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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
December-2009 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 7054 - Conrado N. Que v. Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr.

  • A.M. No. P-09-2600 - Emma B. Ramos v. Apollo R. Ragot

  • A.M. No. P-09-2636 Formerly OCA IPI No. 07-2681-P - Atty. Eduardo Francisco v. Liza O. Galvez

  • A.M. No. P-09-2676 - Judge Juanita T. Guerrero v. Teresita V. Ong

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1953 - Mayor Hadji Amer R. Sampiano, et al. v. Judge Cader P. Indar, Acting Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Br. 12, Malabang, Lanao del Sur

  • A.M. No. RTJ-07-2055 - Heir of the late Rev. Fr. Jose O. Aspiras v. Judge Clifton U. Ganay, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial court, Branch 31, Agoo, La Union

  • A.M. No. RTJ-09-2170 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 09-3094-RTJ - Heirs of Simeon Piedad, namely, Eliseo Piedad, et al. v. Executive Judge Cesar O. Estrena and Judge Gaudiso D. Villarin

  • G.R. No. 146548 : December 18, 2009 - HEIRS OF DOMINGO HERNANDEZ, SR., namely: SERGIA V. HERNANDEZ (Surviving Spouse), DOMINGO V. HERNANDEZ, JR., and MARIA LEONORA WILMA HERNANDEZ, Petitioners, v. PLARIDEL MINGOA, SR., DOLORES CAMISURA, MELANIE MINGOA AND

  • G.R. No. 147951 - Arsenio F. Olegario, et al. v. Pedro C. Mari, represented by Lilia C. Mari-Camba

  • G.R. No. 155125 - YSS Employees Union-Philippine Transport and General Organization v. YSS Laboratories, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 156208 - NPC Drivers and Mechanics Association, et al. v. The National Power Corporation, et al.

  • G.R. No. 149548, G.R. No. 167505, G.R. No. 167540, G.R. No. 167543, G.R. No. 167845, G.R. No. 169163 and G.R. No. 179650 - ROXAS and COMPANY, INC. v. DAMBA-NFSW AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM/DAMAYAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG BUKID SA ASYENDA ROXAS-NATIO

  • G.R. No. 157038 - Government Serive Insurance System v. Jean E. Raoet

  • G.R. No. 157867 - Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company v. Hon. Salvador Abad Santos

  • G.R. No. 159788 - Sotero Roy Leonero, et al. v. Spouses Marcelino B. Barba, et al.

  • G.R. No. 159792 - Barangay Sangalang, represented by its Chairman Dante C. Marcellana v. Barangay Maguihan, represented by its Chairman Arnulfo Villarez

  • G.R. No. 160146 - Leslie Okol v. Slimmers World International, et al.

  • G.R. No. 160367 - Evelyn S. Cabungcal, et al. v. Sonia R. Lorenzo, et al.

  • G.R. No. 161424 - Republic of the Philippines v. Ignacio Leonor and Catalino Razon

  • G.R. No. 161929 - Lynn Paz T. Dela Cruz, et al. v. Sandiganbayan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 163117 - Equitable PCI Bank, Inc. v. Maria Letecia Fernandez, et al.

  • G.R. No. 162243, G.R. NO. 164516 and G.R. NO. 171875 - Hon. Heherson T. Alvarez v. PICOP Resources, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 163553 - Yun Kwan Byung v. Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation

  • G.R. No. 164195 - Apo Fruits Corporation and Hijo Plantation, Inc. v. The Hon. Court of Appeals, and Land Bank of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 165109 - Manuel Mamba, et al. v. Edgar R. Lara, et al.

  • G.R. No. 165299 - Pacific Steam Laundry, Inc. v. Laguna Lake Development Authority

  • G.R. No. 165387 - Mayon Estate Corporation and Earthland Developer Corporation v. Lualhati Beltran

  • G.R. No. 166570 - Efren M. Herrera, et al. v. National Power Corporation, et al.

