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C.

Basis of Native title


a. Carino vs Insular Government (41 Phil
935)
Sec. 2 Art. XII 1987 Constitution
FACTS:
Carino is an Igorot of the Province of Benguet,
where the land lies filed for writ of error because
the CFI and SC dismissed his petition for
application
For more than 50 years before the Treaty of Paris,
April 11, 1899, he and his ancestors had held the
land as recognized owners by the Igorots.
(grandfather
maintain
fences
for
holding
cattle>father had cultivated parts and used parts
for pasturing cattle>he used it for pasture)
1893-1894 & 1896-1897: he made an application
but with no avail
1901: petition alleging ownership under the
mortgage law and the lands were registered to
him but process only established possessory title
Even if the applicant have title, he cannot have it
registered, because the Philippine Commission's
Act No. 926, of 1903, excepts the Province of
Benguet among others from its operation
ISSUE: W/N Carino has ownership and is entitled
to registration.
HELD: YES. Petition Granted.
Land was not registered, and therefore became, if
it was not always, public land.
Spanish Law: "Where such possessors shall not be
able to produce title deeds, it shall be sufficient if
they shall show that ancient possession, as a
valid title by prescription." For cultivated land, 20
years, uninterrupted, is enough. For uncultivated,
30.
Applicant's possession was not unlawful, and no
attempt at any such proceedings against him or
his father ever was made.
Every native who had not a paper title is not a
trespasser.
There must be a presumption against the
government when a private individual claims
property as his or her own. It went so far as to
say that the lands will be deemed private absent
contrary proof.
b.
b.1 Cruz vs DENR Sec (2000), 135585
FACTS:
Former Justice Isagani Cruz, a noted
constitutionalist, assailed the validity of the
Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples

Rights Act (IPRA Law) on the ground that the law


amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States
ownership over lands of the public domain as well
as minerals and other natural resources therein,
in violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in
Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The IPRA
law basically enumerates the rights of the
indigenous peoples over ancestral domains which
may include natural resources.
In addition, Cruz et al contend that, by providing
for an all-encompassing definition of ancestral
domains and ancestral lands which might even
include private lands found within said areas,
Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law also violate the
rights of private landowners.
ISSUE: Whether or not the IPRA law is
unconstitutional.
HELD: The Supreme Court deliberated upon the
matter. After deliberation they voted and reached
a 7-7 vote. They deliberated again and the same
result transpired. Since there was no majority
vote, Cruzs petition was dismissed and the
constitutionality of the IPRA law was sustained.
Hence, ancestral domains may include public
domain somehow against the regalian doctrine.
b.2 Secretary of DENR vs Yap, 167707
(2008) 568 SCRA 164

G.R. No. 167707


Boracay Mayor Jose Yap et al filed for declaratory
relief to have a judicial confirmation of imperfect
title or survey of land for titling purposes for the
land theyve been occupying in Boracay. Yap et al
alleged that Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA
Circular No. 3-82 raised doubts on their right to
secure titles over their occupied lands. They
declared that they themselves, or through their
predecessors-in-interest, had been in open,
continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession
and occupation in Boracay since June 12, 1945, or
earlier since time immemorial. They declared
their lands for tax purposes and paid realty taxes
on them.

The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor


General (OSG), opposed the petition for
declaratory relief. The OSG countered that
Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the
public domain. It formed part of the mass of lands
classified as public forest, which was not
available for disposition pursuant to Section 3(a)
of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 705 or the Revised
Forestry Code. Since Boracay Island had not been
classified as alienable and disposable, whatever
possession they had cannot ripen into ownership.
RTC Ruled in favor of Yap et al. The OSG
appealed.
G.R. No. 173775
During the pendency of G.R. No. 167707, in May
2006, then
President
Gloria
MacapagalArroyo issued Proclamation No. 1064 classifying
Boracay Island into four hundred (400) hectares
of reserved forest land (protection purposes) and
six hundred twenty-eight and 96/100 (628.96)
hectares of agricultural land (alienable and
disposable). The Proclamation likewise provided
for a fifteen-meter buffer zone on each side of the
centerline of roads and trails, reserved for rightof-way and which shall form part of the area
reserved for forest land protection purposes.
Subsequently, Dr. Orlando Sacay, and other
Boracay landowners in Boracay filed with the
Supreme Court (SC) an original petition for
prohibition, mandamus, and nullification of
Proclamation No. 1064. They alleged that the
Proclamation infringed on their prior vested
rights over portions of Boracay. They have been
in continued possession of their respective lots in
Boracay since time immemorial. They have also
invested billions of pesos in developing their
lands and building internationally renowned first
class resorts on their lots.
The OSG again opposed Sacays petition. The
OSG argued that Sacay et al do not have a vested
right over their occupied portions in the island.
Boracay is an unclassified public forest land
pursuant to Section 3(a) of PD No. 705. Being
public forest, the claimed portions of the island
are inalienable and cannot be the subject of
judicial confirmation of imperfect title. It is only
the executive department, not the courts, which
has authority to reclassify lands of the public
domain into alienable and disposable lands.
There is a need for a positive government act in
order to release the lots for disposition.

ISSUES: Whether Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA


Circular No. 3-82 pose any legal obstacle for Yap
et al and Sacay et al, and all those similarly
situated, to acquire title to their occupied lands in
Boracay Island.
HELD: Yes. The SC ruled against Yap et al and
Sacay et al. The Regalian Doctrine dictates that
all lands of the public domain belong to the State,
that the State is the source of any asserted right
to ownership of land and charged with the
conservation of such patrimony. All lands that
have not been acquired from the government,
either by purchase or by grant, belong to the
State as part of the inalienable public domain.
A positive act declaring land as alienable
and disposable is required. In keeping with
the presumption of State ownership, there must
be a positive act of the government, such as
an official proclamation, declassifying inalienable
public land into disposable land for agricultural or
other purposes. In the case at bar, no such
proclamation, executive order, administrative
action, report, statute, or certification was
presented. The records are bereft of evidence
showing that, prior to 2006, the portions of
Boracay occupied by private claimants were
subject of a government proclamation that the
land is alienable and disposable. Absent such
well-nigh incontrovertible evidence, the Court
cannot accept the submission that lands occupied
by private claimants were already open to
disposition before 2006. Matters of land
classification or reclassification cannot be
assumed.
Also, private claimants also contend that their
continued possession of portions of Boracay
Island for the requisite period of ten (10) years
under Act No. 926 ipso facto converted the island
into private ownership. Private claimants
continued possession under Act No. 926
does not create a presumption that the land
is alienable. It is plain error for petitioners
to argue that under the Philippine Bill of
1902 and Public Land Act No. 926, mere
possession by private individuals of lands
creates the legal presumption that the
lands are alienable and disposable.

Private claimants are not entitled to apply


for judicial confirmation of imperfect title
under CA No. 141. Neither do they have
vested rights over the occupied lands under
the said law. There are two requisites for judicial
confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title
under CA No. 141, namely:
(1) open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession and occupation of the subject land by
himself or through his predecessors-in-interest
under a bona fide claim of ownership since time
immemorial or from June 12, 1945; and
(2) the classification of the land as alienable and
disposable land of the public domain.
The tax declarations in the name of private
claimants are insufficient to prove the first
element of possession. The SC noted that the
earliest of the tax declarations in the name of
private claimants were issued in 1993. Being of
recent dates, the tax declarations are not
sufficient to convince this Court that the period of
possession and occupation commenced on June
12, 1945.
Yap et al and Sacay et al insist that they have a
vested right in Boracay, having been in
possession of the island for a long time. They
have invested millions of pesos in developing the
island into a tourist spot. They say their
continued possession and investments give them
a vested right which cannot be unilaterally
rescinded by Proclamation No. 1064.
The continued possession and considerable
investment of private claimants do not
automatically give them a vested right in
Boracay. Nor do these give them a right to apply
for a title to the land they are presently
occupying. The SC is constitutionally bound to
decide cases based on the evidence presented
and the laws applicable. As the law and
jurisprudence stand, private claimants are
ineligible to apply for a judicial confirmation of
title over their occupied portions in Boracay even
with their continued possession and considerable
investment in the island.

c. Central Mindanao University vs Executive


Secretary, 184869 (2010)
SUMMARY: (PROC 310 UNCONSTITUTIONAL)
The education of the youth and agrarian reform
are admittedly among the highest priorities in the

government socio-economic programs. In this


case, neither need give way to the other. Thus,
the lands by their character have become
inalienable from the moment President Garcia
dedicated them for CMUs use in scientific and
technological research in the field of agriculture.
They have ceased to be alienable public lands.
Besides, when Congress enacted the Indigenous
Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) or Republic Act 8371 in
1997, it provided in Section 56 that "property
rights within the ancestral domains already
existing and/or vested" upon its effectivity "shall
be recognized and respected." In this case,
ownership over the subject lands had been
vested in CMU as early as 1958. Consequently,
transferring the lands in 2003 to the indigenous
peoples around the area is not in accord with the
IPRA.
NATURE: Concerns the constitutionality of a
presidential proclamation that takes property
from a state university, over its objections, for
distribution to indigenous peoples and cultural
communities.
FACTS:
Petitioner Central Mindanao University (CMU) is a
chartered educational institution owned and run
by the State.
In 1958, the President issued Presidential
Proclamation 476, reserving 3,401 hectares of
lands of the public domain in Musuan, Bukidnon,
as school site for CMU.
Forty-five years later or on January 7, 2003
President
Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo
issued
Presidential Proclamation 310 that takes 670
hectares from CMUs registered lands for
distribution to indigenous peoples and cultural
communities in Barangay Musuan, Maramag,
Bukidnon.
CMU filed a petition for prohibition against
respondents Executive Secretary, et al seeking to
stop
the
implementation
of
Presidential
Proclamation 310 and have it declared
unconstitutional.
The NCIP, et al moved to dismiss the case on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction of the Malaybalay
RTC over the action SINCE jurisdiction lies with
the Manila RTC. - DENIED
NCIP filed a MR GRANTED motion partial
reconsideration and dismissed CMUs action for
lack of jurisdiction.
The RTC ruled that Presidential Proclamation 310
was constitutional, being a valid State act. The
RTC said that the ultimate owner of the lands is
the State and that CMU merely held the same in
its behalf.
CMU filed for MR DENIED
Appeal to the CA, the CA dismissed CMUs appeal
for lack of jurisdiction,
CMU filed for MR denied

THUS - CMU to file the present petition for review.


ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the CA erred in not finding that
the RTC erred in dismissing its action for
prohibition against NCIP, et al for lack of
jurisdiction and at the same time ruling that
Presidential Proclamation 310 is valid and
constitutional;
2. Whether or not the CA correctly dismissed
CMUs appeal on the ground that it raised purely
questions of law that are proper for a petition for
review filed directly with this Court; and
3. Whether or not Presidential Proclamation 310 is
valid and constitutional.
HELD: PETITION GRANTED Proclamation 310 is
UNCONSTITUTIONAL - null and void for being
contrary to law and public policy.
RATIO:
The Courts Rulings
The key question lies in the character of the lands
taken from CMU. In CMU v. Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB),the
DARAB, a national government agency charged
with
taking
both
privately-owned
and
government-owned
agricultural
lands
for
distribution to farmers-beneficiaries, ordered the
segregation for this purpose of 400 hectares of
CMU lands. The Court nullified the DARAB action
considering the inalienable character of such
lands, being part of the long term functions of an
autonomous agricultural educational institution.
The education of the youth and agrarian reform
are admittedly among the highest priorities in the
government socio-economic programs. In this
case, neither need give way to the other.
Certainly, there must still be vast tracts of
agricultural land in Mindanao outside the CMU
land reservation which can be made available to
landless peasants, assuming the claimants here,
or some of them, can qualify as CARP
beneficiaries.
To our mind, the taking of the CMU land which
had been segregated for educational purposes for
distribution to yet uncertain beneficiaries is a
gross misinterpretation of the authority and
jurisdiction granted by law to the DARAB.
The decision in this case is of far-reaching
significance as far as it concerns state colleges
and universities whose resources and research
facilities
may
be
gradually
eroded
by
misconstruing the exemptions from the CARP.
These state colleges and universities are the
main vehicles for our scientific and technological
advancement in the field of agriculture, so vital to
the existence, growth and development of this
country.
As already stated, the lands by their character
have become inalienable from the moment

President Garcia dedicated them for CMUs use in


scientific and technological research in the field
of agriculture. They have ceased to be alienable
public lands.
Besides, when Congress enacted the Indigenous
Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) or Republic Act 8371 in
1997, it provided in Section 56 that "property
rights within the ancestral domains already
existing and/or vested" upon its effectivity "shall
be recognized and respected."
In this case, ownership over the subject lands had
been vested in CMU as early as 1958.
Consequently, transferring the lands in 2003 to
the indigenous peoples around the area is not in
accord with the IPRA.
Furthermore,
the
land
registration
court
considered the claims of several tribes belonging
to the areas cultural communities in the course
of the proceedings for the titling of the lands in
CMUs name. Indeed, eventually, only 3,080
hectares were titled in CMUs name under OCTs 0160, 0-161 and 0-162. More than 300 hectares
were acknowledged to be in the possession of
and subject to the claims of those tribes.

D. Legal limits of the regulation of informal


settlement
1. Malabanan
(2009)

vs

Republic,

179987

II. Philippine Land Registration


1. Gen. provisions:
2. 236 SCRA 346 (1994)???
3. 31 SCRA 191

G.R. No. L-23265 January 28, 1980


MOISES
HERICO, petitioner,
vs.
CIPRIANO DAR and THE HONORABLE COURT
OF APPEALS, respondents.
Pedro A. Venida for petitioner.
Ricardo S. Heraldo & F. H.Geris for private
respondent.

DE CASTRO, J.:

Appeal by certiorari from the decision of the


Court of Appeals 1 reversing the decision of the
Court of First Instance of Camarines Norte in favor
of the plaintiff, Moises Herico 2 the petitioner here
and accordingly dismiss the latter's complaint. 3
The complaint filed on October 26, 1956 in the
Court of First instance of Camarines Norte, sought
the cancellation of OCT No. P-506 of the Registry
of Deeds of Camarines Norte, issued on May 10,
1956 pursuant to Free Patent No. V-36970
covering a parcel of land situated in Paracale,
Camarines Norte, in the name of respondent
Cipriano Dar.
As recited in the appealed judgment the plaintiffpetitioner's evidence shows the following.
The plaintiff's evidence shows that
the land in question is a part of the
public domain; that in 1914, when
it was still within the forest zone, it
was occupied, together with the
land adjoining it on the North (now
in
the
possession
of
Pedro
Lamadrid); that adjoining it on the
East
(now
in
possession
of
Maximins Andaya); and that on the
West, now in possession of the
heirs of Adriano Lopez, by Emilio,
Gregorio and Isidoro,, all surnamed
Andaya; that the Andaya brothers
gradually cleared the entire area by
making
caingin
and
planting
bananas, abaca and coconuts; that
in 1918, when Isidoro, who was the
youngest
among the
Andaya
brothers, was ready and able to
take care of and improve the land,
it is ceded to him by his two elder
brothers, Emilio and Gregorio; that
while in possession he improved
the land and incurred indebtedness
from his aunt, Martina Herico, in
the amount of P60.00, representing
cash advices and cost of supplies
given to him that to guarantee
payment of the said amount he
executed on March 12, 1925, a
private
document
purpotedly
mortgaging the land in question to
Martina Herico (Exhibit A); that in
1938, Martina Herico demanded
payment from him of the amount of
indebtedness which by this time
laid amounted to P130.00 but
Isidoro Andaya, instead of paying,

transferred and assigned his right


to the land to plaintiff Moises
Herico, a brother of Martina, in
consideration of the sum of
P130.00 which was paid by Moises
Herico to Martina Herico; that
Moises Herico took possession of
the land in 1939 and planted it with
abaca and coconuts, although
there were coconut trees thereon
previously
planted
by
Isidro
Andaya; that plaintiff declared the
land for taxation purposes in 1940
and 1945; that in 1943, he placed
Maximino Andaya, a son of Emilio
Andaya, as tenant on the land who
planted some coconut trees and
remained as such tenant until
1953; that in 1949 plaintiff placed
the defendant as his tenant on said
land with the privilege of gathering
all the produce thereof provided he
planted some coconut trees for the
plaintiff; that on December 12,
1955, while he was still plaintiff's
tenant, defendant without the
knowledge and consent of the
plaintiff
filed
a
Free
Patent
application for said land; that on
April 7, 1956, the said application
was approved and an order for the
issuance of a parent was issued;
that on May 10, 1956, the
corresponding certificate of title
was issued in favor f the
defendant; that the adjoining
owners of the land, including the
plaintiff himself, who is also the
owner of the adjoining land on the
South, were not notified of the Free
Patent application; and that the
defendant is a relative of the
plaintiff's wife who went to reside
in barrio Batobalane municipality of
Paracale, only after the liberation,
staying at first in a house near that
of the plaintiff, but out of charity
plaintiff placed him as tenant on
said land with the privilege of
harvesting for his benefit the
produce of the land. (pp. 2-4,
Petitioner's Brief)
On the basis of the evidence of defendantrespondent which the Court of Appeals recited as
follows:

On the other hand, the defendant sought to show


that he took possession of the land in question in
1922; that he cultivated the same and possession
it continuously to the exclusion of all other
persons; that he declared the land for taxation
purposes and paid the taxes thereon; that on
December 10, 1949, he entered into a contract
with Mrs. Victorina Salen and Mrs. Eufemia Salen
to do prospecting work on the land in question
and for them to sell the mining located thereon;
that he also entered into a contract with Vicente
Inocalla giving the latter the right to prospect
locate and carry out mining operations over said
land-, that he filed his Free Patent application
after occupying and cultivating the land
continuously since 1922; that nobody objected or
filed a protest against his application in spite of
the fact that notices of the application were
posted in the various places required by law; that
not being the owner of more than twenty-four
hectares of land and having cultivated the land in
question continuously since 1922, a report to that
effect was submitted by Junior Public Land
Inspector Florencio Rosales who stated in his
report that the land is claimed by nobody and
that the defendant had totally cultivated the total
area of 8.6973 hectares and introduced
improvements thereon consisting of 700 coconuts
ranging from twenty to thirty years old, and
banana plants smittered all over the land; that
pursuant to said report, Free Patent No. V-36970
was issued by authority of the President of the
Philippines and on the basis thereof Original
Certificate of Title No. P-506 was issued to him by
the Register of Deeds of Camarines Norte. (pp. VVI, Petitioner's Brief)
The Court awarded judgment
defendant, Cipriano Dar.

in

favor

of

The decision of the respondent Court failed


utterly to pass on the question of whether
respondent Dar was a tenant of petitioner Herico
on the land in question. It proceeded on the
assumption that there was no landlord-tenant
relationship between them, and came to the
conclusion that when respondent Dar applied for
a free patent over the land in question, he did so
without committing any fraud against petitioner
or his landlord, or to create a constructive trust in
favor of the latter. Sole basis of the conclusion
was the approval of his application for free patent
by the land authorities and the granting of the
Torrens title thereafter.
The allegation of respondent Dar that he has
never been a tenant of the petitioner over the

land in question is belied by his own statement


which he signed on November 8, 1956 in which
he admitted that he has been petitioner's tenant
since 1945 (Exhibit D). On the witness stand he
also admitted that he has been making copra for
the petitioner. 4 With these admissions, it is easier
to believe the allegation of petitioner that his
possession dates back to 1914, through that of
his predecessors-in-interest, as recited earlier,
and declared the land for taxation purposes
earlier in 1940 than respondent Dar who declared
it only in 1952 (Exhibit 3), after he had been
allegedly placed as tenant in the land in question
in 1949.
What led the Court of Appeals to find in favor of
respondent Dar is the fact that his application for
a free patent was approved after the requisite
official
investigation
which
enjoys
the
presumption of regularity. This presumption
however, may be said to have been seriously
impaired by respondent Dar's admission of
having been a tenant to petitioner Herico, for by
such relationship, respondent Dar should not be
heard to dispute his landlord's title, claim to
which by the latter is strengthened by the prompt
filing of the present action, just months after the
issuance of the certificate of title sought to be
cancelled, precisely on the ground of fraud. As
held by this Court:
It is elementary that a tenant will
not be heard to dispute his
landlord's
title,
hence,
the
proceedings
whereby
the
defendants obtained free patents
were fraudulent.
We cannot concur with the
distinguished trial judge that it is
necessary
that
the
plaintiff
'presente pruebas concluyentes o
titulos positives que justifiquen con
la claridad de la Luz meridiana el
derecho de propiedad o dorainio
del demandante sobre los terrenos
cuestionados.' By virtue of his
possession since 1892, established
by the preponderance of evidence,
the plaintiff is entitled to a
certificate of title to the lands
described in his petition, under the
provisions of section 45, paragraph
(b), of Act No 2874, the Public Land
Law, and he is conclusively
essential to a government grant.
That
being
so,
the
original

certificates of title of free patent


issued to the various defendants,
as recited in the agreed statement
of facts, were unauthorized and
void as against this plaintfff.
(Lizada vs. Oman Ari 59 Phil. 547,
555; See also Sevilla vs. De los
Angeles, G.R. No. 7745 November
18, 1955, 51 O.G. 5590; Bancadren
vs. Diones, et al., G.R. No. L-8013,
December 20, 1955). (pp. 5-6,
Petitioner's Brief).
Another obvious error of the respondent Court is
in holding that after one year from the issuance
of the Torrens title, the same can no longer be
reopened to be declared null and void, and has
become absolute and indefeasible. In the first
place, the action to annul or cancel the certificate
of title was brought within one year as admitted
by respondent in his brief. 5 Secondly, under the
provisions of Republic Act No. 1942, which the
respondent-court held to be inapplicable to the
petitioner's case, with the latter's proven
occupation and cultivation for more than 30 years
since 1914, by himself and by his predecessorsin-interest, title over the land has vested on
petitioner as to segregate the land from the mass
of public land. Thereafter, it is no longer
disposable under the Public Land Act as by free
patent This is as provided in Republic Act No.
1942, which took effect on June 22, 1957,
amending Section 48b of Commonwealth Act No.
141 which provides:
... (b) Those who by themselves or
through
their
predecessors-ininterest have been in open,
continuous,
exclusive,
and
notorious
possession
and
occupation of agricultural lands of
the public domain, under a bona
fide claim
of
acquisition
of
ownership, for at least thirty years
immediately preceding the filing of
application for confirmation of title
except when prevented by war or
force majeure. These shall be
conclusively presumed to have
performed
all
the
conditions
essential to a Government grant
and shall be entitled to a certificate
of title under the provisions of this
chapter. (p. 8, Petitioner's Brief).
As interpreted in several cases 6 when the
conditions as specified in the foregoing provision

are complied with, the possessor is deemed to


have acquired, by operation of law, a right to a
grant, a government grant, without the necessity
of a certificate of title being issued. The land,
therefore, ceases to be of the public domain, and
beyond the authority of the Director of Lands to
dispose of. The application for confirmation is a
mere formality, the lack of which does not affect
the legal sufficiency of the title as would be
evidenced by the patent and the Torrens title to
be issued upon the strength of said patent.
On the ground, therefore, that there is evidence
of fraud in the filing of application for free patent
over the land by respondent Dar, and that the
land applied for had ceased to be part of the
public domain by reason of the operation of
Republic Act -No. 1942 in favor of petitioner, the
decision appealed from has to be reversed.
WHEREFORE, the judgment of the respondent
Court of Appeals dismissing the complaint is
hereby reversed, and another one entered
cancelling Original Certificate of Title No. P-506
issued in favor of the defendant-respondent, for
being null and void, and declaring plaintiffpetitioner entitled to either judicial confirmation
or administrative legalization of his incomplete or
imperfect title under the provision of the Public
Land Act, Commonwealth Act No. 141, as
amended. 7 Costs against private respondent.
SO ORDERED.

