Home : Chan Robles Virtual Law LibraryChan Robles Virtual Law LibraryPhilippine Supreme Court Decisions | Resolutions : Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

ChanRobles™Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com DebtKollect Company, Inc. - Debt Collection Firm Intellectual Property Division - Chan Robles Law Firm
Civil Law Reviewer - Dean Ed Vincent Albano

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE




www.chanrobles.com

SECOND DIVISION

G. R. No. 109645 July 25, 1994

ORTIGAS & COMPANY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Petitioners, v. JUDGE TIRSO VELASCO and DOLORES V. MOLINA, Respondents.

G. R. No. 112564 July 25, 1994

DOLORES V. MOLINA, Petitioner, v. HON. PRESIDING JUDGE OF RTC, QUEZON CITY, BR. 105 and MANILA BANKING CORPORATION, Respondents.

Eulogio R. Rodriguez and Joselito Cabote for Ortigas & Company Limited Partnership.chanrobles virtual law library

Doroteo B. Daguna & Associates, Teodorico V. Molina and Eufracio T. Layag for Dolores Molina.chanrobles virtual law library

Villaraza & Cruz for Manila Banking Corporation.

NARVASA, C.J.:chanrobles virtual law library

I. Scope of Decision; Chief Issue

This decision deals with two (2) special civil actions, separately filed and docketed as G. R. No. 109645 and G. R. No. 112564. 1They have been consolidated and are here jointly decided because they involve one and the same Torrens title: Transfer Certificate of Title No. 124088, reconstituted in the name of Dolores V. Molina. The land covered by said title overlaps that embraced in other titles issued to Ortigas and Company, Ltd. and subsequently transferred by it to other persons. More specifically, the property covered by Molina's reconstituted title is described by the petitioner as "a 13-hectare prime residential land, within (its) fully developed Greenmeadows Subdivision, . . . situated between the plush residential subdivisions of Corinthian Gardens and the Millionaires' Row of the Greenmeadows subdivision in Quezon City . . ."

The issue centers chiefly on the validity of the judgment of the respondent Trial Judge reconstituting said TCT No. 124088 in favor of Dolores V. Molina despite objections, among others, that there was a lack of actual notice to the adjacent owners, and that the land therein described is already covered by other Torrens titles earlier issued and accorded judicial recognition by this Court.

II. G. R. No. 109645

A. Origin: Reconstitution Proceeding (LRC Case No. Q-5404)

G. R. No. 109645 originated from a petition filed on November 14, 1991 with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City by Dolores V. Molina, praying for the reconstitution of her Transfer Certificate of Title No. 124088. The case was docketed as LRC Case No. Q-5404. In the petition, she alleged that the original copy of the title on file with the Quezon City Register of Deeds was lost during the fire that gutted said Office on June 11, 1988; that she was however in actual custody of the owner's duplicate copy of the title (i.e., the title "has been and still is in . . . (her) possession"); and that the title is not subject of any document or contract creating a lien or encumbrance on the land therein described. 2chanrobles virtual law library

B. Withdrawal, and Reinstatement of Case

On November 29, 1991 Molina moved for permission to withdraw her petition, stating that it had become necessary for her to go to the United States for some ten (10) months, to attend to her property in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The respondent Judge, Hon. Tirso Velasco, forthwith issued an order granting the motion; the case was dismissed, the petition being considered withdrawn. 3chanrobles virtual law library

Four months later, however, or on or about April 3, 1992, Molina filed an ex parte motion for "revival" of LRC Case No. Q-5404 and admission of an amended petition for reconstitution of her title. In the "affidavit of loss" appended to her amended petition, dated March 31, 1992, Dolores Molina averred that the owner's duplicate copy of TCT No. 124088 which, in her original petition of November 14, 1991, she claimed "has been and still is in . . . (her) possession, "was missing - a fact she discovered in "the middle part of September, 1991" - and that, since said owner's duplicate could no longer be found despite diligent efforts to locate it, she had secured a certification from the Land Management Bureau to the effect that there is "a record of . . . (her) property in a microfilm negative. 4chanrobles virtual law library

By Order dated April 3, 1992, Judge Velasco reinstated the (original, withdrawn) petition and admitted the amended petition, giving it "due course." In a separate Order of the same date, His Honor declared the amended petition sufficient in form and substance, and set it for hearing on June 29, 1992. He also directed that the Bureau of Land Management and the Land Registration Authority be given copies of the amended petition for their verification, comment, report and recommendation; that the amended petition be published in the Official Gazette; and that the Solicitor General and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City be furnished with copies of the order. 5chanrobles virtual law library

C. Objection to Petition by Office of Solicitor General

The Solicitor General's Office objected to the petition on the ground among others that no actual notice had been given to the adjacent owners. This resulted in the Court's acknowledgment, in its Order of July 3, 1992, of its inability to "declare as of now that it had already acquired jurisdiction over . . . (the) case considering the manifestation of . . . (Solicitor) Ma. Eloisa Castro that the requirement of notice to the other adjacent owners has not as yet been submitted to the Court altho (sic) apparently the land in question is being bounded by roads. 6chanrobles virtual law library

Molina thereupon filed an ex parte motion dated July 13, 1992, praying that notices be served on the (a) "subject owners" of specified lots in the corresponding "Technical Description of the subject land;" (b) the "President of the Corinthian Neighborhood Association or Corinthian Homeowners Association thru the Barangay Chairman of Barangay Corinthian because the adjoining property designated as Vicente Madrigal is now part of this Barangay Corinthian; " (c) the "Director, Bureau of Land, Plaza Cervantes Manila as adjoining owner designated as Public Land;" and (d) the "City Engineer of Quezon City for the adjoining boundaries designated as Roads or Road Lot." 7The motion was granted by Order of respondent Judge Velasco dated July 16, 1992, which also set the hearing of the case on July 20, 1992 at 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon. 8chanrobles virtual law library

D. Notice of Hearing

The notice of hearing, issued by the Clerk of Court under date of July 16, 1992, was addressed to only the last three (3) parties above named, to wit: the "President of the Corinthian Neighborhood Association or Corinthian Homeowners Association thru the Barangay Chairman of Barangay Corinthian because the adjoining property designated as Vicente Madrigal is now part of this Barangay Corinthian;" the "Director, Bureau of Lands, Plaza Cervantes Manila as adjoining owner designated as Public Land;" and the "City Engineer of Quezon City for the adjoining boundaries designated as Roads or Road
Lot." 9chanrobles virtual law library

E. Opposition by Ortigas & Co. Ltd.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Ortigas & Co., Ltd. allegedly learned of Molina's petition for reconstitution by accident and filed a formal opposition thereto. In a supplemental pleading dated July 21, 1992, 10it adverted to "a proliferation of syndicates taking advantage of the destruction by fire of land titles kept by the Quezon City Register of Deeds," and described Dolores Molina as "a well-known land speculator (who) . . . has filed several petitions which are glaringly contradictory to one another (and) therefore . . . perjurious." It pointed out that in Land Registration Case No. Q-336 entitled "Windows and Orphans Association, Inc. (WIDORA) - Applicant, LRC Record No. N-50589," for instance, Molina had filed an Opposition on August 25, 1978 claiming ownership over the property subject of the reconstitution case on the basis of "open public, adverse against the whole world, continuous and uninterrupted possession (thereof) for more than thirty (30) years or since time immemorial thru herself, her tenants or predecessors-in-interest under claim of ownership;" said claim of Molina, of dominion gained through acquisitive prescription, was contradictory of her claim in a complaint earlier filed by her on February 22, 1990 - with the same Quezon City RTC branch (No. 88) having cognizance of the reconstitution case - docketed as Civil Case No. 90-4749 entitled "Dolores V. Molina v. Ortigas & Company, Limited Partnership, et al.," in which complaint, she alleged that sometime in 1939 she acquired the property by purchase from Eusebia Molina and her heirs, Avelino P. Ramos and Felix P. Micael; the deed of conveyance that was entrusted for safekeeping to her late husband, Pio Q. Molina, having been lost during World War II; and she had been unable to have the property titled because "she was so preoccupied as the sole breadwinner of the family . . . ;" (and that in the meanwhile Ortigas succeeded in having the land "titled in its name through deceit, fraud and misrepresentation and scheme . . . ," and thereafter subdivided the same and sold the individual lots to other persons, including Interpublic Development Corporation and Breeders Feeds Incorporated). 11These contradictory assertions, according to Ortigas, betrayed the "highly suspicious and irregular" character of the Molina petition.

