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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)

Chapter V Subsequent Registration


Caviles Jr. v. Bautista
Facts:
Petitioners-appellees (Spouses Caviles, Jr.)
filed a civil case against Renato Plata for
recovery of sum of money. The complaint
contained an application for issuance of a
writ of preliminary attachment. The CFI
issued the writ prayed for and on October 4,
1982 a Notice of Attachment over a piece of
real estate owned by Plata covered by TCT
No. S-33634.
The Notice of Attachment was entered in the
Primary Entry Book (a.k.a. Day Book) on Oct.
6, 1982, but was not annotated on TCT No. S33634 by the Register of Deeds, nor did the
deputy sheriff or the Spouses Caviles, take
any step to annotate the attachment on the
said real estate.
Oct. 18, 1982, Plata sold the same property
to herein respondents-appellants (Spouses
Bautista), free, of course, from the
attachment or any encumbrance. and on the
same date Platas TCT No.S-33643 was
cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT No. 57006
was issued in the name of Spouses Bautista.
From then on, the latter appear to have
taken over and resided in the property.
No action was taken by Spouses Caviles to
annotate the attachmentas indeed they
remained ignorant that the property had
been sold and a new title issued until they
obtained a favorable judgment in the Civil
Case for the recovery of sum of money
against Plata. They then, attempted
execution of said attachment. Thus, even as
Sps. Caviles were able to obtain a writ of
execution on Feb. 3, 1984, the levy effected
on Feb. 21, 1984, was in still in regard to the
by-then-cancelled TCT No. S-33643. The
Notice of Levy was entered in the Day Book
on Feb. 22, 1984.
The property was sold on execution to
Spouses Caviles.
The Certificate of Sale was entered in the
Day Book on April 2, 1987, but when its

inscription was sought to be madethe first


time such idea entered SPs. Caviles mind,
apparentlyit was found out that Platas
certificate had been cancelled and a new one
issued to Spouses Bautista. The entry was on
the title of Sps. Bautista which annotation
the Register of Deeds, however, refused to
sign. The matter was elevated to the
National Land Titles and Deeds Registration
Administration and the Administrator thereof
opined that the certificate of sale may be
annotated on Sps. Bautistas TCT No. 57006.
The Sps. Bautista refused to surrender their
owners copy of TCT No. 57006, hence, a
proceeding was initiated by Sps. Caviles who
invokes Sec. 107 of P.D. 1529, which speaks
of an action to compel surrender of the
owners duplicate of title for annotation of a
voluntary instrument.
The RTC ruled in favor of Sps. Caviles and
ordered Sps. Bautista to surrender their
owners duplicate copy of TCT No. 57006 for
inscription or annotation of the certificate of
sale, and for the subsequent cancellation of
said certificate of title and the issuance of a
new certificate of title in favor of Sps.
Caviles.
The CA reversed the ruling of the RTC and
upheld the transfer certificate of title of Sps.
Bautista.
Hence, this petition.
Issue: Who should acquire title to the
subject property? Two conflicting rights: (1)
the right of one party to acquire title to
registered land from the moment of
inscription of an attachment on the day book
(or entry book on one hand; and (2) the right
of the other party to rely on what appears on
the owners duplicate certificate of title for
purposes of voluntary dealings with the
same parcel of land.
Ruling:
It was established both by trial court and CA
that Sps. Bautista on purchasing the said
property from Plata, relied on the latters
duplicate certificate of title, free from notice

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


of attachment. However, the notice of
attachment was entered on the primary
entry book of the Register of Deeds of Pasay
City. When respondents verified the original
title with the Office of the Register of Deeds,
they found the same unblemished by any
liens or encumbrances. It appears that the
then Register of Deeds had failed to annotate
the notice of attachment on the original copy
of the title.
Respondent spouses (Bautista) clearly had
no notice of any defect, irregularity or
encumbrance in the title of the property they
purchased. Neither did they have any
knowledge of facts or circumstances which
should have put them on inquiry, requiring
them to go behind the certificate of title.
Respondent spouses were clearly innocent
purchasers for value and in good faith at the
time they acquired the subject property.
Petitioners themselves admitted in their
petition, "Neither can negligence be ascribed
to respondents for their failure to go beyond
their certificate of title. . ."
Likewise, negligence cannot be imputed to
petitioners in this case. The records show
that petitioners successfully obtained a writ
of preliminary attachment of the subject
property in Civil Case (against Plata), and the
notice of attachment was then entered in the
primary entry book of the Register of Deeds
of Pasay City on October 6, 1982. But as
earlier stated, the notice of attachment was
not annotated on the original copy of the
transfer certificate of title TCT No. S-33634.
Petitioners later obtained a favorable
judgment and purchased the subject
property at the execution sale. When they
sought to inscribe the certificate of sale on
Plata's title covering the subject property,
they discovered that the latter had been sold
to respondent spouses, the new title thereto
TCT No. 57006 now in their name. The
notice of attachment was later inscribed on
the cancelled certificate of title on November
22, 1983, but it was made to appear that it
had been annotated on October 6, 1982. This
belated inscription is reflected since said
inscription followed the earlier entry on
October 18, 1982, of the sale of the subject

property to respondent spouses. The notice


of attachment dated October 6, 1982, was
also later annotated on TCT No. 57006.
In its Decision, the Court of Appeals stated
that the petitioners did not "take any step to
annotate the attachment on TCT No. S33634" and that "No action was taken by
petitioners-appellees to annotate the
attachment." The respondents likewise
contend that "the problem in this case would
not have arisen were it not for the
negligence and very long delay on the part
of petitioners in annotating their attachment
in the original certificate of title in the
possession of the Register of Deeds."
We disagree. Petitioners paid the
corresponding fees for the annotation of the
notice of attachment and they had every
right to presume that the register of deeds
would inscribe said notice on the original title
covering the subject property. The register of
deeds had the duty to inscribe the notice on
the original title. This was not a duty of
petitioners. This Court has held that a party
which delivers its notice of attachment to the
register of deeds and pays the corresponding
fees therefor has a right to presume that the
official would perform his duty properly. In
involuntary registration, such as an
attachment, levy upon execution, lis
pendens and the like, it has been held that
entry thereof in the day book is a sufficient
notice to all persons of such adverse claim.
The notice should, of course, be annotated
on the back of the corresponding original
certificate of title, but this Court has said
that this is an official duty of the register of
deeds which may be presumed to have been
regularly performed.
Given this parity of good faith and the
absence of negligence on the part of both
parties, who between them has a better right
to the property in question?

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Art. 1544 of the New Civil Code, provides:
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. Should there be no inscription, the
ownership shall pertain to the person who in
good faith was first in the possession; and, in
the absence thereof, to the person who
presents the oldest title, provided there is
good faith.

In the case at bar, the notice of attachment


covering the subject property was annotated
in the entry book of the Register of Deeds of
Pasay City on October 6, 1982, while the new
transfer certificate of title in the name of
respondent spouses was issued on October
18, 1982, the date when Plata sold the
property to said respondents. Petitioners'
levy on preliminary attachment was put into
effect when the property was sold on
execution to petitioners, after the latter
obtained a writ of execution by virtue of a
favorable judgment in Civil Case No. 8212668.
This Court has repeatedly held that in
involuntary registration, such as an
attachment, levy on execution, lis
pendens and the like, entry thereof in the
day book or entry book is a sufficient notice
to all persons of such adverse
claim. 22 Petitioners' lien of attachment was
properly recorded when it was entered in the
primary entry book of the Register of Deeds
on October 6, 1982.
We have also consistently ruled that an
auction or execution sale retroacts to the
date of levy of the lien of
attachment. 23 When the subject property
was sold on execution to the petitioners, this
sale retroacted to the date of inscription of

petitioners' notice of attachment on October


6, 1982. The earlier registration of the
petitioners' levy on preliminary attachment
gave them superiority and preference in
rights over the attached property as against
respondents.
Accordingly, we rule that the execution sale
in favor of the petitioner Caviles spouses
was anterior and superior to the sale of the
same property to the respondent Bautista
spouses on October 18, 1982. The right of
petitioners to the surrender of the owner's
duplicate copy of TCT No. 57006 covering the
subject property for inscription of the
certificate of sale, and for the cancellation of
said certificate of title and the issuance of a
new title in favor of petitioners cannot be
gainsaid.
Heirs of Manlapat v. Court of Appeals
Duran v. IAC
Good faith consists in the possessors belief
that the person from whom he received the
thing was the owner of the same and could
convey his title. Good faith, while it is always
to be presumed in the absence of proof to
the contrary, requires a well-founded belief
that the person from whom title was received
was himself the owner of the land, with the
right to convey it. There is good faith where
there is an honest intention to abstain from
taking any unconscientious advantage from
another
Register of Deeds v. Acting register of
deeds of Nueva Ecija
Facts:
On June 13, 1980, the Development Bank of
the Philippines (hereafter, DBP) presented for
registration to the Register of Deeds of
Nueva Ecija, Cabanatuan City, a sheriff's
certificate of sale in its favor of two parcels
of land covered by Transfer Certificates of
Title Nos. NT-149033 and NT-149034, both in
the names of the spouses Andres Bautista
and Marcelina Calison, which said institution
had acquired as the highest bidder at an
extrajudicial foreclosure sale.

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


DBP sought annotation on the reconstituted
titles of the certificate of sale subject of
Entry No. 8191 on the basis of that same
four-year-old entry. The Acting Register of
Deeds, being in doubt of the proper action to
take on the solicitation, took the matter to
the Commissioner of Land Registration
by consulta raising two questions: (a)
whether the certificate of sale could be
registered using the old Entry No. 8191 made
in 1980 notwithstanding the fact that the
original copies of the reconstituted
certificates of title were issued only on June
19, 1984; and (b) if the first query was
answered affirmatively, whether he could
sign the proposed annotation, having
assumed his duties only in July 1982.
The resolution on the consulta held that
Entry No. 8191 had been rendered "...
ineffective due to the impossibility of
accomplishing registration at the time the
document was entered because of the nonavailability of the certificate (sic) of title
involved. For said certificate of sale to be
admitted for registration, there is a need for
it to be re-entered now that the titles have
been reconstituted upon payment of new
entry fees," and by-passed the second query
as having been rendered moot and academic
by the answer to the first.
ISSUE: WON DBP needs to register anew.
HELD: No.
Current doctrine thus seems to be that entry
alone produces the effect of registration,
whether the transaction entered is a
voluntary or an involuntary one, so long as
the registrant has complied with all that is
required of him for purposes of entry and
annotation, and nothing more remains to be
done but a duty incumbent solely on the
register of deeds.
Therefore, without necessarily holding that
annotation of a primary entry on the original
of the certificate of title may be deferred
indefinitely without prejudice to the legal
effect of said entry, the Court rules that in
the particular situation here obtaining,
annotation of the disputed entry on the

reconstituted originals of the certificates of


title to which it refers is entirely proper and
justified. To hold said entry "ineffective," as
does the appealed resolution, amounts to
declaring that it did not, and does not,
protect the registrant (DBP) from claims
arising, or transactions made, thereafter
which are adverse to or in derogation of the
rights created or conveyed by the
transaction thus entered. That, surely, is a
result that is neither just nor can, by any
reasonable interpretation of Section 56 of PD
1529, be asserted as warranted by its terms.
Bel-Air Village Association, Inc. v.
Dionisio
Facts:
The Transfer Certificate of Title covering the
subject parcel of land issued in the name
of Virgilio Dionisio, the petitioner contains
an annotation to the effect that the lot owner
becomes an automatic member of Bel-Air
Village Association, the respondent, and
must abide by such rules and regulations laid
down by the Association in the interest of the
sanitation, security and the general welfare
of the community.
The petitioner questioned the collection of
the dues on the following grounds: the
questioned assessment is a property tax
outside the corporate power of the
association; the association has no power to
compel the petitioner to pay the assessment
for lack of privity of contract; the questioned
assessment should not be enforced for being
unreasonable, arbitrary, oppressive,
confiscatory and discriminatory; the
respondent association is exercising
governmental powers which should not be
sanctioned.
Issue: Whether or not the association can
lawfully collect dues
Ruling:
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition for
lack of merit. It held that the purchasers of a
registered land are bound by the annotations
found at the back of the certificate of title
covering the subject parcel of land. The
petitioners contention that he has no privity

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


with the respondent association is not
persuasive. When the petitioner voluntarily
bought the subject parcel of land it was
understood that he took the same free of all
encumbrances except annotations at the
back of the certificate of title, among them,
that he automatically becomes a member of
the respondent association. One of the
obligations of a member is to pay certain
amounts for the operation and activities of
the association.
The mode of payment as well as the
purposes for which the dues are intended
clearly indicates that the dues are not in the
concept of a property tax as claimed by the
petitioner. They are shares in the common
expenses for necessary services. A property
tax is assessed according to the value of the
property but the basis of the sharing in this
case is the area of the lot. The dues are fees
which a member of the respondent
association is required in hiring security
guards, cleaning and maintaining streets,
street lights and other community projects
for the benefit of all residents within the BelAir Village. These expenses are necessary,
valid and reasonable for the particular
community involved.
The limitations upon the ownership of the
petitioner do not contravene provisions of
laws, morals, good customs, public order or
public policy. The constitutional proscription
than no person can be compelled to be a
member of an association against his will
applies only to governmental acts and not to
private transactions like the one in question.
The petitioner cannot legally maintain that
he is compelled to be a member of the
association against his will because the
limitation is imposed upon his ownership of
property. If he does not desire to comply
with the annotation or lien in question, he
can at any time exercise his inviolable
freedom of disposing of the property and free
himself from the burden of becoming a
member of the association.
L.P. Leviste & Company, Inc. v Noblejas
Facts:

The property involved in this case is situated


in Paranaque, Rizal having a total area of
approximately 1.6 hectares and is covered
by the Transfer Certificate of Title No.108425
in the name of Z. Garcia Realty, Inc. (Garcia
Realty, for short). The property was
converted into a subdivision called the
Garville Subdivision. This subdivision has
blocks and certain lots and the controversy
in this case centers on Lot 6, Block 4
(subsequently Lot 16, plan (LRC) Psd-56800).
The following chronology will explain the
controversy between the parties:

September 7, 1964 Notice of lis


pendens (Entry No. 7115), presented by
Melecio B. Emata, noting the pendency of
Civil Case No. 2489-P of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal entitled Vivencio R. de
Guzman vs. Z. Garcia & Company referring
specifically to Lot 3, redesignated as Lot 5 of
the new subdivision plan. The block number
was not indicates. It is to be noted that
the lis pendens does not refer to Lot 6,
Block 4.

April 28, 1966 Affidavit of Adverse


Claim (Entry No. 55209)covering Lot 1,
Block 5 presented by J. Antonio Leviste,
Executive Vice President of petitioner
company, based on an assignment in his
favor by one Leticia P. Ramos, buyer of said
lot from Garcia Realty. Also to be noted is
that this has no reference to Lot 6,
Block 4.

May 6, 1966 Affidavit of Adverse


Claim (Entry No. 55804) covering Lot 6,
Block 4 (subsequently Lot 16, plan (LRC) Psd
56800), consisting of 510 square meters
presented by respondent Maria Villanueva
based on an agreement to sell in her favor

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


executed by Garcia Realty. This is the
Disputed Lot.
May 29,1967 Garcia Realty and
respondent Villanueva consummated a
contract of sale over the Disputed Lot.
July 19, 1966 Attachment (Entry No.
62224) presented by petitioner Nita U.
Berthelsen "affecting all rights, interests
and participation of defendants Z. Garcia
Realty Inc., in the property described in this
certificate of title in Accordance with Notice
of Attachment or Levy issued by the
Provincial Sheriff of Rizal in Civil Case, No
Court of First Instance of Manila, , entitled
Nita U. Berthelsen versus, Garcia Realty, Inc.,
etc. The attachment covers the Disputed
Lot.

July 25, 1966 Attachment (Entry No.


62748) presented by Leviste & Co.
"affecting all rights, interests and
participation of the defendant Garcia Realty,
Inc., in the property described by the
certificate of title, in accordance with the
Notice of Attachment or Levy issued by the
Provincial Sheriff of Rizal, in Civil Case No.
9269 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal
entitled L P. Leviste. Inc., versus Z. Garcia
Realty, Inc." This attachment also covers
the Disputed Lot.

November 18, 1966 Attachment,


(Entry No. 73465) "affecting all rights,
interest and participation of the defendants,
Z. Garcia & Co. in the property described
herein, in accordance with the Notice of
Attachment or Levy issued by the Provincial
Sheriff of Rizal in Civil Case No. 2489-P of the
Court of First Instance of Rizal,
entitled Vivencio R, de Guzman vs. Z.
Garcia & Co. Again, the attachment
covers the Disputed Lot.

