G.R. No. 114299 September 24, 1999 TRADERS ROYAL BANK, petitioner, vs. HON.


KAPUNAN, J.: The present controversy has its roots in a mortgage executed by the spouses Maximo and Patria Capay in favor of Traders Royal Bank (TRB) pursuant to a loan extended by the latter to the former. The mortgage covered several properties, including a parcel of land, the subject of the present dispute. 1 The loan became due on January 8, 1964 and the same having remained unpaid, TRB instituted extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings upon the mortgaged property.1âwphi1.nêt To prevent the property's sale by public auction, the Capays, on September 22, 1966, filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction (Civil Case No. Q-10453) before the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Rizal, alleging that the mortgage was void since they did not receive the proceeds of the loan. The trial court initially granted the Capays' prayer for preliminary injunction. On March 17, 1967, the Capays caused to be filed in the Register of Deeds of Baguio City a notice of lis pendensover the disputed property. Said notice was entered in the Day Book, as well as in the Capays' certificate of title. Subsequently, the injunction issued by the trial court was lifted thus allowing the foreclosure sale to proceed. Foreclosure proceedings were initiated and on October 17, 1968, the property was sold to TRB which was the highest bidder at the auction sale. A sheriff certificate of sale was issued in its name on the same day. On February 25, 1970, the property was consolidated in the name of TRB, the sole bidder in the sale. TCT No. T-6595 in the name of the Capay spouses was then cancelled and a new one, TCT No. T-16272, 2 was entered in the bank's name. The notice of lis pendens, however, was not carried over in the certificate of title issued in the name TRB. Thereafter, the Capays filed with the CFI a supplemental complaint praying for the recovery of the property with damages and attorney's fees. Trial in Civil Case No. Q-10453 proceeded and, on October 3, 1977, the CFI rendered its decision declaring the mortgage void for want of consideration. The CFI ordered, among other things, the cancellation of TCT No. T16272 in the name of TRB and the issuance of new certificates of title in the name of the Capay spouses. TRB appealed to the Court of Appeals. While the case was pending in the Court of Appeals, TRB on March 17, 1982 sold the land to Emelita Santiago in whose name a new certificate of title, TCT No. 33774, 3 was issued, also, without any notice of lis pendens annotated thereon. Santiago in turn divided the land into six (6) lots and sold these to Marcial Alcantara, Armando Cruz and Artemio Sanchez, who became co-owners thereof. 4 Alcantara and his co-owners developed the property and thereafter sold the six (6) lots to seperate buyers who issued seperate titles, again, bearing no notice of lis pendens. 5 On July 30, 1982, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision modifying the decision of the trial court as to the award of damages but affirming the same in all other respects. For having been filed out of time and for lack of merit, the petition for certiorari filed by TRB before this Court 6was denied in a Resolution dated September 12, 1983. TRB's motion for reconsideration was similarly denied in a Resolution dated October 12, 1983. The Court's September 12, 1983 Resolution having become final and executory on November 9, 1983, the trial court issued a writ of execution directing the Register of Deeds of Baguio City to cancel TCT No. 16272 in the name of TRB, and to issue a new one in the name of the Capay spouses. Said writ, however, could not be implemented because of the successive subsequent transfers of the subdivided property to buyers who obtained separate titles thereto. Thus, a complaint for recovery of possession ownership dated 8 June 1985 was filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against TRB and the subsequent transferees of the property, the respondents in G.R. No. 118862 (hereinafter, "the non-bank respondents"). Plaintiffs in said case were Patria Capay, her children by Maximo 7 who succeeded him upon his death on August 25, 1976, and Ramon Gonzales, counsel of the spouses in Civil Case No. Q-10453 who become co-owner of the property to the extent of 35% thereof as his attorney's fees (collectively, "the Capays"). On March 27, 1991, the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which states:

