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CIVIL PROCEDURE Hearings were held on respondent La Tondeña's application for injunctive

relief and on petitioner's motion to dismiss on August 8, 19 & 23, 1983 (p. 5,
TRADERS ROYAL BAN v. IAC Id.).
RE: Preliminary Attachment
Thereafter, the parties filed their respective memoranda (Annex F, p. 104;
The issue posed for resolution in this petition involves the authority of a Annex G, p. 113, Rollo).
Regional Trial Court to issue, at the instance of a third-party claimant, an
injunction enjoining the sale of property previously levied upon by the sherif Subsequently, the questioned order dated September 28, 1983 was issued by
pursuant to a writ of attachment issued by another Regional Trial Court. the respondent Judge declaring respondent La Tondeña Inc. to be the owner
of the disputed alcohol, and granting the latter's application for injunctive
The antecedent facts, undisputed by the parties, are set forth in the decision relief (Annex H-1, Id.).
of the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court thus: têñ.£îhqwâ£
On October 6, 1983, respondent Sherif Victorino Evangelista issued on
Sometime on March 18, 1983 herein petitioner Traders Royal Bank instituted Edilberto A. Santiago Deputy Sherif of Pasay City the corresponding writ of
a suit against the Remco Alcohol Distillery, Inc. REMCO before the Regional preliminary injunction (Annex N, p. 127, Id.).
Trial Court, Branch CX, Pasay City, in Civil Case No. 9894-P, for the recovery of
the sum of Two Million Three Hundred Eighty Two Thousand Two Hundred This was followed by an order issued by the Pasay Court dated October 11,
Fifty Eight & 71/100 Pesos (P2,382,258.71) obtaining therein a writ of pre 1983 in Civil Case No. 9894-P requiring Deputy Sherif Edilberto A. Santiago
attachment directed against the assets and properties of Remco Alcohol to enforce the writ of preliminary attachment previously issued by said court,
Distillery, Inc. by preventing respondent sherif and respondent La Tondeña, Inc. from
withdrawing or removing the disputed alcohol from the Remco ageing
Pursuant to said writ of attachment issued in Civil Case No. 9894-P, Deputy warehouse at Calumpit, Bulacan, and requiring the aforenamed respondents
Sherif Edilberto Santiago levied among others about 4,600 barrels of aged or to explain and show cause why they should not be cited for contempt for
rectified alcohol found within the premises of said Remco Distillery Inc. A withdrawing or removing said attached alcohol belonging to Remco, from the
third party claim was filed with the Deputy Sherif by herein respondent La latter's ageing warehouse at Calumpit, Bulacan (Annex F, p. 141, Petition).
Tondeña, Inc. on April 1, 1982 claiming ownership over said attached
property (Complaint, p. 17, Rollo). Thereafter, petitioner Traders Royal Bank filed with the Intermediate
Appellate Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition, with application for
On May 12, 1982, private respondent La Tondeña, Inc. filed a complaint-in- a writ of preliminary injunction, to annul and set aside the Order dated
intervention in said Civil Case No. 9894, alleging among others, that 'it had September 28, 1983 of the respondent Regional Trial Court of Malolos,
made advances to Remco Distillery Inc. which totalled P3M and which Bulacan, Branch IX, issued in Civil Case No. 7003-M; to dissolve the writ of
remains outstanding as of date' and that the 'attached properties are owned preliminary injunction dated October 6, 1983 issued pursuant to said order;
by La Tondeña, Inc.' (Annex '3' to petitioner's Motion to Dismiss dated July to prohibit respondent Judge from taking cognizance of and assuming
27, 1983 — Annex "C" to the petition). jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 7003-M, and to compel private respondent La
Tondeña, Inc., and Ex- Oficio Provincial Sherif of Bulacan to return the
Subsequently, private respondent La Tondeña, Inc., without the foregoing disputed alcohol to their original location at Remco's ageing warehouse at
complaint-in- intervention having been passed upon by the Regional Trial Calumpit, Bulacan.
Court, Branch CX, (Pasay City), filed in Civil Case No. 9894-P a "Motion to
Withdraw" dated October 8, 1983, praying that it be allowed to withdraw In its decision, the Intermediate Appellate Court dismissed the petition for
alcohol and molasses from the Remco Distillery Plant (Annex 4 to Petitioner's lack of legal and factual basis, holding that the respondent Judge did not
Motion to Dismiss-Annex C, Petition) and which motion was granted per abuse his discretion in issuing the Order of September 28, 1983 and the writ
order of the Pasay Court dated January 27, 1983, authorizing respondent La of preliminary injunction dated October 3, 1983. citing the decision in
Tondeña, Inc. to withdraw alcohol and molasses from the Remco Distillery Detective and Protective Bureau vs. Cloribel (26 SCRA 255). Petitioner moved
Plant at Calumpit, Bulacan (Annex "I" to Reply to Plaintif's Opposition dated for reconsideration, but the respondent court denied the same in its
August 2, 1983 — Annex E to the Petition). resolution dated February 2, 1984.

The foregoing order dated January 27, 1983 was however reconsidered by Hence, this petition.
the Pasay Court by virtue of its order dated February 18, 1983 (Annex A —
Petition, p. 15) declaring that the alcohol "which has not been withdrawn Petitioner contends that respondent Judge of the Regional T- trial Court of
remains in the ownership of defendant Remco Alcohol Distillery Corporation" Bulacan acted without jurisdiction in entertaining Civil Case No. 7003-M, in
and which order likewise denied La Tondeña's motion to intervene. authorizing the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory and prohibitory
injunction, which enjoined the sherif of Pasay City from interferring with La
A motion for reconsideration of the foregoing order of February 18, 1983 was Tondeña's right to enter and withdraw the barrels of alcohol and molasses
filed by respondent La Tondeña, Inc., on March 8, 1983 reiterating its request from Remco's ageing warehouse and from conducting the sale thereof, said
for leave to withdraw alcohol from the Remco Distillery Plant, and praying merchandise having been previously levied upon pursuant to the attachment
further that the "portion of the order dated February 18, 1983" declaring writ issued by the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City in Civil Case No. 9894-P. It
Remco to be the owner of subject alcohol, "be reconsidered and striken of is submitted that such order of the Bulacan Court constitutes undue and
said order". This motion has not been resolved (p. 4, Petition) up to July 18, illegal interference with the exercise by the Pasay Court of its coordinate and
1983 when a manifestation that it was withdrawing its motion for co-equal authority on matters properly brought before it.
reconsideration was filed by respondent La Tondeña Inc.
We find the petition devoid of merit.
On July 19, 1983, private respondent La Tondeña Inc. instituted before the
Regional Trial Court, Branch IX, Malolos, Bulacan presided over by There is no question that the action filed by private respondent La Tondeña,
Respondent Judge, Civil Case No. 7003-M, in which it asserted its claim of Inc., as third-party claimant, before the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan in Civil
ownership over the properties attached in Civil Case No. 9894-P, and likewise Case No. 7003-M wherein it claimed ownership over the property levied
prayed for the issuance of a writ of Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory upon by Pasay City Deputy Sherif Edilberto Santiago is sanctioned by Section
Injunction (Annex B,id ). 14, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court. Thus — têñ.£îhqwâ£

