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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No.

160556 August 3, 2007

TEOFILO BAUTISTA, !" !s!#t!$ %& FRANCISCO MU'O(, Atto #!&)*#)F+,t, Petitioner, vs. ALEGRIA BAUTISTA, ANGELICA BAUTISTA, PRISCILLA BAUTISTA, GILBERT BAUTISTA, -IM BAUTISTA, GLEN.A BAUTISTA, GUEN BAUTISTA, GELACIO BAUTISTA, GRACIA BAUTISTA, PE.RO S. TAN.OC +#$ CESAR TAMON.ONG, Respondents. DECISION CARPIO MORALES, J.: Durin her lifeti!e, "eodora Rosario #as the o#ner of a $%%.&'(s)uare !eter parcel of land *the propert+, in Poblacion, San Carlos Cit+, Pan asinan, covered b+ "ransfer Certificate of "itle *"C", No. %$-.%. She died intestate on /anuar+ %-, %-0', leavin behind her spouse Isidro 1autista *Isidro, and five children, na!el+2 "eofilo 1autista *"eofilo,, 3le ria 1autista *3le ria,, 3n elica 1autista *3n elica,, Pacita 1autista *Pacita, and 4il 1autista *4il,. On 3pril $%, %-&%, Isidro and four of his five children 5 Pacita, 4il, 3le ria, and 3n elica 5 e6ecuted a Deed of E6tra( /udicial Partition% of the propert+ in #hich Isidro #aived his share in favor of his said four children. "eofilo #as e6cluded fro! the partition. 3le ria and 3n elica, #ho, under the Deed of E6tra(/udicial Partition, ac)uired 7 of the propert+, sold the sa!e, b+ Deed of 3bsolute Sale dated Ma+ %8, %-&%, to their siblin Pacita and her co!!on(la# husband Pedro "andoc *Pedro,.$ Pacita and Pedro soon obtained ta6 declarations 9 and "C" No. %&0008 in their na!es over $'-.&. s)uare !eters of the propert+ includin the shares the+ purchased fro! 3n elica and 3le ria. Pacita, #ith Pedro:s confor!it+, later conve+ed via Deed of 3bsolute Sale . dated 3pril %9, %--9 7 of the propert+ in favor of Cesar "a!ondon , Pedro:s nephe#. On /anuar+ $8, %--8, herein petitioner "eofilo, represented b+ his attorne+(in(fact ;rancisco Mu<o=, filed a Co!plaint> a ainst his siblin s 3le ria and 3n elica, alon #ith Pedro *the co!!on(la# husband of his alread+ deceased sister Pacita,, Priscilla 1autista *#ife of his alread+ deceased brother 4il,, Pricilla:s children 4ilbert, /i!, 4lenda, 4uen, and 4elacio and Cesar "a!ondon before the Re ional "rial Court *R"C, of San Carlos Cit+, for annul!ent of docu!ents, partition, recover+ of o#nership, possession and da!a es. In his co!plaint, petitioner clai!ed that his co(heirs defrauded hi! of his ri htful share of the propert+ and that the deed of sale e6ecuted b+ Pacita in favor of Cesar "a!ondon #as fictitious as it #as i!possible for her to have e6ecuted the sa!e in Manila, she bein alread+ seriousl+ ill at the ti!e. 0 In their 3ns#er,& the defendants(herein respondents sisters 3le ria and 3n elica, #ho #ere ?oined therein b+ their co(defendants(respondents Priscilla, 4ilbert, /i!, 4lenda, 4uen, 4elacio, and 4racia, clai!ed that it #as Pacita #ho caused the e6ecution of the Deed of E6tra(/udicial Partition and because the+ trusted Pacita, the+ si ned the docu!ent #ithout scrutini=in it@ and that the+ learned about the contents of the partition onl+ upon "eofilo:s filin of the Co!plaint. 1+ #a+ of cross(clai!- a ainst Pedro and Cesar "a!ondon , the ans#erin defendants(respondents clai!ed that a fe# #eeAs after the partition, Pacita approached 3n elica and 3le ria to borro# their share in the propert+ on her representation that it #ould be used as securit+ for a business loan@ and that a reein to acco!!odate Pacita,

