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G.R. No.

L-52361 April 27, 1981


SUNSET VIEW CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, 
vs.
THE HON. JOSE C. CAMPOS, JR. OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE, BRANCH XXX, PASAY CITY and
AGUILAR-BERNARES REALTY, 
G.R. No. L-52524 April 27, 1981

SUNSET VIEW CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, 


vs.
THE HON. JOSE C. CAMPOS, JR., PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE, BRANCH XXX,
PASAY CITY, and LIM SIU LENG, 

Facts: These two cases were ordered consolidated by resolution of this Court dated March 17, 1980.

G.R. NO. 52361


The petitioner, Sunset View Condominium Corporation, in both cases, is a condominium corporation within the
meaning of Republic Act No. 4726 in relation to a duly registered Amended Master Deed located at 2230 Roxas
Boulevard, Pasay City and is the Management Body holding title to all the common and limited common areas.

The private respondent, Aguilar-Bernares Realty, is the assignee of a unit, "Solana", in the Sunset View
Condominium Project with La Perla Commercial, Incorporated, as assignor. The petitioner, filed for the collection of
assessments levied on the unit against Aguilar-Bernares Realty of the Court of First Instance of Pasay City. The
private respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint which was granted by the respondent Judge who opined
that the private respondent is, pursuant to Section 2 of Republic Act No. 4726, a "holder of a separate interest" and
consequently, a shareholder of the plaintiff condominium corporation; and that "the case should be properly filed with
the Securities & Exchange Commission which has exclusive original jurisdiction on controversies arising between
shareholders of the corporation." the motion for reconsideration thereof having been denied, the petitioner, alleging
grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent Judge, filed the instant petition for certiorari praying that the said
orders be set aside.

G.R. NO. 52524


The petitioner filed its amended complaint docketed at  Branch I of the City Court of Pasay City for the collection of
overdue accounts on assessments and insurance premiums and the interest thereon amounting to P6,168 06 as of
March 31, 1979 against the private respondent Lim Siu Leng to whom was assigned a unit called "Alegria" of the
Sunset View Condominium Project by Alfonso Uy  who had entered into a "Contract to Buy and Sell" with Tower
Builders, Inc. over the said unit on installment basis.

The private respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, alleging that the amount sought
to be collected is an assessment and  that the dispute is intra-corporate and is consequently under the exclusive
jurisdiction of SEC, which the court issued an order denying the motion to dismiss.

The private respondent then appealed pursuant to Section 10 of Rule 40 of the Rules of Court to the Court of First
Instance. The petitioner filed its "Motion to Dismiss Appeal" on the ground that the order of the trial court appealed
from is interlocutory. The respondent Judge issued an order directing that "the appeal is hereby dismissed and the
judgment of the lower court is reversed. The case is dismissed and the parties are directed to ventilate their
controversy with the Securities & Exchange Commission.  The petitioner's motion for reconsideration thereof was
denied in an order dated January 14, 1980. Hence this petition for certiorari, alleging grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the respondent Judge.

Issues:
1. Is a purchaser of a condominium unit in the condominium project managed by the petitioner, who has not yet fully
paid the purchase price thereof, automatically a ,stockholder of the petitioner Condominium Corporation 
2. Is it the regular court or the Securities & Exchange Commission that has jurisdiction over cases for collection of
assessments assessed by the Condominium Corporation on condominium units the full purchase price of which has
not been paid?

Ruling:
On the First Issue, the contention has no merit.

Section 10 of the Condominium Act which reads: 


SEC. 10. ... Membership in a condominium corporation, regardless of whether it is a stock or non-
stock corporation, shall not be transferable separately from the condominium unit of which it is an
appurtenance When a member or stockholder ceases is to own a unit in the project in which the

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condominium corporation owns or holds the common areas, he shall automatically cease to be a
member or stockholder of the condominium corporation.
The instruments conveying the unit "Solana" and “Alegria” provide The share of stock appurtenant to the unit will be
transferred accordingly to the purchaser of the unit only upon full payment of the purchase price at which time he will
also become the owner of the unit. Consequently, even under the contract, it is only the owner of a unit who is a
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. Inasmuch as owners is conveyed only upon full payment of the
purchase price, it necessarily follows that a purchaser of a unit who has not paid the full purchase price thereof is not
The owner of the unit and consequently is not a shareholder of the Condominium Corporation.

On the Second Issue, Inasmuch as the private respondents are not shareholders of the petitioner condominium
corporation, the instant case for collection cannot be a "controversy arising out of intracorporate or partnership
relations between and among stockholders, members or associates; between any or all of them and the corporation,
partnership or association of which they are stockholders, members or associates, respectively" which controversies
are under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Securities & Exchange Commission, pursuant to Section 5 (b)
of P.D. No. 902- A.

WHEREFORE, the questioned orders of the respondent Judge dated December 11, 1979 and January 4, 1980 in
Civil Case No. 7303-P, subject matter of the Petition in G.R. No. 52361, are set aside and said Judge is ordered to
try the case on the merits. The orders dated December 14, 1979 and January 14, 1980 in Civil Case No. 7530-P,
subject matter of the petition in G.R. No. 52524 are set aside and the case is ordered remanded to the court a quo,
City Court of Pasay City, for trial on the merits, with costs against the private respondents.

UNITED OVERSEAS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS-
HLURB, J.O.S. MANAGING BUILDERS, INC., AND EDUPLAN PHILS., INC., RESPONDENTS.
G.R. No. 182133, June 23, 2015

Facts:
Respondent J.O.S. Managing Builders, Inc. (JOS Managing Builders) is the registered owner and developer of the
condominium project Aurora Milestone Tower. On December 16, 1997, JOS Managing Builders and respondent
EDUPLAN Philippines, Inc. (EDUPLAN) entered into a Contract to Sell covering Condominium Unit E, 10th Floor of
the Aurora Milestone Tower

In August 1998, EDUPLAN effected full payment, and in December 1998, JOS Managing Builders and EDUPLAN
executed a Deed... of Absolute Sale over the condominium unit.
JOS Managing Builders failed to cause the issuance of a Condominium Certificate of Title over the condominium unit
in the name of EDUPLAN.

EDUPLAN learned that the... lots on which the condominium building project Aurora Milestone Tower was erected
had been mortgaged by JOS to petitioner United Overseas Bank of the Philippines without the prior written approval
of the HLURB.

Due to the inability of JOS Managing Builders to deliver the condominium certificate of title covering the unit
purchased by EDUPLAN, the latter filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against JOS and United
before the HLURB praying that: (a) the mortgage between JOS Managing Builders and United Overseas Bank be
declared null and void; (b) JOS Managing Builders and United Overseas Bank be compelled to cause the issuance
and release of the Condominium Certificate of Title; and (c) JOS Managing Builders be ordered to provide
emergency power facilities, to refund the monthly telephone carrier charges, and to permanently cease and desist
from further collecting such charges.

JOS was not able to pay United and so the property mortgaged was foreclosed by United wherein the property was
sold at a public auction and United was the highest bidder, which was registered with the Register of Deeds of
Quezon City on April 27, 1999.

On August 15, 2001, the HLURB Arbiter ruled, in favor of EDUPLAN and declared the mortgage executed between
JOS Managing Builders and United Overseas Bank as well as the foreclosure proceedings null and void, pointing out
that the mortgage was executed without the approval of the HLURB as required under Section 18 of Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 957.

United Overseas Bank then filed a petition for review with the HLURB. On August 20, 2004, the HLURB Board of
Commissioners affirmed the Arbiter's decision, but deleted the award of emergency power facilities and refund of the
monthly telephone carrier charges. Hence, United Overseas Bank filed a petition for review under Rule 43 before the
CA.

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On February 27, 2006, the CA dismissed the petition. A motion for reconsideration was filed, but it was denied for
lack of merit. The CA held that United Overseas Bank did not exhaust the administrative remedies available to it due
to its failure to appeal the decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners to the Office of the President before going
to the CA.

Issue: Whether the HLURB erred in declaring null and void the entire mortgage constituted by JOS

Ruling: Yes.

The Court finds the recent view espoused in Philippine National Bank v. Lim to be in accord with law and equity.
While a mortgage may be nullified if it was in violation of Section 18 of P.D. No. 957, such nullification applies only to
the interest of the complaining buyer. It cannot extend to the entire mortgage. A buyer of a particular unit or lot has
no standing to ask for the nullification of the entire mortgage.

Since EDUPLAN has an actionable interest only over Unit E, 10 th Floor, Aurora Milestone Tower, it is but logical to
conclude that it has no standing to seek for the complete nullification of the subject mortgage and the HLURB was
incorrect when it voided the whole mortgage between JOS Managing Builders and United Overseas Bank.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that the mortgage constituted between JOS Managing Builders and United Overseas
Bank cannot bind EDUPLAN, because of the non-observance of the provision of P.D. No. 957 by JOS managing
Builders, the mortgage between the former and United Overseas Bank is still valid.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated February 27,
2006 and March 5, 2008, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 86401, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of
the HLURB, dated August 20, 2004, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The mortgage executed and the
succeeding foreclosure proceedings between respondent J.O.S. Managing Builders, Inc. and petitioner United
Overseas Bank of the Philippines, Inc., with respect to respondent EDUPLAN Philippines, Inc.'s unit E., 10 TH Floor,
Aurora Milestone Tower, is declared null and void.

G.R. No. 206038


MARY E. LIM, represented by her Attorney-in-fact, REYNALDO V. LIM, 
vs.
MOLDEX LAND, INC., 1322 ROXAS BOULEVARD CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, and JEFFREY JAMINOLA,
EDGARDO MACALINTAL, JOJI MILANES, and CLOTHILDA ANNE ROMAN, in their capacity as purported
MENDOZA, and LEONEN,JJ. members of the Board of Directors of 1322 Golden Empire Corporation,

FACTS:

Lim is a registered unit owner of 1322 Golden Empire Tower (Golden Empire Tower),  a condominium project of
Moldex Land, Inc. (Moldex), a real estate company engaged in the construction and development of high-end
condominium projects and in the marketing and sale of the units thereof to the general public. Condocor, a non-
stock, non-profit corporation, is the registered condominium corporation for the Golden Empire Tower. Lim, as a unit
owner of Golden Empire Tower, is a member of Condocor.

Lim claimed that the individual respondents are non-unit buyers,  but all are members of the Board of Directors of
Condocor, having been elected during the July 21, 2012 general membership meeting. Moldex became a member of
Condocor on the basis of its ownership of the 220 unsold units in the Golden Empire Tower. The individual
respondents acted as its representatives.
Lim filed an election protest before the RTC. Said court, however, dismissed the complaint holding that there was a
quorum during the July 21, 2012 annual membership meeting; that Moldex is a member of Condocor, being the
registered owner of the unsold/unused condominium units, parking lots and storage areas; and that the individual
respondents, as Moldex's representatives, were entitled to exercise all membership rights, including the right to vote
and to be voted.  Not in conformity, Lim filed the subject petition.

Pursuant to A.M. No. 04-9-07-SC, all decisions and final orders in cases falling under the Interim Rules of Corporate
Rehabilitation and the Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies shall be appealable to
the CA through a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUES:
1) Whether the July 21, 2012 membership meeting was valid;
2) Whether Moldex can be deemed a member of Condocor; and

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3) Whether a non-unit owner can be elected as a member of the Board of Directors of Condocor.

RULING:
1st issue

Section 52 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines (Corporation Code) provides: Section 52. Quorum in meetings.
- Unless otherwise provided for in this Code or in the by-laws, a quorum shall consist of the stockholders
representing a majority of the outstanding capital stock or a majority of the members in the case of non-stock
corporations.
The By-Laws of Condocor has no rule different from that provided in the Corporation Code with respect the
determination of the existence of a quorum. The quorum during the July 21, 2012 meeting should have been majority
of Condocor's members in good standing. Accordingly, there was no quorum during the July 21, 2012 meeting
considering that only 29 of the 108 unit buyers were present.

As there was no quorum, the meeting being null and void, the resolution and disposition of other legal issues
emanating from the null and void July 21, 2012 membership meeting has been rendered unnecessary.

2nd issue:

Registered owner of a unit in a condominium project or the holders of duly issued condominium certificate of title
(CCT), automatically becomes a member of the condominium corporation, relying on Sections 2 and 10 of the
Condominium Act, the Master Deed and Declaration of Restrictions, as well as the By-Laws of Condocor. For said
reason, respondents averred that as Moldex is the owner of 220 unsold units and the parking slots and storage areas
attached thereto, it automatically became a member of Condocor upon the latter's creation. On this point,
respondents are correct.
3rd issue

Moldex may appoint a duly authorized representative. However, Individual respondents who are non-members
cannot be elected as directors and officers of the condominium corporation. While Moldex may rightfully designate
proxies or representatives, the latter, however, cannot be elected as directors or trustees of Condocor. First, the
Corporation Code clearly provides that a director or trustee must be a member of record of the corporation. Further,
the power of the proxy is merely to vote. If said proxy is not a member in his own right, he cannot be elected as a
director or proxy.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The March 4, 2013 Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 24,
Manila, in Civil Case No. 12-128478 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Court declares that:
a) The July 21, 2012 Annual General Membership Meeting of Condocor is null and void;
b) The election of members of the Board of Directors in the annual general membership meeting is likewise null and
void; and
c) The succeeding Organizational Meeting of Condocor's Board of Directors as well as the election of its corporate
officers are of no force and effect.

CHATEAU DE BAIE CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. SPS. RAYMOND AND MA. ROSARIO
MORENO, RESPONDENTS.
G.R. No. 186271, February 23, 2011

FACTS: Mrs. Moreno is the registered owner of a penthouse unit and two parking slots in Chateau Condominium.
Mrs. Moreno obtained a loan from Oscar Salvacion and she mortgaged the properties as security. The mortgage was
annotated on the CCTs.

The petitioner caused the annotation of a Notice of Assessment on the CCTs of Moreno’s properties for unpaid
association dues. It also sent a demand letter to the Moreno spouses who offered to settle their obligation, but the
petitioner declined the offer.

Under Section 20 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4726 (the Condominium Act),[4]  when a unit owner fails to pay the
association dues, the condominium corporation can enforce a lien on the condominium unit by selling the unit in an
extrajudicial foreclosure sale.

To enforce its lien, the president of the petitioner wrote for the extrajudicial public auction sale of the Moreno
properties.

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As the mortgagee, While the Salvacion case was pending before the CA, the Moreno spouses filed before the RTC,
Parañaque City, a complaint for intra-corporate dispute against the petitioner to question how it calculated the dues
assessed against them.

The petitioner moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, alleging that since the complaint
was against the owner/developer of a condominium whose condominium project was registered with and licensed by
the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the HLURB has the exclusive jurisdiction. 

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in not dismissing the complaint in view of the decision rendered by another
division sustaining the validity of the extrajudicial foreclosure.

HELD: The petition lacks merit.

The case before the RTC involved an intra-corporate dispute – the Moreno spouses were asking for an accounting of
the association dues and were questioning the manner the petitioner calculated the dues assessed against them.
These issues are alien to the first case that was initiated by Salvacion – a third party to the petitioner-Moreno
relationship – to stop the extrajudicial sale on the basis of the lack of the requirements for a valid foreclosure sale.
Although the extrajudicial sale of the Moreno properties to the petitioner has been fully effected and the Salvacion
petition has been dismissed with finality, the completion of the sale does not bar the Moreno spouses from
questioning the amount of the unpaid dues that gave rise to the foreclosure and to the subsequent sale of their
properties. The propriety and legality of the sale of the condominium unit and the parking spaces questioned by
Salvacion are different from the propriety and legality of the unpaid assessment dues that the Moreno spouses are
questioning in the present case. 
 
Petition is DENIED. The Court affirms the decision of the CA's First Division dismissing the petitioner's petition.   The
way is now clear for the RTC to continue its proceedings on the Moreno case.

G.R. No. L-9451 March 29, 1957


OLAF N. BORLOUGH,
vs.
FORTUNE ENTERPRISES, INC. and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (2nd DIVISION), 

FACTS:

On March 8, 1952, the United Car Exchange sold to the Fortune Enterprises, Inc., a certain car.

The same car was sold by the Fortune Enterprises, Inc. to one Salvador Aguinaldo, and for not having paid it in full,
the latter executed on the same date a promissory note in the amount of P2,400 payable in 20 installments including
interest thereon at 12 per cent per annum, the last of which installments fell due on January 9, 1953 (Exhibit "A").

To secure the payment of this note, Aguinaldo executed a deed of chattel mortgage over said car. The deed was
duly registered in the office of the Register of Deeds of Manila at 1:12 p.m. on March 11, 1952 (Exhibit "B"). As the
buyer-mortgagor defaulted in the payment of the installments due, counsel for Fortune Enterprises Inc. addressed a
letter on May 16, 1952 (Exhibit "C"), requesting him to make the necessary payment and to keep his account up to
date, to that no court action would be resorted to.

It further appears that the above-described car found its way again into the United Car Exchange which sold the
same in cash for P4,000 to one O. N. Borlough on April 6, 1952. Accordingly, he registered it on the following day
with the Motor Vehicles Office.

It also appears from the record that defendant 0. N. Borlough took possession of the vehicle from the time he
purchased it, On July 10, 1952, Fortune Enterprises, Inc. brought action against Salvador Aguinaldo to recover the
balance of the purchase price. Borlough filed a third-party complaint, claiming the vehicle. Thereupon, Fortune
Enterprises, Inc. amended its complaint, including Borlough as a defendant and alleging that he was in connivance
with Salvador Aguinaldo and was unlawfully hiding and concealing the vehicle in order to evade seizure by judicial
process. Borlough answered alleging that he was in legal possession thereof, having purchased it in good faith and
for the full price of P4,000, and that he had a certificate of registration of the vehicle issued by the Motor Vehicles
Office, and he prayed for the dismissal of the complaint, the return of the vehicle and for damages against the
plaintiff.

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The Court of First Instance rendered judgment in favor of Borlough. Upon appeal to the Court of Appeals, this court
rendered judgment ordering that Emil B. Fajardo pay Borlough P4,000 plus attorney's fees and that plaintiff pay to
Borlough any amount received by it in excess of its credits and judicial expenses.

Issue: As between a prior mortgage executed over a motor vehicle, registered under the Chattel Mortgage Law only,
without annotation thereof in the Motor Vehicles Office, and a subsequent registration of the vehicle in the Motor
Vehicles Office accompanied by actual possession of the motor vehicle, which should prevail?

Ruling:
The above authorities leave no room for doubt that purchaser O. N. Borlough's right to the vehicle as against the
previous and prior mortgage Fortune Enterprises, Inc., which failed to record its lien in accordance with the Revised
Motor Vehicles Law, should be upheld.

