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Valdez(s) (P) v. CA, Judge Buzon, Sps Salvador (PRs) | GR No.

106042 | 2.28.94 | Double Sales | Nocon, J p:

PR (Possessors) Sps bought a land in Malabon from Dionisio Santiago
(DS) they didnt register the subject;
P Valdez(s) bought the subject property from Ma. Dela Cruz vda. De
Santiago (Original Wife) and Jose Santiogo (Son), heirs of Dionisio
Santiago, a TCT was named after them.
Ps lawyer then demanded from PR to vacate, the other half of the
subject, to no avail hence the suing;
PR claims that they bought the same property from Dionisio
Santiago; claiming that they bought the same by halves until the last
half were payment was made to DSs common law wife Benjamina
The lower court dismissed the complaint for lack of merit; holding
that there was a double sale of the subject; holding petitioners as
purchasers in bad faith, for failing to make inquiry concerning the
rights of PR; The CA affirmed hence this.
Before us is a case registered land which had been sold to two
different persons.
It is true that petitioners examined the certificate of title; And it is
equally true that a person dealing with the owner of registered land
is not bound to go beyond the certificate of title. However, it is
important to note that petitioners did not buy the land from the
registered owner, Dionisio Santiago. They bought it from his heirs,
Maria dela Cruz and Jose Santiag, the law requires a higher degree of
prudence even if the land object of the transaction is registered.
One who buys from one who is not the registered owner is expected
to examine not only the certificate of title but all factual
circumstances necessary for him to determine if there are any flaws
in the title of the transferor, or in his capacity to transfer the land.
Buying land from one not the registered owner should have put the
buyer on guard concerning facts which would acquaint him with
defects in the title or capacity to transfer of the vendor.
As records bear it out, appellant had knowledge of circumstances
which ought to have put them on an inquiry but they did not. Such
failure to exercise ordinary care expected of real estate buyers
necessarily means bearing the consequences of their own acts.
We also do not find private respondents equally blameworthy for
failing to register during the period of time cited above by
petitioners. Their uninterrupted possession of the property may have

fostered complacency but their omission to register within this

period cannot constitute a situation of in pari delicto.
Sps Occea (P) v. Obsania Salazar(s) (PR) | GR No. 156973 |
6.4.04 | Double Sales | Puno, J p:
The subject is a land in Sibalom, Antique owned by Sps Tordesillas w/
OCT; they had 3 children, namely: Harod, Angela, and Rosario who
has 2 children Arnold and Lilia
After the Sps Tordesillas death, the subject was inherited by Harod
and Angela and the granddaughters (GDs);
The GDs sold their rights to Alberta Morales, attested by the 2
Alberta possessed the subject and there built a house; Later, Arnold
borrowed the OCT from Alberta, w/c was received and acknowledged
In 1966 Arnold and Angela, nephew and daughter of the Tordesillas
Sps, w/o knowledge of Alberta, executed a Deed of Extrajudicial
settlement declaring the themselves as the only co-owners of the
undivided land, w/o acknowledging their sle to Alberta. Arnold now
wouldnt return the OCT; Arnold also became sole owner when
Angela died; Alberta died and her nieces-heirs Lydia, Elsa and
Dafrosa asked Arnold of the OCT because they were leaving for the
US, to no avail; and they left.
Arnold then subdivided the entire lot into 3 and acquired title
thereto; thereafter sold to P sps the subject were the 748 of the heirs
of Alberta was; Arnold died.
Upon knowledge, PRs sued for the cancellation of the titles, alleging
the Sps P bought the subject in bad faith (care taker advised them)
knowing that it was previously sold
Sps P holds denial of knowledge; that they verified in the ROD;
laches and prescriptions.
LC ruled in favour of Sps p holding the PRs are time-barred. The CA
reversed, it found that P Sps are in bad faith and it was not barred by
Dismissed. The petition at bar presents a case of double sale of an
immovable property. Article 1544 of the New Civil Code provides that
in case an immovable property is sold to different vendees, the
ownership shall belong: (1) to the person acquiring it who in good
faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property; (2) should there be
no inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good
faith was first in possession; and, (3) in the absence thereof, to the
person who presents the oldest title, provided there is good faith.

Tomas Occea admitted that he found houses built on the land

during its ocular inspection prior to his purchase. He relied on the
representation of vendor Arnold that these houses were owned by
squatters and that he was merely tolerating their presence on the
land. Tomas should have verified from the occupants.
The evidence that the caretaker of the house which Alberta Morales
built on the land, personally informed Tomas that the lot had been
previously sold.
In sum, registration under the Torrens system is the operative act
which gives validity. However, it does not create or vest title
especially where a party is bad faith.