III. Relevant laws


1. Section 1-3, PD 1529

CHAPTER
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Title of Decree. This Decree shall be


known as the PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE.
Section 2. Nature of registration proceedings;
jurisdiction of courts. Judicial proceedings for the
registration of lands throughout the Philippines
shall be in rem and shall be based on the
generally
accepted
principles
underlying
theTorrens system.
Courts of First Instance shall have exclusive
jurisdiction over all applications for original
registration
of
title
to
lands,
including

improvements and interests therein, and over all


petitions filed after original registration of title,
with power to hear and determine all questions
arising upon such applications or petitions. The
court through its clerk of court shall furnish the
Land Registration Commission with two certified
copies of all pleadings, exhibits, orders, and
decisions filed or issued in applications or
petitions for land registration, with the exception
of stenographic notes, within five days from the
filing or issuance thereof.
Section 3. Status of other pre-existing land
registration system. The system of registration
under the Spanish Mortgage Law is hereby
discontinued and all lands recorded under said
system which are not yet covered byTorrens title
shall be considered as unregistered lands.
Hereafter, all instruments affecting lands
originally registered under the Spanish Mortgage
Law may be recorded under Section 113 of this
Decree, until the land shall have been brought
under the operation of the Torrens system.
The books of registration for unregistered lands
provided under Section 194 of the Revised
Administrative Code, as amended by Act No.
3344, shall continue to remain in force; provided,
that all instruments dealing with unregistered
lands shall henceforth be registered under
Section 113 of this Decree.

IV.

1. Essence
a. Ching vs Malaya 153 SCRA 412

Facts: Jose Ching et al and the Spouses Cesar


and Araceli Alvarado were disputing possession
over a parcel of land. Ching averred that the
Alvarados encroached upon their land. An
ejectment case was filed and the MTC (Municipal
Trial Court) took cognizance thereof. The MTC
ruled in favor of Ching. Alvarado appealed before
the RTC (Regional Trial Court) and Judge Antonio
Malaya held that the MTC has no jurisdiction over
the case because the issue between the two
parties was not a mere possession case. The two
parties actually adduced evidence of ownership:
i.e. Deed of Sale presented by Ching and
inheritance
claims
by
Alvarado.
Judge

Malaya ruled that MTCs have no jurisdiction over


ownership cases.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ching is the rightful
owner?
HELD: MTCs do not have jurisdiction over
ownership cases. But the SC (Supreme Court)
held that this particular case is not an ownership
case. The mere circumstance that proof of title, or
evidence of ownership, had been introduced
during the trial before the Municipal Court would
not deprive said court of jurisdiction to rule on
the question of who had the prior physical
possession. The parties just showed evidence of
ownership so as to prove possession this will
not divest the MTC of its jurisdiction.
On the other hand, the land is registered under
Chings name in the Registry of Deeds in Laguna.
The land was actually sold to him by Alvarados
father in 1978. No protest was ever filed against
the Deed of Sale since 1978. Alvarado only filed
an annulment case (which is a separate case)
when the ejectment case was filed. With a strong
evidence to back Chings claim, the MTCs
decision was reinstated by the SC.

b. Purpose of registration: Legarda


vs Saleeby, 8926 (1915)
October 2, 1915 G.R. No. L-8936
CONSUELO LEGARDA, with her husband
MAURO PRIETO, plaintiffs-appellants, vs.
N.M. SALEEBY, defendant-appellee. Singson,
Ledesma and Lim for appellants. D.R.
Williams for appellee. JOHNSON, J.:
FACTS:
Consuelo Legarda and N.M. Saleeby are owners of
adjoining lots in Ermita, Manila. Between their
lots is a stone wall which is located on the lot of
the plaintiffs.
On March 2, 1906, Consuelo and her husband
presented a petition in the Court of Land
Registration to register their lot. The registration
was allowed on October 25, 1906.
They were then issued an original certificate and
the title was registered. Both included the wall.
On March 25, 1912, the predecessor of N.M.
Saleeby presented a petition in the Court of Land
Registration for registration. The court decreed
the registration of the land which also included
the wall.
The plaintiffs Consuelo and Mauro, her
husband, discovered that the wall has also been
registered to N.M. Saleeby.
They presented a petition in the Court of
Land Registration for adjustment and correction
of the error where the wall was indicated in both
registrations.
However,
the
lower
court
contended that during the pendency of the
petition for the registration of the defendants
land, they failed to make any objection to the
registration of said lot, including the wall, in the
name of the defendant.
ISSUE: WON the defendant is the owner of the
wall and the land occupied by it?
RULING: NO. The lower courts decision would
call for the plaintiffs to be always alert and see to
it that no other parties will register the wall and
its land. Else, if they spotted someone registering
such wall in their own name, plaintiff must
immediately oppose. Such would become defeat
the real purpose of the Torrens system of land
registration.
The real purpose of that system is to quiet
title to land; to put a stop forever to any question
of the legality of the title, except claims which
were noted at the time of registration, in the
certificate, or which may arise subsequent
thereto.
That being the purpose of the law, it
would seem that once a title is registered the

owner may rest secure, without the necessity of


waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting in the
mirador de su casa, to avoid the possibility of
losing his land.
So who owns the land? According to
Torrens system, the plaintiffs. Under our law, once
a party registers the land, final and in good faith,
no third parties may claim interest on the same
land.
The rights of all the world are fore closed
by the decree of registration. The registration,
under the Torrens system, does not give the
owner any better title than he had. The
registration of a particular parcel of land is a bar
to future litigation over the same between the
same parties. It is a notice to the world and no
one can plead ignorance of the registration.
Adopting the rule which we believe to be
more in consonance with the purposes an d the
real intent of the torrens system, we are of the
opinion and so decree that in case land has been
registered under the Land Registration Act in the
name of two different persons, the earlier in date
shall prevail. The presumption is that the
purchaser has examined every instrument of
record affecting the title.
This presumption is IRREBUTABLE. It
cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or
good faith. Otherwise the very purpose and
object of the law requiring a record would be
destroyed. The rule is that all persons must take
notice of the facts which the public record
contains is a rule of law. The rule must be
absolute. Any variation would lead to endless
confusion and useless litigation.
DECISION: Judgment of the lower court
was revoked. The wall and the land where it sits
is awarded to the plaintiffs.
c. Registration not mode of acquiring
ownership: Vagilidad vs Vagilidad,
16136 (2006) G.R. No. 116136
FACTS:
A parcel of land, Lot No. 1253, situated in
Atabay, San Jose, Antique, measuring 4,280
square meters, was owned by Zoilo [Labiao]
(hereafter ZOILO) as per Original Certificate of
Title No. RO- 2301 issued on March 3, 1931.
Sometime in 1931, ZOILO died. Subsequently, on
May 12, 1986, Loreto Labiao (hereafter LORETO),
son of ZOILO, sold to Gabino Vagilidad Jr.
(hereafter GABINO JR.) a portion of Lot No. 1253
(hereafter Lot 1253-B), measuring 1,604 square
meters as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute
Sale executed by
LORETO.
In view of the death of ZOILO, his children,
LORETO, Efren Labiao (hereafter EFREN) and
Priscilla
Espanueva
(hereafter
PRISCILLA)
executed an Extrajudicial x x x Settlement of
Estate dated January 20, 1987, adjudicating the

entire Lot No. 1253, covering 4,280 square


meters, to LORETO. On January 29, 1987, Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T -16693 was issued
in favor of LORETO, EFREN and PRISCILLA, but on
even date, TCT No. T16693 was cancelled and
TCT No. T-16694, covering the said property, was
issued in the name of LORETO alone. Transaction
was inscribed at the back of TCT No. 18023 as
Entry No. 186876. Subsequently, the xxx real
estate mortgage was cancelled under Entry No.
191053 as per inscription dated November 17,
1992 in x x x TCT No. 18023.
On July 31, 1987, GABINO, JR., as petitioner, filed
a Petition for the Surrender of TCT No. T-16694,
covering Lot No. 1253, with the Regional Trial
Court of San Jose City, Sixth Judicial Region,
against LORETO, docketed as Cadastral Case No.
87-731-A. The plaintiff alleged that, being the
owner of x x x Lot No. 1253-B, under TCT No. T16694, by virtue of the sale that took place on
May 12, 1986, he is entitled to ask for the
surrender of the owners copy of TCT No. T-16694
to the Register of Deeds of Antique in order to
effect the transfer of title to the name of the
petitioner. However, as per motion of both
counsels[,] since the parties seemed to have
already reached an amicable settlement without
the knowledge of their counsels, the trial court
issued an Order dated March 21, 1994 sending
the case to the archives.
On September 29, 1995, spouses GABINO and
Ma. Dorothy Vagilidad (hereafter DOROTHY), as
plaintiffs, filed a Complaint for Annulment of
Document, Reconveyance and Damages, with the
Regional Trial Court of Antique, Sixth Judicial
Region, Branch 11, against spouses WILFREDO
and Lolita Vagilidad (hereafter LOLITA), docketed
as Civil Case No. 2825. The plaintiffs claimed that
they are the lawful owners of Lot No. 1253-B
which was sold to him by LORETO in 1986. They
alleged that [GABINO JR.] is a nephew of
defendant WILFREDO. They likewise raised that
when GABINO SR. died, defendant WILFREDO
requested GABINO JR. to transfer the ownership
of Lot No. 1253-B in defendant WILFREDOs name
for loaning purposes with the agreement that the
land will be returned when the plaintiffs need the
same. They added that, pursuant to the
mentioned agreement, plaintiff GABINO JR.,
without the knowledge and consent of his spouse,
DOROTHY, executed the Deed of Sale dated
December 7, 1989 in favor of defendant
WILFREDO receiving nothing as payment therefor.
They pointed out that after defendant WILFREDO
was able to mortgage the property, plaintiffs
demanded the return of the property but the
defendants refused to return the same. The
plaintiffs claimed that the same document is null
and void for want of consideration and the same
does not bind the non-consenting spouse. They
likewise prayed that the defendant be ordered to

pay the plaintiffs not less than P100,000.00 as


actual and moral damages, P10,000.00 as
attorneys fees and P5,000.00 as litigation
expenses.
On September 21, 1988, [GABINO JR.] paid real
estate taxes on the land he bought from LORETO
as per Tax Declaration No. 1038 where the
property was specified as Lot No. 1253-B. GABINO
JR. thereafter sold the same lot to Wilfredo
Vagilidad (hereafter WILFREDO) as per Deed of
Absolute Sale dated December 7, 1989. On even
date, Deed of Absolute Sale of a Portion of Land
involving the opt-described property was also
executed by LORETO in favor of WILFREDO. The
aforementioned deeds, which were both executed
on December 7, 1989 [and] notarized by Atty.
Warloo Cardenal[,] [appear] to have been given
the same entry number in his notarial books as
both contained the designation Document No.
236, Page No. 49, Book No. XI, Series of 1989[.]
Corollarily, on February 14, 1990, the sale of Lot
No. 1253-B to WILFREDO was registered with the
Registry of Deeds of the Province of Antique
under Entry No. 180425. Consequently, TCT No.
T18023, cancelling TCT No. 16694, was issued in
favor of WILFREDO pursuant to the Deed of
Absolute Sale dated December 7, 1989.
For their part, the defendants, on January 15,
1996, filed their Answer, denying the material
allegations of the plaintiffs. Defendants claimed
that they are the lawful owners of Lot No. 1253-B.
They alleged that LORETO, with conformity of his
wife, sold to them Lot No. 1253 on December 7,
1989 for P5,000.00 and the transaction was
registered with the Register of Deeds of the
Province of Antique under Entry No. 180425. They
added that, subsequently, TCT No. T18023,
covering Lot No. 1253- B, was issued in favor of
the defendants. Hence, they claimed that the
plaintiffs be directed to pay the defendants
damages sustained.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Honorable Court Of
Appeals erred in not applying the provision of
Article 1544 of the new Civil Code and the
doctrine of double sale that the buyer who is in
possession of the torrens title and had the deed
of sale registered must prevail.
HELD:
No, the Court of Appeals did not erred in
applying the provision of the Civil Code.
The Supreme Court ruled that the
petitioners title was issued pursuant to the
purported Deed of Absolute Sale of Portion of
Land dated December 7, 1989. Second,
WILFREDO did not see any encumbrance at the
back of the title of the subject lot when he
purchased it from LORETO on December 7, 1989.
Thus, since he is not bound to go beyond the

certificate of title, he has acquired the subject


property in due course and in good faith.
We disagree.
Art. 1544. If the same thing should have been
sold to different vendees, the ownership shall be
transferred to the person who may have first
Should there be no inscription, the ownership
shall pertain to the person who in good faith was
first in the possession; and, in the absence
Petitioners reliance on Article 1544 is misplaced.
While title to the property was issued in
WILFREDOs name on February 15, 1990, the
following circumstances show that he registered
the subject parcel with evident bad faith.
Co-ownership is the right of common dominion
which two or more persons have in a spiritual
part of a thing, not materially or physically
divided. Before the partition of the property held
in common, no individual or co-owner can claim
title to any definite portion thereof. All that the
co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or
proportionate share in the entire property.
c.1
distinguish
title
from
a
certificate: Castillo vs Escutin,
171056 (2009) 581 SCRA 258

THIRD DIVISION
DINAH C. CASTILLO,
Petitioner,

- versus-

ANTONIO M. ESCUTIN, AQUILINA A.


MISTAS,MARIETTA L. LINATOC, AND
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS,
Respondents.

x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

taken possession thereof in good faith, if it should


be movable property.
Should it be immovable property, the ownership
shall belong to the person acquiring it who in
good faith recorded it in the Registry of Property.
thereof, to the person who presents the oldest
title, provided there is good faith.
LORETO sold some 1,604 square meters of Lot
No. 1253 to GABINO, JR. Consequently, when
LORETO purportedly sold to WILFREDO on
December 7, 1989 the same portion of the lot, he
was no longer the owner of Lot No. 1253- B.
Based on the principle that no one can give what
he does not have,26 LORETO could not have
validly sold to WILFREDO on December 7, 1989
what he no longer had. As correctly pointed out
by the appellate court, the sale made by LORETO
in favor of WILFREDO is void as LORETO did not
have the right to transfer the ownership of the
subject property at the time of sale.
Before this Court is a Petition for Review
on Certiorari [1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court filed by petitioner Dinah C. Castillo seeking
the reversal and setting aside of the Decision,
[2]
dated 18 October 2005, of the Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. SP No. 90533, as well as the
Resolution,[3] dated 11 January 2006 of the same
court denying reconsideration of its aforementioned Decision. The Court of Appeals, in its
assailed
Decision,
affirmed
the
Joint
[4]
G.R.Resolution
No. 171056
dated 28 April 2004 and Joint
Order[5] dated 20 June 2005 of the Office of the
Present:
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon in OMB-L-A-030573-F and OMB-L-C-03-0728-F, dismissing
YNARES-SANTIAGO
petitioner Dinah C. Castillos complaint for grave
Chairperson,
misconduct and violation of Section 3(e) of
MARTINEZ,
Republic Act No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
CHICO-NAZARIO,
Practices Act, as amended, against respondent
NACHURA,
public and
officers Antonio M. Escutin (Escutin),
PERALTA,
Aquilina A. Mistas (Mistas) and Marietta L. Linatoc
(Linatoc), together with private individuals Lauro
S. Leviste II (Leviste) and Benedicto L. Orense
(Orense).
Promulgated:
Petitioner is a judgment creditor of a
March
certain
13, 2009
Raquel K. Moratilla (Raquel), married to
Roel Buenaventura. In the course of her search
for properties to satisfy the judgment in her favor,
petitioner discovered that Raquel, her mother
Urbana Kalaw (Urbana), and sister Perla K.
Moratilla (Perla), co-owned Lot 13713, a parcel of
land consisting of 15,000 square meters, situated
at Brgy. Bugtongnapulo, Lipa City, Batangas, and
covered by Tax Declaration No. 00449.

