivera is the established administrator and counter. He had to borrow from Marcosa Rivera. incompetent and unbelievable testimonies of the evidence when Marcosa Rivera married Rafael Litam in 1922. 1947.Petitioner in Sp. The was already rich. the evidence presented by the Plaintiffs in his heirs and successors in interests and third persons as well. All the said properties are sum of P135. 23248 were all purchased by Marcosa fishponds in question. No. respectively. and mostly “The finding of this Court that the properties in question are incompetent. 7 & 29. vis:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Exhibits 21. also belong to the registered owner. to the exclusion of Rafael Litam. which amounts. and and her pieces of jewelry. Proc. 1922. and registered in the name of ‘Marcosa Rivera. eldest daughter. 1953. the corresponding lease contract. Litam. Furthermore. chan roblesvirtualawlibrarywhile the fishponds “On the other hand.000. Besides. Rafaela Rivera. commercial and residential lands and decisively overcome by the overwhelming preponderance of buildings. having been bought by almost conclusive proofs presented by the opposite party. and cannot overcome the clear. and to Juliana Pascual. Proc. Malabon. Marcosa Rivera. Rafaela Rivera. 21809 and 26011. In Exhibits 46 and Litam and Marcosa Rivera. and she alone pays the real estate taxes separate and exclusive money of Marcosa Rivera.000. or more specifically. Civil Case No.00 (Exhibits 25 and 42. same “Further strong proofs that the properties in question are the Rafael Litam acknowledged the fact that he had obtained. 2071 and Petitioner in Sp. as he and Marcosa Rivera maintained an Code. 50) presented by the Plaintiffs in Civil Case No. In fact. Rafaela Rivera and with the money she P135. unreliable. convincing and paraphernal properties of Marcosa Rivera. in the mind of the Court. Pampanga. 35836. It also appears that she the marriage are conjugal properties. with an assessed value of evidence adduced in these cases that the properties in question around P150. she having already earned and saved money as disputable presumption of law that the properties acquired during ‘consignataria’ while she was still single. Rafael Litam unequivocably declared under his oath seen from the very documentary evidence (Exhibit ‘EE’. now worth are the paraphernal properties of Marcosa Rivera. Scant her with her separate and exclusive money.000. 1948 was signed acknowledge the fact that the sums of P13.) absolute separation of property (Exhibits 46 and 46-A). (Exhibits 43. These declarations and admission of fact made by Rafael Litam against his interest are binding upon him. the properties in question. before paraphernal properties of Marcosa Rivera. during his lifetime he used to go his office in Manila everyday. 46 and 46. in each of the above any money to his wife. also under oath. The properties in question. being the presumption said Plaintiffs and Petitioner mainly rely has been owner of fishponds. No. It Navotas. and the is with this amount and with the proceeds of the sale of some of property situated in Hulong-Duhat. totalling paraphernal properties. although during her marriage with Rafael Litam.00 and P10. loaned by Marcosa Rivera to the spouses Catalino Pascual and the properties in question have been declared in the name of Juliana Pascual.) may be seen from the certificates of title were acquired by him way back in the years 1916 and 1919. Marcosa Rivera inherited her cash amounting to one-half (1/2) undivided portion of the fishponds situated in P150. same Rafael Litam. 19. In Exhibit 19. Bulacan. 22. 1942. and to steal from her further sum of P62.00 belonging exclusively to her before the outbreak of received from the proceeds of the sale of the pieces of jewelry the war. and most of which properties as ours. 1537. situated in Macabebe. Rivera with the money she earned and accumulated while she was still single. the sum of from her late sister. in which money due thereon. and that they have mentioned titles are merely descriptive of the civil status of actually adopted a system of separation of property.000. The said amounts totalling P197. exclusive of interests.) Rafael Litam had no interest whatsoever. the on July 2. each of them Marcosa Rivera. the registered owner of the properties covered not having any interest or participation whatsoever in the by said titles. as her belonging exclusively to the latter. of their contention that the properties in question are conjugal is. (Exhibits 5 to 18. Proc. it was acknowledged by Rafael Litam that he had not given written after the name of Marcosa Rivera. for if they were conjugal. The fishponds situated in Obando. dated July 13. property of the other. 1537. is further or no consideration at all could be given by the Court to the strengthened by the fact that. Pampanga with Transfer Certificate of Title Rafael Litam was on June 10.’ This circumstance indicates that the properties in question he stole from Marcosa Rivera the further sum of P62.000. Rules of Court). which fact that before she became incompetent sometime in the early prove beyond peradventure of any doubt that the properties in part of the year. 1946. Marcosa Rivera. married to Marcosa Rivera. have not been paid to Marcosa Rivera up to the present. as it is clearly disclosed by the immaterial. Philippine currency. 148 of the Civil Code of the Phil. with Transfer said pieces of jewelry that Marcosa Rivera purchased the Certificate of Title No. No. The words ‘married to Rafael Litam’ 46-A. “Great importance should be given to the documentary evidence.exclusive money. his cash and jewelry were inherited by his . 2071 Obando. been paid to her up to the present. 1943.000. from Marcosa Rivera the Titles covering said properties. 1228 were purchased by her with the money she inherited was poor.000. and when the latter died single covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. Marcosa Rivera. according to the covering the same should have been issued in the names of Rafael evidence.000. In Exhibits 22 and 23.000. are the Marcosa Rivera alone.00 after the she inherited from her father Eduardo Rivera and her sister liberation (Exhibit 10). “Another circumstance which clearly proves that the properties in A. are the very Torrens the outbreak of the second world war. as lessees. married to Rafael that after the liberation. 44 & 45. “On the other hand. she alone leased was earned by her while she was still single. having been bought by exclusive of the stipulated interests. she witnesses presented by the said Plaintiffs and Petitioners. upon which legal was born of a rich family. have not. her father.00 by her as lessor and by Rafael Suarez. 1537 in support (Secs. 23. which is the same as Art. Bulacan was her exclusive and separate money which themselves and Petitioner in Sp. situated in Macabebe. Jr. very weak. as may be Exhibit 21.000. said properties are Litam did not contribute any amount of money or labor to the undeniably her paraphernal properties. inclusive). Rule 123.00 which belongs exclusively to the latter. Rizal with Transfer Certificate of Title No. Spanish Civil properties in question. Eduardo Rivera. 1396.

Cadastre situated in Brgy. His Honor the trial Judge could have been.: Malabon. The said lot with an area of 1. from their mother Encarnacion Silverio. The first marriage was with their mother Encarnacion Silverio. therefore. Rizal. we do not believe that Appellants should be 2001 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). that Marcosa Rivera parcel of land against the petitioners Nora B. leased. in the decision appealed from. Burol 2nd. No. Appellants contend that the transactions covered by said Exhibits CALALANG. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryand that the latter lived in her house in Malabon. through succession as the latter’s compulsory heirs. said testimony could not possibly prevail over the repeated admissions made by the decedent against his own interest in Exhibits 19. Bulacan on June 10. Moreover. Cad. NORA B. Respondents. was acquired on April 12. inherited from a sister who died single and without issue. It is SO ORDERED. 333. it is apparent to us that said evidence cannot affect the decision in these cases. and. Wherefore. Pedro Calalang respects. more liberal in the reception of evidence. likewise. and made in the name of Marcosa Rivera. this pretense is refuted by the fact that said residential property in Hulong-Duhat. the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed in all other According to the respondents. 1991. which admissions are corroborated by the fact that the deceased father of Marcosa Rivera was well to do. 21 to 23 and 46 and 46-A. it being within the exclusive competence of meters and specifically identified as Lot 1132. Appellants’ witnesses (Li Bun Lin. 46 and 46-A (adverted to in the abovequoted portion of the decision appealed from). and some were. Suarez) should have been allowed to testify on the alleged title of Rafael Litam to certain properties and on his alleged reasons for the language used in the public and official documents relied upon by the Appellees. Apart from being based. Municipality of Balagtas. in which it is not as yet. we are of the opinion that the lower court should not and Carlito S. Branch 21. chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythat the lands in dispute were registered. upon their respective inferences therefrom and their biases or view points. in issue until the presentation Province of Bulacan. upon DECISION a surmise. she had. in Civil Case No. 184148 June 9. 1537 and the complaint in Civil Case No. 23. and of said declaration of heirship. will not be. Leonora Calalang-Sabile. CALALANG-PARULAN and ELVIRA B. for such declaration is improper and Elvira B. JR. to the exclusion of her CARLITO S. Dominador Gadi. as culled from the records. or prior to the adoption of our Constitution (see Exhibits Z and AA). The CA modified the Decision3 dated July 10. CV No. Her Before us is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the transactions subsequently thereto. of Malolos. Decision1 dated December 21. Petitioners. Special Proceeding No. with costs against the Appellants.. 19. As above pointed out. LEONORA CALALANG-SABILE. 2071. However. J. Calalang-Parulan is the only heir of the decedent. Rizal. was allegedly acquired by the respondents of the project of partition. During the . their father. 1537. were caused to be ROSARIO CALALANG-GARCIA. Bigaa the court in Special Proceeding No. in issue. 22. 21. Calalang asserted their ownership over a certain have declared. Calalang. the pattern of her activities before the drafting of said 2008 of the Thirteenth Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA- fundamental law. instead of hers and that G. sentenced to pay damages. contracted two marriages during his lifetime. ordinarily. and should have been. 1933. merely followed. Property filed with the RTC of Malolos. it may be surmised from said pleadings that Marcosa Rivera had no knowledge of the alleged previous marriage of the decedent to Sia Khin. also. At best. without any evidentiary support. Benigno Musni and Rafael B. with the elimination of the award for damages in favor of the herein Appellees. CALALANG.R. 2014 of the decedent. G. follow: of the herein Appellees. 2071 contain nothing derogatory to the good name or reputation The facts. referred to in the decision appealed from. VILLARAMA. in her name. except by succession.R. solely.266 square in Civil Case No. husband. 72531. in order to evade the constitutional provision disqualifying foreigners from the acquisition of private agricultural lands. 370-M-91. and upon a number of other factors affecting their credibility. chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythat aside from her share in his estate. The evidenciary value of the testimony of said witnesses would have depended mainly upon their individual appraisal of certain facts. 2007 and Resolution2dated July 25. On the contrary. as well as by the other deeds vs. In a Complaint4 for Annulment of Sale and Reconveyance of the records do not show that Appellants have acted in bad faith.Appellants’ counsel assail the decision appealed from upon the ground that the lower court had been partial to the Appellees and had not accorded to the Appellants a fair and just hearing. The petition of Gregorio Dy Tam in Bulacan. Likewise. the respondents Rosario Calalang-Garcia. This notwithstanding.

allegedly deprived them of their pro indiviso share in the Calalang-Parulan on account of the sale.subsistence of this marriage. 1942.000. they alleged that the respondents did not have a valid "WHEREFORE. With costs against the defendants. from the parents of the latter.00 for Bureau of Lands. property of the first marriage of Pedro Calalang. 2883321 of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan corresponding to their shares in the property of their late father Pedro Calalang. On June 158. As a result. Leonora. P- 28715 in favor of Pedro Calalang only. plaintiffs. that it was issued in the name of "Pedro Calalang. the Register 3. Elvira B. and Pedro Calalang to be divided equally among them. if any. The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads. As compulsory disputed property to Pedro Calalang as his share in the conjugal heirs upon the death of Encarnacion Silverio. Pedro capacity to pay for the consideration stated in the Deed of Sale. their common father Pedro Calalang.the corresponding shares to the disputed property grounds. it was part of the conjugal 1989. Ordering the defendants to reconvey in favor of the of moral and exemplary damages plus costs of suit for the filing of plaintiffs. the trial court allocated half of the the respondents who were co-owners of the same.000. Second. 283321 in acquired by the spouses Pedro Calalang and Encarnacion Silverio the name of Nora B. Pedro Calalang sold the said parcel of land to Nora B. their parents failed to register the same. marriage with Elvira B.75 square meters at land.00 for litigation application by claiming sole and exclusive ownership over the land expenses. 283321 of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan corresponding to their shares in the conjugal estate of On November 6. Calalang. They stressed that OCT No. 7.00 for moral damages. Calalang who then gave birth to Nora B. of the real property covered by TCT No. each getting an area of 211 square plaintiffs and against the defendants in the following manner: meters of the property covered by TCT No. In their Answer. In particular. the Decision conjugal partnership of the spouses Pedro Calalang and Elvira B. Despite enjoying continuous possession of the one-half (1/2) or a total of 474. Pedro Calalang committed fraud in such attorney’s fees and another ₱50. the respondents partnership and allocated the other half to the three respondents claimed that they acquired successional rights over the land. .000. Ordering defendants to pay plaintiffs the amount of an application for free patent over the parcel of land with the ₱50. of Deeds of Bulacan issued Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 2001. 1984. Calalang-Parulan did not have the Calalang was attended by fraud and misrepresentation. First. and Juanito all surname[d] Encarnacion Silverio. When this marriage was dissolved upon the death of Encarnacion Silverio on The respondents assailed the validity of TCT No. P-2871 itself stated 2007. Thus. 283321 on two June 7. Calalang. the first marriage was dissolved with the death of namely: Rosario. The trial court declared that the parcel of land was jointly P-2871 and issued Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. equivalent to one half(1/2) portion of the whole area or 633 square On July 10. on September 22. Dismissing the defendants’ counterclaims. estoppel and prescription. since 1935 and concealing the fact that he had three children with his first spouse. all surnamed WHEREFORE. The trial court also ruled property. 2001of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos. On February 17.8 the petitioners argued that the parcel of land Aggrieved by the adverse ruling. Accordingly. however. ₱50. Pedro Calalang entered into a second the late Encarnacion S. Calalang [sic]. 1967. Calalang- Parulan was gainfully employed in Spain at the time of the sale. Calalang. Calalang-Parulan. the property belonged to the WHEREFORE. the Register of Deeds of Bulacan cancelled OCT No. 1. Thus. the respondents claimed that the sale was that because the application for free patent filed by Pedro absolutely simulated as Nora B. The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads as namely: follows: Rosario. dated July 10.25 square meters for each of the three plaintiffs. Moreover. Ordering the defendants to reconvey in favor of the mentioned parcel of land from their maternal grandmother plaintiffs. the petitioners appealed the case was acquired during the second marriage of Pedro Calalang with to the CA which rendered the assailed Decision on December 21. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the cause of action against them and that their cause of action. 1942. 1974. According to the respondents. Leonora and Carlito. The trial in alienating the land without their consent.7 Pedro Calalang died. and against the defendants in the following manner: was already barred by laches. their rightful share to the property owned by the clearly unfounded suit.9 Sale6 executed by both Pedro Calalang and Elvira B. their parents acquired the above. their rightful share to three-fourth (3/4) of Francisca Silverio. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the Calalang. it was only during this time that Pedro Calalang filed 2. The petitioners likewise denied the allegation that the is hereby MODIFIED to read as follows: sale of the land was absolutely simulated as Nora B. the petitioners also sought the payment to them 1. On December 27. By way of counterclaim. the trial court rendered decision in favor of the meters to be divided equally by the three plaintiffs." Thus. Calalang should be considered as a trustee of an implied trust. in light of the foregoing premises. Bulacan Calalang. married to Elvira Berba [Calalang]. Calalang-Parulan and Rolando Calalang. Pedro Calalang court then ordered all of Pedro’s share to be given to Nora B. Calalang-Parulan as evidenced by a Deed of SO ORDERED. the respondents argued that the sale of the land were acquired by the heirs of the decedent according to the laws was void because Pedro Calalang failed to obtain the consent of of succession. respondents.

Carlito Calalang. Pedro’s heirs namely.00 for moral damages. a close perusal of property was registered in the name of Nora in1984 and the the records of this case would show that the records are bereft of action for reconveyance was filed in 1991. and therefore said property "either became Parulan. Calalang-Parulan was fraudulent and before and after World War II. We have carefully reviewed the records of this case and sustain contrary to the ruling of the trial court. denied their motion in its the property was acquired by her parents through purchase from Resolution dated July 25. Since the However. this petition raising the sole issue: present any documentary evidence such as the tax declaration issued in the name of either of her parents. 2008 Resolution of Encarnacion and the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of denying petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration dated January gains of the first marriage. 2008. 1942. 2001 Decision Calalang and that it was issued more than 30 years after the death of the trial court. As regards the issue of prescription. Francisca Silverio.13 Here. The evidence respondents adduced merely consisted of testimonial evidence such as the declaration of Rosario Calalang-Garcia that they have On January 23. she was unable to produce any document to evidence the said sale. Thus. The petition is meritorious. the first marriage of Pedro Calalang with Encarnacion Silverio. we note that the resolution of the issue in this case requires a reevaluation of the probative value of the evidence SO ORDERED. we cannot subscribe to 23. the CA ruled that the prescriptive period for reconveyance of fraudulently registered real property is ten years. as correctly pointed out by the CA. Thus. Firstly. Preliminarily.000. the respondents argue that it belonged to the conjugal partnership of 3. conjugal partnership of the second marriage of Pedro Calalang married to Elvira Berba [Calalang]. Thus. and Rolando Calalang.11 respondents’ submission that the subject property originally belonged to the parents of Encarnacion and was acquired by Pedro Calalang and Encarnacion. On the other hand. P-2871. the only issue in this case is whether Pedro Calalang was the exclusive owner of the disputed property prior to its transfer to his daughter Nora B. however. Cad. Essentially. it held that there was insufficient exception to the rule is when the RTC and CA have conflicting evidence to prove that the disputed property was indeed jointly findings of fact as in this case." In so ruling. 2007 Decision modifying the July 10. Calalang. the CA husband Pedro Calalang in 1936. applying the rules The trial court ruled that the respondents were able to establish of succession. P-2871 which was . What is involved is indeed a question of fact which is The CA reversed the factual findings of the trial court and held generally beyond the jurisdiction of this Court to resolve in a that Pedro Calalang was the sole and exclusive owner of the petition for review on certiorari.00 for Elvira B. 333 originated from the parents of Leonora Calalang-Sabile. the respondents claim that attorney’s fees and another ₱50. her maternal grandparents. Nora B. the action has not yet any concrete proof to show that the subject property indeed prescribed.12 However. The CA ruled that the sale by parents built a nipa house on the subject lot and lived there Pedro Calalang to Nora B. Thus. acquire any successional rights to the parcel of land which was exclusively owned by Pedro Calalang. of the first marriage of Pedro Calalang with Encarnacion Silverio. Calalang as evidenced by OCT No. belonged to respondents’ maternal grandparents. Dismissing the defendants’ counterclaims. upon the death of the finding of the CA that Pedro Calalang is the sole and exclusive Encarnacion Silverio on June 7.10 presented by the parties in order to trace the title of the disputed property. nor was she able to Hence.14 disputed property. the CA upheld the indefeasibility of OCT No. 2. petitioners filed their Motion for been staying on the property as far as she can remember and that Reconsideration. phrase was merely descriptive of the civil status of Pedro Calalang at the time of the registration of the disputed property. 2008. Moreover. Rosario Calalang-Garcia. We likewise cannot sustain the argument of the petitioners that the disputed property belongs to the conjugal partnership of the second marriage of Pedro Calalang with Elvira B. succeeded property of Encarnacion in her own right or jointly with her Pedro to the land in equal shares upon his death. grandmother." with Elvira B. Calalang. and in issuing its July 25. However. a recognized subject parcel of land. the trial court ordered the petitioners to reconvey in favor of the respondents relied on the testimony of Rosario Calalang-Garcia that her their rightful shares to the land.00 for litigation the disputed property was transferred by their maternal expenses. ₱50. With costs against the defendants. during the latter’s marriage. SO ORDERED. Calalang on the The petitioners argue that the disputed property belonged to the ground that the title was issued in the name of "Pedro Calalang. Ordering defendants to pay plaintiffs the amount of issued to Pedro Calalang during the subsistence of his marriage to ₱50.000. The CA. we note Whether or not the court a quo gravely erred in rendering its that the free patent was issued solely in the name of Pedro December 21.000. Secondly. Elvira B. However. married to Elvira Berba [Calalang]" this exclusive ownership of the disputed property of Pedro Calalang. that Lot 1132. while the trial court ruled acquired from the parents of Encarnacion Silverio during the first that the disputed property belonged to the conjugal partnership marriage. the respondents did not owner of the disputed property. Calalang- Encarnacion. It held that although the free patent was issued in the the court a quo declared that the evidence proved the sole and name of "Pedro Calalang. 2008. Pedro Calalang and Encarnacion Silverio. to their parents. The trial court further noted that fictitious as the vendee was in bad faith and the respondents Rosario’s testimony was corroborated by her cousin and adjacent were unlawfully deprived of their pro indiviso shares over the neighbor Manolo Calalang. Calalang-Parulan.

The contents of a certificate of title are enumerated by Section 45 the decedent died (Art. 1034); the legitime is to be computed as
of Presidential Decree No. 1529, otherwise known as the Property of the same moment (Art. 908), and so is the in officiousness of
Registration Decree: the donation inter vivas (Art. 771). Similarly, the legacies of credit
and remission are valid only in the amount due and outstanding at
the death of the testator (Art. 935), and the fruits accruing after
SEC. 45. Statement of personal circumstances in the certificate. –
that instant are deemed to pertain to the legatee (Art. 948).
Every certificate of title shall set forth the full names of all persons
whose interests make up the full ownership in the whole land,
including their civil status, and the names of their respective Thus, it is only upon the death of Pedro Calalang on December 27,
spouses, if married, as well as their citizenship, residence and 1989 that his heirs acquired their respective inheritances, entitling
postal address. If the property covered belongs to the conjugal them to their pro indiviso shares to his whole estate. At the time
partnership, it shall be issued in the names of both of the sale of the disputed property, the rights to the succession
spouses.1âwphi1 were not yet bestowed upon the heirs of Pedro Calalang. And
absent clear and convincing evidence that the sale was fraudulent
or not duly supported by valuable consideration (in effect an in
A plain reading of the above provision would clearly reveal that
officious donation inter vivas), the respondents have no right to
the phrase "Pedro Calalang, married to Elvira Berba [Calalang]"
question the sale of the disputed property on the ground that
merely describes the civil status and identifies the spouse of the
their father deprived them of their respective shares. Well to
registered owner Pedro Calalang. Evidently, this does not mean
remember, fraud must be established by clear and convincing
that the property is conjugal. In Litam v. Rivera,15 we declared:
evidence. Mere preponderance of evidence is not even adequate
to prove fraud.20 The Complaint for Annulment of Sale and
Further strong proofs that the properties in question are the Reconveyance of Property must therefore be dismissed.
paraphernal properties of Marcosa Rivera, are the very Torrens
Titles covering said properties. All the said properties are
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED.
registered in the name of "Marcosa Rivera, married to Rafael
The Decision dated December 21, 2007 and Resolution dated July
Litam." This circumstance indicates that the properties in question
25, 2008 of the Thirteenth Division of the Court of Appeals in CA-
belong to the registered owner, Marcosa Rivera, as her
G.R. CV No. 72531 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Civil Case No.
paraphernal properties, for if they were conjugal, the titles
370-M-91, or the Complaint for Annulment of Sale and
covering the same should have been issued in the names of Rafael
Reconveyance of Property filed by the respondents with the
Litam and Marcosa Rivera. The words "married to Rafael Litam"
Regional Trial Court, Branch 21 of Malolos, Bulacan, on June 10,
written after the name of Marcosa Rivera, in each of the above
1991, is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.
mentioned titles are merely descriptive of the civil status of
Marcosa Rivera, the registered owner of the properties covered
by said titles. No pronouncement as to costs.

It must likewise be noted that in his application for free SO ORDERED.
patent,16 applicant Pedro Calalang averred that the land was first
occupied and cultivated by him since 1935 and that he had
planted mango trees, coconut plants, caimito trees, banana plants
and seasonal crops and built his house on the subject lot. But he
applied for free patent only in 1974 and was issued a free patent
while already married to Elvira B. Calalang. Thus, having
possessed the subject land in the manner and for the period
required by law after the dissolution of the first marriage and
before the second marriage, the subject property ipso jure
became private property and formed part of Pedro Calalang’s
exclusive property.17 It was therefore excluded from the conjugal
partnership of gains of the second marriage.18

As the sole and exclusive owner, Pedro Calalang had the right to
convey his property in favor of Nora B. Calalang-Parulan by
executing a Deed of Sale on February 17, 1984. The CA therefore
erred in ruling that Pedro Calalang deprived his heirs of their
respective shares over the disputed property when he alienated
the same.

It is hornbook doctrine that successional rights are vested only at
the time of death. Article 777 of the New Civil Code provides that
"[t]he rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment
of the death of the decedent." In Butte v. Manuel Uy and Sons,
Inc.,19 we proclaimed the fundamental tenets of succession:

The principle of transmission as of the time of the predecessor's
death is basic in our Civil Code, and is supported by other related
articles. Thus, the capacity of the heir is determined as of the time

Jambrich met petitioner Camilo F. Borromeo sometime in 1986.
Petitioner was engaged in the real estate business. He also built
and repaired speedboats as a hobby. In 1989, Jambrich purchased
an engine and some accessories for his boat from petitioner, for
which he became indebted to the latter for about ₱150,000.00. To
G.R. No. 159310 February 24, 2009 pay for his debt, he sold his rights and interests in the Agro-Macro
properties to petitioner for ₱250,000, as evidenced by a "Deed of
Absolute Sale/Assignment."6 On July 26, 1991, when petitioner
CAMILO F. BORROMEO, Petitioner,
sought to register the deed of assignment, he discovered that
vs.
titles to the three lots have been transferred in the name of
ANTONIETTA O. DESCALLAR, Respondent.
respondent, and that the subject property has already been
mortgaged.
DECISION
On August 2, 1991, petitioner filed a complaint against
PUNO, C.J.: respondent for recovery of real property before the Regional Trial
Court of Mandaue City. Petitioner alleged that the Contracts to
Sell dated November 18, 1985 and March 10, 1986 and the Deed
What are the rights of an alien (and his successor-in-interest) who
of Absolute Sale dated November 16, 1987 over the properties
acquired real properties in the country as against his former
which identified both Jambrich and respondent as buyers do not
Filipina girlfriend in whose sole name the properties were
reflect the true agreement of the parties since respondent did not
registered under the Torrens system?
pay a single centavo of the purchase price and was not in fact a
buyer; that it was Jambrich alone who paid for the properties
The facts are as follows: using his exclusive funds; that Jambrich was the real and absolute
owner of the properties; and, that petitioner acquired absolute
Wilhelm Jambrich, an Austrian, arrived in the Philippines in 1983 ownership by virtue of the Deed of Absolute Sale/Assignment
after he was assigned by his employer, Simmering-Graz Panker dated July 11, 1991 which Jambrich executed in his favor.
A.G., an Austrian company, to work at a project in Mindoro. In
1984, he transferred to Cebu and worked at the Naga II Project of In her Answer, respondent belied the allegation that she did not
the National Power Corporation. There, he met respondent pay a single centavo of the purchase price. On the contrary, she
Antonietta Opalla-Descallar, a separated mother of two boys who claimed that she "solely and exclusively used her own personal
was working as a waitress at St. Moritz Hotel. Jambrich befriended funds to defray and pay for the purchase price of the subject lots
respondent and asked her to tutor him in English. In dire need of in question," and that Jambrich, being an alien, was prohibited to
additional income to support her children, respondent agreed. acquire or own real property in the Philippines.
The tutorials were held in Antonietta’s residence at a squatters’
area in Gorordo Avenue.
At the trial, respondent presented evidence showing her alleged
financial capacity to buy the disputed property with money from a
Jambrich and respondent fell in love and decided to live together supposed copra business. Petitioner, in turn, presented Jambrich
in a rented house in Hernan Cortes, Mandaue City. Later, they as his witness and documentary evidence showing the substantial
transferred to their own house and lots at Agro-Macro salaries which Jambrich received while still employed by the
Subdivision, Cabancalan, Mandaue City. In the Contracts to Sell Austrian company, Simmering-Graz Panker A.G.
dated November 18, 19851 and March 10, 19862 covering the
properties, Jambrich and respondent were referred to as the
In its decision, the court a quo found—
buyers. A Deed of Absolute Sale dated November 16, 19873 was
likewise issued in their favor. However, when the Deed of
Absolute Sale was presented for registration before the Register Evidence on hand clearly show that at the time of the purchase
of Deeds, registration was refused on the ground that Jambrich and acquisition of [the] properties under litigation that Wilhelm
was an alien and could not acquire alienable lands of the public Jambrich was still working and earning much. This fact of Jambrich
domain. Consequently, Jambrich’s name was erased from the earning much is not only supported by documentary evidence but
document. But it could be noted that his signature remained on also by the admission made by the defendant Antoniet[t]a Opalla.
the left hand margin of page 1, beside respondent’s signature as So that, Jambrich’s financial capacity to acquire and purchase the
buyer on page 3, and at the bottom of page 4 which is the last properties . . . is not disputed.7
page. Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. 24790, 24791 and
24792 over the properties were issued in respondent’s name
xxx
alone.

On the other hand, evidence . . . clearly show that before
Jambrich also formally adopted respondent’s two sons in Sp. Proc.
defendant met Jambrich sometime in the latter part of 1984, she
No. 39-MAN,4 and per Decision of the Regional Trial Court of
was only working as a waitress at the St. Moritz Hotel with an
Mandaue City dated May 5, 1988.5
income of ₱1,000.00 a month and was . . . renting and living only
in . . . [a] room at . . . [a] squatter area at Gorordo Ave., Cebu City;
However, the idyll lasted only until April 1991. By then, that Jambrich took pity of her and the situation of her children
respondent found a new boyfriend while Jambrich began to live that he offered her a better life which she readily accepted. In
with another woman in Danao City. Jambrich supported fact, this miserable financial situation of hers and her two children
respondent’s sons for only two months after the break up. . . . are all stated and reflected in the Child Study Report dated
April 20, 1983 (Exhs. "G" and "G-1") which facts she supplied to

the Social Worker who prepared the same when she was of defendant Antoniet[t]a Descallar and to issue new
personally interviewed by her in connection with the adoption of ones in the name of plaintiff Camilo F. Borromeo;
her two children by Wilhelm Jambrich. So that, if such facts were
not true because these are now denied by her . . . and if it was
4) Declaring the contracts now marked as Exhibits "I,"
also true that during this time she was already earning as much as
"K" and "L" as avoided insofar as they appear to
₱8,000.00 to ₱9,000.00 as profit per month from her copra
convey rights and interests over the properties in
business, it would be highly unbelievable and impossible for her
question to the defendant Antoniet[t]a Descallar;
to be living only in such a miserable condition since it is the
observation of this Court that she is not only an extravagant but
also an expensive person and not thrifty as she wanted to impress 5) Ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff attorney’s
this Court in order to have a big saving as clearly shown by her fees in the amount of ₱25,000.00 and litigation
actuation when she was already cohabiting and living with expenses in the amount of ₱10,000.00; and,
Jambrich that according to her . . . the allowance given . . . by him
in the amount of $500.00 a month is not enough to maintain the 6) To pay the costs.11
education and maintenance of her children.8

Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. In a Decision dated
This being the case, it is highly improbable and impossible that April 10, 2002,12 the appellate court reversed the decision of the
she could acquire the properties under litigation or could trial court. In ruling for the respondent, the Court of Appeals held:
contribute any amount for their acquisition which according to
her is worth more than ₱700,000.00 when while she was working
as [a] waitress at St. Moritz Hotel earning ₱1,000.00 a month as We disagree with the lower court’s conclusion. The circumstances
salary and tips of more or less ₱2,000.00 she could not even involved in the case cited by the lower court and similar cases
provide [for] the daily needs of her family so much so that it is decided on by the Supreme Court which upheld the validity of the
safe to conclude that she was really in financial distress when she title of the subsequent Filipino purchasers are absent in the case
met and accepted the offer of Jambrich to come and live with him at bar. It should be noted that in said cases, the title to the subject
because that was a big financial opportunity for her and her property has been issued in the name of the alien transferee
children who were already abandoned by her husband.9 (Godinez et al., vs. Fong Pak Luen et al., 120 SCRA 223 citing
Krivenko vs. Register of Deeds of Manila, 79 Phils. 461; United
Church Board for World Ministries vs. Sebastian, 159 SCRA 446,
xxx citing the case of Sarsosa Vda. De Barsobia vs. Cuenco, 113 SCRA
547; Tejido vs. Zamacoma, 138 SCRA 78). In the case at bar, the
The only probable and possible reason why her name appeared title of the subject property is not in the name of Jambrich but in
and was included in [the contracts to sell dated November 18, the name of defendant-appellant. Thus, Jambrich could not have
1985 and March 10, 1986 and finally, the deed of absolute sale transferred a property he has no title thereto.13
dated November 16, 1987] as buyer is because as observed by the
Court, she being a scheming and exploitive woman, she has taken Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied.
advantage of the goodness of Jambrich who at that time was still
bewitched by her beauty, sweetness, and good attitude shown by
her to him since he could still very well provide for everything she Hence, this petition for review.
needs, he being earning (sic) much yet at that time. In fact, as
observed by this Court, the acquisition of these properties under Petitioner assigns the following errors:
litigation was at the time when their relationship was still going
smoothly and harmoniously.10 [Emphasis supplied.]
I. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN
DISREGARDING RESPONDENT’S JUDICIAL ADMISSION AND OTHER
The dispositive portion of the Decision states: OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING JAMBRICH’S
PARTICIPATION, INTEREST AND OWNERSHIP OF THE PROPERTIES
WHEREFORE, . . . Decision is hereby rendered in favor of the IN QUESTION AS FOUND BY THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT.
plaintiff and against the defendant Antoniet[t]a Opalla by:
II. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN
1) Declaring plaintiff as the owner in fee simple over HOLDING THAT JAMBRICH HAS NO TITLE TO THE PROPERTIES IN
the residential house of strong materials and three QUESTION AND MAY NOT THEREFORE TRANSFER AND ASSIGN
parcels of land designated as Lot Nos. 1, 3 and 5 which ANY RIGHTS AND INTERESTS IN FAVOR OF PETITIONER.
are covered by TCT Nos. 24790, 24791 and 24792
issued by the Register of Deeds of Mandaue City; III. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN
REVERSING THE WELL-REASONED DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT
2) Declaring as null and void TCT Nos. 24790, 24791 AND IN IMPOSING DOUBLE COSTS AGAINST HEREIN PETITIONER
and 24792 issued in the name of defendant (THEN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE).14
Antoniet[t]a Descallar by the Register of Deeds of
Mandaue City; First, who purchased the subject properties?

3) Ordering the Register of Deeds of Mandaue City to The evidence clearly shows, as pointed out by the trial court, who
cancel TCT Nos. 24790, 24791 and 24792 in the name between respondent and Jambrich possesses the financial
capacity to acquire the properties in dispute. At the time of the

acquisition of the properties in 1985 to 1986, Jambrich was (2) The money used to pay the subject parcels of land
gainfully employed at Simmering-Graz Panker A.G., an Austrian in installments was in postdated checks issued by
company. He was earning an estimated monthly salary of Jambrich. Respondent has never opened any account
₱50,000.00. Then, Jambrich was assigned to Syria for almost one with any bank. Receipts of the installment payments
year where his monthly salary was approximately ₱90,000.00. were also in the name of Jambrich and respondent.

On the other hand, respondent was employed as a waitress from (3) In 1986-1987, respondent lived in Syria with
1984 to 1985 with a monthly salary of not more than ₱1,000.00. Jambrich and her two children for ten months, where
In 1986, when the parcels of land were acquired, she was she was completely under the support of Jambrich.
unemployed, as admitted by her during the pre-trial conference.
Her allegations of income from a copra business were
(4) Jambrich executed a Last Will and Testament,
unsubstantiated. The supposed copra business was actually the
where he, as owner, bequeathed the subject
business of her mother and their family, with ten siblings. She has
properties to respondent.
no license to sell copra, and had not filed any income tax return.
All the motorized bancas of her mother were lost to fire, and the
last one left standing was already scrap. Further, the Child Study Thus, Jambrich has all authority to transfer all his rights, interests
Report15 submitted by the Department of Social Welfare and and participation over the subject properties to petitioner by
Development (DSWD) in the adoption proceedings of virtue of the Deed of Assignment he executed on July 11, 1991.
respondent’s two sons by Jambrich disclosed that:
Well-settled is the rule that this Court is not a trier of facts. The
Antonietta tried all types of job to support the children until she findings of fact of the trial court are accorded great weight and
was accepted as a waitress at St. Moritz Restaurant in 1984. At respect, if not finality by this Court, subject to a number of
first she had no problem with money because most of the exceptions. In the instant case, we find no reason to disturb the
customers of St. Moritz are (sic) foreigners and they gave good factual findings of the trial court. Even the appellate court did not
tips but towards the end of 1984 there were no more foreigners controvert the factual findings of the trial court. They differed
coming because of the situation in the Philippines at that time. only in their conclusions of law.
Her financial problem started then. She was even renting a small
room in a squatters area in Gorordo Ave., Cebu City. It was during Further, the fact that the disputed properties were acquired
her time of great financial distress that she met Wilhelm Jambrich during the couple’s cohabitation also does not help respondent.
who later offered her a decent place for herself and her The rule that co-ownership applies to a man and a woman living
children.16 exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the
benefit of marriage, but are otherwise capacitated to marry each
The DSWD Home Study Report17 further disclosed that: other, does not apply.19 In the instant case, respondent was still
legally married to another when she and Jambrich lived together.
In such an adulterous relationship, no co-ownership exists
[Jambrich] was then at the Restaurant of St. Moritz when he saw
between the parties. It is necessary for each of the partners to
Antonietta Descallar, one of the waitresses of the said
prove his or her actual contribution to the acquisition of property
Restaurants. He made friends with the girl and asked her to tutor
in order to be able to lay claim to any portion of it. Presumptions
him in [the] English language. Antonietta accepted the offer
of co-ownership and equal contribution do not apply.20
because she was in need of additional income to support [her] 2
young children who were abandoned by their father. Their session
was agreed to be scheduled every afternoon at the residence of Second, we dispose of the issue of registration of the properties in
Antonietta in the squatters area in Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City. the name of respondent alone. Having found that the true buyer
The Austrian was observing the situation of the family particularly of the disputed house and lots was the Austrian Wilhelm
the children who were malnourished. After a few months Jambrich, what now is the effect of registration of the properties
sessions, Mr. Jambrich offered to transfer the family into a decent in the name of respondent?
place. He told Antonietta that the place is not good for the
children. Antonietta who was miserable and financially distressed It is settled that registration is not a mode of acquiring
at that time accepted the offer for the sake of the children.18 ownership.21 It is only a means of confirming the fact of its
existence with notice to the world at large.22 Certificates of title
Further, the following additional pieces of evidence point to are not a source of right. The mere possession of a title does not
Jambrich as the source of fund used to purchase the three parcels make one the true owner of the property. Thus, the mere fact
of land, and to construct the house thereon: that respondent has the titles of the disputed properties in her
name does not necessarily, conclusively and absolutely make her
the owner. The rule on indefeasibility of title likewise does not
(1) Respondent Descallar herself affirmed under oath,
apply to respondent. A certificate of title implies that the title is
during her re-direct examination and during the
quiet,23and that it is perfect, absolute and
proceedings for the adoption of her minor children,
indefeasible.24 However, there are well-defined exceptions to this
that Jambrich was the owner of the properties in
rule, as when the transferee is not a holder in good faith and did
question, but that his name was deleted in the Deed of
not acquire the subject properties for a valuable
Absolute Sale because of legal constraints.
consideration.25 This is the situation in the instant case.
Nonetheless, his signature remained in the deed of
Respondent did not contribute a single centavo in the acquisition
sale, where he signed as buyer.
of the properties. She had no income of her own at that time, nor
did she have any savings. She and her two sons were then fully
supported by Jambrich.

the trial court ruled in favor of petitioner. The rationale behind the Court’s ruling in United Church Board for CARPIO.28 The capacity to acquire private land is dependent on the capacity "to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. that aim is achieved by making The Case lawful the acquisition of real estate by aliens who became Filipino citizens by naturalization or those transfers made by aliens to This petition for review on certiorari seeks to annul the Filipino citizens. J. MAN-1148 is REINSTATED. 202932 October 23. No. It declared petitioner as owner in fee simple of the residential house of strong materials and three parcels of land designated as Lot Nos. Branch 32 (RTC- Court of Appeals in C. Thus. the fundamental law explicitly prohibits non-Filipinos from acquiring or holding title to private lands. Respondents. SPOUSES PAULINO and EVANGELINE ABUDA. except only by way of legal succession or if the acquisition was made by a former natural- born citizen. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution.: [W]hile the acquisition and the purchase of (sic) Wilhelm Jambrich of the properties under litigation [were] void ab initio since [they were] contrary to the Constitution of the Philippines. 3 and 5.R. vs. The trial court likewise ordered respondent to pay G. CV No.A. he being a foreigner. a Filipino citizen.Respondent argued that aliens are prohibited from acquiring SO ORDERED. the acquisition of these properties by plaintiff who is a Filipino citizen from him. 2003 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. private land. Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution.000 as litigation expenses. the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid. Resolution dismissed the Appeal dated 23 October 2009 and affirmed with modification the Decision3 dated 24 November IN VIEW WHEREOF. The objective of the constitutional denying the motion for reconsideration. Article XIII of the 1935 Constitution. The Decision of the 2008 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.000 as attorney’s fees and ₱10. and ordered the Register of Deeds of Mandaue City to issue new certificates of title in his name.. as well as the costs of suit. and its Resolution dated July 8. had not Jambrich conveyed the properties to petitioner who is a Filipino citizen." Only Filipino citizens or corporations at least 60% of the capital of which is owned by Filipinos are qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. the petition is GRANTED. VENTURA JR. 27 and Section 14.32 is this – since the ban on aliens is intended to preserve the nation’s land for future generations of Filipinos. The trial court upheld the sale by Jambrich in favor of petitioner and ordered the cancellation of the TCTs in the name of respondent. there would be no more G. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City in The Facts Civil Case No. We affirm the Regional Trial Court. As the property in dispute is already in the hands Decision1 dated 9 March 2012 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA- of a qualified person.29 Therefore. 1. G.R. 2002 Manila). 2013 petitioner ₱25. as reiterated in subsequent cases. EDILBERTO U. Petitioner. In United Church Board for World Ministries v. as the rule now stands." Private land may be transferred only to individuals or entities "qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. This is embodied in Section 7. in the instant case. yet. 92330 and the Resolution2 dated 3 August 2012 public policy to be protected. would have been declared invalid if challenged. Sebastian.30 the Court reiterated the consistent ruling in a number of cases31 that if land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a Filipino citizen or transfers it to a Filipino. CV No. has cured the flaw in the original transaction and the title of the transferee is valid. . the transfer of land from Agro- Macro Development Corporation to Jambrich.R. viz.: World Ministries. 42929 dated April 10. Applying United Church Board for World Ministries.26 which is basically a reproduction of Section 5. who is an Austrian. The Decision and provision to keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved.

it will be disregarded or treated as non- existent by the courts. Paulino Abuda (Paulino). who was a seaman. but they are not married.The RTC-Manila and the CA found the facts to be as follows: The RTC-Manila ruled that the marriage between Socorro and Esteban was void from the beginning. Any stipulation in a contract to the contrary shall be void. the charges. 83. or their marriage is void from the claim any right or interest over the properties purchased by beginning. And therefore. illegal and void from its performance unless: Evidence shows that Socorro had a prior subsisting marriage to 1. 2. in the benefits as well as in The RTC-Manila dismissed the petition for lack of merit. on the other hand. filed a Petition for Annulment of Deeds of Sale before According to the RTC-Manila. Manila (Vitas spouse present at the time of contracting such property).7 According to Edilberto: The RTC-Manila ruled that the lack of a judicial decree of nullity does not affect the status of the union. Vitas. and upon mere proof of the facts rendering such marriage void. 144. to wit: was forged. being 50. had been Delpan Street. consecutive years at the time of the second marriage without the spouse present having news of the Esteban’s prior marriage. Ventura. which Esteban requested as advance payment. been absent for less than seven years. argued that because of Socorro’s prior marriage to Crispin.000. Edilberto. The first spouse had been absent for seven and Crispin was alive at the time of Socorro’s marriage to Esteban. According to Edilberto. which was the governing law at the time Esteban and Socorro Torres (Socorro) and Esteban Abletes (Esteban) were Socorro were married. both of them had children from prior marriages: Esteban had a daughter named Evangeline Abuda Art. shall be proportional to their respective interests. in any civil court between any parties at any Esteban passed away on 11 September 1997.11 On 6 September 1997.8 proceeding in which [the] fact of marriage may be material. issued to "Esteban Abletes. the property acquired by either or both of them Esteban and respondents. It applied our ruling in Niñal v. were Under ordinary circumstances. was dissolved by absentee being alive. provides: married on 9 June 1980."5 During trial. as concerns the conferring of legal rights upon the parties. The first marriage was annulled or dissolved. Socorro married Crispin on 18 April 1952.13 Sometime in 2000. of legal age. or if the absentee is presumed Evangeline on her father’s behalf sometime in 1970. discovered the sale.00) for the purchase of the Vitas properties and she good for no legal purpose. Manila (Delpan property). until declared null and void. so contracted shall be valid in any of the three cases dated 11 December 1980. When a man and a woman live together as husband and Esteban was null and void. Jr. Esteban purchased a portion of a lot situated considered as dead and believed to be so by the at 2492 State Alley.10 Article 83 of the Civil Code. Evangeline continued paying the amortizations on the Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is two (2) properties situated in Delpan Street. Evangeline and Esteban daughter-in-law Conchita Ventura (Conchita). Leonora Urquila (Leonora). necessary in order to establish the nullity of a marriage.4 The Vitas dead according to articles 390 and 391. In her first affidavit. Conchita recanted her earlier testimony and executed an Affidavit of Retraction. is generally sometime in 1968.6 missing and unheard from for 35 years. the effect of a void marriage. so far considered part of the purchase price of the Delpan properties. Tondo. represented by Leonora.000. husband and the wife. Respondents. and Socorro had a son. The marriage property was covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. Filipino. Badayog:12 when Esteban was diagnosed with colon cancer sometime in 1993. and are governed by Articles 144 and 485 of the Civil was fraudulent because Esteban’s signature on the deeds of sale Code. The Ruling of the RTC-Manila Art. who was the father of during the lifetime of the first spouse of such person shall be Edilberto U. on the other hand. is as Evangeline likewise gave her father Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php though no marriage had ever taken place. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person (Evangeline). the Vitas and Delpan properties are the RTC-Manila. Although Socorro and Esteban never had common children. 485. . her subsequent marriage to Art. its invalidity can be maintained in any shouldered his medical expenses. Thus. the petitioner in this case.00). Thus. or if the absentee. he decided to sell the Delpan and Vitas properties to Evangeline. either direct or collateral. This marriage was not annulled. operated small business establishments located at 903 and 905 Conchita claimed that Crispin. whether before or after the death of either or both the passed away on 31 July 1999. The share of the co-owners. The remaining portion was thereafter purchased by subsequent marriage. However. Tondo. Edilberto offered the testimony of Socorro’s Edilberto also claimed that starting 1978. neither Socorro nor her heirs can wife. or Crispin Roxas (Crispin) when she married Esteban. the mother of Edilberto. Edilberto alleged that the sale of the properties not conjugal. The amortizations. Bonifacio Street. though he has virtue of his wife’s death in 1960. while Socorro time.9 through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. (Edilberto). married to Socorro Torres. x x x together with the amount of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 200. 141782. Esteban sold the Vitas and Delpan properties to Evangeline and her husband.

Descallar24 in the Vitas and Delpan properties. In the absence of proof to the contrary. which the decision of the RTC-Manila.23 Street. Article 148 of the Family Code states that in unions shares are presumed to be equal. Tondo even before her that the foregoing provision applies "even if the cohabitation or father and Socorro Torres got married in June. and not Articles 144 and 485 of the proof to the contrary. unless the contrary is proved. 1980. the property became known as Units D-9 and D-10. 141782. If the party Marcos Road. and her heirs cannot claim any rights over parties. 1980. the CA sustained the This is a reiteration of Article 148 of the Family Code. their contributions and corresponding Civil Code. however. or industry shall be owned by them in common The CA ruled. Reconsideration. x x x Evangeline professed that in properties. the 37 pieces of receipts x x x and the aggregate amount of ₱188. she x x x bought the right to one-half of the remaining property occupied by Ampiano Caballegan. Manila. Edilberto filed a Motion for canvas being sold at 903 Del Pan Street. At first. Edilberto filed an appeal before the CA. Tondo. formerly conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage.09 for Unit D-10. Ampiano Caballegan. Hence.22 which was denied by the CA in its Resolution she was also operating Vangie’s Canvas Store at 905 Del Pan dated 3 August 2012. It is necessary for each of the partners to prove his or her actual contribution to the acquisition of property in order to be able to lay claim to any portion of it. Court of Appeals.19 and held occupant of the said property in Vitas. These documents prove that that she has been an The CA applied our ruling in Saguid v. Tondo.52 for Unit D-9 as shown by We deny the petition. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint The RTC-Manila then determined the respective shares of Socorro deposits of money and evidences of credit."20 The CA found that Edilberto failed to prove Anent the parcels of land and improvements thereon 903 and 905 that Socorro contributed to the purchase of the Vitas and Delpan Del Pan Street. He even quoted our ruling in Borromeo v. she allowed the whole lot to be registered in her parties are in bad faith. The same rule and presumption between a man and a woman who are incapacitated to marry shall apply to joint deposits of money and evidences of credit. In 1978. The dispositive portion of the CA CA applied in the assailed decision: Decision reads: Art 148. which was evidenced by Certificate of Registration of Business Name issued in her favor on 09 November 1998 x x x. only the properties acquired Decision of the court a quo STANDS. she cannot be relationship shall be based on the actual contribution of the considered a co-owner. in 1970. Magsaysay Village. she presented Exhibits "8" to "11" x x x. Tondo.15 Edilberto admitted that in unions between a man and a woman who are incapacitated to marry each other. Bonifacio in the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community or St. In the absence of Article 148 of the Family Code. that the RTC-Manila should have applied in proportion to their respective contributions. her father [paid] for the amortizations for these two (2) parcels of The Ruling of this Court land but when he got sick with colon cancer in 1993. the ownership over The RTC-Manila concluded that Socorro did not contribute any the properties acquired during the subsistence of that funds for the acquisition of the properties.18 by both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of money. It found that: If one of the parties is validly married to another. and Esteban in the properties. his or her declared that part of it was first acquired by her father Esteban share shall be forfeited in the manner provided in the last Abletes sometime in 1968 when he purchased the right of paragraph of the preceding Article. his or her share with respect to the property located at 2492 State Alley. during the survey of the National Housing The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both Authority. the Appeal is hereby DENIED and the challenged incapacitated to marry each other]. Manila.596. property. Manila covered by TCT No.14 the acquisition of the property occurred before the effectivity of the Family Code.The portions belonging to the co-owners in the co-ownership shall shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their be presumed equal. Edilberto was unable to provide any documentation 1978. Tondo Manila. this petition. As proof thereof.21 construction of the BLISS Project thereat. SO ORDERED. his or her share x x x only the properties acquired by both of the parties through in the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community or their actual joint contribution of money. he asked respondents to continue paying for the amortizations x x x. her father [already had] a bodega of canvas (lona) and a sewing machine to sew the On 2 April 2012. However. If the party .259. their contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal. In cases of cohabitation [wherein the parties are WHEREFORE.16 his petition: Aggrieved. Presumptions of co-ownership and The Ruling of the CA equal contribution do not apply. Then. When the BLISS project was constructed in Hence. Tondo.25 In its Decision17 dated 9 March 2012. each other: If one of the parties is validly married to another. or industry conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage. [Evangeline] paid a total of ₱195. respective contributions. Manila. Vitas. as evidenced by 36 receipts x x x. property. [Evangeline] who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another. before her father met Socorro Torres and before the evidencing Socorro’s alleged contribution. father’s name.

who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another. Macario Bernardo (Macario). ALL SURNAMED SUPAPO.30 property shows that the parcel of land is co-owned by Esteban and Socorro because: (1) the Transfer Certificate of Title was issued on 11 December 1980. SO ORDERED. CV No. as when the transferee is not a holder in good faith and did not acquire the subject properties for The Spouses Supapo filed a complaint5 for accion a valuable consideration. with the Metropolitan Trial purchase of the Delpan property was not sufficiently proven since Court (MeTC) of Caloocan City. or industry. The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both During trial. However. 2015 owned by Esteban alone. A 111674.: world at large. SHEILA LORENCE. and registered under the name of Esteban. REX EDWARD. They later learned that the case valid as to the creditor who has accepted it. payments of the amortizations for the Delpan property. asserts the affirmative of an issue. or several months after the parties WHEREFORE. The Decision dated 9 March were married. J. They also did not employ an overseer but they made sure to visit at least Art."26 AFFIRMED. publiciana against Roberto and Susan de Jesus (Spouses de Jesus). SPOUSES ROBERTO title was issued after the celebration of the marriage.R. Quezon City. 92330 is Abletes.7 Article 1238 of the Civil Code provides: The Spouses Supapo did not reside on the subject lot. the petition is DENIED.29 Furthermore. indefeasibility of title likewise does not apply to respondent. absolute and indefeasible.8 During one of their visits in 1992. the Abuda spouses presented receipts evidencing parties are in bad faith. SP No. there are well- Factual Antecedents defined exceptions to this rule. houses built on the subject lot. Payment made by a third person who does not intend twice a year.R. even if payment thirty-nine thousand nine hundred eighty pesos (39. This was admitted by Edilberto on page 9 of his petition wherein he quotes an excerpt of our ruling in Borromeo: DECISION Registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. upon the party who. as determined by the pleadings or the nature of the case. Evangeline shouldered some of the amortizations. The title itself shows that the Vitas property is G. MACARIO BERNARDO. But the payment is in any their knowledge and permission. certificate of title implies that the title is quiet. of legal age. even if the certificate of FORTUNE SUPAPO-SANDIGAN. it is clear that Evangeline paid on behalf of her father. Edilberto failed to show any evidence showing Socorro s alleged monetary contributions. and (2) title to the land was issued to "Esteban 2012 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. As Applying the foregoing provision. his or her Thus. the Vitas and Delpan properties correctly pointed out by the CA: can be considered common property if: (1) these were acquired during the cohabitation of Esteban and Socorro. that Socorro co-owned the property. Respondent. he miserably failed to do so. also shows that Esteban acquired ownership over the Vitas JR. such payment was made on behalf of her father. The land has an assessed value of marriage of Esteban and Socorro. described as Lot 40. The rule on 2011 resolution4 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 1238. It is only a means of confirming the fact of its existence with notice to the BRION. v. title. the respondents). RONALD TROY. issued by the Office of the City Assessor of Caloocan.R. Thus. Supapo) to assail the February 25. Petitioners.00) as of the purchase price of the Delpan property was made by shown in the Declaration of Real Property Value (tax declaration) Evangeline. Both the RTC-Manila and the Certificate of Title (TCT) No. and does not vest PERSONS CLAIMING RIGHTS UNDER THEM. married to Socorro Torres.1âwphi1 On the other hand.980.28 Thus. C-284416 registered and titled under CA found that the Delpan property was acquired prior to the the Spouses Supapo's names. The subject lot is covered by Transfer We cannot sustain Edilberto s claim. We disagree. 198356. piece of land located in Novaliches.1âwphi1 The phrase "married to Socorro Torres" is merely descriptive of his civil status. April 20.27The evidence on record NAMELY: ESPERANZA. and (2) there is evidence that the properties were acquired through the parties’ settled is the rule that in civil cases x x x the burden of proof rests actual joint contribution of money. x x x. Certificates of title are not a source of right. AND SHERYL property prior to his marriage to Socorro. ROMEO. AND THOSE under the Torrens title system merely confirms. Spouses de Jesus occupied one house while Macario occupied the . the mere fact that respondent has the titles of petitioners Esperanza Supapo and Romeo Supapo2 (Spouses the disputed properties in her name does not necessarily. Here it is Appellant who is duty bound to prove the allegations in the Edilberto argues that the certificate of title covering the Vitas complaint which undoubtedly.. The houses were built without which requires the debtor s consent. Registration AND SUSAN DE JESUS. they saw two (2) to be reimbursed by the debtor is deemed to be a donation. and persons claiming rights under Edilberto claims that Esteban s actual contribution to the them (collectively. and does not show ESPERANZA SUPAPO AND THE HEIRS OF ROMEO SUPAPO. the law presumes that Esteban and Socorro jointly contributed to the The complaint sought to compel the respondents to vacate a acquisition of the Del pan property. property. 2011 decision3 and August 25. Block 5 (subject lot). The mere possession of a title does not make one the true owner of We resolve the petition for review on certiorari1 filed by the property. and that it is perfect. and share shall be forfeited in the manner provided in the last the parties intended that the Delpan property would be owned by paragraph of the preceding Article. No. conclusively and absolutely make her the owner.

