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Heirs of Kionisala v. Heirs of Dacut, GR 147379, Feb.

27, 2002 actual date when private respondents became owners of Lots 1015 and 1017 prior to the issuance
Republic v. Mangotara, GR 170375, 170505 & 173355-56, July 7, 2010 of the corresponding free patents and certificates of title was not specifically indicated in the
Republic v. Roxas, GR 157988, Dec. 11, 2013 complaint, nonetheless the allegations therein were comprehensive enough to constitute a cause
Yujuico v. Republic, GR 168661, Oct. 26, 2007 of action for reconveyance.[3] The appellate court concluded: On this score, it was reversible error
Cawis v. Cerilles, GR 170207, Apr. 19, 2010 for the lower court to have dismissed the complaint x x x because in an action for reconveyance,
Republic v. Heirs of Alejaga, Sr., GR 146030, Dec. 3, 2002 what is sought is the transfer of the property which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered
Republic v. Guerrero, GR 133168, Mar. 28, 2006 in another persons name, to its rightful and legal owner or to one with a better right x x x.[4] The
Garingan v. Garingan, GR 144095, Apr. 12, 2005 appellate court likewise found substantial compliance in the certificate of non-forum shopping[5]
Gabila v. Barriga, GR L-28917, Sept. 30, 1971 by citing Cabardo v. Court of Appeals[6] and Kavinta v. Court of Appeals.[7]
Heirs of Toring v. Heirs of Boquilaga, GR 163610, Sept. 27, 2010
Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc. v. IAC, GR L-67451, Sept. 28, 1987 On 7 March 2000 petitioners moved for reconsideration of the CA Decision. On 22 January 2001
Foster-Gallego v. Galang, GR 130228, July 27, 2004 the appellate court denied the motion for lack of merit, hence this petition for review.
Eland Philippines, Inc. v. Garcia, GR 173289, Feb. 17, 2010
Faja v. CA, GR L-45045, Feb. 28, 1977 RULING: An ordinary civil action for declaration of nullity of free patents and certificates of title is
Diaz v. People, GR 65006, Oct. 31, 1990 not the same as an action for reversion.[10] The difference between them lies in the allegations
Republic v. Vera, GR L-35778, Jan. 27, 1983 as to the character of ownership of the realty whose title is sought to be nullified. In an action for
Director of Lands v. CA, GR L-58867, June 22, 1984 reversion, the pertinent allegations in the complaint would admit State ownership of the disputed
Viewmaster Construction Corp. v. Maulit, GR 136283, Feb. 29, 2000 land. Hence in Gabila v. Barriga1[11] where the plaintiff in his complaint admits that he has no
Francisco v. Rojas, GR 167120, Apr. 23, 2014 right to demand the cancellation or amendment of the defendants title because even if the title
J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Torres, GR L-24559, July 22, 1981 were canceled or amended the ownership of the land embraced therein or of the portion affected
by the amendment would revert to the public domain, we ruled that the action was for reversion
--------------- and that the only person or entity entitled to relief would be the Director of Lands.

Heirs of Kionisala v. Heirs of Dacut, GR 147379, Feb. 27, 2002 On the other hand, a cause of action for declaration of nullity of free patent and certificate of title
would require allegations of the plaintiffs ownership of the contested lot prior to the issuance of
FACTS: ONCE MORE we are faced with the erroneous application of what are perceived to be such free patent and certificate of title as well as the defendants fraud or mistake; as the case may
elementary rules of pleading. The misapprehension of the basic concepts underlying these rules be, in successfully obtaining these documents of title over the parcel of land claimed by plaintiff.
can be befuddling, but what is worse, the lost man-hours spent in untangling the ensuing In such a case, the nullity arises strictly not from the fraud or deceit but from the fact that the land
allegations of pleading errors causing unnecessary delay in the adjudication of cases. Instead of is beyond the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands to bestow and whatever patent or certificate of
immediately resolving the original dispute and adjudicating the merits of conflicting claims, which title obtained therefor is consequently void ab initio.[12] The real party in interest is not the State
in the instant petition involves the ownership of two (2) parcels of land with the sizable area of but the plaintiff who alleges a pre-existing right of ownership over the parcel of land in question
187,718 square meters, the judicial process is unfortunately wasted in the maze of unfounded even before the grant of title to the defendant.
claims of deficiencies in the parties pleadings.
In sum, the grounds relied upon in petitioners desire to dismiss the complaint of private
On 19 December 1995 private respondents filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of titles, respondents in Civil Case No. 95-312 cannot be impressed with merit. By this decision, however,
reconveyance and damages against petitioners, docketed as Civil Case No. 95-312 Of the we are not foreclosing the presentation of evidence during trial on the merits that Lot 1015 and
Regional Trial Court of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. This complaint involved two (2) parcels of land Lot 1017 are not private property and that private respondents are not truly the owners thereof.
known as Lot No. 1017 and Lot No. 1015 with areas of 117,744 square meters and 69,974 square This and other issues on the merits must follow where the preponderant evidence lies.
meters respectively, located in Pongol, Libona, Bukidnon. On 7 September 1990 Lot No. 1017
was granted a free patent to petitioners Heirs of Ambrocio Kionisala under Free Patent No. WHEREFORE, the instant Petition for Review is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision of the
603393, and on 13 November 1991 Lot 1015 was bestowed upon Isabel Kionisala, one of the Court of Appeals dated 15 February 2000 reversing the Order dismissing the Complaint in Civil
impleaded heirs of Ambrocio Kionisala under Free Patent No. 101311-91-904. Thereafter, on 19 Case No. 95-312 entitled Heirs of Honorio Dacut, namely, Visaminda Orevillo, Violeta Dacut,
November 1990 Lot 1017 was registered under the Torrens system and was issued Original Josephine Dacut and Elizabeth Dacut v. Heirs of Ambrocio Kionisala, namely, Ana, Isabel, Grace,
Certificate of Title No. P-19819 in petitioners name, while on 5 December 1991 Lot No. 1015 was Ophelia, Joven and Camilo, all surnamed Kionisala, and Isabel Kionisala is AFFIRMED with the
registered in the name of Isabel Kionisala under Original Certificate of Title No. P-20229. understanding that private respondents Heirs of Honorio Dacut as plaintiffs therein may proceed
on the basis of their causes of action of declaration of nullity of free patents and certificates of
Petitioners set for hearing their affirmative defenses. After the hearing, or on 3 December 1996 titles and/or reconveyance based on an implied trust, with claim for damages. The proceedings in
the trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the cause of action of private the trial court shall commence forthwith within thirty (30) days from notice of the finality of this
respondents was truly for reversion so that only the Director of Lands could have filed the Decision without unnecessary delay.
complaint, and that the certificate of non-forum shopping accompanying the complaint did not
comply with the standard form for such undertaking.[1] On 23 December 1996 private respondents Republic v. Mangotara, GR 170375, 170505 & 173355-56, July 7, 2010
moved for reconsideration of the order of dismissal but on 3 June 1997 the motion was denied by
the trial court. FACTS: As a result of the 1997 Cacho case, the decrees of registration were re-issued bearing
new numbers and OCTs were issued for the two parcels of land in Doña Demetria’s name.
On 7 June 1997 private respondents appealed the order of dismissal to the Court of Appeals. On The dispute over Lots 1 and 2 did not end with the termination of the 1997 Cacho case. Another
15 February 2000 the appellate court promulgated its assailed Decision reversing the order of four cases involving the same parcels of land were instituted before the trial courts during and
dismissal.[2] The Court of Appeals ruled that while the allegations in the complaint were insufficient after the pendency of the 1997 Cacho case. These cases are: Expropriation Case, Quieting of
for purposes of an ordinary civil action for declaration of nullity of a certificate of title since the Title Case, Ejectment or Unlawful Detainer Case, Cancellation of Titles and Reversion Case.
The Cancellation of Titles and Reversion Case: Republic v. Roxas, GR 157988, Dec. 11, 2013
On October 13, 2004, the Republic filed a Complaint for the Cancellation of OCT and Reversion
against the late Doña Demetria, represented by her alleged heirs, Vidal and/or Teofilo, together FACTS: On February 5, 1941, then President Manuel L. Quezon (Quezon) issued Proclamation
with AZIMUTH and LANDTRADE. No. 678 converting forest land measuring around 928 hectares, situated in San Teodoro, Oriental
Mindoro, described on Bureau of Forestry Map No. F. R.-110, as Matchwood Forest Reserve. The
On October 15, 1998, Original Certificates of Title were issued in the name of “Demetria Cacho, Matchwood Forest Reserve was placed under the administration and control of the Bureau of
widow, now deceased…” consisting of a total area of Three Hundred Seventy-Eight Thousand Forestry, which shall have the authority to regulate the use and occupancy of this reserve, and
Seven Hundred and Seven (378,707) square meters and Three Thousand Seven Hundred Thirty- the cutting, collection and removal of timber and other forest products therein in accordance with
Five (3,635) square meters, respectively, situated in Iligan City. the Forest Law and Regulations. For the foregoing purpose, President Quezon withdrew the 928
hectares of forest land constituting the Matchwood Forest Reserve from entry, sale, or settlement,
The afore-stated titles were issued in implementation of a decision rendered in Cacho v. subject to private rights, if there be any.
Government of the United States.
Petitioner Republic, through the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR),
The RTC-Branch 4 likewise held that the Republic failed to state a cause of action in its Complaint. entered into Matchwood Plantation Lease Agreement No. 1 with petitioner PTFI on May 12, 1965,
The arguments of the Republic—i.e., the absence of a new survey plan and deed, the titles wherein petitioner Republic leased the entire Matchwood Forest Reserve to petitioner PTFI for a
covered properties with much larger area than that granted by the LRC—had been answered period of 25 years, which would expire on June 30, 1990.
squarely in the 1997 Cacho case. Also, the Complaint failed to allege that fraud had been
committed in having the titles registered and that the Director of Lands requested the reversion of In the meantime, respondent Roxas filed with the Bureau of Lands on December 29, 1959
the subject parcels of land. Homestead Application No. 9-5122, covering a parcel of land he initially identified as Lot No. 4,
SA-22657, located at Paspasin, San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro. Following the report and
ISSUE: Whether or not the Republic’s Complaint for Reversion will prosper recommendation 8 of Land Inspector (LI) Domingo Q. Fernandez (Fernandez), Officer-in-Charge
(OIC) Jesus B. Toledo (Toledo), for and by the authority of the Director of Lands, issued an Order
HELD: Reversion is an action where the ultimate relief sought is to revert the land back to the dated September 20, 1961 amending respondent Roxass Homestead.
government under the Regalian doctrine. Considering that the land subject of the action originated
from a grant by the government, its cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the OIC Toledo subsequently issued another Order dated September 27, 1961 which approved
grantee.134 In Estate of the Late Jesus S. Yujuico v. Republic135 (Yujuico case), reversion was respondent Roxass Homestead Application No. 95122 and recorded the same as Homestead
defined as an action which seeks to restore public land fraudulently awarded and disposed of to Entry No. 9-4143.10 Thereafter, respondent Roxas executed a Notice of Intention to Make Final
private individuals or corporations to the mass of public domain. It bears to point out, though, that Proof, which was posted on September 23, 1963.11 Respondent Roxas personally testified before
the Court also allowed the resort by the Government to actions for reversion to cancel titles that LI Fernandez on October 25, 1963 to finally prove his residence and cultivation of the subject
were void for reasons other than fraud. property.

The reversion case of the Republic rests on the main argument that the OCT’s issued in Doña In a letter dated July 12, 1965, Assistant District Forester Luis G. Dacanay (Dacanay), Bureau of
Demetria’s name, included parcels of lands which were not adjudicated to her by the Court in the Forestry, DANR, informed the District Land Officer of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, that the subject-
1914 Cacho case. area designated as Lot No. 1, Gss-569, has been verified to be within the alienable and disposable
land of Project 18 of San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro, per B.F. Map LC-1110 certified as such on
Just because OCTs were already issued in Doña Demetria’s name does not bar the Republic from September 30, 1934.12 Assistant District Forester Dacanay further wrote in the same letter that
instituting an action for reversion. Indeed, the Court made it clear in Francisco v. Rodriguez that the said land is no longer within the administrative jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry, so that,
Section 101 of the Public Land Act “may be invoked only when title has already vested in the its disposition in accordance with the Public Land Law does not adversely affect forestry interest
individual, e.g., when a patent or a certificate of title has already been issued[,]” for the basic anymore.
premise in an action for reversion is that the certificate of title fraudulently or unlawfully included
land of the public domain, hence, calling for the cancellation of said certificate. It is actually the The Director of Lands issued Homestead Patent No. 111598 14 to respondent Roxas on July 19,
issuance of such a certificate of title which constitutes the third element of a cause of action for 1965, on the basis of which, respondent ROD issued OCT No. P-5885 in respondent Roxass
reversion. name on said date.

The Court further finds that the Complaint of the Republic in Civil Case No. 6686 sufficiently states On May 2, 1978, petitioner Republic, represented by the BFD, filed with the RTC a Complaint for
a cause of action for reversion, even though it does not allege that fraud was committed in the Cancellation of Title and/or Reversion against respondents Roxas and the ROD over the subject
registration or that the Director of Lands requested the reversion. property, docketed as Civil Case No. R-3110.17 Petitioner Republic alleged that the subject
property was within the Matchwood Forest Reserve and could not be the subject of private
The other contention that the Complaint in Civil Case No. 6686 does not allege that it had been appropriation and ownership; and possession of said property, no matter how long would not
filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), at the behest of the Director of Lands, does not convert the same into private property.
call for its dismissal on the ground of failure to state a cause of action. Section 101 of
Commonwealth Act No. 141, otherwise known as the Public Land Act, as amended, simply Petitioner Republic additionally mentioned that the subject property, as part of the Matchwood
requires that: Forest Reserve, was included in the lease agreement of petitioner Republic with petitioner PTFI.

“SEC. 101. All actions for the reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain or In his Answer, respondent Roxas admitted applying for and acquiring a homestead patent over
improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead, the subject property. Respondent Roxas, however, denied that the subject property was within the
in the proper courts, in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.” (Emphasis supplied.) Matchwood Forest Reserve. To the contrary, the subject property was part and parcel of the
Paspasin Group Settlement Subdivision, SA-22657, and had been the subject of investigation in Even the 1984 Relocation Survey conducted by Cresente Mendoza on the subject property
accordance with law, rules, and regulations, as established by documentary evidence. showed it to be on the same location.