  • G.R. No. 166941 - Spouses Dennis Barias and Divina Barias v. Heirs of Bartolome Boneo, namely, Juanita Leopoldo, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168668 - Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), et al. v. Pearl City Manufacturing Corporation, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168897 - Gina M. Tiangco and Salvacion Jenny Manego v. Uniwide Sales Warehouse Club, Inc. and Jimmy Gow

  • G.R. No. 168756 and G.R. NO. 171476 - Shrimp Specialist, Inc., v. Fuji-Triumph Agri-Industrial Corporation

  • G.R. No. 170447 - Bievenido Di o and Renato Comparativo v. Pablo Olivarez

  • G.R. No. 170476 - People of the Philippines v. Ricardo Grande

  • G.R. No. 170661 - Ramon B. Formantes v. Duncan Pharmaceutical, Philis., Inc.

  • G.R. No. 171023 - Arsenio S. Quiambao v. Manila Electric Company

  • G.R. No. 171669 - Heirs of Rodrigo Yacapin, namely, Sol Belnas, et al. v. Felimon Belida (Deceased), represented by Merlyn B. Palos, et al.

  • G.R. No. 171916 - Constantino A. Pascual v. Lourdes S. Pascual

  • G.R. No. 172092 - People of the Philippines v. Joey Tion y Cabadu

  • G.R. No. 172372 - The People of the Philippines v. Romar Teodoro y Vallejo

  • G.R. No. 172822 - MOF COMPANY, INC., v. SHIN YANG BROKERAGE CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 173158 - Alejandro B. Ty and International Realty Corporation v. Queen's Row Subdivision, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 173319 - Federico Miguel Olbes v. Hon. Danilo A. Buemio, etc. et al.

  • G.R. No. 173329 - Susan G. Po and Lilia G. Mutia v. Omerio Dampal

  • G.R. No. 173441 - Heirs of Sofia Quirong, etc. v. Development Bank of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 173533 - Vicente N. Luna, Jr. v. Nario Cabales, Oscar Pabalan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 174480 - People of the Philippines v. Reynaldo Albalate, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 175115 - Lily O. Orbase v. Office of the Ombudsman and Adoracion Mendoza-Bolos

  • G.R. No. 175393 and G.R. NO. 177731 - Government Service Insurance System v. RTC of Pasig, et al.

  • G.R. No. 175466 - Bank of the Philippine Islands as successor-in-interest of Far East Bank and Trust Company v. SMP, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 175803 - Governor Ornaldo A. Fua, Jr., et al. v. The Commission on Audit, et al.

  • G.R. No. 175994 - Jesus Campos and Rosemarie Campos-Bautista v. Nenita Buevinida Pastrana, et al.

  • G.R. No. 176291 - Jorge B. Navarra v. Office of the Ombudsman, Samuel Namnama, et al.

  • G.R. No. 176951, G.R. No. 177499 and G.R. No. 178056 - League of cities of the Philippines, et al. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 177384 - Josephine Wee v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 177404 and G.R. NO. 178097 - Land Bank of the Philippines v. Kumassie Plantation Company Incorporated

  • G.R. No. 177486 - Purisimo S. Buyco v. Nelson Baraquia

  • G.R. No. 177664 - CRC Agricultural Trading and Rolando B. Catindig v. National Labor Relations Commission and Roberto Obias

  • G.R. No. 177777 - People of the Philippines v. Fernando Gutierrez y Gatso

  • G.R. No. 178000 and 178003 - Liberato M. Carabeo v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178606 - The Episcopal Diocese of the Northern Philippines v. The District Engineer, MPED-DPWH

  • G.R. No. 179328 - Rizalina P. Positos v. Jacob M. Chua

  • G.R. No. 179356 - Kepco Philippines Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

  • G.R. No. 179505 - First Philippine Holding Corporation v. Trans Middle East (Phils.) Equities Inc.

  • G.R. No. 179554 - Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Trackworks Rail Transit Advertising, Vending and Promotions, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 178158 and G.R. NO. 180428 - Strategic Alliance Development Corporation v. Radstock Securities Limited and Philippine National Construction corporation

  • G.R. No. 179830 - Lintang Bedol v. Commssion on Elections

  • G.R. No. 179946 - The People of the Philippines v. Quirino Cabral y Valencia

  • G.R. No. 179952 - Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, etc. v. BA Finance Corporation and Malayan Insurance Co, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 180218 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 180439 - Resort Hotels Corporation, Rodolfo M. Cuenca Insvestment Corporation v. Development Bank of the Philippines and SM Investment Corp.