1. Report of Land Registration Authority

Ortigas' opposition also cited a report of the Land Registration Authority to the Court a quo drawing attention to irregularities in the petition, among these being: that the plan relied upon by Molina, Psd-16740 "appears to be derived from two different surveys, numbered Psu-1148 & Psu-20191, neither of which appear(s) to have been the subject of original registration; thus it is presumed that no original title had been issued from which TCT-124088 could have emanated;" that said plan "is a portion of (LRC) SWO-15352 which is being applied for registration of title in Land Reg. Case No. Q-336, LRC Rec. No. N-50589," etc.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

F. Opposition by Mormons (Manila Mission)

Molina's petition for reconstitution was also opposed by the Manila Mission of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Inc. (Mormons), 12which had been apprised of LRC Case No. Q-5404 by Ortigas' counsel. The Mormon Mission referred to the pendency of Civil Case No. 90-4749 ("Dolores V. Molina vs. Ortigas et al.") wherein it (the Mission) is one of the defendants, and to the "contradictory circumstances" asserted by Molina in that case and in the reconstitution proceeding, and alleged that a portion of the property claimed by Molina was covered by its own Transfer Certificate of Title No. 348048, involving land acquired by it in good faith and for value.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

On the issues thus raised, hearing of the petition for reconstitution proceeded in due course.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

G. Testimony of Dolores Molina

As might be expected, Molina testified at the hearing. Her testimony is summarized in the Velasco decision of September 23, 1992. 13She made no reference whatever in her testimony to the theory of prescription as her mode of acquisition of the land in dispute. She deposed that she and her late husband had acquired the two (2) parcels of land in question from the latter's relatives in 1939; that she had in truth seen the deed of sale and the titles in her husband's possession; that her husband was killed by the Japanese in 1944; that it was only in the 1960's that she attempted to obtain titles to the property in her name, and sought the help of President Marcos, who "became her boyfriend;" that Marcos had, in turn, referred her for legal assistance to former Judge Echeverri; that she had subsequently left for the United States where she stayed until her return during the martial law regime at which time, however, she could no longer get in touch with either Judge Echeverri or President Marcos; that sometime in 1990 she met Gen. Fabian Ver in Singapore, and she was then told that Marcos had given instructions for the delivery to her of the title to the disputed lands, to be accomplished back in Manila; that the title (TCT 124088) was actually delivered to her by Col. Balbino Diego in November, 1990 at her house in Philam Life Homes Subdivision in Quezon City; that she learned that the title had been entrusted to Col. Diego in 1986, when Gen. Ver and President Marcos fled the country, but Diego had been unable to give her the title earlier because he was placed under house arrest shortly after Marcos' deposal and remained under such restraint until May 11, 1988.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

H. Trial Court's Judgment, September 23, 1992

Respondent Judge Velasco rendered judgment in Molina's favor on September 23, 1992, directing the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to reconstitute the original copy of TCT No. 124088 in her name.

I. Appeals by Ortigas and Office of Solicitor General; Mormons' Motion for Reconsideration; Molina's Motion for Striking Out Appeal or for Immediate Execution

On September 30, 1992, the day following its receipt of Judge Velasco's decision, Ortigas filed its notice of appeal therefrom. 14On October 6, 1992, Molina filed a motion to strike the notice of appeal or in the alternative, to allow execution of the decision pending appeal. This motion Ortigas opposed in writing. The Mormons, for their part, filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision. The Solicitor General also filed a notice of appeal in the Republic's behalf. 15

J. Order, October 14, 1992 Dismissing Ortigas' Appeal, Denying Mormons' Motion for Reconsideration, and Authorizing Immediate Execution

In an Order dated October 14, 1992, 16Judge Velasco passed upon these remedial steps taken by Ortigas and the Mormons.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

His Honor declared that "Ortigas is . . . not vested with any justiciable interest to be a party in (the) case" because it had admittedly "already sold all the subdivision lots which it claims to overlap the disputed two lots (of Molina)," and Ortigas' pleadings "failed to disclose . . . any allegation about its ownership of road lots that may overlap the land covered by the certificate of title of petitioner sought to be reconstituted;" it was not therefore a real party in interest since it would neither derive benefit nor suffer injury from the decision; hence, its opposition could not be entertained and, "by force of law," it could not also appeal the decision. The lower court thus declared Ortigas' notice of appeal to be "a mere scrap of paper."chanrobles virtual law library

Said court also granted Molina's motion for immediate execution, opining on the ostensible basis of case law, that Ortigas' appeal was "frivolous and interposed only for purposes of delay," preclusion thereof was justified by the need "to prevent wastage of income," or "avoid the possibility of . . . judgment becoming illusory or to minimize damage unduly suffered by the prevailing party or to prevent further damage," as well as by Molina's advanced age.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

In the same Order, Judge Velasco declared the Mormons' motion for reconsideration - premised on the failure of the court to acquire jurisdiction over the case due to lack of notice - a mere pro forma one, since it posed issues already raised and considered, and any defect of notice had been cured by the actual participation of the Mormons in the proceedings.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

K. Molina's New (Reconstituted) Title

Pursuant to this Order, Molina succeeded in having her title (TCT No. 124088) reconstituted; and it was assigned a new number: TCT No. RT-58287. Molina caused the land thereby covered to be subdivided into five (5) parcels and obtained separate titles for them (the reconstituted title being, of course, consequently cancelled in the process). These titles over the five (5) subdivided lots, TCT's Numbered 83163, 83164, 83165, 83166 and 83167, were all issued in the name of Dolores V. Molina. Later, TCT No. 83164 was cancelled and replaced by TCT No. 83869 in the name of Gateway Enterprises Co., Inc. to which Molina had apparently sold the land therein described for P24,408,000.00. 17chanrobles virtual law library

On November 23, 1992 the Solicitor General filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order dated October 14, 1992. The Mormons, for their part, filed a notice of appeal in respect of which Molina filed a "Motion to Strike Out Notice of Appeal" on December 10, 1992.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

L. Order, February 10, 1992, Striking Out Solicitor General's Appeal

The motions were resolved by Judge Velasco in an order dated February 10, 1993. He denied the Mormons' plea for reconsideration on the ground that as to them the case had become moot and academic in light of Molina's "uncontested manifestation dated December 22, 1992 that she has already executed QUIT-CLAIM AND WAIVER in favor of the Mormons and . . . the Mormons had already filed a motion withdrawing its notice of appeal."chanrobles virtual law library

It appears that the Mormons Manila Mission did indeed file a "Withdrawal of Appeal" dated December 11, 1992 because Molina had "already recognized . . . (its [the Mormons']) ownership and possession . . . over the portion covered by RT-58287 (124088) with an area of 8,860 sq. m. and covered by TCT No. 348048 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City," a copy of Molina's "Quitclaim and Waiver" to this effect, dated December 18, 1992, being appended to said "Withdrawal of Appeal." 18chanrobles virtual law library

The Judge also granted Molina's motion to strike out the Solicitor General's notice of appeal, holding that since the Solicitor General "has not filed any formal opposition to the petition and neither has it introduced and/or formally offered any evidence to warrant its dismissal," it appearing on the contrary, that "the Land Management Bureau, the DENR, the Register of Deeds and the City Engineer's Office of Quezon City, which are the government agencies . . . directly involved in this kind of proceeding has not registered any opposition to the petition," the notice of appeal filed by him was "sham" aside from being ten (10) days late. 19chanrobles virtual law library

M. The Present Petition

Ortigas thus instituted in this Court on April 20, 1993 the special civil action of certiorari and mandamus, now docketed as G. R. No. 109645, praying that Judge Velasco's Orders of October 14, 1992 and February 10, 1993, be invalidated; that "all Transfer Certificates of Title, including owner's duplicate and mortgagees' copies, if any, arising out of the reconstituted Transfer Certificates of Title of the disputed order of respondent Judge dated October 14, 1992 . . . . be declared void ab initio;" and that, alternatively, respondent Judge be ordered "to act on the notices of appeal seasonably filed by forwarding the records of LRC Case No. Q-5404 to the Court of Appeals." It also prayed for a temporary restraining order - which this Court granted upon a bond of P50,000.00, in a Resolution dated May 12, 1993 - prohibiting respondent Judge from further acting upon the case and enjoining Molina from selling, encumbering or otherwise transacting over the land covered by her reconstituted Torrens title issued on the basis of the questioned order of October 14, 1992. 20After pleadings had been submitted by the parties on the Court's instructions (i.e., comment, reply thereto, and rejoinder to the reply), the petition was given due course. The parties were required to file memoranda, which they have done.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

III. G. R. No. 112564

A. Origin: Action by Manilabank for Annulment of Molina's Title

G. R. No. 112564, on the other hand, 21originated from an action commenced in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court by the Manila Banking Corporation against Dolores V. Molina and Gateway Enterprises Company,
Inc. 22The action was denominated one for "Annulment of Transfer Certificate of Title with Damages and Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and Restraining Order," and was docketed as Case No. Q93-15920. It prayed for nullification of the same title of Dolores V. Molina (TCT No. 124088) over parcels of land situated at Ugong Norte, (now) Quezon City. According to the bank it was the owner of those parcels of land, having acquired them at a mortgage foreclosure sale from two (2) corporations which had earlier bought the same from Ortigas & Company. 23It alleged that originally, the land formerly covered by TCTs No. 77652 and 77653 in the name of Ortigas had been converted into a large subdivision comprising numerous lots. A number of these lots were sold to Manila Interpublic Development Corporation (Interpublic) and to Breeders Feeds, Inc. The Interpublic lots were later mortgaged to Manilabank as security for loans of Interpublic itself and of seven other persons in the total amount of P195,985,200.00; and the lots of Breeders Feeds, Inc. were also mortgaged as security for its own loans. The mortgages were foreclosed over a period of time from 1986 to 1990, and new titles issued in favor of Manilabank as the highest bidder at the foreclosure sales. Manilabank further alleged that since then, it had paid and been paying all taxes corresponding to the property (e.g., transfer and real estate taxes).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Molina filed a motion to dismiss this complaint, dated May 18, 1993. She alleged several grounds: litis pendentia, lack of jurisdiction, bar by prior judgment, plaintiff's lack of status as a real party in interest, and failure of the complaint to state a cause of action. She adverted to G. R. No. 109645 entitled "Ortigas & Co. Partnership Limited v. Judge Tirso Velasco and Dolores Molina," in which the same relief is sought, i.e., "the declaration of nullity of the same Orders that ordered the reconstitution of Title No. 124088 of . . . defendant Molina . . . ," and in which had been issued "a restraining Order/writ of Injunction against selling/encumbering the property covered by the said title and those derived therefrom." It alleged that the Trial Court had no jurisdiction to annul the judgment of a coordinate Court (reconstituting Molina's title); that the latter orders constituted a bar to the action; and that plaintiff Manilabank was not a party to the agreements in question. A similar motion was filed by Molina's co-defendant, Gateway Enterprises Co.

