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FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 166577. February 3, 2010.]
SPOUSES MORRIS CARPO and
SOCORRO CARPO, petitioners, vs.
AYALA LAND, INCORPORATED,
respondent.
DECISION
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J p:
In the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court, petitioners seek to set aside and annul the
Decision 1 dated December 22, 2003 of the Court of Appeals
(CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 61784, which reversed and set aside the
Summary Judgment 2 dated December 22, 1998 of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Las Piñas City, Branch 255. Also subject of
the present petition is the CA Resolution 3 dated December 16,
2004 which denied the motion for reconsideration of the earlier
decision.
A summary of the facts, as culled from the records of the case,
follows:
On February 16, 1995, petitioner spouses Morris and Socorro
Carpo (Carpos) filed a Complaint for Quieting of Title 4 with the
RTC of Makati City against Ayala Corporation, Ayala Property
Ventures Corporation (APVC), and the Register of Deeds of Las
Piñas, docketed as Civil Case No. 95-292.
In their Complaint, the Carpos claimed to be the owners of a
171,209-square meter parcel of land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 296463 issued in their names. 5
They further alleged that Ayala Corporation was claiming to have
titles (specifically, TCT Nos. 125945, T-4366, T-4367 and T-4368)
over the property covered by the Carpos' TCT No. 296463 and
that Ayala Corporation had made such property its equity
contribution in APVC to be developed into a residential
subdivision. Attached as annexes to the complaint were
photocopies of:
(a) TCT No. 296463 issued on August
13, 1970 in the name of the
Carpos, covering a parcel of
land (Lot 3, plan Psu-56007)
located in the Barrio of
Almanza, Las Piñas with an
area of 171,309 square
meters;
(b) TCT No. 125945 issued on April 6,
1988 in the name of Ayala
Corporation, covering a parcel
of land (Lot 3, Plan Psu80886) located in Bo. Tindig

na Manga, Las Piñas with an
area of 171,309 square
meters; EcTCAD
(c) TCT No. T-4367 issued on May 18,
1988 in the name of Ayala
Corporation, covering a parcel
of land (Lot 2, plan Psu47035) located in the Sitio of
May Kokak, Bo. of Almanza,
Las Piñas with an area of
218,523 square meters; and
(d) TCT No. T-4368 issued on May 18,
1988 in the name of Ayala
Corporation, covering a parcel
of land (Lot 3, plan Psu47035) located in the Sitio of
May Kokak, Bo. of Almanza,
Las Piñas with an area of
155,345 square meters.
No copy of TCT No. T-4366 was attached to the complaint.
According to the complaint, TCT Nos. 125945, T-4366, T-4367
and T-4368 and their derivatives "appear to have been issued in
the name of Ayala and purport to cover and embrace the Carpo's
property or portion thereof duly covered registered under the
already indefeasible and incontrovertible TCT [No.] 296463 are
inherently invalid and enforceable (sic) for not being the duly
issued derivatives of the Carpos' title." 6 The Carpos additionally
applied for a restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction to
enjoin Ayala Corporation and APVC from doing construction and
development works on the properties in purported violation of the
Carpos' rights.
The complaint prayed that the trial court render judgment:
(1) canceling and declaring void TCT
Nos. 125945, T-4366, T-4367,
T-4368 and all alleged
derivatives thereof, issued in
the name of Ayala
Corporation and/or APVC
over the properties or portion
thereof embraced in the
Carpos' TCT No. 296463 and
issuing a writ of possession in
favor of the Carpos and/or
ordering Ayala Corporation
and APVC to surrender to the
Carpos the properties or
portion thereof being
occupied by the said
corporations under inherently

invalid or void titles; (2)
declaring TCT No. 296463
issued in their names as valid
and the Carpos as the owners
of the property described
therein "including the parcels
of land being claimed and
occupied by Ayala
[Corporation] and APVC
withou[t] valid and
enforceable titles"; and (3)
ordering Ayala Corporation
and APVC to pay jointly and
severally the amount of
P100,000 as attorney's fees
plus costs of suit and litigation
expenses. 7
On March 10, 1995, before defendants could file an answer,
petitioners filed an Amended Complaint, impleading respondent
Ayala Land, Incorporated (ALI) in lieu of Ayala Corporation after
purportedly verifying with the Register of Deeds of Las Piñas that
the title to the subject property was registered in the name of ALI
and not Ayala Corporation. 8
On October 12, 1995 and January 12, 1996, ALI filed its Answer
with Counterclaims and Opposition to Application for Restraining
Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction 9 and Pre-trial Brief with
Motion to Admit Amended Answer, 10 respectively. EAHcCT
In its Amended Answer, ALI alleged that APVC no longer exists
having been merged with ALI in 1991. ALI pointed out that the
areas covered by TCT Nos. T-4366, T-4367, and T-4368 do not
overlap with the Carpos' claimed property and the dispute
pertained only to the land covered by the Carpos' TCT No.
296463 and TCT No. T-5333 in the name of Las Piñas Ventures,
Inc. (LPVI) which was derived from TCT No. 125945 in the name
of Ayala Corporation. It appeared that Ayala Corporation
contributed the property to LPVI and LPVI had, in turn, also
merged with ALI. Further, ALI alleged that it is the true owner of
the property covered by TCT No. T-5333 as it traces back its title
to Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 242 issued in 1950 while
the Carpos' title was derived from OCT No. 8575 issued only in
1970. ALI also claimed the Carpos' complaint was barred by res
judicata in view of the 1941 decision of this Court in Guico v. San
Pedro 11 which upheld the ownership of a certain Eduardo Guico
over the subject property as Lot 3, of Psu-80886 over the claim of
a certain Florentino Baltazar who was asserting ownership of the
same under his plan, Psu-56007.
During the pendency of the case, ALI secured a title in its own
name, TCT No. T-41262, over the property previously covered by
TCT No. T-5333. 12

In the Order 13 dated March 6, 1996, the Makati RTC ruled that
the present case was an action in rem and directed the transfer of
the case to the RTC of Las Piñas where the disputed property is
located. The case was thereafter assigned to Branch 255 of the
Las Piñas RTC and docketed as Civil Case No. 96-0082.
On December 17, 1996, ALI filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment on the ground that there was allegedly no genuine
issue as to any material fact and the only issue for the court to
resolve was a purely legal one — which of the two (2) titles should
be accorded priority. According to ALI, the parties were relying on
their respective TCTs, and since ALI admittedly traces its title to
OCT No. 242 which was issued more than twenty (20) years
earlier than the Carpos' predecessor's title (OCT No. 8575), its
title is, thus, superior. Expectedly, the Carpos filed an opposition
to the motion for summary judgment, arguing that there were
"genuine issues and controversies to be litigated."
In an Order dated April 7, 1997, the RTC denied ALI's motion for
summary judgment. This denial was challenged in a petition for
certiorari with the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 44243.
In a decision 14 dated September 25, 1997, the CA granted ALI's
petition and ordered the RTC to render a summary judgment.
Both parties moved for reconsideration of the CA Decision. ALI
filed a motion for partial reconsideration, entreating the CA itself to
render the summary judgment in the interest of judicial economy
and on a claim that the sole issue was legal. The Carpos, in their
motion, insisted that there were genuine issues in this case that
must be threshed out in a trial. Both motions were denied in the
CA Resolution dated January 12, 1998. 15 ECISAD
Both parties elevated the matter to this Court in separate petitions
for review on certiorari. In G.R. No. 132259, ALI assailed the CA's
refusal to render a summary judgment, while in G.R. No. 132440,
the Carpos assailed the CA's ruling that trial was unnecessary.
In separate minute Resolutions, 16 the Court denied both
petitions. Both parties' motions for reconsideration were likewise
denied.
Accordingly, the RTC rendered a Summary Judgment dated
December 22, 1998, finding the Carpos' title superior to that of
ALI and ruling, thus:
Upon the other hand, this Court is not
inclined to concur with Ayala's claim of
the validity of its TCT No. T-5333 and
alleged OCT No. 242 absent of any
admission to that effect by the plaintiffs in
their complaint. A reading of the
defendant's answer reveals that OCT
No. 242 covers the property surveyed
under SWO, but the pleadings on file fail
to allege that the same was approved by

the Director of the Bureau of Lands,
thereby justifying this court to be
skeptical of the validity of the issuance of
OCT No. 242. In original land registration
cases, it is mandatory that the
application should be accompanied by a
survey plan of the property applied for
registration, duly approved by the
Director of the Bureau of Lands. A survey
plan without the approval of the Director
of the Bureau of Lands has the character
of being of dubious origin and it is not
therefore worthy of being accepted as
evidence. The property being claimed by
the defendant ALI, allegedly registered
under OCT No. 242, is shown to have
been surveyed under SWO and not
bearing the approval of the Director of
the Bureau of Lands. Any title issued
emanating from a survey plan without
the approval of the Director of the
Bureau of Lands is tainted with
irregularity and therefore void, as ruled in
Republic Cement Corporation vs. Court
of Appeals, et al., 198 SCRA 734. In the
said case, the Supreme Court held:
"That unless a survey plan is duly
approved by the Director of Lands the
same is of dubious value and is not
acceptable as evidence. Indubitably,
therefore, the reported survey and its
alleged results are not entitled to credit
and should be rejected."
The submission of the plan is a statutory
requirement of mandatory character and
unless the plan and its technical
description are duly approved by the
Director of Lands, the same are not of
much value (Republic vs. Vera, 120
SCRA 210). In another case, it was ruled
that the Land Registration Commission
has no authority to approve original
survey plans (Director of Lands, et al. vs.
Honorable Salvador Reyes, et al., 68
SCRA 177).
Evidently, the SWO survey of the
property which defendant ALI claimed to
have been originated from OCT No. 242
had not been approved by the Director of
the Bureau of Lands, but was apparently
prepared and approved by the then Land

Registration Commissioner and under
the law, the same is void.
It will also be noted that aside from the
admissions made by defendant ALI in its
answer, it clearly appears in its title TCT
No. T-5333 that the date of survey was
on July 28, 1930. Plaintiffs' property
covered by TCT No. 296463 was
surveyed on January 4-6, 1927. This
means that plaintiffs' predecessor-ininterest had claimed ownership of the
property ahead of that of defendant ALI's
predecessor-in-interest. The principle of
prior registration cannot be applied in
this case because the land previously
surveyed cannot anymore be the subject
of another survey, and there is already a
record of a prior survey in the Bureau of
Lands. This is precisely the reason why
the survey plan has to be approved by
the Director of the Bureau of Lands. This
must be the reason why the later survey
in favor of Ayala's predecessor-ininterest did not anymore bear the
approval of the Director of Lands
because had it been submitted for
approval, the records of the Bureau of
Lands will show that an earlier survey of
the same land had already been made
and approved by the Director of the
Bureau of Lands. HTaSEA
Evidently, Ayala's claim of superiority of
its title over that of the plaintiffs' cannot
therefore be sustained. Be that as it may,
the fact that cannot be disputed on the
basis of Ayala's answer is its admission
that SWO survey without the approval of
the Director of the Bureau of Lands was
submitted in the alleged registration
proceedings, rendering the decree and
the title issued thereunder to be tainted
with irregularity and therefore void.
WHEREFORE, in the light of the
foregoing and the prevailing
jurisprudence on the matter, judgment is
hereby rendered:
(a) Declaring TCT No. 296463
in the name of the
plaintiffs Spouses
Morris G. Carpo

and Socorro R.
Carpo as valid and
legal, and superior
to that of
defendant Ayala's
TCT No. T-5333;
(b) Declaring TCT No. T-5333,
TCT No. 125945,
TCT No. T-6055,
TCT No. 4366,
TCT No. 4367 and
TCT No. 4368 and
their derivatives as
null and void;
(c) Ordering the defendant
Ayala Land, Inc. to
pay the sum of
P100,000.00 as
attorney's fees;
and
(d) To pay the costs. 17
On January 5, 1999, ALI filed a notice of appeal but the same was
dismissed by the CA in a Resolution 18 dated May 14, 1999 for
failure to pay the full amount of docket fees. In its motion for
reconsideration, ALI pointed out that it paid the full amount
assessed by the cash clerk on duty at the RTC Las Piñas. The
motion was also denied, prompting ALI to file with this Court a
petition for review docketed as G.R. No. 140162. Finding ALI's
petition meritorious, the Court, in a Decision 19 dated November
22, 2000, reversed the CA's dismissal of ALI's appeal and
remanded the same to the CA for further proceedings.
On December 22, 2003, the CA rendered the herein challenged
decision in favor of ALI, the dispositive portion of which reads as
follows:
FOR THE FOREGOING
DISQUISITIONS, the instant appeal is
GRANTED, the assailed Summary
Judgment of the Regional Trial Court of
Las Piñas, Branch 255, dated December
22, 1998, is hereby REVERSED and
SET ASIDE, and a new one is rendered
as follows:
(1) TCT No. 41262, formerly TCT No. T5333, in the name of defendant-appellant
Ayala Land, Incorporated is hereby
declared to be the VALID title to the
subject property;

(2) TCT No. 296463 issued in the name
of plaintiffs-appellees is declared to be
NULL and VOID;

After a thorough review of the records, we deny the petition and
concur with the CA that the Summary Judgment rendered by the
trial court should be reversed and set aside.

(3) The concerned Register of Deeds is
hereby ORDERED to cancel plaintiffsappellees' TCT No. 296463, and any and
all titles issued covering the subject
property, for being spurious and void,
and of no force and effect. 20

Preliminary discussion regarding subject matter of the
controversy

The Carpos filed their motion for reconsideration but the same
was denied by the CA in its Resolution dated December 16, 2004.
Hence, the instant petition for review filed by Socorro Carpo and
the heirs of Morris Carpo. 21 The Petition contained the following
assignment of errors:
A. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
IN DECLARING THAT THE TITLE OF
RESPONDENT IS VALID EVEN
WITHOUT THE REQUISITE SURVEY
PLAN APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR
OF LANDS.
B. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
IN DECLARING PETITIONERS GUILTY
OF LACHES AND PRESCRIPTION.
C. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
IN DECLARING THAT THE RTC
"RELIED HEAVILY" ON AN ALLEGED
"ADMISSION" BY RESPONDENT OF
THE VALIDITY OF THE TITLE OF
PETITIONERS OVER THE DISPUTED
PARCEL OF LAND.
D. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
IN DECLARING THAT THERE IS RES
JUDICATA AGAINST PETITIONERS
BASED ON THE CASE OF GUICO V.
SAN PEDRO, ET AL., 72 PHIL 415,
WITHOUT PROPER DETERMINATION
OF WHETHER THE FACTS IN SAID
CASE ARE DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO
THIS CASE AND WHETHER THE
ELEMENTS OF RES JUDICATA ARE
PRESENT. 22
Petitioners prayed that this Court render a decision: (a) reversing
and setting aside the CA Decision dated December 22, 2003 and
Resolution dated December 16, 2004; (b) reinstating and
affirming in toto the RTC's Summary Judgment dated December
22, 1998; or in the alternative (c) remanding the case to the RTC
for further proceedings. aDSIHc

At the outset, it should be noted that the trial court in its Summary
Judgment declared null and void (a) TCT No. T-5333 (and its
antecedent, TCT No. [125945] T-6055A) covering a parcel of land
with an area of 171,309 square meters; (b) TCT No. T-4366 with a
land area of 254,085 square meters; (c) TCT No. T-4367 with a
land area of 218,523 square meters; and (d) TCT No. T-4368 with
a land area of 155,345 square meters, despite the lack of
evidence of identity of the properties described in TCT Nos. T4366, T-4367 and T-4368 with the property covered by the
Carpos' TCT No. 296463 or any portion of said property claimed
by petitioners. This was grievous and palpable error on the part of
the trial court considering that the property being claimed by the
Carpos under their TCT No. 296463 had an area of only 171,309
square meters and the total area of the properties in the titles
invalidated by the trial court was 799,262 square meters.
It must be emphasized that in CA-G.R. SP No. 44243, involving
the same parties, the CA ruled that:
On the other hand, defendant ALI, in its
responsive pleading did not deny the
existence of a title in the name of the
plaintiffs/private respondents. Instead, it
alleged:
"14. The parcel of land
described in TCT No. 296463,
issued in the name of the
plaintiffs, completely overlaps
the property covered by ALI's
TCT No. T-5333. But TCT No.
T-296463 traces itself to OCT
No. 8575 which was issued
on August 12, 1970, long after
OCT No. 242 (the title from
which ALI's TCT No. T-5333
was derived) was issued on
May 9, 1950 (on the basis of
Decree of Registration No.
2917, Record No. 43516).
Hence, ALI's TCT No. T-5333
is superior to TCT No.
296463. . . . ."
This is an admission that the private
respondents have a title to the property
in question, and that the property
described in private respondents' TCT

No. 296463 completely overlaps the title
of petitioner ALI. This fact is further
substantiated by an affidavit of Jose
Rizal Mercado, a Geodetic Engineer
who, after attesting to his
qualifications, competence and
experience, declared under oath:
"9. In connection with the
subject case, Affiant was
requested to find out, based
on the technical descriptions
in their respective titles, if the
lots described in the title of
plaintiffs, TCT No. 296463,
overlaps the lots of ALI
covered by TCT No. 41262
(formerly, TCT No. T-5333 of
LPVI, and, more previously,
TCT No. T (125945) 6055-A,
in the name of Ayala
Corporation), TCT No. 4366,
TCT No. 4367 and TCT No.
4368, . . . . HETDAC
'9.1. To accomplish
this task, Affiant
resorted to the
plotting of the
technical
descriptions found
in the plaintiffs' and
ALI's respective
titles. The standard
operating
procedure,
adopted by Affiant
in this particular
instance, in
plotting properties
is to study the
technical
description in the
titles and at the
same time, to get
all the available
survey plans
described in the
titles for reference.
'9.2. To evidence
this plotting that
Affiant conducted,

Affiant prepared a
Sketch Plan
reflecting Plaintiffs'
title vis-a-vis ALI's
title. Attached
hereto as Annex
"G" is an original
copy of the Sketch
Plan prepared by
the Affiant.
'9.3. The orangeshaded portion on
the Sketch Plan
indicates the area
covered by the title
of the plaintiffs and
it is clearly shown
in this plan that
plaintiffs' claimed
property entirely
overlaps ALI's
property
delineated in TCT
No. T-41262.
Plaintiffs' claimed
property (Lot 3,
PSU-56007) is in
fact identical to
ALI's lot (Lot 3,
PSU-80886).
'9.4. The blue,
pink and green
lines on the
Sketch Plan
indicate the
boundaries of
ALI's TCT Nos.
4366, 4367 and
4368,
respectively, and
it is clearly
shown that these
do not overlap
with plaintiffs'
claimed
property.'"
The Sketch Plan attached thereto
clearly indicates the overlapping and
identical boundaries between the
private respondents' TCT No. 296463

and petitioner's TCT No. 125945,
(formerly TCT No. T-5333). 23 In
addition to the affidavit of the Geodetic
Engineer, the petitioner likewise attached
to its Motion for Summary Judgment
copies of the following titles:
xxx xxx xxx
In contrast, the private respondents
never controverted the petitioner's
allegation that their (private
respondents') title, TCT No. 296463
traces its origin to OCT No. 8575, issued
on August 12, 1970, while that of the
petitioner has its origin in OCT No. 242,
issued on May 9, 1950. Moreover, the
private respondents attached no
supporting document to its
Opposition to the Motion for Summary
Judgment.
Thus, as matters stand, the requisites for
the grant of summary judgment appear
to have been satisfied . . . .
xxx xxx xxx
Since the existence of two titles over
the same property, as well as the fact
of overlapping of the technical
descriptions of the two titles are
admitted in the pleadings, and
substantiated by the supporting
documents attached by the
defendant-movant (petitioner herein)
to its Motion for Summary Judgment,
there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact. If at all, the sole issue is
a legal one, to wit: whose title (as to
the conflicting ones) is superior and
must be upheld. This issue may be
decided on the basis of the affidavits
and supporting documents submitted
by the parties, as well as the
applicable law and jurisprudence on
the matter. In other words, there need
not be a protracted trial thereon, since all
that the trial court should do is to apply
the law to the issue, taking into
consideration the documents attached by
the parties in their respective pleadings
and/or submitted together with the
motion or the opposition thereto. The

same is true with the other defenses
raised by the petitioner in its
responsive pleading, to wit: res
judicata, prescription and laches —
which may likewise be resolved
without going to trial. 24 (Emphasis
and underscoring supplied.) ETHSAI
The foregoing CA decision became final and executory after the
separate petitions for review filed with this Court by the parties
were denied with finality. The parties, and even the trial court,
were bound by the CA's factual finding therein that the only lots
whose technical descriptions overlap are those covered by the
Carpos' TCT No. 296463 and ALI's TCT No. T-5333 which later
became TCT No. T-41262. There was simply no basis for the trial
court to invalidate all the ALI titles mentioned in the complaint.
The incorrectness of this sweeping invalidation of ALI titles in the
Summary Judgment is even more evident in the case of TCT No.
T-4367 (Lot 2, plan Psu-47035) and TCT No. T-4368 (Lot 3, plan
Psu-47035). Petitioners' claims with respect to these properties
are already barred by res judicata. In Realty Sales Enterprise,
Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 25 petitioner Morris Carpo
already asserted his purported ownership of these two properties
based on a transfer certificate of title with the same survey plan
number (Psu-56007) as TCT No. 296463. However, in Realty, his
claim was discredited by the Court when it held that Realty Sales
Enterprise, Inc. (Realty), ALI's predecessor in interest, 26 is the
one with valid title to these properties. The relevant portions of the
Realty Decision are quoted here:
Two (2) adjacent parcels of land located
in Almanza, Las Piñas, Metro Manila,
having an aggregate area of 373,868 sq.
m., situated in the vicinity of the Ayala
Alabang Project and BF Homes
Parañaque are covered by three (3)
distinct sets of Torrens titles to wit:
1) TCT No. 20408 issued on
May 29, 1975 in
the name of Realty
Sales Enterprise,
Inc., which was
derived from OCT
No. 1609, issued
on May 21, 1958,
pursuant to Decree
No. N-63394 in
LRC Cases Nos.
657, 758 and 976,
GLRO Record
Nos. N-29882, N33721 and N-

43516,
respectively.
2) TCT No. 303961 issued on
October 13, 1970
in the name of
Morris G. Carpo,
which was derived
from OCT No.
8629, issued on
October 13, 1970
pursuant to decree
No. N-131349 in
LRC Case No. N11-M (N-6217),
GLRO Record No.
N-32166.
3) TCTs Nos. 333982 and
333985, issued on
July 27, 1971 in
the name of
Quezon City
Development and
Financing
Corporation,
derived from OCT
No. 8931 which
was issued on July
27, 1971 pursuant
to LRC Case No.
P-206 GLRO
Record No. N31777.
On December 29, 1977, Morris Carpo
filed a complaint with the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Branch XXIII, presided
over by Judge Rizalina Bonifacio Vera
(hereafter referred to as Vera Court), for
"declaration of nullity of Decree No. N63394 and TCT No. 20408." Named
defendants were Realty Sales
Enterprise, Inc., Macondray Farms, Inc.
and the Commissioner of Land
Registration. . . . . TDCaSE
xxx xxx xxx
In the case at bar, it appears that it was
Estanislao Mayuga, father of Dominador
Mayuga, predecessor-in-interest of
Realty, who originally filed on June 24,
1927 a registration proceeding docketed

as LRC Case No. 657, GLRO Record
No. N-29882 in the Court of First
Instance of Rizal to confirm his title over
parcels of land described as Lots 1, 2
and 3, Plan Psu-47035. (Lots 2 and 3
are the subject of the instant litigation
among Carpo, Realty and QCDFC.)
Case No. 657 was jointly tried with two
other cases, LRC Case No. 976, GLRO
Record No. 43516 filed by Eduardo
Guico and LRC Case No. 758, GLRO
Record No. 33721 filed by Florentino
Baltazar, as the three cases involved
identical parcels of land, and identical
applicants/oppositors.
xxx xxx xxx
Carpo bought the disputed property from
the Baltazars, the original registered
owners, by virtue of a deed executed
before Iluminada Figueroa, Notary Public
of Manila dated October 9, 1970. . . . .
xxx xxx xxx
The Baltazars, predecessors-in-interest
of Carpo are heirs of Florentino Baltazar,
an oppositor in the original application
filed by Estanislao Mayuga in 1927. As
stated earlier, the CFI-Rizal confirmed
the title of Estanislao to Lots 1, 2 and
3 of Plan Psu-47035 "desestimando
oposicion de Florentino Baltazar . . . con
respeto a dichos lotes . . ." As such
successors of Florentino, they could
not pretend ignorance of the land
registration proceedings over the
disputed parcels of land earlier
initiated by Eduardo Guico, Florentino
Baltazar and Estanislao Mayuga, as
when as the decisions rendered
therein.
Moreover, it is not disputed that the
title in the name of Dominador
Mayuga, from whom Realty derived its
title, was issued in 1958, or twelve
years before the issuance of the title
in the name of the Baltazars in 1970.
In this jurisdiction, it is settled that "(t)he
general rule is that in the case of two
certificates of title, purporting to
include the same land, the earlier in

and to have exercised it effectively. Indubitably. is shown to have been surveyed under SWO and not bearing the approval of the Director of the Bureau of Lands. A reading of the defendant's answer reveals that OCT No. because once a decree of registration is made under the Torrens system.date prevails . duly approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. In successive registrations. . the person claiming under the prior certificate is entitled to the estate or interest. there is no admission on the part of ALI that OCT No.) We now discuss each assignment of error raised in the petition. Vera. 242 absent of any admission to that effect by the plaintiffs in their complaint." The submission of the plan is a statutory requirement of mandatory character and unless the plan and its technical description are duly approved by the Director of Lands. 29 cDHAaT It is incomprehensible how the trial court could conclude that the survey plan mentioned in OCT No. 28 To begin with. 242 had not been approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. 242 in the 1950 land registration proceedings was approved only by the Land Registration Commissioner and not by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. Honorable Salvador Reyes. . it gave emphasis to defendant-appellant's failure to allege that the survey plan of OCT No. It would appear the trial court came to the conclusion that OCT No. SIcTAC We cannot but agree with the CA on this point upon perusing the following portion of the Summary Judgment: Upon the other hand. in ruling that the validity of OCT No." 27 (Emphasis and underscoring ours. 120 SCRA 210). Court of Appeals. or whose claim is derived directly or indirectly from the person who was the holder of the earliest certificate issued in respect thereof . by repeated actions. it is mandatory that the application should be accompanied by a survey plan of the property applied for registration. . 242 was duly approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. . 242. it can most certainly be assumed that said requirement was complied with by ALI's original predecessor-in-interest at the time the latter sought original registration of the subject property.. 242 was approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. . 242 was issued without an approved survey plan was unwarranted in view of the presumption of regularity that said title enjoys. A survey plan without the approval of the Director of the Bureau of Lands has the character of being of dubious origin and it is not therefore worthy of being accepted as evidence. the SWO survey of the property which defendant ALI claimed to have been originated from OCT No. 242 was unapproved by the appropriate authority all from the notation "SWO" which appeared beside the survey plan number on the face of the title or from a failure to allege on the part of ALI that a duly approved survey plan exists. This is as it should be. under the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions by public officers. It is admitted that a survey plan is one of the requirements for the issuance of decrees of registration. allegedly registered under OCT No. Evidently. a perusal of the defendant's answer or amended answer would show that. In the said case. the reported survey and its alleged results are not entitled to credit and should be rejected. 198 SCRA 734. In another case. thereby justifying this court to be skeptical of the validity of the issuance of OCT No. In original land registration cases. et al. 242 covers the property surveyed under SWO. It is the CA's view that the trial court's pronouncement that OCT No. contrary to the trial court's allusions thereto. Moreover. et al. The property being claimed by the defendant ALI. 242 was issued without a duly approved survey plan simply because the notation "SWO" appeared in the technical description of the said title which was attached to the answer and due to ALI's failure to allege in its pleadings that the survey plan submitted in support of the issuance of OCT No. Petitioners clearly misunderstood or deliberately misread the CA's ruling on this point. There would be no end to litigation if every litigant could. 242. There is likewise no evidence on record to support the trial court's finding that the survey plan submitted to support the issuance of OCT No. as ruled in Republic Cement Corporation vs. it was ruled that the Land Registration Commission has no authority to approve original survey plans (Director of Lands. 68 SCRA 177). the same is void. this Court is not inclined to concur with Ayala's claim of the validity of its TCT No. and that person is deemed to hold under the prior certificate who is the holder of. et al. but was apparently prepared and approved by the then Land Registration Commissioner and under the law. but upon the issuance of such decree. The court upon which the law has conferred jurisdiction. the Supreme Court held: "That unless a survey plan is duly approved by the Director of Lands the same is of dubious value and is not acceptable as evidence. is deemed to have all the necessary powers to exercise such jurisdiction. vs. compel a court to review a decree previously issued by another court forty-five (45) years ago. where more than one certificate is issued in respect of a particular estate or interest in land.. therefore. but the pleadings on file fail to allege that the same was approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. citations omitted. 242 was issued without a survey plan that was duly approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. . and the time has passed within which that decree may be questioned the title is perfect and cannot later on be questioned. We quote with approval the discussion of the CA on this point: Pursuant to the foregoing. . Any title issued emanating from a survey plan without the approval of the Director of the Bureau of Lands is tainted with irregularity and therefore void. T-5333 and alleged OCT No. the land registration court must be assumed to have carefully ascertained the propriety of issuing a decree in favor of ALI's predecessor-in-interest. the same are not of much value (Republic vs. First Assignment of Error Petitioners alleged that the CA erred in declaring that the title of respondent is valid even without the requisite survey plan approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands. the court a quo erred when. 242 is dubious.

