CD: Duran v. Intermediate Appellate Court

November 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm (1985, Case Digests) (, , , )

DURAN v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
G.R. No. L-64159 September 10, 1985
Relova, J.

Doctrine:
The fraudulent and forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title if the certificate has already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the name indicated by the forger.

The mortgagee has the right to rely on what appears in the certificate of title and, in the absence of anything to excite suspicion, he is under no obligation to look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the mortgagor appearing on the face of the said certificate.

Good faith, while it is always to be presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, requires a well-founded belief that the person from whom title was received was himself the owner of the land, with the right to convey it.

Facts:
Petitioner Duran owned 2 parcels of land. She left the Philippines in June 1954 and returned in May 1966. On 1963, a Deed of Sale was made in favor of the petitioner’s mother. On December 1965, Duran’s mother mortgaged the same property to private respondent Erlinda Marcelo-Tiangco. When Duran came to know about the mortgage made by her mother, she wrote the Register of Deeds informing the latter that she had not given her mother any authority to sell or mortgage any of her properties in the Philippines. Meanwhile, foreclosure proceedings were initiated by Tiangco upon the failure of Duran’s mother to redeem the mortgaged properties.

Duran claims that the Deed of Sale is a forgery, saying that at the time of its execution in 1963 she was in the United States. Respondent Court ruled that there is a presumption of regularity in the case of a public document.

Issue:
Whether private respondent was a buyer in good faith and for value

Held:
Yes. Good faith consists in the possessor’s belief that the person from who he received the thing was the owner of the same and could convey his title (Arriola v. Gomez Dela Serna, 14 Phil. 627). Good faith, while it is always to be presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, requires a well-founded belief that the person from whom title was received was himself the owner of the land, with the right to convey it (Santiago v. Cruz, 19 Phil. 148).

The mortgagee has the right to rely on what appears in the certificate of title and, in the absence of anything to excite suspicion, he is under no obligation to look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the mortgagor appearing on the face of the said certificate. Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefore and the law will in no way oblige him to go behind the certificate to determine the condition of the property. If the rule were otherwise, the efficacy and conclusiveness of the Torrens Certificate of Titles would be futile and nugatory. Thus the rule is simple: the fraudulent and forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title if the certificate has already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the name indicated by the forger.

While it is true that under Article 2085 of the Civil Code, it is essential that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the property mortgaged, and while as between the daughter and her mother, it was the daughter who still owns the lots, STILL insofar as innocent third persons are concerned the owner was already the mother inasmuch as she had already become the registered owner.

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CD: Spouses Beltran v. Nieves

October 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm (2010, Case Digests) (, , , )

SPOUSES BELTRAN v. NIEVES
G.R. No. 175561 October 20, 2010
Carpio, J.

Doctrine:
– A certificate of title is conclusive evidence of ownership. Registered owners are entitled to the possession of the property covered by the title from the time such title was issued in their favor. No entitlement to possess the property is granted on the basis of an unregistered deed of sale.

– The tax declarations presented are not conclusive evidences of ownership, but are good indicators of possession in the concept of an owner.

– The only issue in an ejectment case is the physical possession of real property: possession de facto and not possession de jure. Prior physical possession is material only in forcible entry cases. In an ejectment suit, the question of ownership may be provisionally ruled upon only for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to possession de facto.

– A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand. In case of failure, a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.

– Any question regarding the validity of a title can only be assailed in an action expressly instituted for that purpose. A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack.

Facts:
Respondent Nieves is the registered owner of the subject parcel of land as well as the house thereon. Milagros Beltran is Nieves’ niece, being the daughter of Gaston, Nieves’ brother. In asserting their ownership and rightful occupation against Nieves, petitioners spouses Beltran claim that Nieves sold the land and house to Gaston. The deed of sale, which Nieves disclaims having signed, remains unregistered.

The MTC and, subsequently, the RTC respected the right of possession of the spouses Beltran. The CA reversed the decision.

Issues:
1. Whether or not an unregistered deed of sale is sufficient to grant ownership over the property
2. Whether or not title is material in ejectment suits

Held:
1. No. No entitlement to possess the property is granted on the basis of an unregistered deed of sale. A certificate of title is conclusive evidence of ownership. Registered owners are entitled to the possession of the property covered by the title from the time such title was issued in their favor [Spouses Apostol v. Court of Appeals, 476 Phil. 403 (2004)].

The tax declarations presented by the spouses Beltran are not conclusive evidences of ownership, but are good indicators of possession in the concept of an owner.

Whatever right of possession that the spouses Beltran may have over the subject property cannot prevail over that of Nieves for the simple reason that Nieves is the registered owner of the subject property and the alleged deed of sale remains unregistered.

2. No. The only issue in an ejectment case is the physical possession of real property: possession de facto and not possession de jure. In an ejectment suit, the question of ownership may be provisionally ruled upon only for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to possession de facto [Umpoc v. Mercado, 490 Phil. 120,136 (2005)].

A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them [Calubayan, et al. v. Pascual, 128 Phil. 160, 163 (1967)].

Although it is true that the spouses Beltran, and not Nieves, were in prior physical possession of the subject property, this argument cannot hold water as prior physical possession is material only in forcible entry cases (Spouses Apostol v. Court of Appeals, supra).

Any question regarding the validity of Nieves’ title can only be assailed in an action expressly instituted for that purpose. A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack (Section 48, P.D. No. 1529).

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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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