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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 116600 July 3, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO LANDICHO

  • G.R. No. 119527 July 3, 1996 - EVELYN J. GARCIA v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121910 July 3, 1996 - NATIONAL WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. NLRC

  • G.R. Nos. 98121-22 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO R. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 100629 July 5, 1996 - ENELYN E. PEÑA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100699 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR C. GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 102377 July 5, 1996 - ALFREDO SAJONAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102998 July 5, 1996 - BA FINANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105583 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAMPON

  • G.R. No. 106296 July 5, 1996 - ISABELO T. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106413 July 5, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. TACLOBAN CITY ICE PLANT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107698 July 5, 1996 - GLORIA Z. GARBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107824 July 5, 1996 - SUPERCLEAN SERVICES CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109173 July 5, 1996 - CITY OF CEBU v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111324 July 5, 1996 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111549 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO P. ORTALEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 113178 & 114777 July 5, 1996 - RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHIL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113549 July 5, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113827 July 5, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113948 July 5, 1996 - ARMANDO NICOLAS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114002 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO C. COMPENDIO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 115216 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID CABILES

  • G.R. No. 115825 July 5, 1996 - FRANKLIN DRILON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116208 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ESMAEL SALIDO

  • G.R. No. 116693 July 5, 1996 - PURITA DE LA PEÑA, ET AL. v. PEDRO R. DE LA PEÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118203 July 5, 1996 - EMILIO A. SALAZAR, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118231 July 5, 1996 - VICTORIA L. BATIQUIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 118284 July 5, 1996 - MAMERTO REFUGIA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118562 July 5, 1996 - ANGLO-KMU v. SAMANA BAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118691 July 5, 1996 - ALEJANDRO BAYOG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. NATINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118712 & 118745 July 5, 1996 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118824 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 119069 July 5, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO EXCIJA

  • G.R. No. 119845 July 5, 1996 - ANTONIO M. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120949 July 5, 1996 - ARACELI RAMOS FONTANILLA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 121180 July 5, 1996 - GERARD A. MOSQUERA v. DELIA H. PANGANIBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121592 July 5, 1996 - ROLANDO P. DELA TORRE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122807 July 5, 1996 - ROGELIO P. MENDIOLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-91-712 July 9, 1996 - BEN D. MARCES, SR. v. PAUL T. ARCANGEL

  • G.R. No. 88189 July 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIBURCIO ABALOS

  • G.R. No. 103922 July 9, 1996 - SANTIAGO LAND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104312 July 9, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO CABALLERO

  • G.R. No. 109563 July 9, 1996 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114058 July 10, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY B. FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 74495 July 11, 1996 - DUMEZ COMPANY, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 80437-38 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO B. ABORDO

  • G.R. Nos. 94376-77 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELMER O. BELGA

  • G.R. No. 103174 July 11, 1996 - AMADO B. TEODORO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103968 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIMSON M. GARDE

  • G.R. No. 104860 July 11, 1996 - CITYTRUST BANKING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106418 July 11, 1996 - DANIEL L. BORBON II, ET AL. v. SERVICEWIDE SPECIALISTS, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109156 July 11, 1996 - STOLT-NIELSEN MARINE SERVICES (PHILS.) INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110207 July 11, 1996 - FLORENTINO REYES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116221 July 11, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO G. GABRIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-995 July 12, 1996 - ROBERTO JALBUENA v. EGARDO GELLADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88126 July 12, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96795 July 12, 1996 - ANTONIO M. CORRAL v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108926 July 12, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116128 & 116461 July 12, 1996 - ALLIED BANKING CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121139 July 12, 1996 - ISIDRO B. GARCIA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88822 July 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO M. TUVILLA

  • G.R. No. 117661 July 15, 1996 - DANIEL VILLANUEVA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 83437-38 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO R. GUARIN

  • G.R. No. 98458 July 17, 1996 - COCOLAND DEV. CORP. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102037 July 17, 1996 - MELANIO IMPERIAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106977 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AQUILIO ACABO

  • G.R. Nos. 109396-97 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO S. OARGA