Respondent Roxas maintained that OCT No. P-5885 had been legally and validly issued to him The court a quo was correct when it did not give credence to the testimony of Cresente Mendoza
and that he had been in actual, open, and continuous possession of the subject property in the that the subject lot is within the Matchwood Forest Reserve area because despite having
concept of an owner since 1959. performed a relocation survey in the area, he admitted that he does not know the actual area of
the forest reserve.
Petitioner PTFI eventually filed a Complaint for Intervention on the ground that it was leasing the
entire Matchwood Forest Reserve from petitioner Republic under Matchwood Plantation Lease And though another witness, Geodetic Engineer Daniel de los Santos, did a table plotting of the
Agreement No. 1 for a period of 25 years that would expire on June 30, 1990. two Land Classification Maps, it appears that the subject Lot 1-GSS-569 was not actually included
in the plotting.
The RTC granted the intervention of petitioner PTFI in an Order dated August 10, 1979.
The Court of Appeals also ruled that respondent Roxass compliance with substantive and
Subsequently, during the pendency of Civil Case No. R-3110 before the RTC, and considering procedural requirements for acquisition of public lands belied the allegation that respondent Roxas
the expiration of Lease Agreement No. 1 in 1990, petitioner PTFI entered into an Industrial Tree obtained grant and title over the subject property through fraud and misrepresentation. The
Plantation Lease Agreement dated November 11, 1982 and Industrial Forest Plantation appellate court further pronounced that once a patent had been registered and the corresponding
Management Agreement 30 dated November 24, 1982 with petitioner Republic, which extended certificate of title had been issued, the land covered by them ceased to be part of the public domain
the lease of petitioner PTFI of the Matchwood Forest Reserve until July 7, 2007. and became private property; and the Torrens title issued pursuant to the patent became
indefeasible upon the expiration of one year from the date of the issuance of the patent. The Court
To determine whether or not the subject property was within the Matchwood Forest Reserve the of Appeals, however, disagreed with the RTC in awarding attorneys fees, expenses of litigation,
RTC issued an order dated March 15, 1984, creating a relocation survey committee composed of and costs of suit to respondent Roxas, finding no basis for such awards.
District Forester Gregorio O. Nisperos (Nisperos) as team leader, with representatives of the
District Land Office, respondent Roxas, and petitioner PTFI as members. The committee Ultimately, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
submitted to the RTC a Memorandum dated May 11, 1984, prepared by Engr. Mendoza, the
representative of the Bureau of Lands, and countersigned by District Forester Nisperos, the team Meanwhile, petitioner PTFI first filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Court of Appeals. After
leader, presenting the results of the ocular inspection/survey work conducted by the committee the appellate court denied said Motion in a Resolution dated October 30, 2003, petitioner PTFI
from April 23 to 29, 1984 and the recommendations of the committee. likewise sought recourse from us through a Petition for Review on Certiorari, docketed as G.R.
No. 160640, assailing the Court of Appeals judgment.
Petitioner Roxas contested the results of the relocation survey conducted by the committee,
hence, in an Order dated August 6, 1984, the RTC directed the Clerk of Court to issue a subpoena RULING: CIVIL LAW: reversion of lands to the government
to committee members Engr. Mendoza of the Bureau of Lands and Mr. Reynaldo Labay (Labay)
of the BFD to appear before the court; and a subpoena duces tecum to the District Land Officer We do not find evidence indicating that respondent Roxas committed fraud when he applied for
or his duly authorized representative to bring and produce pertinent papers relative to cadastral homestead patent over the subject property. It does not appear that he knowingly and intentionally
survey 104 in respondent Roxass name. misrepresented in his application that the subject property was alienable and disposable
agricultural land. Nonetheless, we recognized in Republic of the Phils. v. Mangotara that there are
Engr. Mendoza attested that pursuant to the RTC Order dated March 15, 1984, he conducted a instances when we granted reversion for reasons other than fraud:
relocation survey of the subject property which showed that Lot 1 owned by respondent Roxas
was found inside the forest zone. Reversion is an action where the ultimate relief sought is to revert the land back to the government
under the Regalian doctrine. Considering that the land subject of the action originated from a grant
The RTC rendered a Decision on February 10, 1994, in respondent Roxass favor. The RTC by the government, its cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the grantee. In Estate of
declared that petitioner PTFI had no right whatsoever to the subject property since the latters the Late Jesus S. Yujuico v. Republic (Yujuico case), reversion was defined as an action which
lease agreement with petitioner Republic had already expired on June 30, 1990. It also held that seeks to restore public land fraudulently awarded and disposed of to private individuals or
the preponderance of evidence showed that the subject property was outside the forest reserve corporations to the mass of public domain. It bears to point out, though, that the Court also allowed
and part of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain; and that there was no proof the resort by the Government to actions for reversion to cancel titles that were void for reasons
at all of fraud or misrepresentation on respondent Roxass part in procuring OCT No. P-5885. other than fraud, i.e., violation by the grantee of a patent of the conditions imposed by law; and
lack of jurisdiction of the Director of Lands to grant a patent covering inalienable forest land or
In its Decision dated April 21, 2003, the Court of Appeals sustained the appreciation of evidence portion of a river, even when such grant was made through mere oversight. In Republic v.
by the RTC, thus: Guerrero, the Court gave a more general statement that the remedy of reversion can be availed
of only in cases of fraudulent or unlawful inclusion of the land in patents or certificates of title.
Before Roxas could be issued his corresponding homestead patent, the Bureau of Forestry of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources declared that the said land is no longer within Apparently, in the case at bar, a mistake or oversight was committed on the part of respondent
the administrative jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forestry, hence its disposition in accordance with Roxas, as well as the Government, resulting in the grant of a homestead patent over inalienable
the Public Land Law does not adversely affect forestry interest anymore. forest land. Hence, it can be said that the subject property was unlawfully covered by Homestead
Patent No. 111598 and OCT No. P-5885 in respondent Roxass name, which entitles petitioner
Not only does this letter prove that Lot 1-GSS-569, the area occupied and titled in the name of Republic to the cancellation of said patent and certificate of title and the reversion of the subject
Roxas, is alienable and disposable but so does the 1959 Survey Plan, which with its dotted lines property to the public domain.
confirm that the land of Roxas is outside the Matchwood Forest Reserve.
Yujuico v. Republic, GR 168661, Oct. 26, 2007
• Considering that innocent purchaser for value Yujuico bought the lot in 1974, and more
FACTS: than 27 years had elapsed before the action for reversion was filed, then said action is now barred
• In 1973, Fermina Castro filed an application for the registration and confirmation of her by laches
title over a parcel of land with an area of 17,343 square meters covered by plan (LRC) Psu-964 • . Section 32 of PD 1592 recognized the rights of an innocent purchaser for value over
located in the Municipality of Paraaque, Province of Rizal (now Paraaque City), in the Pasig-Rizal and above the interests of the government
Court of First Instance (CFI), • There is no allegation that Yujuico was a buyer in bad faith, nor did he acquire the land
• The application was opposed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and by fraudulently. He thus had the protection of the Torrens System that every subsequent purchaser
Mercedes Dizon of registered land taking a certificate of title for value and in good faith shall hold the same free
• Castro won the case from all encumbrances except those noted on the certificate
• He sold it to the petitioner of this case • When respondent government filed the reversion case in 2001, 27 years had already
o petitioner subdivided the land to two lots, one for him and the other to petitioner Carpio elapsed from the time the late Jesus Yujuico purchased the land from the original owner Castro.
• Annotations at the back of TCT No. 446386 show that Yujuico had, at one time or After the issuance of OCT No. 10215 to Castro, no further action was taken by the government to
another, mortgaged the lot to the Philippine Investments System Organization (PISO) and Citibank question the issuance of the title to Castro until the case of Public Estates Authority, brought up
o . Annotations in the title of petitioner Carpio reveal the lot was mortgaged in favor of in the oral argument before this Court on September 6, 2000
Private Development Corporation (PDC), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and • Clearly from the above, Firestone is a precedent case. The Public Estates Authority had
then Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB) and the Development Bank of the become final and thus the validity of OCT No. 10215 issued to Castro could no longer be
Philippines (DBP) to secure various loans. questioned.
• Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1085 was enacted. This gave lands in the offshore and • On the other hand, the Namria Hydrographic Map No. 4243 does not reveal what portion
foreshore areas to Public Estates Authority (PEA). of Manila Bay was Castros lot located in 1974. Moreover, a hydrographic map is not the best
• Some of the land included the land of petitioner. evidence to show the nature and location of the lot subject of a land registration application
• Petitioner filed for removal of cloud or quiteting of title. • More so, respondent Government, through its counsel, admits that the land applied by
• . On May 15, 1998 the parties entered into a compromise agreement Fermina Castro in 1973 was solid and dry land, negating the nebulous allegation that said land is
• the parties executed a Deed of Exchange of Real Property, pursuant to the compromise underwater. The only conclusion that can be derived from the admissions of the Solicitor General
agreement, where the PEA property with an area of 1.4007 hectares would be conveyed to Jesus and Government Corporate Counsel is that the land subject of the titles of petitioners is alienable
Yujuico and petitioner Carpio in exchange for their property with a combined area of 1.7343 land beyond the reach of the reversion suit of the state
hectares. • The waiver by PEA of its right to question petitioners title is fortified by the manifestation
• But the President of PEA did not give his approval, hence filed a petition for relief from by PEA in the Joint Motion for Judgment based on Compromise Agreement
the compromise agreement on the basis of mistake and excusable negligence. • The recognition of petitioners legal ownership of the land is further bolstered by the
• respondent Republic of the Philippines, through the OSG, alleged that when the land categorical and unequivocal acknowledgment made by PEA in its September 30, 2003 letter
registered to Castro was surveyed by Engr. H. Obreto on August 3, 1972 and subsequently • In sum, the Court finds that the reversion case should be dismissed for lack of
approved by the LRC on April 23, 1973, the land was still a portion of Manila Bay as evidenced by jurisdiction on the part of the Paraaque RTC. Even if we treat said case as a petition for annulment
Namria Hydrographic Map No. 4243, Surveys to 1980 of judgment under Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the dismissal of the case
• More significantly, respondent Republic argued that, first, since the subject land was nevertheless has to be upheld because it is already barred by laches. Even if laches is
still underwater, it could not be registered in the name of Fermina Castro.Second, the land disregarded, still the suit is already precluded by res judicata in view of the peculiar facts and
registration court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate inalienable lands, thus the decision circumstances obtaining therein.
adjudicating the subject parcel of land to Fermina Castro was void. And third, the titles of Yujuico
and Carpio, being derived from a void title, were likewise void.[9] Cawis v. Cerilles, GR 170207, Apr. 19, 2010
• The CA observed that shores are properties of the public domain intended for public
use and, therefore, not registrable and their inclusion in a certificate of title does not convert the FACTS : FACTS: On 23 September 1957, the DENR, pursuant to Section 795 of the Public Land
same into properties of private ownership or confer title upon the registrant. Act, approved the sales patent application of Jose V. Andrada for Lot No. 47 situated within Holy
Ghost Hill Subdivision in Baguio City.
Issue: Is a reversion suit proper in this case? (2) Is the present petition estopped by laches? (3)
Did the CA erroneously apply the principle of res judicata On 4 August 1969, Republic Act No. 60998 took effect. It provided that subject to certain
Decision: No. conditions, parcels of land within the Holy Ghost Hill Subdivision, which included Lot No. 47, would
be sold to the actual occupants without the necessity of a public bidding Claiming to be the actual
Ratio Decidendi: occupants referred to in R.A. No. 6099, petitioners protested the sales patent awarded to Andrada.
• The instant Civil Case No. 01-0222 for annulment and cancellation of Decree No. N- The Bureau of Lands denied their protest on the ground that R.A. No. 6099, being of later passage,
150912 and its derivative titles was filed on June 8, 2001 with the Paraaque City RTC. It is clear could no longer affect the earlier award of sales patent to Andrada.
therefore that the reversion suit was erroneously instituted in the Paraaque RTC and should have
been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Sometime in 1987, private respondent Ma. Edeliza S. Peralta (Peralta) purchased Lot No. 47 from
• This was not done in this case. The Republic misfiled the reversion suit with the Andrada. The Deputy Public Land Inspector, in his final report of investigation, found that neither
Paraaque RTC. It should have been filed with the CA as required by Rule 47.Evidently, the Andrada nor Peralta had constructed a residential house on the lot, which was required in the
Paraaque RTC had no jurisdiction over the instant reversion case. Order of Award and set as a condition precedent for the issuance of the sales patent. Apparently,
• Equitable estoppel may be invoked against public authorities when as in this case, the it was Vicente Cawis, one of the petitioners, who had built a house on Lot No. 47. The Sales
lot was already alienated to innocent buyers for value and the government did not undertake any Patent was nonetheless transferred to Peralta.
act to contest the title for an unreasonable length of time
Petitoner’s filed a complaint before the trial court alleging fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation in
the issuance of the sales patent and the original certificate of title over Lot No. 47. They claimed
they had interest in the lot as qualified beneficiaries of R.A. No. 6099 who met the conditions 2. WON the State has an imprescriptible right to cause the reversion of a piece of property
prescribed. belonging to the public domain. YES
The trial court issued a Resolution dismissing the complaint filed by petitioners. The trial court held (Topic: NON-REGISTRABLE PROPERTY AND DEALINGS WITH UNREGISTERED LANDS)
that reversion of title on the ground of fraud must be initiated by the government through the Office
of the Solicitor General (OSG). Held:

The CA affirmed the decision and cited Section 10119 of the Public Land Act, which provides that ISSUE No. 1 PATENT:
only the government, through the OSG, could file an action for reversion.
Fraud attended the application of Free Patent
ISSUE: Whether or the petitioners have the personality to sue for reversion Republic (petitioner) has adduced a preponderance of evidence before the trial court, showing
manifest fraud in procuring the patent. This Court agrees with the RTC that in obtaining a free
HELD: At the outset, we must point out that petitioners’ complaint questioning the validity of the patent over the lot under scrutiny, petitioner had resorted to misrepresentation or fraud, signs of
sales patent and the original certificate of title over Lot No. 47 is, in reality, a reversion suit. The which were ignored by the Court of Appeals.
objective of an action for reversion of public land is the cancellation of the certificate of title and
the resulting reversion of the land covered by the title to the State. This is why an action for First reason: Issuance of the free patent was not made in accordance with the law
reversion is oftentimes designated as an annulment suit or a cancellation suit. First, the issuance of the free patent was not made in accordance with the procedure laid down
by CA or the Public Land Act. Under Section 91 thereof, an investigation should be conducted for
Coming now to the first issue, Section 101 of the Public Land Act22 clearly states: the purpose of ascertaining whether the material facts set out in the application are true.
“SEC. 101. All actions for the reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain or
improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead, Further, after the filing of the application, the law requires sufficient notice to the municipality and
in the proper courts, in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.” the barrio where the land is located, in order to give adverse claimants the opportunity to present
their claims. Note that this notice and the verification and investigation of the parcel of land are to
Even assuming that private respondent indeed acquired title to Lot No. 47 in bad faith, only the be conducted after an application for free patent has been filed with the Bureau of Lands.
State can institute reversion proceedings, pursuant to Section 101 of the Public Land Act and our
ruling in Alvarico v. Sola. Private persons may not bring an action for reversion or any action which There was no proper investigation and verification of the application
would have the effect of canceling a land patent and the corresponding certificate of title issued In this case, however, Felipe Alejaga Sr.’s Application for Free Patent was dated and filed on
on the basis of the patent, such that the land covered thereby will again form part of the public December 28, 1978. On the other hand, the Investigation & Verification Report prepared by Land
domain. Only the OSG or the officer acting in his stead may do so. Since the title originated from Inspector Elfren L. Recio of the District Land Office of the Bureau of Lands of Roxas City was
a grant by the government, its cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the grantee. dated December 27, 1978.

