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Domngi vs Landichio

Facts:

Domingi file an application for registration of the lots located in Tagytay. In his application, Domingo claimed that he bought the lots
from Genoveva Manlapit (Genoveva) in 1948 and has since been in continuous, open, public, adverse and uninterrupted possession
thereof in the concept of an owner. Domingo further claimed that prior to his purchase of the lots, Genoveva had been in possession
thereof in the concept of an owner for more than 30 years. 3

The Land Registration Authority (LRA) noted a discrepancy. Consequently, the RTC referred the matter to the Lands Management
Sector, Region IV for verification and correction.

Acting on the directive of the RTC, the Director of Lands filed a Report that "per records of the Lands Management Bureau in Manila,
the land involved in said case was not covered by any land patent or by public land application pending issuance of patent."

The respondents Severino and Raymundo Landicho, Julian Abello, Marta de Sagun, and Editha G. Sarmiento filed an
Answer/Opposition to Domingo's application, claiming that they have been in open, continuous, adverse and actual possession and
cultivation of the lots in the concept of an owner and have been paying real estate taxes thereon.

The RTC approved Domingo's application for registration. Respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals, contending that contrary to
Domingo's claim that he and his predecessors-in-interest have been in actual, continuous and uninterrupted possession of the lots,
Domingo has always been a resident of No. 34 Dao St., Project 3, Quezon City; that despite Domingo's claim that he has a caretaker
overseeing the lots, he could not even give the name of the caretaker; and that Domingo admittedly declared the lots in his name only
in 1993. The Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the RTC decision and dismissed Domingo's application for registration of land
title.

Issue:

Whether or not the court erred in dismissing the application for registration of the petitioner?

Held:

No. the court ruled in a negative and sustained the decision of CA. Domingo failed to adduce proof that Genoveva, from whom he
seeks to tack his possession, acquired registrable title over them on June 12, 1945 or earlier. Under the same assumption, Domingo's
claim that he has been in actual, continuous, adverse and open possession of the lots in the concept of an owner since 1948 is a
conclusion of law which must be substantiated with proof of specific acts of ownership and factual evidence of possession.

Gallardo vs. IAC

G.R. No. L-67742 October 29, 1987

Facts:

This case involves a parcel of land situated in Cavinti, Laguna owned and registered in the name of the late Pedro Villanueva was sold
to the petitioners by virtue of an unnotarized deed of sale that was allegedly signed by the late Pedro Villanueva conveying and
transfering the property in question in favor of the petitioners. Consequently, the origal title was cancelled and a new certificate of title
was issued. Accordingly, by virtue of an Affidavit of Reconstitution and upon presentation of the Owner's Duplicate Certificate of
Title, the title was administratively reconstituted and the Register of Deeds of Laguna issued Transfer Certificate of Title in the name
of the petitioners. The private respondent executed a Deed of Conveyance and Release of Claim , however, when private respondent
Marta Villanueva vda. de Agana refused to sign an Affidavit of Quit-claim petitioners instituted court suit against the private
respondent and her husband, Dr. Marcelo S. Agana, Sr. by filing a complaint for Quieting of Title and Damages with the Court of First
Instance of Laguna on February 3, 1977, demanding that their title over the questioned land be fortified by a declaration of ownership
in their favor and avoiding the af/recited Deed of Conveyance and Release of Claim.

CFI declared void ab initio the deed of sale and reconstituted transfer of title.

Issue:

Whether or not the unnotarized deed of sale can be considered as a valid instrument for effecting the alienation by way of sale of a
parcel of land registerd under the Torrens System.

Held:

The court ruled in a negative.

Deed of conveyance sufficient in law for purposes of registration

True, as argued by appellants, a private conveyance of registered property is valid as between the parties. However, the only right the
vendee of registered property in a private document is to compel through court processes the vendor to execute a deed of conveyance
sufficient in law for purposes of registration.
Plaintiffs-appellants' reliance on Article 1356 of the Civil Code is unfortunate. The general rule enunciated in said Art. 1356 is that
contracts are obligatory, in whatever form they may have been entered, provided all the essential requisites for their validity are
present. The next sentence provides the exception, requiring a contract to be in some form when the law so requires for validity or
enforceability. Said law is Section 127 of Act 496 which requires, among other things, that the conveyance be executed "before the
judge of a court of record or clerk of a court of record or a notary public or a justice of the peace, who shall certify such
acknowledgment substantially in form next hereinafter stated."

