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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
 

   
September-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-03-1705 September 2, 2003 - BALDOMERO DE VERA SOLIMAN, JR. v. PRINCESITO D. SORIANO

  • G.R. No. 138238 September 2, 2003 - EDUARDO BALITAOSAN v. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS

  • G.R. No. 146980 September 2, 2003 - LUZ E. TAGANAS, ET AL. v. MELITON G. EMUSLAN, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3967 September 3, 2003 - ARTEMIO ENDAYA v. WILFREDO OCA

  • A.C. No. 6084 September 3, 2003 - FELICITAS BERBANO v. WENCESLAO BARCELONA

  • A.M. No. 02-10-614-RTC September 3, 2003 - RE: EDITORIAL OF THE NEGROS CHRONICLE AND OTHER CHARGES OF A CONCERNED CITIZEN AGAINST JUDGE ROGELIO CARAMPATAN

  • A.M. No. OCA-01-6 September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1466 September 3, 2003 - EDUARDO F. BAGO v. JOEL FERAREN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1501 September 3, 2003 - ROMEO E. EJERCITO v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE

  • G.R. No. 131915 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE LACHICA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136274 September 3, 2003 - SUNFLOWER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139400 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO WATIWAT

  • G.R. No. 140652 September 3, 2003 - OLIVERIO LAPERAL v. PABLO V. OCAMPO

  • G.R. No. 144312 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHUA TAN LEE

  • G.R. No. 145737 September 3, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. EVELYN P. CAYOBIT

  • G.R. No. 149617 September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

  • G.R. No. 141527 September 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDY G. BOCALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1788 September 5, 2003 - JORGE F. ABELLA v. FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430 September 8, 2003 - ROMEO B. SENSON v. HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 128296 September 8, 2003 - NASIPIT LUMBER CO., ET AL. v. NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152957 September 8, 2003 - FAUSTINO ESQUIVEL v. EDUARDO REYES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480 September 10, 2003 - TRINIDAD CABAHUG v. JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY

  • G.R. No. 91486 September 10, 2003 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107271 September 10, 2003 - CITY OF CALOOCAN, ET AL. v. MAURO T. ALLARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125329 September 10, 2003 - ANN BRIGITT LEONARDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140762 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER C. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148912 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO ESCARLOS

  • G.R. No. 151212 September 10, 2003 - TEN FORTY REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MARINA CRUZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003 - ROMULO SG. VILLANUEVA v. CHARLIE C. LARCENA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742 September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

  • G.R. No. 138366 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138569 September 11, 2003 - CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144785 September 11, 2003 - YOLANDA GARCIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145407 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO HEREVESE

  • G.R. No. 151081 September 11, 2003 - TOP RATE CONSTRUCTION & GENERAL SERVICES v. PAXTON DEV’T. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153126 September 11, 2003 - MONTEREY FOODS CORP., ET AL. v. VICTORINO E. ESERJOSE

  • G.R. No. 153845 September 11, 2003 - EFREN P. SALVAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1799 September 12, 2003 - MARIA CRISTINA OLONDRIZ PERTIERRA v. ALBERTO L. LERMA

  • G.R. No. 127206 September 12, 2003 - PERLA PALMA GIL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135029 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR CARRIAGA

  • G.R. No. 141600 September 12, 2003 - ROBERTO FULGENCIO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144639 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY GO

  • G.R. Nos. 144972-73 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO JUNAS

  • G.R. No. 133365 September 16, 2003 - PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC. v. JOSE M. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 147814-15 September 16, 2003 - RAUL ZAPATOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 155278 September 16, 2003 - PRUDENCIO J. TANJUAN v. PHIL. POSTAL SAVINGS BANK

  • A.M. No. P-03-1740 September 17, 2003 - FRANKLIN Q. SUSA v. TEOFILA A. PEÑA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1656 September 17, 2003 - EDGARDO D. BALSAMO v. PEDRO L. SUAN

  • G.R. No. 141120 September 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ

  • G.R. No. 146125 September 17, 2003 - NOVELTY PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1347 September 18, 2003 - BENJAMIN TUDTUD v. MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. P-00-1370 September 18, 2003 - ALEJANDRO PAREDES, ET AL. v. JERRY MARCELINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1510 September 18, 2003 - MARY ANN PADUGANAN-PEÑARANDA v. GRACE L. SONGCUYA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1691 September 18, 2003 - JOSE S. SAÑEZ v. CARLOS B. RABINA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1703 September 18, 2003 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1724 September 18, 2003 - VICENTE ALVAREZ, Jr. v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1742 September 18, 2003 - SALVADOR L. BERNABE v. WINSTON T. EGUIA

  • G.R. No. 135559 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MORENO OCUMEN

  • G.R. No. 135563 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BOBBY P. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 144913 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. GERONIMO C. CENIZA

  • G.R. No. 149627 September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

  • G.R. No. 152351 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAMIL MALA

  • G.R. No. 152604 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONCIO S.PEDRIGAL

  • G.R. No. 153571 September 18, 2003 - BENGUET MANAGEMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156259 September 18, 2003 - GROGUN, INC. v. NAPOCOR

  • G.R. No. 157957 September 18, 2003 - CHARITO NAVAROSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142974 September 22, 2003 - SPS. SHEM G. ALFARERO and AURELIA TAGALOG v. SPS. PETRA and SANCHO SEVILLA

  • G.R. No. 152529 September 22, 2003 - SPS. HENDRIK and ALICIA S. BIESTERBOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1450 September 23, 2003 - RAMIRO S. DE JOYA v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1509 September 23, 2003 - HELEN GAMBOA-MIJARES v. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1732 September 23, 2003 - ROSENINA O. UY, ET AL. v. LOLITA R. EDILO

  • G.R. No. 123140 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO CORTEZANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135446 September 23, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BPI

  • G.R. No. 136729 September 23, 2003 - ASTRO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL. v. PHIL. EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 138716-19 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PILLAS

  • G.R. No. 138725 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO OLIVAR

  • G.R. No. 139360 September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140982 September 23, 2003 - MARIO GUTIERREZ v. SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141434 September 23, 2003 - ANTONIO LO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143132 September 23, 2003 - VAN MELLE PHILS. ET AL. v. VICTOR M. ENDAYA

  • G.R. No. 144533 September 23, 2003 - JIMMY L. BARNES v. TERESITA C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146786-88 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES T. DAÑO

  • G.R. No. 149295 September 23, 2003 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENEROSO DE JESUS

  • G.R. No. 149370 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 150905 September 23, 2003 - CITIBANK v. EFREN S. TEODORO

  • G.R. No. 151072 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE NATIVIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151931 September 23, 2003 - ANAMER SALAZAR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 152823-24 September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152998 September 23, 2003 - SIMON Q. AÑONUEVO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156295 September 23, 2003 - MARCELO R. SORIANO v. SPS. RICARDO and ROSALINA GALIT

  • G.R. No. 156983 September 23, 2003 - In the Matter of the Application for the Habeas Corpus of JOSE VICTOR RIGOR y DANAO v. The Superintendent

  • A.M. No. P-00-1418 September 24, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CELESTINA B. CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 124293 September 24, 2003 - JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130087 September 24, 2003 - DIANA M. BARCELONA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136726 September 24, 2003 - PANFILO V. VILLARUEL v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148924 September 24, 2003 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153781 September 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 153885 & 156214 September 24, 2003 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1746 September 26, 2003 - ROGER F. BORJA v. ZORAYDA H. SALCEDO

  • G.R. No. 130330 September 26, 2003 - FERNANDO GO v. MICHAEL TAN and LOLITA TAN

  • G.R. No. 141217 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSEBIO DUBAN

  • G.R. No. 144037 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL P. TUDTUD, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5480 September 29, 2003 - LEILANI OCAMPO-INGCOCO, ET AL. v. ALEJANDRO G. YRREVERRE, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 137370-71 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL OCO

  • G.R. No. 139185 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 148902 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO ANDRADE

  • G.R. No. 149718 September 29, 2003 - MARIO VALEROSO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 152057 September 29, 2003 - PT & T CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5854 September 30, 2003 - NORA E. MIWA v. RENE O. MEDINA

  • G.R. No. 127593 September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136742-43 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Y. ALFARO

  • G.R. Nos. 140514-15 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNE IGNAS

  • G.R. No. 142751 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO OPELIÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143010 September 30, 2003 - MIGUEL DANOFRATA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 144230 September 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. MACKAY v. ADORACION G. ANGELES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148332 September 30, 2003 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. MADRIGAL WAN HAI LINES CORP.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 127593   September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 127593. September 30, 2003.]

    CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ and CLAUDIA C. MANADONG, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS and ROSARIO OPANA, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    CARPIO MORALES, J.:


    In the present petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, petitioners Clara C. de la Cruz and Claudia C. Manadong assail the Decision 1 dated May 14, 1996 2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 46524 which affirmed that of Branch 3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Guiuan, Eastern Samar in favor of Respondent.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The case involves two parcels of land, one located in Bulajo, Mayana, Guiuan, Eastern Samar and the other in Surok, Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

    Esteban, Andrea and Tomasa, all surnamed Cabsag, were siblings and are now all deceased. 3

    Esteban is survived by his daughters-herein petitioners Clara C. de la Cruz and Claudia C. Manadong 4 who have since 1972 been residing in Manila. 5

    Andrea is survived by her children. 6

    Tomasa, who died in 1963 without issue, was survived by her husband Eugenio Nadonga who later married respondent Rosario Opana. Eugenio Nadonga died in 1973.

    Upon the death of Tomasa in 1963, her husband Eugenio Nadonga continued to live in Guiuan and occupy the lands in question until his death in 1973 upon which his second wife-herein respondent continued peaceful possession thereof until April 24, 1992 when Esteban’s daughters-herein petitioners filed a complaint for partition 7 against her before the RTC of Guiuan where it was docketed as Civil Case No. 765, now the subject of the present petition.

    The questioned parcels of land were more particularly described in petitioners’ complaint as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. An agricultural land situated at Bulajo, Mayana, Guiuan, E. Samar declared previously in the name of Tomasa Cabsag under Tax Declaration No. 29824 and at present declared under Tax Declaration No. 45509 in the name of Rosario Opana; bounded on the North by the land of Nicolas Calumpiano; on the East bounded by the land of Benito Lacro; on the South bounded by the land of Sabino Lacro and on the West bounded by the land of Catalina Naing with a total area of 24,715 sq.m. and is assessed at P1,460.

    2. An agricultural land situated at Brgy. Surok, Guiuan, E. Samar presently declared under Tax Declaration No. 38210 in the name of Rosario Opana; bounded on the North by the land of Ricardo Abrera; on the East bounded by the land of Alejandro Abrera; on the South bounded by the land of Federico Yodico and Pascual Yodico and on the West bounded by the land of Estefa Odang.

    The complaint alleged that, inter alia, petitioners are the nieces and legal heirs of the late Tomasa Cabsag; that during the existence of the marriage of Eugenio Nadonga to his second wife-herein respondent, the couple, without the knowledge of petitioners, surreptitiously managed to have the above-described parcels of land declared in the name of respondent which fraudulent act came only to their recent knowledge; that petitioners, being the nieces of Eugenio Nadonga’s first wife Tomasa Cabsag, have the right to demand the partition of the properties among the legal heirs; and that respondent’s refusal to divide the properties constrained petitioners to litigate and incur expenses.

    Denying the material allegations of the complaint, respondent, in her Answer, 8 alleged that the questioned lands were, during the lifetime of her husband Eugenio Nadonga, donated to her by a "Deed of Donation" of June 4, 1965; that the real property described and located at Surok is covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 8860 while that in Mayana is covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 8859, both titles of which were issued in her name in 1974; that the first property was inherited from Nadonga’s late father Miguel Nadonga, and the other was bought by him before his marriage to his first wife Tomasa; that assuming arguendo that they were Tomasa’s paraphernal properties and that petitioners are indeed entitled to partition, petitioners’ filing of the complaint only in 1992 amounts to laches, she (respondent) having been in actual possession of the lands in the concept of an owner since 1965 and she even had them registered in her name in 1974 without any positive action on petitioners’ part.

