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TEODORO ACAP VS COURT OF APPEALS AND EDY DE LOS REYES

G.R. NO. 118114, 7 December 1995, FIRST DIVISION (Padilla, J.)

FACTS:

Teodoro Acap has been a tenant of a portion of a parcel of land owned by Felixberto Vasquez
which the latter inherited from his parents. Vasquez thereafter executed a duly notarized document
entitled Declaration of Heirship and Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of Cosme Pido. Upon transfer of
the property, Acap continued to be the registered tenant thereof and religiously paid his rentals to Pido
and upon the latters death, to his widow.

Cosme Pido died intestate, leaving his wife and 4 children to adjudicate onto themselves the
parcel of land in question in equal shares. Afterwards, the heirs executed a duly notarized document
denominated as Declaration of Heirship and Waiver of Rights of Lot No. 1130 Hinigaran Cadastre to
waive and quitclaim all their rights, interests and participation in favor of Edy de los Reyes. The latter
then informed Acap that he has become the new owner and Acap agreed to pay him 10 cavans of palay
per annum as lease rental. At first Acap complied with the obligation. However, he later refused to pay
alleging that he still recognized Cosme Pido as the owner and denied having any knowledge that there
was a transfer of ownership and even if the said lot was indeed sold to de los Reyes, RA 3844 grants him
the right to redeem the same at a reasonable price.

De Los Reyes filed a complaint for recovery of possession and damages after 4 years of failing to
comply and the lower court decided in his favor and the Court of Appeals affirmed its decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a deed of sale transferring ownership to de los Reyes.

HELD:

No. While the transaction between Pidos heirs and private respondent may be binding on both
parties, the right of petitioner as a registered tenant to the land cannot be perfunctorily forfeited on a mere
allegation of private respondents ownership without the corresponding proof thereof. There was no
unjustified or deliberate refusal by petitioner to pay the lease rentals or amortizations to the landowner
because private respondent failed to establish a clear and convincing evidence that he is the owner. In fact
petitioner even secured a certificate from the Ministry of Agrarian Reform that he continued to be a
tenant of Cosme Pido and not of private respondent. This is because private respondent never registered
the Declaration of Heirship and Waiver of Rights with the Register of Deeds or with the MAR.

Consequently, the sanction of forfeiture of his preferred right to be issued a Certificate of Land
Transfer under PD 27 and to the possession of his farmholdings should not be applied against petitioner
since private respondent has not established a cause of action for recovery of possession against
petitioner.

*notes on the full text