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LTD CASE DIGESTS (FINALS) powered by the alleged Deed of sale, which according to his mother, made

Tuesday 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. by Duran in favor of his mother. Upon the knowledge of said mortgage, he
Atty. Erwin Tiamson informed the Register of Deeds that he did not consent to the said transaction
entered into by his mother. However, it was foreclosed on the ground that the
Indefeasibility of Title mortgagor defaulted in paying the debt.

SOLIVEN v. Francisco Duran further claimed that the Deed of Sale in favor of her mother
was a forgery, saying that at the time of its execution, he was in the United
FACTS: States of America - which said claim was controverted by the private
respondent claiming that it is genuine and hence, the subsequent mortgage
In this case, the main issue of contention is whether a title to real is valid.
property passed to an innocent purchaser by a deed of sale executed by
individuals whom portrayed themselves as owners and duly authorized ISSUE:
attorney-in-fact. WHETHER OR NOT the mortgage is valid

The Soliven Spouses are the registered owners of two parcels of RULING:
lands in Davao City. On about May 25, 1972, Atty. Tompong and Mr. Ngoho, YES. Private respondent is considered as an innocent third person
after a couple of visits to the Soliven Spouses were able to obtain from the clothed by the presumption of regularity and good faith. Accordingly, good
Spouses, an agreement to sell their property to a certain Mr. Espinosa for P faith consists in the possessor’s belief that the person from whom he received
60,000.00 and gave the Soliven Spouses an initial P10,000.00 downpayment. the thing was the owner of the same and could convey his title.
In addition to this, Atty, Tompong and MrNgoho were able to convince the Furthermore, where the innocent persons relying on the
Soliven Spouses to give them the certificate of title of the property under the correctness of the certificate of title issues, acquire rights over the property,
promise that they would completely pay of the balance within 6 months, failing the court cannot disregard such rights and order the total cancellation of the
to do so would entitle the Soliven Spouses to the amounts paid and the return certificate for that would impair public confidence in the certificate of title;
of their title. otherwise, it would impair the integrity of the torrens system for it would
require each person to inquire as to the regularity of the title despite on its
Atty. Tompong and Mr. Ngoho failed to fulfill their obligation and face, it is regular.
could not be located until the time that they were arrested by the Philippine Lastly, he is barred from filing the case on the basis of estoppel by
Constabulary on the complaint by Atty. Mapayo for them having sold to hi the laches due to his failure to timely file the case.
property of the Solivens.
Deferred Indefeasibility
After the arrest of Atty. Tompong and Mr. Ngoho, the Soliven Prescription
Spouses confronted them for selling a portion of their property, falsification Action Based on Fraud
by Atty. Tompong of a notary authorizing Mr. Ngoho as attorney-in-fact to
accept the down payment of Mr. Mapayo, and also for falsification of power CARO VS COURT OF APPEALS
of attorney empowing Mr. Ngoho to sell the properties. Facts:
Epifanio Caro bought 3 parcels of land from Simeon Gallego, Trinidad
As the complaint proceeded, there were other facts uncovered - Castem, Rolando Iranaya and EribertoIranaya sold a parcel of land which
Atty. Tompong and Mr. Ngoho had also sold the property to certain Mr. Cagas they inherited from CustodiaJalandoni, and from the the heirs of Rafael
and that the Certificate of Title had already been cancelled by Mr. Cagas due Gaylan.
to the sale transaction. In 1963, Epifanio Caro had those three (3) parcels of land surveyed and were
then designated as Lot No. 54. In 1963, Epifanio Caro had those three (3)
Cagas and Atty. Tompong answered the Soliven’s complaint while parcels of land surveyed. The parcels of land of Epifanio Caro were
MrNgoho did not. Apparently, Mr. Cagas bought the property having been denominated as Lot No. 54 and the land claimed by the private respondents
shown by Atty. Tompong of the Certificate of Title of the land that showed that Serafin V. Ronzales, Jose Ronzales, Jr. and GemmeRonzales, as Lot No.
it was unemcumbered – both with the Registry of Deeds and the Owner’s 55. Epifanio Caro had the three lots consolidated after the survey into one lot,
Duplicate Copy. Mr. Cagas never knew that the documents of special power and Tax Declaration No. 7688 was issued. During the cadastral proceeding,
of attorney was falsified. Epifanio Caro filed an answer for Lot 54. There is no showing whether or not
a title was issued to him.
Initially, the Trial Court ruled that Mr. Cagas was entitled to possession and The private respondents claim that the questioned land was
enjoyment of property as he was an innocent purchaser for value. formerly owned by PascualaLacson and was declared in her name
under Tax Declaration No. 4234. PascualaLacson was married to
ISSUE: Domingo Ronzales. When Epifanio Caro bought a parcel of land
Whether a title to real property passed to an innocent purchaser by from Simeon Gallego, respondents were already living in a house
a deed of sale executed by individuals whom portrayed themselves as of semi-strong materials on the questioned land.
owners and duly authorized attorney-in-fact is considered valid and binding. Sometime in 1964, another survey was conducted. The parcels of
land claimed by Epifanio Caro were denominated as Lot No. 54
RULING: and the land claimed by the private respondents was denominated
NO. The Court found that in order that the holder of a Certificate of as Lot No. 55. Epifanio Caro filed an answer for Lot No. 54 and
Title for value may be considered a holder in good faith, the instrument PurificacionRonzales, mother of private respondent Jose
registered must not be forged. In this case, the Court found that Mr. Cagas Ronzales, Jr. filed an answer for Lot No. 55. No other person or
was not an innocent purchaser as the Special Power of Attorney to sell the persons filed an answer for Lot No. 55. Consequently, Original
property was forged and on top of this, Mr. Cagas did not perform due Certificate of Title No. 0-6836 was issued in the names of the
diligence in confirming that the person who executed the deed of mortgage private respondents, in equal shares of 1/3 portion each on
are the real registered owners of the propery. September 17, 1970.
In June 1973, the spouses Epifanio Caro and Paz Caro filed an
DURAN vs IAC
ejectment case against Augusta Chavez, NacisoGalila,
TimoteoParreno, Ramon Aranduque and Rafael Galotera,
FACTS:
involving Lot Nos. 56, 59 and 60. In 1974, the spouses filed an
ejectment and illegal detainer case against Ramon Aranduque,
Duran is the owner of two lands registered before the Register of
TimoteoParreno and Augusta Chavez, involving Lot No. 54.
Deeds of Caloocan City which he purchased from Moja Estate. Said
properties were mortgaged to respondent Marcelo-Tiangco by his mother
On June 4, 1975, Epifanio Caro flied a complaint before the Court
of First Instance of Iloilo (Civil Case No. 10235) for cancellation of RULING: Yes, CA erred in holding that the action of the petitioners to assail
Certificate of Title No. 0-6836, reconveyance, recovery of OCT No. 0-1619 and TCT No. 1392 and for the reconveyance of the property
possession and damages on the ground of fraud. During the covered by the said title had already prescribed when they filed their answer
pendency of the case, Epifanio Caro died, so he was substituted to the complaint.
by his heirs, namely, Eliseo Caro, Carlos Caro, Benito Caro,
Carmen Caro Batayola and Lorenzo Caro. Case law has it that an action for reconveyance prescribes in ten years, the
point of reference being the date of registration of the deed or the date of
On November 22, 1982, trial court ruled in favor of the private
issuance of the certificate of title over the property. In an action for
respondents on the grounds of estoppel, absence of fraud in the
reconveyance, the decree of registration is highly regarded as
registration of the questioned land and prescription. This ruling was
incontrovertible. What is sought instead is the transfer of the property or its
affirmed by the respondent court. Hence, the present petition for
title, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another person’s
review on certiorari.
name, to its rightful or legal owner, or to one who has a better right.
Issue: Whether or not the action in Civil Case No. 10235 has
prescribed. However, in a series of cases, this Court declared that an action for
reconveyance based on fraud is imprescriptible where plaintiff is in
Held: No. The Court stated that the prescriptive period for the possession of the property subject of the acts.
reconveyance of fraudulently registered real property is ten (10)
years reckoned from the date of the issuance of the certificate of In this case, Lourdes Leyson and, after her death, the petitioners, had been
title. The Supreme Court came out with this decision by correlating in actual possession of the property. The petitioners were still in possession
Section 53, paragraph 3 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 and of the property when they filed their answers to the complaint which contained
Article 1456 of the Civil Code with Article 1144(2) of the Civil Code. their counterclaims for the nullification of OCT No. 0-1619 and TCT No. 1392,
Article 1144. The following actions must be brought within ten years and for the consequent reconveyance of the property to them. The
from the time the right of action accrues: reconveyance is just and proper to put a stop to the unendurable anomaly
(1) Upon a written contract; that the patentees should have a Torrens title for the land which they and their
(2) Upon an obligation created by law; predecessors never possessed and which has been possessed by another
(3) Upon a judgment. in the concept of an owner.
x xxxxxxxx
An action for reconveyance has its basis in Section 53, paragraph Casipit v. CA
3 of Presidential Decree No. 1529, which provides:
Facts:
In all cases of registration procured by fraud, the owner may pursue
all his legal and equitable remedies against the parties to such
fraud without prejudice, however, to the rights of any innocent On April 1987, a Complaint was filed by petitioners against private
holder of the decree of registration on the original petition or respondents mainly for the recovery of a property, alleging that Emiliano
application, ... Casipit is the true and lawful owner of the questioned property located at.
This provision should be read in conjunction with Article 1456 of Sinalhan, Sta. Rosa, Laguna by virtue of continuous, uninterrupted, peaceful,
the Civil Code, which provides: open and public possession in the concept of owner since 1930; that they
were deprived of ownership thereof by the Beatos through narcisioBeato, who
Article 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the filed a Petition for Reconstitution of Titles in the name of Gabriel beato, using
person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of an fictitious documents. Petitioners therefore prayed that TCT and other
implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property succeeding titles be cancelled, as well as the tax declarations; that the
comes. questioned property be reconveyed to them; that the document entitled,
The law thereby creates the obligation of the trustee to reconvey “Kasulatan ng Pagmamana at Paghahati”. Insofar as it included the
the property and the title thereto in favor of the true owner. In the questioned property be rescinded; and that private respondents be ordered
present case, therefore, inasmuch as Civil Case No. 10235 was to pay damages and attorney’s fees.
filed on June 4, 1975, it was well-within the prescriptive period of
ten (10) years from the date of the issuance of Original Certificate The lower court dismissed the petition, holding that the defendants have a
of Title No. 0-6836 on September 17, 1970. better right than the plaintiffs, that the cause of action of the plaintiffs being
based on fraud has prescribed for it must be filed within 4 years after the
Leyson v. Bontuyan cause of action arose. The issuance of the reconstituted title over the subject
lot and its registration in the office of the Register of Deeds of Laguna in 1953
FACTS: Calixto Gabud was the owner of a parcel of land, which was later is the starting date for the prescriptive period to commence. The respondent
divided into two parcels of land due to a construction of a provincial road. He court affirmed the said decision and denied petitioners’ motion for
