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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
 

   
June-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 125297 June 6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143675 June 9, 2003 - SPS. ROMEO and EMILY GUDA v. ALAN A. LEYNES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145338 June 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY P. LABIANO

  • A.C. No. 4738 June 10, 2003 - VIOLETA FLORES ALITAGTAG v. VIRGILIO R. GARCIA

  • Bar Matter No. 1036 June 10, 2003 - DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE v. EDWIN L. RANA

  • A.M. No. 99-6-81-MTCC June 10, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTCC OF PALAYAN CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1203 June 10, 2003 - NELIA A. ZIGA v. RAMON A. AREJOLA

  • A.M. No. P-96-1214 June 10, 2003 - BERNARDINO M. FABIAN, ET AL. v. LEILA (LAILA) M. GALO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1751 June 10, 2003 - ANDREA D. DOMINGO v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. No. 111159 June 10, 2003 - NORDIC ASIA LIMITED, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116463 June 10, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. thru the DPWH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119293 June 10, 2003 - SAN MIGUEL CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123054 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTO B. OBEDO

  • G.R. No. 125778 June 10, 2003 - INTER-ASIA INVESTMENTS INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125838 June 10, 2003 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126281 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO A. CARATAO

  • G.R. No. 131842 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO JACKSON

  • G.R. No. 139561 June 10, 2003 - SPS. FEDERICO & SARAH ATUEL, ET AL. v. SPS. BERNABE & CONCHITA VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 141115 June 10, 2003 - POSADAS-MOYA and ASSOC. CONST. CO. v. GREENFIELD DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142467 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO DE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143076 June 10, 2003 - PHILIPPINE RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. SECRETARY, DILG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143125 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL .vs. DIOSDADO R. CORIAL

  • G.R. No. 144157 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOWELL SALUDES

  • G.R. Nos. 144523-26 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO QUIJANO SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 145452-53 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY CARITATIVO

  • G.R. Nos. 146749 & 147938 June 10, 2003 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 149154 June 10, 2003 - RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 150611 June 10, 2003 - JACINTO SAGUID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153660 June 10, 2003 - PRUDENCIO BANTOLINO, ET AL. v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1724 June 12, 2003 - RODOLFO O. MACACHOR v. ROLINDO D. BELDIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 138541 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LARRY COLONIA

  • G.R. No. 148327 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1679 June 16, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. BEL EDUARDO F. NITAFAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SCC-03-08 June 16, 2003 - ERMELYN A. LIMBONA v. CASAN ALI LIMBONA

  • G.R. No. 95901 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. SIBONGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138692 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR AREO

  • G.R. Nos. 141280-81 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY L. SODSOD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144589 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO PACUANCUAN

  • G.R. No. 149683 June 16, 2003 - ILOILO TRADERS FINANCE INC. v. HEIRS OF OSCAR SORIANO JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149750 June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1106 June 17, 2003 - CELESTINA B. CORPUZ v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1710 June 17, 2003 - EVANGELINA C. SAMSON v. JULES A. MEDIA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1784 June 17, 2003 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. ROMULO S.G. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123146 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALONA BULI-E, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128225 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE A. NARRA

  • G.R. No. 137042 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE MUSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144225 June 17, 2003 - SPS. GODOFREDO and CARMEN ALFREDO v. SPS. ARMANDO and ADELIA BORRAS

  • G.R. No. 145993 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO I. MALLARI

  • G.R. No. 148668 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TONY L. PEDRONAN

  • G.R. No. 151440 June 17, 2003 - HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO SANTIAGO v. HEIRS OF MARIANO E. SANTIAGO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1493 June 18, 2003 - RENE BOY GOMEZ v. MANUEL D. PATALINGHUG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123161 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LIBERATO SOLAMILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125305 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNABE MONTEMAYOR

  • G.R. Nos. 127756-58 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN P. MEDINA SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 131926 & 138991 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL U. PAGALASAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134981 June 18, 2003 - FREDELITO P. VITTO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135857 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRIANO ARCA

  • G.R. Nos. 140439-40 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX HERMOSA