Sps Olivares (P) v. Judge Gonzales, Tuvilla(s) & Tumabini| GR No.

L-34500 | 3.18.88 | Double Sales | Melencio-Herrera, J p:
The subject is unregistered in Iloilo, previously owned by PRs Tu; In
1995 sold the same w/ right to repurchase in favour of PR Tb;
In 1959 PRs TU executed a DOS w/ Pacto de Retro in favour of Ps, it
was registered in the ROD, it was followed by a DOAS in 1966 Ps was
in possession since 1959.
In 1967 PR Tb sued the PR Tu for consolidation of ownership, by
alleged failure of PR Tu to redeem the property, Ps were not included
as parties to the case.
On pre-trial PRs agreed to consider he pacto de retro sale as one of
equtable mortgage, thus the court ruled in favour of PR TB, pursuant
to w/c the court issued a writ of execution in 1968.
On 11.23.68 Ps sued for Quieting of Title, the court issued a RO to
stop the consolidation. But subsequently the subject was sold at an
auction PR TB won; however the tenant of Ps refused to give in.
The Quieting of Title was dismissed, it was never asked for
reconsideration by Ps; when they refilled it was dismissed again for
being the same. Hence this.
Set Aside. Remanded. The equities of the case are with the
Olivareses. The first sale with pacto de retro by the Tuvillas to
Tumabini was unregistered; in contrast, the sale in favor of the
Olivareses was duly recorded. The Consolidation Case (Case No.
7410) instituted by Tumabini against the Tuvillas for consolidation of
his ownership did not include the Olivareses as parties defendants
even though they were then in possession of the Disputed Property.
Justice and equity demand, therefore, that their side be heard in the
Refiled Case (No. 8698).
In other words, it would be more in keeping with substantial justice if
the controversy between the parties to be resolved on the merits
rather than on a procedural technicality in the light of the express
mandate of the Rules that they be "liberally construed in order to
promote their object and to assist the parties in obtaining just,
speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding." The dismissal of actions is based on sound judicial
discretion and such discretion "must be exercised wisely and
prudently, never capriciously, with a view to substantial justice." For
having failed to meet that standard it will have to be held that
respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion (see Tandoc
vs. Tensuan, L-50835, October 30, 1979, 93 SCRA 880).

C. Astorga, F. Astorga & Dableo (P) v. CA, Montao(s) (PRs) | GR

No. 58530 | 12.26.84 | Double Sales | Aquino, J p:
The subject Originally owned by Sps Virgenesa (OCT 20585), after
their death, a certain Elias Nombre adjudicated the land to himself
and sold the same to Sps Dableo and Esperas.
Dableo, already a widow, sold to Ps Lot No. 1540, not immediately
registered because Dableo lost the OCT w/c was reported to the
ROD, asking for the issuance of a new owners duplicate, w/c was
granted (TCT T-3917), then the sale to Ps were registered, they
moved in 1972.
Sps Abulayan and Montao now came, claiming that they bought the
same to the sps Dableo in 1956, a compadre of Dableo, the deed
was notarized, and registered 11 (TCT T-8848) years later in 1968.
LC ruled in Favor of Ps, holding that Ps were in possession, and PRs
were never was. The CFI affirmed at first, but on motion they
ordered to implead Dableo, and reversed itself; CA Affirmed. Hence
Reversed. Set-Aside. We hold that under article 1544 of the Civil
Code the sale by Lucila Dableo to the Astorga spouses in 1972
should prevail over the alleged 1956 sale to Montao because the
Astorga spouses acquired ownership over the disputed lot since they
were the first to register in good faith their sale in the registry of
property. Lucila Dableo delivered to them the reconstituted owner's
duplicate of OCT No. 20585.
She did not deliver the owner's duplicate to Montao who did not
explain how he was able to obtain his Torrens title. His title must be
deemed spurious. His photostatic copy of his title, Exhibit C, is
blurred. One cannot determine when it was actually issued.

