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Republic of the Philippines

G.R. No. L-31163

November 6, 1929

URBANO SANTOS, plaintiff-appellee,
JOSE C. BERNABE, ET AL., defendants.
Arcadio Ejercito and Guevara, Francisco and Recto
for appellants.
Eusebio Orense And Nicolas Belmonte for

This appeal was taken by the defendants Pablo
Tiongson and the Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan from
the judgment of the Court of First of said province,
wherein said defendant Pablo Tiongson was
ordered to pay the plaintiff Urbano Santos the value
of 778 cavans and 38 kilos of palay, at the rate of
P3 per cavan, without special pronouncement as to
In support of their appeal, the appellants assign the
following alleged errors committed by the lower
court in its judgment, to wit:
1. The court erred in holding that it has
been proved that in the cavans of palay
attached by the herein defendant Pablo
Tiongson from the defendant Jose C.
Bernabe were included those claimed by
the plaintiff in this cause.
2. The court erred in ordering the
defendant Pablo Tiongson to pay the
plaintiff the value of 778 cavans and 38
kilos of palay, the refund of which is
claimed by said plaintiff.
3. The court erred in denying the
defendants' motion for a new trial.

The following facts were conclusively proved at the was accordingly issued, and the defendant's
property, including the 924 cavans and 31 ½ kilos
of palay found by the sheriff in his warehouse, were
On March 20, 1928, there were deposited in Jose
C. Bernabe's warehouse by the plaintiff Urbano
Santos 778 cavans and 38 kilos of palay and by
It will be seen that the action brought by Pablo
Pablo Tiongson 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of the
Tiongson against Jose C. Bernabe is that provided
same grain.
in section 262 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the
delivery of personal property. Although it is true that
the plaintiff and his attorney did not follow strictly
On said date, March 20, 1928, Pablo Tiongson filed
the procedure provided in said section for claiming
with the Court of First Instance of Bulacan a
the delivery of said personal property nevertheless,
complaint against Jose C. Bernabe, to recover from
the procedure followed by him may be construed as
the latter the 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of palay
equivalent thereto, considering the provisions of
deposited in the defendant's warehouse. At the
section 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the
same time, the application of Pablo Tiongson for a
effect that "the provisions of this Code, and the
writ of attachment was granted, and the attachable
proceedings under it, shall be liberally construed, in
property of Jose C. Bernabe, including 924 cavans
order to promote its object and assist the parties in
and 31 1/2 kilos of palay found by the sheriff in his
obtaining speedy justice."
warehouse, were attached, sold at public auction,
and the proceeds thereof delivered to said
defendant Pablo Tiongson, who obtained judgment Liberally construing, therefore, the above cited
in said case.
provisions of section 262 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, the writ of attachment applied for by
Pablo Tiongson against the property of Jose C.
The herein plaintiff, Urbano Santos, intervened in
Bernabe may be construed as a claim for the
the attachment of the palay, but upon Pablo
delivery of the sacks of palay deposited by the
Tiongson's filing the proper bond, the sheriff
former with the latter.
proceeded with the attachment, giving rise to the
present complaint.
The 778 cavans and 38 kilos of palay belonging to
the plaintiff Urbano Santos, having been mixed with
It does not appear that the sacks of palay of
the 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of palay belonging to
Urbano Santos and those of Pablo Tiongson,
the defendant Pablo Tiongson in Jose C. Bernabe's
deposited in Jose C. Bernabe's warehouse, bore
warehouse; the sheriff having found only 924
any marks or signs, nor were they separated one
cavans and 31 1/2 kilos of palay in said warehouse
from the other.
at the time of the attachment thereof; and there
being no means of separating form said 924
The plaintiff-appellee Urbano Santos contends that cavans and 31 1/2 of palay belonging to Urbano
Santos and those belonging to Pablo Tiongson, the
Pablo Tiongson cannot claim the 924 cavans and
following rule prescribed in article 381 of the Civil
31 ½ kilos of palay attached by the defendant
sheriff as part of those deposited by him in Jose C. Code for cases of this nature, is applicable:
Bernabe's warehouse, because, in asking for the
attachment thereof, he impliedly acknowledged that
Art. 381. If, by the will of their owners,
the same belonged to Jose C. Bernabe and not to
two things of identical or dissimilar nature
are mixed, or if the mixture occurs
accidentally, if in the latter case the
things cannot be separated without injury,
In the complaint filed by Pablo Tiongson against
each owner shall acquire a right in the
Jose C. Bernabe, civil case No. 3665 of the Court
mixture proportionate to the part
of First Instance of Bulacan, it is alleged that said
belonging to him, according to the value
plaintiff deposited in the defendant's warehouse
of the things mixed or commingled.
1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of palay, the return of
which, or the value thereof, at the rate of P3 per
cavan was claimed therein. Upon filing said
The number of kilos in a cavan not having been
complaint, the plaintiff applied for a preliminary writ
determined, we will take the proportion only of the
of attachment of the defendant's property, which
924 cavans of palay which were attached and sold,

thereby giving Urbano Santos, who deposited 778
cavans, 398.49 thereof, and Pablo Tiongson, who
deposited 1,026 cavans, 525.51, or the value
thereof at the rate of P3 per cavan.
Wherefore, the judgment appealed from is hereby
modified, and Pablo Tiongson is hereby ordered to
pay the plaintiff Urbano Santos the value of 398.49
cavans of palay at the rate of P3 a cavan, without
special pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.
Avanceña, C.J., Street, Villamor and Ostrand, JJ.,
Johnson, J., reserves his vote.
Johns, J., dissents.
Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-13281

August 31, 1960

FILEMON LUCASAN, ET AL., respondents.
Orendain and Sarmiento for petitioner.
Barrios, Lucasan and Lucasan for respondents.
On January 30, 1952, the Court of First Instance of
Zamboanga del Norte rendered decision ordering
Filemon Lucasan to deliver to the Siari Valley
Estates, Inc. the cattle inside the former's pasture
or pay its value amounting to P40,000.00 and
damages in another sum of P40,000.00, This
decision was affirmed in toto by the Supreme
Court, and when the same became final and
executory, a writ of execution was issued. In
carrying out this writ, the sheriff proceeded to levy
on certain parcels of lands belonging to defendant.
These lands were sold by the sheriff at public
auction to the corporation as the highest bidder on
January 14, 1956. The judgment debtor having
failed to redeem the land within the period of one
year, on January 26, 1957, the sheriff issued in
favor of the purchaser the final certificate of sale,
copy of which was registered in the Office of the

Register of Deeds of Zamboanga. On February 16,
1957, upon petition of the corporation, a writ of
possession was issued directing the sheriff to place
said corporation in possession thereof.
Notwithstanding said writ, however, the corporation
failed to take possession of the lands, hence it filed
a motion reiterating its petition that it be placed in
their possession.

There is merit in this contention. The evidence
shows that when this property was levied on
execution by the sheriff to satisfy the judgment
rendered against Filemon Lucasan in favor of
petitioner corporation the notice of levy merely
described the property as unregistered land and the
same was registered under Act 3344 in the office of
the register of deeds. It also appears that in the
notice of sale the property was merely described
according to the boundaries and area appearing in
This time judgment debtor Filemon Lucasan filed
the tax declaration and not according to what
an opposition alleging that he was in possession of
appears in the certificate of title. On the other hand,
one of the parcels of land sold at public auction on
the rule provides that real property shall "be levied
which he has erected a house and which he has
on in like manner and with like effect as under an
extra judicially constituted as a family home, the
order of attachment" (Section 14, Rule 39), and the
rest being in possession of third parties. On April
provision regarding attachment of real property
30, 1957, the court, overruling the opposition,
postulates that the attachment shall be made "by
issued an order directing the sheriff to place the
filing with the register of deeds a copy of the order,
corporation in possession of the lands sold to it. On
together with the description of the property
August 7, 1957, debtor Lucasan filed a motion for
attached, and a notice that it is attached, and by
reconsideration which was denied, the court
leaving a copy of said order, description, and notice
reiterating its previous order with little amendment,
with the occupant of the property, if any there be,"
but on August 23, 1957 issued another order
and that "Where the property has been brought
allowing the corporation to take possession of all
under the operation of the Land Registration
lands sold, with the exception of parcel 1 on which
Act, the notice shall contain a reference to the
the family home was constituted, holding that the
number of the certificate of title and the volume and
levy and sale made by the sheriff with regard to
page in the registration book where the certificate
said parcel were not made in accordance with law
is registered" (Section 7 [a], Rule 59).
and so are null and void. Having failed to have this
last order reconsidered, the corporation interposed
the present petition for certiorari.
These provisions should be strictly construed if
their purpose has to be accomplished. The
requirement that the notice of levy should contain a
It appears that parcel 1 is a registered land covered
reference to the number of the certificate of title and
by Certificate of Title No. OCT-2492, Patent No.
the volume and page in the registration book where
50967, duly registered in the Office of the Register
the certificate is registered is made in order that the
of Deeds of Zamboanga del Norte in the name of
debtor as well as a third person may be properly
Filemon Lucasan. On this land stands a big house
informed of the particular land or property that is
of mixed materials which is asserted in the amount
under the custody of the court. This can only be
of P23,270.00 as evidenced by Tax Declaration No.
accomplished by making a reference to the
7653. It also 37 3 appears that Filemon Lucasan
certificate of title covering the property. The
and his wife constituted this house and the lot on
situation differs if the land is unregistered in which
which stands into a family home, the pertinent
case it is enough that the notice be registered
document having been registered in the office of
under Act 3344. This conclusion finds support in the
the register of deeds on June 21, 1955. In opposing
following authorities:
the petition of the corporation for a writ of
possession insofar as this property is concerned,
Lucasan contended that said lot and house having
An attachment levied on real estate not
been constituted as a family home are beyond the
duly recorded in the registry of property is
reach of judicial execution. He contended that the
not an encumbrance on the attached
levy made by the sheriff on said property is legally
property, nor can such attachment,
ineffective because it was not effected in
unrecorded in the registry, serve as a
accordance with what is prescribed in Section 14,
ground for decreeing the annulment of
Rule 39, in relation to Section 7, Rule 59, of the
the sale of the property, at the request of
Rules of Court.
another creditor. (Gonzales
Diez vs.Delgado and Imperial, 37 Phil.,

... In conformity with the provisions of
section 71 of the Land Registration Act,
the sheriff of the City of Manila filed a
notice of the levy with the register of
deeds, which notice was entered in the
primary entry book of the register's office,
but was afterwards, on May 20, 1920,
returned to the sheriff with the
information that the property was
registered in the name of Buenaventura
Dizon, having been conveyed to the latter
by the defendant in execution, Celerino
Arellano, and that, therefore, no
memorandum of the notice had been
entered upon the outstanding certificate
of title. It may be noted that the notice
contained no "reference to the number of
the certificate of title of the land to be
effected and the volume and page in the
registry book where the certificate is
registered, and that t that extent, the
notice did not meet the requirements of
said section 71. (De
Ocampo vs. Treasurer of the Philippine
Islands, 50 Phil., 140, 141; Emphasis

the declaration was recorded in the Registry of
Property." What if the meaning of the word debt
used in this article? Does it refer to a debt that is
undisputed, or may it also refer to any pecuniary
obligation even if the same has not yet been finally
determined? In other words, can a judgment for a
sum of money be considered a debt within the
meaning of this provision even if said judgment is
still pending appeal?

We are inclined to uphold the affirmative
considering the real purpose of the law. The reason
why a family home constituted after a debt had
been incurred is not exempt from execution is to
protect the creditor against a debtor who may act in
bad faith by resorting to such declaration just to
defeat the claim against him. If the purpose is to
protect the creditor from fraud it would be
immaterial if the debt incurred be undisputed or
inchoate, for a debtor acting in good faith would
prefer to wait until his case is definitely decided
before constituting the family home. Indeed, it may
result, as in this case, that the Supreme Court may
affirm the judgment of the lower court. If the
contention of respondent be sustained a debtor
may be allowed to circumvent this provision of the
law to the prejudice of the creditor. This the Court
Since the notice of levy made by the sheriff as
cannot countenance. Hence, we are persuaded to
regards parcel number 1 which is a registered land conclude that the money judgment in question
contains no reference to the number of its
comes within the purview of the word debt used in
certificate of title and the volume and page in the
Article 243 (2) of the new Civil Code.
registry book where the title is registered, it follows
that said notice is legally ineffective and as such did
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby
not have the effect of binding the property for
affirmed, without prejudice of the part of petitioner
purposes of execution. Consequently, the sale
to file a new petition for execution following strictly
carried out by virtue of said levy is also invalid and
the requirements of the rule on the matter. No
of no legal effect.
pronouncement as to costs.
The second issue raised is: Is the family home
extra judicially established by respondent on the lot
and house in question exempt from execution?

Republic of the Philippines

Respondent sustains the affirmative considering
that the money judgment rendered against him was
appealed to the Supreme Court in which event, he
contends, the same could not be considered as a G.R. No. L-20851
September 3, 1966
debt at the time the family home was constituted for
it was still inchoate and as such cannot come under
JESUS AGUIRRE, petitioner,
the provisions of Article 243 (2) of the new Civil
VICTOR S. PHENG, in his capacity as General
Manager of the LEONORA & COMPANY, and
The article above referred to provides that "The
family home extra judicially formed shall be exempt CORPORATION, respondents.
from execution" except "for debts incurred before

Sisenando Villaluz for petitioner.
M. C. Virata for respondent National Shipyards and
Steel Corporation.

Antecedents.—On June 28, 1954, Vicente Aldaba
and Teresa V. Aldaba sold to Jesus Aguirre a
circular bolted steel tank with a capacity of 5,000
gallons, for the sum of P900.00, for which the latter
delivered to the sellers duly endorsed, Security
Bank & Trust Company check No. 281912, in the
amount of P900.00. Aguirre, however, failed to,
take physical possession of the tank, having been
prevented from doing so by the municipal
authorities of Los Baños, Laguna (where the tank
was located), in view of the claim of ownership
being made by the Bureau of Public Highways. It
appears, however, that Vicente and Teresa Aldaba
again sold the same tank on December 2, 1954 to
Zosimo Gabriel, for P900.000. Gabriel, in turn, sold
it to the Leonora & Company on December 5, 1954,
for P2,500.00. After some alterations and
improvements made on the tank, Leonora &
Company was able to sell the tank to National
Shipyards & Steel Corporation (Nassco), for
P14,500.00. 1
Aguirre immediately filed with Nassco a formal
notice of his claim of ownership of the tank, as a
consequence of which, payment of the purchase
price to Leonora & Company was suspended.
Then, Aguirre instituted Civil Case No. 24914 in the
Court of First Instance of Manila, against Leonora &
Company and the Aldabas, for delivery to him of
the tank, with damages. On the other hand,
because of the suspension of payment of the
purchase price, Leonora & Company filed Civil
Case No. 27988, against the Nassco, praying for
the delivery of the purchase price of P14,500.00, or
the reimbursement of the sum of P2,299.00
allegedly representing the actual investment and
expenses made and incurred to put the tank in
usable condition. Jesus Aguirre intervened in this
proceeding. These two cases were jointly heard by
the trial court.
Thereafter, decision was rendered in Civil Case No.
24914, the dispositive portion of which reads as

Court hereby declares Jesus Aguirre the
absolute owner of the property described
in his complaint. The subsequent sale
made by defendants Aldaba to Zosimo
Gabriel, the sale made by Zosimo
Gabriel to defendant Leonora and Co.;
and the sale made by defendant Leonora
and Co. to the National Shipyards and
Steel Corporation, are hereby declared
null and void and of no effect.
Defendants Aldaba and Leonora and Co.
and the National Shipyards and Steel
Corporation, are hereby ordered to
deliver to plaintiff Jesus Aguirre the tank
in question. Failure to make such
delivery, defendant National Shipyards
and Steel Corporation, in whose
possession the tank is at present, shall
pay to the said Jesus Aguirre the original
purchase price of the tank in the amount
of P900.00.
No appeal having been perfected on time, this
decision became final.

of P11,299.00 which, as already stated,
was spent by Leonora and Co. for the
improvement of the tank.

thereto, the rule is different where the works or
improvements or the accession was made on the
property by one who acted in good faith.2 And, it is
not contended that the making of the improvements
and incurring of expenses amounting to P11,299.00
From this decision, Aguirre perfected an appeal to
by Leonora & Company was done in bad faith.
the Court of Appeals.
Furthermore, to uphold petitioner's contention that
he is entitled to the sum of P14,500.00 the price of
The present case.—On January 9, 1963, the Court the tank in its present condition, would be to allow
him to enrich himself at the expense of another.
of Appeals rendered decision affirming the
The lower courts, therefore, acted correctly in
judgment of the lower court in Civil Case No.
ordering the reimbursement to Leonora & Company
27988, to return to intervenor Aguirre the sum of
P900.00 in case delivery of the tank to him will not of the expenses it made on the tank.
be possible —

because this was all the amount that
Aguirre had parted with when he
purchased said tank. It was Leonora &
Co. who had 5 spent the sum of
P11,299.00 for the rehabilitation of said
tank and against this amount Aguirre has
no rightful claim whatsoever. Of course,
in the event of delivery of the tank to
Aguirre as improved, it would be just for
him to reimburse Leonora & Co. the sum
of P11,299.00. The trial court, therefore,
acted properly in denying Aguirre's claim
to be paid the fair and reasonable value
of the tank as improved in case the same
could no longer be delivered to him.

It must also be remembered that the judgment in
Civil Case No. 24914 of the Court of First Instance
of Manila, wherein Nassco was directed to pay to
Aguirre the of P900.00, in case delivery of the
same tank is no longer possible, has already
become final. This ruling cannot be disregarded in
the present proceeding which involves the same
parties and practically the same issue, arising from
the same set of facts.

Nassco cannot also be compelled to pay more than
P14,500.00 for the tank, the bid offered by Leonora
In Civil Case No. 27988, the court rendered
& Company and accepted by this buyer, and which
decision based on a stipulation of facts by the
must be the actual market value of the property at
parties, wherein the existence of Civil Case No.
the time of its delivery to the latter. It has nothing to
24914 was admitted, the dispositive portion of
do at all with the various transactions or sales and
which provides:
the deprivation of Aguirre's right to possession of
Aguirre filed the present petition for review, alleging the tank, which culminated in this legal suit.
that the judgment of the Court of Appeals, ordering
the return to him of the sum of P900.00 (when the
AGREEMENT, judgment is hereby
Wherefore finding no error in the decision of the
value of the property is at least P14,500.00),
rendered as follows:
Court of Appeals under review, the present petition
nullifies the declaration of his ownership of the tank.
is hereby dismissed, with costs against the
He contends that under Article 440 of the Civil
petitioner. So ordered.
Intervenor Jesus Aguirre, as we have
Code, his ownership of the property entitles him to
already declared in Civil Case No. 24914, everything that is produced thereby, or is
is hereby adjudged owner of the oil tank incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal,
in question. Defendant National
artificially. Thus, he reiterates the claim to the fair
Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez and Castro, JJ.,
Shipyards and Steel Corporation is
and reasonable value of the tank at the time of its concur.
hereby ordered to deliver to the said
delivery to Nassco which is P14,500.00.
Jesus Aguirre such tank, but in the event
Republic of the Philippines
that delivery is not possible, to pay to
It is clear that we have here a case of accession by
Aguirre the purchase price of P900.00,
specification: Leonora and Company, as purchaser
and to Leonora and Co. the amount of
acting in good faith, spending P11,299.00 for the
P11,299.00 which represents the costs of
reconditioning of the tank which is later adjudged to
the improvements made by the said
belong to petitioner Aguirre. There is no showing
Leonora & Co.
that without the works made by Leonora &
Company, the tank in its original condition when
G.R. No. L-11285
May 16, 1958
In the event that the National Shipyards Aguirre paid P900.00 therefor, would command the
and Steel Corporation shall deliver the oil price of P14,500 which Nassco was willing to pay.
tank to Jesus Aguirre as it is, the latter
Although ordinarily, therefore, Aguirre, as owner of VICENTE SAPTO, LAUREANA SAPTO and
DORA (BAGONA), plaintiffs-appellants,
shall pay to Leonora and Co. the amount the tank, would be entitled to any accession

we held that "registration is intended to protect the buyer against claims of third persons arising from subsequent alienations by the vendor. 713. (44 Am.B. 930.R. 51 Off. The prevailing rule is that the right of a plaintiff to have his title to land quieted. however. and argue that the latter's action to obtain it had long prescribed. defendant-appellee. 901. Jur. and ordered the plaintiffs to execute the necessary deed of conveyance in defendant's favor and its annotation in the certificate of title. therefore. we have consistently refer. Villaseca. 480 of the New Civil Code) that actions to quiet title to property in the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible (44 Am.. statute of limitations is not available as a defense to an action to remove a cloud from title can only be invoked by a complaint when he is in possession. Actually the action for conveyance was one to quiet title. more or less. Veluz. Galasinao vs. Branch 44 1 ruled in of private respondents. . Laureana and Vicente Sapto. Masbate is claimed by two contestants in this petition for review on certiorari. no bearing on the instant case. So ordered.. But the rule that the Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. 138 Wash. 245 Pac. or suit upon the adverse claim.. herein appellee. leaving no. No.respondents. He may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right. i. vs. APOLONIO FABIANA.. legal title over the property can be vested in only one of them. 442. where the appellee has always. Jur. 47. 111141 March 6. April 30. 439. Rhea. the judgment appealed from is affirmed. Napoleon B. From this judgment. p. it seems. plaintiffs appealed to this Court. Victorico Laurio and Angeles Laurio. registration of the contract not being indispensable as between the parties. therefore. since the delivery of possession of the land sold had consummated the sale and transferred title to the purchaser. it was valid and binding upon the parties and the vendors heirs. Gaz. registration is the operative act that gives validity to the transfer or creates a lien upon the land. transferred to Fabiana and the latter has been in the possession thereof 1931 up to the present. 91 Phil.. remained in the possession of the land in question and no subsequent transfer thereof to other persons has been made either by appellants or their prodecessors-in-interest. 48 Phil. 6.2800 hectares. These cases have. Gustilo vs. Masbate. vs. "The peculiar force of a title under Act No. After trial.: Sapto (Moro). p. claiming to be owners thereof. who would then be able to reconvey the same property to other persons. initiated their suit to recover the land in 1954.. Carillo vs.: Like a priceless treasure coveted by many. When Sapto died. Masbate. TITONG. 50 of the Land Registration Act providing that "no deed . invoke his remedy within the statutory period.00.e. Affirmed on appeal to the Court. Winkleman vs. Inland Empire Land Co. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (4th Division). REYES. J. It is. No. "is exhibited only when the purchaser has sold to innocent third parties the land described in the conveyance. Maravilla.. The case originated from an action for quieting of title filed by petitioner Mario Titong. Generally speaking. clear that the conveyance between appellee and his vendors and valid and binding upon the latter. 43 Phil.L. 442). surveyed as Lot No. Ta-Asan for appellants. 47) The appellants aver that it was error to require them to execute a deed of conveyance in favor of the plaintiff. interpreted sec. And in the recent case of Casica vs.vs. 27 Phil. to remove the cloud cast upon appellee's ownership by the refusal of the appellants to recognize the sale made by their predecessors. 17 Phil. Unfortunately. One who claims property which is in the possession of another must. in consideration of the amount of P245. who may be ignorant thereof. 39 L. or to assert any superior equity in his favor. although never registered.. other heirs. proceeding. Devera Ignacio. is not barred while the plaintiff or his grantors remain in actual possession of the land. A. No enforcement of the contract is in fact needed.. he has a continuing right to the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of such claim and its effect on his title. 95 Phil. as between vendor and vendee. Samuel and Constancio Sapto executed a deed of sale of a portion of four hectares of the land aforementioned if favor of defendant Apolonio Fabiana. On June 6. 314 (syllabus). now deceased was the registered owner of a parcel of land located in Alambre. Austria.. and is certainly not necessary to give effect as between the parties to their deed of sale". appellee. and is equally binding and effective against the heirs of the vendors. Suarez. 492". Costs against appellants. Nidea for appellee..R. Imaz and Warner Barnes and Co. J. L-9590. the widow and children of Samuel Sapto filed this action in the Court of First Instance of Davao for the recovery of the parcel of land sold by their predecessors to defendant Apolonio Fabiana in 1931. Wherefore. In a long line of cases already decided by this Court. of Appeals. to cases involving conflicting rights over registered property and those of innocent transferees who relied on the clean titles of the properties in question. this 20. 14). Possession of the land conveyed was. J. however. Appellants cite several cases wherein we have held that under the Torrens system. Ramon pre-deceased his two brothers. 265). The authorities cited The question is not new. 609. On October 19. 2874. Samuel Sapto married one Dora (Bagoba) and upon his death was survived by his widow and two children. Maravilla. Petitioner alleges that he is the owner of an unregistered parcel of land with an area of 3. but shall operate only as a contract between the parties and as evidence of authority to the clerk or register of deeds to make registration" in the sense that as between the parties to a sale registration is not necessary to make it valid and effective. but was never registered. we reiterated that "the purpose of registration is merely to notify and protect the interests of strangers to a given transaction. The property has remained and still is in the possession of the vendee of appellants' predecessors. 45. Toril. This contention must be overruled. No right of innocent third persons or subsequent transferees of the property in question is involved herein. 3918. Salak. The sale was duly approved by the Provincial Governor of Davao. we said in Medina vs.592 square-meter parcel of land located at Barrio Titong. is valid and binding on appellants and operated to convey title and ownership to the appellee. it is an established rule of American jurisprudence (made applicable in this jurisdiction by Art. under Transfer Certificate of Title No. shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the land. R. No. Constancio Sapto died without any issue.. for actual notice is equivalent to registration (Obras Pias vs. To hold otherwise would make of the Torrens system a shield for the commission of fraud by the vendors or his heirs (Gustilo vs. Grant County. being predicated on the assumption that the reconveyance is sought by way of performance of the contract of sale entered into in 1931. 48 Phil. Cooper vs. and Ramon as heirs of the property in question. ROMERO. and the non-registration of the deed evidencing said transaction does not relieve the parties thereto of their obligations thereunder". Quimson vs. herein appellants. Nuesa. T5701 (0-28) of the Register of Deeds of Davao City. . petitioner. This action accrued only when appellant. The issue is whether the deed of sale executed by appellants' predecessors in favor of the appellee over the land in question. 1954. 1998 MARIO Z. G. the same rights and remedies exist in relation to land not so registered". Davao City. The Regional Trial Court of Masbate. he left his children Samuel. as against one who is asserting some adverse claim or lien thereon. Furthermore. the lower court held that although the sale between Samuel and Constancio Sapto and defendant in 1931 was never registered. 1957. petitioner comes to us for a favorable reversal. In Galanza vs. the reason for this rule being that while the owner in fee continues liable to an action. 45 Phil. but capable of ownership by only one. Rodolfo A. twenty years having elapsed since the original sale. Thereafter. adjudging them the true and lawful owners of the disputed land. VICTORICO LAURIO and ANGELES LAURIO. Constancio. . 1931.

