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Republic vs.

Satisfied that respondent Dolor had a registerable title over subject property the

trial court confirmed her title thereto and ordered its registration as her exclusive
N OV EMB ER 11 , 201 0 ~ VBDIA Z

Republic vs. CA

G.R. No. 100995

ISSUE: Petitioner assailed the trial courts decision before the CA on a purely
September 14, 1994
jurisdictional ground. Petitioner argued that it was incumbent upon respondent
FACTS: On August 1988, private respondent Dolor filed an application before the
Dolor to show proof that on or before the date of initial hearing on 25 November
RTC of Daet, Camarines Norte, for the confirmation and registration of her title to
1988, there had been compliance with the requirements specified by Sec. 23 of
a residential lot located at Daet, Camarines Norte.
P.D. 1529, otherwise known as The Property Registration Decree, , to wit:

Sec. 23. Notice of initial hearing, publication, etc. The court shall, within five

days from filing of the application, issue an order setting the date and hour of the
On November 25 1988, when the case was called for initial hearing, the Fiscal
initial hearing which shall not be earlier than forty-five days nor later than ninety
entered his appearance on behalf of petitioner Republic of the Philippines.
days from the date of the order
Respondent Dolor moved that an order of general default be issued against the
1. By publication. Upon receipt of the order of the court setting the time
whole world except petitioner which had filed an opposition.
for initial hearing, the Commissioner of Land Registration shall cause a
At the hearing on 20 December 1988, respondent Dolors counsel marked as
notice of initial hearing to be published once in the Official
Exhibits A to D, respectively, the Notice of Initial Hearing, the Certificate of
Gazette and once in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Publication of the Notice of Initial Hearing in the Official Gazette (October 17,
Philippines; Provided, however,that the publication in the Official
1988 issue), the Affidavit of Publication of the Editor of the Weekly Informer,
Gazette shall be sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court.
and the Certification or Return of Posting by the Deputy Sheriff.
The records show that while the trial court stated that the jurisdictional

requirements were complied with on 25 November 1988, they were yet to be

presented on 20 December 1988 before its Branch Clerk, the designated HELD: WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The questioned decision of

Commissioner. respondent CA which affirmed the decision of the RTC is VACATED and SET ASIDE,

and the application of private respondent for the confirmation and registration of

In its decision dated 16 July 1991, the appellate court affirmed the decision her title over the property described therein is DENIED.

of the trial court, , rationalizing thus By reason of the defective notice of initial hearing, all the proceedings conducted

We find that the requirements of Sec. 23 of PD No. 1529 have been complied with by the trial court which culminated in its decision granting the prayer of

in the instant case. The record shows that the Notice of Initial Hearing set on respondent Dolor are declared VOID and it was error for respondent CA to have

November 25, 1988, issued by the Administrator, National Land Titles and Deeds sustained the same.

Registration Administration had been published in the September 10, 1988 issue The jurisdiction is not conferred by the marking of the relevant documents as

of the Weekly Informer and in Volume 84, No. 42 of the Official Gazette issue exhibits, but by the fact that all the requirements of Sec. 23, PD 1529 had been

of October 17, 1988 complied with as shown by those documents proving compliance therewith. The

The appellant (Republic) claims that while the presiding judge of the trial court trial court is not precluded from taking cognizance of its own record. But,the rule

stated that the jurisdictional requirements have been complied with on is not without exception. As borne out by the records, at the scheduled date of

November 25, 1988, the jurisdictional requirements have yet to be presented on initial hearing on 25 November 1988 and even during the actual hearing on 20

December 20, 1988 before the Branch Clerk of Court. Hence, appellant argues, December 1988, the publication requirement in the Official Gazette was

the Order of November 25, 1988 had no basis in fact and in law; there was no yet to be complied with. Although the Notice of Initial Hearing was included for

notice to interested persons adjoining owners, and the whole world; and publication in the 17 October 1988 issue of the Official Gazette, specifically Vol.

jurisdiction to hear and decide the case has not yet been conferred with the court 84, No. 42, thereof, the same was however released for publication only on

on November 25, 1988. Petitioner concludes that the late publication did not vest 31 January 1989

jurisdiction in the trial court. In petitioners brief filed before respondent CA, we note that the issue of late

publication of the Notice of Initial Hearing in the Official Gazette was raised

squarely. But for no apparent reason, the issue was ignored in the questioned
decision. Indeed, respondent court could have easily resolved the issue in favor of Section 23 of P.D. 1529 does not provide a period within which the notice should

petitioner supported as it was not only by competent evidence but also by ample be published in the Official Gazette but for reasons already obvious, the

jurisprudence publication should precede the date of initial hearing. While there is no

dispute that the notice was included in Vol. 84, No. 42, 17 October 1988 issue of

The primary legal principle against which the legality of all the proceedings the Official Gazette, this particular issue was released for publication only on

conducted by the trial court should be tested is jurisdiction. In order to ascertain 31 January 1989 when the initial hearing was already a fait accompli. The

whether a court has jurisdiction, the provision of the law in point should be point of reference in establishing lack of jurisdiction of the trial court was 31

inquired into. Section 23 of P.D. 1529 explicitly provides that beforethe court January 1989 because it was only on that date when the notice was made known

can act on the application for land registration, the public shall be given to the people in general. Verily, the late publication of the notice defeated the

notice of the initial hearing thereof by means of publication, mailing, and purpose for its existence thereby reducing it to a mere pro formanotice.

posting. In Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, citing Caltex v. CIR, 8, this Court NOTES: In Register of Deeds of Malabon v. RTC, Malabon, an issue similar to the

ruled that in all cases where the authority of the courts to proceed is conferred by one presented in the present petition was posed, that is, whether

a statute and when the manner of obtaining jurisdiction is mandatory it must be theactual publication of the notice of the petition in the Official Gazette forty-

strictly complied with, or the proceedings will be utterly void. So that where seven (47) days after the hearing, instead of at least thirty (30) days prior to the

there is a defect of publication of petition, such defect deprives the court of date of hearing, was sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the court to hear and

jurisdiction. And when the court lacks jurisdiction to take cognizance of a case, determine the petition. We answered in the negative since the purpose of the

the same lacks authority over the whole case and all its aspects. publication of the notice of the petition for reconstitution in the Official Gazette is

Regarding applications for land registration, the purpose of publication of the to apprise the whole world that such a petition has been filed and that whoever is

notice of initial hearing is the same: to require all persons concerned who may minded to oppose it for good cause may do so within thirty (30) days before the

have any rights or interests in the property applied for to appear in court at a date set by the court for hearing the petition. It is the publication of such notice

certain date and time to show cause why the application should not be granted. that brings in the whole world as a party in the case.
Traders Royal Bank
TRB then filed a petition for mandamus to compel the Central
Bank to register said CBCI in TRBs name. TRB averred that
PUFC is the alter ego of FGAC; that PUFC owns 90% of FGAC;
vs Court of Appeals that the two corporations have identical sets of directors; that
payment of said CBCI to PUFC is like a payment to FGAC hence
the sale between PUFC and TRB is valid. In short, TRB avers
November 30, 2012
that that the veil of corporate fiction, between PUFC and FGAC,
should be pierced because the two corporations allegedly used
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269 SCRA 15 Business Organization Corporation Law their separate identity to defraud TRD into buying said CBCI.
Piercing the Veil of Corporate Fiction ISSUE: Whether or not Traders Royal Bank is correct.
Filriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation (FGAC) is the owner of HELD: No. Traders Royal Bank failed to show that the corporate
several Central Bank Certificates of Indebtedness (CBCI). These fiction is used by the two corporations to defeat public
certificates are actually proof that FGAC has the required convenience, justify wrong, protect fraud or defend crime or
reserve investment with the Central Bank to operate as an where a corporation is a mere alter ego or business conduit of a
insurer and to protect third persons from whatever liabilities person. TRB merely showed that PUFC owns 90% of FGAC and
FGAC may incur. In 1979, FGAC agreed to assign said CBCI to that their directors are the same. The identity of PUFC cant be
Philippine Underwriters Finance Corporation (PUFC). Later, maintained as that of FGAC because of this mere fact; there is
PUFC sold said CBCI to Traders Royal Bank (TRB). Said sale nothing else which could lead the court under the circumstance
with TRB comes with a right to repurchase on a date certain. to disregard their corporate personalities. Further, TRB cant
However, when the day to repurchase arrived, PUFC failed to argue that it was defrauded into buying those certificates. In the
repurchase said CBCI hence TRB requested the Central Bank to first place, TRB as a banking institution is not ignorant about
have said CBCI be registered in TRBs name. Central Bank these types of transactions. It should know for a fact that a
refused as it alleged that the CBCI are not negotiable; that as certificate of indebtedness is not negotiable because the payee
such, the transfer from FGAC to PUFC is not valid; that since it therein is inscribed specifically and that the Central Bank is
was invalid, PUFC acquired no valid title over the CBCI; that the obliged to pay the named payee only and no one else.
subsequent transfer from PUFC to TRB is likewise invalid.
HEIRS OF CLEMENTE 1. Whether or not the alleged tax declarations and tax receipts
are sufficient to defeat the title over the property in the names of