B. Orders of September 17, 1992 and November 25, 1993 Adverse to Molina

The motions were denied for lack of merit, by Order dated September 17, 1993. The Court pointed out inter alia that -

. . . The case in G. R. No. 109645 involves reconstitution while this case involves quieting of title. The two actions are dissimilar in nature, rights and reliefs. This case does not involve the annulment of orders/decision of a coordinate court. The LRC case merely directed restoration by way of reconstitution of the titles, whereas this action is a direct attack on Molina's title, whether reconstituted or not. Consequently, the order/decision in the LRC case is not a bar to this suit wherein plaintiff is a real party in interest with a valid cause of action.

After the filing by Molina of supplemental pleadings in support of her original motion to dismiss, the Court reaffirmed its denial of Molina's attempts to summarily terminate the action, by another Order dated November 25, 1993.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

C. The Present Recourse

Molina then filed in this Court on December 1, 1993, through counsel, Atty. Eufracio T. Layag, a petition for certiorari dated November 29, 1993, seeking annulment of said Orders of November 25, 1993 and September 17, 1993 and the dismissal of the action before the Court a quo upon the grounds set out in her motions to dismiss. This was docketed as G. R. No. 112564. At the Court's direction, comment on the petition was filed by the respondents. Molina's cause in this case is in essence dependent on the validity and efficacy of the reconstituted title she asserts over the land in dispute, TCT No. 124088, which is the precise matter in issue in G. R. No. 109645. Hence, as announced in the opening paragraph of this opinion, the two cases are hereby resolved jointly.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

On December 9, 1993, through the same lawyer, Atty. Eufracio T. Layag, Molina filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, also dated November 29, 1993, which is identical in every respect, in content, allegation and prayer, to that filed in this Court on December 1, 1993. Except for addressing itself to the Court of Appeals, said petition is identical, page by page from page 1 to page 11, to the petition before this Court. 24chanrobles virtual law library

IV. Other Relevant Antecedents

Other facts, of judicial notice, or either admitted or uncontested, need be mentioned so that the issues may be placed in proper perspective and thoroughly understood.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The cases just described - G. R. No. 109645 (QC RTC LRC Case No. Q-5404) and G. R. No. 112564 (QC RTC Case No. Q93-15926) - are not the only ones which involve the parcels of land covered by Molina's reconstituted title (TCT RT-58287 [formerly TCT No. 124088]), on the one hand, and Ortigas' titles (TCT's No. 77652 and 77653), on the other. There are others which, considered conjointly with the cases at bench, reveal Molina's disparate efforts to assert ownership over the property and nullify Ortigas' titles over them.

A. G. R. No. 91797 (CA G. R. SP No. 18085 and Quezon City RTC Case LRC No. Q-336)

One such case is that which also originated in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, docketed as LRC No. Q-336 and assigned by raffle to Branch 83. The case was one for registration of land, instituted sometime in August of 1974 by an entity calling itself "Widows and Orphans Association, Inc.," or "WIDORA."

1. Dolores Molina's Claim

In that case, Dolores Molina filed a document entitled "Motion, Manifestations and Notice of Claim" dated August 24, 1978 as well as a separate opposition to the application for registration. Molina claimed ownership of 12 hectares of the land applied for - the same property later made subject of her reconstitution petition - alleging that WIDORA had executed a Deed of Quitclaim and Assignment dated August 10, 1978 in her favor, and that in that deed, a certain Flaviana V. Vda. de Leon, "for herself and as President of the . . . (WIDORA)" "acknowledged and recognized" the ownership of Dolores Molina - by acquisitive prescription, no mention being made of any purchase by the latter - over an unspecified portion of the land sought to be registered with an area of twelve hectares, more or less. 25The deed also assented to Molina's intervention "as a party in Registration Case No. Q-336 . . . in order to protect her interest or claim in the above-described property."chanrobles virtual law library

Ortigas also opposed WIDORA's application. It filed a motion to dismiss the proceeding on October 24, 1978 on the ground that the land applied for was already titled in its name, its muniments of ownership being TCT's Numbered 77652 and 77653.

2. Trial Court's Order, March 30, 1988

However, the Regional Trial Court eventually rejected Ortigas' claim by Order dated March 30, 1988, holding that said TCT's Numbered 77652 and 77653 were null and void because not derived from any decree of registration; and that Molina was the lawful owner of the area of 12 to 14 hectares claimed by her.

3. Judgment of Court of Appeals of November 27, 1989

Its motion for reconsideration having been denied by Order May 19, 1989, Ortigas went up to the Court of Appeals on certiorari, its action being docketed as CA G. R. SP No. 18085, praying for the setting aside of the Orders of March 30, 1988 and May 19, 1989, and for the dismissal of the registration case. The Appellate Court granted the writ prayed for. In its decision promulgated on November 27, 1989, it declared that the decree recognizing Ortigas' ownership of the lands embraced in its titles (TCT's No. 77652 and 77653) was binding against the whole world and constituted res judicata. It categorically ruled that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas."

WIDORA appealed to the Supreme Court. Molina did not, and consequently the judgment in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 became final and executory as to her.

4. Review Proceedings in Supreme Court

WIDORA's appeal was docketed in this Court as G. R. No. 91797 and initially met with success. In a Decision rendered by the Third Division on August 28, 1991, 26the judgment of the Court of Appeals was reversed. But WIDORA's success was short-lived.

5. Resolution of August 7, 1992

Acting on Ortigas' motion for reconsideration, and after hearing the parties in oral argument, considering their memoranda in amplification of said oral argument, and re-examining the evidence of record, including the records of previously decided cases - cases involving the titles of Ortigas which had gone through the whole range of ventilation before the Court of First Instance, then the Court of Appeals, and finally the Supreme Court - the Court reconsidered its Decision of August 28, 1991, in an extended Resolution promulgated on August 7, 1992. 27It ruled that Ortigas' titles had already been upheld and affirmed in three (3) other cases determined in 1906, 1985 and 1987, and that WIDORA's claim had already been rejected by this Court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The points stressed in the Resolution of August 7, 1992 and the precedents relied upon, may be summarized as follows:

1. TCT's No. 77652 and 77653 are genuine derivatives of Original Decree of Registration No. 1425, duly issued in G.L.R.O. Record No. 917 on April 26, 1905 by the Land Registration Court of Manila. The validity of this Decree was affirmed on appeal by the Supreme Court in Cia. Agricola de Ultramar v. Domingo, 6 Phil. 146 (1906).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

2. The facts in Ortigas v. Hon. Ruiz, 148 SCRA 326, 331 (1987) prove that Decree No. 1425 confirmed ownership by the Compañia Agricola de Ultramar, Ortigas' predecessor-in- interest, of the Hacienda de Mandaloyon, a large tract of land situated in what are now the cities of Manila and Quezon City, and the municipality of Pasig.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

3. The extent documentary sources of the boundaries of the Hacienda are the technical descriptions thereof appearing in the initial notice of hearing in G.L.R.O. Record No. 917, which was published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in 1904: the "Manila American" and "La Democracia." Copies of the pertinent issues of these newspapers were found in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. and certified copies thereof were presented in the trial court proceedings upheld by the Court of Appeals and ultimately by the Supreme Court through a minute resolution, in del Rosario v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 66110, 16 February 1985.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

4. The technical descriptions of the land covered by the two titles above mentioned, No. 77652 and 77653, demonstrate that the land lies within the boundaries of the Hacienda, as defined in those extant sources.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

5. These factual matters are set forth with greater clarity and detail in the decisions upheld by this Court through minute resolutions in Navarro v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 50156, May 7, 1979 (affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. R. No. 53125-R dated December 13, 1978), and in del Rosario v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 66110, February 16, 1985 (sustaining the judgment of the Court of Appeals in AC-G. R. CV No. 61456 dated December 29, 1983). 28The judgments having been rendered in proceedings in rem, and the factual matters resolved in Navarro and del Rosario showing that "the land covered by Widora's application forms part of that vast tract of land adjudicated to Ortigas' predecessor-in-interest in the 1906 decision," the judgments therein are binding on Widora.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

6. Equally important, Navarro and del Rosario sustained the judicial pronouncement that Transfer Certificates of Title Numbered 77652 and 77653 had become and are now indefeasible and incontrovertible; and this circumstance precludes cognizance by the Trial Court of WIDORA's application for registration in its name of the same land in LRC No. Q-336 or acquisition of jurisdiction over the case, the land now being conclusively registered under the Torrens System in the name of Ortigas.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

7. Parenthetically, WIDORA was also a party in Benito and WIDORA v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 69343, February 6, 1985 - wherein the Court pronounced valueless the foundation of WIDORA's claims over the land covered by TCT's No. 77652 and 77653: and alleged Spanish title dated April 25, 1894, Titulo de Propiedad No. 4136, said to be issued in the name of one Mariano San Pedro y Esteban - "supposedly covering land of unimaginably large proportions: 173,000 hectares in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Quezon City, Caloocan City and Pasay City."