The orders dated June 5.other one. the CA's dismissal of the criminal case became recovery of possession should be filed before the RTC. and (ii) accion publiciana falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the RTC. and to vacate the subject The RTC Ruling25 premises. and that it was the Civil Code. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted the hereby GRANTED. The MeTC likewise denied the respondents' motion for reconsideration.00). 08-29245 for lack of jurisdiction. the instant petition is vacate the subject lot. premises considered. premises considered. viz. the Spouses Supapos' cause of The CA. 2008. (2) the The Spouses Supapo demanded from the respondents the complaint for accion publiciana is barred by statute of limitations. SUSAN DE JESUS and MACARIO BERNARDO. the Spouses Supapo appealed to After filing their Answer. the action having been filed Squatting Law does not mean that people now have unbridled beyond the ten (l0)-year prescriptive period under Article 555 of license to illegally occupy lands they do not own.16 The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads: Notwithstanding the dismissal. The RTC denied the petitioners' motion for reconsideration. The respondents moved for the quashal of the writ but the RTC denied the same. file action was issued on November 25. which at best can be respondents. ASIDE.24 Decree No.10 The MeTC Ruling23 The Spouses Supapo then filed a criminal case11 against the The MeTC denied the motion to set the affirmative defenses for respondents for violation of Presidential Decree No." which resulted to the dismissal of the criminal case.17 The CA granted the petition and held that with the repeal of the Anti-Squatting Law. prayer for injunction is GRANTED.13 (Emphasis supplied. The Lupon issued judgment. 2008 and February 23. and each accused is hereby ordered to pay a fine of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1. praying that the latter WHEREFORE. the RTC ruled that the reckoning period by landowners. a Katibayan Upang Makadulog sa Hukuman (certificate to file action) for failure of the parties to settle amicably. 1996. The respondents thus filed with the CA a petition for certiorari to The Public Respondent is hereby directed to DISMISS Civil Case challenge the RTC's orders denying the quashal of the writ and the No. final. SO ORDERED. 2009 are also denied the respondents' motion for reconsideration. Otherwise. 772. the petition for certiorari with title to or possession of land is determined by its assessed value. C-45610 are REVERSED and SET the subject lot falls within MeTC's jurisdiction. the respondents filed a petition GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt for Violation of Presidential for certiorari with the RTC. The certificate to action for recovery of possession.) the action has prescribed.15 unlawful detainer is filed within one (1) year from the time to demand to vacate was made. while the complaint for accion publiciana was filed only on March 7. underscored that the repeal of the Anti. 2003 that the RTC does not have an exclusive jurisdiction on all and July 24. 1992.26 the respondents' criminal and civil liabilities were extinguished. Congress enacted Republic Act (RA) No. 2003 of Branch 131 of the Regional Trial Court of complaints for accion publiciana. The respondents appealed their conviction to the CA. The RTC granted the petition for certiorari on two grounds.20 Dissatisfied with the RTC ruling.19 In cases of violation of their property rights. 8368.27 the Spouses Supapo emphasized that the court's jurisdiction over an action involving WHEREFORE. action had already prescribed. and that the assessed value of Caloocan City in Criminal Case No.9 affirmative defenses for preliminary hearing22 and argued that: (1) there is another action pending between the same parties. however. Said court is hereby permanently ENJOINED from further executing or implementing its decision dated March 18. the Spouses Supapo moved for the execution of the respondents' civil liability. respondent's motion for reconsideration. The RTC The Orders dated October 24.29 . It held that although the MeTC had jurisdiction based on the assessed value of the subject lot. otherwise known as "An Act Repealing Presidential Decree the MeTC has jurisdiction if the action for forcible entry or No. the CA which the ejectment suit should have been filed is counted from noted that recourse may be had in court by filing the proper the time the certificate to file action was issued. 1999.28 As it was not proven when the actual demand to not intended to compromise the property rights of legitimate vacate was made.21 the respondents moved to set their the CA. WHEREFORE.000. 772 or preliminary hearing. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: utilized in the course of the trial. hereby declared NULL and VOID. the complaint for On April 30. From the MeTC's ruling. immediate surrender of the subject lot by bringing the dispute and (3) the Spouses Supapo's cause of action is barred by prior before the appropriate Lupong Tagapamayapa. 772. It ruled that the arguments advanced by the the Anti-Squatting Law. motion and issued the writ of execution. It held that in cases where the only issue involved is possession. this Court finds accused ROBERTO DE JESUS. in view of all the foregoing.14 While the appeal was pending.18 The dispositive portion of the decision reads: In their motion for reconsideration. SO ORDERED. publiciana.12 The trial court convicted the respondents are evidentiary in nature.: (i) SO ORDERED. or more The Spouses Supapo thus filed the complaint for action than ten (10) years thereafter.

and (3) the complaint is not barred by res judicata.34 (3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve In the present case. and that Under Batas Pambansa Bilang 129. Municipal MeTC Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. divested the RTC of a portion of its jurisdiction and granted the Metropolitan Trial Courts. (P20.00) x x x.000. plenary. and Municipal Accion publiciana is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: better right of possession of realty independent of title. essentially argue that: Having thus determined that the dispute involves possession over (1) the MeTC exercises exclusive original jurisdiction a real property. where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos The petition is meritorious. the appeal is DENIED.00 if the property is located in Metro Manila. in short. Whether the cause of action has prescribed. is not conclusive on the issue of ownership.000. the Spouses Supapo possession. being provisional.37 the jurisdiction of the RTC (2) prescription had not yet set in because their cause of action over actions involving title to or possession of real property is is imprescriptible under the Torrens system. it is only for the purpose of resolving the issue of SO ORDERED possession. otherwise II. - Metropolitan Trial Courts. This adjudication is not a final determination of the issue of ownership.39 however. where the parties raise the issue of ownership. publiciana is to recover possession only. The CA dismissed the appeal and held that the complaint for accion publiciana should have been lodged before the RTC and This Court has held that the objective of the plaintiffs in accion that the period to file the action had prescribed.000. they came to us the same parties involving title to the property. if the Issues property is located in Metro Manila. not ownership.000. Whether the complaint for accion publiciana is barred amended to read as follows: by res judicata. or possession of. Section 33 of the same law is hereby amended to read Accion Publiciana and as follows: the Jurisdiction of the Section. where the issue of ownership is inseparably linked to the issue of possession. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts.The CA Ruling30 recovery of possession of the subject lot but they based their better right of possession on a claim of ownership. Jurisdiction in civil cases.000. (2) the supplied. we now resolve which court has the jurisdiction to over accion publiciana where the assessed value of the hear the case.00). Municipal The respondents argue that the complaint for accion Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts the exclusive and publiciana was (1) filed in the wrong court. the courts may The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads: pass upon the issue to determine who between the parties has the right to possess the property. or P50.00). or any interest therein.36 Thus. 19. real property. or any interest therein . 2009 are AFFIRMED. The adjudication of the issue of The Spouses Supapo moved31 but failed32 to secure a ownership. where such value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50. Section. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. through the present petition.38 The Respondents' Case33 RA No. (Emphasis We hold that: (1) the MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction. 7691. .000.00. the Spouses Supapo filed an action for the title to.) cause of action has not prescribed. However. and (3) barred by res judicata." is hereby III. and known as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. 3. Section 1. for civil actions in Metro Manila. The issues for resolution are: Section 1 of RA No. we will only do so to determine if they or the respondents should have the right of In seeking reversal of the CA's ruling. 33. 7691 states: I. Section 3 of the same law provides: Section. or possession of. hence. Whether the MeTC properly acquired jurisdiction. The adjudication. Municipal Trial Courts. 129.35 WHEREFORE. property does not exceed P20.00) or. The Decision dated June 30. or Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to. It refers to an ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of xxxx possession of the realty. (2) barred by original jurisdiction to hear actions where the assessed value of prescription. Our Ruling real property. is not a bar to an action between reconsideration of the CA decision. while we will dissect the Spouses Supapo's claim of The Petition ownership over the subject property. the property does not exceed Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20. 2009 and Order dated October 19.

to taxable value. The Spouses Supapo acquired the TCT on the property — no longer holds true.52 The right to possess and occupy the land is an attribute and a logical consequence of ownership. if within. the present case is concerned is Section 47 of PD No. The respondents contend that they built required because the nature of the action and the court with their houses on the subject lot in good faith.00. A Torrens Title over a land is also entitled to the possession possessor may lose his possession: thereof. attorney's fees. 1529 which states: The cause of action has not prescribed Section 47.55 we held that even if it be supposed that the year. covered by a title cannot be acquired by prescription or adverse This is proven by the tax declaration45 issued by the Office of the possession. and P50. public.) occupation of the property. Having possessed the original and exclusive jurisdiction over the same is determined by subject lot for more than ten (10) years. 555. the Spouses Supapo alleged that the assessed In a long line of cases.980. irrespective of whether the plaintiffs are entitled to some or all of Under the undisputed facts of this case. the complaint must allege the assessed value of the they have allegedly been in actual. The respondents contend that the Spouses exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50. this right is imprescriptible. the person who holds a They invoke Article 555 of the Civil Code. But the real right of possession is not lost till after the holders of the Torrens Title were aware of the other persons' lapse of ten years. which states: Art. the respondents rest their entire case on the fact that In this regard. Section 47 of Presidential Decree (PD) No.000.) law. regardless of the length of that possession. 2008 or more than does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20. Nonetheless. where such assessed value does not November 25. The answer is no.41 On their part.00) or. It is synonymous lost their right to recover possession because of laches.48 for by the plaintiff. Registered land not subject to prescriptions. damages of whatever kind.51 Given that the Spouses Supapo duly complied with the jurisdictional requirements. they argue that [D]oes the RTC have jurisdiction over all cases of recovery of their cause of action is imprescriptible since the subject property possession regardless of the value of the property involved? is registered and titled under the Torrens system. in civil ten (10) years after the certificate to file action was issued on actions in Metro Manila. is P39. dismissible for being filed out of time. denial of petitioner's Motion to Dismiss. the type of relief prayed no longer be disturbed in their possession.46 Interestingly. jurisdiction over actions involving Further.44 respondents' contentions have no legal basis. Supapo may no longer recover possession of the subject property.00. the lawful owners have a right to demand the return The respondents point out that the Spouses Supapo filed the of their property at any time as long as the possession was . In addition to the imprescriptibility. they claim that they can the material allegations of the complaint. We have also held that a claim of acquisitive City Assessor of Caloocan. while the respondents concede that the Spouses Supapo title to or possession of real property is now determined by its hold a TCT over the subject property. we have consistently ruled that lands value of the subject lot. if outside Metro Supapo's TCT.40 The assessed value of real property is its fair is imprescriptible and indefeasible. 152950]. Court of Appeals. peaceful and real property subject of the complaint or the interest thereon to uninterrupted possession of the subject property in the concept determine which court has jurisdiction over the action.42 we explained: complaint for accion publiciana more than ten (10) years after the certificate to file action was issued. subject to the provisions of Article 537. if the new possession has lasted longer than one In Bishop v.54 (4) By the possession of another. (Emphasis supplied.000. The most essential insofar as publiciana. we find that the the claims asserted therein. and the law in effect when the action is filed.00. and assuming a Torrens title assessed value.000.53 Corollary to this rule is the right of the holder of the Torrens Title to eject any person xxxx illegally occupying their property.) In defense. Again.47 Manila.43 (Emphasis supplied.00) exclusive of interest. The doctrine on which the RTC anchored its We rule that the Spouses Supapo's position is legally correct.where the assessed value of the property or interest therein complaint for accion publiciana on March 7. In the present case. located in Metro Manila. As tilings now stand. In view of these amendments. This is of an owner since 1992. the Spouses Supapo admit that they filed the In Quinagoran v. a subject lot in 1979.000. land because of Article 112649 of the Civil Code in relation to Act 496 [now. No title to registered land in derogation of the title of the registered owner The respondents argue that the complaint for accion publiciana is shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession. they posit that the latter have market value multiplied by the assessment level. as affirmed by the CA — that all cases of recovery of possession or accion publiciana lies At the core of this controversy is a parcel of land registered under with the regional trial courts regardless of the value of the the Torrens system. litigation expenses the complaint having been filed beyond the period provided by and costs x x x. we hold that the MeTC of Caloocan The Spouses Supapo (as holders of the TCT) enjoy a panoply of properly acquired jurisdiction over the complaint for accion benefits under the Torrens system. 1992. The respondents do not deny the prescription is baseless when the land involved is a registered genuineness and authenticity of this tax declaration. (Emphasis supplied. authenticity and genuineness of the assessed value of which is below P20. the respondents do not distinction must be made between those properties the challenge the existence. CA.

the respondents its possession. demand or cause of action. piece of land on the assurance that the seller's title thereto is valid. they filed the action publiciana. however. was filed by and in the name of the Spouses possession of the subject lot. Supapo's right to recover possession of the subject lot is not barred by prescription. the defense of res judicata has still no basis. viz. (2) they initiated the criminal complaint for squatting. It follows that their civil liability arising from the crime had also been erased. 78649 is the petition for certiorari filed . The CA purported sale or transfer of the property. To Second. SP No. And third. and (2) conclusiveness of judgment in Rule 39. Section 47(c). laches cannot be a valid First. Mercado57 in which we gave greater probative weight to the plaintiffs TCT vis-a-vis the contested The respondents' reliance on the principle of res judicata is unregistered deed of sale of the defendants. if not even violent. without solid evidentiary basis. parties and causes of such allegation. we still rule in favor of granted the petition and permanently enjoined the execution of the holder of the Torrens Title if the defendant cannot adduce. tried and convicted.: same claim. say that the same is evidentiary in nature and cannot be established by mere allegations in the pleadings. especially so since the lower courts did not pass upon Squatting Law and the civil action for the recovery of the subject the same. property. this Court merely recognizes the value of "Bar by prior judgment" means that when a right or fact had the Torrens System in ensuring the stability of real estate already been judicially tried on the merits and determined by a transactions and integrity of land registration. there is no identity of causes of action. To recall. The criminal case our mind. and complicated and not necessarily conclusive investigations and proof of ownership.58 of parties. The people of the Philippines filed the criminal case to protect and preserve The action is not barred governmental interests by prosecuting persons who violated the by prior judgment statute. If a person purchases a (1) The former judgment or order must be final. involves the prosecution of a crime under the Anti-Squatting Law while the accion publiciana is an action to recover possession of With these as premises. Procedure. which will not only be unfair to him as the purchaser. acquisition was ineffectual after all. While requisites one to three may be present. defendants in Umpoc. subject matter.: (1) they brought the dispute to Supapo. Thus. we cannot but rule that the Spouses the subject property. This Court not being a trier of facts cannot rule on action between the criminal case prosecuted under the Anti- this issue. the final judgment or order shall be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them and We reiterate for the record the policy behind the Torrens constitutes an absolute bar to subsequent actions involving the System. ground to deny the Spouses Supapo's petition. Unlike the misplaced. in the respondents' conviction because their criminal liability had addition to the deed of sale. A case in point is Umpoc v. although initiated by the Spouses Supapo. he should not run the risk of being told later that his (2) It must be a judgment on the merits. CA-G. a duly-registered certificate of title been extinguished by the repeal of the law under which they were proving the alleged transfer or sale. The further consequence will be that land (4) There must be between the first and second actions. suffice it to Res judicata is not present in this case. viz. Section 47(b) of the Rules of Civil imprescriptibility of the Spouses Supapo's title.60 In other words. on Spouses Supapo to exercise their right over and recover the other hand.e. the respondents did not adduce a single evidence to refute the Spouses Supapo's TCT.R.62 By respecting the imprescriptibility and indefeasibility of the Spouses Supapo's TCT. and (3) finally.63 The Government has adopted the Torrens system due to its being The requisites64 for res judicata under the concept of bar by prior the most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land judgment are: titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. and cause of action. Even casting aside the requirement of identity of causes of action. With more Res judicata embraces two concepts: (1) bar by prior judgment as reason therefore that we uphold the indefeasibility and enunciated in Rule 39.R. invoke res judicata. to vacate the subject property) Even if the defendant attacks the Torrens Title because of a arising from their conviction under the Anti-Squatting Law.61 On the contrary. They contend that the decision of the CA in CA-G. there is no identity of parties.56 by the respondents to challenge the RTC's issuance of the writ enforcing their civil liability (i. 78649 barred the filing of the action publiciana. SP No.. The Spouses Supapo filed the accion publiciana to protect their proprietary interests over the subject property and recover As a last-ditch effort to save their case. The accion publiciana. With respect to the respondents' defense59 of laches. the appropriate Lupon. The criminal complaint. if at all. it is obvious that the party alleging laches must adduce in court evidence proving the there is no identity of subject matter. these acts negate the allegation of laches. court of competent jurisdiction. there is no identity of subject matter. identity conflicts can be even more abrasive. but will also erode public confidence in (3) It must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the system and will force land transactions to be attended by the subject matter and the parties.unauthorized or merely tolerated. was prosecuted in the the facts as culled from the records show the clear intent of the name of the people of the Philippines.

1957. ORAIS. 2239 actually and physically possessed and to the issue of determining who between the parties has a better occupied by the defendant as seen from the sketch plan of Engr. (c) To pay the cost. Baganga. we GRANT the petition. 1950. February 3. 108547. SP No. No. Damages with Preliminary Injunction. J. right to possession. for the sake of argument. A). fact. we stress that our ruling in this case is limited only portion of Lot No. PLS-287. and judgment is hereby entered ordering defendants Felicidad purpose. and denominated as Lot No. Davao Oriental with an area described as 7.R. the Deed of Sale was not signed by Felicidad. vs. that there is identity Reversed by the foregoing pronouncements was the of parties. there is no identity of parties between the plaintiff. This adjudication is not a final and binding Enecio Magno (Exh.000. 1950. Even if we assume.. by her Attorney-in-Fact. 2011 fees in the amount of P7. viz: On January 16. Felicidad Teokemian. ERNESTO M. No.00. As such. B) was executed by Daniel Teokemian and Albertana Teokemian in favor of Andres Orais over a parcel of unregistered land situated at Abejod. this is not a bar ocular investigation as to its extent and boundaries of the said for the parties or even third persons to file an action for the portion bought by defendants Felicidad Vda. Domingo Teokemian. FELICIDAD VDA. SO ORDERED. 1997] Albertana and their sister Felicidad Teokemian. The property was owned in common by Daniel and [G. P-10908 was issued in her DECISION name (Exh.65 Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari is the Decision[1] of the respondent Court of Appeals dated January 7. having inherited the same from their late father. the dispositive portion of which matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the reads: determination of an action before a competent court in which judgment is rendered on the merits is conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot again be litigated between the WHEREFORE. De Cabrera from determination of the issue of ownership. although her name was printed therein as one of the vendors. 2) and pinpointed and identified during the determination of the issue of ownership. WHEREFORE. However. whether or not the claim. premises considered. Cateel. plaintiff. the property had an APPEALS and VIRGILIA ORAIS DE FELICIO. or 1993 in CA-G. De Cabrera corresponding only to that As a final note. of judgment" does not apply. or subject matter of the two actions is the same. The trial crime alleged in the information. any right.R. criminal complaint under the Anti-Squatting law and the civil action for accion publiciana. and decision and August 25. The issue in the criminal Oriental in Civil Case No. de Cabrera and Marykane Cabrera to vacate the portion of Lot 2238 occupied by them and surrender possession thereof to As already explained. and (b) To reimburse defendants for litigation expenses and attorneys consequently REVERSE and SET ASIDE the February 25. We are restating the facts as determined by the appellate court. 22407-CV. 379. DE CABRERA. JR. represented area of 11. FELICIDAD TEOKEMIAN. Virgilia Orais was issued Free Patent No.: that there is identity of causes of action provided that there is identity of issue and identity of parties. MARYJANE CABRERA and daughter of the vendee Andres Orais.The concept of "conclusiveness of judgment" does not require TORRES. "collusiveness SO ORDERED. an action for Quieting of Title to case is whether the respondents (accused therein) committed the Real Property. the defense of res judicata is baseless. the plaintiff is hereby ordered: For all these reasons. Original Certificate of Title No. 2011 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Branch 7. On June 24. On January 26. Under this particular concept of res judicata. the parcel of land was surveyed in the name of Virgilia Orais. WHEREFORE. .R. Cateel Cadastre. the decision of the lower court is hereby REVERSED parties and their privies. V- 79089. COURT OF 2239. a Deed of Sale (Exh. while the only issue in accion courts disposition reads: publiciana is whether the Spouses Supapo have a better right than the respondents to possess and occupy the subject property. As surveyed. "conclusiveness of judgment" still does not apply decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court. demand.3720 hectares.1000 hectares. 111674. defendants.66 Vda. SO ORDERED. (a) to execute a reconveyance within thirty (30) days after this Final Note decision shall have become final and executory in favor of defendant Felicidad Vda. Davao because there is no identity of issues. For this reason alone.

of that portion which was sold to them by Felicidad Teokemian and which was included in the title of plaintiff.000. premises considered. eastern portion. Rodolfo and Jimmy Orais Teokemian who was not a party to the Deed of Sale executed by went to Cateel. defendants alleged that they acquired a portion of Lot 2239 in good faith and for value. lawful. 7. 4. thus: portion of said lot to them as described in the Sketch Map (Annex D of the Complaint). and defendant Felicidad Cabrera. Albertana) Teokemian executed a d) The defendants be ordered to pay Six Thousand (P6. clear and flawless title or ownership over the portion which the plaintiff holds title in trust in defendants favor. Plaintiff prayed as follows: 2. Finding the plaintiff legally obligated to cause the segregation of the portion at their expense and deliver formally the said b) Ordering the defendants to pay jointly the plaintiff the amount portion to the real owners. the defendants. Finding the defendants as the rightful. and legal owner said property. knowing that Lot 2239 was already registered in the name of the plaintiff. 1950 in favor of the latters alleged encroachment and illegal occupation of their Andres Orais over Lot 2239. prepare and or make any as the total proceeds of the nuts of the coconut land in question. that Virgilia Orais 379 against Felicidad Cabrera. and that plaintiff is guilty of laches for not initiating an action against defendants to recover the western The complaint. ONE HALF PORTION OF LOT NO. 1988 by including portion of Lot 2239 despite plaintiffs knowledge of defendants Felicidad Teokemian as party defendant (pp. more or less (Exh.10-18. after due notice and hearing portion and enjoyed the fruits thereon. RTC. Felicidad Cabrera and her husband immediately took possession of the western portion of In their answer with counterclaim (pp. Records). instrument or document to finally vest in the Defendants absolute.00) Pesos as litigation expenses. rights and interest be Andres Orais. 4). Br. now a widow. 2239. because the whole of Lot 2239 was adjudicated to Albertana in a decision of a cadastral court dated June 8. prepared a document of sale and had Felicidad Teokemian sign it conveying a Defendants prayed. Felicidad Teokemians one-third share in Lot 2239 could not Virgilia Orais until February 11. and by Albertana Teokemian.On July 27.00) Pesos as Felicidad Cabrera. To order the plaintiff to execute. Injunction be issued restraining the defendants from further dispossessing the plaintiff of the land in question.00) Pesos and Ten Thousand (P10. not by Felicidad Teokemian. there created a cloud of doubt on the formers title on 1. 1988 when she filed Civil Case No. Davao Oriental and confronted the Cabreras of Daniel and Albertana Teokemian on January 16.000. Virgilia Orais brothers. Finding that the plaintiff is only holding the title to that portion a) After due notice and hearing. may deem just.00 in favor of defendants.200) as total value of the rice produced from the riceland in question. De Cabrera.00) Pesos 5. It was declared null and void for being fraudulent and without any legal explained by Felicidad Cabrera that the Deed of Sale was signed basis and inexistent.000. which was amended on June 22.510) SQUARE METERS. Davao Oriental (Exh. 1972. to issue order or orders. have been legally conveyed to Andres Orais.00) Deed of Absolute Sale conveying to Elano Cabrera. Cad-287.600. husband of Pesos for attorneys fees. proper. containing an area of FIFTY FIVE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TEN (55. expenses for every appearance in Court. but no concrete action on the matter was pursued by Sale.000. Records). as in fact it was only in 1988 when the alleged that sometime in 1972 and 1973 the late Elano Cabrera complaint for quieting of title was filed in court. that not having signed the Deed of sisters land. plaintiff through the and secured the title under the Administrative Proceeding. 42-47. acquisition thereof in 1972. . that by reason of the document of sale and the declaration of the property involved in the name of defendant Felicidad Vda. Plaintiff further averred on the merits of this case. this Honorable Court. of not less than Sixteen Thousand Two Hundred (P16.000. Damages including the portion owned by Felicidad Teokemian in her with Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. Alberto (sic. 6. applying for free patent over Lot 2239 is concerned pursuant to Art. undersigned counsel respectfully prays this Honorable Court that: 3. To Order the Plaintiff to pay actual damages in the sum of P2. Lot 2239. To find that the plaintiff did not own the said portion and that they have personal knowledge of the same when the plaintiff filed WHEREFORE. and the amount of Twenty One Thousand Six Hundred (P21. Virgilia Orais predecessor-in-interest. De Cabrera and the subsequent Tax Declaration creating a of Sale earlier executed by her brother and sister in favor of cloud of doubt on the title. and her daughter (successor-in-interest of Andres Orais) committed fraud in Marykane Cabrera for Quieting of Title to Real Property. e) The document of sale executed by Felicidad Teokemian and the which portion supposedly corresponded to the one-third share in Tax Declarations issued to the late Elano Cabrera and Felicidad Lot 2239 of Felicidad Teokemian who was not a party to the Deed Vda. 1965 as evidenced by a Certification f) Such other reliefs and remedies which this Honorable Court of an officer-in-charge of the Office of the Clerk of Court.00 as litigation expense and Attorneys fees in the sum of P5. Four Hundred (P400. that said portion was owned by Felicidad In 1974 and 1978. after which they entered and possessed said WHEREFORE. 3). 1456 of the Civil Code. Baganga. possession. and equitable in the premises. a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory only in an implied trust in favor of the real owner. c) The Defendants be ordered to pay the plaintiff the amount of Twenty Thousand (P20.

has no congruency with those cases where the made by the plaintiffs was fraudulent insofar as it involved the Supreme Court ruled that the registered owner is barred by laches one-third interest of Felicidad Teokemian. To direct the plaintiff to account for the share of the real owner portion. 39-44. There was no allegation. 3) unreasonable and unexplained length of time. because. could or should have been done the portion of 55. The Deed of Absolute Sale dated May 27. From the time plaintiff became aware of The respondent Court of Appeals reversed such findings Cabreras possession of the western portion of Lot 2239. Thus. after Elcano Cabrera was shown plaintiffs title to the property.N. 1989). had been partitioned among the co-owners Daniel. to do that which. that Lot 2239 paragraph in the Second Cause of Action of the complaint. the allegations therein been converted into a stale demand. the supposed vendee. the her claims and ownership for thirty-two (32) years. ruling that the latter definite portion described in the Deed of Sale executed on July 27. de Cabrera and Marykane Cabrera. Worse. January 3. still the petitioners have acquired title to it by virtue of the equitable principle of laches due to the respondents failure Third. Consequently.510 square meters of Lot 2238 which allegedly earlier. in the cases cited. defendants and Felicidad Cabrera due to laches. registered such conveyance. without any color of title. assuming that Felicidad to assert it (Tijam vs. which consisted in ONE THIRD xxx OF THE RICE HARVEST every year since the year 1950 to 1972 when the portion was sold and cultivated by defendant based on the computation of income by the plaintiff in Paragraph 16. and Felicidad. it was We disagree with the lower courts ruling that plaintiff is barred held that the original owners right to recover back the possession from bringing an action for recovery of of the property and title thereto from the defendant has by the ownership. It appears. respondent. which was not included from recovering his property. western portion of Lot 2239. the petitioners acquired title to the land owned Teokemian. all surnamed Teokemian. show that it is actually for recovery of ownership/possession. In support of its findings. Their occupation of a definite portion of an prescription is unavailing to the petitioners. in a general sense. is failure or neglect. executed by Albertana Teokemian in favor of Elcano Cabrera over by the exercise of due diligence. could not have the title to the subject lot was still registered in the name of the ripened into ownership on the principle of laches. This is precisely the Cabrera and Marykane Cabrera had acquired no title upon which reason why. 1989. admittedly. 3) as eastern part. it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a pertained to the one-third interest of Felicidad Teokemian did not reasonable time. he and his elder themselves tax receipts and declaration of ownership for taxation brother Dr. occupied the trial court referred to the Courts pronouncements in Lola vs. otherwise. before the land was sold to Andres Orais in 1950 when the same was still unregistered. According to Jimmy. As testified to by Jimmy Orais. the Supreme Court said that appellants lower court. in Lola vs. was in 1974. can no longer recover the western portion of Lot 2239 conveyed 1972 (Exh. it nevertheless upheld its effects. Rodolfo Orais went to the house of Elcano Cabrera purposes are not incontrovertible evidence of ownership. Furthermore. 32 SCRA 29). not the eastern portion which was Court of Appeals. their passivity and inaction for more than thirty four years in the plaintiffs title (T. relocation survey. which upon appeal. it was only to assert her claim and ownership for thirty-two years. action of the plaintiffs is not barred by laches. Court of Appeals[5] that.7. and in Miguel vs. Albertana. Gampomana (100 Phil 277). up to the time she instituted the action for quieting of title in 1988. Parenthetically.S. considering that Albertana not an ordinary delay in asserting ones right that will give rise to did not have any authority from Felicidad Teokemian to effect the application of the principle of laches. Since Teokemian still owned a one-third portion of Lot 2238 which was imprescriptibility is one of the basic features of a Torrens title. warranting a presumption that the party entitled convey any title to Elcano Cabrera. they three times in 1974 and in 1979 complaining of the latters become strong evidence of ownership acquired by prescription occupancy of their sisters property.[6] that even granting appellants Elcano Cabrera proposed a relocation survey of the area to proposition that no prescription lies against their fathers recorded determine whether the premises occupied by him were included title. Such being the case. justifies the defendant appellee in setting up the equitable however. only fourteen (14) years had elapsed. much less proof. as was held by the Catalino (26 SCRA 234). undivided property. for an First. while the complaint filed by plaintiff is long period of 37 years and by the patentees inaction and neglect designated as one for quieting of title. on the justification by respondent by virtue of the equitable principles of laches due. a Second. Said the appellate court: passivity and inaction for more than 34 years (1928-1962) justifies the defendant-appellee in setting up the equitable defense of laches in his behalf. De title can easily be defeated by prescription. it is already registered in plaintiffs name. plaintiffs brother. Court of Appeals in the sale executed by them and Albertana and Daniel (145 SCRA 439). This and to grant the defendants such other reliefs and remedies being the case. Felicidad On April 27. that the defendants action for reconveyance based on an implied according to the Supreme Court. in 1972 by Felicidad Teokemian in favor of the late Elano Cabrera Elcano Cabrera. Even as the appellate court observed that the registration therefore. and in in 1974 when plaintiff came to know that her property was Republic vs. not a favor of defendants and against the plaintiff. and assuming that Felicidad Teokemian had proper and equitable in the premises. pp. the lower court rendered judgment in Teokemian could only dispose her undivided interest. Laches. while it is true that by occupied by Elcano Cabrera. the Felicidad vda. Catalino. plaintiffs cannot be barred by laches of the portion of land illegally cultivated and planted by plaintiff from instituting the action to quiet title against defendants to rice in favor of FELICIDAD TEOKEMIAN to be paid thru the Defendants who are the owners.[4] where it was held that although the defense of the subject of the sale. that nothing came out of the proposal to conduct a defense of laches in his own behalf.[3] retained ownership over an undivided one-third portion of Lot 2239 despite its being titled in plaintiffs name in 1958. 1972 (Exh. Jimmy further declared that when accompanied by proof of actual possession of the property. to respondents failure to assert trust had already been barred by prescription. In Mejia vs. This case. and her successors-in-interest. defendants Felicidad vda. the delay or inaction by the to anchor their claim of ownership over the one-third . In Miguel vs. Sibonghanoy.

and has CABRERAS WAS A DEFINITE PORTION OF THE COMMUNITY made the fortress of the plaintiffs case impregnable. Again this TITLE WAS ISSUED TO PRIVATE RESPONDENT TO 1988 WHEN HER fact will come to mind that the vendee Andres Orais was COMPLAINT BELOW WAS FILED DURING WHICH PERIOD OF TIME anticipating at the time Felicidad Teokemian will also sell her THE PROPERTY HAS BEEN IN OPEN. 79089. FELICIDAD TEOKEMIAN. 1950 acknowledged before Judge Proserador Danao OF TITLE WHICH ACTUALLY IS ONE FOR RECOVERY OF as Notary Ex Oficio. seeking relief court. STILL THAT PERIOD CONSTITUTES LACHES. located at Buayahon. (Anonuevo vs. and were issued in a calculated move to SISTER-CO-OWNER FELICIDAD TEOKEMIAN TO EXECUTE THE DEED deprive Felicidad Teokemian of her dominical rights over the OF CONVEYANCE. TO 1972 WHEN SHE SOLD IT TO THE CABRERAS WHO will attest to the fact that she did not sell her share in the lot in CONTINUED THE PRIOR POSSESSION UNTIL 1988 WHEN PRIVATE question. V. The non-signing of Felicidad FROM 1958. are entitled to our full together with Felicidad Teokemian are now before the Court as affirmation. Domingo.[9] Needless to state. B) PROPERTY. fraud that attended the issuance of the free patents and titles. proceeded from the Deed of Sale RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT executed by Daniel Teokemian and Albertana Teokemian on PRIVATE RESPONDENTS COMPLAINT FILED IN 1988 FOR QUIETING January 16. therefore. since they are congruent with the findings of the trial Petitioners in this Petition for Review on Certiorari. 2239 now A titled in the name of the plaintiff. In contrast. and therefore. the Certificates of Title of the vendees Orais are. pursuant to Art. due to the evidence of such title over a particular property. Plaintiff could not have registered the part reserved to Felicidad Teokemian. the plaintiffs attempt to recover the property is justified because defendant Felicidad Teokemians own action for B reconveyance has already been barred by prescription. CONTINUOUS AND ADVERSE share in this portion of land (Lot No. Court of Appeals)[14] . did not bear the signature of Felicidad fourteen years. it is merely Felicidad Teokemian from their late father. being matters of fact. VOID AND THAT This conclusion is incorrect. OR EVEN EARLIER IN 1941 WHEN SHE INHERITED THE Teokemian over her typewritten name in this deed of sale (Exh. extend to a transferee who takes the certificate of title with notice of a flaw in his title. Albertana and remembered that registration does not vest title. entitled to the benefits predecessor-in-interest and. PROPERTY BEFORE PARTITION. Abejod. B) the said document apparently included the third heir COURT IS NOT BARRED BY LACHES BECAUSE: of Domingo Teokemian Felicidad Teokemian because her name was typewritten together with her sister Albertana and brother 1. However. the delay in the case at bar was only Orais on the other. It was the respondent appellate court which observed that While possession of defendants Felicidad vda.[10] 14 YEARS HAD ELAPSED COUNTED FROM 1974 WHEN CABRERAS POSSESSION WAS QUESTIONED BY PRIVATE RESPONDENTS BROTHERS. De Cabrera and the registration of the plaintiffs title over the subject property was Marykane Cabrera could not have ripened into ownership as fraudulent insofar as it involved the one-third interest of Felicidad already discussed. Cateel. Teokemian. they are possessors in good faith of the portion Teokemian who did not sign the Deed of Sale in favor of plaintiffs occupied by them and. It must be third portion of the property inherited by Daniel. irregular.[8] property reserved to her by descent. 1456 of the Civil Code. the sale it was still unregistered land. thus: from the respondent courts decision. The defense of indefeasibility of the Torrens Title does not We find merit in the petition. long period of time which lapsed from the time the plaintiffs title Court of Appeals)[12] was registered until the action for quieting of title was instituted. which was derived from Free Patent No. IN FAVOR OF THE CABRERAS HAD NO AUTHORITY FROM HER to say the least. therefore. 2239) which at the time of POSSESSION OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER. it must be observed that the Certificate of principle of indefeasibility of title is unavailing where there was Title of the plaintiff. these Sisters Felicidad vda. the appellate court stated further that nonetheless. on one hand and Andres 37 years to do so. A PERIOD OF 30 YEARS HAD ELAPSED FROM 1958 WHEN TORRENS Daniel all surnamed Teokemian in the said document. conclusions. did not cover the latters share. the latter held that accorded by the Civil Code as such. considering that the Deed of Sale executed unreasonable and unexplained because it took them from 32 to by Daniel and Albertana Teokemian. leaves much to be (Meneses vs. registered owners in asserting their rights was considered desired in propriety. Davao Oriental. ASSUMING ARGUENDO RESPONDENT COURTS HOLDING THAT ONLY Teokemian. as this was The bone of the petitioners contention rests on the alleged not among those ceded in the Deed of Sale between waiver of the plaintiff to recover any interest she had in the one. (Embrado vs. assigning as errors the following: It would seem from the facts of the case that the basis of the right of plaintiff over the land in litigation specifically Lot No. After this sale the vendee Andres Orais through his RESPONDENTS COMPLAINT WAS FILED.[7] portion as a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of Felicidad. HENCE. issued in the name of Virgilia Orais. encargado Melecio Capilitan and later Servillano Abarca immediately took possession of the two third portion of said parcel of land respecting the third portion owned by Felicidad 2. de Cabrera and Marykane Cabrera. As can be discerned from the ALBERTANA TEOKEMIAN WHO SIGNED THE DOCUMENT OF SALE established facts.[11] which is the same as stating that the very tardiness of the plaintiffs in RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT pursuing the present action for reconveyance of the subject LACHES DOES NOT APPLY BECAUSE WHAT WAS SOLD TO THE property has rendered the defendants defense nugatory. Taking a hard look over the aforesaid deed of OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION AS FOUND BY RESPONDENT sale (Exh. Daniel/Albertana Teokemian and Andres Orais. Court of Appeals)[13] The At the outset.

but the changes of condition which may have arisen issuance of the certificate of title over the property. alienate. Thus. and constructing an irrigation system respect to the co-owners. shall each have the full ownership of his part Certificate of Title covering the properties inherited by the and the fruits and benefits pertaining to it. While under Article 1456 of the Civil Code is material to the instant case. which could be considered as an assertion of person in its enjoyment. have not displayed any unequivocal act alienate. and apparently including that portion belonging to therefore. plaintiffs. positive. shall be limited to the portion which thereon. the reason for the rule Registration Act (now the Property Registration Decree). In the case of Heirs of Jose Olviga vs. laches deals with the effect such remedy has not yet lapsed.[21] this Court ruled that the years from the time the plaintiffs husband was able to acquire heirs. On the other hand. In the meantime. it must predecessors long continued possession (37 years) the original be shown that (a) the trustee has performed unequivocal acts of owners right to recover back the possession of the property and repudiation amounting to an ouster of the cestui que trust. for an Undisputed is the fact that since the sale of the two-third unreasonable and unexplained length of time. despite the sale of the two-third portion thereof to the plaintiff in 1950. with of the same. that his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing to registered land in derogation to that of the registered owner right to seek the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession. and sold to the Cabreras was a definite portion of the community thereafter. Court of Appeals. co-ownership.[18] plaintiffs.[17] The defense of a co-owner of the property to occupy a definite portion thereof laches is an equitable one and does not concern itself with the and has not disturbed the same. thirty In Go Ong vs. been a partial partition. prescribe. it is an enshrined rule that even a possession of a piece of land claiming to be the owner thereof registered owner of property may be barred from recovering may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked possession of property by virtue of laches. Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect. the right to seek reconveyance. There has. as erroneously submitted by the of unreasonable delay. be barred from asserting his claim at all. warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it where the transferees of an undivided portion of the land allowed either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. Teokemians. which satisfies the above. since if a person claiming to be that equitable relief cannot be afforded without doing injustice. to do that which by portion of the subject property to the plaintiff. were in actual possession of the property. considered as having acquired title by virtue of his and his As it is. the action for reconveyance (quieting of title) of the plaintiff was instituted only in 1988. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage. as co-owners. another person in its enjoyment. unlike prescription. it allowed Felicidad Teokemian to occupy that one-third portion is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable allotted to her. and its use as may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the defense in the present suit. and even substitute Felicidad Teokemian. the defendant Felicidad Teokemian. the latter had exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier. tilling it. and. Be that as it may. the point of reference the lapse of time during which the neglect to enforce the right has being the date of registration of the deed or the date of the existed. time. therefore. is likewise untenable.[19] the reason upon which the rule is based is not alone constructive trust prescribes in ten years. because to allow him to . which right can be claimed only by one Mejia de Lucas vs. void. assign or mortgage it. but this rule during the period in which there has been neglect. that is.[20] As we have stated earlier in effect on his own title. and even substitute another of repudiation. he should conditio possidentis). An heir may. been the cestui que trust. or seriously impaired. (b) the title thereto from the defendant has. assign or mortgage it. before the period of prescription may start. Gamponia. it cannot be argued that the right of respect to the co-owners. action for reconveyance of a parcel of land based on implied or Gampona. (c) the evidence thereon is clear and converted into a stale demand. defendant Felicidad vda. Until the institution of the present action in fruits and benefits pertaining thereto. except when the personal rights De Cabrera and her late husband have been actively in possession are involved. The same determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and its is not true with regard to Laches. by the latters long such positive acts of repudiation have been made known to period of possession and by patentees inaction and neglect. applies only when the plaintiff or the person enforcing the trust is where a court finds that the position of the parties has to change. has been lost by prescription. except when personal rights are adverse interest from the defendants. the latter deals with the fact of delay. In other words. and even he may therefore 1988. does not order to save one from the consequences of his own neglect. Laches is not reconveyance of the subject property arising from an implied trust concerned merely with lapse of time. which possession had not been interrupted. Under the Land before taking steps to vindicate his right. a bar to the plaintiffs action. property since it was left to Felicidad Teokemian by her father in Under Article 493 of the Civil Code: 1941. therefore. with quoted requisites. while the defendant may not be who is in possession. not in possession of the property. and the latters procurement of a Certificate of Title over the subject Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the property in 1957. the Cabreras. Court of Appeals. But the effect of the alienation or mortgage. likewise. co-ownership. the owner thereof is in actual possession of the property. The reason for this is that one who is in actual In our jurisdiction. is thus. it will not exert its equitable powers in which in effect seeks to quiet title to the property. for a period too long to be character of the defendants title. that the right of the defendants for do so would be inequitable and unjust to defendant. involved. no title being. and. shall be limited to the portion which reconveyance on the part of the defendants. and.[16] The argument that laches does not apply because what was In the case at bar.[15] we observed that an This Court emphasized in Mejia de Lucas vs. as the or that the intervening rights of third persons may be destroyed defendant is in the instant case. but only with whether or not by ignored--the possessor is in a better condition or right (Potior est reason of plaintiffs long inaction or inexcusable neglect. This must surely constitute such tardiness on the part of may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the the plaintiff constituting the basis for laches.

died.. and Felipe. 161360 used to be covered by OCT No. The present dispute involves three parcels of land namely.. all surnamed Tiongco.k.. 2011 Sometime in 1965. Carmelo Tiongco..[22] damages. xxx For Article 494 of the Civil Code explicitly declares: No prescription shall lie in favor of a co-owner or co-heir so long as and Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs).. . petitioner.. Bautista.. BERSAMIN. Lots 3244. Branch 26. DEL CASTILLO. Chairperson. While all of the Heirs of Maria Luis de Tiongco have LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.. JJ. In 1968. we ruled that: Before us on appeal by way of a petition for review on As early as 1923. No. as one of the DECISION heirs of Jose.. TIONGCO a.... 3246 and 1404. Clearly. October 19.. J. The 2003 Resolution[3] denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.. reconveyance and he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.... Jose (married to Carmen Sonora). 484 and 1482. were born to Atanacio and Maria Luis Tiongco. each in undivided share.. TIONGCO. Together they were known as the Heirs of Maria Luis de Tiongco.a. while Lot 3246 ESTRELLA TIONGCO YARED G. the petition is hereby GRANTED. Vicente. but not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the 2003 Decision[1] which dismissed petitioner Estrella Tiongco sale (Punzalan vs... in the names of Matilde (wife of Vicente Rodriguez). Also assailed is the appellate courts November 27.. JR... 14 Phil 528 complaint for annulment of affidavit of adjudication. JR. This is because under the aforementioned codal provision. dismissing petitioners things owned in common (Ramirez vs. 1993 is hereby SET ASIDE..: her alleged right over the portion subject matter in the instant case on the ground that their right has been lost by laches.. 44 Phil 320 [1923]).. CORONA.. . Boon Liat. the father of respondent Jose B. Vicente (married to Ursula Casador)... DORONILA. SO ORDERED.[5] JOSE B. In Bailon-Casilao vs. as culled from the records... JR.. respectively... and Felipe (married to Sabina Montelibano).R... this Court has ruled that even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his. IN VIEW WHEREOF.. 1989 is hereby REINSTATED in toto.. Jose. follow: Matilde.. Respondents.. the plaintiff in this instance is barred from asserting VILLARAMA. Lots 3244 and 1404 used to be covered by Original Certificates of Title (OCTs) Nos. petitioner built her house x. the sale or other Yareds appeal and affirmed the Decision[2] of the Regional Trial dispostion affects only his undivided share and the transferee gets only what would correspond to his grantor in the partition of the Court (RTC).. of Iloilo City.[4] CARMEN M. all located in Iloilo City.- -x on Lot 1404[6] and sustained herself by collecting rentals from the tenants of Lots 3244 and 3246. filed an adverse claim affecting all the rights. decision of the Court of Appeals dated January 7.versus .. Present: CARMEN MATILDE B. C. they were survived by their children and descendants. 368 in the name of Heirs of Maria (Deceased) substituted by Luis de Tiongco. deeds of sale [1909]). TIONGCO and Promulgated: ANTONIO G. The factual antecedents.. Tiongco. Court of Appeals. the sale will affect only his own share certiorari under Rule 45 is the Court of Appeals (CA) August 28..J... The decision of the trial court dated April 27.. Petitioner.... and Among the legitimate children of Jose were petitioner and VILLARAMA...

it did not transmit or convey any right of the original owners of the properties. 1980. respondent Jose never took possession of properties. T-37195 argument that the affidavit of adjudication was simply voidable. Lots 3244 and collecting rentals from the tenants of Lots 3244 and 3246. 1974. Consequently. T. the heirs. On of Iloilo from its own auction sale for tax delinquency and was March 30. or barely two days after obtaining TCT No. and in place thereof. respondent Jose prohibited petitioner from Doronila sold Lot 1404 back to respondent Jose. T-37193 respondent Jose became a trustee by constructive trust of the for Lot 1404. he refused to issued in the name of Catalino Torre. or on April 2. T-37195 and T-37193 Respondent Jose claimed that he was the only legitimate son and were thus cancelled and TCT Nos. Catalino Torre also sold Lots 3244 and 1404 on the and OCT No. the same day when the TCTs petitioners father. respondent Jose filed a suit for recovery of possession with preliminary injunction against several tenants of On October 2.[12] acknowledge them because they are illegitimate.[19] Respondent Jose denied that the series of sales of the properties was Similarly. 3246 and 1404.[14] In December 1983. the CA reversed the RTCs decision and ruled in favor of there were still other living heirs entitled to the said petitioner. respondent Jose sold but an heir of Maria Cresencia de Loiz y Gonzalez vda. respectively covering Lots 3244 and 1404. when petitioner inquired at the Office of the is perforce likewise null and void.[9] As such. 1482. 1979. Petitioner argued that with damages against petitioner as she was staying on Lot 1404. it also Respondent Jose. just a few days later. for his part. Jr. merely resold to him. the OCTs of the Luis de Tiongco subject to subsequent partition among the aforementioned lots were cancelled. respondent Jose sold Lot 3246 to respondent Antonio G. Doronila. for Lot 3244. T-4666 which cancelled TCT lots. and TCT No. In 1983.[16] Moreover. who was issued TCT No. TCT Nos. 3246 were also sold back to respondent on January 17. He claimed that Lot 3244 was bought by the City that Lot 3246 was likewise disposed of by respondent Jose. Jose. De Tiongco. Jr. the records of the Register of Deeds showed fraudulent. illegal manipulation and Adjudication[10] dated April 17. respondent Jose knowingly and wilfully made untruthful While the RTC.[13] However. 1974. was not an heir of Maria Luis de Tiongco covering Lots 3244 and 1404 were issued. T-4665 for Lot 3246. declaring that he is the only misrepresentation. 1979.interest and participation of her deceased father on the disputed Doronila.[11] property for the benefit of the petitioner. bad faith.[17] Petitioner also posited that granting for the sake of Register of Deeds of Iloilo City issued TCT No. she discovered that respondent averred that since respondent Jose executed said documents Jose had already executed an Affidavit of through fraud. T-37196 and T-37194 were that while it was true that he has two other siblings. petitioner filed a complaint before Lots 3244 and 3246 wherein he obtained a judgment in his the court a quo against her nephew respondent Jose and favor. of Iloilo City ruled in respondent Joses statements in the Affidavit of Adjudication because he knew that favor. Lots 3244 and 1404 should be reconveyed to surviving heir of the registered owners and adjudicating unto its original registered owners and Lot 3246 to the heirs of Maria himself Lots 3244. but the adverse claim was annotated only on OCT No. Any transfer whatsoever In 1988.[18] Based on the records with the Register of Deeds. 1990.[8] Respondent Jose also filed a case for unlawful detainer respondent Antonio G. the said lots to Catalino Torre. Branch 33. paying real property taxes on the said properties for more than . 484 No. TCT No. argued that the appears that on May 10. the petitioner Register of Deeds of Iloilo City.[15] Petitioner claimed that the affidavit was null and the properties. Respondent Jose averred that he has been 4665.[7] same date to Doronila who was issued the corresponding new TCTs. void ab initio and as such. T-4665. all in the name of respondent Jose.

