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SECOND DIVISION b.

Defendants-developers having already subdivided and sold


[G.R. No. 159124. January 17, 2005] substantial portions are bent to continue to further subdivide and sell
MARCELA GONZALES ALMEIDA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF the other portions of the subject properties of the plaintiff if not ordered
APPEALS and ROBERT P. SY, respondents. to desist by at least a temporary restraining order and, thereafter, by
DECISION writ of preliminary injunction;
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the
c. Plaintiff has already suffered and will inevitably continue to suffer
Revised Rules of Court of the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-
grave and irreparable damages and injuries if defendants-developers
G.R. SP No. 75020, finding grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
and/or their privies or transferees-in-interest, the herein other
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City, Branch 130,[2] when it
defendants, are not prevented from further subdividing and selling
granted the applications of the herein petitioner for the issuance of writs
subdivided lots of the subject parcel of land and from building
of preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction.
structures and introducing other improvements thereon;
The antecedents, as culled from the records of the case, are as
follows: d. Plaintiff is ready to put up the bond in such amount reasonably fixed
to answer for any damage in the event that plaintiff is finally adjudged
Marcelina Sarangaya was the registered owner of a parcel of land,
as not to be entitled to relief of injunction.[9]
identified as Lot 896, located in the then municipality of Caloocan,
province of Rizal, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
87075,[3] with an area of 4,738 square meters. The property forms part In his answer[10] to the complaint, the respondent asserted, among
of the Tala Estate (Friar Land) covered by Original Certificate of Title others, that he bought Lot 896 in good faith and for valuable
(OCT) No. 543 issued on December 27, 1910.[4] consideration. Contrary to the petitioners claim that the property was in
her possession,[11] it was he who had been in continuous possession
Sometime in September 1993, respondent Robert P. Sy thereof. Moreover, as against the Deed of Assignment of Sale Certificate
purchased the above parcel of land from Sarangaya. TCT No. 87075 No. 722, the title issued under his name, TCT No. 270862, should
was cancelled and, in lieu thereof, TCT No. 270862 was issued on prevail.[12]
September 16, 1993 under the name of Sy.[5]
Upon motion of the petitioner, the trial court ordered the
Forthwith, the respondent caused the construction of a factory for consolidation of Civil Case No. C-537 with another case relating to Lot
kitchenware on the property.[6] A little over than five years later, or on 896, Civil Case No. C-17659, earlier filed and pending with the RTC,
January 20, 1998, petitioner Marcela Gonzales Almeida filed a Branch 130,[13] presided by Judge Jaime T. Hamoy.[14]
complaint against the respondent and forty (40) others for quieting of
title and the declaration, as void ab initio, of the assignment of sale During the August 20, 1999 hearing of the petitioners plea for a
certificates and damages, with a prayer for temporary restraining order writ of preliminary injunction, Santos Alberca was presented as witness.
and writ of preliminary injunction in the RTC of Caloocan City, Branch Alberca testified that he was somehow related to the petitioner[15] and
124. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. C-537.[7] had been the overseer of the latters property, Lots 896, 897 and 899,
since 1994.[16]He narrated that when squatters occupied a portion of the
In her complaint, the petitioner alleged, inter alia, that she was the property, he confronted them and demanded proof of their title; the latter
only child of the Spouses Severino Gonzales and Juana Libertad. A failed to do so. Alberca admitted, however, that the petitioner had no
certain Nicanor Jacinto was issued a Certificate of Sale dated July 11, proof that the subject properties were in her name,[17] and that he was
1910 over friar land, a parcel of land known as the Tala Estate, with an not aware whether there was a proceeding, testate or intestate,
area of 25.375 hectares. Jacinto, thereafter, executed an Assignment of concerning the estate of the late Severino Gonzales, the petitioners
Sale Certificate dated November 4, 1926 in favor of the petitioners father alleged father. The respondent did not adduce any evidence.
Severino Gonzales, which was duly approved by the Bureau of Lands.
The petitioner further narrated that prior to the Second World War, her On June 4, 2002, the trial court issued an Order[18] granting the
parents occupied the property continuously, openly and in the concept application for a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction, enjoining the
of owner. After the death of her father and mother in 1940 and 1942, defendants therein from further subdividing the disputed parcel of land
respectively, she occupied the said property through her overseers, known as Lot 896 of the Tala Estate located in Camarin, Caloocan City,
openly and in the concept of owner being the sole heir thereof. However, and from selling or encumbering, or otherwise, negotiating any portion
she was not able to secure a torrens title over the property based on the thereof and from building or constructing any structures or
said certificates because of limited instruction. The petitioner further improvements thereon, as well as from bulldozing, leveling or scrapping
alleged that Oscar L. Uy, in connivance with the other defendants, or excavating any portion thereof or from the entry of any illegal
caused the falsification of the Deed of Assignment dated November 21, occupants or any portion thereof and from committing further acts of
1936 over the said parcel of land purportedly executed by Severino dispossession thereon, upon posting, by the petitioner as the plaintiff
Gonzales in favor of Pedro and Aleja Gonzales; on the basis thereof, therein, of an injunctive bond in the amount of One Million Pesos
TCT No. 42126 was issued to the latter on January 9, 1941; this was (P1,000,000.00). The trial court ruled that, based on the Assignment of
later cancelled on June 7, 1947 when TCT No. 4477 was issued to and Sale Certificate dated November 4, 1926 and being the lone heir of the
in the names of Paula Bernardo Vda. de Gonzales, et al.; and which, in Spouses Gonzales, the petitioner became the owner of Lots 896, 897
turn, was cancelled by TCT No. 4495 issued in the name of Oscar Uy and 899. Thus, the trial court concluded that the title over Lot 896 issued
on June 7, 1947. TCT No. 10533(9498) was, thereafter, issued on July to the respondent was spurious and falsified.[19]
1, 1948 in the names of Remedios Mercado, et al. The petitioner further
alleged that a portion of the property identified as Lot 896 was sold to After the petitioner posted a bond of P1,000,000.00, the trial court
Marcelina Sarangaya on May 23, 1961,[8] who was issued TCT No. issued a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction[20] on July 1, 2002,
87075 therefor. She claimed that the said deed of assignment executed enjoining the respondent and the other defendants and all their
in favor of Pedro and Aleja Gonzales, and the titles issued on the basis attorneys, representatives, agents and other persons assisting them, or
thereof were null and void. The petitioner also alleged in her complaint acting in their behalf or who derived their rights and occupancy from
that she was already 73 years old. them, from developing, moving, leveling or hauling earth; from further
subdividing any portion of Lot 896 of the Tala Estate, situated in
To support her application for a writ of preliminary injunction, the Caloocan City; from constructing/building any structure thereon of any
petitioner alleged the following: kind or enclosing any portion thereof with fence; from selling or offering
to sell, leasing or, otherwise, occupying any portion thereof; and from
further introducing or allowing any entry of other persons in any portion
a. Plaintiff, as shown in the preceding paragraphs and indubitably by
of the said lot.[21]
the Assignment of Sale Certificate No. 722 dated November 4, 1926
(Annex A hereof), is the absolute owner of the subject parcel of land, The Sheriffs Partial Report[22] dated August 19, 2002 stated that
Lot 896 Tala Estate, and, as such, she has the right to be protected the defendants refused to comply with the said writ of injunction issued
from further acts of land grabbing and acts of dispositions by the by the court. Thus, on August 23, 2002, the petitioner filed a motion for
defendants-developers; the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, serving a copy
thereof on the respondent on August 22, 2002.[23]
For his part, the respondent filed a motion for the dissolution[24] of The Court also notes that the respondents counsel was not even
the writ of preliminary injunction which the trial court issued on July 1, served with a copy of the petitioners application for a writ of preliminary
2002, alleging that the petitioner had no torrens title over Lot 896. He mandatory injunction filed on August 23, 2002. The respondent was
further alleged that as it appears from the face of TCT No. 87075 issued personally served with a copy thereof on August 22, 2002, in which it
in the name of Angelina Sarangaya and TCT No. 270862, the title issued was merely alleged that the trial court issued an Order on June 4, 2002,
in his name, the subject property was free from any liens, claims or granting the petitioners plea for a writ of preliminary injunction, and that
encumbrances of whatever nature. He, likewise, alleged that the a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction was, likewise, issued on July
petitioner could amply protect whatever right she had over the 1, 2002. The respondent then filed his motion for the dissolution of the
property via an annotation of a notice of lis pendens. Finally, the July 1, 2002 Writ of Preliminary Injunction on August 29, 2002 and filed
respondent claimed that he was never notified of the hearing for the his Opposition dated September 5, 2002 to the petitioners application
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction nor furnished with a copy of for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction. Upon his receipt on
the trial courts June 4, 2002 Order. December 26, 2002 of the trial courts December 12, 2002 Order granting
the petitioners application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction
On December 12, 2002, the trial court issued an Order[25] denying and denying his motion for the dissolution of the July 1, 2002 Writ of
the motion to dissolve the writ of preliminary injunction. On even date, Preliminary Injunction, the respondent filed his petition for certiorari with
the trial court issued another order[26] granting the petitioners application the CA on January 21, 2003. Under Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of
for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction on a bond Court, the sixty (60)-day period shall be counted from receipt of the
of P2,000,000.00.[27] On January 16, 2003, the trial court issued a writ of notice of the resolution denying the motion for reconsideration of the
preliminary mandatory injunction[28] ordering Sheriff Perseverando C. assailed order of the tribunal:
Pangan to place the petitioner in the possession of Lot 896 of the Tala
Estate.
Sec. 4. When and where petition filed. The petition shall be filed not
The respondent received a copy of the writ of preliminary later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or
mandatory injunction on December 26, 2002, with an accompanying resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely
notice from the sheriff ordering him to vacate the property. On January filed, whether such motion is required or not, the sixty (60) day period
21, 2003, the respondent filed a petition for certiorari [29] under Rule 65 shall be counted from notice of the denial of said motion.
of the Revised Rules of Court with the Court of Appeals (CA) for the
nullification of the June 4, 2002 and December 12, 2002 Orders of the
The petition shall be filed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates to the
trial court. The case was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 75020.
acts or omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer or
Based on the Sheriffs Partial Report[30] dated January 24, 2003, person, in the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the
stating that there were structures erected in the subject property, the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in
petitioner forthwith filed a motion in the trial court for their removal the Court of Appeals whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate
therefrom on February 4, 2003.[31] jurisdiction, or in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate
jurisdiction. If it involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial
In his petition before the CA, the respondent alleged that aside agency, unless otherwise provided by law or these rules, the petition
from the Deed of Assignment of Sale Certificate No. 722, the petitioner shall be filed in and cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.
had no other documentary or testimonial evidence to prove her
ownership over the property. He averred that the petitioner failed to
No extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except for
secure a torrens title over the property over a span of 70 years. The compelling reason and in no case exceeding fifteen (15) days.
respondent, likewise, pointed out that even if Assignment of Sale
Certificate No. 722 was, indeed, forged, the petitioner nevertheless
failed to adduce evidence of his participation therein. He also alleged Thus, the respondents petition for certiorari before the CA filed on
that the assailed orders and writs of the trial court, in effect, disposed of December 26, 2002 assailing the December 12, 2002 Order of the RTC
the main case, and maintained that he could not be deprived of his denying his motion to dissolve the July 1, 2002 Writ of Preliminary
possession of the property via a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction. Injunction issued by the trial court and granting the petitioners
He reiterated that he purchased the subject property in good faith and application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction was filed well
for valuable consideration. within the sixty (60)-day reglementary period therefor.