WIDORA's motion for reconsideration of the Resolution of August 7, 1992 was denied with finality by the Court in its Resolution dated October 28, 1992. It bears emphasizing that this Court's Resolution of August 7, 1992, which affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. R. SP No. 18085, is binding not only on WIDORA but also on Dolores V. Molina who, as already mentioned, did not appeal from that decision of the Court of Appeals.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

B. CA G. R. SP No. 23588

1. Origin: Case No. Q-90-4749) Filed by Dolores Molina

On February 22, 1990 - two (2) months or so after the judgment of the Court of Appeals in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 became final and executory as to her, declaring inter alia that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas" - Molina launched another attempt to litigate the same cause. She commenced in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City an action for reconveyance against Ortigas, Interpublic Development Corporation, Breeders Feeds, Inc., 29Atty. Renan V. Santos (Receiver of Manilabank and Interpublic and Breeders), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Manila Philippines Temple), City Treasurer of Quezon City, City Assessor of Quezon City and Register of Deeds of Quezon City. The action was docketed as Case No. Q-90-4749 and raffled to Branch 88. This time Molina based her claim to the twelve hectares of land at Ugong Norte (indicated more precisely as measuring 126,278 sq. m.) on an alleged transfer - not from WIDORA but from Eusebia Molina and her heirs Avelino P. Ramos and Felix P. Micael sometime in 1939 - and further averred that she had been unable to attend to the titling of the property in her name because her time and efforts were entirely occupied with being her family's breadwinner.

2. Trial Court's Orders of August 9, and November 14, 1990

Ortigas filed a motion to dismiss Molina's complaint, dated April 6, 1990. This the Court denied, by Order issued on August 9, 1990. Ortigas' motion for reconsideration was also denied, by Order dated November 14, 1990.

3. Judgment of Court of Appeals of July 23, 1991

Again, Ortigas went up to the Court of Appeals on certiorari (docketed as CA G. R. SP No. 23588), and again succeeded in reversing the Trial Court's judgment. In a Decision promulgated on July 23, 1991, the Court of Appeals directed the dismissal of the reconveyance case instituted by Molina.

4. Modifying Resolution of December 4, 1991; Error Therein

The Court of Appeals however subsequently modified its decision. By Resolution dated December 4, 1991, 30said Court ordered the remand of the reconveyance case to Branch 88 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, there to be consolidated with the registration case of WIDORA, LRC Case No. Q-336.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The Appellate Court evidently placed reliance on the original Decision of this Court (Third Division) in G. R. No. 91797 dated August 28, 1991 (directing remand "to the trial court [of the proceedings] for trial and adjudication on the merits"), which had not attained finality at that time and, what is worse, was later completely reversed and set aside. As already stated, this Court reconsidered the decision of August 28, 1991 and eventually affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals, commanding the dismissal of WIDORA's application for registration. 31Consolidation of Molina's reconveyance case with said LRC Case No. Q-336 was therefore no longer possible.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

It is germane to point out that on November 11, 1991 - about a year after the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 became final and executory as to her, holding inter alia that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas," and barely two (2) months after the Court of Appeals had resolved (albeit erroneously) to remand her reconveyance case (No. Q-90-4749) to Branch 88 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court for consolidation with LRC Case No. Q-336 - Molina initiated still another attempt to litigate exactly the same claim. She filed the petition for reconstitution (LRC Case No. Q-5405) which has given rise to one of the present proceedings (G. R. No. 109645).

V. The Court's Opinion

A painstaking analysis of the record of the cases at bar in relation to the relevant antecedents convinces the Court that the proceedings in the sala of respondent Judge Velasco, LRC Case No. Q-5404, which resulted in the reconstitution of Molina's title, are tainted with serious, even invalidating, defects and must consequently be nullified and set aside.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

A. Lack of Jurisdiction for Failure of Notice

The respondent Court heard and decided the reconstitution case without having acquired jurisdiction of the nature or subject matter. Republic Act No. 26, entitled "An Act Providing A Special Procedure For the Reconstitution of Torrens Certificate of Title Lost or Destroyed," specifies the requisites to be met in order that the court may acquire competence to act on a petition for reconstitution of title and grant the appropriate remedy. These requisites, which this Court has repeatedly held to be mandatory and jurisdictional, are set forth in Section 13 of the statute. 32Said section provides as follows: 33

Sec. 13 The Court shall cause a notice of the petition, filed under the preceding section, to be published, at the expense of the petitioner, twice in successive issues of the Official Gazette, and to be posted on the main entrance of the provincial building and of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land is situated, at least thirty days prior to the date of hearing. The court shall likewise cause a copy of the notice to be sent, by registered mail or otherwise, at the expense of the petitioner, to every person named therein whose address is known, at least thirty days prior to the date of the hearing. Said notice shall state among other things the number of the lost or destroyed certificates of title if known, the name of the registered owner, the name of the occupants or persons in possession of the property, the owner of the adjoining properties and all other interested parties, the location, area and boundaries of the property, and the date on which all persons having any interest therein must appear and file their claim of objection to the petition. The petitioner shall, at the hearing, submit proof of the publication, posting and service of the notice as directed by the court.

As the law makes quite clear, it is essential in reconstitution cases that:

1) notice of the petition be (a) published, at the expense of the petitioner, twice in successive issues of the Official Gazette, and (b) posted on the main entrance of the provincial building and of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land is situated, at least thirty days prior to the date of hearing;chanrobles virtual law library

2) the notice state among other things the number of the lost or destroyed certificates of title if known, the name of the registered owner, the name of the occupants or persons in possession of the property, the owner of the adjoining properties and all other interested parties, the location, area and boundaries of the property, and the date on which all persons having any interest therein must appear and file their claim of objection to the petition;chanrobles virtual law library

3) a copy of the notice also be sent, by registered mail or otherwise, at the expense of the petitioner, to every person named therein (i.e., the occupants or persons in possession of the property, the owner of the adjoining properties and all other interested parties) whose address is known, at least thirty days prior to the date of the hearing; and chanrobles virtual law library

4) at the hearing, petitioner submit proof of the publication, posting and service of the notice as directed by the court.

The controlling doctrine as regards the indispensability of notice on the parties named in the statute is set out in Manila Railroad Company v. Hon. Jose M. Moya, et al., 34viz:

If no notice of the date of hearing of a reconstitution case is served on a possessor or one having interest in the property involved, he is deprived of his day in court and the order of reconstitution is null and void, even if otherwise the said order should have been final and executory.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 26, notice of publication is not sufficient but such notice must be actually sent or delivered to parties affected by the petition for reconstitution.

Judge Velasco's attention was drawn to the defects in the notice required by law. In point of fact, neither the petition for reconstitution nor the Trial Court's Order requiring publication in the Official Gazette indicated the names and addresses of any occupant or person in possession of the property covered by the reconstitution case, or any owner of the adjoining properties. It was clear, too, that no notice had been given to Ortigas which, as owner of road lots within the area in question, should be deemed an "interested party" in legal contemplation (although this latter defect was cured by Ortigas' subsequent intervention and participation in the reconstitution case).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Yet the Judge did not require Molina to give notice of the petition to the adjoining owners and interested parties; this, despite expressly acknowledging in his Order dated July 3, 1992, that his court had not as of that time indeed acquired jurisdiction over the reconstitution case "considering the manifestation of . . . (Solicitor) Ma. Eloisa Castro that the requirement of notice to the other adjacent owners has not as yet been submitted to the Court altho apparently the land in question is being bounded by roads." 35Instead, at Molina's instance, he authorized her to send notices of the petition to the President of the Corinthian Homeowners Association, the Director of the Bureau of Lands and the City Engineer of Quezon City. Now, obviously these three, whatever interest they may have in the case, or in the property involved, are not the adjoining owners contemplated by law, on whom notice of the reconstitution proceedings must be served. Nor did they, by their receipt of notice of the petition, incur the legal obligation to transmit such notice to the actual owners of the adjoining lots, assuming they had knowledge of the latter's identities. There was thus, as a matter of actual fact, no notice of the petition ever given to the owner(s) of the adjoining properties and all other interested parties. . There was, therefore, through a faulty reading of the statute, or due to a desire to end the proceedings quickly, or because of some covert purpose, a failure to comply with the law and a resultant failure on the part of the court to acquire jurisdiction over the nature or subject-matter of the case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

B. Lack of Authority to Reinstate Withdrawn Case

Another serious error was the "revival" or reinstatement by His Honor of the case, some four months after it had been dismissed pursuant to Rule 17 of the Rules of Court, upon an ex parte motion of Dolores V. Molina.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

As above stated, on November 14, 1991 Molina filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City her application for the reconstitution of her Transfer Certificate of Title No. 124088, which was docketed as LRC Case No. Q-5404. Fifteen days later, she moved for permission to withdraw the petition, stating that she had to go to the United States on business for some ten (10) months. The case was dismissed, or deemed withdrawn, by order of the Court. 36chanrobles virtual law library