later sold to land to spouses Tabal, who then sold it to spouses Simeon Noval reconsideration, hence this petition.
and Vivencia Bontuyan. The latter then sold the land to Lourdes Leyson. Petitioner’s contention: pursuant to the certification by the Bureau of Lands
that patent over the questioned property has not been issued to Gabriel
Meanwhile, Gregorio Bontuyan, despite the knowledge that his daughter and Beato, the Kasulatan is therefore a void contract. This being the case, the
son-in-law purchased the property in question, filed an application for free action taken by petitioners is imprescriptible. Private respondents Diaz
patent alleging that the property was a public land, neither claimed nor spouses were buyers in bad faith because they had full knowledge that
occupied by any person, and that he first entered upon and began cultivating Emiliano Casipit has been in actual possession in the concept of owner of the
the same in his favor. He obtained free patent over said property, hence, he questioned property and paid the real property taxes thereon.
sold it to his son, Naciansino Bontuyan, who later executed a real estate Issue: Whether petitioners’ action already prescribed.
mortgage over the said property in favor of the Development Bank of the Held: Yes. There is no dispute that an action for reconveyance based on a
Philippines and left the Philippines to reside in the United States. void contract is imprescriptible. However, this is not the case at bar. The
action filed by petitioner before the trial court was for: a. reconveyance
When spouses Bontuyan returned to the Philippines to redeem the property obased on fraud since the ownership of private respondents over the
from DBP, they discovered that there were tenants living on the property questioned property was allegedly established on “false assertions,
installed by Engr. Gabriel Leyson, one of the late Lourdes Leyson’s children. misrepresentations and deceptive allegations. b. for rescission of the
Kasulatan. Thus the action based on fraud filed by petitioners before the trial
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the reconveyance of title of court is subject to prescription.
Lot 17150 covered by OCT No. 0-1619 and presently covered by TCT No. Based on jurisprudence, the prescriptive period for reconveyance of
1392, in favor of petitioners had prescribed? fraudulently registered real property is 10 years reckoned from the date of the
issuance of the certificate of title. Conformably, the prescriptive period for cancelled and a new TCT was issued in the names of EL DORADO and
petitioners’ action for reconveyance is 10 years from August 30, 1963, the Lacsamana.
date of the issuance of TCT in favor of Beato. Obviously, the subject matter On 1980 Lacsamana purportedly sold his one-half 1/2 share to LBJ
is not beneficial to petitioners because they filed for the action for Development Corporation represented by its President, Leviste. A certain
reconveyance only on April 27, 1987. Lumanglas registered the deed of sale in the RD resulting in the cancellation
of the TCT of EL DORADO and Lacsamana and the issuance of a new TCT
in the names of EL DORADO and LBJ.
Action on Implied Trust On 1982 LBJ became the owner of the entire lot when EL DORADO sold to
it its one-half share for a consideration. Consequently, the latest TCT was
PAZ VILLAGONZALO, ESTELA VILLAGONZALO, AIDA cancelled and new TCTs Nos were issued in the name of LBJ.
VILLAGONZALO, HERMINIA VILLAGONZALO, GWENDOLYN On 1983 the surviving heirs of Leon Robles, filed a complaint with the RTC of
VILLAGONZALO, JENSINE VILLAGONZALO and LEONILA Lipa City against Lacsamana, EL DORADO, LBJ and Leviste for the recovery
VILLAGONZALO, petitioners, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT of the one-half undivided share of Leon in the subject lot and the cancellation
and CECILIA A. VILLAGONZALO, respondents. of the TCTs in the name of LBJ. The complaint alleged that the signature of
Leon Robles in the Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of Lacsamana was a
Facts: Juan C. Villagonzalo, the predecessor-in-interest of the parties, forgery as Leon was already dead at the time of the alleged sale.
purchased Lot at Barrio Dolores, Municipality of Ormoc from the Heirs of The RTC rendered judgment in favor of plaintiffs, holding that defendant LBJ
Roman Matuguina for P1, 500. It was made to appear however that the sale is not a purchaser in good faith, further ordering the cancellation of all the
was in the name of his daughter, defendant Cecilia Villagonzalo, who was present titles covering the subject lot and to reinstate the TCT in the names
single, since he borrowed from her the sum of P500.00 to complete the full of Leon Robles and El Dorado Plantation, Inc.
payment of the price of the lot. Consequently, TCT No. 4259 was issued in The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings and conclusions of the trial court
the name of defendant Cecilia A. Villagonzalo as the registered owner on July on appeal by EL DORADO, LBJ and Leviste. The 2 courts differed only
18, 1962. The complaint was filed on April 2, 1975 thirteen (13) years after insofar as the issue of prescription was concerned. Instead of the period of
the issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 4259 on the subject land in four (4) years for filing actions for reconveyance on ground of fraud cited by
the name of the defendant Cecilia Villagonzalo. The Court of Appeals, held the trial court, respondent CA ruled that the present action had not yet
that the right of action of therein plaintiffs-appellees, petitioners herein, had prescribed since actions to declare the nullity of a void contract was
prescribed. It anchored its conclusion on doctrinal holdings that an action for imprescriptible
reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten ISSUE:
years counted from the date when adverse title is asserted by the possessor 1. WON the action instituted by the private respondents barred by reason
of the property. Respondent court further noted that because of the neglect of prescription
and inaction of the present petitioners, the private respondent was thereby 2. WON the action instituted by the private respondents barred by reason
made to feel secure in her belief that she had rightly acquired the controverted of laches
land and that no legal action would be filed against her.
HELD: The petition is DENIED. The questioned decision of respondent CA
Petitioner’s contention: they contended that their action was seasonably affirming that of the RTC of LipaCity is AFFIRMED.
filed because private respondent's registration of the land in her name was 1. On the issue of prescription, we agree that the present action has not yet
not a repudiation of the implied trust created between her and their father; prescribed because the right to file an action for reconveyance on the ground
and, confusing extinctive for acquisitive prescription, that good faith and just that the certificate of title was obtained by means of a fictitious deed of sale
title are essential requisites in this case. is virtually an action for the declaration of its nullity, which action does not
prescribe. Hence, the fact that the alleged sale took place in 1971 and the
Issue: WON the action for reconveyance based on implied trust had already action to have it declared void or inexistent was filed in 1983 is of no
been prescribed. moment. To reiterate, an action for reconveyance based on a void contract is
imprescriptible.
Ruling: Yes. It is now well settled that an action for reconveyance of real 2. It should be noted that private respondents, upon learning that the relevant
property to enforce an implied trust shall prescribe after ten years, since it is portion of Lot No. 13535 was no longer registered in the name of Leon,
an action based upon an obligation created by law, and there can be no doubt immediately caused an investigation to be made for the purpose of finding
as to its prescriptibility. It is likewise established that said period of ten years out the author and the circumstances behind the execution of the fictitious
is counted from the date adverse title to the property is asserted by the 1971 Deed of Absolute Sale. Thus, in less than two (2) months after it was
possessor thereof. In the case at bar, that assertion of adverse title, which discovered by the NBI that Lacsamana was in fact a fictitious/non-existent
consequently was a repudiation of the implied trust for the purpose of the person, private respondents through their attorney-in-fact instituted on 1983,
statute of limitations, took place when Transfer Certificate of Title No. 4259 the present action i.e., barely three (3) years and nine (9) months after the
was issued in the name of private respondent on July 18, 1962. There is also fraudulent registration on 22 January 1980. Thus, it is said, the concept of
evidence of record that as far back as 1961, private respondent refused to laches is not concerned with the lapse of time but only with the effect of
give any share in the produce of the land to petitioners; that in 1963 she unreasonable lapse.
mortgaged the property in her own name; and that in 1969, she leased the NOTES:
same to one Ramon Valera, without the petitioners taking preventive or 1. The rule that a person dealing with registered land has the right to
retaliatory legal action. rely on the Torrens title will not apply when such person has actual
knowledge of facts that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make
Action based on Void Contract an inquiry. Given the attendant circumstances, in addition to the defects
Action based on fictitious deed of the 1971 Deed of Absolute Sale found, petitioner LBJ cannot claim to
LACSAMANA, ET AL VS. CA be a buyer in good faith. But even if we concede that petitioner LBJ was
FACTS: innocent of the fraud perpetrated against private respondents, the
Leon Robles and his niece Amparo Robles were the registered co-owners in records abound with facts which should have impelled it to investigate
equal shares of a lot in Lipa City, covered by an OCT. Subsequently Amparo deeper into the title of Lacsamana, more so when such effort would not
sold her 1/2 undivided share to El Dorado Corp. a TCT was issued in the have entailed additional hardship, nay, would have been quite easy,
names of EL DORADO and Leon Robles as co-owners. since the titled co-owner of Lacsamana is LBJ’s own sister company EL
On 24 September 1969 Leon Robles died survived by his wife Ester and 2 DORADO
children as his sole heirs. However, in a Deed of Absolute Sale dated 22 July
1971, Leon Robles purportedly with the marital consent of his wife sold his
one-half 1/2 undivided share to one Lacsamana. 9 years later the Deed of
Absolute Sale was registered in the RD of Lipa City by one Gonzales.
Consequently, the TCT in the names of EL DORADO and Leon Robles was
Legaspi does not prove that the land was legally conveyed without any
contract of sale having been executed. Hence, the acquisition of the lot by
Legaspi was highly irregular and void, and not in compliance with the
procedure mandated by law. The issuance of a certificate of title in favor of
Action based on Void Contract Legaspi did not vest ownership nor did it validate the alleged purchase of lot,
which is null and void. Time and again, it has been held that registration does
not vest title. It is merely evidence of such title over a particular property.
SOLID STATE MULTI-PRODUCTS CORPORATION VS. COURT OF
APPEALS No, the petitioner’s action has not prescribed. Although a period of 1 year has
GR NO. 83383 already expired from the time the certificate of title was issued to Legaspi
pursuant to the alleged sale from the government, said title does not become
Facts:
incontrovertible but is null and void since the acquisition of the property was
Petitioner Solid State Multi-Products Corp., a domestic corporation, filed an
in violation of law. Further, the petitioner is in possession of the land in
action for quieting of title against respondent estate of Virata, alleging that it dispute. Hence, its action to quiet title is imprescriptible. In one case, the
is the registered owner of a parcel of land (friar land) located at Imus Cavite
Court ruled that an adverse claimant of a registered land who is in possession
which was covered by a Certificate of Title issued on February 24, 1976; and
thereof for a long period of time is not barred from bringing an action for
that Virata, during his lifetime, thru fraud, caused the issuance of Certificate
reconveyance which in effect seeks to quiet title to the property against a
of Title on September 1, 1959 thru an administrative reconstitution of a
registered owner relying upon a Torrens title which was illegally or wrongfully
nonexistent original title covering the same parcel of land, and that because
acquired.
of said reconstitution and subsequent issuance of TCT, there now exists a
cloud on the title of petitioner.