Counsel for petitioner contends that the passage of the Revised Motor Vehicles Law had the effect of repealing the
Chattel Mortgage Law, as regards registration of motor vehicles and of the recording of transaction affecting the
same. We do not believe that it could have been the intention of the legislature to bring about such a repeal. In the
first place, the provisions of the Revised Motor Vehicles Law on registration are not inconsistent with does of the
Chattel Mortgage Law. In the second place, implied repeals are not favored; implied repeals are permitted only in
cases of clear and positive inconsistency. The first paragraph of section 5 indicates that the provisions of the Revised
Motor Vehicles Law regarding registration and recording of mortgage are not incompatible with a mortgage under the
Chattel Mortgage Law. The section merely requires report to the Motor Vehicles Office of a mortgage; it does not
state that the registration of the mortgage under the Chattel Mortgage Law is to be dispensed with. We have,
therefore, an additional requirements in the Revised Motor Vehicles Law, aside from the registration of a chattel
mortgage, which is to report a mortgage to the Motor Vehicles Office, if the subject of the mortgage is a motor
vehicle; the report merely supplements or complements the registration.

The recording provisions of the Revised Motor Vehicles Law, therefore, are merely complementary to those of the
Chattel Mortgage Law. A mortgage in order to affect third persons should not only be registered in the Chattel
Mortgage Registry, but the same should also be recorded in the motor Vehicles Office as required by section 5 (e) of
the Revised Motor Vehicles Law. And the failure of the respondent mortgage to report the mortgage executed in its
favor had the effect of making said mortgage ineffective against Borlough, who had his purchase registered in the
said Motor Vehicles Office.

EDUARDO FELIPE, HERMOGENA V. FELIPE AND VICENTE V. FELIPE, petitioners,


vs.
HEIRS OF MAXIMO ALDON, NAMELY: GIMENA ALMOSARA, SOFIA ALDON, SALVADOR ALDON, AND THE
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
G.R. No. L-60174 | 1983-02-16

Doctrine:
The Court applied Art. 173 in a case where the wife sold some parcels of land belonging to the conjugal
partnership without the consent of the husband. The Court ruled that the contract of sale was voidable subject to
annulment by the husband.

Facts:
 Maximo Aldon married Gimena Almosara in 1936. The spouses bought several pieces of land in 1948-1950.
In 1960-1962, said lands were partitioned into 3 lots
 1951 – the wife sold the lots to the petitioners without the consent of her husband
 April 26, 1976 – the heirs of Aldon (wife and children) filed a complaint against the petitioners alleging
that they had orally mortgaged the said properties to the Felipes and that an offer to redeem the properties
was made but they refused
 RTC ruled in favor of Felipe, declaring that they were the rightful owners of the lots in question
 CA reversed the decision on the ground that the sale instituted by the wife was invalid since the properties
were conjugal in nature and that the sale was done without the husband’s consent

Issue:
1. Whether or not the sale of properties in question was valid without the consent of the husband?
2. Whether the contract entered by petitioner and respondent was void or voidable

Held:

1. No, the sale is not valid.

Page 6 of 44
The husband is the administrator of the conjugal partnership (Art. 165 NCC). Subject to certain exceptions,
the husband cannot alienate or encumber any real property of the conjugal partnership without the wife’s consent
(Art. 166 NCC). And the wife cannot bind the conjugal property without the husband’s consent, except in cases
provided by law (Art. 172 NCC)

In the instant case, the wife’s sale is not covered by the phrase “except in cases provided by law” thereby
rendering the sale invalid.

2. Voidable

According to Art. 1390 NCC, among the voidable contracts are “those where one of the parties is incapable
of giving consent to the contract (Par. 1). The wife had no capacity to give consent to the contract of the sale. The
capacity belonged not to the husband alone but to both spouses. This is further supported by the provision that
contracts entered by the husband without the consent of the wife when such consent is required, are annullable at
her instance during the marriage and within 10 years from the transaction questioned (Art. 173 NCC).

The voidable contract of the wife was subject to annulment by her husband only during the marriage
because he was the victim who had an interest in the contract. The wife, who was the party responsible for the
defect, could not ask for its annulment. Their children could not likewise seek the annulment of the contract while the
marriage subsisted because they merely had an inchoate right to the lands sold.

The termination of the marriage and the dissolution of the conjugal partnership by the death of Maximo Aldon
did not improve the situation the wife. After the death of their father, they acquired the right to question the defective
contract insofar as it deprived them of their hereditary rights in their father’s share in the lands. The father's share is
one-half (1/2) of the lands and their share is two-thirds (2/3) thereof, one-third (1/3) pertaining to the widow.

However, the Court held that Felipes were purchasers of bad faith as revealed in a testimony that sometime
in December 1970. Vicente Felipe (son of the petitioners) attempted to have the wife (Gimena) sign a ready-made
document claiming the sale of the land to them. If sale was valid, why did they need a document of sale in their
favour? It’s because they knew the lots still did not belong to them.

ANTONIO H. NOBLEJAS, as Commissioner of Land Registration, petitioner, 


vs.
CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, as Secretary of Justice, and RAFAEL M. SALAS, as Executive Secretary, respondents

23 SCRA 405 April 29, 1968

FACTS:
 Antonio H. Noblejas is the duly appointed, confirmed and qualified Commissioner of Land Registration. By
the terms of section 2 of RA 1151, the said Commissioner is declared "entitled to the same compensation,
emoluments and privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance."

 On March 7, 1968, Sec of Justice Teehankee coursed to Noblejas a letter requiring him to explain in writing
why no disciplinary action should be taken against petitioner for "approving or recommending approval of
subdivision, consolidation and consolidated-subdivision plans covering areas greatly in excess of the areas
covered by the original titles."

 Noblejas answered and apprised the Secretary of Justice that, as he enjoyed the rank, privileges,
emoluments and compensation of a Judge of the Court of First Instance, he could only be suspended and
investigated in the same manner as a Judge of the Courts of First Instance, and, therefore, the papers
relative to his case should be submitted to the Supreme Court, for action thereon conformably to section 67
of the Judiciary Act (R. A. No. 296) and Revised Rule 140 of the Rules of Court.

 On March 17, 1968, Noblejas received a communication signed by the Executive Secretary, "by authority of
the President", whereby, based on "finding that a prima facie case exists against you for gross negligence
and conduct prejudicial to the public interest", petitioner was "hereby suspended, upon receipt hereof,
pending investigation of the above charges."

 On March 18, 1968, petitioner applied to this Court, reiterating the contentions advanced in his letter to the
Secretary of Justice, claiming lack of jurisdiction and abuse of discretion, and praying for restraining writs.

Page 7 of 44
 In their answer respondents admit the facts but denied that petitioner, as Land Registration Commissioner,
exercises judicial functions, or that the petitioner may be considered a Judge of First Instance within the
purview of the Judiciary Act and Revised Rules of Court 140; that the function of investigating charges
against public officers is administrative or executive in nature; that the Legislature may not charge the
judiciary with non-judicial functions or duties except when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial
duties, as it would be in violation of the principle of the separation of powers.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Commissioner of Land Registration may only be investigated by the Supreme Court, in
view of the conferment upon him by RA 1151 and Appropriation Laws of the rank and privileges of a Judge of the
Court of First Instance considering the petitioner’s contention that under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 1151, he is
endowed with judicial functions.

HELD:
No, it is nowhere claimed, much less shown, that the Commissioner of Land Registration is a District Judge,
or in fact a member of the Judiciary.

It has been held that the Supreme Court of the Philippines and its members should not and cannot  be
required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with the
administration of judicial functions; and a law requiring the Supreme Court to arbitrate disputes between public
utilities was pronounced void in  Manila Electric Co. vs. Pasay Transportation Co. (57 Phil. 600).

In this case, Court are constrained to rule that the grant by Republic Act 1151 to the Commissioner of Land
Registration of the "same privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance" did not include, and was not
intended to include, the right to demand investigation by the Supreme Court, and to be suspended or removed only
upon that Court's recommendation; for otherwise, the said grant of privileges would be violative of the fundamental
doctrine of separation of powers, by charging this court with the administrative function of supervisory control over
executive officials, and simultaneously reducing pro tanto the control of the Chief Executive over such officials.

Consequently, the investigation and suspension of the aforenamed Commissioner pursuant to sections 32
and 34 of the Civil Service Law (R. A. 2260) are neither abuses of discretion nor acts in excess of jurisdiction.

FELIX RAMENTO, plaintiff-appellant, 
vs.
CIRIACO SABLAYA, ET AL., defendants-appellees.
G.R. No. 12762           September 6, 1918

Facts:
 The plaintiff alleging that he was the owner of a parcel of land composed of 198 hectares claims that the
defendants, without his knowledge or consent; were occupying certain portions of said parcel of land forcibly
against his will and consent and had refused to deliver the same to him.
 The Director of Lands, answering the petition of the plaintiff, alleged (a) that the plaintiff had theretofore
presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration (Cause No. 4609) for the registration of the land in
question under the Torrens system, and that after a consideration of the said petition, that court denied the
same on the 3rd day of May, 1912, and dismissed the action; and (b) that the land in question was public
land.

 At the time of the trial it as agree between the parties in open court that the plaintiff had theretofore
commenced an action in the Court of Land Registration for the registration of the same parcel of land under
the Torrens system (Cause No. 4609), and that the petition had been denied.

 The lower court, upon a consideration of that agreement, dismissed the present petition with costs against
the plaintiff upon the ground that the dismissal of the action in the Court of Land Registration was a bar to
the present action — that it was res adjudicata.

 From that judgment the plaintiff appealed.

Issue:

Page 8 of 44
Whether or not the denial of a petition for the registration of a parcel of land under the Torrens system can
be pleaded as res adjudicata in an action of ejectment brought by the same plaintiff to recover the same parcel of
land.

Ruling: No.

This court has decided that the denial of a petition for the registration of land, under the Torrens system,
could not be pleaded as res adjudicata to another action brought, either for the registration of the same land, or to an
action of ejectment. (City of Manila vs. Lack, 19 Phil. Rep., 324)

The action for the registration of land under the Torrens system is an action  in rem. The only question which
the Land Court can consider is whether or not the owner has a title which may be registered under the Torrens
system. No declaration can be made by the court concerning the rights of oppositors [objectors] or other claimants
further than to declare that the petitioner is, or is not, the owner is fee-simple of the land involved.

Defects in a title to land may be cured by subsequent acts or events, and that by such acts or events the
alleged owner may become the absolute indefeasible owner of the land. In this case, we can see no reason why he
should not be permitted to show that his title, even though defective when he presented his first petition, is now or
has been perfected, and ask the court to grant him a certificate of registration in accordance with the effect and result
of the subsequent acts or events. So much for a second action for the registration of land under the Torrens system.

Moreover,the defect in the plaintiff's title which might defeat his registration of the same under the Torrens
system, may not necessarily be such a defect as would prevent him from maintaining an action of ejectment. A man
may be the absolute owner of land even though there exists some defect in his title thereto.

AURELIO BALBIN and FRANCISCO BALBIN, petitioners, 


vs.
REGISTER OF DEEDS OF ILOCOS SUR, respondent.
G.R. No. L-20611               May 8, 1969
FACTS: 

 On November 15, 1961 petitioners presented to the register of deeds of Ilocos Sur a duplicate copy of the
registered owner's certificate of title (OCT No. 548) and an instrument entitled "Deed of Donation inter-vivos,"
with the request that the same be annotated on the title. Under the terms of the instrument sought to be
annotated one Cornelio Balbin, registered owner of the parcel of land described in OCT No. 548, appears to
have donated inter-vivos an undivided two-thirds portion thereof in favor of petitioners. 

 The register of deeds denied the requested annotation for being “legally defective or otherwise not sufficient


in law.”

 It appears that previously annotated in the memorandum of encumbrances on the certificate are three
separate sales of undivided portions of the land earlier executed by Cornelio Balbin in favor of  three different
buyers. Mainly because these three other co-owner's copies of the certificate of title No. 548 had not been
presented by petitioners, the Register of Deeds refused to make the requested annotation.

 Unsatisfied, petitioners referred the matter to the Commissioner of Land Registration, who subsequently
upheld the action of the Register of Deeds in a resolution dated April 10, 1962.

 Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: 

Whether or not the petitioners should present the other three duplicate copies of the certificate of title,
coming from the previous sales, before the register of deeds annotate their transaction.

HELD: 
Yes.

Page 9 of 44
Section 55 of Act 496, which provides that "the production of the owner's
duplicate certificate of title whenever any voluntary instrument is presented forregistration shall be conclusive
authority from the registered owner to the register of deeds to make a memorandum of registration in accordance
with such instrument” obviously assumes that there is only one duplicate copy of the title in question, namely, that of
the registered owner himself, such that its production whenever a voluntary instrument is presented constitutes
sufficient authority from him for the register of deeds to make the corresponding memorandum of registration.

In the case at bar, the three other copies of the title were in existence, presumably issued under section 43
of Act 496. As correctly observed by the Land Registration Commissioner, petitioners' claim that the issuance of
those copies was unauthorized or illegal is beside the point, its legality being presumed until otherwise declared by a
court of competent jurisdiction. There being several copies of the same title in existence, it is easy to see how their
integrity may be adversely affected if an encumbrance, or an outright conveyance, is annotated on one copy and not
on the others. The law itself refers to every copy authorized to be issued as a duplicate of the original, which
means that both must contain identical entries of the transactions, particularly voluntary ones, affecting the land
covered by the title. If this would not be followed, if different copies were permitted to carry differing annotations, the
whole system of Torrens registration would cease to be reliable.

SPOUSES NESTOR AND FELICIDAD DADIZON V. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND SPOUSES DOMINADOR
AND ELSA MOCORRO
G.R. NO. 159116 SEPTEMBER 30, 2009

FACTS: Spouses Dominador and Elsa Mocorro initiated a case in the Municipal Trial Court of Naval, Biliran against
the Dadizons to recover a parcel of land with an area of 78 square meters and to cancel the latter’s tax declaration.
The Mocorro’s right to recover was traced back to Ignacia Bernal, who had owned a large tract of 3,231
square meters that she had declared for taxation purposes in Tax Declaration No. 504. On December 30, 1946,
Bernal had sold to Almeda Elaba a portion of 364 square meters of her land. Tax Declaration No. 1551 had been
then issued in the name of Elaba, but covering only 224 square meters. On May 29, 1971, Elaba had sold the same
224 square meters to Brigido Caneja, Sr., resulting in the issuance of Tax Declaration No. 4301 in the name of
Caneja, Sr. in 1972 over the entire 224 square meters. On June 2, 1973, Caneja, Sr. sold the land to the Mocorros.
Thus, Caneja, Sr.'s Tax Declaration No. 4301 was cancelled and Tax Declaration No. 4518 was issued in the name
of Dominador Mocorro.
In 1979, Tax Declaration No. 4518 was superseded by Tax Declaration No. 3478, still covering the same
area of 224 square meters. Tax Declaration No. 3478 carried an annotation of the mortgage on the land constituted
by the Mocorros in favor of the Rural Bank of Naval on July 23, 1975.
In 1984, as borne out in Tax Declaration No. 607, the area of 224 square meters was reduced by 78 square
meters to only 146 square meters, with the western boundary being now described as Cadastral Lot No. 523,
Assessor's Lot No. 049, owned by the Dadizons. It is not denied that the Dadizons were issued their own tax
declaration for the first time only in 1980, through Tax Declaration No. 535 in the name of Felicidad Dadizon,
covering an area of 147 square meters. Tax Declaration No. 535 indicated as the eastern boundary the property of
the Mocorros, described as Cadastral Lot No. 524, Assessor's Lot No. 048.
Based on the tax declarations, the area of the land of the Mocorros had always been 224 square meters until
1984, when the area was reduced to 146 square meters following the exclusion of a part thereof measuring 78
square meters to adjust the area to that declared in the name of the Dadizons in Tax Declaration No. 535.
The Dadizons traced their ownership of the 78-square meter portion to Ignacia Bernal. They tended to show
that Bernal had sold 364 square meters of her land to Elaba on December 30, 1946; that, in turn, Elaba had
conveyed the 91 square meters to Donato Cabalquinto on February 25, 1952 and another portion measuring 78
square meters to Floselfina Elaba in 1953; that Floselfina had then sold the 78-square meter lot to Eustaquia
Bernadas in 1954; that Cabalquinto and Elaba had transferred the 91-square meter lot and confirmed the sale of the
78-square meter lot to Eustaquia Bernadas on May 3, 1954; that Bernadas had remained in possession of the 169-
square meter land from May 3, 1954 until her transfer of it to the Dadizons, who were her daughter and son-in-law,
on March 10, 1976; and that the Dadizons had then possessed the 169-square meter land from the time of the sale
to them until the present, building their house thereon.
In determining the issue as to who between the Mocorros and the Dadizons possessed the better right to the
78-square meter lot occupied by the Dadizons, the MTC ruled in favor of the Mocorros. On appeal, the RTC in Naval,
Biliran affirmed the MTC’s findings.
The Dadizon’s filed an appeal but it was denied by the CA.
ISSUE: Whether or not the unregistered absolute sale in favor of the Dadizons binds the Mocorros.
RULING: No.
Sec. 113 of Presidential Decree No. 1529, also known as the Property Registration Decree, provides that:
No deed, conveyance, mortgage, lease, or other voluntary instrument affecting land not registered under the Torrens
system shall be valid, except as between the parties thereto, unless such instrument shall have been recorded in the
manner herein prescribed in the office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land lies.

Page 10 of 44
The reliance of the Dadizons on the unnotarized and unregistered deed of absolute sale of real property
executed by Bernadas in their favor was misplaced and unwarranted, for the non-registration of the deed meant that
the sale could not bind third parties like the respondents. The transaction affecting unregistered lands covered by an
unrecorded contract, if legal, might be valid and binding on the parties themselves, but not on third parties. In the
case of third parties, it was necessary for the contract to be registered.
Bernadas' execution on March 10, 1976 of the deed of absolute sale of real property in favor of the
Dadizons, standing alone, did not suffice to bind and conclude the Mocorros. Pursuant to Sec. 113, Presidential
Decree No. 1529, the recording of the sale was necessary. The mere execution of a deed of sale covering an
unregistered parcel of land is not enough to bind third persons. A succeeding step - the registration of the sale - has
to be taken. Indeed, registration is the operative act to convey or affect the unregistered land insofar as third persons
are concerned.

EMIGDIO SORIANO AND BEATRIZ DE VERA V. THE HEIRS OF DOMINGO MAGALI, ET. AL.
G.R. NO. L-15133 JULY 31, 1963

FACTS: As early as July 18, 1933, a 317,600 square meters parcel of land was owned by and registered in the
names of the spouses Domingo Magali and Modesta Calimlim, with the Original Certificate of Title No. 51878. On
July 28, 1939, they sold the Northeastern portion, consisting of 25,000 square meters, to spouses Tomas Cerezo
and Segunda Soriano for P500, but said deed of sale was never registered and annotated on said OCT No. 51878.
On January 7, 1941, spouses Tomas Cerezo and Segunda Soriano in turn sold the same to Maximino Mamorno for
P950. The deed of sale was also not registered and annotated on said OCT No. 51878.