ERMAC, vs. HEIRS OF petitioners predecessors-in-interest [Spouses] Clemente Ermac

and Anunciacion Suyco[;]

VICENTE ERMAC 2. Whether or not laches ha[s] set in on the claims by the
respondents on portions of Lot No. 666[.]

Jun28 The Courts Ruling

Facts: At Lot No. 666 was originally owned by Claudio Ermac and, First Issue:

after his death, was inherited by his children Esteban, Balbina

Ownership of the Disputed Lot
and Pedro. Clemente Ermac registered the said Lot to his name
alone without regards to the otherpredecessors-in-
Petitioners claim that the CA erred in relying on the hearsay and
interests.The respondents were able to prove consistently and
unsubstantiated testimony of respondents, as well as on tax
corroboratively that they as well as their predecessors-in-
declarations and realty tax receipts, in order to support its ruling
interests had been in open, continuous and undisturbed
that the land was owned by Claudio Ermac.
possession and occupation thereof in the concept of owners.

We are not persuaded. The credence given to the testimony of

According to the appellate court, [t]he fact that [petitioners]
the witnesses for respondents is a factual issue already passed
have in their possession certificates of title which apparently bear
upon and resolved by the trial and the appellate courts. It is a
out that it [was] Clemente Ermac alone who claimed the entire
hornbook doctrine that only questions of law are entertained in
property described therein [has] no discrediting effect upon
appeals by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The trial
plaintiffs claim, it appearing that such titles were acquired in
courts findings of fact, which the CA affirmed, are generally
derogation of the existing valid and adverse interests of the
conclusive and binding upon this Court.19
plaintiffs whose title by succession were effectively disregarded.

Moreover, while tax declarations and realty tax receipts do not

The Issues
conclusively prove ownership, they may constitute strong
evidence of ownership when accompanied by possession for a to recover what has been fraudulently registered in the name of
period sufficient for prescription.20 Considering that respondents another.
have been in possession of the property for a long period of time,
there is legal basis for their use of tax declarations and realty tax WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed
receipts as additional evidence to support their claim of Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

Second Issue:

Prescription and Laches

Petitioners assert that the ownership claimed by respondents is

barred by prescription and laches, because it took the latter 57
years to bring the present action. We disagree.

When a party uses fraud or concealment to obtain a certificate FACTS:

of title to property, a constructive trust is created in favor of the
defrauded party. Since Claudio Ermac has already been Julio Lucero filed was granted a writ of possession of property (based
established in the present case as the original owner of the land, on a final decree in a land registration proceeding). Although the other
the registration in the name of Clemente Ermac meant that the party (all surnamed Loot) filed a motion to quash the writ, this was
latter held the land in trust for all the heirs of the former. Since granted by CFI Iloilos Judge Fernan on September 21, 1959.
respondents were in actual possession of the property, the action
to enforce the trust, and recover the property, and thereby quiet
title thereto, does not prescribe. The Loots opposed the decision on the ground that there were defects
in the reconstitution of the records and that the motion was not under
Because laches is an equitable doctrine, its application is oath. The court dismissed these as trivial arguments. Two motions for
controlled by equitable considerations.23 It cannot be used to reconsideration were also denied. The writ of possession prayed for
defeat justice or to perpetuate fraud and injustice.24 Its was issued in favour of Lucero.
application should not prevent the rightful owners of a property
The Loots were stubborn as hell. They then went straight to the Furthermore, there is no period of prescription as to the issuance of a
Supreme Court for an appeal for certiorari. The Loots desperately tried writ of possession.
to assert The writ may be issued not only against the person who has been
defeated in a registration case, but also against anyone adversely
occupying the land or any portion of the land. Even fraud shall not be a
bar to the issuance of the writ of possession, which necessarily implied

ISSUE: Whether or not the order the delivery of possession of the land.

granting the writ of possession was in

As to the questions of fact raised by the Loots, the SC can do nothing.
accordance with law These must be raised at the CA of appeals; otherwise, the parties
contesting the facts are deemed to have waived the opportunity to
question the correctness of the findings.

The order granting the writ of possession was based on a decision 30173, September 30, 1971
promulgated on a land registration case in 1938, which became a final TUMALAD V. VICENCIO
decree on October 29, 1941. 41 SCRA 143
After the final decree, the issuance of the writ of possession was only a
ministerial duty of the court if no writ has been issued to the registered
owner yet. The final decree, in effect, immediately empowered the Vicencio and Simeon executed a chattel mortgage in favor of plaintiffs
court to enforce the order/judgment/decree. This automatic process is Tumalad over their house, which was being rented by Madrigal and
to avoid further delay and inconvenience to a successful land company. This was executed to guarantee a loan, payable in one year with
a 12% per annum interest.
registration litigant if he were compelled to commence another action to
secure possession. The mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed upon failure to pay the loan.
The house was sold at a public auction and the plaintiffs were the highest GR. No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000
bidder. A corresponding certificate of sale was issued. Thereafter, the
plaintiffs filed an action for ejectment against the defendants, praying that
the latter vacate the house as they were the proper owners.
Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a suit for
W/N the chattel mortgage was null and void ab initio because only prohibition and mandamus as citizens and taxpayers, assailing
personal properties can be subject of a chattel mortgage. the constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act No.
8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of
HELD: 1997 (IPRA) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
The petitioners assail certain provisions of the IPRA and its IRR
Certain deviations have been allowed from the general doctrine that on the ground that these amount to an unlawful deprivation of
buildings are immovable property such as when through stipulation,
the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well as
parties may agree to treat as personal property those by their nature would
be real property. This is partly based on the principle of estoppel wherein
minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the
the principle is predicated on statements by the owner declaring his house regalian doctrine embodied in section 2, Article XII of the
as chattel, a conduct that may conceivably stop him from subsequently Constitution.
claiming otherwise.