Petitioner
set
about
verifying
the
ownership of Lot 13713. She was able to secure
an Order[6] dated 4 March 1999 issued by
Secretary Horacio R. Morales, Jr. of the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) approving
the application of Summit Point Golf & Country
Club, Inc. for conversion of several agricultural
landholdings, including Lot 13713 owned by Perla
K. Mortilla, et al. and covered by Tax Declaration
No. 00449, to residential, commercial, and
recreational uses. She was also able to get from
the Office of the City Assessor, Lipa City, a
Certification[7] stating that Lot 13713, covered by
Tax Declaration No. 00554-A, was in the name of
co-owners Raquel, Urbana, and Perla; and a
certified true copy of Tax Declaration No. 00554-A
itself.[8] Lastly, the Register of Deeds of Lipa City
issued a Certification[9] attesting that Lot 13713 in
the name of co-owners Raquel, Urbana, and
Perla, was not covered by a certificate of title,
whether judicial or patent, or subject to the
issuance of a Certificate of Land Ownership Award
or patent under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program.
Only thereafter did petitioner proceed to
levy on execution Lot 13713, and the public
auction sale of the same was scheduled on 14
May 2002. Sometime in May 2002, before the
scheduled public auction sale, petitioner learned
that Lot 13713 was inside the Summit Point Golf
and Country Club Subdivision owned by Summit
Point Realty and Development Corporation
(Summit Realty). She immediately went to
the Makati City office of Summit Realty to meet
with its Vice President, Orense. However, she
claimed that Orense did not show her any
document to prove ownership of Lot 13713 by
Summit Realty, and even threatened her that the
owners of Summit Realty, the Leviste family, was
too powerful and influential for petitioner to
tangle with.
The public auction sale pushed through
on 14 May 2002, and petitioner bought Raquels
1/3 pro-indiviso share in Lot 13713.
On 4 June 2002, petitioner had the
following documents, on her acquisition of
Raquels 1/3 pro-indiviso share in Lot 13713,
recorded in the Primary Entry Book and
Registration Book of the Register of Deeds of Lipa
City in accordance with Act No. 3344 [10]: (a)
Notice of Levy;[11] (b) Certificate of Sale;[12] (c)
Affidavit of Publication;[13] and (d) Writ of
Execution.[14]
Subsequently, petitioner was issued by
the City Assessor of Lipa City Tax Declaration No.
00942-A,[15] indicating that she owned 5,000

square meters of Lot 13713, while Urbana and


Perla owned the other 10,000 square meters.
When petitioner attempted to pay real
estate taxes for her 5,000-square-meter share
in Lot 13713, she was shocked to find out that,
without giving her notice, her Tax Declaration No.
00942-A was cancelled. Lot 13713 was said to be
encompassed in and overlapping with the
105,648 square meter parcel of land known as
Lot 1-B, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. 129642[16] and Tax Declaration No.
00949-A,[17] both in the name of Francisco
Catigbac (Catigbac). The reverse side of TCT No.
129642 bore three entries, reflecting the
supposed sale of Lot 1-B to Summit Realty, to wit:
ENTRY
NO.
184894:
SPECIAL
POWER OF ATTORNEY: In favor of
LEONARDO YAGIN: For purposes
more particularly stipulated in the
contract
ratified
before
Atty.
Ernesto M. Vergara of Lipa City as
per Doc. No. 639; Page No. 29;
Book No. LXXVI; Series of 1976.
Date of instrument 2-6-1976
Date
of
inscription 6-262002 at 11:20 a.m.
ENTRY NO. 185833: SALE IN FAVOR
OF SUMMIT POINT REALTY &
DEVELOPMENT CORP:
ENTRY
NO.
185834:
BIR
CLEARANCE: Of the parcel of land
described in this cert. of title is
hereby sold and cancelled TCT No.
134609(SN-6672938) Vol. 671-A,
having been issued by virtue of the
aforesaid instrument ratified before
Perfecto L. Dimayuga, Notary
Public for Makati City as per Doc.
No. 148; Page 31, Book No. LXVII,
Series of 2002.
Date of instrument: July 22, 2002
Date
of
inscription: July
25,
2002 at 2:30 P.M.[18]
On 25 July 2002, at 2:30 p.m., TCT No.
129642 in the name of Catigbac was cancelled
and TCT No. T-134609 in the name of Summit
Realty was issued in its place.
The
foregoing
incidents
prompted
petitioner to file a Complaint Affidavit [19] before
the
Office
of
the
Deputy
Ombudsman
for Luzon charging several public officers and
private individuals as follows:
32. I respectfully charge
that on or about the months of June
2002 and July 2002 and onwards in

Lipa
City, Atty.
Antonio
M.
[Escutin], the Register of Deeds of
Lipa City[;] Aquilina A. Mistas,
the Local Assessment Operations
Officer III of the City Assessors
Office of Lipa City[;]Marietta
Linatoc, Records Clerk, Office of
the City Assessor of Lipa City, who
are public officers and acting in
concert and conspiring with Lauro
S. Leviste II and Benedicto L.
Orense, Executive Vice-President
and Vice-President, respectively[,]
of Summit Point Realty and
Development Corporation x x x
while in the discharge of their
administrative functions did then
and there unlawfully, through
evident
bad
faith,
gross
inexcusable negligence and with
manifest partiality towards Summit
caused me injury in the sum
of P20,000,000.00 by cancelling
my TD #00942-A in the Office of
the City Assessor of Lipa City and
instead issuing in the name of
Francisco Catigbac TC #00949-A
when aforesaid personalities well
knew that TCT No. 129642 was
already cancelled and therefore not
legally entitled to a new tax
declaration
thereby
manifestly
favoring Summit Point Realty and
Development Corporation who now
appears to be the successor-ininterest of Francisco Catigbac, all to
my
damage
and
prejudice.
[20]
(Emphasis ours.)
Petitioners Complaint Affidavit gave rise to
simultaneous administrative and preliminary
(criminal) investigations, docketed as OMB-L-A03-0573-F and OMB-L-C-03-0728-F, respectively.
Petitioner pointed out several irregularities
in the circumstances surrounding the alleged sale
of Lot 1-B to Summit Realty and in the documents
evidencing the same.
The supposed Deed of Absolute Sale in
favor of Summit Realty executed on 22 July 2002
by Leonardo Yagin (Yagin), as Catigbacs attorneyin-fact, appeared to be a one-way street. It did
not express the desire of Summit Realty, as
vendee, to purchase Lot 1-B or indicate its
consent and conformity to the terms of the
Deed. No representative of Summit Realty signed
the left margin of each and every page of said
Deed. It also did not appear from the Deed that a
representative of Summit Realty presented
himself before the Notary Public who notarized
the said document. The Tax Identification

Numbers of Yagin, as vendor, and Summit Realty,


as vendee, were not stated in the Deed.
Petitioner also averred that, being a
corporation, Summit Realty could only act
through its Board of Directors. However, when the
Deed of Absolute Sale of Lot 1-B was presented
for recording before the Register of Deeds, it was
not accompanied by a Secretarys Certificate
attesting to the existence of a Board Resolution
which authorized said purchase by Summit
Realty. There was no entry regarding such a
Secretarys Certificate and/or Board Resolution,
whether on TCT No. 129642 or TCT No. T134609. A Secretarys Certificate eventually
surfaced, but it was executed only on 30 July
2002, five days after TCT No. T-134609 in the
name of Summit Realty was already issued.
The Deed of Absolute Sale was presented
before and recorded by the Register of Deeds of
Lipa City on 25 July 2002 at 2:30 p.m., at exactly
the same date and time TCT No. T-134609 was
issued to Summit Realty. Petitioner theorizes that
for this to happen, TCT No. T-134609 was already
prepared and ready even before the presentation
for recording of the Deed of Absolute Sale before
the Register of Deeds.
Moreover, Catigbac had long been dead
and buried. The agency Catigbac supposedly
executed in favor of Yagin was extinguished by
Catigbacs death. Thus, petitioner argued, Yagin
no longer had authority to execute on 22 July
2002 the Deed of Absolute Sale of Lot 1-B in favor
of Summit Realty, making the said Deed null and
void ab initio.
Petitioner asserted that Summit Realty
was well-aware of Catigbacs death, having
acknowledged the same in LRC Case No. 000376, the Petition for Issuance of New Owners
Duplicate of TCT No. 181 In Lieu of Lost One, filed
by Summit Realty before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC)
of Lipa City. During
the ex
parte presentation of evidence in the latter part
of 2000, Orense testified on behalf of Summit
Realty that Catigbacs property used to form part
of a bigger parcel of land, Lot 1 of Plan Psu12014, measuring 132,975 square meters,
covered by TCT No. 181 in the name of Catigbac;
after Catigbacs death, Lot 1 was informally
subdivided into several parts among his heirs
and/or successors-in-interest, some of whom
again transferred their shares to other persons;
Summit Realty separately bought subdivided
parts of Lot 181 from their respective owners,
with a consolidated area of 105,648 square
meters, and identified as Lot 1-B after survey;
despite the subdivision and transfer of ownership
of Lot 1, TCT No. 181 covering the same was
never cancelled; and the owners duplicate of TCT

No. 181 was lost and the fact of such loss was
annotated at the back of the original copy of TCT
No.
181
with
the
Registry
of
Deeds. Subsequently, in an Order[21] dated 3
January 2001, the RTC granted the Petition in LRC
Case No. 00-0376 and directed the issuance of a
new owners duplicate of TCT No. 181 in the name
of Catigbac, under the same terms and condition
as in its original form.
Petitioner further cast doubt on the acts
undertaken by Summit Realty in connection with
Catigbacs property, purportedly without legal
personality and capacity. The Special Power of
Attorney dated 6 February 1976 granted Yagin
the right to sue on behalf of Catigbac, yet it was
Summit Realty which instituted LRC Case No. 000376, and Yagin had no participation at all in said
case. Likewise, it was not Yagin, but Orense, who,
through a letter[22] dated 27 June 2001, requested
the cancellation of TCT No. 181 covering Lot 1
and the issuance of a new certificate of title
for Lot 1-B. Hence, it was Orenses request which
resulted in the issuance of TCT No. 129642 in the
name of Catigbac, later cancelled and replaced
by TCT No. T-134609 in the name of Summit
Realty.
Lastly, petitioner questioned why, despite
the cancellation of TCT No. 129642 in the name of
Catigbac and the issuance in its place of TCT No.
T-134609 in the name of Summit Realty, it was
the former cancelled title which was used as
basis for canceling petitioners Tax Declaration No.
00942-A. Tax Declaration No. 00949-A was thus
still issued in the name of Catigbac, instead of
Summit Realty.
Piecing everything together, petitioner
recounted in her Complaint Affidavit the alleged
scheme perpetrated against her and the
involvement therein of each of the conspirators:
28. Summit Point Realty and
Development Corporation went into
action right after I paid Orense a
visit
sometime
May
2002. Summit resurrected from the
grave. (sic) Francisco Catigbac
whom they knew to be long dead
to face possible litigation. This is
the height of malice and bad faith
on the part of Summit through its
Lauro Leviste II, the Executive Vice
President and Benedicto Orense,
the Vice President. I had only in my
favor a tax declaration to show my
interest and ownership over the 5,
000 sq.m. of the subject parcel of
land. Evidently,
Leviste
and Orense came to the desperate
conclusion that they needed a TCT

which is a far better title than any


tax declaration.
Both
then
methodically
commenced their evil and illegal
scheme by causing on June 26,
2002 at 11:20 a.m. the inscription
with the Register of Deeds of Lipa
City of a purported Special Power
of Attorney in favor of Leonardo
Yagin (Annex I). Next, the Deed of
Absolute Sale (Annex J) was made
the following month in order to
make
it
appear
that
Yagin unilaterally sold to Summit
the
subject
parcel
of
land
purportedly belonging to Francisco
Catigbac. Since the latter was
already dead and realizing that the
agency was already extinguished,
Annex J was not signed or executed
by Leviste or Orense. This fact
however did not deter the two from
securing a BIR clearance on July 25,
2002. Also, on this same day, July
25, 2002, Annex J was presented to
Atty.
[Escutin]
at 2:30
p.m. simultaneously, at exactly the
same time of 2:30 p.m. TCT No. T134609 in Summits name was
issued by Atty. [Escutin] WITHOUT
benefit of the submission of the
necessary documentation such as
the
Board
Resolution,
DAR
Clearance, Revenue Tax Receipts
for documentary stamps, real
property tax clearance, proof of
payment of transfer tax, tax
declaration,
articles
of
incorporation, SEC certification,
license to sell and/or certificate of
registration by HLURB, etc. Without
the total and lightning speed
cooperation of Atty. [Escutin] to
close his eyes to the total absence
of said vital documents, the
desperately needed TCT to erase
my interest and ownership would
not have come into existence. Atty.
[Escutin] had indeed acted in
concert and in conspiracy with
Leviste and Orense in producing
Annex H and Annex K.
29. Thereafter,
Leviste
and Orense utilized
the
already cancelled TCT No. 129642
in the name of Francisco Catigbac
to be the basis in seeking the
cancellation of TD #00942A in my
name (Annex F). The Tax Mapping

Division of the Office of City


Assessor of Lipa City opined that
my 5,000 sq.m. was (sic) part and
parcel of the 105,648 sq.m.
covered by TCT No. 129642. A
photocopy of the Certification from
said division is hereto marked and
attached
as
Annex
P,
hereof. Aquilina Mistas, the Local
Assessment Operations Officer III of
the Office of the City Assessor of
Lipa City then conveniently caused
the disappearance of my Notice of
Levy
and
other
supporting
documents
which
she
had
personally
received
from
me
on March 13, 2002. For her part of
the conspiracy likewise, Marietta
Linatoc, Records Clerk, forthwith
cancelled by TD#00942-A and in
lieu thereof she issued TD #00949A in the name of Francisco
Catigbac. I dare say so because
Mistas and Linatoc were presented
a cancelled TCT
as
basis
for
obliterating my 5,000 sq.m. The
fact of cancellation is clearly stated
on the posterior side of TCT No.
129642. Both can read. But the two
nevertheless
proceeded
with
dispatch in canceling my TD,
though they had ample time and
opportunity to reject the request
of Summit who is not even the
registered owner appearing on TCT
No. 129642. Francisco Catigbac
could not have been in front of
Mistas and Linatoc because he was
already
six
feet
below
the
ground. Mistas and Linatoc could
have demanded presentation of
the
document
authorizing Summit in
requesting
for the cancellation of my TD. Also,
they
could
have
demanded
from Summit any
document
transferring
my
interest
and
ownership in favor of a third
party. Or, at least, they could have
annotated in Tax Declaration No.
00949-A the fact that I bought my
5,000 sq.m. from a public auction
sale duly conducted by the court
sheriff. Alternatively, Linatoc and
Mistas
should
have
advised Summit to the effect that
since they already appear to be the
owners of the subject parcel of
land, the new tax declaration
should
bear
their
name
instead. Mistas and Linatoc indeed

conspired with Summit in the illegal


and unwarranted cancellation of
my TD and in covering up the
behind-the-scenes
activities
of Summit by making it appear that
it was Francisco Catigbac who
caused
the
cancellation. Even
Leonardo
Yagin,
the
alleged
attorney-in-fact did not appear
before Mistas and Linatoc. Yagin
could not have appeared because
he is rumored to be long dead. The
aforementioned acts of the two
benefitted
(sic) Summit through
their manifest partiality, evident
bad faith and/or gross inexcusable
negligence. Perhaps, there is some
truth to the rumor that Yagin is
dead because he does not even
have a TIN in the questioned Deed
of Absolute Sale. If indeed Yagin is
already dead or inexistent[,] the
allged payment of the purchase
price of P5,282,400.00 on July 25,
2002 is a mere product of the
fertile imagination of Orense and
Leviste. To dispute this assertion[,]
the live body of Leonardo Yagin
must be presented by Orense and
Leviste.[23]
After filing her Affidavit Complaint, petitioner
attempted to have the Sheriffs Deed of Final
Sale/Conveyance of her 5,000 square meter proindiviso share in Lot 13713 registered with the
Register of Deeds of Lipa City. She also sought
the annotation of her Affidavit of Adverse Claim
on the said 5,000 square meters on TCT No. T134609 of Summit Realty.
Escutin, the Register of Deeds of Lipa City,
relying on the finding of Examiner Juanita H. Sta.
Ana (Sta. Ana), refused to have the Sheriffs Deed
of Final Sale/Conveyance registered, since:
The
Sheriffs
Deed
of
Final
Sale/Conveyance is a Mode of
Transfers (sic) ownership in favor of
the Plaintiff, [Dinah] C. Castillo,
(sic) However[,] it happen (sic) that
the presented Tax Declaration [No.]
00942-A is already transfer (sic) in
the name of the said [Dinah] C.
Castillo,
therefore[,]
the
registration of Sheriff (sic) Final
Sale is no longer necessary.[24]

Escutin likewise denied petitioners request


to have her Affidavit of Adverse Claim annotated
on TCT No. T-134609 on the following grounds:

The persons charged in OMB-L-A-03-0573F and OMB-L-C-03-0728-F filed their respective


Counter-Affidavits.

1. The claimants (sic) rights


or interest is not adverse to the
registered owner. The registered
owner is Summit Point Realty and
Development Corporation under
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T134609 of the Registry of Deeds
for Lipa City.

Respondent Escutin clarified in his Counter


Affidavit that TCT No. T-134609 reflected the
same date and time of entry of the Deed of
Absolute Sale between Yagin (as Catigbacs
attorney-in-fact) and Summit Realty, i.e., 25 July
2002 at 2:30 p.m., in accordance with Section
56[28] of Presidential Decree No. 1529, otherwise
known as the Property Registration Decree. He
emphasized that his duty as Register of Deeds to
register the Deed of Absolute Sale presented
before him was purely ministerial. If the
document was legal and in due form, and there
was nothing mutilated or irregular on its face, the
Register of Deeds had no authority to inquire into
its intrinsic validity based upon proofs aliunde. It
was not true that he allowed the registration of
the Deed of Absolute Sale notwithstanding the
absence of the required documents supporting
the application for registration thereof. On the
contrary, all the required documents such as the
DAR Clearance, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR), Real
Property Tax, Transfer Tax, Secretarys Certificate
and Articles of Incorporation of Summit Realty
were submitted. While it was true that the
Secretarys Certificate did not accompany the
Deed of Absolute Sale upon the presentation of
the latter for registration, Section 117 of the
Property Registration Decree gives the party
seeking registration five days to comply with the
rest of the requirements; and only if the party
should still fail to submit the same would it result
in the denial of the registration. The License to
Sell and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
Board Registration of Summit Realty are only
required when a subdivision project is presented
for registration. The use of TINs in certain
documents is a BIR requirement. The BIR itself
did not require from Yagin as vendor his TIN in the
Deed of Absolute Sale, and issued the CAR even
in the absence thereof. The Register of Deeds,
therefore, was only bound by the CAR. As to the
Certification earlier issued by the Register of
Deeds of Lipa City attesting that Lot 13713 in the
name of co-owners Raquel, Urbana, and Perla,
was not covered by any certificate of title, Escutin
explained that the Register of Deeds was not
technically equipped to determine whether a
cadastral lot number was within a titled property
or not. Lastly, Escutin denied conspiring or
participating in the cancellation of petitioners Tax
Declaration No. 00942-A for, as Register of
Deeds, he was not concerned with the issuance
(or cancellation) of tax declarations.

2. The
records
of
the
Registry reveals that the source of
the rights or interest of the adverse
claimant is by virtue of a Levy on
Execution by the Regional Trial
Court
Fourth
Judicial
Region,
Branch 30, San Pablo City, in Civil
Case No. SP-4489 (1996), [Dinah]
C.
Castillo
vs.
Raquel
Buenaventura. The
registered
owner, Summit Point Realty and
Development Corporation nor its
predecessor-in-interest are not the
judgment debtor or a party in the
said case. Simply stated, there is
no privity of contract between
them (Consulta No. 1044 and
1119). If ever, her adverse claim is
against Raquel Buenaventura, the
judgment debtor who holds no title
over the property.[25]
Escutin did mention, however, that
petitioner may elevate en consulta to the Land
Registration Authority (LRA) the denial of her
request for registration of the Sheriffs Deed of
Final Sale/Conveyance and annotation of her
adverse claim on TCT No. T-134609. This
petitioner did on 3 July 2003.
While her Consulta was pending before
the LRA, petitioner filed a Supplemental
Complaint Affidavit[26] and a Second Supplemental
Complaint Affidavit[27] with the Office of the
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, bringing to its
attention the aforementioned developments. In
her Second Supplemental Complaint Affidavit,
petitioner prayed that Sta. Ana be included as a
co-respondent in OMB-L-A-03-0573-F and OMB-LC-03-0728-F, averring that the latters actuation
deprived petitioner of a factual basis for securing
a new title in her favor over her 5,000 square
meter pro-indiviso share in Lot 13713, because
the public auction sale of the said property to her
could never become final without the registration
of the Sheriffs Deed.

Respondent Mistas, the Assistant City


Assessor for Administration of the Office of the

City Assessor, Lipa City, disputed petitioners


allegations that she personally received from
petitioner copies of the Notice of Levy and other
supporting documents, and that she caused the
disappearance thereof. Although she admitted
that said documents were shown to her by
petitioner, she referred petitioner to the
Receiving Clerk, Lynie Reyes, who accordingly
received the same. Mistas maintained that she
was not the custodian of records of the Office and
she should not be held responsible for the
missing documents. She opined that petitioners
documents could have been among those
misplaced or destroyed when the Office of the
City Assessor was flooded with water leaking
from the toilet of the Office of the City Mayor. As
Assistant City Assessor for Administration, Mistas
identified her main function to be the control and
management of all phases of administrative
matters and support. She had no hand in the
cancellation of petitioners Tax Declaration No.
00942-A, and the issuance of Catigbacs Tax
Declaration No. 00949-A for such function
pertained to another division over which she did
not exercise authority. Thus, it was also not within
her function or authority to demand the
presentation of certain documents to support the
cancellation of petitioners Tax Declaration No.
00942-A or to cause the annotation of petitioners
interest on Catigbacs Tax Declaration No. 00949A.
Respondent Linatoc averred that as Local
Assessment Operation Officer II of the Office of
the City Assessor, Lipa City, she was in charge of
safekeeping and updating the North District
Records. With respect to the transfer of a tax
declaration from one name to another, her duty
was limited only to the act of preparing the new
tax declaration and assigning it a number, in lieu
of the cancelled tax declaration. It was a purely
ministerial duty. She had no authority to demand
the presentation of any document or question the
validity of the transfer. Neither was it within her
jurisdiction to determine whether petitioners
interest should have been annotated on
Catigbacs
Tax
Declaration
No.
00949A. Examining the documents presented in support
of the transfer of the tax declaration to anothers
name was a function belonging to other divisions
of the Office of the City Assessors. The flow of
work, the same as in any other ordinary
transaction, mandated her to cancel petitioners
Tax Declaration No. 00942-A, and to prepare and
release Catigbacs Tax Declaration No. 00949-A
after the transfer had been reviewed and
approved by other divisions of the Office. It was
also not true that TCT No. 129642 in the name of
Catigbac was already cancelled when it was
presented before the Office of the City Assessors;

the photocopy of said certificate of title with the


Office bore no mark of cancellation.
Leviste and Orense, the private individuals
charged with the respondent public officers,
admitted that they were corporate officers of
Summit Realty. They related that Summit Realty
bought a parcel of land measuring 105,648
square meters, later identified as Lot 1-B,
previously included in TCT No. 181, then
specifically covered by TCT No. 129642, both in
the name of Catigbac. As a result of such
purchase, ownership of Lot 1-B was transferred
from Catigbac to Summit Realty. Summit Realty
had every reason to believe in good faith that
said property was indeed owned by Catigbac on
the basis of the latters certificate of title over the
same. Catigbacs right as registered owner of Lot
1-B under TCT No. 181/No. 129642, was superior
to petitioners, which was based on a mere tax
declaration.Leviste
and Orense rebutted
petitioners assertion that the Deed of Absolute
Sale between Yagin, as Catigbacs attorney-in-fact,
and Summit Realty was a one-way street. The
Deed was actually signed on the left margin by
both Yagin and the representative of Summit
Realty. The
inadvertent
failure
of
the
representative of Summit Realty to sign the last
page of the Deed and of both parties to indicate
their TINs therein did not invalidate the sale,
especially since the Deed was signed by
witnesses
attesting
to
its
due
execution. Questions as regards the scope of
Catigbacs Special Power of Attorney in favor of
Yagin and the effectivity of the same after
Catigbacs death can only be raised in an action
directly attacking the title of Summit Realty over
Lot 1-B, and not in an administrative case and/or
preliminary investigation before the Ombudsman,
which constituted a collateral attack against said
title. Leviste and Orense further explained that
since the owners duplicate of TCT No. 181 was
lost and was judicially ordered replaced only on 3
January
2001,
entries/inscriptions
were
necessarily made thereon after said date. As
to Orenses failure to show petitioner any
document proving ownership of Lot 1-B by
Summit Realty when the latter paid him a visit, it
was not due to the lack of such documents, but
because of petitioners failure to establish her
right to peruse the same. Orense also denied
ever
threatening
petitioner
during
their
meeting. Finally, according to Leviste and Orense,
petitioners allegations were based on mere
conjectures and unsupported by evidence. That
particular acts were done or not done by certain
public officials was already beyond the control of
Leviste and Orense, and just because they
benefited from these acts did not mean that they
had a hand in the commission or omission of said
public officials.