A Motion to Dismiss and/or Opposition to the application for a writ of If property taken be claimed by any person other than the party against
Preliminary Injunction by herein respondent La Tondeña Inc. was filed by whom attachment had been issued or his agent, and such person makes an
petitioner on July 27, 1983 (Annex C, p. 42, Id.) affidavit of his title thereto or right to the possession thereof, stating the
grounds of such right or title, and serves such affidavit upon the officer while
This was followed by respondent La Tondeña's opposition to petitioner's the latter has possession of the property, and a copy thereof upon the
Motion to Dismiss on August 1, 1983 (Annex D, p. 67, Id.). attaching creditor, the officer shall not be bound to keep the property under
the attachment, unless the attaching creditor or his agent, on demand of said
A reply on the part of petitioner was made on the foregoing opposition on officer, secures aim against such claim by a bond in a sum not greater than
August 3, 1983 (p. 92, Id.). the value of the property attached. In case of disagreement as to such value,
the same shall be decided by the court issuing the writ of attachment. The
officer shall not be liable for damages, for the taking or keeping of such WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby dismissed and the decision of the
property, to any such third-party claimant, unless such a claim is so made Intermediate Appellate Court in AC-G.R. No. SP-01860 is affirmed, with costs
and the action upon the bond brought within one hundred and twenty (120) against petitioner Traders Royal Bank.
days from the date of the filing of said bond. But nothing herein contained
shall prevent such third person from vindicating his claim to the property by SO ORDERED.1äwphï1.ñët
proper action ...
Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero and Cuevas, JJ., concur.
The foregoing rule explicitly sets forth the remedy that may be availed of by a
person who claims to be the owner of property levied upon by attachment, Makasiar and Abad Santos, JJ., reserves their vote
viz: to lodge a third- party claim with the sherif, and if the attaching creditor
posts an indemnity bond in favor of the sherif, to file a separate and Water Craft Venture v. Wolfe
independent action to vindicate his claim (Abiera vs. Court of Appeals, 45
SCRA 314). And this precisely was the remedy resorted to by private RULE 57 – PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT
respondent La Tondeña when it filed the vindicatory action before the
Bulacan Court. FACTS
Petitioner Watercraft Venture Corporation (Watercraft) is engaged in
The case before us does not really present an issue of first impression. In the business of building, repairing, storing and maintaining yachts, boats and
Manila Herald Publishing Co., Inc. vs. Ramos, 1 this Court resolved a similar other pleasure crafts at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Subic, Zambales. It
question in this wise: têñ.£îhqw⣠hired respondent Alfred Raymond Wolfe (Wolfe), a British national and
resident of Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, as its Shipyard Manager.
The objection that at once suggests itself to entertaining in Case No. 12263 During his employment, Wolfe stored the sailboat, Knotty Gull, within
the motion to discharge the preliminary attachment levied in Case No. 11531 Watercraft1’s boat storage facilities, but never paid for the storage fees. Later
is that by so doing one judge would interfere with another judge's on, Watercraft terminated Wolfe’s employment.
actuations. The objection is superficial and will not bear analysis.
Sometime in June 2002, Wolfe pulled out his sailboat from
It has been seen that a separate action by the third party who claims to be Watercraft's storage facilities after signing a Boat Pull-Out Clearance where
the owner of the property attached is appropriate. If this is so, it must be he allegedly acknowledged the outstanding obligation of US$16,324.82
admitted that the judge trying such action may render judgment ordering the representing unpaid boat storage fees. Despite repeated demands, he failed
sherif of whoever has in possession the attached property to deliver it to the to pay the said amount. Thus, Watercraft filed a Complaint for Collection of
plaintif-claimant or desist from seizing it. It follows further that the court Sum of Money with Damages with an Application for the Issuance of a Writ
may make an interlocutory order, upon the filing of such bond as may be of Preliminary Attachment.
necessary, to release the property pending final adjudication of the title.
Jurisdiction over an action includes jurisdiction over an interlocutory matter Wolfe on the other hand, claimed that he was hired as Service and
incidental to the cause and deemed necessary to preserve the subject matter Repair Manager, instead of Shipyard Manager and denied owing Watercraft
of the suit or protect the parties' interests. This is self-evident. the amount of US$16,324.82. He explained that the sailboat was purchased
in February 1998 as part of an agreement between him and Watercraft1’s
xxx xxx xxx then General Manager and President for repair and be used as training or fill-
in project for the staf, and to be sold later on.
It is true of course that property in custody of the law can not be interfered
without the permission of the proper court, and property legally attached is RTC granted Watercraft’s application for Writ of Preliminary
property in custodia legis. But for the reason just stated, this rule is confined attachment. CA on the other hand, granted Wolfe’s petition, annulling and
to cases where the property belongs to the defendant or one in which the setting aside the Writ of attachment, and declaring null and void the Notice
defendant has proprietary interest. When the sherif acting beyond the of attachment and levy.
bounds of his office seizes a stranger's property, the rule does not apply and
interference with his custody is not interference with another court's order ISSUE
of attachment. WON the allegations of fraud are sufficient to warrant the ex-parte
issuance of the Writ of Preliminary Attachment in favor of Petitioner
It may be argued that the third-party claim may be unfounded; but so may it Watercraft.
be meritorious, for that matter. Speculations are however beside the point.
The title is the very issue in the case for the recovery of property or the HELD
dissolution of the attachment, and pending final decision, the court may A writ of preliminary attachment is defined as a provisional remedy
enter any interlocutory order calculated to preserve the property in litigation issued upon order of the court where an action is pending to be levied upon
and protect the parties' rights and interests. the property or properties of the defendant therein, the same to be held
thereafter by the sherif as security for the satisfaction of whatever judgment
Generally, the rule that no court has the power to interfere by injunction that might be secured in the said action by the attaching creditor against the
with the judgments or decrees of a concurrent or coordinate jurisdiction defendant.
having equal power to grant the injunctive relief sought by injunction, is
applied in cases where no third-party claimant is involved, in order to For the issuance of an ex-parte issuance of the preliminary attachment
prevent one court from nullifying the judgment or process of another court to be valid, an affidavit of merit and an applicant's bond must be filed with
of the same rank or category, a power which devolves upon the proper the court in which the action is pending. Such bond executed to the adverse
appellate court . 2 The purpose of the rule is to avoid conflict of power party in the amount fixed by the court is subject to the conditions that the
between diferent courts of coordinate jurisdiction and to bring about a applicant will pay:
harmonious and smooth functioning of their proceedings. 1.All costs which may be adjudged to the adverse party; and
2.All damages which such party may sustain by reason of the attachment, if
It is further argued that since private respondent La Tondeña, Inc., had the court shall finally adjudge that the applicant was not entitled thereto.
voluntarily submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the Pasay Court by filing a
motion to intervene in Civil Case No. 9894-P, the denial or dismissal thereof As to the requisite affidavit of merit, Section 3 Rule 57 of the Rules of Court
constitutes a bar to the present action filed before the Bulacan Court. states that an order of attachment shall be granted only when it appears in
the affidavit of the applicant, or of some other person who personally knows
We cannot sustain the petitioner's view. Suffice it to state that intervention the facts:
as a means of protecting the third-party claimant's right in an attachment
proceeding is not exclusive but cumulative and suppletory to the right to 1.that a sufficient cause of action exists;
bring an independent suit. 3 The denial or dismissal of a third-party claim to
property levied upon cannot operate to bar a subsequent independent 2.that the case is one of those mentioned in Section 1[17] hereof;
action by the claimant to establish his right to the property even if he failed
to appeal from the order denying his original third-party claim.4 3.that there is no other sufficient security for the claim sought to be enforced
by the action; and
4.that the amount due to the applicant, or the value of the property the
possession of which he is entitled to recover, is as much as the sum for which The petitioner brought the matter via a Rule 45 petition before this Court . It
the order is granted above all legal counterclaims. maintains that although judgments of trial courts in summary judicial
proceedings, including presumptive death cases, are deemed immediately
The mere filing of an affidavit reciting the facts required by Section 3, Rule final and executory (hence, not appeal able under Article 247 of the Family
57, however, is not enough to compel the judge to grant the writ of Code), this rule does not mean that they are not subject to review
preliminary attachment. The sufficiency or insufficiency of an affidavit oncertiorari.
depends upon the amount of credit given it by the judge, and its acceptance
or rejection, upon his sound discretion. Watercraft failed to state with Likewise, petitioner posited that the respondent did not have a well-founded
particularity the circumstances constituting fraud, as required by Section 5 belief to justify the declaration of her husbands presumptive death. It claims
Rule 8 of the Rules of Court, and that Wolfe's mere failure to pay the boat that the respondent failed to conduct the requisite diligent search for her
storage fees does not necessarily amount to fraud, absent any showing that missing husband pursuant to the strict standard under Article 41 of the
such failure was due to insidious machinations and intent on his part to Family Code.
defraud Watercraft of the amount due it. Watercraft's Affidavit of Preliminary
Attachment does not contain specific allegations of other factual ISSUES:
circumstances to show that Wolfe, at the time of contracting the obligation,
had a preconceived plan or intention not to pay. Neither can it be inferred 1) Whether certiorari lies to challenge the decisions, judgments or final
from such affidavit the particulars of why he was guilty of fraud in the orders of trial courts in petitions for declaration of presumptive death of an
performance of such obligation. absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code; and

DISPOSITIVE PORTION (2) Whether the respondent had a well-founded belief that Jerry is already
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The Court dead.
of Appeals Decision dated September 27, 2007 and its Resolution dated
January 24, 2008 in CA-G.R. SP No. 97804, are AFFIRMED. HELD: The decision of the Court of Appeals is overruled.

WACK WACK GOLFE v. NEON REMEDIAL LAW - Propriety of Certiorari as a Remedy


Re: INTERPLEADER
Courts Judgment in the Judicial Proceedings for Declaration of
Won claims ownership of a membership fee certificate at Wack Wack Golf &
Country Club. By virtue of a civil case, he was issued such certificate. But a Presumptive Death Is Final and Executory, Hence, Unappealable
certain Tan also claims ownership over such certificate pursuant to an
assignment made by the alleged true owner of the same certificate. Thus, As explained inRepublic of the Phils. v. Bermudez-Lorino, 489 Phil. 761 the
Wack Wack filed a complaint to interplead Won and Tan to litigate their right to appeal is not granted to parties because of the express mandate of
conflicting claims. Trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground of res Article 247 of the Family Code, to wit:
judicata by reason of the previous civil case that issued Won the right to the
certificate. In Summary Judicial Proceedings under the Family Code, there is no
reglementary period within which to perfect an appeal, precisely because
Issue: WON Wack Wack is barred to file an interpleader suit. judgments rendered thereunder, by express provision of Article 247, Family
Code, supra, are "immediately final and executory." It was erroneous,
Held: Yes. therefore, on the part of the RTC to give due course to the Republics appeal
and order the transmittal of the entire records of the case to the Court of
As to the subject matter (Membership fee certificate), there is no question Appeals.
that such is proper for an interpleader suit. However, the instant interpleader
suit cannot prosper because Wack Wack had already been made An appellate court acquires no jurisdiction to review a judgment which, by
independently liable in the previous civil case wherein Won had established express provision of law, is immediately final and executory.
his rights to the certificate and, therefore, its present application for
interpleader would in efect be a collateral attack upon the final judgment in Certiorari lies to challenge thedecisions, judgments or final
the civil case. Being so, this interpleader suit, if granted, would compel Won
to establish his rights anew, and thereby increase instead of diminish orders of Trial Courts in a SummaryProceeding for the Declaration of
litigations, which is one of the purposes of an interpleader suit. And because PresumptiveDeath under the Family Code.
Wack Wack allowed itself to be sued to final judgment in the said case, its
action of interpleader was filed inexcusably late, for which reason it is barred A losing party in this proceeding, however, is not entirely left without a
by laches or unreasonable delay. remedy. While jurisprudence tells us that no appeal can be made from
thetrial court's judgment, an aggrieved party may, nevertheless, file a
PEOPLE V. CANTOR petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to question any
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction that
The respondent and Jerry were married on September 20, 1997. They lived transpired.
together as husband and wife in their conjugal dwelling in Agan Homes,
Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Sometime in January 1998, the couple had a By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary
violent quarrel. Thereafter, Jerry left their conjugal dwelling and this was the proceeding shall be immediately final and executory. As a matter of course, it
last time that the respondent ever saw him. Since then, she had not seen, follows that no appeal can be had of the trial court's judgment in a summary
communicated nor heard anything from Jerry or about his whereabouts. proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse
under Article 41 of the Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an
On May 21, 2002, or more than four (4) years from the time of Jerrys aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of
disappearance, the respondent filed before the RTC a petition for her discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in
husbands declaration of presumptive death. She claimed that she had a well- the Court of Appeals in accordance with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts.
founded belief that Jerry was already dead. Despite inquiries from her To be sure, even if the Court's original jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari
mother-in-law, her brothers-in-law, her sisters-in-law, as well as her is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals in certain cases, such
neighbors and friends, but to no avail. In the hopes of finding Jerry, she also concurrence does not sanction an unrestricted freedom of choice of court
allegedly made it a point to check the patients directory whenever she went forum.
to a hospital. All these earnest eforts, the respondent claimed, proved futile,
prompting her to file the petition in court. Hence, petitioners resort tocertiorariunder Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to
question the RTCs order declaring Jerry presumptively dead was proper.
The RTC issued an order granting the respondents petition and declaring
Jerry presumptively dead. CIVIL LAW - existence of well-founded belief

