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GR. No. 48265 (Jan.

7, 1987)
Director of Lands vs. CA and ISABEL ESTEVEZ DE TUANQUI
Director of Lands assailed the decision of CA in the Civil Case filed by Isabel Tuanqui
against Diogenes Tuazon. The CAs decision affirmed the decision of the CFI of
Legazpi, Albay to which Tuanqui was declared as owner of Lot No. 109 of the
Cadastral Survey of Legazpi and the defendant, Diogenes Tuazon, is ordered to re
convey the lot embraced in Original Certificate of Title No. 40 plus damages and
attorneys fee.
Tuazon filed a complaint before the CFI of Albay an action to remove clouds over
real property with damages and preliminary injunction. Tuazons contention is that
the land in question was not formed by accretion but by the reclamation project of
the government and the same was recently left dry due to the construction of the
culvert for Legaspi drainage, consequently by the second parcel of land forms part
of the public domain. That assuming without conceding that the second parcel of
land is the private property of Tuanqui, her rights to recover ownership, thereof has
prescribed as defendant and his predecessor-in-interests has occupied the land
openly and adversely for more than ten years. On the other hand, the defendant in
this case, the Director of Lands, through the Solicitor General, avers the fear that he
will proceed in adjudicating the disputed parcel of public lands exist only in the
imagination of Tuanqui who is not even certain that a public land application was
filed for the land described in the complaint and therefore not a valid ground for the
issuance of injunction, much less an ex-parte injunction. The CFI ruled in favor of
Both petitioners Diogenes Tuazon and Director of Lands filed their separate motions
for reconsideration which were denied by the appellate court. Hence, petitioners
filed separate petitioners for review on appeal by way of certiorari resulting to a
consolidated case herewith.

Whether or not the CA erred in declaring that there was accretion and consequently
in not declaring the same as public land subject to the disposition of the Director of

No. SC finds no reason to reverse the findings of facts or conclusions arrived at by
the lower courts. In ruling that there was indeed accretion, the CA declares clearly
that that Lot 109 was formed by the alluvial accumulation of deposit through the
action of the current of the river. Therefore Article 457 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines applies. Said article reads:
ART. 457. To the owners of land adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion
which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters.

As between the plaintiff and the defendant, Diogenes Tuazon, the former has the
right to Lot No. 109. There is enough evidence that the land in question was formed
by accretion; thus it belongs to the riparian owner, pursuant to Art. 457 of the Civil
Code of the Philippines. Consequently, the Director of Lands has no jurisdiction over
it and any conveyance made by him of any private land is null and void.

G.R. No. L-39248 May 7, 1976

Republic vs. Heirs of Luisa Villa Abrille
A parcel of land with a Torrens Title was adjoining a river that eventually dried up.
The lot owner claimed Art. 457 that the dried-up river bed was his by accretion, so
he drew up a subdivision plan that included the river bed. The plan was approved
both by the Land Registration Commission and by the CFI, and two titles were
issued, there being two parcels in the subdivision.
Hence, a complaint for Annulment of Certificate of Title was filed by the Republic of
the Philippines (represented by the Director of Lands), with the Court of First
Instance of Davao alleging that the land in question as formerly a portion of the
Davao River which dried up by reason of the change of course of the said Davao
River; hence a land belonging to the public domain and consequently prayed that
the TCTs of Heirs of Luisa Villa Abrille under the Torrens System be declared null
and void. CFI gave its decision in favor of the Republic of the Phillippes and
rendered its judgment to cancel the said TCTs and directing the Register of Deeds
of Davao to issue new certificates of title in lieu thereof after the portions consisting
of 82,127 square meters, the land involved, shall have been segregated therefrom
in accordance with law.
Not satisfied with the decision of the CFI, Heirs of Luisa Villa Abrille filed an appeal
with CA contending that it erred in holding the approval of Subdivision Plan of no
legal effect merely on ground of lack of notice to interested persons, and in ordering
the cancellation of Certificates of Title. However, in its Resolution dated July 22,
1974, certified the case to this Court for consideration and final disposition.
Whether or not the state can assail cancellation of the subsequent title over the
river bed.
Yes. For to make the former river bed come under the Torrens System, the ordinary
approval of a subdivision plan is not sufficient, there must be a judicial application
for the registration of the land. This is so, for the increased area in question, which
is not a registered land but formerly a river bed, is so big as to give allowance for a
mere mistake in area of the original registration of the tracts of land of the
defendant-appellant formerly belonging to and registered in the name of their
grandfather, Francisco Villa Abrille Lim Juna. In order to bring this increase in area,
which the parties admitted to have been a former river bed of the Davao River,
under the operation and coverage of the Land Registration Law, Act 496,

