March 1947 - Philippine Supreme Court Decisions/Resolutions
078 Phil 238:
[G.R. No. L-952. March 31, 1947.]
HAW PIA, Petitioner, v. RAMON R. SAN JOSE, Judge of First Instance of Quezon, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF QUEZON, and AURELIA ALTEA, Respondents.
Fidel S. Silva for Petitioner.
Pacifico I. Guzman for Respondents.
APPEALABLE. — An order for the surrender and cancellation of the owner’s duplicate of a Torrens certificate of title, when it resolves important questions relative to the respective rights of the parties not definitely adjudicated previously to its issuance, is appealable.
2. CERTIORARI; CANNOT PROSPER WHERE THERE IS APPEAL. — Where an appeal is the proper remedy, a petition for certiorari can-not prosper.
3. OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; PAYMENT; CONSIGNATION; LOSS TO BE, SUFFERED BY CREDITOR. — Where there is a valid consignation, loss of the consigned without the debtor’s fault, must be suffered by the creditor.
Decided by the Court of First Instance of Tayabas, and later appealed to the Court of Appeals, the case was disposed of by the latter tribunal in its decision of August 1940, whereby the right of conventional redemption claimed by the now respondent Altea was upheld, the judgment declaring the redemption price to be P490 (Exhibits and B of petition). The redemption price having been declared in the judgment of the Court of Appeals to be P490, respondent Altea, according to paragraph 4 of the petition, consigned said sum with the clerk of the Court First Instance of Tayabas (now Quezon) some time in September, 1940, while according to paragraph 4 of Exhibit B of the same petition, it was consigned before October 31, 1940, and had been authorized by the court’s order September 30, 1940.
Subsequent proceedings in the case culminated in an order of the Court of First Instance of Tayabas dated January 13, 1941, decreeing, among other things, that the Register of Deeds register on the Certificate of Title covering said lot the aforementioned right of redemption, which was to last till August 2, 1942. (Exhibit C of petition.) Upon appeal, said order was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the occupation government in a decision promulgated on July 27, 1943 (Exhibits B and C of petition).
Upon Altea’s motion of December 1, 1943, and amending petition of December 15, 1943 (Exhibits A and B of petition), the Court of First Instance entered its order of January 6, 1944, directing: (1) Haw Pia within ten days from notice thereof to deliver to the Register of Deeds the owners duplicate of Original Certificate of Title No. 43125 for its cancellation as respected lot No. 8610; and should Haw Pia fail to do so within the period therein fixed, (2) the Register of Deeds to cancel said certificate of title and to issue another in favor of Altea; and (3) the clerk of said court or the Provincial Treasurer to deliver to Haw Pia the sum of P490 consigned by Altea for the redemption of the land, as above narrated, reserving to said Altea the right which she might have, in a separate action, to claim from Haw Pia the fruits of the land in question. (Exhibit C of petition.)
Under date of December 14, 1943, counsel for Haw Pia filed a petition for continuance of the consideration of the aforesaid motion filed by Altea, to the second fortnight of January, 1944 (Exhibit D of petition), and the court continued the reconsideration to January 6, 1944, in an order written at the foot of said petition, and on January 6, 1944, the court entered its order of this date already mentioned above.