    During the trial, the identity of the two parcels of land as described in the complaint 9 was raised in issue, private respondent maintaining that the territorial boundaries and description of the land situated in Mayana as they appeared in the complaint, are different and distinct from those owned by her. Thus, she declared, quoted verbatim:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    ATTY. CABLAO [lawyer for the defense]:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    From plaintiff (sic) document even in their complaint the land situated at Brgy. Mayana the boundaries are different because in the North the boundary is Nicolas Calumpiano whereas in the boundary of the defendant in the north is Teresa Naing.

    COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, so there is a disparity.

    x       x       x 10 (Emphasis supplied)

    Maintaining that the property located in Mayana is theirs, petitioners presented Tax Declaration No. 29824 showing that it was originally declared in 1948 in the name of the late Tomasa Cabsag; 11 Tax Declaration No. 40509 issued for the year 1974 in the name of the late Eugenio Nadonga; 12 and Tax Declaration No. 45509 for the year 1977 in the name of herein respondent Rosario Opana. 13

    As for their claim over the property in Surok, petitioners presented two documents denominated as "Karigunan Ha Pag Ka Butungan" 14 (Deed of Absolute Sale) executed on May 11, 1950 and May 15, 1950, showing that the property covered thereby which had the following boundaries:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    North — Ricardo Abrera

    South — Federico Yodico and Pascual Yodico

    West — Estefa Odang

    East — Alejandro Abrera,

    was sold to Tomasa Cabsag while she was still single and was thus her paraphernal property. 15

    Upon the other hand, respondent offered the following documentary evidence: (a) Marriage Contract; 16 Deed of Donation; 17 OCT (Original Certificate of Title) No. 8859 covering the lot at Mayana; 18 OCT No. 8860 covering the lot at Surok; 19 Tax Receipt No. 1245524 M dated February 27, 1987; 20 Tax Receipt No. 1260617 dated February 1, 1988; 21 Tax Receipt No. 113551, dated March 18, 1991; 22 Tax Receipt No. 3756906, dated March 25, 1992; 23 Tax Receipt No. 1151234, dated February 17, 1993; 24 Tax Receipt No. 5080280, dated March 9, 1981; 25 Tax Receipt No. 1260625, dated February 1, 1988; 26 Tax Receipt No. 1113519, dated March 11, 1991; 27 Tax Receipt No. 3756907, dated March 25, 1992; 28 Tax Declaration No. 45509. 29

    By Decision of May 5, 1994, the trial court rendered judgment 30 in favor of respondent, the decretal portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the Defendant, Rosa Opana, and against the Plaintiffs, Clara C. de la Cruz and Claudia C. Manadong, DISMISSING the complaint with costs against the plaintiffs and DECLARING the Defendant the true, absolute and exclusive owner of the two (2) parcels of land described in the complaint and in the Original Certificate of Titles issued in the name of the Defendant. (Emphasis supplied)

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    Dissatisfied, petitioners elevated the case to the Court of Appeals where it was docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 46524.

    Before the appellate court, petitioners raised the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (A) THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN SIMPLY DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT BY CLAIMING THAT IT IS PURELY OF PARTITION, WITHOUT DETERMINING HEIRSHIP;

    (B) THE COURT A QUO SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT DECLARED THAT ROSA OPANA IS THE TRUE, ABSOLUTE AND EXCLUSIVE OWNER OF THE TWO (2) PARCELS OF LAND DESCRIBED IN THE COMPLAINT;

    (C) THE COURT A QUO SERIOUSLY ERRED IN CLAIMING THAT APPELLANTS ARE BARRED BY LACHES IN THE SAME WAY THAT IT SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT APPLIED THE CASE OF "RODRIGUEZ VS. RAVILAN, 17 PHIL 63."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The appellate court, by the decision on review, affirmed the trial court’s decision, it ratiocinating as follows:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As shown by the record, the late Eugenio Nadonga executed a Deed of Donation dated June 4, 1965 in favor of the defendant Rosario Opana over two (2) parcels of land, one of which he inherited from his late father Miguel Nadonga, and the other he bought before he got married to his first wife Tomasa Cabsag. The Deed of Donation was acknowledged before a notary public and transmitted all his rights to the donee who accepted the donation.

    As a matter of fact, the defendant Opana had said parcels of land registered in her name and as early as 1974 obtained original certificate of titles over the same.