the Court of Appeals said that the bank was in bad faith when it sold the property knowing that it was under the litigation and without informing the buyer of that fact. Gonzales. Capay. Pe.92% to Patria B. THE RESPONDENT HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE AND SERIOUS ERROR OF LAW IN PROMULGATING THE DISPUTED DECISION AND THEREBY DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE WHOLLY CONTRARY TO SETTLED JURISPRUDENCE AND TOTALLY NOT IN ACCORD WITH APPLICABLE DECISION OF THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT. with grave abuse of discretion. T-36177. married to Kevin Lind Wescombe (now deceased). as well as to the subsequent transferees' titles. arbitrarily. 1271 had legally caused the invalidation of the Capay's property and the subsequent validation of TRB's title over the same property was effective even as against the Capays. Cynthia Capay. Book 201. Q-10453 and that while the notice of lis pendens was not carried over to TRB's certificate of title. in excess of jurisdiction tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. and issue new ones free from all liens and encumbrances.00 in exemplary damages and P40. having purchased the property subsequent to the action in Civil Case No. xxx xxx xxx c) The public respondent erred in not finding that PD No.. Page 177 in the names of defendants Spouses Honorato D. page 147 in the names of Spouses Telesforo P. Finnish citizen.. to cancel TCT No. all with legal interest from the filing of the complaint. of legal age. Reyes. T-36051. capriciously. TRB filed with this Court a petition for review to set aside the CA decision. T-36730. widow. docketed herein as G. married to Waldo Flores. THE RESPONDENT HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAS COMMITTED SO GRAVE AND SERIOUS ERRORS OF LAW IN SANCTIONING A DEPARTURE FROM THE USUAL AND ACCEPTED COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDING AS TO CALL FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE POWER OF BY THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT. married to Jose Cuaycong. In a Decision promulgated on February 24. citing the cases of Villasor vs.00.WHEREFORE. II. P40. Page 130 in the names of Spouses Dean Roderick Fernando and Laarni Magdamo Fernando.000. Filipino. 1994. the appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court in toto. No. Jr. with postal address at 23 Sunrise Hill. married to Lilia Y. Books 198. CV No. of legal age. Linda Joy Capay. Rosario Capay of legal age. Alfelor II and Liza R. 33920. Gonzales. Page 107 in the names of defendant Spouses Cecilio Pe and Josefina L. to cancel TCT No. Filipino. SO ORDERED.41% each to Ruby Ann Capay. to cancel TCT No. xxx xxx xxx b) The public respondent erred in not finding that it was not the fault of petitioner when the notice of lis pendens was not carried over to its new title. Page 37 in the name of Remedios Oca. 13 . 36147.R. Filipino. Chona Margarita Capay. 37437. 36707.R. of legal age.. to cancel TCT No. Alfelor. all with postal address at 37 Sampaguita St. with costs against defendants. 12 As regard TRB. Camon. Santos and Maria Cristina Santos. Filipino. Filipino married to Pokka Vainio. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs against the defendants and ordering the Register of Deeds for Baguio to cancel TCT No. it was entered in the Day Book which is sufficient to constitute registration and notice to all persons of such adverse claim. to cancel TCT No. Bacolod City. Filipino. Capitolville Subd. Page 51 in the name of Flora Laron Wescombe. ordering said defendants to vacate the premises in question and restoring plaintiffs thereto and for defendant Traders Royal Bank to pay each of the plaintiffs moral damages in the amount of P100.00 as attorney's fees. Book 198. together with all the improvements therein in the names of plaintiffs sharing pro indiviso as follows: 35% to Ramon A. Bass 11 and Director of Lands vs. Book 205. of legal age. Book 201. married to Pedro Duran. 114299. of legal age. New Manila. 5. On April 26. invoking the following grounds: I. 1994 in CA-G. a) The public respondent has plainly and manifestly acted whimsically.000. Quezon City 37. married to Raul Flores. Book 198. 10 Levin vs. 9 It ruled that the non-bank respondents cannot be considered as purchasers for value and in good faith. of legal age.000. 8 TRB and the non-bank respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals.

