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G.R. No. L-8936 October 2, 1915 Sixth.

That the land occupied by t he wall is registered in the name of each of the
owners of the adjoining lots. The wall is not a joint wall.
CONSUELO LEGARDA, with her husband MAURO PRIETO, plaintiffs-
appellants, Under these facts, who is the owner of the wall and the land occupied by it?
vs.
N.M. SALEEBY, defendant-appellee. The decision of the lower court is based upon the theory that the action for the
registration of the lot of the defendant was a judicial proceeding and that the
Singson, Ledesma and Lim for appellants. judgment or decree was binding upon all parties who did not appear and oppose it.
D.R. Williams for appellee. In other words, by reason of the fact that the plaintiffs had not opposed the
registration of that part of the lot on which the wall was situate they had lost it,
JOHNSON, J.: even though it had been theretofore registered in their name. Granting that theory
to be correct one, and granting even that the wall and the land occupied by it, in
From the record the following facts appear: fact, belonged to the defendant and his predecessors, then the same theory
should be applied to the defendant himself. Applying that theory to him, he had
already lost whatever right he had therein, by permitting the plaintiffs to have the
First. That the plaintiffs and the defendant occupy, as owners, adjoining lots in the
same registered in their name, more than six years before. Having thus lost hid
district of Ermita in the city of Manila.
right, may he be permitted to regain it by simply including it in a petition for
registration? The plaintiffs having secured the registration of their lot, including the
Second. That there exists and has existed a number of years a stone wall between wall, were they obliged to constantly be on the alert and to watch all the
the said lots. Said wall is located on the lot of the plaintiffs. proceedings in the land court to see that some one else was not having all, or a
portion of the same, registered? If that question is to be answered in the
Third. That the plaintiffs, on the 2d day of March, 1906, presented a petition in the affirmative, then the whole scheme and purpose of the torrens system of land
Court of Land Registration for the registration of their lot. After a consideration of registration must fail. The real purpose of that system is to quiet title to land; to put
said petition the court, on the 25th day of October, 1906, decreed that the title of a stop forever to any question of the legality of the title, except claims which were
the plaintiffs should be registered and issued to them the original certificate noted at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which may arise subsequent
provided for under the torrens system. Said registration and certificate included the thereto. That being the purpose of the law, it would seem that once a title is
wall. registered the owner may rest secure, without the necessity of waiting in the
portals of the court, or sitting in the "mirador de su casa," to avoid the possibility of
Fourth. Later the predecessor of the defendant presented a petition in the Court of losing his land. Of course, it can not be denied that the proceeding for the
Land Registration for the registration of the lot now occupied by him. On the 25th registration of land under the torrens system is judicial (Escueta vs. .Director of
day of March, 1912, the court decreed the registration of said title and issued the Lands, 16 Phil. Rep., 482). It is clothed with all the forms of an action and the
original certificate provided for under the torrens system. The description of the lot result is final and binding upon all the world. It is an action in rem.
given in the petition of the defendant also included said wall. (Escueta vs. Director of Lands (supra); Grey Alba vs. De la Cruz, 17 Phil. rep., 49
Roxas vs. Enriquez, 29 Phil. Rep., 31; Tyler vs. Judges, 175 Mass., 51 American
Fifth. Several months later (the 13th day of December, 1912) the plaintiffs Land Co. vs. Zeiss, 219 U.S., 47.)
discovered that the wall which had been included in the certificate granted to them
had also been included in the certificate granted to the defendant .They While the proceeding is judicial, it involves more in its consequences than does an
immediately presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for an ordinary action. All the world are parties, including the government. After the
adjustment and correction of the error committed by including said wall in the registration is complete and final and there exists no fraud, there are no innocent
registered title of each of said parties. The lower court however, without notice to third parties who may claim an interest. The rights of all the world are foreclosed
the defendant, denied said petition upon the theory that, during the pendency of by the decree of registration. The government itself assumes the burden of giving
the petition for the registration of the defendant's land, they failed to make any notice to all parties. To permit persons who are parties in the registration
objection to the registration of said lot, including the wall, in the name of the proceeding (and they are all the world) to again litigate the same questions, and to
defendant. again cast doubt upon the validity of the registered title, would destroy the very

purpose and intent of the law. The registration, under the torrens system, does not date is a mistake, the mistake may be rectified by holding the latter of the two
give the owner any better title than he had. If he does not already have a perfect certificates of title to be conclusive." (See Hogg on the "Australian torrens
title, he can not have it registered. Fee simple titles only may be registered. The System," supra, and cases cited. See also the excellent work of Niblack in his
certificate of registration accumulates in open document a precise and correct "Analysis of the Torrens System," page 99.) Niblack, in discussing the general
statement of the exact status of the fee held by its owner. The certificate, in the question, said: "Where two certificates purport to include the same land the earlier
absence of fraud, is the evidence of title and shows exactly the real interest of its in date prevails. ... In successive registrations, where more than one certificate is
owner. The title once registered, with very few exceptions, should not thereafter be issued in respect of a particular estate or interest in land, the person claiming
impugned, altered, changed, modified, enlarged, or diminished, except in some under the prior certificates is entitled to the estate or interest; and that person is
direct proceeding permitted by law. Otherwise all security in registered titles would deemed to hold under the prior certificate who is the holder of, or whose claim is
be lost. A registered title can not be altered, modified, enlarged, or diminished in derived directly or indirectly from the person who was the holder of the earliest
a collateral proceeding and not even by a direct proceeding, after the lapse of the certificate issued in respect thereof. While the acts in this country do not expressly
period prescribed by law. cover the case of the issue of two certificates for the same land, they provide that a
registered owner shall hold the title, and the effect of this undoubtedly is that where
For the difficulty involved in the present case the Act (No. 496) providing for the two certificates purport to include the same registered land, the holder of the
registration of titles under the torrens system affords us no remedy. There is no earlier one continues to hold the title" (p. 237).
provision in said Act giving the parties relief under conditions like the present.
There is nothing in the Act which indicates who should be the owner of land which Section 38 of Act No. 496, provides that; "It (the decree of registration) shall be
has been registered in the name of two different persons. conclusive upon and against all persons, including the Insular Government and all
the branches thereof, whether mentioned by name in the application, notice, or
The rule, we think, is well settled that the decree ordering the registration of a citation, or included in the general description "To all whom it may concern." Such
particular parcel of land is a bar to future litigation over the same between the decree shall not be opened by reason of the absence, infancy, or other disability of
same parties .In view of the fact that all the world are parties, it must follow that any person affected thereby, nor by any proceeding in any court for reversing
future litigation over the title is forever barred; there can be no persons who are not judgments or decrees; subject, however, to the right of any person deprived of land
parties to the action. This, we think, is the rule, except as to rights which are noted or of any estate or interest therein by decree of registration obtained by fraud to file
in the certificate or which arise subsequently, and with certain other exceptions in the Court of Land Registration a petition for review within one year after entry of
which need not be dismissed at present. A title once registered can not be the decree (of registration), provided no innocent purchaser for value has acquired
defeated, even by an adverse, open, and notorious possession. Registered title an interest.
under the torrens system can not be defeated by prescription (section 46, Act No.
496). The title, once registered, is notice to the world. All persons must take notice. It will be noted, from said section, that the "decree of registration" shall not be
No one can plead ignorance of the registration. opened, for any reason, in any court, except for fraud, and not even for fraud, after
the lapse of one year. If then the decree of registration can not be opened
The question, who is the owner of land registered in the name of two different for any reason, except for fraud, in a direct proceeding for that purpose, may such
persons, has been presented to the courts in other jurisdictions. In some decree be opened or set aside in a collateral proceeding by including a portion of
jurisdictions, where the "torrens" system has been adopted, the difficulty has been the land in a subsequent certificate or decree of registration? We do not believe
settled by express statutory provision. In others it has been settled by the courts. the law contemplated that a person could be deprived of his registered title in that
Hogg, in his excellent discussion of the "Australian Torrens System," at page 823, way.
says: "The general rule is that in the case of two certificates of title, purporting to
include the same land, the earlier in date prevails, whether the land comprised in We have in this jurisdiction a general statutory provision which governs the right of
the latter certificate be wholly, or only in part, comprised in the earlier certificate. the ownership of land when the same is registered in the ordinary registry in the
(Oelkers vs. Merry, 2 Q.S.C.R., 193; Miller vs. Davy, 7 N.Z.R., 155; name of two persons. Article 1473 of the Civil Code provides, among other things,
Lloyd vs. Myfield, 7 A.L.T. (V.) 48; Stevens vs. Williams, 12 V.L. R., 152; Register that when one piece of real property had been sold to two different persons it shall
of Titles, vs. Esperance Land Co., 1 W.A.R., 118.)" Hogg adds however that, "if it belong to the person acquiring it, who first inscribes it in the registry. This rule, of
can be very clearly ascertained by the ordinary rules of construction relating to course, presupposes that each of the vendees or purchasers has acquired title to
written documents, that the inclusion of the land in the certificate of title of prior the land. The real ownership in such a case depends upon priority of registration.

While we do not now decide that the general provisions of the Civil Code are appellants, in the absence of fraud, forever closes his mouth against impugning
applicable to the Land Registration Act, even though we see no objection thereto, the validity of that judgment. There is no more reason why the doctrine invoked by
yet we think, in the absence of other express provisions, they should have a the appellee should be applied to the appellants than to him.
persuasive influence in adopting a rule for governing the effect of a double
registration under said Act. Adopting the rule which we believe to be more in We have decided, in case of double registration under the Land Registration Act,
consonance with the purposes and the real intent of the torrens system, we are of that the owner of the earliest certificate is the owner of the land. That is the rule
the opinion and so decree that in case land has been registered under the Land between original parties. May this rule be applied to successive vendees of the
Registration Act in the name of two different persons, the earlier in date shall owners of such certificates? Suppose that one or the other of the parties, before
prevail. the error is discovered, transfers his original certificate to an "innocent purchaser."
The general rule is that the vendee of land has no greater right, title, or interest
In reaching the above conclusion, we have not overlooked the forceful argument of than his vendor; that he acquires the right which his vendor had, only. Under that
the appellee. He says, among other things; "When Prieto et al. were served with rule the vendee of the earlier certificate would be the owner as against the vendee
notice of the application of Teus (the predecessor of the defendant) they became of the owner of the later certificate.
defendants in a proceeding wherein he, Teus, was seeking to foreclose their right,
and that of orders, to the parcel of land described in his application. Through their We find statutory provisions which, upon first reading, seem to cast some doubt
failure to appear and contest his right thereto, and the subsequent entry of a upon the rule that the vendee acquires the interest of the vendor only. Sections 38,
default judgment against them, they became irrevocably bound by the decree 55, and 112 of Act No. 496 indicate that the vendee may acquire rights and be
adjudicating such land to Teus. They had their day in court and can not set up their protected against defenses which the vendor would not. Said sections speak of
own omission as ground for impugning the validity of a judgment duly entered by a available rights in favor of third parties which are cut off by virtue of the sale of the
court of competent jurisdiction. To decide otherwise would be to hold that lands land to an "innocent purchaser." That is to say, persons who had had a right or
with torrens titles are above the law and beyond the jurisdiction of the courts". interest in land wrongfully included in an original certificate would be unable to
enforce such rights against an "innocent purchaser," by virtue of the provisions of
As was said above, the primary and fundamental purpose of the torrens system is said sections. In the present case Teus had his land, including the wall, registered
to quiet title. If the holder of a certificate cannot rest secure in this registered title in his name. He subsequently sold the same to the appellee. Is the appellee an
then the purpose of the law is defeated. If those dealing with registered land "innocent purchaser," as that phrase is used in said sections? May those who have
cannot rely upon the certificate, then nothing has been gained by the registration been deprived of their land by reason of a mistake in the original certificate in favor
and the expense incurred thereby has been in vain. If the holder may lose a strip of of Teus be deprived of their right to the same, by virtue of the sale by him to the
his registered land by the method adopted in the present case, he may lose it all. appellee? Suppose the appellants had sold their lot, including the wall, to an
Suppose within the six years which elapsed after the plaintiff had secured their "innocent purchaser," would such purchaser be included in the phrase "innocent
title, they had mortgaged or sold their right, what would be the position or right of purchaser," as the same is used in said sections? Under these examples there
the mortgagee or vendee? That mistakes are bound to occur cannot be denied, would be two innocent purchasers of the same land, is said sections are to be
and sometimes the damage done thereby is irreparable. It is the duty of the courts applied .Which of the two innocent purchasers, if they are both to be regarded as
to adjust the rights of the parties under such circumstances so as to minimize such innocent purchasers, should be protected under the provisions of said sections?
damages, taking into consideration al of the conditions and the diligence of the These questions indicate the difficulty with which we are met in giving meaning
respective parties to avoid them. In the present case, the appellee was the first and effect to the phrase "innocent purchaser," in said sections.
negligent (granting that he was the real owner, and if he was not the real owner he
can not complain) in not opposing the registration in the name of the appellants. May the purchaser of land which has been included in a "second original
He was a party-defendant in an action for the registration of the lot in question, in certificate" ever be regarded as an "innocent purchaser," as against the rights or
the name of the appellants, in 1906. "Through his failure to appear and to oppose interest of the owner of the first original certificate, his heirs, assigns, or vendee?
such registration, and the subsequent entry of a default judgment against him, he The first original certificate is recorded in the public registry. It is never issued until
became irrevocably bound by the decree adjudicating such land to the appellants. it is recorded. The record notice to all the world. All persons are charged with the
He had his day in court and should not be permitted to set up his own omissions knowledge of what it contains. All persons dealing with the land so recorded, or
as the ground for impugning the validity of a judgment duly entered by a court of any portion of it, must be charged with notice of whatever it contains. The
competent jurisdiction." Granting that he was the owner of the land upon which the purchaser is charged with notice of every fact shown by the record and is
wall is located, his failure to oppose the registration of the same in the name of the

S. 171 U. The holder of the first original certificate and fide purchaser of said land. all the difficulties resulting from double registration under the torrens system and the subsequent . may the purchaser of land from the established that it is scarcely necessary to cite authorities in its support owner of the second original certificate be an "innocent purchaser. upon the plea of answered in the negative. 351. 289. The reason of the facts contained in the public record and the knowledge with which he fact that all men know the law is contrary to the presumption. 509. Orvis vs. (Arts. it is presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of record affecting the title. the record of the the very purpose and object of the law requiring a record would be destroyed. of the foregoing rules of law.. Suppose. rather than he who has obtained the first certificate and who mandatory and obligatory. nonsense. 15 Ohio State. against one who existence of the mortgage? We believe the rule that all persons must take notice of had acquired rights in conflict therewith and who had full and complete knowledge what the public record contains in just as obligatory upon all persons as the rule of their rights. In order to minimize the difficulties charged with notice of every fact shown by the record and is presumed to know we think this is the safe rule to establish. be relieved from the a mistake like the present. Such presumption cannot be defeated by proof of want of knowledge of what the record contains any more than one may be permitted to show that he was ignorant That being the rule. can be an "innocent purchaser" of the portion of the land included in 341. in McCabe vs. certificate. The rule. The purchaser of land included in the second original certificate. should suffer the loss. This unregistered land has been wrongfully included in a certificate under the torrens presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or good faith. The rule should not be applied to the purchaser of a parcel of land the Buchanan vs. The foregoing decision does not solve. He cannot be regarded as an "innocent of its contents and all interests. notwithstanding. legal and equitable. 620. 1875 and 606 of the Civil Code. We believe that the purchaser from the owner of the later certificate.) The record of a mortgage is registration of the strip of land in the name of his vendor? Applying the rule of indispensable to its validity. plead ignorance of its appellee. in case of lien? Could a purchaser of land. Browne. if any. for example. (Art . Has the appellee gained any right by reason of the be recorded. resulting at times.. 710 [a]). should be limited only to cases where every fact which an examination of the record would have disclosed. and 112 should not be applied to such purchasers. Otherwise system.) In the face of that statute would the courts notice resulting from the record of the title of the appellants. The record of the original certificate of the appellants conveyance of real property be recorded. Youngs vs. He is other than that of the vendor. 78 Ill. Intentional Bank. subsequent to the recorded mortgage. bona fide in the sense that he had no knowledge of the his successors should be permitted to rest secure in their title. the question must be allow a mortgage to be valid which had not been recorded. purchaser" because of the facts contained in the record of the first original (Grandin vs. The conduct of men. included therein. 20 Cal. that Teus had never had his lot registered under the torrens system.Y. 286. and existence. 629. after the recorded mortgage. Montefiore vs. therefore. We are of the opinion that these rules are more in ignorance of the statutory provision.) another earlier original certificate. Anderson. Could his vendee be regarded as an "innocent purchaser" of said strip? Would his vendee be an "innocent purchaser" While there is no statutory provision in force here requiring that original deeds of of said strip? Certainly not. transfer the very strip of land now in question. Newell.. Delvin on Real all of such land had theretofore been registered in the name of another. 7 House of Lords Cases. Such presumption is irrebutable. 500.presumed to know every fact which the record discloses . 27 N. sections 710. not the Estate.. and by reason of such ignorance have the land released from such his successors. vendor of which is not the owner of the original certificate. The rule must be absolute. The rule of notice of what the record contains precludes the idea of innocence. is charged and by reason of his negligence. By reason of the prior registry there cannot be an innocent purchaser of land included in a prior original certificate and in a name Under the rule of notice. defense of ignorance of the existence and contents of a public record. vendor? We are of the opinion that said sections 38. Freeman. or his successors. original certificate and all subsequent transfers thereof is notice to all the world. 97. We do not believe that the phrase "innocent purchaser When a conveyance has been properly recorded such record is constructive notice should be applied to such a purchaser. nor pretend to solve. should be required to resort to his vendor for damages. 496 than the rule contended for by the purchaser of land. rather than to molest the holder of the first certificate mortgage lien by the plea that he was a bona fide purchaser? May there be a bona who has been guilty of no negligence. that no one can plead ignorance of the law. The rule that all persons must take notice of the facts part of the land included in his certificate of the appellants? We think not. 55. 17 Conn. When land is once brought under the torrens system. by that all men must know the law.1875. when third parties were interested? May a harmony with the purpose of Act No.." when a part or (Northwestern National Bank vs. however.This rule is so well In view. He. which the public record contains is a rule of law. We believe the phrase "innocent purchaser. Grey. It would be just as logical to allow the was innocent of any act of negligence. Any Suppose he had sold his lot to the appellee and had included in his deed of variation would lead to endless confusion and useless litigation. shows clearly that they do not know the law." used in said sections. is from such purchase. or his successors. yet there is a rule requiring mortgages to precludes the possibility. could Teus even regarded as the holder in good fifth of that of the provisions of the law. Wilson.

that which first occurred will be given the preference. where there has been no transfer of title by either still more forceful reasons demand the application of a contrary rule. majority opinion sustains the proposition that the original holder of the prior We are inclined to the view. In its last analysis the general rule laid down in the majority opinion rests upon the In view of our conclusions. JJ. that in cases . Once land is registered and recorded under the torrens system. it has its exceptions and should not be applied in original holder of the prior certificate is entitled to the land as against the original a case wherein the reasons on which it is based do not exist. "it is the duty of the courts to adjust the rights of the parties. 139. with direction to in the same thing. admittedly subject to exception. nor the reasoning of the registration in the ordinary registry upon the registration under the torrens system.) It follows that the general rules. to hold that the one who acquired it first and who developed in a particular case. under such circumstances. and Araullo. C. and the diligence of the respective parties to avoid them. one who first acquired registered title and who has complied with all the requirements of the law in that regard should be protected. both. to hold that the Without any findings as to costs.J. and sometimes the damage done thereby is irreparable. that the record under the torrens certificate is entitled to the land as against an innocent purchaser from the holder system. concur. that record alone can be As to the text-book authorities cited in the majority opinion. the judgment of the lower court should be proposition set forth in the last page of the opinion wherein it is said that "it would and is hereby revoked. as is shown in the majority opinion. as applied to made in including the land in the second original certificate issued in favor of the the matter in hand. Neither do we now attempt to decide the effect of the former But I am of opinion that neither the authorities cited. I am inclined to agree with the reasoning and authority on which it is held in the majority opinion (first) that the But like most such general rules... J. to hold that the one who acquired it first and who has complied make such orders and decrees in the premises as may correct the error heretofore with all the requirements of the law should be protected. 181. express statutory provision to the contrary. the innocent purchaser being in no wise at fault in by all the courts which have had occasion to apply this equity rule that "it should be connection with the issuance of the later certificate. tit. it is so ordered. so as to I dissent." (See 19 Cent. Equity. The record is hereby returned to the court now having and seem to be a just and equitable rule. note 57." and that in the absence of statutory provisions covering such cases. under the Land Registration Act. (second) that an innocent purchaser claiming under the prior certificate is entitled to the land as against the The general rule relied upon in the majority opinion is a mere application of a well original holder of the later certificate. as well as in all other duplicate certificates issued." The rule. being at fault in permitting the double registration to take place. that the rules laid down by both Hogg and Niblack are mere general rules. in dealing with land registered and recorded alone.. and may cases cited in 16 Cyc. and of course of no binding force or authority It would be seen to a just and equitable rule. party to an innocent purchaser. Dig.. minimize such damages. and also as against innocent purchasers from settled equity rule that: "Where conflicting equities are otherwise equal in merit. If that view is correct then it will be of the later certificate. Torrens." In cases of double or overlapping registration. when two persons have acquired where the reasoning upon which these rules are based is applicable to the facts equal rights in the same thing." and that "it never prevails when any other equitable ground for preference exists.." But it is universally laid down the holder of the later certificate. dissenting: are bound to occur. has complied with all the requirements of the law should be protected. in the absence of any Arellano. par. sufficient. the last test resorted to. without deciding it. it is sufficient to say examined for the purpose of ascertaining the real status of the title to the land. taking into consideration all of the conditions. for it is true as stated in the majority opinion that in the adjudication and registration of titles by the Courts of Land Registration "mistakes TRENT. supersede all other registries. equitable rule when two persons have acquired separate and independent registered titles to the same land.transfer of the land. may be stated as follows: It would seem to be a just and predecessor of the appellee. when two persons have acquired equal rights exercising the jurisdiction heretofore exercised by the land court. above stated. Separate Opinions Thus stated I have no quarrel with the doctrine as a statement of the general rule to be applied in cases of double or overlapping registration under the Land Registration Act. or in cases wherein holder of the later certificate.

therefore. in order to ascertain the true condition overlapping registration the general rule should prevail.of double or overlapping registration the earlier certificate should be protected. in many instances. laborious and extensive comparison of the registered boundary lines . so that negligence and fault may be imputed to him should he be exposed earlier date. and he is charged with notice of the contents of every other certificate of title in the pleading his superior rights under the earlier certificate. as it is said. to loss or damages as a result of the lack of such knowledge. so that negligence may be imputed to him if he does not ascertain guide him nor is there anything in the record or the certificate of title of the land he that all or any part of the land purchased by him is included within the boundary proposes to buy which necessarily or even with reasonable probability will furnish lines of any one of the thousands or tens of thousands of tracts of land whose him a clue as to the fact of the existence of such double or overlapping original registry bears an earlier date than the date of the original registry of the registration. adjudicating title in favor of the second applicant. title to lands purchased by him. instead of making transfers of real estate simple. other than those based on the Act desires to avoid the imputation of negligence in the event that. At considerable length the majority opinion (in reliance upon the general rule laid Suppose a prospective purchaser of lands registered under the Land Registration down under the various systems of land registration. Registration Court. such lands have been made the subject of double or overlapping registration. and instead of avoiding the necessity for expensive and oftimes uncertain undertakes to demonstrate that as between the original holders of the double or searches of the land record and registries. because both such original of the title before purchase. unknown to torrens system) insists that a purchaser of land land duly registered in the Land him. The avowed intent of that system of land registration is to relieve the the later certificate was wholly without fault. expense and parties must held to have been fault and. instead of keeping silent office of the registrar so that his failure to acquaint himself with its contents may be and by his silence permitting a default judgment to be entered against him imputed to him as negligence. that the land purchased by him had been made the subject of double or ought not to prevail so as to deprive an innocent purchaser under the later overlapping registration by a comparison of the description and boundary lines of certificate of his title of the earlier certificate contributed to the issuance of the later the thousands of tracts and parcels of land to be found in the land registry office. while the holder of the issuance of the purchase of registered lands from the necessity of looking farther than the later certificate. if not the principal object. expenditious and contending for by reasoning (with which I am inclined to agree) whereby it secure. is charged with notice of the contents of each and every one of what course should he pursue? What measures should he adopt in order to search the thousands and tens of thousands of certificates of registry on file in the land out the information with notice of which he is charged? There are no indexes to registry office. as it is registered lands from the necessity of looking farther than the certificate of title to said. one of the principal objects. negligence may and should always be imputed to such a purchaser. Indeed the only course open to him. it was possible for him to discover a careful. so that such lands furnished by the Court of Land Registration. add to the labor. And yet it is said in the majority opinion that the course of the proceedings for the issuance of the second certificate. To that end the original holder of the later certificate. certificate. Hence the holder of the earlier certificate of title should not be heard to invoke the "just and equitable rule" as laid down in the majority opinion. of the reasoning whereby it undertakes to sustain the application of the general rule in torrens system of land registration upon which our Land Registration Act is favor of the original holder of the earlier certificate against purchasers from the avowedly modelled is to facilitate the transfer of real estate. would even seem to be should he buy such land because. if he desires to assure himself land purchased by him. and I cannot. in any case wherein it appears that the holder of of land. the new system of land The majority opinion clearly recognizes the soundness of the principles I am registration. by an attempt to demonstrate that such Legislature undertakes to relieve prospective purchasers and all others dealing in purchasers can in no event be held to be innocent purchasers. in that he might have prevented its issuance by merely entering his certificate of title of the vendor in order that he may rest secure as to the validity of appearance in court in response to lawful summons personally served upon him in the title to the lands conveyed to him. It is contended that he cannot claim to be without fault against the possibility of double or overlapping registration. will. in order to But such ruling goes far to defeat one of the principal objects sought to be attained have his own title protected and the title of an innocent purchaser of a later by the introduction and adoption of the so-called torrens system for the registration certificate cancelled or annulled. If the rule announced in the majority opinion is to prevail. preference uncertainty of any attempt by a purchaser to satisfy himself as to the validity of the should be given to the earlier title. in no event can he claim to be without fault when it appears that the lands give my consent to a ruling which charges a purchaser or mortgage of registered purchased by him from the holder of a duly registered certificate of title are lands with notice of the contents of every other certificate of title in the land included within the bounds of the lands described in a certificate of title of an registry. their equities being equal. because. The majority opinion further recognizes the soundness of my contention by the As I have said before.

adjudicating all or any part of his registered title has actual notice of the pendency of the proceedings in the course of which lands to another applicant. at the cost of the applicant. The decision of I am convinced. of the pendency of such proceedings I readily agree with the reasoning of the majority opinion so far as it holds that negligence. and the holder of an earlier certificate who permitted a dealing with registered lands can confidently rely upon registry certificates thereto default judgment to be entered against him. as a result of his neglect or unreasonable burden on the holders of such certificate. claiming the land as his own. The problem is to determine which of the certificate holders is entitled to the land. Such a holding would have inconvenience flowing from the double or overlapping registration of the land in the effect (to quote the language of the majority opinion) of requiring the holder of question. which was not failure so to do. if it appears that he was served with notice or had the latter certificate of title was issued. when he has actual notice that it is being agree with the writer of the majority opinion that to do so would place an attacked in a court of competent jurisdiction. while he goes scot free and holds the land under a manifest be entered against him adjudicating title to his lands in favor of another applicant. culpable his name. culpable negligence. his lands become subject to double or overlapping registration. and if. in the absence of actual notice. despite actual notice of the pendency is equally forceful by way of argument in favor of the holder of one or the other of the proceedings in the course of which the later certificate was issued. and thus." It is only in which such judgment is entered and despite the fact that he has been personally where both or neither of the parties are at fault that the rule is properly applicable served with summons to appear and default his title. under denied and sometimes the damage done thereby is irreparable. to case wherein the holder of the earlier certificate of judgment be entered against him. as between opposing claimants under an earlier and a later certificate of registry to the same land. It is true that the order of publication in such title when he has actual notice that proceedings are pending in that court wherein cases having been duly complied with. "Taking into consideration all of the conditions and the diligence of the respective parties. that aside from the superior equities of the innocent that question in favor of either one must necessarily have the effect of destroying purchaser in cases such as that now under discussion. to all the loss and damage resulting from the double or overlapping culpable negligence to him when he sits supinely by and lets a judgment in default registration. that which first accrued will be given the preference. But no unreasonable should not be permitted to subject an innocent purchaser. should not The owner of land who enjoys the benefits secured to him by its registry in the be imputed to him for failure to appear and defend his title so as to defeat his right Court of Land Registration may reasonably be required to appear and defend his to the benefit of the equitable rule. All that is necessary for him to do is to enter his appearance in those negligence in permitting a default judgment to be entered against him may be proceedings. there are strong reasons of . furthermore. he contemplated by the authors of the Land Registration Act. is seeking to secure its registry in but it does not necessarily follow that. in the Assuredly it was never the intention of the author of the new Land Registration Act language of the majority opinion. "that mistakes are bound to occur cannot be to impose such a burden on a purchaser of duly registered real estate. There is nothing in the new system of land registration which seems to a certificate of title to wait indefinitely "in the portals of the court" and to sit in render it either expedient or necessary to relieve a holder of a registered title of the the "mirador de su casa" in order to avoid the possibility of losing his lands. Unless he has actual notice wherein such default judgment was entered. confidence in the value of the whole system for the registration of lands. I think that negligence and fault may fairly be imputed to a It will be observed that I limit the exception to the general equitable rule. avoid all the damage and under the equitable rule favoring the earlier certificate. taking into consideration all the conditions and the holders of lands which have been the subject of double or overlapping registration. misapplication of the equitable rule that "where conflicting equities are otherwise despite the fact that he has actual knowledge of the pendency of the proceedings equal in merit. and I duty of appearing and defending that title. But."lawphil. another applicant. all the world is charged with notice thereof. certificate in case of double or overlapping registration.contained in the certificate of title of the tract of land he proposes to buy with those the value of the registered title of the other and to that extent shaking the public contained in all the earlier certificates of title to be found in the land registry. or to cases in which he has received actual notice of the pendency of the proceedings in the Court of Land Registration personal notice of the pendency of those proceedings.net On the other hand. as laid holder of a registered certificate of title who stood supinely by and let a default down in the majority opinion. holding under the later burden is placed upon the holder of a registered title by a rule which imputes certificate." it seems to me that there is no "equality in merit" between the conflicting Of course all that is said in the briefs of counsel and the majority opinion as to the equities set up by an innocent purchaser who acquires title to the land under a right of the holder of a certificate to rest secure in his registered title so that those registered certificate. It is the duty of the penalty that a lack of the knowledge which might thus be acquired may be imputed courts to adjust the rights of the parties under such circumstances so as to to him by this court as negligence in ruling upon the respective equities of the minimize the damages. diligence of the respective parties to avoid them. invite the court's attention to the certificate of title registered in his imputed to the holder of the earlier certificate so as to defeat his right to the land name.