  • G.R. No. 114795 July 17, 1996 - LUCITA Q. GARCES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116728 July 17, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODELIO S. CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120496 July 17, 1996 - FIVE STAR BUS CO., INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1088 July 19, 1996 - RODOLFO G. v. HERNANDO C. DOMAGTOY

  • G.R. Nos. 70168-69 July 24, 1996 - RAFAEL T. MOLINA, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95940 July 24, 1996 - PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108052 July 24, 1996 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110241 July 24, 1996 - ASIA BREWERY, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115008-09 July 24, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANIEL C. QUIJADA

  • G.R. No. 120043 July 24, 1996 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE CO., ET AL v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120099 July 24, 1996 - EDUARDO T. RODRIGUEZ v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120303 July 24, 1996 - FEDERICO GEMINIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET Al.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1336 July 25, 1996 - JOCELYN TALENS-DABON v. HERMIN E. ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 95223 July 26, 1996 - ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105673 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO MAGANA

  • G.R. Nos. 105690-91 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODOLFO CAGUIOA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 110731 July 26, 1996 - SHOPPERS GAIN SUPERMART, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111127 July 26, 1996 - ENGRACIO FABRE, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112175 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO DIAZ

  • G.R. Nos. 114280 & 115224 July 26, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115683 July 26, 1996 - DELIA MANUEL v. DAVID ALFECHE, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118434 July 26, 1996 - SIXTA C. LIM v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119225 July 26, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO G. ABUTIN

  • G.R. No. 119328 July 26, 1996 - PROVIDENT INT’L. RESOURCES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119673 July 26, 1996 - IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.) v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-783 July 29, 1996 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. FILOMENO PASCUAL

  • G.R. Nos. 97556 & 101152 July 29, 1996 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111639 July 29, 1996 - MIDAS TOUCH FOOD CORPORATION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114313 July 29, 1996 - MGG MARINE SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1148 July 30, 1996 - PEDRO ROQUE, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA GRIMALDO

  • G.R. No. 102557 July 30, 1996 - ALFONSO D. ZAMORA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108028 July 30, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTINA M. HERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 116512 July 30, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEOPOLDO BACANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116542 July 30, 1996 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118590 July 30, 1996 - D.M. CONSUNJI, INC. v. RAMON S. ESGUERRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122241 July 30, 1996 - BOARD OF OPTOMETRY, ET AL. v. ANGEL B COLET, ET. AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111517-19 July 31, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER N. AUSTRIA

  • G.R. No. 112233 July 31, 1996 - COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. OMAR U. AMIN

  • G.R. No. 112611 July 31, 1996 - CLARA ATONG VDA. DE PANALIGAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116015 July 31, 1996 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119306 July 31, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE BELTRAN

  • G.R. No. 121917 July 31, 1996 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122274 July 31, 1996 - SUSAN V. LLENES v. ISAIAS P. DICDICAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122749 July 31, 1996 - ANTONIO A. S. VALDES v. RTC, BRANCH 102, QUEZON CITY, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 110207   July 11, 1996 - FLORENTINO REYES,  ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS,  ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 110207. July 11, 1996.]

    FLORENTINO REYES, SPOUSES EDUARDO REYES AND ANITA MABABANGLOOB, ENGRACIA REYES, SPOUSES ZACARIAS AND NORMA R. MADRID, SPOUSES ALBERTO AND NORMA N. REYES, SPOUSES TEODORO AND DOLORES S. REYES, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS (NINTH) AND JACINTA REYES, PAULA REYES, AND PETRA REYES, Respondents.


    D E C I S I O N


    ROMERO, J.:


    This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 33028 entitled "Jacinta Reyes, Et. Al. v. Florentino Reyes, et al" 1 which affirmed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 58 rendered in favor of private respondents.

    The antecedent facts as found by the lower court and adopted by the Court of Appeals are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On July 29, 1970, a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement was allegedly entered into between petitioner Florentino and his sisters (private respondents herein) Jacinta, Paula and Petra, all surnamed Reyes. The subject of the alleged partition was a parcel of land located in Bangkal, Makati measuring Three Hundred Eighty Three (383) Square Meters. Said parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 22801 was registered in the name of Bernardino Reyes, the father of petitioner and private respondents.