762 AND LAROZA VS. 68 SCRA 73. in view of the foregoing disquisitions and finding merit in the motion for reconsideration. V THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT THERE IS NO DISTINCTION IN THE REGISTRATION OF VOLUNTARY INSTRUMENTS VIS-AVISINVOLUNTARY INSTRUMENTS. 1994 granted the motion for reconsideration and dismissed the complaint as against them. 118862 was consolidated with G. 836 ARE NOT APPLICABLE HEREOF. the decision of this Court. 14 The Capays thus filed with this Court a petition for review. II THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THATATUN VS. No. 114299. Subsequently.Meanwhile. 97 PHIL. 15 The consolidated cases primarily involve two issues: (1) who. GUIA. ARE NOT APPLICABLE.R No. Convinced of the movants' arguments. promulgated on February 24. COURT OF APPEALS. VI THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT RESPONDENTS WHO ARE LAWYERS. REYES. IS APPLICABLE. . No. RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS AND WELL-RESPECTED RESIDENTS IN THE COMMUNITY. 91 PHIL. 198 SCRA 436. MORAN. III THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THATLEVIN VS. We make no pronouncement as to costs. 1994. and (2) whether or not TRB is liable to the Capays for damages. as between the Capays and the non-bank respondents. 48 PHIL. 419 VILLASOR VS. ARE NOT APPLICABLE HEREOF. MUNOZ. IV THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THAT PETITIONERS ARE GUILTY OF LACHES. 134 SCRA 34. docketed as G. the same is hereby GRANTED. is hereby RECONSIDERED. 1996. The dispositive portion of the resolution states: ACCORDINGLY. 404 AND DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS. 89 PHIL.R. VII THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF WITH REGARDS TO TRADERS ROYAL BANK. ARE EXEMPTED FROM THE EFFECTS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE ARISING FROM REGISTRATION. WHILE PINO VS. CAMON. REYES. VIII THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN NOT RULING ON THE COUNTER-ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR THAT: B) THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT DEFENDANTS ARE BOUND BY THE DECISION IN CIVIL CASE NO. and the certificate of titles originally issued to them in their individual names are hereby ordered restored and duly respected. The complaint filed against defendants-appellants with the court a quo is hereby ordered DISMISSED. has a better right to the disputed property. Q-10453. G. Consequently. AFTER THE LATTER HAS PERFECTED ITS APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT. 118862 to set aside the resolution of the Court of Appeals raising the following errors: I THE COURT OF APPEALS PALPABLY ERRED IN REVERSING ITSELF BY NOW HOLDING THATTUAZON VS. the Court of Appeals in a Resolution promulgated on August 10.R. 48 PHIL. 814 AND RIVERA VS. the non-bank respondents moved for a reconsideration of the Court of Appeals' decision. pursuant to this Court's Resolution dated July 3. SO ORDERED. BASS.

Q At the time when you went to see the place where you now reside. the non-bank respondents nevertheless physically inspected the properties and inquired from the register of Deeds to ascertain the absence of any defect in the title of the property they were purchasing — an exercise of diligence above that required by law. sir. If a person purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the seller's title thereto is valid. Q What kind of structure with regards to material? A It is a semi-concrete structure. for everyone dealing with property registered under the Torrens system would have to inquire in every instance as to whether the title has been regularly or irregularly issued by the court. Santiago then sold the lots to Marcial Alcantara and his co-owners who next sold each of these to the non-bank respondents. Thus. The main purpose of the Torrens system is to avoid possible conflicts of title to real estate and to facilitate transactions relative thereto by giving the public the right to rely upon the face of a Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring further. therefore. sir.5 San Luis. the court cannot disregard such rights and order the total cancellation of the certificate. who bought Lot 5 for her son Dean. who purchased the property from TRB. contain any such notice. relying on the correctness of the certificate of title thus issued. that is. public confidence in the system would be eroded and land transactions would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily conclusive investigations and proof of ownership. recognizing the worthy purposes of the Torrens system. This would not only be unfair to him. except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that should impel a reasonably cautious man to make such further inquiry. The non-bank respondents had a right to rely on what appeared on the face of the title of their respective predecessors-in-interest. six (6) new certificates of title were issued. I got interested in buying a property here. and were not bound to go beyond the same. none of which contained any notice of lis pendens. if not even violent. Neither did the certificate of title of Emelita Santiago. Q When this particular property was bought by you. The effect of such an outright cancellation would be to impair public confidence in the certificate of title. The further consequence would be that land conflicts could be even more numerous and complex than they are now and possibly also more abrasive. Baguio City? A In one of my visits to my sister who has been residing here for twelve (12) years now. acquire rights over the property. sir. Where innocent third persons. the foregoing rule notwithstanding. Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property. but it was in 1984. The non-bank respondents. testified: Q How did you come to live in Baguio City. we rule for the non-bank respondents. Ruth Ann Valdez. respondent Aida Fernando Meeks. when TRB purchased the property at the foreclosure sale. There was nothing in the certificates of title or respective predecessorsin-interest that could have aroused their suspicion. To hold otherwise would defeat one of the principal objects of the Torrens system of land registration. 16 Second. when was that? A I do not remember the exact date. it is a two (2)-storey one (1) bedroom structure. to facilitate transactions involving lands. the notice of lis pendens that the Capays caused to be annotated on their certificate of title was not carried to the new one issued to TRB. . could not have been aware that the property in question was the subject of litigation when they acquired their respective portions of said property. how did it look? A This particular property that I bought was then a small one (1) room structure. The Torrens system was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. What is worse is that if this were permitted. Q How did you come to know of this property at Asin Road where you now reside? A My sister. The Government.On the first issue. should be the first to accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once the conditions laid down by the law are satisfied. he should not run the risk of being told later that his acquisition was ineffectual after all. When Santiago caused the property to be divided. particulary in Kim. 2. I First.