  • G.R. No. 181174 - Ma. Cristina Torres Braza, et al. v. The City Registrar of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, minor Patrick Alvin Titular Braza, represented by Leon Titular, et al.

  • G.R. No. 181455 and G.R. No. 182008 - Santiago Cua, Jr., et al. v. Miguel Ocampo Tan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 181556 - In Re: Petition for Assistance in the Liquidation of Intercity Savinds and Loan Bank, Inc., Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation v. Stockholders of Intercity Savings and Loan Bank, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 181571 - Juno Batistis v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 182013 - Quasha Ancheta Pe a & Nolasco Law Office and Legeng International Reports, Limited v. The Special Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182161 - Rev. Father Robert P. Reyes v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182216 - Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and Efren Belarmino v. Romel S. Dubrico, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182310 - People of the Philippines v. Jan Michael Tan and Archie Tan

  • G.R. No. 182336 - Elvira O. Ong v. Jose Casim Genio

  • G.R. No. 182430 - Leopoldo Abante v. KJGS Fleet Management Manila and/or Gur Domingo A. Macapayag, Kristian Gerhard Jebsens Skipsrenderi A/S

  • G.R. No. 182623 - Dionisio M. Musnit v. Sea Star Shipping Corporation and Sea Star Shipping Corporation, Ltd.

  • G.R. No. 182498 - Gen. Avelino I. Razon, Jr., chief, Philippine National Police (PNP), et al. v. Mary Jean B. Tagitis

  • G.R. No. 182626 - Hilario S. Ramirez v. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182645 - In the matter of the Heirship (Intestate Estates) of the late Hermogenes Rodriguez, et al., Rene B. Pascual v. Jaime M. Robles

  • G.R. No. 182735 - Sps. Rogelio Marcelo & Milagros v. Philippine Commercial International Bank (PCIB)

  • G.R. No. 183233 - Virgilio G. Anabe v. Asian Construction (ASIAKONSTRUKT), et al.

  • G.R. No. 183297 - National Power Corporation v. Hon. Amer Ibrahim, etc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 183317 - Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc. v. The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment, et al.

  • G.R. No. 18335 - Juanito Tabigue, et al. v. International Copra Export Corporation (INTERCO)

  • G.R. No. 183908 - Joelson O. Iloreta v. Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. and Norbulk Shipping U.K. Ltd.

  • G.R. No. 184836 - Simon B. Aldovino, Jr., Danilo B. Faller and Ferdinand N. Talabong v. Commission on Elections and Wilfredo F. Asilo

  • G.R. No. 184977 - Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. v. Ricky E. Dela Cruz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 185011 - People of the Philippines v. SP03 Sangki Ara y Mirasol, et al.

  • G.R. No. 185381 - People of the Philippines v. Danilo Cruz y Culala

  • G.R. No. 185477 - Herminio M. Gutierrez, et al. v. Flora Mendoza-Plaza, et al.

  • G.R. No. 185749 - Civil Service Commission v. Herminigildo L. Andal

  • G.R. No. 186234 - People of the Philippines v. Felix Palgan

  • G.R. No. 186242 - Government Service Insurance System v. City Treasurer and City Assessor of the City of Manila

  • G.R. No. 186460 - People of the Philippines v. Gualberto Cinco y Soyosa

  • G.R. No. 186965 - Temic Automotive Philippines, Inc. v. Temic Automotive Philippines, Inc., Employees Union

  • G.R. No. 187478 - Representative Danila Ramon S. Fernandez v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and Jesus L. Vicente

  • G.R. No. 187494 - People of the Philippines v. Elmer Barberos

  • G.R. No. 187838 - Adriatico Consortium, Inc. Primary Realty Corp., and Benito Cu-Uy-Gam v. Land Bank of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 188240 - Michael L. San Miguel v. Commission on Elections and Christopher V. Aguilar

  • G.R. No. 189868 - KABATAAN PARTY-LIST, ET AL. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 189698 - ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR., v. COMELEC

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 173158 - Alejandro B. Ty and International Realty Corporation v. Queen's Row Subdivision, Inc., et al.