After more exchange of pleadings, OMB-LA-03-0573-F and OMB-L-C-03-0728-F were finally


submitted for resolution.
In a Joint Resolution[29] dated 28 April
2004, the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
for Luzon gave more credence to respondent
Escutins defenses, as opposed to petitioners
charges against him:
Going
to
the
charges
against respondent Escutin, he
convincingly explained that he
allowed the registration of the
allegedly defective Deed of Sale
because he, as Register of Deeds,
has no power to look into the
intrinsic validity [of] the contract
presented to him for registration,
owing to the ministerial character
of
his
function. Moreover,
as
sufficiently explained by said
respondent, all the documents
required for the registration of the
Deed of Sale were submitted by
the applicant.
We
likewise
find
said
respondents
explanation
satisfactory that Section 56 of P.D.
1529 mandates that the TCT bear
the date of registration of the
instrument on which the said TCTs
issuance was based. It is for this
reason that TCT 134609 bears the
same date and time as the
registration of the Deed of Absolute
Sale, which deed served as basis
for its issuance.
As to his denial to register
[herein petitioners] Affidavit of
Adverse
Claim
and
Sheriffs
Certificate of Final Sale, through
the issuance by the Registry of
Deeds Examiner Juanita H. Sta.
Ana, of the 29 June 2003 Order
denying registration thereof, such
matter had been raised by herein
[petitioner] in a letter-consulta to
the Administrator of the Land
Registration Authority (LRA) on 03
July 2003. As the criminal and
administrative charges respecting
this issue is premised, in part, on a
matter still pending with the LRA,
we find it premature to make a
finding on the same.

It is for the same reason


that we deny the motion contained
in
the
Second
Supplemental
Complaint Affidavit praying for the
inclusion, as additional respondent,
of Juanita H. Sta. Ana, who is
impleaded solely on the basis of
having signed, by authority of
Escutin, the 29 July 2003 Order of
denial of [petitioners] application
for registration.
Finally, respondent Escutin
was
able
to
successfully
demonstrate, through Consulta
2103 dated 25 July 1994, wherein
the denial of registration by the
Examiner of the Registry of Deeds
of Quezon City was upheld by the
LRA Administrator, that the (sic) it
was practice in the different
Registries that Examiners are given
authority by the Register to sign
letters of denial.[30]
The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
for Luzon declared in the same Joint Resolution
that there was no basis to hold respondents
Mistas and Linatoc administratively or criminally
liable:
In this respect, this Office
notes that while [herein petitioner]
alleges that Aquilina Mistas caused
the disappearance of the Notice of
Levy
and
other
supporting
documents
received
from
[petitioner] on 13 March 2003
when she applied for the issuance
of a Tax Declaration in her favor,
she did not present her receiving
copy thereof showing that it was
Mistas
who
received
said
documents from her. Neither did
she show that Mistas is the
employee responsible for record
safekeeping.
Next,
we
find,
as
convincingly
answered,
the
allegation that respondent Marietta
Linatoc cancelled Tax Declaration
No. 00942-A and issued Tax
Declaration 00949-Q (sic) on the
basis of a cancelled Transfer
Certificate of Title upon the behest
of Summit [Realty], which was not
the registered owner of the
property.

Respondent
Linatoc,
meeting
squarely
[petitioners]
allegation, admits having physically
cancelled Tax Declaration No.
00942-A and having prepared a
new declaration covering the same
property in Catigbacs [name], as
mandated by the flow of work in
the City Assessors Office.However,
she denies having the authority or
discretion
to
evaluate
the
correctness and sufficiency of the
documents
supporting
the
application for the issuance of the
Tax Declaration, arguing that her
official function is limited to the
physical preparation of a new tax
declaration, the assignment of a
new tax declaration number and
the cancellation of the old tax
declaration, after the application
had passed the other divisions of
the City Assessors Office.
Verily, [petitioner] failed to
establish that respondent Mistas
and Linatoc, are the ones officially
designated to receive applications
for issuance of Tax Declaration,
evaluate the sufficiency of the
documents
supporting
such
applications, and on the basis of
the foregoing recommend or order
the cancellation of an existing Tax
Declaration
and
direct
the
annotation of any fact affecting the
property and direct the issuance of
a new tax declaration covering the
same property.
In fact, there is even a
discrepancy as to the official
designation
of
said
respondents. While
[petitioner]
impleads Mistas, in her capacity as
Local Assessment Officer, and
Linatoc, in her capacity as Records
Clerk, Mistas, in her counteraffidavit,
alleges
a
different
designation, i.e., Assistant City
Assessor for Administration, while
Linatoc claims to be the Local
Assessment Operation Officer II of
the City Assessors Office.
With the scope of work of
said respondents not having been
neatly defined by [petitioner], this
Office cannot make a definitive
determination of their liability for
Grave Misconduct and violation of

Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019,


which charges both relate to the
performance or discharge of Mistas
and Linatocs official duties.[31]
Neither did the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Luzon find any probable cause to
criminally charge private individuals Leviste
and Orense for the following reasons:
Anent private respondents,
with the alleged conspiracy to
unlawfully cause the transfer of the
title of [herein petitioners] property
to Summit sufficiently explained by
respondent Register of Deeds, such
allegation
against
private
respondents loses a legal leg to
stand on.
Inasmuch as [petitioner]
was not able to sufficiently outline
the official functions of respondents
Mistas and Linatoc to pin down
their specific accountabilities, the
imputation that private respondent
(sic) conspired with said public
respondents
respecting
the
cancellation of Tax Declaration No.
00942-A is likewise stripped of any
factual and legal bases.[32]
As to whether petitioner was indeed
unlawfully deprived of her 5,000 square meter
property, which issue comprised the very premise
of OMB-L-A-03-0573-F and OMB-L-C-03-0728-F,
the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon
ruled that such matter was not within its
jurisdiction and should be raised in a civil action
before the courts of justice.
In the end, the Office of the Ombudsman
decreed:
WHEREFORE premises
considered,
it
is
respectfully
recommended that : (1) the
administrative case against public
respondents ANTONIO M. ESCUTIN,
AQUILINA A. MISTAS and MARIETA
L. LINATOC be DISMISSED, for lack
of substantial evidence; and (2) the
criminal case against the same
respondents
including
private
respondent LAURO S. LEVISTE II
and BENEDICTO L. ORENSE, be
DISMISSED, for lack of probable
cause.[33]

In a Joint Order[34] dated 20 June 2005, the


Office
of
the
Deputy
Ombudsman
for Luzon denied
petitioners
Motion
for
Reconsideration.
The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
for Luzon, in its Joint Order, took notice of the
Resolution dated 17 December 2002 of the LRA in
Consulta No. 3483, which involved circumstances
similar to those in petitioners case. The LRA
distinguished between two systems of land
registration: one is the Torrens system for
registered lands under the Property Registration
Decree, and the other is the system of
registration for unregistered land under Act No.
3344 (now Section 113 of the Property
Registration Decree). These systems are separate
and distinct from each other. For documents
involving registered lands, the same should be
recorded under the Property Registration
Decree. The registration, therefore, of an
instrument under the wrong system produces no
legal effect. Since it appeared that in Consulta
No. 3483, the registration of the Kasulatan ng
Sanglaan, the Certificate of Sale and the Affidavit
of Consolidation was made under Act No. 3344, it
did not produce any legal effect on the disputed
property, because the said property was already
titled when the aforementioned documents were
executed and presented for registration, and their
registration should have been made under the
Property Registration Decree.
Furthermore, the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Luzon, in the same Joint Order,
took into account petitioners withdrawal of her
appeal en consulta before the LRA of the denial
by the Register of Deeds of her request for
registration of the Sheriffs Deed of Final
Sale/Conveyance and Affidavit of Adverse Claim,
which prompted the LRA Administrator to declare
the consulta moot and academic. For want of a
categorical declaration on the registerability of
petitioners documents from the LRA, the
competent authority to rule on the said matter,
there could be no basis for a finding that
respondent public officers could be held
administratively or criminally liable for the acts
imputed to them.
Petitioner sought recourse from the Court
of Appeals by filing a Petition for Review under
Rule 43 of the Rules of Court challenging the 28
April 2004 Joint Resolution and 20 June 2005 Joint
Order of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for
Luzon.[35] The appeal was docketed as CA-G.R. SP
No. 90533.
The Court of Appeals promulgated its
Decision[36] on 18 October 2005, also finding no
reason to administratively or criminally charge

respondents. Essentially, the appellate court


adjudged that petitioner can not impute corrupt
motives to respondents acts:
Without evidence showing that
respondents received any gift,
money or other pay-off or that they
were induced by offers of such, the
Court cannot impute any taint of
direct corruption in the questioned
acts of respondents. Thus, any
indication of intent to violate the
laws or of flagrant disregard of
established rule may be negated
by respondents honest belief that
their acts were sanctioned under
the provisions of existing law and
regulations. Such is the situation in
the
case
at
bar. Respondent
Register of Deeds acted in the
honest belief that the agency
recognized by the court in LRC
Case No. 00-0376 between the
registered
owner
Francisco
Catigbac and Leonardo Yagin
subsisted with respect to the
conveyance or sale of Lot 1 to
Summit as the vendee, and that
the Special Power of Attorney and
Deed of Absolute Sale presented as
evidence during said proceedings
are valid and binding. Hence,
respondent Escutin was justified in
believing that there is no legal
infirmity or defect in registering the
documents and proceeding with
the transfer of title of Lot 1 in the
name
of
the
new
owner Summit. On the other hand,
respondent Linatoc could not be
held administratively liable for
effecting the cancellation in the
course of ordinary flow of work in
the City Assessors Office after the
documents have undergone the
necessary
evaluation
and
verification by her superiors.[37]
The Court of Appeals referred to the
consistent policy of the Supreme Court not to
interfere with the exercise by the Ombudsman of
his investigatory power. If the Ombudsman, using
professional judgment, finds the case dismissible,
the Court shall respect such findings, unless
clothed with grave abuse of discretion. The
appellate court pronounced that there was no
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Office
of
the
Deputy
Ombudsman
for Luzon in
dismissing petitioners Complaint Affidavit against
respondents.

Hence, the dispositive portion of the


Decision of the Court of Appeals reads:
WHEREFORE,
premises
considered, the present petition is
hereby DISMISSED for lack of
merit. The
challenged
Joint
Resolution
dated April
28,
2004 and Joint Order dated June
20, 2005 in OMB-L-A-03-0573-F and
OMB-L-C-03-0728-F
are
hereby
AFFIRMED.[38]
In its Resolution dated 11 January 2006,
the Court of Appeals denied petitioners Motion for
Reconsideration for failing to present new matter
which the appellate court had not already
considered in its earlier Decision.
Petitioner now comes before this Court via
the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari, with
the following assignment of errors:
I.
THE
HONORABLE
COURT
OF
APPEALS PATENTLY ERRED IN
AFFIRMING THE CANCELLATION OF
THE TAX DECLARATION 00942 OF
PETITIONER IN VIOLATION OF
SECTION 109 OF PRESIDENTIAL
DECREE 1529, OTHERWISE KNOWN
AS THE PROPERTY REGISTRATION
ACT (sic);
II.
THE
HONORABLE
COURT
OF
APPEALS PATENTLY ERRED IN
RULING
THAT
RESPONDENTS
COULD
NOT
BE
HELD
ADMINISTRATIVELY
LIABLE
FOR
UNDULY FAVORING SUMMIT TO THE
DAMAGE
AND
PREJUDICE
OF
PETITIONER.[39]
The Petition at bar is without merit.
As to the first issue, petitioner invokes
Section 109 of the Property, Registration Decree
which provides:
SEC.
109. Notice
and
replacement of lost duplicate
certificate. In case of loss or theft
of an owners duplicate certificate
of title, due notice under oath shall
be sent by the owner or by

someone in his behalf to the


Register of Deeds of the province
or city where the land lies as soon
as the loss or theft is discovered. If
a duplicate certificate is lost or
destroyed, or cannot be produced
by a person applying for the entry
of a new certificate to him or for
the registration of any new
instrument, a sworn statement of
the fact of such loss or destruction
may be filed by the registered
owner or other person in interest
and registered.
Upon the petition of the
registered owner or other person in
interest, the court may, after notice
and due hearing, direct the
issuance of a new duplicate
certificate, which shall contain a
memorandum of the fact that it is
issued in place of the lost duplicate
certificate, but shall in all respects
be entitled to like faith and credit
as the original duplicate, and shall
thereafter be regarded as such for
all purposes of this decree.
Petitioner argues that the RTC, in LRC Case
No. 00-0376, only ordered the issuance of a new
owners duplicate of TCT No. 181 in lieu of the lost
one. However, respondents did not only issue a
new owners duplicate of TCT No. 181, but also
cancelled petitioners Tax Declaration No. 00942-A
and issued in its place Tax Declaration No. 00949A in the name of Catigbac. Respondents did not
even annotate petitioners existing right over
5,000 square meters of Lot 1-B or notify
petitioner of the cancellation of her Tax
Declaration No. 00942-A. Petitioner maintains
that a new owners duplicate of title is not a mode
of acquiring ownership, nor is it a mode of losing
one. Under Section 109 of the Property
Registration Decree, the new duplicate of title
was issued only to replace the old; it cannot
cancel existing titles.
Petitioners position on this issue rests on
extremely tenuous arguments and befuddled
reasoning.
Before anything else, the Court must
clarify that a title is different from a certificate of
title. Title is generally defined as the lawful cause
or ground of possessing that which is ours. It is
that which is the foundation of ownership of
property, real or personal.[40] Title, therefore, may
be defined briefly as that which constitutes a just
cause of exclusive possession, or which is the

foundation of ownership of property. [41] Certificate


of title, on the other hand, is a mere evidence of
ownership; it is not the title to the land itself.
[42]
Under theTorrens system, a certificate of title
may be an Original Certificate of Title, which
constitutes a true copy of the decree of
registration; or a Transfer Certificate of Title,
issued subsequent to the original registration.
Summit Realty acquired its title to Lot 1-B,
not from the issuance of the new owners
duplicate of TCT No. 181, but from its purchase of
the same from Yagin, the attorney-in-fact of
Catigbac, the registered owner of the said
property. Summit Realty merely sought the
issuance of a new owners duplicate of TCT No.
181 in the name of Catigbac so that it could
accordingly register thereon the sale in its favor
of a substantial portion of Lot 1 covered by said
certificate, later identified as Lot 1-B. Catigbacs
title to Lot 1-B passed on by sale to Summit
Realty, giving the latter the right to seek the
separation of the said portion from the rest
of Lot 1 and the issuance of a certificate of title
specifically covering the same. This resulted in
the issuance of TCT No. 129642 in the name of
Catigbac,
covering Lot1-B,
which
was
subsequently cancelled and replaced by TCT No.
T-134609 in the name of Summit Realty.
Petitioners reliance on Section 109 of the
Property
Registration
Decree
is
totally
misplaced. It provides for the requirements for
the issuance of a lost duplicate certificate of
title. It cannot, in any way, be related to the
cancellation of petitioners tax declaration.
The cancellation of petitioners Tax
Declaration No. 00942-A was not because of the
issuance of a new owners duplicate of TCT No.
181, but of the fact that Lot 1-B, which
encompassed the 5,000 square meters petitioner
lays claim to, was already covered by TCT No.
181 (and subsequently by TCT No. 129642) in the
name of Catigbac. A certificate of title issued is
an absolute and indefeasible evidence of
ownership of the property in favor of the person
whose name appears therein. It is binding and
conclusive upon the whole world.[43] All persons
must take notice, and no one can plead ignorance
of
the
registration.[44] Therefore,
upon
presentation of TCT No. 129642, the Office of the
City Assessor must recognize the ownership
of Lot 1-B by Catigbac and issue in his name a tax
declaration for the said property. And since Lot 1B is already covered by a tax declaration in the
name of Catigbac, accordingly, any other tax
declaration for the same property or portion
thereof in the name of another person, not
supported by any certificate of title, such that of
petitioner, must be cancelled; otherwise, the City

Assessor would be twice collecting a realty tax


from different persons on one and the same
property.
As between Catigbacs title, covered by a
certificate of title, and petitioners title, evidenced
only by a tax declaration, the former is evidently
far superior and is, in the absence of any other
certificate of title to the same property,
conclusive and indefeasible as to Catigbacs
ownership of Lot 1-B. Catigbacs certificate of title
is binding upon the whole world, including
respondent public officers and even petitioner
herself. Time and again, the Court has ruled that
tax declarations and corresponding tax receipts
cannot be used to prove title to or ownership of a
real property inasmuch as they are not conclusive
evidence of the same.[45] Petitioner acquired her
title to the 5,000 square meter property from
Raquel, her judgment debtor who, it is important
to note, likewise only had a tax declaration to
evidence her title. In addition, the Court of
Appeals aptly observed that, [c]uriously, as to
how and when petitioners alleged predecessor-ininterest, Raquel K. Moratilla and her supposed coowners acquired portions of Lot 1 described as
Lot 13713 stated in TD No. 00449, petitioner had
so far remained utterly silent.[46]
Petitioners allegations of defects or
irregularities in the sale of Lot 1-B to Summit
Realty by Yagin, as Catigbacs attorney-in-fact, are
beyond the jurisdiction of the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Luzon to consider. It must be
remembered that Summit Realty had already
acquired a certificate of title, TCT No. T-134609,
in its name over Lot 1-B, which constitutes
conclusive and indefeasible evidence of its
ownership of the said property and, thus, cannot
be collaterally attacked in the administrative and
preliminary investigations conducted by the
Office of the Ombudsman for Luzon. Section 48 of
the Property Registration Decree categorically
provides that a certificate of title shall not be
subject to collateral attack. It cannot be altered,
modified, or cancelled except in a direct
proceeding in accordance with law. For this same
reason, the Court has no jurisdiction to grant
petitioners prayer in the instant Petition for the
cancellation of TCT No. T-134609 in the name of
Summit Realty.
Which now brings the Court to the second
issue raised by petitioner on the administrative
liability of respondents.
Before the Court proceeds to tackle this
issue, it establishes that petitioners Complaint
Affidavit before the Office of the Ombudsman for
Luzon gave rise to two charges: (1) OMB-L-A-030573-F involved the administrative charge for

Gross Misconduct against respondent public


officers; and (2) OMB-L-C-03-0728-F concerned
the criminal charge for violation of Section 3(e) of
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act [47] against
respondent public officers and private individuals
Leviste and Orense. The Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Luzon, affirmed by the Court of
Appeals, dismissed both charges. In the Petition
at bar, petitioner only assails the dismissal of the
administrative charge for grave misconduct
against
respondent
public
officers. Since
petitioner did not raise as an issue herein the
dismissal by the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Luzon, affirmed by the Court of
Appeals, of the criminal charge against
respondent public officers for violation of Section
3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,
the same became final and executory.[48]
In Domingo v. Quimson,[49] the Court
adopted
the
well-written
report
and
recommendation of its Clerk of Court on the
administrative matter then pending and involving
the charge of gross or serious misconduct:
"Under Section 36, par. (b)
[1] of PD No. 807, otherwise known
as the Civil Service Decree of the
Philippines,
'misconduct'
is
a
ground for disciplinary action. And
under MC No. 8, S. 1970, issued by
the Civil Service Commission
on July 28, 1970, which sets the
'Guidelines in the Application of
Penalties in Administrative Cases
and
other
Matters
Relative
Thereto,' the administrative offense
of 'grave misconduct' carries with it
the maximum penalty of dismissal
from the service (Sec. IV-C[3], MC
No. 8, S. 1970). But the term
'misconduct' as an administrative
offense
has
a
well
defined
meaning. It was defined in Amosco
vs. Judge Magno, Adm. Mat. No.
439-MJ, Res. September 30, 1976,
as referring 'to a transgression of
some established and definite rule
of
action,
more
particularly,
unlawful
behavior
or
gross
negligence by the public officer.' It
is a misconduct 'such as affects the
performance of his duties as an
officer and not such only as effects
his
character
as
a
private
individual.' In the recent case
of Oao vs. Pabato, etc., Adm. Mat.
No. 782-MJ, Res. July 29, 1977, the
Court defined 'serious misconduct'
as follows:

Hence, even
assuming that the
dismissal of the case
is erroneous, this
would be merely an
error of judgment
and
not
serious
misconduct.
The
term
`serious
misconduct
is
a
transgression
of
some
established
and definite rule of
action
more
particularly, unlawful
behavior of gross
negligence by the
magistrate. It implies
a wrongful intention
and not a mere error
of
judgment.
For
serious misconduct
to exist, there must
be reliable evidence
showing that the
judicial
acts
complained of were
corrupt or inspired
by
intention
to
violate the law, or
were a persistent
disregard of wellknown legal rules.
We have previously
ruled that negligence
and ignorance on the
part of a judge are
inexcusable if they
imply
a
manifest
injustice
which
cannot be explained
by
a
reasonable
interpretation. This is
not so in the case at
bar. (Italics supplied.)
To reiterate, for grave misconduct to exist,
there must be reliable evidence showing that the
acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an
intention to violate the law, or were a persistent
disregard of well-known legal rules. Both the
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon and
the Court of Appeals found that there was no
sufficient evidence to substantiate petitioners
charge
of
grave
misconduct
against
respondents. For this Court to reverse the rulings
of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
for Luzon and the Court of Appeals, it must
necessarily review the evidence presented by the
parties and decide on a question of fact. Once it

is clear that the issue invites a review of the


evidence presented, the question posed is one of
fact.[50]
Factual issues are not cognizable by this
Court in a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court. In order to resolve this issue, the
Court would necessarily have to look into the
probative value of the evidence presented in the
proceedings below. It is not the function of the
Court to reexamine or reevaluate the evidence all
over again. This Court is not a trier of facts, its
jurisdiction in these cases being limited to
reviewing only errors of law that may have been
committed by the lower courts or administrative
bodies performing quasi-judicial functions. It
should be emphasized that findings made by an
administrative
body,
which
has
acquired
expertise, are accorded not only respect but even
finality
by
the
Court.
In
administrative
proceedings, the quantum of evidence required is
only substantial.[51]
Absent a clear showing of grave abuse of
discretion, the Court shall not disturb findings of
fact. The Court cannot weigh once more the
evidence submitted, not only before the
Ombudsman, but also before the Court of
Appeals. Under Section 27 of Republic Act No.
6770, findings of fact by the Ombudsman are
conclusive, as long as they are supported by
substantial evidence.[52] Substantial evidence is
the amount of relevant evidence which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
justify a conclusion.[53]
The Court finds no reason to disturb the
finding of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
for Luzon and the Court of Appeals that
respondents
did
not
commit
gross
misconduct. Evident from the 28 April 2004 Joint
Resolution of the former and the 18 October
2005Decision of the latter is that they arrived at
such
findings
only
after
a
meticulous
consideration of the evidence submitted by the
parties.
Respondents were able to clearly describe
their official functions and to convincingly explain
that they had only acted in accordance therewith
in their dealings with petitioner and/or her
documents. Respondents also enjoy in their favor
the presumption of regularity in the performance
of their official duty. The burden of proving
otherwise by substantial evidence falls on
petitioner, who failed to discharge the same.
From the very beginning, petitioner was
unable to identify correctly the positions held by
respondents Mistas and Linatoc at the Office of
the City Assessor. How then could she even

assert that a particular action was within or


without their jurisdiction to perform?While it may
be true that petitioner should have at least been
notified that her Tax Declaration No. 00942-A was
being cancelled, she was not able to establish
that such would be the responsibility of
respondents
Mistas
or
Linatoc. Moreover,
petitioner did not present statutory, regulatory, or
procedural basis for her insistence that
respondents should have done or not done a
particular act. A perfect example was her
assertion that respondents Mistas and Linatoc
should have annotated her interest on Tax
Declaration No. 00949-A in the name of
Catigbac. However, she failed to cite any law or
rule which authorizes or recognizes the
annotation of an adverse interest on a tax
declaration. Finally, absent any reliable evidence,
petitioners charge that respondents conspired
with one another and with corporate officers of
Summit Realty is nothing more than speculation,
surmise, or conjecture. Just because the acts of
respondents were consistently favorable to
Summit Realty does not mean that there was a
concerted
effort
to
cause
petitioner
prejudice. Respondents
actions
were
only
consistent with the recognition of the title of
Catigbac over Lot 1-B, transferred by sale to
Summit
Realty,
registered
under
the Torrens system, and accordingly evidenced by
certificates of title.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
instant Petition for Review is hereby DENIED. The
Decision dated 18 October 2005 and Resolution
dated 11 January 2006 of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. SP No. 90533 are hereby AFFIRMED in
toto. Costs against the petitioner Dinah C.
Castillo.
SO ORDERED.
MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice
WE CONCUR:

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

MA.
ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ ANTONIO
EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Chief Justice Associate Justice

DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate Justice

[11]
[12]
[13]
[14]

ATTESTATION

[15]
[16]

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision


were reached in consultation before the case was
assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts
Division.

[17]
[18]
[19]
[20]
[21]

[22]

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
Chairperson, Third Division

[23]
[24]
[25]
[26]
[27]

CERTIFICATION
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the
Constitution, and the Division Chairpersons
Attestation, it is hereby certified that the
conclusions in the above Decision were reached
in consultation before the case was assigned to
the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Acting Chief Justice

[1]

Rollo, pp. 10-36.


Penned by Associate Justice Martin S.
Villarama, Jr., with Associate Justices
Edgardo F. Sundiam and Japar B.
Dimaampao, concurring; id. at 37-57.
[3]
Id. at 58.
[4]
Penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution
Officer I Raquel R.M. Cunanan-Marayag,
with the recommending approval of
Director Joaquin F. Salazar, and approved
by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Victor C.
Fernandez; id. at 102-118.
[5]
Penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution
Officer II Joy N. Casihan-Dumlao, with the
recommending
approval
of
Director
Joaquin F. Salazar, and approved by
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Victor C.
Fernandez; id. at 119-122.
[6]
Records, pp. 22-28.
[7]
Id. at 30.
[8]
Id. at 29.
[9]
Id. at 31.
[10]
Now Chapter XIII, Section 113 of Presidential
Decree No. 1529, otherwise known as the
Property Registration Decree, on recording
of instruments related to unregistered
Lands.
[2]

[28]

Records, p. 32.
Id. at 33-34.
Id. at 35-36.
Id. at 37.
Id. at 38.
Id. at 40.
Id. at 39.
Id. at 40.
Id. at 4-20.
Id. at 19.
Penned by Judge Vicente F. Landicho; id. at 4648.
Id. at 50.
Id. at 15-18.
Id. at 84, 102.
Id. at 103.
Id. at 57-59.
Id. at 60.
SEC. 56. Primary Entry Book; fees; certified
copies - Each Register of Deeds shall keep
a primary entry book in which, upon
payment of the entry fee, he shall enter,
in the order of their reception, all
instruments including copies of writs and
processes filed with him relating to
registered
land. He
shall,
as
a
preliminary process in registration,
note in such book the date, hour and
minute
of
reception
of
all
instruments, in the order in which
they were received. They shall be
regarded as registered from the time
so noted, and the memorandum of
each instrument, when made on the
certificate of title to which it refers,
shall bear the same date: Provided,
that the national government as well as
the provincial and city governments shall
be exempt from the payment of such fees
in advance in order to be entitled to entry
and registration.
Every deed or other instrument,
whether voluntary or involuntary, so filed
with the Register of Deeds shall be
numbered and indexed and endorsed with
a reference to the proper certificate of
title. All records and papers relative to
registered land in the office of the Register
of Deeds shall be open to the public in the
same manner as court records, subject to
such reasonable regulations as the
Register of Deeds, under the direction of
the Commissioner of Land Registration,
may prescribe.
All
deeds
and
voluntary
instruments shall be presented with their
respective copies and shall be attested
and sealed by the Register of Deeds,
endorsed with the file number, and copies
may be delivered to the person presenting
them.

Certified copies of all instruments


filed and registered may also be obtained
from the Register of Deeds upon payment
of the prescribed fees.
d. advantages of the Torrens system
of registration
e. effects of registration, (general)
e.1 Philippine National Bank vs
Court of Appeals, 166 SCRA 519
e.2 Limitations:
e.2.1 Bornales
166 SCRA 519

vs

CA,

Indefeasibility of a Torrens title; Purchase from


one who procured title by FRAUD
Facts:
In 1927, Sixto Dumolong and his legal wife
Isabel Marquez-Dumolong were awarded a parcel
of land. Their marriage, however was not blessed
by a child. Sixto then had an extramarital affair
and he cohabited with Placida who even used
Sixtos surname. Placida and Sixto begot children.
Bornales, on the other hand, is Sixtos tenant.
In March 1978 (by this time Sixto is
already dead), Placida and her children executed
a Deed of extrajudicial Adjudication and Sale of
Real Property. They were able to acquire the
supposed thumbmark of Isabel. But apparently,
Isabel never affixed her thumbmark and that the
same was not within her knowledge.
In November 1978, Placida registered the
Deed and a Torrens title was issued in their name.
Three months thereafter, Placida and her children
sold the land to Bornales. Isabel assailed the sale.
Isabel argued that the acquisition of the Torrens
title by Placida et al was through fraud. Bornales
countered he was not aware of the fraudulent
nature of the prior transactions, but since a
Torrens was issued he should be considered as a
buyer in good faith, hence entitled to some right.
ISSUE: May Bornales invoke the indefeasibility of
a Torrens title?

HELD: No. Having bought the land registered


under the Torrens system from Placida who
procured title thereto by means of fraud, Bornales
cannot invoke the indefeasibility of a certificate of
title against Isabel to the extent of her interest
therein. The Torrens system of land registration
should not be used as a means to perpetrate
fraud against the rightful owner of real property.
Registration, to be effective, must be made in
good faith. It is a settled rule that the defense of
indefeasibility of a certificate of title does not
extend to a transferee (Bornales) who takes it
with notice of the flaws in his transferors
(Placidas) title.
Also, Bornales had been a tenant of the
Dumulongs. He is aware that Placida was only a
fling and that its Isabel who has a rightful claim
over the land. He should have not bought the
land from Placida, considering his knowledge of
the fact that Placida could not have own any
portion of the land since she was not a legal wife.

e.2.2 Viajar vs CA
G.R. No. 77294 December 12, 1988
ANGELICA
VIAJAR
and
CELSO
VIAJAR, plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, LEONOR P. LADRIDO,
LOURDES LADRIDO IGNACIO, EUGENIO P.
LADRIDO and L P. LADRIDO, defendantsappellees.
Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioner.
Miraflores Law Offices for respondents.
MEDIALDEA, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the
decision of the Court of Appeals dated December
29,
1986,
in
CA-G.R.
CV
No.
69942
entitled, "ANGELICA VIAJAR, et. al., PlaintiffsAppellants, versus LEONOR LADRIDO, et. al.,
Defendants-Appellees," affirming the decision of
the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial
Court) of Iloilo dated December 10, 1981.
The antecedent facts in the instant case are as
follows: The spouses Ricardo Y. Ladrido and
Leonor P. Ladrido were the owners of Lot No. 7511
of the Cadastral Survey of Pototan situated in
barangay Cawayan, Pototan, Iloilo. This lot
contained an area of 154,267 square meters and
was registered in the names of the spouses under
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-21940 of the
Register of Deeds of Iloilo.
Spouses Rosendo H. Te and Ana Te were also the
registered owners of a parcel of land described in
their title as Lot No. 7340 of the Cadastral Survey
of Pototan.

On September 6, 1973, Rosendo H. Te, with the


conformity of Ana Te, sold this lot to Angelica F.
Viajar and Celso F. Viajar for P5,000. A Torrens
title was later issued in the names of Angelica F.
Viajar and Celso F. Viajar.
Later, Angelica F. Viajar had Lot No. 7340
relocated and found out that the property was in
the
possession
of
Ricardo
Y.
Ladrido.
Consequently, she demanded its return but
Ladrido refused.
On February 15, 1974, Angelica F. Viajar and
Celso F. Viajar instituted a civil action for recovery
of possession and damages against Ricardo Y.
Ladrido. This case was docketed as Civil Case No.
9660 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo.
Summoned to plead, defendant Ladrido filed his
answer with a counterclaim. Plaintiffs filed their
reply to the answer.
Subsequently, the complaint was amended to
implead Rosendo H. Te as another defendant.
Plaintiffs sought the annulment of the deed of
sale and the restitution of the purchase price with
interest in the event the possession of defendant
Ladrido is sustained. Defendant Te filed his
answer to the amended complaint and he counter
claimed for damages. Plaintiffs answered the
counterclaim.
During the pendency of the case, plaintiff Celso F.
Viajar sold his rights over Lot No. 7340 to his
mother and co-plaintiff, Angelica F. Viajar. For this
reason, plaintiff Angelica F. Viajar now appears to
be the sole registered owner of this lot.
On May 25, 1978, defendant Ladrido died. He was
substituted in the civil action by his wife, Leonor
P. Ladrido, and children, namely: Lourdes LadridoIgnacio, Eugenio P. Ladrido and Manuel P. Ladrido,
as parties defendants.
The facts admitted by the parties during the pretrial show that the piece of real property which
used to be Lot No. 7340 of the Cadastral Survey
of Pototan was located in barangay Guibuanogan
Pototan, Iloilo; that it consisted of 20,089 square
meters; that at the time of the cadastral survey in
1926, Lot No. 7511 and Lot No. 7340 were
separated by the Suague River; that the area of
11,819 square meters of what was Lot No. 7340
has been in the possession of the defendants;
that the area of 14,036 square meters, which was
formerly the river bed of the Suague River per
cadastral survey of 1926, has also been in the
possession of the defendants; and that the
plaintiffs have never been in actual physical
possession of Lot No. 7340.
After trial on the merits, a second amended
complaint which included damages was admitted.
The plaintiffs raised the following issues to be
resolved:
1.
Whether
the
change in the course
of the Suague River
was
sudden
as

claimed
by
the
plaintiffs or gradual
as contended by the
defendants;
2.
Assuming
arguendo
it
was
gradual, whether or
not the plaintiffs are
still entitled to Lot
"B'
appearing
in
Exhibit "4" and to
one-half () of Lot
"A," also indicated in
Exhibit "4;" and
3. Damages (pp. 1213, Rollo).
On December 10, 1981, the trial court rendered
its decision, the dispositive portion of which
reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby
rendered in favor of the defendants
and against the plaintiffs:
1. Dismissing the
complaint
of
plaintiffs Angelica F.
Viajar and Celso F.
Viajar
with
costs
against them;
2.
Declaring
defendants Leonor P.
Ladrido,
Lourdes
Ladrido-Ignacio,
Eugenio P. Ladrido
and
Manuel
P.
Ladrido as owner of
the parcel of land
indicated as Lots A
and B in the sketch
plan (Exhs. 'C' as
well as '4,' '4-B' and
'4-C')
situated
in
barangays Cawayan
and
Guibuanogan
Pototan, Iloilo, and
containing an area of
25,855
square
meters, more or less;
and
3. Pronouncing that
as owners of the land
described
in
the
preceding
paragraph,
the
defendants
are
entitled
to
the
possession thereof.
Defendants'
claim
for
moral
damages and attorney's fees are
dismissed.
SO ORDERED (p. 36, Rollo).

Not satisfied with the decision, the plaintiffs


appealed to the Court of Appeals and assigned
the following errors:
I.
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT
HOLDING THAT PLAINTIFFS ARE
ENTITLED TO LOT B APPEARING IN
EXHIBIT "4" AND TO ONE-HALF ()
OF LOT A IN THE SAID EXHIBIT "4."
II
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT
AWARDING
DAMAGES
TO
PLAINTIFFS (p. 42, Rollo).
As earlier stated, the Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision of the court a quo. Plaintiffs (the
petitioners herein) now come to Us claiming that
the Court of Appeals palpably erred in affirming
the decision of the trial court on the ground that
the change in the course of the Suague River was
gradual and not sudden.
In the decision appealed from, the Court of
Appeals held:
This appeal is not impressed with
merit.
Article 457 of the New Civil Code
provides that:
Art. 457. To the
owners
of
lands
adjoining the banks
of rivers belong the
accretion which they
gradually
receive
from the effects of
the current of the
waters.
The presumption is that the change
in the course of the river was
gradual and caused by accretion
and erosion (Martinez Canas vs.
Tuason, 5 Phil. 668; Payatas Estate
Improvement Co. vs. Tuason, 53
Phil. 55; C.H. Hodges vs. Garcia,
109 Phil. 133). In the case at bar,
the lower court correctly found that
the evidence introduced by the
plaintiff to show that the change in
the course of the Suague River was
sudden or that it occurred through
avulsion
is
not
clear
and
convincing.
Contrariwise, the lower court found
that:
... the defendants have sufficiently
established that for many years
after 1926 a gradual accretion on
the eastern side of Lot No. 7511
took place by action of the current
of the Suague River so that in 1979
an alluvial deposit of 29,912 square
meters (2.9912 hectares), more or
less, had been added to Lot No.

7511. (Exhs. '1' as well as Exhs. 'C'


and '4'). Apropos it should be
observed
that
the
accretion
consisted of Lot A with an area of
14,036 square meters; Lot B,
11,819 square meters; and Lot C,
4,057 square meters. (Exhs. '4-B,'
'4-C' and '4-D'). Only Lot C is not
involved in this litigation. (See Pretrial Order, supra)
The established facts indicate that
the eastern boundary of Lot No.
7511 was the Suague River based
on the cadastral plan. For a period
of more than 40 years (before 1940
to
1980)
the
Suague
River
overflowed its banks yearly and the
property of the defendant gradually
received deposits of soil from the
effects of the current of the river.
The consequent increase in the
area of Lot No. 7511 due to alluvion
or accretion was possessed by the
defendants whose tenants plowed
and planted the same with coin
and tobacco.
The quondam river bed had been
filled by accretion through the
years. The land is already plain and
there is no indication on the ground
of any abandoned river bed. The
river bed is definitely no longer
discernible now.
What used to be the old river bed
(Lot A) is in level with Lot No. 7511.
So are the two other areas to the
East. (Lots B and C) Lots A, B and C
are still being cultivated.
Under the law, accretion which the
banks or rivers may gradually
receive from the effects of the
current of the waters becomes the
property of the owners of the lands
adjoining the banks. (Art. 366, Old
Civil Code; Art. 457, New Civil Code
which took effect on August 30,
1950 [Lara v. Del Rosario, 94 Phil.
778]. Therefore, the accretion to
Lot No. 7511 which consists of Lots
A and B (see Exhs. 'C' and '4')
belongs to the defendants (pp. 3435, Record on Appeal).
We find no cogent reason to disturb
the
foregoing
finding
and
conclusion of the lower court.
The second assignment of error is a
mere
offshoot
of
the
first
assignment of error and does not
warrant further discussion (pp.
4244, Rollo).
The petition is without merit.