476.24 The ground or reason for filing a complaint for quieting of title must therefore be "an instrument. 24." 26 Moreover. settlement 19 petitioner's share was bloated to 2. In his testimony. 8723 was agreement to repurchase the same. the court should declare him "the true be denied for the reason that the lower court should and absolute owner" thereof. together with damages. 6 which the four heirs of his mother. In compliance with their mutual September 9. Apprised of the discrepancy.00. 1962 and then declared it for taxation purposes in his name under Tax Declaration No. Whenever there is a but definitely not one for quieting of title.5 hectares the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale of Estate of and was bounded on the North by the Bugsayon the deceased Leonida Zaragoza. valid or effective but is in truth that petitioner. maliciously and fraudulently had the land in voidable. he was actually claiming 5. On motion for reconsideration. . forcibly entered a portion of the land containing an area of approximately two (2) hectares. the proceedings of which. on the East by Benigno Titong. encumbrance or proceeding which constitutes or casts a cloud. on the South by property owner Espinosa. what petitioner imagined as clouds cast of title. certain discrepancies between the two surveys surfaced. area and boundaries of the disputed land remained however. and averred that the disputed property formed part of the 5. answer to the complaint. were suspended of the instant case. thus converting the old river into a riceland. cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. On the other hand. the property remained in as his rightful share in the extrajudicial petitioner's hands for only four (4) days because. while the second was the relocation survey ordered by the lower court. who had worked on the land even before its sale to Espinosa in 1962. the same was denied for lack of He then proceeded to claim damages and merit. these grounds are exclusive so that other reasons outside of the purview of these reasons may not be considered valid for the same action. 12 Consequently. the area and boundaries of the property remained exactly the same as those appearing in Tax Declaration No. 3301 18 and as then alleges that. attorney's fees. her heirs executed an instrument denominated as "Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Simultaneous Sale" whereby the 5. instead of reflecting only . The property involved is Potenciano Zaragoza. 5339 8 was River and on the West by Benigno Titong. Clearly. on the East sold this property to Concepcion Verano vda. Tax Declaration No. it would have had no other course The lower court rendered a decision in favor of of action under the law but to dismiss it. by reason When the issues were joined by the filing of the of any instrument. The private respondents. aside from issuing a writ or preliminary injunction enjoining private respondents and their hired laborers from intruding At the outset.4 on August 28. de by Benigno Titong. 1960. However. on December 21. Hence. on the East by property under the ownership adjudicated unto themselves the 3. the late Segundina Liao Espinosa. It was proved at the proceedings in the court a quo that two (2) surveys were made of the disputed property. Thereafter. encumbrance or proceeding" ordering petitioner to respect private respondents' beclouded the plaintiff's title over the property title and ownership over the property and to pay involved. 1969. among other matters. it would have become claim. with their hired laborers. As anticipated. surreptitiously. question included in the survey of his land which and may be prejudicial to said extends to the south only as far as the Bugsayon title. 1962. litigation expenses. on the South by the Bugsayon Cabug. private respondent anchors his Bureau of Lands against the first survey. 3918. claim. he sold it to Espinosa 11 who hectares. 21 Private respondent accordingly denied that petitioner had diverted the course of the Bugsayon River after he had repurchased the land from Concepcion Verano vda. Thus. When petitioner employed Bienvenido Lerit as his tenant in 1962. It therefore appeared to private then declared it in his name under Tax Declaration respondent that petitioner encroached upon his (Laurio's) property and declared it a part of his inheritance. contrary to petitioner's allegation in his complaint that he is the owner of only 3. 2 Pablo Espinosa on August 10. 23 doubt.000. Private respondents denied this allegation.5-hectare agricultural land which they had purchased from their predecessor-in-interest. In showed that the land had an area of 5. and in fact invalid. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. 20 The boundaries were likewise altered so that it was bounded on the North by Victor Verano. On issued in her favor. on the South by property owner by property of the deceased. an action may be brought River which is the visible and natural and common to remove such cloud or to boundary between the properties. petitioner bounded on the North by Victor Verano. petitioner proved that it was actually a boundary dispute by evidence showing what he considered as the boundary of his An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud property which private respondents perceived as from being cast upon title to real property or any actually encroaching on their property. 12738 was issued in the name of private respondent. 12311 was sold to private respondent 13 in consideration of the amount of P5. In all these conveyances. the acts alleged may be considered grounds for an action for forcible entry Art. record.2800 hectares. costs and moral defendants (respondents herein). The boundary between the land sold to Espinosa and what of petitioner's property was the old Bugsayon river. question or shadow upon the owner's title to or interest in real property. recounting that the municipal trial court.6-hectare of Lucio Lerit. declaring him as the true and complaint failed to allege that an "instrument. Leonida Zaragoza. 3479 to private respondent Victorico Laurio.1841 hectares instead of the 5. He prayed that. 17 the heirs River. likewise defense on the following facts: He denied filing a case for alteration of boundaries before the petitioner's claim of ownership. he instructed Lerit to change the course of the old river and direct the flow of water to the lowland at the southern of petitioner' s property.5 hectares sold by petitioner to him. during the hearing of the case. Petitioner merely alleged that the attorney's fees. and began plowing the same under pretext of ownership. the property became a part of the estate of Pablo Espinosa's wife. Tax Declaration No.9789 hectares. a claimant must show that there is an instrument. The first survey 14 was made for petitioner. encumbrance or proceeding. "in bad faith. the total areas of Lot Nos. and on the West by property described in the instrument as having been owned by Agapito de la Cruz. 7Private Respondent declared under Tax Declaration No. According to him. and on the West by property owner Adolfo Titong. claim. regard.and declared for taxation purposes in his name. we hold that the instant petition must into the land. private respondents. In this interest therein. their hired laborers and without legal justification. 3479 pertaining to Espinosa. de Cabug 22 because the land was immediately sold to Espinosa shortly thereafter. 12311. claim. The answer alleged. after which Tax Declaration No. private respondent filed a protest 15 before the For his part. He claims that on three separate occasions in September 1983. On August 10.5-hectare property under Tax Declaration No. ineffective. 16 unaltered during the series of conveyances prior to its coming into his hands. absolute owner of the litigated property and record. 10 However. petitioner issued to petitioner for his corresponding share in reacquired the property by way of sale 9 on August the estate. 5 No. petitioner identified Espinosa as his adjoining owner 3. record. petitioner first declared the land for taxation Private respondent testified that petitioner is one of purposes under Tax Declaration No. 1981. 1981. 3918-A and 3606. through his have outrightly dismissed the complaint for quieting allegations. 2916 under petitioner's name. Hence. 25 Had the lower court thoroughly considered the complaint filed. encumbrance or apparent to the court that the case was a boundary proceeding which is apparently dispute. record. the following pronouncements of the Court are apropos: Under this provision.9000 hectare 5720." Under the maxim expresio mius est exclusio alterius. or unenforceable. Lot No. The remedy of quieting of title may be on his title to the property were private respondents' availed of under the circumstances enumerated in alleged acts of physical intrusion into his purported the Civil Code: property. quiet the title. forcibly entered the southern portion of the land of the plaintiff and plowed the same. 2916. this petition for review on certiorari. was left with only an area of 4. which affirmed the decision. 4This was corroborated by Ignacio Villamor. asserting that no controversy had sprouted between them for twenty years until the latter sold Lot No.

and possession. 1862 of Act No. hectare land in favor of Pablo Espinosa. Hence." 33 To allow petitioner to benefit from his own sale one of the contracting wrong would run counter to the maxim ex dolo parties obligates himself to malo non oritur actio (no man can allowed to found transfer the ownership of and a claim upon his own wrongdoing). order the determination of the boundaries of the claimed property. not estate is not acquired by mere possession thereof fail. . September 1983 when private respondents entered the property in question spanned twenty-one (21) In other words. private respondent's claimed property. by itself.2433-hectare property as shown by the commissioner's report. totals 5. 37Respondent Petitioner's claim that he acquired ownership over court correctly held that these documents do not the disputed land through possession for more than conclusively demonstrate petitioner's title over Lot twenty (20) years is likewise unmeritorious. Extraordinary to deliver a determinate thing. in which proceeding the boundary dispute may be fully threshed out. even if the complaint below were to nature of a partition. A tax declaration. sold. 1134 of the Civil Code provides that "(o)wnership and other real rights over immovable A survey is the act by which the quantity of a parcel property are acquired by ordinary prescription through possession of ten years. There is also nothing in the commissioner's report that substantiates petitioner's claim that the disputed land was inside his property. 40 by the evidence on record or the judgment itself is could transmit his ownership. Petitioner capitalizes on the lower court's statement in its decision 46 that "as reflected in the commissioner's report dated May 23. acquisitive prescription cannot similarly vest and the other to pay therefor a ownership over the property upon petitioner. 3918 may. paragraph 5 of Act No. 35 the interest. There is therefore a notable discrepancy of 8. a sale is a contract transferring years. as that would be tantamount to awarding to one or some of the parties the disputed property in an action where the sole issue is limited to whether the instrument. under claim of ownership for a period of tea years being a conveyance. claim. 1117 of land. 29 In the case at bar. 41 A survey plan not verified and approved by said Bureau is nothing more than a private writing. transferred and conveyed" the 5. Tax Declaration No. also within the prescribed period. reports.39 Therefore. 38 A survey under a proprietary title is not a the same Code." Hence." A contract of sale may be Petitioner's alleged possession in 1962 up to absolute or conditional. findings of fact of the Court of claim on the survey plan reflecting a subdivision of tilulo y buena fe (with color of title and good Appeals are binding and conclusive upon this faith). Espinosa's rights of ownership over the land ceased and were transferred to private respondent upon its sale to the latter. While Nos. . price certain in money or its 1137 of the Civil Code states that "(o)wnership and equivalent.2800 hectares while the totality of his claim according to the commissioned geodetic engineer's survey amounts to 4. A careful reading of the decision would show that this statement is found in the summary of defendants' (herein private respondents) evidence.5 hectares. Such factual findings shall not be disturbed in the reasonable belief that the person from whom as it may refer only to a delineation of normally unless the same are palpably unsupported he received the thing was the owner thereof. 3918-A and 3606. 36 and the survey plan. the acquisition of ownership or other real rights but the Cadastral Act. 20 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. 42 Similarly. 34 the tax declaration in his name. through one of the modes recognized by law for the with Sec. the incompatibility in petitioner's tax declaration and the commissioner's report as regards the area of his claimed property is much too glaring to be ignored. and quantity of law must be read in conjunction with Art. as follows: Petitioners have not satisfactorily met the requirements of good faith and just title. 1984 (Exhibit 3-3-A). the plan was not verified and examination of the records. 31 For purposes of based on a misapprehension of facts. 44 Because it does not by itself give title.. in an action for quieting of title. may be introduced. without need of title or of good faith. 43 It is merely an indicium of a claim of ownership. there is just title when the adverse Furthermore.585 square meters. a customary mode in which a possession in good faith and with just title for the be considered as a valid one for quieting of title. a more proximate equivalent of the 5. a survey.1385 hectares. or for recovery of possession de facto. grantor was not the owner or could not transmit any The courts below correctly held that when petitioner 2711. the Court finds no claimant came into possession of the property approved by the Bureau of Lands in accordance evident reason to depart from the general rule. record. To admit evidence and not to believe it subsequently are not contradictory to each other. claim. Such determination of boundaries is appropriate in adversarial proceedings where possession or ownership may properly be considered and where evidence aliunde. computations. petitioner's tax declaration issued under his name is not even persuasive evidence of his claimed ownership over the land in dispute. The circumstance that the plan was admitted in evidence without any objection as to its due execution and authenticity does not signify that the courts shall give probative value therefor. 32 "sold. record. as borne out by Tax Declaration No. is not considered conclusive evidence of ownership. As aptly observed by the trial court. 45 Moreover. This article states that ". other than the "instrument.5-hectare property. (T)he trial court (and likewise the respondent Court) cannot. commissioner's report on the relocation survey. On the other hand. a prescriptive title to real of the common estate. 1137. distances. the plaintiff's admitted acts of converting boundary line (Bugsayon River) into a ricefield and thereafter claiming ownership thereof were acts constituting deprivation of the rights of others and therefore "tantamount to bad Art. the due execution and authenticity of which must be proven in accordance with Sec. proprietor has set off to himself in severalty a part still. This Court cannot alter the conclusions of the Court of Appeals on the credibility accorded to evidence presented by the parties. In the same manner. 28 Upon an prescription. By the contract of faith. Said law ordains that private surveyors send right. ceded. other real rights over immovables prescribe through uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty years. conveyance. his rights surveys. Reference to Lot No.27 ceased and these were transferred to the latter. maps and plots regarding a piece of of ownership and possession pertaining thereto property to the Bureau of Lands for verification and approval. . petitioner cannot found his unless such possession was acquired con justo As a general rule. petitioner's claim of ownership must of necessary fail because he has Petitioner basically anchors his claim over the long abdicated his rights over the land when he property on the survey plan prepared upon his sold it to private respondent's predecessor-inrequest.5their original field notes. may be availed of by the petitioners. 12738. 8717 states that petitioner's property has an area of 3. 28. encumbrance or proceeding involved constitutes a cloud upon the petitioners' interest or title in and to said property. the area claimed is inside lot 3918 of the defendants(Exhibit 2)" 47 or the private respondents. Art. Art. 30 The good faith of the possessor consists land because it is not conclusive as to ownership Court. 2259. as amended by Sec. therefore. It is an instrument sui generis in the (o)rdinary acquisitive prescription of things requires Nonetheless. This period of time is short of the thirty-year dominion and other real rights in the thing requirement mandated by Art. it is not amiss to conclude that either petitioner misapprehended the lower court's decision or he is trying to . . whenever warranted by the period prescribed in Rule 70. it is of little value in proving one's ownership. A fortiori. the instant petition for review on certiorari must time fixed by law." this provision of of land is ascertained and so a paper containing a statement of courses. encumbrance or proceeding" itself. 1458. be attributed to mere oversight as the lower court even continues to state the defendants' assertion that the 2-hectare land is part of their 5. An action for forcible entry. This finds justification in the Civil Code. is not a mode of acquiring ownership.

he had paid P8. Galope for respondents. rate of interest. SO ORDERED. . equivalent to Two Hundred Seventy Four and point Fifty (274. .00 to Pingol. he started paying the monthly installments but was able to pay only up to 1972." The moral damages are hereby increased to P30. rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners. designated as Lot No.contumaciously mislead or worse. CUEVAS. HON. The parcel of land referred to herein is Lot No. leaving therefor a balance of Eighteen Thousand and Five Hundred Thirty (P18. . Caloocan City and more particularly described in Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. On 17 February 1969.000. and to which the VENDOR likewise agrees.00. his wife or his authorized representative or Plaintiffs then prayed that the defendants be factor. 21 of the same Code. 1970. located at Bagong Barrio.000. Chan for petitioners. 1 Pursuant to the contract. NATIVIDAD D.369. With respect to the awards of moral damages of P10. the amount of (P257.00) PESOS. YOLANDA D.. On appeal. they offered to pay the That the VENDEE undertakes averred balance of P10. the respondent Court reversed the trial court's decision. his heirs. Donasco paid P2.000. vs.00 advance payment. between herein VENDOR and VENDEE the same shall be divided into two (2) equal parts. CONVEY AND CONVEY by way of Absolute Sale the one-half (1/2) portion. beginning January. after due trial. MARIETTA D. the VENDOR gets the corner facing J. Jurisprudence is replete with rulings to the effect that where fraud and bad faith have been established. That the VENDOR hereby confesses and acknowledges the receipt of TWO THOUSAND (P2. plus the P2. JR. with an area of 549 square meters.00.00) PESOS from VENDEE as advanced (sic) and partial payment to the above-cited consideration of the Sale herein mentioned. On 19 October 1988.00 on the contract price. payment to be injunction be issued to restrain the defendants from the acts complained of. 49 WHEREFORE.00.161. J.00. 2219 (10) of the Civil Code allowing the recovery of moral damages for acts enumerated in Art. the VENDEE agrees and undertakes to pay unto the VENDOR a monthly amount equivalent to Two Hundred Fifty Seven (sic) and Thirty Six Centavos (P257. Bernardo S. 1993 SPOUSES VICENTE and LOURDES PINGOL. Philippine Currency. 3223-A remained in the possession of Donasco's heirs. 2 Francisco immediately took possession of the subject lot and constructed a house thereon.: An action denominated as one for specific performance and damages was brought by the private respondents against the petitioners before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City which. 48 This pronouncement finds support in Art. inter alia: That in case of partition of the above-described property a. leaving a balance of P10. MYRNA D. 3223-A. 4 the plaintiffs (private respondents herein) that after the death of their father. respondents. 102909 September 6. COURT OF APPEALS and HEIRS OF FRANCISCO N. They further alleged that the be made available and to be defendants were committing "acts of forcible entry and paid at the residence of the encroachment" upon their land and asked that a writ of preliminary VENDOR. the abovementioned property. The action was docketed as Civil Case No. CACERES and MARY DONASCO. The one-half portion. PELAYO. good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. made either directly to the VENDOR. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. In their complaint.161. the award of moral damages is in order.44) as the last and final installment thereof.000. Costs against petitioner. DAVIDE. PELAYO. he executed a "DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE OF ONE-HALF OF (1/2) [OF] AN UNDIVIDED PORTION OF A PARCEL OF LAND" in favor of Francisco N. the instant petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED and the questioned Decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. the heirs of Francisco Donasco filed an action for "Specific Performance and Damages. We agree with the respondent court in holding that the award of attorney's fees is justified because petitioner filed a clearly unfounded civil action. to VENDEE. The material facts of this case are simple and undisputed. Donasco which was acknowledged before a notary public. 7435 of the Registry of Deeds of Caloocan City. assigns and successors-ininterest. 3 Lot No. De Jesus Street only.00 and attorney's fees of P2. In January 1970." They stated within the first five (5) days of complete that they had "exerted earnest efforts to forge or reach an amicable each month and the same shall and peaceful settlement with the defendants" for the payment of the property in question but to no avail.00 plus the stipulated legal rate of interest to pay unto the VENDOR the thereon to Vicente Pingol but the latter rebuffed their offer and has "been demanding for a bigger and unreasonable amount.530. more or less. At the time of his demise. with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary That the VENDEE agrees that Injunction" against the spouses Vicente and Lourdes Pingol (petitioners herein) before the RTC in case of default in the payment of the installment due of Caloocan City. was then segregated from the mother lot. No.161. DONASCO. the VENDOR hereby these presents SELL. This article states that "(a)ny person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals. That after computing the above-mentioned equal installments. It is from this judgment that the petitioners have appealed to this Court by way of a petition for review oncertiorari. SINGSON. the Court finds no cogent reason to delete the same. petitioners. plus .R. ordered. 13572 and raffled off to Branch 125 of the the same shall earn a legal said court.000. De Jesus and Malolos Avenue and the VENDEE shall get the portion with fifteen 15 meters frontage facing J. and the parties prepared a subdivision plan (Exhibit "C") which was approved by the Land Registration Commission. 3223 and the pertinent portions of the document read as follows: That for and in consideration of the sum of TWENTY THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY (P20.36) within a period of Seventy One (71) months and on the Seven Two [sic] (72) month. On 13 July 1984. deceive this Court. Francisco Donasco died. 3223 of the Cadastral Survey of Caloocan.000. namely: MELINDA D. Petitioner Vicente Pingol is the owner of Lot No. Orlando A. to accept the amount of P10. in herein monthly installment variance to what is lawfully due and payable. This Decision is immediately executory.50) square meters.530) Pesos to be paid in several equal installments within a period of six (6) years.

(3) title and ownership over the lot did not pass to Francisco Donasco and his heirs since the contract to sell was never consummated. by agreement. and covered by decision 8 dismissing the complaint and ordering the plaintiffs to TCT No. On 12 November 1991. 13 which they subsequently complied III with. CV the failure to fully pay the agreed price was not a WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN JANUARY 1976. . We gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. tolerance of Vicente Pingol. 7435 of the Registry pay the defendants P350. de Jesus St. [and] REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another one is rendered: b. such payment being a positive suspensive condition. and deed of absolute sale in question. 7 the Plan of Subdivision Survey plaintiffs pointed out that there is no provision in the deed of sale for its cancellation in case of default in the payment of the monthly which was approved By installments and invoked Article 1592 of the New Civil Code. 11 The Court of Appeals ruled that the deed of sale in question reveals the clear intention of Vicente Pingol to part with the ownership of the one-half Plaintiffs elevated the case to the Court of Appeals portion of the land by way of an absolute sale. DESPITE THE FACT THAT BY ITS TERMS AND CONDITIONS.000. that where the appeal was docketed as CA-G.R. IV IN HOLDING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENTS' CAUSE OF ACTION HAS NOT PRESCRIBE. .50 sq. he had not fully paid the total strength of which declaring the consideration agreed upon. failure of which is not a breach but an event that prevented the obligation of the vendor to convey title from becoming effective. It held that: (1) the (exh. that the plaintiffs have a cause of action for specific performance. SO ORDERED. the trial court rendered a Caloocan City. .161. 15 A perusal of Exhibit "A" leads to no other conclusion than that it embodies a contract of sale. Plaintiffs. The plain and clear tenor of the "DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE OF ONE-HALF (1/2) [OF] AN . P10. IN HOLDING THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE VENDEE FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT (EXHIBIT "A") SPECIFICALLY TO COMPLETE THE PAYMENT OF THE CONSIDERATION ON THE DATE STIPULATED IN THE CONTRACT WHICH IN HOLDING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS' ACTION IS ONE WHICH IS AN OFFER TO COMPLETE THE PAYMENT LEFT UNPAID BY PRIVATE RESPONDENTS' FATHER WHICH DOES NOT PRESCRIBE.00. They Commissioner of Land specifically denied the allegations in the counterclaim. and (5) considering the breach by "Heirs of the Deceased Francisco of his contractual obligation way back in 1976. 9 contract to sell arguendo ground for the cancellation of the sale. 14 The decisive issue in this case is whether Exhibit "A" embodies a contract of sale or a contract to sell. Bagong Barrio. . 12 Dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeals. plus the reflected in the survey and legal interest due thereon from subdivision plan. They then asked that the plaintiffs be land. the vendor has lost and cannot recover ownership until and unless the contract is resolved or rescinded. the decision half (1/2) portion of the parcel appealed from is hereby of land . 25967. the sale was deemed to have been cancelled and the continuous occupancy Francisco N. On 22 January 1990. C). LIKE THE PRICE BEING PAYABLE ON INSTALLMENTS WITHIN A FIXED PERIOD. the segregation of (2) Upholding the validity of the the portion sold and the preparation and approval of the subdivision "DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE plan. In their answer with counterclaim. (4) when Francisco died. D) and reflected in the In their Reply and Answer to Counterclaim. the case was then one-half portion [of] lot 3223. (3) the subdivision plan was prepared on the assumption that Francisco Donasco would be able to comply with his and by virtue and on the obligation. hereinafter referred to as the private respondents. 1971 (exh. filed this petition for certiorari on 9 January 1992.. and (5) assuming. to execute the final deed of sale on the one-half (1/2) (1) Ordering appellee-vendor portion of the lot . . and that the plaintiffs' action is imprescriptible since it is akin to an action to quiet title to property in one's possession. . since Vicente Pingol had no intention to part with the ownership of the loan unless the full amount of the agreed price had been paid. (2) the contract was deemed to have been cancelled from the moment the late father of the plaintiffs defaulted in the payment of the monthly installments. hereinafter referred to as the petitioners. 1988 OR A PERIOD OF MORE THAN TWELVE (12) YEARS FROM THE TIME COMPLETE PAYMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE. not a . 5 the date of institution of this action on October 19. The distinction between the two is important for in a contract of sale. ownership is reserved in the vendor and is not to pass until the full payment of the price. in Vicente Pingol to accept the accordance with the partition sum of P10. A). COMPLETE PAYMENT THEREOF CAN STILL BE ENFORCED IN AN ACTION INSTITUTED BY THE HEIRS OF THE VENDEE FILED ON OCTOBER 19. the title passes to the vendee upon the delivery of the thing sold. and the costs of the suit. tried on the merits. In a contract of sale. whereas in a contract to sell. the said court interest due thereon. . whereas in a contract to sell. . .00 by of Deeds of Caloocan City way of attorney's fees. marked and offered in evidence as Exhibit "A." is a . II contract of sale (3) Ordering the defendantsappellees to pay the costs. the defendants. filed their comment thereto on 10 September 1992 to which the petitioners filed a reply 11 November 1992. 1970".. January. such action had already prescribed since the complaint was filed only on 19 October 1988 or more than ten years from the time that they could have lawfully demanded performance. Domingo" as the of Francisco after 1976 and by his heirs thereafter was by mere owners of the 274. but set up the following special and affirmative defenses: (1) plaintiffs' cause of action had already prescribed. Registration on August 13. situated at the corner of Malolos Avenue and G. B). THE SAME IS A CONDITIONAL DEED OF SALE. as full rendered a decision 10 reversing the appealed decision and and complete payment of the decreeing as follows: balance for the agreed price/consideration on the oneWHEREFORE. representing The issues having been joined. denominated as Lot ordered to vacate the premises and to pay them attorney's fees and a reasonable compensation for the use of the land. . 1988. .the stipulated legal rate of No. . (2) the deed of sale OF ONE.HALF (1/2) (of) AN embodied a conditional contract of sale "as the consideration is to be UNDIVIDED PORTION OF A paid on installment basis within a period of six years beginning PARCEL OF LAND" (Exh. title is retained by the vendor until the full payment of the price. (LRC) Psd-146255 under the technical description (exh. Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals erred: I IN HOLDING THAT THE DOCUMENT (EXHIBIT "A") DENOMINATED AS "ABSOLUTE DEED OF SALE OF ONE-HALF (½) OF AN UNDIVIDED PORTION OF A PARCEL OF LAND" IS AN ABSOLUTE DEED OF SALE SUFFICIENT TO CONFER OWNERSHIP ON THE VENDEE AND HIS SUCCESSORS-IN-INTEREST. 6 defendants admitted the execution of the aforementioned deed of sale. 3223-A. m.00 as reasonable monthly rental for the use of the premises from the filing of the complaint.

