[G.R. No. 138901. June
DE LA CRUZ vs. CO
Quoted hereunder for your information is a resolution of this
Court dated JUN 18 2003.
G.R. No. 138901 (Honorio
de la Cruz vs. Felisa Uy Co, Co Tong Te, Miguel Miranda, Manolito Miranda and
Ma. Socorro Miranda.)
This is a petition for review on certioraricralaw
assailing the Decisioncralaw
of the Court of Appeals dated October 26, 1998 and its Resolutioncralaw
dated May 27, 1999 in CA-G.R. CV No. 56893,
"Felisa Uy and Co Tong Te vs. Miguel Miranda, et al." for recovery of land
The facts of the case as aptly narrated by the Court of Appeals
in its Decision are:
"Felisa Uy Co and Co Tong Te brought this action for recovery of
land with damages against Miguel Miranda, Manolito Miranda, Ma. Socorro Miranda
and Honorio dela Cruz, claiming that for and in consideration of the sum of
P449,990.00 they bought from defendants Miguel, Manolito and Ma. Socorro
Miranda, a parcel of land situated in Barangay Tuyan, Naga, Cebu
containing an area of 5,294 sq.m., that after the sale they tried to take
possession of said land but were prevented from doing so by defendant Honorio
dela Cruz, who claimed to be the owner of the land.
"Defendants Miranda alleged in their Answer that they bought the
land in question in good faith and for value from co-defendant Honorio dela
Cruz, that they were in actual and physical possession after they bought the
same; they admitted that they sold the land to plaintiffs but claimed that
plaintiffs are guilty of laches in seeking possession of subject land.
"Defendant Honorio dela Cruz filed separate Answer and alleged that
the deed of sale in favor of the Mirandas is a falsified document.
"Plaintiffs presented in evidence a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale
executed by Manolito Miranda in favor of plaintiff Felisa Uy Co dated December
7, 1989 (Exh. 'C,' also marked as Exh. '6'), a receipt (Exh. 'D') also dated December
7, 1989 acknowledging that the full consideration for the sale was
P440,990.00) a tax declaration of real property in their names (Exh. 'E'); the
deed of absolute sale dated July 12,
1989 covering the same property executed by Honorio dela Cruz in
favor of Manolito Miranda (Exh. 'A,' also marked as Exh. '2' Miranda); the tax
declaration in the name of Manolito Miranda (Exh. 'B,' also Exh. '3' Miranda);
as well as copies of documents bearing the signature of Honorlo dela Cruz, and
the Examination Report thereon submitted by Document Examiner Wilfredo Espina
of the PNP Cebu City Police Command (Exh.'AA'). Felisa Uy Co and her daughter
Virginia Co were presented as witnesses for the plaintiff. Wilfredo Espina was
presented as rebuttal witness.
"Miguel Miranda identified the signature of Honorio dela Cruz and
Angelisa dela Cruz on the Deed of Sale executed in favor of Manolito Miranda,
as he was present when the couple signed the same and testified that the
consideration of P400,000.00 was paid by him to Angelisa (tsn, May
"Defendant Honorio dela Cruz presented as witnesses his
brother-in-law Clodualdo Laput, who claimed to be a tenant on the land, and
Romeo Varona, document examiner of the PNP Crime Laboratory Service. Honorio
dela Cruz also testified in his behalf. Documents containing specimen
signatures of Honorio and Angelisa dela Cruz were adduced in evidence."cralaw
As found by the trial court, the deed of sale dated July
12, 1989 between petitioner and respondents is genuine. The
dispositive portion of its Decision reads:
"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered
declaring plaintiff Felisa Uy Co (now co-respondent) the lawful owner of the
land described in the complaint.
"Defendant Honorio dela Cruz (now petitioner) is hereby ordered to
surrender the peaceful possession of the land to the plaintiffs. Without
special pronouncement as to costs.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.
Hence this petition.
Petitioner's assignment of errors boils down to the crucial issue
of whether the deed of sale dated July
12, 1989 is genuine.
Petitioner contends that Miguel Miranda in his testimony failed
to prove the authenticity and genuineness of his (petitioner's) signature and
that of his wife in the subject
document. Moreover, the person who signed as witnesses and the notary public
before whom it was acknowledged were not presented by respondents before the
trial court to prove its authenticity.
Respondents, for their
part, simply maintain that the genuineness of petitioner's signature in the
deed of sale is a question of fact which is not within the ambit of this
Court's power of review.