Caram (P) v. Laureta (PR) | GR No. L-28740 | 2.24.81 | Double

Sales | Fernandez, J p:
In 1959 PR sued for recovery P.
In 1945 M. Mata conveyed agricultural land (OCT 3019) to PR, said
conveyance was not registered because the DOS wasnt notarized,
since there was no working government yet (After WWII), but still it
was a proper transfer since then taxes were paid by PR, including
improvements he introduced.
M. Mata, 2 years later, sold the same to P, telling the latter that he
lost the OCT, so they went to the court for the issuance of a new
title, the court granted ordering the ROD to issue a new one. (TCT
In his defense M. Mata alleged that he was only forced to execute a
DOS by PR, under duress and intimidation. Further alleging that the
executed DOS w/ P was because of fraud and misrepresentation,
adding that he was an illiterate (Thumb mark Signed)
LC ruled that the sale to PR stands and prevails; CA Affirms; hence
Denied. Affirmed. The facts of record show that Mata, the vendor,
and P, the second vendee had never met. During the trial, Marcos
Mata testified that he knows Atty. Aportadera but did not know
Caram. Thus, the sale of the property could have only been through
Caram's representatives, Irespe and Aportadera. The petitioner, in
his answer, admitted that Atty. Aportadera acted as his notary public
and attorney-in-fact at the same time in the purchase of the
'The Court cannot help being convinced that Irespe, attorney-in-fact
of Caram, Jr., had knowledge of the prior existing transaction, Exhibit
A, between Mata and Laureta over the land, subject matter of this
litigation, when the deed, Exhibit F, was executed by Mata in favor of
Caram, Jr. And this knowledge has the effect of registration as to
Caram, Jr.' (R.A. pp. 123-124).
Even if Irespe and Aportadera did not have actual knowledge of the
first sale, still, their actions have not satisfied the requirement of
good faith. Bad faith is not based solely on the fact that a vendee
had knowledge of the defect or lack of title of his vendor.
"One who purchases real estate with knowledge of a defect or lack
of title in his vendor can not claim that he has acquired title thereto
in good faith, as against the true owner of the land or of an interest
therein, and the same rule must be applied to one who has
knowledge of facts which should have put him upon such inquiry and

investigation as might be necessary to acquaint him with the defects

in the title of his vendor."
The rule of caveat emptor requires the purchaser to be aware of the
supposed title of the vendor and one who buys without checking the
vendor's title takes all the risks and losses consequent to such
Revilla & Fajardo (PA) v. Galindez (DA) | GR No. L-9940 | 3.30.60 |
Double Sales | Guttierrez-David, J p:
Ps are seeking recovery of the Subject (Lot 659-A); formerly
registered to Gasmena (TCT 7454) w/c was donated to F. Gasmena
(1.8has), annotated, w/c the latter mortgaged to PR w/c was later
sold in 1938 to the same, it was registered and been in possession
ever since.
In 1941, after F. Gasmenas death, the land conveyed to PR was
registered, a TCT was issued w/o annotation (NT-7782).
In 1950, the Heirs of F. Gasmena extrajudicially adjudicated the
subject and sold the same to P, Ps examined the TCT, finding no
encumbrances, they moved for the issuance of their new TCT. When
they tried to eject PR, they were informed of the former sale to the
same. Then the suing.
LC nullified the extrajudicial partition and sale, hence this.
Affirmed. The law protects to a greater degree a purchaser who buys
from the registered owner himself. Corollarily, it requires a higher
degree of prudence from one who buys from a person who is not the
registered owner, although the land object of the transaction is
While one who buys from the registered owner does not have to look
behind the certificate of title, one who buys from one who is not the
registered owner is expected to examine not only the certificate of
title but all factual circumstances necessary for him to determine if
there are any flaws in the title of the transferor, or in his capacity to
transfer the land.
Where a person buys land not from the registered owner but from
one whose right to the land has been merely annotated on the
certificate of title, he is not considered a "subsequent purchaser of
registered land who takes certificate of title for value and in good
faith and who is protected against any encumbrance except those
noted on said certificate".
If the vendees purchased the land not from the registered owner but
from the heirs of a deceased person in whose name the certificate of

title was issued nine years after he died, then such vendees are not
purchasers in good faith entitled to the protection of the Torrens
system of registration, even if they had secured in their names a
certificate of title.