On April 30, 2003, the CA rendered judgment giving due course The petitioner asserts that the CA focused on the probative weight
and granting the petition. The appellate court held that in issuing the of the evidence adduced before the trial court instead of on the issue of
assailed orders and writs against the respondent, the trial court whether the said court committed grave abuse of its discretion
committed a grave abuse of its discretion. The petitioner filed a motion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders
for reconsideration of the decision, which was denied by the appellate and writs of preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction. Worse, the
court. She then filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, alleging petitioner argues, the findings of the trial court which were based on the
that the CA erred in not dismissing the respondents petition evidence adduced by her and as pointed out in her Memorandum were
for certiorari for having been filed out of time, and that the appellate reversed by the CA. She insists that she has a clear legal right over Lot
court, likewise, erred in nullifying the assailed orders and writs issued by 896 which justified the issuance of the writs of preliminary injunction
the trial court. (prohibitory and mandatory). The petitioner maintains that in granting the
respondents petition for certiorari, the appellate court relied solely on
The petitioner avers that the respondent filed his petition for unproven facts and failed to differentiate a writ of prohibitory injunction
certiorari with the CA only on January 21, 2003, well beyond the sixty from a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.
(60)-day period therefor, counted from his receipt of the trial courts June
4, 2002 Order, granting her plea for a writ of preliminary prohibitory The petitioners contentions have no factual and legal basis.
injunction. She asserts that the CA should have dismissed the same on
such ground. The RTC Committed Grave Abuse of
Its Discretion Amounting to Excess
In his comment on the petition, the respondent avers that he was of Jurisdiction in Issuing the June 4,
never officially served with a copy of the June 4, 2002 Order of the trial 2002 and December 12, 2002 Orders,
court. as well as the July 1, 2002 Writ of
Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction.
We have meticulously reviewed the records and find that, indeed,
the respondent was not served with a copy of the trial courts June 4, Prefatorily, the findings and conclusions of the trial court on the
2002 Order. The records show that while the respondent was propriety of the issuance of injunctive writs are premised solely on initial
represented by the Kapunan Imperial Panaguiton & Bongolan Law Firm, evidence and should be considered merely as provisional.[33] Section 3,
such counsel was not among those who were furnished copies of the Rule 58 of the Rules of Court provides that a preliminary injunction may
said order by registered mail.[32] Even in the Sheriffs Partial Return dated be granted when the following are established:
August 19, 2002, there is no showing that a copy of the writ of
preliminary injunction issued by the trial court on July 1, 2002 was
served on the respondent and/or through his counsel.
(a) That the Applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole The trial court granted the petitioners plea for the issuance of a
or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction anchored on the following
continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the findings it made in light of the evidence presented: (a) Severino
performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually; Gonzales acquired equitable title over Lot 896 based on the deed of
assignment executed by Nicanor Jacinto of his rights as vendee under
Certificate of Sale No. 722; (b) the petitioner inherited the property, being
(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or
the daughter and sole heir of Severino Gonzales; (c) considering that
acts complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to
Certificate of Sale No. 722 and TCT No. 4477 were issued on the same
the applicant; or
date and time as appearing on pages 127 and 145 of the Registry Book,
TCT No. 4477 was clearly spurious; and (d) the writs issued were
(c) That the party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is needed to prevent the influence of squatters, the sale or lease of
attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or portions of the property to innocent third parties, and the construction of
acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the illegal structures thereon.[43]
subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment
ineffectual. On the other hand, the CA ruled that the RTC committed a grave
abuse of its discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in granting the
petitioners plea for a writ of preliminary injunction, thus:
An injunctive writ may be issued when the following requisites are
established:
For a petition for a writ of preliminary injunction to prosper, it must be
shown that the invasion of the right sought to be protected is material
1. The invasion of the right is material and substantial; and substantial, that the right of complainant is clear and unmistakable,
and that there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to
2. The right of complainant is clear and unmistakable; prevent serious damage. The requisites for an injunctive writ to be
issued are: (1) that the petitioner/applicant must have a clear and
unmistakable right; (2) that there is a material and substantial invasion
3. There is an urgent and permanent necessity for the writ to prevent of such right; and (3) that there is an urgent and permanent necessity
serious damage.[34] for the writ to prevent serious damage.