Four months later, however, or on or about April 2, 1992, Molina filed an ex parte motion to "revive" LRC Case No. Q-5404 and for admission of an amended petition for reconstitution of her title. The motion was granted in one or two days and the petition set for hearing. This is manifest error.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The dismissal of the case, and the lapse of the reglementary period to reconsider or set aside the dismissal, effectively operated to remove the case from the Court's docket. Even assuming the dismissal to be without prejudice, the case could no longer be reinstated or "revived" by mere motion in the original docketed action, but only by the filing of another complaint accompanied, of course, by the payment of the corresponding filing fees prescribed by law. The situation is not at all altered by the circumstance that the dismissal of the action was effected by the plaintiff as a matter of right, without order of the court, in accordance with Rule 17 of the Rules of Court. There having been a dismissal or withdrawal of the action, albeit without prejudice, and the order considering the action withdrawn having become final, revival of the case could not be done except through the commencement of a new action, i.e., by the filing of another complaint and the payment of the concomitant docketing fees.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Section 1 of Rule 17 provides that an action "may be dismissed by the plaintiff without order of court by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service of the answer or of a motion for summary judgment." Such a dismissal (or withdrawal) "is without prejudice" (i.e., without prejudice to its re-institution) unless "otherwise stated in the notice" (e.g., the notice actually declares the dismissal to be with prejudice [to its re-filing] or states some fact barring subsequent re-litigation, e.g., that the plaintiff has in truth no right of action against the defendant, or his right of action had prescribed, etc.). However, even if not so stated expressly or impliedly, the notice of dismissal would nonetheless operate "as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has once dismissed in a competent court an action based on or including the same claim" (in other words, a plaintiff may not dismiss his action as a matter of right, by mere notice, more than once).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

To be sure, a plaintiff who has dismissed his action by notice under this provision may later change his mind and decide to continue with it. In that event, since theoretically every final disposition of an action does not attain finality until after fifteen (15) days therefrom, and consequently within that time the action still remains within the control of the Court, the plaintiff may move to withdraw and set aside his notice of dismissal and revive his action, before that period lapses. But after the dismissal has become final through the lapse of the fifteen-day reglementary period, the only way by which the action may be resuscitated or "revived," is by the institution of a subsequent action through the filing of another complaint and the payment of the fees prescribed by law. This is so because upon attainment of finality of the dismissal through the lapse of said reglementary period, the Court loses jurisdiction and control over it and can no longer make any disposition in respect thereof inconsistent with such dismissal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The order of Judge Velasco reviving the reconstitution case was therefore legally inefficacious. It could not and did not operate to reinstate the proceeding. And even assuming that the amended petition submitted by Molina together with her motion to revive the case may be deemed a new petition, the non-payment of the requisite docketing fees precluded the acquisition of jurisdiction by the Trial Court over the second proceeding. 37chanrobles virtual law library

C. Molina's Self-Contradictions

The record moreover discloses contradictions in the sworn asseverations of Dolores V. Molina relative to the manner of her acquisition of ownership over the land in question and her possession of the documents of title over it, of so serious and irreconcilable a character as to render it well nigh impossible to accord any credence to her claims.

1. As To Her Ownership of the Land

1. In 1978 she declared under oath 38that she owned the property in question in virtue of "open public, adverse . . ., continuous and uninterrupted possession for more than thirty (30) years or since time immemorial thru herself, her tenants or predecessors-in-interest under claim of ownership" - i.e., possession dating back, at the very least, to 1928. 39She made no reference whatever to purchase from Eusebia Molina (or assignment from WIDORA) as an alternative or additional mode of acquisition.

2. In 1990 she abandoned the theory of acquisition by prescription -- or by assignment from WIDORA -- and ascribed another foundation for her title to the disputed property. She alleged under oath 40that she had purchased the property from Eusebia Molina and her heirs, Avelino P. Ramos and Felix P. Micael, sometime in 1939.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

2. As Regards Possession of her Document of Title

a. In a pleading dated February 22, 1990 in Civil Case No. 90-4749 entitled "Dolores v. Molina v. Ortigas & Company, Limited Partnership, et al.," she claimed under oath that she had been unable to attend to the titling of the property bought by her husband sometime in 1939 from Eusebia Molina and her heirs Avelino P. Ramos and Felix P. Micael, because "she was so preoccupied as the sole breadwinner of the family . . .chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

b. At another time, however, she said that she had in fact tried to obtain title to the property and as early as in the 1960's, had sought the help of former President Marcos for the purpose; that unknown to her, the latter had succeeded in subsequently getting that title for her; and that the certificate of title was actually delivered to her by Col. Balbino Diego in November, 1990 at her house in Philam Life Homes Subdivision in Quezon City. 41

c. In November, 1991, 42Molina stated that she had actual custody of the Torrens title to the property: she was in possession of the owner's duplicate copy of TCT No. 124088.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

d. In another pleading, however, she declared that in the middle of September, 1991, she did not have said owner's duplicate copy of TCT No. 124088 in her possession; that it was already missing as of that time, and could no longer be found despite diligent search, which is why she had secured a certification from the Land Management Bureau to the effect that there is "a record of . . . (her) property in a microfilm negative. 43chanrobles virtual law library

3. Implied Recognition of Ortigas' Ownership

Probably out of a desire to get the Mormons out of the picture ("off her back,"), by inducing them to withdraw the appeal they were taking from Judge Velasco's decision in the reconstitution case, LRC Case No. Q-5404 - Molina executed under date of December 18, 1992 a document denominated "Quitclaim and Waiver," admitting the Mormons' ownership ". . . over the portion covered by RT-58287 (124088) with an area of 8,860 sq. m. . . . covered by TCT No. 348048 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City." 44The document produced the desired result. The Mormons did withdraw their appeal. What Molina did not realize, however, was that by recognizing the Mormons' ownership, she thereby inferentially acknowledged ownership of Ortigas from whom the former had acquired their property.

D Inconsistency Between Trial Court's Conclusions and Supreme Court's Prior Final Dispositions Anent Ortigas' Titles

Perhaps the most decisive factors in the resolution of this controversy are the final dispositions already made by this Court relative to the titles of Ortigas, which Molina would invalidate and overthrow, and to which the attention of the respondent Judge had been insistently drawn. These dispositions are matters of public record, are indeed facts of judicial notice which it is not possible for the Court to ignore.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

There is no debate about the fact that the land being claimed by Molina lies within that titled in the name of Ortigas and its predecessor-in-interest. Now, the latter's documents of ownership have been passed upon, and sanctioned and sustained by this Court more than once. These dispositions and adjudgments now operate to put its title to the lands thereby covered and embraced beyond the pale of further judicial inquiry. No court in the country now has competence to take cognizance of applications for the registration anew of said lands in the name of persons other than Ortigas or its predecessor-in-interest, or successors and assigns, or entertain further challenges to the validity and efficacy of the latter's titles. These matters have long since been laid to rest by this Court's decisions, already described earlier, 45and hereunder again cited: 46chanrobles virtual law library

1. The Court's judgment in Cia. Agricola de Ultramar v. Domingo, 6 Phil. 146 (1906) affirmed on appeal the validity of Original Decree of Registration No. 1425, duly issued in G.L.R.O. Record No. 917 on April 26, 1905 by the Land Registration Court of Manila, in relation to the Hacienda de Mandaloyon, a large tract of land situated in what is now the cities of Manila and Quezon City, and the Municipality of Pasig, in favor of the Compañia Agricola de Ultramar, predecessor-in-interest of Ortigas. Ortigas' titles, TCT's No. 77652 and 77653 are genuine derivatives thereof of the title of the Cia. Agricola de Ultramar.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

2. Ortigas v. Hon. Ruiz, 148 SCRA 326, 331 (1987) is additional affirmation of the confirmation by Decree No. 1425 of the ownership of the Compañia Agricola de Ultramar of the Hacienda de Mandaloyon.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

3. The Court's Minute Resolution dated 16 February 1985 in Del Rosario v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 66110, refusing to review on certiorari the judgment of the Court of Appeals therein challenged, in effect sustained the latter. Said judgment of the Court of Appeals pertinently ruled that the extant documentary sources of the boundaries of the Hacienda de Mandalayon are the technical descriptions thereof appearing in the initial notice of hearing in G.L.R.O. Record No. 917, which was published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in 1904: the "Manila American" and "La Democracia" and that copies of the pertinent issues of these newspapers were found in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. and certified copies thereof were presented in the trial court proceedings. The technical descriptions of the land covered by the two titles above mentioned, No. 77652 and 77653, demonstrate that the land lies within the boundaries of the Hacienda, as defined in those extant sources.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

4. These fact were also upheld by this Court through a minute resolution in Navarro v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 50156, May 7, 1979 (affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. No. 53125-R 66110, 16 February 16, 1985 (sustaining the judgment of the Court of Appeals in AC-G. R. CV No. 61456 dated December 29, 1983). 47The judgments were rendered in proceedings in rem.