G. adjudicating part of the lands included in his own certificate of title in favor of another applicant. said wall and the strip of land where it stands is registered in the Torrens system negligently or fraudulently and conclusively.” to avoid the possibility of losing his service of notice of the pendency of the proceedings upon the holder of the earlier land. the holder of the earlier one continues to hold title and will prevail. and inviting attention to the fact that their right. without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court. the holder of the earlier Regional Trial Court. thereby enormously challenged in a Court of Land Registration. arising out of erroneous. or sitting in the “mirador de su casa. judgment against the or overlapping registration of lands by the Courts of Land Registration. 80687 April 10. 1989 In the case at bar the defendant purchased the land in question from the original REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. except claims which very nature of things to be so rare as to be practically negligible. Fourth Judicial Region. and the decree issued in favor of the latter included the proceedings had for that purpose. and this despite the fact that he was an adjoining land unknown. owners in the future will fail to appear and defend their titles when challenged in definite and specific occasions wherein he has actual notice that his title is being other proceedings in the Courts of Land Registration.convenience and public policy which militate in favor of the recognition of his title certificate of title. and the cases wherein an adjoining land owner can. No. without adding in any appreciable stone wall and the strip of land where it stands. or which may arise overlapping registration almost invariably occurs in relation to lands held by adjoining occupants or claimants. Saleeby applied for registration of his lot under the favor of other applicants. Furthermore. the statute requiring such notice to be served upon the owner or The law guarantees the title of the registered owner once it has entered into the occupant of all lands adjoining those for which application for registration is made. double title in support of his claim of ownership. and merely to save them the very slight trouble Issue: Who should be the owner of a land and its improvement which has been or inconvenience incident to an entry of appearance in the court in which their own registered under the name of two persons? titles were secured.R. and this. Six years after the decree of registration is entered against them adjudicating title to all or a part of their registered lands in released in favor of Legarda. certificate of title issued to the plaintiff. The Land Registration Act (Act 496) affords no ownership in the lands in questions has already been conclusively adjudicated. conduct proceedings for the registration of his land to a successful conclusion without actual notice to the adjoining property owners must be rare indeed. remedy. to registration without actual notice to the holder of the earlier certificate must in the put a stop forever to any question of the legality of the title. represented by the DIRECTOR OF holder of a certificate of title issued by the Court of Land Registration. Trece Martires City. It seems when any transaction is had with regard to such lands. annoyance and labor on every occasion served with summons to appear and defends his rights in the premises. unspecified and uncertain dangers. certificate. relying upon LANDS. UMALI. innocent purchaser and in favor of the holder of the earlier certificate in a case Land Titles and Deeds – Purpose of the Torrens System of Registration) such as that under consideration must inevitably tend to increase the danger of Facts: A stone wall stands between the adjoining lot of Legarda and Saleeby. the records of the Court of Land Registration with reference thereto and with no vs. However. . knowledge that any part of the land thus purchased was included in an earlier HONORABLE MARIANO M. in his capacity as Presiding Judge. to permit default judgments to be under the name of Legarda in 1906. in the certificate. and imposes no burden upon any holder of plaintiff will inevitably tend to increase the number of cases wherein registered land a certificate of registered lands other than that of defending his title on those rare. to guard against which all such owner. even by the use of fraud. That being the purpose of the law. once a title is registered double registration can take place. It is difficult to conceive of a case wherein subsequent thereto. and further that the judgment of the majority in favor of the the land registration law was enacted. from whom the defendant in One ruling exposes all persons purchasing or dealing in registered lands to this action acquired title. The double or overlapping registrations by encouraging holders of registered titles. is to quiet title to land. a proceeding in which the cost and increasing the possibility and probability of loss and damage to innocent third expense is reduced to the minimum by the conclusive character of his certificate of parties and dealers in registered lands generally. title and Held: For the issue involved. The cases wherein there is a practical possibility of double or overlapping The real purpose of the Torrens system of registration. Branch 23. in the absence of fraud. Torrens system. it can be construed that where two certificates purports to include the same registered land. The plaintiff. him in the Court of Land Registration. negligently permitted a default judgment to be entered against rather than that of the holder of the earlier title. Double or were noted at the time of registration. degree to the security of thir titles. without personal the owner may rest secure. while the other ruling tends to me that there can be no reason for doubt as to the respective merits of the to eliminate consequences so directly adverse to the purpose and object for which equities of the parties. petitioner. despite actual notice of the pendency of judicial Torrens system in 1912. had actual notice of the pendency of the proceedings and was personally persons will be put to additional cost.

80392. contesting this order. 8 except those noted on said certificate. that the government was not the real pursuance of a decree of registration. V-10910 (Sale Certificate No. and every subsequent purchaser of registered land Maria Cenizal on January 8. on which Deed No. even the most cursory the action cannot lie against them. Cavite.D. 7 They were named as defendants and asked to Sec. 80393. and The plaintiff claimed that Gregorio Cenizal having died on February 25. Not having been deeds of Cavite in favor of Maria Cenizal. 1971. that status now accords to them the protection of the Torrens System Cenizal) Rosalina Naval. the registered owners of the land. 1943. Every person receiving a certificate of return the property to the State on the aforestated grounds of forgery and fraud. 1987.2 Tomasa and Julio assigned their shares to Martina. Apart forgery and therefore void ab initio. 1 It was originally purchased on installment from the government on July 1. By way of affirmative defenses. TCT or that they had acquired the subject land in bad faith. 39 of the Land government had no cause of action against her because there was no allegation Reg. they invoked estoppel. 80394.REMEDIOS MICLAT. PULIDO.: motion. system. 55044 (replacing Bobadilla's OCT No. Luz and Enrique Naval under TCT No. they could not have signed the joint affidavit who takes a certificate of title for value in good dated August 9. and that in any event the action was barred by prescription or laches. people in the Bureau of Lands who processed the papers of this case and made 1910 by Florentina Bobadilla. all surnamed Cenizal. In their answer. Maria and Gregorio. The present holders of the property claiming to from the fact that two of the supposed affiants were already dead at the time they be innocent purchasers for value and not privy to the alleged forgery. and consists of 78. 1280) was faith shall hold the same free of all encumbrance based. and Enrique Naval. Juan C. every registered owner receiving a certificate of title in that she had violated the plaintiff's right. so as to make all titles derived therefrom also of Lands to support their claim that they were entitled to the issuance of a ineffectual ab initio? certificate of title over the said land on which they said they had already made full payment. Gregorio Cenizal. following several transfers. prescription and res judicata. Miclat moved to dismiss the complaint. Act). 1529 (then Sec. 6 and renders the titles obtained by them thereunder indefeasible and conclusive. title in pursuance of a decree of registration. and Rosalina. 1959. in 1922. Gregorio and Julio. in favor of the said affiants. 9 For her part. laches. 1985. The petitioner seeks reversion of a parcel of land on the ground that the original sale thereof from the government was tainted with fraud because based on a The Court will observe at the outset that the joint affidavit is indeed a forgery. Their status as innocent No. as the petitioner insists. 4 On the basis of this affidavit. on October 13. respondents. 10 The respondent court. contending that the Thus. Tomasa. 3 In 1971 these But given such deception. and the party-in-interest because the subject land was already covered by the Torrens REGISTER OF DEEDS OF CAVITE. examination of the document will show that the three signatures affixed thereto were written by one and the same hand. the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural We agree with the contention that there is no allegation in the complaint 13 filed by Resources executed Deed No. granted the CRUZ. 12 There is no doubt about it. 1971. of Martina. J. contend that were supposed to have signed the sworn statement. now insists that it has a valid cause of action and that it is not barred by either prescription or res judicata. would the sale itself be considered null and void from three assignees purportedly signed a joint affidavit which was filed with the Bureau the start. Luz Naval. When the complaint for reversion was filed on October 10. 1971. who allegedly transferred her rights thereto in favor possible the fraudulent transfer of the land.865 square difficult to understand how such an obvious forgery could have deceived the meters. 180) was issued by the register of transferees for value was never questioned in that pleading. 11 The petitioner. 5 Subsequently. ROSALINA NAVAL. It is indeed The land in question is situated in Tanza. Pulido under TCT No. in its order dated October 2. JUAN C. were Remedios Miclat under TCT Section 39 of the Land Registration Act clearly provided: No. The rule will not change despite the flaw in TCT No. and (in lieu of Martina disproved. under Section 44 of P. Pulido and the Navals denied any participation in the joint affidavit The rulings on this provision are indeed as numerous as they are consistent: and said they had all acquired the property in good faith and for value. 1280) on September the petitioner that any one of the defendants was privy to the forged joint affidavit 10. and every subsequent purchaser of registered land taking a certificate of title for value . V-10910 (Sale Certificate No. 39. 55044.

the Government will convey to such following the original sale thereof to Bobadilla in 1910. or which may arise subsequent Land Registration Act. Such conclusion has not noted thereon. It is also consonant with the A holder in bad faith is not entitled to the protection of Sec." to avoid the possibility of losing his land. 12. without more. That being the purpose of the law. The fraud alleged by the become registered lands. the government has no more control or jurisdiction over it. encumbrances which may be subsisting. 16 The pertinent provision of the Land Registration Act was Section 122. The agreement to subdivide. would still not prove any collusion between him and the private respondents. the Land Registration Act. The mere fact that Remedios Miclat was the daughter and heiress of . is more acceptable than the conjectures of the petitioner. or transferees of the properties in question. . which read as follows: The decision in Piñero v. . the same patents issued by the government pursuant to which the corresponding certificates shall be brought forthwith under the operation of this Act and shall of title were issued under the Torrens system. and the certificate so issued binds the whole no basis in fact or law. and in good faith. They were the direct grantees of the free conveyed to persons or to public or private corporations. Under said provision. As private registered land. which thereto. it is governed by the provisions of the registration in the certificate. The belonging to the Government of the United States or to the action for reversion was filed by the government against them as the original Government of the Philippine Islands are alienated. which shall be issued and become The petitioner contends that it was Pedro Miclat who caused the falsification of the effective in the manner provided in section one hundred and joint affidavit. once the title was registered. 14 inherit the land but actually purchased it for valuable consideration and without knowledge of its original defect. to put a stop forever to any question of the public land when OCT No. upon the payment of the final installment together acquired the land in question not by direct grant but in fact after several transfers with all accrued interest. including the government. as the Solicitor General contends — as if it made any difference — of the Friar Lands. granted. except claims which were noted at the time of latest from the date it was sold to the Cenizals in 1971 upon full payment of the purchase price. They were still held by the Pineros. providing thus: The difference between them and the private respondents is that the latter Sec. It is no longer part of the public domain or. there is evidence that Remedios did not merely world. but that is a bare and hardly persuasive allegation. or sitting in the "mirador de su casa. would not necessarily visit upon her the alleged sins of her except those noted on the certificate and any of the father. The subject property ceased to be The real purpose of the Torrens System of land registration is to quiet title to land. 19 government as a ground for the reversion sought was imputable directly to the Pineros. 15 The land being now registered under the Torrens system in the names of the xxx xxx xxx private respondents. Director of Lands 17 is not applicable to the present proceeding because the lands involved in that case had not yet passed to the Sec. claims and liens of whatever character. This should be related to Section 12 of the Friar Lands Act. 122. 122) of the Land Registration Act. it would seem that applies even to the government. 18 which she xxx xxx xxx presented to show that she had acquired the land for valuable confederation. now denominated the Property Registration Decree. Whenever public lands in the Philippine Islands hands of an innocent purchaser for value. The Solicitor General also argues that Remedios is an extension of the juridical except those mentioned by law as existing against the land prior to personality of her father and so cannot claim to be an innocent purchaser for value the issuance of certificate of title. even twenty-two (Sec. Moreover. 39 of presumption of good faith. if true. and indeed. the owner might rest secure. and enumerated in the law. 180 was issued to Florentina Bobadilla in 1910 or at the legality of the title. . instrument of conveyance. shall hold the same free from all encumbrances Miclat. are cut off by such certificate if because she is charged with knowledge of her father's deceit. who could not plead the status of innocent purchasers for value. The presumption is that settler and occupant the said land so held by him by proper they are innocent transferees for value in the absence of evidence to the contrary. without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court.

24 While this is not to say that the present petition is barred by res judicata. 279. 262. Tuason vs. Beyond said period. Paterno. 615). VICENTE C. 69). 90 Phil. vs." precisely because it has become private land. 590).. is a veritable REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. 282-A would be merely voidable or reviewable indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. the title would be conclusive against the whole world.630. Once a patent is registered and the corresponding certificate of title is issued. now and possibly also more abrasive if not even violent. including the Government We find that the private respondents are transferees in good faith and for value of (Legarda vs. INC. de Sengbengco. A public land patent. . Inasmuch as The Torrens system was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the the land involved in the present case does not belong to such most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their category. It was only voidable. It should not initio. transactions would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily Henderson vs. Samonte vs. As in this case. the private respondents were void ab initio. Sambilon. Garrido. until valid. Santiago. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources: 22 ACCORDINGLY. And as we declared in Municipality of Hagonoy vs. 21 was later sustained by this Court. Litigation must part of the public domain. ineffectual after all. Defendants-Appellees. 110 Phil. Velasco vs. 420. 31 Phil. but it is too late the titles of the registered owners were confirmed by the trial court. 113): (1) person purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the seller's title thereto is upon proof of actual fraud. would not revert back to the State. conclusive investigations and proof of ownership. the land ceases to be part of public domain and G. Vda. without any pronouncement as to costs. If a (Vda. as the government was not a party in these cases. . although it is not. like one issued pursuant to a judicial decree. The land therefore continued to be part of the public domain and the Said title is. The answer to that is the to review within one (1) year from the date of the issuance of the statement made by the Court in Heirs of Tanak Pangawaran Patiwayan patent. 56 Phil. 883. public confidence in the system would be eroded and land 80 Phil. Provincial Fiscal. legal right. including the government. No. Director of Lands vs.The petitioner claims that it is not barred by the statute of limitations because the Torrens Title. 34 Phil. unless the fraud consisted in misrepresenting that the land is be the subject of further judicial inquiry. and becomes as indefeasible as Torrens Title upon original transfer of the land was null and void ab initio and did not give rise to any the expiration of one (1) year from the date of issuance thereof. but from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands. Sugayan vs. Moreover. 363. when registered in the corresponding Register of Deeds. 31 Phil. 624. Saleeby. 198. 99 Phil. he should not run the risk of being told later that his acquisition was annulled or reviewed in a direct proceeding therefor (Legarda vs. should be the first to 764. although fraudulent. it does A certificate of title fraudulently secured is not null and void ab suggest that the issue it wants to rake up now has long been settled. 596. UMALI and STATE BONDING & INSURANCE CO. Solis. vs. 23This decision to do that now. Gan Tan. Borbon. (2) although valid and effective. arises. 931. 276. M. the land entertained. 40 Phil. Gochuico 33 Phil. In such case the nullity stop at some point instead of dragging on interminably. OCT No. J. Director of Lands. 42 Phil. . 50 Phil. the subject property and that the original acquisition thereof. the petitioner errs in arguing that the original transfer was null and It is worth observing here that in two earlier cases. de Cuaycong vs. Act 496. As the Court has held in Ramirez vs. not collaterally (Sorongon vs. Martinez 20 that "even if respondent Tagwalan eventually is proven to have certificate of title issued upon the land grant can no longer be procured the patent and the original certificate of title by means of fraud. this were permitted. This would not only be unfair to him. 590. Court of Appeals. Central Capiz vs. 184. The further consequence would 107 Phil. . especially at this late hour. 761. What is worse is that if Saleeby. The land challenged by the heirs of Matilde Cenizal Arguson but both were dismissed and remained private as long as the title thereto had not been voided.200). Ramirez. did not affect their own titles. Snyder vs. Delos Reyes vs. It is so ordered. subject action for this reversion could be filed at any time. recognizing the worthy purposes of the Torrens system. the action for the annulment of the v. not from the fraud or deceit. 1968 becomes private property over which the director of Lands has neither control nor jurisdiction. the petition is DENIED. (Emphasis supplied). These are valid against the whole world. 70 Phil. Lukban. (4) after which. for the fact is that it is not so. Clemente vs.. Makalintal. The government. 259. 791. 89 Phil. Reyes vs. L-23066 March 1. Heirs of Lichauco law are satisfied. Plaintiff-Appellant.R. be that land conflicts could be even more numerous and complex than they are 38. (3) within the statutory period therefor (Sec. 53 accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once the conditions laid down by the Phil.

for defendant-appellee Company. and (2) that the Republic is not the real THE CONDITIONS OF THIS OBLIGATION ARE AS FOLLOWS: chanrobles virtual party in interest. But its claim will not thereunder be any stronger. Article 3 of the Rules and Regulations mentioned in the contestant. should post two different bonds. then the obligation shall be null and void. if the Principal (promoter) shall hold the main contest on WHEREAS. one to cover the aggregate purses of the Paragraphs (b) and (d). Umali. The case came up before the court below for ruling on defendant and third party as surety in favor of the Games and Amusements Board. . paragraphs (b) and (d) of the Rules and Regulations of the Games and Amusements Board Board.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law estimate of gross receipts. otherwise. and motion picture rights shall be included in the 1962 dismissing its complaint. if the Principal (promoter) shall hold the main contest on February 1. bond.. or any subsequent date fixed by said Board. under Art. one can make out of these two provisions is that defendant Umali. The complaint therein an indemnity agreement the latter subscribed in favor of the said seeks to recover P12. as main event. This bond provides: defendant's motion to dismiss predicated upon legal grounds: (1) that the complaint does not state a cause of action. library Defendants traversed the complaint. To this question.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library boxing contest held on February 1. Jr.500 posted by Vicente S.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles actually take place as scheduled . SISAO KOBAYASHI AND ARMY WONDER BOY. it shall remain in full heretofore quoted."to insure Rizal Memorial Coliseum. The State's hope to gain a toehold was made to rest on Article 3. Therefore. . The bonding company filed a cross-claim The present suit1 was commenced by the Solicitor General against Vicente S. 1961. Paragraphs (b) and (d) of the Rules and Regulations February 1. to be held on February 1. Percent (33-1/3%) of the purse). express the condition of the bond . the bond itself furnishes the answer. as a matter of law. we read the exact obligation of the promoter "to file a surety bond in contestants (less the advances which shall not exceed Thirty-Three and One Third the abovestated sum before the license is granted to him. library Santillan & Hidalgo. equivalent to 25% of the estimated gross receipts. it shall remain in full shall be payable within fifteen (15) days after his default to insure reimbursement force and effect. which amount shall be . 1961. was an obvious mistake. J. THEREFORE. the promoter. we perceive. 3. . upon a bond of P32. thus: ". 1961. or on any postponed date with the consent of the Games and Amusements Board or its representative. 1961. That document. otherwise. against defendant Umali.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library WHEREAS. or on any postponed date with the consent of the Games and governing professional boxing.Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellant.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law Domingo E. or any subsequent date fixed by said 2. The issue then is whether defendants." There is no quarrel as to the fact that the boxing contest did to the purchasers of tickets for said contest. given the averments of the complaint and the obligations under law library the bond. and a third-party complaint against Carlos Ysmael upon Umali and the State bonding & Insurance Company. 1961 in the 1. as principal. and the State Bonding & Insurance Company. (d) A surety bond payable upon demand in an amount equivalent to Twenty-Five SANCHEZ. chanrobles virtual law library reimbursement to the purchasers of tickets for said contest." No less plain is the time limitation of the obligation of the bond found in the concluding paragraph thereof. incomes from radio. the above-bounden Principal is the promoter of the Oriental Featherweight Championship boxing contest featuring. and another. . then this obligation shall be null and void.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library NOW. Inc. said bond should be discharged.February 1. the Principal (promoter) is required to file a surety bond in the abovestated sum before the license is granted to him.:chanrobles virtual law library Percent (25%) of the estimated gross receipts based on the full seating capacity of the building stadium or structure wherein the contest is to be held provided that all The Republic seeks the reversal of the order of the court below dated January 20. read as follows: Reference to these two clauses. along with and immediately following them in the same paragraph and sentence in the (b) A surety bond payable upon demand to cover the aggregate purses of the surety bond. which amount Amusements Board or its representative. Umali.078. with clarity. by the very recitals virtual law library of the bond stipulations in the complaint.02 representing the purses of five contestants in a company. de Lara for defendant-appellee Vicente C. . Inc. For. The best that force and effect. television. may be held liable upon the bond.

if the surety did Agreement3 dated February 4. 4. So ordered. Santos vs. not wish to execute such bond. of construction or interpretation. 1979.000) and having an aggregate value of PESOS: THREE of the bond herein are clear. The Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari is the Decision of the respondent surety was not bound to execute a bond if it did not wish to. And it appearing that the bond filed in this case expired on 4 July 1952. petitioner. a guarantor is not responsible beyond the terms of his undertaking.: by reason of the continuance during the action of the acts complained of. by its specific terms. . sold. 93397 March 3. It is a settled rule in this jurisdiction that a surety or 1981. and a Detached Assignment4dated April 27. .chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library No costs.. from the Philippine Underwriters Finance Corporation (Philfinance) requires a surety to execute a bond which would answer for the principal's liability to the petitioner Trader's Royal Bank (TRB). No. TRB stated that: surety may not be held liable except as to the undertaking therein stipulated. the bond is incapable of extension by implication.000 and for a limited time. There is no rule of court which P500.500. If the bond executed Court of Appeals dated January 29. was given as security for the "reimbursement to the purchasers of tickets for said contest. defendant In the said petition." Which simply takes us back to what has suretyship. does not enjoy the and delivered unto Philippine Underwriters Finance Corporation benefit of strictisimi jurisconstruction placed upon an obligation pour (Philfinance) all its rights and title to Central Bank Certificates of autrui contracted by an accommodation surety. 1981. FILRITERS GUARANTY ASSURANCE CORPORATION and CENTRAL BANK of the PHILIPPINES. the one or the other normally forms part of a bond. We do not pass unnoticed the established jurisprudential rule 4 that a whereby Filriters. the parties in whose favor it was executed should have Central Bank Certificate of Indebtedness (CBCI) No. to compel the Central Bank of the Philippines to register the the bond. is illustrative of this point. 83-17966 in the Regional Trial Court of Manila. JR.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library 3. . Filriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation (Filriters) executed a "Detached Assignment" . 94 Phil. D891. This the obligees failed to do. On November 27. 1990. as registered owner. Branch be held liable under the bond beyond 4 July 1952. under a Repurchase that might be adjudged by the court in the case where it was filed. respondents.5 It is quite obvious though that the Indebtedness of PESOS: FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND fact that defendant surety is a compensated surety is unimportant. The bond was executed and filed to forestall the issuance of a mandatory injunction against Liberato Avecilla and it was a sort of a counter bond filed by him conditioned that he would pay all damages which the adverse parties might suffer TORRES. the action was originally filed as a Petition for Mandamus5 under Rule 65 of the days thereafter if the obligees failed to notify it of the principal's obligation under Rules of Court. Defective as it is. the terms (P500. that suit upon the disputed bond will not prosper because here "the extent . the trial court's order of January 20.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library subsequent date thereafter."3 transfer of the subject CBCI to petitioner Traders Royal Bank (TRB)."6chanrobles virtual law library been heretofore adverted to: the bond. For. .000. and it could cancel the bond ten 32."2chanrobles virtual law library TRADERS ROYAL BANK. vs. 2 with a face value of objected to it.000. The State did not move to correct the bond in dispute. 214-215. 1997 construed "to enlarge the surety's liability beyond the terms of this contract. So it is. Of course. .. 3.00. where a bond is executed pursuant to a statute or regulation. transferred.payable within fifteen (15) days after his default to ensure reimbursement to the of the liability of a surety is determined only by the clause of the contract of purchasers of tickets for said contest.1 affirming the nullity of the transfer of and filed was defective. as defendant company is in this case. J. assigned compensated surety.R. 1962 under review is same could not be held on the date set forth or on the postponed date or on any hereby affirmed. the surety cannot Docketed as Civil Case No.00). The bond executed and filed in these cases is not as that described and provided for in the rule referred to but merely one for the sum of P4." in case the For the reasons given. the language plain the provisions thereof do not admit MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P3. Mejia. We there said: COURT OF APPEALS. But such statute or regulation will not be G. 211.

1981. and continues to do so notwithstanding petitioner's complete the assignment through the registration of the transfer in valid and just title over the same and despite repeated demands in the name of PhilFinance. which CBCI was among those person or by his attorney duly authorized in previously acquired by PhilFinance from Filriters as averred in writing. transferred and delivered to said office (where the Certificate has been petitioner CBCI 4-year. Philfinance transferred and subject CBCI in its name. 11. without a doubt. to the Securities Servicing Department of the respondent. On February 4. Pursuant to the aforesaid Repurchase Agreement (Annex "B"). it did thereby "irrevocably authorize On December 4. the latest of which is hereto attached as Annex "E" and phrased as follows: '(Filriters) hereby irrevocably authorized the made an integral part hereof. PhilFinance sold. Serial No. assigned all. together with the subject CBCI as respondent. said issuer (Central Bank) to transfer the said bond/certificates on the books of its fiscal agent.. 8th series.. Respondent failed and refused to register the transfer as express authorization executed by the transferor intended to requested.11) on April 27. . which authorization is specifically writing. as required by the above-quoted provision. the Regional Trial Court the case took cognizance of the the said issuer (respondent herein) to transfer the said defendant Central Bank of the Philippines' Motion for Admission of Amended bond/certificate on the books of its fiscal agent. and upon paragraph 3 of the Petition. Petitioner presented the CBCI (Annex "C"). the petitioner were dishonored for insufficient funds. it executed a Detached upon the respondent.000. Upon such compliance with the aforesaid requirements. Filriters." . PhilFinance. the registered owner of the 9. and its transferee. Filriters interjected as Special Defenses the following: and requested the latter to effect the transfer of the CBCI on its books and to issue a new certificate in the name of petitioner as absolute owner thereof. the registered owner. The express provisions governing the transfer of the CBCI were substantially complied with the petitioner's request for 5. D891 with a face registered) by the registered owner hereof." Philfinance agreed to repurchase CBCI Serial No. April 27. . 7. a new Certificate shall be issued to the 6. the Detached Assignments presented to NINETEEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE & respondent were sufficient authorizations in writing executed by 11/100 (P519. 1981. For its part. 891. ministerial duties of registering a transfer of ownership over the CBCI and issuing a new certificate to the transferee devolves 8. petitioner entered into a Repurchase registration. . at the stipulated price of PESOS: FIVE HUNDRED and. two (2) aforementioned Detached Assignments (Annexes "B" and "D"). . Respondent is the registered owner of CBCI No. furthermore. 11.00). whereby. to wit: Agreement with PhilFinance . D891 (Annex "C").4. . PhilFinance failed to repurchase the CBCI on the agreed date of maturity. its rights and title in the said CBCI (Annex "C") to petitioner and. 1984. and similarly noted hereon. when the checks it issued in favor of 12. transferee of the registered holder thereof.361. for and in consideration of the sum of PESOS: FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND "No transfer thereof shall be valid unless made at (P500. Answer with Counter Claim for Interpleader6 thereby calling to fore the respondent Filriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation (Filriters).00 . The aforesaid Detached Assignment (Annex "A") contains an 10. And Upon these assertions. . Owing to the default of PhilFinance. in value of P500.000. 1981. payment of a nominal transfer fee which may be required. Assignment in favor of the Petitioner to enable the latter to have its title completed and registered in the books of the respondent. . TRB prayed for the registration by the Central Bank of the by means of said Detachment.

769. Vice-President-Treasury of Filriters (both of whom were holding the same positions in Philfinance). the assignment is void from the beginning (Article 1409. Alberto Fabella. directors of Filriters. Alfredo Banaria. executed a detached assignment purportedly impairment and in the solvency deficiency of Filriters (and has in assigning CBCI No. and not duly authorized in writing by the Board. xxx xxx xxx 17. then Senior Vice. Plaintiff had acted in bad faith and with knowledge of the 14. Alfredo Banaria and not the corporate act of Filriters and such null and void. Subsequently. a) The CBCI constitutes part of the reserve investments of Filriters against liabilities requires by the Insurance Code and its b) The assignment was executed without any knowledge and assignment or transfer is expressly prohibited by law. 891 to Philfinance. Plaintiff knew full well that the assignment by Philfinance of CBCI No. that reason. knowledge or consent of the board of directors of Filriters. Without any consideration or benefit whatsoever to Filriters. as requiring by Article V. existence as an insurance company and the pursuit of its business operations.12. for anyone to make. in of malum in se or malum prohibitum. Section 1). its policy holders and all who have registered in the name of Filriters. illegality and invalidity of the assignment. a sufficient notice to plaintiff that the 15. b) The provision on transfer of the CBCIs provides that the Central Bank shall treat the registered owner as the absolute owner and xxx xxx xxx that the value of the registered certificates shall be payable only to the registered owner. 891 is not a negotiable instrument and as a without any consideration or benefit redounding to Filriters and to certificate of indebtedness is not payable to bearer but is a the grave prejudice of Filriters. Section 3 of CB Circular No. The detached assignment is patently void and inoperative assignments do not give them the registered owner's right as because the assignment is without the knowledge and consent of absolute owner of the CBCI's. policyholders and to all who have present or future claim against policies issued by Filriters. executed similar detached assignment forms transferring the CBCI to plaintiff. The assignment of the CBCI to Philfinance is a personal act of payable only to the registered owner (Article II. and without any clearance or authorization from the Insurance e) The assignment of the CBCI has resulted in the capital Commissioner. either as violation of law and the trust fund doctrine and to the prejudice of corporate or personal act. 18. expressly prohibited by law. without any board resolution. a) The CBCI No. . which is a requirement under the Insurance Code for its the Insurance Code. present or future claims against its policies. 891 by Filriters is not a regular transaction made in the a) The assignment was executed without consideration and for usual of ordinary course of business. d) The transfer of dimunition of reserve investments of Filriters is President-Treasury of Filriters. Civil Code). fact helped in placing Filriters under conservatorship). Comptroller are Pilar Jacobe. c) CB Circular 769. The CBCI constitutes part of the reserve investment against c) The CBCI constitutes reserve investment of Filriters against liabilities required of respondent as an insurance company under liabilities. There was consent of the board of directors of Filriters. Series of 1980 (Rules and Regulations Governing CBCIs) provides that the registered certificates are 16. is immoral and against public policy. The assignment of the CBCI is illegal act in the sense 13. no attempt to get any clearance or authorization from the Insurance Commissioner. an inevitable result known to the officer who executed assignment. Senior Vice-President.