Thus, the petitioner, as plaintiff, was burdened to adduce In the case at bar, private respondent failed to show, at least for now,
testimonial and/or documentary evidence to establish her right to the that she has a clear legal right over the subject property. She has not
injunctive writs. It must be stressed that injunction is not designed to presented any valid title nor has she ever been in effective control and
protect contingent or future rights, and, as such, the possibility of possession of the property she claims to be her own. Private
irreparable damage without proof of actual existing right is no ground for respondent did not and failed to present specific acts of ownership to
an injunction.[35] A clear and positive right especially calling for judicial substantiate her claim of ownership and should not have just offered
protection must be established. Injunction is not a remedy to protect or mere allegations of facts and conclusions of law, but factual evidence
enforce contingent, abstract, or future rights; it will not issue to protect a of possession and/or ownership of the property. Private respondents
right not in esse and which may never arise, or to restrain an action reliance on her claim that she inherited the subject property from her
which did not give rise to a cause of action. There must be an existence alleged father, Severino Gonzales, who was purportedly an assignee
of an actual right.[36]Hence, where the plaintiffs right or title is doubtful or in an Assignment of Sale executed sometime on November 4, 1926, is
disputed, injunction is not proper. not substantial enough to establish her clear and unmistakable right
over the subject property. On the contrary, it is the petitioner who has
An injunctive remedy may only be resorted to when there is a title to the property, as evidenced by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences which cannot be 270862, issued in his name, on September 16, 1993, by the Register
remedied under any standard compensation.[37] The possibility of of Deeds of Caloocan City. Although title does not vest ownership,
irreparable damage without proof of an actual existing right would not a torrens certificate is evidence of an indefeasible title to property in
justify injunctive relief in his favor.[38] favor of the person whose name appears thereon.
In deciding whether to grant an injunction, a court must consider
established principles of equity and all the circumstances of the case. Finally, private respondent also failed to show the existence of extreme
The test for issuing an injunction is whether the facts show a necessity urgency necessitating the issuance of the assailed writ to prevent
for the intervention of equity in order to protect rights cognizable in serious damage to her. As pointed out earlier, she possesses no clear
equity.[39] title to the property nor is she in effective control and possession of the
same, such that, there is no urgent and paramount necessity for the
In general, a trial courts decision to grant or to deny injunctive writ to issue for the purpose of preventing serious damage to the
relief will not be set aside on appeal unless the court abused its private respondent. On the contrary, it is the petitioner who stands to
discretion. In granting or denying injunctive relief, a court abuses its suffer great damage and injury, as he stands to lose in the meantime,
discretion when it lacks jurisdiction, fails to consider and make a record his factory situated on the subject property, if and when the writ issued
of the factors relevant to its determination, relies on clearly erroneous by the respondent judge is implemented.
factual findings, considers clearly irrelevant or improper factors, clearly
gives too much weight to one factor, relies on erroneous conclusions of
law or equity, or misapplies its factual or legal conclusions. [40] In the As a final point, this court finds it disturbing, the premature if not
absence of a clear legal right, the issuance of the injunctive writ unsupported conclusion of the respondent judge as regards the title of
constitutes grave abuse of discretion. As the Court had the occasion to the petitioner and that of the other co-defendants, holding that the
state in Olalia v. Hizon:[41] latter have no right whatsoever over the property in litigation, on the
basis only of the allegation contained in the complaint and the
attachments thereto, and the bare testimony of a supposed overseer of
It has been consistently held that there is no power the exercise of the private respondent over the property. It would appear to us that the
which is more delicate, which requires greater caution, deliberation and respondent judge had already arrived at a conclusive finding of
sound discretion, or more dangerous in a doubtful case, than the ownership of the subject property, which finding of ownership in favor
issuance of an injunction. It is the strong arm of equity that should of the private respondent is still improper at that stage of the
never be extended unless to cases of great injury, where courts of law proceeding. While in general, courts should avoid issuing a writ of
cannot afford an adequate or commensurate remedy in damages. preliminary injunction which, in effect, disposes of the main case
without trial, this is precisely the effect of the writ of preliminary
Every court should remember that an injunction is a limitation upon the mandatory injunction issued by the respondent judge.[44]
freedom of action of the defendant and should not be granted lightly or
precipitately. It should be granted only when the court is fully satisfied We have reviewed the records and find that the decision of the CA
that the law permits it and the emergency demands it.[42] is in accord with law. Contrary to the petitioners assertion, the appellate
court, in fact, resolved the issue of whether the trial court committed a 20 years old shortly after the Second World War, yet, she failed to file
grave abuse of its discretion in issuing the assailed orders, and, in so any action, either for the nullification of the said deed of assignment, or
doing, based its decision on the records and the evidence adduced by to request the Bureau of Lands for an investigation relating to Severino
the petitioner. Gonzales execution of the Deed of Assignment in favor of Pedro and
Aleja Gonzales and the approval thereof by the Bureau of Lands for
First. The petitioner failed to prove, by any of the means provided more than forty (40) years. The petitioners unexplained and resounding
by law,[45] that she is the daughter and only heir of Severino Gonzales. silence and inaction for such a considerable length of time enfeebles her
Filiation and paternity must be judicially established. It cannot be left to plea for injunctive reliefs. If one maintains silence, when in conscience
the will or agreement of the parties.[46] The Court notes that the petitioner he ought to speak, equity will debar him from speaking, when in
opted not to testify. She relied solely on the testimony of Santos Alberca, conscience he ought to remain silent. He who remains silent when he
who testified on direct examination that the petitioner was his aunt, and, ought to speak cannot be heard to speak when he should be silent. [52]
being the only child and heir of Severino Gonzales, was the owner of the
property.[47] However, on cross-examination, Alberca could not explain Fifth. The respondent is the registered owner of Lot 896 under
how he became the petitioners nephew, and could not describe the TCT No. 270862 issued on September 16, 1993. A perusal of the said
nature of his filiation with her: title shows that the property is free from any liens and/or encumbrances.
Moreover, there is no evidence on record that the respondent is a buyer
in bad faith. It is settled doctrine that one who deals with property
Q: You said that the plaintiff is your aunt. Can you explain how
registered under the Torrens system need not go beyond the same, but
she became your aunt?
only has to rely on the title. He is charged with notice only of such
burdens and claims as are annotated on the title.[53] It is, likewise, settled
A: The Almeda family is the cousin of family. I cannot explain very well that a fraudulent or forged document of sale may give rise to a valid title
because it is very long time ago, but I am recognized by Almeda if the certificate of title has already been transferred from the name of
Gonzales as a nephew and I recognize her as my aunt. the true owner to the name indicated by the forger and while it remained
as such, the land was subsequently sold to an innocent purchaser. The
vendee, in such case, has the right to rely upon the certificate of title.[54]
Q: Is that the best way you can explain your answer?
Moreover, the respondent constructed his factory on the said
A: I cannot remember exactly the family tree of Almeda Gonzales and property in 1994 sans any plaint from the petitioner or Alberca. Thus,
my family.[48] being the registered owner of the property in question, he is entitled to
the possession thereof.[55]