5. Both Navarro and del Rosario sustained the judicial pronouncement that Transfer Certificates of Title Numbered 77652 and 77653 of Ortigas had become indefeasible and incontrovertible - a circumstance that precluded cognizance by the Trial Court of WIDORA's subsequent application for registration in its name of the same land, docketed as LRC No. Q-336, considering that "the land covered by Widora's application forms part of that vast tract of land adjudicated to Ortigas' predecessor-in-interest in the 1906 decision."chanrobles virtual law library

6. This Court's Resolution of August 7, 1992, which affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 (rendered on November 27, 1989), is binding not only on WIDORA but also on Dolores V. Molina who did not appeal from said decision of the Court of Appeals. In that decision of November 27, 1989, it will be recalled, the Court of Appeals declared that the decree recognizing Ortigas' titles to the lands embraced in its titles (TCT's No. 77652 and 77653) was binding against the whole world and constituted res judicata. It categorically ruled that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas."

7. Judge Velasco's awareness of the existence of decades-old Torrens titles covering the land subject of the reconstitution case commenced by Dolores Molina, should have deterred him from proceeding therewith; or impelled to him to proceed with the utmost caution, in line with this Court's pronouncements in Alabang Development Corporation, et al. v. Valenzuela, 48and other precedents. 49In said rulings, this Court has cautioned "courts . . . (to) exercise the greatest caution in entertaining . . . petitions for reconstitution of allegedly lost certificates of title, particularly where the petitions are filed . . . after an inexplicable delay . . . after the alleged loss. . . . . We can take judicial notice of innumerable litigations and controversies that have been spawned by the reckless and hasty grant of such reconstitution of alleged lost or destroyed titles as well as of the numerous purchasers who have been victimized by forged or fake titles or their areas simply "expanded" through "table surveys" with the cooperation of unscrupulous officials." 50So, too, this Court has stressed "that lands already covered by duly issued existing Torrens titles (which become incontrovertible upon the expiration of one year from their issuance under section 38 of the Land Registration Act) cannot be the subject of petitions for reconstitution of allegedly lost or destroyed titles filed by third parties without first securing by final judgment the cancellation of such existing titles. (And as the Court reiterated in the recent case of Silvestre vs. Court of Appeals [G. R. Nos. L-32694 and L-33119, July 16, 1982], "in cases of annulment and/or reconveyance of title, a party seeking it should establish not merely by a preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence that the land sought to be reconveyed is his") . . . . ("considering the ease and facility with which documents are made to appear as official and authentic" e.g., "from mere xerox copies and certifications of officials supposedly signed with the seals of their office affixed therein. " 51)

E. Trial Court's Lack of Authority to Dismiss Appeals of Ortigas and Solicitor General

Yet another serious error was the disallowance by His Honor of Ortigas' appeal from the judgment in the reconstitution case, declaring its notice of appeal to be nothing but "a mere scrap of paper." 52His Honor opined that "Ortigas is . . not vested with any justiciable interest to be a party in (the) case" because it had admittedly "already sold all the subdivision lots which it claims to overlap the disputed two lots (of Molina)," and Ortigas' pleadings "failed to disclose . . . any allegation about its ownership of road lots that may overlap the land covered by the certificate of title of petitioner sought to be reconstituted;" and that therefore Ortigas was not a real party in interest since it would neither derive benefit nor suffer injury from the decision; hence, its opposition could not be entertained and, "by force of law," it could not also appeal the decision.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

His Honor was apparently incognizant of the principle that dismissals of appeals from the judgment of a Regional Trial Court by the latter are authorized only in the instances specifically set forth in Section 13, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. The succeeding provision, Section 14 of said Rule 41, provides that "(a) motion to dismiss an appeal may be filed in the (Regional Trial) Court . . . prior to the transmittal of the record to the appellate court;" and the grounds are limited to those "mentioned in the preceding section," i.e., Section 13, to wit: where "the notice of appeal, appeal bond, or record on appeal is not filed within the period of time herein provided . . . "chanrobles virtual law library

These two (2) sections clearly establish "that unless the appeal is abandoned, the only ground for dismissing an appeal in the trial court is the failure of the appellant to file on time the notice of appeal, appeal bond, or record on appeal. . . . (A) trial court may not dismiss an appeal as frivolous, or on the ground that the case has become moot and academic, such step devolving upon the appellate courts. Otherwise, the way would be opened for (regional trial) courts . . . to forestall review or reversal of their decisions by higher courts, no matter how erroneous or improper such decisions should be." 53chanrobles virtual law library

Note, however, that since the requirement of an appeal bond or a record on appeal has been eliminated, dismissal of the appeal on the ground of a failure to file said bond or record within the prescribed period is no longer possible. Exceptionally, a record on appeal is still required in special proceedings and cases where multiple appeals are allowed; hence, a failure in these instances to file a record on appeal within the reglementary period is still a ground for dismissal of an appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Dismissals of appeal may also be had upon the grounds specified by Rule 50 of the Rules of Court; but it is the Court of Appeals, not the trial court, which is explicitly authorized to dismiss appeals on said grounds. Generally, these grounds do not include matters which go into the merits of the cause or to the right of the plaintiff or defendant to recover. 54Case law has come to recognize other grounds for dismissal, by way of exception, e.g., that the cause has become moot, 55or the appeal is frivolous or manifestly dilatory. 56But, to repeat, authority to dismiss an appeal on the ground that it is frivolous or taken manifestly for delay "is not certainly with the court a quo whose decision is in issue, but with the appellate court." 57chanrobles virtual law library

Moreover, the trial Judge's conclusion that Ortigas had no material interest in the litigation and therefore no standing to appeal from the decision therein is incorrect.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

There is in the first place, the conceded fact that Ortigas still retained title to a considerable number of street lots within the land in question, which it would lose if the entire area were declared to belong to Molina. Again, the respondent Judge's acknowledgment of Ortigas' status of vendor of all the subdivision lots covered by Molina's adverse claim, was implicit recognition of its right and obligation to defend its vendees' titles being impugned by Molina precisely on the theory that Ortigas' titles were void, a right and obligation arising from the warranty against eviction imposed on it by law. 58The avoidance of liability for eviction is certainly an interest of sufficient substance to concede to Ortigas capacity to litigate as party in interest in the reconstitution proceeding, prescinding from its stated intention of preventing the perpetration of fraud by Molina upon Ortigas' vendees and successors-in-interest and upon the public at large.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The doctrines and legal considerations just set out also demonstrate the error of the Trial Judge's striking out of the appeal sought to be taken by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) from the adverse Orders in LRC Case No. Q-5404 on the theory that its appeal was "sham" because it had "not filed any formal opposition to the petition and neither has it introduced and/or formally offered any evidence to warrant its dismissal, etc. 59chanrobles virtual law library

Prescinding from the patent fact that the records do contain (1) the formal objection of the OSG to Molina's petition for reconstitution on the ground inter alia that no actual notice had been given to the adjacent owners, an omission that the Trial Judge had precisely acknowledged; 60(2) the report of the Land Registration Authority drawing the Court's attention to irregularities in the petition, e.g., that the plan relied upon by Molina, Psd-16740 "appears to be derived from two different surveys, numbered Psu-1148 & Psu-20191, neither of which appear(s) to have been the subject of original registration; thus it is presumed that no original title had been issued from which TCT-124088 could have emanated;" that said plan "is a portion of (LRC) SWO-15352 which is being applied for registration of title in Land Reg. Case No. Q-336, LRC Rec. No. N-50589," etc.; 61(3) the notice of appeal of the OSG from the judgment of September 23, 1992; 62(4) the motion of the OSG for reconsideration of the Order of October 14, 1992 63 - unmistakably indicating the active opposition of the OSG to the Molina petition for reconstitution - the rule, as already explained, is that Trial Courts have no competence to dismiss appeals on the stated ground or any other going to the merits thereof. While it may be assumed that Trial Courts are morally convinced of the correctness of the judgments and orders that they may promulgate, and hence, in most cases, they honestly believe that appeals from their judgments or final orders are inutile, frivolous, dilatory, this gives them no warrant to reject appeals on these grounds; otherwise, the right of appeal would be rendered largely illusory.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Now, as regards the other ground cited by the Trial Judge for dismissal of the Solicitor General's appeal: tardiness. The record shows that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) received notice of the judgment of September 23, 1992 on September 24, 1992. The OSG posted its notice of appeal at the Ermita Post Office on October 9, 1992, i.e., on the fifteenth day after its receipt of notice of the judgment. 64The timeliness of the appeal is thus beyond dispute.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

F. Trial Court's Lack of Authority to Order Immediate Execution

The grant of Molina's motion for immediate execution of the judgment for reconstitution of her title, pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, constitutes yet another serious error. Insofar as it is premised on the theory that Ortigas' appeal was "frivolous and interposed only for purposes of delay," such grant is indefensible for the reasons already stated relative to the Judge's disallowance of the Ortigas appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

It is also attempted to justify immediate execution as necessary in order "to prevent wastage of income," or "avoid the possibility of . . . judgment becoming illusory or to minimize damage unduly suffered by the prevailing party or to prevent further damage," as well as by Molina's "advanced age." In the context of the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, these grounds are meaningless. The Trial Judge could not be unaware that Ortigas' titles had existed for many, many years. Granting that His Honor had been made to believe by Molina's evidence that those titles should be invalidated, and decreed this in his judgment, he may not, ascribing such infallibility to his judgment as to preclude the possibility of its being overturned on appeal, condemn any appeal sought to be taken therefrom as idle and merely generative of needless injury to the prevailing party. Otherwise, the exception would become the general rule; judgments such as that rendered in this case could be routinely executed on the assertion that the prevailing party would suffer injury because his income would be wasted, or he would be caused further damage, or, that he is of advanced age, absent any competent and persuasive showing that precisely because of his age, he would not survive an appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

