Case Brief: Mate vs. CA and Tan




G.R. No. 120724-25; May 21, 1998


Josie Rey with Inocencio Tan went to the residence of Fernando Mate and solicited assistance to stave off her and her family’s prosecution for violation of B.P. 22 with the amount of 4,432,067.00. Josie even requested Fernando Mate to cede three lots that he owns to Inocencio in order to placate him. Fernando refused to accept the proposal of Josie and even contended that he owes Inocencio nothing to convey to him his properties and his lots were not for sale. However, Josie persisted and informed Fernando that she will redeem those lots through her own money. After a long discussion, they have agreed and even executed a fictitious deed of sale with right to repurchase. For assurance that Josie will redeem the lots, she issued two postdated checks to Fernando. After such act, the Deed of Sale with Right to repurchase was notarized and was given to Inocencio together with the titles of the properties. The transaction was not registered to the Registry of Deeds. Fernando deposited the checks to his account few days after the date in the checks but both of them were dishonored due to a closed account. From then on, Josie could no longer be found.

LOWER COURT’S RULING: The Regional Trial Court, during the trial the RTC court asked private respondent to file an action for consolidation of ownership of the properties subject of the sale and pursuant thereto he filed Civil Case No. 7587 that was consolidated with the case he filed earlier which were later decided jointly by the trial court in favor of private respondent.

APPELLATE COURT’S RULING: The Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase executed October 6, 1986 valid and binding between plaintiff and defendant (as vendor and vendee-a-retro respectively); that as the period to redeem has expired, ownership thereof was consolidated by operation of law, and the Register of Deeds is hereby ordered to REGISTER this decision consolidating the defendant’s ownership over the properties covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-90-71, covering Lot 8; Original Certificate of Title No. N-311 covering Lot 5370, all of the Tacloban Cadastre, and issuing to defendant Inocencio Tan his titles after cancellation of the titles presently registered in plaintiff Fernando T. Mate’s name and that of his wife. The plaintiff Fernando Mate is further ordered to pay defendant the sum of ONE HUNDRED FORTY THOUSAND (P140,000.00) PESOS, for and as attorney’s fees.


Whether the Deed of Sale with Right to repurchase is valid.


The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. The Court stated that as admitted by petitioner, by virtue of the sale with pacto de retro, Josie Rey gave him, as vendor-a-retro, a postdated check in the amount of P1.4 Million, which represented the repurchase price of the two (2) lots. Aside from the P1.4 Million check, Josie gave another postdated check to petitioner in the amount of P420,000.00, ostensibly as interest for six (6) months but which apparently was his fee for having executed the pacto de retro document. Josie thus assumed the responsibility of paying the repurchase price on behalf of petitioner to private respondent. Unfortunately, the two checks issued by Josie Rey were worthless. Both were dishonored upon presentment by petitioner with the drawee banks. However, there is absolutely no basis for petitioner to file a complaint against private respondent Tan and Josie Rey to annul the pacto de retro sale on the ground of lack of consideration, invoking his failure to encash the two checks. Petitioner’s cause of action was to file criminal actions against Josie Rey under B.P. 22, which he did. The filing of the criminal cases was a tacit admission by petitioner that there was a consideration of the pacto de retro sale. Further, Petitioner then postulates that “it is not only illegal but immoral to require him to repurchase his own properties with his own money when he did not derive any benefit from the transaction.” Thus, he invokes the case of Singson vs. Isabela Sawmill, 88 SCRA 633, 643, where the Court said that “where one or two innocent persons must suffer, that person who gave occasion for the damages to be caused must bear consequences.” Petitioner’s reliance on this doctrine is misplaced. He is not an innocent person. As a matter of fact, he gave occasion for the damage caused by virtue of the deed of sale with right to repurchase which he prepared and signed. Thus, there is the equitable maxim that between two innocent parties, the one who made it possible for the wrong to be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss.


Case Brief: Tanchoco vs. Aquino

G.R. No. L-30670 September 15, 1987

HON. FLORENDO P. AQUINO, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, Branch I, VICENTA TECSON VDA. DE LAJOM, JOSE T. LAJOM, RAFAEL VIOLA and THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF NUEVA ECIJA, respondents.



The petitioners purchased a property subject to an existing notice of lis pendens. Respondents allege that the transfer of title should still be rendered null on the grounds of the pending case where the property is the subject matter. Petitioners on the otherhand alleged that they should still be considered as buyers in good faith and that the sale executed by them should be made valid.



Whether or not respondents Aquino were buyers on good faith even if they bought a property which was a subject of pending litigation.



One who buys land where there is a pending notice of lis pendens cannot invoke the right of a purchaser in good faith; neither can he have acquired better rights than those of his predecessor in interest.