On April 5, 1946, Francisca Reyes, as surviving spouse of Mamorno, sold her one-half pro-indiviso share in
said Northeastern portion to spouses Emigdio Soriano and Beatriz de Vera for P1,000, and on the same day, she, as
guardian of her minor children, sold the remaining one-half pro-indiviso of said Northeastern portion to the same
spouses Emigdio Soriano and Beatriz de Vera. On April 9, 1946, these two deeds of sale were registered under the
provisions of Act No. 3344 and were, consequently, also not registered and annotated on OCT No. 51878.

Under these circumstances, the plaintiffs Emigdio Soriano and Beatriz de Vera filed an action for
reivindication of said Northeastern portion, the defendants Modesta Calimlim and Lamberto Magali being in
possession of said Northeastern portion and claim ownership thereof.

The defendants contended that in January 1944, Maximino Mamorno sold said Northeastern portion back to
Modesta Calimlim for P5,000. But instead of executing a formal deed of sale, the muniments of title over said land,
among which were the original of the deed of sale by the spouses Domingo Magali and Modesta Calimlim in favor of
the spouses Tomas Cerezo and Segunda Soriano, were merely delivered to Modesta Calimlim.

The Court of First Instance of Pangasinan ruled that by virtue of said verbal sale, Modesta Calimlim has
been in possession of said Northeastern portion continuously since January 1944 to the present time, paying the real
estate tax thereon. Consequently, Modesta Calimlim and her children are now the lawful owners of said parcel of
land.

Spouses Domingo Magali and Beatriz de Vera filed an appeal stating that the lower court erred in not holding
that there was in fact no verbal sale of the property in question made by Maximino Mamorno in favor of Modesta
Calimlim.

ISSUE: Whether or not the verbal sale in favor of Modesta Calimlim is superior to the sales in favor of the Spouses
Emigdio Soriano and Beatriz de Vera.

RULING: Yes.

Article 1544 of the Civil Code provides that if immovable property is sold to different vendees, the ownership shall
belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the registry of property; and should there be no
inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good faith was first in the possession.

In this case, Calimlim obtained possession of the land in good faith in 1944; spouses Emigdio Soriano and Beatriz de
Vera never did so. The registration by appellants of the sale in their favor was made under Act 3344, which refers to
properties not registered under the Land Registration Act, and hence was not effective for purposes of Article 1544 of
the Civil Code. Registration of Instruments, in order to affect and bind the land, must be done in the proper registry.

CHUA PUA HERMANOS V. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF BATANGAS

Page 11 of 44
G.R. NO. 27449 SEPTEMBER 10, 1927

FACTS: On April 3, 1922. Chua Pua Hermanos instituted a civil action in the Court of First Instance of Batangas for
the purpose of recovering a sum of money from Jose Katigbak. Shortly thereafter, Hermanos caused a writ of
attachment against Katigbak to be placed in the hands of the provincial sheriff. This attachment was levied upon a
house and lot located in poblacion of Lipa, Batangas, and more particularly described in the sheriff’s return to the
writ, the same being the house in which Katigbak was then living.

On June 11, 1926, a judgment was rendered in said civil case in favor of Hermanos to recover from Katigbak the
sum of P13,912.37. Upon said judgment, execution was issued on August 13, 1926 and levied upon the same
property that had already been attached. On September 4, 1926, the property was sold at public auction by the
sheriff to Hermanos, as the only bidder at such sale, for P15,000. Pursuant to this sale, the sheriff issued his
certificate of sale to Hermanos, who on September 11, 1926, presented said certificate to the register of deeds of the
province for registration.

The Register of Deeds of Batangas raised an objection in placing Hermanos’ certificate of sale on record. Based on
the facts, after the attachment had been levied in the action instituted by Hermanos, another creditor of Katigbak,
Samuel Murray, also commenced a civil action against Katigbak in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover a
large sum of money. Judgment was entered in favor of Murray. Execution for the enforcement of this judgment was
issued forthwith, and on July 15, 1926, the same was levied on all the right, title, and interest which the judgment
debtor Katigbak had or might have in the same property which had already been attached by Hermanos. On August
21, 1926, said property was sold at public auction by the sheriff of Batangas to Samuel Murray. On September 1,
1926, the sheriff issued his certificate of sale to Murray, which certificate was duly presented to the register of deeds
and by him recorded.

The Court of First Instance of Manila sustained the Register of Deeds of Batangas in refusing to record Hermanos’
certificate of sale. Hermanos filed an appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Register of Deeds is correct in refusing to register Hermanos’ certificate of sale.

RULING: No.
The Register of Deeds does not exercise a judicial or quasi-judicial power in the registration of sheriff’s
deeds or certificates of sale. His duty with respect to the notation or recording of these instruments, so far at least as
relates to unregistered property, is ministerial only; and the registration of such instruments adds nothing to their
instrinsic effect. Registration in such cases is required merely as a means of notification of the purchaser’s rights to
the public.

In this case, the Register of Deeds should have received and recorded Chua Pua Hermanos’ certificate of
sale.

C.T. WILLIAMS V. TEODULFO SUÑER


G.R. NO. 25795 NOVEMBER 6, 1926

FACTS: There was an action instituted by Williams in the Court of First Instance of Capiz against Emiliano
Hontiveros and the Visayan Refining Co. Judgment was rendered in favor of Williams and an execution issuing
thereon was levied upon all the right, title and interest of Hontiveros in four parcels of land located in the municipality
of Buruanga, Capiz and in a house of strong materials in Ibahay.

At the sheriff’s sale conducted pursuant to said execution, Williams became purchaser of the properties mentioned at
the price of P14,560. After the period of redemption had expired, Ramon Hontiveros, as provincial sheriff, executed a
sheriff’s deed. Williams presented the sheriff’s deed to the Register of Deeds to have it recorded. Teodulfo Suñer,
the acting registrar of deeds of Capiz, refused to do so.

Williams filed a writ of mandamus in the Court of First Instance of Capiz for the purpose of compelling Suñer to
inscribe or record the sheriff’s deed whereby four parcels of land and a house had been conveyed by the sheriff of
Capiz to Williams as purchaser at an execution sale.

It was admitted that the properties in question are not registered under the Torrens system and had never been
registered under the system established by the Spanish Mortgage Law. It was also admitted that, as to the
description of the properties conveyed, the deed in question does not conform in several particulars with the
requirements set forth in paragraphs 2 and 3 of section 194 of the Administrative Code. The deficiencies of said
description are as follows:

Page 12 of 44
First, the document does not state whether the boundaries of the several properties involved are indicated by visible
monuments, and of what they consist; secondly, the superficial area of the parcels conveyed is not stated in square
meters; thirdly, the instrument does not mention the name of the person or persons now in possession; fourthly, as
regards the four parcels, the instrument does not show the permanent improvements existing thereon; and, lastly, as
regards properties numbered 1 and 5, it does not show the number of the assessment sheet of the property and its
taxable value. For the reasons stated, the trial judge held that the deed is not registerable in the register for
unregistered property provided in the Act above-mentioned, and there being no other register kept by the register of
deeds in which the instrument could, in his Honor's opinion, be properly entered, it was declared that the instrument
cannot be registered at all.

Thus, Williams appealed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the instrument can be registered.

RULING: Yes.

The first paragraph of Act 2837 declares in substance that no instrument or deed, affecting rights to real
property not registered under the Land Registration Act shall be valid, except as between the parties thereto, until
such instrument or deed shall have been registered. It is evident that this provision cannot be interpreted to include
conveyances made by ministerial officers, such as sheriff's deeds. It contemplates only such instruments as may be
created by agreement of the parties. The provisions of law governing the transmission of property in invitum by the
act of the sheriff who has sold land under execution are specific; and the instruments executed by him pursuant to
such provisions must be taken to have full legal effect, anything contained in Act No. 2837 to the contrary
notwithstanding.

In this case, exception is taken to the instrument which is sought to be registered on the ground that it does not
comply, as to its descriptive matter, with the requisites specified in sections 2 and 3 of the amendatory Act (No.
2837). But inasmuch as the amendatory Act cannot be held to apply to sheriff's deeds, the instrument in question
must also be registered in this case.

Remman Enterprises, Inc. and Chamber of Real Estate and Builder’s Association v. Professional Regulatory
Board of Real Estate Service and Professional Regulation Commission
G.R. No. 197676 | February 4, 2014

FACTS:
R.A. 9646 (Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines) was passed. Its purpose is to professionalize the real estate
service sector under regulatory scheme of licensing, registration and supervision of real estate service practitioners.

The supervision was likewise lodged under the authority of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).

The law required that companies providing real estate services must transact with the employ of duly licensed real
estate brokers.

Petitioner assails the constitutionality of the law, alleging that it violates the due process clause and infringes the
ownership rights of real estate developers enshrined in Art. 428 of the Civil Code. Furthermore, they claim that
it violates the equal protection clause as owners of private properties are allowed to sell their properties without the
need of a licensed real estate broker.

The RTC denied the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

After the decision in the RTC, it directly appealed to the SC.

Issue: Whether [R.A. No. 9646] is unconstitutional for violating the "one title-one subject" rule under Article VI,
Section 26 (1) of the Philippine Constitution
 
Ruling: The petition has no merit.

No Violation of One-Title One-Subject Rule

To determine whether there has been compliance with the constitutional requirement that the subject of an act shall
be expressed in its title, the Court laid down the rule that Constitutional provisions relating to the subject matter and
titles of statutes should not be so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede the power of legislation. The

Page 13 of 44
requirement that the subject of an act shall be expressed in its title should receive a reasonable and not a technical
construction. It is sufficient if the title be comprehensive enough reasonably to include the general object which a
statute seeks to effect, without expressing each and every end and means necessary or convenient for the
accomplishing of that object. Mere details need not be set forth. The title need not be an abstract or index of the Act.
(Emphasis supplied.)

GSIS v. Board of Commissioners (Second Division), HLURB (2010)

FACTS: New San Jose Builders, Inc. (NSJBI) mortgaged three parcels of land together with the improvements


thereon to the GSIS as security for a loan in the amount of P600 million.

NSJBI sold one of the condominium unit subjects of the mortgage to spouses Marcelino and Alma De los Reyes (the
Spouses).

Meanwhile, NSJBI defaulted on its obligations under the loan agreement, prompting the GSIS to foreclose the


mortgage. At public auction, GSIS was the highest bidder.

The Spouses discovered the mortgage and sale to GSIS. Thus, they filed a complaint against NSJBI et al. before the
HLURB.

GSIS’ Answer: No cause of action as the mortgage was executed prior to the sale of the condominium unit to the
Spouses. GSIS was not a party to the sale.
Before the expiration of the redemption period, the Spouses applied for a writ of preliminary injunction/TRO to
restrain GSIS from consolidating its title over the condominium unit.

GSIS opposed – Sec. 2, PD 385: “No restraining order, temporary or permanent injunction shall be issued by the
court against any government financial institution in any action taken by such institution in compliance with the
mandatory foreclosure provided in Section 1 hereof x x x”

The HLU Arbiter granted the Spouses’ motion and issued a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) restraining GSIS from
consolidating ownership of the condominium unit.

On appeal, the HLURB Second Division affirmed the HLU Arbiter’s decision. It held that the aforecited Sec. 2 applies
only to ongoing foreclosure proceedings. In this case, what was sought to be restrained was the consolidation of title,
not the foreclosure.

Moreover, respondent Board held that GSIS failed to secure a mortgage clearance in violation of Sec. 18, PD957,
which provides that no mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or developer without prior written
approval of this Board.

Thus, respondent Board declared the mortgage VOID.

MR denied. GSIS filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. It alleged that the respondent Board committed grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when only three out of its nine members entertained GSIS’
appeal/MR. CA dismissed the petition. It cited the HLURB Revised Rules of Procedure (Rules). In Sec. 10, Rule
XX, it is provided: “Appeals shall be decided by the Board of Commissioners sitting en banc or by division in
accordance with the internal rules of the Board.”
 
ISSUE: Is the Board’s Second Division empowered by the Rules to entertain appeals?

RULING: YES.

Section 5 of E.O. No. 648 specifically mandates the HLURB Board of Commissioners to adopt rules of procedure for
the conduct of its business and perform such functions necessary for the effective discharge thereof. This
includes the power to delegate a particular function, unless by express provision or by implication, it has been
withheld.

Composition of the Board: 5 ex-officio members and 4 full-time commissioners. Practicality necessitates the


establishment of a procedure whereby a case on appeal may be decided by members of a division.

Page 14 of 44
Sec. 1, Rule XXI of the Rules provides that a motion for reconsideration shall be assigned to the Division from which
the decision, order or ruling originated. It was thus proper for the Second Division to take cognizance of GSIS’ motion
for reconsideration.

WHEREFORE, the challenged Court of Appeals Decision of June 28, 2007 is AFFIRMED. The Housing and Land
Use Arbiter is ORDERED to proceed with dispatch with private respondent spouses De los Reyes's complaint.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK,


vs.
TERESITA TAN DEE, ANTIPOLO PROPERTIES, INC., AND AFP–RSBS, INC.,
G.R. No. 182128 | February 19, 2014

FACTS: Sometime in July 1994, respondent Dee bought from respondent Prime East Properties Inc.5 (PEPI) on an
installment basis a residential lot located in Binangonan, Rizal, with an area of 204 square meters and covered by
TCT No. 619608. Subsequently, PEPI assigned its rights over a 213,093–sqm property on August 1996 to
respondent Armed Forces of the Philippines–Retirement and Separation Benefits System, Inc. (AFP–RSBS), which
included the property purchased by Dee.

Thereafter, or on September 10, 1996, PEPI obtained a P205,000,000.00 loan from petitioner Philippine National
Bank, secured by a mortgage over several properties, including Dee’s property. The mortgage was cleared by the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) on September 18, 1996.

After Dees full payment of the purchase price, a deed of sale was executed by respondents PEPI and AFP-RSBS on
July 1998 in Dees favor. Consequently, Dee sought from the petitioner the delivery of the owners duplicate title but
latter refused. As a result, Dee filed with Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) a case for specific
performance to compel the delivery of the title by the petitioner, PEPI and AFP- RSBS. HLURB ruled in favor of Dee
and directed the petitioner to cancel/ release the mortgage over the lot and ordered that PEPI and AFP- RSBS to
deliver the title to of the lot in the name of Dee, free from all liens and encumbrances.

The HLURB decision was affirmed by its Board of Commissioners and by the OP, hence the petitioner filed a petition
for review with the CA which also affirmed the OP decision.

Petitioner maintains that it cannot be compelled to cancel the mortgage until the mortgagor (PEPI and AFP RSBS)
has settled its obligation.

ISSUE: Whether or not PNB, as mortgagee, was bound by the contract to sell previously executed over the
subdivision lot mortgaged.

HELD: YES. 

In this case, there are two phases involved in the transactions between respondents PEPI and Dee – the first phase
is the contract to sell, which eventually became the second phase, the absolute sale, after Dee’s full payment of the
purchase price. In a contract of sale, the parties’ obligations are plain and simple. The law obliges the vendor to
transfer the ownership of and to deliver the thing that is the object of sale. On the other hand, the principal obligation
of a vendee is to pay the full purchase price at the agreed time. Based on the final contract of sale between them, the
obligation of PEPI, as owners and vendors of Lot 12, Block 21–A, Village East Executive Homes, is to transfer the
ownership of and to deliver Lot 12, Block 21–A to Dee, who, in turn, shall pay, and has in fact paid, the full purchase
price of the property.

                It must be stressed that the mortgage contract between PEPI and the petitioner is merely an accessory
contract to the principal three–year loan takeout from the petitioner by PEPI for its expansion project. It need not be
belabored that “a mortgage is an accessory undertaking to secure the fulfillment of a principal obligation,” and it does
not affect the ownership of the property as it is nothing more than a lien thereon serving as security for a debt.

Owner or developer of subdivision lot or condominium unit may mortgage the same despite contract to sell

                Note that at the time PEPI mortgaged the property to the petitioner, the prevailing contract between
respondents PEPI and Dee was still the Contract to Sell, as Dee was yet to fully pay the purchase price of the
property. On this point, PEPI was acting fully well within its right when it mortgaged the property to the petitioner, for

Page 15 of 44
in a contract to sell, ownership is retained by the seller and is not to pass until full payment of the purchase price. In
other words, at the time of the mortgage, PEPI was still the owner of the property.

                 Thus, in China Banking Corporation v. Spouses Lozada, the Court affirmed the right of the
owner/developer to mortgage the property subject of development, to wit: “P.D. No. 957 cannot totally
prevent the owner or developer from mortgaging the subdivision lot or condominium unit when the title
thereto still resides in the owner or developer awaiting the full payment of the purchase price by the
installment buyer.” Moreover, the mortgage bore the clearance of the HLURB, in compliance with Section 18 of
P.D. No. 957, which provides that “no mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or developer without
prior written approval of the HLURB.”

CASA FILIPINA REALTY CORP. vs. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT and SPOUSES DENNIS and
REBECCASEVILLA
J. Romero | February 7, 1995

FACTS: In May or June 1984, spouses Sevilla agreed to buy from Casa Filipina a parcel of land (264 SQM) in a
subdivision in Parañaque. The parties agreed that the price of P150, 480 would be paid on installment basis with
P36, 115 as DP and P3,560 as monthly installment for 5 years at 28% amortization interest per year. The agreement
was placed in a contract to sell executed on Nov. 15, 1984.

Spouses Sevilla failed to pay the amortizations on time. The last installments they paid on September 1985 were for
April-July 1985.

Later, Dennis Sevilla requested a refund of all installments made upon finding out the absence of any improvement
in the subdivision and that the mother title of the subdivision was under lis pendens and mortgage to ComSavings
Bank.

On Nov. 19, 1985, spouses Sevilla sued Casa Filipina with the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission (HSRC).
They prayed for a refund of P70, 431 plus legal interest thereon plus damages. The HSRC found Casa Filipina to be
without license to sell the subdivision involved. The HSRC held that even if Casa Filipina had a license to sell, it
would still be liable for violation of Sec. 20 of PD 957 as it had failed to develop the subdivision. Hence, HSRC
ordered Casa Filipina to refund the P70, 431 with interest and damages.

The HSRC was affirmed by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) only that it reduced the 28%
interest to 6%. The Office of the President affirmed the HLURB.

As such, Casa Filipina filed this petition. Casa Filipina argues that the petition should not have been dismissed as it
involves the interpretation of provisions of law as the court has to determine whether it is Sec. 23 or 24 of PD 957
which should be applied in this case. Casa Filipina argues that since the spouses Sevilla desisted from paying the
installments, they should have notified Casa Filipina of such desistance in accordance with Sec. 23. More so, since
Spouses Sevilla’s desistance from paying was due to litis pendentia and the mortgage of the mother title of the
subdivision, Sec. 24 should have also been applied.

Casa Filipina underscores the holding of the Office of the President (OP) that Sec. 23 “does not require that a notice
be given first before a demand for refund can be made” as the notice and demand “can be made in the same letter of
communication” which was exactly what spouses Sevilla did.

While Casa Filipina agrees that the notice and demand for reimbursement may be made in one communication, it
avers that Sec. 23 clearly provides that there can be NO forfeiture of payments made by a buyer ONLY IF such
buyer has first given notice to the developer that he will not pay the installments anymore on the ground that the
subdivision has not been developed.