Second. Even assuming, gratia arguendi, that she is really the Sixth. The petitioner failed to prove that she would suffer
daughter of the Spouses Gonzales, the petitioner still failed to adduce a irreparable injury which cannot be adequately compensated unless the
morsel of evidence to prove that she inherited Lot 896 upon their death trial court issued a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction. To repeat,
in 1940 and 1942. As gleaned from the appendages of the complaint, the petitioner failed to testify. She even failed to prove her claim that,
Lot 896 was deeded to Nicanor Jacinto by the government on July 10, through her overseer, she had been in actual physical possession of the
1910 under Certificate of Sale No. 722 executed by the Director of the property since her parents death before the Second World War up to the
Bureau of Lands. On November 4, 1926, Jacinto executed a Deed of time she filed her complaint. Alberca testified that he became the
Assignment of Certificate of Sale No. 722, approved by the Director of petitioners overseer only five years before he testified on August 20,
the Bureau of Lands, in favor of Severino Gonzales and Juana Libertad. 1999, or sometime in 1994, and that he was unaware of any overseer of
The said deed became legally effective upon its filing with the Bureau of the petitioner over the property:
Public Lands and the approval thereof by the Director of
Lands.[49] Hence, Severino Gonzales became the equitable owner of the
Q: Since when have you been the overseer of the plaintiff with regards
property under the deed of assignment,[50] and upon his execution of the
to Lot 896?
Deed of Assignment in favor of Pedro Gonzales and Aleja Gonzales, the
latter, likewise, became the equitable owners of the property. When the
Spouses Gonzales died in 1940 and 1942, they were no longer the A: Five years ago, Sir.
owners/assignees of Lot 896. Hence, the petitioner could not have
inherited the said property from her parents. As the Latin adage
Q: Prior to five years before you came in, do you know if there was any
goes: NEMO DAT QUOD NON HABET.
overseer employed by the plaintiff with regards to Lot 896?
Third. The petitioner failed to adduce a scintilla of evidence to
prove her claim that the Deed of Assignment of Certificate of Sale A: No, Sir.[56]
executed by Severino Gonzales in favor of Pedro and Aleja Gonzales is
a forgery or a falsification. Case law has it that forgery or falsification
cannot be presumed. He who alleges forgery has the burden of proving It is worthy to note that the petitioner failed to present any other
the same by clear and convincing evidence.[51] Thus, forgery cannot be caretaker or overseer over the property.
proved by mere conjectures, surmises or speculations. The bare fact
that TCT Nos. 4477 and 4495 were issued on the same day but were The RTC Committed Grave Abuse
of Discretion Equivalent to Excess
recorded on the book of registry on pages 127 and 145 thereof does not
constitute clear proof that the said titles are spurious. There is no of Jurisdiction When It Granted
showing that Book No. T-284 in which page 127 appears is the same Petitioners Plea for a Writ of
Preliminary Mandatory Injunction
registry book where TCT No. 4495 appears. The Court further notes that
the petitioner failed to present the Register of Deeds to explain the The CA nullified the trial courts December 12, 2002 Order granting
discrepancy alluded to by her. the petitioners motion for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction,
ratiocinating as follows:
Fourth. The petitioner herself alleged in her complaint that based
on the said deed of assignment in favor of Pedro and Aleja Gonzales,
TCT No. 42126 was issued by the Register of Deeds on January 9, 1941 Likewise, it is also the petitioner who has been in possession of the
in favor of the said assignees. TCT No. 270862 was issued to Marcelina property from the time he purchased the same from Marcelina
Sarangaya over Lot 896 based on a Deed of Sale executed in her favor Sarangaya on September 9, 1993. A possessor of real estate property
on May 23, 1961. However, the Spouses Gonzales failed to file any is presumed to have title thereto unless the adverse claimant
action to nullify the said deed of assignment before their death in 1940 establishes a better right. To summarily oust petitioner of his
and 1942. Neither did the petitioner file any action to nullify the said deed possession of the property which he has title to and possession of, is
of assignment and the said titles until January 23, 1998, when she finally simply contrary to existing and settled jurisprudence. A court should
filed her complaint against the respondent and the other defendants in not by means of a preliminary injunction transfer the property in
the RTC. Considering her allegation in the complaint that she was litigation from the possession of one party to another where the legal
already 73 years old, she must have been born sometime in 1925. title is in dispute and the party having possession asserts ownership
Prescinding therefrom, the petitioner must have already been more than thereto.
Finally, private respondent also failed to show the existence of extreme
urgency necessitating the issuance of the assailed writ to prevent
serious damage to her. As pointed out earlier, she possesses no clear
title to the property nor is she in effective control and possession of the
same, such that there is no urgent and paramount necessity for the
writ to issue for the purpose of preventing serious damage to the
private respondent. On the contrary, it is the petitioner who stands to
suffer great damage and injury, as he stands to lose in the meantime,
his factory situated on the subject property, if and when the writ issued
by the respondent judge is implemented.[57]

We agree with the CA. As we ruled in Subic Bay Metropolitan


Authority v. Universal International Group of Taiwan:[58]

A writ of mandatory injunction requires the performance of a particular


act and is granted only upon a showing of the following requisites:

1. The invasion of the right is material and substantial;

2. The right of a complainant is clear and unmistakable;

3. There is an urgent and permanent necessity for the writ to prevent


serious damage.[59]

It bears stressing that the respondent is the registered owner of


the property; hence, he is entitled to the possession thereof. As a rule,
a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction is not granted to take property
out of the possession or control of one party to be placed into that of
another whose title has not been clearly established by law. [60] In this
case, the petitioner failed to establish a clear and unmistakable right to
the possession of the property and to a writ of preliminary mandatory
injunction. The trial court principally relied on mere allegations in the
complaint, the appendages thereof, and the meager evidence on record.
Moreover, the respondent would suffer serious damage if he would be
ousted of his possession of the property and his factory demolished.

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for


lack of merit. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is
AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Tinga, and Chico-Nazario,


JJ., concur.
SECOND DIVISION follows that there is failure to comply with the requirements of the law.
[G.R. No. 152440. January 31, 2005] The HLURB Officer pointed out that Hidden View Subdivision II and ST
FELICITACION B. BORBAJO, petitioner, vs. HIDDEN VIEW Ville Properties had not filed an application for registration and license
HOMEOWNERS, INC., SPS. MARCELINA A. SARCON, to sell with the HLURB.[14]
ELY D. SARCON, ROBERTO ALVAREZ, CORAZON
NOMBRADO, and GILBERT ANDRALES, in their personal On 10 August 1997, the homeowners caused the construction of
capacities, respondents. a guardhouse at the entrance of Hidden View Subdivision I and hired
DECISION the services of a security guard to prevent unauthorized persons and
TINGA, J.: construction vehicles from passing through their subdivision. The
measures adversely affected the residents of the subdivisions at the
Before this Court is a Rule 45 petition assailing the back, as well as Borbajo herself since her delivery trucks and heavy
Decision[1] dated 21 September 2001 of the Court of Appeals which equipment used in the construction of her housing projects then on-
reversed the Decision[2] dated 14 September 1999 of the Regional Trial going had been effectively prevented from passing through the road
Court (RTC) of Cebu City, Branch 58. lots.[15]