Petitioner claimed that its predecessor, Julian Peñaranda, was the actual Action to quiet title
occupant of the lot when the application to purchase was filed. The Secretary
of Agriculture and Natural Resources approved the sale of the lot without
auction, and a sales contract was executed between the Director of Lands Sapto v. Fabiana
and Peñaranda on 1969 for a consideration of P1,198.00 paid in 10 monthly
installments. Upon full payment of the price, a final deed of conveyance was FACTS:
issued in his favor. The subject property located in Alambre, Toril, Davao City was originally
owned by Sapto. He died, leaving three sons namely, Samuel, Constancio,
Virata denied the allegations in the complaint, claiming that his predecessor- and Ramon. The latter predeceased his brothers, leaving no heirs. Samuel
in-interest, Mabini Legaspi, bought the subject property through public and Constancio executed a deed of sale for a portion of said property in
bidding wherein Legaspi obtained a TCT from the RD of Cavite. Legaspi held favour of Fabiana in consideration of P240.00. The sale was approved by the
ownership of the property up to 1957 when he executed a deed of sale to governor of Davao but was never registered. The property was transferred to
Fabiana and from then on he enjoyed possession from 1931 until the case
Antenor Virata. Such deed was registered with the RD, who later on issued a
was filed.
TCT to Virata. However, on 1959, the Provincial Capitol building of Cavite
which housed the RD was burned, destroying land records and titles in the Constancio died with no issue, leaving Samuel as sole administrator of the
registry among which were the records relating to the subject property. After property. Upon the latter’s death, his widow and two children filed the present
3 months, the RD administratively reconstituted the original TCT based on action for recovery of the parcel of land sold by their predecessors to
owner’s duplicate certificate. defendant. The CFI held that although the sale between the Sapto brothers
and Fabiana was never registered, it was binding valid and binding upon the
The trial court rendered its decision in favor of defendant Virata declaring the parties and the vendors’ heirs. The Court of First Instance also ordered the
TCT of petitioner Solid State null and void. Petitioner appealed to CA which petitioners to execute the necessary deed of conveyance in favor of the
merely affirmed the decision of the trial court. defendant.

