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57 - Vencilao vs Vano

FACTS:
Three consolidated cases are resolved, given that there are same
parties and parcels of land in question.
(1) In the first case, the heirs of the late Juan Reyes filed an application
for registration of the subject parcel of land, which resulted in an
OCT. After the heirs tried to take possession of the property, a
reconveyance of property was filed against them by Vencila et al.,
asserting that:
(a) They have acquired the land by purchase or inheritance and
in OCEN possession for 30 years
(b) The parcels of land that they own were by mistake part of Juan
Reyes estate
(2) The second case involved the death of the administratix of the
estate of the owners/heirs of the land. After her death, a TCT was
issued in the name of Pedro Luspo, and another was issued in the
name of several persons. A writ of possession was issued by the
trial court against petitioners.
(3) The third case involved one of the registered owners of the land
who filed a petition for complaint against the occupants who
refused to vacate the land and sign the Sheriffs return.
The heirs of Juan Reyes moved to dismiss the case of reconveyance
stating that the other parties had no cause of action and that they
were barred by prior judgement already.
The lower court denied the motion to dismiss, then set aside the
same order, and then reversed itself partially (some cases were
dismissed, some were not -- since there were several petitioners).
The parties whose cases were dismissed appealed to the SC.
These petitioners contend that they were not claimants-oppositors
nor defeated oppositors in the said land registration case, as their
names dont appear in the amended application for registration.
They argue that they have occupied the parcels of land for more

than 30 years which began long before the application for


registration and that even after registration, they continued to
possess the land.

ISSUE/S:
(1) Whether or not res judicata is applicable in an action for
reconveyance
(2) Whether or not the writ of possession may be issued against
them considering that the petitioners were not the defeated
parties in the registration case

RULING
(1) No. Res judicata applies to all cases and proceedings,
including land registration and cadastral proceedings. A final
judgment is conclusive even in subsequent cases involving
the same parties and their successors-in-interest as long as
the ff. requisites are present:
(a) The former judgment must be final
(b) Rendered by a court having jurisdiction on the subj
matter and of the parties (CFI Bohol had jurisdiction)
(c) The judgment was based on the merits
(d) There is identity of parties, subj matter, and cause of
action between the first and second actions (Land
registration and action for reconveyance)

(2) Yes. A writ of possession may be issued not only against a


person who has been defeated in a registration case but
also against anyone unlawfully and adversely occupying the
land or any portion thereof during the land registration
proceedings up to the issuance of the final decree.
NOTE: In a registration case, the judgment confirming the
title of the applicant and ordering its registration in his name
necessarily carries with it the right of ownership (right to
possess-may be obtained through writ of possession).
(3) On the issue of contempt, the court ruled that the occupants
were not guilty. Contempt only applies when after the sheriff
dispossess or eject the occupants, they enter/attempt to
enter the property. It was the sheriffs and not the
petitioners fault that there was delivery of possession was
unsuccessful.