In the case at bar, though there be no specific statement referring to the

subject house as personal property, yet by ceding, selling or transferring a
property through chattel mortgage could only have meant that defendant Do the provisions of IPRA contravene the Constitution?
conveys the house as chattel, or at least, intended to treat the same as
such, so that they should not now be allowed to make an inconsistent
stand by claiming otherwise.
No, the provisions of IPRA do not contravene the Constitution.
Examining the IPRA, there is nothing in the law that grants to
Cruz vs Secretary of DENR the ICCs/IPs ownership over the natural resources within their
ancestral domain. Ownership over the natural resources in the
Natural Resources and Environmental Law; Constitutional
Law; IPRA; Regalian Doctrine ancestral domains remains with the State and the rights granted
by the IPRA to the ICCs/IPs over the natural resources in their
ancestral domains merely gives them, as owners and occupants
of the land on which the resources are found, the right to the father, Jose Medina, who acquired the same from Edilberto Perido by
small scale utilization of these resources, and at the same time, a transfer. She prayed that the land be registered in her name under
priority in their large scale development and exploitation. Commonwealth Act 141 (Public Land Act) based on her and her
predecessor-in-interests open, public, actual, continuous, exclusive,
notorious and adverse possession and occupancy under bona fide
Additionally, ancestral lands and ancestral domains are not part claim of ownership for more than thirty (30) years. She presented
of the lands of the public domain. They are private lands and witnesses and evidence constituting of deed of sale, survey plan, the
belong to the ICCs/IPs by native title, which is a concept of technical description of property and tax declarations in her and her
private land title that existed irrespective of any royal grant from predecessors names. The court approved the application. The
the State. However, the right of ownership and possession by the
petitioner represented by the Solicitor General appealed the decision
ICCs/IPs of their ancestral domains is a limited form of
before the CA which re-affirmed the lower court decision, hence this
ownership and does not include the right to alienate the same.
petition for review before the SC. The petitioner contends that there is
no sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of the title to the
respondent as she fails to comply with the required periods and acts of
possession mandated by law and her failure to prove that the land is
alienable and disposable land of the public domain.

Republic of the Philippines v Alexander

Lao, GR No. 150413, July 1, 2003
"answer and opposition"

Whether or not the respondent sufficiently provided evidence that she

Facts: meets the qualifications required by law on the manner of possession
(continuous, adverse, notorious, etc..) and the period of time (30 years)
necessary to have a bonafide claim of ownership under C.A. 141?
Lao filed before the RTC of Tagaytay City application for registration of
a parcel of land. She allegedly acquired the land by purchase from the Whether or not respondent was able to show that the land subject of
siblings Raymundo Noguera and Ma. Victoria Valenzuela who inherited her application was disposable and alienable land of the public
it from Generosa Medina. The latter, in turn, inherited the land from her domain?
A petition for reconstitution of title was filed with the
CFI (now RTC) of Iloilo involving a parcel of land known as Lot
No. 4517 of the Sta. Barbara Cadastre covered by OCT No.
The court held that Commonwealth Act 141 requires that before one 6406 in the name of Romana Hitalia.
can register his title over a parcel of land, the applicant must show that
The OCT was cancelled and TCT No. 106098 was issued
he, by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, has been in
in the names of petitioners Baranda and Hitalia.
open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation
of the subject land under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, The Court issued a writ of possession which Gregorio
1945 or earlier; in adverse possession over the land for at least 30 Perez, Maria P. Gotera and Susana Silao refused to honor on
years and the land subject of the application is alienable and the ground that they also have TCT No. 25772 over the same
disposable land of the public domain. Petitioner was right to contend Lot No. 4517.
that the respondent did not prove by incontrovertible evidence that she The Court found out that TCT No. 257772 was
possessed the property in the manner and time required by law. She fraudulently acquired by Perez, Gotera and Susana.
did not provide the exact period when her predecessors-in-interest
Thereafter, the court issued a writ of demolition which
started occupying the property. No extrajudicial settlement of the
was questioned by Perez and others so a motion for
property from its previous owners was shown and she did not show
any relationship between the parties where she obtained her deed of reconsideration was filed.
sale. She further did not present any certification from appropriate Another case was filed by Baranda and Hitalia (GR. NO.
government agency to show that the property is re-classified as 62042) for the execution of judgement in the resolutions
disposable and alienable land of the public domain. It is incumbent for issued by the courts.
an applicant of a land registration to provide these incontrovertible In the meantime, the CA dismissed a civil case (GR. NO.
evidences to support her claim for her application. In the absence of
00827) involving the same properties. (NOTE: This time three
these evidences, her application shall fail. Hence the petition was
cases na ang involve excluding the case at bar.)
granted and her application was denied.
The petitioners prayed that an order be released to
cancel No.T-25772. Likewise to cancel No.T-106098 and once
cancelled to issue new certificates of title to each of Eduardo
Baranda vs. Gustillo S. Baranda and Alfonso Hitalia To cancel No.T-25772. Likewise
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
to cancel No.T-106098 and once cancelled to issue new
certificates of title to each of Eduardo S. Baranda and Alfonso Section 10, Presidential Decree No. 1529 states that "It shall
Hitalia. be the duty of the Register of Deeds to immediately register
In compliance with the order or the RTC, the Acting an instrument presented for registration dealing with real or
Register of Deeds Avito Saclauso annotated the order personal property which complies with all the requisites for
declaring TCT T-25772 null and void, cancelled the same and registration. ... If the instrument is not registrable, he shall
issued new certificate of titles in the name of petitioners. forthwith deny registration thereof and inform the presentor
However, by reason of a separate case pending in the of such denial in writing, stating the ground or reasons
Court of Appeals, a notice of lis pendens was annotated in therefore, and advising him of his right to appeal by consulta
the new certificate of title. in accordance with Section 117 of this Decree."
This prompted the petitioners to move for the
cancellation of the notice of lis pendens in the new
certificates. Section 117 provides that "When the Register of Deeds is in
Judge Tito Gustilo then ordered the Acting Register of doubt with regard to the proper step to be taken or
Deeds for the cancellation of the notice of lis pendens but the memoranda to be made in pursuance of any deed, mortgage
Acting Register of Deeds filed a motion for reconsideration or other instrument presented to him for registration or
invoking Sec 77 of PD 1529. where any party in interest does not agree with the action
taken by the Register of Deeds with reference to any such
instrument, the question shall be submitted to the
Commission of Land Registration by the Register of Deeds, or
Issue: What is the nature of the duty of a Register of Deeds to
by the party in interest thru the Register of Deeds. ... ."
annotate or annul a notice of lis pendens in a torrens
certificate of title.

The function of ROD is ministerial in nature

Held: The function of a Register of Deeds with reference to the

registration of deeds encumbrances, instruments and the like
is ministerial in nature. The respondent Acting Register of
Deeds did not have any legal standing to file a motion for
reconsideration of the respondent Judge's Order directing CHENG V. GENATO (December 29, 1998)
him to cancel the notice of lis pendens annotated in the FACTS:
certificates of titles of the petitioners over the subject parcel Respondent Genato entered a contract to sell to spouses Da Jose
of land. pertaining to his property in Bulacan. The contract made in public
document states that the spouses shall pay the down payment and 30
days after verifying the authenticity of the documents, they shall pay the
In case of doubt as to the proper step to be taken in remaining purchase price.
pursuance of any deed ... or other instrument presented to
him, he should have asked the opinion of the Commissioner
Da Jose spouses was not able to finish verifying the documents and as
of Land Registration now, the Administrator of the National
such asked for a 30 day extension. Pending the extension and without
Land Title and Deeds Registration Administration in notice to the spouses, Genato made a document for the annulment of the
accordance with Section 117 of Presidential Decree No. 1529. contract.