The CA through a petition for certiorari filed by the petitioner, Republic of the Before a judicial declaration of presumptive death can be obtained, it must
Philippines affirmed in toto the latters order, thus: be shown that the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years
and the present spouse had a well-founded belief that the prior spouse was knowledge of the alleged adoption of petitioner by Maximino and Eligia, and
already dead. Under Article 41 of the Family Code, there are four (4) pointing out that petitioner had not even lived with the family.[12]
essential requisites for the declaration of presumptive death: Furthermore, Rogelio claimed[13] that after their parents had died, he and
Orlando executed a document denominated as Deed of Extrajudicial
1. That the absent spouse has been missing for four consecutive years, or Succession[14] (deed of extrajudicial succession) over the subject lands to
two consecutive years if the disappearance occurred where there is danger efect the transfer of titles thereof to their names. Before the deed of
of death under the circumstances laid down in Article 391, Civil Code; extrajudicial succession could be registered, however, a deed of absolute sale
transferring the subject lands to them was discovered from the old files of
2. That the present spouse wishes to remarry; Maximino, which they used by "reason of convenience" to acquire title to the
said lands.[15]
3. That the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the absentee is
dead; and In a Decision[16] dated March 24, 2008 dismissing the case a quo, the RTC
summarized the threshold issues for resolution, to wit:
4. That the present spouse files a summary proceeding for the declaration of [1] Whether or not [petitioner] is an adopted child of the late spouses
presumptive death of the absentee.Republic v. Nolasco, G.R. No. 94053, Maximino Bagayas and Eligia Clemente;
March 17, 1993
[2] Whether or not the Deed of Absolute Sale dated October 7, 1974 is valid;
In the case at bar, the respondents "well-founded belief" was anchored on
her alleged "earnest eforts" to locate Jerry by inquiries and through the [3] Whether or not plaintif can ask for partition of the subject properties
patients directory when she went to the hospital. assuming that she is an adopted child of the late spouses Maximino Bagayas
and Eligia Clemente and assuming further that the subject deed of sale is
These eforts, however, fell short of the "stringent standard" and degree of invalid; and
diligence required by jurisprudence for the following reasons: (1) the
respondent did not actively look for her missing husband. She did not [4] Is the prevailing party entitled to damages?[17]
purposely undertake a diligent search for her husband as her hospital visits With respect to the first issue, the RTC declared petitioner to be an adopted
were not planned nor primarily directed to look for him; (2) she did not child of Maximino and Eligia on the strength of the order of adoption, which
report Jerrys absence to the police nor did she seek the aid of the authorities it considered as more reliable than the oral testimonies of respondents
to look for him; denying the fact of adoption.[18] On the issue of the validity of the
questioned deed of absolute sale, the RTC ruled that Eligia's signature
(3) she did not present as witnesses Jerrys relatives or their neighbors and thereon was a mere surplusage, as the subject lands belonged exclusively to
friends, who can corroborate her eforts to locate Jerry. Worse, these Maximino who could alienate the same without the consent of his wife.[19]
persons, from whom she allegedly made inquiries, were not even named; (4)
there was no other corroborative evidence to support the respondents claim The RTC further held that, even though petitioner is an adopted child, she
that she conducted a diligent search. Neither was there supporting evidence could not ask for partition of the subject lands as she was not able to prove
proving that she had a well-founded belief other than her bare claims that any of the instances that would invalidate the deed of absolute sale.
she inquired from her friends and in-laws about her husbands whereabouts. Moreover, the action for annulment of sale was improper as it constituted a
collateral attack on the title of Rogelio and Orlando.[20]
The application of this stricter standard becomes even more imperative if we
consider the States policy to protect and strengthen the institution of Insisting that the subject lands were conjugal properties of Maximino and
marriage. Since marriage serves as the familys foundationand since it is the Eligia, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration[21] from the aforesaid
states policy to protect and strengthen the family as a basic social institution, Decision, which was denied by the RTC in a Resolution[22] dated June 17,
marriage should not be permitted to be dissolved at the whim of the parties. 2008 holding that while it may have committed a mistake in declaring the
In interpreting and applying Article 41, this is the underlying rationale to subject lands as exclusive properties of Maximino (since the defendants
uphold the sanctity of marriage.Arroyo, Jr. v. Court of Appeals G.R. Nos. therein already admitted during the pre-trial conference that the subject
96602 and 96715, November 19, 1991. lands are the conjugal properties of Maximino and Eligia), the action was
nevertheless dismissible on the ground that it was a collateral attack on the
title of Rogelio and Orlando.[23] Citing the case of Tapuroc v. Loquellano Vda.
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS de Mende,[24] it observed that the action for the declaration of nullity of
BAYAGAS v. BAYAGAS deed of sale is not the direct proceeding required by law to attack a Torrens
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: certificate of title.[25]

Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari[1] are the Resolution[2] No appeal was taken from the RTC's Decision dated March 24, 2008 or the
dated January 6, 2009[3] and Order[4] dated March 16, 2009 of the Regional Resolution dated June 17, 2008, thereby allowing the same to lapse into
Trial Court of Camiling, Tarlac, Branch 68 (RTC) which dismissed on the finality.
ground of res judicata the twin petitions of Hilaria Bagayas (petitioner) for
amendment of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. 375657 and 375658, Subsequently, however, petitioner filed, on August 1, 2008, twin petitions[26]
docketed as Land Registration Case (LRC) Nos. 08-34 and 08-35. before the same RTC, docketed as LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35, for the
amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 and 375658 to include her name and those
The Facts of her heirs and successors-in-interest as registered owners to the extent of
one-third of the lands covered therein.[27] The petitions were anchored on
On June 28, 2004, petitioner filed a complaint[5] for annulment of sale and Section 108 of Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1529,[28] otherwise known as
partition before the RTC, docketed as Civil Case No. 04-42, claiming that the "Property Registration Decree," which provides as follows:
Rogelio, Felicidad, Rosalina, Michael, and Mariel, all surnamed Bagayas Section 108. Amendment and alteration of certificates. No erasure,
(respondents) intended to exclude her from inheriting from the estate of her alteration, or amendment shall be made upon the registration book after the
legally adoptive parents, Maximino Bagayas (Maximino) and Eligia Clemente entry of a certificate of title or of a memorandum thereon and the
(Eligia), by falsifying a deed of absolute sale (deed of absolute sale) attestation of the same be [sic] Register of Deeds, except by order of the
purportedly executed by the deceased spouses (Maximino and Eligia) proper Court of First Instance. A registered owner [sic] of other person
transferring two parcels of land (subject lands) registered in their names to having an interest in registered property, or, in proper cases, the [sic] Register
their biological children, respondent Rogelio and Orlando Bagayas[6] of Deeds with the approval of the Commissioner of Land Registration, may
(Orlando).[7] Said deed, which was supposedly executed on October 7, 1974, apply by petition to the court upon the ground that x x x new interest not
[8] bore the signature of Eligia who could not have affixed her signature appearing upon the certificate have arisen or been created; x x x; or upon
thereon as she had long been dead since August 21, 1971.[9] By virtue of the any other reasonable ground; and the court may hear and determine the
same instrument, however, the Bagayas brothers were able to secure in their petition after notice to all parties in interest, and may order the entry or
favor TCT Nos. 375657[10] and 375658[11] over the subject lands. cancellation of a new certificate, the entry or cancellation of a memorandum
upon a certificate, or grant of any other relief upon such terms and
As a matter of course, trial ensued on the merits of the case. Petitioner conditions, requiring security or bond if necessary, as it may consider proper;
presented herself and five other witnesses to prove the allegations in her Provided, however, That this section shall not be construed to give the court
complaint. Respondents likewise testified in their defense denying any authority to reopen the judgment or decree of registration, and that nothing
shall be done or ordered by the court which shall impair the title or other In Lacbayan v. Samoy, Jr.[41] (Lacbayan) which is an action for partition
interest of a purchaser holding a certificate for value and in good faith, or his premised on the existence or non-existence of co-ownership between the
heirs and assigns, without his or their written consent. x x x. parties, the Court categorically pronounced that a resolution on the issue of
ownership does not subject the Torrens title issued over the disputed realties
x x x x (Emphasis supplied) to a collateral attack. It must be borne in mind that what cannot be
To substantiate her "interest" in the subject lands, petitioner capitalized on collaterally attacked is the certificate of title and not the title itself. As
the finding of the RTC in its Decision dated March 24, 2008 that she is the pronounced in Lacbayan:
adopted child of Maximino and Eligia, and that the signature of the latter in There is no dispute that a Torrens certificate of title cannot be collaterally
the deed of absolute sale transferring the subject lands to Rogelio and attacked, but that rule is not material to the case at bar. What cannot be
Orlando was falsified.[29] collaterally attacked is the certificate of title and not the title itself. The
certificate referred to is that document issued by the Register of Deeds
The petitions were dismissed[30] by the RTC, however, on the ground of res known as the TCT. In contrast, the title referred to by law means ownership
judicata. The RTC ruled that the causes of action in the two cases filed by which is, more often than not, represented by that document. Petitioner
petitioner are similar in that the ultimate objective would be her inclusion as apparently confuses title with the certificate of title. Title as a concept of
co-owner of the subject lands and, eventually, the partition thereof.[31] ownership should not be confused with the certificate of title as evidence of
Since judgment had already been rendered on the matter, and petitioner had such ownership although both are interchangeably used.[42] (Emphases
allowed the same to attain finality, the principle of res judicata barred further supplied)
litigation thereon.[32] Thus, the RTC erroneously dismissed petitioner's petition for annulment of
sale on the ground that it constituted a collateral attack since she was
Dissatisfied, petitioner argued in her motion for reconsideration[33] that the actually assailing Rogelio and Orlando's title to the subject lands and not any
dismissal of Civil Case No. 04-42 (for annulment of sale and partition) on the Torrens certificate of title over the same.
ground that it was a collateral attack on the title of Rogelio and Orlando did
not amount to a judgment on the merits, thus, precluding the applicability of Be that as it may, considering that petitioner failed to appeal from the
res judicata.[34] The motion was resolved against petitioner, and the dismissal of Civil Case No. 04-42, the judgment therein is final and may no
dismissal of LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 (for amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 longer be reviewed.
and 375658) was upheld by the RTC in an Order[35] dated March 16, 2009.
Hence, the instant petition. The crucial issue, therefore, to be resolved is the propriety of the dismissal of
LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 on the ground of res judicata.
The Issue Before the Court
It must be pointed out that LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 praying that judgment
The essential issue in this case is whether or not the dismissal of the earlier be rendered directing the Registry of Deeds of Tarlac to include petitioner's
complaint on the ground that it is in the nature of a collateral attack on the name, those of her heirs and successors-in-interest as registered owners to
certificates of title constitutes a bar to a subsequent petition under Section the extent of one-third of the lands covered by TCT Nos. 375657 and 375658,
108 of PD 1529. were predicated on the theory[43] that Section 108 of PD 1529 is a mode of
directly attacking the certificates of title issued to the Bagayas brothers. On
The Court's Ruling the contrary, however, the Court observes that the amendment of TCT Nos.
375657 and 375658 under Section 108 of PD 1529 is actually not the direct
At the outset, it must be stressed that Civil Case No. 04-42 was a complaint attack on said certificates of title contemplated under Section 48[44] of the
for annulment of sale and partition. In a complaint for partition, the plaintif same law. Jurisprudence instructs that an action or proceeding is deemed to
seeks, first, a declaration that he is a co-owner of the subject properties; and be an attack on a certificate of title when its objective is to nullify the same,
second, the conveyance of his lawful shares. An action for partition is at once thereby challenging the judgment pursuant to which the certificate of title
an action for declaration of co-ownership and for segregation and was decreed.[45] Corollary thereto, it is a well-known doctrine that the issue
conveyance of a determinate portion of the properties involved.[36] The as to whether the certificate of title was procured by falsification or fraud can
determination, therefore, as to the existence of co-ownership is necessary in only be raised in an action expressly instituted for such purpose. As
the resolution of an action for partition. As held in the case of Municipality of explicated in Borbajo v. Hidden View Homeowners, Inc.:[46]
Biñan v. Garcia:[37] It is a well-known doctrine that the issue as to whether [the certificate of]
The first phase of a partition and/or accounting suit is taken up with the title was procured by falsification or fraud can only be raised in an action
determination of whether or not a co-ownership in fact exists, and a partition expressly instituted for the purpose. A Torrens title can be attacked only for
is proper (i.e., not otherwise legally proscribed) and may be made by fraud, within one year after the date of the issuance of the decree of
voluntary agreement of all the parties interested in the property. This phase registration. Such attack must be direct, and not by a collateral proceeding.
may end with a declaration that plaintif is not entitled to have a partition The title represented by the certificate cannot be changed, altered, modified,
either because a co-ownership does not exist, or partition is legally enlarged, or diminished in a collateral proceeding. The certificate of title
prohibited. It may end, on the other hand, with an adjudgment that a co- serves as evidence of an indefeasible title to the property in favor of the
ownership does in truth exist, partition is proper in the premises and an person whose name appears therein.[47] (Citations omitted)
accounting of rents and profits received by the defendant from the real Contrary to the foregoing characterization, Section 108 of PD 1529 explicitly
estate in question is in order. In the latter case, the parties may, if they are states that said provision "shall not be construed to give the court authority
able to agree, make partition among themselves by proper instruments of to reopen the judgment or decree of registration." In fact, based on settled
conveyance, and the court shall confirm the partition so agreed upon. In jurisprudence, Section 108 of PD 1529 is limited only to seven instances or
either case i.e., either the action is dismissed or partition and/or accounting situations, namely: (a) when registered interests of any description, whether
is decreed the order is a final one, and may be appealed by any party vested, contingent, expectant, or inchoate, have terminated and ceased; (b)
aggrieved thereby.[38] (Emphasis supplied; citations omitted) when new interests have arisen or been created which do not appear upon
In dismissing Civil Case No. 04-42, the RTC declared that petitioner could not the certificate; (c) when any error, omission or mistake was made in entering
ask for the partition of the subject lands, even though she is an adopted a certificate or any memorandum thereon or on any duplicate certificate; (d)
child, because "she was not able to prove any of the instances that would when the name of any person on the certificate has been changed; (e) when
invalidate the deed of absolute sale"[39] purportedly executed by Maximino the registered owner has been married, or, registered as married, the
and Eligia. This conclusion came about as a consequence of the RTC's finding marriage has been terminated and no right or interest of heirs or creditors
that, since the subject lands belonged exclusively to Maximino, there was no will thereby be afected; (f) when a corporation, which owned registered land
need to secure the consent of his wife who was long dead before the sale and has been dissolved, has not conveyed the same within three years after
took place. For this reason, the forgery of Eligia's signature on the questioned its dissolution; and (g) when there is reasonable ground for the amendment
deed was held to be inconsequential. However, on reconsideration, the RTC or alteration of title.[48] Hence, the same cannot be said to constitute an
declared that it committed a mistake in holding the subject lands as exclusive attack on a certificate of title as defined by case law. That said, the Court
properties of Maximino "since there was already an admission [by] the proceeds to resolve the issue as to whether or not the dismissal of
defendants during the pre-trial conference that the subject properties are petitioner's twin petitions for the amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 and
the conjugal properties of the spouses Maximino Bagayas and Eligia 375658 was proper.
Clemente."[40] Nonetheless, the RTC sustained its dismissal of Civil Case No.
04-42 on the ground that it constituted a collateral attack upon the title of Petitioner claims that the determination of the RTC in Civil Case No. 04-42
Rogelio and Orlando. that she is an adopted child and that the signature of her adoptive mother
Eligia in the deed of absolute sale transferring the subject land to Rogelio and
Orlando was forged amounts to a new interest that should be reflected on Honorato Salacup for P50,000 and this sale was also registered in the Office
the certificates of title of said land, or provides a reasonable ground for the of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan (See Annexes "A", "B", "C", attached
amendment thereof. to the complaint).