The petitioners contend that the first issue raised


during the trial of the case on the merits in the
Court of First Instance, that is, "whether the
change in the course of the Suague River was
sudden as claimed by the plaintiffs or gradual as
contended by the defendants," was abandoned
and never raised by them in their appeal to the
Court of Appeals. Hence, the Court of Appeals, in
holding that the appeal is without merit, because
of the change of the Suague River was gradual
and not sudden, disposed of the appeal on an
issue that was never raised and, accordingly, its
decision is void. In support of its contention,
petitioners cite the following authorities:
It is a well-known principle in
procedure that courts of justice
have no jurisdiction or power to
decide a question not in issue (Lim
Toco vs. Go Fay, 80 Phil. 166).
A judgment going outside the
issues and purporting to adjudicate
something upon which the parties
were not heard, is not merely
irregular, but extra-judicial and
invalid ( Salvante vs. Cruz, 88 Phil.
236-244; Lazo vs. Republic Surety
& Insurance Co., Inc., 31 SCRA 329,
334).
The pivotal issue in the petitioners' appeal was
whether the change in the course of the Suague
River was gradual or sudden because the trial
court below resolved the same in its decision thus
subjecting the same to review by respondent
appellate court. By simply abandoning this issue,
the petitioners cannot hope that the affirmance of
the decision wherein this issue was resolved
makes the decision of the Court of Appeals void.
In effect, the petitioners are expounding a new
procedural theory that to render a questioned
decision void, all that has to be done is to simply
abandon on appeal the pivotal issue as resolved
by the lower court and when its decision is
affirmed on appeal, attack the decision of the
appellate court as void on the principle that a
court of justice has no jurisdiction or power to
decide the question not in issue. This is not
correct. Even the authorities cited by the
petitioners, more specifically the Salvante and
Lazo cases, supra, do not support their
contention. They were heard in the trial court and
they cannot complain that the proceeding below
was irregular and hence, invalid.
The trial court found that the change in the
course of the Suague River was gradual and this
finding was affirmed by the respondent Court of
Appeals. We do not find any valid reason to
disturb this finding of fact.
Article 457 of the New Civil Code (reproduced
from Article 366 of the Old), the law applied by
the courts a quoprovides:

Art. 457. To the owners of the lands


adjoining the banks of rivers
belong the accretion which they
gradually receive from the effects
of the current of the waters.
Petitioners contend that this article must be read
together with Sections 45 an 46 of Act No. 496
which provides:
SEC. 45. 1 The obtaining of a
decree of registration and the entry
of a certificate of title shall be
regarded as an agreement running
with the land, and binding upon the
applicant and all successors in title
that the land shall be and always
remain registered land, and subject
to the provisions of this Act and all
Acts amendatory thereof.
SEC. 46. 2 No title to registered
land in derogation to that of the
registered owner shall be acquired
by
prescription
or
adverse
possession.
As a result, petitioners contend, Article 457 of the
New Civil Code must be construed to limit the
accretion mentioned therein as accretion of
unregistered land to the riparian owner, and
should not extend to registered land. Thus, the lot
in question having remained the registered land
of the petitioners, then the private respondents
cannot acquire title there in derogation to that of
the petitioners, by accretion, for that will defeat
the indefeasibility of a Torrens Title.
The rule that registration under the Torrens
System does not protect the riparian owner
against the diminution of the area of his
registered land through gradual changes in the
course of an adjoining stream is well settled.
In Payatas Estate Improvement Co. vs. Tuason, 53
Phil. 55, We ruled:
The controversy in the present
cases seems to be due to the
erroneous conception that Art. 366
of the Civil Code does not apply to
Torrens registered land. That article
provides that "any accretions which
the banks of rivers may gradually
receive from the effects of the
current belong to the owners of the
estates
bordering
thereon."
Accretions of that character are
natural incidents to land bordering
on running streams and are not
affected by the registration laws. It
follows that registration does not
protect the riparian owner against
diminution of the area of his land
through gradual changes in the
course of the adjoining stream.
In C.N. Hodges vs. Garcia, 109 Phil. 133, We also
ruled:

It clearly appearing that the land in


question has become part of
defendant's estate as a result of
accretion, it follows that said land
now belongs to him. The fact that
the accretion to his land used to
pertain to plaintiffs estate, which is
covered by a Torrens Certificate of
Title,
cannot
preclude
him
(defendant) from being the owner
thereof. Registration does not
protect the riparian owner against
the diminution of the area of his
land through gradual changes in
the course of the adjoining stream.
Accretions which the banks of
rivers may gradually receive from
the effect of the current become
the property of the owners of the
banks (Art. 366 of the Old Civil
Code; Art. 457 of the New). Such
accretions are natural incidents to
land bordering on running streams
and the provisions of the Civil Code
in that respect are not affected by
the Registration Act.
We find no valid reason to review and abandon
the aforecited rulings.
As the private respondents are the owners of the
premises
in
question,
no
damages
are
recoverable from them.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DISMISSED for lack
of merit without pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
e.2.3 Coronel vs Intermediate Appellate
Court
Republic
of
the
Philippines
SUPREME
COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 70191 October 29, 1987
RODOLFO
L.
CORONEL, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE
INTERMEDIATE
APPELLATE
COURT
and
ELIAS
MERLAN,
BRIGIDO
MERLAN,
JOSE
MERLAN,
TEODORICO
NOSTRATIS,
SEVERO
JECIEL
SANTIAGO
FERNAN
and
FORTUNATO
OCAMPO,respondents.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
This is a petition to review the decision of the
then Intermediate Appellate Court, now the Court
of Appeals, which affirmed the decision and order
of the then Court of First Instance of Cavite in
Civil Case No. 651. The dispositive portion of the
trial court's decision reads:
WHEREFORE, in the interest of
moral justice, judgment is hereby
rendered in favor of all the

defendants and intervenor; hereby


DISMISSING
the
complaint;
however, the Court hereby orders
instead the immediate partition of
the land, subject-matter on this
case, without prejudice to the
plaintiff, and in accordance with
the
express
but
undivided
apportionments corresponding to
the original co-ownership, and
pursuant to Transfer Certificate of
Title No. T-1444 (EXHIBIT 4-b) of
the Registry of Deeds for the
Province of Cavite, as entered on
May 19, 1960;
Hereby declaring null and void,
Transfer Certificate of Title No, T75543 of the same registry.
Without pronouncements as to
costs. (At p. 71, Record on Appeal)
The dispositive portion of the questioned order of
the trial court reads.
WHEREFORE, under our present
alternatives, as prayed for by
defendants and Intervenor, through
Lawyer Eleuterio A. Beltran, in their
present incident recorded on
January 10, 1980; the Decision
subject matter hereof is amended
in the following significance:
Plaintiff Rodolfo Coronel is further
ordered to submit a complete
Inventory and Accounting of all the
harvests of palay produced from
the parcel of land (Lot 1950-A)
subject matter of the present
litigation, and to deliver the
corresponding
shares
to
the
defendants
and
intervenors
correlated with all the harvests of
palay done by the plaintiffs;
considering the unrebutted finality
of the testimony of defendant
Brigido Merian in congruence with
his supplication for the Inventory
and Accounting of all the palay
gathered
by
plaintiff
Radolfo
Coronel who is likewise ordered,
finally, to pay Iawyer Eleuterio
Beltran as counsel for defendants
and intervenors, Four Thousand
(P400000)
Pesos
for
his
professional services.
Naic, Cavite, February 13, 1980.
(pp. 88-89, Record on Appeal).
Petitioner Rodolfo Coronel filed a complaint for
recovery of possession of a parcel of land
registered under his name (Transfer Certificate of
Title No. T-75543 in the Registry of Deeds for the
Province of Cavite) and more particularly
described as follows:

A parcel of land (lot 1950-A of the


subdivision plan (LRC) Psd-104544
being a portion of Lot 1950, Naic,
Estate, LRC Rec. No. 8340),
situated in the Municipality of Naic,
Province of Cavite, Island of Luzon.
Bounded on the NE., pts. 12 to 14
by Irrigation Ditch; on the SE and
SW pts. 14 to 15 and 15 to 1 by Lot
1950-D of the subdivision plan; on
the SW pts. 1 to 2 by lot 2304, and
pts. 2 to 11 by Lot 1951, both of
Naic, Estate; and on the NW pts. 11
to 12 by Road. ... ; containing an
area of TWELVE THOUSAND ONE
HUNDRED EIGHTY NINE (12,189)
SQUARE METERS, more or less. ...
(p. 10, Record on Appeal)
The complaint docketed as Civil Case No. 651 was
filed against the private respondents Elias Merlan,
Brigido Merlan, Jose Merlan, Teodorico Nostrates,
Severo Jeciel Santiago Fernan and Fortunato
Ocampo before the then Court of First Instance of
Cavite.
Coronel alleged in his complaint that at the time
he purchased the subject parcel of land, the
defendants (private respondents herein) were
already occupying a portion thereof as "tenants
at will" and that despite demands to vacate the
premises, the defendants failed and refused to
move out from the land.
In their Answer with Counterclaim and With ThirdParty Complaint, the defendants denied that
Coronel was the owner of the whole parcel of land
and alleged that the lots occupied by them form
part of a 1/3 undivided share of brothers Brigido
Merlan and Jose Merlan which they inherited from
their deceased father Gabriel Merlan, one of the
three heirs of Bernabela Lontoc, the original
owner of Lot No. 1950-A of the Naic Estate; that
the Merlan brothers together with their two
brothers and a sister never sold their undivided
1/3 share of the lot to anybody; that it was
actually their other co-heirs who sold their
undivided portions and that the plaintiff's claim of
ownership of the whole parcel of land, if ever it
has basis, is fraudulent, void, and without effect;
that the Merlans have always been in open and
peaceful possession of their undivided share of
the lot throughout the years from the first sale by
their co-heirs of Lot No. 1950-A in 1950; and that
the other defendants were legitimate tenants.
They prayed that the plaintiff respect their rights
over 1/3 (4,063 square meters) of Lot No. 1950-A
of the Naic Estate,
In their Third-Party Complaint, the defendants
charged that the third-party defendants, owners
of the remaining portion of Lot No. 1950-A,
defrauded them when they sold the entire parcel.
Third-Party Defendants Marcelo Novelo, Paz Anuat
Daniel Anuat and Rosario Cailao the defendants'

co-owners of Lot No. 1950-A denied that they had


something to do with the fraudulent acts or illegal
machinations which deprived the defendants of
their share in the subject parcel of land, and that
what they sold was only their 2/3 undivided
shares in said parcel. They also filed a cross-claim
against their co-defendant Mariano Manalo whom
they charged might have connived with others
Including the plaintiff to deprive the defendants
and their co-heirs of their share in the subject
parcel of land.
As stated earlier, the lower court ruled in favor of
the defendants and on appeal, the lower court's
decision was affirmed with the following
modification by the then Intermediate Appellate
Court, to wit:
WHEREFORE,
PREMISES
CONSIDERED, there being no
reversible error in the main
decision appealed from dated
December 7, 1979, and the Order
of the Court dated February 13,
1980, the same are hereby
AFFIRMED with the modification
that after the word "intervenor" in
the main decision, the following
shall be inserted:
l) Declaring them as the absolute
owners of the remaining 1 1/3 of
the 2/8 portion pertaining to the
late Bernabela Lontoc, nameIy, Lot
1950-A of the Naic Estate pursuant
to Art. 845 of the New Civil Code.
(At p. 29.)
The petitioner states that the appellate court
erred as follows:
I
THAT
THE
HONORABLE
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
HAS ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING
THAT THE CLAIM OF PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS TO THE LAND IN
QUESTION HAS BEEN BARRED BY
THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION OR BY
ESTOPPEL BY LACHES.
II
THAT
THE
HONORABLE
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
HAS ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING
PETITIONER AS A PURCHASER IN
GOOD FAITH AND FOR VALUABLE
CONSIDERATION OF THE LAND IN
QUESTION.
III
THAT
THE
HONORABLE
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
HAS ERRED IN DECLARING AS NULL
AND VOID TRANSFER CERTIFICATE
OF TITLE NO. T-75543 OF THE
REGISTRY OF DEEDS OF CAVITE
WHICH IS ALREADY PACEL IN THE

NAME OF PETITIONER. (at pp.1-2


Brief for the Petitioners)
The records show that the 12,189 square meter
lot was part of a 48,755 square meter lot covered
by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3116 (RT-5010)
of the Naic Estate located at Muzon, Naic, Cavite
in the names of the spouses Valentin Gutierrez
and Eligia Mangahas with a calculated portion of
2/8; spouses Jose Perea and Celestia Naces with a
calculated portion of 3/8; Josefa Nazareno with a
calculated portion of 1/8 and Bernabela Lontoc
with a calculated portion of 2/8. In dispute in the
instant case is the 2/8 share of Bernabela Lontoc
which is equivalent to 12,189 square meters.
When Lontoc died in 1945, she was survived by
three sets of heirs: 1) Bernardino Merlan, a
grandson by her son Enrique Merlan who died in
1918; 2) Jose Merlan and Brigido Merlan,
defendants in the case below and private
respondents herein, Graciano Merlan, Agapito
Merlan and Corazon Merlan, children of her son
Gabriel who died in 1937; and 3) Daniel Anuat
and Paz Anuat children of her daughter Francisca
Merlan.
In 1950, Bernardino Merlan, Daniel Anuat and Paz
Anuat sold their 2/3 undivided portion of the lot to
spouses Ignacio Manalo and Marcela Nobelo.
In 1960, Transfer Certificate of Title No. (T-3116)
RT-5010 was cancelled by Transfer Certificate of
Title No. T-1444 but carried the same aforespecified registered co-owners with an annotation
carried from the former Transfer Certificate of
Title, to wit:
"Entry No. 4953-SALE in favor of
IGNACIO MANALO, married to
Marcela Nobelo covering the
rights, interest and participation of
Bernardino Merlan, married to
Rosario Cailao DANIEL ANUAT
married to Dionisia Loyola, and PAZ
ANUAT widow, on the share of
BERNABELA LONTOC, consisting of
twenty 20 gantas of seedling, on
the
land
described
in
this
Certificate of for the sum of THREE
THOUSAND PESOS (P3,000.00) by
virtue of the deed of sale, executed
before the Notary Public for the
City of Cavite Mr. Primo D. Anuat
(Doc. No. 652; page No. 77; Book
No. VII Series of 1950) on file in this
Registry.
Date of Instrument March 11,
1950.
Date of Inscription March 13,
1950 at 2:35 p.m. (At pp. 23, Court
of Appeals Decision; pp. 18-19,
Rollo)
In 1968, Lot No. 1950 of the Naic Estate was
subdivided according to a Sketch Plan (Exh. A).
The sketch plan was approved by the Commission

on Land Registration on August 15, 1969.


Bernabela Lontoc's 2/8 portion of Lot No. 1950
became Lot No. 1950-A with an area of 12,189
square meters.
Sometime in 1970, Ignacio Manalo sold his
interest in Lot 1950-A to Mariano Manalo. The
pertinent portions of the deed of sale executed by
spouses Ignacio Manalo and Marcela Nobelo in
favor of spouses Mariano Manalo and Jorga
Manalo states:
Ang
pagkamayari
namin
ng
bahaging binabanggit sa itaas nito
ay natatalikod ng titulo big. T-3116
na gaya ng sumusunod:
(Entry No. 4953-SALE In favor of
IGNACIO
MANALO
married
to
MARCELA NOVELO covering the
rights, interests and participations
of BERNADINO MERLAN married to
ROSARIO CAILAO DANIEL ANUAT
'married to DIONISIA LOYOLA, and
PAZ ANUAT widow, on the share of
BERNABELA LONTOC, consisting of
twenty (20) gantas of seedling, on
the
land
described
in
this
certificate of title of the sum of
THREE
THOUSAND
PESOS
(P3,000.00), by virtue of the deed
of sale executed before the Notary
Public for the City and Prov. of
Cavite Mr. Primo D. Anuat (Doc. No.
652; Page No. 77; Book No. VII,
Series of 1950) on file in this
Registry. Date of instrument-March
13, 1950-at 2:35 p.m. (sgd)
ESCOLASTICO CUEVAS, Register of
Deeds.
Na alang-alang sa halagang ISANG
LIBONG P1.000.00 PISO salaping
(blurred), na sa amin ay ibinayad ni
G. MARIANO MANALO kasal kay
JORGA MANALO may sapat na
gulang, Filipino at ang tirahan at
pahatirang
sulat
ay
(blurred)
Cavite, ay aming ipinagbili ng
tuluyan (Venta Real y Absoluta)
ang nabanggit na DALAWANG
PUNG (20) salop na binhi, bahagi
ng Lote blg. 1950 (blurred) tiyak sa
lote na unahan nito sa naturang G.
Mariano
Manalo,
sa
kanyang
tagamana o kahaliti sa matuwid
magpakailan
man.
Dito'y
sinasaysay rin namin ang nasabing
lupang
tubigan
ay
walang
sinasagutang pagkakautang kanino
mang tao. (pp. 25-26, Rollo)
The deed of sale was registered in the Registry of
Deeds in Cavite. Thereafter, Transfer Certificate of
Title No. T-1444 was cancelled and Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-41175 was issued for Lot

No. 1950-A of the Naic Estate in the name of


Mariano Manalo married to Jorga Lagos of Naic,
Cavite. The certificate of title issued in the name
of spouses Mariano Manalo and Jorga Lagos
covered the whole Lot No. 1950-A without any
mention of the 1/3 share of the private
respondents in the parcel of land which was not
sold to them.
Relying on the transfer certificate of title of the
spouses Mariano Manalo and Jorga Lagos and the
Sketch Plan (Exhibit "A"), petitioner Rodolfo
Coronel then bought Lot No. 1950-A of the Naic
Estate from the former for the consideration of
P27,000.00 as per Doc. No. 341; Page No. 70;
Book No. V Series of 1974 in the Notarial Register
of Notary Public Nonilo A. Quitangon of the City of
Manila. The deed of sale was registered on
December 19, 1974 causing the cancellation of
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-41175 and the
issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title No. T75543 in the name of petitioner Rodolfo Coronel.
Considering these facts, it is evident that the
private respondents never sold their 1/3 share
over Lot No. 1950-A of the Naic Estate; that what
their co-owners sold to Ignacio Manalo was their
2/3 share of the same lot; and that Ignacio
Manalo sold only the 2/3 share to third-party
defendant Mariano Manalo, the predecessor-ininterest
of
petitioner
Rodolfo
Coronel.
Consequently, there was a mistake when Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 41175 was issued to
Mariano Manalo covering the whole area of Lot
No. 1950-A. Unfortunately, Mariano Manalo who
was included as third-party defendant as well as
the subject of a cross- claim filed by the other
third-party defendants, and who could have shed
light on this controversy was at the time residing
abroad and was not served with the third-party
complaint.
Moreover, private respondents Brigido Merlan and
Jose Merlan were in open, peaceful and adverse
possession of their 1/3 share over the lot even
after 1950 when the first sale of the lot took
place. The first time they knew about Coronel's
claim over the whole lot was when they were
served a copy of his complaint in 1975.
Under these circumstances, the first assignment
of error is not well taken.
The petitioner contends that the claim of the
private respondents over their 1/3 undivided
portion of Lot No. 1950-A 25 years after the
registration of the deed of sale in favor of Ignacio
Manalo in 1950 and more than five (5) years after
the registration of the deed of sale in favor of
Mariano Manalo is barred by prescription or
laches. According to him, there was undue delay
on the part of the private respondents to claim
their 1/3 portion of Lot No. 1950-A of the Naic
Estate and that the action for annulment should
have been brought within four (4) years (Art.

1391, New Civil Code) counted from the date of


the registration of the instrument.
The counterclaim of the private respondents
which was in effect a reconveyance to them of
their 1/3 undivided share over lot No. 1950-A has
not prescribed. As lawful possessors and owners
of the lot in question their cause of action falls
within the settled jurisprudence that an action to
quiet title to property-in one's possession is
imprescriptible, Their undisturbed possession
over a period of more than 25 years gave them a
continuing right to seek the aid of a court of
equity to determine the nature of the adverse
claim of a third party and the effect of his own
title. If at all, the private respondents' right, to
quiet title, to seek reconveyance and to annul
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-75543 accrued
only in 1975 when they were made aware of a
claim adverse to their own. It was only at that
time that, the statutory period of prescription
may be said to have commenced to run against
them. (Sapto, et al. v. Fabiana, 103 Phil. 683, Faja
v. Court of Appeals, 75 SCRA 441; Caragay-Layno
v. Court of Appeals, 133 SCRA 718).
In the same manner, there is no bar based on
laches to assert their right over 1/3 of the
disputed property. "Laches has been defined as
the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and
unexplained length of time, to do that which by
exercising due diligence could or should have
been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to
assert a right within a reasonable time,
warranting a presumption that the party entitled
to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to
assert it." (Tejido v. Zamacoma, 138 SCRA 78
citing Tijam et al. v. Sibong-hanoy et al., 23 SCRA
29, Sotto v Teves, S6 SCRA 154) The facts of the
case show that the private respondents have
always been in peaceful possession of the 1/3
portion of the subject lot, exercising ownership
thereto for more than 25 years disrupted only in
1975 when the petitioner tried to remove them
by virtue of his torrens title covering the entire
Lot 1950-A of the Naic Estate. It was only at this
point that private respondents knew about the
supposed sale of their 1/3 portion of Lot 1950-A
of the Naic Estate and they immediately resisted.
The petitioner, however, insists that he is a
purchaser in good faith. Thus, he argues that
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-41175 in the
name of his successor-in-interest Mariano Manalo
was very clear to the effect that there is no lien or
encumbrance stated therein which could have
been seen by his parents who represented him in
the sale as he was then in the United States and
by the lawyer contracted by him to execute or
prepare the corresponding deed of sale.
This notwithstanding, we cannot close our eyes to
the fact that neither the private respondents nor
their co-owners of the subject parcel of land sold
the former's share of the lot. Furthermore, even

Ignacio Manalo to whom the third-party


defendants sold their share resold only the 2/3
shares to Mariano Manalo, the successor-ininterest of the petitioner. Whether or not there
was fraud or just a mistake or oversight of an
employee of the Register of Deeds of Cavite is
not clear from the records. The point is that the
1/3 undivided portion of the private respondents
over Lot No. 1950-A was mistakenly included in
the transfer certificate of title of Mariano Manalo.
We apply equitable considerations:
Nor does the mere fact that
respondent-appellee Marcelo Coral
could show a certificate of Torrens
Title in his favor conclude the
matter, the question of fraud
having been seasonably raised and
the
remedy
of
reconveyance
sought. Only recently, in Philippine
Commercial and Industrial Bank v.
Villalva (L-28194, November 24,
1972, 48 SCRA 31) this Court had
occasion to state: There is,
however, a countervailing doctrine,
certainly not of lesser weight, that
mitigates the harshness of the ironclad application of the principle
attaching full faith and credit to a
Torrens certificate. It is inspired by
the highest concept of what is fair
and what is equitable. It would be a
sad day for the law if it were to be
oblivious to the demands justice
The acceptance accorded the
Torrens system of registration
would certainly be impaired if it
could be utilized to perpetrate
fraud and chicanery. If it were thus,
then no stigma would attach to a
claim based solely on a narrow and
literal reading of a statutory
prescription, devoid of any shadow
of moral right. That is not the
juridical norm as recognized by this
Court. Deceit is not to be
countenanced; duplicity is not to
be rewarded. Witness the favor
with which jurisprudence has
looked
on
the
action
for
reconveyance as well as the
recognition of the constructive
trust. There is thus the stress of
rectitude. (Ibid, p. 39). (Monticenes
v. Court of Appeals, 53 SC RA 14,
21; Emphasis supplied).
Moreover, we ruled in an earlier case that:
xxx xxx xxx
... The simple possession of a
certificate of title, under the
Torrens
System,
does
not
necessarily make the possessor a

true owner of all the property


described therein. If a person
obtains a title, under the Torrens
system, which includes by mistake
or oversight land which cannot be
registered
under
the
Torrens
systems, he does not, by virtue of
said certificate alone, become the
owner of the lands illegally
included. (Ledesma v. Municipality
of Iloilo, 49 Phil. 769, 773, citing
Legarda and Prieto v. Saleeby, 31
Phil., 590; see also Caragay-Layno
v. Court of Appeals, supra).
We find no reversible error on the part of the
lower courts in recognizing the ownership of the
private respondents over 1/3 of Lot No. 1950-A of
the Naic Estate. The petitioner is bound to
recognize the lien in favor of the private
respondents which was mistakenly excluded and
therefore not inscribed in the torrens title of the
land of his predecessors-in-interest.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby
DISMISSED. The questioned decision is AFFIRMED
but with a modification to the effect that the
statement "Hereby declaring null and void,
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-75543 of the
same registry" is deleted. Instead, the Registrar
of Deeds of Cavite is ordered to segregate the 1/3
portion of Lot No. 1950-A of the Naic Estate
(4,063 square meters) from the entire portion
embraced in Transfer Certificate of Title No. T75543 and issue a new certificate of title in favor
of the heirs of Gabriel Merlan over the disputed
one-third portion and another new certificate of
title over the remaining two-thirds portion of the
land in favor of petitioner Rodolfo Coronel after
cancelling Transfer Certificate of Title No. T75543. The questioned order is also AFFIRMED.
No costs.
Fernan, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.
Feliciano, J., is on leave.
e.2.4 Galloy vs CA
???????????????????????

e.2.5 Hacienda
Inc. vs Chavez, 174160 (2010)

Republic of the Philippines


Supreme Court
Baguio City

Bigaa,

by force, strategy and/or stealth, entered on April


29, 1996 the premises of Hacienda Bigaa's
properties covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) Nos. 44695 and 56120 by cutting through a
section of the barbed wire fence surrounding the
properties and destroying the lock of one of its
gates, subsequently building a house on the
property, and occupying the lots without the prior
consent and against the will of Hacienda Bigaa.

