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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 085

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Mariano
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No. L-33140. October 23, 1978.

J. M. TUASON & CO., INC., JOSE M. TUASON, NICASIO


A. TUASON, TERESA TUASON, CELSO S. TUASON and
SEVERO A. TUASON, petitioners, vs. HON. HERMINIO C.
MARIANO, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance
of Rizal, MANUELA AQUIAL, MARIA AQUIAL, Spouses
JOSE M. CORDOVA and SATURNINA C. CORDOVA,
respondents,
Statutory Construction; Principle of stare decisis; Action to
invalidate an original certificate of title cannot prosper due to
settled jurisprudence that the title is valid and no longer open to
attack; Matters already decided on the merits cannot he relitigated
again and again. Reasons; Case at bar.The issue is whether OCT
No. 735 and the titles derived therefrom can be questioned at this
late hour by respondents Aquial and Cordova. The supposed
irregularities in the land registration proceeding, which led to the
issuance of the decree upon which OCT No. 735 was based, are the
same issues raised in Civil Cases No. 3621, 3622 and 3623 of the
lower court. The 1965 decision of Judge Eulogio Mencias in those
cases, invalidating OCT No. 735, is annexed to the complaint of the
Aquials. It is cited by them to support their action and it might have
encouraged them to ventilate their action in court. On appeal to this
Court, that decision was reversed and the validity of OCT No. 735
and the titles derived therefrom was once more upheld. Considering
the governing principle of stare decisis et non quieta movere (follow
past precedents and do not disturb what has been settled), it
becomes evident that respondents Aquial and Cordova cannot
maintain their action in Civil Case No. 8943 without eroding the
long settled holding of the courts that OCT No. 735 is valid and no
longer open to attack. It is against public policy that matters
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already decided on the merits be relitigated again and again,


consuming the courts time and energies at the expense of other
litigants: Interest rei publicae ut finis sit litium. (Varsity Hills, Inc.
vs. Navarro, supra).
______________
*

SECOND DIVISION.
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J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Mariano


ORIGINAL PETITION for certiorari and prohibition.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Sison Law Office and Senensio O. Ortile for petitioners.
Hill & Associates Law Office for respondents Aquials.
Antonio E. Pesigan for respondents Cordovas.
AQUINO. J.:
This is another litigation regarding the validity of the much
controverted Original Certificate of Title No. 735 covering
the Santa Mesa and Diliman Estates of the Tuason
mayorazgo or Entail with areas of 877 (879) and 1,625
hectares, respectively (Barretto vs. Tuason, 50 Phil. 888;
Benin case, infra).
On October 1, 1965, Manuela Aquial and Maria Aquial
filed a complaint in fortna pauperis in the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Pasig Branch X, wherein they prayed that
they be declared the owners of a parcel of land located at
Balara, Marikina, Rizal (now Quezon City) and bounded on
the north by Sapang Mapalad, on the south by the land of
Eladio Tiburcio, on the east by Sapang Kolotkolotan, and on
the west by Sapang Kuliat. The land, which has an area of
three hundred eighty-three quiones, was allegedly
acquired by their father by means of a Spanish title issued
to him on May 10, 1877 (Civil Case No. 8943).
They alleged that sometime in 1960, or after J. M.
Tuason & Co., Inc. had illegally entered upon that land,
they discovered that it had been fraudulently or erroneously
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included in OCT No. 735 of the Registry of Deeds of Rizal


and that it was registered in the names of defendants
Mariano, Teresa, Juan, Demetrio and Augusto, all
surnamed Tuason, pursuant to a decree issued on July 6,
1914 in Case No. 7681 of the Court of Land Registration.
They further alleged that transfer certificates of title,
derived from OCT No. 735, were issued to defendants J. M.
Tuason & Co., Inc., University of the Philippines and
National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (Nawasa)
which leased a portion of its land to defendant Capitol Golf
Club.
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J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Mariano

Plaintiffs Aquial prayed that OCT No. 735 and the titles
derived therefrom be declared void due to certain
irregularities in the land registration proceeding. They
asked for damages.
Defendant J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. filed a motion to
dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, improper
venue, prescription, laches and prior judgment. The
plaintiffs opposed that motion. The lower court denied it.
The grounds of the motion to dismiss were pleaded as
affirmative defenses in the answer of defendants Tuason
and J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. They insisted that a
preliminary hearing be held on those defenses.
On January 25, 1967, the spouses Jose M. Cordova and
Saturnina C. Cordova, who had bought eleven hectares of
the disputed land from the plaintiffs, were allowed to
intervene in the case.
On September 5, 1970, the lower court issued an order
requiring the parties the Register of Deeds of Rizal to
produce in court on October 16, 1970 OCT No. 735 and
certain transfer certificates of title derived from that first or
basic title. Later, the court required the production in court
of the plan of the land covered by OCT No. 735 allegedly for
the purpose of determining whether the lands claimed by
the plaintiffs and the intervenors are included therein.
On February 11, 1971, the Tuason and J. M. Tuason &
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Co., Inc. filed the instant civil actions of certiorari and


prohibition praying, inter alia, that the trial court be
ordered to dismiss the complaint and enjoined from
proceeding in the said case. After the petitioners had filed
the proper bond, a writ of preliminary injunction was issued.
Respondents Aquial and Cordova answered the petition.
The parties, except the Aquials, filed memoranda in lieu of
oral argument.
The issue is whether OCT No. 735 and the titles derived
therefrom can be questioned at this late hour by
respondents Aquial and Cordova. The supposed
irregularities in the land registration proceeding, which led
to the issuance of the decree upon which OCT. No. 735 was
based, are the same issues raised in Civil Cases Nos. 3621,
3622 and 3623 of the lower court. The 1965 decision of
Judge Eulogio Mencias in those cases, in
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J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Mariano