    In the instant case, even assuming that Tomasa Cabsag owned the disputed parcel of land as claimed by the plaintiffs upon her death, her surviving spouse Eugenio Nadonga became the owner of the property by law of intestate succession (Art. 995, Civil Code). When the said surviving spouse executed a Deed of Donation in favor of the defendant Rosario Opana, he had the right to donate the properties and ownership passed to the latter . . .

    Petitioners’ motion for reconsideration 31 having been denied by the appellate court by Resolution of December 5, 1996, 32 the present petition was filed posing the following question:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    IS IT WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE TRIAL COURT TO RULE ON THE OWNERSHIP OF THE PARCELS OF LAND IN QUESTION IN TH[ESE] PROCEEDINGS?

    Petitioners insist that what they filed before the trial court was one for probate — the settlement of the estate of Tomasa Cabsag, the complaint’s denomination as one for partition notwithstanding; that the declaration by the trial court that respondent is the "true, absolute and exclusive owner of the two (2) parcels of land described in the complaint and in the Original Certificate of Titles issued in the name of the Defendant," which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction, for as the case is one for probate, it necessitated the initial determination and identification of the heirs of Tomasa Cabsag which the trial court failed to do.

    The petition fails.

    First. Contrary to the assertion of petitioners, since the defendant-herein respondent alleged exclusive ownership, the action for partition, which assumes that the parties are co-owners, had, as correctly held by the trial court, it citing Rodriguez v. Ravilan, 33 become one for recovery of property.

    Petitioners harp on Tax Declaration No. 29824 covering the property in Mayana, but the boundaries set forth therein do not jibe with those of the property in Mayana in the possession of and registered in the name of Respondent.

    Atty. Cablao [defense counsel]:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    But your Honor our claim is different, the property the one situated at Brgy. Mayana is a property that was inherited by Eugenio Nadonga from his father so it has nothing to do with the property of Tomasa Cabsag. The property situated at Brgy. Surok is a property he purchased when he was still single before marriage to Tomasa Cabsag.

    Court:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That is your evidence already. That is why when you asked [the defendant] the question is the property being claimed by the plaintiff different property that is now in your owner’s certificate of title.

    Atty. Cablao:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, your Honor.

    Court:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The Court observes that it is misleading because according to her it is different.

    Atty. Chua [the plaintiffs’ counsel]:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    No, your Honor please her testimony awhile ago says that the property donated to her by Eugenio Nadonga at Brgy. Mayana is at present covered by owner’s certificate of title no. 8859.

    Court:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, it is correct, but she also stated that is not the property of Tomasa Cabsag . . . 34

    In Gesmundo v. Court of Appeals, 35 this Court held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A person who claims ownership of real property is duty bound to clearly identify the land being claimed in accordance with the document on which he anchors his right of ownership. When the record does not show that the land subject matter of the action has been exactly determined, such action cannot prosper. Proof of ownership together with identity of the land is the basic rule. (Citations omitted, Emphasis supplied)

    Petitioners failed to come up with a clear description of the land sought or claimed. On that score alone, their case fails.

    Second. The late Eugenio Nadonga disposed of the questioned two parcels of land to respondent during his lifetime by a duly notarized "Deed of Donation" dated June 4, 1965, the pertinent portions of which are reproduced below, quoted verbatim:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    That the DONOR is the owner in fee simple of that certain real property with coconuts planted thereon situated in Bo. Mayana and Surok, Guiuan, Samar, Philippines, with both parcels of land described hereunder, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    North — bounded by Teresa Naing;

    South — bounded by Miguel Nadonga;

    East — bounded by Hilario Parcela; and

    West — bounded by Pascual Ecleo and Dominga Hamihan

    And the land situated in Bo. Surok, Guiuan, Samar, Philippines, has the following boundaries, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    North — bounded by Ricardo Abrera;

    South — bounded by Alejandro Abrera;

    East — bounded by Federico Yodico and Pascual Yodico, and on the West — bounded by Estefa Odang

