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Property Case Digest – Quieting of Title

Calacala vs Republic
G.R. No. 154415, July 28, 2005

Doctrine: An action for quieting of title is essentially a common law remedy grounded on equity. For an
action to quiet title to prosper, two (2) indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or
complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2)
the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in
fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy.

Garcia,J:

Facts: The spouses Camilo Calacala and Conchita Calacala, predecessors-in-interest of the herein
petitioners, are the registered owners of a parcel of land situated at Barangay Balincanaway, Rosales,
Pangasinan. This land was used as a property bond in a pending criminal case. The accused failed to
appear at his scheduled arraignment thus, the CFI of Pangasinan ordered for the forfeiture of the bond in
favor of the government. The Republic bid for 3,500 and as the winning bidder and as a result a Certificate
of Sale was issued. The spouses were given a period of one year therefrom within which to redeem their
property but they never did up to the time of their deaths.
Claiming ownership of the same land as legal heirs of the deceased spouses, petitioners filed with
the RTC at Rosales, Pangasinan a complaint for Quieting of Title and Cancellation of Encumbrance.
Republic interposed a Motion to Dismiss grounded on the (1) complaint’s failure to state cause of action
and (2) prescription of petitioners’ right to redeem. Petitioners contend that when respondent Republic
moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, it thereby hypothetically admitted all
the allegations therein, specifically the averment that despite the lapse of nineteen (19) years, respondent
did not secure the necessary Certificate of Final Sale and Writ of Possession and failed to execute an
Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership.

Issue: Whether or not the proper remedy in the instant complaint is quieting of title and cancellation of
encumbrance.

Ruling: Instant petition denied.


Under Article 476 and 477 of the New Civil Code, the remedy may be availed of only when: (1) the
plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the
action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be
shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy.
These requisites are wanting in the instant case. Petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest lost whatever right
they had over land in question from the very moment they failed to redeem it during the 1-year period of
redemption. Republic’s failure to execute the acts referred to by the petitioners within ten (10) years from
the registration of the Certificate of Sale cannot, in any way, operate to restore whatever rights petitioners’
predecessors-in-interest had over the same. Also, petitioners never put in issue, as in fact they admit in
their pleadings, the validity of the Sheriff’s Certificate of Sale. It was not proven that the cloud, although
appeared to be valid was in fact and in truth invalid or inoperative.
Regarding the nature of the action filed before the trial court, quieting of title is a common law
remedy for the removal of any cloud upon or doubt or uncertainty with respect to title to real property.
Originating in equity jurisprudence, its purpose is to secure an adjudication that a claim of title to or an
interest in property, adverse to that of the complainant, is invalid, so that the complainant and those
claiming under him may be forever afterward free from any danger of hostile claim.’ In an action for quieting
of title, the competent court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and other
claimants, not only to place things in their proper place, to make the one who has no rights to said
immovable respect and not disturb the other, but also for the benefit of both, so that he who has the right
would see every cloud of doubt over the property dissipated, and he could afterwards without fear introduce
the improvements he may desire, to use, and even to abuse the property as he deems best.