Respondent Villanueva sought to have the


sale registered and title be issued in her
favor but petitioners Leviste and Berthelsen
objected alleging that they had registered
adverse claims and attachments. The
Register of Deeds refused to issue a new title
to Villanueva without carrying over the
adverse claims and attachments of
petitioners to the new title. This was
elevated to the Land Registration
Commission which holds that the deed of
sale may be registered and a new
certificated of title covering Lot 16 may be
issued to Maria Villanueva. The motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioners was
denied, hence, this appeal.
Issue: WON the adverse claim and
attachment of petitioners must be carried
over to the new certificate of title to be
issued to respondent Villanueva.
Ruling: YES.
The basis of respondent Villanuevas adverse
claim was an agreement to sell executed in
her favor by Garcia Realty. An agreement to
sell is a voluntary instrument as it is a willful
act of the registered owner. Section 50 of Act
No.496 expressly provides that the act of
registration shall be the operative act to
convey and affect the land. Section 55 of
the same act requires the presentation
of the owners duplicate certificate of
title for the registration of any deed or
voluntary instrument. However, where the
owner refuses to surrender the duplicate
certificate for the annotation of the voluntary
instrument, the grantee may file with the
Register of Deeds a statement setting forth
his adverse claim as provided for in Section
110 of Act No. 496.
In the case at bar, it does not appear that
Villanueva attempted to register the
agreement to sell under Section 52 of
Act No.496 and that the registered
owner, Garcia Realty, refused to

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


surrender the duplicate certificate for
the annotation of the said instrument.
Instead, Villanueva merely filed an adverse
claim based on the said agreement to sell.
Considering that Section 52 of the Land
Registration Act prescribes the procedure for
the registration of Villanuevas interest less
than an estate in fee simple on the disputed
lot and there being no showing of her
inability to produce the owners duplicate
certificate, the remedy provided in Section
110 of Act 496, which was resorted to by
Villanueva, is therefore, ineffective for the
purpose of protecting her right or interest on
the disputed lot. In as much as the adverse
claim filed by Villanueva was not valid, the
same did not have the effect of a
conveyance of her right or interest on the
disputed lot and could not prejudice any right
that may have arisen thereafter in favor of
third person. The attachments of
Berthelsen, Leviste and that in Civil
Case No.2489-P covering the disputed
lot is superior to that acquired by
Villanueva and will have to be carried
over to the new title to be issued in her
favor. Thus, Section of Act 496 provides
that: If at the time of any transfer
there appear upon the registration book
encumbrances or claims adverse to the
title of the registered owner, they shall
be stated in the new certificate or
certificates, except so far as they may
be simultaneously released or
discharged.
Pabalan v. Santarin
Facts:
On September 1, 1999, private respondent
Anastaci B. Santarin filed a complaint against
TRI-LITE Realty Management and
Development Corporation and its officers for
the annulment of transfer certificate of title
and damages. In the amended complaint,
dated October 26, 1999, it was alleged that
private respondent Anastacia Santarin is the
registered owner of the lands in question;
that by forging her signature, the defendant
officers of TRI-LITE made it appear that she
had sold the lands (which was then
undivided) to her daughter, Annielita
Santarin Villaluna; that her daughter, upon

the inducement by the defendant officers of


TRI-LITE, executed a fictitious deed of sale
thereof in favor of TRI-LITE; that TRI-LITE
subdivided the land into seven lots, secured
the issuance of the corresponding titles to
each portion, and mortgaged them to
petitioner, who, upon default of TRI-LITE in
the payment of its loan, foreclosed the
mortgage and purchased the properties in
the foreclosure sale.
In her answer, petitioner claimed that she
was an innocent purchaser for value of the
seven parcels of land. The trial court treated
petitioners special defense as a motion to
dismiss and denied the same. Petitioner filed
a special civil action for certiorari in the
Court of Appeals but was dismissed again.
Issue: WON motion to dismiss is the proper
action for petitioner in this case.
Ruling: NO.
As a forged deed is null and void and
conveys no title all the transactions
subsequent to the alleged sale between
private respondent and her daughter are
likewise void. Consequently, if the allegations
in her complaint are true, private respondent
would be entitled to a judgment annulling
the sale purporting to have been executed
by her in favor of Annielita Santarin Villaluna
as well as the latters sale of the said
property to TRI-LITE, the transfer certificates
of title issued to the aforesaid transferors,
the mortgage executed by TRI-LITE in favor
of petitioner and the foreclosure sale of the
properties in question.
In this case, petitioner can seek the dismissal
of the action against her but only if she
proves after appropriate proceedings that
she is an innocent purchaser for value. This
is a matter of defense which, taking into
account the fact that the properties in
question thrice changed hands within the
span of only one year, should be determined
during the trial, and not in a motion to
dismiss. Needless to say, such course of
action results in no prejudice to petitioner
and in face affords her sufficient opportunity
to prove her claim.

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Anent the other matters raised by petitioner
on the propriety of canceling the annotation
of lis pendens on the titles of TRI-Lite and the
acquisition by the trial court of the
jurisdiction over Annielita Santarin Villaluna,
suffice it to say that these matters are not in
issue in this review of the trial courts order
of September 24, 2000. Petitioner is not the
proper party to raise such question.
Gonzales vs. Bersamin
Facts:
In Criminal Case People v. Zoilo Cruz and
Rosalinda Aldeguer Cruz, and Civil Case
Spouses Danilo Gonzales and Veronica
Gonzales v. Zoilo Cruz and Rosalinda
Aldeguer Cruz, Zoilo Cruz and Rosalinda
Aldeguer Cruz were ordered to pay
P600,000.00 and P3,700,000.00 respectively.
To satisfy the judgments in the two cases,
two (2) notices of levy were provisionally
registered in the record of real property of
Zoilo Cruz and Rosalinda Cruz on June 26,
1991 and October 24, 1991, respectively,
since it happened at the time when there is a
pending reconstitution of title to the said
property. On December 3, 1991,subject
property was reconstituted and a new title
was issued in the name of the spouses Cruz.
On August 23, 1994 the spouses Gina Chan
and Salvador Chan filed a case against the
Register of Deeds of Quezon City, for
Cancellation of Notice of Levy with Damages
with Prayer for the Immediate Issuance of a
Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction.
The spouses Chan claim that since the
provisional registration of the deed of sale
was prior in time, the notices of levy should
not have been carried over in the new title
because at the time of the registration of the
notices of levy, the property subject of said
levy was no longer owned by spouses Cruz
against whom the levy was issued. Judge
Bersamin thereafter rendered a decision on
October 13, 1994 ordering the Register of
Deeds to cancel the annotations of the
notices of levy.

Issue: Whether or not cancellation of


encumbrance was proper even though there
was no notice given to parties annotated in
the certificate of title.
Held: No.
Judge Bersamin should have ordered notice
to be given to complainant and petitioner to
implead complainant since it appears that
she had an adverse interest annotated on
the back of their certificate of title. Thus Sec.
108 of PD 1529 requires that notice [be
given] to all parties in interest before the
court may hear and determine the petition.
Complainant was not impleaded despite the
fact that she was a party-in-interest. In
Southwestern University v. Laurente, 26
SCRA 52 (1968) it was held that the
cancellation of the annotation of an
encumbrance cannot be ordered without
giving notice to the parties annotated in the
certificate of title itself. It was error for
respondent judge to contend that no notice
was required to be given to complainant. He
should have shown prudence and
circumspection by requiring such notice to
be given, considering that it was plain that
there was an adverse party who would be
affected by the grant of the petition.
Judge Bersamin is ADMONISHED to be more
careful and diligent in the discharge of
judicial function.
Lloyds Enterprises and Credit
Corporation v. Sps. Dolleton
Facts:
On 9 August 1990, Spouses Ferdinand and
Perseveranda Dolleton, registered owners of
a 166-sq m parcel of land with four-door
apartment building situated in Barangay
Putatan, Muntinlupa City, mortgaged the
subject property to Joseph Patrick Santos
(Santos) to secure a P100,000.00 loan. The
loan was paid on 15 August 1994 and was
annotated on the TCT.
On 15 September 1994, the TCT in the name
of Spouses Dolleton was cancelled and a new
TCT was issued in the name of Blesilda
Gagan (Gagan) on the basis of a Deed of
Absolute Sale dated 5 August 1994 whereby

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Sps Dolleton purportedly sold to Gagan the
subject property for the sum of P120,000.00.
On 19 September 1994 and on 27
September 1994 , Lloyds Enterprises and
Credit Corporation(LECC) lent to Gagan and
her live-in partner Feliciano Fajardo Guevarra
(Guevarra) the sum of P391,512.00 and
P542,928.00 respectively. The loans were
secured by a real estate mortgage on the
subject property, which appears to be
annotated on TCT on 1995.
Gagan and Guevarra failed to pay the second
loan upon its maturity. Thus, LECC instituted
extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings on the
subject property. At the auction sale
conducted by Sheriff-in-charge Melvin T.
Bagabaldo, LECC bid of P645,000.00 was
declared the highest.The property was not
redeemed within the one-year period, hence,
ownership was consolidated in favor of
petitioner. On 29 September 1997, TCT in the
name of Gagan was cancelled and TCT No.
210363 was issued in the name of petitioner.
On 7 May 1998, Sps. Dolleton filed a
complaint, praying among others for the
nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale, the
two real estate mortgage contracts and the
extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings; the
cancellation of TCT; and the restoration of
TCT in the name of respondents
Issue: Whether or not the property sale to
Gaga and the subsequent mortgage to LECC
and foreclosure of the subject property is
valid
Held:
A purchaser cannot close his eyes to facts
which should put a reasonable man on his
guard and claim that he acted in good faith
under the belief that there was no defect in
the title of the vendor. The circumstance that
the certificate of title covering the property
offered as security was newly issued should
have put petitioner on guard and prompted it
to conduct an investigation surrounding the
transfer of the property to defendant Gagan.

The Court explicitly declared that when the


purchaser or mortgagee is a financing
institution, the general rule that a purchaser
or mortgagee of land is not required to look
further than what appears on the face of the
title does not apply.
The Court also held that LECC, who was
engaged in the real estate business but
failed to verify the essential facts, should
bear the loss because his negligence was the
primary, immediate and overriding reason
that put him in his predicament.
Sps. Belo v. PNB
Facts:
Eduarda Belo owned an agricultural land
located in Timpas, Panitan, Capiz, covered
and described in Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT for brevity) No. T-7493. She leased a
portion of the said tract of land to
respondents spouses Marcos and Arsenia
Eslabon in connection with the said spouses
sugar plantation business. The lease contract
was effective for a period of seven (7) years
at the rental rate of Seven Thousand Pesos
(P7,000.00) per year.
To finance their business venture,
respondents spouses Eslabon obtained a
loan from respondent Philippine National
Bank (PNB for brevity) secured by a real
estate mortgage on their own four (4)
residential houses located in Roxas City, as
well as on the agricultural land owned by
Eduarda Belo. The assent of Eduarda Belo to
the mortgage was acquired through a special
power of attorney which she executed in
favor of respondent Marcos Eslabon on June
15, 1982.
Respondents spouses Eslabon failed to pay
their loan obligation, extrajudicial foreclosure
proceedings against the mortgaged
properties were instituted by respondent
PNB. At the auction sale on June 10, 1991,
respondent PNB was the highest bidder of
the foreclosed properties at Four Hundred
Forty Seven Thousand Six Hundred Thirty
Two Pesos (P447,632.00).

Page | 9

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


In a letter dated August 28, 1991,
respondent PNB appraised Eduarda Belo of
the sale at public auction of her agricultural
land on June 10, 1991 as well as the
registration of the Certificate of Sheriffs Sale
in its favor on July 1, 1991, and the one-year
period to redeem the land. Meanwhile,
Eduarda Belo sold her right of redemption to
petitioners spouses Enrique and Florencia
Belo under a deed of absolute sale of
proprietary and redemption rights.
Before the expiration of the redemption
period, petitioners spouses Belo
tendered payment for the redemption of the
agricultural land in the amount of Four
Hundred Eighty Four Thousand Four Hundred
Eighty Two Pesos and Ninety Six Centavos
(P484,482.96), which includes the bid price
of respondent PNB, plus interest and
expenses as provided under Act No. 3135.
However, respondent PNB rejected the
tender of payment of petitioners spouses
Belo, contending that the redemption price
should be the total claim of the bank on the
date of the auction sale and custody of
property plus charges accrued and
interests amounting to Two Million Seven
Hundred Seventy Nine Thousand Nine
Hundred Seventy Eight and Seventy Two
Centavos (P2,779,978.72). Petitioners
spouses disagreed and refused to pay the
said total claim of respondent PNB.
Petitioners spouses Belo filed an action in the
RTC of Roxas City for declaration of nullity of
mortgage, with an alternative cause of
action, in the event that the accommodation
mortgage be held to be valid, to compel
respondent PNB to accept the redemption
price tendered by petitioners spouses Belo
which is based on the winning bid price of
respondent PNB in the extrajudicial
foreclosure in the amount of Four Hundred
Forty Seven Thousand Six Hundred Thirty
Two Pesos (P447,632.00) plus interest and
expenses. In its Answer, respondent PNB
raised its defenses. After trial on the merits,
the trial court rendered its Decision granting
the alternative cause of action of spouses
Belo.

Respondent PNB appealed to the Court of


Appeals. The appellate courts decision,
while upholding the decision of the trial court
on the validity of the real estate mortgage on
Eduarda Belos property, the extrajudicial
foreclosure and the public auction sale,
modified the trial courts finding on the
appropriate redemption price by ruling that
the petitioners spouses Belo should pay the
entire amount due to PNB under the
mortgage deed at the time of the foreclosure
sale plus interest, costs and expenses.
Petitioners spouses Belo sought
reconsideration of the said Decision but the
same was denied by the appellate court; it
further declared that petitioners spouses
Belo are obligated to pay the total banks
claim representing the redemption price for
the foreclosed properties, as provided by
Section 25 of P.D. No. 694. Moreover, the
indivisible character of a contract of
mortgage (Article 2089, Civil Code) will
extend to apply in the redemption stage of
the mortgage. It reiterated that Section 25 of
P.D. 694 is a sanctioned deviation from the
rule embodied in Rule 39, Section 30 of the
Rules of Court, and is a special protection
given to government lending institutions,
particularly, the Philippine National Bank.
(Dulay v. Carriaga, supra). Hence, the instant
petition.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are
required to pay, as redemption price, the
entire claim of respondent PNB in the
amount of P2,779,978.72 as of the date of
the public auction sale on June 10, 1991
(assuming that the real estate mortgage
contract, the foreclosure proceedings and
the subsequent auction sale involving
Eduarda Belos property are valid)?
Ruling:
Whether or not the Special Power of Attorney
(SPA for brevity), the real estate mortgage
contract, the foreclosure proceedings and
the subsequent auction sale involving
Eduarda Belos property are valid?
Yes, the real estate mortgage contract, the
foreclosure proceedings and the subsequent

Page | 10

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


auction sale involving Eduarda Belos
property are valid.
- answer to the first issue in the case
which is related to the aforesaid LTDrelated issue
No. The petitioners are not required to pay,
as redemption price, the entire claim of
respondent PNB in the amount of
P2,779,978.72 as of the date of the public
auction sale on June 10, 1991 since
petitioners are assignees of an
accommodation mortgagor and not of a
debtor-mortgagor. Hence, it is fair and logical
to allow the petitioners to redeem only the
property belonging to their assignor, Eduarda
Belo.
There is no doubt that Eduarda Belo,
assignor of the petitioners, is an
accommodation mortgagor. The Pre-trial
Order and respondent PNBs brief contain a
declaration of this fact. The dispute between
the parties is whether Section 25 of P.D. No.
694 applies to an accommodation
mortgagor, or her assignees. The said legal
provision does not make a distinction
between a debtor-mortgagor and an
accommodation mortgagor as it uses the
broad term mortgagor. Where a word used in
a statute has both a restricted and a general
meaning, the general must prevail over the
restricted unless the nature of the subject
matter or the context in which it is employed
clearly indicates that the limited sense is
intended. It is presumed that the legislature
intended exceptions to its language which
would avoid absurd consequences of this
character. In the case at bar, the qualification
to the general rule applies. The same
provision of Section 25 of P.D. No. 694
provides that the mortgagor shall have the
right to redeem the property by paying all
claims of the Bank against him. From said
provision can be deduced that the mortgagor
referred to by that law is one from whom the
bank has a claim in the form of outstanding
or unpaid loan; he is also called a borrower
or debtor-mortgagor. On the other hand,
respondent PNB has no claim against
accommodation mortgagor Eduarda Belo
inasmuch as she only mortgaged her

property to accommodate the Eslabon


spouses who are the loan borrowers of the
PNB. The principal contract is the contract of
loan between the Eslabon spouses, as
borrowers/debtors, and the PNB as
lender. The accommodation real estate
mortgage (which secures the loan) is only an
accessory contract. It is our view and we
hold that the term mortgagor in Section 25
of P.D. No. 694 pertains only to a debtormortgagor and not to an accommodation
mortgagor.
Accommodation mortgagors as such are not
in any way liable for the payment of the loan
or principal obligation of the
debtor/borrower. The liability of the
accommodation mortgagors extends only up
to the loan value of their mortgaged property
and not to the entire loan itself. Hence, it is
only just that they be allowed to redeem
their mortgaged property by paying only the
winning bid price thereof (plus interest
thereon) at the public auction sale.
Sajonas v. CA
Facts:
On September 22, 1983, the spouses Ernesto
Uychocde and Lucita Jarin agreed to sell a
parcel of residential land located in Antipolo,
Rizal to the spouses Alfredo Sajonas and
Conchita R. Sajonas (Sajonas couple) on
installment basis as evidenced by a Contract
to Sell dated September 22, 1983. The
property was registered in the names of the
Uychocde spouses under TCT No. N-79073 of
the Register of Deeds of Marikina, Rizal. On
August 27, 1984, the Sajonas couple caused
the annotation of an adverse claim based on
the said Contract to Sell on the title of the
subject property, which was inscribed as
Entry No. 116017. Upon full payment of the
purchase price, the Uychocdes executed a
Deed of Sale involving the property in
question in favor of the Sajonas couple on
September 4, 1984. The deed of absolute
sale was registered almost a year after, or on
August 28, 1985.
It appears that Domingo Pilares (defendantappellant) filed Civil Case No. Q-28850 for
collection of sum of money against Ernesto

Page | 11

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Uychocde. On June 25, 1980, a Compromise
Agreement was entered into by the parties in
the said case under which Ernesto Uychocde
acknowledged his monetary obligation to
Domingo Pilares amounting to P27,800 and
agreed to pay the same in two years from
June 25, 1980. Uychocde failed to comply
with his undertaking in the compromise
agreement so defendant-appellant Pilares
moved for the issuance of a writ of execution
to enforce the decision based on the
compromise agreement which the court
granted in its order dated August 3,
1982. Accordingly, a writ of execution was
issued on August 12, 1982 by the CFI of
Quezon City where the civil case was
pending. Pursuant to the order of execution
dated August 3, 1982, a notice of levy on
execution was issued on February 12, 1985.
Defendant sheriff Roberto Garcia of Quezon
City presented said notice of levy on
execution before the Register of Deeds of
Marikina and the same was annotated at the
back of TCT No. 79073 as Entry No. 123283.
When the deed of absolute sale dated
September 4, 1984 was registered on August
28, 1985, TCT No. N-79073 was cancelled
and in lieu thereof, TCT No. N-109417 was
issued in the name of the Sajonas
couple. The notice of levy on execution
annotated by defendant sheriff was carried
over to the new title. On October 21, 1985,
the Sajonas couple filed a Third Party Claim
with the sheriff of Quezon City, hence the
auction sale of the subject property did not
push through as scheduled.
On January 10, 1986, the Sajonas couple
demanded the cancellation of the notice of
levy on execution upon defendant-appellant
Pilares, through a letter to their lawyer, Atty.
Melchor Flores. Despite said demand,
defendant-appellant Pilares refused to cause
the cancellation of said annotation. Thus,
plaintiffs-appellees filed this complaint in the
RTC of Rizal against Pilares (the judgment
creditor of the Uychocdes). Pilares filed his
answer with compulsory counterclaim
seeking moral and exemplary damages as
well as raising special and affirmative
defenses. Both parties attended the pre-trial

proceedings then trial on the merits ensued.


