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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 147468   April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 147468. April 9, 2003.]

    SPOUSES EDUARDO ARENAS DOMINGO & JOSEFINA CHAVEZ DOMINGO, Petitioners, v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, CESAR ROBERTO M. ROCES, ANA INES MAGDALENA ROCES TOLENTINO, LUIS MIGUEL M. ROCES, JOSE ANTONIO M. ROCES and MARIA VIDA PRESENTACION ROCES, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:


    This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 22, 2000 in CA-G.R. CV No. 62473, 1 as well as the resolution dated March 15, 2001, denying petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration. 2

    The facts are not in dispute.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The spouses Cesar and Lilia Roces were the owners of two contiguous parcels of land located on Arayat Street, Mandaluyong, covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 57217 and 57218. 3 On November 13, 1962, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) caused the annotation of an affidavit of adverse claim on the titles alleging that the spouses have mortgaged the same to it. 4

    Subsequently, GSIS wrote a letter to Cesar Roces demanding the surrender of the owner’s duplicates of titles. When Roces failed to comply, GSIS filed a petition with the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, docketed as Civil Case No. R-1359, praying that the owner’s duplicates in Roces’ possession be declared null and void and that the Register of Deeds of Pasig be directed to issue new owner’s duplicates to GSIS. 5 On September 5, 1977, the Court of First Instance issued an order granting the petition. 6 The order became final and executory, and TCT Nos. 57217 (11663) and 57218 (11664) were issued in the name of GSIS. 7

    Cesar Roces died intestate on January 26, 1980. 8 He was survived by his widow, Lilia Roces, and their children: Cesar Roberto Roces, Ana Ines Magdalena Roces Tolentino, Luis Miguel M. Roces, Jose Antonio Roces and Maria Vida Presentacion Roces, all of whom are the respondents in this case.

    On July 22, 1992, Reynaldo L. Montinola, a nephew of Lilia Roces, executed an affidavit of self-adjudication over the Arayat properties. He alleged that the properties were owned by the spouses Cesar and Lilia Roces, both of whom died intestate, on September 13, 1987 and June 27, 1989, respectively; that the properties were acquired during the existence of their marriage; that the spouses left no heirs except the brother of Lilia Roces, who was his father; that neither of the spouses left any will nor any debts; and that he was the sole heir of the Roces spouses. 9

    On January 5, 1993, Montinola filed a petition against GSIS with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, docketed as Civil Case No. R-4743, praying for the cancellation of TCT Nos. 57217 (11663) and 57218 (11664). 10 During the trial, GSIS failed to produce any document evidencing the alleged real estate mortgage by Roces of the properties. Hence, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of Montinola, declaring the owner’s duplicates of TCT No. 57217 (11663) and 57218 (11664) as null and void and ordering the Registry of Deeds of Mandaluyong to issue new owner’s duplicates of the said titles. 11

    GSIS did not appeal the aforesaid judgment; thus, the same became final and executory. Accordingly, the Registry of Deeds of Mandaluyong issued TCT No. 7299 in the name of Montinola in lieu of TCT No. 57218 (11664). 12

    Sometime in July 1993, Montinola executed a deed of absolute sale of the property covered by TCT No. 7299 in favor of petitioner spouses Eduardo and Josefina Domingo. 13 Thereafter, TCT No. 7673 was issued in the names of petitioners.

    Both TCT Nos. 7299 and 7673 contained the following annotation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Subject to the provision of Section 4, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court with respect to the inheritance left by the deceased SPS. CESAR ROCES & LILIA MONTINOLA. 14

    When respondents learned of the sale of the property to petitioners, they filed a complaint against Montinola and petitioners with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. They argued that the affidavit of self-adjudication was fraudulent because Montinola was not an heir of the Roces spouses and it was not true that Lilia Roces was dead. Therefore, the affidavit of self-adjudication, as well as the deed of absolute sale, TCT No. 7299, and TCT No. 7673, all covering the subject property, were null and void. 15

    In their answer, petitioners alleged that they were buyers in good faith and that their action was barred by estoppel and laches. 16

    After trial, the court a quo rendered judgment in favor of respondents, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs against the defendant Reynaldo L. Montinola who is hereby ordered to pay to the plaintiffs the following sums:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a) P1,200,000.00 as actual damages, with interest thereon at the legal rate of six (6) per centum per annum until fully paid;

    b) Moral damages in the sum of P100,000.00;

    c) Exemplary damages in the sum of P50,000.00;

    d) Attorney’s fees in the reasonable amount of P30,000.00; and costs.