      G.R. No. 173158 - Alejandro B. Ty and International Realty Corporation v. Queen's Row Subdivision, Inc., et al.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 173158 : December 4, 2009]

    ALEJANDRO B. TY and INTERNATIONAL REALTY CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. QUEEN'S ROW SUBDIVISION, INC., NEW SAN JOSE BUILDERS, INC., GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM and REGISTER OF DEEDS OF CAVITE, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

    This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari seeking the reversal of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals dated 31 January 2005 in CA-G.R. CV No. 62610 and the Resolution of the same Court dated 29 July 2006 denying the Motion for Reconsideration. Said Decision affirmed the Joint Decision dated 18 November 1997 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Imus, Cavite dismissing the separate Complaints for Declaratory Relief filed by petitioners Alejandro B. Ty and International Realty Corporation (IRC).

    The facts of the case are as follows:

    Petitioner Ty is the registered owner of a parcel of land situated in Molino, Bacoor, Cavite covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-3967. Petitioner IRC, on the other hand, is the registered owner of three parcels of land situated in the same barangay covered by TCTs No. T-1510, No. T-3617 and No. T-3618. The four titles were issued to petitioners sometime in 1960 and 1961.

    In 1970, respondent Queen's Row Subdivision, Inc. (QRSI) was issued TCTs No. T-54188, No. T-54185, No. T-54186 and No. T-54187, covering exactly the same areas and containing the same technical descriptions as those embraced in the titles of petitioners.

    On 29 June 1971, mortgages entered into by QRSI in favor of respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) were annotated at the back of the four titles of QRSI.

    In October 1973, petitioners Ty and IRC instituted with the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Bacoor, Cavite four Complaints for the cancellation of the four aforementioned certificates of title of QRSI, impleading only the latter and the Register of Deeds. GSIS was not impleaded, despite the fact that the mortgage in its favor had already been annotated in the subject titles. The Complaints were docketed as Civil Cases No. B-44, No. B-45, No. B-48 and No. B-49. Petitioners did not move to have a notice of lis pendens annotated in the subject titles.

    On 8 December 1980, the CFI of Bacoor, Cavite, rendered a Decision declaring that Ty's certificate of title, TCT No. 3967, was validly issued, and ordering the Register of Deeds to cancel QRSI's TCT No. 54188 for being void. On 20 December 1985, the same CFI rendered a Joint Decision ordering the Register of Deeds to cancel QRSI's TCTs No. T-54185, No. T-54186 and No. T-54187. Both Decisions were rendered for failure of respondent QRSI to appear at pre-trial despite filing an Answer to the Complaints.

    QRSI defaulted in the payment of its mortgage indebtedness to GSIS, leading to the foreclosure of the mortgages. The properties were sold at public auction, with GSIS emerging as the highest bidder. On 10 April 1986, Certificates of Sale were issued in favor of GSIS.

    QRSI failed to redeem the foreclosed properties within the one-year redemption period, allowing GSIS to consolidate its ownership thereof. TCTs No. T-230070, No. T-230071, No. T-230072 and No. T-225212 were, thus, issued in the name of GSIS.

    Thereupon, GSIS entered into a joint venture agreement with respondent New San Jose Builders, Inc. (NSJBI) for the development of the properties. NSJBI subsequently commenced construction and development works thereon.

    On 8 November 1993, petitioners' counsel, through a letter, demanded that GSIS and NSJBI vacate the subject properties.

    On 7 August 1994, Ty and IRC each filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief to Quiet Title/Remove Cloud from Real Property against respondents with the RTC of Imus, Cavite, this time impleading all respondents, QRSI, GSIS, NSJBI, and the Register of Deeds of Cavite. The cases were docketed as Civil Case No. BSC 94-2 and Civil Case No. 94-3. The cases were consolidated under Branch 20 of said court.