TIONGCO HAS MALICIOUSLY AND IN BAD The only issue in this case is who has a better right FAITH ADJUDICATED IN FAVOR over the properties. On INTEREST HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN POSSESSION OF THE LOTS IN the other hand. Hence. above ruling. BEING A TOTAL NULLITY. . ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IN THIS CASE THE PETITIONER from discovery of the fraud. THE HONORABLE COURT OF LONG AS THE BENEFICIARY LIKE APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE PETITIONER HAS BEEN IN THE LOWER COURT THAT THE ACTUAL PHYSICAL POSSESSION AFFIDAVIT OF ADJUDICATION OF THE PROPERTY SUBJECT EXECUTED BY RESPONDENT JOSE THEREOF. 1990 or some B. OWNERSHIP OF THE LOTS IN QUESTION. WHO IS A LAWYER OF VDA. denied petitioners BEING A LAWYER AND BEING AWARE OF PETITIONERS motion. sustained the trial courts ruling.[20] A LAWYER. it must be filed within four years PRESCRIBE. The court a quo ruled that prescription has set in since the complaint was filed only on October 2. OF HIMSELF THE PROPERTIES IN ten (10) years and that petitioner collected rentals from Lots 3244 QUESTION OVER WHICH HE. TIONGCOS Aggrieved.[21] COURT ON THE GROUND OF PRESCRIPTION BECAUSE THE RESPONDENT JOSE B.[23] AFFIRMING THE DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT BY THE LOWER COURT ON THE GROUND OF PRESCRIPTION BECAUSE THE Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the RESPONDENT. TIONGCO. OF APPEALS (267 SCRA 339). ON THE CONTRARY. and such discovery is deemed to have AND HER PREDECESSORS-IN- taken place from the issuance of the original certificate of title. THE AFFIDAVIT OF Office of the Register of Deeds constitutes constructive notice to ADJUDICATION IS VOIDABLE. The CA agreed with the ACTION TO DECLARE SUCH NULLITY AND OF THOSE trial court that an action for reconveyance can indeed be barred SUBSEQUENT TRANSACTIONS by prescription. According to the CA. TIONGCO. AS HELD IN THE CASE B. respondent Jose. JOSE B. EVEN IF ARGUENDO.[24] title. when an action for ARISING FROM SAID ADJUDICATION DOES NOT reconveyance is based on fraud. THE however. AS and 3246 only because he allowed her. AFFIDAVIT OF ADJUDICATION. THE HONORABLE COURT OF the whole world and therefore the discovery of fraud is deemed APPEALS STILL ERRED IN to have taken place at the time of registration. the Iloilo City RTC ruled in favor of AND HER PREDECESSORS-IN- INTEREST UNTIL THE PRESENT. but the CA as aforesaid. to wit: PETITIONER AND THE ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE BASED ON TRUST DOES NOT PRESCRIBE SO A. COURT AND IS AWARE OF ITS NULLITY. an action for reconveyance based on an implied QUESTION AND RESPONDENT JOSE B. THE SAID AFFIDAVIT OF ADJUDICATION MAKES THE RESPONDENT AN IMPLIED Petitioner raised the following arguments in the TRUSTEE THEREOF FOR THE petition. KNOWS HE HAS NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER AND HE ALSO KNOWS HAS BEEN IN POSSESSION OF THE PETITIONER After trial. the present petition for review on certiorari. SAID DOCUMENT IS A COMPLETE NULLITY BECAUSE RESPONDENT JOSE B. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING sixteen (16) years after respondent Jose caused to be registered THE DISMISSAL OF PETITIONERS COMPLAINT BY THE LOWER the affidavit of adjudication on May 10.[25] IS MERELY VOIDABLE. DE CABRERA VS. petitioner appealed to the CA[22] which. TIONGCO HAS NEVER or constructive trust prescribes in ten (10) years from the date of BEEN IN POSSESSION issuance of the original certificate of title or transfer certificate of THEREOF. For the rule is that the registration of an instrument in the C. FURTHER. 1974.

there is an exception to this rule. An action for reconveyance. reiterating the ruling in Millena v. In effect. His undisturbed possession. But in all those cases. remains undisturbed in his possession. In Heirs reconveyance based on an implied trust ordinarily prescribes in of Pomposa Saludares. Borras. The Court held that where no less than 30 years and was suddenly confronted with a claim that the land she the plaintiff in an action for reconveyance remains in possession had been occupying and cultivating all these . of the subject land. that his prescription does not run against the plaintiff in actual possession undisturbed possession gives him a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of of the disputed land because such plaintiff has a right to wait until equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party his possession is disturbed or his title is questioned before and its effect on his own title. when held that there was no doubt about the fact that an action for the plaintiff is in possession of the land to be reconveyed. the reason for the rule being. The petition is meritorious. In that were never in possession of the disputed property. we ruled that an action The Court reiterated such rule in the case of Vda. Court of Appeals. that is. which does not prescribe.[28] held that there is but one instance when prescription Similarly. action for reconveyance can indeed be barred by prescription. in the case of David v. x x x There is settled jurisprudence that one who is in actual possession of a piece of land claiming to be owner thereof may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is In Alfredo v.[31] the Court ruled that attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right.[27] the Court title. In the case the action for reconveyance is an action to quiet the property of Heirs of Pomposa Saludares v. if not passed to an innocent buyer for value. the statute of limitation when based on fraud.[30] has permitted the filing of an action for need to initiate that action. However. is imprescriptible as long as the land has would yet be irrelevant. would be in the nature of a suit for quieting the common factual backdrop was that the registered owners of title. Malay[33] the Court cannot be invoked in an action for reconveyance. however. de for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust must Cabrera v.[32] wherein we ruled that the perforce prescribe in ten (10) years from the issuance of imprescriptibility of an action for reconveyance based on implied the Torrens title over the property.[29] this Court explained that the Court in a ten (10) years. Court of Appeals. The exception case. nonetheless brought. was in possession of the litigated property for third party and its effect on his title. the Court reiterated the ruling in Faja v. In a long line of cases decided by this Court. expressly or implicitly such as when he the issuance of title to the land and declared that said action. which is not subject The Court agrees with the CAs disquisition that an to prescription. No better situation can be possession gives him the continuing right to seek the aid of a conceived at the moment for Us to apply this rule on equity than that of herein court of equity to determine the nature of the adverse claim of a petitioners whose mother. an action that is imprescriptible. Felipa Faja. or its equivalent.[26] or constructive trust applies only when the plaintiff or the person enforcing the trust is not in possession of the property. that there is an actual series of cases. for when the right of the true and real reconveyance despite the lapse of more than ten (10) years from owner is recognized. the action for reconveyance becomes in effect an action to quiet title to property. Court of Appeals. Court of was based on the theory that registration proceedings could not Appeals[34] which we quote: be used as a shield for fraud or for enriching a person at the expense of another. which right can be claimed only by one who is in initiating an action to vindicate his right. This rule assumes.

Matilde Tiongco. 1991.[39] buyer in good faith.[40] But as the latters have other children and grandchildren who are also regardless of such defect on transfer to third persons. and as such. properties. Such fact should have put because defendant Jose B. when the subject properties were sold to RTC found that [t]hese allegations contained in the Affidavit of Catalino Torre and subsequently to Doronila..[37] properties again reverted back to respondent Jose. years. person from whom he receives the thing was the owner and could convey title to the property.[35] The RTC of Iloilo City ruled in respondent Joses favor but the CA on November 28. The presence of anything which transactions of these properties from respondent Jose to Catalino excites or arouses suspicion should then prompt the vendee to Torre. and it is only notice of the claim or interest of some other persons in the then that the statutory period of prescription commences to run against property. However.[36] Petitioner never lost possession of the said further but only has to rely on the title. and back again to respondent look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the vendor Jose were quite unusual. Tiongco is not the only surviving heir of the vendees on guard and should have inquired on the interest of Jose Tiongco. possession. a defect or the lack of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the status of the The Court further observes that the circuitous sale title of the property in litigation. He is one who buys the property with the belief that the such possessor. Even the In this case. Jr. such property and pays a full and fair price of title covering it. without notice that some other person has a right to quiet title to the property. at the time of such purchase. The subsequent sale of the properties to . this successive transfers of appearing on the face of said certificate. to seek its reconveyance and annul any certificate right to.[38] the the cancellation of the OCTs over the properties and benefit from Court defined an innocent purchaser for value as one who buys his fraudulent actions. One who falls within the title from one hand to another could not cleanse the illegality of exception can neither be denominated an innocent purchaser for respondent Joses act of adjudicating to himself all of the disputed value nor a purchaser in good faith and hence does not merit the properties so as to entitle him to the protection of the law as a protection of the law. or interest in. respondent Jose was Adjudication executed by defendant Jose B. or before he has time the one in possession was made aware of a claim adverse to his own. ruled in favor of property registered under the Torrens title need not inquire petitioner. petitioners possession was disturbed in facts which should put a reasonable man on his guard and still 1983 when respondent Jose filed a case for recovery of claim that he acted in good faith. the their surviving heirs. We hold that in such a situation the property of another. she is in a position to file the complaint The exception is when the party has actual knowledge of facts and with the court a quo to protect her rights and clear whatever circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to doubts has been cast on her title by the issuance of TCTs in make such inquiry or when the purchaser has some knowledge of respondent Joses name. this rule has an exception. then to Antonio Doronila. Court of Appeals. Vicente Tiongco and Felipe Tiongco the respondent Jose regarding the subject properties. Respondent Jose cannot claim lack of knowledge of the defects surrounding In the case of Sandoval v. was titled in the name of a third person. A purchaser can not close his eyes to In this case. accrued only from the for the same. during the pendency of And while it is settled that every person dealing with a the present controversy with the court a quo. Respondent Jose himself admitted that there exists other heirs of the registered owners in the OCTs. Tiongco are false not in possession of the said properties.

Branch 47. (8585) T-4767 and all Subsequent Documents and Damages3 was filed by the petitioners against respondents Carmelita Loquellano Vda. MERCIDOR. PEDRO ESCUDERO and LUISA PEDRERA. CV No. under the name/s of the registered original owners thereof. CV No. namely: ROSALIO PUTONG. TERESITA WHEREFORE. HEIRS OF ANTONIA EBE (Deceased) represented by her children namely: HEIRS OF CELEDONIA PUTONG. PUTONG and PORFERIA PUTONG. affirming an earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of SO ORDERED. Under consideration is this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to nullify and set aside the following issuances of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 152007 January 22. CONCORDIO E. BERNARDO 2003 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 484. Decision1 dated September 21. 64548. why he should not be sanctioned as a member of the bar GARCIA. JOSE ERIC ERVIN and JENNIFER MILDRED. Respondents. 3246. The Register of Deeds of MARCIANO PUTONG. RESTITUTA LIQUIT. a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale.Catalino Torre and Doronila will not cure the nullity of the certificates of title obtained by respondent Jose on the basis of G. de Mende. PROCOPIO TAPUROC. ERIC LYNDON. Tagbilaran City. PERSEVERANDA LOPEZ. 1996. 2001. 44794 PUTONG and ROSALINDA OMAGAC. Tiongco TAGBILARAN. HEIRS OF GREGORIO PUTONG.R. namely: RICARDO is GRANTED. in an action for Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale. and the Register of Deeds of the City of Tagbilaran. (8585) T-4767 and all Subsequent Documents and Damages. Mende. ALL SURNAMED MENDE and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF THE CITY OF Furthermore. within ten (10) days from notice DECISION hereof. the Complaint alleges that petitioners Procopio Tapuroc and all the successors-in- interest of deceased co-owner Antonia Ebe are the co-owners.R.795 square meters. SERAPIA LUAY. namely: SERAPIA DALHOG. J. more or less. namely: ERIC MITCHEL. The petition embodies an alternative prayer for this Court to remand the case to the trial court for the presentation of an expert witness. AUREA P. HEIRS OF MARIANO PUTONG. and 368. TEODORA AYENG.FACT. is ORDERED to SHOW CAUSE. FAUSTINO PUTONG and SOFRONIA PATROLLA. 1. The August 28. are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Resolution2 dated January 23. NEBRIA. 5970 and raffled to Branch 47 of the court. thereat commenced by the herein petitioners against the respondents. No. to wit: No pronouncement as to costs. 1404 and vs. CARMELITA LOQUELLANO VDA. namely: FORTUNATO ESCUDERO. denying the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. ERIC FERDINAND. Jose B. DE MENDE and the HEIRS OF EVANS MENDE. Thereat docketed as Civil Case No. respectively covering Lots 3244. HEIRS OF EUFEMIO PUTONG. situated in . 2002. 1974 Affidavit of Adjudication and registering the same with the Register of Deeds. REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN. Cancellation of TCT No. the petition for review on certiorari TABALDINA. 1482. respondent Atty. co- heirs and/or descendants of the original owners of a parcel of land with an area of 5. ALL Iloilo City is ordered to RESTORE Original Certificates of Title Nos. 2003 Decision and November 27. The facts: On September 19.: for executing the April 17. the Heirs of Evans B. and 2. in the RTC of Tagbilaran City. 2007 the false and fraudulent Affidavit of Adjudication. Petitioners.R.

the filing the instant case. certiorari. and had been religiously paying the realty RECORDS. As it is. the petitioners call for a review of the facts of the case. No compensation for damages. be examined by a handwriting court. 1967 as evidenced by a Deed of Sale duly notarized by Atty. and if they were. that said Deed of Sale is a forged document because the THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE alleged vendors therein. had already prescribed in view of the unreasonable delay in filing the The recourse must fail. the petitioners went on appeal to the CA in CA-G. PREMISES CONSIDERED. husband of respondent Carmelita Loquellano Vda. Rodolfo Yap. Well-settled is the rule that factual questions may not be raised in a petition for review on certiorari. suit in court. and peaceful possession of the land in question from ITSELF AND ARRIVED AT A CONCLUSION CONTRARY TO THE the time of said sale. more so own Special Power of Attorney containing the genuine signatures when. 1967. the petitioners are now with this Court via the Mende by virtue of a Deed of Sale purportedly executed in favor instant recourse on their main submission that - of the latter by their predecessors-in-interest on December 30. bought the subject parcel of land from its previous owners on December II 12. as a matter of long and sound expert. may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for review on SO ORDERED. a matter not for this Court to rendered judgment dismissing the Complaint. such findings are undisturbed by the appellate of their predecessors-in-interest. 64548. the cancellation of the title issued pursuant thereto in the name of Evans Mende and I the restoration of the previous title in their names. as here.R. exemplary and litigation SECTION 1. moral. CV No.the Barrio (now District) of Booy. Their motion for discovered from the Office of the City Assessor that the title reconsideration having been denied by the CA in its Resolution7 of covering the land was already in the name of a certain Evans January 23. plus damages. if any. one of the alleged vendors. the Court defers and to have the original copy of the Deed of Sale in dispute and their accords finality to the factual findings of trial courts. let alone the fact that their (respondents’) title has become indefeasible. This is evident from the pleadings they filed with this Court. the trial court came out their main petition8 and Memorandum. In On June 7. 1967 is proper (sic). thus pray and presenting for our resolution the following issues: for the nullification of the same Deed of Sale. Petitioners. adding that of sale) were forged. LAW AND THE APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE. the Sandiganbayan. faulting the court of Evident it is from the above that the function of the Court in origin in ruling that they failed to present convincing evidence to petitions for review on certiorari is limited to reviewing errors of prove the fact of forgery in the execution of the assailed Deed of law that may have been committed by the lower courts. deserves great weight and shall not be . And. They likewise faulted the lower court in denying their motion matter of sound practice and procedure. denied DECEMBER 30. late Evans Mende. 1999. neglect in questioning the supposed forged character of the document after the lapse of more than twenty-nine (29) years Clearly. By way of affirmative defense. thus: resolve. 1967 BETWEEN THE PETITIONERS’ PREDECESSORS- the material allegations of the Complaint and averred that the IN-INTEREST AND THE RESPONDENTS IS VALID. is the declaration of nullity laches had already set in because of plaintiffs’ inaction and of the said deed of sale dated December 13. taxes due thereon. the respondents assert that petitioners’ cause of action. 3444. 2001. 2002. They further assert that they had been in open. as defendants. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS HAS CONTRADICTED continuous. Bohol and previously As stated at the outset hereof. WHETHER OR NOT THE DEED OF SALE ALLEGEDLY EXECUTED ON In their Answer.9 the petitioners with its decision5 finding that the evidence adduced by the emphatically state: plaintiffs (now petitioners) was insufficient to establish their claim that the questioned Deed of Sale was a forgery. did not sign the DESPITE SUFFICIENCY OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO WARRANT A conveying deed nor receive any consideration therefor. after due proceedings. Tagbilaran. the appellate court. dismissed the petitioners’ petitioners decided to partition the subject property. Accordingly. as plaintiffs. or long before the purported Deed of Sale was said to have been executed in 1967. This factual determination. when the Decision6 of September 21. – A party expenses is awarded for failure of plaintiffs (sic) to prove by desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment or final order or preponderance of evidence the existence of malice or bad faith in resolution of the Court of Appeals. de Mende and father of the herein co-respondents. had already passed away in 1960. the trial court truth or falsehood of an alleged fact. that sometime in 1992. It reads: rendered DISMISSING the complaint for lack of merit. they appeal and affirmed that of the trial court. who were Procopio Tapuroc and the ERROR WHEN IT DISMISSED THE APPEAL OF THE PETITIONERS predecessors-in-interest of the other petitioners. judgment is hereby the Revised Rules of Court is explicit. as a Sale. the plaintiffs signatures of the petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest and failed to present a handwriting expert to determine whether the Procopio Tapuroc (the only surviving vendor to the alleged deed said Deed of Sale was indeed a forged instrument. the foregoing statement calls for a determination of the from the time of its execution. appellate practice. Filing of petition with Supreme Court. and that FAVORABLE JUDGMENT ON THE PART OF THE PETITIONERS. Antonia Ebe. The court The issue in the case at bar boils down to whether or not the explained that despite the opportunity given them. Section 1 of Rule 45 of WHEREFORE. in its covered by TCT No. Regional Trial Court or other courts whenever authorized by law. The petition shall raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set forth.4 the respondent Mendes. (Emphasis supplied) From the adverse decision of the trial court.

Stated otherwise. pressure of the pen. The process of identification. The position of the writer. It must be proved by clear. in petitions for or evaluate the differences and similarities in the questioned review of CA decisions under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. or is only the expected and The trial court correctly ruled that the parties themselves dictate inevitable variation found in the genuine writing of the same the course and flow of the presentation of evidence. handwriting. The result of of Attorney. as here. signs of stops. the petitioners merely alleged that they filed two handwriting and an authentic one. necessary to determine whether the variation is due to the operation of a different personality. For. issue an characteristic resemblance which naturally appears in a genuine order requiring a handwriting expert to appear before it and handwriting. the technical procedure utilized by handwriting by the CA. otherwise the document should xxx [T]he authenticity of a questioned signature cannot be be upheld. similarities or dissimilarities with the genuine signature.. the condition of the surface on which the We are not convinced. all that the petitioners had to offer by way of respective claims. or is the habitual and not criminal. and the kind of pen and/or paper used. In the absence of the testimony of the handwriting expert. Such court itself pointed out in its decision: denial will not suffice to overcome the presumption of regularity of notarized documents. that may be found between signatures in the questioned Deed of Sale and the genuine the questioned signatures and the genuine one are not decisive signatures of their predecessors-in-interest in their Special Power on the question of the former’s authenticity.10 such as when that determination is clearly without the allegations of forgery by the plaintiffs is merely self- evidentiary support or when grave abuse of discretion has been serving. reasons. to overthrow which. as the trial predecessors-in-interest signed the subject Deed of Sale. only themselves ought to be blamed. sufficient. at best. the glaring dissimilarities between the two sets of examinations of questioned handwriting. in a given case. the signature. much weight should not be given to characteristic similarities. even with the benefit of signatures are immediately evident to support their claim of aid of experts and scientific instruments. To do otherwise would defeat the very experts. Mere allegation of forgery is not absence.disturbed on appeal. forgery. rhythm. that by merely examining the strokes. had already passed away. save only for the most compelling Sale. convincing and more than merely failed to present a handwriting expert to determine whether preponderant. City be examined by handwriting experts but their motions were Sandiganbayan18 (quoting Osborn. Considering that the case before it is civil. usually signatures. between that questioned As it were. having been duly notarized by a certain the United Presbyterian Church in the USA. If the petitioners failed to present an expert evidence on the issue of forgery was their bare denial that their witness. inconclusive. The Problem of Proof) wrote: ignored by the trial court.15 Here. It is also necessary to decide whether the resemblance is witnesses for each side. evidence must be clear. clear and convincing evidence is required. feelings and nerves.11 This is as it should be since the Court. this Court is not in the position to assess committed. It then becomes We are not persuaded. more so when those findings are affirmed Moreover. absolute positive and convincing evidence. Dissimilarities as regards spontaneity. the countervailing x x x.19 there was indeed forgery in the execution of the subject Deed of .12 The Court refrains from further scrutiny of factual findings of trial courts. is. Plaintiffs. or manifest dearth. (Underscoring ours) lower courts. of direct or circumstantial evidence and the burden of proof lies on the party alleging competent evidence on the character of the questioned it. which it is not meant to be. there is. must include the determination of the extent. the petitioners failed to discharge their burden. Neither could this court rely on the observation of the not the function of the Court to analyze and weigh all over again plaintiffs as to the alleged "glaring differences and dissimilarities" the evidence or premises supportive of the factual holdings of of the questioned signatures. paper where the questioned signature is written is placed. despite the opportunity given them by this Court.13 or comparison of handwritings. as well as the writer. the Court in Cesar v. the lower court certainly cannot. loops in the Petitioners maintain. forgery cannot be presumed. etc.14 determined solely upon its general characteristics. on its own.[17]the Court identified Atty. it is exists. it appears undisputed that the assailed Deed of In Jimenez v. Rodolfo Yap who. the result of a more or less skillful imitation. To overthrow that presumption. play an important role on the general appearance of As a rule. or dissimilarities. Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations of Sale is a public document. kind. the deed in question is a public comparison of handwritings: document and as such enjoys the presumption of regularity in its execution. much less. There are other factors that must be taken into consideration. upon the parties themselves to call forth their own set of witnesses and present their own evidence to bolster their In the present case. while usually helpful in the examination of forged essence of Rule 45 and would convert the Court into a trier of documents. Unless. however. When these two questions are correctly answered compare the documents presented by the parties. shades. and significance of this resemblance as well as of the variation. categorically state whether or not forgery limits its inquiry only to questions of law. therefore. his state of mind. It behooves the whole problem of identification is solved. Unfortunately. motions before the trial court to have the original copy of the documents in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Tagbilaran And to determine forgery. They then harp on the excuse that they could not be expected to prove forgery if the trial court denied them the opportunity to do so. therefore. and explained the factors involved in the examination and Being a notarial instrument.[16] What is more. is not mandatory or indispensable to the examination facts. unfortunately.

we emphasize that a Torrens title cannot be decision of June 7. enlarged. we find that the petitioners. 175720 Not to be overlooked is the fact that the petitioners filed their RODRIGUEZ (now deceased). 14th Judiciary District. forged. All told. . 3444 was lost. r nine (29) years from date of registration of title is fatal to their i cause of action on the ground of laches. Present: meanwhile. CRESENCIANA TUBO G. The action for Ebe. As petitioners in the RTC of Tagbilaran City is not the direct earlier discussed their signatures cannot be said to have been proceeding required by law to attack a Torrens certificate of title. respondent Carmelita Loquellano Vda.versus . Said petition went through the proper procedure and thereafter Carmelita was issued a second owner’s copy of TCT No. Gregorio Putong the declaration of nullity of deed of sale commenced by the and Mariano Putong all signed in the Deed of Absolute Sale. J. These are h hard facts that ought not to be disregarded. the respondents presented sufficient proof of their claim of ownership over the property in dispute. de Mende filed a petition for judicial reconstitution to secure a second owner’s copy of the lost title. subject land in 1967 yet – and did not do anything about it.Austria-Martinez. the respondents have been religiously paying the realty taxes due on the same property. namely: Celedonia Putong. all the rightful heirs who could question the subject sale are themselves signatories of the supposed WHEREFORE. and as aptly pointed out by the lower court in its As a final note. Likewise. 3444 which was later changed to TCT No. whether fraudulently issued or not. LLAGAS. altered. who initiated in the court of origin the basic complaint in this case.Moreover. he testified in open court that he discovered the sale and the fact of Mende’s possession of the SO ORDERED. Additionally. Eufemio Putong. or cancelled in a collateral proceeding. 1999: collaterally attacked. With the Mendes’ possession in this - case having been in the concept of an owner and the land itself N registered in their names for more than thirty (30) years now. can be raised only in an action expressly instituted for that purpose. respondent Mendes since 1967. complaint of declaration of nullity only after twenty-nine (29) substituted by SUSANA A. years from the execution of the alleged forged deed of sale. Henceforth. modified.21 has uniformly held in favor of the registered owner c who had been in possession of a disputed property for a o considerable period of time. if any. decision of the CA is AFFIRMED. Their inaction and failure to assert any right. Exh. (Chairperson). The petitioners’ failure to take the a necessary steps to assert their alleged right for at least twenty. when TCT No. have not sufficiently met the burden of proof to sustain their cause. over the disputed lot. No. The title represented However. peaceful and open possession of the property since 1967. granting that Procopio Tapuroc’s signature found on No pronouncement as to costs. in a long i line of cases. and had C been religiously paying the realty taxes due thereon. the instant petition is DENIED and the challenged questionable transaction. The question on the validity of a Torrens title. even if it were true that the signature of Antonia Ebe is by the certificate cannot be changed. forged as evidence presented to prove the same is found to be insufficient. Meanwhile. title to the property had already been in the name of Ynares-Santiago. the year of the alleged sale. . bars them from recovering the same as said failure clearly asserts to laches. C is indeed a forgery. we agree with the CA in ruling that laches had barred the petitioners: xxx The records show that they [petitioners] did not institute any action against the order of the then Court of First Instance. it cannot brush aside the fact that all the heirs of Antonia diminished. or for more than thirty (30) years now. continuous and peaceful possession of the subject land. The Court. (8585) T-4767. In the Petitioner.R. The respondent Mendes maintain that they had been in continuous. a their title thereto had become indefeasible and their possession z could no longer be disturbed. At the other end of the spectrum. And beginning the year 1968. The Mendes had been in open. No less than the petitioners themselves acknowledged this in their pleadings20 before this Court.

respondent Evangeline Rodriguez). to Respondents. EVANGELINE RODRIGUEZ. . 1984 Deed of Absolute Sale Branch 63. Branch 141. J J alleging that she is the lawful and registered owner of the . who despite repeated demands. who at that Juanito Rodriguez owned a five-door apartment located at San time was seriously ill. and reinstated registered owner of the property. owner thereof because the June 14.00 after knowing that only two apartments were No. In their Answer. 144865 was cancelled and a new TCT No. respectively. As in Civil Case No. to agree to the sale of the property for Jose Street. SP No. in Civil Case No. n d TCT No. dismissing the complaint for was simulated and void.000. apartments D and E.[2] On October 27. his live-in partner. Juanito executed a Deed a of Absolute Sale over the property in favor of petitioner. 91442 dated June 27. B and D. Mel Navarro and YNARES-SANTIAGO.[4] Thus. failed and refused to vacate the premises and to pay the rentals thereof.x without her knowledge and consent. apartment C. However. Juanito executed a Huling given to her in the Huling Habilin at Testamento. respondents maintain that petitioner exerted undue influence over their father. and his 23. Buenaventura and Belen. J. Further. and respondent Belen c h Rodriguez. o . 1990 Partition Agreement wherein they recognized each other children Benjamin Rodriguez (the deceased husband of . 2001 a complaint for unlawful detainer against the respondents. They alleged that while petitioner is the Makati City. 150431 was R issued in the name of the petitioner. property. and covered by TCT only P20. 1983. respondent N a Buenaventura Rodriguez. x -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -. 75717.[5] e y e s The case arose when petitioner filed on September 20. apartment A. she allowed respondents Evangeline. she had Habilin at Testamento giving petitioner Cresenciana Tubo no cause of action against them for being a party to the August Rodriguez.R. in Civil Case No. Makati City. as well as the Resolution denying the motion for before the RTC of Makati City. 2006. respondents claimed ownership over the subject which set aside the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of property by succession. BELEN RODRIGUEZ and Promulgated: BUENAVENTURA RODRIGUEZ. However. 2007 personally occupy units A. out of kindness and tolerance. respondents separately DECISION leased the units to Montano Magpantay. however. on June 14. assail the validity of the said sale. September 11. and that in 1984.[6] This petition for review on certiorari assails the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. which they filed to reconsideration. Branch 134. apartment B. 03-517. 144865.: Socorro Escota. 1984.[3] u r a . Guadalupe Nuevo. she is not the lawful the Decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of Makati City. 01-1641 now pending ejectment.

Branch 63. 75717 competent jurisdiction. the Complaint is DISMISSED. and pursuant thereto. Testamento transmitted ownership of the specific apartments not SO ORDERED. the THE DECISION OF THE METROPOLITAN decision rendered by the Metropolitan Trial TRIAL COURT DISMISSING PETITIONERS Court. respondents filed a petition for review otherwise petitioner would not have entered into the Partition before the Court of Appeals which reversed and set aside the Agreement.[8] only to the respondents but also to the petitioner. 2002 of the unless and until said title has been annulled by a court of Metropolitan Trial Court. Further. which SO ORDERED. A PARCEL OF LAND UPON pay jointly and severally the plaintiff an WHICH A FIVE-UNIT APARTMENT STANDS. amount of P5. The decision dated February 26. The Partition Agreement which was allegedly entered I. This is true dismissing the complaint for ejectment is hereby REINSTATED. rendered ordering the defendants and all persons claiming rights under them to THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A vacate the premises and surrender the REVERSIBLE ERROR OF LAW AND GRAVE possession thereof to the ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN DECLARING THAT plaintiff. provision of the last will and testament. thus: On appeal. this Court resolves to REVERSE and SET ASIDE the Decision of evidence of ownership of the land described therein. the RTC reversed the decision of the MTC.[9] On February 26. Thus: ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN REVERSING AND SETTING ASIDE THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT AND REINSTATING WHEREFORE. which legally conferred upon each heir exclusive decision of the RTC and reinstated the decision of the MTC. Branch 63. is hereby COMPLAINT FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER. Defendants are likewise ordered to THE PROPERTY. the MTC erred when it The motion for reconsideration was denied hence. such title is existing and valid. and that the Regional Trial Court. premises considered. is not the proper action to challenge it. thus: that the MTC correctly received evidence on ownership since the question of possession could not be resolved without deciding the WHEREFORE.[10] involves only the issue of physical or material possession. the Huling Habilin at attorneys fees of P10. also with respect to the deed of sale. Further. Makati City in Civil Case No.[7] SO ORDERED. Makati City.000. 2002.000. the parties executed the Partition Agreement in accordance with the wishes of the testator. Plaintiff is ordered to pay issue of ownership. the MTC rendered a judgment in favor of the respondents and held that the deed of sale was simulated Aggrieved. judgment is hereby II. It held that petitioners certificate of title is a conclusive WHEREFORE. It held ownership over their respective shares. which was not the present petition for review raising the following errors: probated hence has no effect and no right can be claimed therein. The present action. petitioner filed relied heavily on the Huling Habilin at Testamento. Consequently. into pursuant to the Huling Habilin at Testamento should not also THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR OF LAW AND GRAVE be considered. beginning 13 August 2001 until they finally as co-owners and partitioned the property in accordance with the vacate the premises and the costs of this suit.00 a month per unit BECAME THE SUBJECT OF JUANITO .00 and the costs of suit in favor of defendants. ordered REVERSED AND SET ASIDE.

[12] The sole issue to be resolved is the RESPONDENT (PETITIONER HEREIN).[11] question as to who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or possession de facto. respondents filed Civil Case No. Thus. Aware of the provisional nature of the resolution on ownership in ejectment cases. While the affected party in an appropriate action in the proper court. respondents assailed petitioners lessor.[15] court may look into the evidence of title or ownership and possession de jure to determine the nature of possession. it However. On the other hand. property to petitioner prior to his death. petitioners cause of action for 1641 to assail the validity of the deed of sale of the property and unlawful detainer was based on her alleged ownership of land the registration thereof in petitioners name. Petitioner SEC 16.[13] Being a Petitioner alleges that as the registered owner of the summary proceeding intended to provide an expeditious means subject property. Section 16 of Rule 70 of the said issue would effect an adjudication on ownership which is not Rules of Court provides: proper in the summary action for unlawful detainer. 01- In the case at bar. the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of yet and that the testator changed or revoked his will by selling the possession. Resolving defense of insists that the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the Huling ownership. vendee or other persons. when respondents leased the The petition has merit. vendor. that question of ownership cannot be raised in an ejectment case the question of title is not involved[14] and should be raised by the unless it is intertwined with the issue of possession. respondents pray that the instant petition for review determination of who is the owner of the property so that it can be dismissed since the resolution of the question of ownership by resolve who is entitled to its possession absent other evidence to the MTC and the Court of Appeals was provisional only to resolve resolve ownership. covered by TCT No. when the issue of ownership is raised the cannot resolve the issue of ownership because the resolution of court is not ousted of its jurisdiction.[16]But this adjudication is only provisional and the issue of possession. she enjoys the right of possession thereof and of protecting actual possession or right to possession of property. RODRIGUEZS HULING HABILIN AT TESTAMENTO WHEREIN THE PROPERTY termination of the right to hold possession. Petitioner can always avail of legal does not bar or prejudice an action between the same parties remedies to have the issue of ownership passed upon by the involving title to the property. all that the trial court can do is to make an initial Contrarily.However. When the defendant raises the defense of ownership in his pleadings and Habilin at Testamento transmitted ownership of the specific the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of apartments disregarding the fact that the same is not probated ownership. 150431 and that she merely tolerated respondents stay thereat. their possession as well as those persons claiming right under them An action for unlawful detainer exists when a person unlawfully became unlawful upon their refusal to vacate the premises and to withholds possession of any land or building against or from a pay the rent.[17] proper court. apartments to other persons without her consent. after the expiration or . by virtue of any WAS DISTRIBUTED TO HIS HEIRS (HEREIN RESPONDENTS) INCLUDING THE contract. express or implied.

In Ross Rica Sales Center. instituted for that purpose. Now. especially in an ejectment case which is summary in nature. purpose. at the time the deed of sale was executed claim ownership over the property is in favor of the petitioner. he had the absolute was simulated and void. they have the right to possess the said property. as owner of the property. 1984. modified or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance cancelled. . 1983. Before . June 14. Thus. 3) TCT No. they presented the Huling Habilin at Testamento of Case No. 01-1641. Court of Appeals. Inc. Thus. as In Apostol v. Agreement which was executed pursuant thereto can not be The issue of the given effect. property executed by Juanito Rodriguez and the petitioner on the validity of which shall not be subject to a collateral attack. the Huling Habilin at Testamento and the Partition Agreement this Court had the occasion to clarify this: have no legal effect since the will has not been probated. albeit the RTC decision contradicts that of the MTC and Court of Appeals: 1) Huling Habilin at Testamento executed by We agree with the RTC that a certificate of title is a Juanito Rodriguez on October 27.[18] Article 838 of title shall not be subject to collateral of the Civil Code mandates that [n]o will shall pass either real or attack. They insisted that they were co-owners right to dispose of it during his lifetime. 2) Deed of Sale of the conclusive evidence of ownership of the land described therein. the Partition that purpose in accordance with law. Juanito Rodriguez remained the owner beyond the power of the court a quo to thereof since ownership would only pass to his heirs at the time determine in an . except in a direct proceeding for with the Rules of Court. claim. the fact that petitioner was a party to said validity of the title of the respondents can agreement becomes immaterial in the determination of the issue only be assailed in an action expressly of possession. left with the deed of sale and the certificate of title documentary evidence in arriving at their respective over the property to consider. This cannot Presidential Decree No.title by claiming that the deed of sale upon which it was based of his death. The lower courts considered the following We are. Under Section 48 of any will can have force or validity it must be probated.[19] the Court held that: Based on the foregoing documentary evidence. a certificate be dispensed with and is a matter of public policy. thus. 1990 Partition Agreement executed by both the respondents and the petitioner. we find The long settled rule is that the that there is preponderance of evidence in favor of the petitioners issue of ownership cannot be subject of a collateral attack. As the will was not probated. . Whether or not the petitioners have the right to Moreover. v. decisions. Respondents failed to prove their right of possession. an action instituted by the respondents for that Juanito Rodriguez and the Partition Agreement. It cannot be altered. 1529. Ong. whether or not the thus. and 4) the August 23. 150431 in the name of the petitioner. To prove disposition was valid is an issue that can be resolved only in Civil their claim.

No. which affirmed the WHEREFORE. HILARION AGUSTIN and Chairperson. xxx JUSTA AGUSTIN.[20] it was held that: is REINSTATED. 01-1641. 18382 certificate of title at the first instance C. Resolution[2] dated 15 July 2008 denying the Motion for 2006 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. action for unlawful detainer. not January 18. properly belongs to the Regional Trial Petitioner. the Decision of the Court Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Laoag City and its of Appeals in CA-G. -versus- Present: As the registered owner. 91442 dated June 27. Sps. the power to pass upon the validity of such RUBEN C. 75717. No. 03-517. in Civil Case No. J. J. 90645. SP No. in Co v. The Decision of Reconsideration. in view of the foregoing. Branch 134. Under existing statutory and decisional law. It is. SERENO. The RTC.R. of Court assails the Decision[1] dated 08 January 2008 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Courts in a direct proceeding for cancellation of title. Militar. [T]he Torrens System was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the SO ORDERED. Agullana. It is settled that a Torrens Certificate of title is indefeasible and binding upon the whole world unless and until it has been nullified by a court of competent jurisdiction. petitioner had a right to the possession of the property. represented by Attorney-in-Fact Wenifreda G. REYES.. which is one of the attributes of ownership. SP No. Further. that our ruling on the issue of ownership is only provisional to determine who between the Promulgated: parties has the better right of possession. PEREZ. in the exercise of its appellate the Regional Trial Court ofMakati City. Branch 63.R.: ejectment suit. Respondents. CARPIO. which is the subject matter of Civil Case No. however. the question of ownership may be provisionally ruled upon for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to This Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules possession de facto. where the issue as to who has title to the property in DECISION question is fully threshed out. As the law now stands. in an SERENO. reversing the Decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of Makati City. 20 conclusive as to the issue of ownership. and PERLAS-BERNA We emphasize. in Civil Case jurisdiction. most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. CORPUZ. therefore. affirmed the Decision of the Municipal Trial Court .R. Our ruling that petitioner has a better right of possession was arrived at on the basis of evidence without prejudice to the eventual outcome of the annulment x------------------------------------------------- ----------x case.

which had dismissed the unlawful detainer Ruben alleged further that he has the better right to possess subject case filed by herein petitioner. Spouses Hilarion and Justa Agustin on disposed of subject property by the allegation that he is the registered executing a Deed of Absolute Sale in owner of two parcels of land located in their favor for a consideration of Santa Joaquina. Francisco. and have been hundred and forty continuously five (20. m. Pesos (P11. possession of Lot No. Laoag City covered by Eleven Thousand One Hundred Fifty TCT No. that the whose name Original Certificate of defendants are the Title No. Municipalit possession. Agustins refused to leave the premises. containing an and the 9. merely allowed by Francisco Corpuz to 2) A parcel of land (Lot occupy the subject No. and Laoag). Ruben C. portion of Lot No. property having acquired the same from his father.745) square exercising their rights meters. Bounded portion of Lot No. WHEREFO RE. The elder Corpuz m. more or less of ownership x x x.00). who executed a Deed of Quitclaim in his The Factual Antecedents favor on March 15. 20 x x x. considering Cadastral Survey of the evidence of the Laoag). in their Answer. is hereby dismissed. situated in that the defendants the barrio of Santa have been in Joaquina.657 sq. 1971. as y of Laoag. O-1717 was issued. y of Laoag. Corpuz (Ruben) filed a interposed the defense that on June 5. 20 Joaquina. 11711 of the properties.150. allowed spouses Agustin to occupy 11711. the latter being relatives. of Lot No. Ruben's father. 1) A parcel of land (Lot No. father of 20 and the 9. with defendants which improvements shows that they thereon. 12980 issued on October 29. Ruben C. area of twenty portion of Lot No. subject properties. premises Despite demand to vacate. 1951 to Francisco D. thousand seven 11711. x x x containing an 11711 as buyers or area of five thousand owners. Aforesaid parcels of land were in so far as this case is formerly owned by Elias Duldulao in concerned. . the considered. m. The Court adopts the findings of fact of the CA as follows: Spouses Agustin.657 sq. 1976 by the Laoag City Register of Deeds and with technical descriptions The Municipal Trial Court found for the as follows: spouses Agustin and dismissed the complaint. Municipalit and the 9.657 sq. Corpuz. being his Cadastral Survey of relatives. complaint for ejectment against 1971 Francisco Corpuz. 20 of the In sum.759) plaintiff that square meters more defendants were or less x x x. situated in entered into and the barrio of Santa occupied Lot No. Bounded owners. disproving seven hundred and the allegation of the fifty nine (5. Corpuz. Duldulao ones entitled to the sold said properties on August 27.(MTC) of Laoag City. with the considering further improvements the length of time thereon. thereon. this case. this court is of the view and holds.

the latter's possession thereof was in the nature of POSSESSION. ownership. the appellate court through its in 1973 was equivalent to registration of respondents Fourteenth Division dismissed his appeal. appellate court rejected his contention that. The Deed of Sale executed with respondents was.[3] of the disputed properties. by instituting an appeal with ruled that the inaction on his part despite knowledge of the sale the CA. THE HONORABLE COURT OF property executed between Francisco Corpuz. in the context of an unlawful detainer case On appeal. 13293-16 is hereby 1717 on 29 October 1976.[7] The Issues Petitioner assigns the following errors in this Petition for Review Based on the above findings. the dispositive concluded that respondents possession of the property was not portion of said decision states: by mere tolerance of its former owner petitioner's father but was WHEREFORE. compared to the unregistered Deed of Sale relied upon Petitioner assailed the Decision of the RTC. the appellate court XVI. in the exercise of ownership. .[8] the Appeal is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit and the The CA noted that petitioner had knowledge of his fathers sale of JUDGMENT of the Municipal Trial Court the properties to respondents as early as 1973. petitioner failed to initiate any action to AFFIRMED. the their execution. O-1717 and remained unregistered. The decision of Branch inscribed at the back of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No.[6] resulted in the issuance of Transfer AFFIRMED. The Quitclaim tolerance nor on any of the grounds for forcible entry or unlawful executed by the elder Corpuz in favor of petitioner was dated 15 detainer. Regional Trial Court of Laoag City in Civil Case No.[9] The appellant. SO ORDERED.[4] It noted that his unregistered deed. the CA concluded father engaged in a double sale when he conveyed the disputed that respondents possession was not .[12] annotated at the back of OCT No. he had a better right to possession thereof. O. affirming the earlier by respondents in their defense of the same properties. petitioner's father. premises considered. despite in Cities. Regional Trial Court of Laoag City a ffirmed said dismissal. while the Deed of Sale with respondents was later. Branch instituted by petitioner against respondents. anchored on mere properties to petitioner and respondents. as registered owner SO ORDERED. dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads: on 15 June 1971. On 08 January 2008.[5] The Quitclaim. Due to this conveyance by the elder Corpuz to OF PETITIONER ON THE DISPUTED PROPERTY TO CLAIM BETTER RIGHT TO respondents. XVI.. hence the complaint for ejectment must fail.. Laoag City is hereby knowledge of the sale.[10] In dismissing his appeal. in view of the foregoing. the CA ruled that on Certiorari: petitioner had knowledge of the sale of the disputed real I. both documents were notarized shortly after WHEREFORE. which was subsequently instant petition is hereby DISMISSED. with costs against the plaintiff. However. The CA dismissal of the case by the MTC. Branch 01.[11] The March 1971. Certificate of Title (TCT) No. however. Thus. T-12980 in the name of petitioner. APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FAILING TO CONSIDER THE LEGAL OWNERSHIP and respondents. not SO ORDERED. annul it and oust respondents from the subject properties.

petitioner. possession referring to possession de ALLEGED SALE IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENTS TO RULE THAT THEY facto. having registered the properties in his name. recovery of physical possession in relation to the Torrens system. rebuts this claim of ownership. who have a occupying the disputed properties as owners. over the subject properties. T-12980. but only for the purpose of resolving the issue of possession. or an ejectment proceeding . Respondents believe that they cannot be dispossessed of the disputed properties. he is the recognized A resolution of the issue would be relevant to the determination owner and consequently has the better right to possession. In fact.[15] HAVE BETTER RIGHT TO POSSESSION. THE HONORABLE COURT OF Where the parties to an ejectment case raise the issue APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FAILING TO CONSIDER THE CASE OF JACINTO of ownership. and should be brought in the not by mere tolerance of the elder Corpuz.[17] Petitioner is correct that as a Torrens title holder real property is accion interdictal. However. having acquired notarized yet unregistered Deed of Absolute Sale over the same these from petitioner's father through a Deed of Absolute Sale properties? executed in 1971. property. adjudication of the ownership issue is DENYING THE PETITION FOR REVIEW RAISED BEFORE IT. contending Although this case does not present a novel question of law. the courts . since they are the The Court's Ruling owners and are in actual possession thereof up to this date. of who has the better right to possession in this unlawful detainer Indeed. they have been proper inferior court. a title issued under the Torrens system is entitled to all case.[16] of the disputed properties -. the attributes of property ownership. MILITAR. He asserts that. the lower courts and the unlawful detainer (desahucio). The adjudication of the issue of ownership is Petitioner presents to this Court for resolution the core issue of only provisional. which is a summary action for the appellate court consistently found that possession of the disputed recovery of physical possession where the dispossession has not properties by respondents was in the nature of ownership. Petitioner.. and lasted for more than one year.. ET AL. We DENY the Petition. who is the registered In the instant case. where the issue of ownership is inseparably IV. or respondents. however. III. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN linked to that of possession. and not a bar to an action between the same his Petition: who between the parties has the right to possession parties involving title to the property. the position of respondents is that they are owner under TCT No. THE HONORABLE COURT OF resolve the basic question of who is entitled to physical APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN THE APPRECIATION OF THE possession of the premises. However. (421 SCRA 455) WHICH IS SIMILAR TO THE INSTANT who between the parties has the better right to possess the CASE.[14] In ejectment proceedings. he is the rightful owner and is entitled which may be either that for forcible entry (detentacion) or to possession thereof. and not possession de jure. which necessarily includes One of the three kinds of action for the recovery of possession of possession. II.[13] not final and binding. there that he has registered the disputed properties in his name and has is a need to discuss the nature of an ejectment case for the been issued a land title under the Torrens system. the courts may pass upon that issue to determine CO VS.

even if the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings in Spouses Barias v. as such. et al. Respondents merely showed their unregistered deeds of sale in support of their claims. case against the respondents over a disputed property. Court correctly relied on the transfer in continuous. [19] not susceptible to circumvention by the simple expedient of asserting ownership over the property. The pronouncement in Co v. the lower courts and the Court of Appeals. the latter have been in continuous possession of the parties upon a different cause of action involving possession. Rizal Militar. In Tenio-Obsequio v. which. while the respondents as actual occupants Certificate of title is indefeasible and binding upon the whole world unless and of the property claimed ownership thereof based on their until it has been nullified by a court of competent jurisdiction. subject property. it was held that the Torrens Petitioner cites Jacinto Co v. The Metropolitan Trial . A possession of the property involved. petitioner has instituted an unlawful detainer case against Such decision. time and again. an modified or cancelled only in a direct ejectment suit is summary in nature and is proceeding in accordance with law. It is an established fact that for more than three the land nor is conclusive of the facts therein found in a case between the same decades. proceeding for cancellation of title. certificate of title cannot be subject to a independent of any claim of ownership by collateral attack and can be altered. any of the party litigants. it is the petitioner who has a Torrens Title to circumstances. which is not allowed. Moreover. we cannot lose sight of the fact that the present Possession. Respondents' argument that petitioner is not an innocent disputed property based on the following justification: purchaser for value and was guilty of bad We have. et System was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the most al. Under these showed that as between the parties. Spouses Coronel[20] and detainer cases. the power to pass upon the validity of such certificate of the two parties had the better right to possess the subject title at the first instance properly belongs to the Regional Trial Courts in a direct property. nonetheless. does not bind the title or affect the ownership of respondents.[21] wherein and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of we consistently held the age-old rule that the person who has a ownership. open and notorious possession of the property for certificate of title in the name of petitioner. Heirs of Bartolome Boneo.[22] undoubted competence to provisionally resolve the issue of ownership for the sole purpose of determining the issue of However.. more than 30 years up to this day. held that the faith in having the subject land registered only issue for resolution in an unlawful in his name is a collateral attack on the title detainer case is physical or material of petitioner. The petitioner therein filed an unlawful detainer indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. the evidence and not by mere tolerance of petitioners father. Court of Appeals.[18] which has facts and legal issues identical to those of the effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their instant case. however. The principal issue was who between statutory and decisional law. Under existing unregistered Deeds of Sale.. petitioner cannot simply oust respondents from the property. is in the concept of ownership In the instant case. have the Torrens Title over a land is entitled to possession thereof. which is one of the attributes holder as the one who had the better right to possession of the of his ownership. Militar was later In forcible entry and unlawful reiterated in Spouses Pascual v. This Court resolved the issue by upholding the title petitioner had a right to the possession of the property. He had a It is settled that a Torrens Torrens title thereto. As the registered owner.

Tubil. the expeditious means to protect actual complaint should embody such statement possession or the right to possession of the of facts as to bring the party clearly within property involved. In the present case. as once he chooses what action to file. The only question that the class of cases for which the statutes the courts resolve in ejectment provide a remedy. and the following: such possession must have turned unlawful only upon the expiration of the right to (1) initially. the was by contract with or by basis of such lawful possession must be tolerance of the plaintiff. In Cabrera v.[23] which reads thus: of the properties became unlawful a requisite for a valid cause of Without a doubt. continued possession of the subject properties was by mere tolerance of his father. as in this case. the registered owner of real property is entitled to its action in an unlawful detainer case.. The possession of the defendant case filed must be averred in the complaint in unlawful detainer is originally legal but and sufficiently proven. (Emphasis supplied. possession. For this reason. constitute the sufficiency of a complaint for unlawful detainer. . The statements in the complaint that respondents possession of the An unlawful detainer proceeding building was by mere tolerance of is summary in nature. possession of possess. the claim is that such possession is by mere tolerance (2) eventually. . show enough on its face to give the court to the possession de facto and not to the jurisdiction without resort to parol possession de jure.possession through the summary procedure of an ejectment In this case. established. the owner cannot simply wrest possession thereof from whoever is in actual occupation of the In Canlas v. the Court held A requisite for a valid cause of that a complaint sufficiently alleges a cause action in an unlawful detainer case is that of action for unlawful detainer if it recites possession must be originally lawful. contract.. either expressed or implied. In Instructive on this matter is Carbonilla v. If. In ejectment cases. an Unlawful detainer is an action to ejectment case will not necessarily be recover possession of real property from decided in favor of one who has one who illegally withholds possession after presented proof of ownership of the the expiration or termination of his right to subject property. jurisdiction of which petitioner clearly make out a case for lies in the proper municipal trial court or unlawful detainer. It does not even matter evidence.) by plaintiff to defendant of . express constitutive of the particular ejectment or implied. petitioner Well-settled is the rule that what opted to file an ejectment case against determines the nature of the action as well respondents... To recover possession. fact. Ejectment casesforcible entry as the court which has jurisdiction over and unlawful detainerare summary the case are the allegations in the proceedings designed to provide complaint.[24] we enumerated the elements that property. such possession of the plaintiff. Getaruela. he is required to satisfy the conditions necessary follows: for such action to prosper. as these proceedings are proceedings is: who is entitled to the summary in nature. Unlawful detainer metropolitan trial court. the acts of tolerance must became illegal upon notice be proved. petitioner has not proven that respondents proceeding. hence. became illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess. he must resort to the proper judicial remedy and. right to physical possession. The complaint must physical possession of the premises. Key jurisdictional facts hold possession under any contract. except by a mere allegation thereof.. if a partys title to the property is questionable. However. petitioner has not established when respondents possession Abiera.. that is. The action must be involves the persons withholding from brought within one year from the date of another of the possession of the real last demand and the issue in said case is the property to which the latter is entitled. after the expiration or termination of the formers right to hold possession under the . It must be shown that the property by the defendant possession was initially lawful.