The records show that the lots were


originally covered by TCT No. 722 owned by
SECOND DIVISION
Ayala y Cia[5] and/or Alfonso, Jacobo and Enrique
Zobel, with an area of 9,652.583 hectares, known
as
Hacienda
Calatagan. Ayala
and/or
the
HACIENDA BIGAA, INC.,
G.R. No. Zobels
174160expanded TCT No. 722 to cover an
Petitioner,
additional
2,000
hectares
of
land
Present: consisting, among others, of beach, foreshore and
bay areas, and navigable waters (excess areas),
versus CARPIO
making it appear that these excess areas are part
BRION,
of Hacienda Calatagan's TCT No. 722. The Ayalas
DEL CASTILLO,
and/or the Zobels later ordered the subdivision of
ABAD, and the hacienda, including these excess areas, and
EPIFANIO V. CHAVEZ (deceased), PEREZ,
sold the subdivided lots to third parties.[6]
substituted by SANTIAGO V. CHAVEZ,
Respondent. -- Promulgated:
Among the buyers or transferees of the
April 20, 2010
expanded and subdivided areas was Hacienda
x---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bigaa which caused the issuance of titles TCT
Nos. 44695 and 56120 under its name covering
DECISION
the purchased subdivided areas. Thus, in his
answer before the MTC of Calatagan, then
BRION, J.:
defendant (now respondent) Epifanio V. Chavez
alleged that then plaintiff (now petitioner)
Hacienda Bigaa is the successor-in-interest of
This
petition
for
review
Ayala y Cia, Hacienda Calatagan, Alfonso Zobel,
on certiorari[1] challenges the Court of Appeals
Jacobo Zobel and Enrique Zobel the original
(CA) decision of May 31, 2001[2] and resolution of
titular owners of TCT No. 722.
August 2, 2006[3] in CA-G.R. SP No. 46176,
affirming in toto the judgments of both the
Portions of the same lands foreshore lands
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Calatagan and the
were leased out by the Republic, through the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Batangas dismissing
Bureau of Fisheries, to qualified applicants in
the complaint for forcible entry in Civil Case No.
whose favor fishpond permits were issued. The
129.
government-issued fishpond permits pertaining to
lands covered by titles derived from TCT No. 722
of Ayala y Cia and/or the Zobels, gave rise to
ownership and/or possessory disputes between
the owners of Hacienda Calatagan and their
THE FACTS
privies and/or successors-in-interest, on the one
hand, and the Republic or its lessees or fishpond
We
summarize
below
the
factual
permittees, on the other.
antecedents of the present case based on the
records before us.
Suits were filed in various courts in
Batangas for the recovery of the areas in excess
On June 5, 1996, petitioner Hacienda
of the area originally covered by TCT No. 722,
Bigaa, Inc. (Hacienda Bigaa) filed with the
which suits ultimately reached the Supreme
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Calatagan,
Court. In the Court's 1965 decisions in Dizon v.
Batangas a complaint[4] for ejectment (forcible
Rodriguez[7] (for quieting of title) andRepublic v.
entry) and damages with application for writ of
Ayala y Cia and/or Hacienda Calatagan, et al.
[8]
preliminary
injunction
against
respondent
(for annulment of titles), the excess areas of
Epifanio V. Chavez (Chavez), docketed as Civil
TCT No. 722 were categorically declared
Case No. 129. The complaint alleged that Chavez,
as unregisterable lands of the public

domain such that any title covering these excess


areas are necessarily null and void. In these
cases, the Ayalas and the Zobels were found to
be mere usurpers of public domain areas, and
all subdivision titles issued to them or their
privies
and
covering
these
areas
were
invalidated; the wrongfully registered public
domain
areas reverted to
the
Republic. In Dizon, the Court declared as void
the Zobels' TCT No. 2739 and its derivative titles
covering subdivision Lots 1 and 49 areas sold to
the Dizons as areas in excess of TCT No. 722 and
are properly part of the public domain. In Ayala y
Cia, the Court invalidated TCT No. 9550 and all
other subdivision titles issued in favor of Ayala y
Cia and/or the Zobels of Hacienda Calatagan over
the areas outside its private land covered by TCT
No. 722. These areas, including the lots covered
by TCT No. 9550, reverted to public dominion.[9]
The pronouncement in the above cases
led to the Court's 1988 decision in Republic v.
De los Angeles,[10] a case covering the same
excess areas under a reinvindicatory claim of the
Republic aimed at recovering lands usurped by
the Ayalas and the Zobels and at placing the
Republics lessees and fishpond permittees in
possession. The Court effectively held that as
owner of the excess lands, the Republic has the
right to place its lessees and fishpond permittees
among them Zoila de Chavez, predecessor-ininterest of Chavez in possession. The Court
invalidated TCT Nos. 3699 and 9262 for being
among the other subdivision titles declared void
and ordered reverted to public dominion.
To return to the forcible entry case,
then defendant (now respondent) Chavez alleged
in his answer before the MTC of Calatagan that
his mother, Zoila de Chavez (who died intestate
on September 14, 1979) was a fishpond
permittee/lessee under Fishpond Permit Nos. F4572-0 and F-24735 issued by the Bureau of
Fisheries on April 21, 1959 and June 3, 1966,
respectively; that the areas covered by the
permits are the same parcels of land which he
presently occupies as Zoila's successor-in-interest
and which Hacienda Bigaa also claims.
Chavez likewise asserted that Hacienda
Bigaa is the successor-in-interest of Ayala y Cia,
Hacienda Calatagan, Alfonso Zobel, Jacobo Zobel
and Enrique Zobel who owned land with an area
of 9,652.583 hectares, covered by TCT No. 722 in
the Registry of Deeds of Batangas; that
Ayala y Cia, the Zobels, or Hacienda Calatagan,
illegally expanded the original area of TCT No.
722 by 2,000 hectares; that suits were filed to
recover the expanded area; that these suits
reached the Supreme Court which declared that
these excess areas are part of the public domain

and ordered their reversion to the Republic; that


the Supreme Court likewise declared certain TCTs
covering the subdivision lots outside the area of
TCT No. 722 and issued to transferees as null and
void; therefore, Hacienda Bigaa's titles TCT Nos.
44695 and 56120 carry no probative value as
they are of dubious origins and have been
nullified by the Supreme Court.[11]
Chavez further argued that the suit is
barred by prior judgment in two prior cases (1)
Civil Case No. 78, a suit for unlawful detainer filed
by the Zobels against Chavezs predecessor-ininterest, Zoila de Chavez, before the then Justice
of the Peace Court (now Municipal Trial Court) of
Calatagan, Batangas; and (2) Civil Case No. 653,
a case of accion reinvindicatoria with prayer for
preliminary mandatory injunction filed by the
Republic, Zoila de Chavez, and other lessees or
fishpond permittees of the Republic, against
Enrique Zobel (Hacienda Bigaa's predecessor-ininterest) before the then Court of First Instance of
Batangas. This case reached this Court as G.R.
No. L-30240 entitled Republic of the Philippines v.
De los Angeles, Enrique Zobel, et al.[12] and was
decided in 1988. Chavez asserts that the subject
matter and the issues involved in these cases are
squarely similar and/or identical to the subject
matter and issues involved in the present forcible
entry suit; the rulings in these two cases,
therefore constitute res judicata with respect to
the present case.
The MTC held a preliminary conference
where the parties stipulated and identified the
issues in the forcible entry case, viz: (1) who
between the parties has a better right of
possession over the premises in question; (2)
whether there is res judicata; and (3) whether
the parties are entitled to damages.[13] These are
essentially the same basic issues that are before
us in the present petition.
The MTC, the RTC and the CAs Decision
The MTC rendered a decision [14] dismissing
Hacienda Bigaa's complaint, holding that the
disputed lots form part of the areas illegally
expanded and made to appear to be covered by
TCT No. 722 of Hacienda Bigaa's predecessors-ininterest (Ayala y Cia and/or the Zobels of
Hacienda Calatagan); hence, the Hacienda's title
are null and void. In so ruling, the MTC applied
this Court's pronouncements in the antecedent
cases of Dizon v. Rodriguez,[15] Republic v. Ayala y
Cia and/or Hacienda Calatagan, Zobel, et al.,
[16]
andRepublic v. De los Angeles.[17]
The MTC added that since Hacienda Bigaa
did not present proof to counter Chavez's claim
that the disputed lots form part of the illegally
expanded areas of Hacienda Calatagan, these

lots are deemed to be the same lots litigated in


the previous cases. The MTC also found prior
possession in favor of Chavez, as revealed by the
antecedent
cases
particularly, De los
Angeles where Chavezs mother, Zoila de Chavez,
had been ousted by the Zobels from the fishpond
lots she occupied. The MTC reasoned out that
Zoila could not have been ousted from the
premises
had
she
not
been
in
prior
possession. Since Epifanio succeeded Zoila in the
possession of the property, he inherited the
latters prior possession and cannot now be
ousted by Hacienda Bigaa.
The
MTC
likewise rejected Hacienda
Bigaa's contention that the subdivision titles
covering the disputed lots TCT Nos. 44695 and
56120 which were not specifically canceled by
the previous decisions of the Court should be
given probative value. The MTC ruled that the
subsequent issuance of a certificate of title in
favor of the plaintiff does not vest title on it as
the lands belong to the public domain and cannot
be registered.[18] The MTC stressed that the titles
of Hacienda Bigaa were among the other
subdivision titles declared void in the case
of Ayala y Cia as areas not legitimately covered
by TCT No. 722 and which are therefore part of
the public domain. As ordered in the three
antecedent cases of Dizon,[19] Ayala y Cia,
[20]
and De los Angeles,[21] they should revert to
the Republic. The MTC opined that Hacienda
Bigaa has the burden of proving that the subject
lots are not part of the illegally expanded areas;
Hacienda Bigaa failed to discharge this duty when
it did not present proof to controvert Chavez's
allegation that the lots covered by Haciendas
TCTs are among the lots litigated in the cited
cases. The MTC reiterated the following ruling of
the Court in Republic v. De los Angeles:
x x x [F]or almost 23 years
now execution of the 1965 final
judgment in G.R. No. L-20950,
ordering the cancellation of the
subdivision titles covering the
expanded areas outside the private
lands of Hacienda Calatagan, is
being frustrated by respondent
Zobel, the Ayala and/or Hacienda
Calatagan. As a consequence, the
mass usurpation of lands of public
domain consisting of portions of
the territorial sea, the foreshore,
beach
and
navigable
water
bordering
the Balayan Bay, Pagaspas Bay an
d the China Sea, still remain
unabated. The efforts of Ayala and
Zobel to prevent execution of said
final judgment are evident from the

heretofore-mentioned
technical
maneuvers they have resorted to.
Clearly, the burden of proof lies on
respondent
Zobel
and
other
transferees to show that his
subdivision titles are not among the
unlawful
expanded
subdivision
titles declared null and void by the
said 1965 judgment. Respondent
Zobel
not
only
did
not
controvert
the
Republic's
assertion that his titles are
embraced within the phrase
other subdivision titles ordered
canceled but failed to show
that the subdivision titles in his
name cover lands within the
original area covered by Ayala's
TCT No. 722 (derived from OCT
No. 20) and not part of the
beach, foreshore and territorial
sea belonging and ordered
reverted to public dominion in
the aforesaid 1965 judgment.
[22]
x x x (Emphasis supplied.)
Based on the above disquisition and
taking into account the consistent efforts of
Hacienda Bigaa's predecessors-in-interest in
thwarting the execution of the Court's decision in
the antecedent cases, the MTC declared that the
Chavezes, as the Republics lessees/permittees,
should have been in possession long ago. The
MTC held:
Thus, the court holds that the land
now in litigation forms part of the
public dominion which properly
belongs to the State. Suffice it to
say that when the defendant
[Epifanio V. Chavez] entered
and occupied the same on April
29,
1996,
it
was
in
representation of the State
being the successor-in-interest
of
Zoila
de
Chavez,
a
government
fishpond
permittee
and/or
lessee. It
should be recounted that Zoila de
Chavez was in actual physical
possession of the land until she
was ousted by Enrique Zobel by
bulldozing and flattening the area.
The recovery of this public land in
favor of the State is long
overdue. Zoila de Chavez or her
successor-in-interest
should
have been in actual and
adequate
possession
and

occupation thereof long time


ago by virtue of the Supreme
Court decisions anent the
matter in 1965 which were
reiterated in 1988 had not the
plaintiff and its predecessorsin-interest
succeeded
in
defeating the enforcement of
the said decisions. To allow the
plaintiff to retain possession of
these usurped public lands by
ousting the government's fishpond
permittees and/or lessees such as
the defendant is to further
frustrate the decisions of the
Supreme Court on the matter.
(Emphasis supplied.)
The MTC finally ruled that the elements
of res judicata are present. The forcible entry
case before it shared an identity of parties with
Civil Case No. 78 for unlawful detainer and Civil
Case No. 653 (the Delos Angeles case) of accion
reinvindicatoria because all of these cases
involve the predecessors-in-interest of the
present parties. In Civil Case No. 78, the plaintiff
was Enrique Zobel, predecessor of Hacienda
Bigaa, and the defendant was Zoila de Chavez,
mother and predecessor of Epifanio V. Chavez. In
Civil Case No. 653 which reached and was
decided by this Court in 1988 as Republic vs.
De los Angeles, Zoila de Chavez was one of the
plaintiffs and Enrique Zobel was one of the
defendants.[23] The MTC also found identity of
subject matter because the forcible entry case
shared with the previous cases the same subject
matter, i.e., the same lands adjudged by the
Supreme Court as part of the public domain
usurped by the Zobels, et al. through their
illegally expanded titles.[24] As to identity of
causes of action, the MTC held that although
the previous cases were for unlawful detainer
and accion reinvindicatoria while the case before
it was for forcible entry, an identity of issues
existed because
all
these
cases
involved conflicting
claims
of
ownership,
occupation and possession of the property which
have long been settled by the Supreme Court. It
recognized
that
under
the
concept
of
conclusiveness
of
judgment, res
judicata merely requires an identity of issue, not
an absolute identity of causes of action. [25]
On October 1, 1996, Hacienda Bigaa
appealed the MTC's decision to the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Batangas[26] which affirmed in
toto the appealed decision.
On February 16, 1998, Hacienda Bigaa
filed its petition for review[27] with the Court of

Appeals (CA), docketed as CA-G.R. SP No.


46716. The CA in its decision of June 1, 2001
dismissed the petition for review, totally affirming
the RTC and MTC decisions. [28]Hacienda Bigaa
timely
filed
a
motion
for
reconsideration. However, while the motion was
pending, Associate Justice Salvador J. Valdez, Jr.,
the ponente of the decision sought to be
reconsidered, retired from the Judiciary. As a
result, the motion slipped into hibernation for five
years.[29]
The CA, on August 2, 2006, this time
through Associate Justice Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr.,
rendered its resolution on the motion for
reconsideration.[30] It denied reconsideration on
the reasoning that the grounds and arguments
raised were mere iterations of those already
raised in the petition for review.
THE PETITION
Hacienda Bigaa is now before us via a
petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court to assail the CA ruling. Among other things,
it argues that the CA's Resolution is patently
erroneous because the grounds and arguments
raised in its motion for reconsideration were not
mere reiterations; it claims, as one of the grounds
in its motion for reconsideration, that the final
determination of the scope and extent of the area
allegedly in excess of that covered by TCT No.
722 of Ayala y Cia was made only after the
petition for review was filed on February 16,
1998.
In its petition, Hacienda Bigaa raises the
following issues of law:
I. WHETHER THE REGISTERED
OWNER
OF
LAND
IN
POSSESSION
OF
A TORRENS CERTIFICATE OF
TITLE MUST ENJOY THE
OWNERSHIP
AND
POSSESSION,
AMONG
OTHERS, OF THE LAND
COVERED THEREBY, WHERE
THE SAID TITLE HAS NOT
BEEN DECLARED NULL AND
VOID, SUCH THAT THE TITLE
MUST BE GIVEN PROBATIVE
VALUE.
II. WHETHER IT IS PETITIONER
HACIENDA BIGAA OR ZOILA
DE
CHAVEZ
(OR
HER
SUCCESSOR, RESPONDENT
EPIFANIO V. CHAVEZ) WHO
HAS A BETTER RIGHT OF

POSSESSION
OVER
SUBJECT LOTS.

THE

THE COURT'S RULING


We find the petition unmeritorious.
We note at the outset that the objection on the
delineation of the scope and extent of the excess
areas of TCT No. 722 came too late in the day; it
is an issue that the Hacienda admits to have
raised for the first time when it sought
reconsideration
of
the
CA
decision. We
significantly note, too, that this issue involves a
question of fact whose determination is improper
in a Rule 45 proceeding before this Court.
Thus, to our mind, the only real questions
appropriate for resolution at this stage of the
case are: (1) Do the TCTs of Hacienda Bigaa have
probative value in determining the issues of
ownership and possession of the disputed lots?
(2) Is
Chavez
as
successor-in-interest
of
government lessee or fishpond permittee Zoila de
Chavez entitled to possession of these lots? In
these lights, the resolution of this case hinges on
the question of better title who, between the
petitioner and the respondent, has the better
right of possession of the disputed lots.
Are these issues misplaced in a forcible entry
case?

To answer this, we hark back to the origins


of the present case a complaint for forcible
entry that the MTC of Calatagan, Batangas
dismissed. Both the RTC and the CA subsequently
affirmed this dismissal. As a forcible entry suit,
the threshold question presented is: was the prior
possession of the then plaintiff (now petitioner)
Hacienda Bigaa over the disputed lots sufficiently
established to give it cause for the ejectment of
then defendant (now respondent) Epifanio
Chavez?

We recall in this regard that the MTC


issued a pre-trial order identifying the issues of
(1) who has the better right of possession; and
(2) res judicata.[31] On the issue of possession, the
MTC found the need to determine the question of
title or ownership in passing upon the question of
possession after Chavez raised the issue of
ownership at that level. As a general rule in

forcible entry cases, ownership or title is


inconsequential;
the
primordial
issue
is
possession de
facto and
not
possession de
jure. The court, however, may tackle the issue of
ownership or title, if raised, if this issue is
indispensable
in
resolving
the
issue
of
[32]
possession.
Since Chavez raised the question
of ownership or title in his answer, the issue of
ownership became a material consideration in the
lower court's inquiry into the character, nature
and extent of the parties claimed possession.