Section 1 of the Rules of Court provides: ADTCaI Section 1. Disputable presumptions. 4244 in favor of the Municipality of Cabuyao cannot be overturned without any countervailing proof to the contrary. particularly their allegation that ALI's title is null and void and that such title should be cancelled. . in view of the CA's Decision in CA-G. (n) That a court. . 242. With the filing of the complaint. enjoy the presumption of regularity and ALI need not allege or prove that its title was regularly issued. including ALI's TCT No. Rule 131. In the words of Tichangco v. and that person is deemed to hold under the prior certificate who is the holder of. it was held that: In this jurisdiction. 6763. In the absence of proof to the contrary. Thus. it is settled that "(t)he general rule is that in the case of two certificates of title. (Emphasis supplied. was supported by a duly approved survey plan when petitioners did not raise the same as an issue in their complaint or in any other pleading filed with the trial court. — The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted. Laguna: 31 In the absence of evidence to the contrary. 44243. As petitioners themselves are aware.R. This is the fundamental nature of the Torrens System of land registration. but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence: xxx xxx xxx (m) That official duty has been regularly performed. We cannot accept petitioners' proposition that they did not have the burden of proof of showing the irregularity of ALI's title since the burden of proof purportedly did not shift to them since no fullblown trial was conducted by the RTC. v. — Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law. it dispenses with proof. Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides: DCAHcT Section 3. Municipality of Cabuyao. The Court need not emphasize that it is not for ALI to allege in its pleadings. and in like manner that all matters within an issue raised in a dispute submitted for arbitration were laid before the arbitrators and passed upon by them.The very purpose of the Torrens system would be destroyed if the same land may be subsequently brought under a second action for registration. (o) That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid before the court and passed upon by it. That is precisely the nature of such a presumption. or judge acting as such. OCT No. on the correctness of the certificate of title issued for the subject property and the law will in no way oblige it to go behind the certificate of title to determine the condition of the property. was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction. This specious argument deserves scant credit. purporting to cover the same property. whether in the Philippines or elsewhere. It may rely solely. but also violate the underlying principle of the Torrens system. where more than one certificate is issued in respect of a particular estate or interest in land. is presumed to have been regularly issued by the accountable public officers who enjoy the legal presumption of regularity in the performance of their functions. It stands to reason then that ALI did not have to allege in its Answer that its mother title. Hence. showing that Decree No. deserves priority. the proceedings that led to the issuance of Decree No. LRC (CLR) Rec. OCT No. . petitioners should already have alleged all the bases of their cause of action. much less prove. 976. pursuant to land registration proceedings in Case No. Enriquez: 32 To overturn this legal presumption carelessly — more than 90 years since the termination of the case — will not only endanger judicial stability. . this controversy has been reduced to the sole substantive issue of which between the two titles. the person claiming under the prior certificate is entitled to the estate or interest. 242 in 1950 because it is presumed. However. SP No. 242 and its derivatives. 976 and OCT No. . ALI was not required to go beyond what appeared in the transfer certificate of title in the name of its immediate transferor. purporting to include the same land. 1911. citations omitted.) It cannot be gainsaid that the issuance of OCT No. Indubitably. as it did. we held in Herce. No. It is the party who seeks to overcome the presumption who would have the burden to present adequate and convincing evidence to the contrary. . the Ordinary Decree Book. ALI need not allege or prove that a duly approved survey plan accompanied the issuance of OCT No. Burden of proof. to give the public the right to rely upon the face of a Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring further. Rule 131. the earlier in date prevails . . Thus. 30 (Underscoring ours. T-41262. 242 includes the presumption that all the requisites for the issuance of a valid title had been complied with. 242 was a result of the registration decree of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. as what the court a quo did when it faulted ALI's failure to allege that its predecessor-in-interest submitted a survey plan approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands in the original land registration case. petitioners did not even attempt to do. Jr. 4244 was issued on March 3. In successive registrations. to do so would reduce the vaunted legal indefeasibility of Torrens titles to meaningless verbiage. All that the complaint alleged is that ALI's titles should be declared void for not being derivatives of the Carpos' title. This. This is hardly a novel issue. or whose claim is derived directly or indirectly from the person who was the holder of the . that its predecessor-ininterest complied with the requirements for the original registration of the subject property. in Realty.) The presumption of regularity enjoyed by the registration decree issued in Case No. A party dealing with a registered land need not go beyond the Certificate of Title to determine the true owner thereof so as to guard or protect his or her interest. Implicit in that allegation is that petitioners were relying solely on the supposed priority of their own title over ALI's. Indeed. a scrutiny of the complaint would show that petitioners never alleged the purported lack of an approved survey plan as a defect of ALI's title.

plaintiffsappellees. for forty-five (45) years. By laches is meant the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time. the premise upon which petitioners build their theory of imprescriptibility of their action did not exist. . but also by laches. but also the validity of plaintiffs-appellees' certificate of title. the court a quo relied heavily on the alleged admission by ALI in it[s] Answer of the existence and validity of plaintiffs-appellees' title. Although plaintiffs-appellees' complaint was for quieting of title." 35 Third Assignment of Error The next assigned error involves the question of whether the trial court. Register of Deeds of Cavite. whether wholly or partly. we find no reason to disturb the CA's finding that: As previously emphasized. from which ALI's title was derived. We have read the pertinent pleading and We find ALI's statement to be of no moment. aTHCSE Nowhere in ALI's statement was there an admission of the validity of plaintiffsappellees' title. but is principally an impediment to the assertion or enforcement of a right. 242 of ALI's predecessor-in-interest was issued on May 7. According to them. . however. as declared by the CA. It does not involve mere lapse or passage of time. and if successful. Whenever the phrase innocent purchaser for value or an equivalent phrase occurs in this Decree. Stronger in Right) in this case and found that ALI's title was the valid title having been derived from the earlier OCT." In all. 242 is void was not sufficiently borne out by the evidence on record. The Court cannot comprehend where and how the court a quo could have gotten the impression that ALI was admitting not only the existence. since such issuance operates as a constructive notice. 36 An examination of the Summary Judgment of the trial court would readily show that indeed the trial court relied on ALI's supposed admission of the existence of Carpos' title in ruling which of the conflicting titles was valid. it is the Court's firmly held view that plaintiffs-appellees' claim is barred not only by prescription. 34 we held that "[w]here two certificates of title purport to include the same land. To allow them to do so now. mortgagee or other encumbrances for value. would be clearly unjust and inequitable to those who relied on the validity of said OCT. which has become under the circumstances inequitable or unfair to permit. Verily. since the OCT from which ALI derived its title is void for want of a duly approved survey plan. . subject. 8575 which was issued on August 12. Portior Jure" (First in Time. it is in essence an action for reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust. whose rights may be prejudiced. — The decree of registration shall not be reopened or revised . It is very significant that defendant ALI admitted it in its answer that OCT No. In sum. warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. the conclusion of the trial court that OCT No. the trial court merely declared: The existence of plaintiffs' TCT No. Pertinently. 296463 both originated from Decree No. who are protected by the precise provisions of P. the innocent purchasers for value. . to file in the proper Court of First Instance a petition for reopening and review of the decree of registration not later than one year from and after the date of entry of such decree of registration. In the instant case. . . but in no case shall such petition be entertained by the court where an innocent purchaser for value has acquired the land or an interest therein. 1950. it shall be deemed to include and innocent lessee." 33 (Emphasis supplied. as discussed above. in rendering the Summary Judgment. if not fraud. which is a legal remedy granted to a landowner whose property has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another's name. It is now well-settled that an action for reconveyance. 242.D. . 8575 and plaintiffs' TCT No. 242 had become incontrovertible after the lapse of one (1) year from the time a decree of registration was issued. . to the right of any person . As such. or forty-five (45) years before plaintiffs-appellees filed their complaint on March 10. considering that plaintiffs-appellees were alleging in said complaint that there was a serious mistake. . Specifically. their cause of action did not prescribe. Second Assignment of Error Petitioners contend that it is error on the part of the CA to rule that their cause of action has been barred by prescription and laches. have not shown that they have taken judicial steps to nullify OCT No. . indeed relied heavily on the alleged admission made by ALI on the validity of Carpos' title. However. 1995.earliest certificate issued in respect thereof . . . 1529. OCT No. 242 in favor of ALI's predecessor-in-interest. Review of decree of registration.) In Degollacion v. Since ALI's title is traced to an OCT issued in 1950. as well as their predecessorin-interest. in the issuance of OCT No. 296463 has been admitted by defendant Ayala in its answer to have been originated from OCT No. Innocent purchaser for value. must be filed within ten years from the issuance of the title. 1969 in the name of Apolonio Sabater as Annex "G" to defendant ALI's answer. This admission made by the defendant in its answer . 1970. 131141 issued on October 15. CTSAaH Aside from the fact that OCT No. . the ten-year prescriptive period expired in 1960. . the better approach is to trace the original certificates from which the certificates of title were derived. any action for reconveyance that plaintiffsappellees could have availed of is also barred. . we find that the CA committed no reversible error when it applied the principle "Primus Tempore. the CA stated as follows: In its assailed decision. thus: "SECTION 32.

et al. .R. In any event. 166577. 2004 are hereby AFFIRMED.. his claim was rejected and the Lot was adjudicated to Guico on the basis of his Psu-80886. C. No. identity of parties. . (2) it must be a judgment or an order on the merits. Florentino Baltazar. i. Ayala Land. 39 We agree with petitioners that it is not apparent from an examination of Guico and the evidence on record that indeed the predecessors-in-interest of ALI and the Carpos with respect to the subject property are Eduardo Guico and Florentino Baltazar. For res judicata to apply. San Pedro 38 was binding on the Carpos as it proceeded to discuss. 44 Phil. the petition is DENIED. the Court of Appeals ruled that the decision in the case of Guico v. JJ. It is clear. offering the lame excuse that it is not bound by such decision. concur. 248-255). G. [February 3. It cannot therefore take position contrary to or inconsistent with its answer. the same had been clearly and finally denied by the Supreme Court in Guico vs. Rizal. on the basis of plan Psu 56007. is lacking. between the first and the second actions. 242. that is the unmistakable import of the trial court's statements that ALI's admission of the existence of Carpo's title "are conclusive upon it" and bars ALI from taking a "position contrary to or inconsistent with its answer" followed by the statement that the trial court is "not inclined to concur with Ayala's claim of validity of its TCT No. G. between the first and the second actions. that there must be. (3) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties. of subject matter and of cause of action. San Pedro. 2010].. While Baltazar claimed Lot 3 on the basis of his Psu-56007. Parañaque. San Pedro. Puno. The subject land was sought to be registered by a certain Eduardo C." This is yet another non sequitur argument on the part of the trial court which the CA correctly pointed out in its own Decision. Florentino Baltazar. Upon the other hand. Bersamin and Villarama. Domingo. San Pedro and the instant case. . Sto. thus: In Guico vs. identity of parties. now TCT No. Apacible. Clearly. In conclusion. The Court of Appeals' Decision dated December 22. T-5333.e. Plaintiffs-appellees only have objections with respect to the fourth requisite. and the rest to the heirs of Narciso Mayuga. Carpio Morales. the CA's questioned Decision had sufficient basis in fact and law even without relying on the Guico case. Guico on the basis of an accompanying plan Psu80886. No. T-5333 and alleged OCT No. 12666 R-July 5. It cannot be categorically said that there was identity of parties between the Guico case and the instant case.is conclusive upon it.. that whatever claim plaintiffs-appellees have on the subject property on the basis of Lot 3 Psu56007. under which plaintiffs-appellees' title was derived. Lot 10 in favor of Baltazar on the basis of Psu 56007. Inc. four requisites must be met: (1) the former judgment or order must be final. 2003 and the Resolution dated December 16. SO ORDERED. Fourth Assignment of Error As to the issue of res judicata. one of the elements of res judicata. this Court is not inclined to concur with Ayala's claim of the validity of its TCT No. and the facts are to be taken as true (Westminister High School vs. therefore. the Supreme Court resolved the conflicting claims over a tract of land situated in barrio Tindig na Manga. ||| (Spouses Carpo v. through their predecessor-ininterest. there being no identity of parties in Guico vs. absent of (sic) any admission to that effect by the plaintiffs.. and (4) there must be.J. Jr. which was subdivided into eleven (11) lots. under which plaintiffs-appellees' title was based. 625 PHIL 277-304) . especially since the parties' respective OCTs were not issued in these persons' names but rather a certain Alberto Yaptinchay and Apolonio Sabater.R.. 37 Although the Summary Judgment did not expressly state that ALI admitted the validity of Carpos' title with its admission of the said title's existence.. 242 absent of any admission to that effect by the plaintiffs in their complaint. 41262. we find that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in setting aside the patently erroneous Summary Judgment of the trial court. T-5333 and alleged OCT No. 1955. McDaniel vs. Guico's application was opposed by. which interestingly is also the basis of ALI's TCT No. . among others. HTCESI It appears that Lots 2 and 3 were adjudicated to Guico on the basis of Psu80886 (Lot 3 is the subject matter of the instant case). WHEREFORE.

dela Paz. ARSENIO R. represented by Jose R. containing Twenty-Five Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Five (25. 3212 and 3234. Hence. there was no other oppositor to the application. 1945. Except for the Republic. Taguig Cadastral Mapping (Ccn-00-000084) with the annotation that the survey is inside L. adverse. Metro Manila. The CA. affirming the order of general default hereto entered. public and adverse possession in the concept of an owner since time immemorial. 2004. and (9) Certification by the Office of the Treasurer. Branch 167. Napindan. 3212 and 3234. In its Decision dated November 17. respondents. the order for the issuance of a decree of registration shall be accordingly undertaken. and GLICERIO R. November 15. granting respondents' application for registration and confirmation of title over a parcel of land located in Barangay Ibayo. continuous. 8 The CA. (2) that the muniments of title. DELA PAZ. (5) Tax Declaration No. and Glicerio R. CONTINUOUS. who have been in actual. N11514. through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the RTC. continuous. MCADM 590-D. executed by their parents Zosimo dela Paz and Ester dela Paz (Zosimo and Ester). filed with the RTC of Pasig City an application for registration of land 3 under Presidential Decree No. aAHSEC SO ORDERED. public. (4) Geodetic Engineer's Certificate. J p: Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to set aside the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals (CA). (8) Certification that the subject lots are not covered by any land patent or any public land application. petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal.R. (3) Technical Descriptions of Ccn-00-000084. situated at Barangay Ibayo. the instant petition raising the following grounds: I THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT'S ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENTS' APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF THE SUBJECT LOT CONSIDERING THAT THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD FAILED TO ESTABLISH THAT RESPONDENTS HAVE BEEN IN OPEN. open. The application covered a parcel of land with an area of 25. Thereafter. DELA PAZ. The CA found that respondents acquired the subject land from their predecessors-in-interest.825) Square Meters.R. (2) Conversion Consolidated plan of Lot Nos. 1979. in the concept of an owner even before June 12. described under survey Plan Ccn-00-000084. if any. No. Cadastral Mapping. vs. who earlier acquired the said property from their deceased parent Alejandro dela Paz (Alejandro) by virtue of a "Sinumpaang Pahayag sa Paglilipat sa Sarili ng mga Pag-aari ng Namatay 5 dated March 10. The case was set for initial hearing on April 30. dela Paz. 1979. They maintained that the subject property is classified as alienable and disposable land of the public domain. exclusive and notorious possession of the subject property through themselves and their predecessors-ininterest. Petitioner Republic of the Philippines (Republic). Arsenio R. Metro Manila. Napindan. Map No. Napindan. 1968. The CA ruled that respondents were able to show that they have been in continuous. (7) Sinumpaang Pahayag sa Paglilipat sa Sarili ng mga Pagaari ng Namatay dated March 10. Taguig. likewise. and/or the tax declarations and tax payments receipts of applicants. in CA-G. by virtue of Salaysay ng Pagkakaloob 4 dated June 18. dela Paz and Glicerio R. continuous. which is an agricultural land. uninterrupted. Taguig Cadastral Mapping).D. Municipality of Taguig. Arsenio R. dated February 15. they. Respondents further averred that by way of tacking of possession. FL-018-01466. which affirmed the Decision 2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City. attached to or alleged in the application. (Conversion Consolidated plan of Lot Nos. 2004. respondents presented documentary evidence to prove compliance with the jurisdictional requirements of the law. public. the trial court issued an Order of General Default 6 against the whole world except as against the Republic. The factual milieu of this case is as follows: On November 13. opposed the application for registration on the following grounds. held that respondents were able to present sufficient evidence to establish that the subject property is part of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. 2004. Taguig. 1529. Metro Manila. 2003. Jose R. Jose R. II . respondents Avelino R. otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree. EXCLUSIVE AND NOTORIOUS POSSESSION OF THE SUBJECT LOT IN THE CONCEPT OF AN OWNER. Taguig. open. 1987. 1529 (PD 1529) otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree. respondents presented their evidence in support of their application. Metro Manila. dela Paz. DELA PAZ. 2006. In their application. DELA PAZ. or for a period of more than fifty (50) years since the filing of the application of registration with the trial court. Taguig. in the concept of owner since they acquired it in 1987. 2006. dela Paz (Jose). situated at Ibayo. that the tax on the real property for the year 2003 has been paid. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). On said date. among others: (1) that neither the applicants nor their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. 171631. DELA PAZ. EAIaHD Respondents alleged that they acquired the subject property. Mcadm-590-D. Quezon City on January 03. dela Paz. DELA PAZ. 27-B classified as alienable/disposable by the Bureau of Forest Development. upon payment of all taxes and other charges due on the land. CV No. more or less. On May 5. adverse possession of the same. judgment is hereby rendered AFFIRMING and CONFIRMING the title of AVELINO R. The dispositive portion of the decision states: WHEREFORE. 3212 and 3234. dela Paz. dela Paz. 7 Aggrieved by the Decision. in LRC Case No. (6) Salaysay ng Pagkakaloob dated June 18. Metro Manila. respondents submitted the following documents: (1) Special power of attorney showing that the respondents authorized Jose dela Paz to file the application. 65 Ibayo. 2010.C. under the operation of P. DECISION PERALTA. in its Decision dated February 15. 1987. JOSE R. Taguig. Napindan. petitioner. do not constitute competent and sufficient evidence of bona fide acquisition of the land applied for. Together with their application for registration. over a parcel of land described and bounded under Plan Ccn-00-000084 (consolidation of Lots No. the RTC granted respondents' application for registration of the subject property.SECOND DIVISION [G. respondents claimed that they are co-owners of the subject parcel of land and they have been in continuous. No. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the land in question for a period of not less than thirty (30) years. After the decision shall have been become final and executory and. represented by JOSE R. 84206. and uninterrupted possession of the same.825 square meters. MCADM 590-D.] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. uninterrupted. all married and residents of and with postal address at No. and (3) that the parcel of land applied for is a portion of public domain belonging to the Republic not subject to private appropriation. AVELINO R. 2623 Proj.

Respondents failed to submit a certification from the proper government agency to prove that the lands subject for registration are indeed alienable and disposable. 14. Respondents also failed to establish that the subject property is within the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain. positive and convincing evidence. respondents alleged that they were able to present evidence of specific acts of ownership showing open." is insufficient and does not constitute incontrovertible evidence to overcome the presumption that the land remains part of the inalienable public domain. Sarmiento. 14 The burden of proof in overcoming the presumption of State ownership of the lands of the public domain is on the person applying for registration (or claiming ownership). Map No. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12. 2623. respondents presented a tax clearance issued by the Treasurer's Office of the City of Taguig to show that they are up to date in their payment of real property taxes. Section 14 (1) of PD 1529. and a legislative act or statute. 9 In its Memorandum. that "this survey is inside the alienable and disposable area. the certification refers only to the technical correctness of the survey plotted in the said plan and has nothing to do whatsoever with the nature and character of the property surveyed. unless the factual findings complained of are devoid of support by the evidence on record. while the Advance Plan bearing the notation was certified by the Lands Management Services of the DENR. To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable. 12 These the respondents must prove by no less than clear. 1985. all lands of the public domain belong to the State. respondents presented survey Plan Ccn-00-000084 16 (Conversion Consolidated plan of Lot Nos. by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest. this is hardly the kind of proof required by law. an applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government. Furthermore. Quezon City on Jan. Map No. which is the source of any asserted right to any ownership of land. 3212 & 3234.THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN ORDERING THE REGISTRATION OF THE SUBJECT LOT IN RESPONDENTS' NAME CONSIDERING THAT NO EVIDENCE WAS FORMALLY OFFERED TO PROVE THAT THE SAME IS WITHIN THE ALIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE AREA OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. 17 the Court ruled that the notation of the surveyor-geodetic engineer on the blue print copy of the conversion and subdivision plan approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Center. such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order. Respondents' reliance on the afore-mentioned annotation is misplaced. investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators. public. Project No. an administrative action. The subject property remained to be owned by the State under the Regalian Doctrine. continuous and adverse possession and occupation in the concept of an owner of the subject land. this Court is limited to reviewing only errors of law. uninterrupted. However. 2623 Proj. respondents need to prove that (1) the land forms part of the alienable and disposable land of the public domain. certified on January 3. 10 It is not the function of this Court to analyze or weigh evidence all over again. 27-B classified as alienable/disposable by the Bureau of Forest Development. otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree provides: SEC. All lands not appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. notorious. 1991. MCADM 590-D. dated 1949. 27-B. respondents assert that the issues raised by the petitioner are questions of fact which the Court should not consider in a petition for review under Rule 45. — The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land. Rosila Roche.C. the only evidence to prove the character of the subject lands as required by law is the notation appearing in the Advance Plan stating in effect that the said properties are alienable and disposable. 18 the Court held that: In the present case. exclusive. 1945. Tri-plus Corporation. Further. or earlier. Respondents maintain that the annotations appearing on the survey plan of the subject land serves as sufficient proof that the land is within the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain. Accordingly. TAacHE The petition is meritorious. and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land under a bona fide claim of ownership from June 12. In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. the records do not support the findings made by the CA that the subject land is part of the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain. In the case at bar. The applicant may also secure a certification from the Government that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable. In addition. or the assailed judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. From the foregoing. remain part of the inalienable public domain. which is embodied in our Constitution. in Republic v. In this connection. In Republic v. in Republic of the Philippines v. public lands not shown to have been reclassified or released as alienable agricultural land. or alienated to a private person by the State. In their Memorandum. 1945 or earlier. for more than fifty years or even before June 12.C. Respondents failed to show actual or constructive possession and occupation over the subject land in the concept of an owner. whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives: (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessorsin-interest have been in open. 1980. issued in the name of their predecessors-in-interest. 19 the Court held that the applicant bears the burden of proving the status of the land. 11 In the present case. have been in open. unless there is a showing that the findings of the lower court are totally devoid of support or are glaringly erroneous as to constitute palpable error or grave abuse of discretion. and adverse possession in the concept of owners. 1945. 13 Under the Regalian doctrine. 1994 and 2000. To overcome this presumption. No. continuous. Taguig Cadastral Mapping) prepared by Geodetic Engineer Arnaldo C. incontrovertible evidence must be established that the land subject of the application (or claim) is alienable or disposable. 03. continuous. 1974. Finally. not of fact. 1979. who must prove that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable. 1966. Who may apply. petitioner claims that the CA's findings that respondents and their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. they presented several tax declarations. the Court has held that he . was unsubstantiated. L. 15 To support its contention that the land subject of the application for registration is alienable. 1968. To prove their continuous and uninterrupted possession of the subject land. 1968 by the Bureau of Forestry. and (2) they. Torres with the following annotation: SIaHTD This survey is inside L.

or the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the DENR. It is a rule that general statements that are mere conclusions of law and not factual proof of possession are unavailing and cannot suffice. and Glicerio R. 20 Anent respondents' possession and occupation of the subject property. 1939.. They are merely indicia of a claim of ownership. Carpio.must present a certificate of land classification status issued by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). their testimonies failed to establish respondents' predecessors-in-interest' possession and occupation of subject property since June 12. affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City. Clearly. since respondents failed to prove that (1) the subject property was classified as part of the disposable and alienable land of the public domain. he knew that the respondents were occupying the subject land. 26 Respondents' earliest evidence can be traced back to a tax declaration issued in the name of their predecessors-in-interest only in the year 1949. as represented by Jose R. Jose. since June 12. continuous and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land. What is required is open. no clear evidence was presented to show Alejandro's mode of acquisition of ownership and that he had been in possession of the same on or before June 12. He must also prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land as alienable and disposable. CDAcIT The evidence submitted by respondents to prove their possession and occupation over the subject property consists of the testimonies of Jose and Amado Geronimo (Amado). However. [November 15. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated February 15. continuous. dela Paz. dela Paz. 27 Respondents failed to explain why. failed to paint a clear picture that respondents by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. At best. we must consider the same as still inalienable public domain. it was only in 1949 that their predecessorsin-interest started to declare the same for purposes of taxation. 2010]. Well settled is the rule that tax declarations and receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership or of the right to possess land when not supported by any other evidence. over a parcel of land. Jose R. the applicant must present a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. 21 testified that since he attained the age of reason he already knew that the land subject of this case belonged to them. taken together. Napindan. 28 The foregoing pieces of evidence. 22 Amado testified that he was a tenant of the land adjacent to the subject property since 1950. the tenant of the adjacent lot. 1945 or earlier. is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. exclusive. under a bona fide claim of ownership. concur. 1945. CV No. exclusive. In the absence of incontrovertible evidence to prove that the subject property is already classified as alienable and disposable. SO ORDERED. 1945 or earlier. in LRC Case No. and (2) they and their predecessors-ininterest have been in open. Footnotes ||| (Republic v. 84206. G. N-11514. 1945 or earlier. and notorious possession and occupation thereof under a bonafide claim of ownership since June 12. who was born on March 19. dela Paz. continuous and notorious possession by respondents and their predecessors-in-interest. is DENIED.825) square meters situated at Barangay Ibayo. their application for confirmation and registration of the subject property under PD 1529 should be denied. the petition is GRANTED. 24 Jose and Amado's testimonies consist merely of general statements with no specific details as to when respondents' predecessors-in-interest began actual occupancy of the land subject of this case. These facts must be established by the applicant to prove that the land is alienable and disposable. * Abad and Mendoza. a reading of the records failed to show that the respondents by themselves or through their predecessors-ininterest possessed and occupied the subject land since June 12. No. Carpio Morales. despite their claim that their predecessors-in-interest have possessed the subject properties in the concept of an owner even before June 12. The application for registration and confirmation of title filed by respondents Avelino R. dela Paz. the surveyor's annotation presented by respondents is not the kind of proof required by law to prove that the subject land falls within the alienable and disposable zone. in CA-G. exclusive. and that it is within the approved area per verification through survey by the CENRO or PENRO. The fact that the disputed property may have been declared for taxation purposes in the names of the applicants for registration or of their predecessors-in-interest does not necessarily prove ownership. who earlier inherited the property from their parent Alejandro. Further. Evidently. 1945 or earlier. Arsenio R. dela Paz. 1945. 171631. 25 An applicant in a land registration case cannot just harp on mere conclusions of law to embellish the application but must impress thereto the facts and circumstances evidencing the alleged ownership and possession of the land. Taguig.R. with a total area of twenty-five thousand eight hundred twenty-five (25. 649 PHIL 106-120) . under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12. 1945 or earlier.R. 2006. dela Paz. the period of possession required by law. respondents can only prove possession since said date. 23 and on about the same year. Metro Manila. Branch 167. JJ. While Jose testified that the subject land was previously owned by their parents Zosimo and Ester. Respondents failed to submit a certification from the proper government agency to establish that the subject land is part of the alienable and disposable portion of the public domain. STaCcA WHEREFORE.

Intermediate Appellate Court (146 SCRA 509. We disagree. August 24.R. in truth be little more than a formality. acquired all the legal rights necessary to confirm what could otherwise be deemed as an imperfect title. upon completion of the requisite period ipso jure and without the need of judicial or other sanction. — Subsequent cases have hewed to the above pronouncement such that open. THE COURT OF APPEALS AND SPOUSES MARIO B.EN BANC [G. 216 SCRA 78 [1992]).. acquires a right to a grant. Likewise. ID. ID. . REQUISITES. As was so well put in Cariño. a report from the Bureau of Lands was presented in evidence together with a letter from the Bureau of Forest Development.. When the conditions set by law are complied with. PUBLIC LAND ACT. In the case at bar. Pineda v.. and reiterated in Director of Lands v. Clearly. the occupant is not in the juridical sense the true owner of the land since it still pertains to the State. LAPIÑA AND FLOR DE VEGA. but simply recognize a title already vested. ID. ID. '. such that at the time of their application. petitioner's reliance in Republic v. In the case at bar. the said period is tacked to his possession. was not to confer title. Records. as already conferred by the decree. LAND TITLES AND DEEDS. ID. 108998. Respondents therein failed to prove possession of their predecessor-in-interest since time immemorial or possession in such a manner that the property has been segregated from public domain. DOCTRINE THAT BEFORE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF TITLE. but even as early as 1937. CIVIL LAW. wherever made. 6." "the applicant himself or through his predecessor-in-interest. The land registration court decided in favor of the applicants and was affirmed by the appellate court on appeal. CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT TITLE. A certified true copy of the affidavit executed by Cristeta Dazo and her sister Simplicia was also formally offered to prove that the subject parcels of land were inherited by vendor Cristeta Dazo from her father Pedro Dazo with the conformity of her only sister Simplicia (Exhibit "G"). 218 SCRA 41 [1993]). continuous and exclusive possession for at least 30 years of alienable public land ipso jure converts the same to private property (Director of Lands v. The proceedings would not originally convert the land from public to private land. at the most limited to ascertaining whether the possession claims is of the required character and length of time. No.' No proof being admissible to overcome a conclusive presumption. acquired vested rights thereon. 4. but only confirm such a conversion already affected by operation of law from the moment the required period of possession became complete. Villanueva (114 SCRA 875 [1982]) deserves scant consideration. 149 SCRA 32 [1987]). . ID. — The Public Land Act requires that the applicant must prove that (a) the land is alienable public land and (b) his possession. CONTINUOUS AND EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION FOR AT LEAST 30 YEARS OF ALIENABLE PUBLIC LAND IPSO JURE CONVERTS THE SAME TO PRIVATE PROPERTY. Accordingly. As could be gleaned from the evidence adduced. In addition. 183 SCRA 602 [1990]). as American citizens." Thus. private respondents were undoubtedly natural-born Filipino citizens at the time of the acquisition of the properties and by virtue thereof. The effect of the proof. CA. private respondents were able to establish the nature of possession of their predecessorsin-interest. Villanueva (supra).] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. were in possession of the land sought to be registered only in 1978 and therefore short of the required length of time. — In the main. ALREADY ABANDONED. private respondents have constructed a house of . 28953. POSSESSION IS TACKED TO THAT OF APPLICANTS PREDECESSOR-IN-INTEREST. vest title on such applicant so as to segregate the land from the mass of public land (National Power Corporation v. respondents' predecessors-ininterest have been in open. 2. CA. ownership actually gained would be lost. REQUIREMENTS. tacking in the process. There.. ID. CASE AT BAR. .. — In other words. has already been abandoned in the 1986 case of Director of Lands v.. PUBLIC LAND ACT. CA. 214 SCRA 604 [1992]. without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued (National Power Corporation v. the applicants in Buyco were denied registration of title not merely because they were American citizens at the time of their application therefor. . exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period prescribed by law creates the legal fiction whereby the land. shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title . the ruling in Director of Lands v. through then Associate Justice. the possession in the concept of owner and the prescribed period of time held by their predecessors-in-interest under the Public Land Act. As aforesaid.. petitioner seeks to defeat respondents' application for registration of title on the ground of foreign nationality. it was held that before the issuance of the certificate of title. and registration thereunder would not confer title. Petitioner does not deny this except that respondent spouses. THE OCCUPANT IS NOT IN THE JURIDICAL SENSE THE TRUE OWNER OF THE LAND.. (There are indications that registration was expected from all. but none sufficient to show that. supra). It merely confirms. 1945. the applicants therein were likewise foreign nationals but were natural-born Filipino citizens at the time of their supposed acquisition of the property. in turn. vs. CA. in the concept above stated. the disputed parcels of land were acquired by private respondents through their predecessors-in-interest. Private respondents stepped into the shoes of their predecessors-in-interest and by virtue thereof. have been in open and continued possession thereof since 1937. if not by earlier law. . . ID. Suffice it to state that the ruling in Republic v. As such. But this is where the similarity ends. the Torrens system was not established as a means for the acquisition of title to private land (Municipality of Victorias v. and in the alternative..'" (Emphasis supplied) 3. The applicants in Buyco sought to register a large tract of land under the provisions of the Land Registration Act.R. ID. ID. . declared that: "(The weight of authority is) that open. ID. Evidence was offered to prove that their predecessorsin-interest had paid taxes on the subject land and introduced improvements thereon (Exhibits "F" to "F9"). continuous. they have acquired no vested rights over the parcel of land. — It must be noted that with respect to possession and occupation of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. by operation of law. BUYCO RULING (216 SCRA 78 [1992]) NOT APPLICABLE TO CASE AT BAR. Buyco (supra) supports petitioner's thesis. the land ceases to be a part of the public domain and goes beyond the authority of the Director of Lands to dispose of. must be either since time immemorial or for the period prescribed in the Public Land Act (Director of Lands v Buyco. but does not confer ownership. the law employs the terms "by themselves. — At this juncture. . for want of it. to prove that the questioned lots were part of the alienable and disposable zone of the government and that no forestry interest was affected (CA G. the possessor of the land. p. ceases to be public land and becomes private property. TORRENS SYSTEM OF LAND REGISTRATION. respondents. ID. it matters not whether the vendee/applicant has been in possession of the subject property for only a day so long as the period and/or legal requirements for confirmation of title has been complied with by his predecessor-in-interest. petitioner. under the provisions of the Public Land Act. "Nothing can more clearly demonstrate the logical inevitability of considering possession of public land which is of the character and duration prescribed by the statute as the equivalent of an express grant from the State than the dictum of the statute itself (Section 48 [b]) that the possessor(s) '... In Buyco. now Chief Justice Narvasa. . No.. The Director of Lands brought the matter before us on review and we reversed. exclusive and notorious possession of the disputed land not only since June 12.. 200 SCRA 606 [1991]) where the Court. ID. confirmation proceedings would. 33). Iglesia ni Cristo. a government grant.. NOT A MEANS FOR ACQUISITION OF TITLE TO PRIVATE LAND. IAC. This means that occupation and cultivation for more than 30 years by an applicant and his predecessors-in-interest. who. 5. ID. . 1994. but simply to establish it. in its perception. SYLLABUS 1. OPEN.