Issues: ISSUE:
Whether or not the sale of the subject land to Mabini Legaspi, respondent’s Whether or not the CFI’s order of conveyance in favour of Fabiana was valid.
predecessor-in-interest, is void
HELD:
Whether or not petitioner Solid State’s action has prescribed The SC first affirmed the validity of the sale between the Sapto brothers and
Fabiana, ruling, that even though it was never registered the sale was valid,
Ruling: binding, and effective upon the heirs of the vendor. According to the court,
Yes, the sale is void. Sec. 18 of Act No. 1120 provides: No lease or sale made actual notice of the sale served as registration. Futher, that the transfer and
by the Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands under the provisions of this Act possession of the property was a clear indication of the validity of the sale.
shall be valid until approved by the Secretary of the Interior. The issuance of
the certificate of title was in violation of the Friar Lands Act as the required Regarding the issue on the validity of the order of conveyance, the SC ruled
approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources was absent. that it was valid. In assailing the order, the Sapto heirs claimed that the CFI
cannot order the conveyance because the defendant’s cause of action had
Likewise, Sec. 2 of CA No. 32 provides that the persons who, at the time of already prescribed.
the subdivision survey are actual and bona fide occupants of any portion of
The SC ruled however, that the action for conveyance was actually one to
the Friar Lands Estates, not exceeding 10 hectares, shall be given preference
quiet title. In ruling so, the SC cited American jurisprudence and Art. 480 of
to purchase the portion occupied at a private sale and at a price to be fixed
the New Civil Code, which states, that actions to quiet title to property in the
in such case, by the Director of Lands, subject to the approval of the Secretary possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
of Agriculture and Commerce, after taking into consideration its location,
quality and any other circumstances as may affect its value xxx. The purchase
made by Peñaranda was in compliance with law, it was valid as it was
approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and paid in
full. Thus, the sale made by Peñaranda to petitioner Solid State transferred
the ownership of land resulting in the proper issuance of the TCT. On the
other hand, the existence of official receipts showing payment of the price by
Tax Declaration No. 22522 beginning with the year 1959
(Exhibit "2-A"), later cancelled by TD No. 3539 in 1966
(Exhibit "2"). Realty taxes were also religiously paid from
JULIANA CARAGAY-LAYNO, assisted by her husband, 1938 to 1972 (Exhibits "3-A" to "3-H"). Tacking the previous
BENITO LAYNO, petitioner, possession of her father to her own, they had been in actual
vs. open, continuous and uninterrupted possession in the
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and concept of owner for about forty five (45) years, until said
SALVADOR ESTRADA as Administrator of the possession was disturbed in 1966 when ESTRADA informed
Estate of the Deceased, MARIANO DE VERA, respondents. JULIANA that the Disputed Portion was registered in Mariano
DE VERA's name.
Inasmuch as DE VERA had failed to assert any rights over
I. FACTS:
the Disputed Portion during his lifetime, nor did he nor his
successors-in-interest possess it for a single moment: but
A parcel of land located at Calasiao, Pangasinan with an area of
that, JULIANA had been in actual, continuous and open
8,752 square meters covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT)
possession thereof to the exclusion of all and sundry, the
No. 63 is registered in the name of the late Mariano M. De Vera.
inescapable inference is, fraud having been unsubstantiated,
that it had been erroneously included in OCT No. 63. The
The late Mariano M. De Vera’s widow filed in a petition for an
mistake is confirmed by the fact that deducting 3,732 sq. ms.,
Inventory of all properties of the deceased, which included a “parcel
the area of the Disputed Portion from 8,752 sq. ms., the area
of land situated in Calasiao, Pangasinan containing an area of
of Lot 1 in OCT No. 63, the difference is 5,020 sq. ms., which
5,417 square meters, more or less”. During the pendency of the
closely approximates the area of 5,147 sq. ms., indicated in
case, the widow died and was replaced by Salvador Esrada as the
the Inventory of Property of DE VERA. In fact, the widow by
administrator of the estate of Mariano M. De Vera.
limiting the area in said Inventory to only 5,147 sq. ms., in
effect, recognized and admitted that the Disputed Portion of
Because of the discrepancy in area mentioned in the inventory as
3,132 sq. ms., did not form part of the decedent's estate.
5,417 square meters and that in the title as 8,752 square meters,
Estada repaired to the parcel of land and found that the The foregoing conclusion does not necessarily wreak havoc
northwestern portion was occupied by petitioner Juliana on the indefeasibility of a Torrens title. For, mere possession
CaragayLayno and Benito Layno. Estrada demanded that they of a certificate of title under the Torrens System is not
vacate the property since it was titled in the name of Mariano M. conclusive as to the holder's true ownership of all the property
De Vera but petitioners refused claiming that the land belonged to described therein for he does not by virtue of said certificate
them and to their predecessors-in-interest. alone become the owner of the land illegally included. 2 A
Land Registration Court has no jurisdiction to decree a lot to
Estrada then instituted suit against Juliana CaragayLayno for the persons who have never asserted any right of ownership over
recovery of the disputed portion which had been resisted on the it.
ground that the said portion had been fraudulently or mistakenly
included in OCT No. 63. Juliana CaragayLayno then Prescription cannot be invoked against JULIANA for the
counterclaimed for reconveyance of the disputed property. reason that as lawful possessor and owner of the Disputed
Portion, her cause of action for reconveyance which, in effect,
After hearing, the CFI rendered judgment ordering Juliana seeks to quiet title to the property, falls within settled
CaragayLayno to vacate the disputed portion. On appeal, the CA jurisprudence that an action to quiet title to property in one's
affirmed the CFI’s ruling in toto. Furthermore, the CA held that the possession is imprescriptible. 5 Her undisturbed possession
remedy sought by Juliana CaragayLayno (reconveyance of the over a period of fifty two (52) years gave her a continuing right
disputed portion), is no longer available since it had already to seek the aid of a Court of equity to determine the nature of
prescribed after 10 years. In other words, Mariano M. De Vera’s the adverse claim of a third party and the effect on her own
title has become indefeasible. title. 6
Besides, under the circumstances, JULIANA's right to quiet
Juliana CaragayLayno then elevated the case to the Supreme title, to seek reconveyance, and to annul OCT. No. 63
Court contesting the findings of the CA that her action had already accrued only in 1966 when she was made aware of a claim
prescribed. adverse to her own. It was only then that the statutory period
of prescription may be said to have commenced to run
II. ISSUE: against her, following the pronouncement in Faja vs. Court of
Appeals, supra, a case almost Identical to this one.”
Whether or not petitioner’s action for reconveyance of the disputed
portion had already prescribed.
Laches
III. HELD:

No, the action is imprescriptible since the property was originally CONCORDIA MEJIA DE LUCAS v. ANDRES GAMPONIA
possessed by Juliana and her predecessors-in-interest openly, G.R. No. L-9335 October 31, 1956
continuously and uninterruptedly in the concept of an owner.
Facts: On March 13, 1916, free patent No. 3699 was issued over the land
The Supreme Court ruled: subject of the action in the name of Domingo Mejia. Such patent was
transcribed in the Register of Deeds in Nueva Vizcaya and issued in the name
“The evidence discloses that the Disputed Portion was of Meija.
originally possessed openly, continuously and
uninterruptedly in the concept of an owner by Juan Caragay, On March 24, 1916, after the issuance of the patent but before the registration
the deceased father of JULIANA, and had been declared in of the same, patentee Domingo Mejia deeded the land to ZacariasCiscar,
his name under Tax Declaration No. 28694 beginning with the who immediately took possession thereof and enjoyed its fruits.
year 1921 (Exhibit "2-C"), later revised by Tax Declaration No.
2298 in 1951 (Exhibit "2-B"). Upon the demise of her father in Upon his death the property was included in the distribution of his estate and
1914, JULIANA adjudicated the property to herself as his sole adjudicated to Roque Sanchez which in turn sold the land on January 21,
heir in 1958 (Exhibit "4"), and declared it in her name under 1940 to Andres Gamponia. Sanchez was in possession and enjoyment of the
land from the time he acquired it by inheritance from Ciscar up to the time he
sold it to Andres Gamponia, the latter has also possessed and enjoyed the
property from the time he bought it to date
Res Judicata
Domingo Mejia, upon his death, left no descendants or ascendants and his
only surviving kin was his brother Pedro Mejia. Pedro Mejia is now also dead
and is survived by his daughter Concordia Mejia de Lucas. Roxas v. Court of Appeals and Magueson Management
(GR No. 138660, February 5, 2004).
The court a quo held that the sale by the patentee to ZacariasCiscar is null related to Heirs of Manuel A. Roxas v. Court of Appeals, 337 Phil. 41
and void, as the sale was made only 11 days after the issuance of a patent (G.R. 118436 dated 03-21-97)
in violation of the provisions of section 35 of Act No. 926. The Court further
held that since the land is registered land no title in derogation to that of the
registered owner could have been acquired either by ZacariasCiscar or his Facts:
successors in interest, namely, Roque Sanchez and AndresGamponia
This petition to cite for indirect contempt the officers of Meycauayan Central
The main defense of Gamponia is that Plaintiff’s right of action has already Realty Corp. (Meycauayan, for brevity) for defying the final and executory
prescribed by virtue of the possession of the land by the Defendant and his Decision and Resolution of the Supreme Court in G.R. 118436.
predecessors in interest for a period of 37 years.
“Heirs of Manuel A. Roxas and Trinidad de Leon Vda. De Roxas v. CA and
Issue: Whether or not the defendant has an equitable defense in the form of Maguesun Management & Devt. Corp.” stems from a case filed by Vda. De
laches Roxas to set aside the decree of registration over two (2) unregistered parcels
of land in Tagaytay City granted to Maguesun before the RTC on the ground
Ruling: Yes. While no legal defense to the action lies, an equitable one lies of actual fraud. The RTC dismissed the petition. On appeal, the CA denied
in favor of the Defendant and that is, the equitable defense of laches. No hold the petition for review and affirmed the findings of the RTC. On 21 March
that the defense of prescription or adverse possession in derogation of the 1997, the Supreme Court Decision reversed the CA’s decision and Vda. de
title of the registered owner Domingo Mejia does not lie, but that of the Roxas’ petition was granted. Accordingly, the registration of title over the
equitable defense of laches. Otherwise, stated, we hold that subject parcels is awarded to Vda. de Roxas and her heirs. The LRA is
while Defendant may not be considered as having acquired title by virtue of directed to ISSUE with reasonable dispatch the corresponding decree of
his and his predecessors’ long continued possession for 37 years, the original registration and certificate of title pursuant to Sec. 39 of P.D. 1529.
owner’s right to recover back the possession of the property and the title
thereto from the Defendant has, by the long period of 37 years and by On 22 May 1997, Meycauayan filed a Petition for Intervention in G.R. 118436
patentee’s inaction and neglect, been converted into a stale demand. alleging that since it is a purchaser in good faith and for value, the Court
should afford it the opportunity to be heard and that the adverse earlier SC
In the case of Go Chi Gun vs Co-Cho et al, we held that the equitable defense decision cannot impair its rights as a purchaser in good faith and for value.
of laches requires four elements:
1. Conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one under whom he In a Resolution dated 29 July 1998, the SC acted favorably on the Roxas
claims, giving rise to the situation of which complaint is made and heirs’ Motion for Clarification which states: (1) decree of registration must be
for which the complaint seeks a remedy; cancelled by the LRA itself (Sec. 39, P.D. No. 1529) and issue a new decree
2. Delay in asserting the complainant’s rights, the complainant having in favor of the Roxas heirs, and (2) cancellation of the original certificate of
had knowledge or notice, of the defendant’s conduct and having title properly devolves upon the Register of Deeds who, under Sec. 40 of P.D.
been afforded an opportunity to institute a suit; No. 1529, has earlier entered a copy thereof in his record book.
3. Lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the Defendant that the
complainant would assert the right on which he bases his suit; On 20 April 1999, Meycauayan then filed a Complaint for reconveyance,
4. Injury or prejudice to the Defendant in the event relief is accorded damages and quieting of title with the trial court.
to the complainant, or the suit is not held to be barred.
All the four elements mentioned above are present in the case at bar. The On 6 May 1999, Meycauayan further filed a “Special Appearance Questioning
first element is present because on March 24, 1916 Domingo Mejia sold the Court Jurisdiction and Opposition to the Motion of Issuance of Writ of
land which was covered by a free patent title dated March 13, 1916 and said Possession Against Meycauayan” with the land registration court which
sale or conveyance was made in violation of Section 35 of the Public Land deferred Meycauayan petition until the SC had resolved finality for contempt
Act. of the movant in G.R. No. 138660.