who was your companion? A Mr. I asked Mr. Diomampo reassure you that the title was good? . Alcantara and my present husband. how did the surrounding area look like at the time you visited? A There were stone walls from the road and there were stone walls in front of the property and beside the property. Q Are you referring to the City Hall of Baguio? A Yes. the first step I did was to go to the Land Registration Office. did you do anything to answer your question? A Yes. Q And what was the result of your looking up for this title in the name of Amado Cruz? A We had to be reassured that it was a genuine one. Q What did you do? A Well. Q After you saw this property. Q When you say we. rather your sister Ruth Ann Valdez did you come to know the owner? A We did because at the time we went there. Q The three (3) of you? A Yes. Mr. Q What title did you see there? A We saw the title that was made up in favor of Amado Cruz. Diomampo who heads the office. that he has shown me the mother title and it is a clean title. Q What was his answer? A That it was a property with a clean title. Alcantara and I was answered by him. sir. Q And who? A Amado Cruz sir. Alcantara was there supervising the workers. Q In regards to this concern of yours. so we asked Atty. the City Hall of Baguio. We showed him a copy of that title and we were also reassured by him that anything that was signed by him was as good as it is. the original title. what else did you do? A My first concern then was am I buying a property with a clean title. did you find an answer to this concern of yours? A At first. sir. sit. Q And what did you do in the Registry of Deeds? A We looked for the title. Q Did this Atty. sir. sir. Q At the time you went to see the property with your agent.Q And aside from this two (2)-storey one (1)-room structure. Q Aside from being informed that it is a property with a clean title.

we had a genuine title. did you see the property that was being offered for sale? A Yes. Q After your conversation with the Register of Deeds. after looking at the place. Nelson Waje. Manila this is Atty. what did you do? A The second step we did was to confer with our lawyer. going to the Register of Deeds. Q When did you specifically see the property. so we proceeded to Banaue. Flory Recto who is presently the Branch Manager of CocoBank. I cannot recall the office but it has something to do with registration of the old. As a matter of fact the road leading to the property is still not passable considering that during that time it . Recto and when you met with Mr. sir. Q Mrs. Q What is your purpose in going to this lawyer? A We wanted an assurance that we were getting a valid title just in case we think of buying the property. and she was the one who introduced to us Mr. when you say Banaue. sir. what particular place is this Banaue? A It is in Banaue Street in Quezon City. Meeks.A He did. Q What is your purpose in going to this Office in Banaue? A I wanted more reassuances that I was getting a valid title. the investigation that you made? A We were reassured that we were purchasing a valid title. if you can recall? A I would say it is around the third quarter of 1983. Alcantara. looking at the title and seeing your lawyer friend. Q When you were informed by Mrs. Q When you went to see the place. a friend from RCBC Binondo. sir. She informed my wife that there is a property for sale at Asin Road. narrated going through a similar routine: Q How did you come to know of this place as Asin Road where you are presently residing? A It was actually through Mrs. as advised by that same lawyer. Q Mrs. Meeks. what was the result of your investigation. Alcantara. Q What was the result of your conference with this lawyer? A He was absolutely certain that was a valid title. what decision did you finally make regarding the property? A We wanted more reassurances. 17 Telesforo Alfelor II. Alcantara. there is another office of the Bureau of Lands. the purchaser of Lot 4. Q What was the result of your visit to the Banaue Office? A We found the title of this property and there was reassurance that it was a clean title and we saw the mother title under the Hilario family. sir. authentic or genuine title. Q When you were able to determine that you had a valid. Q And when you saw the title to this property and the mother title. could you please describe what you saw at that time? A When we went there the area is still being developed by Mr. what did you do? A That is when I finally thought of purchasing the property.

