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G.R. No. 174104. February 14, 2011 G.R. No.

174104, February
14, 2011 ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner's right of action prescribed four
INSURANCE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS CORPORATION, years after the subject properties were registered with the
Petitioner, v. SPOUSES VIDAL S. GREGORIO and JULITA Register of Deeds of Morong, Rizal and TCTs were subsequently
GREGORIO, Respondents. issued in the names of third persons. HELD: The petition is
PERALTA, J.: meritorious.

FACTS: CIVIL LAW: Fraud The Court finds no error in the ruling of the CA
Spouses Vidal Gregorio and Julita Gregorio obtained loans from that petitioner's cause of action accrued at the time it discovered
the Insurance of the Philippine Islands Corporation. By way of the alleged fraud committed by respondents. It is at this point that
security for the said loan, respondents executed Real Estate the four-year prescriptive period should be counted. However, the
Mortgage. Respondents failed to pay their loans, as a result of Court does not agree with the CA in its ruling that the discovery of
which the mortgaged properties were extrajudicially foreclosed. the fraud should be reckoned from the time of registration of the
Petitioner filed a Complaint for damages against respondents titles covering the subject properties. Thhe reckoning period for
alleging that in 1995, when it was in the process of gathering prescription of petitioner's action should be from the time of actual
documents for the purpose of filing an application for the discovery of the fraud Neither may the principle of laches apply in
registration and confirmation of its title over the foreclosed the present case. The essence of laches or stale demands is the
properties, it discovered that the said lots were already registered failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of
in the names of third persons and transfer certificates of title time to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should
(TCT) were issued to them. The RTC of Morong, Rizal, ruled in have been done earlier, thus, giving rise to a presumption that the
favor of petitioner, while the CA rendered a Decision reversing party entitled to assert it either has abandoned or declined to
and setting aside the decision of the RTC and dismissing the assert it. It is not concerned with mere lapse of time; the fact of
complaint of petitioner. It ruled that petitioner's action for damages delay, standing alone, being insufficient to constitute laches.
is barred by prescription and laches. Petition id DENIED. The decision of CA is affirmed.