D891 to Philippine . having made without consideration. D891.7 buy back the note on maturity date. which requires the affirmative action of the instrument on or before April 27. and did not conform to Central Bank Circular No. ACCORDINGLY. petitioner argued that the subject CBCI was a negotiable proceeds of the CBCI No. When Philfinance failed to stockholders (Section 40. refused to effect the transfer and registration in view of an adverse claim filed by defendant Filriters. b) The assignment by Filriters of the CBCI is clearly not a Underwriters Finance Corporation (Philfinance). 769. which provided that any of CBCI No. Central Bank. better known as the "Rules and Regulations The records reveal that defendant Filriters is the registered owner Governing Central Bank Certificates of Indebtedness". judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the respondent Filriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation and against the plaintiff Traders Royal Bank: Left with no other recourse.000 as parties liable thereon. CBCI No.9 lacked the words of negotiability which serve as an expression of consent that the instrument may be transferred by negotiation. to appellant Traders Royal Bank (TRB). 1971. TRB filed a special civil action for mandamus against the Central Bank in the Regional Trial Court of Manila. 891 in favor of the lower court as a case of interpleader when CB prayed in its PhilFinance. Under a deed of assignment dated November "assignment of registered certificates shall not be valid unless made . transaction in the usual or regular course of its business. and that the certificate SO ORDERED. Branch XXXIII found the assignment of CBCI No. D891 in its name before the Security decision reads: and Servicing Department of the Central Bank (CB). and the subsequent assignment of the same CBCI by Philfinance in favor of Traders Royal Armed with the deed of assignment. conveying to appellant TRB all its right and the title to CBCI No. granting Philfinance the right to repurchase the assets of Filriters. Philfinance transferred CBCI No. its possession of the same is thus free fro any defect of title of prior parties and from any defense available to prior parties among themselves. D891 to the Filriters Guaranty instrument. The petitioner assailed the decision of the trial court in the Court of Appeals 10. The sum of P10. In its Decision8 dated April 29. and it (c) Ordering the plaintiff Traders Royal Bank to pay respondent may thus. due course. it executed a deed of assignment. D891. the assignment of the certificate from Filriters to Philfinance was reproduced: fictitious. and having acquired the said certificate from Philfinance as a holder in Assurance Corporation. since the instrument clearly stated that it was payable to Filriters. however. series of 1980. the appellate court that the CBCI is not a negotiable (d) to pay the costs. whose name was inscribed thereon. . The suit. Failing to get a favorable judgment. enforce payment of the instrument for the full amount thereof against all Filriters Guaranty Assurance Corp. 1981. but their appeals likewise failed. 1981. instrument. TRB then sought the transfer Bank null and void and of no force and effect. The dispositive portion of the and registration of CBCI No. which was still registered in the name of Filriters. dated April 27. D891 in favor of Philfinance. the registered owner. 1981. and In ignoring said argument. TRB now comes to this Court on appeal. was subsequently treated by (a) Declaring the assignment of CBCI No. by the 27. . D891. and the subsequent assignment of CBCI by amended answer that Filriters be impleaded as a respondent and PhilFinance in favor of the plaintiff Traders Royal Bank as null and the court adjudge which of them is entitled to the ownership of void and of no force and effect. Subsequently. c) The CBCI involved substantial amount and its assignment The transfer was made under a repurchase agreement dated clearly constitutes disposition of "all or substantially all" of the February 4. The findings of the fact of the said court are hereby Obviously. the Regional Trial Court of Manila. D891. 11 (b) Ordering the respondent Central Bank of the Philippines to disregard the said assignment and to pay the value of the In the appellate court. 1988. however. Corporation [sic] Code. Filriters transferred CBCI No. 12 attorney's fees.

as to give validity to the transfer of the CBCI from registered owner to instrument is its freedom to circulate as a substitute for money. 15 costs against plaintiff-appellant. of if this Certificate of whose interest was inexistent. Que The appellate court ruled that the subject CBCI is not a negotiable instrument. actual payment to Filriters. Jur. Po Lay. Philfinance acquired no title or rights under CBCI No. it is properly understood as Filriters to act for the latter.registered owner thereof in person or by his representative duly authorized in xxx xxx xxx writing. as negotiability is the touchtone relating to the protection of holders in due course. the registered owner hereof. 769 which has the force and effect of a law. 94 Phil. the instrument provides a promise "to pay Filriters In sum. the instrument is payable only to Filriters. 640. negotiability is totally absent in a certificate indebtedness as it merely to pay a sum of money to a specified person or entity for a period of time. the sister corporation. D891 from Filriters. who signed the deed of Properly understood. Admittedly." (82 Minn. Inc. thus demanding the application of the doctrine or piercing the veil of corporate The language of negotiability which characterize a negotiable paper as a credit fiction. vs. Commissioner of stating that: Internal Revenue. Hence. same time Central Bank Circular No. having acquired the certificate through simulation. there is no merit to the lower court's ruling that and the freedom of negotiability is the foundation for the protection which the law the transfer of the CBCI from Filriters to Philfinance was null and void for lack of throws around a holder in due course (11 Am. It is usually used assignment did not therefore bind Filriters and violated as the for the purpose of long term loans. to FILRITERS GUARANTY What happened was Philfinance merely borrowed CBCI No. 16: 2031). the acknowledgment of an obligation to pay a fixed sum of money. Thus. 13 GUARANTY ASSURANCE CORPORATION. principal sum of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS. the judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED. freedom of petitioner TRB. to guarantee its financing operations. a ASSURANCE CORPORATION. Alfredo O. 14 This renders the payment by TRB to Philfinance of CBCI. discounting the petitioner's submission that the same is a negotiable instrument. a certificate of indebtedness pertains to certificates for the assignment purportedly for and on behalf of Filriters. v. Inc. 2d. Court of Appeals. Said the Court: xxx xxx xxx In the case at bar. 202). whose name is inscribed thereon. resulting in the nullity of the transfer (People v. with of consent that the instrument may be transferred by negotiation. did not have creation and maintenance of a permanent improvement revolving fund. registered owner. For lack of such authority. The accepted rule is that the negotiability or non-negotiability of an The pertinent portions of the subject CBCI read: instrument is determined from the writing. Being equivalent to a bond. 165 SCRA 778). A reading of the subject CBCI indicates that the same is payable to FILRITERS SO ORDERED. This freedom in consideration. As worded. the registered owner hereof. is similar to the necessary written authorization from the Board of Directors of a "bond. Guaranty Assurance Corporation." D891 which it could assign or transfer to Traders Royal Bank and Very clearly. 90% of Filriters equity and the two corporations have identical corporate officers. that is. Banaria. 3M Philippines. thus. the which the latter can register with the Central Bank. Petitioner's claimed interest has no basis. the subject CBCI is not a negotiable instrument in the absence of words of negotiability within the meaning of the negotiable instruments law (Act As held in Caltex (Philippines). indebtedness be registered. and to no one else." The Central Bank of the Philippines (the Bank) for value received. from the face of . It lacks the words of negotiability which should have served as an expression WHEREFORE. since it was derived from Philfinance hereby promises to pay bearer. and that it is a Petitioner's present position rests solely on the argument that Philfinance owns holder in due course of the certificate. 32).

as this assignment purportedly for and on behalf of Filriters. Inc. the CBCI No. a sister corporation. . and the payment by TRB to November 19. The In sum. so as to entitle TRB to have the CBCI registered in its name with the Central Bank? Since Philfinance own about 90% of Filriters and the two companies have the same corporate officers. We disagree with Petitioner. 640. In the construction of a bill or note. in accord with existing law. duty of the court in such case is to ascertain. Published in the Official Gazette on corporate entity was. no other words are to be added to it or substituted in its stead. to guarantee its (Philfinance's) Philfinance did not conform to Central Bank Circular No. by the registered owner thereof in person or by his representative duly authorized in writing. as said. the assignment did not therefore bind Filriters and violated at the intention of the parties is to control. D891 from Filriters. . as Filriters fictitiously. there was really no that said CBCI was sold without its authority. if the principle of The following are the appellate court's pronouncements on the matter: piercing the veil of corporate entity were to be applied in this case. the transfer of the instrument from Philfinance to TRB was merely an CBCI. In the case at bar. who signed the deed of Petitioner cannot put up the excuse of piercing the veil of corporate entity. 165 SCRA 778). What the parties meant must be determined by what they Petitioner now argues that the transfer of the subject CBCI to TRB must upheld. justify wrong. 769. resulting in the nullity of the transfer (People vs. under entity. did not have merely an equitable remedy. D891 is defective since it acquired the instrument from registered owner of the CBCI as to bar the latter from claiming. 94 Phil. We find that the transfer made by Filriters to Filriters. the . that it never received any payment for that CBCI sold and the transfer was for "value received". Although the deed of assignment stated that it has. 769 which has the force and While the writing may be read in the light of surrounding effect of a law. a sister corporation. For lack of such authority. The pertinent question then is. and is not governed by the negotiable instruments law. 1980. Section 3 thereof provides that any Philfinance should be construed as payment to Filriters. What happened was Philfinance merely borrowed CBCI No. financing operations. have used their corporate fiction to defraud TRB into purchasing the subject Thus. the assignment made is a complete nullity. assignment. the instrument itself. Commissioner meaning of the parties. on the series of 1980. Thus. not what the parties D891 which it could assign or transfer to Traders Royal Bank and may have secretly intended as contradistinguished from what their which the latter can register with the Central Bank words express. We respectfully submit that. Alfredo O. but what is the meaning of the words they have used. subsequently from Philfinance to TRB. though separate corporate entities on paper. the respondent Filriters and Philfinance. if it can be legally ascertained. in fact. be the only outward and visible expression of their meaning. yet as they have constituted the writing to of Internal Revenue. pierced. the Court of Appeals should have ruled that such veil of which the note was issued. otherwise known as the "Rules and Regulations issued raised by TRB that there was a piercing a veil of corporate Governing Central Bank Certificates of Indebtedness". vs. protect fraud Filriters to act for the latter. then TRB's payment to Philfinance for the CBCI purchased by it Clearly shown in the record is the fact that Philfinance's title over could just as well be considered a payment to Filriters. and may be awarded only in cases when the the necessary written authorization from the Board of Directors of corporate fiction is used to defeat public convenience. Banaria. circumstance in order to more perfectly understand the intent and Que Po Lay. was the transfer of the CBCI from Filriters to Philfinance and Says the petitioner. same time Central Bank Circular No. Philfinance acquired no title or rights under CBCI No. consideration involved. which purchase now is refused registration by the Central Bank. if it were to be consistent therewith. 3M Philippines. considering that the Court of Appeals has held that the CBCI was merely borrowed by Philfinance from What is more. xxx xxx xxx for lack of any consideration. 17 assignment of registered certificates shall not be valid unless made .

cannot feign ignorance of Central Bank certificate. circumstance to disregard their corporate personalities. other than the allegation that Filriters is 90% owned by Philfinance. which for all intents. may not hold the corporation liable. nor did it make inquiries as to the ownership of the Petitioner. and the identity of one shall be maintained This is notice to petitioner to secure from Filriters a written authorization for the as to the other. As it is. The fact that Filfinance owns majority shares in Filriters is not by itself a ground to disregard the independent corporate status of Filriters. the court owner thereof. there is no showing to the effect that petitioner had any dealings whatsoever with Filriters. Article V of which provides that: corporation is not of itself a sufficient reason for disregarding the fiction of separate corporate personalities. As found by the . thus. there is nothing else which could lead the court under transfer or to require Philfinance to submit such an authorization from Filriters. 769. despite the petitioners insistence on the contrary. the person in whose or its rights. — Assignment of registered certificates shall not be valid unless made at the office In the case at bar. duly authorized in writing. and for all other purpose whether or not this Certificate shall be overdue. or by his Peiercing the veil of corporate entity requires the court to see through the attorney. or crime was committed upon another. D891 is governed by CB Circular No. Assignment of Registered Certificates. the legal fiction that a corporation is fact that a non-owner was disposing of the registered CBCI owned by another an entity with a juridical personality separate from its stockholders and from other entity was a good reason for petitioner to verify of inquire as to the title Philfinance corporations may be disregarded. After such registration no transfer thereof shall be valid person. The Though it is true that when valid reasons exist. CBCI No. or if this injustice. being a commercial bank. D891. or on account hereof. and such registration is noted The transfer made by Filriters to Philfinance did not conform to the said. and prompted it to inquire transferee may be designated as the representative of the from Filriters as to Philfinance's title over the same or its authority to assign the registered owner. series of 1990 21. It is the protection of the interests of innocent third persons dealing name the same is registered as the absolute owner of this with the corporate entity which the law aims to protect by this doctrine. give everyone his due. in person or by his On its face the subject certificates states that it is registered in the name of representative. in person. certificate. rule must upheld. a they could be subject to. Central Bank Circular. disregarding. D891 contain a provision on its TRANSFER. there is sufficient showing that the petitioner was not defrauded where the same have been issued and registered or at the at all when it acquired the subject certificate of indebtedness from Philfinance. The bank or any agency duly authorized by the must be sure that the corporate fiction was misused. act with justice. as everyone must. This Certificate shall pass by delivery unless it is registered in the owner's name at any office of the Bank or any agency duly authorized by the Bank. his. Sec. Section 3. her. Securities Servicing Department. duly authorized in writing and similarly noted hereon and protective shroud which exempts its stockholders from liabilities that ordinarily. 19 in the absence of such grounds.. upon payment of a nominal transfer fee which may be required. 22 This is only fair. or distinguished one corporation from a seemingly new Certificate shall be issued to the transferee of the registered separate one. 23 TRANSFER. the Filriters. An entity which deals with corporate agents within circumstances showing that the agents are acting in excess of corporate The terms of the CBCI No. Certificate is registered as herein authorized. For one. The corporate separateness between Filriters and Philfinance remains. For this purpose. But to do this. 3. vs. Circular 769. This should have put the petitioner on notice. in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties. Collector of Internal Revenue. Inc. 18 unless made at said office (where the Certificates has been registered) by the registered owner hereof. Co. for the purpose of receiving payment hereof. is considered part of the law. Central Bank of the Philippines. fraud. 20 the mere ownership by a single known as the Rules and Regulations Governing Central Bank Certificates of stockholder or by another corporation of all or nearly all of the capital stock of a Indebtedness. and observe honesty and good faith. the general to dispose to the CBCI. and by the registered owner thereof. Certificate. to such an extent that Bank may deem and treat the bearer of this Certificate. and its requirements. In Liddel & Moreover. Petitioner knew that Philfinance is not registered owner of the CBCI No. were it not for the existing corporate fiction. Thus: authority.or defend crime or where a corporation is a mere alter ego or business conduit of a hereon.

as there was no consideration for the same. Philfinance had no title over the subject certificate to requirements of the law.00 subject of this case? SO ORDERED. purportedly for and in favor of Filriters. promise to pay the registered owner Filriters. in his testimony given before the court on May 30. Did the petitioner tried to have it registered in its name in the CB. D891 in the face value of P5000. Banaria. the instrument was only payable to Filriters. in short. before 1981? A Yes. It was only through one of its officers by sometime in early 1981 and this CBCI No. The instrument provides for a reserve of the company. This is fatal to the It cannot. 891 which the CBCI was conveyed without authorization was among the CBCI's that were found to be from the company. for then. The latter agreed to repurchase the CBCI but failed to do so. It lacked the words of negotiability which Q Legal reserve for the purpose of what? should have served as an expression of the consent that the instrument may be transferred by negotiation. Manager-in-Charge of respondent be upheld over the claimed interest of Traders Royal Bank. Nemo potest nisi quod de jure potest — no man a corporate officer of Filriters cannot bind the said corporation. therefore. Concededly. the title of Filriters over the subject certificate of indebtedness must level. this was CBCI of the company sought to Filriters through a Detached Agreement transferred ownership to Philfinance a be examined by the Insurance Commission Central Bank Certificate of Indebtedness. CBCI No. be taken out of the said funds. did not have the government binds. When Q Let me take you back further before 1981. not without the can do anything except what he can do lawfully. the anauthorized use or distribution of the same by convey the Traders Royal Bank. without violating the petitioner's cause. As it is. sir. Petitioner and Philfinance later entered into a missing. the Hence. ACCORDINGLY. the latter didn't want you have the knowledge of this CBCI No. the Insurance companies are required to put up legal reserves under Section The language of negotiability which characterize a negotiable paper as a 213 of the Insurance Code equivalent to 40 credit instrument is its freedom to circulate as a substitute for money. Very clearly. the subject CBCI was acquired by Filriters to form part of its legal and capital reserves. and therefore void and inexistent. This CBCI is an investment of Filriters HELD: required by the Insurance Commission as legal The CBCI is not a negotiable instrument. This is how this CBCI came to necessary written authorization from the Board of Directors of Filriters to act for the be purchased by the company. Indebtedness. TRADERS ROYAL BANK V. which are required by law 24 to be maintained at a mandated Consequently. percent of the premiums receipt and further. 1986. the sale from Filriters to Philfinance was fictitious. 1990 is hereby AFFIRMED. the petition is DISMISSED and the decision appealed from dated Q Do you know this Central Bank Certificate of January 29. latter. who had signed the deed of assignment from invested preferably in government securities or Filriters to Philfinance. you see.000. Filriters. on which petitioner bought the CBCI from Philfinance. This was pointed out by Elias Garcia. approval of its Board of Directors. 891 to recognize the transfer. Repurchase agreement. and the maintenance of the required reserve fund. freedom of negotiability is the touchstone relating to the protection of Insurance Commission requires this reserve to be holders in due course. Alfredo O. CA 269 SCRA 15 Q Why do you know this? FACTS: A Well. A Yes. A Well. Thus.courts a quo. sir. and the freedom of negotiability is the foundation .

in accord with existing Rellama and who. and Ofelia M. in Civil Case No. transfer was for ‘value received‘. on the other hand. there was really no consideration alleging that since it was sold under fraudulent circumstances. The CA had reversed the 14 specified person or entity for a period of time. DECISION SERENO. as follows: vs. all surnamed Andal. There being no factual issues raised in the Petitions. represented by MANSUETO The subject property was then subdivided into three (3) portions: Lot 1679-A. The The civil case before the RTC of Legaspi City involved a parcel of land registered pertinent question then is—was the transfer of the CBCI from Filriters to under the name of Bernardina Abalon and fraudulently transferred to Restituto Philfinance and subsequently from Philfinance to TRB. October 9. Fifth Judicial Region of Legaspi City. Thereafter. for lack of any consideration. Thus. Spouses Peralta and Philfinance’s title over CBCI is defective since it acquired the instrument the Andals individually registered the respective portions of the land they had from Filriters fictitiously. What happened was Philfinance merely borrowed CBCI from to the buyers. the transfer wasn't in protection accorded to them under the law. and with the Central Bank? Clearly shown in the record is the fact that Marissa. TCT No. 85542. and is not governed by the negotiable instruments law. HEIRS OF BERNARDINA ABALON. represented by MANSUETO The subject parcel of land. Peralta. IMMANUEL. Peralta (Spouses Peralta) for which reason TCT No. On the other hand. which the law throws around a holder in due course. described as Lot 1679 of the Cadastral Survey of ABALON. so as to entitle TRB to have the CBCI registered in its name the other parties to this case – Spouses Dominador and Ofelia Peralta. consisting of 8. 42482 was issued in the name of the Andals. the subject parcel of land. April 2005 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). the buyers. Although the deed of assignment stated that the bought under their names. they being the nephew and niece of Abalon who died . The Andals likewise acquired Lot 1679-C as evidenced by the issuance of TCT No. Legaspi.571 square meters. No. LEONIL AND AL. all Arnel Andal.for the protection. Respondents. 42254 was MARISSA ANDAL. No. conformity with the regulations set by the CB. Petitioners. 85542. represented by his children ALEX. Lotivio (Lotivio) who thereafter transferred his ownership thereto to Marissa Andal. 1995. Petitioners. CJ: Claiming that the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Abalon in favor of Rellama was a forged document. By G. 2014 The RTC and the CA have the same findings of fact. On even date. and Leonil Andal (the Andals) through a Deed of Absolute Sale dated surnamed RELLAMA. The heirs of Bernardina were claiming back the land. 1679-B. THE FACTS G. but differ in their legal conclusions. Lot 1679-A was sold to Spouses Dominador P. Giving more credence to rule that there was no valid transfer or assignment to petitioner. Jr. ARNEL AND AL. vs. findings of fact of the CA in CA-G. Branch 5. we adopt the SPOUSES DOMINADOR PERALTA AND OFELIA PERALTA. and claiming further that they acquired the subject property by succession. 42821 in their favor on December 27.R. HEIRS OF BERNARDINA ABALON.R. Lot 1679-C. Leonil and Arnel. a sister corporation. (O) 16 was cancelled and in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. JULIUS and SYLVIA. 42108 was issued in the name of Rellama. in turn. 9243. 183448 June 30. no valid title passed involved.R. subdivided the subject property and sold it separately to law. was originally covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. Lot ABALON. No.R. who were now title holders of the Filriters. It appears that a Deed of Absolute Sale was executed over the subject property in favor of Restituto M. The transfer of the instrument from Philfinance to TRB was merely an assignment. averred that they were buyers in good faith and sought the assignment made is a complete nullity. was first sold to Eduardo PERALTA AND OFELIA PERALTA. and HEIRS of RESTITUTO RELLAMA. 183464 virtue of such conveyance OCT No. Rellama (Rellama) on June 10. This Before us are the consolidated Petitions for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of freedom in negotiability is totally absent in a certificate of the Rules of Court assailing the 30 May 2007 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals indebtedness as it merely acknowledges to pay a sum of money to a (CA) Seventeenth Division in CA-G. 1995. CV No. 1975. (O) 16 and registered in the name of Bernardina x-----------------------x Abalon (Abalon). Furthermore. SPOUSES DOMINDOR issued in their names. Lot 1679-B.

under five noted that the duplicate copy of OCT No. the court a quo’s decision reads: WHEREFORE. The counterclaims by [sic] the defendants are all dismissed. They averred that the owner’s duplicate copy of Oct NO. The dispositive portion of duplicate copy of the said title got lost in 1976 after the same was delivered to him. they alleged that Abalon had always been in possession of the subject property through 1. upon approval. and then his son. Arnel Andal[. the defendants-appellants and the Heirs of Restituto Rellama. The fact that case below against Rellama. (O) 16 was sold to him and that the owner’s presentation of such forged instrument is null and void.] and 42482. who filed their separate answers to the complaint. the herein only a xerox copy of the purported deed of sale between Rellama and Abalon was defendants-appellants and the Bank of the Philippines [sic] Islands which was later presented before the Register of Deeds for registration and the absence of such dropped as a party defendant. 42255. Ruperta embracing Lot 1679 in the name of Bernardina Abalon into the official files Bellen. Ordering the defendants Marissa Andal. they mainly alleged that they are buyers in good faith and for value. filed a demurrer to evidence. However.] and time they made the purchase.. on the other hand. that Rellama was able to cause the cancellation of OCT appellees bears [sic] the perforated serial number B 221377. (O) 16 in his favor in of Oct No. 10648 is a (mere) strategem [sic] fraudulently a xerox copy of the alleged forged deed of absolute sale and the order granting the concocted . During the trial. In his answer.without issue. 2005. on thereafter. Spouses Peralta. 42821 [. (O) 16 had always been judgment is rendered as follows.00 is genuine and that the duplicate copy of OCT No. the court a quo It was alleged in their Complaint and subsequent Amended Complaint. for the issuance of a fabricated (second) owner’s duplicate certificate issuance of a second owner’s duplicate copy of OCT No. and him upon the execution of the said deed of transfer. (O) 16 in the hands of the plaintiffs- separate causes of action. After the plaintiffs-appellees rested their case. The different occasions. (O) 16 in the name of Abalon . they averred that in 1995 the defendants-appellants were title No. it was delivered to them. xerox copy on the official files of the said Office made the court a quo conclude that the said document was a mere forgery. the court a quo rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs- appellees and ordered the restoration of OCT No. It said that any subsequent registration procured by the Lot 1679 covered by OCT No. 42256. which he had filed on the pretext that been lost at all. (O) 16 her tenant Pedro Bellen who was thereafter succeeded by his wife. filed their respective Defendants-Appellants’ Briefs. opted not to challenge the ruling of the lower court. and in lieu thereof the issuance of TCT No. SO ORDERED. which it held is a No. They thus claim that the titles issued to the the spouses Dominador and Ofelia Peralta to vacate Lot 1679 and to defendants-appellants are null and void.000. to wit: with Abalon and that upon her death. 10648. they said that of the Registry of Deeds of Legaspi City – a copy of the owner’s duplicate Rellama had never set foot on the land he was claiming. plaintiff-appellees Mansueta Abalon and Amelia Abalon filed the and the cancellation of the titles issued to the defendants-appellants. (O) 16" since the owner’s duplicate copy of OCT No. peacefully surrender such lot to the plaintiffs. They 42254. On the other hand. (O) 16. 42108. Likewise. He was substituted by his heirs. (O) 16 has not Miscellaneous Cadastral Case No. 42108 in his own name convincing proof of its authenticity and genuineness. Ordering the restoration of Original Certificate of Title No. On the other hand. Heirs of Rellama. Rellama passed away. It thus stated that from which the defendants-appellants derived their own titles. able to wrest possession of the subject property from Godofredo Bellen. (O) 16 had been delivered to as litigation expenses. Leonil Andal. Ordering the defendants to pay the costs of suit. and the Andals. upon presentation of "Miscellaneous Cadastral Case No. 4. they took possession thereof and retained Godofredo as their any and all transfer certificates of title succeeding Original Certificate of own tenant. Godofredo Bellen. Ordering the defendants to pay the plaintiffs the amount of ₱50. They further alleged that certificate embodying the technical description of Lot 1679 forming official after the ownership over the subject property was transferred to them upon the part of the record as Exhibit "D" – as well as ordering the cancellation of death of Abalon. instead of presenting their own Spouses Peralta and the Andals filed their separate Notices of Appeal and evidence.3 On April 14. Rellama alleged that the deed of absolute sale executed by Abalon 3.. (O) 16 – including Transfer Certificates (sic) of Title Nos. As for Spouses Peralta and the Andals. alleged that the defendants-appellants are not buyers in good faith as they were aware that the subject land was in the possession of the plaintiffs-appellees at the 2. [p]remises [c]onsidered.

(O) 16 was allegedly lost in 1976. It observed that when the original copy of OCT No. filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the said CA Decision pertaining to the portion that declared them as buyers in bad The CA also found no evidence to show that Rellama exercised dominion over the faith which accordingly nullified the title issued to them. 85542. Lastly. 9 On several issues. The genuineness and due execution of the said leasehold agreement The heirs of Abalon filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the 30 May 2007 was uncontroverted by the parties.12 OCT No. Who among the parties were entitled to their claims for damages. that the land title issued in their favor was valid. finding no evidence that would rebut this presumption. CV No.4 1.8 which in this case was the Deed of Sale that Bernardina executed in favor of Rellama. lists the concluded that the heirs of Abalon had acquired the subject property by ordinary following issues: acquisitive prescription and thus had every right to attack every document that intended to divest them of ownership thereof. who were adjudged by the appellate court as buyers in good faith. Transfer Certificate of Title No. they are circumstances surrounding the sale of the subject property showed badges of ordered to vacate the land covered thereby and to surrender possession fraud or forgery against Rellama. despite claiming to have acquired it in 1975. 14 THE ISSUES The CA also ruled that the heirs of Bernardina Abalon had the legal standing to question the sale transaction between Rellama and their predecessor-in-interest. 85542 – raised photocopy of TCT No. the CA noted that he did not On 10 June 2008. which he had executed with Abalon. Whether the Andals and Spouses Peralta were buyers in good faith and for value WHEREFORE.R. the Seventeenth Division of the Court of Appeals promulgated its 2. No. It found that Abalon had not parted with her thereof in favor of the plaintiffs-appellees. 42108 when they bought the property from Rellama.R. To the appellate court. the appellate court a) The case for annulment should have been dismissed because the considered the Spouses Peralta as buyers in bad faith for relying on a mere purported Deed of Sale executed by Abalon and Rellama was not introduced in evidence and thus. because he had not introduced improvements on the property. docketed as G.11 notarized contract of leasehold executed by Abalon with Ruperta Bellen on 11 June 1976. for their part. it accorded the Andals the presumption of good faith. insofar as the CA declared the Andals to be buyers in good faith of the that Abalon could not have leased the subject parcel of land to Bellen if the former subject property and. Whether the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Abalon in favor of Rellama was spurious The dispositive portion of the assailed CA Decision in CA-G. Transfer Certificate of Title No. (O) 16. As proof. On this basis. it took him almost 20 years to take steps to judicially reconstitute under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the 30 May 2007 Decision in CA- a copy thereof. thus. both in the names of Andals. are held legal and valid.10 1. Spouses Peralta filed with this Court a Petition for Review title to his name.6 Further. On 30 May 2007.The Andals and Spouses Peralta – appellants in CA-G. . had parted with her ownership thereof. filed a similar Petition questioning the portion of was almost a hectare. the heirs of Bernardina Abalon. Hence. 42482 and Transfer Certificate of Title THE RULING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS No. subject property. ownership over the subject property despite the claim of Rellama that they both executed a Deed of Absolute Sale. 183448. these circumstances cast doubt on the G.5 Spouses Peralta. 42821. the assailed decision is SET ASIDE and a new judgment is rendered as follows: 3. on movants for lack of merit. while Rellama was on his way to Legaspi City to register the On 11 August 2008. CV No. which represented by Mansueto Abalon. veracity of Rellama’s claim of ownership over such a significant property. CV No. 42254 registered in the names of assailed judgment setting aside the RTC Decision.R.13 On the same day. forgery was not proven. It The Petition filed by Spouses Peralta.7 the mentioned CA Decision declaring the validity of the title issued to the Andals. 85542 is as follows: 2. the appellate court concluded Decision. which the CA summarized as follows: the other hand. The CA ruled that the Spouses Peralta is cancelled for being null and void.R. the CA pointed out the existence of a SO ORDERED. the CA denied the Motions for Partial Reconsideration of the cause the annotation of the Deed of Sale.

the court cannot disregard such rights and order the total cancellation of the certificate. title for the purpose of transferring it to another one who has not acquired it by any of the modes allowed or recognized by law. If a forged instrument may become the root of a valid title in the hands of an person purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the seller's title thereto is innocent purchaser for value. relying on the correctness of the certificate of title thus issued. rely upon the face of a Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring further. The Government. fraud against the real owner of the registered land.16 be that land conflicts could be even more numerous and complex than they are now and possibly also more abrasive. The real purpose of the Torrens system of land registration is to quiet title to land and put a stop forever to any question as to the legality of the title. A person In Tenio-Obsequio v. acquire rights over the property. should be the first to accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once the conditions laid down by the law are satisfied. No." 17 It is well-established in our laws and jurisprudence that a person who is dealing with a registered parcel of land need not go beyond the face of the title. which is ownership and does not create it. Where innocent third persons. The effect of d) Spouses Peralta are buyers in good faith and. It cannot be used to divest lawful owners of their valid and has not been cancelled. he should not run the risk of being told later that his acquisition was possession of the valid and uncancelled title over the subject property ineffectual after all. hence. The system merely confirms even if the true owner thereof has been in possession of the genuine title. the doctrine that a indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. The main purpose of the Torrens system is to avoid possible conflicts of title to real they do not have the legal personality to file the action to annul the subject estate and to facilitate transactions relative thereto by giving the public the right to Deed of Sale. as follows: . applying the ordinary presumption in the absence of evidence showing the contrary.19 therein. b) The heirs of Abalon are notforced heirs of Bernardina Abalon. What is worse is that if this were permitted. THE COURT’S RULING recognizing the worthy purposes of the Torrens system. thus title to their portion of the subject property must be upheld 15 such an outright cancellation would be to impair public confidence in the certificate of title. their Petition. the Torrens system cannot be It is well-settled that "a certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and used to protect a usurper from the true owner or to shield the commission of fraud incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears or to enrich oneself at the expense of another. Every person dealing with registered land may following issues: safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of a) The Andals cannot be considered as buyers in good faith by simply the property. because Rellama was bereft of any transmissible right over conclusive investigations and proof of ownership. for everyone dealing with property registered under the Torrens system would have to inquire in every instance as to whether the title has been regularly or As for the heirs of Abalon. Thus. because Abalon never parted with her valid. The further consequence would the portion of the property he had sold to them. except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts c) The heirs of Abalon failed to prove that they had inherited the subject and circumstances that should impel a reasonably cautious man to make such property. 183464. The Torrens system was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their b) The CA erred in applying in favor of the Andals.18 we explained the purpose of the Torrens is only charged with notice of the burdens and claims that are annotated on the system and its legal implications to third persons dealing with registered land. docketed as G. public confidence in the system would be eroded and land c) The CA erred in declaring the validity of the title issued in the names of transactions would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily the Andals. if not even violent. Court of Appeals. The Torrens system was intended to guarantee the integrity and conclusiveness of The main issue to be resolved in this case is whether a forged instrument may the certificate of registration. raises the irregularly issued by the court.R. but the system cannot be used for the perpetration of become the root of a valid title in the hands of an innocent purchaser for value. further inquiry. This would not only be unfair to him. We deny the Petitions and affirm the ruling of the CA.