validating OCT No. 735, is annexed to the complaint of the
Aquials. It is cited by them to support their action and it
might have encouraged them to ventilate their action in
court.
On appeal to this Court, that decision was reversed and
the Tuason, L-26128 and Pili vs. Tuason, L-26129, all
decided on once more upheld (Benin vs. Tuason, L-26127,
Alcantara vs. validity of OCT No. 735 and the titles derived
therefrom was June 28, 1974, 57 SCRA 531).
The ruling in the Benin, Alcantara and Pili cases was
applied in Mara, Inc. vs. Estrelia, L-40511, July 25, 1975, 65
SCRA 471. That ruling is simply a reiteration or
continuation of the holding in the following cases directly or
incidentally sustaining OCT No. 735: Bank of the P. I. vs.
Acua, 59 Phil. 183; Tiburcio vs. PHHC, 106 Phil. 477;
Galvez and Tiburcio vs. Tuason y de la Paz, 119 Phil. 612,
Alcantara vs. Tuason, 92 Phil. 796; Santiago vs. J. M.
Tuason & Co., Inc., 110 Phil. 16; J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs.
Bolaos, 95 Phil. 106; J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Santiago,
99 Phil. 615; J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. De Guzman, 99
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Phil. 281; J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Aguirre, 117 Phil.
110; J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Macalindong, 116 Phil.
1227; J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Magdangal, 114 Phil. 42;
Varsity Hills, Inc. vs. Navarro, L-30889, February 29, 1972,
43 SCRA 503, and Peoples Homesite and Housing
Corporation vs. Mencias, L-24114, August 16. 1967, 20
SCRA 1031.
Considering the governing principle of stare decisis et
non quieta movere (follow past precedents and do not
disturb what has been settled) it becomes evident that
respondents Aquial and Cordova cannot maintain their
action in Civil Case No. 8943 without eroding the long
settled holding of the courts that OCT No. 735 is valid and
no longer open to attack.
It is against public policy that matters already decided
on the merits be relitigated again and again, consuming the
courts time and energies et the expense of ofher litigants:
Interest, rei publicae ut finis sit litium. (Varsity Hills, Inc.
vs. Navarro, supra).
Finding the petition for certiorari and prohibition to be
meritorious, the trial court is directed to dismiss Civil Case
No. 8943 with prejudice and without colts. No costs.
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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Mariano

SO ORDERED.
Barredo (Actg. Chairman), Antonio, Concepcion Jr.,
and Santos, JJ., concur.
Fernando, J., did not take part.
Case dismissed.
Notes.The full transcription of the decree of
registration in the Registration Book although made in a
disorderly manner is valid. (Benin vs. Tuason, 57 SCRA
531.)
A torrens title issued pursuant to homestead patent is no
longer susceptible to collateral attack by a private person
even on the ground that the homestead was sold within the
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5-year prohibitory period of Section 118 of the Public Land


Act. (Lopez vs. Padilla, 45 SCRA 44).
After one year the decree of registration cannot be
impugned or collaterally attacked, nor could title to that
land in derogation of that of the registered owner under a
Torrens Title be acquired by prescription or adverse
possession. (Bolaos vs. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc., 37 SCRA
223). Courts may judge title over non-registerable land.
(Martinez vs. Court of Appeals, 56 SCRA 647).
Where neither the first vendee nor the petitioner took
trouble of securing certificates of title in their names they
could not be considered as innocent purchasers for value.
(Quiano vs. Court of Appeals, 39 SCRA 221).
A decree of registration can be set aside only within one
year after entry on the ground of fraud, provided that no
innocent purchaser for value had acquired the property.
Upon the expiration of one year within which a review of
the decree may be had, the decree as well as the title issued
pursuant thereto becomes in controvertible. (Peoples
Homesite and Housing Corporation vs. Mencias, 20 SCRA
1031.)
It is well settled that in order for a petition to review the
decree of registration to prosper, the land must not have
passed on to an innocent purchaser for value. The decree
issued in favor of Bernardina Dusaban is conclusive upon
and against
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People vs. Moreno


all persons, including the insular government and all the
branches thereof whether mentioned by name in the
application notice, or citation, or included in the general
description To all whom it may concern. (Demantao vs.
Court of Appeals, 81 SCRA 286.)
The main purpose of the Torrens System is to avoid
possible conflicts of title in and to real estate, and to
facilitate transactions relative thereto by giving the public
the right to rely upon the face of a Torrens Certificate of
title and to dispense with the need on inquiry further,
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except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of


facts and circumstances it should impel reasonable cautious
man to make such further inquiry. While an inherently
defective Torrens title may not ordinarily be cancelled even
after proof of its defect, the law nevertheless safeguards the
rightful partys interest in the title land from freud and
improper use of technicalities by allowing such party, in
appropriate cases, to judicially seek reconveyance to him of
whatever has not been transferd or conveyed to a purchaser
in good faith. (Pascua vs. Copuyoc, 77 SCRA 78.)
A torrens title is incontrovertible against any
informacion posesoria or title existing prior to the issuance
thereof not annotated on the title. (J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc.
vs. Jurilla, 76 SCRA 347.)
A decree of registration may be set aside for want of due
process provided it does not affect an innocent purchaser for
value. (Tiongco vs. De la Merced, 58 SCRA 89.)
o0o

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