    The Deed which allegedly partitioned the subject parcel of land extrajudicially among petitioner and private respondents stated that the latter waived their rights, interest and participation therein in favor of the former. Thereunder, one of the private respondents, Paula Reyes Palmenco was given a share of fifty (50) square meters.

    On March 16, 1971, petitioner caused the registration of the alleged Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement with the Register of Deeds of Rizal. Subsequently, he managed to obtain Transfer Certificate of Title No. 318944 with 333 square meters in his name and 50 square meters in the name of Paula Palmenco.

    Sometime in May 1985, private respondents, having discovered the registration of the said Deed denied having knowledge of its execution and disclaimed having signed the same; nor did they ever waive their rights, shares and interest in the subject parcel of land.

    Similarly, private respondent Paula Palmenco denied having ever executed said Deed. According to private respondents, subject Deed was fraudulently prepared by petitioner and that their signatures thereon were forged. They also assert that one Atty. Jose Villena, the Notary Public who notarized the said Deed was not even registered in the list of accredited Notaries Public of Pasay City.

    Thereafter, petitioner executed a Deed of Absolute Sale selling 240 square meters of the land to his children while retaining 93 square meters for himself. The 50 square meter portion given to Paula Palmenco as originally provided in the Deed remained in her name.

    After the property was partitioned, Petitioner, his children and private respondent Paula Palmenco allegedly executed a Deed of Co-owners’ Partition dividing the property among themselves. Each of the alleged co-owners, namely, Petitioner, his children Eduardo, Teodoro, Engracia, Norma and Alberto, as well as Paula Palmenco, allocated for themselves a specific portion of one-seventh (1/7) each.

    On May 27, 1985, private respondents filed a Complaint for "Annulment of Sale and Damages With Prayer for Preliminary Injunction/Restraining Order" before the Makati Regional Trial Court against petitioner and the Register of Deeds of Makati. Private respondents Petra Reyes and Paula Palmenco who died on May 23, 1988 and October 20, 1987, respectively, were duly substituted by their respective children. Private respondent Jacinta Reyes and the children of Petra and Paula then filed an amended complaint praying for the annulment of the following: (1) Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement dated July 29, 1970 and TCT No. 318944 of the Registry of Deeds of Makati, Metro Manila; (2) Deed of Absolute Sale dated May 15, 1979; (3) Deed of Co-owners’ Partition dated August 24, 1984 and (4) the seven (7) Transfer Certificates of Titles Nos. 135257, 135258, 135259, 135260, 135261, 135262, and 135263 of the Registry of Deeds of Makati, Metro Manila as null and void.

    On June 1, 1985, the lower court issued an order enjoining the Register of Deeds of Makati from issuing and delivering the Transfer Certificates of Title in question to the petitioners and from collecting the monthly rentals due on the subject parcel of land. After trial on the merits, the lower court ruled that the private respondents’ signatures on the questioned Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement were indeed forged and simulated. As a result of such finding, the lower court permanently enjoined the Registry of Deeds of Makati from issuing and delivering TCT Nos. 135257, 135258, 135259, 135260, 135261, 135262, and 135263 to petitioner Florentino and his children, and petitioners from collecting the monthly rentals due on the properties. The lower court also declared the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement, Transfer Certificate of Title No. 318944 of the Registry of Deeds of Makati, Deed of Absolute Sale, Deed of Co-owner’s Partition, and the seven (7) TCT Nos. 135257 to 135263 of the Registry of Deeds of Makati as null and void. 2

    On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court. Hence, this petition. Petitioners assign the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE DEED OF EXTRAJUDICIAL PARTITION AND SETTLEMENT WAS A FORGERY;

    II


    ASSUMING ARGUENDO THE AFORESAID FORGERY, THE COURT A QUO ERRED NONETHELESS IN NOT FINDING THAT PETITIONER HAS BECOME AN ABSOLUTE OWNER OF THE LAND IN DISPUTE BY VIRTUE OF ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION;

    III


    IN LIGHT OF AFORESAID ERRORS, THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT AND AWARDING THE RELIEFS PRAYED FOR BY PETITIONERS IN THEIR COUNTERCLAIMS.