LIMITATIONS PROVIDED FOR IN BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. Save in cases of hereditary succession. ID. 15. The Court is of the view that the requirements in Sec. — Even if private respondents were already Canadian citizens at the time they applied for registration of the properties in question. states that the requirements in BP 185. 185 can become applicable to the present situation even at the subsequent time when the respondent spouses would come before the Register of Deeds. Considering that private respondents were able to prove the requisite period and character of possession of their predecessors-in-interest over the subject lots. no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals. imposes certain requirements. what governs the disposition of private lands in favor of a natural-born Filipino citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship remains to be BP 185. were natural-born citizens of the Philippines. 1945 or since 1937. as far as I can determine. NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY. NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN WHO HAS LOST HIS CITIZENSHIP MAY BE TRANSFEREE OF PRIVATE LAND. It was really needless to elaborate on Buyco. the relevant provision of which provides: "Sec. especially Section 6 thereof.. — With all due respect. We can agree that the ruling case is Director of Lands v. The important point is that the respondent spouses are no longer citizens of the Philippines but naturalized Canadians. And that is the time when the requirements of Sec. and as transferees of a private land. does not purport to cover the set of facts before the Court in this case: i. 8.P. they can register it in their names now even if they are no longer Filipinos. to be used by him as his residence. the total area acquired shall not exceed the maximum herein fixed. 185 was passed into law. 9. ID. CRUZ. It is undisputed that private respondents. CASE AT BAR. NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY.000 sq. B. 185 which took effect on 16 March 1982. which requires the submission of the relevant sworn statement by the applicant. that the requirements must likewise be submitted before the land registration court prior to the approval of an application for registration of title. to wit: "Sec. purchases made after they were naturalized as Canadian nationals. corporations. ID. ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IN CASE AT BAR OF COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. they could apply for registration in accordance with the mandate of Section 8. "In the case the transferee already owns urban or rural lands for residential purposes.e. an amount limitation which must not be exceeded both by the land of which such foreign national becomes transferee and by such land taken together with other land previously acquired by such foreign national. concurring: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. 185. continuous and exclusive possession and occupation thereof under claim of ownership prior to June 12. one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted. the respondent spouses became transferees (on 17 June 1978) of the land here involved while they were natural-born Philippine citizens who happened sometime later to have been naturalized as citizens of another country.m. There is no question that the property is private land and thus subject to registration by qualified persons. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 14 of this Article. 2. It is only when the judgment of the land registration court approving the application for registration has become final that a decree of registration is issued. In the case of married couples. he shall still be entitled to be a transferee of an additional urban or rural lands for residential purposes which. if urban. now occupied by respondent Lapiña's mother. For the purpose of transfer and/or acquisition of a parcel of residential land. when added to those already owned by him. subject to limitations provided by law." From the adoption of the 1987 Constitution up to the present. — But what should not be missed in the disposition of this case is the fact that the Constitution itself allows private respondents to register the contested parcels of land in their favor. 6. The parcels of land sought to be registered no longer form part of the public domain. 185) B. B.. Provided. — This separate statement is concerned only with the last two (2) paragraphs. CONSTITUTION. said properties as discussed above were already private lands. there could be no legal impediment for the registration thereof by respondents in view of what the Constitution ordains. dissenting: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. FELICIANO. which is not challenged in this petition.. TRANSFER MUST BE MADE AFTER LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP. or one (1) hectare in case or rural land. shall not exceed the maximum areas herein authorized. must also be complied with by private respondents. in the case of urban land. apply to subsequent purchases of land by the respondent spouses. It is difficult. The finding that the respondent spouses were natural-born Filipinos at the time they acquired the land does not settle the question posed. much less implied. J. as the Batasang Pambansa may provide. Batas Pambansa Blg. ID. Thus.. B. to be used by him as his residence (BP 185). ID. however. CONSTITUTION. 185. Intermediate Appellate Court." "Sec. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution above quoted is similar to Section 15. for use by him as his residence. BP 185.P.P. CONSTITUTION. Blg. therefore. it refers to Section 6. of course. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article..strong materials on the contested property. Blg. their application for registration of title must perforce be approved." Pursuant thereto. 185 would. What is important is that private respondents were formerly natural-born citizens of the Philippines. Specifically. NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO CITIZEN WHO HAS LOST HIS CITIZENSHIP MAY BE A TRANSFEREE OF PRIVATE LANDS. This decree of registration is the one that is submitted to the office of the register of deeds for issuance of the certificate of title in favor of the applicant. Blg. as vendees of a private land. it should be stressed that B. or one hectare in the case of rural land.. of the majority opinion. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. — The dissenting opinion. just before the dispositive portion. ID. 6 of BP 185 do not apply in the instant case since said requirements are primarily directed to the register of deeds before whom compliance therewith is to be submitted. but who were previously natural-born Philippine citizens. An application for registration of title before a land registration court should not be confused with the issuance of a certificate of title by the register of deeds. In my view. which is clearly inapplicable here." (Emphasis supplied) Section 8. It does not follow that because they were citizens of the Philippines when they acquired the land. a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his citizenship may be a transferee of private land. consequently. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.P.P. Sections 7 and 8 of Article XII of the Constitution contain the following pertinent provisions. 8. 185. the register of deeds has no participation in the approval of the application for registration of title as the decree of registration is yet to be issued. That if both shall avail of the same. before the register of deeds should be complied with by the applicants. REQUIREMENT IN SECTION 6 OF BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. Section 2. that is. Article XIV of the then 1973 Constitution which reads: "Sec. Nowhere in the provision is it stated. it is not significant whether private respondents are no longer Filipino citizens at the time they purchased or registered the parcels of land in question. Any natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship and who has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under Philippine laws may be a transferee of a private land up to a maximum area of one thousand square meters. I have to dissent.. 7. 185 PRIMARILY DIRECTED TO THE REGISTER OF DEEDS THAN TO APPLICANT. CASE AT BAR.. They are already private in character since private respondents' predecessors-in-interest have been in open. Section 7 of Article XII of the Constitution is irrelevant because it is not disputed that the respondent spouses were qualified to acquire . Blg. no other law has been passed by the legislature on the same subject. addresses itself only to a situation of persons who were already foreign nationals at the time they became transferees of private land in the Philippines. 7. to see how B... But I think the ponencia misses the point. J. a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands. The law provides that a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of a private land up to a maximum area of 1. including a specific limitation on the quantity of land (not more than 1. (2nd paragraph.P. Blg. NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO CITIZEN WHO HAS LOST HIS CITIZENSHIP MAY BE TRANSFEREE OF PRIVATE LAND. Article XII of the Constitution.000 square meters) which may be acquired thereunder. Prior to the issuance of the decree of registration. Blg.

This time. which was belatedly filed. petitioner submits that private respondents have not acquired proprietary rights over the subject properties before they acquired Canadian citizenship through naturalization to justify the registration thereof in their favor. had been in open. March 31. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: "WHEREFORE.P. No. San Pablo City and/or 201-1170-124 Street. It ought to be pointed out that registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. Mabini Street. thus: "The land sought to be registered has been declared to be within the alienable and disposable zone established by the . Canada. llcd On June 17. m. the spouses filed an application for registration of title of the two (2) parcels of land before the Regional Trial Court of San Pablo City. Strict compliance is necessary because of the special privilege granted to former Filipinos who have become foreigners by their own choice. Ap-04-003755 in the names of spouses Mario B. Even if it be assumed that the provision is applicable. pp. In the certificate of title to be issued. 26) Respondent court echoed the court a quo's observation. Such being the case. An opposition was filed by the Republic and after the parties have presented their respective evidence. Branch XXXI. Lapiña and Flor de Vega. Cad. situated in San Pablo City. respondent spouses bought Lots 347 and 348.77 sq. 27-28) Expectedly. DECISION BIDIN. peaceful." (Rollo. all of legal age. The fact that the applicants-appellees are not Filipino citizens now cannot be taken against them for they were not disqualified from acquiring the land in question (Bollozos vs. I respectfully submit that the requirements in B. It is intended merely to confirm and register the title which one may already have (Municipality of Victorias vs. s38-D. 1987).25 meters road right-ofway. Their purpose in initiating the instant action is merely to confirm their title over the land. p. Petitioner further argued that it is only when the court adjudicates the land to the applicant for confirmation of title would the land become privately owned land.R. otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree. the occupant is not in the juridical sense the true owner of the land since it still pertains to the State. there shall be annotated an easement of 6. I see no reason why we should be less so with those who have renounced our country. 185 has also been enforced. from one Cristela Dazo Belen (Rollo. this petition would have been denied outright for having been filed out of time had it not been for the constitutional issue presented therein. by themselves and their predecessors-ininterest. Thus. Ordinarily. In justice and equity. the court a quo rendered a decision confirming private respondents' title to the lots in question. as their residence with a total area of 91. for in the same proceeding." (Rollo. Alberta T5M-OK9. G. November 11. Court of Appeals. the prohibition against the acquisition of private lands by aliens could not apply. For this reason. 1987. p. If we can be so strict with our citizens. let the corresponding decree of registration be issued. continuous. "Once this Decision becomes final. At the time of the purchase. L-29442. I do not believe so for there is no showing that B. prcd At the outset. G. as has been passed upon. public. they had been the owners of the same since 1978.P. from a vendor who has complied with the requirements for registration under the Public Land Act (CA 141)? The Republic would have us rule on the negative and asks this Court to nullify the decision of the appellate court which affirmed the judgment of the court a quo in granting application of respondent spouses for registration over the lots in question. 1987). this court hereby approves the said application and confirms the title and possession of herein applicants over Lots 347 and 348. however. it is conclusively presumed that all the conditions essential to the confirmation of their title over the two adjacent parcels of land are sought to be registered have been complied with thereby entitling them to the issuance of the corresponding certificate of title pursuant to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 25) On appeal. before the issuance of the certificate of title. Edmonton. they are the rightful owners of the subject realty considering also that they had paid for it quite a large sum of money. the court may declare it public land. Filipino citizens by birth but now Canadian citizens by naturalization and residing at 14 A. respondent court affirmed the decision of the trial court based on the following ratiocination: In the present case. they were no longer Filipino citizens and have opted to embrace Canadian citizenship through naturalization. in view of the foregoing. it does not appear that the private respondents have observed "the limitations provided by law. With particular reference to the main issue at bar. J p: Can a foreign national apply for registration of title over a parcel of land which he acquired by purchase while still a citizen of the Philippines.R. it is undisputed that both applicants were still Filipino citizens when they bought the land in controversy from its former owner. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the two adjacent parcels of land applied for registration of title under a bona-fide claim of ownership long before June 12. On February 5. 1945. 1529. 1978. No. 41)." (Rollo. 185 have been read into the Act and should also be applied. respondent court's disposition did not merit petitioner's approval. not later." The ponencia finds that all the requisites for the registration of the land in the private respondents' name have been complied with. The view has been expressed that we should confine ourselves to the requirements for registration under the Public Land Act. for. hence this present recourse. p." "SO ORDERED. L-31189. The Torrens System was not established as a means for the acquisition of title to private land. As found by the trial court: "The evidence thus presented established that applicants. Yu Tieng Su. the High Court has ruled that title and ownership over lands within the meaning and for the purposes of the constitutional prohibition dates back to the time of their purchase. It maintains that even privately owned unregistered lands are presumed to be public lands under the principle that land of whatever classification belong to the State under the Regalian doctrine.the land in question when it was transferred to them. depending on the evidence. Section 8 of the same article is not applicable either because it speaks of a transfer of private land to a former natural-born citizen of the Philippines after he became a foreigner. respondent spouses were then natural-born Filipino citizens.

but whose titles have not been perfected or completed. Following the logic of petitioner. through then Associate Justice. p. have been in open and continued possession thereof since 1937. Intermediate Appellate Court (146 SCRA 509. In the case at bar. the said period is tacked to his possession. tax declarations or realty tax payments of property are not conclusive evidence of ownership. The following-described citizens of the Philippines. And. occupying lands of the public domain or claiming interest therein. has already been abandoned in 1986 case of Director of Lands v.' This is not. they would still be short of the required possession if the starting point is 1979 when. 141. 1945. Thus. the same as saying that respondents have been in possession 'since June 12. see also Sec. pp. what the law provides. Natural Resources District (IV-2) reveals that the disputed realty had been occupied by the applicants `whose house of strong materials stands thereon'. 4. amending Sec. but even as early as 1937.27) The Republic disagrees with the appellate court's concept of possession and argues: "17. the occupant is not in the juridical sense the true owner of the land since it still pertains to the State. 1987). since June 12. however. Chapter VIII. 14-15) The argument is myopic. Suffice it to state that the ruling in Republic v. 14. notorious and exclusive possession thereof for thirty (30) years or more." (Emphasis supplied) As amended by PD 1073: "Sec. or his predecessor-in-interest has been in open. 1945. to say the least. Villanueva (114 SCRA 875 [1982]) deserves scant consideration. So there is a void in respondents' possession. 48 [b]. in its perception. even if they needed only to prove thirty (30) years possession prior to the filing of their application (on February 5. These shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this charter. cdll As petitioner itself argues. the appellate court found that applicants (respondents) and their predecessors-in-interest had been in possession of the land for more than 30 years prior to the filing of the application for registration. for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by wars or force majeure. declared that: "(The weight of authority is) that open. PD No. CA No. the law employs the terms "by themselves". in turn. But what is of great significance in the instant case is the circumstance that at the time the applicants purchased the subject lot in 1978. continuous. respondents' predecessors-ininterest have been in open." It must be noted that with respect to possession and occupation of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. The investigation conducted by the Bureau of Lands. on June 17." (Rollo. acquired all the legal rights necessary to confirm what could otherwise be deemed as an imperfect title. exclusive and notorious possession of the disputed land not only since June 12. and reiterated in Director of Lands v. Private respondents stepped into the shoes of their predecessors-in-interest and by virtue thereof. to wit: xxx xxx xxx (b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open. of the Public Land Act are hereby amended in the sense that these provisions shall apply only to alienable and disposable lands of the public domain which have been in open. the applicant himself or through his predecessor-in-interest". that they acquired the same by means of a public instrument entitled 'Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan' duly executed by the vendor. upon completion of the requisite period ipso jure and without the need of judicial or . This is not. Iglesia ni Cristo. Villanueva (supra). exclusive. according to the Court of Appeals. As aforesaid. petitioner's reliance in Republic v. 1945 or prior thereto. under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership. exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period prescribed by law creates the legal fiction whereby the land. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation by the applicant himself or thru his predecessor-in-interest. it matters not whether the vendee/applicant has been in possession of the subject property for only a day so long as the period and/or legal requirements for confirmation of title has been complied with by his predecessor-in-interest. 1073. 1945. continuous. 48. continuous.' (PD No. They fall short of the required possession since June 12. The provisions of Section 48(b) and Section 48(c). (citing cases) "18. under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership. and that applicants and their predecessors in interest had been in possession of land for more than 30 years prior to the filing of the application for registration. however. 200 SCRA 606 [1991]) where the Court." (Rollo. the land was declared for taxation purposes in their name. and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain. Section 48 of the Public Land Act (CA 141) reads: "Sec. cdphil At this juncture. 1529). 1978 (Exhibits 'I' and 'J'). the disputed parcels of land were acquired by private respondents through their predecessors-in-interest. it was held that before the issuance of the certificate of title. Then again. now Chief Justice Narvasa.Bureau of Forest Development (Exhibit `P'). who. Petitioner does not deny this except that respondent spouses. any transferee is thus foreclosed to apply for registration of title over a parcel of land notwithstanding the fact that the transferor. Cristeta Dazo Belen. were in possession of the land sought to be registered only in 1987 and therefore short of the required length of time. both of them were Filipino citizens such that when they filed their application for registration in 1987. However. The Court of Appeals found that the land was declared for taxation purposes in the name of respondent spouses only since 1979. may apply to the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title thereof under the Land Registration Act. ownership over the land in dispute had already passed to them. There. that it had been declared for taxation purposes in the name of applicants-spouses since 1979.

218 SCRA 41 [1993]). . LibLex This Court. As was so well put in Cariño. Records. 28953. The application for confirmation is mere formality. speaking through Justice Davide. . but simply to establish it. A certified true copy of the affidavit executed by Cristeta Dazo and her sister Simplicia was also formally offered to prove that the subject parcels of land were inherited by vendor Cristeta Dazo from her father Pedro Dazo with the conformity of her only sister Simplicia (Exhibit "G"). but simply recognize a title already vested. The land registration court decided in favor of the applicants and was affirmed by the appellate court on appeal. Jr. a report from the Bureau of Lands was presented in evidence together with a letter from the Bureau of Forest Development. and in the alternative. without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued.interest. . . by operation of law. must be either since time immemorial or for the period prescribed in the Public Land Act (Director of Lands v. . . therefore. if not by earlier law. a government grant. The effect of the proof. the Torrens system was not established as a means for the acquisition of title to private land (Municipality of Victorias v. .' "Nothing can be more clearly demonstrate the logical inevitability of considering possession of public land which is of the character and duration prescribed by the statute as the equivalent of an express grant from the State than the dictum of the statute itself (Section 48[b]) that the possessor(s) '. When the conditions set by law are complied with. In other words. under the provisions of the Public Land Act. the private respondents do not rely on fee simple ownership based on a Spanish grant or possessory information title under Section 19 of the Land Registration Act. the lack of which does not affect the legal sufficiency of the title as would be evidenced by the patent and the Torrens title to be issued upon the strength of said patent. CA. which the respondent Court held to be inapplicable to the petitioner's case. Buyco.. but only confirm such a conversion already affected by operation of law from the moment the required period of possession became complete. acquires a right to grant. Secondly. . and registration thereunder would not confer title. 1942. Thereafter. '. Evidence was offered to prove that their predecessors-in-interest had paid taxes on the subject land and introduced improvements thereon (Exhibits "F" to "F9"). title over the land has vested on petitioner so as to segregate the land from the mass of public land. but none sufficient to show that. the applicants in Buyco sought to register a large tract of land under the provisions of the Land Registration Act. it is no longer disposable under the Public Land Act as by free patent.' No proof being admissible to overcome a conclusive presumption. the applicants therein were likewise foreign nationals but were natural-born Filipino citizens at the time of their supposed acquisition of the property. for want of it. a right to grant. p. . . . the ruling in the Director of Lands v. with the latter's proven occupation and cultivation for more than 30 years since 1914. . xxx xxx xxx 'As interpreted in several cases. . 33). CA. This means that occupation and cultivation for more than 30 years by an applicant and his predecessors-in. As such. the private respondents did not present any proof that they or their predecessors-in-interest derived title from an old Spanish grant such as (a) the 'titulo real' or royal grant (b) the . Accordingly. ceases to be public land and becomes private property. wherever made. (There are indications that registration was expected from all. In the main. We disagree. ceases to be of the public domain and beyond the authority of the Director of Lands to dispose of. It merely confirms. in truth be little more than formality. . 149 SCRA 32 [1987]). In Buyco. confirmation proceedings would. supra). Likewise. to prove that the questioned lots were part of the alienable and disposable zone of the government and that no forestry interest was affected (CA GR No. was not to confer title. in the concept above stated. ownership actually gained would be lost. without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued (National Power Corporation v. 214 SCRA 604 [1992]. at the most limited to ascertaining whether the possession claims is of the required character and length of time. but does not confer ownership. The Director of Lands brought the matter before us on review and we reversed. a government grant. . the land ceases to be a part of the public domain and goes beyond the authority of the Director of Lands to dispose of.other sanction. when the conditions as specified in the foregoing provision are complied with. the possessor of the land. CA. by operation of law. under the provisions of Republic Act No. private respondents were able to establish the nature of possession of their predecessors-in-interest. Buyco (supra) supports petitioner's thesis. vest title on such applicant so as to segregate the land from the mass of public land (National Power Corporation v. Cdpr The Public Land Act requires that the applicant must prove that (a) the land is alienable public land and (b) his possession. appears to be squarely affirmative: ". continuous and exclusive possession for at least 30 years of alienable public land ipso jure converts the same to private property (Director of Lands v. 183 SCRA 602 [1990]). 216 SCRA 78 [1992]). by himself and by his predecessors-ininterest. petitioner seeks to defeat respondents' application for registration of title on the ground of foreign nationality. The land. But this is where the similarity ends. "Herico in particular. The proceedings would not originally convert the land from public to private land. IAC. CA." (Emphasis supplied) Subsequent cases have hewed to the above pronouncement such that open. Pineda v. the possessor is deemed to have acquired. . as already conferred by the decree. stated: "As we could be gleaned from the evidence adduced. shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title . As could be gleaned from the evidence adduced.

. . Ed. by themselves and the predecessors-in-interest. to his heirs. .' (Director of Lands v. he transmitted no right whatsoever. is patently baseless. private respondents offered no evidence at all to prove that the property subject of the application is an alienable and disposable land. . . over the property before they lost their Philippine citizenship. . specifically 'immemorial possession. there does not even exist a reasonable basis for the finding that the private respondents and their predecessors-in-interest possessed the land for more than eighty (80) years. This being the case. the alternative ground relied upon in their application. . llcd In the case at bar. and (e) the 'informacion posesoria' or possessory information title. Such possession was never present in the case of private respondents. which would become a 'titulo gratuito' or a gratuitous title (Director of Forestry v. It is the burden of the applicant to prove its positive averments. ". the applicants in Buyco were denied registration of title not merely because they were American citizens at the time of their application therefor. continuously and exclusively for the prescribed statutory period (30 years under the Public Land Act. Court of Appeals (178 SCRA 37 [1989]). 15853 and made the subject of both his last will and testament and the project of partition of his estate among his heirs . . . alienable public land held by a possessor. (d) the 'titulo de compra' or title by purchase. belong to the public domain. in the concept above stated. On the contrary. . the entire property . When referring to possession.'concession especial' or special grant. this Court. Respondents therein failed to prove possession of their predecessor-in-interest since time immemorial or possession in such a manner that the property has been segregated from public domain. . All lands that were not acquired from the Government. per then Associate Justice Hugo R. for the earliest possession of the lot by his first predecessor in interest began in 1880. "In the instant case. that an applicant for registration under Section 48 of the Public Land Act must secure a certification from the Government that the lands which he claims to have possessed as owner for more than thirty (30) years are alienable and disposable." (Emphasis supplied) Clearly. ". tacking in the process. An exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the possession of an occupant and of his predecessors in interest since time immemorial.. Thus. . must be either since time immemorial. . . xxx xxx xxx "To this Court's mind. his possession cannot be tacked to that of the private respondents for the latter's benefit pursuant to Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act. . 23 SCRA 1183 [1968]). . openly. 935 [1909]. 449. either by purchase or by grant..S. In addition. personally or through his predecessors-ininterest. . Razon. for such possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain or that if had been a private property even before the Spanish conquest (Cariño v. Jr. . (c) the 'composicion con el estado' title or adjustment title. As to the latter. . private respondents failed to prove that (their predecessor-in-interest) had possessed the property allegedly covered by Tax Declaration No. and the existence of which he has learned form his elders (Susi v.' it means possession of which no man living has seen the beginning. it goes without saying that they had acquired no vested right.' '. (P)rivate respondents' evidence miserably failed to establish their imperfect title to the property in question. . as this Court stated in Oh Cho v. 41 Phil. adopted the rule enunciated by the Court of Appeals. since time immemorial. . The primary basis of their claim is possession.. acquired vested rights thereon. 53 Law. private . . Insular Government. xxx xxx xxx "Considering that the private respondents became American citizens before such filing. 890 [1946]): '. as American citizens. with respect to the said property. Their allegation of possession since time immemorial. . such that at the time of their application. or for the period prescribed in the Public Land Act. . Muñoz. . 594) The applicant does not come under the exception. Gutierrez. the possession in the concept of owner and the prescribed period of time held by their predecessors-ininterest under the Public Land Act. private respondents were undoubtedly naturalborn Filipino citizens at the time of the acquisition of the properties and by virtue thereof. supra) "It is obvious from the foregoing rule that the applicant must prove that (a) the land is alienable public land and (b) his possession. they have acquired no vested rights over the parcel of land. . the rulings of both courts could be upheld for. (when the predecessor-in-interest) died on 31 May 1937. "If indeed private respondents and their predecessors have been in possession since time immemorial. Intermediate Appellate Court. . in Gutierrez Hermanos v. .in such manner as to remove the same from the public domain under the Cariño and Susi doctrines. . supra). was pasture land (and therefore inalienable under the then 1973 Constitution). consisting of an imperfect title. as ruled in both Cariño and Susi. Director of Lands (75 Phil.. 212 U. as amended) is converted to private property by the mere lapse or completion of said period ipso jure.

. 6 of BP 185 do not apply in the instant case since said requirements are primarily directed to the register of deeds before whom compliance therewith is to be submitted. Nowhere in the provision is it stated much less implied. m. The decree of registration is the one that is submitted to the office of the register of deeds for issuance of the certificate of title in favor of the applicant. 6. for use by him as his residence. their application for registration of title must perforce be approved. concur. Melo. 185 was passed into law. one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted. and such other information as may be required under Section 8 of this Act. which provides: "Sec. Batas Pambansa Blg. Article XIV of the then 1973 Constitution which reads: "Sec. the relevant provision of which provides: "Sec. "In case the transferee already owns urban or rural lands for residential purposes. Narvasa. J . Quiason. JJ. it refers to Section 6. dissenting: With all due respect. The ponencia begins by posing the issue thus: Can a foreign national apply for registration of title over a parcel of land which he acquired by purchase while still a citizen of the Philippines. BP 185. the location and the mode of acquisition of his landholdings in the Philippines. it is not significant whether private respondents are no longer Filipino citizens at the time they purchased or registered the parcels of land in question. continuous and exclusive possession and occupation thereof under claim of ownership prior to June 12. no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals. Kapunan and Mendoza. 15.. no other law has been passed by the legislature on the same subject. the date he lost his Philippine citizenship and the country of which he is presently a citizen. and as transferees of a private land. LLpr Even if private respondents were already Canadian citizens at the time they applied for registration of the properties in question. 1945 or since 1937. C. In addition to the requirements provided for in other laws for the registration of titles to lands. a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands. 7. no private land shall be transferred under this Act." From the adoption of the 1987 Constitution up to the present. to wit: "Sec." (Emphasis supplied) Section 8. or one hectare in the case of rural land. An application for registration of title before a land registration court should not be confused with the issuance of a certificate of title by the register of deeds. the total area acquired shall not exceed the maximum herein fixed." "Sec. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. 2. Bellosillo. SO ORDERED. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution above quoted is similar to Section 15. The law provides that a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of a private land up to a maximum area of 1. Sections 7 and 8 of Article XII of the Constitution contain the following pertinent provisions. Save in cases of hereditary succession. to be used by him as his residence (BP 185). the area. Any natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship and who has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under Philippine laws may be a transferee of a private land up to a maximum area of one thousand square meters. unless the transferee shall submit to the register of deeds of the province or city where the property is located a sworn statement showing the date and place of birth. they could apply for registration in accordance with the mandate of Section 8. his intention to reside permanently in the Philippines. the names and addresses of his parents. that the requirements must likewise be submitted before the land registration court prior to the approval of an application for registration of title. But what should not be missed in the disposition of this case is the fact that the Constitution itself allows private respondents to register the contested parcels of land in their favor. LibLex WHEREFORE. shall not exceed the maximum areas herein authorized. if any. Thus. what governs the disposition of private lands in favor of a natural-born Filipino citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship remains to be BP 185. Romero. before the register of deeds should be complied with by the applicants. however. when added to those already owned by him. What is important is that private respondents were formerly natural-born citizens of the Philippines. Specifically." Pursuant thereto. the register of deeds has no participation in the approval of the application for registration of title as the decree of registration is yet to be issued. For the purpose of transfer and/or acquisition of a parcel of residential land. now occupied by respondent Lapiña's mother. said properties as discussed above were already private lands. or one (1) hectare in case of rural land. I have to dissent. there could be no legal impediment for the registration thereof by respondents in view of what the Constitution ordains. Separate Opinions CRUZ. Provided. They are already private in character since private respondents' predecessors-in-interest have been in open.000 sq. the petition is DISMISSED and the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED.J.. must also be complied with by private respondents. in the case of urban land. of his spouse and children. to be used by him as his residence. It is only when the judgment of the land registration court approving the application for registration has become final that a decree of registration is issued. Prior to the issuance of the decree of registration. he shall be entitled to be a transferee of an additional urban or rural lands for residential purposes which. a naturalborn citizen of the Philippines who has lost his citizenship may be a transferee of private land. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 14 of this Article. Considering that private respondents were able to prove the requisite period and character of possession of their predecessors-in-interest over the subject lots. It is undisputed that private respondents. The dissenting opinion.. if any. corporations. Regalado. The parcels of land sought to be registered no longer form part of the public domain. 8 Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article. as the Batasang Pambansa may provide. That if both shall avail of the same.respondents have constructed a house of strong materials on the contested property. And that is the time when the requirements of Sec. 6. Vitug. as vendees of a private land. Puno. In the case of married couples. states that the requirements in BP 185. consequently. were natural born citizens of the Philippines. subject to limitations provided by law. if urban. from a . Article XII of the Constitution." The Court is of the view that the requirements in Sec.

[August 24. Thus it states: Sec. 8. prLL The important point is that the respondent spouses were no longer citizens of the Philippines but naturalized Canadians. concurring: I agree with the great bulk of the majority opinion written by Mr.P.P. In my view. B.P. imposes certain requirements.P. apply to subsequent purchases of land by the respondent spouses. 185) LLjur B.. Intermediate Appellate Court. just before the dispositive portion.P. Blg. Section 8 of the same article is not applicable either because it speaks of a transfer of private land to a former natural-born citizen of the Philippines after he became a foreigner. Section 7 of Article XII of the Constitution is irrelevant because it is not disputed that the respondent spouses were qualified to acquire the land in question when it was transferred to them. it does not appear that the private respondents have observed "the limitations provided by law.P. 185. including a specific limitation on the quantity of land (not more than 1. I see no reason why we should less so with those who have renounced our country.P. Blg. It was really needless to elaborate on Buyco.vendor who has complied with the requirements for registration under the Public Land Act (CA 141)? There is no question that the property is private land and thus subject to registration by qualified persons. Blg. subject to limitations provided by law. especially Section 6 thereof.R. ||| (Republic v.P. The finding that the respondent spouses were natural-born Filipinos at the time they acquired the land does not settle the question posed.. We can agree that the ruling case is Director of Lands v. Justice Bidin and the result reached therein. Section 2. therefore. they can register it in their names now even if they are no longer Filipinos. 185 has also been enforced. It is difficult. the respondent spouses became transferees (on 17 June 1978) of the land here involved while they were natural-born Philippine citizens who happened sometime later to have been naturalized as citizens of another country... 185 which took effect on 16 March. Strict compliance is necessary because of the special privilege granted to former Filipinos who have become foreigners by their own choice. concur. it should be stressed that B. 1982." The ponencia finds that all the requisites for the registration of the land in the private respondents' name have been complied with.e. Blg. 1994]) . Jr. FELICIANO. Even if it be assumed that the provision is applicable. an amount limitation which must not be exceeded both by the land of which such foreign national becomes transferee and by such land taken together with other land previously acquired by such foreign national. which is clearly inapplicable here. does not purport to cover the set of facts before the Court in this case: i. addresses itself only to a situation of persons who were already foreign nationals at the time they became transferees of private land in the Philippines.000 square meters) which may be acquired thereunder. a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands. LexLib Padilla and Davide. It does not follow that because they were citizens of the Philippines when they acquired the land. 185 would. If we can be so strict with our citizens. purchases made after they were naturalized as Canadian nationals. Blg. that is. of course. as far as I can determine. (2nd paragraph. But I think the ponencia misses the point. G. 185 can become applicable to the present situation even at the subsequent time when the respondent spouses would come before the Register of Deeds. This separate statement is concerned only with the last two (2) paragraphs. 108998. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article. 185. I respectfully submit that the requirements in B. to see how B. B. JJ. but who were previously natural-born Philippine citizens. of the majority opinion. B. Court of Appeals. 185 have been read into the Act and should also be applied. I do not believe so for there is no showing that B. which is not challenged in this petition. J . The view has been expressed that we should confine ourselves to the requirements for registration under the Public Land Act. Blg. No.