The Court disagrees for two reasons: In March, 1950, Felisa Sinopera instituted proceedings for the administration
of the estate of Teodoro Tolete (Special Proceeding No. 3694, Pangasinan),
First. While the RTC may have made a definitive ruling on petitioner's and having secured her appointment as administratrix, brought the present
adoption, as well as the forgery of Eligia's signature on the questioned deed, action on June 20, 1950. Notice of lis pendens was filed in the Office of the
no partition was decreed, as the action was, in fact, dismissed. Consequently, Register of Deeds and said notice was recorded on certificates of title
the declaration that petitioner is the legally adopted child of Maximino and covering the said properties on June 26, 1950. This notice, however, was
Eligia did not amount to a declaration of heirship and co-ownership upon subsequent to the registration of the deed of sale, in favor of Honorato
which petitioner may institute an action for the amendment of the Salacup, which took place on June 17, 1950.
certificates of title covering the subject land. More importantly, the Court has
consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in The complaint alleges that the widow Leoncia de Leon, had no right to
an ordinary civil action, for matters relating to the rights of filiation and execute the affidavit of adjudication and that Honorato Salacup acquired no
heirship must be ventilated in a special proceeding instituted precisely for rights to the lands sold to him, and that neither had Benny Sampilo acquired
the purpose of determining such rights.[49] any right to the said properties. Sampilo and Salacup filed an amended
answer alleging that the complaint states no cause of action; that if such a
Second. Petitioner cannot avail of the summary proceedings under Section cause exists the same is barred by the statute of limitations; that defendants
108 of PD 1529 because the present controversy involves not the are innocent purchasers for value; and that the complaint is malicious,
amendment of the certificates of title issued in favor of Rogelio and Orlando frivolous and spurious, intended to harass and inconvenience the
but the partition of the estate of Maximino and Eligia who are both defendants.
deceased. As held in Philippine Veterans Bank v. Valenzuela,[50] the
prevailing rule is that proceedings under Section 108 of PD 1529 are After trial the Court of First Instance rendered judgment for the plaintif,
summary in nature, contemplating corrections or insertions of mistakes Felisa Sinopera, declaring that the affidavit of adjudication Exhibit "A", the
which are only clerical but certainly not controversial issues.[51] Relief under deed of sale Exhibit "B", and the deed of sale Exhibit "C", are all null and
said legal provision can only be granted if there is unanimity among the void; declaring plaintif owner of one-half portion of the four parcels of land
parties, or that there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of in question, and finally declaring that the usufructuary rights of Leoncia de
any party in interest. This is now the controlling precedent, and the Court Leon to said properties are terminated. The case was appealed to the Court
should no longer digress from such ruling.[52] Therefore, petitioner may not of Appeals. This court held that the annulment of the affidavit of
avail of the remedy provided under Section 108 of PD 1529. adjudication, Exhibit "A", by the trial court was correct but that the
annulment of the deeds Exhibits "B" and "C", insofar as one-half of the
In fine, while LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 are technically not barred by the properties, conveyed is concerned, and in adjudicating one-half of the same
prior judgment in Civil Case No. 04-42 as they involve diferent causes of to the heirs of the deceased, is premature. Hence, it modified the judgment,
action, the dismissal of said petitions for the amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 declaring that Exhibits "B" and "C" are null and void only insofar as the
and 375658 is nonetheless proper for reasons discussed above. The remedy properties thereby conveyed exceed the portion that the responds to Leoncia
then of petitioner is to institute intestate proceedings for the settlement of de Leon. Therefore, it ordered the defendants to deliver to the plaintif, in
the estate of the deceased spouses Maximino and Eligia. her capacity as administratrix of the estate of Teodoro Tolete, for disposition
according to the law, one-half of the lands described in the complaint, but
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. reserved to Honorato Salacup the right to claim and secure adjudication in
his favor of whatever portion of said properties may correspond to Leoncia
SO ORDERED. de Leon and also his right to bring an action for the damages that he may
have sufered against Leoncia de Leon and Benny Sampilo.
SAMPILO SALACUP V. CA or SAMPILO v. SALACUP
G.R. No. L-10474 February 28, 1958 Benny Sampilo and Honorato Salacup have appealed to this Court by
certiorari and have assigned the following errors in their brief:
BENNY SAMPILO and HONORATO SALACUP, petitioners,
vs. I
THE COURT OF APPEALS and FELISA SINOPERA respondent.
The Court of Appeals erred in affirming that respondent Felisa Sinopera's
Clodualdo P. Surio for petitioners. right of action to recover her and her co-heirs' participation to the lands in
Moises B. Ramos for respondents. question had not prescribed at the time the action to recover was filed.

LABRADOR, J.: II

Certiorari against decision of the Court of Appeals, Third Division, affirming The Court of Appeals erred in not finding that the petitioners are innocent
with slight modification a judgment of the Court of First Instance of purchasers for value.
Pangasinan, declaring plaintifs owners of one-half portion of four parcels of
land described in the complaint, with costs. The judgment was rendered in III
an action instituted by Felisa Sinopera, administrative of the estate of
Teodoro Tolete, to recover from defendants one-half share of the aforesaid The Court of Appeals erred in aiming the lower court's denial of petitioner's
parcels of land, which, it is alleged belong to the deceased Teodoro Tolete. motion for new trial.