  • G.R. No. 144975 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADOR SAPIGAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149147 June 18, 2003 - FELIX BAROT v. COMELEC CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF TANJAY CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150327 June 18, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. MARILYN A. PERALTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-6-314-RTC June 19, 2003 - RE: REQUEST OF JUDGE ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA, RTC-BR. 59, SAN CARLOS CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-92-710 June 19, 2003 - PEDRITA M. HARAYO v. JUDGE MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • G.R. No. 154411 June 19, 2003 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. HEIRS OF ISIDRO GUIVELONDO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1701 June 20, 2003 - BALTAZAR LL. FIRMALO v. MELINDA C. QUIERREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1594 June 20, 2003 - PASTOR SALUD v. FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 122766 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE ESPONILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127275 June 20, 2003 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130759 June 20, 2003 - ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. CONCEPTS TRADING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 139332 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO

  • G.R. No. 140698 June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142503 June 20, 2003 - ROMUALDO C. PEREZ v. APOLONIO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 142820 June 20, 2003 - WOLFGANG O. ROEHR v. MARIA CARMEN D. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143604 June 20, 2003 - PRISCO LANZADERAS, ET AL. v. AMETHYST SECURITY AND GENERAL SERVICES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146595 June 20, 2003 - CARLO A. TAN v. KAAKBAY FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152436 June 20, 2003 - NPC v. SPS. IGMEDIO CHIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152766 June 20, 2003 - LILIA SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140872 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO T. INGGO

  • G.R. Nos. 142683-84 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO JOROLAN

  • G.R. Nos. 143760-63 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO B. MANLUCTAO

  • G.R. No. 144018 June 23, 2003 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST CO. v. TOMAS TOH, SR., ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3849 June 25, 2003 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE BERNARDO v. JOSE R. RESTAURO

  • G.R. Nos. 105416-17, 111863 & 143715 June 25, 2003 - PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122109 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TORIO

  • G.R. No. 123896 June 25, 2003 - ROSALINDA SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126113 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. GUIHAMA

  • G.R. No. 135323 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDELMA LAGATA

  • G.R. No. 136773 June 25, 2003 - MILAGROS MANONGSONG v. FELOMENA JUMAQUIO ESTIMO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146018 June 25, 2003 - EDGAR COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 25, 2003 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1472 June 26, 2003 - ADRIANO V. ALBIOR v. DONATO A. AUGUIS

  • A.M. No. P-02-1544 June 26, 2003 - ERNESTO LUMANTA v. WILFREDO M. TUPAS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1670 June 26, 2003 - SPS. CAROLINA AND VILLAMOR GRAGERA v. PABLO B. FRANCISCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1736 June 26, 2003 - SPS. ARTURO and JOSEFINA DE GUZMAN v. FERNANDO VIL PAMINTUAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1519 June 26, 2003 - GREGORIO LIMPOT LUMAPAS v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 137296 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO Q. VICENTE

  • G.R. No. 140967 June 26, 2003 - EMERITA ACOSTA v. EMILIO ENRIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 141863 June 26, 2003 - BASILIO RIVERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144090 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL S. MAGUING

  • G.R. No. 145305 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REDANTE C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 145731 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO GERAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148730 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE D. DELA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154705 June 26, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, ET AL. v. JAMES VINZON

  • G.R. No. 121828 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE GAYOT PILOLA

  • G.R. Nos. 124830-31 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO P. EVINA

  • G.R. No. 138993 June 27, 2003 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK v. SANTIAGO G. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 139217–24 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON ESPERANZA

  • G.R. No. 143643 June 27, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPS. JOSE & MA. CLARA CAMPOS

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 149750   June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 149750. June 16, 2003.]

    AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS, Petitioner, v. Spouses HERMOSO and SOCORRO DE LEON, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    While a contract of sale is perfected by mere consent, ownership of the thing sold is acquired only upon its delivery to the buyer. Upon the perfection of the sale, the seller assumes the obligation to transfer ownership and to deliver the thing sold, but the real right of ownership is transferred only "by tradition" or delivery thereof to the buyer.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Case


    Before us is a Petition for Review 1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to set aside the February 9, 2001 Decision and the August 31, 2001 Resolution of the Court of Appeals 2 (CA) in CA-GR CV No. 47587. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision of the trial court is hereby REVERSED, and judgment rendered:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Declaring null and void and of no effect, the [D]eed of [A]bsolute [S]ale dated December 6, 1975, the [D]eed of [E]xtra-judicial [P]artition and [Q]uitclaim dated July 1, 1985, and T.C.T. No. T-31262;

    2. Declaring T.C.T. No. 42238 as valid and binding;

    3. Eliminating the award of P5,000.00 each to be paid to defendants-appellees." 3

    The assailed Resolution 4 denied petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration.