Addison. We have dispense with the need of inquiring further except when the party has actual indeed ruled that a forged or fraudulent deed is a nullity and conveys no title knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man (Director of Lands vs. the entire transaction fell within the purview of Article 1434 of the Civil The assailed Decision of the CA held that the Andals were buyers in good faith. the land is Any buyer or mortgagee of realty covered by a Torrens certificate of title. is not obligated to look beyond the certificate to is thus considered valid. Legare was fraudulent. the efficacy and conclusiveness of the certificate of title which the Torrens system seeks to insure would entirely be futile and nugatory. 4838). "registration is the operative act that gives validity to the Thus. For look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the vendor appearing on the then. One such instance is where the certificate of title was inquire into the status of the title of the property in litigation. Legare. 50 and 51. the determination whether one is a buyer in good faith or can be considered transfer or creates a lien upon the land (Secs. The appellate court cited Fule v. It was with registered land has a right to rely on the Torrens certificate of title and to this title which he subsequently conveyed to the herein petitioners. July 28.. however. when the Register of Deeds issued a certificate of title in the name of Such buyers do not close their eyes to facts that should put a reasonable person John W.. 49 Phil. The public shall then be denied of its foremost therein and who then pays a full and fair price for it at the time of the purchase or motivation for respecting and observing the Land Registration Act. or any encumbrance thereon. and while it anything which excites or arouses suspicion should then prompt the vendee to remained that way. If the rule were otherwise. No 10. we made clear the a valid title. the fact The aforesaid principle admits of an unchallenged exception: that a person dealing remains that he was able to secure a registered title to the house and lot. The presence of already transferred from the name of the true owner to the forger. a nullity and conveys no title. we have also laid down the to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge ofa defect or the lack doctrine that there are instances when such a fraudulent document may become of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to the root of a valid title. sale between Bernardina Abalon and Rellama. CA. De Lara and De Guzman Jurisprudence has defined an innocent purchaser for value as one who buys the property of another without notice that some other person has a right to or interest vs. the vendee had the right to rely upon what appeared in the certificate face of said certificate. the business community stands to be inconvenienced and prejudiced immeasurably. acquired valid title to the house and lot here disputed. Land Registration Act). Ayroso. When.24 third parties were concerned. Buyers in good faith buy a property with the belief that the person from whom they receive the thing is the owner who can convey title to the property. the allowing him to retain the parcel of land bought and his title is considered valid. the Court made an exception to the general rule that a forged or fraudulent deed is We do acknowledge that the rule thus enunciated is not cast in stone. before receiving a notice of the claim or interest of some other persons in the property. the title would be cancelled and the original owner of the parcel of land indicates in quest for any hidden defect or inchoate right that may subsequently is allowed to repossess it. Despite its determination that fraud marred the the properties to him. purchaser is not required to explore farther than what the Torrens title upon its face Otherwise. 50 O. investigate the titles of the seller appearing on the face of the certificate. the land was subsequently sold to an innocent purchaser. 19). Cruz. Legare. 68 Phil. One who falls within the exception can neither be (Inquimboy vs. defeat his right thereto. which we explained in Clemente v. in Sandoval vs. and hence does not merit the protection of the law. 656.R.G. Barrera. indeed. admits of exceptions.title. No. L-13953. The appellate court reasoned that if the Razo:21 certificate of title had already been transferred from the name of the true owner to that which was indicated by the forger and remained as such. sale may still give rise to a valid title. as it held in Fule: following: Although the deed of sale in favor of John W. an innocent purchaser for value becomes imperative. he transferred this title to the herein petitioners.25 The CA concluded that this was the case for the Andals. therefore. and thereafter registered the same. For. Legare's name effectively operated to convey while Spouses Peralta were not. Legare26 as basis for its ruling. (Reynes vs. whose title absence of any suspicion. However. And. third persons.22 We have been constrained to adopt the conclusion here set forth because under the Torrens system. John W. In the said case. In the end. The registration in John W. Code. insofar as on guard and still claim that they are acting in good faith. Section 55 of the Land Consequently. where there was nothing in the certificate of title to indicate any Registration Act provides protection to an innocent purchaser for value 23 by cloud or vice in the ownership of the property. he is charged with notice only of such burdens and claims as are annotated on the title. G. 1960). Furthermore. Thus. A fraudulent document may then become the root of there are exceptions thereto. denominated an innocent purchaser for value nor a purchaser in good faith. a fraudulent or forged document of . in the considered to have been subsequently sold to an innocent purchaser.20 This rule.

even if We grant Mota the status of an innocent mortgagee. in considering Mota an innocent mortgagee the registration of titles from the forger to the innocent purchaser for value. misrepresenting the title procured by Fernandez prior to the execution sale. Act 496. Torres made an annotation of the adverse claim and sale purportedly showing that Torres had sold the property to him and caused the the notice of lis pendens. No. the Decisions 53. as in the cases for example of De la Cruz v. protected under Section 65 of the Land Registration Law. the CA correctly holder's. L-17641. his properties were sold on execution. Ruling in the negative. There is nothing on the records which shows that Torres performed any act or The established rule is that a forged deed is generally null and cannot convey title.590. L-17951. considered them as buyers in good faith and upheld their title. and Republic v.29(Emphasis and underscoring supplied) justify its assailed Decision. it pronounced that the foreclosure sale. where titles. De Legare. 791. The new title under the name of the forger was registered and relied upon certificate of title covering the same interest in a realty. 1965. "Prior tempore potior jure" as We have said in Register of Deeds v. who in this case is Fernandez. in which Mota was the that the copy of the title had been lost. 86018 in his forged document was still in the name of the forger. 31 Phil. 49 The Abalons counter this ruling and allege that the CA erred in relying on Fuleto Phil. 80687. 1963. and there was no annotation that as well as to cause the cancellation of TCT No. 53628. Court of Appeals 27 is the applicable ruling. his of the RTC and the CA show no factual findings or proof that would rebut the would be indefeasible as against the whole world. who had no knowledge of the fraudulent such a case the new certificate is binding upon the owner (Sec. and that he had transmissible rights whether Mota can be considered an innocent mortgagee for value. Fabie. there was no doubt that Rellama was one– TCT No. No. and circumstances. Thus.30 This means that all the transfers starting from the original rightful owner to Mota was the highest bidder. 144 chain of registered titles. Roman Catholic Bishop v. properties to the Andals. The issue to be resolved in Torres was the owner of the property being sold to them. and the title must be properly issued to the transferee. held that Torres was the qualifying point here is that there must be a complete chain of registered bound by the mortgage. the purchaser thereof was bound by his notice of clashing views. P. In Fule. Inevitably. February 28. as well as the issuance of TCT No. succeeded in obtaining a court Order for the highest bidder. This Court declared her as a mortgagee in bad faith because. Reyes v. 53628 registered in the obiter. however. Rellama succeeded in obtaining a title in his name and selling a subsequently sells or otherwise encumbers it to an innocent holder for value. As correctly pointed be duly registered. Meanwhile. the doctrine cancellation of her title and the issuance of a new one. No.R. the Court explained: of his title alone. converts it in his name. which resulted in the Moreover. To the Andals. at issuance of another copy of TCT No. 1989. Upon learning of the That situation does not obtain in the instant case. The doctrine would apply by the innocent purchaser for value. 546. circumstances involving the transfer from Abalon to Rellama. Saleeby. Borbon. for in portion of the property to the Andals. it was shown that Mariano had annotated an adverse claim on name of Mariano Torres. The annotation of the adverse claim was made while the cancellation of TCT No. and hence. Contrary out by Torres. Soon. fraud committed by Fernandez. No. [1916]. the subject property was covered by TCT No. 53628. His brother-in-law Francisco Fernandez. Hence.After executing the Deed of Sale with Bernardina Abalon under fraudulent obtains the owner’s duplicate certificate of title. the original owner relinquished physical possession of her adverse claim and lis pendens annotated at the back of Fernandez' TCT. 105953 – in her name. In fact. and whether of ownership over the said property. they had every right to rely on the face her title can be deemed valid. Fernandez mortgaged the property to Mota. Philippine Railway. They argue that Torres v. They quoted a portion in the said case that is clearly an In Torres. G. 7 SCRA 351. it was clear that there was a complete rather when. title and thus enabled the perpetrator to commit the fraud. Fuleand Torresdo not present foreclosure sale. Mota was able to foreclose on Fernandez’s real estate mortgage. pursuant to Section 55 of the Land Registration Act. the forger thru insidious means . April 10. citing Legarda v. 1529). however. the exception thereto. 28 We do not agree with the contention of the Abalons that the ruling in Torresis controlling in this case. and not that of the innocent presumption in favor of the Andals as buyers in good faith. it was still in his name. name.55. Thus. and not on to what the Abalons would like to impress on us. 13 SCRA 46. January 30. also bound Torres and concluded that the certificate the innocent holder for value – and that includes the transfer to the forger – must of title issued in the name of Mota prevails over that of Torres'. Philippine National Bank. Torres caused the annotation of an adverse claim on the former’s copy and succeeded in having Fernandez’s title declared null and The records of the RTC and the CA have a finding that when Rellama sold the void. cannot be applied where the owner still holds a valid and existing value. Fule v. 35 Phil. Thus. denotes The decision under review. He then forged a simulated deed of the back of Fernandez’s title. 86018 and the issuance of a new would blight his clean title. The forged instrument relied upon by the appellate court that a forged instrument may become the root of eventually became the root of a valid title in the hands of an innocent purchaser for a valid title. because the facts therein are on all fours with the instant case. omission which could have jeopardized his peaceful dominion over his realties. In Torres. Umali.D. 50 Phil. Sec. But if the owner holds a valid and existing certificate of title.

The CA concluded that a mere photocopy of the title should have made The appellate court ruled that during her lifetime. the validity of their title to the parcel of of the RTC and those of the CA. Branch 5. thus. By this act. integral part as Exhibit "1-A" and also Original Certificate of Title No." legal heirs of Bernardina.R. it deduced that the mode of transmission of the The CA pointed out Spouses Peralta’s Answer to the Complaint of the Abalons in property from Bernardina to her nephew and niece was a form of donation mortis Case No. they had been in possession of the property for more than 10 years that ripened into full 2. the latter having had no issue during her marriage. the existence and of the forger could be transferred to a third person. it still held that specifically alleged as follows: Mansueto and Amelia acquired the subject property through ordinary acquisitive prescription because. acquired the subject property by 16 as Exhibit "1-B"31 virtue of succession. We have no reason to disturb this factual finding of the CA because it is supported by the evidence on record. but Rule 45."34 In the instant case. is without a doubt. (O) Mansueto and Amelia. ownership. as well as their relation to each annotated on its back. Spouses Peralta filed a Petition for Review on WHEREFORE. the original owner annotated to the truth or falsehood of facts or when there is a need to calibrate the whole the adverse claim on the forged instrument. Book No. Neither were they proven to have knowledge of Whether or not Spouses Peralta are buyers in good faith. There is no conflict between the factual findings and legal conclusions were buyers in good faith.37 No. 183448 and 183464 are DENIED for lack of merit.that she would give them the subject because he was not in possession of the original copy. Nos. being her legal heirs. "petitions for review on certiorari shall raise only questions of through fraud. 1679-A by purchase in good faith and for value from Restituto Rellama under Doc. The chain of registered titles was broken and sullied by the other and to the whole." 33 It is further pointed original owner’s annotation of the adverse claim. 11212. Further. Legaspi City on March 2. In their Answer. and the probability of the situation. which allows only questions of law to be raised. the mortgagee was out that "the determination of whether one is a buyer in good faith is a factual shown to be in bad faith. As for Spouses Peralta.35 none of these applies to over the subject parcel of land. it erred 3. there is no evidence that the chain of registered titles was broken in the case of the Andals.These defendants [Spouses Peralta] acquired lot No. Consequently. her heirs . and not by ordinary acquisitive prescription. Thus.39 Upon the death of Bernardina. As such. page No. Although this rule admits of exceptions.36 Despite this omission. While we agree with the CA that the donation mortis causa was invalid in the absence of a will. siblings Mansueto and Amelia Abalon are the attached as and made part of this answer as Exhibit "1. before the new title in the name evidence considering mainly the credibility of the witnesses. since the death of their aunt Bernardina. we find that the the subject property. a lien had already been relevancy of specific surrounding circumstances. the CA concluded that the two siblings acquired the subject property by ordinary prescription. a anything that would make them suspicious of the nature of Rellama’s ownership factual issue. It is a settled rule that questions of fact are not reviewable in this kind of appeal. The Decision in CA-G. CV No. Under .R. 60. Bernardina Abalon had promised Spouses Peralta suspicious that there was some flaw in the title of Rellama. they causa. Series of 1996 of Notary Public Atty. of Legaspi City on the 2nd day of August 1995 copy attached and made acquisitive prescription is not applicable. faith. Certiorari under Rule 45. which generally is outside the province of this Court to determine in a petition for review. This factual finding was property. Rellama. Section 1. issue. though without the benefit of a will.That these defendants were handed over by Rellama xerox [sic] copy of in concluding that the heirs acquired the subject property through ordinary the Transfer Certificate of Title No. we sustain the ruling of the CA that they are indeed buyers in bad faith.On the other hand in Torres. Thus. his brother-in-law secured a court order for the issuance of a copy law which must be distinctly set forth. 42103 issued by the Register of Deed acquisitive prescription. the original owner retained possession of the title.siblings Mansueto and Amelia . 9243 in the RTC of Legaspi City. Hence. they succeeded to her estate when she passed away. 1995 copy of which is Under Article 97538 of the Civil Code. 26. the petitions in G. 85542 is hereby AFFIRMED. they merely relied on the photocopy of the title provided by CA correctly upheld their standing as heirs of the deceased Bernardina Abalon. death. A duplicate copy of OCT No. we sustain the CA’s ruling that the Andals their case. The appellate court made a factual finding that in purchasing On the issue of the legal standing of the Abalons to file this case."32 A question of fact arises when there is "as thereof. both of which found them to be buyers in bad the land bought from Rellama must be upheld. While the title was in the name of the forger. Otilio Bongon. (0) 16 was delivered to them upon her supported by evidence. The subject parcel of land is a titled property. The fact that they did not participate in the proceedings before the lower court does not help their case either.

petitioner completed her presentation of evidence and filed a formal vs. FELICIDAD MARDO. 2009. A "Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Pleading and to Admit Attached Supplemental Complaint for Reconveyance" was filed by petitioner which was denied by the RTC on the This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 assailing the June 26. respondent filed her Opposition to the Amended Application alleging 1] that she is the true and lawful owner of the parcel of land On June 26. J. who testified that the parcel of land subject of the application for Factual and Procedural Antecedents: registration was the property she bought ten (10) years ago. petitioner filed an Application for Original Registration of a the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cavite to issue title in her name. Cavite (RTC). which reversed and set aside the registration of title.1 a portion of Lot No. which case was docketed as CA-G. Josephine petitioner. The decretal portion of the CA decision reads: absolute sale is surreptitious. 2003. was granted a ownership. respondent managed to DECISION register the land in her name under Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. Hence. On June 10. OP- 1840. during the pendency of the case. dated April 26. On September 19. through the testimony of her counsel. 96934. 1994. the CA handed down a Judgment3 reversing and setting aside which is the subject of the amended application. Respondent. RTC. known as Lot No. Tagaytay City. the RTC rendered a Decision2 granting the application of On February 1.000. As proof of her alleged Respondent Felicidad Gonzales. On October 28.R. granting petitioner's "Application for Registration of Title. 8348 known as Lot No. however. and 2] that petitioner’s deed of the RTC decision. WHEREFORE. judgment is hereby rendered granting the applicant.R. A motion for reconsideration and second urgent motion for reconsideration were subsequently filed by respondent. Petitioner filed a Notice of Lis Pendens with the Registry of Deeds of Cavite MENDOZA. respondent presented her own evidence. respondent allegedly conveyed to petitioner. for a consideration of ₱250. Cavite. 8349. through a Deed of Absolute Sale. Cavite. she presented copies of tax declarations in the absence of any deed of registered Free Patent No. denied. parcel of land located at Barangay Putting Kahoy. 202414 June 4. Said application was amended on September 19. CV No. September 4. No. Cavite. LRA is hereby directed to issue the corresponding decree in her name based on the plan and technical description of said land as submitted by the applicant and On December 22. however. 1979." Consequently. 1993.00 which was fully paid. situated in Puting Kahoy. 2014 but both were denied by the RTC. The dispositive portion of said decision reads: Wee. 2012 ground that a motion for reconveyance was different from an application for Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA). for titling.: on May 10. 2005 which was annotated on the title. 2000. parcel of land known as Lot 8348-B situated in Barangay Puting Kahoy. Silang. JOSEPHINE WEE.SO ORDERED. 1997. Silang. respondent appealed the decision before the CA. G. Petitioner claimed that she is the owner of the said unregistered land by A motion for reconsideration was filed by respondent which was denied by the virtue of a deed of absolute sale. Respondent. (IV-2) 15284. On September 4. Josephine however. The motion was. and the Administrator of alleged sale was falsified. this time covering a SO ORDERED. as qualified to register the subject land in her name. 2012. Silang. 1996. 8348-B. Thereafter. Respondent. 8348. Branch XVIII. covering Lot No. married to Leopoldo Mardo. respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the Application alleging that the land described in the application was different from the land being claimed . Petitioner. refused to vacate and turn over the subject property claiming that the Wee. offer which was admitted by the RTC. 2009 Decision of the Regional Trial Court. did not state from whom she bought it. sale in her favor.

Appeals should have ordered the reconveyance of the subject parcel of land to the 2012. By express provision of Sec. 14(1) of PD 1529. such fortuitous event does not affect her vested right to of the Regional Trial Court (Branch XVIII) of Tagaytay City. 1529. 647 is SET ASIDE. favor of the applicant.WHEREFORE. the evidence in not finding that petitioner’s predecessor-in-interest. which provides the condition necessary for registration. respondent Felicidad Mardo. the appeal is GRANTED. in order to avoid multiplicity of suits and to put an end to the long pending dispute between the parties. of the Public Land Act. in LRC No.D. respondent became a trustee of an implied petitioner is entitled to register the subject land under her name. The CA held. I. respondents name was fraudulently secured. the Court of A copy of the decision was received by petitioner on July 2. registration proceedings of unregistered land. petitioner also seeks reconveyance of the subject property arguing that The Court of Appeals gravely erred and ruled contrary to law in not finding that by virtue of its fraudulent registration. the period of possession of an applicant’s predecessor-in-interest benefits and is credited in The petition deserves no merit. P. Petitioner presents the theory that she must be deemed to have been in possession and occupation of the subject property through respondent. applicant-appellee’s Application for Original Registration of a parcel of land located at Barangay Putting Kahoy. III. wherein petitioner’s predecessor-in-interest respondent through an absolute deed of sale. No.D. petitioner as its rightful owner. 2009. petitioner was denied actual possession of the subject land by circumstances amounting to a fortuitous event. 1529. Under the Public Land Act and Presidential Decree No. had possession and occupation of the subject parcel of land SO ORDERED. 1529. Accordingly. among others. under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12. unexpectedly and unjustifiably continued to be in physical possession of the subject property after the sale thereof to petitioner. On August 15. The Decision. The subject application for original registration was filed pursuant to Sec. 48(b) . dated September 4. who after the sale in 1993 and despite demands from her. 8349. governs the original II. Moreover. TG. her In advocacy of her petition. otherwise known as Property Registration Decree. 14 (1) of P. petitioner filed this subject petition for review challenging the CA decision. requirement of possession and occupation under Sec. Silang Cavite. Petitioner argues that it is not necessary that ERRORS: the person in possession should himself be the occupant as the occupancy can be held by another in his name. 1529. petitioner assigns the following predecessor-in-interest. Hence. or earlier. 14 (1) of P. Thus: Moreover. having validly acquired the same from circumstances of this case. this petition. Cavite. The Court of Appeals likewise seriously erred and ruled contrary to the law and to Cad. as its real owner. the latter must be deemed to The Court’s Ruling be in possession and occupation thereof through her predecessor-in-interest. an essential element in the requirement Court of Appeals and considering further that the registration of the said land under of possession and occupation contemplated under Sec. Under the peculiar trust for her benefit. unexpectedly and unjustifiably continued to occupy the property and refused to turn over physical possession to her. No. known as Lot No. 1945. that petitioner was not able to comply with the IV. is hereby DENIED. 2012. Lot 042118-011719-D of Silang Cadastre.D. Her admission that the subject lot was not physically turned over to her due to some In view of the fact that the validity of the sale of the subject parcel of land to objections and oppositions to her title suggested that she was not exercising any petitioner in 1993 was duly established before the trial court and affirmed by the acts of dominion over the subject property. register the property under her name.

which provides that: a direct proceeding in accordance with law. the land ceases to be part of The Court finds no merit in petitioner’s argument. granted or conveyed to any person. exclusive and notorious administrative proceedings. (Emphasis supplied) . 14 (1) of P. deed of sale. within one year after the date of the land to all intents and purposes under this Decree. Certificates of title pursuant to patents. In the case of Republic vs.8 The certificate of title cannot be defeated by adverse. ― A certificate of title shall not one (1) year from the date of the issuance of the patent. This rule is corresponding Register of Deeds.D. she could not have exercised any acts of dominion over the subject Subject to Collateral Attack property which was essential to the requirement of possession and occupation contemplated under Sec. 1945 or earlier. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of corresponding decree in petitioner’s name is null and void. As she was not in actual and physical A Certificate of Title Not possession. applicants for registration of title under Section register a parcel of land only once. 1529. Umali. open and notorious possession. under Sec. respondent’s registered patent in the corresponding Registry of First Instance an application for registration of title to land.(Emphasis supplied) another in an earlier land registration case. Who may apply. (Emphasis supplied) Section 103. A and issuance of the certificate of title. is subject to review within SEC. 48. under the name of respondent Felicidad Gonzales. 47 of PD 1529.D. A second decree for the same land would be null and void. whether personally or Deeds is a veritable Torrens title and becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens title through their duly authorized representatives: upon the expiration of one (1) year from the date of its issuance. Certificate not subject to collateral attack. continuous. Neither can it be defeated by prescription. No. the order of the RTC directing the Administrator of LRA to issue a in open. 14 (1) of P. as a consequence either of judicial or predecessors-in-interest have been in open.4 possibility of losing his land. continuous. (2) that the applicant and his Verily.5 this Court ruled that once a patent is registered and the corresponding certificate of title is issued.—The following persons may file in the proper Court of Accordingly. No. exclusive. A public land patent. is a veritable Torrens title. It is settled in this jurisdiction that public domain and becomes private property over which the Director of Lands has the issue of the validity of title can only be assailed in an action expressly instituted neither control nor jurisdiction. and (3) that it is under a bona fide claim waiting in the portals of the court sitting in the mirador de su casa to avoid the of ownership since June 12. A land registration court alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of has no jurisdiction to order the registration of land already decreed in the name of ownership since June 12. and becomes as provided under Section 48 of PD 1529 which states that: indefeasible upon the expiration of one (1) year from the date of issuance thereof. and provided under Sec.9 A certificate of title cannot be attacked collaterally. OP-1840 (Patent No. no title to registered land in derogation of the notorious possession and occupation of the subject land. however. without the necessity of possession and occupation of the same. Said title. once a title is registered. when registered in the for such purpose. or earlier. It was of the view that title of the registered owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse she could not have complied with the requirement of possession and occupation possession. is that the subject land is already respondent fraudulently registered the subject property under her name after she registered under OCT No.7 14(1) must sufficiently establish: (1) that the subject land forms part of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain. the same shall be the issue as to whether title was procured by falsification or fraud as advanced by brought forthwith under the operation of this Decree. It cannot be altered. x x x After due registration petitioner can only be raised in an action expressly instituted for the purpose. petitioner insists that she is considered to be the real owner of the subject parcel of land. or canceled except in Section 103 of PD 1529. By virtue of the of Deeds of Cavite. 042118-03-6111) of the Registry (respondent) had already sold a portion thereof to her (petitioner).SEC 14. such land shall be deemed to be registered Torrens title can be attacked only for fraud. Petitioner argued that the rule on indefeasibility of title does not attach to titles secured by fraud and misrepresentation. 1945. As The CA denied the application on the issue of open. she alleged that the A more important consideration. – Whenever public land is by In Lagrosa v. Court of Appeals. continuous. like one issued pursuant to a judicial decree. modified. 1529 considering that she had admitted that it was not physically turned over to her.6 (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been For said reason.10 it was stated that it is a well-known doctrine that the Government alienated. In this case. since the principle behind the original registration is to Based on these legal parameters. This rule is embodied in be subject to collateral attack. the owner may rest secure.

Applying the abovementioned doctrine.13 In this case. even What cannot be collaterally attacked is the certificate of title and not the title or assuming that the petitioner’s allegations are true. an land from the registered owner to the rightful owner. not permitted altered. 17 Reconveyance is always attack on the judgment or proceeding is nevertheless made as an incident available as long as the property has not passed to an innocent third person for thereof. enlarged. respondent is a trustee of an implied trust for her benefit. the petition is hereby DENIED.12 value.18 The RTC was. however. the petitioner is contesting the indefeasibility of title on the ground of Registration.15 It is an action in personam available to a person whose which should be directly raised in a separate proceeding filed for such purpose. because it is not a Thus. Court of Appeals. 496.11 it was ruled that an application for mode of acquiring ownership. land already covered by a Torrens title is actually a collateral attack. and such must be raised in an action expressly instituted for certificate of title. seeks to transfer or reconvey the an attack is indirect or collateral when. It is settled that an application for registration of a parcel of collateral proceeding. the same are considered as ownership which is represented by such certificate. petitioner must prove her entitlement because the respondent claims that the sale was falsified. it permit one to enrich himself at the expense of others. Its issuance in favor of a particular person does not foreclose the possibility that the real prope1iy may be Remedy of the petitioner is to file a separate proceeding such as an action for co-owned with persons not named in the certificate. thus.16 It does not seek to set aside the decree but. or that it may be held in trust specific performance or for reconveyance for another person by the registered owner. in order to avoid multiplicity of suits alleged interest. nor can it be used as a shield for the commission of fraud: neither does longer open to review. It property has been wrongfully registered under the Torrens system in another's name. respecting it as cannot be entertained in this proceeding. In several cases. The fact that a person was able to secure a title in his name did such purpose and in a proper proceeding. however. does not deprive an aggrieved party of a remedy in law. not operate to vest ownership upon him of the subject land. Reconveyance. correct in denying petitioner’s "Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Pleading and to Admit Attached Supplemental Complaint For WHEREFORE. fraud and misrepresentation. The issue of fraudulent alienation raised in the second application for registration of the subject property is collateral attack certificate of title. without prejudice. the Court has ruled that incontrovertible and no longer open to review. . The title may be challenged only in a proceeding for that purpose. under the principle of indefeasibility of a Torrens title. in Carvajal v. As she claimed that she bought the subject property for value and to put an end to the long pending dispute between the parties. alleged deed of sale and/or an action for reconveyance of the property. she can file an action for below should have ordered the reconveyance of the subject land to her as its specific performance to compel the respondent to comply with her obligation in the rightful owner." Allowing it would not have been permissible because the application for original registration of title over a parcel of land already registered is SO ORDERED. and not by a a collateral attack itself. as amended by Act No. She can also file an action for rescission. Petitioner advances the theory that by virtue of the fraudulent registration of a subject property.14 Petitioner further argues that considering the registration of the said land under The remedy of the petitioner is to file a separate proceeding or action to protect her respondent’s name was fraudulently secured. modified. or diminished in a collateral proceeding. the courts from the respondent as evidenced by a deed of sale.1âwphi1 It cannot be used to protect a usurper from the person. not in an A certificate of title is merely an evidence of ownership or title over the particular application for registration of a land already registered in the name of another property described therein.issuance of the decree of registration. Needless to state. 3322. the title is incontrovertible and is no true owner. Ownership is different from a collateral attacks. without prejudice to any remedial action by the petitioner to protect her claimed interest. After one year from its registration. being the real owner of the subject property. in an action to obtain a different relief. Registration of a piece of land under the Torrens System does not create or vest title. The title represented by the certificate cannot be changed. respondent through an absolute deed of sale. Such attack must be direct. to the rights of any innocent holder for value of a Petitioner’s argument fails to persuade. as she had validly acquired the same from Reconveyance is based on Section 55 of Act No. which states that in all cases of registration procured by fraud the owner may pursue all his legal and equitable remedies against the parties to such fraud. registration of an already titled land constitutes a collateral attack on the existing title.

Petitioner file an Application for Original Registration of a parcel of land claiming that she is the owner of said unregistered land by virtue of a deed of absolute sale. No. J.R. Mardo 14(1) must sufficiently establish: (1) that the subject land forms part of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain. under Section 14(1) of P. Pangasinan an application for registration of a parcel of ISSUE: Whether Petitioner is entitled to the subject property. DECISION The CA held. 169599. continuous. Urdaneta City. registered under OCT No. G. continuous. denied by the RTC. respondent allegedly conveyed to petitioner Josephine Wee.D. respondent appealed to the CA. 1529 considering that she admitted that it was not through a Deed of Absolute Sale a portion of the said lot known as Lot No. notorious possession and occupation of the subject land. No. exclusive and Silang. Upon presentation of evidence by the parties.00 which was fully paid. Petitioner. for a consideration of P250. under the name of respondent Felicidad Mardo. Hence. 042118-03-6111) of the Registry of Deeds of Cavite. MADAYAG. (IV-2) 15284. On July 12. 8348. Her admission that the subject lot was not physically turned over to her due to This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals some objections and oppositions to her title suggested that she was not exercising (CA) dated March 19.000. and (3) that it is under a bona fide claim FACTS: of ownership since June 12. hence. A motion for reconsideration and second urgent motion for reconsideration were subsequently filed by respondent. 1979. 1993. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the same. 2004 and Resolution dated July 15.. No. Respondent. vs. the RTC granted the application of the petitioner. which set aside any acts of dominion over the subject property. Madayag filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Urdaneta. 2001. this petition. G. Manimtim.D. Based on the legal paramaters. land with an area of 1. 1945 or earlier. Republic v. Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the RTC.R. No. ANGELA V. Cavite. J. The CA denied the application on the issue of open.: requirement of possession and occupation under Section 14 (1) of P. 164687 February 12. denied. but both were SM PRIME HOLDINGS.D.492 square meters located in Barangay Anonas. situated in Putting Kahoy.2 Attached to the application was a tracing cloth of Survey Plan HELD: Court of Appeals decision is sustained. 1529. is that the subject land is already was falsified. Pangasinan. physically turned over to her. 2009 The motion was however. INC. an essential element in the the lower court’s order to suspend the proceedings on respondent’s application for requirement and occupation contemplated under Section 14 (1) of P. It was of the view that she could not have complied with the requirement of possession and occupation On February 1. 1529. however. dated April 26. Respondent however refused to vacate and turnover the subject property claiming that the alleged sale A more important consideration. No. 2004. land registration. covering the Lot No. approved by the Land Management Services (LMS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). March 16. OP-1840 (Patent No. 2011 Respondent FelicidadMardo was granted a registered Free Patent No. 8348-B. applicants for registration of title under Section Case Digest: Wee vs. among others. The Petition is DENIED. that petitioner was not able to comply with the NACHURA. Region 1. (2) that the applicant and his MENDOZA.: predecessors-in-interest have been in open. Respondent filed a Motion to dismiss the application alleging that the land described in the application was different from the land being claimed for titling. San CIVIL LAW: registration of title Fernando City. Psu-01-008438. respondent Angela V. .

H and I in Consolidation-Subdivision Plan No. 2001. (LRC) Pcs-21329. the RTC agreed with the petitioner that the cancellation On February 20.4 Accordingly. No pronouncement as to costs. 1970. Allan V. respondent Court are declared NULL and VOID. some of which are already in the name of the petitioner while the others are still in the name of the previous owners. it was not notified of the survey conducted on June 8.9 petitioner. alleging that the court should await the DENR resolution of the petition for the cancellation of the survey plan "as the administrative case is Petitioner then manifested its opposition to the respondent’s application for prejudicial to the determination" of the land registration case. 2003 of the I. petitioner filed an Urgent Motion to Suspend Proceedings7 in the of the adjoining lots. motion and suspends the proceedings herein. to hear and determine all questions arising from an application for registration.8 separate certificates of title. On February 13. survey plan. and until receipt by delineated as Lots B.6 of the respondent’s survey plan because the lot encroached on the properties it recently purchased from several lot owners and that. 2002. SO ORDERED. On October 8. D. DENR. These parcels of land are covered by SO ORDERED. demanding the cancellation MALICE ATTENDED THE APPROVAL OF (PLAN WITH PSU NO. and the heirs of Romulo Visperas. 2003. Region I. petitioner formally filed with the DENR a petition5 for suspending the proceedings. Barcena. except as to the of the survey plan would be prejudicial to the petition for land registration. 2002. the RTC issued an Order granting the motion. G. and previously covered by Survey Plan No. respondent commenced the presentation of evidence. petitioner SM Prime Holdings. C. through the Office of the Solicitor General. premises considered. thus: On February 6. thus: cancellation of the survey plan sometime in March 2002. the Court hereby GRANTS the instant had recently bought seven parcels of land in Barangay Anonas. 01-008438). the instant case is hereby ARCHIVED. Regional Survey Division. through counsel. 2002 and February 13. the CA granted the petition for certiorari. Psu-236090 approved by the Bureau of Lands on December 29. and the heirs of Romulo Visperas also filed their respective oppositions. DENR Assistant Regional Executive Director for Legal Services and Public Affairs. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ALIENABLE OR DISPOSABLE PROPERTY The Court a quo is directed to continue the proceedings until its final WHICH IS THE SUBJECT LOT IN THIS CASE determination. registration. advised the petitioner to file a petition for cancellation in due form so that the DENR could properly act on the On March 19. Urdaneta. In the meantime. the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. petitioner filed its formal opposition. 1976. wrote THE CIRCUMSTANCES EVIDENTLY SHOW THAT BAD FAITH AND/OR the Chief. alleging the following grounds: WHEREFORE. despite being the new owner On July 17. Petitioner alleged that it WHEREFORE. Thereafter. 12 III.On August 20. acting on petitioner’s request for the cancellation of the respondent’s with the CA assailing the order suspending the proceedings. 2001. the RTC declared a general default. Inc. II. 2002. approved by the Land Registration Commission on August 26.. . 2002. the Republic. and that the RTC has the power OWNERS OF ADJOINING LANDS. PREMISES CONSIDERED. Emphasizing that a survey plan is one of the mandatory requirements in land registration proceedings. 3 land registration case.11 NO NOTICE WAS MADE UPON PETITIONER (AS ADJOINING LANDOWNER The CA ratiocinated that the survey plan which was duly approved by the DENR AND WHO BEARS INTEREST OVER THE SUBJECT LOT) MUCH LESS THE should be accorded the presumption of regularity. E. the RTC denied the respondent’s motion for reconsideration of its order. The challenged Orders dated October 8. 2004.10 Respondent thereafter filed a petition for certiorari Meanwhile. The Republic of the Philippines. finding that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in same. this Court of a copy of the resolution of the petition for cancellation by the DENR.