proceedings in registrations of land title should have been filed Instead of an

ordinary approval of subdivision plan. Hence, with the foregoing requisites not
having been complied with, the lower court committed no error in its appealed

G.R. No. L-30829

August 28, 1929
The plaintiff assailed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Laguna, rendering
the registration by the defendant of a parcel of land which borders the Laguna de
Bay. The plaintiff claimed that the parcels of land in question are part of the bed of
Laguna Lake and, therefore, belong to the public domain. According to the evidence,
the waters of Laguna de Bay receded from the land in question but during rainy
season, the land was flooded by its water. Inasmuch as under the Civil Code, the
owners of the tenements bordering on ponds or lagoons do not acquire the land left
dry by the natural decrease of the waters, then it is of primary importance to
determine whether the body of water called the Laguna de Bay is naturally and
legally a lake or a lagoon.
Whether or not the land in question belonged to the public domain.
No. Laguna de Bay is a body of water formed in depressions of the earth; it contains
fresh water coming from rivers and brooks or springs, and is connected with Manila
Bay by the Pasig River. According to the definition just quoted, Laguna de Bay is a
lake. Inasmuch as, according to article 407 of the Civil Code, lakes and their beds
belong to the public domain, and inasmuch as, according to article 74 of the Law of
Waters, the bed of lake is the ground covered by its waters at their highest ordinary
depth; whereas the waters of Laguna de Bay at their highest depth reach no farther
than the northeastern boundary of the two parcels of land in question, said parcels
are outside said bed and, consequently, do not belong to the public domain. Also,
based on the legal provision applicable to the case is that contained in article 77
and 84 of the aforesaid Law of Waters, which reads:
ART. 77. Lands accidentally inundated by the waters of lakes, or by creeks, rivers,
and other streams, shall continue to be the property of their respective owners.

ART 84. Accretions deposited gradually upon lands contiguous to creeks, streams,
rivers, and lakes, by accessions or sediments from the waters thereof, belong to the
owners of such lands.
Even if, therefore, the parcel of land in litigation were considered as accretions
gradually deposited by accessions or sediments from the waters of Laguna de Bay,
it would still, according to the legal provision just quoted, belong to the claimant
Colegio de San Jose as owner of the lands bordering on said Laguna de Bay.

G.R. No. 105902. February 9, 2000

Severino Baricuatro, Jr. vs. CA, et al.

Severino appealed to the decision of CA affirming the decision of RTC in Cebu for
Severino, bought 2 lands from Galeos. He, however, was unable to pay the full
amount to Galeos. At the time the original action for quieting of title was filed in the
trial court, the titles to the said lots remained in the name of Galeos. Galeos sold the
entire subdivision including the 2 lands purchased by Severino to Amores and have
it registered under his name. Consequently, Amores sold the subdivision to
Nemenio. Thus, a complaint for quieting of title was filed by the respondent spouses
Nemenio against petitioner in the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. Prior to the sale,
however, petitioner was informed through a letter by Amores about the impending
sale of the two (2) lots but the former failed to respond. The respondent spouses
Nemenio caused the transfer of the titles to the said lots and the issuance of tax
declarations in their names. Thereafter, the respondent spouses Nemenio
demanded from petitioner to vacate the said lots but the latter refused to do so. RTC
rendered its judgment in favor of Nemenio as the owners of the disputed lands.
On appeal to the respondent court, Severino assailed the findings of the trial court
that Galeos and Amores validly acquired ownership of the two (2) lots and
registered the same in good faith, and that respondent spouses Nemenio are
purchasers in good faith. However, the CA finds no merit of his contention thus
affirming the decision of the RTC.
Here comes now the present case.