Nillas sought the revival of the 1941 Decision and the issuance of the corresponding decree of registration for Lot No. which impose a prescriptive period for enforcement of judgments by motion. yet petitioner Republic of the Philippines (Republic) pleads that the Court rule in a manner that would unsettle precedent." 12 The most extensive explanation of this rule may be found in Sta. The rule is that "neither laches nor the statute of limitations applies to a decision in a land registration case. 11 Shipside was cited since in that case. the Court of Appeals reiterated that the provisions of Section 6. 1 In the decision.] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. such as a land registration case. This is so because a party in a civil action must immediately enforce a judgment that is secured as against the adverse party. Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in declaring that extinctive prescription did lie. 4 In turn. it may not be enforced after the lapse of a period of 10 years. both residents of Sibulan. LOURDES ABIERA NILLAS. Engracia Calingacion sold her undivided one-half (1/2) share over Lot No. Ana v.R. the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Negros Oriental rendered a Decision Adicional in Expediente Cadastral No. The Court of Appeals also noted that it would have been especially onerous to require Nillas to first request the LRA to comply with the 1941 decision considering that it had been established that the original records in the 1941 case had already been destroyed and could no longer be reconstructed. together with the improvements thereon. De Castro. This provision of the Rules refers to civil actions and is not applicable to special proceedings. 159595. cEDIAa Despite the invocation by the OSG of these two cases. On the other hand. 771 despite the rendition of the 1941 CFI Decision. Neither does it seek to establish that the property is inalienable or otherwise still belonged to the State. On 10 April 1997. explained: We fail to understand the arguments of the appellant in support of the assignment [of error]. Nillas acquired Lot No. though it does not escape attention that the 1941 Decision was rendered a few months before the commencement of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in December of 1941. and after five years but within 10 years. and ordering the revival of the 1941 Decision. Section 6 of Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure establishes that a final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. 771. arguing in main that the right of action to revive judgment had already prescribed. the RTC rendered a Decision 6 finding merit in the petition for revival of judgment. ESCacI No responsive pleading was filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). 771 of the Sibulan Cadastre. Negros Oriental. 13 decided in 1961. the Court relied on Article 1144 of the Civil Code and Section 6. it in view of the petitioners' omission to assert a right for nearly seven (7) years. 3 Nillas further alleged that her parents. and his failure to act to enforce the same within a reasonable time as . 2007. and the fact that the Abierra spouses have been in open and continuous possession of the subject property since the 1977 sale. although it entered its appearance on 13 May 1997 and simultaneously deputized the City Prosecutor of Dumaguete City to appear whenever the case was set for hearing and in all subsequent proceedings. the OSG strongly argues that contrary to the opinion of the Court of Appeals. 14. to issue the corresponding decree of registration. The OSG appealed the RTC Decision to the Court of Appeals. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. In the present petition. petitioner. Heirs of Lopez involved the double registration of the same parcel of land. The RTC heard the testimony of Nillas and received her documentary evidence. v. Nillas should have established that a request for issuance of a decree of registration before the Administrator of the LRA had been duly made. upon the finality of the decision. These purchases were evidenced by three separate Deeds of Absolute Sale all in favor of the Spouses Abierra. the Court dismissed the action instituted by the Government seeking the revival of judgment that declared a title null and void because the judgment sought to be revived had become final more than 25 years before the action for revival was filed. respondent Lourdes Abiera Nillas (Nillas) filed a Petition for Revival of Judgment with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dumaguete City. 771 in its entirety. the CFI. J p: The central question raised in this Petition for Review is whether prescription or laches may bar a petition to revive a judgment in a land registration case. The OSG further argued that at the very least. which was adjudicated to Eugenia Calingacion (married to Fausto Estoras) and Engracia Calingacion. 771 from her parents through a Deed of Quitclaim dated 30 June 1994. except by another proceeding to enforce the judgment or decision. refer to ordinary civil actions and not to "special" proceedings such as land registration cases. On the other hand. Despite these multiple transfers. through Justice Labrador. respondent. In Shipside. the parents of Nillas. The facts bear little elaboration." The Court. By way of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated 7 November 1977. The OSG also extensively relies on two cases. no decree of registration has ever been issued over Lot No. Court of Appeals 10 and Heirs of Lopez v. DECISION TINGA. 9 It bears noting that the Republic does not challenge the authenticity of the 1941 Decision. No evidence was apparently presented by the OSG. The OSG notes that Article 1144 of the Civil Code establishes that an action upon judgment must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues. the one-half (1/2) share adjudicated to Eugenia Calingacion was also acquired by the Spouses Abierra through various purchases they effected from the heirs of Eugenia between the years 1975 to 1982. In its Decision. holding that laches had set in. 5 Trial on the merits ensued. 6. acting as a cadastral court. except insofar as it supports his theory that after a decision in a land registration case has become final. and the subsequent action by one set of applicants for the issuance of the decree of registration in their favor seven (7) years after the judgment had become final. wherein the Court refuted an argument that a decision rendered in a land registration case wherein the decree of registration remained unissued after 26 years was already "final and enforceable. 771 to the Spouses Abierra. captioned as El Director De Terrenos contra Esteban Abingayan y Otros. by an action (Sec. The Court dismissed the subsequent action. Thus. Abierra. We deny certiorari and instead affirm the assailed rulings of the courts below. Serapion and Josefina A. after which time it may be enforced by action before it is barred by statute of limitations. The records do not precisely reveal why the decree was not issued by the Director of Lands. the principles of prescription and laches do apply to land registration cases. Authority for this theory is the provision in the Rules of Court to the effect that judgment may be enforced within 5 years by motion. Shipside Inc. Menla. eventually acquired Lot No. January 23. as well as directing the Commissioner of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to issue the corresponding decree of confirmation and registration based on the 1941 Decision. It is a hardly novel issue. The appeal was denied by the appellate court in its Decision 7 dated 24 July 2003. adjudicated several lots. in favor of named oppositors who had established their title to their respective lots and their continuous possession thereof since time immemorial and ordered the Chief of the General Land Registration Office. 2 Among these lots was Lot No.SECOND DIVISION [G. there exists a more general but definite jurisprudential rule that favors Nillas and bolsters the rulings of the lower courts. vs. No. or Nillas's acquisition of the rights of the original awardees. On 26 April 2000. It was alleged therein that on 17 July 1941. Rule 39). 8 Further.

the court shall. Apart from the three (3) cases mentioned earlier. that the judgment is merely declaratory in character and does not need to be asserted or enforced against the adverse party. it was similarly argued that a prayer for the issuance of a decree of registration filed in 1962 pursuant to a 1938 decision was. consistent with the purpose of such extraordinary proceedings to declare by judicial fiat a status. the Court was content in restating with approval the above-cited excerpts from Sta. together with the owner's duplicate certificate. 16 These cases further emphasized. . and a certificate stating that the decision has not been amended. not to other or extraordinary proceedings not expressly governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure but by some other specific law or legal modality such as land registration cases. becomes final without any further action. Albano. and Poras 17 and Manlapas and Tolentino v. 6. the application of Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in suppletory fashion. 22 The doctrine of stare decisis compels respect for settled jurisprudence. Unlike in ordinary civil actions governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Ana doctrine on the inapplicability of the rules on prescription and laches to land registration cases has been repeatedly affirmed. it is insisted that the Rules of Court. Ibanez. the Sta. its clerk of court (that is to transmit copies of the judgment and the order to the . In rejecting the argument. Ana. the decree of registration. the issuance of a decree is a ministerial duty both of the judge and of the Land Registration Commission. upon the finality of a decision adjudicating such ownership. barred by prescription and laches. in Heirs of Cristobal Marcos. and the LRA to issue. upon the expiration of the period for perfecting an appeal. Ana not out of simple reflex. The decree of registration shall be signed by the Commissioner. Benedicto. is applicable to land registration cases either by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient. the provisions of Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure should apply to land registration proceedings. citing Demoran v. nor appealed. There is nothing in the law that limits the period within which the court may order or issue a decree. the intent of land registration proceedings is to establish ownership by a person of a parcel of land. etc. hence. in land registration proceedings. After the ownership has been proved and confirmed by judicial declaration. Ana. et al. condition or fact. Furthermore. that Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is not applicable to land registration cases in the first place. . 18 respectively. etc. Indeed. de Barroga v. A similar tack was again adopted by the Court some years later in Rodil v. The Republic observes that the Property Registration Decree (PD No. hence. no further proceeding to enforce said ownership is necessary.. which provides for the five (5)-year prescriptive period for execution of judgments. 20 Cacho v. regarding the execution of a judgment in a civil action. EHTADa The provision lays down the procedure that interposes between the rendition of the judgment and the issuance of the certificate of title. and has become final. except the proceedings to place the winner in possession by virtue of a writ of possession. 14 The doctrine that neither prescription nor laches may render inefficacious a decision in a land registration case was reiterated five (5) years after Sta. that the right of the applicant or a subsequent purchaser to ask for the issuance of a writ of possession of the land never prescribes. The original of the original certificate of title shall also be signed by the Commissioner and shall be sent. unless the adverse or losing party is in possession. 1529 does not specifically provide for execution of judgments in the sense ordinarily understood and applied in civil cases. 1529 reads: SEC. 15 In that case. The reason is . The original certificate of title shall be a true copy of the decree of registration. 39. . Section 39 of PD No. 19 Within the last 20 years. the Sta. Instead. Rule 39. Court of Appeals. the ownership by a person of a parcel of land is sought to be established. there is no provision in the Land Registration Act similar to Sec. Court of Appeals. The obligations provided in the Section are levied on the land court (that is to issue an order directing the Land Registration Commissioner to issue in turn the corresponding decree of registration). 1529 has no provision on execution of final judgments. as invoked by the Republic.provided in the Rules makes the decision unenforceable against the losing party. Rule 39. or the person in whom the land is ordered to be registered. among others. the apparent strategy employed by the Republic in its present petition is to feign that the doctrine and the cases that spawned and educed it never existed at all. except when the adverse or losing party had been in possession of the land and the winning party desires to oust him therefrom. applies only to ordinary civil actions. Hence. 1529) does not contain any provision on execution of final judgments. Llorente.. Ana doctrine was reiterated in another three (3) more cases later. .] the purpose is to establish a status. 21 and Paderes v. within fifteen days from entry of judgment. within fifteen days from entry of judgment. The decision in a land registration case. . certified copies of the judgment and of the order of the court directing the Commissioner to issue the corresponding decree of registration and certificate of title. entered and filed in the Land Registration Commission. The clerk of court shall send. Quite the contrary. Thereupon. no further step is required to effectuate the decision and a ministerial duty exists alike on the part of the land registration court to order the issuance of. Furthermore. De Banuvar. to the Register of Deeds of the city or province where the property is situated for entry in his registration book. et al. condition or fact. In special proceedings[. it is precisely because PD No. . namely: Vda. Preparation of Decree and Certificate of Title. the Commissioner shall cause to be prepared the decree of registration as well as the original and duplicate of the corresponding original certificate of title. We affirm Sta. v. — After the judgment directing the registration of title to land has become final. 23 The Republic further observes that Presidential Decree (PD) No. reconsidered. especially absent any compelling argument to do otherwise. but because we recognize that the principle enunciated therein offers a convincing refutation of the current arguments of the Republic. No obligation whatsoever is imposed by Section 39 on the prevailing applicant or oppositor even as a precondition to the issuance of the title. . . failure of the court or of the clerk to issue the decree for the reason that no motion therefor has been filed can not prejudice the owner. the reason being there is no need for the prevailing party to apply for a writ of execution in order to obtain the title. issue an order directing the Commissioner to issue the corresponding decree of registration and certificate of title.

25 We are not inclined to make any pronouncements on the doctrinal viability of Shipside or Heirs of Lopez concerning the applicability of the rules of prescription or laches in land registration cases. Following these premises. Ana as precedent. such title could not have stood in the face of the earlier title. but with the LRA. there is no impediment to the continued application of Sta. Ana doctrine was not addressed. both cases were governed by their unique set of facts. In light of those circumstances. The Republic submits that said decision would operate as res judicata only after the decree of registration was issued. Indeed. . Ana as recently as in the middle of 2005 in the Paderes case. The issues of prescription and laches arose because the petitioners filed their action to enforce the 1979 final judgment and the cancellation of the competing title only in 1987. there would have been no need for Nillas. Shipside and Heirs of Lopez? Even though the Court applied the doctrines of prescription and laches in those cases. a close examination of Heirs of Lopez reveals an unusual dilemma that negates its application as precedent to the case at bar. The Court then correlated the laches of the petitioners with their pattern of behavior in failing to exercise due diligence to protect their interests over the property. one filed by petitioners therein in 1959. In contrast. The primary recourse need not be with the courts. Clearly. However. Shipside expounds on this point. it can even be posited that in theory. considering the earlier decree of registration over the same property accorded to a different party. this accomplished as early as 1968. with which the corresponding decree of registration is homologous by legal design. by which time the property had already been registered in the name of the other claimant. Moreover. The execution of the judgment sought for belated enforcement in Heirs of Lopez would have entailed the disturbance of a different final judgment which had already been executed and which was shielded by the legal protection afforded by a Torrens title. marked by their inability to oppose the other application for registration or to seek enforcement of their own judgment within the five (5)-year reglementary period. IHSTDE Heirs of Lopez noted the settled rule that "when two certificates of title are issued to different persons covering the same land in whole or in part. If it is sufficiently established before that body that there is an authentic standing judgment or order from a land registration court that remains unimplemented. The judgment sought belatedly for enforcement in Shipside did not arise from an original action for land registration. We now turn to Heirs of Lopez. 24 On the other hand. nor did they make any express declaration to such effect. That presumption obtains in this case as well. Neither could it be said that their right of ownership as confirmed by the judgment in their favor was indubitable. We doubt that a final decision's status as res judicata is the impelling ground for its very own execution. The ultimate goal of our land registration system is geared towards the final and definitive determination of real property ownership in the country. Ana doctrine. with whom the duty to issue the decree of registration remains. but from a successful motion by the Republic seeking the cancellation of title previously adjudicated to a private landowner. the Court has not hesitated in reaffirming the rule in Sta. Ana as a general precedent that neither prescription nor laches bars the enforcement of a final judgment in a land registration case. Unless that presumption is overcome. or a determination of causes other than prescription or laches that might preclude the issuance of the decree of registration. the judgment does not have to be executed by motion or enforced by action within the purview of Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. especially when the said judgment has not been reversed or modified. then there should be no impediment to the issuance of the decree of registration. there could not have been a "ministerial duty" on the part of the registration authorities to effectuate the judgment in favor of the petitioners in Heirs of Lopez. The Court did characterize the petitioners as guilty of laches for the delay in filing the action for the execution of the judgment in their favor. and perhaps with good reason. those cases do not operate to detract from the continued good standing of Sta. Notably. the Republic faults the Court of Appeals for pronouncing that the 1941 Decision constituted res judicata that barred subsequent attacks to the adjudicates' title over the subject property. or others under similar circumstances. and the Land Registration Commissioner (that is to cause the preparation of the decree of registration and the transmittal thereof to the Register of Deeds). the petitioners were able to obtain a final judgment in their favor only in 1979. as in this case. It is worth mentioning that since Shipside was promulgated in 2001. and thus denied the petition on that score. Shipside has attained some measure of prominence as precedent on still another point. Even though prescription should not be a cause to bar the issuance of the decree of registration. two (2) years beyond the five (5)-year prescriptive period provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure. quite distinct from the general situation that marked both Sta. . to file a petition for revival of judgment. or to detract from Sta. the peculiar procedure provided in the Property Registration Law from the time decisions in land registration cases become final is complete in itself and does not need to be filled in. The failure on the part of the administrative authorities to do their part in the issuance of the decree of registration cannot oust the prevailing party from ownership of the land. . thus obstructing the issuance of certificate of title to the petitioners. whether deliberately or inadvertently. Shipside has not since been utilized by the Court to employ the rules on prescription and laches on final decisions in land registration cases. we note that the pronouncement therein that prescription barred the revival of the order of cancellation was made in the course of dispensing with an argument which was ultimately peripheral to that case. and not on the applicability of the rules of prescription. The Sta. IcESaA What about the two cases cited by the Republic. . the portion of Shipside dealing with the issue of prescription merely restated the provisions in the Civil Code and the Rules of Civil Procedure relating to prescription. the earlier in date must prevail . It was the latter who was first able to obtain a decree of registration. followed by an observation that the judgment sought to be revived attained finality 25 years earlier. by another final court ruling. Ana doctrine rests upon the general presumption that the final judgment. the other by a different party in 1967. However. a judicial evaluation would allow for a thorough examination of the veracity of the judgment or order sought to be effected." and indeed even if the petitioners therein were somehow able to obtain a certificate of title pursuant to the 1979 judgment in their favor. While one might argue that such motion still arose in a land registration case. Still. it should be observed that neither case was intended to overturn the Sta. Ana and the present case. From another perspective. All these obligations are ministerial on the officers charged with their performance and thus generally beyond discretion of amendment or review. having divested the same to the Bases Conversion Development Authority prior to the filing of the action for revival. the Court sees the practical value of necessitating judicial recourse if a significant number of years has passed since the promulgation of the land court's unimplemented decision or order. which did not happen in this case. Suffice it to say. wherein the controlling factual milieu proved even more unconventional than that in Shipside. as the significantly more extensive rationale provided by the Court in barring the revival of judgment was the fact that the State no longer held interest in the subject property. Ana as a general rule for that matter.Commissioner). since revival of judgments is a procedure derived from civil procedure and proceeds from the assumption that the judgment is susceptible to prescription. the Sta. and indeed res judicata is more often invoked as a defense or as a factor in relation to a different case altogether. and the imposition of an additional burden on the owner after the judgment in the land registration case had attained finality would simply frustrate such goal. The property involved therein was the subject of two separate applications for registration. Neither the failure of such applicant to follow up with said authorities can. This qualifier stands not so much as a newly-carved exception to the general rule as it does as an exercise in stating the obvious. relating to its pronouncements relating to the proper execution of the certification of non-forum shopping by a corporation. Finally. has not been disturbed by another ruling by a co-extensive or superior court.

. and the Republic does not offer any compelling argument to dispute such proof. the Republic's arguments on this point do not dissuade from our central holding that the 1941 Decision is still susceptible to effectuation by the standard decree of registration notwithstanding the delay incurred by Nillas or her predecessors-in-interest in seeking its effectuation and the reasons for such delay. cCESaH WHEREFORE. concur. all that Nillas needed to prove was that she had duly acquired the rights of the original adjudicates — her predecessors-in-interest-in order to entitle her to the decree of registration albeit still in the names of the original prevailing parties who are her predecessors-in interest. JJ. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals were satisfied that such fact was proven.. Quisumbing. Carpio. SO ORDERED. following the prostracted failure of the then Land Registration Commissioner to issue the decree of registration. In this case. the Petition is DENIED.Still. No pronouncement as to costs. this faulty terminology aside. Jr. . Carpio-Morales and Velasco.

" petitioner advances that the LRA has not issued the decree of registration. 1977. 3 Hence. Roska. namely: FLORA A. Petitioners insist that the duty of the respondent land registration officials to issue the decree is purely ministerial. ALCOVER. as the case may be. respondents. N-983 of spouses Diego Lirio and Flora Atienza's application for registration of the lot settled its ownership. N-983. on motion of respondents. and ordering its registration in his name constitutes. in this respect. LIRIO. Petitioner argues that although the decision in LRC No. HEIRS OF DIEGO LIRIO. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court reading: SEC. who were afforded the opportunity to file an opposition to petitioner's application by Branch 21 of the Cebu RTC. when final. 7 The petition fails. ALICIA L. 1976 in Land Registration Case (LRC) No. Land Management Services. 1977 and which. the same does not lie.SECOND DIVISION [G. 2007. a certain Engr. N-983 had become "extinct. 1437-N. the land registration court's approval in LRC No. Lirio. and that the spouses Lirio did not comply with the said requirement for they instead submitted to the court a mere special work order. Region 7." 12 (Emphasis supplied) As for petitioner's claim that under Section 6. Branch 7. a judgment may be enforced by action. however. Cebu City having claimed that the survey of the Cebu Cadastral Extension is erroneous and all resurvey within the Cebu Cadastral extension must first be approved by the Land Management Services of the DENR. filed their Answer 2 calling attention to the December 10. ISHaTA . The decision in LRC No. Rolando Ting (petitioner) filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu an application for registration of title to the same lot. They act. After the lapse of such time. dismissed petitioner's application on the ground of res judicata. 5 and as no action for revival of the said decision was filed by respondents after the lapse of the ten-year prescriptive period. DECISION CARPIO-MORALES. Plan Rs-07-000787. EFREN A. duty to cause issuance of decree. AURORA L. they argued. 1997. namely: Flora A. with or without opposition. When judgment becomes final. March 14. and is binding on the whole world including petitioner. 18281 (the lot) of the Cebu Cadastral 12 Extension. The application was docketed as LRC No. 1977. 1976 decision in LRC No.] the December 10. 1982 directing the Land Registration Commission to issue the corresponding decree of registration and the certificate of title in favor of the spouses Lirio. "the cause of action in the dormant judgment passé[d] into extinction. DUNQUE. if they are in doubt upon any point in relation to the preparation and issuance of the decree. Rafaela Belleza. On February 12. Branch 21 of the Cebu RTC. and their act is the act of the court. Alcover. ROSKA. N983 which had become final and executory on January 29. David. (Emphasis supplied) SaHTCE In a registration proceeding instituted for the registration of a private land. Amelia L. 30. — The judgment rendered in a land registration proceeding becomes final upon the expiration of thirty days 8 to be counted from the date of receipt of notice of the judgment. DAVID. Lirio and Jocelyn Anabelle L. Alicia L. 1437-N. no showing that the LRA credited the alleged claim of Engineer Belleza and that it reported such claim to the land registration court for appropriate action or reconsideration of the decision which was its duty.R. Section 30 of Presidential Decree No. 9 It becomes final when no appeal within the reglementary period is taken from a judgment of confirmation and registration. Explaining his position that the December 10. res judicata against the whole world. and before it is barred by the statute of limitations. They are specifically called upon to "extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration proceedings. Cebu City before said resurvey may be used in court. Aurora L. 11 There is." 6 Petitioner thus concludes that an "extinct" judgment cannot be the basis of res judicata. Chief of the Survey Assistance Section. barred the filing of petitioner's application on the ground of res judicata. Dunque. it shall devolve upon the court to forthwith issue an order in accordance with Section 39 of this Decree to the Commissioner for the issuance of the decree of registration and the corresponding certificate of title in favor of the person adjudged entitled to registration. heirs of Diego Lirio. granted the application filed by the Spouses Diego Lirio and Flora Atienza for registration of title to Lot No. 6. ABEJO. Judge Marigomen thereafter issued an order of November 10. However. 1437-N. N-983 became final and executory on January 29. it is their duty to refer the matter to the court. After judgment has become final and executory. ADELAIDA L. No. the present petition for review on certiorari which raises the sole issue of whether the decision in LRC No. Adelaida L. 10 The land registration proceedings being in rem. J p: In a Decision of December 10. and they have no discretion in the matter. Region 7. Abejo. — A final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. An appeal may be taken from the judgment of the court as in ordinary civil cases. After hearing the respective sides of the parties. vs. The revived judgment may also be enforced by motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry and thereafter by action before it is barred by the statute of limitations[. AMELIA L.] ROLANDO TING. then Judge Alfredo Marigomen of the then Court of First Instance of Cebu. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). N-983 constitutes res judicata in LRC No. 1976 Decision in LRC No. 4 it was only on July 26. Efren A. LIRIO and JOCELYN ANABELLE L. no decree of registration has been issued by the Land Registration Authority (LRA). the judgment of the court confirming the title of the applicant or oppositor. petitioner. 168913. 1529 or the Property Registration Decree provides: SEC. as officials of the court and not as administrative officials. It is ministerial in the sense that they act under the orders of the court and the decree must be in conformity with the decision of the court and with the data found in the record. Execution by motion or by independent action. 1 The herein respondents. 1976 decision became "extinct" in light of the failure of respondents and/or of their predecessors-ininterest to execute the same within the prescriptive period. N-983 had become final and executory on January 29. 2003 that the "extinct" decision belatedly surfaced as basis of respondents' motion to dismiss LRC No.

1931 OR TWENTY SIX YEARS AGO. 6. Rolando Ting. except in so far as it supports his theory that after a decision in a land registration case has become final.. by an action (Sec. condition or fact. the petition is.. 2007]. there is no provision in the Land Registration Act similar to Sec.) This provision of the Rules refers to civil actions and is not applicable to special proceedings. JJ. xxx xxx xxx (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) WHEREFORE. 6. No. it may not be enforced after the lapse of a period of 10 years. concur. regarding the execution of a judgment in a civil action. unless the adverse or losing party is in possession. and after five years but within 10 years. except when the adverse or losing party had been in possession of the land and the winning party desires to oust him therefrom. et al. [March 14. The decision in a land registration case. in land registration proceedings. no further proceeding to enforce said ownership is necessary. Heirs of Lirio. DENIED. Carpio. Costs against petitioner. Quisumbing. This is so because a party in a civil action must immediately enforce a judgment that is secured as against the adverse party. After the ownership has been proved and confirmed by judicial declaration. Rule 39 does not apply in land registration proceedings. Rule 39. viz: THAT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THAT THE DECISION RENDERED IN THIS LAND REGISTRATION CASE ON NOVEMBER 28. Menla.Sta. Rule 39. 13 enunciates the raison d'etre why Section 6. becomes final without any further action. In special proceedings the purpose is to establish a status. in light of the foregoing discussions. and his failure to act to enforce the same within a reasonable time as provided in the Rules makes the decision unenforceable against the losing party. Jr. SO ORDERED. such as a land registration case. HAS NOT YET BECOME FINAL AND UNENFORCEABLE. We fail to understand the arguments of the appellant in support of the above assignment. 168913. Ana v. except by another proceeding to enforce the judgment or decision.R. the ownership by a person of a parcel of land is sought to be established. 547 PHIL 237-244) . Authority for this theory is the provision in the Rules of Court to the effect that judgment may be enforced within 5 years by motion. except the proceedings to place the winner in possession by virtue of a writ of possession. upon the expiration of the period for perfecting an appeal. ||| (Ting v. G. Tinga and Velasco. Furthermore.

In ascertaining which of the conflicting claims of title should prevail. furnishing the parties with copies of the Sealed Report would not serve any useful purpose. Thereafter. 1 the Court constituted a Special Division of the Court of Appeals to hear the instant case on remand. No.R. the Special Division is directed to make the following determinations based on the evidence already on record and such other evidence as may be presented at the proceedings before it. and Manotok Estate Corporation (the Manotoks). with Justice Josefina Guevara-Salonga as Chairperson. Nonetheless.] MANOTOK REALTY. and if so what are those proceedings. I. are such flaws sufficient to defeat the claims of title of the Manotoks and Araneta? iii. Such other matters necessary and proper in ascertaining which of the conflicting claims of title should prevail. petitioners. It would only delay the promulgation of the Court's action on the Sealed Report and the adjudication of these cases. whereas in the cases at bar. CLT REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. 41883 & CA-G. SO ORDERED. DIMSON. 994 dated 3 May 1917? ii. 994 on 3 May 1917. the Heirs of Jose B. In any event. (Araneta). We adopt the succeeding recital of operative antecedents made by the Special Division in its Report: THE PROCEDURAL ANTECEDENTS DIMSON v. INC. v. CV. DIMSON AND THEIR CHILDREN. DIMSON.R. Justice Lucas Bersamin as Senior Member. Dimaampao as Junior Member. namely CLT Realty Development Corporation (CLT).] ARANETA INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE. No. J p: In the Court's Resolution dated 14 December 2007. RESOLUTION TINGA. AND ESPERANZA R. AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF MALABON. petitioner. the Special Division rendered a 70-page Report 3 (Report) on 26 November 2008. VII and VIII of this Resolution. Rule 135 to adopt any suitable process or mode of proceeding which appears conformable to the spirit of the Rules to carry into effect all auxiliary processes and other means necessary to carry our jurisdiction into effect.R. SP No. the present Resolution quotes extensively from the sealed Report and discusses its other substantive segments which are not quoted. the Court did not endeavor to secure the consent of the parties before effectuating the remand to the Court of Appeals. EHaCID Before taking action on the Report itself. we dispose of a preliminary matter. Assuming they are. were directed by the Special Division to present their respective evidence to the Court of Appeals.EN BANC [G. 134385] . The parties to these cases. March 31. our earlier advertence to Rule 32 remains proper even if the adopted procedure does not hew strictly to that Rule. respondents.. Notably. 2009. vs. Dimson (Heirs of Dimson). HEaCcD Moreover. Inc. owing to our power under Section 6. Whether any of the subject properties had been the subject of expropriation proceedings at any point since the issuance of OCT No. and Araneta Institute of Agriculture.R. and Associate Justice Japar B. On February 17. and MANOTOK ESTATE CORPORATION. NO. No. Manotok Realty Inc. 123346. [G. Which of the contending parties are able to trace back their claims of title to OCT No. 2009. 134385. Whether the factual and legal bases of 1966 Order of Judge Muñoz-Palma and the 1970 Order of Judge Sayo are true and valid. ARANETA CA-G.R. 34819 [SC-G. We instructed the Special Division to proceed as follows: The Special Division is tasked to hear and receive evidence. LINDA AND CARLOS LAGMAN. what are the titles acquired by the Government and whether any of the parties is able to trace its title to the title acquired by the Government through expropriation. 2 The Special Division proceeded to conduct hearings in accordance with the Resolution. ROQUETA R. The Special Division submitted the sealed Report to this Court. It is a more than adequate basis for this Court to make the following final dispositions in these cases. the Manotoks filed a motion beseeching that copies of the report be furnished the parties "so that they may submit their comments and objections thereon in accord with the principle contained in Sec. LERMA AND RENE POLICAR. HEIRS OF JOSE B. 2009. WHEREFORE. NORMA AND CELSA TIRADO. to wit: ICASEH i. The Special Division was composed of three Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals. ALSON AND VIRGINIA DIMSON. Rule 32 of the Rules of Court". Section 1 of said Rule authorizes the referral of the case to a commissioner "by written consent of both parties". Whether the imputed flaws in the titles of the Manotoks and Araneta. We deny the motion. vs. 10. as recounted in the 2005 Decision. the instant cases are hereby REMANDED to the Special Division of the Court of Appeals for further proceedings in accordance with Parts VI. It is incorrect to presume that the earlier referral of these cases to the Court of Appeals for reception of evidence was strictly in accordance with Rule 32. respondent. do these orders establish a superior right to the subject properties in favor of the Dimsons and CLT as opposed to the claims of Araneta and the Manotoks? iv. March 31. INC. are borne by the evidence? Assuming they are. conclude the proceedings and submit to this Court a report on its findings and recommended conclusions within three (3) months from finality of this Resolution. The Report is a commendably exhaustive and pellucid analysis of the issues referred to the Special Division. REPRESENTED BY HIS COMPULSORY HEIRS: HIS SURVIVING SPOUSE.

