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G.R. No. 176929 July 4, 2008
INOCENCIO Y. LUCASAN for himself and as the Judicial Administrator of the Intestate Estate of the late JULIANITA
SORBITO LUCASAN, petitioner,
CORPORATION, respondents.
The Case:
On appeal is the March 23, 2006 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 81518, affirming the July 24, 2003 Order of
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, Branch 43, granting respondents motion to dismiss, as well as its subsequent
Resolution denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.
Petitioner Inocencio Y. Lucasan (Lucasan) and his wife Julianita Sorbito (now deceased) were the owners of Lot Nos. 1500-A and 229-E
situated in Bacolod City, respectively, subject of a mortgage loan and for failure to pay, the lots were sold at public auction and were
awarded to PBC as the highest bidder.
Lucasan, as well as the mortgagee banks, PNB and RPB, did not redeem the properties within the redemption period. Nevertheless,
PBC did not file a petition for consolidation of ownership.
In January 1997, Lucasan, through counsel, wrote a letter to the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), PBCs receiver and
liquidator seeking the cancellation of the certificate of sale and offering to pay PBCs claim against Lucasan.
Not long thereafter, Lucasan paid his loans with the PNB and RPB. Consequently, the mortgagee banks executed their respective
releases of mortgage, resulting in the cancellation of the prior encumbrances in favor of PNB and RPB.
On August 13, 2001, PDIC denied Lucasans request for the cancellation of the certificate of sale advising the latter that said properties
be disposed of in a public bidding in accordance with its policy.
Lucasan then filed a petition denominated as declaratory relief with the RTC of Bacolod City
On July 24, 2003, the RTC granted PDICs motion to dismiss, finding the claim of any cloud over the titles of Lucasan to be bereft of
basis in fact and in law.
Lucasan filed a motion for reconsideration, but the RTC denied it on October 20, 2003.
On appeal, the CA affirmed in toto the RTC ruling. It declared that Lucasan already lost his right to redeem the properties when he
failed to exercise it within the prescribed period. The effect of such failure was to vest in PBC absolute ownership over the subject
WON the RTC correctly dismissed Lucasans complaint for quieting of title.
Unfortunately for Lucasans complaint, the foregoing requisites to avail of the remedy of quieting of title are wanting.
To avail of the remedy of quieting of title, two (2) indispensable requisites must concur, namely:
(1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and
(2) the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting a cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or
inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy Stated differently, the plaintiff must show that he
has a legal or at least an equitable title over the real property in dispute, and that some deed or proceeding beclouds its
validity or efficacy.
Admittedly, the subject parcels of land were levied upon by virtue of a writ of execution issued in Civil Case No. 12188. On May 13,
1981, a public auction of the subject parcels of land was held and the lots were awarded to PBC as the highest bidder. A certificate of
sale in favor of PBC was issued on the same day, and was registered and annotated on TCT Nos. T-68115 and T-13816 as Entry No.
112552 on June 5, 1981.
Under the 1964 Rules of Court, which were in effect at that time, the judgment debtor or redemptioner had the right to redeem the
property from PBC within twelve (12) months from the registration of the certificate of sale. With the expiration of the twelve-month
period of redemption and no redemption having been made, as in this case, the judgment debtor or the redemptioner lost whatever
right he had over the land in question.
Lucasan admitted that he failed to redeem the properties within the redemption period, on account of his then limited financial
situation.23 It was only in January 1997 or fifteen (15) years later that he manifested his desire to reacquire the properties. Clearly thus,
he had lost whatever right he had over Lot Nos. 1500-A and 229-E.
The payment of loans made by Lucasan to PNB and RPB in 1997 cannot, in any way, operate to restore whatever rights he had over
the subject properties. Such payment only extinguished his loan obligations to the mortgagee banks and the liens which Lucasan
claimed were subsisting at the time of the registration of the notice of embargo and certificate of sale.