ISSUE: WON the installments already paid by spouses Sevilla should be refunded in pursuance to Sec. 23 of PD
957?

RULING: YES.

Casa Filipina’s contention is premised such that spouses Sevilla’s desistance from further payment of installment
was based merely on the notice of lis pendens and the mortgage on the mother title or on “reasons other than non-
development.” This is belied by the letter sent to Casa Filipina itself.

Page 16 of 44
Under the letter, spouses Sevilla’s refusal to continue paying is based on 2 principal grounds: (1) non-development
of the subdivision; and (2) the encumbrance of the property. As such, the case falls squarely within the purview of
both Secs. 23 and 24 of PD 957.

Considering the peculiar circumstances of this case, the SC agrees with the OSG that the requirements of Sec. 23
has been complied with by spouses Sevilla such that Sec. 23 does not require that a notice be given first before
demand of refund can be made. The notice and demand can be made in the same letter, and this is what spouses
Sevilla did.

Casa Filipina would insist that when spouses Sevilla demand a refund, they were already in default and that their
demand had the sound of belated attempt to cover up their default. This contention is untenable.

The general rule under Article 1169 is that an obligor incurs in delay or default only after a demand, judicial or
extrajudicial, has been made from him for the fulfillment of the obligation. Here, there was no such demand by Casa
Filipina. The letters it sent to spouses Sevilla were the usual reminders that are ordinarily sent by creditors to late-
paying debtors. They are not the

G.R. No. 83432 Radiowealth vs Palileo

FACTS:
Castros acquired a loan from RFC. Meanwhile, the Castros sold herein subject land, an unregistered land, to
Palileo. Since the execution of the deed of sale, Palileo has exercised acts of ownership through his mother, Rafaela.

Subsequently, the Castros defaulted on their debt. Thereafter, RFC filed and won a civil suit against the
spouses. The couple unable to pay, the then-sold land was subject to a writ of execution. The subject land was
levied, and then eventually sold at a public auction where RFC was the sole bidder. RFC then had the certificate of
sale and the deed of final sale registered with the Registry of deeds
Upon learning of the action, Palileo filed an action for quieting of title, claiming ownership over the land.

Procedure: Trial Court: won by Palileo; RFC appealed


Court of Appeals: won by Palileo; RFC appealed
Supreme Court:

ISSUES:
1) Sale between the Castros and Palileo was simulated or fictitiou
2) Palileo was merely an administrator of the Castros
3) RFC must be held the owner of subject land by reason of having it registered first

Ruling:
1) Subject land was already sold prior to the execution sale. Such sale was even notarized and is
presumed authentic
2) (1) establishes Palileo as an owner and not a mere administrator. Furthermore, his acts of ownership
remained undisputed
3) Had the land in question been already registered when it was sold to Palileo, RFC would have been held
owner. The act of registration operates to convey and affect registered land (Sec. 51 PD 1529); thus a
bona fide purchaser of a registered land at an execution sale acquires a good title as against a prior
transferee, if such transfer was unrecorded. Being an unregistered land, however, a different rule must
be applied.

Act No. 3344 held that registration of instruments affecting unregistered lands is "without prejudice to a third
party with a better right. CA therefore correctly ruled that the execution sale of the unregistered land has
no effect since the Castros were already not the owners of the land, the same having been sold to
somebody else.

G.R. No. 77770 – Gomez vs CA

FACTS: Petitioners applied for the registration of the subject lands before the CFI, which was subsequently favored
by default by the court. The same court directed the chief of the Land Registration Office to issue such decrees of
registration. Perez, the chief submitted a report that the subject lands were already covered by homestead
patents and are already registered under the Land Registration Act.

Page 17 of 44
Procedure:
Trial Court (San Carlos City, Pangasinan):
 Set aside the registration order
 Petitioners moved for motion reconsideration; denied for lack of merit

Court of Appeals:
 Filed for certiorari and mandamus (filed originally before Supreme Court) against respondent CFI judge;
dismissed for lack of merit

ISSUES:
1) If the trial court had the jurisdiction to issue the order to set aside the earlier decision as PD 1529 holds that once
a judgment becomes final and executory, registration only becomes a matter of course
2) If the LRC have no alternative but to act affirmative on the earlier decision, its duty being only ministerial
3) If the related case law (Gov’t of PH vs Abran) declaring subject lands as not public lands (effectively implying it
could not have been acquired by holders of homestead titles) as

Ruling:
1) Unlike any ordinary civil actions, finality intended in a land registration proceeding is one year after the entry
of the final decree of registration in LRC. Thus, decision in the registration proceeding prior to the final
decree of the LRC remains to be under the control and sound discretion of the court rendering it.
2) It is ministerial in the sense that they act under the orders of the court and the decree must be in conformity
with the decision of the court and with the data found in the record, and they have no discretion in the matter.
However, if they are in doubt upon any point in relation to the preparation and issuance of the decree, it is
their duty to refer the matter to the court. They act, in this respect, as officials of the court and not as
administrative officials, and their act is the act of the court.
3) The judgment rendered “it is hereby ordered that the lots respectively claimed by Agustin V. Gomez,
Consolacion M. Gomez, and Julian Macaraeg, be registered in their name, with the exclusion of the portions
covered by the homestead certificates…;” the portions mentioned are the subject lands.

G.R. No. 162322 – Republic vs Bantigue Point Development Corporation

FACTS: Supported with tax declarations, a deed of absolute sale in its favor, and a certification from Department of
Environment and Natural Resources – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO),
Bantigue filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) an application for original registration of the subject land. Republic
however filed an Opposition assailing the application of the registration before the RTC. Thereafter, RTC transmitted
the case to the Municipal Trial Court (MTC), stating that the assessed value was less than Php 100,000 (Php 14,920
total assessed value).

Procedure:
Regional Trial Court (Rosario, Batangas):
 Transmitted to MTC, stating the assessed value was less than 100,000

Municipal Trial Court (San Juan, Batangas):


 Awarded the land to Bantigue; Republic appealed

Court of Appeals:
 Republic appealed the jurisdiction of the MTC for the first time
 Won by Bantigue; ruled by CA that Republic is stopped from questioning jurisdiction of MTC since it had
already actively participated in the proceedings before the lower court. Furthermore, Bantigue had sufficiently
established its registrable title over the subject land after proving its open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession and occupation of such.

ISSUES:
1) If Republic is stopped from questioning the jurisdiction of MTC
2) IF MTC failed to acquire jurisdiction of the case because (1) Republic alleges that MTC failed to set the hearing
within the 90-day period provided under the Property Registration decree; (2) RTC failed to set the date and hour of
the initial hearing within five days from the filing of the application for registration by Bantigue; and (3) the selling
price of the subject land was listed at Php 160,000 as stated in the Deed of Sale.

Page 18 of 44
RULING:
1) Republic cannot be stopped from questioning jurisdiction even if it was only raised on appeal. Lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter may be raised at any stage of the proceedings. Jurisdiction over the
subject matter is conferred only by the Constitution or the law.

CA may be acting upon on the ruling on Tijam vs Sibanghanoy where herein defendant only raised lack of
jurisdiction on appeal. It must however be construed as an exception to the general rule. In Tijam, it was
raised after 15 years have elapsed, and after receiving an adverse decision based on merits. Here, Republic
filed its Opposition in the RTC, and not to MTC, which Republic questions its jurisdiction. The exceptional
doctrine of estoppels by laches is inapplicable

2) MTC however retains jurisdiction. The 90-day period and the five-day rule provided by the Property
Registration Decree cannot be faulted to Bantigue, as a party in action has no control over the exclusive
power of the court. This does not mean however that courts may disregard the statutory periods provided by
law. However in this case, it was shown there was no blatant disregard as RTC immediately set the case for
initial hearing the day after the filing of application for registration, except that it had to manifest it through a
second Order

Regarding the jurisdiction questioned because of the value limits, the value of the land is determined by affidavit
of claimant, agreement by multiple claimants, and the corresponding declaration of the real property. Since
Republic and Bantigue does not agree to its valuation, the tax declarations of the property are controlling;
thus, the assessed value totaling Php 14,920 is the basis. Consequently, jurisdiction is conferred to the MTC

3) However, the CENRO is not sufficient proof that the property in question is alienable and disposable.
Jurisprudence has held that the application for original registration must be accompanied by a (1) CENRO
Certification; and (2) a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as a
true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. Since Bantigue lacks the second requirement, his
application must be denied

Petition for Review is denied; the case is remanded to the MTC for reception of evidence to prove that the
subject land is alienable and disposable land of the public domain

G.R. No. 191101 – Spouses Ocampo vs Heirs of Dionisio

FACTS; Spouses Ocampo built a piggery upon the subject land. Upon discovery by Dionisio, asserting is claim
through a Certificate of Title. Husband Mario however asserts that the land was an inheritance from her wife’s father
and that they have been occupying for 27 years.
This compelled Dionisio to file against the spouses

Procedure:
Municipal Trial Court (Cardona,Rizal):
 An action for forcible entry against Spouses Ocampo
 Won by Spouses Ocampo; ruled by MTC that Dionisio failed to establish his prior possession of the subject
land.
 Appealed; denied by MTC for having been filed beyond reglamentary period

Municipal Trial Court (Cardona,Rizal)


 An action for recovery of possession (accion reinvidicatoria) against Spouses Ocampo by the heirs of Dionisio,
who died after the judgment of the forcible entry
 Won by the Spouses Ocampo; ruled by MTC that the case is ruled based on res judicata

Regional Trial Court (Binangonan, Rizal)


 Heirs appealed the recovery of possession case
 Won by Heirs of Dionisio; ruled by RTC that res judicata is inapplicable

ISSUES;
1) If finality of forcible entry constitutes res judicata regarding herein recovery of possession action
2) If Heirs of Dionisio sufficiently established ownership of the subject land
3) If cause of action is already barred by laches

RULING;

Page 19 of 44
1) The claim of res judicata (presumably the first form) is not applicable.
To note, the first form has four requisites: (a) finality of the former judgment; (b) the court which rendered it had
jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; (c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (d) there
must be, between the first and second actions, identity of parties, subject matter and causes of action.
The first three requisites are indeed present: (a) finality of the forcible entry case; (b) MTC had jurisdiction to
the subject land and the parties; and (c) the said case was adjudicated based on merits. However, there is
no identity with regard to the identity to the causes of action.
A forcible entry only involves the issue of possession; a recovery of possession puts in issue the ownership of
the subject property
2) It has been undisputed that the subject land is indeed covered by the Original Certificate of Title, possessed
and registered in the name of Dionisio; while the couple merely has a self-serving claim that the same land
was an inheritance from Maria. The heirs’ claim must prevail.
3) Prescription and laches can not apply to registered land covered by the Torrens system because "under the
Property Registration Decree, no title to registered land in derogation to that of the registered owner shall
be acquired by prescription or adverse possession.”

G.R. No. L-17956            


September 30, 1963
ELISA D. GABRIEL,  vs. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF RIZAL,  JUANITA R. DOMINGO

Facts: On January 4, 1960, petitioner herein Elisa D. Gabriel, filed with the Register of Deeds of Manila, an Adverse
claim, against the properties registered in the name of oppositor-appellant, Juanita R. Domingo, her sister.

On the same date, a similar notice of adverse claim was presented by petitioner with the Register of Deeds of Rizal,
on the properties registered in the name of Juanita R. Domingo, located in Rizal Province.

For the adverse claim on the Manila properties, Domingo presented an opposition, claiming that the Adverse claim
was instituted for (1) Harassment;(2) Had no legal basis; and (3) Had done and will do irreparable loss her.

On January 13, 1960, the Register of Deeds of Rizal denied registration of the Notice of Adverse Claim, stating —

P.E. No. 90080 — NOTICE OF ADVERSE CLAIM has have been found to be legally defective or otherwise not
sufficient in law and is/are therefore, hereby denied on the following ground:

Where there are other provisions of remedies under this Act, the affidavit of adverse claim is not applicable.
Under date of January 21, 1960, Elisa D. Gabriel appealed the above denial to the Land

Registration Commission.The Land Registration Commission, on April 29, 1960, issued a resolution,
contending that It is believed that the two notices of adverse claim filed both registries substantially comply with legal
requirements.

Issues:
1) Whether or not the adverse claims are registrable; and
2) Whether or not it is the mandatory duty of the Register of Deeds register the instant notices of adverse
claims "whether not they are valid, "whether or not they are frivolous merely intended to harass.”

Ruling: It should be observed that Section 110 of Act No. 496, which is the legal provision applicable to the case, is
divided into two parts: the first refers to the duty of the party who claims any part or interest in registered land
adverse to the registered owner, subsequent to the date of the original registration; and the requirements to be
complied with in order that such statement shall been titled to registration as an adverse claim, thus showing the
ministerial function of the Register of Deeds, when no defect is found on the face of such instrument; and the second
applies only when, after registration of the adverse claim, a party files an appropriate petition with a competent court
which shall grant a speedy hearing upon the question of the validity of such adverse claim, and to enter a decree, as
justice and equity require; and in this hearing, the competent court shall resolve whether the adverse claim is
frivolous or vexatious, which shall serve as the basis in taxing the costs. In the instant case, the first part was already
acted upon by the L.P.C. which resolved in favor of the registrability of the two adverse claims and this part should
have been considered as closed. What is left, is the determination of the validity of the adverse claims by competent
court, after the filing of the corresponding petition for hearing, which the appellant had not done.
Anent the second assignment of error, the Land Registration Commission did not state that it was mandatory for a
Register of Deeds to register invalid or frivolous documents, or those intended to harass; it merely said that whether
the document is invalid, frivolous or intended to harass, is not the duty of a Register of Deeds to decide, but a court

Page 20 of 44
of competent jurisdiction, and that it is his concern to see whether the documents sought to be registered conform
with the formal and legal requirements for such documents.

(The above ruling already answered the two issues aforecited)


For reference:
Sec. 110 of Act No. 496 provides that —
Whoever claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner, arising subsequent to
the date of the original registration, may, if no other provision is made in this Act for registering the same,
make statement in writing setting forth fully his alleged right or interest, and how or under whom acquired,
and a reference to the volume and page of the certificate of title of the registered owner, and a description of
the land in which the right or interest is claimed.

The statement shall be signed and sworn to, and shall state the adverse claimant's residence, and designate
a place at which all notices may be served upon him. This statement shall be entitled to registration as an
adverse claim and the court, upon petition of any party in interest, shall grant a specific hearing upon the
question of the validity of such adverse claim and shall enter such decree therein as justice and equity may
require. If the claim is adjudged to be invalid, the registration shall be cancelled. If in any case the court after
notice and hearing shall find that a claim thus registered was frivolous or vexatious, it may tax the adverse
claimant. double or treble the costs in its discretion.

A.M. No. RTJ-92-836 August 2, 1995


OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR,
vs.
JUDGE JESUS V. MATAS, RTC, Branch 2, Tagum, Davao del Norte (acting Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 18,
Digos Davao del Sur) and EDUARDO C. TORRES, JR., OIC, Clerk of Court, RTC, Tagum, Davao del Norte,

FACTS: Judge Jesus Matas and Eduardo Torres, the OIC Clerk of Court, were accused of violating RA 3019
which caused then Deputy Court Administrator Ernani Cruz Pano to recommend that the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) to file administrative charges against the two but said charges will be suspended pending the
out come of the criminal case. The complaint alleged that Judge Matas and Torres, in connivance with one George
Mercado, concealed from J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises his knowledge of the petition for issuance
of new owner’s duplicate copies as well as taking cognizance of the case which was allegedly outside of the
jurisdiction of his court, the land being in Kapalong, Davao. Notwithstanding that the land in question was owned by
J.K. Mercado and Sons, Judge Matas still ordered the posing of the order and ultimately issued instructed
the Register of Deeds for the issuance a new owner’s duplicate to George Mercado. Justice Imperial was tasked with
the investigations. Hearing with the OCA commence but after presenting two witnesses, it moved for suspension of
the proceedings to amend the complaint adding the grounds of gross inexcusable negligence and gross ignorance of
the law as well as modifying other portions of the complaint. The complaint alleged that Judge Matas and Torres
acted with bad faith and partiality in ruling in favour of George Mercado.

ISSUE
1. Whether or not Judge Matas acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the case?
2. Whether or not Judge Matas acted with gross inexcusable negligence and gross ignorance of the law in ruling in
favor of George Mercado?

HELD
1. NO. The subject parcel of land was well within the jurisdiction of the court of Judge Matas. The so-called
municipality of Sto Tomas in Davao never legally existed because it was created only by then President Carlos P.
Garcia and not by Congress. The land was actually part of Kapalong which is within the coverage of Branch 1 of the
RTC of Davao del Norte where Judge Matas sits. It was a mere impropriety of venue which may be waived by the
parties.

2. NO. There was no gross inexcusable negligence and gross ignorance of the law given that Judge Matas actually
ordered the required posting to give notice. Also, he only ordered the RD to issue a duplicate of copy existing in
record of the Registry and not issue new ones in the name of George Mercado.

GR Nos. 88521-22, Jan 31, 2000


RAGUA v. CA +

FACTS: These consolidated cases involve a prime lot consisting of 4,399,322 square meters, known as the Diliman
Estate, situated in Quezon City. On this 439 hectares of prime land now stand the following: the Quezon City Hall,
Philippine Science High School, Quezon Memorial Circle, Visayas Avenue, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, portions

Page 21 of 44
of UP Village and East Triangle, the entire Project 6 and Vasha Village, Veterans Memorial Hospital and golf course,
Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Sugar Regulatory Administration,
Philippine Tobacco Administration, Land Registration Authority, Philcoa Building, Bureau of Telecommunications,
Agricultural Training Institute building, Pagasa Village, San Francisco School, Quezon City Hospital, portions of
Project 7, Mindanao Avenue subdivision, part of Bago Bantay resettlement project, SM City North EDSA, part of Phil-
Am Life Homes compound and four-fifths of North Triangle. This large estate was the subject of a petition for judicial
reconstitution originally filed by Eulalio Ragua in 1964, which gave rise to protracted legal battles between the
affected parties, lasting more than thirty-five (35) years. 

ISSUE: Whether estoppel by laches exists on the part of petitioner 

HELD: Petitioners filed the petition for reconstitution of OCT 632 nineteen (19) years after the title was allegedly lost
or destroyed. We thus consider petitioners guilty of laches. Laches is negligence or omission to assert a right within a
reasonable time, warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned or declined to
assert it.