Republic v. Heirs of Alejaga, Sr., GR 146030, Dec. 3, 2002 As correctly pointed out by the trial court, investigation and verification should have been done
only after the filing of the application. Hence, it would have been highly anomalous for Recio (Land
Facts: Inspector) to conduct his own investigation and verification on December 27, 1998, a day before
December 28, 1978: Respondent Felibe Alejaga Sr. filed with the District Land Office of Roxas Felipe Alejaga Sr. filed the Application for Free Patent.
City a Free Patent Application of a parcel of land. (.3899 hectares, Roxas City)
Efren Recio, Land Inspector, submitted the necessary report regarding the application. Second reason: The claim of the Alejagas that an actual investigation was conducted is not
(Investigation & Verification Report) sustained by the Verification & Investigation Report itself, which bears no signature.
March 14, 1979: The District Land Officer (DLO) approved the application and the issuance of a Their reliance on the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty31 is thus
Free Patent to the applicant. It was then forwarded to Register of Deeds for the registration and misplaced. Since Recio’s signature does not appear on the December 27, 1978 Report, there can
issuance of a OCT. be no presumption that an investigation and verification of the parcel of land was actually
Thereafter, Original Certificate of Title and a Free Patent No. (VI-2) 3358 was issued to Alejaga. conducted. Strangely, respondents do not proffer any explanation why the Verification &
April 4, 1979: The heirs of Ignacio Arrobang requested the Director of Lands of Manial for the Investigation Report was not signed by Recio. Even more important and as will later on be
investigation of DLO (conducted by Isagani Cartagena) in Roxas for the irregularities in the explained, this alleged presumption of regularity -- assuming it ever existed -- is overcome by the
issuance of a title of a foreshore land in favor of Alejaga. evidence presented by petitioner.
After investigation, the Land Management Bureau of Manila requested the Director of Lands to
cancel the Free Patent and the corresponding OCT. Third reason: The the report of Special Investigator Isagani P. Cartagena has not been
In the meantime, Alejaga obtained a NACIDA loan. The loan was secured by a real estate successfully rebutted.
mortgage to PNB. In that report, Recio supposedly admitted that he had not actually conducted an investigation and
April 18, 1990: The government through the Solicitor General instituted an action for ocular inspection of the parcel of land. Cartagena’s statement on Recio’s alleged admission may
Annulment/Cancellation of Patent and Title and Reversion against respondent Alejaga, the PNB be considered as "independently relevant." A witness may testify as to the state of mind of another
of Roxas City and defendant Register of Deeds of Roxas City covering Free Patent Application of person -- the latter’s knowledge, belief, or good or bad faith -- and the former’s statements may
the land. While the case was pending, Alejaga was substituted by his heirs. then be regarded as independently relevant without violating the hearsay rule.
RTC ruled against responding saying that the OCT and Patent were obtained through fraud and
misrepresentation. Hence, null and void. CA reversed RTC’s ruling. Doctrine of independently relevant statements
The doctrine on independently relevant statements holds that conversations communicated to a
Issues: witness by a third person may be admitted as proof that, regardless of their truth or falsity, they
1. WON there was fraud in the issuance of the OCT and Free Patent. YES were actually made. Evidence as to the making of such statements is not secondary but primary,
(Topic: PATENT)
for in itself it (a) constitutes a fact in issue or (b) is circumstantially relevant to the existence of
such fact. Mortgage over a parcel of land acquired through a free patent grant nullifies the award and
constitutes a cause for the reversion of the property to the state
Since Cartagena’s testimony was based on the report of the investigation he had conducted, his "SEC. 124. Any acquisition, conveyance, alienation, transfer, or other contract made or executed
testimony was not hearsay and was, hence, properly admitted by the trial court. in violation of any of the provisions of sections one hundred and eighteen, one hundred and
twenty, one hundred and twenty-one, one hundred and twenty-two, and one hundred and twenty-
The Free Patent was void (The issuance of the Alejagas’ patent and title was tainted with fraud) three of this Act shall be unlawful and null and void from its execution and shall produce the effect
There are several badges of frauds (check the list above). Thus, the free patent granted to Felipe of annulling and canceling the grant, title, patent, or permit originally issued, recognized or
Alejaga Sr. is void. Such fraud is a ground for impugning the validity of the Certificate of Title. The confirmed, actually or presumptively, and cause the reversion of the property and its
invalidity of the patent is sufficient basis for nullifying the Certificate of Title issued in consequence improvements to the State."
thereof, since the latter is merely evidence of the former.
The foregoing legal provisions clearly proscribe the encumbrance of a parcel of land acquired
Issue No. 2: NON-REGISTRABLE PROPERTY AND DEALINGS WITH UNREGISTERED LANDS under a free patent or homestead within five years from the grant of such patent. Furthermore,
such encumbrance results in the cancellation of the grant and the reversion of the land to the
Titles obtained by fraud and misrepresentation are not indefeasible; Patent does not vest title it public domain.
merely confirmed registrant’s existing one
True, once a patent is registered and the corresponding certificate of title issued, the land covered Since Alejaga violated the condition of the free patent, the property must revert back to the public
by them ceases to be part of the public domain and becomes private property. Further, the Torrens domain
Title issued pursuant to the patent becomes indefeasible a year after the issuance of the latter. To comply with the condition for the grant of the free patent, within five years from its issuance,
Felipe Alejaga Sr. should not have encumbered the parcel land granted to him. The mortgage he
However, this indefeasibility of a title does not attach to titles secured by fraud and made over the land violated that condition. Hence, the property must necessarily revert to the
misrepresentation. Well-settled is the doctrine that the registration of a patent under the Torrens public domain, pursuant to Section 124 of the Public Land Act.
System does not by itself vest title; it merely confirms the registrant’s already existing one. Verily,
registration under the Torrens System is not a mode of acquiring ownership. Republic v. Guerrero, GR 133168, Mar. 28, 2006

The State may still bring an action for reversion even after the lapse of one year Facts: On December 1964 Benjamin Guerrerro filed with the Bureau of Lands a Miscellaneous
Therefore, under Section 101 of Commonwealth Act No. 141, the State -- even after the lapse of Sales Application considering a parcel of land situated at Pugad Lawin, Quezon City, this
one year -- may still bring an action for the reversion to the public domain of land that has been application was approved and Miscellaneous Sales Patent was issued subsequent thereto.
fraudulently granted to private individuals. Further, this indefeasibility cannot be a bar to an Angelina Bustamante later filed a protest with the Bureau of Lands claiming that Guerrero obtained
investigation by the State as to how the title has been acquired, if the purpose of the investigation the sales patent through fraud & false statement of facts and/or omission of material facts. This
is to determine whether fraud has in fact been committed in securing the title. was however dismissed by the Director of lands and further affirmed by then Minister of Natural
Resources.
Prohibition Against Alienation or Encumbrance
Assuming arguendo that the Alejagas’ title was validly issued, there is another basis for the Through a MFR, an ocular investigation and relocation survey they found out that 83sqm of the
cancellation of the grant and the reversion of the land to the public domain. Section 118 of titled property of Guerrero is under actual physical possession of Marcelo Bustamante, husband
Commonwealth Act No. 14156 proscribes the encumbrance of a parcel of land acquired under a of Angelina. Thus, upon the directive of the office of the President, the Director of Lands instituted
free patent or homestead within five years from its grant. The prohibition against any alienation or a petition for the amendment of plan and technical description.
encumbrance of the land grant is a proviso attached to the approval of every application.
Guerrero opposed said motion through a motion to dismiss but however was dismissed thereafter.
The mortgage of the land (granted under free patent) violated Section118 of Public Land Act However, the RTC ruled in favor of Guerrero stating that the Republic failed to prove its allegation
In the case at bar, Free Patent No. 335860 was approved and issued on March 14, 1979. that Guerrero obtained the sales patent and certificate of title through fraud and misrepresentation.
Corresponding Original Certificate of Title No. P-1561 was issued on the same date. On August RTC also ruled that the original certificate of title in the name of Guerrero acquired the
18, 1981, or two (2) years after the grant of the free patent, Felipe Alejaga Sr. obtained from characteristics of indefeasibility after the expiration of 1 year from the entry of the decree of
Respondent PNB a loan in the amount of P100,000. Despite the statement on the title certificate registration. On appeal, the CA affirmed the trial court.
itself that the land granted under the free patent shall be inalienable for five (5) years from the
grant, a real estate mortgage was nonetheless constituted on the parcel of land covered by OCT Issue: whether or not petitioner has proven by clear and convincing evidence that respondent
No. P-15. procured Miscellaneous Sales Patent (MSP) No. 8991 and OCT No. 0-28 through fraud and
misrepresentation.
Thus, the mortgage executed by Respondent Felipe Alejaga Sr. falls squarely within the term
encumbrance proscribed by Section 118 of the Public Land Act. A mortgage constitutes a legal Held: No. Upon its registration, the land falls under the operation of Act No. 496 and becomes
limitation on the estate, and the foreclosure of the mortgage would necessarily result in the auction registered land. Time and again, we have said that a Torrens certificate is evidence of an
of the property. indefeasible title to property in favor of the person whose name appears thereon.

Reason for prohibition against encumbrance However, Section 38 of Act No. 496 recognizes the right of a person deprived of land to institute
"It is well-known that the homestead laws were designed to distribute disposable agricultural lots an action to reopen or revise a decree of registration obtained by actual fraud.
of the State to land-destitute citizens for their home and cultivation. Pursuant to such benevolent
intention the State prohibits the sale or encumbrance of the homestead (Section 116) within five Fraud is of two kinds: actual or constructive. Actual or positive fraud proceeds from an intentional
years after the grant of the patent." deception practiced by means of the misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact.
Constructive fraud is construed as a fraud because of its detrimental effect upon public interests The Shari'a District Court then ordered to partition the land in equal shares among the respondents
and public or private confidence, even though the act is not done with an actual design to commit and their sister petitioner. Each of them was entitled to one-fourth share of the aforesaid property.
positive fraud or injury upon other persons. The TCT in the name of Djayari Moro was ordered annulled and cancelled, and, in lieu thereof the
Office of the Register of Deeds of Basilan City was ordered to issue a new TCT in the names of
Fraud may also be either extrinsic or intrinsic. Fraud is regarded as intrinsic where the fraudulent the respondents and their sister petitioner. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the
acts pertain to an issue involved in the original action, or where the acts constituting the fraud same was denied in an order dated 19 July 2000.
were or could have been litigated therein. The fraud is extrinsic if it is employed to deprive parties
of their day in court and thus prevent them from asserting their right to the property registered in Hence, the present petition.
the name of the applicant.
ISSUES:
The distinctions assume significance because only actual and extrinsic fraud had been accepted
and is contemplated by the law as a ground to review or reopen a decree of registration. Thus, Whether or not the Shari'a District Court erred in ordering the partition of the subject property and
relief is granted to a party deprived of his interest in land where the fraud consists in a deliberate annulment of the Transfer Certificate of Title on the basis alone of respondents' claim that Saupi
misrepresentation that the lots are not contested when in fact they are; or in willfully Moro, their predecessor-in-interest, was the one who owned the said parcel of land during his
misrepresenting that there are no other claims; or in deliberately failing to notify the party entitled lifetime, thereby disregarding the protection accorded to the persons dealing with property
to notice; or in inducing him not to oppose an application; or in misrepresenting about the identity registered under the Torrens system.
of the lot to the true owner by the applicant causing the former to withdraw his application. In all
these examples, the overriding consideration is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant RULING:
prevented a party from having his day in court or from presenting his case. The fraud, therefore,
is one that affects and goes into the jurisdiction of the court. The petition is meritorious. The first stage in an action for partition is the settlement of the issue of
ownership, and the action will not lie if the claimant has no rightful interest in the property in
Petitioner fails to convince the Court that the facts relied upon by it to justify a review of the decree dispute. In the case at bar, Hadji Munib, et al., herein respondents, failed to prove their right to the
constitute actual and extrinsic fraud. It has not adduced adequate evidence that would show that land in dispute.
respondent employed actual and extrinsic fraud in procuring the patent and the corresponding
certificate of title. Petitioner miserably failed to prove that it was prevented from asserting its right The subject property originally belonged to Gani Moro and was acquired through sale by Saupi
over the lot in question and from properly presenting its case by reason of such fraud. In fact, Moro. After Gani Moro's death, his heirs, including Andaang, offered to repurchase the land, but
other than its peremptory statement in its petition filed before the trial court that "the patentee, Saupi Moro refused. The heirs instituted a civil case for Unlawful Detainer but was dismissed by
Benjamin Guerrero, obtained the above indicated sales patent through fraud, false statement of the court. Despite the dismissal, Andaang filed for a homestead patent over the said property. It
facts and/or omission of material facts," petitioner did not specifically allege how fraud was was approved on 17 February 1955 and he was issued Letters of patent. On 6 December 1955,
perpetrated by respondent in procuring the sales patent and the certificate of title. Nor was any an Original Certificate of Title was issued in Andaang's name. In July 1956, the brothers and
evidence proffered to substantiate the allegation. Fraud cannot be presumed, and the failure of sisters of Saupi Moro filed a civil case for the annulment of the OCT and damages against
petitioner to prove it defeats it own cause. Andaang. Again, the case did not prosper. The plaintiffs did not revive the case and it was
considered abandoned.
Well-settled is the rule that the party alleging fraud or mistake in a transaction bears the burden of
proof. The circumstances evidencing fraud are as varied as the people who perpetrate it in each Andaang died intestate in 1959. On 13 April 1960, Andaang's widow and sole heir, Cristeta
case. It may assume different shapes and forms; it may be committed in as many different ways. Santiago vda. de Gani, executed an Extrajudicial Settlement and Sale adjudicating to herself the
Thus, the law requires that fraud be established, not just by preponderance of evidence, but by land in dispute and at the same time selling it to Jikirum. Consequently, a TCT was issued in the
clear and convincing evidence. name of Jikirum.