7784 in evidence to prove that it is the registered owner of the land described therein. 994. for its part. Undaunted. Nonetheless. ARANETA interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals.R. Potrero. For this reason. the claims of DIMSON and ENRIQUEZ were allegedly barred by prescription. 15166. During the trial. IECcaA ARANETA. MANOTOK CA-G. 36455 issued by the Court of Land Registration on 19 April 1917 and added that there were subsequent certifications issued by the government officials. SP No. counsel for ARANETA marked in evidence. Jose B. Estelita I. further contended that the portion of Lot 26. CLT alleged that it is the registered owner of Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate located in Caloocan City and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. In said Amended Complaint. DIMSON had transferred the subject property to ENRIQUEZ by way of an absolute and irrevocable sale on 14 November 1979. Allegedly. in turn.R. In substance. 4557. In its 30 May 1997 Decision. subject of the present controversy. it had acquired Lot 26 from its former registered owner. among others. In CA-G. 45255 [SC-G. T-177013. a derivative title of OCT No. Consequently. the DOJ Committee Report and the Senate Committees' Joint Report which attested that there is only one OCT 994. docketed as CA-G.R. 137 of the Department of Justice. respectively. DIMSON amended his complaint and included Virgilio L. CV. R-15169. sustained the RTC Decision in favor of DIMSON finding that the title of ARANETA to the disputed land is a nullity. DIMSON and ENRIQUEZ discovered that the subject property was being occupied by ARANETA wherein an "agricultural school house" is erected and that despite repeated demands. in CA-G. . it was contented that the title of CLT was an offspring of an ineffective grant of an alleged undisputed portion of Lot 26 by way of attorney's fees to its predecessorin-interest. 41883. Dimson. in this connection. 994 covering over twenty (20) parcels of land located over a portion of Lot 26 in the Maysilo Estate. On 16 July 1998. [Lot 25-A-2] of the Caloocan Registry of Deeds.R. are in the names of ARANETA and Jose Rato. On 7 May 1980. No. among others. In its Complaint. which was later consolidated with CA-G. Enriquez ["ENRIQUEZ"] as his co-plaintiff. covering the disputed property. refuted said allegations and countered that it is the absolute owner of the land being claimed by DIMSON and that the real properties in the Araneta Compound are "properly documented and validly titled". 34819 in view of the inter-related issues of the two cases. the latter having acquired the same by virtue of a Court Order dated 13 June 1966 issued by the Court of First Instance of Rizal in Civil Case No. 994 registered on 3 may 1917. which were all derivatives of OCT No. Court of Appeals. the Court of Appeals likewise invalidated the titles of ARANETA. 13574 and 26538. the trial court rendered a Decision upholding the title of DIMSON over the disputed property . a direct transfer from DIMSON. ARANETA contended that there is only one OCT 994 covering the Maysilo Estate issued on 3 May 1917 pursuant to the Decree No. notably from the LRS.R. Metro Manila covered by TCT No.R. Hipolito ["HIPOLITO"]. 41883. SIHCDA Dissatisfied still. CLT averred that on 10 December 1988. 123346] On 10 August 1992. CAaDSI On the other hand. the Court ordered DIMSON to maintain status quo until the finality of the aforesaid judgment. It maintained that it had been in possession of the subject parcel of land since 1974. It was also held that ARANETA failed to sufficiently show that the Order sought to be nullified was obtained through extrinsic fraud that would warrant the annulment thereof. relying on the Supreme Court ruling in Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System v. The MANOTOKS. ARANETA filed a Motion for Reconsideration and/or New Trial espousing therein as basis for its entreaty the various letters from different government agencies and Department Order No. Malabon. AHDTIE CLT v. On 28 May 1993. No. Refuting the factual finding of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. by virtue of a Deed of Sale with Real Estate Mortgage. ARANETA also offered TCT No. the Court of Appeals. certifications from the Land Registration Commission attesting that TCTs Nos. the registered owner of TCT No. Metro Manila) ["CALOOCAN RD"]. As a basis of its proprietary claim. Recovery of Possession and Damages against the MANOTOKS and the Registry of Deeds of Metro Manila District II (Calookan City. ARANETA filed a petition before the Supreme Court. HIPOLITO's title was. CLT filed with the Regional Trial Court ["RTC"] A COMPLAINT FOR Annulment of Transfer Certificates of Title. Unfortunately though. which declared null and void the certificates of title derived from OCT No. DIMSON filed with the then Court of First Instance ["CFI"] of Rizal a complaint for Recovery of Possession and Damages against ARANETA. the various Motions of ARANETA were denied by the Court of Appeals.On 18 December 1979. the MANOTOKS maintained the validity of their titles. CV No. DIMSON claimed that he is the absolute owner of a 50-hectare land located in Bo. had long been disposed of in favor of Alejandro Ruiz and Mariano Leuterio and . SP No. 34819. CV No. . that which had been issued on 3 May 1917. the latter refused to vacate the parcel of land and remove the improvements thereon.

while one (1) lot was purchased by the Manotok Estate Corporation. T-5261. On 8 October 1993. 994. . The property was then subdivided and as a result of which. had been issued in the names of Alejandro Ruiz and Mariano Leuterio on September 1918 by virtue of an Escritura De Venta executed by Don Tomas Arguelles and Don Enrique Lopes on 21 August 1918. the created Commission convened on the matter in dispute. 994 dated 19 April 1917. approved the creation of a commission composed of three commissioners tasked to resolve the conflict in their respective titles. On even date. Eventually. 4210. T-35485. 4210 allegedly covered an approximate area of 19. T-5261. it was not within its function to review factual issues and examine. 994 issued. Inc. there was nothing more in said portion of Lot 26 that could have been validly conveyed to Dimson. Niño Kapitbahayan Association. rendered a Decision. de Gonzales which was later replaced with the names of Gonzales six (6) children. Accordingly. During the pre-trial conference. In its Decision dated 28 September 1995. the Petitioners for Review. Upon order of the trial court. Ernesto Erive and Avelino San Buenaventura submitted an exhaustive Joint Final Report ["THE MAJORITY REPORT"] finding that there were inherent technical infirmities or defects on the face of TCT No. Thereafter. but said motion was denied by said appellate court in its Resolution dated 8 January 1996. THE SUPREME COURT RESOLUTION Expectedly. the Supreme Court. relied on the factual and legal findings of the trial courts. TCT No. evaluate or weigh the probative value of the evidence presented by the parties. which was the basis of the propriety claims of CLT and DIMSON. in favor of CLT and ordered. 4211. among others. 35486. the Supreme Court. in its Resolution of 14 December 2007 ["THE SUPREME COURT 2007 RESOLUTION"] reversed and nullified its 2005 Decision and categorically invalidated OCT No. which declared the titles of CLT and DIMSON as valid. the Supreme Court.43 square meters of Lot 26. ARANETA and Sto. canceling TCT No. covering an area of 871. were consolidated. except as to the award of damages which was deleted. from which the MANOTOKS derived their titles (also on TCT No. the MANOTOKS alleged that TCT No. with the Office of the Solicitor General ["OSG"] intervening on behalf of the Republic. 4210). TCT No. ["STO. the parties filed their respective comments/objections thereto. Tracing the legitimacy of their certificates of titles. the RTC. In invalidating the respective titles of the MANOTOKS and ARANETA. seven (7) certificates of titles were issued. Resolving said motions for reconsideration. the MANOTOKS and ARANETA filed their respective Motions for Reconsideration of the Supreme Court 2005 Decision. TCT No. the Supreme Court highlighted the fact that the same were accorded the highest degree of respect and. which had heavily hinged on the imputed flaws in said titles. on 10 May 1994. should not be disturbed on appeal. the properties covered by said seven certificates of title were expropriated by the Republic of the Philippines. through its Third Division. The MANOTOKS elevated the adverse RTC Decision on appeal before the Court of Appeals. Teodoro Victoriano submitted his Individual Final Report ["THE MINORITY REPORT"] dated 23 October 1993. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT Before the Supreme Court. the cancellation of the certificates of title issued in the name of the MANOTOKS. Inc. under the names of each of the children while the remaining title was held by all of them as co-owners. NIÑO"]. * separately filed by the MANOTOKS. Emphasis was also made on the settled rule that because the Supreme Court was not a trier of facts. in turn. affirmed the RTC Decision and Resolutions of the Court of Appeals. the MANOTOKS filed a Petition for Review before the Supreme Court. the trial court.565. generally. After the conduct of a hearing on these reports. six (6). 1031 dated 25 May 1998 which concluded that there was only one OCT No. 4211 was transferred to Francisco Gonzales on the strength of an Escritura de Venta dated 3 March 1920 for which TCT No. 5261 and TCT No. The MANOTOKS then moved for reconsideration.hence. transcribed and registered on 3 May 1917. married to Rufina Narciso. which cancelled OCT No. the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC Decision. into seventy-seven (77) lots and thereafter sold to qualified vendees. the parties filed their respective memoranda. THE SUPREME COURT DECISION In its Decision dated 29 November 2005 ["THE SUPREME COURT 2005 DECISION"]. TCT No. upon agreement of the parties. caHCSD Adopting the findings contained in the Majority Report.982 square meters was issued in the name of one Francisco Gonzales. was issued to Rufina Narcisa Vda. Considering that these trial court findings had been affirmed by the Court of Appeals. a number of said vendees sold nineteen (19) of these lots to Manotok Realty. As it turned out. These properties were then later subdivided by the National Housing Authority ["NHA"].. After the denial of their Motion for Reconsideration. Also submitted for consideration of the Supreme Court were the report of the Fact Finding Committee dated 28 August 1997 and the Senate Committee Report No.

15045.R. certifications issued by Atty. 1 to 10 of Piedad Estate and TCT No. the Orders of Judge Palma dated 13 June 1966 and 16 August 1966 in Case No. 26539. in Civil Case No. No. Any title that traces its source to OCT No. various certifications of different government agencies. Neither could the conclusions in MWSS or Gonzaga with respect to an OCT No. Court of Appeals and Gonzaga v. certified true copy of coordinates and reference point of L. as appears on the title. tax declarations and real property tax receipts. there is only one OCT 994. Felix B. a copy of a photograph of BM No. tax declarations. and that should be the date which should be reckoned as the date of registration of the title. TCT No. It may also be acknowledged.. plans by geodetic engineer. Second. Garcia showing the relative positions of properties within Lot 25-A. Alejandro Ruiz and Mariano Leuterio. Don Salvador Araneta and Araneta Institute of Agriculture. 994. 13574. chemistry report. [ 5 ] CLT adopted the documentary exhibits and testimonial evidence of witnesses submitted in the case filed by CLT against STO. They also submitted in evidence the Affidavits and Supplemental Affidavits of Rosa R. The fact that the Dimson and CLT titles made specific reference to an OCT No. among others. Lerio. survey plans of Lot 25-A and TCT r-15169 of Dimson and. TCT No. the Gonzalezes. The Report names the evidence submitted to the Special Division for its evaluation: ACHEaI CLT EVIDENCE In its Offer of Evidence. No. This error alone is. especially in regard to their recognition of an OCT No. As it appears on the record. 26538. Third. Padora. 994 dated 19 April 1917 bind any other case operating under the factual setting the same as or similar to that at bar. EHCDSI To guide the proceedings before this Special Division of the Court of Appeals. for such mother title is inexistent. in fact. TCT No. P. contracts to sell. Atty. 1 and BM No. in turn. the Formal Offer of Evidence in the presentation of the evidence-in-chief and rebuttal evidence in the CLT-STO NIÑO CASE consisting of various certificates of titles. letters of correspondence to the Land Registration Commission and the Register of Deeds of Malabon City. [ 7 ] DIMSON submitted the previous decisions and resolutions passed relative to these cases. 8692. 13574 in the name of ARANETA. that OCT No. 994 dated (19) April 1917 casts doubt on the validity of such titles since they refer to an inexistent OCT. observations of Geodetic Engineer Reggie P. offered in evidence various certificates of title. OCT 994. ["PHILVILLE"]. sufficient to invalidate the Dimson and CLT claims over the subject property if singular reliance is placed by them on the dates appearing on their respective titles. 994 dated (19) April 1917 is void. Manotok and Luisa T. TCT No. specimen signatures and letters of correspondence. specifically. the Supreme Court made the following binding conclusions: "First. ARANETA also offered the certified true copy of TCT No.. ["CLT-STO NIÑO CASE"]. 9. 4 II. (7784)-738 and TCT No. Ma. Court of Appeals cannot apply to the cases at bar. i. Josephine H. MANOTOKS EVIDENCE The MANOTOKS sought admission of the following evidence: Senate and DOJ Committee Reports. 36577. although such date cannot be considered as the date of the title or the date when the title took effect. Ponciano. certified true copy . the Novation of Contract/Deed of Sale and Mortgage dated 15 January 1948 between Rato. Republic of the Philippines. this Court of Appeals' Decision in CA-G. Ongkiko and Engineer Jose Marie P. Bernabe. The parties were afforded the opportunity to present their evidence before the Special Division.G. C15491. the DOJ and Senate Reports. TCT No. 6196 in the name of Victoneta. the affidavit of Engineer Felino M. the Majority and Minority Reports. 994 dated 19 April 1917. These pieces of evidence include. CV. OCT No. that mother title was received for transcription by the Register of Deeds on 3 May 1917. copies of various certificates of titles to dispute some of the titles held by ARANETA. Isabel Gil del Sola and Estelita Hipolito. the Supreme Court resolved to remand the cases to this Special Division of the Court of Appeals for reception of evidence. TCT No. The decision of this Court in MWSS v. a title which we now acknowledge as inexistent. ARANETA EVIDENCE ARANETA.However. Inc. [ 6 ] SCDaHc DIMSON EVIDENCE In their Consolidated Formal Offer of Evidence. certificates of title issued to them and their vendees/assignees. 4557 and the billing statements of SSHG Law Office. 177013 of CLT. subdivision plan of Lot 25-A-2. Acting Register of Deeds of Malabon city-Navotas.e. deeds of absolute sale. Affidavits of Atty. several letter-requests and official receipts.M. NIÑO in Civil Case No. Cortez and his curriculum vitae. the Formal Officer of Evidence of Philville Development & Housing Corporation. 52606 between CLT and PHILVILLE. It also marked in evidence the certified true copies of Decree No. 21857. 994 resulted from the issuance of the decree of registration on (19) * April 1917.

Pertinently. 36455 issued in L.of Judge Palma's Order dated 16 August 1966 in Case No. [ 8 ] 9 DHETIS III. as their mother title. We now turn to the evaluation of the evidence engaged in by the Special Division. what are the titles acquired by the Government. 17 (which pertains to the rules on reconstitution of titles as of 19 February 1947) and its official receipt and. both DIMSON and CLT bear the onus of proving in this special proceedings. ______ . acHDTA It is evident that both the Heirs of Dimson and CLT had primarily relied on the validity of OCT No. 10 Among these properties was a fifty (50)-hectare property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 994 dated 3 May 1917. One set of properties was disputed between CLT and the Manotoks. We begin with the Heirs of Dimson. However. To repeat. Assuming they are. 11 Araneta was then and still is in possession of the property. Whether the factual and legal bases of the 1966 Order of Judge Muñoz-Palma and the 1970 Order of Judge Sayo are true and valid. Circular No. 994. with respect to TCT No. Another property in Dimson's name. [DIMSON]. Which of the contending parties are able to trace back their claims to Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 994 pursuant to Decree No. as their mother title. and conversely the invalidity of the 3 May 1917 OCT 994. Assuming they are. 994 dated 19 April 1917. as recounted in the Supreme Court 2005 Decision. covering portions of the Maysilo Estate. who in turn sold the same to CLT.R. T-177013. that either there had only been an error in the course of the transcription or registration of their derivative titles. i. are such flaws sufficient to defeat said claims? iii. Whether any of the subject properties had been the subject of expropriation proceedings at any point since the issuance of OCT No. the Special Division was tasked to determine the following issues based on the evidence: i. 994 dated 19 April 1917. which covers Lot 25A-2 of the said estate. Judge Sayo's order in turn was sourced from a 1966 Order issued by Judge (later Supreme Court Associate Justice) Cecilia Muñoz-Palma of the CFI of Rizal. 994 issued on 19 April 1917. Jose Dimson was able to obtain an order in 1977 issued by Judge Marcelino Sayo of the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Caloocan City on the basis of which he was able to register in his name properties belonging to the Maysilo Estate. or that other factual and legal bases existed to validate or substantiate their titles aside from the OCT No. Whether the respective imputed flaws in the titles of the Manotoks and Araneta. 994. 13 Were they able to discharge such burden? A. as their mother title.C. 994 on 3 May 1917. 15167. OCT No. The proceedings before the Special Division afforded the Heirs of Dimson and CLT alike the opportunity to prove the validity of their respective claims to title based on evidence other than claims to title the inexistent 19 April 1917 OCT No. do these orders establish a superior right to the subject properties in favor of the Dimsons and CLT as opposed to the claims of the Araneta and the Manotoks? iv. the Supreme Court has yet again allowed them to substantiate their claims on the basis of other evidentiary proofs: Otherwise stated. by way of the evidence already presented before and such other forms of evidence that are not yet of record. 15169 of DIMSON. 994 dated 3 May 1917: ii. as its mother title. was issued separate certificates of title. 12 Said property claimed by CLT encroached on property covered by titles in the name of the Manotoks. OCT No. the owner's duplicate copy of OCT No. which apparently overlapped with the property of Araneta covered by TCT No. on the strength of Judge Sayo's Order dated 18 October dated 18 October 1977. apparently taken from Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate. which also reflected. Case No. Such other matters necessary and proper in ascertaining which of the conflicting claims of title should prevail. 994 dated 19 April 1917 as the basis of their claim of ownership. 4557. and is any of the parties able to trace its title acquired by the government through expropriation? DaTICE v. 15168 and 15169. OCT No. 994 dated 19 April 1917 was inexistent. what are those proceedings. "IT IS FURTHER CERTIFIED that said land was originally registered on the 19th day of April in the year nineteen hundred and seventeen in the Registration Book of the Office of the Register of Deeds of Rizal. OCT No. 151169. 4429 Record No. 15166. while the respective certificates of title of DIMSON and CLT refer to OCT 994 issued on 19 April 1917 and that their previous postulations in the present controversies had been anchored on the supposed validity of their titles. The Manotoks traced their titles to TCT Nos. while the other set was disputed between Araneta and the Heirs of Dimson.e.. Dimson filed an action for recovery of possession against Araneta. 4210 and 4211. 13574 and 26538. both issued in 1918 and both reflecting. Dimson's titles reflected. Volume NA page NA. 994 dated 19 April 1917. are borne by the evidence. was later sold to Estelita Hipolito. Consequently. Said property was registered by CLT under TCT No. as Original Certificate of Title No. The ultimate purpose of the inquiry undertaken by the Court of Appeals was to ascertain which of the four groups of claimants were entitled to claim ownership over the subject properties to which they claimed title thereto. Just as much was observed by the Special Division: Nonetheless. The Araneta titles state. and if so. TCT Nos. the following were inscribed on the face of the instrument. 994 dated 3 May 1917. The Special Division made it clear that the Heirs of Dimson were heavily reliant on the OCT No. As can be gleaned from the Report. that which emanated from OCT 994 of 19 April 1917. the Court in its 2007 Resolution held that OCT No.

41028 issued on July 29. Jose B. 994. which apparently confirmed Palma's 13 June 1966 Order. On that issue. 1917. Lastly. raised serious . sans any proof of a mechanical error in the transcription or annotation on their respective certificates of title. R15169 issued for Lot 25-A-2. At the same time. Manifestly. CLT specifically harps on this assertion that there had only been a typographical error in the transcription of its title. can be validated and authenticated. which was allegedly sourced from the 1966 Order of Judge Muñoz Palma. CV No. [ 16 ] On the other hand. on June 8. As can be gleaned from the records. The foregoing contentions of DIMSON find to factual and legal basis. which would effectively prove that they had a valid proprietary claim over the disputed properties. in contending that their certificates of title could be validly traced from the 3 May 1917 OCT No. 994. both DIMSON and their successor-ininterest CLT. (Same facts in the case at bar. this leads Us to the THIRD ISSUE as presented by the Supreme Court. which is cancelled by virtue hereof in so far as the above-described land is concerned. had failed to present evidence before this Court to prove that there had been a mere typographical error in the transcription of their respective titles with regard to the date of registration of OCT No. Assuming they are. 1917. 41883. 1978. is overlapping with defendantappellant's title TCT Nos. 21857 and 26538 were mere microfilmed or certified copies and. the certificate of title of DIMSON covering the now disputed Lot 25-A-2. 15169. the Heirs of Dimson were particularly constrained to rely on the 1977 Order of Judge Sayo. not derived from OCT No. It is so since the brunt of the proprietary claims of both DIMSON and CLT has its roots on said Orders. Perforce. DIMSON point out that their title was issued pursuant to a court order issued by Judge Palma in Case No. the present inquiry then hinges on whether the Order dated 13 June 1966 issued by then Judge Cecilia Muñoz-Palma of the Court of First Instance of Rizal in Civil Case No. This is specifically true because DIMSON had previously placed reliance on the MWSS doctrine to prove the validity of their title. 13574 and 21343. 15167 issued for Lot 28 on June 8. 1978 derived from OCT No. the certificate of title issued to DIMSON. 15 The Special Division noted that the Heirs of Dimson did not offer any explanation why their titles reflect the erroneous date of 19 April 1917. Dimson' (plaintiffappellee) title TCT No. while DIMSON had refused to categorically assert that there had been such a typographical error causing the invalidity of their title. should both be voided inasmuch as the OCT which they emanated had already been declared inexistent. Jose B. 994 registered on 19 April 1917. DIMSON reiterated the flaws and irregularities which voided the titles of the ARANETA in the previous proceedings and focused on the burden of ARANETA to present evidence to defeat their titles. 4557 ["PALMA ORDER"] and Judge Sayo's Order dated 18 October 1977 ["SAYOS 18 OCTOBER 1977 ORDER"]. 994/NA. R-15169 alleging that the contention "is already moot and can be determined by a controlling decision". therein appellee Jose Dimson specifically denied the falsity of TCT No. without proffering any plausible explanation as to what led to the erroneous entry of the registration dated of OCT 994. DIMSON are left without any recourse but to substantiate their claim on the basis of other evidence not presented during the proceedings below.R. it rejected CLT's explanation that the transcription of the erroneous date was a "typographical error". DIMSON also insist that TCT Nos. [ 14 ] HCIaDT From the above accounts. do these orders establish a superior right to the subject properties in favor of the Dimsons and CLT as opposed to the claims of Araneta and the Manotoks?" As it is. 994 registered on April 19." [ 19 ] So viewed.This Certificate is a transfer from Original Certificate of Title No. to wit: IcHDCS "Whether the factual and legal bases of Palma's 13 June 1966 Order and Sayo's 18 October 1977 Order are true and valid. 994. their failure to proffer any reason or argument which would otherwise justify why their title reflects 19 April 1917 and not 3 May 1917 leads this Court to conclude that they simply had no basis to support their proprietary claim. 17 Absent such explanation. [ 18 ] Jose Dimson expounded on his reliance as follows: "In Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage System (for brevity MWSS) case. is OCT No. it is clear that the mother title of TCT No. Dimson's (as private respondent) title TCT No. therefore. 8692. Thus. is overlapping with MWSS title TCT No. Sayo's 18 October 1977 Order. * As we see it. 4557 and entered in the memorandum of Encumbrance of OCT No. 994. the derivative title later issued to CLT. inadmissible. registered on May 3. 1940 derived from the same OCT 994. the Special Division made the following determinations: cDTSHE It should be recalled that in their appellee's brief in CA-G. in consideration of the foregoing. and as a matter of course.

Atty. [ 21 ] wherein the trial court dismissed the motion filed by DIMSON on the court's findings that ". 4557 for purposes of determining the genuineness and authenticity of the signature of Judge Palma and also of her Order granting the confirmation. that must be a petition after decree record. even if We are to consider that no Recall Order was ever issued by then Judge Palma. xxx xxx xxx However. 27. whatever portion of the property covered by OCT 994 which has not been disposed of by the previous registered owners have already been assigned and adjudicated to Bartolome Rivera and his assignees. we are surprised why it is missing. Contreras. EcHIDT Atty. 4557 but the admission of Judge Sayo that he had not seen the original of the Palma Order. STaIHc Be that as it may. Officer-in-Charge of the said court. Atty. it is a simple civil case. It is worthy to note that as early as 25 August 1981. there were so many pages missing and the pages were re-numbered but then I saw the duplicate original and there is a certification of a woman clerk of Court. What is perplexing to this Court is not only the loss of the entire records of Case No. there should be only number for a particular case. We are reluctant to recognize the existence and due execution of the Recall Order considering that its original or even a certified true copy thereof had not been submitted by either of the two parties relying on it despite having been given numerous opportunities to do so. It was a duplicate copy not signed. Contreras: No. are there other cases of the same number? Atty. . This 4557 is not an LRC Case. There is a stamp only of original signed. Directo: Moreover. . EACTSH COURT: No signature of Judge Palma was presented in this court. we found in our original vault LRC application no. both the MANOTOKS and ARANETA insist that Palma's 13 June 1966 Order had been recalled by a subsequent Order dated 16 August 1966. based on the assumption that the value . That is the reason why we want to see the genuineness of the signature of Judge Palma. That is the reason why we want to see the original. Neither was the signature of Judge Palma on the Order duly proven because all that was presented was an unsigned duplicate copy with a stamped notation of "original signed". counsel for the ARANETA applied for a subpoena duces tecum addressed to the Clerk of Court of CFI Pasig for the production of the records of LRC Case No. There should be only one. [ 20 ] Thus: "Atty. Equally perplexing is that while CFI Pasig had a Case No. the validity of the DIMSON titles over the properties in the Maysilo Estate becomes doubtful in light of the fact that the supposed "share" went beyond what was actually due to Jose Dimson under the Compromise Agreement with Rivera. subject to availability of undisposed portion of the said lots. 28-B and 29 of OCT 994 . . 26. Court: I did not see the original also. Contreras: May I make of record that in verifying our records. It should be recalled that Palma's 13 June 1966 Order approved only the conveyance to Jose Dimson of "25% of whatever share of Bartolome Rivera has over Lots 25.questions as to the validity of the manner by which it was arrived at. Ignacio: Atty. Atty. We find it significant to note the observations contained in the Senate Committee Report No. When the records of this case was brought here. ["RECALL ORDER"]. Directo: The purpose of this subpoena duces tecum is to present your Honor the Order Order (sic) of Judge Palma in order to determine the genuineness and authenticity of the signature of Judge Palma in this court order and which order was a basis of a petition in this court to be confirmed. Directo: That is the reason why we want to see this document. Directo: Aside from that. appeared and manifested in open court that the records pertaining to the petition for Substitution of names of Bartolome Rivera. said file pertained not to an LRC case but to a simple civil case. You better ask Judge Muñoz Palma. 4557 on file. could no longer be located inasmuch as they had passed hands from one court to another. N-4557 but the applications were certain Feliciano Manuel and Maria Leaño involving Navotas property because I was wondering why they have the same number. Court: We are surprised also. as a result of which there is no portion that is left to be given to the herein supposed assignee Jose Dimson". Atty. . 1031 that. A certain Atty. Molo." [ 22 ] In relation to this. et al. I checked the records.

Unfortunately. In successive registration. . Gleaning from the records. Equally worthy of consideration is the fact that TCT No. 1911". Obviously. the same could not have passed the LRC. .1890%) or 19. R-15169. 61 Phil. It bears emphasizing that the issuance of a transfer certificate of title to the purchaser without the production of the owner's duplicate is illegal (Rodriguez v. The case did not partake of the nature of a registration proceeding and thus. This manifest from the notations "NA" on the face of DIMSON's title meaning.000 square meters). whatever title is to be issued herein in favor of Jose Dimson. if only to prove that the same had been duly approved and certified correct by the Land Registration Commission. [Firstly]. in said TCT No. Besides. 25-A is that the issuance of the Sayo Order allegedly confirming the Palma Order was in itself suspect. [ 23 ] Even if we are to base the 25% of Jose Dimson on the 19. would have faithfully adopted the mother lot's data. 25 ISTDAH In addition. 4429 SWO-5268 which allegedly was the basis of the segregation of the lands. Llorente. DIMSON did not submit Survey Plan LRC (GLRO) Rec. .7 hectares as their share. Unlike in a land registration case. 50 Phil. it would appear that Jose Dimson would only be entitled to more or less five (5) hectares of the Maysilo Estate. 448 [1935]). meaning that the subdivision plan was only a product of a "special work order". 15169 indicates that not only was the date of original registration inexistent. OCT No. Addison. [ 27 ] In has also been held that. The Registrar of Deeds must. [ 28 ] Thus. 49 Phil. 15169 of Dimson which covered a land area of 50 hectares (500. Hodges vs. What is more. Fernandez. but.7 hectares allotted to the Riveras. as reflected in the Palma Order. the earlier in date prevails. despite such requirement. barring anomaly in the process of registration. 994 showed that Lot 25-A of the Maysilo Estate was originally surveyed on "September 8-27. R-15169. which could have. . therefore. 19 [1926]. . or eleven (11) years after obtaining the supposed sanction for the issuance of titles in this name. in cases where transfer certificates of title emanating from one common original certificate of title were issued on different dates to different persons or entities covering the same land." [ 29 ] xxx xxx xxx Still another indication of irregularity of the DIMSON title over Lot No. it would be safe to conclude that the transfer certificate issued at an earlier date along the line should prevail. We find the absence of this piece of evidence as crucial in proving the validity of the titles of DIMSON in view of the allegation of contending parties that since the survey plan upon which the land titles were based contained the notation "SWO". 994 had not been presented prior to the issuance of the said transfer certificate. proven the authenticity of the DIMSON title. said plan to be submitted to this court for final approval. basing only on TCT No. Indeed.of the lots were equal. the person is deemed to hold under the prior certificate who is the holder or whose claim is derived directly from the person who was the holder of the earliest certificate issued in respect thereof. . no explanation for the variance was ever offered. Palma's 13 June 1966 Order specifically required that ". 1911" and nothing more. "not available". .26 square meters (16. what was lodged by Jose Dimson before the sala of then Judge Palma was not a simple land registration case wherein the only purpose of Jose Dimson was to establish his ownership over the subject parcels of land. [ 24 ] it is undisputable that the total properties eventually transferred to Jose Dimson went over and beyond his supposed 25% share. 8-27. 994 and. as such. therefore.602. DIMSON filed the Motion only on 10 October 1977. "(w)here two certificates purport to include the same land. where more than one certificate is issued in respect of a particular estate or interest in land. the Special Division took note of other irregularities attending Dimson's TCT No. 826) and does not confer any right to the purchaser (Philippine National Bank vs. Yet. 1911. the subject of the case was the confirmation of Jose Dimson's claim over the purported rights of Rivera in the disputed properties. Interestingly however. the Riveras who claimed to be the surviving heirs of Vidal will inherit only 197. Treasurer of the Phil. the same shall be based on a subdivision plan duly certified by the Land Registration Commission as correct and in accordance with previous orders issued in this proceedings. but the remarks thereon tend to prove that OCT No. . (Director of Lands vs. Even an inspection of the exhibit for CLT does not bear this Survey Plan. No.629. Neither was it duly certified by the said office. October 4-21 and November 17-18.405. deny registration of any deed or voluntary instrument if the owner's duplicate is not presented in connection therewith. What was submitted before the RTC and this Court was only the Subdivision Plan of Lot 25-A-2 which notably does not bear the stamp of approval of the LRC. 40 Phil. Jose Dimson needed to file an action before Judge Sayo to seek "confirmation" of Palma's Order dated 13 June 1966. evidently did not observe the requirements in land registration cases. 16 [1927]. . at the very least. [ 26 ] The variation in date is revealing considering that DIMSON's titles are all direct transfers from OCT No.53 m2 x 1. . the date of the original survey is reflected as "Sept. and "(C)onsidering that the share of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal was only 1189/1000 percent of the Maysilo Estate.