    The Facts


    The antecedents of the case were summarized by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and adopted by the CA as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "This is a [C]omplaint for annulment of documents and title, ownership, possession, injunction, preliminary injunction, restraining order and damages.

    " [Respondents] alleged in their [C]omplaint that they are the owners of a parcel of land hereunder described as follows, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ‘A parcel of land (Lot No. 4786 of the Cadastral Survey of San Manuel) situated in the Municipality of San Manuel, Bounded on the NW., by Lot No. 4785; and on the SE., by Lot Nos. 11094 & 11096; containing an area of Four Thousand Two Hundred Twelve (4,212) sq. m., more or less. Covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 22134 of the Land Records of Pangasinan.’

    which [Respondent] Hermoso de Leon inherited from his father Marcelino de Leon by virtue of a [D]eed of [E]xtra-judicial [P]artition. Sometime in the early 1960s, [respondents] engaged the services of the late Atty. Florencio Juan to take care of the documents of the properties of his parents. Atty. Juan let them sign voluminous documents. After the death of Atty. Juan, some documents surfaced and most revealed that their properties had been conveyed by sale or quitclaim to [Respondent] Hermoso’s brothers and sisters, to Atty. Juan and his sisters, when in truth and in fact, no such conveyances were ever intended by them. His signature in the [D]eed of [E]xtra-judicial [P]artition with [Q]uitclaim made in favor of . . . Rodolfo de Leon was forged. They discovered that the land in question was sold by . . . Rodolfo de Leon to [Petitioner] Aurora Alcantara. They demanded annulment of the document and reconveyance but defendants refused . . . .

    x       x       x


    " [Petitioner] Aurora Alcantara-Daus [averred] that she bought the land in question in good faith and for value on December 6, 1975. [She] has been in continuous, public, peaceful, open possession over the same and has been appropriating the produce thereof without objection from anyone." 5

    On August 23, 1994, the RTC (Branch 48) of Urdaneta, Pangasinan 6 rendered its Decision 7 in favor of herein petitioner. It ruled that respondents’ claim was barred by laches, because more than 18 years had passed since the land was sold. It further ruled that since it was a notarial document, the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition in favor of Rodolfo de Leon was presumptively authentic.

    Ruling of the Court of Appeals


    In reversing the RTC, the CA held that laches did not bar respondents from pursuing their claim. Notwithstanding the delay, laches is a doctrine in equity and may not be invoked to resist the enforcement of a legal right.

    The appellate court also held that since Rodolfo de Leon was not the owner of the land at the time of the sale, he could not transfer any land rights to petitioner. It further declared that the signature of Hermoso de Leon on the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Quitclaim — upon which petitioner bases her claim — was a forgery. It added that under the above circumstances, petitioner could not be said to be a buyer in good faith.

    Hence, this Petition. 8

    The Issues


    Petitioner raises the following issues for our consideration:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. Whether or not the Deed of Absolute Sale dated December 6, 1975 executed by Rodolfo de Leon (deceased) over the land in question in favor of petitioner was perfected and binding upon the parties therein?

    "2. Whether or not the evidentiary weight of the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition with Quitclaim, executed by [R]espondent Hermoso de Leon, Perlita de Leon and Carlota de Leon in favor of Rodolfo de Leon was overcome by more than [a] preponderance of evidence of respondents?

    "3. Whether or not the possession of petitioner including her predecessor-in-interest Rodolfo de Leon over the land in question was in good faith?

    "4. And whether or not the instant case initiated and filed by respondents on February 24, 1993 before the trial court has prescribed and respondents are guilty of laches?" 9

    The Court’s Ruling


    The Petition has no merit.

    First Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Validity of the Deed of Absolute Sale

    Petitioner argues that, having been perfected, the Contract of Sale executed on December 6, 1975 was thus binding upon the parties thereto.