Against this order of January 6, 1944, petitioner Haw Pia filed three motions for reconsideration, which were all denied by the Court of First Instance, as appears from the order of August 30, 1946, entered by Judge Roman R. San Jose (Exhibit J of petition), as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"El 6 de 1944, este Juzgado expidio una orden, cuya parte dispositiva es del tenor siguente:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"Considerando bien fundada la mocion de Aurelia Altea, el Juzgado ordena (1) a Haw Pia a que dentro del plazo de diez dias desde que reciba copia de esta orden, entregue al Regis-rador de Titulos de Tayabas la copia para el dueno del certificado original de titulo No. 43125 para 8U, cancelacion encuanto al Lote No. 8610, y si deja dicha Haw Pia de entregardicho titulo dentro del plazo aqui concedido, (2) se ordena al Registrador de Titulos a que lo cancele en cuanto al mencionado Iote y expida en su lugar, otro certificado de titulo a favor deAurelia Altea, cuyas circunstancias personales ya constan alprincipio de esta orden; y (3) que el escribano de este Juzgadoo el tesorero Provincial de Tayabas entregue a Haw Pia la. suma de P490 depositada por Aurelia Altea para la recomprade dicho terreno, reservando a dicha Altea el derecho que lepueda asistir, en accion aparte, a reclamar de Haw Pia losfrutos del terreno en cuesti6n desde que Altea se cree con de-recho como dueiia del mismo.
‘ "El 18 de enero del mismo ano 1944, la reclamante Haw Pia, por medio de su abogado Sr. Fidel J. Silva, presento una mocion de reconsideracion, en la que se pedia, por las razones en ella expuestas, deje sin efecto dicha orden, de fecha 6 de enero de 1944. Ata mocion de reconsideracion, la reclamante Aurelia Altea, ppor medio de su anterior abogado, Jose P. Veluz, presento su replicaescrito el 9 de febrero de 1944, y este Juzgado, habiendo considerado los argumentos en pro y en contra de la mocion de reconsideracion, denego dicha mocion de reconsideracion mediante su autofecha 26 de septiembre de 1944.
El 12 de octubre de 1944, la representacion de la reclamanteaw Pia presento una segunda mocion de reconsideracion, y, estandota pendiente de resolucion, presento otra mocion de reconsideraciondia 9 de agosto de 1946. A esta tercera mocion de reconsideration, la representacion de la reclamante Aurelia Altea presento sujecion por escrito con fecha 19 del actual.
"Examinando la segunda mocion de reconsideracion, el Juzgado esparecer que es una repeticion de la primera mocion de reconsideracion, y, por tanto, deniega la misma.
"En cuanto a la tercera mocion de reconsideracion, la mocionantes Haw Pia otra vez suscita las cuestiones sobre la consignacion de los P490 en la Escribania de este Juzgado y sobre los supuestos gastosella alega haber incurrido, y que la reclamante Aurelia Altea debe reembolsarlos, de conformidad con lo que se dispone en los articulos 1509 y 1518 del Codigo Civil, las cuales ya han sido objeto deolucion por parte de este Juzgado cuando considero y denego la~mera mocion de reconsideracion, y, en su consecuencia, ya no selen suscitar dichas cuestiones en el estado en que se halla ahorasunto. Por tanto, el Juzgado deniega dicha tercera mocion de reconsideracio de fecha 9 de agosto de 1946.
"Ahora sobre la cuestion de si O no el Registrador de TituloTayabas actuo de acuerdo con la ley al cancelar el certificado Original de Titulo No. 43125 y expedir en su lugar el CertificadoTransferencia de Titulo No. 20400, el Juzgado es de parecer quemisma no puede suscitarse en una mocion de reconsideracion, pusto que la misma es una cuestion aparte, que no puede resolverse en este incidente.
"Asi SE ORDENA.
"Lucena, Tayabas, Agosto 30, 1946.