Whether or not the CA erred in including Amores validly acquired ownership of the
two (2) lots and that he is in good faith when he registered the disputed lands in the
registry of property.
Yes. Petitioner emphatically contends that respondent Amores, the second buyer,
cannot be categorized as a purchaser in good faith, arguing on the basis of the
letter which the latter sent to the petitioner, reminding the petitioner of his overdue
account and warning him that if he could not come up with the proper solution, it
would be his last chance before respondent Amores does other remedies before the
Article 1544 of the Civil Code provides:
"ART. 1544. If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees, the
ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession
thereof in good faith, if it should be movable property.
Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person
acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property. Under
article 1544, the ownership of an immovable property shall belong to the purchaser
who in good faith registers it first in the registry of property.
For Amores to successfully invoke the protection provided by article 1544 of the
Civil Code, he must possess good faith from the time of acquisition of the property
until the registration of the deed of conveyance covering the same.
Wherefore, SC had reversed the decision of CA declaring the petitioner SEVERINO
BARICUATRO, JR. as the rightful owner of the disputed lots and ordering him to pay
respondent Constantino M. Galeos the unpaid balance for the 2 lands.

G.R. No. 74470 March 8, 1989

This is a petition for review of the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court
reversing the decision of the Court of First Instance of Laguna and San Pablo City.
Spouses Paulino Vivas and Engracia Lizards are owners of a parcel of land situated
in Laguna. They sold the property in favor of private repondents Melencio Magcamit
and Nena Cosico, and Amelita Magcamit. They constituted an evidenced by
"Kasulatan Ng Bilihang Mabiling Muli." Wherein they agreed that the Certificate of
Title will be issued to them upon payment of the balance of P40, 000.00. They the
private respondents took possession of the said property.

Later on, an Original Certificate of Title covering the property in question was issued
to and in the name of the spouses Vivas and Lizardo without the knowledge of the
private respondents and they have executed a Special Power of Attorney in favor of
Irenea Ramirez authorizing the latter to mortgage the property with the petitioner,
National Grains Authority (NGA). The mortgaged was foreclosed and that the
highest bidder is the NGA. Consequently, NGA asked the private respondents to
vacate the property but they refused.
The private respondents then filed a complaint before the CFI of Laguna and San
Pablo City and prayed that they be declared as owner of the said property. However,
CFI ruled in favor of NGA declaring defendant National Grains Authority the lawful
owner of the property in question by virtue of its indefeasible title to the same.
The private respondents interposed an appeal from the decision of the trial court to
the Intermediate Appellate Court. IAC ruled in favor of the private respondents by
reversing and setting aside the decision of the trial court and declaring then as the
lawful owner of the property.
Hence, the petition for NGA is brought up in this case.
Whether or not NGA has the better right over the disputed land.
Yes. NGA has the better right over the disputed land. It is thus evident that
respondents' right over the property was barred by res judicata when the decree of
registration was issued to spouses Vivas and Lizards. It does not matter that they
may have had some right even the right of ownership, BEFORE the grant of the
Torrens Title.
The real purpose of the Torrens System is to quiet title to land and to stop forever
any question as to its legality. Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure,
without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting on the mirador
su casa, to avoid the possibility of losing his land. An indirect or collateral attack on
a Torrens Title is not allowed. The only exception to this rule is where a person
obtains a certificate of title to a land belonging to another and he has full
knowledge of the rights of the true owner. He is then considered as guilty of fraud
and he may be compelled to transfer the land to the defrauded owner so long as
the property has not passed to the hands of an innocent purchaser for value.