    That the abovementioned properties are my personal properties which I inherited from my father (Miguel Nadonga) and the other parcel was purchased by me personally before I married my first wife Tomasa Cabsag.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    That for and in consideration of the love and affection which the DONOR has for the DONEE, the said DONOR, by these presents transfers and conveys, by way of DONATION, unto said DONEE, her heirs and assigns, the above-described real property with all the plants and improvements thereon, . . .

    x       x       x


    That the DONEE does hereby accept this donation of the above-described real property, and does hereby express her gratitude for the kindness and liberality of the DONOR.

    x       x       x (Emphasis supplied)

    A notarized document carries the evidentiary weight conferred upon it with respect to its due execution. 36 It enjoys the presumption of validity. 37 To overcome it, the evidence must be so clear, strong and convincing as to exclude all reasonable controversy as to its falsity. 38 Petitioners, however, proffered no such evidence.

    Third. Assuming arguendo that the questioned lands were paraphernal properties of Tomasa Cabsag, they have, however, been registered in 1974 under OCT No. 8859 with respect to the property in Mayana and OCT No. 8860 with respect to the property in Surok. The rule is settled that a land registration case is an action in rem and is binding on the whole world, including petitioners.

    Fourth. The deed of donation aside, respondent has not only proven actual continuous possession of the questioned properties for decades; she has presented tax receipts and declarations covering them. "Tax receipts and declarations are prima facie proofs of ownership or possession of the property for which such taxes have been paid. Coupled with proof of actual possession of the property, they may become the basis of a claim for ownership." 39

    At all events, petitioners’ filing of the action only in 1992 or after a lapse of several years despite, not only their knowledge of Eugenio Nadonga’s and respondent’s continuous possession of the properties, but also the registration thereof in respondent’s name demonstrates laches which this Court cannot tolerate.

    Laches means the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do that which, by observance of due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. It is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting the presumption that the party entitled to assert his right either has abandoned or declined to assert it. 40" (Emphasis supplied)

    WHEREFORE, the present petition is DENIED for lack of merit and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is, in light of the foregoing reasons, hereby AFFIRMED.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Puno, Panganiban and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Corona, J., is on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Fifteenth Division, Associate Justice Salome A. Montoya, ponente and concurred in by Associate Justices Godardo A. Jacinto and Maximiano C. Asuncion.

    2. Rollo at 37–40.

    3. TSN, November 10, 1993 at 162–164.

    4. Ibid.

    5. TSN, June 14, 1993 at 18–19.

    6. Ibid.

    7. Records at 1–3.

    8. Id. at 6–10.

    9. TSN, November 5, 1993 at 121.

    10. TSN, November 5, 1993 at 124–125.

    11. Exhibit "A," Folder of Exhibits.

    12. Exhibit "E," id.

    13. Exhibit "D," id.

    14. Exhibits "B" and "C," id.

    15. Offer of Plaintiffs’ Documentary Evidence, Records at 34–35.

    16. Exhibit "1," id.

    17. Exhibit "2," id.

    18. Exhibit "3," id.

    19. Exhibit "4," id.

    20. Exhibit "5," id.

    21. Exhibit "5-A," id.

    22. Exhibit "5-B," id.

    23. Exhibit "5-C," id.

    24. Exhibit "5-D," id.

    25. Exhibit "6," id.

    26. Exhibit "6-A," id.

    27. Exhibit "6-B," id.

    28. Exhibit "6-C," id.

    29. Exhibits "7" - "7-B" [Exhibit "D," ], id.

    30. Records at 50–57.

    31. Rollo at 41–47.

    32. Id. at 48.

    33. 17 Phil. 63 (1910).

    34. TSN, November 5, 1993 at 121–123, quoted verbatim.

    35. 321 SCRA 487 (1999).

    36. Norgene Potenciano, Et. Al. v. Dwight "Ike" B. Reynoso, Et Al., G.R. No. 140707, April 22, 2003.

    37. Favor v. Court of Appeals, 194 SCRA 308 (1991).

    38. Mendezona v. Phil. Sugar Estates Development Co., 41 Phil. 475 (1921).

    39. Cequena v. Bolante, 330 SCRA 216 (2000).

    40. Isabela Colleges, Inc. v. Heirs of Nieves Tolentino-Rivera, 344 SCRA 95 (2000).

    G.R. No. 127593   September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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