51 of P. petitioners father engaged in a double sale of the disputed Maravilla. based on the records. 496 (now plaintiff instituted the Sec. We cannot. on the other Sale of respondents. however. The knowledge of a prior existing interest lower courts and the CA have consistently upheld the which is unregistered at the time he entitlement of respondents to continued possession of the acquired a right to the same land. The records of the case show that it took petitioner supplied. 442). since their possession has been established as knowledge of that prior unregistered one in the concept of ownership. the termination of the (But) where a party has latters right of possession. complaint for ejectment. Sr. 48 Phil. the Quitclaim executed by the elder conveyance and caused the issuance of the land title registered in Corpuz in favor of petitioner was executed ahead of the Deed of his name under the Torrens system. the courts correctly interest has the effect of registration as to dismissed the unlawful detainer case of petitioner. They allege. and registration. the sale of the subject properties by hand. but without petitioners father to respondents cannot be considered as a prior bothering to register them or to initiate any action to fortify their interest at the time that petitioner came to know of the ownership. 1529). (4) within one year from the last demand on defendant Section 50 to vacate the property. respondents do not conclusion that petitioner's failure to initiate any action to annul dispute the existence of TCT No. T-12980 registered in the name the sale to respondents and oust them from the disputed of petitioner. v. Respondents. equivalent to a collateral attack against the Torrens title of Court of Appeals [25]: . Court of Appeals [189 SCRA 780 (1990)]. his knowledge of remained in possession of that prior unregistered interest has the the property and deprived effect of registration as to him. though. that the land title issued to him properties had the effect of registration of respondents was an act of fraud [26] on his part. him. it is obvious that petitioner has not the land insofar as third persons are complied with the requirements sufficient to warrant the success concerned. the defendant right to the same land.D. continued their possession of the properties. The Torrens system cannot be used as a shield for We concur in the appellate courts findings that the commission of fraud (Gustillo v. But where the party has of his unlawful detainer Complaint against respondents. As held in Fernandez v. We held thus in Ruiz. Thus. knowledge of a prior existing interest which is unregistered at that time he acquired a (3) thereafter. Thus. his subject properties. Knowledge the plaintiff of the of an unregistered sale is equivalent to enjoyment thereof. sustain the appellate courts We also note that. the of Act No. transaction. provides that the registration of the deed is the operative act to bind or affect Based on the above. We find this argument to be unregistered Deed of Absolute Sale.] more or less five years from 1971 when he acquired the property from his father to 1976 when petitioner registered the In this case. [Emphasis properties.

Maria's a collateral proceeding.R. and Esperanza adjudicated Lot 103 to Dolores through a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement. however. MARCOSA ISAGON. No. subject to the condition that they would get one-sixth of Lot 103 as their share. We make no pronouncements as to attorney's fees for In 2007. Felix. through a Kasulatan ng Sanglaan. Paciencia. It is settled in jurisprudence that a Torrens certificate The Facts of title cannot be the subject of collateral attack. September 02. modified. in the property. Rosa. She prayed that the respondents be ordered to vacate the subject property and to pay BRION. Teresa sent a final demand letter to respondents to vacate and to pay rental fees. Laguna. all surnamed Isagon. 2007. 1973. 3111 -. 2007. The parties failed to reach any amicable settlement. Torres sold Lot 103 to Teresa on September 29. J.75 square meters which was one-fourth of the one-sixth share we cannot resolve definitively in this unlawful detainer case. Veloso. SP No. cannot be changed. Teresa tolerated their possession and use of the contested area. detainer case wherein the sole issue to be decided is On March 17. 2015 On January 24. or diminished in 1955. Subsequently. TUAZON.[29] Considering that this is an unlawful children who were still minors at that time were not included in the settlement. we deny the 1974 up to the present.R. and Flaviano. 90645 (dated January 08.all dismissing the unlawful detainer case of petitioner could be swept away by the floods during a typhoon. Angel Isagon thereafter refused and failed to redeem the mortgaged property. G. spouses Melencio Diaz and Dolores Gulay must be direct and not by a collateral proceeding.[27] Such attack During their lifetime. (N. executed a Deed of Our ruling in the present case is only to resolve the Conformity. In this instrument. altered. namely Gloria. of the Sometime in 1972. His share consisted of 20.) RT- instant Petition for lack of merit. City of Sta. Barangay Aplaya. Melencio and Maria predeceased Dolores. The respondents and their children were then living by the seashore and Antonio feared that their house No.E. consisting of 499 square meters (Lot established doctrine that the title represented by the certificate 103). the respondents started to construct a house on the disputed property despite Teresa's protest.: compensation for its use and occupancy. 2008). (Dolores) owned Lot 103 of the Santa Rosa Estate. Rosa. they honored the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement executed by their grandmother and issue of who has the better right to possession in relation to the aunts. On September 11. The Decisions of the Court of 1925 issued in Teresa's name. For years. Questions Gloria. Laguna. 1956. 3111-13293-65. are AFFIRMED. an issue that 1975. and Esperanza. proper suit instituted to directly attack its validity. Reyes. In 2000. 1973. Lot 103 is covered by an undated and reconstituted Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. Felix. 2010 Resolution of the Court of detainer case. Paciencia. Teresa filed a complaint against the respondents before lack of evidence. a collateral a Bilihang Tuluyan (Deed of Absolute Sale). Maria's children. in view of the foregoing. On October 12. 107937. concurring. On May 28. The respondents did TERESA D. Dolores. 191432. Sta. Angel mortgaged his share to Teresa on October 20. Teresa has been paying the real estate taxes due on Lot 103 since WHEREFORE.A. 2009 Decision and February 11. Respondents. Appeals in CA-G. Antonio Tuazon Regional Trial Court of Laoag City in Civil Case No.[28] It is a well. penned by Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison with Associate Justices Andres B. the Lupon Tagapamayapa of Barangay Aplaya. Angel. They had three daughters named Maria. (Antonio). enlarged.shares to Teresa. Petitioner. and Flaviano also sold their. SP No. Teresa filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against the respondents before the Municipal Trial Court DECISION in Cities (MTCC). Isabel attack by herein respondents on petitioner's title is proscribed. SO ORDERED. issue of disputed ownership of the subject properties. the petitioner's brother. Dolores sold Lot 103 to Isabel Torres through possession de facto rather than possession de jure. Appeals in CA-G. We resolve the petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioner petitioner an attack we cannot allow in the instant unlawful Teresa Tuazon (Teresa) to challenge the October 28. SPOUSES ANGEL AND not reply. . On the as to the validity of petitioner's Torrens title can be ventilated in a other hand. Jr.R. and Vicente S. allowed Spouses Angel and Marcosa Isagon (respondents) to build a small hut on a portion of Lot 103 without as well as of the Municipal Trial Court of Laoag City in Civil Case Teresa's knowledge. v.

The that Teresa was a mere mortgagee and had no right to eject the decision dated October 15. vs. The entitled to all the attributes of ownership including possession. respondent- Our Ruling appellee. The MTCC. Laguna. the In their answer.: possession between the registered owner as shown in the certificate of title and the mortgagor as shown in the Kasulatan ng This case. 56.) RT-1925. and 429 of the Civil Code. — Each Register of Deeds shall keep be delayed by a mere assertion of ownership as a defense. Citing Article 2088 of the Civil Code. To directly assail the validity of TCT No. the CA reversed the RTC's ruling. is action for unlawful detainer. 2008. Instead of foreclosing the property.A. the TCT is the best proof of ownership. in enjoy the right of possession over the subject property. As the registered owner. thus. on the title and should not therefore be entertained. registrant-appellant. the validity of a certificate of that a property registered under the Torrens system could not be title is questioned. A collateral attack is made when. It added an action to obtain a different relief. possession. 1 which While the CA is correct that a mortgage does not transfer in part reads: ownership. the respondents alleged in their answer that On appeal. She adds that the only issue in an unlawful detainer case is the UDK No. The Decision dated October 28. a direct action for reconveyance must be filed. including actual possession.A. SO ORDERED. They also alleged that Teresa between the parties has a better right to possess the fraudulently obtained TCT No.) RT-1925. certified An action for unlawful detainer is summary in nature and cannot copies. In the present case. (N.1 When a primary entry book in which. WHEREFORE. the parties to an ejectment case raise the issue of ownership. This defense constitutes a collateral attack respondents' motion for reconsideration. 1929 expressly states that registration is the operative act that conveys registered land. The Petition Teresa's present petition for review on certiorari argues that she is the registered owner. SP No. 7671 June 23. concerned. upon .6 The CA Ruling In the present case. and as owner. In its October 28. she has the right to enjoy all the rights of an owner under Articles 428 DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES. turns upon a determination of the true meaning and intendment of Section 56 of Presidential Decree No. The RTC denied the fraudulently obtained. Laguna.) RT-1925. J. the certificate of title issued in the name of Teresa was affirmed in toto the decision of the MTCC.4 A MTCC held that Teresa was the owner of the property as shown certificate of title cannot be subject to a collateral attack in an by TCT No. fees. in its judgment on January 25. the CA concluded CA-G. based on the certificate of title.2 Furthermore. (N. THE ACTING REGISTER DEEDS OF NUEVA ECIJA. The sole issue here is who has the better right of physical NARVASA. the disputed property still belonged to the respondents. the indefeasibility of a Torrens title should have been given primary consideration. of Branch 25 of the Regional respondents. we hereby GRANT the petition for review The CA noted that Angel Isagon executed a real estate mortgage on certiorari. in Civil Case No. We grant the petition. decided in favor of Teresa and ordered the respondents to vacate the subject A person who possesses a title issued under the Torrens system is property and to pay reasonable rent and attorney's fees. the respondents alleged that they were occupying court may pass upon that issue only if needed to determine who the subject property as owners. not a mere mortgagee.3 and subject to a separate The MTCC and RTC Rulings proceeding that the parties may initiate to settle the issue of ownership. 2009 Decision. rather cut-and-dried as far as factual background is Sanglaan. Primary Entry Book. (N. Teresa filed this Trial Court. 1988 physical possession of the property.A. of the Court of Appeals in redeem it. Biñan. the adjudication on the issue of ownership is only provisional. not an instrument that transferred ownership. 107937 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 2008. 2009. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Bifian. The CA added that a mortgage was hereby REINSTATED.5 collaterally attacked in an action for unlawful retainer. (N.A. Teresa is the owner of the subject property and is entitled to its physical The respondents appealed the RTC's ruling to the CA.) RT-1925. property. Section 51 of Presidential Decree No. 2010. Thus. Sec. B-7472. she was entitled to action for unlawful detainer. 1529. of the property as shown by TCT No.R. and the in favor of Teresa over a portion of Lot 103 but had failed to Resolution dated February 11.

and (b) if the first query was answered affirmatively. They shall be regarded as primary entry as " . is the implication in The transaction was entered as Entry No. he shall enter.. It cannot be blamed that annotation could not be made contemporaneously with the entry because the originals The resolution on the consulta held that Entry No. 8191 had been of the subject certificates of title were missing and could not be rendered ". said Section. shall be regarded as registration. therefore. there is nonetheless every probability title were reconstituted only on June 19. the certificates of it presented them or not. being in doubt of the proper action to take on the duplicates. the petitioner in the reconstitution Registration by consulta raising two questions: (a) whether the proceedings.. in for registration to the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. the basis of that same four-year-old entry. 1980... the annotating a memorandum of the instrument subject of the entry Development Bank of the Philippines (hereafter. gives such entry from the moment of its making the effect of putting the whole world on notice of the existence the instrument on xxx xxx xxx entered. both in the names of the spouses Andres primary entry and that of the corresponding annotation on the Bautista and Marcelina Calison. took the matter to the Commissioner of Land were presented by DBP. furthermore." as registered from the time so noted. registered from the time so noted . and primary entry and proposed annotation in this case has not been could not be located... when made . there is a need documents. 6 appealed resolution disposes. ". in order to procure annotation . Indeed. admitted that the requisite registration fees the reconstituted certificates of title were issued only on June 19. that the national government as well as the provincial and city governments shall be That view fails to find support from a consideration of entire exempt from the payment of such fees in context of said Section 56 which in another part also provides that advance in order to be entitled to entry and the instrument subject of a primary entry ". having assumed for purposes of both primary entry and annotation of the his duties only in July 1982. refers." and. DBP sought annotation on the reconstituted duplicates of the encumbered titles are yielded into the custody titles of the certificate of sale subject of Entry No... which said institution had certificate of title without robbing the entry of the effect of being acquired as the highest bidder at an extrajudicial foreclosure sale. DBP) presented on the certificate of title to which it refers. certificate of sale could be registered using the old Entry No.." as the entry. after reviewing the record. NT. the DBP appealed the resolution the order of their reception. payment of the entry fee. make sense to require DBP to repeat the query as having been rendered moot and academic by the answer process of primary entry. 2 On the advice of the Register of Deeds. it is amply clear that the four-year hiatus between files of the Registry. therefore.. On June 13.. however be effected because the originals of those certificates were found to be missing from the Furthermore. of DBP's making. equivalent to registration. therefore. its face... Annotation of the sale on the covering 56. and particularly of the instruments. If anyone registration at the time the document was entered because of the was responsible for failure of annotation." and by-passed the second It does not..5 certificate of sale. shall bear the same date: Provided. 4 that it did so. in the order in which they provision therein referring to the Register's act of making a were received. when annotation thereof on the certificate of title to which the made on the certificate of title to which it instrument subject of said entry refers. may be said to contemplate parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. It was the mortgagee of the lands covered by those titles and it is usual in mortgage transactions that the owner's On June 25. since it had nothing to do with their safekeeping. 1529. an involuntary transaction.8 shall. all instruments to the Court of Appeals (then the Intermediate Appellate including copies of writs and processes filed Court) 7 which. since the transaction sought to be recorded was ordered by that court in a decision rendered on June 15. unspecified intervals of time occurring between the making of a 149033 and NT-149034. complied with all that was required of it whether he could sign the proposed annotation. The appealed resolution appears to be based upon a reading of hour and minute of reception of all the cited Section 56 of PD No. Moreover. He this Court as involving a question purely of law. and reconstitution was of primary entry. shall bear Cabanatuan City. 3 For reasons not apparent on the record. Though it was under no necessity to present the DBP instituted proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Nueva owner's duplicates of the certificates of title affected for purposes Ecija to reconstitute said certificates. for it to be re-entered now that the titles have been reconstituted upon payment of new entry fees. Such effect (of registration) clearly attaches to the mere making of the entry without regard to the subsequent step of The facts are few and undisputed. 11 DBP.1984. at the very least. 8191 on the of the mortgage until the mortgage is discharged. a preliminary process in registration . in Unwilling to accept that result. as a preliminary process in registration. ineffective due to the impossibility of accomplishing found. 8191 made in 1980 notwithstanding the fact that the original copies of It is. a sheriff's certificate of sale in its favor of two the same date .. where they were supposed to be kept. and the depriving of any effect a primary entry without a corresponding memorandum of each instrument. paying anew the entry fees as the to the first. 10 and again it is to be presumed that said duplicates solicitation. 1984. Neither. were fully paid and that the certificate of sale was registrable on 1984. 8191 in the Registry's the appealed resolution that annotation must annotation entry Primary Entry Book and DBP paid the requisite registration fees immediately or in short order justified by the language of Section on the same day. 9 and the record is silent as to whether 1982.. The Acting Register of certificates of title were reconstituted from the owner's Deeds. certified the appeal to with him relating to registered land. it was the Register of non-availability of the certificate (sic) of title involved.. note in such book the date. For said Deeds who was chargeable with the keeping and custody of those certificate of sale to be admitted for registration. certificates of title could not.. also providing that the annotation.

That it is hardly just or equitable to do so also seems to have conveying her interest in the land to the occurred to the Solicitor General. if the owner's duplicate abandoned for the decision was concurred certificate be not surrendered and by only two justices or less than a majority. an innocent purchaser for value loses that character-he The decision in Villasor also quoted with approval the following is not an "innocent holder for value of a excerpt from an earlier case. 61 .. for it is only day book is a sufficient notice to all persons applicable to registration of involuntary of such adverse claim. 1928. It amounts to holding that for land to be affected. on October 17. The instruments.it was not and the like.. we find that land becomes the registered owner and in . 17 it was her contention. attachment. et al. Do the entry in the day registered although the duplicate certificate book of a deed of sale which was presented is not presented at the time of registration and filed together with owner's duplicate to the register of deeds... entry in the obiter dictum and against the law. the law would be done. and the certificate anew. would be the more orderly also by him at public auction to the procedure. 986.. that ruling was Bank to present the owner's duplicate when abandoned in the wartime case of Basa vs.. Philippine National Bank vs.. 479. book produces no legal effect unless a memorandum thereof is 496)." Seemingly. 14 where it the bank filed its certificate of sale for was held that the entry of an instrument in the primary entry registration (sections 71 and 72 of Act No. 60 Phil. presented or if no payment of registration and said statement was not necessary or an fees be made within 15 days. not because it has been Registrar of Deeds and full payment of abandoned by the Supreme Court during the registration fees constitute a complete act Japanese occupation in the case of Bass VS. 13this Court present the owner's duplicate of the ruled that " . had to be deferred until the when Simona Fausa executed the originals of the certificates of title were found or reconstituted. which was followed in Director of Lands vs. the ruling laid down in the held: case of Government of the Philippine Islands vs. certificate of title." . or other pronouncement of the court below is to the liens and adverse claims of any description. De la Rama. of registration which operates to convey De la Rama." and that DBP should not be made to pay filing fees Philippine National Bank. Neither violence to. as day book of the deed of sale does not correctly stated by the two associate operate to convey and affect the land sold. is equivalent to. Camon. does not support pendens and the like entry thereof in the appellant's contention. but because said ruling. nor the register of deeds produces all the effects which the law gives was it necessary for the Philippine National to its registration or inscription. Appellant cannot certificate of title which the office of the invoked said ruling. such as attachment. . which involved a voluntary transactions — a deed of the day book. Exhibit 3. provided the requisite fees are paid and the owner's duplicates of the certificates of title The appellant cannot invoke in support of affected are presented. or produces the effect of. Aballe.. levy upon execution. while it has not been entirely It was not necessary for the sheriff to consistent. lis subsisting and in force. et al. who dilutes his argument in appellant.... In Government vs.. if we should hold that an Coming now to the second ground on which innocent purchaser for value of registered the appellant bases his claims.. Villasor vs. document. 15 however. her interest therein had already support of the appealed resolution with the suggestion that ".".. . not a holder of a certificate of title to such which do not require the production by the property acquired by him for value and in registrant of the duplicate certificate of the good faith. lease ruling in said two cases. is not wanting. effect that an innocent purchaser for value This ruling is correct or in conformity with has no right to the property because he is the provisions of section 72 of Act No. in Levin vs. clarified that Aballe was never really abandoned or reversed insofar as it applied to involuntary transactions. 16 nor stretching of the meaning of. such as a sale.. Abad. Jurisprudence on the subject. Under the Torrens system the act of Phil. Said the Court in Later cases appear to have applied the Aballe ruling that entry in that case. Thus. noted on the certificate of title. registration to voluntary transactions.. in which it was said and affect the land? In voluntary that "we are constrained to abandon the registration. justices who dissented and only concurred in In involuntary registration. Fernandez. 496. even without the corresponding annotation on the assignment of rights in a parcel of land and its improvements: certificate of title. (a)lthough a notice of attachment has not been certificate of title when he filed notice of noted on the certificate of title. mortgage..12 of sale filed in the office of the register of deeds in accordance with the law (sections 429 and 450 of the Code of Civil Procedure). (emphasis supplied) failure of the Registrar of Deeds to comply and perform his duty. Aballe..which through no fault on its part. Bass. been attached by the provincial sheriff and the making of a new entry . its notation in the book of entry of attachment with the register of deeds. such as an the result. . to the effect that an attachment registration is the operative act to convey entered upon the entry book is duly and affect the land..

contemplation of law the holder of a Therefore. on November 4. and nothing more remains to be done but a duty incumbent solely on the register of deeds. amounts to declaring that it did not. upon Registry. is ordered to The judgment creditor contends that entry annotate on the originals of the reconstituted Transfer of the deed in the day book is not sufficient Certificates of Title Nos. or the law under considerations-a construction transactions made. protect the registrant (DBP) from claims arising. annotation of the disputed entry on the reconstituted to be done lies not within his power to originals of the certificates of title to which it refers is entirely perform. hour. Dineros. the Court rules that in the particular situation here of registration fees." Current doctrine thus seems to be that entry alone produces the effect of registration. this Court held: of Land Registration is SET ASIDE. 1944." And applying this provision in the cases of Levin vs. whether the transaction entered is a voluntary or an involuntary one. and minute of their reception and that "they shall be regarded as registered from the moment so noted. The Registrar of Deeds is in duty proper and justified. is a result that is neither just nor can. judgment against him and purchased the property on execution sale. this Court held that "an innocent purchaser for value of registered land becomes the registered owner and in contemplation of law the holder of a certificate thereof the moment he presents and files a duly notarized and lawful deed of sale and the same is entered on the day book and at the same time he surrenders or presents the owner's duplicate certificate of title to the property sold and pays the full amount of registration fees. of the Land Registration Act says that deeds 8191 dated June 13. et al. giving said memorandum the same date as the entry. 1952. the appealed resolution of the Acting Commissioner action brought by the original purchaser. That. We believe that is a appealed resolution. pursuant to the express command of the certificate of title was issued to him and as far as the records of law. surely. 18 concerning land a deed of sale of which was entered in the day book upon payment of the corresponding fees and The qualms implicit in the query of the respondent (and present presentation of the owner's duplicate of the covering certificate appellee) register of deeds about making annotation of an entry of title. or his successor. Nos. The respondent-appellee Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. obtained time entry was made or is forbidden to any of his successors. because what remains obtaining. L- 4340 to 4346. decided on May 28. because what remains to be done lies not within his power to perform. by any reasonable interpretation of Section 56 of PD 1529. 1980 of the Primary Entry (Day) Book of said relating to registered land shall. thereafter which are adverse to or in which would lead to no inconsistency and derogation of the rights created or conveyed by the transaction injustice. no indubitable record and. be entered in the entry book — also called day book in the SO ORDERED. (emphasis supplied) thus entered. A similar ruling was made in Potenciano vs. Another party later sued the vendor. NT-149033 and NT-149034 of his Registry registration.. In affirming judgment annulling the execution sale in an WHEREFORE. He would only be making a memorandum of an instrument the final months of the Japanese Occupation). without necessarily holding that annotation of a certificate thereof the moment he presents primary entry on the original of the certificate of title may be the owner's duplicate certificate of title to deferred indefinitely without prejudice to the legal effect of said the property sold and pays the full amount entry. the property remained in the name of that function is exclusive to the incumbent of the office at the of the vendor." as does the bound to perform it. the papers and of its entry based on or reciting details which are already of presented by the registrant were either lost or destroyed. payment of the filing fees. G. However. To hold said entry "ineffective.R. Bass. same section — with notation of the year. be asserted as warranted by its terms. due to the confusion effected before he assumed that office are more imagined than arising from the bombing of Manila (this having happened during real. Section 56 Development Bank of the Philippines as entered under Entry No. . so long as the registrant has complied with all that is required of him for purposes of entry and annotation. No pronouncement as to costs. Both upon law and authority a memorandum of the certificate of sale in favor of appellant this contention must be rejected. No part the Register of Deeds showed. month. day.. etc. and reasonable and practical interpretation of does not.

filed a verified petition for CARPIO. NHA filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ National Housing Authority (NHA). the properties were sold at public Promulgated: auction where NHA emerged as the highest bidder.. as amended...J.. only on the owners duplicate copies of the titles in the hands of April 20...R. 1992... the NHA.[4] On April 16... To collect its Chairperson.- -x Deeds were among those burned down when a fire gutted the City Hall of Quezon City on June 11. and VILLARAMA. ..... 1992... on April 24.. since the titles in the custody of the Register of x. JR.[6] without respondents having redeemed the properties. Present: Title (TCTs) Nos.827. 2010 Respondents. of Possession. AUGUSTO BASA.. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. JR... 1992. 149121 mortgage over their properties covered by Transfer Certificates of AUTHORITY.* extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage before the Sheriffs Office .. the respondents. After notice and publication. San Francisco del Monte.. NHA executed an Affidavit of Consolidation of LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. 287008 and 285413... on August 9.[3] BERSAMIN.. 2001 denying the motion for reconsideration of the On June 18..[2] Spouses Basa PUNO.10 secured by a real estate NATIONAL HOUSING G.. 6572/T-287008-PR-29207.. 1990. Quezon City. 1983.. located at No. 1988.... 30 San Petitioner... 3135. credit... No... C. The said petition was granted by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in an Order[9] dated August 4. the sheriffs certificate of sale was registered and annotated BASA. JJ...: Ownership[7]over the foreclosed properties..versus . and the same was inscribed by the Register of Deeds on the certificates of title in the This Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of hand of NHA under Entry No. Antonio St. 1991. 2000 and its Resolution dated July 19.. did not pay the loan despite repeated demands. spouses Augusto and Luz Basa loaned from NHA the amount of P556. On April 19.... J..[5] DECISION On April 16... Shortly thereafter.[8] the Rules of Court seeks to set aside the Amended Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals dated November 27.. 1992.. the redemption period expired.. pursuant to Act No. LUZ BASA and EDUARDO S.. in Quezon City.

and not on the certificate of title in the to refrain from selling or disposing of the contested possession of the Register of Deeds. they were still entitled to redeem the same since the one-year On January 2. then there was no effective properties. right.[16]respondents theorized that the subject properties. 8] of Act No. respondents inscribed on their TCT Nos. rights. 1995. or averred that the extrajudicial foreclosure of the subject properties on April 16. It pointed out that the RTC. and to cancel the Writ of Possession dated March to move for the issuance of an alias writ of possession on April 28.[19] NHA also said that Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction). 3155. Sheriffs Sale as shown at the bottom portion of said 3135.[13] Respondents likewise insisted that even assuming arguendo that the foreclosure sale were valid. and 3) granting the issuance of a Writ of the sheriffs certificate was only inscribed on the owners duplicate Preliminary Injunction in favor of respondents that ordered NHA certificate of title. the RTC issued the first assailed Order[21] with redemption period from the registration of the sheriffs certificate the following directives: 1) granting the issuance of the alias writ of foreclosure sale had not yet prescribed. written dated August 4. 1993.Since said order had already attained finality. among others. The writ.[18] It Before the RTC could resolve the motion for the issuance of an countered that the extrajudicial foreclosure sale was conducted alias writ of possession.A Writ of Possession[10] was issued on March 9. 2) admitting the Petition in Intervention and instrument is deemed registered only upon actual inscription on treating the same as the petition to set aside sale mentioned in the certificate of title in the custody of the civil registrar. 1992. 1991. 1993. on June 2. which gives the debtor/mortgagor the remedy notice. remained unserved. as amended. to allow the ordering spouses Augusto and Luz Basa to vacate the subject respondents to redeem the mortgaged properties in the amount lots. filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene and the publication of the Notice of Sheriffs Sale in the Manila Times Petition in Intervention (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining in its issues dated July 14. In the said petition for intervention.00. respondents spouses Basa and Eduardo validly and made in accordance with Act No. however. via its Order was a nullity since notices were not posted and published.[14] Citing Bernardez v. 1993 by the RTC. declare the foreclosure sale null and void.[20] NHA maintained that respondents right of redemption to petition that the sale be set aside and the writ of possession be had long expired on April 15. and notices of sale redemption was already gone without them exercising said were not tendered to the occupants of the sold properties. De la Rama. This compelled NHA of P21. of possession which allowed NHA to take possession of the Reyes[15] and Bass v.[11] Respondents respondents had been furnished with a copy of the Notice of anchored said petition for intervention on Section 8[12] of Act No.160. to . 3135 as evidenced by Basa. the ruling thereby denying them the opportunity to ventilate their therein could no longer be disturbed. 285413 and 287008 a year earlier.[17] Since [Sec. The pertinent portion of the order reads: registration and the one-year redemption period had not even begun to run. NHA opposed respondents petition for intervention. 21 and 28. Thus. 9. had already ruled that respondents right of notices of foreclosure were not given to them. 1993. 1990. 1992 since the certificate of sale was cancelled. respondents asked the RTC.

before final judgment. etc. NHA stressed that another reason why the petition for intervention should be denied was the finality of the Order dated August 4. 3155. Lastly. 3135. Quezon City. ordering movant National Housing Authority. treating the same as the discretion. The admission is issued by this Court. And. NHA asserted that the writ of possession was issued as a matter of course upon filing of 2. do 4. of the intervention is sanctioned by Sec. The issuance of an alias writ of possession. San Antonio Street. 30. mentioned in [Sec. the RTC denied NHAs motion for reconsideration reasoning that the 3. Admission of the Petition in the proper motion and thereby. 1995. the RTC made by intervenors. the motion for NHA filed a motion for reconsideration[23] assailing the RTCs Order reconsideration is DENIED.00 had been duly filed No. because.m. petition to set aside sale. The manner from disposing of the subject order partly provides: properties covered by TCT Nos. and on March 17. at 8:30 a. 8 of Act No. San Francisco del Monte. 1995. 1995. otherwise or if no preliminary injunction is issued. [25] insofar as it admitted respondents motion for intervention and issued a writ of preliminary injunction. As to the grant of preliminary injunction. 1992 declaring respondents right of 1. the court was bereft of Intervention. the judgment other person acting under its command. pending the termination of this proceeding and/or unless a contrary order The motion is without merit. the movant NHA may. NHA filed on November 24. 8] of Act No. NHA argued that respondents should have assailed the foreclosure sale during the hearing in the petition for the issuance of a Writ of Possession. Undaunted. a special civil action and not during the hearing in the petition for the issuance of an for certiorari and prohibition before the Court of Appeals. to desist and refrain from selling or in any which may be favorable to respondents would be ineffectual. 3135. After examining the record and following precedents x x x this Court hereby orders: Alias Writ of Possession. ACCORDINGLY. its agents and/or any the justification that if the NHA was not restrained.[22] thus make ineffectual the final judgment rendered afterwards which may grant the relief sought by the intervenor. The issuance of a writ of admission of the intervention was sanctioned by Section 8 of Act preliminary injunction. Setting the hearing of the or continue the doing of the act with the petition in intervention (to set aside) intervenor asks the court to restrain. In the second assailed Order[24] dated September 4.. alias writ of possession since the petition referred to in Section 8 of Act No.000. 287008 and 285413 and located at No. redemption barred by prescription. after a BOND in the amount of P20. 3135 pertains to the original petition for the issuance of the Writ of Possession and not the Motion for the Issuance of an .

in a On November 27. not prescribed. 1995 is declared NULL AND VOID except for the portion directing the issuance of an hearing of the case on its merits. 3135. according to the NHA. 1992 granting the executed/implemented by the public respondent without further delay. It also observed that the grant of the preliminary titles supposedly kept with the Register of Deeds since said titles . in this case the respondents. 2000.[28] They alleged intervention and granted the issuance of the preliminary that since they raised the issue that their right of redemption had injunction.[27] writ of possession which. the petition is then concluded that their right to redeem the properties against GRANTED. Likewise declared NULL AND VOID is the second assailed order of September 4. petition for intervention not only as an opposition to the issuance of the alias writ of possession. the Court of Appeals. entitled by virtue of the grant of the alias writ of possession. the latter having been orders of the RTC dated January 2. It declared null and void the assailed defeat the right of NHA to possession. and the assailed order of January NHAs right to the writ of possession must be threshed out in a 2.The Court of Appeals rendered a Decision[26] dated February 24. but it upheld the grant of the alias writ of possession. as amended. in favor of the NHA. alias writ of possession. 1995 denying the petitioners motion for reconsideration. period of redemption had not expired as the certificate of sale a summary procedure provided for under Section 112 of the Land had not been registered or annotated in the original copies of the Registration Act. in view of the various As to the RTCs admission of respondents petition for intervention. reconsidered its earlier stance. respondents argued that said order did not constitute res judicataso as to bar the filing of the petition for The Court of Appeals defended its affirmation of the RTCs grant of intervention since the said order was not a judgment on the the alias writ of possession in NHAs favor by saying that it was a merits that could attain finality. became final and executory. 1995. respondents would like the Court of Appeals to treat the redemption period. said fact should have changed the whole scenario thus: such that the issuance of a writ of possession ceased to be summary in nature and was no longer ministerial. It declared that the petition to set aside the sale and to cancel the writ of possession. but also as a proper remedy under Section 8 of Act No. necessary consequence after the earlier writ was left unserved to the party. Let an alias writ of possession be issued and With regard to the RTC Order dated August 4. Respondents WHEREFORE.It further explained that NHA was entitled to the writ of possession as a matter of course after the lapse of the Also. 1995 and September 4. in its Amended foreclosure sale is to question the validity of the sale through a Decision. The Court of Appeals believed that the only recourse available to a mortgagor. the appellate court opined that it was improperly and erroneously made. injunction by the RTC was uncalled for as it would effectively 2000. to the extent that the said orders admitted the petition in Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration. issues raised.

[30] Hence.[31] to register the same since anyone who would wish to check with the Register of Deeds would not see any annotation. Respondents also pointed out the purported defective verification of NHA in view of the fact that it merely stated that 1. the motion for RESPONDENTS INTERVENTION AND reconsideration is GRANTED. such as sale of real property. the Motion for COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF Reconsideration dated February 24. NHA filed a motion for reconsideration. OF SALE IN THE PRIMARY ENTRY were earlier razed by fire. 2000 is RULE 45 OF THE RULES OF COURT. WHETHER OR NOT THE CASE OF BASS VS. Having been deprived of their right of redemption. On the procedural aspect. offered the following as issues: notice that would bind the whole world. in the entry book is COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENT insufficient to treat such document as registered. II Unfazed. unless the same OF LAW ON REGISTRATION. the owners duplicate of the titles could not have been sufficient DE LA RAMA HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED. the instant petition. 2000. De la BOOK OF THE REGISTER OF DEEDS AND ON THE OWNERS Rama where the Court purportedly made a ruling that entry of a DUPLICATE TITLE IS SUFFICIENT document. WHETHER OR NOT THE ANNOTATION OF the one verifying had read the allegations of the petition and that THE SHERIFFS CERTIFICATE . NHA tendered the following as required under Section 4. the Court of Appeals deemed it proper I to allow respondents to intervene. Our decision GRANTING THE EQUITABLE WRIT OF dated February 24. which the Court of Appeals denied in its July 19. is RECONSIDERED INJUNCTION THEREBY DISMISSING THE and SET ASIDE and the PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND petition DISMISSED. Taking its cue from Bass v. to wit: WHETHER OR NOT THE INSTANT PETITION ACCORDINGLY. 2001 Resolution. respondents question NHAs alleged failure to include in its petition copies of material portions of the record such as pleadings filed in the RTC and the Court of Appeals In its memorandum. had been annotated on the certificate of title. Thus. Rule 45 of the Rules of issues: Court.[32] DENIED for lack of merit. The dispositive part of the amended decision decrees: WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE LOWER COURT DID NOT ACT WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION IN ADMITTING THE WHEREFORE. the Court of Appeals went on to say that the entry of the certificate of sale in 2.[29] PROHIBITION. on the other hand. entry made on the owners duplicate of the titles cannot be considered Respondents.

De la certificate of sale. and not in the instant . Ignacia Rural Bank. the register of deeds is justified as the latter were burned down. They are of the instruments affecting lost or destroyed certificates of title pending persuasion that the ruling in DBP pertains exclusively to the reconstitution of the original. of law on registration. are backed by this Courts ruling also assail NHAs citation of Sta. Court of in Development Bank of the Philippines v. said case finds no application to of Nueva Ecija. Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. the merits of their petition in intervention. 1988. NHA was whether the redemption period should be reckoned from the says that the inscription of the sheriffs certificate of sale only to date of the auction sale or the registration of the certificate of the owners duplicate copies. was already abandoned in Development and legal issue that is appropriately adjudicated in a hearing on Bank of the Philippines v. but not to those in the custody of sale.[33] where purportedly. such declarations were not transaction produces the effect of registration so long as the in accordance with the rules which require that a verified pleading registrant has complied with all that is required of him for must state that the affiant had read the pleading and that the purposes of entry and annotation. the inscription certificate of sale are sufficient compliance with the requirement must be made on the reconstituted titles. certificate of sale on the owners copy is inadequate to propel the As to the merits. NHA stresses that the annotation and running of the redemption period. but not to disputed registration on its duplicate copies of the sheriffs the instant case where Bass purportedly applies. Inc. Respondents certificate of sale. They firmly believe that for the entry in the owners duplicate certificate of titles of the sheriffs sale instrument to be considered as registered. allegations therein were true and correct based on his personal In contrast. Registers of Deeds to accept for entry and provisional registration Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. v. respondents assert that such neglect should not be used as a justification for the non-inscription in the original titles of the NHA faults the Court of Appeals reliance on Bass v. respondents submit that annotation of the sheriffs knowledge and not only to the best of his knowledge. De la Pending Reconstitution of Title which allegedly authorized all Rama was superceded by Development Bank of the Philippines v. Acting Register of Deeds Appeals. it could not be blamed for the non-registration of the sale in the original copies. Ascribing NHAs inaction to have the burned titles reconstituted. To support this. this Court made a favorable the instant controversy because the issue involved in the former interpretation of Section 56 of Presidential Decree No.the same were true and correct to the best of his where it was allegedly ruled that the primary entry alone of the knowledge. Thus. 1529. The legality and validity of the unique factual milieu and the issues attendant therein. which ostensibly is not the bone of contention in this case. 3 dated December 6. NHA insists. According to respondents. entitled Entry and Provisional Registration of Instruments Respondents disagree with NHAs opinion that Bass v. NHA refers to Land Registration Administration Circular No.[34] According to them.Additionally. respondents insist that the Rama since the ruling therein stating that entry and annotation of question of whether the redemption period should be reckoned a sale instrument on the owners duplicate copy only as from the inscription on the owners duplicate copies is a factual insufficient registration.

or a certified true copy of the attached. if the material allegations in a SEC. NHA attached the February 24. the July 19.. Family Foods Manufacturing Co. 2000 Amended Decision. petition lacking an x x x. with the original copy intended for questioned judgment. Contents of petition. whether the RTC committed grave abuse of substantially complied with the requirements under Section 4 of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in admitting their Rule 45. Ltd. it need not controversy. and documents required. and such material portions Third. thus: Respondents reiterate that the issuance of the writ of possession prayed for by NHA before the RTC is no longer ministerial since it As held by this Court in Air raised the issue of whether their period of redemption has Philippines Corporation v. Intermediate Appellate Court[35] as the authority to this argument. The position paper are petition shall be filed in eighteen (18) summarized in a copies. in Development Bank of the Philippines v. 1994 Order of the Quezon City RTC ordering the . the November 27. the court being indicated as such by the it will suffice that only petitioner. Thus. judgment or final order or resolution certified by the clerk of court of the court a quo and the requisite number of plain copies thereof. and shall x x x (d) be a certified true copy accompanied by a clearly legible duplicate of the judgment is original. petitioner later submitted the 2000 Decision. Zamora: already expired. a of the record as would support the petition. copies of or that it will serve the higher interest of the transfer certificates of title of the disputed properties. 2001 Resolution all of the Court of Appeals. also [be] found in another document Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which partly provides: already attached to the petition. This Court finds that NHA scope. 4.special civil action for certiorari and prohibition which is limited in reconstitution of the said titles. [E]ven if a document is relevant We dwell first with the procedural issues before the main and pertinent to the petition. Respondents contend that the instant petition is be appended if it is shown that the dismissible on the ground that NHA failed to attach pleadings filed contents thereof can in the RTC and the Court of Appeals as required under Section 4. namely.They cite Barican v. The same conclusion was arrived at by this Court petition in intervention. essential pleading or part of the case record may still be given due course or reinstated (if earlier dismissed) upon showing that In its petition. and justice that the case the June 13.[36] when it was faced with the same procedural objection.

verified or accompanied by affidavit.[38] expedite the decision or resolution of cases and other matters pending in court. A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification based on information . and belief. pleadings need not be under oath. NHAs verification conforms to the rule. the petition which were true and correct based on his personal knowledge. statement confirming that the affiant has read the pleading rather than on technicalities or procedural imperfections. it being sufficient that the affiant allegations therein are true and correct of his personal knowledge or based on declared that the allegations in the petition are true and correct authentic records. are not speculative or merely imagined. Verification. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court states: SEC. even if the pleadings and other supporting documents were not attached to the petition. 3. or upon knowledge. and have We must stress that cases been made in good faith.The addition of the words to the best before the A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the phrase of my personal knowledge did not violate the requirement affiant has read the pleading and that the under Section 4 of Rule 7.[37] To achieve this purpose. Nevertheless. after all parties have been given full opportunity verification of a pleading is made through an affidavit or sworn to ventilate their causes and defenses.[39] Contrary to respondents assertion. In fact. Section 4. the should be determined on the merits. 4. information merits. In that way. based on his personal knowledge. the ends of whose allegations are true and correct of the affiant's personal justice would be served better. Section 6 of Rule 1 states that the Rules shall be liberally construed in follows: order to promote their objective of ensuring the just. or lacks a proper verification. must be The General Manager of NHA verified the petition as avoided. be decided on the and belief. The affiant confirmed that he had read the allegations in rule. A strict and rigid application of rules. shall be treated as an unsigned pleading. we have sufficient basis to actually and completely dispose of the case. and correct. resulting in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice. I have read the allegations contained therein and that the same are true and correct to the best of my own personal knowledge. Without a to secure an assurance that the allegations of a pleading are true doubt. the dismissal is unwarranted because the CA records containing the promissory notes The reason for requiring verification in the petition is and the real estate and chattel mortgages were elevated to this Court. speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. Rules of procedure are mere tools designed to knowledge or based on authentic records. Except when A reading of the above verification reveals nothing objectionable otherwise specifically required by law or about it.

even without four-year old sale transaction on the reconstituted titles. The Court disagreed with this posture. at the time the document was entered because of the non. During the war. required fees. However. De la Rama. Philippine Islands v.[44] DBP noted that Bass v. Dineros.[41] In other day book of a deed of sale.[42] To buttress its conclusion. After it had paid the the effects which the law gave to its registration. payment of the fees. being in doubt of the proper action to equivalent to. referred the matter to the Commissioner of the Land transactions. as to the merits of the case. When DBP sought the inscription of the applied the Aballe ruling that entry in the day book. said transaction was entered in the primary entry however. provided the requisite fees are paid and the owners Registration Authority by consulta. the holding was that originals of the certificates of title could not be done because the entry of an instrument in the primary entry book does not confer same titles were missing from the files of the Registry.[43] the prevailing doctrine was an following the extrajudicial foreclosure sale where it emerged as inscription in the book of entry even without the notation on the the highest bidder. lost titles. DBP. annotation on the primary book was deemed insufficient of the owners duplicate certificate of title constitute a complete registration. In that case.[47] both of which involve the issue of whether entry in the availability of the certificate (sic) of title involved. The Court noted that where the transaction or instrument was annotated not on the before the Second World War. This any legal effect without a memorandum thereof inscribed on the prompted DBP to commence reconstitution proceedings of the certificate of title. and presentation words. the latter resolved against the duplicates of the certificates of title affected are presented.[48] that DBP had paid all the fees and complied with all the requirements for purposes of both primary entry and annotation of the certificate of sale. the Court declared that mere entry in the . is Acting Register of Deeds. Of foremost who was chargeable with the keeping and custody of those importance is Development Bank of the Philippines v. it was the Register of Deeds Jurisprudence is replete with analogous cases. the the corresponding annotation on the certificate of title. Acting documents. Aballe. Bass[46] and Potenciano v. registered with the Register of Deeds the certificate of title was considered as satisfactory and produced all sheriffs certificate of sale in its favor. Considering act of registration. or produces the effect of. Four years had passed before the missing certificates of survived only for a little while since later cases appear to have title were reconstituted. the annotation of the said transaction to the from said ruling since in Bass v. De la Rama. the Court reviewed the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija[40] where the Court listed cases relevant jurisprudence starting from 1934. If anyone was responsible for failure of annotation. since it had nothing to do with their safekeeping.[45] annotation of the sale transaction and opined that said entry was ineffective due to the impossibility of accomplishing registration These later cases are Levin v. particularly in Government of the original certificate but somewhere else. registration to voluntary take. however. Now. certificates could not be made as the same got burned. The main issue primary book was considered sufficient registration since [DBP] before us is whether the annotation of the sheriffs certificate of cannot be blamed that annotation could not be made sale on the owners duplicate certificate of titles is sufficient contemporaneously with the entry because the originals of the registration considering that the inscription on the original subject certificates of title were missing and could not be found. the Court observed that there was apparent departure book.

rendered moot and academic by the . The the owners transfer certificate of title.[51] In the recent case of Autocorp Group v. The preliminary injunction was questioned by therein respondent.[49] the respondent was awarded the foreclosed parcels of land. petitioners prayer for the in DBP. Thereafter.e. and nothing more of Deeds to refrain from registering the said sheriffs certificate of remains to be done but a duty incumbent solely on the register of deeds. thus: entered into in the day book as the same was annotated in the owners duplicate copy. to prevent procedure in order to have its sheriffs certificate of sale the register of deeds from registering the subject certificate of sale. the RTC issued a TRO directing the Register of entry and annotation. De la Rama is futile as the entry book. respondents resort to Bass v. had been annotated in the transfer certificates of title. NHA presented the sheriffs was equivalent to registration such that the TRO and the certificate of sale to the Register of Deeds and the same was preliminary injunction issues would not lie anymore as the act entered as Entry No. once the registrant has fulfilled all that is needed of him for petitioners in that case filed a complaint before the RTC with a purposes of entry and annotation. so that what is left to be prayer for the issuance of an ex parte TRO aimed at preventing accomplished lies solely on the register of deeds. so long as the registrant has complied with all that is required of him for purposes day. Potenciano and DBP. had already become a fait accompli or an accomplished act. even if the registration fee was paid only the following one. Court of Appeals.[52] sale. Potenciano and Autocorp. Four days after. respondent presented the sheriffs certificate of sale to the Current doctrine thus seems to be that entry alone produces the effect of Register of Deeds who entered the same certificate in the primary registration. whether the transaction entered is a voluntary or an involuntary book.[53] A year later and after Court held that the TRO and the preliminary injunction had the mortgagors did not redeem the said properties. One of the main issues raised there was whether the entry of the certificate of sale in the primary book In the case under consideration. There would be.[50] Before the RTC could issue a TRO. A sheriffs Indeed. respondents already become moot and academic by the earlier entry of the filed with the Register of Deeds an Affidavit of Consolidation of certificate of sale in the primary entry book which was Ownership[54]after which the same instrument was presumably tantamount to registration. i. 2873 and said entry was further annotated in sought to be restrained had become an accomplished act. Injunction would not lie same was abandoned by the later anymore. valid entry of the instrument in the primary Simply. Bass. Levin. A preliminary injunction was thereafter issued as the TRO was about to expire. NHA followed the issuance of a writ of injunction. The Court thus the Register of Deeds from registering the said certificate of sale once held: in the name of the respondent and from taking possession of the subject properties.. the prevailing rule is that there is effective registration certificate of sale was thereafter issued in its favor. as the act sought to be enjoined cases.[55] Just like In fine. Such entry is equivalent to registration.

is a result that is neither just nor can.[59] declaring that it did not. thereby demonstrating that the inscription as it had taken the necessary steps in having the same said ruling in DBP may be applied to other cases with similar reconstituted as early as July 15. We find no merit in petitioners posture x x x. That. xxxx as respondents insist. in Autocorp Group v. as the act sought to be enjoined To hold said entry ineffective. hence. and not to similar cases. In fact the xxxx Court there continued with this pronouncement: x x x Such entry is equivalent to registration. Neither could NHA be blamed for the fact that there What is more. in DBP. for purposes of primary entry. since the same were burned. surely. in DBP. entry on the reconstituted originals of the certificates of title to which it refers is entirely proper and justified. the instrument involved in the categorically states its pro hac vice character. annotation of the disputed owners duplicate certificate of title. Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. just as the Court did in the past cases.[56] NHA did everything factual and legal issues.[58] the were no reconstituted titles available during the time of pertinent DBP ruling was applied. what case at bar. is a sheriffs certificate of sale. as we held therein. Allegedly. 1529 be asserted as therefore. it was fairly reasonable that its acts be given the effect of registration. that the ruling therein applies exclusively to the factual milieu and the issue obtaining in said case. For in truth. Court of Appeals. 1988. the Court ruled that in the the registration fees but also presented the particular situation here obtaining. be applied in the situation obtaining in that case since the as the transaction sought to be recorded is an involuntary transaction. amounts to accomplished act. as had already become a fait accompli or an does the appealed resolution. registrant therein complied with all that was required of it. There is nothing in the subject declaration that Like in DBP v. no reason not to apply the ruling in said cases to this warranted by its terms. thereafter which are adverse to or in derogation of the rights created or conveyed by the transaction thus entered. It was not NHAs fault that the certificate of sale was not annotated on the transfer certificates of title which were supposed to be in the custody of the Registrar. this does not mean. We hold now.[57] one. viz: within its power to assert its right. the bank not only paid While it may be true that. or transactions made. that the the said statement really conveys is that the current doctrine that registrant is under no necessity to present entry in the primary book produces the effect of registration can the owners duplicates of the certificates of title affected. protect the registrant (DBP) from claims arising. by any reasonable interpretation of Section 56 of . Presidential Decree No. Petitioners contend that the aforecited case of DBP is not apropos to the case at bar. Injunction would not lie anymore. and does not.