Court of Appeals. the petitioners adamantly refused to accept the tender of payment by the private respondents and steadfastly insisted that their obligation to transfer title had been rendered ineffective. 16 we held that a deed of thereof. continued the occupancy and possession of the property up Petitioners fault the respondent Court for holding that the action of the petitioners is not barred by the to the present.. even after the occupied and took such expiration of the period. . one of quiet title. Fabiana [103 Phil. The delivery of the object of the contract divested the vendor of the ownership over the same and he cannot recover the title unless the contract is Furthermore. the resolved or rescinded pursuant to Article 1592 of the New Civil Code which provides that: acts of the parties. when the entire balance should have been paid. Exhibit "A" contains neither stipulation. title to him. explained that under been determined that an owner the circumstances no of real property in possession enforcement of the contract is has a continuing right to invoke needed. he did not property as owner up to his prove that his demand for rescission was made death on July 13. 21 which shall be in the name of the herein private respondents covering Lot No.L. appellee continuously asserts that he had declared to Francisco Donasco possessed and occupied the that he was cancelling the contract.00. The constructive delivery of the subject lot sale is absolute in nature although denominated as a "Deed of was made upon the execution of the deed of Conditional Sale" where there is no stipulation in the deed that title to 18 the property sold is reserved in the seller until the full payment of the sale while the actual delivery was effected when the private price. contemporaneous and subsequent to the contract. Such a and transferred title to the menace is compared to a purchaser. The owner of real property who Gabar 20 is : is in possession thereof may wait until his possession is The real and ultimate basis of invaded or his title is attacked petitioners' action is their before taking steps to vindicate ownership of one. Upon the payment by the land and had made valuable improvements private respondents to the petitioners of the said thereon. nor is there a stipulation giving the vendor the right to unilaterally resolve the contract the moment the buyer fails to pay within a fixed period. is entitled to bring suit to clear his title amount and the interest thereon. clearly show that an absolute deed of sale was intended.UNDIVIDED PORTION OF A PARCEL OF LAND" sold. All those attributes of is that "the VENDOR hereby . 3223-A. 1984 and his either judicially or by a notarial act. the court submitted to the Land may not grant him a new term. the interest on the unpaid balance of A vendee in an oral contract to convey land who P10. as found by the Court of Appeals." That the and 9 of their special and vendor. v. continuing nuisance or the action for conveyance is trespass which is treated as one to quiet title.half of the his right. after his death. this Court. and that. such possession. They argue that the private contemporaneous and respondents' action. A person claiming title lot coupled with their to real property. petitioner Vicente Pingol.161. We disagree. which possession thereof. . . being based upon a written subsequent events are contract. specifically in paragraphs 7 assigns and successors-in-interest. As modified. et al. i. since the delivery of a court of equity to remove a possession of the land sold cloud that is a continuing had consummated the sale menace to his title. In Sapto. Prescription thus cannot be invoked against the private respondents for it is aphoristic that an action to quiet title to property in one's possession is Although the private respondents' complaint before imprescriptible. 3223-A and the other . (1/2) portion . right as is the right to defend speaking thru Mr. ownership of the subject lot was transferred to the buyer upon the actual and constructive delivery In Dignos vs. WHEREFORE. as possession. 22 The rationale for this rule has been aptly the trial court was denominated as one for specific stated thus: performance. . So it has Reyes. . In this regard. Those statute of limitations. constructed a long as no demand for building thereon. title as a matter of law. the time agreed upon the vendor delivered actual and rescission of the contract shall constructive possession of the of right take place. except as above modified. even though it may have been stipulated that upon failure to pay the price at the [P]ursuant to the deed. must act entitles them to a conveyance affirmatively and within the time of the property. the vendee property to the vendee. pursuant to the provision in the deed of sale. 17 intention was further evidenced by his failure to reserve his title thereto until the full payment of the The contract here being one of absolute sale. entered upon the from 6 January 1976. . who may pay. actually. the following excerpt from Bucton vs. the latter are against the vendor who had refused to transfer the ordered to deliver Transfer Certificate of Title No. shall be computed had made part payment thereof. 23 apropos That a cloud has been cast on the title of the private respondents is indubitable. but not in possession thereof. has prescribed since it was brought only demonstrative acts that the in 1988 or more than ten years from the time when vendor since the sale recognized the vendee as the the latter could have lawfully demanded 19 absolute owner of the property performance. Private respondents shall. SELL. property was prepared and After the demand." respondents took possession of and constructed a house on Lot No.B. it is in effect an action to quiet title. had that clear affirmative defenses. What is merely stated therein is that "the VENDEE agrees that in case of default in the payment of the installments due the same shall earn a legal rate of interest. the Decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. an equitable title being sufficient to who shall cancel the same and issue two new clothe him with personality to bring an action to transfer certificates of title in lieu thereof. Although Vicente Pingol sale. Despite the fact that the title had been transferred to them by the execution of the deed of sale and the delivery of the object of the contract. provided by the statute. to the VENDEE . CONVEY ownership are admitted by AND CONVEY by way Absolute Sale the one-half defendants in their answer. be liable to pay the legal rate of interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price from the date default or on 6 January 1976. It is not necessary that the vendee has 7435 to the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City an absolute title. his heirs. the price. Justice J. 683. to successive nuisances or remove the cloud upon the trespasses. not barred by appellee's ownership by the statute until continued without refusal of the appellants to interruption for a length of time recognize the sale made by sufficient to affect a change of their predecessors. Since the contract had been made. however.e. Registration Commission which approved it preparatory to segregating the same and Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals did not obtaining the corresponding find that a notarial or judicial rescission of the TCT in his name. heirs. and to which the VENDOR likewise agrees. 686Possession is a continuing 87 (1958)]. had the rescission of the contract has property surveyed and been made upon him either subdivided and a plan of the judicially or by a notarial act. by the parties In the sale of immovable and not a contract to sell: property. at the legal rate.

Teodoro Husain. vs. by you for issuance to him of a transfer certificate of title but have signed at Cabatuan. (The court. which is identified as Lot No. Chichirita. because of the amount of Thirty appears on the reverse side of the deed of pacto Pesos (P30. appellee on the authority of our ruling in Sapto v. Thus the following appears on pages 20-21 of the and on my own voluntary will as Husain. I am transferring my subsequently sold the land to the appellee. 1919 was an objection to a question NOTA: The amount stated above.) TEODORO HUSAIN deed of conveyance of the land in favor of the her husband Manuel Catalan. bounded on the North. the vendee or his heirs shall execute the consent and knowledge of her a document of repurchase in my favor. transferred his right to Graciana Husain. in the Office of the Municipal treasurer of from Teodoro Husain. BONIFACIO HUSAIN. 1919. Philippine Islands. to them. the English translation of which Teodoro Husain did not redeem the land. SO ORDERED.00 within six years of P30. REGALA. you Husain in the presence of her husband bought the lot to in Exhibit A which is Lot In 1960. Philippine islands. HERMENEGILDA HUSAIN. Graciana Husain. Province of Iloilo. with discharged on January 28. that de retro sale: was paid to me by Serapio Chichirita. 1919. 766 of the Cadastral Survey of Cabatuan. as heirs of Teodoro Husain. B. in a second note added on the reverse side of the deed of sale. D. hereby declare that I am selling to the aforementioned vendee Serapio Chichirita. 1961. is not the same land which Teodoro Husain sold to Serapio Chichirita on Possession of the land. According to appellant he raised duplicate of the certificate of title of Teodoro this question at the trial but the lower court passed Husain. Clemente Husain. was In an affidavit dated March 6. I. One parcel of rice land that has a seedling of one cavan of palay. land of Agapito Suero. J. 1919 when Graciana from this date. on January 28. transcript of notes taken on July 5. or she. 1967 ELIAS GALLAR. 1928. considered absolute and irrevocably consummated asked for damages for the value of palay which is transferring to the said Elias Gallar in they claimed they failed to receive on account of and in the meantime the vendee shall be the one to accordance with that stated in the original appellee's refusal to return possession of the land make use of the aforementioned land in with the difference that this transfer is accordance with the Ley Hipotecaria. About the land. G. my one parcel of rice land at Barrio Salacay of this Municipality of Cabatuan. definite because it is their agreement in exchange of one head of cow described In truth whereof. May 16. redemption (gawad) of the same land. E. Iloilo. Treñas for plaintiff-appellee. Bonifacio Husain brought this appeal to this Court. 28 January the court dismissed his petition for lack of 1919. the owner. in what purports to be a resale of the land.") He. that is. They claimed that the mortgage had been The undersigned Graciana Husain. 1919. L-11285. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 1960 to compel Hermenegilda and Bonifacio Husain. Esmeralda for defendant-appellant. rights as stated above to Graciana Q — According to this Exhibit C. this document shall be invoked prescription to bar appellee's action and belongs to her. native and resident of this Municipality of Cabatuan.: This is an appeal directly from the Court of First Instance. reserving for himself the EUSEBIO JOCANO right to repurchase it within six years. The following annotation Cabatuan. The transaction is recorded of title. Chichirita received by me from Graciana Husain confirmed the "redemption" of the land by Graciana during the direct examination of the appellee.) 1äwphï1. jurisdiction. No. husband Manuel Catalan. was bought. filed this suit in the Court of Instance (English translation) of Iloilo on October 10. Serapio Chichirita sold it to this town. is contained in a private instrument. Hermenegilda and Bonifacio Husain denied the sale and contended that the I also declare that we have agreed that if the agreement between their father and Serapio OTRA NOTA: vendor shall have repaid to the vendee the Chichirita was that of a mortgage to secure a loan aforementioned amount of P30. L-20954 May 24. 4521 of the (English translation) Register of Deeds of Iloilo.) Serapio Chichirita for P30. defendant-appellant. Graciana Husain for her part confirmed having and because of this. to execute a deed of conveyance Graciana Husain subsequently transferred her in his favor so that he could get a transfer certificate rights to the land to appellee Elias Gallar in exchange for one cow.. 1919. Signed in the presence of: Cabatuan.R. sold this land to (sgd. The note reads. the vendee a retro. has agreed the said term that he cannot return the Hermenegilda and Bonifacio Husain likewise with Elias Gallar that all the rights that aforementioned amount. land of Elias Gallar and on the West. I have signed this document at in the Certificate of Large Cattle existing The trial court found that after acquiring the land Cabatuan.R. He contends that the land in question. of legal age. and the heirs of the latter. Iloilo and covered by Original Certificate of Title No. Graciana Graciana Husain who in turn sold it to the appellee. his heirs. defendants. E.) TOMAS JILOCA (sgd. The records on appeal do not appellee who since then has been in possession of disclose that appellant made such a claim. Accordingly. native and resident of the Municipality of sister of the vendor aretro. Fabiana. land of Juan Mina. Province of Iloilo. is the subject of this controversy. ET AL. appellee asked the Cadastral Court for the Manuel Catalan. 1958. single. together with the owner's January 9. ( the name of the petitioners covering the remainder of the lot. 9th of January. it ordered the appellants to execute a Husain signed hereunder together with (Sgd. married to Florentina Muyuela of legal age. written in Ilongo dialect. was delivered on the same occasion to it up in its decision. He also asked for damages. therefore.1919. Philippine currency.00). land of Juan Alcayaga. although reads: shortly after the execution of the deed of sale.) MANUEL CATALAN GRACIANA HUSAIN (sgd. No. And in truth whereof. plaintiff-appellee. but if after Husain paid Teodoro Husain's debt to Chichirita. In their answer. the only hint that he was questioning the identity of the land sold by means of the deed of sale of January 9. however. on the South. In another affidavit of the same date. and in truth whereof I 766 in question. granted appellee's request for the amendment of the certificate of title by changing the surname of "Osaen" to "Husain. The said land was inherited by me from my father who is now dead. on the East. April 2.ñët . legal measure. On January 9. and its descriptions are as follows: Thumb marked Serapio Chichirita From this judgment. The deed of sale. Teodoro Husain. A hectare of rice land in Cabatuan.

R. defendant Camilo Aviles. Defendant agreed to have a smaller area because his brother Eduardo asked him that he wanted a bigger share because he has several children to support. on the S by Anastacio Aviles and on the W by Juana and Apolonio Joaquin.900 square meters and declared under Tax Declaration No. Indeed.7Appellant's argument that the action has prescribed would be correct if they Otherwise. While it is indeed true that the first note written on the reverse side of the deed of sale speaks of the "redemption" of the land. its ownership became consolidated in the xxx xxx xxx appellee. cogonal. "stripped of unnecessary verbiage". As the new owner she had a perfect right to dispose of the land as she in fact did when she exchanged it for a cattle with the appellee. The portion . ESMERALDA [for defendants] Objection. DE AVILES. Pangasinan.5 By the COURT delivery of possession of the land on April 2. at any rate.214 square meters more or less. When the property was inspected by a bank representative. Now. the following facts. and Apolonio Joaquin(. thereby molesting and disturbing the peaceful possession of the plaintiffs over said portion. The Facts In an action for quieting of title commenced before the aforementioned trial court. No. This property is the share of their father. ESMERALDA ownership as a result of appellant's refusal to recognize the sale made by their predecessor. Pangasinan. 766 are one and the same is implicit in appellant's defense that the deed of sale did not express the true intention of the parties. Ireneo Aviles and Anastacia Salazar. 1983. more particularly described as fishpond.8 now in question. unlike a debt which a third party may satisfy even against the debtor's will2 the right of repurchase may be exercised only by the vendor in whom the right is recognized by contract3 or by any person to whom THIRD DIVISION G. ET AL. 95748 November 21. 1925. petitioners. Anastacio and Eduardo. Branch 38. SINCE 1957. The respective area(s) alloted to them was agreed and measured before the execution of the agreement but he was not present when the measurement was made. therefore.795 square meters and the area alloted (sic) to Eduardo Aviles is 16. in the exercise the latter's right of redemption. by appellant then be an action for recovery of real property of the supposed difference in the identity of the land which must be brought within the statutory period of sold in the deed of pacto de retro sale and the land limitation governing such actions.200 square meters by constructing a bamboo fence (thereon) and moving the earthen dikes. It may be added that an admission that the land described in the deed of sale and Lot No.4 Graciana Husain must.e. Eduardo Aviles.R. COURT OF APPEALS and CAMILO AVILES. 1919 the sale was consummated and title was transferred to the appellee.: Is the special civil action of Quieting of Title under Rule 64 the proper remedy for settling a boundary dispute? Did the respondent Court 1 commit a reversible error when it did not declare the respective rights of the parties over the disputed property in said action? These are the key issues raised in this petition to review on certiorari the Decision 2 of the respondent Court promulgated on September 28. your Honor. all it seeks is to quiet title.470 square meters more or less. When the real estate mortgage was cow. bounded on the N by Camilo Aviles. perhaps. defendant Camilo Aviles admitted the agreement of partition (Exh. 1990 in CA-G. In so with costs against appellant. UPON the other hand. Now. the only defense put up by appellant was that the pacto de retro sale was in reality a mortgage and that. this action is So your objection is that it lacks basis. on the E by Malawa River. Anastacio Aviles and Juana ON March 23. i. defendant Camilo Aviles asserted a color of title over the northern portion of the property with an area of approximately 1.. Graciana Husain. there is no evidence to show that the vendee. doing. Do you know how much the worth of your cow during that time? ATTY. True the successive sales are in a private instrument. Indeed. Your Honor. the It lacks basis.. 1996 ANASTACIA VDA. ignored the point.111 square meters more or less. Eduardo Aviles was in actual possession of the afore-described property. in the estate of their deceased parents. PANGANIBAN. to Anastacio Aviles is 16. action was barred by the statute of limitations. Eduardo Aviles and brother of the defendant. in the presence of the boundary owners. subject only to Teodoro Husain's right of redemption. vs. respondents. when Teodoro Husain failed to redeem the land within the stipulated period. In fact. was acting in behalf of her brother Teodoro Husain. CV No. dismissing a complaint for quieting of title. Lingayen. which affirmed the decision dated December 29. not for specific performance. the records do not show any allegation were in possession as the action to quiet title would made much less evidence presented. the decision appealed from is affirmed.) pointed to the inspector the existing earthen dikes as the boundary limits of the property and nobody objected. appellant joined issues with the appellee and he will not now be permitted to bring up new Republic of the Philippines matters on appeal as this would constitute SUPREME COURT changing of theory — so utterly unfair to the Manila adverse party1 that the lower court deliberately. with an area of 18. the total area of the property of their parents which they divided is 46.6 to remove the cloud cast on appellee's ATTY. action is imprescriptible. 31446. 18155. In accordance therewith. the latter mortgaged the same with the Rural Bank and Philippine National Bank branch in Lingayen. And. J. namely. were established by the respondent Court: 4 PLAINTIFFS aver that they are the actual possessors of a parcel of land situated in Malawa. the property was sold at public auction but this was redeemed by plaintiffs' mother and the land was subsequently transferred and declared in her name. while the area alloted to defendant Camilo Aviles is 14. "1") executed by him and his brothers. January 9. be deemed to have acquired the land in her own right. but they are valid just the same. as plaintiff-appellee is in possession of the land. The question is premised on Lot 766 but the document does not mention Lot 766. 1987 of the Regional Trial Court. appellee's Wherefore. Still it is argued that no action can be brought on the basis of the deed of sale with a right of repurchase because the land in question was redeemed a few days after it had been sold. unirrigated rice and residential land. the right may have been transferred. 3 Lingayen.

premises considered. complaint for quieting of title instituted by the petitioners against private respondent before the court a quo is not boundary dispute. why did he not "assert his ownership" over the property when In fine.. in fact. invalid. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: attorney's fees and to further pay the costs of the proceedings. . as heirs of Eduardo Aviles in "open. "7". now The Civil Code authorizes the said remedy in the subject of the instant petition. Costs against plaintiffsappellants. Whether or not the Hon. ineffective. the fishpond portion is 500 square meters and the residential portion is 680 square meters. two such contracts. property or any interest therein. these documents in For Settling Boundary Dispute no way constitute a cloud or cast a doubt upon the title of petitioners. reasoning that a special civil action for quieting of title is not the proper remedy for settling a boundary dispute. de Aviles of the subject property in Remedy a foreclosure litigation however is part of the share given to him in the agreement of partition. Court of Appeals is correct when it opined that the . encumbrance or not the proper remedy in the case a quo. The dispositive portion of the impugned Decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE. . evidence of any muniment of title.470 square meters. 1987 dismissing the complaint is hereby AFFIRMED but without necessarily agreeing with the ration d'etre (sic) proferred by the Court a quo. presented unmistakably constitute a clear case of . Ordering the plaintiffs to pay the defendant the sum of two thousand (P2. . written contract. They contend to remove such cloud or to that they have been occupying the aforesaid land quiet the title. share in the partitioned property of his parents. petitioners now raise the following issues: 6 2. 23575. . take any "action" when the mortgage over the record. Ordering the complaint dismissed for lack of basis and merits. voidable. with respect to title to real property. hence. and that there 1. 476. 9 Court of Appeals is correct in rendering a decision. petitioners have wholly regard to the date when he had the bamboo fence misapprehended the import of the foregoing rule by constructed. At present. public and adversed (sic) (possession) against the whole world. 481 and 379 covering his property from 1958 (Exhs. continuous. 4. Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon or doubt or uncertainty b. 1957 or until March 27.". they An action may also be brought argue that. 1987. by reason Petitioners deem to be "without basis" the of any instrument. should be a case for eejectment (sic). petitioners appealed to the respondent appellate Court. and why did he not plaintiff must show that there is an instrument. doubt. or a total of 14. why then did it take him "almost cast upon a title to real 26 long years from June 27. Whether or not the Hon. "he were. respondent had purportedly encroached some proceeding. viz. was merely repairing the old bamboo fence existing (i) the Agreement of Partition executed by private where it had always been since 1957. the uncertainty arises from the parties' failure to situate and fix the We agree with respondent Court. and that petitioners should have instituted an ejectment suit instead. "8" and "9") show that the area of his property is 14. as a matter of fact. it special civil action to quiet title. the decision dated December 29. and (ii) the Deed of Sale evidencing the redemption by petitioner First Issue: Quieting of Title Not Proper Anastacia Vda. He alleges that the petitioners claiming that respondent Court erred in holding that maliciously concocted the story that private there was "no . in view of the foregoing. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. 3. title. Disagreeing with the respondent Court. San Fernando.200 meters on their property when. which is not cognizable in a the proper remedy but rather.470) square meters which is the actual area given to the defendant be determined is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE." Further. to relocate and determine the extent and the boundary limit of the land of the defendant on its southern side in order that the fourteen thousand four hundred seventy (14. . claim.00) pesos as a. the Court of Appeals affirmed in part the decision of the trial court. 1983" to assert his ownership. respondent Court's holding that quieting of title is claim. In its decision dated December 29. Rather.290 square meters. he is only occupying an area of 12. a Eduardo Aviles was still alive.000. However.470 square meters.470 square meters. question or shadow upon the owner's title to or interest in real Private respondent corrects the petitioners' claim in property. Tax Declarations Nos. record. La Union. . All other claims are denied for lack of basis. Art. Ordering the parties to employ the services of a Land Surveyor of the Bureau of Lands. That the topography of his land is not the same. encumbrance or proceeding which 7 disputed property was foreclosed? constitutes or casts a cloud. in which their respective shares in the inherited The Court's Ruling property were agreed upon. Thus. They proceeding which is apparently assert that private respondent is occupying the valid or effective but is. the height of his pilapils are likewise not the same.470) The Issues square meters which is the actual area given to the defendant be determined. following language: without fully determining the respective rights of the herein parties. or unenforceable. if indeed the disputed lot belonged to to prevent a cloud from being private respondent. Dissatisfied with the trial court's decision. The riceland portion of his land is 13. whereas petitioners are claiming the said lot as part and may be prejudicial to said and parcel of the land allotted to Eduardo Aviles. Region I.686 square meters which is smaller than his actual share of 14. 1. to avail of the remedy of quieting of title. The portion thereof ordering the parties to employ the service of a land surveyor to relocate and determine the extent and boundary limit of the land of the defendant on its southern portion in order that the fourteen thousand four hundred seventy (14. . the trial court disposed of the case thus: 5 WHEREFORE. an action may be brought petitioners' predecessor-in-interest. The facts boundary between their respective properties." 8 respondent and his brothers (including the petitioners' father and predecessor-in-interest). in truth disputed lot because he claimed it to be part of his and in fact. actual. In its now-assailed Decision. peaceful.

