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Realty Sale Enterprises vs. IAC, 154 SCRA 328 (1987) 3.

3. W/N Carpos title is valid as against Realtys and QCDFs, since


Realtys title was issued when the records relative thereto was
FACTS: undergoing reconstitution NO
4. W/N Carpo was an innocent purchaser for value NO
Two (2) parcels of land are in dispute for allegedly being 5. W/N QCDF was properly impleaded to the case YES
covered by certificates of title and registration decrees under
three (3) different entities, namely: Morris Carpo, Quezon City RULING + RATIO:
Devt. and Financing Corp. (QCDF) and Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc. 1. Special Third Civil Cases Division has jurisdiction to try the
(Realty). case
o Thus, Carpo instituted a complaint before the CFI against Realty argues that the so-called Special Third Civil Cases
Realty and Macondray Farms, Inc. (Macondray) for the Division, not being one of the ten (10) Divisions of the
declaration of nullity of its corresponding certificate Court duly vested with jurisdiction, had no adjudicatory
of title, on the ground that the same was issued by a powers. It is also alleged that the reassignment of Justices
court (Special Third Civil Cases Division) not sitting as a Bidin and Camilon is violative of the injunction against
land registration court but one of ordinary jurisdiction, and appointment of an appellate Justice to a class of divisions
that the judge had no authority since the records which other than that to which he is appointed.
was made basis of the title was lost during the war and is This contention has no merit. A reading of the law will
pending reconstitution. readily show that what BP 129 prohibits is appointment
In reply, Realty denied the allegations and countered that the from one class of divisions to another class. For instance, a
Special Third Civil Cases Division which issued its title was Justice appointed to the Criminal Cases Divisions cannot be
performing a purely ministerial duty, and that it was Carpos title assigned to the Civil Cases Divisions. Justice Bidin was
that was null for having been issued despite being covered by reassigned from the Fourth Civil Cases Division, while
another title. Realty further impleaded through a third-party Justice Camilon was reassigned from the Second Civil
complaint QCDF for nullity of its own title covering the same Cases Division. The two therefore come from the same
subject properties. class of divisions to which they were appointed. Thus, the
In reply, QCDF filed a fourth-party complaint against Alvendia, et reassignment of Justices Bidin and Camilon to form the
al. being the source of its own title, praying therefor for the Special Third Civil Cases Division in view of the voluntary
reimbursement of its purchase price paid for the said properties. inhibition of two (2) "regular" members, is still within legal
However, the same was dismissed for QCDFs lack of interest in bounds. x x x
prosecuting the case.
2. Petition for Certiorari is the proper remedy in this case
On January 20, 1981, the trial court rendered judgment
annulling Realtys and QCDFs titles to the property in There are two modes by which cases decided by the then
favor of Carpo. The same was appealed before the High Court by Courts of First Instance in their original jurisdiction may be
Realty, but the latter resolved to refer the case the Court of reviewed: (1) an ordinary appeal either to the Supreme
Appeals for determination of the merits. Court or to the Court of Appeals, or (2) an appeal on
certiorari to the Supreme Court.
CA set aside the trial courts decision and issued a new one in
favor of Realty. However, the case was subjected to the To the latter category belong cases in which only errors or
reorganization of the Judiciary, from which resulted a re-raffling of questions of law are involved. Each of these modes have
the case and later on, a reversal of the prior decision through different procedural requirements.