was rainy season and it was muddy. sir. what particular place in Asin Road are you referring? . the riprap of the property is already there. 18 The testimonies of Honorato Santos 19 and Josefina Pe 20 were to the same effect. Q After you saw the place riprap and you were in the course of deciding to purchase this property. Q How did you go about determining whether the title of the property is clean? A Considering that Marcial Alcantara is a real estate broker. the one-half of the riprap sir. Alcantara will you please inform the Court in what place in Baguio have you acquired and subdivided and sold lots? A Dominican Hill. Q What Certification are you referring to? A It is a Certification duly signed by the employee of the Registry of Deeds Adelina Tabangin. The non-bank respondent predecessor-in-interest. Q You mentioned Asin Road. sir. the next thing is I requested his wife to accompany me to the Bureau of Lands or rather the Registry of Deeds. what else did you do? A First. was less thorough: Q And will you give a brief description of what you do? A I normally acquire land. Q And were you able to see the Register of Deeds regarding what you would like to know? A Yes. what else did you do? A Well. sir. sir. sir. Cristal Cave and Asin Road. I have to consider that the property is clean. if any. sir. I went to his office and checked the documents he has regarding the property. Alcantara to check up the title of the property. Q And what was the result of your checking as to whether the title of the property is clean? A He showed me the copy of the title and it was clean. Q Specifically. Mr. quite big tract of land and subdivide it into smaller lots and sold it to some interested parties. xxx xxx xxx Q What was the improvement. we fell on our way going to the property and walked to have an ocular inspection and physical check on the area. and we were given a certification regarding this particular area that it was clean. I have. Q What registry of Deeds are you referring to? A The Registry of Deeds of Baguio City. Q Do you know who was making this improvement at the time that you went there? A I would understand that it was Marcial Alcantara. that was in that parcel which you are going to purchase? A During that time. sir. Marcial Alcantara. Leonila Hill. sir. Q Do you have a copy of that Certification? A Yes. sir. Q Aside from going to Mr.

sir. Q To whom did you talk? . he is the one who offered me the property. sir. sir. will you please briefly describe how this place looked like at that time? A The place was mountainous. sir. Q When you say you went to the place with the agent. Q When you say you bought it from Emelita Santiago. what place? A Kilometer 2. 1983. Asin Road sir. Q Now. there were cogon trees. some of the roads were eroding already. sir. was there any visible sign of claim by anyone? A None. sir. when this Armando Gabriel informed you that he wants his property to be sold. xxx xxx xxx Q Aside from looking or going to the property. xxx xxx xxx Q Mr. sir. Armando Gabriel. He has acquired a title from the Traders Royal Bank. how did you come to know that Emelita Santiago is disposing of the property? A Because of the father. when you went to see this place at Asin Road last week of March.A That property I bought from Emelita Santiago. sir. grassy. Q Is he also a resident of Baguio? A He is from Buyagan. I parked my car a kilometer away. La Trinidad sir. Q Is it my understanding that when you went to see the property there were no roads? A None. sir. Q At the time you entered the place. Alcantara. so we cannot possibly enter the property. Q What is your purpose in investigating it with the Register of Deeds? A To see if the paper in clean and there are no encumbrances. sir. Q In terms of fence in the area? A There is no such. Q How did you come to know of this Armando Gabriel wanting to sell a property in Asin? A He approached me in the house. sir. Q Can you inform the Honorable Court when you had this conversation with Armando Gabriel on the sale of the property at Asin Road? A Later part of March. Q And when you went there to see the place. what did you do? A I went to the place with the agent. 1983. sir. did you actually go there to see the place? A By walking. what else did you do to this property prior to your purchase? A I investigated it with the Register of Deeds.