y descrita en el lote no. by logic. 26. the allegations of DIMSON would further show that they derive the validity of their certificates of title from the decreased Jose Dimson's 25% share in the alleged hereditary rights of Bartolome Rivera ["RIVERA"] as an alleged grandson of Maria Concepcion Vidal ["VIDAL"]. which corresponds to the total area sold in 1918 pursuant to the above-cited entries. was supposedly a direct transfer from OCT No.00 metros cuadrados. an examination of the annotation on OCT No. 32 These findings are consonant with the observations raised by Justice Renato Corona in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion on our 2007 Resolution. C-732. 1918 Fecha de la inscripcion – September 9. How Hipolito was able to secure TCT No. To wit: TcDaSI TCT No. 994. 1918 10:50-AM Based on the description of Lot No. in relation to its provisions on revival of judgment applies only to ordinary civil actions and not to other or extraordinary proceedings such as land registration cases. one of the registered owners of the properties covered by OCT No. Parenthetically. Rivera's alleged grandmother. Psd-5079. she could have been born only on 1905. as his attorney's fees. Psd-5080 and Psd-15345 of TCT Nos.So viewed the general rule proscribing the application of laches or the statute of limitations in land registration cases. was seven (7) years younger than her alleged grandson. 26 in OCT No. However. 26 remained undisposed of. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. 1976.547. 4557 awarding him.93 metros cuadrados y 16. is clearly not applicable in the present case. subdivision plan Psd-288152 covering Lot No. showed: AP-6665/0-994 — Venta: Queda cancelado el presente Certificado en cuanto a una extencion superficial de 3.512.43 sq. 1977 and order dated October 18. Consequently. 26. should fail. 26. 1917. It was a transfer from TCT No. to say the least. for him to claim a share in the disputed portions of the Maysilo Estate. R-17994 was therefore perplexing. [ 30 ] as well as Section 6. On the other hand. T-177013 covers Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate with an area of 891. no portion of Lot No.547. 1977 approving the compromise agreement which admitted the sale made by Dimson in her favor on September 2. in turn. Serious doubts existed as to whether Rivera was in fact an heir of Vidal. Leuterio. at the time the order of the CFI of Rizal was made on June 13. Branch 1 in Civil Case No. if any. el primer casado con Deogracias Quinones el Segundo con Josefa Garcia y se ha expedido el certificado de Titulo No. TCT No. IcTEaC Fecha del instrumento — Agosto 25. On the other hand. 1918 10. situation wherein Vidal. hence. el primer casado con Deogracias Quinones el segundo con Josefa Garcia y se ha expedido el certificado de Titulo No. Fecha del instrumento — Agosto 29. the records of these cases would somehow negate the rights of Rivera to claim from Vidal. 994. 1966 of the CFI of Rizal.982. 1977 in SP Case No. m. Inasmuch as.50 metros cuadrados. 27. 4211. This order was confirmed by the CFI of Caloocan in a decision dated October 13. 1918 Fecha de la inscripcion — September 9. The Verification Report of the Land Registration Commission dated 3 August 1981 showed that Rivera was 65 years old on 17 May 1963 (as gathered from the records of Civil Case Nos. find application in this case and thus. Dimson which. if not ridiculous. could not transmit anything to CLT. particularly the following entries. vendida a favor de Alejandro Ruiz y Mariano P. Vidal was only nine (9) years in 1912. . Moreover. pagina 164. 994. Libro T-22.052. then he must have been born around 1898. This alone creates an unexplained anomalous. The legal consequences of laches as committed by DIMSON and their failure to observe the provisions of Rule 39 should. R-15166 in the name of Jose B. 26 of the Maysilo Estate described in Hipolito's certificate of title was not approved by the chief of the Registered Land Division as it appeared to be entirely within Pcs-1828. m. there was nothing for the heirs of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal to convey to Dimson. Dimson supposedly acquired ownership by virtue of the order dated June 13. 994 registered on April 19. 4429 and 4496). However. Libro T-22. 25% of whatever remained of Lots 25-A.43 sq. Annotations at the back of Hipolito's title revealed that Hipolito acquired ownership by virtue of a court order dated October 18. the confirmation of DIMSON's title. if Rivera was already 65 years old in 1963. Dimson had nothing to convey to Hipolito who. Hipolito. 28 and 29 that were undisposed of in the intestate estate of the decedent Maria de la Concepcion Vidal. R-17994 issued in the name of Estelita I. R-17994 was a transfer from TCT No. 4210. descrita en el lote no. therefore. [ 31 ] It can thus be deduced that. 1966. pagina 163. it has an area of 891. vendida a favor de Alejandro Ruiz y Mariano P. 4210 and 4211. Leuterio.50 AM AP-6665/0-994 — Venta: — Queda cancelado el presente Certificado el cuanto a una extencion superficial de 871.

citing the following perceived flaws of TCT Nos. which acquired the properties they laid claim on from Estelita Hipolito who in turn acquired the same from Jose Dimson. 15166. 994 from where its claim emanates. 4429 was issued by the Court of First Instance. which he obtained consequent to the 1977 Order of Judge Sayo. 994 registered on 19 April 1917. CLT had anchored its claim on the strength of Hipolito's title and that of DIMSON's TCT No. these titles of the Manotoks and Araneta reflect. 38 To restate. thus: ISAcHD Let us now examine TCT 26538 and TCT 26539 both in the name of Jose Ma. on one hand. Hipolito's TCT No. Court of Appeals. CLT contends that the Orders of Judge Palma and Judge Sayo are no longer open to attack in view of their finality. Thus. 994 vis-à-vis the inexistent 19 April 1917 OCT No. Hipolito. considering that the land title of CLT carried annotations identical to those of DIMSON and consequently included the defects in DIMSON's title. A. remand proceedings remain damning to CLT's claim of ownership. therefore stand. Remarkably and curiously though. CLT's TCT No. Maysilo Estate. then upheld by the Honorable Court in its Decision dated 28 September 1995 and finally affirmed in the Supreme Court's Decision dated 29 November 2005. issued for Ordinary Land Registration Case. TCT 26539 also shows that it has Decree No. NIÑO. On this basis alone. Caloocan City and designated as "Lot 26. as between the titles of ARANETA and the MANOTOKS and their predecessors-in-interest. As earlier highlighted. We likewise tasked the Special Division to ascertain as well the validity of the titles held by the Manotoks and Araneta. and Record No. 4429. Tracing said claim. the fact that whatever typographical errors were not at anytime cured by subsequent compliance with the administrative requirements or subjected to administrative correction bolsters the invalidity of the CLT title due to its complete and sole dependence on the void DIMSON title. are both 4429. 26538 and 26539. TCT No. CLT insists that the MANOTOKS failed to submit "new" competent evidence and. Nonetheless. In the same vein. However. it maintains that the MANOTOKS cannot use as basis for the validity of their titles the expropriation undertaken by the Government as a means of staking their claims. the titles held by ARANETA and the MANOTOKS must prevail considering that their titles were issued much earlier than the titles of the latter. on the other hand. Decree No. including that of STO. Indubitably. CLT contended that even at the trial court level. as there is no reason to disturb them". T-177013 [ 36 ] located in Malabon. Estelita Hipolito executed a Deed of Sale with Real Estate Mortgage in favor of CLT on 10 December 1988. the title of CLT should also be declared a nullity inasmuch as the nullity of the titles of DIMSON necessarily upended CLT's propriety claims. invalidating the titles of DIMSON. We begin by evaluating the Araneta titles. 15166 was never presented in evidence for purposes of tracing the validity of titles of CLT. Moreover. therefore. titles which had been annulled by the courts below. it maintained that there was only one OCT No. The circumstances called for the need to preserve and protect the integrity of the Torrens system. Rato from where defendant was said to have acquired TCT 13574 and TCT 7784 now TCT 21343 in the name of Araneta and the other documents related thereto: 1) Perusal of TCT 26538 shows that its Decree No. The Special Division quoted the observations of the trial court.547. However. 223677/R-17994 of TCT No. and those of DIMSON. from which Araneta derived its titles. Our findings regarding the titles of Jose Dimson necessarily affect and even invalidate the claims of all persons who seek to derive ownership from the Dimson titles. OCT No. 994 dated 3 May 1917. B. T-177013 shows that its mother titles is OCT No. the trial and appellate courts simply disregarded them. SIcTAC In view of the foregoing disquisitions. Just as much was concluded by the Special Division as it evaluated CLT's claims. 4429 and Record No. "the findings and conclusions of the court-appointed commissioners as adopted by the trial court. It argued that its case against the MANOTOKS. was issued on March . Facially. R-17994 [ 37 ] was cancelled and in lieu thereof. CLT asserts that the properties covered by the MANOTOKS' titles and those covered by the expropriation proceedings did not property pertain to and were different from Lot 26 owned by CLT. [ 35 ] Before this Special Division. dwelling on the alleged flaws of the MANOTOK's titles. particular issues were raised as to the validity of the Manotok and Araneta titles independent of their reliance on the 3 May 1917 OCT No. CLT claims the 891. Province of Isabela (Exhibit I) and Record No. Furthermore. 4429. Consequently. was a transferee of the deceased Dimson who was allegedly the registered owner of the subject land on the basis of TCT No. as their valid mother title. LRC Swo-5268". TCT No. which upheld Dimson's claim over that of Araneta. 15166. was never decided based on the doctrines laid down in Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System v. we cannot give due legal recognition to any and all titles supposedly covering the Maysilo Estate obtained by Dimson upon the authority of either the purported 1966 Order of Judge Muñoz-Palma or the 1977 Order of Judge Sayo.43 square meters of land covered by TCT No. The task of the Special Division was not limited to assessing the claims of the Heirs of Dimson and CLT. the present IV. These include CLT. Lastly. 994. 33 The Court thus adopts these findings of the Special Division on the validity of Jose Dimson's titles. Court of Appeals [ 34 ] and Heirs of Gonzaga v.All these significant facts were conveniently brushed aside by the trial and appellate courts. By virtue of this transfer. on the other. DEIHAa For its part. R-17994.

2) TCT No. Province of Isabela and issued in Laguna. Entry No. thus: As for the proprietary claim of ARANETA. Said entry was also entered on TCT 26539. but the document. that when Philippine Land Improvement was allegedly given a special power of attorney by Jose Ma.) How then could TCT No. 8) The sale by Jose Ma. 994 dated 3 May 1917. Incorporated covering parcel of land canceling said title (TCT 26539) and TCT 6196 was issued (. 16-A and 16-N David & Santos) 9) In the encumbrances annotated at the back of TCT 26539 (Exhibit 4-defendant) there appears under entry No. The documentary exhibits it proffered traced its certificates of title to OCT No. 55 of Land Registration Act (Act No. Laguna (Exhibit 8.90 was cancelled by TCT 7784 with an area of only 390. unless the owner's duplicate certificate is presented for such endorsement. That was never explained. . 4429 and Record No. Verily. 450 T6196 Victoneta. From the titles submitted. Rato. which were issued in Court of First Instance.) which could have referred to the Deed (sic) of Sale and Mortgage of 8-23-47 (Exhibit 5-defendant) entered before Entry 5170 T-8692 Convenio Philippine Land Improvement Company. no new certificate of title shall be entered.m. to ascertain the legitimacy of the derivative title of ARANETA. 4429. when the registration of the document entitled Novation of Contract. its predecessor-ininterest was Jose Ma. for according to witness Zacarias Quintan. Rato with an area of 593. 1947 (Exhibit M) does not appear. M). respectively. 26539 in the name of Jose Ma.00 invested by Jose Ma. 53 of Presidential Decree No. and Date of Inscription: 9-21-29. So.31. one of the co-heirs named in OCT No. Deed of Sale & Mortgage (Exhibit M) was suspended/denied (Exhibit N) and no title was received by the Register of Deeds of Pasig at the time the said document was filed in the said Office on March 4. both cancel 21857 which was never presented in Court if only to have a clear tracing back of the titles of defendant Araneta. Rato are not annotated in the Original Certificate of Title 994. 4) TCT 26538 and 26538 and TCT 26539 both in the name of Jose Ma. 26539 both have Decree No. where they were said to have originated. it asseverates that these were unfounded and thus. IDASHa 6) How come TCT 26538 of Jose Ma. 1911 in CLR No. 5 defendant) and the Novation of Contract. the said Philippine Land Improvement Company has not yet been duly registered. Rato in favor of defendant Araneta is not reflected on the Memorandum of Encumbrances of TCT 26538 (Exhibit 7-defendant) meaning that TCT 26538 still exists and intact except for the encumbrances annotated in the Memorandum of Encumbrances affecting the said title (Exhibits 16. 496) now Sec. labored to refute all of them. the origin and authenticity of the title of RATO need to be reassessed. ARANETA further expounded on the nullity of the Palma and Sayo Orders which was the basis of DIMSON's titles. Rato to represent him in the execution of the said two (2) documents. in pursuance of any deed or other voluntary instrument. [ 41 ] For this reason. 5) If the subject matter of the Deed of Sale & Mortgage (Exhibit 5 defendant) is TCT 26539. 1925 was only registered and was stamped received by the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission only April 29. Deed of Sale and Mortgage executed on November 13. . We adopt in full the following factual findings of the Special Division.606. attesting to RATO's share on the property. [ 39 ] 40 The Special Division then proceeded to analyze these factual contentions. The Court also wonders why it would seem that all the documents presented by defendant Araneta are not in possession of said defendant. IcaEDC Entry marked Exhibit 16-J-1 on TCT 26538 shows only the extent of the value of P42. 7) How was defendant Araneta able to have TCT 7784 issued in its name. 8-A Bartolome Rivera et al. 1947 (Exh. who was allotted the share of nine and five hundred twelve one thousandths (9-512/1000) percent share of the Maysilo Estate. 994.282 sq. Novation of Contract. 3) The Escritura de Incorporacion de Philippine Land Improvement Company (Exhibit I) executed on April 8. his knowledge of the land now in possession of defendant Araneta was acquired by him from all its documents marked in evidence which were obtained only lately when they needed for presentation before this Court. it maintains that it has established by direct evidence that its titles were validly derived from OCT No. Rato in the Philippine Land Improvement Company. 26538 and TCT No. no memorandum shall be made upon any certificate of title by the register of deeds. 994 registered on 3 May 1917. 26538 and TCT No. 12343/O-994 of the . Rato y Tuazon ["RATO"].000. and ultimately concluded that the Araneta claim to title was wholly valid. with Date of Instrument: 1-10-29. Under Sec. 1947 (Exh. 5898. 1953 when the Deed of Sale & Mortgage was executed on August 23. In TCT 26838 this Entry 5170 T-8692 Convenio Philippine Land Improvement Company (Exhibit 16-J-1) appears. Deed of Sale & Mortgage dated November 13. why is it that TCT 13574 of defendant Araneta cancels TCT 6196 instead of TCT 26539. 1529. 1948 (Exhibit N and N-1). the real estate officer of the said defendant Araneta since 1970. With regard to the imputed flaws. TCT 6196 was not even presented in Court.

TCT No. It covers Lot No. 1924.606. 7784. TCT No. "Hacienda de Maysilo". being a portion of Lot 25-A-3-C. 13574. [ 56 ] On 4 March 1948. ASCTac Date of Instrument — Julio 28.90 square meters.90 metro Cuadrados mas o menos descrita en el Lote No. records the following: In accordance with the decree. CAcIES As shown on its face. SGD. 1949 at 11:00 a. TCT No.R. 25-A-3. 16086/T-No. 21857 was cancelled by TCT No. of 1949 of Notary Public for Manila. [ 54 ] TCT No. 994 registered on 3 May 1917. 8692 [ 43 ] which covers "Lote No. 26538 [ 55 ] in turn showed on its face that it covers a parcel of land designated as Section 1 of subdivision plan Psd-10114 being a portion of Lot 25-A-3-C having an area of 592. Later. 6196 is the following: "Entry No. RATO was issued on 1 August 1924.m. an virtud del auto dictado por el Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Riza. 13574 — SALE in favor of the ARANETA INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE. plano Psu-(not legible). being a portion of Lot No. Date of Instrument — May 18. 1 9 2 4 " [ 4 2 ] Focusing on TCT No. 26538 was cancelled by TCT No. 26539 [ 50 ] which were both issued in the name of Jose Ma.m.L.872 square meters. 6196 [ 52 ] whose registered owner appears to be a certain Victoneta. Register of deeds A g o s t o 1 9 . 25-A3.90) mas o menos". 16086/T-No. "12343/O-994 — Auto: Jose Rato y Tuason — Queda cancelado el presente seartificado en cuanto a una estension superficial de 1. 2 of the subdivision plan Psd-10114.405. .725." [ 44 ] The parcel of land covers an approximate area of "UN MILLION CUATROCIENTOS CINCO MIL SETECIENTOS VEINTICINCO metros cuadrados con NOVENTA decimetros cuadrados (1. this certificate of title issued in RATO's name. which was issued in favor of Araneta Institute of Agriculture. 25 A-3-C of subdivision plan Psd-6589. S. the certificate of title showed that it covered a parcel of land designated as Section No. and its mother title were traced from OCT No.405. Thereafter. This parcel of land has an area of 581. G. With respect to TCT No. 14517. 25 A3 del plano del subdivision. page 98. .872 square meters designated as section No. parte del Lote No. On its face. folio 492 del Tomo T-35 del Libro de Certicadads de Transferencia. 21857. 2 of subdivision plan Psd-10114. Consequently. 26539 was cancelled by TCT No. [ 45 ] the parcel of land covered under this certificate of title was subdivided into five (5) lots under subdivision plan Psd-6599 as per Order of the court of First Instance of Rizal. 21855. TCT No. 1024 — 10:19 a. TCT No. 13574 of TCT No.Owner's Duplicate Copy of OCT No. . . It has an aggregate area of 581. No. Inc. Book II. Biñas). 994 registered on 3 May 1917. Rato y Tuazon on 17 September 1934. 6196 issued on 18 October 1947 in the name of Victoneta. Book T345 in the name of the vendee. TCT No.O Record No. 21858 and 21859 were issued. 26539. As reflected under Entry No. 994. TCT No. 2 of subdivision plan Psd-10114. 21856. [ 46 ] cancelled TCT No. vendee: Conveying the property described in this certificate of title which is hereby cancelled and issuing in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title No. [ 53 ] It covers a parcel of land designated as section No. 1949 Date of the Inscription — May 30. Date of Inscription — Agosto 1. GLICERIO OPINION. .872 square meters. On the other hand. appearing under Entry No. 7784 covers four (4) parcels of land with an aggregate . 25-A. de fecha 28 de Julio de 1924. and in lieu thereof. being a portion of Lot 25-A-3-C. y que en au lugar se had expedido el Certificados de Titulo No. TCT No. Provincia del Rizal . 21857. 149. Inc. 26538 [ 49 ] and TCT No. [ 51 ] Thereafter. 8692.725. situado en el Munisipio de Caloocan. [ 48 ] was a derivative of OCT No. being a portion of Lot 25-A-3-C having an approximate area of 581. TCT Nos. (Doc. T-8692. 21857 issued on 23 May 1932. page 74. 8692 [ 47 ] with respect to the property it covers. TCT No. 6196 was cancelled. Hospicio B. 13574 was issued in favor of Araneta Institute of Agriculture on 20 May 1949. 4429.

21857. To the mind of this Court.R. His evidence of ownership is reflected on TCT No. Further subdividing the property.R. 4429. In all his certificates of title.O. it would appear that the evidence presented ultimately shows a direct link of TCT Nos. 21343. for reasons unknown. ARANETA insisted that the same was a mere typographical error and did not have any effect on the validity of their title. The sea of suspicion has no shore. 25-A-3. It further contended that the number "4429" was the case number of Decree No. whether original or certified true copy thereof. 4429 with an approximate area of 333. 994 shows an entry. specifically. 994 specifically recorded the issuance of TCT No. [ 58 ] As per attachment of ARANETA in its Answer dated 6 March 1980 filed in Civil Case No. 4429 and Record No. by itself.R. [ 60 ] The strongest suspicion cannot sway judgment or overcome the presumption of regularity. said titles deserve validation. 994 from which said titles had supposedly originated. 994. 26539 in Rato's name refer to Decree No. [ 62 ] acknowledged that certain defects on a certificate of title. 41883 that TCT No. 26538 and 26539 but TCT No. Record No. they not being the preceding titles. a mere copy of TCT No. invalidate the titles of ARANETA's predecessors-in-interest and ultimately. 8692 over Lot No. ARANETA had shown that RATO. In such cases. 31 March 1911 in CLR No. 5898 of Laguna. 26539 in the name of RATO had not been annotated on OCT No. RATO held title to these parcels of land even after its subdivision in the 1930's. 8692 issued on 1 August 1924. Inc. the properties. Suffice it to state. in Encinas v. 26538 and TCT No. SP No. In fact. these two certificates of title could not have been annotated on OCT No. as basis of their issuance. Explaining this discrepancy. and later TCT Nos. Under the guidelines set. TCT Nos. 21857. we shall now proceed to evaluate the imputed flaws which had been the previous bases of the trial court in invalidating ARANETA's titles. was assigned Lot No. 4429 refers to a decree issued by the CFI of Isabela while Record No. Fraud is never presumed but must be established by clear and convincing evidence. National Bookstore. It was also opined that TCT No. 8050. [ 61 ] cDCHaS The Supreme Court. 994 with respect to this subject lot were not TCT Nos. For purposes of tracing ARANETA's titles to Oct No. 26538 and TCT No. covered by the subject certificates of title can still be determined with sufficient certainty. as stated on the face of the title. despite the incorrect entries on the title. Entry No. 21343. Malabon. CV No. One of the flaws observed on the titles of ARANETA's predecessor-in-interest was that TCT No. on account of the physical condition of the copy submitted to this Court. This Court finds that the incorrect entry with respect to the Decree and Record Number appearing on the title of ARANETA's predecessor-in-interest cannot. may occur and "it is certainly believable that such variance in the copying of entries could be merely a typographical or clerical error". described as plan Psd-21943. [ 59 ] However. 8692 issued in his name. including those that ultimately passed ownership to ARANETA. Logically therefore. citing with approval the decision of the appellate court. 25 A-3-C. had not been shown to be erroneous or otherwise inconsistent with the source of titles. [ 64 ] On the other hand. the interchanging of numbers. and the court that embarks upon it is without rudder or compass. the designation of the lot as either belonging to or portions of Lot 25A-3 was retained.282 square meters. a copy of TCT No.L. a perusal of OCT No. 994 but were mere derivatives of TCT No. In ARANETA's case. This is being questioned inasmuch as Decree No. G. 25 had been verified to be an offshoot of Decree No. RATO was again issued TCT No. thereby proving identity of the land. [ 65 ] CTDAaE . 994. the incorrect entries alluded to would not have the effect of rendering the previous titles void sans any strong showing of fraudulent or intentional wrongdoing on the part of the person making such entries. what is of utmost importance is that the designation and the technical description of the land. [ 57 ] It would appear from the records of CAG. 12343/O-994 found on the Owner's Duplicate Copy of OCT No. the origin and legitimacy of the proprietary claim of ARANETA had been well substantiated by the evidence on record and on this note. 36455 and was used interchangeably as the record number. At any rate. the technical description in the title should prevail over the record number. was not submitted before this Court. 7784 was eventually cancelled by TCT No. as one of the co-owners of the property covered by OCT NO. In any case. 34819 consolidated with CA-G. which pertains to Jose Ma. 4429 was issued for ordinary Land Registration Case No. More importantly. It should be stressed that what partially cancelled OCT No. still covering Lot No. the entry remains illegible for us to make a definite conclusion. 21343 showed that it covers a parcel of land designated as Lot 6-B of the subdivision plan Psd-24962 being a portion of Lot 6. that of ARANETA. 36455 and are all located in Tinajeros. [ 63 ] Thus. the documentary trail of land titles showed that all of them were derived from OCT No. all the titles pertaining to Lot No. 7784 and 13574 to said mother title. Rato but.377 square meters. 994 registered on 3 May 1917.area of 390. 26538 and 26539 are not even the immediate predecessors of OCT No. 994. 26538 and 26539. aAEHCI In summation. 25-A-3.

DIMSON submitted TCT Nos. However. the Notice merely contained a warning regarding the denial of the registration of the voluntary deed but. [ 67 ] What is more. As pointed out by ARANETA. 21857 and a certified true copy of TCT No. Nonetheless. Rizal. ARANETA's failure to submit TCT No. in no way. the authenticity of said title must be sustained. 26538 before they finally passed on to ARANETA. it could not be expected that the area of TCT No. This is especially true since the notice itself contained a note. 21343 appears to be a mere derivative of TCT No. Exhibit "M-Dimson" relating to TCT No. we will not hasten to declare void TCT No. 7784 and TCT No. thus. Pertinently. However. 7784 considering that the registration of the Novation of Contract. [ 70 ] which are both derivatives of OCT No. "Just Completed". 26538 inasmuch as TCT No. entered into a voluntary agreement with the intention of transferring the ownership of the subject property. did it affect the vested rights of ARANETA to be land. it becomes apparent that the said evidence relied upon was only a private survey conducted by Geodetic Engineer Reggie P. As we see it. the conclusions reached by said geodetic engineer were anchored on unfounded generalizations. said geodetic engineer also failed to adequately explain his observations. relying on Exhibit "N".The other flaws noted on ARANETA's certificates of title pertained to its failure to present TCT Nos. since the subject land had been partially cancelled with respect to the portion disposed of. 21343 had never been put into issue in these proceedings. deed of Sale & Mortgage was suspended/denied and no title was received by the Register of Deeds of Pasig at the time the said document was filed in the said Office on March 4. it still cannot be denied that Rato and ARANETA together with Don Salvador Araneta. 26538. this is not so in the case before us. The trial court. Even assuming that the entire area covered by TCT No. With respect to the difference in the area of more than 200.0000 * square meters between TCT No. 26538 of the alleged sale between RATO and ARANETA. 7784 in favor of ARANETA considering that the same was issued a year later and. (2) entry pertaining to Convenio Philippine Land Improvement Company which was entered way back on 21 August 1929. [ 66 ] SCHTac Scrutinizing Exhibit "K". 26538 had been disposed of. Given that the validity of TCT No. That portion of TCT R-15169 (Jose Dimson) along bearing distance points to 17 to 18 to 19 to 20 to 21 to 1 and 2 shaded in yellow color in the Plan is not covered by TCT 21343 (Araneta)". 6196 marked as Exhibits 5-A1A and 19-A1A. Be that as it may. Naturally. 994 registered on 3 May 1917 and cover parcels of land located in Malabon. 7784 cancelled the former certificate of title to the extent only of Three Hundred Ninety Thousand Two Hundred Eighty Two (390. The fact that the title to the land was subsequently issued free from any notation of the alluded defect creates a reasonable presumption that ARANETA was in fact able to comply with the condition imposed. cannot lend * us to conclude that the conveyance was irregular. Thus. further asserted that ARANETA should not have been issued TCT No. it is apparent that portions of this piece of land had been sold to various individuals before the same were transferred to ARANETA on 4 March 1948. 7784. Another defect cited on ARANETA's title was the absence of any entry on the Memorandum of Encumbrances of TCT No. Besides. on the Memorandum of Encumbrance of TCT No. The trial court further noted that "TCT R-15169 (Jose Dimson) and TCT 26539 (Jose Rato) and TCT 21343 (Araneta) are overlapping each other within Lot 25-A. this fact alone. An anomaly exists if the area covered under the derivative title will be much more than its predecessor-ininterest. 7784 had been preponderantly proven in these proceedings. 26538. the copy of TCT No. explaining the (1) lack of entry with regard to the issuance of TCT No. As we have discussed. 7784 as a consequence of such omission. we find that the trial court failed to consider the several conveyances of portions of TCT No. no conclusion should have been reached regarding the total cancellation of TCT No. 26538 will remain the same at the time of its transfer to ARANETA. Notably also. 21343. Garcia which had not been duly approved by the Bureau of Lands and was based only on photocopies of relevant land titles. these certificates of title reflect different registered owners and designation of the land covered. [ 68 ] From all indications. 1948. 21857. Records also reveal the RTC's observation with regard to Araneta's failure to disprove the result of the plotting made on the subject land (Exhibit K) to the effect that TCT 26538 overlaps 1/2 portion of TCT 15159 and TCT 26539 also overlaps the other 1/2 portion of said TCT R-15169. ARANETA offered in evidence a certified microfilm copy of TCT No. especially so since TCT No. it failed to submit a copy of said TCT No.282) square meters. 26538 [ 69 ] and 21857. shows that the suspension or denial was merely conditional considering that the person seeking registration had give days * within which to correct the defects before final denial thereof. written across the face of the letter. 26538. with the evident intent to discredit and refute the title of ARANETA. registered on 12 June . respectively. approach and manner of plotting the relative positions of the lots. Evidently. Moreover. 6196 and 21343. 26538 submitted to the trial court contained entries only up to the year 1947. A perusal of Exhibit "N" submitted before the trial court.

The Special Division also correctly considered that the trial court had failed to take into account the several conveyances of TCT No.O.'s reconstituted title bears the same number as the title of another parcel of land. 8692 covers two parcels of land designated as Lot Nos. It was issued to Gregorio Araneta. the same only proves that Philippine Land Improvement Company was not yet registered and this does not go as far as proving the existence or non-existence of the company at which time it was executed. pertaining to TCT No. in the case of Alonso v. The imputed overlap of TCT No. Incorporated on 7 May 1948. 46118. This came about because under General Land Registration Office (GLRO) Circular No.R. 4429 in some of the antecedent titles of Araneta 76 as mere clerical errors that could not have invalidated said titles. 4429. 75 There is no question that the Araneta titles were derived from OCT No. Block 14 of the subdivision plan Psd-5254 being a portion of Lot No. the Supreme Court elucidated as follows: "On the question that TCT No. [ 74 ] In any case. "4429" being the case number of Decree No. the reference to Decree No. we find the objections unwarranted considering that certified true copies or certified microfilm copies of Exhibits 4A1A to 7-A1A had been submitted by ARANETA in these proceedings. . Rato to represent him in the execution of the deed of conveyances. the Special Division . the titles issued before the inauguration of the Philippine Republic were numbered consecutively and the titles issued after the inauguration were numbered also consecutively starting with No. points to one Angela Bautista de Alvarez as the registered owner of a 240 square meter of land designated as Lot No. The alleged absence of any entry on the Memorandum of Encumbrances of TCT No. 14112/T-348 and refers to a certain TCT No. 1946. Block 16 of the consolidation and subdivision plan Pcs-140. This certificate of Title covers a parcel of land described as Lot No. in their Motion for Partial Reconsideration of this Court's Resolution dated 30 October 2008. RT-1310 (T-1151) bears the same number as another title to another land.L. DIMSON objected to the admissibility of Exhibits 4-A1A to 7-A1A on the ground that ARANETA failed to submit the original copies of these certificates of title and contended that the "originals" contain different "contents" from their own Exhibits M. on the alleged non-registration of Philippine Land Improvement Company at the time the special power of attorney was executed by Jose Ma. Lastly. 36455. 4429 and Record No. our task being merely to trace back the parties' claims to OCT No. Needless to state. 19. In effect. 26538 of the sale of the property between Rato and Araneta did not. 26538. the titles issued before the inauguration were duplicated by titles issued after the inauguration of the Philippine Republic . and the designation and the technical description of the land on those titles not having been shown to be erroneous or variant with the source title. [ 72 ] agreeing with the Court of Appeals' dissertation in said case. ruled that there is nothing fraudulent for a certificate of title to bear the same number as another title to another land. 21856. N and Q. 44 of the consolidation Subdivision Plan Pcs-188 with a total area of 3. The Supreme Court. 26538 before it was ultimately transferred to Araneta in 1948. according to the Special Division. it is apparent that no identity of the land could be found.372 square meters. Finally. dated February 19. dated August 5. on the other hand.1952. 1 and 2 of Block No. the objection regarding the non-submission of the "original copy" had not been raised by DIMSON in their Comments/Objections to Consolidated Formal Offer of Evidence (Of Araneta Institute of Agriculture. 7-A1-A. Inc. The Special Division correctly assessed. 1947. and Republic Act No. the company was not precluded to enter into contracts and be bound by them but it will do so at the risk of the adverse effects of non-registration under the law.). Ultimately. 7784 and TCT No. 26539 with the titles held by Dimson was based on a private survey which had not been duly approved by the Bureau of Lands. one of the co-heirs named in OCT No. RD 3. 994 dated 3 May 1917. 30473 on the inscriptions. 6. It has an area of 436 square meters and cancels TCT No. 21. G. it is not for the Heirs of Dimson to rely on the weakness of ARANETA's titles and profit from it. 994 dated 3 May 1917. which explain the difference in area between TCT No. This certificate of title cancelled TCT No. Cebu City Country Club. [ 73 ] The fact that the entries contained in ARANETA's pieces of evidence are different from that of DIMSON's do not automatically make ARANETA's exhibits inferior replications or a confirmation of their falsity. Inc. 26538 and TCT No. 21857 was issued on 30 March 1951 to one Angela I. Rato y Tuazon. EIAScH Exhibit "N-Dimson". Tuason de Perez married to Antonio Perez. Interestingly. 1946. Comparing these titles to those of the ARANETA. 1. we agree with the Court of Appeals that there is nothing fraudulent with the fact that Cebu Country Club. Rather. . 17. On this score. they should have focused on the strength of their own titles since it is not within our office to decide in whose hands the contested lands should go. ." cCaSHA Parenthetically. Inc. Exhibit "Q-Dimson" [ 71 ] consisting of TCT No. Record No. 994. discount the fact that Rato and Araneta entered into a voluntary agreement with the intention of transferring the ownership of the subject property. This certificate of title cancels TCT No. the question of whether the aforesaid certificates of title constitute as clouds on ARANETA's titles are not for this Court to rule upon for purposes of the present remand. which were in force at the time the title was reconstituted on July 26. 26 and Circular No. so that eventually. among others. particularly from the share of Jose Ma.