No room for construction for the laws on functions of Petitioner Cheng expressed interest over the property and paid 50K check
ROD with the assurance that the contract between Genato and the spouses Da
Jose will be annulled. Da Jose spouses protested with the annulment and
The elementary rule in statutory construction is that when persuaded Genato to continue the contract. Genato returned the check to
the words and phrases of the statute are clear and Cheng and hence, this petition.
unequivocal, their meaning must be determined from the
language employed and the statute must be taken to mean
exactly what it says. The statute concerning the function of
the Register of Deeds to register instruments in a torrens The contract between Genato and spouses Da Jose was a contract to sell
certificate of title is clear and leaves no room for which is subject to a suspensive condition. Thus, there will be no contract
construction. to speak of, if the obligor failed to perform the suspensive condition which
enforces a juridical relation. Obviously, the foregoing jurisprudence cannot
be made to apply to the situation in the instant case because no default
can be ascribed to the Da Jose spouses since the 30-day extension period Egao v CA, 174 SCRA 484 G.R. No.
has not yet expired.
79787, 29 June 1989
Notice to the Whole World
Even assuming that the spouses defaulted, the contract also cannot be
validly rescinded because no notice was given to them. Thus, Cheng's
contention that the Contract to Sell between Genato and the Da Jose
spouses was rescinded or resolved due to Genato's unilateral rescission Facts:
finds no support in this case.
The respondents filed a motion for quieting the title and recovery of
possession and ownership against the petitioners. Apparently, they
The contract between Genato and Cheng is a contract to sell not a claim they are the owners of the parcel of land by virtue of the deed of
contract of sale. But But even assuming that it should be treated as a sale they entered into with Roberto Marfori to whom the petitioners
conditional contract of sale, it did not acquire any obligatory force since it allegedly sold their land to. The Egaos acquired their land title by virtue
was subject to a suspensive condition that the earlier contract to sell of a free patent and transferred their ownership in favor of Marfori by
between Genato and the Da Jose spouses should first be cancelled or virtue of a deed of sale. However, the Certificate of Title was not
rescinded. transferred in Marforis favor. Upon purchase of the land from Marfori,
the respondents introduced improvements thereon and paid taxes for
the property. However, the petitioners illegally occupied portions of the
Art.1544 should apply because for not only was the contract between land. Petitioner answers that they are the true owner of the land by
herein respondents first in time; it was also registered long before virtue of the Certificate of Title issued by the Register of Deeds
petitioner's intrusion as a second buyer (PRIMUS TEMPORE, PORTIOR pursuant to their Free Patent. The lower court ruled in favor of Egao.
JURE). (Spouses made annotation on the title of Genato). Since Cheng Upon appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the lower court on
was fully aware, or could have been if he had chosen to inquire, of the grounds that the main issue should be whether Egao can validly sell
rights of the Da Jose spouses under the Contract to Sell duly annotated on the land to Marfori who subsequently transferred the ownership to the
the transfer certificates of titles of Genato, it now becomes unnecessary to respondents. The CA holds both Egao and Marfori to be in pari delicto
further elaborate in detail the fact that he is indeed in bad faith in entering for violating the 5-year restriction provided by Commonwealth 141
into such agreement. against encumbrance and alienation of public lands acquired thru free
patent or homestead patent. They cannot therefore obtain affirmative
relief. It also declares the respondents as innocent purchasers for
value who the obtained the duplicate of the OCT still in the name of the neglects to make the necessary inquiries and closes his eyes to facts
Egaos from Marfori and ownership was transferred to them by physical which should put a reasonable man on his guard as to the possibility of
possession of the property. It thus promulgated judgment holding the the existence of a defect in his vendor's title, and relying on the belief
respondents the absolute owners of the land in dispute, to cancel the that there was no defect in the title of the vendor, purchases the
OCT of the petitioner and its transfer thereof to the respondents and to property without making any further investigation, he cannot claim that
surrender peaceful possession of the land to the respondents. he is a purchaser in good faith for value. A private individual cannot
bring an action for reversion or any action which would have an effect
of canceling a free patent and the certificate of title issued on the basis
thereof since the land covered will form part again of the public
domain. Sec. 124 of the Public Land Act provides that deeds of sale of
Issue: patented lands, perfected within the prohibited five (5) year period are
null and void thus the Egaos have no title to pass to Marfori and
nobody can dispose that which does not belong to him. The
Whether or not the petitioners validly transferred their ownership to respondents are not innocent purchasers for value with no standing to
Marfori to resolve the rights of the respondents over the land in question the rights of the petitioners over the land and to file an action
dispute? to quiet the title. The petitioners remained to be the registered owners
and entitled to remain in physical possession of the disputed property.
Respondents are ordered to deliver the OCT to the petitioners without
Ruling: prejudice to an action for reversion of the land to be instituted by the
Solicitor General for the State.

The SC holds that based on the adduced evidence, the Egaos sold the
lot to Marfori within the 5-year restriction period provided by law on
Free Patent based on the Deed of Sale entered into by the parties. Garcia vs. CA
Although the petitioners denied the validity of the Deed of Sale the
court held that it was notarized and a notarial document has in its favor
Garcia vs. Court of Appeals
the presumption of regularity. When the land was sold to the
G.R. No. 133140, August 10, 1999
respondents, they know that the OCT is still registered under the name
of the petitioners. Thus, they are not considered to be innocent
purchaser as contrary to the ruling of the CA. Where a purchaser Puno, J.
Doctrine: Possession and ownership are distinct legal Deed of Real Estate Mortgage was registered at the Makati
concepts. Ownership exists when a thing pertaining to one Register of Deeds and annotated on the Magpayos title. The
person is completely subjected to his will in a manner not redemption period of the foreclosed mortgage expired without
prohibited by law and consistent with the rights of others. the Magpayos redeeming the same, hence, title over the land
Ownership confers certain rights to the owner, one of which is was consolidated in favor of PBCom which cancelled the
the right to dispose of the thing by way of sale. Magpayos title and Transfer Certificate of Title No. 138233
Literally, to possess means to actually and physically occupy a was issued in its name. The Magpayos failed to pay their loan
thing with or without right. Possession may be had in one of upon its maturity, hence, the mortgage was extrajudicially
two ways: possession in the concept of an owner and foreclosed and at the public auction sale, PBCom which was
possession of a holder. A possessor in the concept of an owner the highest bidder bought the land. On October 4, 1985, the
may be the owner himself or one who claims to be so. On the Magpayos filed at the RTC of Makati a complaint seeking the
other hand, one who possesses as a mere holder nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage,
acknowledges in another a superior right which he believes to public auction sale, and PBComs title docketed as Civil Case
be ownership, whether his belief be right or wrong. No. 11891. This complaint was dismissed for failure to
prosecute. On October 15, 1985, PBCom filed at the Regional
Facts: Atty. Pedro V. Garcia, in whose name TCT No. S-31269 Trial Court (RTC) of Makati a petition for the issuance of a writ
covering a parcel of land identified as Lot 17 situated at Bel of possession over the land which was granted. Upon service
Air II Village, Makati, was registered, sold with the consent of of the writ of possession, Mrs. Magpayos brother, Jose Ma. T.
his wife Remedios T. Garcia, the same to their daughter Ma. Garcia (Garcia), who was in possession of the land, refused to
Luisa Magpayo and her husband Luisito Magpayo (the honor it and filed a motion for Intervention in the above-said
Magpayos). On March 5, 1981, the Magpayos mortgaged the PBCom petition, which motion was denied.
land to the Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom) to
secure a loan. On March 9, 1981, Atty. Garcias Title was Garcia thereupon filed against PBCom, the Magpayos, and the
cancelled and in its stead Transfer Certificate of Title No. S- RTC Sheriff the instant suit for recovery of realty and damages
108412/545 was issued in the name of the Magpayos. The wherein he alleged, inter alia, that he inherited the land as
one of the heirs of his mother Remedios T. Garcia, and that When the land is registered in the vendors name, and the
PBCom acquired no right thereover. In its summary judgment, public instrument of sale is also registered, the sale may be
the lower court held that the mortgage executed by the considered consummated and the buyer may exercise the
Magpayo spouses in favor of PBCom was void. The Magpayo actions of an owner. That the Magpayos title, TCT No. S-
spouses could not have acquired the said property merely by 108412, was issued four (4) days following the execution of
the execution of the Deed of Sale because the property was in the deed of real estate mortgage is of no moment, for
the possession of the plaintiff. The vendor, Pedro V. Garcia, registration under the Torrens system does not vest ownership
was not in possession and hence could not deliver the but is intended merely to confirm and register the title which
property merely by the execution of the document. one may already have on the land.