which could cast a shadow on the title of complainants to any part of the land. contract or between lots 3 and 7. Each admits that the other has title up to his line wherever it may be. Block 2." but to a Have Been Declared? boundary dispute. or to a statute or ordinance. said: "The duties thereunder. McKenzie (1890) 92 Ala. 484. voidable. There is no adverse claim by the defendant "which is apparently valid. record. petitioners cite the ancient case of Bautista whether the instrument. claim. or unenforceable" and which constitutes a cloud thereon. will. and the title papers of neither fix its precise location. as that would be tantamount to awarding from the competent courts: . ineffective. Costs against petitioners. COURT OF APPEALS and JUAN S. Br. . dismissing a bill declaration of his rights or to quiet title. or paper showing any color of title in the defendant. . 240. will. and therefore not warranting the grant of declaratory relief.W. 12 cloud upon the petitioners' interest or title in and to said property. Br. "(i)n fact. So that there is no paper the existence of the grounds. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. 27. and there was now a dispute as to its location. destroyed and obliterated the boundary line between their adjoining tracts of land. vs. in truth and in fact. An action to quiet title or to remove cloud may not be brought for the purpose of settling a boundary dispute. . case where the titles are not grounds or conditions precedent in the first opposed. record. When that is for in the second paragraph of the same section once settled. 117389 May 11. vs. ". may bring an quoted below: action to determine any question of construction or In Kilgannon v. petitioners. was formerly a part of a mother lot covered by TCT No. 1957 and in accordance therewith. and nothing could be delivered up and canceled under the decree of the court Under this rule. where the complainants' predecessor in title and the defendant had. Petitioners also chide the respondent Court (and the trial court) for not declaring the respective rights From another perspective. Hipolito of the Municipal Trial Court of Cabanatuan City. may be availed of by the petitioners. in which proceeding the boundary dispute may be fully threshed out. to warrant in possession of a specific declaratory relief. and the basis and existence of all right and claim paragraph of said Sec. that their respective to one or some of the parties the disputed property rights be determined .As correctly held by the respondent Court. The precedent on this matter cited by the respondent Court in its Decision is herewith reproduced in full: 10 In Ashurst v." This means fundamental dispute is about that the subject matter must the correct position of the line refer to a deed. order the his rights of property over an immovable by the determination of the boundaries of the claimed unfounded claims of others. 1 is exclusive. it was held that a bill did not lie to remove a cloud on the complainants' title. or for recovery of possession de facto. BELLOSILLO. conditions precedent or requisites for which clouds the title of either bringing such petitions. Such determination of boundaries is Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. MELENCIO. the same would still not have prospered. are under the principle ofexpressio contending as to which one unius est exclussio alterius. he has the right to ask property. The case other written instrument. Thus. 11 been brought under Rule 64.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing the petition for certiorari and prohibition and denying the prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against the order of 6 April 1994 of the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City. . . may be introduced. dealing with actions appropriate in adversarial proceedings where for declaratory relief. by parity of depend simply upon where the rea-soning. the instant petition is hereby DENIED and the Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. WHEREFORE. but is. OBLEA and RAMON S. 1 The controverted lot.R. and a defendant matter not mentioned therein is out of possession. which lifted and cancelled the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Lydia B. The land of complainants and defendant join. ESTEBAN. it follows that similar remedies provided original line runs. 26604 of the Register of Deeds of Cabanatuan . also within the prescribed period. and the issue as a ground for such petitions. SO ORDERED. The court said: "There is no allegation or evidence of any muniment of title. the subject matter thereof not referring to "a deed. other than the "instrument. Corollarily. This is some right or title. we hold that the trial of the parties with respect to the land in question. invalid. . instrument or statute and for a 390. will. contract or other written Second Issue: Should Partie's Rights instrument. in view of the foregoing considerations. there is no overlapping of description in the muniments held by either. there can remain would also be marked with the same exclusivity as no semblance of claim or cloud to bar any other cause possibly clouding one's title to be passed on. both plaintiffs and defendant admitted the existence of the agreement of partition dated June 8. An action for forcible entry. 1995 ROMEO V. but it is a Inasmuch as the enumeration of the causes. claim. 9 So. As support for their in an action where the sole issue is limited to thesis. a fixed area was allotted (sic) to them and that the only controversy is whether these lands were properly measured. only a person undertaking to remove a cloud. or to a is not one where a complainant statute or ordinance. but claiming deemed excluded. encumbrance or proceeding involved constitutes a Exconde. 14 has the better right to that same parcel. encumbrance or proceeding" itself. in arguing that "when one is disturbed in any form in an action for quieting of title. proceeding. Any other piece of land. and whose Another similarly instructive precedent rights are affected by a statute reported in the same reference is also or ordinance. Jenkinson validity arising under the (1883) 51 Mich. No. 262. written contract. The line which separates them is in dispute and is to be determined by evidence aliunde. during their occupancy. J. designated as Lot 1. contract or other written instrument. the court. and equally as clear. specifies in Section 1 thereof possession or ownership may properly be considered and where evidence aliunde. 13 This Court has previously held that — party. 9. respondents. who is interested "under a deed. even assuming arguendo that the action to quiet title had on that particular question is one regularly triable at law. whenever warranted by the period prescribed in Rule 70. the construction of the bamboo fence enclosing the disputed property and the moving of earthen dikes are not the "clouds" or "doubts" which can be removed in an action for quieting of title. 16 N. court (and likewise the respondent Court) cannot.

i. 10588. "doctrine of supervening event. the prevailing party. City rendered judgment on 26 March 1993 AGNES GAPACAN. the sole issue in an action for unlawful detainer is MARIA GAPACAN OMIPET. It must be stressed that vs. 2 September 1994 dismissed their appeal. 65031 was issued in the name of petitioner Ramon S. Oblea eventually Republic of the Philippines bought from Marius the lot on which the building We agree with respondent Court of Appeals.1Paicat had two (2) children. lifted and canceled the restraining order earlier issued. divided with the issue of ownership which was precisely the The execution was however thwarted when into three (3) parcels of rice land and another petitioners Romeo Oblea and Ramon Melencio filed subject matter of the action for quieting of title parcel planted to camote. execution in favor of the prevailing party has become a matter of right. 5 With the finality of the decision in the ejectment case. On 6 June 1958 subject lot was bought by private respondent Juan S.. on 4 July 1991 Esteban filed an ejectment suit against petitioner Oblea in the Municipal Trial Court of Manila Cabanatuan City docketed as Civil Case No. 1676-AF. physical or material possession. the Court of Appeals did not commit reversible error in upholding the order of 6 April 1994 which lifted the temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of the writ of execution in favor of private respondent Esteban. TCT No. petitioners. the fact that petitioners instituted a MTC Judge Hipolito directed execution and issued separate action for quieting of title is not a valid the corresponding writ to enforce the final and reason for defeating the execution of the summary Paicat Gapacan.4 . Mt.City.325 square meters and registered in the names of Manuel Melencio (1/3). making him in effect the legal owner of the property in question. the fountainhead of his life. Eugenia Gapacan and Marilyn Gapacan.. dismissed by the appellate court on 2 July 1993. and under the mistaken notion of premises and pay rental arrears from January 1983. It came to pass that Antonio married Agnes Gapacan and begot two (2) daughters.00. Petitioners alleged ownership of the disputed agricultural field which they claimed was covered by a tax declaration in the name of the late Antonio Gapacan. was in unlawful detainer case. Because of the failure of the defendants to file their respective answers to the complaint within the reglementary period. J. SUPREME COURT stood. for the meantime appealed to the Court of Appeals by when judgment was rendered by the MTC in the many a time it causes divisiveness and dissension ejectment case. the reason WHEREFORE. the pendency of an action for disputed lot to petitioner Oblea. security and well-being. and on motion of Esteban. as well as litigation expenses and attorney's fees in the total sum of P8.000. even among the closest of possessor of the subject lot. On 3 April 1992. On 6 April 1994 however Judge Adriano I. 2002 they argue that with this "supervening event.2 Thus. it bolsters unregistered land with an area of 1. Antonio executed an Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property showing that the property described under Tax Declarations Nos. Mauricio in favor of the subsequent sale of the controversial lot to them Esteban and against petitioner Oblea who was ordered to vacate the SECOND DIVISION on 3 June 1993. petitioners elevated Ursula Melencio. Petitioners even went to the extent of filing a case for Forcible Entry against Maria's granddaughter Gertrude Beguil and three (3) others before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of BaukoSabangan. petitioner Oblea was a mere way of petition for review. EUGENIA GAPACAN-KIAKI modifying the MTC decision by ordering Oblea to and MARILYN GAPACAN. and declared by him for taxation purposes for the first time on 27 March 1931. pay rentals only from 2 March 1988. the fact remaining that always insure harmony. Antonio and his family returned to Abatan. The main argument of petitioners is that in view of the case was decided by Judge Romeo G. the MTC in other respects. Maria and Antonio both surnamed Gapacan. In his adulthood. Consequently. 0808 and 37642 had been transferred to him by his sister Maria Gapacan. possession de facto and not possession de jure. the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan judgment evicting them can no longer be enforced. Hence. Province. Antonio left Abatan to try his luck in the mine fields of Mankayan. Marius Esteban. Similarly. Esteban from Mauricio Ramos who claimed to have acquired the property from Undeterred by the reversal. the petition is DENIED.3 Since then. the Municipal Circuit Trial Court rendered a decision on 16 September 1992 ordering defendants to vacate the land in dispute and restore possession thereof to the plaintiffs. his sister Maria who remained in Abatan took care of their aging father until his death during the Second World War and eventually took over the cultivation of their father's land." the On appeal. Pura Melencio and Wilfredo Wico and Mariabelle quieting of title before the Regional Trial Court does Wico filed before the Regional Trial Court an action for quieting of not divest the city or municipal trial court of its BELLOSILLO. thus paving the way for the execution of the judgment in the ejectment case. in her behalf. was the primitive possessor of an remedy of ejectment. 3 As a consequence. Acting Presiding Judge of Br. On the contrary. No. 6 In fine. that will bar the execution of the judgment in said Yet ownership of this natural resource does not The ejectment case. kin.0111 hectares the conclusion that the eviction case did not deal situated in Abatan. tribe. This case depicts the situation contemplated Upon remand of the records to the court of origin. execution. 27. 148943 August 15. 26604 was cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT No. Benguet Province. it is source of his strength. Esteban. Resultantly. an alleged son of private respondent Juan S. Melencio who became a co-owner with Pura Melencio and the Wicos by virtue of a deed of sale executed in his favor by his now deceased father Manuel Melencio. 1536. which petition was within the community. Sometime in the second week of April 1992 Maria hired the services of Orlando Boleyley and Gaston Gapacan to clear and cultivate some portions of the contested land but they were stopped by petitioners.e. Simply put. Agnes Gapacan and her daughters Eugenia and Marilyn had been occupying and cultivating the three (3) parcels of rice land and a parcel devoted to camote subject matter of the present controversy. Subsequently. Oblea together with Ramon Melencio. The Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property was allegedly thumbmarked by Maria's husband. Afterwards. G. Tuason. 10588. its implementation mandatory. by virtue of the Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property. It cannot be avoided. Pedro Omipet. Antonio had the property in question declared in his name for taxation purposes in 1954. Civil Case No. Costs being that the eviction case had long become final against petitioner. but sustaining The argument is untenable. the petition is a desperate attempt on the part of petitioners to unduly prolong the litigation of an issue which has been settled and should have been long laid to rest. before the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City. herein. Mt. Pura Melencio (1/3) and Wilfredo Wico and Mariabelle M. Wico (1/3). ownership by petitioners is not a supervening event Man is bound to his land and will remain so. the alleged administratrix of the their case to the appellate court which on 27 estate of Manuel and Pura Melencio.: title against Esteban. On 15 June 1954. On 22 November 1993 the Executive Judge thereof issued a temporary restraining order to stop the enforcement of the writ of execution issued by Judge Hipolito. with her. docketed as Civil Case No. The subsequent acquisition of favor of Juan Esteban and by Ursula Melencio in favor of Mauricio Ramos were a nullity." they have acquired a better right of possession and ownership. Oblea leased a petitioners were merely designed to delay building located on the subject lot from a certain SO ORDERED. docketed as Civil Case No. This is settled On 3 June 1993. petitioner Romeo V. and executory and that the various actions taken by Meanwhile. a native Igorot of the Kankanai executory judgment in the ejectment suit. containing an area of 83.R. They jurisdiction to proceed with the ejectment case over contended that the deeds of sale executed by Mauricio Ramos in the same property. another petition before the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City for certiorari and prohibition with application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Province. Bauko. the registered owners 4 sold the DECISION doctrine. After he retired from the mines. respondent.

It also ordered the equitable partition of petitioners. declarations and false claims of dominion and right Baguil has the most to gain or lose pending the of possession over the land in question. property owner whose property rights were being Eugenia Gapacan-Kiaki and Marilyn Gapacan on one hand. While opined that although Antonio Gapacan during his Dilem and Astudillo merely mouthed their lines lifetime and his heirs upon his death had been in without emotional authenticity.. A-9844 (Exh. although under oath. Tambol. a portion of 1. seven (7) of which had of asking the court to pass judgment upon the issue already been distributed by her among her children and other relatives. line and sinker. hook. The were based among others on an Affidavit of declarations of the plaintiff to the end that she has Transfer of Real Property which was void as the been the actual possessor of the land subject purported transfer was not signed by Maria hereof for the last three decades and that she Gapacan Omipet. her brother Antonio Gapacan. are not very convincing x x x x Aside these were based upon a false information that the from the observation that being a party to the case property was being declared for the first time and Maria Omipet is pre-disposed to report matters as was intended to lay the legal basis for the illegal they are wished for.e. declarations: (a) nullifying Tax Declaration No. i.188 square meters or 12% of the x x x the bare assertions of Maria Omipet that she total area of the land in question (Exh. and Antonio Gapacan." and (b) failed to declare the documentary evidence of the heirs of Antonio Gapacan as null and void. the stemmed from a complaint for Quieting of Title filed Court of Appeals ruled that the fruits of the land in by private respondent. Eugenia Gapacan-Kiaki and Marilyn Gapacan on the other.10 enjoined private respondent Maria Gapacan Omipet from performing acts injurious or prejudicial The appellate court made the following preliminary to the possession of the premises by petitioners.5 She alleged in her complaint that the disputed land was part of her inheritance from her deceased parents which she in fact had declared in her name for taxation purposes in 1948 although the area was only 1. Eugenia Gapacan-Kiaki and Marilyn complaint and adjudged defendants. They now pray for the reinstatement of the decision of the trial court defendant-appellees. as heirs and successors-in-interest of the late Antonio Gapacan.7 possession was tainted with bad faith since Maria Gapacan Omipet appealed to the Court of Appeals alleging that the trial court (a) "unreasonably erred in brushing aside the coherent testimony of plaintiff-appellant x x x and her credible and unbiased witnesses. the trial court was correct in ruling that private respondent had not sufficiently shown In view thereof. that on the basis of theAffidavit of Transfer of entitled to a share in said property so that when he Real Property. (b) nullifying Tax Coming from the plaintiff herself. name of T. Maria who could neither read nor write was already a very old woman. as substantiated by her actual and existing improvements found on the land in question. albeit confirmed in the sense by and all tax declarations that revised it because her witnesses. Article 476 of the of the Decision of the Court of Appeals of 12 March Civil Code provides that an action to quiet title may 2001 which declared an unregistered parcel of land be brought when there exists a cloud on the title to identified in the Sketch Plan as Lot 1 the common real property or any interest therein. and on the basis of Art. real property. Aexplaining that 0808 in the name of Maria Gapacan Omipet which covered only 1. A-0808. insofar as it ruled that they had the right of possession over the disputed land. H-9844 (Exhibit 2) he acted in gross bad faith (Art. are simply difficult to except the "camote" land since 1971 their swallow. the appellate court plaintiff are discernibly partisans of the latter. petitioners now interpose the present petition for review seeking the reversal The argument is bereft of merit. are much too superficial.188 1âwphi1 . herein Gapacan. Thus. that is. His declaration in the name of Maria Omipet and father did not give it to either of his children.8 At the time of the filing of the complaint for Quieting of Title. that sometime in 1954 Antonio Gapacan caused the cancellation of the tax Antonio knew that the property was his father’s. knew that Maria was legally and. not only to place things in their proper subsequent Resolution of 4 July 2001 denying place. or interest in the subject for an accounting irrelevant. common property of both plaintiff-appellant Maria Gapacan Omipet and defendant-appellees Agnes On 6 May 1994 the trial court dismissed the Gapacan. to pass upon the another parcel planted to camote with a total ownership of the subject property. and ordering its partition is a complete deviation and ordered the fair and equitable partition of Lot 1 from the cause of action of the case and the with one-half for plaintiff-appellant and the other for findings of fact of the trial court. that the land was part of the Besides. "5") in the name of Antonio Gapacan to the defendants. By and large.On 9 December 1992 respondent Maria Gapacan Omipet filed a complaint for Quieting of Title before the proper Regional Trial Court praying that she be declared the lawful owner of the property and that herein petitioners be ordered to refrain from making further encroachments thereon. and private respondent Maria Gapacan disturbed may ask a competent court for a proper determination of the respective rights of the partyOmipet on the other. A-0808 was issued in her name. the actual possession of the rice lands in question testimonies of the plaintiff and all her witnesses in square meters of the total land area was taxdeclared by private respondent under Tax Declaration No. title over the in the Sketch Plan as common property of plaintiff. Their Motion for Reconsideration having been denied on 4 July 2001. merely lent the parcels of rice paddies in question 36555 (Exh. of course. virtue of an Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property. A-9844. and finally.188 square meters for which Tax Declaration No. 256. to have the right of possession over the the disputed property between the two (2) parcel of land delineated as Lot 1. No. the appellant Maria Gapacan Omipet on one hand. "10") because it was based upon void tax and palpably biased to be judiciously persuasive. 11 1 in the Sketch Plan. Antonio. private respondent Maria Gapacan ten (10) parcels allegedly given to private Omipet instituted the present action for the purpose respondent by her parents. and in failing to give credence to her possession and ownership of the land in question. of the Civil Code which requires the plaintiff to show compensated each other which rendered the need legal or equitable title to. Dilem and Astudillo on the point denying probative value to the Agreement (Exh. Exconde. this suit. It likewise contending parties. (d) Locaney. 477 question. rather than as they really are. and ruling of the Court of Appeals declaring the subject land as the common property of the party-litigants defendant-appellees Agnes Gapacan. that is. argue that this case By virtue of the evident bad faith of both parties. "A") as it directly inherited the contested area from her was unlawfully secured by her to the exclusion of parents is insufficient to sustain her position. "2") in the name of the matter is self-serving and hence unreliable as Antonio Gapacan and the tax declarations as these the better part of judicial prudence dictates.D. to require the one who has no right to petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration.0111 hectares known as Lot the same as common property of the party-litigants. transparently mechanical.12 we held that a property of both petitioners Agnes Gapacan. outcome of this proceeding. the transferred the subject property in his name by latter’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding. and its claimants. hence to declare approximate area of 1. Civil Code). In the early case of Bautista v. Locaney and Timbol on account of close blood ties or gratitude to the On the right of possession. private respondent Maria court in resolving the present controversy is well Gapacan. that in 1948. the appellate court declared Lot 1 that she had the legal. Petitioners. Paicat Gapacan who upon his death was survived It goes without saying therefore that the appellate by his two (2) children. registered. (c) nullifying Tax Declaration No. refrain from acts injurious to the peaceful enjoyment of the property not only of the rightful The following facts appear undisputed: that the owner but also for the benefit of both with the view subject parcels of land were originally owned by of dissipating any cloud of doubt over the property.6 She further contended that On 12 March 2001 the Court of Appeals rendered she merely lent the parcels of rice land to the assailed Decision declaring the property petitioners when Antonio Gapacan returned to described as Lot 1 in the Sketch Plan9 to be the Abatan after his retirement. which they appropriated for themselves. owner of the disputed property.disputed property. that the subject within its authority to adjudicate on the respective realty consisted of three (3) parcels of rice land and rights of the parties. claim by Antonio Gapacan that he was the sole the confirmatory statements of witnesses Baguil. according to them. Antonio also caused the land to be fraudulently caused the execution of the Affidavit of declared in his name for taxation purposes as Transfer of Real Property and the issuance in his reflected in Tax Declaration No. her testimony on Declaration No.

Ordering the defendant spouses Vergel Santos and Ruth Santos to deliver the property subject of this case to the plaintiff. share. PANGANIBAN. as well as the Resolution dated 1991 decision is REVERSED and SET given by private respondent's witnesses buttressing 4 July 2001 denying reconsideration. However. the petitioners. Declaring the heirs of Silvino Robles as the absolute owner of the land in controversy. assign or dispose of his may amount to bad faith and may result in the owner of the property in litigation. neither Maria nor Antonio can claim absolute ownership over the entire property to the prejudice of the other. Exequiel Ballena secured a loan from the Antipolo Rural Bank. Morong. amended complaint. hold the disputed property in their capacity as co-owners. 4 by Petitioners Lucio Robles. as well as of the there was paucity of proof that that in fact was the therefore. the other legal heir. 1âwphi1. acquire title to the share of fraudulent claims of ownership which did not merit no plausible reason to disturb the findings and the other co-owners. for each. after a thorough review of the records.: that she would be declared its rightful owner. The January 15. The Case total area disputed but were based on a false and capricious assertion of ownership over the entire WHEREFORE. and that some deed or that she inherited the same from her parents. must exert due diligence in ascertaining the titles of tolerance. were either spurious or founded on false and unlawful claims. but at the same mortgagors and sellers. ALBERTO PALAD JR. The tax declarations private respondent prescription thereof by a co-owner x x x x" The the co-ownership is clearly repudiated. HILARIO ROBLES. When Leon Robles died. Robles and Emilio Robles. and private do declarations of ownership for taxation purposes respondent Maria Gapacan Omipet on the other. and rightly No costs. January 15. The parcels of land in question. RURAL BANK OF CARDONA. 123509 March 14. Prior to partition. Inc. Antonio could not honestly claim the rights of a possessor in good faith since his tax declarations. The tax declarations therefore Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45. Somehow.985 square meters. Failure to observe such diligence evidence that she was legally designated the sole owner has the right to sell. and upon the latter's death. Aludia. No. who took possession of the land. The facts were narrated by the trial court in this wise: There seems to be no dispute that Leon Robles primitively owned the land situated in Kay Taga. for unknown reasons. hisAffidavit of Transfer of Real Property. and JOSE MAULEON in his capacity as District Land Officer of the Bureau Of Lands. jointly with the other co-owners. using the tax declaration as security. the tax declaration was transferred [to] the name of Antipolo Rural Bank (Exh. 1988. Further. any probative value. finds cannot. constitute adequate evidence of ownership or of the and ordered its equitable partition between the WHEREFORE. On the question of the right of possession. the CA ruled: 3 Marilyn Gapacan on one hand. his son Silvino Robles inherited the land. Eugenia Gapacan-Kiaki and ownership of the property upon the declarant. in legal contemplation. the trial court's June 17. 1996 CA Resolution denied petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration. those tax conclusions of the Court of Appeals in its assailed declarations not only covered a mere fraction of the Decision. Rizal. The plaintiffs entrusted the payment of the land taxes to their co-heir and half-brother. Evidently. IV-1-010021 issued by the Bureau of Lands as null and void. father of Andrea Robles who is the wife of defendant Hilario Robles.of ownership of the disputed property with the hope father's estate. "17") and later on. They took adverse possession of said property and paid taxes thereon. 1995 Decision and the 12 March 2001. in his capacity as Director of Lands.2 In its Agnes Gapacan. "19"). Declaring free patent Title No. and more so. 2000 LUCIO ROBLES. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated were secured for the exclusive purpose of assailing the June 15. is AFFIRMED. Lagundi. The task of cultivat[ing] the land was assigned to plaintiff Lucio Robles who planted trees and other crops. Hilario Robles. Rizal with an area of 9. nor Decision. that "the juridical concept of co-ownership is unity proceeding beclouds its validity or efficacy. He occupied the same openly and adversely. a co-owner presented in evidence were clearly founded on Court. 17865 (Exh. the trial court had disposed as follows: WHEREFORE. As the two (2) surviving heirs of the Paicat Gapacan. it was incumbent is the owner of the whole property. petitioners. It has been clearly established that Antonio and his family had been in possession of the subject realty since 1971. Spouses VIRGILIO SANTOS and BABY RUTH CRUZ. To be sure. In view of this claim. Court of Appeals13it was explained property at issue. which declared Lot 1 in the Sketch excluding Antonio. filed on March 14. as by subsequent foreclosure and/or auction sale. Thereafter. he may lose such rights to others. was transferred [to] . COURT OF APPEALS. Maria and Antonio. 1996 Resolution of the Court of Plan14 as the common property of both petitioners tax declarations in themselves do not vest absolute Appeals 1 (CA) in CA-GR CV No. He also built a nipa hut on the land. is entitled to only one-half (1/2) pro-indiviso share of his or her Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. The Facts The present Petition is rooted in a case for quieting of title before the Regional Trial Court of Morong. as part of the hereditaments of Paicat. especially banks. possessed the property by reason alone of her x x Each co-owner.. ASIDE. To be entitled to the remedy of quieting of title. unless personal rights are involved x x x and nullity of the mortgage. EMETERIA ROBLES. hereby entered ordering the dismissal of so. J. Buyers further noting that the family of Antonio Gapacan of the object or property and plurality of subjects x x of unregistered real property. right to possess realty. his widow Maria de la Cruz and his children inherited the property. 34213. "I") and paid the corresponding taxes thereon (Exh. the evidence preponderates in favor of Antonio Gapacan and subsequently his heirs upon his death. and in lieu thereof a new one is her claim of dominion were adjudged. Emeteria Robles. Unless case. and 3. He also declared the same in his name for taxation purposes as early as 1916 covered by Tax Declaration No. a common ancestor of Maria and Antonio. by prescription. merit. Unfortunately. Private respondent anchors her claim of absolute petitioners must show that they have title to the real dominion over the subject property on the ground In Consignado v. name of Silvino Robles was canceled and transferred to one Exequiel Ballena (Exh. premises considered. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. ALUDIA ROBLES and EMILIO ROBLES. the testimonies contending parties.nêt Upon the death of Silvino Robles in 1942. 2. the petition is DENIED for lack of subject property. Earlier. lest some innocent parties upon private respondent to prove by satisfactory time of the undivided aliquot part x x x x Each cobe prejudiced. as correctly pointed out by the appellate court. "B"). respondents. SO ORDERED. as inconclusive and of dubious reliability by the plaintiffs-appellees['] second both the trial court and the Court of Appeals. declared it in his name for taxation purposes and paid the taxes thereon. were given to neither of them in particular. the tax declaration of the parcel of land in the.R. In 1962. vs. It is difficult to believe that Maria and Antonio were blissfully ignorant of their respective legal rights over the disputed realty.