    A contract of sale is consensual. It is perfected by mere consent, 10 upon a meeting of the minds 11 on the offer and the acceptance thereof based on subject matter, price and terms of payment. 12 At this stage, the seller’s ownership of the thing sold is not an element in the perfection of the contract of sale.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The contract, however, creates an obligation on the part of the seller to transfer ownership and to deliver the subject matter of the contract. 13 It is during the delivery that the law requires the seller to have the right to transfer ownership of the thing sold. 14 In general, a perfected contract of sale cannot be challenged on the ground of the seller’s non-ownership of the thing sold at the time of the perfection of the contract. 15

    Further, even after the contract of sale has been perfected between the parties, its consummation by delivery is yet another matter. It is through tradition or delivery that the buyer acquires the real right of ownership over the thing sold. 16

    Undisputed is the fact that at the time of the sale, Rodolfo de Leon was not the owner of the land he delivered to petitioner. Thus, the consummation of the contract and the consequent transfer of ownership would depend on whether he subsequently acquired ownership of the land in accordance with Article 1434 of the Civil Code. 17 Therefore, we need to resolve the issue of the authenticity and the due execution of the Extrajudicial Partition and Quitclaim in his favor.

    Second Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Authenticity of the Extrajudicial Partition

    Petitioner contends that the Extrajudicial Partition and Quitclaim is authentic, because it was notarized and executed in accordance with law. She claims that there is no clear and convincing evidence to set aside the presumption of regularity in the issuance of such public document. We disagree.

    As a general rule, the due execution and authenticity of a document must be reasonably established before it may be admitted in evidence. 18 Notarial documents, however, may be presented in evidence without further proof of their authenticity, since the certificate of acknowledgement is prima facie evidence of the execution of the instrument or document involved. 19 To contradict facts in a notarial document and the presumption of regularity in its favor, the evidence must be clear, convincing and more than merely preponderant. 20

    The CA ruled that the signatures of Hermoso de Leon on the Extrajudicial Partition and Quitclaim was forged. However, this factual finding is in conflict with that of the RTC. While normally this Court does not review factual issues, 21 this rule does not apply when there is a conflict between the holdings of the CA and those of the trial court, 22 as in the present case.

    After poring over the records, we find no reason to reverse the factual finding of the appellate court. A comparison of the signatures of Hermoso de Leon 23 with his purported signature on the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition with Quitclaim 24 will readily reveal that the latter is a forgery. As aptly held by the CA, such variance cannot be attributed to the age or the mechanical acts of the person signing.25cralaw:red

    Without the corroborative testimony of the attesting witnesses, the lone account of the notary regarding the due execution of the Deed is insufficient to sustain the authenticity of this document. He can hardly be expected to dispute the authenticity of the very Deed he notarized. 26 For this reason, his testimony was — as it should be — minutely scrutinized by the appellate court, and was found wanting.

    Third Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Possession in Good Faith

    Petitioner claims that her possession of the land is in good faith and that, consequently, she has acquired ownership thereof by virtue of prescription. We are not persuaded.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It is well-settled that no title to registered land in derogation of that of the registered owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession. 27 Neither can prescription be allowed against the hereditary successors of the registered owner, because they merely step into the shoes of the decedent and are merely the continuation of the personality of their predecessor in interest. 28 Consequently, since a certificate of registration 29 covers it, the disputed land cannot be acquired by prescription regardless of petitioner’s good faith.

    Fourth Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Prescription of Action and Laches

    Petitioner also argues that the right to recover ownership has prescribed, and that respondents are guilty of laches. Again, we disagree.

    Article 1141 of the New Civil Code provides that real actions over immovable properties prescribe after thirty years. This period for filing an action is interrupted when a complaint is filed in court. 30 Rodolfo de Leon alleged that the land had been allocated to him by his brother Hermoso de Leon in March 1963, 31 but that the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition assigning the contested land to the latter was executed only on September 16, 1963. 32 In any case, the Complaint to recover the land from petitioner was filed on February 24, 1993, 33 which was within the 30-year prescriptive period.

    On the claim of laches, we find no reason to reverse the ruling of the CA. Laches is based upon equity and the public policy of discouraging stale claims. 34 Since laches is an equitable doctrine, its application is controlled by equitable considerations. 35 It cannot be used to defeat justice or to perpetuate fraud and injustice. 36 Thus, the assertion of laches to thwart the claim of respondents is foreclosed, because the Deed upon which petitioner bases her claim is a forgery.

    WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Corona and Carpio Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 9–20.

    2. Thirteenth Division. Written by Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. and concurred in by Justices Ruben T. Reyes (Division chairman) and Juan Q. Enriquez Jr. (member).

