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In an order3 dated February 3, 2000, the RTC granted the motion. Characterizing the suit as an
action "upon an injury to the rights of the plaintiff" which, according to Article 1146 of the Civil
Code,4 must be filed within four years, the RTC held that petitioners action was barred by
prescription for having been filed more than four years after the registration of the execution
Issue: Whether the petitioners action was subject to prescription or not
The trial courts order of dismissal was predicated on the theory that the suit petitioners
commenced was an "action upon an injury to their rights" contemplated in Article 1146 of the
Civil Code was erroneous.
Petitioners complaint reveals that the action was essentially one for quieting of title to real
property under Article 476 of the Civil Code which states:
Instead of filing an answer, private respondents moved for the dismissal of the complaint on
the grounds of prescription and laches.
"The prevailing rule is that the right of a plaintiff to have his title to land quieted, as against
one who is asserting some adverse claim or lien thereon, is not barred while the plaintiff or his
grantors remain in actual possession of the land, claiming to be owners thereof, the reason for
this rule being that while the owner in fee continues liable to an action, proceeding, or suit
upon the adverse claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a court of equity to ascertain
and determine the nature of such claim and its effect on his title, or to assert any superior
equity in his favor. He may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before
taking steps to vindicate his right. But the rule that the statute of limitations is not available as
a defense to an action to remove a cloud from title can only be invoked by a complain[ant]
when he is in possession. One who claims property which is in the possession of another must,
it seems, invoke his remedy within the statutory period."
Petitioners action was not subject to prescription. The petition is GRANTED.
On May 10, 1989, Edesito and Consorcia Ragasa entered into a contract with Oakland
Development Resources Corporation for the purchase in installments of a piece of property,
with improvements, located at No. 06, Garnet St., Prater Village II, Diliman, Q.C. covered by
TCT No. 27946 of the Registry of Deeds for Quezon City.
Sometime March of 1999, during one of the trips of plaintiff Consorcia Ragasa to the
Philippines from Italy, she was surprised to learn from the Registry of Deeds for Quezon City
that on April 14, 1995, the property in question was sold by defendant Ex-Officio Sheriff of
Quezon City to defendants Sps. Roa as the highest bidder for the price and consideration of
Edesito and Consorcia Ragasa filed a complaint1 against private respondents Gerardo
and Rodriga Roa and the ex-officio sheriff of Quezon City.

To make out an action to quiet title under the foregoing provision, the initiatory
pleading has only to set forth allegations showing that (1) the plaintiff has "title to real
property or any interest therein"7 and (2) the defendant claims an interest therein adverse to
the plaintiffs arising from an "instrument, record, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding which is
apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or
unenforceable."8 Thus, the averments in petitioners complaint that (1) they acquired
ownership of a piece of land by tradition or delivery as a consequence of sale and (2) private
respondents subsequently purchased the same piece of land at an allegedly void execution
sale were sufficient to make out an action to quiet title under Article 476.
In March of 1992, petitioner were able to fully pay for the agreed purchase price of
the property and a Deed of Absolute Sale dated March 12, 1992 was executed by petitioner
and between Oakland Development Resources Corporation.
However, despite the execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale, Oakland Development
Resources Corporation failed to cause the transfer of title to plaintiffs.
Petitioner took possession of the property and resided thereat together with their
relatives who continued to occupy the same whenever the plaintiffs would leave for Italy
where they both worked from May of 1989 up to the present date and were in continuous and
notorious possession of the property to the exclusion of others and in the concept of an
Petitioners proceeded forthwith to Supreme Court for review on certiorari5 raising
only a pure question of law.6
Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any
instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in
truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title,
an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.