In September 1987.000. 1988. Under the circumstances. G. but simply recognize a title already vested. "16"). Inc. ceases to be public land and becomes private property. his successor-in-interest. to wit: Wherefore. all surnamed Robles. . continuously and exclusively until held that petitioners no longer had any title to the they were ousted from their possession subject property at the time they instituted the in 1988 by the spouses Vergel and Ruth Complaint for quieting of title. rec. likewise inherited the above-described parcel from Leon Robles. his wife Maria de la Cruz In reversing the trial court. Plaintiffs pray for other relief as [may be] just and equitable under the premises. 260. [i]n the east by the property of Veronica Tulak y Dionisio Ablay. Emeteria. plaintiff discovered the mortgage and attempted to redeem the property. the Court of Appeals and the plaintiffs occupied the property openly. Inasmuch as the real estate mortgage executed allegedly by Hilario Robles in favor of the defendant Cardona Rural Bank. not her husband Hilario Robles. 257-259. as well as all proceedings taken subsequent thereto. IAC. Santos is not valid because at the time the property subject of this case was already private land. . more or less. 120-121. but was unsuccessful. 1988 complaint against Spouses Virgilio and Ruth Santos.R. xxx xxx With the termination of the pre-trial stage upon the parties-litigants' agreement (p. Contending that they had been in possession of the land since 1942. constituted on the land. commenced the instant suit with the filing of their March 14. Possession of public land . foreclosure proceedings were had and defendant Rural Bank emerged as the highest bidder during the auction sale in October 1968. On May 10. Therefore. For failure to pay the mortgage debt. 1991 decision upon the following findings and conclusions: The real estate. the plaintiff-appellees no longer had any title to the property at the time of the institution of the instant complaint. IV-I-010021 in the name of defendants spouses Vergel Santos and Ruth C. Inc.00 under Tax Declaration No. Ruling of the Court of Appeals Likewise. The spouses Hilario Robles failed to redeem the property and so the tax declaration was transferred in the name of defendant Rural Bank. orig. IV-1-010021 in their names. Consequently.). The plaintiffs' complaint sought the following reliefs on the theory that the encumbrance of their half-brother. orig. Silvino Robles. It thereafter rendered the challenged June 17.985 square meters. the defendant bank did not acquire any right arising out of the foreclosure proceedings. rec.) The latter's claim of continuous possession notwithstanding . "The . . Andrea Robles secured a loan from the Cadona Rural Bank. Bounded [i]n the north by the property of Venancio Ablay y Simeon Ablay. 1987.] and confirmation proceedings would be a little more than a formality. On September 25. [i]n the south by the property of Simeon Ablay y Dionisio Ablay. as well as the Rural Bank of Cardona. 5 On the other hand. with an area of 9.) xxx As the heirs of Silvino Robles who. which is [of] the character and duration prescribed by the statute is the equivalent of an express grant from the State. the Director of Land as partiesdefendants (pp. This fact.the name of defendant Hilario Robles and his wife (Exh. Hilario Robles. orig. mortgage allegedly executed by Hilario Robles is not valid because his signature in the mortgage deed was forged. There can be no question that the subject rec. rec) and. . and considering that "open. at the most limited to ascertaining whether the possession claimed is of the required character and length of time. orig. the deed of sale aforementioned and any tax declaration which have been issued in the name of defendants. defendant bank could not have transferred any right to the spouses Santos. 117-121. orig. considering the dictum of the statute itself[:]. rec. defendant spouses Santos took possession of the property in question and was able to secure Free Patent No. November 29. requisite period. among other matters. Andrea Robles testified without contradiction that somebody else. creates the legal fiction whereby the land. 23219. Consequently. in favor of defendant Rural Bank. rec). rec. that it was only in September of 1987 that they came to know of the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage constituted thereon by the halfbrother. Rizal. 1-3. Morong. 76-80. Dissatisfied with the foregoing decision. The CA ratiocinated as follows: Santos.00 as attorney's fees. the Bureau of Lands having no jurisdiction to dispose of the same. which remains unrebutted. 75042. was not valid. the Santos spouses and the defendant Rural Bank jointly filed their July 6. . 25-27. Lagundi. and (c) ordering defendants jointly and severally. defendant Rural Bank sold the same to the Spouses Vergel Santos and Ruth Santos.) the trial court proceeded to try the case on the merits. upon completion of the As correctly urged by the appellants. 1991 Notice of Appeal (p. Registration thereunder would not confer title. the plaintiff alleged. 1988) The land in question has become private land. and [i]n the west by the property of Dionisio Ablay y Simeon Ablay. Inc. (Cruz v. (pp. (b) an order be issued annulling said Free Patent No. upon subsequent discovery of the issuance of Free Patent No. 203. the issuance of [a] free patent title to the Spouses Vergel Santos and Ruth C. . shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title . signed the loan papers because Hilario Robles was working in Marinduque at that time as a carpenter.) The fact that the land was covered by a free patent will not help the defendant Santos any. assessed in the year 1935 at P60. . . ipso jure and without the need of judicial or other action. (pp.) . the siblings Lucio. 6 [property was held] in the concept of owner by Leon Robles since 1916. . to pay plaintiffs the sum of P10. orig. Santos. it is respectfully prayed that (a) a preliminary mandatory injunction be issued forthwith restoring plaintiffs to their possession of said parcel of land. Aludia and Emilio. In 1996. orig." No proof is admissible to overcome a conclusive presumption[. Twice amended to implead Hilario Robles (pp. rec. the Court of Appeals summarized the facts of the case as follows: The instant action for quieting of title concerns the parcel of land bounded and more particularly described as follows: A parcel of land located at Kay Taga. No. (pp. using the tax declaration as security. therefore. were null and void. was admitted by Andrea Robles. and that they likewise learned upon further inquiry. that the latter had already sold the self-same parcel in favor of the Santos spouses (pp. IV-I010021 in favor of the defendant spouses.. it stands to reason that the foreclosure proceedings therein were likewise not valid. exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public lands for the period prescribed by law (30 years).

borne in mind that Hilario Robles made the following admissions in his March 8. the and "12". p.) but had likewise granted the latter's request for an extension of the For a better understanding of the case. 212 SCRA 214). 1990) and declaration thereof for taxation purposes in his own name (Exhibit "4". the appellants correctly argue that the plaintiffs-appellees have lost their cause of action by prescription. (p. orig. encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid. TSN. orig. 35-36. 1990). "7". 25. defendant Hilario Robles has the right to mortgage the said real property and could dispose the same in whatever manner he wishe[s] to do. . was altogether uncorroborated. actual and adverse possession of cause any that. have of the subject real estate mortgage lost their title to said property by (Exhibits "6". 1966 Deed of Absolute Sale transferring the land in favor of the spouses Hilario and Andrea Robles (Exhibit "3". made by respondent court: the parties in the pleadings or in the course of the trial or other proceedings in the same case are conclusive. II. rec. Over and above the foregoing considerations. rec. Court of Appeals. rec. 45 Phil. Aludia and Emilio — all surnamed Robles — filed this Petition for Review. TSN.) Even on the theory that the plaintiffsappellees and their half-brother. Austria. 75 SCRA 441. 1990. Silvino Robles. . to Respondent Spouses Santos. are co-owners of the land left behind by their common father. Respondent Spouses Santos. The trial court. [)]. then to the Rural Bank no such admission was actually made of Antipolo. Africa. 155 SCRA 270. Judicial Petitioners ascribe the following error to the admissions. Court of Appeals.). such title would still be effectively discounted by what could well serve as the latter's acts of repudiation of the coownership. If only in this latter sense.(pp. Art. Quieting of Title Rural Bank granted (pp. While it may be readily conceded that an action to quiet title to property in the possession of the plaintiff is imprescriptible (Almanza vs. orig. Contending that such ruling was contrary to law and jurisprudence. rec. They cannot be contradicted the tax declaration over the parcel of land unless shown to have been made in question from Silvino Robles to through [a] palpable mistake or [unless] Exequiel Ballena. The complaint filed against herein answering defendant has no legal basis considering that as the lawful owner of the subject real property. Without nature of the remedy of quieting of title. 902. Sweet Lines. it cannot. Whether legal or equitable. the court a quo clearly erred in simply brushing aside the apparent transfers [which] the land in litigation had undergone. the mortgagor and the plaintiffs'-appellees cannot now be heard First Issue: to challenge the validity of the sale of the land after admittedly failing to redeem the same within the extension the appellant. spouses. and then finally to 194). November 15. therefore. voidable or unenforceable. 23-24. the appellants correctly maintain that prescription had already set in. 476 of the Civil Code provides: Being dependent on the supposed invalidity of the constitution and foreclosure of the subject real estate mortgage. petitioners.e. 148 SCRA 75. the appellant Rural Bank had not only Respondent Hilario Robles. November 15. the above redemption period therefor (Exhibits "11" issue will be broken down into three points: first. 26. ineffective. 124 SCRA 784. record. . it retains the presumption of validity in the absence of a full. 362. Ramos. Camumot. . Arguelles. the acknowledgment of which is a prima facie evidence of its due execution (Chua vs. an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet title. Faja vs. 12. Petitioners Lucio. the trial court lost sight of the fact that the assailed deed of real estate mortgage (Exhibit "5". orig. 1990). An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein. pp. July 12. who by themselves and their predecessors in interest have been in It does not help the plaintiffs-appellees open.) but also in the name of the Rural Bank of Antipolo (Exhibit 17. the going into minute detail in discussing the validity of the real estate mortgage. 857. II. and then relented to the mortgagor's request to finally. the plaintiffs-appellees' attack upon . misread. 1989 answer. Charon Enterprises vs.. The foregoing principles take even more greater [sic] when it is. Echarri. and may be prejudicial to said title. orig. by reason of any instrument.) Appropriately underscored by the The Assigned Error appellants. while admittedly unrebutted. rec. "8" and "10". rec.. credibility which. Robles. be gainsaid that the plaintiff-appellees no longer had any title to speak of when Exequiel Ballena executed the November 7. Court of Appeals. no Respondent Court of Appeals grievously evidence being required to prove the erred in ruling that with the transfers of same.). Bargayo vs. then to Respondent Hilario (Philippine American General Insurance. for that matter. xxx xxx xxx In according to the foregoing testimony . 133 SCRA 718. 96. Court of Appeals. vol. rec. claim. second. orig. the Santos spouses' rights as purchasers for efficacy of the free patent granted to the Santos value and in good faith (Exhibit "21". 206 SCRA 339). vs. 212 SCRA of Cardona Inc. Africa vs. On the theory that tax declarations can be evincive of the transfer of a parcel of land or a portion thereof (Gacos v. 257. Coronel vs.) is a public document. 40 Phil. Ramos vs. Vol. De Castro vs. to come up with erroneous conclusion. Ibe. under the circumstances. it equally bears emphasis that a co-owner or. his possession (p. i. verbal or written. Vol.. 8 postpone the (Exhibit "g". p. Free Patent No. TSN. orig. clear and convincing evidence to overcome such presumption (Agdeppa vs. 20 Phil. rec. p. pp. Burton vs. Intermediate Appellate Court. Caragay-Layno vs. 3-5. Inc. 22. viz: 3. rec. 10-11. Court of Appeals. the said coowner[']s successors-in-interest who occupy the community property other than as co-owner[s] can claim prescription as against the other coowners (De Guzman vs. In view of the plaintiffs-appellees' inaction for more than twenty (20) years from the time the subject realty was transferred in favor of Hilario Robles. TSN. rec). IV-I must necessarily fail. 156 SCRA 718. II. Volume II prescription to their half-brother.). then to Respondent Rural Bank Inc. and third. aside from complying said parcel of land since 1916 up to their with the requirements for the foreclosure forced removal therefrom in 1988. Vol. II orig. the foregoing admission is binding against Hilario [Robles]. Hilario Robles. the aforesaid loss of title is amply evidenced by the subsequent declaration of the subject realty for taxation purposes not only in the name of Exequiel Ballena (Exhibits "1" and "2". moreover. .). orig. Emeteria. orig. July 5. Gabar. 7 Whenever there is cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. and ignored the evidence o[n] record. 55 SCRA 4999). the court a quo gravely erred in invalidating the real estate mortgage constituted on the land solely on the basis of Andrea Robles' testimony that her husband's signature thereon was forged (p. 220 SCRA 584). 23). As such. 42 Phil.

Silvino. it was again declared in the same name. notwithstanding the bank's insistence that it had become the owner of the subject property and had In a real estate mortgage contract. They allege that or deed of conveyance evidencing its transfer from they inherited it from their father. It is a fundamental principle that a co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the Second. the Rural not observe due diligence in determining Hilario's Bank of Cardona. 11 That there is an instrument or a document which. 1965. Maintaining that as co-owners of the subject property. as well as to mortgagees of the same character and Second Issue: description. First. encumbrance or proceeding that is being alleged as a cloud on plaintiff's title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. Private Respondents Vergel to the Rural Bank of Cardona. should exercise more care and land. the subject property was declared in the name of Exequiel for taxation purposes. as such. why was he Petitioners insist that they were not aware that from able to sell it to Spouses Hilario and Andrea in 1962 until 1987.000. on October 28. 14Neither should his payment of land taxes than private individuals. the Therefore. Spouses Vergel title thereto. Undisputed is the fact that the land had previously been occupied by Leon and later by Silvino Robles. there was no instrument and possession as owners thereof. 16 Had it been more circumspect and assiduous. Second. of the present Petition. which they should The assertion that the declaration of ownership was guard against loss by not committing any act of tantamount to repudiation was belied by the negligence which amounts to lack of good faith by continued occupation and possession of the which they would be denied the protective mantle disputed property by the petitioners as owners. First. who had purportedly predecessors-in-interest until 1962 was not sold it to Hilario and Andrea Robles. This fact is important. Hilario effected no clear and evident repudiation of the co-ownership. No the bank as the highest bidder. of land registration statute. Inc. absent any clear the Deed of Sale purportedly showing that the repudiation of the co-ownership. in the name of the Santos spouses. the bank should not have relied solely on share of the other co-owners. petitioners' predecessor-in-interest. however. 1965. the free patent thereto granted to Spouses Vergel and Ruth Santos.Based on the above definition. failed to observe due diligence and. and the circumstances such positive acts of repudiation have been made surrounding the transaction between Hilario and his known to the other co-owner. the Rural Bank of Cardona. in the name of the Rural Bank of Antipolo. the mortgaged it to the Rural Bank of Cardona. the deed. neither did he exclude the in good faith. and finally. . . Thereafter. Leon. Act 496. in the name of the Rural Bank of Cardona and. who in the heirs of Silvino to him. Petitioners allege that their title as owners and possessors of the disputed property is clouded by the tax declaration and. they did agree to the real estate mortgage constituted on it. and Ruth Santos. inasmuch as it was an unregistered declared in the names of Exequiel Ballena. the subject property had been 1966? Lastly. petitioners. for their business is one in his name. It was from him that Hilario had allegedly derived his title thereto as owner. The more important question to be resolved. on its face. 18 Validity of the Real Estate Mortgage 1âwphi1 Lastly. as he in prudence in dealing even with registered lands. As absolute owner of his undivided interest in the . he had the right to alienate his share. as evidenced by the different tax declarations issued in their names. and Exequiel's acquisition of the said private respondents. it would have discovered that the said property was in fact being occupied by the Contrary to the disquisition of the Court of Appeals. the Court held: mortgage contract with the bank cannot be construed to be a repudiation of the co-ownership. is whether the petitioners have the appropriate title that will entitle them to avail themselves of the remedy of quieting of title. and thereafter. as agreed upon by the co-owners. Clearly. — deed of conveyance purportedly evidencing the not as co-owners but as absolute owners — in transfer of ownership and possession from the order to secure an agricultural loan worth P2. however. fact did. the said transaction did not divest them of title to the property at the time of the institution of the Complaint for quieting of title. 15 In the present case. 1966. the Robles spouses then property by prescription was not alleged. who were tending and cultivating it. on November 7. to whom would be tending and cultivating it for everyone. Third. Tomas. Likewise. According to disputed. turn had inherited it from his father. Court Appeals 17invalidated a real estate In the present case. petitioners had entrusted the payment of the land and that their half-brother Hilario would be paying taxes. it is apparent that Hilario Robles was not the absolute owner of the entire subject property. the Court likewise finds it unusual that. otherwise. in not fully ascertaining his title mortgaged the disputed property not as absolute . private such document was presented. as well as the real estate mortgage covering the disputed parcel of land. his act of entering into a banks.. . an allegation which thereby enabled him to mortgage it On the other hand. The occupation and and Ruth Santos trace their claim to the subject the possession thereof by the petitioners and their property to Exequiel Ballena. Rural Bank of Compostela vs. Hilario Robles. it is essential paid the land taxes thereon. and that the Rural Bank of Considering that Hilario can be deemed to have Cardona. did Rural Bank of Antipolo. 19 is void. Thus. thereto. Because it was dealing with amounting to an ouster of the other co-owners. Inc. keeping in trust money construed as a repudiation of the co-ownership.. They considering that the petitioners are alleging maintain that after their father's death. the parcel of land. indeed. Inc. is a valid and efficacious is clear in the present case. subsequently. mortgage was foreclosed and the property sold to presented as the best proof of that transfer. (2) unregistered land. claim. the Court of Appeals failed to consider irregularities in the transactions involving the Petitioners anchor their claim to the disputed disputed property. Hilario did not have possession mortgage after a finding that the bank had not been of the subject property. be affected with public interest. Also undisputed is the fact that the petitioners continued occupying and possessing the land from the death of Silvino in 1942 until they were allegedly ousted therefrom in 1988. The Court explained: "The rule that petitioners from the use and the enjoyment thereof. extended only to purchasers for value and in good faith. . the petitioners that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the property to be mortgaged. It acted with precipitate haste in approving the Robles spouses' loan application. was a mortgagee in bad faith. 12 should have exerted more effort to fully determine the title of the Robleses. In 1962. 9 It is essential for the plaintiff or complainant to have a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property which is the subject matter of the action. persons dealing with registered lands can rely as they had indisputably shared in its solely on the certificate of title does not apply to 13 fruits. the bank was utterly remiss in its duty to establish who the true owners and possessors of the subject property were. belonging to their depositors. the mortgage continued occupying it and harvesting the fruits therefrom. Banks. the transferred from Exequiel Ballena to the Robles following requisites must concur: (1) the co-owner spouses. had been mortgaged by Exequiel to the Rural Bank of Antipolo. while it was declared in the property on their continued and open occupation name of Exequiel in 1962. there is merit to the contention of the petitioners that Hilario mortgaged the disputed property to the Rural Bank of Cardona in his capacity as a mere co-owner thereof. an action to quiet title is a common-law remedy for the removal of any cloud or doubt or uncertainty on the title to real property. and that it was foreclosed and in fact declared in the bank's name in 1965. considering that the subject property the land taxes. . finally. respondents purchased the property from the bank. Inc. they agreed continued possession of the property. 10 Also. in the name of Hilario and Andrea. the bank thereof is clear and convincing. petitioners insist The failure to show the indubitable title of Exequiel that their shares therein should not have been to the property in question is vital to the resolution prejudiced by Hilario's actions. and (3) the evidence father-in-law Exequiel were suspicious." In Tomas v. On September 30.. In order that the ownership of the disputed property had been title may prescribe in favor of a co-owner. or that it had subsequently been declared has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation in the name of Hilario. among themselves that Petitioner Lucio Robles Exequiel was the father-in-law of Hilario. heirs of Silvino to Exequiel should have been Upon their failure to pay their indebtedness. Ostensibly.

We reiterate that private ownership of land is not affected by the issuance of the free patent over the same land because the Public Land Act applies only to lands of the public domain. therefore. 20 The preceding claim is an assertion that the subject property is private land. had acquired and possessed the subject property. Act No. Q Up to when? A Up to the present. or of private ownership. has no authority to grant a free patent for land that has ceased to be a public land and has passed to private ownership and a title so issued is null and void. Q Now. The Court has previously held that the Land Registration Act and the Cadastral Act do not give anybody who resorts to the provisions thereof a better title than what he really and lawfully has. Q When did you plant those trees? A Before the death of my father. and the records do not show. It must be noted that while their claim was not corroborated Q How did your father acquire this parcel by other witnesses. They allege that they possessed it in the concept of owners — openly. sir. although it is not. He did not. and cannot possibly come within the purview of said act 2874. Free Patent No. the Director of Lands. a government grant. The jurisdiction of the Director of Lands is limited only to public lands and does not cover lands publicly owned. being the immediate predecessor of the Santos spouses. Lucio Robles testified: xxx xxx xxx Q By the way. a right to a grant. Q Now. only his undivided share therein. therefore. The purpose of the Legislature in adopting the former Public Land Act. They likewise contend that they cultivated it and harvested its fruits. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the land. sir. Leon Robles. constitutes no part of the public domain. give any reason why the petitioners had continued occupying it. A My father knew that it [was] by inheritance. The patentee and his successors-in-interest acquired no right or title to said land. Thus.. Now. Third Issue: Efficacy of Free Patent Grant Petitioners repeatedly insist that the disputed property belongs to them by private ownership and. the same could not have been the subject matter of a free patent. however. as such. and lands held in private ownership are not included therein and are not affected in any manner whatsoever thereby. sir. it was not controverted by the of land? other parties. Quod nullum est. by operation of law. then applicants patentees acquired no right or title to the land. why do you know this parcel of land? A Because before my father died. Necessarily.. the names of their predecessors-in-interest. the land in dispute was already under the private ownership of herein petitioners and no longer a part of the lands of the public domain." 22 The land was "segregated from the public domain. without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued. this land was planted with what crops? A Mango trees. 2874. Land held in freehold or fee title. The petitioners do not Q Before the death of your father. that if at the time the free patents were issued in 1953 the land covered therein were already private property of another and. sir. after the death of your father. Director of Lands. sir. 23263 issued to Herminigildo Agpoon is null and void and the subsequent titles issued pursuant thereto cannot become final and indefeasible. The nullity arises. 21 A From his father. peacefully. the President of the Philippines. 24 in which it held that a riparian owner presently in possession had a better right over an abandoned river bed than had a registered owner by virtue of a free patent. The long and continued possession of petitioners under a valid claim of title cannot be . the free patent granted and the subsequent titles produce no legal effect whatsoever. Q What is the nature of this parcel of land? A It's an agricultural land. justice and equity mandate the entitlement of the Santos spouses. a certificate of title fraudulently secured is null and void ab initio if the fraud consisted in misrepresenting that the land is part of the public domain. he can be adjudged to have disposed to the Rural Bank of Cardona. Inc. Being null and void." Accordingly. Sicsican. but from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands. was and is to limit its application to lands of the public domain. Q And do you know also [from] whom Leon Robles acquired this land? In the light of their open. santol trees. sir. nullum producit effectum. Hence we ruled in Director of Lands v. xxx xxx xxx We have. it could not have been awarded to the Santos spouses by free patent. not from fraud or deceit. A It was inherited from his father. either. who cultivated this parcel of land? A I took charge of the land after the death of my father. publicly and continuously as early as 1916 until they were forcibly ousted therefrom in 1988. of which he was the manager. They allege private ownership thereof. even as he admitted on the stand that he had visited it twice. Only public land may be disposed of by the Director of Lands. only to what legally pertains to the latter — Hilario's share in the disputed property. Verily. As earlier stated. who concede. the nullity arises. Under the provisions of Act 2874 pursuant to which the title of private respondents' predecessor-in-interest was issued. not from the fraud or deceit. as evidenced by their testimonies and the tax declarations issued in A My father. that it was was the owner of this parcel of land? ever an alienable land of the public domain. jurisprudence holds that a free patent covering private land is null and void.owner but only as a co-owner. et al. was a mortgagee in bad faith. inasmuch as the "subject" of such freehold or private land is not embraced in any manner in the title of the Act and the same is excluded from the provisions of the text thereof. the director of lands had no authority to issue a free patent thereto in favor of another person. Inc. and I was the one who planted those trees. Since as early as 1920. at the time of the death of your father. sir. not part of the disposable land of the public domain. 23 Worth quoting is the disquisition of the Court in Agne v. to arrive at the unavoidable conclusion that the title of herein petitioners over the land in dispute is superior to the title of the registered owner which is a total nullity. The said bank. Q From whom? Carlos Dolores insisted that the Rural Bank of Cardona. sir. A free patent which purports to convey land to which the government did not have any title at the time of its issuance does not vest any title in the patentee as against the true owner. continuous. after this case was already filed. but from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands. who merely stepped into the shoes of the bank. or his alter ego. he showed me all the documents. sir. petitioners are "deemed to have acquired.