Navarro & Fortea (P) v. 2nd Laguna Devt Bank & Sps Guzman &
Esporlas (R) | GR No. 129428 | 2.27.03 | Double Sales | SandovalGuttierrez, J p:
Sps P et al, were co-owners of a parcel of land (TCT No. 244200). In
1978, Sps Velasco and Navarro, conspiring with the latter's sister
Luciana Navarro (P), executed a falsified DOAS wherein they made it
appear that the entire lot was sold to said spouses Velasco.
TCT No. 114526 in the names of Sps Velasco was accordingly issued.
Subsequently, they mortgaged the property to R Bank to secure
payment of a loan. In 1987, the respondent Bank, foreclosed the
mortgage; In 1988 and 1990, Sps P, introducing themselves as
attorneys-in-fact of Esther Navarro-Velasco, wrote the R Bank,
offering to redeem the property. However, they failed to do so.
Hence, ownership thereof was consolidated in the name of
respondent Bank and a new TCT was thereafter issued in its favour;
In 1990, sued for annulment of the mortgage and the consolidation
of ownership with damages. They alleged that the sale of the lot
with respect to their 1/6 share was void ab initio considering that
their signatures appearing in the Deed of Absolute Sale were
falsified. Pendente Lite, it was sold to PR Sps, impleaded by Sps P,
alleging purchasers in bad faith.
CFI against Sps P, CA Affirmed. Hence this.
In dismissing the petition, the Supreme Court held that the
petitioners were estopped from assailing the validity of the sale of
the property to respondent spouses Guzman. "A person, who by his
deed or conduct has induced another to act in a particular manner,
is barred from adopting an inconsistent position, attitude or course
of conduct that thereby causes loss or injury to another."
Petitioners, in their two letters to respondent Bank, did not state that
spouses Velasco falsified their signatures appearing in the Deed of
Absolute Sale. Nor did they question the validity of the mortgage
and its foreclosure.
In Rural Bank of Compostela vs. Court of Appeals, this Court held
that the rule that persons dealing with registered lands can rely
solely on the certificate of title does not apply to banks because
their business is one affected with public interest, keeping in trust
money belonging to their depositors, which they should guard
against loss by not committing any act of negligence which amounts
to lack of good faith.
In entering into the mortgage contract with spouses Velasco, there
was no indication that respondent bank acted in bad faith. Spouses

Velasco presented to the bank their TCT No. 114256 showing they
were then the absolute owners thereof. Indeed, there were no
circumstances or indications that aroused respondent bank's
suspicion that the title was defective.
Remalante (P) v. Tibe & CA (R) | GR No. 59514 | 2.25.88 | Double
Sales | Cortes, J p:
Private respondent's evidence shows that on December 15, 1965,
petitioner came to the house of private respondent and requested
her to sign papers purported to be bail bonds for his provisional
liberty in connection with a concubinage case filed against him by
his wife.
However, private respondent discovered later that the papers she
was made to sign were actually: (1) affidavits of transfer (Exhibits I3, K and M) of her three parcels of land under Tax Declaration Nos.
20280, 20273 and 20274 which she purportedly donated to
petitioner; and (2) a deed of absolute sale (Exhibit 22) in favor of
petitioner of her other three parcels of land under Tax Declaration
Nos. 13959, 17388 and 16999.
On the other hand, petitioner presented evidence to show that he is
the owner of the six (6) parcels of land subject of this case. He
claimed that he bought the first three (3) parcels (those covered by
Tax Declaration Nos. 20280, 20273 and 20274) from Silvino
Alminario before they were bought by private respondent. He agreed
to have the properties transferred to the name of private respondent
to accommodate her request to use the properties as collateral in
securing a loan from a bank.
However, he found out later that private respondent did not apply
for any loan. Petitioner reported the case to the Municipal Mayor of
Dagami, Leyte and private respondent was summoned before the
mayor and was made to sign affidavits of transfer (Exhibits I-3, K and
M) in favor of petitioner.