Garingan v. Garingan, GR 144095, Apr. 12, 2005 CA 141 requires the applicant for a homestead patent, to enter in possession of, improve and
cultivate the land. Petitioners, insist that Andaang did not comply with these requirements. A
FACTS: Hadji Munib Saupi Garingan, et al., herein respondents, alleged that their grandfather person deprived of the land, estate, or interest therein by virtue of a decree of registration may
Sauri Moro owned an agricultural lot, fully panted with coconut and other fruit bearing trees, avail of the remedy provided under Section 38 of Act 496. Section 38, however, contemplates of
containing an area of 11.3365 hectares. Saupi Moro acquired the land through purchase from an external fraud. In the case of Libudan vs. Gil, the Court explained the scope of external or
Gani Moro. Saupi Moro then donated the land to his daughter Insih Saupi, mother of Hadji Munib, collateral fraud as any fraudulent scheme executed by a prevailing litigant "outside the trial of the
et al. and petitioner Haymaton S. Garingan. case against the defeated party, or his agents, attorneys or witnesses, whereby said defeated
party is prevented from presenting fully and fairly his side of the case". The fraud being attributed
After the death of Saupi Moro in 1954, Haymaton and and husband Pawaki, who was also known to Andaang is not extrinsic and collateral.
as Djayari Moro, herein petitioners, took over the administration of the land. Later, petitioners
declared the land, then still untitled, in their names for taxation purposes. Petitioners refused to Granting that Andaang committed extrinsic and collateral fraud, respondents failed to avail of the
share with the respondents the income from the sale of fruits from the land. Petitioners claimed remedy provided under Section 38 of Act 496 within the prescribed period. In Nelayan, et al. vs.
that on 22 September 1969, Pawaki alleged that he bought the land from Jikirum M. Adjaluddin Nelayan, et al., this Court ruled that in the case of public land grants (patents), the one-year period
(Jikirum) and a TCT was issued in the name of Djayari Moro. Pawaki took possession of the land under Section 38 counted from the issuance of the patent by the government.
in the concept of an owner in the same year. He declared the land for taxation purposes under
Tax Declaration No. 1675. Upon registration, the land in dispute falls under the operation of Act 496 and becomes a
registered land. A homestead patent, once registered, becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens title.
Respondents filed an action for Partition and Injunction with prayer for Preliminary Injunction Instead of availing the remedy of Section 38 of Act 496, respondents filed an action for partition,
against petitioners with the Shari'a District Court, Third Shari'a Judicial District, Zamboanga City. which must fail because a Torrens title is not susceptible to collateral attack.
(f) that the defendant misled the Bureau of Lands into believing that the area applied for by him
In any event, the respondents are not the proper parties to file the action for reconveyance of the and subsequently titled in his name could be legally alienated and disposed of by the said bureau,
land in dispute. In the civil cases, respondents did not claim that the land was privately owned and when in truth the same, being foreshore land, could only be the subject of lease;
thus not proper for homestead application. They only alleged continuous possession of the land.
The respondents acknowledged that the Illegal Detainer case filed by the heirs of Gani Moro, only (g) that in the event of cancellation of the defendant's title, the parcel of land covered thereby
confirmed Saupi Moro's physical possession of the land. This, however, did not settle the issue of would revert to the Bureau of Lands;
ownership of the land.
(h) that the defendant has never attempted to eject plaintiff Gabila from the portion of Lot 2
Evidently, the land was not privately owned by Gani Moro from whom Saupi Moro acquired it. The occupied by the latter;
land in dispute was part of public domain before the issuance of OCT in the name of Andaang. If
it were otherwise, there would be no need for Andaang to file a homestead application. (i) that plaintiff Gabila did not have the opportunity to be heard in the proceedings leading to
the issuance of the defendant's title;
Respondents' action for partition effectively seeks to cancel the homestead patent and the
corresponding certificate of title. However, even if the homestead patent and the certificate of title (j) that due to the defendant's fraudulent acts and misrepresentation, plaintiff was unlawfully
were cancelled, respondents will not acquire the land in the concept of an owner. The land will deprived of that Portion of Lot 2 occupied and cultivated by him, as well as of the improvements
revert to the government and will again form part of the public domain. The proper party to bring thereon; and
such action of patent cancellation is the Government. This is provided for in Section 101 of CA
141. (k) that since the date of entry of the decree of registration awarding a certificate of title in
defendant's favor on December 18, 1964, no rights of an innocent purchaser for value have
Considering the foregoing, the respondents is not the proper party to file an action to recover supervened.
possession of the land in dispute. Further, they failed to timely avail of whatever remedy available
to them to protect whatever interest they had over the land. The complaint prayed that the decree of registration and the title issued in the defendant's name
be cancelled and/or amended with respect to the portion actually and continuously occupied and
The decision of the Shari'a District Court is set aside and another one is entered dismissing the cultivated by plaintiff Gabila, and that the said plaintiff be granted such other relief as the court
said complaint. might deem just and equitable in the premises.

Gabila v. Barriga, GR L-28917, Sept. 30, 1971 On December 8, 1967, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on the
grounds that the action being one for cancellation of a free patent and of the certificate of title
FACTS : From the order of the Court of First Instance of Davao in its Civil Case No. 4911 issued on the basis thereof, the Government, through the Solicitor General - not a private
dismissing his complaint, the plaintiff has appealed directly to this Court. individual like plaintiff Gabila - was the real party in interest; and that although the Director of
Lands was included as party plaintiff, the complaint was signed by a lawyer representing only
On December 18, 1965, Carlos S. Gabila filed a complaint against Florencio Barriga, which he plaintiff Gabila, without any showing as to who was appearing for and in behalf of the Director of
amended on July 26, 1967, primarily to include the Director of Lands as co-plaintiff. In the Lands, who - by the way - was not shown to have been authorized by the Solicitor General to
amended complaint it is alleged: enter the case as plaintiff; thus, the said Director of Lands was without legal capacity to sue.
Plaintiff Gabila opposed the motion.
(a) that from 1935 to 1953, Daniel Perez and Anacleta N. Perez, plaintiff Gabila's predecessors-
in-interest, were in lawful, continuous, open, adverse, public and uninterrupted possession and RULING : The parties were heard on the motion to dismiss. On February 9, 1968, the court below
occupation of two parcels of land situated in Bunawan, Davao City, known as Lots 1 and 2, Fis- granted the motion for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. The court was of the opinion
10887-D of District Land Office No. 20, Davao City, introducing on Lot 2 improvements consisting, that while the Director of Lands was included as a party plaintiff, there was no showing in the
among others, of a fishpond, banana plants and coconut trees most of which were already fruit- complaint that he was being represented by an authorized agent or representative; hence,
bearing; actually, the only plaintiff in the case was Carlos S. Gabila who, however, had neither legal
competence nor interest to sue the defendant for cancellation of the latter's title. According to the
(b) that since April 21, 1953, when Anacleta N. Perez died, plaintiff's wife, Leonarda P. Gabila, trial court, the real party in interest was the Republic of the Philippines, which is the only entity that
has continued the occupation of the two aforementioned lots which, being a foreshore area can legally maintain - thru the Solicitor General - an action to cancel a title issued by virtue of a
bordering on river banks, are not disposable; land patent, considering especially, as the court said, that the defendant's title has already become
indefeasible.
(c) that a portion of Lot 2 occupied and cultivated by plaintiff Gabila, containing an area of
aproximately five hectares, was surreptitiously and fraudulently surveyed and included in a sales The present motion to dismiss is actually predicated on Section 1(g), Rule 16 of the Revised Rules
application filed by the defendant with the Bureau of Lands; of Court, i.e., failure of the complaint to state a cause of action, for it alleges in paragraph 12
thereof that the plaintiff admits that he has no right to demand the cancellation or amendment of
(d) that through fraud and misrepresentation the defendant succeeded in securing in his name the defendant's title, because, even if the said title ware cancelled or amended, the ownership of
Criminal Certificate of Title No. P-1747 which included that portion of Lot 2; the land embraced therein, or of the portion thereof affected by the amendment, would revert to
the public domain. In his amended complaint the plaintiff makes no pretense at all that any part
(e) that to conceal the fraudulent manner I which he secured his title, the defendant destroyed of the land covered by the defendant's title was privately owned by him or by his predecessors-in-
plaintiff's fishpond improvements, thereby erasing old land marks; interest. Indeed, it is admitted therein that the said land was at all times a part of the public domain
until December 18, 1964, when the government issued a title thereon in favor of the defendant.
Thus, if there is any person or entity entitled to relief, it can only be the government.
In the case at bar, the plaintiff's own averments negate the existence of such a right, for it would 4. This deed of absolute sale was duly registered with the [Register] of Deeds, and the fees for
appear therefrom that whatever right might have been violated by the defendant belonged to the the registration were duly paid. Thereafter, new Transfer [Certificates] of [Title] were issued by the
government, not to the plaintiff. Plaintiff-appellant argues that although his complaint is captioned Office of the [Register] of Deeds in the Province of Cebu, for all the parcels of land, in the name
as one for cancellation of title, he has nevertheless stated therein several causes of action based [of] Enrique Toring, and attached as annex "B" and made [an] integral part of this petition;
on his alleged rights of possession and ownership over the improvements, on defendant-
appellee's alleged fraudulent acquisition of the land, and on the damages allegedly incurred by 5. That from the issuance of [Transfer Certificates] of Title, particularly August 20, 1927, plaintiffs
him (plaintiff-appellant) in relation to the improvements. These matters are merely ancillary to the have been in possession and religiously paid the real taxes due on said described lots, and
central issue of whether or not defendant-appellee's title should be cancelled or amended, and collecting the proceeds of the fruits of the land. However, during World War II, the canceled
they may not be leaned upon in an effort to make out a cause of action in relation to the said focal Original Certificate in the name of Teodosia [Boquilaga], and the Transfer [Certificates] of [Title]
issue. Indeed, the principal relief prayed for in the amended complaint is the cancellation or in the name of Enrique Toring in the books of the Register of Deeds were destroyed;
amendment of defendant-appellee's title.
6. That lately, while plaintiffs exercising their right of ownership over these parcels of land,
While it is true that the amended complaint has included the Director of Lands as a party plaintiff, defendants refused to share the proceeds and fruits of land on the reason that they owned the
the said government official is a plaintiff only in name. The amended complaint is signed by a land. The matter was referred to the Office of the Barangay Captain, and in a conference,
lawyer admittedly representing only plaintiff Carlos S. Gabila. The Solicitor General or his defendants presented Original Certificates of Title. Surprised by these Original [Certificates] of
representative, or anyone else for that matter, has not represented the Director of Lands at any [Title], plaintiffs made verification from the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cebu, and from
stage of the case. Consequently, it would appear that the inclusion of the Director of Lands in the the Regional Trial Court Branch 16, Cebu City, and discovered that defendants representing the
amended complaint without his knowledge or consent was but an afterthought of plaintiff Gabila heirs of Teodosia Boquilaga filed a petition for reconstitution of title, and succeeded in having the
engendered by his correct belief that the nature of the suit he wanted to file called for the inclusion original certificates of title reconstituted covering the four parcels of land in the name of Teodosia
of the government as a party to the case. [Boquilaga]. The petition, the decision, the reconstituted titles, and the certification to file action
are hereto attached as annexes "C", "D", "E", and "F" and as part and parcel of this petition;
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby set aside. The records of this case are ordered
returned to the court of origin where the party interested should formally implead the Director of 7. Plaintiffs were never served any notice of the petition for reconstitution of the Original
Lands, with notice to the Solicitor General, subject to terms and conditions which the trial court Certificates because the persons alleged in the petition as the actual possessor, or the adjacent
may impose, with the understanding that if the aforementioned official is not impleaded, this case lot owner alleged in the petition have long been dead, thus resulting into the success of the petition,
shall be dismissed. No special pronouncement as to costs. and the failure of plaintiffs to interpose their opposition;

Heirs of Toring v. Heirs of Boquilaga, GR 163610, Sept. 27, 2010 8. Meanwhile, in an earlier date, lot no. 1834 was reconstituted and new Certificate of Title was
issued in the name of Enrique Toring attached hereto as annex "G", and as a part of this petition;
FACTS: The case antecedents:
9. For the services rendered by the [law] office in the reconstitution of the original certificate of
On October 10, 1996, the heirs of Enrique Toring (petitioners) filed before the trial court a petition titles, lot 1835 was transferred in the name of defendants Attorneys Joseph Bernaldez, Ervin B.
for "production, delivery, surrender of documents, annulment of document" against the heirs of Estandarte, and Marlo Cugtas under transfer certificate of title no. 97615, attached and made an
Teodosia Boquilaga (respondents).nad The petition was subsequently amended to include as integral part of this petition as annex "H";
defendants Attys. Joseph Bernaldez, Earvin Estandarte and Marlo Cugtas.
10. Under P.D. 1529, registration is the operative act that conveys and affects the land, and that
Petitioners alleged the following: there is a need by plaintiffs to confirm the operative act made in the year 1927, and thus intend to
register the sale with the Register of Deeds;
3. During the lifetime of the late Teodosia Boquilaga, and more particularly on June 3, 1927, said
Teodosia Boquilaga sold to Enrique Toring now deceased, parcels of land for a consideration of 11. It is imperative for plaintiffs to take hold of the reconstituted Original [Certificates] of [Title] and
Five Hundred and Eleven Pesos (P511.00), and particularly described as follows: ar the Transfer Certificates of Title 97615 now in possession with defendants to register and confirm
the sale made in the year 1927, which documents are unjustifiably withheld by defendants;
"Lot No. 1835, Cadastral Case No. 7, Cadastral Record No. 442, Decree No. 230740, with Original
Certificate of Title No. 13720" RULING: But first, we resolve the issue of the propriety of the suit filed by the petitioners. The
nature of an action is determined by the material allegations of the complaint and the character of
"Lot No. 2248, Cadastral Case No. 7, Cad. Record No. 442 Decree No. 231111, Original the relief sought by plaintiff, and the law in effect when the action was filed irrespective of whether
Certificate of Title No. 14057" he is entitled to all or only some of such relief.20cralaw As gleaned from the averments of the
petition filed before the trial court, though captioned as for delivery or production of documents
"Lot No. 2249, Cadastral Case No. 7, Cadastral Record No. 442, Decree No. 23112 (sic) [231112], and annulment of document, petitioners' action was really for quieting of title and cancellation of
Certificate of Title No. 14167" reconstituted titles.

"Lot No. 1834, Cadastral Case No. 7, Cadastral Record No. 442 Decree No. 230739, Original Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon or doubt or uncertainty
Certificate of [Title] No. 13719" with respect to title to real property. Originating in equity jurisprudence, its purpose is to secure ".
an adjudication that a claim of title to or an interest in property, adverse to that of the complainant,
These voluntary dealings of the above described parcels of land is (sic) evidenced by a deed of is invalid, so that the complainant and those claiming under him may be forever afterward free
absolute sale written in Spanish, hereto attach[ed] as annex "A"; from any danger of hostile claim."23cralaw In such action, the competent court is tasked to
determine the respective rights of the complainant and other claimants, not only to place things in
their proper places, and to make the claimant, who has no rights to said immovable, respect and
not disturb the one so entitled, but also for the benefit of both, so that whoever has the right will been issued despite being covered by another title. Realty further impleaded through a third-party
see every cloud of doubt over the property dissipated, and he can thereafter fearlessly introduce complaint QCDF for nullity of its own title covering the same subject properties;
the improvements he may desire, as well as use, and even abuse the property as he deems fit. 3. In reply, QCDF filed a fourth-party complaint against Alvendia, et al. being the source
It should be stressed that laches is not concerned only with the mere lapse of time. of its own title, praying therefor for the reimbursement of its purchase price paid for the said
properties. However, the same was dismissed for QCDF’s lack of interest in prosecuting the case;
The following elements must be present in order to constitute laches: 4. On January 20, 1981, the trial court rendered judgment annulling Realty’s and QCDF’s
titles to the property in favor of Carpo. The same was appealed before the High Court by Realty,
(1) conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one under whom he claims, giving rise to the but the latter resolved to refer the case the Court of Appeals for determination of the merits; and
situation of which complaint is made for which the complaint seeks a remedy; 5. The CA in turn set aside the trial court’s decision and issued a new one in favor of
Realty. However, the case was subjected to the reorganization of the Judiciary, from which
(2) delay in asserting the complainant's rights, the complainant having had knowledge or notice, resulted a re-raffling of the case and later on, a reversal of the prior decision through Carpo’s MR.
of the defendant's conduct and having been afforded an opportunity to institute a suit; Further, the change from CA to IAC yielded a change in Justices assigned to the case.