The MTC tackled the issue of prior


possession by taking judicial notice of our factual
determination in De los Angeles that Zobel of
Hacienda
Calatagan
Hacienda
Bigaa's
predecessor-in-interest
had ousted Zoila
de
Chavez Chavez's predecessor-in-interest from the
lots she occupied as a holder of governmentissued fishpond permits. The MTC in this regard
held
[T]he court holds that the
land now in litigation forms part of
the public dominion which properly
belongs to the State. Suffice it to
say that when [respondent Chavez]
entered
and
occupied
the
[premises] on April 29, 1996, it
was in representation of the
State being the successor-ininterest of Zoila de Chavez, a
government fishpond permittee
and/or
lessee. It
should
be
recounted that Zoila de Chavez
was
in
actual
physical
possession of the land until she
was ousted by Enrique Zobel
by bulldozing and flattening
the area. (Emphasis supplied.)

Zoila de Chavez's ouster from the


premises became the basis of the MTCs
conclusion that she had prior possession as she
could not have been ousted from the premises
had she not been in prior possession. This point
was reiterated in the present petition by Chavez

who died pending the resolution of this case and


has been substituted by his brother, Santiago V.
Chavez.[33] The respondents comment before us
states:[34]

Republic
filed
an
Amended Complaint
captioned
Accion
Reinvindicatoria with
Preliminary
Injunction
against
respondent
Zobel
and the Register of
Deeds of Batangas,
docketed
as
Civil
Case No. 653, for
cancellation
of
Zobel's
void
subdivision titles TCT
No. 3699 and TCT No.
9262
and
the
reconveyance of the
same
to
the
government; to place
aforenamed fishpond
permittees
in
peaceful
and
adequate possession
thereof; to require
respondent Zobel to
pay back rentals to
the Republic, and to
enjoin
said
respondent
from
usurping
and
exercising
further
acts of dominion and
ownership over the
subject land of public
domain.[35] (Emphasis
supplied.)

Of note, as hereafter shown,


[in the case of Republic vs. De los
Angeles, G.R. No. L-30240, March
25, 1988], the Supreme Court
explicitly recognized the priority of
possession of the respondent
[Chavez] over the subject lots:

[Respondent
therein] Zobel had
ousted Zoila de
Chavez,
a
government
fishpond
permittee, from a
portion of subject
fishpond
lot described as Lot
33 of Plan Swo30999 (also known
as Lots 55 and 56 of
subdivision TCT No.
3699) by bulldozing
the
same,
and
[threatening] to eject
fishpond permittees
Zoila
de
Chavez,
Guillermo Mercado,
Deogracias Mercado,
and Rosendo Ibaez
from their respective
fishpond
lots
described as Lots 4,
5, 6, and 7, and Lots
55 and 56, of Plan
Swo-30999,
embraced in the void
subdivision titles TCT
No. 6399 and TCT No.
9262 claimed by said
respondent. Thus, on
August 2, 1967, the

This argument on the direct issue of prior


possession is separate from the issue of
ownership that Chavez raised as an issue
determinative of possession. The issue of
ownership shifts our determination to who,
between the parties, has title and the
concomitant right of possession to the disputed
lots.
The
issue
of
posse
ssion,
as it

relate
s with
the
owner
ship
of the
dispu
ted
prope
rty,
has
been
concl
usivel
y
resolv
ed in
the
antec
edent
cases
.
As framed above, the case before us inevitably
brings to memory the antecedent decided cases
touching on the ownership of the vast tract of
land
in
Calatagan,
Batangas,
covered
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
722 in the name/s of Ayala y Cia, Alfonso Zobel,
Jacobo Zobel and Enrique Zobel and/or Hacienda
Calatagan
the
predecessors-in-interest
of
petitioner Hacienda Bigaa. We ruled in the
antecedent cases of Dizon,[36] Ayala y Cia,
[37]
and De los Angeles,[38] that: (1) all expanded
subdivision titles issued in the name of
Ayala y Cia,
the
Zobels
and/or
Hacienda
Calatagan covering areas beyond the true extent
of TCT No. 722 are null and void because they
cover areas belonging to the public domain; (2)
Ayala y Cia and the Zobels of Hacienda Calatagan
are mere usurpers of these public domain areas;
and that (3) these areas must revert to
the Republic. Significantly, we declared in De
los Angeles that the Republic, as the
rightful owner of the expanded areas
portions of the public domain has the right
to place its lessees and permittees (among
them Zoila de Chavez) in possession of the
fishpond
lots
whose
ownership
and
possession were in issue in the case.
These antecedent cases lay to rest the
issues of ownership and of possession as an
attribute thereof, which we both ruled to be in
favor of the Republic and its lessees or
permittees.
The present case is a stark repetition of scenarios
in
these
cases. The
protagonists
remain virtually the
same
with
petitioner
Hacienda Bigaa taking the place of its

predecessors-in-interest Ayala y Cia and/or the


Zobels of Hacienda Calatagan, and respondent
Epifanio V. Chavez taking the place of his
predecessor-in-interest Zoila de Chavez whose
possession was under bona fide authority from
the Republic. Considering that in this case the
disputed lots are among those litigated in the
antecedent cases and the issues of ownership
and possession are again in issue, the principle
of res judicata inevitably must be considered and
applied, if warranted.
The doctrine of res judicata is set forth in
Section 47 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which
in its relevant part reads:

Sec. 47. Effect of judgments


or final orders. The effect of a
judgment or final order rendered by
a court of the Philippines, having
jurisdiction
to
pronounce
the
judgment or final order, may be as
follows:

xxxx

(b) In other cases, the


judgment or final order is, with
respect to the matter directly
adjudged or as to any other matter
that could have been raised in
relation
thereto,
conclusive
between the parties and their
successors in interest by title
subsequent to the commencement
of the action or special proceeding,
litigating for the same thing and
under the same title and in the
same capacity; and

(c) In any other litigation


between the same parties or their
successors in interest, that only is
deemed to have been adjudged in
a former judgment or final order
which appears upon its face to
have been so adjudged, or which

was
actually
and
necessarily
included therein or necessary
thereto.

This provision comprehends two distinct concepts


of res judicata: (1) bar by former judgment and
(2) conclusiveness of judgment. Under the first
concept, res judicata absolutely
bars
any
subsequent action when the following requisites
concur: (a) the former judgment or order was
final; (b) it adjudged the pertinent issue or issues
on their merits; (c) it was rendered by a court
that had jurisdiction over the subject matter and
the parties; and (d) between the first and the
second actions, there was identity of parties, of
subject matter, and ofcauses of action.[39]

judgment that proscribes subsequent actions, the


former nonetheless estops the parties from
raising in a later case the issues or points that
were raised and controverted, and were
determinative of the ruling in the earlier case.
[42]
In other words, the dictum laid down in the
earlier final judgment or order becomes
conclusive and continues to be binding between
the same parties, their privies and successors-ininterest, as long as the facts on which that
judgment was predicated continue to be the facts
of the case or incident before the court in a later
case; the binding effect and enforceability of that
earlier dictum can no longer be re-litigated in a
later case since the issue has already been
resolved and finally laid to rest in the earlier case.
[43]

a.
Where no identity of causes of action but
only identity of issues exists, res judicata comes
under
the
second
concept
i.e.,
under conclusiveness of judgment. Under this
concept, the rule bars the re-litigation of
particular facts or issues involving the same
parties even if raised under different claims or
causes of action.[40] Conclusiveness of judgment
finds application when a fact or question has
been squarely put in issue, judicially passed
upon, and adjudged in a former suit by a court of
competent jurisdiction. The fact or question
settled by final judgment or order binds the
parties to that action (and persons in privity with
them or their successors-in-interest), and
continues to bind them while the judgment or
order remains standing and unreversed by proper
authority on a timely motion or petition; the
conclusively settled fact or question furthermore
cannot again be litigated in any future or other
action between the same parties or their privies
and successors-in-interest, in the same or in any
other court of concurrent jurisdiction, either for
the same or for a different cause of action. Thus,
only the identities of parties and issues are
required for the operation of the principle
of conclusiveness of judgment.[41]
While conclusiveness of judgment does not have
the same barring effect as that of a bar by former

Identity of Parties

As already stated above, the parties to the


present case are virtually the same as those in
the antecedent cases. Specifically in De los
Angeles, the parties were Enrique Zobel, the
predecessor-in-interest of petitioner Hacienda
Bigaa, and Zoila de Chavez, the mother and
predecessor-in-interest of Chavez.

b.

Identity of Subject Matter

Hacienda Bigaa and Chavez are litigating the


same properties subject of the antecedent cases
inasmuch as they claim better right of possession
to parcels of land covered by subdivision titles
derived from Hacienda Calatagan's TCT No. 722
and
by
government-issued
fishpond
permits. Specifically in De los Angeles, the Zobels
and Zoila de Chavez litigated the disputed lots
covered by subdivision titles in Zobels name and
by fishpond permits the Republic issued in favor
of de Chavez.

In ruling that the subject lots are the same lots


litigated in the previously decided cases, the
courts below based their findings on De los
Angeles that in turn was guided by our rulings
in Dizon and Ayala y Cia. For emphasis, we
reiterate our ruling in De los Angeles: all areas
the Ayalas and/or the Zobels made to
appear to be covered by TCT No. 722 are
owned by the Republic because they form
part of the public domain; specifically,
portions of the navigable water or of the
foreshores of the bay converted into
fishponds are parts of the public domain
that cannot be sold by the Ayalas and/or the
Zobels to third parties.
In his answer before the MTC, Chavez asserted
that the areas covered by the fishpond permits of
Zoila de Chavez are the same parcels of land that
he now occupies as Zoila's successor-in-interest.
Given the rulings in the antecedent cases that
Chavez invoked, Hacienda Bigaa never bothered
to object to or to rebut this allegation to show
that the presently disputed lots are not part of
the expanded areas that, apart from the
specifically described titles, Ayala y Cia described
as other subdivision titles covering unregisterable
lands of the public domain that must revert to the
Republic.[44] Hacienda Bigaa should have
objected
as
we
held
in De los
Angeles that the onus is on Ayala and the
Zobels Hacienda Bigaas predecessors-ininterest to show that their titles do not
cover the expanded areas whose titles were
declared null and void.[45] We find no cogent
reason to depart from our past rulings in the
antecedent cases, and from the ruling of the
courts below in this case that the lots claimed by
Hacienda Bigaa are the same lots covered by our
rulings in the antecedent cases.

c.

Identity of Issues

This case and the antecedent cases all


involve the issue of ownership or better right
of possession. In Ayala y Cia, we affirmed an
RTC decision that decreed:

WHEREFORE, judgment is
hereby rendered as follows:
(a) Declaring as null and
void Transfer Certificate of Title No.
T-9550 (or Exhibit 24) of the
Register of Deeds of the Province of
Batangas and other subdivision
titles issued in favor of Ayala y Cia
and;or Hacienda de Calatagan over
the areas outside its private land
covered by TCT No. 722, which,
including the lots in T-9550 (lots
360, 362, 363 and 182) are
hereby reverted to public dominion.
[46]
(Emphasis supplied, italics in the
original.)
Consequently, lots and their titles derived from
the Ayalas and the Zobels TCT No. 722 not shown
to be within the original coverage of this title are
conclusively public domain areas and their titles
will be struck down as nullities.
Thus, De los
Angeles[47] effectively
annulled the subdivision titles disputed in the
case for being among the other subdivision titles
declared void for covering public domain areas,
and
ordered
their
reversion
to
the
Republic. De los
Angeles recognized,
too,
the right of the Republic's lessees and
public fishpond permittees (among them
Zoila de Chavez, mother and predecessorin-interest of Chavez) to possess the
fishpond lots in question because they
derive their right of possession from the
Republic the rightful owner of these lots.
We reject, based on these discussions,
Hacienda Bigaa's position that there could be
no res judicata in this case because the present
suit is for forcible entry while the antecedent
cases adverted were based on different causes of
action i.e., quieting of title, annulment of titles
and accion
reinvindicatoria. For, res
judicata, under the concept of conclusiveness of
judgment, operates even if no absolute identity of
causes of action exists. Res judicata, in its
conclusiveness of judgment concept, merely
requires identity of issues. We thus agree with the
uniform view of the lower courts the MTC, RTC
and the CA on the application of res
judicata to the present case.

Hacie
nda
Bigaa'
s
Titles

Carry
No
Proba
tive
Value

Hacienda Bigaa contends that the rulings in the


antecedent cases on the nullity of its subdivision
titles should not apply to the present case
because the titles TCT Nos. 44695 and 56120
have not been specifically declared void by court
order and must be given probative value. It
likewise posits that Chavez failed to introduce
evidence before the MTC that the land subject
matter of the suit is the same land covered by the
decision of the Supreme Court in the antecedent
cases.

We reject this contention in light of our holding in


the Ayala y Cia and De los Angeles cases that
apart from those expressly litigated and annulled,
all other subdivision titles over the excess areas
of Hacienda Calatagan must be nullified for
covering unregisterable lands of the public
domain that must revert to the Republic. [48] To
reiterate, lots and their titles derived from
the Ayalas and the Zobels TCT No. 722 not
shown to be within the original coverage of
this title are conclusively public domain
areas and their titles will be struck down as
nullities. What could have saved Hacienda
Bigaa, as successor-in-interest of the Ayalas and
the Zobels, is competent evidence that the
subdivision titles in its possession do not fall
within the excess areas of TCT No. 722 that are
null and void because they are lands of the public
domain. Hacienda Bigaa however failed to
discharge this burden.

Therefore, the Court of Appeals, citing Ayala y


Cia and De los Angeles, correctly held that

x x x [S]uffice it to state that as


heretofore shown, the Supreme
Court took cognizance of the fact

that Zoila de Chavez's fishpond


permit
is within
the
land
covered
by
the
cited
decision. Moreover, the Supreme
Court has shifted the burden of
proof in this regard to Zobel or
Ayala y Cia when it declared
that, Clearly, the burden of
proof lies on respondent Zobel
and other transferees to show
that his subdivision titles are
not
among
the
unlawful
expanded
subdivision
titles
declared null and void by the
said
1965
judgment.
[49]
(Emphasis supplied.)

In any event, Hacienda Bigaa can never


have a better right of possession over the subject
lots above that of the Republic because the lots
pertain to the public domain. All lands of the
public domain are owned by the State the
Republic. Thus, all attributes of ownership,
including the right to possess and use these
lands, accrue to the Republic. Granting Hacienda
Bigaa the right to possess the subject premises
would be equivalent to condoning an illegal act
by allowing it to perpetuate an affront and an
offense against the Statei.e., occupying and
claiming as its own lands of public dominion that
are not susceptible of private ownership and
appropriation.[50] Hacienda
Bigaa
like
its
predecessors-in-interests, the Ayalas and the
Zobels is a mere usurper in these public
lands. The registration in Hacienda Bigaa's name
of the disputed lots does not give it a better right
than what it had prior to the registration; [51] the
issuance of the titles in its favor does not redeem
it from the status of a usurper. We so held
in Ayala y Cia and we reiterated this elementary
principle
of
law
in De los
Angeles.[52] The
registration of lands of the public domain under
the Torrens system, by itself, cannot convert
public lands into private lands.[53]

As our last word, we find it particularly


relevant to state here that we issued on October
6, 2008 a Resolution in relation with the
execution of our decision in the antecedent cases
of Ayala y Cia and De los Angeles.[54] In this
Resolution, we emphasized that the decision we
consistently affirmed ordered the following: (1)
the nullification of all subdivision titles that
were issued in favor of Ayala y Cia and/or
Hacienda Calatagan (and their successorsin-interest) over the areas outside its
private land covered by TCT No. 722; and
(2) the declaration that all lands or areas
covered by these nullified titles are
reverted to the public domain. This should
write finis to Hacienda Bigaas claim that its titles
are beyond the reach of our decision in the
antecedent cases.

In sum, we find no reversible errors of law in the


appealed decision of the Court of Appeals.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the present petition


and AFFIRM the Court of Appeals decision of May
31, 2001 and resolution of August 2, 2006. We
accordingly DISMISS
WITH
FINALITY the
complaint for forcible entry in Civil Case No. 129
before the Municipal Trial Court of Calatagan.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO


Associate Justice

ROBERTO A.
Associate Just

JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ


Associate Justice

ATTESTATION
I attest that the conclusions in the above
Decision had been reached in consultation before
the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion
of the Courts Division.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

SO ORDERED.

ARTURO
BRION
ice
WE CONCUR:

D.

CERTIFICATION

Associate Just
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the
Constitution, and the Division Chairpersons
Attestation, it is hereby certified that the
conclusions in the above Decision were
reached in consultation before the case was
assigned to the writer of the opinion of the
Courts Division.

[13]

Decision of the Municipal Trial Court, infra, at


73.

REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice

[1]

Under
Rule
45
COURT, rollo pp. 10-51.
[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

of

the

RULES

OF

In CA-G.R. SP No. 46716, rendered by the


Seventeenth Division through Associate Justice
Salvador J. Valdez, Jr. and concurred in by
Associate Justices Wenceslao I. Agnir, Jr. and
Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr.; id. at 120-131.
Rendered by the Special Former Seventeenth
Division, penned by Associate Justice Juan Q.
Enriquez, Jr. and concurred in by Associate
Justices Edgardo P. Cruz and Vicente Q.
Roxas; id. at 161-163.

[14]

Rollo, pp. 68-83.

[15]

Supra note 7.

[16]

Supra note 8.

[17]

Supra note 10.

[18]

See note 13, at 77-78.

[19]

Supra note 7.

[20]

Supra note 8.

[21]

Supra note 10.

[22]

Supra note 13, at 78-79, citing Republic v.


De los Angeles; supra note 10, at 284 and 287.

Rollo, pp. 62-67.


For convenience, the abbreviation of Compania
or Cia. shall be written simply as Cia without a
period.

[6]

Decision of the Municipal Trial


September 4, 1996, rollo, pp. 68-83.

[23]

See note 13, at 80.

[24]

Ibid.

[25]

Id. at 81-82.

[26]

Branch IX.

Court,

[7]

121 Phil 681 (1965).

[27]

Supra note 1.

[8]

121 Phil 1052 (1965).

[28]

Supra note 2.

[9]

Ibid.

[29]

Petition for Review; supra note 1, at 29.

[30]

Supra note 3.

[10]

G.R. No. L-30240, March 25, 1988, 159 SCRA


264; this case originated from an accion
reinvidicatoria with preliminary injunction filed
by the Republic against Zobel for cancellation of
Zobels void subdivision titles and the
reconveyance of the same to the government;
to place the fishpond permittees Zoila de
Chavez included in peaceful and adequate
possession
thereof. In
his
Answer
with
counterclaim, Zobel argued that he has a valid
title to the lands. The RTC dismissed the
complaint and found for Zobel as regards his
counterclaim. We reversed the RTC.

[11]

Decision of the Municipal Trial Court, infra note


13, at 71.
[12]

Supra note 9.

[31]

Decision
of
the
Municipal
Trial
Court, supra note 13, at 73; see p. 5 of this
decision.
[32]

Wilmon Auto Supply v. Court of Appeals, G.R.


No. 97637, April 10, 1992, 208 SCRA 108; see
also Sec. 33 (2), Batas Pambansa Bilang 129,
eff. Aug. 14, 1981, otherwise known as "The
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980," which
provides that the Municipal Trial Court, among
others, has x x x [e]xclusive original jurisdiction
over cases of forcible entry and unlawful
detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases
the defendant raises the question of ownership
in his pleadings and the question of possession
cannot be resolved without deciding the issue
of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be

of

[44]

Notice of Death and Substitution of Party


Respondent, rollo, pp. 205-206, received by this
Court on February 23, 2007.

[45]

resolved only to
possession; x x x

determine

the

issue

[33]

[34]

Comment of Respondent Chavez, id. at 209222.


[35]

Id. at 212-213, citing Republic


Angeles; supra note 10, at 274-275.
[36]

Supra note 7.

[37]

Supra note 8.

[38]

Supra note 10.

[39]

Sta. Lucia Realty and


Cabrigas, 411 Phil 369 (2001)
[40]

v.

See Republic v. De los Angeles, supra note 10,


at 284.
Id. at 301-302.

[46]

Republic v. Ayala y Cia, supra note 8, quoted


in Republic v. De los Angeles, supra note 10, at
284.
[47]

Supra note 10.

[48]

Supra note 44.

De los

[49]

Decision of the Court of Appeals, May 31,


2001, supra note 2, at 127-128, citing Republic
v. De los Angeles, supra note 10.

[50]

Republic v. De los Angeles, supra note 10, at


297.
Development

v.
[51]

Avila v. Tapucar, G.R. Nos. 93832 and 45947,


August 27, 1991, 201 SCRA 148.

Ibid.
[52]

[41]

Calalang v. Register of Deeds, G.R. No. 76265,


March 11, 1994, 231 SCRA 88
[42]

Camara v. Court of Appeals, 369 Phil 858, 868


(1999).

Republic v. Ayala y Cia, supra note 8, at 263,


citing Dizon v. Bayona, 98 Phil 942, 948-949
(1956) and Dizon v. Rodriguez, supra note 7.

[53]

[54]
[43]

See Miranda v. Court of Appeals, 225 Phil 261,


265-266 (1986).

Ibid.

G.R. Nos. L-26612 and L-30240, Resolution


dated October 6, 2008, 567 SCRA 722.

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