21 and 28. which right had long been lost by inaction. or of any other real property encumbered with a mortgage claimed that an Affidavit of Publication of said newspaper was duly registered in the office of any register of deeds in accordance with any attached as Annex B in the said comment. Sec. there is be noted that on April 16. since the one-year period of redemption is reckoned Considering that the foreclosure sale and its subsequent from the date of registration of the certificate of sale. the sheriffs certificate of sale was no reason for the non-issuance of the writ of possession. possession of a real or personal property. the purchaser may petition the [Regional Trial Court] of As regards respondents allegation on the defect in the publication the province or place where the property and notice requirements of the extrajudicial foreclosure sale. fact. furnishing bond in an amount equivalent to the use of the absence of a requisite who has the burden of establishing such property for a period of twelve months. Since entry of the certificate of sale was validly registered. respondents have lost their opportunity to extrajudicial foreclosure sales of real estate mortgage. Clearly. 3135 provides on April 24. the redemption period accruing to respondents commenced therefrom. it would tend to show that respondents that courts are to apply principles declared in prior decisions that aspersion of non-compliance with the requirements of are substantially similar to a pending case. In fact.[65] NHA also said that . 1990.[61] It must registration with the Register of Deeds were done validly. the redemption period expired. In addition. A writ of registered and annotated only on the owners duplicate copies of possession is an order directing the sheriff to place a person in the titles and on April 16. The rule is that it is the mortgagor who alleges redemption period. respondents stand on the non-applicability of respondents had been furnished with a copy of the Notice of the DBP case to other cases. 7. to wit: redeem the properties in question.[67] Section 7 of Act No.[60] foreclosure sale is a futile attempt to salvage its statutory right to redeem their foreclosed properties. is extrajudicially foreclosed. NHA executed an Affidavit of Consolidation of for the rule in the issuance of the writ of possession involving Ownership. to give him possession thereof during the same is unavailing. contravenes the principle of stare decisis which urges notice. 1991. 1992. NHA stated in its Comment cadastral proceedings if the property is registered.[66]From all these. respondents failed to present any parte motion in the registration or evidence to support them. the or any part thereof is situated. except Act. absent any statement thereof to Sheriffs Sale as shown at the bottom portion of said such effect.[62] This is so because foreclosure proceedings have in their to indemnify the debtor in case it be shown that the sale was made without favor the presumption of regularity and the burden of evidence to violating the mortgage or without complying with the requirements of this rebut the same is on the party who questions it. Such petition shall be made under oath and filed in the form of an ex for their bare allegations. In any sale made under the provisions of this Act.Moreover. such as when a property without respondents having redeemed the properties. or in special proceedings in to Motion for Leave of Court to Intervenethat it had complied with the case of property registered under the Mortgage Law or under section one the publication of the Notice of Sheriffs Sale in the Manila Times hundred and ninety-four of the in the latters issues dated July 14. 1992.[64] It also Administrative Code.[63] Here.

as Believing that the instant case does not come within the the purchaser at the auction sale in the instant case. for failure of the mortgagor to redeem. The judge issuing the writ following these in Cometa and Barican to justify the express provisions of law neither exercises his official discretion relaxation of the otherwise absolute rule. the subject writ of possession becomes a matter of right.[72] As such. the sheriffs certificate of sale. upon considering that the property involved was already in the approval of the bond. penumbra of the foregoing rule.[76] the Court proceeding in the case of property with Torrens title.[75] Unfortunately for petition. addressed to the sheriff possession of a third person by virtue of a deed of sale with of the province in which the property is situated. There. None of these exceptional circumstances. the mortgagee bank acquired an foreclosure itself. redemption period by filing an ex parte motion under oath for that purpose in the corresponding registration or cadastral Moreover. the Court disallowed injunction to prohibit its issuance no dispute that the property was not redeemed within one year from the despite a pending action for annulment of mortgage or the registration of the extrajudicial foreclosure sale.[68] Upon the refused to apply the ruling in Barican v. the court granting the writ cannot be however. there is character. Intermediate Appellate Court. Intermediate Appellate filing of such motion and the approval of the corresponding bond. respondents resort to the ruling to the issuance of the writ of possession. the mortgagee bank took five function. reasoning that: for a writ of possession. Espinoza. as purchaser. to the issuance of the writ of possession. while purchaser in an extrajudicial foreclosure is merely a ministerial in Barican. Instead. Court[77] and Cometa v. who shall execute said order assumption of mortgage even before the purchaser could register immediately. Intermediate Appellate Court. UOB. order that a writ of possession issue. and the court shall. attended herein so as to place the instant case in the same stature as that charged with having acted without jurisdiction or with grave of Cometa and Barican. and in each case the clerk of the court shall.[69] The time-honored precept is that after the consolidation of titles In Cometa. which actually involved in the buyers name. as amended by Act Numbered Twenty-eight hundred possession in favor of the purchaser in the auction sale and sixty-six. Also.[78] two cases the law also in express terms directs the court to issue the order which are exemptions to the stated rule.[71] The writ of possession issues as a matter of course years from the time of foreclosure before filing the petition for the issuance of writ of upon the filing of the proper motion and the approval of the possession. thus.[73] To accentuate the writs ministerial in Vaca v. . upon the filing of such in Barican v. Court of Appeals is on all fours with the present petition. In Vaca.[70] Its issuance to a properties were sold at the public auction at an unusually lower price. the execution of judgment for the prevailing party in a damages suit. the ruling abuse of discretion. collect the fees specified in them. is entitled as a matter of right. existing law. the instant case does not even come close to the cited paragraph eleven of section one hundred and fourteen of Act Numbered Four case. nor judgment. the auction buyer therein This provision of law authorizes the purchaser in a unreasonably deferred to exercise its right to acquire possession foreclosure sale to apply for a writ of possession during the over the property. in Fernandez v. the Court deemed it inequitable to issue a writ of Hundred and ninety-six. These circumstances are not present in the instant case. Similarly.[74] absolute right. We have considered these equitable and peculiar circumstances corresponding bond.

. January 25... 2004. On June 3. Durawood prayed for the sum of P665... 94479 dated WHEREFORE. On June 16... A Notice of Levy on Attachment was annotated in TCT No. which was docketed as Civil Case No.50 as payment LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.. Leyva) levied on a 344-square meter parcel of land in Richdale x. and On June 14.. BERSAMIN. Antipolo City covered by Transfer Certificate of Title -x (TCT) No... R-17571s Memorandum of Encumbrances on the same day. 2007 and its Resolution[2] dated September 18... Leyva (Sheriff Respondent..R. Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Sheriff Rolando C. Durawoods prayer for the issuance of a writ of attachment. for construction materials delivered to LBB Construction. premises considered. .. petitioner Durawood Construction and Lumber Supply. Leticia Barber (Barber) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of CORONA.. Inc. 179884 AND LUMBER SUPPLY. DECISION Just as in Fernandez. 2004... 2004. 04- Chairperson. 2000 is SET ASIDE SO ORDERED.. 2007.. In said suit. the corresponding writ was issued.. 7240. is hereby GRANTED.. this Court does not see any compelling reason to veer away from the established rule.: committed reversible error in ruling that the annotation of NHAs sheriffs certificate of sale on the duplicate certificates of title was not effective registration and in holding that respondents This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the redemption period had not expired. INC. Development Corporation (LBB Construction) and its president Present: Petitioner. In fine..R. C.... JR. R-17571 in the name of LBB Construction. the RTC issued an Order granting VILLARAMA.- Subdivision......versus .J.......385... The Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 27. the instant petition April 18. (Durawood) filed an action for sum of money plus damages with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against LBB Construction and DURAWOOD CONSTRUCTION G. 2012 On June 17.... No. BONA. JJ....... 2004. DEL CASTILLO. June 17. . 2004. SP No.. Promulgated: CANDICE S. Antipolo. J.. this Court finds that the Court of Appeals LEONARDO-DE CASTRO..

the RTC issued an Order granting Durawood discovered the cancellation of TCT No.[5] According to a certification of the Land rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants.Candice asserted that the sale is the subject of Entry No. since Atty.[6] it was a certain Atty. Durawood was allowed to 2004. Bona. respondent Candice S. Glenda May amount due to the plaintiff S. R-17571 and On July 21. R-22522 in the name of Candice and her co- Case No. On not a title in Candice and her co-owners names. 2004. in view of the was antedated. judgment is of Malabon on said date. through a Deed of by way of attorneys fees. 2005. Diane Sheila S. her Third Party Claim addressed to Sheriff Leyva. The parties.[4] the Registry of Deeds of Antipolo City. Rutaquio). 2004. however. To pay the costs of suit. Bona. It would appear from the records that on June 16. but failed to attend the scheduled hearings. R-17571. 30549 dated June 16. . Candice claimed therein that she is a co-owner of the property covered by TCT No. Rutaquio was still the Register of Deeds foregoing consideration. 30590 dated June 17. 2005. On November 15.385. 04-7240. and The Decision became final and executory. Fifty Centavos (P665. the RTC issued a Writ of Execution. Durawood filed a Motion for the Issuance of a Writ of Execution. while the levy on attachment is only Entry No. Bona and Johann Louie Sebastian S. 2004 in the books of 3. Ordering the defendants to that LBB Construction had sold the property to her and her pay plaintiff twenty-five percent (25%) of the siblings. R-17571. 04. September 12. including the pre-trial. R-22522 in the name of Candice and her LBB Construction and Barber filed their Answer in Civil siblings. do not dispute that said the Decision reads: cancellation of the old TCT and issuance of the new one WHEREFORE. viz: Registration Authority. 2004 Intervention. Bona (Candice) Eighty[-]Five Pesos and filed a Motion seeking leave to intervene in Civil Case No. A. Randy present its evidence ex parte. 2005. Michael Angelo S. Ordering the defendants to pay plaintiff the sum of Six Hundred Sixty[-]Five Thousand Three Hundred On July 13. What was attached to the Motion was a copy of TCT No. Bona. and Absolute Sale dated June 2. Case No. Atty. 2004. 1. The dispositive portion of owners.50) plus two 7240. and up to the present. R-17571 and the Candices Motion to Intervene. 2004. Edgar D. 2004. the RTC rendered its Decision[3] in Civil issued TCT No. She alleged 2. Rutaquio (Atty. cancelled TCT No. It was when this Writ was about to be enforced that On August 11. a copy of TCT No. Santos) who was the Acting Register of Deeds of Antipolo City on June 16. Consequently. R-17571. Attached to said Motion was Candices Answer in percent (2%) interest per month from May 11. Santos (Atty. issuance of TCT No. the supposed Register of Deeds of Antipolo City. 04-7240 in favor of Durawood.

Bonas lawyer. Rutaquio in TCT No. While the Deed of Sale annotated in TCT No. 2004. plaintiff corporation was issued a inscribing the Notice of Levy on Attachment certification by LRA Human Resource despite the absence of a court order Management Officer IV Loreto I. R-17571 appears to sale was entered in the Primary Entry Book prior to the Levy on have been made on June 16. Hernando U. Santos as Absolute Sale was inscribed ahead of the Acting Register of Deeds and was therefore already clothed with notice of levy on attachment if ever such sale was made on June 16. Randy A. R- Deeds of Antipolo City. 2004. Rutaquio who. The levy on attachment was Candice Bona sometime in July 2004. R-22522 was already Atty. Orense dissolving the writ of Preliminary that Atty. was not the Register of unauthorized acts of cancelling TCT No. there was never any mention of any recording not inscribed on TCT No. 2004.. Ulep (Administrator Ulep) consulting between LBB Construction and the Bonas was made to appear to have been recorded the latter as regards the registration of the Deed of Absolute Sale a day before the attachment. 1-30. R-22522 was made by Atty. the authority to issue and sign TCT No. 8. Santos was the Acting Attachment constitute improper conduct Register of Deeds of Antipolo City from June tending to directly or indirectly to impede. examiners and it just so happened that the examiner to whom the levy on attachment was assigned was able to inscribe the memorandum ahead of the sale. and the Durawood filed a Motion to Reinstate Notice of Levy on Bonas. Randy A. obstruct or degrade the administration of justice. Edgar D. The cancellation of TCT No. Atty. Thus. although the inscription of the 7. Rutaquio filed a Manifestation alleging that the 6. under the 2004 from Atty. The cancellation of TCT No. R- 17571 and the issuance of TCT No. 2004. R-22522 despite the fact that there was no order coming from this for Contempt[7] on the following grounds: Honorable Court dissolving the Writ of Preliminary Attachment dated June 16. R-22522 and Cite Atty. R- 17571 ahead and before of the Deed of Sale between LBB Construction Co. 2004. Inc. the fact of its inscription was made after that of the Attachment.[9] In said letter received by the LRA on July 1. R-17571. plaintiff corporation cannot help speculate that [the] Deed of Sale Administrator Benedicto B. 9. While the Notice of Levy on Attachment was inscribed in TCT No. the said notice was not carried over Attachment in TCT No. Atty. Santos to Land Registration Authority (LRA) circumstances. Rutaquio also submitted a letter dated June 25. The records of this case reveal that in the Third Party Claim filed by sale was entered ahead of the levy. and the Notice of Levy on Attachment. Randy Rutaquios on June 2004. R-22522 without fact. R- Memorandum of Encumbrances in TCT No. It is difficult to comprehend that 17571 and the issuance of TCT No.[8] Atty. would miss mentioning that a Deed of completed when he took over the position of Atty. R-22522. The two transactions were assigned to different levy on attachment as it obviously appears below and next to it. 5. Santos stated that he had not acted . Salvador. As evidence of such 17571 and issuing TCT No. R-22522 because allegedly the sale about a Deed of Absolute Sale in the should have priority and preference. 10.

R-22522 the Notice of Levy on Construction in favor of the Bonas without leaving sufficient Attachment in favor of Durawood. 2006. 2004. In the meantime. Rutaquio dated June 16.90 with Durawood being . 2006. complied with the March 6. therein having been made without order of this Court.Administrator Ulep stated that since the Deed of Sale was considered registered on June 16. property to pay its obligation is considered by law in fraud of creditor under Articles 1381[13] and 1387[14] of the Civil Code. the alienation of LBB RTC by reinstating in TCT No. The Register of Deeds of on the Deed of Absolute Sale since the required registration fees Antipolo City is directed to reinstate the notice of levy on attachment in TCT No. In said Order. the RTC highlighted its observation that in TCT No. Jr. 2004. when Atty. the new Acting Register of Deeds transactions with the Registry of Deeds of Antipolo City at the Jose S. The dispositive portion of the March 2. 2004 was Rutaquio for contempt. sufficient proof of the irregularity of the is hereby GRANTED its non-inscription June 16. of the levy on attachment by Atty. On April 7. 2004 inscription of the Deed of Sale. Santos dated June 17. Sheriff Leyva Acting on the Motion to Reinstate Notice of Levy on issued a Notice of Sheriffs Sale setting the sale of the property Attachment in TCT No. R- 22522 now in the name of the intervenors from June 1 to 30. the RTC issued an Order[12] dated March 2.[15] the Acting Register of Deeds. R-22522 and Cite Atty. 2004. the instant motion to reinstate that Atty. Santos was the only person authorized to sign and approve all the On March 8.727. Rutaquio was already immediately upon receipt of this Order. in page A (the dorsal portion) of the title. and held that this proves the fact that Atty. Santos was the Acting Register of Deeds Being Premature. Moreover. R-17571. The RTC found this fact. the RTC issued an Order denying Candices Motion for Reconsideration. premises considered. March 29.[10] Administrator Ulep was able to reply to 22522 in the names of intervenors said letter on October 6. The RTC gave great weight to the Execution. Sheriff Leyva sold the subject property at public auction for P1. R-22522 at public auction on April 11. 2005 Writ of ruling in favor of Durawood.[11] above Order. the same shall take precedence over the Notice of Levy on Attachment Candice filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the registered on June 17. Candice filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Order the certification by LRA Human Resource Management Officer IV Branch Sheriff to Desist from the Sale of Intervenors Property for Loreto I.. 2006. on March 13. according to the RTC. Orense that Atty. 2004 was found in page B (a separate page) of the title. On April 11. 2006 at for Contempt. 2006. Loriega. Rutaquio covered by TCT No. 2006.m. R- were not paid therefor. 2004. as well as the above-mentioned certification WHEREFORE. pursuant to the November 15. Randy A. 10:00 a. 2006 Order of the time. the inscription The RTC did not rule on Durawoods prayer to cite Atty. which was granted by the RTC in an Order dated from June 1-30. Santos was the Acting Register of Deeds of Antipolo City notice of levy on attachment in TCT No. 2006. 2004. while the supposedly 2006 Order reads: earlier inscription of the Deed of Sale by Atty.259.

the assailed Orders of public respondent judge ordering the reinstatement of the subject notice of levy . According to the Court June 17. changed.[16] It has been brought to the attention of this Registration that. once registered. The sale was inscribed in TCT No. Finally.[17] Book (also referred to in other cases as the day book) that establishes the order of reception of instruments affecting The Court of Appeals accepted Atty. although made after the inscription of the levy on Atty. in some Registries. R-17571. Santos. the entry in the manifestation that he signed TCT No. modified.[18] Appeals held that there was substantial compliance with the The dispositive portion of the Decision reads: National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration WHEREFORE. and issued the corresponding Certificate of 94 on Certificates of title and documents left unsigned by former Sale. It is the registration in the Primary Entry date and time of signing enclosed in parenthesis below his signature. the sequence of presentation of the entries in the TCT transcriptions and inscriptions. there are certificates of title with Candice filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition the full transcriptions and inscriptions. altered. In such cases and to resolve assailed Decision in favor of Candice. Rutaquio to affix the date when he signed the attachment. According to the Court of this problem. the name retroacts to the date of entry in the Primary Entry Book. 2007. without changing or altering the Appeals. 2004. cannot anymore be signed by the On April 18. the Court of same. the present Register of Deeds may. retroacts to the earlier date of entry in the Primary document. the date and the name of 7. 2004. Candice cannot be made to suffer for the failure of No. R-22522 on the same Register of Deeds. 2006 and April including the volume and page numbers. 2006 Orders of the RTC. now the Land Registration Authority [LRA]) Circular No. foregoing.Since the entry in the Primary Entry Book was made before the inscription of the Deed of Sale on said title) was made at the time of the incumbency of Atty. Furthermore. R. an action for rescission of contracts entered into in fraud of As regards the issuance by Atty. the inscription of the Deed of Sale on TCT of Appeals. for some reasons. Rutaquio. creditors cannot be instituted except when the party suffering 22522 on June 16. enlarged or diminished except in a direct proceeding permitted by law. for Certiorari and Prohibition assailing the March 2. which provides: date. 2004 despite the fact that he was not yet the damage has no other legal means to obtain reparation for the Register of Deeds of Antipolo City at that time. Rutaquios registered land. the title number. already typewritten thereon but which. affix his signature below the name of the former cannot control the determination of the rights of the claimants Register of Deeds but placing the actual over a disputed property. 2004. the former Register of Deeds. cannot be impugned. However. the Court of Appeals rendered the former official. Rutaquio of TCT No. in view of the (NALTDRA. R-17571 (which Deeds of Antipolo City. As explained by Atty. Entry Book. R-22522 subsequent to June day book is only the preliminary step in the registration. on a date when he was already the Acting Register of inscription of the levy on attachment on TCT No. which is June 16. which is of the latter still appears on the document.the lone bidder. a certificate of title. The 16.

Grave abuse of discretion signifies REGISTRATION OF THE DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE ON JUNE 16. R-22522 HAS ALREADY BEEN declared null and void. ENTRIES IN TCT NO. RANDY contemplation of law. presentation of the entries in TCT No. Durawood filed the instant Petition for Review. 1529 which provides that: THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO CONSIDER THAT THE SEC. such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment that is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 2006 and April 7. he shall enter. EVIDENCES OF THE FACTS STATED THEREIN. The abuse of discretion must be II. on attachment in TCT No. all instruments including copies of writs and processes filed with him relating to IV. Primary Entry Book. note in such book the date. 2007. BONA of discretion in the RTCs order to reinstate the notice of levy on AND HER SIBLINGS DID NOT COMPLETE THE attachment in TCT No. 94 WAS NOT COMPLIED WITH BY ATTY. R-22522 are THE COURT OF APPEALS OVERLOOKED THE hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. grave as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. He shall. R-17571. R-22522) ARE shall keep a primary entry book in which. Each Register of Deeds PREDECESSOR OF TCT NO. certified copies. upon payment of the entry fee. R-17571 AND SUBSEQUENTLY carried out pursuant to said levy is also BY TCT NO. with All these allegations are specific matters to be resolved the following Assignment of Errors: by this Court in determining the overriding issue of the case at bar: whether the Court of Appeals correctly granted Candices Petition for Certiorariand Prohibition on its finding that the RTC I. in the order of their reception. the public auction sale BY TCT NO.[21] RUTAQUIO. registered land. relied on Section 56 of Presidential Decree No. the main issue to be THE COURT OF APPEALS IGNORED THE FACT determined by this Court is whether or not there was grave abuse THAT NON-PAYMENT OF THE REQUIRED REGISTRATION FEES BY CANDICE S. committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing its March 2. In other words. 56. 2004. The Court of Appeals. R-17571 (THE fees. As a FACT THAT THE REAL PROPERTY COVERED result thereof. hour and minute of reception of . as a preliminary process in registration.[19] ATTACHED BUT WAS UNILATERALLY RELEASED FROM THE COURTS JURISDICTION BY A USURPER. but the same was denied by the Court of Appeals in its Resolution dated September 18.[20] Durawood filed a Motion for Reconsideration. 2006 Orders. and must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT DISREGARDED THE FACT THAT a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined by or to act all in NALTDRA CIRCULAR NO. R-22522. in considering the date of entry in the day book of the Registry of Deeds as controlling over the III.

when made on the certificate of title to which it refers. upon in the fairly recent cases of Autocorp Group v. Each register of deeds Philippines v. the Land Registration Act[29] which provides: Bass. (Emphasis supplied. certain requirements have instrument is later made on the certificate of title to which it to be met. They shall be regarded as . R-17571 earlier than the Deed of Sale. R.[22] Potenciano v. above section is two-fold: (1) in determining the date in which an instrument is considered registered.[23] and Development Bank of the Sec. a close reading of the above-mentioned cases reveals that for the entry of instruments in the Primary Entry the time of the reception of such instrument as noted in the Primary Entry Book.[27] we upheld the entry of instruments in the Primary Entry such book the year. Basa. 2004 inferior to the registration of the Notice of fees in advance in order to be entitled to entry and registration. Thus. Thus. They shall be regarded as Book to be equivalent to registration despite even the failure to registered from the time so noted. in the old cases of Levin v. all instruments. month. v. Rutaquio correctly placed the date which operates to convey and affect the of entry in the Primary Entry Book as the date of the land? In voluntary registration. 2004 on the ground that the Attachment was annotated on TCT No. 56. we held in Levin that: refers.[25] Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association. such as a sale. which was decided in 1952. the reckoning point is However. this Court has applied Levin. and minute of reception of all instruments in the order in which they were received. it appears that the RTC was in Provided. Court of payment of the filing fee. x x x. if the memorandum of the registration of the deed of sale in TCT No. that the national government as well as the provincial and city governments error when it considered the registration of the Absolute Deed of shall be exempt from the payment of such Sale on June 16. He shall note in Jr. mortgage. the memorandum of each instrument. lease and the like. the Deeds and full payment of registration fees constitute a complete act of registration Court of Appeals held that Atty. he shall enter in the order of their reception all deeds and Appeals. other voluntary instruments. applied Section 56 of the same in several cases. such memorandum shall bear the same date as that of the Do the entry in the day book of a deed of sale which was presented and filed together reception of the instrument as noted in the Primary Entry with the owner's duplicate certificate of title with the office of the Registrar of Book. Pursuant to the second consequence stated above. hour.[28] As regards the first consequence. and all copies of writs or other process filed with him Inc. the annotation in the certificate of title is not determinative of the The consequence of the highlighted portion of the effectivity of the registration of the subject instrument. payment of registration fees be made within 15 days.[24] as well as shall keep an entry book in which. shall bear the same date: Based on this alone. Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija.[26] and National Housing Authority v. owner's duplicate certificate be not surrendered and presented or if no 17571. As discussed in the above-mentioned cases. and (2) when the memorandum of the Book to be equivalent to registration. Santiago.. entry in the day book of the deed of sale does not operate to convey and affect the land sold. Dineros.) Levy on Attachment on June 17. relating to registered land. in the order in which they were received. day. and annotate said instruments in the corresponding certificates of title.

however. in the order in which they substantial compliance with the law.) deeds. registration. certified copies. petitioners refers. Court of Appeals. there is still a need to This provision is the precursor of the aforequoted comply with all that is required for entry and registration. whether the transaction and in case said fee is not paid within the entered is a voluntary or an involuntary time above mentioned. We find the petition bereft of merit. 1529 and modified the or memorandum on a certificate of title shall be made unless the fees prescribed doctrine as follows: therefor by this Act are paid within fifteen days' time after the date of the registration Current doctrine thus seems to of the deed. (Emphasis supplied. which seems to have including the payment of the prescribed fees. considering the irregularities present in the conduct of the extrajudicial exempt from the payment of such fees in advance in order to be entitled to entry and foreclosure x x x. conclude that the order of the trial court that the national government as well as the issuing a writ of preliminary injunction was provincial and city governments shall be proper. That the with all that is required of him for Insular Government and the provincial and purposes of entry and annotation. instrument. and the memorandum of each instrument when In Development Bank of the Philippines v. which was reiterated in National Housing Authority v. Allegedly. such entry shall be one. were received. 56. He shall.. Petitioners claim that the ruling in DBP vs. when made on the certificate of title to which it was no valid registration. upon payment of the entry fee. They shall be regarded as registered from the time so noted. annotation. so long as the registrant has complied null and void: Provided further. fees. order or be that entry alone produces the effect of document in the entry book or day book. and municipal governments need not pay such nothing more remains to be done but a fees in advance in order to be entitled to duty incumbent solely on the register of entry or registration. Primary Entry Book. Thus.[33] this Court compared the date when required fees are not paid: the required fees were paid with the therein assailed writ of preliminary injunction: SEC.[31] This pronouncement.[32] shows that for the entry to be considered to have the effect of registration. Jr. Each Register of Deeds shall keep a primary entry book in which. hour and minute of reception of payment of the entry fee was curative and a all instruments. Basa. as a preliminary Court of Appeals resorted to judicial legislation when it held that the subsequent process in registration. provisions of Presidential Decree No. Provided. 1529. in the order of their reception. registration. Acting made on the certificate of title to which it Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija. shall bear the same date: Provided. in Autocorp dispensed with the provision nullifying the registration if the Group v. the processes filed with him relating to registered land. all payment of the entry fee is a condition sine instruments including copies of writs and qua non before any valid entry can be made in the primary entry book. note in such book the date. registered from the time so noted. he shall Petitioners contend that enter. As there memorandum of each instrument. That no registration. .[30] this Court applied the refers shall bear the same date. and the Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija does not apply to this case. Section 56 of Presidential Decree No.

BENEDICTO B. the date of the letter of Atty. the important fact is that y the entry in the primary entry book was done prior to the issuance of the writ of 0 injunction [on February 15.) 2 0 0 4 ] Records in the case at bar reveal that as of June 25.[34] (Emphases supplied. even if we u consider the entry to have been made l on January 22. court. 1999. and. e c First. The following day.m. The objection as to the e payment of the requisite fees is i unavailing. Given the peculiar L facts of the case.m. 30549. the entry of the instrument the day before. (a photocopy of which is hereto attached as Annex A). which 0 was sought to be registered on 16 June 4 2004 at 11:20 a. In any case. There is no question that the v fees were paid. should not J be invalidated. [ r . e respondent bank paid the requisite entry and registration fees. e R-17571/T-87 registered under the name of LBB Construction and Development 2 Corporation relative to the Deed of 0 Absolute Sale with Entry No. e Respondent bank presented the certificate d of sale to the Office of the Register of Deeds of Cebu City for registration on January 21. b 1999 at 4:30 p. Santos seeking the opinion of HON. but t still. ULEP the LRA as regards the registration of the Deed of Sale and the Administrator Notice of Levy on Attachment. we agree with the Court of R Appeals that the payment of respondent A bank must be deemed to be substantial : compliance with the law. As the cashier had y already left. 1999] by the trial . the required registration fees for This Authority the Deed of Sale has not yet been paid: 2 5 Sir: J u n This has reference to the TCT No. TRO 1 issued on January 25. the Office could not receive the payment for entry and registration fees. albeit belatedly. 2004. the certificate of sale was entered in h the primary entry book.

we are G. 2007 and subdivision of Lot 398. Among other things. (a photocopy of which is hereto attached as Annex B) with Entry No.7chanrobleslaw ASIDE.R. the instant Petition registered in the name of "Neri delos Reyes. Lot 398-B. while Lot 398-E is a road lot. 30590 was filed and annotated against TCT No. 94867.R. alleged that then Municipal Mayor Mario Zuñiga . 2009 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bataan. ET AL. on 17 June 2004 at 11:45 a. which nullified the Joint Decision4 dated August 13. No. and Lot 398-E. were retained by the Municipality pending Neri's payment of his share in the expenses incurred for the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2016 now in a quandary as to what proper steps should be taken. T- the Notice of Levy on Attachment was deemed registered earlier 86275 and registered in the name of "Neri delos Reyes. J. v. 2011 of the Court of Appeals (CA) Since there was still no compliance of all that is in CA-G. 2004. In view of the foregoing. July 27. however. the TCT issued pursuant to the latter should Sometime in 1997. The Decision of the T-209895. T-209894 and for Review on Certiorari is hereby GRANTED. JOINED BY HER that the required registration fees of the HUSBAND. R-22522. This petition is the aftermath of a series of sales transactions entered into by Neri delos Reyes (Neri) over a portion of a 2004 should take precedence over the former. R-17571/T- 87. were left as the remaining portions over which Neri retained absolute title. however. of Sale as of June 25. Bataan contain the annotation of the Attachment. the Municipality of Orani. Lot 398-C. Neri. premises considered. where they continue to its Resolution dated September 18. Lot 398-D.: Before the Court is a petition for review1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the Decision2dated May 26.R. SP No. to be used for the extension of the Municipality's public market. Lots 398-C and 398-D discretion in issuing such Order. only Lots 398-A and 398-B the same should have been dismissed. reason for which the same was not immediately acted upon by the DECISION undersigned. required x x x for purposes of entry and annotation[36] of the Deed Branch 3. it was agreed that upon full In view of the foregoing. with an area of 22. Since the RTC cannot be considered as to have acted in grave abuse of its Lot 398 was subsequently subdivided into 5 lots: Lot 398-A. 2007 are REVERSED and SET remain. Petitioners. It should be noted further THELMA RODRIGUEZ. married to Violeta Lacuata.398 square meters. These were placed under the custody of the Municipal Treasurer. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No."5chanrobleslaw than the Deed of Sale. However.. the Petition for Certiorari assailing pertain to the portions that were sold to the Municipality. married to Violeta Lacuata.m. Neri will surrender the mother title to the Municipality for subdivision of the property on the fact." The owner's duplicate copies of TCT Nos. T-209894 and T-209895 were then respectively issued over Lots 398-A and 398-B and were both WHEREFORE. TCT Nos. in payment of the purchase price. 94479 dated April 18. 2011 and Resolution3 dated October 21. Considering that property formerly identified as Lot 398.6chanrobleslaw Notice of Levy on Attachment in TCT No. 199180.[35] REYES. SPOUSES JAIME SIOSON AND ARMI abovementioned sale was not paid the SIOSON. (Municipality) purchased from Neri an area of about 1. we are constrained to rule that the The Facts registration of the Notice of Levy on Attachment on June 17. CV No. Respondents. a Notice of Levy on Attachment SO ORDERED. we find that the RTC was. acting properly when it ordered the reinstatement of the condition that Neri will equitably share in the expense thereof.7 hectare of Lot 398. Consequently.

docketed SO ORDERED. T-226775.000. the attention of barangay authorities who referred them to the municipal mayor. subjected to a double sale when Neri sold the same property to docketed as Civil Case No. 2001. 7664 into any agreement regarding the utilization of said lot.10At about the same time. it was agreed that Thelma would pay the purchase price in installments from March The respondents also filed a verified answer-in-intervention in 20.243. Thelma is not entitled to any relief. T- 209894. copies of TCT No. defendant Register of Deeds of names. Thelma incorporated in her complaint a copy of that:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary an undated and unnotarized deed of absolute sale allegedly 1) [Thelma] is entitled to the relief of permanent injunction executed by Neri in her favor.12chanrobleslaw commission of any act in derogation of [Thelma's] right of ownership of the lot and did not contest anymore the action of In 2002. and TCT No.20chanrobleslaw On November 12. 7394 (injunction case) contending that they are the to pay P442.9chanrobleslaw present registered owners of Lot 398-A. The said ejectment case is still The RTC concluded that by Neri's admission that he sold the pending. and [TCT] No. owner of Lot 398-A. and cralawlawlibrary Upon the issuance of TCT No. While they admit Thelma's After agreeing to the amount of P1. To WHEREFORE.8chanrobleslaw value having bought Lot 398-A at the time when Thelma's adverse claim was already cancelled. rendered judgment in favor of Thelma. TCT No. The Municipality would then expropriate the The respondents countered that they are innocent purchasers for same from Thelma. 2002. new copies of TCT Nos. Neri executed an affidavit claiming that the owner's [Thelma] in said case. 7394 against the respondents. Thelma the respondents. they have disowned the way of purchase from Neri. Thelma. not only did they acknowledge expressly the acknowledged that Thelma became the owner of Lot 398-A by ownership of [Thelma] of Lot 398-A. 2002. 1997. 2009 7394 against then incumbent mayor Efren Pascual. pursuant to said second deed of sale is likewise declared null and 209895.293. was only able Civil Case No. In support of her claim. Bataan. T-226775 of the Registry of Thelma's adverse claim. and Neri then sold Lot 398-A to Spouses Bataan is ordered to cancel said certificate of title and to reinstate Jaime and Armi Sioson. however. Thousand Pesos (P25. It was legally inexistent for lack of object 1997. void. Neri agreed to the suggestion.22chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary as Civil Case No.13 Two days sale entered into by [Neri] with the [respondents] is hereby after. and accordingly. 2003. the Register of Deeds for the Province of 209895 were issued. witnessed. T- 209895 (covering Lot 398-B) were lost. issued a check for said amount possession is being contested in a separate action for forcible payable to Neri. or on May 10. the second deed of the original copy of TCT No. The filed a Complaint for Injunction docketed as Civil Case No. Bataan. T-209894 in the name of [Neri]. This time. No pronouncement as to costs.000. 1997. dispositive portion of the Joint Decision21 dated August 13.50 as partial payment from After Thelma learned of the second sale of Lot 398-A.23 The RTC further ruled that the contract of sale once again presented a deed of absolute sale executed by Neri in between Neri and the respondents is null and void because it was her favor. the fact that the respondents were able to . exists and is presently in the custody of the Municipal Treasurer of 226775 was thus issued in the respondents' Orani.000. Ruling of the RTC Thelma saw an announcement that a new Orani Common Terminal would be built on Lot 398-A. Agnes Samonte (respondents) . 2002. They 4) [The respondents] are hereby ordered to jointly and severally sought to take actual possession thereof by filling it. Thereupon. Thelma caused the annotation of an adverse claim on TCT No. null and void as the original owner's copy is not lost but actually Consequently. and the Municipality under claim of ownership. however. petitioner Thelma Rodriguez (Thelma). Insofar as defendants [Mayor Pascual] and the [Municipality] are In their joint verified answer.16chanrobleslaw Bataan is directed to cancel said new owner's copy of [TCT] No. T. T-209894 and T. 7394 and Civil Case No. T-226775 on February 11.18chanrobleslaw certain.17chanrobleslaw subject lot to Thelma for a consideration of P1. the respondents filed a forcible entry case against Thelma before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Orani-Samal. Spouses Joan and Joseph Camacho. the respondents declared Lot 398-A for tax purposes and paid them accordingly. she filed the latter. 7664. The respondents brought the matter to in fact and in law. married to [Violeta].50. pay to [Thelma] attorney's fees in the amount of Twenty[-]Five after they filled said lot with about 40 truckloads of soil/fillings. Lot 398-A was of the Second Sale and TCT No. and as such. T-209894 on May 8. judgment is hereby rendered declaring support her claim.293. Mayor Pascual and the Municipality concerned.suggested that he sell Lot 398-A to his aunt. T-209894 and T. 7664 is concerned.00 as the selling price. the transaction between Thelma and Neri should be against the respondents a complaint for the Declaration of Nullity regarded as an executed contract of sale. possession of the subject property. T-209894 was cancelled. T-209894 is hereby declared delos Reyes (Violeta) in favor of Neri for the purpose. however. which was annotated on 2) Insofar as Civil Case No. and his acknowledgement receipt of P442. T-209894. qualify that Thelma.243.15 Thereafter. the deed of sale she presented was duly transacted and executed at the time when Neri was no longer the signed by her and Neri. As the municipal mayor did not take any action. A special power of attorney was executed by Violeta 3) The new owner's copy of [TCT] No. Neri caused the cancellation of declared null and void. and [TCT] No. on March 20. Thelma sent two armed blue guards who entered the premises All counterclaims of [the respondents] are denied for lack of basis and set up a tent therein. When it fell due. 1997 to September 4.19chanrobleslaw available to cover the check. Consequently. Thelma and after trial.in a deed of sale dated November 27. As she has not yet entered The RTC jointly heard Civil Case No. Jr. 843.00). In consequence.00. (Mayor reads:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary Pascual). notarized and dated April 10. T-209894 (covering Lot 398-A) and TCT No. Hence.14 Neri also caused the reconstitution of Deeds of Bataan which was issued by defendant Register of Deeds new owner's copies of TCT Nos. no sufficient funds were entry. they.11chanrobleslaw prayed for in Civil Case No.

T-226775 should The resolution of this case basically rests on the determination of be cancelled. Though identically worded. contract was a mere promise to sell the land or at most an actual assignment of the right to repurchase the same Ruling of the CA land. correctly found that it was a mere wife. there exist two deeds of SO ORDERED. A review of this case shows that the CA ruled in accord with existing jurisprudence.27 (Emphasis in the original) absolute sale. T-209894 in the name of [Neri]. (3) declared null and void the [TCT] No.50 as partial payment the [RTC] of Bataan are hereby declared NULL and VOID insofar as from the latter. the CA found that the undated. Hence. actual possession of the subject property. T-209894. the transaction between Thelma and Neri should it (1) granted permanent injunction in favor of [Thelma] in Civil be regarded as an executed contract of sale. the CA concluded that Thelma admitted on [TCT] No. there was a sale to one party of the land itself while the other they elevated their case to the CA.293. According to the CA:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary property. TCT No. the CA promulgated the assailed Both the RTC and the CA concur in the finding that Neri agreed to Decision. and dated August 13. and (5) ordered the payment of attorney's On the other hand. insofar as the object of the transaction is a conjugal contract to sell. the execution of the "deed of absolute sale" dated August Violeta's consent or conformity.31chanrobleslaw On May 26. Violeta. and (2) the two contracts of sale.243. was Hence this petition. which was and unnotarized deed of sale served only as a "receipt" which was denied for lack of merit in Resolution28 dated October 21. 398-A were conditioned upon full payment Thelma's notice of adverse claim in TCT No. T-226775 and sale. the following are hereby declared VALID: (1) the payment of the purchase price. 1997. 7394 and 7664 are hereby DISMISSED.24chanrobleslaw whether the transaction between Neri and Thelma is a contract of sale or a contract to sell. signed by Lot 93 8-A. "The real character of the contract is not the title given. 7394 against [the respondents].26 with the following dispositive sell Lot 398-A to Thelma for an agreed price of P1. hence. 7394 for Injunction. the CA ruled that "the contract between fees. Forty-Two Thousand Two Hundred Ninety-Three and 50/100 Pesos (P442. signed by Neri when the latter received the downpayment for the lot. and was presented in Civil Case No. 7664.00. The portion:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary RTC.35 while the second deed was sell and not a contract of sale.T2) declared null and executory one. on the other hand.36chanrobleslaw concept of a "buyer in good faith" finds relevance only in cases of double sale.000.30 does not apply to a case where the RTC per Order25cralawred dated January 13.50). however. The Complaints in Civil Cases Nos. 2011. not notarized. married to [Violeta]. contract as indicative of the nature of their agreement as one of 226775. the CA took note of these two documents. and not a merely Case No. and was presented in contract between Neri and Thelma was a mere contract to Civil Case No. 7664 the respondents are buyers in good faith is unavailing since the for Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale and Title. the first contract was Contrary to the findings of the RTC. the transfer of ownership over Lot 398-A being conditioned on Thelma's full Consequently. The RTC likewise took into consideration Thelma's void the deed of sale between [Neri] and [the respondents] in alleged possession of the property and Neri's failure to rescind the Civil Case No. (2) by declaring the deed of sale in favor of Thelma as null and void due to lack of Second.register their acquisition first is of no moment. 2009 and the Order dated January 13. The CA further stated that even if it is assumed that In determining the nature of the agreement between Thelma and the contract between Neri and Thelma was an absolute contract Neri. 1997.32chanrobleslaw reinstatement of [TCT] No. The dated and notarized deed of sale. Thelma and Neri was a mere contract to sell. as provided in The respondents moved for reconsideration but it was denied by Article 1544 of the Civil Code. According to the CA."33 As regards the existence of the Deed of Sale between [Neri] and [the respondents].000. trial that the first deed of sale was only meant to be an acknowledgment receipt for the down payment she made on the This Decision is without prejudice to any right which [Thelma] may subject lot.243. 1997 and the transfer and delivery of the title to Thelma's respondents as buyers in good faith despite prior registration of name covering Lot No. concluded that by Neri's admission that he sold the WHEREFORE. Thelma explained the apparent disparity between the two (2) "deeds of absolute sale" by testifying that the undated Thelma moved for reconsideration of the CA decision. but the intention of the parties. there was no double sale of dated April 10. T. the instant Appeal is GRANTED. signed by both Thelma and Neri upon Thelma's alleged full payment of the purchase price: Thelma argues that there was double sale and the CA erred in reversing the RTC decision: (1) by interpreting the sale between chanRoblesvirtualLawlibraryx x x x Thelma and Neri as a mere contract to sell. notarized on September 5. the question of whether or not both Neri and Thelma. coupled with of sale. 7664 was signed by her. and. (4) ordered the cancellation of [TCT] No. 2010 of that he acknowledged receipt of P442. 1997 and which was attached to Thelma's complaint in Civil Case Ruling of the Court No. T-226775 in the names of [the respondents]. 2011.00. The rule on double sale. signed only by Neri. and (3) by declaring the 10. and the second deed of sale was allegedly executed have against [Neri] for the refund of the amount of Four Hundred after Thelma pays in full the purchase price of the lot. the same is nonetheless void for lack of consent of Neri's Thelma's own admissions. Neri and their witnesses only upon . and her of the purchase price. Registration does not legitimize a void contract and thus. The Joint Decision subject lot to Thelma for a consideration of P1. During trial.29chanrobleslaw Thelma testified that the "deed of absolute sale" dated August 10."34 In this case.293. 2010.

. 2011 and Resolution dated October made the following findings: (1) the consideration for Lot 398-A 21."45chanrobleslaw Accordingly."46chanrobleslaw . the absence of Violeta's consent should be held as among the factors circumstances tend to show that Neri agreed to sell the subject which could have adversely affected the validity of the purported property to Thelma on the condition that title and ownership contract of sale between Neri and Thelma. consequently. is purchase price. and that she was only able to pay P442. Thelma cannot claim ownership over Lot 398-A and Neri is not legally proscribed from alienating the same lot to other buyers. however. the transfer of ownership over Lot 398-A being conditioned on Thelma's full payment of the purchase price. (3) the agreement was that the check would only be held by Neri for safekeeping as it was yet SO ORDERED. This is due to the would pass or be transferred upon the full payment of the following reasons: first. while the CA correctly ruled that the agreement was a the deed of absolute sale only at the time when Thelma had fully contract to sell. binds himself to sell the registration is determinative of the property's nature as property exclusively to the prospective buyer upon fulfillment of paraphemal. Tan.243. 1997.41 There is. are not conclusive evidence of ownership of real property.40chanrobleslaw To bolster her claim. does not share its position paid the same: x x x37 (Italics ours and emphasis deleted) that the subject property is a conjugal property.00. (4) the check was not covered by sufficient funds when presented for payment. what is extant from the records is that Thelma paid taxes on the property for the years 2000 and 2001. the subject property. the tax receipts showed that the property was still declared in the name of Neri. "But tax declarations. Thelma further testified that she and Neri agreed to place the amount of the purchase price on Finally. while Lacuata.43chanrobleslaw Moreover. Thus. is irrelevant considering that in a contract to sell. 94867 was P1. so Thelma subsequently paid Neri in installments starting from March 20. CV No. 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. for said amount. unsure if there was ample funds to cover the check. There was no testimony or any proof on her part showing when and how she took possession of the property. 1997 are AFFIRMED. Lot 398. Aguado. in fact.full payment of the purchase price. (2) Thelma issued a check on March 20. 1997 to September 4."38 As stated by the Court. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.293.50. the presumption under Article 116 of the purchase price. At best. the CA did not commit any reversible error in concluding that "the contract between Thelma and Neri was a mere contract to sell. in Roque v. even if true. Thelma insists that she now holds title over the subject property after Neri allegedly delivered the subject lot to her right after the execution of the sale. they "cannot validly claim ownership over the subject portion even if they had made an initial payment and even took possession of the same. and (5) Neri acknowledged receipt from Thelma the total amount of P442. The RTC.47 it was held that such form of thereof to the prospective buyer. That the only import of the title is that Neri is the the condition agreed upon. i." and so was its mother lot. the record is of sale upon full payment of the purchase price "shows that the bereft of proof that said property was acquired during Neri and vendors reserved title to the subject property until full payment Violeta's marriage . and that he is married to Violeta. nothing on record to support this claim aside from her bare assertions.such that. the Despite the denomination of their agreement as one of sale. the Court. the Decision dated May 26. the condition which would have triggered the parties' obligation to enter into and thereby perfect a contract of sale cannot be deemed to have been fulfilled. Lot 398-A. Accordingly. of the agreed selling price of P1. This is the very nature of a contract to sell. payable to Neri.000. and as such. it being registered in his name price."39chanrobleslaw of the Family Code that properties acquired during the marriage are presumed to be conjugal cannot apply. which registered in the name of "Neri delos Reyes. which was three years after the alleged sale. ownership is retained by the registered owner in spite of the partial payment of the purchase price and delivery of possession of the property. Having failed to pay the purchase price in full.50 WHEREFORE. married to Violeta is a "bilateral contract whereby the prospective seller.243.R.293. the agreement to execute a deed alone. In Metropolitan Bank expressly reserving the ownership of the property despite delivery and Trust Company v. and second."42 Aside from this. the full payment of the purchase owner of the subject property. It was likewise established that Thelma was not able to pay the full purchase price. the alleged delivery of the property.e. however.44 the Court ruled that since the petitioners have not paid the final installment of the purchase price.000. by themselves.00.

On July 10.[14] A reconstituted title located at Suba-basbas.... de praying that the Decision[3] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Melencion. Juana Bonghanoy- .. Veneranda Amodia.... the title thereto was lost during the Second World War. The entire Respondents.777 square meters covered by Transfer RO-2899 was issued in the name of Esteban Bonghanoy[15] and. the Amodias allegedly executed an Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale[10] whereby they extra-judicially settled the estate of Esteban Bonghanoy and conveyed the subject property to respondent Aznar Brothers x. Lapu-Lapu City.. No... 148846 Petitioners. dated February 18. a derivative title (TCT No.... Certificate of Title (TCT) No.. The subject property is a 30. and Eutiquio Amodia[8] (the Amodias)....... Marigondon.. Felipe Amodia and Eutiquio of Lapu-Lapu City. pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No... 2001 and On February 18.. subsequently. AZNAR made some Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] under improvements and constructed a beach house thereon. 1993. Amodia.R.versus - Amodia..[13]conveying the subject property in favor of Go Kim Chuan for and in consideration of P70. property was brought under the operation of the Torrens System.. petitioners Cecilia Amodia Vda.. VENERANDA AMODIA.[9] However.. Felipe HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and AZNAR BROTHERS REALTY COMPANY... 20626) was issued in the .. The entire property was originally owned by Esteban Bonghanoy[6] who had only one child.. and particularly designated as Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. EUTIQUIO AMODIA and GO KIM CHUAN... J.. Realty Company (AZNAR) for a consideration of P10.. 3368. 1964. be upheld. FELIPE AMODIA.351 square meter parcel of land The lost title covering the subject property was reconstituted (subject property) particularly denominated as Lot No.. de Melencion. 26.00.200..00.. Veneranda Amodia. 1989... the said Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate DECISION with Deed of Absolute Sale was registered under Act 3344[11] as there was no title on file at the Register of Deeds of Lapu-Lapu NACHURA. -x On August 10.. G. DE MELENCION..[5] CECILIA AMODIA VDA.. Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision[2] dated March 30.000.: City (Register of Deeds)..[7] mother of the late Leoncia Amodia and petitioners Cecilia Amodia Vda.... Thereafter. 20626[4] (entire property) in the name of the late petitioner Go Kim Chuan (Go Kim Chuan). part of a total area of 30. Amodia[12] (petitioners Amodias) executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial The Facts Settlement with Absolute Sale. 1964.. Cebu.

Because petitioners did not heed AZNAR's demand.[19] Trial on the merits ensued. Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale.[20] Sale dated Fe . latter. AZNAR wrote a letter[16] to petitioners executed by the Amodias in favor of AZNAR was registered ahead Amodias asking the latter to withdraw and/or nullify the sale of the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement with Absolute Sale in entered into between them and Go Kim Chuan. the CA rendered a Decision holding that the owner. 2254-L is executed in favor of AZNAR were found by the document hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is hereby entered as follows: examiner of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) Crime Laboratory to (1) Declaring plaintiff- be forged. the latter should have No. 1993. Moreover. thus. 1990. AZNAR appealed the RTC Decision to the CA. AZNAR filed a case against petitioners Amodias execution of the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement with Absolute and Go Kim Chuan for Annulment of Sale and Cancellation of TCT Sale in favor of Go Kim Chuan. Thereafter. Deed of Extra- judicial Settlement with Absolute Aggrieved. the former deed should be given preference over the 20626. Branch 27. thus. 20626[18] alleging that the sale to Go Kim Chuan was an invalid respected said adverse claim and should have made inquiries as second sale of the subject property which had earlier been sold to to possible defects that may exist in the title over the subject it. all transactions involving the ny as the real owner of the same should have complied with the said law. On February 18. Civil Code. pursuant to Article 1544 of the New a Notice of Adverse Claim[17] was annotated by AZNAR on TCT No. the The RTC's Decision finding of the document examiner was insufficient for the RTC to rule in favor of the petitioners. The CA disposed of the case in this wise: WHEREFORE. and that in the absence of a final determination by a Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale in favor court of proper jurisdiction of AZNAR. the RTC land in question. the assailed decision dated February 18. hence. that AZNAR's adverse claim was annotated earlier than the on April 25. in Civil Case No. the subject property had been brought under Brothers Realty Compa the Land Registration Act. the said deed did not convey anything in favor of appellant Aznar AZNAR. favor of Go Kim Chuan. claiming that their purported signatures thereon were on the alleged forged signatures of the Amodias in the Extra- forged.name of Go Kim Chuan on December 1. 2001. premises The RTC ratiocinated that the signatures of the Amodias in the considered. property. the RTC dismissed AZNAR's complaint and declared Go Kim Chuan as the real owner of the subject property. 1989. 1990. hence. Finally. Petitioners Amodias denied that they executed the Extra. Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale On February 14. On the same date. 1993 of the Regional Trial Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale Court of Lapu-Lapu City. Go Kim Chuan exercised control and dominion over the subject property The CA's Decision in an adverse and continuous manner and in the concept of an On March 30. held that AZNAR failed to show that Go Kim Chuan acquired the (2) Declaring both the subject property in bad faith.

the latter had purchased the Certificate of said land in good faith and for value. on the Transfer contrary. daughter of the late Go SO ORDERED. Veneranda A. 2001. 2001. she has personal I knowledge of the truth of the facts alleged in the Petition. thus. Cecilia provision of Article 1544 of the New Civil Amodia. this Petition based on the following grounds: of the late Go Kim Chuan and.[26] and that the same No costs. ruling that the court a quo committed appellant the error in appreciating the testimony of an possession of expert witness as to the forgery of the the land in first Deed of Sale. Certification of Non-Forum Shopping and since the same are required simply to facilitate and promote the orderly II . that the Petition is dismissible because the the subject property to Verification and Certification of Non-forum Shopping were not the said plaintiff. 2001. signed by all the petitioners. Lot 3368 was already a registered land Petitioners submitted that they substantially complied with the under Act 496. petitioners contended that April Socorro Go is one of the legitimate children and an heir Hence. and as NULL AND VOID. IV (3) Ordering Go Kim Chuan to The Court of Appeals has misapplied the deliver to the case of Heirs of Severa Gregorio v. Ibag III and Eustaquio Amodia in The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in favor of Go holding that an adverse claim was already Kim Chuan existing at the time the subject land was and the sold to petitioner Go Kim Chuan. as such. denied in its Resolution[23] dated June 5. were signed only by one April Socorro Go. who did not even appear to be authorized to file the Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration[22] which the CA instant case in behalf of the other petitioners.[24] question and to execute a registrable In its Comment[25] dated September 18. Title No. it is without by Felipe Amo prejudice to better rights and the dia. invoking this Court's Decision in the appellant. Even assuming arguendo that the lot in 1989 execute question was duly registered under Act d 3344 as an unregistered land. CA. AZNAR argued. bruary 1. In their Reply[27] dated October 22. deed of conveyance of among others. Office of the Ombudsman. aforesaid 300 SCRA 565. the registration by respondent of the Deed of Sale in 1964 Rules of Court by attaching the required Verification and under Act 3344 produces no legal effect whatsoever. case of Loquias v.[21] Kim Chuan. cited in support of its plaintiff. Code would be inapplicable. without notice of any fact that would 20626 in the reasonably impel a closer inquiry as to name of Go the possibility of a defect in the vendor's Kim Chuan title.