According, to the facts found by the Court of Appeals, Teodoro Tolete died In support of the first assignment of error, it is argued that as the action was
intestate in January, 1945. He left for parcels of land, lots Nos. 12006, instituted almost four years after the affidavit of adjudication, Exhibit "A",
119967, 14352 and 12176 of the cadastral survey of San Manuel, Pangasinan was registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds Of Pangasinan, the right
He left as heirs his widow, Leoncia de Leon, and several nephews and nieces, of action of the administratrix has prescribed and lapsed because the same
children of deceased brothers and sisters. On July 25, 1946, without any was not brought within the period of two years as Prescribed in Section 4 of
judicial proceedings, his widow executed an affidavit stating that "the Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, and as decided in the cases of McMicking vs. Sy
deceased Teodoro Tolete left no children or respondent neither ascendants Conbieng, 21 Phil., 211 and Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil., 855 869.
or acknowledged natural children neither brother, sisters, nephews or nieces,
but the, widow Leoncia de Leon, the legitimate wife of the deceased, the one Section 4 of Rule 74 provides, in part, as follows:
and only person to inherit the above properties" (Record on Appeal, p. 9).
This affidavit was registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of SEC. 4. Liability of distributees and estate. — If it shall appear at any time
Pangasinan. On the same day, she executed a deed of sale of all the above within two years after the settlement and distribution of an estate in
parcels of land in favor of Benny Sampilo for the sum of P10,000. This sale accordance with the provisions of either of the first two sections of this rule,
was also registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan. On that an heir or other has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation of
June 17, 1950, Benny Sampilo, in turn, sold the said parcels of land to the such heir or such other person may compel the settlement estate in the
courts in the manner hereinafter provided for the purpose of satisfying such Following the above-quoted decision of this Court in the case of Ramirez vs.
lawful participation. . . . Gmur, supra, we are of the opinion and so hold that the provisions of Section
4 of Rule 74, barring distributees or heirs from objecting to an extrajudicial
Section 1, which is mentioned in Section 4, reads as follows: partition after the expiration of two years from such extrajudicial partition, is
applicable only (1) to persons who have participated or taken part or had
SEC. 1. Extrajudcial settlement by agreement between the heirs. — If the notice of the extrajudicial partition, and, in addition, (2) when the provisions
decedent left no debts and the heirs and legatees are all of age, or the of Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly complied with, i.e., that all the
minors are represented by their judicial guardians, the parties may, without persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial
securing letters of administration, divide the estate among themselves as settlement or are represented by themselves or through guardians. The case
they see fit by means of a public instrument filed in the office of the register at bar fails to comply with both requirements because not all the heirs
of deeds, and should they disagree, they may do so in an ordinary action of interested have participated in the extrajudicial settlement, the Court of
partition. If there is only one heir or one legatee, he may adjudicate to Appeals having found that the decedent left aside from his widow, nephews
himself the entire estate by means of an affidavit filed in the office of the and nieces living at the time of his death.
register of deeds. It shall be presumed that the decedent left no debts if no
creditor files a petition for letters of administration within two years after the The next contention of appellants is that plaintif's action is barred by the
death of the decedent. statute of limitations. The origin of the Provision (Section 4, Rule 74), upon
which this contention is predicated, which is Section 596 of Act No. 190, fails
It will be noted that the provision next above-quoted contains two parts, the to support the contention. In the first Place, there is nothing therein, or in its
first referring to a case in which there are two or more heirs interested in the source which shows clearly a statute of limitations and a bar of action against
estate of a deceased person, and the second in which there is only one heir. third person's. It is only a bar against the parties who had taken part in the
The section was taken from Section 596 of the old Code of Civil Procedure extrajudicial proceedings but not against third persons not Parties thereto. In
(Act No. 190, as amended by Act No. 2331). Said Section 596 as amended, the second place, the statute of limitations is contained in a diferent chapter
was as follows: of Act No. 190, Chapter XL, and if Section 596 of the Act had been meant to
be a statute of limitations, it would naturally have been included in the
SEC. 596. Settlement of Certain Intestates Without Legal Proceedings. — chapter which defines the statute.
Whenever all the heirs of a person who died intestate are of lawful age and
legal capacity and there are no debts due from the estate, or all the debts But even if Section 4 of Rule 74 is a statute of limitations, it is still unavailing
have been paid the heirs may, by agreement duly executed in writing by all of to the defendants. The action is one based on fraud, as the widow of the
them, and not otherwise, apportion and divide the estate among deceased owner of the lands had declared in her affidavit of partition that
themselves, as they may see fit, without proceedings in court. the deceased left no nephews or niece, or other heirs except herself.
Plaintif's right which is based on fraud and which has a period of four years
We notice two significant provisions in Sections 1 and 4 of Rule 74. In Section (Section 43, par. 3, Act no. 190; Article 1146, Civil Code), does not appear to
1, it is required that if there are two or more heirs, both or all of them should have lapsed the action was instituted. Judicial proceedings where instituted
take part in the extrajudicial settlement. This requirement is made more in March, 1950 and these proceedings must have been instituted soon after
imperative in the old law (Section 596, Act No. 190) by the addition of the the discovery of fraud. In any case, the defendants have the burden of proof
clause "and not otherwise." By the title of Section 4, the "distributees and as to their claim of the statute of limitations, which is their defense, and they
estate" are indicates the persons to answer for rights violated by the have not proved that when the action was instituted, four years had already
extrajudicial settlement. On the other hand, it is also significant that no elapsed from the date that the interested parties had actual knowledge of
mention is made expressly of the efect of the extrajudicial settlement on the fraud.
persons who did not take part therein or had no notice or knowledge
thereof. There cannot be any doubt that those who took part or had The second assignment of error, i.e., that the defendants-appellants are
knowledge of the extrajudicial settlement are bound thereby. As to them the innocent purchasers for value was rejected as unfounded by the court of
law is clear that if they claim to have been in any manner deprived of their Appeals. Said court said.
lawful right or share in the estate by the extrajudicial settlement, they may
demand their rights or interest within the period of two years, and both the The claim that defendants-appellants did not have sufficient knowledge or
distributes and estate would be liable to them for such rights or interest. notice of the claim of the heirs of Teodoro Tolete, deceased, over the land in
Evidently, they are the persons in accordance with the provision, may seek to question does not find support in the evidence of record. As regards
remedy, the prejudice to their rights within the two-year period. But as to defendant Benny Sampilo, it is an admitted fact that he is a nephew of
those who did not take part in the settlement or had no notice of the death Leoncia de Leon and he had been living with the latter. Both Benny Sampilo
of the decedent or of the settlement, there is no direct or express provision is and the heirs of the deceased who are claiming the property are residents of
unreasonable and unjust that they also be required to assert their claims San Manuel, Pangasinan. It is hard, therefore, to believe that Benny Sampilo
within the period of two years. To extend the efects of the settlement to did not know the existence of said heirs, and that he was not aware that they
them, to those who did not take part or had no knowledge thereof, without were nephews and nieces, children of the deceased brothers, of the
any express legal provision to that efect, would be violative of the deceased Teodoro Tolete. The fact furthermore that Benny Sampilo
fundamental right to due process of law. In the case of Ramirez vs. Gmur, accompanied his aunt Leoncia de Leon to Sison, Pangasinan, when the later
supra, cited by the appellants in this case, we held: saw Notary Public Ladislao Villamil, who was the former's uncle, to have him
prepare the affidavit of adjudication Exhibit "A", and the deed of conveyance
It will be noted that while the law (see. 754) provides that the order of Exhibit "B" by which on the same date she conveyed to Sampilo all the
distribution may be had upon the application of the executor or property which she had adjudicated to herself, both of which she
administrator, or of a person interested in the estate, no provision is made acknowledged before said notary public, coupled with the fact that there is
for notice, by publication or otherwise, of such application. The proceeding, no sufficient showing that the consideration for the conveyance of P10,000
therefore, is to all intents and purposes ex parte. As will be seen our law is had in fact been paid, strengthens our belief that said Benny Sampilo knew
very vague and incomplete; and certainly it cannot be held that a purely ex that the deceased Teodoro Tolete had other heirs who may claim the
parte proceeding, had without notice by personal service or by publication, property, and that the immediate conveyance thereof to him was a
by which the court undertakes to distribute the property of deceased strategem concocted to defeat the former's rights. And as regards Honorato
persons, can be conclusive upon minor heirs who are not represented Salacup, while the claim that no notice of lis pendens appeared annotated in
therein. the certificates of title issued to Benny Sampilo when he acquired the
property might be true, for he purchased the property on June 17, 1950, and
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 of extrajudicial settlement, or the notice of lis pendens was noted on said certificates of title on June 26,
by affidavit, is an ex parte proceeding. It cannot by any reason or logic be 1950, nevertheless, he cannot claim that he was a purchaser in good faith for
contended that such settlement or distribution would afect third persons value of the property. It is well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that a
who had no knowledge either of the death of the decedent or of the purchaser of registered lands who has knowledge of facts which should put
extrajudicial settlement or affidavit, especially as no mention of such efect is him upon inquiry and investigate as to the possible defects of the title of the
made, either directly or by implication. We have examined the two cases vendor and fails to make such inquiry and investigation cannot claim that he
cited by appellants and there is no similarity at all between the as a purchaser in good faith for value and he had acquired a valid title
circumstances on which the ruling therein had been predicated and those of thereto. Leung Yee vs. Strong Machinery Co., 37 Phil., 644; Dayao vs. Diaz,
the case at bar. G.R. L-4106, May 29, 1952.
Finding no error in the decision of the Court of Appeals, we hereby affirm it CA: Surviving spouse should pay. It is noted that all the defendants, including
in toto, with costs against the petitioners. So ordered. the deceased, were signatories to the contract of sub-lease. The remaining
defendants cannot avoid the action by claiming that the death of one of the
De Paneno v. Aranzanso parties to the contract has totally extinguished their obligation.

Facts: A petition for adoption of Paulina, 17 years old and Aurora Santos, 8 ISSUE:
years old, was filed by Simplicio Santos and Juliana Reyes in the CFI of
Manila. It was alleged that both parents of the minors have long been (1) Whether a creditor can sue the surviving spouse for the collection of a
unheard from and could not be found in spite of diligent eforts to locate debt which is owed by the conjugal partnership of gains, or
them; that since the war said minors have been abandoned; and that for
years since their infancy, said children have been continuously been in (2) Whether such claim must be filed in proceedings for the settlement of the
petitioners’ care and custody. The consent to the adoption has been given by estate of the decedent.
the guardian ad litem appointed by the Court. After due publication and
hearing, the adoption court granted the petition for the adoption. RULING:

Subsequently – eight years later – Juliana Reyes died intestate. Simplicio (1) Surviving spouse is not liable. The conjugal partnership of gains is liable.
Santos filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the It is clear that Climaco had a cause of action against the persons named as
former, stating among other things that the surviving heirs of the deceased defendants therein. It was, however, a cause of action for the recovery of
are: he, Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos. He also asked that he be damages, that is, a sum of money and the corresponding action is,
appointed administrator of the estate. unfortunately, one that does not survive upon the death of the defendant, in
accordance with the provisions of Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court.
Gregoria Aranzanso, alleging to be the first cousin of the deceased, filed an As held in Calma v. Tañedo, after the death of either of the spouses, no
opposition to the petition for appointment of administrator, asserting among complaint about the collection of indebtedness chargeable against the
others that the adoption of Paulina and Aurora Santos is void ab initio for conjugal partnership
want of the written consent of their parents, who were then living and had
not abandoned them. can be brought against the surviving spouse. Instead, the claim must be
made in the proceedings for the liquidation and settlement of the conjugal
Demetria Ventura, alleging likewise to be the first cousin of the deceased and property. The reason for this is that upon the death of one spouse, the
mother of Paulina opposed also the petition of Simplicio and adopted the powers of administration of the surviving spouse ceases and is passed to the
pleadings filed by Aranzanso. administrator appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the settlement
of estate proceedings. Indeed, the surviving spouse is not even a de facto
The Court of Appeals sustained respondent-oppositors right to make a administrator such that conveyances made by him of any property belonging
collateral attack against the adoption decree on the ground of failure to to the partnership prior to the liquidation of the mass of conjugal partnership
obtain the consent of the natural parents was a jurisdictional defect property is void. the inventory of the Alipios’ conjugal property is necessary
rendering the adoption void ab initio. before any claim chargeable against it can be paid. Needless to say, such
power exclusively pertains to the court having jurisdiction over the
Issue: WON a decree of adoption could be assailed collaterally in a settlement of the decedent’s estate and not to any other court.
settlement proceeding.
(2) The obligation is joint. Indeed, if from the law or the nature or the
Held: No. Firstly, consent of the parents is not an absolute requisite if child wording of the obligation the contrary does not appear, an
was abandoned, consent by the guardian ad litem suffices. obligation is presumed to be only joint, i.e., the debt is divided
into as many equal shares as there are debtors, each debt being
Second, in adoption proceedings, abandonment imports “any conduct on the considered distinct from one another. Clearly, the liability of the
part of the parent which evinces a settled purpose to forgo all parental duties sublessees is merely joint. Since the obligation of the Manuel and
and relinquish all parental claims to the child.” It means neglect or refusal to Alipio spouses is chargeable against their respective conjugal
perform the natural and legal obligations of care and support which parents partnerships, the unpaid balance of P50,600.00 should be divided
owe to their children.” into two so that each couple is liable to pay the amount of
P25,300.00.
Third, the settled rule is that even when the jurisdiction of an inferior
tribunal depends upon the existence of a fact to be established before it, the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the DIRECTOR OF LANDS,
determination of that fact by the tribunal cannot be questioned in a Petitioner, v. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF ROXAS CITY, ELIZABETH LEE, and
collateral attack upon its order. Hence, the CA erred in reviewing under a PACITA YU-LEE, Respondents.
collateral attack, the determination of the adoption court that the parents of
the adopted children had abandoned them. DECISION