On appeal, CA held that Garcias assertion that ownership Issue: Whether Garcias possession is in a concept of an
over the disputed property was not transmitted to his sister owner.
and her husband-Magpayo spouses at the time of the
execution of the Deed of Sale as he was still in actual and Held: No. Garcias possession which started only in 1986

adverse possession thereof does not lie. Since the execution could not ripen into ownership. He has no valid title thereto.

of the deed of sale by Atty. Pedro V. Garcia in favor of the His possession in fact was that of an intruder, one done in bad

Magpayos took place earlier or on August 1, 1980, then faith (to defeat PBComs Writ of Possession). His possession is

contrary to his claim, Garcia was not in possession of the certainly not in the concept of an owner. This is so because as

property at the time of the execution of said public early as 1981, title thereto was registered in the name of the

instrument. Furthermore, it appearing that the vendor Atty. Magpayo Spouses which title was subsequently cancelled

Garcia had control of the property which was registered in his when the property was purchased by PBCom in a public

name and that the deed of sale was likewise registered, then auction sale resulting in the issuance of title in favor of the

the sale was consummated and the Magpayos were free to latter in 1985.

exercise the attributes of ownership including the right to

mortgage the land.
The Court stressed that possession and ownership are distinct subsequent claim of ownership as successor to his mothers
legal concepts. Ownership exists when a thing pertaining to share in the conjugal asset is belied by the fact that the
one person is completely subjected to his will in a manner not property was not included in the inventory of the estate
prohibited by law and consistent with the rights of others. submitted by his father to the intestate court. This buttresses
Ownership confers certain rights to the owner, one of which is the ruling that indeed the property was no longer considered
the right to dispose of the thing by way of sale. Atty. Pedro owned by petitioners parents.
Garcia and his wife Remedios exercised their right to dispose
of what they owned when they sold the subject property to The Court upheld the Court of Appeals in holding that the

the Magpayo spouses. On the other hand, possession is mortgage to PBCom by the Magpayo spouses is valid

defined as the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. notwithstanding that the transfer certificate of title over the

Literally, to possess means to actually and physically occupy a property was issued to them after the mortgage contract was

thing with or without right. Possession may be had in one of entered into. Registration does not confer ownership, it is

two ways: possession in the concept of an owner and merely evidence of such ownership over a particular property.

possession of a holder. A possessor in the concept of an owner The deed of sale operates as a formal or symbolic delivery of

may be the owner himself or one who claims to be so. On the the property sold and authorizes the buyer to use the

other hand, one who possesses as a mere holder document as proof of ownership. All said, the Magpayo

acknowledges in another a superior right which he believes to spouses were already the owners when they mortgaged the

be ownership, whether his belief be right or wrong. property to PBCom.

The records show that petitioner occupied the property not in

the concept of an owner for his stay was merely tolerated by
his parents. Consequently, it is of no moment that petitioner PEOPLE v. REYES
was in possession of the property at the time of the sale to
the Magpayo spouses. It was not a hindrance to a valid March 29, 1935 (61 Phil 341)
transfer of ownership. On the other hand, petitioners
plaintiff and appellee: People of the Philippines Government Service Insurance System v. Court of Appeals
170 SCRA 533,
defendant and appellant: Gregorio Reyes
February 23, 1989

On April 30, 1984, the appellant dragged the deceased towards the Private respondents, Mr. and Mrs. Isabelo R. Racho, together with
spouses Mr. and Mrs Flaviano Lagasca, executed a deed of mortgage,
street and stabbed her in the chest with a fan knife. Although the wound dated November 13, 1957, in favor of petitioner GSIS and subsequently,
was just a slight one, it not having penetrated the thoracic cavity, Fausta another deed of mortgage, dated April 14, 1958, in connection with two
loans granted by the latter in the sums of P 11,500.00 and P 3,000.00,
Tavera after running a bit, died.
respectively. A parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
38989 of the Register of Deed of Quezon City, co-owned by said
mortgagor spouses, was given as security under the two deeds. They also
executed a 'promissory note".
On July 11, 1961, the Lagasca spouses executed an instrument
WON the accused is guilty of homicide although the wound is just
denominated "Assumption of Mortgage," obligating themselves to assume
superficial. the said obligation to the GSIS and to secure the release of the mortgage
covering that portion of the land belonging to spouses Racho and which
was mortgaged to the GSIS. This undertaking was not fulfilled. Upon
HELD: failure of the mortgagors to comply with the conditions of the mortgage,
particularly the payment of the amortizations due, GSIS extrajudicially
Yes. A person is responsible for the consequences of his criminal act foreclosed the mortgage and caused the mortgaged property to be sold at
even if the deceased had been shown to be suffering from a diseased public auction on December 3, 1962.
heart, appellants assault being the proximate cause of the death, he
For more than two years, the spouses Racho filed a complaint against the
would be responsible. When a person stabs another with a lethal spouses Lagasca praying that the extrajudicial foreclosure "made on, their
weapon, the accused is presumed to have intended the natural property and all other documents executed in relation thereto in favor of
the Government Service Insurance System" be declared null and void.
consequences of the wrongful act.
The trial court rendered judgment on February 25, 1968 dismissing the
complaint for failure to establish a cause of action. However, said decision
was reversed by the respondent Court of Appeals, stating that, although
formally they are co-mortgagors, the GSIS required their consent to the
mortgage of the entire parcel of land which was covered with only one spouses.
certificate of title, with full knowledge that the loans secured were solely for
the benefit of the appellant Lagasca spouses who alone applied for the Contrary to the holding of the respondent court, it cannot be said that
loan. private respondents are without liability under the aforesaid mortgage
contracts. The factual context of this case is precisely what is
Issues: contemplated in the last paragraph of Article 2085 of the Civil Code to the
effect that third persons who are not parties to the principal obligation may
Whether the respondent court erred in annulling the mortgage as it secure the latter by pledging or mortgaging their own property. So long as
affected the share of private respondents in the reconveyance of their valid consent was given, the fact that the loans were solely for the benefit
property? of the Lagasca spouses would not invalidate the mortgage with respect to
private respondents' share in the property.
Whether private respondents benefited from the loan, the mortgage and
the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings are valid? The respondent court, erred in annulling the mortgage insofar as it
affected the share of private respondents or in directing reconveyance of
Held: their property or the payment of the value.