Consolidated Rural Bank (Cagayan) (P) v. CA & Heirs of Teodora

dela Cruz (R) | GR No. 132161 | 1.17.05 | Double Sales | Tinga, J p:
The Madrid Siblings owns a parcel of land in Isabela covered by TCT
8121, it was subdivided; they subdivided the land one of w/c is the
subject (Lot No. 7036-A-7) herein.
One of the Siblings, Rizal, sold the subject, to a certain Gamiao &
Dayag, the other siblings did not object; it was never registered;
instead G&D declared the property for taxation purposes in their
On 6.28.64, G&D sold the southern half of the property to Teodora
Dela Cruz, and the other half to Restituto Hernandez w/c it took
possession right after and cultivated the same; Restituto donated
the same to his daughter, Evangeline, on 12.28.86.
On 6.15.76, the Madrid Brothers sold all their rights and interest over
the subject to Pacifico Marquez, it was registered; thereafter
Marquez subdivided the subject, they were issued issued new TCTs;
right after, they mortgaged the lands to RBank w/c was registered;
W/c they defaulted at.
RBank then caused the foreclosure of the subject, bidded and won;
On 10.31.85 Marquez sold to a certain Romeo Calixto.
The Heirs-now respondents filed a case for reconveyance and
damages for the southern portion of Lot No. 7036-A (hereafter, the
subject property) against Marquez and CRB. The RTC ruled in favor of
Marquez. CA reversed, hence this.
Denied. Affirmed.
Banks, their business being impressed with public interest, are
expected to exercise more care and prudence than private
individuals in their dealings, even those involving registered lands.
Hence, for merely relying on the certificates of title and for its failure
to ascertain the status of the mortgaged properties as is the
standard procedure in its operations, we agree with the Court of
Appeals that CRB is a mortgagee in bad faith. In this connection,
Marquez's obstention of title to the property and the subsequent
transfer thereof to CRB cannot help the latter's cause. In a situation
where a party has actual knowledge of the claimant's actual, open
and notorious possession of the disputed property at the time of
registration, as in this case, the actual notice and knowledge are
equivalent to registration, because to hold otherwise would be to
tolerate fraud and the Torrens system cannot be used to shield
fraud. While certificates of title are indefeasible, unassailable and

binding against the whole world, they merely confirm or record title
already existing and vested. They cannot be used to protect a
usurper from the true owner, nor can they be used for the
perpetration of fraud; neither do they permit one to enrich himself at
the expense of others.
Following Article 1544, in the double sale of an immovable, the rules
of preference are: (a) the first registrant in good faith; (b) should
there be no entry, the first in possession in good faith; and c) in the
absence thereof, the buyer who presents the oldest title in good
faith. Prior registration of the subject property does not by itself
confer ownership or a better right over the property. Article 1544
requires that before the second buyer can obtain priority over the
first, he must show that he acted in good faith throughout (i.e., in
ignorance of the first sale and of the first buyer's rights) from the
time of acquisition until the title is transferred to him by registration
or failing registration, by delivery of possession.
One who purchases real property which is in actual possession of
others should, at least, make some inquiry concerning the rights of
those in possession. The actual possession by people other than the
vendor should, at least, put the purchaser upon inquiry. He can
scarcely, in the absence of such inquiry, be regarded as a bona fide
purchaser as against such possessions. The rule of caveat emptor
requires the purchaser to be aware of the supposed title of the
vendor and one who buys without checking the vendor's title takes
all the risks and losses consequent to such failure.

Expirity & Apostol, (P) v. Valerio (R) | GR No. L-18018 | 12.26.63 |

Double Sales | Dizon, J p:
R went to the court to quiet title against P alleging ownership of
the subject in Mangatarem, Pangasinan; that such, he acquired from
Pelagia Vegilia thru a DOS.
P is asserting their rights, holding that they are the owner, having
acquired the subject by inheritance from Santiago Apostol (Husband)
whom acquired the same from Mariano Vegilia thru a DOS, whom
acquired also the same from Pelagia Vegilia in 1932.
P relies on the validity of the DOS executed by Pelagia to Mariano
and the DOS to his late husband. LC ruled in favour of R, w/c was
upheld by the CA.
Affirmed. Denied.
Where the owner of a parcel of unregistered land sold it to two
different parties, assuming that both sales are valid the vendee
whose deed of sale was first registered under the provisions of Act
3344 would have a better right.
Where the same parcel of land was sold to two different parties, it is
held that, despite the fact that one deed of sale was registered
ahead of the other, Art. 1544 of the Civil Code will not apply where
said deed is found to be a forgery; the result of this being that the
right of the other vendee should prevail.
But this Court further takes into account the fact that the names
Mariano Vegilia and Jose B. Aviles appearing in said Exh. '2' must
have been written by only one man."