petitioner. Indeed. Quod nullum est. Gabila v. land and is therefore beyond the authority of the The assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET Valenzuela. reasoning that the action should have been should be viewed in the light of the fact that they instituted by the solicitor general. 50638. Inc. Epilogue this Decision. for annulment of judgment. THIRD DIVISION the Court finds this conclusion the logical and just Indeed. The complaint. Neither does the present case call for the reversion transaction between Spouses Hilario and Andrea of the disputed property to the State.250 square meter portion since petitioners' continued occupation. The Santos spouses argue that petitioners do not have the requisite personality to question the free patent granted them. the Supreme Court held: for them. ASIDE. not the private respondents. a decision canceling the TCT certificate of title. In reversing the thought their brother was paying the requisite taxes vs. continuously and adversely IV-1-010021 issued by the Bureau of Lands Bank and Trust Company seeking to since 1916. we agree with the petitioners that the prayer in the complaint will have the same result of reverting the land to the government under the Regalian Doctrine.: producit affectum. the petitioners are claiming the declare Petitioners Lucio. which was PANGANIBAN. the same issue was resolved by this Court solution. from its fruits. Therefore.. were not the proper parties in an action to cancel the transfer certificates covering the parcel of land that was the subject of their application. because "this case the disputed property — a contract executed Before this Court is a Petition for Review on involves purely private interests. . J. Aludia and Manila property which. the petitioners cannot to pass upon the controversy. the fact that they continued cultivating it and harvesting and gaining Presiding Judge of Branch 172 of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela. By asking for Robles and the Rural Bank of Cardona. 2001 29 Appeals. . While the private respondents in Peltan recognized that the disputed property was part of the public domain when they applied for free patent. & TRUST COMPANY. the Court ratiocinated thus: The Court also holds that private respondents are not the proper parties to initiate the present suit. in His Capacity as trial court. Metro Manila. possessed and cultivated 1998 rendered by respondent judge. Moreover. be held guilty of it. continued and exclusive possession thereof since 1916. Republic of the Philippines the nullification of the free patent granted to the However. 4930-V-96 entitled ‘Sy Tan Se. assailed in effect the validity of said title. and SY TAN SE. and NGO. in-interest have occupied. their suit for quieting of title. Inc. In any case. fraud’ filed by petitioner Metropolitan peacefully. FLORO T. No costs. it as owners for more than thirty years. it prejudiced the shares of Petitioners Lucio. acquired the subject property legally." 25 Private respondents' reliance on this doctrine is misplaced. It is Hilario Robles' share therein. Presiding Judge conclusion can be drawn — it has become private WHEREFORE. inasmuch as "it is a wellsettled rule that actions to nullify free patents should be filed by the Office of the Solicitor General at the behest of the Director of Lands. Because they and their predecessorscovering the subject property. In any event. Considering the circumstances peculiar to this complicated problem. . the Court held in Peltan Development. gave private ten years. 1999 Resolution of the The foregoing considered. peaceful. granting that it had respondents' claim of open. hand and the Rural Bank of Cardona. it failed to continuous and adverse possession of enforce its rights as owner. 4216. Barinaga 27 ruled that only the government is entitled to this relief. the ultimate beneficiary would be the government. Ruling that the private respondents. In that case. 28 herein petitioners asserted and proved private ownership over the disputed parcel of land by virtue of their open. . annul the Decision dated August 12. Considering that they had annotated. Emerita. nullum was the Rural Bank of Cardona. apply to the present case. cultivation and Title (TCT) in which a real estate mortgage is 1920. This ruling does not. however. on the other — is hereby declared null and void insofar as assailing the March 25. No. justice and equity mandate that we SUPREME COURT Santos spouses. In such suit. 141970 September 10. and more important. which can be represented by the solicitor general only. Alejo. the Office of the Solicitor General was afforded an opportunity to express its position in The Case these proceedings. Inc. Hon. and its illegal inclusion in the Free possession thereof. in Civil Case director of lands. the real party-ininterest is the government. of judgment based on ‘external (sic) thereof in the concept of owners — openly.nêt We recognize that both the petitioners and the Santos spouses fell victim to the dubious SO ORDERED. 1âwphi1. 31 only one Honorable Floro T. Court of Appeals 26 that only the solicitor general could file an action for the cancellation of a free patent. who were applicants for a free patent. the trial court dismissed a Complaint seeking the declaration of nullity of an The claim that petitioners were guilty of laches in Original Certificate of Title issued pursuant to a free not asserting their rights as owners of the property METROPOLITAN BANK. the apparent that they are claiming ownership of the sale of the subject property to the Santos spouses "This resolves the petition for annulment disputed property on the basis of their possession is valid insofar as it pertained to his share only. it can even be argued that they thus and the mortgage annotation is subject to a petition respondents a cause of action for regained it by acquisitive prescription. Likewise declared null and void is Free Patent No. the mortgagee is an indispensable Patent of petitioners and in their original possessed the property in good faith for more than party. SIAN SUAT over private land is null and void. private guilty of laches because. publicly. Court of G. and considering the of the mortgagee deprived the court of jurisdiction circumstances in this case. rightfully belongs to Emilio Robles to have the requisite title essential to them. of the Regional Trial Court. It was oblivious to the In a suit to nullify an existing Torrens Certificate of the 2. praying as it did for the cancellation of the transfer certificates of title of petitioners on the ground that they were derived from a "spurious" OCT No. ALEJO. laches is a remedy in equity. Aludia and Emilio Robles. it is valid as to which states in full: granted to the Santos spouses is void. they contend. patent.defeated by the claim of a registered owner whose title is defective from the beginning. in Heirs of Marciano Nagano v." 30 between Spouses Hilario and Andrea on the one Certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Branch 172. . While private respondents did not pray for the reversion of the land to the government. we sustain the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR SP No. Inc.. respondents. Because the cancellation of the free patent as prayed for by the private respondents in Peltan would revert the property in question to the public domain. the real estate mortgage contract covering not file a memorandum. it can even be said that it whatsoever. the trial court's Decision is REINSTATED. the Petition is hereby GRANTED. because the non-joinder quieting of title which is imprescriptible.R. Consequently. Except as modified by the last paragraph of No. v. It is settled that a Free Patent issued represented by his Attorney-in-Fact. contention of petitioners that the free patent Emerita. produces no legal effect From another viewpoint. But it manifested that it would In sum.

a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of TCT No.8 the progenitor of the present controversy. Casimiro et al. a Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor. Also challenged is the January 27. during which petitioner submitted the highest and winning bid. The availability of this remedy hinges on petitioner’s knowledge of the pendency of that case.V-41319 in P5. however. accident. order. or any other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court through fraud." On June 17. 1998.relative to a motion for relief on the ground of fraud. a "cloud on title is a semblance of title which appears in some legal form but which is in fact unfounded.7 Decision. which would have otherwise been alerted to the need to intervene therein. In the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Valenzuela. an action for quieting of title. "I In its Memorandum. Well-entrenched in our jurisdiction is the doctrine that a court has no power to do so. p.4 Spouses Raul and Cristina Acampado rendered declaring as null and void obtained loans from petitioner in the amounts of Transfer Certificate of Title No. The land was covered by TCT No. Section 1. the petition for annulment of judgment is DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED outright for being insufficient in form and substance (Section 2. petitioner executed an Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership to enable the Registry of Deeds of Valenzuela to issue a new TCT in its name. the subject judgment cannot be considered as a cloud on petitioner’s title We are not persuaded. In Lagula et al. it was docketed as Civil Case No. or excusable negligence. a petition for relief. Accordingly." Petition for Annulment of Judgment. 1996." (Italics supplied) It would not be proper to consider the subject judgment as a cloud that would warrant the filing of an action for quieting of title. was not No. then the remedy of relief from Third. As the name of defendant Raul Acampado security for the payment of these credit for having proceeded from an illegitimate accommodations.11 This sale was entered in the Registry of Deeds of Valenzuela on July 28. an action for quieting of title is not an appropriate remedy in this case. It must be emphasized that petitioner was never a party to Civil Case No. because there were three different remedies available but they were not resorted to by petitioner. First Issue: annulling TCT No. 1997. over the mortgaged property were initiated on April 19. or excusable negligence -. 4930-V96. As defined. which does not even have a available to petitioner. Branch 172.15 the Court held that -. private respondent cites a last remedy: the intervention by petitioner in Civil Case No.000. judgment is hereby 1996. it is therefore not an 1998 RTC Decision in Civil Case No. Though presumed by private respondent. appropriate remedy.000. he may file a petition in such court and in the same case praying that the judgment.000 and P2. instead. 1996. on July 28. accident. Raul Acampado.-When a judgment or final order is entered. a petition for relief from judgment or an action for quieting of title. petitioner filed with the Court also registered on November 20. V-41319. 4930-V-96 peremptory declaration of nullity of TCT No.000. as that action may lead to confusion and seriously hinder the administration of justice. because to do so would require the court hearing the action to modify or interfere with the judgment or order of another co-equal court. emphatically denied by petitioner. Petitioner focused on the judgment in Civil Case No. "WHEREFORE. 4930-V-96. where the contracts were On January 27. V14 should be annulled.17 Clearly. which had been issued without first giving petitioner an opportunity to be heard. 4930-V-96.9 nor was she notified of its existence. On June 3. This being the case.represented by his attorney-in-fact Sian Suat Ngo v. 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure). 1997. Rule 47. "II We do not agree. any such knowledge prior to October 1998 is. . "Petition for relief from judgment. the or interest over the real property covered by TCT remedy pointed to by the Court of Appeals. The Facts x x x [W]hether or not a petition for annulment of judgment under Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is the Second. petitioner should have first sought recourse by way of petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.10 On July 15." Since petitioner was never a party to the case or even summoned to appear therein. a disregard of due process. respectively. 4930-V-96. Issues Because the spouses defaulted in the payment of their loan. petitioner presents the following issues: Equally important. V-41319 in the Registry of Deeds of Valenzuela City. 1997.. 1999. order or proceeding be set aside. Rollo. the Court of Appeals reasoned that another remedy. 1995 and January of Appeals a Petition for Annulment of the RTC 23. V-41319." of land registered in their names. extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings judgment under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court was not proper. in denying petitioner’s Motion for proper remedy available to petitioner Reconsideration of the Decision dismissing the under the circumstances. With costs against the defendant. petitioner was not made a party to Civil Case No. mistake. It ruled that petitioner ought to have filed. The dispositive portion Proper Remedy of the Decision12 stated: Ruling of the Court of Appeals For being insufficient in form and substance. this Petition. or other proceedings. mistake. Rules of Court. of petitioner a Real Estate Mortgage5 and an Amendment of Real Estate Mortgage6 over a parcel SO ORDERED." 41319. the Petition for Annulment was outrightly dismissed by the CA. an action for quieting of title is filed only when there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. First. When the redemption period lapsed exactly a year after. This is plainly provided in the italicized words of the present provision just quoted. Hence. petitioner The Petition is meritorious. Filing an action for Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership. was also available to petitioner. "This Court has observed that petitioner knew of the questioned Decision sometime [i]n October 1998 (Petition. Rule 38 of the semblance of being a title. 1997. On November 21.Rule 38 of the Rules of Court "only applies when the one deprived of his right is a party to the case. v. 4930-VThe Court’s Ruling 96 which adversely affected it. It should be stressed that this x x x [W]hether or not the judgment of the case was instituted to ask for relief from the trial court in Civil Case No. states: Respondents aver that a petition for annulment is not proper. quieting of title will not remedy what it perceived as was informed of the existence of the August 12. and which it Upon presentation to the Register of Deeds of the therefore sought to annul. 19953 and January 30. 4930-V-96. V-41319 was filed by Respondent Sy Tan Se against Spouses Acampado. Despite being the registered mortgagee of the real 13 property covered by the title sought to be annulled. respectively. et al. the Acampados executed in favor source."16 In this case. 3). 2000 CA Resolution2 denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. the sheriff of Valenzuela conducted an auction sale of the property.

’ (Borlasa vs. because of that court’s want of authority petitioner as a party to the case. but also has an interest of such nature that a final decree cannot be made without affecting his interest or leaving the controversy in such a condition that its final determination may be wholly inconsistent with equity and good conscience. stress that the absence of indispensable parties No. the trial court had has such an interest in the controversy or to those present. Its judgment therein .The Petition for Annulment before the Court of Appeals precisely alleged that private respondent purposely concealed the case by excluding petitioner as a defendant in Civil Case No. – Parties in interest without whom no final the Torrens system would have to inquire "The evident aim and intent of the Rules determination can be had of an action shall be in every instance as to whether the title regarding the joinder of indispensable Although a mortgage affects the land itself and not joined either as plaintiffs or defendants. which is "the authority to hear and Clearly. there was course of a proceeding that an an existing TCT (No. Without the precence of indispensable parties to a suit or proceeding. Francisco. "x x x. x x x. jurisprudence also as regards to other persons who the mortgaged property would no longer be known requires such joinder. it is clear that the presence of them. I. 347. at p. This was not done. mortgagors. It certificate of title issued.) The the mortgage was annotated on TCT No. indicate: judgment cannot even be rendered therefore. and to order the inclusion of such party. Lack of Jurisdiction or subject matter is separable from the Polistico. thus. courts cannot proceed without their 4930-V-96. the right to act in a case. coupled with the unavailability of possible. indispensable parties under any and all circumstances that would impel a conditions. 47 Phil. 325. we for the court cannot proceed without cannot countenance. except when the party concerned such allegation. Mangubat27 this Court held as follows: (The Revised Rules of Court. otherwise everyone annotation. 345. 4930-V-96 necessarily entailed its enforcement against petitioner. 1973 ed. V-41319). ‘general rule with reference to the making the Torrens Certificate of Title and to may be the basis for annulling a judgment. and that "Thus. for the land has a right to rely upon the face of substantiated by a preponderance of evidence. Further. so that it will precisely ‘when an indispensable party is not necessarily be directly or injuriously not before the court (that) the action It is undisputed that the property covered by TCT affected by a decree which does should be dismissed. for want of authority pertaining to the foreclosure of the mortgage were disregard such rights and order the total mandated by Section 7. the nullification of TCT No. V-41319 relying on the correctness of the absence of an indispensable party before the institution of Civil Case No.) that a person dealing with a registered The allegation of extrinsic fraud. it should controversy that a final decree would have been impleaded as a defendant in Civil Case necessarily affect their rights. No. as the it is the duty of the court to stop the trial registered owners of the property. not only as to the absent parties entered in the Registry of Deeds. the cancellation of the by the court. not TCT and the mortgage annotation exposed evident purpose of the law. an indispensable party is one who must be included in an action before it may properly go forward. not only as to the absent parties but even as petitioner. even though it was not a party to that case. in his absence."23 (emphasis supplied) the nullification and cancellation of the mortgage certificate of title. subject matter that a final adjudication cannot be made. which we quote: but even as to those and cancellation of TCT No.18 The of parties in a civil action requires the dispense with the need of inquiring resort to annulment becomes proper because of joinder of all necessary parties wherever further. 271.) It is xxx xxx xxx interest of the other parties. the court cannot The joinder of indispensable parties to an action is court null and void. a judgment of a Court cannot attain real finality. the execution of the Decision in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96. that "Whenever it appears to the court in the at the time the mortgage was constituted. 4930-V-96. if fully Such an order is unavoidable. V-41319 was mortgaged to petitioner. Hence. even if the latter was an indispensable party. or equitable. no authority to act on the case. Indeed. however. It should be emphasized. From the above. In Seno v."20 Rodriguez. Rule 3 of the Revised to act. and the joinder of all has actual knowledge of facts and the other remedies pointed to by respondents. See "The well-known rule in this jurisdiction is also Cortez vs. complete."24 that a real mortgage is a real right and a real due process of law and was therefore joined either as plaintiffs or defendants. acquire rights renders all subsequent actuations of the is also undisputed that all subsequent proceedings over the property.19 unquestionably unjust and iniquitous. 327. 106 Phil. where innocent third persons complete justice between them. the former intended to deprive petitioner of the latter’s duly registered property right. Indispensable parties are indispensable parties is necessary to vest the court Evidently. A valid The peremptory disregard of the annotations and respected by third parties.’ (People vs.. Without due process of law. so that the determine a cause."21 and void. the latter concludes that annulment of judgment was the only effective remedy open to it. the presence of those latter reasonably cautious man to make such "A person is not an indispensable party. it was the trial court’s duty to order definition of an indispensable party. 101 Phil. "SEC 7. without injuring or affecting that interest[. Compulsory joinder of indispensable dealing with property registered under parties. petitioner is encompassed within the those with such an interest in the with jurisdiction. Neither the court renders all subsequent actuations of the court null nor private respondents bothered to implead presence. Annotated & Commented by Senator Vicente J. Second Issue: however. at p. It has also been considered that an indispensable party is a person in whose absence there cannot be a determination between the parties already before the court which is effective. This. 4930-V96." ha[s] been regularly or irregularly issued and necessary parties is a complete merely the TCT covering it. The nullification cancellation of the certificate for that Rules of Civil Procedures. which named the indispensable party has not been joined. V-41319 where there is want of indispensable adversely affected its property rights.] a party who has not only an interest in the subject matter of the controversy. V-41319 carried with it would impair public confidence in the present. 705. parties being a sine qua non of the inquiry. since the mortgage may not even be valid because of the possible absence of compliance with the requirement26 that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the thing mortgaged. In the absence of "An indispensable party is a party who to act. p. the Acampado spouses. property by itself. Necessarily. V-41319 registered and entered in TCT No. considering constituted a deprivation of private property without "Indispensable parties must always be parties." only between the parties themselves but petitioner to real prejudice. Vol. if his interest in the controversy exercise of judicial power. Indeed this is contrary to the determination of all possible issues. because its rights over Aside from the above provision."25 We petitioner’s inclusion as a party to Civil Case No. as the following excerpts may be affected by the judgment. an indispensable party. Avila."22 It is argued that petitioner cannot possibly be an indispensable party.

Lot I-B-3 consisting of 60 for the invalidation of certificates of title. and PT-101747 thereby also including therein in undetermined portion that part of the property consisting of 60 Issue square meters they had previously sold in favor of the [respondent] has rendered In their Memorandum. Hence. certificate of title over the abovedescribed parcel of land. defendants failed and refused and up to the present still fail and refuse to cause the issuance and/or delivery of the corresponding certificate of title in favor On July 22. located at Capasigan. the parties could reciprocally demand performance of their obligations. It cannot be the source of any right nor the creator of any obligation. the CA held that respondent’s THREE (3) lots. PTHence. 1996. [Petitioner] Horacio Benito’s name of Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. 17136/T-86-D-II from the original Reversing the RTC. that parcel of land consisting of 60 square meters. The case is hereby ordered REMANDED x x x to the trial court for further proceedings. There was a breach of obligation when. the Complaint stated. and as long (5) lots. and/or Admit Amended Complaint. the Petition is GRANTED and the assailed Resolutions of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED. and further warranting the latter’s quiet and clean title. J.5 It held that from the moment the contract was perfected. Defendants are legally obliged to cause the issuance of and/or deliver a new title under plaintiff’s name by virtue of the parties’ deed of absolute sale but they failed to do so. despite repeated demands. an action for reconveyance was still available. 2001 Decision1 and the September 17." The Complaint alleged that the couple had sold in her favor Lot 1-B-2 of Subdivision Plan (LRC) Psf28352 located in Pasig City. Despite repeated demands. Such cause of action prescribes in ten xxxxxxxxx (10) years. 1999. counted from the date of the issuance of the assailed certificate of title. 2001 Resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No. however. 1979.: Basic is the rule that the cause of action is determined from the allegations of a complaint. On April 1. As long as square meters. 1999 is hereby ADMITTED. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed respondent’s Complaint on grounds of prescription and/or laches. The Decision of the Regional Trial Reconsideration of the assailed Decision was Court in Civil Case No. respondent. 149906 December 26. Despite repeated demands. the prescriptive period is ten years. not from its caption. the cause of action for intent in causing the issuance under reconveyance has not prescribed. petitioners failed to deliver to respondent the corresponding certificate of title to the lot. the present appealed Order is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. failed to file any action to compel performance until April 16. vs. Since the Complaint "8. Since the allegations in the herein Complaint constitute a suit for reconveyance. 1996.000. sold to plaintiff. PT101743. PT-101745. not an action to invalidate certificates of title grounded on fraud. [petitioners]. On April 17." The Case Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the June 6. 1999. No costs. Ruling of the Court of Appeals re-subdivided the whole parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 17136-T-86-D-II of the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City x x x. The RTC ruled that the amendment of the Complaint would change the "6. petitioners. it can never become final and any writ of execution based on it is void:"x x x it may be said to be a lawless thing which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight. and (3) Amended Complaint dated July 21. not The facts of the case are undisputed. 65148. In Leonor v. as it had not yet passed to an innocent purchaser for value. they failed to deliver or cause the issuance of a new certificate of title in her name. "4. Court of Appeals28 and Arcelona v. (2) Motion for Leave to Admit Amended Complaint is hereby GRANTED.29 we held thus: "A void judgment for want of jurisdiction is no judgment at all. both verbally and in writing. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. On June 28. Lot 1-B-2 of the subdivision plan (LRC) Psf-286352 under Transfer Certificate of Title No. petitioners raise this lone said five (5) titles null and void thereby issue: warranting their immediate cancellation[. this Petition.R."2 WHEREFORE.7 101746.6 which was denied on August 20. registration. inter alia. respondent filed a Motion for of the plaintiff to the latter’s great damage Reconsideration and for Leave to Amend Complaint and prejudice x x x. The assailed Decision disposed as follows: "WHEREFORE. Court of Appeals. The Facts SO ORDERED. [Petitioners’] bad faith and fraudulent alleged that the questioned titles had been issued on March 25. with his wife defendant Felisa Benito’s marital consent. Respondent Agapita SaquitanRuiz filed against Petitioner-Spouses Horacio and Felisa Benito a civil suit for "specific performance with declaration of nullity of titles and damages. 1999 is REINSTATED. more or less. and [petitioners’] Lot I-B-2 the property was still in the name of the person who consisting of 60 square meters into FIVE had caused the wrongful registration. Pasig City. as follows: "3. "5.00) Pesos with the receipt of said amount duly acknowledged by defendant Horacio Benito to his entire and complete satisfaction. She. Specifically. or 20 years from the time of the execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale on April 17. DECISION PANGANIBAN. AGAPITA SAQUITAN-RUIZ. PT-101744. Lot I-B-1 consisting of 80 second cause of action was for reconveyance. An action to invalidate title certificates on the ground of fraud prescribes upon the expiration of one year from the entry of the decree of registration. Plaintiff-appellant’s (1) [C]omplaint dated April 8. 2002 Spouses HORACIO and FELISA BENITO. 1999. All acts performed pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no legal effect. No. her heirs and successors-in-interest for and in consideration of the amount of Six Thousand (P6.was null and void due to lack of jurisdiction over an one year from the entry of the decree of indispensable party. 1999. or more than one year before the Complaint was filed.3 hereby NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE. 4930-V-41319 is denied in the assailed Resolution. in gross bad faith and with fraudulent intent. 1979 defendant Horacio Benito. 1999. not square meters.]"4 (Citations omitted) "Whether or not the Court of Appeals has decided a question of substance in a way probably not in accord with law or with the applicable Decisions of . It turned out that instead of issuing and/or delivering to the [respondent] her theory of the case and subject petitioners to an entirely new liability. and the long period of time that has lapsed. foregoing considered. or ignored wherever and whenever it exhibits its head. Moreover. the assailed Certificates of Title had been issued March 25.

CARLOS. Costs against petitioners. the evidence for the alleged nonpayment of the consideration already existed at the time petitioners filed the Motion to Dismiss. L-47896 October 3. to buy it. so that the parties These are petitions for review on certiorari of them. to its rightful and legal owner or to one who has a better right. she reneged on her in a separate action. it would be a denial of due process not to require petitioners to back up their allegations with evidence and not to afford respondent any opportunity to dispute and refute these allegations.. 1986 THE UNITED CONSTRUCTION CO. UNITED CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. transferred in good faith and for value to a third party. 51771-R modifying the of title. respondents.. the purpose is the transfer of property.23 Using this SECOND DIVISION guide. As the third party purchaser. although essentially an action for reconveyance. the reconveyance suit may still be pursued so that a wrongfully registered property may be placed under the name of its rightful owner or of one with a better right thereto.. and the PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION. The Certificate a certain Francisco Valmores.R. As a general rule. should not be dismissed on the highest bidder. they instituted ejectment proceedings against the other squatters. vs. 1986 PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION. granted the amendment of the Complaint. inaction or passivity in asserting rights over a disputed property... Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Laches. THE COURT OF APPEALS. in the Motion to Dismiss that petitioners filed with the trial court. Finally. No. for twenty years. admitting the same. Main Issue: Reconveyance of Realty Petitioners argue that the reinstatement of the action for reconveyance and its remand to the trial court are improper for the following reasons: (1) the disputed property was already transferred to a third person. L-47851 October 3. petitioners add: (1) the parties used to be squatters on the land owned by 33.12 We are not persuaded. (2) who had offered of Sale14 was issued on May 26. and JUAN F. she can fully ventilate their claims and defenses. Elementary is the principle that this Court is PARAS. INC. 1998.18 A petition for disputed portion of petitioners’ land was sold to Dela Cruz at a public auction. this fact explains why.. but only petitioners agreed Certificate of Final Deed of Sale. (3) after purchasing the land.000. who sued them for collection. we note that respondent is in possession of (6) petitioners borrowed money from a certain Basilia dela Cruz. is the failure or neglect Manila for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do that which. the remedies of the injured party are (1) specific performance or (2) judicial rescission. we note that the Complaint was seasonably filed on April 16. According to of the trial should be permitted. on the other hand. she allegedly acquired it through a judicial execution sale. therefore. petitioners. a party’s long Consideration and Laches . as in the present case.17 If a person claiming to be they were ordered to pay dela Cruz P75. NAKPIL. No.21 Unilateral rescission will not be judicially favored or allowed if the breach is not substantial and fundamental to the fulfillment of the obligation. respondents. For this reason. respondents. could or should have been done earlier. No. (8) a the owner of a wrongfully registered parcel of land writ of execution was issued by the RTC and (9) the is in actual possession. breach of contract or extinguishment of the obligation. the exercise of the right is no longer feasible. ET AL.000 for the ejectment expenses. (5) however. INC. we ask: how can respondent be held guilty of laches when there is no showing that petitioners G. a nothing shall prevent the vindication of any third transaction for which petitioners issued a Deed of person’s claim to a property subjected to execution Absolute Sale. (4) respondent bought on installment the Section 1616 of the same Rule also provides that portion of the land where her property stood. if it is alleged that the plaintiff is in possession of the property. 1999. (7) the disputed property.22 Furthermore. L-47863 October 3. Hence.10 In this suit. correctly held that respondent’s Complaint is in reality an action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust. NAKPIL & SONS. vs. According to petitioners. No. COURT OF APPEALS. when the ownership of Dela Cruz had not yet been confirmed. The external facts petitioners have brought forth herein are merely unsubstantiated allegations possessing neither persuasive nor evidentiary value. petitioner.15 only on May 27. petitioners. not offering the plaintiff any chance to argue the point. JUAN J. the right to seek reconveyance does not prescribe. They maintain that although the action for reconveyance may not have expired. This means that her right to its conveyance and possession was subject to the 12-month redemption period provided under Section In their Memorandum.19 Sale of the Realty to a Third Party Petitioners contend that the action for reconveyance has been rendered moot and academic. those wrongfully deprived of their property may still initiate an action for its reconveyance. 1999. ET AL.24 Section 225 of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court requires that during the hearing of a motion to dismiss. the to sell the land to them. Without a doubt. promise to contribute P6. (2) respondent did not pay the consideration for the contract.9 ground of prescription. precludes any recovery. the parties shall submit to the court their arguments on questions of law and their evidence on questions of fact. in which she was the the quieting of title. G. because the disputed lot was already sold to Basilia dela Cruz at a public auction. a complaint cannot be dismissed based on a ground not relied upon in a motion to dismiss and.11 Though the decree of registration is respected as incontrovertible. ET AL. which was the consideration of the sale. JUAN F. which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another person’s name. the continuation pay any consideration for the sale. This suit prescribes ten years from the issuance of the title over the property.: Petitioners likewise argue that respondent did not not a trier of facts. and remanded x x x the case to the trial court for further proceeding?"8 This Court’s Ruling The Petition has no merit.the Honorable Supreme Court when it reinstated private respondent’s Complaint dated April 18. COURT OF APPEALS. When the obligor fails to comply with a reciprocal obligation. While a review of the decree of registration can no longer be done after the expiration of one year from the entry of the decree. the November 28.R. there was no hint of any form of nonpayment. 1977 decision of the Court of did not bother to demand to be given the certificate Appeals in CA-G.13 Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. G. and (3) she allowed laches to set in by her inaction for more than 10 years.R. We disagree. 1999. SO ORDERED. by the exercise of due diligence.R.26 WHEREFORE. therefore.20 A seller cannot unilaterally and extrajudicially rescind a contract of sale where there is no express stipulation authorizing it. because the property was already The CA. vs. J. except those not available at that time. the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. 1986 ever demanded the alleged unpaid consideration for the sale of the subject land? Moreover.