The second element is also present because from the date of the sale on On March 7, 2000, the trial court dismissed for lack of merit the complaint for
March 24, 1916 the patentee and vendor Domingo Mejia could have instituted reconveyance. It held that the nullity of the source of Meycauayan’s titles is
the action to annul the conveyance and obtain back the possession and now res judicata and that its prayer to annul the decision of the SC is beyond
ownership of the land. the trial court’s jurisdiction.

The third element of latches is constituted when the defendant and his Meanwhile, the Roxas heirs filed on 2 June 1999 this petition to cite for
predecessors in interest, the original vendee and purchaser ZacariasCiscar, contempt the officers of Meycauayan.
as well as vendee’s successors in interest, Roque Sanchez, and later, Andres
Gamponia, never expected or believed that the original patentee or his Issues:
successors in interest would bring an action to annul the sale. Whether the SC Decision and Resolution in G.R. No. 118436 bind
Meycauayan on the ground that it is a stranger to the case.
The fourth element is also present, not only because ZacariasCiscar paid for
the land but this same land was divided among the heirs of ZacariasCiscar in Held:
the proceedings for the settlement of his estate Yes. The petition is meritorious. The fact that this Court specifically ordered
the cancellation of Meycauayan’s title to the disputed parcels of land in the
Resolution dated 29 July 1998 should have laid to rest the issue of whether
the Decision and Resolution in G.R. No. 118436 is binding on Meycauayan.

The Court ruled in G.R. 118436 that Meycauayan’s predecessor-in-interest,


Maguesun, committed actual fraud in obtaining the decree of registration of
the subject properties. The Decision in G.R. No. 118436 binds Meycauayan
under the principle of “privity of interest” since it was a successor-in-interest The plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court which appeal was dismissed
of Maguesun. thereby terminating Civil Case of the Second Branch of the Court of First
Instance, whereby the appealed decision became final and executory.
Meycauayan, however, insists that it was a purchaser in good faith because Before the appeal of the plaintiffs has been perfected and the record elevated
it had no knowledge of any pending case involving the lots. Meycauayan to the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs filed the instant action against the widow
claims that the trial court had already canceled the notice of lis pendens on and heirs of the late Cayetano Pinto for cancellation of the Original Certificate
the titles when it purchased the lots from Maguesun. of Title, the Transfer Certificate of Title, and the reversion of the land covered
by the said titles to the State.
In its Memorandum, Meycauayan stresses that to ensure the authenticity of
the titles and the annotations appearing on the titles, particularly the That the registered owners in Transfer Certificate of Title mortgaged the
cancelation of the notice of lis pendens, Meycauayan checked with the entire parcel of land covered therein to the Philippine National Bank to secure
Register of Deeds and the Regional Trial Court of Tagaytay City. a loan of P4,000.00 and the mortgaged instrument was registered in the
Office of the Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the Transfer
Since Meycauayan checked with the Regional Trial Court of Tagaytay City, Certificate of Title No.
Meycauayan then had actual knowledge, before it purchased the lots, of the The court ruled that the execution by the homesteader Cayetano Pinto of the
pending case involving the lots despite the cancelation of the notice of lis document within the prohibited 5-year period from the issuance of the patent,
pendens on the titles. being in violation of Section 118 of Commonwealth Act 141, produced the
effect of annulling and cancelling the said patent and thus caused the
Furthermore, the Roxas family has been in possession of the property reversion to the State of the property thereby covered.
uninterruptedly through their caretaker, Jose Ramirez, who resided on the Issue: Whether or not there is lack of cause of action of the complaint.
property. Where the land sold is in the possession of a person other than the
Ruling: There is no merit to this appeal. This case is actually no necessity for
vendor, the purchaser must go beyond the certificates of title and make
logical reasoning; by express provision of Section 118 of Commonwealth Act
inquiries concerning the rights of the actual possessor.
141, any transfer or alienation of a homestead grant within five years from the
issuance of the patent is forbidden, making said alienation null and void, 1 and
Meycauayan, therefore, cannot invoke the right of a purchaser in good faith
constituting a cause for reversion of the homestead to the State.
and could not have acquired a better right than its predecessor-in-interest.
This Court has already rejected Meycauayan’s claim that it was a purchaser It may likewise be stated that while the prohibition against the alienation of
in good faith when it ruled in G.R. No. 118436 that there had been no the land grant is designed to preserve it within the family of the homesteader
intervening rights of an innocent purchaser for value involving the lots in and to promote small land ownership in this country it is equally true that this
dispute. policy of the State can not be invoked to condone a violation of the Public
Land Act and withhold enforcement of the provision directing the reversion of
Indeed, one who buys property with full knowledge of the flaws and defects the property to the grantor in case of such violation. For, the prohibitory
of the title of his vendor and of a pending litigation over the property gambles provision against any alienation or encumbrance of the land grant is not only
on the result of the litigation and is bound by the outcome of his indifference. mandatory, but is considered a condition attached to the approval of every
A purchaser cannot close his eyes to facts which should put a reasonable application.
man on guard and then claim that he acted in good faith believing that there
was no defect on the title of the vendor. The court below committed no error in ordering the reversion to plaintiff of the
land grant involved herein, notwithstanding the fact that the original certificate
State Not Bound By Prescription title based on the patent had been cancelled and another certificate issued in
the names of the grantee's heirs.
Republic of the Philippines v. Ruiz - Digest The principle of conclusiveness of the title of a registered owner, "although
GR. No. L-23712 - April 29, 1986 sound as applied to land registered under the Land Registration Act through
judicial proceedings, cannot defeat the express policy of the State prohibiting
This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance ordering the the alienation and encumbrance of lands of the public domain acquired under
cancellation of Original Certificate of Title No. I-1600, substituted by Transfer the provisions of the Public Land Act within five years from and after the date
Certificate of Title No. T-7196, issued in the names of therein defendants and of the issuance of patent." Thus, where a grantee is found not entitled to hold
declaring the reversion to the State of the land covered thereof. and possess in fee simple the land, by reason of his having violated Section
118 of the Public Land Law, the court may properly order its reconveyance to
Facts: The plaintiff (Republic of the Philippines) instituted the present action the grantor, although the property has already been brought under the
for the reversion of the entire land containing an area of 23 hectares, 97 ares operation of the Torrens System.
and 57 centares, covered by Homestead Patent No. 22711 granted in the
name of Cayetano Pinto, who died in 1945. On May 28, 1937 the registered The decision appealed from being in accordance with law, the same is hereby
owner, Cayetano Pinto, married to Ramona Ruiz, sold a portion of 3 hectares affirmed; defendants-appellants(Ruiz) are ordered to reconvey to plaintiff-
of land in favor of Jacobo Pinto, married to Herminia Tinonas, for the sum of appellee(Republic of the Philippines) the land.
P500.00. Laches
The Deed of Sale executed by the deceased Cayetano Pinto in favor of
Jacobo Pinto who died sometime in 1950, was never registered in the Office
FELICIANA EDRALIN, petitioner, vs. ANDRES EDRALIN, ET AL.,
of the Register of Deeds of Isabela, nor annotated at the back of the Original
respondents.
Certificate of Title. Ramona Ruiz and her children executed an extrajudicial
partition of the entire land on which was registered on afterwards, being G.R. No. L-14399 January 28, 1961
reason for the issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title.
The widow Herminia Tinonas and heirs of the late Jacobo Pinto filed an action FACTS:
against the widow Ramona Ruiz and heirs of the late Cayetano Pinto for the An association of irrigators called "Association Zanjerade Santo Rosario
conveyance of the portion of 3 hectares, sold and conveyed by the late Mamutbut” has its officers and members pertaining to the business of
Cayetano Pinto in favor of the late Jacobo Pinto. communal irrigation system. To be a member of this association, one must
comply with his or her duties consisting of digging and maintaining the canals
The Court of First Instance rendered a decision declaring that the Deed of of the irrigation system in order to insure the continuous flow of water to the
Sale executed by the deceased Cayetano Pinto in favor of the late lands irrigated. Such labor, however, maybe performed either in person or
JacoboPintonull and void ab initioand dismissed the complaint with costs through a substitute. As compensation and as privilege for enrolled members,
against the plaintiffs. from the decision of the Court of First Instance a share of the land of the association labelled in the dialect as "tugao" was
given to each of them. This share is usually about one hectare of riceland.
Each member tills or cultivates his share, by himself or with the aid of tenants. reivindicacion but notwithstanding the case Sabina Capua still remained in
The members enjoy the products of the land. They can declare for taxation the disputed land.
purposes their respective shares and exercise rights of ownership over the
same. As long as a member fulfill his obligations and does not violate the On April 21, 1950 while the civil case was pending, Sabina Capua sold the
rules and regulations, he remains the owner and possessor of the land property to Gualberto Calulot and there was no evidence that the latter was
assigned to him. Otherwise, he may be expelled from the association and the informed or came to know of the pending litigation between Sabina Capua
"tugao" or share is returned for re-distribution. and Jose Maramba. The CFI declared Jose Maramba as the absolute owner
of the property. However, the decision was not executed within the
Andres Edralin solicited from the association that he shall be given the reglementary period of 5 years from the time it had become final. Several
forfeited share which originally belonged to his grandfather, Nicolas Edralin years later Calulot sold the same property to spouses Felipe Capua and
who were members of record of the association, with his wife, Gregoria Sinforosa Padilla (respondents). However, Jose Maramba having died, his
Albano. Upon the death of Nicolas, his portion was worked by his son, Antero heirs and successor-in-interest sold the property to (petitioner) Juan Dacasin
Edralin. Unfortunately, Antero committed some infractions of the rules of the and his wife. Afterwards, they went to the Court and secured a writ of
association, so he was removed. Andres felt that the share of his grandfather possession and it was granted.
should be revived to him and the share of his grandmother should be revived Aggrieved, Felipe Capua together with his wife and his original vendors
to his sister Feliciana Edralin. Gualberto Calulot filed a civil case against Juan Dacasin and the heirs of Jose
More than 40 years after Andres had been admitted as a member of the Maramba. According to Felipe Capua he has the better right over the
association, his sister Feliciana filed for the partition of the parcels of land ownership of the property by virtue of his purchase in good faith and by the
given to her by the association and which formerly constituted the share or continuous possession from 21 April, 1950 of his immediate predecessor-in-
'tugao' of their grandfather. The complaint alleged that the lands in interest Gualberto Calulot succeeded by himself. On other hand, Juan
controversy, which had been conveyed by Andres to his heirs, are owned by Dacasin alleged that he was the true owner, and that the question of
both of them. ownership was already judicially settled. After trial, judgment was rendered in
favor of petitioners Juan Dacasin, On appeal, CA reversed the judgment.
Andres contended that he alone, acquired the parcels of land by purchase Hence this petition for review on certiorari.
with his own exclusive funds, and that Feliciana's action had already
prescribed. Issue: Whether or not Dacasin has the title over the property?