Obsequio(s)(P) v. CA & Alimpoos(s)(R) | GR No. 107967 | 3.1.94 |

Double Sales | Regalado, J p:
The subject herein is located in Agusan del Sur, acquired by R thru
homestead application; the same is now registered to P, evidenced
by a title.
R sued P and the heirs of Eduardo Deguro for recovery of possession
of the subject; alleging that sometime in 1964, they mortgaged the
same to Deguro, together with the OCT, and they continued to
cultivate 2/3rds of the subject.
That as to P, claims that Deguro, w/o knowledge of R misrepresented
and claimed ownership thereof and sold the same to them.
Maintaining good faith.
Deguros heirs now claims that the subject was sold to their parents
as evidenced by a DOS, the issuance of a TCT.
LC ruled in favour of P; CA reversed hence this.
Reversed. Reinstated. In consonance with this accepted legal
definition, petitioner Consorcia Tenio-Obsequio is a purchaser in
good faith. There is no showing whatsoever nor even an allegation
that herein petitioner had any participation, voluntarily or otherwise,
in the alleged forgery. Nor can we charge said petitioner with
negligence since, at the time of the sale to her, the land was already
registered in the name of Eduardo Deguro and the tax declaration
was also issued in the latter's name. It was also clearly indicated at
the back of the original certificate of title that Eduardo Deguro
acquired ownership over the said land by virtue of the deed of sale
executed in his favor. In fact, it is not disputed that one of his heirs
was actually residing therein. There is no annotation, defect or flaw
in the title that would have aroused any suspicion as to its
authenticity. Such being the case, petitioner has the right to rely on
what appears on the face of the certificate of title.
Private respondents in this case ruefully failed to substantiate with
sufficient evidence their claim that their signatures appearing on the
deed of sale were forged.
Furthermore, it was the very act of the respondent Alimpoos spouses
in entrusting their certificate of title to Eduardo Deguro that made it
possible for the commission of the alleged fraud, if indeed there was
such a fraudulent conduct as imputed to the latter. Hence, the rule
of law and justice that should apply in this case is that as between
two innocent persons, one of whom must suffer the consequences of

a breach of trust, the one who made it possible by his act of

confidence must bear the loss.
The right of the innocent purchaser for value must be respected and
protected, even if the seller obtained his title through fraud.

Cheng (P) v. Genato, Da Jose Sps. (R) | GR No. 129760 | 12.29.98 |

Double Sale | Martinez, J p:
Genato owned 2 parcels of land in Paradise Farms. He agreed with
the Da Jose spouses to enter into a contract to sell over the said
parcels; it was embodied in a public instrument annotated to the
certificates of title. They asked for and were granted an extension
for the payment of the purchase price.
Unknown to them, Genato dealt with Cheng regarding the lot,
executed an Affidavit to annul the Contract to Sell, appraised the
latter of his decision to rescind the sale, and received a down
payment from Cheng upon the guarantee that the said contract to
sell will be annulled. By chance, Genato and the spouses met at the
RD, where he again agreed to continue the contract with them.
He advised Cheng of his decision; the latter countered that the sale
had already been perfected. Cheng executed an Affidavit of Adverse
Claim and had it annotated to the TCTs and sued for specific
performance. LC Ruled in favour of P, CA Reversed. Hence this.
Affirmed in TOTO. Denied. Both agreements involve a contract to
sell, which makes Art. 1544 inapplicable since neither a transfer of
ownership nor a sales transaction took place.
A contract to sell is premised upon a suspensive conditionthe full
payment of the purchase price. That being the case, the elementary
principle of first in time, priority in right should apply. As such, the
contract in favor of the Da Jose spouses must prevail considering
that the same had not been validly rescinded.
Cheng cannot be considered to have acted in good faith as he had
knowledge of the prior transaction in favor of the spouses.
Notwithstanding this contrary finding with the appellate court, we
are of the view that the governing principle of Article 1544, Civil
Code, should apply in this situation. Jurisprudence teaches us that
the governing principle is PRIMUS TEMPORE, PORTIOR JURE (first in
time, stronger in right).
This principle only applies when the special rules provided in the
aforecited article of the Civil Code do not apply or fit the specific
circumstances mandated under said law or by jurisprudence
interpreting the article. The rule exacted by Article 1544 of the Civil
Code for the second buyer to be able to displace the first buyer are:
(1) that the second buyer must show that he acted in good faith (i.e.,
in ignorance of the first sale and of the first buyer's rights) from the
time of acquisition until title is transferred to him by registration or