(3) lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainant would assert the ISSUES:
right on which he bases his suit; and
1. WON the Special Third Civil Cases Division was conferred with jurisdiction to try and
(4) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event relief is accorded to the complainant, or the render a decision of final resolution for the Court;
suit is not held to be barred.37cralaw 2. WON a Petition for Certiorari was the proper remedy in the case;
3. WON Carpo’s title is valid as against Realty’s and QCDF”s, since Realty’s title was
Only the first element was present in this case, which occurred from the moment respondents issued when the records relative thereto was undergoing reconstitution;
refused to give petitioners' share in the fruits and proceeds of the land, claiming that they are 4. WON Carpo was an innocent purchaser for value; and
owners thereof. In the ensuing barangay proceedings, respondents presented the reconstituted 5. WON QCDF was properly impleaded to the case.
OCTs prompting petitioners to verify with the office of the registry of deeds. It was only then that
petitioners discovered that respondents indeed filed a petition for judicial reconstitution. There PROVISION(S): Secs. 4 & 8, BP 129; Art. 527, New Civil Code; Sec. 4, Rule 74, Rule 65, and
being no personal notice to them as actual possessors or adjacent lot owners, petitioners never Rule 45 of the Rules of Court; Act No. 3110; Act No. 496; Act No. 2347;
had the opportunity to file their opposition. The order of reconstitution was issued in May 1996.
Petitioners' filing of the present suit for the delivery and cancellation of said reconstituted OCTs in RULING + RATIO:
the possession of respondents on October 20, 1996, after the lapse of only five months, cannot 1. Yes.
be considered as unreasonable delay amounting to laches. • “A reading of the law will readily show that what BP 129 prohibits is appointment from
one class of divisions to another class. For instance, a Justice appointed to the Criminal Cases
Additionally, petitioners showed that they were never amiss in asserting their rights over the Divisions cannot be assigned to the Civil Cases Divisions. Justice Bidin was reassigned from the
subject lots whenever any incident threatened their peaceful possession and ownership. They Fourth Civil Cases Division, while Justice Camilon was reassigned from the Second Civil Cases
attached as annexes to the Comment/Reply dated September 4, 1997, copies of the judgment Division. The two therefore come from the same class of divisions to which they were appointed.
rendered in a criminal case for qualified theft filed against one Genaro Amoro Regala (Crim. Case Thus, the reassignment of Justices Bidin and Camilon to form the Special Third Civil Cases
No. CU-2312) and Orders issued in Civil Case No. B-571 and CAR Case No. 1197. In these Division in view of the voluntary inhibition of two (2) "regular" members, is still within legal bounds.
instances, the courts have recognized petitioners' ownership of the lands involved.38cralaw x x x”
2. Yes.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated July 11, 2003 and Resolution dated • There are two modes by which cases decided by the then Courts of First Instance in
April 5, 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 70432 are hereby REVERSED and SET their original jurisdiction may be reviewed: (1) an ordinary appeal either to the Supreme Court or
ASIDE. Petitioners Heirs of Enrique Toring are hereby declared the lawful owners of Lot Nos. to the Court of Appeals, or (2) an appeal on certiorari to the Supreme Court. To the latter category
1834, 1835, 2248 and 2249 (Cad. Case No. 7, Cad. Rec. No. 442, Decree Nos. 230739, 230740, belong cases in which only errors or questions of law are involved. Each of these modes have
231111 and 231112) situated in Bogo, Cebu. different procedural requirements. x x x Realty originally filed a Petition for certiorari with this Court
docketed as G.R. No. L-56471 questioning the decision of the Vera Court, and asking that it be
Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc. v. IAC, GR L-67451, Sept. 28, 1987 allowed to appeal directly to this Court as it was raising only questions of law. However, this Court
referred the case to the Court of Appeals "in aid of its appellate jurisdiction for proper determination
FACTS: on the merits of the appeal." It may thus be observed that even this Court treated the petition first
filed as an appeal, and not as a special civil action for certiorari. After as, a petition for review by
1. Two (2) parcels of land are in dispute for allegedly being covered by certificates of title certiorari is also a form of appeal. (People v. Resuello L-30165, August 22, 1969, 69 SCRA 35).
and registration decrees under three (3) different entities, namely Morris Carpo, Quezon City x x x Thus it was error for the IAC to hold that the Decision of the Vera Court "cannot be passed
Dev’t. and Financing Corp. (QCDF) and Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc. (Realty). Thus, Carpo upon anymore in the Court of Appeals decision because appeal and not certiorari was the proper
instituted a complaint before the CFI under Respondent Judge Vera against Realty and remedy." Precisely, petitioners brought the case to this Court on appeal, albeit by way of certiorari;
Macondray Farms, Inc. (Macondray) for the declaration of nullity of its corresponding certificate of 3. No.
title, on the ground that the same was issued by a court not sitting as a land registration court but • Applying the doctrine in the Nacua decision to LRC Case No. 657, the parties thereto
one of ordinary jurisdiction, and that the judge had no authority since the records which was made did not have to commence a new action but only had to go back to the preceding stage where
basis of the title was lost during the war and is pending reconstitution; records are available. The land registration case itself remained pending and the Court of First
2. In reply, Realty denied the allegations and countered that the Reyes Court which issued Instance of Rizal continued to have jurisdiction over it. The records were destroyed at that stage
its title was performing a purely ministerial duty, and that it was Carpo’s title that was null for having of the case when an that remained to be done was the ministerial duty of the Land Registration
Office to issue a decree of registration (which would be the basis for the issuance of an Original
Certificate of Title) to implement a judgment which had become final (See Government v. Abural, In his Answer with Counterclaim, Gallego alleged that his brother, Bernabe Foster-Gallego, owned
39 Phil. 996 [1919] at 1002; Sta. Ana v. Menla, 111 Phil. 947 [1961], 1 SCRA 1294; Heirs of the Property. Gallego denied that his brother was delinquent in the payment of real property taxes.
Cristobal Marcos v. De Banuvar, 134 Phil. 257 [1968], 26 SCRA 316). There are however Gallego asserted that his brother had never received a notice of delinquency or a notice of the
authentic copies of the decisions of the CFI and the Court of Appeals adjudicating Lots 1, 2 and 3 public auction of the Property, much less a copy of RTC-Branch 138s decision cancelling TCT No.
of Plan Psu-47035 to Estanislao Mayuga. Moreover, there is an official report of the decision of 435402. Gallego pointed out that TCT No. 435402 and Tax Declaration No. A-022-00019 clearly
this Court affirming both the CFI and the CA decisions. A final order of adjudication forms the basis indicated his brothers address as No. 15 Tiller Green S.W. Washington D.C., USA. Since his
for the issuance of a decree of registration.”; brother is the true and lawful owner of the Property, Gallego argued that the Spouses Galang
4. No. should not disturb his possession as caretaker of the Property.
• x x x Even Carpo himself cites no factual proof of his being an innocent purchaser for
value. He merely relies on the presumption of good faith under Article 527 of the Civil Code. x x x As Gallego subsequently failed to appear at the pre-trial conference and to submit his pre-trial
Carpo bought the disputed property from the Baltazars, the original registered owners, by virtue brief, RTC-Branch 146 issued an Order[9] on 16 February 1990 declaring Gallego in default and
of a deed executed before Iluminada Figueroa, Notary Public of Manila dated October 9, 1970. allowing the Spouses Galang to present their evidence ex parte. On 10 March 1990, Gallego filed
However, it was only later, on October 13, 1970, that the decree of registration in favor of the a motion to lift the order of default and to admit his pre-trial brief. On the same day, Bernabe
Baltazars was transcribed in the Registration Book for the Province of Rizal and that an Original Foster-Gallego (petitioner) filed a motion for intervention with an attached answer-in-intervention.
Certificate of Title was issued. It was on the same day, October 13, 1970, that the deed evidencing RTC-Branch 146 denied Gallegos motion but granted petitioners motion and admitted the answer-
the sale between the Baltazars and Carpo was inscribed in the Registry of Property, and the in-intervention.
Original Certificate of Title was cancelled as Transfer Certificate of Title No. 303961 in the name
of Carpo was issued. x x x Thus, at the time of sale there was as yet no Torrens title which Carpo RTC-Branch 146 set a pre-trial conference between the Spouses Galang and petitioner. However,
could have relied upon so that he may qualify as an innocent purchaser for value. Not being a the pre-trial did not push through because petitioner filed on 2 August 1990 a motion to admit
purchaser for value and in good faith, he is in no better position than his predecessors-in-interest; third-party complaint, which RTC-Branch 146 granted. Summonses were issued on third-party
5. Yes. defendant VRC, as well on the Municipality (now City), Treasurer, and Register of Deeds of
• Moreover, even as this Court agrees with QCDFC that the third-party complaint filed Paraaque. VRC failed to file an answer to the third-party complaint.
against it by Realty was procedurally defective in that the relief being sought by the latter from the
former is not in respect of Carpo's claim, policy considerations and the factual circumstances of The case was subsequently re-raffled to the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 65[10] (RTC-
the case compel this Court now to rule as well on QCDFC's claim to the disputed property. ** To Branch 65). On 4 March 1991, the Spouses Galang started presenting their evidence ex parte
rule on QCDFC's claim now is to avoid multiplicity of suits and to put to rest these conflicting claims against Gallego. Petitioner filed a motion to strike out these proceedings and to hold in abeyance
over the property. After an, QCDFC was afforded fun opportunity, and exercised its right, to prove the hearing scheduled on 8 April 1991 on the ground that not all the third-party defendants had
its claim over the land. It presented documentary as well as testimonial evidence. It was even filed their answers and pre-trial briefs. RTC-Branch 65 denied the motion in an Order dated 6 May
permitted to file a fourth-party complaint which, however, was dismissed since it failed to prosecute 1991.[11]
its case.
Gallego and petitioner jointly filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals praying to annul
DISPOSITION: Decision upholding the title of Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc. was AFFIRMED. the order. The appellate court dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Gallego and petitioner then
elevated the matter to this Court, which denied their petition and subsequent motion for
Foster-Gallego v. Galang, GR 130228, July 27, 2004 reconsideration for lack of reversible error.

FACTS: Vive Realty Corporation (VRC) acquired several properties at a public auction held by the The Spouses Galang continued to present their evidence ex parte against Gallego on 17 August
Municipal Treasurer of Paraaque (Treasurer) on 29 October 1982. Among these properties was a 1992. On 24 August 1992, they submitted their written offer of evidence and RTC-Branch 65
parcel of land (Property) with an area of 330 square meters located in Barrio Kaybiga, Paraaque, deemed the case involving the Gallego and the Spouses Galang submitted for decision. RTC-
Metro Manila, and covered by TCT No. 435402. The Treasurer executed a Final Bill of Sale[4] Branch 65 also ordered the Spouses Galang and petitioner to submit their position papers on the
over the Property in favor of VRC on 25 November 1983. VRC then filed a petition, docketed as procedure to receive further evidence in the case. Both parties complied in September 1992.
Civil Case No. 5801, to cancel the titles of the properties VRC had purchased during the public
auction. In a Decision[5] dated 19 December 1983, the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 138 In October 1992, petitioner filed a motion to inhibit Judge Abad Santos who granted the motion
(RTC-Branch 138), ordered the Register of Deeds to cancel 11 transfer certificates of title, and inhibited himself. The case was re-raffled to the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 148
including TCT No. 435402, and to issue new titles in the name of VRC. (trial court). The trial court eventually decided the original case in favor of the Spouses Galang,
and denied petitioners intervention and third-party complaint.
On 22 June 1984, the Spouses Galang purchased the Property from VRC through a Deed of
Absolute Sale.[6] The Register of Deeds later issued TCT No. (86872) 22786 over the Property in RTC: favor plaintiff. The Court of Appeals held that petitioner had no legal personality to join
the name of the Spouses Galang. The Spouses Galang took possession of the Property and had Gallegos appeal. The Court of Appeals also affirmed the decision of the trial court but deleted the
it declared in their name for taxation purposes. They diligently paid the corresponding real property award of damages to the Spouses Galang for lack of basis.
taxes.
RULING: Petitioner is Not an Indispensable Party to the Action for Quieting of Title
In April 1989, Romeo Galang came home from Saudi Arabia and discovered a hollow block fence
along the perimeter of the Property. Gallego built the fence in March 1989. Although the Spouses An indispensable party is a party who has such an interest in the controversy or subject matter
Galang brought the matter to the Barangay Lupon for possible settlement, Gallego failed to appear that a final adjudication cannot be made, in his absence, without injuring or affecting that
at the barangay hall and instead sent his lawyer. On 16 May 1989, the Spouses Galang filed a interest.[55] A person is not an indispensable party if his interest in the controversy or subject
complaint for Quieting of Title with Damages[7] against Gallego. The case was raffled to the matter is separable from the interest of the other parties, so that he will not necessarily be
Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 146[8] (RTC-Branch 146). injuriously affected by a decree that does complete justice between the other parties.[56] He is
also not indispensable if his presence would merely permit complete relief between him and those Thereafter, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss9 dated May 9, 1998, stating that the pleading
already parties to the action or will simply avoid multiple litigations.[57] asserting the claim of respondents stated no cause of action, and that the latter were not entitled
to the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, setting the same for hearing on May 21, 1998.
Petitioner, whose title RTC-Branch 138 cancelled, is not an indispensable party to the action for On the date of the hearing, the trial court issued an Order,10 which granted the respondents ten
quieting of title. The assailed decision quieting title in favor of the Spouses Galang has no (10) days from that day to file a comment, and set the date of the hearing on July 23, 1998.
appreciable effect on petitioners title. Petitioners title could still be cancelled with or without the Respondents filed a Motion to Admit Comment/Opposition to Defendant Eland,11 together with
trial courts declaration that the Spouses Galang are the owners of the Property at this time.[58] the corresponding Comment/Opposition12 dated June 8, 1998.