.000. That in relation to the comer of Aduana and Arzobispo Streets. and by the third-party defendants Juan F. Inc.00 to the P200. Inc. 1971 as modified by the Order of the lower court dated December 8. Inc. and specifications. 1968 an undersigned) that the Court unusually strong earthquake hit Manila and its should find after the trial that environs and the building in question sustained the above-named defendants major damage. The plans and and Juan F. Nakpil & Sons and Juan F. designs.00 for the loss of the PBA building plus four (4) times such complaint. The front columns of the Juan J. That in the event (unexpected by the In the early morning of August 2. COSTS to be paid by the and third-party defendants defendant and third party (except Roman Ozaeta) to defendant (except Roman pay the plaintiff. collapse of said building was due to defects and/or On November 29. 74958.000. Nakpil defendant. are forward dangerously. L47851. alleging in essence that the Nakpil in favor of the plaintiff collapse of the building was due to the defects to all intents and purposes in the said plans and specifications. 74958 dated Court of Appeals reads: September 21. and Juan J. the plaintiff and third-party defects or inadequacy of the defendants Juan F.C. the president and general & Sons' answer thereto. 1969. defendant for damages for having included Nakpil & Sons and Juan F.661. on the suggestion of third-party defendants Nakpil Juan J. Rollo. this action for the recovery of damages arising designs. decided to construct an office building on its 840 square meters lot located at 1. L-47851. Inc. Inc. Nakpil. 269-348. for exoneration from liability while Juan J. the plaintiff commenced inadequacy of the plans. among others. 521. Carlos in L-47863 seek the reversal of the (b) Dismissing the complaint decision of the Court of Appeals. the building was the PBA Building. Carlos. amount as damages resulting in increased cost of the building. and shored up by United Construction.00 as exemplary (d) Dismissing the damages. The tenants vacated the free from any blame and building in view of its precarious condition. Juan J. and P100. The plaintiff. with the defendants.000. Carlos. judgment may be rendered in whole or in part. The proposal was plaintiff need not amend its approved by plaintiff's board of directors and complaint by including the signed by its president Roman Ozaeta. No. in the Court of First Instance of Manila were consolidated by this Court in the resolution of (e) Ordering defendant May 10.decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila. interest at the legal rate from Nakpil and Sons and Juan F. 1971. The building was completed in June. Nakpil & Sons party defendant in this case. Nakpil contributorily failure of the contractors to follow plans and negligent or in any way specifications and violations by the defendants jointly and solidarily liable of the terms of the contract. p. against the architects who prepared the plans Nakpil & Sons and/or Juan F. the sum of P989. The WHEREFORE.. Carlos and United building buckled. C. the manager of said corporation. 29. 1971 as modified in the December 8. severally. petitioner Philippine Bar Association in L-47896 seeks the modification of aforesaid decision to (c) Dismissing the third-party obtain an award of P1. Rollo. judgment is other respects.00 in favor of Philippine Bar Association to be paid jointly and plaintiff-appellant Philippine severally by the defendant United Construction Bar Association. President of the United Nakpil as parties defendant Construction Co.. Roman as if plaintiff's complaint has Ozaeta. the judgment Court of Appeals in modifying the decision of appealed from is modified to the lower court included an award of an include an award of additional amount of P200. on party complaints and the an "administration" basis. a thirdsaid Juan F. Petitioners Juan F. (Record on by the Court of Appeals are as follows: Appeal p. 520-521. with Co. jointly and Ozaeta) in equal shares. and third party defendants (except Roman Ozaeta). p. and . a civic. defendants' answer with Intramuros. respondents to comment. and its President and defendants. Carlos as defendants. as party defendant. among other with respect to defendant things. 1968. (except Roman Ozaeta) to pay the costs in equal The facts as found by the lower court (Decision. Nakpil and Sons and/or was accused by defects in the construction. and by alleging causes of action against them including.68 with interest at the legal rate from November SO ORDERED. & Sons. the Juan F. (Rollo. 1968. Inc.00 as attorney's fees. 2. Record on Appeal. As liability for the collapse of a temporary remedial measure. or in the event General Manager Juan J. Manila. plans.335. the date of the filing of the complaint until full payment.000. Inc. Nakpil specifications for the building were prepared by personally as parties the other third-party defendants Juan F.830. In all WHEREFORE.28.. Nakpil & Sons in L-47851 and United Construction Co. against Juan F. 169). p. in Civil Case No. L-47851. The dispositive portion of the decision of the Branch V. Philippine Bar Association. 1966. 1971 Order of the lower court (a) Ordering defendant is hereby affirmed with United Construction Co. Inc. the On March 3.. and third-party defendants 172). the then president of the plaintiff Bar been duly amended by Association was included as a third-party including the said Juan F. pp.Nakpil presented a written stipulation which non-profit association. P100. and specifications from the partial collapse of the building against p by the third-party United Construction. that the Court may find Juan Plaintiff alleges that the collapse of the building F.000. 1968 until full payment to be paid jointly The dispositive portion of the modified decision and severally by defendant of the lower court reads: United Construction Co. 169) and affirmed SO ORDERED. causing the building to tilt Construction Co. the judgment hereby rendered: dated September 21. November 29. defendant's and third-party defendants' counterclaims These petitions arising from the same case filed for lack of merit.. as the Defendants in turn filed a third-party complaint case may be. pp. at the should further find that the cost of P13. 1978 requiring the respective United Construction Co. incorporated under the reads: Corporation Law. shares. Inc. The construction was counterclaims and thirdundertaken by the United Construction. Carlos.

309-328. plans and specifications prepared by building was authorized to be demolished at the building collapses and to submit likewise a petitioners in the case of the Nakpils. 1978. 3. The motions were opposed by the with the Court a motion to intervene as amicus other imperfections in the case of United defendants and the matter was referred to the curiae. (Record (found by an the experts including the original on Appeal. (Record days within which to submit their position. (e) An act of God or a fortuitous event. 1971. 1978. (d) The alleged failure to exercise the requisite degree of supervision expected of the architect.p. After the parties had all filed their comments. 1970 divergent views on the design and plans as the additional amount of P200. during which among others. (c) The alleged failure of defendants to observe the requisite quality of materials and workmanship in the construction of the building. poor workmanship. may topple down in case of a strong and the Philippine Institute of Architects filed deviations from plans and specifications and earthquake. (Ibid.specifications prepared by them and/or failure in the performance of their contract with plaintiff. the defective construction.000. such as the foundation. on April 30. If the cause of the damage defects in the plans and specifications prepared by the third-party defendants' architects. Thus. L-47851. it should be reimbursed the expenses of property. 1978) were duly noted. but not another critical analysis with computations on the UCCI and the Nakpils object to the payment of earthquake of high intensity on April 7. the contractor and/or the owner of the building. Using the same authorities availed of by All the parties registered their objections to the amicus curiae such as the Manila Code aforesaid findings which in turn were answered (Ord.00 as estimated cost of repairs or to the Commissioner. The motion having been granted. by: (a) The inadequacies or defects in the plans and specifications prepared by third-party defendants. Hence. No. when asked by Us to comment. The Court sees no legal or and the overload on the ground floor columns contractual basis for such conclusion.3 they were also caused by the 2. The non-technical issues decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court. who was ultimately appointed by the trial court. suffered by the building arose from a combination of deviations from said plans and specifications by the defendant contractors and failure of the the above-enumerated latter to observe the requisite workmanship in factors. They proposed to present a position Construction Co. 274275. rentals while United Construction Co. the Association of Civil Engineers. 278-280.00 imposed followed by other strong earthquakes on April submitted by the experts procured by the by the Court of Appeals. the by the Commissioner. (Record on Appeal. a pre-trial was conducted on March 7. But the Commissioner. and After the protracted hearings. Ibid. designer) certainly contributed to the damage which occurred. The position papers of the amicus curiae (submitted on November 24.661. Inc. the determination of the cost of such restoration or repair. which may still be utilized or availed of (Record on Appeal. to the period of six (6) months for loss of were tried by the Court. 174). the issues of this case were divided into errors: Philippine Bar Association claimed that technical issues and non-technical issues. herein above specified. reiterated his conclusion that the defects in the plans and specifications indeed existed. 3. Rollo. As the measure of damages should not be limited aforestated the technical issues were referred All the parties herein appealed from the to P1. these petitions. raised the following assignments of November 28. Rollo. pp. the construction of subject building. P13. the United Architects of the should exempt them from responsibility and not demolition of the building on the ground that it Philippines.) payment of damages jointly and solidarity with UCCI. the Commissioner eventually submitted his report on September 25. Finally.28 while the Nakpils opposed the on Appeal. assumed his office as Commissioner. p.. charged with the duty to try the following issues: 1. Inc. The actual demolition was undertaken the amicus curiaewere granted a period of 60 shoring the building in the amount of by the buyer of the damaged building. Commissioner added that even if it can be proved that the defects in theconstruction alone (and not in the plans and design) caused the The trial court agreed with the findings of the damage to the building. UCCI also claimed that 9. Both expense of the plaintiff. Hizon. Whether the building is now a total loss and should be completely demolished or whether it may still be repaired and restored to a tenantable condition. and 12. Upon the issues being joined. 1970 with the findings that while the damage sustained by the PBA (f) Any other cause not building was caused directly by the August 2. L-47851. made by the defendants from said plans and specifications and how said deviations contributed to the damage sustained. Thus. and the value of any remaining construction. . 169). p. Andres O.169). 1977.100. 1979 the paper on the liability of architects when a design. We gave due course to the petitions in Our Resolution of July 21. Mr. (b) The deviations. The amicus curiae gave the opinion that the plans and specifications of the Nakpils were not defective. the parties agreed to refer the technical issues involved in the case to a Commissioner. directly or indirectly. 1970. the lower court rendered the assailed decision which was In their respective briefs petitioners. 4131) and the 1966 Asep Code. In the latter case. caused further damage to the parties. 1968 earthquake whose magnitude was estimated at 7. still the deficiency in Commissioner except as to the holding that the the original design and jack of specific owner is charged with full nine supervision of provisions against torsion in the original plans the construction. 275276. pp. on September 21. architects and even the owners to exercise the requisite degree of supervision in to the damage sustained. among modified by the Intermediate Appellate Court on others. 1969. if any. pp. or the deficiencies in the Commissioner. Whether the damage sustained by the PBA building during the August 2. and the Nakpils claimed that it was an act of God that caused the failure of the building which Meanwhile. Both parties hereby jointly petition this Honorable Court to approve this stipulation. 1968 earthquake had been caused. the degree or the construction of the building and of the proportion in which each individual factor contributed contractors. plaintiff moved twice for the On May 11.000.. Ibid). pp.

God. the general rule is that no person shall be responsible for events which could not be foreseen or which though foreseen. 33 SCRA 622. Republic of the Phil. June 30. 4379." the following must concur: (a) the cause of the breach of the obligation must be independent of the will of the debtor. Cesar vs. the obligor cannot escape liability.. for a breach of an obligation due to an "act of God. which results in loss or damage. The action must be brought within ten years following the collapse of the building. 1968. surmise and The principle embodied in the act of God conjectures. or due to the defects in the ground. (5) the findings of excluded from creating or entering into the fact are conflicting . does not imply waiver of any of the causes of action by reason of any defect mentioned in the preceding paragraph. while the third-party defendants were found to have inadequacies or defects in the plans and specifications prepared by them. and (d) the debtor must be free from any participation in. 92 SCRA 322. Milan. Defendant United Construction Co. 1970. July 10. pains or care. trial court. 657). Gutierrez. delay or violation or contravention in any manner of the tenor of the obligation as provided for in Article 1170 of the Civil Code. 19 SCRA 289.R. Acceptance of the building. Roque vs.830. which provides: August 2. 1979. Buan. In any event. the defects in the construction and in the plans and specifications were the proximate causes that rendered the PBA building unable to withstand the earthquake of August 2. the cause of which is to be considered. 1967. from liability by showing that the immediate cause of the damage was the act of God. Luzon Stevedoring Corp." cannot be ignored. there concurs a corresponding fraud. 366). 1723. 71 SCRA 423. 247. parties who are otherwise liable because of their negligence. and removed 291-292. 651). such person is not exempt petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents (Garcia vs. or due to any violation of the terms of the contract.000. were inevitable (Article 1174. he must be free from any previous negligence or misconduct by which that loss or damage may have been occasioned. pp. May 29.00 representing the . (1 SCRA 648. could have been prevented.00 representing the damage suffered by the PBA building as a result of another earthquake that occurred on April 7. An act of God has been defined as an accident. 34 Phil.000.. and to have failed to observe the requisite workmanship in the construction as well as to exercise the requisite degree of supervision. Limpangco & Sons v. The next issue to be resolved is the amount of damages to be awarded to the PBA for the partial collapse (and eventual complete collapse) of its building. 129.000. (1 Corpus Juris 1174). p. 92). On the contrary. liabilities of the parties herein is Article 1723 of There is no dispute that the earthquake of Yangco Steamship Co. 39 SCRA 527. which by no amount of foresight.G. (c) the event must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner. The negligence of the defendant and the thirdparty defendants petitioners was established beyond dispute both in the lower court and in the Intermediate Appellate Court. he shall be solidarily liable with the contractor. For this reason the defendant and third-party defendants cannot claim exemption from liability. 1968 is a fortuitous event or an act of v. findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellees (Ramos vs. (9) the facts of a person concurs with an act of God in set forth in the petition as well as in the producing a loss. 138 SCRA 553. (10) the finding of fact of the Court of Appeals is premised on the supposed absence of evidence and is contradicted by evidence on record (Salazar vs. Cited in G. Phil. exempts from liability. New Civil Code). The PBA in its brief insists that the proper award should be P1. 21 from the rules applicable to the acts of God. 30-31). (Decision. The engineer or architect who drew up the plans and specifications for a building is liable for damages if within fifteen years from the completion of the structure the same should collapse by reason of a defect in those plans and specifications. Sandiganbayan. Thus. 33 SCRA 243. (7) the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the Corpus Juris. is thereby humanized. 49 O. 134 SCRA 105. The contractor is likewise responsible for the damage if the edifice fags within the same period on account of defects in the construction or the use of materials of inferior quality furnished by him. 55 Phil. However. It is well settled that the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and on this court (cases cited in Tolentino vs. 66497-98. (2) the inference made is doctrine strictly requires that the act must be one occasioned exclusively by the violence of manifestly mistaken. Sandiganbayan. January 17. Court of Appeals. 1985. is found to went beyond the issues of the case and its be in part the result of the participation of man. (6) the Court of Appeals cause of the mischief. while the trial court awarded the PBA said amount as damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of the trial court based on the report of the Commissioner that the total amount required to repair the PBA building and to restore it to tenantable condition was P900. (4) the judgment is based on nature and all human agencies are to be misapprehension of facts. Estrada v. (8) said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific Thus it has been held that when the negligence evidence on which they are based. (Vasquez v. Alsua-Bett vs. Vol. July 30. 594. the whole occurrence Bottling Co. Smith. 1967. Austria v. Court of Appeals. Sacay v. 31. Motors. 1986). To be exempt from liability for loss because of an act of God. CA. or failure to act. plus unrealized rental income for one-half year. As correctly assessed by both courts. 657). the records show that the lower court spared no effort in arriving at the correct appreciation of facts by the referral of technical issues to a Commissioner chosen by the parties whose findings and conclusions remained convincingly unrebutted by the intervenors/amicus curiae who were allowed to intervene in the Supreme Court. if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God.The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not an act of God-an unusually strong earthquakewhich caused the failure of the building. due directly and exclusively to natural causes without human intervention. 604. When the effect. 1970 (L-47896. pp. the relevant and logical observations of the trial court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals that "while it is not possible to state with certainty that the building would not have collapsed were those defects not present.00 inasmuch as it was not initially a total loss.. v. unless (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. the fact remains that several buildings in the same area withstood the earthquake to which the building of the plaintiff was similarly subjected. February 8. v. 21 SCRA 279. On the other hand. (Fish & Elective Co. To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174 of the Civil Code. 1174-1175). (3) there is grave abuse of discretion.. 121). Smith. No. was found to have made substantial deviations from the plans and specifications. or aggravation of the injury to the creditor. de Jesus. Inc. 1970. Pepsi-Cola whether it be from active intervention or neglect. Oct. Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals. 45 Phil. Lasam v. Consolacion. as it were. (b) the event must be either unforseeable or unavoidable. Tucker The applicable law governing the rights and v. 45 Phil. negligence. 56 SCRA 67. Lasam the New Civil Code. reasonably to have been expected. If the engineer or architect supervises the construction. the Court of Appeals modified the amount by awarding in favor of PBA an additional sum of P200. after completion. It is evident that the case at bar does not fall under any of the exceptions above-mentioned. I. Art.

6. pp. p. p.661. 53-54). 1. 1 Assignment of Error. p. spent P13. There is no mystery about these acts of negligence. that specific losses and suffering resulting from the occurrence of these natural force are also acts of God. CA Decision. The evidence sufficiently supports a conclusion that the negligence and fault of both United and Nakpil and Sons. as a unique and distinct construction with no reference or comparison to other buildings. and it fell and great was the fall of it. drought. and natural forces is precisely the reason why we have professional experts like architects.28 to shore up the building after the August 2. We quote with approval the following from the erudite decision penned by Justice Hugo E. Designs and constructions vary under varying circumstances and conditions but the requirement to design and build well does not change. to weather the severe earthquake forces was traced to design deficiencies and defective construction. NAKPIL's Brief as Petitioner. 1968 earthquake (L-47896. Defendants' Objections to . floods. the injury would have been produced. 19). It does not necessarily follow. earthquakes. Matthew 7: 2427). was unable. More relevant to our mind is the lesson from the parable of the wise man in the Sermon on the Mount "which built his house upon a rock. on the other hand. Gutierrez (now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) while still an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals: There is no question that an earthquake and other forces of nature such as cyclones. however. The lengthy discussion of United on ordinary earthquakes and unusually strong earthquakes and on ordinary fortuitous events and extraordinary fortuitous events leads to its argument that the August 2. we will be forced to conclude that under such a situation scores of buildings in the vicinity and in other parts of Manila would have toppled down. We are not convinced on the basis of the evidence on record that from the thousands of structures in Manila. not a mysterious act of an inscrutable God. The PBA further urges that the unrealized rental income awarded to it should not be limited to a period of one-half year but should be computed on a continuing basis at the rate of P178.76 a year until the judgment for the principal amount shall have been satisfied L. The collapse of the PBA building as a result of the August 2. The Report of the Commissioner. Fortunately. The PBA. as designed and constructed. 46). the facts on record allow a more down to earth explanation of the collapse. Plaintiff's Objections to the Report. Because of the earthquake on April 7. Nakpil and Sons alleges that the designs were adequate in accordance with pre-August 2. and engineers. Vol. 25). The findings of the lower Court on the cause of the collapse are more rational and accurate. UNITED's Brief as Petitioner. UNITED. The evidence reveals defects and deficiencies in design and construction. and beat upon that house.00 in favor of the PBA (L47851. It was a result of the imperfections in the work of the architects and the people in the construction company. 1968 earthquake was only partial and it is undisputed that the building could then still be repaired and restored to its tenantable condition. and it fen not. 1968 earthquake was of such an overwhelming and destructive character that by its own force and independent of the particular negligence alleged. floods. hundreds of ancient buildings which survived the earthquake better than the two-year old PBA building must have been designed and constructed by architects and contractors whose knowledge and foresight were unexplainably auspicious and prophetic.000. for it was founded upon a rock" and of the "foolish upon the sand. 1968 knowledge and appear inadequate only in the light of engineering information acquired after the earthquake. The failure of the PBA building. The collapse of the PBA building was no wonder performed by God.47896. If we follow this line of speculative reasoning. factors which are neither mysterious nor esoteric. and the winds blew. lightning. 1970. p. Third Party Defendants' Objections to the Report. These deficiencies are attributable to negligent men and not to a perfect God. God singled out the blameless PBA building in Intramuros and around six or seven other buildings in various parts of the city for collapse or severe damage and that God alone was responsible for the damages and losses thus suffered. 11 Assignment of Errors. and perils of the sea are acts of God. to have the building repaired. deviation from plans and specifications and other imperfections. There should be no question that the NAKPILS and UNITED are liable for the damage resulting from the partial and eventual collapse of the PBA building as a result of the earthquakes. it also examined the ability of the PBA building. thru no fault of its own. p. defective construction. If this were so. value of the building (L-47896. in view of its lack of needed funding. The act-of-God arguments of the defendants. PBA's No. authorized the total demolition of the building (L-47896. and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house.appellants and third party defendantsappellants presented in their briefs are premised on legal generalizations or speculations and on theological fatalism both of which ignore the plain facts. PBA's No. were responsible for the damages. 19). to withstand and successfully weather those forces. while both the NAKPILS and UNITED question the additional award of P200. winds." The requirement that a building should withstand rains. The record is replete with evidence of defects and deficiencies in the designs and plans. the trial court after the needed consultations. poor workmanship.671. And the rain descended and man which built his house the floods came. Following the same line of reasoning. (St. Instead of laying the blame solely on the motions and forces generated by the earthquake. The theological allusion of appellant United that God acts in mysterious ways His wonders to perform impresses us to be inappropriate.

the Report. The Commissioner answered the said objections alleging that third-party defendants' objections were based on estimates or exhibits not presented during the hearing that the resort to engineering references posterior to the date of the preparation of the plans was induced by the third-party defendants themselves who submitted computations of the thirdparty defendants are erroneous. inadequate design was the cause of the failure of the building. voiced opposition to the same on the grounds that (a) the finding is based on a basic erroneous conception as to the design concept of the building. Proving Inadequacy of design. 2. The Third-party defendants. It involves questions not within the ordinary competence of the bench and the bar to resolve by themselves. so much so "that the experts of the different parties. Sun-baffles on the two sides and in front of the building. 6. Counsel for the third-party defendants has aptly remarked that "engineering. to wit: Physical evidence before the earthquake providing (sic) inadequacy of design. plans and specifications of the PBA building which involved appreciable risks with respect to the accidental forces which may result from earthquake shocks. Increase the inertia forces that move the building laterally toward the Manila Fire Department. to wit. and Third-Party Defendants' Reply to the Commissioner's Report not to mention the exhibits and the testimonies show that the main arguments raised on appeal were already raised during the trial and fully considered by the lower Court. Physical Evidence After the Earthquake. not only in columns but also in slabs. Plaintiffs' Reply to the Commissioner's Answer. Counter-Reply to Defendants' Reply. Building leaned and sagged more on the front part of the building. on the codes to be used and even as to the type of structure that the PBA building (is) was (p. who are all engineers. Commissioner's Answer to the various Objections. 3. Slab at the corner column D7 sagged by 38 cm. 2. but in the light of recent and current standards. 1. Also D7. Maximum sagging occurs at the column A7 where the floor is lower by 80 cm. than the highest slab level. 3. rightly belonged to the realm of speculation. 1. Column A7 suffered the severest fracture and maximum sagging. There are more damages in the front part of the building than towards the rear. Floors showed maximum sagging on the sides and toward the front corner parts of the building. b. that the fact that those deficiencies or defects may have arisen from an obsolete or not too conservative code or even a code that does not require a design for earthquake forces mitigates in a large measure the responsibility or liability of the architect and engineer designer. Two front corners. rather than of certainty and could very possibly be outright error. as to what earthquake co-efficients are. Defendants' Reply to the Commissioner's Answer. There was a lateral displacement of the building of about 8". although dealing in mathematics. 4. 5. (c) the Commissioner has failed to back up or support his finding with extensive. a. cannot agree on what equation to use. who are the most concerned with this portion of the Commissioner's report. The embedded 4" diameter cast iron down spout on all exterior columns reduces the cross-sectional area of each of the columns and the strength thereof. (b) the finding that there were defects and a deficiency in the design of the building would at best be based on an approximation and. A reiteration of these same arguments on appeal fails to convince us that we should reverse or disturb the lower Court's factual findings and its conclusions drawn from the facts. Create another stiffness imbalance. 29. complex and highly specialized computations and analyzes which he himself emphasizes are necessary in the determination of such a highly technical question. The difficulty expected by the Court if tills technical matter were to be tried and inquired into by the Court . of thirdparty defendants before the Commissioner). therefore. however. is not an exact science and that the present knowledge as to the nature of earthquakes and the behaviour of forces generated by them still leaves much to be desired. A7 and D7 columns were very much less reinforced. He conceded. and (d) the Commissioner has analyzed the design of the PBA building not in the light of existing and available earthquake engineering knowledge at the time of the preparation of the design. The Commissioner concluded that there were deficiencies or defects in the design. 4. that the design is essentially that of a heavy rectangular box on stilts with shear wan at one end. among them: The Commissioner also found merit in the allegations of the defendants as to the physical evidence before and after the earthquake showing the inadequacy of design. The issue presently considered is admittedly a technical one of the highest degree. Memo.