failing registration, by delivery of possession; (2) the second buyer

must show continuing good faith and innocence or lack of knowledge
of the first sale until his contract ripens into full ownership through
prior registration as provided by law.
Carbonell (P) v. CA, Poncio & Sps. Infante (R) | GR No. L-29972 |
1.26.76 | Double Sales | Makasiar, J p:
On 1.27.55, Jose Poncio executed a private memorandum of sale of
the property in question in favor of P. 4 days later, or an 1.31.555,
Poncio in a private memorandum bound himself to sell the property
for an improved price to Sps. R, and on February 2, 1955, he
executed a formal registerable deed of sale in her (Infante's) favor.
When P saw the seller Poncio a few days afterwards, bringing the
formal deed of sale for the latter's signature and the balance of the
agreed cash payment, she was told that he could no longer proceed
with formalizing the contract with her (Carbonell) because he had
already formalized a sales contract in favor of Infante.
Since p did not have a formal registerable deed of sale, she did the
next best thing to protect her legal rights and registered on 2.8.55
with the Register of Deeds her adverse claim as first buyer entitled
to the property. The second buyer registered the sale in her favor
with the Register of Deeds only on 2.12.55, so that the transfer
certificate of title issued in her favor carried the duly annotated
adverse claim of Carbonell as the first buyer.
LC ruled in favour R Sps, CA at first reversed, but later ruled anew.
Hence this.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Special Division of
Five of the Court of Appeals and declared the first buyer Rosario
Carbonell to have the superior right to the land in question.
The buyer of realty must act in good faith in registering his deed of
sale to merit the protection of the second paragraph of Article 1544
of the New Civil Code. Unlike the first and third paragraphs of said
Article which accords preference to the one who first takes
possession in good faith of personal or real property, the second
paragraph directs that ownership of immovable property should be
recognized in favor of one "who in good faith recorded" his right.
Under the first and third paragraphs, good faith must characterize
prior possession. Under the second paragraph, good faith must
characterize the act of anterior registration. If there is no inscription,
what is decisive is prior possession in good faith. If there is

inscription, prior registration in good faith is a pre-condition to

support title.
Where the first buyer was not aware - and could not have been
aware - of any sale to another person as there was no such sale, the
buyer's prior purchase of the land was made in good faith. Her good
faith subsisted and continued to exist when she recorded her
adverse claim four days prior to the registration of the second
buyer's deed of sale. The first buyer's good faith did not cease after
the seller told her of his second sale of the same lot to the second
buyer. By reason thereof, she has superior right to the land in
Adalin(s), Calingasan & Adaya (P) v. CA, Faustino Yu et al. (R) | GR
No. 120191 | 10.10.97 | Double Sales | Hermossisima, J p:
R Kado decided to sell their land thru Bgy. Captain Palanca to R Yu;
before that a meeting was held w/ the tenants of the apartment; the
Adalin unequivocally answered that he and the other tenants were
not interested mainly.
The DOCS was prepared, but not to be executed until tenants have
been evicted; On a later date, however, the tenants refused to
vacate the property and informed the owners that they have decided
to purchase the doors that they were leasing.
Almost instantly, Palanca, in behalf of the Kado siblings, accepted
the offer and returned the downpayments of the private respondents
Yu and Lim. Although the latter refused to accept the
reimbursements, the Kado siblings signed a "Deed of Sale of
Registered Land" with the tenants Magno Adalin, Demetrio Adaya,
and Carlos Calingasan; then the tenants immediately tried to
register the same to the ROD and TCTs were issued; then the suing.
LC ruled in favor of the tenants. CA reversed. Hence this, P assailing
that the transaction entered into by R Yu and Lim with R Kado
siblings was an absolute sale and not merely a conditional sale as
denominated by the document.
The Supreme Court dismissed the instant petition. The Court ruled
that Palanca and the tenants were estopped from denying their
earlier statement that the tenants had no intention of buying the
other four doors of the apartment that they were leasing.
In this sense, the Deed of Conditional Sale may be an accurate
denomination of the transaction. But the sale was conditional only
inasmuch as there remained yet to be fulfilled the obligation of the
sellers to eject their tenants and the obligation of the buyers to pay

the balance of the purchase price. The choice of who to sell the
property to, however, had already been made by the sellers and is
thus no longer subject to any condition nor open to any change. In
that sense, therefore, the sale made by Palanca to private
respondents was definitive and absolute.
The subsequent sale of the subject property by Palanca to the said
tenants smacks of gross bad faith, considering that Palanca and the
said tenants were in full awareness of the August and September
negotiations between Bautista and Palanca, on the one hand, and
Loreto Adalin Faustino Yu and Antonio Lim, on the other, for the sale
of the one-storey building. Notwithstanding their full knowledge of
the subsistence of the earlier sale over the same property to private
respondents Yu and Lim. It goes without saying, thus, that though
the second sale to the said tenants was registered, such prior
registration cannot erase the gross bad faith that characterized such
second sale, and consequently, there is no legal basis to rule that
such second sale prevails over the first sale of the said property to
private respondents Yu and Lim.