3n elica and 3le ria si ned a docu!ent #hich Pacita prepared #hich turned out to be the deed of absolute sale in Pacita:s favor. In their 3ns#er #ith Counterclai!, %' Pedro and Cesar "a!ondon clai!ed that the+ #ere bu+ers in ood faith. %%In an+ event, the+ contended that prescription had set in, and that the co!plaint #as a !ere rehash of a previous co!plaint for falsification of public docu!ent #hich had been dis!issed b+ the prosecutor:s office. %$ 1+ Decision%9 of /une $8, %---, 1ranch .0 of the R"C of San Carlos Cit+ rendered ?ud !ent in favor of "eofilo, disposin as follo#s2 BCERE;ORE, in vie# of the fore oin , ?ud !ent is hereb+ rendered2 %, Declarin as null and void and of no force and effect the follo#in docu!ents2 a, Deed of E6tra(/udicial Partition dated 3pril $%, %-&%@ b, Deed of 3bsolute Sale DdEated Ma+ %8, %-&%@ c, "ransfer Certificate of "itle No. %&000@ d, "a6 Declaration Nos. .--8%, 8.---, and 8>''>@ e, Deed of 3bsolute Sale dated 3pril %9, %--9@ $, Orderin the partition of the land in )uestion a!on the co!pulsor+ heirs of the late Spouses Isidro 1autista and "eodora Rosario 9, Orderin defendants Cesar "a!ondon and Pedro "andoc to vacate the pre!ises. No pronounce!entDsE as to cost.%8 *Fnderscorin supplied, On appeal b+ Pedro and Cesar "a!ondon , the Court of 3ppeals, b+ Decision %. of ;ebruar+ $%, $''9, reversed and set aside the trial court:s decision and dis!issed "eofilo:s co!plaint on the round of prescription. %> Cis Motion for Reconsideration%0 havin been denied,%& "eofilo filed the present Petition for Revie# on Certiorari. %"he petition is i!pressed #ith !erit. "he Court of 3ppeals, in holdin that prescription had set in, reasoned2 Fn)uestionabl+, the Deed of E6tra(?udicial Partition is invalid insofar as it affects the le iti!ate share pertainin to the defendant(appellee in the propert+ in )uestion. "here can be no )uestion that the Deed of E6tra(?udicial Partition #as fraudulentl+ obtained. Cence, an action to set it aside on the round of fraud could be instituted. Such action for the annul!ent of the said partition, ho#ever, !ust be brou ht #ithin four +ears fro! the discover+ of the fraud. Si nificantl+, it cannot be denied, either, that b+ its re istration in the !anner provided b+ la#, a transaction !a+ be Ano#n actuall+ or constructivel+.
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In the present case, defendant(appellee is dee!ed to have been constructivel+ notified of the e6tra(?udicial settle!ent b+ reason of its re istration and annotation in the certificate of title over the sub?ect lot on Dece!ber $%, %-&%. ;ro! the ti!e of its re istration, defendant(appellee had four *8, +ears or until $% Dece!ber %-&., #ithin #hich to file his ob?ections or to de!and the appropriate settle!ent of the estate. Fnfortunatel+, defendant(appellee failed to institute the present civil action #ithin said period, havin filed the sa!e onl+ on %0 /anuar+ %--8 or !ore than t#elve *%$, +ears fro! the re istration of the deed of e6tra(?udicial partition. Cence, defendant(appellee:s ri ht to )uestion the deed of e6tra(?udicial partition has prescribed. Even on the e6tre!e assu!ption that defendant(appellee:s co!plaint in Civil Case No. SC(%0-0 is an action for reconve+ance of a portion of the propert+ #hich ri htfull+ belon s to hi! based upon an i!plied trust resultin fro!