We find no reason to disturb the challenged Decision of the Court
of Appeals. As correctly pointed out by respondents, the determination of the
genuineness and authenticity of the deed of sale is undoubtedly a question of
fact. A question of fact exists when the doubt or difference arises as to the
truth or falsehood of alleged facts,cralaw
or when the query requires calibration of' the whole evidence considering
mainly the credibility of the witnesses, the existence and relevancy of
specific surrounding circumstances as well as their relation to each other and
to the whole, and the probability of the situation.cralaw
It is settled in a horde of cases that the Supreme Court's jurisdiction in a
petition for review is limited to errors of law allegedly committed by the
This Court is not bound to analyze and weigh all over again the evidence already
considered in the proceedings below.cralaw
Moreover, findings of fact of trial courts, adopted and affirmed by the
appellate court, are binding and conclusive upon this Court.cralaw
Petitioner failed to show that this case falls under the exceptionscralaw
to the said rule. Thus, the petition must fail.
We likewise cannot give credence to petitioner's contention that
respondents should have presented the witnesses and the notary public
concerned. Basic is the rule in evidence that it is the duty of a party to present evidence to establish his defense
by the amount of evidence required by law.cralaw
It is petitioner's stance that his signature in the deed of sale was forged.
Hence, he has the burden of proving that his signature was indeed falsified.cralaw
This, he miserably failed to discharge.
petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated October
26, 1998 and its Resolution dated May
27, 1999 in CA-G.R. CV No. 56893 are AFFIRMED.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.)JULIETA Y. CARREON
Clerk of Court
Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended.
Rollo at 15, penned by Associate
Justice Minerva P. Gonzaga-Reyes (now retired Justice of this Court) and
concurred in by Associate Justices Godardo A. Jacinto and Roberto A. Barrios.
commission on Audit, G.R. No. 133954, August
3, 2000, 337 SCRA 198, citing Ramos
vs. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Go. of the P.1., 19 SCRA 289, 292 (1967); Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Court
of Appeals. 298 SCRA 83, 91(1998); Dela
Torre vs. Pepsi-Cola Products Phils., Inc., 298 SCRA 363, 373 (1998).
Republic vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No.
102508, January 30, 2002.
Omandam vs. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 128750, January 18, 2001, 349 SCRA 483, citing Co vs. Court of Appeals, 247 SCRA 195, 200 (1995) and Gobonseng, Jr. vs. Court of Appeals, 246
SCRA 472 (1995); Mirasol vs. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 128448, February 1, 2001, 351 SCRA 44, citing congregation of
the Religious of the Virgin Mary vs. court of Appeals, 291 SCRA 385,
391-392 (1998); Industrial Insurance
Company, Inc. vs. Bondad, G.R. No. 136722, April 12, 2000, 330 SCRA 706; Perez vs. Court of Appeals, 374 Phil.
388 (1999); Spouses Misena vs.
Rongavilla, 363 Phil. 361 (1999), citing Engineering and Machinery Corp., vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
52267, January 24, 1996, 252 SCRA 156.
Republic vs. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 116372, January 18, 2001, 349 SCRA 451; Prudential
Bank and Trust Company vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 141093, February 20, 2001, 352
SCRA 316; Tin vs. People, G.R. No.
126480, August 10, 2001, 362 SCRA 594.
Sendon vs. Ruiz, G.R. No. 136834,
August 15, 2001, 363 SCRA 155; Marubeni
Corporation vs. Lirag, G.R. No. 130998, August 10, 2001, 362 SCRA 620; Finman General Assurance Corporation vs.
Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 138737, July 12, 2001, 361 SCRA 214; Manufacturers Building, Inc. vs. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 116847, March 16, 2001, 354 SCRA 521; Go vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
112552, February 5, 2001, 351 SCRA 145; Wong vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
117857, February 2, 2001, 351 SCRA 100.
(a) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation,
surmises, or conjectures;
(b) when the
inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd, or impossible; (c) where there
is a grave abuse of discretion; (d) when the judgment is based on a
misapprehension of facts; (e) when the findings of fact are conflicting; (f)
when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issue of the
case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee;
(g) when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the
trial court; (h) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of
specific evidence on which they are based; (i) when the facts set forth in the
petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed
by the respondents; U) when the finding of fact of the Court of Appeals is
premised on the supposed absence of evidence but is contradicted by the
evidence on record; and (k) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked
certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly
considered, would justify a different conclusion. Martinez vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123547, May 21, 2001, 358
SCRA 38, 49-50; Fuentes vs. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 109849, February 26, 1997, 268 SCRA 703, 708-709, citing Gaw vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R.
No. 70451, March 24, 1993, 220 SCRA 405, 413; Morales vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 91003, May 23, 1991, 197
SCRA 391; Navarra vs. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 86237, December 17, 1991, 204 SCRA 850; Bautista
vs. Mangaldan Rural Bank, Inc., G.R. No. 100755, February 10, 1994, 230
Section 1, Rule 131 of the Rules on Evidence; Jimenez vs. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 116960, April
2, 1996, 256 SCRA 84
Garrido vs. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 101262, September 14, 1994,
236 SCRA 450.
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