    On 18 November 1997, the RTC of Imus, Cavite, rendered its Joint Decision dismissing the complaints.

    Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals. The appeal was docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 62610 and was raffled to the Seventh Division. On 31 January 2005, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming the Joint Decision of the RTC. On 29 June 2006, the Court of Appeals denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Petitioners.

    Hence, this Petition, wherein petitioners present the following issues for our consideration:

    I.

    PRIVATE RESPONDENT GSIS, BEING A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, IS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY TO EXERCISE MORE CARE AND PRUDENCE IN DEALING WITH REGISTERED LANDS FOR ITS BUSINESS IS ONE AFFECTED WITH PUBLIC INTEREST KEEPING IN TRUST MONEY BELONGING TO ITS MEMBERS AND SHOULD GUARD AGAINST LOSSES AND, THEREFORE, CANNOT INVOKE THE PROTECTED MANTLE OF LAND REGISTRATION STATUTE (ACT 496).

    II.

    THE TITLE OF PETITIONERS BEING SUPERIOR TO THAT OF PRIVATE RESPONDENT QUEEN'S ROW, THE PRINCIPLE OF INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE REMAINED UNAFFECTED AND PETITIONERS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN GUILTY OF LACHES, ESTOPPEL, MUCH LESS PRESCRIPTION.2

    Innocent Purchaser for Value

    In the first issue raised by petitioners, they assail the finding of the Court of Appeals that GSIS was an innocent purchaser for value. The appellate court held:

    The records clearly show that the mortgages entered into by Queen's Row and GSIS were already inscribed on the former's titles on June 29, 1971 as shown by the entries appearing at the back of TCT Nos. T-54188, T-54185, T-54186 and T-54187, even before Civil Cases Nos. B-44, 45, 48 and 49 were instituted. In spite of this, petitioners-appellants (plaintiffs then) did not implead the GSIS as a party to the complaints. Moreso, no adverse claim or notice of lis pendens was annotated by petitioners-appellants on the titles of Queen's Row during the pendency of these cases. To make matters worse, as earlier stated, petitioners-appellants, after securing favorable decisions against Queen's Row, did not enforce the same for more than ten (10) years. By their inaction, the efficacy of the decisions was rendered at naught.

    Verily, a buyer in good faith is one who buys the property of another without notice that some other person has a right to or interest in such property. He is a buyer for value if he pays a full and fair price at the time of the purchase or before he has notice of the claim or interest of some other person in the property. In the instant case, the GSIS clearly had no notice of any defect, irregularity or encumbrance in the title of Queen's Row when the latter mortgaged the subject property. Neither did GSIS have any knowledge of facts and circumstances which should have put it on inquiry, requiring it to go [beyond] the certificate of title. Obviously, GSIS was an innocent purchaser for value and in good faith at the time it acquired the subject property.3

    Petitioners claim that since GSIS is a financial institution, it is charged with the duty to exercise more care and prudence in dealing with registered lands. On this basis, petitioners conclude that GSIS cannot invoke the protection of land registration statutes insofar as they protect innocent purchasers for value.

    While we agree with petitioners that GSIS, as a financial institution, is bound to exercise more than just ordinary diligence in the conduct of its financial dealings, we nevertheless find no law or jurisprudence supporting petitioners' claim that financial institutions are not protected when they are innocent purchasers for value. When financial institutions exercise extraordinary diligence in determining the validity of the certificates of title to properties being sold or mortgaged to them and still fail to find any defect or encumbrance upon the subject properties after said inquiry, such financial institutions should be protected like any other innocent purchaser for value if they paid a full and fair price at the time of the purchase or before having notice of some other person's claim on or interest in the property.

    On this note, petitioners insist that "GSIS was guilty of gross negligence in its failure to inquire and investigate the status and condition of the property when it approved the loan of private respondent Queen's Row."4 This allegation has no leg to stand on. Respondents allege that GSIS ascertained to its satisfaction the existence and authenticity of the titles of its predecessor-in-interest, QRSI; and was, in fact, able to procure true copies of the latter's titles from the Registry of Deeds.5 GSIS furthermore conducted an ocular inspection and found that the property was not in the possession of any person claiming an interest that was adverse to that of its predecessor-in-interest.6 Respondents' allegations are much more convincing in light of the fact that NSJBI was able to enter the subject property by virtue of its joint venture agreement with GSIS, and was able to commence construction and development works thereon.