fraud, said re!ed+ is alread+ barred b+ prescription. 3n action of reconve+ance of land based upon an i!plied or constructive trust prescribes after ten +ears fro! the re istration of the deed or fro! the issuance of the title. 6666 "he co!plaint of defendant(appellee #as filed onl+ on %0 /anuar+ %--8, #hile the deed of e6tra(?udicial partition #as re istered and inscribed on "ransfer Certificate of "itle %$-.%, on $% Dece!ber %-&%. Clearl+, the co!plaint #as filed t#elve *%$, +ears and t#ent+(seven *$0, da+s after the inscription of the deed of e6tra(?udicial partition on "C" %$-.%. Cence, even if Be consider defendant(appellee:s co!plaint as an action for reconve+ance a ainst plaintiff(appellants on the basis of i!plied trust, #e find and so hold that his re!ed+ for reconve+ance has also prescribed.$' *Fnderscorin supplied, 3s athered fro! the above()uoted portion of its decision, the Court of 3ppeals applied the prescriptive periods for annul!ent on the round of fraud and for reconve+ance of propert+ under a constructive trust. "he e6tra(?udicial partition e6ecuted b+ "eofilo:s co(heirs #as invalid, ho#ever. So Segura v. Segura$% instructs2 6 6 6 "he partition in the present case #as invalid because it e6cluded si6 of the nine heirs #ho #ere entitled to e)ual shares in the partitioned propert+. Fnder the rule, Gno e6tra(?udicial settle!ent shall be bindin upon an+ person #ho has not participated therein or had no notice thereof.G 3s the partition #as a total nullit+ and did not affect the e6cluded heirs, it #as not correct for the trial court to hold that their ri ht to challen e the partition had prescribed after t#o +ears 6 6 6$$ *Fnderscorin supplied, "he deed of e6tra(?udicial partition in the case at bar bein invalid, the action to have it annulled does not prescribe.$9 Since the deed of e6tra(?udicial partition is invalid, it trans!itted no ri hts to "eofilo:s co(heirs. $8 Conse)uentl+, the subse)uent transfer b+ 3n elica and 3le ria of 7 of the propert+ to Pacita and her husband Pedro, as #ell as the transfer of 7 of the propert+ to Cesar "a!ondon is invalid, hence, conferrin no ri hts upon the transferees under the principle of nemo dat quod non habet.$. /0EREFORE, the petition is GRANTE.. "he decision of the court a quo is SET ASI.E and the Decision of the Re ional "rial Court of San Carlos Cit+, Pan asinan, 1ranch .0 is REINSTATE.. SO ORDERED. CONC0ITA CARPIO MORALES 3ssociate /ustice BE CONCFR2 LEONAR.O A. 1UISUMBING 3ssociate /ustice Chairperson ANTONIO T. CARPIO 3ssociate /ustice PRESBITERO -. 2ELASCO, -R. 3ssociate /ustice 3""ES"3"ION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case #as assi ned to the #riter of the opinion of the Court:s Division. .ANTE O. TINGA 3ssociate /ustice

LEONAR.O A. 1UISUMBING 3ssociate /ustice Chairperson CER"I;IC3"ION Pursuant to Section %9, 3rticle VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairperson:s 3ttestation, I certif+ that the conclusions in the above decision had been reached in consultation before the case #as assi ned to the #riter of the opinion of the Court:s Division. RE3NATO S. PUNO Chief /ustice

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Rollo, pp. %'($0. C3 rollo, pp. 00(0-. 4.R. No. H($-9$', Septe!ber %-, %-&&, %>. SCR3 9>&. Id. at 909. Vide Civil Code, 3rticle %8%'@ Salo!on v. I3C, 4.R. No. 0'$>9, Ma+ %8, %--', %&. SCR3 9.$, 9>9. Vide Heirs of Celso Amarante v. Court of Appeals , 4.R. No. 0>9&>, Ma+ $%, %--', %&. SCR3 .&., >'%. Vide Segura v. Segura, supra note $%, at 90..

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