    The counterclaim of defendant spouses Eduardo and Josefina Domingo is dismissed and the complaint against the Register of Deeds is likewise dismissed without costs.

    SO ORDERED. 17

    Respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals, reiterating the reliefs prayed for in their complaint below. 18 On November 22, 2000, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Decision, the decretal portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the appeal is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court a quo appealed from is SET ASIDE AND REVERSED. Another Decision is hereby rendered in favor of the Appellants as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. The "Affidavit of Self-Adjudication" (Exhibit "G"), Transfer Certificate of Title No. 7299 (Exhibits "N" and "22", Domingo), the "Deed of Absolute Sale" (Exhibit "20") and Transfer Certificate of Title No. 7673 (Exhibit "21") are hereby declared null and void.

    2. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 57218 (11664), under the names of Cesar P. Roces and Lilia Montinola, is hereby reinstated.

    3. The Appellees are hereby ordered to pay, jointly and severally, to the Appellants the amount of P50,000.00 as and by way of attorney’s fees.

    4. Appellants’ claims for actual, moral and exemplary damages are dismissed.

    5. The Appellee Reynaldo Montinola is hereby ordered to pay to the Appellees Spouses Domingo the amount of P1,800,000.00, with interest thereon at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of the Decision of this Court until the said amount is paid in full by the said Appellee, the other cross-claims of the Appellees, inter se, are dismissed.

    SO ORDERED. 19

    Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, 20 which was denied in a Resolution dated March 15, 2000. 21 Hence this petition, raising the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE ANNOTATION IN THE TITLE REGARDING SEC. 4, RULE 74 IS AN ENCUMBRANCE WHICH DISQUALIFIES PETITIONERS FROM BEING INNOCENT PURCHASERS FOR VALUE;

    2. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT IT WAS RESPONDENTS WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR REYNALDO MONTINOLA TO PERPETUATE THE FRAUD AND, THEREFORE, THEY SHOULD BE THE ONE TO BEAR RESULTING DAMAGE;

    3. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT RESPONDENTS HAVE NO EXISTING INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY SINCE IT WAS PREVIOUSLY MORTGAGED AND FORECLOSED BY THE G.S.I.S.; AND

    4. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING PETITIONERS LIABLE TO RESPONDENTS FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES, THEREBY ADDING MORE INJURY TO THEIR MISFORTUNE. 22

    The petition lacks merit.

    It is true that one who deals with property registered under the Torrens system need not go beyond the same, but only has to rely on the title. He is charged with notice only of such burdens and claims as are annotated on the title. However, this principle does not apply when the party has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect or the lack of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the status of the title of the property in litigation. One who falls within the exception can neither be denominated an innocent purchaser for value nor a purchaser in good faith. 23

    As stated above, the titles, namely, TCT Nos. 7299 and 7673, contained annotations which made reference to the provisions of Rule 74, Section 4 of the Rules of Court, viz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 4. Liability of distributees and estate. — If it shall appear at any time within two (2) years after the settlement and distribution of an estate in accordance with the provisions of either of the first two sections of this rule, that an heir or other person has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation in the estate, such heir or such other person may compel the settlement of the estate in the courts in the manner hereinafter provided for the purpose of satisfying such lawful participation. And if within the same time of two (2) years, it shall appear that there are debts outstanding against the estate which have not been paid, or that an heir or other person has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation payable in money, the court having jurisdiction of the estate may, by order for that purpose, after hearing, settle the amount of such debts or lawful participation and order how much and in what manner each distributee shall contribute in the payment thereof, and may issue execution, if circumstances require, against the bond provided in the preceding section or against the real estate belonging to the deceased, or both. Such bond and such real estate shall remain charged with a liability to creditors, heirs, or other persons for the full period of two (2) years after such distribution, notwithstanding any transfers of real estate that may have been made. 24

    The foregoing rule clearly covers transfers of real property to any person, as long as the deprived heir or creditor vindicates his rights within two years from the date of the settlement and distribution of estate. Contrary to petitioners’ contention, the effects of this provision are not limited to the heirs or original distributees of the estate properties, but shall affect any transferee of the properties.cralawred

    In David v. Malay, 25 it was held that the buyer of real property the title of which contain an annotation pursuant to Rule 74, Section 4 of the Rules of Court cannot be considered innocent purchasers for value. In the same vein, the annotation at the back of TCT No. 7299 in this case referring to Rule 74, Section 4 of the Rules of Court was sufficient notice to petitioners of the limitation on Montinola’s right to dispose of the property. The presence of an irregularity which excites or arouses suspicion should prompt the vendee to look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the vendor appearing on the face thereof. 26 Purchasers of registered land are bound by the annotations found at the back of the certificate of title. 27 Hence, petitioners cannot be considered buyers in good faith and cannot now avoid the consequences brought about by the application of Rule 74, Section 4 of the Rules of Court.