to what office was it brought for action? A Bureau of Lands. Diomampo? A The papers are clean except to the annotation at the back with the road right of way. Q Initially. 22 The Capays filed the notice of lis pendens way back on March 17. Q And when you went to the Registry of Deeds to investigate and check. sir. between two innocent persons. La Union. sir. Q Is it our understanding that prior to your purchase the property was subdivided into six (6) parcels? A Yes. Q Could you please inform the Honorable Court if you have any buyers in the subdivision of this property prior to your purchase? A Yes. you are informing this Honorable Court that one Amado Cruz and one Dr. sir. Alcantara. Amado Cruz and Dr. Sanchez were also issued two (2) titles. Q And what was the result of your talk with Atty. at the time that you had this property subdivided by the owner. sir. could you please tell the Honorable Court what you did with that deed of sale? A We registered it with the Register of Deeds for the Certificate of Title because at that time when we bought the property. Alcantara. sir. Mr. Emelita Santiago had it subdivided into six (6) lots. sir. sir. Q Now. could you please inform the Court if there was any claim by any other party opposing the subdivision or claiming the property? A None. Ernesto Diomampo. I have. sir. Q In whose names? A One (1) title under my name. Ramon A. sir. Q After making this investigation with the Register of Deeds and talking with Atty. two (2) are our co-owners. the one who made it possible for the wrong to be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss. Sanchez? A Yes.591) Square Meters. what action did the Register of Deeds have regarding the matter? A They approved it and registered it already in six (6) titles. did you have occasion to talk with Atty. Q This subdivision of this property. San Fernando. Could you explain how these titles came into their possession? A Actually. 1967 but the same was not TRB's title. Q When the Deed of Sale was executed and you said that you presented it to the Register of Deeds and after the subdivision already. sir. Sanchez. Diomampo. Diomampo? A Yes.A To Atty. 21 Third. Gonzales knew in 1968 of the extra-judicial foreclosure sale of the property to . Q After purchasing the property from Emelita Santiago. Cruz and Dr. Mr. sir. is it our understanding that the Deed of Sale from Emelita Santiago is in favor of these two (2) Atty. sir. The Capays and their counsel Atty. what else transpired? A We bought the property. Q So. Now. you said that you are the sole purchaser of this entire area of One Thousand Five Hundred Ninety One (1.

Intermediate Appellate Court. 31 . But the petitioners' complaint to recover the title and possession of Lot 4362 was filed only on July 21. Inc. Reyes 26 to the effect that entry of the notice of lis pendens in the day book (primary entry book) is sufficient to constitute registration and such entry is notice to all persons of such adverse claim. Independently of the principle of prescription of actions working against petitioners. et al. In Tuazon vs. which latter tenet finds application even to imprescriptible actions. Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect. 27 where the land involved therein was sold by Petronilo David to Vicente Tuazon. during all the time that it was holding the title for over fourteen (14) years that there was no legal impediment for it to sell said property. the petitioners cannot invoke said dictum because their action to recover Lot 4362 is barred by the equitable doctrine of laches. The fault of the Register of Deeds in not carrying over the Notice of Lis Pendens to the new title of the petitioner Bank should not be absorbed by the latter considering that in all good faith. In the same vein. where there have been a series of transfers to innocent purchasers for value. Being guilty of laches. to do that which by exercising due diligence could nor should have been done earlier. and attempts to shift the blame on the Capays. II We come now to TRB's liability towards the Capays. Certainly. . David did not warrant the title to the same. 24 In De La Calzada-Cierras vs. It was not until after the land was subdivided and developed with the buyers building their houses on the other lots when the Capays suddenly appeared and questioned the occupants' titles. . the Capays cannot invoke the ruling in Villasor vs. who was merely subrogated to the rights of the vendor was aware of the dispute and. Tuazon. vs. 25 we held: While it is true that under the law it is the act of registration of the deed of conveyance that serves as the operative act to convey the land registered under the Torrens System (Davao Grains. . the non-bank respondents in the case at bar acquired their respective portions of the land with clean title from their predecessors-in-interest. Nuñez. But in the next fifteen (15) years or so. et al. 171 SCRA 612). in Atun. . the Capays are guilty of laches. Moran. The act of registering the conveyance to Rosendo was constructive notice to the whole world of the fact of such conveyance (Heirs of Maria Marasigan vs. Guia. Court of Appeals. 1981. . for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time. Similarly. Central Bank regulations require that real properties of banks should not he held for more than five (5) years: 24. consequently. Rivera. 