Both parties relied on the provisions of Section 29 of Act No. 2031,

otherwise known as the Negotiable Instruments Law, which provide that an
accommodation party is one who has signed an instrument as maker,
drawer, acceptor of indorser without receiving value therefor, but is held SAJONAS VS. CA
liable on the instrument to a holder for value although the latter knew him
to be only an accommodation party.
The promissory note, as well as the mortgage deeds subject of this case,
are clearly not negotiable instruments. These documents do not comply
with the fourth requisite to be considered as such under Section 1 of Act SAJONAS VS. CA
No. 2031 because they are neither payable to order nor to bearer. The
note is payable to a specified party, the GSIS. Absent the aforesaid
requisite, the provisions of Act No. 2031 would not apply; governance shall G.R. No. 102377
be afforded, instead, by the provisions of the Civil Code and special laws
on mortgages.
July 5, 1996
As earlier indicated, the factual findings of respondent court are that
private respondents signed the documents "only to give their consent to
the mortgage as required by GSIS", with the latter having full knowledge
FACTS: The Sajonas couple are before us, on a
that the loans secured thereby were solely for the benefit of the Lagasca Petition for Review onCertiorari, praying inter
alia to set aside the CAs decision, and to Meanwhile, it appears that Pilares (defendant-
reinstate that of the RTC appellant) filed a Civil Case for collection of
sum of money against Ernesto Uychocde. On
On September 22, 1983, spouses Uychocde June 1980, a Compromise Agreement was
agreed to sell a parcel of residential land located entered into by the parties in the said case
in Antipolo, Rizal to the spouses Sajonas on under which Uychocde acknowledged his
installment basis as evidenced by a Contract to monetary obligation to Pilares amounting to
Sell dated September 22, 1983. The property P27,800 and agreed to pay the same in two
was registered in the names of the Uychocde years. When Uychocde failed to comply with his
spouses under TCT No. N-79073 of the Register undertaking in the compromise
of Deeds of Marikina, Rizal. agreement, Pilares moved for the issuance
of a writ of execution to enforce the decision
On August 27, 1984, the Sajonas couple
based on the compromise agreement, which the
caused the annotation of an adverse
court granted in its order dated August 3, 1982.
claim based on the said Contract to Sell on the
Accordingly, a writ of execution was issued on
title of the subject property, which was inscribed
August 12, 1982 by the CFI of Quezon City.
as Entry No. 116017. Upon full payment of the
Pursuant to the order of execution a notice of
purchase price, the Uychocdes executed a Deed
levy on execution was issued on February 12,
of Sale involving the property in question in
1985. On the same date, defendant sheriff
favor of the Sajonas couple on September 4,
Garcia of Quezon City presented said notice of
1984. The deed of absolute sale was registered
levy on execution before the Register of Deeds
almost a year after, or on August 28, 1985.
of Marikina and the same was annotated at the of Rizal, against Pilares, the judgment creditor of
back of the TCT of the subject land. the Uychocdes. The trial court rendered its
decision in favor of the Sajonas couple, and
When the deed of absolute sale dated ordered the cancellation of the Notice of
September 4, 1984 was registered on August Levy from TCT No. N-109417. The court a
28, 1985, TCT No. N-79073 was cancelled and in quo stated, thus:
lieu thereof, TCT No. N-109417 was issued in the
name of the Sajonas couple. The notice of levy It is a well settled rule in this jurisdiction that
on execution annotated by defendant sheriff actual notice of an adverse claim is
was carried over to the new title. On equivalent to registration and
October 21, 1985, the Sajonas couple filed a the subsequent registration of the Notice
Third Party Claim with the sheriff of Quezon City, of Levy could not have any legal effect in
hence the auction sale of the subject property any respect on account of prior inscription
did not push through as scheduled. of the adverse claim annotated on the title of
the Uychocdes.
On January 1986, the Sajonas spouses
demanded the cancellation of the notice of levy On the issue of whether or not plaintiffs
on execution upon Pilares, through a letter to (Sajonas) are buyers in good faith of the
their lawyer. Despite said demand, defendant- property of the spouses Uychocde even
appellant Pilares refused to cause the notwithstanding the claim of the defendant that
cancellation of said annotation. In view thereof, said sale executed by the spouses was made in
plaintiffs-appellees filed a complaint in the RTC fraud of creditors, the Court finds that
the evidence in this instance is bare of any of Section 70 of P.D. 1529, an adverse
indication that said plaintiffs as purchasers had claim shall be effective only for a period of
notice beforehand of the claim of the defendant 30 days from the date of its registration.
over said property or that the same is involved
in a litigation between said spouses and the Hence this petition.
defendant. Good faith is the opposite of fraud
and bad faith, and the existence of any bad faith
must be established by competent proof. 1. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT
Dissatisfied, Pilares appealed to the CA
assigning errors on the part of the lower court.
The appellate court reversed the lower courts
decision, and upheld the annotation of the levy
on execution on the certificate of title. The
respondent appellate court upheld private
respondents theory when it ruled:
HELD: ACCORDINGLY, the assailed decision of
The above staled conclusion of the lower court
the respondent CA dated October 17, 1991 is
is based on the premise that the adverse claim
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The decision
filed by plaintiffs-appellees is still effective
of the RTC finding for the cancellation of the
despite the lapse of 30 days from the date of
notice of levy on execution from Transfer
registration. However, under the provisions
Certificate of Title No. N-109417 is hereby
REINSTATED. The inscription of the notice of convey a meaning quite different from the one
levy on execution on TCT No. N-109417 is actually intended and evident when a word or
hereby CANCELLED. phrase is considered with those with which it is
associated. In ascertaining the period of
The question may be posed, was the adverse effectivity of an inscription of adverse claim, we
claim inscribed in the TCT still in force when must read the law in its entirety. Sentence three,
private respondent caused the notice of levy on paragraph two of Section 70 of P.D. 1529
execution to be registered and annotated in the provides:
said title, considering that more than thirty days
had already lapsed since it was annotated ? The adverse claim shall be effective for a
(Pilares argues that the adverse claim ceases to period of thirty days from the date of
have any legal force and effect (30) days registration.
after August 27, 1984 pursuant to Section 70
of P.D. 1529) At first blush, the provision in question would
seem to restrict the effectivity of the adverse
In construing the law aforesaid, care should be claim to thirty days. But the above
taken that every part thereof be given effect provision cannot and should not be treated
and a construction that could render a provision separately, but should be read in relation
inoperative should be avoided, and inconsistent to the sentence following, which reads:
provisions should be reconciled whenever
possible as parts of a harmonious whole. For After the lapse of said period, the annotation of
taken in solitude, a word or phrase might easily adverse claim may be cancelled upon filing of
a verified petition therefor by the party in To hold otherwise would be to deprive
interest. petitioners of their property, who waited a long
time to complete payments on their property,
If the rationale of the law was for the adverse convinced that their interest was amply
claim to ipso facto lose force and effect after the protected by the inscribed adverse claim.
lapse of thirty days, then it would not have been
necessary to include the foregoing caveat to In sum, the disputed inscription of an adverse
clarify and complete the rule. For then, no claim on the TCT No. N-79073 was still in effect
adverse claim need be cancelled. If it has been on February 12, 1985 when Quezon City Sheriff
automatically terminated by mere lapse of time, Roberto Garcia annotated the notice of levy on
the law would not have required the party in execution thereto. Consequently, he is charged
interest to do a useless act. The law, taken with knowledge that the property sought to be
together, simply means that the cancellation of levied upon the execution was encumbered by
the adverse claim is still necessary to render it an interest the same as or better than that of
ineffective, otherwise, the inscription will remain the registered owner thereof. Such notice of levy
annotated and shall continue as a lien upon the cannot prevail over the existing adverse claim
property. inscribed on the certificate of title in favor of the
Salao vs Salao L-26699, The defendant Juan Y. Salao Jr. inherited from his father Juan Y.
Salao, Sr. of the fishpond and the other half from the donation

March 16, 1976 of his auntie Ambrosia Salao.

It was alleged in the said case that Juan Y. Salao, Sr and Ambrosia
Salao had engaged in the fishpond business. Where they
obtained the capital and that Valentin Salao and Alejandra Salao
Facts: were included in that joint venture, that the funds used were the
earnings of the properties supposedly inherited from Manuel
The spouses Manuel Salao and Valentina Ignacio of Barrio
Salao, and that those earnings were used in the acquisition of the
Dampalit, Malabon, Rizal begot four children named Patricio,
Calunuran fishpond. There is no documentary evidence to
Alejandra, Juan (Banli) and Ambrosia. Manuel Salao died in 1885.
support that theory.
His eldest son, Patricio, died in 1886 survived by his only child.
Valentin Salao. The lawyer of Benita Salao and the Children of Victorina Salao in
a letter dated January 26, 1951 informed Juan S. Salao, Jr. that his
After Valentinas death, her estate was administered by her
clients had a one-third share in the two fishponds and that when
daughter Ambrosia.
Juani took possession thereof in 1945, in which he refused to give
The documentary evidence proves that in 1911 or prior to the Benita and Victorinas children their one-third share of the net
death of Valentina Ignacio her two children, Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and fruits which allegedly amounted to P200,000. However, there was
Ambrosia Salao, secured a Torrens title, OCT No. 185 of the no mention on the deeds as to the share of Valentin and
Registry of Deeds of Pampanga, in their names Alejandra.

The property in question is the forty-seven-hectare fishpond Juan S. Salao, Jr. in his answer dated February 6, 1951
located at Sitio Calunuran, Lubao, Pampanga, wherein Benita categorically stated that Valentin Salao did not have any interest
Salao-Marcelo daughter of Valentin Salao claimed 1/3 interest on in the two fishponds and that the sole owners thereof his father
the said fishpond. Banli and his aunt Ambrosia, as shown in the Torrens titles issued
in 1911 and 1917, and that he Juani was the donee of Ambrosias
one-half share.
Benita Salao and her nephews and niece asked for the annulment reconveyance, proof as to the fiduciary relation of the parties
of the donation to Juan S. Salao, Jr. and for the reconveyance to must be clear and convincing.
them of the Calunuran fishpond as Valentin Salaos supposed The plaintiffs utterly failed to prove by clear, satisfactory and
one-third share in the 145 hectares of fishpond registered in the convincing evidence. It cannot rest on vague and uncertain
names of Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and Ambrosia Salao. evidence or on loose, equivocal or indefinite declarations.