Held:
ISSUE: Whether or not Feliciana is entitled to the share of the disputed land.
Yes. The deed of sale executed between Jose Maramba as vendee and
Emiliana Abad as vendor was duly registered in the Registry of Deeds. Under
HELD: NO. Only said defendant Andres appears in the rolls of the association the law, Article 709 of the New Civil Code, titles of ownership or of other rights
as a member, expressly found in the entrance fee for membership. And while over immovable property duly inscribed or annotated in the Registry of
it is true that the first payments on account of the entrance fee were entered Property constitute notice to third persons and affords protection in favor of
in the book of the association in the names of Feliciana and Andres, said him who in good faith relies upon what appears in the registry.
entries, however, were found to have been made by mistake. Thus, the As between two parties relying on their respective instruments of sale of the
subsequent payments of the entrance fee were made exclusively in the name same property, law and justice command that he who has registered his deed
of defendant Andres. must prevail over his adversary who has not done so. The rule of caveat
emptor requires the purchaser to be aware of the supposed title of the vendor
From 1908 up to the present, said Andres has been in possession of the lands and he who buys without checking the vendor's title takes all the risks and
in question. He had declared them for taxation purposes exclusively in his consequent to such failure. None of the deeds of sale evidencing the
name and he has been paying the taxes without Feliciana making any protest. ownership of Gualberto Calulot and Felipe Capua were registered in the
Finally, the work on the land had always been done exclusively by Andres for Registry of Property; hence they cannot prevail over the rights of the petitioner
his own account, and, Feliciana never intervened in the division of the Juan Dacasin who holds in his favor the instrument of sale duly registered.
produce, which was appropriated solely and exclusively by Andres.
SOCORRO COSTA CRISOSTOMO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
From up to the filing of the complaint in, 44 years have elapsed, during which
G.R. Nos. 91383-84 May 31, 1991
Feliciana took no steps to assert her rights over the property. The doubtful
nature of her claims is further aggravated by the fact that she and her brother,
Facts: Socorro Costa Crisostomo was the registered owner of a residential
had an extra-judicial partition of their common properties, and in that partition
house and lot, located in Mandaluyong and covered by a TCT. She has
the lands in question, their rights had not been included.
occupied the property ever since she had her house built and has introduced
The assertion of doubtful claims, after long delay, cannot be favored by the other improvements thereon. Sometime in 1978, Norma San Jose offered to
courts. This consideration is constituted in one of the pillars of the doctrine buy the land including the house thereon for P300,000.00. Crisostomo and
long familiar inequity jurisprudence to the effect that laches or unreasonable San Jose agreed that this amount would be paid from the proceeds of a loan
delay on the part of a plaintiff in seeking to enforce a right is not only that San Jose would obtain from a bank using petitioner Crisostomo's title as
persuasive of a want of merit but may, according to the circumstances, be collateral. As payment, San Jose issued three (3) post dated Far East Bank
destructive of the right itself. and Trust Company checks with a total amount of P300,000.00. On San
Jose’s request, another deed of sale was executed over the same property,
which was then registered, such that Crisostomo’s TCT was cancelled and a
new TCT was issued.
Caveat Emptor
Because of unfulfilled promises to make the postdated checks “good”,
Dacasin vs. Court of Appeals
Crisostomo demanded San Jose to return the title. However, the latter
GR No. L-32723, Oct 28, 1977
informed that the title was in the possession of Diana J. Torres, the
Facts:
mortgagee. San Jose never returned the said title as she had promised nor
did she ever make any payment to the petitioner. Thus, Crisostomo made a
Sometime prior to January 19, 1943, a registered parcel of land located in the
written demand to Diana J. Torres to reconvey the subject property to her.
barrio of Patayac Municipality of Sta. Barbara, Province of Pangasinan was
This demand was not satisfied. Crisostomo was thus compelled to file a Civil
being possessed by Jose Maramba which he bought to Emiliana Abad and
Case against San Jose but this was later amended to include Torres. The
in that month and year a certain Sabina Capua and companions grabbed
RTC of Pasig decided in favour of Crisostomo and ordered for the re-
possession of the property and since then they possessed the said parcel of
conveyance of the title and ordered San Jose and Torres to jointly and
land. Because of what happened Jose Maramba filed a civil case for
severally pay Crisostomo P100,000 as moral damages, P20,000 attorney’s
fees and costs. On Torres’ appeal to the CA, the CA affirmed the RTC’s
decision with modifications that the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage in favor of Held
Torres is to be noted on the Certificate of Title which will be re-issued to NO. The TCT is not valid
Crisostomo and excluded Torres from indemnifying Crisostomo. Crisostomo
filed a motion for partial reconsideration of the appellate court's decision but Admission of Secondary Evidence
was denied. R: Republic v. Court of Appeals. Before secondary evidence may be
admitted, there must be 1) proof of the execution of the original writing and 2)
Issue: Whether Torres is a mortgagee in good faith that it has been lost or destroyed or cannot be produced in court or that it is
in the possession of the adverse party who has failed to produce it after
Held: No. The Supreme Court held that a careful study of the records shows reasonable notice
that the Court of Appeals erred in finding that private respondent Diana Torres A: In this case, Ortigas has not shown that it complied with the requisites
is a mortgagee in good faith on the basis of evidence. which would justify the admission of the secondary evidence used and
erroneously relied upon by the court of appeals
There are strong indications that Atty. Flor Martinez, the lawyer of Diana J.
Torres, the mortgagee, knew of the defect of San Jose's title. When Atty. Dioquino v. Intermediate Appellate Court. "(w)hile it is true that the Court
Martinez personally inspected the property with San Jose for her client of Appeals is vested with the 'power to try cases and conduct hearings,
Torres, she allowed herself to be introduced to Socorro Crisostomo who was receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual
then actually occupying the house, as a Bank Inspector of the Development issues raised ..."
Bank of Meycauayan, Bulacan from whom the loan was being obtained,
obviously to convince Crisostomo that the procedure is in accordance with A: In this case
her agreement with San Jose.  there was not even a request for evidentiary hearing filed in this
case. The Court of Appeals therefore should not have admitted
Finally, when Torres herself visited the property she carefully evaded seeing said evidence without giving the adverse party opportunity to
Crisostomo personally, the actual occupant thereof, who could have easily present counter evidence, if any. Besides, "evidence necessary in
enlightened her as to the true owner. Based on jurisprudence, a person regards to factual issues raised in cases falling within the Appellate
dealing with registered land has a right to rely upon the fact of the Torrens Court's original and appellate jurisdiction contemplates incidental
Certificate of Title and to dispense with the need of inquiring further, except facts which were not touched upon, or fully heard by the trial or
when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances respondent Court. The law could not have intended that the
that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make further inquiries Appellate Court would hold an original and full trial of a main factual
issue in a case, which properly pertains to trial courts"
Even assuming that Torres does not in fact know the circumstances of the
sale, she is bound by the knowledge of Atty. Martinez or by the latter's
 The trial court cannot be faulted for not having granted respondent
Ortigas' motion to dismiss simply because the TCTs relied upon by
negligence in her haphazard investigation because the negligence of her
the latter do not accurately reflect their supposed origin. Thus, in
agents is her own negligence. It is a well-settled rule that a purchaser or
Ledesma v. Municipality of Iloilo (49 Phil. 769 [1926]) this Court
mortgagee cannot close his eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man
held that the "simple possession of a certificate of title, under the
upon his guard, and then claim that he acted in good faith under the belief
Torrens System, does not make the possessor the true owner of
that there was no defect in the title of the vendor or mortgagor. His mere
all the property described therein. If a person obtains a title, under
refusal to believe that such defect exists, or his willful closing of his eyes to
the Torrens System, which includes by mistake or oversight land
the possibility of the existence of a defect in the vendor's or mortgagor's title,
which cannot be registered under the Torrens System, he does not,
will not make him an innocent purchaser or mortgagee for value, if it
by virtue of said certificate alone, become the owner of the lands
afterwards develops that the title was in fact defective, and it appears that he
illegally included
had such notice of the defects as would have led to its discovery had he acted
with the measure of precaution which may be required of a prudent man in a
RE-ISSUANCE OF LOST OWNER’S DUPLICATE: PROCEDURE
like situation
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS
and VICENTE L. YUPANGCO, JR., respondents. [G.R. No.
Faulty Registration 128531. October 26, 1999]
WIDOWS & ORPHANS ASSOCIATION, INC., Petitioner, v. COURT OF Facts
APPEALS and ORTIGAS & COMPANY LIMITED
PARTNERSHIP, Respondents. Private respondent Vicente Yupangco is the owner of a unit in a
condominium building in Legaspi Street, Makati City, as evidenced by
Facts Certificate of Title No. 7648. Because his aforesaid certificate could not be
Widows and orphans association (WIDORA) claimed that it has in its located, he filed, on January 28, 1994, in the Regional Trial Court, Branch
possession a parcel of land covered by a TituloPropiedad on 1894 which was 136, Makati, a petition for the issuance of a new duplicate certificate of title in
issued under the name of the deceased Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. lieu of his lost copy, pursuant to 109 of P.D. No. 1529 (Property Registration
Widora then instituted a land registration case over the property at the CFI Decree). The trial court ordered the Register of Deeds of Makati to comment
over the said parcel of land which it applied for original registration. on the petition and thereafter set the case for initial hearing.

