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G.R. No.


November 18, 1957

RICARDO VELAYO, petitioner-appellant, vs. FERNANDO ORDOVEZA, ET AL., respondents-appellees. The City Treasurer of Manila sold, at public auction, to Ricardo Velayo whose address is Gapan, Nueva Ecija for the sum of P185.95, representing the amount due by way of unpaid real estate taxes, the years 1948 and 1949, plus penalty and costs, on the property described in said notice as follows: LAND containing an area of 99.40 SQUARE METERS, more or less, with improvements thereon, located at 813 Lepanto, Sampaloc, Manila, and designated as lot 16, Block 35, Assessment No. 3305 in the list of taxable properties for the district of Sampaloc. The property located at said address 813 Lepanto, Sampaloc, Manila is covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 79178 for the City of Manila, in the name of Fernando, Ramon, Annie, Beatriz and Isabelita, all surnamed Ordoveza, who had bought it sometime before 1948. However, said certificate of title contains the following description: 1. A PARCEL OF LAND (Lot No. 20 of Block No. 4002 of the Cadastral Survey of the City of Manila, situated in the District of Sampaloc.. . . 2. A PARCEL OF LAND (Lot No. 21 of Block No. 4002 of the Cadastral Survey of the City of Manila. When Fernando Ordoveza tried to pay the real estate tax thereon on November 20, 1959, a clerk in the office of the City Treasurer advised him of the sale aforementioned. On the same date, Ordoveza wrote to Velayo the letter, Exhibit A, offering to reimburse the amount paid by him with 15 per cent interest thereon. Instead of answering this letter, Velayo secured from the City Treasurer the corresponding certificate of sale. Ordovesa was surprised to hear about the sale, for he had not received any previous notice thereof or read in the newspapers about the public auction to be held in connection therewith, and enclosing a money order for P300.72, to cover the taxes due, plus interest and costs, with the request that said sum be accepted by way of redemption of the property in question. Four (4) days later, or on December 15, 1950, Velayo caused the certificate of sale in his favor to be filed with the Register of Deeds of Manila. On January 17, 1951, the Register of Deeds of Manila demanded from the Ordoveza's the production of its owner's duplicate of said Transfer Certificate of Title No. 79178, for annotation of the memorandum relative to the certificate of sale above referred to On November 10, 1954, Velayo filed in the Cadastral Case of the Court of First Instance, a petition stating that he had bought said Lot 16, Block 35 of the City of Manila, on October 29, 1949, for tax delinquency; that said property had not been redeemed on or before October 29, 1950; that the deemed of sale in his favor was executed by the city treasurer on November 12, 1951 The Ordoveza's opposed the petition, upon the ground, among others that the description in said deed of sale is different from the description appearing in Transfer Certificate of Title No. 79178 and that prior to the registration of said certificate of sale, the Ordoveza's had already paid to the City Treasurer the amount due by way of real-estate taxes, with 15 per cent interest thereupon, plus the taxes for 1950. Issue: whether or not defect in the advertisement is fatal. Held: yes. The city assessor and collector is the officer charged with the function of distraining personal property for the collection of delinquent real estate taxes. It is he who shall "advertise the real estate of the delinquent for sale." In order to suspend the same, payment of said taxes should be made to him prior thereto. The sale, if not suspended, shall be made under his authority. The proceedings relative to the sale shall be spread in the records of the city assessor. The certificate of the sale is to be issued by him. Redemption may be made by payment to him, within one year. A certificate of redemption, if effected, shall be issued by the city assessor. In the case at bar, the notice of sale at public auction was given, and the sale was made, by the city treasurer, who, likewise, executed the certificate of sale and, later on, the deed of sale, although he had no authority therefor Although not indispensable to the disposition of this appeal, we cannot overlook the fact that the notice of sale published, in connection with the case at bar referred to a "land containing an area of 99.40 square meters, more or less . . . designated as Lot 16, Block 35" of the City of Manila, whereas the property of Ordoveza's, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 79178, is described therein as Lots Nos. 20 and 21 of Block No. 4002 of the Cadastral Survey of said City, with an area of 94.80 and 2.30 square meters, or less, respectively. Although, both documents name Lepanto street and give the same house number, the difference in the number of the block (the notice said Block 35 and the property of the Ordoveza's is in Block 4002) and in that of the lot (the notice mentioned only one [1] lot, bearing No. 16, whereas Transfer

Certificate of Title No. 79178 covers [2] lots, bearing Nos. 20 and 21) apart from the difference in area are such as to have a confusing misleading effect. The injurious consequences of such variance becomes more manifest when we consider that the lots of the Ordoveza's are registered under the Torrens System and that its owners are consequently, justified in relying upon the description given in their certificate of title as the one officially identifying said property. In other words, it is hardly possible to sanction the tax sale of a property with a description distinct and different from that which appears in its certificate of title, without impairing the full and credence with the same in meant to command and, hence, without effecting the essence of the Torrens Systems. This suggest the advisability or need of adopting means and ways tending to insure that the records of the assessment for purpose of real estate tax on registered properties contain a description thereof which dovetails with that of the records of the corresponding registration proceedings. Thus, instead of being merely a formality, which often does not really give the notice demanded by the requirements of due process, the advertisement of tax sales prescribed by law would furnished substantially the information and warning it is meant to convey to, among others, the owner and delinquent taxpayer, in order that he may either make payment before the sale, and thus suspend the same, or redeem his property within the statutory period. Wherefore, without prejudice the appellant's right to recover the price by him paid for the property in dispute, the order appealed from should be, as it is hereby, affirmed, and the Register of Deeds of Manila is directed to cancel the memorandum, appearing on Transfer Certificate of Title No. 79178, of the sale made to appellant Ricardo Velayo, with cost against the latter.