CARPIO, J.:

Alipio v. CA The Case


G.R. No. 134100, 29 September 2000
This is a Petition for Review 1 of the Decision2 dated 12 July 2002 and the
FACTS: Resolution dated 9 May 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
53890.
(1) Respondent Romeo Jaring was the lessee of a 14.5 hectare fishpond in
Barito, Mabuco, Hermosa, Bataan. The lease was for a period of five years The Facts
ending on September 12, 1990. On June 19, 1987, he subleased the
fishpond, for the remaining period of his lease, to the spouses Placido and In March 1936, Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, bought Lot No. 398 from Vicenta
Purita Alipio and the Manuel Spouses. Arcenas, Francisco, Carmen Ramon, Mercedes, Concepcion, Mariano, Jose,
(2) The sublessees only satisfied a portion thereof, leaving an unpaid balance and Manuel, all surnamed Dinglasan. Lot No. 398, with an area of 1,574
of P50,600.00. square meters, is located at the corner of Roxas Avenue and Pavia Street in
Roxas City. In February 1944, Lee Liong died intestate and was survived by his
(3) Purita Alipio moved to dismiss the case on the ground that her husband, widow Ang Chia, and his sons Lee Bing Hoo and Lee Bun Ting. On 30 June
Placido Alipio, had passed away on December 1, 1988. 1947, the surviving heirs of Lee Liong extrajudicially settled the estate of the
RTC: Surviving spouse should pay. The trial court denied petitioner’s motion deceased and partitioned among themselves Lot No. 398. When Lee Bing
on the ground that since petitioner was herself a party to the sublease Hoo and Lee Bun Ting died, Lot No. 398 was transferred by succession to
contract, she could be independently impleaded in the suit together with the their respective wives, Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth) and Pacita Yu-Lee (Pacita).
Manuel spouses and that the death of her husband merely resulted in his
exclusion from the case. In the 1956 case of Dinglasan v. Lee Bun Ting,3 involving Lot No. 398, the
Court held that even if the sale of the property was null and void for violating
the constitutional prohibition on the sale of land to an alien, still the doctrine THE PHILIPPINES, ACQUIRED NO RIGHT OR TITLE OVER SUBJECT LOT WHICH
of in pari delicto barred the sellers from recovering the title to the property. HE COULD HAVE TRANSMITTED BY SUCCESSION TO PRIVATE RESPONDENTS'
Eleven years later, in the case of Lee Bun Ting v. Judge Aligaen,4 the Court PREDECESSORS-IN-INTEREST.
ordered the trial court to dismiss the complaint of the Dinglasans for the
recovery of Lot No. 398. Applying the doctrine of res judicata, the Court held The Ruling of the Court
that the case was a mere relitigation of the same issues previously adjudged
with finality in the Dinglasan case, involving the same parties or their privies The petition is without merit.
and concerning the same subject matter.
Petitioner argues that since the sale of Lot No. 398 to Lee Liong was void, Lot
On 7 September 1993, Elizabeth and Pacita (private respondents) filed a No. 398 never became part of the deceased Lee Liong's estate. Hence, Lot
petition for reconstitution of title of Lot No. 398 because the records of the No. 398 could not be transmitted by succession to Lee Liong's surviving heirs
Register of Deeds, Roxas City were burned during the war. On 3 October and eventually to private respondents.
2001, the Court held that the trial court's order of reconstitution was void for
lack of factual support because it was based merely on the plan and technical We do not subscribe to petitioner's position. The circumstances of this case
description approved by the Land Registration Authority.5 are similar to the case of De Castro v. Teng Queen Tan,9 wherein a residential
lot was sold to a Chinese citizen. Upon the death of the alien vendee, his
Meanwhile, on 26 January 1995, petitioner Republic of the Philippines heirs entered into an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of the deceased
(petitioner), through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed with the and the subject land was transferred to a son who was a naturalized Filipino.
Regional Trial Court of Roxas City a Complaint6 for Reversion of Title against Subsequently, the vendor of the lot filed a suit for annulment of sale for
private respondents and the Register of Deeds of Roxas City, praying that (1) alleged violation of the Constitution prohibiting the sale of land to aliens.
the sale of Lot No. 398 to Lee Liong be set aside for being null and void ab Independently of the doctrine of in pari delicto, the Court sustained the sale,
initio; and (2) Lot No. 398 be reverted to the public domain for the State's holding that while the vendee was an alien at the time of the sale, the land
disposal in accordance with law. has since become the property of a naturalized Filipino citizen who is
constitutionally qualified to own land.
In their Answer, private respondents invoked as affirmative defenses: (1)
prescription; (2) private ownership of Lot No. 398; and (3) Lee Liong's being a Similarly, in this case, upon the death of the original vendee who was a
buyer in good faith and for value. Furthermore, private respondents claimed Chinese citizen, his widow and two sons extrajudicially settled his estate,
that as Filipino citizens, they are qualified to acquire Lot No. 398 by including Lot No. 398. When the two sons died, Lot No. 398 was transferred
succession. by succession to their respective spouses, herein private respondents who
are Filipino citizens.
The Register of Deeds of Roxas City did not file an answer.
We now discuss whether reversion proceedings is still viable considering that
On 7 May 1996, the trial court rendered a decision ordering the reversion of Lot No. 398 has already been transfered to Filipino citizens. In the
Lot No. 398 to the State. reconstitution case of Lee v. Republic of the Philippines10 involving Lot No.
398, this Court explained that the OSG may initiate an action for reversion or
On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision7 dated 12 July 2002, escheat of lands which were sold to aliens disqualified from acquiring lands
reversing the trial court's decision and declaring private respondents as the under the Constitution. However, in the case of Lot No. 398, the fact that it
absolute and lawful owners of Lot No. 398. Petitioner moved for was already transferred to Filipinos militates against escheat proceedings,
reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals denied in its Resolution8 dated 9 thus:
May 2003.
Although ownership of the land cannot revert to the original sellers, because
Hence, this Petition for Review . of the doctrine of pari delicto, the Solicitor General may initiate an action for
reversion or escheat of the land to the State, subject to other defenses, as
The Ruling of the Trial Court hereafter set forth.

The trial court ordered the reversion of Lot No. 398 to the State. The trial In this case, subsequent circumstances militate against escheat proceedings
court held that private respondents could not have acquired a valid title over because the land is now in the hands of Filipinos. The original vendee, Lee
Lot No. 398 because the sale of the lot to their predecessor-in-interest Lee Liong, has since died and the land has been inherited by his heirs and
Liong was null and void. Being an innocent purchaser in good faith and for subsequently their heirs, petitioners herein [Elizabeth Lee and Pacita Yu Lee].
value did not cure Lee Liong's disqualification as an alien who is prohibited Petitioners are Filipino citizens, a fact the Solicitor General does not dispute.
from acquiring land under the Constitution. The trial court further held that
prescription cannot be invoked against the State as regards an action for The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the public or
reversion or reconveyance of land to the State. private domain was intended to protect lands from falling in the hands of
non-Filipinos. In this case, however, there would be no more public policy
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals violated since the land is in the hands of Filipinos qualified to acquire and
own such land. "If land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently
The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that the State is not barred becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw in the original
by prescription. However, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered
in ordering the reversion of Lot No. 398 to the State. Although the sale of Lot valid." Thus, the subsequent transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos
No. 398 to Lee Liong violated the constitutional prohibition on aliens may no longer be impugned on the basis of invalidity of the initial transfer.
acquiring land, the Court of Appeals noted that Lot No. 398 had already been The objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino
acquired by private respondents through succession. The transfer of Lot No. hands has been achieved.11 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary
398 to private respondents, who are Filipino citizens qualified to acquire
lands, can no longer be impugned on the basis of the invalidity of the initial In this case, the reversion proceedings was initiated only after almost 40
transfer. The flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title years from the promulgation of the case of Dinglasan v. Lee Bun Ting,12
of the transferee is deemed valid considering that the objective of the where the Court held that the sale of Lot No. 398 was null and void for
constitutional proscription against alien ownership of lands, that is to keep violating the constitutional prohibition on the sale of land to an alien. If
our lands in Filipino hands, has been achieved. petitioner had commenced reversion proceedings when Lot No. 398 was still
in the hands of the original vendee who was an alien disqualified to hold title
The Issue thereto, then reversion of the land to the State would undoubtedly be
allowed. However, this is not the case here. When petitioner instituted the
Petitioner raises the lone issue that: action for reversion of title in 1995, Lot No. 398 had already been transferred
by succession to private respondents who are Filipino citizens.chanrobles
THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT REVERSED AND SET ASIDE virtual law library
THE APPEALED DECISION AND DECLARED PRIVATE RESPONDENTS THE
ABSOLUTE AND LAWFUL OWNERS AND POSSESSORS OF LOT NO. 398 OF Since Lot No. 398 has already been transferred to Filipino citizens, the flaw in
ROXAS CITY CADASTRE CONSIDERING THAT LEE LIONG, WHO IS AN ALIEN, the original transaction is considered cured.13 As held in Chavez v. Public
AND THUS, CONSTITUTIONALLY PROHIBITED TO OWN REAL PROPERTY IN Estates Authority:14
Held:
Thus, the Court has ruled consistently that where a Filipino citizen sells land 1. YES. Cuyag has personality to institute on behalf of her common-law
to an alien who later sells the land to a Filipino, the invalidity of the first spouse Larkins, on the habeas corpus aspect of the petition, as she falls
transfer is corrected by the subsequent sale to a citizen. Similarly, where the within the purview of the term "some person" under Section 3, Rule 102 of
alien who buys the land subsequently acquires Philippine citizenship, the sale the Rules of Court, which means any person who has a legally justified
was validated since the purpose of the constitutional ban to limit land interest in the freedom of the person whose liberty is restrained or who
ownership to Filipinos has been achieved. In short, the law disregards the shows some authorization to make the application. She is not, however, the
constitutional disqualification of the buyer to hold land if the land is real party in interest in the certiorari aspect of the petition. Only Larkins
subsequently transferred to a qualified party, or the buyer himself becomes a could institute a petition for certiorari to set aside order the denying his
qualified party.15 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary motions for bail and for the dismissal of the complaint against him.