The factual antecedents are as follows: On 28 August 1997, Borbajo filed before the RTC of Cebu City,
Branch 58, an action for damages and injunction against Hidden View
Jose C. Bontuyan (Bontuyan), Lucy Solon, Georgina Solon, Helen Homeowners, Inc., spouses Marcelina A. Sarcon and Ely D. Sarcon,
Solon and Vicente Solon, Jr. (the Solons) were the registered owners of Roberto Alvarez and Corazon Nombrado and Gilbert Andrales
a parcel of agricultural land (Lot 10183-A), covering an area of 13,910 (respondents herein). Borbajo prayed for the issuance of a temporary
square meters situated at Barangay Bacayan, Cebu City as evidenced restraining order (TRO) directing respondents to maintain the status
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 73709 of the Register of Deeds quo and to desist from preventing her delivery trucks and other
of Cebu City.[3] At the instance of Bontuyan, the property was surveyed construction vehicles, and her construction workers, from passing
on 19 May 1991 to convert it into a subdivision. On 6 June 1991, the through the road lots, and, after hearing on the merits, that judgment be
corresponding subdivision plan, showing three (3) road lots as such, was rendered making the restraining order or preliminary injunction
submitted to the Cebu Office of the Department of Environment and permanent and ordering the defendants to pay damages.[16]
Natural Resources (DENR). On 24 July 1991, the Regional Technical
Director of the DENR, Lands Management Sector, Region Office VII, in The trial court issued a TRO effective for seventy-two (72) hours.
Cebu, approved the subdivision plan.[4] Meanwhile, in his own behalf After due hearing, it also granted Borbajos application for a writ of
and as attorney-in-fact of the Solons and following the subdivision preliminary injunction. It denied respondents motion to dismiss on the
scheme in the plan, Bontuyan sold the resulting lots to different ground that it is the HLURB which has jurisdiction over the case.[17]
individuals,[5]as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute Sale[6] dated 18
June 1991. After trial, the trial court rendered its decision dated 14 September
1999, the dispositive portion of which reads:
Among the lots sold are the ones which later became the subject
of this case, the three (3) road lots. The road lots were sold to petitioner
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered
Felicitacion B. Borbajo, married to Danilo S. Borbajo, and Prescillana B.
enjoining the defendants to close [sic] the road lots in question, hence,
Bongo (Bongo), married to Patricio P. Bongo.[7] However, they obtained
making the injunction permanent, subject to the right of the defendants
the titles to the lots more than a month later on 30 July 1991.[8]
to regulate the passage thereof by the plaintiff and the general public;
Using the advance payments of his lot purchasers, Bontuyan and directing the plaintiff to donate the road lots in question to the
proceeded to develop a subdivision which was later named Hidden View government of Cebu City. No pronouncement as to any damages and
Subdivision I by its residents and homeowners.[9] Later, he applied for as to costs.
and secured from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
(HLURB) a License to Sell[10] dated 29 July 1991. SO ORDERED.[18]
Borbajo also decided to develop into a subdivision the other
properties adjacent to Hidden View Subdivision I which she acquired. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court
Thus, she applied for and received SSA 674-5-94 issued by the Cebu decision. The decretal portion of the appellate courts decision dated 21
City Planning and Development Department, covering the parcel of land September 2001 reads:
embraced by TCT No. 127642, to be subdivided into twenty-three (23)
lots.[11] She named this new subdivision ST Ville Properties. On 29 July
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present appeal is hereby
1994, she secured Certificate of Registration No. 05005 for the ST Ville
GRANTED. The appealed Decision in Civil Case No. CEB-20796 is
Properties project and a License to Sell the same from the HLURB. She
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is hereby
also secured a Certificate of Registration dated 18 August 1994 for
rendered DISMISSING the complaint. The counterclaim of defendants-
another subdivision project called Hidden View Subdivision IIfrom the
appellants is likewise dismissed for lack of legal and factual bases.
HLURB, with the corresponding License to Sell issued on 16 August
1994. The two new subdivision projects were located at the back
of Hidden View Subdivision I. No pronouncement as to costs.
The residents and homeowners of Hidden View
Subdivision I heard reports to the effect that Borbajo had purchased the SO ORDERED.[19]
entire subdivision from Bontuyan through an oral agreement. They also
heard that they have no right to use the road lots, since the lots have Undaunted, Borbajo elevated the case to this Court.
already been registered in Borbajos name. As a consequence, the
Hidden View Homeowners, Inc. invited Borbajo to a meeting. When In her petition, Borbajo imputes error to the appellate court (a) in
confronted by the homeowners about her claim that she had bought the reversing the decision of the trial court which declared her to be the
subdivision from Bontuyan, Borbajo confirmed her claim of ownership developer of Hidden View Subdivision I, (b) in finding that she had
over the subdivision and the road lots. She also told them that they have fraudulently secured the registration of the three (3) road lots, and (c) in
no right regarding the road right-of-way.[12] declaring that she is not entitled to the injunctive relief. [20]
The incident prompted the homeowners of Hidden View Borbajo contends that the appellate court erred in reversing the
Subdivision I to inquire with the HLURB about the validity of the finding of the RTC that she is the developer of Hidden View Subdivision
registration of the subdivision road lots in the name of Borbajo. They I. According to her, and as borne out by her testimony before the RTC,
also asked whether she had the necessary documents for the she was the true developer of Hidden View Subdivision I even though
development of Hidden View Subdivision II and ST Ville Properties. In a the License to Sell was issued in the name of Bontuyan. The appellate
letter[13] dated 17 March 1997, HLURB Regional Officer Antonio court allegedly violated prevailing jurisprudence when it held that she
Decatoria, Sr. replied that under the law the owner or developer of the fraudulently secured the registration of the three (3) road lots since a
subdivision should have legal title or right over the road lots of the certificate of title cannot be collaterally attacked except in direct
subdivision and that if the title or right is in the name of other persons it
proceedings instituted for that purpose. In fact, Hidden View on the provisions of P.D. No. 957, as amended, ordaining that road lots
Homeowners, Inc. has filed a separate case for annulment of title may be titled only in the name of the owner of the subdivision or its
against Borbajo which is now pending before Branch 9 of the RTC of developer. In the process, however, the Court of Appeals lost sight of
Cebu City. Further, she claims that she is entitled to the injunctive relief the settled and decisive fact that Borbajo is one of the registered co-
considering that she is the registered owner of these road lots in owners of the road lots along with Bongo. The evidence reveals that
question and, hence, she has a right in esse which deserves legal Borbajo and Bongo were issued TCTs, all dated 30 July 1991, for the
protection.[21] three (3) road lots situated within the Hidden View Subdivision I. These
titles were issued pursuant to the Deed of Absolute Sale dated 18 June
On the other hand, respondents argue that the sale of the road 1991 which also mentioned the road lots as such.
lots made by Bontuyan in favor of Borbajo was illegal and contrary to the
provisions of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 957 which requires that the As a registered co-owner of the road lots, Borbajo is entitled to
road lots in a subdivision development shall be in the name of the avail of all the attributes of ownership under the Civil Codejus utendi,
developer or owner, of which Borbajo is neither. [22] They aver that fruendi, abutendi, disponendi et vindicandi.[32] Article 428 of the New
Borbajo fraudulently obtained her titles to the road lots through a falsified Civil Code is explicit that the owner has the right to enjoy and dispose of
deed of sale which was the document presented to the Office of the a thing, without other limitations than those established by law. A co-
Register of Deeds.[23]They also point out that the use by Borbajo of the owner, such as Borbajo, is entitled to use the property owned in common
road lots for the ingress and egress of heavy equipment has under Article 486 of the Civil Code. Therefore, respondents cannot close
continuously resulted in the rapid deterioration of the roads. Moreover, the road lots to prevent Borbajo from using the same.
the road lots are not the nearest point between the development project
of Borbajo and the provincial road.[24] Finally, they assert that they are The Court of Appeals ruled that the road lots cannot be sold to any
merely exercising acts of ownership which include the right to prevent person pursuant to P.D. No. 957, as amended. It also pointed out that
others from enjoying the thing owned by them. Respondents oppose the fraud is manifest in the acquisition of titles thereto. However, it is a
issuance of a preliminary injunction because notwithstanding the settled rule that a Torrens title cannot be collaterally attacked.
registration of the subject road in Borbajos name, her title thereto is
tainted by the discovery of fraud she allegedly perpetrated in securing It is a well-known doctrine that the issue as to whether title was
the questioned titles.[25] procured by falsification or fraud can only be raised in an action
expressly instituted for the purpose. A Torrens title can be attacked only
The result which Borbajo seeks to achieve which is to reinstate for fraud, within one year after the date of the issuance of the decree of
the preliminary injunction issued by the lower court has to be granted, registration. Such attack must be direct, and not by a collateral
but not for the reasons which she has raised nor for the grounds which proceeding. The title represented by the certificate cannot be changed,
the lower court relied upon. altered, modified, enlarged, or diminished in a collateral
proceeding.[33] The certificate of title serves as evidence of an
The ultimate question for resolution is whether respondents may indefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose name
legally prevent Borbajo from using and passing through the three (3) appears therein.[34]
road lots within Hidden View Subdivision I. It is worthy of note that the
right of respondents to use the road lots themselves is not in dispute. However, in upholding the efficiency value of the disputed titles for
purposes of the present petition, we are not foreclosing any future
In resolving the controversy, the lower court addressed only the determination by appropriate forum on the legality of Borbajos titles over
issue of whether respondents have the right to close the road lots, and the road lots. Verily, a separate case for annulment of titles over the road
the question of damages.[26] It concluded that respondents cannot lots is now pending before the court. There are serious allegations that
legally close the road lots because these are intended for public use. It the issuance of the TCTs over the road lots was tainted with fraud as
opted not to resolve the question pertaining to the validity of Borbajos evidenced by alterations made on the face of the certificates and
acquisition of the road lots and her title thereto on the ground that a discrepancies in the records of the contract of absolute sale filed before
Torrens title cannot be collaterally attacked.[27] the Office of the Register of Deeds and the Notarial Division of the RTC
of Cebu City.[35] If the court finds that the titles of Borbajo were obtained
For its part, the Court of Appeals addressed the trial courts errors fraudulently, her right to the road lots ceases as well as her right-of-way
assigned by the respondents herein. The trial court allegedly erred in: by virtue of said titles.
(a) finding that Borbajo was the developer of Hidden View Subdivision I;
(b) finding that the manner by which Borbajo acquired the road lots is In the meantime, however, we are bound by the value in law and
irrelevant to the resolution of the issues in this case; (c) finding that the the evidentiary weight of the titles in the name of Borbajo. As long as the
road lots are open to the public and the only right of the residents therein titles are not annulled, Borbajo remains registered a co-owner and
is to regulate its use; (d) not finding that the elements of an easement of therefore her right to use the road lots subsists.
a right-of-way are not present; (e) finding that the injunction was properly
issued and the court ordered Borbajo to donate the road lots in favor of Likewise, with Borbajo as a registered co-owner of the road lots,
the local government unit; and (f) failing to award damages to the it is utterly pointless to discuss whether she is entitled to the easement
respondents.[28] of right of way. Both from the text of Article 649[36] of the Civil Code and
the perspective of elementary common sense, the dominant estate
The appellate court found that the injunctive writ was erroneously cannot be the servient estate at the same time. One of the
issued as the same was not based on an actual right sought to be characteristics of an easement is that it can be imposed only on the
protected by law. The fact that Borbajo was the developer of Hidden property of another, never on ones own property. An easement can exist
View Subdivision I was not clearly established by evidence. Although only when the servient and the dominant estates belong to different
Borbajo has claimed that she was the developer of the subdivision and owners.[37]
that Bontuyans name was indicated in the License to Sell, such claim
carried scant weight in the absence of a certificate of registration of the Borbajo, being a registered co-owner of the three (3) road lots, is
subdivision project issued in her name by the HLURB and other entitled to the injunctive relief.
documents which prove that she was indeed the developer. [29] Further,
The requisites to justify an injunctive relief are: (a) the existence
the appellate court ruled that the fact of registration of the road lots in
Borbajos name was insufficient to defeat the right of the homeowners of of a right in esse or the existence of a right to be protected; and (b) the
the subdivision and preclude them from regulating their use and act against which injunction is to be directed as a violation of such
right.[38] A preliminary injunction order may be granted only when the
administration thereof in accordance with existing laws and
regulations.[30] It likewise held that Borbajo had not complied with the application for the issuance of the same shows facts entitling the
requisites of a compulsory easement of right-of-way and pointed out the applicant to the relief demanded.[39] A preliminary injunction is not proper
when its purpose is to take the property out of the possession or control
general rule that mere convenience for the dominant estate is not what
is required by law as the basis for setting up a compulsory of one party and transfer the same to the hands of another who did not
easement.[31] Hence, this instant judicial recourse. have such control at the inception of the case and whose legal title has
not clearly been established.[40]
Noticeably, the appellate court dwelt at length on the question of
whether Borbajo was the developer of the Hidden View Subdivision I as One final note. Respondents in their Answer[41] neither claimed
she claimed. Apparently, Borbajo submitted this point, with her focus set nor asked for the right to regulate the use of the road lots or that the road
lots be donated to the Cebu City Government. Thus, there was utterly
no basis for the trial court to include as it did its disposition along these
lines in the decretal portion of its decision.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 21