    Petitioner’s claim that respondents were guilty of laches and estoppel is likewise untenable. Laches is the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. The essential elements of laches are: (1) conduct on the part of defendant or one under whom he claims, giving rise to the situation complained of; (2) delay in asserting complainant’s right after he had knowledge of the defendant’s conduct and after he has an opportunity to sue; (3) lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainant would assert the right on which he bases his suit; and (4) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event relief is accorded to the complainant. 28

    On the other hand, estoppel by laches arises from the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. 29

    In the case at bar, only four months elapsed from the time respondents discovered Montinola’s fraudulent acts, sometime in May 1993, to the time they filed their complaint on September 6, 1993. This relatively short span of time can hardly be called unreasonable, especially considering that respondents used this period of time to investigate the transfers of the property. 30 Delay is an indispensable requisite for a finding of estoppel by laches, but to be barred from bringing suit on grounds of estoppel and laches, the delay must be lengthy and unreasonable. 31 No unreasonable delay can be attributed to respondents in this case.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition for review is DENIED. The decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. CV No. 62473 are AFFIRMED in toto.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Vitug, Carpio and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. CA Rollo, pp. 228–229.

    2. Id., p. 254.

    3. Exhibits "7-M" and "7-N."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. Exhibit "7-O."cralaw virtua1aw library

    5. Exhibit "7-C."cralaw virtua1aw library

    6. Exhibit "7-Y."cralaw virtua1aw library

    7. Exhibit "10" (Domingo) and "11" (Domingo).

    8. Exhibit "B."cralaw virtua1aw library

    9. Exhibit "G."cralaw virtua1aw library

    10. Exhibit "17."cralaw virtua1aw library

    11. Exhibit "18."cralaw virtua1aw library

    12. Exhibit "N," "22" (Domingo).

    13. Exhibit "21" (Domingo).

    14. Exhibits "N-4" & "O-4" .

    15. CA Rollo, pp. 211–212.

    16. Id., p. 212.

    17. Records, pp. 545–546; penned by Judge Ramon R. Buenaventura.

    18. Id., p. 247.

    19. CA Rollo, pp. 228–229 (emphasis in the original). Penned by Associate Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. (now a member of this Court); concurred in by Associate Justices Mercedes Gozo-Dadole and Juan Q. Enriquez, Jr.

    20. Id., p. 230.

    21. Id., p. 254.

    22. Rollo, p. 20.

    23. Sandoval v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 48 (1996); Citations omitted.

    24. Rules of Court, Rule 74, Sec. 4 (italics ours).

    25. G.R. No. 132644, 19 November 1999.

    26. Id., citing Pino v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 94114, 19 June 1991, 198 SCRA 434 and Centeno v. CA, G.R. No. 40105, 11 November 1985, 139 SCRA 545, citing Anderson v. Garcia, 64 Phil. 506 (1937) and Fule v. Legare, 117 Phil. 367 (1963).

    27. Vazquez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 83759, 12 July 1991, 199 SCRA 102, citing Bel Air Village Association, Inc. v. Dionisio, G.R. No. 38354, 30 June 1989, 174 SCRA 589, citing Tanchoco v. Aquino, G.R. No. 30670, 15 September 1987, 154 SCRA 1 and Constantino v. Espiritu, 150-A Phil. 953 (1972).

    28. Philippine Bank of Communications v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 109803, 20 April 1998, 289 SCRA 178.

    29. Philippine National Construction Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, 366 Phil. 678 (1999), citing Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 131 Phil. 556 (1968) and Medija v. Patcho, 210 Phil. 509 (1983).

    30. Rollo, p. 85.

    31. Pio Barreto Realty Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 132362, 28 June 2001, 360 SCRA 127, citing R. Agpalo, Trademark Law & Practice in the Philippines, (1990), 32, citing La Insular v. Jao Oge, 47 Phil. 75 (1924); La Insular v. Yu So, 45 Phil. 398 (1923).

    G.R. No. 147468   April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.


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