G.R. No. 169599               March 16, 2011


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, 
vs.
JUANITO MANIMTIM, JULIO UMALI, represented by AURORA U. JUMARANG, SPOUSES EDILBERTO
BAÑANOLA and SOFIA BAÑANOLA, ZENAIDA MALABANAN, MARCELINO MENDOZA, DEMETRIO
BARRIENTOS, FLORITA CUADRA, and FRANCISCA MANIMTIM

FACTS: Respondents filed with the RTC two applications for registration and confirmation of their title over two (2)
parcels of land located in Barangay Sungay, Tagaytay City. The respondents alleged that they are the owners pro
indiviso and in fee simple of the subject parcels of land; that they have acquired the subject parcels of land by
purchase or assignment of rights; and that they have been in actual, open, public, and continuous possession of the
subject land under claim of title exclusive of any other rights and adverse to all other claimants by themselves and
through their predecessors-in-interest since time immemorial. In support of their applications, the respondents
submitted blueprint plans of Lot 3857 and Lot 3858, technical descriptions, certifications in lieu of lost geodetic
engineers certificates, declarations of real property tax, official receipts of payment of taxes, real property tax
certifications, and deeds of absolute sale.

The OSG opposed the petition, alleging, among others, that the respondents have not proven actual, open, public,
and continuous possession of the land from June 12, 1945 or earlier. Moldex Realty also opposed, stating that a part
of one of the parcels of the land overlapped with lands it owned.

The RTC handed down its Judgment granting the respondents application for registration of the first lot but deferred
the approval of registration of the second lot pending the segregation of 4,243 square meter portion thereof which
was found to belong to Moldex. It rendered an amended judgment later, granting registration of the second lot. The
OSG and Moldex appealed with the CA, which reinstated the earlier RTC decision. The OSG appealed.

ISSUE: Did the CA err in reinstating the earlier RTC decision, or whether or not the respondents had a valid claim
over the two parcels of land?

HELD: Applicants for registration of title under Section 14(1) of P.D. No. 1529 in relation to Section 48(b) of
Commonwealth Act 141, as amended by Section 4 of P.D. No. 1073 must sufficiently establish: (1) that the subject
land forms part of the disposable and alienable lands of the public domain; (2) that the applicant and his
predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the
same; and (3) that it is under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.

These the respondents must prove by no less than clear, positive and convincing evidence.

The respondents best evidence to prove possession and ownership over the subject property were the tax
declarations issued in their names. Unfortunately, these tax declarations together with their unsubstantiated general
statements and mere xerox copies of deeds of sale are not enough to prove their rightful claim.Well settled is the rule
that declarations and receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership or of the right to possess land when not
supported by any other evidence.The fact that the disputed property may have been declared for taxation purposes
in the names of the applicants for registration or of their predecessors-in-interest does not necessarily prove
ownership. They are merely indicia of a claim of ownership.

Page 22 of 44
G.R. No. 172338               December 10, 2012
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
vs.
CONCEPCION LORENZO, ORLANDO FONTANILLA, SAMUEL FONTANILLA, JULIET FONTANILLA,
ELIZABETH FONTANILLA, ROSELA FONTANILLA, RENATO FONTANILLA AND EVELYN FONTANILLA,

FACTS: Herein respondents Concepcion Lorenzo and Orlando, Samuel, Juliet, Elizabeth, Rosela, Renato, Evelyn,
all surnamed Fontanilla, filed a petition for reconstitution of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 3980 before the
RTC covering a parcel of land in Echague, Isabela. They claimed that during his lifetime, Pedro Fontanilla and his
spouse Concepcion Lorenzo bought a parcel of land from Antonia Pascua and that a deed of sale was executed for
the said transaction. Hence, an Owners Duplicate Copy of OCT No. 3980 was delivered unto the spouses Pedro
Fontanilla and Concepcion Lorenzo. They also averred that the owner's copy of the said title was eaten by termites
while the original copy of the title filed before the Register of Deeds of Isabela was burned when the latter was razed
by fire. The RTC granted the petition.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs decision. Thus, the Republic sought the relief before the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Did the Court of Appeals err when it affirmed the RTC's Order of reconstitution of OCT No. 3980?

HELD: The relevant law that governs the reconstitution of a lost or destroyed Torrens certificate of title is Republic
Act No. 26. Section 2 of said statute enumerates the following as valid sources for judicial reconstitution of title:
Original certificates of title shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be
available, in the following order:

(a) The owners duplicate of the certificate of title;


(b) The co-owners, mortgagees, or lessees duplicate of the certificate of title;
(c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;
(d) An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case may be, pursuant to which the original
certificate of title was issued;
(e) A document, on file in the Registry of Deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said
document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original
had been registered; and
(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or
destroyed certificate of title.

As borne out by the records of this case, Lorenzo et al. were unable to present any of the documents mentioned in
paragraphs (a) to (e) above. Thus, the only documentary evidence the respondents were able to present as possible
sources for the reconstitution of OCT No. 3980 are those that they believed to fall under the class of any other
document described in paragraph (f).
As correctly pointed out by Republic, we had emphasized in Republic v. Holazo that the term any other document in
paragraph (f) refers to reliable documents of the kind described in the preceding enumerations and that the
documents referred to in Section 2(f) may be resorted to only in the absence of the preceding documents in the list.
Therefore, the party praying for the reconstitution of a title must show that he had, in fact, sought to secure such
documents and failed to find them before presentation of other documents as evidence in substitution is allowed.

Furthermore, in a more recent case, this Court enumerated what should be shown before an order for reconstitution
can validly issue, namely: (a) that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented
by petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the
petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force
at the time it was lost or destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the property are substantially
the same and those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

In the case at bar, Lorenzo, et al. were unable to discharge the burden of proof prescribed by law and jurisprudence
for the reconstitution of lost or destroyed Torrens certificate of title.

G.R. No. L-35744 September 28, 1984


WENCESLAO JUNIO, 
vs.
FELICIANO DE LOS SANTOS and REGISTER OF DEEDS OF PANGASINAN

Page 23 of 44
Facts: Wenceslao Junio is the registered owner of a parcel of land situated at Bayambang,
Pangasinan with an area of 7.65 hectares covered by TCT No. 1004. An Affidavit of Adverse Claim was executed by
respondent Feliciano de los Santos, claiming one third undivided portion of Junio’s property by virtue of a Deed of
Absolute Sale allegedly executed by Junio. Junio then denies having sold any portion of his property to De Los
Santos, hence his petition for the cancellation of said adverse claim. Junio disputes the appropriateness of the
annotation alleging that under section 110 of the land registration act such inscription may be resorted only
whenthere is no other means of registering an interest or right, and that section 57 of the samestatute provides for
the registration of a documented sale involving a titled property and that theregister of deeds acted negligently
in registering the document without the formal legalrequisites. Respondent de los Santos countered that he
had tried to avail himself of Section 57by requesting Junio to surrender his owner’s dusplicate certificate of title but
since the latterrefused to do so he was compelled to present an adverse claim pursuant to section 110 of theLRA.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent’s acts were appropriate
Whether or not there was a perfected contract of sale between the parties

Held:
The court ruled that considering that Junio had refused to surrender the title; De Los Santoscould not avail of Section
57. Hence the latter correctly resorted to the annotation of an adverseclaim. Further, the court found that the
genuineness and due execution of the sale between theparties is in controversy. Moreover, although the
grounds relied upon by Junio for thecancellation of the adverse claim were unmeritous, it behoved
the lower court to haveconducted a speedy hearing upon the question of validity of the adverse claim. The case
wasremanded to the RTC for hearing and for passing upon the controversy on the merits betweenJunio and De Los
Santos.

G.R. No. L-20329             March 16, 1923


THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF NEW YORK, 
vs.
JOAQUIN JARAMILLO, as register of deeds of the City of Manila, 

FACTS: On November 27, 1922, Gervasia de la Rosa, Vda. de Vera, was the lessee of a parcel of land situated in
the City of Manila and owner of the house of strong materials built thereon, upon which date she executed a
document in the form of a chattel mortgage, purporting to convey to the petitioner by way of mortgage both the
leasehold interest in said lot and the building which stands thereon.

The clauses in said document describing the property intended to be thus mortgage are expressed in the following
words:

Now, therefore, the mortgagor hereby conveys and transfer to the mortgage, by way of mortgage, the following
described personal property, situated in the City of Manila, and now in possession of the mortgagor, to wit:
(1) All of the right, title, and interest of the mortgagor in and to the contract of lease hereinabove referred to,
and in and to the premises the subject of the said lease;
(2) The building, property of the mortgagor, situated on the aforesaid leased premises.

After said document had been duly acknowledge and delivered, the petitioner caused the same to be presented to
the respondent, Joaquin Jaramillo, as register of deeds of the City of Manila, for the purpose of having the same
recorded in the book of record of chattel mortgages. Upon examination of the instrument, the respondent was of the
opinion that it was not a chattel mortgage, for the reason that the interest therein mortgaged did not appear to be
personal property, within the meaning of the Chattel Mortgage Law, and registration was refused on this ground only.

Issue: Whether or not the Register of Deeds of Manila is conferred with the power to determine the nature of any
document of which registration is sought as a chattel mortgage.

Ruling: No.

The position taken by the respondent is untenable; and it is his duty to accept the proper fee and place the
instrument on record. The duties of a register of deeds in respect to the registration of chattel mortgage are of a

Page 24 of 44
purely ministerial character; and no provision of law can be cited which confers upon him any judicial or quasi-judicial
power to determine the nature of any document of which registration is sought as a chattel mortgage.

The original provisions touching this matter are contained in section 15 of the Chattel Mortgage Law (Act No. 1508),
as amended by Act No. 2496; but these have been transferred to section 198 of the Administrative Code, where they
are now found. There is nothing in any of these provisions conferring upon the register of deeds any authority
whatever in respect to the "qualification," as the term is used in Spanish law, of chattel mortgage. His duties in
respect to such instruments are ministerial only. The efficacy of the act of recording a chattel mortgage consists in
the fact that it operates as constructive notice of the existence of the contract, and the legal effects of the contract
must be discovered in the instrument itself in relation with the fact of notice. Registration adds nothing to the
instrument, considered as a source of title, and affects nobody's rights except as a specifies of notice.

G.R. No. L-17956             September 30, 1963


ELISA D. GABRIEL, 
vs.
REGISTER OF DEEDS OF RIZAL, JUANITA R. DOMINGO

FACTS: On January 4, 1960, petitioner herein Elisa D. Gabriel, filed with the Register of Deeds of Manila, an
Adverse claim, against the properties registered in the name of oppositor-appellant, Juanita R. Domingo, her sister
As grounds for the adverse claim, petitioner allege —

Notwithstanding the registration of the foregoing properties in the name of Juanita R. Domingo, the same
properties have been included in the amended inventory of the estate of the late Antonia Reyes Vda. de
Domingo, filed by Elisa Domingo de Gabriel1 as they are in fact properties acquired by the deceased during
her lifetime. The registration of the titles of these properties,; should have been made in the name of said
Antonia Reyes Vda. de Dominga, but due to commission of fraud and deceit, by said Juanita R. Domingo,
who was then living in the same house with the deceased, all the titles of the above stated properties were
registered instead in her name, thus depriving herein adverse claimant who is likewise an heir of Antonia
Reyes Vda. de Domingo of her lawful rights, interests and participations over said properties.

On the same date, a similar notice of adverse claim was presented by petitioner with the Register of Deeds of Rizal,
on the properties registered in the name of Juanita R. Domingo, located in Rizal Province, the ground for which was
stated as follows —
The foregoing properties an included in the amended inventory of the estate of their late mother Antonia
Reyes Vda, de Domingo, who is the true owner of said properties, and considering that the registrations in
the name of Juanita R. Domingo were only made fraudulently, thus depriving herein adverse claimant of her
lawful rights, interest and participations over said properties.

For the adverse claim on the Manila properties, Domingo presented an opposition, claiming that the Adverse claim
was instituted for (1) Harassment;(2) Had no legal basis; and (3) Had done and will do irreparable loss her.

On January 13, 1960, the Register of Deeds of Rizal denied registration of the Notice of Adverse Claim. Under date
of January 21, 1960, Elisa D. Gabriel appealed the above denial to the Land Registration Commission. It held that
wphthe notices of verse claim filed by Elisa D. Gabriel with the Registries of Manila and Rizal are registrable.

Oppositor Domingo moved for a reconsideration of above order, contending, in the main, that a Register of Deeds
exercises some degree of judicial power to determine upon his own responsibility, the legality of instruments brought
before him for registration. In other words, oppositor submits that the duties of the Register of Deeds are not wholly
ministerial, for they can refuse, and/or suspend the registration of documents when they think they are not valid or
not registrable. Motion for Reconsideration was denied.

Issue: Whether or not the duties of Register of Deeds are not wholly ministerial.

Ruling: No. In addition to the well-taken disquisitions of the L.R.C., it should be observed that section 110 of Act No.
496, which is the legal provision applicable to the case, is divided into two parts: the first refers to the duty of the
party who claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner, subsequent to the date of
the original registration; and the requirements to be complied with in order that such statement shall been titled to
registration as an adverse claim, thus showing the ministerial function of the Register of Deeds, when no defect is
found on the face of such instrument; and the second applies only when, after registration of the adverse claim, a
party files an appropriate petition with a competent court which shall grant a speedy hearing upon the question of the
validity of such adverse claim, and to enter a decree, as justice and equity require; and in this hearing, the competent
court shall resolve whether the adverse claim is frivolous or vexatious, which shall serve as the basis in taxing the
costs. In the instant case, the first part was already acted upon by the L.R.C. which resolved in favor of the

Page 25 of 44
registrability of the two adverse claims and this part should have been considered as closed. What is left, is the
determination of the validity of the adverse claims by competent court, after the filing of the corresponding petition for
hearing, which the appellant had not done.

Anent the second assignment of error, the Land Registration Commission did not state that it was mandatory for a
Register of Deeds to register invalid or frivolous documents, or those intended to harass; it merely said that whether
the document is invalid, frivolous or intended to harass, is not the duty of a Register of Deeds to decide, but a court
of competent jurisdiction, and that it is his concern to see whether the documents sought to be registered conform
with the formal and legal requirements for such documents.

FRANCISCO DEL VAL, ET AL.,PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,


VS. ANDRES DEL VAL,DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.
G.R. NO. L-9374 FEBRUARY 16, 1915

Facts:
Petitioners and private respondents are brothers and Sisters and are the only heirs and next of kin of Gregorio del
Val who died intestate.

It was found out that the deceased took out insurance on his life for the sum of 40T and made it payable to private
respondents as sole beneficiary. After Gregorio’s death, Andres collected the proceeds of the policy.

Of the said policy, Andres paid 18T to redeem some real property which Gregorio had sold to third persons during his
lifetime.

Said redemption of the property was made by Andres’ laywer in the name of Andres and the petitioners. (Accdg to
Andres, said redemption in the name of Petitioners and himself was without his knowledge and that since the
redemption, petitioners have been in possession of the property)

Petitioners now contend that the amount of the insurance policy belonged to the estate of the deceased and not to
Andres personally.

Petitioner filed a complaint for partition of property including the insurance proceeds. Andress claims that he is the
sole owner of the proceeds and prayed that he be declared:

Sole owner of the real property, redeemed with the use of the insurance proceeds and its remainder; Petitioners to
account for the use and occupation of the premises.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioners have a right to the insurance proceeds?

Held: No, petitioners don't have the right to theinsurance proceeds.

The contract of life insurance is a special contract and the destination of the proceeds thereof is determined by
special laws which deal exclusively with the subject.  Our civil code has no provisions which relate directly and
specifically to life-insurance contracts of to the destination of life-insurance proceeds that subject is regulated
exclusively by the Code of Commerce.  Thus, contention of petitioners that proceeds should be considered as a
dontation or gift and should be included in the estate of the deceased is UNTENABLE.

Since the repurchase has been made n the names of all the heirs instead of the defendant alone, petitioners claim
that the property belongs to the heirs in common and not to the defendant alone.  The SC held that if it is established
by evidence that that was his intention and that the real estate was delivered to the plaintiffs with that understanding,
then it is probable that their contention is correct and that they are entitled to share equally with the defendant. 
HOWEVER, it appears from the evidence that the conveyances were taken in the name of the plaintiffs without the
knowledge and consent of Andres, or that it was not his intention to make a gift to them of real estate, when it
belongs to him.

DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION, ONG PENG, ET AL., respondents.,
G.R. No. 100264-81; Jan 29, 1993

FACTS: November 14, 1986, private respondents filed with DOLE- Daet, Camarines Norte, 17 individual complaints
against Republic Hardwood Inc. (RHI) for unpaid wages and separation pay. These complaints were thereafter
endorsed to Regional Arbitration Branch of the NLRC since the petitioners had already been terminated from
employment.

Page 26 of 44
RHI alleged that it had ceased to operate in 1983 due to the government ban against tree-cutting and that in May 24,
1981, its sawmill was totally burned resulting in enormous losses and that due to its financial setbacks, RHI failed to
pay its loan with the DBP. RHI contended that since DBP foreclosed its mortgaged assets on September 24,1985,
then any adjudication of monetary claims in favor of its former employees must be satisfied against DBP. Private
respondent impleaded DBP.

Labor Arbiter favored private respondents and held RHI and DBP jointly and severally liable to private respondents.
DBP appealed to the NLRC. NLRC affirmed LA’s judgment. DBP filed M.R. but it was dismissed. Thus, this petition
for certiorari.

ISSUE:
(1) Whether the private respondents are entitled to separation pay.
(2) Whether the private respondents’ separation pay should be preferred than the DBP’s lien over the RHI’s
mortgaged assets.

RULING:

(1) Yes.

Despite the enormous losses incurred by RHI due to the fire that gutted the sawmill in 1981 and despite the logging
ban in 1953, the uncontroverted claims for separation pay show that most of the private respondents still worked up
to the end of 1985. RHI would still have continued its business had not the petitioner foreclosed all of its assets and
properties on September 24, 1985.

Thus, the closure of RHI’s business was not primarily brought about by serious business losses. Such closure was a
consequence of DBP’s foreclosure of RHI’s assets. The Supreme Court applied Article 283 which provides:

“. . . in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business
losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to 1 month pay or at least 1/2 month pay for
every year of service, whichever is higher. . . .”

(2) No.

Because of the petitioner’s assertion that LA and NLRC incorrectly applied the provisions of Article 110 of the Labor
Code, the Supreme Court was constrained to grant the petition for certiorari.

Article 110 must be read in relation to the Civil Code concerning the classification, concurrence and preference of
credits, which is application in insolvency proceedings where the claims of all creditors, preferred or non-preferred,
may be adjudicated in a binding manner. Before the workers’ preference provided by Article 110 may be invoked,
there must first be a declaration of bankruptcy or a judicial liquidation of the employer’s business.

NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion when it affirmed the LA’s ruling. DBP’s ien on RHI’s mortgaged assets,
being a mortgage credit, is a special preferred credit under Article 2242 of the Civil Code while the workers’
preference is an ordinary preferred credit under Article 2244.

Petition GRANTED. Decision of NLRC SET ASIDE.

ASSO. OF SMALL LANDOWNERS VS. SEC. OF DAR [175 SCRA 343; G.R. NO. L-78742; 14 JUL 1989]

Facts:Several petitions are the root of the case:

A petition alleging the constitutionality of PD No. 27, EO 228 and 229 and RA 6657. Subjects of the petition are a 9-
hectare and 5 hectare Riceland worked by four tenants. Tenants were declared full owners by EO 228 as qualified
farmers under PD 27. The petitioners now contend that President Aquino usurped the legislature’s power.