The RTC ruled in favor of the Sajonas couple,
and ordered the cancellation of the Notice of
Levy from TCT No. N-109417. Pilares
appealed to the CA which reversed RTCs
decision, and upheld the annotation of the
levy on execution on the certificate of title.
Hence, this petition to the SC by Sajonas
couple. Pilares filed his comment; both
parties were then ordered to file their
respective memoranda which they complied.
Issues:
1) The lower court erred in holding that the
rule on the 30-day period for adverse claim
under section 70 of P.D. No. 1529 is absolute
inasmuch as it failed to read or construe the
provision in its entirety and to reconcile the
apparent inconsistency within the provision
in order to give effect to it as a whole.
a. Was the adverse claim inscribed in
the Transfer Certificate of Title No. N-109417
still in force when private respondent caused
the notice of levy on execution to be
registered and annotated in the said title,
considering that more than thirty days had
already lapsed since it was annotated?
2) The lower court erred in interpreting
section 70 of P.D. No. 1529 in such wise on
the ground that it violates petitioners
substantial right to due process.
3) Are petitioners buyers in good faith of the
subject property?
Ruling:
Yes. The lower court erred in holding that the
rule on the 30-day period for adverse claim
under section 70 of P.D. No. 1529 is absolute
inasmuch as it failed to read or construe the
provision in its entirety and to reconcile the
apparent inconsistency within the provision
in order to give effect to it as a whole.
Yes. The adverse claim inscribed in the
Transfer Certificate of Title No. N-109417 was
still in force when private respondent caused
the notice of levy on execution to be
registered and annotated in the said title,
considering that more than thirty days had
already lapsed since it was annotated.

Page | 12

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


The annotation of an adverse claim is a
measure designed to protect the interest of a
person over a piece of real property where
the registration of such interest or right is
not otherwise provided for by the Land
Registration Act or Act 496 (now P.D. 1529 or
the Property Registration Decree), and
serves a warning to third parties dealing with
said property that someone is claiming an
interest on the same or a better right than
that of the registered owner thereof. Such
notice is registered by filing a sworn
statement with the Register of Deeds of the
province where the property is located,
setting forth the basis of the claimed right
together with other dates pertinent thereto.
The registration of an adverse claim is
expressly recognized under Section 70 of P.D.
No. 1529.
Section 51. Conveyance and other dealings
by the registered owner.- An owner of
registered land may convey, mortgage,
lease, charge, or otherwise deal with the
same in accordance with existing laws. He
may use such forms of deeds, mortgages,
leases or other voluntary instruments as are
sufficient in law. But no deed, mortgage,
lease or other voluntary instrument, except
a will purporting to convey or affect
registered land shall take effect as a
conveyance or bind the land, but shall
operate only as a contract between the
parties and as evidence of authority to the
Register of Deeds to make registration.
The act of registration shall be the operative
act to convey or affect the land in so far as
third persons are concerned, and in all cases
under the Decree, the registration shall be
made in the office of the Register of Deeds
for the province or city where the land
lies. (Italics supplied by the lower court.)
Under the Torrens system, registration is the
operative act which gives validity to the
transfer or creates a lien upon the land. A
person dealing with registered land is not
required to go behind the register to
determine the condition of the property. He is
only charged with notice of the burdens on

the property which are noted on the face of


the register or certificate of title.
Although we have relied on the foregoing
rule, in many cases coming before us, the
same, however, does not fit in the case at
bar. While it is the act of registration which is
the operative act which conveys or affects
the land insofar as third persons are
concerned, it is likewise true, that the
subsequent sale of property covered by a
Certificate of Title cannot prevail over an
adverse claim, duly sworn to and annotated
on the certificate of title previous to the sale.
While it is true that under the provisions of
the Property Registration Decree, deeds of
conveyance of property registered under the
system, or any interest therein only take
effect as a conveyance to bind the land upon
its registration, and that a purchaser is not
required to explore further 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,
nonetheless, this rule is not absolute. Thus,
one who buys from the registered owner
need not have to look behind the certificate
of title, he is, nevertheless, bound by the
liens and encumbrances annotated thereon.
One who buys without checking the vendors
title takes all the risks and losses consequent
to such failure.
The question may be posed, was the
adverse claim inscribed in the Transfer
Certificate of Title No. N-109417 still in
force when private respondent caused
the notice of levy on execution to be
registered and annotated in the said
title, considering that more than thirty
days had already lapsed since it was
annotated? This is a decisive factor in the
resolution of this instant case.
For a definitive answer to this query, we refer
to the law itself. Section 110 of Act 496 or
the Land Registration Act reads:
Sec. 110. Whoever claims any part or
interest in registered lands adverse to the
registered owner, arising subsequent to the
date of the original registration, may, if no

Page | 13

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


other provision is made in this Act for
registering the same, make a 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.

days from the date of registration. After the


lapse of said period, the annotation of
adverse claim may be cancelled upon filing
of a verified petition therefor by the party in
interest: Provided, however, that after
cancellation, no second adverse claim based
on the same ground shall be registered by
the same claimant.

The statement shall be signed and sworn to,


and shall state the adverse claimants
residence, and designate a place at which all
notices may be served upon him. The
statement shall be entitled to registration as
an adverse claim, and the court, upon a
petition of any party in interest, shall grant a
speedy 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.

Before the lapse of thirty days aforesaid, any


party in interest may file a petition in the
Court of First Instance where the land is
situated for the cancellation of the adverse
claim, and the court shall grant a speedy
hearing upon the question of the validity of
such adverse claim, and shall render
judgment as may be just and equitable. If
the adverse claim is adjudged to be invalid,
the registration thereof shall be ordered
cancelled. If, in any case, the court, after
notice and hearing shall find that the
adverse claim thus registered was frivolous,
it may fine the claimant in an amount not
less than one thousand pesos, nor more than
five thousand pesos, in its discretion. Before
the lapse of thirty days, the claimant may
withdraw his adverse claim by filing with the
Register of Deeds a sworn petition to that
effect. (Italics ours)

The validity of the above-mentioned rules on


adverse claims has to be reexamined in the
light of the changes introduced by P.D. 1529,
which provides:
Sec. 70 Adverse Claim- 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 decree for
registering the same, make a statement in
writing setting forth fully his alleged right or
interest, and how or under whom acquired, a
reference to the number of certificate of title
of the registered owner, the name 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 claimants
residence, and a place at which all notices
may be served upon him. This statement
shall be entitled to registration as an adverse
claim on the certificate of title. The adverse
claim shall be effective for a period of thirty

In construing the law aforesaid, care should


be taken that every part thereof be given
effect and a construction that could render a
provision inoperative should be avoided, and
inconsistent provisions should be reconciled
whenever possible as parts of a harmonious
whole. For taken in solitude, a word or phrase
might easily convey a meaning quite
different from the one actually intended and
evident when a word or phrase is considered
with those with which it is associated. In
ascertaining the period of effectivity of an
inscription of adverse claim, we must read
the law in its entirety. Sentence three,
paragraph two of Section 70 of P.D. 1529
provides:
The adverse claim shall be effective for a
period of thirty days from the date of
registration.

Page | 14

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


At first blush, the provision in question would
seem to restrict the effectivity of the adverse
claim to thirty days. But the above provision
cannot and should not be treated separately,
but should be read in relation to the
sentence following, which reads:
After the lapse of said period, the annotation
of adverse claim may be cancelled upon
filing of a verified petition therefor by the
party in interest.
If the rationale of the law was for the adverse
claim to ipso facto lose force and effect after
the lapse of thirty days, then it would not
have been necessary to include the
foregoing caveat to clarify and complete the
rule. For then, no adverse claim need be
cancelled. If it has been automatically
terminated by mere lapse of time, the law
would not have required the party in interest
to do a useless act.
A statutes clauses and phrases must not be
taken separately, but in its relation to the
statutes totality. Each statute must, in fact,
be construed as to harmonize it with the preexisting body of laws. Unless clearly
repugnant, provisions of statutes must be
reconciled. The printed pages of the
published Act, its history, origin, and its
purposes may be examined by the courts in
their construction. An eminent authority on
the subject matter states the rule candidly:
A statute is passed as a whole and not in
parts or sections, and is animated by one
general purpose and intent. Consequently,
each part or section should be construed in
connection with every other part or section
so as to produce a harmonious whole. It is
not proper to confine its intention to the one
section construed. It is always an unsafe way
of construing a statute or contract to divide
it by a process of etymological dissection,
into separate words, and then apply to each,
thus separated from the context, some
particular meaning to be attached to any
word or phrase usually to be ascertained
from the context.

Construing the provision as a whole would


reconcile the apparent inconsistency
between the portions of the law such that
the provision on cancellation of adverse
claim by verified petition would serve to
qualify the provision on the effectivity
period. The law, taken together, simply
means that the cancellation of the adverse
claim is still necessary to render it
ineffective, otherwise, the inscription will
remain annotated and shall continue as a
lien upon the property. For if the adverse
claim has already ceased to be effective
upon the lapse of said period, its cancellation
is no longer necessary and the process of
cancellation would be a useless ceremony.
It should be noted that the law employs the
phrase may be cancelled, which obviously
indicates, as inherent in its decision making
power, that the court may or may not order
the cancellation of an adverse claim,
notwithstanding such provision limiting the
effectivity of an adverse claim for thirty days
from the date of registration. The court
cannot be bound by such period as it would
be inconsistent with the very authority
vested in it. A fortiori, the limitation on the
period of effectivity is immaterial in
determining the validity or invalidity of
an adverse claim which is the principal
issue to be decided in the court hearing. It
will therefore depend upon the evidence at a
proper hearing for the court to determine
whether it will order the cancellation of the
adverse claim or not.
To interpret the effectivity period of the
adverse claim as absolute and without
qualification limited to thirty days defeats
the very purpose for which the statute
provides for the remedy of an inscription of
adverse claim, as the annotation of an
adverse claim is a measure designed to
protect the interest of a person over a piece
of real property where the registration of
such interest or right is not otherwise
provided for by the Land Registration Act or
Act 496 (now P.D. 1529 or the Property
Registration Decree), and serves as a
warning to third parties dealing with said
property that someone is claiming an

Page | 15

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


interest or the same or a better right than
the registered owner thereof.
In sum, the disputed inscription of
adverse claim on the Transfer
Certificate of Title No. N-79073 was still
in effect on February 12, 1985 when
Quezon City Sheriff Roberto Garcia
annotated the notice of levy on
execution thereto. Consequently, he is
charged with knowledge that the
property sought to be levied upon on
execution was encumbered by an
interest the same as or better than that
of the registered owner thereof. Such
notice of levy cannot prevail over the
existing adverse claim inscribed on the
certificate of title in favor of the
petitioners.This can be deduced from the
pertinent provision of the Rules of Court, to
wit:
Section 16. Effect of levy on execution as to
third persons- The levy on execution shall
create a lien in favor of the judgment
creditor over the right, title and interest of
the judgment debtor in such property at the
time of the levy, subject to
liens or encumbrances then existing. (Italics
supplied)
To hold otherwise would be to deprive
petitioners of their property, who waited a
long time to complete payments on their
property, convinced that their interest was
amply protected by the inscribed adverse
claim.
2. Yes. The lower court erred in interpreting
section 70 of P.D. No. 1529 in such wise on
the ground that it violates petitioners
substantial right to due process.
In such wise: The appellate court relied on
the rule of statutory construction that
Section 70 is specific and unambiguous and
hence, needs no interpretation nor
construction. Perforce, the appellate court
stated, the provision was clear enough to
warrant immediate enforcement, and no
interpretation was needed to give it force
and effect. A fortiori, an adverse claim shall

be effective only for a period of thirty (30)


days from the date of its registration, after
which it shall be without force and effect.
The reason why the law provides for a
hearing where the validity of the adverse
claim is to be threshed out is to afford the
adverse claimant an opportunity to be heard,
providing a venue where the propriety of his
claimed interest can be established or
revoked, all for the purpose of determining at
last the existence of any encumbrance on
the title arising from such adverse
claim. This is in line with the provision
immediately following:
Provided, however, that after cancellation, no
second adverse claim shall be registered by
the same claimant.
Should the adverse claimant fail to sustain
his interest in the property, the adverse
claimant will be precluded from registering a
second adverse claim based on the same
ground.
It was held that validity or efficaciousness of
the claim may only be determined by the
Court upon petition by an interested party, in
which event, the Court shall order the
immediate hearing thereof and make the
proper adjudication as justice and equity
may warrant. And it is only when such claim
is found unmeritorious that the registration
of the adverse claim may be cancelled,
thereby protecting the interest of the
adverse claimant and giving notice and
warning to third parties.
Hence, the CA is incorrect in its
interpretation of Sec. 70 of P.D. 1529 on the
ground that it violates petitioners
substantial right to due process.
3) Yes. Petitioners are buyers in good faith of
the subject property.
As pointedly observed by the appellate court,
there is no question that plaintiffs-appellees
were not aware of the pending case filed by
Pilares against Uychocde at the time of the
sale of the property by the latter in their

Page | 16

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


favor. This was clearly elicited from the
testimony of Conchita Sajonas, wife of
plaintiff, during cross-examination on April
21, 1988.
A purchaser in good faith and for value is one
who buys property of another without notice
that some other person has a right to or
interest in such property and pays a full and
fair price for the same, at the time of such
purchase, or before he has notice of the
claims or interest of some other person in
the property. Good faith consists in an honest
intention to abstain from taking any
unconscientious advantage of another. Thus,
the claim of the private respondent that the
sale executed by the spouses was made in
fraud of creditors has no basis in fact, there
being no evidence that the petitioners had
any knowledge or notice of the debt of the
Uychocdes in favor of the private
respondents, nor of any claim by the latter
over the Uychocdes properties or that the
same was involved in any litigation between
said spouses and the private
respondent. While it may be stated that good
faith is presumed, conversely, bad faith must
be established by competent proof by the
party alleging the same. Sans such proof, the
petitioners are deemed to be purchasers in
good faith, and their interest in the subject
property must not be disturbed.
At any rate, the Land Registration Act
(Property Registration Decree) guarantees to
every purchaser of registered land in good
faith that they can take and hold the same
free from any and all prior claims, liens and
encumbrances except those set forth on the
Certificate of Title and those expressly
mentioned in the ACT as having been
preserved against it. Otherwise, the efficacy
of the conclusiveness of the Certificate of
Title which the Torrens system seeks to
insure would be futile and nugatory.
Diaz-Duarte v. Ong
The Register of Deeds cannot unilaterally
cancel the adverse claim. There must be a
court hearing for the purpose
Santos v. Ganayo

Viewmaster v. Maulit
People v. RTC of Manila
Tanchoco v. Aquino
FACTS:
Lot 314 was a conjugal property of the
deceased Maximo Viola and his deceased
wife Juana Viola. The whole lot was titled in
the name of their son, respondent Rafael
Viola way back in 1937.
On April 6, 1964, Rafael Viola sold the
undivided one-half (1/2) portion of Lot 314 to
Petitioners Pastor, Macario and Agripino
Tanchoco for the sum of P50,000.00 this
portion was subsequently designated as Lot
314-B-2-A in the name of said petitioners.
Then, on June 5, 1965, Rafael sold sixseventh (6/7) of the undivided one-half (1/2)
portion to the other petitioners Inocencia,
Liberata and Trinidad Tanchoco for the sum
of P42,000.00
In a Civil Case filed before the CIF of Nueva
Ecija, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs
Vicenta T. Vda. de Lajom and Jose T. Lajom,
over the undivided one-half of lot 314
described under TCT No. 11682.
A subsequent order was issued by the CIF,
rdering the cancellation of all annotations
with respect to the undivided one-half (1/2)
of lot 314 described under Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 11682 after the notice
of lis pendens at the back of the said title
was annotated.
The annotation of lis pendens on said TCT
reads as follows:
Entry No. 19553/T-14707; Kind Lis
pendens in favor of Donato Lajom;
Conditions-1/2 of the properties described
in this title is the object of a complaint
filed in Civil Case No. 8077 of the C.F.I. of
N.E.; Date of instrument Dec. 16, 1949;
Date of Inscription Jan. 11, 1950 at
2:00 p.m.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the questioned
orders, dismissing the instant petition for