23 Verily. Intermediate Appellate Court. it was with a deed containing the recital that the land was in dispute between the vendor and Roberto Siochi. the transferee. it is most iniquitous for the Capays who. could not have been considered a purchaser in good faith. The petitioner Bank. the principle on prescription of actions is designed to cover situations such as the case at bar. The petitioners failed and neglected for an unreasonably long time to assert their right. the subject property had undergone a series of transfers to buyers in good and for value. At the very least. . they did not bother to find out the status of their title or whether the liens noted on the original certificate of title were still existing considering that the property had already been foreclosed. it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time. it was not aware of the existence of said annotation during all the time that said title was in its possession for almost fourteen (14) years before the property was sold to Emelita G.29 and Laroza vs. do not help them any. Santiago. Camon Levin Bass and Director of Lands vs. if any. In Rivera vs. the doctrine of laches may further be counted against them. 152 SCRA 253). the cases cited by the Capays in their first two (2) assignment of errors. 30 the buyers of the property at the time of their acquisition knew of the existence of the notice of lis pendens. In contrast to the cited cases. thus: xxx xxx xxx 23. twelve (12) years after the registration of the sale to Rosendo. after sleeping on their rights for fifteen years to assert ownership over the property that has undergone several transfers made in good faith and for value and already subdivided into several lots with improvements introduced thereon by their owners. Reyes and Siochi. warranting presumption that the party entitled to it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. In the meantime. as the transferees in said cases were not innocent purchasers for value and in good faith. To set aside these transactions only to accommodate a party who has slept on his rights is anathema to good order. The Bank unconvincingly tries to wash its hands off the present controversy.TRB and the consolidation of title in the bank's name following the lapse of the one-year period of redemption. was aware of the pending litigation and. to the property in Rosendo's possession. furthermore. 28 Rivera acquired interest in the land before the final decree was entered in the cadastral proceedings. vs.

1994 in CA-G. 1966 against the TRB before the CFI to stop the foreclosure sale. the foreclosure proceedings did not have a valid effect. therefore. it suddenly realized that it was acting in violation of the General Bank Act. The case reached this Court. CV No. admits hoding on to the foreclosed property for twelve (12) years after consolidating title in its name. 1994 is hereby AFFIRMED. This Decision is without prejudice to whatever criminal. It may be recalled that upon the commencement of foreclosure proceedings by TRB. the Capays would ordinarily be entitled to the recovery of their property. In addition. the Capays filed an action for prohibition on September 22. thus transferred caused the property without the lis pendens annotated on its title to put it beyond the Capays' reach.1âwphi1. 25 of the General Banking Act. Traders Royal Bank is ordered to pay the Capays the fair market value of the property at the time it was sold to Emelita Santiago. TRB is duty bound to pay the Capays the fair market value of the property at the time it was sold to Emelita Santiago. it is difficult to believe TRB's assertion that after holding on to the property for more than ten (10) years. Prescription or laches could not have worked against the Capays because they had persistently pursued their suit against TRB to recover their property. that the mortgage in favor of TRB had been declared null and void for want of consideration and. however. civil or administrative action against the Register of Deeds and or his assistants that may be taken by the party or parties prejudiced by the failure of the former to carry over the notice of lis pendens to the certificate of title in the name of TRB. T-6595 in the name of the Capay spouses was cancelled after the foreclosure. 33920. Nevertheless. . or the title and possession of any real estate purchased to secure any debt due to it. estopped from involving banking laws and regulations to justify its belated disposition of the property. the Capays filed a supplemental complaint for the recovery of the property. WHEREFORE. Such being the case. for a longer period than five years. This notwithstanding the adverse decision of the trial court and the pendency of its appeal. TCT No. whose timing indeed smacks of bad faith.nêt SO ORDERED. It cannot be allowed to hide behind the law which it itself violated. 34 Considering however. the notice of lis pendens was annotated on the title. We do not find the Capays guilty of "inaction and negligence" as against TRB." 32 Sec. deed. consequently." TRB.TRB concludes that "(t)he inaction and negligence of private respondents allowing ownership to pass for almost 15 years constitute prescription of action and/or laches. But when TCT No.R. the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated Frebruary 24. What is apparent is that TRB took advantage of the absence of the notice of lis pendens at the back of their certificate of title and sold the property to an unwary purchaser. TRB. this remedy is not now available to the Capays inasmuch as title to said property has passed into the hands of third parties who acquired the same in good faith and for value. TRB cannot feign ignorance of the existence of the lis pendens because when the property was foreclosed by it. T-16272 which was issued in place thereof in the name of TRB did not carry over the notice of lis pendens. 33 provides that no bank "shall hold the possession of any real estate under mortgage or trust. the transferee of TRB. good customs and public policy and should be held liable for damages. the bank acted in a manner contrary to morals. Clearly. Failing in that attempt. On the other hand. The bank is. as modified by its Resolution dated August 10.

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