    The Court of Appeals, in affirming the decision of the lower court, declared that petitioners failed to convincingly overturn the factual findings of the trial court which ruled on the fake and forged character of the document on the following points:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. The signatures at the bottom page of the Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement appear to have been written by one and the same hand and not by individual signatories thereto except the signature of Rustico Reyes.

    2. The acknowledgment in the Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement appears to have been signed by one Jose D. Villena who was never commissioned as Notary Public for and in the province of Rizal on July 31, 1970 in Pasay City.

    3. The word "Pasay, Rizal" in handwriting was superimposed on the word "Makati", supposedly the place where the document was notarized.

    4. The residence certificates of the parties who allegedly executed the Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement were all issued on July 30, 1970 in Pasay City except that of Encarnacion Reyes and Rustico Reyes when in fact they were residents of Makati, Metro Manila, specifically, at Evangelista Street in Bangkal, less than a kilometer away from the Municipal Hall of Makati, while Pasay City is 10 kilometers away from Bangkal, Makati. 3

    Aside from the above factual findings of the lower court which the Court of Appeals agreed with, the latter also noted that under the certification of one Pedro P. Rollon, OIC, Record and Notarial Reports of Pasay City, no such Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement subject of this case notarized by a certain Atty. Jose Villena was ever recorded. Nor was Atty. Villena officially appointed as Notary Public for and in Pasay City on the aforesaid date.

    Instead, it appears that the original copy of the Deed, as published in the Daily Mirror, was notarized by one Atty. Primo M. Beltran in Pasay City and not in Makati, as shown by the Affidavit of Publication. More importantly, petitioners did not dispute the fact that the alleged residence certificates of private respondents shown to the trial court were in the possession of petitioner Florentino which the Court of Appeals found to be unnatural since residence certificates are supposed to be in the physical possession of their owners as ready proofs of their identities and for purposes of dealing with the government and other agencies. It added that it cannot be inferred that the Deed was indeed executed by petitioners by facilely presenting a group picture purportedly showing the parties before the signing of the questioned document when said group picture may have been taken on another occasion. 4

    Clearly, the main issue to be resolved is the authenticity of the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement which is a question of fact rather than of law. In the case of Manila Bay Club Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 5 this Court held that for a question to be one of law, it must involve no examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the litigants or any of them. To reiterate the distinction between the two types of questions: there is a question of law in a given case when the doubt or difference arises as to what the law is pertaining to a certain state of facts, and there is a question of fact when the doubt arises as to the truth or the falsity of alleged facts.

    In the case at bar, petitioners cast doubt on the findings of the lower court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals regarding the existence of forgery.

    In the case of Chua Tiong Tay v. CA, 6 this Court held that the factual findings of the trial court, adopted and confirmed by the Court of Appeals, are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal. The exceptions to this rule are laid down in the case of Floro v. Llenado 7 citing Remalante v. Tibe, 8 as follows: (1) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (2) when there is a grave abuse of discretion; (3) when the finding is grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (4) when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (7) when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court; (8) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion and (10) when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by the evidence on record.

    Petitioners failed to show that any of the above-cited exceptions exists in instant case as to warrant a review of the findings of fact made by the lower court and upheld by the Court of Appeals. Contrary to the assertion of petitioners, the findings of the lower court, as well as those of the Court of Appeals, are substantially supported by the evidence presented by the parties.

    This being a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court, this Court is empowered to review errors of law committed by the Court of Appeals. It is not the function of this court, however, to re-examine the evidence submitted by the parties unless the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are not supported by the evidence on record or the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. 9

    The conclusion arrived at by the lower court is consistent with its findings that the signatures of private respondents were indeed simulated. This conclusion is even buttressed by the Court of Appeals, which, aside from agreeing with the findings of the lower court, arrived at conclusions which support said findings.