G. Forum-Shopping by Molina

Finally, the relevant records expose Molina's forum-shopping, warranting imposition of the sanctions prescribed by established rule.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

1. As earlier narrated, in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 - treating of an attack against Ortigas' titles by Widows and Orphans Association, Inc. (WIDORA) and Dolores Molina - the Court of Appeals granted the writ of certiorari prayed for, annulling and setting aside the Orders of the Trial Court which had sustained WIDORA's and Molina's assaults against said titles. In its decision promulgated on November 27, 1989, the Court of Appeals declared that the decades-old decree recognizing Ortigas' ownership of the lands embraced in its titles (TCT's No. 77652 and 77653) was binding against the whole world and constituted res judicata., and categorically ruled that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas." This judgment became final and executory as to Molina, for while WIDORA appealed to the Supreme Court, Molina did not.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

2. This notwithstanding, on February 22, 1990 - about two (2) months after said judgment in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 became final and executory as to Molina, said judgment, to repeat, having held inter alia that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas" - Molina initiated another attempt to litigate the same cause. She instituted in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court an action for reconveyance against Ortigas, Interpublic Development Corporation, Breeders Feeds, Inc., 65Atty. Renan V. Santos (Receiver of Manilabank and Interpublic and Breeders), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Manila Philippines Temple), City Treasurer of Quezon City, City Assessor of Quezon City and Register of Deeds of Quezon City. This time she imputed her claim to the same land at Ugong Norte (with an area of 126,278 sq. m.) to an alleged transfer - not by assignment from WIDORA but by purchase from Eusebia Molina and her heirs Avelino P. Ramos and Felix P. Micael sometime in 1939.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Again this action ultimately resulted in a judgment adverse to Molina. In another certiorari action (CA G. R. SP NO. 23588), the Court of Appeals, by decision dated July 23, 1991, set aside the Trial Court's judgment and directed the dismissal of Molina's action. 66chanrobles virtual law library

3. Then on November 11, 1991 - a year or so after the above-mentioned decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. R. SP No. 18085 became final and executory (holding inter alia that "Widora and Molina had no more right to apply for the same lands which had already been titled in the name of Ortigas,") and some two (2) months after the Court of Appeals had directed the dismissal of Molina's second action (No. Q-90-4749, Branch 88 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court) - Molina again launched yet another attempt, a third, to litigate exactly the same claim. She filed the petition for reconstitution (LRC Case No. Q-5405) which has given rise to one of the present proceedings, G. R. No. 109645.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

4. In Case No. Q-93-15920 of Branch 105 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, instituted in 1993 by the Manila Banking Corporation (Manilabank) for annulment of the titles of Dolores Molina and her vendee, Gateway Enterprises Company, Inc., Molina asserted substantially the same claims made in the actions above mentioned. This she did by way of a motion to dismiss which was however denied. On December 1, 1993, she filed through her counsel, Atty. Eufracio T. Layag, a petition for certiorari with this Court (docketed as G. R. No. 112564) - to annul the Regional Trial Court's Order dated September 17, 1993 denying her motion to dismiss, and that dated November 25, 1993, denying reconsideration. Eight (8) days later, on December 9, 1993, through the same lawyer, Atty. Eufracio T. Layag, Molina filed another petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, also dated November 29, 1993 (docketed as CA-G. R. No. 32778) which, as heretofore stated, is identical to that filed in this Court on December 1, 1993, the only difference being that instead of the Supreme Court as the tribunal where the same was filed, it is the Court of Appeals that is indicated. 67Except for this, to repeat, each page, from page 1 to page 11 of the Molina petition in this Court, is exactly the same as each page, from page 1 to page 11, of her petition in the Court of Appeals.

These facts plainly and amply demonstrate Molina's guilt of forum-shopping, i.e., the act of a party against whom an adverse judgment has been rendered in one forum, of seeking another (and possibly favorable) opinion in another forum other than by appeal or the special civil action of certiorari, 68or the institution of two (2) or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause on the supposition that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition. Forum-shopping is contumacious, as well as an act of malpractice that is proscribed and condemned as trifling with the courts and abusive of their processes. A violation of the rule against forum-shopping warrants prosecution for contempt of court and constitutes ground for summary dismissal of the actions involved, without prejudice to appropriate administrative action against the counsel. 69chanrobles virtual law library

H. No Need for Remand of Case to Court A Quo

Ordinarily, the relief indicated by the material facts would be the remand of the reconstitution case (LRC No. Q-5405) to the Court of origin with instructions that Ortigas' and the Solicitor General's appeals from the judgment rendered therein, which were wrongly disallowed, be given due course and the records forthwith transmitted to the appellate tribunal. This, in fact, is a relief alternatively prayed for by petitioner Ortigas. Considering however the fatal infirmities afflicting Molina's theory or cause of action, evident from the records before this Court, such a remand and subsequent appeal proceedings would be pointless and unduly circuitous. Upon the facts, it is not possible for Molina's cause to prosper. To defer adjudication thereon would be unwarranted and unjust.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

VI Final Disposition

WHEREFORE, the petition in G. R. No. 109645 is GRANTED; and that in G. R. No. 112564, DENIED for lack of merit.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

In G. R. No. 109645, the Decision dated September 23, 1992 of Respondent Judge Tirso Velasco, Presiding Judge of Branch 88 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, in LRC Case No. Q-5404, as well as his Orders dated April 3, 1992, October 14, 1992, and February 10, 1993, are NULLIFIED AND SET ASIDE; the titles of Dolores Molina upheld and reconstituted by said decision and orders - namely, Transfer Certificates of Title Numbered 124088 and RT-58287 - and those derived therefrom and subsequently issued - namely, Transfer Certificates of Title Numbered 83163, 83164, 83165, 83166 and 83167 - are all Declared NULL AND VOID and are hereby CANCELLED; said LRC Case No. Q-5404 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City is DISMISSED; and the temporary restraining order of this Court of May 12, 1993 is MADE PERMANENT.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

In G. R. No. 112564, the Orders of respondent Presiding Judge of Branch 105 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in Case No. Q-93-15920 dated September 17, 1993 and November 25, 1993 are AFFIRMED; and said Judge is DIRECTED to proceed to dispose of said Case No. Q-93-15920 with all deliberate dispatch conformably with this decision.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Dolores Molina and her counsel, Atty. Eufracio T. Layag, and Dr. Jose Teodorico V. Molina, are ORDERED to SHOW CAUSE, within ten (10) days from notice of this judgment, why they should not be pronounced liable, and correspondingly dealt with, for violation of the rule against forum-shopping.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

SO ORDERED.

Regalado, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Padilla, J., took no part.


Endnotes:


1 SEE footnote 21, infra.chanrobles virtual law library

2 Annex "C" of Petition, Rollo; at p. 53.chanrobles virtual law library

3 Original record, LRC Case No. Q-5405 (91), p. 12.chanrobles virtual law library

4 Annex "D" of Petition, Rollo; at p. 55; Original Records, LRC Case No. Q-5404, pp. 33, 34.chanrobles virtual law library

5 Order of April 3, 1992, Annex "E" of Petition; Rollo; at p. 56.chanrobles virtual law library

6 A portion of the Order is quoted in Molina's Ex-Parte Motion for Service of Notice dated July 13, 1992; Annex F, Rollo, p. 57.chanrobles virtual law library

7 SEE Annex "F" of Petition; Rollo; at pp. 57-9; Orig. Rec. LRC Case No. Q-5404, pp. 43-47.chanrobles virtual law library

8 Orig, Rec., LRC Case No. Q-5404, p. 48.chanrobles virtual law library

9 Id., p. 50; Orig. Rec., LRC Case No. Q-5404, pp. 55-58.chanrobles virtual law library

10 Rollo, pp. 60-72; Orig. Rec., LRC Case No. Q-5404, pp. 144-153.chanrobles virtual law library

11 Id., pp. 65-66; SEE footnote 23, infra

12 Annex "H" of Petition; Rollo; at p. 73.chanrobles virtual law library

13 Rollo, pp. 156-157; pp. 9-10. SEE footnote 41, infra

14 Rollo, p. 82.chanrobles virtual law library

15 The notice of appeal is erroneously dated September 9, 1992, prior to the date of judgment. It declares that copy of the decision was received on 24 September 1992, and the envelope in which it was enclosed, addressed to the Clerk of Court, RTC, Br. 88, Q.C., bears the stamped notation: "Registered, Ermita Post Office, Oct. 9, 1992." SEE Annex "K" of Petition; Rollo, p. 92. The date should be October 9, as pointed out in the Sol Gen's Motion for Reconsideration dated Nov. 23, 1992 (Orig. Rec., LRC Case No. Q- 5404, pp. 499-506)

16 Annex "A" of Petition; Rollo, pp. 45, et seq.chanrobles virtual law library

17 Rollo, p. 222. N.B. Ortigas claims that sales by Molina have grossed something like 750 million pesos.chanrobles virtual law library