A petition by landowners and sugarplanters in Victoria’s Mill Negros Occidental against Proclamation 131 and EO
229. Proclamation 131 is the creation of Agrarian Reform Fund with initial fund of P50Billion.

A petition by owners of land which was placed by the DAR under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer.

Page 27 of 44
A petition invoking the right of retention under PD 27 to owners of rice and corn lands not exceeding seven hectares.

Issue:Whether or Not the aforementioned EO’s, PD, and RA were constitutional.

Held:The promulgation of PD 27 by President Marcos was valid in exercise of Police power and eminent domain.

The power of President Aquino to promulgate Proc. 131 and EO 228 and 229 was authorized under Sec. 6 of the
Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution. Therefore it is a valid exercise of Police Power and Eminent Domain.

RA 6657 is likewise valid. The carrying out of the regulation under CARP becomes necessary to deprive owners of
whatever lands they may own in excess of the maximum area allowed, there is definitely a taking under the power of
eminent domain for which payment of just compensation is imperative. The taking contemplated is not a mere
limitation of the use of the land. What is required is the surrender of the title and the physical possession of said
excess and all beneficial rights accruing to the owner in favour of the farmer.

A statute may be sustained under the police power only if there is concurrence of the lawful subject and the method.

MASIKIP VS CITY OF PASIG


G.R. NO. 136349, JANUARY 23, 2006

FACTS: Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip is the registered owner of a parcel of land, which the City of Pasig sought to
expropriate a portion thereof for the “sports development and recreational activities” of the residents of Barangay
Caniogan. This was in January 1994. Masikip refused.

On March 23, 1994, City of Pasig sought again to expropriate said portion of land for the alleged purpose that it was
“in line with the program of the Municipal Government to provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our
community.”

Petitioner protested, so City of Pasig filed with the trial court a complaint for expropriation. The Motion to Dismiss
filed by Masikip was dismissed by the rial court on the ground that there was genuine necessity to expropriate the
property. Case was elevated to the Court of Appeals, which dismissed petition for lack of merit.

Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

W/N there was genuine necessity to expropriate the property.

HELD:

Eminent domain is “the right of a government to take and appropriate private property to the public use, whenever
the public exigency requires it, which can be done only on condition of providing a reasonably compensation
therefor.” It is the power of the State or its instrumentalities to take private property for public use and is inseparable
from sovereignty and inherent in government.

This power is lodged in the legislative branch of government. It delegates the power thereof to the LGUs, other public
entities and public utility corporations, subject only to constitutional limitations. LGUs have no inherent power of
eminent domain and may exercise it only when expressly authorized by statute.

Sec. 19, LGC: LGU may, through its chief executive and acting pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the power of
eminent domain for public use, purpose or welfare for the benefit of the poor and landless, upon payment of just
compensation, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws.

Provided:

(1) power of eminent domain may not be exercised unless a valid and definite offer has been previously made to the
owner and such offer was not accepted;

(2) LGU may immediately take possession of the property upon the filing of expropriation proceedings and upon
making a deposit with the proper court of at least 15% fair market value of the property based on the current tax
declaration; and

Page 28 of 44
(3) (3) amount to be paid for expropriated property shall be determined by the proper court, based on the fair
market value at the time of the taking of the property

There is already an established sports development and recreational activity center at Rainforest Park in Pasig City.
Evidently, there is no “genuine necessity” to justify the expropriation. The records show that the Certification issued
by the Caniogan Barangay Council which became the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 4, authorizing the
expropriation, indicates that the intended beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowner’s Association, a
private, non-profit organization, not the residents of Caniogan.

G.R. No. L-17768


September 1, 1922
Vicente Sotto, petitioner, v. Filemon Sotto, respondent
FACTS: The case involves a petition under Section 513 of the Code of Civil Procedure to reopen the land
registration proceedings with regard to Lot No. 7510 of the Cadaster of Cebu. Petitioner, owner of the lot, alleges that
he left respondent in charge of the lot when he left Cebu in 1907. In April 1921, petitioner learned from the clerk of
the Court of First Instance of Cebu that the respondent had fraudulently obtained registration of the lot in his own
name, and that:

1.) Certificate of Title for that lot had been issued to respondent on January 24, 1920
2.) As he was in Cebu, the petitioner was unable to appear in court during the land registration proceedings to
defend his property rights
3.) Such appearance was his only remedy to recover the property in question petitioner moves to annul the decision
of the Court of First Instance and requests for a new trial.

He therefore asks that the decision of the Court of First Instance in regard to said lot No. 7510 be annulled and that a
new trial be had. The case is now before us upon demurrer by the respondent to the petition on the ground that it
does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. The respondent maintains that section 513 of the Code
of Civil Procedure is not applicable to decisions in land registration proceedings which are covered by a final decree
and this is the only question of importance raised by the demurrer

ISSUE:
Whether or not Section 513 of the Code of Civil Procedure is applicable to decisions pertaining to land registration
proceedings covered by a Final Decree.

HELD:
Section 513 of the Code of Civil Procedure is NOT applicable to decisions pertaining to land registration proceedings
covered by a Final Decree.

Looking into the brief history of Section 513 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which was mentioned in Section 142 and
Section 383 of the Land Registration Act as amended by Act No. 1108, it can be construed that a final “decree of
confirmation and registration” is not a “judgment” within the meaning of Section 513 of the Code of Civil Procedure
and such decree cannot be reopened under said Code except for reasons and in the manner stated in Section 38 of
the said Act. The Land Registration Act itself distinguishes between a judgment and the final decree. The decision
rendered by the court is styled a "judgment." The final "decree of confirmation and registration" cannot be entered
until at least thirty days after such judgment has been rendered.

The dominant principle of the Torrens system of land registration is that the titles registered thereunder are
indefeasible or as nearly so as it is possible to make them.
An examination of Act No. 1108 shows that it merely provides for the amendment of section 6, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 24,
36, and 114 of the original Land Registration Act. Sections 14 and 19 relate to matters of procedure; all the other
section mentioned deal with administrative matters. Nowhere in Act. No 1108 is there any direct indication of any
intention or to impair the strength of the registered titles.

The purpose of the amendment of section 14 of land Registration Act was clearly to make the Court of Land
Registration coordinate with the Court of First Instance and to make its judgments appealable to the Supreme Court
instead of to the Courts of First instance. In carrying out this purpose the Legislature by reference to certain sections
of the Code of Civil Procedure, incorporated into the Land Registration Act the then existing provisions for bills of
exceptions and appeals from the Court of First Instance to the Supreme Court and made certain original actions in
the Supreme Court applicable to land registration matters. This was all that was done and very evidently all it was
intended to do.

Page 29 of 44
As Act No. 1108 only amended certain section of the Land Registration Act and did not purport to amend the Act as
whole, or to introduce any new principle therein.
If we, on the other hand, hold that in land registration matters section 513 of the Code of the Civil Procedure applies
only to those judgments which are not covered by final decrees of confirmation all difficulties in reconciling the
amended section 14 of the Land Registration Act within its other section disappear and the registration system
established by the Act will remain intact. In view of the fact that it obviously was not the intention of the Legislature to
introduce any radical changes in the system itself, this seems to be the only rational construction which can be
placed upon the law.

A person who, through no fault of his own, has been deprived of his land through registration proceedings is thus
offered all the remedies which he, in justice and equity, ought to have; to go father and allow his claims to prevail
against the rights of a bona fide purchaser for value from the holder of a registered title is neither justice nor common
sense and is, as we have seen, subversive of the object of the Land Registration Act. This, as far as we can see,
would be the inevitable and logical consequence of adopting the doctrine that final land registration decrees may be
reopened; it is inconceivable that a certificate of title can stand when the decree upon which it is based fails.

GR. No. 134209, Jan. 24, 2006, 479 SCRA 585


Republic of the Philippines, petitioner,
Vs.
Celestina Naguiat, Respondent.

FACTS:
Celestina Naguiat filed an application for registration of title to four parcels of land located in Panan, Botolan,
Zambales. The applicant alleges that she is the owner of the said parcels of land having acquired them by purchase
from its previous owners and their predecessors-in-interest who have been in possession thereof for more than thirty
(30) years; and that to the best of her knowledge, said lots suffer no mortgage or encumbrance of whatever kind nor
is there any person having any interest, legal or equitable, or in possession thereof. Petitioner Republic opposed on
the ground that neither the applicant nor her predecessors-in interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and
notorious possession and occupation of the lands in question since 12 June 1945 or prior thereto, considering the
fact that she has not established that the lands in question have been declassified from forest or timber zone to
alienable and disposable property.

ISSUE:
Did the areas in question cease to have the status of forest or other inalienable lands of the public domain?

RULING:
No, the said areas are still classified as forest land. The issue of whether or not respondent and her predecessors-in-
interest have been in open, exclusive and continuous possession of the parcels of land in question is of little
moment. For, unclassified land cannot be acquired by adverse occupation or possession; occupation thereof in the
concept of owner, however long, cannot ripen into private ownership and be registered as title. A forested area
classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such classification simply because loggers or settlers
have stripped it of its forest cover. Parcels of land classified as forest land may actually be covered with grass or
planted to crops by kinging cultivators or other farmers. "Forest lands" do not have to be on mountains or in out of
the way places. The classification is merely descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not have to be
descriptive of what the land actually looks like.

Isagani Cruz v. Dept. of Energy and Natural Resources,


G.R. No. 135385, December 6, 2000

FACTS:
Petitioner Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a suit for prohibition and mandamus as citizens and taxpayers,
assailing the constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous
People’s Right Act of 1997 (IPRA) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The petitioners assail certain
provisions of the IPRA and its IRR on the ground that these amount to an unlawful deprivation of the state’s
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.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional

HELD:

Page 30 of 44
No, the provisions of IPRA do not contravene the Constitution. Examining the IPRA, there is nothing in the law that
grants to the ICC’s/IPs ownership over the natural resources within their ancestral domain. Ownership over the
natural resources in the ancestral domains remains with the state and the rights granted by the IPRA to ICC’s/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 small scale utilization of these resources, and at the same time, a
priority in their large scale development and exploitation.

Additionally, ancestral lands and ancestral domains are not part of the lands of the public domain. They are private
lands and belong to the ICCs/IPs by native title, which is a concept of private land title that existed irrespective of any
royal grant from the state. However, the right of ownership and possession by the ICC’s/IPs of their ancestral
domains is a limited form of ownership and does not include the right to alienate the same.

REPUBLIC VS. ESPINOSA


G.R. No. 186603. April 5, 2017

FACTS:
On October 26, 1955, by virtue of Cadastral Decree No. N-31626, Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 191-N was
issued on October 15, 1962 in the name of Valentina Espinosa(Espinosa). On June 17, 1976, Espinosa sold the
property to Leonila B. Caliston (Caliston), who was later issued Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-911177 on
June 29, 1976.

On January 13, 2003, the State filed a Complaint for annulment of title and/or reversion of land with the RTC claiming
that the property is inalienable public land because it fell within a timberland area indicated under Project No. 27-C,
Block C per Land Classification(LC) Map No. 2978, as certified by the Director of Forestry on January 17, 1986.

Caliston countered that the property is not timberland. Invoking laches and prescription, she argued that her title was
issued earlier in 1962, while the map shows that the property was classified only in 1986.

The trial court ruled in favor of the State and ordered the reversion of the property to the mass of the public domain.
However, the CA upheld the validity of OCT No. 191-N and TCT No. 91117 issued in the names of Espinosa and
Caliston, respectively, and found that the State failed to prove fraud or misrepresentation on the part of Espinosa
when she was issued OCT No. 191-N. It further ruled that the State failed to prove that the property is forest land.
The lone piece of evidence consisting of LC Map No. 2978, certified by the Director of Forestry on January 17, 1986,
was not authenticated pursuant to Section 24,25Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the State has sufficiently proved that the property is part of inalienable forest land at the time
Espinosa was granted the cadastral decree and issued a title.

HELD:
NO. The State failed to prove that the property was classified as forest land at the time of the grant of the cadastral
decree and issuance of title to Espinosa. In land registration proceedings, the applicant has the burden of
overcoming the presumption of State ownership. It must establish, through incontrovertible evidence, that the land
sought to be registered is alienable or disposable based on a positive act of the government.

Since cadastral proceedings are governed by the usual rules of practice, procedure, and evidence, a cadastral
decree and a certificate of title are issued only after the applicant proves all the requisite jurisdictional facts that they
are entitled to the claimed lot, that all parties are heard, and that evidence is considered. As such, the cadastral
decree is a judgment which adjudicates ownership after proving these jurisdictional facts. Here, it is undisputed that
Espinosa was granted a cadastral decree and was subsequently issued OCT No. 191-N, the predecessor title of
Caliston’s TCT No. 91117.

Having been granted a decree in a cadastral proceeding, Espinosa can be presumed to have overcome the
presumption that the land sought to be registered forms part of the public domain. This means that Espinosa, as the
applicant, was able to prove by incontrovertible evidence that the property is alienable and disposable property in the
cadastral proceedings. This is not to say, however, that the State has no remedy to recover the property if indeed it is
part of the inalienable lands of the public domain.

Dagdag v. Nepomuceno
GR No. L-12691
February 27, 1959

Page 31 of 44
FACTS
A portion of Lot No. 3786, Cabanatuan Cadastre is covered by Sales Patent No. 251 issued to Margarita Juanson,
and also by lease No. 49 executed by the Bureau of Lands in favor of Andres de Vera.

The Sales Patent was inscribed in the office of the Register of Deeds on July 11, 1927, and Original Certificate of
Title No. 68 was accordingly issued in the name of Margarita Juanson, who later sold the land to Remigio Juanson
Bautista in 1928, who in turn sold it to Balarin Incorporated in 1929. In May 1950, Simeon T. Dagdag bought it from
Balarin, Inc. After every sale, the corresponding Transfer Certificate of Title was given out.

On the other hand, the lease to De Vera signed in June 1916 covered adjoining land of a bigger area. It was
transferred by him to Regino Nepomuceno. Dagdag's title, and those of his predecessors contained no annotation of
such lease, of which neither he nor they had any knowledge.

The heirs of Regino Nepomuceno refused to surrender possession of the lot holding that their contract of lease did
not extend to the area granted to Dagdag's predecessors.
The Nueva Ecija court of first instance was declared Dagdag, presumed to be an innocent purchaser for value, to be
the owner of the whole Lot 3786. The court declared that the lease cannot bind and prejudice the plaintiff, the lot
being a registered land.

ISSUE: Whether or not Dagdag is the owner of the subject lot

RULING: Yes.

The Torrens Title of Dagdag must prevail. The defendant’s documents are transferring ownership—not documents of
lease, transferring mere possession. The statute directs the issuance to the grantee of "an owner's duplicate
certificate".

Chavez v. Public Estates Authority


G.R. No. 133250
July 9, 2002

FACTS
On February 4, 1977, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1084 creating Public
Estates Authority (PEA), tasked "to reclaim land, including foreshore and submerged areas," and "to develop,
improve, acquire, lease and sell any and all kinds of lands."

On January 19, 1988, then President Aquino issued a special patent granting and transferring to PEA the parcels of
land so reclaimed. Subsequently, the Register of Deeds of the Municipality of Parañaque issued Transfer Certificates
of Title, in the name of PEA, covering the three reclaimed islands.

On April 25, 1995, PEA entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with AMARI, a private corporation, to develop
the islands and reclaim an additional 250 hectares. On June 8, 1995, then President Fidel V. Ramos approved the
JVA.
As a result of a privilege speech by then Senate President Ernesto Maceda, the Senate conducted a joint
investigation on the JVA. The Senate Committees reported that the JVA is illegal and the reclaimed lands are public
domain not classified as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot alienate these lands.

On April 27, 1998, petitioner Frank Chavez, a taxpayer, filed before the Court a petition to assail the sale to AMARI
of lands of the public domain as a blatant violation of constitutional prohibition on the sale of alienable lands of the
public domain to private corporations.
On May 28, 1999, President Estrada approved the Amended JVA.

ISSUE: Whether the stipulations in the amended joint venture agreement for the transfer to AMARI of certain lands,
reclaimed and still to be reclaimed, violate the 1987 constitution

RULING: No.

The lands held by PEA are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to private corporations
but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. PEA may only sell these lands to
Philippine citizens, subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and existing laws.

Page 32 of 44
Lands reclaimed from foreshore and submerged areas also form part of the public domain and are also inalienable,
unless converted pursuant to law into alienable or disposable lands of the public domain. Historically, lands
reclaimed by the government are sui generis, not available for sale to private parties unlike other alienable public
lands.

Calibo v. Ballesteros
G.R. No. L-17466
September 18, 1965

FACTS: On April 10, 1930, the Director of Lands the decided to give due course to the sales application of Tiburcio
Ballesteros and rejecting that of Barbara Andoy, as Andoy's entry to the land was not made in good faith. The land
was surveyed in 1931 by a deputy public land surveyor, who segregated the land to the heirs of Andoy after the
latter’s death.

After the hearing, Public Land Inspector Pablo Canda, Jr. submitted to the Director of Lands his report the Director of
Lands giving due course to the application of Ballesteros.

The petitioner Jamisolas do not deny the public character of the land in question. They entered the land only in 1925
when it was still cogonal and partly covered with virgin forest. They declared their respective holdings for tax
purposes and they had been paying the taxes thereon.

On June 30, 1955, after appeal, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources modified the decision of the
Director of Lands, holding that the petitioners were entitled to preferential right to acquire by means of the sales
patent application on the ground that the Jamisolas were landless people.

Respondent Ballesteros moved for the reconsideration of the said decision on the ground that the Jamisolas were
not landless people but are actually rich and own and possess considerable landed properties. The petitioners were
required to answer but they failed to submit any defenses
So, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources reversed his decision and affirmed the decision of the
Director of Lands. Appellants claim that the Director and Secretary had acted in excess of jurisdiction and with grave
abuse of discretion in issuing their respective decisions.

ISSUE: Whether the Director and Secretary had acted in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in
issuing their respective decisions

RULING: No. The controverted land is public land. The Director, who is the officer charged with carrying out the
provisions of the Public Land Law (Section 3), has control over the survey, classification, lease, sale or any other
form of concession or disposition and management of the lands of the public domain. His decision as to questions of
fact, when approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is conclusive (Section 4). The appellants
and appellee Ballesteros were given the chance to submit their respective evidence at a hearing conducted by the
Bureau of Lands investigator.

Lee Hong Hok v. David


G.R. No. L-30389
December 27, 1972

FACTS
Respondent Aniano David acquired lawful title to the disputed land by miscellaneous sales application. A sales
patent was made by the Director of Lands on June 18, 1958, covering Lot 2892 containing an area of 226 square
meters, which is a portion of Lot 2863 of the Naga Cadastre. On the basis of the order of award of the Director of
Lands the Undersecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued on August 26, 1959, Miscellaneous Sales
Patent No. V-1209 pursuant to which OCT No. 510 was issued by the Register of Deeds of Naga City to David on
October 21, 1959.