Dichoso et al (PA) v. Roxas et al (D) & Borja & Alanguilan (DA) |

GR No. L-17441 | 7.31.62 | Double Sales | Dizon, J p:
Roxas sold to Dichoso and Hernandez a parcel of unregistered
coconut land, subject to the condition that the vendor could
repurchase the land within 5 years from the date of sale.
Roxas received from Dichoso several sums of money as initial or
advance payments, with the agreement that Roxas would sell the
same property, by absolute sale, to Dichoso. Out of their remaining
balance, they would use P850 to repurchase the property from Borja
and Alanguilan within the period stipulated.
Dichoso informed Borja of their readiness to repurchase and sent
Roxas a check. Roxas returned the check with the request that they
indorsed it to Borja and Alanguilan when they make the repurchase.
Despite the repeated demands and representations, Roxas and Borja
had deliberately failed to execute the corresponding deed of
absolute sale and deed of resale. LC ruled in favour of PA, CA
reversed hence this.
It appears from the evidence that Laura A. Roxas had sold her rights
to the land in controversy to two different parties. The first one was
on July 5, 1957 in favor of the plaintiffs Welgo Dichoso and Emilia

Hernandez (Exhibit 'I'), and the second one allegedly of December 8,

1957 in favor of defendants Celso Borja and Nelia Alanguilan (Exhibit
The contract between the petitioners and Roxas was a mere promise
to sell because Roxas merely promised to execute a deed of absolute
sale upon Dichosos completion of payment. On the date that Roxas
could possibly sell sell or convey in relation to the property in
question was her right to repurchase the same from Borja. The
private document executed between Roxas and Dichoso can be
considered as an assignment by Roxas to Dischoso of her right to
repurchase which Roxas only had knowledge thereof when Dichoso
attempted to make the repurchase. Such being its condition, it could
not possibly give rise to the case of one and the same property
having been sold to two different purchasers. The sale in favor of
Borja was of the property itself, while the one in favor of Dichoso, if
not a mere promise to assign, was at most an actual assignment of
the right to repurchase the same property. Art. 1544, par. 3 of the CC
do not apply.
The provisions of paragraph 3, Article 1544 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, do not apply to a case where the sale in favor of one
party was of the property itself, while the transaction in favor of
another was either a mere promise to assign or, at most, an actual
assignment of the right to repurchase the same property.
Cruzado (PA) v. Bustos & Escaler (DA) | GR No. 10244 | 2.29.16 |
Double Sales | Torres, J p:
Agapito Cruzado was a poor man living in Pampanga, he had a job in
court but was still not enough to support his family. He aspired to
hold the office of procurador in the CFI of Pampanga but he was
unable to give the required bond, an indispensable condition for his
Since Cruzado was friends with Bustos, a rich woman in their place.
He begged the latter to simulate a mortgage deed of a certain
property and have it executed in court in his favor only to pose that
he has real property to enable him to qualify to such position of
procurador. In truth, the said mortagage was a front and fraudulent
but was effected by making a pretended contract which bore the
appearance of truth.
It is unquestionable that the contract of sale was perfect and binding
upon both contracting parties since their names both appear in that

instrument to have agreed upon the thing sold. But it is also

undeniable that the said contract was not consummated. 1.)
Cruzado did not pay the purchase price of P2,200.00; and 2.) He
never took possession of the land apparently sold in the said deed.
All that the vendee did was to pledge the land as a security for the
faithful discharge of the duties of his office.
When he died. Santiago Cruzado, the son, brought an action for
recovery of possession, founded on the right transmitted to him by
his father at his death a right arising from the said simulated deed
of sale of the land in question. LC resolved for DA. Hence this.
Affirmed. The legal fiction of the delivery, by the vendor to the
vendee, of the public instrument executed for the purpose, instead
of the tradition or possession of the thing sold, produces no effect,
nor is the sale consummated, if the vendee does not take possession
of the thing and pay the price thereof. (Arts. 1258 and 1450, Civil
Code; and decisions of the supreme court of Spain of January 19,
1898, June 1, 1900, and March 8, 1901.)
Such contract was perfect and binding upon both contracting
parties, it appearing in the public instrument executed for the
purpose that the vendor and the vendee agreed upon the property
sold and on the price stipulated; but such contract cannot be
considered to have been consummated, unless it is proved that the
purchaser paid the price and took possession of the property.
Even though the said fictitious deed of sale be considered valid and
effective, as being a perfect and binding contract between the
contracting parties, yet when the vendee has not paid the price nor
taken possession of the property which continued in the possession
of the vendors until they later sold it to a third person, such contract
cannot give rise to an action for the recovery of possession. Such an
action arises from a consummated contract and the contract is what
confers a title which transfers the ownership.