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SPS. CARPO v.

AYALA LAND, INCORPORATED


FACTS: Morris and Socorro Carpo (Carpos) filed a complaint for QUIETING of
TITLE with the Makati RTC against Ayala Corporation, Ayala Property Ventures
Corporation (APVC), and the Registry of Deeds of Las Pinas, claiming to be owners
of a 171,209 square-meter parcel of land. They alleged that Ayala Corp was
claiming to have titles over the property under the Carpos TCT. Attached to the
complaint were photocopies of the TCTs. They filed an amended complaint
impleading Ayala Land, Inc (ALI) after verifying with the Las Pinas RD that the
title to the subject property was registered in the name of ALI and not Ayala Corp.
ALI answered:
1. The areas covered by the TCTs do not overlap the Carpos property
2. Dispute pertained to land covered by the Carpos TCT in the name of Las
Pinas Ventures Inc
3. The OCT from which it traces its TCTs was issued in 1950 while that of the
Carpos was issued in 1970
4. The Carpos complaint is barred by res judicata by virtue of Guico v. San
Pedro
The Makati RTC ruled the case was an action in rem and directed the case to be
transferred to the Las Pinas RTC. ALI filed a motion for summary judgment
alleging there was no genuine issue as to a material fact and the only issue to be
resolved was a legal one which of the two titles should be accorded priority. The
RTC denied the MSJ but the CA overturned the RTC and directed the RTC to
render a summary judgment. The RTC found for the Carpos, ratiocinating thus:
a. ALIs answer failed to allege the survey plan of the OCT was approved by the
Director of the Bureau of Lands, rendering such OCT of dubious character;
b. The date of the survey of the OCT from which ALI derives its title was done
on a later date (July 28, 1930), as compared to the Carpos which was
surveyed January 4-6, 1927
The CA reversed the RTC and ruled for ALI.
ISSUE(S): Whether or not the CA erred in reversing the RTCs summary judgment
NO, because (a) the OCT issued in favor of respondents enjoys the presumption
of regularity, which they failed to overcome; and (b) petitioners were guilty of
laches.
Preliminary Discussion
a. The RTC cancelled 799,262 square meters worth of property in favour of the
Carpos, who were claiming only 171,309 square meters
b. The sole issue is a legal one: Whose title is superior and must be upheld
c. Petitioners were barred from litigating by reason of res judicata in Realty
Sales Enterprise Inc v IAC
Whether or not the petitioners successfully overcame the presumption of
regularity by which ALIs title was issued NO
1. There was no admission in ALIs answer or amended answer that the OCT
from which it derives its title was issued without a survey plan that was duly
approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands
2. RTC merely concluded ALIs mother title was without a survey plan because
of the notation indicating SWO in the technical description of said title

3. Though a survey plan is one of the requirements for the issuance of decrees
of registration, it can be assumed that said requirement was complied with
by ALIs predecessor-in-interest upon the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official functions by public officers. The court upon which
the law has conferred jurisdiction is deemed to have exercised all necessary
powers to exercise jurisdiction and to have exercised it effectively.
a. Once a decree of registration is made under the Torrens system and
time has passed to render the title perfect, it cannot later on be
questioned
4. Rule 131, Section 3 provides that:
Section 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptions are
satisfactory if
uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:
xxxx
(m) That official duty has been regularly performed;
(n) That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippines or
elsewhere, was acting
in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction;
(o) That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid before the
court and
passed upon by it; and in like manner that all matters within an issue raised
in a dispute
submitted for arbitration were laid before the arbitrators and passed upon
by them; x x x.
Further, in Herce v. Municipality of Cabuyao, citing Tichangco v. Enriquez
(as to the presumption of regularity enjoyed by Torrens titles): To overturn
this legal presumption carelessly more than 90 years since the
termination of the case will not only endanger judicial stability, but also
violate the underlying principle of the Torrens system. Indeed, to do so
would reduce the vaunted legal indefeasibility of Torrens titles to
meaningless verbiage.
5. ALI need not allege or prove that a duly approved survey plan accompanied
the issuance of its mother title.
Whether or not the petitioners did not have the burden of proof of showing
the irregularity of ALIs title YES, petitioners had the burden of proof
showing the irregularity of ALIs title.
Section 1. Burden of proof. Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present
evidence on
the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of
evidence
required by law.
1. With the filing of the complaint, petitioners should have already alleged all
the bases of their causes of action, particularly the allegation that ALIs title
is null and void and that such title should be cancelled
2. ALI did not have to allege in its answer that the OCT was accompanied by a
survey plan duly approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands

3. ALIs title was derived from an earlier OCT and the CA did not err in
applying the maxim Primus tempore, potior jure