(Fdo.) "R. SAN JOSE
Petitioner’s attack is centered upon the order of the Court of First Instance of January 6, 1944. While the writer has consistently been one of those members of this Court who consider judicial proceedings of the courts of the puppet regime in the Philippines during the war invalid, as such, the majority have just as consistently up held their validity. At any rate, petitioner submits her case regardless of which theory is to be applied to the case (vide p. 10, petitioner’s memorandum). Furthermore, this question has become academic in the instant case, inview of the fact that the order entered by Judge San Jose of the Court of First Instance of Tayabas on August 30,1946, in erect, reiterated not only the said order of January 6, 1944, but also that of September 26, 1944, denying petitioner’s first motion for reconsideration of the order of January 6, 1944. In said order of August 30, 1946, the court denied petitioner’s second motion for reconsideration for the reason that it was, in the court’s opinion, are petition of the first motion for reconsideration, thus virtually confirming both the order of January 6, 1944, and that of September 26, 1944, denying its reconsideration. As regards the third motion for reconsideration, Judge San Jose stated in his aforesaid order of August 30, 1946, that petitioner was raising anew the same questions respecting the consignation of the sum of P490 with the clerk of said court, and was claiming that she should also be reimbursed for the expenses alleged by her in accordance with articles 1509 and 1518 of the Civil Code, and Judge San Jose proceeded to declare that those questions had already been the subject of a previous determination of the court when it considered and denied the first position for reconsideration. For which reason, the third motion for reconsideration was also denied. All of the above specified court orders were appealable. In the case Government of the Philippine Islands v. Payva (44 Phil., 621), the heirs of Julio Sause had filed a motion in the Court of First Instance of Occidental Negros under jection 72 of Act No. 496, praying for an order of the court directing the administrator of the intestate estate of Clara Amarmas to surrender the duplicate of Certificate of Title No. 681 of lot No. 1298 of a certain cadastral survey in order that the said heirs might cause the an-notation on the said certificate of title of a certain deed of sale with right of redemption executed in favor of their predecessor in interest Julio Sause by Clara Amarmas. The administrator had refused to surrender said duplicate certificate and, after the court had ordered him to do so, he interposed an appeal to the Supreme Court. Counsel for the heirs of Julio Sause, after failing to obtain an order of the Court of First Instance denying the appealed a motion to dismiss said appeal with the Supreme Court once the case had been docketed therein, said heirs intending that the order of the court entered under said action 72 of the Land Registration Act was not subject appeal. This court, in denying the motion, held that since the order appealed from "resolves important questions as to the respective rights of the parties, questions of definitely adjudicated previously to its issuance, and requires the surrender of the certificate of title for an operation which will carry with it, as a necessary consiquence, the eventual cancellation of the surrendered certificate and the issuance of a new one in favor of a different owner", said order of the lower court was appealable. The facts of the cited case are very similar to those in the instant proceeding, and the rule therein laid down is perfectly applicable herein. Upon this ground alone — that appeal was the proper remedy — the instant petition for certiorari cannot prosper.
But there are certain other considerations which we deem worthy to be noted. Petitioner lays much emphasis upon the point that the aforesaid order of January 6, 1944, has become impossible of execution because she says the amount consigned by respondent Altea in September or October, 1940, with the Clerk of the Court of First Instance, which was later deposited by said official with the Provincial Treasurer, was "frozen" by the Japanese authorities, and she adds that to this day the present government has not made provision for the payment of said amount. Be this as it may, and even supposing that this called freezing of said amount and the alleged failure of the present government to provide for its payment has made it impossible for petitioner to collect the same, the loss, if any there should be, must be suffered by petitioner.
"ART. 1176. If a creditor to whom tender of payment has been made should refuse without reason to accept it, the debtor may relieve himself of liability by the consignation of the thing due.
"The same effect shall be produced by consignation alone when made in the absence of the creditor, or if the latter should be incapacitated to accept the payment when it is due, or when several persons claim to be entitled to receive it, or when the muniments of the obligation have been lost or mislaid." (Civil Code.)
The amount consigned was in Philippine genuine money before the war and the record shows that all the requisites of a valid consignation were complied with.
". . . Ademas de quedar extinguida la obligacion produce la consignacion valida el efecto de quedar libre el deudor de responsibilidad por los riesgos que despues, y sin que procedan de actos suyos, sobrevengan a la cosa debida y consignada." (8 Manresa 4th Edition, p. 297; Italics supplied.)
The petition will be dismissed, with costs to petitioner.
Moran, C.J., Paras, Feria, Pablo, Perfecto, Bengzon Briones, Hontiveros, Padilla and Tuason, JJ., concur.