20626 only on not interposed for delay. and that the doctrine laid down petitioners. 2001. 1989. both the Original Petition and Amended Petition and third persons. and Go Kim Chuan. petitioners Amodias but they did not reply. Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the Amodias in favor of AZNAR claimed that petitioners Amodias were excluded from the was presented before the trial court judge. their respective Memoranda. hence.[30] AZNAR filed its Comment[31] on the Judicial Settlement with Absolute Sale in favor of Go Kim Chuan said motion wherein AZNAR manifested that it had no serious on February 18. through counsel. Cecilia Amodia Vda. However. The counsel also manifested that he was only lost. AZNAR should have availed itself of the remedy of representing the Heirs of Go Kim Chuan in this case. 1544 of the New Civil Code. Felipe Amodia. left with no choice. February 14. as they were parties before the under Act 496 because the title over the subject property was RTC and CA. 1990 after the execution of the Deed of Extra- Per directive of the Court. the original copy of the Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with In their Reply. The counsel claims that after . CA[35] is inapplicable since it referred Amended Petition's admission since the names of the petitioners to a case wherein the original copy of the document under review Amodias were deleted without their written consent. 2002 giving were seeking to correct a defect in the designation of parties and due course to the Petition and requiring the parties to submit prayed that the Heirs of Go Kim Chuan. the CA erred when it held that Go objection to the admission of the Amended Petition if the same Kim Chuan was not a buyer in good faith for supposedly having was intended merely to implead the Heirs of Go Kim Chuan as knowledge of such adverse claim. Daryl Go. Go.[34] petitioners Heirs of Go Kim Chuan impleaded as petitioners instead of the earlier designated reiterate the same issues raised in the Original Petition and the petitioners. They argue that Act 3344 only refers to Amodia. hence.[32] the Heirs of Go Kim Chuan. he reconstitution. Motion[28] for Leave to Admit Amended Petition[29] for Review on Certiorari (Amended Petition). compliance therewith should not be the rendition of the assailed CA Decision. filed the instant case before this On December 19. transactions affecting lands or interests therein not previously Counsel for petitioners admitted that he inadvertently included registered under the Spanish Mortgage Law or under the Torrens the petitioners Amodias in the initial Petition for Review system. may not be used as basis for the uniformly raised the same issues and should be given due course application of Art. that registration under Act 3344 is without legal claimed that other than the substitution of the original effect and could not operate as constructive notice to petitioners petitioners. and April Socorro Go be In their Memorandum. Eutiquio Amodia. that if AZNAR could not have registered the sale in 1964 on Certiorari (Original Petition). Amended Petition because they can no longer be located despite diligent efforts exerted by counsel. the Heirs of Go Kim Chuan. Sonia Beth Go-Reynes. hence. AZNAR interposed strong opposition to the in Heirs of Severa Gregorio v. filed a Court on their own. Petitioners manifested that they The Court issued a Resolution[33] dated September 16. through counsel. petitioners. was not produced in evidence while in the instant case. Lastly. that the Notice of in the greater interest of justice and that the instant Motion was Adverse Claim of AZNAR was annotated on TCT No. Estrella S. de Melencion.administration of justice. Veneranda Amended Petition. namely. he sent several letters to imposed with absolute literalness.

However. that with respect to the issue of forgery. This is because the requirement delete the names of petitioners Amodias because they could no of strict compliance with the provisions merely underscores its mandatory longer be located. signed the verification attached to it. and registered with the Register of Deeds under Act 3344. as in the present case. The Amended Petition for Review on Certiorari in order to implead the rule of substantial compliance may be availed of with respect to the contents of Heirs of the late Go Kim Chuan as the new petitioners and to the certification. Ponferrada[37] is all the petitioners. it could not be said that he examined any requirement is deemed substantially certificate of title and could feign ignorance of the sale in favor of complied with when. the case can be decided on requirements completely disregarded. Said petitioners sought the relaxation of the nature in that the certification cannot be altogether dispensed with or its rules so that in the interest of justice. Manalo. that Go Kim Chuan had to wait for the reconstitution This Court held in Ateneo de Naga University v.[36] AZNAR maintains that compliance with the rules on Verification and Certification of Non- the Original Petition is dismissible because the Verification and Forum Shopping. Certification of Non-Forum Shopping thereof were not signed by In this regard. in its Memorandum. and that such issue was petition have been made in good faith or are true and correct. that the second sale did not transfer the subject property has sufficient knowledge and belief to swear to the truth of the allegations in to Go Kim Chuan since it was no longer within the vendors' power the petition (complaint). not merely belied by petitioner Veneranda Amodia herself when she declared speculative. that the verification of the lost title. verification is only a formal. AZNAR opposes the Amended Petition because it was allegedly filed to cure a fatal defect in the original petition ─ non- . the merits. viz. 1964 sale was registered under Act 3344 because the subject Indeed. the finding of verification is deemed sufficient assurance that the matters alleged in the the document examiner is not conclusive. The issue in the present case is not the that there was no other mode of registration except under Act lack of verification but the sufficiency of one executed by only one of plaintiffs. The general rule is that the certification must be signed by all consideration for the subject property.: Petition was filed in order to cure a fatal defect which should not The purpose of verification is simply to be countenanced by this Court. the Court shall first deal the Court has also stressed in a number of cases that the rules on forum shopping with an apparent procedural lapse in this case. plaintiffs in a case and the signature of only one of them is insufficient. that the noncompliance therewith does not necessarily render it fatally defective. AZNAR further claims that the Amended instructive. AZNAR also contends that Go Kim secure an assurance that the allegations of the petition (or complaint) have been Chuan was a buyer in bad faith as he had prior constructive notice made in good faith. only one of the heirs-plaintiffs. were designed to promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice and thus should not be interpreted with such Counsel for petitioners filed a Motion for Leave to Admit absolute literalness as to subvert its own ultimate and legitimate objective. This that the subject property was sold to AZNAR because the sale was requirement is simply a condition affecting the form of pleadings. who AZNAR. property was not actually covered by a Torrens title at the time. hence. 3344. Before resolving the main issues raised. not a jurisdictional requirement. the case of Iglesia ni Cristo v. or are true and correct.On the other hand. that the negotiated sale in 1964 between AZNAR and the Amodias The same liberality should likewise be applied to the certification against forum was not consummated because the latter did not receive the full shopping. not merely speculative. Such to convey.

the ownership shall be transferred procedure involved in analyzing them. It falls short of the required independent We now proceed to the merits of the case. plaintiff's claim merits after all parties are given full opportunity to ventilate their of ownership over the same has no more leg to stand on.[38] While it is true that the original document was produced before The Issues the RTC. said document conveyed nothing in favor of the plaintiff. x x x[40] causes and defenses rather than on technicality or some procedural imperfections. If the same thing the examination of forged documents because of the technical should have been sold to different vendees. Clearly. because it cannot be denied that the ends of found by the document examiner of the PC Crime Laboratory to be a forgery. the CA was correct in testimony of an expert witness as to the forgery of the Extra. Being a justice are better served when cases are determined on the forgery. the RTC decision First. Handwriting experts are usually helpful in ART. examination to be conducted by the trial court judge. did the CA misapply the doctrine in Heirs of Severa Gregorio contains no other basis to support its conclusion v. It must be proved by clear. the rules may be favor of the defendants. the petitioners in the Amended Petition are reasonable conclusion as to its authenticity.[39] Heirs of the late Go Kim Chuan. From the issues raised. Hence.Thus. After a thorough study of the pleadings and there is presence of the commonality of interest referred to evidence of the parties. the finding of forgery relies wholly on the testimony of the document examiner. Other than there are ultimately two questions that require resolution: the statement of the document examiner. because the judge must conduct an independent examination of the questioned signature in order to arrive at a In the case at bench. the court finds that preponderance of evidence heavily tilts in in Iglesia ni Cristo. we resolve the second question in favor of Go Kim right over the subject property? Chuan. rejecting the RTCs finding and in applying the doctrine laid down Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale? in the case of Heirs of Severa Gregorio v. positive land. Second. has been substantial justice. we held in Iglesia ni Cristo that the commonality of interest does not depend entirely on the testimonies of handwriting is material and crucial to relaxation of the Rules. CA. CA in ruling that the RTC committed an error in appreciating the of the existence of forgery. The document relied upon by the plaintiff in its claim of reasonably and liberally construed to avoid a patent denial of ownership over the land in question. Without doubt. Accordingly. We resolve the first question in the negative. Apropos is Article 1544 of the New Civil Code which and convincing evidence and the burden of proof rests on the provides: party alleging forgery. experts. who between Go Kim Chuan and AZNAR has the better However. 1544. Under the circumstances. But 1resort to these to the person who may have first taken experts is not mandatory or indispensable. A finding of forgery . we have here a case of double sale of registered Forgery cannot be presumed. They represent their predecessor- in-interest in whose favor a title was issued covering the subject The RTC's finding with respect to the issue of forgery reads: property and said title is sought to be canceled by AZNAR. the extrajudicial partition and sale.

496. as the term is used under Art.[48] Rather. deemed not registered. jura subveniunt. beset with the similar problem of a lost before the respective conveyances to AZNAR and Go Kim Chuan certificate of title over a registered land. the said document is the person who presents the oldest title. we held that evidence of ownership or title over the particular property registration must be done in the proper registry in order to bind described therein. and the Register of Deeds are considers the act of registration as the operative act[41] that gives concerned. and admits this as fact.[50]AZNAR. it was the sale in favor of Go Kim Chuan which was registered under Act No. since the Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Should there be no inscription. the subject property was unregistered at the time. In this case. there remedy of reconstitution at that time. the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property. Vigilantibus. We are not persuaded by such a lame excuse.[51] Title). possession thereof in good faith. in the instant case. and. The fact that the certificate of title precisely applies to cases involving conflicting rights over over the registered land is lost does not convert it into registered property and those of innocent transferees who relied unregistered land. We have already ruled that the registration contemplated in this AZNAR insists that since there was no Torrens title on file in 1964. provision refers to registration under the Torrens System. AZNAR.[43] Thus. such sale is not Although it is obvious that Go Kim Chuan registered the sale in his favor under Act 496 while AZNAR did not. 496. the same under the improper registry (Act 3344) and allowed such status to lie undisturbed. in the absence thereof. not of the sleepy. AZNAR did not Act 3344 provides for the system of recording of transactions or bother to have the lost title reconstituted or even have the claims over unregistered real estate[45] without prejudice to a subject property declared under its name for taxation third party with a better right. AZNAR registered the sale in its favor of the subject property way back in 1964 and the existence of the under Act 3344 on the contention that at the time of sale. 1544 of the Should it be immovable New Civil Code. validity to the transfer or creates a lien upon the land. which insofar as the vendors. It is unfortunate that. sought the reconstitution were made. and it is sold and the sale is registered not under the Land Registration Act but under Act 3344. the ownership shall pertain to the person Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of AZNAR was registered under Act who in good faith was first in the possession. instead of registration In the case at bench. we still cannot make an . After all. a certificate of title is merely an on the clean title of the properties. it is uncontroverted that the subject under Act 3344. provided there is good faith. We note that in Aznar Brothers Realty Company property was under the operation of the Torrens System even v.[47] property. From 1964 to 1989. Yet. Aying.[46] But if the land is registered purposes. Laws under the Land Registration Act (and therefore has a Torrens must come to the assistance of the vigilant. to No. 3344 and not under Act No.[42] This rule The contention is untenable. as amended. AZNAR knew of this. considered registered. if it should be movable property.[49] This Court agrees with the petitioners that the same. despite the sale despite this knowledge. AZNAR opted to register was no title on file. non dormientibus.[44] AZNAR should have availed itself of the legal remedy of reconstitution of the lost certificate of title. thereof.

Conversely. as pointed out by petitioners and another. There was documentary evidence de novo. the second purchaser third parties dealing with a piece of real property that someone must be in good faith. 20626 only on February 4. i.outright award of the subject property to the petitioners solely on manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts which. it is imperative title or on the new one. to be able to enjoy priority status. 1990. if properly that basis. meaning. in the instant case. 20626 only on ahead of the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement with Absolute Sale February 4. the first While factual issues are not within the province of this Court. To repeat. as it buyers registered the sale under the Torrens System. Citing Santiago v.[56] . Act 3344 can have the effect of constructive notice to the second buyer that can defeat his right as such buyer in good faith. at least. there can be no constructive when the judgment of the appellate court is based on a notice to the second buyer through registration under Act 3344 if misapprehension of facts. review and. however. Notably. 1989. the CA declared that Go under Act 3344 served as constructive notice to Go Kim Chuan Kim Chuan was not a buyer in good faith.[54] However. therefore. (b) the Torrens System. It is. Good faith must accompany the registration. this Court has the authority to no registration under Act 3344. reverse the factual findings of lower AZNAR registered the sale in its favor under Act 3344 despite its courts in the following instances: (a) when the findings of fact of full knowledge that the subject property is under the operation of the trial court are in conflict with those of the appellate court. what is important for this purpose is not as admitted by AZNAR. [52] therefore. would justify a different conclusion. Registration. and. the Notice of Adverse Claim was whether the second buyer is a buyer in good faith. or be shackled by a claim which he did not that we determine whether Go Kim Chuan was a registrant in have any knowledge of.[53] enough. because he should have and thus negates the latter's claim of good faith.e.. The instant case falls squarely within the foregoing exceptions. by the first buyer under thereof. In Santiago. good faith. in proper cases. he must have no knowledge of the claims an interest therein or that there is a right superior to that previous alienation of the property by the vendor to of the titled owner. inquired into the validity held in that case. but whether he annotated on TCT No. as can be is not a trier of facts and is not required to examine the oral and inferred from the issuance of the TCT in their names. the prior registration of the sale in its favor in favor of Go Kim Chuan. Because of this. (c) when the appellate court the property is registered under the Torrens system.[55] AZNAR contends that even The CA found that AZNAR registered its Notice of Adverse Claim if the adverse claim was annotated on TCT No. AZNAR's reliance on Santiago is misplaced. sold. Concededly. absurd to say that Go Kim Chuan should be bound by an adverse claim which was not previously annotated on the lost To fully resolve the second question. since the Court respected such adverse claim or. For the law is clear:mere registration of title is not considered. Court of Appeals. We do not agree. after the registers the second sale in good faith. he does so lost certificate of title was reconstituted and after the issuance of without knowledge of any defect in the title over the property said TCT in the name of Go Kim Chuan on December 1. inscription of an adverse claim serves as a warning to Thus. 1990.

R. and recognized. but also because of the vs. 149238 November 22. In the absence of such an allegation and proof of bad faith. petitioner Sixto Antonio filed before Branch 72. the instant petition for review is GRANTED. CV No. public confidence in the system would be eroded and land transactions The antecedent facts. is REINSTATED. Branch 27.[59] Annulment of Title and Damages against respondents spouses Sofronio and Aurora Santos.: measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to insure This is an appeal from the Decision1 dated July 31. 2001 of the their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established Court of Appeals in CA-G. Go Kim Chuan is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 1261- A. Finally. CV No.[57] Given these antecedents. LUIS indefeasibility and conclusiveness of such title. J. He likewise visited the No. good faith on the part of Go Kim Chuan cannot be doubted. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. culled from the records. The RTC had dismissed the complaint for Reconveyance. the Decision2 dated October 7. caused the publication of the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement with Absolute Sale in a newspaper of general circulation. After he SO ORDERED.Moreover. 1261-A. with modification. 1997 of Branch 72. premises of the subject property and found that nobody interposed any adverse claim against the Amodias. the risk of losing his acquisition. If this were permitted. If a person purchases a piece of land on the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Antipolo. in Civil Case Lapu City and the Register of Deeds. it is worth stressing that the Torrens system was adopted RESOLUTION in this country because it was believed to be the most effective QUISUMBING. a complaint for Reconveyance. Rizal in Civil Case No. Antipolo. We also note that AZNAR's complaint for cancellation of title contains no allegation that the (second) purchaser was aware of defects in his title. No. title not only because of lack of evidence. 58246. SOFRONIO SANTOS & AURORA SANTOS. assurance that the seller's title thereto is valid. 2254-L. SPS. MARIO CRUZ & VICTORIA CRUZ. decided to buy the subject property. 2007 render judgment against the purchaser who had already acquired SIXTO ANTONIO. Luis and Angelina Liberato. RTC. The Decision of made verifications with the Office of the City Assessor of Lapu.R. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. before buying the subject property. it would be grossly inappropriate for this Court to G. No costs. conclusive investigations and proof of ownership.R. 1988. he paid all taxes in arrears. SPS. he should not run Annulment of Title and Damages filed by petitioner Sixto Antonio against respondents. Rizal. and Mario and Victoria Cruz. 51814 . petitioner. WHEREFORE. affirming. are as follows: would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily On September 19. the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City.[58] LIBERATO & ANGELINA LIBERATO and SPS. respondents. caused the reconstitution of the lost certificate of title and caused the issuance of the assailed TCT in his name.

In his complaint,3 Antonio alleged that he is the absolute owner of The Court of Appeals in a Decision dated July 31, 2001 affirmed
a 13,159-square meter parcel of land denominated as Lot No. with modification the abovementioned decision by deleting the
11703, CAD 688-D, Cainta-Taytay Cadastre, situated in Barangay award of moral damages and attorney’s fees. The dispositive
San Juan, Cainta, Rizal. He averred that, as evidenced by portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals states:
certificates of payment of realty taxes for the years 1918 and
1919, the property was previously owned by his father and that in
WHEREFORE, with modification deleting [or] setting
1984, he filed before Branch 71, RTC, Antipolo, Rizal, an
aside the award for moral damages and attorney’s
application for the registration of two parcels of land, one of
fees, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED with
which was Lot No. 11703, CAD 688-D, situated in Barangay San
costs against the plaintiff-appellant.
Juan, Cainta, Rizal. His application was docketed as Land
Registration Case No. 142-A (LRC No. 142-A).
SO ORDERED.6
Although the RTC, Branch 71, declared him the true and absolute
owner in fee simple of the two parcels of land he applied for, it Hence, the instant petition, raising the following issues:
set aside its decision with respect to Lot No. 11703, CAD 688-D in
an Order dated August 21, 1986, to avoid duplication of issuance I.
of titles.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
Antonio said that after investigation, he discovered that Lot No. ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE DECISION IN LAND
11703, CAD 688-D was already titled in the name of respondents. REGISTRATION CASE NO. 142-A, LRC RECORD NO.
He then filed the complaint for Reconveyance, Annulment of Title 58707, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ANTIPOLO CITY,
and Damages against respondents, averring that respondents BRANCH 71, IS SUFFICIENT BASIS OF PETITIONER’S
committed fraud in their application for titling because they made CLAIM OF RIGHT OF OWNERSHIP OVER THE PROPERTY
it appear in their application for registration that the subject SUBJECT OF ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE.
property was located in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig, Rizal, when in fact,
the property is located in Barangay San Juan, Cainta, Rizal. He
added, respondents also made it appear in their application for II.
registration that the subject property is bound on the North East
by the Pasig River when in fact it is bound on the North East by THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
the Tapayan River. Furthermore, the Pasig River does not traverse ERRED IN TREATING PETITIONER’S ACTION FOR
any portion of the jurisdiction of Cainta, Rizal. He argued that RECONVEYANCE AS ONE FOR TITLING OF A PARCEL OF
Original Certificate of Title No. 108 (OCT No. 108) in respondents’ LAND.
names, insofar as it included Lot No. 11703, CAD 688-D, is,
therefore, null and void because it was obtained through
fraudulent misrepresentations and machinations. III.

In their Answer4 dated July 26, 1989, respondents averred that THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
OCT No. 108 was duly issued to them by the Register of Deeds for ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT RESPONDENTS HAVE
Metro Manila, District II, on May 20, 1977. They alleged that prior FRAUDULENTLY REGISTERED AND TITLED SUBJECT
to the issuance of OCT No. 108, they, as registered owners, had PROPERTY IN THEIR NAMES.
always been in peaceful possession of the property and at no time
had Antonio possessed the property, nor did he ever make any IV.
claim against the said property.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
The RTC of Antipolo, Rizal, Branch 72, in a Decision dated October ERRED IN HOLDING THAT RESPONDENTS’ MOTHER
7, 1997 dismissed the complaint and ordered Antonio to pay ACQUIRED SUBJECT PROPERTY FROM HER FATHER,
respondents moral damages and attorney’s fees. The dispositive GAVINO SANTOS, WHICH THE LATTER ALLEGEDLY
portion of the decision reads: PURCHASED FROM LADISLAO RIVERA.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby V.
rendered DISMISSING the instant complaint, and
orders plaintiff as follows:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY
ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COURT A
1. To pay defendants Sofronio Santos, Aurora Santos, QUO DISMISSING PETITIONER’S ACTION FOR
Sps. Luis Liberato and Angelina Santos, the amount of RECONVEYANCE.7
P100,000.00 each, by way of moral damages;
Simply put, the issues raised are: (1) Did the Court of Appeals err
2. To pay defendants the amount of P60,000.00, by in not holding that the decision in LRC No. 142-A was sufficient
way of attorney’s fees, and costs of suit. basis of petitioner’s claim of ownership over the subject property?
(2) Did the Court of Appeals and RTC erroneously treat
SO ORDERED.5 petitioner’s action for reconveyance as one for titling of a parcel
of land? (3) Did respondents fraudulently title the subject
property in their names? (4) Did the Court of Appeals err in

finding that respondents’ mother acquired the subject property while plaintiff has never at anytime taken possession of said
from her father, Gavino Santos, who purchased it from Ladislao property."
Rivera? and (5) Did the Court of Appeals err in affirming the
decision of the RTC dismissing petitioner’s action for
We find petitioner’s contentions unconvincing. For an action for
reconveyance?
reconveyance based on fraud to prosper, this Court has held that
the party seeking reconveyance must prove by clear and
Petitioner argues that the Court of Appeals erred in not holding convincing evidence his title to the property and the fact of
that the decision in LRC No. 142-A is sufficient basis for his claim fraud.10 The RTC, in making the abovementioned findings, was not
of ownership over the property; in treating his action for treating petitioner’s action for reconveyance as one for titling of
reconveyance as one for titling; in not holding that respondents property. But it was weighing whether petitioner has, by clear and
had fraudulently registered the property in their names; and in convincing evidence, proven his title to the property. Moreover,
holding that respondents’ mother had acquired the subject the RTC, in its decision, discussed the merits of petitioner’s
property from her father, Gavino Santos, who allegedly bought ground for his action for reconveyance, i.e. whether or not
the property from Ladislao Rivera. respondents committed fraud in titling the subject property in
their names. The RTC held that as shown by public records in the
custody of the RTC, Pasig City and the Land Registration Authority,
Respondents, on the other hand, in their Comments,8 contend
petitioner’s claim that the property was fraudulently titled in the
that they have proved they have a better title to the property.
names of respondents is baseless. Thus, petitioner’s contention
They argue that petitioner’s attempt to register Lot No. 11703,
that the RTC and the Court of Appeals treated his action for
CAD 688-D in his name is tainted with fraud, and that petitioner
reconveyance as one for titling of property lacks any persuasive
had failed to adduce any evidence of fraud on their part. They
basis.
assert that their documentary and testimonial evidence which
were unrebutted by petitioner show original ownership of the
land by Ladislao Rivera from whom their grandfather bought the On the third and fourth issues, we find them to be factual issues,
property. hence beyond our jurisdiction to resolve. In a petition for review
under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, this Court’s
power of review is limited to questions of law only.11
After serious consideration, we find that petitioner’s arguments
lack merit.
Note, however, should be taken of the established doctrine that
an action for reconveyance resulting from fraud prescribes four
On the first issue, petitioner argues that in LRC No. 142-A, the RTC
years from the discovery of the fraud. Such discovery is deemed
of Antipolo, Branch 71, rendered a Decision on January 7, 1986
to have taken place upon the issuance of the certificate of title
adjudicating ownership of two lots, including Lot No. 11703, CAD
over the property. Registration of real property is considered a
688-D, in his favor. He adds that on February 19, 1986, after said
constructive notice to all persons, thus, the four-year period shall
decision has become final and executory, the said RTC issued a
be counted therefrom.12 It appears that OCT No. 108 was issued
certification for issuance of decree, directing the Land
to respondents by the Register of Deeds for Metro Manila on May
Registration Commission to issue the corresponding decree of
20, 1977. From the time of registration of the land in the name of
registration. Hence, he argues, his right of ownership over the
respondents on May 20, 1977 to the filing of the complaint on
land has already been fully established, but no certificate of title
September 19, 1988, more than four years had already elapsed.
was issued to him only because the property was already
Hence, it cannot be denied that petitioner’s action had already
registered in the name of respondents.
prescribed.

But we agree with respondents that petitioner cannot rely on the
Based on the foregoing considerations, we find that the Court of
decision in LRC No. 142-A. As pointed out by the Court of Appeals,
Appeals did not err in affirming the decision of the RTC dismissing
even if a title had been issued to petitioner based on said
petitioner’s action for reconveyance.
decision, his title would be of a later date than the title of
respondents, hence inefficacious and ineffective. This Court has
ruled that, when two certificates of title are issued to different Finally, concerning the deletion of moral damages and attorney’s
persons covering the same land in whole or in part, the earlier in fees, we agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that here an
date must prevail; and in case of successive registrations where award of moral damages is not warranted since the record is
more than one certificate is issued over the same land, the person bereft of any proof that Antonio acted maliciously or in bad faith
holding a prior certificate is entitled to the land as against a in filing the action.13 Neither should attorney’s fees be awarded.
person who relies on a subsequent certificate.9 The accepted rule is that the reason for the award of attorney’s
fees must be stated in the text of the trial court’s decision;
otherwise, if it is stated only in the dispositive portion of the
On the second issue, petitioner contends that it is very apparent
decision, the same must be disallowed.14 In this case, we find that
the RTC and Court of Appeals had the notion that his case a
the trial court’s decision failed to show the reason for the award
quo was not an action for reconveyance, but rather an application
of attorney’s fees, hence it was properly deleted by the appellate
for registration of land where the applicant and oppositor had to
court.
prove their respective registrable titles. This, he adds, could be
gleaned from the RTC’s findings that "the claim of plaintiff on the
basis of said documents cannot prevail over the adverse, public, WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed
open, peaceful and continuous possession by the defendants over Decision dated July 31, 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV
the subject property," and that "it was indubitably shown that the No. 58246 is AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs.
defendants have occupied said property since time immemorial
SO ORDERED.

Thus, Poblete executed the Deed of Absolute Sale dated 9
November 1998 (Deed dated 9 November 1998) with ₱300,000.00
as consideration.5 In the Deed dated 9 November 1998, Poblete
described herself as a "widow." Poblete, then, asked Balen to
deliver the Deed dated 9 November 1998 to Maniego and to
receive the payment in her behalf. Balen testified that he
delivered the Deed dated 9 November 1998 to Maniego.
However, Balen stated that he did not receive from Maniego the
agreed purchase price. Maniego told Balen that he would pay the
amount upon his return from the United States. In an Affidavit
dated 19 November 1998, Poblete stated that she agreed to have
the payment deposited in her Land Bank Savings Account.6

Based on a Certification issued by Land Bank-Sablayan Branch
Department Manager Marcelino Pulayan on 20 August
1999,7 Maniego paid Kapantay’s Loan Account No. 97-CC-013 for
₱448,202.08. On 8 June 2000, Maniego applied for a loan of
₱1,000,000.00 with Land Bank, using OCT No. P 12026 as
collateral. Land Bank alleged that as a condition for the approval
of the loan, the title of the collateral should first be transferred to
G.R. No. 196577 February 25, 2013
Maniego.

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
On 14 August 2000, pursuant to a Deed of Absolute Sale dated 11
vs.
August 2000 (Deed dated 11 August 2000),8the Register of Deeds
BARBARA SAMPAGA POBLETE, Respondent.
of Occidental Mindoro issued Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT)
No. T-20151 in Maniego’s name. On 15 August 2000, Maniego and
DECISION Land Bank executed a Credit Line Agreement and a Real Estate
Mortgage over TCT No. T- 20151. On the same day, Land Bank
released the ₱1,000,000.00 loan proceeds to Maniego.
CARPIO, J.:
Subsequently, Maniego failed to pay the loan with Land Bank. On
4 November 2002, Land Bank filed an Application for Extra-judicial
The Case Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage stating that Maniego’s total
indebtedness amounted to ₱1,154,388.88.
This Petition for Review on Certiorari1 seeks to reverse the Court
of Appeals' Decision2 dated 28 September 20 I 0 and its On 2 December 2002, Poblete filed a Complaint for Nullification of
Resolution3 dated 19 April 2011 in C A-G.R. CV No. 91666. The the Deed dated 11 August 2000 and TCT No. T-20151,
Court of Appeals (C A) affirmed in toto the Decision4 of the Reconveyance of Title and Damages with Prayer for Temporary
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Branch Restraining Order and/or Issuance of Writ of Preliminary
46, in Civil Case No. R-1331. Injunction. Named defendants were Maniego, Land Bank, the
Register of Deeds of Occidental Mindoro and Elsa Z. Aguirre in her
The Facts capacity as Acting Clerk of Court of RTC San Jose, Occidental
Mindoro. In her Complaint, Poblete alleged that despite her
demands on Maniego, she did not receive the consideration of
The facts, as culled from the records, are as follows: ₱900,000.00 for Lot No. 29. She claimed that without her
knowledge, Maniego used the Deed dated 9 November 1998 to
Petitioner Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) is a banking acquire OCT No. P-12026 from Kapantay. Upon her verification
institution organized and existing under Philippine laws. with the Register of Deeds, the Deed dated 11 August 2000 was
Respondent Barbara Sampaga Poblete (Poblete) is the registered used to obtain TCT No. T-20151. Poblete claimed that the Deed
owner of a parcel of land, known as Lot No. 29, with an area of dated 11 August 2000 bearing her and her deceased husband’s,
455 square meters, located in Buenavista, Sablayan, Occidental Primo Poblete, supposed signatures was a forgery as their
Mindoro, under Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. P-12026. In signatures were forged. As proof of the forgery, Poblete
October 1997, Poblete obtained a ₱300,000.00 loan from presented the Death Certificate dated 27 April 1996 of her
Kabalikat ng Pamayanan ng Nagnanais Tumulong at Yumaman husband and Report No. 294-502 of the Technical Services
Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Kapantay). Poblete mortgaged Lot Department of the National Bureau of Investigation showing that
No. 29 to Kapantay to guarantee payment of the loan. Kapantay, the signatures in the Deed dated 11 August 2000 were forgeries.
in turn, used OCT No. P-12026 as collateral under its Loan Account Accordingly, Poblete also filed a case for estafa through
No. 97-CC-013 with Land Bank-Sablayan Branch. falsification of public document against Maniego and sought
injunction of the impending foreclosure proceeding.
In November 1998, Poblete decided to sell Lot No. 29 to pay her
loan. She instructed her son-in-law Domingo Balen (Balen) to look On 7 January 2003, Land Bank filed its Answer with Compulsory
for a buyer. Balen referred Angelito Joseph Maniego (Maniego) to Counterclaim and Cross-claim. Land Bank claimed that it is a
Poblete. According to Poblete, Maniego agreed to buy Lot No. 29 mortgagee in good faith and it observed due diligence prior to
for ₱900,000.00, but Maniego suggested that a deed of absolute approving the loan by verifying Maniego’s title with the Office of
sale for ₱300,000.00 be executed instead to reduce the taxes. the Register of Deeds. Land Bank likewise interposed a cross-claim

against Maniego for the payment of the loan, with interest, Poblete and Maniego had not been consummated. Nevertheless,
penalties and other charges. Maniego, on the other hand, the RTC granted Land Bank’s cross-claim against Maniego.
separately filed his Answer. Maniego denied the allegations of
Poblete and claimed that it was Poblete who forged the Deed
In an Order dated 17 March 2008, the RTC denied the Motion for
dated 11 August 2000. He also alleged that he paid the
Reconsideration filed by Land Bank for want of merit. Thereafter,
consideration of the sale to Poblete and even her loans from
Land Bank and Maniego separately challenged the RTC’s Decision
Kapantay and Land Bank.
before the CA.

The Ruling of the Regional Trial Court
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals

On 28 December 2007, the RTC of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro,
On 28 September 2010, the CA promulgated its Decision
Branch 46, rendered a Decision in favor of Poblete, the dispositive
affirming in toto the Decision of the RTC.10 Both Land Bank and
portion of which reads:
Maniego filed their Motions for Reconsideration but the CA
denied both motions on 19 April 2011.11
WHEREFORE, by preponderance of evidence, judgment is hereby
rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants, as
In a Resolution dated 13 July 2011,12 the Second Division of this
follows:
Court denied the Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by
Maniego. This Resolution became final and executory on 19
1. Declaring the Deed of Sale dated August 11, 2000 January 2012.
over O.C.T. No. P-12026, as null and void;
On the other hand, Land Bank filed this petition.
2. Declaring Transfer of Certificate of Title No. T-20151
as null and void, it having been issued on the basis of a
The Issues
spurious and forged document;

Land Bank seeks a reversal and raises the following issues for
3. The preliminary [i]njunction issued directing the
resolution:
defendants to refrain from proceedings [sic] with the
auction sale of the plaintiff’s properties, dated
February 10, 2002, is hereby made permanent; 1. THE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER SPECIAL
ELEVENTH DIVISION) ERRED IN UPHOLDING THE
FINDING OF THE TRIAL COURT DECLARING TCT NO. T-
4. Ordering defendant Angelito Joseph Maniego to
20151 AS NULL AND VOID. THE COURT OF APPEALS
return to the plaintiff O.C.T. No. P-12026; and
MISCONSTRUED AND MISAPPRECIATED THE EVIDENCE
AND THE LAW IN NOT FINDING TCT NO. T-20151
5. Ordering defendant Angelito Joseph Maniego to pay REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF ANGELITO JOSEPH
plaintiff the amount of ₱50,000.00, as and for MANIEGO AS VALID.
reasonable attorney’s fees.
2. THE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER SPECIAL
Judgment is furthermore rendered on the cross-claim of ELEVENTH DIVISION) MISCONSTRUED THE EVIDENCE
defendant Land Bank of the Philippines against defendant AND THE LAW IN NOT FINDING LAND BANK A
Angelito Joseph Maniego, as follows: MORTGAGEE IN GOOD FAITH.

A. Ordering defendant Angelito Joseph Maniego to pay 3. THE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER SPECIAL
his co-defendant [L]and Bank of the Philippines his ELEVENTH DIVISION) MISCONSTRUED THE EVIDENCE
loan with a principal of ₱1,000,000.00, plus interests, AND THE LAW IN NOT FINDING THE RESPONDENT AND
penalties and other charges thereon; and ANGELITO JOSEPH MANIEGO AS IN PARI DELICTO.

B. Ordering defendant Angelito Joseph Maniego to pay 4. THE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER SPECIAL
the costs of this suit. ELEVENTH DIVISION) ERRED IN NOT APPLYING THE
PRINCIPLE OF ESTOPPEL OR LACHES ON RESPONDENT
IN THAT THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF HER LOSS WAS
SO ORDERED.9
HER NEGLIGENCE TO SAFEGUARD HER RIGHTS OVER
THE SUBJECT PROPERTY, THEREBY ENABLING
The RTC ruled that the sale between Poblete and Maniego was a ANGELITO JOSEPH MANIEGO TO MORTGAGE THE
nullity. The RTC found that the agreed consideration was SAME WITH LAND BANK.13
₱900,000.00 and Maniego failed to pay the consideration.
Furthermore, the signatures of Poblete and her deceased
The Ruling of the Court
husband were proven to be forgeries. The RTC also ruled that
Land Bank was not a mortgagee in good faith because it failed to
exercise the diligence required of banking institutions. The RTC We do not find merit in the petition.
explained that had Land Bank exercised due diligence, it would
have known before approving the loan that the sale between

Querrer. San Pablo. practice of banks.26 This executing the mortgage. Land Bank even ignored the fact Kauffman. otherwise. the mortgage is void. the deed of ascertaining intention.37 Thus. as well as the authority of the supposed agent arising therefrom are given effect by reason of public policy. 29. 29 to appraise law and whether it will be made by the court that rendered it or the value of the property. and neither does the mortgagee acquire any than the registered owner of the real property being mortgaged.A petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court Torrens Certificate of Title are not required to go beyond what specifically provides that only questions of law may be raised. Soon. we do not find Land Bank to be a It is a well-entrenched rule. which became final and executory on 19 January 2012. both the RTC whose business is impressed with public interest is expected to and the CA found that the signatures of Poblete and her deceased exercise more care and prudence in its dealings than a private husband in the Deed dated 11 August 2000 were forged by individual.18 Since the Deed evidence as to the conduct and outward acts by which alone the dated 11 August 2000 is void. are binding on us. which cannot be raised in this petition. but admits processing the loan based on Maniego’s assurances that title would soon be Land Bank insists that it is a mortgagee in good faith since it his. duplicate certificate of title. Since the issue on the on its face free of any encumbrances or lien.19the Court ruled that there was no legal basis for the issuance of the certificate of title and the CA correctly cancelled Based on the evidence. with safety. A person who deliberately ignores a significant fact that could create suspicion in an The issue on the nullity of Maniego’s title had already been otherwise reasonable person is not an innocent purchaser for foreclosed when this Court denied Maniego’s petition for review value. only one day after Maniego obtained TCT No. appraisal of the property and failed to inquire as to who were the the Real Estate Mortgage constituted over it is also void.29 A bank Maniego. it is essential that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the property to be mortgaged. P-12026. before approving a loan. and inspected under his name.35 In Prudential Bank v.31 In price has been paid but in fact has never been paid. still under the name of Poblete. it is relieved of the genuineness of the Deed dated 11 August 2000 is essentially a responsibility of taking further steps to verify the title and inspect question of fact. Kim Hyeun be unjust enrichment by Poblete. the mortgagee under [such fact] should have already raised a red flag and which should the forged instrument is not a mortgagee protected by law. void and without effect.27 However. the evidence is preponderant that Maniego cannot assume that. that a mortgagee in good faith. his title loan and did not ascertain the ownership of the land being being fraudulent.15 In this case. which are this case. the mortgage contract and any foreclosure sale mortgaged. which was simulated. even if the inspected the property to ascertain its actual occupants. because the representative concentrated only on the Since TCT No. despite the fact that the Where the mortgagee acted with haste in granting the mortgage mortgagor is not the owner of the mortgaged property.17 Moreover. Land Bank processed Maniego’s loan the same when the deed of absolute sale was completely application upon his presentation of OCT No. as aptly applied by the CA. even if accompanied by the owner’s loan account with Land Bank. This is also supported by the testimony of Land faith.21 have induced the Bank x x x to make inquiries into and confirm x x x [the] authority to mortgage x x x. Hence. we are not dutybound to analyze and weigh the the properties to be mortgaged.22 It is settled that a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and The records do not even show that Land Bank investigated and may no longer be modified in any respect.16 Applying the same principles. otherwise there will investigate its real owners.30 evidence again. estate mortgage contract. be determined. T-20151 inward motive may. Because of Land Bank’s factual matter.1âwphi1 Bank Customer Assistant Andresito Osano. In addition. In Yu Bun Guan v. appears on the face of the title. Land Bank and Maniego executed a Credit Line Lot No. to the right of Maniego to recover from Poblete what he representatives to the premises of the land offered as collateral to paid to Kapantay for the account of Poblete. especially if required to observe a higher standard of diligence. simply because the title offered as security is did not pay the consideration for the sale. it cannot be considered an innocent is the doctrine of "the mortgagee in good faith" based on the rule mortgagee.34 we held that when "the person applying for the loan is other thereby lose his title.28 A bank affirmed by the CA. In Ereña v.38 There is indeed a situation where. it appears that Maniego’s loan was However.24 Land Bank claims that it conditioned the approval of the loan upon the transfer of title to Maniego. is a question of intention.25 haste in granting the loan. to settle the issue. In a real then occupants of the property. factual findings of the trial court." in the Resolution dated 13 July 2011.39 that buyers or mortgagees dealing with property covered by a .23 This is without prejudice. T-20151 verified Maniego’s title. to send however.36 the Court held that the bank failed to exercise due diligence although its representative conducted an ocular inspection. forged or fraudulent deed is a nullity and conveys no title. where the deed of sale states that the purchase Good faith. did a credit investigation.. the registered owner does not Jr. the corresponding TCT No. or the lack of it. right or title to the property. T-20151 has been declared void by final judgment. we carefully examined the records to already completely processed while the collateral was still in the determine whether or not Land Bank is a mortgagee in good name of Poblete. Land modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or Bank merely mentioned that it inspected Lot No.33 In Bank of Commerce v. it has been subject to exceptional circumstances14 which are not present in consistently held that this rule does not apply to banks. Ong.32 issued pursuant to the same deed is likewise void. The issue of being a mortgagee in good faith is a Agreement and a Real Estate Mortgage. In such a case.20 the Court held that when the instrument presented that Kapantay previously used Poblete’s title as collateral in its for registration is forged. We take judicial notice of the standard by the highest court of the land. courts are necessarily controlled by the sale is void ab initio for lack of consideration. even in cases involving registered lands.

INC. Atty. a Final Deed of Sale was issued by the sheriff on July 8. justice and due process. he filed a petition for annulment of judgment with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction before the Court of Appeals. It considered her allegation of fraud by Cathay to be improbable. vs. 1997] to protection. A month later. as highest bidder. The injunction against injunction.R.1âwphi1 I fence. Legardas Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. We AFFIRM the 28 complaint[1] against the former for specific performance with September 2010 Decision and the 19 April 2011 Resolution of the preliminary injunction and damages. 1986. APPEALS. however. Roberto V. was reached by the trial court ordering Legarda to execute the lease contract in favor of. the trial court issued a writ of execution and a public auction was held where Cathays manager. Branch 46. on October 23. the law leaves them as RESOLUTION they are and denies recovery by either one of them.00 in satisfaction of the judgment debt. such were not raised private respondents New Cathay House. she nevertheless did not lose faith in her counsel[2] and prevailed upon him to seek appropriate relief.500.R. The pari delicto rule provides that "when two parties are equally at fault. 1985. Legardas counsel. a copy of said decision was served on Atty. CV No. petitioner. 350892 in the name of Cabrera. 1989. He did not even inform her of all these developments. she refused to sign the party would be deprived of the opp01iunity to introduce evidence contract although respondent lessee. and on March 25.[3] On November 29. The injunction against the foreclosure proceeding in the present case should be made permanent. a Certificate of Sale was issued by the sheriff on June 27. It is settled that an issue which was neither alleged in the complaint nor raised during the trial cannot be raised for the tirst The parties hereto entered into a lease agreement over a time on appeal. October 16. filed by Finally. J. 1985. prompting the latter to file before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Coronel made no move on behalf of his client. made a deposit and rebutting such new issue. Inc. His client was eventually declared in default. it is not entitled [G. dismissing the petition for annulment of judgment. Cabrera. Jr. requested a 10-day extension of time to file an San Jose. When Legarda did learn of the adverse decision. Coronel but he took no action until the judgment became final and executory. 91666. (Cathay). Occidental Mindoro. A brief before the trial court. decision of the Courts's First Division. a judgment by default SO ORDERED. THE HONORABLE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY. Hence. Coronel.: the factual finding of the RTC and the CA that only Maniego is at fault. we DENY the petition. Branch 94 a WHEREFORE. The court a quo issued the Court of Appeals in CA-Ci. as such a recourse would be offensive to the basic certain Quezon City property owned by petitioner Victoria rules of t}1ir play. same. is made permanent. On April 9. THE HONORABLE COURT OF against Maniego.Since Land Bank is not a mortgagee in good faith. and to pay damages to. was awarded the property for P376."40 We adopt ROMERO. and added that there was pure and simple negligence on the part of petitioners . NEW CATHAY HOUSE. In the meantime. Cathay. 1985. the appellate court rendered a decision affirming the March 25. answer which the court granted. 94457. which was registered by Cabrera with the Register of Deeds three days later. 1985. Upon failure of Legarda to redeem her property within the one-year redemption period. failed to Costs against Land Bank. Atty. 29 has not been transferred to a third person who is an innocent purchaser for value. Cathay was allowed to present evidence ex-parte. BRANCH 94.41 a down payment of rentals. For our resolution is the motion for reconsideration of the March 18. noted lawyer Dean the foreclosure proceeding. On the allegation that Poblete is in pari delicto with Maniego. on the issues of estoppel and laches. Since Lot No. decision of the trial court. respondents.. issued by the Regional Trial Court of Antonio Coronel. Consequently. This is without prejudice to the right of either party to proceed VICTORIA LEGARDA. 270814 was cancelled with the issuance of TCT No. Thus. No. we cannot rule upon the narration of facts is in order. For some reason or another. file an answer within the extended period. and holding Legarda bound by the negligence of her counsel. ownership of the lot remains with Poblete. Despite the lapse of over a year since the judgment by default became final and executory. Cathay. 1986.. since the opposing Legarda. we find the principle inapplicable. 1991.

however. Coronel again neglected to protect his clients price. it is not disputed that be allowed to bind Legarda who has been consigned to penury no notice of lis pendens was ever annotated on any of the titles of because her lawyer appeared to have abandoned her case not the subsequent owners. 31672. litigation. among other things. as follows: (a) granting Register of Deeds of Quezon City on April 3. which deprived his client of her property is charged with notice only of such burdens and claims as are without due process of law.. (b) from Nancy Saw to Lily Tanlo negligent and inefficient. but only has to rely on the title. Cabrera was never a party to this case.[6] (i)t is settled doctrine that one The Court then declared that Atty. 1990. for two reasons: First. the Court ruled against tolerating such would not have created a lien over the property because the main unjust enrichment of Cathay at Legardas expense. 350892 gave way to Saws TCT No. having relied as they did on the clean titles of said property to Legarda. 1985. that reconveyance itself. reconveyance. but reckless. viz. (b) nullifying the trial courts decision dated March and November 24. Nothing on record would demonstrate that Cathay was the interest by failing to file a motion for reconsideration or to appeal beneficiary of the sale between Cabrera and Saw. For all intents and purposes. much less by Cathay motion for reconsideration. al. NLRC. 1991. On March 18. Therefore. of the We do not have to belabor the fact that all the successors- property in question. inter alia. it once but repeatedly. 1990. with Cabrera acting as a mere deprivation of ones property without due process of law. and sell it from judgment by default. under the aegis of the Torrens System. Atty. is the fact that Cabrera was impleaded as a party- respondent only on August 12. and to command extinguished Legardas liability to Cathay as the judgment his principal to reconvey a piece of property which used to be HIS creditor. therefore. What is clear from the records is that the Assuming arguendo that reconveyance is possible. Court of Appeals. ownership over the did he ever act as Cathays representative. ruling. 1991.[10] In alleged. Thus. all issued by the by Mr.: (a) new lawyer filed a petition for certiorari praying for the from Cabrera to Nancy Saw on March 21. Coronel but from his secretary. four months after annulment of the decision of the trial and appellate courts and of the decision of the Court of Appeals became final and executory the sheriffs sale. and the subsequent final deed of sale in-interest of Cabrera to the subject lot were transferees for value covering the same property. Cathay Legarda. The ownership thereof transferred no less than three times. not who deals with property registered under the Torrens system just ordinary or simple negligence. after the promulgation of By virtue of the Gancayco decision. more than one year before the Court her because this amounted to a violation of her right to due issued a temporary restraining order in connection with this case. the courts below because her previous lawyer was grossly decision under reconsideration. 25. a petition for relief property. which allowed him to consolidate his ownership over the subject . His acts. Cathay filed the instant returned to its original owner by Cabrera. He gross negligence. instead of Cabrera to reconvey the property to directive is immediately apparent. 1985. that a certificate of sale Cathay and Cabrera are one and the same and that Cabreras and. It has not been shown nor even issued by the court to him. With these transfers. Cabrera himself therefrom until said decision became final on December 21. Cabrera was simply a vendee whose payment effectively the Court never obtained jurisdiction over him. No proof was ever presented which would reveal that would not only be inappropriate but would also constitute a real the sale occurred only on paper. an innocent purchaser for value. that Legarda lost in and one year before the promulgation of the March 18. The impossibility of this Cathay. the subject property has been sold and counsel for the purpose of elevating her case to this Court. 1990. process of law. whose omissions cannot possibly bind Sy Chua on August 7. Sometime in March 1990. Upon notice of the Court of Appeals to Nancy Saw. that Roberto Cabrera had all the time been other words. Justice Gancayco. She. resolution. 1989. and ordered to file a comment in the August 12. until Cabrera was impleaded as party respondent acting for or in behalf of Cathay. Coronel committed. a final deed of sale were issued to Cabrera payment redounded to the benefit of his principal. either as plaintiff- neither possessed nor owned the property so it is in no position to appellee below or as respondent in the present action. a decision[4] was rendered in this case 31673. And even if there were such a notice. that auction sale was conducted regularly.[8] The dispositive portion itself ordered to return the subject property to Legarda. or the lack of it. 99143. 1989. and noted that office of a lien is to warn prospective buyers that the property counsels lack of devotion to duty is so gross and palpable that this they intend to purchase is the subject of a pending Court must come to the aid of his distraught client. et parties at the time of promulgation of said judgment. 1993. Cathay was duty bound the Gancayco decision. should not annotated on the title. alleging. generally by service of summons. 1991. Cabreras TCT No. this case. 1991. subsequently. and (c) ordering Cathay to reconvey and in good faith. later. though not raised as an issue in decision. 1989. conduit for Cathay. Legarda learned of the adverse decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 29. even prior to the promulgation of said Another point to consider. inexcusable and need not go beyond the same. Cabrera. not Since the decision of the Court of Appeals gained finality on from Atty. even if it did. 1992. and the Register of Deeds to cancel the their predecessors.counsel who failed to file an answer and. As the Court declared in Sandoval v. the Sheriffs Certificate of Sale dated June 27. August 8. the petition. respectively. inter alia. 1989. 1990. then to Chuas TCT No. Luminlun on April 3. Neither reconvey the same. second. She then hired a new December 21. since the property is already in the hands of Luminlun. it can no longer be Aggrieved by this development.[7] In the case at bar. alleging. asked Cathay (not Cabrera) to and (c) from the spouses Victor and Lily Sy Chua to Janet Chong reconvey the subject property to her. As we held in the property had already been validly transferred to innocent third recent case of National Power Corporation v. register it and obtain a title in his own name. and finally to Luminluns TCT No. maintained that he was acting in his private (as distinct from his corporate) capacity[5] when he participated in the bidding. the Court of Appeals decision dated November 29. is not possible because the subject property had already been sold by its owner. The successive owners were each armed with registration of said property in the name of Cathay (not Cabrera) their own indefeasible titles which automatically brought them and to issue a new one in Legardas name. an innocent purchaser for value.[9] (j)urisdiction over a party is acquired by his voluntary There is no question that the highest bidder at the public appearance or submission to the court or by the coercive process auction was Cathays manager. at a premium decision.