G.R. No. L-48268 October 30, 1978

The plaintiff assailed the decision of the CFI in dismissing the complaint filed by
heirs of Segundo Uberas against Soledad Rapiz, and the children of Pedro Uberas on
the ground of prescription and contending that the action is imprescriptible because

it is one for partition and to quiet title to the property in question, declaring the
declaration of heirship and deed of sale executed by defendants to be null and void
ab initio.
The plaintiffs are the children and successors in interest of Segundo Uberas and
Albino Uberas, while the defendants are the surviving spouse, Soledad Rapiz, and
the children of Pedro Uberas, as well as Alejandra Uberas who is impleaded as an
unwilling co-plaintiff. Segundo, Albino, Francisca, Pedro and Alejandra, all surnamed
Uberas, the first four (4) already deceased, are legitimate children of the spouses
Juan Uberas and Dominga Mendoza who originally own the land in question.
Through fraudulent acts and malicious scheme, the land was transferred under the
name of the surviving spouse, Soledad Rapiz, and the children of Pedro Uberas, and
later claimed sole ownership and possession of the entire property.
As already indicated, respondent court in its questioned order, dismissed the
complaint on the ground that it was barred by prescription "as more than ten (10)
years had elapsed counted from the registration of the extrajudicial declaration of
heirship and the issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title solely in the names of Pedro
Uberas and Alejandra Uberas. The complaint was raised November 3, 1977 while
the title was transferred to Soledad Rapiz and her children December 2, 1966.
Reconsideration of the dismissal order having been denied by respondent court,
petitioners filed the present petition for review.
Whether or not the action for quieting of title for the said property is imprescriptible.
Yes, the action for quieting of title for the said property is imprescriptible. That an
action to quiet title to property in the possession of plaintiff is imprescriptible and
that where there are material facts to be inquired into and resolved on the basis of
evidence adduced by the parties which will determine the legal precepts to be
applied, as in this case, the complaining party should be given full opportunity to
prove his case is fully applicable here according to Faja vs. Court of Appeals.
Also, respondent court manifestly failed to take into account the averments of
petitioners' complaint that they "and defendants are co-owners and possessors of
the property" and that "the malicious and illegal acts committed by defendants
were known to the plaintiffs only during this year 1977, after Soledad Rapiz and her
children were already claiming full ownership and possession of the whole of the
property," thus, the period for prescription would only have commenced in 1977
and prescription could not lie.
Wherefore, the respondent court's order of dismissal is set aside and the case is
remanded to respondent court for trial and determination on the merits.

G.R. No. L-20954

May 24, 1967
This is an appeal directly from the Court of First Instance of Iloilo.
A hectare of rice land owned by Teodoro Husain was sold to Serapio Chichirita for
P30, reserving for himself the right to repurchase it within six years. Teodoro Husain
did not redeem the land, although shortly after the execution of the deed of sale.
Chichirita, transferred his right to Graciana Husain, in what purports to be a resale
of the land. Graciana Husain subsequently transferred her rights to the land to
appellee Elias Gallar in exchange for one cow. A deed of sale was constituted for this
one. The possession of the land, together with the owner's duplicate of the
certificate of title of Teodoro Husain, was delivered on the same occasion to
appellee who since then has been in possession of the land.
Appellee asked the Cadastral Court for the issuance to him of a transfer certificate
of title but the court dismissed his petition for lack of jurisdiction. He, therefore, filed
this suit in the Court of Instance of Iloilo to compel Hermenegilda and Bonifacio
Husain, as heirs of Teodoro Husain, to execute a deed of conveyance in his favor so
that he could get a transfer certificate of title. CFI ordered the appellants to execute
a deed of conveyance of the land in favor of the appellee on the authority of our
ruling in Sapto v. Fabiana.
From this judgment, Bonifacio Husain brought this appeal to this Court.
Whether or not Gallar has the right over the questioned property to which he may
seek re-conveyance thereof.