September 2001 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the writ of
preliminary injunction issued by the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City,
Branch 58, is made permanent, subject to the final outcome of Civil Case
No. 21239 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch
9.

No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, and Chico-Nazario,


JJ., concur.
Callejo, Sr., J., on official leave.
SPECIAL SECOND DIVISION Nonetheless, the Court observed that a separate case for annulment of
titles over the road lots was then pending before the courts, and it was
that case which would serve as the proper forum for the claims
[G.R. NO. 152440 : December 6, 2006]
regarding the legality of Borbajo's titles over the road lots. The Court
did state that if it were found "that the titles of Borbajo were obtained
FELICITACION B. BORBAJO, Petitioner, v. HIDDEN VIEW fraudulently, her right to the road lots ceases as well as her right-of-
HOMEOWNERS, INC., SPS. MARCELINA A. SARCON, and ELY D. way by virtue of said titles."10Hence, the dispositive portion which made
SARCON, ROBERTO B. ALVAREZ, CORAZON NOMBRADO, and the writ of preliminary injunction permanent was tagged with a qualifier
GILBERT ANDRALES, in their personal capacities, Respondents. "subject to the final outcome of Civil Case No. 21239 pending before
the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 9."11
RESOLUTION
Petitioner, in her Comment to the Motion for Reconsideration, does not
dispute that the RTC, Cebu City, Branch 9 had issued the subject
TINGA, J.:
decision against her in Civil Case No. 21239. Instead, she claims that
the decision did not attain finality for the intervenors in Civil Case No.
For resolution is a Motion for Reconsideration dated 21 March 2005 21239 "were not furnished copy (sic) of the decision."12 This claim
filed by respondents relative to the Court's Decision1 dated 31 January cannot be accepted at face value, especially since an entry of
2005. The dispositive portion of the Decision, which was in favor of judgment, recording the Decision as final and executory, was issued by
petitioner Felicitacion Borbajo, read as follows: the RTC, Cebu City, Branch 9 on 26 June 2003.13 Petitioner does not
allege that the intervenors who purportedly did not receive any copy of
the judgment have availed of any legal remedies as a result, and she
WHEREFORE, the Decisionof the Court of Appeals dated 21 cannot assert such failure to acquit herself of any liability arising from
September 2001 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the writ of that judgment.
preliminary injunction issued by the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City,
Branch 58, is made permanent, subject to the final outcome of Civil
Case No. 21239 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Hence, there is no doubt that a final judgment has been rendered
Branch 9. canceling petitioner's titles over the road lots. It likewise appears that
this decision has been executed. Attached to the Motion for
Reconsideration are certified true copies of three (3) Transfer
No cost. Certificates of Title, each dated 24 June 2003, covering the three (3)
road lots which are now registered in the name of Hidden View
SO ORDERED.2 Subdivision Homeowners Association, Inc.14 It is also stated in each of
these titles that the previous titles in the name of petitioner (T-117437,
T-117563, and T-117564) have accordingly been cancelled by these
Respondents now argue that the aforementioned Civil Case No. 21239 new titles.
pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City, Branch 9,
has since been resolved against petitioner, through a Decision dated
22 April 2003,3 which is apparently now final and executory.4 This Following the Court's Decision, petitioner's right to the road lots as well
decision concluded that petitioner had fraudulently obtained the titles as her right-of-way by virtue of her titles thereto, had ceased as a
over the three (3) road lots that were at the heart of that case, and this result of the decision rendered by the RTC, Cebu City, Branch 9.
case as well. The dispositive portion of this decision reads: Notably, even the petition itself conceded that "until and unless the
certificate of title covering these three road lots shall have been
decreed to be null and void in a direct proceedings instituted for that
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff purpose, the same shall be respected and in case of violation of its use
and against the defendants spouses Danilo S. Borbajo and Felicitation and enjoyment, the registered owner thereof, is entitled to the
B. Borbajo declaring null and void the deed of sale executed by Jose protection of law."15Consequently, the Writ of Injunction confirmed by
Bontuyan (particularly the three road lots) in favor of defendants. this Court had since become functus officio, the legal basis thereof
Consequently, TCT No. 117437, 117563 and 117564 are declared null having been expired by reason of the 2003 RTC Cebu City Decision.
and void.

