CD: Roa v. Heirs of Santiago Ebora

August 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm (2010, Case Digests) (, , )

ROA v. HEIRS OF SANTIAGO EBORA
G.R. No. 161137 March 15, 2010
Corona, J.

Doctrine:
Any right acquired by one buyer over a disputed property cannot prevail over, but must yield to, any superior right possessed by another buyer. The spring cannot rise higher than its source.

Facts:
A parcel of land, which was continuously, openly and adversely possessed by Santiago Ebora, was mistakenly included by Chacon Enterprises in its application for original registration. As a result, litigation arose between the heirs of Ebora and Chacon Enterprises.

During the case’s pendency, the heirs of Ebora sold the land to their co-heir Josefa Ebora Pacardo (Josefa) and her husband Rosalio Pacardo. On the same day, the spouses Pacardo assigned the property to Digno Roa, married to petitioner Lydia Roa. The corresponding deeds of absolute sale and assignment were inscribed on original certificate of title (OCT) and a transfer certificate of title was issued in the name of Digno Roa.

The case was resolved against Chacon Enterprises and in favor of the heirs of Ebora.

Thereafter the heirs of Ebora again adjudicated the land among themselves, pro indiviso. That same day, a deed of confirmation of a prior conveyance by Josefa to respondent Samuel Sonnie Lim of a portion was likewise inscribed on TCT No. T-48097. The issuance of new TCTs in the name of Alejandro Ebora was likewise inscribed in the same. The lots were thereafter sold to various respondents which resulted in the issuance of new TCTs in the names of the respective vendees.

All these transactions occurred without petitioner’s knowledge and consent.

In view of the death of her husband, petitioner filed a petition for annulment and cancellation of TCT No. 48097 and its derivative titles. The RTC ruled against the petitioner. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner has a superior right over the land as against the respondents

Held:
Yes. From the moment the disputed land was sold to the spouses Pacardo, the heirs of Ebora lost all their rights and interest over the property.

Thus, the heirs of Ebora had nothing to adjudicate among themselves. Neither did they have anything to transfer to the vendees or successors-in-interest. As such, the transferees of the heirs of Ebora acquired no better right than that of the transferors. The spring cannot rise higher than its source.

Whatever right a buyer, notwithstanding the fact that he is an innocent purchaser for value, may have acquired over the disputed property cannot prevail over, but must yield to, the superior right possessed by another buyer.

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