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


certiorari as the land in question was subject
of the notice of lis pendens and that the
petitioners were purchasers in bad faith.
ISSUES: WON petitioners are purchasers in
good faith despite the existing notice of lis
pendens.
HELD:
It is clear that the sales of the portion of Lot
314 by Viola in favor of petitioners were both
made after the Decision of the Court of First
Instance and the Decision of this court
affirming the same had already became final
and executory, in which Decision it was held
that the share of the respondent Lajoms was
only one-seventh (1/7) of the share of the
deceased Maximo Viola in the said
properties.
The share of respondents Lajoms was not
included in the sale in favor of the
petitioners.
1/2 portion of Lot 314
The portion pertained to was the share of the
deceased wife of Maximo Viola which was
not involved in the aforementioned Civil
Case. In the annotation of lis pendens it is
stated that the said case involves "1/2 of the
properties described in the title."
In spite of the fact that this 1/2 portion is not
involved in the case and is not covered by
the notice of lis pendens, still the respondent
court caused the cancellation of the titles in
the name of petitioners and caused the
registration of the said 1/2 portion in the
name of respondent Rafael Viola.
To order the cancellation of the said title of
the petitioners and to cause the registration
of the same again in the name of respondent
Rafael Viola who had already sold this
portion for valuable considerations to the
petitioners is highly irregular and ridiculous.
The same can be said of the sale of the 6/7
of the other one-half portion of Lot 314. This
portion also lawfully belonged to the vendor
Rafael Viola and did not include the 1/7 of

1/2 of Lot 314 which was adjudicated to the


respondents Lajoms in the final decision.
The petitioners were already the registered
owners of all but 1/7 of Lot 314 at the time
private respondents entered into the
compromise agreement in Civil Case No.
8077.
The possession of the said property was
delivered to the petitioners and they have
exercised all the rights of ownership over the
same.
The petitioners have acquired real rights
over the said property and cannot now be
deprived of their rights therein without due
notice to them and without affording them
the opportunity to be heard in a proper
action or suit brought for the purpose.
To deprive them of their aid property of their
rights therein without the required notice and
without affording them the opportunity to be
heard as what happened in this case, is a
clear violation of the constitutional guaranty
that no person shall be deprived of his
property without due process of law.
Yared v. Ilarde
Romero v. CA
FACTS:
Romero and her siblings executed a lettercontract to sell with private respondent
Orden. In said contract, private respondent
proposed to purchase from Romero and her
siblings a property located at Denver cor.
New York Sts., Cubao, Quezon for the total
amount of P17M. The contract stipulated that
private respondent shall pay petitioner the
amount of P7M upon the execution of the
deed of absolute sale, the balance of P10M
not later than December 19, 1996 and that
private respondent shall shoulder the
expenses to evict the squatters on the
property. When private respondent failed to
pay the down payment, petitioner Corona
told him that she was rescinding the contract
to sell. Private respondent then filed a
complaint for specific performance and
damages against petitioners before the

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Regional Trial Court alleging that he has
complied with his obligation to evict the
squatters on the property and is entitled to
demand from petitioners the performance of
their obligation under the contract.
Simultaneous with the filing of the complaint,
private respondent caused the
annotation of a notice of lis pendens
Limsico, Jr. and Santos, subsequent buyers of
the subject property sold by petitioner
Corona and her siblings, filed a motion for
leave to intervene and filed a motion for the
cancellation of lis pendens which the RTC
granted in its Resolution. The RTC
reasoned that the inscription is not
necessary to protect the alleged right of the
plaintiff over the subject property. The
plaintiff is not entitled to the inscription of
the notice on TCT in the name of the
defendants and others because he does not
have any actionable right over the subject
property there being no deed of sale
executed. Therefore said notice should be
cancelled.
Respondent filed a petition for certiorari
before the CA seeking the nullification of the
resolutions of the RTC and asked for the reannotation of the notice of lis pendens on the
TCT. The CA granted the portions of which
read:
First, the general rule is that a notice of lis
pendens cannot be cancelled while the
action is pending and undetermined except
in cases expressly provided by statute.
Section 77, P.D. 1529 (Property Registration
Decree) In the instant case, there was not
even a hearing upon which could be
predicated a "proper showing" that any of
the grounds provided by law exists.
Second, as shown in the above cited
provisions, there are only two grounds for the
court to order the cancellation of a notice of
lis pendens during the pendency of an
action, and they are: (1) if the annotation
was for the purpose of molesting the title of
the adverse party, or (2) when the
annotation is not necessary to protect the
title of the party who caused it to be
recorded. While the parties are locked up in

legal battle and until it becomes convincingly


shown that either of the two grounds exists,
the court should not allow the cancellation.
Third, the Doctrine of Lis Pendens is founded
upon reasons of public policy and necessity,
the purpose of which is to keep the
properties in litigation within the power of
the court until the litigation is terminated,
and to prevent the defeat of the judgment or
decree by subsequent alienation. In the case
at bench, the judgment is even defective, in
that the same does not specify who among
the private respondents whether the
defendants-vendors or intervenors-vendees
should file a bond.
Fourth, if there was indeed an agreement to
sell between the petitioner and the private
respondents- then the said parties are bound
by the provisions of Article 1475 of the Civil
Code, to wit:
ART. 1475. The contract of sale is
perfected at the moment there is a
meeting of minds upon the thing which
is the object of the contract and upon
the price.
In any case, a notation of lis pendens does
not create a non-existent right or lien. It
serves merely as a warning to a person who
purchases or contracts on the subject
property that he does so at his peril and
subject to the result of the pending litigation.
It is not even required that the applying
party must prove his right or interest over
the property sought to be annotated. Thus, it
was legally erroneous for the respondent
court to order the cancellation of the notice.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA committed
grave abuse of discretion in ordering the reannotation of the lis pendens
HELD: We rule in the negative.
Lis pendens, which literally means pending
suit, refers to the jurisdiction, power or
control which a court acquires over property
involved in a suit, pending the continuance
of the action, and until final judgment.
Founded upon public policy and necessity, lis

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


pendens is intended to keep the properties in
litigation within the power of the court until
the litigation is terminated, and to prevent
the defeat of the judgment or decree by
subsequent alienation. Its notice is an
announcement to the whole world that a
particular property is in litigation and serves
as a warning that one who acquires an
interest over said property does so at his
own risk or that he gambles on the result of
the litigation over said property.
The filing of a notice of lis pendens has a
two-fold effect: (1) to keep the subject
matter of the litigation within the power of
the court until the entry of the final judgment
to prevent the defeat of the final judgment
by successive alienations; and (2) to bind a
purchaser, bona fide or not, of the land
subject of the litigation to the judgment or
decree that the court will promulgate
subsequently.
Petitioners contend that: the notice of lis
pendens is not necessary in this case since
the complaint does not pray for an express
award of ownership or possession; what is
involved in this case is a contract to sell
and not a contract of sale, thus, no title
has passed to private respondent yet
which needs to be protected by a notice
of lis pendens; by ordering the reannotation of the notice of lis pendens, when
private respondent did not even assert a
claim of possession or title over the subject
property, the CA went against the doctrine in
Villanueva vs. Court of Appeals, where
this Court held that the applicant must, in
the complaint or answer filed in the subject
litigation, assert a claim of possession or title
over the subject property in order to give
due course to his application; the CA, in
concluding that there was no hearing before
the annotation was cancelled, overlooked the
fact that the motion for cancellation was set
for hearing on November 12, 1997, that
private respondent was duly notified but
failed to appear, and that he was able to file
his opposition to the motion to cancel lis
pendens which the RTC considered before
promulgating its Resolution

Private respondent, on the other hand,


contends that: the court a quo cancelled the
notice of lis pendens even before it has been
apprised of all the relevant facts of the case;
the CA was correct in ruling that while the
parties are locked in legal battle and until it
becomes manifest that the grounds set forth
in Sec. 77, P.D. No. 1529 exist, the trial court
should not allow the cancellation of the lis
pendens; the RTC ruling in this case is
proscribed by the case of Tan vs. Lantin
which held that the law does not authorize a
judge to cancel lis pendens pending
litigation, upon the mere filing of a bond; the
danger sought to be prevented by the Tan
ruling
In their Reply, petitioners reiterate their
arguments and cited AFP Mutual Benefit
Association, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals
where it was held that a notice of lis pendens
may be annotated only where there is an
action or proceeding in court which affects
title to or possession of real property. They
further maintain that the requirement of
prior hearing was sufficiently complied with
in this case and petitioners did not act in bad
faith when she sold the subject property
pending the outcome of this case since there
was no outstanding injunction or restraining
order which would have prevented her from
doing so.
We disagree with petitioners claim that
lis pendens is not proper since private
respondent has no title over the
property neither did he pray specifically
in his complaint for the ownership or
possession thereof. The complaint for
specific performance and damages filed by
private respondent specifically prayed that
petitioners, as defendants thereat, be bound
by the terms and conditions of their lettercontract. By praying thus, private respondent
in effect asks the court to order petitioners to
fulfill their promise to sell the property
covered by tct and amount of P17M. While
private respondent did not explicitly state
that he was running after the ownership of
the property, a simple reading of the
complaint would show that such was his
intent. This is sufficient for purposes of
annotating lis pendens. There is nothing in

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


the rules which requires a party seeking
annotation of lis pendens to show that the
land belongs to him. There is no requirement
that the party applying for the annotation
must prove his right or interest over the
property sought to be annotated. Thus, we
have held that even on the basis of an
unregistered deed of sale, a notice of lis
pendens may be annotated on the title. Said
annotation cannot be considered as a
collateral attack against the certificate of
title based on the principle that the
registration of a notice of lis pendens does
not produce a legal effect similar to a lien.
The rules merely require that an affirmative
relief be claimed since a notation of lis
pendens neither affects the merits of a case
nor creates a right or a lien. It only protects
the applicants rights which will be
determined during trial.
In fine, petitioners failed to show that the CA
committed grave abuse of discretion in
ordering the re-annotation of the notice of lis
pendens.
.
AFP Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. v.
CA
FACTS:
Investco, Inc. was the owner of six (6)
parcels of raw land, located in Quezon City
and Marikina (Metro Manila, now a City),
registered under titles in the names of its
predecessors-in-interests, Angela PerezStaley and Antonio Perez, Jr. Investco, Inc.
agreed to sell the six (6) parcels of land to
Solid Homes for P10,211,075.00, payable in
instalments with stipulation that the parties
further agreed that Solid Homes would evict
the squatters in the property or obtain a
waiver from them, that it would cause the
original titles to be cancelled and new ones
issued in the name of Investco, Inc. and that
Investco, Inc. would contribute one-half of
the expenses in clearing the property of
occupants, in an amount not exceeding
P350,000.00. However, after paying the
amount corresponding to the downpayment,
and the amount of P4,084,430.00
representing the first four (4) semi-annual
installments and a portion of the fifth
installment, Solid Homes made no further

payment to Investco, Inc. Angela PerezStaley and Antonio Perez, Jr. filed with the
Court of First an action for specific
performance and damages against Solid
Homes. Solid Homes filed with the trial court
an answer to Investco, Inc.'s complaint
alleging that the purchase price under the
contract was "not yet due" and that the
former, in fact, exceeded the installment
payments due thereon. Solid Homes prayed
for dismissal of Investco, Inc.'s complaint,
Solid Homes filed with the Register of Deeds
of Marikina a notice of lis pendens requesting
that the same be annotated on the titles in
Investco, Inc.'s name. However, the notice of
lis pendens was not actually annotated on
the titles in the name of Investco, Inc.
the trial court rendered judgment in favor of
Investco, Inc. ordering Solid Homes to pay
plaintiffs
the trial court ordered the original record
transmitted to the appellate court in view of
Solid Homes' filing of a notice of appeal.
In the meantime, Investco, Inc. offered to
sell the property to AFP Mutual Benefit
Association, Inc. For P24,000,000.00,
payable in installments. Investco, Inc.
furnished AFP MBAI with certified true copies
of the titles covering the Marikina property.
Moreover, AFP MBAI, through its Real Estate
Committee, made an ocular inspection of the
property. AFP MBAI confirmed the presence
of squatter shanties numbering about twenty
(20) to thirty (30). Except for a foot path
used by the squatters, there was no
development on the property.
After determining that the Investco property
was suitable for the housing project of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines and that the
titles covering the same were "clean" and
"genuine," AFP MBAI agreed to purchase the
same from Investco, Inc. for the price of
P24,000,000.00, payable in installments for a
period of one (1) year.
Among other terms, Investco, Inc. warranted
to AFP MBAI that "it has good and valid title

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


over the properties subject of (the) sale and
(that it) shall hold (AFP MBAI) free from any
adverse claim of whatever nature and from
liens and encumbrances of third parties".
AFP MBAI completed its payments of the
purchase price.
the Register of Deeds of Marikina issued
Transfer Certificates of Title. The titles issued
were "clean" and contained no annotation of
any lien, encumbrance, or adverse claim by
a third party.
Solid Homes commenced action before the
Regional Trial Court, Marikina, against the
Register of Deeds, AFP MBAI and Investco,
Inc. for "annotation of lis pendens and
damages" with temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction
In due time, AFP MBAI and Investco, Inc. filed
with the trial court an answer to the
complaint, the trial court rendered decision
ordering defendant Register of Deeds for
(sic) Marikina to annotate the Notice of
Lis Pendens, Declaring defendant AFP
MBAI as a buyer in bad faith
Aggrieved thereby, AFP MBAI appealed the
decision to the Court of Appeals. Court of
Appeals rendered decision which denied the
motion. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not Solid Homes is
entitled to the annotation of its notice of lis
pendens on the titles of Investco, Inc. and
AFP Mutual Benefit Association, Inc.
HELD:
The doctrine of lis pendens is
inapplicable to this case. The Register of
Deeds of Marikina correctly denied the
annotation of the notice of lis pendens on the
titles of Investco, Inc. and the AFP MBAI. The
Register of Deed's obligation to annotate the
notice of lis pendens is one that arises from
law. Hence, the action is actually one for
mandamus to compel the performance of a
clear legal duty. There is no such action as
one for "annotation of lis pendens," as Solid
Homes sought in its complaint. A notice of lis

pendens is not and can not be sought as a


principal action for relief. "The notice is but
an incident to an action, an extra-judicial one
to be sure. It does not affect the merits
thereof. It is intended merely to
constructively advise, or warn, all people
who deal with the property that they so deal
with it at their own risk, and whatever rights
they may acquire in the property in any
voluntary transaction are subject to the
results of the action, and may well be inferior
and subordinate to those which may be
finally determined and laid down therein."
The notice of lis pendens that real
property is involved in an action is
ordinarily recorded without the intervention
of the court where the action is pending. As
a settled rule, notice of lis pendens may
be annotated only where there is an
action or proceeding in court which
affects title to or possession of real
property.
Under Presidential Decree No. 1529, known
as the "Property Registration Decree of
1978", the Register of Deeds may deny
registration of the notice of lis pendens,
which denial may be appealed by the
applicant en consulta (Section 10, paragraph
2) to the Commissioner of Land Registration.
25 Section 117 of P.D. No. 1529 provides:
When the Register of Deeds is in doubt with
regard to the proper step to be taken or
memorandum to be made in pursuance of
any deed, mortgage or other instrument
present to him for registration, or where any
party in interest does not agree with the
action taken by the Register of Deeds with
reference to any such instrument, the
question shall be submitted to the
Commissioner of Land Registration by the
Register of Deeds, or by the party in interest
thru the Register of Deeds.
Here, the Register of Deeds of Marikina
denied the annotation of the notice of
lis pendens on the ground that the
complaint was for collection of a sum of
money and did not involve the titles to
or possession of the subject property. If
Solid Homes did not agree with the denial of

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


the Register of Deeds, it could appeal the
same en consulta to the Commissioner of
Land Registration. The resolution of the
Commissioner may then be appealed to the
Court of Appeals, which has exclusive
jurisdiction to decide the same, "within the
period and in the manner provided in
Republic Act No. 5434."
In its questioned decision, the Court of
Appeals held that the action filed by
Investco, Inc. against Solid Homes "is not
exclusively for payment of the unpaid
installments on the purchase price of the
subject properties and damages, but also
one for rescission of the contract to sell and
to buy the subject properties executed by
defendant Investco, Inc. in favor of (Solid
Homes) which necessarily involves delivery
of possession and ownership of the same."
We do not agree. This ruling conflicts with
the final decision of the Supreme Court on
the case. What is more, in determining the
nature of plaintiffs (Investco, Inc.) action and
defendant Solid Homes' counterclaim
thereto, the Court of Appeals went beyond
the allegations in the complaint and
ventured into speculation and conjecture.
There is nothing in Investco's that even
remotely suggests that Investco, Inc. has
rescinded the contract, or that it sought the
rescission of the sale as an alternative
remedy. Specific performance and rescission
are alternative remedies which a party may
not avail himself of at the same time.
The nature of an action is determined by the
allegations of the complaint.
"Good faith is always presumed, and upon
him who alleges bad faith on the part of a
possessor rests the burden of proof." 38
Here, Solid Homes alleged that Investco, Inc.
and AFP MBAI "confederated with each other
in entering into the aforementioned sale in
order to deprive herein plaintiff (Solid
Homes) of its rights over subject properties
under the Contract to Sell and to Buy. . ."
However, Solid Homes adduced no evidence
to prove such allegation of bad faith.