The Court still maintains that the Court of Appeals erred in failing to
The Register of Deeds of Cebu City is directed to cancel said accord due recognition to petitioner's rights as the registered owner of
certificates of title and to issue new ones reinstating the certificates of the road lots, still extant at the time it rendered its Decision. Yet
title cancelled by the aforementioned certificates of title. considering that petitioner's titles over the road lots have since been
nullified in a final and executory judgment which has in fact been
SO ORDERED.5 executed, there is no longer any basis in law to entitle petitioner to the
sought injunctive relief, or for the Court to confirm that such right of
relief still exists.
Parenthetically, it bears noting that petitioner Borbajo had died on 20
December 2002,6 a fact that was made known to the Court only during
the period for deliberation on the Motion for Reconsideration. Counsel WHEREFORE, in view of the Decision of the RTC, Cebu City, Branch
for petitioner manifests that her six (6) children, as her surviving legal 9, dated 22 April 2003, in Civil Case No. 21239, the writ of preliminary
heirs, should be substituted in the present action. 7 injunction issued by the RTC, Cebu City, Branch 58 made permanent
by the Decision of this Court dated 31 January 2005 is hereby
declared FUNCTUS OFFICIO.
It should be recalled that the instant case arose from a complaint for
injunction filed by petitioner against the respondents, praying that the
latter be enjoined from preventing the petitioner from passing thru or SO ORDERED.
otherwise making use of three (3) road lots inside Hidden View
Subdivision I. It so happened that these road lots were titled and
registered in the name of the petitioner. It was on that basis that the
Court held that petitioner was entitled to the writ of injunction, as she
could not be prevented from availing of all the attributes of ownership
under the Civil Code, as the owner of the road lots.8 The Court also set
aside the finding of the Court of Appeals that road lots cannot be sold
to any person, under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 957, as amended,
noting instead the settled rule that a Torrens title cannot be collaterally
attacked.9
Republic of the Philippines 3. The notices of auction sale in extrajudicial foreclosure for
SUPREME COURT publication by the sheriff or by a notary public shall be
Manila published in a newspaper of general circulation pursuant to
Section 1, Presidential Decree No. 1709, dated January 26,
1977, and non-compliance therewith shall constitute a
EN BANC
violation of Section 6 thereof.

A.M. No. 99-10-05-0 December 14, 1999


4. The Executive Judge shall, with the assistance of the
(Amended by A.M. 99-10-05-0, August 7, 2001)
Clerk of Court, raffle application for extrajudicial foreclosure
of mortgage under the direction of the sheriff among all
PROCEDURE IN EXTRA-JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE OF sheriffs, including those assigned to the Office of the Clerk of
MORTGAGE Court and Sheriffs IV assigned in the branches.

In line with the responsibility of an Executive Judge under 5. No auction sale shall be held unless there are at least two
Administrative Order No. 6, dated June 30, 1975, for the management (2) participating bidders, otherwise the sale shall be
of courts within his administrative area, included in which is the task of postponed to another date. If on the new date set for the
supervising directly the work of the Clerk of Court, who is also the Ex sale there shall not be at least two bidders, the sale shall
Officio Sheriff, and his staff, and the issuance of commissions to then proceed. The names of the bidders shall be reported by
notaries public and enforcement of their duties under the law, the the sheriff or the notary public who conducted the sale to the
following procedures are hereby prescribed in extrajudicial foreclosure Clerk of Court before the issuance of the certificate of sale.
of mortgages:
This Resolution amends or modifies accordingly Administrative Order
1. All applications for extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgage No. 3 issued by then Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando on 19 October
whether under the direction of the sheriff or a notary public, 1984 and Administrative Circular No. 3-98 issued by the Chief Justice
pursuant to Act 3135, as amended by Act 4118, and Act Andres R. Narvasa on 5 February 1998.
1508, as amended, shall be filed with the Executive Judge,
through the Clerk of Court who is also the Ex-Officio Sheriff.
The Court Administrator may issue the necessary guidelines for the
effective enforcement of this Resolution.
2. Upon receipt of an application for extra-judicial foreclosure
of mortgage, it shall be the duty of the Clerk of Court to:
The Clerk of Court shall cause the publication of this Resolution in a
newspaper of general circulation not later than 27 December 1999 and
a) receive and docket said application and to furnish copies thereof to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
stamp thereon the corresponding file number, date
and time of filing;
This Resolution shall take effect on the fifteenth day of January year
2000.
b) collect the filing fees therefor and issue the
corresponding official receipt;
Enacted this 14th day of December 1999 in the City of Manila.

c) examine, in case of real estate mortgage


Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Mendoza, Quisumbing, Melo, Vitug,
foreclosure, whether the applicant has complied
Panganiban, Purisima, Puno, Kapunan, Pardo, Buena, Ynares-
with all the requirements before the public auction
Santiago, Gonzaga-Reyes and De Leon, Jr., JJ.
is conducted under the direction of the sheriff or a
notary public, pursuant to Sec. 4 of Act 3135, as
amended;

d) sign and issue the certificate of sale, subject to


the approval of the Executive Judge, or in his
absence, the Vice-Executive Judge; and

e) after the certificate of sale has been issued to


the highest bidder, keep the complete records,
while awaiting any redemption within a period of
one (1) year from date of registration of the
certificate of sale with the Register of Deeds
concerned, after which the records shall be
archived.