Yes. When Teodoro Husain failed to redeem the land within the stipulated period, its
ownership became consolidated in the appellee. True the successive sales are in a
private instrument, but they are valid just the same. By the delivery of possession
of the land, the sale was consummated and title was transferred to the appellee.
Indeed, this action is not for specific performance; all it seeks is to quiet title, to
remove the cloud cast on appellee's ownership as a result of appellant's refusal to
recognize the sale made by their predecessor. And, as plaintiff-appellee is in
possession of the land, the action is imprescriptible. Appellant's argument that the
action has prescribed would be correct if they were in possession as the action to
quiet title would then be an action for recovery of real property which must be
brought within the statutory period of limitation governing such actions.
Still it is argued that no action can be brought on the basis of the deed of sale with a
right of repurchase because the land in question was redeemed a few days after it
had been sold. While it is indeed true that the first note written on the reverse side
of the deed of sale speaks of the "redemption" of the land, there is no evidence to
show that the vendee, Graciana Husain, was acting in behalf of her brother Teodoro

Husain, in the exercise the latter's right of redemption. Graciana Husain must,
therefore, be deemed to have acquired the land in her own right, subject only to
Teodoro Husain's right of redemption. As the new owner she had a perfect right to
dispose of the land as she in fact did when she exchanged it for a cattle with the

G.R. No. L-37135 December 28, 1973

The petitioners bought a property from the respondent Alberto Tabar Tabada, one of
the heirs of the late Andres tabar. However, the heirs preferred to receive the
properties pro-indiviso. The three heirs executed an extra-judicial partition of the
estate. Alberto Tabar Tabada, allegedly in connicance and collusion with the spouses
Dolores R. Saldana, executed a deed of sale in favor of the said spouses of all the
properties he was supposed to receive as his share from the estate of Andres Tabar.
Thus the petitioners filed for the annulment of the deed of sale executed by
respondent Alberto Tabar Tabada in favor of the spouses Dolores R. Saldana before
the CFI of Cebu. The parties in this case are required to reopen the Intestate Estate
of Andres Tabar. This case dated January 22, 1957, the Cebu court of first instance
issued its Order to Archive Case dated September 18, 1972 as the final disposition
of which will depend on what the Intestate Estate Court in would finally determine.
The petitioner questioned the decision of the CA upholding the CFI Cebu court's
order archiving petitioners' pending action before it to quiet title and ordering the
parties instead to reopen the long closed intestate proceeding of the deceased
Andres Tabar. It is obvious from the undisputed facts as stated in respondent
appellate court's decision that the proceedings for the intestate estate of the
deceased Andres Tabar have long been closed since 1957 with the payment of all
taxes and debts and with the distribution of the net remainder of the estate pro
indiviso among the three heirs thereof, namely respondent Alberto Tabar Tabada,
Valentina Tabar Causancia and Esteban Tabar.
Reconsideration having been denied by the appellate Court, petitioners filed the
present petition for review by Certiorari.

Whether or not it is proper to archive an action to quiet title (between parties each
of whom claims to have purchased the same properties from an heir) to certain
properties involved in said probate proceedings.
No, it would not be proper to do the archiving simply because probate proceedings
are begun in court. After all, probate proceedings do not delve into the ownership of

the properties involved. Indeed, probate courts have no jurisdiction to determine

with finality, conflicts of ownership. Such conflicts must be litigated in a separate
action, except where a party merely prays for the inclusion or exclusion from the
inventory of any particular property, in which case the probate court may pass upon
provisionally the question of inclusion or exclusion, but without prejudice to its final
determination in an appropriate action.
SC reversed the decision of the CA. The questioned order of the Cebu court of first
instance to archive is set aside and said court is directed to proceed with the
hearing and determination of the said action to quiet title on its merits.