Further, the assailed decision does not bind petitioner. The rules on quieting of title[59] expressly On the scheduled hearing of September 23, 1998, the trial court issued an Order,13 considering
provide that any declaration in a suit to quiet title shall not prejudice persons who are not parties the Motion to Dismiss submitted for resolution due to the non-appearance of the parties and their
to the action. Given that the trial court denied petitioners intervention and struck it off from the respective counsels. The said motion was eventually denied by the trial court in an Order14 dated
records, petitioner is not a party to the instant case. Suits to quiet title are actions quasi in rem, September 25, 1998, ruling that the allegations in the complaint established a cause of action and
and the judgment in such proceedings is conclusive only between the parties to the action.[60] enjoined petitioner Eland to file its answer to the complaint within ten (10) days from receipt of the
same. Petitioner then filed two Motions for Extension to File an Answer.15
There is also no legal basis for petitioners argument that the order declaring Gallego in default
rendered petitioner the ipso facto defendant of this case. Petitioner could have but did not move Petitioner, on November 9, 1998, filed a Motion for Reconsideration16 of the trial court's Order
to substitute Gallego during the proceedings before the court a quo. dated September 25, 1998, denying the former's Motion to Dismiss. Again, petitioner filed a Motion
for Final Extension of Time to File Answer17 dated November 6, 1998. Respondents filed their
On a final note, the Court fully agrees with the Court of Appeals that petitioner is not without other Comment/Opposition to Motion for Reconsideration dated November 24, 1998. Subsequently, the
remedy. Assuming petitioner can prove his allegations, petitioner is at the least entitled to recover trial court denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration in an Order18 dated January 11, 1999.
damages from the parties that defrauded or deprived him of due process.
Meanwhile, respondents filed a Motion to Declare Defendant Eland in Default19 dated November
WHEREFORE, we DENY the instant petition and AFFIRM the Decision of 22 July 1997 of the 17, 1998. On December 4, 1998 Petitioner Eland filed its Comment (on Plaintiff's Motion to Declare
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 43439. Defendant Eland in Default)20 dated December 2, 1998, while respondents filed a Reply to
Comment (on Plaintiff's Motion to Declare Defendant Eland in Default)21 dated December 29,
SO ORDERED. 1998. Thereafter, the trial court issued an Order22 dated January 11, 1999 declaring the petitioner
in default and allowed the respondents to present evidence ex parte. Petitioner filed a Motion for
Eland Philippines, Inc. v. Garcia, GR 173289, Feb. 17, 2010 Reconsideration (of the Order dated 11 January 1999)23 dated February 5, 1999 on the trial
court's denial of its motion to dismiss and in declaring it in default. The trial court in an Order24
FACTS: Respondents Azucena Garcia, Elino Fajardo, and Teresa Malabanan, the heir of Tiburcio dated March 18, 1999, denied the former and granted the latter. In the same Order, the trial court
Malabanan, filed a Complaint2 dated March 2, 1998 for Quieting of Title with Writ of Preliminary admitted petitioner's Answer Ad Cautelam.
Injunction with the RTC, Branch XVIII, Tagaytay City against petitioner Eland Philippines, Inc.
Respondents claimed that they are the owners, in fee simple title, of a parcel of land identified as Earlier, petitioner filed its Answer Ad Cautelam (With Compulsory Counterclaim)25 dated
Lot 9250 Cad-355, Tagaytay Cadastre, Plan Ap-04-008367, situated in Barangay Iruhin, Tagaytay November 12, 1998. Respondents countered by filing a Motion to Expunge Eland's Answer from
City, containing an area of Two Hundred Forty-Four Thousand One Hundred Twelve (244,112) the Records26 dated December 2, 1998. Petitioner filed its Opposition (to Plaintiff's Motion to
square meters, by occupation and possession under the provisions of Sec. 48 (b)3 of the Public Expunge Eland's Answer from the Records)27 dated December 21, 1998, as well as a Comment
Land Law or Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended. (on Plaintiff's Motion to Expunge Eland's Answer from the Records)28 dated January 26, 1999.

For having been in continuous, public, and adverse possession as owners of the said lot for at Consequently, respondents filed a Motion to Set Presentation of Evidence Ex Parte29 dated
least thirty years, respondents stated that they were not aware of any person or entity who had a January 18, 1999, which was granted in an Order30 dated January 22, 1999.
legal or equitable interest or claim on the same lot until the time they were requesting that the lot
be declared for tax purposes. They found out that the lot was the subject of a land registration On January 28, 1999, respondents presented their evidence before the Clerk of Court of the trial
proceeding that had already been decided by the same court4 where their complaint was filed. court which ended on February 3, 1999; and, on February 10, 1999, respondents filed their Formal
They also found out that Decree No. N-217313, LRC Record No. N-62686, was already issued on Offer of Evidence.31 However, petitioner filed an Urgent Motion to Suspend Plaintiff's Ex Parte
August 20, 1997 to the petitioner pursuant to the Decision dated June 7, 1994 of the same court. Presentation of Evidence32 dated February 8, 1999. In that regard, the trial court issued an
They averred that they were not notified of the said land registration case; thus, they claimed the Order33 dated February 11, 1999 directing the Clerk of Court to suspend the proceedings.
presence of misrepresentation amounting to actual or extrinsic fraud. Thus, they argued that they
were also entitled to a writ of preliminary injunction in order to restrain or enjoin petitioner, its On May 14, 1999, respondents filed a Motion for Clarification34 as to whether or not the evidence
privies, agents, representatives, and all other persons acting on its behalf, to refrain from presented ex parte was nullified by the admission of petitioner's Answer Ad Cautelam. Petitioner
committing acts of dispossession on the subject lot. filed its Comment35 dated May 13, 1999 on the said motion for clarification.

Summons, together with a copy of the complaint, were served on the petitioner on April 7, 1998. A pre-trial conference was scheduled on May 27, 1999, wherein the parties submitted their pre-
On April 29, 1998, petitioner filed an Entry of Appearance with Motion for Extension of Time,5 trial briefs.36 However, petitioner filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings37 dated May 24, 1999
which the trial court granted6 for a period of ten (10) days within which to file a responsive on the ground that the same petitioner had filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, asking for the
pleading. Petitioner filed a Second Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer7 dated April 29, nullification of the Order dated March 18, 1999 of the trial court and for the affirmation of its earlier
1998, which the trial court likewise granted.8 Order denying petitioner's Motion to Dismiss. The petition for certiorari was subsequently denied;
and a copy of the Resolution38 dated June 14, 1999 was received by the trial court. Hence, in an
Order39 dated July 7, 1999, the trial court ruled that the reception of evidence already presented
by the respondents before the Clerk of Court remained as part of the records of the case, and that hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Consequently, the resolutions dated November 3, 1999 and
the petitioner had the right to cross-examine the witness and to comment on the documentary June 28, 2006 of Branch 18, RTC of Tagaytay City in Civil Case No. TG-1784 are hereby declared
exhibits already presented. Consequently, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration40 dated NULL and VOID.
July 19, 1999, but it was denied by the trial court in an Omnibus Order41 dated September 14,
1999. Faja v. CA, GR L-45045, Feb. 28, 1977

Eventually, respondents filed a Motion for Summary Judgment – GRANTED. FACTS: The summary judgment rendered by Judge Tomas R. Leonides of the Court of First
Petitioner appealed the Resolution of the trial court with the CA, which dismissed it. Instance of Capiz, in Civil Case No. M-355, entitled Levine Frial, plaintiff versus Felipa Faja,
Hence, the present petition. defendant", and affirmed by respondent Court of Appeals, is sought to be set aside in this Petition
for having been rendered in gross violation of law resulting in a deprivation of petitioners' right to
RULING: Under Article 476 of the New Civil Code, the remedy may be availed of only when, by due process.
reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding, which appears valid but is,
in fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, a cloud is thereby cast on the complainant’s We find this Petition meritorious under the rule that summary judgment may be rendered only
title to real property or any interest therein. The codal provision reads: when, except as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law, which is not the situation between
Article 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of the parties in this case. 1
any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective
but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to Levine Frial filed with the Court of First Instance of Capiz, Branch 111, situated in Mambusao,
said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. Capiz, a complaint docketed as Civil Case No. M-355 for "Recovery of Possession and Damages"
of a parcel of land situated in Barrio San Agustin, Dumalag, Capiz, with an area of 235,854 square
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any meters more or less, covered by Original Certificate of Title No. RO-1496 in the name of Indalecio
interest therein. Frial, father of Levine Frial. The complaint alleged that since 1945 up to the present (the complaint
is dated April 15, 1975) the defendant Felipa Faja had been illegally possessing and occupying
In turn, Article 477 of the same Code identifies the party who may bring an action to quiet title, the above-mentioned property without the knowledge and consent of the registered owner,
thus: Indalecio Frial now deceased, nor of his heirs, one of whom is Levine Frial; that when plaintiff Frial
came to know that Felipa Faja was occupying the property the former immediately demanded its
Article 477. The plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in the real property which return but Faja refused, hence, the complaint for recovery of possession of the land in question
is the subject-matter of the action. He need not be in possession of said property. and the unearned income from the land during the period of not less than 30 years amounting to
around P150,000.00. 2
It can thus be seen that for an action for quieting of title to prosper, the plaintiff must first have a
legal, or, at least, an equitable title on the real property subject of the action and that the alleged Defendant Felipa Faja in her Answer specifically denied under oath the allegations in the complaint
cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid. So it is that in Robles, et al. vs. CA,55 we as to the ownership of plaintiff Frial, and by way of special and affirmative defenses claimed: that
ruled: she is the lawful owner and in actual possession of the property which is Identical to Lot No. 4010
of the Cadastral Survey of Dumalag, Capiz, which she inherited from her father, Marcelino Faja,
It is essential for the plaintiff or complainant to have a legal title or an equitable title to or interest who died in 1925, the latter in turn having inherited the same property from his father, Antonio
in the real property which is the subject matter of the action. Also, the deed, claim, encumbrance Faja, who died in 1915; that she and her predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the
or proceeding that is being alleged as a cloud on plaintiff’s title must be shown to be in fact invalid property publicly, peacefully, continuously, and adversely, in the concept of owners, for more than
or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. 60 years, the property having been declared for taxation purposes in the name of Marcelino Faja
under Tax Declaration No. 4807, revised under Tax Declaration No. 5523 in the year 1921, and
Verily, for an action to quiet title to prosper, two (2) indispensable requisites must concur, namely: presently in the name of Felipa Faja under Tax Declaration No. 5523 and for which the land taxes
(1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property have been paid since the time Felipa Faja's predecessors have been in possession; that Felipa
subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting Faja is actually living on the land in question, and that the same is planted with coconut trees,
cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie mangoes, bananas, santol, buri while around 8 hectares are devoted to rice and corn that neither
appearance of validity or legal efficacy. plaintiff Levine Frial nor his father Indalecio Frial ever lived on or possessed said property "even
for a single moment", and any Certificate of Title secured by Indalecio Frial was obtained through
Respondents, in their Complaint, claim that they have become the owners in fee-simple title of the fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation, the latter not being the owner thereof and not having
subject land by occupation and possession under the provisions of Sec. 48 (b) of the Public Land occupied or possessed the property in concept of owner; that as her counterclaim, defendant Faja
Law or Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended. Thus, it appears that the first requisite has been prays that she be declared the lawful owner of the property, that plaintiff Frial be directed to
satisfied. Anent the second requisite, respondents enumerated several facts that would tend to reconvey the property to her in the sense that the Certificate of Title covering said property be
prove the invalidity of the claim of the petitioner. All of these claims, which would correspond to cancelled and, in lieu thereof, a Transfer Certificate of Title be issued in her favor. 3
the two requisites for the quieting of title, are factual; and, as discussed earlier, the petitioner
interposed its objections and duly disputed the said claims, thus, presenting genuine issues that In his Reply to Felipa Faja's, plaintiff Levine Frial denied that the Certificate of Title of Indalecio
can only be resolved through a full-blown trial. Frial was secured through fraud and misrepresentation, and alleged that Faja's right to question
the validity of the Title had prescribed. 4
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari of petitioner Eland Philippines, Inc. is hereby
GRANTED, and the decision dated February 28, 2006 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. After all responsive pleadings were filed, the case was called for a pre-trial conference during
CV No. 67417, which dismissed the appeal of petitioner Eland Philippines, Inc. and affirmed the which Judge Leonides directed the parties to submit memoranda on the question of whether or
resolutions dated November 3, 1999 and June 28, 2006 of Branch 18, RTC of Tagaytay City, is not a summary judgment may be promulgated. 5
better situation can be conceived at the moment for Us to apply this rule on equity than that of
In his Memorandum filed with the trial court, plaintiff Levine Frial sustained the view that a herein petitioners whose mother, Felipa Faja, was in possession of the litigated property for no
summary judgment may properly be issued on the basis of the pleadings inasmuch as the only less than 30 years and was suddenly confronted with a claim that the land she had been occupying
issues to be resolved were: and cultivating all these years, was titled in the name of a third person. We hold that in such a
situation the right to quiet title to the property, to seek its reconveyance and annul any certificate
(a) Can a registered owner of a piece of land who has acquired title thereto for almost 35 of title covering it, accrued only from the time the one in possession was made aware of a claim
years still recover possession thereof from actual occupants who claim long and continuous adverse to his own and it is only then that the statutory period of prescription commences to run
possession of the same property but without title? against such possessor.