Gonzales v. Ordonez-Benitez
FACTS:
Rodolfo P. Gonzalez had four children in his
marriage with Carmen Rojas. After Carmen
died. Rodolfo married Dr. Luz Dizon and they
had two children. On November 11, 1974
Rodolfo P. Gonzalez and his second wife
executed an "Agreement for Dissolution of
Conjugal Partnership and for Establishment
of Separation of Property," for the declared
purpose of avoiding "confusion and/or
differences among the two sets of heirs (of
said Rodolfo Gonzalez) in the settlement of
the estates of the said spouses in case of
death." They then filed a petition for
approval of their agreement, entitled "In the
Matter of the Voluntary Dissolution of
Conjugal Partnership,". Rodolfo's children by
his first marriage moved for, and were
granted leave, to intervene in the case.
On March 4, 1975 Salvador R. Gonzalez, the
eldest of the four children of the first
marriage, instituted in the same Court
proceedings to place under guardianship the
property of his father Rodolfo P. Gonzalez,
grounded on the latter's alleged incapacity
"to manage and direct his financial and
ownership status" resulting from the
deterioration of his mental faculties on
account of illness and advanced age. The
petition further averred that prejudice would
be caused to the children of the first
marriage. Rodolfo P. Gonzalez and his wife
drew up a contract for the sale of two parcels
of land in favor of Helen Grace Silvestre and
Rica Marie re. It appears however that the
mortgagee banks were not willing to accede
to the assumption by the vendees of the
spouses' mortgage obligations. What the
vendor spouses did, on July 16, 1975, was to
cause annotation of the sales as adverse
claims on the corresponding certificates of
title.
Salvador R. Gonzalez himself caused notices
of lis pendens to be annotated sometime in
September, 1975 on the spouses' titles not
only over the two lots, but also over other
property in the name of Gonzalez Spouses
and the Spouses Trinidad de la Pea and
Aurea Dizon de la Pea, and in the name of

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Luz Dizon-Gonzalez, married to Rodolfo P.
Gonzalez, and denominated "paraphernal
property." His requests for annotation were
based on the pendency of the guardianship
proceeding involving the property of Rodolfo
P. Gonzales.
Rodolfo P. Gonzalez filed a petition for
cancellation of said notices of lis pendens.
He argued that:
1) the petition for guardianship,
ostensible basis of the notices of lis
pendens, did "not involve title to or
possession of any of the properties of
Rodolfo P. Gonzalez" since he had "no
exclusive property of his own and
whatever assets he has are held in
conjugal partnership with his wife,
Dra. Luz Dizon-Gonzalez," and hence,
said notices could not be justified by
either the Torrens Act or the Rules of
Court;
2) the property covered by TCT No. 6802
and 6803 had already been sold for
value in good faith to purchasers who
had earlier registered adverse claims
thereto;
3) the annotations of the notices of lis
pendens had been made merely to
harass and molest the Gonzalez
Spouses who had thereby been
prevented from dealing with their
properties, causing them irreparable
injury, "especially considering that Dr.
Luz Dizon-Gonzalez is engaged in the
buying and selling of real estate as a
major means of . . . livelihood ;"
4) Diaz v. Perez (103 Phil. 1023) involved
substantially different facts, 8 and
could not be invoked as authority to
justify the annotation of the notices of
lis pendens in question, the "more
analogous situation" being that in
Garcia v. Vasquez, 32 SCRA 489 (1970)
in which the following pronouncement
had been made, viz.:
. . . In short, the issue in controversy
there (in the case relied upon as basis
for the notice of lis pendens) is simply
the fitness or unfitness of said special
administratrix to continue holding the
trust; it does not involve or affect at all

the title to, or possession, of, the


properties covered . . . Clearly, the
pendency of such case (L-26615) is
not an action that can properly be
annotated in the record of the titles to
the properties.;
5) the said spouses are, while they are
alive, entitled to exercise full right of
dominion over their conjugal assets
and should not be deprived (or
restricted in the exercise) of the same
especially at the instance of those who
have no present existing right over
said properties, such as the petitioner
(Salvador R. Gonzalez), his brothers
and sisters.
Salvador R. Gonzalez opposed the petition
for cancellation of the notices of lis pendens.
While conceding that "a guardianship
proceeding is not expressly included in the
enumeration of cases where a notice of lis
pendens may be made," he averred that
such a proceeding "is not excluded,
expressly or impliedly, from the coverage of
said laws," and there was nothing in said
laws "from which it may be inferred that the
enumeration of cases therein is meant to be
exclusive" and Diaz v. Perez, had precisely
sustained the propriety of notices of lis
pendens in guardianship cases, in the same
manner that they had been held to be
"proper in receivership proceedings involving
realty, and in lunacy proceedings, situations
closely akin to . . . (guardianship)." Quoting
from Diaz, Salvador asserted that the
annotations of lis pendens were "a proper
cautionary measure which the courts should
be slow to disturb, unless the petition for
guardianship was prima facie unconvincing,
or was not made in good faith, or . . . the
pendency of guardianship proceedings may
not be considered as lis pendens affecting
the realties of the person allegedly
incompetent."
After Rodolfo P. Gonzalez had filed a "Reply
to Opposition to Petition for Cancellation of
Lis Pendens," and Salvador, a Rejoinder
thereto-which latter pleading contained
averments accusing Rodolfo's second wife,
Luz Dizon-Gonzalez, of attempting to deprive

Page | 24

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


her husband of his properties through fraud
and undue influence 12 the Juvenile &
Domestic Relations Court promulgated an
Order on November 7, 1975, denying the
petition for cancellation of October 17, 1975
on the ground that "after hearing counsel,
the Court finds it has not been established
that the purpose of the notice of lis pendens
is merely for molesting the proposed ward
and that it is not necessary to protect the
rights of petitioners, considering especially,
the fact that efforts are being made to
dispose of some properties pertaining to the
proposed ward."
On December 8,1975 a motion was filed
seeking (1) leave for Luz Dizon-Gonzalez to
intervene in Sp. Proc. No. 00985, and (2)
reconsideration of the Order of November 7,
1975. This was opposed by Salvador R.
Gonzalez, 15 after which the Court rendered
an Order on December 23, 1975, allowing
Luz Dizon-Gonzalez to intervene, but denying
the motion for reconsideration nothing
meritorious therein having been found.
ISSUE: Whether the respondent Court
committed "grave abuse of discretion
amounting to want or excess of jurisdiction,"
in denying the petition for cancellation of lis
pendens
RULING: NO
In the proceedings at bar, the Gonzalez
Spouses no longer assert their earlier theory
that the rule on notices of lis pendens does
not apply to guardianship cases. The
question has in any case been settled by
Diaz v. Perez.
What they allege is that the estate of
Carmen Roxas (Rodolfo's first wife) "was
settled and distributed among her heirs".
This is however denied by Salvador R.
Gonzalez who asserts that "at the time the
second marriage was contracted," "the
conjugal partnership of the first marriage had
not yet been totally liquidated and some of
the properties have been brought by Rodolfo
P. Gonzalez to the second marriage."
Nothing in the record establishes the claim
that Carmen Roxas' estate had indeed been

settled. The record in fact does not indicate


that satisfactory evidence in substantiation
of this claim was presented in the Court a
quo. What is disclosed, as the lower Court
declared, is that the evidence adduced by
the parties failed to establish that Salvador
R. Gonzalez had caused inscription of the
notices of lis pendens merely "for molesting
the proposed ward," or that such inscription
was not necessary to protect the rights of
the petitioners (Salvador R. Gonzalez, et al.),
"considering especially, the fact that efforts
are being made to dispose of some
properties pertaining to the proposed ward."
In other words, the facts on record, in the
view of the Court a quo, demonstrated the
need to give constructive notice to all parties
having occasion to deal with the property
registered in the name of Rodolfo P. Gonzalez
(and other persons) that his capacity to
create any encumbrance or make any
disposition of said property was suspect, and
was precisely subject of inquiry in the
guardianship proceeding cited in the notices
of lis pendens, a need underscored by the
attempts to dispose of property of the first
and second marriage by the proposed ward,
Rodolfo P. Gonzalez and his wife.
The children of the first marriage
indisputably have an interest in the property
of the first marriage, as well as in the
property of the second. They have a right to
allege and prove in the appropriate
proceeding in the proper forum that their
father, Rodolfo P. Gonzalez, had brought
property acquired by him and his first wife
into his second marriage with Luz Dizon, and
also that all or certain of the property
acquired during said second marriage is
conjugal in character. And they have the
right to challenge in the appropriate
proceeding in the proper forum, as they have
done, their father's capacity to make
dispositions of property acquired during
either of his marriages. The issues
necessarily involved are factual, i.e., the
degree of Rodolfo P. Gonzalez' alleged
incapacity; the manner and other
circumstances of the acquisition of the
properties during the first and second
marriages; the attendance of fraud, or undue

Page | 25

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


pressure or influence on any dispositions or
attempts at disposition by Rodolfo P.
Gonzalez of any property. Obviously, these
issues cannot be resolved without evidence
which, to be sure, may not be received and
passed upon by this Court in the first
instance. And until these issues are resolved,
there is clearly a need to warn any person
interested in any property titled in the name
of Rodolfo P. Gonzalez, among others, of the
pendency of the proceedings which might
eventually result in the invalidation of any
transaction made by said Rodolfo P. Gonzalez
affecting such property.
Of course, as Mr. and Mrs. Rodolfo P.
Gonzalez point out, "the effect of the notices
of lis pendens . . .are not delimited to the
properties of Dr. RODOLFO P. GONZALEZ, but
extend to the proprietary interests of Dra.
LUZ DIZON-GONZALEZ, . . . who is not
personally involved in the proceedings for
guardianship." This is true, but it cannot be
helped, since the latter's name does in fact
appear in the titles together with her
husband's, and under the law, no disposition
of property can be made alone by either of
them.
The attempt to distinguish the case at bar
from Diaz v. Perez, is unpersuasive. Whether
the person whose property is sought to be
placed under guardianship be sole owner, or
co-owner of property is immaterial. If shown
to be non compos mentis, any disposition
made by him under either supposition would
be equally defective. The argument that
anyway, Mrs. Luz Dizon-Gonzalez is required
by law to "concur and co-sign" and hence,
there "could be no instance . . . that Dr.
Gonzalez might be influenced to execute
deeds of transfers to his prejudice," would
appear to beg the question since the
accusation is that it is precisely the wife who
has influenced and might continue to
influence him "to his prejudice." The
argument that Dr. Gonzalez needs no
protection not only because he has no
separate property, but also because he is not
at all incompetent is also specious. Precisely,
the chief issues to be determined by
evidence before the Court a quo are whether

or not Dr. Gonzalez is indeed incompetent,


and whether or not there has been
liquidation of the property of the first
nuptials and the nature and character of the
property acquired by either or both of the
spouses of the second marriage.
Chapter VI Registration of Judgments;
Orders and Partitions
Panimdim v. Director of Lands
Facts:
On December 27, 1987, the Dir. of Lands
rendered a joint decision approving the free
patent application filed separately by Joaquin
Panimdim (parcel A) and Fulgencio Minalabag
(parcel B). The opposition filed by Mario Dela
Rosa was overruled. Nevertheless, Dela Rosa
took steps to have the parcels of land of
Panimdim and Minalabag surveyed under his
name, and applied later for their registration
in his name. After due hearjng, the court
denied the petition for registration declaring
said parcels of land as parts of the public
domain.
Meanwhile, Panimdim was suceeded in his
rights over his land by his son, Estanislao
Panimdim, and after the former's death, the
latter succeeded in having the patent issued
in his name. But in issuing said certificate of
title, it was made to appear erroneously
therein that it covers both parcels A and B
although the late Joaquin Panimdim never
possessed parcel B nor has laid any claim
therefore, thereby creating a trust in favor of
the heirs of Fulgencio Minalabag.
Mariano Dela Rosa did not cease in asserting
his claim not only over parcel B but also over
a portion of parcel A so he again filed a
petition with the Director of Lands praying
for the annulment of the free patent issued
in the name of Estanislao Panimdim.
Panimdim moved to dismiss the petition on
the ground that the Director of Lands has
already lost jurisdiction over the parcel of
land adjudicated to him inasmuch as after
the issuance of patent covering the same in
his favor the land is deemed to have been
segregated from the public domain and as

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


such it no longer comes under the
jurisdiction of the Director of Lands.
ISSUE: Whether the Director of Lands has
jurisdiction to amend a patent after title
thereto has been issued
RULING: NO Where the free patent covering
the land in controversy was issued to
petitioner for which an original certificate of
title was issued in his name by the register of
deeds, but two hears later the Director of
Lands acting on a protest interposed by a
third party rendered a decision declaring the
issuance of the patent erroneous and
ordering that an administratiive action to be
taken in order to amend the same and issue
another reducing said patent, it is held that
the Director of Lands can no longer do this
because the title thereto had already
become indispensable and incontrovertible.
Once a free patent is registered and the
corresponding certificate of title is issued,
the land ceases to be part of the public
domain and becomes private property over
which the Director of Lands has neither
control nor jurisdiction.
Director of Lands v. Abanilla
Bernales v. IAC
Facts:
The lot in question was originally public land,
cadastrally surveyed under the Manabo
Cadastre No. 327-D and was designated as
Lot No. 1494.
Henry Siagan is the father of both Elpidio
Siagan whose mother is Cagaoay Camiling
and Augusto Siagan whose mother is
Dagaoan Sawadan. Augusto Siagan has a
son named Constante Siagan, one of the
petitioners in this case. Both sons of Henry
Siagan and their successors-in-interest are
the contending parties in this case, claiming
ownership of the land in question. Cagaoay
Camiling died in December, 1939; Henry
Siagan in 1943, Dagaoan Sawadan in
September, 1965 and Augusto Siagan on
October 4,1975.

Petitioners claim that Dagaoan Sawadan


acquired ownership over subject land by
means of continuous, adverse and peaceful
possession thereof since time immemorial or
since 1908; that she brought said property to
the marriage in 1908 and in 1918 Henry
Siagan, as administrator. Henry Siagan died
in 1943 and in 1948 Dagaoan Sawadan
declared Lot 1494 under T.D. 4187.
Dagaoan Sawadan died in 1965. Augusto
Siagan inherited Lot 1494 but his son
Constante alleging in a Deed of Absolute
Sale dated February 16, 1967 that he
inherited the same from his late
grandmother, sold the lot in question to the
Pasimio spouses and registered said
instrument under Act 3344.. The Pasimio
spouses in turn sold the same lot to the
Roman Catholic Bishop of Bangued, Inc. who
bought the same for the sole purpose of
disposing the same at cost to the actual
occupants-tenants thereon in the furtherance
of the Land Reform Program of the
government and had it registered under Act
3344. Said tenants are now the petitioners
herein.
Private respondents maintain that Lot 1494
was originally owned by Henry Siagan who
died intestate in May 1943.Augusto Siagan
and Elpidio Siagan mutually recognized and
agreed that they are the only legal heirs of
Henry Siagan entitled to inherit the
properties left by the latter; that Augusto
Siagan renounced, quit-claimed, waived,
ceded and conveyed any interest and right
he had over three lots among which is Lot
No. 1494 in favor of Elpidio Siagan.
On May 5, 1973, or after the lapse of five (5)
years, Elpidio Siagan sold Lot 1494 to the
spouses Alfonso Cadiam and qqqOgnay
Cullawit, by virtue to which OCT No. P-392
was cancelled and in lieu thereof, TCT No. T338 was issued in the name of the Cadiam
spouses.
Following their purchase, said spouses took
possession of the land, fenced it and planted
it with rice but herein petitioners on August
5. 1974, forcibly dispossessed them

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


therefrom, uprooting the plants of said
couple who then brought a criminal
complaint for theft of rice plants against the
petitioners.
In turn, Constante Siagan and his copetitioners instituted Civil Case No. 976 for
the "Annulment and Cancellation of
Certificate of Title, Declaration of Ownership
and Damages and Reconveyance" claiming
that OCT No. P-392 covering the suit was
fraudulently secured.
ISSUE: Who has a better title over Lot No.
1494, the spouses Alfonso Cadiam and
Ognay Cullawit or Ernesto Bernales and his
co-plaintiffs.
HELD: Cadiam Spouses and Ognay Cullawit
In the case at bar, the Cadiam spouses who
were found by the Court of Appeals as
innocent purchasers for value with a Transfer
Certificate of Title under the Torrens System
in their names, have evidently a better right
than herein petitioners.
Under the circumstances, the Court of
Appeals correctly observed that whether Lot
1494 descended from Henry Siagan as
claimed by private respondents or from
Dagaoan Sawadan, the mother of Augusto
Siagan as claimed by the petitioners, it is
undeniable that Augusto Siagan had already
quit-claimed, ceded and conveyed whatever
rights or interest he had over said lot in favor
of Elpidio Siagan.
Because of such waiver and quit claim,
Elpidio Siagan became the sole claimant of
Lot 1494. He applied for and was granted
Free Patent No. 391197 and Original
Certificate of Title No.P-392 for said lot. After
the lapse of five years from and after the
issuance of said patent and title, Elpidio
Siagan sold said lot to the spouses Alfonso
Cadiam and Ognay Cullawit in whose favor
Transfer Certificate of Title No.T-338 was
issued by the Register of Deeds of Abra.
In the case at bar, the Free Patent was
granted to Elpidio Siagan, the very person
who as successor-in-interest of Augusto

Siagan with a claim of continuous and


adverse possession in the concept of owner
since time immemorial or since 1908 through
the latter's predecessors-in-interest, is
entitled to subject land. An Original
Certificate of Title was issued in favor of
Elpidio Siagan. As held by this Court, once a
homestead patent granted in accordance
with the Public Land Act is registered under
the Torrens System, the certificate of title
issued in virtue of said patent has the force
and effect of a Torrens Title under the Land
Registration Act.
As aforestated, the Cadiam spouses to whom
a Transfer Certificate of Title was issued after
the purchase of the lot from Elpidio Siagan
for a valuable consideration as stated in the
Deed and who had no knowledge of any flaw
or defect of the title at the time of the
purchase, are evidently as ruled by the Court
of Appeals, innocent purchasers for value
and above all considerations, are entitled to
the protection of the law.
In contrast, petitioners allegedly acquired
subject property by virtue of the sale made
by Constante Siagan six months before the
execution of the Memorandum of Agreement
and the other documents above-mentioned.
Constante Siagan, claiming to have inherited
Lot 14194 from his grandmother, sold said
lot to the Pasimio spouses, who later sold the
same to the Roman Catholic Bishop of
Bangued, Inc. and the latter in turn sold the
same to the petitioners. But the authority of
Constante Siagan to sell said lot was
wanting.
The ownership and possession of Dagaoan
Sawadan over Lot 1494 were transmitted
through hereditary succession to Augusto
Siagan, her son, and not to Constante
Siagan, her grandson. Constante cannot
claim to have inherited the same in 1967
because his father Augusto Siagan who
entered into the amicable settlement and
quit claim with Elpidio Siagan was still living
and he died only in October, 1975. Thus, the
sale made by non-owner Constante Siagan