[ 77 ] The notation reads: "Ap. TCT Nos. [ 80 ] Partitioning the lots among the coowners. Tomo T-168 del libro de transferencias. GARDUNIO. TCT No. GARDUNIO. pertain to properties wholly different from those covered by the Araneta titles. Pagina 164. 6655/O994. and we affirm the same. Libro T-22. The Special Division did not discount the fact that there could have been flaws in some of the intervening titles between the 3 May 1917 OCT No. Leuterio.052. 22. Leuterio. 994. 49034. TCT No. 1918 — 10:50 a. en el Expidiente de intestado del nombrado Francisco J. Fernando Jugo.m. 21. 35486 in the names of Jose Gonzales y Narciso married to Maria P. Inscribed on the "Memorandum of the Incumbrances Affecting the Property Described in this Certificate" was the sale executed in favor of Francisco Gonzales dated 3 March 1920. con (not legible) No. while it . se cancela el presente certificado de tituto y se expide otre a hombre decha Rufina Narciso. folio 86. 6665/O-994-Venta: Queda Cancelado el presente Certificado en cuanto a una extension superficial de 871. Gonzales. 5261 was cancelled by TCT No. 9. aEACcS Appearing on the "Memorandum" of TCT No. [ 82 ] As previously mentioned.) L. Jr. (SGD. It appears that the claim to title of the Manotoks is somewhat more controversial. (SGD." ICASEH The property was later subdivided into seven lots in accordance with subdivision plan Psd-21154. 5261 is NOTA: Ap 2111 which reads as follows: [ 79 ] "A/2111 — Adjudicado el torreno descrito en este certificado de titulo. Gutierrez. Prescilla. the properties covered by TCT Nos.982. 29. The Special Division explained the milieu in full: VALIDITY OF THE MANOTOK TITLES The notation under Entry No. Juana Francisco Gonzales y Narciso married to Fortunato de Leon. Francisco Felipe Gonzales y Narciso married to Pilar Narciso. Consuelo Susana Gonzales y Narciso married to Alfonso D. and Concepcion Andrea Gonzales y Narciso married to Melquiades M.93 Metros cuadrados y 16. Register of Deeds" As a result. There is no cause to dispute the factual findings and conclusions of the Special Division on the validity of the Araneta titles. Habida entre la misma y el finado Francisco J. 26. 26 vendida a favor de Alejandro Ruis y Mariano P. However. Date of Instrument — Aug. a cuenta de la participacion de osia esta en (not legible) los tienes de la eseledad de genanciales.00 metros cuadrados.noted that the titles derived from OCT No. Pagina 163.m. el primar casado con Diogracias Quinones y el Segundo con Josefa Garcia y se be expedido el Certificado de Titulo No. 35486 was eventually cancelled and in lieu thereof six (6) certificates of titles were individually issued [ 81 ] to Francisco Gonzales's six (6) children. TCT No. Register of Deeds" "Ap. specifically. shows that Lot No. Libro T-No. which Dimson had submitted as evidence to discredit the Araneta claim. a Rufina Narciso Vda. Maria Clara Gonzales y Narciso married to Delfin Hilario. 5261 was issued in the name of Francisco Gonzales. HEIcDT B. found on page 17 of OCT 994 of the Owner's Duplicate Copy. Registrado de Titulos. 994 and the present titles of the Manotoks. 5261 which was issued in the name of Francisco Gonzales.512. Virata. descrita en el Lote No. 13681373 while TCT No.) TEODORO GONZALES. 26 had been a subject of sale in favor of Alejandro Ruiz and Mariano P. Eighteen (18) lots were obtained by MRI from the years 1965 to 1974. per una orden del Hon. the significant event was the expropriation proceedings undertaken by the Republic of the Philippines sometime in 1947.50 metros Cuadrados y descrita en el Lote No. dienada el 20 de Septiembre de 19 (not legible).) L. 6655/O-994 — Venta: Queda Cancelado el presente Certificado en cuanto a una extension superficial de 3. 1368-1374 were expropriated by the Republic of the Philippines and were eventually subdivided and sold to various vendees. Thus. vendida a favor de Alejandro Ruiz y Mariano P. archivando se la copia de dicha orden da que se ha heche referencia en al Legajo T-No. Juez del Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Manila Sala II. At least some of the titles in the name of the Manotoks were sourced from the titles issued to and subsequently distributed by the Republic. Leuterio. 9. (SGD. TCT No. el primar casado con Deogracias Quinones y el Segundo con Josefa Garcia y se be expedido el Certificado de Titulo No. 1374 was issued in favor of all the children. 35486. on 6 April 1920. 1918 Date of Inscription — Sept. 1918 Date of Inscription — Sept. Date of the Instrument — Aug. No. 1918 — 10:50 a. Gonzales. 4211. 35486. [ 78 ] On 22 August 1938. 4211 was cancelled by TCT No. de Gonzales. 4210.

7792/T-39 but there is no showing whether the same . who was issued TCT No. the latter being the registered owner of TCT No.876 square meters. [ 88 ] 5) TCT No.276 square meters Custodio was in turn a transferee of Lorenzo Caina. 21484. ["JACINTOS"]. MRI acquired the same by virtue of sale between him and Francisco Custodio. 6277/T-21485. 26405 [ 92 ] and 26406.557 square meters. thereby transferring ownership to MRI. The certificate of title covers Lot 20 with an approximate area of 25. 8013 was registered and what certificate of title it cancelled.988 square meters. 21485 was issued to MRI by virtue of sale between it and Francisco Custodio. 21 and has an approximate area of 23. et al. MEC acquired from PhilVille Development Housing Corporation Lot No. 7762. 232568 was issued on 9 May 1991. MRI's certificate of title was derived from TCT No. covering Lot 1-C. 9853. it would appear that portions of the property covered under TCT No. registered owner of TCT No. 19-B by virtue of Deed of Exchange executed in its favor for which. [ 89 ] 6) TCT No. 8017 of Filemon Custodio by virtue of sale between the latter and MRI. [ 91 ] 7) TCT Nos. [ 86 ] This certificate of title was traced from one Filemon Custodio who held TCT No. registered owner of TCT No. 8013/T41 but there is no showing in whose name TCT No. 8014 and 8015 issued in the name of Filemon Custodio [ 94 ] Both TCT Nos. 36657-62 registered in the name of the Republic of the Philippines. interposed no objections subject to the payment of just compensation. However. 165119 in 1988. 33904 [ 96 ] of MRI cancelled TCT No. 21485 and TCT No. 7760 by virtue of sale between him and then People's Homesite and Housing Corporation ["PHHC"]. 36557-63 of the Republic. 36657-63. 36557-63 of the Republic. 8404 by virtue of sale between the two. a transferee of Jose Dionisio. TCT Nos. 7792/T-39 to the Republic's certificate of titles. 12-1 having an area of 20. before the same were transferred to MRI by reason of sale in favor of the latter. [ 90 ] Under Entry No. was obtained by MRI from one Narcisa Buenaventura. [ 97 ] We note that TCT No. TCT No. 2 of consolidationsubdivision plan (LRC) Pcs1828 which has an area of 4. cancelled TCT Nos. Buenaventura's ownership was evidenced by TCT No. Rosalina. 8017 cancelled TCT No. 7528 registered in the name of MRI covers Lot No. EcATDH 8) TCT No. Francisco Custodio was a transferee of Lorenzo Caina. On the other hand. 8014 and 8015 cancelled TCT 7792/T39. Lucila. Dionisio's title in turn cancelled the Republic's TCT No. [ 84 ] deriving the same from TCT No. 9854 registered in the name of Filemon Custodio. holder of TCT No. The Parcel of land has an approximate area of 2. 9866 issued to MRI covers Lot No. 232568 had been subject of an expropriation proceedings to which the Manotok Estate Corporation. MRI purchased this lot from one Basilio Caina who was issued TCT No. Felix and Emilia all surnamed Jacinto. it would show that it cancelled TCT No. 21040.000 square meters. 7792. 21039 as evidenced by a Deed of Sale between Caina and the PHHC. 7526 which cancelled TCT Nos.979 square meters. respectively.acquired the lot covered by TCT No. 21107 issued to MRI covers Lot 22 with an approximate area of 2. the latter's certificate of title canceling TCT No. [ 87 ] SADECI 4) TCT No. 8404. 9) TCT No. Custodio was in turn a transferee of Guillermo Rivera. 9773 and 9774. 7525. The 20 certificates of titles were traced by the MANOTOKS. The latter title eventually cancelled TCT No. [ 83 ] 2) TCT No. for purposes of tracing TCT No. [ 85 ] 3) TCT No. 21013 by reason of sale between him and PHHC. this certificate of title was not submitted in evidence. 36657-63. 9773 and 9774 were registered in the names of Romulo. as follows: 1) TCT No. [ 93 ] both registered in the name of MRI. 26407 [ 95 ] issued to MRI was traced back to the title of Lourdes Mercado Cloribel who was the registered owner of TCT No. the latter having been issued TCT No. 8012 in the name of MRI covers Lot No. On the fact of TCT No. The JACINTOS' certificates of title were in turn derived from TCT Nos.

Ricardo Cruz (941 square meters) and Jesus Hipona (4. 53268 of MRI covered Lot No.650 square meters). after the same was subdivided into two lots. TCT No. TCT No. 53122 in turn cancelled TCT No. 25146 cancelled TCT No.650 square meters). It would appear that TCT No. Caloocan City. This certificate of title cancelled TCT No. 53123 in turn cancelled TCT No.531 square meters.850 square meters. (36557) 12836 to (36563) 12842. Lot Nos. 15) TCT No. [ 105 ] Again. [ 98 ] 11) TCT No. This certificate of title cancels TCT No. 21346 cancelled TCT No. TCT No. 34255.750 square meters). 5-C of subdivision plan (LRC) psd315272 which has an approximate area of 4. This certificate of title cancelled TCT No. 21350/T-107 but the records are bereft of any indication what certificate of title it cancelled and to whom the same was registered. 21315 was registered and what certificate of title it cancelled. Spouses Priscila and Antonio Sebastian and Jose Madulid. TCT No. [ 106 ] 16) TCT No. [ 102 ] It would appear that TCT No. namely. covering Lot 56-B of subdivision plan (LRC) Psd292683 with an approximate area of 9. 53122 in the names of MRI (19. Villacorta in turn acquired the same land from one Eufrocina Mackay whose TCT No. 21316 but there is no trace of this latter certificate of title.000 square meters). T-121428.000 square meters). 53124 cancelled TCT No. aCcEHS 17) TCT No. Branch XII and as per agreement of the parties in Civil Case No. C-17234 registered in the names of MRI (27. also registered in the name of MRI. Roberto David and Madulid thereby subdividing the property into Lots 6-A. Notably. registered in the name of MRI covers Lot No. 11-Bm. 25145 registered in the name of Quirino Labing-isa by virtue of sale in favor of MRI. [ 103 ] cIECaS 14) TCT No. David (3. 163902. 25146. also registered in the name of MRI.707 square meters.000 square meters) under TCT No.531 square meters) and Silvestre Domingo (1. C-17272 reflects MRI as the registered owner of Lot 6-C which has an approximate area of 27. [ 100 ] 12) TCT No. C-35267. MRI's certificate of title cancelled TCT No. we note that TCT No. 21346 whose registered owners were Conchita Umali (1. was a by-product of TCT No. Psd-75797 with an area of 11.000 square meters. 7827 cancelled TCT No. 53123 by order of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. 21545 cancelled TCT Nos. 41956 which covers Lot 55.531 square meters) and one Silvestre Domingo (1. Ricardo Cruz (941 square meters) and Conchita Umali (1. 21347 cancelled TCT No. registered in the name of .could be traced back to the Republic's certificates of title. 21347 registered in the names of Jesus Hipona (19. It would appear that MRI acquired the lot covered under TCT No. 55897 shows MRI as the registered owner of Lot 3 of the consolidationsubdivision plan (LRC) Pcs1828 of the Maysilo Estate covering an area of more or less 20.650 square meters. 7826/T-40 but there is no trace to whom the latter title was registered and what certificate of title it cancelled. reflects MRI as the registered owner.910 square meters. In turn. 15. Villacorta who held TCT No. 10) TCT No. 41956 from one Joaquin Caina who was the registered owner of TCT No. 25715 being a vendee of PHHC. TCT No. 56-A and 56-B. Roberto S. 7827 was eventually cancelled by Villacorta's land title. 6-B and 6-C as per subdivision plan (LRC) Psd-277091. 21315/T-107 but there is no indication to whom TCT No. 53124 registered in the names of MRI.0000 * square meters) and Jose Madulid (500 square meters). [ 101 ] which was purchased by MRI from one Maria V. 13) TCT No. C-17234 cancelled TCT No. It was previously registered in the names of MRI (4.000 square meters). covering Lot No. [ 104 ] MRI also submitted in evidence a Deed of Partition between itself. [ 107 ] Like some of the other titles. 254875 [ 99 ] bears MRI as the registered owner of Lot 55-A with an area of approximately 1. 53155. C-424. TCT No. 36557-63 of the Republic.

994. 118 In annulling the Manotok titles. TCT No. 539 for resale to tenants is beyond question. NHA: 114 "In an rem proceeding. were all traced to OCT No. 19-B of subdivision plan Psd13011152 with an area of 23. condemnation proceedings provide a judicial process for securing better title against all the world than may be obtained by voluntary conveyance". for titles acquired by the State by way of expropriation are deemed cleansed of whatever previous flaws may have attended these titles. in turn. Jose Leon Gonzales. either by the exercise of eminent domain or by purchase. Thus. v. Jose Leon Gonzales. et al. 18) TCT No. Supreme Court in U.354 square meters and a by-product of TCT No. condemnation acts upon the property.S. 8846/T-45 but this latter certificate of title was not submitted in evidence for purposes of tracing back to the Republic's title. also in the name of MRI. 4211 issued in September of 1918.S. the titles of the Republic. TCT No. After condemnation. covers Lot No. covering Lot No. As Justice Vitug explained in Republic v. Carmack 117 that "[b]y giving notice to all claimants to a disputed title. some of the MANOTOKS' titles can be traced back to the Government's titles as a result of the expropriation in 1947. MRI had successfully traced back some of their certificates of title to the valid OCT No. TCT No. the alleged flaws concerning the certificates of title issued previous to the exercise of the State of its inherent power did not affect or render invalid the subsequent transfers after the forced sale. 119 . the paramount title is in the public under a new and independent title. 195730/T-974 but there is no trace what certificate of title the latter title cancelled. Court of Appeals. condemnation proceedings provide a judicial process for securing better title against all the world than may be obtained by voluntary conveyance". 112 The fact of expropriation is extremely significant. Supreme Court Justice) Stephen Breyer in Cadorette v. cancelled TCT No. 165119 [ 109 ] was issued to MRI by virtue of a Deed of Sale between Spouses Francisca Labing-isa and Juan Ignacio [SPOUSES IGNACIO] and MRI. 8894 cancelled TCT No. 9022. Without doubt. 113 and then Associate Justice (now Chief Justice) Puno reiterated in Reyes v. paragraph "r" of the Majority Report noted that the seven properties covered by TCT Nos. 994 registered on 3 May 1917. including their derivative titles. The fact that these lots were subjected to expropriation proceedings sometime in 1947 under Commonwealth Act No. 197357 cancelled TCT No. Custodio whose ownership thereon was transferred to MRI by virtue of a voluntary sale. 197357. and the public use may be abandoned. [ 110 ] It would appear that TCT No. 115 This doctrine was derived from the opinion of then Chief Judge (now U. as also enunciated by the Supreme Court in Republic of the Philippines vs. 19) TCT No. are presumed valid by virtue of their acquisition resulting from the exercise of its inherent power of eminent domain that need not be granted even by the fundamental law. without any impairment of the estate or title acquired or any reversion to the former owner. C36960 of the SPOUSES IGNACIO was cancelled. was derived from the certificate of title held by PhilVille Development and Housing Corporation under TCT No. 35266/T-173 was not submitted in evidence.. the validity of most of MRI's certificates of title should be upheld because they were derived from the Republic's valid certificates of title.MRI. 35266/T-173 but TCT No. [ 111 ] TCT No. by giving notice to all claimants to a disputed title.206 square meters. U. any and all defects that may have attended that particular title would have been purged when the property covered by it was subsequently acquired by the State through eminent domain. as also enunciated by the Supreme Court in Republic of the Philippines v. or the land may be devoted to a different use. Likewise.S. 8994/T-45 registered in the name of Filemon S. Indeed. they having acquired the lots from some of the vendees of the PHHC after the same were expropriated by the Republic from the Gonzalezes. Relevantly. as a result of which. focus was laid on the alleged defects of TCT No. The Special Division noted as much: DcTAIH As it is. when land has been acquired for public use in fee simple unconditionally. To bolster this fact. as the predecessor-in-interest of the MANOTOKS. By and large. they declared all the lots covered by such titles for taxation purposes. 1368 to 1374 were expropriated by the Republic from the Gonzalezes. the former owner retains no rights in the land. [ 108 ] TCT No. 1368 to 1374 were expropriated by the People's Homesite and Housing Corporation which were later consolidated and subdivided into 77 lots for resale to tenants. 4211 was issued decades before the property was expropriated. 539 for resale to tenants is beyond question. No sign of protest was ever raised by CLT on this point.S. TCcSDE The fact that these lots were subjected to expropriation proceedings sometime in 1947 under Commonwealth Act No. 4-B-2 and has an area of more or less 6. In fact. 9022. MEC acquired the subject parcel of land by virtue of Deed of Exchange between it and PHILVILLE DATED 9 May 1991. T-232568 of the Manotok Estate Corporation. all the certificates of title submitted by the MANOTOKS. C-39690 cancelled TCT No. thus. paragraph "r" of the Majority Report noted that the seven properties covered by TCT Nos. To bolster this fact. et al. However. 116 which in turn cited the pronouncement of the U. Thus. after the same was subdivided under subdivision plan (LRC) Psd-334454.

the deductions with regard to the technical infirmities and defects of TCT Nos. 120 The Special Division. The Special Division supplied the following precise and concise summary of its conclusions: In précis. Specifically. 26407. absence of subdivision plan. the MANOTOKS and ARANETA. 4211. No flaw had been specifically identified or established in the proceedings below. we find that the bases of the alleged defects proceeded from unreliable sources thus. 26 of the Maysilo Estate presently titled in the name of the plaintiff. [ 121 ] ACTIcS Scrutinizing the Majority Report upon which the trial court's conclusions were based. the majority report focused on the alleged flaws and inherent technical defects of TCT Nos. 994 registered on 3 May 1917. the Special Division was not prepared to uphold the validity of all of the Manotok titles. to wit: "xxx xxx xxx These issues to be resolved by the 3 Commissioners are as follows: 1) Whether or not the property covered by the Transfer Certificates of Title of defendants pertain to or involve Lot No. To wit: In meeting the issue. which would taint the titles held by the MANOTOKS in so far as the regularity of their issuance is concerned. [ 123 ] Otherwise stated. it would appear that the findings therein were outside the scope of the issues framed and agreed upon by the parties. It took issue with the particular titles which could not be retraced to the titles acquired by the Republic of the Philippines by way of expropriation. there are. Moreover. and not 19 April 1917. C17272. the imputed flaws affect only those certificates of title issued prior to those registered in the name of the Republic. 4211. 4211. 35486. With respect to the imputed flaws on the MANOTOKS' titles which were based on the Majority Report. In fact. 165119 and MEC's TCT No. as what is reflected in their titles. T-232568. both of which had consistently anchored their proprietary claims on OCT No. however. 124 At the same time. been able to support their .The Special Division also took exception to the majority report of the Commissioners (Majority Report) who had been tasked by the trial court to examine the validity of the Manotok titles. the MANOTOKS disproved the "opinion" with regard to the alleged defects of their titles inasmuch as the majority report submitted before the trial court was made outside the scope of the tasks which the trial court confined them to perform. 4210. ranging from the language of the technical descriptions. tainting the veracity of the said report. MRI's TCT Nos. 55897. 5261 and 35486 do not involve the question of whether or not the subject properties were identified as Lot No. lot number and survey plan. the Commissioners who signed the majority report even concluded that only TCT Nos. They insisted that the Palma Order was a void one for being conditional and having resulted to the issuance of "duplicate certificates of land title". 163903. 5261 and 35486. 125 TaSEHD V. 53268. Remarkably. and 2) Whether or not the property covered by the title of the plaintiff and the property covered by the titles of the defendants overlap. Evidently. The records of the case between CLT and the MANOTOKS reveal that the parties approved the creation of a commission to resolve only these two issues. 4210. the MANOTOKS failed to make any specific reference to the preceding certificates of title which they cancelled and to whose names they were subsequently transferred and registered. 26 of the Maysilo estate or whether there was overlapping of titles. some certificates of title which could not be traced back to the titles previously held by the Republic specifically. however. in this remand proceeding. Records bear out that the MANOTOKS took exception to the procedure taken citing therein the "ultra vires" acts of the two Commissioners. 33904. The Majority Report had arrived at several conclusions with respect to the TCTs from which the Manotok titles were derived. Although the MANOTOKS had traced their title from the vendees of PHHC. the MANOTOKS further maintained that CLT failed to submit any factual or legal bases to prove the authenticity and validity of the Palma and Sayo Orders. T-121428. we find no sufficient basis to make a conclusion as to their origins. Thus. 26405 and 26406. these defects go only as far as the certificates of title issued prior to those of the Republic. As to these certificates of title. have. concluded that such report was in fact tainted by the fact that it was determined "outside the scope of the issues framed and agreed upon by the parties". 1368 thru 1324 (sic) [ 122 ] were irregularly and questionably issued without any reference to the MANOTOKS' certificates of title. 5261. CLT failed to introduce evidence of such flaws neither were the concerned geodetic engineers presented as witnesses. no specific flaw was found on the MANOTOKS' titles indicating any irregularity on their issuance. the factual milieu of the present controversy and the evidence on record clearly establish the failure of DIMSON and CLT to substantiate their titles and overcome the onus of proving that said titles are derivatives of OCT 994 registered on 3 May 1917. In addition. In contrast. The MANOTOKS also argued that before this proceeding on remand.

DIMSON and CLT on one hand. For reasons above-stated and in view of the established rights of ownership of both the MANOTOKS and ARANETA over the contested properties. it cannot be gainsaid that said certificates of title have correspondingly been subjected to dispute on the basis of separate and distinct imputed flaws. 3. the flaws attending the titles of DIMSON and CLT primarily stem from infirmities attending or otherwise affecting the very crux of their claim of ownership. had been well substantiated and proven to be superior to that of DIMSON. As stated.claims of ownership over the respective portions of the Maysilo Estate. the crucial difference between the imputed flaws allegedly tainting said contending titles. having been traced back to OCT 994 dated 19 April 1917. HSIDTE Answering the issues assigned by the Supreme Court relative to the tenability of the respective imputed flaws in the titles of the MANOTOKS and ARANETA and whether such flaws are sufficient to defeat said claims. On the other hand. OCT 994 which reflects the date of 19 April 1917 as its registration date is null and void. In view thereof and in addition to other grounds we have already discussed. The 13 June 1966 Palma Order and the 18 October 1977 Sayo Order. Said imputed flaws do not depart from the fact that the predecessors-ininterest of the MANOTOKS and ARANETA had been clothed with the right of ownership over the disputed portions of the Maysilo Estate. this Court arrived at the following conclusions as to the status of the original title and its subsequent conveyances: 1. we find that the imputed flaws on their titles cannot defeat the valid claims of the MANOTOKS and ARANETA over the disputed portions of the Maysilo Estate. CLT. By reason of which. on the other. While the existence of said Orders are admitted. do not substantiate their proprietary claims. DIMSON and CLT miserably failed to overcome their onus and instead opted to hap on the supposed flaws of the adverse parties. aSDCIE xxx xxx xxx From the foregoing evaluation and in conformity with the Supreme Court 2007 Resolution. and the MANOTOKS and ARANETA. the registration date of which had already been decisively settled as 3 May 1917 and not 19 April 1917. 2. were expropriated by the Republic of the Philippines sometime in 1947 under Commonwealth Act No. 4. Such flaws are hard to overcome as they delve into the substance of their proprietary claims. this Court finds that. 994 registered on 3 May 1917 thereby ultimately showing a direct link of TCT Nos. Still. since the respective certificates of title of herein contending parties are contradictory to each other and stand to refute the validity of their opposing titles. The evidence on record confirm that the certificates of title covering the land being claimed by ARANETA were derived from OCT NO. Having derived their titles from RIVERA. the titles of DIMSON and CLT should be declared a nullity. on which DIMSON and CLT anchor the validity of their respective titles. Except in the case of the MANOTOKS which had failed to substantiate the validity of some of their certificates of title. whose title is questionable and dubious to the core. the certificates of title of the deceased Jose Dimson and his successor-in-interest. Portions of Lot No. DIMSON and CLT cannot rightly insist on the validity of their titles. 6. the legal import thereof nonetheless fails to confer a semblance of legality on the titles of DIMSON and consequently. 126 . is that the imputed flaws purportedly beleaguering the respective certificates of title of the MANOTOKS and ARANETA relate to the mechanical and technical aspect of the transcription of their titles and are therefore inconsequential to the import and validity thereof. as discussed above. of CLT. are NULL and VOID and thus vest no legal right or claim in favor of DIMSON and CLT. 26 pertinent to this controversy. such flaws are inconsequential and ineffectual in invalidating the MANOTOKS and ARANETA titles. As categorically declared by the Supreme Court. more so. 7784 and 13574 to said mother title. respectively. 539 for resale to tenants. particularly that being disputed by the MANOTOKS and CLT. a superior right to defeat the titles of the MANOTOKS and ARANETA. thus as successor-in-interest of the Republic. the extent and the origin of their titles. the MANOTOKS and ARANETA presented evidence proving the identity. were able to establish that some of their certificates of title had indeed originated or were derived from said expropriated parcels of land. The MANOTOKS. ADSTCI 5. Significantly. there is only one OCT 994. For these reasons. that is either belonging to or portions of Lot 25-A-3 as previously owned by RATO.

this Court hereby respectfully makes the following recommendations regarding the validity of the conflicting proprietary claims as interposed by the herein contending parties: 1. RECOMMENDATIONS Apropos to said conclusions. 994 dated 19 April 1917 is extant.163 square meters. 128 c) TCT No. C-35267 covering Lot 56-B of subdivision plan (LRC) Psd-292683 with an approximate area of 9.000 square meters. As we earlier stated. 12-B with an area of 1. g) TCT No.287 square meters. We now proceed to tackle the recommendations submitted by the Special Division. 5-C of subdivision plan (LRC) psd315278.650 square meters. T-121428 covering Lot No. C-36960 of the SPOUSES IGNACIO by virtue of a Deed of Sale between said Spouses and MRI. 254875 covering Lot 55-A with an area of approximately 1. MANOTOK ESTATE CORPORATION a) TCT No. 7762 covering Lot 1-C.B). with an approximate area of 2. SEHACI 2.Inasmuch as we agree with the factual findings and evaluation of the Special Division. which has an approximate area of 4.557 square meters. c) TCT No. if any.276 square meters. b) TCT No. g) TCT No. 21 and has an approximate area of 23. h) TCT No. 165119 which allegedly cancelled TCT No. To declare with finality that the certificates of title of DIMSON and CLT including other derivative titles issued to their successors-in-interest. j) TCT No.A.802 square meters. 7528 registered in the name of MRI covers Lot No. 26405 covering Lot No. Custodio. and the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title and not on the weakness of the defendant's claim.000 square meters. d) TCT No. Thus. the burden of evidence was on Dimson and CLT to establish the strength of their respective claims of ownership. cancelled TCT No. The foregoing certificates of title (3. Villacorta with an approximate area of 3. To declare LEGAL and VALID the proprietary claims the MANOTOKS over the parcels of land covered by the following certificates of title: a) TCT No. thus invalidating their legal claims over the subject parcels of land. MANOTOK REALTY INC. C-17272 covering Lot 6-C which has an approximate area of 27. T-232568 covering Lot No. b) TCT No. failing to make specific references to the particular certificates of . 55897 covering Lot 3 of consolidationsubdivision plan (LRC) Pcs1828 of the Maysilo Estate covering an area of more or less 20.531 square meters. 33904 covering Lot No.A and 3.B. the property must be identified.000 square meters.979 square meters. 11-Bm.707 square meters. 19-B of subdivision plan Psd13011152 with an area of 23. Psd-75797 with an area of 11. 8994/T-45 registered in the name of Filemon S. it was incumbent on the Heirs of Dimson and/or CLT to establish their claim to title for reasons other than the fact that OCT No. It should be noted that the instant cases arose from separate actions filed by Jose Dimson and CLT seeking the recovery of possession and/or annulment of title against Araneta and the Manotok Group.0000 * square meters.206 square meters. They are as follows: h) TCT No. The well-settled legal principle in actions for annulment or reconveyance of title is that a party seeking it should establish not merely by a preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence that the land sought to be reconveyed is his. a) TCT No. and not merely to rely upon whatever weaknesses in the claims of the Manotoks and Araneta for their causes of action to prosper.988 square meters. 53268 covering Lot No. 15 purchased by MRI from one Maria V.354 square meters allegedly a by-product of TCT No. 4-B-2 with an area of more or less 6. With regard to the following certificates of title. we likewise adopt the above conclusions. f) TCT No. i) TCT No.850 square meters. 12-E with an area of 1. which in turn. 9022. i) TCT No. 12-F with an area of 1. 21107 covering Lot 22 with an approximate area of 2. 127 In an action to recover. 34255 covering Lot No. 8012 covering Lot No. 12-H with an area of 1. 26407 covering Lot No. 2 of consolidationsubdivision plan (LRC) Pcs1828 which has an area of 4. e) TCT No. are NULL and VOID. namely: ASaTCE 3. f) TCT No. 21485 covering Lot 20 with an approximate area of 25. They failed to do so. 163902 covering Lot No. 26406 covering Lot No. 9866 covering Lot No. 3. e) TCT No.000 square meters. 12-1 having an area of 20.910 square meters. d) TCT No.

such expropriation would have cleansed the titles of the prior flaws. This is in stark contrast with the titles of CLT. But even if the Manotok titles enumerated in the third recommendation could not be sourced from the titles acquired by the Republic through expropriation. the Court deems it sufficient to require the Registers of Deeds concerned to annotate this Resolution on said titles so as to sufficiently notify the public of their unclear status. 2 of consolidationsubdivision plan (LRC) Pcs-1828 which has an area of 4. as determined by the Special Division. Indeed. As stated earlier.979 square meters. 34255 covering Lot No.872 square meters.287 square meters. h) TCT No. f) TCT No. the Manotok titles that were affirmed by the Special Division are traceable to the titles of the Republic and thus have benefited. and certainly the Special Division do not point to any such flaw in these titles. more particularly the inability of the Manotoks to trace the titles without any gap back to OCT No. we are disinclined to take the ultimate step of annulling those titles. sufficiently indicate that they could be traced back to the titles acquired by the Republic when it expropriated portions of the Maysilo Estate in the 1940s. which all advert to an inexistent mother title. 129 The first. If there should be any cause for the annulment of those titles from a proper party's end. c) TCT No.276 square meters. The Special Division concluded that such findings had been reached by the Commissioners in excess of their original mandate and. Nothing on the face of the titles gives cause for the Court to annul the same. thus. Yet.557 square meters. in lieu of annulling the Manotok titles per the Special Division's third recommendation. 4. as they should. 7784 covering four (4) parcels of land with an aggregate area of 390. g) TCT No.000 square meters. which this Court adopts. In addition. then let the proper case be instituted before the appropriate court. 994 issued on 3 May 1917. On their face. 11-Bm. said report having exhaustively listed the perceived flaws in the antecedent TCTs from which the Manotoks derived their claim. Said titles have as their origin what we have acknowledged to be a valid mother title — OCT No.000 square meters. thus invalidating their legal claims over the subject parcels of land. 8012 covering Lot No. with an approximate area of 2. The third recommendation — that eleven (11) of the titles held by the Manotoks be declared null and void or subjected to further technical verification — warrants some analysis. ultra vires. DCSTAH It is worth mentioning that the Special Division refused to adopt the Majority Report earlier rendered in the case between the Manotoks and CLT. 21485 covering Lot 20 with an approximate area of 25. 994 dated 3 May 1917. 7528 registered in the name of MRI covers Lot No. are declared NULL and VOID. On the other hand. still the rejection of the Majority Report signifies that the flaws adverted to therein could not form the basis for the annulment of the titles involved. 254875 covering Lot 55-A with an area of approximately . To declare LEGAL and VALID the title of ARANETA respecting parcels of land covered by the following certificates of title: a) TCT No. Assuming that such flaws were extant. second and fourth recommendations are well taken as they logically arise from the facts and conclusions. may be declared NULL and VOID. 7762 covering Lot 1-C. b) TCT No. 13574 covering a parcel of land designated as Section No. although the Special Division did not concede the same benefit to the other Manotok titles named in the third recommendation. The Court has verified that the titles mentioned in the third recommendation do not. being a portion of Lot 25-A-3-C with an aggregate area of 581. at the same time it did not conclude that such titles were false or fraudulently acquired. However. aETAHD WHEREFORE.383 square meters. the Court is cognizant that the inability to trace the Manotok titles specified in the third recommendation to those titles acquired by the Government through expropriation puts such titles in doubt somehow. Those circumstances. Hence.988 square meters. Absent such a finding. from the cleansing effect the expropriation had on whatever flaws that attached to the previous titles. the Manotok titles do not reflect any error or fraud. the Special Division's rejection of the Majority Report further diminishes any ground to annul the Manotok titles referred to in the third recommendation. The proprietary claims of the MANOTOKS over the parcels of land covered by the following certificates of title are declared LEGAL and VALID. 9866 covering Lot No. cHSTEA b) TCT No. 21107 covering Lot 22 with an approximate area of 2. the oppositors to the Manotoks. e) TCT No. the Court is aware that the ground utilized by the Special Division in rejecting the Majority Report — that the determinations were made outside the scope of the issues framed and agreed upon by the parties — does not categorically refute the technical findings made therein. if any. they existed on the titles and anteceded the expropriation of the properties by the Government. as stated by the Special Division. d) TCT No. should be sufficiently made public. the Court hereby adopts the Report of the Special Division and issues the following reliefs: 1) The certificates of title of the DIMSONs and CLT including other derivative titles issued to their successors-in-interest. 12-1 having an area of 20. to wit: a) TCT No. subject the same to further technical verification.title which they cancelled and in whose name they were registered. Psd-75797 with an area of 11. or in the alternative. 21 and having an approximate area of 23. 2. while insufficient for now to annul the Manotoks' titles listed in the third recommendation. 2 of subdivision plan Psd-10114.