    Petitioners have presented absolutely no evidence to prove their allegation of fraud on the part of QRSI and bad faith on the part of GSIS. They want us to merely conclude the same on the ground that they were able to secure the favorable decisions they obtained in Civil Cases No. B-44, No. B-45, No. B-48 and No. B-49. However, as shall be discussed later, these are already stale judgments, which cannot be executed anymore. Furthermore, these judgments were obtained ex parte, for failure of respondent QRSI to appear at the pre-trial despite filing an Answer to the Complaints. GSIS, on the other hand, was never impleaded in these four Complaints for cancellation filed in October 1973, despite the fact that the mortgages in GSIS's favor had been annotated on the subject titles since 29 June 1971. GSIS, therefore, never had any notice of these proceedings.

    Petitioners cannot expect GSIS to check the technical descriptions of each and every title in the Registry of Deeds of Cavite in order to determine whether there is another title to the same property. There is no one to blame for the failure of GSIS to have notice of such fact other than petitioners themselves. As stated above, they did not implead GSIS in their actions for cancellation of title despite the fact that, at the time of the filing of the cases, the mortgages in GSIS's favor had already been annotated on the subject titles. Petitioners likewise neglected to have a notice of lis pendens of the cancellation cases annotated on the subject titles, fueling respondents' suspicions that the former wanted their actions for cancellation to be uncontested by GSIS, the party really interested in challenging the same.

    Laches

    Petitioners challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeals finding them guilty of laches for their failure to execute the favorable decisions they obtained in Civil Cases No. B-44, No. B-45, No. B-48 and No. B-49, arguing that laches "cannot be raised even as a valid defense for claiming ownership of registered land, more so, if titles are tainted with fraud in their issuances."7 Their basis for this claim is the 1950 Court of Appeals case Dela Cruz v. Dela Cruz.8

    We are not persuaded.

    Firstly, as discussed above, while petitioners persistently harp on their allegation of fraud in the issuance of the title of GSIS, nevertheless, they have not presented any evidence to prove the alleged fraud on the part of either GSIS or even QRSI.

    Secondly, it must be stressed that the Decisions of this Court are the only judicial decisions that form part of our legal system. While rulings of the Court of Appeals may serve as precedents for lower courts, they only apply to points of law not covered by any Supreme Court decision.9

    Thirdly, this Court has, on several occasions, already ruled that even a registered owner of a property may be barred from recovering possession of the same by virtue of laches. Thus, in Heirs of Panganiban v. Dayrit,10 this Court discussed several cases wherein the principle of laches was applied against the registered owner:

    In our jurisdiction, it is an enshrined rule that even a registered owner of property may be barred from recovering possession of property by virtue of laches. Thus, in the case of Lola v. Court of Appeals, this Court held that petitioners acquired title to the land owned by respondent by virtue of the equitable principles of laches due to respondent's failure to assert her claims and ownership for thirty-two (32) years. In Miguel v. Catalino, this Court said that appellant's passivity and inaction for more than thirty-four (34) years (1928-1962) justifies the defendant-appellee in setting up the equitable defense of laches in his behalf. Likewise, in the case of Mejia de Lucas v. Gamponia, we stated that while the defendant may not be considered as having acquired title by virtue of his and his predecessor's long continued possession for thirty-seven (37) years, the original owner's right to recover possession of the property and the title thereto from the defendant has, by the latter's long period of possession and by patentee's inaction and neglect, been converted into a stale demand.

    Laches is the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which by exerting due diligence could or should have been done earlier.11 The law serves those who are vigilant and diligent, and not those who sleep when the law requires them to act.12 ???r?bl?

    G.R. No. 173158 - Alejandro B. Ty and International Realty Corporation v. Queen's Row Subdivision, Inc., et al.


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