Peralta vs Abalon

Facts:

Bernardina Abalon (Abalon) owned a parcel of land which he sold to Restituto M. Rellama (Rellama) by virtue of a Deed of Absolute
Sale. Consequently, OCT was cancelled and in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) was issued in the name of Rellama. The
subject property was then subdivided into three (3) portions and was sold to Andal, Peralta and Lotivio.

Claiming that the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Abalon in favor of Rellama was a forged document, and claiming further that
they acquired the subject property by succession, they being the nephew and niece of Abalon who died without issue, plaintiff-
appellees Mansueta Abalon and Amelia Abalon filed the case below against Rellama.

The court a quo rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs-appellees and ordered the restoration of OCT No. (O) 16 in the name of
Abalon and the cancellation of the titles issued to the defendants-appellants. The fact that only a xerox copy of the purported deed of
sale between Rellama and Abalon was presented before the Register of Deeds for registration and the absence of such 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 ruled that Andal is a buyer in good faith for relying of the face of the title named after Rellema which subsequently
registered the land to his name, while Peralta is a buyer in bad faith merely relied upon the photocopy of the deed of sale between
Abalon and Rellema.

The heirs of Abalon filed a Motion for Reconsideration insofar as the CA declared the Andals to be buyers in good faith of the subject
property and, thus, that the land title issued in their favor was valid. Spouses Peralta, for their part, filed a Motion for Partial
Reconsideration of the said CA Decision pertaining to the portion that declared them as buyers in bad faith which accordingly
nullified the title issued to them. The CA denied the MR.

Issue:

Whether or not a forged instrument may become the root of a valid title in the hands of an innocent purchaser for value, even if the
true owner thereof has been in possession of the genuine title, which is valid and has not been cancelled.

Held:

It is well-settled that "a certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the
person whose name appears therein. 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."

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. A person is only charged with notice of the burdens and claims that are annotated on the title.20 This rule,
however, admits of exceptions, which we explained in Clemente v. Razo:21

The assailed Decision of the CA held that the Andals were buyers in good faith, while Spouses Peralta were not. Despite its
determination that fraud marred the sale between Bernardina Abalon and Rellama, a fraudulent or forged document of sale may still
give rise to a valid title. The appellate court reasoned that if the 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, the land is considered to have been subsequently sold to an
innocent purchaser, whose title is thus considered valid.25 The CA concluded that this was the case for the Andals.

We have also laid down the doctrine that there are instances when such a fraudulent document may become the root of a valid title.
One such instance is where the certificate of title was already transferred from the name of the true owner to the forger, and while it
remained that way, the land was subsequently sold to an innocent purchaser. For then, the vendee had the right to rely upon what
appeared in the certificate (Inquimboy vs. Cruz, G.R. No. L-13953, July 28, 1960). In this case, Andal already registered the property
under his name.
Tapuroc vs Almeda

G.R. NO. 152007 : January 22, 2007]

The facts:

The petitioners Procopio Tapuroc and all the successors-in-interest of deceased co-owner Antonia Ebe are the co-owners,
co-heirs and/or descendants of the original owners of a parcel of land Tagbilaran, Bohol . When petitioners decided to
partition the subject property they discovered from the Office of the City Assessor that the title covering the land was
already in the name of a certain Evans Mende by virtue of a Deed of Sale. Hence, the petitioners filed a filed a Complaint
for Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale, Cancellation of TCT alleging that respondents presented forged document
because the alleged vendors therein did not sign the conveying deed nor receive any consideration therefor.

The respondent Mendes, as defendants, denied the material allegations of the Complaint and averred that they bought the
subject parcel of land from its previous owners on as evidenced by a Deed of Sale duly notarized by Atty. Rodolfo Yap.

The trial court dismissed the case due to insufficiency of evidence to support the claims. Aggrieved by the decision of trial
court, the petitioners appeal to the CA, however, the latter upheld the decision of trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners presented sufficient evidence to established forgery of documents?

Held:

No, the petitioners have not sufficiently met the burden of proof to sustain their cause. As a rule, forgery cannot be
presumed. It must be proved by clear, positive and convincing evidence. Mere allegation of forgery is not evidence and
the burden of proof lies on the party alleging it. Here, the petitioners failed to discharge their burden.

The trial court correctly ruled that the parties themselves dictate the course and flow of the presentation of evidence, as
well as the witnesses for each side. Considering that the case before it is civil, not criminal, the lower court certainly
cannot, on its own, issue an order requiring a handwriting expert to appear before it and compare the documents presented
by the parties. It behoves upon the parties themselves to call forth their own set of witnesses and present their own
evidence to bolster their respective claims. If the petitioners failed to present an expert witness, only themselves ought to
be blamed.