.1avvphi1 Consequently. cancellation of the survey plan by the DENR.20 It cites Section 4(15). we hold that. II. the power to stay proceedings is an incident to the power inherent in to dismiss the application for registration based solely on the cancellation of the every court to control the disposition of the cases in its dockets. (15) Exercise (of) exclusive jurisdiction on the management and disposition of all Petitioner contends that. therefore. Hence. The fundamental purpose of the Land Registration Law (Presidential Decree No. with economy of survey plan. conflicting underlying issue of whether the subject property overlaps the petitioner’s judgments. Administrative Code of 1987 which provides that the DENR shall The petition has no merit. once the title is registered under the said law. which properties are already covered by existing certificates of title. thus. IS NOT THE ONLY PLAIN. UNDER RULE landowners. In REGISTRATION CASE IS LEGAL AND PROPER PENDING THE fact.On July 15. the land registration court is not by duty bound Undeniably. 2004. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN FAILING TO 1529) is to finally settle title to real property in order to preempt any question on FIND THAT THE ASSAILED ORDERS OF THE LOWER COURT HAVE PROPER the legality of the title – except claims that were noted on the certificate itself at the AND SUFFICIENT BASES IN FACT AND IN LAW. it was only prudent for the classification. thus. insists that recourse to a petition for certiorari was not proper considering that respondent was not However. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN HOLDING ownership and possession. the first action are settled. compelled to file this petition for review. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN FAILING TO because it includes portions of the seven properties that it purchased from several FIND THAT THE FILING OF THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. Petitioner was. and that even if the DENR cancels her survey plan. as an incident to its authority to settle all questions over suspending proceedings must be guided by the following precepts: it shall be done the title of the subject property.21lawphil. Principally.19 THAT THE LOWER COURT HAS ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN SUSPENDING THE PROCEEDINGS AND ARCHIVING THE Glaringly.18 Otherwise. the petition for cancellation raises practically the very same issues that CASE.14 of the survey plan that was approved by the LMS. Chapter 1. But courts should be mindful of the right of every party to a speedy disposition of his case and. RESOURCES-REGION 1. SPEEDY AND ADEQUATE REMEDY IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF Petitioner posits that it is the DENR that has the sole authority to decide the validity LAW ON THE PART OF HEREIN RESPONDENT. sub-classification. counsel and litigants. should not be Without delving into the jurisdiction of the DENR to resolve the petition for too eager to suspend proceedings of the cases before them. to await the resolution of the petition for cancellation would only delay the DETERMINATION AND RESOLUTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CASE resolution of the land registration case and undermine the purpose of land BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL registration. owners can rest secure on their III. respondent argues that the land registration court is clothed with arbitrarily deprived of her right to prosecute her application for registration.net time and effort for the court. surveying and titling of lands in consultation with RTC to suspend the proceedings therein pending the resolution of the petition for appropriate agencies. the suspension will be regarded as an ascribing the following errors to the CA: arbitrary exercise of the court’s discretion and can be corrected only by a petition for certiorari. Title XIV. confusion between litigants and courts. the herein petitioner raised in its opposition to the respondent’s application for registration. every order cancellation.15 It. 65 OF THE REVISED RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE. time of registration or those that arose subsequent thereto. the CA issued a Resolution13 denying the petitioner’s motion for to the second action cannot be properly determined until the questions raised in reconsideration. the land registration court may resolve the in order to avoid multiplicity of suits and prevent vexatious litigations. since the respondent’s cause of action in the land lands of the public domain and serve as the sole agency responsible for registration case depends heavily on the survey plan. 16 adequate authority to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN NOT FINDING THAT THE SUSPENSION OF THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE LAND None of the circumstances that would justify the stay of proceedings is present.17 or when the rights of parties properties without necessarily having to declare the survey plan as void. I. it alleges that the survey plan should be cancelled IV.

D.C. Urdaneta City. The RTC issued an additional papers to aid in its determination of the propriety of the application. Presidential Decree (P. proceedings until its final determination. After all. premises considered. alleging that the court should await the DENR resolution of the petition for the cancellation of the survey plan "as the administrative case is Should the court find it difficult to do so. order suspending the proceedings. and that the RTC has the power to hear and determine all questions to submit a report on whether the subject property has already been registered and arising from an application for registration. The petitioner filed an Urgent Motion to Suspend Proceedings in of any adjoining land.23 It may. – The court may require facts to be stated in the application in addition to those order suspending the proceedings. some of which parcel of land or a portion thereof already covered by a previous land registration. Finding that the RTC committed grave abuse of prescribed by this Decree not inconsistent therewith and may require the filing of discretion in suspending the proceedings.R. ocular inspection. 21. can now hear and decide even controversial and SM PRIME HOLDINGS. the court may require the filing of prejudicial to the determination" of the land registration case. Emphasizing that a survey plan is one of the based on Section 21 of P.28 In that case. the RTC agreed with the petitioner that the cancellation of the survey plan would be prejudicial to the petition for land registration. a land registration court has the duty to to the application was a tracing cloth of a Survey Plan approved by the Land determine whether the issuance of a new certificate of title will alter a valid and Management Services (LMS) of the Department of Environment and Natural existing certificate of title. Attached In view of the nature of a Torrens title. The CA ratiocinated that the survey plan which was duly approved by the DENR should be accorded the presumption of The court may also directly require the DENR and the Land Registration Authority regularity.) No. 2009 confers jurisdiction upon a court. Pangasinan. registration courts. Pangasinan an application for registration of a parcel of land with an area of 1. covered by certificates of title. Urdaneta the petitioner and its predecessors-in-interest. like what the court did in Carvajal v. No."29 No. contentious cases. 22 When the law Respondent.It is well to note at this point that.D.. Case No. and determine all questions that arise from a petition for registration. 2004 and Resolution dated July 15. 1529) is to finally settle title to real property in order to preempt any question on the legality of the title – except claims that were noted on the certificate itself WHEREFORE. INC. vs. we commended such move by Issue: Whether the court has jurisdiction over registration of lands over the DENR the land registration court for being "in accordance with the purposes of the Land Held: The fundamental purpose of the Land Registration Law (Presidential Decree Registration Law. Madayag filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Urdaneta. No. Court of Appeals. in its bid to avoid multiplicity of suits and to continue with the proceedings in L. 164687  February 12. 2004 are Consequently.R. Inc. The Court of at the time of registration or those that arose subsequent thereto. Pangasinan is DIRECTED to secure on their ownership and possession. Petitioner. as well as those involving substantial issues. 25 which is not allowed by demanded the cancellation of the respondent’s survey plan because the lot law.1avvphi1 Appeals Decision dated March 19. Land SO ORDERED. the latter is deemed to have all the necessary powers to exercise such jurisdiction to make it effective. Region 1.26 But the RTC need not wait for the decision of the DENR in the petition to encroached on the properties it recently purchased from several lot owners and cancel the survey plan in order to determine whether the subject property is that.27 the land registration case.492 square meters located in Barangay Anonas. a survey plan precisely approved by the Land Registration Commission and by the Bureau of Lands. constitutes a collateral attack on the existing title. The Regional Trial Court of Urdaneta. ANGELA V.24 An application for registration of an already titled land Resources (DENR). the petition is DENIED. hear Facts: Angela V.. eliminated the distinction between the general jurisdiction vested in the RTC and the latter’s limited jurisdiction when acting merely as a land registration court. U-1134 and to resolve the same promote the expeditious resolution of cases. petitioner filed its formal opposition alleging that allegation based on the respondent’s survey plan vis-à-vis the certificates of title of it had recently bought seven parcels of land in Barangay Anonas. Requirement of additional facts and papers. The court may now verify this survey conducted. 1529: mandatory requirements in land registration proceedings. Subsequently. as such. Petitioner posits that it is the DENR . serves to establish the true identity of the land to ensure that it does not overlap a These parcels of land are covered by separate certificates of title. SM Prime Holdings. the CA granted the petition and declared the order of the RTC null and void and directed the court to continue the any additional papers. MADAYAG. San Fernando City. G. Respondent thereafter filed a petition assailing the SEC. despite being the new owner of the adjoining lots. therefore. it was not notified of the already titled or forms part of already titled property. 1529 with dispatch. once the title is registered under the said law. are already in the name of the petitioner while the others are still in the name of the and to forestall the possibility that it will be overlapped by a subsequent registration previous owners. owners can rest AFFIRMED.

53028. the land registration court may resolve the declaration of nullity of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. executed by a certain registration courts. Montalban distinction between the general jurisdiction vested in the RTC and the latter’s (now Rodriquez). QUINTO. FELIX B. and now in the name of registered and covered by certificates of title. ALICIA ASTROLOGO. ALECIA J. pray for the reversal of the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. NICOLAS. DAVID R. Chapter 1. sub-classification.D. EVANGELISTA. 670 was subsequently EVANGELISTA. Title XIV.R. petitioners alleged that they occupied and possessed expeditious resolution of cases.[2] dismissing petitioners Complaint for the title of the subject property. It cites Section 4(15). in its bid to avoid multiplicity of suits and to promote the In their Complaint. Isabel NEMENCIO C. Mandaluyong. Presidential Decree (P. Manahan y Francisco. Ismael Favila certificate of title. in respondent’s survey plan vis-à -vis the certificates of title of the petitioner and exchange for the labor and work done on the Subject Property by the petitioners its predecessors-in-interest. 670 was issued in the name of respondents mother. Province of Rizal (Subject Property). 205270. Taguig. petitioners the application for registration based solely on the cancellation of the survey plan. jurisdiction on the management and disposition of all lands of the public domain vs. Rizal.000 square meters. TEMERAS. respondent. & TEODORA C.[1] affirming the Order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Mateo. After all.) No. Bulacan. J. But the RTC Rodriguez. DE LA TORRE. 1529 eliminated the parcels of land.[4] the true identity of the land to ensure that it does not overlap a parcel of land or a Petitioners came by information that respondent was planning to evict them portion thereof already covered by a previous land registration. therefore. 10248. Without delving into the jurisdiction of the DENR to resolve the petition for 64957. determine all questions that arise from a petition for registration. Acting as Attorney-in-Fact pursuant to a Special Power of Attorney need not wait for the decision of the DENR in the petition to cancel the survey plan executed by his mga kapatid on 25 February 1965. petitioners. as well as those involving substantial issues. a land registration court has the duty to determine Quezon City. EUSEBIA V. can now hear and decide even controversial and Ismael Favila y Rodriguez. CARMELINO M. Makati. pursuant to Decree No. The whole property covered by OCT No. Batangas. Pasig. Barangay San Rafael. No. CARULLO. as an incident to its authority to settle all questions over Branch 77. TRINIDAD LUMIQUED.: cancels her survey plan. nature of a Torrens title. approved by the LMS. in Case No. the latter is deemed to have all the necessary According to the Deeds of Assignment. Their investigations revealed that the Subject Property was included in land. dated 15 April 1994 and 02 June 1994. TABLADA. which extended to Paraaque. An application for registration of an already titled land constitutes claimed to be one of the heirs and successors-in-interest of Don Hermogenes a collateral attack on the existing title. MILA G. DECISION respondent argues that the land registration court is clothed with adequate authority to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties. BUENA. 670. PASCUAL G. Administrative RUFINO INFANTE. TISBE. SALVADOR I. awarded to Don Hermogenes whether the issuance of a new certificate of title will alter a valid and existing Rodriguez by the Queen of Spain and evidenced by a Spanish title. It is well to note at this point that. Pasay. we hold that. dated 13 February 1913. Land of Assignment. Code of 1987 which provides that the DENR shall (15) Exercise (of) exclusive LUZMINIDA QUINIQUINI. LEBRADA A. COLEGADO. Las Pias. It may. RAMOS. 8502 of the Court of Land Registration of the SOFONIAS E. as such.[5] OCT No. which is not allowed by law. in Civil Case No. the Subject Property was part of a powers to exercise such jurisdiction to make it effective. assigning portions of the Subject Property already titled property. No. Caloocan. Two of the petitioners had actually received notices to possibility that it will be overlapped by a subsequent registration of any adjoining vacate. and Rizal. 1220. and serve as the sole agency responsible for classification. and three other individuals. SANTIAGO. Ismael Favila signed the in order to determine whether the subject property is already titled or forms part of aforementioned Deeds of Assignment. the land registration court is not by duty bound to dismiss In this Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. LUIS B. all originating from OCT No. N-39258 and Authority to submit a report on whether the subject property has already been No. properties without necessarily having to declare the survey plan as void. Philippine Islands. BUENA.[3] contentious cases. When the law confers jurisdiction upon a court. located in Sitio Panayawan. MOISES CRUZ. cancellation. CANUTO G. The court may now verify this allegation based on the to the petitioners. Cavite. CV No. However. In view of the Muntinlupa. hear and vast tract of land called Hacienda Quibiga. each portion measuring around 500 to 1. and that even if the DENR CHICO-NAZARIO. and to forestall the from the Subject Property. adjudicated in favor of Isabel Manahan Santiago (formerly Isabel Manahan y . a survey plan precisely serves to establish and their predecessors. respondent. 670 and all other titles underlying issue of whether the subject property overlaps the petitioner’s emanating therefrom. TORIBIO C. surveying and titling of lands in consultation with appropriate agencies. 281660. by virtue of several Deeds limited jurisdiction when acting merely as a land registration court.that has the sole authority to decide the validity of the survey plan that was DE LOS REYES. The court may also directly require the DENR and the Land Registration Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCTs) No.

670 was not signed by a duly authorized officer. (2) Material data Lastly.. Finding credence and giving weight to Act. which was issued in 1913 or more than 83 years prior to of title through the Office of the Solicitor General. did not indefeasible and conclusive against the petitioners and the whole world. on the other hand. 783 was appealed to the Court of Appeals. without basis in law and in fact[8] presented their lone witness. 10248 referred to in OCT No. the State through the Office of the Solicitor General should file the . the year it was issued. and the filing of the Complaint by the petitioners. a land illegally titled in the name of private individual. Remigio San Pascual. After the given period. although also located in the Province of the decision in Civil Case No. Isabel Manahan Santiago executed a Deed of Donation transferring the property to her son.D. Hon. As an affirmative defense.[13] 1968. In its decision.[14] and spurious. (5) Decree No. T-53028 was public officials concerned in the performance of their regular duties and functions issued exclusively in the name of Isabel Manahan Santiago. Subject Property. 10248 was issued over a property other this case on which the defendants have built their houses and shanties Although than the one described in OCT No. an action for declaration Torrens certificates of title in the name of respondent and his predecessors-in- of nullity of respondents certificates of title on the basis that OCT No. Even assuming arguendo that the petitioners entered and occupied the 281660. respondent denied knowing the petitioners. on which dated 05 February 1999. 670 pointed out by petitioners were that: (1) OCT No. respondent claimed that the petitioners had no Rodriguez of the trial court. 892. Among the defects of OCT No. During said hearing. was not printed on the Official Form used in 1913. it must be presumed that the questioned land titles were issued by the 3. et al. malicious. bereft of any right or interest. He pointed out that any action against his certificates of title already prescribed. et al. petitioners fabricated. Engineer Placido Naval. N-39258 and No.) No. since the Subject Property was already covered by Petitioners filed with the trial court. 496. respondent herein. the trial court issued the questioned Order. On 28 December pursuant to the law. Respondent. and (6) Decree No. No. Engineer Naval answered that a parcel of land titled legal capacity to file the Complaint.[15] Respondent filed his Answer with Prayer for Preliminary Hearing on the Affirmative Defenses on 03 July 1996. a supposed expert on land registration laws. Emmanuel M. Macario Peralta. threatening to therein were merely handwritten and in different penmanships. they did so as mere intruders. Presidential Decree (P.[11] within six months from effectivity of the decree. petitioners were not included as defendants in Civil Case No. Carmelino M. squatters and illegal occupants. required all holders of Spanish titles or grants to apply for registration of their After considering the testimonial and documentary evidence presented. was neither indefeasible nor imprescriptible. Consequently.[7] become final and executory for failure of the defendants-appellants therein to file their appellants brief. defenses as prayed for by the respondent. on is no doubt that the plaintiff (respondent herein) is the owner of the land involved in 13 February 1913. which failed to indicate the Survey Plan which was the basis of the Technical Description respondent instituted before the same trial court against squatters occupying the of the property covered by the title. OCT No.. v.[10] respondent argued that the Spanish title. annulment or cancellation of the title. At the very least. the State. the trial court held that there 670 was issued only on 11 April 1913. through the Office of the Solicitor General. the Complaint stated no cause of illegally would revert to the State if the Torrens title was cancelled. are incontrovertible. dismissing petitioners Complaint. [t]he allegations in In the instant case. Santiago v. much less. 670 evict them. which took effect on 16 February 1976. a parcel of land titled illegally will revert to the State Respondent also raised the affirmative defense of prescription.[6] Subject Property. 670 was fake interest. the Order of the trial court read: Moreover. otherwise known as the Land Registration is inclined not to grant plaintiffs (sic) prayer. and thus. 670. 670 was issued earlier. et al. and Pinagcamaligan Indo-Agro Development Corporation v. Muoz.Francisco). it had Rizal. while OCT No. it is crystal clear that. then OCT No. this Court lands under Republic Act No. and that it was action. [9] present any evidence but relied on all the pleadings and documents he had so far submitted to the trial court. it is the State who must file the corresponding case of annulment regard to OCT No. who subsequently secured TCTs No. [12] 1.. respondent contended. After the preliminary hearing. 670 was genuine and authentic on its face. on 29 April 1996. 670 was cancelled and TCT No. that should file for the 670 and all of respondents land titles derived therefrom. Jr. to quote: Spanish titles could no longer be used as evidence of land ownership in any registration proceedings under the Torrens System. In fact.[16] Citing the consolidated cases of Director of Forestry. In response to questions from Honorable Judge Francisco C. Pertinent portions of petitioners based their claim. the trial court held a preliminary hearing on the affirmative the Complaint would readily and patently show that the same are flimsy. 670. dated 01 July 1992. et al. especially with 2. 205270 in his own name. (3) OCT No. Hon. (4) It 783 entitled. According to respondent. Since OCT No. plaintiffs (sic) lone but expert witness.

possession even if we set aside. i.[20] this Court. used as evidence of land ownership in any registration proceedings under the Torrens System. the same does not hold water in a manner of speaking. Suffice it to say that there is no showing. Only now that it is being questioned. this case was said plaintiffs do not have the legal standing to bring before this Court the instant initiated and filed by private individuals. LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS. dated 05 February 1999. effectivity of this decree (February 16. complaint contradicting their witness (sic) testimony. the (sic) own testimony wrote finis to their case. Whether the lower courts dismissal of petitioners complaint should be There is no need to elaborate on the above-cited provisions of PD 892 as they are proscribed by the rules of evidence it being done sans ample evidence self-explanatory. Explicit is the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the recent case of Heirs of Marciano Nagano v. which was indisputably not based on facts but REGISTRATION AND OF THE USE OF SPANISH TITLES AS EVIDENCE IN conclusion of law. in its Decision.. thus there arises a doubt as to its existence and execution not to mention doubt on the existence of his mga kapatid who as alleged executed said Thus. that plaintiffs complied except bare allegations of respondent. DISCONTINUANCE OF THE SPANISH MORTGAGE SYSTEM OF Navals testimony. Court of Appeals. otherwise known as the Land Registration Act. From the record.e. alleged Special Power of Attorney executed in his favor by his mga kapatid on The Court of Appeals denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration in its February 23. within six (6) months from the . 496. And judging from the said This being the case and likewise being clear that plaintiffs were not the lawful testimony alone aforecited. defendants (sic) title especially so with the mother title OCT 670 was entered and issued in 1913 or more than Eighty Three (83) years ago.[18] petitioners appealed both Orders of the trial court to the Rodriguez and the plaintiffs. 1976). Spanish titles cannot be 1997). unwittingly sealed their fate [17] As to the documentary evidence. and thus plaintiffs were never the The opinion of this Court anent the testimony of the witness is not without basis. but said Special Power of Attorney was not presented before Resolution. 141. sad to say. petitioners filed this Petition for Review [21] under Rule 45 of the Rules Special Power Attorney (sic) in his favor. To reiterate. the truth that plaintiffs (sic) claim were based on barred Spanish Title/s. with the said law i.e. Why? Because the said Deed of Assignment/s which were based on I. the principal issue in this case is for the declaration of nullity of of the Solicitor General who must initiate and file a case of this nature when title to defendants title. claim ownership and possession of the subject parcel of land. dismissing petitioners Complaint. dated 14 February 2003. 892 i. raising the following issues and praying for the reversal of the aforementioned Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the Order of dismissal of the trial court: Even if this Court granting arguendo would admit the authenticity of said Deeds of Assignment/s. dated 29 July 2002. having gone through with the Deed of After the trial court denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration in its Order. Whether the lower courts dismissal of the petitioners complaint should be Spanish title have lost their evidentiary value pursuant to the Presidential Decree proscribed by the rules of evidence it being based inter alia on Engr. The above quoted testimony is straight from horse (sic) mouth so to speak as this was the testimony of the plaintiffs (sic) expert witness. II. for they did not comply with PD 892.. plaintiffs (sic) cause [of action] is bound to fail.[19] affirmed the y Rodriguez claimed in said Deed that he is the Attorney-in-Fact by virtue of an Order of the trial court. this Court finds credence to the testimony of the plaintiffs (sic) witness. for being self-serving. Assignment/s purportedly executed by and between a certain Ismael Favila y dated 20 July 1999. 1965. which has nothing to do with plaintiffs (sic) claim of ownership and a land is being claimed to be obtained through fraud and allegedly spurious. which is the principal if not the only basis of plaintiffs Court of Appeals. to wit: Further. Assignor Ismael Favila The Court of Appeals. albeit momentarily. to apply for registration of their lands under Act No. the same An action for reversion has to be instituted by the Solicitor General pursuant to not having been questioned by any party. al. that will not alter the outcome of the pending incident/s before this Court. No. corresponding case for cancellation of title.e. Plaintiffs owners of the land subject of this case. of Court. owners of the parcel of land subject of this case. but Section 101. (TSN August 26. et. is (sic) the State through the Office Moreover. instead of bolstering their case. (282 SCRA 43). Commonwealth Act No. Nemencio Evangelista. Thereafter. plaintiffs who are on the offensive and relying on their lone expert witness.

such as on account February 1965. on the face thereof.e. Spanish titles cannot be used as can file an action for annulment of his certificates of title. the latter refers to the fact that the plaintiff is not the real party. not in-Fact pursuant to a Special Power of Attorney executed by his mga kapatid on 25 being the real party-in-interest." Special Power of Attorney in favor of said Ismael Favila by his siblings on 25 While the former refers to a plaintiffs general disability to sue. admitting the action. III. It is the respondents contention that only the State February 1965. evidently states no cause of action. and the court may not inquire into the truth of the allegations. for said motion must According to the respondent. can be subject of prescription. The term "lack of April 1994 and 02 June 1994. and it is between the two is explained by this Court in Columbia Pictures. Whether the provision of P. specifically where petitioners are in admission of the facts alleged in the Complaint. The affirmative defense that the Complaint stated no cause of action. the Complaint filed before the trial court stated no cause of the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint is whether or not. and respondent hypothetically admitted motion to dismiss based on the ground of lack of legal capacity to sue. for in the determination of whether or not a complaint action[24] are two different grounds for a motion to dismiss or are two different states a cause of action. in a motion to dismiss a complaint based on The Court believes that the trial court rightfully dismissed petitioners lack of cause of action. that the test of Complaint. In resolving whether or not the Complaint in the present case stated a cause Among the grounds for a motion to dismiss under the Rules of Court are lack of of action. or allegations in the Complaint or the authenticity of any of the documents referred or does not have the necessary qualification to appear in the case. Failure to distinguish between the lack of legal capacity to considered. incompetence.in-interest. Correspondingly. It is already well-settled by now that. the first can be a ground for a Petitioners alleged in their Complaint. but for reasons different from those relied upon by the trial court and sufficiency of the allegations of fact made in the complaint to constitute a cause of the Court of Appeals. since these are deemed hypothetically admitted by the the character or representation he claims. continuous and adverse possession of the Subject Property the complaint. v. against the whole world since time immemorial. holds of an exception. and find sue from the lack of personality to sue is a fairly common mistake. acting as Attorney- stated no cause of action because the petitioners lacked the personality to sue.D. similar to a motion to dismiss based on the same ground. requires a hypothetical IV. The trial court evidently erred in making findings as to the authenticity for lack of personality to sue upon proof that the plaintiff is not the real party-in- of the Deeds of Assignment executed by Ismael Favila in favor of petitioners on 15 interest. It was proscribed from inquiring into the truth of the capacity to sue means that the plaintiff is not in the exercise of his civil rights. the question submitted to the court for determination is the Complaint. and not on whether these allegations of fact are true. Court of improper to inject in the allegations of the complaint facts not alleged or proved. i. open. On the other hand. Appeals:[25] and use these as basis for said motion. general disqualifications of a party. the insufficiency of Before anything else.[26] this Court laid down the rules as far as this ground for In his Comment. These matters may only be resolved after a proper trial on the of minority. and questioning the existence and execution of the capacity to sue" should not be confused with the term "lack of personality to sue. petitioners had no legal capacity to file the hypothetically admit the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. since such an action will evidence of land ownership in any registration proceedings under the result in the reversion of the ownership of the Subject Property to the State. Inc. or does not have attached to the Complaint. whereas that: (1) Petitioners predecessors-in-interest. physical. Stated otherwise. a case is dismissible respondent. the court could render a valid judgment upon the same in accordance with the prayer of said complaint. (2) The Subject Property was part of the vast tract of land called Hacienda Quibiga awarded to Don Hermogenes In the present case. insanity. only the facts alleged therein and no other matter may be affirmative defenses. had been in the second can be used as a ground for a motion to dismiss based on the fact that actual. Whether an action for quieting of title. an affirmative defense that the Complaint filed by the petitioners before the trial court heir and successor-in-interest of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez. Torrens system. reiterated the findings of dismissal of an action or affirmative defense is concerned: the trial court and the Court of Appeals. hence grounded on failure to state a cause of action. 892. the trial court should have limited itself to examining the sufficiency of the legal capacity to sue and that the complaint states no cause of action. In the case of Garcon v.[22] the respondent. The difference them to be false before a hearing is had on the merits of the case. for the most part. in the concept of owners. action. possession of subject land. this Court may assume that the respondent is raising the Rodriguez by the Queen of Spain by virtue of a Spanish title. and thus. (3) Ismael Favila. Redemptorist Fathers. facts alleged. Lack of legal allegations in the Complaint.. it should be clarified that the plaintiff has no legal the cause of action must appear in the face of the complaint in order to sustain a capacity to sue[23] and the pleading asserting the claim states no cause of dismissal on this ground. lack of juridical personality or any other merits. executed Deeds of Assignment covering the Subject Property in .

Indeed. in the proper courts. private respondents had already acquired imperfect title as the defendants fraud or mistake. It is then clear from the allegations in the complaint that private respondents claim ownership of the 2. without the prayer for a specific remedy. otherwise known as the Public Land these documents of title over the parcel of land claimed by plaintiff. In such a case. Hence. in the respondent. because the eventual effect of such cancellation is the reversion of the would admit State ownership of the disputed land.250 square meter portion for having possessed it in the concept On the other hand. by themselves and through their predecessors-in-interest. and calls for a title were canceled or amended the ownership of the land embraced therein or of far closer review of its decision in Nagao v. because the beneficiary is conclusively presumed to have in-interest is not the State but the plaintiff who alleges a pre-existing right of performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled ownership over the parcel of land in question even before the grant of title to the to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter. the pertinent allegations in the complaint individual. and (5) That petitioners filed the Complaint to prevent their eviction by It would have been entirely different if the action were clearly for reversion. when they discovered that the conducted to thresh out evidentiary matters. segregated certificate of title obtained therefore is consequently void ab initio. petitioners never alleged that the Subject Property was question is apparently beyond the jurisdiction of the Director of the Bureau of part of the public domain. SCRA 131]. Subject Property was already covered by Torrens certificates of title in the name of respondent.A. However. peacefully. petitioners Complaint filed before the trial court was captioned as an Sec. petitioners asserted title over the Lands and could not be the subject of a Free Patent. Barriga[41 property to the State. is the party-in-interest in an the allegations as to the character of ownership of the realty whose title is sought action for cancellation of a certificate of title illegally issued in the name of a private to be nullified. publicly. or that even assuming it was contested lot prior to the issuance of such free patent and certificate of title as well part of the public domain.[28] it declared that the State. in the name of the [Republic] of the allegations therein should determine the nature of the action. in Gabila vs.[29] wherein the Court the portion affected by the amendment would revert to the public domain. The Deeds of Assignment . open. where the plaintiff in his complaint admits that he has no right to demand the cancellation or amendment of the defendants title because even if the The Court disagrees in this pronouncement of the trial court. because even Philippines.A. continuous and adverse possession thereof. In an action for reversion. (4) Petitioners still occupied and possessed the Subject respondents complaint was premature and trial on the merits should have been Property. the courts may nevertheless grant the In the more recent case of Heirs of Ambrocio Kionisala v. No. Based on the testimony of Engineer An ordinary civil action for declaration of nullity of free patents and certificates of Naval and the case of Nagao v. 141. continuously and adversely since 1920. defendant Consequently. Act. we ruled held that that the action was for reversion and that the only person or entity entitled to relief would be the Director of Lands. openly. in the concept of owners. in successfully obtaining thereto under Section 48(b) of C. 1942 the nullity arises strictly not from the fraud or deceit but from the fact that the land is beyond the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands to bestow and whatever patent or Under Section 48.[27] from an action for reversion was more thoroughly discussed as follows: The trial court believed that petitioners action was ultimately one for reversion of the Subject Property to the public domain. Court of Appeals. The real party- from the public domain.favor of petitioners. a subject lot is. The difference between them lies in represented by the Office of the Solicitor General. as the case may be. it is important for this Court to establish first the nature of Section 101 of C. the lot in In their Complaint. physical. To determine whether these allegations are sufficient to constitute which case. since time immemorial. but rather the officer acting in his stead. which provides: petitioners action.[30] the difference between an action for declaration of nullity of land titles evidence introduced. Hence. 141. certificate of title would require allegations of the plaintiffs ownership of the This claim is an assertion that the lot is private land. on which their houses were erected. dismissal of private Subject Property by virtue of their actual. 101. No. merely on the basis of the allegations in the complaint. All actions for the reversion to the Government of lands of the public action for declaration of nullity of respondents certificates of title.A. Court of Appeals. No. Heirs of Honorio proper relief as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the Complaint and the Dacut. On the contrary. a cause of action for declaration of nullity of free patent and of an owner. for all legal intents and purposes. as amended by R. it would have to be instituted by the Solicitor General pursuant to a cause of action. title is not the same as an action for reversion. the domain or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the caption of the pleading should not be the governing factor.