(b) Is reconveyance of a titled property still legally possible, considering that a period of (2) The existence of a Certificate of Title in the name of respondent Frial's father is not
more than 10 years had elapsed since the issuance of the decree of registration? (p. 36, rollo) conclusive on the question of ownership of the land in controversy, because the validity of such a
certificate is put in issue by allegations of fraud and misrepresentation by the defendant below,
On the other hand, Felipa Faja in her Memorandum averred that the petition for a summary Felipa Faja. Petitioners herein correctly invoked in their Petition for certiorari filed before
judgment should be denied as there was a genuine controversy between the parties which respondent tribunal, what this Court stated in Monticines, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al.,
required a trial on the merits and that the alleged prescription of her counterclaim for reconveyance September 4, 1973, 53 SCRA 14, through Justice Enrique M. Fernando, to wit:
cannot be the subject of a summary judgment, aside from the fact that her cause of action for the
reconveyance to her of the property arose only from the moment she was served copy of the Nor does the mere fact that respondent-appellee Marcelo Coral could show a certificate of Torrens
complaint which was in 1975, consequently, her counterclaim was filed well within the statutory Title in his favor conclude the matter, the question of fraud having been, reasonably raised and
period. 6 the sought. Only recently, in Philippine Commercial and lndustrial Bank v. Villalva, (L-28194,
November 24, 1972, 48 SCRA 31) this Court had occasion to state: 'There is, however, a
In an order dated December 3, 1975, the trial Judge sustained Levine Frial's submission stating: countervailing doctrine, certainly not of lesser weight, that mitigates the harshness of the iron-clad
application of the principle attaching full faith and credit to a Torrens certificate. It is inspired by
It appearing from the complaint and the answer, as well as the annexes, thereto, and the written the highest concept of what is fair and what is equitable. It would be a sad day for the law if it were
arguments of the parties, that there is no genuine issue as to material fact, except as to the amount to be oblivious to the demands of justice. The acceptance accorded the Torrens system of
of (images, it is ordered that a summary judgment be as it is hereby entered in favor of the plaintiff, registration would be impaired if it could be utilized to perpetrate fraud and chicanery. If it were
and this case is set for trial on the sole issue of damages on December 22,1975, at 8:00 on the thus, then no stigma would attach to a claim based solely on a narrow and literal reading of a
morning. statutory prescription, devoid of any shadow of moral right. That is not the juridical norm as
recognized by this Court. Deceit is not to be countenanced; duplicity is not to be rewarded Witness
SO ORDERED. (p. 45, Ibid.) the favor with which jurisprudence has looked on the action for reconveyance as well as the
recognition of the constructive trust. There is thus the stress on (Emphasis Ours) 12
A motion for reconsideration was filed with the trial court 7 but the same was denied for lack of
merit in all order dated February 9, 1976. 8 It is regrettable to say the least that the above pronouncements of this Court failed to impress
respondent tribunal with the merits of petitioners' case.
Because Felipa Faja died on November 25, 1975, her children, all surnamed Gardose, in
substitution for their deceased mother, filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for certiorari (CA- (3) There are material facts to be inquired into and resolved on the basis of evidence
G.R. No. SP-05151- R) and prayed that the aforequoted order for summary judgment be set aside. adduced by the parties which will determine the legal precepts to be applied, among which are:
Respondent Appellate Court through its Eighth Division dismissed the Petition holding that " ... a (a) the circumstances which led to the issuance in 1950 of Original Certificate of Title RO-1496, a
summary judgment is proper as there is no genuine issue as to any material fact", reasoning that reconstituted title of a supposed Original Certificate of Title No. 23257 allegedly issued on
inasmuch as the disputed property is covered by an Original Certificate of Title, any action to annul December 12, 1940, pursuant to a decree of registration No. 732588 dated November 5, 1940,
that title on the ground of fraud prescribes after the lapse of 10 years from the issuance of the title which was claimed to have been lost; (b) explanation, if any, for the inaction of the alleged i
and therefore the counterclaim for reconveyance pleaded in the answer of Felipa Faja cannot be registered owner Indalecio Frial and of his heirs for a period of 30 years to take possession of the
sustained. land in question thereby permitting Felipa Faja to cultivate and receive for herself the income from
the produce of the land which as estimated by now respondent Frial amounted to around
RULING: We do not agree with respondent Court for the following reasons: P150,000.00 for the entire period; and (c) the claim of ownership and possession of Felipa Faja
and her predecessors-in- interest which allegedly date as far back as 60 years prior to the filing of
(1) The counterclaim of Felipe Faja for reconveyance to her of the litigated property has not Frial's complaint in 1975, and her assertions of fraud and misrepresentation committed by
prescribed. It is an established rule that an action to quiet title to property in the possession of Indalecio Frial in registering the property in his name. All these matters cannot simply be
plaintiff is inprescriptible. 10 Inasmuch as it is alleged in paragraph 3 of Frial's complaint, that summarily disposed of in favor of respondent Frial and adversely against petitioners without
Felipa Faja has been in possession of the property since 1945 up the present or for a period of 30 evidence adduced on their conflicting claims. 13
years, her cause of action for reconveyance, which in effect seeks to quiet her title to the property,
falls within that rule. If at all, the period of prescription began to run against Felipa Faja only from In conclusion, We state that while this Court desires to give full encouragement to trial courts to
the time she was served with copy of the complaint in 1975 giving her notice that the property she take advantage of and apply the provisions of the Rules of Court on summary judgment as
was occupying was titled in the name of Indalecio Frial. There is settled jurisprudence that one valuable aids to an expeditious disposition of cases, We cannot but reiterate what was said and
who is in actual possession of a piece of land claiming to be owner thereof may wait until his held in Constantino Hon. Estenzo, et al., L-40403, July 31, 1975, and reiterated in Auman, et al.,
possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right, the reason vs. Hon. Estenzo, et al., L- 40500, February 27, 1976, to wit:
for the rule being, that his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing right to the seek the aid
of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and ... The demands of a fair, impartial, and wise administration of justice call for a faithful adherence
its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed only by one who is in possession. 11 No to legal precepts on procedure which ensure to litigants the opportunity to present their evidence
and secure a ruling on all the issues presented in the respective pleadings. "Shortcuts" in judicial
processes are to be avoided where they impede rather than promote a judicious dispensation of Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the
justice. falsehoods mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section shall suffer respective
penalties provided therein.
Again, in Gregorio Lorenzo and Felisa Lavilla vs. The Hon. Numeriano G. Estenzo, et al., L43306,
October 29, 1976, this Court set aside a summary judgment rendered by respondent Judge In that case of People v. Cruz, supra, the accused Rufo B. Cruz failed up an application form (Civil
Estenzo of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, reiterating the rule that summary judgment can only Service Form No. 2) for the patrolman examination. He stated therein that he had never been
be entertained where there are no questions of fact in issue or where the material allegations of accused, indicted or tried for violation of any law, ordinance or regulation before any court, when
the pleadings are not disputed. 14 in truth and in fact, as the accused well knew, he had been prosecuted and tried before the Justice
of the Peace of Cainta, Rizal, for different crimes. The application was signed and sworn to by him
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals and the disputed before the municipal mayor of Cainta, Rizal.
Order of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of respondent Levine Frial are hereby
set aside, and the Presiding Judge of Branch III, Court of First Instance of Capiz, is directed to This Court in that case held:
proceed with the trial on the merits of Civil Case No. M-355. With costs against private respondent
Levine Frial. This article is similar to Section 3 of Act No. 1697 of the Philippine Commission, which was
formerly the law punishing perjury. Under said section 3 of that Act, this Court, in the case of
So Ordered. United States v. Tupasi Molina (29 Phil. 119), held that a person, who stated under oath in his
application to take police examination that he had never been convicted of any crime, when as a
Diaz v. People, GR 65006, Oct. 31, 1990 matter of fact he has previous convictions, committed perjury. The facts in that case are almost
exactly analogous to those in the present, and we find no reason, either in law or in the arguments
FACTS: That on or about the 5th day of December 1972, in the Municipality of San Fernando, of the Solicitor General to modify or reverse the conclusion of this Court therein. More so, because
Province of Pampanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above- all the elements of the offense of perjury defined in Art. 183 of the Revised Penal Code concur in
named accused, Reolandi M. DIAZ, then a Senior Clerk at the Jose Abad Santos High School the present case.
and, therefore, a public employee, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit
falsification of official documents, to wit: by executing and filing in the office of the Civil Service The elements of the crime of perjury are —
Commission of said municipality a Personal Data Sheet, CS Form No. 212(65), an official
document, stating and malting it appear therein that he was a fourth year Bachelor of Arts student (a) That the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material
in 1950-54 at the Cosmopolitan and Harvardian Colleges which document is a requirement for his matter.
reappointment as School Administrative Assistant I of the Jose Abad Santos High School and
wherein the academic requirement to said Position is at least a fourth year college undergraduate, (b) That the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to
when in truth and in fact, the said accused well knew that the statement is false and he did not receive and administer oath.
reach the fourth year in a Bachelor of Arts degree course, and consequently, by reason of said
untruthful narration of facts, his appointment to the said position was approved by the Civil Service (c) That in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a and deliberate assertion of a
Commission. falsehood.
All contrary to law.
(d) That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made
After trial following a plea of not guilty upon arraignment, petitioner was found guilty as charged. for a legal purpose.
The dispositive portion of the trial court's decision is as follows:
All the foregoing elements are present in the case at bar.
WHEREFORE and in view of all the foregoing, this Court finds the accused Reolandi M. Diaz
guilty as charged of the crime of falsification of official document penalized under Article 171, Perjury under Art. 183 of the Revised Penal Code carries a lesser penalty. The penalty for this
paragraph 4, of the Revised Penal Code, and he is therefore sentenced to suffer the indeterminate crime is arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period. Since
penalty of imprisonment of two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, there is no mitigating and aggravating circumstance the penalty should be imposed in its medium
as minimum, to six (6) years and (1) day of prision mayor, as maximum, and to pay a fine of ONE period. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty should be from four (4) months of
THOUSAND (P1,000.00) PESOS without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. arresto mayor as minimum to one (1) year and one (1) day of prision correccional as maximum.

Costs against the accused. (pp. 55-56, Rollo) WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations, the decision appealed from is modified as
follows:
Petitioner appealed the aforesaid judgment of conviction to the Intermediate Appellate Court, said
appeal being docketed thereat as CA-G.R. No. 24580- Cr. (a) The accused Reolandi Diaz is found guilty of the crime of perjury defined and penalized
Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied, hence, the present recourse. under Art. 183 of the Revised Penal Code; and

RULING: Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. The penalty (b) The accused is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of from four (4) months of arrests
of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be mayor as minimum to one (1) year and one (1) day of prision correccional as maximum.
imposed upon any person who, knowingly making untruthful statements and not being included in
the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath or make an affidavit upon any SO ORDERED.
material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the
law so requires.
Republic v. Vera, GR L-35778, Jan. 27, 1983  Land was found to be an Unclassified Region of Obando, Bulacan per BF LC Map No. 637,
• GR No. L-35778 certified March 1, 1927. However, on-the-spot inspection conducted by a representative of
1. Martinez filed for an application for registration of land under Act. 496 this Office, disclosed that the same was devoid of any forest growth and forms part of a
2. The land was a subject of cadastral proceeding wherein the Commissioner of Land well-developed and 100 percent producing fishponds. 2 houses of light materials were
Registration submitted a report to the lower court stating that the land applied for is inside Lot erected within the area for the caretakers temporary dwelling.
No. 626 of the Cadastral Survey of Mariveles Bataan  CA Affirmed RTC: in favor of the Valerianos
• GR. No. L-35779 ISSUES:
1. Thelman Taalega filed an application for registration under Act No.496 of 2 parcels of land. 1. W/N the Courts can reclassify public land - NO
2. Upon order of the court the Land Registration Commission filed a report stating that the 2. W/N the Valerianos are entitled to judicial confirmation of title - NO
parcels of land: HELD: CA reverse
• Does not appear to have been passed upon and approved by the DOL
• The lot does not appear to overlap with any previously titled property.
3. At the hearing, Fiscal Guzman, appearing for the Government, submitted a certification that 1. NO
the tract of land , as surveyed for Tanalega was found to be within the Alienable and Disposable
Block as certified by the Bureau of Forestry.
 In effect, what the Courts a quo have done is to release the subject property from the
unclassified category, which is beyond their competence and jurisdiction
• CFI of Bataan, in two separate decisions, confirmed the titles to subject parcels of land in
favor of Martinez and Tanalega.  The classification of public lands is an exclusive prerogative of the Executive Department
• Hence, this petition. of the Government and not of the Courts.
o Republic argued that the Lot applied for was declared public land by the decision of the  In the absence of such classification, the land remains as unclassified land until it is
Cadastral Court and such being the case, the lower court is without jurisdiction over the subject released therefrom and rendered open to disposition.
matter of the application for voluntary registration. 2. NO
o Petitioner likewise stressed that the lands in question can no longer be subject to  Regalian doctrine: all lands of the public domain belong to the State, and that the State is
registration by voluntary proceedings, for they have already been subjected to compulsory the source of any asserted right to ownership in land and charged with the conservation of
registration proceedings under the Cadastral Act. such patrimony.
ISSUE: W/N the lots may be registered  if land is w/in the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Forest Development, it would be beyond the
HELD: NO. jurisdiction of the Cadastral Court to register it under the Torrens System
 Since the subject property is still unclassified, whatever possession Applicants may have
1. As per the report of the Commissioner of Land Registration, the land is entirely inside Lot had, and, however long, cannot ripen into private ownership
No. 626 of the Cadastral Survey of Mariveles Bataan and that the subject lots were declared
Public Land in the decision in a cadastral proceeding.
 The conversion of subject property into a fishpond by Applicants, or the alleged titling of
properties around it, does not automatically render the property as alienable and
2. In a cadastral proceedings any person claiming any interest in any part of the lands object
disposable.
of the petition is required by Section 9 of Act No. 2259 to file an answer on or before the return
day or within such further time as may be allowed by the court  Applicants' remedy lies in the release of the property from its present classification
3. In the instant cases, private respondents apparently either did not file their answers in the  . In fairness to Applicants, and it appearing that there are titled lands around the subject
aforesaid cadastral proceedings or failed to substantiate their claims over the portions they were property, petitioners-officials should give serious consideration to the matter of
then occupying, otherwise, titles over the portions subject of their respective claims would have classification of the land in question.
been issued to them. The Cadastral Court must have declared the lands in question public
lands, and its decision had already become final and conclusive. Viewmaster Construction Corp. v. Maulit, GR 136283, Feb. 29, 2000
4. Respondents are now barred by prior judgment to assert their rights over the subject land,
under the doctrine of res judicata. A cadastral proceeding is one in rem and binds the whole FACTS: The undisputed facts were summarized by the Court of Appeals as follows:
world. Under this doctrine, parties are precluded from re-litigating the same issues already
determined by final judgment. "The subject property is known as the Las Pias property registered in the name of Peltan
Development Inc. (now State Properties Corporation) covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
Director of Lands v. CA, GR L-58867, June 22, 1984 (S-17992) 12473-A situated in Barrio Tindig na Manga, Las Pias, Rizal.

FACTS: "The Chiong/Roxas family collectively owns and controls State Investment Trust, Inc. (formerly
 Land situated in Obando, Bulacan State Investment House, Inc.) and is the major shareholder of the following corporations, namely:
State Land Investment Corporation, Philippine Development and Industrial Corporation and
 May 10, 1976: The Valerianos claimed that they are the co-owners in fee simple of the land Stronghold Realty Development.
applied for partly through:
 inheritance - 1918; and "Sometime in 1995, the said family decided to give control and ownership over the said
 purchase - May 2, 1958 corporations to only one member of the family, through the process of bidding among the family
 Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of the Bureau of Forest members/stockholders of the said companies. It was agreed that the bidder who acquires 51% or
Development opposed the application on the principal ground that the land applied for is more of the said companies shall be deemed the winner.
within the unclassified region of Obando, Bulacan, per BF Map LC No. 637 dated March 1,
1927; and that areas within the unclassified region are denominated as forest lands and do "Defendant Allen Roxas, one of the stockholders of State Investment Trust, Inc. applied for a loan
not form part of the disposable and alienable portion of the public domain with First Metro Investment, Inc. (First Metro for brevity) in the amount of P36,500,000.00 in order
to participate in the bidding. Es msc
Moreover, the CA also ruled that a notice of lis pendens may be registered only when an action
"First Metro granted Allen Roxas' loan application without collateral provided, however, that he directly affects the title to or possession of the real property. In the present case, the proceedings
procure a guarantor/surety/solidary co-debtor to secure the payment of the said loan. instituted by petitioner affected the title or possession incidentally only, not directly.