Page | 28

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


and all subsequent sales made thereunder,
are null and void.
It is true that the Pasimio spouses and the
Roman Catholic Bishop of Bangued, Inc.
claimed to have registered their sales under
Act 3344 but it is specifically provided under
said law that such registration shall be
"understood to be without prejudice to a
third party who has a better right. (Section
194 of the Administrative Code, as amended
by Act 3344).
Chapter VIII Registration of Patents
Lopez v. CA
Facts:
Tiburcio Pinohermoso filed Homestead
Application and it was approved on October
26, 1914. The applicant had paid the
required homestead fees and submitted his
final proof.
On April 5, 1924, Casiana Flores, the wife of
Tiburcio Pinohermoso, died. Under date of
March 20, 1925, an order for the issuance of
patent to 'Tiburcio Pinohermoso was issued
by Assistant Director of the Bureau of Lands.
Original Certificate of Title was issued on
April 22, 1926 over the parcel of land in
controversy unto the said Tiburcio
Pinohermoso "to have and to hold the said
tract of land, with the appurtenances thereto
of right belonging unto the said Tiburcio
Pinohermoso and to his heirs and assigns
forever provided that the land hereby
acquired shall be inalienable and shall not be
subject to incumbrance for a period of five
(5) years from the date of this patent.
In consideration of the sum of P550.00
Tiburcio Pinohermoso sold this land to
defendants Bonifacio B. Lopez and Roberta
Llaneras on May 20, 1939 who took
possession of the property and its
improvements upon their purchase thereof.
By virtue of the said sale, OCT was cancelled
and Transfer Certificate of Title was issued on
February 3, 1940 in the name of Bonifacio B.
Lopez married to Roberta Llaneras. Tax
Declaration was thereafter issued to

Bonifacio Lopez and said defendant has been


paying the realty taxes on the land since
1948 up to the filing of this case in 1958.
The trial court declared the lot in question a
conjugal property of Tiburcio Pinohermoso
and Casiana Flores. Consequently, it ruled
that Tiburcio had authority only to administer
and not to sell the share of Casiana which
passed on to her heirs. It held that the action
for reconveyance of said share had not
prescribed in view of the relation of trust and
confidence between Tiburcio and his
children. On these bases, the trial court
ordered the reconveyance of half of the land
to the respondents, with a condition that
they first reimburse the petitioners the value
of half of the coconut trees the latter had
planted on the land since 1940 when they
entered into the possession of the land. The
reimbursement of half of the purchase price
was not ordered as the court believed that
the petitioners had been amply compensated
by the profits they derived from the use of
the portion of land in question.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the
appellate court affirmed the trial court's
decision. It, however, opined that "the
alleged sale made by Tiburcio of the whole
homestead is void and non-existent with
respect to the one-half thereof and it is
settled that the action to declare the
inexistence of a contract does not prescribe."
The petitioner assailed the decisions of the
courts below. He alleges
(a) that the validity of the deed of sale
executed in 1939 by Tiburcio may no longer
be attacked in an action in 1958, or 19 years
after its execution;
(b) that assuming, without admitting, that
the property is a conjugal property of the
vendor and his deceased spouse, the
petitioner is not bound by such fact because
he is a buyer in good faith and for value who
relied on the property's certificate of title
issued only in the name of the vendor; and,
(c) that assuming that he is bound by the
conjugal nature of the property, it was error
for the courts to hold that the vendor validly
sold only one-half of the property without

Page | 29

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


including another one-eighth part of it which
represents the vendor's share in hereditary
succession from his wife.
The respondents, however, counter
(a) that Bonifacio Lopez should be bound by
the conjugal nature of the property as
"anyone dealing with a homestead is
charged with the notice of how the
requirements of the public land law for the
acquisition of the right to the patent had
been fulfilled." They allege that "where as in
the instant case, the requirements of law had
been fulfilled during the marriage of the
spouses Pinohermoso and Flores, Bonifacio
Lopez should be bound by the hard and
unalterable fact that the homestead in
question was a conjugal property
notwithstanding that only the name of
Tiburcio Pinohermoso appeared in the patent
or title."
(b) The respondents further state that the
petitioners' claim to an additional one-eighth
part of the land has no basis in law because
under the old law, Tiburcio inherited only a
usufructuary right over the portion of the
conjugal property left by his wife.
(c) Lastly, the respondents aver that their
cause of action had not prescribed inasmuch
as the sale is void and inexistent and that
the defense of laches was not pleaded by the
petitioners in their answer and therefore
cannot be considered on appeal.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioner has
better right in the land in question over the
respondent.
Ruling: Yes. The Supreme Court ruled in
favor of the petitioner. The petitioner has
better right in the land in question over the
respondent.
The land in question is a homestead titled
under the Land Registration Act. Once a
homestead patent granted in accordance
with the Public Land Act is registered
pursuant to Section 122 of Act 496, the
certificate of title issued in virtue of said
patent has the force and effect of a Torrens'
title issued under the Land Registration Act.

Under the established principles of land


registration law, the presumption is that the
transferee of registered land is not aware of
any defect in the title of the property he
purchased. Moreover, the person dealing
with registered land may safely rely on the
correctness of its certificate of title and the
law will in no way oblige him to go behind
the certificate to determine the condition of
the property.
The period of prescription for the annulment
of the deed of sale the execution of which
was tainted by fraud is four years from the
discovery of fraud according to Section 43 of
Act 190, the old Code of Civil Procedure.
Applied to the instant case, the fraud
attendant in the contract of sale was
discovered by the respondents or their
predecessors-in-interest in 1940 when the
petitioners showed to them the deed of sale
and ordered them to vacate the land. The
action to annul the sale, commenced after 19
years, had clearly prescribed.
Municipality of Hagonoy v. Secretary of
Natural Resources
It is proper for a private party to file an
action for cancellation of certificate title
issued by virtue of a public land patent as
when he claims ownership of the land as
private property by virtue of long period of
possession and, hence, no longer deemed a
part of the public domain which could be
disposed of under the provisions of the Public
Land Act, or when the land is already
covered by a previously issued certificate of
title.
Thus, it has been held that where the land
awarded by virtue of patent was not part of
the public domain but was private property,
the owner who has been wrongfully deprived
of such land may, notwithstanding the lapse
of the one-year period, bring an action for
the recovery thereof, and the court, in the
exercise of its equity jurisdiction, without
ordering the cancellation of the Torrens title
issued upon the patent, may direct the
defendant, the registered owner, to reconvey
the parcel of land to the plaintiff who has
been found to be the true owner thereof.

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Agne v. Director of Lands
Omandam v. CA
Omandam v . CA
Facts:
Bureau of Lands issued a homestead patent
in favor of Camilo Lasola for a certain land in
Sagrada, Tambuling, Zamboanga del Sur. The
Register of Deeds also issued an Original
Title Certificate in his name;
Trabasas bought the land from a certain
Dolores Sayson who claimed to be the owner.
A year after, Trabasas discovered that
petitioners Carquelo Omandam and Rosito
Itom had occupied the land.
Omandam protested Lasola's homestead
patent before the Bureau of Lands and
prayed for the cancellation of the OCT.
Upon Sayson's advice, Trabasas repurchased
the land from Lasola, who executed a Deed
of Sale dated September 24, 1987.
On August 9, 1989, Trabasa acquired a new
Transfer Certificate of Title.
On April 16, 1990, Blas Trabasas and Amparo
Bonilla filed a complaint for the recovery of
possession and/or ownership of the land with
the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga del
Sur. They alleged that they are the true
owners of the land and that the petitioners
should vacate it.
Petitioners, on the other hand, alleged that
they purchased the land from one Godofredo
Sela who have been in possession for almost
twenty years.
After the parties were duly heared, the RTC
issued a decision on November 15, 1993,
declaring that neither Trabasas and Bonilla,
nor their predecessor-in-interest were ever in
possession of the land.
The court ordered the Trabasas and Bonilla to
reconvey the title of the land in the name of
the petitioners.

The decision was appealed to the Court of


Appeals. Pending appeal, the DENR
dismissed Omandam's protest previously
filed with the Bureau of Lands. It said that
Omandan failed to prove that Lasola
committed fraud and misrepresentation in
acquiring the patent, hence there is no
ground for the revocation and cancellation of
its title.
On October 29, 1996, the Court of Appeals
reversed and set aside the decision of the
RTC and ordered the petitioners to vacate
the subject land and surrender it to Blas
Trabasas and Amparo Bonilla.
The Court of Appeals declared that the
collateral attack on the homestead title to
defeat private respondents' accion
publiciana, was not sanctioned by law; that
the patent had already become indefeasible
since April 28, 1977; and that petitioners'
action for reconveyance in the nature of their
protest with the Bureau of Lands and
counterclaim in their answer to the complaint
for recovery of possession, already
prescribed.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration
but was subsequently denied.
Issue: What is the effect of the trial court's
decision in a possessory action on the order
of the Bureau of Lands regarding a
homestead application and decision of the
DENR on the protest over homestead patent?
Ruling:
Commonwealth Act 141 as amended,
otherwise known as the Public Land Act,
gives in its Section 3 and 4 to the Director of
Lands primarily and to the Secretary of the
DENR ultimately the authority to dispose
public lands. In this regard, the courts have
no jurisdiction to inquire into the validity of
the decree of registration issued by the
Director of Lands. Only the Secretary of the
DENR can review, on appeal, such decree.
Thus, reversal of the RTC of the award given
by the Director of Land to Lasola was in error.

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


DENR's jurisdiction over public lands does
not negate the authority of the courts of
justice to resolve questions of possession
and their decisions stand in the meantime
that the DENR has not settled the respective
rights of public land claimants. But once
DENR has decided, particularly with the
grant of homestead patent and issuance of
an OCT and then TCT later, its decision
prevails.
Petition was denied and the decision of the
CA was affirmed.
Baguio v. Republic
Lee Chuy v. CA
Under the above section, the five-year period
for legal redemption starts from the date of
the execution of the deed of sale, and not
from the date of registration in the office of
the Register of Deeds. This is true even if full
payment of the purchase price is not made
on the date of conveyance, unless there is a
stipulation in the deed that ownership shall
not vest in the vendee until full payment of
the price.
Fontanilla v. CA
Sallenillas v. CA
Chapter X PETITIONS AND ACTIONS
AFTER ORIGINAL REGISTRATION
Rivera v. CA
Gacheco vs. Estacio
Facts: Cesario Gocheco is the son of Paulino
Gocheco, who is the registered owner of the
parcel of land in Zamboanga del sure. The
owner's duplicate copy of the OCT of the
subject property was lost. The said copy was
not found despite the diligent search for it.
However, there appears in the Register of
Deeds of Zamboanga del sur that the
Original of the said certificate of title was
found intact and complete.
On Jan 1957, Cesario Gocheco filed a petition
for the issuance of another owner's duplicate

copy the OCT, which was in lieu of the


owner's copy which was lost.
On April 1957, Estacio and others opposed
the petition, claiming that they have been in
continuous, peaceful, lawful, public and
adverse possession of the subject property.
Thereafter, petitioner replied, stating that the
oppositors cannot intervene in the petition.
That to allow them to claim ownership and/or
possession of the subject property would
defeat and destroy the indefeasibility of titlw
guaranteed by ACT No. 496
ISSUE: Whether there is a need for
reconstitution
HELD:No. There is no need for
reconstitution. Only the issuance of the
duplicate of the OCT.
The petition is only for the issuance of an
owner's duplicate copy of O.C.T. No. O-1385,
in lieu of the one that was lost. Section 109
of Act No. 496, as amended, provides:
SEC. 109. If a duplicate certificate is lost or
destroyed or cannot be produced by a
guarantee, heir, devisee, assignee, or other
person applying for the entry of a new
certificate to him or for the registration of
any instrument, a suggestion of the fact of
such loss or destruction may be filed by the
registered owner or other person in interest
and registered. The court may thereupon,
upon the petition of the registered owner or
other persons in interest, after notice and
hearing direct the issue of a new duplicate
certificate, which shall contain a
memorandum of the fact that it is issued in
place of the lost duplicate certificate, but
shall in all respects be entitled to like faith
and credit as the original duplicate for all the
purposes of this act.
Republic v. CA
RA No. 26 entitled An Act Providing a Special
Procedure for the Reconstitution of Torrens
Certificates of Titles Lost or Destroyed
approved on September 25, 1946 confers
jurisdiction or authority upon the Regional
Trial Court to hear and decide petitions for
judicial reconstitution.

Page | 32

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Reconstitution of title under RA No. 26 is an
action in rem, which means it is one directed
not only against particular persons, but
against the thing itself. Its object is to bar
indifferently all who might be minded to
make any objection against the right sought
to be enforced, hence the judgment therein
is binding theoretically upon the whole world
Bunagan v. CFI of Cebu
Facts: Dionisia Icong and her children filed
in the CFI of Cebu a petition for the
reconstitution of the original certificate of
title covering Lot 1660 of the Opon Cadastre
in the name of "Spouses Antonio Ompad and
Dionisia Icong. Petition was opposed by
Espiritu Bunagan on the ground that he is
the owner of the lot by virtue of sale
between him and the Guadalupe Lumongsod
and Perpetua Inso,legitimate heirs of Antonio
Ompad; and Dionisia Icong is merely a
trustee of the said lot. The cadastral court
ruled that it could not entertain the claim of
the oppositor which should be filed in an
ordinary civil action; and granted
reconstitution.
Bunagan filed in the CFI of Cebu an urgent
motion to correct order by substituting, as
the registered owners of Lot 1660. "Antonio
Ompad and Dionisia Incong" instead of
"spouses Antonio Ompad and Dionisia Icon.
CFI denied the motion to correct the order
and held that it may be ventilated in a
separate civil action.
Bunagan filed a Petition for certiorari, to
annul and set aside the order of the CFI of
Cebu directing the reconstitution of title and
denying the motion to correct the order.
Issue: Whether or not order of the CFI of
Cebu directing the reconstitution of title in
the name of "spouses Antonio Ompad and
Dionisia Icong was proper.
Held: No. Respondent Court committed an
error in re- registering Lot 1660 of the Opon
Cadastre in the name of "spouses Antonio
Ompad and Dionisia Icong. It appears that
the petition is not merely for the
reconstitution of a lost or destroyed
certificate of title. Dionisia Icong and her

children also wanted the correction of the


name of the owners of the lot from "Antonio
Ompad and Dionisia Icong" to "spouses
Antonio Ompad and Dionisia Icong" which
involves a material change in the certificate
of title, a change which, not being consented
to by the herein petitioners whose interests
are affected thereby, cannot be authorized
under the summary proceedings for
reconstitution prescribed in Republic Act No.
26. A change of this nature raises an issue
which should be ventilated and decided in an
ordinary civil action.
Municipality (now City) of Legazpi v.
A.L. Ammen Transportation Co., Inc.
Facts:
Respondent A.L. Ammen Transportation Co.,
Inc. (as plaintiff) filed a petition for the
reconstitution of its Transfer Certificate of
Title covering a piece of land on the ground
that it lost its previous title which was
granted by the Court of First Instance of
Albay. Despite the reconstitution, one of the
defendants, and now sole appellant,
petitioner City of Legaspi, did not surrender
possession. So a complaint was filed by
respondent A.L. Ammen Transportation Co.,
Inc. (as plaintiff) for the recovery of the
possession of a piece of land against the
Province of Albay, the Municipality of
Legaspi, and 24 private individuals
occupying portions thereof. Sadly,
respondent A.L. Ammen Transportation Co.,
Inc.s complaint (as plaintiff) was dismissed.
Respondent A.L. Ammen Transportation Co.,
Inc. elevated the matter on appeal to the CA
which reversed the judgment of the lower
court, declaring that the reconstituted
certificate of title "is valid and that
[respondent A. L. Ammen Transportation Co.,
Inc.] is the registered owner of Lot No. 1114
of the Legaspi Cadastre. Hence, petitioners
petition for certiorari to review such decision
of the Court of Appeals.
Issues:
1. Whether the reconstitution of the TCT
of Respondent A.L. Ammen
Transportation Co., Inc. is valid?

Page | 33

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


2. Whether petitioner should expropriate
or return the portion of the disputed
land within one year?
Ruling:
1. Yes. The reconstitution of the TCT of
Respondent A.L. Ammen
Transportation Co., Inc. is valid.
As stated in Section 7 of R.A. 26, the
reconstituted certificate of title has the same
validity and legal effect as the original
thereof. The force to which such statutory
language is entitled was clearly set forth in
the leading case of Philippine National Bank
v. De la Via, where this Court, speaking
through Justice J. B. L. Reyes, stated: "It
appears that prior to the institution of these
proceedings with the court below, there had
already been a judicial reconstitution of the
original certificates of title upon petition of
the registered owner. Unlike in the
extrajudicial reconstitution of titles, wherein
there is the statutory reservation that the
new title 'shall be without prejudice to any
party whose right or interest in the property
was duly noted in the original, at the same
time it was lost or destroyed' (Sec. 7,
Republic Act; No. 26), a judicially
reconstituted title, by express provisions of
the statute (Sec. 10, ibid), 'shall not be
subject to the encumbrance referred to in
section 7' of the Act. Evidently, the statute
would not ordinarily allow the reconstitution
of liens and other encumbrances not noted in
the judicially reconstituted owner's
certificate of title."
Even the objection based on procedure on
due process grounds could not prosper for as
clearly set forth in the above decision: "While
it may be true that no notice was sent by
registered mail to the petitioner bank when
the judicial reconstitution of title was sought,
such failure, however, did not amount to a
jurisdictional defect. The proceedings therein
being in rem, the cadastral court acquired
jurisdiction to hear and decide the petition
for the reconstitution of the owner's title
upon compliance with the required posting of

notices and publication in the Official


Gazette."
2. Yes. Petitioner should expropriate or return
the portion of the disputed land within one
year since the reconstitution is valid.
The SC enunciated that the appropriate
solution was indicated in the leading case of
Alfonso v. Pasay City where this Court,
through Justice Montemayor, held: "In the
present case, Alfonso remains up to now the
owner of the land in question, Lot No. 4368
of the Cadastral Survey of Pasay, because
being a registered land, the City of Pasay or
its predecessor, Municipality of Pasay, did
not and could not acquire it thru prescription.
As registered owner, he could bring an action
to recover possession at any time because
possession is one of the attributes of
ownership of land. However, said restoration
of possession by the City of Pasay is neither
convenient nor feasible because it is now
and has been used for road purposes. So, the
only relief available is for the City of Pasay to
make due compensation, which it could and
should have done years ago since 1925."
That respondent A. L. Ammen Transportation
Co., Inc. with an equally well-written brief
prepared by its counsel, Atty. Ramon C.
Fernandez, is not insensible to such a
solution, where the following is set forth: "In
the instant case, the Court of Appeals has
given the petitioner a period of one year
within which to expropriate the portion
occupied by the road if it does not want to
return the portion in question to the
respondent, ALATCO."
Republic v. CFI
Director of Lands v. CA
This Court ruled that in all cases where the
authority of the courts to proceed is
conferred by a statute and when the manner
of obtaining jurisdiction is mandatory, it must
be strictly complied with, or the proceedings
will be utterly void.
Where there is a defect in the publication of
the petition, such defect deprives the court
of jurisdiction (Po vs. Republic, 40 SCRA 37).