Issue : Trust and trustee; establishment of trust by parol evidence;

certainty of proof. Where a trust is to be established by oral
1. Whether or not the Calunuran fishpond was held in trust proof, the testimony supporting it must be sufficiently strong to
for Valentin Salao by Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and Ambrosia Salao. prove the right of the alleged beneficiary with as much certainty
2. Whether or not plaintiffs action for reconveyance had as if a document proving the trust were shown. A trust cannot be
already prescribed. established, contrary to the recitals of a Torrens title, upon vague
Held: and inconclusive proof.
1. There was no resulting trust in this case because Trusts; evidence needed to establish trust on parol testimony.
there never was any intention on the part of Juan Y. In order to establish a trust in real property by parol evidence,
Salao, Sr., Ambrosia Salao and Valentin Salao to create the proof should be as fully convincing as if the act giving rise to
any trust. There was no constructive trust because the the trust obligation were proven by an authentic document. Such
registration of the two fishponds in the names of Juan and a trust cannot be established upon testimony consisting in large
Ambrosia was not vitiated by fraud or mistake. This is not part of insecure surmises based on ancient hearsay. (Syllabus,
a case where to satisfy the demands of justice it is Santa Juana vs. Del Rosario 50 Phil. 110).
necessary to consider the Calunuran fishpond being The foregoing rulings are good under article 1457 of the Civil
held in trust by the heirs of Juan Y. Salao, Sr. for the heirs Code which, as already noted, allows an implied trust to be
of Valentin Salao. proven by oral evidence. Trustworthy oral evidence is required to
Ratio: prove an implied trust because, oral evidence can be easily
A Torrens Title is generally a conclusive evidence of the
ownership of the land referred to therein. (Sec. 47, Act 496). A On the other hand, a Torrens title is generally a conclusive of the
strong presumption exists that Torrens titles were regularly ownership of the land referred to therein (Sec. 47, Act 496). A
issued and that they are valid. In order to maintain an action for strong presumption exists. that Torrens titles were regularly
issued and that they are valid. In order to maintain an action for part of a plaintiff in seeking to enforce a right is not only
reconveyance, proof as to the fiduciary relation of the parties persuasive of a want of merit but may, according to the
must be clear and convincing. circumstances, be destructive of the right itself.

The real purpose of the Torrens system is, to quiet title to land. Having reached the conclusion that the plaintiffs are not entitled
Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure, without to the reconveyance of the Calunuran fishpond, it is no longer to
the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting in Pass upon the validity of the donation made by Ambrosia Salao to
the mirador de su casa, to avoid the possibility of losing his Juan S. Salao, Jr. of her one-half share in the two fishponds The
land. plaintiffs have no right and personality to assil that donation.
2. Reconveyance had already prescribed. Plaintiffs
action is clearly barred by prescription or laches. Even if the donation were declared void, the plaintiffs would not

Ratio: have any successional rights to Ambrosias share. The sole legal
heir of Ambrosia was her nephew, Juan, Jr., her nearest relative
Under Act No. 190, whose statute of limitation would apply if within the third degree. Valentin Salao, if living in 1945 when
there were an implied trust in this case, the longest period of Ambrosia died, would have been also her legal heir, together with
extinctive prescription was only ten year. his first cousin, Juan, Jr. (Juani). Benita Salao, the daughter of
Valentin, could not represent him in the succession to the estate
The Calunuran fishpond was registered in 1911. The written of Ambrosia since in the collateral line, representation takes
extrajudicial demand for its reconveyance was made by the place only in favor of the children of brothers or sisters whether
plaintiffs in 1951. Their action was filed in 1952 or after the lapse they be of the full or half blood is (Art 972, Civil Code). The
of more than forty years from the date of registration. The nephew excludes a grandniece like Benita Salao or great-
plaintiffs and their predecessor-in-interest, Valentin Salao, slept gandnephews like the plaintiffs Alcuriza (Pavia vs. Iturralde 5 Phil.
on their rights if they had any rights at all.Vigilanti prospiciunt 176).
jura or the law protects him who is watchful of his rights (92 C.J.S.
1011, citing Esguerra vs. Tecson, 21 Phil. 518, 521).
Undue delay in the enforcement of a right is strongly persuasive
of a lack of merit in the claim, since it is human nature for a
person to assert his rights most strongly when they are
threatened or invaded. Laches or unreasonable delay on the
ALMIROL VS. REGISTER OF property without first liquidating and
DEEDS OF AGUSAN (G.R. NO. transferring it in his name and the heirs
by means of extrajudicial settlement.
L-22486, MARCH 20, 1968) The consent of the heirs must also be
APRIL 6, 2015 | YUMMY procured.
4. Aggrieved, Almirol went to the RTC of
Agusan to have the ROD be compelled
to register the Deed of Sale and issue
1. Teodoro Almirol bought a parcel of
the transfer certificate of title.
land in Esperanza, Agusan from Arsenio
5. However, the RTC dismissed the
petition saying that the adequate
2. Almirol then went to the Register of
remedy is the one provided for under
Deeds (ROD) of Agusan to have the
Sec. 4 of RA 1151 that is to submit and
Deed of Sale registered and to secure a
certify the question to the Commissioner
transfer certificate in his name.
of Land Registration. Hence, petition.
However, the ROD refused.
ISSUE: Was the RTC correct?
3. It was based on the ground that the
said property was conjugal and it is
RULING: Yes. But the ROD should have
necessary that both spouses sign the
registered it still.
document. However, since the wife was
dead when the sale was made, the
1. Whether a document is valid or not, is
husband cannot dispose the whole
not for the ROD to determine; this
function belongs properly to a court of sisters and 40% for Manuel) said parcel of land is to be
developed as a subdivision.
competent jurisdiction.
2. However, where any party in interest Manuel then had the title of the land transferred in his name and
he subsequently mortgaged the property. He used the proceeds
does not agree with the ROD, the
from the mortgage to start building roads, curbs and gutters.
question shall be submitted to the Manuel also contracted an engineering firm for the building of
Commissioner of Land Registration (Sec. housing units. But due to adverse claims in the land, prospective
4, RA 1151). buyers were scared off and the subdivision project eventually
3. The lower courts resolution was
affirmed. The sisters then filed a civil case against Manuel for damages
equivalent to 60% of the value of the property, which according
to the sisters, is whats due them as per the contract.
The lower court ruled in favor of Manuel and the Court of

Antonia Torres vs Appeals affirmed the lower court.

The sisters then appealed before the Supreme Court where they

Court of Appeals argued that there is no partnership between them and Manuel
because the joint venture agreement is void.
ISSUE: Whether or not there exists a partnership.
Business Organization Partnership, Agency, Trust Sharing of
HELD: Yes. The joint venture agreement the sisters entered into
Loss in a Partnership Industrial Partner
with Manuel is a partnership agreement whereby they agreed to
In 1969, sisters Antonia Torres and Emeteria Baring entered into contribute property (their land) which was to be developed as a
a joint venture agreement with Manuel Torres. Under the subdivision. While on the other hand, though Manuel did not
agreement, the sisters agreed to execute a deed of sale in favor contribute capital, he is an industrial partner for his contribution
Manuel over a parcel of land, the sisters received no cash for general expenses and other costs. Furthermore, the income
payment from Manuel but the promise of profits (60% for the from the said project would be divided according to the stipulated
percentage (60-40). Clearly, the contract manifested the intention effects of the document would retroact to the 15th day of April 1941, the
of the parties to form a partnership. Further still, the sisters date the lot and its improvements were actually sold to Lucia C.
cannot invoke their right to the 60% value of the property and at Embrado. Embrado sold the lot described as her own paraphernal
the same time deny the same contract which entitles them to it. property tp her adopted daughter, Eda Jimenez. Eda sold the lot to

At any rate, the failure of the partnership cannot be blamed on tohers. Torregianis instituted in the Court of First Instance, now Regional

the sisters, nor can it be blamed to Manuel (the sisters on their Trial Court, of Zamboanga del Norte an action for declaration of nullity of

appeal did not show evidence as to Manuels fault in the failure contract, annulment of sales, reconveyance and damages alleging that

of the partnership). The sisters must then bear their loss (which he did not consent to the sale, which consent was necessary because

is 60%). Manuel does not bear the loss of the other 40% Lot 564 was conjugal property.
because as an industrial partner he is exempt from losses.
ISSUE: WON the property is exclusive of Embrado or conjugal property.