If Cabrera was adjudged highest bidder in said auction case. In his Sheriffs Certificate of Sale dated June 27. he could not help it if his bid of A judgment may be broadly defined as the decision or only P376. Legarda still failed to redeem her address the issues raised herein property within the one-year redemption period. Her property was sold at public auction to satisfy the legal joust which complied with all the rules of legal proceedings. the one who made it possible for the wrong to judgment by default was valid.[16] this Court warned against the danger of her property because such deprivation was done in accordance jumping to the aid of a litigant who commits serious error of with the rules on execution of judgments. and wrong. official of the company emerges as the winning bidder since in appropriate law. overcome by another.500. ignorance or misjudgment may have been bested in a here. the judgment creditor himself personally participates litigant for that matter. Whether the money judgment resulting in his own loss: used to pay for said property came from the judgment creditor or its representative is not relevant. in spite of this sentence of the law given by a court or other tribunal as the result .[12] With the fulfillment of the judgment debtors during the redemption period. therefore. applying the relevant. Legarda. the order of reconveyance was represented her during her absence. a violation purchase and payment below.[11] It was a payment in the sense that Cathay had to requirements were not followed. Villa. the decisions of the trial and appellate courts had gained It may be true that the subject lot could have fetched a finality. not on the basis of was conducted by the book. it was only after actual denial of property without due process of law. which were nullified by the higher price during the public auction. or any losing some cases. untainted by any irregularity. but because he has been defeated or 1985.[15] In this auction. There is no call to be alarmed that an emotions but on its sound judgment. for this opportunity innocent because she was ignorant of the acts of negligence of to be heard is the very essence of due process. Moreover. She could not feign ignorance of said sale on account of her counsels failure to The application of the sale price to Legardas judgment debt so inform her. it is likewise true that said bidding remembered that this Court renders decisions. Men may do foolish things. Legarda also claims that she was in the United States judgment. The chronology of her counsel. not. this Court was never questioned nor disputed by Legarda. Philippines only on July 13. shining armor coming to the aid of someone. but she admits that she left the obligation. the presumption of regularity resort to a court-supervised auction sale in order to execute the stands. the subject property would never of law.under the facts and evidence obtaining in this case. Mendoza certified. the commission of what the law knows as an actionable have been awarded to Cabrera and registered in his name. Thus. so was the ensuing sale at public be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss.500. Reyes. There must be. If she may be said to be said to have been denied due process of law. because such auction sales comply with constituted a payment which extinguished her liability to Cathay requirements of notice and publication under the Rules of as the party in whose favor the obligation to pay damages was Court. she cannot be the gross negligence of Legardas counsel. it cannot play the role of a knight in in the bidding. As events shows that the case took its regular course in the trial and between two parties who may lose due to the negligence or appellate courts but Legardas counsel failed to act as any ordinary incompetence of the counsel of one. it was not respondents.[13] Deputy Sheriff Angelito R. his negligence every step of the way responsible for making it happen should suffer the amounting to abandonment. 1985. but the Gancayco decision. nothing else was required to be done.00. And while it is must come to the aid of the distraught client. but not for that alone can the not constitute payment. in addition. . however. . the sale price of the levied property. The innocent parties. This reflects the basic common law maxim. bypassed in his favor. but she did her property without due process of law. It is. These twin judgments.B. who through her There is no gainsaying that Legarda is the judgment debtor weakness. the party who was counsel should have acted. with more reason are respondents truly innocent. or sixteen days after the auction sale of June 27. What is important is that it was purchased for value. it cannot be denied that the proceedings which led succinctly stated by Justice J. basic that as long as a party was given the Neither Cathay nor Cabrera should be made to suffer for opportunity to defend her interests in due course. Finally. negligence. should be respected and allowed to stand by fail to betray any hint of a bid higher than Cabreras which was this Court for having become final and executory. before the courts are authorized to lay hold of the the judgment debt would never have been satisfied. she was not premised on the alleged gross negligence of Legardas counsel totally in the dark as to the fate of her property and she could which should not be allowed to bind her as she was deprived of have exercised her right of redemption if she chose to. (B)etween two to the filing of this case were not attended by any irregularity. use miserable judgment. In the absence of any clear and convincing proof that such established.[14] In short. Yet. all they have in the world. what then is it? Had there been no real law intervene and restore.L. who misjudged and hired sale. make ridiculous that the highest bidder paid to the Deputy Sheriff the said amount contracts. inter alia. She cannot claim that she was illegally deprived of In Vales v. It must be true that he won in the bidding. as Legarda claims." require either Cathay or Cabrera to reconvey the property would be an unlawful intrusion into the lawful exercise of his proprietary Respondents should not be penalized for Legardas rights over the land in question. would still not allegedly low selling price. judgment debt. an act which would constitute an mistake. 1985. If the subject property was at all sold. that . so decision. and lose money by them - of P376. His act in representing the company Legarda is now consigned to penury and. in the words of the Gancayco consequences. overcome illegally. If this does indeed. to situation and remedy it. it was not through any machination on his part. Cabrera parted with real money at the x x x Courts operate not because one person has been defeated or auction. she admits that her mother Ligaya Under the Gancayco ruling.00 was the highest. All of his the services of the lawyer who practically abandoned her case and actuations that led to the final registration of the title in his name who continued to retain him even after his proven apathy and were aboveboard. Much as it may pity Legarda. Certainly. The fact that Cabrera is an officer of Cathay does not make The Gancayco decision makes much of the fact that him a purchaser in bad faith.

proceedings below? Did her counsel sell her out to the opponent? PRIVATE Respondent. In this ACTUB.[19] This is the stage of finality which judgment is hereby entered DISMISSING the instant petition for judgments must at one point or another reach. Respondents. the Motion for Reconsideration of remedies available to her. jurisdiction of the court a quo over the parties and the subject HERNANDO (ASSOCIATE JUSTICE). HELEN N. FELISIA D. In our jurisdiction. Coronel was being remiss in his duties. rendered by a court without jurisdiction to do so and those SIAO. or in any way modified directly HEREIN REPRESENTED BY HIS HEIRS. MAANDIG. A new disposed of by the trial court. ruled otherwise. MICHAEL P. they. DE obtained by fraud or collusion. too. From the foregoing precedents. this would have its entitlement thereto. not even by the Supreme REPOSAR AND JERRY DALONDONAN. NAMELY: ERLINDA LLAMES. It would create doubt. They CRISANTA D. 185857-58. NAMELY: MADELYN D. ALLAN Court. it is readily apparent that MAANDIG. HON. is hereby reconsideration or appealing the case. G. the trial courts judgment was based on writ of execution issued. At this juncture. Consequently. ATTY. of the guidelines governing the latter class of judgments. ACTING CHAIRMAN). fixes the rights and liabilities of the parties. v. The Gancayco (Legardas) refusal to honor their lease agreement was ruling. SP-10487. resolved. TRIFONIA D. 1989. PRIMITIVO controversies.R. but upon proof of alleged negligence of her attorney. GABUTAN. a In the case at bar. NINA G. VDA.DANTE D. AND HON. Consequently.[24]Where is the fraud in EVELYN DAILO. TROCIO. impervious to modification. AND SPOUSES NICOLAS & EVELYN errors that may be corrected are those which are clerical. and it is regarded as the sentence of negligence. the only UBAUB. the HON.. AND TIRSO regard. UBAUB. we now have an opportunity to rectify a grave were determined. SUAREZ.of proceedings instituted therein. NACALABAN. The very object for which TRIFONIA D. the right of Cathay to be vindicated for such breach and the liability incurred by Legarda in the process Fortunately. necessity of giving finality to judgments that are not void is self- evident. or indirectly. SUSAN N. 2016 the risk of occasional errors. ANTONIO- matter was never raised as an issue by Legarda. UBAUB. PAUL L. FELISIA TROCIO. GABUTAN. The opposite view SO ORDERED. HON. valid and binding upon JUSTICE. AND TIRSO DALONDONAN. HEREIN REPRESENTED BY courts were instituted was to put an end to HER HEIRS. then. HON. DIMAGIBA (ASSOCIATE JUSTICE). Errors of (ASSOCIATE JUSTICE). NOS. such as filing a motion for respondent New Cathay House. 1991. judgments of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law. DECEASED.[25] ORO CITY (FORMER SPECIAL TWENTY-SECOND DIVISION). Nos.R. of raised in the complaint had already been determined and the Courts First Division is VACATED and SET ASIDE. Public policy and sound practice demand that. not lie unless the fraud is extrinsic or collateral and facts upon NAMELY: MADELYN D. the decision dated March 18. aside from the fact that no extrinsic fraud attended the trial and resolution of this case. Damages an innocent purchasers for value. decision of the a judgment becomes ipso facto final when no appeal is perfected Court of Appeals in CA-G. ELBINIAS (ASSOCIATE judgment. unfortunately. MARY JANE GILIG. no longer be reviewed. ELISA ASOK. AND CAGAYAN CAPITOL the real issue that must be resolved in this motion for COLLEGE.[18] that Atty. VALENTINA YANE. In most cases. AS HEIRS OF BALDOMERA D.[23] This case must be tested in light NACALABAN.[22] DAILO. BUNA D. No. she entertained no notion it. JR. not whimsically. LANTION (ASSOCIATE the decision becomes final and executory. which it is based (have) not been controverted or resolved in the MARY JANE GILIG. HEREIN REPRESENTED BY HIS HEIRS. an action to annul a judgment on the ground of fraud will DALONDONAN. it must be pointed out that while Legarda went to the Court of Appeals claiming precisely that the trial DECISION . Such being the VALENZUELA (ASSOCIATE JUSTICE).R. JANE AURORA C. COURT OF APPEALS. EDGARDO T. HELEN N. BUNA D.[17] It is a judicial act which courts decision was fraudulently obtained. LLOREN case. can only be reviewed on appeal. AND SUSAN N.[20] When judgments of lower courts gain finality. at G. AND SPOUSES NICOLAS & case where (the) judgment was rendered. that she began to protest the were duly awarded to Cathay. might make litigations more unendurable than the wrongs (they are) intended to redress. she grounded her settles the issues. CASIMIRO B. Inc. CAGAYAN DE the parties in the case and their successors in interest. and petition before the Supreme Court upon her estranged counsels determines the proceeding. REPOSAR AND JERRY DALONDONAN. The interests of society impose it. reconsideration is the alleged illegality of the final judgments of the trial and appellate courts. CRISANTA D. the property auctioned off then sold to Cathays evidence after Legarda was declared in default. by a higher court. SIAO. This judgment became final when she failed to avail of WHEREFORE. the decision of the trial court cannot be nullified. Petitioners. DECEASED. This could only imply that at the time she filed her the law pronounced by the court on the action or question before petition for annulment of judgment. At the time. and controversy would constantly arise as to what the judgment or order was. may. ACTUB. GABUTAN. 194314-15 Void judgments may be classified into two groups: those DANTE D. v. failing which JUSTICE). HON. June 29. It was only after the appellate courts decision had become final and executory. error of the past. the issues GRANTED.[21] In other words. CAGAYAN CAPITOL COLLEGE. REPRESENTED BY the case at bar? Was Legarda unlawfully barred from the ITS PRESIDENT. It must be noted that. LEONCIA R. Costs against petitioner or the reglementary period to appeal therefrom expires. real or imaginary. if any. NACALABAN. PUBLICRespondents. ALLAN UBAUB. The Victoria Legarda. DECEASED. review and AFFIRMING the November 29. once a judgment becomes final. The issue of whether the plaintiff (Cathay) been dismissed outright for being dilatory and appearing as an act deserved to recover damages because of the defendants of desperation on the part of a vanquished litigant. Petitioners. become inviolable.

On Counterclaim. also set up the defenses of laches On January 25. Partition and Damages with Writ of Preliminary Attachment and Injunction21against Nacalaban.38 They also claimed that the house in which of the property. Declaration of Nullity of defendant. et al. 1997 until the property is actually vacated. the heirs continued use of the property at the rate of P500.4 seeking to reverse the portion of the CA Decision after Godofredo issued a certification30 to the effect that Melecia declaring Cagayan Capital College (the College) as a buyer in good was allowed to occupy a portion of the property.) Pay the plaintiff Attorney's fees amounting to P5. Helen N. 68960-MIN investigations and verifications from all reliable sources" that and CA-G.6 Pursuant to the sale. Nos. In aletter19 dated May 5. 1994.00 per defendant. Actub. 2008 and it is a buyer in good faith and for value.) Immediately vacate the property of the plaintiff. and asserted that the action for reconveyance purchased an 800-square meter parcel of prime land (property) in was improper because the property had already been sold to an Poblacion.8chanrobleslaw Court in Cities (MTCC) against Trifonia. On July 7. but it was denied.) Pay the plaintiff the monthly use compensation for the Gabutan. They alleged that: (1) Melecia bought the property using On appeal. Allan Ubaub. and mother. He thereafter built a house on for Unlawful Detainer and Damages36with the Municipal Trial it. to from MAY 5.25cralawredchanrobleslaw Before us are consolidated petitions questioning the Court of In its Answer with Affirmative Defenses. filed a Complaint for d. Buna D. 53598-MIN.: buyer in bad faith. Contracts. Melecia. docketed as knew about the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale upon CA-G. Evelyn and Nicolas Dailo (Heirs of Melecia).JARDELEZA. 1979.R. 199718 and was survived by her children. is one Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale was published in three for certiorari5 filed by Dante D. Allan. Helen.17chanrobleslaw WHEREFORE. et al. Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. the Heirs of favor of the real owner and beneficiary. et al. as well. the heirs Melecia and her heirs were staying in the property by mere of Trifonia D.) Pay for litigation expenses at the rate of P1. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed the MTCC's her own money but Godofredo had the Deed of Absolute Sale Decision46 in all respects. Buna. CV No.00 per month of Melecia who were occupying the house on the property.33 Nacalaban. On August 22. The other petition.R. Vda. in effect. Ubaub (Gabutan. 1974. Gabutan and Tirso Dalondonan. was a purchaser showed that Melecia owned the building on the land owned by in bad faith.22 (2) given 30 days from notice to vacate the property.29 (2) the occupancy permit of Melecia was issued only on certiorari. Baldomera issued a Certification10 in favor of her possess the property in co-ownership with Nacalaban. T-2259 was cancelled favor of the College:43chanrobleslaw and TCT No. 1997. that Baldomera was Gabutan. It provided. 1997.14 On July 3. et al. and Evelyn Dailo. SP No. a newspaper of general Susan N. Gabutan. Melecia.42chanrobleslaw Deceased Person with Sale15 (Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale) where they adjudicated unto themselves the property and sold it The MTCC found it had jurisdiction to hear the case and ruled in to the College.41 They then concluded that in view of the issues Baldomera died on September 11. who in their The Antecedents lifetime. 1996.000. Felisia.49 Thus.). because it was purchased by Melecia. Trifonia.24 and (4) the College was a . Crisanta. the MTCC had no children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate of jurisdiction over the case. denied the Gabutan. Nacalaban.R. T-11184616 covering the property was issued in the name of the College. 1997.13chanrobleslaw forum-shopping in view of the pendency of the action for reconveyance.3 In G. 185857-58. Mary Jane. 2010 in CA-G.35chanrobleslaw and Dolores. b. and consecutive issues of Mindanao Post. and hence. Nos. Francisco innocent purchaser for value. the College filed a separate Complaint issued in the name of Godofredo. except that the Heirs of Melecia were executed in his name instead of his mother-in-law.26 the College claimed that Appeals' (CA) Decision1 dated December 11. being aware they were co-owners of the property. 194314-15.9 ITe was survived by his wife. Godofredo Nacalaban (Godofredo) and prescription.) filed a residential house. their allowing her mother to build and occupy a house on the portion common predecessor.37 the Heirs of Melecia claimed that they own and March 19. 1957. 1996. G. the College demanded Trifonia D. In their Answer with Godofredo died on January 7.20chanrobleslaw c.23 (3) they only Melecia filed a petition for review50 before the CA.39 The College had taxation purposes. allegations of Gabutan. exercised unequivocal and absolute ownership over the property. Mary Jane Gilig. and Tirso. Dante. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered ordering each of the defendants to: Melecia died on April 20. chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrarya.27 It alleged that: (1) in the tax declaration28 of the Felisia Trocio and Crisanta D. her and the value of the property.34 Nacalaban. TCT No.32chanrobleslaw (Nacalaban. having "made exhaustive Resolution2 dated August 17. et al. 53598. et al. et al. et al.00 per Reconveyance of Real Property. Siao as heirs of Baldomera D. J. De Nacalaban circulation. It seeks to annul the CA Decision and Resolution which sustained the action for reconveyance filed by In their Answer with Counterclaim. and Susan. the house was declared for they reside was constructed at her expense. Affirmative and/or Negative Defenses with Compulsory Baldomera. SP No. Cagayan de Oro City from Petra.000. The tax declaration12 presented in evidence prior knowledge of this co-ownership. et al.R. They claimed to have acquired the property by intestate succession from their parents. and their children.R. and the SO ORDERED.40 The Heirs of Melecia also raised the defense of Godofredo. Melecia admitted that the lot owner is partial appeal by way of a petition for review Godofredo. all surnamed Daamo. Fortunata.11 Accordingly.51chanrobleslaw verification with the Registry of Deeds. et al. tolerance. Maandig.44chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary College. T-22597covering the property was On September 10.47 They filed a Godofredo and Baldomera were only trustees of the property in motion for reconsideration.31 and (3) the faith. vacate the premises.

College should have exercised a higher degree of prudence in establishing their capacity to sell it. and this Court interpose any objection when the testimony of Crisanta Ubaub hereby: was offered and Gabutan. et al. decision. Gabutan. in the reconveyance case. of the Civil Code. to deliver and turn over to the involve the same parties. XX. T-2259 issued in the name of hearsay evidence alluded to. The RTC found the Both parties filed separate appeals from this Decision before the testimonies of their witnesses credible. Godofredo was used when the title was obtained because Godofredo lived in Cagayan de Oro City while Melecia lived in The C A rendered its Decision59 on December 11.70chanrobleslaw Notarial Register of Notary Public Victoriano M. Declares that the Spouses Godofredo and Baldomera the death of Godofredo and Melecia is without merit because Nacalaban held the land covered by Transfer Gabutan. Orders defendant Cagayan Capitol College to inform that other persons possessed the property. et al. they cannot be ejected from the property because there is no evidence to show that their stay was by mere tolerance. filed their motion for reconsideration of the CA Dalondonan on August 20. 2010 consolidating them. accordingly. Nullifies the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate of who bought the property in good faith and for value. et al. Series of 1996 in the collaterally.'s witnesses are not competent to testify on matters which took place before 1.63 (5) the action for reconveyance Melecia Vda. we issued a Resolution77 dated plaintiffs. Gabutan.'s claim that Gabutan. et al.64 and (6) the College is a buyer in good que trust. et al.62 (4) the parole evidence rule does Godofredo Nacalaban married to Baldomera not apply because Melecia and Nacalaban. where they allege that: (1) the action for reconveyance as legal heirs of Melecia Vda. The issues for resolution are: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary SO ORDERED.72 Since Godofredo was the to above. but it was denied in a Resolution66 dated August 17. the CA consolidated Melecia was used in buying the property but the name of both appeals. have not specified these witnesses and such Certificate of Title No. de Dalondonan with the Spouses as the has not yet prescribed because Gabutan. Maandig.57 In a Resolution58 dated October 7. T-2259 which was issued on defendants on July 30. paragraph 2. January 13. and. de Dalondonan. review on certiorari71 under Rule 45. Declares that defendant Cagayan Capitol College was a College is not a buyer in good faith because it did not buy the buyer in good faith and for value of the land referred property from the registered owner. Book No. Helen N.60 (2) the dead man's chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary statute does not apply because Gabutan. the publication of the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale individual defendants the amount of which should was also without prejudice to claims of other persons who had no approximate the prevailing market value of the land at notice or participation thereof. within thirty (30) days from receipt of this December 13. et al. 67.68 (2) for an action for reconveyance to prosper.69 and (3) the Deceased Person with Sale executed by the individual title of Godofredo under TCT No. the RTC rendered a Decision52 in favor of Gabutan.54 The dispositive portion of the RTC's Decision The CA held that: (1) the defense of co-ownership based on an reads: implied trust by a defendant in an unlawful detainer case shall not divest the MTCC of jurisdiction over the case.55chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary .65chanrobleslaw 2.53Thus.Meanwhile. were not parties Dalondonan issued on January 13. in that the money of CA. Nacalaban. Gabutan. beneficial interest of the foregoing Land passed to the 2010. 2004. et al. et al. allege that the 4. and that Melecia was a builder in good faith. despite knowing 5. the ownership and Decision. Page No. judgment is hereby rendered.76chanrobleslaw 6. are in possession trustees and Melecia Vda. Orders the individual defendants namely. Dante D. Siao. and Susan N. the defendant now owns the land. already expired. 1959 in trust for to the Deed of Conditional Sale. Rule 74 of the Rules of the land referred to above bought by it from the Court. Hence.. 1997. the RTC held that a the consolidated appeals and affirming in toto the RTC Decisions trust was established by operation of law pursuant to Article 1448 in the unlawful detainer case and the action for reconveyance. Considering that the petitions assail the same CA Decision and jointly and severally. argue that the time of the purchase. de Dalondonan as the cestui of the property. et al.74 Under Section 1. 1959 could not be attacked 326. In their petition. 1996 and known as Doc.'s counsel even examined her. et al. Declares that upon the death of Melecia Vda. filed the present petition for individual defendants of the land referred to above. et al. the property should not have passed into the hands of another 3.73 Further. et al. seeking a partial appeal of the CA Decision. No. the College did not this Court in writing within thirty (30) days from receipt inquire with Gabutan.'s counsel did not WHEREFORE. faith. Jacot with respect to the Extrajudicial settlement by the On the other hand. the nature of their stay on the of this decision the amount of the purchase price of property. plaintiffs' shares of the proceeds of the sale of the land referred to above the amount of which is equivalent to live-sixth (5/6) of said proceeds with the The Issues remaining one-sixth (1/6) to be retained by the individual defendants as their share by virtue of their being the legal heirs of Baldomera D. de Nacalaban. Misamis Oriental.61 (3) Nacalaban.75 Finally. Nacalaban. declares that said registered owner of the property and not Nacalaban. et al. they filed the present petition for certiorari67 under plaintiffs and individual defendants by operation of law Rule 65. 2008 dismissing Bornay. Gitagum. et al.

et al. (2) when testimonial evidence that an implied resulting trust exists. however. Article 1448 of the Civil Code provides in part that there is an was a final resolution that disposed of the appeal by Nacalaban. discussions to transfer the title in Melecia's name so Melecia's children can divide it together with the rest of Melecia's In spite of the consolidation we have ordered.89 occurs when there is (1) an actual payment of money.98 we requisites are absent in this case. 2010 on September 7. We stress at the outset that the question of existence of an Our Ruling implied trust is factual. The former is the the form of a petition for review on certiorari and not a petition trustee. they had 15 days or until September 22.86 The first and third rule.. et al. Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Thus.93 It was allegedly her practice to buy properties and but was lost through fault or negligence. et al. Whether the College is a buyer in good faith. We have the through. I. filed a petition for certiorari on property. et al. and (3) when there is sufficient Reliance on these testimonies will not violate the parol evidence reason to justify the relaxation of the rules. Nacalaban.78 the proper to disregard these established doctrinal rules. or an equivalent. constituting valuable recourse. through the testimonies of Felisia. trust necessarily has to be trustworthy and it cannot rest on loose. 2010. the deed of sale covering the property was placed in not a substitute for an appeal where the latter remedy is available his name. there were family exceptions85 to this general rule.83 Under the Rules of Melecia built a residential building on the property.99 We cautioned. and when decision. 2010.81 We have always declared that a petition for certiorari is instruction. the petition of Melecia allowed him to do so because she trusted him. the petition was ruled that since an implied trust is neither dependent upon an filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period of filing a petition express agreement nor required to be evidenced by writing. 2008. Inc.97chanrobleslaw discretion to treat a Rule 65 petition for certiorari as a Rule 45 petition for review on certiorari if (1) the petition is filed within Both the RTC and CA found credence on these pieces of the reglementary period for filing a petition for review. but its title was placed in Godofredo's name. while the latter is the beneficiary. therefore. once raised. et al.82chanrobleslaw place them in her children's name. Gabutan. This extraordinary action lies only where there is no consideration. 2010 of the CA. 2010 to file an daughter Crisanta and some of her grandchildren appeal before us. They are . hence. To reiterate.95 Godofredo also thereafter built a house on the without doing so and. and final order or resolution even if the error ascribed to the court Trifonia. or resolution is an appeal. or grave abuse purchased the property because Felisia wanted to build a of discretion in the findings of fact or of law set out in the pharmacy on it.100 The testimonies of Felisia. et al. ordinarily outside the purview of Rule 45. should have filed an appeal in having the beneficial interest of the property. and the legal estate is granted al. An implied resulting trust was shall prosper. Nacalaban. where her Court. Nacalaban. a. et al. The trust created here. et al. and Godofredo 3. we cannot treat the properties. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary the alleged beneficiary of a resulting trust. under established remedy exceptional circumstances. established that Melecia's money was used in buying the rendering the judgment is its lack of jurisdiction over the subject property.79 In Malayang Manggagawa ng Stayfast Phils. for certiorari under Rule 65. allowed this period to lapse resided.92 Melecia entrusted the money to the requirements for the latter remedy is that there should be no Godofredo because he was in Cagayan de Oro. are present here. She matter.. order or resolution. Rule 65 is a limited form of review and is a remedy of last property or services. As will be discussed. which is also referred to as a purchase money resulting trust. as Nacalaban. and left nothing more to be done by the CA in respect to the to one party but the price is paid by another for the purpose of said case. we also find no Article 1457 of our Civil Code authorizes the admission of parol compelling reason to relax the rules. Twice. The action for reconveyance evidence that is required to establish the existence of an implied filed by Gabutan. none applies in this case. (2) and such consideration must be furnished by appeal nor plain. and Trifonia satisfy these requirements.94chanrobleslaw Here. when aptly supported by evidence. The Resolution dated August 17. Crisanta. Whether the petition for certiorari of Nacalaban.90 These two elements course of law. as in this case.91 On one occasion in Melecia's house. evidence to prove their existence. National Labor Relations Comission. always fell petition of Nacalaban.87 The resolution of factual issues is the function of the lower courts whose findings. 1. we do not find this case to be under any of the exceptions. is.88 Even if we were Pursuant to Section 1.80 we held that appeal would still be the proper remedy from a judgment on the merits. What is crucial is the intention to create a trust. instead. but it was understood that she and her children co-own the properties. Melecia gave Godofredo the money right of appeal prohibits the resort to certiorari because one of to purchase the property. Whether the action for reconveyance was proper.84 Being the wrong remedy. This is especially true when the CA affirms the lower Nacalaban. is a wrong court's findings. and when Baldomera fell ill. he also mortgaged the property to secure loans. Crisanta. or the exercise of power in excess thereof. The plans. final order affirm the assailed CA rulings. created between Melecia and 2. et al. et al. which is a special civil action. as one under Rule 45. had deviated from this rule. however. While we. Although there are Godofredo's death. November 5. for review on certiorari. dismissible. The existence and availability of the the entire family was present. errors of judgment are averred. v. that the parol II. and per Melecia's appeal. received the assailed Resolution dated August 17.96After Nacalaban. which affirmed its Decision dated December 11. is proper equivocal or indefinite declarations. In Tong v. we would still remedy to obtain a reversal of judgment on the merits. et implied trust when property is sold. Go Tiat Kun. The petition for certiorari of bind us.

the 1950s. Thus. the not amount to a collateral attack on the title. if Godofredo name of the College. until her death in 1994 despite being pressed by her siblings to partition the property. especially in ownership or title over the particular property described therein.112chanrobleslaw the decree but. allegation of Nacalaban. The RTC correctly deduced that this only b. can only be questioned through a direct proceeding. like in the case at imprescriptible. with more reason. An trust prescribes 10 years from the alleged fraudulent registration action for reconveyance is a legal and equitable remedy granted or date of issuance of the certificate of title over the property. and maintained that it was issuance in favor of a particular person does not foreclose the really the latter who purchased the property from its original possibility that the real property may be co-owned with persons owners. which right can be claimed decree is not sought to be set aside. In an action for reconveyance. as evidenced by their possession of the Deed of not named in the certificate. the body of the Complaint filed by Gabutan. et al. We agree with the RTC when it said that this ownership. As held in Naval v. The College has even filed an third person for value. The and later transferred to the College. Baldomera did not do so since the Complaint is a direct attack on the title of the College. denied the arrangement does it permit one to enrich himself at the expense of others. The title did not operate to vest ownership upon the property in favor of the The execution of the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale between College. the law thereby creates the for reconveyance of the property. their complaint for reconveyance is There is no quibble that a certificate of title. et al. however. et al. available to a person gives him a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of equity to whose property has been wrongfully registered under the Torrens ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third system in another's name.107chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary obligation of the trustee to reconvey the property and its title in favor of the true owner. and the College is void fraudulent. because it is not a mode of acquiring Godofredo.104 It will enforcing the trust is in possession of the property.. or that it may be held in trust for Conditional Sale and the title being in Godofredo's name. Nemo dat .consistent and agree in all material points in reference to the xxx Registration of a piece of land under the Torrens System does circumstances behind the arrangement between Melecia and not create or vest title. As the RTC aptly observed. The action for reconveyance is imprescriptible meant that Baldomera acknowledged that the property belongs because the plaintiffs are in possession of to Melecia. failed to take into account that in a in equity.105 We explained in Hortiznela v. therefore. and was succeeded by her children and grandchildren. specifically with regard to how Godofredo Moreover. died in 1997 The fact that the property was already titled in Godofredo's name. an action in personam. on the other hand.103chanrobleslaw the property Having established the creation of an implied resulting trust.102 It is another person by the registered owner. bench. that Gabutan. contrary to the action for reconveyance is an action to quiet the property title. Melecia. it was surprising the sale to the College and claimed co-ownership over the that Baldomera did not transfer the title of the property to her property. seeks to transfer or reconvey the land from the The fact of actual possession of Gabutan. et al. whose land was wrongfully or However. is proper. the decree of registration is imprescriptible legal right. et al. Hence. et al. to compel the constructive trust is imprescriptible if the plaintiff or the person registered owner to transfer or reconvey the land to him.111 The reason is that the one who is in Tagufa:106chanrobleslaw actual possession of the land claiming to be its owner may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before x x x As a matter of fact. which al. In effect. the person in whose name the land is registered holds Having established the creation of an implied resulting trust it as a mere trustee. Melecia was still alive. His undisturbed possession recognized remedy.115 The true owner. an action for reconveyance is a taking steps to vindicate his right. is an available as long as the property has not passed to an innocent undisputed and established fact. If the registration of the land is between Nacalaban. must be reconveyed to her estate. Nacalaban. et al.109 telling. which does not prescribe. of the property. an action for reconveyance based on implied or erroneously registered in the name of another. to the rightful landowner. respecting it as incontrovertible and no longer open to review.114chanrobleslaw respected as incontrovertible and is not being questioned.113 Thus. et al. is not a hindrance to an property. Court of Appeals:108chanrobleslaw Godofredo's heirs and the College will not defeat the legal obligation to reconvey the property because at the time of its execution in 1996. the heirs of An action for reconveyance based on an implied or a constructive Melecia in whose benefit the trust was created.. and the real owner is entitled to file an action between Melecia and Godofredo. shows that it is not only for the reconveyance of the property would have directly refuted the allegation that Melecia's money but also for the annulment of TCT No. The cannot be held guilty of laches as the said doctrine. nor can it be used as a shield for the commission of fraud. the action for reconveyance filed by Gabutan. we can rule on the validity of TCT No. action for reconveyance based on an implied trust. A certificate of title is merely an evidence of arrangement among family members is not unusual. T-111846 issued in the was used in the purchase. however. that Nacalaban. What is being sought is the transfer of the property wrongfully or III. failed to provide the details of the sale. which is one MCTC and the CA. registered owner to the rightful owner. did not have the right or authority to sell the property.The property shall be reconveyed to the estate of Melecia erroneously registered in another's name to its rightful owner or The Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale executed to the one with a better right. the party and its effect on his own title. Reconveyance is always during the lifetime of Melecia and even after her death. It follows. It does not seek to set aside only by one who is in possession. Its between Melecia and Godofredo. et al. ejectment case against the Heirs of Melecia for this reason. questioned the validity of really bought the property with his own money.101chanrobleslaw It cannot be used to protect a usurper from the true owner. et could have been able to afford the purchase price himself.110 Gabutan. T-111846 name when Godofredo died in 1974. neither Nacalaban. cannot be set up to resist the enforcement of an complaint for reconveyance.

are not the registered owners of the property. He buys the seller can transfer legally. the seller is the registered owner of the ownership of the College of the property on the ground that it is land.124chanrobleslaw Where a purchaser buys from one who is not the registered owner himself.131 Also.117chanrobleslaw only show that he relied on the face of the title to the property. the law requires a higher degree of prudence even Whether one is a buyer in good faith and whether due diligence if the land object of the transaction is registered. it is important to note that petitioners did not buy the transfer the property. et al. to this general rule relative of the transferor. The RTC reiterated the rule that the buyer of a land registered Under such circumstance. the latter is in possession thereof.120 The CA. Such degree of proof of good faith. Maria dcla Cruz and Jose Santiago. as his legal heirs.129 we held: buyer. is expected to examine not only the certificate of title but all factual circumstances necessary for him to determine if there chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary are any flaws in the title of the transferor. et al.121chanrobleslaw probandi cannot be discharged by mere invocation of the legal presumption of good faith.127 (Emphasis supplied.130 to the finding that the College is a buyer in good faith. however. Melecia owned a residential building and Godofredo owned the lot. Failure to exercise such degree of would reasonably constitute enough reason for the College or any precaution makes him a buyer in bad faith. or in his capacity to However. and the buyer can acquire no more right than what the or interest of some other persons in the property. the College is a buyer in good faith. Dionisio Santiago. apart from filing an ejectment case against the Heirs In Bautista v. or in his capacity to transfer the land. One who buys and prudence were exercised are questions of fact. he must certificate of title and does not have to look beyond it. He need not prove that he made further inquiry for he is not The College is a buyer in bad faith obliged to explore beyond the four corners of the title. the College. at the an innocent purchaser for value. We see an exception. which finding was upheld by the CA.. title to property does not vest ownership but is a mere proof that such property has been To prove good faith. or representation of the seller regarding the nature of possession of interest in. This onus deemed a buyer in good faith.quod non habet. were also in possession of the property. without notice that some other person has a right to.126 we reiterated the requisites for one to be of Melecia. 1974.132chanrobleslaw chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary In Occeña v.118 The lower courts' findings are time of the sale. a buyer of registered and titled land need registered. et al. (ii) the Extrajudicial Settlement or restriction in the title of the seller or in his capacity to convey with Sale was duly published and the College was able to effect title to the property. and third. by her heirs.) buyer to conclude that the property is free from any adverse claim. They bought it persons possessed the property so it should have first established from his heirs. thereby making any further investigation unnecessary. only questions of law may be raised in a not only the certificate of title but all factual circumstances petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of necessary for him to determine if there are any flaws in the title Court. was based on an obvious the Heirs of Melecia. al. the occupants of the land: . second.125 As we have from one who is not the registered owner is expected to examine already mentioned. et al. the transfer of the title in its name. or of any defect annotated on Godofredo's title. the lower courts still sustained the conditions concur: first. The misapprehension of facts and was clearly not supported by law College cited the tax declaration which bore an annotation that and jurisprudence.116 Nacalaban. is sufficient only when Despite the finding that the property was owned by Melecia and the following upon her death. the College retained part of the purchase price for the considered a purchaser in good faith: demolition of Melecia's building as well. One can sell only what one owns or is authorized at the time of such purchase. as In Bautista v. et al. We hold that the RTC's finding that the College is a buyer in good faith. and (iv) the tax declaration showed that Melecia owned puts the buyer on notice and obliges the latter to exercise a only the building on the land owned by higher degree of diligence by scrutinizing the certificate of title Godofredo. as correctly pointed out by Gabutan. Court of Appeals.'s claim was never interest of some other person in the property.119chanrobleslaw and examining all factual circumstances in order to determine the seller's title and capacity to transfer any interest in the property. Thus. Firstly. (iii) Baldomera issued a certification in favor of Melecia allowing her to occupy a portion Absent one or two of the foregoing conditions. alleged that the lower courts erred in ruling that discharge this burden. the buyer was not aware of any claim or grounded on the following: (i) Gabutan. is required to prove arrangement between Godofredo and Melecia. Esponilla.122 (2) not being the registered owners. these facts inquiring beyond the title. et al. raising the following: (1) Nacalaban. then the law itself of the lot. it is no longer sufficient for said buyer under the Torrens System may rely upon the face of the to merely show that he relied on the face of the title. or before he has notice of the claim to sell.. cannot find refuge property with the welt-founded belief that the person from whom in their argument that the property was registered in their he receives the thing had title to the property and capacity to father's name and that after his death. which has the burden to prove the status of Absent any showing that the College knew of the actual being a purchaser in good faith. but Godofredo. such property and pays full and fair price for the same. held that when taken together. Nacalaban. it must be the concurrence of the above conditions.128 We find that the College failed to Gabutan. now also show that he exercised reasonable precaution by on the other hand. To repeat. the capacity of the Nacalaban children to sell the property. are not the registered owners of the property. Secondly.123 and (3) the College knew that other land from the registered owner.133 we held that petitioner-spouses were A buyer for value in good Faith is one who buys property of not purchasers in good faith when they merely relied on the another. however. Silva. the College was aware that aside from Nacalaban. his rights passed to them convey it. et Godofredo is the registered owner who died on January 7. the College.

3 In July 1999.142 and good faith in their purchase and registration of the land. The Register of Deeds is ordered to cancel TCT No. Quezon City and covered by Transfer Certificate of ownership of the property. Respondents.R. that the ruling on BERSAMIN. judgment. J. 2007 by the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City (RTC) Decision of the Court of Appeals dated December 11. Domingo learned that price paid on the property to the College. It had an area 2.135 it failed to specify who or what these sources SPOUSES ALFONSO AND MARIA ANGELES CUSI. the nature and authority of their possession. issue for resolution in an unlawful detainer case is physical or unless a transferee acquires the property as an innocent material possession of the property involved. who were occupying the LILIA V. 2008 and its against the petitioners and their seller. No. No. CV No. covered by a reissued owner's copy of the certificate of title however.) Although the College in its Answer alleged that it made an G. x x x At the trial.139 Thus. Nos. A transferee who acquires the property claim of ownership by any of the parties.136 If the land purchased is in the possession vs of a person other than the vendor. x134 (Emphasis supplied. DOMINGO AND SPOUSES RADELIA AND ALFRED and must investigate the rights of the actual possessor. possession instead of merely relying on the representation of the vendor that they were squatters. a person on inquiry. We emphasize. 185857-58 is GRANTED. The property should be reconveyed to the Estate of their presence on the land. It is not far-fetched to conclude. the petition promulgated on July 16. Tomas Occena admitted that he found houses built on 3. et al. In this regard. we find that petitioner-spouses failed to prove the finality of judgment until its satisfaction. 2013 exhaustive investigation and verification from all reliable sources and found that the possession of Melecia and her heirs was merely tolerated. Nacalaban. 2010 are AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: Antecedents 1. 195871 The "honesty of intention" which constitutes good faith implies a freedom from knowledge of circumstances which ought to put RAMONA LIZA L. 2010. the ruling on the is not considered an innocent purchaser for value. x x SO ORDERED. 90452 affirmed the revised decision rendered for review on certiorari in G. 140chanrobleslaw Under review in these consolidated appeals is the Decision WHEREFORE. 1997141 until the date of finality of this transactions affecting her property. relied on the representation of vendor Arnold that these houses were owned by squatters and that he was merely tolerating 4. the registered of ownership was fully threshed out. When the defendant.R. The on March 1. Nos. the purchaser cannot be said to be in good faith and cannot have any right over the property.138chanrobleslaw DECISION We are aware that in the ejectment case. the purchaser must be wary LILIA V. . the College is not a buyer in good faith. There is no evidence that the College did inquire from vs. therefore. DOMINGO. though. property. Petitioner. raises the defense of ownership in his pleadings and the without taking the ordinary precautions of honest persons in question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the doing business and examining the records of the proper Registry issue of ownership.R.: the College's better right of possession was without prejudice to the eventual outcome of the reconveyance case where the issue Under the Torrens system of land registration. are ordered to return the purchase of 658 square meters. were.R. Domingo by the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City. DE VERA. the issue of ownership shall be resolved only of Deeds. Petitioners. The total amount shall thereafter earn chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from In the case at bar.2 Resolution dated August 17. T-l the land during its ocular inspection prior to his purchase. Cagayan Capitol College is hereby declared a buyer in The property in dispute was a vacant unfenced lot situated in bad faith. such inquiry. independent of any purchaser for value. 195825 February 27. in view of the foregoing.R. ejectment case is not conclusive as to the issue of ownership. She soon unearthed the series of anomalous from July 23.137 Without SY. 194314-14 is DENIED and the petition in CA-G. Tomas should have verified from the the late Melecia Dalondonan with the institution of the occupants of the land the nature and authority of their proper proceedings for its partition and titling. plus interest construction activities were being undertaken on her property at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum computed without her consent. N-165606 issued in the name of respondent Lilia V. Respondent. or who fails to pay the full market value of the property to determine the issue of possession. Title (TCT) No. that the College merely relied x-----------------------x on the representations of the sellers and the documents they presented. He 11846 in the name of the College. Melecia or her heirs themselves.1 whereby the Court of Appeals (CA) for certiorari in G. the MTCC and RTC ruled in favor of the College. who has no right to possession and White Plains. G. We have held that the sole owner of realty cannot be deprived of her property through fraud. having seen for himself that the land was occupied by persons other than the vendor who was not in possession of the land at that time.

00 for the entire property that had an actual worth of not less than ₱14. and.00) was later cancelled by virtue of the deed of absolute sale dated representing the value of the property July 14. One Million Pesos (₱1. The RTC granted Sy’s petition on Lilia Domingo liable (sic) for damages. one Radelia Sy (Sy). 165606 plus legal rate issued TCT No. the transactions between Sy and the 5. N-165606 remained in her undisturbed expenses.000. and sold each 2.000. N-165606. BPI Family Savings Bank and The Register of Deeds of Quezon City. De Vera.6 whereby she claimed that her bag containing the owner’s copy of TCT No. Cusi. N-165606.7 The Registry of Deeds of Quezon City then issued a new owner’s duplicate copy of TCT No. Spouses Alfonso G.000. the 30.14 disposing: (c) TCT Nos. Five Hundred Thousand Pesos was then cancelled by virtue of the deeds of sale executed (₱500.15 the RTC reconsidered and set aside its September Domingo commenced this action against Sy and her spouse.000.00 for each set of buyers. appending to purchasers in good faith and for value. 2007.000. 1997 while she was at the SM City (d) finding defendant Radella Sy liable to the plaintiff in North EDSA. 1997. Domingo v. and between Sy and Spouses Cusi. WHEREFORE.00) representing exemplary ₱1. 18956810 and TCT No.13 The RTC granted Domingo’s (a) Declaring the sale between Lilia Domingo and application for the TRO enjoining the defendants from proceeding Radelia Sy void and of no effect. Five Hundred Thousand Pesos 186142.On July 18. as Civil Case No. 3. with the construction activities on the property. 186142 as Entry No. (a) declaring the sale between Lilia V. her petition a deed of absolute sale dated July 14. 189569. the RTC rendered a decision. Costs of Suit. Edgardo and Ramona Liza De Vera and Sps. in view of the foregoing. (e) TCT No. which 1. and in its stead the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City covered by TCT No. Fourteen Million Pesos (₱14. petitioned the RTC for the issuance of a Vera and Sps.00) half by way of contract to sell to Spouses Edgardo and Ramona representing moral damages. Acting on the motions for reconsideration separately filed by Sy and Domingo. ₱2.8 of interest until fully paid. PE-8907/N. 2003. or for a total of damages. the RTC rendered a new decision. and allowed the presentation of rebuttal and De Veras and the Cusis in the RTC. and Ramona Liza L. seeking the annulment or cancellation of titles.000. 189568 and 189569. between Sy and Spouses De Vera. Judgment is hereby damages. 1997.00) representing litigation Domingo. the complaint being docketed sur-rebuttal evidence. (b) Declaring the Sps. and possession. Edgardo and Ramona Liza De owner of the property. Quezon City. and a temporary restraining order (TRO). Two Hundred Thousand Pesos De Veras.00.5 and an affidavit (c) lifting the writ of preliminary injunction. Alfonso and Maria Angeles Cusi not Ruling of the RTC purchasers in good faith and for value. 1997 purportedly executed in her favor by Domingo. injunction and WHEREFORE. Spouses Edgardo M. and between Sy and the Cusis were unknown to (₱200. Sy subsequently subdivided the property into two.11 All the while. The RTC later granted her application for the writ of preliminary injunction.000. Q-99-39312 and entitled Lilia V. 189568 and 189569 are hereby cancelled and declared Null and Void Ab Initio.000.000.00) representing attorney’s fees. TCT No. whose TCT No. in view of all the foregoing judgment is hereby rendered: (d) Directing the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to annotate this Order on TCT No. On September 30. Domingo applied for the issuance of a writ of rendered: preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction. to whom were respectively issued TCT No.16 ruling: Angeles S. Liza De Vera and to Spouses Alfonso and Maria Angeles Cusi. as follows: August 26. 2003 decision.000. 165606 in the name of Lilia Domingo is hereby revalidated. Alfonso and Maria Angeles Cusi to be new owner’s copy of Domingo’s TCT No.000. N-165606 had been snatched from her on July 13. The existence of the individual contracts to sell was annotated on the dorsal portion of Sy’s TCT No.000.000. Domingo and Radella Sy void and of (sic) effect. .4 representing herself as the (b) declaring the Sps. the De Veras in the exercise of their dominical and possessory rights.12 6. 186142 in Sy’s name. 1997. 186142 in the name of Sy 4. of loss dated July 17. 1997. Spouses Radelia and Alfred Sy. and Maria On March 1.9 stating that the consideration of the sale was (₱500. It turned out that the construction activities taking place on the property that Domingo learned about were upon the initiative of IT IS SO ORDERED.

000. b) THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN 3. the assignment of errors each set of appellants made is denied. Cusi COUNTERCLAIMS AGAINST PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE. the Decision dated March 1. De Vera and Sps. VOID AND OF NO EFFECT AND WAS PROCURRED (sic) thereby requiring them to conduct an inquiry or investigation into THROUGH FRAUDULENT MEANS. the status of the title of Sy in the property. As stated.19 may have against defendant Spouses Radelia and Alfred Sy.000. a) THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN 1. viz: Ruling of the CA WHEREFORE. Costs of suit. CODEFENDANTS SPOUSES RADELIA SY AND ALFRED SY ARE LIABLE FOR SPOUSES CUSI’S CROSS-CLAIM.17 by forging the signature of Domingo.00) representing exemplary HONORABLE COURT HAVE (sic) DEPRIVED damages. premises considered.000. N-189568.00 by way of moral damages.000.00/half to only ₱1. the instant appeal On appeal. 186142 being a reconstituted owner’s copy. .00 by way of exemplary damages. Spouses De Vera 4.000. FINDING THAT DEFENDANTS SPOUSES ALFONSO AND MARIA ANGELES CUSI ARE NOT PURCHASERS IN GOOD FAITH AND FOR VALUE. Five Hundred Thousand Pesos d) THE INSTANT ASSAILED DECISION OF THE (₱500. 2.000. Domingo. particularly the several nearly simultaneous transactions DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEES AND LITIGATION respecting the property. Domingo liable (sic) for damages. SO ORDERED. ₱500.00) representing attorney’s fees. 186142.20 c) THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO The CA held that the sale of the property from Domingo to Sy was AWARD DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEES TO null and void and conveyed no title to the latter for being effected DEFENDANTS SPOUSES CUSI. Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱500.000. the defendants Sps.00) DECLARED THAT TCT NOS. to wit. FAITH AND NOT ENTITLED TO THE POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY COVERED BY TCT NO. 2. and that the Cusis and De Veras b) THAT THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN were also aware of other facts that should further put them on AWARDING ACTUAL MORAL DAMAGES. that Sy thereby acquired no right in the property that she could convey to the Cusis and De Spouses Sy Veras as her buyers.000. CANCELLED AND DECLARED NULL AND VOID AB INITIO. Accordingly. 189568 AND 189569 representing moral damages. ₱100. ₱200. and not simply rely on the face of Sy’s TCT No. the Cusis and De Veras did not have the status a) THE TRIAL COURT A QUO ERRED IN HOLDING THAT of purchasers in good faith and for value by reason of their being THE SALE BETWEEN LILIA DOMINGO AND RADELIA SY aware of Sy’s TCT No. 2010.000. EXEMPLARY guard.00/half to BEING CONTRARY TO LAW. and the undervaluation of the purchase EXPENSES THE SAME BEING NULL AND VOID FOR price from ₱7. enable Sy to pay a lesser capital gains tax.00 as attorney’s fees and litigation FAILING TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT expenses. affirming the RTC with modification of the damages to be paid by the Sys to Domingo. 2007 of the was as follows: Regional Trial Court is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification on the award of damages to be paid by defendants-appellants Spouses Radelia and Alfred Sy in favor of the plaintiff-appellee Spouses Cusi Lilia V. 5.000. (f) Finding defendant Radelia Sy liable to the plaintiff c) THAT THE SAID DECISION IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND Lilia V.18 3.00) representing litigation DE VERA SPOUSES ARE NOT PURCHASERS IN GOOD expenses. that although acknowledging that a purchaser could rely on what appeared on the face of the certificate of title. DEFENDANT[S] SPOUSES SY OF THEIR BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW. One Million Pesos (₱1.000. SO ORDERED.000. b) THE LOWER COURT ALSO ERRED IN NOT AWARDING This Decision is without prejudice to whatever civil action for DEFENDANT-APPELLANT DE VERA HER recovery and damages. Two Hundred Thousand Pesos a) THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE (₱200. as follows: JURISPRUDENCE AND IS NOT SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE. AS THE SAME CONTAIN SERIOUS REVERSIBLE ERRORS WHEN THE COURT A QUO 1. and. the CA promulgated its decision on July 16.

24 the State is Cusis (G. In G. 195825. necessitates an Firstly. an internal matter. that he would be secured in his ownership as long as he has not WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONERS ARE ENTITLED TO voluntarily disposed of any right over the covered land. indefeasible title to those included in the register. 186142 REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF RADELIA SY IS A RECONSTITUTED TITLE. facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry. approved on November 6. The unanimity in findings of both the RTC and the CA on Court does not normally involve itself in because of its not being a this all-important aspect of the case is now conclusive on the trier of facts. 1903. Hence. and assures that all the necessary information regarding ownership is on the certificate of title. No.27 also known as the Land Registration Act. the issue of nullity final and immutable as to them. considering that the RTC. 195825) and Ramona Liza L. De Vera22 (G. the Cusis and De Vera commonly contend that the CA aware of any flaw or defect in Sy’s title based on the fact that the gravely erred in not considering them to be purchasers in good property had been unfenced and vacant. such findings being fully supported by preponderant evidence.The CA later on denied the motions for reconsideration. WITHOUT ADMITTING. ALFRED AND RADELIA SY IN ADDITION TO DAMAGES 496.R. In this jurisdiction. through its original decision. They argue that Sy’s TCT No. De Vera asserts that the primordial issue is registered land has the right to rely on the Torrens certificate of whether or not she was an innocent purchaser for value and in title and to dispense with the need of inquiring good faith. except when the party has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry". The system has been instituted to combat the problems of uncertainty. Indeed. in that one does not need to go behind the certificate of title because it contains all the information about II the title of its holder.28 Ruling of the Court To obtain a grasp of whether a person has actual knowledge of The petitions for review are bereft of merit. The RTC also regarded faith and for value. which may be necessary under a private GOOD FAITH AND FOR VALUE. the system gives him complete peace of mind CORRECT WITH RESPECT TO THE SECOND ISSUE. of examining the face of Sy’s TCT No.31 The suspicion. No.30 something that the finding.R.R. to GRANTING. 195871. now beyond dispute is the nullity of the transfer of analysis of evidence of a person’s conduct. but the modifications of the damages granted to Domingo. One of the guiding tenets underlying the Torrens system is the curtain principle. 186142. The State issues an official certificate of title to attest to the fact that the person named is the owner of the property described therein.26 REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL THE PAYMENTS MADE BY PETITIONERS TO THEIR CODEFENDANTS SPOUSES The Philippines adopted the Torrens system through Act No. this appeal via petitions for review on certiorari by the Under the Torrens system of land registration. the Cusis submit the following issues:23 complexity and cost associated with old title systems that depended upon proof of an unbroken chain of title back to a good I root of title. the avowed objective of the Torrens system is to III obviate possible conflicts of title by giving the public the right to rely upon the face of the Torrens certificate and. 186142 was free the petitioners’ making of reasonable verifications as their of any liens or encumbrances that could have excited their exercise of the due diligence required of an ordinary buyer. recounting every however. 1902 and took effect on February 1. subject to such liens and encumbrances as WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF thereon noted or what the law warrants or reserves.21 The Court concurs with the finding by the CA that the Cusis and De Vera were not purchasers for value and in good faith. at first regarded them to have been innocent purchasers who were not Secondly. required to maintain a register of landholdings that guarantees 195871). and it was such decision that the CA affirmed subject to single detail of their quest to ascertain the validity of Sy’s title. therefore. thereby rendering the judgment of the CA on innocence of the petitioners in their purchase of the property.25 APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. the review function of the Court is Court in view of their consistency thereon as well as by reason of limited to a review of the law involved.R. No.29 That renders the Domingo’s property to Sy because both lower courts united in so determination of intent as a factual issue. This principle dispenses with the need of proving ownership by long complicated documents kept by the WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS ARE BUYERS IN registered owner. did not find anything by which to doubt her title. as a rule. further. . No. Consequently. conveyancing system. "a person dealing in In G. which was AND ATTORNEY’S FEES. THAT THE dispense with the necessity of inquiring further. and that they nonetheless even went beyond the task RTC later completely turned around through another decision. as a rule. on the part of the DECISION OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS IS registered owner. We consider to be significant that the Sys no longer came to the Court But the Court now delves into the facts relating to the issue of for further review. The records simply do not support their common contention in that Issues respect.