The said portions of land were respectively declared for taxation purposes in the names of the petitioners, and they have been paying the realty taxes due thereon to the government. The possession of the said property was delivered to the petitioners and they have exercised all the rights of ownership over the same. As such registered owners of the respective portions of lot sold to them, the petitioners have acquired real rights over the said property, and they cannot now be deprived of the said property or their rights therein without due notice to them and without affording them the opportunity to be heard in a proper action or suit brought for the purpose. To deprive them of their said property or their rights therein without the required notice and without affording them the opportunity to be heard as what happened in this case, is a clear violation of the Constitutional guaranty that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law.



Case Brief: Duran vs. IAC

G.R. No. L-64159 September 10, 1985

CIRCE S. DURAN and ANTERO S. GASPAR, petitioners,



Duran owned parcels of land which she had purchased. When she left the country, a deed of sale over the two lots was made in favor of her mother, who mortgaged the same to Tiangco. When Duran found out, she notified the Register of Deeds.

She did not get any answer however, prompting her to return to the Philippines. Her mother failed to redeem the mortgaged properties, which were foreclosed and sold in an auction in favor of respondent Tiangco. She alleged that the sale made by her mother is invalid.



Whether or not respondent Tiangco is a buyer in good faith even without Duran’s consent.



Yes. Tiangco is a buyer in good faith. Good faith requires a well-founded belief that the person from whom title was received was himself the owner of the land, with the right to convey it. In the case at bar, private respondents, in good faith relied on the certificate of title in the name of Duran’s mother. A fraudulent or forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title if the certificate of title has already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the name of the forger or the name indicated by the forger.

An innocent purchaser for value relying on a Torrens title issued is protected. A mortgagee has the right to rely on what appears in the certificate of title and, in the absence of anything to excite suspicion, he is under no obligation to look beyond the certificate and investigate.

Case Brief: RP-BFD vs. IAC

G.R. No. 69138 May 19, 1992

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (Bureau of Forest Development), petitioner,
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (First Civil Cases Division) and HILARIO P. RAMA, respondents.


Logronio, as OIC of Bohol Reforestation Project of Bureau of Forest Development (BFD) bulldozed portions of land which he believed to be forest lands, occupied the same, and planted trees. Thereafter, Rama filed a complaint for recovery of possession and ownership, alleging that he is the owner and possessor of lands occupied by Logronio, who then claimed that the forest lands were part of his lawful performance of his duties as OIC. Logronio also alleged that the lands were never released by government as alienable and disposable. He filed for the nullification of any titles concerning the land.



Whether or not Rama’s title over the land is valid



No, it is not valid. Considering that the subject parcel of land is forest land, the patent and original certificate of title covering the subject parcel issued to Rama did not confer any validity to his possession or claim of ownership.  The titles are void ab initio.  The appellate court’s ruling as regards the unregistered parcel of land which is to the effect that Rama is also entitled to necessary expenses with right of retention until reimbursed of the necessary expenses must be reversed. His title over the forest land is null and void for the same reasons.

Case Brief: Associated Insurance and Surety Company v Iya

G.R. Nos. L-10837-38 May 30, 1958


Valino & Valino were the owners and possessors of a house of strong materials in Rizal, which they purchased on installment basis. To enable her to purchase on credit rice from NARIC, Valino filed a bond (P11,000) subscribed by Associated Insurance and Surety Co Inc, and as a counter-guaranty, Valino executed an alleged chattel mortgage on the aforementioned house in favour of the surety company. At the same time, the parcel of land which the house was erected was registered in the name of Philippine Realty Corporation.

Valino, to secure payment of an indebtedness (P12,000) executed a real estate mortgage over the lot and the house in favour of Iya.

Valino failed to satisfy her obligation to NARIC, so the surety company was compelled to pay the same pursuant to the undertaking of the bond. In turn, surety company demanded reimbursement from Valino, and as they failed to do so, the company foreclosed the chattel mortgage over the house. As a result, public sale was conducted and the property was awarded to the surety company.

The surety company then learned of the existence of the real estate mortgage over the lot and the improvements thereon; thus, they prayed for the exclusion of the residential house from the real estate mortgage and the declaration of its ownership in virtue of the award given during bidding.

Iya alleged that she acquired a real right over the lot and the house constructed thereon, and that the auction sale resulting from the foreclosure of chattel mortgage was null and void.

Surety company argued that as the lot on which the house was constructed did not belong to the spouses at the time the chattel mortgage was executed, the house might be considered as personal property, and they prayed that the said building be excluded from the real estate mortgage.

There is no question over Iya’s right over the land by real estate mortgage; however, as the building instructed thereon has been the subject of two mortgages, controversy arise as to which of these encumbrances should receive preference over the other.

The building is subject to the real estate mortgage, in favour of Iya. Iya’s right to foreclose not only the land but also the building erected thereon is recognised.