or petitioners Complaint that petitioners predecessors-in-interest complied with P. ineffective.executed in their favor and attached to their Complaint referred to a Spanish title Title to real property refers to that upon which ownership is based. 892. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. as a rule. and at the or unenforceable. 892 prevents petitioners from invoking of must have a prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. 1529. or interest in. but which may nevertheless impair or affect injuriously the title to property. No. Art. and may be prejudicial to said title. petitioners claimed title to the Subject Property by virtue of for nullity of respondents certificates of title. The invalidity or inoperativeness of the instrument is not apparent on the Spanish Mortgage Law. they were fake. It further provides that within six months from its effectivity.D. legitimate interest in.[33] In their instant Petition.D. According to Article 477 of the Civil Code. attached to and an integral Article 476 of the Civil Code. Subject Property on their possession thereof since time immemorial. petitioners further averred that rather than an action In their Complaint. assert right to exclusive possession and and consequently. Don Hermogenes evidence of the right of the owner or the extent of his interest. No. on the Spanish title granted to Don Hermogenes Rodriguez. enjoyment of the property. claim. by which means he Rodriguez. Respondents certificates of title over the Subject Property appeared valid or effective. In the absence of an allegation in establish in their Complaint that they had any legal or equitable title to. but according to the petitioners. 476. and by categorically declaring all lands recorded under the face of such instrument.[34] If the Subject Property was already private An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property before the Spanish conquest. A cloud on title has been defined as follows: Property by assignment. and a cloud on their title to the same property that needed to be predecessors-in-interest could be traced only as far back as the Spanish title of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez. P. record. No. of the Queen of Spain to award or grant to anyone.D. unregistered lands. and their Complaint should be under the Torrens system. by reason of any instrument. No. it does arrive at the same conclusion as otherwise known as the Land Registration Decree. in an action to remove P.D. on removal of a cloud on or quieting of title.[32] Petitioners failed to their name covering the Subject Property. must have legal or equitable title to. 892 became effective on 16 February 1976. No. then the successors of Don Hermogenes Rodriguez . Petitioners. Since they failed to to remove a cloud on or to quiet title. Spanish titles can the trial court and the Court of Appeals that petitioners had no personality to file no longer be used as evidence of land ownership in any registration proceedings the said action. P. petitioners are asserting private title over the Subject Property. claim. the Deeds of Assignment executed by Ismael Favila in their favor. removal of a cloud on or quieting of title. by action to remove a cloud on or to quiet their title over the Subject Property. and it has to be proved by extrinsic evidence [31] the latter system. 892 title is a semblance of title which appears in some legal form but which is in fact strengthens the Torrens system by discontinuing the system of registration under unfounded. the Subject Property so as to justify their right to file an action No. having acquired portions of the Subject removed. theirs was more appropriately an their actual and continuous possession of the same since time immemorial. [35] Indubitably. 892. comply with P. themselves and through their predecessors-in-interest. Spanish title. encumbrance or proceeding which is There existed a contradiction when petitioners based their claim of title to the apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid. Thereafter. part of their Complaint. all holders of Spanish titles or Even as this Court agrees with the petitioners that their action was one for grants should apply for registration of their land under what is now P. Clearly. their title can only be based on the same Cloud on Title. Yet. then it could be assumed that they failed to do so. No. remove such cloud or to quiet the title. It is the granted by the Queen of Spain to their predecessor-in-interest. not being the parties-in-interest. A cloud on title is an outstanding instrument.D.D. can maintain control and. revealed that petitioners predecessors-in-interest based provides that: their right to the Subject Property on the Spanish title awarded to Don Hermogenes Rodriguez. The matter complained Respondent maintained that P. voidable.D. The cloud on the Spanish title as basis of their ownership of the Subject Property. record. their action could not be one for reversion. an action may be brought to same time. not yet covered by Torrens title. spurious and/or The title to and possession of the Subject Property by petitioners fraudulent. 892 divests the Spanish titles dismissed for not stating a cause of action. Possession since time immemorial carried the presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain or that it had been private property even before the Spanish conquest. the plaintiff. and hence. of any legal force and effect in establishing ownership over real property. The successors of Don a cloud on or to quiet title. encumbrance or proceeding which is actually invalid or inoperative. then it would have been beyond the power property or any interest therein. could acquire no better title to the said portions than their predecessors-in-interest. the Hermogenes Rodriguez had only until 14 August 1976 to apply for a Torrens title in real property which is the subject matter of the action.

statute as a whole. ENGRACIO F. A holder of a Spanish title may still lose petitioners lacked the personality to file an action for removal of a cloud on. No. [36] By virtue of P. the but only confirm and record title already created and vested. the confirming such Spanish title in some other form of action brought before them applicant should present to the court his Spanish title plus proof of actual (i. the Spanish titles are subject to prescription. No. legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the petitioners Complaint for failure to state a cause of action. and not just a particular provision alone. and their Spanish title ownership on the basis of the exception provided in the fourth whereas clause of remain inadmissible as evidence of their ownership of the Subject Property. either the Land Registration Decree[41] or the Public Land Act. in registration proceedings under the Torrens system. system must also submit proof that he is in actual possession of the real property. No. . P. then they could still present the Spanish title as evidence of their possession of the Subject Property from time immemorial.D. Spanish titles to lands which have not yet been brought under the The preceding discussion does not bar holders of Spanish titles from claiming operation of the Torrens system. A word or phrase SO ORDERED. Wherefore. six months from its effectivity or on 14 August 1976). 892.[38] Because of this inherent weakness of cause of action. 1996] The fourth whereas clause of P. filed and initiated after 14 August 1976. To rule otherwise would open the doors to the circumvention of P. Therefore. it is already a Spanish title. 892.[40] Note that the tenor of represented by its HEIR-JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATOR. after which. dated 29 July 2002. which this Court has ownership of the Subject Property. and the Spanish title. are precluded from accepting. are prevented from accepting and indirectly their title on or before 14 August 1976. confirming and recording a Spanish title. harmonized with the other provisions of the whole statute. An apparently general provision may have a limited application if read together with other provisions of the statute. Actual proof of possession only becomes necessary because. Branch 77. of whether the real property was in his actual possession. and give rise to the existence of land titles. . December 18. being subject to prescription.D. Rizal. without legal or equitable title to the Subject Property. removal of cloud on or quieting of title). No. but would never be recorded under the Torrens system of registration.. .[42] Petitioners though Since Petitioners alleged that they were in actual possession of the Subject failed to allege any other basis for their titles in their Complaint aside from Property.were already enjoined from presenting the Spanish title as proof of their ownership the whole presidential decree is to discontinue the use of Spanish titles and to strip of the Subject Property in registration proceedings. regardless the courts.[39] [G. Court of San Mateo. the applicant for registration of his Spanish title under the Torrens unnecessary for this Court to address the issue of prescription of the action. Therefore. In view of the dismissal of the case on this ground.R. Reason All holders of Spanish titles should have filed applications for registration of therefore dictates that courts. This would definitely undermine the Torrens system and cause confusion and instability in property ownership that P. No. 892 should be interpreted and INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE DON MARIANO SAN PEDRO Y ESTEBAN. . recognized and affirmed by Spanish title to the court to evidence his ownership of the real property. No. this Court DENIES the instant petition and AFFIRMS the Decision so as to discount the possibility that someone else has acquired a better title to the of the Court of Appeals. the courts. Spanish titles may no longer be presented to prove ownership. [37] already controverted. likewise. It had clearly set a deadline for the filing of applications for registration of allSpanish titles under the Torrens Registration proceedings under the Torrens system do not create or vest title. if such land registration proceeding was registration. the applicant could no longer present his No.D. dismissing Moreover. or his ownership of the real property to the occupant who actually possesses the quieting of. as the same whereas clause points out. are now ineffective ownership of the real property on some other basis.D. dated 05 February 1999. This Court cannot sustain petitioners argument. However.D. such as those provided in to prove ownership unless accompanied by proof of actual possession. In a land registration proceeding. them of any probative value as evidence of ownership. only short of ordering its recording or possession of the real property. WHEREAS.. title and their Complaint was properly dismissed for failing to state a same for the required prescriptive period. 892.e. system (i.D. the fact that petitioners were in actual possession of the Subject Property when they filed the Complaint with the trial court on 29 April 1996 does Petitioners argued that the Spanish title may still be presented as proof of not exclude them from the application of P. which reads: whether in a land registration proceeding or in an action to remove a cloud on or to quiet title. 103727. which is already ineffective to prove ownership over the Subject Property. and the Order of the Regional Trial same property by virtue of prescription. taken in the abstract may easily convey a meaning quite different from the one actually intended and evident when the word or phrase is considered with those with which it is associated. 892. 892 intended to eliminate.e.

HERMOSISIMA. et al. 103727 Pedro y Esteban laid claim and have been laying claim to the ownership of. The claim. Rizal. 23 SCRA 357 on August 15. et al.. dismissing the complaint against the defendants Aurelio Ocampo. NAPOCOR v. but. et al. (Sixteenth Division) and REPUBLIC OF THE It is.. Buhain. NO. or terminated.000 hectares or 214. Dominador Buhain and Teresa dela Cruz and Considering the vastness of the land claim.. Quezon City in its decision[7] dated July 7. and Victoria Chung Tiu (El Mavic Investment & Development Corporation). TERESA C.047 quiniones.. No. 212 SCRA 360 Cruz. for it is the rule that. is to be expected. ELEUTERIO PANTALEON. et al. 103727. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. Dominador D. Laguna and Quezon. Republic v.[5] [Cited cases omitted] LEONA SAN PEDRO. Court of Appeals.. 106496. Buhain. Jose D. but the Courts. et al. render judgment herein writing finis to these controversies by laying to rest the issue of validity of the basis of the estates claim of ownership over this vast DECISION expanse of real property. indeed.000.R No. continuing disagreement with the verdict. [1992]. Aurelio Ocampo. litigation must end. there the matter must rest: . therewith. CANDIDO GENER. has spoken. Court of Appeals. 144 SCRA 318 [1986]. VICENTE public policy demands that at some definite time. The said complaint for recovery of possession of real property and/or We have had the impression that our decisions in Director of Forestry. and the modes of review set by law have been exhausted. Court of Appeals. the sum of FIVE and land swindles and rackets proliferated resulting in tedious litigation in various THOUSAND PESOS (P5.R.00) as and for attorneys fees. the issues must be laid PANTALEON.. and. respondents. v. MARECO. To be sure. National Capital Judicial Region. TRINIDAD SAN PEDRO. Republic Intestate Estate of Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban against Jose G. ENGRACIO SAN PEDRO. [3] in connection of suit. Tesalona. 1894. Castro. entitled possession and/or damages with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. Hence. The heirs of the late Mariano San G. no further ventilation of the same subject matter is allowed. appears to cover lands in the provinces of Nueva Ecija. ROSA PANTALEON.. 23 SCRA 1183 [1968]. Q-88-447 in Branch 104. therefore. This is of no moment. BUHAIN. Barroga. J. Carmen Rayasco. Pasay City. an appeal by certiorari. The complaint was docketed as Civil covered by Spanish Land Titles. to repeat. AURELIO OCAMPO. Division). after the procedures and processes for DELA CRUZ.R. petitioner-appellant. judgment is hereby rendered. v. 145 SCRA 368 [1986]. and finality. Teresa C. FELISA NICOLAS. et al. lawsuits have been undergone. against third persons and the Government itself. the San Pedro heirs. Intermediate Appellate Court. vs. Mario D. This Titulo de Propriedad Numero 4136 dated April 25. RICARDO NICOLAS. et al. which must prevail. Inc. respondents-appellees. (WIDORA) v. to rest and the courts dispositions thereon accorded absolute RODRIGO SAN PEDRO. a total land area of approximately G. Antonio. Carabot. portion[8] of which reads: Caloocan City. [2] WHEREFORE. once this Court. Branch 104. JR. petitioners. Rey Antonio Noguera. reconveyance with damages and with a prayer for preliminary injunction was filed Muoz. 135 SCRA 156 [1985]. dela Association.[1] on the basis of a Spanish title. there may be. according to was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court. DOMINADOR D. and Director of Lands v. it is not their will. Widows and Orphans Ocampo. 186 SCRA 88 [1990]. Capitol 236 SCRA 336 [1994][4] terminated the controversy as to ownership of lands Hills Realty Corporation and Jose F. v. and the conclusions [G. in the appellate court and in the Supreme Court.: The following facts are pertinent in the resolution of these long drawn-out cases: The most fantastic land claim in the history of the Philippines is the subject of controversy in these two consolidated cases. highest Tribunal of the land. arose out of a complaint[6] for recovery of 173. on the part of the losing parties. the dispositive Bulacan. Arestedes S. Manuel Chung Court of Appeals. 1989. 1988 by Engracio San Pedro as heir-judicial administrator of the [1968]. innumerable disputes cropped up ordering plaintiff to pay each of the herein defendants. Bulacan to the City Hall of Quezon City and the land area between Dingalan Bay in the north and Tayabas Bay in the south. Diomedes Millan. Gaudencio R. to the best interest of the people and the Government that we PHILIPPINES. City of Pasig and City of Manila. Cauntay. Soliven. as the Case No. COURT OF APPEALS (Second It is withal of the essence of the judicial function that at some point. et al. Inc. SAN PEDRO. et al. 1996] therein embodied.. and such Metro Manila cities as Quezon City. and to pay the costs trial courts. Buhain. vs. Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. thus affecting in general lands extending from Malolos. De v. December 18.

[10] Summons were served on only five of the aforementioned defendants. 1989. the petitioner estate interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. Inc. 4136 are declared invalidated.[16] genuineness of Titulo Propriedad No. On January 20. MARECO. donations or any other shall be excluded from the coverage of Titulo Propriedad No. 313624. Aurelio Ocampo. 4136. 372592. Buhain and Dela Cruz originated was already cancelled. and (b) the decision of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan legal force and effect and that therefore no rights could be derived entitled In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of the late Don Mariano San Pedro y therefrom. 106496 namely. Bulacan pertaining to a case docketed as Special Proceeding No. Teresita G. (2) that the (3) the CFI decision invoked by petitioner estate in its favor expressly aforesaid defendants were able to acquire exclusive ownership and possession of excluded from the Titulo titled lands of private individuals. 1971. 264124. 312-B. the petitioner estate. particularly Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. the lower court did not err in not declaring the same as null and and June 10. In the complaint. 1980. 4136 is declared null and void and of no subject estate. No. all emanating from Original under the Torrens System hence. 255544 and ownership. (3) that Original Certificates of Title Nos. 106496. Central Bank Circulars dated April 7. 17874-17875. both derivatives of Original Certificate of Title No. the lower court ordered the dismissal of the complaint which eventually resulted to an Order[19] dated November 17. Titulo de Propriedad No.. (2) the illegible copy of the Titulo presented in court was not registered 1412. it was alleged.. NO. Dominador Buhain and Manuel Chung and Victoria Chung Tiu.[11] G. certain portions of the subject estate in their names through deceit. 8982. began as a petition[18] for letters of administration over the intestate estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban On February 7. a petition for review on certiorari. Inc. 1894 which covers the subject estate had been resolved in favor of the petitioner estate in a decision Not having obtained a favorable judgment on appeal. Esteban specifically stated in its dispositive portion that all lands which have already been legally and validly titled under the Torrens system by private persons 3) All orders approving the sales. 4136 nor a genuine copy thereof discovered that the aforenamed defendants were able to secure from the Registry was presented in the proceeding below. Buhain and Dela Cruz are already 1) The Decision dated April 25. for improper service of summons and against Manuel Chung alia. bad faith and misrepresentation. Buhain and Dela Cruz. dela Cruz. covering the 2) Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 as null and void and of no legal force and and Victoria Chung Tiu for lack of cause of action considering that the registered effect. Titulo Propriedad No. 353054. 614[9] and Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 4136. April 23. and (4) that the issue of the existence. 1988 in relation to letter recommendations by the Bureau of Lands. 1978 is reconsidered and set aside. 1989. of Deeds of Quezon City titles to portions of the subject estate. not Manuel Chung and Victoria Chung Tiu. 4136 dated April 25. Bureau of (5) there is no evidence showing that OCT No. the registered owners of the parcels of land covered by Torrens titles which cannot be defeated by the alleged Spanish title.[12] The dispositive portion[20] of the said Order reads: Trial on the merits proceeded against the private respondents Ocampo. 1972 hence. 1992. 333. 86404 is El Mavic Investment and Development Co. Branch 1 of Baliwag. 614 and 333 had (4) the Titulo is inferior to that of the registered titles of Ocampo. September 12. 1386. fraud. WHEREFORE.R No. void and of no force and effect. 149120. March 16. on dated April 25. R.[14] and so.[13] transactions involving the lands covered by Titulo de Propriedad No. 951975-951977. the appeal was dismissed[15]for being unmeritorious and the lower courts decision was affirmed with costs against the petitioner estate. 86404. The motion for reconsideration thereof was denied. 279067.R. Inc. the lower court rendered judgment dismissing the complaint based on the following grounds: (a) Ocampo.. among others: (1) that Engracio San Pedro (1) neither the Titulo Propriedad No. 614 from which titles of Forest Development and the Office of the Solicitor General and also in relation to Ocampo. and Dela Cruz as correctly ruled by the lower court. validity and void. Buhain been cancelled by and through a final and executory decision dated March 21. 1978 by the defunct Court of First Instance. conveyances. 1978 declaring inter against Mareco. 1992. filed the present petition[17] docketed as G. 103727. 1971. this Court so orders that: On July 7. G. owner of the parcel of land covered by TCT No. The appellate court ratiocinated: . it cannot be used as evidence of land Certificate of Title No.

[22] and ineffective as proof of ownership in court proceedings. except where the holder thereof applies for land registration under Act On March 11. Administrator Engracio San Pedro was ordered to furnish copies of the letters of administration and other pertinent orders approving 6. which is not true in the proceedings at bar. Proc. Bulacan. Diliman. 892. Quezon City. privies or anyone acting for and in behalf of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban are enjoined from (c) The Government Corporate Counsel representing or exercising any acts of possession or ownership or A. dated February 16. On March 2. 1972. laches and/or prescription. [21] 4. located. and Rizal 7) This case is hereby re-opened. On August 30. 1976. moreover. Mabini St. evidence Petition was filed by the Republic of the Philippines alleging. a Motion for Intervention and an Opposition to the On February 29. 4136 as invalid. after the jurisdictional facts were established. (j) The Municipal Treasurers of the various The consideration and approval of the administrators municipalities in which properties of the estate are final accounting and inventory of the presentation of movants. That under Presidential Decree No.[24] The aforementioned petition for letters of administration over the intestate estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban was filed on December 29. the Court issued letters of administration in favor of 496. administrator and co-administrator. On February 7. inter alia: for the petitioners was received by the lower court without any opposition. Echiverri issued an Order 1976.000. 1972. respectively. Quezon City continue with the presentation of their evidence in order to rest (i) The PAHRRA Quezon Boulevard. Camp Crame. Quezon City Esteban. 1971 The above Order was issued so as to protect the general public from any with the defunct Court of First Instance of Bulacan. 4136 and to immediately vacate the (d) The City Mayors of Quezon City & Caloocan same. 1972.00). Spanish titles like the TITULO is absolutely inadmissible appointing Engracio San Pedro as Administrator of the subject estate. to allow movants-intervenors to (h) The PHHC. That no less than the Supreme Court had declared TITULO DE PROPIEDAD NO. Manila from disposing in any manner portions of all the lands covered by Titulo de Propriedad No. . Quezon City their case. 1978 at 8:30 a. (b) The Solicitor General Manila 5) The heirs. Fifth Judicial District. the late Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban certain dispositions of the properties of the estate to the following entities: and/or his supposed heirs have lost whatever rights of ownership they might have had to the so-called Estate on the ground of (a) The Commanding General inaction. and intervenors evidence as well as the consideration of all other incidents are hereby set on December 22. Branch confusion brought about by various persons who had been misrepresenting IV. Quezon City and Camp Aguinaldo. 1974. 312-B was initiated themselves as having been legally authorized to act for the subject estate and to by Engracio San Pedro and Justino Z. agents. 4136 are excluded from Philippine Constabulary the inventory of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Camp Crame. Bulacan their possession or knowledge under oath. The petition docketed as Sp. That. m.. (k) Office of Civil Relations. No. (e) The Governors of Rizal. Engracio San Pedro upon posting of a bond in the sum of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10. Benito who sought to be appointed as sell its properties by virtue thereof. then Presiding Judge Juan F.[23] 5. Quezon and Bulacan 6) Engracio San Pedro and Justino Benito as co-administrators submit in (f) The City Treasurers of Quezon City and Court within twenty days their final accounting and inventory of all Caloocan real and personal properties of the estate which had come into (g) The Provincial Treasurers of Quezon. Baliuag. 4) All lands covered by Titulo de Propriedad No.

judgment is hereby rendered: the estate. Engracio San Pedro. the dispositive portion of which reads: government offices or any appropriate forum. by 8. settlement or distribution in and entitled to inherit the intestate estate left by the said deceased. accordingly. the New Society. the Republic filed a Motion to Suspend approved by a final order of the Court. collate. Marcos that. Santiago Gener. Pedro y Esteban should be expropriated or purchased by negotiated sale by the government to be used in its human settlements and low (b) Declaring Engracio San Pedro. Bagasao. Candido Gener. Benito as co-administrator. and Teresa Nicolas. appointment as such is hereby confirmed. 1977. Eleuterio Pantaleon. the Motion to Suspend Proceedings dated February 15. strongly recommended to His Excellency. corollary to the agricultural land reform program of 173. or any of its land subject matter of the petition considering that. except those which may hereafter Proceedings. rendered a 52-page decision. likewise. On February 16. That the Republic of the Philippines has a legal interest in the private persons. [28] the deceased Don Marino San Pedro y Esteban. as well as all other sets and credits lawfully belonging to the estate and/or to take appropriate On April 25. whose merit. to avoid the concentration of too much land to April 29. a motion for reconsideration was filed by the Republic. Administration was dismissed by means of the following Order issued by Judge Benigno Puno: (c) The designation of Atty. President Propriedad No. 1977. and. are deemed described by said above-mentioned Titulo de Propriedad No. except such instrumentalities or agencies. Rizal. belong in State ownership. Rodrigo San Pedro. 4136 of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan. of various motions to set aside the said Court order which approved the said sales. after due consideration on a case to case basis. Engracio San Pedro is hereby ordered to notice hereof. consolidate and take possession of all the net estate of On March 9. situated in the Provinces of Bulacan. or the Republic of the Philippines. and thereafter. and/or exclusions. the Republics Opposition to the Petition for Letters of quitclaims. Ricardo Nicolas. within thirty (30) days from receipt of The administrator Engracio San Pedro and the co-administrator Justino copy hereof. (a) Declaring the existence. for lack of administration to the co-heir Administrator. (c) all lands belonging to adjudication or disposition in accordance with law. the administration of the Estate. 1984. legal action to recover the same in the proper Courts of Justice. Z. (d) all portions thereof which had been sold. for lack of jurisdiction to determine the legal issues hereby revoked to take effect immediately. the lower court then presided over by Judge Agustin C. cost housing projects. 1978. and to fix the responsibilities of 1976. there is no estate or property to be true and lawful heirs of the deceased Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban administered for purposes of inventory. and Registry of Deeds of Bulacan. Benito is hereby ordered to render his final accounting of his co-administration of the Estate. filed by the Office of the Solicitor General. however.[25] quitclaimed and/or previously excluded by the Administrator and duly On February 15. accordance with law.047 quiniones or of the government. the same the public domain. Benito are ordered to furnish the office of the Solicitor General all copies of inventories already filed in Court within ten (10) days from (d) The Co-Heir-Administrator. 4136 of the ineffective and cannot be legally considered.[27] amass. Trinidad San Pedro. and all the inventories so far submitted. excluding therefrom: (a) all lands which have already been legally and validly titled under the Torrens System. to submit a project of partition of the estate among the lawful heirs as herein recognized and declared. 7. Justino Z. 1977. (b) all lands declared by the government portions thereof had been (sic) already the subject of valid as reservations for public use and purposes. issued on Ferdinand E. as the No Costs. That.[26] be set aside. Rosa Pantaleon. the above intestate estate of the late Don Mariano San Quezon City and Caloocan City. . to obviate any confusion in raised. the Court hereby DISMISSES the Opposition dated August 30. genuineness and authenticity of Titulo de It is.000 hectares. 1977. in the name of the deceased Don Mariano San Pedro y a few persons and in line with the projected urban land reform program Esteban. and to pay all taxes or charges due from the estate to the Government. and all indebtedness of WHEREFORE. Quezon. is WHEREFORE. Justino Z. Vicente Pantaleon. covering a total area of approximately 214. consisting of the above-mentioned tract of private land covered and insofar as they embraced lands within the TITULO. The said co-administrator filed by the Office of the Solicitor General is DENIED.

was filed on single piece of evidence. the boundary owner stated After the parties filed their respective pleadings in G. Hacienda Angono in Binangonan. thereby unmindful that petitioners The petitioners-heirs moved for a reconsideration of the Court of Appeals were denied the cold neutrality of an impartial tribunal. Judge Fernandez issued the aforestated Order[32] dated November 17. After hearings were conducted on the Republics Motion for Reconsideration. the grounds relied upon for the grant of the petition are as follows: On June 5. several parties filed separate motions for intervention which we denied on different occasions for lack of merit. R.R. order of Judge Fernandez who without jurisdiction. in essence. No. 1992. 1992. (a) non.[41] Act No. 103727 and therein being Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. 892 (Discontinuance of the Spanish Mortgage System of Registration and of the Use of Fourth. administrator Engracio San Pedro filed a Manifestation and Petition for the Inhibition of the then newly appointed Presiding Judge Oscar I. 106496. 4136 as null and void and of no legal force and and in affirming the lower courts null and void judgment. SO ORDERED.[34] In affirming the assailed Order dated November 17. RTC. (b) inadmissibility of the photostat Judge Puno and the decision of Judge Bagasao.[36] docketed as G. Nos. set aside Judge Bagasaos decision dated April 25. 4136 from the inventory of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. Respondent Court of Appeals was unmindful of the fact that Spanish Titles as Evidence in Land Registration Proceedings). 1978 by tantamount to lack of jurisdiction in not remanding the case for trial declaring Titulo de Propriedad No. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in not considering the and denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. 1978.[31] of lawyer. 1978. the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the Judge Fernandez setting aside the order and decision of Judge Puno petitioners-heirs. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in upholding the order of On March 11. an intestate court has no jurisdiction and over the vigorous and repeated genuineness and authenticity of Titulo de Propriedad No. both of which were copies of the said title. Fernandez. The Judges of equal rank. In G. excluding all lands covered by Titulo de Propriedad No.R.R. Respondent Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction to uphold the claim that Titulo de Propriedad No. On July 12. 106496. Puno and Bagasao and merely adopted the order of Judge Fernandez who never received a Hence. and (c) non-registration of the subject Spanish title under already final. [42] decision by invoking certain cases wherein the validity of Titulo de Propriedad No.[29] While these cases were pending before us. 4136 had been allegedly recognized. [37] 1991 en banc decision of the Supreme Court upholding the Guido title. the herein petition.1978. the and Bagasao. 103727. this Court resolved to consolidate both cases on September 15. and the November 106496.[43] . No.[40] appellate court ruled that the petitioners-heirs failed to controvert the Republics Third. Q-88-447. 1978. set aside the order of production of the original of the subject title.[39] deceased Mariano San Pedro. On May 17. regardless of the evidence. thereby overturning a prior declaration by the same court of the existence. 1978 II. notwithstanding the 1906 Guido title over September 18.[33] Second. the Republic moved for a reconsideration of the above decision:[30] In G. 4136 null and void. That petitioner-appellant as plaintiff in Civil Case No.[35] evidence presented before Judges Echiverri. 4136 is invalid on the following bases. Rizal. thus. Judge Fernandez denied the said petition. revising. Judge Fernandez was appointed by President Marcos to reverse Judge Bagasao. which respondent court grossly failed to take cognizance of. 1994. amending or setting aside the order and decision of lower court erred in declaring Titulo de Propriedad No. No. The Court of Appeals refused to be swayed Fifth.[38] effect. to wit: The petitioners-heirs of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban appealed to the Court of Appeals and alleged that the lower court did not act with impartiality First. 496 (Land Registration Act) as required by Presidential Decree No. Respondent Court of Appeals affirmed the appealed order which when it granted the Republics motion for reconsideration which was merely pro resolved a question of title or ownership over which the lower court as forma. the petitioners-heirs present the following assignment of errors. Judge Fernandez thereby acted as an appellate court appellate court focused its discussion solely on the issue of whether or not the reviewing. That the respondent court committed grave abuse of discretion which. 4136 in the name of the objections of the petitioners. after the Republic filed its Reply to the Petition for Branch 104 was denied due process of law due to gross negligence Inhibition.

[51] x x x questions of title to any property apparently still belonging to estate There is no question that. legal force and effect. consequently excluding all lands covered by the said title from the inventory of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y A probate courts jurisdiction is not limited to the determination of who the Esteban. Judge Fernandez. inventory. rights and credits of the deceased should Petitioners-heirs. had no jurisdiction as an intestate court. Court of Appeals. Branch IV. through the Office of the Solicitor General in the intestate left out in the inventory. on the one hand. the lower court in the intestate proceedings would be mistakenly dealing commit any reversible error when it issued the Order dated November 17. contend that the lower be included in or excluded from the inventory. power. and under the said court. 1978 with properties that are proven to be part of the States patrimony or improperly which set aside Judge Bagasaos decision dated April 25. proceeded without In the case of Trinidad v. questions of title pertaining to the determination prima facie of to him and that the same were taken into consideration and thoroughly whether certain properties ought to be included or excluded from the inventory and studied. in G. 1978 of his predecessors in CFI. heirs are and what shares are due them as regards the estate of a deceased person. Bulacan. 1978 is the impropriety of Judge Fernandez and liquidate the estates of deceased persons either summarily or through the act of granting the motion for reconsideration filed by the public respondent process of administration. as in the on considering that the fact that the judge who penned the decision did not hear a intestate proceedings of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. it is its inherent duty to see that the inventory submitted by the committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in settling the administrator appointed by it contains all the properties. certain case in its entirety is not a compelling reason to jettison his findings and conclusion inasmuch as the full record was available to him for his perusal. its function necessarily includes the examination Republic since. then CFI. Baliuag. we echo our pronouncement in value of the petitioners Spanish title in these cases is the propriety of the lower the case of Garcia v. argues that petitioners contention is misplaced considering that nature as to the ownership of the said properties. Judge Benigno Puno and Judge Agustin C. on the other hand. Bagasao. the net assets of the estate of the deceased to the lawful heirs. Thus. before we address ourselves to the issue of x x x The court which acquired jurisdiction over the properties of a whether or not petitioners Titulo de Propriedad No. In compliance with this duty. it is best that we first determine whether or not the lower has supervision and control over the said properties. acting as a probate court. In view of these disquisitions of this Court.[46] de Propriedad No. We held in the A corollary issue sought to be ventilated by the petitioners-heirs as regards case of Maingat v.[48] we stated. 4136 is null and void and of no deceased person through the filing of the corresponding proceedings. acting as a reviewing judge.[45] observations. 106496. the lower court became duty-bound to rule on the genuineness and validity of Titulo de Propriedad 4136 which purportedly covers the said estate.[50] [Underscoring when the Republic questioned the existence of the estate of Mariano San Pedro y Supplied] Esteban. Bulacan. Should an heir or person court. Of paramount importance over and above the central issue of the probative maybe resolved by the probate court. Petitioners thus dubbed him as a reviewing judge. respectively. with the decision arrived at is fair and just. a newly appointed judge who did not try the consent of all the parties. credits which the law requires the administrator to set out in his 4136. the court has also inherent power to determine what properties. Neither is it confined to the issue of the validity of wills. rights and credits of the deceased so as to rule on whether or not case. barring any serious doubts as to whether the of the deceased maybe passed upon in the Probate Court. it is likewise the courts duty to hear the proceedings of the estate of Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. 1978 of . Branch IV.[47] that the main function of a probate court is to settle the assailed Order of November 17. By setting aside the the inventory of the estate properly included them for purposes of distribution of Decision dated April 25. Judge Fernandez did not personally hear the intestate of the properties. rights or credits have been of the Philippines. without prejudice to third persons x x x case can decide the same as long as the record and the evidence are all available Parenthetically. invoking its sovereign capacity facie to the intestate. [52] In the case at bar. No. [44] to interested in the properties of a deceased person duly call the courts resolve the question of title or ownership raised by the public respondent Republic attention to the fact that certain properties.R. rights and issue of ownership of the San Pedro estate covered by Titulo Propriedad No. 4136 as null and void. Garcia[49]that: courts resolution of the question of ownership of the subject San Pedro estate in the special proceedings case. Castillo. it is evident that the 41-page Order dated November 17. The reviewing judge argument of the petitioners-heirs has no leg to stand accounting of the estate subject of a petition for letters of administration. but no such determination is final and ultimate in as parens patriae. In this light. with power to determine if such observations should be attended to or not and if the properties referred to therein belong prima The public respondent. thus: authority and/or jurisdiction. namely. Thus. we hold that the lower court did not otherwise. in the petition for letters of administration. 1978 and declared Titulo included as belonging to the estate of the deceased.

the issuance by the lower court of fide occupants or applicants of public lands. burden of proving it. and all lands recorded under said system which are subsequent to World War II.. G. in WHEREAS. 3344. 4136 in the name of the deceased Mariano San Pedro y Esteban despite the effectivity of P.Judge Fernandez bespeaks of a knowledgeable and analytical discussion of the persons claiming ownership under Spanish titles or grants of dubious rationale for reconsidering and setting aside Judge Bagasaos Decision dated April origin. their lands. 25. or person claiming rights under the said Spanish titles or whether or not the lower court in G. Nos.[56] In the case of Director of Lands v.D. emphasized that Titulo de Propriedad No. on the other. there is an imperative need to discontinue the system of months from the date of effectivity of the said Decree or until August 16. 4136 primarily on the affected. registration proceedings under the Torrens system. transfers. 1976. 4136 as evidence to prove ownership by the late Mariano San is practically nil and that this system has become obsolete.D. non-compliance therewith will result in a re-classification of titles as evidence in registration proceedings under the Torrens system. Propriedad 4136 was brought under the operation of P. to wit: inadmissible and ineffective as evidence of private ownership in the special proceedings case. No. 892 which took effect on under the operation of the Torrens system. et al. to WHEREAS. No. The system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage numerous fake titles that have been discovered after their supposed reconstitution Law is discontinued.[59] Proof of compliance with P. He made the following observations as regards the Titulo. is for its passage. under P. petitioners-heirs did not adduce evidence to show that Titulo de lands.[58] Time and again we have held lands under Act No.[55] Spanish titles can no longer be countenanced as indubitable evidence of land ownership.R. [57] we took cognizance of this Decree and thus held that caution and care must be exercised Section 1 of the said Decree provides: in the acceptance and admission of Spanish titles taking into account the SECTION 1. In the petition for letters of administration. statistics in the Land Registration Commission show that both cases. WHEREAS. Thereafter. it was a glaring error on the part of Hereafter. that a mere allegation is not evidence and the party who alleges a fact has the within six (6) months from the effectivity of this decree. as amended by Act. 496. 1978. and the the assailed Order of November 17. No. covered thereby to be registered under the Land Registration Act [53] within six (6) WHEREAS. 1976. 892 should be the Certificate Spanish titles cannot be used as evidence of land ownership in any of Title covering the land registered. WHEREAS. 1978.D. 892. bona Judge Fernandez disposition of the case. in setting aside Judge Bagasao's The Whereas clauses of the aforesaid Decree specify the underlying policies decision. Pedro of the lands covered thereby. we now focus on the core issue of holders of.[54] Otherwise. being subject to February 16. all instruments affecting lands originally registered under the Judge Bagasao who rendered the reconsidered Decision dated April 25.. not yet covered by Torrens title shall be considered as unregistered In both cases. ground that the said title is null and void and of no legal force and effect.e. 892. i.D. registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law and the use of Spanish 1976. on the one hand. the system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law prescription. Spanish titles to lands which have not yet been brought It is settled that by virtue of Presidential Decree No. and other forms of wit: conveyances of large tracts of public and private lands to unsuspecting and unwary buyers appear to have been perpetrated by unscrupulous . these fraudulent transactions have often resulted in Considering the definiteness of our holding in regard to the correctness of conflicting claims and litigations between legitimate title holders. fraudulent sales. 1978 to Spanish Mortgage Law may be recorded under Section 194 of the have declared the existence. 892 despite their All holders of Spanish titles or grants should apply for registration of their allegation that they did so on August 13. otherwise known as the Land Registration Act. 106496 committed reversible error in grants. 4136.Juxtaposed with this is the issue of whether or not the appellate court. Judge Fernandez. erred in not recognizing Titulo de recording in the system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law Propriedad No. 103727 and 106496.R. thus creating confusion and instability in property excluding from the inventory of the estate of the deceased Mariano San Pedro y ownership and threatening the peace and order conditions in the areas Esteban all lands covered by Titulo de Propriedad No. genuineness and authenticity of Titulo de Propriedad Revised Administrative Code. are now ineffective to prove ownership unless was abolished and all holders of Spanish titles or grants should cause their lands accompanied by proof of actual possession. Heirs of Isabel Tesalona.