Clearly, since Lot No. 398 has already been transferred to private 2. NO. Even if the arrest of a person is illegal, supervening events may bar his
respondents who are Filipino citizens, the prior invalid sale to Lee Liong can release or discharge from custody. What is to be inquired into is the legality
no longer be assailed. Hence, reversion proceedings will no longer prosper of his detention as of, at the earliest, the filing of the application for a writ of
since the land is now in the hands of Filipino citizens. habeas corpus, for even if the detention is at its inception illegal, it may, by
reason of some supervening events, such as the instances mentioned in
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the Decision dated 12 July Section 4 of Rule 102, be no longer illegal at the time of the filing of the
2002 and the Resolution dated 9 May 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA- application. Among such supervening events is the issuance of a judicial
G.R. CV No. 53890. process preventing the discharge of the detained person.
Another is the filing of a complaint or information for the ofense for which
SO ORDERED. the accused is detained, as in the instant case. By then, the restraint of
liberty is already by virtue of the complaint or information and, therefore,
VELASCO V. CA the writ of habeas corpus is no longer available.
RE: HABEAS CORPUS 3. YES. The filing of a petition or motion for bail in cases where no bail is
recommended has the same legal import and efect as the posting of bail in
Facts: A warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Padolina of RTC Pasig, against cases where bail is recommended. It is settled that the giving or posting of
accused Lawrence Larkins for violations of B.P. Blg. 22. But on 20 November bail by the accused is tantamount to submission of his person to the
1994, a certain Desiree Alinea executed and filed before the NBI a complaint- jurisdiction of the court. In the case of Carrington vs. Peterson, 30 this Court
affidavit accusing Larkins of the crime of rape allegedly committed against declared that when a defendant in a criminal case is brought before a
her on 19 November 1994. Acting on the basis of the complaint of Alinea, competent court by virtue of a warrant of arrest or otherwise, in order to
petitioners Special Investigators Resurreccion and Erum, Jr. proceeded to the avoid the submission of his body to the jurisdiction of the court he must raise
office of Larkins in Makati and arrested him. Larkins was then detained at the the question of the court's jurisdiction over his person at the very earliest
Detention Cell of the NBI, Taft Avenue, Manila. Two days later, Larkins posted opportunity. If he gives bail, demurs to the complaint or files any dilatory
a bail for the BP 22 charged by which Judge Padolina issued an order plea or pleads to the merits, he thereby gives the court jurisdiction over his
directing the release of Larkins from confinement unless otherwise detained person. (State ex rel. John Brown vs. Fitzgerald, 51 Minn., 534) In United
for some other cause. However, Resurreccion and Erum refused to release States vs. Grant, 31 this Court held that conceding again that the warrant
Larkins because he was still detained for another cause (rape), for which he issued in this case was void for the reason that no probable cause was found
would be held for inquest. On 23 November 1994, a complaint against by the court before issuing it, the defendant waived all his rights to object to
Larkins for rape was executed by Alinea before the RTC of Antipolo. On 2 the same by appearing and giving bond.
December 1994, Larkins, through his counsel Mauricio C. Ulep, filed an While it may be true that on 6 December 1994, or four days after the filing of
Urgent Motion for Bail and on 6 December 1994, Larkins, through his new the Urgent Motion for Bail, Larkins, thru a new counsel, filed an Urgent
counsel, Atty. Theodore O. Te, filed another Urgent Omnibus Motion for the Omnibus Motion for Dismissal of the Complaint and for Immediate Release
Dismissal of the Complaint and for Immediate Release, based on the alleged based on the alleged illegality of his warrantless arrest, the said motion was a
illegality of his warrantless arrest. These two motions was however denied. mere afterthought which came too late in the day. By then, the trial court
Unable to accept the ruling, Larkins' common-law wife, Cuyag, filed before had firmly acquired jurisdiction over his person.
the CA a petition for habeas corpus with certiorari. After hearing the Hence, even granting that Larkins was illegally arrested, still the petition for a
arguments of the parties, the CA held for Larkin’s immediately release. writ of habeas corpus will not prosper because his detention has become
In the petition petitioners insist that the respondent court erred in legal by virtue of the filing before the trial court of the complaint against him
granting the petition for habeas corpus because Larkins had already been and by the issuance of the 5 January 1995 order.
charged with the crime of rape and the trial court had denied his application
for bail. They further claim that the warrantless arrest in this case is valid for 4. NO. The trial court did not conduct a hearing of the urgent motion
it was made under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. On the other for bail, as required under Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of
hand, the private respondent contends that habeas corpus is rendered Court. The grant or denial of bail must be based upon the court's
unavailing not by the mere filing of an information, but by the issuance of a determination as to whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong.
warrant of arrest or warrant of commitment, which are the only two This discretion may only be exercised after evidence is submitted
processes recognized by law to justify deprivation of liberty, and the order of at the hearing conducted for that purpose. The court's order
Judge Caballes of 5 January 1995 denying the petition for bail does not granting or refusing bail must contain a summary of the evidence
qualify as such. She asserts that the petitioners have for the prosecution followed by its conclusion whether or not the
miscomprehended Paredes vs. Sandiganbayan 17 because that case did not evidence of guilt is strong; otherwise, the order would be
rule that the writ is no longer available after an information is filed against defective and voidable. In fact, even if the prosecutor refuses to
the person detained; what it stated is that the writ of habeas corpus will not adduce evidence in opposition to the application to grant and fix
issue when the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody bail, the court may ask the prosecution such questions as would
of an officer under a process issued by the court which has jurisdiction to do ascertain the strength of the State's evidence or judge the
so. She submits that the controlling doctrine is that enunciated in Ilagan adequacy of the amount of bail. It was thus incumbent upon the
vs. Ponce Enrile, 18 adverted to in Sanchez vs. Demetriou, 19 that "[t]he filing trial court to receive the evidence for the prosecution on the
of charges, and the issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest, against a urgent motion for bail. For this procedural shortcoming, Larkins
person invalidly detained will cure the defect of that detention or at least should also be partly blamed. He did not press for a hearing after
deny him the right to be released because of such defect." the scheduled hearing on 5 December 1994 was cancelled
because, as he claimed, the presiding Judge was out of the
Issue: country.
1. Whether Cuyag has personality to institute the action.
2. Whether Writ of Habeas Corpus is proper.
3. Whether by filing his motion for bail, Larkins admitted that he is under the
custody of the court and voluntarily submitted his person to its jurisdiction
hence would invalidate from availing the remedy of habeas corpus. EFREN C. MONCUPA, petitioner, vs. JUAN PONCE ENRILE
4. Whether the order denying the urgent motion for bail is improper. If in the
affirmative, whether Larkins may benefit from such improper order. Re: HABEAS CORPUS
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
The petitioner argues that although admittedly his temporary release is an
As early as 1919, in the leading case of Villavicencio v. Lukban (39 Phil. 778, improvement upon his actual detention, the restrictions imposed by the
790), this Court ruled: respondents constitute an involuntary and illegal restraint on his freedom.

A prime specification of al application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint The petitioner stresses that his temporary release did not render the instant
of liberty. The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to petitioner moot and academic but that "it merely shifted the inquiry from
inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from the legality of his actual detention to the legality of the conditions imposed
voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. Any by the respondents."
restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient. ...
We agree with the petitioner.
This latitudinarian scope of the writ of habeas-corpus has, in law, remained
undiminished up to the present. The respondents' contention that the The reservation of the military in the form of restrictions attached to the
petition has become moot and academic must necessarily be denied. Efren C. temporary release of the petitioner constitute restraints on the liberty of Mr.
Moncupa may have been released from his detention cell. The restraints Moncupa. Such restrictions limit the freedom of movement of the petitioner.
attached to his temporary release, however, preclude freedom of action and It is not physical restraint alone which is inquired into by the writ of habeas
under the Villavicencio v. Lukban rule warrant this Court's inquiry into the corpus.
nature of his involuntary restraint and our relieving him of such restraints as
may be illegal. In Villavicencio v. Lukban, the women who had been illegally seized and
transported against their will to Davao were no longer under any official
Petitioner Efren C. Moncupa, together with others, was arrested on April 22, restraint. Unlike petitioner Moncupa, they were free to change their domicile
1982 at about 10:50 P.M., at the corner of D. Street and Quezon Avenue, without asking for official permission. Indeed, some of them managed to
Quezon City. Moncupa D. Tuazon was brought to MIG-15 Camp Bago Bantay, return to Manila. Yet, the Court condemned the involuntary restraints caused
Quezon City where he was detained. On April 23, 1982, on the allegation that by the official action, fined the Mayor of Manila and expressed the hope that
he was a National Democratic Front (NDF) staf member, a Presidential its "decision may serve to bulwark the fortifications of an orderly
Commitment Order (PCO) was issued against him and eight (8) other government of laws and to protect individual liberty from Megal
persons. encroachment."

After two separate investigations, conducted first, by Lieutenant Colonel In the light of the above ruling, the present petition for habeas corpus has
Gerardo Lantoria, Jr., Chief of Task Force Makabansa Investigation Group and not become moot and academic. Other precedents for such a conclusion are
second, by Investigating Fiscal Amado Costales of Quezon City, it was not wanting.
ascertained that the petitioner was not a member of any subversive
organization. Both investigators recommended the prosecution of the The decision in Caunca v. Salazar (82 Phil. 851) states:
petitioner only for illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of
subversive documents under Presidential Decree No. 33. An employment agency, regardless of the amount it may advance to a
prospective employee or maid, has absolutely no power to curtail her
Consequently, two separate informations were filed against the petitioner, freedom of movement. The fact that no physical force has been exerted to
one, for illegal possession of firearms before the Court of First Instance of keep her in the house of the respondent does not make less real the
Rizal and the other for violation of P.D. 33 before the City Court of Quezon deprivation of her personal freedom of movement, freedom to transfer from
City. Against the other accused, however, the cases filed were for violation of one place to another, from to choose one's residence. Freedom may be lost
P.D. 885 as amended. Significantly, the petitioner was excluded from the due to external moral compulsion, to founded or groundless fear, to
charge under the Revised Anti-Subversion Law. During the pendency of this erroneous belief in the existence of the will. If the actual efect of such
petition, it is significant that his arraignment and further proceedings have psychological spell is to place a person at the mercy of another, the victim is
not been pursued. And yet, the petitioner's motions for bail were denied by entitled to the protection of courts of justice as much as the individual who is
the lower court. illigally deprived of liberty by deprived or physical coercion.