    3. Assailed Decision, p. 10; rollo, p. 114.

    4. Id., pp. 121–123.

    5. Id., pp. 1–3 & 105–107.

    6. Presided by Judge Alicia B. Gonzalez-Decano.

    7. Rollo, pp. 37–50; records, pp. 252–265.

    8. This case was submitted for decision on November 7, 2002, upon the Court’s receipt of respondents’ Memorandum signed by Atty. Villamor A. Tolete. Petitioner’s Memorandum, filed on October 14, 2002, was signed by Atty. Simplicio M. Sevilleja.

    9. Petitioner’s Memorandum, p. 6; rollo, p. 182.

    10. Balatbat v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 858, August 28, 1996; Campillo v. Court of Appeals, 214 Phil. 452, May 29, 1984.

    11. Article 1475 of the New Civil Code (NCC): "The contract of sale is perfected at the moment there is a meeting of the minds upon the thing which is the object of the contract and upon the price. . . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    12. Coronel v. Court of Appeals, 331 Phil. 294, October 7, 1996; Leabres v. Court of Appeals, 146 SCRA 158, December 12, 1986.

    13. Article 1458 of the NCC: "By the contract of sale one of the contracting parties obligates himself to transfer ownership of and to deliver a determinate thing . . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    14. Article 712 of the NCC: ". . . . Ownership and other real rights over property are acquired and transmitted . . . in consequence of certain contracts, by tradition." Emphasis supplied.

    15. Quijada v. Court of Appeals, 360 Phil. 81, December 4, 1998.

    16. Equatorial Realty Development, Inc. v. Mayfair Theater, Inc., 370 SCRA 56, November 21, 2001.

    17. Art. 1434 of the NCC: "When a person who is not the owner of a thing sells or alienates and delivers it; and later the seller or grantor acquires title thereto, such title passes by operation of law to the buyer or grantee."cralaw virtua1aw library

    18. 20 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.

    19. 30 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.

    20. Lao v. Villones-Lao, 366 Phil. 49, April 29, 1999; Calahat v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 311 Phil. 379, February 15, 1995; Yturralde v. Azurin, 138 Phil. 432, May 30, 1969.

    21. Flores v. Uy, 368 SCRA 347, October 26, 2001; Santos v. Reyes, 368 SCRA 261, October 25, 2001; Urbanes Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 355 SCRA 537, March 28, 2001; American Express International, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 367 Phil. 333, June 8, 1999; Guerrero v. Court of Appeals, 285 SCRA 670, January 30, 1998.

    22. Si v. Court of Appeals, 342 SCRA 653, October 12, 2000; Nokom v. National Labor Relations Commission, 336 SCRA 97, July 18, 2000; Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, 314 SCRA 230, September 14, 1999; Sta. Maria v. Court of Appeals, 285 SCRA 351, January 28, 1998; Sps. Estonina v. Court of Appeals, 334 Phil. 577, January 27, 1997.

    23. See Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, folder of exhibits, pp. 1–3; Individual Income Tax Return, folder of exhibits, p. 29; Philippine American Life Insurance Company Health Statement, folder of exhibits, p. 30; and Panunumpa sa Katungkulan, folder of exhibits, p. 31.

    24. Folder of exhibits, p. 5.

    25. Assailed Decision, p. 8; rollo, p. 112.

    26. Lopez v. Court of Appeals, 81 SCRA 153, January 23, 1978.

    27. 47 of the Property Registration Decree (PD 1529); Jose v. Court of Appeals, 192 SCRA 735, December 26, 1990; Ferrer-Lopez v. Court of Appeals, 150 SCRA 393, May 29, 1987.

    28. Jose v. Court of Appeals, supra; Bailon-Casilao v. Court of Appeals, 160 SCRA 738, April 15, 1988.

    29. Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-42238, folder of exhibits, p. 7.

    30. Article 1155 of the NCC: "The prescription of actions is interrupted when they are filed before the court, . . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    31. TSN, April 25, 1994, pp. 5–6.

    32. See Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, supra.

    33. See respondents’ Complaint, rollo, p. 23.

    34. Sotto v. Teves, 86 SCRA 154, October 31, 1978; Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 131 Phil. 556, April 15, 1968.

    35. Agra v. Philippine National Bank, 368 Phil. 829, June 21, 1999; De Vera v. Court of Appeals, 365 Phil. 170, April 14, 1999; Sotto v. Teves, supra.

    36. Reyes v. Court of Appeals, 315 SCRA 626, September 30,1999; De Vera v. Court of Appeals, supra; Jimenez v. Fernandez, 184 SCRA 190, April 6, 1990.

    G.R. No. 149750   June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON


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