Ortigas& Co. then opposed the application. It claimed that it owned the parcel On February 11, 1994, the Registrar of Deeds of Makati filed a
of land from its predecessor in interest in 1905. as evidenced by a registered manifestation that it had no objection to the petition. After hearing private
title registered under the Torrens system issued under the name of Ortigas. respondents evidence, the trial court rendered its decision granting the
petition, declaring as invalid the missing copy of the certificate of title, and
Commissioner of Land registration then informed the trial court that the land ordering the Registrar of Deeds of Makati to issue a new owners duplicate
sought to be registered was “identically the same” with the lot covered under certificate of title in the name of private respondent. A copy of this decision
the transfer certificate of title issued to Ortigas. was furnished to the Solicitor General.

During the span of 9 years (1979 to 1988) hearings were held and parties On February 5, 1996, the Solicitor General moved for reconsideration
adduced evidence to support their contentions. of the trial court’s decision on the ground that no copy of private respondents
petition or notice thereof had been given to him and invokes 35(5), Chapter
Issue 12, Title III, Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code. He contends that, in
WON the TCT is valid despite the absence of a supporting decree of view of this provision, it was mandatory for the trial court to notify him of
registration private respondent’s petition and that its failure to do so rendered the
proceedings before it null and void.
Issue: Pido, he as well told that Pido’s widow told him that he should stay in the lot
and withhold any monthly payment until she arrives or demands it (The widow
Whether or not notice to the Solicitor General is necessary in a is in USA). RTC ruled in favor of Edy. CA brushed aside Ted’s argument.
proceeding for the issuance of the owners duplicate certificate of title. Hence, the appeal.

ISSUES:
Held:
1. WON the subject Declaration of Heirship and Waiver of Rights is a
The contention has no merit. The provision of the Administrative Code recognized mode of acquiring ownership by private respondent
relied upon by the Solicitor General is not new. It is simply a codification of over the lot in question.
1(e) of P.D. No. 478 (Defining the Powers and Functions of the Office of the
Solicitor General) 2. WON the said document can be considered as Deed of Sale in
favor of private respondent of the lot in question.
Indeed, the only basis for such claim is that the Office of the Solicitor
General represents the government in land registration and related
proceedings. Even so, however, the request for representation should have
HELD:
come from the Registrar of Deeds of Makati who was the proper party to the
case. Here, there is no dispute that the Registrar of Deeds of Makati was
The Court GRANTS the petition and SET ASIDE the decision of the CA.
notified of private respondents petition, but she manifested that her office had
no objection thereto. The Solicitor General does not question the propriety of On Issue No. 1
the action and manifestation of the Registrar of Deeds, nor does he give any
reason why private respondents petition for the issuance of a new owners No.
duplicate certificate of title should be denied. Instead, he claims that the fact Private respondent cannot conclusively claim ownership over the subject lot
that he was given a copy of the decision is an admission that he is entitled to on the sole basis of the waiver document.
be notified of all incidents relating to the proceedings.
Under Article 712 of the Civil Code, the modes of acquiring ownership are
This is not correct. Considering that the law does not impose such generally classified into 2 classes: (1) original mode (i.e., through occupation,
notice requirement in proceedings for the issuance of a new owners duplicate acquisitive prescription, law or intellectual creation) and (2) the derivative
certificate of title, the lack of notice to the Solicitor General, as counsel for the mode (i.e., through succession mortis causa or tradition as a result of certain
Registrar of Deeds, was at most only a formal and not a jurisdictional defect. contracts, such as sale, barter, donation, assignment or mutuum).

