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Leyson vs Bontuyan

GR No. 156357
Feb 18, 2005

Facts:
Calixto Gabud was the owner of a parcel of land located in Brgy. Adlawon, Mabolo City.
The said property was divided into two parcels of land because of a construction of a provincial
road. He later on executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of spouses Protacio Tabal and
Vivencia Bontuyan, the spouses then sold the two lots to Lourdes V. Leyson as evidenced by a
Deed of Absolute Sale.

Despite the knowledge of Gregorio Bontuyan that said property has been sold to his
son-in-law and daughter, spouses Noval, he filed an application with the Bureau of Lands over
Lot no 17,150 alleging that the property was public land and was neither claimed nor occupied
by any person and that he first entered upon and began cultivating the same in his favor. Thus,
he has obtained a Free Patent on the said lot and another parcel of land, lot no 13,272, was
also registered under his name.

Meanwhile, Gregorio again executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the two lots in favor
of Naciansino Bontuyan. He then executed a Real Estate Mortgage over lot no 17,150 in favor
of Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as a security for a loan. Shortly thereafter, Na-
ciansino and spouse has left the Philippines and resided in the US.

When the spouses arrived in the Philippines to redeem their property from DBP, they lat-
er on discovered that it was tenanted by Engr. Leyson, on of the late Lourdes Leyson’s chil-
dren.

Issue:
Whether or not Gregorio Bontuyan acted in bad faith when he applied for free patent for
the same parcels of land.

Ruling:
Yes, record show that at the time when Gregorio applied for free patent, he was living
with his daughter, Vivencia. Thus, Gregorio must have known that at the time when he applied,
the subject lots were already sold by his daughter. Furthermore, records also show that he sold
twice the lot no 17,150 to plaintiff appellants. The first was in 1976 and the other was in 1980.
Plaintiff-appellants offered no reasonable explanation why Gregorio have to sell it twice. These
are badges of bad faith which affect the validity of the title of Gregorio over the subject lots.

Considering that Lourdes Leyson was in actual possession of the property, the respon-
dents cannot claim that they were in good faith when Gregorio allegedly sold the property to
them.
BennySalayog