"The Solicitor General, articulating on the dire consequences of SEC. 2. - Original writing must be produced; exceptions. - There can be
recognizing the nebulous titulo as an evidence of ownership no evidence of a writing the contents of which is the subject of inquiry,
underscored the fact that during the pendency of this case, smart other than the original writing itself, except in the following cases:
speculators and wise alecks had inveigled innocent parties into buying
portions of the so-called estate with considerations running into millions (a) When the original has been lost, destroyed, or cannot be produced in
of pesos. court;
Some, under the guise of being benign heroes even feigned donations
to charitable and religious organizations, including veterans' (b) When the original is in the possession of the party against whom the
organizations as smoke screen to the gargantuan fraud they have evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;"
committed and to hood wink further other gullible and unsuspecting
xxxxxxxxx
victims.[60]
Sections 4 and 5 of the same Rule further read:
In the same light, it does not escape this Courts onomatopoeic observation
that the then heir-judicial administrator Engracio San Pedro who filed the complaint SEC. 4. Secondary evidence when original is lost or destroyed. --- When
for recovery of possession and/or reconveyance with damages in G.R. No. 103727 the original writing has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in
on August 15, 1988 invoked Judge Bagasaos Decision of April 25, 1978 in support court, upon proof of its execution and loss or destruction or
of the Titulos validity notwithstanding the fact that, by then, the said Decision had unavailability, its contents may be proved by a copy, or by a recital of its
already been set aside by Judge Fernandez Order of November 17, 1978. We are contents in some authentic document, or by the recollection of
in accord with the appellate courts holding in G.R. No. 103727 insofar as it witnesses.
concludes that since the Titulo was not registered under Act No. 496, otherwise
known as the Land Registration Act, said Titulo is inferior to the registered titles of SEC. 5. Secondary evidence when original is in adverse partys custody.
the private respondents Ocampo, Buhain and Dela Cruz. --- If the writing be in the custody of the adverse party, he must have
reasonable notice to produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactory
This Court can only surmise that the reason for the non-registration of the proof of its existence, he fails to produce the writing, the contents thereof
Titulo under the Torrens system is the lack of the necessary documents to be may be proved as in the case of its loss. But the notice to produce it is
presented in order to comply with the provisions of P.D. 892. We do not discount not necessary where the writing is itself a notice, or where it has been
the possibility that the Spanish title in question is not genuine, especially since its wrongfully obtained or withheld by the adverse party.
genuineness and due execution have not been proven.In both cases, the
petitioners-heirs were not able to present the original of Titulo de Propriedad No. Thus, the court shall not receive any evidence that is merely substitutionary in its
4136 nor a genuine copy thereof. In the special proceedings case, the petitioners- nature, such as photocopies, as long as the original evidence can be had. In the
heirs failed to produce the Titulo despite a subpoena duces tecum (Exh. Q-RP) to absence of a clear showing that the original writing has been lost or destroyed or
produce it as requested by the Republic from the then administrators of the subject cannot be produced in court, the photocopy submitted, in lieu thereof, must be
intestate estate, Engracio San Pedro and Justino Benito, and the other interested disregarded, being unworthy of any probative value and being an inadmissible
parties. As an alternative to prove their claim of the subject intestate estate, the piece of evidence.[61]
petitioners referred to a document known as hypoteca (the Spanish term is Hence, we conclude that petitioners-heirs failed to establish by competent
`hipoteca) allegedly appended to the Titulo. However, the said hypoteca was proof the existence and due execution of the Titulo. Their explanation as to why
neither properly identified nor presented as evidence. Likewise, in the action for the original copy of the Titulo could not be produced was not satisfactory. The
recovery of possession and/or reconveyance with damages, the petitioners-heirs alleged contents thereof which should have resolved the issue as to the exact
did not submit the Titulo as part of their evidence. Instead, only an alleged illegible extent of the subject intestate estate of the late Mariano San Pedro were not
copy of the Titulo was presented. (Exhs. C-9 to C-19). distinctly proved. In the case of Ong Hing Po v. Court of Appeals,[62] we pointed out
The Best Evidence Rule as provided under Rule 130, section 2 of the Rules that:
of Court is stated in unequivocal terms. Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of the said Rule Secondary evidence is admissible when the original documents were
read: actually lost or destroyed. But prior to the introduction of such secondary
evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence of the

document. The correct order of proof is as follows: existence; execution; Manuel Lopez Delgado are concerned and they are found to be
loss; contents. This order may be changed if necessary in the discretion authentic.[64]
of the court.[63]
The following significant findings of Judge Fernandez further lend credence to
In upholding the genuineness and authenticity of Titulo de Propriedad No. our pronouncement that the Titulo is of dubious validity:
4136, Judge Bagasao, in his decision, relied on: (1) the testimony of the NBI
expert, Mr. Segundo Tabayoyong, pertaining to a report dated January 28, 1963 x x x the NBI in its Questioned Document Report No. 448-977 dated
denominated as Questioned Documents Report No. 230-163; (2) a photostat copy September 2, 1977 (Exhibit `O-RP) concluded that the document
of the original of the Titulo duly certified by the then Clerk of Court of the defunct contained material alterations as follows:
Court of First Instance of Manila; and (3) the hipoteca registered in the Register of
Deeds of Bulacan on December 4, 1894. a) On line 15 of p. 1, Title and on line 5 of p. 2, Title, the word
Pinagcamaligan was written after Pulo;
Judge Fernandez, in his November 1978 Order which set aside Judge
Bagasaos April 1978 decision correctly clarified that the NBI report aforementioned
b) On line 16, p. 1, Title, un was converted to mil;
was limited to the genuineness of the two signatures of Alejandro Garcia and
Mariano Lopez Delgado appearing on the last page of the Titulo, not the Titulo
itself. When asked by the counsel of the petitioners-heirs to admit the existence c) On Line 18, p. 1, Title, mil was written at the end of tres in tres mil;
and due execution of the Titulo, the handling Solicitor testified:
d) On line 19 of p. 1, Title, a semblance of mil was written after setentay tres;
xxxxxxxxx
ATTY. BRINGAS: e) On line 6, p. 2, Title, un was formed to a semblance of uni; and

With the testimony of this witness, I would like to call the distinguished f) On line 8, p. 2, Title, un was formed to mil.
counsel for the government whether he admits that there is actually a
titulo propriedad 4136. The plain and evident purpose was definitely to enlarge the area of the
Titulo. According to Mr. Tabayoyong of the NBI, there are still pieces of
COURT: black ashes around the rings of the portions which are indications of
Would you comment on that Solicitor Agcaoili? burnings. The burnings were made on the very portions where there
were previous erasures, alterations and intercalations. Understandably,
ATTY. AGCAOILI: the burnings were done to erase traces of the criminal act.[65]
We are precisely impugning the Titulo and I think the question of counsel is In the case of National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, et al.[66] Justice
already answered by witness. The parties have not yet established the Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera, in reinstating the trial courts judgment therein,
due existence of the titulo. sustained the finding that:
ATTY. BRINGAS: x x x The photostatic copy (in lieu of the lost original) of the Spanish title
in the name of Mariano San Pedro shows obvious alterations and
We are constrained to ask this matter in order to be candid about the
intercalations in an attempt to vastly increase the area and change the
question. The witness is a witness for the government, so with the
location of the land described in the original title x x x.
testimony of this witness for the government to the effect that there is
actually in existence Titulo Propiedad 4136; we are asking the question Anent the inadmissibility as evidence of the photostat copy of the Titulo, we
candidly to the government counsel whether he is prepared to state that sustain the lower courts analysis, as affirmed by the appellate court, viz:
there is really in existence such Titulo Propiedad 4136.
To begin with, the original of Titulo de Propiedad No. 4136 was never
ATTY. AGCAOILI: presented in Court. Upon request of the Government, a subpoena duces
tecum (Exhibit Q-RP) was issued to the two administrators, Engracio
We are now stating before this Court that there was such a document
San Pedro and Justino Benito as well as to other interested parties to
examined by the NBI insofar as the signatures of Alejandro Garcia and

produce the original of Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136. But no one claimed. (Oligan v. Mejia, 17 Phil. 494, 496; Villa Abrille v. Banuelos, 20
produced the Titulo. What the parties did was to pass the buck to one Phil. 1, 8, citing Sison v. Ramos, 13 Phil. 54 and Belen v. Belen, 13 Phil.
another. 202; Licad v. Bacani, 51 Phil 51, 54-56; Lasam v.Director, 65 Phil. 367,
371. This Court ruled in a case involving a Spanish title acquired by
Without any plausible explanation at all on as to why the original could purchase that the land must be concretely measured per hectare or
not be produced, the Court cannot take cognizance of any secondary per quinon, not in mass (cuerpos ciertos), (Valdez v. Director, 62 Phil.
evidence. 362, 373, 375). The fact that the Royal Decree of August 31, 1888 used
It was explained that the Titulo after changing hands, finally fell into the 30 hectares as a basis for classifying lands strongly suggests that the
hands of a certain Moon Park of Korea but who later disappeared and land applied for must be measured per hectare.
that his present whereabouts could not be known. Here, no definite area seems to have been mentioned in the title. In
Strangely enough, despite the significance of the titulo, no serious efforts Piadecos Rejoinder to Opposition dated April 28, 1964 filed in Civil Case
on the part of the claimants-heirs were exerted to retrieve this document 3035-M, it specified that area covered by its Titulo de Propiedad as
of vital importance despite the Court order to produce it in order to 74,000 hectares (Rollo in L-24796, p. 36). In its Opposition of May 13,
determine its authenticity. 1964 in the same case, it described the land as containing 72,000
hectares (Id., p. 48). Which is which? This but accentuates the nebulous
It would not be enough to simply say that Moon Parks whereabouts are identity of Piadecos land. Piadecos ownership thereof then equally
unknown or that there are not enough funds to locate him. The only suffers from vagueness, fatal at least in these proceedings.
logical conclusion would be that the original would be adverse if
produced.[67] Piadeco asserts that Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban, the original
owner appearing on the title, acquired his rights over the property by
As regards the hipoteca which allegedly defines the metes and bounds of the prescription under Articles 4 and 5 of the Royal Decree of June 25,
subject intestate estate, the petitioners-heirs have not established the conditions 1880, (Rollo of L-24796, p. 184) the basic decree that authorized
required by law for their admissibility as secondary evidence to prove that there adjustment of lands. By this decree, applications for adjustment --
exists a document designated as Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136. Hence, the same showing the location, boundaries and area of land applied for -- were to
acquires no probative value.[68] be filed with the Direccion General de Administracion Civil, which then
ordered the classification and survey of the land with the assistance of
At this juncture, our decision dated June 28, 1968 in Director of Forestry, et
the interested party or his legal representative (Ponce, op. cit., p. 22).
al. v. Hon. Emmanuel M. Muoz, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan,
Branch I, et al.[69] is enlightening. In said case, private respondent, Pinaycamaligan The Royal Decree of June 5, 1880 also fixed the period for filing
Indo-Agro Development Corporation, Inc. (PIADECO), claimed to be the owner of applications for adjustment at one year from the date of publication of
some 72,000 hectares of land located in the municipalities of Angat, Norzagaray the decree in the Gaceta de Manila on September 10, 1880, extended
and San Jose del Monte, province of Bulacan, and in Antipolo and Montalban, for another year by the Royal Order of July 15, 1881 (Ibid.). If Don
province of Rizal. To prove its ownership Piadeco relied on Titulo de Propriedad Mariano sought adjustment within the time prescribed, as he should
No. 4136 dated April 28, 1894. Scholarly opining that the Titulo is of doubtful have, then, seriously to be considered here are the Royal Orders of
validity,[70] Justice Conrado V. Sanchez, speaking for the Court, stated that: November 25, 1880 and of October 26, 1881, which limited adjustment
to 1,000 hectares of arid lands, 500 hectares of land with trees and 100
But an important moiety here is the deeply disturbing intertwine of two
hectares of irrigable lands (See: Government v. Avila, 46 Phil. 146, 154;
undisputed facts. First. The Title embraces land `located in the
Bayot v. Director of Lands, 98 Phil. 935, 941. Article 15 of the Royal
Provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, and Quezon City. Second. The
Decree of January 26, 1889 limited the area that may be acquired by
title was signed only by the provincial officials of Bulacan, and inscribed
purchase to 2,500 hectares, with allowable error up to 5%. Ponce, op.
only in the Land Registry of Bulacan. Why? The situation, indeed, cries
cit., p. 19). And, at the risk of repetition, it should be stated again that
desperately for a plausible answer.
Piadecos Titulo is held out to embrace 72,000 or 74,000 hectares of
To be underscored at this point is the well-embedded principle that land.
private ownership of land must be proved not only through the
But if more were needed, we have the Maura Law (Royal Decree of
genuineness of title but also with a clear identity of the land
February 13, 1894), published in the Gaceta de Manila on April 17, 1894

Consideration The issue.D.. v. 1893. the Titulo cannot be superior to the Torrens Titles of cast great clouds of doubt that hang most conspicuously over Piadecos private respondents Buhain.not its evidence (Rollo of L-24796. Maria Socorro. 4136 is valid or not. That decree required a second land ownership by virtue of P.[71] we categorically enunciated that the alleged Spanish title. p. the Titulos nullification was definitive. No. 2. 4136 by Decree on Municipal Organization issued on May 19. Director of Land. 372592. his only heir. enjoy the conclusive presumption of validity. 892 as contained in our Resolution dated petition for adjustment within six months from publication. the titles of private Moreover. Trinidad B. as near as the record allows. 1985. for those who February 6.[74] More importantly. at how Piadeco was in issue in a former suit and was there judicially passed upon and exactly acquired its rights under the Titulo. 124). 8982. TCT Nos. supra. Hence. it is essential that the issue be identical. if Piadeco was sure of the validity of Titulo de Propiedad 4136? This. In the Muoz case. all preclude us from adjudicating otherwise. In the WIDORA case. land. we had cast doubt on records and documents which they may hold in their possession the Titulos validity. adjudicated the land be conclusive as to a particular matter in another action between the to herself. Buhain). 2. Inc. The original owner appearing determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. (Ibid. while the judgment remains unreversed by proper registered or inscribed on December 4. for P8. an entry of final (Ibid. must now be laid therefor was paid partially by Piadeco. 2 . 8982 (Exh. op. 28). in the case of Widows & Orphans Association. whether Titulo de Propriedad No. the land under the Torrens system. Maria Socorro Conrado. This transaction was said to have been cause of action.[72] the Court explained the concept of conclusiveness of title was either dated April 29 or April 25. is conclusively settled thereon was Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. redeemable within 10 years. From by the judgment therein as far as the parties to that action and persons Piadecos explanation -. x x x conclusiveness of judgment . and other factors herein pointed out. the provincial boards established this Court relating to the issue of the validity of Titulo de Propriedad No. and then sold the same to Piadeco. Later. 269707 (Exh. 1985 in a related case entitled Benito and WIDORA v. p. of lands established by Royal Decree of December 26. twelve or eight days after judgment. the Republic and the estate of Mariano San Pedro y Esteban were on opposite ends before this bench.). Then came to the scene a certain Fabian 193 SCRA 732 [1991]). Ocampo and Dela Cruz. became a judgment will depend on the determination of that particular point or shareholder of Piadeco when she conveyed the land to Piadecos question. heir of Don Ignacio. No. In G.000. (Exh. Trinidad B. The Titulo cannot be relied upon by the petitioners-heirs or their privies as land under Act 496. authority. pendingthe registration of the to rest. 372592 title. having been issued Propriedad No. in consideration of a will be final and conclusive in the second if that same point or question certain amount of Piadeco shares. 4136. 103727. 1888.De Ocampo) and TCT No. both cases. 69343. appearing as sole heir of Don Mariano. [75] As a last . Piadeco was organized. Estrada was in issue and adjudicated in the first suit (Nabus v. Don Mariano Ignacio died.Dela Cruz).states that a fact or question which Let us now take a look. 1894. TCT No.[73] Under the Torrens system of registration. assigned the land to Piadeco.R. evidence of ownership. there can be no net estate to speak of after the Titulos exclusion consideration to Fabian Castillo made to depend on the registration of from the intestate proceedings of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro. In the case en banc of Calalang v. In (Ramirez v.In the petition for letters of administration the inventory submitted before the probate court consisted solely of lands covered by the The question may well be asked: Why was full payment of the Titulo. On March 29. 69343. viz: the publication of the Maura Law. which boards were Under the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment.. and confirmed by Royal Decree of August 31. 269707. Titulo de decree. Identity of cause of action is not required by Castillo. 1884. At about the same time. and the on June 27. 179-188) in privity with them are concerned and cannot be again litigated in any we cull the following: On December 3. It has been held that in order that a judgment in one action can his daughter. namely TCT No. Court of respondents became indefeasible and incontrovertible one year from its final Appeals. Ventura. Its certificate same parties or their privies. 1932. Estrada. a former judgment between the same parties or their privies treasurer and an incorporator. Thereafter.00 any other court of concurrent jurisdiction on either the same or different to one Don Ignacio Conrado.R. 26. Said law also abolished the provincial boards for the adjustment judgment was made respecting G. in the same court or the land under pacto de retro. pp. Court of Appeals. If a of registration was issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission particular point or question is in issue in the second action. 1894. No. Castillo also executed an affidavit of adjudication to himself over the same land.R. the original owner of the merely identity of issues. Don Mariano mortgaged future action between such parties or their privies. cit. at p. the prior declarations by directed to deliver to their successors. Register of Doubt on Piadecos title here supervenes when we come to consider that Deeds of Quezon City. 1894. had not yet secured their titles at the time of the publication of the law Ortigas docketed as G. had become bereft of any probative value as evidence of under the Torrens system.

Engracio San evidence to prove that OCT No. No. the petitioners-heirs imputed fraud and bad faith which they failed to prove on Mariano San Pedro y Esteban on August 13. And. 496. This judgment is IMMEDIATELY EXECUTORY. et al. Bulacan. ownership in any land registration proceedings under the Torrens system. and Dela Cruz. however. Nos. such mistake binds the January 20. as it is. estate covered by Titulo de Propriedad No. circumstances obtaining in this case. if they or any of Spanish Title. No.R. 614 is a nullity considering that their ownership Pedro and Justino Benito before the probate court. (Que v. Buhain. no rights could be derived therefrom. negligence of its counsel. alleged heir. In view hereof. In the complaint. (4) The heirs. the release of the matured Land Bank Capital Bonds issued in favor of title. to remind the Solicitor General INTESTATE ESTATE OF DON MARIANO SAN PEDRO V. It is an elementary Resolution dated May 10. Dela Cruz. docketed as Special Sans preponderance of evidence in support of the contention that the petitioners- Proceedings No. grants all holders of Spanish Titles the right to apply for registration otherwise. dispose of in any manner the whole or any portion of the of their lands under Act No. the herein petitioner. 4136 is declared null and void and. 1992 is hereby AFFIRMED. in view of all the foregoing. Under the therefore. Catalino San Pedro is not a the Bureau of Forestry to substantiate the petitioners-heirs claim that OCT No. This negligence ultimately resulted in a Consequently. the petitions in G. otherwise known as the Land Registration Act. the decision of the Court of Appeals dated judgment adverse to the client. 101 SCRA 13 [1980] Only when the application of the general rule would result in serious (1) Titulo de Propriedad No. 4136 is a own counsel of gross negligence for having failed to call the proper witnesses from matter not ripe for adjudication in these cases.[77] we held: WHEREFORE. As a general rule.R. Firstly. legal holder and owner of Titulo de Propriedad No. hereby closed and heirs were denied due process on account of the negligence of their counsel. consolidated. should be. judgment is hereby rendered as follows : mistakes of his counsel. agents. in G. Code.hurrah to champion their claim to the vast estate covered by the subject Spanish In fine. injustice should an exception thereto be called for. and they are within six (6) months from the effectivity of the Decree. All instruments affecting lands originally registered under the Spanish Mortgage Law may be recorded under Section 194 of the Revised Administrative SO ORDERED. 614 party in any of the two cases before us for review. client. writ of certiorari is unavailing. It is not too late in the day for the Office of ecija. Presidential Decree No. privies and/or anyone acting for and in behalf of It bears repeating that the heirs or successors-in-interest of Mariano San the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y Esteban are hereby Pedro y Esteban are not without recourse. the aforementioned bonds were not included in the that the petitioners-heirs were not at all prejudiced by the non-presentation of inventory of the subject estate submitted by then administrators. 312-B. any hereby ordered to immediately vacate the same. no undue prejudice against the (2) All lands covered by Titulo de Propriedad No. hence. as amended by Act 3344.R. which prior to being decided by the SC were ownership of such portions of land that rightfully belong to the State. The first case was a complaint for recovery of possession and damages against Ocampo. it was alleged that the defendants (Ocampo .[78] denied Catalinos motion for leave to reopen legal principle that the negligence of counsel binds the client. 1993.. the terminated. 106496. 4136. this Court in a from which private respondents were derived is null and void. [76]The records show and/or new trial. quoted disallowed to exercise any act of possession or ownership or to hereinabove. 103727. Be that as it may. cannot be used as evidence of them are in possession thereof. this is as good a time as any. 892. (3) The petition for letters of administration. In the case of Villa Rhecar Bus v. a client is bound by the In G. there is only an from the inventory of the estate of the late Mariano San Pedro y unsupported claim that the petitioner had been prejudiced by the Esteban. itself of the lands being claimed was not duly proved. At most. 1968 sought by one Catalino San the part of the private respondents as regards their Torrens titles and accused their Pedro. 4136 are excluded petitioner has been satisfactorily demonstrated. without an explanation to that effect.Thereafter. It is unfortunate that the lawyer of the petitioner neglected his responsibilities to his client. if utilized as evidence of possession.Dela Cruz) were able to secure from the Registry of . and in cities including Quezon city. COURT OF APPEALS to be more vigilant in handling land registration cases and intestate proceedings > This is a claim of a huge parcel of land covering lands in the provinces Nueva involving portions of the subject estate. Court of Appeals. the Solicitor General to contest the Torrens titles of those who have acquired > This case involves 2 cases. 103727 and 106496 are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. secondly.

JR. respondent sent a letter of protest/opposition to . Inc. Recovery Of Ownership. said deed should be declared null and void.[8] She also claimed that she has discovered only recently that there was an amorous relationship between her husband and petitioner. respondent filed its Complaint[6] for Quieting Of Title &/Or Respondent. follow. Panglao. The Deed of Conditional Sale and the Deed of Absolute Sale under the Torrens system. It has been defeated by the title of the defendants the same properties. alleged in her answer[10] that the spouses Tecson TINGA. > The 2nd case is a petition for letters of adiministration over the intestate estate of The facts. new title in her name.Chairperson. Subsequently. Cancellation Of Title With Damages before Promulgated: the Regional Trial Court ofTagbilaran City. were registered with the Register of Deeds on 06 November 1992 and 04 October > It is settled that by virtue of Pd no 892 which tool effect on Feb 16 1976 the syte 1993.Much to its surprise. the titles of nine (9) lots. the Register of Deeds refused to issue titles to the remaining three (3) lots . Asuncion filed a September 13. petitioners application. 73025 which declared respondent as having a better right over a lower courts ruled in favor of Ocampo . Titles to six (6) of the nine (9) lots were issued. . respondent and the Tecsons executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over > The Titulo is null and void.[7] On 26 June 1995.: had sold to her the subject property for P20.A.. together with the deed of sale purportedly executed by the Tecsons in favor of petitioner on 19 December QUISUMBING. In the end.. Narciso dela Serna. (hereinafter referred to as respondent) the Titulo de Prorpriedad was declared void and of no legal force. claiming that she never signed any deed of sale covering any part of their conjugal property in favor of petitioner. Petitioner.[4] The attachment was eventually cancelled by virtue of a decree.00 and delivered to her the owners copy of the title on 26 December 1986. which it intended to buy from the spouses Troadio and Asuncion > Issue: W/N the Titulo de Propriedad is null and void and therefore the lands Tecson.000. Titulo Propriedad no.Dela Cruz. 171008 because the titles covering the same were still unaccounted for. petitioner presented for registration before the Register of Present: Deeds the owners copy of the title of the subject property. respectively. respectively.. On the following day. This involves a prayer to be declared as administrator. 3399 pending before the Regional under the Land Registration Act within 6mos from date of effectivity of the said Trial Court of Bohol. No. Cattleya Land. included. 1986.. August 1993. Finding no defect on the titles. J.versus .R.. She claims that she For resolution is a petition that seeks to nullify the Decision [1] and Resolution[2] of subsequently presented the said title to the Register of Deeds but the latter the Court of Appeals dated 28 April 2005 and 11 January 2006.R. but presented during trial. On 5 May 1995. compromise agreement between the Tecsons and their attaching creditor which > Proof of compliance (Certificate of Title) with the said decree should have been was brokered by respondent.[3] The Register of Deeds. as culled from the records. declaring parcel of land located in Doljo. respondent learned that the Register of CARPIO. therefore the asked someone to check. in refused to register the same because the property was still under attachment. This case eventually ended in the same manner as the first case .[5] TINGA. G. Sometime in July 1992. 2007 complaint-in-intervention. refused to of registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law was abolished and all holders of actually annotate the deed of sale on the titles because of the existing notice of Spanish titles or grants should cause their lands coverd thereby to be registered attachment in connection with Civil Case No. On 23 January 1995. 4316. and CATTLEYA LAND. the subject land lands covered by the Titulo are not within the estate of the deceased.G. CARMELITA FUDOT. She averred that her x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------x signature in petitioners deed of sale was forged thus. VELASCO. JJ. INC. respondent purchased the nine lots covered or claimed under such title are not included in the estate of the through a Deed of Conditional Sale on 6 November 1992. on 30 deceased. for her part. [9] DECISION Petitioner. Atty. J. CV No. Bohol.Deeds of Quezon City titles to a portions of the claimed estate. on its behalf. the late Mariano San Pedro Y Esteban. that the Torrens titles of the defendants cannot be defeated by the alleged Spanish title. Deeds had already registered the deed of sale in favor of petitioner and issued a CARPIO MORALES. the C.

so the court a quo found. Such conclusive authority.[17] Asuncions claim for damages against petitioner for lack of factual basis. is only for the Register of DEMAND OR REQUIRE THE DELIVERY OF THE OWNERS Deeds to enter a new certificate or to make a memorandum of registration in DUPLICATE TCT A BUYER IN GOOD FAITH. petitioner concludes alleged sale to petitioner was null and void in view of the forgery of Asuncions that respondent was not a buyer in good faith.[13] Petitioner claims that respondent did not demand nor require delivery of Petitioner sought recourse to the Court of Appeals. (v) dismissing OR TORRENSSYSTEM. subject land in favor of respondent. 1529 against the Register of Deeds for insufficiency of evidence. The third issue. petitioner insists that the applicable law in this case is P. holding that there was no double sale because the knowledge of a defect in the title of the spouses and. but never to third IS A BUYER OF REGISTERED LAND WHO DID NOT parties. The appellate court noted that petitioner failed to rebut Asuncions testimony despite opportunities to do so. WHICH LAW SHALL GOVERN. on the her motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. concludes. accordance with such instrument. circumstances surrounding the absence of the title. AS BY SALE. These indicate respondents dismissed her appeal. thus. as her claim is based on a null and void deed of sale. (iv) dismissing respondents claim for damages ARTICLE 1455 OF CIVIL CODE OR P. (ii) declaring the deed of sale II. The production of the owners duplicate certificate x x x being conclusive authority from the registered owner is only true as between the II.[18] the sale void. and not Article 1544 of the Civil Code which deals had made inquiries before it purchased the lots. She argues that the presentation and surrender of the deed of sale and the unrebutted testimony.D.D. the trial court rendered its decision:[11] (i) quieting the title or ownership of the subject land in favor of respondent.[15] Respondent points out. Moreover. on one hand. Respondent also BETWEEN 2 BUYERS OF REGISTERED LAND. based on Asuncions convincing and name. respondent adds. arguing in the main that the the owners duplicate title from the spouses Tecson.[22] GIVEN THE OWNERS DUPLICATE TCT TOGETHER WITH A DEED OF SALE IN 1986. OR THE SECOND BUYER IN Lastly. and (vi) dismissing petitioners counterclaim for lack of the required preponderance of Petitioner avers that she was the first buyer in good faith and even had in evidence. however. respondent argues that P. IN SUBSEQUENT REGISTRATION OF REGISTERED between petitioner and spouses Tecson invalid. is ostensibly a question of law which had been unsuccessfully raised below. No.[16] other hand. according to the appellate court. registration applicant and the register of deeds concerned. any subsequent sale thereof. 1529 finds no application in the 1992 WITH ONLY A DEED OF SALE.[21] Petitioner thus presents before this Court the following issues for resolution: Respondent maintains that there is no room to speak of petitioner as a I. neither did it investigate the rule on double sale was applicable to the case. a special law dealing precisely with the registration of registered lands or still prevail since it was able to register the second sale in its favor in good faith.[14] Moreover. the trial court concluded that the purported signature owners copy carried with it the conclusive authority of Asuncion Tecson which of Asuncion in the deed of sale in favor of petitioner was forged. that petitioners first two issues which present an inquiry on who has a better right or which one is a buyer in good faith.[20] were free from encumbrance except the attachment on the property due to Civil Case No. The appellate court. there was double sale.On 31 October 2001. buyer in good faith since she was never a buyer in the first place. Petitioner sought reconsideration of the decision but the Court of Appeals denied are questions of fact not proper in a petition for review. respondents claim would 1529. No. respondent had recorded in good faith the deed of sale register the deed of sale in her favor and caused the issuance of a new title in her in its favor ahead of petitioner. respondent III. and was informed that the titles with immovable property not covered by the Torrens System. even if Finally.D.[23] . thereby rendering cannot be overturned by the latters oral deposition.[12] her possession the owners copy of the title so much so that she was able to According to the trial court. 3399.[19] purported signature in the deed. It cannot cure the fatal defect that the instrument from which such registration was effected is null and void ab initio. WHO HAS asserts that its status as a buyer in good faith was established and confirmed THE BETTER RIGHT-IS IT THE FIRST BUYER WHO WAS in the proceedings before the two courts below. (iii) ordering the registration of the LANDS. instant case.