"Petitioner Viewmaster agreed to act as guarantor for the aforementioned loan in consideration Hence, this Petition.
for its participation in a Joint Venture Project to co-develop the real estate assets of State
Investment Trust, Inc. RULING: First Issue: Description of Property

"After a series of negotiations, petitioner Viewmaster and defendant Allen Roxas agreed that Petitioner contends that the absence of the property's technical description in either the notice of
should the latter prevail and win in the bidding, he shall sell to petitioner fifty percent (50%) of the lis pendens or the Complaint is not a sufficient ground for rejecting its application, because a copy
total eventual acquisitions of shares of stock in the State Investment Trust, Inc., at a purchase of TCT No. (S-17992) 12473-A specifically describing the property was attached to and made an
price equivalent to the successful bid price per share plus an additiona1 ten percent (10%) per integral part of both documents.
share.
On the other hand, respondents argue that petitioner failed to provide an accurate description of
"As a result of the loans granted by First Metro in consideration of and upon the guaranty of the Las Pias property, which was merely referred to as a "parcel of land."
petitioner Viewmaster, defendant Allen Roxas, eventually gained control and ownership of State
Investment Trust, Inc. The notice of lis pendens described the property as follows:

"However, notwithstanding the lapse of two (2) years since defendant Allen Roxas became the "A parcel of land situated in the Barrio of Tindig na Manga, Municipality of Las Pias, Province of
controlling stockholder of State Investment Trust, Inc., he failed to take the necessary action to Rizal x x x containing an area of Seven Hundred Eighty Six Thousand One Hundred Sixty Seven
implement the Joint Venture Project with petitioner Viewmaster to co-develop the subject (786,167) square meters, more or less."
properties.
By itself, the above does not adequately describe the subject property, pursuant to Section 14 of
"Thus, petitioner's counsel wrote defendant Allen Roxas, reiterating petitioner's demand to comply Rule 13 of the Rules of Court and Section 76 of Presidential Decree (PD) No.1529. It does not
with the agreement to co-develop the Las Pias Property and to set in operation all the necessary distinguish the said property from other properties similarly located in the Barrio of Tindig na
steps towards the realization of the said project. Manga, Municipality of Las Pias, Province of Rizal. Indeed, by the above description alone, it
would be impossible to identify the property.
"On September 8, 1995, petitioner Viewmaster filed a Complaint for Specific Performance,
Enforcement of Implied Trust and Damages against State Investment Trust, Inc. Northeast Land In the paragraph directly preceding the description quoted above, however, petitioner specifically
Development, Inc., State Properties Corporation (formerly Peltan Development, Inc.) and stated that the property referred to in the notice of lis pendens was the same parcel of land covered
defendant Allen Roxas, in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of State Investment Trust, Inc., and by TCT No. (S-17992) 12473-A:
Chairman of Northeast Land Development, Inc., State Properties Corporation, which was
docketed as Civil Case No.65277. Esmm is "Please be notified that on 08 September 1995, the [p]laintiff in the above-entitled case filed an
action against the above-named [d]efendants for specific performance, enforcement of an implied
"On September 11,1995, petitioner Viewmaster filed a Notice of Lis Pendens with the Register of trust and damages, now pending in the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch 166, which action
Deeds of Quezon City and Las Pias for the annotation of a Notice of Lis Pendens on Transfer involves a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate Title (TCT) No. (S-17992) 12473-A,
Certificate of Title No. (S-17992) 12473- A, registered in the name of Peltan Development, Inc. registered in the name of Peltan Development Incorporated which changed its corporate name to
(now State Properties Corporation). State Properties Corporation, one of the [d]efendants in the aforesaid case. The said parcel of
land is more particu1arly described as follows: Ex sm
"In a letter dated September 15, 1995, the respondent Register of Deeds of Las Pias denied the
request for annotation of the Notice of Lis Pendens on the following grounds: 'A parcel of land situated in the Barrio of Tindig na Manga, Municipality of Las Pias, Province of
Rizal x x x containing an area of Seven Hundred Eighty Six Thousand One Hundred Sixty Seven
1. the request for annotation and the complaint [do] not contain an adequate description of the (786,167) square meters, more or less.'
subject property;
"Request is therefore made [for] your good office to record this notice of pendency of the
2. petitioner's action only has an incidental effect on the property in question. Esmso aforementioned action in TCT No. (S-17992) 12473-A for all legal purposes."[10]

"On September 20, 1995, petitioner filed an appeal to the respondent Land Registration Authority, As earlier noted, a copy of the TCT was attached to and made an integral part of both documents.
which was docketed as Consulta No. 2381. Consequently, the notice of lis pendens submitted for registration, taken as a whole, leaves no
doubt as to the identity of the property, the technical description of which appears on the attached
"On December 14, 1995, the Respondent Land Registration Authority issued the assailed TCT. We stress that the main purpose of the requirement that the notice should contain a technical
Resolution holding that petitioner's 'Notice of Lis Pendens' was not registrable." description of the property is to ensure that the same can be distinguished and readily identified.
In this case, we agree with petitioner that there was substantial compliance with this requirement.
In affirming the ruling of the LRA, the Court of Appeals held that petitioner failed to adequately
describe the subject property in the Complaint and in the application for the registration of a notice In this light, the CA ruling left unprotected petitioner's claim of co-development over the Las Pias
of lis pendens. The CA noted that while Transfer Certificate of Title No. (S-17992) 12473-A property. Hence, until the conflicting rights and interests are threshed out in the civil case pending
indicated six parcels of land, petitioner's application mentioned only one parcel. before the RTC, it will be in the best interest of the parties and the public at large that a notice of
the suit be given to the whole world.
complaint that both the Decreto No. 6145 and the owner’s copy of TCT No. 23377 were false,
The Court is not here saying that petitioner is entitled to the reliefs prayed for in its Complaint spurious and fabricated
pending in the RTC. Verily, there is no requirement that the right to or the interest in the property
subject of a lis pendens be proven by the applicant. The Rule merely requires that an affirmative The Court held that, a decree of registration binds the land and quiets title thereto, is conclusive
relief be claimed.[24] A notation of lis pendens neither affects the merits of a case nor creates a upon all persons and cannot be reopened or revived after the lapse of one year after entry of the
right or a lien.[25] It merely protects the applicant's rights, which will be determined during the trial. decree.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed Decision of the Court of CA: Likewise DENIED the appeal
Appeals REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Las Pias Register of Deeds is directed to cause the
annotation of lis pendens in TCT No. (S-17992) 12473-A. No costs. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE ASSAILED LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS IS THE
“APPROPRIATE PROCEEDING” CONTEMPLATED IN THIS HONORABLE COURT’S
SO ORDERED. PRONOUNCEMENT IN “GUIDO CASE”? IN THE ALTERNATIVE, WHETHER OR NOT AN
ACTION FOR ‘RECONVEYANCE’ BEING MAINTAINED BY THE RESPONDENTS IS THE
Francisco v. Rojas, GR 167120, Apr. 23, 2014 “APPROPRIATE PROCEEDING”?

FACTS: [Respondent] Emiliana M. Rojas is the widow of the late Jose Rojas, while the other HELD: In disputing respondents’ contention that the “appropriate proceeding” should be an action
[respondents] are the children of the spouses. for reconveyance, petitioner states that such action may be proper but is still not an exclusive
remedy. He maintains that actual fraud in securing a title must be proved so as to succeed in an
On the other hand, Rosalina V. Francisco, [petitioner] Rodolfo V. Francisco, and Carmela V. action for reconveyance, but the Court already held in Guido that TCT No. 23377 is authentic and
Francisco, hereafter collectively referred to as the Franciscos, are the applicants for registration genuine; hence, it is assumed that there is no infirmity or defect therein. Also, an action for
in Land. reconveyance cannot be availed of like an application for registration of land as it would be
dismissed forthwith on the ground of prescription.
Subject of the controversy is a portion of 3,181.74 hectares, vast track of land, known as the
Hacienda de Angono, in Angono, Rizal. The entire hacienda used to be owned by one Don A land registration court has no jurisdiction to order the registration of land already decreed in the
Buenaventura Guido y Santa Ana upon whose death left a portion thereof, to his two (2) sons name of another in an earlier land registration case. Issuance of another decree covering the same
Francisco Guido and Hermogenes Guido. land is, therefore, null and void.

Sometime in September 1911, Decreto No. 6145, covering the same hectare portion of Hacienda Truly, one of the appropriate legal remedies that should have been availed of by the Franciscos
de Angono was issued in favor of the brothers Francisco and Hermogenes. On the basis thereof, is an action for reconveyance. Contrary to petitioner’s declaration, proof of actual fraud is not
Original Certificate of Title over the same hectares was issued in the names of the two (2) brothers. required as it may be filed even when no fraud intervened such as when there is mistake in
Nine (9) years later, or sometime in 1942, the heirs of Francisco and Hermogenes adjudicated including the land for registration. In the action for reconveyance, the decree of registration is
among themselves the same hectares and transferred the one-half (1/2) portion thereof to Jose highly respected as incontrovertible; what is sought instead is the transfer of the property
A. Rojas, predecessor-in-interest of the [respondents] Rojases. wrongfully or erroneously registered in another’s name to its rightful owner or to the one with a
better right.
Confusingly, some few months thereafter, the heirs of Guido y Santa Ana requested the then Land
Registration Commission (now, Land Registration Authority) to issue the corresponding original An action for reconveyance resulting from fraud prescribes four years from the discovery of the
certificate of title.The request, however, was denied by the said office. fraud and if it is based on an implied or a constructive trust it prescribes ten (10) years from the
alleged fraudulent registration or date of issuance of the certificate of title over the property.
Subsequently, the entire parcel of land covered by Decreto No. 6145 was subdivided into twenty- However, an action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust is imprescriptible if
one (21) lots and twenty-one (21) different certificates of title were issued in lieu of the the plaintiff or the person enforcing the trust is in possession of the property. In effect, the action
reconstituted TCT No. 23377. for reconveyance is an action to quiet the property title, which does not prescribe.

Thereafter, the heirs who executed the aforesaid document of extrajudicial settlement, including In this case, the Franciscos claim to be in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession
the now spouses Jose Rojas and Emiliana Rojas, sold the property to Pacil Management and occupation of the subject lots. It appears that they never lost possession of said properties,
Corporation (Pacil, for short), and new titles were issued in favor of Pacil on June 26, 1976. Three and as such, they are in a position to file the complaint with the trial court to protect their alleged
(3) months later, or on August 26, 1976, Pacil reconveyed all the 21 lots to the former owners. rights and clear whatever doubts has been cast thereon.
“WHEREFORE, the Court hereby declares the Franciscos are the true and absolute owners of
Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Torres, GR L-24559, July 22, 1981

The aforequoted decision having become final and executory, the Franciscos filed with the same REYES, J.B.L., J.:
court a petition for the issuance of a decree of registration. The court directed the Commissioner
of Land Registration to issue the desired decree. Sustaining a motion to dismiss of defendant J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc., the Court of First Instance
of Manila, by order of 20 January 1962, ordered the dismissal of the complaint, in its Civil Case
To complicate matters, it appears in the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, the Republic of the No. 48909, for improper venue. Plaintiff appealed directly to this Court on points of law.
Philippines, represented by the Solicitor General, filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of
Decreto No. 6145 and the owner’s duplicate copy of TCT No. 23377 against the heirs of Francisco The complaint, dated 4 December 1961, recites in substance that since prior to 1813 to his death,
Guido and Hermogenes Guido, the spouses Jose Rojas and Emiliana Rojas, the Pacil one Telesforo Deudor was the sole owner of a parcel of land situated in Matalahib, Tatalon and
Development Corporation and Interport Resources Corporation, it being alleged in the same Masambong, Quezon City, with an area of 50 quiñones1; that when Telesforo Deudor died he
was succeeded by his son, Tomas Deudor, who sold one and a half quiñones of the land to one shows that the primary objective and nature of the action is to recover the parcel of land itself
Juliana @ Juana de la Cruz; that when the latter died in 1944 she was succeeded by her only son, because to execute in favor of appellant the conveyance requested there is need to make a finding
Eustaquio Alquiros; that on 20 October 1951, Alquiros sold to the plaintiff, Dominga Torres, a that he is the owner of the land which in the last analysis resolves itself into an issue of ownership.
portion of 690 square meters for a consideration of P2,760.00, as evidenced by a public instrument Hence, the action must be commenced in the province where the property is situated pursuant to
(Annex "A"); that to quiet title to their property of 50 quiñones the successors in interest of Tomas Section 3, Rule 5, of the Rules of Court, which provides that actions affecting title to or recovery
Deudor filed in 1950 actions against J. M. Tuason & Co. in the Court of First Instance of Quezon of possession of real property shall be commenced and tried in the province where the property
City (Civil Cases Nos. Q-135, Q-174, Q-177, Q-186); that plaintiff tried to intervene in said actions, or any part thereof lies. This contention finds support in the following authorities:
but intervention was denied; that on 16 March 1953 the Deudors, including Eustaquio Alquiros,
and J. M. Tuason & Co. entered into a compromise, in Case No. Q-135, whereby said "Deudors" An action by which plaintiff seeks to have it adjudged that he is the owner of an undivided third of
and Alquiros, in consideration of P1,201,063.00 to be paid them, ceded and quitclaimed in favor mining property, and to have defendants directed to execute to him a conveyance thereof, is within
of said company any right or title that said Deudors had over the property in litigation, including the Code of Civ. Proc., Section 392, providing that actions for recovery of real property or of an
the 690 square meters sold to plaintiff Torres, which compromise was approved by the court; that interest therein, or for the determination of such interest, must be tried in the country in which the
in the Annex "C" to said compromise the name of plaintiff appeared; that the compromise subject of the action is situated. (McFarland v. Martin, et al., p. 239)
stipulated that the buyers listed in Annex "B" shall buy the lots occupied by them and shall sign
new contracts with Tuason & Co., at the current prices and terms set by the latter, but the amounts Suit by purchaser for ascertainment of amount due on contract and for vendors' execution of deed
paid by them to the Deudors (subject to verification by the Court) shall be credited by Tuason & on payment thereof held suit for specific performance, triable where land was situated. (Kopke vs.
Company to the buyers and deducted from the amounts to be paid to the Deudors; that in the Carlson, et al. 276 P. 606)
case of Evangelista vs. Deudor, G.R. L-12826, the Supreme Court ruled that by the
aforementioned compromise agreement "a sort of contractual relation" existed between J. M. The Ruiz decision applies, and is determinative of the present case.
Tuason & Company and the purchasers of land from the Deudors, among whom is plaintiff herein,
and Tuason & Company assumed certain obligations in favor of said purchasers, as regards the WHEREFORE, the order of dismissal appealed from is affirmed. with costs against appellant.
sales of their respective lots; that sometime in May, 1953 the plaintiff demanded from J. M. Tuason
& Company the execution of a new contract of sale in her favor of the portion of land she is
occupying, at the current price, which was then seven pesos (P7.00) per square meter, but the
Company failed to do so; that plaintiff was always willing and ready to pay said price or such
reasonable price as the court may fix.

The complaint concluded with the following prayer:

WHEREFORE, plaintiff most respectfully prays that judgment be rendered:

(a) Ordering the defendant J. M. Tuason & Co. Inc., to execute the final deed of sale of the
property described in Annex "A" of the complaint, of approximately (690) square meters in area,
in favor of the plaintiff upon payment by the latter of the purchase price at the rate of SEVEN
PESOS (P7.00) per square meter, or such other rate as this Honorable Court may deem as the
reasonable price per square meter in or about May, 1953; to consider the sum of P2,760.00
already paid to Eustaquio Alquiros by the plaintiff as a partial payment thereof; and to cause to be
issued a Transfer Certificate of Title therefor in the name of the plaintiff, and

(b) Ordering the defendant J. M. Tuason & Co. Inc., to pay the costs of the suit.

Plaintiff further prays for such other relief or remedy as this Honorable Court may deem just and
equitable in the premises. (Rec. on App., pp. 12-13)

The Manila Court held that it "has no doubt that the action really concerns title of real property
which is in Quezon City", and on 20 January 1962 dismissed the complaint on the ground of
improper venue. Plaintiff duly appealed.

In this Court, the appellant insists that her action is one of specific performance, and, therefore,
personal and transitory in nature.

This very issue was considered and decided by this Court in the case of Manuel B. Ruiz vs. J. M.
Tuason & Co., Inc., et al., L-18692, promulgated 31 January 1963. There the Court, by unanimous
vote of all the Justices, held as follows:

This contention has no merit. Although appellant's complaint is entitled to be one for specific
performance, yet the fact that he asked that a deed of sale of a parcel of land situated in Quezon
City be issued in his favor and that a transfer certificate of title covering said land be issued to him