Page | 34

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


And when the court a quo lacks jurisdiction
to take cognizance of a case, it lacks
authority over the whole case and all its
aspects (Pinza vs. Aldovino, 25 SCRA 220,
224).
It is not enough, however, that there is
publication in the Official Gazette. RA No. 26
also decrees that such a notice be posted
on the main entrance of the corresponding
provincial capitol and municipal building, as
well as served actually upon the owners of
adjacent lands if known. Failure to comply
with such requisites will nullify the
proceedings.
Nor is it sufficient to show that the Solicitor
General failed to interpose an opposition to
the petition. The court must nonetheless
convince itself that the petitioners evidence
is substantial enough to warrant
reconstitution.
Tahanan Development v. CA
Doronilla Resources v. CA

Held:
Petition does not hold merit. Since the
requisites of lis pendens is different from that
of an adverse claim. Even though the same
may be subject of both annotations. The
register of deeds should have given favor the
annotation of adverse claim rather that that
of notice of lis pendens. They are not
contradictory or repugnant with each other
hence petitioner has right to annotate
adverse claim

Stalianopulos v. City of Legaspi


FACTS: On September 26, 1962, the City of
Legaspi filed a Petition for the judicial
reconstitution of its titles to twenty parcels of
land, including Lot 1 (Psd 3261), the
certificates of which had allegedly been lost
or destroyed during World War II. On
September 16, 1964, the trial court ordered
the Register of Deeds to reconstitute the
Original Certificates of Title over these lots
including OCT No. 665 in favor of the
applicant.

Facts:
Blue chips inc, an organization duly
organized under philippine law bought a land
situated in rizal from purita landicho.
Doronila caused the preparation of
annotation of lis pendens at the back of the
title since the subject land is pending
litigation. The same corp thru its president
registered the land thru the rd of rizal
adverse claim. Rd of rizal denied and case
was elevated en consulta thru the lrc. Lrc
affirmed rd's decision Denying registration of
adverse claim. Winmar poultry purchased the
said land and a new title was formed in their
favor. Hence this petition

On August 4, 1970, the City filed a Complaint


for quieting of title over Lot 1, Psd-3261
(covered by OCT No. 665) against Carlos V.
Stilianopulos alias Chas V. Stilianopulos, Ana
Estela Stilianopulos, and the American
Oxygen and Acetylene Company. While this
case was pending, Carlos V. Stilianopulos
died. As a consequence, TCT No. T-1427
which was registered under his name was
cancelled, and TCT No. 13448 was issued in
the name of his son, petitioner herein, on July
12, 1974. On February 29, 1984, the trial
court rendered its Decision, which upheld the
validity of TCT No. 13448 and its superiority
to OCT No. 665. Thus, petitioner was
declared the lawful owner of the disputed
property, Lot 1, Psd-3261.

Issue: Whether or not notice of lis pendens


bar registration of adverse claim?

The CA reversed the trial court and ruled in


favor of the City of Legaspi. Petitioners
recourse to this Court was dismissed in a
Minute Resolution promulgated on August
17, 1988, on the ground that the issue raised
was factual in nature. Reconsideration was
denied in the Resolution of October 26, 1988.

Page | 35

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


Undaunted, petitioner filed an action for the
cancellation of OCT No. 665, which the trial
court subsequently dismissed on August 15,
1989 on the ground of res judicata. On
appeal, the CA affirmed the trial court,
reasoning that petitioners action was an
action for annulment of the order of the
reconstitution of OCT No. 665 and was
therefore not cognizable by the trial court.
Refusing to accept defeat, on June 13, 1994,
petitioner again filed before the Court of
Appeals a new action for annulment of the
September 16, 1964 Order based on three
grounds: (1) that the Respondent City of
Legaspi procured OCT No. 665 fraudulently;
(2) that the original certificate of title which
was judicially reconstituted was non-existent:
and (3) that the court which ordered the
reconstitution lack[ed] jurisdiction.
Before the CA, herein petitioner alleged (1)
that the City of Legaspi had omitted in its
Petition for Reconstitution of Title the name
and address of his predecessor-in-interest,
Chas V. Stilianopulos, who at the time, was
the occupant and possessor of the disputed
property; and (2) that as early as January 26,
1953 and February 10, 1953, the respondent
had actual knowledge that the petitioners
predecessor-in-interest was the registered
owner and possessor of said Lot 1. He added
that on January 26, 1953, the petitioners
predecessor-in-interest and the herein
respondent had jointly petitioned the trial
court in Cad. Case No. MM-302 for the
approval of the consolidation subdivision
plan and the technical description of said Lot
1, as well as for the issuance by the Register
of Deeds of the corresponding Transfer
Certificates of Title to the subject property in
the name of the petitioners predecessor-ininterest.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the
prescriptive period for extrinsic fraud has
lapsed [and] the petitioner is likewise guilty
of laches in the filing of this case for
annulment. Res judicata had also set in
against petitioner, as there was an identity of
parties and causes of action -- ownership and

possession of the lot covered by OCT No. 665


-- between the earlier case for quieting of
title and his Petition for Annulment. Further,
petitioner did not raise the issue of lack of
jurisdiction in the earlier case; thus, he was
guilty of laches.
Hence, this Petition.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether the prescriptive period for
extrinsic fraud has lapsed
(2) Whether the reconstitution court had no
jurisdiction and petitioner is guilty of laches
RULING: The Petition has no merit.
First Issue:
Petitioner contends that respondent
committed extrinsic fraud when it alleged in
its Petition for Reconstitution of Title that it
was the owner of Lot 1, Pcs-3261, and that
the Original Certificate of Title to said lot
issued in its name had either been lost or
destroyed during the last war.
Respondent was allegedly aware all along
that (1) Lot 1 was never covered by an
original certificate of title because it was
derived merely from the consolidation and
subdivision of Lot Nos. 9703-A and 1023 on
February 10, 1953; (2) as a derived lot, it
was for the first time issued Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-1427 only on March
5, 1953; (3) the Report of the Commissioner
of Land Registration stated that Decree No.
85234 pertained to Lot No. 9703, not to the
lost or destroyed OCT No. 665 as it was
made to appear in the reconstituted title; (4)
petitioners father and respondent jointly
petitioned for the approval of the
consolidation-subdivision plan of Lot Nos.
9703 and 1023, resulting in the creation of
Lots 1, 2 and 3 in Cad. Case No. MM-302; and
(5) petitioners father donated Lot 2 to
respondent.
Further, petitioner and his predecessor-ininterest were not named in the Petition for
Reconstitution as occupants or persons in

Page | 36

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


possession of the disputed land or notified of
said proceedings, in violation of Section
12(e) of Republic Act No. 26. Instead of
disputing it, both the CA and the respondent
allegedly elected to remain silent on these
contentions.
For fraud to become a basis for annulment of
judgment, it has to be extrinsic or actual. It
is intrinsic when the fraudulent acts pertain
to an issue involved in the original action or
where the acts constituting the fraud were or
could have been litigated. It is extrinsic or
collateral when a litigant commits acts
outside of the trial which prevents a party
from having a real contest, or from
presenting all of his case, such that there is
no fair submission of the controversy.
Our examination of the facts shows that,
indeed, respondent failed (1) to state in its
Petition for Reconstitution that Lot 1 was
occupied and possessed by petitioners
predecessor-in-interest and (2) to give him
notice of such proceedings. Deliberately
failing to notify a party entitled to notice
constitutes extrinsic fraud.
Although the CA and the respondent
impliedly admitted the presence of extrinsic
fraud, both contend, however, that the
prescriptive period for filing an action based
thereon had already run out on the
petitioner. The appellate court said:
If the ground for the annulment is extrinsic
fraud, the action has to be filed within four
(4) years from the time the fraud is
discovered pursuant to the provisions of
Article 1891 of the Civil Code. xxx.
We find in this case that the prescriptive
period for extrinsic fraud has lapsed xxx,
Cad. Case No. RT-763 was a petition for
reconstitution of title dated September 26,
1962 filed by the City of Lega[s]pi thru the
then incumbent Mayor Luis S. Los Baos with
the Court of First Instance of Albay on
September 28, 1962. It resulted in the
issuance of the Order dated September 16,
1964 which ordered, among others, the

Register of Deeds of Lega[s]pi to reconstitute


the titles of Lega[s]pi City over a number of
lots, including Lot 1 which is claimed by the
petitioner as owned by his predecessor-ininterest. Pursuant thereto, Original
Certificate of Title No. 665 was issued in the
name of respondent Lega[s]pi City. There is
no showing that the order was appealed by
any party and has thus become final.
Petitioner claims that the City of Lega[s]pi is
guilty of fraud in not notifying his
predecessor-in-interest, Chas. V.
Stilianopulos, about the petition for
reconstitution of title and that they were
never informed of the proceedings or the
decision therein rendered thus resulting in
the issuance of O.C.T. No. 665 to the City of
Lega[s]pi, while they hold T.C.T. No. T-1427
covering the said lot.
Assuming that petitioner or his father Chas.
V. Stilianopulos was intentionally not notified
of the proceedings by the City of Lega[s]pi,
the records do show that precisely to quiet
its O.C.T. No. 665 over the property, the City
of Lega[s]pi brought the matter to court.
In Civil Case No. 4183 for Quieting of Title
filed by the City of Lega[s]pi on August 4,
1970 against Stilianopulos over the same
parcel of land, one of the reliefs prayed for
by the plaintiff City of Lega[s]pi was to have
the plaintiff declared as the lawful owner of
Lot 1, Psd-3261 which is a portion of Lot
9703-A and covered by O.C.T. No. 665 in the
name of the plaintiff. xxx.
As early as 1970, therefore, the petitioner
was made aware of the existence of O.C.T.
No. 665 in favor of the City of Lega[s]pi
which he now claims was issued through
fraud. Yet, the petitioner failed to file
proceedings to annul the Order of
reconstitution of O.C.T. No. 665.
Petitioner argues that the four-year
prescriptive period for filing the Petition for
Annulment should begin, not from August 4,
1970, when the action for quieting of title
was filed, but from the discovery of the fraud
by the petitioners counsel shortly after March

Page | 37

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


24, 1988. Petitioner filed the action for
cancellation of title based on extrinsic fraud
on May 26, 1988, or sixty-one days after the
discovery of the fraud. Said action allegedly
interrupted the running of the prescriptive
period until May 26, 1994, when petitioner
received a copy of the CA Decision in the
case for cancellation of title. Hence,
petitioner submits that less than three
months had lapsed after the filing of the
Petition for Annulment at the CA.
Petitioners arguments are untenable. He
could and should have raised the issue of
extrinsic fraud in the action for quieting of
title. It was then that he became aware of
the reconstituted title in the name of
respondent. A simple check on the records of
the reconstitution proceedings would have
revealed that it was conducted without
notice to the petitioners father.

discovery of the fraudulent statements made


in the application.[36] Clearly, the period for
raising this issue lapsed a long time ago.
Second Issue:
Petitioner also avers that the trial court had
no jurisdiction to order the reconstitution of
OCT No. 665, because respondent failed to
state in its Petition that his predecessor-ininterest was in possession of Lot 1, or to give
him notice of the said proceedings. The
appellate court debunked this contention by
ruling that he was the one guilty of laches,
which thus cured the defect in the
reconstitution courts jurisdiction. Petitioner
became aware of the reconstitution
proceedings when the action for quieting of
title was instituted in 1970, and the CA held
that the lapse of more than twenty years
before he filed the present action to annul
the judgment in those proceedings
constituted an unreasonable delay.

Thus, we find no sufficient explanation why


March 24, 1988 should be reckoned as the
date when the prescriptive period should
begin. Simply unacceptable is the contention
that petitioners counsel discovered the
extrinsic fraud shortly after March 24,
1988[34] only. Granting arguendo that the
prescriptive period should begin when
petitioners counsel read the Land
Registration Commission Report, the
discovery should have been made earlier,
because the Report had been made available
to the said counsel when it was attached to
the respondents Appeal Brief on April 5,
1986, or at the latest, when the CA Decision
was promulgated on October 16, 1987. There
was absolutely no excuse why petitioner had
to wait until the finality of the Decision in the
case for quieting of title, before raising the
issue of extrinsic fraud in order to annul the
Decision in the reconstitution proceedings.
Clearly, the facts constituting the fraud
should have been known to petitioners
predecessor-in-interest, when the Petition to
quiet the title was filed in 1970.

From the above allegation, it appears that


the trial court had no jurisdiction. First,
under Section 13 of RA 26, the sending of
notice to the occupant of the land covered by
the title sought to be reconstituted is
mandatory and jurisdictional.[37] If no notice
of the date of hearing of a reconstitution
case is served on the possessor or anyone
else having interest in the property involved,
the order of reconstitution is null and void.
Second, reconstitution of title is simply the
reissuance of a new duplicate certificate of
title allegedly lost or destroyed in its original
form and condition. Thus, it arises from the
loss or destruction of the owners copy of the
certificate. In the case at bar, the title to Lot
1 was not lost or destroyed. It remained in
the possession of the petitioners father and
was eventually passed on to him. If a
certificate of title has not been lost but is in
fact in the possession of another person,
then the reconstituted title is void and the
court that rendered the Decision had no
jurisdiction.

Under Article 1391 of the Civil Code, an


action for annulment shall be brought within
four years from the discovery of the fraud;
[35] that is, within four years from the

However, the CA ruled that the delay of more


than twenty years since petitioner learned of
the reconstituted title was unreasonable,
giving rise to the presumption that he had

Page | 38

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


abandoned the idea of seeking annulment of
the proceedings on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction, and that he had opted to take
other actions instead.
Petitioner disputes this CA ruling, arguing
that (1) on May 26, 1988, he filed Cad. Case
No. M-10108 for the cancellation of OCT No.
665, thus negating the presumption that he
had abandoned the annulment of the
reconstitution proceedings; (2) he could not
file the action for annulment while the
Petition for Cancellation of Title was still
pending, because of the rule against forumshopping; (3) there was no unreasonable
delay in the filing of his Petition for
Annulment, which was filed just eighteen
days after his receipt of the CA Decision
upholding the dismissal of his Petition for
Cancellation of Title; and (4) the application
of the equitable doctrine of laches in this
case will perpetrate fraud and injustice
against him.

reconstituted title of respondent. Laches bars


a party from invoking lack of jurisdiction for
the first time on appeal for the purpose of
annulling everything done, with his active
participation, in the case below.
It cannot be said either that the application
of laches would work an injustice against
petitioner, because he was given a fair
chance in the quieting-of-title case to prove
his ownership of the disputed lot.
Furthermore, by seeking the reexamination
of the ownership of the disputed lot,
petitioner accepted the jurisdiction of the
court which heard the action for quieting of
title. A litigant cannot invoke the jurisdiction
of a court to secure affirmative relief and,
after failing to obtain such relief, to repudiate
or question that same jurisdiction. Clearly,
laches has attached and barred the
petitioners right to file an action for
annulment.

We remain unconvinced. Laches is the failure


or neglect, for an unreasonable or
unexplained length of time, to do that which
by exercising due diligence could or should
have been done earlier, warranting the
presumption that the right holder has
abandoned that right or declined to assert it.
This inaction or neglect to assert a right
converts a valid claim into a stale demand.

To show the cogency of the foregoing


disquisition, the interrelation of these rules
has recently been synthesized and codified
in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which
provides that an action for annulment of
judgment based on extrinsic fraud must be
filed within four years from its discovery or, if
based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is
barred by laches.

Laches prevents a litigant from raising the


issue of lack of jurisdiction. True, petitioner
filed the annulment Complaint right after the
dismissal of the cancellation-of-title case, but
it is equally true that it was filed only after
the quieting-of-title case had been decided in
favor of the respondent. By participating in
the quieting-of-title case and arguing therein
his defenses against the legality of the title
of the respondent in order to establish his
rights over the disputed property, petitioner
is deemed to have chosen this action over
the annulment of the reconstitution
proceedings.