Hence, the petitioner filed the instant petition. In Tibo v. The Provincial Commander (85 SCRA 564), this Court ruled:

The respondents, in their return of the writ justified the validity of Although the release in the custody of the Deputy Minister did not signify
petitioner's detention on the ground that the privilege of the writ had been that petitioners could once again enjoy their full freedom, the application
suspended as to the petitioner. However, on August 30, 1983, the could have been dismissed, as it could be withdrawn by the parties
respondents filed a motion to dismiss stating that on May 11, 1983, the themselves. That is a purely voluntary act. When the hearing was held on
petitioner was temporarily released from detention on orders of the Minister September 7, 1978, it turned out that counsel for petitioner Bonifacio V.
temporary of National Defense with the approval of the President. The Tupaz could have academic in a hasty manner when he set forth the above
respondents stated. "Since the petitioner is free and no longer under the allegations in his manifestation of August 30, 1978, for Attorney Jose C.
custody of the respondents, the present petition for habeas corpus may be Espinas, who appeared for petitioners, while conceding that there was such a
deemed moot and academic as in similar cases. release from confinement, also alleged that it was conditioned on their
restricting their activities as labor union leaders to the premises of the Trade
The issue to be resolved is whether or not the instant petition has become Unions of the Philippines and ABSOLUTE Services, presumably in Macaraig as
moot and academic in view of the petitioner's temporary release. well as the Ministry of labor. As the voting was to take place in the business
firm in Bataan, the acts set would nullify whatever eforts they could have
It is to be noted that attached to the petitioner's temporary release are exerted. To that extent, and with the prohibition against their going to
restrictions imposed on him. These are: Bataan, the restraint on liberty was undeniable. If so, the moot and academic
character of the petition was far from clear.
1) His freedom of movement is curtailed by the condition that petitioner
gets the approval of respondents for any travel outside Metro Manila. More recently, we had occasion to rule squarely on whether or not a
temporary release from detention renders the petition for writ of habeas
2) His liberty of abode is restricted because prior approval of corpus moot and academic. As in this case of Moncupa, the petitioners in
respondents is also required in case petitioner wants to change his place of Toyoto, et al v. Hon. Fidel Ramos, et al, G.R. No. 69270, October 15, 1985,
residence. were temporarily released from detention. The respondents filed a motion to
dismiss the petition for habeas corpus on the ground that the petitioners had
3) His freedom of speech is muffled by the prohibition that he should not been temporarily released and their case had, therefore, become moot and
"participate in any interview conducted by any local or foreign mass media academic. The petitioners insisted, however, that their case may be
representatives nor give any press release or information that is inimical to considered moot and academic only "if their release would be permanent."
the interest of national security." In ruling for the petitioners, we said:

4) He is required to report regularly to respondents or their Ordinarily, a petition for habeas corpus becomes moot and academic when
representatives. the restraint on the liberty of the petitioners is lifted either temporarily or
permanently. We have so held in a number of cases. But the instant case marriage which is the marriage certificate was a forgery. In allowing the
presents a diferent situation. The question to be resolved is whether the correction of the subject certificate of marriage by cancelling the wife
State can reserve the power to re-arrest a person for an ofense after a court portion thereof, the trial court did not declare the marriage void as there was
of competent jurisdiction has absolved him of the ofense. An affirmative no marriage to speak of.
answer is the one suggested by the respondents because the release of the FACTS:
petitioners being merely 'temporary' it follows that they can be re-arrested at Olaybar requested from the National Statistics Office (NSO) a Certificate of
anytime despite their acquittal by a court of competent jurisdiction. We hold No Marriage (CENOMAR). She then discovered that she was already married
that such a reservation is repugnant to the government of laws and not of to Ye Son Sune, a Korean National, on June 24, 2002.
men principle. Under this principle the moment a person is acquitted on a Olaybar denied having contracted the marriage and claimed that she did
criminal charge he can no longer be detained or re-arrested for the same not know the alleged husband. Moreover, she averred that she did not
ofense. This concept is so basic and elementary that it needs no elaboration. appear before the solemnizing officer, that the signature appearing in the
marriage certificate is not hers.
In efect the principle is clear. A release that renders a petition for a writ of She filed a Petition for Cancellation of Entries in the Marriage Contract,
habeas corpus moot and academic must be one which is free from especially the entries in the wife portion. Olaybar impleaded the Local Civil
involuntary restraints. Where a person continues to be unlawfully denied one Registrar of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband, as parties to the case.
or more of his constitutional freedoms, where there is present a denial of During trial, Olaybar testified on her own behalf. Further, Olaybar presented
due process, where the restraints are not merely involuntary but appear to Natinga as witness, an employee of MTCC, Branch 1, who confirmed that the
be unnecessary, and where a deprivation of freedom originally valid has, in marriage of Ye Son Sune was indeed celebrated in their office, but claimed
the light of subsequent developments, become arbitrary, the person that the alleged wife who appeared was definitely not Olaybar. A document
concerned or those applying in his behalf may still avail themselves of the examiner also testified that the signature appearing in the marriage contract
privilege of the writ. was forged.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted the petition and directed the Local
The respondents have failed to show why the writ may not issue and why the Civil Registrar of Cebu City to cancel all the entries in the WIFE portion of the
restraints on the petitioner's freedom of movement should not be lifted. alleged marriage contract of the petitioner and respondent Ye Son Sune.
Finding that the signature appearing in the subject marriage contract was not
WHEREFORE, the PETITION is GRANTED. The conditions attached to the that of Olaybar, the court found basis in granting the latter’s prayer to
temporary release of the petitioner are declared null and void. The straighten her record and rectify the terrible mistake.
temporary release of the petitioner is declared ABSOLUTE. No costs, The petitioner opposed and moved for reconsideration, contending that: (1)
there was no clerical spelling, typographical and other innocuous errors in
SO ORDERED. the marriage contract for it to fall within the provisions of Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court; and (2) granting the cancellation of all the entries in the wife
YANO v. SANCHEZ portion of the alleged marriage contract is, in efect, declaring the marriage
RE: writ of amparo void ab initio.
The RTC denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration and held that it had
Cleofas and Marciana (respondents) alleged that one evening, their jurisdiction to take cognizance of cases for correction of entries even on
respective sons Nicolas Sanchez and Heherson Medina were catching frogs substantial errors under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court being the appropriate
outside their home in, Tarlac; that at around past midnight the next day, adversary proceeding required. Considering that respondent’s identity was
Nicolas’ "wives" Lourdez and Rosalie Sanchez, who were then at home, heard used by an unknown person to contract marriage with a Korean national, it
gunshots and saw armed men in soldiers’ uniforms passing by; that at around would not be feasible for respondent to institute an action for declaration of
dawn of the same day, Lourdez and Rosalie went out to check on Nicolas, but nullity of marriage since it is not one of the void marriages under Articles 35
to no avail. and 36 of the Family Code.
ISSUE: Is the cancellation of entries in the marriage contract which, in efect,
Respondents alleged that Josephine Galang Victoria, niece of a nullifies the marriage may be undertaken in a Rule 108 proceeding? – NO
neighbor, later informed them that she had seen two men inside Camp RULING:
Servillano Aquino of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) Tarlac City, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court provides the procedure for cancellation or
whom Josephine later identified as Nicolas and Heherson (the victims) after correction of entries in the civil registry. The proceedings may either be
respondents had shown her their photographs; and that Josephine informed summary or adversary. If the correction is clerical, then the procedure to be
them that she saw the victims again on September 24, 2006 and November adopted is summary. If the rectification afects the civil status, citizenship or
1, 2006, this time at the Camp of the Bravo Company of the Army’s 71st nationality of a party, it is deemed substantial, and the procedure to be
Infantry Batallion inside Hacienda Luisita. adopted is adversary.
In Republic v. Valencia, the Court has repeatedly ruled that "even substantial
Upon the endorsement of the CHR to the Ombudsman, respondents errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a petition filed under Rule
prayed for the issuance of writ of amparo. 108, with the true facts established and the parties aggrieved by the error
availing themselves of the appropriate adversarial proceeding." An
appropriate adversary suit or proceeding is one where the trial court has
The appellate court, after hearing, absolved herein petitioner among
conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been fully and properly
others, but granted herein respondents with the reliefs of investigation of the
developed, where opposing counsel have been given opportunity to
camps and thorough impartial investigation.
demolish the opposite party’s case, and where the evidence has been
thoroughly weighed and considered.
ISSUE:
In filing the petition for correction of entry under Rule 108, respondent made
Whether the grant of the reliefs by the appellate court after finding
the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband Ye Son
want of substantial evidence are valid and proper
Sune, as parties-respondents. It is undisputed that the procedural
requirements set forth in Rule 108 were complied with. The Office of the
Solicitor General was likewise notified of the petition which in turn
RULING: authorized the Office of the City Prosecutor to participate in the proceedings.
No. These provisional reliefs are intended to assist the court before it More importantly, trial was conducted where respondent herself, the
arrives at a judicious determination of the amparo petition. For the appellate stenographer of the court where the alleged marriage was conducted, as
court to, in the present case, still order the inspection of the military camps well as a document examiner, testified. Several documents were also
and order the army units to conduct an investigation into the disappearance considered as evidence. With the testimonies and other evidence presented,
of Nicolas and Heherson after it absolved petitioners is thus not in order. The the trial court found that the signature appearing in the subject marriage
reliefs granted by the appellate court to respondents are not in sync with a certificate was diferent from respondent’s signature appearing in some of
finding that petitioners could not be held accountable for the disappearance her government issued identification cards. The court thus made a
of the victims. categorical conclusion that respondent’s signature in the marriage certificate
was not hers and, therefore, was forged. Clearly, it was established that, as
Rep v. Olaybar she claimed in her petition, no such marriage was celebrated.
DOCTRINE: Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine the validity of While the Court maintains that Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine
marriage. What the respondent sought is the correction of the record of such the validity of marriage, it held that it cannot nullify the proceedings before
marriage to reflect the truth as set forth by the evidence. The testimonial the trial court where all the parties had been given the opportunity to
and documentary evidence clearly established that the only "evidence" of
contest the allegations of respondent; the procedures were followed, and all
the evidence of the parties had already been admitted and examined.
Olaybar sought, not the nullification of marriage as there was no marriage to
speak of, but the correction of the record of such marriage to reflect the
truth as set forth by the evidence. Otherwise stated, in allowing the
correction of the subject certificate of marriage by cancelling the wife
portion thereof, the trial court did not, in any way, declare the marriage void
as there was no marriage to speak of.