made by the defendants from the plans and specifications. Ground floor columns. ground floor. A-5. eccentricity being 3" off when on one face the main bars are only 1 1/2' from the surface. C-7. and whose competence had not been questioned by the parties until he submitted his report. Summary of alleged defects as reported by Engineer Mario M. (14) Column A7— Lack of lateralties or spirals. unless otherwise stated. c. and how said deviations contributed to the damage sustained by the building. We now turn to the construction of the PBA Building and the alleged deficiencies or defects in the construction and violations or deviations from the plans and specifications. (1) Column D4 — Spacing of spiral is changed from 2" to 5" on centers. (11) Column A4 — (second floor Column is completely hollow to a height of 30" (12) Column A5 — Spirals were cut from the floor level to the bottom of the spandrel beam to a height of 6 feet. Within the pardonable limit of the Court's ability to comprehend the meaning of the Commissioner's report on this issue. (11) Big cavity in core of Column 2A-4. All these may be summarized as follows: (10) Undergraduate concrete is evident. These two issues. (3) Oversize coarse aggregates: 1-1/4 to 2" were used. (1) Column A4 — Spirals are cut. (8) Column B7 — Spirals not tied to vertical reinforcing bars. (8) Deliberate severance of spirals into semi-circles in noted on Col. (6) Column B6 — Lack of spiral on 2 feet below the floor beams. (2) Absence of effective and desirable integration of the 3 bars in the cluster. Bundalian. Columns suffered worst displacement where the eccentricity of the columnar reinforcement assembly is more acute. (4) Column D7 — Lack of lateral ties. (2) Column A5 — Spirals are cut. constituted the reason for the reference of the said issues to a Commissioner whose qualifications and experience have eminently qualified him for the task. Antonio Avecilla. (13) Column A6 — No spirals up to a height of 30' above the ground floor level. plans and specifications prepared by third-party defendants. and the objections voiced to the same. Spirals are at 2" from the exterior column face and 6" from the inner column face. . Columns are first (or ground) floor. (4) Reinforcement assembly is not concentric with the column. (9) Column A3 — Lack of lateral ties. (7) Column B5 — Lack of spirals at a distance of 26' below the beam. Summary of alleged defects as reported by the experts of the Third-Party defendants. (5) Column C7 — Absence of spiral to a height of 20" from the ground level. The findings of the Commissioner on these issues were as follows: (9) Defective construction joints in Columns A-3. (6) Contraband construction joints. (5) Prevalence of honeycombs. will be discussed together. second floor. a. (b) The alleged failure of defendants to observe the requisite quality of materials and workmanship in the construction of the building. or over spacing of spiral hoops. b. being interrelated with each other. (2) Column D5 — No spiral up to a height of 22" from the ground floor. if any.itself. D-7 and D-4. (2) (a) The deviations. coupled with the intrinsic nature of the questions involved therein. (7) Absence. (12) Columns buckled at different planes. Spirals are uneven 2" to 4". (1) Wrongful and defective placing of reinforcing bars. Columns buckled worst where there are no spirals or where spirals are cut. Specification requires no larger than 1 inch. the Court sees no compelling reasons to disturb the findings of the Commissioner that there were defects and deficiencies in the design. (10) Column A4 — Spirals cut off and welded to two separate clustered vertical bars. Summary of alleged defects as reported by Engr. and that said defects and deficiencies involved appreciable risks with respect to the accidental forces which may result from earthquake shocks. ground floor. (3) Column D6 — Spacing of spiral over 4 l/2. or omission.

therefore. Reference 11). There were several clear evidences where this was not done especially in some of the ground floor columns which failed. a procedure which can not be done if either the beam or girder reinforcement is already in place. The plans and specifications required that these spirals and ties be carried from the floor level to the bottom reinforcement of the deeper beam (p. details which insure ductility at or near the connections between columns and girders are desirable in earthquake resistant design and construction. If the reinforcement for the girder and column is to subsequently wrap around the spirals. There is merit in many of these allegations. There were also unmistakable evidences that the spacings of the spirals and ties in the columns were in many cases greater than those called for in the plans and specifications resulting again in loss of earthquakeresistant strength. Other than a strong allegation and assertion that it is the plumber or his men who may have done the cutting (and this was flatly denied by the plumber) no conclusive proof was presented. While these can certainly be absorbed within the factor of safety. The explanations given by the engineering experts for the defendants are either contrary to general principles of engineering design for reinforced concrete or not applicable to the requirements for ductility and strength of reinforced concrete in earthquakeresistant design and construction. The burden of proof. As heretofore mentioned. p. (4) Column A7 — Ties are too far apart. (5) Column B5 — At upper fourth of column spirals are either absent or improperly spliced. The engineering experts for the defendants strongly assert and apparently believe that the cutting of the spirals did not materially diminish the strength of the column. The effect on the measured eccentricity of 2 inches. (7) Column B7 — At upper fourth of column spirals missing or improperly spliced. The effect of eccentricities in the columns which were measured at about 2 1/2 inches maximum may be approximated in relation to column loads and column and beam moments.(3) Column A6 — At lower 18" spirals are absent. There is no excuse for the cavity or hollow portion in the column A4. spaced 16" on centers. that this cutting was done by others is upon the defendants. The omission of spirals and ties or hoops at the bottom and/or tops of columns contributed greatly to the loss of earthquake-resistant strength. 1. This is not quite correct. 970. The proper placing of the main reinforcements and spirals in column A5. This belief together with the difficulty of slipping the spirals on the top of the column once the beam reinforcement is in place may be a sufficient motivation for the cutting of . The engineering experts for the defendants asserted that they could have no motivation for cutting the bar because they can simply replace the spirals by wrapping around a new set of spirals. (6) Column B6 — At upper 2 feet spirals are absent. (10) Column D6 — Spirals are too far apart and apparently improperly spliced. The assertion of the engineering experts for the defendants that the improper spacings and the cutting of the spirals did not result in loss of strength in the column cannot be maintained and is certainly contrary to the general principles of column design and construction. ground floor is the subject of great contention between the parties and deserves special consideration. The cutting of the spirals in column A5. is to increase or diminish the column load by a maximum of about 1% and to increase or diminish the column or beam movements by about a maximum of 2%. ground floor. The proper way is to produce correct spirals down from the top of the main column bars. therefore. Specifications. this would not do for the elasticity of steel would prevent the making of tight column spirals and loose or improper spirals would result. is the responsibility of the general contractor which is the UCCI. (11) Column D7 — Lateral ties are too far apart. The main effect of eccentricity is to change the beam or girder span. (8) Column C7— Spirals are absent at lowest 18" (9) Column D5 — At lowest 2 feet spirals are absent. they nevertheless diminish said factor of safety. And even granting that there be no loss in strength at the yield point (an assumption which is very doubtful) the cutting or improper spacings of spirals will certainly result in the loss of the plastic range or ductility in the column and it is precisely this plastic range or ductility which is desirable and needed for earthquakeresistant strength. second floor. this is certainly an evidence on the part of the contractor of poor construction. and although this column did not fail. There is evidence to show that the pouring of concrete for columns was sometimes done through the beam and girder reinforcements which were already in place as in the case of column A4 second floor. We shall first classify and consider defects which may have appreciable bearing or relation to' the earthquakeresistant property of the building.

In other words. C-6. the lack of proper length of splicing of spirals. or an act of God for which he is not responsible. This lack of proper splicing contributed in a small measure to the loss of strength. ground floor. 4380) which may be in point in this case reads: One who negligently creates a dangerous condition cannot escape liability for the natural and probable consequences thereof. by calling attention to deficiencies noted and the fact that the missing spirals and ties were proven manifests an element only in two out of the 25 columns. Truth to tell hundreds of ancient buildings in the vicinity were hardly affected by the earthquake. ground floor. the Commissioner to specify the number of columns where there was lack of proper length of splicing of spirals. since many of the deficiencies is that they not defects were minor only the totality of the only increase but also defects was considered. C-7. second floor. The objection to the failure of damage which occurred. gross negligence and evident bad faith. did not aggravate or contribute to the damage. The effects of all the other proven and visible defects although nor can certainly be accumulated so that they can contribute to an appreciable loss in earthquake-resistant strength. that the hollow in column A4. As regards the aggravate the weakness objection as to failure to state the number of mentioned in the design of cases where the spirals and ties were not the structure. resulting in some loss of hands of the contractor is strength which could be critical near the ends direct and positive. although the act of a third person. Again. in the considered opinion of the Commissioner rests on the shoulders of the defendants and the loss of strength in this column contributed to the damage which occurred. WHEREFORE. which of negligence which may rendered said supposition to be improbable." On the claim portion of the Commissioner's report. the Commissioner specified deficiencies not only tend to groundfloor columns B-6 and C-5 the first one add but also to multiply the without spirals for 03 inches at the top. was the columns were greater than that called for in answered by the Commissioner by reiterating the observation in his report that irrespective of who did the cutting of the spirals. 4379. the Commissioner on the grounds that the Commissioner should answered that. 1968 and the vice Answering the said objections. He answered the supposition of presence of existence of all the defendants that the spirals and the ties the major defects and must have been looted. 128-142) The afore-mentioned facts clearly indicate the wanton negligence of both the defendant and the third-party defendants in effecting the plans. the eccentricities in the columns. the of the columns. D-5 and B-7. and the cut in the spirals in column A5. specifications. did not aggravate or contribute to the It is reasonable to conclude. that specified the first storey columns where the the defects and deficiencies spacings were greater than that called for in the in the construction specifications to be columns B-5. the of these defects and Commissioner stated that. therefore. If accumulated. The objection regarding the cutting of the or where the spacing of the spirals and ties in spirals in Column A-5. there were no spirals for 10 inches at in the design of the building. The engineering experts for the defendants submitted an estimate on some of these defects in the amount of a few percent. as evidenced by the actual failure of this column. the Commissioner Since the execution and mentioned groundfloor columns B-6 and B-5 supervision of the where all the splices were less than 1-1/2 turns construction work in the and were not welded. indicate the number of cases where the spirals and ties were not carried from the floor level to the bottom reinforcement of the deeper beam. that the proven defects in the construction were within the defects. The lack of proper length of splicing of spirals was also proven in the visible spirals of the columns where spalling of the concrete cover had taken place. Vol. and that the cutting violations of the plans and of the spirals in column A5. To recapitulate: the omission or lack of spirals and ties at the bottom and/or at the top of some of the ground floor columns contributed greatly to the collapse of the PBA building since it is at these points where the greater part of the failure occurred. carried from the floor level to the bottom these defects and reinforcement. damage suffered by the building. Only one thing spells out the fatal difference. it have specified the defects found by him to be also contributed to or aggravated the damage "meritorious". was specifications of the PBA done by the plumber or his men. that the therefore. should be held responsible for the consequences arising from the loss of strength or ductility in column A5 which may have contributed to the damages sustained by the building. The Commissioner conceded that the hollow in column A-4. the that the eccentricity could be absorbed within defendants voiced their objections to the same the factor of safety. ground floor. (Rollo. that the Commissioner failed to suffered by the building. Relative thereto. As found by the Commissioner. and not by the building contributed to the defendants. the specifications. second floor. As already discussed. deficiencies and tolerable margin of safety. the bottom. while the same may be true. The liability for the cutting of the spirals in column A5. B-6. and in effects of the shortcomings the latter. the defendants should be held liable for the same as the general contractor of the building. and construction of the PBA building and We hold such negligence as equivalent to bad faith in the performance of their respective tasks. Commissioners Report).G. intervenes to precipitate the loss. I. (pp. The Commissioner further stated that the loss of strength of the cut spirals and inelastic deflections of the supposed lattice work defeated the purpose of the spiral containment in the column and resulted in the loss of strength. designs. Milan (49 O. without which the damage would not have occurred.the spirals themselves. the Court concurs in the findings of the Commissioner on these issues and fails to find any sufficient cause to disregard or modify the same. therefore. the destruction was not purely an act of God. The Commissioner likewise We may say. the "deviations made by the defendants from the plans and specifications caused indirectly the damage sustained and that those deviations not only added but also aggravated the damage caused by the defects in the plans and specifications prepared by third-party defendants. damages which resulted during the earthquake of August 2. The defendants. the decision appealed from is hereby MODIFIED and considering the special . groundfloor. but averred that it is As the parties most directly concerned with this "evidence of poor construction. the ruling of the Supreme Court in Tucker v. therefore. 4249. amount to imprudence in the construction work. contributed greatly to the C-5. pp. including the effect of eccentricity in the column the loss in strength due to these minor defects may run to as much as ten percent.

They claim that nowhere in the complaint does it state that respondents seek to quiet their title to the property. 2005 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. QUIJANO and MINA N. The appealed Decision dated August 25. 178609 August 4.5 denied respondents’ allegation of co-ownership. CV.00 as down payment and the balance of P10. They included in petitioners’ title. the 9 his name did not appear on the title. petitioners took the present recourse. if any.000. respondents asserted that their right to institute an action for reconveyance is to file the instant complaint. and 4) to pay [respondents] attorney’s fees and the costs of suit in the reasonable amount of P50. wherein the [respondent] Celso P. No. Petitioners.00 withP40. as co-owners of the subject lot to the extent of one-third (1/3) thereof which corresponds to that portion where their house stands. Accordingly. therefore. Petitioners.000. the [respondents] are hereby other for Romulo. the RTC granted petitioners’ counterclaim and ordered the reimbursement of the expenses they incurred in defending the case. and Appeals. 1976.00) Pesos as and for attorney's fees. Quijano and her husband Celso Quijano (respondents). respondents filed with the RTC of Manila a suit for reconveyance. reversing the RTC. Civil Code. In its stead. the total sum being payable upon the finality of this decision.000. x xx 3) That in their agreement with the lot owner.00 for attorney’s fees. On June 29. Quijano appears as one (1) of the Second Party [sic] who purchased the lot at the purchase price of P50. a) The reduced amount of P50. No. They averred that they are co-owners of the subject property having paid part of its purchase price. the RTC rendered a Decision6 dismissing the complaint.: On appeal is the June 29. They ascribe reversible error to the CA for treating respondents’ action as one for quieting of title. complaint and insisted that they are co-owners of To obtain a separate certificate of title.3 A three (3) door apartment was On the other hand. The RTC thus ruled that respondents can no longer demand the segregation or reconveyance of the claimed portion of the property. 2010 MANUEL P. Petitioners Manuel P. and the last one for their sister ordered to pay the [petitioners]: Mina N. p. and On October 8.4 imprescriptible because they are in possession of the claimed portion of the property. the appeal is GRANTED. Court of their adverse claim with the Register of Deeds. Ney and Romulo P. the name of the [respondent] Celso P. and damages against petitioners. Respondents also took exception to the trial court’s declaration that their later discovered that the entire property was action was already barred by prescription and mortgaged with Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company.R. with an area of 120 square meters more or less. 122489 covering the subject property was From the aforesaid Decision. 10) indemnity in favor of the Philippine Bar Association of FIVE MILLION (P5. 1723. They asserted challenged Decision. 1999. Ney (petitioners) are the registered owners of a The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads: residential lot located at 1648 Main Street. a NEW ONE IS ENTERED. Consequently. spouses Celso and Mina Quijano. Paco. We deem it reasonable to render a decision imposing. and declared their documentary and testimonial evidence unreliable. Petitioners assert that the CA ruled on an issue not raised in the pleadings. premises considered. upon the defendant and the third-party defendants (with the exception of Roman Ozaeta) a solidary (Art. the [respondents’] Complaint is hereby DISMISSED. 122489.000. and granted to respondents the reliefs that they prayed for. SO ORDERED. thus: WHEREFORE.00.m. and for the partition of the subject property. but the latter refused. respondents went to the CA. partition b) The costs of suit. 122489. SPOUSES CELSO P. and that their share was erroneously requested from petitioners the segregation of the portion allotted to them. All that respondents averred and prayed for in their complaint was for petitioners to surrender their certificate of title. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. 2) to reconvey to [respondents] the clean title to their portion of the subject lot.R. The CA that respondents had a valid cause of action. The allegations in respondents’ complaint read in part: 2) That [respondents] are co-owners of one-third (1/3) portion pro indiviso of the residential lot where their residential house was constructed known as 1648 Main Street.000. specifically allotting to [respondents] the portion where their house stands. [petitioners] are hereby ordered: 1) to partition the subject lot into three (3) equal portions of forty square meters (40 sq. Citing Heirs of Jose Olviga v. finding merit in the [petitioners’] constructed on the subject lot – one for Manuel.7 was inadvertently omitted as one of the buyers in the execution of the deed of sale. that Celso’s name SO ORDERED.) each. prompting them to execute and register laches. setting aside the August 25. DECISION NACHURA. dismissal of the complaint. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.8 Petitioners. Branch 45. NEY. the Counterclaim. 122489 to the Register of Deeds of Manila for the annotation of [respondents’] share thereon. Respondents. 2005 of the Regional Trial Court Branch 45. The RTC sustained petitioners’ assertion that respondents possessed part of the property through mere tolerance. No. . thus. After trial. It rejected respondents’ claim of coownership. They averred that Celso CA rendered the now Quijano was not a vendee of the subject lot. 86047. already prescribed. Manila.and environmental circumstances of this case. Solidary costs against the defendant and third-party defendants (except Roman Ozaeta). Supra. Manila is hereby SET ASIDE. and even assuming deed of sale and certificate of title. They faulted the RTC for dismissing their issued only in the names of Manuel and Romulo. 2007. and that their cause of action. J. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) WHEREFORE.000. in their answer. The argument is specious. and substituted the respondents’ action with an entirely new action for quieting of title. they the subject lot.00 shall be paid on or before July 14. vs. Finally.000. SO ORDERED. declaring [respondents].000. prayed for the quieting of title which is imprescriptible.10 Undaunted. as We do hereby impose. TCT No. 3) to surrender the owner’s copy of TCT No. The CA that respondents cannot validly maintain an action found sufficient evidence to support respondents’ claim that they are indeed co-owners of the against them because the latter possessed the property. twelve (12%) per cent interest per annum shall be imposed upon afore-mentioned amounts from finality until paid. Upon failure to pay on such finality. and were excluded by petitioners in the property by mere tolerance. Paco Manila. The CA disposed.00) Pesos to cover all damages (with the exception of attorney's fees) occasioned by the loss of the building (including interest charges and lost rentals) and an additional ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P100. 2007 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. QUIJANO. NEY and ROMULO P. the considered respondents’ complaint as one for same had already been barred by prescription and/or laches.

In such a case. [Respondents] further pray for such other reliefs The prescriptive period applies only if there is an and remedies as may be just and equitable in the actual need to reconvey the property as when the premises. 4) That when the Deed of Absolute Sale was executed by the Vendor. Ney. That reconveyance was one of the reliefs sought was made abundantly clear by respondents in their prayer. xxxx 12) That by reason of the[petitioners’] refusal to surrender the Owner’s copy of the Title to the Register of Deeds of Manila for partition and reconveyance. plaintiff is not in possession of the property.: WHEREFORE. Paco. encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently Petitioners next fault the CA for sustaining valid or effective but is in truth and in fact.00 and not P50. An action for reconveyance is one that seeks to transfer property. If a person at the above-stated address. possession of the property does not run against but also the reconveyance of their share which was him.. Quijano. Ney appeared as the registered owners in the above-mentioned Transfer Certificate of Title No.: An action for reconveyance based on an implied trust prescribes in 10 years. nonetheless filed. 6) That sometime in March 1991.000. does not name does not appear in the Deed of Sale Paco Manila be awarded and be prescribe. the records speak such cloud or to quiet title. These allegations make out a case for reconveyance. as the real owner of the property also remains in possession of the property. [respondent] Celso P.000. Indubitably. and Romulo explicitly states that: a) To surrender the Owner’s copy of TCT No. thus: [sic] the Title. Quijano presented the document to the Register of Deeds of Manila it [sic] was rejected because he can not present the Owner’s copy.00 and the Vendees were Manuel P. The ruling was reiterated in Lasquite v. nothing erroneous in the CA’s ruling treating respondents’ action for reconveyance as an action The Deed of Reconveyance15 executed by Manuel to quiet title. which the property for the acquisition costs but whose constructed known as 1648 Main Street. would be in the nature of a suit for quieting of title. Lim the true and correct selling price agreed upon is P50. respondents’ claim of co-ownership. record.000. viz. an action for reconveyance. Romulo P.00 put in the Deed of Sale was at the instance of the Vendor with the consent of the Vendees. thus when the Absolute Deed of Sale was presented to the Register of Deeds of Manila. Ney and resident of 1648 Main Street. for reconveyance as an action to quiet title. Ney and [respondent] Celso Quijano and that the amount of P20.000.00 as and for attorney’s fees and costs. marr[ie]d to Mina Ney Quijano was omitted and the purchase price appeared to be onlyP20.00 and the sum of P50.000.000. They denied ineffective. owner may wait until his possession is disturbed or Transfer Certificate of Title when issued as a cohis title is attacked before taking steps to vindicate owner. Undoubtedly. explaining. was able to secure a Certification from the Vend[o]r Luz J. respondents’ action as in the nature of an action for reconveyance is an action distinct from an action quieting of title cannot be considered a reversible for quieting of title. of legal age. Javier notified the [petitioners] to surrender the Owner’s duplicate copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. thus resulting in the nonreconveyed to the [respondents] as their actual possession of the land claiming to be its conclusion (sic) of his name in the above-stated share.122489.000. an action that is imprescriptible. by reason of any instrument. voidable. if inadvertently included in petitioners’ TCT. if the plaintiff. invalid. respondents did not only seek the the prescriptive period to recover title and partition of the property and the delivery of the title. however. Manila. 122489 to the Court or if refused that an Order be issued ordering the Register In Mendizabel v. and to reconvey to the [respondents] clean Title over their property. exemplary damages in the sum of P100. Quijano discovered that the whole property was mortgaged with [sic] the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company. prejudicial to said title for purposes of removing Unfortunately for petitioners. we find otherwise. the right to seek reconveyance. the name of the [respondent] Celso P. The reason is that the one who is in executed in our favor. Victory Hills. in effect seeks to quiet title to the property. or unenforceable. Quijano.11 Indeed.00. married to Mina P. his right. 5) That Celso Quijano. [respondents] requested from the [petitioners] to segregate their Title to the one-third (1/3) portion of the lot [sic] where their house was constructed with an area of about forty (40) square meters more or less and [petitioners] agreed and executed a Deed of Reconveyance. which is filed whenever there is error. xxxx 8) That from the records of the Register of Deeds of Manila. Inc. The reference point of the 10-year prescriptive period is the date of registration of the deed or the issuance of the title.00 on the same due date of July 14. but when [respondent] Celso P. claim. having paid the more or less and the lot where the claiming to be its owner is in actual possession of corresponding amount over the said 1/3 portion of [respondents’] residential house is the property. if any.00 as appearing in their Agreement. a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. 9) That after the registration of the [respondent’s] adverse claim.13 we treated a similar action of Deeds of Manila to issue to the [W]e acknowledge and recognized the rights. as a The Court has ruled that the 10-year prescriptive co-owner of the one-third (1/3) portion of the said b) Ordering the partition of the lot into period applies only when the person enforcing the lot wherein his residential house is now constructed equal shares of forty (40) square meters trust is not in possession of the property.000.14 viz. which right can be claimed only by one who is in possession. the characterization by the CA of to its rightful and legal owner. and may be that Celso Quijano is a co-owner of the property. continuing right to seek the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and its effect on his own title. [respondents] were constrained to engage the services of counsel to protect their interest at an agreed amount of P50. 12 However. wrongfully registered by another. Ney and Romulo P. 122489 in order that a Memorandum be made thereon for the Notice of Adverse Claim. but the request of the Register of Deeds was not honored by the [petitioners]. it is respectfully prayed that after due hearing judgment be rendered in favor of the [respondents] and against the [petitioners] ordering the latter as follows: c) Ordering the [petitioners] to settle their obligations to [sic] the mortgagee bank. Filipino. [respondents] their co-owner’s copy if interests and participation of Celso P. However. Apao. the Register of Deeds through Expedito A.Quijano have (sic) paid the sum of P5. His undisturbed possession gives him a 1avvphi1 . 1976.000. thus [respondents] were constrained to execute and register their adverse claim that they are co-owners of one-third (1/3) portion of the lot and their residential house therein. only the names of Manuel P.00 as and for attorney’s fees. d) Ordering [petitioners] jointly and severally to pay [respondents] moral damages in the amount ofP100.

It is settled that it is not the certificate of title that vests ownership. duly signed by [petitioners] themselves. NEY and ROMULO P. Petitioners never denied the due execution of the Deed of Reconveyance. There is no denying that it outweighs the evidence relied upon by [petitioners] despite the fact that they have the transfer certificate of title over the entire subject lot.NOW. the Torrens system was not designed to shield and protect one who had committed fraud or misrepresentation and thus holds title in bad faith. MANUEL P.16 The CA cannot. put to rest the focal issue between the parties. 86047 is AFFIRMED. do hereby transfer and convey unto said Spouses Celso P. In fact they admitted that the signatures appearing therein are theirs. Cost against petitioners. Quijano and MINA P. NEY. the Court has ordered reconveyance of property to the true owner or to one with a better right. NEY their one-third (1/3) portion share of the aforedescribed (sic) parcel of land where their residential house is now situated at their abovegiven address with an area of forty (40) square meters more or less by virtue of this Deed of Reconveyance. THEREFORE.R. SO ORDERED. x x x17 In a number of cases. for and in consideration of the foregoing premises WE. the CA acted correctly in rendering the challenged decision. . WHEREFORE. After all. therefore. It merely evidences such title. CV No. As aptly pronounced by the CA: [T]he Deed of Reconveyance. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CAG.18 Thus. the petition is DENIED. where the property had been erroneously or fraudulently titled in another person's name. be faulted for declaring respondents as co-owners of the subject property because it merely confirmed and enforced the Deed of Reconveyance voluntarily executed by petitioners in favor of respondents.