Republic v. CA

Annulment of the reconstitution proceedings


was belatedly resorted to only after the CA
had reversed the trial court and upheld the

Republic v. El Gobierno de las Islas


Filipinas
Facts: The Court of Appeals relied on a one
page, two-liner decision dated March 31,
1929 as well as the index of decree which
contained an annotation relating to Decree
No. 365835 for Lot No. 1499 in affirming the
decision of the trial court court which
granted respondents petition for
reconstitution.
Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals
is correct.
Ruling: The Supreme Court said that while
these documents may be considered as

Page | 39

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


falling under Section 2(f) as any other
document which, in the judgment of the
court, is sufficient and proper basis for
reconstituting the lost or destroyed
certificate of title, it nevertheless ruled that
these are not enough evidence for
reconstitution purposes. For one, the text of
the decision, quoted verbatim, simply stated:
Lote No. 1499. A favor de Tirso Tumulak,
casado con Engrasia Pongasi. Moreover, the
geodetic engineer who certified that the
copy of the decision attached to the petition
was a true copy of the same is not the public
officer who is in custody thereof as required
by Section 7, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules
on Evidence, hence, the certification has no
probative value. The Court further noted:
We also find insufficient the index of decree
showing that Decree No. 365835 was issued
for Lot No. 1499, as a basis for
reconstitution. We noticed that the name of
the applicant as well as the date of the
issuance of such decree was illegible. While
Decree No. 365835 existed in the Record
Book of Cadastral Lots in the Land
Registration Authority as stated in the Report
submitted by it, however, the same report
did not state the number of the original
certificate of title, which is not sufficient
evidence in support of the petition for
reconstitution. The deed of extrajudicial
declaration of heirs with sale executed by
Aguinaldo and Restituto Tumulak Perez and
respondent on February 12, 1979 did not
also mention the number of the original
certificate of title but only Tax Declaration
No. 00393. As we held in Tahanan
Development Corp. vs. Court of Appeals, the
absence of any document, private or official,
mentioning the number of the certificate of
title and the date when the certificate of title
was issued, does not warrant the granting of
such petition.
Respondent Gacho also submitted the plan,
the technical description of Lot No. 1499 as
well as the certification from the Register of
Deeds of Lapu-Lapu City, Dioscoro Y.
Sanchez, Jr., stating that the Original
Certificate of Title of Lot No. 1499 of Opon
Cadastre as per records on file has been lost

or destroyed during the last Global War.


However, these are not the documents
referred to under Section 2(f) of R.A. No. 26
but are mere additional documents that will
accompany the petition to be forwarded to
the Land Registration Authority.
Bernardo v. CA
Facts: Manuel Silvestre Bernardo, claiming
to be the legitimate son and only surviving
heir of Tomas Bernardo, filed with the
Regional Trial Court of Pasig a verified
petition for reconstitution of Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 12658 that the
Register of Deeds of Rizal Province issued in
the name of Tomas Bernardo.
The petition alleged that the owners copy of
TCT No. 12658 was in petitioner Manuel
Bernardos custody, stored with other old
papers, but subsequent diligent search for it
proved futile. When he verified from the
Register of Deeds of Pasig, Rizal, petitioner
Manuel Bernardo was allegedly told that the
original copy of TCT No. 12658 had likewise
been lost/destroyed and (could) no longer be
recovered. He had not pledged nor delivered
to any person or entity to secure any
obligation or for any purpose whatsoever,
the owners copy of the title that was in his
possession. Neither was there any
transaction or document relating thereto that
had been presented for or pending
registration in the Register of Deeds office.
Furthermore, TCT No. 12658 had not been
recalled, cancelled or revoked and hence it
was in full force and effect. Petitioner Manuel
Bernardo also alleged that since his
deceased father died, he had continuously
exercised actual ownership and possession
over the property embraced in and covered
by said title. He asserted that the technical
descriptions, boundaries and area of the
parcel of land covered by TCT No. 12658 are
substantially the same as those indicated in
the official Technical Descriptions attached to
the petition and the officially approved
survey plan that he would present at the
hearing. He indicated therein the properties
adjoining the property covered by TCT No.
12658 as follows:

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


On the N., Lots 724 & 935 (Piedad Estate)
owned/claimed by Far Eastern University,
Manila; on the E., Lot 933 (Piedad Estate)
owned/claimed by San Pedro Estate
represented by Engracio San Pedro of 118
Kamias Road, Quezon City; on the S., Lot 706
(Piedad Estate) owned/claimed by San Pedro
Estate, supra; and on the NW., Lot 705
(Piedad Estate) owned/claimed by Himlayang
Pilipino, Quezon Blvd., Quezon City;
The Pasig RTC issued an Order setting the
petition for hearing on October 3, 1985 and
directing that its Order be posted at the
bulletin board of the Halls of Justice in Pasig.
It also directed that the same Order be
published for three (3) consecutive weeks in
the Filipino Times as well as in the Official
Gazette, pursuant to Section 13 of Republic
Act No. 26
The Pasig RTC granted the petition for
reconstitution of title.
The Acting Commissioner of Land
Registration, through Ricardo F. Arandilla,
filed a manifestation[7] before the Pasig RTC.
It stated that the Order of October 17, 1985
was issued by that courtbefore the Land
Registration Commission could approve the
plan and technical description of Lot No. 802
of the Piedad Estate as required by Section
12 of Republic Act No. 26. The same
manifestation stated that the Commission
was not furnished with the documents
The Pasig RTC issued an Order requiring
petitioner Manuel Bernardo to submit to the
Land Registration Commission the
documents required
NLTDRA issued a Resolution in LRC Consulta
1490 on account of the doubts that the Pasig
Register of Deeds entertained on whether or
not he should proceed with the registration
of the Order
It appears that the Register of Deeds of Rizal
and Ricardo F. Arandilla, the Chief of the
Clerks of Court of the Land Registration
Commission (LRC), refused to execute the
Order of October 17, 1985. Thus, petitioner

Manuel Bernardo filed a petition to cite them


in indirect contempt of court. In his answer to
that petition, Arandilla admitted that said
Order was elevated to the LRC by way
of consulta but that the documents required
by LRC Circular No. 35 were submitted to the
LRC not in virtue of that consulta but in
compliance with said circular. Arandilla
alleged that he could not have submitted the
required documents while these were
pending examination and verification by the
Commission" especially because the findings
of the Chief, Department of Registration,
show that said plan and technical description
submitted by petitioner overlaps other
properties.
The Chief of the Department of Registration
advised the Bureau of Lands thereof and
requested that verification be made on the
overlapping parcels of land.
Petitioner Manuel Bernardo and the Heirs of
Jose P. Bernardo filed before the Quezon City
RTC, Civil Case No. Q-92-12645, a complaint
for annulment of certificates of title.
Thereafter, Anita S. Lim, Benjamin A. Tango
and Antonio C. Gonzales, filed a motion for
intervention alleging that they were coowners of the land in question. In their
complaint in intervention, they alleged that
as the only son and surviving legal heir of
Tomas Bernardo, Manuel Bernardo inherited
the entire parcel of land covered by TCT No.
12658 through an affidavit of selfadjudication executed on March 21,
1989. Manuel later conveyed to them the
following undivided portions thereof: (a)
10,000 square meters to Anita S. Lim in
consideration of the amount of P180,000.00;
(b) 90,000 square meters to Atty. Antonio C.
Gonzales as contingent fee for legal services
rendered, and (c) 90,511 square meters to
Atty. Benjamin A. Tango for his financial
assistance and x x x invaluable personal
services in solving (Manuels) problems over
said tract of land. After these conveyances
were made, Manuel and the intervenors
entrusted the owners copy of TCT No. 12658
to Tango and appointed him as their
representative in initiating and following up

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


the administrative reconstitution of the
Register of Deeds Office copy of the title
which has been previously destroyed by
fire. They thus intervened as legitimate coowners of the property entitled to resist the
illegal encroachments and usurpation(s)
therein, thus joining the plaintiffs prayer for a
declaration of nullity of the subdivision plan
and the Torrens titles issued to
defendants. They prayed further that
defendants should be made to vacate the
property and to relinquish the same in favor
of Manuel and themselves, and that they
should be paid attorneys fees and actual
damages.
AIAI filed a motion to dismiss the complaint
on these grounds: (a) plaintiffs lack of legal
capacity to institute the action; (b) lack of
cause of action, and (c) plaintiffs cause of
action, if any, had been waived, abandoned
or otherwise extinguished on the grounds of
estoppel and laches. the Quezon City
RTC issued an Order denying the motion to
dismiss filed by defendant AIAI.
The Court of Appeals annulled the judgment
in LRC Case No. N-138, principally on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court
over the necessary parties and for being in
violation of the basic requirements of due
process.
After receiving a copy of that Decision, the
Bernardos filed with this Court G.R. No.
111715, a petition for review on
certiorari.Meanwhile, the intervenors filed a
motion for the reconsideration of that
Decision. After the denial of that motion on
September 24, 1993, the same intervenors
filed with this Court their own petition for
review on certiorari under G.R. No.
112876. On March 7, 1994, the Court
ordered the consolidation of the two cases.
ISSUE: Whether or not Bernardos petition
for reconstitution complied with the
publication requirement.
Rulings:
In order that a court may acquire jurisdiction
over a petition for reconstitution of title, the

following provisions of Republic Act No. 26


must be observed:
SEC. 13. The court shall cause a notice of the
petition, filed under the preceding section, to
be published, at the expense of the
petitioner, twice in successive issues of
the Official Gazette, and to be posted on the
main entrance of the municipality or city in
which the land is situated, at the provincial
building and of the municipal building at
least thirty days prior to the date of hearing.
The court shall likewise cause a copy of the
notice to be sent, by registered mail or
otherwise, at the expense of the petitioner,
to every person named therein whose
address is known, at least thirty days prior to
the date of hearing. Said notice shall state,
among other things, the number of the lost
or destroyed certificate of title, if known, the
name of the registered owner, the names of
the occupants or persons in possession of
the property, the owners of the adjoining
properties and all other interested parties,
the location, area and boundaries of the
property, and the date on which all persons
having any interest therein must appear and
file their claim or objections to the petition.
The petitioner shall, at the hearing, submit
proof of the publication, posting and service
of the notice as directed by the court.
The requirements of these provisions of law
must be complied with before the court can
act on the petition and grant to the petitioner
the reconstitution of title prayed for. The
requirement of notice by publication is thus a
jurisdictional requirement and
noncompliance therewith is fatal to the
petition for reconstitution of title. However,
notwithstanding compliance with that
requirement, actual notice to the occupants
of the property is still mandatory.
The indispensability of notice to actual
possessors of the subject property was
underscored in Manila Railroad Co. v. Hon.
Moya In that case, the Court held that failure
to serve notice on a possessor of the
property involved renders the order of
reconstitution null and void as said possessor
is deprived of his day in court. As such, the

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


court upon which the petition for
reconstitution of title is filed is duty-bound to
examine thoroughly the petition for
reconstitution of title, and to review the
record and the legal provisions laying down
the germane jurisdictional requirements. It
appears that the Pasig RTC failed to comply
with this judicial obligation.
The petition for reconstitution of title does
not contain the names and addresses of the
occupants or persons in possession of the
property as required by Section 12 of
Republic Act No. 26. Aside from allegations
pertinent to the Bernardos claims, all that
the petition contains is a description of its
boundaries with the names and addresses of
the following owners of properties adjoining
the parcel of land embraced in and covered
by the subject TCT No. 12658: (a) Far Eastern
University, Manila; (b) Engracio San Pedro of
the San Pedro Estate, 118 Kamias Road,
Quezon City, and (c) Himlayang Pilipino,
Quezon Blvd., Quezon City. No mention
whatsoever was made as to actual
occupants of the property.
Villegas v. CA
Facts:
Before September 6, 1973, Lot B-3-A, with an
area of four (4) hectares situated at Dapdap,
now San Fermin, Cauayan, Isabela was
registered under TCT No. 68641 in the names
of Ciriaco D. Andres and Henson Caigas. This
land was also declared for real estate
taxation under Tax Declaration No. C2-4442.
On September 6, 1973, Andres and Caigas,
with the consent of their respective spouses,
Anita Barrientos and Consolacion Tobias, sold
the land to Fortune Tobacco Corporation
(Fortune) for P60,000.00.
Simultaneously, they executed a joint
affidavit declaring that they had no tenants
on said lot. An affidavit to the effect was a
prerequisite for the registration of the sale
under the LRC Circular No. 232. On the same
date, the sale was registered in the Office of
the Register of Deeds of Isabela. TCT No.
68641 was cancelled and TCT No. T-68737
was issued in Fortunes name.

On August 6, 1976, Andres and Caigas


executed a Deed of Reconveyance of the
same lot in favor of Filomena Domingo, the
mother of Joselito Villegas, defendant in the
case before the trial court. Although no title
was mentioned in this deed, Domingo
succeeded in registering this document in
the Office of the Register of Deeds on August
6, 1976, causing the latter to issue TCT No. T91864 in her name and declared the lot for
real estate taxation.
On December 4, 1976, the Office of the
Register of Deeds of Isabela was burned
together with all titles in the office. On
December 17, 1976, the original of TCT No.
T-91864 was administratively reconstituted
by the Register of Deeds.
On June 2, 1979, a Deed of Absolute Sale of a
portion of 20,000 square meters of Lot B-3-A
was executed by Filomena Domingo in favor
of Villegas for a consideration of P1,000.00.
This document was registered on June 3,
1981 and as a result TCT No. T-131807 was
issued by the Register of Deeds to Villegas.
On the same date, the technical description
of Lot B-3-A-2 was registered and TCT No. T131808 was issued in the name of Domingo.
On January 22, 1991, this document was
registered and TCT No. 154962 was issued to
the defendant, Joselito Villegas.
Issue:
a. Whether or not Fortunes title is properly
reconstituted
b. Has laches set in against private
respondent Fortune Tobacco Corporation?
Held:
a. No, it is evident that the requirements for
judicial reconstitution of certificates of title
were not fully complied with. Although the
order of reconstitution reveals that there was
publication of the notice of the petition for
reconstitution in the Official Gazette as
required by law, there was, however, no
mention of compliance with the requirement
of posting of the notice of the petition in the
provincial or municipal building of the city or

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


municipality where the subject property is
located.
While proof of publication of the notice of the
petition was submitted by Fortune, there was
no proof of posting of the notice, presumably
because no such posting was accomplished.
The lack of compliance with these
requirements for the judicial reconstitution of
certificates of title deprived the court of
jurisdiction over the petition.
These requirements and procedure are
mandatory and must strictly be complied
with, otherwise, the proceedings are utterly
void, which is why the petitioner is required
to submit proof of the publication and
posting of the notice.14 Non-compliance with
the jurisdictional requirement of posting of
the notice renders the order of reconstitution
null and void. Consequently, the
reconstituted title of Fortune is likewise void.
Fortune cannot now invoke the prior title
rule, as it in effect has no valid title to speak
of.
b. Yes, Fortune Corporation is barred by
latches even if Fortune had validly acquired
the subject property, it would still be barred
from asserting title because of laches. The
failure or neglect, for an unreasonable length
of time to do that which by exercising due
diligence could or should have been done
earlier constitutes laches. It is negligence or
omission to assert a right within a reasonable
time, warranting a presumption that the
party entitled to assert it has either
abandoned it or declined to assert it.
While it is by express provision of law that no
title to registered land in derogation of that
of the registered owner shall be acquired by
prescription or adverse possession, it is
likewise an enshrined rule that even a
registered owner may be barred from
recovering possession of property by virtue
of laches. The elements of laches are: (1)
conduct on the part of the defendant, or one
under whom he claims, giving rise to the
situation that led to the complaint and for
which the complaint seeks a remedy; (2)
delay in asserting the complainants rights,

having had knowledge or notice of the


defendants conduct and having been
afforded an opportunity to institute a suit; (3)
lack of knowledge or notice on the part of
the defendant that the complainant would
assert the right on which he bases his suit;
and (4) injury or prejudice to the defendant
in the event relief is accorded to the
complainant, or the suit is not held barred.
In the case at bar, there is no question on
the presence of the first element. The object
of Fortunes complaint before the trial court
was to recover possession of the property in
question, which is presently in the hands of
petitioners.
The second element of delay is also present
in this case. Fortunes suit for recovery of
possession and damages was instituted only
on May 29, 1991, fifteen years after the
registration of Filomena Domingos title to
the property in 1976. Domingos registration
was constructive notice to the whole world,
including Fortune of the existence of such
adverse title. In applying the doctrine of
laches, we have ruled that where a party
allows the following number of years to lapse
from the emergence of his cause of action to
enforce his claim, such action would be
barred by the equitable defense of laches: 36
years; 12 years; 50 years; 34 years; 37
years; 32 years; 20 years; 47 years; 11
years; 25 years; 40 years; 19 years; 27
years; 7 years; 44 years; 4 years; and 67
years.
The third element of laches also present in
this case. There is nothing in the record
which shows that petitioners had any inkling
of Fortunes intent to possess the subject
property. While Fortune claims that it
protested and demanded over several years
that petitioners vacate the land and
surrender its possession, there is nothing on
record to support such contention; they
remain self-serving, unsubstantiated claims.
As to the fourth element of laches, it goes
without saying that petitioners will be
prejudiced if Fortunes complaint is accorded
relief, or not held barred, as then petitioners

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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS (Cases)


would be deprived of the property on which
their households stand. Needless to say,
laches has set in against Fortune, precluding
its right to recover the property in question.
Caro v. CA
The prescriptive period for the reconveyance
of fraudulently registered real property is ten
years reckoned from the date of the issuance
of the certificate of title, or date of
registration of the deed.
Director of Lands v. CA
Salita v. Calleja
Facts:
This is a case for injunction filed by
PaciencaSalita to prevent the sale by the
Sheriff of manila of a house insatisfaction of
a judgment for a sum of money obtained by
defendant-appellee Eduardo Calleja in
another case against Francisco Domingo,
admittedly the original owner of the said
house. Mercedes Domingo purchased the
land from Realty Investment Incorporated.
She, and her husband, then constructed a
house on the purchased lot. The vendee
failed to pay the prize of the lot, but after
five months the ownership was conveyed to
her by way of sale with mortgage upon the

property to Rehabilitation Finance


Corporation in order to pay the balance
payment of Mercedes. Calleja, after some
time, then filed a third party claim over the
property stating that he bought the property
from CM HOSKINS Corporation. The Court
decided in favour of Calleja, hence, the
appeal.
Issue: W/N Salita has a claim over the
property.
Held: It was held that Salita has better right
over the property. The Court decided that
Salita has a better right over the property
because he actually possesses a registered
title and that he used his own money to pay
for the property. It was further decided that
the claim of Calleja is just for the security of
her interest over the property and not the
ownership thereof. Regarding the Notice of
Attachment registered by Calleja, it was
declared invalid and of no effect because Act
No. 3344 is only applicable to unregistered
lands. In the case at bar, it was clear that
they were dealing with registered land.
Hanopol v. Pilapil

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