12-H with an area of 1. 12-E with an area of 1. v. 4-B-2 with an area of more or less 6. 5C of subdivision plan (LRC) psd315278. C-35267 covering Lot 56-B of subdivision plan (LRC) Psd-292683 with an approximate area of 9.000 square meters.650 square meters. 15 purchased by MRI from one Maria V.531 square meters.. took no part due to relationship to counsel. b) TCT No. G. Inc. 13574 covering a parcel of land designated as Section No. 130 g) TCT No. 55897 covering Lot 3 of consolidationsubdivision plan (LRC) Pcs-1828 of the Maysilo Estate covering an area of more or less 20. 2009]. 19-B of subdivision plan Psd-13011152 with an area of 23.. JJ. Quisumbing. Custodio. to wit: a) TCT No. 26407 covering Lot No.163 square meters.. 53268 covering Lot No. T-232568 covering Lot No. d) TCT No.850 square meters. the registered owners of the said titles "failed to make any specific reference to the preceding certificates of title which they cancelled and to whose names they were subsequently transferred and registered". Velasco. took no part. C-36960 of the SPOUSES IGNACIO by virtue of a Deed of Sale between said spouses and MRI. Costs against private respondents. Inc.872 square meters.R. Brion and Peralta. 123346. C. JJ. 601 PHIL 571-638) . Carpio-Morales. Leonardo-de Castro. [March 31. 134385.707 square meters.802 square meters. which has an approximate area of 4.206 square meters. e) TCT No. which in turn. cancelled TCT No. J. Jr. 165119 which allegedly cancelled TCT No. Ynares-Santiago. c) TCT No.383 square meters. Puno. C-17272 covering Lot 6-C which has an approximate area of 27. thereby leading the Supreme Court "to find no sufficient basis to make a conclusion as to their origins". AScHCD i) TCT No. b) TCT No. or Manotok Estate Corporation. 3) The following certificates of titles in the name of ARANETA are hereby declared LEGAL and VALID. 2 of subdivision plan Psd-10114. cCHITA k) TCT No. No. to wit: a) TCT No. concur. the Registers of Deeds concerned are ordered to annotate that as determined in the foregoing Resolution.000 square meters. 7784 covering four (4) parcels of land with an aggregate area of 390. Carpio and Nachura. Chico-Nazario. 12-F with an area of 1. CLT Realty Development Corp. being a portion of Lot 25A-3-C with an aggregate area of 581. T-121428 covering Lot No. i) TCT No. is on official leave..910 square meters. Villacorta with an approximate area of 3. 163902 covering Lot No. SO ORDERED. 26406 covering Lot No.354 square meters allegedly a by-product of TCT No. 8994/T45 registered in the name of Filemon S.000 square meters.. h) TCT No. 26405 covering Lot No. Austria-Martinez.1. j) TCT No.J. 33904 covering Lot No. ||| (Manotok Realty. Corona. 12-B with an area of 1.. 9022. 4) On the following titles in the name of Manotok Realty. f) TCT No.

and 2) LRA Circular No. Gonzaga v. had recommended to the Office of the Solicitor General the filing of an appropriate pleading relative to the said Order dated 8 January 1998. Isabel Gil de Sola. was the valid title by virtue of the prior registration rule. Branch 120. GUINGONA. (the RTC Order). 1917.) The LRA Administrator likewise wrote that in Senate Committee Report No. THE ADMINISTRATOR. 1998. 1998 issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City in Civil Case No. 1997 (the 1st Indorsement) issued by then Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Teofisto T. . entitled Bartolome Rivera. In the RTC Order sought to be implemented. 97-11 to all Registers of Deeds. copy enclosed. 6 Petitioner alleges that the respective Registers of Deeds of Caloocan City and Quezon City refused to comply with the RTC Order because they were still awaiting word from the LRA Administrator before proceeding.. 36455 in Land Registration Case No. 137) finding that there is only one OCT No. THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF QUEZON CITY. 1917 with the Registry of Deeds of Caloocan City. et al. The dispositive portion of said Order reads as follows: WHEREFORE. is approved. This was docketed as Civil Some of said alleged heirs were able to procure Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs) over portions of the Maysilo Estate. stating the following: xxx xxx xxx In compliance with the DOJ directive. sent counsel for petitioner a letter-reply 7 dated March 27. allegedly registered on April 19. . directed the respective Registers of Deeds of Caloocan City and Quezon City to issue transfer certificates of title in the names of all the co-owners. and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to comply with the Order 3 dated January 8. Province of Rizal.342) hectares of the Maysilo Estate. all of them claiming to be the heirs of a certain Maria de la Concepcion Vidal. vs. 994. (respondent Guingona). on the other hand.R. on one hand. and fair conclusion to a controversy that has now lasted for almost forty-five (45) years. Guingona. and SENATOR TEOFISTO T. petitioner. The findings of the DOJ on OCT No. including petitioner. and not May 3. The Register of Deeds of Caloocan City and of Quezon City are hereby directed to issue transfer certificates of title in the names of all the co-owners for the following lots. as a result of the inquiry conducted by the Composite FactFinding Committee (created under DOJ Department Order No. 142549. and ordered that said parcels of land be sold. 1031 dated May 25.). JR. comprising an area larger than the sovereign states of Monaco and the Vatican. namely: xxx xxx xxx Any sale of above-mentioned lots shall be subject to confirmation by this Court pursuant to Section 11. . . 2000.969 sq. DECISION LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. et al. Mr. subject to the confirmation of the Court. 994 which was issued by the Rizal Register of Deeds on 3 May 1917 (and not on 19 April 1919) pursuant to Decree No. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE. Submitted for Decision is a petition for mandamus seeking respondents Secretary of Justice. respondents. C-424. 1997 that the following lots with transfer certificates of title to be issued by the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City in the names of all co-owners be sold and the proceeds thereof divided among themselves in proportion to their respective interest in the property. The LRA Administrator. 4 reiterated in Heirs of Luis J. Jr. premises considered. this Authority. the recommendation of the Commissioners in their Joint Commissioners' Report dated October 21. the Senate Committees on Justice and Human Rights and Urban Planning came up with the following findings: i. J p: The property involved in this case is covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. Court of Appeals. and alleging that they are entitled to inherit her proportional share in the parcels of land located in Quezon City and in the municipalities of Caloocan and Malabon. 1917[. copy attached. Pursuant to this DOJ directive. previously described by this Court En Banc as a "vast tract of land [that] stretches over three cities. 1031 dated 25 May 1998 . 994 was registered twice. 97-11 9 issued to all Registers of Deeds. but complicated. Counsel for petitioner then requested the LRA Administrator to direct said Registers of Deeds to comply with the Order. which encompasses One Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Two (1. C-424 in the RTC of Caloocan City. 994.] . as there are cases squarely on point and at the outset. for twelve (12) parcels of land with an aggregate area of One Hundred Five Thousand and Nine Hundred Sixty-Nine square meters (105. There is only one Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No." 1 What we have before us now is touted as "one of the biggest and most extensive land-grabbing incidents in recent history. Rule 69 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.] FIDELA R. the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority (LRA). in its 1st Indorsement dated 27 March 1998. v. Judge Jaime D. On May 3. in Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS) v. March 9. They also had led this Court to believe that OCT No. ANGELES. 1997 and Supplemental Commissioners' Report dated December 30. Court of Appeals. more or less. 10 (Emphasis ours. THIcCA FIRST DIVISION [G. as such applicability must be determined with thoroughness and accuracy to come up with a just. with two attachments: 1) the 1st Indorsement 8 dated September 22. thus. LAND REGISTRATION AUTHORITY. 994 and this was issued or registered on May 3. Discaya granted the partition and accounting prayed for by plaintiffs in that case. . No. m. Enriquez. together with other individuals." 2 The existence of several cases already decided by this Court dealing with this infamous estate has made the job of deciding this particular petition easy. The letter-reply reads in part: SHDAEC We regret to inform you that your request cannot be granted in view of the directive of the Department of Justice in its 1st Indorsement dated 22 September 1997. petitioner. 4429. equitable. Alfredo R. applicable. 5 the Court held that OCT No. and the proceeds be divided among the plaintiffs in proportion to their respective interests in the property. which was issued a Certificate of Finality on March 12. 994 are in fact sustained by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights and Urban Planning in its Senate Committee Report No. . 1917. this Authority issued LRA Circular No. 2010.Case No. commenced a special civil action for partition and accounting of the property otherwise known as Maysilo Estate covered by OCT No. 1998. 1965. 994 dated April 19.

v. C-424 cannot avail of the benefits granted to them by the Order. 1917 and she had in fact questioned the falsity of April 19. former Deputy Registrar of Deeds of Caloocan City. She further avers that "[n]ot even the Secretary of Justice has the power or authority to set aside or alter an established ruling made by the highest Court of the land. 1917 when in truth and in fact it was issued or registered on May 3. honesty and integrity. suffers from certain deficiencies. 994. 1917. the Order dated 8 January 1998 which directs the issuance of transfer certificates of title as direct transfer from OCT No. Atty.] iv. and this finding is a reversal of the decisions of this Court on "what is the valid OCT No. 13 made a substantive modification of the ruling made by this Court in MWSS v. Dimson. It was a fabrication perpetrated by Mr. Yolanda O. to wit: OCT No. Registrar of Deeds of Caloocan City. Court of Appeals (94 SCRA 874). 16 respondent Guingona raises the following grounds for denial of the petition: 1. 994 had long been cancelled totally by the issuance of various certificates of title in the names of different persons. and not on April 19. that she and her co-plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 14 Petitioner claims that respondent Guingona was the one who caused the issuance by the LRA Administrator of Circular No. Petitioner has no cause of action against respondent Guingona in that the latter is no longer the Secretary of Justice. 994. the mess caused by the former Register of Deeds and Deputy Register of Deeds in making it appear that OCT No. by issuing "certifications" and/or written statements to the effect that OCT No. Petitioner was not denied due process as her rights. resulted in the double.ii. other than this action. As observed by the Supreme Court in Republic vs. With due respect. The issuance of the 1st Indorsement dated September 22. fraudulently and in bad faith. 1998 . Alfonso. CA. 994 issued on 3 May 1917. under the Order dated January 18. Mr. there must be a separate action in court for the declaration of nullity of certificates of title pursuant to the due process clause of the Constitution. in issuing the 1st Indorsement. Our Authority. Court of Appeals and Heirs of Luis Gonzaga v. 1997 after conducting an independent fact-finding investigation.. 994 which was issued by the Register of Deeds of Rizal on May 3.] the Court can no longer amend. 3. The [OCT] No. 994 was issued in 19 April 1917. 1917.. 994. 11 (Underscoring in the original." We quote the last portion of said letter-reply: HESAIT As found by the Senate Committees. The alleged surviving heirs could not have been the true and legal heirs of the late Maria de la Concepcion Vidal as government findings showed the physical and genetic impossibility of such relationship[." 15 Petitioner alleges that compliance with a final judicial order is a purely ministerial duty. 994 dated April 19." Petitioner contends that "[t]he rule is well settled that once a decision becomes final[. 994. fraudulently and in bad faith." In his Comment. as the protector of the integrity of the Torrens title is mandated to prevent anomalous titling of real properties and put a stop to further erode the confidence of the public in the Torrens system of land registration. 1997 made by the committee created by Department Order No. thus giving the wrong impression that there were two (2) OCT No. modify." According to petitioner. in MWSS vs. 9711 dated October 3. 1917 as the correct date of the registration of OCT No. Under the law. the Supreme Court did not declare the nullity of the certificates of title which emanated from OCT No. There was no such declaration as to the various transfer certificates of title emanating from OCT No. if not multiple. 994. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. much less set aside the same" and that respondent Guingona usurped judicial functions and did a prohibited act which rendered the Order of no effect. and that she has no "plain. 1997. It did not in any way alter or modify any judgment of this Honorable Court. Malice was evident because she had previously issued certificates of title in the names of other individuals which were derived from OCT No. in the interest of our country and people at large. iii. and that the plan and descriptions of the lands were not based on a subdivision plan duly approved by the proper government agency but merely sketch plans. It merely invalidates the title of MWSS and recognizes as valid the title of Jose B. Jr. 994 was issued or registered on April 19. including the parcels of land mentioned in the subject Order dated 8 January 1998. issuance of transfer certificates of title covering the subdivided portions of the Maysilo Estate. Court of Appeals. when she signed the TCTs issued in the name of Eleuteria Rivera which bear a wrong date of the registration of OCT No. 137 dated April 23. Jr. and that this was contemptuous and contumacious and calls for "condemnation and reproof of the highest degree. 994. Norberto Vasquez. Besides. former Deputy Registrar of Deeds of Caloocan City. in violation of Section 50 of PD 1529. respondent Guingona claimed to have made his own finding that there is only one OCT No. compliance with the Order will result to duplication of certificates of title covering land previously registered in the names of other persons. acted maliciously. 994 was intact and was being kept in the LRA "to prevent its alteration and tampering. which had the same legal effect on other cases similarly situated without hearing or notice to the parties-in-interest. likewise acted maliciously. Norberto Vasquez. Obviously. devotion. 1997 was pursuant to the report dated August 27. "there are too many fake titles being peddled around and it behooves every official of the government whose functions concern the issuance of legal titles to see to it that this plague that has made a mockery of the Torrens system is eradicated right now through their loyalty. 1917. if any. 1917 is non-existent.) The letter-reply further stated that OCT No." 12 Petitioner avers that respondent Guingona. 2. 994 dated May 3.

corporation. petitioner counters that the 1st Indorsement and "pertinent acts of private respondent . Respondent Guingona further states that the 1st Indorsement dated September 22. and courses of action which the LRA. Caloocan City and Quezon City as well as the issuance and regularity of Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCTs) derived therefrom. even if he wanted to. 19 With regard to the claim for damages. on motion of the judgment obligee. she is entitled to file a petition for mandamus as she and her coplaintiffs in Civil Case No. There is also no showing that petitioner paid the required docket fees for her claims for damages. after the Supreme Court had rendered its decision in MWSS v. both in his own behalf and in behalf of the public respondents affected by the proceedings . he was therefore not a real party-in-interest in this case. upon a judgment or order that disposes of the action or proceeding upon the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been duly perfected. and it shall be the duty of such private respondent to appear and defend. . board. RULE 39 SECTION 1. because of the wrongful act of the respondents. but he is a necessary party as the grant of relief prayed for by petitioner shall require private respondent's active participation. 137 dated April 13. 20 In her Reply. Petitioner cites the following provisions of the Rules of Court in support of her argument: RULE 65 xxx xxx xxx SECTION 9. — A certified copy of the judgment rendered in accordance with the last preceding section shall be served upon the court. According to him. must follow not only with respect to OCT No. he had no more duty resulting from the said position and could not perform an act that pertained to said duty. respondent Guingona alleges that petitioner was accorded due process when the LRA Administrator gave an opportunity to petitioner's counsel to present petitioner's case to the LRA legal staff. on motion. 1997 creating a committee due to several complaints received by the Office of the Secretary of Justice in February 1997. This Honorable Court. however. Respondent Guingona claims that such opportunity to be heard satisfies the requirements of due process. with respect to such irregularly issued Transfer Certificates of Title. Petitioner argues that contrary to private respondent's claim. (2) in the event of a finding of the irregular issuance of any such [TCTs]. 4. the Office of the Solicitor General and other agencies of the DOJ can adopt with regard to the problem of the proliferation of fake land titles. 994 of the Registry of Deeds of Rizal purporting to cover a mass of land encompassing Malabon. Execution upon final judgments or orders. 994 on May 3. it is inappropriate for petitioner to include in her petition for mandamus a claim for damages the amount of which she did not even specify. he did not anymore possess the mandatory duties being compelled to be performed in this case by way of a writ of mandamus. such claim should be denied by this Honorable Court. he issued the subject 1st Indorsement which spelled out the policies. A private respondent is "the person interested in sustaining the proceedings in the court. Service and enforcement of order or judgment. the committee was tasked for the purpose of initiating a fact-finding inquiry: "(1) to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the issuance of original Certificate(s) of Title (OCT) No. He alleges that based on this committee's report dated August 27. 1997 was issued long before the Order dated January 18. Court of Appeals. 1998. 17 IDaEHC Respondent Guingona contends that he was no longer the Secretary of Justice. 21 petitioner contends that former DOJ Secretary Guingona has to be named as private respondent because he was the cause of public respondents' failure to comply with their ministerial duty. tribunal. An execution may issue for any damages or costs awarded in accordance with Section 1 of Rule 39. it could not be said that it altered or supplanted any judgment of this Court. and since he did not have the powers and duties of the Secretary of Justice. resulted in the altering or supplanting of a judgment of this Court. is not a trier of facts. and disobedience thereto shall be punished as contempt. 994 and its derivative titles covering the Maysilo Estate but to all other original or transfer certificates of title as well. 22 Anent private respondent's argument that the 1st Indorsement did not in any way alter or modify any judgment of this Honorable Court. On this score alone." 18 Respondent Guingona contends that it can be gleaned from the purpose of the creation of the committee that its fact-finding investigation was merely administrative to formulate and recommend policies. C-424 has been suffering from damages and losses incapable of quantification. Mandamus is not the appropriate remedy to enforce claims of damages. the Land Registration Authority. respondent Guingona argues that it is a factual issue which the petitioner must prove in the course of a trial where petitioner's claim for damages can be fully litigated. and other units and attached agencies of this Department. 1997. an agency under the DOJ. as the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to be heard. therefore. such a claim should be outrightly dismissed. . officer or person concerned in such manner as the court may direct. taking into account the final decisions of the courts affecting the Maysilo Estate. procedures and courses of action which the DOJ. thus it could not be said that petitioner was denied due process as her rights and interests were nonexistent at that time. including those that relate to the Maysilo Estate." He is not charged with any improper act. thus. If the appeal has been duly perfected and finally resolved. As it is." The complaints praying that an investigation be conducted on the irregular issuance of titles in the Maysilo Estate were made to the private respondent by parties who held titles derived from OCT No. — Execution shall issue as a matter of right. the execution may forthwith be applied for in the court of origin. the Office of the Solicitor General. .were not yet in existence at the time the 1st Indorsement was issued. . Among others. Respondent Guingona avers that he was prompted to issue DOJ Department Order No. 1917. the complaints prayed for the investigation of certain actions taken by the LRA officials and personnel in connection with transactions involving the Maysilo Estate. Furthermore. quasi-judicial agency. Such being the case. He contends that the 1st Indorsement was merely an administrative issuance of the DOJ. . submitting therewith certified true copies of the judgment or judgments or final order or orders sought to be . that may directly be undertaken by this Department. and (b) to recommend the administrative and/or judicial actions. (a) to determine the involvement of and to recommend the actions to be taken against person(s) and/or officials and employees of this Department or its agencies who may appear to have participated therein. Court of Appeals and Heirs of Gonzaga v. if any. the LRA. procedures.

As early as 1917. when refused. Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides: SECTION 3. 23 DAEaTS Public respondents Secretary of Justice. The appellate court may. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Gonzalo Tuason y Patino. when refused. filed the aforestated Motion for Reconsideration of the questioned Order of the lower court. . Consuelo Legarda y de la Paz. the Office of the Solicitor General. 25 Public respondents claim the following as facts: The DOJ Report became the subject of [a] Senate investigation. transfer certificates of titles covering the same subject parcels of land were legally issued in the names of aboveenumerated true owners. Considering the factual background and recent jurisprudence related to this controversy as will be discussed below. and both made integral parts hereof. Mariano Severo Tuason y de la Paz. Esperanza Tuason Chua Jap. because he had caused the issuance of an LRA Circular that forbade compliance with a court order that had already become final and executory. but not to compel the performance of a discretionary duty. Guillerma Ferrer y Tuason. Emilia Tuason y Patiño. which are the result of the joint undertaking of the Department proper. Bernardino Hernandez. we find our discussion in Laburada v. Maria Teresa Tuason y de la Paz. Petitioner avers that private respondent seemed to assume a function that did not belong to the Executive Department. the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court. Concepcion Franco y Gonzales. namely. corporation. the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority. and its faithful translation into English consisting of forty-nine (49) pages attached as Annex "E". as it saw fit. 1998. immediately or at some other time to be specified by the court. . on motion in the same case. and are therefore entitled to the proportionate share. support the conclusion that petitioner and her co-plaintiffs are not entitled to the issuance of new transfer certificates of title in their names. subject property of the instant case had already been partitioned and divided among the true owners. when the interest of justice so requires. — When any tribunal. officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. Rita Legarda y de la Paz. 26 We are thus faced with the issue of whether public respondents unlawfully neglected to perform their duties by their refusal to issue the questioned transfer certificates of title to petitioner and her co-plaintiffs (in Civil Case No. we find that it was not unlawful for public respondents to refuse compliance with the RTC Order. Their allegation in the complaint that they are the heirs and successors-in-interest of the late Maria de la Concepcion Vidal. and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City filed their Comment 24 on November 16. Public respondents claim that petitioner and her co-plaintiffs are not the rightful owners of the property subject of said complaint for partition. co-owner of the parcels of land described in OCT No. Concepcion Vidal y Tuason. but not to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion in a particular way or the retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of either. board. Benito Legarda y de la Paz. Petition for mandamus. we must look into the alleged right of petitioner and see if compliance with the RTC Order is compellable by mandamus. This is because the findings embodied in the Report of the Fact Finding Committee created by the DOJ. trust. alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent. On May 25. 33. as evidenced by the document entitled PROYECTO DE PARTICION DE LA HACIENDA DE MAYSILO (PARTITION PLAN OF HACIENDA MAYSILO) consisting of fifty-two (52) pages which is attached as Annex "D". and possession of the parcels of land described in paragraphs XI to XV of the complaint. to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner. and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the respondent. Maria de la Concepcion Vidal.enforced and of the entry thereof. with notice to the adverse party. 994. the Honorable Senate of the Tenth Congress of the Republic of the Philippines reached the conclusion that petitioner and her co-plaintiffs are not and cannot be true heirs of the late Maria de la Concepcion Vidal (par. 3. The resolution of said motion and other incidents in related cases pending before the lower court has been held in abeyance to await the resolution by higher courts of other cases involving the Maysilo Estate. to wit: . Senate Report). and there is no other plain. The Register of Deeds of Quezon City and Caloocan City. German Franco y Gonzales. It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance. Josefa Tuason vda. and the act being requested of them is not their ministerial duty. Benito Legarda y Tuason. 2000. find out if substantial doubt exists to justify public respondents' refusal to comply with said Order. Juan Jose Tuason de la Paz. Trinidad Jurado. Petitioner likewise avers that the doctrine of separation of powers called for each branch of government to be left alone to discharge its functions within its jurisdiction. as would warrant the issuance of a writ of mandamus against said public respondents. mandamus does not lie and the petition must be dismissed. in matters involving judgment and discretion. Sofia O'Farrell y Patiño. Did public respondents have sufficient legal basis to refuse to grant petitioner's request? In this regard. Jose Rato y Tuason. Mandamus will not issue to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or to which a substantial doubt exists. or station. . or. Land Registration Authority 29 instructive. or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled. through the undersigned counsel. Maria Rocha de Despujols. and the LRA. Luis Vidal y Tuason. C-424) or have unlawfully excluded petitioner from the use and enjoyment of whatever claimed right. Isabel Tuason Chua. de Flores. Demetrio Asuncion Tuason y de la Paz. p. ownership. Pedro Baños. 27 It is nonetheless likewise available to compel action. Domingo Franco y Gonzales. and heirs of Filemon Tuazon in proportion to their respective shares. 28 Therefore. Augusto Hoberto Tuason y de la Paz. Maria Soterrana Tuason y de la Paz. . in the alternative. is an untrue statement made with intent to deceive. Vicente Ferrer y Tuason. of a ministerial duty. As a result of said partition. hence. direct the court of origin to issue the writ of execution.

1917. 994 dated 19 April 1917. 994 dated 19 April 1917 bind any other case operating under the factual setting the same as or similar to that at bar. C-424) derived their rights was dated earlier. then such titles are void or otherwise should not be recognized by this Court. Neither could the conclusions in MWSS or Gonzaga with respect to an OCT No. Court of Appeals and Gonzaga v. especially in regard to their recognition of an OCT No. and Senate Committee Report No. hence. and certainly the courts will have the discretion to accept or reject them. the LRA's reaction is reasonable. . Since the true basic factual predicate concerning OCT No. . Rather than a sign of negligence or nonfeasance in the performance of its duty. Considering the probable duplication of titles over the same parcel of land. persuade the courts to accept them without inquiry. In the same vein. If these titles are sourced from the so-called OCT No. The fact that they were rendered by the DOJ and the Senate should not. 2009 (the 2009 Manotok case). petitioner anchors her claim on previous cases decided by this Court 34 which have held that there are two existing OCT No. 994 dated [19] April 1917 casts doubt on the validity of such titles since they refer to an inexistent OCT. even imperative. . AcDaEH xxx xxx xxx . as well as the succeeding resolution 33 in the same case dated March 31. that OCT No. 994. contained in the cited documents. HIcTDE As stated earlier. As it appears on the record. in itself.) To be sure. 30 (Emphasis ours. Inc. Neither could respondent LRA Administrator be mandated by the Court to require the Register of Deeds to comply with said Order. . The decisions of this Court in MWSS v. 994 allegedly issued on April 19. as appears on the title. CLT Realty Development Corporation 32 (the 2007 Manotok case). Court of Appeals cannot apply to the cases at bar. The fact that the Dimson and CLT titles made specific reference to an OCT No. given the following conclusions made by this Court in the 2007 Manotok case: First.) As can be gleaned from the above discussion. the controversy surrounding the Maysilo Estate and the question of the existence of another OCT No. therefore. of the Torrens system of registration. Second. this Court did not merely rely on the DOJ and Senate reports regarding OCT No. 994 dated 17 April 1917. . for we find merit in the explanations of respondent LRA Administrator in his letterreply that cites the 1st Indorsement issued by respondent Guingona. objections raising merely technical questions will be disregarded. As we held in the 2007 Manotok case: The determinative test to resolve whether the prior decision of this Court should be affirmed or set aside is whether or not the titles invoked by the respondents are valid. . said rulings have become virtually functus officio except on the basis of the "law of the case" doctrine. there is only one OCT No. the Register of Deeds cannot be compelled by mandamus to comply with the RTC Order since there were existing transfer certificates of title covering the subject parcels of land and there was reason to question the rights of those requesting for the issuance of the TCTs. we find that in this case. the writ of mandamus can be awarded only when the petitioners' legal right to the performance of the particular act which is sought to be compelled is clear and complete. which involves the issuance of transfer certificates of title. . . Likewise. . was the superior title. But where the right sought to be enforced is in substantial doubt or dispute. It is important to emphasize at this point that in the recent case resolved by this Court En Banc in 2007. and thereby destroy the integrity. that mother title was received for transcription by the Register of Deeds on 3 May 1917. or even consider whether these are admissible as evidence. All other cases involving said estate and OCT No. . given the finding. Under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. 97-11. on which petitioner and her co-plaintiffs in the civil case clearly anchored their rights. though such questions may be considered by the Court of Appeals upon the initiative of the parties. LRA Circular No. entitled Manotok Realty. but if admissible they may be taken into account as evidence on the same level as the other pieces of evidence submitted by the parties. this Court constituted a Special Division of the Court of Appeals to hear the cases on remand. Any title that traces its source to OCT No. declaring as follows: Since this Court is not a trier of fact[s]. 994 have been finally laid to rest. we are not prepared to adopt the findings made by the DOJ and the Senate. 1917 validly and actually exists. mandamus cannot issue. a clear legal right is a right which is indubitably granted by law or is inferable as a matter of law. and that should be the date which should be reckoned as the date of registration of the title. v. In the 2007 Manotok case. 31 There was. such as the case at bar. such issuance may contravene the policy and the purpose. as in this case. 994 dated April 19. 994 dated [19] April 1917 is void. If the right is clear and the case is meritorious. It may also be acknowledged. 35 Specifically.That the LRA hesitates in issuing a decree of registration is understandable. a title which we now acknowledge as inexistent. 36 (Emphases supplied. although such date cannot be considered as the date of the title or the date when the title took effect. petitioner cannot anymore insist that OCT No. for such mother title is inexistent. The facts and arguments presented in the reports must still undergo judicial scrutiny and analysis. 994. 994 which is that there is only one such OCT differs from that expressed in the MWSS and Gonzaga decisions. Regrettably. 994. dated differently. petitioner's claim no longer has a leg to stand on. Third. did not exist. sufficient basis for public respondents to refuse to comply with the RTC Order. 994 resulted from the issuance of the decree of registration on [19] April 1917. 994. as reasons for his refusal to grant petitioner's request. and the one from which she and her co-plaintiffs (in Civil Case No. are bound by the findings and conclusions set forth in said resolutions. the issuance by the LRA officials of a decree of registration is not a purely ministerial duty in cases where they find that such would result to the double titling of the same parcel of land. 1031. The reports cannot conclusively supersede or overturn judicial decisions. that OCT No. and can no longer be relied upon as precedents.

. . the petition is hereby DISMISSED. Bersamin and Villarama. we dismiss the petition for lack of merit. concur. OCT No. Jr. 994 which reflects the date of 19 April 1917 as its registration date is null and void. No. It appears.There are many factual questions looming over the properties that could only be threshed out in the remand to the Court of Appeals.. 2010]. 628 PHIL 381-401) .. The requirements under Rule 65 for the issuance of the writ of mandamus not having been proven by petitioner to exist. and adopted the latter's conclusions as to the status of the original title and its subsequent conveyances." In the case at bar. Secretary of Justice. [March 9. C-424 originally filed on May 3. in the 2009 Manotok case. 994. WHEREFORE. JJ.J. 142549. ||| (Angeles v. C. Carpio Morales. . SO ORDERED. however. premises considered. a matter that could be attributed to her advanced age and potential access to a vast sum of money. aHcACT xxx xxx xxx The Special Division is tasked to hear and receive evidence. that the partition and accounting of a portion of the Maysilo Estate that she and her co-plaintiffs prayed for can no longer prosper because of the conclusive findings quoted above that the very basis of their claim. albeit earlier registered. . The records bear several attempts of different individuals to represent her as counsel. 37 Thus.. G. Puno. conclude the proceedings and submit to this Court a report on its findings and recommended conclusions within three (3) months from finality of this Resolution.R. a second. this Court evaluated the evidence engaged in by said Special Division. petitioner is the last surviving co-plaintiff in Civil Case No. 994. should she get a favorable decision from this case. does not exist. 1965. This case affirmed the earlier finding that "there is only one OCT No. the registration date of which had already been decisively settled as 3 May 1917 and not 19 April 1917" and categorically concluded that "OCT No.