Since the filing of the sales application of David and during all the proceedings in connection with said application, up
to the actual issuance of the sales patent in his favor, the plaintiffs did not put up any opposition or adverse claim
thereto.

The lower court and Court of Appeals did not find any fraud committed by David in applying for the purchase of the
land because everything was done in the open. The notices regarding the auction sale of the land were published,
the actual sale and award were not clandestine but open and public official acts of an officer of the Government. The

Page 33 of 44
application was merely a renewal of his deceased wife's application, and the said deceased occupied the land since
1938.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners may question the government grant

RULING: No. Only the Government, represented by the Director of Lands or the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources, can bring an action to cancel a void certificate of title issued pursuant to a void patent.

The government authority possessed by the State which is appropriately embraced in the concept of sovereignty
comes under the heading of imperium; its capacity to own or acquire property under dominium. The use of this term
is appropriate with reference to lands held by the State in its proprietary character. In such capacity, it may provide
for the exploitation and use of lands and other natural resources, including their disposition, except as limited by the
Constitution.

Nestor Sandoval vs Hon. Donoteo Cañeba


September 27, 1990

Facts: The Estate Developers & Investors Corporation filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court of Manila for the
collection of unpaid installments regarding a subdivision lot, pursuant to a promissory note, plus interest.

The court rendered a decision ordering the Sandoval to pay the plaintiff and issued a order directing the issuance of
a writ of execution to enforce its decision.

Sandoval filed a motion to vacate judgement and to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the lower court has no
jurisdiction over the subject matter and that its decision is null and void.
Hence this case was filled to review the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

Issue: Whether or not the ordinary courts have jurisdiction over the collection of unpaid installments regarding a
subdivision lot.

Ruling: No.

Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 957, the National Housing Authority, now known as the House and Land Use
Regulatory Board, has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide a compliant for collection of unpaid installment
against a subdivision lot buyer, not the regular courts.

Considering that the trial court has no jurisdiction under the circumstances obtaining in this case, the decision it
rendered is null and void ab initio. It is as if no decision was rendered by the trial court at all. Hence, this petition is
granted.

Multinational Village Homeowners’ Association, Inc. vs Court of Appeals and Multinational Realty and
Development Corporation
October 17, 1991

Facts: The Corporation filed a compliant against the Association and G-Man Security Agency in the Regional Trial
Court of Makati for “Enforcement of Rights of Property Ownership, Injunction with Temporary Restraining Order with
Damages. The Corporation alleged that, as owner, it had allowed the Association to use the road and set up thereon
a guardhouse manned by the Agency, but the defendants were now preventing the plaintiff from using the road for
transporting construction materials needed to develop its other lots adjacent to the Village.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and litis pendentia. This motion was
denied. The Court of Appeals also denied the prayer for preliminary injunction of the Association.

Hence, the Petitioners filed for the review from the decision of the CA.

Issues:
Whether or not the complaint of the Corporation comes under the jurisdiction of the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board.
Whether or not the Court is barred from hearing the case due to a pending administrative case between the parties

Rulings: No.

Page 34 of 44
The Corporation asserted a claim of ownership over the subject property which is why it filed its complaint not in the
HLURB but with the regional trial court. Since, the jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the compliant, not
the allegations in the answer, the mere contention of the Association that the road is subject to the exclusive use of
the Village will not remove the case from the jurisdiction of the trial court. Moreover, the complaint is not among the
cases subject to its exclusive jurisdiction under Section 1 of PD 957 as amended.

No. Notably, there is no identity of subject matter in the administrative and civil cases since the HLURB decision now
under appeal referred only the road lots and recreational uses that were still vacant for the preparation without
definitely specifying if it included the disputed road. Hence, the Court rules that the complaint filed by the Corporation
against the association comes under the jurisdiction of the RTC of Makati and is not barred by the earlier
administrative case filed by the Association against the Corporation before the HLURB. The two actions can stand
and proceed separately and each may be decided either by the judicial tribunal or the administrative agency in the
exercise of their respective jurisdiction.

Christian General Assembly, Inc. Vs Sps. Avelino C Ignacio and Pricilla T. Ignacio
August 27, 2009

Facts: The CGA filed a case against the Sps. Ignacio for rescission of their contract to sell before the RTC. The
respondents were the registered owners and developers of a housing subdivision known as Villa Priscilla Subdivision
in Bulacan. The CGA alleged that it religiously paid the monthly installments until its administrative pastor
discovered that the title covering the subject property suffered from fatal flaw and defects.

The respondents filed a motion to dismiss asserting that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the case since it involve
the sale of a subdivision lot. The RTC issued an order denying the said motion and further held that the action for
rescission of contract and damages due to the fraudulent misrepresentation that they are the rightful owners of the
subject property, free from all liens and encumbrances, is outside of the HLURB’s jurisdiction.

On appeal, the CA found merit in the respondents’ position and set the RTC order aside.

Issue: Whether the regular court has exclusive jurisdiction over the CGA’s action for rescission and damages.

Ruling:
No. The Supreme Court find no merit in the petition and consequently affirmed the CA’s decision. The provisions of
the PD 957 were intended to encompass all question regarding subdivisions and condominiums. The business of
developing subdivisions and condominiums being imbued with public interest and welfare, any question arising from
the exercise of that prerogative should be brought to the HLURB which has the technical know-how on the matter. In
the exercise of its powers, the HLURB must commonly interpret and apply contracts and determine the rights of the
private parties under such contracts. This ancillary power is no longer a uniquely judicial function, exercisable only by
the regular courts.

Emily Yu Fajardo, et al vs Hon. Odilon I. Bautista


May 10, 1994

Facts: The private respondents were the owners and developers of a subdivision known as the Calamba Central
Compound. The petitioners are the buyers in a contract to sell of the subject property in this case. However, it
appeared that the respondent sold the same property of the different contracts to sell to Habacon under separate
documents. Habacon caused the cancellation of the certificates of title covering the said lots and issuance of new
ones in his name.

The petitioners filed separate complaint with the court s a quo for annulment of the sales in favor of Habacon. The
trial court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.
The petitioners then filed the instant special civil action for certiorari.

Issue: Whether the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing, for lack of jurisdiction, the
complaints filed by the petitioners.

Ruling: No.

The Supreme Court agreed with the trial court that the complaints do involve unsound real estate business practices
on the part of the owners and developers of the subdivision who entered into the Contract to Sell with the petitioners.
By virtue of section 1 of PD 1344, the NHA, now the HLRB, has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the matter.

Page 35 of 44
In addition to involving unsound real estate business practices, the complaint also involve specific performance of the
contractual and statutory obligations of the owners or developer of the subdivision which the Court upheld the NHA
jurisdiction pursuant to the case of Antipolo Realty Corp vs National Housing Authority.

Accordingly, the trial court committed no grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the complaint of the petitioners.

Eagle Realty Corporation vs. Republic


G.R. No. 151421, July 31, 2009

Facts: This case is a motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner, Eagle Realty, on the Decision of CA which
upheld the cancellation of petitioner’s title based on a finding that it is not a purchaser in good faith and for value.

In the assailed Decision, Court declared that a corporation engaged in the buying and selling of real estate is
expected to exercise a higher standard of care and diligence in ascertaining the status and condition of the property
subject of its business transaction. Citing Sunshine Finance vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, a corporation cannot
simply rely on an examination of a Torrens certificate to determine what the subject property looks like as its
condition is not apparent in the document.

Petitioner contended that the ruling in Sunshine Finance is a recent innovation established after the subject property
was transferred in petitioner’s name in 1984, hence, should not be applied in the case.

Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) commented that the ruling in Sunshine Finance can be retroactively applied
since its jurisprudence restates the definition of an innocent purchaser for value.

Issue: Whether or not the jurisprudence in Sunshine Finance can be retroactively apply in the case at bar.

Ruling: Yes, the jurisprudence in Sunshine Finance can be retroactively apply in the case at bar.

In Sunshine Finance, the Court required, for the first time, investment and financing corporations to take the
necessary precautions to ascertain if there were any flaws in the certificate of title and examine the condition of the
property they were dealing with.

In this case, the realty corporations, because of the nature of their business are expected to exercise necessary
diligence in ascertaining the status of the property and not merely rely on what appears on the face of the certificate
title.

Sunshine Finance should be apply in the present case, otherwise, it would be reduced to “a mere academic exercise
with the result that the doctrine laid down would be no more than a dictum, and would deprive the holding in the case
of any force.”

Page 36 of 44
Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Bautista, et als.
G.R. No. L-21362 November 29, 1968

Facts: On May 1949, the defendant-appellee, Lourdes Gaspar Bautista (Bautista), applied to the Government for the
sale in favor of a parcel of land with an area of 12 has., 44 ares, and 22 centares, located at Bo. Barbara, San Jose,
Nueva Ecija. After proper investigation, Sales Patent covering said property was issued in her favor and was
registered in the office of the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija pursuant to Section 122 of Act 496. As a result,
Original Certificate of Title was issued in her favor.

On July 1949, Bautista applied for a loan with the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation (RFC), predecessor in interest
of the plaintiff-appellee Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), offering as security, the said parcel of land
submitting the certificate of title, tax declaration and the blueprint plan of the land. RFC approved a loan of
P4,000.00.

Bautista failed to pay the amortization on the loan so that the RFC took steps to foreclose the mortgage extra-
judicially under Act 3135, as amended. In the ensuing auction sale conducted by the sheriff of Nueva Ecija, the RFC
acquired the mortgaged property as the highest bidder. Bautista also failed to redeem the property within the one (1)
year period as provided by law. RFC consolidated its ownership thereon.

On July 1952, an action (Civil Case) was filed by Rufino Ramos and Juan Ramos in the Court of First Instance of
Nueva Ecija against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the RFC (as successor in interest of
Bautista) claiming ownership of the land in question and seeking the annulment of T.C.T. in the name of the
Government, O.C.T. in the name of Bautista and T.C.TG. in the name of the RFC. The aforementioned certificates of
title were declared null and void by the lower court.

Development Bank of the Philippines filed a complaint against Bautista for the recovery of a sum of money
representing the unpaid mortgage indebtedness.

The lower court dismissed the case filed by DBP being of the view that with the due process requirement thus
flagrantly disregarded, since Bautista was not a party in such action where her title was set aside, such a judgment
could in no wise be binding on her and be the source of a claim by the appellant bank. Hence, this appeal by
appellant bank.

Issues:
1. Whether or not Bautista is liable with the claim of the appellant bank.
2. Whether or not the Director of Lands and the National Treasurer of the Philippines is also liable.

Rulings:
1. No, Bautista is not liable with the claim of the appellant bank.

In Sicat v. Reyes, the Court ruled, “The above agreement, which served as basis for the ejectment of Alipio Sicat,
cannot be binding and conclusive upon the latter, who is not a party to the case. Indeed, that order, as well as the
writ of execution, cannot legally be enforced against Alipio Sicat for the simple reason that he was not given his day
in court.”

According to the Civil Code, "The vendor shall not be obliged to make good the proper warranty, unless he is
summoned in the suit for eviction at the instance of the vendee."

In this case, it is wisely provided by the Civil Code that appellee Bautista, as vendor, should have been summoned
and given the opportunity to defend herself. In view of her being denied her day in court, it would to be respected,
that she is not "obliged to make good the proper warranty."

2. No, the Director of Lands and the National Treasurer of the Philippines is not also liable considering on appellant
belief that if no right existed as against appellee Bautista, recovery could be had from the Assurance Fund.

The Court ruled that, “Such a belief finds no support in the applicable law, which allows recovery only upon a
showing that there be no negligence on the part of the party sustaining any loss or damage or being deprived of any
land or interest therein by the operation of the Land Registration Act. ”

This is not certainly the case here. Plaintiff-appellant being solely responsible for the light in which it now finds itself.

Page 37 of 44
Joaquin vs. Madrid, et al.
G.R. No. L-13551 January 30, 1960

Facts: This is a petition for review in the decision of the Court of Appeals against petitioner and in favor of
respondents.

The spouses Abundio Madrid and Rosalinda Yu are the owners of a residential lot at 148 Provincial corner Sto.
Sacramento, Makati, Rizal, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title. Planning to build a house thereon, Carmencita de
Jesus, godmother of Rosalinda, offered to work for the shortening of the usually long process for a loan, spouses
delivered to her the Transfer Certificate of Title to be surrendered to the RFC. Later the spouses were able to secure
a loan of P4,000.00 from their parents and they decided to withdraw the application for a loan. They so informed
Carmencita to retrieve and return the Transfer Certificate of Title to them who said that the RFC employee in charge
was out on leave.

In August 1954, one Florentino Calayag showed up in the house of the spouses and asked for Abundio Madrid and
Rosalinda Yu telling them that the mortgage had already expired. The spouses immediately went to consult with a
lawyer and found out then that the land had been mortgaged to Constancio Joaquin.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the petitioner is considered a holder in good faith for value.
2. Whether or not the petitioner should be protected as against the registered owner because the latter can secure
reparation from the Assurance Fund.
3. Whether or not both the petitioner and the respondents are guilty of negligence.

Rulings:
1. No, the petitioner is not considered a holder in good faith for value.

The last proviso of Paragraph 2, Section 55 of the Land Registration Act expressly provides that, “in order that the
holder of a certificate for value issued by virtue of the registration of a voluntary instrument may be considered a
holder in good faith for value, the instrument registered should not be forged.”

In this case, when the instrument presented is forged, even if accompanied by the owner's duplicate certificate of
title, the registered owner does not thereby lose his title, and neither does the assignee in the forged deed acquire
any right or title to the property.

2. No, the petitioner should not be protected as against the registered owner even the latter can secure reparation
from the Assurance Fund.

The Court held that, “The innocent purchaser for value protected by law is one who purchases a titled land by virtue
of a deed executed by the registered owner himself, not by a forged deed, as the law expressly states.”

In this case, petitioner is not an innocent purchaser for value protected by law.

3. No, only the petitioner is guilty of negligence and not the respondents.

The Court ruled that, “The giving of the certificate of title to Carmencita is in no act of negligence. Delay in
demanding the same is no act of negligence either, as respondents have not executed any deed or document
authorizing Carmencita to execute deeds for and on their behalf.”
In this case, petitioner was negligent, as he did not take enough care to see to it that the persons who executed the
deed of mortgage are the real registered owners of the property.

Guaranteed Homes, Inc. vs. Valdez, et als.


G.R. No. 171531 January 30, 2009

Facts: Respondents, who are the descendants of Pablo Pascua (Pablo), filed a complaint seeking reconveyance of
a parcel of land with an area of 23.7229 hectares situated in Cabitaugan, Subic, Zambales and covered by Original
Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 404 in the name of Pablo. In the alternative, the respondents prayed that damages be
awarded in their favor.

Page 38 of 44
Respondents alleged that Pablo died intestate sometime in June 1945 and was survived by his four children, one of
whom was the deceased Cipriano. On February 1967, Cipriano executed a document denominated as "Extrajudicial
Settlement of a Sole Heir and Confirmation of Sales," wherein he declared himself as the only heir of Pablo (which
led to the issuance of T-8241 in his favor). Cipriano also confirmed the sales made by the decedent during his
lifetime, including the alleged sale of the disputed property to spouses Rodolfo, predecessors-in-interest of petitioner
(Guaranteed Homes, Inc).

Respondents likewise averred that on the following day, TCT No. T-8241 was issued in the name of Cipriano without
OCT No. 404 having been cancelled. However, TCT No. T-8241 was not signed by the Register of Deeds. On the
same day, TCT No. T-8242 was issued in the name of the spouses Rodolfo and TCT No. T-8241 was thereby
cancelled. Subsequently, on 31 October 1969, the spouses Rodolfo sold the disputed property to petitioner by virtue
of a Deed of Sale with Mortgage. Consequently, on 5 November 1969, TCT No. T-8242 was cancelled and TCT No.
T-10863 was issued in the name of petitioner.

Jorge Pascua, Sr., son of Cipriano, filed on January 1997 a petition before the RTC of Olongapo City, Branch 75, for
the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate of OCT No. 404. The RTC denied the petition, held that petitioner was
already the owner of the land, noting that the failure to annotate the subsequent transfer of the property to it at the
back of OCT No. 404 did not affect its title to the property.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the action is barred by the Statute of
Limitations, more than 28 years having elapsed from the issuance of TCT No. T-10863 up to the filing of the
complaint, and that the complaint states no cause of action as it is an innocent purchaser for value, it having relied
on the clean title of the spouses Rodolfo.

Heirs of Cipriano answered denying the knowledge of the existence of extrajudicial settlement.
RTC granted petitioner’s motion to dismiss. Respondent’s appealed to Court of Appeals.
CA reversed RTC’s order, ruled that the averments in respondents’ complaint before the RTC make out a case for
quieting of title which has not prescribed. Respondents did not have to prove possession over the property since
petitioner as the movant in a motion to dismiss hypothetically admitted the truth of the allegations in the complaint.
The appellate court found that possession over the property was sufficiently alleged in the complaint which stated
that "neither petitioner nor the Rodolfo spouses ever had possession of the disputed property" as "a number of the
Pascua heirs either had been (still are) in actual, continuous and adverse possession thereof or had been enjoying
(still are enjoying) the use thereof."

The appellate court further held that the ruling of the RTC that petitioner is an innocent purchaser for value is
contrary to the allegations in respondents’ complaint. Hence, the present petition for review.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the petitioner is a buyer in good faith.
2. Whether or not the Assurance Fund is liable for damages.

Rulings:
1. Yes, the petitioner is a buyer in good faith.

The Court ruled, “It is basic that a person dealing with registered property need not go beyond, but only has to rely
on, the title of his predecessor-in-interest. Since "the act of registration is the operative act to convey or affect the
land insofar as third persons are concerned," it follows that where there is nothing in the certificate of title to indicate
any cloud or vice in the ownership of the property, or any encumbrance thereon, the purchaser is not required to
explore farther than what the Torrens title upon its face indicates in quest for any hidden defect or inchoate right that
may subsequently defeat his right thereto.”

In this case, it is enough that petitioner had examined the latest certificate of title which in this case was issued in the
name of the immediate transferor, the spouses Rodolfo. The purchaser is not bound by the original certificate but
only by the certificate of title of the person from whom he had purchased the property.

2. No, the Assurance Fund is not liable for damages.

Section 101 of P.D. No. 1529 clearly provides that, “the Assurance Fund shall not be liable for any loss, damage or
deprivation of any right or interest in land which may have been caused by a breach of trust, whether express,
implied or constructive.”

Page 39 of 44
In this case, even if they are entitled, the respondents claim has already prescribed since any action for
compensation against the Assurance Fund must be brought within a period of six (6) years from the time the right to
bring such action first occurred, which in this case was in 1967.