Carpos MR. Further, the change from CA to IAC yielded a change in In this case, Realty originally filed a Petition for certiorari
Justices assigned to the case. with this Court docketed as G.R. No. L-56471 questioning
the decision of the Vera Court, and asking that it be
allowed to appeal directly to this Court as it was raising
ISSUES:
only questions of law. However, this Court referred the case
1. W/N the Special Third Civil Cases Division was conferred with
to the Court of Appeals "in aid of its appellate jurisdiction
jurisdiction to try and render a decision of final resolution for the
for proper determination on the merits of the appeal." It
Court YES
may thus be observed that even this Court treated the
2. W/N a Petition for Certiorari was the proper remedy in the case
petition first filed as an appeal, and not as a special civil
YES
action for certiorari. After as, a petition for review by
certiorari is also a form of appeal. x x x Thus it was error
for the IAC to hold that the Decision of the Vera Court between the Baltazars and Carpo was inscribed in the
"cannot be passed upon anymore in the Court of Appeals Registry of Property, and the Original Certificate of Title
decision because appeal and not certiorari was the proper was cancelled as Transfer Certificate of Title No. 303961 in
remedy." Precisely, petitioners brought the case to this the name of Carpo was issued. x x x Thus, at the time of
Court on appeal, albeit by way of certiorari; sale there was as yet no Torrens title which Carpo could
have relied upon so that he may qualify as an innocent
3. Carpos title is not valid as against title of Realty and QCDF purchaser for value. Not being a purchaser for value and in
Applying the doctrine in the Nacua decision to LRC Case good faith, he is in no better position than his
No. 657, the parties thereto did not have to commence a predecessors-in-interest;
new action but only had to go back to the preceding stage In this jurisdiction, it is settled that "(t)he general rule is
where records are available. The land registration case that in the case of two certificates of title, purporting to
itself remained pending and the Court of First Instance of include the same land, the earlier in date prevails . . . . In
Rizal continued to have jurisdiction over it. The records successive registrations, where more than one certificate is
were destroyed at that stage of the case when an that issued in respect of a particular estate or interest in land,
remained to be done was the ministerial duty of the Land the person claiming under the prior certificate is entitled to
Registration Office to issue a decree of registration (which the estate or interest; and that person is deemed to hold
would be the basis for the issuance of an Original under the prior certificate who is the holder of, or whose
Certificate of Title) to implement a judgment which had claim is derived directly or indirectly from the person who
become final. There are however authentic copies of the was the holder of the earliest certificate issued in respect
decisions of the CFI and the Court of Appeals adjudicating thereof . . . ."
Lots 1, 2 and 3 of Plan Psu-47035 to Estanislao Mayuga.
Moreover, there is an official report of the decision of this 5. QCDF was properly impleaded to the case
Court affirming both the CFI and the CA decisions. A final Moreover, even as this Court agrees with QCDFC that the
order of adjudication forms the basis for the issuance of a third-party complaint filed against it by Realty was
decree of registration. procedurally defective in that the relief being sought by the
latter from the former is not in respect of Carpo's claim,
4. Carpo is not an innocent purchaser for value policy considerations and the factual circumstances of the
It is settled that one is considered an innocent purchaser case compel this Court now to rule as well on QCDFC's
for value only if, relying on the certificate of title, he claim to the disputed property. ** To rule on QCDFC's claim
bought the property from the registered owner, "without now is to avoid multiplicity of suits and to put to rest these
notice that some other person has a right to, or interest in, conflicting claims over the property. After an, QCDFC was
such property and pays a full and fair price for the same, at afforded fun opportunity, and exercised its right, to prove
the time of such purchase, or before he has notice of the its claim over the land. It presented documentary as well
claim or interest of some other persons in the property." He as testimonial evidence. It was even permitted to file a
is not required to explore farther than what the Torrens title fourth-party complaint which, however, was dismissed
upon its face indicates. since it failed to prosecute its case.
x x x Even Carpo himself cites no factual proof of his being QCDFC derived its title from Carmelino Alvendia et. al., the
an innocent purchaser for value. He merely relies on the original registered owners. Original Certificate of Title No.
presumption of good faith under Article 527 of the Civil 8931 in the name of Spouses Carmelino Alvendia, et. al.
Code. x x x Carpo bought the disputed property from the was issued on July 27, 1971, or thirteen (13) years after the
Baltazars, the original registered owners, by virtue of a issuance of Mayuga's title in 1958.
deed executed before Iluminada Figueroa, Notary Public of Since Realty is claiming under TCT No. 1609 which was
Manila dated October 9, 1970. However, it was only later, issued earlier than OCT No. 8931 from which QCDFC's title
on October 13, 1970, that the decree of registration in was derived, Realty's title must prevail over that of QCDFC.
favor of the Baltazars was transcribed in the Registration
Book for the Province of Rizal and that an Original
Certificate of Title was issued. It was on the same day,
October 13, 1970, that the deed evidencing the sale