    Petitioners, on the other hand, assail the findings of both courts that the subject Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement was a "fakery and a forgery." They claim that private respondents’ signatures thereon, as well as their alleged signatures in the residence certificates and in the verification of the complaint, were obviously similar. However, they failed to rebut the observation made by the lower court that the signatures on the Deed appear to have been written by one and the same hand and not by the individual signatories thereto, except the signature of Rustico Reyes. 10

    Petitioners’ assertion that the steps taken leading to the transfer of the subject property to them were duly evidenced by public documents do not disprove the finding that the subject Deed was indeed a fake and the signatures of private respondents, simulated. Neither does the requisite publication in a newspaper of general circulation refute said finding. 11

    This Court agrees with private respondents that while Rustico Reyes, Jr., son of petitioner Florentino and private respondents’ only other brother did not join the complaint, neither did he sign the subject Deed considering that he should have been a signatory thereto, being the heir of the brother of the parties.12

    Petitioners’ ludicrous claim that private respondents imputed no deception on his part but only forgery of the subject Deed and the simulation of their signatures is nothing short of being oxymoronic. For what is forgery and simulation of signatures if not arrant deception!

    The allegation made by petitioner that the execution of a public document ratified before a notary public cannot be impugned by the mere denial of the signatory is baseless. It should be noted that there was a finding that the subject Deed was notarized by one Atty. Villena who at that time was not commissioned as a notary in Pasay City. Neither was the alleged Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement recorded in the Record and Notarial Reports of Pasay City as certified by the OIC of such office. This finding was never satisfactorily disputed by petitioner. 13

    With respect to the second assignment of error, petitioners contend that even assuming that there was forgery, they had become absolute owners of the subject property by virtue of acquisitive prescription citing Articles 1117 and 1134 of the Civil Code as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Art. 1117. Acquisitive prescription of dominion and other real rights may be ordinary or extraordinary.

    Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession of things in good faith and with just title for the time fixed by law.

    x       x       x


    Art. 1134. Ownership and other real rights over immovable property are acquired by ordinary prescription through possession of ten years."cralaw virtua1aw library

    By virtue of said articles, they claim that they have been possessors of the contested parcel of land in good faith, for ten years and with a just title for the period required by law.

    This Court is not impressed with this argument. Petitioners cannot justify their ownership and possession of the subject parcel of land since they could not meet the requisites provided by the provisions they have cited. Regarding the requirement of good faith, the first paragraph of Article 526 states, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "He is deemed a possessor in good faith who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it."cralaw virtua1aw library

    From the above-cited provision, petitioners could not have been possessors in good faith of the subject parcel of land considering the finding that at the very inception they forged the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement which they claim to be the basis for their just title.

    Having forged the Deed and simulated the signatures of private respondents, Petitioners, in fact, are in bad faith. The forged Deed containing private respondents’ simulated signatures is a nullity and cannot serve as a just title.

    Moreover, this Court agrees with the private respondents that there can be no acquisitive prescription considering that the parcel of land in dispute is titled property, i.e., titled in the name of the late Bernardino Reyes, the father of both petitioner Florentino and the private respondents. 14 This fact, petitioners do not deny. 15 Hence, even if they allege adverse possession that should ripen into ownership due to acquisitive prescription, their title cannot defeat the real rights of private respondents who stepped into the shoes, as it were, of their father as successors-in-interest. As it is, petitioners cannot even claim adverse possession as they admit that the private respondents likewise resided and continue to reside on the subject property. 16

    Having found the subject Deed to be a nullity, this Court sees no need to discuss the third assignment of error.

    WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error, the petition is DISMISSED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Puno, Mendoza and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Ninth Division, penned by Associate Justice Manuel C. Herrera, with Justices Asaali S. Isnani and Ricardo P. Galvez, concurring; promulgated January 28, 1993.

    2. Rollo, p. 38.

    3. Culled from the findings of fact of the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. 10698 as cited in the Court of Appeals Decision in C.A.-G.R. CV No. 33028.

    4. Culled from the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 33028.

    5. 245 SCRA 715 (1995).

    6. 243 SCRA 183 (1995).

    7. 244 SCRA 713 (1995).

    8. 158 SCRA 138, 145 (1988).

    9. New Testament Church of God v. CA, 246 SCRA 266 (1995).

    10. p. 39, Decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 33028, Rollo.

    11. p. 40, supra.

    12. p. 68, Private Respondents’ Comment, Rollo.

    13. p. 40, Decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 33028, Rollo.

    14. p. 34, supra.

    15. p. 15, Petition, Rollo.

    16. p. 12, Petition, Rollo.

    G.R. No. 110207   July 11, 1996 - FLORENTINO REYES,  ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS,  ET AL.


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