G.R. No. L-8936             October 2, 1915


CONSUELO LEGARDA, with her husband MAURO PRIETO, 
vs.
N.M. SALEEBY

Facts: The plaintiffs and the defendant occupy, as owners, adjoining lots in the district of Ermita in the city of Manila.
There exists and has existed a number of years a stone wall between the said lots. Said wall is located on the lot of
the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs, on the 2d day of March, 1906, presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for the registration
of their lot. After a consideration of said petition the court, on the 25th day of October, 1906, decreed that the title of
the plaintiffs should be registered and issued to them the original certificate provided for under the torrens system.
Said registration and certificate included the wall.

Later the predecessor of the defendant presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for the registration of
the lot now occupied by him. On the 25th day of March, 1912, the court decreed the registration of said title and
issued the original certificate provided for under the torrens system. The description of the lot given in the petition of
the defendant also included said wall.

Several months later (the 13th day of December, 1912) the plaintiffs discovered that the wall which had been
included in the certificate granted to them had also been included in the certificate granted to the defendant .They
immediately presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for an adjustment and correction of the error
committed by including said wall in the registered title of each of said parties.

The lower court however, without notice to the defendant, denied said petition upon the theory that, during the
pendency of the petition for the registration of the defendant's land, they failed to make any objection to the
registration of said lot, including the wall, in the name of the defendant.

The land occupied by the wall is registered in the name of each of the owners of the adjoining lots. The wall is not a
joint wall.

Issue: Under these facts, who is the owner of the wall and the land occupied by it?

Ruling:
The decision of the lower court is based upon the theory that the action for the registration of the lot of the defendant
was a judicial proceeding and that the judgment or decree was binding upon all parties who did not appear and
oppose it. In other words, by reason of the fact that the plaintiffs had not opposed the registration of that part of the
lot on which the wall was situate they had lost it, even though it had been theretofore registered in their name.
Granting that theory to be correct one, and granting even that the wall and the land occupied by it, in fact, belonged
to the defendant and his predecessors, then the same theory should be applied to the defendant himself. Applying
that theory to him, he had already lost whatever right he had therein, by permitting the plaintiffs to have the same
registered in their name, more than six years before.

In case of double registration under the Land Registration Act, that the owner of the earliest certificate is the owner of
the land. That is the rule between original parties. May this rule be applied to successive vendees of the owners of
such certificates? Suppose that one or the other of the parties, before the error is discovered, transfers his original
certificate to an "innocent purchaser." The general rule is that the vendee of land has no greater right, title, or interest
than his vendor; that he acquires the right which his vendor had, only. Under that rule the vendee of the earlier
certificate would be the owner as against the vendee of the owner of the later certificate.

When a conveyance has been properly recorded such record is constructive notice of its contents and all interests,
legal and equitable, included therein. (Grandin vs.  Anderson, 15 Ohio State, 286, 289; Orvis vs. Newell, 17 Conn.,
97; Buchanan vs. Intentional Bank, 78 Ill., 500; Youngs vs. Wilson, 27 N.Y., 351; McCabe vs. Grey, 20 Cal., 509;
Montefiore vs. Browne, 7 House of Lords Cases, 341.)

G.R. No. 175049             November 27, 2008

Page 40 of 44
HEIRS OF SOFIA NANAMAN LONOY vs CITY OF ILIGAN, HEIRS OF JUAN NANAMAN, HEIRS OF LIMBANIA
CABILI MERCADO, HEIRS OF MARIANO ANDRES CABILI

Facts: The spouses Gregorio Nanaman (Gregorio) and Hilaria Tabuclin (Hilaria) were the owners of a parcel of
agricultural land situated in Tambo, Iligan City, consisting of 34.7 hectares (subject property).

When Gregorio died in 1945, Hilaria administered the subject property with Virgilio. On 16 February 1954, Hilaria and
Virgilio executed a Deed of Sale3 over the subject property in favor of Jose C. Deleste (Deleste).

Upon Hilaria’s death on 15 May 1954, Juan Nanaman (Juan), Gregorio’s brother, was appointed as special
administrator of the estate of the deceased spouses Gregorio and Hilaria (joint estate). On 16 June 1956, Edilberto
Noel (Noel) was appointed as the regular administrator of the joint estate.

The subject property was included in the list of assets of the joint estate. However, Noel could not take possession of
the subject property since it was already in Deleste’s possession. Thus, on 30 April 1963, Noel filed before the Court
of First Instance (CFI), Branch II, Lanao del Norte, an action against Deleste for the reversion of title over the subject
property to the Estate, docketed as Civil Case No. 698.

Through the years, Civil Case No. 698 was heard, decided, and appealed all the way to this Court in  Noel v. Court of
Appeals. On 11 January 1995, the Court rendered its Decision 4 in Noel, affirming the ruling of the Court of Appeals
that the subject property was the conjugal property of the late spouses Gregorio and Hilaria, such that the latter could
only sell her one-half (1/2) share therein to Deleste. Consequently, the intestate estate of Gregorio and Deleste were
held to be the co-owners of the subject property, each with a one-half (1/2) interest in the same.

Issue: whether or not respondent secretary of agrarian reform acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction in
placing the residential-commercial lot of petitioners under the coverage of agrarian reform.

Ruling: Section 32 of the Property Registration Decree unequivocally provides:


Sec. 32. Review of decree of registration; Innocent purchaser for value.
The decree of registration shall not be reopened or revised by reason of absence, minority, or other disability
of any person adversely affected thereby, nor by any proceeding in any court for reversing judgments,
subject, however, to the right of any person, including the government and the branches thereof, deprived of
land or of any estate or interest therein by such adjudication or confirmation of title obtained by actual fraud,
to file in the proper Court of First Instance [now Regional Trial Court] a petition for reopening and review of
the decree of registration not later than one year from and after the date of the entry of such decree of
registration, but in no case shall such petition be entertained by the court where an innocent purchaser for
value has acquired the land or an interest therein, whose rights may be prejudiced. Whenever the phrase
"innocent purchaser for value" or an equivalent phrase occurs in this Decree, it shall be deemed to include
an innocent lessee, mortgagee, or other encumbrancer for value. Upon the expiration of said period of one
year, the decree of registration and the certificate of title issued shall become incontrovertible. Any person
aggrieved by such decree of registration in any case may pursue his remedy by action for damages against
the applicant or any other persons responsible for the fraud.

DE JOMOC vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 92871, August 2, 1991 SPOUSES LIM LEONG HONG &
LIM PUE KING vs. MAURA SO & G.R. No. 92860, August 2, 1991
FACTS: The lot in Cagayan de Oro City of the late PantaleonJomoc was fictitiously sold and transferred to third
persons. Maria P. Vda. Jomoc, as administratrix of the estate filed suit to recover the property. The case was
decided in favor of Jomoc and was accordingly appealed by Mariano So and Gaw Sur Cheng. Pending the appeal,
Jomoc executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement aid Sale of Land with private respondent. The document was not
yet signed by all the parties nor authorized but in the meantime, Maura So had made partial payments.In 1983,
Mariano So, agreed to settle the case by executing a Deed of Reconveyance of the land in favor of PantaleonJomoc.
On February 28, 1983, the heirs of Jomoc executed another extrajudicial settlement with absolute sale in favor of Lim
Leong Kang and Lim Pue king. Later, Maura So demanded from the Jomoc family the execution of the final deed of
conveyance. They ignored the demand. Thus, Maria So sued the Jomoc heirs for specific performance to execute
and deliver the proper registrable deed of sale over the lot. So then filed a notice of lispendens. According to the
Jomocs, they believed that Maura So had backed out from the transaction as evidenced by an oral testimony that
she did where she expressed frustration in evicting squatters who demanded large sums as a condition for vacating.
Hence, they executed the other extrajudicial settlement with sale of registered land in favor of the spouses Lim. The
spouses Lim, however, registered their settlement and sale only on April 27, 1983. The lower court, found that (1) the
case is one of double sale; and (2) the spouses Lim are registrants in bad faith. On appeal, the trial court’s decision
was affirmed.

Page 41 of 44
ISSUE: Whether the contract of sale by Maria P. Jomoc with private respondent is unenforceable under the Statute
of Frauds.
HELD: No. The contract is enforceable. The meeting of the minds and the delivery of sums as partial payment is
clear and this is admitted by both parties to the agreement. Hence, there was already a valid and existing contract,
not merely perfected as the trial court saw it, but partly executed. It is of no moment whether or not it is enforceable
under the Statute of Frauds, which rule we do not find to be applicable because of partial payment of the vendee’s
obligation and its acceptance by the vendors-heirs. The contract of sale of real property even if not complete in form,
so long as the essential requisites of consent of the contracting parties, object, and cause of the obligation concur
and they were clearly established to be present is valid and effective as between the parties.

HEIRS OF TRANQUILINO LABISTE VS HEIRS OF JOSE LABISTE


G.R. No. 162033; 8 May 2009

FACTS: The late Epifanio Labiste, on his own and on behalf of his brothers and sisters who were the heirs of Jose
Labiste purchased a lot from the Bureau of Lands of the Banilad Friar Lands Estate at Cebu City. The Bureau of
Lands Director Jorge Vargas executed a Deed of Conveyance selling and ceding the lot to Epifanio and his brothers.
After full payment of the purchase price but prior to the issuance of the deed of conveyance, Epifanio executed an
Affidavit affirming that he, as one of the heirs of Jose, and his uncle and petitioners’ predecessor-in-interest,
Tranquilino Labiste (Tranquilino), then co-owned the lot because the money that was paid to the government came
from the two of them. Tranquilino and the heirs of Jose continued to hold the property jointly. The lots were then
subdivided into two with allocations for Tranquilino and Epifanio. The heirs of Tranquilino subsequently purchased
half the shares of the heirs of Jose and immediately took possession of the entire lot.
When World War II broke out, the heirs of Tranquilino fled Cebu City and when they came back they found their
homes and possessions destroyed. The records in the Office of the Register of Deeds, Office of the City Assessor
and other government offices were also destroyed during the war. Squatters have practically overrun the entire
property, such that neither petitioners nor respondents possess it.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals, while affirming petitioners’ right to the property, nevertheless reversed the RTC’s
decision on the ground of prescription and laches. It affirmed the RTC’s findings that the Affidavit and the Calig-onan
sa Panagpalit are genuine and authentic, and that the same are valid and enforceable documents. Citing Article
1144 of the Civil Code, it held that petitioners’ cause of action had prescribed for the action must be brought within
ten (10) years from the time the right of action accrues upon the written contract which in this case was when
petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest lost possession over the property after World War II. Also, the lapse of time to
file the action constitutes neglect on petitioners’ part so the principle of laches is applicable.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in applying the principles on prescription and the principle of
laches because what is involved in the present case is an express trust.
HELD: Yes, the Court of Appeals had erred in the application of the principles of prescription and the principle of
laches because there was an express trust.
RATIO DECIDENDI:
Trust is the right to the beneficial enjoyment of property, the legal title to which is vested in another. It is a fiduciary
relationship that obliges the trustee to deal with the property for the benefit of the beneficiary. Express trusts are
created by direct and positive acts of the parties, by some writing or deed, or will, or by words either expressly or
impliedly evincing an intention to create a trust. Under Article 1444 of the Civil Code, "[n]o particular words are
required for the creation of an express trust, it being sufficient that a trust is clearly intended." The Affidavit of
Epifanio is in the nature of a trust agreement. Epifanio affirmed that the lot brought in his name was co-owned by
him, as one of the heirs of Jose, and his uncle Tranquilino. And by agreement, each of them has been in possession
of half of the property. Their arrangement was corroborated by the subdivision plan prepared by Engr. Bunagan and
approved by Jose P. Dans, Acting Director of Lands.
As such, prescription and laches will run only from the time the express trust is repudiated. The Court has held that
for acquisitive prescription to bar the action of the beneficiary against the trustee in an express trust for the recovery
of the property held in trust it must be shown that: (a) the trustee has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation
amounting to an ouster of the cestui que trust; (b) such positive acts of repudiation have been made known to the
cestui que trust, and (c) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive. Respondents cannot rely on the fact that the
Torrens title was issued in the name of Epifanio and the other heirs of Jose. It has been held that a trustee who
obtains a Torrens title over property held in trust by him for another cannot repudiate the trust by relying on the
registration. The rule requires a clear repudiation of the trust duly communicated to the beneficiary. The only act that
can be construed as repudiation was when respondents filed the petition for reconstitution in October 1993. And
since petitioners filed their complaint in January 1995, their cause of action has not yet prescribed, laches cannot be
attributed to them.

Estreller vs Ysmael
March 13, 2009 , G.R. No. 170264

Page 42 of 44
FACTS: Respondents filed with the RTC of Quezon City, a case for Recovery of Possession against petitioners,
claiming ownership of the property subject of dispute. Petitioners denied respondents' allegations. According to
them, respondent Luis Miguel Ysmael (Ysmael) had no personality to file the suit since he only owned a small portion
of the property, while respondent Cristeta Santos-Alvarez (Alvarez) did not appear to be a registered owner thereof.
Petitioners also contended that their occupation of the property was lawful, having leased the same from the
Magdalena Estate, and later on from Alvarez. Lastly, petitioners asserted that the property has already been
proclaimed by the Quezon City Government as an Area for Priority Development under P. D. Nos. 1517 and 2016,
which prohibits the eviction of lawful tenants and demolition of their homes. After trial, the RTC rendered its decision
in favor of respondents. Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA), which, in a Decision dismissed their
appeal and affirmed in toto the RTC Decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondents Ysmael and Alvarez are both “real parties in interest”, who would be benefited
or injured by the judgment or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.
RULING: YES.
Respondents are real parties-in-interest in the suit below and may, therefore, commence the complaint for accion
publiciana. On the part of Ysmael, he is a named co-owner of the subject property under TCT No. 41698, together
with Julian Felipe Ysmael, Teresa Ysmael, and Ramon Ysmael. For her part, Alvarez was a buyer of a portion of the
property, as confirmed in several documents. Recently, in Wee v. De Castro, the Court, citing Article 487 of the Civil
Code, reasserted the rule that any one of the co-owners may bring any kind of action for the recovery of co-owned
properties since the suit is presumed to have been filed for the benefit of all co-owners. The Court also stressed that
Article 487 covers all kinds of action for the recovery of possession, i.e., forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion
interdictal) ,recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership(accion de reivindicacion), thus:In
the more recent case of Carandang v. Heirs of De Guzman, this Court declared that a co-owner is not even a
necessary party to an action for ejectment, for complete relief can be afforded even in his absence. Thus, In sum, in
suits to recover properties, all co-owners are real parties in interest. However, pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil
Code and the relevant jurisprudence, any one of them may bring an action, any kind of action for the recovery of co-
owned properties.
Therefore, only one of the co-owners, namely the co-owner who filed the suit for the recovery of the co-owned
property, is an indispensable party thereto. The other co-owners are not indispensable parties. They are not even
necessary parties, for a complete relief can be afforded in the suit even without their participation, since the suit is
presumed to have been filed for the benefit of all co-owners. (Emphasis supplied)
DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision dated March 14,
2005 of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.

LUSTAN VS CA
GR no. 111924, Jan 27, 1997
FACTS: Petitioner Adoracion Lustan is the registered owner of a parcel of land otherwise known as Lot 8069 of the
Cadastral Survey of Calinog, lloilo containing an area of 10.0057 hectares and covered by TCT No. T-561. On
February 25, 1969, petitioner leased the above described property to private respondent Nicolas Parangan for a term
of ten (10) years and an annual rent of One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos. During the period of lease, Parangan was
regularly extending loans in small amounts to petitioner to defray her daily expenses and to finance her daughter's
education. On July 29, 1970, petitioner executed a Special Power of Attorney in favor of Parangan to secure an
agricultural loan from private respondent Philippine National Bank (PNB) with the aforesaid lot as collateral. On
February 18, 1972, a second Special Power of Attorney was executed by petitioner, by virtue of which, Parangan
was able to secure four (4) additional loans, to wit: the sums of P24,000.00, P38,000.00, P38,600.00 and P25,000.00
on December 15, 1975, September 6, 1976, July 2, 1979 and June 2, 1980, respectively. The last three loans were
without the knowledge of herein petitioner and all the proceeds therefrom were used by Parangan for his own
benefit. These encumbrances were duly annotated on the certificate of title. On April 16, 1973, petitioner signed a
Deed of Pacto de Retro Sale in favor of Parangan which was superseded by the Deed of Definite Sale dated May 4,
1979 which petitioner signed upon Parangan's representation that the same merely evidences the loans extended by
him unto the former.
For fear that her property might be prejudiced by the continued borrowing of Parangan, petitioner demanded the
return of her certificate of title. Instead of complying with the request, Parangan asserted his rights over the property
which allegedly had become his by virtue of the aforementioned Deed of Definite Sale. Under said document,
petitioner conveyed the subject property and all the improvements thereon unto Parangan absolutely for and in
consideration of the sum of Seventy Five Thousand (P75,000.00) Pesos.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed an action for cancellation of liens, quieting of title, recovery of possession and damages
against Parangan and PNB in the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner's property is liable to PNB for the loans contracted by Parangan by virtue of the
special power of attorney.
HELD: YES.
The mortgages can be enforced against petitioner. It is admitted that petitioner is the owner of the parcel of land
mortgaged to PNB on five (5) occasions by virtue of the Special Powers of Attorney executed by petitioner in favor of
Parangan. Petitioner argues that the last three mortgages were void for lack of authority. She totally failed to

Page 43 of 44
consider that said Special Powers of Attorney are a continuing one and absent a valid revocation duly furnished to
the mortgagee, the same continues to have force and effect as against third persons who had no knowledge of such
lack of authority.
Article 1921 of the Civil Code provides: If the agency has been entrusted for the purpose of contracting with specified
persons, its revocation shall not prejudice the latter if they were not given notice thereof. The Special Power of
Attorney executed by petitioner in favor of Parangan duly authorized the latter to represent and act on behalf of the
former. Having done so, petitioner clothed Parangan with authority to deal with PNB on her behalf and in the
absence of any proof that the bank had knowledge that the last three loans were without the express authority of
petitioner, it cannot be prejudiced thereby. As far as third persons are concerned, an act is deemed to have been
performed within the scope of the agent's authority if such is within the terms of the power of attorney as written even
if the agent has in fact exceeded the limits of his authority according to the understanding between the principal and
the agent.
The Special Power of Attorney particularly provides that the same is good not only for the principal loan but also for
subsequent commercial, industrial, agricultural loan or credit accommodation that the attorney-in-fact may obtain and
until the power of attorney is revoked in a public instrument and a copy of which is furnished to PNB. Even when the
agent has exceeded his authority, the principal is solidarily liable with the agent if the former allowed the latter to act
as though he had full powers (Article 1911, Civil Code). The mortgage directly and immediately subjects the property
upon which it is imposed. The property of third persons which has been expressly mortgaged to guarantee an
obligation to which the said persons are foreign, is directly and jointly liable for the fulfillment thereof; it is therefore
subject to execution and sale for the purpose of paying the amount of the debt for which it is liable. However,
petitioner has an unquestionable right to demand proportional indemnification from Parangan with respect to the sum
paid to PNB from the proceeds of the sale of her property in case the same is sold to satisfy the unpaid debts.

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