While it is true that real estate connotes the land and the building constructed thereon, it is obvious that the inclusion of the building, separate and distinct from the land, in the enumeration of what may constitute real properties (Article 415), could only mean that a building is by itself an immovable property. Moreover, in view of the absence of any specific provision to the contrary, a building is an immovable property irrespective of whether or not said structure and the land on which it is adhered to belong to the same owner.

A building certainly cannot be divested of its character of a realty by the fact that the land on which it is constructed belongs to another.

In the case at bar, as personal properties could only be the subject of a chattel mortgage and as obviously the structure in question is not one, the execution of the chattel mortgage covering said building is clearly invalid and a nullity. While it is true that said document was correspondingly registered in Chattel Mortgage Registry of Rizal, this act produced no effect whatsoever, for where the interest conveyed is in the nature of real property, the registration of the document in the registry of chattels is merely a futile act. Thus, the registration of the chattel mortgage of a building of strong materials produced no effect as far as the building is concerned.

Case Brief: Salas, et al v Jarencio, et al

G.R. No. L-29788    August 30, 1972

RAFAEL S. SALAS, in his capacity as Executive Secretary; CONRADO F. ESTRELLA, in his capacity as Governor of the Land Authority; and LORENZO GELLA, in his capacity as Register of Deeds of Manila, petitioners-appellants,


HON. HILARION U. JARENCIO, as Presiding Judge of Branch XXIII, Court of First Instance of Manila; ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS, in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Manila; and the CITY OF MANILA, respondents-appellees.


City of Manila – owner in fee simple of a parcel of land known as Lot 1, Block 557 of Cadastral Survey of City of Manila, containing an area of 9689.80 sqm. On various dates in 1927, City of Manila sold portions of the parcel of land. When the last sale was effected August 1924, Transfer Certificate of Title 22547 covering the residue of the land 7490.10 sam was issued in the name of City of Manila.

On September 1960, Municipal Board of Manila adopted a resolution requesting the President to consider the feasibility of declaring the land under Transfer Certificate of Title 25545-25547 as patrimonial property of Manila for the purpose of selling these lots to the actual occupants thereof. The resolution was then transmitted to the Congress. The bill was then passed by Congress and approved by President, and became Republic Act 4118, converting the land from communal property to disposable and alienable land of State.

To implement RA 4118, Land Authority requested City of Manila to deliver the City’s TCT 22547 in order to obtain title thereto in the name of Land Authority. The request was granted with the knowledge and consent of City mayor, cancelling TCT 22547 and issuing TCT 80876 in the name of Land Authority.

City of Manila, for some reasons, brought an action to restrain, prohibit, and enjoin Land Authority and Register of Deeds from implementing RA 4118, and praying for the declaration of RA 4118 as unconstitutional.

Trial court declared RA 4118 to be unconstitutional and invalid on the ground that it deprived City of its property without due process of law and payment of just compensation.

Land Authority and Register of Deeds argued that the land is a communal land, or a portion of public domain owned by State; that the land has not been used by City of Manila for any public purpose; that it was originally a communal land not because it was needed in connection with its organisation as a municipality but rather for the common use of its inhabitants; that the City mayor merely enjoys the usufruct over said land and its exercise of acts of ownership by selling parts thereof did not necessarily convert the land into a patrimonial property of City of Manila nor divert the State of its paramount title.

Whether the aforementioned land is a private or patrimonial property of the City of Manila.


The land is public property.

As a general rule, regardless of the source or classification of the land in the possession of municipality, excepting those which it acquired in its own funds in its private or corporate capacity, such property is held for the State for the benefit of its inhabitants, whether it be for governmental or proprietary purposes. The legal situation is the same if the State itself holds the property and puts it to a different use.

When it comes to property of municipality which it did not acquire in its private or corporate capacity with its own funds (the land was originally given to City by Spain), the legislature can transfer its administration and disposition to an agency of the National Government to be disposed of according to its discretion. Here it did so in obedience to the constitutional mandate of promoting social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of the people.

The property was not acquired by the City of Manila with its own funds in its private or proprietary capacity. The land was part of the territory of City of Manila granted by sovereign in its creation. Furthermore, City expressly recognised the paramount title of the State over its land when it requested the President to consider the feasibility of declaring the lot as patrimonial property for selling.

There could be no more blatant recognition of the fact that said land belongs to the State and was simply granted in usufruct to the City of Manila for municipal purposes. But since the City did not actually use said land for any recognized public purpose and allowed it to remain idle and unoccupied for a long time until it was overrun by squatters, no presumption of State grant of ownership in favor of the City of Manila may be acquiesced in to justify the claim that it is its own private or patrimonial property.

WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is hereby reversed, and petitioners shall proceed with the free and untrammeled implementation of Republic Act No. 4118 without any obstacle from the respondents. Without costs.