Valerio. knowledge Complaint-in-Intervention seeking the nullification thereof. the deed of sale void for lack of marital consent. Art. second paragraph. Art. as it bears the forged signature of Asuncion. long been recognized in our jurisprudence that a forged deed is a nullity and The petition is bereft of merit. [33] The that despite the fact that one deed of sale was registered ahead of the other. Likewise. This finding was upheld by the Court of Appeals. The congruence of the wills of the spouses is essential for the valid disposition of conjugal property. or eight first buyer does not bar him from availing of his rights under the law. or instrument is one sale to advert to. comparison of the signatures in her Complaint-in-Intervention and the purported deed of sale. except partnership without the wifes consent. the courts of its invalidity.While it operates as a notice of the deed.[35] lower courts are deemed conclusive and binding upon the Supreme Court subject We agree with the trial court and the Court of Appeals that respondent was a buyer to certain exceptions.[25] this Court ruled that the Civil Law provision on double sale deed. We find no reason that the second realty buyer must act in good faith in registering his deed of to disturb the findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. the Court held by the state that the instrument is a valid and subsisting interest in the land. as the holder must fail. the previous sale having been instrument to others. 1544 of the Civil Code. and while her marriage gained by the second buyer of the first sale defeats his rights even if he is first to with Troadio was still subsisting. the owners copy of the title for the issuance of a new TCT.[27] Thus. The pertinent portion of Art. 1544 provides: invalid. conveys no title. to merit the protection of Art. attend the taking of the oral deposition and to give written interrogatories. In this case. sought to be inscribed in the records of the Office of the Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the certificate of title covering the land subject of the In Remalante v.[24] which provides the rule on double sale. x x x. as it ruled that the Should it be immovable property. that between the spouses Tecson and respondent. it has in good faith. Both the Court of Appeals and the trial court register the second sale. Such knowledge of the In this case. without any notice of a previous sale. Tibe.[31] Petitioners arguments. in Espiritu and Apostol v. The Court is not persuaded. 1544. including the subject lot. x x x x. registration of petitioners void deed is not an impediment to a declaration by the 1544 of the Civil Code will not apply where said deed is found to be a forgery. Besides. In short. contract. the is primus tempore.[26] where the instrument into a valid one as between the parties. Said finding is based on the unrebutted testimony of Asuncion and the trial courts visual analysis and Art.[32] nor amounts to a declaration same parcel of land was purportedly sold to two different parties. Knowledge gained by husband cannot generally alienate or encumber any real property of the conjugal the first buyer of the second sale cannot defeat the first buyers rights. where the second buyer registers in good faith the second sale ahead of the first as provided by the aforequoted provision of the Civil Code. contract. following Article 173[29] of the Civil Code. potior jure (first in time. the ownership shall purported sale in petitioners favor is null and void.[34] It is thus essential. However. or is not applicable where there is only one valid sale. there is only Registration is a mere ministerial act by which a deed. or instrument. having purchased the nine (9) lots. on 26 June 1995. taking into account Asuncions belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it unrefuted deposition. stronger in right). Asuncion filed her to register first his purchase as against the second buyer. and faith. petitioner would still not The trial court declared that the sale between the spouses Tecson and petitioner is prevail. contract. the Court of Appeals noted petitioners failure to in the Registry of Property. under Article 166 of the Civil Code[28] which was still in In interpreting this provision. Petitioner argues she has a better right over the property in question. 1544. Even assuming that there was double sale in this case. of and the first one to present. In the first place.[30] none of which are present in this case. among them and a half years (8 ) after the purported sale to petitioner. In particular. which rest on the assumption that there was a double sale. consequently. since such knowledge taints his prior registration with bad found Asuncions signature in the deed of sale to have been forged. Findings of fact of sale. the Court declared that the governing principle effect on 19 December 1986 when the deed of sale was purportedly executed. it does not add to its validity nor converts an invalid found to be fraudulent. but only a notice of attachment relative to a pending . she did not take the necessary steps to rebut Asuncions definitive assertion. the same property is validly sold to different vendees. result of this being that the right of the other vendee should prevail. applies only to a situation where The act of registration does not validate petitioners otherwise void contract. there is no double sale to speak of.

G. Constructive notice upon registration. The only exception is shall be made in the office of the Register of Deeds for the where the purchaser has actual knowledge of a flaw or defect in province or city where the land lies. JJ. 1529. of registration operates to convey and affect the registered land so that a bona fide 171008 purchaser of such land acquires good title as against a prior transferee. lien attachment. 18 October 1988. Sales. 75336. Petitioner. while Art.R. who explained that the registration contemplated under otherwise deal with the same in accordance with existing laws. An quandary has already been answered by an eminent former member of this owner of registered land may convey. Costs against petitioner. Court of Appeals. it persuaded the parties in the said case to settle the same so that the did.D. but shall operate only as a v. It has been held that between two transactions concerning the same parcel of land. respondent had acquired a better title to the property.D. the petition is DENIED. Act 496. On contract between the parties and as evidence of authority to the lands covered by the Torrens System. INC. lease. lease. favor. Rosabal. suffice it to say that this Sec. 1544 has voluntary instruments as are sufficient in law. 52. petitioner was able to present for registration her deed of sale and Sometime in July 1992. the subject land purported sale. But no deed. prior transfer was unrecorded. mortgage. or almost nine years after the asked someone to check. Rosabal. 1 O. was able to register its Deed of Conditional Sale with the Register of Deeds as early as 6 November 1992. No. Hernandez vs. 27 March 1981) (Emphasis supplied)[37] Sec. .civil case. L-26677. is equivalent to registration (see Sec. thus: He may use such forms of deeds. filing or entering. In fact. and its Deed of Absolute Sale on 14 October 1993. Tajonera s. lease or other The registration contemplated under Art. except a will Registration Act (now PD 1529) which considers the act of purporting to convey or affect registered land shall take effect as registration as the operative act that binds the land (see Mediante a conveyance or bind the land. the purchaser acquires such Register of Deeds to make Registration. Why it took petitioner nine (9) years to present the deed and the included. The act CARMELITA FUDOT.Every conveyance. the registered transaction prevails over the earlier unregistered right. The convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are purchaser is not required to explore farther than what concerned. The assailed decision and entry affecting registered land shall. (hereinafter referred to as respondent) owners copy of the title only on 23 January 1995.R.[36] As found by the courts a quo. 69 Phil 744. Finally. 1529 applies to registered lands or Relevant to the discussion are the following provisions of P. upon its face. SO ORDERED. Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner..G. the registration the Torrens title. On Facts: the other hand. It will be recalled that respondent CATTLEYA LAND. be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering. September 13. if such vs. rights and interest as they appear in the certificate of title. mortgages. Bernales v. Art. the titles of nine (9) lots. 73 Phil 694). (Emphasis supplied) the title of the seller or of such liens or encumbrances which.D. 1544 has been held to refer to registration under P. IAC. VELASCO. she already had constructive notice of the deed of sale in respondents notice of attachment could be cancelled. if registered. 1544 of the Civil Code applies only to immovable property not covered by the Torrens System. as to him. mortgage. 51. she had no credible explanation. lease or other voluntary instrument. respondent was 2007 able to register its purchase ahead of petitioner. Justice Jose Vitug. in the office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies. Cattleya Land. order. charge or Court. in its desire to finally have the title to the properties transferred in owners copy. Inc. indicates. instrument or WHEREFORE. and in all cases under this Decree. G. No. Respondent. but it is clear that when she finally its name. judgment. been held to refer to registration under Act 496 Land mortgage. 1529: any subsequent sale thereof. on its behalf. Garcia v. JR. The act of registration shall be the operative act to unaffected by any prior lien or encumbrance not noted therein. which it intended to buy from the spouses Troadio and Asuncion Tecson.. [12] 900. No. filed or entered resolution of the Court of Appeals are affirmed. 39. No. Without a doubt. anent petitioners claim that P.

. TCT No. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Cancellation Of Title With Damages before the Regional Trial Court of challenge the June 10. O-104.. Pabaus. P. Titles to six (6) of the nine (9) lots were issued.. and 8649. (iii) ordering the registration of the an area of 58. 1974 pursuant to Free Patent No.. G.. Subsequently.292 square meters. MORGADO AND LEOPOLDO Chairperson. Arcleta. BERSAMIN.. thus partially canceling OCT MERLINDA P. ANA AND ERNESTO. OCT No. P-8649 was issued to Margarito Pabaus on MAGUINDA P. Masacote. Later. 2004 Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G......-x Regional Trial Court of Bohol. Agusan Del Norte.. The Deed of Conditional Sale and the Deed of Absolute Sale were ERLINDA. and (vi) 1428. On December 26.J.R. 164356 9. JR. are registered in the name of Amanda L. ARCLETA. Yutiamco. OCT No.. 4489 declaring void Issue: petitioners title and ordering them and all those claiming any right under them to Is the issuance of Deed of Sale valid? vacate the land covered by said title and deliver possession thereof to the respondents. A separate title. 1996.. all surnamed Yutiamco. but the Register of Deeds refused to issue titles to the remaining three (3) lots . C. properties.. P-8649.... The Register of Deeds refused to actually annotate the deed of sale Respondents. Rogelio. 2011 respondent and the Tecsons executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the same MOISES. namely.. March 12... Raul Morgado and Leopoldo Morgado. AND July 27. JOSEFINA TAN.. (v) dismissing Certificate of Title (OCT) No. Branch 1. subsequently issued to Amanda Yutiamco for Lot 2. respondent learned that the Register of Deeds had already registered the deed of sale in favor of petitioner and issued a new title herein.... T- Asuncion’s claim for damages against petitioner for lack of factual basis.. VIRGINIA. P- DEL CASTILLO. heirs of Amanda L. Promulgated: . The respondent filed its Complaintfor Quieting Of Title &/Or Recovery Of By way of petition[1] for review on certiorari. Lot 2994. Present: No. Cailing. RAUL CORONA. the trial court rendered its decision: (i) quieting the title or Subject of this controversy are three adjoining parcels of land located in Barangay ownership of the subject land in favor of respondent. consisting of 1. Plan Psu-213148 with between petitioner and spouses Tecson invalid. Lot 1. No... Ana and Ernesto... The CA affirmed the October 8. 1999 Judgment[3] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Butuan City... MASACOTE. on 30 August 1993. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. 65854.. CV No. MORGADO. O-104 was issued pursuant to Judicial Decree No. all registered with the Register of Deeds on 06 November 1992 and 04 October 1993. O-104[4] and Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. Virginia. namely. Plan Psu-213148. petitioners Heirs of Margarito Pabaus Ownership.. filed a Complaint[7] for Cancellation of OCT No. Tagbilaran City. representing themselves as the Petitioners. respondents Josefina Tan. R-130700 dated July HEIRS OF MARGARITO PABAUS. ADELAIDA PABAUS..R. Municipality of Tubay..[5] respectively. Merlinda P. Branch 1 in Civil Case No. Erlinda.. VILLARAMA. J. respectively. CAILING. Yutiamco under Original against the Register of Deeds for insufficiency of evidence.. is dismissing petitioner’s counterclaim for lack of the required preponderance of owned by Margarito Pabaus and covered by OCT No.641 subject land in favor of respondent. Held: On 31 October 2001.[6] evidence. Pls-736. The attachment was eventually cancelled by virtue of a compromise agreement between the Tecsons and their attaching creditor DECISION which was brokered by respondent... Maguinda .. Meanwhile... surnamed YUTIAMCO. JJ. and Lot 2. 4489 in the RTC of Butuan City..versus .Finding no defect on the titles.. (iv) dismissing respondent’s claim for damages square meters..077 square meters. Recovery of Possession and Damages against the heirs of Margarito VILLARAMA. on the titles because of the existing notice of attachment pending before the x.. with an area of 35.: because the titles covering the same were still unaccounted for. FELICIANA P. ROGELIO. 1970 which covered Lots 1 and 2.. JR. T-1428. respondent purchased the nine lots through a Deed HEIRS OF AMANDA YUTIAMCO.. and Moises. (ii) declaring the deed of sale Cabayawa.. (X-2)102.. Adelaida Pabaus.. petitionersFeliciana P. was namely. of Conditional Sale on 6 November 1992.

Psu-213148 of the claim of respondents of an alleged encroachment. but asserted that they did so in the That. the Technical Description of Lot 1. Rosalinda V. The three Estaca as accurately indicating the boundaries of the subject properties. the RTC issued an Order[9] which directed the conduct of a relocation survey to determine if the land The Report was accompanied by a Relocation Plan[14] which was certified by Engr.447. [Yutiamco]. Romulo Estaca. De Casa. through color legend. [Yutiamco] is inside the lot covered by issued on July 9. De Casas sketch plan which was plotted in accordance with the description in the cadastral survey.. caused a resurvey of the land. issued in favor of Margarito Pabaus. They also title[s] on the above-mentioned two (2) parcels of land. the court considered petitioners to have waived the filing of said pleading.. representative of respondents. O-104 in favor of Amanda L. expressing private surveyor and the court-appointed commissioner. thus encroaching a substantial informed the parties of the following findings in the Relocation Survey portion of respondents property. the trial court coconuts therein and built a house on the premises.5) while that approved plan of Psu-213148. petitioners representative. Antonio Libarios. that during the relocation survey nobody objected event. approved in the name of Amanda of petitioners would be decreased to only 29. xxxx . Jr. and oppose[d] the findings conducted by the undersigned. In their Answer with Counterclaim. respondents land area OCT#O-104 has been properly verified and checked against would have increased by 5. When Moises Yutiamco OCT#[P]-8649. N-130700 and OCT No. Cad-905 which is within and part of OCT No. Psu-213148 covered by OCT#O- 104. issued in favor of Margarito Pabaus. likewise averred that the complaint states no cause of action since the case was not referred for barangay conciliation and respondents cause of action was. 1997: Moises Yutiamco. P-8649. Psu-213148 covered by TCT#T-1428 issued includes a land already covered by Decree No. Petitioners L.[10] It was agreed that the relocation survey shall be done by having the commissioners examine the titles in question and then survey the land to In the pre-trial conference held on July 17. 1997. also signed the Relocation Plan.[15]petitioners reiterated that in Engr. It was pointed out that with That. Jr. issued in favor of Amanda L. is inside the lot covered by OCT#P-8649. if not laches. harvested At the continuation of the pre-trial conference on June 23. 1997. That. In their Amended Answer with the contested lands. x x x x[13] In the pre-trial conference held on March 12. 104. and Engr. Jr. O. Engr. and Engr. M. petitioners manifested their intention to file OCT P-8649. a Libarios. Regino Lomarda. Lomarda.[8] petitioners admitted having gathered coconuts and cut trees on the contested properties. please contended that it was respondents who unlawfully entered their property and refer to accompanying relocation plan and can be identified harvested coconuts therein.546 square meters. petitioners even filed a criminal complaint against the xxxx respondents before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor.517.Respondents alleged that petitioners illegally entered upon their lands. 1970 in the name of Amanda Yutiamco. it was respondents who encroached and claimed Lot 1708. Despite repeated demands and objection by Report[12] dated May 27. commissioners who conducted the said survey were Engr. [Yutiamco] containing an area of 15. Citing a sketch plan prepared by Engr. Lot 2.[11] Counterclaim. the relocation plan confirmed that the free patent title of Margarito Pabaus overlapped substantially the lot covered by OCT No. P-8649. 1997. petitioners claimed it was the respondents who encroached Lot 1708. in any Finally. already barred by prescription. the their conformity thereto.675 Sq. Jr.50 square meters (or a total of 65. Cad-905 within and part of During the same pre-trial conference. petitioners counsel sought leave determine if there was indeed an overlapping of titles and who has better right to of court to file an amended answer. Respondents averred that OCT No P-8649 issued to Margarito Pabaus is invalid as it substantially That. Thus. The RTC gave them five days within which to seek leave of court to file the amended answer but they failed to comply. They further alleged an amended answer. petitioners continued to occupy the encroached portion and harvest the coconuts. covered by petitioners title overlaps those in defendants titles. there is actually an overlapping in the issuance of exercise of their rights of dominion as holders of OCT No. Portion of Lot 1.

Said court gave credence to the finding in the Relocation Survey Report that petitioners lot overlap respondents lands. the November 11. and Land Inspector of the Bureau of Lands. DENR) and Ambrocio P. the survey plan a copy of the title of the landholdings of Amanda Yutiamco from the Register of or relocation survey was approved by the Director Deeds. No. Estaca. based on the foregoing observation. P- 8649. Perspicacious examination of the O-104 is superior to petitioners OCT No. known Officer-Chief of Lands Management Services. then their titles. It held that since the 10. Agusan del as O. Ordering defendants to render an accounting to the plaintiffs with respect to the income of the coconuts in the area in At the trial. should plaintiffs insisted (sic) based on the relocation Title No. 10. Rosalinda V. The subject property was surveyed land in dispute was already under the private ownership of the respondents and no by a private surveyor Antonio A. The trial court thus of Land[s]. trial court pointed out that this cannot be appreciated in view of the testimony of Engr. nonetheless. on longer part of the public domain. Figuracion Regala. 1999. Engr. as follows: 11.c. 4. 1996. Declaring as null and void ab initio [Original] Certificate of defendants. 1996 up to the Amanda Yutiamco). P-8649 which is a total nullity. De Casa (Geodetic Engineer I.C. respondents OCT No. for a distance as adjoining of defendants property. Hence. plaintiffs presented as witnesses Moises Yutiamco (adopted son of conflict starting from December 26. under the following circumstances: On October 8. the BLLM is marked as No. covering their properties were secured premises. 3. the RTC rendered judgment in favor of the respondents and against the petitioners.a. Butuan City). Jr. judgment is hereby line of PLS 736. Base[d] on this fact. 104 and TCT No. which the tie WHEREFORE. 1. 104 and TCT No. technical description of plaintiffs[] title under OCT No. which defendants believed that there was a said title and deliver possession thereof to the plaintiffs and/or maneuver to hoax and hoodwink themselves. 10. That plaintiffs[] title to the property in [question]. [1965]. 1960. until the same is paid or delivered. his license free patent. the same could not have been the subject of a November 3 and 5. Alba (retired Land Management . as The fallo of the RTC decision reads: compared [to] defendants[] title under OCT No. CENRO-Cabadbaran. of Amanda Yutiamco were both secured thru fraud. 213148. Jorge on June 9. premises considered. thru fraud. Declaring the plaintiffs as the true and legal owner of the x x x x[16] property subject of this case.b. Morgado (one of the heirs of from the date of filing of the complaint in this case[.] which is Margarito Pabaus). she was not able to secure 10. rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. which the tie line of PSU No. As to the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty as Geodetic Engineer was issued only on invoked by the petitioners as far as the issuance of the free patent and title. the properties of plaintiffs are away situated with the property of 1. (former barangay captain of Tubay). [P]-8649 and ordering defendants and all those survey conducted by the commissioner appointed by this claiming any right under them to vacate the land covered by Honorable Court. while the defendants presented Raul P. if not the said properties are situated away. which annulment of the same is proper and within the bounds of the law. 2. Actually. Libarios. 1428 both registered in the name Norte). and to deliver Antonio Payapaya (tenant of Moises Yutiamco) and court-appointed commissioner or pay to the plaintiffs the income with legal interest thereon Engr. Francisco Baylen (retired Land Management Officer/Deputy December 26. 1965. Sr.T. the BLLM is marked as No. De Casa that in conducting the cadastral survey. Nicanor G. 1428. into believing that otherwise refrain and desist perpetually from exercising any plaintiffs properties are situated in the heart of defendants act of dispossession and encroachment over the subject property. timereconveyance as herein directed is made. the earlier in date must prevail. which is a vital document in the scheme of operations. applied the rule that in case of two certificates of title issued to different persons over the same land.

] on this Court. Ordering defendants to pay the plaintiffs. [21] They likewise assailed and the Relocation Plan because not only did they agree to the appointment of the the relocation survey undertaken solely by the court-appointed commissioner.000. One such exception is when such findings are not sustained by the evidence. when in the performance of official duty should be upheld. 2994. P50. O-104. must give way to the latter.[17] Petitioners contend that the original technical description of Lot 2994. in petitions for review. jointly and COURT WHO DISTURBED THE CADASTRAL SURVEY severally. With the admission survey was ongoing and that petitioners disputed the findings only after it turned by Engr. Moreover. SO ORDERED. it is not its THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR function to analyze or weigh evidence all over again. jurisprudence has recognized certain exceptions to the general rule NO. [22] Accordingly. T-1428 AND OCT Nonetheless. COVERED BY OCT NO.[23] Another is when the judgment of the CA is based on misapprehension II of facts or overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties which.[24] IN RELYING [ON] THE FINDING OF PRIVATE SURVEYOR OR GEODETIC [ENGR. Since the settled rule is that a free patent issued over a accurate ground verification made on the alleged overlapping. They echo the trial courts conclusion that petitioners title is void since it Lands. findings of IN AFFIRMING THE LOWER COURT DECISION THAT fact of the appellate court affirming those of the trial court are generally conclusive PETITIONERS LOT NO. De Casa who conducted the cadastral survey CAD 905 in petitioners are bound by the findings contained in the Relocation Survey Report Tubay and plotted the subject lots on the cadastral map. and with testimony of Engr. assert that petitioners assignment of errors registration and a certificate of title issued in conformity therewith are on a higher delve on factual matters which are not proper subjects of an appeal before this level than a certificate of title based upon a patent issued by the Director of Court. It noted that neither party posed any objection while the or confirm the ground verification conducted by Engr. as per the 1961 public land survey[20]. there was no precise and out adverse to them. would justify a different conclusion.00 by way of actual CONDUCTED BY THE GOVERNMENT THRU THE damages. The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. Estaca that there were five missing corners.000. They assert that the overlapped as to certain areas. the CA cited previous rulings stating surveyed based on existing official records. in conflict with one obtained on the same date through judicial proceedings.00 by way of moral damages.BOTH REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF AMANDA that findings of the fact by the Court of Appeals are not reviewable by the Supreme YUTIAMCO. Petitioners cite the private land is null and void and produces no legal effects whatsoever.[19] in the amount of P720. and that a certificate of title issued pursuant to a decree of Respondents. De Casa which was based on the cadastral map she herself the trial courts finding that the properties of respondents and petitioners prepared showing the respective locations of the subject lots. The matter of encroachment was On appeal. ESTACA APPOINTED BY THE .175..[18] covers private land.00 by way of attorney's fees and the cost of litigation RESOURCES. Court. the CA affirmed the RTC ruling and emphasized that likewise refuted by Engr. the jurisdiction of this Court in cases brought before it from the CA is limited to reviewing questions of law which I involves no examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the litigants or any of them. P-8649[.00. clearly showed that respondents property lies south of the land applied for by Margarito Pabaus. if THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR properly considered. petitioners filed the instant petition arguing that -- As a general rule. and that the presumption of regularity that a certificate of title over a land issued pursuant to the Public Land Law. three commissioners but the commissioner representing them also manifested his Engr. Estaca. for their part.. [RESPECTIVELY] COVERED [BY] TCT NO. 4.] ROMULO S. Aggrieved. the CA held that the trial court correctly declared three government witnesses testified that the property of Margarito Pabaus was as void the title of the petitioners. Estaca while the other two surveyors did not perform their respective tasks conformity to the findings. REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF MARGARITO PABAUS OVERLAPPED RESPONDENTS[] LOT 2 AND LOT 1. the amount of P13. the sum of DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL P30.

The Manual for Land Surveys in the Philippines in which there are missing corners? (MLSP)[30] provides for the following rules in conducting relocation surveys: A TCT No. distances and areas approved by the Director of Lands or written Q When you say missing corners. Psu-213148 of OCT#O-104. O-104 Section 593 . with the courses and distances and the quantity of the land. 7 & 8 of Lot 1. establishment of boundary lines shall be made using the bearings.[29] To settle the present dispute. The case of overlapping of titles necessitates the assistance of experts in In his Report. A Well. P-8649 overlapped with respondents title (OCT No. Lot 2. 15 & 16 of OCT#P-8649. Estaca who actually identical to cors. you are referring to cylindrical indicated on the original plans on file in the Bureau of Lands. Psu-213148 of OCT#O-104. expertise and experience. Engr. Estaca. we were not able to Section 594 . Lands for verification and approval. We laid conducted the relocation survey while the two other surveyors chosen by the out missing cors. Psu-213148 of OCT#O- Registration Authority or the DENR to act as commissioner. respectively. the trial 104. The very reason why commissioners were corners of the subject lots: appointed by the trial court. Concon and representatives from the Plaintiffs and De[f]endants returned to the area in question to relocate missing corners of Lot 1. We were able to relocate the for the court to appoint a surveyor from the government land agencies the Land following corners of: Cors. New corner marks set on the ground shall be accurately described in the field notes and Q And when you say corners. Psu-213148 of OCT#[O]-104 which are court appointed a private surveyor in the person of Engr. and OCT No. O-104 accurate. plat or statement of the result of Q In your report. xxxx Survey is the process by which a parcel of land is measured and its boundaries and contents ascertained. T-1428 or OCT No. 3 & 2 of Lot 2. Thus. verification survey. P-8649 the conduct of a relocation survey. T-1428 has 3 missing corners.) .675 square meters. has 2 missing corners. Engr. Estaca testified as follows: We rule in the negative. Psu-213148 of TCT#T-1428 and parties expressed their conformity with the finding of encroachment or overlapping missing cors. these commissioners are in a better position to determine which of the titles is valid. if not these three documents. in overlapping of titles disputes. their findings and conclusions. [26] In this case. also a map. 1 & 3 of Lot 1. Exhibit S which is OCT No. Said missing corners which were relocated were not yet planted with plan showed that the area in conflict is on the northeastern portion wherein cylindrical concrete monuments pending court decision of the petitioners OCT No.The relocation of corners or re. O-104) by case. was precisely to make an evaluation and analysis of the titles in conflict with each other. 1997. based on the technical description.The data used in monumenting or relocating locate the corners because it might have been moved or corners of approved surveys shall be submitted to the Bureau of lost. Psu-213148 However. 15. the parties agreed to or Exhibit T which is TCT No. what do you mean by that? in the lease or Torrens title. cors. it has always been the practice of TCT#T-1428. upon agreement of the parties. concrete monuments? (Italics supplied. Which of of overlapping of boundaries or encroachment depends on a reliable. the trial court may rely on By April 26. x x x x[31] Were the respondents able to prove their claim of overlapping? On cross-examination. you stated that there missing corners: 3 and 2 of such survey. and OCT#P-8649. and missing corners 1 and 3 of Lot 1.[28] A case Lot 2. Given their xxxx background. 2 & 4 of Lot 1. Estaca stated that he was able to relocate some missing the field of geodetic engineering. the whole survey team together with Mr.[25] E. All indicated in the Relocation Plan[27]submitted to the court by Engr.

during the cadastral survey they conducted from from that point. 2 of my report. In this case. records failed to disclose that any of the corners within the property. sir. in your resurvey report which is Exhibit Q. Witness that in order to locate the A Based on my report. to determine and to locate the missing corners. The big error is there. they interrelated to each Yutiamco and that she plotted the boundaries of her property based merely on a other. you cors. A Yes. But A It depends. This is crucial considering that the court-appointed commissioner is a lost.A Yes. there are missing corners and you said that the river is not the Director of Lands has no jurisdiction over it. x x x x[32] Q Do you agree with me that the point of reference is BLLM? The MLSP laid down specific rules regarding tie lines. localize your location. Unless the whole property is Section 594. So we will not adopt 1986 to 1996. that is a point of tie line.[33] relocation survey. Q Finally.[35] The relocation survey considering that there are missing aggrieved party may initiate an action for cancellation of such title. their only evidence to support their opposition to line? the claim of encroachment by the respondents is the cadastral map which indicated the boundary of respondents property at the south of petitioners lot. Hence. they did not send a written notice to the landowner Amanda all monuments. But the point of reference can be and overlapping of adjoining titled lands. point of reference A No. sir. sir. as well as to uphold the law. A Yes. What did you base on your subsequent certificate of title issued pursuant thereto are a nullity. Such free patent and the a reliable point or basis. Q What for example? Q Do you agree with me Mr. distances and areas approved by the Director of Lands or indicated xxxx in the Torrens titles. De Casa. I stated from a known corners identified as missing corners to proceed with the relocation survey. Anyway. Agbagala. You can determine it by doing relocation tax declaration because the cadastral survey team failed to obtain copies of OCT survey. There are tie lines which are located 40 kilometers as admitted by Engr. T-1428 from the Registry of Deeds. you have to base the relocation survey on the tie On the part of petitioners. we have ruled that if the land covered by free patent was a private land. . said cadastral map is not competent proof of the actual location and boundaries of respondents Lots 1 and 2. you can base from the existing corners. Q Is this already covered in your report? Q And that point of reference is found in the title itself? A Yes.[36] the Court reiterated: A Based on other existing monuments. PSU 213148 of OCT #O-104 have to make a point of reference? which are identical to corners 1 and 17 of OCT #P-8649. you mentioned that there were missing corners which were relocated and you said certain basis for the relocation if Indeed. So the No. meaning all missing corners are not reliable then you private surveyor and not a government surveyor from the LRA or LMB-DENR. Psu-213148. integrity of and maintain inviolate the Torrens system of land registration. In the recent corners? case of De Guzman v. You can check it out by their positions. In other (now Land Management Bureau) for verification and approval as required by words. If you have say ten the basis for relocating the missing corners was submitted to the Bureau of Lands corners. the aim of the courts is to protect the Monument)That is established by a geographic position. MLSP specifically required that relocation of boundary lines is to be made using the bearings. O-104 and TCT No. It have to tie from known BLLM (Bureau of Lands Location bears stressing that in every land dispute. a resolution of the parties dispute is merely a necessary Q Do you agree with me that in order to have an accurate consequence. 10 and 9 of Lot 1. and it is found on par.[34] The allowable for that is only 30 centimeters.

Instead. 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of Butuan City. P-8649 which title will then have to be partially. . the Court deems it more appropriate to remand the case to the trial court for the conduct of a verification/relocation survey under the direction and supervision of the LMB-DENR. The settled rule is that a free patent issued over a private land is null and void. because the Public Land [L]aw applies only to lands of the public domain.R. by present or previous occupants .is not affected by the issuance of a free patent over the same land. SO ORDERED. it is premature to declare the free patent issued to Margarito Pabaus null and void. and notorious possession. Branch 1 in Civil Case No. and produces no legal effects whatsoever.as when there is a prima facie proof of ownership like a duly registered possessory information or a clear showing of open. continuous.675 square meters is found to be correct. CV No. The case is REMANDED to the said RTC which is hereby directed to order the Land Management Bureau of the DENR to conduct verification/relocation survey to determine overlapping of titles over Lots 1 and 2. PLS 736 covered by OCT No. 4489 are SET ASIDE. The Director of Lands has no authority to grant free patent to lands that have ceased to be public in character and have passed to private ownership. all of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of Agusan del Norte. P-8649.[37] Considering. In the event that respondents claim of encroachment of 15. PLS 736 be entered by the Registry of Deeds. 65854 and Judgment dated October 8. not totally. Private ownership of land . the corresponding adjustment in the metes and bounds of petitioners property should be reflected in OCT No. a certificate of title issued pursuant to a homestead patent partakes of the nature of a certificate issued in a judicial proceeding only if the land covered by it is really a part of the disposable land of the public domain. Psu-213148 and Lot 2994. however. exclusive. TCT No. the Decision dated June 10. that the claim of overlapping has not been clearly established. Consequently. T-1428 and OCT No. O-104. WHEREFORE. 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA- G. respectively. voided and the corresponding amendment as to the precise area and technical description of Lot 2994.