18 Orig. Red., LRC Case No. Q-5404, pp. 562-564.chanrobles virtual law library

19 Order dated February 10, 1993, Annex "B" of Petition; Rollo at pp. 51-52.chanrobles virtual law library

20 Rollo at pp. 143 et seq.

21 SEE footnotes 1 and 11, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

22 SEE footnote 67, infra.chanrobles virtual law library

23 SEE footnote No. 11 and related text, supra.

24 Rollo, G. R. No. 112564: Comment of private respondent, pp. 38, 41-42; Attachment A of said Comment (pp. 110-120).chanrobles virtual law library

25 SEE Rollo of G. R. No. 91797, pp. 53-54.chanrobles virtual law library

26 Bidin, J., ponente, with whom concurred Fernan, C.J., and Gutierrez and Davide, JJ, Feliciano, J., being on official leave.chanrobles virtual law library

27 212 SCRA 360-390. The Resolution was written for the Third Division by Feliciano, J., with the concurrence of Gutierrez, Jr., J. (then Division Chairman, Fernan, C.J., having retired), Davide, and Romero, JJ.; and the dissent of Bidin, J. Now, Feliciano and Romero, JJ., obviously voted on the case for the first time. The change of votes of Gutierrez, Jr. and Davide, JJ. was occasioned by what they deemed to be the conclusive facts laid bare clearly and in detail in Navarro v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 59156, 7 May 1979 and del Rosario v. Ortigas, G. R. No. 66110, 16 February 1985, not brought out earlier.chanrobles virtual law library

28 As stated, the Supreme Court's dispositions in Navarro and del Rosario took the form of minute resolutions. They are withal, by established law and jurisprudence, judgments on the merits, affirming the pertinent decisions of the Court of Appeals respectively subjected thereof (Heirs of the late Santiago Maningo v. Intermediate Appellate court, 183 SCRA 691, 699 [1990] and the cases cited thereunder), and are within the realm of judicial notice for they now form part of the law of the land (SEE Tiburcio v. People's Homesite and Housing Corporation, 106 Phil. 477 [1959] and Lewin v. Galang, 109 Phil. 1041 [1960]).chanrobles virtual law library

29 SEE footnotes 11 and 23, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

30 Pp. 248-250, Original Record: CA-G. R. SP No. 23588.chanrobles virtual law library

31 SEE footnotes 26 and 27, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

32 SEE Republic v. Court of Appeals, et al., G. R. No. 103746, 218 SCRA 773 (1993); Allama v. Republic, G. R. No. 88226, 206 SCRA 600 (1992); Register of Deeds of Malabon v. Regional Trial Court, Malabon, Metro Manila Branch 170, G. R. No. 88623m 181 SCRA 788 (1990); and Tahanan Development Corp. v. C.A., G. R. No. L-55771, 118 SCRA 273 (1982); Director of Lands v. C.A., 102 SCRA 370 (1981), citing Caltex, et al. v. CIR, et al., 23 SCRA 492 (1968), where the Court has invariably adhered to the rule that the provisions of R.A. No. 26 are to be strictly complied with to enable the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over the proceedings.chanrobles virtual law library

33 Republic Act No. 26; emphasis supplied.chanrobles virtual law library

34 14 SCRA 358 (1965); SEE also Director of Lands v. C.A., 102 SCRA 370; Alabang Development Corp., et al. v. Hon. Manuel E. Valenzuela, et al., 116 SCRA 261 (1982); Tahanan Development Corp. v. C.A., 118 SCRA 273 (1982); Register of Deeds of Malabon v. Regional Trial Court, 181 SCRA 788 (1990), citing inter alia Po v. Republic, 40 SCRA 37 and Pinza v. Aldovino, 25 SCRA 220; Allama v. Republic, 206 SCRA 600 (1992).chanrobles virtual law library

35 SEE footnote 6, p. 3, supra

36 SEE footnote 3, page 2, and related text, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

37 SEE Manchester v. C.A., 149 SCRA 562 (1987); Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v Asuncion, 170 SCRA 274 (1989); Tacay v RTC, 180 SCRA 433 (1989); General v. Claravall, 195 SCRA 625, 625-626 (1991).chanrobles virtual law library

38 In an Opposition filed by her on August 25, 1978 to the application for registration of land of WIDORA (LRC Case No. Q-336 [LRC Rec. No. N-50589]).chanrobles virtual law library

39 SEE footnote 25, p. 10, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

40 In a complaint filed by her on February 22, 1990 - with the same Quezon City RTC branch (No. 88) having cognizance of the present reconstitution case - docketed as Civil Case No. 90-4749 entitled "Dolores v. Molina v. Ortigas & Company, Limited Partnership, et al.chanrobles virtual law library

41 SEE footnote 13, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

42 In her petition for reconstitution, docketed as LRC Case No. Q-5404, Q.C. RTC, Br. 88.chanrobles virtual law library

43 Allegation in the "affidavit of loss" attached to her amended petition for reconstitution filed in early April, 1992.chanrobles virtual law library

44 Orig. Rec., LRC Case No. Q-5404, pp. 562-564.chanrobles virtual law library

45 SEE footnotes 26-27 and related text.chanrobles virtual law library

46 SEE Resolution, Aug. 7, 1992, G. R. No. 91797, 212 SCRA 360-390.chanrobles virtual law library

47 As intimated, the Supreme Court's disposition in Navarro and del Rosario took the form of minute resolutions. They are withal, by established law and jurisprudence, judgments on the merits, affirming the pertinent decisions of the Court of Appeals respectively subject thereof (Heirs of the late Santiago Maningo v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 183 SCRA 691, 699 [1990] and the cases cited thereunder), and are within the realm of judicial notice for they now form part of the law of the land (SEE Tiburcio v. People�s Homesite and Housing Corporation, 106 Phil. 477 [1959] and Lewin v. Galang, 109 Phil. 1041 [1960]).chanrobles virtual law library

48 116 SCRA 261, 277-278

49 Republic v. Court of Appeals, 94 SCRA 865 (1979); Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, and Demetria Sta. Maria Vda. de Bernal, etc., 102 SCRA 370; Tahanan Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 118 SCRA 273.chanrobles virtual law library

50 116 SCRA 261, 277-278, citing Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, 102 SCRA 370.chanrobles virtual law library

51 118 SCRA 273, 314.chanrobles virtual law library

52 SEE footnote 16, supra.chanrobles virtual law library

53 SEE Moran, Comments on the Rules, 1979 ed., Vol. 2, p. 433, citing Republic v. Gomez, 5 SCRA 368; Icasiano v. Icasiano, 3 SCRA 302; ITT Philippines, Inc. v. C.A., 67 SCRA 435; Republic v. Rodriguez, 28 SCRA 378; Silverio v. C.A., 141 SCRA 530; Heirs of Sabanal v. Gorospe, 166 SCRA 145; Ong v. C.A., 203 SCRA 38.chanrobles virtual law library

54 Moran, op. cit., at p. 509, citing Velasco v. Rosenberg, 29 Phil. 212.chanrobles virtual law library

55 Velasco v. Rosenberg, 29 Phil. 212, 213; Mitra v. Tan Torres, et al. [C.A.], 52 O.G. 262, cited in Feria, Civil Procedure, 1969 ed., p. 728.chanrobles virtual law library

56 Cruz v. Blanco, 73 Phil., 596; also, Manila Railroad Co. v. Ballesteros, L-19161, April 19, 1966, cited in Feria, op. cit., p 728.chanrobles virtual law library

57 Dasalla v Caluag, 8 SCRA 644, cited in Feria, op. cit., pp. 728-729; footnote 53.chanrobles virtual law library

58 Art. 1548 of the Civil Code provides: "Eviction shall take place whenever by a final judgment based on a right prior to the sale or an act imputable to the vendor, the vendee is deprived of the whole or of a part of the thing purchased. The vendor shall answer for the eviction even though nothing has been said in the contract on the subject. . . ."

59 SEE footnote 19, supra

60 SEE footnote 6, supra

61 SEE page 4, supra

62 SEE footnote 15, supra

63 SEE page 7, supra

64 SEE footnote 15, supra

65 SEE footnotes 11, 23 and 29, supra

66 SEE footnotes 30 and 31, and related text, supra

67 SEE footnote 24 supra (Rollo, G. R. No. 112564: Comment of private respondent, pp. 38, 41-42; Attachment A of said Comment [pp. 110-120]).chanrobles virtual law library

68 Circular 28-91; Crisostomo v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Nov. 6, 1989, citing Sec. 17, Interim Rules of Court; Earth Minerals Exploration, Inc. v. Deputy Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, et al., 194 SCRA 1 (1991): also holding that the principle applies not only with respect to suits filed in the courts but also in connection with litigations commenced in the courts while an administrative proceeding is pending in order to defeat administrative processes and in anticipation of an unfavorable ruling.chanrobles virtual law library

69 Buan v. Lopez, Jr., 145 SCRA 34, 38-39; Collado v. Fernando, 161 SCRA 639 (1988); Peo. v. Court of Appeals, 101 SCRA, 450, 463-464.




CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE

ChanRobles™ LawTube

FEATURED DECISIONScralaw




google search for chanrobles.comSearch for www.chanrobles.com

cralaw

QUICK SEARCH

cralaw


  Copyright © ChanRoblesPublishing Company|  Disclaimer | E-mailRestrictions
ChanRobles™Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
 
RED