RTC granted her petition on August 26. and required them to be extra- cautious in dealing with Sy on the property. was lost and could not be located or virtue of the loss of the original duplicate owner’s copy. the Cusis and the De time. and urged the Court to find in their favor. otherwise. undervaluation of the property in the deeds of sale. It was reconstituted title did not apply.There is no question that the petitioners exerted some effort as the hands of an heir of the deceased registered owners with his buyers to determine whether the property did rightfully belong to co-heirs’ knowledge and consent. despite Transfer Certificate of Title of registered land is similar to that of a the certificate derived from the reissued duplicate owner’s copy second Owner’s Duplicate Transfer Certificate of Title. In Garcia v. that "because the TCT of the property on which their mortgage lien was annotated did not contain the annotation: "Reconstituted title. petition for the issuance of a duplicate owner’s copy of the 165606 on November 10. suffice[d] to arouse suspicion on [the while. they also came under the clear which is." a fact that a "cursory examination to Sy appeared to be executed on July 14. circumstance should have already alerted them to the need to therefore. that Sy filed the petition for the issuance of the Verily. 1997. on the representation of the registered owner that Sy’s TCT No. 1997. like a notice of lis pendens. be extracareful. they denied "both are issued. 1997. the CA’s treatment of Sy’s TCT No. respectively. 1997. In doing so. Their the issuance of yet another TCT in favor of a third party.35 a case with striking similarities to this one. 186142. holding instead that they did not deal on was not their only barometer under the law and jurisprudence by the property in good faith because: (a) "the title of the property which to gauge the validity of their acquisition of title. the Court has treated a reissued duplicate owner’s copy of duplicate owner’s copy of Domingo’s TCT No.1âwphi1 The Lazaros. Both. Sy. with the mortgage being annotated on TCT No. both of whom had already been dead for some Being the buyers of the registered realty. and another TCT was then issued in the impostor’s own Veras were aware of the aforementioned several almost name. Republic. opined that "the nature of a reconstituted not investigate beyond the face of Sy’s TCT No. But the Court rebuffed their urging. the impostor to a reconstituted copy of a Torrens certificate of title was not was Sy. The impostor then had the TCT cancelled by presenting a purported deed of sale between him and the registered owners. but they for value. if it was not actual. including its possession. and ultimately ended up with the observance of a certain degree of diligence within the context of Court. the CA cited the ruling in Barstowe the Cusis and the De Veras were similarly situated as the Spouses Philippines Corporation v. awareness. 1997. claimed good the principles underlying the Torrens system faith. after the proper proceedings. and ought supposedly the buyer of the impostor. had no merit considering that: not enough for them to show that the property was unfenced and "The nature of a reconstituted Transfer Certificate of Title of vacant. supposedly lost TCT. through illegal Transfer Certificate of Title." in that being akin to a reconstituted TCT. was lost and could not be located or found despite diligent efforts exerted for that purpose. A inquire beyond the face of Sy’s TCT No. mortgaged the property to Spouses Miguel and Adela Lazaro. The petitioners were shown to have the reissued duplicate owner’s copy of the TCT as akin to a been deficient in their vigilance as buyers of the property. purchasers of the property. like the almost simultaneous transactions affecting they are not the originals. The fraud committed in Garcia paralleled the fraud committed here. the original duplicate owner’s copy of the TCT remained in part of] any person dealing with the subject property. and that on October Court of Appeals. the impostor’s to have put them on their guard. All the the purported Deed of Sale. are subsequent copies of the originals thereof. That found despite diligent efforts exerted for that purpose."37 Simple . as well as the gross put on notice of such fact and thus warned to be extra-careful. the transferee (already the registered owner in his own name) RTC observed that "[t]hese almost simultaneous transactions. said TCT or the original of the Owner’s Duplicate TCT. or they just the behest of Sy to minimize her liabilities for the capital gains tax. For one. being annotated on the TCT of Sy. an 31. the very same day in which Sy registered the affidavit of loss in the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City." and (b) their argument."36 that also excited suspicion. 186142 in view of the fact that they were aware that the original of the said TCT or the original of the Owner's her TCT was derived from a duplicate owner’s copy reissued by Duplicate TCT. that the a TCT as merely a reconstituted certificate of title.1âwphi1 The registered owner of the property was Domingo. was at least presumed. as the CA pointed out. it would be too easy for any registered owner registered land is similar to that of a second Owner's Duplicate to lose her property. did not."34 165606 was executed on July 17. as the mortgagees. This circumstance should obligation to purchase the property not only in good faith but also have alerted them to make the necessary investigation. in effect a reconstituted title. Thereby. In turn. the mortgagees in Garcia. on the themselves the innocence and good faith they supposedly clothed representation of the registered owner that the original of the themselves with when they dealt with Sy on the property. 165606 and then caused the annotation of the mortgage on the TCT. who succeeded in obtaining a duplicate owner’s copy. There were other cursory examination of these subsequent copies would show that circumstances."33 and that both were "subsequent The records also show that the forged deed of sale from Domingo copies of the originals thereof. after the proper occupation. As the mortgaged to the Lazaros was a second owner’s duplicate TCT. and unwarranted. 186142. This issuance in the impostor’s own name was followed by simultaneous transactions affecting the property. The Cusis and the De Veras did from precedents. a real estate mortgage was executed in favor of one impostor succeeded in tricking a court of law into granting his Emma Turingan. that the affidavit of these subsequent copies would show" and "put on notice of of loss by which Sy would later on support her petition for the such fact [anyone dealing with such copies who is] thus warned to issuance of the duplicate owner’s copy of Domingo’s TCT No. Anyone dealing with such copies are the property within a short span of time. they did not find any encumbrance. To the Court. quoting Lazaro. who particularly the date of the alleged loss of the TCT No. 186142 as similar who remained in the custody of her TCT all along. Both are issued. for. 165606. ostensibly at This warning the mortgagees Lazaros did not heed. ignored it. respectively." the treatment of Therein lay the problem. Nor was it safe for them to simply rely on the face of proceedings. Nonetheless. their The inevitable litigation ensued.32 where the Court.

including the inference of their bad faith in transacting the sales in their favor. and CARMEN GLORIA D. and restores to make deeper inquiries to clear the suspiciousness haunting Sy’s Domingo her rights of dominion over the propetiy. and ORDERS the petitioners to pay the costs of suit. Quezon City (RTC) in Civil Case ought to have put them on inquiry manifested their awareness of No.000. It is notable that the De Veras were contracting parties who appeared to have transacted with full freedom from undue influence from Sy or anyone else. JR. their supposed passivity respecting the arrangement to perpetrate the fraud was not even plausible. SABERON and JACQUELINE they did not adduce evidence of the actual payment of that SABERON. 192669 April 21. 96-26486. There was simply no acceptable reason for them to have acquiesced to the fraud. Their failure to investigate Sy's title G.. De Vera particularly insists that she and her late husband did not have any hand in the undervaluation. among others."38 MENDOZA. it affirmed the March 12. still rendered them as parties to the wrongdoing. However. amount to Sy.00 for each half of the property. JOAN F. By letting their respective deeds of sale reflect the grossly inadequate price. That they did not also appear to have paid cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. J.38 As an examination of the (Saberons). holding that the June 21. the petitioners were not innocent purchasers in the June 18. Joan F. Respondents.000. Branch 80.R. Accordingly. Jr. for RAUL SABERON.: Given this notion of good faith. Saberon pays full and fair price for the same.prudence would then have impelled them as honest persons to Resultantly. OSCAR VENTANILLA. and that Sy. In effect. 85520.00 for each half when the true market value was then in the aggregate of at least ₱14. such property and Raul F.000. Another circumstance indicating that the Cusis and the De Veras were not innocent purchasers for value was the gross SO ORDERED.000. VENTANILLA. 2014 the sale was nearly ₱7. 2011 Resolution1 which denied the petition of some other person has a right to. undervaluation of the property in the deeds of sale at the measly price of ₱1. Appeals promulgated on July 16. In that regard. . In the ultimate analysis. such insistence was rendered of no consequence herein by the fact that neither she nor her late husband had seen fit to rectify the undervaluation. the Court rejects their argument as devoid of factual basis. CV No. 55396 and the full price for their share of the property evinced their not 55397 in the name of the Saberons and Samuel Marquez having paid true value. they WHEREFORE. the recitals of the deeds of sale were vs. no less. Even if the undervaluation was to accommodate the request of Sy to enable her to minimize her liabilities for the capital gains tax. 2010 Decision2 and records shows. therefore. They were not any less guilty at all. or interest in. But they still went on with their respective purchase of the property without making the deeper inquiries.000. or for them not to have rightfully insisted on the declaration of the full value of the realty in their deeds of sale. Saberon. No. Saberon and Jacqueline F. 2005 Decision of the despite the nearly simultaneous transactions on the property that Regional Trial Court. It means the "freedom RESOLUTION from knowledge and circumstances which ought to put a person on inquiry. their acquiescence to the fraud perpetrated against the Government.R. they should suffer the consequences. Although the petitioners argue that the actual consideration of G. a purchaser in good For resolution of the Court is a motion for reconsideration of the faith is one who buys the property of another without notice that Court's January 19.39 (Marquez). ordering the the flaw in Sy's title. because they knew as the buyers that they were not personally liable for the capital gains taxes and thus had nothing to gain by their acquiescence. the Court affirms the lower courts. controlling on the consideration of the sales. having prepared the deed of sale. title. Petitioners. the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of were not acting in good faith.. 2010 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA- good faith and for value. 201 0. should alone be held responsible for the undervaluation that had inured only to her benefit as the seller. was correct in.00 for the entire property. Good faith is the honest intention to abstain from taking unconscientious advantage of another.000.

in favor of Oscar C. 1991. the latter was to develop the aforesaid subdivision with On November 17. requested them to continue remitting their payment. amounted to ₱17. The writ was issued on May 3. damages. petitioner. and without the knowledge of the Ventanillas. which offered to pay the balance to MRCI. Subdivision Nos. A notice of levy was annotated in the by the trial court to collect the monthly amortizations and titles of MRCI on May 31. MRCI and AUVC executed two (2) contracts to of ₱210. the Ventanillas commenced an action for specific In the earlier cases. which eventually ordered all lot buyers to Ventanillas moved for the issuance of a writ of execution in Civil deposit their monthly amortizations with the court. 26411. On June 8. AUVC. execute contracts to sell to declaring the contracts to sell in favor of the Ventanillas as valid lot buyers. and annulling the contract to sell in favor of of AUVC. consideration.141. Branch 17- Quezon City. however. the CFI Quezon City rendered a decision authority to manage the sales thereof. No. (MRCI) was the performance. Manila Remnant Co. MRCI alleged that the subject properties could not longer be delivered to the Ventanillas For AUVC’s failure to forward its collections to the trial court as because they had already been sold to Samuel Marquez ordered. 82978. Valencia & Co.122. Crisostomo. constituting the subdivision known as Capitol Homes B. representing the amount they paid for the two (2) lots. AUVC and Crisostomo for the payment the Board of Directors of MRCI. The Ventanilla. Case No. the Ventanillas property. Quezon City (CFI Quezon City) docketed as Civil Case No. resold the liable to MRCI for moral and exemplary damages and attorney's same property to Carlos Crisostomo (Crisostomo). 1990. Consequently.40 for Lot 1 and ₱18.R. Inc. Antecedent Facts Aggrieved. respectively. showed them a copy of the contract to sell signed by Valencia. "Confirmation of Land Development and Sales Contract. without any fees. holding out himself as president of the decreed damages and attorney's fees. AUVC informed the Ventanillas that it was still authorized upon MRCI on May 9. already Ventanillas.This case is an offshoot of two (2) cases involving the same total amount of ₱73. MRCI also prayed that its tender of payment be accepted and that all garnishments on their accounts lifted. docketed as G. Nevertheless. MRCI terminated its business relationship with AUVC MRCI then filed before this Court a petition for certiorari docketed on account of irregularities discovered in its collection and as G. The 1990 Case Thereafter. this Court affirmed the decision of the CA Crisostomo).R. while its petition was pending contracts to sell of some lot buyers including those of Crisostomo before this Court. the 19. 1991. annulment of deeds and damages against MRCI. Valencia. and Crisostomo were held solidarily liable. He then stopped transmitting the of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees to the Ventanillas’ monthly installments which at that time. MRCI refused the Ventanillas’ offer to pay for the remainder of the contract price. and Carmen Gloria D.35. The Ventanillas paid the down payment as be solidarily liable to the Ventanillas for the reimbursement of the stipulated in the two (2) contracts. for CFI Quezon City ruled further that if for any reason the transfer of the combined contract price of ₱66. 1972. AUVC sued MRCI to impugn the abrogation of their agency agreement before the Court of First Instance. In a manifestation and motion. including legal interest plus credited. the CA sustained Ventanillas in his private office files. plus On March 13. free from all liens and encumbrances. and Crisostomo with the Court of First Instance. All the amounts paid by the the CFI Quezon City’s decision in toto. 1970. 1994. Inc. and issue official receipts. and the legal interest thereon from March 1970.. No. including sales commission and management fee.00 payable monthly for the lots could not be effected. The Ventanillas continued to pay the monthly installment. with the assurance that said payments would be deposited later in court.U. 1973. to review the decision of the CA upholding the remittances. To their shock. Branch Encouraged by the seeming triumph of their cause. AUVC and Crisostomo would ten (10) years. 1970. Valencia (Valencia). Believing that they had already remitted the . the president and subsisting. 107282. Valencia was also held MRCI. MRCI caused the publication of a notice cancelling the (Marquez) on February 7. 82978 and G. Valencia was removed as president by solidary liability of MRCI.95 for Lot 2 (appearing in MRCI’s records as credited under the name of On November 22. Instead. MRCI entered into a where Crisostomo was declared in default for his failure to file an contract with A. MRCI offered to reimburse the in whose name the payments of the Ventanillas had been amount paid by the Ventanillas." whereby for a consideration. and served 1973. MRCI 1990 and March 16. MRCI. On July 17. (AUVC) entitled answer. I and II. the MRCI.000. lot buyers did not appear in MRCI’s records.122. was Artemio U.R.00 were also awarded to the Ventanillas for which sell covering Lots 1 and 2 of Block 17. Manila (CFI Manila). Damages and attorney's fees in the total amount On March 3. latter were deposited in Valencia’s bank account and remitted to MRCI as payments of Crisostomo. Jr. No. It was not until March 1978 when the Ventanillas discovered Valencia’s deception. 1980. in favor of Crisostomo. 26411. their names as had been decided by the Court with finality on November 22. Ventanilla (Ventanillas). sum of ₱73. Valencia transmitted the fictitious contract with Crisostomo to MRCI while he kept the contracts to sell with the On separate appeals filed by AUVC and MRCI. At that time.925. It ordered the MRCI to execute an absolute deed of sale in favor of the Ventanillas.35 for the two lots. On July 25. being the owner of several parcels of land situated in AUVC. 1990.571. and declared the judgment of the CFI Quezon City immediately executory. 1991.

the immediate execution of the judgment. Samuel Cleofe. 1990. the unusual lack of interest. Even in the previous petition. Deeds for Quezon City (ROD Cleofe) revealed to them.000. the notice of levy. the execution of the absolute deed of sale in favor of Ventanillas was yet far from fruition. spouses is not disputed by the parties. the case was elevated to this Court as G.074. and in contempt of court and that no claim of ownership over the First. fraudulent. the petitioner did not invoke the contract with Marquez could be lifted only upon the deposit to the Court of the amount during the hearing on the motion for the issuance of the writ of of ₱500.The Ventanillas accepted the amount of ₱210. execution filed by the private respondents.00 of the original price of over resolved. annotated. of the MRCI in lieu of the execution of the absolute deed of sale. The 1994 Case At any rate. Branch 80. to assert and protect his rights to the subject property as an alleged purchaser in good faith.10 and Third. was not carried over to the title issued to their favor had already become final and executory when MRCI Marquez. to protect and assert his right over the disputed property was.000. the contract to sell in favor of Marquez was entered into properties in question had ever been made by Marquez. Marquez has not intervened in any of these proceedings in question had considerably increased. 26411. the issue of show that Marquez has already paid the supposed balance the validity of the sale to the Ventanillas had not yet been amounting to ₱616. including Edgar Krohn Jr. the records do not Marquez was valid because at the time of the sale. the same being a junior encumbrance which was failed to appeal it to the Court. Besides. to the Ventanillas. ROD Cleofe opined already been established even while the previous petition was still that a judicial order for the cancellation of the titles in the name awaiting resolution.000. This plea was the petitioner said it was ready to deliver the titles to the denied twice by the trial court prompting MRCI to file another Ventanillas provided that their counterclaims against private petition for certiorari with the CA. Register of the Ventanillas could not be ordered by the trial court. The fact that the During the trial. all the defendants. On June 21. the recognition of that contract was not assigned as error of either the trial court or appellate court. it cannot prevail over the final and executory From the CA. private respondents. 2005. The subject matter of the controversy having been passed to an innocent purchaser As it turned out. Hence. a clear indication that the alleged sale to him was Civil Case No. filed their respective answers. after the lapse of almost ten years from the rendition of the judgment of the trial court upholding the sale to the Ventanillas. It disclosed the contract only after the writ of execution had been served upon it. that on March 11. 1991. As a buyer in good faith. judgment ordering MRCI to execute an absolute deed of sale in 107282 where MRCI argued that the sale of the properties to favor of the Ventanillas. and Bede Tabalingcos (Tabalingcos) the Ventanillas also shows that it even then already as its legal counsel. not to say the very existence. contended that the alleged sale to Marquez was void.R. The petition only questioned the solidary of the Saberons was essential before he complied with the writ of liability of MRCI to the Ventanillas. Marquez had a right to rely on the recitals in the certificate of title. an order enjoining MRCI entered after the contract to sell to Marquez had already been from reselling the property in litigation was unnecessary. Q-96-26486 merely a ploy of MRCI to evade the execution of the absolute deed of sale in their favor. the CFI Quezon City ordered that the garnishment made by the Sheriff upon the bank account of MRCI Second. there was no specific injunction against it re- ₱800. as the fruits of void conveyances. the RTC rendered its decision. except Marquez acknowledged the validity of the contract to sell in favor of the who was declared in default. 1994. The Ventanillas countered that the validity of the sale to them had which conveyance was registered in July 1992. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Furthermore. They contract with Marquez. the Court settled the controversy in this wise: and Marquez as well as the deed of sale between Marquez and the Saberons. decision ordering MRCI to execute an absolute deed of sale in through inadvertence. (Emphasis supplied) selling the property.00 as damages On top of all this. even if it be assumed that the contract to sell in favor of Marquez is valid. MRCI did not question the legality of the award for damages to (Krohn) as President of MRCI. in its manifestation and motion dated December 21.000. on the part of Marquez. there are other circumstances that cast and attorney’s fees but rejected the reimbursement offered by suspicion on the validity. Further. Q-96-26486 with the Regional Trial The validity of the contract to sell in favor of the Ventanilla Court.00.00 in cash. Apparently. 1990. the Ventanillas were constrained to go to court to seek the annulment of the deed of sale executed between MRCI On March 16. that the garnishment of its bank deposit be lifted. No less importantly. Quezon City (RTC). the execution of the judgment in favor of the for value. There was no mention of sell in favor of Marquez did not constitute a legal impediment to the contract to sell with Marquez on February 7. it held that the cash bond fixed by the trial court for the lifting of the garnishment was fair and reasonable because the value of the lot Fourth. On July 19. the portion of the execution in Civil Case No. MRCI registered a deed of absolute sale to Marquez who eventually sold the same property to the Saberons. Once again. Thus. which ruled that the contract to respondents were paid or offset first. No. 1992. the dispositive portion of which reads: . MRCI then moved for reconsideration praying that it be ordered to reimburse the Ventanillas in the amount of ₱263.

an entry of a notice of levy and attachment in the primary entry or day book of (5) Ordering defendant MRCI. he paid Marquez the amount of Two Million One Hundred that no fraudulent act could be attributed to them for the sale of Thousand Pesos (₱2. A few months later. Marquez and Saberon.4 where the b. Joan and Jacqueline Saberon as year later.Wherefore. considering that ROD Cleofe Upon payment of the real property taxes. the titles to the land. . and Ventanillas were upheld over those of Crisostomo. and following findings: against defendants MRCI. The said parties were found guilty of (3) Ordering the Register of Deeds to cancel the titles bad faith for selling the lots to Marquez at a time when litigation in the name of Marquez and the Saberons. ordering plaintiffs to consign the amount with this Court. inquired with the Registry of Deeds for Quezon City (ROD-QC) to verify the authenticity of the same. who claimed to be purchasers in good faith. at a time when they had every liberty to believe in the legality of Thereafter. According to the CA. these titles were cancelled by plaintiffs and to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale in virtue of a deed of sale to the Saberons and. of the Saberons. Then. ₱50. pronouncement that the first sale to the Ventanillas was valid.00.000. This should have served as a warning to MRCI that it could no (4) Ordering defendant MRCI. the CA made its conclusion hinged on the favour of plaintiffs. on the same day. The titles had been transferred yet again to the a. the sum of ₱7.118. on May 31. which led to the explicit consignment. Obviously. attachment was duly perfected and bound the land. premises considered.000. The former contended upon.00. jointly and persons that the land was already subject to attachment.100. Krohn. The ROD-QC then issued TCT Nos. in February 1992. in 1970. way back question. who. and therefore. as follows: When MRCI executed a Contract to Sell in favor of Marquez in February 1990.00) as purchase price for the lots. Meanwhile. to the lot. having relied on the Unknown to the Saberons. petition. Santiago. They claimed that in 1992. the arguments espoused by MRCI and Tabalingcos were untenable. Tabalingcos and longer deal with the property in deference to the Court’s ruling Marquez to pay plaintiffs. and Saberons. the and affirmation of the trial court’s order to execute the deed of sums of: sale in favor of the Ventanillas. The Marquez Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. on than restrictions for construction and negotiation. In other words. Jr. Krohn. a certain Tiks Bautista offered the lots to Raul Saberon. Unfortunately. 63140 and 63141 in their names. and The Present Petition (6) Ordering the defendants to pay the costs of the Aggrieved by this CA ruling. MRCI’s titles. judgment is hereby rendered in In the assailed decision. TCT favour of the plaintiffs. the Saberons relied on one central argument—that they were purchasers in good faith. on the other.88 representing the Resultantly. As agreed one hand. ₱100. as attorney’s fees. it was in the throes of an appeal from the Decision (1) Declaring the Transfer Certificated of Title Nos. It was only upon receipt of the summons in the case filed by the Ventanillas with the RTC that they learned of the present controversy. value of the properties in dispute and the value of the improvements introduced by defendants Saberon.000. Marquez executed the Deed of Absolute Sale in favor their position. and the Saberons. The CA cited AFP Mutual Benefit Association Inc. Court ruled that with respect to involuntary liens. holders of a valid and indefeasible title. MRCI executed a deed of absolute sale to Marquez and when the new (2) Ordering defendant MRCI to receive payment of titles were issued in Marquez’ name. other Separate appeals were instituted by MRCI and Tabalingcos. the Saberons filed the present suit. v. He found no encumbrances or annotations on the said titles. MRCI took no heed of this caveat. The notice of levy in Civil Case No. the former owner of the properties correctness of the certificates of title covering the lots in had entered into contracts to sell with the Ventanillas. 1991. appears as the first recorded entry in null and void. as moral damages. in Civil Case No. a certification was was the one who inadvertently omitted the carrying over of the issued by the Office of the City Treasurer for the purpose of notice of levy to Marquez who consequently secured a clean title transferring the title over the property. severally. there was an exception to the general rule. Tabalingcos. 26411 came ten days later. 63140 and 63141 were issued clean to them. and registered a the names of Raul. the spouses Oscar and Carmen Ventanilla. 1991. 26411 where its very first Contracts to Sell to the 55396 and 55397 in the name of Samuel Marquez.155. and to issue as to the validity of the first sale to the Ventanillas was still new certificates of title in the name of the spouses pending. the property to the title of Marquez. MRCI Tabalingcos further claimed that the sale to Marquez was effected while the previous case was still pending. after being given photocopies of Defendants’ counterclaims are hereby dismissed for lack of merit.. and in case of failure thereof. 63140 and 63141 in Contract to Sell was in fact the third in a row. AUVC. on May 21. jointly and severally. Tabalingcos and the Registry of Deeds was considered as sufficient notice to all Marquez to pay defendants Saberon. the notice of levy was not the balance of the purchase price to be paid by the carried over. Krohn. MRCI was sufficiently aware of the Court Ventanillas upon registration of the Deed of Absolute decision confirming its failure to supervise and control the affairs Sale in favour of the plaintiffs or proof of their of its authorized agent.

they urged the Court to interpret Section 52. attachment. Before purchasing the lots. 2010. on one hand. Constructive notice upon registration. but shall operate only as a contract same time. No. judgment. Nonetheless. Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner. it. a notice of levy as an circumstance. ruled that they. transferring or claiming interest in constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registered land less than ownership. v.) No. the RTC decision shows no categorical finding that the Saberons’ An owner of registered land may convey. a constructive notice to the provision. Although the RTC found that the Saberons may not be current controversy between the Saberons and the Ventanillas. or otherwise deal with the same in accordance with existing laws. except a will for value.D. They claimed that the appellate court could not land lies. lease. leases or other properties. Registration is the operative act that conveys land was already subject to such attachment. is thereby created. By virtue of registration. like the notice of levy and attachment in the primary entry or day book of certificates of title do not effect a conveyance of or encumbrances the Registry of Deeds was sufficient notice to all persons that the on a parcel of land.D. the RTC pointed out that their impelled by circumstances to seek judicial action. the ruling in AFP. the Court In answering these questions. unwilling victims of the fraudulent scheme employed by MRCI and Marquez. But no deed. what appears on the certificate of title for purposes of voluntary dealings with the same parcel of land. considered as innocent purchasers for value because of this and 2) that prior to the sale to the Saberons. No fault can be attributed to them for relying on the face of the title presented by Marquez.7 In Ventanillas to acquire the title to the registered land from the its June 15. charge purchase of the lots from Marquez was tainted with bad faith. The Saberons further pointed that the claim of the Ventanillas over the subject properties never ripened into ownership as they The question of utmost relevance to this case. The Saberons could not be to wit: said to have authored the entanglement they found themselves in. lease. Santiago. the registration shall be made in the there was no constructive notice of the levy made upon the office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the subject lands. nonetheless. order. the Court is beckoned to rule on resolved to deny the Saberons’ petition for failure to sufficiently two conflicting rights over the subject properties: the right of the show any reversible error in the assailed judgment by the CA. a brief memorandum of such registering. mortgage. and the right of the Saberons to rely on Saberons. if registered. shall be made by the Register of Deeds on the certificate of title and signed by him. cover the effects of registration and the manner thereof. who might well be encumbrance was already in existence. 1529 which instrument or entry affecting registered land shall. At the a conveyance or bind the land. and in all According to the Saberons. however. mortgage. Every conveyance. were entitled to actual and compensatory damages. the Saberons now come to the Court with their voluntary instruments as are sufficient in law.With the RTC and the CA rulings against their title over the He may use such forms of deeds. 2011. and to filed or entered in the office of the Register of Deeds for the examine Section 54 which shows that. in addition to the filing of province or city where the land to which it relates lies. on the other. 2011 Resolution. whole world of such voluntary or involuntary instrument or court writ or processes. they exercised due diligence purporting to convey or affect registered land shall take effect as and found no encumbrance or annotations on the titles. filing or entering. then. the Ventanillas also failed to rebut the presumption of between the parties and as evidence of authority to the Register their good faith as there was no showing that they confederated of Deeds to make registration.8 the Court required the Ventanillas moment of inscription of the notice of levy on the day book (or to comment on the motion for reconsideration filed by the entry book). the Court agrees. mortgages. thus preventing the obligatory force of the constructive notice that would bind third persons despite the contract from taking effect. Sections 51 and 52 of P. lease. 1529 explain the purpose and effects of registering both voluntary and involuntary instruments. Resolution of the Court The Saberons maintain that they had no notice of any defect. or other voluntary instrument. failure of the ROD-QC to annotate the same in the certificates of title? On October 4. suspicion should have been aroused by the circumstance that the antecedents would readily reveal that the essential facts are Marquez. Hence. Sections 52 and 42 of Presidential Decree (P. with MRCI and its officers to deprive the Ventanillas of their right over the subject properties. would be rendered ownership or affects the land insofar as third persons are as a superfluity in light of the mandatory character of the said concerned. This is bolstered by the fact that Section 51. who was not engaged in the buy-and-sell business and not disputed: 1) that the subject properties have indeed been the had the property for only a few months. is this: failed to consign the balance on the purchase price stipulated on whether or not the registration of the notice of levy had produced the contracts to sell.5 Instead. At first glance.6 On January 19. To this latter finding. solely rely on AFP Mutual Benefit Association Inc. The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned. That the Saberons should have harbored doubts against Marquez . lien. that an entry of a These provisions encapsulate the rule that documents. the Court required the Ventanillas to file their comment to the petition. the CA likewise erred in ruling that cases under this Decree. it would seem that the case involves convoluted irregularity or encumbrance in the titles of the property they issues brought about by the number of times the Ventanillas were purchased. In its decision. vehement insistence that they were purchasers in good faith and mortgage. be the instrument creating. would offer the same for objects of various transfers effected by MRCI leading to the sale.

but from ROD Cleofe’s misplaced understanding of his duty property to the Saberons. Clearly. in fact. since the act of by the Court that the contracts to sell executed in favor of the registration is the operative act to convey and affect the Ventanillas are valid and subsisting. title. the controversy at hand arose not from the Ventanillas’ registered the deed of sale to Marquez who later sold the same fault. the and annotation. ROD Cleofe’s theory that a deed of sale. No. "[i]f. at the executory judgment ordering MRCI to execute an absolute deed time of the transfer. therefore. serving as a senior encumbrance that might have subsequent titles covering the subject properties.D.9 "All breach but an event that prevents the obligation of the vendor to persons dealing with property covered by Torrens certificate of convey title from becoming effective. same vein. the issue on Marquez’s title had already been passed Under no law. the vendor loses ownership over the property and cannot notice only of such burdens and claims as are annotated on the recover it until and unless the contract is resolved or rescinded. even by MRCI. that no title was transferred to inchoate right that may subsequently defeat his right Marquez upon the annotation of the contract to sell on MRCI’s thereto. 1992. As correctly found by the trial court. 1529.13 Prior It has already been established in the two previous cases decided registration of the lien creates a preference. or the sale is had under an execution issued on the choice to only question their solidary liability in the 1990 case and judgment or until the judgment is satisfied. It was.is too high a standard to impose on a buyer of titled land. 1991. That he purchased the lots attachment shall be discharged upon sale of the property other prior to the annotation of the notice of levy in MRCI’s title was of than under execution. and nothing more remained to be done but a title to the property passes to the vendee upon the delivery of the duty incumbent solely on the Register of Deeds. In February 1992. the RTC and the CA are both correct in applying the rule as to . MRCI Verily. The records show that on the undoubtedly speaks of the ministerial duty on the part of the strength of a final and executory decision by the Court." This provision notice of levy on the properties. sans the notice stand on. has no leg to with Marquez. The notice was dissuaded the Saberons from purchasing the properties.14 Jurisprudence dictates that the said lien continues until the acknowledged. Otherwise stated. conclusion" of the previous contract since the owners of the properties under the two instruments are different. on the superiority of their notice of levy and the constructive notice against the whole world which it had produced and which Corollary to this is the rule that a levy of a judgment debtor effectively bound third persons including the Saberons. the Ventanillas had every right to presume that the the failure of ROD Cleofe to carry over the notice of levy to Register of Deeds would carry over the notice of levy to Marquez’s title.1âwphi1 In a contract of sale. were issued. or on March 11.12 Be that as it may. by agreement. in a contract to sell. 1529 provides that. except so far as they These favorable findings prompted the Ventanillas to register the may be simultaneously released or discharged.15 no moment. A year later. MRCI executed the Deed of Sale encumbrance which may surpass a notice of levy. thing sold. failure of which is not a such burdens and claims as are annotated on the title. the Court explicitly declared that MRCI’s transaction with Marquez "cannot prevail over the final and Additionally. From the foregoing. the contract to sell system.D. reserved in the vendor and is not to pass to the vendee until full payment of the purchase price. In the latter contract. payment of the registered under the Torrens system is charged with notice only of price is a positive suspensive condition.16 the Court ruled that entry alone produced the effect of registration. In DBP v. notice of levy was then entered. so long as the registrant had Distinctions between a contract to sell and a contract of sale are complied with all that was required of him for purposes of entry well-established in urisprudence."10 These rules remain as essential features of the Torrens title. The contract to sell to Marquez was registered on May 21. Section 59 of P. Acting Register of Deeds of Cleofe’s theory. no fault can likewise be imputed to the Ventanillas. ownership is. the notice of levy should have been carried over to In ultimately ruling for the Ventanillas. In the discharged or vacated in the same manner provided by law. In fact. while the notice of levy was issued ten (10) days later. not even P. of levy. it has been land. Nueva Ecija. as a 1991. albeit on the primary entry book only. the courts a quo focused the title as a senior encumbrance. they Register of Deeds to carry over existing encumbrances to the successfully obtained a writ of execution from the RTC and a certificates of title. No.11 title are not required to explore further than what the Torrens title upon its face indicates in quest for any hidden defect or It is undeniable. under whose name the clean titles. The present case does not entail a modification or cannot be substituted by the Deed of Absolute Sale as a "mere overturning of these principles. properly rejected by the courts a quo. subsisting encumbrances or annotations of sale in favor of the Ventanillas. as can be seen in the latter’s own debt is paid. is it stated that an upon and settled in the 1994 case. they shall be carried over and stated in the new certificate or certificates. Considering that the deed of sale in favor of Marquez was of later registration. creates a lien." appear in the registration book. in a contract of While the Court is not unmindful that a buyer is charged with sale. under the law. which nothing can subsequently destroy except the very dissolution of the attachment of the levy itself. title is retained by the vendor until consonance to the rule that the one who deals with property full payment of the price. or on mere conclusion of a contract to sell. registered precisely to bind the properties and to serve as caution to third persons who might potentially deal with the property The Court agrees with the position of the RTC in rejecting ROD under the custody of the law. This complex situation could have been avoided if it were not for Surely. whether the transaction entered was a voluntary or involuntary one. turns into a senior May 31. or the attachment is its failure to assign the same as an error in the 1994 case. This is in whereas. in a contract to sell.

While the examined every instrument of record affecting the title. should not contemplation of law the holder of a certificate of title. This execution. This is because what remains to be done covering the land sold and pays the registration fees. To exact from them contains any more than one may be permitted to show that he an obligation to visit the land in litigation every so often. a declaration from the court that respondent was in bad faith is not The Court deems it significant to note that the amount of necessary in order that the notice of levy on attachment may be ₱7. Santiago.88 awarded to the Saberons by the RTC is to be annotated on TCT No. PT-94912. Unaware of the previous presentation of the notice of levy. the Court claim. to hold now a record would be destroyed. the Therefore. which resulted registered land becomes the registered owner. the Court must. although the notice of attachment had not been In the same vein. attachment is duly perfected. Krohn. Such presumption cannot be that they have been remiss in the protection of their rights would defeated by proof of want of knowledge of what the record be the height of impropriety.. the Deed of Absolute Sale Suffice it to say. the entry thereof in shows the superiority and preference in rights of the Ventanillas the day book is a sufficient notice to all persons of such adverse over the property as against the Saberons. The rule must be absolute. The Notice was registration once the registrant has fulfilled all that is needed of entered in the Primary Entry Book. PT-94912. and the like. Considering the length of litigation which presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or good they had to endure in order to assert their right over the property faith. who have . if not injustice. which is not a subsequent registration of the prior sale. It bears stressing shown by the record and to know every fact which an that the Ventanillas are now of advanced age and retired as examination of the record would have disclosed. a fortiori. Again. the very purpose and object of the law requiring which they have painstakingly paid for decades ago. fact shown by the record and is presumed to know every fact be treated as a lack of vigilance on their part. it is presumed that the purchaser has laches may be said to have set it but not so in this case. sustain the notice of levy and Police Mutual Benefit Association. endless confusion and useless litigation. this obliviousness can. and Marquez. …Under the rule of notice. satisfied by MRCI. Their failure to learn about the structures being built on the Register of Deeds produced all the effects which the law gave the subject lands and the payment of real property taxes by the to its registration or inscription. Such Ventanillas may have been unaware that improvements were presumption is irrebuttable. the issuance of a TCT in the name of the Saberons. in the registration of an attachment. It bears stressing that the previous immediately requested the vendee to surrender the documents in decisions discussed herein already sealed the validity of the light of the mistake discovered so that he could take appropriate contract to sell issued to the Ventanillas decades ago. to wit: Saberons is not sufficient justification to withhold the declaration of their ownership over it. notice of lis pendens. not to mention the devious transfer of the property. Clearly. the Ventanillas remain as innocent victims rule of law. lest they was ignorant of the provisions of the law.17 In cases of involuntary registration. The deed of sale was examined by the same favor of the superiority of the Ventanillas’ notice of levy. For these reasons. so that what is left to TCT because the original copy of the said title on file in the be accomplished lies solely on the Register of Deeds.118. will have to respect. because lies not within the petitioner’s power to perform but is a duty what remains to be done lies not within his power to perform. In AFP. it was MRCI’s obstinate refusal to accept their tender of notice of levy could be annotated in the certificate of title. The rule that all persons be held to have slept on their rights. but she failed to discussed. an entry thereof in the day book is a In the case at bench. This university professors. in in its non-annotation on the title TCT No. (Emphasis supplied) The Register of Deeds is duty bound to perform it. its notation in the book of entry of is flawed. Superiority and trier of facts. As long as the requisites required by law in moment he presents and files a duly notarized and valid deed of order to effect attachment are complied with and the appropriate sale and the same is entered in the day book and at the same time fees duly paid. Inc. is iniquitous and must take notice of the facts which the public record contains is a unreasonable. the payment. In cases of voluntary The fact that the notice of levy on attachment was not annotated registration of documents. the attribution of laches against the Ventanillas noted on the certificate of title.115. an innocent purchaser for value of on the original title on file in the Registry of Deeds. As found by rectification or correction. but was not annotated on the him for purposes of entry and annotation. All told. any variation would lead to of deception. v.20 Registry of Deeds was not available at that time. the notice of levy covering the subject sufficient notice to all persons even if the owner's duplicate property was annotated in the entry book of the ROD QC prior to certificate of title is not presented to the register of deeds. Otherwise. levy upon Ventanillas’ levy was placed on record prior to the sale. This is a finding that the Court. the prevailing rule is that there is effective registration in the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City. Six (6) days after the presentation of the Notice of Levy.the effects of involuntary registration.18 upheld the registration of the levy on attachment in the primary entry book as a senior encumbrance despite the mistake of the This rule was reiterated in the more recent case of Armed Forces ROD. as employee who examined the notice of levy. Against a different factual milieu. notice that the title subject of the sale was the same title which was the subject of the notice of levy earlier presented. The attachment he surrenders or presents the owner's duplicate certificate of title already binds the land. Tabalingcos. involving the same parcel of land was presented for registration Nevertheless. by no means. the Register of The Court also sees no reason to dwell in the contention that the Deeds issued a certificate of title in the name of the vendee on rights or interests of the Ventanillas in the subject properties the basis of the deed of sale. In AFP. the equal footing of the parties necessarily tilts in and likewise entered. the prejudice petitioner. the Notice of Levy was presented for ROD Cleofe. The Register of Deeds in AFP never ripened into ownership. He is charged with notice of every being erected over the lots. no bad faith can be ascribed to the parties alike.19 as relied registered by the Ventanillas notwithstanding the nonfeasance of upon by the CA. Settling the issue on whether the the RTC. preference in rights were given to the registration of the levy on attachment. and. Court ruled in the affirmative on the ground that the preference which caused the decade-long delay of the execution of the deed created by the levy on attachment was not diminished by the of sale in their favor. incumbent solely on the Register of Deeds.

SP No. but only the possessor in good faith may retain the Court of Appeals (CA) dated November 28. No less than the court a quo observed that "no actual evidence WHEREFORE. 5[2] for the amount of P750. PABLO N.R. and the one who sowed. located at No. plaintiffs’ rights over the disputed properties. Jesus Garcia.R. Should the Ventanillas. vs. and LILIAN SORIANO. to ₱23. 1997 denying petitioners motion for reconsideration. FRANCISCO A. Quezon City.822. 45 Gen. AREVALO. Engr. The owner of the land on which anything has been built. (Ventanillas)" and that what was obvious was that "the Saberons 85520 are AFFIRMED with modification in that the Ventanillas are dealt with clean certificates of titles. In such case. the builder or SORIANO. and Marquez decide whether to pay the Saberons the value of the are liable to the Saberons. the proper rent. However. April 26. petitioner. ALFREDO LIM and planter cannot be obliged to buy the land and if its value is FELISA CHI LIM/ALFREDO LIM. Krohn. Arevalo purchased the portion of land denominated as Unit No. 2010 Decision and the June the titles registered in their names to the prejudice of the 18. after HOME BANKERS SAVINGS & TRUST CO. SPOUSES LEANDRO A. the Saberons invoked the said provisions. Lim Street. considered as innocent purchasers for value shown in the discussion above.000. the two options available to the Ventanillas: 1) they may three-storey townhouse to be built on each portion. JR. shall have the right to appropriate. however. however.not been impleaded as parties to the present petition. the thing may have acquired by reason thereof. as his own the works.058. however that defendants Saberon proceedings as to the determination of reimbursement due to the took part in the fraudulent scheme employed by the other petitioners or of the "price" of the subject lots due to the defendants against the plaintiffs. UY. 40892 and its Resolution dated February 19. or planting. The RTC reasoned out in the following improvements and the necessary and useful expenses defrayed wise: on the 2 lots or to oblige the Saberons to pay them the "price" of said lots. respondents. Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule Article 546. price to be paid to the V entanillas. the case is hereby remanded to the court of origin for further This Court is not convinced.1âwphi1 The provisions respectively read: [G. On the contrary. is separate and distinct from those provided under Article 44821 in relation to Article 54622 of the Civil Code. sowing. 128354. thus. rendering the said award final and executory. he shall pay reasonable rent. the person who has Each of private respondents entered into separate defeated him in the possession having the option of refunding the contracts to sell with TransAmerican Sales and Exposition amount of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which (TransAmerican) through the latters Owner/General Manager.. 1996 in CA-G. this Court is not ready to conclude that the Saberons joined the other defendants in their efforts to frustrate SO ORDERED. together with one unit Thus.00 on . if the owner of the land does not DECISION choose to appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. 2010 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. THE payment of the indemnity provided for in Article 546 and 548. oblige the Saberons to pay the price of the land. Depending on the option exercised by the Ventanillas. petition." Also quite telling on this given a period of sixty ( 60) days from finality of this Resolution to point is the finding that MRCI. The appealed March 12. Although they may not be Ventanillas. No. Article 448 in relation to Article 546 of the Civil Code will apply. The parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease and AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. pursue the option to oblige the Saberons to pay the "price of the land. CV No. and thus can rightfully claim damages from the same. 19155. Tabalingcos. Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the same right of retention. to oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land. or HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. claiming that the trial court is ordered to determine the value of the they are entitled to reimbursement of all the expenses incurred in improvements and the necessary and useful expenses after the introduction of improvements on the subject lands amounting hearing and reception of evidence.79.23 Consequently. involving certain portions of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. as follows: exercise the right to appropriate after payment of indemnity representing the value of the improvements introduced and the necessary and useful expenses defrayed on the subject lots. or 2) Respondent Pablo N. they may forego payment of the said indemnity and instead. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul the Decision[1] of the possessor. the court shall fix the terms thereof.R. In the Should the Ventanillas elect to appropriate the improvements. sow or planted in good faith. thing until he has been reimbursed therefore." the trial court is ordered to determine said The Court finds the Saberons to be builders in good faith. they may be considered victims of the same fraudulent employed by defendants MRCI and Marquez. The said amount. Heroes Hill.: in case disagreement. the Motion for Reconsideration is PARTIALLY that the Saberons connived with the MRCI and Marquez to have GRANTED. J. considerably more than that of the building or trees. 2005] Article 448.

The case was then considered Respondents Alfredo Lim and Santos Lim purchased the portion of submitted for decision. However. 4.00 on October On August 16. Engr. Uy purchased the portion of land respondents have no cause of action against it. agreement on the same day. respondent Home Bankers Savings and Trust Company on the The proceeds of the loan were intended for the development of following Transfer Certificates of Title to wit: the lots into an eight-unit townhouse project. 7[6] for P700. 3354 obligation to petitioner. Ordering. 1990. Private respondents filed their Reply and a motion for the Respondent spouses Leandro A.1. archived for failure to serve summons on him/it despite efforts to locate his whereabouts or its office. Soriano.[10] They prayed for the completion of the units. Arevalo TCT No. there were no known individual total payment of P581.00. 1988. 1990 in the amount of P1.August 21. Company (formerly Home Savings Bank and Trust Company) to: Subsequently. Petitioner registered its mortgage on these cancel the annotation of the Certificate of Sale in favor of the titles without any other encumbrance or lien annotated therein. and Lilian Soriano judgment on the pleadings. 1989. Garcia and his wife Lorelie Garcia 2. 1989. 3) TCT No. subdivision project. annulment of the mortgage in favor of petitioner. He ordered to stop the payment of buyers of the subject land nor annotation of any contracts. seller/developer of the property and petitioner. petitioner instituted an 5) TCT No. five out of these eight titles turned out to be private respondents 1) TCT No. Garcia/TransAmerican failed to comply with their undertakings. HLURB. Santos Lim dispositive portion of which reads: subsequently sold and assigned his share of the property to private respondent Felisa Chi Lim on May 12. likewise the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to 3356 as collateral.000. the spouses mortgaged[7] eight lots covered by TCT Nos. Judgment is hereby rendered as follows: It is stipulated in their respective contracts that their individual townhouses will be fully completed and constructed as per plans 1. a certificate of sale[9] in its 4. land denominated as Unit No. purchased the portion of land denominated as Unit No.000.00 payable in installments and had allegedly made a real estate mortgage by Garcia. OAALA rendered its Decision. as indispensable 3352 free from all liens and encumbrances. and for petitioner to compute individual loan values of denominated as Unit No. They had stopped be rendered as far as petitioner was concerned. 3351 Garcia/TransAmerican. 1[3] for the amount of P800. On May 30. 1990. that at the time of denominated as Unit No. WHEREFORE. for non-delivery of titles and non-completion of the September 3. 1988 and had already fully paid the purchase price on party. complainants.600. 1991. 1988 and fully paid the same upon execution of the damages. Petitioner filed its Answer contending that private Respondent Francisco A. AS TO THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION On November 8. Consequently.[11] the 1988 and had been fully paid as of March 18.000. . Petitioner did not file a rejoinder. However. as it was not necessary. 3[5] on Private respondents filed a manifestation reiterating for a February 15.960. Jesus Garcia/TransAmerican Sales and Exposition and Home delivered and transferred to private respondents free from all Bankers Savings and Trust Company (formerly Home Savings Bank liens and encumbrances upon their full payment of the purchase and Trust Company) to be unenforceable as against all the price.00 and had judgment on their pleadings and asked that the reliefs prayed for allegedly made a payment of P669. despite repeated demands.507. liens all [postdated] checks from September 1990 to November 1995 or encumbrances of third persons on the titles of the subject lots. Upon motion of paying because of non-completion of the project and had later private respondents. 1988 in the amount the loan application and execution of the promissory note and of P800.000. Declaring the mortgage executed by and between respondents and specifications and the respective titles thereto shall be Engr. 3349 to 3. Jr. Garcia failed to pay his 4) TCT No. the case against Garcia/TransAmerican was learned of the foreclosure of the property.000. 1989. the sheriffs certificate of sale was registered and annotated on the titles of the subject lots in the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. Ordering the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to cancel the obtained from petitioner Home Bankers Savings and Trust annotations of the mortgage indebtedness between respondents Company (formerly Home Savings Bank and Trust Company) a Engr. Adjudication and Legal Deliver to Complainant Affairs (OAALA). on the ground of non-completion of his unit and had later learned that the loan was granted and released without notifying HLURB of the foreclosure of the property. against Garcia/TransAmerican as Pablo N.00 and without the prior (formerly Home Savings Bank and Trust Company).000. release of the mortgage on the lots with fully paid owners and delivery of Respondent Alfredo Lim purchased the portion of land their titles. 6[4] on October 29. approval of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Ordering respondent Home Bankers Savings and Trust favor was issued by the sheriff on February 26. 3356 extrajudicial foreclosure[8] on the subject lots and being the highest bidder in the public auction.41. Jesus Garcia and Home Bankers Savings and Trust Company loan in the amount of P4. private respondents filed a complaint with the Office of Appeals. 3350 townhouses subject of the contracts to sell with 2) TCT No.00 on amortizing respondents and to accept payments from them and December 22. 3352 When the loan became due.

No. 4. 957 thus. amortization from said Complainants Soriano and B. 3356 National Housing Authority (NHA. Jesus PETITIONER. et al.[17] To compute and/or Petitioner is now before us raising the following grounds in determine the loan value support of its petition: of Complainant Spouses Leandro A. 1992 The petition is devoid of merit. 4. ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT THE HLURB HAS upon full payment to JURISDICTION. AS TO THE FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION C. Uy who was not able to development of a property which was the same property subject complete or make full of the contracts to sell.D.D. 1992. that Uy and upon full payment the mortgage of the subject lots without the consent of the to deliver TCT No. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was Notably. RESPONDENT COURT deliver TCT No. IN THE EVENT THAT THE DECISION OF THE RESPONDENT COURT FINDING THE REAL ESTATE Deliver to complainant MORTGAGE IN FAVOR OF HOME AS INVALID Alfredo Lim and Felisa Chi AND UNENFORCEABLE AGAINST RESPONDENTS Lim TCT No. No. 957. petition and affirmed the decision of the Office of the President. purported clean reconstituted titles in the name of Garcia. 3354 free MANIFESTLY ERRED IN FINDING THE REAL from all liens and ESTATE MORTGAGE IN FAVOR OF HOME AS encumbrances. denied the committed. that despite the contracts to sell. that the of complainant Francisco proceeds of the loan were purposely intended for the A. Jr. HLURB that ACTION private respondents had already entered into separate contracts to sell with TransAmerican as early as 1988 while it was only in To compute and/or 1989 that spouses Garcia applied for a loan with petitioner and determine the loan value executed a mortgage contract over the subject lots. 1995[14] dismissing the appeal and affirming the June 15. 4. AS TO THE FOURTH CAUSE OF Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied by the ACTION CA in its Resolution dated February 19. now HLURB) is violative of free from all liens and Section 18 of P.2. Soriano. President which rendered a decision dated June 30. 4. THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT ERRED IN RULING and Lilian Soriano who THAT THE HLURB HAS JURISDICTION TO NULLIFY were not able to complete OR DECLARE UNENFORCEABLE THE REAL ESTATE or make full payment and MORTGAGE VALIDLY CONSTITUTED BY THE to accept and/or receive OWNER. AS TO THE THIRD CAUSE OF The CA upheld the findings of the OAALA. unenforceable against private respondents. ACTION HLURB. falling under the exclusive encumbrances. . the issues raised are mere rehash of the issues also denied in a Resolution dated May 7.[12] filed its Reply thereto. BE HELD VALID ONLY AS TO THE PARTIES THERETO BUT UNENFORCEABLE AGAINST without prejudice to its right to require respondent Engr.[13] Petitioner then elevated the case to the Office of the respective memoranda which they complied with. in and the CA which we uphold as we find no reversible errors the herein assailed decision dated November 28. A. Garcia/TransAmerican to constitute new collaterals in lieu of the Private respondents filed their Comment and petitioner said titles sufficient in value to cover the mortgage obligation.4. jurisdiction of HLURB. decision of the HLURB.[15] already passed upon by the HLURB. THE UNREGISTERED CONTRACTS TO from all liens and SELL IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENTS SHOULD ALSO encumbrances. 2004. payment and to accept Garcia/TransAmerican did not apprise petitioner of the existence payment and/or receive of these contracts nor did petitioner exhaust any effort to inquire amortization from said into their existence since petitioner merely relied on the complainant Francisco A. AS TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF The CA applied the case of Union Bank of the Philippines vs.5.[16] where it was held that the act of a subdivision developer of mortgaging the subdivision without the knowledge Deliver to Complainant and consent of a unit buyer and without the approval of the Alfredo Lim TCT No. INVALID AND UNENFORCEABLE AGAINST RESPONDENTS. 1996. the Office of the President Petitioner filed a petition for review with the CA which.. 1996. 3350 free IS UPHELD. that the mortgage contract is void and encumbrances. Petitioner filed an appeal with the Board of Commissioners In a Resolution dated February 23. 1997. 3351 buyers and the authorization of the HLURB is a clear violation of free from all liens and P. we gave due of the HLURB which dismissed the same in a decision dated June course to the petition and required the parties to submit their 15.3.

Hear and decide cases on the development of the condominium or subdivision project and unsound real estate effective measures have been provided to ensure such utilization.D. broker or salesman. No. before the release of the loan. and that claims filed by subdivision since there is no seller-buyer relationship existing between it and lot or condominium unit private respondents.. it is not a project owner. Executive Order No. and without the approval of the NHA Presidential Decree No. The issue in HLURB Case No.[18] where we squarely ruled on the question of