Where the application concerns the extrajudicial foreclosure


of mortgages of real estates and/or chattels in different
locations covering one indebtedness, only one filing fee
corresponding to such indebtedness shall be collected. The
collecting Clerk of Court shall, apart from the official receipt
of the fees, issue a certificate of payment indicating the
amount of indebtedness, the filing fees collected, the
mortgages sought to be foreclosed, the real estates and/or
chattels mortgaged and their respective locations, which
certificate shall serve the purpose of having the application
docketed with the Clerks of Court of the places where other
properties are located and of allowing the extrajudicial
foreclosures to proceed thereat.
THIRD DIVISION of the property, which prayer Branch 7 of the RTC granted by Order of
October 29, 2004 in this wise:
SPOUSES ISAGANI and DIOSDADA CASTRO, G.R. No. 190122
Petitioners, . . . It is not disputed that the Sps. Isagani Castro
Present: and Diosdada Castro, herein plaintiffs, were placed
- versus - in possession of the subject property by virtue of a
CARPIO MORALES, J., Chairperson,
writ of possession issued by Branch 16 of the Court.
BRION, This writ of possession commanded the sheriff to
SPOUSES REGINO SE and VIOLETA DELA CRUZ, BERSAMIN, require the spouses Eduardo Perez and Charito
SPOUSES EDUARDO and CHARITO PEREZ and VILLARAMA, JR., and Lopez and all persons claiming rights under them to
MARCELINO TOLENTINO, SERENO, JJ. vacate subject property and surrender possession
Respondents. thereof to spouses Castro. At that time, the
Spouses Regino Se and Violeta dela Cruz were in
Promulgated: possession of the property as owners thereof,
January 10, 2011 having already purchased the same from the Sps.
x------------------------------------------------- Castro. Their evidence of ownership is Tax
-x Declaration No. 01892 of the Office of the Municipal
Assessor of Hagonoy, Bulacan, the property being
still an unregistered property. They were not
DECISION claiming rights under the spouses Perez. They
were and still are the owners in their own right.
Hence, the writ of possession issued was
CARPIO MORALES, J., improperly implemented and under Art. 539 of the
Civil Code, they must be restored to said
For the Courts consideration is the propriety of the issuance of a writ of possession by the means established by the laws
preliminary mandatoryinjunction in favor of respondent Spouses Regino and the Rules of Court. The writ of preliminary
Se and Violeta dela Cruz (Spouses dela Cruz). mandatory injunction prayed for is undeniably one
of the means established by the laws and the Rules
Respondent Spouses Eduardo and Charito Perez (Spouses Perez) of Court. [3] (underscoring supplied)
obtained a P250,000 loan from Spouses Isagani and Diosdada Castro
(petitioners) on November 15, 1996, to secure which they executed a Petitioners motion for reconsideration of the trial courts Order
real estate mortgage in petitioners favor covering an unregistered 417 of October 29, 2004 was denied by Order of March 5, 2007, hence, they
square meter parcel of land, located in San Isidro, Hagonoy, Bulacan, filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. Finding no
covered by Tax Declaration (TD) No. 01844 (the property). grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of the Order, the appellate
court denied petitioners petition, by Decision of September 14, 2009.[4]

Respondent Spouses Perez having failed to settle their loan, petitioners Hence, the present petition.
extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage and, as the highest bidder at the
public auction, bought the property on February 4, 1999. It turned out The trial court anchored its assailed Order granting the writ of
that before the foreclosure or sometime in 1997 respondent Spouses preliminary mandatory injunction on Article 539 of the Civil Code. The
Perez, contrary to a provision of the real estate mortgage, sold the Article reads:
property to respondent Spouses dela Cruz who had in fact caused the
cancellation of TD No. 01844 by TD No. 01892 in their name on August Art. 539. Every possessor has a right to
15, 1997. be respected in his possession; and should he be
disturbed therein, he shall be protected in or
Petitioners thus filed on April 8, 1999 a complaint against restored to said possession by the means
herein two sets of respondent Spouses, for annulment of Deed of Sale established by the laws and the Rules of Court.
and TD No. 01892[1] and damages before the Malolos Regional Trial
Court (RTC). Respondent Marcelino Tolentino, Municipal Assessor of xxxx
Hagonoy, Bulacan was impleaded as defendant. The complaint was
raffled to Branch 7 of the RTC.
Undoubtedly, respondent Spouses dela Cruz actually took possession
of the property before the real estate mortgage covering it was
By respondent Spouses dela Cruzs allegation, before buying
foreclosed, and had in fact cancelled the TD in Spouses Perez name
the property, they inspected it and found no improvements thereon that
and had one issued in their name. It appears, however, that petitioners
would put them on guard against the integrity of the TD of the sellers-
did not inform Branch 16, RTC of the previous sale of the property
Spouses Perez which TD, contrary to petitioners claim, bore no
to third parties, herein respondent Spouses dela Cruz, and the latters
annotation of the mortgage. They had in fact constructed a house on the
actual possession thereof.
property in the course of which they were approached by petitioners who
informed them of an existing mortgage thereover, but as petitioners did
not present any document to prove it, they paid no heed to the For an injunctive writ to issue, a clear showing of extreme
information. urgency to prevent irreparable injury and a clear and unmistakable right
to it must be proven by the party seeking it. The primary objective of a
During the pendency of petitioners complaint against respondents preliminary injunction, whether prohibitory or mandatory, is to preserve
spouses, petitioners filed an ex-parte motion before Branch 16 of the the status quo until the merits of the case can be heard.[5]
RTC for the issuance of a writ of possession over the property by virtue
of the foreclosure of the mortgage of the sale to them of the [T]he rule is well-entrenched that the issuance of
property. [2]Petitioners motion was granted and a writ of possession the writ of preliminary injunction rests upon the
dated August 2, 2001 was issued and enforced against respondent sound discretion of the trial court. It bears
Spouses dela Cruz who were evicted from the property. reiterating that Section 4 of Rule 58 gives generous
latitude to the trial courts in this regard for the
On December 7, 2002, petitioners amended, with leave of court, their reason that conflicting claims in an
complaint, alleging that, inter alia, respondent Spouses Perez failed to application for a provisional writ more often than
redeem the mortgage within the reglementary period. not involve a factual

In their Answer to the Amended Complaint, respondent


Spouses dela Cruz prayed for the issuance of a writ of determination which is not the function of appellate
preliminary mandatory injunction to restore them to physical possession courts. Hence, the exercise of sound judicial
discretion by the trial court in injunctive matters
must not be interfered with except when there
is manifest abuse, which is wanting in the present
case.[6] (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Indeed, the rule is well-entrenched that for grave abuse of


discretion to exist as a valid ground for the nullification of an injunctive
writ, there must be a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment,
equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Or the power must be
exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility, and it must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of
a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. [7]

Recall that respondent Spouses dela Cruz had


long before the foreclosure of the mortgage or sometime in 1997 bought
and took possession of the property, and had in fact cancelled the seller-
respondent Spouses Perez TD and had one issued in their name. By
petitioners seeking ex parte the issuance to them on February 1999 of
a writ of possession over the property, which was granted and the writ
enforced against respondent Spouses de la Cruz, they disturbed
the status quo ante litem. The trial court did not thus commit grave
abuse of discretion when it issued the writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction in favor of Spouses de la Cruz.

For the enforcement of the writ of possession against


respondent Spouses dela Cruz, who did not take part in the foreclosure
proceedings, would amount to taking of real property without the benefit
of a proper judicial intervention. The procedural shortcut which
petitioners is impermissible. Even Article 433 of the Civil Code instructs
that Actual possession under claim of ownership raises disputable
presumption of ownership. The true owner must resort to judicial
process for the recovery of the property. The contemplated judicial
process is not through an ex-parte petition as what petitioners availed
of, but a process wherein a third party, Spouses de la Cruz herein, is
given an opportunity to be heard.[8]

The jurisdictional foundation for the issuance of a writ of


injunction rests not only in the existence of a cause of action and in the
probability of irreparable injury, among other considerations, but also in
the prevention of multiplicity of suits.

Since petitioners failed to show that the appellate court erred


in upholding the trial courts exercise of its discretion in issuing the writ
of preliminary mandatory injunction, the challenged Decision stands.

Parenthetically, the issuance of the challenged writ does not


render petitioners case closed. Whether there existed a conspiracy
between both sets of respondent spouses to defraud petitioners can be
only be determined after the principal action is tried on the merits during
which the parties are afforded the opportunity to present evidence in
support of their respective claims.[9]

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.