The court agrees with respondent court that Lot 564 was originally the
v. COURT OF APPEALS paraphernal property of Lucia, we cannot adopt its conclusion that
because Lucia and the original owners agreed in 1941 for its purchase
June 27, 1994 (233 SCRA 335) and sale, ownership was already acquired by Lucia at that moment.
Under Art. 1496 of the Civil Code, ownership of the thing sold is
acquired by the vendee from the moment it is delivered to him in any of
the ways specified in articles 1497 to 1501, or in any other manner
signifying an agreement that the possession is transferred from the
Lucia Embrado, who was already married to petitioner Oreste Torregiani, vendor to the vendee, and under Art. 1498, (w)hen the sale is made
bought LOT NO. 564 in her name alone. The document provided that through a public instrument, the execution thereof shall be equivalent to
even though the deed was prepared and signed on 2 July 1946, the
the delivery of the thing which is the object of the contract, if from the conditions, to wit: (a) the construction of the building at the expense of
deed the contrary does not appear or cannot clearly be inferred. the partnership; and, (b) the ownership of the land by one of the
spouses. The conditions have been fully met in the case at bench. Thus,
even if Lot 564 was originally the paraphernal property of Lucia as
In the case at bar, the Venta Definitiva over Lot 564 in favor of Lucia
evident from the Venta Definitiva, the same became conjugal upon the
Embrado was executed by the Carpitanoses on 2 July 1946 when her
construction of the residential/commercial building in 1958.
marriage to petitioner Oreste Torregiani was already subsisting. Although
ownership was acquired during the marriage and hence presumed
conjugal, the presumption of conjugality was successfully overcome by
the terms of the Venta Definitiva which contains a positive assertion of
exclusive ownership, which was duly supported by the testimony of
Matias Carpitanos, one of the original sellers of the lot.\


However, it is a fact that there is a construction in 1958 of a
residential/commercial building on said lot a part of which was leased to THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS vs. ABANILLA
third persons and another part serving as the conjugal dwelling.
Although there is no evidence on the source of funds used, it is G.R. No. L-26324
presumed to be conjugal funds.

August 31, 1983

The second paragraph of Art. 158 of the Civil Code provides that
[b]uildings constructed, at the expense of the partnership, during the FACTS: The Director of Lands in his complaint
marriage on land belonging to one of the spouses, also pertain to the alleged that Abanilla had, through fraudulent
partnership, but the value of the land shall be reimbursed to the spouse means, secured a free patent and an OCT over a
who owns the same. Under this article, the land becomes conjugal upon
public land situated in Roxas, Isabela; that the
the construction of the building without awaiting reimbursement before
said free patent and OCT included portions of
or at the liquidation of the partnership upon the concurrence of two
land occupied by Esquivel and Nuesa; and that Patent null and void, ordering the Director of
the portion occupied by Nuesa was sold to him Lands to cancel said patent and issue another
by Cullanan who also earlier bought the same patent in favor of Abanilla excluding the
from Abanilla herself (by virtue of a public respective portions of land by Esquivel and
document) Nuesa and ordering Abanilla to surrender to the
RD of Isabela the OCT who was thereby ordered
Abanilla in her answer alleged that her to cancel the same.
application for a free patent over the parcel of
public land was lawful since the occupancy of ISSUE: WON the patent and original certificate
Esquivel of the portion claimed by him was of title issued by virtue of the said patent can
merely tolerated by her and was never adverse, still be cancelled despite the of six (6) years and
and Nuesas occupancy never her right over the six (6) months from their is issuance.
portion he claims, because the sale made by her
to Cullanan was void ab initio because the lot HELD: WHEREFORE, FINDING THAT THE
she sold to him is public land. DECISION APPEALED FROM IS IN CONFORMITY
Maria Abanilla filed an action with the trial court HEREBYAFFIRMED
against Esquivel and Nuesa and three other for
the recovery of possession of the portions of 1. YES. Defendant-appellant clings to the legal
land involved in the administrative case fiction of indefeasibility of a Torrens Title. She
between them in the land department. The trial claimed that the lower court erred in not
court entered a judgment, declaring the Free dismissing the action considering that a period
of six years and six months had already elapsed
when the present action was instituted, in view Furthermore, appellant Maria Abanilla cannot
of the line of decisions of this Court sustaining pretend that her title has become indefeasible
the indefeasibility of a certificate of title issued because no petition for review thereof was filed
in pursuance of a public land patent. within one year from its issuance, since
proceedings for the review of her patent was
The doctrine regarding the indefeasibility of title actually pending before and after the issuance
issued pursuant to a free patent one year after of appellants torrens title.
its issuance does not apply to a grant tainted
with fraud and secured through
misrepresentation, such as the free patent
invoked in this case, since said grant is null and It should be noted that, pursuant to explicit and
void and of no effect whatsoever. Abanilla repeated averments in the complaint Abanilla
cannot use her title as a shield to perpetuate had acted in bad faith, with full knowledge of
fraud. No amount of legal technicality may the factual background of the case, particularly
serve as a solid foundation for the enjoyment of of the public, continuous and adverse
the fruits of fraud. Fraus et jus numquam co- possession of Esquivel at the time she applied
habitant for patent over the land in question, and up to
the time she secured the issuance of an OCT
over the said land. The fact that Abanilla acted
fraudulently in securing the patent and OCT was
clearly and definitely established in the decision
of the Director of Lands.[while an administrative
case was pending investigation by the Fact in interest. The government is not involved. As
Finding Commitee composed of representatives against appellee Wilson Nuesa, therefore,
of the Bureau of Lands and the Land Settlement appellant is in estoppel.
and Development Corporation (LASEDECO)
Abanillasecured the issuance of Free Patent in Also, this Court held that prescription of action
her name covering the entire Lot; that by virtue to review a title after the lapse of one year from
of the said patent, an OCT was issued in her its issuance under Section 38 of Act
name] This Court held in the case of Eusebio vs. 496, cannot be invoked against the State,
Sociedad Agricola de Balarin that the factual since under paragraph 4 of Article 1108 of the
findings of the Director of Lands, approved by Civil Code,prescription does not run against
the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural the State.
Resources, are conclusive in the absence of
Furthermore, Abanilla is now estopped from
proof of fraud, imposition, error or abuse of
claiming that this action had already prescribed
for the simple reason that she can be
We do not believe that appellant has any lawful considered an instrumental party in the delay in
claim against appellee Nuesa. The Portion of the flung of the instant action.
land here involved was sold by appellant herself
as her ownprivate property. She cannot now
turn back and say that said portion is public
land. Here, the matter is exclusively between
her and Wilson Nuesa, her vendees successor-
Isagani Cruz vs
basically enumerates the rights of the indigenous peoples over
ancestral domains which may include natural resources.

Secretary of 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
Environment and areas, Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law also violate the rights of
private landowners.

Natural Resources ISSUE: Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional.

HELD: The Supreme Court deliberated upon the matter. After
347 SCRA 128 (400 Phil 904) Civil Law Land Titles and deliberation they voted and reached a 7-7 vote. They deliberated
Deeds IPRA Law vis a vis Regalian Doctrine again and the same result transpired. Since there was no
majority vote, Cruzs petition was dismissed and the
Former Justice Isagani Cruz, a noted constitutionalist, assailed
constitutionality of the IPRA law was sustained. Hence, ancestral
the validity of the Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous
domains may include public domain somehow against the
Peoples Rights Act (IPRA Law) on the ground that the law
regalian doctrine.
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