This case should be distinguished from our rulings in cadastral In a contract of sale, one of the contracting parties obligates himself to
registration case and original land registration proceedings which require that transfer the ownership of and to deliver a determinate thing, and the other
the Solicitor General be notified of decisions and hold as decisive, for the party to pay a price certain in money or its equivalent. Whereas, a declaration
purpose of determining the timeliness of the appeal filed by the government, of heirship and waiver of rights operates as a public instrument when filed
the date of his receipt of the decisions therein and not that of the Director of with the Registry of Deeds whereby the intestate heirs adjudicate and divide
Lands or of his other representatives. The issue and the applicable laws in the estate left by the decedent among themselves as they see fit.
those cases are different. Hence, private respondent, being then a stranger to the succession of Pido,
cannot conclusively claim ownership over the subject lot on the sole basis of
The important role of the Office of the solicitor General as the the waiver which neither recites the elements of either a sale, or a donation, or
government’s law office cannot be overemphasized. Its powers and any other derivative mode of acquiring ownership.
functions, however, should not be rigidly applied in such a manner that
innocuous omissions, as in the case at bar, should be visited with so grave a On Issue No. 2
consequence as the nullification of proceedings. After all, no prejudice to the
No.
government has been shown.
A notice of adverse claim was filed with the Registry of Deeds which
contained the Declaration of Heirship with Waiver of rights and was annotated
ADVERSE CLAIM at the back of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT) to the land in question.
This said notice, by its nature, does not however prove private respondent's
G.R. No. 118114 December 7, 1995 ownership over the tenanted lot. The Court emphasized that while the
TEODORO ACAP, petitioner, existence of said adverse claim was duly proven, there was no evidence
vs. whatsoever that a deed of sale was executed between the parties transferring
COURT OF APPEALS and EDY DE LOS REYES, respondent the rights in favor of private respondent. An adverse claim cannot by itself be
sufficient to cancel the OCT to the land and title the same in private
Spouses Santiago Vasquez and Lorenza Oruma, owned a parcel of land with respondent's name.
a registered title. After both spouses died, their only son Felixberto inherited
the lot. In 1975, Felixberto executed a duly notarized document entitled
"Declaration of Heirship and Deed of Absolute Sale" in favor of Cosme Pido. ADVERSE CLAIM: JUDICIAL DETERMINATION IS NECESSARY
He provided owners duplicate certificate of title to the court, which was
approved, and ctc was transferred to his name. Teodoro Acap a tenant that
Garbin vs CA
occupies 9,500m still occupied the lot even after the transfer of ownership,
he paid his rentals religiously, even after Pido died. Pido’s heirs waived their
G.R. No. 107653, February 05, 1996
rights by executing a notarized document as “Declaration of Heirship and
Waiver of Rights of Lot No. 1130 Hinigaran Cadastre” in favor of Edy. Edy FACTS: Pablo Garbin and Leoncia Garbin are the parents of petitioner Felipa
informed Ted that he is the owner and that the monthly should be paid to him, Garbin (Felipa) and private respondent Casimira Garbin (Casimira) married
Ted agreed to pay the annual RENTAL. Come 1983, Ted refused to pay to private respondent Antonio Julian. Pablo Garbin is the original owner of Lot
anymore monthly lease, this prompted Ed to ask for assistance from the 12712, Camiling, Tarlac Cadastre with an area of 25,681 square meters, title
Ministry of Agrarian Reform (MAR). MAR invited Ted to a conference to thereto being evidenced by Original Certificate of Title No. 33251.
discuss the matter but he did not attend, however, he sent his wife, MAR told
the wife that Ed is the new owner of the lot but she said that they do not On October 31, 1955, Pablo Garbin and his wife Leoncia executed a "Deed
recognize Ed’s ownership. After 4 years, Edy filed a complaint for recovery of of Absolute Sale of Real Estate" purportedly conveying to private respondent
possession and damages against Ted. During Trial, Ted contended that he Casimira Garbin the undivided northern half of the said lot. Casimira then
does not recognize the ownership of Edy but still recognize the ownership of registered an adverse claim over the property.
Claim of heirs who were excluded: Carantes vs CA 76 SCRA 514 – April
On May 24, 1970, Pablo Garbin sold the entire Lot 12712, including the 25 1977
northern portion, to petitioner Felipa by virtue of a Deed of Sale.
Consequently, Transfer Certificate of Title No. 88932 was issued in favor of Facts:
Felipa. On July 29, 1974, Felipa and Pablo Garbin filed an ejectment case
against private respondent spouses. In that case, the Municipal Trial Court of
Mateo Carantes, original owner of Lot No. 44 situated at Loakan,
Camiling, Tarlac decided against private respondents. They appealed the
Baguio City, died in 1913 leaving his widow Ogasia, and six children. In 1930,
case to the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac which affirmed the questioned
the government, in order to expand the landing field of the Loakan Airport,
decision. Private respondents then filed a petition for review with the Court of
filed for the expropriation of a portion of Lot. No. 44. Said lot was subdivided
Appeals, but said petition was dismissed. They questioned the dismissal in
into Lots. No. 44A to 44E for the purpose.
this Court docketed as G.R. No. 59817 but the petition was denied due
course.
In 1933, Maximino Carantes (petitioner) was appointed and
On March 1, 1982, before judgment could become final in the ejectment case, qualified as the judicial administrator of the estate of Mateo. Four heirs,
private respondents filed a complaint for annulment of sale, partition and namely, Bilad, Lauro, Sianang, and Crisipino, executed a deed denominated
damages with the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac. “Assignment of Right to Inheritance” assigning to Max their rights over said
lot in 1939 with a stated monetary consideration of P1.00. On same date, Max
sold Lot Nos. 44B and 44C to the government and divided the proceeds
The RTC ruled in favor of petitioner and dismissed the complaint. Aggrieved, among them. One year later the Court of First Instance, upon joint petition of
private respondents went to the Court of Appeals which reversed and set the Carrantes heirs, issued an order cancelling O.C.T. No. 3 and TCT No.
aside the decision of the trial court. 2533 was issued in its place.

On 16 March 1940, Max registered the deed of “Assignment of


ISSUE: Whether or not private respondents, as the alleged first vendees in a Right to Inheritance”. Thus, TCT No. 2533 of heirs was cancelled and TCT
double sale, (who annotated the same as an adverse claim on the covering 2540 was issued in the name of Max. A formal deed of Sale was also
title) have a superior right over petitioner, the subsequent vendee (who executed by Max on the same date in favor of the government. Hence, TCT
received a transfer certificate of title for the entire lot despite prior inscription 2540 was cancelled and new TCTs were issued in favor of the government
of the adverse claim). and Max, respectively. On 4 Sept. 1958, Bilad, Lauro, and Crispino, along
with the surviving heirs of Apung and Sianang filed complaint in the CFI.

RULING: The purpose of the annotation of an adverse claim is to protect the They claimed that the execution of the deed of assignment was attended by
interest of a person over a piece of real property where the registration of fraud. The trial court decided that the action of the heirs had already
such interest or right is not otherwise provided for by the Land Registration prescribed since an action on fraud prescribes on four years from discovery
Act, and serve as a notice and warning to third parties dealing with said of such, in this case, on 16 March 1940 when Max registered the deed of
property that someone is claiming an interest on the same or a better right assignment. The Court of Appeals reversed and found that a constructive
than the registered owner. trust was created.

Issue: Whether or not a constructive trust involves a fiduciary relationship


and whether the action had already prescribed
Mere registration of an adverse claim does not make such claim valid nor is
it permanent in character.—From the provisions of the law, it is clear that
mere registration of an adverse claim does not make such claim valid, nor is Held:
it permanent in character. More importantly, such registration does not confer
instant title of ownership since judicial determination on the issue of the
ownership is still necessary. The court, assuming that there was fraud, and in turn, a
constructive trust in favor of the other heirs, said that constructive trust does
not involve a promise nor fiduciary relations. No express trust was created in
favor of the private respondents. If trust there was, it could only be — as held
When a person slept in his rights for 28 years from the time of the transaction, by respondent court — a constructive trust, which is imposed by law. In
before filing the action amounts to laches which cannot be excused even by constructive trusts there is neither promise nor fiduciary relations; the so-
ignorance resulting from unexcusable negligence.—The title of the defendant called trustee does not recognize any trust and has no intent to hold the
must be upheld for failure or the neglect of the plaintiffs for an unreasonable property for the beneficiary. It was also held by the respondent court that the
and unexplained length of time of more than fifteen (15) years since they petitioner was merely holding the property in trust for the benefit of his co-
registered their adverse claim, or for a period of more than three (3) decades heirs as administrator, hence, there was a continuing and subsisting trust,
since the execution of the deed of sale in their favor upon which their adverse and pursuant to section 38 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the provisions of
claim is based, to do that which, by exercising diligence, could or should have the said Code on prescription (Secs. 40-41) do not apply. It is our view,
been done earlier. For it is this negligence or omission to assert a right within however, that there was no continuing and subsisting trust. Hence, the
reasonable time that is construed that plaintiffs had abandoned their right to respondent court’s conclusion that the rule on constructive notice does not
claim ownership under the deed of sale, or declined to assert it. Thus, when apply because there was a fiduciary relationship between the parties lacks
a person slept in his rights for 28 years from the time of the transaction, before the necessary premise. Action had already prescribed because there was
filing the action amounts to laches which cannot be excused even by constructive notice to the heirs when Maximino registered the deed of
ignorance resulting from unexcusable negligence. assignment with the register of deeds on 16 March 1940. Such date is the
reckoning point of counting prescription based on fraud. The respondent
court’s contention that constructive trust is imprescriptible, the court said that
it is untenable. It is already settled that constructive trusts prescribes in 10
years. In this case, the ten year period started on 16 March 1940. And since
the respondents commenced the action only on 4 Sept. 1958, the same is
barred by prescription.
Confirmation of Imperfect Title

Republic vs. De Guzman


February 28, 2000 G.R. No. 137887

Facts:
Norma Almanzor and private respondent Salvador de Guzman filed
conflicting applications for confirmation of imperfect title over parcels of land
in Cavite. The lower court rendered judgment in favor of de Guzman and
Almanzor. It approved the petition for registration and placed the subject
parcels of land under Acts 141 and 946, and PD 1529. The Court of Appeals
affirmed such decision, hence, this case.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the de Guzmans have submitted proof of simple
title or possession in the manner and length of time required by law
to justify confirmation of an imperfect title?
2. Whether or not the de Guzmans have overthrown the presumption
that the lands are portions of public domain?
Ruling:
1. No. It could be traced from the records of the case that the period
of occupancy of the de Guzmans of the subject land only amounts
to 26 years, which 4 years short of the required 30 years of
occupancy. Thus, they have not complied with the requirements of
the law.
2. No. The lot has only been declared alienable in 1965. Thus, prior
to that period, it was incapable of private appropriation. Thus,
although they have occupied the lot at an earlier time, those years
cannot be counted or included in the 30 year requirement