G.R. No. 108547. February 3, 1997

The petitioner assailed the decision of CA in reversing the decision of CFI and
ordered defendant Vda. de Cabrera to vacate the portion of a lot in question and
surrender the possession thereof to Orais.
The lot in question was originally owned by Daniel Teokemian, Albertana Teokemian
and Felicidad Teokemian then later sold to Orais without signature of Felicidad.
Another deed of sale was executed by Felicidad for the same lot in favor of the
petitioner Vda. De Cabrera. Thereafter Vda. De Cabrera and he husband
immediately took possession on the said lot.
Before the RTC of Davao Oriental, an action for Quieting of Title to Real Property was
raised by defendant Vda. de Cabrera against Orais. RTC ruled in favor of the
defendant Vda. de Cabrera to execute a re-conveyance within thirty (30) days after
this decision on the portion of a lot in question actually and physically possessed
and occupied by the defendant plus damages.
Orais filed an appeal to CA. CA reversed the decision of CFI based on the fact that
even as the appellate court observed that the registration made by the plaintiffs
was fraudulent insofar as it involved the one-third interest of Felicidad Teokemian,
which was not included in the sale executed by them and Albertana and Daniel
Teokemian, it nevertheless upheld its effects, on the justification that the
defendants action for re-conveyance based on an implied trust had already been
barred by prescription.
Hence, Vda. De Cabrera are now before the Court as Petitioners for Review on

Whether or not CA erred in ruling that the private respondents complaint filed for
quieting of title which actually is one for recovery of ownership and possession and
is not barred by laches

Yes. An action for re-conveyance of a parcel of land based on implied or constructive
trust prescribes in 10 years, the point of reference being the date of registration of
the deed or the date of the issuance of the certificate of title over the property. But
this rule applies only when the plaintiff or the person enforcing the trust is not in
possession of the property, since if a person claiming to be the owner thereof is an
actual possession of the property, as the defendants are in the instant case, the
right to seek re-conveyance, which, in effect, seeks to quiet title to the property,
does not prescribe. Also, even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale
will affect only his own share but not those of the other co-owners who did not
consent to the sale. This is because the sale or other disposition affects only his
undivided share and the transferee gets only what would correspond to his grantor
in the partition of the things owned in common. No prescription shall lie in favor of a
co-owner or co-heir so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the coownership.
Thus, The decision of CA is set aside and the decision of CFI is reinstated.

G.R. NO. 168222 : April 18, 2006

Rumarate vs. Hernandez
Spouses Rumarate filed an action for re-conveyance of real property and quieting of
title against the Heirs of Spouses Hernandez. Rumarate averred that Santiago
Guerrero orally bequeathed his rights over a lot to him in 1929. Thereafter, took
possession of the land, built a house and planted on it. A quitclaim was also
executed by Santiago in their favor in 1960.
In 1970, Rumarate discovered that Spouses Hernandez were able to obtain a title
over the disputed lot but he did not file a case immediately. The respondent Heirs of
Hernandez claimed that Santiago sold the lot to them in 1964 but were not able to
take possession of the land.
Whether or not Rumarate is entitled for the re-conveyance and quieting of title of
the disputed land.
Yes. Rumarate is entitled for the re-conveyance and quieting of title of the disputed
land. This is because, Rumarates open, continuous, exclusive, notorious possession
and occupation of the disputed land for more than 30 years vested them the title
over the lot.
The action for quieting of title is aimed to determine the respective rights of the
parties and to prevent future disturbances thereon. It is merely a confirmation
proceeding and is imprescriptible.

The requisites for an action for quieting of title are satisfied in this case;
1. The plaintiff has legal or equitable title to or interest in the subject property.
2. The deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding casts on cloud on his title even
if it appears to be valid or legally efficient but was really invalid.